Whirlwind

What a whirlwind of a the last ten days has been! So much has happened that I am afraid this post will have to consist of photos with captions because if I told you everything it would take longer than you want to be here for. I will start with Rhinebeck, also known as the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. This year was more fun than ever for me. The fall leaves were beautiful.

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We had a Knitspot swap this year in which everyone knit a scarf or shawl for someone in the group. Erica knit me this wonderfully warm and soft caravan scarf in just the right color for me.

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I knit almost the same color Longshadows scarf for Judi.

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It was really fun to see everyone’s gifts and the thought that went into them. Here we are all modeling our wonderful gifts.

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Then, I had a super fun meetup with Thea Colman, also known as Baby Cocktails. We had a great time talking knitting and sweaters and yarn.

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This year, I really enjoyed seeing my knitting friends more than the shopping. Although, I did manage to find a few goodies to bring back home with me.

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When Rhinebeck was over, the fun went on at Knitspot’s Rhinebeck After Party. I was so busy and had so much fun there that I have no pictures. What I can show you is the yarn I brought home with me. There’s enough here for a sweater and several other things.

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And the fun didn’t stop there! The husband surprised us by taking the entire week off and whisking us away for a grand few days in New York City!

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We ate a lot.

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Saw some cool things.

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And I even bought a little more yarn.

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We were spoiled for sure and had enough fun to last us quite awhile. Now that we are back, we are getting ourselves re-organized. The first thing was to re-open the etsy shop with stitch markers with a post Rhinebeck sale. Everything in the shop is 20% off with coupon code RB2014SALE until November 4. We will be adding some new sets later today and tomorrow. Today’s sets have a bonus owl.

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Happy Fall!

Ready to Go

Today is the first day in over a month that feels normal to me. It’s not necessarily a good day or a bad day. I am not getting any more or less done than usual, but there is a slight shift in my brain that feels better somehow. It’s a nice feeling to be here and feel like I have some coherent thoughts to share with you. I guess my mind has been feeling overwhelmed and scattered the past few months, which has made blogging difficult. This new clarity of mind may not last long, but I will take advantage of it while I can!

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I can show you some things I have finished in the last few weeks. First up is this cashmere shawl from the Bare Naked Knitspot Club. This shawl is so soft and light, it is like wearing a cloud of warmth. I made a sort of medium size and now wish I had made the biggest size because I just want more of that soft warmness around my neck.

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Next, I have been quite taken with a new series of patterns by Ysolda Teague called KnitWorthy. For just a few dollars, this is a collection of 8 patterns to make as gifts for yourself or for those whom you think are worth of knits. A new pattern comes out every other Monday. It started back in September, and there will be new patterns until the first week of December. Anyway, the first one is this hat, which was fun to make and quick, too.

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And the second one is a shawl that starts out like this. There are cables and short rows and later I will have to pick up stitches to knit the body. I do love a project with lots of variety and different techniques.

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As of today, there are four patterns and I have to say, I love each one so far, which is really rare for me. The fact that I am interested and engaged in these more complicated projects is also a good sign to me that my foggy brain is clearing. It’s just in time, too, because the New York Sheep and Wool festival, aka Rhinebeck, is this weekend and I will need all my mental faculties present to enjoy that!

Celebrations

A funny thing has happened to the picture taking habits of our household. The husband got a fancy new digital camera with lots of bells and whistles last year and I have recently acquired one of those fancy smartphones. Since then, we have sort of divided the picture taking duties. If he feels like an outing merits lugging around his huge camera kit, he takes all the pictures. I don’t bother to even get my phone out or bring my little point and shoot thing. However, in all other events, I take them and lately it has been just with my phone. This has caused quite a divide in my access to the pictures, since he does not transfer his photos as often as I do, I am sort of stuck with half the pictures I want to have when it is time to blog.

Hmmm…I guess that blog post about our apple picking day will just have to wait for another time. So, what do I have to share? Birthday pictures.

My younger son had a birthday lately which involved a trip to the Lego store, basically, a boy’s dream store. The wall of loose legos! What more could a nine year old boy ask for?

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Even I found something to amuse me in the (what seemed like) hours we spent in the store. Lego sheep. Wool is everywhere.

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More recently, the husband had a birthday. This celebration included one of his favorite things, sushi.

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We love this place because if you order a whole fish, you get the sushi from it and then they make a soup or fry up the bones for an extra dish when you are done.

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Happy boys. I love them.

Returning

Well, hi there! I am so glad you are still with me after my unscheduled blog break. The past month has been chock full of new experiences for me, including a two week trip without my family to northern Michigan to be with my Dad during some medical stuff. When I left home, it was summer, when I arrived in Michigan, it was fall.

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Actually, the weather was quite awful when I got there, cold and rainy, with a chill that seemed to cut straight to my core. Since it was summer when I left home, I of course packed sorta summery clothes. Thus, I spent the entire two weeks I was there more or less wearing the same two or three outfits that were somewhat warm. It didn’t matter, though, because no one I was with was in a situation to notice or care. The last few days I was there were beautiful, however, and I was able to enjoy a bit of early fall before coming home.

Even though I was away for two weeks without the kiddos, I actually did not get as much knitting done as I thought I might. Still, I did finish one pair of socks.

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These are the Pink Pony socks by my friend, Kim Swingle. It’s a fabulous pattern; I highly recommend it!

Once home to some warmer weather, I really enjoyed a couple of days hanging out with the husband and boys before I left them yet again, but this time only for a day. The Shenandoah Fiber Festival was just a few days after I got back and a wonderful way to enjoy a beautiful end of summer/beginning of fall sort of day. Unlike the huge festivals I usually go to, this one was really nice and relaxed and not too crowded. It was actually easy to move around the place.

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There were no long lines and no huge sea of people to navigate through.

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Look, here I am in the Verdant Gryphon booth and not only is there space to move around, but it is the afternoon and there is still plenty of stock left!

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It was truly a different fiber festival experience than I am used to and it was super. I finally bought one of these baskets that I have been admiring for awhile. These caused quite a stir at the Michigan Fiber Festival and it was no different at Shenandoah. It seemed as if every tenth person I saw was carrying one of these baskets.

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They are each handmade in Ghana by a women’s cooperative and therefore each one is unique. It was really difficult to decide which one to buy because there were all beautiful.

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My yarn purchases were modest since I am going to Rhinebeck in a couple of weeks. I am really looking forward to that trip as we all feel we need some time to get away, just us as a family. In the meantime, I am attempting to get back into the swing of things here. Our fall school, sports, and activities schedule is quite busy! Still, I hope to be able to find some time to share some fun things with you that I have been on my mind. What fun things have you been working on?

Bright

This past Tuesday, I was blessed by an unusual day. The boys were done with school early and I had some time on my hands, so I did something I had been wanting to do for awhile. I reskeined some balls of yarn that has been sitting in my stash for quite awhile.

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Then, I made kool-aid, but without sugar. And we did not drink it.

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Instead, I put the yarn in it and dyed it. I have only ever done two kinds of dyeing, indigo (which you can read about here) and kool aid. I like kool aid because it doesn’t require any chemicals and is not toxic, unless you have one of those food dye allergies, but in this case it isn’t ingested, so it might be ok. Plus, there is a nice fruity aroma.

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The dyeing process is pretty simple. You can do it in the microwave or a pot.

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I did both because I had a lot of skeins and different colors I wanted to do. For the microwave, I used glass bowls that would not stain.

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You know when the dyeing is all done because the water turns clear because the yarn has absorbed all the color. It’s like a magic trick that never gets old.

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The downside to kool aid is its limited palette of bright colors, but it is a fun way to dabble in the world of dyeing without investing too much.

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I was going for a rainbow of colors, but did not have any green, so I will have to do that another day. At the moment, I have no immediate plans for the yarn. Perhaps the boys will want to do something with it. If you want to try your hand at kool aid dyeing, I used this guide to help me. It certainly brightened up my day.

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