Sunday, October 30, 2011


Well I think winter is here. D and I both have colds. I am wanting to make casseroles and soup every time I set foot in the kitchen. Our colds are not really bad, no muscle aches or exhaustion, just blah. And because we feel so blah the grocery run was not done this week. So we're out of milk, bread, broth, just about anything I want to cook with. Hence today's experiment.

 It is not quite this orange but that is what blah colds do to my photography skills. I was going to make curried squash soup but found I was missing at least half of the ingredients. So what to do? The squash was already in the pan defrosting. Frozen butternut squash from the last time I was at the store and thought Hey I should make squash soup, at least a year ago.

I found some dry vegetable soup packets and tossed them in with some water and let it simmer for a bit. Since it looked a bit watery and limp I added a splash or two of half and half to make it cream of vegetable squash soup. Just what we need on a chilly day.

And you know since I am not getting anywhere fast on my projects adding another one in should totally distract me. This is the yarn that D brought me while he was away for ASL camp this summer.

While it would have made great socks I got to thinking that I don't really have that many shawls or scarves. Really as a knitter I should have more. And I really need a bright cheerful one to go with my plain black coat. So I started Baktus Scarf by Strikkelise, an all purpose pattern that works with any yarn. You weigh your yarn before you start and increase along the way till you have used half of the yarn then you decrease along the way till you run out of yarn. Garter stitch is great at showing off the colors. So soon I should have a nice toasty neck and a splash of color to set off my smile.

So I guess that is how we spend a laid back, cold recovery weekend. I just hope Monday is not planing to body slam me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wee bit closer

Well I am still in the land of haven't finish a gosh darn thing. I must not be knitting as fast as I am in my head. It is a lovely wooly place in that knitting corner of my brain and there are lots of books too.

So while I was out doing the Rhinebeck loot photo shoot, I let the WIPs (Work in Progress) come out and bask in the autumn sun. The turquoise socks have rounded the second heel and are fighting for my attention. It is always like that when I have new yarn in the house.

See what I mean about the little blips of color in this yarn? I live vicariously through my hair stylist. She always has odd colored bangs, which look great on her but on would look so far past weird on me. This time she had a bit of black surrounded by a bright turquoise. I think it was the best look yet. I happened to be working on this sock when I had my hair appointment, coincidence?

I never know when Hubby will be off on some trip so I should not give him any excuses to not buy me yarn right? You know like, You haven't knit up the last skeins of yarn I bought you, why would I get more? Anyone else shudder just a bit there? Not buy yarn because you have some at home? That is just crazy talk!

The sun may have been a bit bright and toned down some of the color. The pooling on these socks have been forgiven and is now admired. It is always difficult to imagine what a certain color combo will turn out like, and even more difficult to let go of the imagined picture to substitute the real one.

In this case it was easy, once I saw the rippling; purple, brown and deep red all swirling next to each other. You never know what is going to capture your attention while you knit.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rhinebeck Loot!

Yes, it is that time of year again on the Yarnkettle blog, pictures of yarn in my grass and fallen leaves. For some reason I love the way my yarn looks on grass, wait that sounds like my yarn is getting high, not what I mean I assure you! The grass seems to be my perfect light box, I don't know why I think that.

Anyways on to the loot, I mean yarny goodness. Continuing with the trend I noticed at my last festival, I bought only new-to-me yarns or yarns that I really love to use already. Nothing that has a friend from previous years still sitting in my basket. 

So first up we have MissBabs Windsor sock yarn in the Maple Surrender colorway. This was Miss Babs first year at Rhinebeck so I've never seen the yarn before but hear that it is a favorite of many people. I must say that she does the best job of packaging it. You know how the skein will sometimes work its way loose and become a big untwisted loop of yarn that if left alone will form a tangled mess? Instead of tucking one end in the other end she puts the tag through the loops at both ends to make a perfect twirled yarn skein. It was one of those moments when you see it you're like "Wow that is brilliant." I know it is not like negotiating world peace but untangled yarn is pretty important in the knitting world.

I've never had a book signed at Rhinebeck before and was jazzed to see both the Yarn Harlot and Clara Parkes would be there at the same time. I took my favorite book of the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules and bought Clara's book because I kept waffling on pre-ordering it from Amazon. Do I really need another sock book? Hell yes I do, thank you very much.

Don't worry Clara, they always do. The cutest thing was the way she flipped through the book like she had not already seen it. Part of me was like, "Uhm, you wrote that, you already know what the pictures look like." The other part of me was screaming "Shut up she's touching our book and talking to us!" Why does the "sane" part of me sound like Smeagol? My Precious

Back to more pictures of the Precious. I wore my socks made from Fiber Optic's Kashmir down to the festival. When two ladies were talking about the yarn I asked if they wanted to feel what it feels like knit up, offering up my foot at the same time. Since this is Rhinebeck they were not offended or weirded out at all, they just touched the sock and oohed and awed and picked up another skein or two.

This one is called Blackbird, but I was sorely tested to buy the colorway "It's not rocket science" but color won the fight over clever naming that time.

So by now my thought is running along the lines of Oh crap I am doing it again, I wore a green shirt and here I am buying only green yarn again. Luckily I came across the Autumn House Farm booth at that time and this gem caught my eye.

It is a really lovely color with shades of brown and purple. It called out to me and after verifying that I could indeed use it for socks I bought it. When I got home I discovered this problem.

About 5 or 6 strands are severed. I don't know if it got too close to a box cutter during unpacking or if I accidentally caught it in my bag's zipper but I am will figure out a way to work around it. I am really hoping since it is on the outside that it will be near the end of the yarn and I can just discard it without guilt but either way I'm sure my socks will be lovely.

Now we come to the time when I made a somewhat frantic call to Kisknit. We both want to make Cookie A's German Stocking. Kisknit bought her yarn at last month's festival and I wanted to buy mine at Rhinebeck. Guess what I forgot? Yep I forgot to check the pattern and see how much I needed. Poor Kisknit was not around to give me the data but the lady in the booth was very helpful and said she thought it was 600 to 800 yards. I bought six skeins and was debating buying eight but held off. Thank goodness I did because six skeins is 1110 yards, I should have plenty. (Oh Crap I just doomed that project didn't I?)

Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Heather in leaf colorway. It was in this booth that I overheard a very intimate and uplifting conversation. The woman in the booth and a customer were both without much hair, fairly obviously from some sort of cancer treatment. They were discussing how odd it feels to have new hair growing in. The wind going through such new hair is quite thrilling and odd feeling apparently. It was very touching to see these two survivors connect joyfully. It is my favorite memory of the festival.

Then I was off to the Ravelry meet up and saw a couple of friends from my old Friday night knit night. They both do amazing work. And it was at the suggestion of one that I took that Kinneared shot of the blog sweater and knitter I recognized.

After that I was thinking about dropping things off in the car but thought I needed to pick up the big items first. My souvenir sweatshirt from the festival.

And a sweater's worth of yarn from Wild Apple Farm. Good thing I ran into my knitting friend wearing her purple shawl or I would have bought yarn for another green sweater. Seems like that is the only color sweater I want to knit. But no not this year, this sweater will be purple, or blackberry like the tag says. It is a nice crunchy crisp yarn so I looking forward to knitting it.

After my tea break in the car and dropping off all that yarn....insert huge smile here. I went back into the fray for more. Now when I started knitting I hated the colors orange and yellow. But since living through a few spectacular autumns here and finding some amazing yarn colors I am converted. The only problem is that I admire the colors but have not bought many. I'm trying to change that.

I went into the Fold's booth which usually is quite a mad house but turned out to be not so bad in the afternoon.  I found this rare gem colorway that reminded me of autumn here in the Northeast.

And how could I turn down a colorway named Raspberry Moose? If I am a Moose shouldn't I have Moose socks? I think Socks that Rock are my favorite socks in the winter time. They are always my first choice when it is cold out because the make a nice dense fabric.

I even got to explain to a couple of STR newbies what millend and rare gems mean in that context. I hope I helped. One lady even had the my same choice method, if you pick up the same colorway five times you may as well buy it. You really do like it.

...into the whirled had a booth at last month's fair but this one jumped on the fall colors band wagon that assaulted me. Sage green, mustard yellow, burnt orange and rust red all in one skein called Curry in a Hurry. Yes you can come home with me.

My final purchase is not as eye searing as the camera would make it. Honest I swear it is less acid colored and more fallish than the camera makes it. Now this one is a bit of a rule breaker but I did not realize I was following rules till I got home. I still have a skein of Bugga in my basket that I have not knit up yet. However this one is a different yarn base and in a completely different color. I even put back a skein of Bugga that I had in my hand when I thought of the other skein still sitting at home. I almost skipped the booth since I thought it would be cleaned out and/or have a horrendous line. Luckily it was not awful in the afternoon. Now I even have more autumn colored goodness.

Wow what a haul, I am blessed to have a good job, great husband and the yarn love to truly appreciate knitting all this in the coming year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


OK so I know I promised Rhinebeck yarn for this post but dog gone it I have been too busy to take pictures yet. It does not help that the light is fading so early in the day. But I have been mulling over this story I found the other day.

I must be honest it made me a bit sad. Letters really are a wonderful thing, why have we given up on them? I know I revert to my 10 year old self when I write. Hi how are you? I am fine. I am very busy with things. The weather is.... Somehow I have always felt deficient when writing in spite of being a very happy reader. It still amazes me that I am still blogging, but mostly I do this for myself. I always figure that if you don't like me you don't have to read further.

Still here? Thanks! I am going to try something. I am going to try to send more letters or cards. I am planning to send them out randomly so there is no guilt or pressure. Just when I think of it I will write something and send it out. It does not have to be a thesis on getting the Nobel Peace Prize, it just has to bring a smile to my face and hopefully the recipient's too. Mostly I see it as a hey I thought of you today, type of thing.

A few years back I did another social experiment on myself. Instead of wishing that I kept in contact with people I made plans to visit with someone once a month. I figured once a month would not harm this little introvert too much. You know the amazing thing that happened? After the first 3-4 actively planned "hey let's get together" I no longer had to seek people out. I only had to make the decision to accept invitations.

Amazing how easy somethings can be when you open yourself to them. Hey if you liked my idea feel free to send someone a note today or soon. You don't even have to turn into your 10 year old self either.  I do believe that at least one of mine will start our with, remember that one time when we.....

Send a letter, Please?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Well I do believe that ways the most fun I've had at a festival ever. Traffic was awful this year, due to the normal parking area being grass and extremely wet. 2/3 of the parking was unusable and we could tell. I now know how lucky I was to be able to park on the fairgrounds.

I can say that every line I was in was filled with pleasant chatty people. I hope people could say that about me. I really worked hard on chatting people up! I asked questions and was able to give directions a few times.

I did not come away with a lot of pictures but I did try to capture things that made me laugh a few times. Such as.

I now have two signed knitterly books in my possession. One by the Yarn Harlot and the other by the wooly wonder that is Clara Parkes. I was debating about the book signing but was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. A bit time consuming but easy. I brought my favorite Harlot book with me but bought Clara's new sock book there. So once again (till the next book comes out) I have a full set of Knitters Book of ...... by CP. As with all things useful my camera crapped out when I needed it most, it just means I can smile over the books more, right. Did I mention those books were touched directly by the authors. Yippie!

After the first round of yarn purchases it was time for the Ravelry meet up on the hill. As we were standing there I recognized a new Rhinebeck sweater I had seen on someone's blog just this week. You see that lovely lady in the blue sweater? If you go here you will see it when it was just pieces. I still can not believe I noticed the sweater then the wearer. Beautiful job I wish I had the courage to say hi but I was a chicken.

I acquired my mandatory NY Sheep and Wool sweatshirt and bought yarn for a sweater then I was off to the car for a mini break. Along the way I saw this.

The left sticker says "Must knit faster" and the right one says "Aww, let Pluto be a planet." You guessed it they put a smile on my face.

I stashed my lovelies in the trunk and sat down for a cup of tea or two and my new book. Thanks D for making my thermos of goodness. He is a good hubby.

Now this picture does not give the magnitude of people that are all around. I should have taken one in the barns but I get all claustrophobic and just want out, unless my brain went OOO wool, maybe just a little longer.

Even the sheep needed a break in the action. She didn't even flinch with all the noise going on around us.

Hubby is lucky that I did not come home with this guy. We were bonding quite nicely. You could tell when I hit a good scratching spot he stopped chewing and got a dreamy look in his eye. My fingers may be short but they know how to scratch all the itchy places. Just ask Gus

See what I mean about the parking? We're looking directly at the 4H gate there under the trees. Normally all the grass would be where the cars would be parked. Isn't my blue car pretty? Now she needs to go to the car wash and have some mud removed.

Next time I will show you what I bought. It's too overcast to take pictures today. Right now they're lined up on the couch arm so I can pet them anytime I want. It is good to be the Yarn Queen in this house.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Tomorrow I will be going to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, commonly know as Rhinebeck in the knitterly world. It is know as Rhinebeck because that is the town it is held in. We knitters we're a crafty group, in more ways than one.

I am so excited for this one for some reason even I don't understand. It is not like this is the only time I but yarn all year. I do tend to buy most of my yarn at festivals, and this one is the mack daddy festival locally. I think part of my excitement is coming from feeling rushed at SADK festival a couple of weeks ago. I was hosting my knitting group that same day and I needed to be home at a specific time. I am hoping to relax a bit more at Rhinebeck this year. I am planning on taking some snacks and people watching more. I also vow to myself to go and rest in the car if I need to this year. When D went with me a couple of years ago we found it a nice break from the action and a great way to enjoy some tea.

I am making my list and packing up some things tonight since tomorrow will be an early morning for me, not terribly early but still. I am taking some books to get signed if I can but am trying to think realistically how much yarn time I am willing to sacrifice to that particular line. (Not a whole heck of a lot.)

After SADK this year I had a dream that I had missed Shelridge Farms booth. I'm planning to make my German Stockings out of their yarn. I was so disappointed till I remembered which festival. I know I am odd but at least I am happy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No where - Fast

I am in love! The colors in my new blue grey socks are enchanting me. You can not see it here but they vary in very short repeats between steel grey, turquoise blue to almost pastel blue. No odd pooling of colors, just blip of blue, blip of grey and blip of turquoise. 

I am so enchanted with the sock that I am rounding towards home on the toe of the first sock. Maybe since none of the colors are fighting each other for dominance that I feel I have a harmonious sock.

Then there is this guy. He is pooling all the place trying to figure out what to do. I've cast it on in two different color change spots on the yarn and keep getting the same areas of like colors matching up. Maybe the third time is the charm. Off to the frogging pond with you!

Maybe, Wine and Dark Chocolate is not the colorway name, maybe it is what is required to get the cast on in the right place. 

And as if that was not enough, my latest bout of startitis lead to casting on another Multnomah Shawl. This time in the sage green alpaca. My rhythm was off that night too and I ended up casting it on eight times over two nights. Luckily I never got far before the stitch count was wrong. I was a bit worried that I would wear the yarn out, casting on so much.

So a whole bunch of false starts with not a lot to show for my effort. Well other than and entertained knitter. Which as we all know is really the point of my endeavors. Entertainment and socks that is why I am a knitter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sock problems

I am working on a sock. Well that is not really true I was working on a sock till I saw an issue with it, then I stopped working on it and started thinking about what to do.

Do you see the problem? My colors are all pooling together and I worry the sock will look funny. No wait it does look funny. If I continue I know that the odds are that the other sock will pool completely different and look like two mismatched fraternal twins.

So the question becomes how weird is too weird for me? Do you think these would make better mittens?  I fell in love with the fall colors but now they just look muddy to me. What if I made gloves?

I don't know so I am amusing myself by ignoring them and knitting on the other four socks on the needles all still first socks. I am starting to think I am hopeless. Well at least I finish my projects eventually.

Did you ever have a knitting project just not come out the way it looked in your head during the dreaming stages? Maybe I just need to frog a bit then restart with nice stitch pattern.

What's that you say Hubby socks, knit on you instead? You only have a bit more than a toe to do, then I will have a nice finished first sock of a pair. My, my you sure are tempting. Well maybe just a row or two...

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Squirrel

So the other night I walked into our bedroom and saw a very important sign attached to a T-shirt.

Can you read it? Yeah, I know you can read the number but can you read the word Marathon? I spent a very special Sunday waiting for my husband. You know why? He ran 13.1 miles for his first half marathon. I do think I may have been more excited than him but you know he is more low key than me.

I saw these people go by.

And these people go by too.

But I think that is my favorite view. He was going strong and looking happy.

Then I drove down to the finish area. No I did not check my odometer to see if it was 13.1 miles I was on a different route and got lost looking for the parking garage.

I did get to walk across that bridge, which connects downtown and a really lovely park. As you could guess I preferred the park. I need trees so I can breathe.

A kayaker was out on the river and I could not resist a shot. Doesn't he look so small?

First I saw the police bike, then I saw the 1/2 marathon winner.

D said his form is great. Yep, these are the things he thinks about now.

There is my man coming home to the barn. Unfortunately he experienced his first leg cramp that he could not walk out and had to finish the run at a walk. But you know what he finished and now he has more sympathy for my leg issues. I'm just trying to put a positive spin on it. I know he was frustrated. It is a hard thing when the mind and rest of your body is willing but one part of you just can not go.

Some days it is hard being married to a visionary and other days he leaves the cap off the toothpaste.
I would not want to go through life with anyone else.

Congratulations Squirrel! 

You kicked the road's butt! I am so proud!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


It's spring! Well at least my socks are spring socks. I finally finished my Spring Forward socks. Yeah I know it took me long enough. Maybe now I can restart my Central Park Hoodie sweater and finish that with just enough time left in winter to block it but not wear it. Anyways back to my lovelies.

The yarn is from Ellen's 1/2 pint Farm, bought at Rhinebeck last year. So it did not marinate in the stash for too long. Probably long enough to pick up cat hairs from both of my boys though. It is a merino/bamboo blend yarn. I was trying to pick up different blends last year and I don't think I need to do it again for a while. Bamboo has a lovely shimmer to it but it also has less give than wool and I missed the give. Somehow it just makes things more cozy to me.

Do you see how the toes zap towards each other? You know what that means? I put in half of an extra repeat so the right sock is slightly longer than the left. I will tell you if it bothers me when I wear them for real one day, not just for a photo shoot. I do think it looks rather nifty!

And while the heel many not be the most exciting part of a sock I know someone else that likes them almost as much as I do. So this shot is for you. Not my most impressive heels but still cool in my opinion.

So now that I have freed up another set of knitting needles I have cast on two more projects in as many days. I'm telling you startitis can whip me around like a wet noodle. Yeah I have no idea what that means either, but it sure was fun to type.

I also have a root canal scheduled for tomorrow. Is it wrong to think of it as knitting time? Surely if I am a good little girl and don't bite the dentist they will let me knit right? If I drop a stitch, is it wrong to make the dentist wait while I pick it up again? Hey I am just trying to get the ground rules set out.

Happy Knitting Y'all!