I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rhinebeck loot

Before I tell you about my treasures, I need to pass along what Elise pointed out to me: cara at http://www.januaryone.com/ blogged about Sliver Moon! I remember when this lady came to our booth and bought a ton of this one color sock yarn...I was talking to someone at the time...but there it is, Laurie's sock yarn, being turned into something gorgeous! Go check it out. It's the Smoky Plum yarn.

Here's what I came home with. Enough roving to spin my way through the winter.

First up, three little balls from Hope Spinnery.

Next, enough gorgeous Romney from The Spinning Room for an entire sweater:
a lovely natural brown with a slight silver halo.

Here's a few ounces of a wool/alpaca/silk/mohair blend. More wool than anything else, so it's not too slippery. Remember, I only learned how to spin a few months ago.
This is deep brown with steaks of gold and chartreuse and the occasional spot of red...can't wait to see what this looks like spun up.

My biggest purchase. 1.5 lbs of gorgeous handdyed all wool roving. Pictures came out a bit bright.

This is the third entry from the same place, Spinners' Hill (and yes I did buy roving from them in the spring, at Cummington). Wool/alpaca/mohair blend, about 10 ounces.

And here, finally, is the present I got from the Sliver Moon folks. For helping them out. But they were the ones that helped me out! They let me sell my hand dyed yarn! I am not quite sure how this all evens out, but here it is:

A genuine Journeywheel Bosworth spindle. It weighs one ounce! Laurie took me down to the booth, saying how she's taking me shopping and all. I had now idea what she had in mind. But evidently she and Kay had this whole plan already hatched. I had to try out all these different spindles and let the right one come to me. And it did.
Some day soon I'll have to learn how to use it. So far, I am only finding out why it's called a "drop" spindle...because I drop it all the way to the floor...
But thank you Kay and Laurie, the pleasure truly was all mine!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

people at Rhinebeck

Look what gorgeous weather we had!
If you hold a woolfest, they will come...rumor had it, 12,000 on Saturday alone.

Mr and Mrs Philosopher's Wool gladly posing for the camera.

Customers at the Hope Spinnery:

Glad I remembered I had these pictures.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rhinebeck 2007

A pictorial tour of my impression of the 2007 NYS sheep and wool fest in Rhinebeck.
Somehow I missed taking pictures of some of the tens of thousands of people that came!
Here's the early morning arrival on Saturday. This vast parking lot would later be filled with vehicles.

The Sliver Moon Booth, where I helped out. Kay and Laurie graciously let me sell my own handdyed yarn. See top row, first three grids from left.

On the left is Robin from Yorktown Heights, NY, a knitter I met through KnitTalk, a yahoogroup we both belong to. So nice to see her in the flesh, finally! That woman can knit, by the way...oh my.

Here are some of Laurie's gorgeous creations. That's a load of sock yarn that has to dry out from the horrendous rains the day before.

My purple jacket on display at Decadent Fibers.

My lace shawl on display there, too.

Autumn glory...

Some really colorful felted hats:

and spun mohair locks:

This booth, Hope Spinnery from Maine, makes all their yarn in a spinnery that's windpowered! Yay! We really enjoyed having them as our booth neighbors and hope to see them again next year. I bought some of their naturally dyed roving:

And finally,

if I had one of them pickles there, I would probably feel like this:

And shortly before I went to see these guys,

about 30 minutes before the festival closed on Sunday, I saw the Yarn Harlot. I stopped for one nanosecond to say hello, but she was telling someone about how there was a pint of beer waiting for her...and off she dashed. But she wore that beautiful Kauni cardi. It was gorgeous, even from behind!

If the weather holds up, I will take pictures of my goodies that I bought tomorrow.
PS: Anna, if I had had my wits about me, I would have taken a picture of your gorgeous socks when we had lunch together! I am sorry I was too delirious with fatigue to think straight. Also, I think I have more of that yarn that you are running out of!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jar of Yarn, anyone?

I was up too late too many nights in a row.
Mornings, I'd be up with the hubby and kids, make sure everyone got to school, and then from 8 am until 2 minutes before I had to go to work (or someone would come home from school), I'd be dyeing yarn. I have a teeny tiny kitchen, so the thought of dyeing yarn while anyone was home and possibly wanting a snack or something was completely out of the question. So I needed to clean up any and all food and dishes, get out the dyeing equipment, start heating water, mix dyes, etc. In short, every single day I had to set up a complete dye studio, only to eradicate all evidence a few short hours later.

Today was my last shot at dyeing a few more skeins, and I was starting to get a little impatient. Also we had more "unseasonably high" temperatures and mugginess, and I was getting hot and bothered and I knew that yarn probably wasn't going to dry in time. (In fact, that yarn is now being fanned by a high velocity fan.) I was faced with white yarn, and a jar of just-below-boiling dye. I looked at the yarn, looked at the jar, and in it went. The whole 8 oz skein fit right into that quart jar. Beautiful! I let it sit there for a few minutes, got enchanted and took a few pictures. It came out way beyond my expectations. Only a little splotchy in some spots, but with nice gradations. I am definitely going to have to noodle with that idea again. Like put some dye in the jar, add the yarn, then add a different color on top.

I was saying I was up way too late for way too many nights, reason being I wanted to finish the Twisty Turns wrap (from "Wrap Style"), so Decadent Fibers could have it for Rhinebeck. This morning, I threw in the towel. After three nights of waking up with a completely numb arm, tingling fingers and a sore wrist, I decided it is not worth it. I will get back to it next week, hoping they'll still want it.

Now, I'm off to tag the yarn that is ready. Thank you Laura, so much, to making the tags for me!! "Random Beauty Yarns"...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"very easy, very vogue"

I am in the middle of getting ready for the NYS sheep and woolfest, which starts Saturday at 9 am. And it's open till 6 pm, I'm told. Which is when it gets dark, and I'm not sure how well anyone will be able to see any wool colors anymore? And isn't that when the sheep go to sleep, anyway?
But apparently the organizers were mightily impressed with last year's attendance, which on Saturday alone was reputed to be around 30,000 people. I know I saw a mild stampede at the gates at 10 am, the official opening hour. They are now trying to avert traffic jams, and are opening the gates at 9 am...which means I will leave the house at around 6 am, have a 1.5 hour drive including a bathroom break, and be there at 7:30 to help set up the booth. And bring my bin of handdyed yarn.
It's supposed to rain here tomorrow, but hopefully I'll get a few shots in of the yarn.

Today's title refers to the rating of the scarf I was showing in the last post.
Amy was asking if it isn't hard to make?
No, actually it's quite easy. Just labor intensive.
If you're into making 47 triangles in a row, and then 25 times 5 triangles for the flowers, you're in business. Then comes the cinching up of the flowers, and the sewing together.
It's so easy, in fact, that if I were to go into any more detail, Vogue magazine would probably come after me for copyright violation...

Right now, I am also still desperately trying to finish one last commissioned piece for Decadent Fibers. So...I'll see you later....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

USB cable found

I am sorry to put a crick in your neck,

but I cannot get that first picture to turn the way I want it to. I rotated it after I uploaded it, and still it appears sideways here.....my apologies.
So this was last week's project. Make a long strip out of 47 small triangles, then make 25 flowers from 5 triangles each. Attach flowers to the strip and each other. Like I said, I didn't manage the sewing together part in time... the flower centers were also going to get a crystal bead in the center.
I hope it all came together in the end.
PS: I went to my knitting group today (this is a Sunday group of friends that meets when it can, dating back to the time I had my shop); I brought my hand dyed yarn for show-and-tell. One woman was so enchanted with it she bought two skeins right then and there! Now I have hope that I'll be able to sell some at the sheep and wool fest.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Go Al!! And Doris, too!

Al Gore and the ICPP win the Nobel Peace Prize.

And one of my most favorite authors, Doris Lessing, gets the prize for Literature. About time!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

go read this! :)

My friend Alison Hyde, who is the author of this lovely book, (yes I do want you to run to your LYS and buy it today!) has a post on her blog on Tuesday that mentions our connection. She lives all the way in Palo Alto, California, and is at Stitches East in Baltimore this weekend to sign her book for people at the Lisa Souza booth.

I was invited down to go see her, but alas the right amount of pocket change could not be found. So... we are so close, but yet so far! Some day. Some day, I'll get to see her in person!

I hope you all have a lovely day.

Me, I'm going to hunt for that USB cable, or run out and get a new one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

small steps

I was going to show you what I have been up to, but somehow the usb cable is missing that enables me to download pictures from my camera. So I have to do this sans photographs.
Over the past week, I was making another commissioned piece for Decadent Fibers, for them to take down to Stitches East. It was the scarf from the cover of the 25th anniversary issue of Vogue Knitting. It's a Nicky Epstein design, with 25 flowers that you have to make individually and then attach to each other and to a sort of "framework" of zig zags. While it wasn't hard to do, it was quite a bit more time-consuming than I had anticipated, and I even had to deliver it in pieces to be sewn together by them on the roadtrip down to Baltimore. I was glad in the end to see it go, as my hnds were starting to hurt. Size 3 needles (which I usually love), so many small pieces...

Today, I want to start a little campaign that I am calling Small Steps, to help save the planet. I guess I am getting used to the soapbox. :)

So today's Small Steps involves your dish detergent.

I switched over to environmentally friendly dish soap several months ago, and was recently delighted to find out that Seventh Generation is now available at Target. I remember the Seventh Generation catalog from years ago, printed with soy ink on recylced paper. Then, their products became available at the local health food store, then at the grocery chains, and now I see them at the big box store. More power to them.

My bottle of dish detergent says the following:
"If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 25 oz. petroleum based dishwashing liquid with our 25 oz vegetable based product, we could save 81,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 4,600 US homes for a year."

There are many more brands out there for you to choose from. These guys have a whole line of environmentally friendly cleaning products and paper products. In light of our natural resources becoming more and more scarce, it makes sense to switch.

Getting off the soapbox.

Friday, October 5, 2007

hand paint

Here, then, is my first shot at hand painting yarn.
It's the same as Lamb's Pride worsted, 85% wool and 15 % mohair, but twice the size skein (380 yds. each).

I'll be sellling this (and more) at the NYS sheep and wool fest in Rhinebeck, Oct. 20 + 21, in the Sliver Moon Farm booth.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I've stopped counting...

...the number of days I haven't heard from Amy Singer/knitty, re: my submission for the December issue. She is going away for a week this weekend, and I am just hoping I'll hear something before she leaves.

It's just that I hate the waiting game. I remember years ago when I had to have two separate biopsies done on my thyroid to find out if the nodule I have there is cancer. My son was in kindergarten. All kinds of thoughts went through my head while I waited for the test results.
By the time the results came, I was ready to accept anything, any news at all. I have had many more (different) tests since then, and I am still no better at waiting.

I know. Waiting for a submission acceptance/rejection is not the same as a test result. I am highly aware of that. It's just the feeling of it being so completely out of your control...that there is nothing at all you can do to change the outcome. All you can do is wait.

Now as to the global warming issue, I guess what I'm trying to fight is that feeling of helplessness, the feeling of having to wait for someone else (like a government leader, let's say) to do something about it. So I am trying to get people to do something about it, already, right now.

See, when I first came to this country 24 years ago, one of the things that impressed me the most was the fact that in times of crisis, a whole community will come together and help. If a family lost their house due to a fire, the whole neighborhood, or even the whole town would pitch in and help that family out with shelter, food, clothing.
I was part of a group once that took turns bringing meals to a family where the mom was ill with breast cancer. We brought them dinner to the house every single night, for many weeks. Pat eventually succumbed to the disease, but the help didn't end there. It continued.

And that's what I mean. Americans know how to get together and help each other out. Why can't we get it together now? Is it because the task seems so insurmountable?

I you haven't seen it, please rent and watch "An Inconvenient Truth". Also, the recently released "11th hour". Watch "The End of Suburbia" (there is a sequel out which I haven't seen yet, "Escape from Suburbia"). These last two movies discuss how we have reached peak oil production and what the consequences are.

If we all take at least one or two steps today, it will help. Then if you add two more things, it'll help some more. The task will not be so insurmountable if you look at it this way.

Jody, thank you for reminding me to mention recycling. I think I forgot to mention that we, too recycle everything possible.

Time to get off the soapbox again.

Hopefully by tomorrow, my yarn will be dry and I can show you what I did.

Big PS: for local people: Knit Night on the First Thursday of the month is changing!! We are meeting at Panera's in Glenmont (that new huge gruesome plaza) from 7 to 9 pm tonight! We are meeting there to decide where we will go next. Some folks have offered their homes. So, don't forget, knit night planning meeting tonight!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I am not sure what is going on.

I have had no news from Amy Singer/knitty.

I got two replies from folks who were ready to tell me what they are doing to help fight global warming. I am wondering if it is worth it to bring up the subject over and over.

It is my belief that we need to talk about it to everyone, at least once a day. :) Bring it into the forefront of people's consciousness.

Because while we are sleeping, lots is going on. Read this.

Of course I can't make anyone go to any of the links.....I also can't tell you what to do or not to do. If you are waiting for me to tell you what I am doing, I use cloth grocery bags. We have one car. Out of necessity, but there it is. I can't stand disposable anything, so cut back on that as well; we use cloth napkins at the dinner table; lights go out when someone leaves the room; I combine errands as not to use the car more than I have to. When I can walk, I walk. My dear husband bikes to work several times a week. We have been vegetarians for 20 years. I wear my clothes and shoes until they are worn out. In the winter, the thermostat is set to 64 during the day and 68 when the kids come home from school. After 10 pm, no heat. We use recycled paper products whenever possible. Non-petroleum based dish-detergent and laundry detergent. I am kicking myself for not having changed lightbulbs to the more energy efficient ones.

This morning, I was dyeing some yarn. I LOVE it, love the result, but am seriously concerned about my energy and water use. I will dye what I have and sell it at the NYS Sheep and Wool Fest, and then I have to make up my mind....I think letting go of things we love, or love to do, is the hardest. That's why people don't want to think about the consequences of climate change. It would mean letting go of certain comforts, or re-arranging one's life a bit. But think about what will happen if we don't do anything.

Do you know any babies? I know quite a few. I love babies. I love to hold them, and rock them, and knit for them. I love to see their personalities develop, the people they become.

Next time you are privileged to see or even hold a baby, just imagine what the world will be like for that child if you don't do anything at all to help with this global warming business.

Getting off the soapbox now.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

in other news...

At this point, I really don't care what the reasons are or how much we humans contribute or not.
The ice is melting, greenhouse gases are a fact, global warming is happening, and we need to do something about it right now.

See this article in today's New York Times.

NPR is doing a series on it, too. See here.

Maybe we should start a group called Knitters Against Global Warming. I for one love wool sweaters, don't you?

Remember Reuse, Reduce, Recycle?

Please write to me with your ideas as to what measures you're taking in your life, at work, at home.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Creme Puff Jacket

Here are the pictures now of the jacket I designed and knitted this past week.
There is something going on with my camera--thank goodness I am meeting with my friend Laura tomorrow, who has a degree in photography. She'll be able to check it out.

The buttons are not the real ones that will be attached. These are still a work in progress, made by Pat Bull, one of the owners of Decadent Fibers, and needle felter and dyer extraordinaire. (And she didn't even pay me to say all that!). But when I arrived with the jacket today, we pinned them on to make believe.

Pattern and yarn -- called Creme Puff -- will be available at Stitches East and at the New York State sheep and wool fest, as well as online.
And we thank you for your support!

day fourteen

No news. I emailed Amy and am awaiting her response.

I was going to show you pictures of the finished jacket, but I am having problems uploading images right now, so it'll have to wait until later.
My next task is to make a wrap, and a scarf that was on the cover of the Vogue anniversary issue. So I'm off to wind some yarn...