Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some Ramblings About My Trip

***** Updated with photos 10-31-2006! *****

Oh what a great trip! The NY Sheep and Wool show was fantastic! I picked up some more "Socks that Rock" from Toni at "The Fold" and also some very "fall colored" roving from Linda at "Misty Mountain Farm". The roving is in varying shades of orange, red, green, and yellow.....just like all the leaves on the mountains.....so I had to get it as a momento of the trip!

Here's a shot of some cuddly alpacas.....they're just soooooo cute! I also caught a brown merino being "primped" for show. This little sheepie was amazingly cooperative for the groomer.

And the requisite pictures of some of the Virginia folks at the festival. The first picture is of Janet, me, Jayme, and Amy.....and in the center front, is a new fiber friend we met there - I can't remember her name, but I believe she's from Potomac, MD....so she's really close by (One of my buddies had jotted down her contact info, so we have it around somewhere!!!). You can tell by the smiles on all our faces that we're having a great time! The second picture is of Lisa and me......notice the "Maryland Sheep and Wool" garb? My T-shirt is "purple", of course!

I exhausted myself and my dear hubby was a real good sport and lugged all my purchases to the car...frequently! (I think he's a keeper!!!!) All I had to do was find him a nice spot to sit while I "dealt" with the crowds and shopping. DH insists that I "purchased the wool of 12 sheep"....he couldn't believe how much wool and yarn I crammed into the back of the car.

Sunday, we ate at my friend's restaurant in Mt. Tremper - Catskill Rose. If you're up in the Catskills, Kingston, Woodstock, Saugerties, etc.....you MUST go there to eat. Pete and his wife are both Culinary school trained and the food is FABULOUS!!!!!

Of course, I stopped at "Krauses Candy" shop in Saugerties while I was there.....fabulous home made chocolates. Mmmmmmm!

Another "must stop" is Woodstock. Yes, that's where the original "Woodstock" was SUPPOSED to be, but dear Michael Lang didn't get the proper permits, so it was held in Bethel instead. Woodstock is full of interesting shops and good places to eat. There's a fabulous Toy store right there on Tinker St.....

While there, I went to "Woodstock Wool Company" (a yarn shop in Woodstock, NY.) They have quite a bit of yarn and some very inviting seating areas (couches/chairs and coffee tables in a couple of areas - it was great to sit and peer through the pattern books and books in comfy seats! (It also provided a nice place to "park my hubby" while I shopped!)

I also stopped at "Amazing Threads" on Ulster Ave. in Lake Katrine (near Kingston) - it has yarn, roving, spinning wheels, and a very nice owner with whom I had a wonderful visit. She'd gone to the NY Sheep and Wool show as well....and had a great time too! She's working on the website, so it's not all complete, but hopefully she'll have the on-line ordering, etc. up and running before too long (She's only owned the store for about 5 months....so she's been VERY busy!!!) She has a nice variety of yarns, needles, and buttons.....it's a definite "must visit"!

One of the best things I did while "hanging out in the Catskills" was spinning 4 skeins of brown BFL in front of a roaring fire. It was WONDERFUL!!!! We even had snow flurries on Tuesday and Wednesday....the snow didn't really stick except in the hills above the resort. It was fabulous spinning and knitting weather! I just wish the trip could have lasted longer - the food in and around Stamford was wonderful....as was the crisp fall weather and the colorful mountain views.

The photos above are some of the views from our room. We had snow flurries Tuesday and Wednesday....and as you can see in the first picture, it stuck to the ground just up the hill from us. It was really beautiful! It started snowing during my hike on Tuesday....and it was just perfect - crisp air with gently falling snow. Most of the leaves were already gone on the west side of the mountains, but as you can see in the second picture, there were still some stunning scenery to look at. (Plus, every time we went to the east side of the mountains, or down in the valley, we'd get a spectacular show of various colored leaves...just past peak, but still beautiful.) And finally, a picture showing some color and another shot of the snowy mountain...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Socktoberfest Update

I'm tired....and finally home. Whew! NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, hanging out in the Catskills (spinning for hours in front of a cozy fire), and visiting yarns shops.....what a fabulous time I had! I'll post about my trip tomorrow (I hope)......I've even got a few pictures!

But today, since it's still "Socktoberfest", I thought I'd better update my "sock progress".

I've started my next pair of socks using some wonderful hand-paints by "Claudia" in various shades of mauve. I'm using the Fiber Trends "Hellen's Favorite Socks" pattern (a nice basic sock pattern - I'm just doing the basic ribbed cuff).

The brownish "Bed Socks" (that I've almost finished) are out of Plymouth Indiecita Alpaca yarn....they're soooooo soft and cuddly! I know, I know...they look like "kids" socks. They stretch out a bit and fit my feet perfectly.....although they're not for me, but for another person with the same sized feet. They knit up quickly and use relatively large needles for socks - size 5 double points!

I'm also working on the "Ladder Shawl" out of black Madil "Kid Seta" (70% kid mohair, 30% silk) and Crystal Palace "Little Flowers" (in purple, lavender, and black). The knitting is almost done. You can't really see the detail in this picture, but there is a slight pattern. Once the knitting is done, you drop every 5th row to form the "ladder". When I get to that point, the detail should be more visible since the dropped stitches will help separate the stitch patterns.

This is the white Blue Faced Leicester that I finished spinning earlier this month. This is from my purchase this past May at "The Fold".

The wool that I just started spinning is a blue "generic wool" with flecks of recycled blue jeans blended into the wool. It reminds me of "dryer lint". It's quite pretty and rather "textured", but even though it's mostly wool (at least 80%), the predominant "feel" is the cotton from the jeans. It's more of a "designer" yarn because of the nubs caused by the flecks of denim. I'm quite pleased with the over all effect.

Finally, this is the first completed skein of the brown Blue Faced Leicester that I purchased from Linda at Misty Mountain Farm. I finished this skein about a week before heading off on my trip.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rhinebeck, Here I Come!!!!

Well, I'm off to Rhinebeck this weekend! I'm so excited. It will be the first time I've been to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. I've been to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds many times to attend the Dutchess County Fair when I was growing up...but never for the Sheep and Wool Festival.

Several of my friends are going as are many of my favorite vendors from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (as if I didn't buy enough wool and yarn there!!!!) Some definite stops include Linda at "Misty Mountain Farm" and Toni at "The Fold".

(PS - just across the river, if you head north on Rt. 9W, there's a fabulous homemade candy store in Saugerties - the town where I grew up. Just after you make a right after crossing the bridge over the Esopus Creek, as you head up Partition St., you'll see Krause's Candy Store on the right (you're still following Route 9W, but once in town, it's also called Partition St. If you're in the area, it's DEFINITELY worth the stop!) If you click on the link, you can see the store hours, directions, etc.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Finally! The "Much Promised" Sock Pictures.

Finally, I've managed to take pictures of the socks.....as promised way back in September!

The first socks are called "Fireside Socks" - they're for my mom. She picked out both the pattern and the yarn. The yarn is Iceland Wool, and is a bulky weight.

The second pair of socks are a mock cable - one of "Hellen's Favorite Socks" patterns from Fiber Trends. The yarn is Fearless Fibers in lovely muted tones.

The final pair of socks are the best socks I've ever made - they fit PERFECTLY! I normally make my socks a little bit too loose. These were done on size 0 needles using Jeanie Townsend's "Pretty Petals" pattern out of Tess's Yarn "Super Sock and Baby" yarn that I'd received as a pressy from my secret pal in SP8!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Let the Games Begin!

Wahoo! Today is the first day of SP9.....time to contact the "spoilee" and plan the presents! I'm sooooo excited! It's so much fun to read about other people's projects.....and very inspiring too!

More later.......

Saturday, October 07, 2006

SP9 Questionnaire

I had sooooo much fun with SP8! I'm very excited about starting SP9. It should be a blast!

Anyhow, here's the answers to the questionnaire for SP9:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I l
ike most fibers….accessories and trims do best in other than natural fibers. Silks are good too…..there are some fabulous blends with just a touch of silk in them that make them absolutely heavenly!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a couple of zippered needle cases, but others are in a plastic tub. One can NEVER have enough storage!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Hmmmmm….off and on since in High School. Probably somewhere between intermediate and advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yeah, but I usually am not patient enough to wait…..so it’s not really up to date.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

Vanilla and cinnamon. I also like peach, pear, jasmine, and green tea.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

One of the 5 basic food groups – Dark Chocolate! (I believe it’s the largest part of the food pyramid……LOL)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I spin – both with the wheel and spindle. I’ve done cross stitch, needle point, and quilting in the past…..but lately, I’ve been mostly spinning and knitting. I’ve done a bit of crochet as well. Felting has also been great fun. I love learning and trying new things.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

All kinds with the exception of country music….I have limited “likes” in that area. I like everything else (yes, even Rap and Heavy Metal). Classic Rock, Ska, Alternative, Classical and “old time” Jazz are always good…..geez…..everything!

9. What's your favorite color(s)?
Any colors you just can't stand?
Purple is always a good choice for me. I also really like blues. The vibrant pinks, teals, coral, and jewel tones are great too. I love a deep “blue-red” (as opposed to the bright fire-engine red) – for example. I’m not overly fond of oranges and yellows, but I have found some wonderful uses for yarns of any color…..there’s really not any color that I find totally distasteful.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Married with grown children and a resident Shepherd/Huskie mix. (She’s shedding like crazy right now – DH claims I could “knit another dog” from all the hair she’s leaving around!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes…..all of the above.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I’m still hooked on the smaller instant gratification projects – shawls, socks, bags……and still have some sweaters and shells in progress!

13. What are you knitting right now?

Oh, boy…confession time. A ladder shawl (kid mohair and “Little Flowers”, a cardigan (in cotton), a fun scarf in pink novelty yarn, two different pairs of socks…..about to start a third one, and a pair of bed socks. I need to start a scarf for my mom out of some hand spun and I need to put together and felt a tote bag I made out of Eco-Wool in bright green. I know there are others….as mentioned in question 12.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Definitely! They’re real special!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Bamboo and wood are my favorites…and I mostly use straights. If I’m doing something large (blanket or shawl) or a bag in the round, then I use circs. I don’t really care for plastic needles. For socks, hats, and baby hats, I use double points. I rarely use metal needles….except for Addi Circulars. It really depends on the project and the yarn type…..

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes – both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Gosh…..20+ years????? (Unless you count the half-made sweater I started in High School and decided NEVER to finish…..bad color choices and WAY out of style. (It was bright yellow, light purple, purple, and deep purple – 4 strands of worsted weight yarn on large needles – UGH!!!!)

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas – presents, family, and food. What a combination!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
I’m a big Betty Boop fan and have several things related to her. Really enjoy “usable” Betty Boop stuff – stationery, sticky-pads, key chains, etc. I also collect old needlework items – old buttons, needles, needle cases, wooden spools (with/without) thread/yarn, etc.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I get most of the magazines…….I’ll have to think about this one a bit. (the books, etc., I usually get myself or from family members for holidays/birthdays – and I’m generally impatient! )

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Felting – without knitting first and dyeing yarn/roving. I’m also planning to learn how to do “toe up” socks.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes….love to knit socks. I wear a woman’s 6 ½ to 7 shoe.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Too Busy to Post?

I know, I know. I've promised pictures.....and I still haven't posted them. Sorry about that. I've been quite busy.....spinning and knitting, so I've gotten quite a bit behind.

Spinning - I've plied two more skeins of the blue wool with fleck of recycled jeans.....it's kinda neat looking, but sure makes a mess when you spin/ply. I've also done a bit more spindle spinning......but don't really have much to show for that. (It takes sooooo long to spin that way! I prefer my wheel.)

I finished one of the brown Alpaca bed socks in Plymouth Alpaca.....it looks like an over-sized toddler sock, but it fits a small adult foot.

And I've finished the second "Pretty Petals" sock. I'm VERY pleased with it. The lilac "Maple Leaf" socks haven't faired as well....I need to rip them out and re-do them on smaller needles.....or force myself to knit tighter.

Pictures sometime soon.....I promise!