Saturday, October 24, 2015

Vacation Time!

I'm a little frazzled because I am trying to get ready to go to Florida. I haven't been there in so many years that I would have to look back at pictures to see what year I was there last. I am excited to visit a friend of mine. She moved down there after retiring and has been there for several years. All I can say is time flies because it doesn't seem that long since her move.

Florida is such a huge state and so much to do. My girlfriend is so organized with this trip. She even made me a chart of the things I want to do because I won't be there but for four days, I'm not totally including when I arrive and when I leave so there is some true packing in to fit the things that I want to do. But she laid it down so nicely that I can figure out what I want to do and what I will need to leave for next time. I just really want to see her, hubby and daughter and her hubby.

So travel is not the way it use to be. You have to worry about so much more than when I went last. I do remember the last trip taking off my shoes but other than that I know it is different with the luggage but I can bring my knitting needles so I am happy.

I am packed but have to make sure the weight is good and bag size works. Then there is always little loose ends to be done. Can you guess what is the most important things I packed? I know you can guess that - it is my knitting and crochet projects. So I am taking with me four projects. Yes I need variety. You never know how long you will need to wait in the airport going and returning. And there are lines to wait on and riding different places. Hurray! I don't have to do the driving so more working on project time. I have mittens call "Cable Cuff Mittens";crochet accent scarf - "Fisherman's Fan"; crochet gloves - "Quick Ribbed Gloves"; fingerless mitts - " Right Round Mitts"

But I did sneak in a couple of crochet pineapple shawls. This is from Cascade Yarns called Alpine Shawl. One is for me and one for my friend that I am visiting. I made her shawl shorter since she is not as tall as me and I didn't want it too long. I can't wait to show her. The weight called for is sport so for the one for me I used Debbie Bliss Rialto and on hers I used Cascade Longwood - see the pictures. They both need to be blocked and the stitches will come a live. On mine I added the fringe that they added to the design. I love it. It is different but it gives it a little extra.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rhinebeck - Such Fun and Excitement!

When you haven't been to a place in several years and you go with a person that has never been, the level of newness and excitement rises. That is what I felt going to Rhinebeck yesterday for the fiber festival. It was, as usual with a lot of fiber seekers and as I enjoyed every time in the past was the ongoing fashion show that can't be ignored.

I went with a former student and she was so excited. She got sick the week before and was still on the last bit of it during the week of the festival but she was determined to get well before we went on Saturday. Sheer determination I would call that. And we had fun. She was overwhelmed by the number of vendors to choose from, different yarn fibers and the colors galore. Then you have the extras which were wines, cheeses and other goodies to try and buy.

It was a beautiful ride there with the leaves turning. It was a fall day with a little breeze but the sun was out. Then later in the day the temperature changed to cold. But what a wonderful time for the festival because of the weather there were so many that wore their hats, scarves, cowls, sweaters and shawls and enjoyed showing off their work and admiring each other.

Going to the fiber festivals really get you excited to knit and crochet even more. So of course I did not plan on buying several yarns but did (see last picture below). I'm sure you know how that is and if you were there I don't have to say anything else.

The pictures below shows a portion of what was happening there but not limited to because there was even more. Leaving was a bit of a challenge and wait which was not fun but it was all worth it. I hope if you could't go this year that it is on your list for next year. Save those pennies and join the rest of us as we add to our already collection of fibers and projects so we can have more fun.

Greatadirondack Yarn Co (all the colors), Yarns Plus - Rayon Multi-color, Ginger Hill Farm - grey, Holiday Yarns - hand dyed (hot pink, cream and grey strands of color), wooden shawl pins

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Yarn, Yarn and More Yarn

The choices we have in yarn is almost endless. At least it seems that way since every time there is something new that catches our eyes and we just gotta get it. Since I work in a yarn shop now my choices has grown but I am still in budget as not to go overboard. Some say it must be hard to work there and not want to buy all the time. No, it is not hard for me because I am on more of a mission to get for a specific project and not just to have. We all have our missions but at the end of the day we have fun with our world of colors and textures.

This year has been so much better than previous years because I am finally adjusted to the low salary I earn since I was laid off five years ago. It took adjusting to not being able to just buy what I wanted or go where I wanted to go for the most part. I cut back to the bare minimum so that I could survive and I did with just a little help from family. My situation was not even that bad in comparison to someone that has children and a house. But it was still an uphill battle and I am so glad that I did have my knitting and crochet to help me through. There was a time during this period of adjusting that I didn't knit or crochet that much but that was all right because I knew the passion was still there and that fire would return and it did. I just had to do what I had to do for the moment. So now that I am at a yarn shop I can see what I want to buy but I don't have to get it all at once. The yarn shop has such a beautiful selection of yarn choices, colors and textures to chose from.

I also for the first year in several years went to two festivals so far. They were the Sheep and Wool festival in Maryland and the Sheep & Fiber Festival in Lambertville, NJ. It has felt so good to return to things that I enjoyed in the past and I keep little by little adding a few more things. Life happens and you have to see when it does what you will do until it can get better. There are those that in that time of 2008 on that are still struggling and I feel for you but we must try to take one day at a time and keep pressing forward. As for me, light is shinning a little brighter and I want to go towards the light and have it shine even more.

All that to say is that I am enjoying so much my knitting, crochet and all that I have been able to do this year within the craft circle. Let's press on and be a success story and not let the past govern our future.

As for projects they are always evolving and I add to the wish list as I'm sure you do too.

Another shawlette is drying from being blocked. This is from the book Free Spirit Shawls by Lisa Shroyer called Bethe. I enjoyed the short row construction and how the bobble edging is added on. I've been working short rows and in the past I have had to pick up the wraps. I've done a couple of shawls and a scarf using short rows lately but have not had wrap and turns so I didn't have to pick up the wraps - wonderful. But I want to try the German short rows since it is all the rave these days and I will.

What's on your needles or hooks? Enjoy your projects.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Working With Colors - My Favorite Thing To Do

I wish I could gather all the left over yarns from people and just play with color mixing, matching and creating the most interesting combos like an artist does on a canvas.

A customer came into the knit shop and she needed help with a crochet pattern using several color changes. The first thing to do is see how many colors the pattern calls for and the sequence of those colors. Usually they will be in an A, B, C sequence. But with her pattern the colors started with E then C so the sequence was different and then it would mix up again to make the design.

You then have the choice of playing it safe and going with the colors they suggest in the pattern or coming up with your own color choices. If you go by new colors, which the customer had her own color choices, then comes the sequence of the new colors to match the patterns design. I suggested that we use technology at our fingertips - mainly her smart phone to take pictures each time the colors were switched around to form a new sequence. Because once you move them around you can easily forget how you had the previous sequence. So she went with the idea and played with the sequence until one worked. Then it was time to start the project.

To keep track of the colors she was using for each letter I suggested to mark the letters on each yarn label for each color for a quick glance. I suggested to find a place on the pattern to mark it down also. This is called setting yourself up before you begin your project so everything is clear.

As for me, I am working on a project using colors but in a different way. This scarf is called Stripes & Short Rows from the Knit and Crochet Now! show. The yarn I am using is the Ella Rae Seasons. I love the construction of the scarf because of the increasing and short row technique. But also it uses two different long strand color way yarns. I chose the blue tones and the other a mixture of colors with one of the colors being blue. I hardly use the yarn or the colors that the pattern suggest unless I love the colors and want it to look exactly the same. So I am loving how the colors stream through the scarf. You work two rows of one skein and two rows of the second skein of yarn. You don't need to worry about yarn ends because the yarns are carried up the side as the rows are done - Yah! Because you know how I love yarn ends. Need I say more. I will show the finished work through Flickr.