October 31, 2008

On Warmth

This past week, it turned cold in the DC region. We didn't get the snow that hammered the northeast, or the driving rain that stalled the world series. Nonetheless, it was really cold, and really windy. It got me thinking about how I just love hunkering down in warmth while it's freezing cold outside. As much as I hate being cold, I love winter. Love everything it represents.

We pulled out the quilt that my Aunt Erin made us for a wedding present. She finished it at the beginning of the year, but we waited until this fall to pull it out. Landsakes, I love this quilt. It's appropriately hefty (I hate lightweight blankets. I want to feel them!) and yet it doesn't make me sweat (unlike the thick down comforter it's replacing).

Best of all, it perfectly matches our bedroom, and the colors just look like fall -- rich pumpkin and browns. Love it. It is the very embodiment of warmth.

Scarf for Gwen
As fortunate as I am to not have seen snow yet, Gwen in Ithaca was not so lucky. I knew when she headed north that she would be cold early and often. So I put some of the Fiesta Lusso cashmere in my stash to good use, following the Yarn Harlot's Just One Row Scarf pattern. A quick easy knit with mega-warmth potential.

Wisteria in Progress
Every single spare moment I've had in the last week has gone towards knitting this. The Wisteria sweater. In Madeline Tosh Worsted -- heaven to work with. I want to wear this sweater right now, so I clearly need to figure out a way to knit while sleeping.

Posted by Ann at 11:29 AM | Comments (9)

October 23, 2008

Rhinebeck: The Haul

Actually, I felt really really good about my plan for Rhinebeck this year. I knew I would come home with some new sock yarns (I can't resist) and I wanted a sweater's worth (or two) of yarn. I slightly exceeded my expectations, but not by much.

I was totally overwhelmed by the choices, as usual. At the end of the first day, I hadn't bought much -- the highlight was this wonderful wool-cotton tweed from Shelridge Farms:

Shelridge Soft Touch Wool Cotton

I used their (non-tweed) yarn to make my Phildar Cabled Crew (for last year's Rhinebeck!), and it's held up beautifully. I'm not sure what the tweed wants to be. It may want to be a Central Park Hoodie, but I'm going to give it time to talk to me.

Also, there may have been some Blue Moon Silk Single that leapt into my arms.

Blue Moon Luscious Silk Single

My only regret of the trip is that I didn't buy three hanks, which would have made a lovely February Lady Sweater. (And they were gone when we went back first thing Sunday morning.) As it is, this will make a great hat and scarf combo for me. Plus, the colors glow like the leaves of Rhinebeck.

Then, our group sort of fell into a cormo booth on Sunday that I'd completely overlooked the day before. I found some great sportweight cormo to become a Riding to Avalon:

Sport-Weight Cormo
[Thanks Dad! You bought this for me. Excellent taste.]

And they also had some butter-licious Cormo-Silk that I simply was powerless to resist.


I'm not sure exactly what it's destined for. Probably a cabled turtleneck, if I can find the right pattern. I have a couple of Phildar-y options marinating around.
[Thanks Grandma! Best birthday gift ever!!]

Then, I needed some buttons:
Buttons from Rhinebeck

And, of course, some sock yarn followed me home.

Sock Yarn Trio
(L-R: Socks That Rock Lightweight Mill End, Ellen's Half Pint, March Hare).
I'm sure they will all grow up to be something fantastic. Like some Endpaper Mitts, perhaps, since mine have gone missing.

In other exciting news:
* My apple brown betty recipe has gained acclaim from Joy the Baker.
* I seem to have cast on for a winter sweater. Good thing, since it is getting cold outside!

Posted by Ann at 12:08 PM | Comments (9)

October 20, 2008

Tree-Swinging Treeline

W     ow. You know it's been a long time when your blog clears itself out. Sorry about that, peeps. I wish it weren't so, but I fell down the rabbit-hole of school and work deadlines and am now reclaiming my life. At least until finals. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So, Rhinebeck!

I departed DC at a stunningly early hour on Friday with Maeve, Sara, and someone who punned before coffee.

Luckily our little Zipcar was right across from a Starbucks, but the previous owner left us woefully short on gas. Elspeth fixed that. And possibly there was some dancing to James Brown before 7 a.m. at the gas station.

We made stunningly good time and detoured off the Interstate for our now-traditional lunch at an Ellenville bistro. We stopped at a scenic overlook to enjoy the view:

Scenic Overlook

and then put ourselves in the shot:
Scenic Overlook
Later in the day, we were joined by three others who made the gathering even more fun.

Saturday morning: Up and out the door ahead of schedule just because everyone is SO EAGER to get to Rhinebeck! And seriously, why not?! Sleep is overrated when there is wool to fondle and lamb chili to eat.
4-H Booth

(Note to self: Lamb chili is not available at Saturday opening. Plan accordingly for next year. It IS available for Sunday breakfast, thank goodness.)

I saw a ton of people, including Jody and Christy (of course--I see them at every festival without fail!), and Jaya and Kristy. Met Margene for the first time, who was there with Laurie. Got to hang with Anna and some of her Maine friends. Met Julia and Kate of Twist, who were as lovely as you'd expect.

Spotted many people I recognized from Ravelry/blogs but could not place... I am terrible putting names to faces. And not everyone had on name badges to help me out!

The knitwear was stunning. Many, many wonderful garments. The great-knit to ugly-knit ratio was tilted heavily in favor of beautiful garments, which was a pleasant surprise. I am so lucky to know the knitters of these beauties:

Departing Knits

I saw a number of things that I had sort-of considered previously, but now am solidly pro, including: Foliage hat, Noro striped scarf, Bubble pullover, Mr. Greenjeans.

It was all very inspirational. (Photos of my stash enhancement to come in a later post.)

Also: sheepies! There were baby lambs:

Little Lamb

and grown-up lambs. Equally adorable and wooly.

Sheep partners


Since it was so very crisp and fall-like this year, it was a good thing I had a very warm sweater to keep me warm. Enter the Treeline Striped Cardigan, all done:

Treeline Striped Cardigan

Treeline Striped Cardigan
Pattern from The Purl Bee
Yarn: Nashua Worsted (navy) held with teal Kidsilk Haze for main color; Plain & Fancy Sport for the celadon/cream contrast
Needles: US7 Lantern moons

Treeline Striped Cardigan

As much as I love this cardigan, knitting it gave me some fits. Notably, the neck edge shaping maths didn't work out. As written, you end up with two fronts of different sizes. Maybe that's by design, but it certainly seemed a little wonky. I redid the maths and made my fronts equal.

Also, I was surprised to see the pattern not specify mirrored decreases for the raglan shaping. I did mirror mine -- ssk and then k2tog on the right side, and p2tog and then p2tog tbl on the wrong side. I think that makes a difference in the finished product.

Treeline Cardigan - Shoulder Detail

Finally, I did not knit the button band as written. The pattern calls for continuing the stripes on the button band, but I opted instead to do a solid collar and button band (thanks to guidance from Olga and Elspeth). If I were knitting it again, I might figure out how to short-row the collar increases, since I really had to block it severely to get the drape I wanted.

Overall, this was totally worth the troubles, and the resulting fabric is lightweight yet very warm. I expect to be wearing it a bunch this winter, as it's a great versatile layering piece. Treeline made me so happy I had to swing from the trees!

Tree-swinging in Treeline

Posted by Ann at 12:37 PM | Comments (13)

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