The “Haul”

Potential projects.

Back from Rhinebeck!  Claudia and I had a great time at the festival and we ran into so many people.  It is a super festival if you’re thinking about ever going to one.

Above you see my yarn haul.  It’s not much of a “haul” but I’ve come to the conclusion that buying yarn without purpose leads to tears.  I knit many more small projects than sweaters so I’ve ended up with four skeins of sock yarn and one skein of yarn intended for a hat.

For those interested
-Two skeins of Trekking (my personal fave) multi color and turquoise were unearthed in a sale basket.  Yes please!

-The skein that looks purple is really gray multi and is Ellen’s Halfpint Farm merino/silk/nylon sock yarn.

-The front skein is really blue/teal/gray in real life and is Miss Babs Heartland Worsted for a hat.

-The red skein is Cephalopod Skinny Bugga sock yarn merino/cashmere/nylon.

We saw that the two most swamped booths this year were Miss Babs and Cephalopod.  While both have very pretty colors, we couldn’t figure out why those two brands were so very popular.  The yarn bases are nice but not unique so it must be the marketing.  Since I spend little to no time on Ravelry I don’t know what marketing has been employed so successfully.  I did get a skein of each so I will get to experience the yarn first hand.  I’ll report back if I get any insight into why these have generated such herdlike behavior.

This year I also chose a few more subdued sock colors because I wanted to make a few pairs that didn’t make me look crazy pants if I had to take my shoes off in public.

Another favorite activity Claudia and I always try to do is eating at the CIA.  Claudia scooped up a reservation for us and we ate well Saturday.  I had duck breast and Claudia had a perfectly roasted bit of chicken.  Again, if you ever get the chance to eat here or at the CIA in Napa (that’s coming soon!) go for it.

And for those jonesing for a leaf peeping fix, I managed to find and use the panorama function on my iPhone.  Not well, but I did try and you get the idea.  Happy peeping.

The leaves are loveliest in this shot, but clearly I’m not so good with the panorama.

Pre Rhinebeck

Before the 3.5 hour drive.

I know everyone misses Claudia’s long gone knit blog, but you don’t have to miss her today. Here she is (with me) right before we set off on our drive to Rhinebeck. A pleasant enough drive with just a soupcon of traffic. All worth it for the Rhinebeck experience.

Stay tuned for some Rhinebeck photos if I remember to take some.

Festival of fingering


Immediately after getting back to my sister’s from Rhinebeck I had to repack and fly down to work so I mailed my purchases home. I am now home so I can reunite with my goodies.  I’ve named this Rhinebeck as the Festival of Fingering and will have to endure the weird google hits that will come my way.  Sorry if you’re here not looking for yarn.  Now go away.

Upper left is enough yarn for a tri color version of Daybreak.  The yarn is from Miss Babs Yummy and the colors are Obsidian, Naked, Forever and Homebrew.  I wanted a sophisticated colorway and came up with this one.

Upper right is my current sweater on needles.  This is Sweater #6 from Phildar Automne #38 and the colorway is a pretty gray called Flanelle and is a nice bulky weight called Cloudy - but light as it’s a wool/poly blend.

Lower left is my current travel project that I started immediately with some pretty yarn from Rhinebeck.  This is Bittersweet Woolery Guilty Pleasures in celeriac knit up in the Herbivore pattern.  It’s coming along nicely and is easy enough to knit up even with my constant jetlag.

Lower right is my yummy gray and yellow for a version of Paulie.  I looked all over for a yellow and gray that I liked together and found this pretty buttercreamy yellow at Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Note.  The colorway is Daisy Chain and I adore it.  The gray is Pewter and I can only hope I bought enough yarn…the thought of a fingering weight striped cardie kind of makes my head spin.

A good festival and I didn’t even freeze my ass off!  Perfect!

Enter faux Missoni


I may have been too lazy to run to Target and battle for Missoni gear, but I wasn’t too lazy to fly to Salt Lake City, buy yarn with Cheryl and improvise a pattern for cowl. No sirreee!

As you can see the Faux Missoni Cowl is complete.  I bought two skeins of Noro Taiyo which is a cotton/silk/nylon/wool mix and quite soft enough to be worn next to the skin (well at least mine).  I wanted a scarf that coordinated with my as yet unmade Raspberry coat, and the Taiyo lent itself to the Missoni theme with those long color changes.  Figuring that 44o yards wouldn’t give me the long scarf I prefer, I opted to make a cowl.

This is my first cowl and didn’t know how long to make one.  I looked at the cowl measurements on Ravelry and those cowls are all over the place on length and width.  I ended up winding a scarf around my neck twice and noting how much length that took up.  I made my cowl 50.5″ long and it ended up 11.5″ wide, using all but a few yards of the yarn.

I knit this in the round and cast on 217 stitches, which based on my gauge would give me the circumference I wanted.  Can you believe the math came out perfect on this one!

The knit pattern is 12 stitch razor shell from Barbara Walker’s First Knitting Treasury which you can memorize in 30 seconds.  I used a long tail cast on and cast off with in purl stitches because that looked better.

Now I’m ready for Rhinebeck next weekend!  And the weather report looks like this will the first NY Sheep and Wool in a LONG time where this California girl won’t freeze her ass off!  Mid 60s!  Heaven!

The good and the bad

Rhinebeck in the fall is a seriously beautiful place.  The leaves are dramatic, especially viewed with these California eyes.  Our leaves just aren’t THAT dramatic.  We saw many friends and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Then there is the food.  I make a point to get the CIA for a fab dinner.  The students are wonderful and the food and wine are top notch.  This year I had foie gras (no emails please – it is damn delicious), warm spinach salad and duck.  Our table ordered four desserts so we could taste a variety.  My fave was the pumpkin bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream.

Claudia made me work out twice over the weekend. Note:  I brought workout clothes with me, so it wasn’t really that much of an arm twisting situation.  I just want to nudge her like a little sister does.

Then there is the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  This year was not as butt-ass freezing as last year, but there was no way you were getting that down coat off me on Saturday.  Hells to the no.  The fairgrounds are lovely, the vendors had tons of great stuff and there is warm apple cider.  I love warm apple cider and the festival is the only place I drink it.  I bought a few great skeins of sock yarn and a bit of alplaca blend fingering for small projects.  I don’t really need much yarn, but I do always take a small project along when I travel.

I also bought a bunch of soap, this is the only soap I use and drag it all over the world – truly.  I forgot when packing yesterday that a mass of soap in your suitcase must look a tad suspicious to the TSA.  I got tagged for a check (my fault for not pulling it out).  When the TSA guy opened my bag he couldn’t help but say “oooh, it smells good in there”.  I guess c4 doesn’t have natural herbal essences.  The soap passed the recheck with flying colors and made the xray machine smell like heaven.

Silhouette / proportion / fit.  What does that refer to?  A fiber gathering pasttime is seeing knits in person that you’ve only seen online/in print.  Many are lovely, even the ones not your own personal taste.  You can admire the skill, even if you wouldn’t wear them.  Then there are the “head scratchers”.  Truly what-the-fuck creations that leave you blinking.  Hence Mr. Gunn’s mantra.  He also advises that your outfit not cut you in half visually, and a 2/3 – 1/3 proportion is more flattering to the eye.  That is a good guideline no matter your taste level.  A subset of the what-the-fuck is the knitter who appears to be wearing everything they’ve ever knit - all at once.  Most of us have a mental line in the sand of the number of knits we’ll don, it’s situational and a bit fluid depending upon weather conditions, but there is a line which we will not cross.  Clearly that notion is lacking in some and we’ll just assume you ran naked through your clothesline and wore everything that stuck to you.  That’s my mental picture and I’m sticking with it.

So a good trip to Rhinebeck, a lovely time with family and friends and a bit of fiber on top.  I love vacation.

I didn’t take many photos, but I’ll get the few up the flickr pole labelled Rhinebeck 2010 if you’re bored at work soonish.