Friday, October 26, 2012

A journey to Rhinebeck, and back again

As promised, my lovely readers, here comes the massive Rhinebeck update!

Our day began at the crack of dawn in Georgetown to meet our bus group for the first time.  We met at a coffee shop to sign in, fork over some cash, and get a hot beverage.

Breakfast of champions, plus gift bags for the housekeeping staff at the hotel.  I did not include the picture of Catherine at this early hour, where she was secretly hating me but putting on a good face.

Before we even got to the border, Catherine discovered a the perfect hole in the seat in front of her for storing a pen. 

Our bus ride on the way there was about 10 hours, but really only about 7 of actual driving time.  We were tuckered out on Friday night, and after getting super scammed by the local taxi services for a ride to the mall and back, we hit the hay to rest up for a full day of fun.  This is the site that greeted us on Saturday morning, look at all those knitters!

The very official sign that tells you I was actually there.

I took SOOOO many pictures of sheep.  All the animals were lined up in pens, and I had no idea there were so many different kinds of sheep. 

This one might be my favourite.

Don't forget about llamas!  The llamas and alpacas were regularly paraded around the fair grounds for touching and photo ops.

This little monster was at the Good Karma Farms booth, one of the first places I saw on Saturday.  When I came back on Sunday to make a purchase, this guy was already sold. 

Llama llama llama

Inside one of the vendor buildings.  SO many people!

Sheep dog demonstrations!  That'll do, pig.

On Saturday night after we got back to the hotel, we held a show and tell in the hallway.  Everyone unfolded their ironing board in the hallway and set up a display table.  This is our haul from day one.  Catherine's stuff is on the left, and my two humble packages are on the right.

Future sweater yarn.

Just because I like it sock yarn.

Other knitters with their treasures.

Day two was a lot more buying from me - we made a run-around plan based on all the things we saw on Saturday, so I knew exactly which shops to go back to.  We were only at the fair on Sunday for 2 hours, and I spent most of my money in less than an hour.

We didn't see this sign until we were on the bus leaving on Sunday, but this is where we were!

And now, the official stash additions that I brought home from my adventures at Rhinebeck 2012:

The Periwinkle Sheep, Oh so fine! sock yarn in "Memories of Summer"

BitsyKnits Sock82Me in "Fawn"

BitsyKnits Sock82Me in "Bronze"

Good Karma Farm 60/40 Wool/Alpaca in "Chicken Beak"

Sliver Moon Farm bulky wool in "Fern"

Cephalopod Yarns, Skinny Bugga in "Green Darner Dragonfly"

Blue Moon Fiber Arts, BFL Sport in "Manly yes, but I like it too!"

Blue Moon Fiber Arts, BFL Sport in "Tumbleweed"

My Cephalopod sock yarn next to the pretty bag it came in

My new project bag from go Monkey Design.

I've already updated my Ravelry queue with a few must-start projects since I've got knitting on the brain now and I've got that itch to start something new.  First up will be the baby bunting bag with the Sliver Moon bulky green yarn, and I chose a different pattern from the one I originally posted about.  I was looking at the specs for that one and realized the pattern called for more fingering weight yarn than it would take to make a sweater for an adult.  Yeah, no.  New pattern is a simple baby sack with some ribbing at the top.  Looks simple and cute, and it will be a fast project (instant gratification!).  My new sweater will likely be a project for after Christmas - let the swatching begin!



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rhinebeck planning, SQUEE!

It's October, it's getting cold outside, and I'm going to Rhinebeck next weekend.  Let that sink in for a moment.  I'll wait.

I'm going to Rhinebeck!  The holiest of all holy knitting events, and this little kid is going.  Catherine and I booked our place on a bus tour in the summer (mildly sketched out at first, we blindly sent money to a stranger and crossed our fingers that it was legit and not a knitting scammer), and we leave on Friday morning. This is where we are going.  I'll wait again while you check it out. 

I've been getting emails every week from the organizers of our trip with reminders and itineraries and I'm super psyched.  I'm even excited for the 9 hour bus ride to get us there, where I can knit and chat and read and eat car snacks.  I've been trying to focus on what I actually need to get while I'm there, since I didn't buy a single thing at the Knitters' Fair this year.  Catherine and I are meeting up on Thursday to go over vendor lists and project plans - we'll be keeping each other on track and on budget.  I really think being accountable to your buddy is necessary at a place like this.  It's way too easy to bring a credit card and just stop thinking about how much you're spending.  Here is my project list that will require purchasing yarn at Rhinebeck:

  • Knitted pillow shams in a bulky weight yarn (preferably roving style), mentioned in my last post here 
  • Baby bunting bag for my hair dresser who is expecting a baby around the new year
  • Possibly getting yarn for a sweater project for me, I'm leaning towards this:

 It's called "Paulie", and I'm in love with it.  I can see myself wearing it at my go-to fall and winter sweater, and likely wearing it at work
  • Sock yarn, any and all.  If it's cheap or pretty or it's being sold by the pound, I'm going to be all over it.  I don't have any patterns in mind, but it doesn't matter.  I always need sock yarn.
Aside from actual projects I'm planning for, I will also be on the lookout for awesome project bags, accessories, and knitting-related things that I need.  I've seen a knitter or two sporting a knitting needle gauge necklace, and I want one real bad.

I'm setting myself a budget of no more than $400, although I'm not picky about what I have to get from that amount, and none of the projects on my list need to be done right this second with only brand new yarn.  I will be bringing a reasonable amount of US cash with my for general spending, but I hate going to the trouble of getting US cash and then not spending all of it (and refusing to lose money by selling it back to the bank), so I'll also be using credit cards.  Expect an epic blog update later this month.

In regular non-Rhinebeck knitting news, here's what I've been working on.

Rock Island shawl is DONE.

It's too pretty.  I wish it was for me.  I'm debating whether Tam Tam will get it for her birthday or Christmas.  Her birthday is coming up at the end of October, but I have something else planned for that (horseback riding!  Shhh, don't tell her).  I've already taken this shawl everywhere without the joy of actually wearing it - it came to the first Guild meeting of the year for Show and Tell, I entered it in a Fall Fair contest and won first place, and it came to regular knit and chat night.  Right now it's neatly folded up in my stash baskets, waiting for me to decide its fate.  I'm leaning towards Christmas.

My Cuff au Lait fingerless mitts are DONE!  I don't have a picture of the finished pair, so you'll have to settle for a picture of the left finished mitten.  Get over it.

I like this picture because it looks like I'm holding the ball of yarn between my fingers.

I'm working on Fuzzyhead's Christmas socks - a manly man's pair of socks in semi-solid black, in a railway stitch.  How masculine.  The stitch pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, one of my favourite sock books, but modified with a toe-up construction.  

I'm really curious to see if the rows of knit stitches will even out with blocking or if they will stay a little wonky.  

I also want to knit a quick brain slug for my Halloween costume this year.  Last year, I spent way too long and way too much money on a costume I will probably not wear again (which is too bad, because vrock as sexy hamburglar needs to happen again).  I'm working on Halloween day and I was searching for the perfect costume that is work appropriate, and not so awkward that I can't actually work in the costume.  I've decided on a brain slug on a headband as the perfect costume.  I can wear my normal work cloths and it doesn't require special make-up that needs to be re-applied or checked on all day.  I might even bust out my rarely-used crochet skills and try my hand at this little beauty:


Or support a fellow Guild member and make one of these felted slugs:

I'm also gearing up for Christmas, because I'm a giant nerd, and I look forward to this all year long.  In August, I wanted nothing more than to make a 2012 Christmas planner to keep track of all my crafty and baking and decorating holiday dreams.  The step by step DIY guide I followed is here, and it required a composition notebook, some standard paper crafting supplies, and Christmas themed scrapbooking paper.  Michaels let me down big time on the Christmas paper - in August, when they were already rolling out the Christmas ribbon and Christmas ornament aisle, they had not a single sheet of Christmas scrapbooking paper in sight.  Shameful.  How is a crafty gal supposed to get her craft on for a Christmas planner in August without Christmas scrapbooking paper?  I went back in early September and found exactly one style of Christmas paper (which I also happened to love), and my 2012 Christmas planner was born:

It has tabbies for all of the most important Christmas planning activities - a calendar to keep my on track, the list, the master Christmas card list with addresses, home stuff, and food.  

It even had a ribbon to tie it closed and keep peeping peepers out of the Christmas secrets.

Also, I'm firmly into the role of President at the Knitters' Guild.  If you haven't seen me strike passion in the hearts of Guild members, you should stop by and watch me in action at a Guild meeting.

And now I've got zombie-themed baking to accomplish today readers.  It's the season premiere of Walking Dead tonight dontcha know.