Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Sock Yarn that I hope you will love...

I forgot to bring in my camera with the pictures of my most recent (vacation) knitting so I thought I would sneak this bit of news in.

I recently ordered sock yarn (and some spinning fiber) from C*EYE*BER FIBER and expect to receive it in early September. Erin hand-dyes her yarn and I do believe she has a keen eye for color. Here's a preview of the order:

sock yarn - 80%superwash merino, 20% nylon in all 48 colorways
sock yarn - 70% superwash merino, 30% Tencel (adds a nice little shine to the yarn) in 12 colorways
fiber - Blue Faced Leicester - assorted
fiber - 100% Merino - assorted
fiber - 50% Merino, 50% Tencel (nice to practice with before moving on to silk) - assorted

As so many of you enjoy knitting socks I am always on the lookout for new sources of quality yarn. The bad news is that Blue Moon Fiber Arts (Socks that Rock) informed me earlier this summer that at their current production level they would not consider me for their yarn until at least the end of this year. That is why I picked up C*EYE*BER Fiber. If you have other sock yarn favorites, Please let me know and I will hunt them down.

Now, back to composing "what I did on my summer vacation" complete with photos.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer Vacation

OK , it was more like "summer long weekend" but I did manage to get away with my devoted husband "Terry", our dear friends and thier two adorable children who happen to be my god-children. When I woke up this morning I seemed to be thinking (or was it dreaming?) about what my essay would be had my teacher asked....what did you do on your summer vacation?

I guess it was a mix of playing with D. and V. (my 6 year old god-children; whose identities are to remain anonymous) , knitting and eating lots of great food and not necessarily in that order as you will soon see.

D. and V.'s parents (who are non-knitters) were constantly amazed when I pulled out yet another knitting project. Actually, I packed 5 projects for this mini-vacation:
1) my mystery shawl
2) sleeves for a Rowan cabled pullover that Val wants as a class project
3) a fingerless mitten in new yarn - Llama/Silk
4) my Berroco coat with the new Jasper yarn (getting too big and warm to knit on these days)
5) sleeves for my son-in-law's Christmas or birthday gift - whichever is closest to when I finish this project.
More on these projects later....

We had a blast watching the kids learn to swim in the lake, go tubing, fishing with Terry while the rest of us slept, hiking a mountain with the best view ever, and making smores on the campfire. While they have so much more energy than we do, their enthusiasm kept us going. Our little guy is an amazing story! He was adopted at 5 months when he was nothing but a grey/blue skelaton with chronic bouts of pnuemonia. He would truly not be alive today if he hadn't been adopted and received the help he needed. Now he looks like a little model for J. Crew or some other All-American advertisement. You should see him get excited over catching a fish. You can't help but get excited yourself. His sister has no fear when it comes to the water and would swim across the lake if you let her.

OK back to knitting projects.

my mystery shawl (stole) - I'm loving this lace proeject and I promise you, if Melanie does another one next year we will advertise it like crazy. This year there are about 7000 knitters worldwide making this shawl. She has the directions translated into 9 or 10 languages. Several of us meet on Friday nights after the shop is closed and work on our stole. Desserts are shared along with the eventual mistakes we all make bacause the conversations distract us from our yarn overs, knit 2 together.....

sleeves for my son-in-law. You are going to learn a little bit about me in this and you might even recognize yourself. I once thought that a pullover sweater made out of self patterning sock yarn (on size 2 needles) for a 6'3" guy would be a cool project and it was, until....the sleeves. Think about the striping for a minute. The front (and back) are both about 22 inches wide while the sleeve (at the cuff) are about 7 inches wide. That means that the striping on the body of the sweater is 1-2 rows wide but on the sleeves the stripes are much wider (more like 5-6 rows each). And I am being so anal about this that I am cutting the yarn every 1-2 rows so the stripes match! Am I certifiable nuts??? Yes, but I do have one sleeve done and the second one is almost to the elbow. THERE IS HOPE that I can finish this sweater. I just hope he likes it after all this effort.

To break up the delicacy of the lace shawl and the size 2 sleeves I knit up a fingerless mitten using Plymouth's new yarn Royal Llama Silk. I love the tweedy effect and it is so soft (but not limp and there is none of that "silk" smell). The pattern is free with yarn purchase.

I mentioned the other two projects but they don't look like much in the photo so I'll save them for later when they take more form. I will say that I am enjoying the new Berroco yarn, Jasper as it is so soft (100% merino) and easy to knit with on size 9 needles.

I expect my teacher would have lots of material here to critique. I hope you enjoyed my vacation, Laura

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vermont Day Trip

mom and cria (baby alpaca)
curious alapca (click on image)

Yesterday, several of us (32 to be exact) spent a wonderful summer day in Vermont. A guided tour of Green Mountain Spinnery was fascinating! We were all amazed at how many steps and hard labor is involved in turning sheep's wool into beautiful knitting yarn. I heard several comments along the line of "I'll never complain about the cost of nice yarn ever again". A little bit of shopping in Putney, lunch at the Putney Inn and then on to our adventure: IBIWISI Alpaca Farm. Our motor coach couldn't make it up the driveway (a very steep and narrow dirt road) so we walked off our lunch and then some! Cathy who owns the farm (Now she's an interesting lady..a Midwesterner who moved east to work in Manhattan only to give it all up to move to Vermont alone to start her farm. Well, she met a nice gentleman, who happens to be very handy and they are celebrating their first wedding anniversary today!) I digress... Cathy has a herd of about 30 alpacas and there were 2 crias (babies) that were only 2 and 4 days old for us to adore. Some of the women hand dyed their own alpaca, others meandered the farm and we all relaxed under a perfect summer sky. It was a lovely day indeed!
the boys...check out his eyes!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sally Melville is coming to Creative Fibers

Mark your calendars for Saturday & Sunday December 1st and 2nd. Sally will be teaching four different workshops in addition to a book signing; maybe an evening talk on Sat. as well. Or, would you be interested in having dinner with her? Let us know so we can structure her time with us.
Workshops being offered:

Saturday December 1st 9am - noon
First Choices/Basic Shapes - no matter how advanced or accomplished we are, we run the risk of producing garments that look awful! Why? We make a decision in the first 20 minutes of the project that dooms it to failure. What are theses decisions? Yarn, color, stitch pattern and silhouette. Skill level - anyone

Saturday December 1st 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Stripes and Stripes that Aren't - Stripes...oh so easy to knit, but who can wear them? The truth is that everyone can both knit and wear them. This workshop explores the ways to build stripes and match stripes. And then you'll play with simple stitch patterns that knit like stripes but don't look like stripes! Skill level - intermediate.
Sunday December 2nd 9am - noon
Borders & Buttonholes explores the best techniques for these finishing that make such a difference in our knitted garments. The class covers basic maneuvers, four or more basic edge stitch patterns and the very best buttonholes. Participants will never again struggle with instructions to "pick up and knit 137 sts along right front" nor with the question of how to make virtually invisible buttonholes. Skill level - beyond beginner

Sunday December 2nd 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Emergency Measures
- sometimes the most insight comes from the struggle one faces when something goes REALLY wrong! But there are remedies for most any kind of disaster in knitting. Using these can turn a problem into a wearable garment while teaching us to be more intuitive and more confident knitters. Skill level - beyond beginner

Workshops are 3 hours, $75, and may include pre-work. More details to follow.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Mystery Shawl Progress

Last Friday evening we hosted a CastOn party for several knitters who are knitting the 3rd Mystery Shawl. We had a great time, mistakes were made, Lucy's invaluable "forensic" knitting skills put us back on the right path and yummy desserts were shared. Ann came the furthest from Danbury, although, Lucy came from Massachusetts so it may be too close to call. We decided that to keep the momentum going we are meeting each Friday evening in July from 6-9pm. If any of you would like to join, please visit the Pink Lemon Twist website. I believe Melanie is closing off membership (free) on July 6th so you do still have time to join the fun.
In the upper right corner you can see my progress. That's 99 rows of lace knitting on size 4 needles. The piece is approximately 8 x 12 inches - we obviously have many more rows in front of us. That's the fun of it; we don't know what's next until Melanie posts the new set of directions. We can't wait for Friday's!

About Me

Windsor, CT
Twelve local shop owners who want to get to know you and have some fun.