October 30, 2016

F.O. Georgetown Cardigan and Some W.I.P.

Pattern:  Georgetown from Home and Away
Shawl:  Line Break
Designer:  Hannah Fettig 

Yarn:  West Yorkshire Spinners 100% Bluefaced Leicester DK 6.5 skeins

Colour:  Natural Brown
Needles:  4.5mm and 3.75mm for ribbing
1)  I really wanted a cardigan that I could snuggle into during the cold winter months.  The long range forecast in Ontario is for a very cold winter. Whatever happens I will be ready with this cozy cardigan.  I started this cardigan at the end of February and then put it away and didn't touch it until a few weeks ago. Then on my long trek to Rhinebeck I got a big chunk of it done.
2)  Hannah Fettig's pattern gives the knitter two options:  either seamed or non-seamed.  I decided to go with knitting the pieces flat and then seaming them together.  I find seamed cardigans are much more structured and the small pieces are manageable to cart around and work on.  Sometime ago I knit Hannah's Calligraphy cardigan, seamless from the top down, and I find that it continually falls off my shoulders.  I don't know if that has to do with the lack of seaming, but I am sure that it has some connection.  I also wanted to work on my seaming skills, and with this kind of yarn, it was great for hiding any mistakes.

3) I bought this yarn a few years ago on a wonderful trip to Scotland that I took with my family.  Isn't it fun to knit with yarn that you associate with good memories?  The yarn smells so sheepy too, which I love and has a lovely halo. It blocked beautifully and resulted in a very warm DK weight sweater.  It would be perfect for hats or mitts too.  Here's a child's hat I knit with this same yarn:

Gray Rose:  by Thea Colman

4)  The pattern is well written and easy to follow.  To be honest it was a bit boring, knitting all the rows of stockinette, and then 8.5 inches of ribbing for the collar.  However, I knew that it would be totally worth it, as it is one of those wardrobe staples that will get a lot of wear.

On the Needles:

Now that my cardigan is finished I have a number of items that I need to turn back and focus on. 

Antler Mittens by Tin Can Knits knit in Madelinetosh Chunky in the colourway Smokestack.  
I love the way the cables are popping on these mitts that I am knitting for a Christmas gift.  As suggested by Espace Tricot's blog I am going to knit a liner for them.  Anyone that lives in a city that has temperatures that drop down to -30 degrees Celsius knows that liners are essential to keeping warm.

Lanterns by Sylvia McFadden knit in the luxurious Sweet Fiber Yarns Cashmere DK.  As this pattern is written for a fingering weight yarn I have to adjust the pattern and figure out which needle size to go with. I started using a 4mm but I stopped because I wonder if I should be using a 3.75mm.  I have to play around with it for a bit, but I am anxious to get this gorgeous pattern done.

I hope you are all finding time to knit too!  Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by.

October 23, 2016

Rhinebeck Weekend: Part Two

I had such fun last weekend when I went for the first time to Rhinebeck, to attend the New York Sheep & Wool Festival.  The event lived up to to it's reputation.  The crowds were huge, the food lines were ridiculous and the variety of yarn for sale was incredible.  I present to you, my dear friends, some photos I managed to take when I wasn't being caught up in the crowd.

Me and my Rhinebeck sweater

Bartlett Yarns:  Sport

Dragonfly Fibers Gradient Set

Dragonfly Fibers Pixie Yarn:  "Vote"colourway
Harrisville Yarn

Bijou Basin Himalayan Trail Yarn
One of my favourite booths was Fiber Optics which had so many knitted samples.  Here are just a few of them:
Holey Chevrons by Stephen West

Party on My Needles by Joji Locatelli
Lamina Wrap by Ambah O'Brien and On the Spice Market by Melanie Berg

Fiber Optics Paintbox Gradient that came home with me

I also really enjoyed the O-Wool booth and was quite taken by some of their samples:
The Girl In Me in O-Wool 

Balconet Shawl in O-Wool

I couldn't resist this gorgeous yarn and ended up buying some.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this festival (and a special thank you to my husband for going with me).  If I ever get to go again here are some tips I want to remember:

Things I Learned As A Newbie:
1.  Although the gates on Saturday don't open until 9a.m. a line up does start to form around 8:00 a.m.  I sat in my car keeping warm until about 8:15 a.m. and when I lined up I wasn't too far back in the line.  The bonus with coming early is you can park quite close to the entrance and then go back and forth to drop things off during the day very easily.
2.  There is more than one entrance.  Figure out what vendor is your top priority to visit first and figure out which entrance is the closest to where you want to go.  
3.  Prepay your entrance fee online before you go.  It saves time.
4.  If you want to get close to Miss Babs yarn (in Building C) you MUST GO RIGHT AWAY.  As a rookie I lined up at the wrong entrance, and by the time I got to Building C I couldn't even get near the booth. The line up was already out the door.  I tried several times during the day to get to Miss Babs, but the crowds continued, and the line up to pay stayed ridiculously long.  I didn't really care that much...I was just curious to see what the fuss was all about.  Best to stay two days next time and visit the booth on the Sunday.  (Same applies for Jennie the Potter).
5.  Go to Rhinebeck with a pre-made list of the basic things you want to walk away with.  There are so many temptations everywhere you look and it really helps to keep some focus.  For example, I knew I wanted a sweater's worth of sport weight yarn and I ended up with O-Wash Sport by O-Wool.  I also have a weakness for fingering weight yarn and I had promised myself not to buy any as I have enough to last me a long time.  The only fingering weight yarn I bought was at the Indy Untangled show and it was Voolenvine Yarn.  How could I resist? Enough said.
6.  Time your lunch early.  I lined up at about 10:45 for the infamous Aba's Falafel and the line up was quite short.  Later when I walked by there was at least an hour wait.
7.  Same for the Apple Cider Donuts.  Don't wait until lunch time.  Why waste precious time in a line when you can be looking at gorgeous yarn?
The infamous Apple Cider Donut

8.  Wear your hand made sweater/shawl/socks etc.  It was so fun to admire everyone's beautiful knitted/crocheted items.
9.  Make sure you spend time going into the town of Rhinebeck.  It is so beautiful and the restaurants are amazing.
10.  Take time to visit all the sheep, alpacas, etc. at the show.  There were sheep shearing events and even a dog show.

11.  And one last tip...next time go also on the Sunday.  From what I hear it is way less crowded.  There were so many knitted samples in all the booths that I would have liked to look at them more closely and take way more photographs.

I will continue to remember many happy moments that I experienced at Rhinebeck.   It was so much fun.  Do you have any tips to add to my list?

October 18, 2016

Rhinebeck Weekend: Part 1 Indie Untangled

I have dreamed of going to Rhinebeck for a long time, and this year I finally had the chance to go.  It was an incredible event and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was amazing to be around so many yarn obsessed, enthusiastic knitters. Listening to conversations about patterns, yarn and stash was so entertaining. Most people were wearing knitted items, everything imaginable from shawls, sweaters, cardigans, hats and even a few knitted skirts.

My first stop was the Indie Untangled Yarn Show located at the Best Western Hotel in Kingston, NY.  This event is held on the Friday night before Rhinebeck featuring many indie dyers and other artisans.  From 4-5 p.m. people that had paid for V.I.P. tickets had one hour to shop undisturbed before the event was open to the public.  Then from 5-8 p.m. the customers standing in the long line were allowed in.  Once the doors opened there was a mad rush to many of the booths.  One popular booth was Voolenvine Yarns.  People had armfuls of this yarn and the booth was so crowded that I couldn't even get near it.  I went back a bit later and luckily was able to scoop up a few skeins without waiting in a huge line.  I have long been a fan of Voolenvine and Kristen's vlog but it wasn't until I saw her skeins in person that I could see what all the fuss was about.  Her dyeing is incredible and I had a difficult time choosing what skeins to buy.

Voolenvine Yarns:  Wolke-Colourway:  Faeirie Hair

Voolenvine Yarns:  Wolke-Colourway: Deck the Halls

There was so much yarn to choose from - it was overwhelming!  I almost forgot to take pictures, as I was trying to see everything.  Some booths were hard enough to get into due to the crowds, let alone have time to snap a picture.
Here is just a small sample of what was available:

Canon Hand Dyes:  This yarn company was featured in the new quarterly By Hand.  I was interested to see this yarn in person and it really was lovely.

Skeinny Dipping:

 The Uncommon Thread:

A Hundred Ravens

White Birch Fiber Arts 

While I was browsing look who walked right by me...the infamous Stephen West!  Unfortunately this was the best photo I took of him:

There were other famous knitters there that night too.  For example, I saw Deb of the Periscoping Sisters, a very popular podcasting team.   The designer, Laura Aylor was there with all her knitted samples which were gorgeous.

This event was wonderful as it showcased talented indie dyers and I was so happy to have the chance to see their yarn first hand.  What a great night!

Next time: My experience at the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival

October 9, 2016

F.O. Clarke Pullover and Other Autumn Favourites

Here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend.  I am extremely grateful for all the special people in my life.  I also appreciate all the yarns and creativity I am able to enjoy.  I took some time this weekend to look over some of my favourite photos and I can see that autumn is a reoccuring theme.  So I have compiled some of my favourite photos to get you all in the autumn spirit. I have attached the links if you are interested in reading about any of these photos in detail.  (Left to right in a clockwise direction).
Clarke Pullover

Here's my most recent F.O. : Jane Richmond's Clarke Pullover knit in Malabrigo Rios in the Piedras and Cocoa colourway.  I can't tell you how happy I am with how this turned out and how comfortable it is to wear.  It will get a lot of use I am confident. I highly recommend this pattern.

Sock knitting in Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sock, flowers at St. Lawrence market, Acer Cardigan by Amy Christoffers and a bag from Jenna Rose Textiles.

My Grace Cardigan by Jane Richmond , a walk in my neighbourhood woods, Capall Dubh: a knit-along by Carol Feller , and more Sweet Fiber yarn, Cashmere DK in Spiced Pumpkin and Super Sweet Sock in Monarch.

Malabrigo Sock in Primavera and my F.O. Line Break by Veera Välimäki

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians.  Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by my blog and sharing a part of your day with me.   I really appreciate it.