Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Projects Not Like Each Other...

*in the Seasame Street song tune*

One of these projects is not like the other, one of these projects does not belong...

I have two projects. One done. The other nearly done. Just needs buttons and something very weird for a nearly finished project... *sigh*

The one that is done is the one I adore. *happy dance*

Decadent Fibers Handspun Simple Shawl

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Cast On:

October 14, 2008


October 17, 2008


La La's Simple Shawl by Laura Linneman

Made for:



US 10 1/2 / 6.5 mm Knitpicks Options


My Handspun Made with Decadent Fibers Jelly Roll

Custom Dyed for Me in Black/Purple/Burgundy

~675.0 yards

Sometime around the Friday before Rhinebeck (Oct. 3rd), I thought it would be great to finish spinning the pound of fiber I got from the Decadent Fibers. They will be at Rhinebeck and I would love to show them how beautifully the colors were on the fiber they custom dyed for me!

So I really wanted to knit something to wear at Rhinebeck. Of course I hadn't finish spinning all the fiber until a day I started knitting it! (And it had to dry after soaking it.)

It is a super easy pattern so I can knit it anywhere. It is kinda ideal knitting for my vacation week. I can catch up on some movies and clearing off the dvr while working on it.

Though like every triangular shawl, as it gets wider, each repeat takes longer. I really wanted to finish it Thursday so it would have enough time to dry while blocking it. But at 1:00, I was messing up a very simple pattern. So I knew it was time for sleep.

I was able to soak it by Friday at noon. I tried to get as much water as possible out after soaking it. I had to hope it would be dry by Saturday so I could to wear it at Rhinebeck. Luckily it was!

Though on the funny side, I wasn't able to show the Decadent Fiber people. Their booth was busy the two times I went by. And they didn't have roving in colors I wanted. So I didn't make any purchase there. But I am still really happy I finished it. I really adore it.

The length is longer that I had anticipated once I blocked it. I like a lot of length so I am hopeful it will be good. It turned out to be 40”. The width is about 72”. So it is very cozy. I was warm enough all day at Rhinebeck and there was a chill to the air. Definitely a piece I love.

I love the way the fiber looks. There is some great striping of color too (which part of the reason I picked the pattern).

For the bottom edge, the pattern says to do the 5 rows of garter & bind off. I wanted something more open. I did a row of YO & K2tg, then bound off the edge. I like that it gives it a nice finished edge. I was going to do that at row 5 of the garter repeat. But I was running out of yarn so I did it at row 3 instead. I think it looks better with that edging.

Trellis Baby Sweater for Xmas Present

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Cast On:

October 4, 2008

Nearly Completed:

October 13, 2008 (all but the buttons and overdyeing)


Trellis by Britta Stolfus Rueschhoff

Made for:

Michael & Jen's Newest, Leah




US 7 / 4.5 mm Knitpicks Options


TLC Cotton Plus Solid in 3810 light blue

~1 skeins = 178.0 yards

Purchased at Smiley's Yarns Sale in NJ

I wanted to start on some more Xmas knitting. I have completed the sweater for Trinity, Michael & Jen's daughter who is about to turn 1. I wanted to do something for their boy who was due in this fall.

I swear that Michael told me they were expecting a boy while I was visiting my family in Easter. No one told me otherwise. So I made a blue sweater. Nice cables for a boy.

Then I got the call. It is a girl. Ummm…excuse me?! *blink*

I am going to dye the sweater to purple. I am curious how it will come out. I am hoping it will look good. And hey, if not, I am not redoing it at this point. I have enough other Xmas knitting to do.

I sorta wish I had done a bigger size. Knowing Michael & jen's daughter Trinity is large, I should have anticipated a big baby. Plus it could have been worn later. But ah well. Honestly, I don't know if they even liked the sweater I knit for Trinity last Xmas. So I don't want to spend tons of time on it if it will never get worn.

I did a search on baby projects in the TLC Cotton Plus and found the Trellis sweater. It looked really attractive so I decided to try it.

I confess I am not thrilled with the way the pattern is written. I finally sat down and marked up the pattern with the row #s. I am not sure why the writer wrote it without the row #s. Other than that though, the pattern is great. And I love the way it turned out.

(Though heaven knows if I had known it was a girl I would have done something lacier. Ah well. *shakes head* I should know better than to listen to Michael!! *laugh*)

Other Projects

I actually have another project that is almost completed. I am doing a two color Xmas stocking. I started it for the October Sock Knitters Anonymous KAL on Ravelry. I need to add an i-cord loop. But otherwise that is done too.

The only big project is the black alpaca sweater. It is a nice, simple, mindless project. I think the sleeves are done. But I left them on the cable from the interchangeable Knitpick needles and just put caps on them in case I decide after the body is done that I need more (or even less) length.

I have cast on the back & need to cast on the sides. I figure if I do them all at the same time, I can tweak it as I go along. I am hoping it comes out well. *crosses fingers*

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Am Wearing the SnB Page-a-Day Calendar Yarn of the Week!

This is sooo random. I decided today that I should wear my Zombie Sock I made in the Scout's Swag Socktoberfest. It is fall and getting close to Halloween. So I couldn't resist.

And what should be the yarn of the week on my Stitch-n-Bitch Page-a-day calendar for today? The very yarn I am wearing. This may be the first time I even owned the yarn they mentioned. Much less wearing it on the day they post it. *laugh*

Kinda funny!

Thanks Silvercat for swapping some of your stash with me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Shopping Day at Rhinebeck

Finally got around to posting this. There was a lot to show. See!

Rhinebeck/NY Sheep & Wool Stash 2008

I took a kinda weird route this year. The program said there were spinning demonstrations starting at 10 in one of the back buildings. So I decided to go through Building A, then hit building 30. After that I went to 36 which is behind 30. I did stop in the area but the woman wasn't spinning when I went back there. She was talking with someone so I decided to wander off. I hit the back row of buildings, coming back around to the front row. Though I almost missed the building next to 30 that way which has some good stuff in it.

I wanted to go to building 30 early as Decadent Fibers were there. That is where I ordered the beautiful fiber that they custom dyed for me. (I need to take some more shawl picks before I post them.) I wanted to show them how great it turned out. However, they were busy with customers. And unfortunately, they only had a few bags of the Spun Sugar fiber I really wanted to try. None of it was in colors that grabbed me. So I wandered along.

Susan's Fiber Shop was really close by. They had some beautiful Hand Dyed Merino Top by Frabjous Fibers. It was the #7 Purple People Eater colorway (4 oz.). Yummy purples and super soft. So it was my first purchase.

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More wandering, petting fibers. In building 39, I came to Cloverleaf Farms . They had some lovely stuff.

I think all the stuff they were selling was theirs. But I am honestly not sure. The Merino Top in Midnight (4 oz.) had their tag. I also bought some silk fiber & hankies that weren't marked as theirs. But I think they were created by them.

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I do love silk though I confess I haven't had any silk on the wheel yet. So I am kinda nervous about that. The only pure silk I had before was some silk hankies which I have used with the spindle. It will definitely be interesting to see how they work out.

I think the next vendor where I made purchases was Carolina Homespun. I got some Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks Bombyx Silk Fiber & Three Bags Full Wool and Silk Roving.

I had been looking at Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks and Three Bags Full online for a while now. So it was great to actually see them in person. They are some yummy fibers.

The Three Bags Full is on my wheel already. I don't know why I chose that one first. It was just what spoke to me when I was deciding what to put on my bobbin next. It is really lovely. The blend I have is a burgundy sort of color with bits of dark blue, yellow, black and such. It is wool with silk noil & some black nylon in it. Really interesting to work. I am definitely enjoying it. Though the noil definitely adds texture to it. So this will not be a uniform yarn. But the bits are smaller than you might think. So it isn't super textured. But definitely nice. The picture really doesn't do it justice.

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Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks does amazing colorways. And oodles of them. It is 2 oz. of silk. So soft and shiny. Of course I picked the purple... *laugh*

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It finally got so bad with my fiber purchase I decided no more purple fiber! *laugh* I did say I could get some red or if I found some alpaca, I could do that. So of course I found some more purple with alpaca in it at Spinners Hill.

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This stuff has some beautiful color & sheen to it. It also feels amazing. It is wool, mohair, alpaca & silk. Yum! I got 8 oz. of that. I was tempted by more as it was so nice and the price was really good.

Shortly after this, my husband headed off to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome to watch the air show (which ran from 2-4). He took all the bags back to the car for me. Such the great hubby he is!

Somewhere along the way I picked up some oil in a bottle with a long point so you can put the oil in hard to reach areas. Honestly, I don't recall who the vendor was.

Creatively Dyed was outside in a tent between two buildings. They had some yummy sock yarn. And I hadn't bought any yarn yet! *gasp*

Of course, how could I not buy the red & black? *grin*

And the other one has seacell which I have been dying to try to but hadn't found in colors I liked yet. So it is kinda perfect.

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There is a building next to 30 that I almost missed. I thought it was just stuff that was at the fairgrounds normally. But I decided to wander through. Turns out it is a bunch more vendors. I got a bag marked "Romney Rolls" balls of different colors. Most are reds or purples. It was only $8 for the 4 oz. so I figured it would be fun to try them out.

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I wandered back to building A in hopes that I could try out one of the little spinning wheels. I think it was the Hitchhiker from Merlin Tree. They were around $270-290 and wood. So I figured it was worth testing one out. But they were still occupied when I stopped there.

That lead to my second knitting celeb spotting for the day. I saw Amy Singer of & No Sheep for You early in the day when I was wandering. At the spinning stand was Stephanie, The Yarn Harlot. In both cases, I just let them be. I figure they are there to shop, not be harassed by people! That is what book signings are for. *chuckle*

Speaking of sightings, I did see Franklin signing his book. But the line was waaaayyy to long. I almost bought a copy anyhow. But I am bad. I kinda figure I could get it cheaper on Amazon or Knitpicks. *sheepish grin*

I also had wandered back to Building A to look at the Golden spindles again. They are incredibly beautiful and I have heard their spindles will spin for eons. But try as I might, I couldn't justify to myself spending $50 at the low end or $95 for the one I really wanted. *sigh* Spindles are beautiful, but I really prefer spinning on my wheel. I know, I know. Spinners argue you can always use the spindle when you don't have your wheel. It is portable. (Mind you, I have taken my Babe wheel to the Adirondacks twice now.) You know what is portable too? My knitting! And it takes less space to knit than to spin. So I think I am better off spending my money on fiber. *grin*

I finished off with Building E. Why? Because that has all the food stuffs to take home! *grin* I had to get the maple cotton candy again. It was too yummy not to. I also picked up some maple stuff for Paul. I also got some blackberry honey for Paul. The twenty different kinds of honey we have simply aren't enough. *laugh* Then the meat... I got two types of lamb sausage, ground lamb, venison burger & venison summer sausage. Yum! We will have frozen meaties for a while. *licks lips*

I confess that I am most surprised that I couldn't find the one thing I said I needed and looked for at about 5 different places that had spinning items. I want a Spinners Gauge WPI Card. It is a card with different widths so you can see if you are matching the thickness you want to spin. I really though someone would have it! But if they did, I missed it completely.

So much yummy fiber, only a little yarn and a lot of tasty food. Paul and I went a brewpub called the Gilded Otter for dinner. We went there for the first time after last year's NY Sheep & Wool. So we wanted to go back again. After that we also hit Half Time. *licks lips* And got more stash of another kind... *grin*

Halftime Stash - Post Rhinebeck 2008

All in all, a wonderful Rhinebeck! I think year two was even better than the first year.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I had an amazing time at Rhinebeck this year. For me, it was even better this year than last.

I think it helped that I knew more about what to expect. So I was able to pace myself accordingly. I hit the ground running and trying to make sure I get the things I want quickly before they disappear.

This year I brought as much cash as I had for my yarn allowance. This way I knew I would stay within my budget & not have to worry about overspending. I think that was a great move. It also made transactions much faster (except one that didn't have a $10 for change and had someone run to get one. *chuckle*) And much to my surprise, I didn't spend my entire yarn budget. Not saying I didn't spend a good deal, but I kept it within what I could afford. So I am happy about that.

Paul had a great time as he was able to go to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome's air show. Last year the air show stopped the weekend before Rhinebeck. But this year he was able to see it.

The good part about Paul heading off for part of it was that I was able to meet up with some people from the NYC Spinning group without worrying about boring him to tears. It was terrific finally getting to meet them. I need to get to a spinning meeting in the city sometime soon.

I was worried I would be completely overwhelmed with choices this year. Last year I thought I was allergic to all wool. Now I know I can wear superwash wool. Also, I can wear non-superwash as scarves and such. I just can't have it directly against my skin. I was also worried that since I started spinning, I would be overwhelmed by the amount of fiber and choices.

I confess since I know more about yarns, I have become more selective about what yarns I buy. I don't bother getting things I can by at home or online. So I didn't spend a lot of time looking over yarns this year. I spent more time fondling fiber. *sighs happily* I got some amazing fiber in lovely colors.

Though I did decide I wanted to get some sock yarn as well. So I picked up a couple beautiful handpainted skeins of that too.

I am going to write more tomorrow when I can post all the fiber pics. Today is my first day back to work after taking a week of vacation last week. So I should really cut this short for now. I have way too much to do today. *sigh*

Back to the grind!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Love It. I Love It. I Love It.

I just finished the Lala Simple Shawl in my handspun custom dyed Decadent Fibers fiber. I love it. I love it. I love it! *grin*

I will post pics on Monday when I am back at the office. I have been on vacation this week. And Rhinebeck/NY Sheep & Wool is tomorrow! *happy wiggle*

I keep walking back to the table to admire the shawl. The colors form these great stripes that are not so different as to be annoying. But very present. I will just have to share the pics soon to show you what I mean.

Scary thing is that I decided last Friday that I should finish spinning the pound of fiber I got from Decadent Fibers & create something! Decadent Fibers will be at Rhinebeck so I wanted to show them how beautiful the colors look together. The fiber was custom dyed for me. I told them I wanted black, purple and burgundy. They did a great job with the colors and they look lovely together.

I spun as much as I could of the remaining fiber while up in the Adirondacks. But I forgot an extra bobbin. So I did the rest the day after I got home (Tuesday).

While letting the single rest a bit, I cast on the shawl. I picked the Lala Simple Shawl because it was simple but would show off the colors really well. I didn't want anything too lacey as I wanted this to be a warm shawl. Also, I wanted super simple so I could do it while watching some movies & getting stuff off the dvr.

The next day I plied the singles and set them to soak. After that, I continued knitting. And knitting... *grin*

I had hoped to complete it by last night so I would be certain it would be dry from the blocking in time to wear it at Rhinebeck tomorrow. But at around 1:00 am I realized I had switched from knit to purl half way into the row. *blink* You really wouldn't think that was possible given it was all supposed to be knit. *laugh* So I knit back the 1/4 on the right side & the half row on the wrong side where I messed up. *shakes head* I decided that was definitely a sign that I was too tired to finish it. So I headed to bed.

I finished up this morning and had it soaking by noon. I used a salad spinner to try and get some moisture out. But I stopped after a few tries as it kept getting caught in the top. Then I pressed it between two towels, rolled them up and stepped on them to press out more moisture. It actually worked pretty well. I just felt it and it is almost dry in some areas. So I am really hopeful that it will be dry in time to wear in the morning. But if not, I can hang it over the back seat in the car for some additional drying time.

For the bottom edge, the pattern said to do 5 ridges garter stitch (one of the pattern repeats) and then bind off. However, I decided I wanted to do something a bit more like the top edge which has yarn overs to create the increases. So I did 2 ridges of garter, then a row of YO, K2tg. Then the next row was the bind off. So there is some open edging similar to the top. I think it looks very cool.

My plan had been to do 4 ridges of garter and then start the YO, K2tg row. But I was running out of yarn. It worked out pretty well.

Though I always forget just how much blocking can change the size! I was aiming for 25-28" long. When I finished it was about 23-24". When I started blocking it was 42"! I let up some and made it 40" long. But it is still pretty lengthy. But honestly, I think it will look great that long.

I think I need to dig into my jewelry box for a pin to hold it in place tomorrow. I am sure I have something that will work somewhere (I have a ton of costume jewelry I never wear). I wish Paul's kilt pin would work. But it would be way too heavy.

It is sooo funny. After my lace shawl, I said I doubted I would ever do another shawl. So what did I do? *chuckle* But this shawl is amazingly beautiful and I think it will actually be warm, unlike my lace one. So I hope I will get some wear out of it. Though part of me says that I could hang it on a wall and I would be happy! *grin*

I will post pics soon. (And probably actually have some taken while wearing it which is beyond weird for me. *laugh*)

This time tomorrow I will be at Rhinebeck! Woohoo!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Works in Progress

I currently have two works in progress. But still no socks on my needles. *gasp*

I wanted to start on some more Xmas knitting. I only thing I have completed so far is a baby sweater for Trinity. She is my nephew Michael & his wife Jen's daughter who is about to turn 1. I wanted to knit something for their baby boy who is due in November.

Cast On:

October 4, 2008


Trellis by Britta Stolfus Rueschhoff


TLC Cotton Plus Solid in 3810 light blue

Guessing it will take about 2 skeins = 356.0 yards

Purchased at Smiley's Yarns Sale in NJ ($4 for 3 skeins, got 6 which is more than enough)


US 7 / 4.5 mm Knitpicks Options


I did a Ravelry search on baby projects in the TLC Cotton Plus and found the Trellis sweater. It looked really attractive so I decided to cast it on.

I sorta wish I had done a bigger size. Trinity was already wearing 9 month clothing when she was three months old. I should have anticipated a big baby. Plus it could have been worn later. But ah well. Honestly, I don't know if they even liked the sweater I knit for Trinity last Xmas. So I don't want to spend tons of time on it if it will never get worn.

I confess I am not thrilled with the way the pattern is written. I finally sat down and marked up the pattern with the row #s. I am not sure why the designer wrote it without the row #s. Other than that though, the pattern is great. And I love the way it is turning out.

I admit I almost didn't do it as it is pieces. And I have sewing the pieces together at the end. But it is a nice pattern. So I am hopeful it will work out well.

Mind you, I really should finish the sleeves for the black alpaca sweater to see how much yarn I have left. I could pick up another color at Rhinebeck if needed. But then again, I do have a lot of black alpaca fiber so I can spin something to compliment it. Not saying I can spin it as fine or even as the stuff I have! Not by a long shot. But I can create something to compliment it. I figure I could use it for edging if needed.

Heaven knows even with only the four skeins I have (after losing one), it should still be around 2750 yards. In theory, it should be enough for a sweater. *crosses fingers* I will just have to see.