I’ve not been spending much time writing long blog posts these days, because I want to spend my time knitting. But I have been finding a bunch of interesting crafty stuff and posting it on my tumblr.
This is NOT what I bought at Rhinebeck, but since my GFF was in charge of the camera it is a very representative example of the kind of photos we have to remember the weekend. (This is a good thing though! Her photography skills far surpass my own.)
Rhinebeck was great. Our cabin had a fire roaring, food cooking, and friends knitting all weekend long. I taught or helped four of my friends to knit, and at one point I walked into the living room and saw half of the people on this trip all sitting around on futons and benches together, talking and knitting away. My friend C knit for the very first time during Rhinebeck, and finished a square of scraps of Soy Wool Stripes leftover from when the Yarn Harlot came to FIT on her last tour. On Sunday, she and I went back into the festival for about 45 minutes and she bought two skeins of BMFA Luscious Silk Singles for her co-worker, then two skeins of Louet Gems and two skeins of some other beautiful something in quick succession for herself. Within the week she’d finished a scarf for herself from the Gems! She’s on ravelry now, too. Folks, I do believe I created myself a twin knitting fiend. Which I’ve only been trying to do for about two years now.
I did finish knitting the tweed striped vest, which GFF wore but was hidden under another layer on Saturday. I also finished knitting my swallowtail shawl, but didn’t block it in time. I’ve always read on other blogs about the unseasonably warm temps at Rhinebeck, so I guess I thought there was some sort of magical heat-creating somethin’-somethin’ about S&W. Turns out that either a) that’s not true or b) something went wrong this year, because it was dang. cold. all weekend long. GFF had to bundle up and the only knit wear I was able to show off was my two years old Clapotis.
I felt a little behind the times at first, but there were a lot of other knitters wearing Clapotis this weekend.
This picture reminds me that I should definitely get to the good part here. I saved up money for a couple of months pre-Rhinebeck in preparation for a big stash enhancement to include multiple sweaters, shawls, and sock amounts of yarn, plus one of those awesome baskets, plus whatever else fell into my path. Well, things happened (like our economy fell apart over and over again for weeks on end) and I decided that I would feel better about everything if I moderated my spending decisions at Rhinebeck. I still spent more money on yarn than I’ve spent on anything, including work clothes, since I’ve been a grown-up (Ok, I halfway take that back because I obviously spent more money than that on my computer, and other things like that, but whatever). I ended up with two Socks That Rock mill end skeins, one Lightweight in what HAS to be pond scum (I was confirmed in this belief when TWO. SEPARATE. KNITTERS. asked me “is that pond scum?” while I was waiting in line to pay on Saturday) (oh yeah, you can see the corner of the skein in the pic above) and one Heavyweight in what I suspect/hope is Red Clover Honey. No real plans for this stuff yet, but I so enjoyed the lovely skein of Lightweight Jade that GFF gave me for Christmas this year, and I’ve never seen the stuff in large amounts in person before. Had to get it. The other thing I got was a sweater’s worth of Brooks Farm Fourplay in a beautiful gray/blue color. And that’s it! Still a significant increase in yarn for my little stash, but not enough to make me feel crazy.
Besides initiating a new crop of knitters, my favorite parts of Rhinebeck Weekend (known to my friends as Sheep Wool 08 or alternately Sheep and Gay 08) barely involved knitting, yarn, or fiber arts. All of my friends wanted to go to the festival both days, despite hesitations in our early planning stages, and we spent a lot of time talking about what we will do when we go back next year. I love the feeling of starting a new tradition, and I can’t wait until I show up at Rhinebeck with old friend in fabulous hand knit sweaters, looking somethin’ like these two lovely ladies:
Oh and how could I forget about this?! We totally saw Jim Jarmusch and I tried to kinnear him, but that wasn’t working out so we did the age-old stalker-y trick of pretending to take pictures of each other, but getting him in the background:
Hey look! You can see the striped vest after all.
Jarmusch is the one with the stroller. And the white hair.
I’m heading to Woodstock today with 14 of my closest friends for a Rhinebeck trip disguised as a cabin retreat. I’m the only one of our group who really cares about the yarn, but others are excited for:
1. The bunnies
2. The apple cider
3. The donuts
4. Oh yeah, the sheep
I’ll let you know how it goes.
PS: I have about an inch of ribbing (on size 1 needles, kill me) left to knit on my GFF’s sweater vest, and half of the cast-off plus blocking on my Swallowtail Shawl. So I’ll be knitting in the car, blocking in the cabin, and HOPEFULLY showing off my knitwear at Rhinebeck.
PS Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls has a booth this year, and we have donations from tons of awesome organizations. We’re raffling off several items every hour, and tickets are only $1! We have an extremely limited edition poster from Ork!, handbags from 31 Corn Lane, concert posters from Strawberry Luna, a nifty ipod holder from Mr. Poncho, and beautiful jewelry from Twigs & Heather, Erica Weiner, and The Intuitive Garden. Please stop by if you’re at the fair! We’re giving away WMRC calendars while they last.
PPS I knit about an inch on some plain old socks out of Regia sock yarn while I was sitting at our booth. Had to take some small part in WWKIP day! No pictures, though, sorry.
Let’s just get this part out of the way: I am sucking as a blogger, should have posted this over a month ago, slap on the wrist, etc.
About three months ago, I found out that I won Carrieoke’s raffle contest raising money for her spelling bee team for the Athens Clarke Literary Council. And my prize was a pair of socks handknit for me by Carrieoke herself. My pictures don’t do them justice at all. She knit me Cookie A’s Mingus socks out of Koigu KPPPM, and they fit perfectly, and I love the color, and I love the pattern, and I love these socks! I have never felt so awesome. It feels amazing to have a pair of socks handknit for me.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, CARRIE!!! I truly truly love them — sorry it took me so long to post this!
The lovely blog One Scheme of Happiness is having a really cool blog contest! She has lots of great prizes, including a lovely necklace from pookeh (Sandra at I May Be Knitting A Ranch House) and some Brooklyn Handspun yarn. To enter, you get to talk about your favorite books! Which, if you are anything like me, is a very exciting prospect. Go enter! I want some more summer reading suggestions myself, so I’m totally keeping my eye on this one.
What books did I suggest? Three recent reads which – now that I think about it – were all last-minute impulse check-outs at the library that totally delighted me. I seem to have good library instincts! Here they are:
Loving Frank by Nancy Moran – historical fiction about Frank Lloyd Wright. As I noted in my comment, I’m not a regular romance-y reader, but this book was so much more than that. Swedish feminism, architecture, Oak Park, travel…just read it.
The Sister: A Novel of Emily Dickinson by Paola Kaufmann – Ok, I love Emily Dickinson. Not just because she has my same name and ALSO I’m very aware of how trite it is to say that I love Emily Dickinson. Whatever. This book is also historical fiction, about Emily Dickinson’s sister. It is so compelling, and now I really want to find some violet pencils. Ahem.
Smart Girls Like Me by Diane Vadino – I guess this could sort of fall under historical fiction? Because it’s about a woman in New York right before the big Y2K crap? Ok, that’s a stretch. The girl in this book is really neurotic, but I loved her.
Good luck everyone!
(The sun really blasts out the corner there, sorry.)
The fun thing about knitting this scarf (Lace Ribbon by Veronik Avery if you don’t recognize it) as a traveling/KIP project is that people are really drawn to the color saturation of this yarn (Koigu KPM). GFF bought me this yarn for my birthday at the end of March, and the color choice is totally her doing, btw. I brought this scarf with me to work on during our coop work shift last weekend, and everyone who passed through the check out line commented on it. The shift consensus was that this colorway should be named either “Saffron” or “Chrysanthemum.”
The color of the yarn is actually pretty accurate there. It’s luminous, for real. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough of it to make the scarf as long as I want it. With two skeins, it’s not long enough to wrap around my neck. I think a third skein would make it wearable, but I’m going to have to put off buying the final skein for a while until I’ve got some more cash flow. And I came to the end of the yarn I have for it yesterday! So I have to find a new travel project for a while.
Look at that lace pattern, will ya? I can’t get over it, myself. I also can’t tell you how truly enjoyable I’ve found it to be! I memorized the pattern pretty quickly, despite it having a 24 row repeat. It’s simple enough to keep track of as a traveling project, but interesting enough that I can knit it for an hour or so without getting bored, even if I’m not listening to my ipod or whatever. I’m anxious to wear this scarf, but I’m going to be sad when I’m through knitting it.
Speaking of sadness when finishing a project…I did manage to finish my Rusted Root this weekend! It came together very quickly at the end (no seaming, natch), and I’ve already worn it out of the house, although it’s really in need of a good blocking. Not sure when I’m going to get it blocked, but once I do I’ll have GFF take some pics of me wearing it and report back to y’all. It’s not perfect, but it IS my first finished garment and I’m danged proud of it!
(Not that I’ve been posting that much recently, but things are in danger of slowing down even more because I’m starting a new job and I will actually be in a real office all week long. I thought I’d spread out some posts about my current wips to give you some material for the next week or so. And hopefully at least one of these will become a FO by then! This one is dangerously close.)
So you know how there are some patterns that it seems like basically everyone has knit, and anyone who hasn’t knit it by now probably just doesn’t get their kicks from that pattern and so that’s that, no more of those FOs? It seems to me that Ravelry is changing that, because there are new rashes of Clapotis, Pomatomus, and – yep – Rusted Root all over the place. For myself, I never realized how cute this pattern was until I looked through pages and pages of cute knitters wearing their finished tops! All the different colors and styling really made me see the potential in this simple sweater. Ok, it also helped me to see that this sweater is really simple, and that people knit it really fast.
This is where the sweater was on April 16:
(Those are my Pomatomus socks!) This was three days after starting – but keep in mind that the “first day” was just swatching, and the second and third day (April 14 & 15) I was working for a tax preparer all day. At this point, I was almost through the raglan shaping, about to separate the arm stitches.
Five days later, April 21, I had this:
At this point, I was through with the waist decreases and starting a straight knitting portion before doing hip increases. Since then, I’ve completed the hip increases and knit several inches…I just have a little bit more to knit lengthwise, then I’ll do the ribbing, the neck ribbing, and the sleeve finishing! This is going to be my first finished garment and it’s so close I can taste it. (No pictures, sorry!)
Despite my new job and loss of daytime knitting time, I’m being extremely monogamous with my knitting right now (ok, I’m having a sort of on-the-road affair with my lace ribbon scarf, but this sweater could in no way be mistaken for travel knitting during rush hour on the subway in NYC) and making time for this sweater every morning before work and every evening while watching TV or waiting for GFF to come home for us to eat dinner or whatever. I’m DETERMINED to wear this sweater a lot before it gets too hot for such a heavy (albeit cotton) top this summer.
Want an example of my extreme at-home project monogamy? I’m seriously yearning to cast on for something new (in particular, I’m dreaming of slinky bamboo or silk tank tops – even though these don’t really make that much sense in my wardrobe – and new socks and lace shawls). Yesterday, I spent over an hour pulling all my yarn out (I really don’t have that much)*, searching Ravelry for patterns to use with my most summer-appropriate choices, and basically just feeling all these different yarns. I found a partial ball of Cascade Fixation and cast on 40 stitches in the round, knit 4 rounds (just to ease my yearnings) and immediately ripped out and rewound the yarn. I mean, really, that could hardly be taken to count as cheating on my project!
So I hope to have this done soon, hopefully by next weekend, and I will post a FO report then. In the meantime, I’ll try to post about my Lace Ribbon Scarf and the socks I’m working on (the second of which will be my traveling project when LRS is finished). Happy Sunday knitting, y’all!
*I can tell that GFF finds this extremely odd. She can tell it makes me happy to look at my box of possibility, but she is a little confused when I also pull out my bag of scraps (you know, all the little leftover balls at the end of projects) and start to look at those, too. But I’m not alone in this type of behavior, right?
This is just a post to say that I love my lys.
On my way to the coop this afternoon, it was so pretty and warm and the trees were blooming and I was going to have to pass by my lys and I thought, well, self, let’s just take a peek towards the window. (Self has no money to be spending at the lys or anywhere else OTHER than the coop right now, so even a peek was a big gamble to make with my lil’ ole spend-happy heart.)
So I peeked towards the window and saw these huge, fluffy, colorful skeins of yarn tucked under a shelf right smack dab in the middle of the storefront. (I really wish I had a picture of this display to share with you. Must. fix. digital. camera.) The yarn was this amazing variegated chunky yarn from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. Here’s a picture of one of their colorways:
Anyway, I obviously had to go in at that point.
I didn’t have any more money to spend inside the store than I had outside it, so I spent a lot of time talking myself down from buying the amazing sale yarns she had, and all of the summer-appropriate new stock. I did think I could use some split ring stitch markers, so I parted with a couple dollar bills and bought those to be supportive in some small way.
And then I spent almost an hour talking to the owner, Maxine. People, she is amazing. We talked a lot about knitting, and how you go about buying yarn for a yarn store (sounds hard), and about our neighborhood, and about the knitting tattoo I am planning. And zines. And magazine publishing. And nonprofits we like. And..and….and……And she was knitting a really beautiful 3/4 sleve cardigan of her own design out of another yarn from Chasing Rainbows dyeworks! (That yarn has amazing yardage and the colors are un-frickin’-believable.)
I left the store feeling like I had met a member of this big community that I hardly ever meet face to face. Knitters! We are so awesome! There is so much knowledge we can all share about knitting (and crocheting), and it felt so good to have the normalizing experience of speaking the same fibery language. She invited me to come back anytime and just work on a project and drink some tea with her. You betcha I’m planning on it.
Several weeks ago I was going on and on about gift knitting I couldn’t talk about. Sometimes I forget about how the internet isn’t really private, so I quit talking about a knitting project I’d already put pictures of all over the place. I knit GFF’s mom a pair of Hedera Socks! Here they are:
This is the second time I’ve knit these socks, and I found the pattern really enjoyable again. I first knit a pair for GFF out of Knit Picks Essential, and happened to be in Tulsa when I was working on them. Debbie loved them so I decided to knit her a pair, too. The pattern repeat is four rows, easily memorized. I did 17 repeats of the lace pattern on the leg instead of the recommended 14 – I like my socks to be a little longer and I make them that way for everyone else, too.
(sorry for the blur!)
Soxx Appeal is super-stretchy, similar to Cascade Fixation, although it is constructed really differently. I originally knit one skein in the Baudelaire pattern (also Cookie A., but I swear I knit socks from other designers, too!). The sock turned out way too small, so I ripped and re-knit the yarn for this pattern. The yarn didn’t look so good when I originally ripped it out, but after being re-knit it looked fine, just like the other sock. It is supposed to be superwash but I haven’t tested it out in the laundry. I gave them to Debbie while I was there and she wore them around a lot, even inside a pair of shoes. They seemed to wear well and feel good! It was awesome to see her enjoy them.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a digital camera on our trip so I don’t have a picture of them on her…or as a pair. Oops! Maybe I will do an update post one day with more pics and info on how they have worn.
At this point, I would go to this pattern as a…go-to. For gift socks, especially. They go quite quickly for me now, and are pleasurable to knit. I’d like to knit myself a pair of socks in this yarn, too! It’s really soft and the stretchiness makes your socks a lot easier to get on.
Next up: updates on what I’m knitting now. (I’ve already decided to rip out the soysilk shrug I showed you a few posts ago because it was way too big on top of the fact that it was never going to be as cute as I imagined. [My advice to raglan-in-the-round knitters: try it on very early in the knitting! Continue to try it on frequently!! Even if it means putting in a life line every few rows and you find that really annoying and are convinced that you still need to increase about eleventy more times!!!] After ripping that sucker out, I think I’m going to knit Ysolda‘s Cloud Bolero in the Soysilk.) Plus socks that aren’t Cookie A.’s, what may possibly be my first finished garment, and the must-have knit of the season — still to come at knitwhere!