Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And a Good Time was had by all....

I got to visit SAFF this year and it was great! We made it a family event, so the hubbs and the kiddo came along with. I could have easily spent the whole day there if they weren’t with me, but it was probably better for my pocketbook that hubbs was there!

Some highlights:
This absolutely *adorable* little pygmy goat that was but a foot off the ground, prancing and hopping about outside the front doors. Her name is Star, go figure!

Petting the angora bunnies, and seeing and petting some of the sheep. I was particularly impressed with the Jacob sheep, they are all very unique.

There was WAY too much beautiful yarn to take it all in with the limited time I was there. I did manage to snag a couple skeins from Brooks Farm, and it is quite lovely.

I also found these cool free-form pottery buttons from Annie’s Sweet Handspun; I loved these and had a hard time picking just 3!

I stared and admired all the spinning wheels; I have to say I think the Kromski wheels are the best looking…someday! Though as far as what people were actually spinning with, the Lendrums seemed to outnumber any others.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. I met some super nice people and my only hope is I’ll have another day to go next year!

Closing in on my Twist & Shout jacket, look for the photo shoot this weekend!

Here's a couple of fall shots from our hike.

Then this morning, we woke up to an early greeting from Old Man Winter…..

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chocolate Covered Pear aka The February Lady Sweater

Hi! Yes, I know, all these sweaters lately. Well, I suppose that's one good thing about being a non-monogamous knitter, is all these projects get DONE, eventually. I started this one a while ago, after Flint Knits so kindly posted her 'grown-ass woman' version of the beloved February Baby Sweater by knitting icon Elizabeth Zimmerman. I hopped, jumped, leap-frogged right onto that bandwagon with this amazing hand-dyed merino wool I'd had in the stash for a little while, just waiting for the right pattern. This was it, baby.

For anyone contemplating this sweater, I think it's possibly my favorite thing I've knitted yet. I....Love....It. After a false start, (yes you really DO need those stitch markers to tell you where the increases go at the top), it was pretty smooth sailing. I also think I'm in love with top down sweaters. A note about making it, go for smaller than you would normally, since this will grow on you when you block it. Mine grew a LOT. About 3" in length. Luckily, I had made it a wee bit too short, and I was thrilled when it grew all on its own.

Once you hit the lace bit, all zombie knitting from there. Really, you just need to remember two rows, the WS rows are all purl. If you're wondering where I purchased this lovely yarn, visit Knitted Wit. She's wonderful, I'm looking forward to a future sweater colloboration with her amazing dying talent!

I highly recommend you go out & buy some yarn and make this sweater!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


This sweater is worthy of its own post, if a bit overdue. Seascape by Fiber Fiend was my sweater project for the Ravelympics, which started while I was still up in Philly. Considering my first sweater (the good ol' Sienna Cardi) which was finished over the course of 6 months in February of 2007, I think creating this one in a bit over 3 weeks is pretty darn amazing.

So, what was it like?? Well, first of all, you've got to love Malabrigo merino wool yarn. I don't care how allergic people claim to be of wool, if they touch this stuff, they'll be cured. Putting on this finished sweater is like giving yourself a big hug, incredibly buttery soft. Most of you know how lovely it is, if not, go get some!! I'd also love to try their Silky Merino someday....

The actual knitting part was fun, fun, fun! The sleeves are stockinette in the round, but they have this traveling cable that curls all the way around the arm, which kept it fun. The body proved a bit more challenging. A lot of my frustration came from my Denise needles, which weren't the best for the large amount of yo's I needed to put on to achieve the dropped sts. I would recommend a more slippery needle choice, of course it also depends on your yarn.

There is waist shaping, then you create this huge, open sort of 'looking glass' piece in the back, flanked by more cables. The front cable is easy and basic, you just need to pay more attention when working the back pattern. Parts of the pattern are intuitive, but there were definitely times when I just had to trust the designer.

For me, the most difficulty came after I joined the yoke, and I just had to really think about what I was trying to achieve. There wasn't anything I couldn't figure out, just a couple of 'huh??' moments. Then it all came back together and I had this gorgeous sweater there!! The saddle shoulder was an interesting technique, I just love the way it looks. I went with a bit of negative ease, and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, the fitted shape is very flattering.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to an adventurous knitter, looking for something different. I don't think you'll see too many of these around! I also think it's a nice pattern for showcasing those variegated yarns that many of us have. Way to go Margit! Thanks for a great pattern!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Autumn Shivers....

Hmm, that kinda sounds like the name of a sweater! Well, I'm still here. I've actually been knitting a LOT, and I'm very close to finishing both the February Lady Sweater and the Twist & Shout sweater from Fall Knitty. Both have been tremendous fun and I would highly recommend either pattern. Looking forward to finishing and doing my photo shoot!

I'm also close to finishing the knitting part of my latest pattern, which I will call 'Green Man Beret', for the obvious reasons. There is a great bar/restaurant here in Asheville, called 'Jack of the Wood' - the green man seems ever present here in the mountains.
Jack of the Wood one of those places where you always make a new friend. The music is great, mainly bluegrass, but it's just people who wander in and just start playing together. The last time I was there they had 3 different fiddlers! Too fun. It just makes you want to get up and dance.

In spite of all that, I couldn't resist pulling this yarn out of the stash and casting on for a 'I don't know what it is yet'(see photo at top). I'm playing around with some lace patterns from my vintage Vogue book, thinking perhaps a vest?? The yarn I purchased nearly a year ago from a wonderful company in TX, called the Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co. I wish they would get a website, they have some amazingly soft yarn in equally amazing colors. I was able to get it as SAFF, which is a wonderful fiber fair that is coming to Asheville this month.

I'm loving fall. The nights are so chilly here, there's nothing better than bundling up in the morning in my fluffy robe with a cup of coffee and standing on my front porch as the steam rises off. My 6th wedding anniversary is coming too, on October 20th. I'm going to do the Koolhaas Hat for the hubby this year, the 3rd year in a new traditional of anniversary hats!

Here's our fall window display at Purl's, Lindsey got this great idea to knit a bunch of leaves and string them up in the windows, I think it looks great!

My 4 year old, Sydney, has actually started school. It's a very strange and wonderful thing, and she seems to be thriving! I'm quite happy about it and the house is very quiet when I'm home and she's not there. The good news is that hopefully with the bit of extra time I can design more! I have some great ideas up there in the noggin.....

If you need a smile today, check this out: Free Hugs for Obama. It was filmed here in Asheville, NC, I love it!