Hi! It’s been a long time since I was in this space. I was slightly shamed I haven’t been more diligent in blogging this weekend when I was honored to meet Bubblesknits from Alabama Fiber Dreams. (Hi!) Lest you think she did the shaming, let me assure you the shame was all internal. So, I have decided to try spending more time in this space. (I know I’ve said it before; but like dieting, I will continue to start anew until it takes.) I had forgotten how nice it feels to share my knitting projects and plans with like minded people. So, let me get started. Here is what I have on the needles:
Project #1: Creature Comforts Cardi
(photo credit: Madelinetosh via Ravelry)
I’m using the wonderful Madelinetosh Vintage in the Brair colorway.
(photo credit: Eat.Sleep.Knit)
I can not even begin to describe my love for this yarn. It knits up so smoothly and has a wonderful drape. Another bonus is how light it feels even though being 100% wool.
Project #2: Cecilia by Elin Berglund (Ravelry Link)
(photo credit: Elin Berglund via Ravelry)
I’m using another Madelinetosh yarn. This time, it is the Tosh Sock in composition grey.
(photo credit: Eat.Sleep.Knit)
While I know I will love this sweater and will wear it to death, I’ve had a hard time getting started. You’d think that when you start a project 4 times, it would be a breeze. I’m sure it is just me since many other people have finished it with no problems. I’ve decided to just fudge where I need to and keep going.
Project #4: Pampas by Rowan
(photo credit:Rowan Yarns)
I’m using a new yarn we have in the shop, Creative Focus Linen by Nashua in chocolate.
(photo credit: WEBS)
It is so great. I’ve been wanting to work with linen for awhile, but I find it hard on my hands. I love the way linen feels worked up, but I can’t work with it. Granted the CFL is 50% cotton, but it is going to be so light and great for summer.
Those are the only things on the needles right now. I have plans for several more, though. Maybe those projects will be motivation for me to finish these. As soon as I get my camera up and running, I’ll try to get some in progress photos up.
With the help of my wonderful friend Suzanne, I was able to make my second trip to SAFF this past weekend. We drove up Thursday afternoon. On Friday, we got up bright and early in order to get first dibs here:
After her loss of stock, we knew if we waited too long, it would be slim pickings. Miss Babs was one of the two things on my list for this trip. I did good, too.
On the bottom, that is Yowza in Mahogney. In the middle is Yowza in Turquoise Mine (left) and A Day Picking Red Grapes (right). On the top is yummy Superwash Sock & Baby – 2 ply in Cadet (left) and Bamboo Baby in Changling (right).
Miss Babs also had these cute bags on sale. I also found these 2 cute stitch markers in the bottom of my bag, too.
This was our next stop … Blue Ridge Soap Shed. The owners are a husband/wife team. He is a retired chemistry teacher. Their soaps are wonderful. When I bought some last time at SAFF, I didn’t know what to expect. As soon as I used it for the first time, I wished I had gotten more. So, this time I did. I stocked up. I am not sad I did, either. Yummy!
I was not expecting this, but I could not pass this up. It is Wolle’s Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton in Pecod (bottom) and Silver Navy (top). She had the Sweet Jazz Shawl knit up. The yarn is transitioning, so the top of the shawl was the lightest color and gradually changed to the darkest at the bottom. It was gorgeous! The best part … it is 100% cotton. That is perfect for year round wear in Alabama. The bigger of the two was only $18! Yes, $18 for a shawls worth of yarn.
Once we had seen everything we could see at SAFF, it was long past time for lunch. We decided to head out to find something to eat. After being ignored Thursday night, having 4 parties come in after us but sat before us & deciding to walk out, we decided to give them another chance and had an early dinner/late lunch at the Laughing Seed.
Sadly, I forgot to take photos of out meals, but I ended up having the Omega Hempnut Burger with Jalapeño-Onion Fries. Yummy! Suzanne had the Indian Thali Plate, which she said was very spicy. We also had a special lemongrass-dill hummus plate as a start. I could have bathed in that hummus it was so good. The staff was a little flaky, but the food was good.
Just down the street was a little yarn shop. Neither of us found anything, but again, we were ignored. Asheville is definitely a different environment than Birmingham.
On Saturday, I was honored to take Suzanne on her first trip to the Biltmore. This is one of my most favorite places, and I was so happy to share it with her.
After we finished our tour of the house and the wine tasting & buying, we decided to head back into town to check out another yarn shop, Yarn Paradise. Again, I stuck to my budget and didn’t pick up anything. However, they had a great selection.
From there we decided to eat dinner at The Lobster Trap. Now, I do extensive research before a trip, especially for local cuisine. This was one of the few places I had picked out. Most of the reviews I saw online were positive. The menu looked good, too; so I was excited. What a HUGE disappointment. After a wait (at 5 pm) we were sat at a table next to the front door. When I say right next to the door, I’m talking so close that I could have sneezed on the people waiting for a table. Shortly after we were sat, a group of very drunk, very talkative “ladies” were shown to the table next to ours.
We both ordered the black bean and crab soup as an appetizer. It had absolutely no flavor whatsoever. Their website claims they are “using fresh produce from local farmers.” That is a lie. There was nothing “fresh” about that soup. The beans were mush. Suzanne couldn’t even eat hers. For our entrees, I ordered the Drunken Pumpkin Salmon (Baked salmon filet with vanilla-bourbon puree, crushed pecans, local goat cheese) with lobster macaroni and cheese and mushroom wild rice. Suzanne tried the Shrimp and Grits. These too were a complete disappointment. My rice was overcooked so was the salmon. The flavor of it was nice, but I pulled out a bone. Now, I eat salmon a good deal. It is my favorite fish. Since I have been eating it, I have never found a bone. I also ended up picking out a shell from my mac & cheese. After that, I stopped eating.
Suzanne’s meal was not any better. Everyone I know will tell you that Shrimp and Grits are presented as follows: perfectly cooked grits with large juicy grilled shrimp on top. What was brought to her was a sickly orange-colored mush with small shrimp stirred in. It looked like someone had been sick on her plate. seriously, we thought they had brought her the wrong plate. Needless to say, we did not stick around much longer. I am so surprised that people like this place. It was seriously awful.
Even with all the trouble we had with the food, it was a wonderful trip. The weather was perfect. The company was great. The yarn was squishy. I can’t wait to go again.
So, before Christmas, I was looking around Etsy and I found a really cute pattern for an owl. Now, I really have a thing for owls right now; so I didn’t think anything of purchasing it.
See! How cute is that pattern! I can’t wait to make one for myself!
Well, today, I received an e-mail from Tina Whitmore explaining that the person I purchased the pattern from had actually stolen the pattern from her! Can you believe it!?! I offered to repurchase the pattern from her. She kindly said that all she wanted was for me to tell family and friends about her site. So, I’m doing that here.
If you like this pattern, please visit KnitWhits for your own copy.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….
Twelve yummy tea bags,
Eleven hours baking,
Ten cookie tins,
Nine family visits,
Eight gifty cards,
Seven books to read,
Six leafy buttons,
Five Harry Potters,
Four hand made gifts,
Three rubber duckies,
Two hand knit sweaters,
And a baby who saved us all.
It’s Friday. I’m tired. So, I’m just going to flash the new additions to my stash.
More glass needles from the Ernsts.
Sock yarn from The March Hare.
I can’t really remember where I got this sock yarn from, but it is in a lovely Rhinebeck colorway.
Gorgeous stuff from Jennie the Potter.
Stop off at WEBS before heading home.
Clearance Cascade 220 – sweaters worth
Sock yarn for over-the-knee socks.
Valley Yarns from left to right: Amherst (balsam), Lenox (grape jelly), Deerfield (chocolate) – a sweaters worth of each
Mrs S and I trying to get all my yarn packed away for the trip home.
So, we all went to bed Friday night and woke up early to go to the festival. Luckily, we got lost and ended up coming in the back way, missing out on the long line to get in the gate, and grabbing an absurdly close parking space.
Having read experiences on Ravelry, we made our way quickly to The Fold’s booth.
Yes, there was already a line at 9:15 am! (The gates opened at 9:00 am) However, we didn’t let this stop us!
We got Socks that Rock!
I can’t wait to work with it! If it knits up half as good as it looks, I think this is my new addiction!
We saw all kinds of cuties.
We watched as a little baby sheep was sold for $975!
After several hours of shopping, we got stamped and went to the car for lunch and to drop off bags.
It was at that point that we really saw how big this event really is. I’m not sure I ever saw the end of the cars!
Once back in the gates, I ran into all the people who came in those cars. It is well documented my issues with personal space. I thought the wool fumes would help me out, but sadly, they didn’t. There were people everywhere! Several times I had to put myself in “time-out” so I did not hurt anybody. Mom & Mrs. S continued to shop and all was good.
For some reason, fall leaves are very soothing to me. So, needless to say, I made it most of the day with my temper still intact. However, excitement had me sleeping poorly for 2 days, and I hit the wall hard around 3:30 Saturday afternoon. We went back to the hotel, and I crashed (face down on the bed) for about 3 hours.
Once I joined the land of the living, we ordered pizza and hung out in our room. I taught Mom Magic Loop, and she started on her very own Podster Gloves with some yarn & needles she picked up at the festival.
Tomorrow: Day 2 at the festival & the city of Rhinebeck
Way back in January, I invited Mrs. S to go to Rhinebeck. When she accepted, I began planning and waiting. The planning was so much easier than the waiting, let me tell you! We decided to fly out of Huntsville instead of Birmingham early Friday morning. That ended up being a good choice.
When we got to the airport, we discovered that our plane had been delayed so long that we were going to miss our connecting flight in Atlanta. The wonderful guy who was working the Delta counter quickly got us on another fight through Cincinnati and had us arriving in Albany only 50 minutes later than our original flight.
Once we arrived in Cincinnati, we were again treated to a delayed flight.
No worries, though. We had knitting and coffee.
Once we were on our way, we arrived in Albany and picked up our car. Mom had missed her connection in Atlanta, though. We had a couple of hours before her flight arrived, so we checked out a nearby yarn shop and had a late lunch. We picked up Mom and headed down to Rhinebeck.
Mom had made reservations at Le Petit Bistro Friday night. It was definitely a night of new food experiences.
Escargot and fresh picked wild mushrooms for appetizers.
Puffer Fish Tails over spinach and rice for dinner.
I was also able to finally, after 2 1/2 years, find and eat a good Creme Brule. They also had homemade ice cream. I forced Mom to get the pumpkin flavor. Oh. My.Goodness! That was the best ice cream I have ever eaten! Yummy! I can not say enough about this restaurant. The food was superb. The service was impeccable. I would highly recommend going there anytime you are in Rhinebeck. I know I will.
Tomorrow: the festival!
I finally have a finished project to show!
When I started, I named this one the Autumn Leaves Cardigan because the beautiful copper color reminded me of the leaves that magically appear in the fall. Little did I know that it would fulfill its name. You see, I dearly love autumn. Here in the South, autumn often brings sweet relief from oppressive heat. It also brings the aforementioned leaves. I look forward to this time of year constantly. It always, always seems to take forever to get here. Like kids long for summer vacation, I long for fall. I longed for this one to be done.
I even got to use my cute little fabric buttons!
I used Wendy Bernard’s Pink pattern (Ravelry link). I wanted a v-neck cardigan, so I worked until the pattern said to join for working in the round, only I didn’t join. I also did not work the decreases for the arms. I always wish I had more room in the arms. Now that I’m done, I find it is a little too much room. I also worked turn hems instead of ribbing. In hindsight, I should have done the same with the button bands. I think it may be a little short, but I’m sure it will be okay with jeans.
I was worried a little about this yarn. Most of the comments I’ve read say that Swish Worsted is not truly a superwash wool. Based on this, I threw it in the sink, rolled it in my blocking towels and threw it on the blocking boards. I noticed that it was stretching under the weight of the water. Since I wanted it to be form fitting, I decided to take a chance and threw it in the dryer on low. It worked like a charm! It did fuzz up a little, but it became so much softer.
I planned on this being the only sweater I was going to take with me to Rhinebeck, but now I’m not sure I like it enough to take with me. I’ve started a new sweater, Lucy in the Sky. I’m hoping I can finish it before we leave. Keep your fingers crossed!
Why, yes, I do remember watching reruns of Laugh In.
I have been working on so many super secret projects, I’ve had to be a little quiet on the blogging front. I started a new project that I can share. I wanted to knit knee-high socks for my trip, but it looks like I’m not going to have enough time to finish any using fingering weight yarn. So, I got to thinking. I have 5 random skeins of worsted weight (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes) that has been sitting in my stash for about five years. I love toe up socks. The two thoughts collided and I decided to work up a basic pattern for worsted weight boot socks.
Now I know they look a little boring, but sometimes you need a basic knit that goes with everything. Like my plans for a basic knee-high pattern for fingering weight yarn, I hope the worsted pattern works out.
1. I have a history of making decisions very quickly.
2. What the weather is going to be like in Rhinebeck is something I wish I knew.
3. I’m eating (or recently ate) Fuji Apple Chicken Salad from Panara Bread.
4. I can’t wait to get on the road, again.
5. So that’s it, that’s all the time I have left to knit for our trip?
6. A little knitting is better than nothing!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing one sock, tomorrow my plans include trying to finish sewing a lap blanket and Sunday, I want to go to church!
Is it wrong to secretly wish to get swine-flu just to get caught up on your life? Yes? I can’t help but feel this way. There so many projects I want to work on. There are definitely not enough hours in the day. Right now I’m working on now & hope to start soon:
- Finish getting all my triangles cut for my zig-zag quilt. I can’t wait to see this one finished. I also have ideas for at least three lap quilts.
- I want to start a lace cardigan from Knitty 2007, Oblique. Oh, my! I can’t stop thinking about it!
- I want to start my very own wrap.
- I need to make more progress on my super secret Christmas present.
- Hubby wants me to make more coasters. Apparently they make very good projectiles in his and Boy Child’s “wars.”
- Finish knitting and working out kinks in my super personal knee high sock pattern.
- Finish up purple silk shawl.
- Frog and find a replacement knit for super secret Christmas present #2.
- Sew shopping bags for Rhinebeck.
- Finish up a copper color cardigan. I ran out of yarn and had to order more. It came today. Unfortunately the dye lots are very different. (I purchased the first batch of yarn about 3 years ago.) All I have left is the sleeves from the elbow down and the neck & button band. I’m not sure what to do.
- I can finish it up and not be bothered by the slight color change.
- Make the cardi short sleeved and use the new yarn only as a button/neck band. I think it will be less noticeable.
- Frog the whole thing and use the yarn for a vest. What do you guys think?
I’ve also signed up for a Needle worker’s group at church. We have decided to knit and crochet hats and scarfs to go along with the other compassion ministries, especially those geared toward homeless women. I am the only one in the group who knows how to knit, so I am in the process of gathering up materials and teaching everyone the basics. I’ll also need to whip up some things for my group. I’m not too concerned about this though. It will be a great opportunity to use up the numerous bits of scrap yarn I have around the house. I’m hoping to whip some up, so I can finally have pictures to post.
I also had a chance to have lunch again with Mrs. S. The greatest part of our friendship is that we understand each other. We let each other be ourselves. It is great! She also likes my homemade laundry detergent. That makes me so happy!