well, that was fun

whew, what a weekend; thank you for your patience during our travels and family time. no matter how long a trip we have, it seems to fly by in a rush of people, places, and things to do, always with less time than i expect for keeping in touch.

the day after thanksgiving was devoted to visiting the cemetery, as we do every year, to arrange some colorful holiday cheer at the graves of our family members. i took a whole lot of photographs while we were there, which i’ll put together in a later post.

afterward, we had a nice visit with my cousin, lynn, also a knitter, who came for lunch. my mom opened her cedar chest to show us some of her linens and vintage knits she’s saved over the years—both lynn and myself received gifts from that sorting out session, which i’m looking forward to sharing, though i need to go through them and take some pictures first.

what i DO have pictures of for today is is our fun, FUN visit to trumpet hill yarn shop, where we put on a little trunk show and socialized with customers and staff for a few hours on saturday.

this beautiful, charming, shop is located in colonie, NY (really close to my mom’s house, yay!) and offers a welcoming haven to every knitter with its gorgeous selection of yarns and projects

comfortable seating near the fireplace and regularly-scheduled knitting activities (knit nights, classes, etc), and its friendly, energetic, and knowledgeable staff

that’s robena, the owner, next to me with celeste and jean.
they are always smiling just like that; how can you not love them?

david came along for the morning’s festivities to join in the fun and take pictures; isn’t he a sweetheart? he started right away while i was unpacking and arranging the shawls and sweaters on the table.

we had it all looking good in about half an hour, at least for a few moments before the crowd arrived

and there was a crowd—robena did an amazing job of getting the word out and before we knew it the place was packed. it was amazing; thank you to everyone who came to see my work and enjoy the morning.

here i am talking to my cousins hal and peggy; she’s an enthusiastic knitter and he enjoys it as a spectator sport (but he knows an awful lot about it for someone who doesn’t knit).

a knitting circle formed at the back of the shop which grew to quite a good size, everyone sharing project progress and banter.

and loads of knitters from all over the capital district were there, too. it was so much fun to talk to each person about their work and the kinds of projects they like to make.

the knits were well-fondled and appreciated—it’s really an experience to see everything in person. that goes for me too; i met plenty of knitters who are regular blog readers and finally put some faces to names.

the pattern counter was busy, busy—that’s my cousin lynn chatting and comparing patterns with a few other customers. i swear though, we did not pad the crowd with a lot of family—almost everyone who attended was someone i didn’t know, heh.

i’m going to confess right up front that, though i did ask almost everyone their name, my memory is in shreds today and i can’t remember most of them, to my complete mortification. must make an effort to write those things down in the future.

i feel especially bad about the lady i’m speaking to on the left here in the pink shawl—she drove hours from montreal and was so nice to talk to and much as i wrack my brain today, i can’t come up with her name. ack.

and this lady too; she just could not stay away from the maplewing shawl—it was love at first sight for the two of them and she came back to look it over at least six times. she was a little unsure, but pat (left) and i talked her into trying it. in my experience, if you love something that much, you WILL find the drive and skills within yourself to knit it. we found a pretty skein of mountain colors winter lace for her shawl and i hope she sends me update photos (and her name, darn it).

i tried on the sweaters over and over so people could see what they looked like “on”; there were quite a few experienced and aspiring sweater knitters in the group

we talked shaping and fit

i had a chat with jean about finishing, one of my favorite aspects of sweater knitting. here we are, taking a close look at the way the pockets are sewn to the front of my jackie. it’s probably the trickiest part of the whole darn sweater, but if you get it right, they look amazing.

i’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is seth aaron (thanks robena), who is knitting elm row

i answered lots of questions about specific patterns—i think knitters are often amazed at how easy lace can be—with fingering yarn and a good pattern, even simpler stitch motifs can be combined to make something stunning that looks much more complex than its construction would lead you to think.

here we are discussing how the dovecote shawl and birnum wood wrap are examples of this—a very simple, repetitive diamond motif, arranged in three different ways and no lace knitting on the wrong side. almost any intermediate knitter can do it. yet, our extremely experienced test knitter, karolyn, enjoyed it so much, she’s knit three of them (that i know of, haha), so we also know it has a universal appeal.

of course, not everyone present was interested in yarn or knitting, but the awesome refreshments provided a pleasant distraction for those that did not. maybe some day, this little one will look up and take an interest in what’s happening right above her head—the exposure can’t hurt (and linking knitting with cake helps, too).

it was truly a fun and inspiring day—i am so glad we were invited to visit the trumpet hill shop. i’ll be back there again in late february to offer a weekend of workshops; we have lots of interest in bringing some sweater and lace classes at that time, yay.

after the trunk show we packed up and headed back to my mom’s for our last night in town. we had a quiet dinner and then knit while we watched TV. though i didn’t nearly finish all the projects i brought along, i did a respectable job of finalizing quite a few over this weekend.

my holidazed socks are done; i had about four inches of the leg completed on the second one when we started our trip home yesterday. because david kindly drove the whole way, i was able to finish it by the time it got dark.

and not a moment too soon—the temperature is dropping rapidly today and i can put them right into circulation. they are just the sort of useful, functional sock i wear every day in winter. the springy STR lightweight is comfortable and the fit is perfect.

i finished my paris-roubaix red scarf the morning after thanksgiving. it measures 6.5 by 65 inches and is knit in soft malabrigo worsted (sealing wax colorway).

the red scarf emergency KAL over at the knitspot ravelry group is a raging success—thanks to all who have joined or who are going to join up! this is a fun way to share your progress and feel inspired while you knit your scarf. the knitspot group is a bunch of really fun knitters, too; you won’t be able to leave after the KAL is over!
i have a short list of prizes offered by myself and some friends that i’ll post there later today or tomorrow (as soon as i feel caught up around here). to be eligible to win, you must post a photo of a completed scarf, ready for donation by december 15th.

after we got in, got settled, and had something to eat last night, i went upstairs and tossed the stash, looking for more red yarn. i have some briar rose charity in the perfect quantity, left over from david’s christmas 2007 sweater. after i worked on my henley a bit, i started another red scarf in the tweed rib stitch pattern i used for the jackie and whitfield jackets. it’s going to be pretty handsome i think . . . i actually had quite a bit more knit on it but i ripped back to make it narrower; my many mis-starts have been the theme of the weekend and this scarf is no exception, i guess.

my cornrows hat and mitten set is done, too. the hat could actually be a teensy bit bigger, so i wrote a few more sts into the pattern based on the way it fits me now and i may reknit it later this week or next to make it exactly the way i want it. but for the time being, it’s fine; we can take pictures as it is and the pattern is all set with the final numbers that i like. i just have to submit it one more time for proofing of the changes i’ve made over the last few days.

and now the mittens fit great—it was worth making the fixes i wanted (and so it will be for the hat). again, these are the type of pieces i use the most—dense, warm, functional, but not without charm. the tealiscious colorway will really pop with my deep plum ski jacket.

i worked a lot on my henley sweater over the weekend as well, but most of it got ripped out! i had several false starts on the front, reknitting it all the way to the waist no less than three times. i thought i was having gauge issues and kept restarting with different stitch counts, hoping to solve it. turns out it wasn’t me at all—it was an issue with one of the yarn skeins and since i kept using the same one each time, i kept having problems. i finally noticed what was wrong on the third pass. DUH. i got that straightened out and to get things off on a better path, i started a sleeve with a different skein, while i wait for a replacement skein from catherine. i figure i’m better off sticking with what works for now, heh.

all is going well with it and from here, progress should be MUCH better on the rest.

ok, time for me to teach my monday class already—this day is flying by. see you next time.

38 Responses to “well, that was fun”

  1. Ronni says:

    Wow, first to comment? (Probably not by the time I get done. hee hee hee)

    I love the table with all the shawls and sweaters all over it. I always love seeing them knit up and in person. It looks like a wonderful shop too. Must remember that for next time I’m in NY state.

  2. Celeste Nossiter says:

    Ann, that orange shawl in the very first photo of this we post – what pattern is that? It doesn’t quite look like the Maplewing shawl. I absolutely adore knitting that curvy pattern, it’s rhythmical to knit, pretty easy and beautiful when done. But I haven’t made a shawl of it yet, just socks and scarves.

    Is it on the Knitspot? I’d sure like to make it, it’s gorgeous. Thanks, Celeste

  3. Jocelyn says:

    That trunk show looks fabulous! And you are so right that if someone wants something badly enough, they’ll find a way to knit it (goodness knows that’s how I survived jumping in with lace shawls before I’d ever finished any other kind of project!). I’m sorry the henley was giving you fits — I love it so much that I can’t wait to see how it comes together. Welcome home :)

  4. Liz Arrow says:

    I see my parents! Looks like it was a raging success!! My dad does know quite a bit about knitting for someone who doesn’t knit. FYI-he particularly enjoys felted projects ;)

  5. Connie says:

    You are the hardest working knitter in the biz!

  6. Katinka says:

    Any chance you’ll do a truck show out in the Rockies anytime soon, Anne? ;) Looks like you had a fabulous afternoon — I’m terribly envious of everyone there!

  7. nathalie says:

    ooooh…looks like so much fun. Sorry John and I missed it but I will definitely trek up in Feb. when you’re in town again for a workshop. I’m sure I can convince Mary to join as well.

  8. MaryEllen says:

    Anne – I enjoyed meeting you at the trunk show, and getting to see your creations in person was so inspiring! I may yet talk my mom into giving the mink beret a try…

    Until then, I have several of your sock and scarf patterns on the back burner, and now that my holiday knitting is done I can’t wait to get started!

  9. So great to see pictures of the sweaters in action! That Highlander sweater is definitely one of my very favorites – I can’t wait to cast mine on (as soon as I finish Ondule!). And I just ordered Holidazed to use up my many skeins of STR…

  10. Donna says:

    Oh, how I wish I lived closer so I could have been at the trunk show! I’m jealous of all the fondling that went on. Maybe one day you’ll have a good reason to travel down south to visit and bring your trunk of goodies :) (don’t come in July or August. (phew! hot!)

  11. teli says:

    Oh, this looks like so much fun! I wish we had such fondle-knitware-and-talk-and-knit-and-shop-and-stroke-again-events here in Germany.. or maybe we do and nobody told me ;D
    And what about your henley? Every post about it seems to reveal new problems. I hope you will figure it out at last before you run out of patience. :)

  12. Nancy says:

    The pic of you talking with the lady from montreal and your reflection and so is david’s reflection while he’s taking the pic is a gem! Great success!

  13. Ann says:

    I wish I was there to fondle & admire all your gorgeous shawls.

  14. Ellen Norman says:

    Looks like a lot of fun was had. I miss the Albany area. Used to work at the Law Examiners and had the bar exam at the egg…ah me…Thank you for such a nice blog….:)

  15. Liz says:

    I am also interested to know what pattern the orange shawl in the first photo is!!

  16. amanda says:

    you’ve certainly been busy lately! i feel like a bad blog reader, though – i had to look up several of the shawls in the pictures because i couldn’t remember them! either you’ve been much too prolific or my memory is really shot….

  17. Cal says:

    WOW! That yarn store…and your red scarf….and the Holidazed socks…and….and….oh and do I notice a Totally Autumn there in a couple photographs, hanging over the corner edge of the table ?
    I chose this as my first real project earlier this year, knitted in Adriafil Globe

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2531/4031817173_5875e3e2a4_m.jpg
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2672/4148926678_5988ed0d65_m.jpg
    I’m going to knit another but this time with fewer pattern repeats,as a scarf,in fine laceweight cashmere/lambswool which is my favourite typeofprojectnow!
    It’s lovely to see all your knitted items displayed like that – do you seell them or are they simply to show for the purposes of pattern-selling?
    I have to say you are in my top 3 designers and I love following your blog – thanks partly to your designs I have made enormous progress in the 11 months I have been knitting,because you have designs which look fantstic and charts which are so easy to follow.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  18. rebecca says:

    I love visiting you every day! Is the color of your holidazed socks still available? If so what is the shade? If not is do you know of one that is similar?

    I want to knit your Dovecote Shawl…can you please suggest the best yarn for it?

    Many thanks!

  19. another Michelle says:

    The next time I’m in the Albany area I’ll have to visit this shop! Thanks for a fun post and all the photos!

  20. Torre Taylor says:

    wow – what a show! Your knitted sweaters and shawls/wraps look so nice. I have to move your Highlander sweater pattern up in the cue…. do we all say that? thanks for the pictures and I’m looking forward to pictures of you mother’s knits!

  21. Susan says:

    Oh how I love Maplewing! Someday, someday…

    I bought the pattern right when it came out, and I still have not had the courage to try knitting it. I’m still rather new at lace, and have not yet knit anything with lace knitting on both sides.

  22. Konna says:

    Oh, what a lovely way to spend a day! Love the knitted things…….

  23. Madeline says:

    What a knit-filled week! I’d love to come to one of the workshops in February, meet you, and learn a few things. Fun!

  24. Barbie O. in Montreal says:

    That lovely lady from Montreal in the pink shawl is Barb M., a fellow member of the Montreal Knitting Guild. I cannot tell you how excited she was to be visiting your trunk show–she too is a big fan of Knitspot! And a nefarious enabler when it comes to stash enhancing on wild and wooly Guild trips! But I have turned the tables–brought Leafprint mitts and neckwarmer in the mink and cashmere yarn to a recent get-together and everyone (including Barb) was drooling and fondling!! Betya there will be an MKG Leafprint KAL in the offing…

    Cheers, Barbie O.

  25. Ruthie says:

    Wow! Looks like you had a great time, both with your family and the trunk show! Too bad there’s no LYS near me…I’d make sure they invited you to a trunk show here in Indy. But, alas, all the LYS’s are way too far away from me to make it worthwhile.

    You have no idea how much you have encouraged me in today’s blog!! I don’t know how many times I start, stop, and start again on every project! I thought there was something wrong with me and my knitting skills (or lack thereof). But if you have that problem then I guess it’s just part of the knitting process. Right? Oh, please tell me that it is so. LOL

  26. karolyn says:

    I LOVE all those shawls being displayed together, even when they get all ‘unorganized’, it reminds me of when I get mine all out and arrange them on the bed just to enjoy a few moments of admiration (ha!). That looks like a great shop and lots of friendly people. And my total of Birnam/Dovecote has risen to 4 now… you’re falling behind!

  27. Jody says:

    Welcome back Anne! You’ve been missed! I’m glad that you had a great Thanksgiving with your family. We hosted 13 and everyone was well fed and went home with enough leftovers to have the next day. The shop pics are great–I would love to be able to see all of your wonderful pieces in person. A friend of mine knit up maplewing, so I was able to see that finished–really lovely. Thanks to David for the fantastic photos, which freed you up to talk to all of the knitters.

  28. Lisa L. says:

    Lucky east coasters! I would have loved to been there but DC is a long way from California. Maybe next time.

  29. Mary Ellen says:

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog. You are one of the few that updates regularly and I am delighted with each of your posts. From tomatoes and kale to all your knitted beauties. Thank you for providing such great visual and reading entertainment and pleasure!

  30. Alicia says:

    WOW that does look like a ton of fun!!!
    Thanks for sharing! Everything looks lovely all laid out. How neat to be able to see and touch and try on everything!
    Love the socks as well!

  31. Hattie says:

    So sad I missed out on your visit. :( I had some things come up, but it looked like fun!

  32. Susan in Guelph says:

    Hi Anne,

    Your blog has become such a favourite of mine. I followed the links that you provided in this entry and so enjoyed my travel through time, “hearing and seeing” the wonderful stories that you weave (oops, knit)…and was reminded of our conversation at the Knitters’ Retreat. You are a gifted writer, indeed.

  33. Those are all beautiful Anne! I love your designs, Happy Holidays!

  34. Teyani says:

    how very fortunate they all were to be able to handle your gorgeous knits in person.
    :-)
    And if the nice lady who was drooling over maplewing is reading this, tell her to go for it! I LOVE knitting on mine, and often find that there is little else I want to knit. (too bad for the current interruption of holiday gifts.. just kidding)

  35. Tara says:

    Lovely trunk show, that looks like a really quaint, fun yarn shop. And I’m sure that little girl will be a great knitter… someday :)

  36. jill says:

    What a flurry of knitting activity! The trunk show looks like such fun. And the Henley looks wonderful. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that sweater. Glad your travels were so successful. Welcome home.

  37. Angela says:

    You have a delightful knack of making me feel part of these events, which is really wonderful as I am currently living a few hundred miles from my LYS! Thanks to you and David for sharing!

  38. Susan says:

    I too would love to know more about the orange shawl in the first photo. It’s more than scrumptious! Is there a pattern available? (And what yarn is that? It’s an incredible color….)