Friday, September 30, 2011

Slow Start

All week I've been trying to get my latest knitting project up and running.  I had high hopes of slipping it on my hand for a try-on, but so far all I've managed is the cast on and a few rounds. 

A mitten cuff.  By mid-week I realized that my knitting time was going to be limited, so I set a goal of finishing the cuff by Friday.  Simple enough.  Ribbing . . . 24 rounds of ribbing. Today is Friday, and the cuff still isn't complete.  I've given myself to the end of the weekend. This cuff will be finished by Monday even if I have to lock myself in a room to do it.

This weekend I'll be at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds for the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.  I'm looking forward to another weekend of fiber fun.

This is a colorful time of year with vibrant hues peeking out from subdued earth tones.  My color inspiration for the week.

Warm, golden yellow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Button, Button

Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?  A game from childhood and one I played with my own kids.  Buttons. Practical, colorful, artsy, entertaining.

I have fond memories of button collections.  My grandmothers and aunts would save buttons from discarded garments.  They had lived through the Depression and nothing was wasted - not even a button. 

I have my own button collection, and I added to it at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.

There were several button vendors - some with vintage buttons.

Take a look at the original prices.

Oh, the choices.  And the colors.

I don't think I can bear to take these off the cardboard.  Always In Style.

Buttons in many shapes and sizes.

Big buttons.

Big buttons with texture.

Small buttons.

Small buttons with detail.

Buttons sold by the bag.

Buttons patiently waiting.  Waiting for just the right project to come along and snatch them up.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Adirondack Adventure

It's Monday morning, and I'm catching my breath after a weekend in the Adirondacks.  Come along for a photo tour.

At three years old the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival is a fairly new event.  I had never been to this event as either a vendor or attendee, so I was excited for a new festival in a new location.

This well-rounded event did not disappoint.

Weaving.  Just seeing the looms up and running made me want to pull out my loom.  Several weavers also stopped by my booth to chat. Lovely conversations.

This is for those who want to weave but don't like warping.

Continuous strand weaving.  This loom, courtesy of The Wren's Nest, doesn't require warping.  Magic.

There was felting.

A basket of booties from Valerie's Gallery.

And flowers from Decadent Fibers.


Vintage knitting needles from Lazy Day Farm.

And soap.

So many to choose from at Natural Specialties.

This festival is held at the Washington County Fairgrounds near Saratoga Springs.  The area is full of history, and I would have loved to spend more time poking around.  Maybe another time.  I did stumble across a couple of interesting things in Schuylerville.


Bike art.

A whole row.

In different colors.

And standing guard on one of the street corners.

A beautiful painted horse.

It was a wonderful weekend with a short week ahead.  I'm back just long enough to gear up for another road trip and another adventure next weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mad Dash

I'm scurrying to get out the door and on the road.  This weekend I'm off to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival and am really looking forward to it.  A change of scenery can do wonders.  I must admit that this week I left too many things for the last minute.  Remind me - why didn't I take care of that oil change earlier in the week?

These two will be coming along for the ride.  

The makings of a new project.  I'm anxious to get started on this but am realistic that often I don't have time at fiber events to actually do much knitting.  But really it doesn't matter.  It's comforting to know that I'm prepared.

Today marks the first day of fall, that gradual slide into the dark and cold.  I'm marking the occasion with a final shot from summer and my color inspiration for the week.

At water's edge . . . shimmering earth tones.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In The Works

I'm in the midst of a crazy busy stretch with events almost every weekend from now into November.  Packing, un-packing, counting, re-stocking.  Bits of dyeing here and there.

This week, in the midst of all this frantic activity, I have extra meetings and appointments.  It's bad timing, but it does give me extra knitting time.  I have a couple of new projects in mind but decided to focus my efforts on something that's been in the works for a while. Something that won't require too much concentration.

I'm feeling quite proud that I resisted the urge to cast on something new.  

Instead I'm going to finish this sock - a booth sample for a kit that will be available soon.  Just a few stripes - I had forgotten how much fun it is to watch the colors shift.  I'm working on the foot now so it's straight ahead, effortless knitting.  And since this is going to be a booth sample, I don't have to make it big enough to fit my largish feet.  I'll be done in no time.  Maybe then I'll start something new.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fiber Twist Fun

This past Saturday I was up bright and early for the drive to western Massachusetts and Fiber Twist.

This cozy, one day event has two dozen vendors offering a wide range of goods.

There were gorgeous spinning fibers.

These beautiful plant dyed fibers are from Woolies of Shirkshire Farm. They specialize in Coopworth wool.  Their subtle dye lot variations offer all kinds of spinning possibilities.

There were ready to wear garments.

This sleeveless wrap comes in a variety of fabrics.  A versatile, practical garment.

Colder weather is just around the corner.

Several vendors had nice selections of hats, scarves and mittens. Plenty of options to choose from.

And it's not too early to start thinking of the holidays.

Sheep ornaments and more.

There were other vendors - rug hooking wool and supplies, yarn and supplies for needlework, felted garments and decorations.  For a small event Fiber Twist brings together a diverse group of vendors.

Fiber Twist is held in the employee fitness center at the Yankee Candle flagship store.

Yankee Candle is quite the attraction.

There are candles and so much more.

The grounds are decorated for fall.

Including this pumpkin.

All 602 pounds.

It was a long day but so much fun.  Thanks to call who came out to support this event.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cream And Sugar

This week has been filled with waiting time.  A lot of waiting time. Time I should have spent on dyeing.  Time I spent on knitting instead.

Cream and Sugar Cowl by Alana Dakos.

This cowl is the perfect accessory as we head into fall, just enough to keep the chill out.

This cable design has five cable rows.  The other rows are effortless knitting.

This well-written pattern includes both written and charted instructions.

Chunky, cozy cables.

Cream and Sugar would make a perfect gift, but then again you may want one for yourself.

The yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks Lillian, colorway Topaz.  This 100% Superwash Merino yarn has the right amount of spring and bounce to make these cables stand out.  Truly a delightful knit.

Tomorrow I'll be in western Massachusetts for Fiber Twist.  It promises to be a beautiful day to be out and about.  If you're in the area, be sure to stop by.

It's that time of year when we can watch colors change right before our eyes.  The shift from green to red is my color inspiration for the week.

All shiny and bright.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Last week I was working on a little something for a little person.

Over the weekend I finished it.  This is Bonnet by Elizabeth Zimmermann, the companion hat to her Baby Surprise Jacket.  The yarn is a 100% Superwash Merino base used for the Sweet Bunting Cardigan Kit, colors Clematis and Baltic Blue.  Currently this yarn is only available in the Sweet Bunting Kit.

I was thoroughly entertained while knitting this little hat. It has many of the same characteristics as the Baby Surprise.  There are twists and turns along the way.  This is one of those patterns where you're best off blindly following the instructions.  If you stop and think for too long, you might get lost.

In the end it all worked out.  The striping came together nicely at the back of the hat.  I couldn't have planned it any better.

And I'm thrilled with the little button.

A perfect color match found on a late in the day, last minute stop at Gather Here.  This was a great diversion from the other projects at hand.  Now it's time to get back to work.

Monday, September 12, 2011

An Evening With Annie

On Friday evening I had the pleasure of hearing Annie Modesitt speak at the Common Cod Fiber Guild meeting.

Annie is a self-published author and knitting instructor.  She taught herself how to knit years ago and was told more than once that she was knitting "the wrong way", i.e. combination knitting.  Simply put combination knitting is twisting the stitches on one row and untwisting them on the following row. 

Annie's talk was informative, entertaining, challenging and thought provoking.  Let me share some of her words of wisdom.

~ Instead of calling those who have just started to knit "beginners", call them new knitters.  There are new knitters and adventurous knitters.

~ We knit to make ourselves happy.  It's OK to admit that.

~ Knitting restores your inner sense of rhythm.  There is a certain calm that comes from knit, knit, knit.

~ A mistake is just a different way of doing something right.

Annie's philosophy is that there isn't one right way to knit.

Instead there are many different ways to knit with all of them producing the same fabric.  Find the style of knitting that works for you and follow it.

Friday, September 9, 2011


The other day I started a new project.  It was progressing nicely.  I had just finished the ribbed border and was about to start the good part - the part where the stitches twist and turn and do all sorts of acrobatics.  And then all work came to a screeching halt.

I had to take time for some planning.

There are new kits in the works, and that means choosing colors.  I worked my way through that process, selecting colors and having way too much fun.  After everything was squared away, I was anxiously looking forward to picking up my needles.  Time to put those stitches through a gymnastics drill.

But it was not meant to be.  I encountered a knitting emergency.  One that had to be dealt with immediately.

I need a knitted something for a little one, and I need it right now. Those stitches doing twists and turns and somersaults?  They will have to wait for another day.  In the meantime I have a sweet little something to keep me occupied.  And since there is a pressing deadline for this sweet little something, I'm sure I'll be working on my other project in no time at all.

While the fruits at the farmers' market switch from berries to apples, I gathered a few peaches and blueberries to make a delicious sauce. The mixture of yellow-orange and blue cooks up into a beautiful pinkish red - my color inspiration for the week.

The last of the season.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

For The Season

I have a new project underway - finally.  I'd been considering this pattern for several weeks but couldn't decide on the color.  I pulled several skeins of different colors, debated, asked for input from family, debated some more.  And then I started the whole process over with a different set of skeins.  When I still didn't have a decision, I put the project away for a few days.

Then we experienced a decided shift in the weather.  Suddenly it was fall, and I picked a color without hesitation.  

A color to match the season.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SoWa Sunday

This past Sunday Dirty Water DyeWorks was a vendor at SoWa Open Market.  

This event is held every Sunday from May to October in Boston's South End.  SoWa features wares from many artisans and crafters with something for everyone.

For kids.

Fun animal hats.

Wooden toys for little ones.

For adults.  


Things that smell good.

Candles and more.


In cupcake form.

I love this take on the classic paper chain, but I don't think it was for sale.

A fabric chain.

This fall Dirty Water DyeWorks will be at several SoWa Sundays. Details to follow.

It was a fun outing, and I look forward to doing it again.