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.