Friday, April 27, 2007


Yesterday I got my handy dandy newsletter from Clara at Knitter's Review and she outlined all of the upcoming fiber festivals for the rest of this year. I think I can attend 2, possibly 3 that are in NYS.

First on June 16 & 17 is the Jefferson County Sheep & Wool Festival:
It's about half way to my mother-in-laws house so we could each drive an hour and then walk around together. Plus there's a good micro-brewery in the area that's a great attraction for my husband!

Next is the finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival on September 15 & 16:
With that one being over 2 hours away I may have to pass. But - if my husband and I don't have plans that weekend we make just make a nice picnic trip out of it and take a break half way.

Last, and the one I'm most looking forward to is in Rhinebeck! The NYS Sheep & Wool Festival ( is October 20 & 21 and it's been on my calendar since last September. Our son was just too small for that type of outing back then - or maybe we were still too new to parenting.

Once the schedule of events has been released for each I'd like to narrow things down to once class or workshop to take. That way I'm actually learning something. I have no idea if I'll actually buy anything since I resolved to knit only from my stash this year. That doesn't include spinning fiber so I'll probably just stock up on that. I've never been to a fiber festival - I'm very excited for the summer to get here!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I have the best mother-in-law that anyone could possible ask for. She's cool, crafty and even let me borrow her spinning wheel for a couple years now. For our son's birthday she crocheted him a beautiful hooded sweater using the simply stripes yarn and it fits him so nicely. His birthday isn't until May 5th but she wanted to give it to him now just in case he has another growth spurt!

Here he is modeling the sweater while playing with our strainer and a new toy truck from his Aunt Sarah. So happy!

Oh - and I'm about 1/2 way done with that last square for his afghan. I have exactly 10 nights left of knitting to get that done and sew it all up. I think I can make it in time!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I just absolutely love looking at every one's stash of yarn! I have no idea why. Maybe it's just that I'm curious as to what people buy, what projects they're hoping to start and what yarn they have no idea what to make with but just had to buy! I have a moderate stash size and figured since I'm blogging regularly now it's my turn to share.

First is my Plymouth Encore yarn for the GAAA project. I've also got some Wool-Ease mixed in with this bin and about a pound of alpaca spinning fiber. The Wool-Ease was one of those unbelievable deals. I had heard that you could get a good deal at the Tuesday Morning store back in Illinois so I went exploring. For the same price as a regular size skein at Michael's or Joann's I got THREE of the larger skeins. I bought as much as I could hoping that I'll find a project for it all. It makes great men's socks for cold weather and since it's not itchy I might try making my son a poncho for next fall out of one of the colors.

Next up is a drawer full of cotton Sugar n' Cream yarn for dishcloths. I got a ton of these with free shipping and they're nice for quick projects or just trying out a new pattern. I haven't given any of these away yet. I think I'll wait until I have most of them knit up and then distribute most to the women in my family for stocking stuffers. The colors are so much fun and it's nice to see how it pools on the finished piece.

I guess this is a "dream projects' drawer because this is the stuff that I'm not sure of. I bought 5 hanks of Alpaca cloud lace yarn from Knit Picks along with the Elizabeth set of 3 scarf patterns and I just can't knit it up and have it look right. I'm going to try double stranded next time and if that doesn't work I may just share these in a swap. It's so frustrating because they're soft and beautiful. I'm not giving up!

Last picture is of my left over drawer. I plan to knit some items for charity this year to be given to needy/homeless people in my area and I should have enough for several sets of scarfs and hats. I tend not to throw these away because you never know who might stop by as ask for a knitting lesson. I don't mind just giving people an old ball of yarn to practice with.

I do have a few more boxes of yarn in the basement but those were inherited from my husbands grandmother and I have no clue what to do with them. It's not something that I would normally use (big, bulky, feels like polyester) so I may just garage sale them this summer.

It should be a good weekend with warmer weather. We're heading up north tomorrow for a funeral and staying for the weekend. Not exactly something that I'm looking forward to but it's necessary. I finished piece #15 last night for the baby afghan so I'm hoping to use the 2 1/2 hour drive each way to get a head start on my last section.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I normally like to have one work in progress. I'm the kind of gal who likes to start something and then finish it before starting something new. That was before I discovered the Great American Aran Afgan. This is going to be a project that will literally take me years to finish. I bought all of the Plymouth Encore yarn already but it's so complicated that you need to focus on the pattern. There's no mindless knitting here. I have one square completed and one on the needles. My hopes are to work on a square in between projects so that I can get it done in my lifetime!

Next is my travel/public project. The braided cable scarf is something that I just had to have on our last trip to Lake Placid. There was a quaint yarn/coffee shop and they offered free patterns when you bought some of their yarn. My favorite color is red and this is baby alpaca - sooo soft! It's very easy to knit in public since the pattern is super easy plus it just looks cool! I think I'll send this to the Red Scarf Project people next year but I need to see if it looks unisex enough first. If not I might make one that looks manly to send with it.

Last but definitely not least is my Baby afghan for my son. It's made up of 5 different patterns for a total of 16 pieces that will be sewn together and then have a border around the whole thing. This is intended to be part of his 1st birthday present so I need to at least sewn everything together by May 5th. I've allowed myself to worry about the border later. I'm using Caron's Simply Soft because . . . well it's soft and machine washable - everything you would need for a baby blanket. I think all the yarn and a couple extra cable needles cost me less than $30 for this project. Not bad compared to about $280 for the GAAA project. I've got 14 pieces done with piece #15 on the needles. It's a filler square with just 10 inches of seed stitch so I should be done with that tonight or tomorrow night. The last piece is one of the most difficult patterns (of course) and it takes mucho concentration to knit. My hopes are to knit a little each night and eventually it will get done like the rest.

That neat little pile is all 14 completed squares. It's just amazing how all of that yarn can turn into something bigger and more beautiful. I hope that my son will appreciate all of the time and effort and love that I put into this afghan. My mother crocheted him a gorgeous blanket of 100 delicate squares for his birth so this is becoming a tradition for handmade gifts.

My ideal WIP status would be to continue working on the GAAA as my sanity can take it and then have just one other project that I can take with me wherever I go. We travel up north quite a bit and it's nice to have knitting to work on when people are snacking and watching TV after the baby is asleep. I guess having 3 WIPs isn't actually so bad. I'm almost done with 2 of them so I need to figure out what I'm going to start next!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Snow and Rain

I truly love living in CNY. This last storm doesn't bother me at all. We live in the snow belt so how can we complain :) My husband was able to use the snow blower on our driveway and then on our neighbors driveway since they are elderly. They're snow birds and had just come back up north. The snow was so heavy and wet it would have taken them forever to shovel. They were definitely touched - the wife came over and took care of our garbage cans right after the trashman left in the pouring rain. I just think it was her way of saying thank you.

Our tree didn't like this storm though. We had a branch go down but it doesn't look like it's too bad. Our biggest hopes are that it will grow back and the Christmas lights will still look good on it.

I guess this will be my project for summer. I need to get a landscaping plan for our yard anyway. I'm looking forward to having more flowers and less bushes.

In knitting news, I think I might be actually feeling good enough to knit tonight. The problem before was that my needles would rub on my swollen belly and hit the stitches. Not exactly a good feeling. The swelling seems to be going down more today and I don't like a full 7 months pregnant anymore (ok maybe I'm down to 5 months) so I'm hoping to work on my second to last piece for my son's afghan. It needs to be done by May 5th so I need every day possible to work on it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Weekend from Hell

No pictures today. Just a recap on my weekend.

Everything started out very nice. Friday night was "date night" with my husband so we tried a new Mexican restaurant called Jalapenos. It was excellent. I was craving some good salsa with homemade chips warm from the oven and they hit the spot. Maybe too much.

About an hour after dinner my stomach started hurting. We went straight home because I wasn't feeling well - then the pain really hit. It started to remind me of labor pains so I decided to go to the hospital. Turns out I had a gallstone and it was blocking something so they had to remove it on Saturday with surgery. They released me on Sunday and when I came home I found out that a close family friend died in a car accident leaving her 2 small children behind. This has been very tough on our whole family.

The whole weekend made me appreciate my family more than ever. My parents were able to take care of our son and eventually take care of me when I needed it. My husband stepped up and took control of the hospital situation getting me attention when I needed it most. Now we have our extended family driving through rain and snow storms to get home for a funeral. I may not be able to understand why our friend had to die but I do have faith that everything will be ok.

On the knitting side, my thoughtful husband brought in two projects for me to work on while I was in the hospital. I didn't knit at all because of the pain meds but it was comforting to know that I could if I wanted to. I think only other knitters can appreciate that :)

Friday, April 13, 2007


I have decided to start a new blog so that I can have an outlet for my knitting and spinning (ok and bragging about how cute my kid is). Here are a few pictures of a pound of romney wool that I finally finsihed spinning. I just need to wash it to set the twist and then I'll start thinking about what I'd like to make with it.

I experimented with single, double and triple ply just to see how each would turn out. This is my first spinning project so I wanted to get an idea of what I'd like to actually knit up some day. I've got a beautiful pound of alpaca next. It's a dark chocolate brown and I can't wait to get started!

But before I spin anything else I would like to finish the baby afghan that I started for my son. His first birthday is May 5th and I have 2 more sections to knit, then sew up the pieces and knit the border. It's a big project but I think it's nice for him to have a handmade present. No pictures yet to share of the afghan so I'll just prove that he's super cute!

I just found out that there's a local knitting group in this area and they're next meeting is this Monday. I loved getting together with people to knit back when we lived in Chicago so I'm excited to go. It's a bit scary to put yourself out there with a group of strangers but I have found that the risk is definitely worth it. As soon as the needles and yarn come out people make fast friends.