wow, this week is zipping by, isn’t it? i just realized it’s thursday—how did that happen?—and i haven’t told you about the exploits of our kentucky road trip last weekend. and tomorrow, there we go setting up for the next show already, so i better get writing.
first of all, i just want you to know that there has been a LOT of knitting going on around here lately—and not just secret projects (though my cup runneth over with those as well). i am not only knitting lots of things but finishing them, too.
i bound off my larger op art cowl. i’ve been anxious for this project to be off the needles because i was knitting off the grid on this one and wondered what the results would be. the patterns calls for worsted weight yarn and i knit this one with spirit trail sunna, which is a 3-ply merino/cashmere/silk in a light sport/heavy fingering weight. and this is the color va-va-Voom!, which is seriously gorgeous. it’s just pink enough to bring out the rose in my olive skin; i love it. and i see there are three skeins left on jen’s site right now; better hurry!
i used needles two sizes smaller than recommended in the pattern (5s and 6s) and cast on for the medium cowl, assuming that i’d end up with a size in between and that maybe i wouldn’t have enough yarn to knit all the repeats stated in the pattern. i weighed my yarn as i went and knit what i thought was the most repeats i could get from the allotted yarn. in the end, i did have some left; maybe enough to knit another half repeat of the body pattern (drat, cuz i would have liked to use it up. but damned if i was gonna rip back to make it happen, haha).
but anyway—guess what? there was plenty of yarn for a generous depth and the final size will be the same as the pattern states for the heavier yarn. now why might that be? well, i think the lighter yarn is less stiff and more stretchy, so it relaxes out more. the fabric itself is lighter and not so dense; less yarn is taken up in the depth of the texture.
which is not to say that the texture isn’t well defined—it definitely is. we still have to block this piece and i expect it will relax even more once it’s washed, but overall, i just love the way it feels and looks. sorry for the crappy photos; sometimes i just want a quick selfie to get some distance form the piece. we’ll take some nice photos once it’s blocked.
i’m thinking i might give this to my mom; she’ll probably really like the color and the fact that it won’t fall off.
now i just have to get the pattern for the matching arm warmers written up so my friend anne C can test knit us a sample.
i have lots more knitting projects to share, but i think i’ll save most of them for the next post; right now i want to tell you about our trip to lexington, where we participated in the kentucky sheep and fiber festival.
a short time back i made the mistake of mentioning to sarah that i wanted to design a cap and fingerless mitts to coordinate with the wheaten design, which is knit with one of my all-time favorite stitch patterns, a lace-and-cable motif. which apparently is very appealing to a lot of other people too, judging from the popularity of the wrap and blanket designs. anyhow, once sarah heard about my plan to design some accessories, she was like a dog with a bone—she just wouldn’t leave it alone. every few days since then she’s been asking if i wrote up the pattern yet.
sigh; remind you of anyone?
so the night before we left for kentucky, i realized all of a sudden that i didn’t have much road knitting to bring. i was waiting to receive sample skeins for a couple of secret projects, so i couldn’t start those and i have that big sweater on the needles that was not so portable, but had finished my other secret knitting and found myself between projects. hmm.
these two projects (center and far right) plus the hydrangea neck warmer that’s been languishing for ages made the perfect trio to bring along on a five-day road trip.
the next morning, susan, barb, and i set out in our rental vehicle, locked and loaded with our entire booth setup, plenty of yarn, notions, and patterns to sell, and a beautiful array of samples to adorn the bare naked wools popup shop at the show.
barb sat up front with susan and cast on to knit a squeeze me cowl in one of our new shades of kent DK—the ever so luscious and chocolatey coconut husk color (yes, it really is that dark and dense, yum!).
i worked away on my hat brim in the back seat and gazed out the window, sometimes amusing myself by snapping photos.
as road trips go it was uneventful (a good thing considering the weather, which included tornadoes the night before).
it doesn’t look like i made much progress and i seem to remember there was some ripping but not why. by mid-afternoon, though, the tedious part was well behind me and i was onto the speedy part; the rest would be clear sailing.
we got to lexington by dinner time and met up with erica at the house where we were staying for the weekend. what a pretty and friendly town! first things first, we had to get a meal; more snacks were not going to cut it. after dinner we walked home, exploring the streets between downtown and our neighborhood.
most homes have lovely gardens; i wish i knew more about this one. someone really enjoys their yard here.
once we were back near our house, we continues our walk through the historic neighborhood nearby. the road to starbucks was lines with deep lots that held beautiful old gardens which were attached to mostly restored properties. it was just getting dark, the moon was lovely, and the light were on; a beautiful spring evening, if a bit chilly.
and these—i love these! i am so putting one in our front yard. the first thing i did when i got home was send these photos to our neighborhood association; these would be terrific for our area. i already asked david to build one for me—maybe something in a rural studio style.
want to know more? you can find out the whole story and how to participate by visiting the little free library website.
back at the house, we knitted and talked for a while, then one by one headed for bed. erica and i sat up talking til way too late—i always do that. once i get knitting i lose track of time and before i know it, the night is well on its way to morning.
the next day it up bright and early for me because my all-day sweater fitness class started at 9 am. it was a windy, chilly morning, so i bundled up in my gray highlander sweater which cherie knit for me in stone soup DK—my coziest, most favorite traveling sweater (thank you dear cherie; i wear it all the time!). sorry for all the links but it really IS a terrific sweater. (no worries; ivar is my other favorite; i wore that one all day on sunday when it was a bit warmer outside)
classes at the fiber show were SO MUCH FUN. first of all, i got to meet some very special long-time friends and customers like diane here, who is wearing an apples in clover tam that she knit and is working on henley with a twist in green. or bombadilslady, above, working on her syrah lace stole, one of our fall club projects.
but i got to meet many, many more new to me friends, several of whom wore a finished knitspot project to class.
mary looks absolutely radiant in her sprössling cardigan. this is another really comfy and easy to wear design; i really should make myself another; maybe in that terrific pink that i tried on above? what do you think?
at lunchtime i went over to the show area where barb and susan had the booth just about completely set up, but they took a break from their work to smile for the camera. i also visited a few animals while stretching my legs—after all that’s what the show is about. these poor sheep are a bit shocked i think to be suddenly (and so publicly) without their coats.
the afternoon passed in a minute it felt like and soon the day was over. when i walked outside i was surprised to see the sun. yes that’s right, the sun. proving that indeed, miracles never cease . . . .
by midafternoon, barb and susan had the finishing touches on the booth; it looked so pretty! all set to welcome customers in the morning.
that night we were all a little tired; after a quick dinner at a kinda weird thai place, we settled in to put our feet up and knit until it was time for bed.
i had done a bit of knitting while waiting for class to begin that morning and was told in no uncertain terms that i needed to finish this project, write up the pattern as fast as possible, and make it available for purchase. okay then; my work was cut out for me.
and so another repeat was completed that evening. but not much more than that; i was tired too and hit the sack pretty early.
on saturday i taught more classes, judged the skein competition, and worked in the booth to finish out the day.
i snuck out at lunch time to walk the show a little bit and see what caught my eye to revisit later.
there was sheep shearing and educational talks about the wool coat.
cranberry and her mates were escorted around the grounds throughout both days by their human friend. it was a really pleasant and relaxed atmosphere; if you haven’t been, i highly recommend you put it on your list for next spring.
we finished out our weekend with one last night of knitting—for me, this as a complete treat. to sit and knit for several nights in a row instead of working late? priceless, as they say.
i started the shaping on my hat by saturday evening but i didn’t like it so i had to rip back a good bit—about twelve rounds i think. once i restarted, i came up with a better picture of how to form the top curves and incorporate the decreases into the pattern, so after that, it worked out much better.
still, i just couldn’t stay awake long enough on sunday to race the homestretch. it would have to wait until monday’s trip home to be finished.
wow, what a difference a nice rest makes—i had that hat done in no time, once we got moving in the morning. when we got home, i dunked the cap into a hot, soapy bath and let it sit for a couple of hours to soak.
during class here that afternoon, i rinsed and squeezed it as dry as i could get it, reshaped it vigorously, then laid it flat to start drying.
that takes a while in the humid, damp weather we’ve been having, but i have my tricks for getting air to circulate around it. finally by wednesday it felt completely dry.
sarah dove on it the minute she saw it. “OMG, she said, i think i might like this one better than polartorte!!”
yeah, you say that now, when the sun is warm and the breeze is sweet, but come february you’ll be a polartorte ho all over again.
oh and what’s that she’s got on her wrist? well, we can’t have such cute hat without the matching mitts, can we?
so once i’d untangled the remainder of my yarn, i cast right on for a pair of elegant mitts.
these could be longer of course, but i am trying to see if i can get both mitts and hat out of a single skein. i think i might just do it and just for this size. but good to know it can be done. and we love them, that’s the most important thing . . .
ok then, i’m done for now. i’ve got one more post to put together for the weekend sop you don’t run out of reading material while i’m at the show. please come visit our popup shop this weekend at the great lakes fiber show, saturday and sunday at the wayne county fairgrounds in wooster ohio. we’ve got some goodies for those who show up!