Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What type of knitter are you?

Show and tell first!
Nancy's wonderfully colorful socks made with three different colors of the Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors Sock Yarn:
Christine's shawl made from a pattern in the Friendship Shawls book, with Linares yarn:
It's very soft and lovely feeling!
Robin's knitted Santa which will be a class coming up in September - great holiday decoration!
Annie's orientation socks made with Step Duett:
(She's giving them to a student at SUNY when they come for orientation)
There are several customers who come to the store to hang out and knit on the weekends. This means that sometimes we have interesting conversations that run the gamut - food, airplane horror stories, etc. This weekend it was about making mistakes and what different knitters will do to address it. For example, if you are working on a project and then realize you made a small mistake several rows back, do you:
1) rip it back to correct the mistake?
2) throw it across the room?
3) put it in time out until it behaves (Nancy's method)
4) just keep knitting?
Some are perfectionists and don't want any mistakes because while no one else will notice, they will know it's there. Some just want to get it done and keep right on going as if nothing happened. Some are all about the process, so rip it back to fix it because they want to learn to do it the right way.
What kind of knitter are you? Discuss amongst yourselves....

Friday, June 26, 2009

More progress....

These are my Bella's Mittens (modeled by Annie who didn't want to actually be in the picture). I LOVE them. They are so comfortable and the cables are just so pretty. Definitely will be a class coming in the fall.

I also started the Bird in Hand Mittens which I'm also really liking a lot. This class is already filling up and I may even need to schedule another (if I can squeeze it in - have you noticed I have a lot of classes scheduled???). There are so many great new techniques to learn - Estonian braid, picot edge, two color knitting....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another big one!

Wednesday's knit-in was great --- 24 people were there! I'm so glad that everyone seems to be enjoying the knit-ins - they've been well attended. As always, lots of fun to be had. Jaye Nakamura and Yvette Terplak were there to do a small informational session for those who are thinking about submitting a knitted, crocheted, spun or woven item for the wool contests at the Altamont Fair. If you have finished a project that you are proud of, consider entering it in the fair.
Some show and tell....
Nancy's sheep sweater:
She made this for her mother. Isn't it wonderful??? After Jaye and Yvette's information, she decided to enter it in the fair!
Susan's Lucy Bag:
Made in SUNY New Paltz's colors for her daughter!
Keep the projects coming ---- I've gotten lots of positive comments about the show and tell being inspirational.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Now that the weather actually feels like summer, here are some summer pics from my house....

My pretty peonies. I love peonies - they are so stunning. These are the three (yes, only three) that grew on my poeny bush this year. It's only the second year, so hopefully next year there will be more!
Also, look what we have outside our kitchen window....
(It's blurry because of the window screen.) As far as we can tell, there are three hummingbirds that come around. It's so much fun to watch them compete for the food - even thought there are four spots to eat from , they get very territorial and don't let others come around when they are eating there.
Also, the other day, I forgot to post this show and tell item:
Heather, from St. Louis, stopped in. She and her husband do so when they come to visit family. This is her scarf made from her own hand spun cotton yarn. So pretty and wonderfully soft!

UFO's and FO's

I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't finished any knitting projects in a long time. The past few weeks have been busy at the shop and at home. I've hardly knitted at all (literally a couple of stitches here and there) and I've been missing it. So, this past weekend, I finally got a chance to get knitting again. I'm coming along on my Spring Fling Cardigan. Finished the back and one side, and started the second side. Got a little more done on my Monkey socks with The Periwinkle Sheep sock yarn.
But, here's what I knit up on Saturday:
I started it AND finished it on Saturday! Truly a quick knit. This is the Thorpe hat which you can find on Raverly http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/thorpe . I will be scheduling this as a class coming up too! Has some new things to learn including starting from the top and adding the crocheted border. I used the Peru chunky yarn by Katia, which is wonderful to work with. Feels nice and squishy and comfy on my head. You can't really see it in this picture, but I added a little braided tassel to the top, which is not in the pattern. Just thought it needed a little something else up there.
I also started the Bella's mittens pattern, also from Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bellas-mittens. I've gotten one finished and started the second. They are long mittens and go about half way to the elbow, with a stunning cable. Thanks to Laura for showing me this beautiful pattern. This will also be an upcoming class!
It feels good to be knitting again.
Also, a sure sign of the charm of small-town Altamont:
A chicken promoting the chicken BBQ fundraiser for the library. That's dedication - it was raining!
Finally, some show and tell:
Laura's wonderfully soft and comfy 8-Hour Baby Blanket in the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran:
She said it really did only take 8 hours!
Annie's colorful socks made with Regia sock yarn:
These are for a favorite 4-year old friend of hers.
And Nancy's finished Picovoli!:
You saw this last without the edging. She learned to do a crocheted picot edge and loves the results!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The end-weaving fairy came!

While I was at the Sheep and Wool Gathering on Saturday, the end-weaving fairy came to the shop and wove in the bazillion ends of my Rambling Rows afghan! Joan was nice enough to do this for me while I was gone. I can't tell you what a relief it is not to have to do it. Now, if I had just kept weaving them in as I went along (which I started to do and then somehow stopped).... the Rambling Rows class is this Sunday and I will be STRONGLY suggesting this to the class! It's hard to be done, but not really done.

Also, while at the Sheep and Wool Gathering on Saturday, Bonny brought her needle case to show me:
This is a macrame needle holder made with wool, which she then starched to make it stiff. Pretty neat, huh? Barbara was there and saw it, then said she also had a tall needle case which she brought in to show me on Sunday:
Also pretty neat.
It's yarn rep season again and I've been looking at all kinds of new yarns for the fall. I've picked some good ones out and still have two more reps to see. Two of the new yarns will be in by the end of this month! Stay tuned.
Show and Tell:
Barbara's felted clogs:
She loves them!
Laura's beautiful Bella's Mittens:
Apparently a pattern worn by a character in the movie Twilight. VERY comfy (I tried them on).

Nancy G's baby hat and socks made with Wildfoote sock yarn by Brown Sheep:
So cute.
Nancy V's Happy Choices socks:
She dyed the scarf/sock blank herself! They came out beautiful. She is also modeling the very pretty bracelet Joan gave her. (sorry the pic is a little blurry....)
And finally, Sally's very cool Lucy bag made with Ella Rae and Noro Kureyon:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sheep and Wool Gathering pics

The Sheep and Wool Gathering at Thacher Park was so much fun! We had a (mostly) great weather day and a great turnout. There was a lot to do, but I didn't get pictures of everything. The Mountain Treadlers (the local spinning and weaving guild) were there spinning on wheels and drop spindles.
Nancy was also spinning, and Robin was knitting:
And there is Iryth, too!
There were some other vendors, selling jams and jellies, soaps, yarn and roving. I didn't get to see the sheep and the herding demonstration, but they were there. And there were llamas and alpacas. This is Terri Conroy with her llamas, who came to visit me at my tent:
They jump:
And some alpacas from Staghorn Valley Alpacas:
Oh my gosh, so cute.
And this llama, who kept making a warning call that sounded like a wicked witch's cackle:
....and was upsetting this very cute alpaca, named Cloud:
Isn't she just precious? And sooooooooo soft.
Another llama:
And there was a band:
Oooooh and the display of beautiful shawls!
Here was my setup:
See Paul over there on the left? He was such a big help to me - truly my biggest fan - and so enthusiastic about everything going on that day!
A closeup of my new sign, a collaborative effort between Yvette and Paul:
You see, Yvette had a dream which she called and described to me on my answering machine. In it, she said I was using my car magnets and a piece of metal to bring around the the various festivals I was going to. So, I got Paul right on it and he created this wooden/sheet metal sign that I stuck my car magnet to! Pretty cool, huh? Thanks Yvette!
Finally, I must show you this tub of yumminess that I brought with me to the event, and which I will have in the store, at least until this Friday!:
A new sock yarn from The Periwinkle Sheep! 100% superwash merino. Very lovely with wonderful colors. This is a little different from the other yarn I have (80% merino, 20% nylon) because the twist is a little tighter and it takes the color differently. These colors are a little deeper. Some see/feel them at the shop....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Stellar teaching moment

Yesterday was the first of two classes for Socks 101. In this class, participants learn how to cast onto double pointed needles and knit in the round. As many of you know, this can be rather tedious becuase there are so many needles to keep track of and you just feel like you are all thumbs.

Sarah, one of the participants, was a couple of rounds along on her cuff, when I noticed that the tail of her yarn was very long (about 18 inches). Seeing an opportunity to make things a little easier for her, I offered to cut her tail: 1) so it wouldn't get tangled in her working yarn and 2) so she wouldn't knit with it. She agreed. I got my scissors. And proceeded to cut the working yarn going to the BALL!!!!!! My heart sunk as I said "Oh my gosh!". I couldn't believe I did that.

Sarah so graciously said it didn't matter and she just wanted to tie a knot and keep on going. I offered to re-knit what she had done, without a knot. She said it was fine, just a practice sock anyway since she was just learning. She continued with a knot but then about two rounds later decided to start over since she realized she was doing the seed stitch instead of ribbing. I felt much better knowing the knot wasn't going to be in there.

Can you believe I did that?????

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I forgot!

I didn't want to send out another email to everyone to clog up the in boxes, so hopefully you will all dutifully click on the blog link to see what's new over here!

I've scheduled a Learn to Spin on a Spinning Wheel class -- Wednesdays, July 15 & 22, 6-8:30pm, $45 fee (plus small materials fee). If you've ever wanted to try it out to see what it's like, this is the perfect class for you. You will be taking the wheel home for the week in between classes to practice.

Also, I wanted to remind everyone that there are still some openings in the Knit One Below class. This is a great technique for adding vertical stripes to garments. It is really stunning. See my June 2 post for Trudi's vest made with this technique. The class we are offering is a scarf so you can more easily learn the technique, but once you learn it, you'll be hooked!

Sheep and Wool Gathering

This Saturday is the Sheep and Wool Gathering at Thacher park (10-4, Paint Mine picnic area) and I've been SO busy getting ready. Hardly any time to knit. I've got to organize tables, shelves, a canopy, not to mention merchandise and signs! I think it will be a lot of fun - lots of demonstrations and animals, and other vendors too.
In the meantime, at the knit-in last night we had a little outside music to entertain us. When we looked outside, here is who was on the green:
There was a fiddler (on the right) and then these dancers with sticks and what looked like knee pads covered in jingle bells.
Also, some sad news --- Betty Smith passed away on Tuesday. She was 99 and, until recently, often attended the knit-ins with her granddaughter Linda. She was so enthusiastic about life and had been looking forward to a balloon ride to celebrate her 100th birthday. She will be missed.
Show and tell:
Here are Susan's wonderful cabled fingerless gloves which she learned to knit at Robin's class here at the shop:
They are made with Suri Merino and are just beautiful!
And Libby's Irish Hikin Scarf made with Kathmandu Aran:
Also very beautiful - the yarn is so yummy.
See you at the shop or at the Sheep and Wool Gathering!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Red and overflowing Part 2

My landlord stopped in on Saturday to say the flowers just weren't right so they were going to be re-done:
On Sunday, these appeared:
A little more red, a little more overflowing. I happen to see the woman putting them in and we had a little conversation about the red and overflowing request. She indicated that these would in fact grow up and overflow more. Still not sure that my landlord will like it.
As I was closing and taking in the flag on Sunday afternoon, another woman came up to me and here was our conversation:
Woman: "Excuse me, where did the boxes go?"
Me: "What boxes?"
Woman: "The flowers."
Me: "Oh, they came and took them and replaced them with these?"
Woman: "Who did?"
Me: "The people who brought the first ones."
Woman: "I didn't replace these."
Me: "Oh."
Woman: silence
Me: "Huh."
Woman: silence
Me: "I guess you'll have to talk to my landlord about that. Do you have his number?"
Woman: "No.".....silence. Turns and walks away.
Apparently she is the bearer of the first batch of "red and overflowing" and was not approached about re-doing them. I felt bad.
Meanwhile, the Lace-a-long drew a nice group for the first session. Thanks again to Stephanie for the idea and who came with two week old Zachary - so sweet! Some beautiful lace projects were started. Some beautiful projects already in progress too. Join us when you can. Every Saturday, 10:30-noon through a date in August I can't remember right now but will post again.
Show and Tell!
Nancy's Happy Choices socks (knitting your sock from a dyed scarf):
See the little strip of yarn on the left? That's what she had left of the scarf.
And her own hand dyed scarf and sock-in-progress:
Aren't the colors beautiful????
Pat's beret made with her own hand dyed sock yarn (made with the Louet kit in the class at the shop!):
Nancy's Picovoli tank, made in the class at the shop:
Beautiful! Stay tuned for the "final" product (she's going to put a picot eding on it!)
Trudi's Textured Circle Shrug made with Frog Tree Merino Melange (a yarn I don't have but comes highly recommended for me to look into getting!):

LOTS of oohs and aahs over this at the shop on Saturday, leading to a conversation about having this as a class. It's knit in the round - no seams!
Off to enjoy my days off!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Red and overflowing

It was a pretty busy weekend at the shop. Had a couple of classes (continental knitting taught by Trudi, and the Irish Hiking scarf which I taught) and lots of knitters hanging out.

These suddenly appeared on Saturday morning:

Pretty. But my landlord stopped by (he's the one who arranged to have someone plant these) and said it was nothing like he asked for (red and overflowing - does that sound familiar from last year?????). I suggested that the would likely grow and start overflowing. He said"Well, let's give it a week". Not sure if that's enough time...

On Sunday, Karin (of The Periwinkle Sheep sock yarn!) came by with her wheel to spin! (sorry, forgot to get a picture) The last Sunday of the month from 1-2 are "Spin-ins" and I'm so glad she came. I took out my wheel and did some practicing of my own. For those of you who have wheels, come join us! ( You don't HAVE to wait for the last Sunday of the month, either. You can bring your wheel any time, just like you can bring your knitting in any time.)
I FINALLY finished my Logan River Wrap! This is from the Winter 2007 Interweave Knits and is made with the Royal Llama Silk. I loved this yarn! A teeny bit stitcky and splitty sometimes, but overall a nice soft yarn that got much softer after it was blocked. Blocking never ceases to amaze me. Things look so much better, and feel so much better. The pattern in this really popped after I blocked it....
I love it.

Here is a close up of the border and the pattern:

More show and tell:
Mary Kate's gorgeous Branching Out Lace Scarf made with Linares (cotton/viscose):

And her first Noro Striped Scarf (she's working on her second now and she's LOVING the colors) made with Noro Silk Garden:

Mary Kate also commented on how soft the scarf got after she blocked it. It really is amazing.

Trudi's beautiful Knit One Below vest made with Ella Rae Classic and ONline Linie:

She will be teaching this technique (to make vertical stripes with one variegated and one solid color) in the Knit One Below scarf class later this month (Sunday, June 28, 10-11:30). Really pretty results!
Joyce's Lucy Bag made with Ella Rae Classic which everyone ooh'd and aah'd over at the knit-in:

Bony's scarf made with Eco Alpaca in a Barbara Walker pattern, which everyone also ooh'd and aah'd over becuase it is so soft!:

Robin's felted purse made from the Ella Rae felted purse pattern book and with Ella Rae Classic yarn:
This is the unfelted view. She sent it to her sister down south to felt, so maybe we'll get a picture of the finished product.
And Laura's sweater from the Spring 2009 Interweave and made with Malabrigo Silk:

Very pretty!
Ooh, one more thing.... The Times Union online addition recently added a Fiber Arts blog! Check it out: http://blog.timesunion.com/fiberarts/