Friday, September 30, 2016

Color Pop

Another Friday, another new color.


This color will get your attention, and it's perfect when you need an accent.  I've already paired it with a couple grays . . . plotting and planning a new project.

With that I'm off to finish packing.  If you make it to Vermont Sheep and Wool, you'll find me in the Vendor Pavilion.

This week's color inspiration is also attention-grabbing.

All the colors of fall in one little bundle.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Midweek Memo

Here's a quick PSA.  If you're in New England and you're looking for an adventure, hit the road to Vermont Sheep and Wool this weekend. 
This is a sweet little festival in a picturesque location.  I'm not sure about the fall foliage this year.  Even if it's a bust, the scenery is still pretty.  As a nice bonus, they have good food at the fairgrounds.  I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Today the weather is gray.

Assembling multi-colored bundles is a sure way to brighten things up.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Snapshots from the Adirondacks

We had delightful fall weather this past weekend, so I was happy to be on the road.  Well, I wasn't happy last night when I was on the Pike coming home . . . 25 - 30 mph is slow going.  It seems someone thought Sunday evening was a good time for line painting and road construction.

After a good night's sleep, I've recovered from my travels.  Here's a glimpse into my weekend at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.

Intriguing work with handmade paper by Nanette Miranda.

Even earrings made out of paper.

Sheep shearing with hand shears.

I learned a little about the textile history of the area by going out to dinner.  The old Clark Textile building has been restored and is now used for a restaurant.  I always love a good history lesson.

After that little weekend adventure, it's time to get back to work.  It's Monday, and the dye pots are on.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Preview

Over the summer I added some new colors to the lineup.  A couple have become new favorites, destined to replace old favorites.  Here's another preview.


This color is versatile because it works well with so many other colors. Sort of green with hints of blue.  Malachite can almost be neutral in certain color combinations, and I already have a running of list of combinations that I like.  I'll be knitting with it once the fall fiber frenzy has died down.

I'm a regular at the weekly farmers' market.  The heirloom tomatoes provide a range of colors, sizes and shapes.  And they have such interesting names - Martha Washington, Radiator Charlie, Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye.  I can sense the end of tomato season is near, so before they're gone . . . this week's color inspiration.

Orange Russian.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Just Walk Away

Wednesday, you are quickly qualifying for a do-over.  All morning I've been putting out fires and brainstorming.  The thought of abandoning 
2 or 3 projects under construction has me feeling a bit queasy.  I've started to contemplate Plan B and Plan C.  Since the solution hasn't presented itself just yet, I'm going to take a deep breath and walk away.

There are plenty of other things to keep me occupied.

Like labeling.  

This weekend I'm at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.  New this year . . . the used equipment auction.  If you're planning to attend, you might want to check it out.  

It's time for me to find the tape and get busy.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Perils of Late Night Knitting

After a busy weekend, Monday came all too quickly.

Two events in two days.

Both events were local so that made things easier.

The weekend was a good opportunity to touch base with some people on my list, and I felt very productive for taking care of business.

On the other hand, I didn't get much knitting done when I was out and about, so I tried to make up for it in the evening.  I will never learn that knitting past midnight is usually not a good idea.  I knit late into the night only to discover in the morning that my stitch count was off. That's the second time for this project.  I'm trying to stay positive.

After ripping and re-knitting, I'm almost to the point where I was before I had to rip.  Forward march . . . 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Knitting Season

Fall is in the air, and knitting season is officially here.  It's a lovely weekend for the Yarn Crawl, and I'm heading to Black Sheep Knitting Co. first thing this morning.

I'll have these multi bundles and other fiber goodies.  Stop by if you're out on the Crawl.

The greater Boston area has plenty of fiber activity this weekend.  In addition to the Yarn Crawl, on Saturday the Harvest & Fiber Festival is happening at Tangerini's Spring Street Farm.  I'll be there with a fun group of vendors - click on the link.  This is an outdoor event, and the weather forecast is favorable.  It's time to start your fall knitting projects.

One corner of our backyard has become overgrown - proof that even in a drought the weeds grow.  I decided to let that corner go, and since so many things didn't grow well this summer, I've come to appreciate the weedy tangle.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Purply black.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Of Baseball and Socks

I made a good run at summertime activities as August was drawing to a close, but I was missing one thing on my checklist - my annual trek to a Red Sox game.  

After last night, I can cross that off my list.  One daughter found the tickets, so off I went with both girls in tow.  

The Sox lost, but it was a lovely evening to be at Fenway.  The only thing better than September baseball is October baseball.

Of course I had an appropriate knitting project for the outing.

A red sock.  

A simple ribbed leg made for easy baseball knitting.  The pattern is Vector Socks in case you're wondering, and things will get a little more complicated very soon.  I almost finished the leg last night.  Just a few more rounds . . . 

The yarn is Lillian in the new-for-fall colorway Flame . . . a perfect red for this time of year.  It's available at fall events and will be coming soon to the website.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Planning and Counting

After an all-around busy weekend and a delightful day at KnitWit, I'm off to a running start this morning.  The dye pots are going, and I'm taking time for more coffee and some planning.  I've let my planning slide the last couple weeks, and that's really not a good strategy.  It's a lot easier to stay on top of things if I have the details spelled out on paper, so that's what this morning is all about.

I also have to sort out a minor (at least I hope it's minor) mishap with my knitting project.  In a rush to swap projects, a bunch of stitches slid off the needle.  I rescued them as best I could, but now I'm afraid the stitch count is off.  The scene of the accident included a lot of make 1 stitches, and I have a feeling some of them became unmade.  I'm prepared to rip out a row or two.

If you're in the Boston area, just a reminder that the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl is happening later this week.  On Friday I'll be at Black Sheep Knitting Co.  Jump-start your fall knitting and support the local shops.  

Now I'm off to do some counting.  And maybe some ripping.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Just a Peek

This week has been out of whack on so many levels, but the dyeing has been steady.  There are new kits in production and new colors coming out of the pots.  I'll be releasing occasional sneak peeks as we head into fall.  Here's the first one.

Sweet, sweet blue.  

And this one, bold and bright.

Both of these colorways are still need names.  If you have a suggestion, feel free to chime in.  

Tomorrow you'll find me at KnitWit in Portland.  I'm off to load the truck.

Nothing says fall like fresh, local apples.  This week's color inspiration is green and red.

Right down the middle.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

No Escape

Today is day 7.  That's the number of days we've been without hot water.  Last week when the hot water heater conked out, I anticipated (and even planned for) the reality that it wouldn't be fixed until after the long holiday weekend.  Yesterday the plumber gave me an update.  He ordered a new part, and it should be here tomorrow. 

For the last week we've been living a kind of glorified camping life.  You don't realize the convenience of hot water until you don't have it . . . cleaning and laundry and showers.  Frankly I can let the first two slide, but taking cold showers gets old.

When I woke up this morning, I was tempted to browse on Ravelry . . . just a little.  I was feeling a bit distracted by the upheaval on the home front.  Ravelry offered a quick escape and maybe a new project.  A few sips of coffee brought me back to reality.  There is work to be done, and I already have projects under construction.

Hei.  I've been working on this cowl in the background, and it's coming along nicely.  I'm almost to the middle, and then I'll work my way out with the gradient.  It has a meditative ribbed pattern - just what I need right now.  When we have hot water again, maybe then I'll celebrate with a new project.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Fair Fiber Wage

In the spirit of Labor Day, I thought I would share an interesting discussion that's been unfolding.  I've been following a lively debate about fair compensation for teachers at fiber events.  Most of the back and forth is happening on Facebook.  You can also find more on Twitter under the hashtag #FairFiberWage.

I'm not surprised by the numbers, but it is interesting the different perspectives that have surfaced during the course of this conversation.

I'm a firm believer in educating consumers.  If you've taken classes at events or are considering it, it's important for you to know how much work goes into that class.*  Fiber artists have a wonderful tradition of sharing their skills, techniques and knowledge.  Most of the fiber instructors I know love what they do, but at the end of the day it's work. A lot of work.  It's work they must be compensated for if we want to continue enjoying the rich, diverse classes that many events offer.

I could go on and on, but I'll get off my soapbox now.

Maybe I'll knit a few rows instead.  I'm almost ready to start the next color in the gradient progression.  I feel the momentum building . . . 

*The same could be said for that skein of hand dyed yarn you're fondling at an event, but that's a discussion for another day. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Meaning of More

It's been one of those days.  When I woke up this morning and the hot water heater wasn't working, I knew I would have to make some adjustments.  Instead of diving into my scheduled work, I was tied up on the phone.  Now I'm stuck waiting for the repair guy to show up "later this afternoon" . . . whatever that means.  The reality of the situation is there's probably a broken part and it will have to be ordered and it's a holiday weekend and . . . Maybe we'll have hot water next week.

To take the edge off, in between phone calls and waiting I decided to get this new project up and running.

Even this was a challenge.  You know those instructions that say, "Repeat rows 1 and 2 x times more?"  This is my understanding of that instruction.

more = in addition to what you've already worked

For example if you've already worked rows 1 and 2 one time and the instruction says to repeat them 10 times more, that will be a total of 11 times or 22 rows.

This morning I was already a little stressed with the hot water situation and all, but I was determined to make the best of it with a little bonus knitting time.  I cast on and followed the first set of pattern instructions, but at the end of it my stitch count was off.  I had too many stitches.  I counted and recounted.  I did the math every which way.  No matter how I did it, I always came up with too many stitches.  Repeating rows 1 and 2 x times more gave me the wrong stitch count.

This pattern gives a row by row stitch count, so if I start out with the wrong count, chances are I'm going to be wrong for the whole project. Unless I make another mistake that inadvertently corrects the first mistake, but that's a terrible correction strategy. 

So I decided to work back from the stitch count I needed.  I ripped it all out and repeated rows 1 and 2 until I had the right stitch count.  I didn't do as many repeats as the pattern said, but my stitch count is right.  

This pattern is described as relatively mindless.  Now that I've worked out the kinks, maybe it will be.

My color inspiration for this last weekend of summer . . . 

All the blues.