One More to Go and Other News

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.

A Silver Lining and a New Pair of Socks

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!

Guess What’s Coming to Wisconsin With Me?

I arrived home safely from Pittsburgh last Sunday. It has been enjoyable spending the last week at home. After three weekends in a row, it is a nice break. I’m packing up the truck again tomorrow and leaving Wednesday for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Can you guess one of the things I will be packing? Do you give up? It’s my newest booth sample, Bensusan.

I took this picture before I put it in the sink for a soak. I used almost all of the three skeins of Classic Merino Superwash DK in Cypress. I came close to running out of yarn. I weighed the finished shawl and it is 297g. I finished the last bit and bound it off last night while Jerry and I were relaxing on Sunday and watching a couple movies.

It is blocking at the moment. It took every one of my Knit Blockers, and I have three boxes. I used a half dozen or so T-pins in addition, to get it all pinned down. I didn’t measure it yet to see if it’s the same size as the one in the pattern for the large directions. It is written for worsted weight yarn and size 8US needles, and I substituted DK weight yarn and size 7US needles.

Now that this project is done I don’t have anything on the needles for my trip. I have the second Gridiron sock that I can start. Maybe that is what I will do.

Tomorrow is a busy day of packing. I plan to get some pictures of my shawl done then. I will be driving all day Wednesday. It’s a 560 mile drive, but at least I stay in my own time zone. Thursday is booth setup day. If I have time in the afternoon or evening, I will write a blog post with a few pictures of Bensusan in the booth. See you soon!

Miscellaneous News

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.

Midlothian Shawl is Done

This will be a quick update today to show you the finished shots of my Midlothian shawl.

I am very pleased with how this turned out after blocking it. It measured 65″ across the top and 30″ down the center spine. That is smaller than the DK weight version would be, but it is a nice size for a smaller person.

I used almost all of two skeins of Classic Merino Superwash Sport in Cerulean. I made a small modification in size. I worked two extra repeats of the eyelet chart at the top. That was actually good, because I am happy with the size and I had enough yarn. If I had made it any bigger though I would have needed a third skein of yarn.

The picot bind off looks nice but it does require a bit of patience to block them out properly.

Knitting and Yarn Dyeing

Things haven’t slowed down much. We have been working on yarn labeling and restocking a lot. We finished that job on Tuesday. I increased our inventory for the fall since I have a very busy show schedule and don’t want to run out of anything that I may not have time to redye until later in the fall. Most of the yarn is in the trailer but we have about 20% of the inventory in our work room storage now since I couldn’t fit it all in the trailer storage anymore. I hitched up the trailer to the new truck and moved it closer to the work room door to make loading easier.

I have been enjoying my new truck. I got a new Rush plate for the front bumper and we got my tonneau cover transferred over from my old truck. Today we also got a new bed liner mat for it so it’s all ready for traveling next month.

One of my daughters has been doing missionary work in Ireland since January 2021. She made the trip home on Monday, so we have enjoyed visiting with her and other family for the last few days. She brought me some presents; handmade jewelry (which I am wearing and didn’t get a picture of, sorry), candy, and some yarn. I already know what I am going to do with the green Donegal tweed. It will be a Maize cowl, which is a pattern I wrote about 8 years ago for my DK weight yarn. The white yarn is some very lovely lanolin rich hand-spun, which I am not sure what I will use it for yet.

I haven’t started the cowl yet but I did finish Midlothian and start a new shawl last week. I was finally able to get Midlothian blocked today because all the yarn is now out of the way in the work room.

More on this later when it’s off the blocking mats.

The new shawl on my needles at the moment is called Bensusan. I am using my Classic Merino Superwash DK for it in Cypress. The color is a bit off in this picture. It is more accurate on my website if you click through and select the color there. It’s an olivey brown. I like the texture of the cables and twisted stitches, which are fun to knit too.

That’s about it for my post today. I need to get school finished with my youngest. We are on the last chapter of The Goblet of Fire for our reading time and I am looking forward to starting The Order of the Phoenix. :-)

Dye Day One

I’ll update on my knitting next time since I haven’t taken a progress picture yet. Here’s what we have been busy with this week.

We dyed 565 skeins yesterday to see what the capacity of the new lines is and we found that out. As you can see it pretty much filled all seven of them.

They are awesome! Having them closer to the work area was great. We will take today to prep the next days work which will probably be done tomorrow. See you soon. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Quick Knitting Update

I am having a busy week, so this will be a short and sweet update on Midlothian shawl.

I just finished chart 3 and am starting the second skein of Classic Merino Superwash Sport in Cerulean.

I am getting ready to begin restocking my yarn inventory asap. I have several days of preparation to do. I am also wrapping up the end of one school year and preparing for the next. We will probably take a couple of weeks off from school starting next week while I work on yarn. I’ll keep you posted as I can.

Almost Break Time…Sort Of

I am leaving tomorrow for Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair in Newark. It is a one day show, Saturday 9-5. I will be doing the set up before the show Saturday morning and then packing up at 5. It’s a challenge to do that but it will be fine. I did it last year. So I am driving up tomorrow and will be home on Sunday afternoon.

After this I will be home until the second week in August. That sounds like a break, and it is, but while I am home we will be dyeing this yarn that arrived yesterday.

That is over 450 pounds of yarn. I am looking forward to using my new drying lines though, so there is that. ๐Ÿ˜

In knitting news, I am about to start chart 2 on my Midlothian shawl. I thought I was done with chart 1 and had done 6 rows of chart 2. I began row 7 and I had too many stitches for it to work. So, after an investigation and ripping out those 6.5 rows, I am ready to go again. I will be doing one more repeat of chart 1 for a total of 23 instead of 21. I really hope this won’t necessitate using more than 2 skeins. It was either this option or I would have to rip back 4 more rows.

I still haven’t started my other shawl or the second sock. I was sorely tempted last night to avoid the ripping back until later but I pushed through. ๐Ÿ™ƒ See you soon ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Miscellaneous updates

I am very excited about the new drying lines. We ended up with 7 which is almost double what we had before. But that’s not the best part; the proximity to our work area is going to be awesome. I can even see it from in the house looking out any back window. That’s a big help when rain is threatening or if it’s windy, for checking on things.

This was taken from under the cover where we set out the dye pots. Our old lines were way over on the other side of the work shop (the green sided building). This location cuts the distance in half at least, and that’s just our lines. Our neighbor’s that we used are even farther. We will be putting these new lines to use in just a few weeks. We have an order of new yarn arriving very soon to restock for the second half of the festival season.

Now on to knitting updates. I finished the first Gridiron sock.

I cast on Midlothian with my Classic Merino Superwash Sport in Cerulean. It doesn’t look like much yet. It’s just a wee baby shawl still.

Because I was asked to share booth pictures from the Great Lakes Fiber Show, here ya go. The weather was pretty nice and we had a good turn out, especially on Saturday.

I have today and tomorrow at home and then I am off to Franklin, IN for Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. I got some house cleaning, and school work with my youngest son done today. I also made a pot of spaghetti sauce for dinner. It’s actually good to be able to slow down for a couple days and reconnect with my home and family. It’s nice to travel and meet with the knitters at festivals but it’s even better to come home.

Speaking of home and good things, I want to share one last set of pictures of our garden. I can take absolutely no credit for it. It’s all Jerry’s doing and he is pretty good at it. I can’t wait for fresh veggies. ๐Ÿ™‚