Gin and Tonic and Yarn

Hello again everyone!

Well, I told you last time about Rhinebeck and how wonderful that was so here I am today to tell you about the Indie Untangled Trunk Show the night before Rhinebeck. Its like the pre-party to Rhinebeck in my opinion.

First of all, when I got to the Best Western Kingston there was a LINE OUT IN THE PARKING LOT!!!  I couldn’t believe it. But once I got in line, I realized it moved fast and they were all knitters of course so I made friends while we made our way inside.   Once inside I could see what the line was all about it.  Wonderful indie vendors that are all apart of the Indie Untangled network.  Check out their website  Indie Untangled .

At the show, I was using every ounce of self-control not to buy everything there and save my money for Rhinebeck.  But I did buy a few things. The first thing that caught my eye was a beautiful skein of fingering weight yarn from ColorPurl in the “Mussels in White Wine” colorway, this is a luscious deep dusty purple. I later learned that the dyer does this in her spare time, after her full-time job.  So much yarn and so many beautiful colors.  It was hard to pick the one I did, but really, it picked me.

Indie Untangled show #rhinebeck2015

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I also bought 2 skeins of DK Oakworth in the color way “Damselfly” from Eden Cottage Yarns.  Another skein of sock yarn from Sophie’s Toes Sock Yarn in the “Rhinebeck Twilight” color way, Alpenglow Rangeland sock yarn in the color way “Juicy”.  A bright perfect Orange.  And to top it all off, while I was waiting for the raffle drawing (I didn’t win) I picked up a skein of fingering Three Fates Yarns in the color way “Lilypad”.  I couldn’t resist.  It was an amazing show. I also heard that the hotel bar had even made a special drink, so I moseyed over to have a taste.  It was a bourbon drink and I am not a fan of bourbon so I just had a Gin and Tonic and sat in the hotel lounge, knitting and making new knitting friends.  The lounge was also a restaurant.  It was filled with knitters, along with the hotel lobby.  I think other hotel guests who were just enjoying their dinner could not believe their eyes with all the knitters sitting around doing our thing. Knitting.

Indie Trunkshow loot. Soo hard not to spend all my #rhinebeck2015 money here

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If/When I ever go to back to Rhinebeck, the Indie Untangled show will defiantly be on my list, and it should be on yours also.  It’s the Friday before Rhinebeck usually at the Best Western Kingston.  About across the river from the town of Rhinebeck.  Check the link above for more details and their fabulous website and blog.

See you all next time and Happy Knitting?  Oh is anyone doing any gift knitting this holiday season?

-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

Voila!

Hello Everyone!

My goodness it is HOT outside.  Now I grew up in Las Vegas and pride myself on being used to 110+ heat in the summer.  But it is barely 100 degrees here in Oklahoma City and I am dying.  Its the humidity.  I just feel like everything is sticking to me and I am dripping sweat just thinking about going outside.  If you haven’t experienced dry heat, yes, it is MUCH better than humidity. I would much rather be in an oven than a sauna any day.

Now for knitting.  I have cranked up the AC and am cranking away at my Rhinebeck Sweater.  The Gnarled Oak Cardigan.  I finished the second sleeve last night and connected the sleeves to the body and am just about to start on the yoke.  The sleeves were very easy to attach.  You know how sometimes in sweater patterns when you attach sleeves it can be really confusing?  Maybe thats just me.  Well, since this sweater is worked from the bottom up, you just pick up the body that has been set aside, knit the body to the where the sleeves go, take the  sleeve stitches that are on the stitch holder and knit them on to to the the body with the needles that are holding the body.  Voila! the sleeves are on.  There are still 16 stitches on the underarms of the sleeves and the underarms of the body that are being held with waist yarn that I will graft together later.  I will let you know how that works out. Grafting and Kitchener stitch are not my strong suits.

Ok, that is all I have for today.  I will leave you all to your Sunday afternoon.  I will be back next week.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

That Extra Skein of Yarn

Hello Everyone!

Just a short post today as it has been a quite week in my knitting world.  The hubs competed in a triathlon on Saturday in Dallas so we drove down on Friday, I was able to get 5 hexi-puffs done and Bob did great in his triathlon!

As for my Rhinebeck sweater, The Gnarled Oak Cardigan I am almost done with one sleeve.  The pattern requires 17.5 inches but I am going for 19.5. I have long arms and I like long sleeves.  Sleeves that I can move in.  When I make changes like this to sweaters, like make things longer or bigger, it always makes me glad I bought that extra skein of yarn, I might actually need it.

Tonight for dinner we are grilling hamburgers, I am also grilling some chicken for lunches this week. I went outside a few minutes ago to turn the grill on we were out of propane.  So of course, my husband, the wonderful man that he is just got back from getting a fresh tank and just hooked it up and turned the grill on so it would be hot by the time I finished this post.  So I must go now and grill some chicken and burgers and veggies.

I will talk to you all soon.

Happy Knitting.

-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

Totally Going to Match Fall

Hello Everyone!

How is everyone on this beautiful June day?  I believe it is the first day of summer if I am not mistaken.

I have finished the Bavarian Cable Socks, they came out very nice if I do say so myself.

Bavarian Cable Socks
Bavarian Cable Socks

One thing I will tell you about them, that you can’t really tell unless you look very closely at them is that there are mistakes.  There are the “bumps” I told you about earlier that happened when I was working on them on an airplane and oops, turbulence over Kansas.  But there are others, where I knit where I should have purled and purled where I should have knit. And cabled where I didn’t need to cable and vice versa.  Oh well.  That folks is knitting. We as knitters all encounter that and it is at those times where we must decide if it is worth it to us to stop and fix the mistake or to just keep going and live with it.  Anything ever done my hand is never going to turn out 100 percent perfect, and that is OK.  I knit for me.  I don’t knit for anybody else so for me, its ok if not every project I do is perfect.

That is also what I tell my students, especially the beginners.  Knitting is hard at the beginning and I can see in their eyes that they immediately want to turn out a perfect piece and I tell them that its ok if they don’t.  I always teach them how to identify mistakes, (they usually see them right away anyway) and how to fix them and tell that I myself after knitting for 14 years still make those same mistakes.  It happens, but not to get down on themselves when it does.

Of course, after 14 years, I have learned to identify and fix mistakes and most of the time, I do go back and fix them so I am pretty proud of myself for my mostly flawless work but you must always remember, it is ok to have one or two flubs in your work.  That is what make us human.

So, what I am working on next now that my Bavarian Cable socks are done?  Last night I wound the yarn for and cast on my Rhinebeck Sweater!!!  I am knitting the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos and as featured in her collaborative book with Hannah Fettig Coastal Knits.  This is a beautifully simple cardigan with a lovely lace and cable detail around the yoke.  I even bought oak branch buttons.  I love this cardigan for Rhinebeck because it is so simple, yet has that lovely detail around the yoke.  I know I can get this done in time for Rhinebeck and not stress about it being perfect, because it is Rhinebeck after all, it must be perfect.  The yarn I chose for this is perfect as well, I think the colors are perfect for fall as they beautifully mimic autumnal colors and trees.  I am using Malabrigo Arroyo in the Piedras Colorway.  It is so many colors of blues and greens and oranges and reds. I think I will totally match fall in is sweater.

The sweater is knit from the bottom up and I am about 3 rows in.  I have 4 months to go so I think I am on track, but I better get back to knitting anyway just in case.

I will talk to you all soon.

-Alexis

Knitting Superstitions

Hello Everyone!

We are back to another wonderful Sunday afternoon.  I have chicken in the slow cooker for tacos tonight and with it a yummy Mango Avocado salsa I made sitting in the fridge.  I can’t wait for dinner.  But its only 3:45 so I have to.

On the knitting front, I am in the middle of the gusset of the second Bavarian Cable sock. I have been knitting it while I finish binge watching Gilmore Girls, I have been steadily watching the whole series for several months and I want to finish before I watch Orange is the New Black.  As you know, Season 3 came out on Friday and it has taken all the restraint I have not to watch it.  But I am almost through Season 6 of Gilmore Girls, so not much left.  Maybe OITNB next weekend.

Yesterday, I went to my LYS, Gourmet Yarn in Oklahoma City and bought yarn for my Rhinebeck Sweater.  I am so EXCITED!!!!  I am not going to tell you what yarn I got or what the pattern is until I have it cast on.  I don’t know, it’s a thing of mine. I don’t like to reveal what I am going to work on until I actually have it cast on.  Its like  knitting superstition or something, like I might jinx it.  But I am very excited about it. I think I will cast it on after I finish the socks because I am not sure how long it is going to take me and I do have a deadline.  I needs to be done my Rhinebeck.  Yes, I am aware that is months away but still…

It does seem weird to me that summer just started and I am about to knit a sweater, but it must get done. Then I guess after that I can do some actual “summer knitting”.

I also have so many other projects I want to knit up.  Need to knit up.  I need knit and make room in my stash before I go.   The thought kind of stresses me out, but it makes me more excited.  And really, can one have too much yarn?  I don’t think so.

And with that I will leave you. Its a short post I know but I’m kind of excited to get back to my sock knitting so I can start on the sweater.

I will talk to you all next week.  Happy knitting!

-Alexis