Thursday, October 29, 2009


Stephanie wrote:

Mona and I are still picking up the pieces from Stitches East. It was our third event in four weekends - a crazy, busy time for us. October was a marathon of fiber events, and we lived to tell about it.

For many years Stitches East was held in Baltimore, but this year it moved to Hartford. Now Hartford is practically in our backyard so the change of venue was an easy trip for us.

We arrived on Thursday morning to a jumble of boxes and bins.

After several hours of work and lots of rearranging our booth was presentable and ready for public viewing.

Convention center lighting is pathetic at best so you'll have to excuse the poorly lit shots.

Our inventory had been hit hard during the previous two shows, and we were concerned about being able to fill a double booth. We managed to spread everything out, and it wasn't as sparse as I had imagined it would be.

There was a bit of a draft in our booth so one of the first things I did was weave in the ends on my Harmonia's Rings Cowl.

I wore this for one or two days and received lots of compliments. It was just the thing I needed to keep the chill off my neck.

I'm in love with the beaded edge.

Having an event like this so close to home was a great opportunity for many of our friends to come for a day or the entire weekend. Stitches East offers a chance to take classes, browse the marketplace and hang out with other knitters. And don't forget the never-ending parade of beautiful knit garments - everything from wild and crazy to striking and sophisticated. An event like this is not lacking for inspiration.

Thanks to all of our friends, old and new, who stopped by to chat. That's why we keep the extra chairs handy.

For me the down side of these events was the lack of knitting time. I may have knit a bit in Vermont, but I did not knit one stitch the whole weekend in Rhinebeck. I managed only a couple of sock rounds at Stitches East.

While I feel I've earned the right to sit and knit uninterrupted for a couple of days, my schedule won't allow that. However, I did manage to start a new project.

I lost my fingerless mitts in Vermont and started a replacement pair. Then I had the realization that I owe a special someone a birthday gift this coming Saturday. These are destined to be gifted. While they don't look like much right now, they have a little something extra in the finishing. All will be revealed.

Finally, my color inspiration for the week.

Fingerling potatoes - almost too pretty to eat. This was the last week of our farmers' market, and it will be missed. The seasons they are a-changin'.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Stephanie wrote:

We're back from Rhinebeck. What a whirlwind weekend!

On Saturday the mobs invaded before our booth was completely organized. The booth was packed all day long as in "take a number" packed. I know many people took one look at the close quarters and decided to come back on Sunday.

Mona and I did our best to move everyone through the check out process as quickly as possible and at the same time restock inventory.

Our booth was in a horse stall in a barn. It was a crisp fall day. One of the challenges was keeping warm. The benefit of having so many people in our booth was the extra body heat. I was dressed in various layers, but the one thing that helped me the most was my Hoarfrost Neck Warmer.

Sunday the weather was not as nice - damp, rainy and still chilly. The crowd was not as large, but we had a steady stream of people in and out.

Time for taking pictures was at a premium, but I did manage a couple shots toward the end of the weekend.

Doesn't this look cozy and inviting?

This is a yurt made by Mehmet Girgic, a Turkish feltmaker. Mona and I had heard Mehmet speak last spring at a Common Cod Fiber Guild meeting. Mehmet uses natural dyes to dye the wool that he then uses for his felting projects. He creates some beautiful, impressive pieces.

This little boy was so cute.

He was taking Rosie for a walk and paused just long enough for me to take a picture. He couldn't stand still and was rocking back and forth on his heels. Rosie is one strong, sturdy gal.

The view as seen from the back of the barn we were in.

A splash of fall color.

At the end of the day on Sunday the sun decided to make an appearance.

Everyone was busy packing up, getting ready to hit the road. For us that meant a trip home in snow.

Thanks to everyone who came out and visited our booth. As always it was fun to meet so many creative and inspiring people. Special thanks to Nancy for stopping by to show off her Jalapeno Sunrise (ravelry link).

We're not done yet. Mona and I have just a couple of days to catch our breath before heading down to Hartford later this week for Stitches East. The fun continues . . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crazy For Cowls

Stephanie wrote:

The weather and season are an open invitation to knit as much as I possibly can. I'm happy to report that I've made significant progress on the Harmonia's Rings Cowl.

Using Cat Bordhi's Moebius Cast On this cowl is worked outward from the center. I completed the top half and am now working my way down to the bottom. This pattern is designed by Sivia Harding, and she includes instructions on Ravelry for making it a bit longer. In just a few rows I'll try it on and see if I want to make it longer. I've been feeling chilled the last couple of days (no, I haven't turned on the heat yet) so longer seems like a good option.

The top edge is finished off with the half beaded picot bind off. I love the sparkly accent of the beads against the Celestial Charcoal.

In other news . . . this can mean only one thing.

I must confess that I've already started not only another project but another cowl - this time using Celestial Rust.

This wee bit is the beginning of Soft Cables Moebius. Unlike Harmonia's Rings this cowl is knit flat. Note the contrasting yarn of the provisional cast on. The moebius twist is made when joining the two ends.

While doing a quick inspection of my pathetic yard and plants I spotted a few remaining blueberries on our bush.

Usually the squirrels raid this bush before we get to eat any berries. This time they left us a couple of crumbs.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wet And Woolly

Stephanie wrote:

Mona and I are back from a weekend in Vermont. This year the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival was held at a new location in Tunbridge, VT. The setting, fall colors and crowds were all spectacular. The weather was spectacular too, but in a different way.

The rain started on Friday night and continued throughout the day on Saturday. At times there were sheets of rain pounding the roof of the building we were in. Mud, muck and puddles everywhere. We could have used a boat.

But that didn't keep the crowds away. The building we were in was busy all day long. The aisles were full of people young and old. At times our booth was packed to capacity.

When I saw the rain on Saturday morning, I envisioned lots of knitting time - whiling away hours in our booth. As it turned out I had very little knitting time all weekend. Since I have no knitting progress to report, this will be a post in pictures.

The Tunbridge Fairgrounds - dark and dank.

The fairgrounds are nestled in a bowl surrounded by hills. On Saturday the trees were shrouded in fog and mist. Even with the damp conditions the scenery was beautiful.

Sunday morning the sun slowly broke through the clouds to burn off the mist. By afternoon the sun was out in full force making for an enjoyable fall afternoon.

Inside we had delightful neighbors with a cute display.

High View Farm and Will-Ewe Farm had people thinking ahead to the holidays.

Who could resist this cute, plump snow woolie?

Or this sheep?

Mona and I did make time to visit the animals in the barns.

This goat was kind enough to pose.

And so did this llama.

One of my favorites - the border collies.

I love to watch the herding demonstrations but didn't get a chance this time - too busy to break away from the booth.

Resting between herding demonstrations.

And we couldn't miss this.

The mascot for Now and Zen Yarns greeted everyone entering the booth.

We survived the wet weather and had a great time in Tunbridge. There's nothing like a fall weekend in Vermont.