Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rhinebeck, part the 2nd


That sums up my Rhinebeck experience.

But I suppose it doesn't really convey that experience adequately to the reader, so I'll expound a bit.

Rhinebeck. was. awesome.

And I hate to say it, but better than MD Sheep and Wool.

First, the weather. It's hard to get excited about wool and knitwear when it's 80 degrees, which is the standard temperature for MDSW (and 2 years ago it was 90!). But we had perfect fall weather for Rhinebeck, cool and crisp, with some blustery winds tossing fallen leaves about. It was like a postcard from autumn. It made me want to move to Poughkeepsie, and forget that it's probably nothing like that 10 months of the year.

And the crowds. Maybe it's just that there seems to be more open space at Rhinebeck, but I thought it much less crowded than MDSW. The vendor stalls were still a bit crazy (especially Sanguine Gryphon), but in general, there was room to walk. I did not fear being trampled. I could look at some yarns in relative peace. There was room outside to wander, benches and tables for meals, and very few children to trip over.

I have few comments on the food--it looked like there was more variety--not everything screamed LAMB!--but I didn't eat much. I wanted an apple cider doughnut and heard rumors of their existence, but didn't find any. (I did spy Connie Chang Chinchio--or her identical twin--in line for fried artichoke hearts!)

"Yeah yeah yeah, but where's the yarn?"

Here it is!


My rule of thumb at these festivals is to buy things I CAN'T buy online or at my LYS. Which is exactly why I didn't waste hours of my life standing in line for Sanguine Gryphon (though I would've loved to get some Zaftig Bugga!, which debuted at Rhinebeck. But even so, I could've ordered it when it went live this morning in their online shop--but at $32/195yds, I decided to wait.). So some of this stuff is a bit obscure and since it's not sitting next to me, I don't know exactly what it is. But I'll do my best to guess!

Let's see, that first lighter blue one is a fingering weight from Miss Babs, and the orange-y brown one is also Miss Babs (which they do sell a bit of at Fibre Space, but limited quantities / varieties). (Oddly enough, the Miss Babs booth was completely reasonable when I spotted it, and I could browse at leisure!) The blue/brown Ravenclaw-ish skein is a sock yarn, and the blue-y purple mix is a big hank of worsted weight. The red one is from Dirty Water Dye Works, I've been wanting to give their yarns a whirl. And the yellow and black skeins are DK weight that The Boy bought me all on his own, for a Hufflepuff scarf (or two!).

But wait, there's more!

Apparently I was one of the first some-odd number of people to sign up for a workshop, so I got this swag bag:


It mostly had catalogs and flyers, but came with a few useful coupons, and a free skein of Knit Picks Simply Cotton!

And aside from the yarn, there were awesome people! Most importantly, I got to meet this fantastic group of Ravelers from the HPKCHC group:


(I've shamelessly stolen this photo from one of them. Oops! Thanks CathyCake!)

Other famous knitters spotted include Deborah and Melanie from the Savvy Girls podcast, Casey, Jess, and Mary Heather from Ravelry, and Ysolda! In fact, I actually spoke with Deborah and Melanie, and they recorded some brilliant commentary from El Peruano. If you hear that in the next podcast, rest assured that I do not subscribe to his beliefs on guinea pigs as pets!

The only bummer was that I didn't get to meet up with Leann from Forbidden Woolery--we just didn't get our schedules worked out. :( She'll be at Stitches East this weekend, so if you're going, be sure to visit her for me!

Next time, I'll fill you guys in on the details of my workshop on Norwegian Cutting Techniques!

(I never spell Norwegian right.)

Friday, October 14, 2011


It's true, it's true, I'm finally going to Rhinebeck! I can hardly wait. I'm taking a steeking class Saturday morning, and then wandering about during the afternoon--hope to see some familiar faces there! And some familiar knits.

Have a great weekend all!

(p.s. Saturday's my birthday! If anyone wants to bring birthday cupcakes to Rhinebeck in my honor, I won't be opposed.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pattern: Son of a Sailor

I am reclaiming this day.

Rage and hopelessness are trying to snatch it from me, but I refuse to let that happen.

It all started this morning, when I rolled out of bed and thought I would block my Whippoorwill shawl before heading into the office.

I've been working on this one since August, using a cream for the main body and wine for the trim. It's not a complicated shawl--actually quite the opposite. It's a lot of stockinette, so it was a slow slog. But I finished it up last night and was eager to see it pinned out.

I bet you figured out where this was going, right after you read "cream" and "wine."

And if you thought, "That wine colored yarn is totally going to bleed all over the cream and ruin the whole thing, and boy is Kristen going to be pissed," you'd be right.

Pink splotches. Dancing all over the cream section.

They're not dark, but they're there.



Ok, maybe you don't see, because apparently the splotches are paparazzi-shy and didn't want to be photographed.

But they're there.

And I have no idea what to do about it.

If I soak it again, the wine will bleed more. But how can I only wash the white part? Impossible. I already tried blotting, it didn't do much good.

I tried crying, and not only did it have no effect on the splotches, it didn't really make me feel any better, and it made my face puffy to boot.

But as I said, I'm reclaiming this day.

I'm releasing a pattern!

October 11, 2011 will NOT go down in history as the day I ruined a shawl, but as the day I released my 3rd pattern.


Pattern: Son of a Sailor socks
Sizes: 9-12 months (5" foot circ) and 12-15 months (6" foot circ)--size are (very) approximate; measure your baby! More notes on sizing available in the pattern download.
Yarn: Fingering weight in contrast colors, 75yds of each (I used The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in cerulean and navy)
Needles: 2 US sz 2 24" circulars (or size needed to obtain gauge--and I'm a tight knitter, so be prepared to go down to 1.5 or 1!)
Gauge: 8st/inch

When my friend Catherine (hi Catherine!!) gave me a tour of her darling baby Tyler's nursery, all decked out in sailing motifs, I immediately started planning sailing-themed socks for the little man.

And then about a year later, I actually got around to knitting them.


This pattern is a great way to use up leftover fingering weight yarn from adult socks, since you need just 75 yds of each color (although I actually did not do that myself, because I wanted marine colors).

They are knit toe-up, and feature a short row heel and small colorwork motif--so they're also a great way to practice all of those possibly-new-to-you techniques without committing to a pair of full-sized adult socks.
(This project boasts the 2nd most colorwork I've ever completed in my life, if that gives you any idea of my colorwork skills.)

(As you can see, Tyler's socks are a wee big on him, but he's sure to grow into them...I hope!)

And even if you don't have an adorable baby of your own, you could always knit one and toss it on the Christmas tree!

(Sock, that is, not baby.)

Pattern available for free here, and soon to be up on Ravelry as well.

Take that, lousy day!

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Next Level

Remember how excited I was when Jordana Paige commented on my Delysia Camisole?

I have reached a whole new level of excitement--there's now a whole post about my Camisole on Jordana's blog!!

I can't find words to express how special this makes me feel, so I'm not even going to bother. I'm sure you guys get it.

Many, many thanks to Jordana and her assistant, Rebecca, for showcasing my project, I am truly honored.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October is here!

I'm happy to announce that my favorite month of the year is here!

There's nothing I don't like about October: cooler weather, pumpkin everything, the playoffs (which of course I would enjoy much more if the Orioles ever made an appearance), my birthday (I suppose that might not last for too much longer), Halloween, and the reappearance of my handknits as I snuggle into warm socks and cozy cowls for the first time since April.

I have a busy month ahead of me this October, but I can't wait.

I expect my knitting productivity will drop this month (I really want to make the Dahlia Cardigan, but I haven't even managed to wind the yarn yet), so I'm happy to show off a big project I finished in September:

Pattern: Backward Cable Pullover, from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits
Sz: Small, 36.5"
Yarn: Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool, 6.67 skeins
Needles: sz 5 and 7

I love the look of this sweater, with the high neck in the front, and deep scoop neck in the back.


(Which I guess you wouldn't be able to see as much if the hairdresser hadn't cut my hair too short, so I guess it was actually a good thing.) A lot of Ravelers moved the scoop neck to the front, but I just love that this looks so different this way.

This is the second pattern I've knit from the book, and while my Tuxedo Vest turned out enormous, this fits to a T. Or is it 'tee'? Whatever. Fits perfectly. My gauge was slightly off, so I knit the 36", figuring it would come out closer to 35", and for once, I was right!


My only concern was that the instructions for the short rows on the neck don't seem to work. Maybe I was just misreading them, but I had to rip out and re-knit three times before I finally just cobbled something together myself. The way the directions are written, at least in my interpretation, you end up wrapping more stitches on one side than the other, and that can't be right. I mean, I guess it could be right if you wanted one side of the neck lower than the other, but I'm pretty sure the goal is to make the center of the neck rise higher than both sides.

The yarn is delightfully soft--which is a good thing, as this was intended to be a close-fitting sweater--but it's a bit pilly . . . I have serious doubts about weather it will hold up over the long term, but I don't see any obvious solution for that, so I'll just have to be extra careful with this one.


(Occasionally I should at least consider brushing my hair before taking these knitwear photos. Sigh.)