Friday, November 28, 2014

Back to Reality

Yesterday we had a lovely holiday, and this morning I was easing into my Friday.  I was contemplating a relaxing day - just the right mix of work and knitting time - when I was jolted back to reality by the roar and grind of the garbage truck one street over.  I hadn't had any coffee yet but was just enough awake to put two and two together.  Our barrels hadn't been put out.

I made a mad dash for my coat and boots and raced outside.  I made pretty good time sliding up and down the snowy driveway, but I did have to ask the driver to wait while I brought out the last barrel.  He was a good sport about it all.

So much for easing into the day.  As for that knitting time, I think I'll start with this.

Honey Bunches.  I picked this up after a brief hiatus, and things are starting to take shape.  I'll work on this while I ponder new projects on the horizon.

I found this week's color inspiration in the setting sun.

Final shades of fall.

I need more coffee.  I almost forgot to mention I'm celebrating Small Business Saturday with 15% off all orders placed between Saturday and Monday.  See website for details.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Kickoff

We're on the brink of a long holiday weekend here in the States, so today I'm going to get the party started with the November giveaway. Leave a comment and enter to win.  If you celebrate Thanksgiving, how do you mark the occasion?  I know a lot of people travel for the holiday, and I'm envious of any passenger with a long car ride.  Do you have any knitting projects planned?  Dare I mention holiday knitting? Anyone with pattern suggestions as we get down to the wire?  What do you have on the needles?

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 Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

And now I'm headed to the kitchen.  Today is pie baking day.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Still Working

This is going to be one of those weeks.  There's a holiday on Thursday, and it seems that everybody is already on vacation.  I'm trying not to be distracted by my family and the chatter - cranberries in various forms, the pros and cons of wild rice, a long list of pies.

I'm still working.

Closing in on production deadlines.  Give me a couple more days, and I'll be ready to talk about pie.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Getting Reacquainted

This morning I had to stop myself from being sucked into the abyss of Ravelry.  I swear I went to look at ONE pattern.  Just one.  Temptation was all around, but I needed more coffee, and that's the only thing that saved me.  I regained my focus and composure while pouring coffee, came back to my desk and closed the window that was tempting me with all sorts of woolly wonderfulness.  

I'm flirting with a case of startitis.  This often happens after a long show season and many miles of travel.  I'm holding strong . . . for the moment.

I've added to my pile of remnants.  I rather like the combination, but I haven't found the right project.  In fact that was the excuse for my quick trip to Ravelry this morning.  This project needs to simmer a while longer.

What I really want to start is a new sweater, but the biggest hurdle is I can't find my US 8 needles.  I have several needles in this size, but I can't find my favorite ones.  If I'm going to be spending enough time with needles to make a sweater, I should be using my favorite pair.  

To make matters worse I was using the missing needles earlier this month.  I've tried to recall where I last used them.  I've had terrible thoughts of leaving them behind in some nondescript hotel room.  In reality they're probably in one of my bags.  The only solution right now is for me to dump, sift and sort the contents of all my bags.

Today I have back-to-back meetings, and all of it is prime knitting time.  Since I can't start my yet-to-be-determined remnant project and my new sweater is on hold, I'm going to reacquaint myself with this project.

It's a lovely shawl, and I was thoroughly enjoying it when I put it down. It's been weeks since I stepped away from it, so it might take me a while to get back in the groove.  That's always my biggest hurdle with dormant projects.  Maybe while I work on this, my other projects and needles will somehow come together.

This week's color inspiration is fresh from a bakery. 

Picture perfect, shiny and bright.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Around and Around

I have another hat ready for action.

Matterhorn Hat.

I'm on a hat knitting merry-go-round and can't seem to jump off.  I'm not sure I want to.  Small projects, relaxed knitting.  What's not to love?  Hats are done in almost no time, and the winter wind is howling. I might have to stay on this merry-go-round for a while.

I whipped up Matterhorn over the weekend while I was in Vermont.  It was a working weekend with just enough time for a hat's worth of knitting.

This design features a turned-back brim for extra warmth.  The yarn is Petite Clara, colorway Winter Sky.  

Now I'm off to do a little browsing.  Since I'm on this merry-go-round, I might as well see what other hats I can discover.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vermont Getaway

It's Monday morning, and I'm getting my bearings after a weekend on the road.  I had a wonderful time, but I didn't take nearly enough pictures. Here's a glimpse.

When I'm traveling this time of year, I'm always on the lookout for wildlife.  This fall I've seen plenty of animals lurking by the side of the road, just waiting to jump in front of an unsuspecting car or truck.  I've been a passenger in a car that has hit a deer, and I'm terrified of hitting one myself. 

As for animal sightings, this trip was pretty uneventful.  This was the closest I came to seeing any wildlife.

The weekend's main attraction.

This is a very relaxed event . . . a nice selection of classes, a fun mix of vendors, all in the mountains of Vermont.  There was plenty of time to connect with people, catch up on the latest, gather inspiration for future projects.

And just up the road from the event . . . 

Plenty of ideas for the kitchen.

Thanks to Karen and her crew from White River Yarns.  It was delightful weekend and a great finish to the fall travel season.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Playing It Safe

As soon as I finished the Algonquin Hat, I started my search for a new project.  I had a vague notion of some mitts to go with the hat.

I have enough leftovers, but the exact details eluded me.  I puttered around, looked at a few patterns and got distracted.

I'm getting ready to hit the road and that means I need a traveling project.  It also means I don't have a lot of time to dither.  I need a new project on my needles now.

In the interest of time, I decided to make another hat.  A hat project is almost always a sure bet - small and manageable without a big time commitment.  It seems I never have enough hats, and the mention of snow in the weather forecast was enough to persuade me.  Eventually I'll come back to those mitts, but for now I'm content to travel with a hat.

The fall colors are rapidly fading, but every once in a while I still spot a bright flash.  My color inspiration this week is all the more noticeable because of the backdrop.

Savoring the red.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Algonquin Hat

The talk around town is all about the cold weather that's headed our way later this week.  Bring it on.  I'm ready to greet it with a new hat.

Algonquin Hat by Thea Colman of BabyCocktails fame.  Yes, that's the top of the grill.  I didn't have a live model and had to be creative.  

When I need instant gratification, there's nothing like knitting a hat.  It seems I had just settled in when this hat was ready to come off the needles.

This design features an 8-row repeat that creates a fabric full of texture.  It's even more fun with the change in colors.  

The yarn is Petite Clara, colorways Chartreuse and Acorn.  Like the name says, this yarn is the small skein version of Clara - worsted weight, 100% Blue Faced Leicester.   Petite Clara has just been added to the website and is available in a range of colors - plenty of options for mixing and matching.  

Thea recommends finishing by weaving in the tail and going through the loops on the wrong side.  I usually do the weaving on the right side, but I decided to follow her advice.

I must say it makes a nice finish, and it's always fun to tweak a technique.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Weekend Off

Last week it hit me.  My travel schedule is slowing down.  After a busy fall traipsing all over New England and New York, I was looking forward to a whole weekend at home.  I haven't put my suitcase away because I have another show coming up, but the pace has definitely shifted.  I didn't give myself the whole weekend off (somehow that seemed way too self-indulgent), but I did make time for things that weren't work related.  

Apparently my family has been starving all fall, so to appease them there was plenty of cooking.

Gingered plum sauce for pancakes.

Apple strudel for dessert.  To balance out the sweets, I also made black bean soup and tacos.

There was a bit of work.

Sorting and selecting inventory for my next show.  

And there was knitting, but those pictures will have to wait for another day.  It's Monday, and it's time to get back to work.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Practical Knitting

After my little sit-down with Ravelry the other day, my head was spinning with pattern ideas . . . from sweaters to shawls to socks. Before I could settle on one thing, the practical voice inside my head reminded me that it's getting cold, and I need to stay warm.  Now.

Without delay I cast on one of several hats that caught my eye.

Algonquin Hat.  I finished the ribbing and am a couple rounds into the body.  After working with fingering weight yarn on smaller needles, this worsted weight project seems like it's flying.  A new hat by next week isn't out of the question.

This hat uses two colors, and that was part of the attraction.  I was waffling back and forth between colors.  The green was a definite choice, but I wasn't so sure about the second color.  I polled family members.  While they all agreed on a second color, I'm not so sure.  I still have a few rounds before I need to commit.  

This week's color inspiration comes to you from one of the bins at a local market.

So many shades of orange.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Last weekend I went to Fiber Festival of New England with 2 new samples.  I already showed you Hoarfrost - an elegant, lacy cowl made with a Merino / Yak / Silk blend.

Today I get to show off Penny.

I caught Estrella just before she headed out on another training run and made a deal for a few quick pictures.  It took some convincing. There's another half marathon in the not-too-distant future, and she's all business when it comes to her training.

This one piece vest is knit side to side.  There aren't any seams, so the finishing is minimal.

The lace border is just enough to keep things interesting.

The pattern includes instructions for 5 yarn weights, so there are plenty of options.  The design is simple with beautiful drape.  This is one of those patterns that looks good on almost everybody.

The yarn is Edna Extra, colorway Tide Pool.  I never tire of working with this Polwarth / Silk blend.

I've finished 2 projects in less than a week - that gives me license to start something new.  If you need me, I'll be over on Ravelry.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Numbers

Two.  The number of days I spent at Fiber Festival of New England.

It was a crazy busy weekend - exhausting but fun.

I would have loved more time to browse the market . . . so many ideas, so much inspiration.

Take this Chakra Beret Kit from Sunrise Hill Farm.  I was tempted to dust off my long-neglected crochet skills to make this hat.  This morning I'm still thinking about the kit.  I'm trying to decide if I should take that as a sign.

Soap, pumpkins and so much more.

One.  The number of events I have left this year.  On November 15 and 16 I'll be at Green Mountain Fiber Festival.

Zero.  The number of stitches I knit this weekend.  

I had good intentions but didn't pick up my needles once.  Today I'm making up for lost knitting time.

Congratulations to NicoleS.  She's the winner of the October giveaway. Be sure to follow along.  I'll be doing it again later this month.