Friday, October 31, 2014

Dashing out the Door

Or I will be as soon as I tie up some loose ends.  It never fails that extra things crop up just as I'm getting ready to leave town.  I had a feeling of panic last night, so I made a list.  This morning it's all manageable.

The important thing is I have a new sample for the weekend.

Hoarfrost.  Remember earlier in the week I was working on the border. I made up my mind I wasn't going to get bogged down, and I fell into a rhythm.  Before I knew it this project was off the needles and headed for a quick blocking.

The yarn is Crystal, colorway Merlot.  Keep the name of the color in mind.  The color in this picture isn't 100% accurate, but you get the idea. 

Just a reminder that today is the last day for the October giveaway. Hop over and enter for a chance to win.

I enjoy it when my kids maintain some of our traditions - like carving pumpkins.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Glowing orange and yellow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yarn Knot Socks

Socks are one of my favorite things to knit - small, portable and practical.  I always have at least one pair under construction.  I've been getting more and more requests for all things socks, so I decided to do something about it.  

Introducing Yarn Knot Socks.

This yarn subscription is the socks-only version of Yarn Knot.  It includes 3 installments and will ship the middle of January, February and March.  Each installment will feature a different yarn base, an exclusive colorway and a suggested sock pattern.  Follow the link for more details.

This weekend I'm on the road again, but I don't have to travel far.  I'll be at Fiber Festival of New England at The Big E grounds in West Springfield.  In just a few short years, this event has really taken off. I'm looking forward to another weekend filled with yarn and fiber.  And now I'm off to start packing.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Big Race

This has been a fall for training . . . training for a half marathon.

My daughter, Estrella*, followed a strict workout regimen to prepare for running a half marathon.  Her training program included diet, working out at the gym and running many, many miles.  Rain or shine, she was diligent in keeping to her training schedule.  And yesterday it all paid off.

Race day.  

Estrella had run several shorter races, but this was the big one . . . 13.1 miles.  Last week she was a little nervous.  Maybe she wouldn't be able to finish the race.  There was even a crazy dream where she missed the race completely. 

In spite of everything, she was confident she was ready.

Before we knew it, she was off and running with the pack, and I had a solid 2 hours to kill.  As any good knitter would, I came prepared with a couple options to while away the time.

I decided to work on my newest project, Hoarfrost.  I had a good start on the body of the cowl and wanted to finish it before the end of the race.

I did.  Now I'm working the border back and forth and attaching it to the live body stitches.  

Back and forth, back and forth on just a few stitches.  The border is deceptive.  It should be quick and easy, but it always takes longer than I think.  I've had plenty of knitting training.  I should know better by now.

As for Estrella and her race, she finished without a problem, and her time was what she thought it would be.  It must have been all that training.

*In case you're wondering, Estrella is Spanish for star and is pronounced Eh-STRAY-Yuh.

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.