Friday, October 16, 2009

A Tale of Two Sweaters

At just about the same time last year (2008), I was putting the finishing touches on my 'Rhinebeck' sweater - the fabulous "Wisteria" designed by Kate Gilbert and available at

I love, love, love this sweater. It fits. It's comfortable. It knit up so quickly that I was amazed. The yarn I used, Steadfast Fibers Wonderful Wool in 'Columbine,' is an Aran weight, so the sweater is a little denser, which made all the difference between warm and cold at Rhinebeck, because it was a chilly, windy weekend. I also fell in love with what I considered the opalescent qualities of the color, and kept going back to Windsor Button Shop in Boston and buying a skein or two at a time, until I saw Wisteria on the Twist Collective website, and I knew immediately, what I had been buying the yarn for!

I must admit that I enjoyed all the nice comments about the sweater that I got, and I was thrilled to run into Kate Gilbert wearing her Wisteria, not once, but twice!

Now it's 2009, and I have a new 'Rhinebeck' sweater. This one is a stranded pattern based on Andean motifs, and knit in Plymouth Paca Tweed. It is a sample knit for Donna Druchunas' upcoming book, "Ethnic Knitting Discoveries." She provides the ethnic motifs and worksheets and then the reader gets to design their own sweater! It works! Really well. The sweater is steeked at the neck and armholes. I was a little concerned about alpaca being a little more slippery than wool, so before I sewed and cut the steeks, I hand-felted them a little. I had no problem with the steeks or with picking up stitches for the armhole and around the neck.

Once again I happily report that the sweater fits nicely (I am very short-waisted), is extremely comfortable, and since the weather report for the weekend sounds like it will be even colder, and perhaps wetter, than last year, I'll let you know how well a double layer of alpaca works.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

From Cradle...

Sequelle, ma belle...
I used to breed and show Bombay cats. Sequelle was born in 1991 to Danielle - her second litter. She achieved kitty fame as a TICA Supreme Grand Champion, had two litters, and was a sweet cat who liked to sit in my lap and sleep drapped over my head (not always so sweet). She was also a great mom, and when Daisy Mae decided she was an emancipated female, Sequelle stepped in to take care of her kitten, Poke. Bombays are 'contact kitties,' and Sequelle loved to hang out in my lap. I'd be sitting, reading, and suddenly realize that I was too warm, look down, and lo-and-behold! there was at least one cat on my lap!
At the beginning of the summer Sequelle had a stroke, or something, she lost her hearing and sight, but could still find her litterbox and food, and drape herself across my head at night, so I hung on and waited. Finally, it was time to say 'good-bye' after she had a bad seizure late Wednesday night. I sat with her on my bed, and Daisy Mae and Fiona lay nearby, and Thursday morning my sister drove me to the vet. She gave me hugs and kleenex while we were there - both of which were badly needed and appreciated.
I was there for Sequelle when she was born and when she died. I miss her alot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Places

I've decided to tell you about my adventures as a Yarn Sales Rep - at least a few tidbits about the yarn shops I visit. The one thing I do really enjoy is visiting yarn shops. The way each owner has set up their shop makes each one unique, and can give you a quick insight into their aesthetic. What sort of yarns are displayed and how, what colors catch you eye first, what's on shelves...yum!!

Well, today I drove into Rhode Island to visit Mermaid's Purl in North Kingston. It's a great name for a gem of a store. It used to be "And the Beadz Go On" but the new owner, Lizzy, is having her Grand Opening soon - the store is open now and full of great yarns. It's a small store in a gathering of small, artistic stores with a small town, comfortable ambiance. If I wasn't 'working,' I would have loved to cruise through the yarn, the buttons, and beads. There were neighboring stores that would be fun to explore, too.

Of course I must remember that if I have to drive south, through Boston to go to Rhode Islalnd, and Google Maps tells me the trip will take 1 hr 36 min, that I had better keep in mind the volume of rush hour traffic and make myself leave at least 1/2 hour earlier. Checking the gas guage is a good thing, too.

I didn't print out reverse directions - and, no, I don't have a GPS device...yet, so, of course there were a few circles and wrong turns until I got myself pointed in the right direction (I do ask for directions!).

If I keep posting about yarn stores, I'll try to remember to pack my camera so maybe I can get some pictures to post.

Oh, and I've started what I hope will be my Rhinebeck sweater - Farmer's Market Cardigan from Fall 2009 Interweave Knits - using yarn from stash, pictures to follow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Still Knitting...

These are not flowers from my grave...

I've been knitting, spending time, lots of time, on Ravelry, and most recently, starting up my new business - A Touch of Fiber - as a yarn sales rep. It's all been very engrossing, and I'm enjoying the process!!!

This is the longest project I've knit in awhile - a pair of 17th Century Stockings with clocks (pattern from Plimouth Plantation) - that I knit for the Sock Summit 2009 Sock Museum! They are huge, long, and itchy, but they are definitely warm! I used Harrisville yarn, and loved working with it. It has a 'crunchy' feel and there is still lanolin in the yarn, so I felt like I was knitting with 'real' yarn that hadn't lost its identity through over-processing.

Then there is my washcloth collection. It's a way for me to knit mindlessly and prepare simple gifts. I pair the washcloths with really nice soap from Frost Fish Cove Soaps.
To finish up, if you're an indie dyer who wants a larger market, contact me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I haz need hatz

Sometimes life creates needs. I need hats.

It all started when I decided on a whim to get my hair trimmed (this already should give you some idea where this is going). I turned into the hairdressing school I was walking past. I told the student that I wanted my hair really short, but polished and professional, because I had hopes on going on job interviews. Things were going pretty well until the clippers came out. With three electric zooms most of the hair on my head was practically gone. I left with NOT ONE HAIR ON MY HEAD LONGER THAN 1/4-INCH.

Now, my head is cold all the time. I look like I've just finished a round of chemo. My head looks very small in relation to my body.

I've been knitting hats:

This is the one I wear the most - at home, even when I'm sleeping.

This one is knit with warm, bulky wool, so I wear it outdoors.

This moebius cowl has been warm when I want a little neck and shoulder coverage.

This one is cute, but doesn't provide enough coverage. I've got another version with heavier wool on the needles.

We all have lapses in judgement.