Monday, March 30, 2015

A Walk Around Town

I thoroughly enjoy my weekend travel for shows, but it doesn't come without a price.  My challenges for today:  the truck has to be unloaded, my phone charger went missing between Vermont and home, my feeling of exhaustion might actually be the current household cold taking me down, today's workload was probably over-ambitious and needs to be rescheduled.

While I tackle these hurdles, here's a quick recap of my weekend.  I was in White River Junction, a lovely little town with a railroad stop. This event was relocated and was held at the Hotel Coolidge.  This hotel is one of my favorite places to stay, and I've already given a quick rundown in a previous blog post

I've described this event to a dear friend, and she now calls it my Petticoat Junction weekend.  Here's a quick tour.

Outside the hotel.

Can you tell what these were before they were repurposed as bracelets?

Inside the hotel.

Around the fireplace at the end of the day.

Colorful notes decorate a wall in the hotel cafe.

I didn't include pictures of any of the restaurants, but this little town has a great selection, and there's a food co-op to boot.  A charming hotel, a well-stocked yarn shop, delicious food, wonderful people. White River Junction is the perfect getaway.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ready to Travel

I met my deadline.  Spectral is finished.

I blocked it the other day and had plans to take pictures, but the weather refused to cooperate.  The photo session will have to wait for another day.  I can take the sample to Vermont this weekend, and that's the important thing.

I've spent a little too much time on Ravelry lately and have been resisting the urge to start several random new projects.  So far I've managed to maintain, but I've had the itch to cast on with reckless abandon.  Deadlines keep me on the straight and narrow, but with Spectral off my list, I have a little wiggle room in my knitting schedule. It's good I'm working this weekend.  That should minimize the damage.

Sometimes dry flowers can be just as beautiful as live ones.  This week's color inspiration only encourages me to let the flowers linger just a little longer.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This, That and the Other Thing

This is one of those days where I have a little bit of everything going on - dyeing yarn, shipping orders, answering email, pulling inventory for the weekend show.  With any luck I'll also finish a new sample and maybe settle on my next new project.  Just enough variety to make the day interesting.

I glanced at the calendar first thing this morning, and it's a good thing I did.  In addition to a reminder that today is my sister and my niece's birthday (mother and daughter sharing the same birthday), I realized that April is right around the corner.

There's just enough time for the March giveaway.  Leave a comment and include your Ravelry ID.  What signs of spring are visible in your neck of the woods?  Are you knitting for spring and/or summer? What's your favorite color as we transition to warmer weather?  What knitting project has captured your attention?

The winner, chosen at random, will receive a skein of Dirty Water DyeWorks yarn - winner's choice.  The contest closes on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

I talk with a lot of knitters.  One of the most frequent comments I hear concerns the Kitchener stitch.  Many knitters despise this useful technique and will go to great lengths to avoid it.  

If you're looking for a new way to achieve the look of the Kitchener stitch, check out this video from Lucy Neatby.

The Sock Toe Chimney.  It has a catchy name, and it's really quite clever.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lost Knitting Time

For once I'm happy it's Monday.  Maybe today life will calm down a little and return to normal.  This past weekend had a little too much excitement for my taste - the kind that involved driving to the animal hospital at 1:00 in the morning, the kind that involved so much lost sleep a gallon of coffee couldn't touch my tired, groggy feeling.

Poor little Benji had a medical emergency.  You may remember he's my daughter's puppy.  As luck would have it, she was on vacation this weekend, so he was my responsibility.

This morning I picked him up from the hospital, and now he's resting comfortably.  I did have a little knit chat with the woman who checked us out.  She was wearing a lovely scarf, and it turns out she knit it. Knitters are everywhere.

All that lost sleep really messed with my weekend plans, including my knitting.  

My consolation was taking a little time to start this.  Here's to a better week ahead.  I have to make up for lost knitting time.

Friday, March 20, 2015

On the Other Side

Knitters often comment that color changes keep a project interesting. It's entertaining to watch the colors shift and that movement keeps the project chugging along.  It's easy to get caught up in the knitting because you want to see how the next color plays out.

I've had a bit of that going on with my Spectral.  I have plenty of other knitting in the works, but this project has been getting more than its fair share of attention.  

This isn't a black and white shot - I'm working with shades of gray. I've crossed the halfway point.  I just finished the lightest section in the middle and am working my way back to dark.

This has been a week with extra meetings, and Spectral travels well. That probably accounts for some of the progress, but I've also been caught up in moving from one shade of gray to another.  It's been mesmerizing and relaxing.

This week's color inspiration is a good balance to all the gray.

A bright burst of sunshine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Starting with Socks

The past couple weeks I've had to show some restraint with my knitting time in order to meet pressing deadlines.  Now that I'm over the hurdle, I can make up for lost time.  I have a list, and this is just the beginning.

Lined up and ready to go . . . socks.  I'm covering all my bases.  One for on-the-go, one to stay at home.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Camp and Crawl

I spent the weekend hopping from one fiber event to another - so many interesting people, so many thoughtful conversations.  There were several discussions I would like to continue . . . food for thought.

In spite of setting up and tearing down my display a couple times, I did manage to get a fair amount of knitting done.  I'll save those pictures for another day, but here's a glimpse of my whirlwind weekend.


The fashion show.

North Shore Yarn Crawl, trunk show at Seed Stitch.

The official Yarn Crawl Shawl.  In case you're interested, the pattern is Grapefruit Brulee.

From the knitting archives, the no-size knitting kit.  I'm not quite sure how this works, but it's an interesting concept.

Needless to say after a weekend full of creativity and inspiration, Monday seems pretty mundane.

Friday, March 13, 2015


This week I've been chained to my desk - sifting and sorting pieces of paper, muttering numbers to myself, generating reports.  Tax season is weighing heavily on me.  I'm almost finished with my part and can't wait to hand everything off to the accountant.

While I've been crunching numbers, the fiber companion at my desk has been the unruly tangled mess that Benji created.  See my post from earlier this week.  After whittling down a pile of papers, I would pick up the tangled pile of yarn and work my way back from the end, slowly winding a little bit at a time. 

I worked back and forth between papers and yarn.  As my pile of papers disappeared, so did the pile of yarn mess.  Both piles were finished about the same time, and I was thrilled.

Now I can get back to the fun part.

This week's color inspiration celebrates St. Patrick's Day.

Shamrock green.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Madness

March is turning out to be a busy month for me.  Last week I was sorting out my schedule and was faced with the logistics of trying to be in two places on the same day.  After a little back and forth, I arrived at a creative solution.  It means this coming weekend will be non-stop, but it's all about yarn and knitting and promises to be loads of fun.

For starters the North Shore Yarn Crawl is happening this weekend.  It starts tomorrow and runs right through the weekend.  This winter has been rough on many small businesses.  They've either been closed because of the weather, or people just haven't been able to get out and about.  This is a great way to help those businesses rebound.

I can't be on hand the entire weekend, but my yarn will be in attendance.  Seed Stitch in Salem will have a colorful selection available.  On Sunday I'll be in the shop with a trunk show and more goodies.

FiberCamp is also this weekend.  This annual event is hosted by the Common Cod Fiber Guild.  This is the year for knitting authors. Barbara Parry, author of Adventures in Yarn Farming, will give a talk. Julia Farwell-Clay will be signing copies of her new book, From Folly Cove.  The weekend features a wide selection of fiber-related sessions, a small vendor market and plenty of time for socializing and knitting.  I'll be in the market on Saturday.  See the website for more information.

Looking toward the end of the month, I'll be heading back to Vermont. The Green Mountain Fiber Festival has been moved to the Hotel Coolidge and upgraded to a knitting retreat.  I love this location with all its quirks and charms and am looking forward to a different twist on a familiar event.  If you're looking for a relaxing late-winter knitting getaway, check the website for details.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Dog Ate My Knitting

That's my excuse for not making more progress on my most pressing knitting project.  To be accurate, the dog didn't eat my knitting.  He just made a big mess of it.

It was a busy weekend, and I had finally given myself permission to do a little knitting.  When I went to get my project, I found my ball of yarn in a tangle.

Benji is my daughter's dog, but he's been on an extended stay at my house.  For the most part he's a good dog - fun and lovable.  He brings a certain liveliness to the household dynamics.  I don't know what got into him over the weekend, but clearly we weren't giving him enough attention.  

I guess I should consider myself fortunate that he didn't destroy what was already on the needles.  As you can see I made an attempt to start untangling from the other end, but it was late and the yarn was a dark color.  Need I say more?

The situation was compounded by losing an hour on Saturday night and spending way too much time on paperwork and taxes.  I was in no condition to untangle, so I turned my attention elsewhere.

There's nothing like a soothing sock project to take the edge off.  This heel flap is ready to be turned.  That untangling job might have to wait a little bit longer.

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Wacky Week

I don't know how we made it to Friday already, but here we are.  I went into the week thinking it would be quiet and low key with plenty of time to catch up on everything I had let slide over the last couple weeks.  I even had visions of afternoon coffee and knitting with a friend.

Instead my week eroded into all kinds of crazy with each day more chaotic than the previous one.  Early in the week my daughter's birthday celebration fell by the wayside due to over scheduling and too much homework.  The homework is her doing - not mine.  We're going to make good this weekend with a do-over party and her favorite cake.

Later in the week, I was 15 minutes into a texting chat with my brother when it dawned on me it was his birthday.  We have a lot of March birthdays in my family, but I have the dates permanently stamped in my memory banks.  Thank goodness I remembered and wished him Happy, Happy before we signed off. 

I had extra meetings and appointments that really should have been scheduled over a month, but I somehow managed to cram them into one week.  Originally I thought all those meetings would count for bonus knitting time, but in the end, those meetings didn't include anything close to knitting. 

I'm going to blame all the crazy on the impending full moon.

Now that we're on the other side of that full moon, I can get down to business.

I found this week's color inspiration in the store and knew I had to buy them.  Kumquats.  

I have fond childhood memories associated with kumquats.  My aunt's sewing room, where I learned to sew, was painted with a colorway called kumquat.  We often referred to the sewing room as the kumquat room.  It was a cozy, magical space filled to capacity with assorted fabrics, buttons, bobbins and notions.  The ironing board was always out, and the sewing machine was always ready.

Today, whenever I see kumquats, I'm reminded of that sewing room and endless hours of creative making.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


The newest booth sample in my collection . . . 


Over the weekend this cowl was on display in my booth, but I was working on it until the last minute. 

This is one of those projects that was blocked on a hotel bed.

I used a Lillian gradient set. 

I don't have a link for the sets yet.  One day soon I'll have them on the website.

This was an entertaining pattern.  It was a good traveling project, and the color changes kept it interesting.

If I didn't have so many other projects lined up, I would be tempted to make another one with different colors.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment for the February giveaway. Jen has the best advice for snow days when she calls them "guilt free knitting days."  I subscribe to the same philosophy and try to get some extra knitting done when the snow flies.

The February winner is AtPlayWithFiber.  If you didn't win, you'll have a chance later in the month when I'll be running another giveaway.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Back at It

Oh, Monday.  My weekend in Freeport at Spa Knit and Spin is quickly fading.  There probably isn't enough time in this day to catch up on all that needs to be done, but I'm making a valiant effort.  Laundry is rolling, kitchen is tidied.  The empty fridge with the sour milk will have to wait until later in the day.

The weekend went by in a blur, and I didn't take nearly enough pictures.  Here's a quick glimpse.



Not pictured is the packed hotel lobby with knitters and spinners taking up every available chair.  Spa is a winter knitting getaway - a time for making new connections, renewing old acquaintances, hanging out, having fun.  Thanks to everyone who ventured out.

Last call for the February giveaway.  Today is the final day to enter. Details here.