Monday, November 20, 2017

Show and Tell

A while ago I loaned my copy of Selbuvotter to my friend Alice.  She has immersed herself in the book, and everyone in the family is getting mittens or gloves for the holiday.  

Alice was passing through town . . . just enough time to grab some yarn and give me a quick update.

I'd seen pictures of work in progress, but it's not the same as seeing the mitts in real life.

These designs provide hours of knitting enjoyment.

The patterns call for fingering weight, and the yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks.  Half the fun is picking the colors, and Alice has chosen some striking combinations.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have the itch to make some colorwork mittens.

Maybe when I get my book back.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Time to Weigh In

Yesterday I focused all my knitting time on one project.  Sometimes that's the best strategy when I want to achieve noticeable forward progress.

This is Everyday Shawl.  I'm using a gradient bundle so it's a little easier to notice progress or a lack thereof.  When I was planning this project, I decided I wanted to use every bit of yarn.  So far so good.

The pattern also includes instructions on the percentage of yarn required for Part 1.

Before I could keep going, I needed a quick weigh in and a little math. Now I'm good to go.

The house is a mess, and I really need to do some cleaning before the holiday next week.  I convinced myself this winterberry bouquet from the farmers' market would help the situation.  If nothing else, it put me in a festive mood.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Vivid orange.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Duty Calls

Last weekend I got a couple text messages from my son, Kiko. It started with this one on Saturday.

I don't know that I've ever run out of projects, but it's cute he thinks that might actually happen.

Then on Sunday I got this message.

The situation seems dire.  I often knit mitts for Kiko, so he should have a decent collection.  If he needs more than one pair, either he's lost some along the way or they all wore out at the same time.

I saw Kiko briefly on Monday, and we did a quick color consult.

This Lucia Tomato Soup met with his approval.  The temperatures are brisk . . . I'd better get busy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Room for More

Last week I finished one project, and that's made room for more.

Since I have only one active project on the needles, I've started to contemplate options.

Just a simple hat, I thought, but I didn't have a particular pattern in mind.  I got stuck on the color and said so on Instagram.  The feedback leads me to think I should use all three.  It looks like I'm headed to Ravelry to find a pattern.  

Before I do that, here's a quick update on Knitting Weekend.  If you're thinking of taking a class, you might want to get on it.  Early bird registration is open until November 24, but a couple classes are filling quickly.  Don't delay.

Friday, November 10, 2017


This has been one of those weeks, but I'm always looking for the positive.  I didn't make forward progress on many things, but I did finish a sample. 


This was a fun project with plenty of variety.  Simple slip stitches create texture and contrast.

This shawl was close to being finished for a while, so it felt good to wrap it up.

Specklate was outside the box for me.  Usually I use a semi-solid color for lace.  Since the Lillian Sprinkles aren't too busy, I decided to give it a whirl.  The worst that can happen is I have to rip it out.  It's always good to experiment, and I'm happy I did. 

The other color is the popular Lillian Pumice.  Specklate is another good project for playing around with color combinations.

This week's color inspiration is one of my favorite combos.

Browns and blues.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Swatching Pays

I'm a firm believer in swatching before I start a new project.  OK, I don't swatch when I'm knitting socks.  Socks are usually predictable, and I know what needle size works best for me.  Almost everything else gets at least a quick swatch.  It helps with selecting the right needle size, and sometimes it even helps with picking the right yarn.

After a fall full of fiber events, I've gathered all sorts of ideas and inspiration.  I want to cast on a dozen new projects, but I'm trying to pace myself so I picked just one and started swatching.

I thought I knew which yarn I wanted to use for this project, but as I was swatching I came up with another option.  So I knit two swatches.

I didn't even make full-blown swatches.  All it took was a few rows.  It turns out I like the second option - the red one - better.  I like the drape of the brown one and was looking forward to working with it, but this pattern has cables.  The red one gets the job because it has better stitch definition.  It pays to swatch.  Now to pick a color . . . 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Snapshots from Fiber Festival of New England

It's Monday morning, and I'm savoring an inspiring weekend.  Fiber Festival of New England was fun all around.  This event is like the slow version of Rhinebeck.  It's a busy show, but I still get to chat with people, offer color suggestions and catch up with friends.  It was an action-packed weekend and a great way to wrap up the fall show season.

Here's a glimpse.

There were animals.

Tables full of fiber.


And more yarn.

Wool for rug hooking.

I did a double take when I saw this . . . so lifelike and truly a work of art.

My daughters drove out and spent a day.  We had some 
mother-daughter time and even managed pedicures and dinner.  Our time together is always a treat - even when Luz sticks her tongue out at me.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this weekend!  And now I'm off to get busy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Good Neighbor

The truck is loaded, and I'm waiting for the last load of laundry to finish drying.  After a week full of ups and downs, I'm ready to hit the road.

This story has nothing to do with knitting, but when times are trying, we need to be reminded of positive things in life.  Yesterday I took Benji, our dog, out for a quick walk.  Long story short he was attacked by a neighbor dog that wasn't on a leash.  After unsuccessfully trying to get away from the dog, I was reduced to screaming for help.  

Luckily a woman, Terry, happened to pull up in her car.  She had been in a similar situation and now carries pepper spray.  Terry came to the rescue, and we were able to get away from the other dog.  Benji wasn't hurt although he was definitely upset, and his leash broke.

Terry went above and beyond.  She called animal control and helped me sort it all out with the cops and animal control.  Terry renewed my faith in humanity.  Be a good neighbor.  Look out for one another.

With that incident behind me, I'm more than ready for a fiber weekend. If you're headed to Fiber Festival of New England, you'll find my booth in the same spot - 432 / 33 East.  If you were at Rhinebeck but couldn't get in the booth, we're restocked and ready.  And if you want to follow along, check Instagram for my updates.

It sounds like the dryer is done.  I'm out the door.  For this week's color inspiration, I leave you with this.

Shades of the season.

Monday, October 30, 2017

24 Hours

Over the weekend I was down and out for the better part of a day. When I'm in the midst of show prep, 24 hours is a lot, but I'm not going to dwell on lost dyeing time.  I woke up a little woozy this morning, and I'm pulling it together.

Not only did I lose dyeing time, I also lost knitting time.

Too sick to knit.  That's how bad it was.

This Specklate sample is so close, and I was on target to have it finished for the weekend.  Today I'm making up for lost knitting time.

Friday, October 27, 2017


I'm wrapping up the week with a new sample off the needles.

Barley.  I know.  It's only a hat, but in the midst of a crazy week I'll take any finished project as a major accomplishment.

This was a fun pattern with a garter panel in the midst of stockinette.  I used the German twisted cast on.  It's become my favorite for hats and socks - any time I want a stretchy edge.

This is a new yarn.  Norma:  100% Superwash Merino, 8 ply, worsted weight.  The colorway is Paprika.  I'm smitten with this base and already have several new project ideas brewing . . . after I finish a couple that are already under construction.  Norma isn't on the website yet, but it will be available next weekend at Fiber Festival of New England.

I'm still processing all the Rhinebeck hubbub, so it's nice to reflect on the calm, quiet aspects of the festival.  I found this week's color inspiration before the crowds descended on the fairgrounds.

Late afternoon light.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lingering Projects

Part of the fun of attending fiber events is the inspiration.  I see all sorts of projects up close and usually come away with more new ideas than I will ever have time for.  

I'm showing great restraint after Rhinebeck.  Instead of casting on half a dozen new projects, I'm focusing on a couple lingering ones.  After that, I'll go crazy and cast on.

Specklate.  I'm on the final section, and it's all lace.  The Sprinkle yarn has taken center stage in this section.  Little pops of color here and there . . . an nice way to brighten gray, rainy days.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Small Steps

Whew!  Another Rhinebeck weekend is in the books.  Half the fun of this event is the social connections.  It's exhilarating and energizing and exhausting all in one.  I think I might be talked out - at least for a couple days.

I need to plan and regroup because I have a quick turnaround for Fiber Festival of New England

But today I'm focused on small steps.  The wristband is cut, and I'm recharging with a lot of coffee and a little knitting.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Rhinebeck Preview - Part 5

One more peek before I hit the road to Rhinebeck.  

I'm thrilled to be taking an assortment from Katrinkles.

These stitchable ornaments are delightful.  I'll also have a selection of knitting tools.  You can see it all in Building C, Booth 42.

It's been a flurry of color, and I made it to the finish line.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Dye rings.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rhinebeck Preview - Part 4

Another day, another new sample.

All Points South.

When my friend and sample knitter extraodinaire offered to crank out one more for Rhinebeck, I handed her this project.  The pattern had just been released, and I wanted to knit it myself but knew I didn't have enough time to finish before this weekend.

This unique design is a pullover shawl and has a comfortable cowl neckline.  The pattern includes stripes, lace and texture.  Variety keeps it interesting.

Note from the designer:  This is not a poncho.

The yarn is Lillian, colorways March Sky, From the Bog and Pumice.

I still might make another one for myself, but for now I'm going to enjoy this one.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Rhinebeck Preview - Part 3

The new samples keep coming.

Today's feature . . . 

Gulf of Maine.

There's nothing like a cozy cowl, and this pattern is relaxing.  Mindless doesn't have to be boring, and the stripes make this an entertaining project.

The yarn is Petite Clara, colorways Piglet, Winter Sky and Carbon. With so many color options, it's hard to pick just one.