Tag Archives: Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival

2009 Knitting Resolutions…Thinking about knitting and yarn

Since I got married earlier this year, my 2008 knitting resolutions were relatively succient and wedding related. I knitted the Essential Tank Top and started the Lily of the Valley Shawl (which now languishes as a UFO). As for the Silk Ribbed Corset, I decided to frog it after several attempts (and bought a beautiful Jenny Packham wedding dress.) That said, I knit the shawl for my wedding and a few other  tops for the honeymoon. I even have some wonderful pieces that I knit during our beach honeymoon in the Cook Islands. 

2008 was a year of serious stash enhancement mainly thanks to my husband who believes that I should never leave an important yarn establishment with regrets! The biggest contributions cme from the Joan Vass Sales (the knitwear designer decided to retire and sold her amazing yarn collection at $20.00 for box of 10 balls), the Maryland Sheep & Wool Fetival and the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival. Additionally, I visited some new wool purveyors during several trips with my friend Amanda including Tess Yarns in Portand and Loop and Rosie’s Yarns in Philadelphia.  The hubster and I made yarn stops at Chix With Stix, Webs and Purl By the Sea  as well. 

My 2009 knitting resolutions include the following:

1] Cables, cables and more cables. 2009 will be the year that I overcome my cable phobia. I have been avoiding cables since cabled projects caused me to abandon knitting twice in the past. (Of course, it’s possible that I may have moved onto other things without the cables.) I commit to knitting a sweater using cables most likely Elsebeth Lavold’s Hild.


2] Expand my lace knitting skills including a wonderful Estonia Lace Shawl for me. Having watched my mother wrap herself in the Triinu Shawl, I want one of my own. My knitting friend Georgia and I are starting a KAL for a pattern that I found online. For anyone interested in joining us, please drop me a line.


3] Finish my wedding related knitting. Instead of presents for those who helped with my wedding, I gave balls of wool. I still have one project in process and one to be started. Additionally, I plan to make a variation on a Jean Moss pattern for my husband as a belated wedding present.


4] Finally make the After Dark Robe and coordinated After Dark Nightie from Mason Dixon Knits in grey/white linen purchased at the Joan Vass sale.


5] Reduce my yarn stash by working with the wonderful fibers that I have acquired. Since I won’t be planning a wedding this year, I should be able to accomplish this. Of course, it will mean curtailing my stash enhancing activities!


6] Enhance my Ravelry profile and participation. Despite having been a member of Ravelry for over 1 ½ years, I mainly use it as a source of inspiration and better understanding of potential projects.


7] Visit new knitting establishments as well as the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and the New York Sheep & Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival). Of course, this will involve some level of stash enhancement.


I hope that by limiting my knitting resolutions I will be able to succeed at accomplishing them. Of course, keeping this blog up-to-date is the unstated goal as well.

Best wishes for 2009!

NY Sheep & Wool Festival – Rhinebeck Bound

For the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, our friends Kathy and Bill invited us to spend the weekend at their cabin in the Catskills. While Kathy introduced me to Sheep & Wool Festivals five years ago, this was our first Rhinebeck adventure in four years.

Cabin in the Catskills

Cabin in the Catskills

Catskills Cabin in the Woods

Catskills Cabin in the Woods

A sheep and wool festival means serious stash enhancement with yarns that are difficult to purchase at retail. Despite my overflowing stash containing over a year’s worth of yarn, I still wanted more. We arrived around mid-afternoon which enabled us to snag a great parking spot near the back of the fair grounds. We also got to see some of the dog trails which I had never seen before (too much yarn and too little time! I have my priorities.)

Back Entrance to NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck

Back Entrance to NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck

Alpacas enjoying the NY Wool Festival

Alpacas enjoying the NY Wool Festival

October Sunlight on Felted Hats at Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival

October Sunlight on Felted Hats at Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival

Horse Drawn Train at Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival

Horse Drawn Train at Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival

Lace knitting has captured my imagination this year. Maybe it’s the mathematical increases and offseting decreases that create amazing patterns. Whatever the reason, I focused my shopping on yarn for future lace projects and I found wonderful yarns to add to my stash. Top on my list was some true Shetland Lace from Jamison and Smith, the purveyors of the true article. I bought two skeins (870 yards) for a bargain $20.00! In addition, I bought a hank of Icelandic lace weight in a natural beige, which the hubster liked. It was a generouse 2,400 yards for $24.00. Lace weights definately help you stay within a budget!

Near the front of one of the barns was low priced wool from a variety of sheep bred in Maine. I bought a cone of sport weight in a wonderful turquoise containing 1,750 yards for $18.00. (While the yarn was a bit course, the finished garments were softer. I thought that it would make a nice jacket sweater.)

Lastly, I indulged in a qivuit blend, the most luxurious of fibers. It comes from the wild musk ox in Alaska and makes cashmere seem reasonably priced! I bought one skein with 436 yards of a plum lace weight. In addition, we purchased some New York state dessert wines and a pair of ear muffs.

It was a great weekend to be in the country where the leaves were colored glorious reds and yellows. The fall sunlight was ever so bright. We went into a nearby town to check out some local galleries and to have brunch.

Halloween Spirit in the Catskills

Halloween Spirit in the Catskills

2007 – The Year in Yarn

Looking back, 2007 was a year where my knitting made significant progress. When I consider the projects that I completed this year, I wonder where I found the time to make them all! By category, here are my 2007 finished objects:


  • Black and Red with Fair Isle Crewneck Sweater – Made from Karabella cashmere and silk blend. I created the pattern myself to use the leftover 4 1/2 balls of black that I had from another sweater. Since the yarn was purchased at the Lion and Lamb’s going out of business sale, I couldn’t return them!
  • Hairy White Sweater – Made  in an acryllic blend from Anny Blatt. I discovered that once knitted up my skin didn’t react well well to the material, so I gave it to my sister who is more resilent to fiber content.
  • Red Debbie Bliss Alpaca and Silk Sweater – Made in Debbie Bliss Alpaca and Silk  purchased at The Point. This cherry colored sweater is soft and warm.  I gave it to my mother for her birthday.
  • Rust Silk Sweater – Made in 100% silk purchased at Silk City Fibers. It was a birthday present for my boyfriend.
  • Yellow Silk and Grey Rayon Sweater in Wide Bamboo Stitch. Made in silk blend purchased at Silk City Fibers. I adapted a Sally Melville pattern from The Purl Stitch.
  • Pink and Lavendar Summer Sweater. Made from Misti Alpaca pima cotton and silk purhcased at the Knit Cafe in Los Angeles. I started out to make a sleeveless top and decided that the swatch was warm and soft. When I called to order additional pink yarn, there was no more. As a result, the sweater combines the two colors.
  • Laced-Front Sweater. Made from Brooks Farm Harmony purchased at Rhinebeck in 2006. This was a pattern from Knitted Lingerie.
  • Cross Your Heart Sweater. Made from 100% fingering weight alpaca purchased at Rhinebeck in 2006. This sweater was adapted from a Rowan pattern.
  • Origami Cardi. Made from 1oo% wool purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2007. This pattern appeared in Interweave Magazine in Summer 2007. It is probably my favorite project this year!
  • Fishtail Lace Sweater. Made from 80% merino/20% cashmere blend purchased at The Point. This was a store pattern that I adapted and added long sleeves.


  • After Dark Nightie. Made from Lang’s 100% Egyptian cotton in periwinkle blue purchased at the Joan Vass Sample Sale in 2006. I used the Mason Dixon Knitting book which inspired me to knit more lingerie. I have worn this nightie as a dress!
  • Dad’s Vest. Made from Noro blend bought at Webs. Since my dad claims that he has too many sweaters, I made him a vest based on his measurements without a pattern.
  • Red and Orange Ribbon Tank. Made from Seville ribbon purchased on sale at The Point. This project was a pain since the ribbon was so shiny that it kept twisting (required a rubber band on the ball to keep it in place!). Due to the lack of red, I added orange stripes.
  • Yellow  Cotton Tank. Made from 100% cotton purchased at Silk City Fibers. I used a reverse wide rib based on the threaded twist to the cotton. I was proud of the lines of the top despite the relatively simple item.
  • Shaped Lace Tee Shirt. Made from Lamb’s Pride Cotton Fleece purchased at Purl By the Sea. I used Knitted Lingerie’s pattern. It is a dusty rose.
  • Verona Socks. Made from Lion’s Brand (don’t cringe!) sock yarn.  These socks were started en route from Venice to Verona. I even knitted them waiting for the opera to start in Verona! Of course, they took me a year to finish!

Additionally, I made several scarves and triangular wraps for friends and family.

Further I extended my acquaintance with several yarn selling establishments. Among them were:

  • Yarn Seller – Good resource with near/in York, ME.
  • Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival – Always an incredible yarn experience. While trying on the pocketbook, it’s great for your stash especially given the smaller local farms.
  • Knit Cafe – A mecca on Melrose in West Hollywood, CA.
  • Colorful Stitch – A two story yarn emporium in Lennox, MA which has swatches of the various yarns and unusual samples.
  • Webs – Well worth the trip! The back room/warehouse is a treasure trove of yarns at great prices.
  • Purl By the Sea – At the end of the world, at least from a NYer’s perspective. A wonderful assortment of brands, colors, price points as well as tools.
  • ArtFibers – A pink second floor enclave in San Francisco’s financial district. It allows you to test their various materials. It only sells their brands in colors to make your mouth water.
  • Chix With Stix – A large airy store in Forest Park, IL. It has two knitting tables and a wonderful sofa for significant others.
  • Loopy – Nestled in Chicago’s Loop this knitting treasure has a wonderful, helpful staff who don’t believe that you have to follow patterns religously! It carries a lot of small producers and a wide range of fibers.

Noteably, I wasn’t able to attend Rhinebeck this year. That said, my stash has grown very nicely.

P.S. Pictures of recent accomplishments will appear later.

Looking Ahead to Next Project from Knitted Lingerie

My brother recently sent me Joan McGowan-Michael’s Knitted Lingerie book for my birthday. The book is truly knitting eye candy! 

Joan organized the book around the different items of women’s lingerie. In many cases, her patterns creatively use the lingerie as inspiration for her design. Contrary to what you may think, many of the book’s patterns may be worn in public where the knitter’s work is visible to a wider audience (because what knitter doesn’t want to show off what she/he has made?)

For my next project, I’m using Brooks Farm Harmony yarn in brown/olive/pink from my stash to make the Laced Front Sweater. I purchased the yarn at the 2006 Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival.  What’s great(and unusal for me) is that the Brook Farms Harmony is very close in mix to wool Joan suggests for this pattern which is in the corset section of the book. It consists of 55% kid mohair, 22.5% fine wool and 22.5% silk. I have two hanks or 1,000 yards which is also about what the pattern calls for.

Here’s the wool converted from skien in my stash to two balls waiting to be knit!

Brooks Farm Harmony Yarn

Brooks Farm Harmony on Swift

Brooks Farm Harmony Yarn Wound Up