Friday, October 23, 2009

Visiting Rhinebeck For the First Time

As we rode along the highway and roads of Connecticut last Friday morning, the Autumn foliage was breathtaking to see. My knitting needles were steadily moving along on my Ditto sweater as Sandi's car ate up the miles and Monet navigated. We had a detour to pick up some minerals for the sheep, but, this just added to the gorgeous views.

Our hotel was nice, quiet, and conveniently close to Rhinebeck's fairgrounds, which was only about 20 minutes away. There was a fabulous restaurant next door to the hotel where we had a delicious seafood supper on Saturday night. Friday night was spent in our room, relaxing with our friends, Marva and Beth, and spinning on our wheels.

As we pulled up to the fairgrounds and parked, the entrance line was growing. Since we had prepaid for our admission online, we got in very quickly.

The sight of all the fibers, yarns, and related tools and equipment were a sensory overload. I didn't know where to look first. I waited on a bench while Sandi dropped off her fleeces for processing with a mill. This gave me a chance to get my bearings and observe some of the booths/barns.

As we traversed the grounds, the smells from the food vendors was very intoxicating and tempting, especially the artichoke booth. I am very proud to say I didn't buy any fair food. We had made our lunches at the hotel and they were in the cooler waiting for us when we got hungry. The only time I went off my food plan was a little bit for the Saturday night supper. And I lost 2 pounds when I weighed in this week. Yippee!! All the walking helped too.

The food plan wasn't the only restraint I showed. The shopping stayed within my budget too. The only fleece I came home with was a .6 pound Kid Mohair fleece in a beautiful white. One vendor had some luscious Cormo/Bamboo blend that called to me, so I bought 8 ounces of that and a pair of size 10 DPNs. We walked all over the grounds and I didn't buy anything else until almost the last barn of the day where I found Spinners Hill and some lovely Rambouillet fiber. A pound of that came home along with some white. I also got 8 ounces of "Party in a Bag" to spin. On the way to the gate to leave, we stopped at Little Barn where I got some Alpaca/Silk.

Sunday was cold, overcast, and misting rain. We only stayed a couple of hours to do any last minute shopping we wanted. I ended up with another 4 ounces of the Cormo/Bamboo. In the Horticultural Building, I found a pattern for a hooded sweater I really liked. It's a very plain knit, but I am planning to spin for it and the natural shades of the fiber will look great in it.

The ride home wasn't too bad. We only had a little sleet/freezing rain in one area and some snowflakes in another.

Sadly, I never took the camera out of my bag, so don't have any pictures to share of my weekend. I plan to go again in the future. Right now, I am happily spinning my purple/pink/teal Rambo and smiling at the memories of the weekend. :)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fashion/Trunk Show .... Assessing the Stashes

Wednesday night was the Slater Mill Knitting/Crochet Guild meeting. We were fortunate enough to be given the treat of a fashion/trunk show from Twist Collective. I have narrowed my "must have" list to 4 patterns. Now, I must resist buying them for a little bit. lol

Over on Ravelry, I have joined a group called "Spin Your Stash". The premise of the group is to start to spin from your fiber stash on the Autumn Equinox until the Spring Equinox. There is nothing saying you can't shop, but, I don't plan to. The only shopping exception is Rhinebeck. (New York Sheep and Wool Festival in case you are not familiar with this event.)

So far I have managed to finish plying 8 ounces to be used in the lace part of my February Lady Sweater, which is a free pattern available on Ravelry.

There's almost 4 ounces of singles waiting to be plyed of some lovely hand dyed Rambouillet I forgot wasn't finished. (That one actually frees up a missing bobbin when I finish it.) The next is a Superwash Merino fiber I haven't touched in over a year, which happens to account for another missing bobbin. I did the first 5 ounces, and the other 3 were deserted when some other fiber caught my eye. These last two items were in my WIP spinning bin, so I can now see the bottom of that with only 2 more bags in there. :) I have put a few knitting WIPs in the bin now. ;)

If you are on Ravelry, check out the group. It is a lot of fun. There really are no rules to follow. We are just encouraging each other with our stash busting endeavors.

I also signed up for the "Through the Loops Mystery Sock for October 2009". The pattern is given out in 4 clues. The first one came out today. I now have to go stash diving to find a yarn I think will work with this pattern. A semi-solid seems to be preferred. I do have some Cascade solids and semi-solids, as well as some Knit Picks sock yarns to select from.

"Mystic Embers" is the latest in the series of mystery KALs in the Mystic series. It, too, started this week. I almost missed signing up for this one. Some people are using Knit Picks Shadow Lace for this pattern. Again, I can go stash diving for a nice shade in this yarn. I think I have 3 or 4 different colors to choose from.

My "Ditto" sweater is almost up to the third decrease, so it won't be long before I am simply knitting straight stockinette to the armhole sections. This is my travel project right now since it's easy to work on and I don't have to really pay attention except to measure for the decreases when needed. I do plan to modify it a little and add longer sleeves so I can wear it in colder weather.

I think that is enough projects to keep me busy for a bit. Happy knitting and spinning folks. :)