Sunday, May 10, 2009

Long time, no write....and NH Sheep and Wool

I've been lax with the blog, no question. The week before last, I was doing a lot of work in my old life for the one thing I still do some non legal consulting for my old firm, and I didn't get much accomplished other than that and attending the all day board meeting last weekend. Shawn and I did get a bike ride in though, and the paycheck paid for my bike! Woo hoo!

I also did get a fair bit done on Mya's jacket. I'm knitting it in one piece up to the armholes, then knitting the individual fronts and back from there. I finished both the cardigan fronts and now I'm working on the back. I did find a small math error that I made in writing the pattern up in the neck decreases, because I apparently can't count. The upsizing on this pattern as I get it ready to post for sale on is what's going to be the real challenge. People complain mightly about pattern errors (myself included) but it's real challenge to design a sweater in your head, write it down, and then expect it to be right. I think if I'm going to get really serious about designing I'm going to need to find some test knitters. Any takers? I can't pay what I should be able to, but there's a free pattern in it for you, and perhaps some yarny goodness....

This week continued to be a bit busy. I didn't get any biking in, but we had the evening guild at the Elegant Ewe on Wednesday evening which is always fun, and I did make progress on Mya's jacket there. There was some great purple Tahki cotton classic on sale, but I persevered in face of the NH Sheep and Wool Festival that was this weekend.

I met my friend Katie at the festival at 10:00 am, and we wandered the festival. I was fairly restrained for me, but there is the Webs tent sale coming next weekend, and there must be funds available for that. Why do two of the major annual stash enhancement expeditions have to fall on back to back weekends?? (Shaking fist at the cosmos, and my checkbook constraints....)
We ran into Lora and Jackie fairly early. I'm not going to mention that they were fairly giddy already...and I don't think it was just yarn euphoria. :) Notice the drinks they are holding and let your imagination run wild...

In one of the first barns they had a group of spinners giving a demo, and they also had a group of knitters working on a collective shawl pattern. Both Lora and Jackie decided to help out for a bit. Look how "happy" they both are :) I mean, yarn really does cause lots of giggling right??

I made sure that I hit a couple of my favorite booths. Of course the Elegant Ewe was there. They had a lot of stuff there, which is why the store's looked a little sparse on Wednesday. They were slammed with people. Hal looks so thrilled right? I love Hal. Hal once told a customer that the class I was conducting at the Ewe was from the women's prison. So the class was a bit rowdy, they were having fun right??
I made sure I cruised by the Grafton Fibers booth. One year I bought something and accidently left it behind at another booth. I emailed them when I got home and stated what had happened and that I'd like to purchase a replacement. Someone at the festival found it turned it in to them, and she mailed it back to me at no charge. They are great and the fiber colors are unbelievable. I got two 4 oz purple blue corriedale batt.

I also make sure I hit the Foxfire Fiber and Designs booth. I love, love cormo wool (cormo is a breed of sheep for the non fibery among you), I mean it's so soft and luscious that I could roll in it. The sisters of the owner I've had in a sock class and they both displayed their socks to me out of their sister's yarn. (I did take a more dignified picture of them though. I had to buy 4 oz of some Cormo and Silk roving. It's so gorgeous. Their yarn is beautiful too, but I just love their roving. Lisa Lloyd uses this yarn a lot in her designs. She's the author of A Fine Fleece, which has great sweater designs for hand spun yarn.

I bought some great baskets from The Children's Initiative, 100% of the profits go back to the village in Vietnam which made the baskets to fund schools and nutrition. The biggest basket is about 12 inches in diameter and the set was only $20. Check them out if you go to the show, they had huge ones too.

I also got three bars of Citrus Sage Goat's Milk and Lanolin Soap from West Elm Farm with little sheep on it. I got one bar of this last year and loved it so much I had to get more. The smell is just smells so good, I want to eat it. The soap thing prevents me though.

Katie and I also wandered through the barns and checked out the llamas and alpacas that were there. Some of the alpacas had already been shorn, and they are so funny! They look otherworldly, or a q-tip with four legs.

Katie and I always have fun at these things. We had lunch down at the cafe down the street, but I can never remember what the name of it is. I had a cup of seafood chowder and a salad with seared scallops, roasted broccoli and garlic with a balsamic vingrette. It was wonderful. And Katie gave me some basil vinegar that she made this year.
After Katie and I parted ways, I dropped by Mary's house to drop off her and Liz's Pampered Chef stuff from the party I had a while back. Mary lives just down the street from the Hopkinton Fairground. Mary is a knitter too, and she and her daughter Liz have both taken classes with me. After some chatting, we decided go back to the festival and look around. There had been a fleece, a covered cormo fleece, that I had restrained myself about the first time around, and thought I might need to look at again. Luckily for me, it was gone when I got there. We ran into the Briccis, and Sally and Trixie. I had not seen Trixie since she's was a baby. It's crazy how fast time goes.
Well, that's the report. I was pretty good, minimal stash enhancement. I'm not thinking the same is going to be the case next weekend.


  1. FUN DAY!! Lord I look TOOOOOO happy! A bit on the goofy side (no comments please, I know, I know!)
    What size is the sweater??! I do have a niece and maybe if it would fit her I'd test knit for ya!

  2. Oh... I so hope you do more designing! I will be a test knitter, but coming from an HR perspective, I am really unreliable right now when it comes to knitting- so I wouldn't hire myself as a test knitter.

  3. I am so depressed now that I never made it to the wool festival... AGAIN! One year I will make it. Maybe next year it can be my Mother's Day gift to myself.