Rhinebeck-ining

A house and a car were rented & a gaggle of 5 ladies headed across the border in hot fibery pursuit and to see some friends for a great weekend of fun!

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The house was a beautiful Victorian in Kingston, New York.

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Best of all, there was a huge table that we were all able to gather around.

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We got up early Saturday morning to get to the fair in good time…

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This is the line to enter the fair grounds…at 8:30 am…the gates open at 9am…Once the gates were open, things moved fairly quickly although there was some confusion as to where the pre-paid ticket holders & those who still needed tickets should go.

Once in, I had my list & map set to go (there was a comment about my level of organization being on the level of the Invasion of Normandy). By about 11 am, my shopping list looked like this:

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I take a precision strike team approach to fibre festivals, having the list keeps me on budget as it’s very easy to get overwhelmed & blow your budget at the first booth!

My focus this year was not yarn, I was in search of beautiful hand made tools as I am of the opinion that if you have lovely tools, you will use them more. There is no shortage of makers who are able to supply us with beautiful hand made tools for our pursuits.

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My big purchase was a hand made tapestry loom and some tapestry needles from Stephen Willette.

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I visited Journey Wheel for another spindle.

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Prior to the trip I had reignited my interest in hooked rugs and Rhinebeck was a good place to get supplies as there are at least 5 vendors! I found a complete kit to get me started & purchased 2 more patterns. I busted out the kit as soon as I got home & am making steady progress.

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Some fibre was procured from Into the Whirled & Spinners Hill

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I ran across this massive ball of Herdwick roving!

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Last thing on my list was a Saori Weaving Sewing book!

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So by 11am, my list was complete & I was free to wander the grounds & eat fair food!

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Gary’s Pickles are possibly the BEST Full Sours I’ve had! I may have smuggled a quart back with me… We ran into this lovely Lincoln ewe on her way from the auction to her new home…she was very much having none of it!

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I kept trying to get a photo of this Herdwick, but some odious Hipsters kept trying to get “just the right photo” & wouldn’t move after 15 minutes! That is one of the moron’s hands in my shot! The Herdwick looks about as impressed with them as I was!

After the fair, a few of us trundled off to Jill Draper’s Studio Open House! Which was conveniently located in Kingston, about a 15 minute walk from the house! I picked up some Rifton & 2 skeins of Valkill, which turned out to be the only yarn I bought!

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My friend Leah came this year & it was her first Rhinebeck. I think she had fun..

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until I sternly told her she could not buy more green yarn & encouraged her to buy that gorgeous blue yarn! Which she did.

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And then it was time to head home…through intermittent wet snow.

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It will probably be a few more years before I return to Rhinebeck as there are some new local fleece fairs I want to check out as well as my ultimate goal of Shetland Wool Week.

 

Multi-Craftual

I need to keep my hands busy…mainly to keep me from placing them around certain people’s necks & squeezing till their eyes bug out…Suffice it to say with the Summer Holidays and currently all 4 of us in our 750sqft house I’ve been keeping myself quite busy.

The frantic sewing pace I had going for a while has slowed down as other projects took over.

The months started with Tour De Fleece (yes, I know that is a 5 year old link, all organizing of Tour de Fleece has now moved to the Ravelry forums) prep. I have a rather large collection of batts and braids of hand dyed or hand blended fibers and decided it was high time to deal with them. Before I started spinning, I needed to find a pattern to use up as much of the eventual yarn as possible. I figured an afghan was a good idea, but didn’t want to have to lug around a massive bit of knitting! I needed small bits of knitting that would later be seamed together. May I present The Barn Raising “Quilt”. I’m not at all concerned with the squares being symmetrical.

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After 2 weeks of near constant spinning, I was running out of space for all the singles I had spun as well as bobbins. I am currently waiting on the delivery of a bulky flyer and some extra bobbins for my wheel so I can continue to the second stage of the process by turning the singles into 2 ply yarns or possibly Navajo plying to keep the long colour repeats in some of the fiber.

As I wait for the delivery, it’s going to be a bit as my local-ish spinning supply store (Gemini Fibres) are on vacation…So I moved along to another project… crochet.

Cal Patch has recently put out a crochet rag rug tutorial video on Creative Bug which was well timed as I had a lot of left over fabric scraps from my sewing binge.

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I worked on the rug for about a week…then had to stop as my right wrist & shoulder were SCREAMING at me. Clearly the previous two weeks of spinning and the week of crochet had not been ergonomically correct…Stretches were done, things are less stiff and the rug was ripped out to be given a new life as a woven rag rug.

The floor loom was dusted off, a warp was wound off, then I lost the cross while warping the loom…a frustrating learning experience…One cannot have too many ties on their warp! The kids acted as Loom Minions and helped me get a very arsed up warp onto the loom and then I was off…

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Abi even asked to be shown how the floor loom worked!

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My progress on the rag rug was briefly interrupted yesterday by Liam having a play date…3 boys between the age of 6-8 don’t need strict supervision, but a parental presence in the room acts as a deterrent for the occasional wild idea. Thankfully, the rigid heddle loom was in the living room where the boys were playing and it had a very near complete project on it. I say “Had” as I was able to finish the Rothko shawl. This was the painting that inspired it.

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I woke up this morning filled with a bunch of ideas for more weaving projects which will also help in getting the assorted stashes of fiver & fabric under control and give my shoulder a nice break…

 

 

Needing an easy win

With the previous months sweater knitting issues I needed something fast & easy to take the edge off. I tried & discarded a few projects in the search for An Easy Win™. Yesterday, the answer popped up in my blog reader; Heidi of My Paper Crane posted instructions for a super easy & fast crochet cowl and I knew this was IT!

With some left over yarn (either Manos Del Uruguay or Malabrigo, can’t remember which), a J hook, a cup of tea at my side & a few more episodes of Edwardian farm I set to work. There were a few false starts but then I found the right gear. At 11 pm last night I was done, would have been done sooner but there were kids to fetch from school, grocery shopping, dinner, kids bedtime etc that TOTALLY got in the way!

I might make another one today in black with some left over yarn from Driven…or I could work on Warriston. One of these days I’ll write about my girly crush on Kate Davies designs…but not today, there is laundry that needs doing & either a sweater or aother cowl to be made…

Adding to the skill set.

My main New Years resolution was to add/improve to my fiber skills, although these skills won’t necessarily make me more attractive to potential employers (unless it’s a yarn store…oh to dream!) but are still plenty useful!

While stash wrangling I uncovered a long forgotten crochet scarf, I could no longer remember how to make the pattern stitches and had also become a little covetous of Cal Patch’s Wingfeathers shawl. Knowing that I am a visual learner and books can only teach me so much, I did what any smart girl would do, I called Lettuceknit for a private crochet class with Megan. She got me well sorted (she is an excellent teacher, laid back & adjusts to your pace) and I was off to the races. Anne was done in an afternoon, Wingfeathers became my transit project for the next few weeks, Megan was at Knit Night this past week when I cast it off!

Wingfeather blocking under threat of a cat invasion. What is it with cats & their sick need to take a nap on your blocking wollens?!

Yarn: Handmaiden Mini Maiden

Colour: Couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it

Hook: 3.5mm (E)

I’m now riding a little high on my new hooking skills. Wool Eater is looking pretty tempting as my next crochet project. It will do some serious double duty as a skill enhancer & take out a large portion of my sock yarn stash!