Rhinebeck 2018 – The Knitting

What’s Rhinebeck without a couple of Rhinebeck sweaters???

I knit two sweaters just for my trip. The weather can vary quite a bit on each year, but I’m a thin-skinned California girl so I opted for a couple sweaters on the heavier side.

Pattern: Keynote by Wencke Pertermann

Recipient: Me!

Size: 38.75 at the shoulders and 43.25 for the hip

Yarn: Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Sport

Sadly this is no longer in my life. It was huge in the shoulders. A wide neckline that didn’t sit well. The stitch pattern was really pretty though. The yarn had been in my stash since 2011, so it was a worthy project and looked nice for the event.

Pattern: Ellery by Jenn Emerson

Recipient: Me!

Size: 38 ish, I don’t know what that means now, but I probably added extra increases through the hip.

Yarn: Madelinetosh 80/10/10 MCN Worsted

Jenn is a knitting friend of mine and everyone in one of my knitting groups knit the same pattern. It’s tradition and it was super fun to be part of the rainbow in 2018. This sweater is pretty heavy for my usual climate, but I’m holding onto it for chilly winter nights as our living room doesn’t have heat. Easy pattern and pretty too! I’d had the yarn since 2014 and it sheds so much. So many pills. So soft though.

And just in case you think I’m the only person who knits a sweater for Rhinebeck, I encourage you to click here! You’ll find me looking really awkward right around 1 hour, 43 minutes.

 

 

Advertisements

Lamplight – The Knitting

And now for the knitting from Lamplight 2018.

Project – Lamplight Sweater

Recipient – Me

Pattern – Miss BB from Chic Knits and French Aviation Hat #613 (from Wearing History)

Yarn – Foxhill Farm Millspun Cormo Cross

This yarn was my Rhinebeck splurge. I saved for the trip for months and I couldn’t afford to buy a lot so I had to really be choosey. I landed on this so soft and warm Cormo Cross that my Rena recommended. The color was perfect for my Lamplight costume, but I also wore this sweater all winter. The biggest problem was time. I had to sew a whole costume AND knit a shawl collared sweater in one month. Thank goodness I got it done! The hat was less successful. In an ideal world I would have had tons of time to swatch. But that just wasn’t my reality so the hat is much much less slouchy than intended. Oh well. I was plenty warm and cozy for the night time program. Too bad I had such a hard time learning lines last year. Ugh. Much too big a part for my meager acting skills. This year I’m requesting a part with a much more manageable amount of speaking!

Rhinebeck 2018

After an absence, I’m back and I’m going to try and make blogging more realistic for my life. I missed sharing my projects and having a record to track them. So here is a little bit different format with a few details of each project, a few photos, and hopefully more frequent posting again.

Last fall I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck with my friend Erica. It was a bucket list trip for both of us and going with a friend made the whole thing a little less overwhelming. Rhinebeck is the most talked about wool festival in the US and because its location is close to so many major cities in the Northeast, a lot of people attend. A lot of my yarn-y friends attend.

It was a lot of fun. We ate the best damn falafel. I found a historical museum at the fairgrounds and met a man who had attended school in this school house. I pet a lot of animals, and I hugged so many people. It was amazing.

Technology is such a gift. I finally got to meet my health and exercise support group in person. We all bonded over Orange Theory and it bloomed into so so much more. I knit the same sweater as 20 other people and we made a human rainbow. Erica made me a political hat of rainbow goodness.

The best part of the trip was finding that Erica and I traveled so well together. It was a huge leap to spend 5 days with someone, but we came out the other side still friends and now we’re thinking up our next adventure together.

2019 – Make Nine and Other Plans

Happy New Year! I still have lots of catch up on from 2018, but for now let’s leave that horrible year behind to do a little planning for 2019.

I have some pretty big plans for my sewing. Only 2 of my planned patterns are ones I’ve used before. Everything else at this point is new and that means they’ll take a lot of fitting, but hopefully it’ll be worth it.

2790e34b-2b73-4539-89c9-e1b960a9930b

Row 1 Left to Right: 1. Navy chiffon for a blouse. No idea what blouse pattern to use, so if you have suggestions, let me know! This would be perfect for spring. Kelly green linen will be a pleated skirt, pattern TBD, but maybe this one from Peppermint Magazine. 2. The pink in the middle is wool jersey that I’ll be making into a cowl neckline skater dress using my usual Cashmerette Washington dress hack. 3. And this snail print lawn has been begging to be a shirt dress for years. I have McCall’s 6696 cut out to make a mock up, so we’ll see how that goes.

Row 2 Left to Right: 1. Vintage pink floral cotton for a simple dress. I plan to embroider some of the flowers around the neckline. 2. This Decades of Style dress is so pretty, but I’ve struggled with picking fabric for it. Maybe this striped shirting will work. Maybe not? the fabric has been sitting in my stash for so long that I’m willing to give it a try. 3. The navy polka dot is my one length of vintage cold rayon. It’s likely I’ll chicken out of making this one because the pattern and fabric will take a lot of concentration and I’ll be worried to screw it all up. But oh that pattern is so pretty.

Row 3 Left to Right: 1. Christmas fabric! I’ve meant to make a Christmas apron for the last 2 years. This year it’s going to actually happen. Maybe I’ll make it in July so it’ll be ready when the holiday crunch happens. 2. The blue is vintage fabric that has this super lovely weave. I plan to use one of these patterns to make my Easter dress, but which to choose?!?! 3. And finally a practical project. I need some plain skirts to go with t-shirts, especially for weekends. I made a denim Gabriola a few years ago and it is one of my most worn clothing items, but is now a size too big.

Whew! Lots of challenging projects for sewing! I think I can do all of them, but we’ll see how it goes. I put all the patterns and fabric is a big bag so I have easy access to all of them. Hoping that will help me stay motivated.

Now bring on the yarn! 

Knitting didn’t get nearly the attention it deserved on my blog last year. I finished up some really lovely things towards the end of 2018 as my knitting mojo returned and I’ll share those soon. Looking forward, I don’t like to plan my knitting too far in advance, but here’s a few skeins I’d really love to use.

f854aa0e-ce35-4391-bfb8-a98dfda5da15

Clockwise from Top Left: 1. These green skeins were gifted to me from a knitting friend. Not my typical colors, but she thought they would look nice knit together. I agree and will look for a textured shawl pattern that can use both. Then I’ll probably gift the shawl. 2. The purple and pink skeins were pulled out because they are one of my favorite sweater yarns. I have a teal sweater using this yarn and I wear it all the time. So I’d like to use one of these colors to knit a sweater. 3. The hot pink has been sitting in my stash far too long. I custom ordered it, but got a little grumbly about some customer service stuff. Now that my annoyance has faded I’d love to make a snuggly sweater. I have lots of purple sweaters and really need to add some pink. 4. The purple and white speckled duo was picked up on my trip to Rhinebeck. I circled an entire show floor and these skeins were what stuck in my mind and I knew it was meant to be. These will be used for a two color shawl. 5. Also picked up at Rhinebeck is this neon set with a skein of undyed yarn. My plans for these are a secret, but it will be so good. 6. And lastly, a cross stitch project. I’ve been working on this cross stitch since I was a college student. Now that I’m so close to the finish line, I’m adding it to my goals for 2019. Will this hang by my bedside by the year’s end?

On top of all these planned projects I will have costuming projects too. What? Who knows! I need a regency dress in 25 days, but I haven’t even started or found fabric. I also have Costume College this summer, but I’m hoping to wear what I own instead of making all new.

Anyone else planning fun projects this year?

Sibella Sweater

Nothing says July like a hand knit sweater! Right? Right?

img_2045

Well to be fair I finished this sucker back in April when our morning temperatures were still slightly cool.

This is my new Sibella Sweater, a pattern I’d had in my knitting queue for 6 years! Of course for 4 of those years I was pregnant and/or nursing so pullover styles didn’t have a good place in my life. As a dress wearer, I’ve always struggled to incorporate this style. However in the last year I’ve made a few skirts and a pullover sweater works with skirts really really well.

img_2048

I started knitting this, but as often happens when I’m knitting in the round my gauge went wonky. Riiiiipppppp, start again.

Ultimately I used a size 38″ as my starting point and added extra stitches for the hips. Considering my bust is 42″ I expected the sweater to be kind of close fitting, but is ended up skimming more than form fitting in the front. The negative is the back bags out badly.

How to fix this? Well, I think in the future when I split for the sleeves I’ll put more stitches in the front and fewer in the back. This had been my plan, but for some reason I chickened out when the moment came. I’ll claim exhaustion from knitting late in the evening.

Probably partly because of the fit issues this sweater slides back on my shoulders over the day until it is choking me 😦 So much work put into it and it’s uncomfortable to wear.

img_2049

I’m sure I’ll wear it anyways because this sweater is just so pretty. And it is light enough to wear around the office without over heating. Plus I used some long stash lingering yarn and it would be a shame to see it unloved. I used Hermosa Fiber Company’s Hermosa Sport in the color Always A Bridesmaid. Hermosa has since stopped dying yarn which also makes this sweater a symbol of the changes in the yarn industry.

Several years ago there were lots of local yarn stores, but over the years they have closed down due to rising rents, competition from online retailers, and the yarn craze starting to wane. New yarn dyers come along all the time and it is hard to stay current in the world of fangirls and fanaticism. For some businesses the work just isn’t worth it. I can’t blame them. However I do love pulling those much loved skeins from my stash and knitting them into beautiful garments. Hopefully my current project will have a better fit.

Anyone know how the Canadian v. USA tariff situation will affect the yarn industry?

Kismet Cowl

My knitting mojo seems to have come back just in time for a warm and dry Southern California winter. My sweaters have been largely sitting unloved and my new umbrella hasn’t been used a single time. Woe! Since October we’ve only had 22 day with a high under 70F and not a single day with a high below 60F. But the biggest challenge has been the lack of rain, only 2 rain days so far and none appearing in the forecast. I like living in a warm and dry climate, but this is a little extreme even for me!

However I’m really enjoying knitting again and I hate to waste motivation. So this year I’ve been mostly making smaller projects like shawls and cowls. I’ve never been an accessory knitter, but only a few weeks into 2018 I’v already finished one shawl, one cowl, and have cast on second shawl. These little bits of warmth have been perfect for those slightly cool mornings when I just want a little something to keep my neck and chest covered while I escort my kids to school.

img_1447

I’ve named this project the Kismet Cowl mostly because the combination of yarn and pattern seemed meant to be. I bought a mini skein set from Wonderland Dyeworks at Stitches West in 2015 and then I didn’t know what to do with it.

img_1863_medium2

As you can see the set was made of 3 solid colors and one variegated skein. Each mini skein is about 195 yards. There was quite a bit of yardage, but in odd amounts for a lot of shawl patterns. Plus I didn’t know how to incorporate the variegated skein. I suppose I could have used it to stripe a sweater, but the yarn kept saying it wanted to be a shawl. Hopefully it is feeling okay about its fate as a cowl.

img_1441

When Mary from Lyrical Knits mentioned she was hosting a MKAL (Mystery Knit-a-Long) for a cowl with 4 colors my ears perked up. Then she showed her color choices and she had picked 3 solids and one variegated skein. I was sold. At last I’d found something for my much loved but neglected mini skein set!!!

 

The construction was interesting. The pattern was written with 3 parts, two were essentially triangle shawls and the middle piece was a sort of a parallelogram shape where you don’t increase or decrease yet maintain the slanted shaping of the first triangle. The clues started coming out right before my trip visiting a friend in Portland making this cowl a perfect travel knitting project. It’s also been a perfect purse project to keep on hand for church, lunch breaks, and general downtime in my days. I’m actually sad to have finished it!

img_1444

This cowl also maybe gained me some cool points with my coworkers. I was as a going away party and someone asked me what I knit. I was able to pull out this nearly completed cowl and boom! The combination of fingering weight yarn, even stitches, and color combination was a serious win. I’m thrilled to add it to my collection of accessories to help me along through this drought winter.

I finally got around to photographing several sewing projects so next week is back to sewing. Probably with my newest project, The Colette Myrna.

Silverleaf Shawl

Finally all caught up on 2017 projects with this one last thing, a shawl.

img_1320

This shawl is so full of love for me.

Every year a huge percentage of my knitting friends make the pilgrimage to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival aka Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck is the biggest fiber event in the US, but since it is in New York I’ve never been able to attend. I can’t lie, I am super jealous of those that live close enough to attend annually. The topic of Rhinebeck is brought up in forums all year round, so great is its impact on attendees.

Last fall when the festival came around again I kept myself busy with the event I host each year…Whinebeck. Sob. Sad is the life of those who cannot attend Rhinebeck as we scroll though our Instagram feeds watching our friend spend time together frolicking in the crisp autumn air.

img_1314

And then in late October I received a surprise in the mail. It contained a single skein of Duck Duck Wool Merino Silk yarn in the color Cover Up. Oh my stars, I thought it might burst from happiness. My friend Stacey conspired with my local friend Erica to purchase a little something from Rhinebeck. I understand many opinions were given in making sure just the right shade was selected and they picked the perfect color.

I immediately started looking for pattern that would be a good fit to both the fiber content and yardage. I settled on Silverleaf by Lisa Hannes. It is a simple pattern that alternates garter stitch with eyelet ridges, then towards the end a lovely section of leaves. After the lace I continued the garter/eyelet combination until I didn’t have enough yarn to complete another repeat.

img_1321

The finished shawl is a slip of a thing, long and thin in shape, but it is perfect to cover my chest on cool mornings. Plus it makes me feel loved by my knitting friends. It was the perfect project to finish out the year.

I have a couple sewing projects to share soon, but I’ve also finished a lot of knitting recently, so consider yourself warned. More knitting ahead!