September 16, 2014

What's Up

I've spent the past few weeks getting ready for the Georgia Alpaca FiberFest (next year it will be re-named the Georgia Fiber Fest) and, despite the fact that I had everything planned out in lists and I ended up being completely ready for this adventure 2 days ahead of schedule, it was a VERY stressful time. VERY.  I was unusually anxious about this event, and for all my preparation so that I wouldn't be stressed, there it was anyway.

The venue was stunning.  I mean it.  I think that, when that iron factory building was built pre-Civil War, the designers said to themselves, "Later on, after we are done making the machinery of war, this will be the ideal venue for a fiber festival."  OMG, a more amazingly awesome venue could not be found than this one!

Next year, I expect to be in a different location in the market that better suits how I set up my displays, but the hall was perfect for yarn and fiber and everyone seemed pleased with the new venue.

I also taught two classes, Estonian Lace and Russian Continental knitting, and they were great fun for both students and teacher!  I heard everyone raving after their classes and during the dinner about how fabulous the classes were.  I'm glad.  I always worry that someone won't feel like she's gotten he money's worth.

I modeled my new Whitby Place Hat & Cowl pattern:

And I dyed new yarn and it is breathtaking.

And a gazillion new project bags were made.

All of these new treasures will be making their way into the Etsy shop. I am also going to begin carrying knitting needles and crochet hooks in my shop--all of which I have tested and just love, love, love to work with!

The festival was great and you will see me there again next year, teaching knitting classes and selling gorgeous yarn! The dates for next year are Sept. 10-12 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center (Columbus, GA) so plan now to come for an even more awesome fiber event and keep up with the updates on the FB page!!

August 28, 2014

Whitby Place Hat & Cowl Pattern Release

I have been mentioning in the last few posts that my newest patterns,

would become available this week just in time for Autumn and holiday knitting.  Yesterday, the pattern made its debut on Craftsy and Ravelry.  Today it makes its debut here and in the Etsy shop.  
The pattern is named for the original source of the Whitby pattern that I chose--there are actually 8 different Whitby guernsey patterns to choose from thanks to the Scottish fishermen who once resided in Whitby in the county of Yorkshire, England.

This is my lovely model Kayla.  She was kind enough to volunteer for the job, and darn if I don't think now that she is so cute that one hardly notices the hat and cowl for her smile! (Thank you, Caley, for being my model!!!!)

The pattern(s) for this collection are the product of not having enough time to knit a gansey but being desperately in love with traditional fisherman gansey patterns.  The cable is from the Scarborough gansey pattern and the pseudo-Jacob's ladder is the Whitby gansey pattern.  Together, they are the Whitby Place Hat & Cowl pattern.  

This finished cowl measures 30 inches (circumference) by 15 inches (width) and the hat measures 20 inches (circumference) by 7.5 inches (height).  There are suggestions in the pattern, which includes both written instructions and a chart, for altering the dimensions for both the hat and the cowl.

I think this is the perfect weight of cowl to wear by itself in cool weather as a bit of a wind blocker or under your coat in cold, wintry weather to keep your neck and chest warm. This is a very easy pattern to knit and, since it's done in Cedar Hill Farm Company Flock 195 (3-ply worsted weight), it's a pretty quick knit.  I knit the hat in a few hours and the cowl over the course of about 4 days. Both pieces, total, require 410 yards of worsted weight yarn. Although the pattern was written with the female wardrobe in mind, done in a neutral color or a natural wool, this pattern would also be a stunning addition to the winter wardrobe of the man in your life.

And as a side note, I've also started blogging about new items as they arrive in the shop on one of my favorite sites:  Indie Untangled.  Check it out this weekend since you have nothing better but knitting to do with your extra day of holiday weekend.  I think you will fall in love with this fab site just like I did!

August 27, 2014

The Way Patterns Used to Be

My mother passed along the NYT Shawl pattern to me from Ravelry a few days ago.  In the pattern was an hyperlink that didn't work and resulted in my having to do some digging to find the actual source article for the pattern:  Gossip About Knitting (February 25, 1883).  I tell you this, not because I want to pass the shawl pattern along to you, but because there are apparently multiple articles of this title that contain amazingly few instructions; most particularly this glove pattern that threw me for a loop as I was reading through it.

Apparently, in 1883, The New York Times had an ENTIRE WEEKLY COLUMN dedicated to knitting and such.  DEDICATED.  I can guarantee that if the Atlanta Journal & Constitution had a weekly column dedicated to knitting, I'd actually read a newspaper.  I'd be a subscriber. I'd go all out! I may even become a subscriber to the NYT just so that I can get to the articles from the 1880s.

What the heck ever happened to that kind of columnist?  Wouldn't we all love to open our local paper and find weekly columns about crafty stuff like knitting, crochet, quilting, and weaving?  What kind of awesome would that be?!

So I am thinking of taking this glove pattern from 1883 out for a spin, limited instructions and all.  I am unsure about the yarn ... instructions call for "fine silk" ... maybe a lace-weight merino for this experiment will do. Perhaps the finished gloves will come out looking something like this, though there are instructions for individual fingers to be knit.

Weldon's Practical Knitter (c. 1885)

The thing that I find most interesting about the pattern, besides the fact that you work and finish the thumb before you knit the palm of the hand, it that the whole pattern is presented in what probably worked out in its original print to be about 3 inches of space (archival copy is significantly enlarged). There's no gauge. There's no notions list.  There's no abbreviations menu.  No pictures (someone sent me a negative convo on Ravelry the other day, complaining that my free pattern didn't have enough pictures!) required by the knitterly reader to knit the pattern. Just "Here is a needle size, grab some yarn, and whip this up!"  Fabulous, right?!

I can't wait to cast on! (Who cares if I already have a zillion projects waiting for some attention, right?)

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