Monday, May 19, 2008

An Array of Scarves

While reviewing projects in the works, I realized I have a number of really nice scarves in the works.

First, there is the "Bucknell" scarf which will be worn at basketball games this coming season. It is shades of orange and blue, of course. It is the very popular Chevron Scarf that uses alternating rows of 2 colors of yarn. The pattern calls for 2 skeins each of 2 colors of Koigu. But, while in FLA in March, a very helpful woman at Great Balls of Yarn showed me her finished version using 1 skein each of 2 colors. Half the knitting time and half the cost. A win-win!

Oriel Lace Scarf is a nice lace pattern that I am knitting from a skein of something-or-other bought on-line at The Loopy Ewe. I can't remember what is it as the label is gone. It is in muted shades of eggplant, olive green and brown.

Last, but not least, is Eyelet from Ann Norling's 6 lace scarf leaflet. Some other cute patterns on that one, too. This yarn is in deep pastel colors of blue, raspberry and green with a little lavender. It was frogged after the photo was taken as I discovered that I hadn't cast on enough stitches. But, its current state is longer than in this photo. A nice easy pattern.

Eyelet and socks in progress will accompany me to Corning, NY this weekend where I will get tons of knitting done at the LPGA tournament. An annual jaunt for my husband and me.

Yes, there is one more bag...this nice one from Loopy Ewe. Love the combination of chocolate brown and blues. It comes with a nice drawstring brown bag to hold the yarn. Nice! This is from Ham's Jams and I love her stuff. Very well made and useful. The bottom is nice and wide and flattens nicely. I really love the adjustable strap so I can wear it across the body to alleviate stress on the shoulder. Perfect!

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New stash yarn

As memories of this past weekend at Maryland Sheep & Wool fade in my mind, I have my purchases to remind me of all that I saw, all I wanted and didn't buy, and things that were just fun to look at in the booths.

From top to bottom:

First purchase: a skein of Sockotta from The Mannings. This self-stripes in shades of raspberry speckled with other colors. I love it that this shop has most of their yarns knitted into a finished sock. Always a draw when knitters know the look of the final product.

Second purchase: a skein of sock yarn from Autumn House Farm, a small dyer in nothercentral PA. Aren't the colors gorgeous? And I love the speckles of other colors. Can't wait to knit this one.

Third purchase and my favorite: 3 skeins of Tess's fingering weight yarn in shades of lavender and teal which I will use for an oblong shawl. I have been perusing the patterns and books and am almost certain about my selection.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

These photos depict a small part of the fun day at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on Saturday. Briefly, I will describe what these photos show. I was intrigued by the shirts on the line -- one each of all the shirts and sweatshirts that were being sold with the MDSW logo (this year's was not a fav of mine so I didn't buy one), the long line waiting to make a purchase (obviously others had a different opinion than mine about the logo), the baby goats, Billie and Barb and a little stuffed hedgehog gift from Barb's cousin, and just a few shots in general.

I went with a great group of ladies on a comfy bus -- let the driving and parking to someone else! -- sponsored by my LYS, the Knitters Underground. We began the day with Molly distributing tote bags that held a fresh bagel, cream cheese, jam and a bottle of OJ. Yummy way to begin the day!

Sadly, I only took a couple of photos because as the day developed it just didn't seem to work. Next year more photos will be a priority and also seeing some sights I missed this year -- such as the music and clogging -- are already on my agenda.

I was wondering how the extremely high gas prices would effect attendance. I don't think the sales barns were as jammed as ususal but I heard vendors say they were having good sales days...which is great news because then they will want to return next year. I and others did comment on the increased numbers of buses at the show. I think double of any of the 5 years I have been attending. A bus trip is fun, someone else drives AND buses are parked more closely to the entrance which makes walking easier. This is a very large show and the fairgrounds are a lot of space to cover.

What did I buy? Humm...let's see.. patterns -- one for a cute sock, a sampler lace vest, a felted purse and a baby kimono. I also purchased some yarn but much, much less than in previous years (my stash does not need enhanced right now!). I bought a cool skein of sock yarn from Autumn House Farms in colors of red, brown, blue and off-white but it is speckled with other colors and the fiber speckles are loose on the yarn; a skein of self-striping Sockotta in shades of raspberry and 3 skeins of Tess's fingering weight yarn in shades of lavender and and teal to use for an oblong shawl. I picked up the first skein of the latter yarn for a pair of socks but loved the colorway so much I want to wear it in a more obvious manner -- and I will have enough leftover to make those socks. Last but not least I found my favorite stitch markets at Ellen's 1/2-pint Farm yarn stand. I bought a package last year and really wanted more so I bought them in 2 sizes.
Two merchandising notes: I noticed a lot more hand-dyed rovings for sale this year than the other 4 years I have attended. Spinning seems to be increasingly popular. Also, saw an electric spinning needs to manage the roving as it spins but it goes more quickly than with a traditional each his own.
Additionally, instead of 2 or 3 button vendors there must have been at least a dozen vendors selling gorgeous handmade buttons. Really unique ones that would be nice for felted bags.

I love the atmosphere at Fiber Festivals and already am planning two more events for myself this year -- the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival in Hemlock, NY in early September and Stitches East in Baltimore, MD in early November. The NY event will require missing a Penn State football game but they are only playing Temple so other than the general fun of the game I won't miss much!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Knitting Content and the Red Mug

Lately I haven't had much time for knitting but over the weekend vowed to change that. Knitting is important to me -- obviously -- and I am spending too much time on the computer or the telephone during the evenings when I could be knitting.

I got a cute wicker-like bistro set for the back porch so if it ever warms up I can sit there and knit while keeping company with Brandeis, Stratton and Teddy Bear. Oh, last night Teddy thought he could knit and grabbed the in progress shawl and bounced through the living room with it in his mouth. Fortunately, my husband was home and he cornered him and called to me. all is well. What I think Ted-ward wanted were the wooden circular needles but balls of yarn also are attractive...he thinks they are all toys. Goldens...gotta love 'em.

These photos are of several projects in the works. The striped socks are from yarn I purchased on ebay over a year ago. I really love it and am so pleased the second sock will match the first. I am a stickler on this sort of thing.

The pink/lavender/blue/green multi-colored pastel sock is from Koigu that was dyed for the anniversary yarn at Knitting Sisters yarn shop in Virginia. This is my office knitting and I pull it out about once a week after I eat lunch and do a few rows. This is the first sock but I hope to have a pair by fall.

In my last post you saw the alpacas. My Feather & Fan scarf is knitting from a DK weight alpaca yarn given to me by my friends Monica and Dennis who have an alpaca farm in southeastern PA. This beautiful stuff is from the first shearing of one of my favorite alpacas on their farm. I feel honored to be knitting this yarn. Lucio is a very special alpaca.

Last but not least is a photo of my new coffee mug. How boring..well maybe to readers, but my favorite red mug finally had to be retired. I found this one in a local store yesterday. It is a nice weight and color of red but not really the shape I wanted...I prefer the rounder ones that look like the metal travel coffee mugs. It holds coffee nicely and keeps it warm because the mug is heavy. It will work...for now.

Oh, I found THE perfect red mug that an internet yarn shop site bought to hand out at a retreat but the owner won't ship them. I offered to buy just that and pay the shipping and packing for just it. Nope, she says. Too difficult and it might get broken. I am disappointed.

Will I continue to shop from her? Of course, she has great taste and sells terrific yarns.
PLEASE NOTE: I can and will block all anonymous comments to this blog post. If you don't leave your name, your note isn't posted. I received one nasty gram from another customer of this shop. The individual was aghast at my post. I'm not saying the shop owner isn't a nice person...she is a very nice person. She sells great stuff. She's very creative. I spend lots of money there and will continue to do so. 'Nuf said.