Rhinebeck Bus Trip 2014

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Knitting

When I was at Rhinebeck, I bought some of Miss Babs' Yowza - Whatta Skein! yarn.  This yarn is soft, it's hand-dyed, the stitches look great.  I love it!  Here's a picture of the yarn:

It was really hard to choose the color because Miss Babs has SO many beautiful colorways.  In the end, I went with my all-time favorite color: blue.  I love the range of blues in this colorway.  It has everything from a very dark (almost black) blue to a bright turquoise.  It's exciting to see which shade shows up next, as I'm knitting.  I also love the hand-dyed yarn because my sweater is mostly stockinette stitch, so the color variations add some visual interest to it.
Here's a picture of my sweater, so far:
Neither of these pictures were taken outside, so they are relying on crappy indoor lighting (and my crappy iPhone 3GS camera), so the colors in these two pictures look way different.  The actual in-person colors are so much prettier.  Sigh.

But from this second picture, you can see how beautiful the stitches look.  This yarn would show cables (or lace) well.  I may add a cable to my sleeves.  I haven't decided yet.  Also, each skein of this yarn is 560 yards long.  That is a lot of yarn!  I have knit over 7" to the body (front & back - over 200 stitches per round) of this sweater and I am still on the first skein! 

Here are the sweater details:
Pattern - the one created for me by the Custom Fit website
Size - mine!
Yarn - Miss Babs' Yowza - Whatta Skein!, in the Blue Ridge colorway
Needles - KnitPicks Harmony (inter-changeable circulars), size US4 - the cable length is fairly long

I am knitting this mostly seamlessly.  I will knit the body in the round, up to the armhole shaping.  I do the armhole shaping flat, and then stitch the shoulder seams together.  Then I pick up arm stitches and knit the sleeves in the round, from the top down.  The sweater hem, neck, and sleeve edges are all seed stitch.  The rest of the sweater is stockinette (unless I decide to add a cable up the side of the sleeves).

This sweater has been a quick knit for me, so far.  I'm very excited to finish my second (ever!) sweater.  I can see using this pattern as my "everyday" sweater, and making several more, in different colors.

What are you knitting??

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

This week's Ten on Tuesday was a hard one for me.  I'm just not a very exciting person.  The topic is:  10 Things You Love To Do On An Extra Day Off (such as a holiday, or a personal day, or a snow day).  Here are mine...

1.  Sleep in.  Sleeping in, to me, simply means that I can wake up whenever I want, without an alarm.  I hate alarms!  Having said this, if it's a day that I have off but my daughter has school, I don't get to sleep in - the joy of being a single parent.  This happens several times throughout the year with holidays.  My job has off on Federal holidays.  My daughter's school does not close for Columbus Day, or Veteran's Day.  But then, there are many days that she has off that I don't.

2.  Knit.  Unless it's summer.  We have no air conditioning in our house.  The last thing I want to do in 90+ degree (with 70%+ humidity) weather is touch fiber.

3.  Read.  I always enjoy reading!  I have the Kindle app for my phone, so I often read books on it.

4.  Sit in Lancaster County Central Park.  This is not a playground-type park (although there are a few playgrounds in it), but a woods-type park.  There are plenty of spots to park.  There's a river that runs through part of the park.  One can almost always find a quiet spot that's free of other people.  I like to read and/or knit in the park.  Sometimes my daughter & I go & have lunch (and read).  She's a reader too.

5.  In the summertime, I try to find a place with A/C that I can spend a few hours in.  This may be the movie theater, or a store, or a friend's house, or a restaurant.

6.  Draw.  I like to draw mandalas.  Sometime I'll post pictures of some of the ones I've drawn.

7.  Dye yarn.  I haven't dyed any yarn in a long time, but it's something I enjoy doing.

8.  Get things ready for an upcoming vacation (if we have an upcoming vacation). 

9.  My other reasons for days off are usually because someone (me or my daughter) is sick, or someone's having surgery (usually my mom), or there's a funeral or something like that.  So, not really fun things, but they are things that I use my paid time off for.

10.  I really don't have a 10th thing.  Mainly, I like to knit and read, and relax by myself. 

What things do you love to do on days off?

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Busy Weekend

When I was 19 or 20, I took the Myers Briggs personality assessment as part of an intensive training at work (I worked for a bank).  I scored pretty extreme in the Introvert category (I am an INFP, for those of you who are interested).  This means that I get energized by spending time alone.  Extroverts are energized when they spend time with lots of people.  An example of this is going to clubs or parties.  An extrovert will feel energized and excited and ready to do more things after these events.  An introvert will feel drained of energy - ready to sleep.  That's me - too much social interaction leaves me exhausted.

So, and ideal weekend for me is one where I have lots of time to myself.  I love it when I can "sleep in" on a Saturday.  By sleep in, I mean, wake up whenever I am ready to wake up, without an alarm clock.  Once I wake up, I read and/or knit.  Maybe, eventually, I'll take a shower and get dressed, but not always.  And my ideal Saturday usually doesn't involve going anywhere - except maybe to the park with my daughter (to read & knit).

When I have a weekend with a lot of  (social-type) things going on, I think about it all week.  And I think about how tired it'll make me.  I try to figure out when I'll get some alone time in order to re-charge.

This past weekend was a very busy weekend and I woke up this morning feeling tired and like I needed a vacation.  Overall, it was a pretty good weekend, but it was tiring for me. 

My daughter was at a sleepover Friday night, so I had to pick her up Saturday morning.  Saturday evening, she had a Halloween party to attend, so I took her there (spent some time talking to the other parents of kids who were at the party - these were people I had never met), and picked her up.  In the few hours that she was at the party, my Mom & I went out to eat (another event around lots of people).  Sunday was church.  My daughter was confirmed & there was a "coffee social" after the service (which required social interaction).  We went out for lunch, came home & had about an hour & a half before we had to be back at church for Youth Group.  I took an hour-long nap (which helped a little).  Then we get to Youth Group and have to do "fun" social things like talk about ourselves and pray (out loud) for others.

All of this is to say that, while my weekend wasn't bad, it was tiring.  I woke up this morning feeling like I needed 6 more hours of sleep (and I had already had 8).  I also woke up wishing that I didn't have to go to work; that I could just stay home and knit.

Speaking of knitting!  I have about 7" knit of the body of my sweater.  So, I'm more than half-way through the body!  I'm knitting it in the round up to the armhole shaping.  Then the armhole shaping will be knit flat, for the front and the back.  Once that's finished, I'll sew the shoulder seams together and then knit the sleeves (top down) in the round.  I'm so excited to (soon) have a second hand-knit sweater!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A New Sweater

Tuesday night, I finished the swatch I made with the Miss Babs Yowza yarn I bought at Rhinebeck.  I soaked it and blocked it.  Yesterday (Wednesday) it was ready to measure.  So I measured and weighed it.  Then I entered all that information into the Custom Fits website & created a sweater pattern.  This is the second pattern I've created using Custom Fits.  I LOVE it!

Custom Fits is free to use.  You can save profiles with body measurements (the site tells you what & how to measure).  You can also save swatch data (weight of the swatch, yarn used, needle used, stitches per inch, rows per inch, etc.).  When you're ready, you can create a pattern.  You decide things about the sweater type (pullover, cardigan, vest), the sweater length, the sleeve length, the neck style, how the sweater fits (average, close, loose) and more.  Once you're satisfied with your sweater, you can purchase the pattern.  The pattern price is $9.99.  The pattern will save to your account on the Custom Fit site, and I believe you can also save it to Ravelry.  The site generates a pattern that will fit you, exactly.  It does all of the math for shaping and lengths.  All you do is follow the instructions, and knit your perfect sweater.  It's very exciting!

Last night I cast on for my new sweater!  I am making a pullover sweater.  When you create a pullover pattern, you have the option of knitting the sweater in pieces (back, front, 2 sleeves), or you can knit it "Mostly Seemlessly" - which means that you knit in the round to the armholes, knit the armhole shaping flat, sew the two shoulder seams, and then knit the sleeves (top-down) in the round.  I have decided to knit my sweater mostly seamlessly.  I did take a picture last night of my cast on, but that's a pretty boring picture, so I'm not posting it today.  Just know that the yarn is SO beautiful and is so soft!  I'm excited about a new sweater!

Maybe I'll have some pictures tomorrow. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is about food:  10 Foods I Eat Regularly Now That Were Exotic (or unheard of) When I Was a Kid.

First, let me say that my current way of eating was considered "exotic" when I was a kid.  I'm vegetarian.  I eat no meat, poultry, sea creatures.  I do sometimes consume eggs and dairy.  Both of my parents were born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Meals consisted of meat & potatoes.  So, vegetarian eating wasn't even on my radar when I was a kid.

Having said all of that, here are my 10 things:

1.  Garlic.  I don't think my Mom ever used fresh garlic in any food she prepared.  Onions, of course.  But garlic?  No.  She may have used garlic salt to make garlic bread, but never fresh garlic.  *She does use fresh garlic now.

2.  Raw Honey.  We had the honey that comes in a plastic bear container, but no raw honey.  In fact, I don't even think that the plastic bear honey was a staple in my house.

3.  Chia Seeds.  I eat these every day now, but never knew about them when I was a kid.  Eventually, the 80's happened and the Chia Pets became famous.  But even then, I didn't know you could eat chia seeds.

4.  Hummus.  This is such a go-to food for me.  I like it as a dip for raw veggies, and also as a spread for sandwiches.

5.  Coconut milk.  I use this for my morning Green Monster smoothies.  I prefer it to cow's milk.

6.  Kale.  I know that I never heard of kale as a child.  We didn't even eat rutabagas or parsnips or turnips when I was growing up, let alone something as green as kale.  Green veggies consisted of green beans, lima beans, peas, and iceburg lettuce.  Sometimes we'd have broccoli (cooked til it's mushy).  My Dad would eat spinach (again, cooked to death), but no other green veggies.

7.  Sushi.  Again, my parents grew up eating meat & potatoes.  We had fish sticks for fish.  There was no sushi in Lancaster County.

8.  Amaranth.  We definitely didn't eat a lot of whole grains (or pseudo-grains). 

9.  Falafel.  Never heard of it until I was an adult.  I (sadly) didn't try any of the falafel at Rhinebeck (I just couldn't wait in another hour-long line).  I plan on getting some next year, though.

10.  Indian food.  Yeah...another food type that didn't exist in Lancaster County way-back-when.  Today, I LOVE it.  Indian food offers SO many vegetarian dishes!

Well, that's my 10.  What foods were considered exotic (or were unheard of) when you were a kid??

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rhinebeck 2013

This was my first time attending the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY (known simply as, Rhinebeck).  I have attended the MD Sheep & Wool Festival (which occurs in May), but never Rhinebeck.

This year, we decided to make a weekend trip of Rhinebeck.  My mom, daughter & I stayed at a hotel in Mahwah, NJ Friday night & Saturday night, and we attended the sheep & wool festival Saturday. 

There were a ton of people (I've heard that there were 42,000 there on Saturday):

Rhinebeck occurs in the Fall (which I love), so there were pretty trees:
And lots of leaves:
My daughter (who is not into fiber arts), said that she had fun.  I suspect it was because she had some spending money & could buy whatever she wanted to buy.
In this picture, she has on the karmic balancing gift I won this past summer from the Yarn Harlot.  It was woven just for me by Rowan Martindale.  It is a blend of merino, bamboo and silk.  It's beautiful!  It kept Kyra warm (she didn't pack enough cool weather clothing).
I found beautiful yarn at the Miss Babs stand.  I will create a sweater pattern on the Custom Fit website & knit a sweater from the yarn.  I waited in line for this yarn for an hour.  The upside to the wait?  I had a chance to talk with and get to know the people in line around me, and Miss Babs staff walked along the line offering Hershey's Kisses to people waiting.  Thankfully, my Mom & daughter learned of this line while I was still in the booth selecting yarn.  My mom got in line for me, and my daughter waited at the entrance to the booth to tell me that my mom was in line.
And finally, this is a picture that I took as we were on our way out of the fairgrounds:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Getting a Little Wild

When I was 11, I found out that I needed to wear glasses.  I cried.  I wanted braces, not glasses!  I hated having to wear glasses.  In junior high, I only put them on when I needed to see the board in class.  When I was 16 or 17, my parents allowed me to get contacts.  I loved contacts (they aren't glasses!).  So, for many years, I wore contacts (and just kept an old pair of glasses as a back up).  After I had my daughter, I wore my glasses more often, or, at least as often as I wore contacts.  Through all these years, whenever I have picked out glasses, I have chosen frames that don't stand out & aren't very noticeable.  I guess I figured that if I have to wear glasses, then at least they won't be the first thing people notice when they look at me.

Last week I ordered new glasses.  They arrived today.  These glasses are unlike any glasses I have ever had.  They're wild (for me)!  They're kind of cat eye shaped, and the frames are black.  They stand out.  I'm still getting used to how they look,  but I feel so wild & trendy when I have them on.  Another wild & crazy thing?  These glasses do not have transition lenses.  They are clear.  I also bought a second pair of glasses - prescription sunglasses!  SO wild and crazy!  Two pairs of glasses!  My new sunglasses are big and dark.  I call them my movie star sunglasses.  They cover my  whole eye (and will protect my eyes!).  I'm so exicted!  This is the first time (I've been wearing glasses for 31 years now) I've ever had prescription sunglasses!

Tomorrow I'm off to Rhinebeck (my first time!) with my wild & crazy glasses & with a completed hand-knit sweater (the first sweater I ever made!)!  I'm SO excited!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fifteen on Friday

I know that the post is usually "Ten on Tuesday", but it's Friday, and I feel like doing a list-type post.  So we have Fifteen on Friday.  The fifteen will be fifteen things I carry in my purse.  I'll group some things that are similar because, well, I have way more than 15 items in my purse at any given time.  Here are things I always have in my purse:

1. Wallet.  I carry a Vera Bradley purse (they have lots of pockets, so you're able to organize your items).  My wallet matches my purse.  I am currently using the Glenna bag, in the Heather pattern.
2.  Water bottle.  I always carry my water bottle with me.  It easily fits into my purse.  I use the Brita hard sided water bottle (in purple).
3.  Knitting.  Duh! 
4.  Medical things:  Advil, Tylenol, glucose tablets, prescription meds (I keep a fews day's worth in a mini Altiods tin), essential fatty acid supplement (in another mini Altoids tin), a Ziplock bag with cough drops.
5.  Keys:  my personal keys, my work keys, a key card to get into work, and my work ID badge.
6.  A mini eyeglass tool kit.
7.  A piece of a chop stick with some duct tape wrapped around it (you never know when you'll need some duct tape).
8.  A tape measure.
9.  Several pens and highlighters.
10.  Health & Beauty Aids:  Q-Tips, solid lotion bar, Everything Balm, floss picks, eye drops, lip balm, compact, hair ties, tweezers, lip gloss.
11.  Blue Tooth hands-free earpiece.
12.  my phone & it's charger cord
13.  a Ziplock bag with chia seeds and one with facial tissues
14.  mints and candy
15.  a spandex wrist support

These are the things I always have in my purse.  Sometimes I have more things (papers, pay stubs, toys, extra paper), depending on where I'm going & who I'm going with.

What do you carry in your purse??

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Change is a part of life...

First, there was Angelia's Knitting.  That blog died, so I created the Knitting the Fabric of Life blog.  For some reason, I can no longer sign in to post to that blog.  So here we are with Dreams of Cashmere.  I guess I'm ok with that.  Afterall, cashmere is, well, cashmere (and it's SO dreamy). 

Some things have changed since I was Knitting the Fabric of Life.  My daughter is now in high school.  I am no longer a college student, but I am now working full-time (which is a good thing).

Next week, I will be going to Rhinebeck for the first time ever...I'm so excited!  I've been knitting for 8 years, have lived in Pennsylvania all of those 8 years, and this is my first trip to Rhinebeck.