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!
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.
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.
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 had a great time at Southern Comforts Fiber Market last weekend. The festival had good attendance for a new show and I think it will get even better as it gains an audience. I had only a few nights at home before I was off to Michigan for the Michigan Fiber Festival this weekend.
Today was setup day, which took most of the morning and afternoon.
I couldn’t decide which of the yarn display pictures was my favorite so I just put them all up.
I’ll be pretty busy for the next few days with the festival so I may not get another post in until next week. I do want to pass on some news though. Do you recall that I test knit a shawl last year for a Kristi Renshaw?
The pattern is called Confection Shawl and she has published it on Ravelry and on her website.
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.
Yesterday’s yarn dyeing was greens and a few reddish purples. We dyed 465 skeins and then we prepped for last two days work.
Today’s work was dyeing the rest of the purples, oranges, yellows and warm neutrals. The total skeins for this day was 365, which was a half day. :-)
We have one more morning’s work and all the yarn will be dyed for the second half of the fiber festival season. There are more tasks to be done like printing labels, affixing labels and boxing in the trailer, but the hardest part is done.
I’ll have pictures of my knitting and the last day’s yarn dyeing next time. Thanks for reading!
Good morning! Over the weekend I bound off and blocked my Debussy Shawl. I wore it this morning too while I had my quiet time with my coffee and reading. It was still a bit chilly this morning but we are in for some warmer, brighter days this week. Spring is coming soon!
I ended up doing only one extra repeat of chart 5 for a total of 8. The medium size has 7 and the large has 10. I weighed my remaining yarn between the end of the 7th repeat and the end of the 8th. I found that I used 35g for that repeat. I determined I would need at least 25-30g to do the final edge chart and at that time had 51g, so clearly there was not enough yarn to do anymore repeats of chart 5. I proceeded with the 18 rows of chart 6 and I have 21g left over.
I measured it this morning after being off the blocking pins for a little while. The long side, which is the diagonal edge is about 69″ and the shortest side is 41″. The measurement down from the top (longest edge) to the point, if you were wearing it like a triangle shawl is about 30″. So all that means it is pretty close to the largest size in Dee’s pattern even without the other two repeats. It’s a nice size but not huge.
I got straight to work on my gansey design after finishing the shawl. I decided to use my Classic Merino Superwash Sport yarn. I then decided that the Earl Grey would make a nice color that I hoped would show off the stitch patterns well. I know that traditionally ganseys were made with dark blue yarn and I did consider using my Midnight Blue, but I could see it in the Earl Grey in my head and went for it. I dyed 10 skeins, figuring I will probably use at least 6 for the 42″ sweater I am planning.
I worked up a stockinette swatch on size 4US needles and got a gauge of 5.5 stitches and 8.5 rows per inch. I used a remnant of Emerald for the plain swatch while waiting for the grey to dry. I spent some time perusing and selecting a stitch pattern arrangement. I graphed a portion for swatching and used the grey for that. I ended up making a minor change after knitting a few rows. Maybe you can see in the swatch that the ribbing between the double moss at the left side and the chevron in the middle. I changed that vertical column to seed stitch so it wouldn’t recede so much.
I like how the elements look next to each other. I began knitting the bottom welt last night. I am using size 3US needles for the garter welts and will do that for the definition ridges in the body and sleeves as well. I am doing the bottom welts separate for front and back and will join to work in the round leaving them separate but with a slight overlap at the side seam point. I did go with the channel island cast on for it. It’s a bit fiddly at first but not difficult once you get the rhythm down and it looks nice. I knit a 2″ long welt because I don’t like a welt that flips up.
Okay, that’s it for now. I should get the second welt done today and have it on the circular needles working the main body very soon. I am excited!
I have been stash diving this week and it appears that I have a bad case of startitis. This is a rare affliction for me. I am typically project monogamous. The other notable change is that none of these are booth samples. I know! It’s been awhile since I just knit some stuff on a whim, and it’s pretty fun actually.
So here’s what’s on my needles at the moment. Riveting, I know. :-)
First up is Debussy, which I have knit before as a booth sample in my DK weight Merino yarn but this one is just for fun in some Cestari Wool/Cotton blend that has been in my stash for about 10 years. It’s slightly rustic looking which I think will make a nice all-season wrap.
Next up is a pair of socks. It’s been too long since I made any socks and I wanted a variety to switch back and forth on. I decided to make a pair of Gridiron Socks, in another long marinating yarn. The story behind this yarn and the one in my other project below goes back to 2009. I was in a online group, I think it was on Ravelry originally, with a handful of other hand dyers. We decided to do a collaboration yarn club. I think we called it Fiber Baristas? Anyway, we each were dyeing up a unique colorway for one of the installments and agreed to send a skein to each other as well. It was fun and I am finally getting around to using a couple of mine.
This last project is a cowl pattern my second daughter wrote for me using my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn about 10-12 years ago I think. It’s called Spiral Effect Cowl and I have made it a couple times before as a booth sample in that yarn. This one is made using another indie dyed yarn from the above club though. The cat (Mimi) is a bonus today. :-)
Oh, and I almost forgot! I finished my third booth sample I was knitting over the weekend before the stash dive. I think I will save that for another post after I can get a chance to get some better pictures maybe. Here’s sneak peek though.
I have completed almost all the knitting for the afghan. I only have 5 more hexagons to make!
Here’s the thing though; I was beginning to be concerned that I would run out of the navy blue yarn. See those 3 balls of blue? That’s all I have left.
There is some good news though. Are you ready for a bit of math? Bear with me for a minute okay? So I weighed the navy blue yarn I had left before I knit the hexagon above with the light gray. I had 44g of the navy at that point. I also estimated based on the number of stripes in each color that the weight of each hexagon was 60% navy and 40% of the other color. When I weighed one I was right on the money. Each one weighs 10g and I know that 6g of that is the blue. Furthermore I know THAT is true because after knitting the above hex, my remaining navy yarn weighs 38g, which means it used up exactly 6g. SOOOO, that means since I have 5 more hexagons x 6g each is 30g, I should have just enough to make it.
I am not sure once I get it all sewn together whether it will need some edging. I had assumed at the start that I could use the navy for that if I decided to do some edging but that won’t be an option. So, we’ll see when I get to that point I guess.
The virtual event was interesting but a bit disappointing in sales and participation. I am so looking forward to getting back to doing “real” in person festivals. I was working on my event calendar today on the website, if you’d like to check it out. I don’t have as many this year as I had scheduled in the past due to cancellations this spring, but I do have 14 for 2021. I normally do 15-20 each year.
See you soon! I’ll probably be sewing this puppy together by the next post. Oh and also I am sorely tempted to make a Wonderful Wallaby now after reading Suziecreamcheeze’s recent post, LOL! As soon as I finish the knitting but maybe not all the sewing, I may just be casting one on. I already have several candidates in the stash. :-)