Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Decided at zero hour to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It had become an annual event for several of my friends and me, a tradition that signals Spring is here- let the yarn shopping begin! But, since it is a looooong drive (4 hours!) and an early rise to get there for an 9 am opening, the thrill has become much less.
Plus, do I really need any more yarn? Or stuff of any kind? I thought I was sooo over it and that I could contain myself until Stitches East in October.

What decided it for me was discovering this while grazing on Ravelry recently. 

Hence, I really needed to buy this

And, so it begins, again. Another must -make-this to add to my project list. (Wouldn't that be a topic to blog about at some future date? The"To Make" List.)

My partner-in-yarn, Nan, drove us to Maryland, and we arrived at the fairgrounds around 10:30 a.m, having left at a reasonable 6:45 am instead of in darkness. Absolutely no more hitting the highway at at 5 am for us sleep loving, bed hugging ladies. We headed straight for The Verdant Gryphon located at the Main Barn at the very end of the fairgrounds, and wormed our way down row A. Miracle! No lines and we were actually able to step inside their tiny booth. Not often the case because they have a devoted following. Already there were several empty and near empty hooks on the Bugga sport weight yarn rack. It was very difficult to select 2 complimentary colors;if you follow the above link you'll see many beautiful colors to choose from. I'm into the grays as late, probably due to the influence of Nan, who practically OWNS the color! She helped me decide on the skeins above and once I finish a few outstanding projects I'll begin the pattern.

So, with my prime objective accomplished, I relaxed and spent the remainder of our day trying to convince myself I didn't need to purchase:
                   Sock and Alpaca Lace yarn from those nice ladies at Cherry Tree Yarns.

These really cute "quick" sock kits-that vendor insisted I could complete one in only 2 days!

Also, could not resist these new and vintage books and gadgets because the price was either right or they held a promise of knitting nirvana.

One nice person even gave me a free pattern for no reason at all!
The Color Grid is the best tool ever for color selection. I only paid $2 for the Raglan Sweater Wheel, which is truly brilliant! ( Now you can do it for free online using my link!) Jazz Knitting inspires me to use hand painted sock yarns in clever ways. And I do need some clever ways to attack the sock yarn stash!
Here's a link to a brief video too.
Oh, I almost forgot. Even those I have a more recent copy of Elizabeth's book, I couldn't pass up an older version with a retail price of $3.50 that I paid $1.25 because that was half price. And the Duncan book was also 50% off of $3.45.

But I did absolutely need to buy, in my opinion, this, my most major score of the year so far:
Nine balls of Rowan Calmer in Saffron with a ball of a coral-ish color thrown in for contrast edging and just because it was there. On clearance at a cost of $2 a ball. Originally priced at $13.95 a ball!
I love the color.
  I remember feeling very light headed as I was clutching the bag of Rowan to my chest. This amazing find took place at All About Yarn, the very last place we stopped to shop before we both shuffled/staggered across the grassy field to our car.
I have 1750 yarns of a cotton/poly yarn that knits up at 5.25 st/inch with a size 8 needle.   I wear an XL/ 1X. First I thought I'd just do a simple tank for the Summer, but it occurred to me that a light weight cardi just might be possible.
Any pattern suggestions?

So, I don't have too much guilt about my decision to go, shop and spend. Now, to make room and time for my new treasures!

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Hello again and yes, been busy. Finally finished  (in January 2012!) my "plan as you go sweater"
started during a 5 hour crosscountry running high school bus trip to Rhochester, New York, in the Fall of 2010! The idea was to use up the stash of Crysal Palace Taos  (Tuscan) maturing since 2005(?) by just casting on for the width of my back and knitting until inspiration struck. It evolved into an adaptation of Suikan from Vicki Square's Knit Kimono I. Knitted in stockinette stitch, worked the front separate from the back and seamed the shoulders. Sleeves were knit flat and seamed on the underside. The bands on the sleeve and up/around the front are garter stitch and hand sewn onto the sweater. The photo really brings out the striping, which appears more muted to me closeup. I'm seeing a tad bit dumpling, but hey! At 56 you have to expect/accept a little meat on your bones! The sweater is lofty and very warm. It became my go-to item during the few coldest days we had, really blocking the wind. If you can get your hands on this vintage yarn, grab it! Lots of great yarn deals on the Net to feed that Stash!

So, besides actually finishing something, I've spent my time caring for my family, saying "goodbye" to beloved Scotty after 14-1/2  years of canine love, painting a few rooms, stashing MORE yarn for my someday retirement( this is what I tell my family!) attending Stitches East and Vogue New York,
reading the many blogs I subscribe to, trolling the internet, especially Ravelry, for new patterns, knitting and crocheting with friends, occassionally teaching beginners how to knit at the community college, volunteering with my senior crochet group and remaining employed(thankfully) We also adopted a new collie puppy, Brody, in February. In a word, busy! Oh, I forgot my new vice-Pinterest. Cannot step away from the keyboard. Love to pin and be pinned!

Hoping to be more timely in my posts. Let's try Mondays. Maybe I'll have something worth sharing?
Until then, happy knitting!