Wednesday, December 31, 2008

what are you doing new year's, new year's eve

basking in projects done! the christmas hat for my sister.... lovely! it's from knitty winter 2007~three tams. yarn is: mc~ jo sharp silkwood tweed, cc~ noro kureyon, both from the stash. i think i acquired them from a close-out bin. worked in the round with a long-tail cast on. you tube saved my butt. i'm using this cast-on all the time now. it is easy, looks great and is a nice thing to have in that bag of tricks!

eldest child has her felted slippers. {she has been waiting since the spring for these} i started and realized that i was not going to have enough yarn. a quick call to lys, they were out. as i pondered my choices i reached for a long shot and called amy the fiber goddess. didn't she have an extra skein of pumpkin?
lesson learned...... you can never have enough tucked into that stash!

woodland nymph fiber, spun, awrapaho plied, drying. amazing color changes. it was an absolute dream to spin and i'm needing to do more. it is a wool/alpaca blend from sandy long. it will be the final piece of cc's holiday gift.

now to enjoy these last hours of 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

twas the day before christmas

and all my knitting is done!
okay, that is a big fat lie.... but in my mind it's done. it was done, even those blasted bags that i agreed to knit/felt/finish at the last minute. in fact, here is the final batch

how cute are they? i can deliver those this evening then focus on the last holiday gift. a hat. well, it's really a tam from
my sister was telling me that with the latest winter storm and Arctic cold, her hats were mia ( which knowing my sister means that they are buried under a pile of stuff, never to see the light of day again) she was telling me that she got a pull on cap at wal-mart (bleck) .... could i make her one? this was monday. the 22nd. of december.
so of course i am. she'll get it on the needles in a bag tomorrow, but it is an entertaining knit and seem like it will go quick. i had some stash yarn, jo sharp tweed in blues and you add noro to give a fair-isle effect while only carrying the two yarns. the pattern forced me to finally learn the long-tail cast-on. what did we do without the internet and youtube? love the cast on and will be adding it in the rotation.
so, the cookies are baked, snowman is made, family is watching holiday shows.....
i can knit.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

never give it up

i was sitting in the waiting room of a providers office this week. it was a waiting room like none other i had been in. the ceiling was two stories high with tapestries and artwork displayed, the wood work was oak, the seating antique desks and benches with a few cushy chair tossed in. i was overwhelmed with all to look at. so i sat, and instead of immediately pulling out my yarn, i just sat. quietly. it was decadent. i had no thoughts in my brain, just the stillness of sitting. doing nothing. i'm not able to capture this sensation in my normal life. i can always feel the pull of some task left undone, or be pulled by someone needing my attention. it so reminded me of my yoga days, pregnant and non, when i just sat in the studio surrounded by peace. the tickling question now is how to put that back into my life. if only i had the peace to think that out!

soon i was reaching for the needles and yarn, casting on yet another mitten. they are so damn cute and so damn easy. i may fill the tree yet. i felt someone watching me and glanced up to see a women slightly older than me walking toward me. it was like she was drawn to me and nothing would block her path. she sat down and immediately started asking about my project, did i make my vest, how much i knitted and so on. she was completely focused on my yarn. she tole me that she had been a knitter, but upon returning to the workforce she had little time to spend on it. so she gave all her yarn and needles away. gone. i just stared at her. there must have been quite the look of shock on my face and she quickly explained that she needed the space and didn't want to keep moving stuff about. sadly, my turn arrived and we bid each other good day. my final words to her were to start knitting again, she smiled and said 'after seeing you, i just might'.

i can't imagine. no yarn. no needles. no fiber. when i got home, i hugged the stash!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

i think i'm over it...

my obsession with this pattern. here is the final abrazo vest. it is from my handspun, a wool/mohair blend from tintagel farms spun bulky then navajo plied.
i love it. i really do. it is warm, comfy, and all mine.
this project really rang all my bells. it was a quick knit, required some thought, and was fun. just plain fun from beginning to end. i've made three for myself and one for #one child. i could do more, but really.....
i had dinner with a non-fiber (but very creative) friend who gifted me with these. she knows that when knitters and spinners spend evenings together we often include wine, so these were created to show our love of our woolly friends.
sheep. etched into the glass.
can't wait to try them out!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

could i be done?

my holiday knitting is done. done. i'm still a little shocky. i keep thinking that i need to cast something else on, finish a row, work a pattern, but nope. it is done.
the sweater for mom is great! it went together well, although i was challenged in seaming garter stitch. i re-did a side twice before checking one of my few reference books. but there it was, clear, concise details on how to make it look good. i want her to wear it before we decide on front closures.
dan's hat is knit. i had a moment (well several actually)when i thought i was going to run out of handspun. i think the hat would have been in the dumpster. i want him to try it on before i give it the final bind-off.
with all those coupons flying around these days, i decided to expand my library. i often put books on my wish list, but never seem to get them. so while out and about i acquired these.... all with 50% off coupons.

nice. i'm enjoying browsing through dreaming of what creation to start next.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

open house, a road trip adventure

amy the fiber goddess, cc and i decided to attend longmeadow farms open house. sandy is a great gal who has a way with her fiber. her batts are lovely to spin, the colors delightful and unique. she does not replicate colors exactly. if you like it, you'd better get it all cause there won't be more!
so off we went...wheels, treats, coffee... we were set!

since freedom, ny was just a speck on the map, we had to get lost... i mean redirected. there was lots of snow...lots. the road was a path with cars parked in it. we suddenly found ourselves in a wind farm. and it was breathtaking. we stopped. shut off the car. listened and watched. they were graceful, spinning (get it) in the breeze. and it is those unexpected events that last.

we found sandy's shop.

charming! as was our hostess with soup, food, treats, spinning and fiber.... it gets no better than that!

yes, some came home! cc's holiday gift on the left, my treat on the right.
and we got home with nary a glitch!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

brief interruption

now that the holiday season is officially upon us, i find that i am easily distracted from those 'must knits'. my dear mother is receiving a cardigan sweater. it is nearly finished, just a few more inches on the sleeves, then the assembling of all pieces.

i just can't seem to pick up those needles to finish.

i am doing a flap-earred cap. the yarn is spun and ready.... must do a gauge swatch.

i just can't seem to get it started.

the kids are in a piano recital this weekend. why not make the eldest a vest to match those new pants.

i am obsessed!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


i finished the first birthday hat and mitts. i used the yarn harlots' basic hat pattern, doing a 2x2 rib for a comfy fit around the face. the consensus was that it needed 'something' so child#1 made the pompom. i love it! it will be super easy to find in a dark closet, inside the coat sleeve, on the car floor.... all those places hats land.

grandneenee requested a cord for the mitts. so i attached one, i think i estimated long, so the mom will have plenty to work with.
i await her feedback on the mitts. i checked lots of sites and read one mom's blog who doubles the yarn in all her mitts, ie: she holds two strand together. she asserts that this makes them extra warm and water-resistant.

the bags...... for a gift-giving friend. he does not realize that i would not have done this project for anyone else, especially this close to the gift giving season. they are knitted and ready to be felted.

what can i say.... i am weak!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

project planning

i've had so many creative projects floating around in my mind, feeling the excitement of each of them. new yarns, fiber, sweaters, hats, mitts....oh my!

then this came...
now i'm hearing words like...'tree trimming' 'let's put up the lights' 'what kind of cookies are you making' 'gingerbread houses' 'what are we getting the kids'
and panic, those first palpitations, started to arrive. my heart started to beat faster, the lists were forming in my mind, where are those lights?? i don't even do the lights!
so i gathered my wooly projects together
and tried to make a plan. three felted bags...check. one is knitted, one almost knitted, no yarn yet for the third. hmmm... yarn shop trip! hat and mittens for a one year old.....need to come up with a pattern, damn, need to gauge swatch. yarn made for adult to find the pattern. and just look at that tide pool....
think i'll cast on for another vest!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

the saturday of the month

that is the guild meeting. this month held at camp Stella maris on conesus lake. we arrived in rain, but that didn't dampen our spirits! this is the best day of the month.....

a day to spin, talk fiber, spin, meet new fiber fiends, oops friends, spin.... you see where this is going. cc joined me for the day and she made excellent (even i was shocked) progress on her projects.

joan learned how to arapaho ply. (it's really just navajo plying, but well, joan needed it to be special). she picked it right up! i was giddy that i could actually translate this recently acquired skill into directions that were understandable.
some flashy new fiber found it's way into my bag. i have little will power for some smooth, silky hank!

this is kendell. my new love.

until i can get the real deal!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

yarn tasting

last evening was the yarnalicious evening at spiritwork knits. amy the fiber goddess and i gathered up ccknits and made our way to the festivities. the shop was jam packed with other fiber enthusiasts, so it was delightful to rekindle with those folks that i don't often get to see.

we had lots of tough choices at the mauch chunky display. clogs to knit...
bags to felt.... yarn just hankering to be added to the stash.

i recently have had several stash happiness experiences (needed yarn quick and there is was.. in the stash!) so i felt empowered to add more.

my latest knit addiction... er project has been the abrazo vest (winter knitty) so as i turned from the kraemer display, i spotted this cheery red cascade bulky screaming to be taken home and knit into the vest.

i have just casted it on.....

while we were enjoying our wine, we got chatting about the most important things in our favorite (or not so favorite) yarn haunts. the online thing is awesome, but lacks the tactile piece that is oh so important to the experience. having a place that is inviting, welcoming is critical. people that want you there to look, feel, shop.

our evening was all that and more!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

fibers, stitches, beads & buttons

amy ~the fiber goddess~ asked me awhile ago if i would come play with her at a new show. my answer was yes (of course!) i have a new and much deeper appreciation for all that she puts into her passion.
we left early to get the booth area set up. her booth.....
(yes that is me spinning in the corner:)
amazingly lovely as always! she had roving, hand-dyed yarns, needle-felting supplies... and oh so much more. there were several vendors that attend the larger fiber festivals there are well. the fly in the ointment was all the 'crafty' booths that were set up in the main traffic area. the results were mixed because of that. i think amy did well in terms of sales, but it is alot of effort to prep and set up the space. i had a blast! and the absolute best part??
spending the day with the herd!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

did a sheep explode in here?

i've been having a feeling that my house is over-run with stuff. dog stuff. kid stuff. family stuff. partner stuff. kid stuff. living stuff.
my stuff is usually not on the list of 'too much stuff' after our renovation and frequent moving a few years ago,i've been diligent in keeping us down-sized. i recently turned the closets.... got the summer stuff out, winter stuff in and brutally examined the contents for wearability. that went well, but all the other 'stuff' is driving me nutty.
so i organized my wool.
i bought a fleece this spring and it returned from the processor in july. it was still in the box.

i bartered for a fleece this spring and it was still in the bag.

they are now rolled into 1 pound balls and zippered into their containers. nice and neat.
i'll tackle the other stuff....... later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

bet you can't knit just one

so, i was reading another blog and found that the author/knitter suffers from the malady of knitting in multiples. she gets a project and stays with it, making so many she has documented her life in phases...'felted bag phase' 'fingerless mitts phase' 'neck warmer phase'.
i was delighted (and slightly relieved) to see that someone else has the same problem, ummmm addiction.... ummmm skill! my partner often asks 'aren't you done with that yet?' not realizing that i'm on my second (or third, or fourth)
usually, my sister benefits from this compulsion, ummmm skill. i make a vest, make another for her. mitts are cute, make another for her.... you get my drift.
at rhinebeck i was captivated by this kit... keychain sock blocker sock by knitcellaneous. (add a www and you've got them) and was delighted to find it in my pile of bd goodies. immediately i cast on.......

how cute are they!

here's some perspective for size. i'm scampering through left over sock yarn like crazy.

guess what will be on my tree this year!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


cc and i left home at 9 am on friday, headed for my sister's home aka laurel hill b&b. now, it is not really a business, but i'm always treated like a treasured guest. we nibbled on cheese and sipped red wine shortly after our arrival, dined on vegetarian minestrone soup and garlic bread and enjoyed sherry in the living room with our knitting that evening.
chocolates were on our pillow cases when we tucked ourselves into bed that night.

up early and arrived at the festival shortly after nine. it was a bright crisp day making me very glad i had my scarf and mitts.

we immediately made our way to 'the fold' and immersed ourselves in socks that rock. i rocked very hard, purchasing 6 hanks of hand dyed loveliness in a variety of colorways and weights. i can try them all out and see which one i love the most.

met up with amy and joan spending the rest of the day touching, smelling, yakking, eating buying our way through the fair grounds. visited several new vendors, old favorites and those that i wanted to but didn't purchase from last year. i acquired 2 lbs of various fibers to spin, several new gadgets to try and can't wait to do it again next year!

ps~ already made my reservations at laurel castle :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the excitement is building

two days.

two days until the nys sheep and wool fest at rhinebeck.

i'm all a quiver with excitement. i keep trying to instill this energy into my travel companions, they're not there yet. thankfully, amy the fiber goddess called and she too is filled with the anticipation of the event.

i love to savor the feeling. i'm checking the website, looking up vendors, tossing the stash around, flipping through patterns. i feel much more prepared this year. having done this once and also maryland, i think i've got it. now to just .... enjoy!

i've got the knitting packed. the back is done for mom's woobie sweater and i'm starting the front shapings. i knit them in tandem to the shaping part so i'm hoping this will move right along. excellent car knitting!

the vest....i'll be wearing it saturday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

this and that

this is the morning surf scarf all blocked. the colors are stunning, it drapes quite nicely around the neck..... i'm just not in love with it. i wish i had a reason, but i don't.

it did work up fast. i think the next one will be shawl/wrap size. that is one of the nice things with this pattern.... lots of options.

and the abrazo vest from fall issue. the yarn was my trip purchase at webs, cascade revolution. i was able to modify the front straps and also adjust the width on the upper back. it fits like a dream and was super easy to knit. even the modifications were painless. i'll be doing another soon for eldest child (she wants it in blue) and i still dream of doing it in handspun.

next on the needles, a sweater/jacket for mother. she needs to let go of a ratty one, so hope to replace it with one from my hands.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

time away

we celebrated our wedded bliss with a short get away to acadia national park in maine. we stayed in bar harbor enjoying three days of hiking, biking, exploring, shopping...... having fun.

we visited the top of cadillac mountain marveling at the pink granite and breath taking vistas. that's the bay of maine in the background.
and with an 11 hour car ride... i was in knitting euphoria! i was able to negotiate a quick stop at webs on the way there, so armed with fresh yarn i got going. i made the abrazo vest from the fall knitty. i still need to do some tweaking (fit issues when i put it on) but it was a great car project.
i finally finished the ribby vest all in one color.

it's awesome! so glad i re knit it to be one color tone.

and with any trip there is waiting time, so i started the morning surf scarf with my berkshire autumn handspun. i ended up on a 5mm needle with 36 stitches.

finished in albany on the way home. i'll get it blocked and put the picks up. it was a very fast, fun knit. easy to remember the pattern once i got rolling. i'm thinking of doing another in shawl width/length.

and finally my kauni sweater. i knit, ripped, re knit and i'm finishing the first sleeve...and since i'm in the rhythm i'm going to keep at it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

still slogging away

so, the debacle that was the vest. after ripping it out to nearly the beginning, i have been attempting to get it done. when i'm in this predicament, i find that i am able to work at lightning speed on any other project.... except the one that needs to be done!

along with jessica, we finished a pair of felted clogs to give as a hostess gift when we go to rhinebeck. knit in mauch chunky, we used redwood for the tops and soles and apple for the cuffs and bumper... they are awesome.

next would be spinning the 'berkshire autumn' a lovely wool/mohair blend from tintagel farms that i procured last year. i've got it spun, plied, washed and it's drying. i have a new passion for navajo plying. i think that i'm getting the mechanics worked out and i adore that yarn that it produces. i wanted to dive into the stuff that i just got, so i'm spinning the batt from sany long. one word. amazing.

she doesn't name her colorways, so this is my cabernet / merlot blend.

we also made a visit to genesee country museum. had a great time chatting with the interpretors and learning about life in the 1800's. and of course there were sheep. lincolns.

and the vest? i'm working the back!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the good, the bad and the ugly

so here i was feeling a firm sense of accomplishment. the order that i had for a felted bag....done! it came out so well that i was tempted to keep it. it is a buttonhole bag with needle felted roving and locks.
the recipient was pleased.
so i was then able to finish the ribby vest for me. as i was blocking the shoulder seams in preparation to join it hit me..... a huge block of color change. it would seem that one of the balls of yarn, marked with the same dye lot number, was indeed a tone off. how (you may ask) did i miss it with all the measuring that is done to get the proper length? never looked. did not even cross my mind that this would ever....could ever happen.
honey said it was a great design element (what can you expect after 25 years of wedded bliss) it looked like crap! big nasty ole crap!
so i slept on it and ripped it out this morning. knitted in a week, out in minutes. attached a new ball (one that does match... i swatched) and i'm off. again.
on a happier note, the felted clog for neenee is done. it is her hostess gift for guesting my band of merry woolies for rhinebeck.
back to knitting. again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

oh my!

i was feeling a slight bit let down last evening....the festival had ended.... i had too much fun..... and i didn't think that i had that much to show for it.
hmmmmmm.....once it was all sorted out and logged (yes, i squeak very hard) i think that i will be quite content this winter, spinning away.
the two in front are superwash merino/tencel from spinning bunny, next is a sparkly one from tintagel farms-starry night. in the back are my two finds from sandy long of longmeadow farm, then i fell into steamvalley fibers with falling leaves (another sparkler), pansies and sun&earth. there is a small ball from spinners hill and a merino/silk blend from winterhaven farms in grandma's garden! whew. all the exact specs are on my ravelry page (see i told you i squeak hard!)
must get spinning!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


What a weekend! the anticipation for the annual fingerlakes fiber fest starts mid-winter for me. i think about the past year, what i wished i had done/gotten/seen. then the feeling subsides as the spring spinning activities abound. then as august rolls around i notice the fluttering inside and realize that it will soon be festival time.

this year i wondered if it could meet my expectations. i did rhinebeck last fall and maryland this spring, and thought that maybe i had reached the end of the road.......i had not! not only were my expectations met, they were exceeded. and i'm not sure i can explain why.

saturday dawned sunny and warm...perfect weather. armed with my mental list, envelope of cash and we went. fueled by a machiatto it was fiber time.

first stop, stone edge fibers and my fiber amy...

she was sporting a new booth design and it was lovely.

i had received an email from another fiber~friend about a last minuted addition to the vendors that was a must see.

she was so right!

sandy long and her luscious fluff! her roving is stunning and her booth was charming. i acquired 8 ounces of a green blend, lots of deep rich colors and 8 ounces of an elderberry colored blend. absolutely stunning stuff. it will be the next on my wheel.

tintagel farms made their first appearance at our fest. i have 4 ounces of starry night~ it's the sparkly blue in the bottom right. i've never spun with sparkle so it will be a new twist... get it (i'm still reeling from the fumes :)

sunday was dreary and cold, but that didn't seem to deter the crowds. i caught ruth headed to drop her first haul of the day...

and seeing her, i realized that i hadn't gotten enough, so i was able to get another 8 ounces of green from sandy and really made a dent in steamvalley farms stock. a pound of falling leaves, 8 ounces of pansies and 4 ounces of fall colors..... yikes!

and i can't wait til next year!