Wednesday, May 16, 2007

MD Sheep and Wool Festival - The Sights

So while I didn't get much blogging done last week I did get to do some serious feeding of my fiber stash. In a strange coincidence that leads me to believe that God is a knitter, work obligations conveniently placed me in Maryland during the big Sheep and Wool Festival for the second year in a row. Maybe next year work can take me to Rhinebeck or the Taos festival. So today I'll show you pics of the festival itself and tomorrow I'll save for pics of my fiber spoils.

Yarn, yarn, everywhere. I didn't know where to look first. The most fascinating parts were the sources of all this fiber goodness. I loved being able to see all of the varieties of sheep, alpaca, mohair goats and even angora bunnies.

Skip this next photo, vegetarians, but the Sheep and Wool Festival wasn't just about using animals for fiber.

This was something I always wanted to see, the Sleeping Beauty type of spinning wheel in action. Enormous and according to the vendor, not easy to use. Pretty neat though.

Just like a dog show, sheep were being lined up and judged.

There was even some fiber-related entertainment:

And then of course there was the inevitable time to go home loaded down with the stash enhancement I will share with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back in town again...

Just a little lapse in blogging... Was away for work with little time to blog, but managed to fit a lot of fiber related fun into my trip. I was conveniently in Maryland again for the Sheep and Wool Festival and got to check out Stich DC while I was in the area as well. I've got lots of pics to share about the Festival coming soon (tonight with any luck).

Feeling behind on my Sockapalooza socks. I've swatched a few yarns and read tons of patterns, but can't seem to make a decision. At first I was thinking Embossed Leaves in STR Beryl. However, my sock pal seems to like red, so now I'm thinking vanCalcar Acres crimson rioja (of Kitri sock fame). However, I don't know about the pattern now. Definitely lace socks, but what pattern? Do I try to suprise my sock pal or go with a pattern I know she likes? Mostly looking at patterns in the new Favorite Socks book, Socks Socks Socks and Knitty. Unfortunately my fiber travels last week didn't give me many new sock ideas but got me to buy lots of yarn/patterns for new projects :)

Wondering if my secret sock pal has already started yet? Or maybe is waiting for more posts from me to decide? Better start taking pictures of my MD Sheep and Wool Festival purchases then...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More Socks!

Now for the socks in progress:

Jaywalker from Magknits in Koigu PPM from my favorite yarn shop, Patricia's Yarns. Cute pattern though I hope that the bumpiness evens itself out after blocking. Notice the sock sporting my handy new tin sock holder. I have a different sock holder in wood and I haven't decided which I prefer yet.

And here's my pride and joy right now:

Yes, it doesn't look like much yet, but this is the swatch for a possible sock pal pattern. The yarn is Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Beryl colourway. I'm thinking of doing Embossed Leaves, Merino Lace Socks or Vine Lace Socks. The first two are from the new Interweave Knits book, Favorite Socks, and the last pattern is from Socks, Socks, Socks. What I'm wondering now is whether my sock pal would prefer a pattern that's new to her or a pattern she knows and loves. Hmmmm....

It seems that I knit very loosely compared to whomever printed the skein band. It says size 2, and I know I'm always slightly less than gauge so I tried 1.5, no luck. Then size 1, still not to gauge either so this last try is on size 0. And I'm still a little off. Agh. It feels really firm so I don't know if I should try to go smaller.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sock FO's

As I promised here are some finished sock photos:

Okay, don't judge, these are the first socks I ever knit. Um, learned that Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece does NOT have enough stretch to make a good pair of socks. And that the same said yarn fuzzes up a lot in the washing machine. Basic toe-down ribbed sock pattern, I doubled the yarn in the heels which worked out well. Enjoyed giving the top cuff, heel, and toe a contrasting color. I mostly just wear them to bed .

This was my next sock, Thuja from, for my dh. The short leg was his choice. I used the same yarn (Artyarns Supermerino) and colorway (119) as in the pattern though it looks a lot darker in this photo (have to remember to take photos in daylight). Also found out that this yarn fuzzes up a lot in the wash too. Maybe it snuck out of the delicates into the jeans. I've also had to mend it already above the heel.

Another pair of socks for the dh. This pattern is from Interweave Knits - gotta look up which one. The yarn is Super Socks & Baby (80% superwash merino/20% nylon) from Tess' Designer Yarns that I picked up at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last year. This was my first sock yarn that lived up to the name. Comes out of every wash with all the stitch definition I could ask for but is still soft enough for my scratchy wool-sensitive hubby. Hard to see but the color is blue with bits of green.

Next post - socks in progress and planned...

Sockapalooza saved me...

Okay, I'm still a lousy blogger, but I think that Sockapalooza 4 will save me. I just visited my sock pal recipient's blog and realized what a big help a blog is to figuring out what kind of socks to make. So I'm going to start blogging to help out my sock pal giver in his/her sock-stalking. Of course I'm going to love whatever I get but it seems so much more fun when you can see what your sock pal likes to knit and wear. So coming soon: pics of socks I've knitted and progress on socks in progress.