I’m finally ready to start blogging! I’ll probably be up all night! I have all sorts of stories, projects and things to share that I feel like I can’t type fast enough (which is a riot because I can’t pass a basic typing test to save my life!) and because real life keeps getting in the way of my knitting and spinning and weaving, I’m sure I’ll be including posts about what many people think is an unconventional way of living. My husband and I have been full time RVers for the past 4 years (we really only meant to do it for a year, 2 at the most), but we’re still at it and now we have a love, hate relationship with it. So…give your hands a knitting break and I hope you enjoy my “about” page and my posts!
I FINALLY had the opportunity to attend The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend! I have been hoping to attend for years but because I lived “out west” it seemed there was always a reason I couldn’t get to it…I had to work (work always seems to get in the way of the more important stuff like knitting and spinning), the distance, etc..etc…but now that I live and hour or so away I firmly stated to anyone who would listen…”I don’t care if the President wants to come and visit me on May 5th and 6th…he will have to meet me at The Howard County Fairgrounds.” And attend I did…I was there both days from open to close and may I say IT WAS SPECTACULAR! It so completely exceeded any expectations I could have imagined. I have been to numerous arts and crafts shows, as well as state and county fairs over the years but this was the cream of the cream of the crop. I don’t know why I am so surprised though…in reading through the fair website before I went it does state that this festival is the premier festival of its kind in the world. For me it was the combination of all of the sheep and the many, many, many wool related vendors all in the same place. I recently purchased The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius and have been devouring the information on all of the breeds of sheep, goats, musk ox, bison and other furry creatures and it was such a treat to see some of the more rare breeds of sheep that I’ve been reading about. I also made some fun purchases. I’ve been wanting to try some different types of projects so I purchased a silk hankie (I really don’t know how to spin it yet but it will be fun researching and watching some you tube videos), some bamboo, wool and tencel roving which has beautiful pinks, blacks and greys (pictures to come), a flower kit with mohair and a boucle yarn, and some angora fiber from “Sharon” the angora bunny (who was at the show allowing her people mom to hold her and pluck some fiber for spinning demonstrations). I can’t wait to try out all this fun stuff and I will definitely be counting down the days until next years festival.
Tonight hubby and I were sitting in our now local Barnes and Noble cafe and there were 2 women sitting next to us who appeared to be knitting. I’m certain I was making them uncomfortable with my staring so I finally blurted out “it looked like you were knitting so I had to find out” (like I couldn’t have just politely asked them). Then someone else came over to the table and asked them about their projects and suddenly I heard the word “alpaca.” Then I heard one of them ask “did you go to The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival?” When I heard no’s I immediately offered up “I did” (as if anyone was asking me). We then discovered the woman who had approached the table raised alpacas. Although we had only intended to stay at the bookstore for long enough to have coffee, of course now everything was out the window. We had an absolutely wonderful time chatting about her farm Nine Patch Alpacas, our farm, and everything other alpaca related subject you can imagine. Diane, the owner of the farm was so friendly and interesting to talk with and her daughter was a gem! We will definitely be planning a visit to their farm to chat again and get our alpaca fix!
Slowly but surely (and I think it’s more slowly) I am making some UFO progress. I’ve been trying to get the 2nd sock done in the Colinette yarn. This yarn is really wonderful and if you haven’t tried it you should. It has just the right amount of stretch for socks and is great to work with. I’m about to turn the heel and I’ve been trying to carve out a few uninterrupted minutes to do this. I know from past sock experience that if I put it down in mid-heel and lose my place I might as well never have started.
At the same time (you can never have too many projects going on at once!) I’m making great strides on a pair of fingerless gloves for hubby. These actually have fingers that will be open on the ends so I guess they aren’t technically fingerless gloves but you get the idea. This is the first time I’ve made gloves and although they’re not hard to make, I have to say thank you to all the you tube videos I’ve watched to get from one finger to the next. (What did we ever do before you tube?) I’m making these out of Expresso’s yarn and I’m using size 2 DPN’s and one strand of yarn. I found the pattern on Ravelry and it was archived so it took quite awhile to load…I got a number of rows done on the socks while I was waiting…felt proud of my multi-tasking skills!
Now that I’m living on the east coast my calendar has big stars, arrows, highlights, you name it on the weekend of May 5-6. I am SO looking forward to attending the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. Every year I would say…well maybe next year I can fly out there and go but this year I only live about an hour drive away so I will be thoroughly enjoying every second from the time the doors open until they kick me out! I’m sure I’ll be making some purchases as well! I feel like a kid at Christmas….I’m counting down the minutes!
WHEW! The Ivy Cap is finished and am I ever glad!! Even though it’s all one color and it’s knit in one piece I still found it to be one of the most challenging pieces I’ve ever knitted. I learned a lot along the way so I’m glad I stuck it out. Trust me, there were a number of times when frogging it didn’t even come to mind. I wanted to just open the front door and chuck it out and hope someone would run over it!
Even though it’s midway through January, I want to comment that I did make some New Years Resolutions before the clock struck twelve on December 31st. Oh yes, there were plenty of things I could have put on the list such as the need to lose weight, learn a foreign language, become a movie star etc, but I decided I should get realistic about my resolutions so for once I could look back and feel that it was a really productive year in terms of my knitting, spinning and weaving. I drank a significant amount of espresso, then went through my stash and took pictures of all of my UFO’s which includes knitting projects, a couple of crochet projects and lots of roving to be spun. As I’ve been job hunting I have realized the need to make some significant progress on my lack of knowledge of Excel, so I decided to make a spreadsheet listing all of my projects to be completed. I’ve also got columns to update my progress as I go along and the estimated completion time. Hubby found it somewhat amusing because he has been after me to make up some spreadsheets so I can practice but I think what he had in mind was getting the bills organized, not my craft projects. (I have a system that works for the bills it’s just that he says he can’t figure it out!)
I’m thrilled that the first item I can put on my new spreadsheet is the Ivy Cap! Now that we’re living where there is a definite winter, hubby is thinking the original Watch Cap may still need to be on my list. It’s a pretty simple pattern (I think I may have said that about the Ivy Cap) but I still figure I can knit it up rather quickly and not disrupt my UFO flow.
Off to the first project on my list-the Colinette socks……..
I’ve been meaning to post since the 1st and have had everything I wanted to say swirling around in my head but is seems I haven’t been able to find a spare minute.. As usual, lots of changes and chaos going on in my life…..I’m not complaining though! We have recently left Southern Utah and relocated to Pennsylvania for hubbys job. I am HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY (have I mentioned HAPPY) because I am now close to my family for the first time in about 20 years. If I didn’t think I would hurt myself I would do some cartwheels! We were able to go visit my dad the weekend after we got moved, then went again for Christmas and I was able to stay the week after Christmas to visit. We had such a great week, the sisters going shopping at the after Christmas sales and visiting some local crafty type shops we’ve been wanting to check out. My dad was the happy chauffeur and drove us from place to place so we could all yak nonstop. As we were out and about I found I had a really hard time realizing I only live a few hours away and I can come back as often as I want. In past visits I’ve always felt the need to race from place to place to get it all in before I had to get on a plane and not be able to come back again for 6 months. I’m sure I was starting to annoy my family with my constantly stating what a relief it was to be able to throw eveything in the car vs having to carefully pack for security at the airport, pay an arm and a leg for 1 checked bag and hope I can get everything smashed into it. Read the rest of this page »
The Ivy Cap is definitely looking like a cap! It was really hard to get good pictures (as it always is in the RV) but I think this one shows some good progress from the last pictures. I’m hoping to be able to add it to my FO’s soon! (Hubby would like that too so he could finally wear the darn thing!)
I’ve also been able to make some progress on the magic loop socks from the Colinette yarn my sister sent me awile back. I have to say I am very very pleased with the pattern and how it came out. It fits perfectly and hubby commented that it looks professionally made! (Sweet!)
On to sock 2 and finishing the Ivy Cap!
I’ve actually been able to get some spinning done lately as well. I’ve been very happy with my progress into making thinner yarn. I like at least a 2 ply yarn so I’ll be anxious to see the result to see if I really can spin thinner. I bought this roving in Bozeman, MT at The Yarn Shop and Fiber Place while visiting my in-laws. I am always drawn to multi-colored roving (it’s that impressionist thing again I’m sure).
I’ve also been working some on what I call Moms Shawl. When my mom passed away 2 years ago my sister who knits and I went through her projects and split them up. My mom used to carry this around with her when she knew she would have extra time in a waiting room. As knitting usually does, people would always ask her what she was making and she always cracked me up because she would say “I’m making a shawl to wear whan I get old.” It took me awhile to figure out the pattern and where she left off. I’m not sure I started on the exact row but for me the point was and is that when I’m having a rough day it really helps to pull it out and work on it. I sit there knitting with it all bunched up in my lap and think about all the good times my mom and I had together.
I have always loved fall, I love the change of all of the seasons but there is something about that crisp feel in the air, the leaves changing into that impressionist look (I’ve always had a thing for impressionist art and that’s what a gathering of fall trees looks like to me), and most definitely pulling out my hand knit socks, scarves and mittens rejuvenates me and gets me moving. This year in particular after living in a really hot summer climate I am appreciating fall even more. I think I have said to my husband “isn’t this weather divine” until he is about to scream. My favorite month hands down is October with Halloween rating number one as the top holiday in my book. I know it will sound strange but October and Halloween have a slight edge for me above December and Christmas. When I’m fortunate enough to be in West Virginia during October, my sister and I barely have time to sleep. First there is my twin nephews birthday to plan for and enjoy but then things really take off. There’s the zombie walk on the main street downtown, visiting the halloween stores that have the appeal of choosing the “brave souls” entrance over the scaredy-cat entrance (then spending quality time checking out all of the moving and groaning ghouls), the haunted hayride at the local park and then the highlight of The Fright Farm at Rich’s Truck Farm (almost better than Trick or Treat night!) It’s really nontop fun for my sister and I and I always cherish when we can share our love of all things scary together. I love creating custom pumpkins as well-here is a picture of one I did the last time I was there
This might be my nephews last year for Trick or Treat which will be a shame because they come up with some really good costumes but hopefully they will love Halloween as much as their mom and I do!