I know I promised a stash update from Rhinebeck, but I'm still waiting for my box to arrive (no I could not fit it all in my luggage). Instead you will have to content yourself with seeing the project I started on the trip.
This is Lacy Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cherly Oberle knit in Handmaiden CamelSpin. If your memory is way better then mine you may recall that I picked this yarn up in Victoria BC on my knitting cruise almost a year ago. I love this yarn so much it's almost obscene. It's baby butt soft, shines and glows like the setting sun, and the color looks like pure gold. For the last year I held it, petted it, perused patterns, and dreamed, but no project was worthy.
A shawl was a must, but not to fancy. I wanted it to really show the yarn and still be wearable in my casual lifestyle. It seemed impossible.
While packing for Rhinebeck I decide what better time to bite the bullet and just start, then when I had lots of available advice and solid time to work on it. The yarn is special and I wanted it to have memories of my cruise and taking it to Rhinebeck gives it even more great memories.
So I printed out a few pattern options, loaded everything I might need in my purse and got on the plane. I figured with 5 hours and no other available project to knit, I was sure to overcome my fears.
By the time I got to Newark I had this. A fair start on the Luna Moth Shawl but I just wasn't feeling it. The color looked somehow blander and the pattern was more of the focus than the yarn. I showed it to Joan along with a very small beginning (see it in the top left corner) of the Lacy Prairie Shawl. She agreed with me.
Rip, rip, rip.. On with plan B.
At this point I've almost completed the first ball and have so many stitches on my needles I'm not counting them. The yarn is such a dream to work with I almost don't want to ever finish. I might feel differently have the second ball though.
I mentioned yesterday that our CIA waiter looked a bit like my brother. What I didn't mention was how much ribbing I got from everyone all weekend about it being a pick up line. It in fact became the joke of choice. Every attractive man we encountered someone would say "Hey, You look like my brother"! I won't name names, but it was even used on Jess's brother.
So today I give you proof..
My brother and his lovely wife.
Ryan our waiter. And just to prove I have some weird look-a-like brother on knitting vacation karma.
I sat down next to this guy on the ferry on my knitting cruise last year.
This is my favorite picture of the whole weekend. It's me, my buds, and our waiter Ryan at the CIA. From left to right we have Carole, Alice, Joan, Ryan, Me, and Susan. So now you know the cast of characters, but I'm way ahead of myself.
Last Wed. I flew in to meet Joan at the Newark airport, after a little confusion and some help from a series of extremely nice people, we managed to get on the correct trains and about 4 hours later arrived in Rhinebeck where Carole was nice enough to pick us up.
Getting a house lined up was extremely challenging, but once we saw our home for the week it was totally worth the effort. Gorgeous!
We were so isolated there weren't even curtains on the windows. Which I must say is a bit odd when you're in the bathroom, but understandable because who would want to pass up that view.
Thursday Alice joined us and we spent the day checking out Red Hook and Rhinebeck, eating, and knitting. We seemed to have something interesting going on with all our waiters on the trip. The guy at lunch looked and acted like an extra from Sopranos. He flipped Joan's lunch upside down on the table and knocked over Carole's beer. We ate dinner at Mercato, which was a wonderful little Italian place in Red Hook. Amazing tiramisu! The service was excellent but our waiter, who looked approximately 12, had a full blown handle bar mustache and sideburns. Someone made the comment that he looked like Sindley Whiplash and it was all we could do not to burst into laughter every time he came to the table.
Friday Carole was off to her weaving class and Alice, Joan, and I ate, knit and shopped some more. We found a great pub, some yummy chocolate, more tiramisu, book shops, a fabric store, a bead store, and one misc. but extremely cool stuff store.
Look. Actual knitted items for sale in a shop. We didn't buy any of them, but Alice and I did end up with a new sweaters.
We picked up Carole and it was off to the CIA! Not the one with guns and badges, the Culinary Institute of America. Susan was meeting us there, so we hung out in the lounge while we were waiting.
Who doesn't love a comfy place to knit with a tasty beverage!
Have you noticed anything about what we are all wearing? Yup, we all have a different version of the Shetland Triangle on.
Yeah! Susan's here and it's time to eat!
The view from our table. More cocktails. Carole looks pretty happy.
Soon we were asking Ryan to hold the sock and explaining how he looks a bit like my brother.
Next we start asking all sorts of questions and hugging the poor man. We gave him our moos. I'm quite sure he will never view knitters in the same way again.
The food came at some point and I'm pretty sure it was very good (I had steak), but by then we were having so much fun it didn't really seem all that important. Over dinner my camera and phone made it into other hands and while I can't get rid of the plurks, I can get rid of the photos.
And just so you don't get the wrong idea, it was all good clean fun.
Alice and Susan even took a shower in the fountain after dinner.
Next post I promise I'll actually cover the fair!
Then I'm off to Rhinebeck! I'm so excited I'm bouncing off the walls.
Before then I still need to:
1. Cram 5 days worth of clothes, yarn, and knitwear into a carry on bag. I have a short connection between my flight to Newark and the train for Rhinebeck so no time to pick up bags. If you know me, you understand that if I manage it, it should make the evening news. My normal packing style is to take as many bags as the airline will allow. Looks like I'll be mailing any purchases home.
2. Charge camera, phone, ipod, etc.. and find all the cables, cards and what not to go with them. No laptop (see above) so no posting while I'm gone, but I promise I'll take lots of photos.
3. Prepare Hubby for 6 days alone with the kids, dogs, and frogs. Not sure this is possible, but I know he'll be fine even if he's confused. I'm sensing McDonalds in their future.
4. Take a shower. I'm not getting up at 4:30am to do it tomorrow that's for sure. You know your old when sleep comes before beauty.
5. Plan what knitting to take. Needs to be small, interesting enough for the plane but not so interesting I can't chat once I get there. Can't be just socks because my hands cramp up after an hour or so with tiny needles. Clearly the most time consuming thing left to do. Shawl? Scarf? Mitts?
6. Go out to dinner to celebrate my 39th birthday! This trip and no guilt yarn purchases once there are my gift. Pretty good deal, I think. Thanks Hubby!
I'd better get cracking! Hope to see some of you there. If you are going, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can try to find each other.
Look out New York, the knitters are coming!
I realized after I posted blocking pictures yesterday that I don't think I'd even mentioned I was working on the sweater. Well, now you know and here it is.
I give you Mocha Bella (and some more pictures of my bathroom).
Pattern: Isabella by Debbie Bliss (in her new magazine)
Yarn: 6 balls Rowan Cashsoft Dk in color SH517
Needles: US 6 & US 8
(Look I have I a living room!)
Notes: I found the instructions a bit complicated, but it's simple enough to look at the pictures and puzzle out what you should be doing. Clearly nothing complicated except when to do the shaping. It did finish with the expected fit and size so I must have gotten it right. When I first took it off the needles I thought I had another disaster on my hands, but a full wet blocking really improved the look of the sweater.
Changes: The collar is 6 1/4 inches instead of the full 7 because I ran out of yarn. I'm glad I did. I'm not sure I could deal with the collar being any bigger or knitting more 1x1 rib. I thought I'd never finish knitting that collar. In fact it seems like it took longer then the rest of the sweater put together. I also split the sweater in the three pieces, for portability and in hopes that the side seams would give it a little more shape and stability.
Thoughts: I like the sweater, but I'm not sure I love it. It's cozy, soft, and comfortable, but I'm not sure how flattering it is. The color is great, but the fit is extremely relaxed and the collar a bit overwhelming. Plus there's the whole debate about where to pin it.
I think it may just be a matter of not being used to wearing anything like it, but clearly I have some mixed feelings. On the plus side it needs only 6 balls of yarn so it was quick and inexpensive. I'll have to wear it a few times before I really make up my mind.
P.S. - Kona thought the whole photo shoot thing was very interesting. Jubilee was very suspicious and this was as close as she would get. I think she was afraid we were going to wash her or clip her nails.
1. Rhinebeck is one week away!! 5 days of fiber, friends and fun. Woo Hoo!
2. I finished my Bella Sweater! It's blocking and since I live in Seattle it may take a week to dry, but it's done! Full fashion shoot and details later.
3. Amazing Race, Chuck, and Dancing with the Stars are all back. That's some good knitting TV.
4. MelonHead gave me another I Love Your Blog award. It's possible my head is swelling, but boy do I feel good. Thanks!
5. Shoes, shoes, and more shoes. I managed to get 3 new pairs of shoes this week. These finally showed up, these were on sale, and these for only $10 (I used my REI rebate). I'm going to have comfortable, cute feet and be able to walk all over New York. Very Exciting.
6. Billy and I got lemon cupcakes from PCC today. They are tiny, tangy, and perfect. Yum.
Over a year ago I got all excited about getting sweaters from the thrift store, felting them, and making them into various things. My partner in crime, blogless Chandria, and I bought over 20 sweaters, turned her laundry room in to a fuzzy wonderland, and plotted tons of projects. I did manage to complete a bag, but that was all until yesterday.
Last week I saw the Recycled Sweater Jacket on FlintKnits and thought.. "Ah Ha! I have sweaters. The sewing machine is out and I have to go to the fabric store anyway. It's only a tiny bit of sewing. I can do that."
Amazingly enough, it all worked out just like I planned. The whole thing took less than 2 hours and other then trying to keep the zipper even and the stripes lined up (curses to stripes) it was even easy. I'm really pleased with the look and fit, and the fact that it cost less than $10 thrills me.
As you can see I didn't add the knit cuffs or collar. I thought the sweater looked good they way it was. I did take in the sides and added an X stitch when I put in the zipper. I think the fatter stitch makes it look a little more finished and gives the zipper extra strength. It's not perfect, but it's warm, cute and way more useful then when it was sitting in a drawer. Plus if I get tired of it, I can still cut it up for other stuff.
If you are thinking of giving the project a try yourself, be sure the sweater you choose is much larger than your normal size, lot of shrinkage because you have to felt it enough to cut it. My sweaters was a man's large and I usually wear a woman's small or medium.
Give me another year and I might do something with the rest of the sweaters.
Every week I think of a million things I love and try to pick one to share with you. There are books, TV shows, shoes, games, recipes, and more I love and that I'd like to pass along. I was searching my brain for what to narrow it down to today when it occurred to me that my delivery mechanism for a lot of those things is Amazon.
I know you all already know about Amazon, I think my grandma even gets stuff from them, but I thought maybe you didn't know everything they can do. A lot of it is even free.
My intention is not to help Amazon rule the world (they are doing fine without my help) or to say they are the only/best place to get stuff, but to share something that makes my life a bit easier and saves me a little money. Maybe you like them, maybe you don't, use the info as you see fit.
My visions of the future and what actually happens when the future arrives don't seem to have a lot in common. I believed that Billy would start kindergarten and I'd have so much free time I'd hardly be able to fill it. I'd knit, I'd blog every day, my house would be clean, and my clothes would be folded. Well reality has given me a smack to the back of the head and said "yeah right". I think time is like closet space and no matter how much you have, it's full, and you wish you had more.
Speaking of closets, I cleaned mine. Isn't it pretty?
I can't believe how happy it makes me every time I go in there. I've been itching to clean out, organize, and generally purge the entire house. I think I've come up with a plan to tackle it, but that's a whole post by it's self and I'm not ready to start yet, so it will have to wait. For now I have a super tidy closet and no desire to ever buy clothes or shoes again.
Today I have two important things to share so I'll try to stick to those. Remember my cousin? First off thanks for all the well wishes and prayers. She has Hodgkin's Lymphoma and she started chemo for it last week. Since I can't cure cancer, I knit her hat.
Love the hat, love the pattern, and love the yarn. It's a quick but interesting knit, amazingly soft, and believe it or not it fits everyone in the house.
My tiny little girlie and Hubby (that's him in the photo) both put it on and both looked good. Ribbing is a wonderful thing. If you want all the gory details you'll find them in Ravelry.
Next Up - I won award! Thanks to Michele of PDXKnitterati for nominating me! I love your blog too.
Here are the rules for the award recipients:
1. Please put the award on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award.
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.
There are so many blogs I love that it's almost impossible to choose just four. But the rules say I have too, so here are a few of the blogs I love to read: We Do Not Have a Knitting Problem, Purls Just Wanna Have Fun, Hither and Yarn, and Goddess Knitters. All of these ladies are fabulous, funny, and friends.
Okay, I gotta squeeze in one more thing.
Is that not the cutest thing ever? There is a hood too, but she was so amped up that we couldn't get it on her. Thanks to Nana, who's been visiting this week, for the sparkliest, shiniest, coolest dragon costume in the world. Billy is just a little excited.