It was an incredibly busy, but very fun, weekend. I got to meet Aaron (AMBush) in the midst of all the chaos, in addition to a whole slew of knit bloggers, some of whom I read religiously (Yarn Harlot!) and some not so much. Being there as a vendor made it a bit difficult to get out and about to really see all the other vendors, but I did manage to bring home some goodies, including a Hitchhiker spinning wheel so I can do some spinning when I have down time at work (or anywhere else I decide to take it). I have a more or less full accounting and photojournal of the weekend here, but I'd love to hear about other folks' experiences of the weekend.
Rhinebeck (aka New York Sheep & Wool Festival) starts tomorrow! David drove down yesterday evening to get our booth set up, and I rode down with a friend this evening. We're going to be headquarters for Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo and Ms. Stitchy McYarnpants herself will be signing books at our booth both days. If you're going to be here, please stop by and say hello. We're in booth D in Barn 39. There's a map of the fairgrounds here.
Tracey Ullman was interviewed on National Public Radio's Morning Edition today about her new knitting book. It was good to hear the knitting content, but they essentially cast the craft as the exclusive domain of women. Anyone else care to correct their assertion? Text and audio can be found here, and they have an e-mail generator for people who wish to respond to any content from the show.
This is my latest finished project. I made Elephant as a birthday present for my partner under a veil of great secrecy. It was a good exercise in learning to seam, and I'm very pleased by the outcome.
I decided not to sign up for the Knitting Olympics because I wasn't sure my wrists would hold up, but I still decided to go ahead with this Unlympic project. These are double layer mittens - baby alpaca inside, hand-dyed & handspun border leicester/blueface leicester cross on the outside. This is the first project I've ever made for myself, and I'm very happy with the results.
Thirty-two members of the glbt-knit listserv made squares for a love blanket for one of our own who was diagnosed with lung cancer. I haven't really kept up any posts on the project on here, but the blanket was delivered today and was a much-appreciated surprise. One of our members started a blog so that we could keep a record of the project. I'm so glad to have been a part of something so wonderful.
In other news, what I've started calling my "Knitting Unlympics" project - the mittens - has been progressing along. I'm currently working on the cuff for the outer (and final) layer of mitten #2. I didn't sign up for the Knitting Olympics, but I'm hoping to finish this project by the time the flame goes out. After that, I'm not certain. The Malabrigo hat has been fulled but needs some remediation so that I don't look like this:
In Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris has a chapter called 'The Tapeworm Is In', where he writes about listening to books on tape in Paris and how it made him look kind of like the other creepy men hanging around the park playground. For me it's listening to podcasts on my laptop while working on mitten #2, and the location is not a Paris playground but the Rhode Island Convention Center.
David (not Sedaris, but rather my partner) is here for a trade show to try to pick up some new accounts, but as it would be expensive to get me a badge to accompany him into the exhibit hall, I'm left to my own devices for the afternoon. The convention center thoughtfully provides free wireless access and electrical outlets to plug in laptops, so I'm sitting here catching up on some podcast listening (CBC Radio has some good music ones, both English and French) and seeing what progress I can make with my knitting.
After a bit of a hiatus and since winter has finally returned, I started back up again on the mittens I'd started for myself. This is a two layer mitten, with an inner layer of baby alpaca and an outer layer in a border leicester cross handspun that I picked up at Rhinebeck in October. I did the inner layer first using a provisional cast on, then went back and picked up the stitches for the outer layer. The basic idea came from Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, with short-row shaping for the end of the mitten, and I took the palm gusset from an issue of Interweave Knits. The decision to do it as two layers was mine, as I figured the baby alpaca yarn would be more comfortable and the double layer would make it a lot warmer. I got through all the gusset increases last night and hope to get through the rest of the hand (or at least to where I separate the stitches for the short rows) tonight. Then I'll have to make another one of these so I can actually use them.
On my way to my grandmother's yesterday, I stopped off at Shirley's Yarn & Gifts (Rte. 1 in Hancock, Maine, if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood) to see what they had on hand. They've got some really nice yarns and the staff are all very friendly, so I always enjoy visiting there. Anyway, just before I could ask, one of the staff pointed out to me that they had just gotten in some Malabrigo yarn, which I've been dreaming about for a while now and really obsessing on recently. If you haven't seen/touched it before, it's a wonderfully soft merino singles yarn, all handpainted. It's kind of like a yarn version of heroin - one touch and you're addicted. It's the kind of yarn that makes you want to strip down and jump naked into a giant vat of it...really! It's...well, you get the picture.
A slow period at work gave me a chance to finish up the love blanket square. It turned out almost exactly the correct size, so blocking it should be a cinch. I should be able to get it washed, blocked and off in the mail Monday. I was also able to knit up a swatch of the new Silky Tweed yarn. I've attached photos of both.
After work, I'm planning on driving 3 1/2 hours to my grandmother's for her birthday. I'm thinking it won't be that fun a drive on little or no sleep, but it's my favorite place in the world. How could you not love a place that looks like this? Aside from that, there's a really nice little LYS on the way that I haven't visited since the summer. I only want to touch the yarn...no, really. :-)