Friday, October 24, 2014

Running Short . . . Again

I've been bouncing back and forth between a couple knitting projects. They're both on the same deadline, and I'm anxious for them to be off the needles.  In some twisted way I've convinced myself they'll be finished quicker this way - a few rows of one, a few rounds of the other.  In reality this back and forth provides a little variety and keeps me from getting bored - nothing else.

Yesterday I came to grips with the fact that I'll probably run out of yarn on one of the projects.  I saw this coming a few days ago, but I knit on.  I told myself I was knitting on the outside of the ball, and the yardage was probably more substantial than it seemed.  That rationale lasted only a short while.

This running out of yarn business has become a bad habit - one I need to break myself of.  I have knitter friends who routinely run short on yarn, and it's come to be expected of them.  Up until now I've managed to avoid this curse.  I'll have to start padding my yardage at the beginning of a project.  Maybe that will get me back on track.

With one week left in October (how did that happen?!?), my electronic alert system worked like a charm, and I am back on track with the monthly giveaway.  Leave a comment with an update on your knitting projects.  Are you considering holiday knitting?  If you've been to any of the fall fiber festivals, what did you find most inspiring?  

Please include your Ravelry ID for easy contact.  The winner, chosen at random, will receive a skein of yarn from Dirty Water DyeWorks - winner's choice. The contest closes on Friday, October 31, 2014.

My color inspiration this week is one more glimpse of Rhinebeck.

Until next year . . . 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Working from a List

Rhinebeck has come and gone, but that doesn't mean I get a vacation. Next week I'll be on the road again for Fiber Festival of New England. As with every show I have a to-do list, and this is near the top.

A new cowl sample, short and sweet, out of Crystal.  Merino, Yak and Silk is always a nice treat, and I'm not going to argue with a list that makes me sit and knit.

While catching up on all things post-Rhinebeck, I stumbled across a handy helper.  How many times have you thought of buying yarn without an exact pattern in mind?  You want to get enough for a sweater, but how much is enough?  Consider StashBot.  It contains yardage estimates for vests, sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves and socks all in different sizes and different gauges.  Download the app to your phone, and you're ready to go.

I'm off to tackle my to-do list on this raw, rainy day.  I think more knitting is in order.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Of Rhinebeck and Winners

It's the Monday after Rhinebeck.  If I had more control over my calendar, I would have scheduled a day off.  But I don't, so I'm back in the thick of it.  As an added bonus, I've been puppy sitting this morning.  With so many things calling for my attention, today is a good exercise in setting priorities.

I spent the weekend immersed in all kinds of wonderful and have come out on the other side feeling energized and inspired.  From the constant parade of handknit garments to the chatter with friends to the broad array of yarns and colors, it was a weekend that was exhausting and exhilarating all in one.

Here are just a few things that caught my eye this weekend.

From the Tsarina of Tsocks . . . I've admired this design from afar, so it was fun to see it up close and personal.

This is the work of Cara Romano.  She has combined metal work with fiber to create beautiful jewelry.  Go ahead and follow the link.  You won't be disappointed.

Both the weather and the fall colors were spot on.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by my booth.  It was a delightful weekend all around.

And thanks to everyone who entered to win one of the gift certificates. The winners are Christine and Stacey L.  Check your email for details.

Friday, October 17, 2014

There Had to Be at Least One

Yesterday I was in the homestretch - labeling the last few skeins, loading the truck and assembling kits.  Everything was coming together right on schedule.  I should have taken that as a sign because it's rare I can pull it all together without at least one glitch.

I was working on the Sweet Bunting Kit when it happened.  I had the sweater yarn all twisted up.  When I went to the kit bin to grab the bunting yarn, the glitch reared its ugly head.  The cute little skeins of contrast yarn were nowhere in sight.   I emptied the bin and searched high and low - no little skeins.  

I try to have these skeins on hand at all times, but apparently when I used the last ones, I didn't make a note to dye more.  And now I had kits that needed them.

There was only one solution - dye more little skeins.

And so I did.  Two quick dye pots.  The yarn was in and out and in front of a fan in no time . . . the fast track.  

Now the kits are assembled, and I'm almost ready to hit the road.  I hope that was the only glitch I have to deal with because time is tight.

This week's color inspiration is as much about sunlight and shadows as it is about color.

Shades of autumn.

If you can't make it to Rhinebeck and want to get in on the gift certificate giveaway, see the Rhinebeck thread in my Ravlery group.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In the Thick of It

I woke up this morning, and I could feel it.  It's been building slowly, but the Rhinebeck rush is here.  It's time to put it in high gear and pull everything together before I hit the road on Friday.

While I get busy, here's another glimpse of what I'll have in the booth.

Crystal.  I call this the foliage collection, but I'll have the full range of colors available.  A Merino, Yak, Silk blend is always a nice treat.

If you're headed to Rhinebeck, stop by my booth - Building C, Booth 42.  I'll be giving away two $100 gift certificates - one on Saturday, one on Sunday.  Stop by and enter for a chance to win.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Petite Clara

My Monday is off to a shaky start.  While I head off to get it back on track, here's a sneak peek at a little something new for Rhinebeck.

Petite Clara, the 113 gram version of Clara.  This worsted weight yarn is 100% Blue Faced Leicester.  It's soft, lustrous and all round nice to work with.  Clara comes in large, 250 gram skeins - perfect for sweaters and other big projects.  If you don't need 550 yards of BFL, Petite Clara is just the right size for hats, mittens or other small projects.  I'm inspired to add a new hat or three to my post-Rhinebeck knitting list.

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends north of the border.  Enjoy your celebration.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Puppy Therapy

When people ask if I'm ready for Rhinebeck, I don't know if I should laugh or cry.  I've checked off a lot of items on my original to-do list, and while I'm still dyeing yarn, I'm reasonably confident I will finish, and it will be dry before I hit the road next week.  It's a common occurrence for indie dyers to travel with wet yarn, so I always consider it a bonus when I'm not drying yarn in the hotel.

The problem is I keep adding odds and ends to my list.  Lightbulbs.  A couple of the bulbs for my booth display are burned out, and I'm out of replacements.  This is going to require a trip to the hardware store. Clean tablecloths.  I've made a mental note to wash said tablecloths and make sure I pack them immediately, so they don't get left behind. Enhanced checkout system.  This is still in the works, but the other day I invested a couple hours of precious dyeing time to set the wheels in motion.  The whole shebang still needs a test run, but I'm holding my breath and crossing my fingers.  I'm the eternal optimist.

My family has been encouraging me to get more sleep.  While I don't see that happening any time soon, the other day I did adjust my routine.  It was a gorgeous fall afternoon.  Lately I've let too many of them slip away, so I took a little break and went outside with our newest family member.

Meet Benji.

He belongs to my daughter, Luz, and while she doesn't live at home any more, her puppy has been spending a fair amount of time here.  It seems we're in the puppy sitting business - not that anyone is complaining.

He's cute as a button.

He even comes equipped with a beard.  

Every day Benji confirms that puppies are a lot of work.  Thank goodness there are a lot of us to share the responsibility.  And he's a good excuse to take a break from work.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.  As always, I enjoyed reading the comments, although when 1Geek2CraftAll made mention of Rhinebeck Sweaters (3!), I immediately felt like a slacker.

The winner, chosen at random, is Pat's here.  How appropriate since she can't make Rhinebeck this year.  I'll miss you, Pat, and will think of you when I eat my cider donut.

There's nothing like the impact of colorful trees this time of year, but sometimes I enjoy a single leaf just as much.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

A splash of yellow.