there was yarn and knitting, too

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, spinning and fiber, yarn and dyeing

i think it’s safe to say that as much fun as we had tooling around the hudson valley, visiting friends and eating this last week, we were equally dedicated to the really tough job of fondling as much fiber as possible, to make this yarn and knitting post the best it could possibly be.

my last post may not have conveyed very well just how much yarn temptation there is at a show like rhinebeck. and even if you are very, VERY good at remembering how much stash you have at home (ahem), the inspiration for impulse purchasing is lurking everywhere, ready to pounce.

beautiful samples abound wherever you look—i got to see some lovely knits that readers prepared for several booths. below, you can see me fondling a luciole shawlette in briar rose fourth of july, knit by phoebe.

this piece is designed for fingering yarn, but chris has great vision about patterns that will translate well into her heavier worsted yarns. i love the enlarged fireflies in this version, boldly defined along the hem. if one is hesitant about knitting a large lace motif, this project could get you over the hump.

hanging nearby was this birnum wood wrap, knit by karolyn in briar rose crack i mean wistful, one of the yummiest yarns ever—the kind of yarn you knit sparingly, so as to make the project last as long as possible.

and agnes knit a pea vines shawlette that chris had to take down and wear in private after she sold out all of her grandma’s blessing to go with it.

chris’s booth was thronged with people all weekend, but somehow we managed to score plenty of yarn by stopping in early on both days. kim and beckie got sweater yarn to make sprösslings, and they also had a lot of other briar rose bags, but i’m not sure what was in them.

as for myself, i was no slouch in helping the economy along with yarn purchases—note the cashmere skeins i’m clutching to my chest in the above photo.

i decided to throw caution to the wind in picking it out and asked chris which was her favorite colorway. she picked this maple leaf combination of fiery gold, red, and orange with a little bright green peeking through.
i love it.

i just realized i bought some buttons and a shawl pin from her too, but i forgot to photograph them . . . i guess we’ll see those when they rotate into use for a project.

and then chris piled me up with samples to take home and try.

this is the newest addition to her selection of spinning fibers, a lustrous wensleydale roving.

and this is a new yarn base she’s thinking about adding to her lineup—soft, springy polwarth and silk, light as a feather. isn’t it rich?? it has some of the surface characteristics of glory days (the twist, stitch definition, and diameter are similar), but it’s much lighter and has a bit more sheen. chris dyed this in one of my favorite color combos, slate blue and brown. love.

sunday morning when we arrived, she was just putting the last touches on the sale bins, which we had no idea we’d be privy to. beckie and kim got a bunch of small skeins for gift knitting, mittens, and hats, etc.

since i was low on sea pearl, i picked up a couple skeins of that—i wanted one in a color i never knit with, so i chose that coral/pink. i was gonna stop there but then i saw this other one in a color i can’t NOT knit with—gray/lavender.

i love sea pearl because it’s so versatile and giftable, yet easy for a recipient to care for—it washes up wonderfully. it’s got great sheen like a silk blend, but is much less likely to pill or show wear. the pieces i have knit up in this yarn are still as fresh-looking as the day i finished them, and believe me, they have been around.

then i found a batch of four skeins of my old favorite, harmony. this yarn was discontinued last fall, but i always loved it, so i was happy to find a good batch, enough for a wrap or sweater. it’s a rustic merino singles, milled by mountain meadows merino and the hand is as soft and cushy as angel pillows (i used it in white for my hillflowers scarf).

we reeled out of there just a little drunk on fiber fumes and yarn love.

outside, as we stood recovering from the fray, karin, from the periwinkle sheep rushed up and pressed four skeins of her beautiful watercolors sock yarn into my hands. i was speechless and she was in a hurry to get back to her booth, so we didn’t get to chat or take a photo, but she lives in albany so i’m hoping we will get to spend some time together next time i’m there.

this is the aptly chosen hydrangea colorway—just look at how perfectly karin translated the color of those flowers. oh my.

and this is the embers colorway—another beauty that completely evokes the look of charred wood coals.

there are two more skeins that i handed to beckie and kim to play with—i figure that the more people who talk about it, the better, right? beckie got the rhinebeck 2010 colorway, a blend of deep and soft rose tones that will look great with her hair. kim got the crapshoot colorway, which i’m sure her boys will find endlessly amusing.

thank you so much karin; we’ll be in touch soon i hope.

then of course, there was craig from great northern yarns on hand at the knitspot ravelry picnic, handing around samples of his new fingering weight mink/cashmere yarn

simply scrumptious, isn’t it?? i believe i have here the seal brown on the left and the natural on the right. each two ounce skein has 400 yards of sinfully luxurious yarn in just the right weight for a light shawlette or scarf. the mink was such a hit last year in the weeks running up to christmas, that i thought it would be fun to think up something new for this holiday season in the lighter weight yarn.

craig also has some wonderful new yak yarn in DK weight that is totally gorgeous. available in natural chocolate brown or dyed jet black, this yarn is another soft luxury that is irresistible at craig’s prices.

we visited the fiber optic booth on saturday when it was full and kim picked out a skein of sock yarn that i coveted in the “georgia on my mind” colorway. i decided to go back on sunday to pick one up for myself, but it was all gone. kimber handed me this skein in colorway “canteloupe”, assuring me i’d like it even better.

i’ve walked into the buckwheat bridge angoras booth many times at rhinebeck to admire their yarns and finally this year, i purchased a couple of skeins. this is their cormo/kid mohair fingering yarn, in a cheery orangey/pink colorway.

i’m thinking this could be very pretty for a shawlette or large scarf project at some point, though i don’t have any specific plan yet.

i received some beautiful samples skeins from jen at spirit trail fiberworks, too, but she’s already given me the heads up that she is pretty low on yarn after the weekend, so i think i’ll show you those skeins once she has restocked her store. that way, we’ll stretch out the rhinebeck love a little, too . . .

now, i bet you’re thinking that with all that shopping, we didn’t get any knitting done at all. but we did!
i actually got a ton of knitting done on this trip by taking advantage of the long car ride and by getting up early each day. we have a deal concerning the driving—beckie and kim do all the highway driving between ohio and new york and i do all the local driving while we’re there. this works out great because i hate highways and i love driving the windy country roads, while they are precisely the opposite, preferring to drive on the interstates.

anyway, this arrangement gives me lots of concentrated time to boogie on some focused project work—on the way to NY, i finished the les abeilles shawlette i was working on well before our lunch stop. kim was jonesing to start another one and admiring my briar rose bamboo/merino yarn, so i handed her the leftover ball when i was done and she started one in the same yarn. there was plenty in that skein for two of the mini size.

it’s sitting up in my study now, waiting for me to have a morning free to block it—i’m hoping that sometime this weekend i can do that.
once i got that off the needles, i turned to my new sock in tanis fiber arts purple label cashmere yarn, determined to get as far as possible on this pair before returning home.

when i left, i had just finished the gusset shaping on the first sock. i continued down the leg and by the time we pulled in to the rental house, i was pretty close to starting the toe shaping.

have i mentioned how much i like this yarn? oh my, honestly, it’s the nicest stuff—i think it’s the bet sock yarn i’ve used in a long while and believe me, it is up against some very stiff competition. even the dyers i show it to have been admiring it, so i don’t think i’m exaggerating.

i took it along to the knit and chat at the marriott the next day and finished that first sock off, then cast on for the second one right then and there. by carrying it around all weekend and working a round here and there, i was able to get partway down the leg by the time we went to woodstock on monday.

then in the car on the way back to ohio, i really put on some inches—i got within striking distance of the toe shaping, in fact; go me.

i finished it off completely on tuesday night while watching TV with david and now i have another whole pair of socks to add to the pile in my closet for his anniversary gift. needless to say, i started another pair right away.

but i’ll tell you about those later—right now i need to talk about these; what are we going to name them?? i’d like to choose something that reflects the standout texture, which reminds me of tire tracks or lego blocks.

as soon as i get a free morning or afternoon, i’m going to write up the pattern and turn it over to the test knitters. i just need to catch up a bit (it’s simply astounding how much email and admin tasks pile up after just a few days away; i returned to an inbox with over 800 emails to look through).

ok, that was my portable knitting, but i worked on other projects too, keeping the ones in fine yarn for knitting during the quiet morning hours or when we were home for longer stretches.

i started another copy of this month’s secret project in spirit trail neith, colorway chalcedony, which i am head over heels in love with. and how could i not be?? it’s a cashmere/bombyx silk blend, for heaven’s sake—not exactly hard on the eyes or hands.

then i had my hellebores beret, which i’d hoped to finish before i left home, but it was not to be. not by a long shot, haha.

on vacation, however, i made excellent progress on it, nearly closing in on the finish, but falling a little short, despite my best efforts.
this one, in fibre isle magique, colorway magical twilight is working up a treat, with nice stitch definition and a halo of fuzz that promises some nice warmth when washed and worn a bit.

it will be a great addition to the pine and ivy shawlette i knit from the same yarn last spring.

another project i worked on off and on over the weekend was the neckwarmer to match the curling mitts i knit this month. i had plenty of yarn left for another piece and decided a neckwarmer would be the right thing. now that i see it in the photo though, i’m wondering if a hat would be better

it all depends on my yarn supply—if i get to the right height and think i can make it through the decreases, i just might switch it up.

on or two items that i brought did not get worked on—the elm row mitts for one—i discovered that i can’t work on it in low lighting situations at all.

now that i’m home, i’ve been working furiously to catch up on the office stuff and have had very little time to knit. but i should be up to date very soon and back to my regular evening knit sessions. i’m longing to get back to the wasp and rose project and maybe start a new sweater soon . . . oh dear, i’m already overplanning i think. better stick to finishing what i’ve got on my plate.

and i think that just about wraps up the last of the details for our trip. it was a very excellent getaway, filled with fun, fiber, and friends; i’m already looking forward to our next adventure together.

42 thoughts on “there was yarn and knitting, too

  1. excuse me while I go get a towel to wipe the drool off my keyboard. That is some amazing yarn and knitting pron, Anne!

    I paused at every photo to check links – ‘oh, I must have some of that, and that, and that!’ yikes. The coral Sea Pearl is a particular standout.

    I vote for a neckwarmer instead of a hat (not being a hat person myself). And the ‘lego’ socks look very squishy!

    Thanks for another great post!

  2. What a great trip. I love looking at all the yarn. My favorite are the new socks though. I have been admiring them ever since you first started. I love the color and I love, love, love the pattern. It sort of reminds my of basket weaving. I can’t wait for you to release the pattern for this one. Thanks for sharing.

  3. this might be the most tempting post ever! I feel an unstoppable urge for a sweater’s worth of Briar Rose now……thanks….hee hee.

  4. The sock reminds me of bones stacked on each other – maybe it’s the Halloween getting to me or something.

  5. You could name the socks Pirelli, a brand of tyres. I had Pirelli’s on my first car, low profile racing tyres perfect for that hairpin bend at 50mph…

  6. I love the blue and grey socks! I think you should call them Winter Treads.

    Can’t wait for the pattern.

  7. Now THAT is what I call yarn pron! Whew! Prefect for a blah day where they’re predicting snow (I hope you’re prepared for the very real possibility of snow being on the ground when you’re here in November?)

  8. Whoa boy! Oh, Briar Rose, how I love thee! I could have spent my entire Rhinebeck budget in that booth and would have been perfectly happy about that! I’m so glad I scooped up some of the Grandma’s Blessing before they ran out! I also scooped up a skein from Periwinkle Sheep, as did my friend Aimee (I think she ended up with 2 skeins of sock yarn!) Also, loving the new socks…I need to knit more socks, I think!

  9. Anne–So sorry I never ran into you on Sunday..will have to wait until you come back to Albany in February. I am so delighted that you have some of Karin’s yarn. It is fabulous and I am thrilled that she is mentioned in your post. We became friendly when she had her knitting shop and now she leads a monthly knit group. Next year I will have to drag you down to Weston Hill Farms booth (if you did not stumble in there already.) Eileen has beautiful rovings from her sheep and she makes the most amazing felted pillows as well as fabulous honey and candles. You would really like her and she would really like you! You both have a similar sensibility and aesthetic.


  10. What about tread for a sock name?

    It looks like you had a fabulous trip! Someday I’ll actually make it up there; until then, I have to admit, I’m completely jealous!

  11. Looks like you all had so much fun and came home with some great yummy yarn. One of these years I’ll actually get to go. Can’t wait for the new sock pattern to be released. They make me think of “cobble stone” streets and walk ways I’ve seen. Regardless of what you name them, they’re great and I can’t wait to knit them up.

  12. Beautiful, beautiful yarns and fibers and people and patterns. How wonderful for you all to have had such a great week. As usual, you’re an inspiration and the links that you provide and the peeks at what’s out there and whats new have certainly helped to build up my stash and push me to become a better craftsman. Thank you yet again for taking the time to photograph all your lovely things and share them.

  13. Oh, it looks as though you had such a wonderful time–all that yarn–wow. I think your luciole shawlette would be beautiful in the fourth of July–could you guess how much yarn it would take?

  14. Beautiful blog posts! Thank you for capturing the heart and soul/sole of Rhinebeck, Anne…it was fabulous experience, indeed. This was my fourth visit, and it is still magical. The knitspot gathering was a real highlight for me, too!

  15. I purchased two skeins of the Periwinkle Sheep sock yarn in Embers – I am imagining a wonderful shawl. Karin dyes the most incredible colors. It was also nice to run into Anne at the Briar Rose booth – everyone at Trumpet Hill is looking forward to your next visit.

  16. Love the Building Blocks socks. Looking forward to ythe curling mitts aand neck warmer. Sooooo envious of your trip to Rhinebeck. Can’t wait to see what you do with all that yarn.

  17. So many beautiful things!!! I love those SeaPearl colors you got (I adore that yarn), and the mink is stunning. And did you say silk/cashmere? Geez… 🙂

  18. Thanks for sharing your Rhinebeck adventures. It looked like a lovely time was had by all. 🙂

  19. Thanks for the wonderful pictures & stories for those of use who couldn’t attend! How about “Tredwell” for the socks?

  20. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your adventures and purchases. Sadly, much of the beautiful yarns & crafts at those “fairs” are only available there – much to my dismay!! I love the socks and after you said it reminded you of tire tracks the first thing that popped into my head was Smokey’s “tracks of my tears” – love a great R&B ballad!!

  21. Welcome back from Rhinebeck! Bristle Block socks–that’s my suggestion! I have used that Briar Rose cashmere for your Leafprint mitts (and have enough left for the cowl), and I have enough of the Sea Pearl in that lavender (although I think mine has a bit of rose rather than gray) to do your Henley w/a Twist. I bought some antique buttons for it. I think I may start in on that soon. My daughter just bought your Butternut scarf for her first major lace project–I was so pleased she picked one of your designs with no prodding on my part. 🙂

  22. I love your long, newsy posts – it almost makes me feel as if I were at Rhinebeck. Which, of course, I know I wasn’t because my room is not overflowing with yarn and fiber and there isn’t a little mushroom cloud hovering over the purse that contains my credit card. Next year…

  23. Once again you have created a winning pair of socks. I want to knit them as soon as they’re available. I think Tread is good, but was wondering what tread was in Italian so I looked it up–it’s battistrada. Why is it that Italian always rolls off the tongue so beautifully?
    Okay I’m gong back to edging now (almost done ha!)

  24. Wow! What beautiful yarns, Norfolkknitter and I are trying to see how we can fly out for a long weekend next year. Very difficult being teachers and mid-term, but how can we resist when you show us such beautiful images of what we missed. Your posts always strike such a wonderful balance of gorgeous photos and commentary of the events so at least we feel as if we had gone but without the stash additions. However the links are very enabling!

  25. It is so much fun to hear of your exploits! It’s so nice to see what is available in the shawl/sock yarn world, since it ALL filters through your busy, happy hands.

  26. Really enjoyed this post Anne! I couldn’t go this year so I made up for it by doing major damage at Stitches. 😉 I really need to get to Rhinebeck next year though, after seeing all your terrific finds!

  27. Wow. All this cool stuff to play with–have fun! (And you got to meet Craig! I’ve been playing with his mink/cashmere in lavender.)

  28. This may sound totally lame – it’s after midnight here, after all, but how about –
    O my! Leg-o!

    I’m here all week, don’t forget your waitress…

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