Monday, October 23, 2006

Rhinebeck (or, what else could this post be about?)

First, thank you all for your moral support about the Ram's Horn Jacket. I took Elizabeth's advice and steamed the front bands, wore it to Rhinebeck, and felt infintely better about it. It helped that I had probably a dozen or so people compliment me on it, and I had a five-minute conversation with one woman about the pattern.

One thing I did not mention about the pattern is that I lengthened it by about 3 inches. This began as an error on the back, due to the fact that I knit the hem together with live stitches instead of seaming it and counted the row where I seamed it as the "turning row," for some unknown reason. At any rate, I prefer the longer length and would recommend it if you want a hip-length cardigan.

Now, on to the fiber orgy, er, Rhinebeck summary.

First, it was crowded--almost as crowded as Maryland. I think the upswing in spinning has made the fiber festivals extremely popular. There were no Koigu millends, but the fight was on for Socks That Rock.

The Fold's booth about half an hour after opening. Note the massive amounts of STR yarn on the back wall. (By the way, we opened up The Fold's booth. In fact, we were there before they were open. I bought 2 skeins and one of the adorable yet overpriced Tube Sock kits. Yes, it's overhyped, but I like the colors. What can I say?)

And, The Fold's booth sometime in the early afternoon. Note the extreme lack of yarn.

Also, I enabled Karen into a wheel, a Lendrum DT. What can I say? At least it was a bargain. (I also sold Tamara on a Fricke DT, but she's saving up for it.)

We met up with Ariel and Cathy, as well. Here they are scoping out the fibers at the Little Barn booth. Ariel also has a good photo of me in the Ram's Horn Jacket on her blog.

Amy also rode up with Karen, Tamara, and me, and I enabled her into some Brooks Farm. Of course, no one can resist the Brooks Farm! Look, Amy, it's a good photo of you!

Finally, Tania and I visited the fleece show and became crazed by the aroma of lanolin. We walked away with 2 fleeces--a 5 lb. CVM/Rambouillet cross, and a nearly 10 lb. Cormo cross. They are really beautiful fleeces, and I was a little sad to part with them at the Zeilinger's booth. We should end up with beautiful roving in a month or two, though!

The CVM/Rambo cross (a blurry photo):

The Cormo cross:

I had some other purchases, but I'll show them off as I knit or spin them. The big purchases were weaving implements--a warping board, a beautiful boat shuttle, bobbins, and a sleying hook.

Now, how many months is it until Maryland?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ram's Horn Jacket

Ram's Horn Jacket
Originally uploaded by alerievay.
Well, it's finished. And I'm somewhat underwhelmed. We'll see if it grows on me. (Ignore the awful photo; my husband doesn't use the camera well and I just got home from work.)

Anyway, the stats:
Pattern: Ram's Horn Jacket, in Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan
Size: Approx. 44", but I knit the smallest size because my gauge was off
11 skeins of Pingouin Fleur de Laine (discontinued yarn I picked up at the giant stash sale)
U.S. 5, 6, and 7 needles

I'm really just meh about the sweater right now. The pattern was fairly clear, although I thought some directions could have been clearer, especially those for the collar.

I still plan to wear this to Rhinebeck, provided the weather is cool enough, but I'm just notn sure about it. And I'm not sure why.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Navajo Plying

I received a really beautiful Spunky Eclectic roving from Lauren a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't wait to spin it. I forced myself to finish up the last of the two pounds of BFL on Saturday, then I started spinning. It always amazes me how different the colors on a roving can look once they are on the bobbin. Because I loved the way the colors looked, I decided to try Navajo plying, something I had never done before. (For those of you who don't spin, Navajo plying allows the spinner to create a 3-ply yarn from a single bobbin using a chaining motion similar to crochet.) I'm really pleased with the results, even though there was a fair amount of overtwist on the plying.

The 4 oz. roving yielded a bit more than 200 yards of a worsted/heavy worsted yarn. I haven't decided what to do with it yet, and will swatch a few stitch patterns at some point. I'm leaning toward a narrow mistake rib scarf, but I need to verify the yardage and gauge first. This is the first yarn I've spun that I'm very excited to knit. The striping should be interesting.

The Ram's Horn Jacket from Knitting Nature is in the process of being seamed and will be worn at Rhinebeck this weekend, weather permitting. Let's just hope it's not as hot as last year!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Loom Photos

For those of you who are curious, here is the new loom! It's a Schacht 8-harness table loom, with a 20" weaving width. (Yes, I apparently have a thing for Schacht equipment.)

It's currently sitting in my dining room, attached to its legs. I did a bit of weaving over the weekend, but I'm waiting on some yarn and warping tools (to be purchased at Rhinebeck) before I do much more. The edges are pulling in quite a bit, but I know that this will get better with practice.

Don't worry; I'm not going to start pushing looms at everyone (well, not all the time, anyway).

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Secret Pal Package, Lady Eleanor, and a New Hobby?

So, I participated in the Knitty Coffeshop's first ever spinning secret pal exchange and had a great time! I received this wonderful package from my secret pal (whose identity I'm still not certain about) on Saturday.

From the top left corner: 8 oz. Finn top (so soft), 4 oz. Shetland/Mohair Cloud (still has some lanolin in it and is so beuatiful), a Spunky Eclectic roving (gorgeous!!), really delicious vanilla black tea, an adorable card, a 100g skein of Opal self-striping sock yarn, and Spinning Designer Yarns by Diane Varney (an excellent alternative to the Pluckyfluff book).

All of these are things I would have bought for myself, and it was all I could do not to spin up the fibers right away! I'm trying to be patient and spin up the BFL first, but it's so difficult when I have other beautiful fibers in the stash! Thank you so much, secret pal! It was such a thoughtful package, and I lucked out getting you as my match!

I promised a photo of the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole, and here it is!

I used 10 skeins of Southwest Trading Company Karaoke, a soy/wool blend, in the colorway Copper. I have enough left over to do fringe, if I decide I want it. It really is enormous, though, and fringe would be too much, I think. I have had thoughts of reknitting this at some point into a more manageable shawl at a tighter gauge, but I won't be doing that in the near future. The entrelac drove me nuts by the end; I was very ready for it to be over. This will make a cozy wrap for those weeks before our landlords decide to turn on the heat.

Finally, with Karen's aiding and abetting, I bought a used loom on Sunday. Blogger has, unfortunately, decided that I should not add more photos to this post, but I'll post photos and details later! You may feel free to question my sanity at taking up yet another hobby in the comments.