October 23, 2016

Rhinebeck Weekend: Part Two

I had such fun last weekend when I went for the first time to Rhinebeck, to attend the New York Sheep & Wool Festival.  The event lived up to to it's reputation.  The crowds were huge, the food lines were ridiculous and the variety of yarn for sale was incredible.  I present to you, my dear friends, some photos I managed to take when I wasn't being caught up in the crowd.

Me and my Rhinebeck sweater

Bartlett Yarns:  Sport

Dragonfly Fibers Gradient Set

Dragonfly Fibers Pixie Yarn:  "Vote"colourway
Harrisville Yarn

Bijou Basin Himalayan Trail Yarn
One of my favourite booths was Fiber Optics which had so many knitted samples.  Here are just a few of them:
Holey Chevrons by Stephen West

Party on My Needles by Joji Locatelli
Lamina Wrap by Ambah O'Brien and On the Spice Market by Melanie Berg

Fiber Optics Paintbox Gradient that came home with me

I also really enjoyed the O-Wool booth and was quite taken by some of their samples:
The Girl In Me in O-Wool 

Balconet Shawl in O-Wool

I couldn't resist this gorgeous yarn and ended up buying some.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this festival (and a special thank you to my husband for going with me).  If I ever get to go again here are some tips I want to remember:

Things I Learned As A Newbie:
1.  Although the gates on Saturday don't open until 9a.m. a line up does start to form around 8:00 a.m.  I sat in my car keeping warm until about 8:15 a.m. and when I lined up I wasn't too far back in the line.  The bonus with coming early is you can park quite close to the entrance and then go back and forth to drop things off during the day very easily.
2.  There is more than one entrance.  Figure out what vendor is your top priority to visit first and figure out which entrance is the closest to where you want to go.  
3.  Prepay your entrance fee online before you go.  It saves time.
4.  If you want to get close to Miss Babs yarn (in Building C) you MUST GO RIGHT AWAY.  As a rookie I lined up at the wrong entrance, and by the time I got to Building C I couldn't even get near the booth. The line up was already out the door.  I tried several times during the day to get to Miss Babs, but the crowds continued, and the line up to pay stayed ridiculously long.  I didn't really care that much...I was just curious to see what the fuss was all about.  Best to stay two days next time and visit the booth on the Sunday.  (Same applies for Jennie the Potter).
5.  Go to Rhinebeck with a pre-made list of the basic things you want to walk away with.  There are so many temptations everywhere you look and it really helps to keep some focus.  For example, I knew I wanted a sweater's worth of sport weight yarn and I ended up with O-Wash Sport by O-Wool.  I also have a weakness for fingering weight yarn and I had promised myself not to buy any as I have enough to last me a long time.  The only fingering weight yarn I bought was at the Indy Untangled show and it was Voolenvine Yarn.  How could I resist? Enough said.
6.  Time your lunch early.  I lined up at about 10:45 for the infamous Aba's Falafel and the line up was quite short.  Later when I walked by there was at least an hour wait.
7.  Same for the Apple Cider Donuts.  Don't wait until lunch time.  Why waste precious time in a line when you can be looking at gorgeous yarn?
The infamous Apple Cider Donut

8.  Wear your hand made sweater/shawl/socks etc.  It was so fun to admire everyone's beautiful knitted/crocheted items.
9.  Make sure you spend time going into the town of Rhinebeck.  It is so beautiful and the restaurants are amazing.
10.  Take time to visit all the sheep, alpacas, etc. at the show.  There were sheep shearing events and even a dog show.

11.  And one last tip...next time go also on the Sunday.  From what I hear it is way less crowded.  There were so many knitted samples in all the booths that I would have liked to look at them more closely and take way more photographs.

I will continue to remember many happy moments that I experienced at Rhinebeck.   It was so much fun.  Do you have any tips to add to my list?

October 18, 2016

Rhinebeck Weekend: Part 1 Indie Untangled

I have dreamed of going to Rhinebeck for a long time, and this year I finally had the chance to go.  It was an incredible event and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was amazing to be around so many yarn obsessed, enthusiastic knitters. Listening to conversations about patterns, yarn and stash was so entertaining. Most people were wearing knitted items, everything imaginable from shawls, sweaters, cardigans, hats and even a few knitted skirts.

My first stop was the Indie Untangled Yarn Show located at the Best Western Hotel in Kingston, NY.  This event is held on the Friday night before Rhinebeck featuring many indie dyers and other artisans.  From 4-5 p.m. people that had paid for V.I.P. tickets had one hour to shop undisturbed before the event was open to the public.  Then from 5-8 p.m. the customers standing in the long line were allowed in.  Once the doors opened there was a mad rush to many of the booths.  One popular booth was Voolenvine Yarns.  People had armfuls of this yarn and the booth was so crowded that I couldn't even get near it.  I went back a bit later and luckily was able to scoop up a few skeins without waiting in a huge line.  I have long been a fan of Voolenvine and Kristen's vlog but it wasn't until I saw her skeins in person that I could see what all the fuss was about.  Her dyeing is incredible and I had a difficult time choosing what skeins to buy.

Voolenvine Yarns:  Wolke-Colourway:  Faeirie Hair

Voolenvine Yarns:  Wolke-Colourway: Deck the Halls

There was so much yarn to choose from - it was overwhelming!  I almost forgot to take pictures, as I was trying to see everything.  Some booths were hard enough to get into due to the crowds, let alone have time to snap a picture.
Here is just a small sample of what was available:

Canon Hand Dyes:  This yarn company was featured in the new quarterly By Hand.  I was interested to see this yarn in person and it really was lovely.

Skeinny Dipping:

 The Uncommon Thread:

A Hundred Ravens

White Birch Fiber Arts 

While I was browsing look who walked right by me...the infamous Stephen West!  Unfortunately this was the best photo I took of him:

There were other famous knitters there that night too.  For example, I saw Deb of the Periscoping Sisters, a very popular podcasting team.   The designer, Laura Aylor was there with all her knitted samples which were gorgeous.

This event was wonderful as it showcased talented indie dyers and I was so happy to have the chance to see their yarn first hand.  What a great night!

Next time: My experience at the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival

October 9, 2016

F.O. Clarke Pullover and Other Autumn Favourites

Here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend.  I am extremely grateful for all the special people in my life.  I also appreciate all the yarns and creativity I am able to enjoy.  I took some time this weekend to look over some of my favourite photos and I can see that autumn is a reoccuring theme.  So I have compiled some of my favourite photos to get you all in the autumn spirit. I have attached the links if you are interested in reading about any of these photos in detail.  (Left to right in a clockwise direction).
Clarke Pullover

Here's my most recent F.O. : Jane Richmond's Clarke Pullover knit in Malabrigo Rios in the Piedras and Cocoa colourway.  I can't tell you how happy I am with how this turned out and how comfortable it is to wear.  It will get a lot of use I am confident. I highly recommend this pattern.

Sock knitting in Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sock, flowers at St. Lawrence market, Acer Cardigan by Amy Christoffers and a bag from Jenna Rose Textiles.

My Grace Cardigan by Jane Richmond , a walk in my neighbourhood woods, Capall Dubh: a knit-along by Carol Feller , and more Sweet Fiber yarn, Cashmere DK in Spiced Pumpkin and Super Sweet Sock in Monarch.

Malabrigo Sock in Primavera and my F.O. Line Break by Veera Välimäki

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians.  Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by my blog and sharing a part of your day with me.   I really appreciate it.

September 25, 2016

Fall Favourites on Ravelry

As a knitter I love this time of year.  As the air gets cooler, I reacquaint myself with my handknit shawls and sweaters that I haven't been able to wear for some time. Knitting turns to cooler weather projects such as my Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond, which I am getting closer to finishing.  But as I remain on sleeve island for the next while, I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on a few new things in the knitting world.

Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond
Have you noticed how many new patterns have been appearing on Ravelry this month? Everytime I look at Ravelry there are new patterns to check out.  Here are just a few that have caught my attention:

Baby Pattern
Mabel:  a free pattern by Fiona Alice for Loop Knit Lounge.  This is a sweet aran weight cardigan sized for children up to four years old.  I love all the details in this cardigan, especially around the neckline.

Copenhagen Callling:  a cowl knit in DK weight using two colours in three different patterns.  This knit is designed by one of my favourite designers, Isabell Kraemer, who is known for her beautiful and wearable patterns.  I like the fact that the cowl uses DK weight, which would knit up quickly and be warm for the cold days ahead.

Brooklyn Tweed has recently published their Fall 2016 pattern book.  The concept for this pattern collection is that each design comes in a male version and a female version.  The stand out for me is Mohr by Norah Gaughan.  This worsted weight cardigan, knit in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, is knit bottom up, combining lattice cables and ribs. The shorter length of this cardigan really appeals to me too.

If you are looking for a beautiful cabled sweater to knit this fall, look no further than Alina Schneider's (Gift of Knitting) newest pattern released this month, called Journey.  I like everything about this sweater.  The cables Alina chose for her design complement each other well and her attention to detail is wonderful. I think this is one of those sweaters that would look great to wear no matter what the occasion.

photo by Gift of Knitting

photo by Gift of Knitting
Plucky Knitter came out with Field Trip- A 2016 Plucky Knitter Collection containing a variety of patterns.  One that caught my eye is Alpenglow, a lace and cabled bulky shawl.  That would be a fun knit and I think I have the perfect yarn for it, some Super Soft Merino by Purl Soho.

Andrea Hungerford, of Blueberry Hill Craftingis publishing a new Serial called By Hand. I have been a fan of Blueberry Hill Crafting for a long time. Every picture that Andrea publishes on her Instagram or Blog is of the highest quality and I am sure By Hand will be no different. There are three issues planned for the first year. Her goal is to create a virtual travel guide for fiber and fabric enthusiasts describing makers around the country.  The first issue focuses on makers in Portland, Oregon and contains interviews with Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed, Woolfolk's Kristin Ford as well as independent yarn dyers such as Bumblebirch and Canon Hand Dyes.  I am very excited to check it out. Order information is here

It really is an incredible time to be a knitter. We have so many options with different yarns and patterns to choose from.  What are some of your favourites this fall?

September 18, 2016

WIP: Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond

Knitting Challenge: 
Problem #1:  To find a sweater pattern that would suit a variegated yarn.
Yarn:  Malabriogo Rios:  100% merino (worsted weight)
Colourway:  Piedras
Needles: 4.5mm

Problem #2 No skeins are identical and two of the skeins I own are very light coloured
Malabrigo Rios
Note:  I have no idea why how I didn't notice a leaf on my yarn!

Light skein on the left, darker skein on the right

I wasn't sure what to do with this variegated yarn.  I knew I wanted to knit a sweater, but I was worried that a sweater knit in solid Piedras might be too busy for me.  After searching through Ravelry, I thought the Daelyn Pullover by Isabell Kraemer might work.  I really like the back of this sweater as it is knit in garter stitch, which always makes a variegated yarn look great.  But I believed that, in order to get a consistent colour in my sweater, I would have to alternate a lot of skeins. Who wants to do that?

I made the decision not to use the two lighter skeins and to find a pattern that I could use with just my four darker skeins.  This meant that I would not have enough yarn to knit a sweater.  I knew I needed another colour to work with Piedras. 

That's when I found Cocoa in Malabrigo Rios.

Problem #3  Find a pattern that would well with two colours.  

I had another look at the Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond, which had been in my queue since the pattern first came out.  Most people on Ravelry knit it with two solid colours and I wasn't sure that it would look good with variegated yarn. I just went for it, knitting big stripes in Piedras, alternating with four rows of Cocoa.  I am really pleased with the effect.  This pattern is so well written and easy to follow. It's also a great sweater to knit if you are a beginner, and I am sure it will get a lot of use.

Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond

I have to admit that I like a yarn challenge.  It was fun for me to look try and find the perfect pattern for my yarn.  Hopefully I will have enough yarn to complete the sweater and that it will look great when it's done.  Trust me when I say that I do not go through this much thinking everytime I pick out a pattern to knit.

What will my next knitting challenge be?