Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fun things are just around the corner!

May has really flown by and it's hard to believe that next week June will be here.  It's been exceptionally hot here with temp's in the low 90's for most of the week.  The evenings are cooler and it's given Andy and I a chance to do some work outside.  We have decided to expand our outdoor living area by replacing our two smaller decks with one large one that will go across the back of the house.  Before we start the two overgrown Cypress trees that are encroaching on the house had to be removed.  I think this picture really shows how insanely large the Cypress trees are!  The trees are gone now and Andy has started removing the deck on the patio level of the house.  Building the new deck is going to be pretty involved so I think a lot of of free time this summer will be spent on that. 
While Andy has been working hard on taking apart the deck, I have been having fun with a few new designs.  I have two that will be coming out in June and I am really excited about both of them!  I'm only going to give you a little hint for the first one:

It's going to be released during the second week of June.  I will be putting up another hint here and a few on my Facebook Page so be sure to like my page if you want to get all of the hint's. 

I also have a new sock pattern that will be released in June too.  We have been so busy with working on the house that we haven't had a chance to take pictures of the socks.  I took this picture to send to Margi and Beth so they would know what their test knits should look like.  It shows the sock really well, but I am not as talented with the camera as Andy is.  I really love the colors of the yarn.  It's called Aquaman and is from Gnome Acres

If you are working on your Mother of Dragons shawl and haven't joined in on the KAL in my Ravelry group, be sure to.  Miss Babs has donated a skein of Yummy 2-Ply in Biker Chick as one of the prizes that we are giving away.  All you need to do to enter is to post a picture of your finished shawl.  The drawing will be on July 1.
Biker Chick - Yummy 2-Ply - Babette

Tomorrow Beth and I are going on the Virginia Knits Yarn Crawl.  We are hoping to go to five out of the six shops in one day.  I'm bringing the camera and will have lot's of yarnie goodness talk about next week. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Continue in Pattern as Established

Sometimes a pattern will have the term: Continue in Pattern as Established used in it A couple of my patterns have it in them and I recently had someone ask how to do this.  Regardless of the type of pattern - hat, mitt's scarf, etc. Continuing in Pattern as Established will have the same principal and work the same way for any pattern unless the designer has made a note indicating that it will be done differently.

When you see Continue in Pattern as Established it means to work the stitches as you have been on the previous rounds or rows.  It can be confusing at first, especially if this comes in the middle of a round or row.  I have created an example on how to do this below.

Let's start with a simple ribbing that is being worked in the round over 20 stitches:  

Rounds 1 - 5:  [K2, P2] 5 X
Round 6 - 10: K 7, continue in pattern as established

The brackets [  ] indicate a repeat, the number following them: 5 X, indicates that what is in the brackets will be repeated by that many times.  In this case it will be 5 times.

Our pattern says to work the ribbing for 5 rounds, then on rounds 6 - 10: K across the first 7 stitches, and continue in pattern as established.  This means that on round 6 we will knit the first 7 stitches,  then P1, [K2, P2] 3 X.  The chart below shows what the stitches will look like:

The important thing to remember is that when you see Continue in Pattern as Established that you need to work the stitches that are indicated in the same manner that they have been worked on previous rounds/rows.  It does not mean that you are starting from the beginning of the round or row.  This is one of those times that stitch markers come in handy, especially if one of the sections you are working has stitches that are hard to see or you are working with a darker color yarn.

I hope that this tutorial helps you to understand what to do when you see Continue in Pattern as Established used in a pattern.  If you have any questions, please email me or leave them in the comments section.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bethesda's Sock

 Shown in The Plucky Knitters Plucky Feet in the Chlorophyll colorway.

On one of our trips to Yorktown last year, Andy and I stayed at the Hornsby House Inn.  It's a lovely Bed & Breakfast within walking distance of the Pub and beach.  Our first night there we met John Warley and a few of his classmates who were in Yorktown for a class reunion.  John is one of those people who when you meet them you know you want to get to know them better.  He has a great sense of humor and within moments of meeting him began to banter with us.  I was knitting on the porch of the Inn when we met and John almost immediately asked me to knit him a pair of socks.  I kind of blew him off on the socks.  Anyone who knits knows that socks take a while and this was someone I had only just met.  Socks are usually reserved for family members and close friends, right?

When we were leaving for home, John gave me his email address.  I sent him a few pictures that I took of his friends at the reunion and thought that would be it.  John and I had gotten to know each other a little bit better through email and Facebook when the public shaming started he so nicely asked for a pair of socks again.  He promised that he would wear them and take good care of them so I finally gave up putting him off as he is quite relentless agreed to make him a pair.  I had just finished reading John's first book, Bethesda's Child when the design for John's socks came to mind.  I worked up the chart and cast on. 

True to his word, John has worn the socks and it looks like they are being well taken care of.  Here they are in front of an fire enjoying an evening libation.

And later on when John was taking a break in South Carolina.  It's not everyday that you see wool socks with palmetto's! 

John just released his new book: A Southern Girl. If you have a chance, be sure to check it out!  I can't wait to get started on it.

Bethesda's Sock is available on Ravelry and EtsyUse coupon code: Warley for 25% off of Bethesda's Sock on Ravelry until 5/19. 

From the pattern: 

Bethesda’s Socks were inspired by John Warley’s book: Bethesda’s Child: a compelling story that takes place in Washington DC and centers around the prevention of genetic engineering, a presidential campaign, and a tangled love interest. The simple to knit cables twisting down the sides of each sock represent the complex structure of DNA and the twists and turns that take place in Bethesda’s Child.

These fun socks begin with cuff down construction and the pattern includes both written and charted instructions. The cables are simple enough to knit on your summer road trip, while adding enough zip to the pattern so you won’t get bored along the way. No one wants to hear “Are we there yet?” when you are just leaving the driveway!

Instructions are given for using four double pointed needles, but can easily be converted for using the magic loop method, two circular needles, or your preferred sock knitting method.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Maryland Sheep & Wool Recap

When non-knitting friends and family ask me about Maryland Sheep & Wool or MDSW as most fibery people call it, the only way I can describe it is that it is like Black Friday held at a fair for fiber enthusiasts.  There are every type of sheep that you can imagine, yarn of every color in the rainbow and fiber type, fantastic lamb cooked in a countless number of ways, and more fiber and yarn enthusiasts than I have ever seen in one place together.   Since pictures tell a much better story than I can, this post will mainly be pictures of what we saw and enjoyed.

The Central Maryland Knitting Guild yarn bombed the fence at the entrance.  What a happy thing to see first thing when we arrived!

 This is a baby mohair goat having his breakfast.  It's a good thing our yard is too small for farm animals or this guy would have been coming home with us!

 After we went through the line to get a t-shirt our first stop was the Miss Babs booth.  This was the booth to be at the festival.  There were a few others that were busy, but Miss Babs booth was packed for the entire weekend and the line to pay went out the back door of the building she was in and curved around.  When we saw the line Andy immediately told me to go pick out what I wanted and he would wait in line.  I wish I had taken a picture of the line - it really was like Black Friday only with out the pushing and rudeness.  Everyone was as nice as could be!  I made it in and out of the booth with some goodies and met Andy who continued to wait in line while I walked through a few other booths.  Have I mentioned that he is the best husband ever?!  I was really excited to see my Mother of Dragons shawl hanging up in the booth along with the pattern.  It's one of my proudest moments :)

I picked up a few goodies in her booth and a couple of skeins from other dyers that I like. Can you tell that I was in a bit of a purple mood?

From left to right: Miss Babs Polydactl Set in Edge of Reality (I think this is going to be a new shawl design!), Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply in Shaken Not Stirred, Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply in Bat Sh**** Crazy, Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply in Perfectly Wreckless, Miss Babs Yowza in Zombi Prom, Maple Creek Farm Yuma in Twilight, Ellen Coopers Yarn Sonnets Tinkerbell's Gold in Diva - those flecks you see are sparkles, and Maple Creek Farm Portland in Spice's.  

I also picked up a few other goodies.

Andy found the bag with the dragon on it.  I absolutely love it and totally missed it when we were walking by the booth that had them.  It's a backpack and holds a huge amount of yarn.  What else would you put in a backpack, right?  A purple MDSW t shirt, added to my Signature Needle collection and picked up a Shark Week kit from the Tsarina of Tsocks that I pre-ordered before the show.

On Sunday we got to hang out with our friends Julia and Daniel.  Julia was so sweet and brought some of her Babydoll Southdown roving!  I'm pretty sure it's from her own sheep and it's so soft that you just want to cuddle up with it!  She brought sampler of different colors which you can find in her Etsy shop and a larger ball in a beautiful creamy white color.  I think it's going to be time to break out my wheel soon and spin this lusciousness up!

One of the other booths that I had way too much fun in was Going Gnome.  They had so many cute felted things and were so nice and let me take a million pictures of everything!  There was a felted chess set with Vikings and gnomes, a couple of tree creatures that had incredible detail, and one of my favorites was a giant purple dragon.  I think she was about 4' long!  If you look closely at the picture of her you can see that she accidentally stepped on one of the gnomes!  I picked up some felting supplies while I was there and took a few extra pictures of the Viking so that I can make one.

My Aunt Linda, Uncle Gary and Cousin Lindsay live within driving distance of the festival and we got to visit with them Saturday evening and stay the night.  Lindsay has her own place and came over so we could all hang out and have a mini slumber party.  Andy and I tried to stay up with everyone, but couldn't stay up as long as we liked.  We had so much fun visiting and they have a beautiful house on the water.  We were able to sit outside in the evening and have wine and appetizers.  Gary has built boats as a hobby ever since I can remember.  We were talking about when he lived in Franklin Square, NY with my Grandparents. Every summer I would get to go spend some time with them and it was always a huge highlight.  One year Gary was building a boat while I was there and he took a picture of me and my brother in front of it and one of us took one of him leaning on it.  It's been at least 35 years and he still has the boat.  He pulled out the album from when he was building it and we decided to try to recreate the picture!  I think we did a pretty good job.

Andy took a picture of us.  It's been so long since we were all together, but it didn't seem like it.

I was able to work on the shawl in Coquette while we were driving to and from the festival. It's making really good progress and I am really enjoying the pattern and yarn.  I haven't named the design yet and have just been calling it Coquette after the name of the yarn.  Since that name has been used for patterns about a million times on Ravelry, I think I need to pick something else.  Any ideas?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Festivals, Knitting and Blooms

I had so much fun at the Powhatan's Festival of Fiber last Saturday.  I have worked at festivals and trade shows for other companies and organizations, but this was the first time I actually had space at one.  I wasn't sure what to expect or how it would go and I was a little nervous.  Erica had some great words of wisdom for me which really helped to keep me on track and not worry so much beforehand.

It didn't take long for Stephanie and I to set up.  The practice set up was well worth it.  We knew where everything was going and operated like a well oiled machine.  We were in a great spot and I think the booth looked really good.

Once the festival opened for the day our booth was so busy that we hardly had time to take a break!  I am so blown away with the support that you guys have given me and can't tell you how much I appreciate it.  I really enjoyed getting to meet so many of you at the festival.  Thank you so much for stopping by our booth.

I am so over the top excited that my Mother of Dragons pattern will be in Miss Babs booth this weekend at Maryland Sheep & Wool!   If you are going to the festival and haven't gotten a copy of the pattern yet, be sure to stop by Bab's booth to get yours and some Yummy 2-Ply to go with it. The original shawl will be on display in the booth.   Beth was kind enough to lend me the one she test knitted to the festival.  It's the dark green one in the picture above.

If you are wondering what the pattern is like, Tina Sanders did a great review on her blog - and there is a chance to win a copy of the pattern there so be sure to leave her a comment. If you would like to see the shawl in motion, Julia from the Dropped Stitches Podcast shows her's off and does a pattern review too.  Julia was one of the test knitters who whipped the shawl up in record time so that it could go to Stitches South. Julia and her sister Jennifer are a riot to watch and their podcasts always make me laugh. 

Today I am getting packing and doing a few last minute things before we head to Maryland Sheep & Wool.  The first priority (of course!) is to figure out what knitting projects I want to take.  I have a simple hat that I am working on for my Uncle.  Since we are staying with him this weekend, I had better hurry up and get that finished.  I think I can get it done between tonight and the car ride up.

I am bringing a new sock design in progress.  It's small enough to tuck into my bag at MDSW and I can work on it while waiting in lines.  The yarn is Gnome Acres - House Gnome in the Aquaman colorway.  Andy got the yarn for me for Christmas because Aquaman was my favorite superhero when I was a kid.  Can you see my inner geek peeking out here?

I am also taking the shawl I am working on in Coquette from Wanton Fibers.  The yarn is so incredibly soft and really enjoyable to work with.  It's triangle shaped and worked from the bottom up. 

I think these will keep me occupied during any lag time over the weekend.  Our drive is about four hours each way so it's good to have something to work on in the car.

I'm leaving off with pictures of the garden.  Andy and I have spent the past couple of weeks removing the bark mulch and replacing it with stone.  In the long run it will be much easier to maintain and hopefully we will have fewer weeds.  This first picture is taken from our deck and overlooks the garden on the side of the house.

Columbine which is one of my favorite early spring flowers.

The chives always look so pretty when they are blooming.

I was a little surprised with the early appearance of this group of Irises!  They are in a really sunny spot in the yard which I think is why they bloomed so early.

I hope to see you at MDSW this weekend!