Monday, February 27, 2017

Snapshots from Freeport

I'm back at it after a whirlwind weekend in Freeport.  Here's a glimpse.

The market had a diverse mix of vendors.

Cashgora from PortFiber.  Tajik women spin this yarn to help support their families.  I had to bring some of it home with me.

Here's the winner of the fashion show.

Shane learned to knit one year ago, and this year he entered the fashion show with the cat hat.

He made 31 cats and stitched them onto a knit hat.  Each cat took 
1 - 1.5 hours to make.  Well done!

I had a new release this weekend.

Lillian Sprinkles.  These little pops of color are a lot of fun.  I have one project in the works and at least one more lined up.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth.  It was a weekend full of interesting conversations, ideas and inspiration.  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Last-Minute Labels

This post comes to you from Freeport, Maine.  In addition to being the home of L.L. Bean, Freeport also hosts knitters from across New England for one winter weekend.  The knitters have already started to arrive, and by this time tomorrow they will be out in full force and will have taken over the town . . . restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, hotels. No place is safe from the invasion.  I'm sure more than a few will also make their way to L.L. Bean.

Last night in my hotel room I finished the last of the show prep.

It would have been fun to crawl in and get cozy with my knitting, but I had to label just a few more bundles.  

And now this morning I'm off to set up the booth.

I like orange.  Combine it with gray and I'm smitten.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Nesting baskets.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


My latest sample is ready for showtime.

Quicksilver will make an appearance this weekend in Freeport.  The combination of garter and lace provide just enough variety to keep this project moving.  The garter sections are striped.  The lace sections include easy peasy short rows and create colorful wedges.  This substantial shawl is a delightful project all around.

The yarn is Lucia, colorways March Sky, Toffee and Deep Sea.

There are so many fun color combinations . . . it's hard to pick just one.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Distracted by Stripes

I'm traveling later this week, and preparations are well underway.  My master to-do list is long, and the days are packed with tasks that need to be completed - label yarn, assemble kits, load the truck.  If the dog needs to go out, he has to take a number.

Oh, and there are a couple samples to finish.

I'm still stuck on stripes, but these are a little different with pops of color along the way . . . high entertainment value and a terrible distraction from the above-mentioned list.

If you're in the area and are looking for fiber fun this weekend, head to Freeport.  The annual SPA event includes informal technique sessions, a marketplace, a fashion show and plenty of opportunities to hang out and socialize.  Follow the link for more details.

Now back to my stripes labels.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Grab and Go

Yesterday validated by habit of always grabbing my knitting when I leave the house.  A stop at the mechanic to schedule an appointment turned into an actual appointment.  No problem.  I had my knitting in tow.  When the quick appointment turned into a long appointment because something else needed immediate attention and they had to order a part, I just kept knitting.

It may not look like it, but my Quicksilver is bigger.  Thanks to yesterday's bonus knitting time, I can see the end.

This week's color inspiration will brighten a winter day.

Embellishments with beads.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Like a Pile of Snow

Snow cleanup continues.  The bulk of it is done, but I'm still chipping away here and there.  Our octogenarian neighbor is out there several times a day with shovel in hand.  He keeps me on task.  The trash and recycling barrels are buried in a pile of snow.  They really need to be dug out so they can be put curbside in the next day or so.  I was out earlier this morning and did a little shoveling.  I'll go out again later and shovel some more. 

A little here, a little there . . . that's also been my work strategy this week. 

I put together this lineup and then walked away.  That usually works when I can't make a quick decision.  Like the pile of snow, I'll come back to it.  Eventually I'll dig out two skeins.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Counting Wedges

Well, it's been quite a day.  When I started the day this blog post was at the top of my to-do list, but then there was snow, a little bit of dyeing, a lot of driving and more snow-related work.  Throughout the day this post got bumped further and further down the list.

Early evening I was all set to have at it, but somehow I ended up outside again moving more snow and cleaning up the neighbor's driveway . . . just a little bit.  I came inside only to have the lights flicker and the internet go out.  It's very windy and the tress are heavy with snow, so I wasn't too surprised.  As luck would have it, the darkness was short lived.  When the power came back on complete with internet, I took it as a sign to forge ahead.

I've been able to get a fair amount of knitting time in even though my routine (such as it is) has been upset.

I've been focused on Quicksilver and wedges.  Each blue section is a wedge, and they get progressively bigger.  I have a strategy.  I start the day by knitting a wedge, and then work the stripes here and there in between everything else that's going on.  When the next wedge comes around, I take a break for concentrated knitting time.  So far it's working.

There are nine wedges all together.  I'm on the sixth wedge, so it's time for a knitting break.  I hope the power doesn't go out again.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Blizzard Bonus

A nice little blizzard moved through the area yesterday and with it came the false assumption that I had bonus knitting time.  I've felt the urge to cast on a new pair of socks - probably because I've been shipping kits for Yarn Knot Socks.  It seems the nor'easter was just the nudge I needed to get a new pair up and running.

Movie Night Sock.  Knit-purl combinations generate enough interest to make me mutter just one more round over and over.  I'm forcing myself to put it down for now . . . there's more shoveling to do.  So much for bonus knitting time.

The other day I stopped in to see my daughter at work.  She works at a bakery - a dangerous place.  One look at the display case reminded me of the upcoming holiday.  How did that roll around so quickly?  This week's color inspiration has me plotting my own baking.

Pink, red . . . and don't forget the chocolate.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Time to Tidy

The good news is my Quicksilver is moving right along.  The combination of stripes and lace has high entertainment value.

The bad news is I've created quite a tangle of ends.  It's so bad my working yarn is constantly getting caught up in the web.  I hate to cut into my knitting time, but before I go any further I'm going to tidy things up and weave in the ends.  

My knitting will be more enjoyable if I don't have to wrestle with the working yarn and the ends.  As bonus it will save me time on the other end.  If I weave in the ends now, I won't have to weave them in later.

Here's a quick PSA for Boston area knitters.  The Knit 200 Together event is happening this Saturday in Lexington.  This is an opportunity to hang out, knit and make new connections.  Follow the link for more details.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Super Sunday

I'm off to a slow start after a dual purpose party yesterday.  We had a good time all around with a birthday celebration and an exciting game. I even managed to do some knitting.

It's Monday, and I have a long to-do list but would really like to focus my attention on this.


Today's knitting lesson:  count early, count often.  My stitch count was off after the first section and has been off a couple times since, so I've had a few tinking moments with this project.  

It's not that complicated - simple increases and decreases.  This project was on a path to take much longer than it should have.  I'm on a deadline, so now I'm counting my stitches every couple rows.  It'll save me time in the long run.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Worth Repeating

I'm always juggling family and work schedules.  I have a system, and usually I manage to keep the stress and double bookings to a minimum.  This weekend, however, I hit a bit of a snag. 

It seems I scheduled a family birthday celebration on the same day as the Super Bowl.  Of course the seriousness of the situation is compounded because the Pats are playing.  I worked long and hard to find one day when everyone was available, so I wasn't willing to give up on the party.  The only solution was to have a joint Birthday 
Party  / Super Bowl Bash.  I've done all the grocery shopping and there's still loads of cooking to do, but it will be fun.

I'm feeling pretty smug about the situation because not only did I navigate the scheduling conflict, I finished this hat for the birthday boy.

I had made him this same hat last year and he loved it, but through a series of unfortunate events it went missing.   His birthday seemed like a good occasion for a replacement.

The yarn is Bertha Sport, colorways Raven and Cloud.

The pattern is my own creation with a deep hem to make it extra warm and cozy.  

I found this week's color inspiration in an unlikely spot - the floor at Russell's Garden Center.

Cheery and bright.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Which Came First?

Yesterday I realized my top pending projects are all on a deadline.  I misplaced a couple weeks after the holidays, so now I'm scurrying to make up for lost time.

My current deadline project is well on its way to completion, so I felt fully justified in lining up the next one.

I've had this color combination on my worktable for a while.  Yesterday, through the wonders of Ravelry, I finally settled on a pattern.  I went back and forth between several options.  When it came right down to it, they are all lovely and any one of them would have worked.  I could have flipped a coin and saved myself a lot of agony and internal debate.  With any luck I'll cast on later today.  

This whole process made me think . . . which came first, the yarn or the pattern.  Do you pick the yarn and then grab a pattern?  Or do you have a pattern in mind and then select yarn?  I use both approaches, but more often than not I have yarn in hand before I choose a pattern. What's your strategy?