Rhinebeck, The Epic Post: Part 2!

It’s my day off, my apartment could use a good vacuuming, there is laundry to be folded, but instead I am spending the day taking pictures of yarn, then going to a museum and out to dinner with a friend.  And I have no complaints.

Here’s my haul.

 My first purchase was this lovely wool/silk roving from A Touch of Twist.  It’s 11.6 oz of soft grey green silky goodness.  I can’t wait to spin it up.

 Once I had made that first purchase, it made the others a little easier.

I got this button from Briar Rose Fibers – I didn’t end up buying any yarn there, because all I wanted was a sweater amount for myself – but with my knitting queue and current plans, I wouldn’t have time to knit that up until after next fall – when I can go to Rhinebeck again and buy it!  This button is for my Emerald cardigan – I’m going to modify its original buttonholes to just one (like in the pattern).

 I can’t remember where I bought this small pile of roving – I was really drawn to the colors together.  I’m going to prepare them to make a self-striping yarn, I think.

 At the Little Barn, they had bags and bags of worsted wool for $35.  Crazy!  2000 yards of tealy goodness.  There are seven skeins of the heathered green that will be a sweater vest for my stepfather.  I don’t know what the sweater for me will be yet – I’m contemplating Rogue.

 That was day one.

This was day two.

My major purchase of the day was at Maple Creek Farms.  I had been there the day before, and Lindsey had bought some yarn, but I had just looked.  I explored a little and ended up being three skeins.

Two skeins of this lovely sproingy slightly heavier than worsted merino wool.  I love the two colors together.  Last year, I bought a skein of this in a green colorway and made a one skein wonder with it (that got a little felted in the washing machine by accident… oops).  I’m thinking some kind of shrug with the two of them together.

 This yarn is going to be the Summer Lace Shawlette for Lindsey & Ben’s wedding.  It goes well with the color of my dress, and will stay on my shoulders and will not be too warm and I love the color.  It’s a merino/silk blend and the colorway is called “Victoria.”

 At the meetup, Lindsey and I met the girls behind Ariadne Knits, and they gave us little knit kits for neck kerchiefs!

 My last purchase of the day was on the way out – we found an entire barn we though we hadn’t been to, and Reflections at Roclan was right behind it!  I bought two skeins of this lovely worsted wool to use as the contrasting color in a two color yoke sweater.

 And then I went home, dumped it on the floor, and rolled around in it.

Well, maybe not.


Rhinebeck, The Epic Post: Part 1.

It’s the day after Rhinebeck. All of the yarn loving folks who spent their weekend surround by sheep, alpacas, and more yarn than you could ever imagine are all running a little slower today, slightly hungover from the intoxication of being surrounded by that much fiber-love.

This post will be a two parter. As you may remember, I left my digital camera at home, so I picked up a disposable camera at a rest stop on the way up. You can see all of the pictures I took in this set – here are the highlights. My second Rhinebeck post will show my loot. I even came in under budget (is that crazy or what?)!

I woke up at 6:30am, made my mom breakfast (scrambled eggs that she and the pups shared), and was on my way!

Lindsey and I arrived at about 9:30am, within a few minutes of each other.

We started to explore, and I was too busy fondling yarn to take pictures! We visited some sheep along the way. By 11am, we were both hungry and decided it was an appropriate lunch time. We shared lamb kabobs. Yum.

Then we did something crazy – we walked down and discovered a whole building and section of the fair that we hadn’t gone to last year! Outside of Building E, there were ton of cool food vendors and gourmet food tastings and yarn and we had no idea! This is where the Blogger/Ravelry/Bingo meet up was, which was a little overwhelming on Saturday. Lindsey & I found some people on our squares, and I recognized some people from blogs I read. It was kind of cool to be surrounded by that much knitting love.

We had some deep fried pickles to recover our strength after the meet-up. They were so good!

Then we took pictures of ourselves.

Lindsey took pictures of my sweater! Which I tried to wear for most of the day, but it was really hot there!

At this point, we walked to our cars to drop off some of our purchases. On the way out, I ran into the Ravelry crew dispensing t-shirts, so I went and picked up the one I had ordered. I met a few people standing outside of the Ravelry van, including Adrian of HelloYarn – I told her my sweater was inspired by her Wave Yoke Sweater, but I think it was really incoherent (I actually ended my sentence with “and that’s it”). I think it was wool sweater induced heat stroke.

We went back and saw an angora rabbit demonstration. And continued to shop till we dropped. Literally. I was so tired!

Lindsey and I headed to the hotel at about 5pm (major traffic!) in separate cars. I saw this billboard on the way over.

Lindsey finished her endpaper mitts in the hotel room.

I taught Lindsey to spin!

I, obviously, need to learn to use my flash.

We headed out to the Ravelry party, but we were both STARVING when we got there, and they hadn’t really opened the doors yet… so we left, and had a bit of an adventure finding food, but eventually found a super nice diner and had a great dinner (greek salad with anchovies! YUM!). We ran into Tina of Phoenix Fiber Works on Sunday, who I saw walking into the party as we left, and she said there was an OPEN BAR and food and stuff. So we just didn’t wait long enough. Ah, well.

We went to bed kind of early (it was a long day!), and before we knew it, it was time for Day 2!

We had a little bit more of a plan – there were a few places I wanted to go back to. First up, we headed to the Little Barn, which has the world’s longest lines but is so worth the wait. When we were waiting on line on Saturday, someone walking in said “What, are they giving the yarn away?” and someone else replied “Practically!” I spent $50 there and got 17 skeins of worsted weight wool (that’s 3400 yds, folks). But that’s another post.

Lindsey loved the Eco-Blend yarn they had, made of cotton and recycled soda bottles – so she picked up more on Sunday, along with some BFL roving.

Lindsey made a friend.

We watched some alpacas on parade (look! they’re wearing scarves!).

And admired the fall foliage – it was so warm I took my sweater off within fifteen minutes and didn’t even try to put it back on the entire day.

We went to the Sunday Blogger/Ravelry/Bingo meetup, and met a few people. Mostly just watched from the side-lines, though, which was fine. Again, so overwhelming!

We enjoyed some lovely fried artichokes for a mid-morning snack. SO GOOD! We had lamb ravioli for lunch, but I didn’t take a picture of it. It was good though!

After that, we went and tasted all of the cheeses, dips, and gourmet foods in a building we had no idea even existed last year. I was so full after the artichokes and tons of pretzel sticks with dips!

I accosted Katydid Knits while she waited on line for food and took a photo of her beautiful lime green crocheted shawl. I was drawn to the green – and her Charlotte’s Web the day before was so pretty too!

I was running out of steam at this time – we wanted to get the center square on Blogger Bingo, so we found Barn 39 – and discovered we hadn’t been there yet! Crazy. When we walked out the back, we found even more yarn-y vendors, and I picked up two skeins of lovely teal wool.

We ran into Tina of Phoenix Fiber Works there, too, who gave us the low down on the Ravelry party we had missed and chatted with her for awhile. There were corgi puppies! I wanted to steal one. So cute!

After that, we headed back down to the Author’s Tent. Lindsey bought Charmed Knits and had Alison Hansel sign it. I admired Kristin Nicholas‘ knits – oh the colors! – but her book was sold out, so I didn’t pick it up. We stopped by to see the knits and skeins that had placed and got ribbons.

And then it was over. I was pooped. We parted ways, and drove to our separate states.

It was a great weekend. It was SO FUN to see Lindsey for an entire weekend and immerse myself in the knitting world. I did get tired a little more easily than I usually would because, for some personal reasons, I haven’t been as active lately. But I’m already preparing for next year (we might try to talk the boys into coming for one day, as there is enough to entertain them for a few hours!).

Coming tomorrow: what I bought!

Rhinebeck or bust!

I’m staying with my parents tonight on my way up to Rhinebeck. My mom, a big fan of my knitting blog, insisted I put up a post.

This is Zoe, the pit bull dachshund. She’s posing with my current WIP, an Everlasting Bagstopper in Cotton-Ease “Terra-Cotta” (and my finished Everlasting Bagstopper in Cumin Blue Alpacas Dyed Cotton in the background). She will be my bed companion for the evening – and tomorrow, Rhinebeck bright and early!

Sadly, I left my digital camera at home – I think I’ll pick up a disposable camera on the way up so I can take some pictures, and use my cell phone, too.

I’ll be around both days! I’m hoping I can wear my sweater… but it’s going to be 70 degrees!

Cumin Cotton Bag, entrelac update, and segway into holiday knitting

First of all, thank you for the comments on my Cascade Yoke Sweater! It is, by far, my favorite sweater I’ve knit so far. I’m just so psyched it fits me! And I feel so clever for finding that great two color pattern. It made me want to knit the entire sweater that I took the pattern from. As I mentioned, I’ll be wearing it this weekend, so I’ll get some modeled pictures then and post them!

Caroline asked about the contrasting color of the hems – it’s a really easy trick that adds a beautiful detail to a simple sweater.   I was inspired by the Seamless Hybrid Sweater by Jared of Brooklyn Tweed (scroll down to see his hems!).  I used a provisional cast on and smaller needles, and knit for about an inch with the contrasting color.  I switched to the larger needles and main color and knit one row.  After that, you knit a turning row – usually a purl row, but I did a picot edging [simply a row of k2tog and yos] – then knit until the section past the turning row is the same length as the section before.  I unraveled the provisional cast on, put them on a needle, then did a giant super row of doom.  Which translates to carefully doing a three-needle bind off/knit two together action, taking a stitch from my current needles and a stitch from the cast on and knitting them together.  Much better tutorials on the technique can be seen here and here, as well as in the Brooklyn Tweed post I already linked.  I love love love the clean, rib-less edge it creates, and the professional look it gives the sweater.

I finished up the sweater on Sunday morning. Even after a good soak and blocking, I still had an entire day devoted to movies and knitting. So, even though I have a lot of holiday knitting going on, and a lot of projects on the needles, I cast on for the Everlasting Bagstopper from the Summer 2007 Knitty suprise.

Two skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in Cumin (to the last bit!), some US5 and US10.5 needles, Running With Scissors, Hard Candy, another movie I can’t remember, a commute, and some Monday night television… and it was done!

Finished Knit Cotton Bag

I didn’t change much. I did an i-cord for the handles, instead of the ribbon called for in the pattern. I left four stitches live four stitches in from the edge of the front and back as I cast off, then picked them up, knit an i-cord with a double strand of the yarn on a US5 or US6 DPN I had laying around, and grafted it to the other set of live stitches on the edge.

I used the double strand of yarn because I wanted the straps to be really nice and sturdy – I left a little bit of extra yarn at the beginning, and used the extra yarn at the end of the i-cords to weave in the ends very securely, adding another layer of strength to the straps.

Finished Knit Cotton Bag

The other change I made was to use a provisional cast on. The pattern calls to knit a rectangle in garter stitch, then pick up the stitches all the way around to form the base of the bag. I used the provisional cast on so I didn’t have to pick up the 44 stitches from the cast on row, and knit the rectangle until it was 14 garter stitch ridges high, which made picking up the stitches along the edge very easy. It was a little tough to knit those first few rows of the base, with the rectangular shape, but once I got into the lace portion – smooth sailing.

I couldn’t be happier with how this came out. I love the color, the softness (this cotton yarn is so soft when knit up at a tight gauge, like the bottom of the bag), and how fast it was!

In other news, I wore my entralac Noro scarf today, since it felt like scarf/no jacket weather. When I got on the elevator, I discovered something odd about it.

Entrelac in the Elevator

I had never woven in the ends. Oops. So I did it on the train.

I was going to use this scarf as a holiday gift, but the only person who I thought would like it already has a crazy Noro scarf I knit. Plus I really liked it. I guess I can never have too many scarves, huh?

Entrelac Waiting for the Train


Next up? The Shifting Sands scarf by Grumperina in Polar White Malabrigo (modified to 42 stitches for worsted weight yarn) for my grandma for Christmas. Then the sweater vest for my stepfather!

FO: Cascade Yoke Sweater.

It’s finished. It fits. It’s wonderful.

The entire sweater blocking.
Please excuse my rumpled sheets.

It is an Elizabeth Zimmerman style seamless yoke sweater, made to my gauge and shape according to directions found in “Knitting Without Tears.” The pattern is from the Moorish Patterned Pullover from the Winter 2003 Interweave Knits – it’s the border pattern. I used less than one skein of the teal and the light green, and about five of the charcoal.

Cascade Yoke

It has waist shaping and a little bit of bust shaping in the form of short rows. The sleeves and the bottom are hemmed, have a picot edge, and a contrasting color on the non-public side.

Hem detail!

The collar is 1×1 rib on US4 needles (the rest of the sweater was knit on US7s), with some extra shaping at the back, according to EZ’s directions. The sleeves are three quarter, because I am always hot and because it was faster.

Close up of the Yoke detail

I started planning this sweater on Sept 21 – I starting knitting it the moment the yarn arrived, around the end of Septemeber. So a little more than two weeks to a sweater! That’s absolutely my fastest sweater ever.

My single regret: I’ve lost a bit of weight over the past month, and I wish I had made it about two inches smaller around.  It fits me really well know, with about an inch of ease.  A little bit of negative ease wouldn’t have killed me, the sweater would still fit well, and I’d be able to wear it longer, as my weight continues to drop  Oh, well.

All of these pictures were taken during the blocking process – I’ll have some modeled photos when I wear it to Rhinebeck this weekend!

Blogger Bingo! And it’s done!

It’s done, it’s done, my Rhinebeck sweater is done! I finished it last night, and grafted the second armpit hole this afternoon (I had done the other a few days ago, when I was frustrated with the yoke), and wove in all of the ends! Here’s a finished object picture:

Look! A finished sweater!

Well, I guess you can’t see it very well. This is the second of the three rinses it is going through – the first was with some Soak wool wash (if you think the water is dark in this picture, you should have seen it during that rinse!). This one is a good old soak with some conditioner, and the third will be to get the conditioner, and any other loose dye out. Then I’ll block it and I’ll share some much better photos with you!

Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo

As I mentioned, Lindsey & I are a square for Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo together! So here’s a hint on how to spot us, for Bingo and beyond!

I look like this:

Self-portrait in the bathroom as sweater soaks.  Look! No scar from opening the car door into my head!

Well, kind of.

Lindsey looks like this:

Lindsey poses with the Parrot Penguin

Though she probably won’t have the penguin with her.

I’ll be wearing the above mentioned soaking sweater, which I will post better pictures of later this week. I’ll probably have a giant tote bag with a ton of buttons on it, including my “I’m a Square!” button (modeled here by Lindsey) and NJ Represents Ravelry button.

Please say hi!


Is next week.  I can hardly stand the excitement.

Sadly, I can’t seem to put Zelda down long enough to finish my sweater.  Boo me!  Hello, my name is Jessie, and I am a Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Houglass addict.  (Hi Jessie!).

Peeking out of my sweater in the parking lot, Rhinebeck 2006.

Last year, Lindsey and I woke up before 7am and drove up to Rhinebeck, getting to the festival at about 9:30am on Sunday.  There was a lot to see and a lot to do – this year, we’re going for the full two days!  Lindsey is in Boston, though, so we’re driving up by ourselves and meeting there for two days of yarn, alpaca, and other fiber-y fun.

On my way home from work on the Saturday night before Rhinebeck last year, I opened my car door into my forehead.  Really hard.  Blood gushed out, and it HURT (you can see it in the above picture).  I didn’t sleep much that night, because of said head injury, and the cold I had been fighting off got the best of me on Sunday.  So I was in yarn heaven, with a sore forehead, an achy body, and an awful cold.  How awful was the cold?  When we got home on Sunday, I slept for 14 hours straight.

I only have one project earmarked for Rhinebeck shopping and yarn – something beautiful to make into a shawl to wear for Lindsey & Ben’s wedding next June.  Other than that, it’ll be impulse shopping.  Maybe I should make a real list.