Sunday, October 26, 2014

The post-Rhinebeck post

Rhinebeck happened. This year we did the whirlwind tour, staying only the one day.  This Abominable Knitter has tried to tone things down a bit. My wallet thanks me. Of course, I did grab three skeins of Briar Rose Fibers, a braid of fiber as well as a few foodstuffs.

By food, I am referring to the maple cotton candy (which people kept mistaking for a bag of wool fiber until I ate it),  honey (the kind I like was all sold out by the time I got to it last year), wine, and gravy fries.

Oh, and a couple trips to the apple cider donuts. No pictures of the actual donuts; my fingers were a bit preoccupied.

Need I mention that green was this year's house color? My honey is a mad spinner (and budding weaver), and he's finally reached the point of letting me knit with his handspun yarn. Here he's wearing a hat spun from Portuguese Merino wool. Following that beautiful green head made the crowds a breeze to cope with.

Now that I look at the pictures, orange and green kinda sum things up for me. It's my honey's fault. I love it.

Now for the show-and-tell:

I got to wear my Brethren Socks, and found myself being tempted by similarly-colored yarns. This yarn is a BFL yarn I picked up at Garden State Sheep Breeders fest last year.

And the green sweater remake was a hit. To refresh our memories, here's what it looked like last year:

And here it is in its current revision:

When working the buttonband, I tried to follow the instructions for Michele Wang's Slade pattern. When that was done, I realized I needed a fourth button to help the original shape of the sweater neck to lay correctly. I actually steeked that top buttonhole! It would have been brilliant if I hadn't used a contrasting yarn that shows when the sweater is unbuttoned.

I also added two snaps to anchor the unwieldy band a bit. Overall, I'm very happy with it. The cables were a great addition to my original plan, and they really make the sweater a success, in my opinion. The folks at Rhinebeck seemed to agree, which is always a nice thing to discover.  The takeaway is I should add cables to my sleeves whenever possible; other people seem to like them, but more importantly, I love them every time I wear such sweaters. As an added bonus, they make counting rows easier.

The hat is something I improvised, and I love how simple and organic it seemed in the process. As I look forward to more knitting in the next year and beyond, I am wanting to venture out on my own, rather than depend on patterns. I always seem to have to reinvent the pattern to compensate for yarn substitutions and other details, anyway.

It is knit in my honey's handspun, this time in a yummy Rambouillet. In a world where snobbery aimed at Merino is increasingly acceptable, think I really like Rambouillet. It seems to have more character, but is still soft and inviting. I would compare Merino to white sugar; it seems so refined that I understand why the industry uses it all the time, but it is used so heavily that anything else seems downright exotic.

I am juggling a heroic number of projects under the delusion that I can carry on with life and still finish many of them that have deadlines. I have five different pairs of socks active, a couple blankets, four neck accessories, a hat, and two pairs of gloves... and a mess of little mittens. Is it any wonder that I am not getting much spinning done?  And yet, just today, I got some spinning done that's been haunting me for several years. It just needs plying.

How do I get so much done, you ask?  There is a simple answer.
Procrastinating helps you get lots of things done, so long as they're not the thing that needs doing.

And on that note, I should go be productive... one way or the other...

Here's to a productive season!