This SXSW Official Selection now has a trailer up for the public. I can’t wait to watch it!
So this was my first year experiencing the yarn mecca that is Rhinebeck. Needless to say it surpassed all expectations.
When we first got there, we had quite a line ahead of us.
and then even more started to assemble behind us…
As uninitiated, we were a little worried we might be in for a long wait. But once the gates were open we sailed in and past some beautiful New England (or close to it anyway) foliage.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that we were sure to wear handknits. Though that probably goes without saying.
The typical country fair staple of judging entries was not to be missed. The fair is so large there are entries from all over. It’s really the cream of the crop here.
Look at all that fibre fluff.
Speaking of fluff.
Believe it or not, this is not wool roving, it’s actually delicious delicious maple cotton candy.
Though some members of our group felt compelled to taste actual roving…
You have to be one of us fibre freaks to get it.
Speaking of eats, omg apple cider donuts.
I think the look on my face says it all.
Besides food, there were also animals. Super cute fibre-producing animals (the best kind!).
The underbite kills me.
Llamas are actually quite affectionate. Who knew?
That right there is a cashmere goat.
And here is a paco vicuña:
Not only are they the cutest of camelids, they make delightful, if expensive, fibre. This skein from Victory Farms shares my name! Alas I didn’t have the budget to actually buy one…
A final animal-related thing I have to share:
Voilà my video of the leaping llama show.
On our last night in town we sampled some local food: AKA The Melting Pot fondue restaurant! We don’t have fondue restaurants in Canada, so we got really excited. The fact that we filled up on chocolate alcoholic drinks before we got our food after a long day of walking around Rhinebeck probably didn’t help…
But I digress…
Finally, here is a summary of the goodies I brought home.
I also got some angora rabbit for only $10. Second quality, but it will be great for spinning in with other fibres. I also picked up a gorgeous shade of blue silk and merino roving from Pucker Brush Farm. I’ll post a photo soon.
Greener Shades environmentally friendly dye starter kit.
Some soft leather for putting grips on gloves or slippers from Bittersweet Baskets and Homestead Handles.
Silk hankies from Sheepshed.
And, the pièce de résistance… a SPINNING WHEEL.
Tali likes it too.
It’s a Roadbug from The Merlin Tree. SUPER portable.
I haven’t honestly been working on much this summer, besides GOING TO LONDON, ENGLAND. More on that later though, I digress.
Happy Seamstress gave me this lovely hand-spun skein for my birthday.
It got turned into these:
Here is the pattern I used.
I also came up with this cute little pouch for my mom. She has both rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. The case they gave her for her needle is a) huge and hard to fit in a purse, b) falling apart and they don’t make it anymore. All of the make up and eyeglass cases she’s tried are too short. Hence I knit her an easy-to-open pouch and using a very tight gauge so that it is a bit of a thicker fabric to protect the somewhat fragile needle and needle toppers.
I cast on with Turkish cast-on 15(30) stitches and then just started knitting in the round. Once it was as deep as it needed to be to fit the needle (plus a little room for closure) I added created eyelet holes through which to thread a drawstring (I made 8, but any even number would work).
The most beautiful thing about Turkish cast on?
Have I gone on about the awesomeness of this cast on before? I feel I may have…
Anywho, here is a great tutorial I found on Turkish cast-on.
A little late, but I changed jobs last week so I’ve been a bit swamped.
Saturday July 12 was the annual TTC Knitalong. It’s that annual event where Toronto’s knitters (and others! I know people come from far and wide) break off into teams and travel from LYS to LYS via Toronto’s public transit system, the TTC. I was on the best team (sorry, everyone else): Team Lace. We got to visit Passionknit, Creative Yarns, The Purple Purl, and Romni Wools.
Jennifer the Happy has another version of the same picture on Instagram and Twitter:
— Jennifer The Happy (@jhappyone) July 12, 2014
And here is the day’s stash additions of my 3 knitting group friends and myself. Not too shabby.
I especially enjoy Alia‘s open mouth of joy and Kara’s fingering of the silk ball in the bottom right corner. I regret none of the innuendos in the preceding sentence.
There are more awesome photos in Lynn’s blog post.
Here’s what I got 😀
(click on the photo for what store and colourway/dye lot info)
100% silk! And Passionknit had 25% off all yarn so… I really couldn’t say no.
NEON SOCK YARN. Need I say more? Lynn, Kara, and I decided we had to have it as soon as we saw it at Creative Yarns. Other team members judged us, but I don’t care. At one of our knit nights we plan on all showing up with neon socks-in-progress. It’s going to be epic.
And that is all the yarn I bought. I KNOW, right? But Lord knows I have enough stash at the moment.
BUT, Passionknit was lovely enough to give out free Mirasol lace weight. Yes, you read that right.
Other awesome freebies included this gorgeous wooden crochet hook and some stitch markers from the Purple Purl,
and this cool button from Wool Gathering (then again, I love buttons) sporting a sentiment I happen to share,
as well as a bag, back-issue magazine, and yarn from Romni Wools. How incredibly generous LYSes can be.
And here is this year’s official button and bag, both of which are probably my favourite of the three years I’ve been doing this.
I also won a prize! Which floored me, because I never win anything. I won a copy of French Girl Knits by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes and a skein of Diamond Luxury Collection Fine Merino Superwash Lace from Knitty and Diamond, respectively.
And I like almost every pattern in French Girl Knits. Bonus! I mean, how could you not. Look at this gorgeousness:
I also bought two books. This is likely not a surprise to anyone who reads this blog…
Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop is a classic. The late Mrs. Zimmermann was a master knitter from a European generation who memorized “recipes” for patterns, rather than rely on following written patterns verbatim. Take this page from her instructions for The Original Shetland Shawl as an example:
Marianne Kinzel’s First Book of Modern Lace Knitting is in the same vein, albeit the lace work featured in it is so detailed, some instructions are needed. I would like to try this doozy. Wish me luck.
Of course I will be using it as a shawl rather than a dinner cloth 😉 I’ll be damned if I let anyone eat off of this sucker.
Can’t wait till next year’s TTC Knitalong. It will be the 10th anniversary!
I loves it.
I nerded out pretty hardcore when I saw that the decor theme at this restaurant was all vintage knitting and sewing stuff.
And at a used bookstore I recently acquired these:
Early American Weaving and Dyeing by J. & R. Bronson was first published in 1817. It discusses how to weave 35 designs and includes 41 dyeing recipes and tips. There is detailed coverage of wool processing, calculating thread, carding and spinning, loom operation, more.
Here are some excerpts:
Needlework as Art by Lady M. Alford is rather self explanatory. It explores the history of needlearts around the world.
Remember, all of this would have been done by HAND. It blows the mind. This is why I love textiles: it’s history you can hold and use.
Another cool find recently has been a flea market with a large collection of antique crochet. Did you know that all crochet is done by hand? Machines can’t duplicate it like they can with knitting. You can have faux lace made on a machine, but it is just fibres crimped and pressed together cheaply, or in some places acrylic/plastic (shudder), but it will never be true crochet like these beauties:
I included the cake lifter in that last shot because it’s petit point themed. How awesome is that.
So I got this yesterday.
I am very, very happy. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long while. My knitting and cat obsessions are likely obvious if you read this blog, but what might not be is that I learned to knit from my grandma and come from a line of crafty women. Hence, this design has multiple meanings for me.
Putting it on my wrist was a bit of a big decision, but I’m ultimately very happy. My first tattoo isn’t so visible, and I’ve always wished I could show it off more. So, I figured why not take the plunge with this second one?
Another thing that I’m excited about with this tattoo? My husband drew it 🙂
Of course, small tweaks needed to be done by the tattoo artist. He added the detail on the yarn for example, which I LOVE. It was really cool to bring the hubby and let the two artists figure out the final product. I of course had input, but my art skills are so terrible I was happy to defer to them.
PS: the artist is Peter Belej at TCB Tattoos. HIGHLY recommended.
I recently was given some coupons for some good deals, so naturally I decided to get some tools I’ve had my eye on for a bit. Regular household items like a steamer and a kitchen scale…
Except that I have ulterior plans.
Sure, they will come in handy for cleaning pet stains, steaming wrinkles out of clothes (I HATE ironing, so this is good) and measuring recipe ingredients. However their main purpose will be yarn related. The steamer will help me block with greater ease, and the scale will help me figure out how many grams I have of a particular yarn. There is nothing more annoying than having to guesstimate because you want to cast on for a project that needs 120 grams and you have the perfect yarn for it but you no longer have the ball band and/or used only part of the skein in an earlier project and so have absolutely no idea how many grams you have left.
So this past weekend was the annual Knitter’s Frolic. I went with some members of my knitting group, and we had a lot of fun.
Above photos from CanadianChia.
And saw some amazing things.
CASHMERE ROVING. IT FEELS LIKE CLOUDS.
And when it comes to shopping, I made out like a bandit this year. A bandit who pays for all their loot, but a bandit nonetheless.
Everything there was just SO AWESOME this year. More awesome than it already normally is. Plus I got more back that I thought I would with my tax return, so happy early birthday to me.
Here is the pile, in all its glory:
First we have some beautiful lace weight. Seriously, the picture does not do the emerald tones of this skein justice. It’s Shalimar Yarn‘s Breathless Lace in Loden. Handpainted! 850 yds! $30! 😀
I plan on making this beauty with it.
Then I stopped by a family-owned farm‘s stall and grabbed me some more hand painted goodness:
Once again, my camera does not do the deep hues of this yellow any justice. I normally don’t go for yellows, but it was so gorgeous it had to come home with me.
The Black Lamb (another local yarn producer) had this at their booth:
Merino mixed with angora rabbit! Get in my shopping bag now please!
Then at the booth for Gateway Fibreworks (another local outfit that makes yarn from Ontario alpacas – noticing a “local” theme yet?) I saw this skein, the last one they had of it’s colourful yet undyed (these are natural alpaca fleece colours) kind and had to have it.
While I was there I grabbed these mini skeins because alpaca mini skeins.
I’m thinking it should be enough for fingerless gloves.
So that’s it for the local fibres. I had planned on buying only local, normally-hard-to-get-your-hands-on stuff, but then…
Since I needed some DK weight cotton for this vest, I figured I might as well buy it while it’s on sale.
It’s called Kibiso silk. It may not look very silky, but that’s because it is actually made from the waste silk, which is the fuzzy bits on the surface one gets when you reel silk from a cocoon.
I also got a good deal on hand carders from Gemini Fibres. I’ll need them if I ever actually start spinning.
Speaking of starting spinning, I’ve taken a step in the right direction! I took Barb Aikman’s class on the Sunday of the Frolic.
I’ve got a long way to go, but at least it’s a start. I had trouble with the single treadle I was using, so a fellow student was kind enough to let me try her Ashford Joy2. Muuuuch better.
…aaand now I want an Ashford Joy2. It’s a beautiful machine.
But, before I can think of that, or use all this new yarn that is burning a hole in my stash, I must finish the baby knitting (yes, there is still another set of these:
as well as a blanket to go) plus the shawl I’ve started for myself:
I think I needed to finally make something for myself. People are starting to ask why I knit so much but hardly wear any knitwear :S
Luckily this shawl is in worsted weight, so hopefully it won’t take too long.
It’s books (and knitting and yarn buying, but that’s another story).
Recently, I borrowed this from work:
And now I waaaant it.
I mean look,
Each breed/animal has at least a full page dedicated to how to best spin, dye, and knit the fleece, as well as a swatch showing what it looks like knit up and a description of what types of garments it is best for.
It’s like the last piece in my collection. I figure I will have a library of ALL THE KNITTING KNOWLEDGE once I have it on my shelf.
… I really am in the right profession as a librarian…
I want it, I want it soooo bad. But I already own:
and a few books on how to spin and should really just be happy. I mean, I haven’t even actually started learning to spin yet. But then I tell myself “but it will be a great resource for when I actually do start! And it will make me a better knitter too!” If it sounds reminiscent of the talk of an addict trying to reason their way to their next fix, that’s likely a fair and accurate statement. Though I like to think I ended up making a small sacrifice for the good of my wallet: instead of the huge coffee table book, I ended up buying this instead:
Same topic, same authors, a heck of a lot cheaper. It’s like the light version. Also, it will fit in my purse while shopping 😀 I mean, what?
My sickness isn’t limited to books on yarn and fleece. In the same transaction I also bought:
because the other day I bought these:
I know, I know, this all adds up to a lot of $. But the Raspberry Pi and Arduino are work/career related, so there. Plus I got the books online for cheaper than at the hobby store where I got the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Plus I rarely shop for myself. I’m treating myself after the rough winter I’ve had (more addict-style rationalizing…)
God knows when I’ll find the time to learn how to use the Raspberry Pi and Arduino with all this spinning I plan on doing…
And lastly, I got this:
I have a good reason! I have an older car! It makes strange noises I want to understand. Not to mention I’d like to not look so dim the next time I go to the mechanic.
…I’m going to go broke.
Then again, if I can fix and make my own stuff…
Kidding! No more book buying for a long time, I swear.