Friday, December 21, 2007

The Jurassic WIP progresses

It is all in one piece now, with the ends woven in. I felt it needed a little border of some sort but of course don't have any yarn left, so my good friends at Stix-n-Stitches in Montclair, NJ helped me pick out some contrasting yarn last night. Will whomp something on the edge later today, fueled by my annual last minute Christmas mix of cookie dough, coffee, and antibiotics.

All in all I am pretty pleased with this - it will be taking up no more space in the stash closet or my brain, and I know my mother will love it.


In other news - there is no other news. Bah Humbug! I am buried in cookie baking, present wrapping and general holiday stress, just like half of the rest of the world. The good news is I finished my shopping this morning. The bad news is I hate the mitts I started for the Kid and feel the need to make something else instead. The good news is she tried on someone else's Calorimetry last night and loved it so I might just whip one of those out instead.

No computer for most of next week - some days with my parents, some days with friends, and of course what would an attempt on my part to relax be without the Kid having a step dancing competition in there some where...

Here's to a peaceful New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Jurassic WIP and some brand new handspun

Hard to say which pleases me more at the moment.

I finished off and plied the yarn I was spinning from some Fleece Artist merino sliver that I got from Knit Knack in Maplewood, NJ. Many less bumpies than before, and I got over 300 yards of a worsted weight yarn so there is actually enough to make something with. I like to spin, but I find I don't like to spin up 75-80 yards of something just for the heck of it - I want to make something with the yarn I spin. So this pleases me greatly. Now what to make of it?



This pleases me in a different way entirely.

Every year the Kid and I wake up at the butt-crack of dawn and schlep to the local mall when it opens at 7:00 am to hunt for bargains and blast through the Christmas shopping list. This year it looked like we weren't going to go - she got invited to a sleepover the night before our scheduled run, and although I was a tad bit disappointed that we wouldn't have our tradition, I can certainly understand that she likes to spend more time with her friends now that she is in middle school. So I got over myself, plied the yarn, and had a couple of beers with a neighbor/friend.

Imagine my surprise when the phone rings at 3:30 am - it is the Kid. After I ascertain that nothing is horribly wrong (and my adrenaline level begins to return to normal), I hear her say that she has been thinking about it, and she really doesn't want to ditch our shopping trip - could I pick her up around 6 am? I wanted to shoot her for waking me up, but of course I went to get her in the freezing cold at 6 am - tradition is tradition.

What does this have to do with the WIP? Well we were not as successful at whipping through the whole list as in years past. Maybe we are getting pickier, maybe the stores didn't have exactly what we wanted, but we came home with several names on the list still not crossed out. So I went stash diving to see what could be made up in a hurry. And yes, I know what day it is - I was thinking hats or washcloths. Anyway I found this afghan in progress that I started in 1992. Yes, 1992 - fifteen years ago. It has lived at three different houses, is older than my Kid and my dog, and has been taking up space all that time. The pattern is for a sampler stitch afghan - I found 10.75 completed squares, two skeins of yarn and the pattern booklet. So I decided it is now a throw and almost finished! I finished off the last two squares so I can have three squares by four - they are about 15" square once they are blocked - and started blocking. Two more to block and a quick crochet together, and I will have a pretty wool throw for my always freezing mother - hurrah! As well as more closet space, and the psychic space that is given when you get rid of stuff that has been hanging around for the better part of your adult life. I will post pix when it is completely finished. Right now the whole thing just makes me smile.

Still two pairs of fingerless gloves to go on the list but I am not worried - the throw should be finished today which gives me a week for the mitts.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cool essay in the CSM

Hey all,

I will blog a bit later when I have time to post pix, but I wanted to alert you to an essay in The Christian Science Monitor. Written by my friend Dawn at Subversive Stitchers it is a nice bit of knitting content!

MBT

Monday, December 10, 2007

HersheyPark Happy!

Long ago, in a faraway land where everything was made of chocolate, our knitting heroine spent a few summers working for the live entertainment department at HersheyPark in Hershey, PA. As summer jobs go for aspiring theater technicians who lived in really crappy digs in Brooklyn, this was not a bad one. Although the schedule required each stage manager and department head to work six days a week, we had very nice apartments to stay in walking distance from the park, and it was way nicer working in the theaters than as ride or games operators.

This is my favorite ride of all time.
And I got to spend some quality time on it on Saturday when the Kid and I, plus big sister and her grandson, hightailed it to Hershey to see the Christmas displays. I love Hershey at Christmas - while the big rides like the roller coasters aren't open, those aren't my favorite things anyway so I don't miss them. And we had a beautiful day in the 40s with no wind or rain, so a HersheyPark Happy day was had by all.


Then we went to Lancaster to see the newly renovated Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum Holy Cow was it beautiful - a wonderful display of local Amish made quilts, and a whole room full of antique and contemporary hooked rugs, among other things. Middle sister works there, managing the fabulous and knitter friendly museum shop, and this is the first time I have been there since the new building opened. If you are in the area and have any interest in textiles, take an afternoon to drop in.

Last but certainly not least, I came home to find this package had arrived while I was gone. Yup - it's sock yarn by Noro! I cannot cannot cannot wait to try it, but of course I have to finish up some other things first. I got it at Webs who recently added it to their inventory. The top color is S95, the bottom one is S184 - the colors are just slightly less bright than in this photo. MAN do I want to cast this on!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Appropo of nothing...

I just really like this photo of all the beautiful fruit in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. The market was right outside of the hotel where we stayed for the dance championships, and it was pretty funny to go over there and watch the vendors watch the heavily made up and tanned girls with their crazy curly hair and tiaras...

Back to the old grind this week - I finished my column on antiques for Hobby Farm Home magazine, submitted a bunch of sketches for review, and plowed back into both the never ending red sweater and the log home book that will not die.

Tonight I am off to Woolbearers in Mount Holly, New Jersey (not New Hampshire my sharp eyed friend Nichole :-) from 6 - 9 to sign books and generally carry on. I am told that Mount Holly has a pretty cool First Friday event going on tonight, where the stores and restaurants are all open late, so stop on by if you are in the area. Bring your knitting - if it's cold we can just huddle in the yarn store and watch the silly freezing shoppers go by...

I am SO not ready for Christmas -So. Not. Ready.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thanks... And greetings from Philadelphia!

I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all who sent notes and comments about my poor bunny-boy. We don't know what happened - one night he was happy and eating (according to the pet sitter, whom we have known for many years and trust implicitly), the next morning he was dead in his cage. So so sad...

Anyway....

Last weekend the Kid and I were in Philadelphia for the regional Irish step dancing championships. She was competing in both the team and the solo events. So we quick checked in on Thanksgiving afternoon before we ran off to eat with the family, and discovered we had lucked into a very cool corner room with terrific views of the city.


The Kid especially liked the fact that she could go back there and shut the curtains and no one could see her. She put her book and her lucky bamboo stick, and her sugar stash back there and retreated whenever she needed a minute to think.
Bitty Erin (named for one of the Kid's dance coaches) quite enjoyed the view herself, although she never did manage to get the Skittles opened...

And look - some actual knitting! I whipped up this little scarf for the Kid using two skeins of Online Solo . Solo is that wide tape yarn that you stab with your needle to knit with - lots of fun and quick results. I discovered that the farther away you "pick" your yarn the more ruffly it gets. And because the start bells out a little, instead of attaching the second skein to the first and going on, I knit up the two skeins separately, then sewed the two halves together center back so the ends would match. She loves it, it's purple!

On her own knitting front, she has discovered the circular needle love and I think has knit more in the last week than she has in the last year. She is stitching away on a felted purse from Amy R. Singer's Knit Wit: 30 Easy and Hip Projects (Hands-Free Step-By-Step Guides). Kid has promised pictures when she gets a little farther along.

I am sort of buried in all the work I didn't do when I was driving her to dance class every day of our lives, but hope to finish getting caught up this week. Then if I can clear a space for the Christmas tree to live in, all will be well in my world.

Mt. Holly this Friday night - Woolbearers from 6 to 9 pm. It is also a First Friday in Mt. Holly so come and get your holiday shopping groove on if you are in the neighborhood.

Wow, this post is long - congrats to those who are still with me!

The blue shrug that I wear to death? The pattern is finally up at
Leisure Arts Library. It is $3.99 until December 31st, when it goes back up to $4.99. In any case, the sample there is made with Bernat Cool Crochet, but the original was made in Blue Heron Beaded Rayon, so anything in the silky/multi/dk range would probably be an okay sub. Because it is lacy, the fit is very forgiving so gauge is maybe not as important as it might be for some other patterns. I am working away on the red sweater for Soysilk, and a few other surprises that I hope to be able to show you soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A crazy week, a little knitting

So last week was my friend's birthday. And I always make her something for her birthday - she is a wonderfully eager recipient of handknits and it's fun to make things for such an enthusiastic audience. Except I totally spazzed on the date and didn't have a whole lot of time. Calorimetry to the rescue! The yarn is Sheep 3 by Sheep Shop Yarn color number F60. Her favorite colors (it looks much closer in the yarn web site photo) and a quick knit. I gave it to her without the buttons - I can only knit but so fast and it was either finish the knitting or shop for buttons.

I had read a lot online about how the pattern came up to big, but I didn't read all of that until after I had knit the whole darn thing. Thankfully she has some serious hair so it wasn't too big at all.
Next is a bitty hat I knit for the Kid out of some stash yarn,Big Ball It took about a minute and a half to whip up and goes quite nicely with her new winter coats - one of which is purple and one of which is pink.
Other than that it has been all step dancing all the time. The Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas is this weekend - the regional dance championships for step dancers. The Kid has a team event on Saturday and a solo event on Sunday, and the preparations have been endless, not to mention expensive. I shudder to think about the amount of yarn money that has gone into this caper! But so it goes, she loves to do this and I want to reward her effort.

Oh, and there was a side trip to the Manchester Library last week for a book signing = what a great group I had! Waving to all of you who were there! Many many knitters, a great, interactive group to play with while I was talking, and lovely projects to look at. I will be in Point Pleasant in February - come there too!!!

Okay - off for the weekend. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who partake of turkey day, and to those of you about to compete - I salute you. I need to go pack the vodka and spicy apple martini mix along with the costumes, wigs and shoes!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

When LYS owners leave early...

This sweet little dog toy was knitted by a Knit-a-Bit regular and was hanging out with us at the book signing on Monday night (the toy, not the knitter). And yes, Nichole, I meant NJ and not NH - no sudden moves on my part! Anyway, Susan from Knit-a-Bit had to leave early and left the keys with one of the Knit Knight regulars so she could lock up when we left. As soon as there was no adult supervision, Miss Puppy here went crazy - she put on a sample hat, snatched up the remaining cookies, and took up knitting on Susan's sample where she left off. Which I don't think will bother Susan - she would probably be happy to have the sample finished!

Now we have to see if the folks at Knit-a-Bit have any further photos....

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Testing, testing, can anybody hear me?

Here is the link to the radio interview I did last week. I did not in fact accuse the host of living in a cave, but I did say that if he thought all knitters were grandmotherly and little old ladies that perhaps he wasn't paying attention to the world around him...

CJAD Interview

If this has technological issue, can you guys give me a holler? It works for me, but that doesn't mean I did it right...

Post with photos to come soon - I just wanted to try this out and see if it works.

Oh, and Laurie Perry has a link up to her portion of the interview too - check it out at her blog.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More words, still no pictures...

Sorry about that, I am technologically challenged today...

Sunday was the Ravelry brunch at Stix-n-Stitches in Montclair NH. Many happy Ravelers showed up, consumed goodies, bought yarn, and knit their fingers off. I am so delighted to have found this store, which is big and beautiful and only three miles from the Kid's Irish dance school, yet on the other hand I want to bang my head on the wall - this wonderland is three miles from the school and I have spent HOW many hours playing solitaire at the Panera down the road when I could have been knitting? Boy do I feel stupid. Or at least I will until they kick me out for coming to visit three times a week for the rest of the month....

It was Kid knitting all weekend - she wanted a new hat to go with her brand new and incredibly stylish if you go to middle school jacket from The North Face, which I don't think she has taken off since we bought it except to dance and to shower after dance. I scrounged up
a Big Ball that has been lingering in the stash for a while and whipped up a little beanie cap for her. Then I accidentally bought a skein of that wide flat braid that you knit into to make ruffled scarves - can't find the ball band and can't remember what the hell it is called, but I promise I will take pix later - and knit up a little scarf for her out of that. And I spun and I spun and I spun - I love having more than 4 ounces of a single colorway of roving at one time.

Tonight I am at Knit-a-Bit in Westfield, NJ - drop by after 7 if you are in the neighborhood. I am going to try to finish the Lacy Ripple Socks that I am doing in STR, because it is almost cold enough to wear them. And I very much want to wear them - so soft and squishy!

Do any of you clever bunnies know how to link to audio from this here blog? I got the MP3 file of the Canadian radion interview, and want to link to the juicier parts of it for your audio enterntainment. Email me if you can... if there are no pictures, at least there could be sound....

Friday, November 02, 2007

On Canadian Radio and other things

No pix today - Blogger is being hateful and life is too short for me to bang my head against this particular brick wall. I'll just rattle on instead.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I was asked to be on a talk radio show that airs in Montreal and Toronto. I thought this was a swell idea until I heard that I was on the air at 1AM my time. Oy. Buy PR ho that I am (Hey - did I mention I wrote a book? Did I? Huh?) I agreed, and sat here and watched videos until it was time to sit by the phone. Yes I could have taken a nap, but I worried that I would either sleep through my alarm (having sucked up some cold medicine because of course I was sick and was losing my voice), or sound so bleary on the phone people would stage an intervention, so I waited up.

Anyway I am listening to the promo stuff before I get to talk and I hear that right after me is going to be Laurie Perry, Crazy Aunt Purl herself. And I can't talk to her because we are on separate phone lines at different times (and on different coasts - SHE didn't have to talk at 1 AM, bless her heart) and it was very frustrating for me, because I am a total blog stalker of hers and I wanted to see if she said "drunkenology" again. But I said nice things about her, and apparently she said nice things about me too, but I don't really know because me and the cold medicine fell asleep right after I hung up the phone. But I almost met her, really, I almost did.

Speaking of cold medicine, I maybe shouldn't have taken some before I spoke to the host, because when he made some crack about only grandmas knitting I think I might have accused him of living in a cave, or at least not paying attention to the world around him. Maybe. But if there isn't tape of this interview, no one can prove it to the nice lady who books my radio and tv stuff, who might be horrified that I might have maybe insulted a radio host. If any of you in Toronto or Montreal heard this, maybe you could reassure me that I didn't snarl at his unenlightened self. Or if I did, maybe you could just keep it between us. Please...

And in other PR ho news - the wise and enlightened folks at Leisure Arts made me their featured author/designer/fibery person this month. Click here to read the interview, here to check out the design I did for them. It is the Cross Purposes Shrug that you are all sick of looking at me wear with my brown dress with the polka dots. I love that outfit, really I do, but I promise to buy some new clothes before my next round of readings. The seasons are changing and it really is time to stop wearing my summer book signing outfits... Maybe I need a fashion intervention and not a cold medicine intervention....

In knitting and spinning news - there isn't any. Just finished an article for Yarn Market News, and am working away on the log home book. But with any luck there will be some spinning this evening, and the rest of the red sweater for Soysilk over the weekend. With any luck...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spinning right along


Dear editors and yarn company owners and anyone else I owe work to. It isn't that I spend all of my time spinning, and none of my time working, really it isn't. I just take a lot of photos of the spinning so it looks that way. Yeah, let's go with that...

My Handful of Dust from FatCatKnits all spun up. Still not sure what to do with 82 yards of it, but it makes me happy.



Then I moved on to the merino/silk blend top I bought at last year's Rhinececk. It doesn't quite please me as much as the first yarn did, but it satisfied the burning roving lust I was suffering from. There is about 100 yards of this one. It is less lumpy than my first attempt, which I suppose is forward movement.



The kind enablers at Ravelry answered my desperate plea for local roving by directing me to the fine folks at KnitKnack in Maplewood, NJ. Where I immediately fell to the floor and fondled every braid of Fleece Artist merino sliver that they had, which for the record was a lot of braids. I chose four of similar color so that I could conceivably end up with enough yardage to actually knit something with. I am also getting a little more consistent with my singles, and they are a tad bit thinner which should not only help my yardage, but is making my roving supply last a little bit longer, hopefully saving me from having to run out and buy more every other day.

It isn't quite as bright as it looks in the photo, but I didn't want to stop spinning long enough to fiddle with the photos anymore...



Oh and to my patient friends at SWTC I am working on your sweater - really I am. Yin and Yang in a delicious red colorway - more photos as I get closer to finished but I have made great progress since this one was taken - pinky swear! I now have to go finish up two articles and at least the back of this sweater so I can go back to spinning without (much) guilt...

I almost forgot - I had a great time visiting with Kathy and Steve Elkins from Webs on their podcast Ready, Set Knit!

Click on Show 51 to listen in.















Oh - and another gratuitous sheep picture, this time with me in it! Love me some Rhinebeck sheep!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Do you want plies with that?

Holy cow - an actual post with photos two days in a row? Don't count on it ever happening ever again, but all of my spinner enabling friends have begged for photos of my weak plying skills - I suspect so they can point and laugh - so I figured it was easier to post than to put everyone off.

And yes I stole that title from a book, but since it was my book, I don't think the plagiarism charge will stick, thank you very much.

Up top - the merino top I bought at Rhinebeck. The colorway, since I didn't mention it yesterday, is Handful of Dust. Yummmmmm.

The photos are a bit out of order but I am too lazy to fix them right now, so there you have it. I had two bobbins worth of singles, and of course when I plied them I had a few yards left over on one of them, so I tried a bit of Navajo plying. I really, really like that technique, although it won't be a good choice for me overall until I get my singles a little bit (or a lot) thinner because the resulting three ply just barely fit through the orifice. But I really like how the color changes were more noticable with that ply.



Here is a photo of my 82.50 yards of extremely thick and thin 2-ply yarn. Why no, I can't find my niddy-noddy and wrapped the yarn around an old cookie sheet to steam and set the twist - what made you ask? :-) Still can't decide what to make out of it, but it will be made soon, because of all that instant gratification need I have floating around this week.

To satisfy my needs in the meantime, I dug through the house looking for any fiber I could find, and remembered some merino silk top I had bought last year to use with my drop spindle. I spun a bobbin full of that last night, and will probably finish off the rest tonight. In the meantime I have posted on Ravelty that I need to buy more merino top in the state of NJ right NOW and some fellow crazies have hooked me up with a place to go - more on that after I get there.

This paper bag of joy was given to me by the fine ladies of Ariadne Knits
and the only reason it isn't knitted up is that I can't stop spinning. Photos when it's finished, but it contained two balls of fluff (that the Kid has stolen for her experiment spinning), and enough beautiful blue laceweight to finish the dainty little necklet design that was included in the package. Go see them - tell them I sent you, they were very nice!

Last but certainly not least we have what the Kid blew her money from Pop-pop on - an alpaca teddy bear. His name is Tickles. Last year she was quite incensed about toys made from dead alapacas (as opposed to fleeces which don't bother her at all), but last year the vendor took the time to explain to her that in the economy it came from, every part of the alpaca was used after its demise - and that alpacas weren't killed before their time to become teddy bears, if only because they were more valuable while they were producing fiber. She pondered this in the twelve months between events, and decided that it was okay for her to purchase one. I love the amount of thought she put into her purchase.

I am off to babble some more - I am going to be on the Webs podcast soon and we are taping today. Wish my luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The great Rhinebeck hangover, 2007

Don't get evil thoughts, it is a fiber and fun hangover, I only managed to snarf down two beers over the entire weekend. I sort of sucked at taking photos, as usual, but herewith - the parts of the weekend that I actually managed to record.

First off - I got my wheel! The one I wanted! And used so it was affordable! And already set up! And I have already spun all the merino top I bought so I have to find more! OK - enough of that, but you get my point(s).


Here is a big bag o' shetland yarn that I bought from Shelby something or other - ILoveYarn.com? Anyway I fell in love with the black/red, and the deep blue and at $14 for a thousand or so yards, I bought both. The Kid chose that green chenille-ish stuff - similar to the Berocco.


Lovely lovely roving was a last minute purchase from Ravelry's own Yarn Fairy, Gwyniver. Not to be confused, which I did earlier, with the fiber elf who dyed my treasure Fat Cat Knits. I have already spun and plied every inch of it, and I want more, damn it, more NOW! Ahem, sorry, I am currently addicted to the spinning wheel and had to be forcibly parted from it to share with the Kid, who is learning quite quickly. Speaking of the Kid, there she is with every goat in the place trying to get the food from her hand. This was taken early Saturday morning and they were hungry!


The photos I did remember to take were mostly in the author tent, where knit and crochet book authors of all flavors hung out throughout the day on Sunday. Mostly the photos suck, but I couldn't resist this snap of Stitchy McYarnpants (of the Boston McYarnpants', she earnestly told everyone who asked) sharing a quality moment with arguably the creepiest clown ever crocheted. This clown alone is responsible for generations of knitters looking down their noses at crocheters, and I vote we unravel the little bugger as soon as we can get him alone....

The author tent was great fun - Stitchy and I shared a table, across from the lovely and talented Judith Durant, whose newest book101 Designer One-Skein Wonderscame home with me. We also shared the same rarified air as the Yarn Harlot, the Mason-Dixon ladies, and crochet designer extraordinaire Margaret Hubert, among others. Thanks to all of you who stopped by to say hello - it made me suffer much less from line envy than I might have otherwise :-)

I have to go find some more fiber now so I can spin some more.....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A visit from the Tofutsies Fairy


I love the UPS guy - he brings me such lovely yarn, and unlike the mail guy he doesn't bring me any bills.

This arrived from Southwest Trading yesterday - yummy payment for the last pair of socks I did for them. Tofutsies in nine different colorways. There is a double because the Kid scoped out the color choices ahead of time and claimed one for her very own, so I wisely asked for two so I won't have to go without myself! I was planning on showing close up photos, but the Blogger photo system is being cranky this morning, so no luck.

I did a lovely book signing last night at Secaucus Public Library. Well I did a discussion, there were no actual books, which was mildy frustrating for all concerned. But Womrath's in Tenafly has some signed copies for those of you locals that want one, and of course they can be gotten elsewhere. A wildly prolific Project Linus group meets there and they impressed the hell out of me with both the beauty and the quantity of the blankets they were putting out. Well done ladies!

only about 52 hours until I leave for Rhinebeck....

Monday, October 15, 2007

5 days 'til Rhinebeck

And a few more photos from Lancaster. Here we have a big giant fake cow, followed by two big giant real cow-like creatures. Oxen? I don't know, but I couldn't get over how big their heads were! They were pulling a large cart for the tourists to ride in.

On the Irish dance front - two big wins for the Kid this weekend - the exact trophy she needed (and one for good luck) to move up permanently to Preliminary Champion. She was so happy when she found out she stood there and cried in the results room. I know some of you are not into the whole Irish dance thing, but let me just say that this was a BIG FREAKING DEAL and the Kid and I are both so happy we could burst.


Tons of work to do this week so I can relax with a clear conscience at Rhinebeck (did I mention it is only five days away?) so I must get to work.

If you are looking for me for bingo or just to say hello, I will definitely be at the following places:

Saturday 1 - 3, Ellen's Half Pint Farm, building 26, booth N. I will be collecting preemie hats for Hats for Alex, if you are so inclined.

Sunday 10 am - the giant author tent of chaos. Me, the Harlot, the Mason-Dixon ladies, and Stitchy McYarnpants and many others courtesy of the fine folks at Merritt Books.

1 - 3, back at Ellen's Half Pint for more frivolity and more hat collecting.

PLEASE say hello, even if you don't want to buy a book or have one signed. I love meeting my internet friends.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weekend in Lancaster


The Middle Sister has moved to Lancaste,r PA, and the Kid and I went down for the weekend - partly to visit, partly on one more stop on the never ending book plug that is The Secret Language of Knitters

Friday night I did an event at the Heritage Center Museum, where I met lots of knitters and made great wonking progress on my Socks That Rock socks, much to the delight of the non-knitters who wandered by. I finished one sock and got the ribbing and part of the leg done on the other. I find being confined to one space with only one knitting project goes a long way towards avoiding Second Sock Syndrome.


We woke up Saturday to discover that in addition to the regular Central Market hours (which was cool enough on its own - the Kid said her cinnamon bun was the best she ever tasted in her entire life!) there was a birthday celebration/street fair in full force.

It looked a little like this. And there were many many things for eleven year old's to do. Like eat cake, and paint wooden shapes, and get balloon animals, and wander into the market 14 times, and.... you get the idea.

One of the tables was set up with various veggies so you could make critters out of pumpkins and gourds. Aside from the hot glue gun, teeny nails and hammers, and a few random pipe cleaners, everything else on the table was food of some sort. The Kid made Pumpkin Guy -


who is a little blurry but cute none the less.

And look who I found! Three furry friends from Eastland Alpacas. Fiber - it's everywhere.



On the work front, I have three stories on loggie topics to finish up, and a red sweater for Soysilk. I was hoping to get it finished for Stitches East, but no go - the sleeves are annoying me more than I thought they might.

Counting the minutes until Rhinebeck. And now that I got my invitation to Ravelry I am just too busy dreaming about yarn for words.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Socks that really do rock!


Been working my way through the Stitches Midwest purchase pile. I am indulging in some "anticipation adds greatly to the pleasure" procrastination on the Qiviut yarn, but I couldn't keep my hands off the Socks That Rock. This is the lightweight, color Space Dust, in the pattern that I just did for Tofutsies that you can't have yet, but will get soon! It doesn't really spiral when worn, although it looks like it does in the photo.

I love love love this yarn. You know how sometimes you hear about some fabulous yarn or pattern, or read it about it on the Internet, and then you run off and get what you covet, only to be disappointed because it doesn't float your boat? NOT the case here - I am in love. And I get the side benefit of being able to avoid the yarn for STR at Rhinebeck, because I already have some! Color me happy, and smug. I may even get them finished in time to wear to Rhinebeck, but no promises - life goes on as usual here at Chez Hectic.

Speaking of Rhinebeck - Blogger Bingo is happening again. Woo-hoo! I had SO much fun doing this last year and I was only there part of the day on Sunday. Now that I will be there both days I get to play even more, and torture more strangers. I say again, Woo-Hoo! Yarn and sheep and torturing strangers - what a weekend!

Speaking of Rhinebeck again - I seem to be always speaking of Rhinebeck - I will be doing book signings for Secret Language of Knitters on Saturday and Sunday at the booth of the lovely and talented Ellen of Ellen's Half Pint Farm . I will be there from 1 - 3 both days, so come say hello and get your books signed, or just introduce yourself. Then go buy lots of yarn from Ellen. I know I have mentioned this before, but it is the worst kind of torture trying to stay on a budget when you go hang out with yarn dealers for a living. At least if I am being roundly ignored (an author at a signing's worst nightmare) I can shop!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cameron goes yarn shopping

When Cameron T. Bunny was leaving the wilds of Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool almost one short year ago, we ran into my friend Adam, co-owner of The Stitchery, a very fine yarn shop in Pearl River, NY. Adam was quite smitten with Cameron and wanted him to visit, but his mother, who works in the shop, is not much of an animal person and vetoed that idea pretty quickly.

Guess who didn't go to work on Monday? And while the mom's away, the bunnies will play....

Cameron loved playing on the floor of the shop, and Adam fed him seed cookies for rabbits (what we refer to in my house as "bunny crack") so all was well. Refreshed, he decided to check out the yarn selection - but nothing floated his boat right away...


Nothing here either - the pain of it all -













AHA! Cousins!!! Just what the bunny doctor ordered! Little Cameron was happy at last....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Two of my favorite things!

Look, a cruise!




Look, knitters on the cruise!





How cool is that?




On Sunday 9/23 about 100 knitters set sail on a 3 hour cruise (cue:Gilligan's Island theme song) up the Hudson River. The event was sponsored by Cornwall Yarn Shop with a little help from Plymouth Yarn, and a good time was had by all. I signed some books, met some nice people, saw some friends, knit on some socks, and generally had a lovely afternoon. There were even snacks and booze, but I didn't partake of either since I was running around playing instead.

My new pattern for Plymouth is out - the pile of beige spaghetti I showed here a few weeks ago is now a lovely shawl pattern in their new Buckingham yarn. Not to sound like a commercial but I love that stuff - 80% baby alpaca/20% silk fingering weight. SO soft and easy to work with. I will scan it and show you the picture tomorrow - right now I have to get ready for my event in Marlton NJ tonight at the Borders on Route 73. Did I mention that my 6th grade English teacher is coming? He doesn't knit, but he read the whole book just because I wrote it. I think that is the coolest thing - teachers rock!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Yum, Tofutsies.

I just got this color of Tofutsies (#791) with a request from Kat at Soysilk to make up a pattern for it. This is a very simple chevron lace repeat (4 rows, 2 are knit across) with a heel flap heel and a round toe.

Not sure when exactly the pattern will be available, but I suspect it will be soon - SWTC is pretty quick about getting new patterns printed.

The next thing I am doing for them is a holiday red sweater in Yin and Yang - can't wait!


Cinderella hearts Tofutsies too - the skein is the perfect pillow when she is taking one of her many needed naps during the day. I often wonder if the yarn companies I design for notice the ever so slight doggie smell that accompanies my work...

Three events for me next week - Womrath's in Tenafly, NJ on Tuesday, the Barnes and Noble on Rt 17 S in Paramus, NJ on Wednesday, and the knitting cruise next Sunday the 23rd. Deets, as always, available on the book website tour page .