Raspberries and oranges

No, the title isn’t a recipe – it’s my project names.  Sounds delicious though.

First up are a pair of Spey Valley Oranges!  I made sure I took a picture of the rainy steps to contrast with the sunny orange yarn.  The pattern is Spey Valley from Nancy Bush’s Knitting on the Road.  I made the socks as written by Nancy since she knows a thing or two about socks.  They came out great and I learned how to make a Vikkel Braid.  Easy!  The yarn is The Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors Sock Yarn in the Jack colorway.  I think I got this yarn at last year’s Rhinebeck so I’m glad to have them finished for this year’s festival – even though it should be nice and pleasant weather this year.  These socks fit great with the heel flap heel and decrease toe thingie, but don’t those 2.5″ toes look crazy long?  That’s the pattern, but I have super short little toes and tiny feet so 2.5″ is a serious chunk of my sock length 😉  They are cute though.

The raspberry reference in the title is for my Raspberry Coat.  I know you thought I’d have that whipped out by now, but that coat is a ton of work and I am super procrastinate-y about it.  It doesn’t help that it’s not even alittle bit cold outside.  Nada.  What I have done on the coat is make and fit the pattern, cut out the wool and most of the huge huge huge amount of interfacing.  I need to fuse all that on the wool and cut the lining next.  Then marking, machine set up and buttonhole tests.  Then, and only then, can I sew.  It’s rather like painting a room, the majority of work is prep.  Can you see why I procrastinate?

And in the orange theme of this post, I’m thinking this sunny salad will be delicious today.  I’ll report back!

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.

Pink don’t stink

I managed to sneak a few rows of knitting on Merope into my work week.  I keep thinking my shawl should be longer by now.  It’s not.  I thought I’d pin it out a bit to see what it looked like and it’s cute, if I do say so myself.  Pinning it out made it seem like I’m not knitting the tiniest shawl ever.  It just needs a good yanking.  (have fun with that one google)

I’m also thinking about cutting out another summer dress, but the pattern needs a bit of adjusting per the comments over on PatternReview.  Hopefully I’ll get it cut out tomorrow to work on next week.  My work schedule on permits crafting in short bursts.  Annoying but true.

AND, for those considering going to New York Sheep and Wool festival this year in October, I had a bit of trouble finding a hotel room this year.  Either there’s another event occurring in the Poughkeepsie area that weekend, or the festival will have a banner turn out.  I found a great hotel in Kingston Fishkill, so if you’re thinking about attending, get on those accommodations.  And the CIA is taking reservations for October, so foodies get on that.  I’d love to freak those adorable chef/students out with a diningroom full of knitters.  Oh yeah, and the food’s amazing…