I love the Yarn Harlot, she is so great. I took knitting for speed and efficiency from her at Knit East a couple of years ago and I follow her blog. In my mind she is a friend, but to be fair she has no clue who I am. Every time I meet her she is so friendly and makes me feel like I can tackle any project.
This fall I managed to convince five friends from PEI to join me on a road trip to Rhinebeck. We had a wonderful time. These women are lovely every time we got to the Duchess County Fairgrounds. we split up to explore. We each had a plan and way too much too see in the the time we had. Alone in the crowd milling around the Miss Babes booth, I got overwhelmed. You should know that I am not good in crowds but I love knitting and yarn, so I relinquished my personal space to feel the yarn. If you are a knitter you know that feeling, looking at the yarn online is just not the same. I have to squish it and pet it to know the yarn before I buy it. The crowd was kind of pushy but I needed to feel the Miss Babes yarn. I crept towards it,but was pushed back, and I started to feel my anxiety building.
Suddenly, a few feet away I saw Stephanie wading through the crowd like it was nothing. Well lets be honest at first I saw a space in the crowd that was going in a direct line, but then a couple of people moved and I saw her. She had such a confidence and I felt better just seeing her. The crowd was parting for her not pushing her around. Her sweater was done. The one I had watched her make and stress about packing. It looked amazing (see picture taken her blog post). I wanted to say something great to her, to let her know how seeing I familiar face helped me here were I was feeling out of my depth and overwhelmed with choice. I had spent the time leading up to the Festival wondering if I was a fraud even going. I know how to knit. I love to knit but this is RHINEBECK. Just then she was there right beside me, she’d be gone in a moment she had purpose, a direction. I blurted “I like your sweater.”
Not a friendly breezy comment, but a total fandom nerdy as only I can be nerdy plop of a comment out there like a ketchup bottle fart. She smiled said thanks and was gone. That smile brightened my day. I got to feel the yarn and kept going. When I got home, I told my knitting group this story and we all roared about how nerdy I can be. The plan is to get “I like your sweater” pins for Knit East next year. I love knitters. Even embarrassment is fun.
I did so may projects over Christmas but my big one was for a New Year’s Eve (NYE) bride. She chose the Patons Shoulder Shrug pattern and the recommended yarn, Patons North American Shetland Chunky. I do not usually like the feel of acrylic yarns but this one was
fine for me. It might have helped that it was 25% wool. I made the XL size. It actually came out bang on the stated measurements. The only issue I found was working three different cable patterns meant that I had to track each row for each of the three different sized cables. Also, I am getting older and knitting the navy on dark evenings meant I spent lots of time using my Ott Light. It was not a portable project for me so took a bit longer to finish than I expected. The result was beautiful. She loved it so it was worth it.
The other knitting project that I finished between Christmas and NYE was Peggy’s scarf. It is another pattern from the Take Heart book by Fiona Alice. Fiona Alice’s patterns are so well written that I really enjoy making them. I already posted this picture but I am waiting to get a picture of Peggy wearing the scarf. I used Heidi’s by Hand wool from London-Wul. It is a wool/silk mix and some of the softest yarn I have used. I love it. The scarf was really long. When Peggy put it on it almost reached the floor (when she did not wrap it). I hope she uses it for many years to come.
Last week I was sick so I finished up some other projects that have been hanging over my head. I really loved the socks I made with Knit Picks Felici in the mixed berry colours. Also, I caved and started my own sock yarn blanket. I am really pleased with it.
My knitting plans for 2017 are:
- Finish up those WIPs or frog what I will not finish.
- Clean up my “hidden stash” so that I know what I have.
- Make myself a sweater for Knit East.
I finally finished my Take Heart hat by Fiona Alice. Her patterns are so easy to follow!
I used some handspun wool by Sand and Sky Creations, because all the colours mean that my hat will match all of my winter coats. I was not sure about the alpaca pom pom but it is growing on me the more I wear the hat.
I am now working on the second pattern in Fiona’s book Take Heart: A Transatlantic Knitting Journey. It is a beautiful scarf for a Christmas present I hope. I used a merino/silk blend from Heidi’s By Hand.
On Sunday, we were up early again and at the Mulberry Street entrance for 8:45am because I had my Mosaic Knitting Class with Donna Kay. I was so excited getting there. I could barely sit still. I gave Donna and the ladies at my table some of my stitch markers. There were fourteen in the class and I did not have enough in my bag for everyone (next time I will bring more). Donna showed us some swatches and a mosaic knitting patterns book. We got to cast on to the project right away. I was away to the races even helping my neighbour beside me. She caught on we were doing it wrong before I did. Donna got us all fixed up and we were off again. As we were knitting, Donna took the time to walk us through the basics of this technique as well as how to read the pattern. I absolutely loved her class. Donna was so patient and got around to everyone numerous times. The class was relaxed and I got half-way up my Mosiac Mitt by the time we were finished (even with all my talking and a bathroom break). It was a great half-day project and gave me something new to work on. I love that she took the time to show us how to sew up the mitt so it is a flat seam that is pretty much invisible.
Right after my class and before I went for lunch I stopped at Lisa Souza‘s booth. I wanted a project bag but was having trouble with my Visa so I only chose one ball of yarn. This meant I did not spend enough to get the bag but it is scrumptious yarn, so squishy. I could not find my crew, so I got into Aba’s Falafel line. It was long but kept moving as fast as the team could make meals. I was glad I waited the falafel on the plate was so good. Found my friends via text while in line so I got to eat with them. It was my first chance to use my bamboo utensils. They are great. I spent the afternoon wandering the buildings and barns.
My allergies were acting up so I did not touch any animals. Well one Leicester sheep because I love my Heidi’s by Hand Blue Faced Leicester Knitter’s Mitts. I did go all around the other barns and tents though. I could have spent days there but my bank account needed me to leave at three as planned. I did restrain myself sort of. I got quality things but tried to keep quantities down and shopped a bit for my cousin, Karen. I could go on and on about the wonderful people I met, most of whom actually knew where PEI was. We met at the beer tent at three and got the above picture as we left the festival. What an amazing experience.
The cherry on the top of our weekend was a final meal in Rhinebeck at the Terrapin Bistro. They have a tart cranberry mojito which was refreshing while we waited for a table. It was insanely busy there. When we got the food it was so worth the wait. Then it was back to the cabin to pack for the drive back to PEI. I am still on a high from this trip. So much fun so many new friends.
Wow. The NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY was amazing and overwhelming. We got there early on Saturday October 15, 2016 because our traveling companion signed up for a class. We found the Mulberry Street entrance and parked there. Bev got to go in because she had a class, but the rest of us waited in line for tickets (for a few extra bucks buying online would have saved the wait). However, we met a lovely couple behind us and they offered to take our picture. I spent most of my time eyeing everyone’s knitwear. Even though it was supposed to warm up, we all had it on for the festival.
First, I waded through the crowd to the books because Fiona Alice was at the Pom Pom table. She was busy selling stuff and there were at least ten in the line ahead of me. I felt beseiged by so many people I did not know so it was better seeing someone I knew, even if I was not sure I would find her again. I was then able to actually look at the all the yarn.
Even just going through buildings A, B, and C gave me so many choices. I got a kit from Dirty Water Dyeworks to make The Joker and the Thief shawl. The orange and purple combination sold it for me. I could not even get close to Miss Babs or some of the other places I wanted to see. People were so close together, only some were polite about getting through the crowd. Shopping for Karen was a bit stressful, I found some yarn in the colours she wanted and bought it because I was afraid I would not get to the front of a line again. The yarn popped out at me at the time. But I should have hit the barns and saw everything once before buying. However, other people had said to pick up what you wanted when you saw it as if you wait and go back it would most likely be gone.
By noon I was ready for a bit of a break, so went to the Ravelry meet up. It was good in that I found my friends, but did not really meet any new people. The crowd was crazy so we went to get food. Aba’s Falafel line was too long for me. I got an apple from the orchard, and we (Heather, Heather, & I) walked through the food building. There were giant whoopie pies and many other yummy desserts but we thought lunch should come first. As I was waiting in line for Greek food nature called so I braved the bathroom line up. It was long but moved quickly. When I got out of there I was not really hungry anymore so I went to the podcasters meet-up.
I was so excited to meet Lynne and Selma from Two Tangled Skeins. I watch their podcast so I felt like I know them because they talk to me every week about their knitting. They have never met me and only know my name because I sent them some stitch markers. I was so excited not sure that Lynne got a word in edgewise. I left to allow others to meet them too, but I did not want to. I wandered around the booths and shops for an hour or so. In a crowded building, I saw the Yarn Harlot. It was kind of funny for people who know how much I talk, but I got so tongue-tied seeing Stephanie that all I could say was I like your sweater. Reading her blog I felt like I watched her make it. As I walked away from her, I realized she had no clue who I was. Thinking about that (probably over-thinking about that) I got overwhelmed, so I found a seat and started to knit. I am not sure how long I was there when I saw Stephen West walk by with his entourage. He had on knit pants. It was really warm, but who am I to talk I had on my alpaca and merino shawl. Earlier in the day I even had my Knitter’s Mitts on.
Met my crew around three, they grabbed a beer and we went back to our cottage to relax. I was so wired it took a long time to settle down and sleep.
I spend last Wednesday morning in Moncton on my own. I was supposed to be working on the completing the updates to a test bank for Introduction to Psychology but I took some time out to go to the London-Wul Fibre Arts. It was a beautiful fall day to take the back roads in to the shop. The trees are changing colours and it was so nice to get outside before buckling down to do work.Heidi convinced me that a Rhinebeck shawl was fine (especially since I have no time to make a sweater, see pictures below). I decided that I needed some knitter’s mitts for the NY Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend so I got her Heidi’s by Hand Leicester to make them. I have one finished. Heidi’s wool is so soft and easy to work with. I absolutely love the rib pattern. It is really stretchy. My hands are going to be so warm and stylish this weekend.
My husband works for the government and sometimes has to travel for a day or two on short notice. In the past, this has created logistical issues for me. Now that my baby is in grade 12, I am taking advantage and tagging along.
It is so nice to spend the time together in the car. We chat, enjoy the radio, and shows like The Vinyl Cafe. His down time can be our time, but when he has to work I can knit, explore, or just work on my own writing. It is so nice to step away for the daily grind. Even a one night trip can give a much needed boost.
After a crazy September, I am looking forward to playing hooky with my hubby tonight and tomorrow.