Slow Knitting

Hello Everyone!

First I feel like I have to tell you.  I love knitting.  It makes me happy.  It takes all my stress away.  No matter how crazy my day was, I come home and start knitting and everything is better and right with the world.

With that said, I feel like I really haven’t gotten much knitting done this fall at all.  Its just been crazy.  Many nights I have come home form work or from working out and have really not had much energy for anything else so my knitting as suffered and progressed slowly.  I am sure you have all been there.

Well, in September, when I went to Michigan, I started the Laurel Socks in Toe-Up Socks for Everybody by Wendy D. Johnson and finished them just before Halloween.  I am now knitting the Fractal Danger shawl by Martina Behm. This is a fabulous shawl, crescent shape with a great geometric pattern.  It is also easy enough to get me back in the swing of things and motivate me.  I am about half way though.    What am I knitting it with you ask?  I dug out some yarn from my trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool a few years ago. Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering.  Don’t ask what the colorway is.  It is a long story, I know what the yarn is but not the colorway. I even looked on their website neighborhoodfiberco.com and it wasn’t on there so I think it is discontinued.  But my yarn is orange.  A bright beautiful hand dyed orange.  I think it will bring a fantastic pop of color to any outfit.

Ok, well as with all Sunday’s and weekends all good things must come to an end. I have some chicken stew in the slow cooker for my lunches this week that I need to check on.  The hubs went to get wings and watch sports with his buddy so I am left to forage for my own dinner.  And I’m getting kind of hungry so I am going go do that now.

I will talk to you all soon and I hope in the crazy holiday’s we are walking into you get to set aside some time to knit for yourselves.

I will take to you soon and happy knitting.

-Alexis

Summer Knitting

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far.  We have had quite a heat wave.  High 90’s with over 90% humidity.  Give me 90 degrees an up any day but not the humidity.  I hate humidity.  You just feel sticky, dirty and miserable.

While we have been in this heat wave I have been happily sitting in the AC and knitting the Picabeau Shawl by Jennifer Dassau.  I really like this shawl but I’m not sure if I am reading the pattern correctly or not. For the first part of the shawl (the increases) you are supposed to work a 16 row repeat 8 time until you have 133 stitches. Well, after my 8th pattern repeat, I only had like 70 or so stitches.  I have read and re-read the pattern and am pretty sure I am doing it right and have plenty of yarn so I just continued on the first part of the shawl, I lost count of pattern repeats after 10 but the other night, I got my 133 stitches and began the second, part, the decrease part. It is coming right along but I am sorry to say I haven’t knit all weekend. I have been quite social out and about both Friday and Saturday evenings. Hopefully I can get some knitting done tonight.  One good thing, with my extra pattern repeats, the shawl will be a lot longer, I really like long shawls as I wear them around my neck like a scarf.  I am knitting the Picabeau Shawl out of GnomeAcres Hand Dyed Fingering Sock yarn in the colorway Hermione.  Its a natural colored yard with reds, pinks and browns.  The shawl really is coming out very pretty, color and pattern wise.  this is a great couch knit and perfect for binge watching when it is too hot to go outside. While I am not sure if I read the pattern right or what, I would knit this again.

I think I owe you pictures from my last post, so here they are, pictures of my Rosebud Socks and my Mindless TV Afghan.

Rosebud Socks
Rosebud Socks
Mindless Knitting TV Afghan
Mindless Knitting TV Afghan

I have also been gardening this summer, I planted my garden in early may so I think I may have planted it a bit too late, all my plants look very healthy but no blossoms or fruit/veggies yet. I even put some fertilizer spikes in but maybe when the weather starts to cool in the fall  I will get something. If not, oh well, I will just have plant earlier next year but I didn’t even get my garden built until May this year.

Well, that is all I have for today, I will be back later with more summer knitting fun.  I hope you are all staying out of the heat and finding some good summer knitting projects to work on as well. If you want to share what you are working on in the heat or the AC, go ahead and let me know in the comments.

Talk to you soon and happy knitting.

-Alexis

Rhinebeck Memories

Hello Everyone!

It has been exactly one week since Rhinebeck and I have been recovering, re-living all the wonderful memories and enjoying my new yarn ever since.

Rhinebeck was INCREDIBLE!!!!  I loved every second and it was everything I thought and heard it would be and more.

My Rhinebeck journey started at 3:30 a.m. Central Time on Friday morning as I rose to make my way to the airport to catch my 6:30 flight to St. Louis and then it was off to Newark!  Upon arrival in Newark, I’m not gonna lie, I was giving myself a pep-talk. I was about to drive my rental car through the unfamiliar and busy city of Newark, I was a little scared.  Of course my GPS had other plans, before I knew it I was driving over the George Washington Bridge and into The Bronx.  I have always wanted to go to NYC but this was not how I wanted to do it and not a time to look around at the skyscrapers.  I was SCARED!!!  But I did good.  Honestly, once I was over the bridge, traffic was fine.  The traffic in The Bronx wasn’t that bad and once I got out of the city it was like I was a million miles away, surrounded by golden trees.

Ok, skip to that evening in Kingston, NY at the Indie Untangled Trunk Show.  Wow!  There was a line to get in!  It was amazing, all the vendors were independent dyers and spinners.  In fact, I think I will devote a whole other blog post just to the Indie Untangled show so stay tuned.  There is just to much to say.

Greetings from #rhinebeck2015

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If you have never been to Rhinebeck, you need to go!  Book your hotel now because they book up fast and go!  If you have been to Rhinebeck, then you know everything I am about say. Rhinebeck, is like Comic Con for knitters.  Everyone is wearing their Rhinebeck sweaters and other hand knits. Myself, in addition to my Gnarled Oak Cardigan, was also wearing my Maine Morning Mitts and my Greenery Beret in the morning to beat the morning chill.  I have also never see so many crowds in my life.  If you are not into crowds, go to Rhinebeck on Sunday.  So many wonderful vendors, including of course, Miss Babs, Liza Souza and Bijou Basin Ranch but others that I just discovered, including Sweiters Fiber Mill, I swear I have purchased from them before. SinsAndNeedles89/Primrose Pottery, ( I got a beautiful hand dyed skein of sock yarn and a hand sewn project bag.  She dyes and sews everything herself and also makes and handpaints yarn bowls with TV and movie characters)  I also purchased some worsted weight yarn from Buckwheat Bridge Angoras who grow and make the yarn on their farm in the Hudson Valley using solar and wind energy.  I got a skein of fingering yarn in Angora and Romney from Gravers Dream and some soft colorful yarn from The Periwinkle Sheep. I love the colors on this yarn, Bold grays and greens.  Not sure yet what I will do with it, the color way is called “Grass in a Crack in the Sidewalk.”

I got so much yarn, I had to ship some home, most of the yarn was for me yes, but some I did get for Christmas knitting.  I honestly can’t wait to cast on my Rhinebeck yarn.  I had a wonderful time.  The food was great (Artichokes French are everything they say they are) I bought a bottle of wine from the Finger Lakes region I have yet to open.  I made some great new friends and even met some old friends up there and we walked around and explored Rhinebeck further.  She just lives in the city and comes every year so she gave me some tips to remember for next time.  Like Sunday’s are much quieter.

My haul from the day. Not too bad.#rhinebeck2015

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The town of Rhinebeck is also so cute.  I left the fair at about 3 on Saturday and spent the rest of the evening walking around Market Street in Rhinebeck and had a lovely dinner at a restaurant called The Local.  I thought about the Terrapin but The Local got great reviews from locals I talked to.

I left the fair on Sunday after giving half my haul to the UPS tent that was set up with nothing but wonderful memories of my weekend. I will definitely go again.

If you went to Rhinebeck let me know what you thought? Did you buy a ton of yarn?  Have you never been but want to go?  Let me know!

Talk to you all again soon.

-Alexis

Reviews, Links and a Confession

Hello Everyone!

Happy Sunday! I have had such a busy week which unfortunately has left me with precious little knitting time.   I am still chugging along on my Rhinebeck Sweater, the Gnarled Oak Cardigan.  It is coming along nicely and the ease of the stockinette on the body of the cardigan has been just what my brain and body have needed at the end of the day when I finally do get time to knit. I also love Malabrigo.  No matter the weight you get it is a soft yarn smooth yarn. No splitting, no halo, knots come out easy.  It really is a very low maintenance knitting yarn, but the vibrancy of the color variations in the hand dyed yarn  make it seem so much more.  The way when you are knitting you can see bright reds and greens and blues and it comes across in your work as if you had designed your project to have those colors in that exactly that spot.  It makes for very satisfied knitting and beautiful projects every time.

A few months ago, Clara Parks wonderful Knitters Review turned me onto a Kickstarter project I knew I just had to support. It is the Skeinminder. It is for  independent yarn dyers and “is a device that minds your motorized skein winder, freeing you to mind your business…… Your winder will stop automatically.”  While I am not a yarn dyer, I thought this was an amazing product that will help many dyers.  And as a lover of the product that independent dyers produce, why would’t I support it. Also, because I am not a yarn dyer, I’m not sure if I really explained the capabilities of this product well enough, so if you would like more information on this product simply click here for their webpage and more information.

Also, as a thank you for supporting them in their campaign, the lovely folks at Skeinminder sent me a present.  I received a lovely skein of hand dyed sock yarn from the Knitted Wit  (Her Etsy page is amazing!).  Wound with the help of the Skeinminder no doubt.   I also receieved Adorable handmade square beaded stitch markers from Spark.  I am not sure what I am going to make with Knitted Wit yarn yet but I amThank you Skeinminder! seeing it wanting to be come a shawl of some kind.  It is a really neat colorway, the yarn has a black base with streaks of bright red, blue, purple and green throughout and is a Super Wash Merino and Nylon blend.  I am very excited to get it on the needles.

 

Yesterday, we had some friends and neighbors over for a barbecue and housewarming party so I really didn’t feel like cooking today.  So dinner tonight is frozen chicken fingers and frozen sweet potato fries which just now came out of the oven.  And honestly, I must confess, as Sunday nights go. The sooner I finish dinner, the sooner I can clean and the sooner I can spend the rest of the evening knitting.  So I must say goodbye so I can go knit and have more content for next week.

I will talk to you all soon.  Happy knitting!

-Alexis

Special Project Accomplished

Hello everyone!

Well, as I mentioned last time we talked I was working on a special project that I wasn’t ready to tell you about yet.  Well, the special project is now finished.

I think I have mentioned before that teach knitting at the library twice a month.  A few months ago, one of the libraries I teach at asked if I would be willing to do a knitting workshop for the holidays.  I was honored and agreed. As many of my students are beginners I decided to go with a wash cloth, something easy they could get started in the workshop and confidently finish in their own time. And a wash cloth is something they can keep for themselves or give away as a holiday gift. I had 6 students show up to my class, 3 had never knit before. The 3 beginners caught on beautifully and I’m excited to see how their washcloth is going.  The other 3 students are regulars in my class and were very helpful to the beginners.  That is what I love about knitting. I have never met a mean knitter or a knitter who was unwilling to help another knitter learn.  I have also seen 2 of the students i class and their progress and I am thrilled!  I love teaching. It makes me feel so good that I am helping other people learn and get excited about something I love.

Some examples of my wash cloths while they were blocking.
Some examples of my wash cloths while they were blocking.

Now that my special project is over and the holiday’s are quickly approaching. I am busily working on my holiday gift knitting. I won’t mention what I am working on  but I really do hope to get it done by Christmas this time.

I also wanted to show you something else this quite special. I forgot to tell you that when I was in Colorado I went the LYS there, Tangle on Main Street in Grand Junction, Colorado. They are a combo yarn store and fabric store and everyone is so nice.  I of course had to restrain myself but I couldn’t help purchasing a few skeins. One Skein, the bright pink is from Bludamsel Fiber Works and is handspun in the Grand Junction area.  I’m not sure if she has an Etsy store or not, but I am excited to turn this yarn into something fabulous. The green and grey skeins are from Luna Grey Fiber Arts, click for their Etsy shop and are hand dyed in Grand Junction. Again, so excited to knit these into something. They are each 400 yards fingering weight so that should be easy finding something perfect.

Colorado Yarn.
Colorado Yarn.

Also at the Wine festival there was a booth from Shooting Star Ranch Alpacas. An Alpaca ranch in Palisade, Colorado. I had to buy a few skeins.  (the white one in the picture) My aunt sent me a few skeins for Christmas one year and they are not my favorite mittens.

Ok, that is all for today.  Its supposed to snow so I am going to get a new cup of coffee and watch it come down.