Saturday, October 23, 2010


About a month ago Mom expressed interest in the Prospect Park Walkathon. We arose today to a wonderful blue sky and crisp Fall air, perfect for a 5K walk in the Park.

Mom with TShirt

This being her first Walk-a-Thon, I encouraged her to do some stretching before we set out. This may also be the first time Mom has done any calisthenics! Since this is primarily a knitting blog, allow me to point out Mom's hat, a Koolhaas I made for myself about three years ago and which migrated to Mom within months of completion.

Stretch before Walk

The trees are still not at their peak but they are starting to look nice. The sun was nice and warm on our faces.

Trees on Walkathon

As we rounded the East side of the Park, I got a view of my favorite tree, recently cut in half by the Brooklyn Tornado of 2010. Heartbreak. I'm still ripped about this one.

Favorite Tree Destruction

She got a bit tired around 4KM, but I wouldn't let her stop! Mean daughter. I am proud of her, and though she cramped up wicked big time a few hours later, she was delighted to say she finished! Astute blog readers will notice my outfit is eerily similar to last week's. Once I finish a sweater I kind of wear it all the time, you know? Closer observation reveals all these hand knits are also hand spun. Whoa! Now I'm delighted, too!

Finish Line

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sheep and Wool the Rhinebeck way

Wow, four years of Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. And this year it was a mighty social occasion. My virtual world collided quite wonderfully with the real. I met so many of my favorite peeps! What a blast!



Lisa, Tasha and Bob

All these awesome, creative, interesting people in one spot! It was a dazzling display of yarny goodness. Complete with zany antics from knitters and coaches alike.

Matt and Lois

Tweaking the coach

The Spin City group swept several of the competitions this year with ribbons awarded for yarn and hand knits. Our Jayne took 2 blue ribbons. We are so proud of her and all the winners - Dawn (2 ribbons!) , Donna, Jayne, Lynn, Paula and Cat!

Jayne's Blue Ribbon

Cathy rocked the hand spun shawl made entirely from Loop Baby Cakes, thus creating the perfect foil for spinners wandering into the Loop booth. Loop at Rhinebeck and Maryland this year - what a wonderful triumph for Steph who, along with many Spin City members all worked tirelessly to put on a fantastic display and deliver top notch customer service.

Cathy Shawl close up

Marjorie spun and knit that sweater you see on her husband - very beautiful - the saddle shoulders are terrific.

Marjorie, Husband

And by some miracle of good luck I finished Zinnia in time to wear on Saturday. Four years ago the idea of spinning my own yarn to make a sweater was unthinkable.

Zinnia DONE

Most of all, Sheep & Wool is a chance to hang out with friends, revel in the things we love, and celebrate our hard work and creative spirits.

Food for the soul.

The Crew

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Yarn

Yarns completed in August and September.

Yarn Making August and September 2010

From Left to Right:

1. Hello Yarn Winter Storage. I got lucky and came into another 4 oz. of the lovely Winter Storage fiber so I spun it up and now I've got enough for a sweater. I'll cast on for that sometime in October.
2. Gnomespun Shetland 2 ply in a lovely soft heathered Moss Green. I love this yarn and love the fiber prep. If you haven't tried Gnomespun Fibers, don't wait for a rainy day - go get some now.
3. The little bits on top are a couple of samplers made from fibers in my stash. I bought a second wheel back in July, a used Majacraft Rose. These yarns are my attempt to adjust to the new wheel. I still have lots to learn about it and I think it will be a wonderful journey. The wheel offers a wide range of options for yarn making.
4. The green and purple underneath is Hello Yarn, Grouch, spun from Falkland fiber. I used the Rose to spin the singles and then plied using my Sonata with the Jumbo Flyer and Jumbo bobbins. When Judith MacKenzie* examined the yarn, she proclaimed it perfect for a weaving project. Who am I to argue with this advice?!
5. The black yarn is 2 ply Shetland from Wild Apple Hill Farm, just like the Zinnia I'm using for my sweater. This was one of the fibers I wanted to make during the Tour de Fleece but ran out of time. Well, I made a nice aran weight yarn and really like how this and the Moss Shetland work together. I might try a color work project, though I'd like to collect a few more before I embark.
6. Double Dog Dare Shetland from Southern Cross Fibre Club spun up as a worsted weight 3 ply yarn. This too, was on the Tour de Fleece pile and got done right after I crossed the finish line. I want to make some fingerless mitts for a work colleague with this yarn.

*Judith MacKenzie was one of the teachers leading Fiber Fallout, a wonderful Fiber Retreat I attended with a few of my Spin City pals at the end of September. I had a fantastic time and shot a few pics so I'll save my stories for another time. Meeting Judith was definitely a high point. I also learned a few really neat Estonian knit stitches, and now I have a few ideas for multicolor handspun yarns.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Not Finish, Not an Option

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Crisp air, blue skies, sunny days (well not these last two weeks but you know what I mean) lots of yummy apples and of course, Rhinebeck around the corner. Sheep and Wool! I love October!

I know every knitter planning on being there is feverishly working on their Rhinebeck sweater/hat/scarf/shawl/you name it. It's what we do! Because we are among kindred spirits, people who really get it, you know? And of course, we want to be well-attired.

I too, am working feverishly and am making some progress. With a bit of luck, this sweater will be ready by next weekend.

Zinnia in Progress

I've since completed one sleeve and am about to cast on for the second. The knitting has been easy so far, and I've made a few modifications to the pattern.

But the hard part looms ahead. I always get stalled at the finishing. I lack the confidence to attach sleeves properly and I get hung up wanting them to be perfect. This time I'm gonna have to just suck it up and do it. Because not finishing the sweater is not an option. I really want to honor the shepherd who brought Zinnia's fleece to market last year and wearing the finished sweater is really the only way to do that. Plus, I need something warm and comfortable to wear.

Gawd, I hope I haven't jinxed myself...