Saturday, November 10, 2012


I don't know how any of you feel, but for me, the panic is starting to set in as the holiday season approaches and I count how many gifts I still need to make! And it's not just the gifts I want to make, it's the other things I wanted to accomplish this fall, like perhaps putting more items up on my etsy shop to make a bit of Christmas spending money. There just aren't enough hours in the days or days before Christmas.

So fortunately for me (well actually it's unfortunate, but we have to look on the bright side, don't we) I am without a car this weekend... and it is a long weekend, as I have Monday off from work for Veteran's Day. The car is in the shop and won't be ready until Tuesday.

I'm going to take this opportunity to get as much done as possible. However, it is now well past noon and so far today I have darned the holes in a pair of socks, checked my email, read a bunch of blogs, and started this blog post. None of these things are getting me any closer to my goals.  I really should get going, but before I do, let me share with you one of my finished objects.

This is a pair of socks I knit for my sister this the summer and just sent to her recently. (They don't count towards the Christmas knitting.)

They are knit in Black Bunny Fibers Silk Sock (55% wool and 45% silk) in the colorway "Irridescent". I think I may have "lost" some of the lace patterning because of the variegated colors, but they still are beautiful, and so, so soft.

The pattern is by Nancy Bush from the book Favorite Socks and were inspired by historical socks she had seen in museums. Nineteenth-century women's stockings had decorative stitches on the front only since that is all that would show beneath a long skirt.

FYI- I slipped them on for just this photo shoot before popping them in a nice wool wash and blocking them. (Just so you know Sis, I sent them to you clean ;-p )

Okay, so now it is time to go and get some serious work done. No more frittering of time. I'm going to ignore the fact that the living-room is dusty! But wait, hang on... it's time to feed the dog, and perhaps myself as well.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Whimsical Birch Tree

Quite some time ago saw a craft idea on one of the blogs I read. I can't really remember exactly which one it was now. The craft was an arrangement of crochet flowers attached to thin dowels with tiny clothespins. I bought the dowels and clothes pins, but never got around to crocheting the flowers.

Today a new twist on this craft idea came to me. I got out my supplies and created a whimsical birch tree!

I love birch trees and they aren't as common here in the mid-Atlantic states as they are in New England. I love the beautiful yellow color the leaves turn in the fall. Down here the birches are small (scrawny in fact) and seen mostly as ornamental trees in lawns rather than the tall rows of birches that line the highways up north.

So, here is how I created my bit of whimsy:

I crocheted some cute little leaves.

I hot-glued the little clothes pins to the backs.

Since the clothes pins had to clip to the dowel at a right angle...

...I glued the leaves at various angles onto the clothes pins. That way the leaves would "dance" on the branches and not all be sticking out at the same angle.

Then I went looking for a vase or vessel to hold my "branches". I found a mason jar that had a vented lid that once held potpourri. Perfect! The vented lid would hold the dowels in place just right. 

In my travels I also ran across a ball of yarn, white with black flecks, just like birch bark. 

I unwound the ball of yarn into the glass jar.

I arranged my little crocheted leaves onto the branches...

...and added the branches to the jar.

I love the way it turned out. It brings a brightness to my craft room and it makes me smile. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rhinebeck 2012 ~ My Treasures

The skies have been mostly grey this past week since the hurricane; so different than the beautiful blue sky we enjoyed during Rhinebeck Weekend. The lack of natural light has created a photo challenge as I tried to capture the true color of my yarn purchases. I've played around with the camera settings and the flash and this is what I've come up with.

I didn't really go overboard with my purchases, although the little I did buy certainly added up quickly.

I bought some REAL maple syrup! We've already enjoy a pancake breakfast topped with this awesomeness. I also bought myself this cute Sheep Mug. It's quickly become my favorite mug in the house.

I bought a friend a birthday gift. (I gave it to her before having a chance to take a photo of it, so I stole her Ravelry Stash photo!) It is Periwinkle Sheep ~ Watercolors ~ colorway Chai.

I of course bought my self some yarn, as well as flexible blocking wires, a new shawl pin, and an addi Turbo Lace 24" circular needle which I am going to dedicate to knitting Mutlnomah Shawls. (I've knit this shawl 5 or 6 times and each time I go searching for the right size needle, I find I am already using it for another project. I decided it was time to have a dedicated needle. With all the gazillion circular needles I own, I can't believe I only had one in this size!)

Some close-ups of the yarn:

Maple Creek Farm ~ Sherman ~ colorway Aztec Jewels ~ intended for some Christmas gift socks for a special guy.

Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm ~ colorway Meadow Pansy ~ a whopping 1400 yards! I'm not sure what I have planned for this.

Briar Rose Fibers ~ colorway Sea Pearl ~ this yarn with its grey & brownish gunmetal look just screams to be used for an Age of Brass and Steam Shawl!

Periwinkle Sheep ~ Sock Dream ~ colorway Mauve ~ let's just say, I need a little pink in my life, so I plan to make a shawl from this.

Oh, and one last purchase I made, of which there is no photo... Maple Cotton Candy! So, so, so, good! I can't wait until next year just so I can get some more!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Other Peoples' Knitting

As I searched through my SD card of photos looking for something to share with you tonight, I realized I haven't taken any photos of any of the knitting I've been doing over the past several months. So, instead I will share with you the photos I have of other peoples' knitting. These were taken one summer evening with my knitting group. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rhinebeck Weekend

If you can bear yet another blog post about the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, and looking at yet another picture of that gorgeous tree that everyone was snapping photos of... read on. If you are one of my non-knitting readers, enjoy... even if you don't "get it".

It was my first trip to Rhinebeck for the festival and it was everything I was hoping for. The day started out with a misty morning as the sun strained to work its magic.

Co-workers of mine were a bit perplexed when I told them where I was going. They were surprised that people actually go to sheep and wool festivals, so I made sure I took a photo of the very full parking lot and the crowds of people.

Surprisingly, I didn't take any photos of sheep, but I did get photos of the Lemurs,

a kangaroo,

the tiny goats,

the very large tortoise and the very large hare,

some bunnies in hutches,

and an alpaca!

I enjoyed kinnearing the Ravelry "stars"~ (My knitter readers should be able to pick out the faces in these photos.)

Ysolda and Sarah,

Mary Heather,


Casey and Jess,

and lots of designers.

Do you see in this photo how most of them are looking at the photographer taking their picture, but Thea Colman in the center is looking towards me? I believe I caught her attention because I was wearing the Cranberry Capelet that she designed! 

During the weeks before the festival there was a flury of knitting going on in the universe, as so many knitters were preparing their Rhinebeck Sweaters (or shawls or hats or whatever). All over blogland and Twitter I was reading about the deadline knitting. You could actually feel the knitting energy in the air. Even as we were driving north to the festival, a friend texted me that he was happy he was a passenger in his car so he could finish his knitting. 

Unfortunately, not everyone was able to finish in time, but it didn't stop them from sporting their UFOs. Even some of the best knitters~

Yep, that's Ysolda!

I'm not sure why, but I didn't take any photos of all the beautiful booths filled with colorful yarns, but you've seen all that before in other blog post, right? Instead, I'll leave you now with those promised tree photos.

I'll be back another day to show you what I bought!