Stitches East 2010

I know, I know, Stitches East 2010 was weeks ago.  Well, to be honest it took me about that long to recover!  And life got in the way…but it was GREAT!  It was about friends and fiber and laughter…lots of each.

I had looked forward to the weekend for months knowing that Debbi  aka Cockeyed (R) and Carrie  aka IrishgirlieKnits (L) were comng all the way from the West Coast.  We’ve been long distance friends for years, having met through Sock Club and met at Sock Camp.   (Skype is ok but, it’s so much better to be together in person.)

I’d seen Erica  aka kzooerica (far L) (Kollage Yarns wondergirl) last year and couldn’t wait to see her and the Kollage pretties this year!

 Carrie was working with Erica at Kollage.  I waited to purchase my Irishgirlieknits patterns from Carrie in person.

(Yes, that’s the vest I whipped up quickly the week before Stitches. More on that next catchup-mustard post!)

 I spent most of my time with Debbi (the wonderful friend that she is) at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth (which was part of the WEBS setup.)

Debbi changed the world, one skein at a time.

Debbi posed with Debbie.  Yes, author Debbie Macomber walked away with a great skein of Socks That Rock.  Retroid, I think. (Debbie is really sweet and so is her great team too!)

THE Hot Item of the show for Blue Moon Fiber Arts was The Traveling Sweater, both pattern and yarn, oh the Woobu! It’s really a magic sweater because it looked great on everybody who tried it on, and there were hundreds who tried it on! Me included.  Some were happy that the small size fit or that the drape was sassy. I loved that it made me feel tall.

The last Traveling Sweater pattern and yarn of the show walked out the door at 10 am on Sunday with its proud new owner! 

The very late nights were too much to even try to explain.  Glee sing alongs, Barry Manilow cameos, salt n peppa, tweet alongs, faulty knitting, and not as much wine as you’d think…but let me give you this piece of advice, should you ever see these cookie/crackers, BUY them! They were the best BUTTA crackas evah!

It was a soul rejuvinating weekend with girlfriends.  I am blessed with wonderful friends.  Actual purchases were made.  I’ll have those for you tomorrow!

Imaginary Rhinebeck

So today, in between a flag football game (victory on to round 2 of the playoffs) and 2 soccer games (also victorious, holding first place in the division), my Imaginary Rhinebeck prize arrived in the mail.  (As a side note, hubster is intruiged with the whole sheep festival thing and I could see a family trip some year!)

Some Blue Moon Fiber Arts love.  Thanks Tina!  The colors are wonderful as usual!

I have a thing for Twisted! and plan to use this Briar Rose for some color work.  I cannot say enough about Twisted!  It is soft, wears like iron, is great to knit with and has such depth when dyed.  I love the darker twisted ply.

But the real surprise was the “True Blood” Red.  I was prepared to like it but never knew how deeply I’d fall.  I am a goner.  Total unrelenting unconditional love.  I can say with some degree of certainty that more of this color may come home with me from Stitches East!  This skein of Socks That Rock mediumweight is destined to be a gift for someone special.  It will be a pleasure to knit and hard to give away…which makes it the best kind of gift, the one you’d like to have yourself. 

Happy Rhinebeck Day to you too!   

Fall in New England

What a glorious fall weekend in New England! The weather has been spectacular and the 3-day weekend has been heavy on family activities and game-lite (phew).  Bike rides, apple orchard-ing and hiking combined with a less hectic schedule for the weekend, the perfect time to recharge the batteries for the fast pace of a household of four kids. 

Rock House Reservation in West Brookfield, Massachusetts was a nature-made playground for the kids-big and small! 

After working up an appetite who could resist Howard’s Drive In?  I admit to being more than a little skeptical but it turned out to be a nice picnic.

And even a bonus history lesson after spotting a historic marker sign along the road.  (My history-afficionado hubster has never met a historic marker he didn’t like!) It reads: Here stood Fort Gilbert, built about 1688 to protect second settlement of Brookfield (called Quaboag) from Indian raids.  Who knew?

 I have nearly finished my fall/winter fair isle headband, with a cashmere lining for my pleasure, with hopefully lots of time before the chill permanently sets in!

Next fair isle project is a hat for the hubster since he seems to be digging the color work. 

Yes, we have that many acorns!  They are huge and every where this year.

And now, apple dumplings a la mode!  Happy Columbus Day weekend!  (and Thanksgiving in Canada!)

P.S. Hi Randy!

The Magnificent Knit-along

This knit-along was destined for greatness, with a pattern from the book named Magnificent Mittens. 

Pat, Linda and I had a blast.  We began trying to use stash yarn, which we all did to some extent.  (Pat’s mittens have the red/gray hand, Linda’s have yellow/blue hands and mine are the blue/green)  We set sections to knit and frequent meet ups to check in. 

The only variations were the cast off edgings we chose.  The different color combinations alone make these mittens so unique!

We are all lining with 100% angora to insure the mittens are as magnificent on the inside as they are on the outside!  I love these mittens!

Here is a better picture of my second mittens from Anna Zilboorg’s book.  My handspun is coming out quite nice if I do say so myself.

And, as I already confessed, I can’t stop.  It’s not time for a hat on my runs and walks but I do find myself in need of a headband!

Should keep me busy for this long Columbus Day weekend. 

Have a great weekend, whatever you do! :-)

I Can’t Stop Myself

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After the fun of the last pair of mittens, I am enjoying these almost as much!  These are handspun alpaca silk (70%/30%) from Fat Cat Knits fiber club earlier this year. Again Pat and I are going it together but she has reversed the colors. 

I have already planned my next 2 pairs of “Magnificent Mittens”!  Many thanks Anna Zilboorg for the inspiring patterns.

I am thinking that magnificent mittens might make the winter much more tolerable.  Won’t you join me?

I Feel a New Trend

C O L O R W O R K .

When I started to knit I jumped right into colorwork.  Icelandic wool sweaters to be exact.  I have fallen for it all over again with these mittens.  I started a knit along with friends Pat and Linda and we’ve been meeting weekly to show progress and set goals (that are hard to stop at!)  They still await a good bath and then an angora lining…almost makes me wish for cold weather.  My hubster even liked them, perhaps as much as he has liked any project I’ve made!

Also, finished up a whack of fiber!  This Spirit Trails Fiberworks cashmere silk (50%/50%) in the club color Air was dreamy!  The only reason it took so long is that there was so much of it! (and still a little left to spin to use up extra uneven plies).  But it is 5.7 ounces of heaven.

Starting a new pair of take along socks.  My first handspun socks from the Fat Cat Knits Buster fiber that I spun a while ago.  They are fun already!

The change in weather, and the kids back at school, certainly boost my knitting mojo!  How about you?

  Happy Fall Fibery Fun!

Do You See It?

I am sensing a theme…a blue green one…

This is what I’ve been working on this weekend.

I have been photographing these socks to publish the pattern.  Look for Northampton Socks soon!

I have been knitting and writing the pattern for these socks, a birthday present for my daughter this week!  She picked the design elements and I put it all together.  Looking for a name still but they are all girl…hugs and kisses, butterflies and roses!

And I started a knit-a-long with my friends Pat and Linda.  These are from Magnificent Mittens, pattern 6-5 and I love them! They will get more colors soon though, red, gold and white.

The thing that puzzles me is that I gravitate to pinks and yet, I don’t see any! Have you ever noticed color patterns in your recent projects?

Wait, Summer, Come Back!

I can’t believe it has been a month since my last post but summer just seems to be buzzing past! I have been zipping the kids all around and we even fit some family time in.  Here’s a quick picture tour of the last month!

I have lovingly been caring for my gardenia plants and now they are rewarding me!

I spent July focusing on the Tour de Fleece and had a wonderful time making these yarns.

Little knitting has happened with the exception of a little shawlette knit with my own handspun.  (more on that one later!) I have 2 projects that just need a nudge along, Cece sweater and the Aubrey vest.

I am still finishing up a few ounces of this wonderful Cashmere Silk!  I almost can’t believe I actually made such beautiful 3 ply luxury yarn!

And the kids…sailing in Newport, RI harbor, 

their very favorite Cape Cod mini golf course,

and Cape Cod boating views!

A family daytrip was spent  exploring the western part of Massachusetts.  Did you know that glacial potholes exist in Shelburne Falls?

Last but not least, a new baby needed a wee hat so this was a fun little dye and knit! 

Hope your summer has been as happy and fun-filled!

An Unexpected Visitor

File this one under fringe benefits of Rocking Sock Club or “knitting makes good friends”.

 We’ve been internet friends about 4 years and met in person a year ago at Sock Camp.  But about two weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Tapmouse, who lives clear across the country in San Fransisco, when she indicated whe might be coming East to visit family.  Then I heard nothing for about four days.  A quick text and lo and behold, she was entering Massachusetts after a quick drive across the country!

We managed two awesome visits during her stay and created friendships between her Lil Emperor and my 4 kids.  The first visit took place at Kimball Farm, where (after we played show and tell with the knitting we’d brought along) we rode bumper boats…

played mini golf…

and ate ridiculously large and delicious ice creams!

We finished up at my All Star baseball player’s game and dined on pizza.  We played with fiber and I showed her my stash.  Our men each delared that they housed the largest yarn collections and were confident that we never needed any more yarn!!  Being deep in the Tour de Fleece, we gifted each other with a little fibery presents!

Here’s mine, 2 ounces of 100% Targhee, which I’d never spun before, dyed by A Verb for Keeping Warm in the granite colorway.

I had spinning plans but just couldn’t wait to spin this one up!

It’s about 160 yards of light worsted yarn and has a wonderful future as probably a hat for my boy.

We managed one last visit over boxes of whoopie pies and pasteries…

where she gifted me this cool necklace she got during her travels from darkflowerbeads.   Tapmouse smartly packed light on knitting, sensing souvenier yarn in her future, but came without any spinning supplies.  It only took me a few days to remember to send her to nearby Journey Wheels, the home of Bosworth spindles.  So she did some shopping for me too!  It’s a mini Purpleheart, 22 gm/.77 oz.

 We had a wonderful morning chatting and spinning (what a spindle spinner she is!) on my deck over coffee…

…before we said “so long, see you at Sock Camp”. 

Last I heard, Lil Emp was on his way to see the Statue of Liberty and Leslie was half way to a pair of socks with some souvenier yarn!

It was a great visit!  Hey, Leslie…drop in anytime!!

Tour de Fleece Progress

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So far so good. I have spun pretty fiber every day of the Tour and have a few things to show for it!

From left to right that’s 500 yards fat cat superwash merino 2-ply in like 2010 summer club colorway, a fun and interesting spin.  The gorgeous purple in the middle is 70% merino 30% silk Ashland Bay Concord colorway.  This 300 yards of 3-ply was a birthday gift from my dear frind cockeyed.  And my next adventure is 8 oz of 50\50 cashemere silk from the Spirit Trails luxury fiber club. I chose the color Air and just love it!

I have also taken my spindles out and have 2 small projects I am finishing up there.  Some people in my house are distracted by my wheel humming while we watch the golf tournaments. Huh, go figure!

Also, I managed to finish a pair of socks of my own design.  I am writing the patttern up and will show those soon!

How is your summer knitting and spinning going?