28 May 2010

Interview with Robin Hunter

Robin was gracious enough to interview me (via email) for her blog today. I really enjoyed thinking about her questions, as well as reading her interviews with many other knitwear designers along with all her other informative posts. I'm pleasurably embarrassed to be in such virtual company. Thanks, Robin! [link]

Gore Place Festival (long overdue)

Fiber Tent (Bartlett on the left, Lucy's great selection of yarns from her shop Mind's Eye Yarns on the right of this photo; lots more further inside the tent)

Sheep waiting to be shorn

Fleece from sheep shorn with electric clippers (hand-shearing was in the other tent)

Some shorn sheep

And some goodies that came home with me...

Holiday Yarns Bubblegum Pink sock yarn (so pretty and cheery), 3 skeins of sock yarn from The Fiber Denn in Celestite (is that my color or what?), and this beautiful sweater toggle from Leslie Wind (I'll photograph my C-pin soon, promise!)

The Gore Place Sheep Shearing Festival was great! Lots to see: hand and electric shearing tents, sheep dog display, Gore Place's livestock, reenactors in period dress, the marketplace tents, as well as the Fiber Tent. Yummy food: Christina's ice cream, kettle corn, the awesome Polish truck, Persian food, and Scottish shortbread at the kilt vendor tent. And, of course, great company in my former roomies and their adorable little girls, plus meeting Leslie (finally!) who I first met online back when I was living in Gloucester.

This was my second year attending the Festival, and it was even more fun this time. It seemed like there were more people there - lots of families with children getting to see first-hand where wool comes from. I hope to make this an annual visit.

Free Pattern Friday: Annis

Did you get the Knitty Surprise email yesterday? Both patterns are lovely, but I went a little crazy for Annis, the crescent-shaped shawlette with nupps. Perhaps it's because Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia is one of the newer books in my collection or because The Haapsalu Shawl is on my mental wish list.  I've already queued it up, despite a long list of pattern ideas I want to work on (never mind all the actual work on my plate), and plan to use some Malabrigo Lace for mine. [Pattern | Ravelry]

27 May 2010

WIP Wednesday: Blankie

On the off chance that someone [Dad] actually reads this blog (though I'm doubtful, since he once called me on the phone to ask if I could send him an email so he could write me back), I'm not including pictures. But I am knitting up a new blanket for my dad for his birthday tomorrow. Since inspiration didn't strike until a few days ago, it will be late, but I think it will be worth it.

Yes, he already has a Hemlock Blanket that I knit him last year, but I thought a new blanket to take up to the lake house might be nice. And I finally realized what to do with a lovely pile of alpaca my brother and sister-in-law gave me a few years ago. I know it should probably be something for me, but a nice Hap-style blanket seems the perfect use for this blue-on-blue hand-painted worsted weight alpaca. All that garter stitch breaks up the runs of light blue, dark blue, and blue grey, as will the Old Shale of the border. I'm doing the center on the diagonal and have finished the first skein increasing every row. Next I'll decrease with the second skein back down to a three-stitch point. Then it will be border time! And I plan to work until I run out of the other two skeins of this softness (Misti Alpaca Worsted Hand-dye, to be exact).

I've also knit up some Matryoshkas for friends' kids - way overdue - and have to get some more yarn (and fill) for another one for someone born Tuesday.

Oops! Forgot to hit "Publish Post" last night. Off to the grindstone...,

19 May 2010

WIP Wednesday: Cap'n's Scarf

Actually, it's pretty much finished. A cozy scarf with tied fringe a la Frank Austen worked in Malabrigo's awesome Twist yarn (why did I resist you?). I'd had this idea for a scarf reminiscent of Captain Jack Sparrow's red scarf in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies for quite a while. Then Frank Austen's fringe appeared. And finally I encountered a couple of skeins of Twist at Yarntopia last week in Ravelry Red, which was the perfect color.

This yarn is luscious! And all those plies mean the usual Malabrigo Worsted pilling problem isn't a problem at all. If you need an Aran weight (4spi) yarn, be sure to check out Twist. NAYY. But I sure am glad Dona had a swatch knitted up at the store.

I still have to snap pictures of this one, as well as Aphros, so there will be two, count 'em, two patterns coming soon.

Etsy Treasury: On the High Seas

Jennifer of Laughing Rat Studios scored a Treasury on Etsy (you get to play curator with all the amazing items Etsy has to offer, selecting your own perfect, little exhibition) and was sweet enough to include my On the High Seas shawlette pattern in her Sheep to Shawl collection! [link] Thanks, Jennifer!

15 May 2010

Frank Austen's fringe

Apparently, when Jane Austen's brother was home on leave, he would work fringe. [link]

(I don't want to lose this link - some day all will be clear.)

14 May 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Cabled Beret (there's a contest, too)

The talented Veronik Avery's new book Knitting 24/7 is out now, and there's a pretty little beret pattern to celebrate. Be sure to check out Twist Collective's page for details on entering the contest. [Twist blogPDF]

13 May 2010

WIP Wednesday: I've got nothing

Hard to believe, but I've hardly knit a stitch since finishing Aphros last week. My allergies have been awful. Now they're under control, but the aftermath is ugly (the skin around my eyes is so irritated, since I seem to rub them in my sleep - ugh). So, I've been avoiding the outside world except to visit the doctor on Monday, and Mother's Day was decidedly low-key this year.

But the postal worker helped. In an overflow bin (oops - we hadn't checked the mail in a few days) were a package from the talented Leslie Wind with one of her beatiful, silver C-pins (based on the Celtic penannular brooch), which I may feature in the Aphros photos, as well as a set of Briggs & Little sample cards from the lovely Elizabeth. So many lovely colors in a number of different yarns. Oh, the possibilities!

More on Leslie in another post, as I actually got to meet her at the Gore Place Sheep Shearing Festival a few weeks ago. But now I have lots of work to catch up on (when you wake up itchy throughout the night, it's difficult to focus during the day).

07 May 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Raspberry Bed Socks

Mother's Day is just a couple of days away. If you're quick, you could knit mom a pair of Mel Clark's Raspberry Bed Socks with pretty little bobbles and i-cord drawstrings. [Ravelry link | Pattern link]

And my face is finally calming down from the horrible allergies (apparently, I rub my eyes in my sleep, and it looked like I'd been in a brawl or something), so there should be an Aphros photo shoot soon, followed by a pattern release!

05 May 2010

WIP Wednesday: Aphros is complete

I even blocked the additional portion of the stole this afternoon, but the tree pollen is conspiring to make me as un-photogenic as possible, so you will have to wait a few days before Aphros and I smile for the camera.

This time I worked the edging from my chart, rather than the original written instructions, and it went much faster. I do love charts; however, I know not everyone likes charts (and some people look at them and just get gobbledeygook in their minds), so the edging will also be written out in the pattern.

In the picture below you can see the difference blocking makes. We have egg carton on the right and smooth, blocked out waves of seafoam on the left.
Tonight and tomorrow I have "real work" to do, but I hope to have the Aphros pattern ready to go on Friday.