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Yeah, it's been an eternity. Life seems to get busier every year, usually with the wrong kind of stuff. But another year in Rhinebeck at the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival happened this past weekend and, as always, it made me wish I had more time with my amazing friends and doing the things I love.

I got to spend the Thursday before Rhinebeck with my favorite Canadian and Rhinewife, Erica, gallivanting around Salem. We shopped, we bought rocks, we hunted miniature crabs by the water, and, best of all, we sat and did nothing while chatting and drinking good lattes. Later that evening we met up with Stacie & Dale for insane amounts of sushi and a scorpion bowl. The weekend was off to a great start!

Erica and I <3

Erica with Samantha

Rhinebeck itself was the usual blur of awesome people, more laughter than can possibly be legal, lots of crazy knitwear (good and bad), and beautiful upstate New York fall weather and scenery.

A Catskills sighting on the drive out

The wolfpack!

Heather and dapper Dan

Heather spinning into her sweater, I think that's a new technique

Sheep selfie!

And our new sheepskins

Always an amazing weekend and always tough saying goodbye. But there's always next year and we've already got the house booked (thanks, Heather)!

 

TJ’s for the win

I really need to get to Trader Joe’s more often, they got some great treats! Problem is its a good 30 minute drive from where I live and is always so crowded…with some real oddballs.

I made the trek today though and LOOK!!!

 

Obviously I’ll be making prosciutto wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates tomorrow. But the real story here:

  1. A grinder filled with sugar, chocolate, and coffee beans. You know, so I can put chocoffeesugar on my toast and ice cream and stuff. Like, what?! How is this not on the news and all websites? This could probably help with that whole world peace thing!
  2. Chocolate cheddar cheese. See my notes on #1! Why am I just learning about this???

This is what I like to call a damn successful shopping trip. It’s one of those shopping trips where you get home and have to eat all the things. I feel like a pig, but that’s ok. Things will always be ok now.

Repetition

They say that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a sign of insanity. Well, I was expecting the same results so I guess I’m safe, for now. Or at least I was hoping for the same results, because the first Color Affection I made was full of happy making magic!

Color Affection part deux is off the needles, washed, blocked, and ready for its first public appearance. I’d have worn it to work today but it’s a bit too warm out. This winter in general has not been very knitwear friendly. I’m ready for a whopper of a blizzard!

I really can’t rave about this pattern enough. For those that don’t know it, it’s the Color Affection shawl from Rain Knitwear Designs. This yarn, primo fingering from the Plucky Knitter, is also fantastic to knit with. Together, the stripes, the short rows, the colors, the garter stitch, the size, the FUN! Seriously, I’m not a big fan of shawl knitting (or wearing). But this thing, it’s more than just a shawl. It’s a work of art. One that wears nicely wrapped around the neck for us guys. And one that is so soft and warm and full of garter stitch love. And the construction makes it a pretty quick knit for a shawl of this size.

Do it! And hope for a nice blizzard while you’re at it!

Crawling out from under life

It’s been a busy few months, obviously the Project 365 crashed and burned.  It did however continue longer than blogging about it did.  The entire set can be seen here.

Knitting has been happening despite the crazy work and life schedule.  Still in progress but so close to finished I can taste it are both the Stripe Study shawl and Huron sweater (which is so close to being finished I should be spanked that it isn’t).

Stripe Study progress

Huron - almost done!

An actual finished project, the Color Affection shawl made from a kit from The Plucky Knitter, my favorite thing in the world at the moment.  I loved this pattern and yarn so much that I’ve already cast on for another.  Seriously, everyone needs one of these!  Of course now that it’s done, it’s too warm out to wear it…in New England in January?

Nifty Neutrals Color Affection

365:23

Just in time for the first forecast of snow, finished woollies!

The shawl has been lingering on the needles for a year now. It was the first shipment of the AVFKW Pro-Verbial club, Blue Whale shawl by Stephen West, AVFKW indigo dyed Luster yarn (75% BFL wool, 25% tussah silk). I didn’t love it during knitting, hence the long stall, but love it now that it’s been blocked. The texture of the pattern is great and the yarn gives it a nice drape. It’ll be a nice addition to the winter accessory pile.

This isn’t the first appearance of these socks here, I may be slightly obsessed ;)
The yarn is Noro Silk Garden Sock purchased at Windsor Button. One skein was more than enough and surprisingly resulted in perfectly matching socks. For a singles yarn it feels like it will hold up fine, it’s tough stuff. I have another skein of this, matching gloves may be in order.

Bonus – the obligatory modeled shot

365:22

It’s getting cold out and the wool is comforting me through the loss of summer. I finished up two knitting projects this week, both soaking an blocking tonight, and wasn’t in a spinning mood so I decided to prep some fiber for a project I have in mind.

My talented friend, Erica, was sporting her amazing Stripe Study shawl (pattern) at Rhinebeck a few weekends ago and inspired me to do the same with a recent club five from Hello Yarn. The first step of the project was to separate the fiber into staple length bits grouped by color and to hand card those into many, many rolags. Next, I’ll spin this into a singles yarn that slowly fades from one color to the next. It’s the perfect technique for this shawl.

365:21

It’s a miracle! Almost 4 months later and I finally have my bedroom back. I discovered a leak early in the summer which slowly caused a lot of ceiling and wall damage. Countless 7am random, unannounced visits by maintenance followed, but very little action. The leak was fixed more than a month ago but still no repairs to my ceiling and walls. It’s so nice to have curtains back up and a halfway decent looking bedroom!

Ignore the wrinkled curtains, they’ve been folded and put away for months now.

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