Rhinebeck Bus Trip 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Autumn!

It's Fall, and I'm so glad.  I love the lower humidity & cooler temps.  Fall also makes me want to knit.  Right now, I want to knit EVERYTHING.  At once!  I have the following projects on the needles:  4 shawls, 1 shawlette, 1 thrummed mitten, 1 cowl, 1 sock.  I also have 3 knit-alongs coming up this year, and a year-long knit-along next year (a block a month for an afghan).

Back in July, I resigned from my job.  I plan on having my own business - a virtual assistant business.  I'm in the process of setting that up.  In the meantime, I have been working at a produce stand at Roots (it's a local farmer's market that is open on Tuesdays).  It's a fun, low stress way to earn some money.  I also get to take home the produce I'll need for the week (I love this perk!).

So, right now, I do have a little more time to knit.  Although, there are days that my hands and arms let me know how much they dislike knitting for hours on end.

I feel like there are fo's that I need to share with you.  I'll have to go back through my posts, to see what they are.  Sadly, I do not yet have any pictures on this computer, so I can't show them to you today.  I did want to post while I was on the computer & thinking about it.  Since resigning, I find myself spending less time on the computer (which makes it hard for me to remember to blog).

What's on your needles right now?  Do you have more projects now that it's Fall?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

More Thoughts on Fiber People...

I know I already talked about fiber people, and I'm sure you already know this.  But, seriously.  Fiber people are so nice and so willing to help people!  There are many examples of this...

As some of you may know, Stephanie aka The Yarn Harlot, rides in a bike rally each year (well, she has, for the past few years).  The ride is from Toronto to Montreal and is 600 km (that's over 372 miles!) long.  They raise money for people living with AIDS/HIV.  Her team, so far, has raised over $85,000.00!  This is, largely, due to fiber people donating $5, $10, whatever they can.  If you're interested in donating, go here.  If you do, be sure to email Steph and she'll enter your name into a drawing for a karmic balancing gift.  Last year I won a hand-woven scarf that was woven just for me (I got to pick out the colors and certain style elements)!  Check out the end of this post, which gives you instructions on entering for the karmic balancing gifts.

Last week, for the first time, I visited Flying Fibers yarn shop.  If you're in the Lancaster County area, visit it.  The staff are very friendly and helpful.  There's room to sit & knit (or spin).  They have some wonderful yarn and fiber.  Both of the owners raise fiber animals, so they have a lot of knowledge of fiber (how it works, best uses for certain types, etc), dyeing, spinning, knitting, crochet.  If you've never tried it, you have to try the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop Yarn (the company is in Yorkshire England).  This is a hard wearing yarn.  I'm currently knitting a swatch with it & I keep envisioning a jacket type sweater. 

Last night, I attended my first Red Rows Knitting Guild meeting.  The Guild members are fun, and welcoming and so helpful!  At each meeting, they ask if anyone needs any help with a project they're working on.  If someone does, they pair that person with a member who can help them.  Also at the meetings, they have speakers.  Last night, it was Jere, from Flying Fibers.  She talked about different fibers and their characteristics.  It was very informative.  She brought yarn along, for us to feel - everything from wool to corn yarn.

I'm always happy to find "my" people - fiber people.  People who think it's totally normal to always have some fiber & needles with you.  People who "get" the need to cast on several projects.  People who appreciate the time and the thought that go into hand-made items.

Finally, I leave you with a picture of my CSA share from last week.  Summer is here and the crops are becoming ripe.  This share included:  head lettuce, loose lettuce, kale, cucumbers (there are 2 green cukes and the brown thing is also a cuke - I forget the type), broccoli, summer squash, snow peas, blueberries, strawberries, scallions, and garlic scapes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fiber People

Last night I visited the Woolwrights.  This is a group that does rug hooking.  I went there to share information with them about the bus trip to Rhinebeck.  I left thinking that fiber people are the best.  I learned so much about rug hooking and the Woolwrights were very patient with my questions. 

I have met such wonderful people while promoting the bus trip.  I'm so excited to have a trip with people from different groups!  Knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, rug hookers!  Old friends, family, new friends, people I haven't met yet!

As many of you know, I'm an introvert.  So, small talk and being around a lot of people drains me of energy.  But I LOVE talking to fiber people!  These are my people.  I love talking about their craft and learning new things.  It's been my experience that fiber people are always willing to help someone - especially if it means bringing a beginner into their craft. Some would call this enabling - I call it helping.

One of the best parts about attending a sheep & wool festival is being around my people.  Being around others who love fiber.  People who walk around doing things with that fiber as if it's the norm, because, for us, it is.  It's also exciting to see "famous" fiber people - the people who design patterns and write books, or who have a famous blog.

I can't wait for October!  Also, we now have 1/4 of the bus filled!

MAKE it a great day!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Solstice Weekend

Happy Summer!  Here, so far, we've had mild weather (aka low humidity).  I'm loving it.  I hope it continues.

This past weekend was fairly busy.  Friday night was a graduation/birthday party for my cousin's oldest daughter.  Elisabeth graduated from high school this year and will be attending Messiah College in the fall. 

In real life, Elisabeth is not blurry (she was also eating in this picture - I was trying for un-posed pictures).
I knit the Irene Adler shawl as her graduation gift.  A shawl is like a hug, right?  And I'm sure there will be times in college that she'll need a hug.  Or, maybe she'll just need a beautiful accessory to wear with a dress, or something to keep her warm on cool nights or in air conditioning.  Or, a pillow/blanket/wrap to use while traveling.
I finished Irene Adler 6/15/14, but couldn't share the pictures until I had given it to Elisabeth.  So, here is Irene Adler:
Blocking.  I blocked it outside and the sun was HOT that day.  The shawl was almost dry by the time I finished pinning it.  It was a little bigger than the pattern called for (I'm not big on swatching for shawls when I know that I have plenty of yarn & the yarn I was using has 950 yd/skein).
I ended up knitting the medium size.  It was Sunday, I knew that the upcoming week wouldn't allow much knitting time, and the party was the following Friday.  So I decided to stop with "medium".    It's still a good-sized shawl, it just doesn't have the extra fanciness at the edge.
I used Tosh Lace yarn in the Spectrum colorway.  This colorway has blues, purples, greens and some deep red.  It is beautiful!  The yarn is soft, and light, and warm.  I knit with size US 5 needles.
The pattern is well-written, and comes with both chart and written instructions.  I really enjoyed knitting this shawl.  It was a challenge for me (I had to make sure my mind didn't wander, and I couldn't knit this while interacting with people).
Here's a close-up:
Better lighting, you can see the yarn colors better.  Ignore the glare from my desk.
My cousin, Lori (Elisabeth's mom), agreed to model the shawl for me.  Elisabeth was in the pool with her friends.
Irene Adler makes you so happy that you have to dance around...
The weather Friday was beautiful.  Lori always has yummy food at parties she throws.  She even had vegetarian sloppy joe's for me (& her brother-in-law).  Elisabeth is smart and works hard and is such a wonderful young woman.  I can't wait to see what's next for her.
Saturday was a laid-back day, spent knitting and reading.  This came in the mail:
This is my June Yarnbox shipment.  It is 3 (!) skeins of Artyarns yarns.  The small skein on top is silk with sequins and glass beads.  It is beautiful!  The other two skeins are superwash merino.
I've been wanting to try the linen stitch.  Also, I've been reading past posts from Kirsten's blog.  I love her designs and her use of color.  When I saw these two skeins of yarn from Artyarns, I knew that they would become a linen stitch scarf.  I think I will add a fringe to the scarf, too.  I love how the multi-colored yarn and the semi-solid yarn look when put together.  Also, I needed a project that I could knit while interacting with people.  My other project is the TTL Mystery Shawl, which is a (beautiful!) lace shawl.  I cannot knit lace and talk to people.
How did you spend your Summer Solstice?  Did you have some extra knitting time?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Movie Watching

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is 10 Movies You Can Watch Over and Over Again and Never Tire Of.  I do this a lot, so I'm going to have a hard time sticking to only ten.  And I'm not going to include movies that I watched over and over when my daughter was young, such as Blue's Big Musical.

1.  The Sound of Music.  It's a musical, a love story, and a good vs. evil story.  What's not to like?
2.  The Wizard of Oz.  This one also has music, good vs. evil and fantasy.
3.  Grease.  I was in 2nd grade when this movie came out.  I was already an Olivia Newton John fan, so my mom took me to the theater to see this movie.  This had to have been one of the first movies I saw in a theater (if not the first).  I have seen it many, many, many times since then.  I owned the album (2-record set), I had the bubblegum cards, and I have owned this movie in various forms (VHS, dvd, special edition dvd, etc.).
4.  Wayne's World.  This movie cracks me up.  I work in an emotionally draining field, so I love movies that make me laugh.
5.  Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  I have seen this movie many, many times.
6.  Sixteen Candles.  I'm a child of the 80's, although, I don't think I saw any of the "80's" movies during the 80's.  My favorite part is when Jake Ryan is waiting outside the church, by his car for Sam.  I also like other Molly Ringwald movies: The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink.
7.  Legally Blond.  I like Reese Witherspoon, and her character, Elle.  I also like Sweet Home Alabama (another Reese Witherspoon movie).
8.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And The Hobbit.  These are good knitting movies for me.  Also, I have a crush on Aragorn.
9.  Drew Barrymore movies: 50 First Dates, Never Been Kissed, The Wedding Singer...I can't think of others, but I'm sure there are others.  Drew and Adam Sandler?  I love them together!
10.  Miss Congeniality.  Love Sandra Bullock.

Here are some others I've watched many times:  SWAT, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, other Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaughey movies, The Hangover, Thor, The Hunger Games, Hitch, the Harry Potter movies.

What are some movies that you never tire of?

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Weekend

This past weekend was...too short.  It was a good weekend, but I think there should have been at least one more day to it.

Mainly, I knit.  I was on a deadline to finish the Irene Adler shawl.  I did finish it - Sunday morning (yay!!).  I decided to make the medium size since I wouldn't have a lot of knitting time this coming week.  I soaked and blocked it Sunday afternoon.  It is beautiful!  I think it may be the most beautiful thing I've knit.  I'll post pictures later this week.

As soon as Irene Adler was blocking, I cast on for the Mystery Shawl.  Clue #3 came out this weekend, so I'm a little behind.  The yarn I'm using is a Pebble Sock gradient kit from Black Trillium Fibres.  This yarn is so soft and squishy.  I love it.  And, after knitting the 2 million Irene Adler stitches in lace weight yarn, the Pebble Sock yarn & the Mystery Shawl pattern seem like a piece of cake.  I hope to be well into Clue #2 tonight.  The only reason I haven't been working on the Mystery Shawl all day is that I had to go to work.

So, I knit and I talked to a few people about the Rhinebeck bus trip. 

What was your weekend like?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Knitter's Ego

Most of the time, I consider myself to be a good knitter.  When I first started knitting, I had no idea that some techniques were "hard" or that a beginner "couldn't" do them, so I just did them.  I've never really felt as if there's something in knitting that I cannot do.

And then lace knitting happens.  I enjoy knitting lace.  It's beautiful, and it's interesting.  But there are always some rows I mess up, have to rip out & re-do.  Always.  I'll knit and knit and the project will be going smoothly and then a "problem" row happens.  I don't know if I get cocky, or if I'm just unable to read properly when I get to certain rows, or if I suddenly forget how to count, but there are always several rows that I mess up.  And they frustrate me.

I think the mistakes happen when I allow my mind to think about other things while I'm knitting (like I can do with most projects).  I really need to be in a room by myself, and to keep my mind focused on the pattern when I'm knitting lace.

The lace shawl, Irene Adler, will soon be finished (I don't have any current pictures - it kind of looks like a blob).  I "only" have about 40 more rows (300+ stitches each row) to knit.  I need to have it finished by the 18th or the 19th so that I can soak & block it.  It needs to be totally finished by the 20th.  Plenty of time, right?