Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow Days

A blizzard moved through the area, and I feel like time has been suspended.  Life and schedules have been turned upside down, and I'm struggling to remember what day of the week it is.  It feels like maybe it should be Monday, but I know Monday was consumed with all kinds of mad storm prep so that can't be right.  Today is another day of cancellations, but I keep reminding myself that it's Wednesday.  Maybe by the end of the day I'll have it all sorted out.

I love a good snowstorm, and this one lived up to all the hype. 


This is what greeted me at the side door.  Before the storm was even finished, we had to dig our way out so puppy Benji could take care of business.

The Blizzard of 2015 by day.


And by night.




Snow day selfie.


My daughters hard at work.  They were supposed to be shoveling, but I think they spent more time on their phones than with the shovels.

A good storm always includes quality knitting time.


Fishbone Gansey Sock.  This is the January installment of Yarn Knot Socks.  I got sucked into the gansey rounds and couldn't stop.  Just one more round, just one more round . . . 

I think I'll make the leg a little bit longer . . . after I do some shoveling.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Power of Suggestion

When I was in Rhode Island for Knitting Weekend, one of my customers showed me a hat she had made with my yarn.  It looked warm and soft and squishy and . . . I was tempted to put it on my head.  It was a cold day in the mill, and my head was the only thing not covered in wool.

That same weekend I saw another version of the same hat walking around the mill.  My daughter and I both commented on it, and I tucked the idea away for future reference.

The other day when I came in from one of my shoveling shifts, I remembered that hat.  It seemed like the perfect project when I wanted to knit but was too tired and sore to focus on anything very complicated.


Rikke Hat.  Glorious garter stitch.  While I worked on the hat, I browsed through my copy of Cast On, Bind Off.  It's fascinating . . . so many options.

It's hard to believe January is almost gone, but here we are.  It's time for the monthly giveaway.  Leave a comment.  What are you knitting these days?  What colors are you attracted to in winter?  Is there a seasonal difference?  Any tips on great patterns?  Please include your Ravelry ID.  The winner, chosen at random, will receive a skein of yarn from Dirty Water DyeWorks - winner's choice.  The contest closes on Monday, February 2, 2015.

If you're in the Northeast, our weather forecast includes excellent knitting conditions.  Stay warm and safe!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Honey Bunches

I'm wrapping up the week on a positive note with another finished project.


Honey Bunches.

I've wanted this project to be finished for a while now.  Not that I didn't enjoy knitting it, but I wanted to wear it.  And I didn't waste any time.  I wore it last night and enjoyed every minute of it.


This shawl was fun to knit - garter stitch broken up with lace sections. Just the right mix - not completely mindless, not so involved that I couldn't talk and knit at the same time.

The crescent shape makes for easy wearing and stays in place without too much fuss.  


This project was the Yarn Knot installment for August.  The yarn is a 4-ply Superwash Merino . . . soft, squishy and bouncy.   This is a base that I've wanted to experiment with, and Yarn Knot is a good testing ground.  The colorway is a YK exclusive for the time being, but it might make another appearance down the road.

I look at this piece of yard art regularly, and I'm still not sure what I think of it.  A reptile of this size seems oddly out of place in New England, but I must say the color has grown on me - a mix of brown and orange.  My color inspiration for this week . . . 


Weathered metal.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sylvanus Brown Hat

Over the last couple months, I've always had a hat under construction. And as soon as I finished one, I'd start another.  Small, portable, quick to finish . . . hats have been the perfect companion.


Sylvanus Brown Hat by Thea Colman.

This hat is part of the Weekend Knitting from Knitting Weekend collection.  The contributing designers generously donated their patterns for this eBook, and the proceeds from all sales go directly to Slater Mill. 



All the patterns in this collection are named for things related to Slater Mill.  The hat is knit with Edna, and I collaborated with Thea to come up with a special colorway for this project.  


The colorway is named Sylvanus and will be posted to the website as soon as I can coordinate a photo shoot.

At the moment I don't have a hat on the needles, but I do have a few ideas.  The trend continues . . . 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mid-Winter Fiber Party

Winter fiber events are extra special.  First of all, there aren't as many to choose from.  Combine interesting knitting classes with a fiber market.  Add a charming, unique, picturesque setting.  Throw in a healthy dose of cabin fever.  You have all the ingredients for a party. That's what we had this past weekend in Rhode Island - a fiber party.

Knitting Weekend at Slater Mill.



This bell was used to summon the mill workers.  It still works, and this weekend it was used to signal the opening of the market.


Where there's a mill, there's water.



The market was held in the museum part of Slater Mill, and the vendors configured booths around huge pieces of machinery.


A circular knitting machine.  The mechanics of this old machine are fascinating.  I overheard a couple women discuss the possibility of fitting this piece in a living room.  I'm not sure there would be room for anything else.

The Mill Girls by Donna Berger.


This art exhibit is made from cardboard, styrofoam, yarn and acrylic paint.


It celebrates the young girls who worked in the mills.  Mill work required long, grueling days, but it gave the girls a chance at economic and social independence. 

The market included a diverse mix of vendors.


In The Loop brought a selection of soap from The Apothecary at Hobbit Hollow.


Kelly from Romney Ridge Farm was on hand with yarn produced and dyed in Maine.


Chrystee from Play at Life Fiber Arts dressed this mannequin.  I love the combination - Askews Me and Garter Path Shawl.  Friends from Ball and Skein, Green Mountain Spinnery, Katrinkles and more were also on hand.

Discussions with knitting designers and vendors, catching up on the latest with customers . . . Knitting Weekend was all this and so much more.  My head is spinning with ideas and inspiration - food for thought in the days and weeks to come.

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's All in the Details

The past couple days I've been pulling everything together for Knitting Weekend.  I loaded the truck yesterday and am driving down later this morning to set up my booth.  Last night just when I was getting ready to call it a day, I realized I'd forgotten one little thing - bags.  Shoppers need bags.  To be fair, many shoppers bring their own bags, but I have to be prepared for those who don't.

When it comes to bags, I keep it simple with kraft paper bags, but I do like to dress them up a bit.


I've decorated these utilitarian bags in different ways, but my current favorite is a little bit of curling ribbon.  Instead of knitting last night, I was cutting and curling.

Here's a little fun as we head into the weekend - Knit In Public Bingo. I'm always knitting in public.  It's a great conversation starter, but I have heard some wacky comments.  Now I know I'm not the only one.

Onions.  It's nearly impossible to make soup without onions.  The other day I decided to make soup, but I was out of onions.  I hate grocery shopping even if it's for just one item, but the soup needed onions, so I made the trip.  To my pleasant surprise I saw these lovelies - my color inspiration for the week.


A bright splash on a gray winter day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New and Nameless

I've been busy dyeing . . . juggling yarn to fill orders and yarn for upcoming shows.  In the midst of everything, I was inspired to play around with some new colors.  It's just a few more pots, I told myself.

Here's a peek.


Unnamed colors in Edna.  I'm not usually a pink person, but I'm rather smitten with this combination.  I'm resisting the urge to look at patterns because that can be a bottomless hole.  At the top of today's list is pulling inventory for Knitting Weekend, and I intend to stick with the program.  This combination is going to simmer a little longer.