Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Finally - an FO! Can't show it here, but you Ravelers can click to view. LOVE these! And clearly, Frisky is mesmerized by the knitting:


I'm also making some progress on this. Shhh...

In other knitting news, I had to do some surgery; my top-down raglan apparently intended to go south for the winter - as in, creeping down my shoulders - and I had to take action.

You know, as much as I love that top down seamless construction (and as much as I respect the guru EZ's opinion on the matter) I've come to believe that there really is some truth to the idea that seams help a sweater keep its shape.

I don't mean to criticize anyone else's preference, but I do have to admit that being at Rhinebeck and seeing all those handknits together in one place drove that point home; I saw some absolutely lovely examples of why seams work. Lightweight sweaters might work just fine without seams, but a heavy wool sweater - and especially in a large size - not so much. Gravity is a reality that has some inconvenient consequences - as those of us over 40are well aware - that must be taken into consideration.

Anyway, I decided at the outset that here was no way I was going to frog my raglan. After considering my options, I took a deep breath and snipped off the neckband:

Then I picked up the live stitches and started knitting up, decreasing as I went.

Once the neckline was small enough to stay up on my neck, I bound off the remaining stitches. Next step will be to pick up stitches along that bound-off edge and knit a collar. I'm hoping that this treatment at the top will help keep the rest of the cardi from sagging. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, Frisky is busy trying to stay warm and adjust to the pretty drastic drop in temperature we've been experiencing over the last few days. He's been pulling out and assessing his winter wardrobe

and getting caught up on his naps.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rhinebeck, Part 2

Back at the hotel we made a group decision to skip the Ravelry party - we were pooped! The guys went for a swim and I worked on kid knits for the following day. I had brought a bunch of needles but not the ones I needed to finish the hat - luckily for me, size 6 + size 3 = size 9 :) Worked like a charm.

Here is the hat keeping a head warm at the Pumpkin Chucking.

The neck warmer, made with 3 strands of Cascade 220, was a ridiculously fast knit. I posted a pic on Rav but trust me, there's not much to see, lol.

I missed the Leaping Llama contest but did see llamas:

Here is a fellow flaunting his ribbon - sound like anyone you know, Heather?

The sheep herding trials were brilliant - those border collies are so incredibly intelligent and well-behaved. As for the sheep, well...they certainly were cute :)

The canine frisbee demonstrations were also a lot of fun. My normally "frugal," anti-consumerist husband was sufficiently impressed as to purchase a small dog frisbee for Frisky. (For those of you who may be concerned about Frisky's welfare over the weekend, rest assured that he was busy being spolied at his nana's house.)

I didn't buy much, just a skein each of Brooks Farms Acero and Mas Acero. My pics don't do it justice so Im not posting them here. I also bought this fingering wt cotton/flax to make some Reusable Produce Bags. (Cotton is surprisingly hard to find in this weight.)

Also got some sheepskin insoles (I definitely needed them in my rubber boots) and this nifty maple WPI gauge:

Also some weird discounted yarn that made me say "wtf" almost moments after purchase. Oh well, what's Rhinebeck without a little buyer's remorse? At least it was cheap :)

And that's that. Goodbye, Rhinebeck. See you next year!


Have to admit, I've been a little bit skeptical about the hype surrounding Rhinebeck. I mean, it's a sheep and wool festival. Really, how great could it be?

It was easy enough to convince my family that this would be a nice weekend getaway. (Hubs says I had them at "Pumpkin Chucking.") We started looking early (in August, I think) and were able to get a room in Kingston, a short drive from the fairgrounds.

I guess the first indication of just what kind of weekend this would be was the sight of Ravelry buttons on seemingly everyone I passed in the hotel lobby when we arrived on Friday night. And then this happened. I have to tell you, these are some *seriously* fun girls.

The next morning, after a giant breakfast the family and I headed out early to the fair:

I immediately began kicking myself for underestimating the weather forecast. It was COLD!!! and all of our warm knitted hats and scarves were back home in NH. No matter - we found creative ways to layer and drank lots of hot beverages.

While I didn't take a ton of pictures, I did spot a number of people I recognized from rav and even my snb knit-bud Lynne. I think I probably scared some people with my "enthusiasm," but hey, I was a Rhinebeck virgin. Cut me some slack.

At one point I noticed someone I knew strolling by and almost shouted out, "Hey!" and waved frantically in this subtle way that I have of recognizing my homies in public. Fortunately before I did this I realized that it was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Oops :) I don't actually know her. Crazy world, this internet.

I saw two friends sitting side by side wearing February Lady sweaters, and a couple of Tangled Yokes, and oodles and oodles of Clapotis. By far the most amazing knitted sight I saw never made it onto my camera but you can view it here. Even more gorgeous in person, if you can imagine, and the weather was just perfect for it.

Fiber - along with the animals that produce it - was everywhere. Knitters knitting on benches and in line. It was utterly fantastic. I didn't buy a ton, just a few things that I absolutely loved. (Also, believe it or not, some Cascade take back to the hotel and whip up some super-fast bulky knits to keep the kids' ears warm on Sunday!)

More later, maybe, after I catch my breath.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bigger Than My Body... a song by John Mayer. It also seems to be a theme with my knitting, sigh.

Exhibit A: My much beloved raglan cardi

Looks okay here, yes? But after washing it has some *serious* issues with the bigness, especially under the arms, and seems to grow a bit more every time I put it on. I still love it, and will definitely wear it anyway, but really wish I had made it smaller to begin with.

Exhibit B: My eagerly awaited Breath of Fresh Air Vest

I am a vest girl and wear them often in the fall and winter. I had an uneasy feeling about this one, though, so I put it on waste yarn and - yup - too big. In a sacky, unflattering way. This one is now in hibernation (I am still in denial.)

I am all about comfy knits but this is ridiculous. I can't help wondering why I keep making the same sizing mistakes. I made a Drops vest in cotton this summer that suffers from the same issue, and I haven't even washed it yet, ook! Is it a faulty gauge ruler, evil yarn fairies, or maybe (insert dramatic music here) a negative body image?

We may never know for sure.

Rather than tackle the problem head-on, though, I've conveniently chosen to set an all-accessory agenda for myself for the next few months. Socks, scarves, wraps, hats - oh yeah, baby. I know how to make those fit!

Today I started the Campus Scarf in a heathered charcoal grey (no stripes) for a certain someone special, and am finishing a pair of Breeze for another someone special, and will probably continue on this path until about Christmas.

And next week: RHINEBECK! Can you hear the angels sing?!

Friday, October 03, 2008


Despite a rather chaotic week I have managed to make considerable progress on two projects that have been in the works for quite some time.

First, the Top-Down Raglan:

Just a cuff, people! That's all that separates me and this finished Manos yarny goodness. Here's a closeup of the mismatched buttons, which, incidentally, I have had in my hot little hands for nigh on three years now just waiting for something to attach them to:

Fortunately it is almost cold enough for me to get some wear out of a sweater like this, especially at those endless late-night kid baseball games. At times like this, Frisky realizes how lucky he is to live in a house with children who take his comfort needs very seriously:

" zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz "

But I digress.

The second project is one that has come - quite unexpectedly - out of long-term hibernation and is now whizzing right along. I will leave it at that for now, but hopefully will have photographic proof of it, or them, by the end of the weekend. Go me!

Happy Fall :)