Monday, October 31, 2011

Baaah Humbug!

Happy Halloween!

(I know I still owe a Rhinebeck report.  This is not it.)

Bad Day SheepWhen I was a wee laddie, my family generally shunned Halloween.  I still have a residual dislike for gory and scary costumes, but one of the few costumes I had growing up was that of a little sheep.  Who knew?



Mama tried to raise me to be a good little sheep.





Baa Baa Black SheepThis year my team at work picked a Nursery Rhymes theme, but we ended up adding a twist to each of them.  It took me a long time to decide on which one I'd be, but I found my inspiration in Baa Baa Black Sheep:

Baa Baa black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for my master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

I certainly have bags of wool.  But here's the twisted version:

Baa Baa black sheep
How do you look so cool?
By covering myself from head to toe
With lots and lots of wool!



I feel pretty good about the fact that I can reuse all the yarn and fiber in the skeins and mohawk and tail.  Spending a lot of money on a cheap costume that will not get used again seems a waste to me, but I can't bear to wear the same costume each year, either.

Oh, and for the nerdy folks: the mohawk is made of some lovely shetland I got at Rhinebeck a couple years back.

Baa Baa Black Sheep


What did you dress up as for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HizVest!

HizVest

I finished HizVest just in time to wear at Rhinebeck (report to follow soon).  Since I like to do the pictures, I'll just focus on the vest here.

HizVest

Vest Bench 2

Having knit a favorite pair of socks in Blue Moon's colorway Mossly Manly, I fell in love with the shifting greys and yellowish greens, and knew I had to make this pattern in it as well.

Vest detail shoulder

The colors are a bit lighter in the Woobu, due to the way the bamboo takes the dyes.  I still like it.  

HizVest 

It's Reversible!

One of the draws of this pattern is that it even looks sharp when turned inside out.  

HizVest

If I hadn't tried to be smart and slip the first stitch in the back-and-forth sections, the ridge at the picked-up edges wouldn't be quite so pronounced.  Live and learn.

Vest reverse detail shoulder

A couple techniques new to me in this pattern: 

Channel-Island Cast-On: I still don't know if I got it right, but it was pretty cool

Tubular Cast-Off: This was so ingenious.  I am seriously tempted to do ribbing last on future projects because of the way it finishes.  Get this: 1x1 ribbing finishes with a sort of double-knitting simulation, then kitchener stitch so that the ribs flow right over the edge into the reverse side.  For a person who loves kitchener stitch, this is great news.

In my usual form, when not reading ahead very thoroughly didn't serve me well, I fudged it. This proved to be a nice take-along project, and I managed to work the cables without a cable needle using variations of pinch-and-slip techniques.  

Just for fun:
My boyfriend and I scoped out Saratoga Springs because of a book we had read, and managed to work in the photo shoot during the process.  Nice town.  Despite appearances, I did not, and would not, pee in the street.  I'm just sayin'.

HizVest

Monday, October 3, 2011

Trip report: Celtic Classic 2011

Celtic Fest Crowd

The boyfriend and I (yes, I said it) took a trip to the charming town of  Bethlehem, PA for a day at this year's Celtic festival.  Here's a little photo tour of some of the things we saw.

DSC08872

Mohawk crowd

Horse Cops

As if kilts, mohawks, and horse cops weren't enough, the caber toss was quite impressive:

Caber setup

Caber Toss 1

Caber Toss airborne

I prefer to find a quiet spot and get some knitting in during crowded events like this, and the festival location had some nice spots for such respite. 

Sights at Celtic Classic

Canal by the Ice House

Flower Purple

Flowers yellow gravel

Sights at Celtic Classic

Not pictured are the tasties: bangers and mash with blood pudding (I focused on the mash and left the pudding to the boyfriend), lots of great music, apricot-almond strudel, orange-ade, sugar-roasted almonds, beer from the brewery.

Up in town, the sights and sounds and flavors continued, including a band that did not really fit the Celtic bill, but made me think of the old folks at work.

Band at the mic

Bride and Groom back

And a photo of one of the projects I brought with me - a sock, of course.  I'm using some of the amazing yarn I received as part of a hugely generous gift from the guys at the Men's Knitting Retreat back in May.  (I couldn't bear to wait until Rhinebeck to use the gift certificate to Briar Rose Fibers.)

Sock full

Besides the socks, I've been working busily on HizVest so that I can wear it to Rhinebeck in a couple weeks.   (WOOT!)   I'm delighted that the temperatures are beginning to drop; now all those hats and mittens and shawls and scarves and socks don't seem like such a waste.  Oh, speaking of Rhinebeck, I'm planning to bring the harp up to Trumpet Hill yarn shop the afternoon before the festival.  Robena's planning a little Daybreak party for the lovely folks that participated in the Westknits class last time I was up.  I think it'll be a highlight of a lovely weekend.  Can't wait.  And if you're going to Rhinebeck this year, come say hello!  I might be hiding in some corner away from the people, reveling in the spinning and knitting fiber I already have.  (Read: I really can't afford another skein.  But maybe I'll get just one.)

I'm also planning two themed Halloween costumes for work.  Both are gonna, of course, involve some wooly magic.  Wanting some bad ideas to help you feel like you can come up with a better one for this year's costume?  Check out last year's blog entry.

Happy October, and Happy Knitting!