This morning I am sending you greetings from the great state of Texas. It’s been three years since I was last here and I am excited to get my booth set up today for the East Texas Fiber Festival. I am writing from my hotel room which is about a half an hour from Canton, where the venue is located. It was a long haul to get here but for a change I took my time and stretched it out over two days. It was an uneventful drive this time. We made sure to check and grease all the bearings and air up all the tires.
Due to the leisurely pace of my travels, I had a bit of knitting time at the end of my driving days to get some knitting done. As you can see I have almost finished my second Shapely Mitts. I only have to knit the ribbing at the finger end of the hand and then work the thumb section to have a completed pair.
Progress on the Cables and Lace Blanket is coming along as well. I found that I use about 23g/84 yards per each pattern repeat. What this means, which is the good news, is that I did estimated well for the yardage required to make the Medium size. The bad news is that I don’t have quite enough yarn to make that size. I started with under 1400 yards. I knew that but hoped I had over estimated enough in the pattern that it would work. Oh well, I’ll just have to leave off a repeat saving enough for the border.
I am going to cut this short and head over to the venue for booth set up. See you soon!
In my last post, I was in Asheville for SAFF. We had a local show the next weekend, Fiber in the Boro. Both shows went very well and we now have only one more to go, the East Texas Fiber Festival. I am looking forward to returning to this one since I haven’t been there since 2019. The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. It was on the way to the festival in 2019 that my trailer broke down. One of the wheel bearings blew and I was never more glad that I have a tandem axle. It could have been much worse if it had happened with a single axle. I was very fortunate that I was less than a mile from a trailer parts supply store who was able to give me a number of a mobile mechanic who was able to get me back on my way in a few hours. After returning home safely, we replaced all the hubs and brakes on the trailer.
Anyway, on to other news. I have been enjoying the two week break from travels. We have been getting some work done, such as restocking some yarns and making more Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs.
There was also finally enough time in my schedule to get some house cleaning done that I have had on my To Do list. Jerry does a great job of keeping the place clean when I am gone, but there were a few jobs that no one had gotten around to for awhile. One of those was the cleaning the windows and curtains. I washed them all on Monday since the weather was still warm and dry. We are getting some rain today and the temperatures are supposed to drop starting tonight. No more open window days for us for awhile. I am glad I could get that task off my list before the cool spell hit. I like when the windows are all clean, especially going into the darker days of winter. It helps brighten up the indoors a bit.
There has been time in the evenings for some knitting too. I have made progress on my Cables and Lace Blanket. The second ball of yarn has been added and I have completed four pattern repeats. That means I am around 25% complete since I plan to do sixteen repeats. I weighed the current ball before beginning the 5th repeat to gauge how much yarn is used per repeat. It weighed 57g.
You may remember that in my last post I was planning to make a new pair of Shapely Mitts with a partial skein of a hand paint from my business stash? The yarn is my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn, but the colorway is discontinued.
I have knit one and have started the second. I normally refer tonal solids, but the occasional variegated skein is fun too.
The 2022 festival season is wrapping up. We are getting down to the end of our show schedule with only three more festivals to go. I am currently in Asheville, NC setting up the booth at SAFF (Southeast Animal Fiber Fair) which begins tomorrow. I didn’t get any booth pictures today before I covered up everything.
What I do have pictures of is my work station in my hotel room where I am doing a bit of website updating, order shipping and blog posting.
I also have some new knitting on the needles. I know that in my last post I mentioned that I was going to start another size test knit for the gansey pattern I am working on, but that didn’t happen yet. It will, but I wasn’t ready with enough numbers and info to cast that on. So instead I am test knitting the medium size in another of my patterns, Cables and Lace Blanket. I made the original sample in the small size using Organic Cotton Sport. I am using a discontinued base which I had a few skeins of un-dyed in my stash. I was in the mood to use it that way instead of dyeing it. This yarn is a sport weight merino wool that is similar to my current Classic Merino Superwash Sport, except that this one is not machine washable. I love this base. I hated to discontinue it but most people seem to prefer superwash wool. The yardage is similar so it should help me to verify if my yardage estimate in the pattern is correct. It’s a fun and relaxing pattern with enough going on to keep me interested.
Knitting only one thing at a time is my usual practice but every now and then I like variety, especially if I am not in a hurry for the current project to be finished. So I went stash diving before I left for Asheville for a second project to put in my knitting bag.
Many years ago I dyed hand painted colorways in addition to my tonal solids. I switched over to all solids several years ago, but I hung on to a few souvenir skeins from that time for myself. Here’s one of them in my Classic Merino Superwash Sock base in a colorway that I called Malignant Narcissism. It’s a Rush song title, for anyone who cares.
I will probably make a pair of Shapely Mitts from this. I can always use more of these. It’s hard to have too many pairs of finger-less mitts on hand.
As I reported in my last post, Hurricane Ian led to a festival cancellation, but there is always a silver lining if you are willing to look for one. If the festival had gone on as planned that would have been great, but only if it wasn’t a wash out. If that had happened though I would have been extremely challenged to get this amount of work done in the two days home I would have had. As it turned out I had four extra days, which was not totally a bad thing after all. What would make it even better is if I managed to make up those lost earnings from the one show in the five remaining, right? One can hope and I am ever hopeful.
So, I have been making good use of those extra days! We got some yarn dyed in some bases and colors that were getting a bit low on stock. In addition to that I also restocked the trailer with more yarn, swifts, darning eggs, and nostepinnes.
I got the dyeing done for New Era Fiber, which would have been put on the back burner for sure if I had only had two days home.
I also hate to get behind in book keeping chores. I am very fortunate that I was able to get all that caught up, including all my quarterly sales tax filings. I almost forgot that I needed to get the oil changed in the truck. I got that done on Monday while I was restocking the trailer. Then on Tuesday I got the groceries and even had time to wash the truck again.
The one thing I haven’t been back to work on yet is my Gansey sweater pattern. I got about 2/3’s of the directions written in the hotel last week for the size I knit. I still have a long way to go so I can see it being maybe next year before it is all written, charted, and tested. I do think I am going to start working on a test knit for one of the smaller sizes I am planning to include, but more on that next time I think.
For now, I do have a finished pair of socks to report. I have already worn them once and I love them! I did run out of yarn but I found a scrap ball from another project in a comparable color. Believe it or not it took all but about two yards even of that yarn, but I made it! The color is a little off here but as you can see the toe on the left sock is close enough don’t you think? I mean when they are in your shoes who sees the toes, right?
I am heading off to Ann Arbor tomorrow for the Fall Fiber Expo. It is supposed to be pretty chilly so all the better to wear all the hand knits!
I spent a few days getting some work done at the hotel plus a bit of knitting and reading. Wednesday afternoon everything changed though. I had been planning to work some more on pattern writing through Thursday and on Friday drive to Orange, VA to set up the booth. Hurricane Ian caused an unexpected and unfortunate turn of events. The festival decided that it would be best to cancel since it is an all outdoors event. It was disappointing but probably the right call. It is a right mess there when it rains a lot. It’s no fun having all your inventory in a tent under those conditions and driving in trucks and trailers on muddy fields is not for the faint of heart. LOL!
So I am home and have a weekend off that I didn’t expect. It’s just as well since I need to get in some yarn dyeing and now I have 5 days instead of 2 to get it done. We also got a call from the mill and they brought me 18# of fiber to dye as well. There are some more Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs that Jerry made while I was gone to get finished and labeled.
He’s still got more blanks roughed to make more of both.
I am mixing up dyes today with the plan to get the dyeing done over the next day or two.
In knitting news, I have almost finished the Gridiron Sock but I am almost sure I am going to run out of yarn. I will dig up something to finish out the toe. They are for myself and I don’t mind.
I am currently in Winchester, VA. I spent two days home last week after returning from Yellow Springs, OH. I barely had time to catch up my laundry, restock some stuff in the trailer and pack my gear and it was time to make the drive to Virginia. The Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival was this past weekend. It’s a wonderful festival! The weather was great and the turnout was too. I was very excited that I got to have a visit with my friend Dee of Dee O’Keefe Designs. I missed seeing her for a few years and it was so good to catch up. If you’ve been enjoying many of the shawls I have knit here on the blog you should check out her lovely website and pick up a few of your favorites.
I wish I had thought at the time to get a picture of us, but alas I did not. I do have a few booth shots if you’re not completely bored of seeing them by now.
So I have four days this week before heading to my next festival in Orange, VA for the Fall Fiber Festival. I decided that today was to be a rest day. Well sort of, I had some website/inventory records to catch up, and some bookkeeping tasks. I don’t like to let those things get behind. So, I set up my work area and did that this afternoon.
Before I started my work though I had a few other things I wanted to do this morning. I started my laundry while I was having my coffee and breakfast. Then I drove to the Walmart to get some more provisions for the week and gas up the truck.
Before heading back to the room to make a big salad and tuna sandwich for lunch, I took my truck in for a nice wash. It was dirty from all the driving and the fairgrounds.
That’s better! I do love a nice clean truck don’t you?
I’m not sure what else I will do for my other three days before setting up my booth again on Friday. I may just mostly hang out here and do some reading and knitting. That’s actually a pretty nice idea to me. My knitting progress on the Gridiron Sock is coming along slowly but surely. I turned the heel and started the gusset decreases last night. It’s up above in the picture of my work desk. I’ll let you know if I do anything worthy of a post before I go home. Have a great week!
Bensusan Shawl (Ravelry project page) got a very nice debut in the booth. It drew a good amount of attention too.
I took a few pictures of Bensusan here at home last week before packing it. The color is a bit off. The Cypress is more dark olive like this picture from my website.
So try to mentally fuse the color of that skein above with the shawl and there you go. :-) The texture is lovely from the cables. I knit the large size and when I measured it fresh off the blocking pins it was about 80 inches on the longest side and 35 inches down from that to the point. That is a bit larger than Dee’s measurements for the large but it may draw in a bit more after awhile. I used all three skeins of the yarn with only 3g left over. That comes to about 740 yards.
I have not been getting a lot of knitting done lately due to my busy schedule. Here is my latest progress on my second Gridiron Sock. Sometimes a sock on the needles is the perfect thing. It will be accompanying me to Yellow Springs tomorrow for the Wool Gathering at Young’s Jersey Dairy.
I am currently vending at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival. It’s nice to be back after missing the last two years. I began exhibiting here almost from the festival’s inception. We have one more market day tomorrow and then I am heading home. It will be good to be home after an extending time traveling.
I arrived here from Mighigan on Monday and had Tuesday off. Wednesday was booth set up day. During my down time I have been working on some website tasks and trying to get in a bit of knitting time on Bensusan. I have made good progress on both.
The booth is looking pretty good if I do say so myself.
Here’s a picture of the “Tool corner” :-).
I will see you when I get back to Nashville, and I am really looking forward to that. :-)
I really like my new Maize Cowl. I am pretty sure that it will be my go to scarf when the weather cools off. For Nashville that will be quite awhile yet. I have a project page for it on Ravelry.
I love the texture and ease of knitting in this design. I wrote it about 8 years ago as pattern support for my Classic Merino Superwash DK yarn. It was a new base that I wanted a one skein project to help promote it. Up until now I have only had it available in my booth. To celebrate my new website however, I have decided to publish it online. It is on my website only, for a $4 download. I haven’t listed it on Ravelry. I may in the future, but for now it’s only on my website or in my booth at festivals.
Speaking of festivals, I am going to be in Charlotte, NC next weekend for the second annual Southern Comforts Fiber Market. I will be leaving on Wednesday and setting up the booth on Thursday. The festival happens on Friday and Saturday. I have really enjoyed my nice long break, but it will also be good to get back to the festivals. I like being with the knitters and talking about yarn.
I’ll start today’s post with an update on what is on my needles. You may recall I am working on the Bensusan shawl in my Classic Merino DK yarn in the color Cypress. I have progressed to the main chart and added the second skein of yarn. I am enjoying the variety of the stitch patterns. It’s easily memorized but interesting. I love cables.
The other project I have going is my cowl using the yarn my daughter brought me from Ireland. I am about 25% done on it. I cast it on a couple days ago. It’s a pretty quick and easy knit so it shouldn’t take too long to make.
It will be August very soon and I will be back to festival vending. We are still working on restocking inventory. Within the last couple weeks we have added some more Undyed yarn to the website. I stock two Organic Cotton yarns (a sport weight and a worsted weight) and also small quantities of all our Merino wool yarns as Bare yarn for those who wish to use it that way or to dye themselves.
We have also recently finished some new Darning-Eggs in Cherry and Maple woods. We have some more Walnut in progress.
Last night two of the grandchildren were over and were given a fun ride around the property in my husband’s new cart he built for the lawn tractor. They had fun and didn’t want it to end.