Family, Knitting, Maryland Sheep and Wool

Maryland Sheep & Wool 2015

I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you all about one of the biggest highlights of my year: The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival! 🐏🐏🐏

Mom and I go every year; it’s sort of become our Mothers Day tradition. 😊💕 This year, my sister in law, Annelies, and little niece, Vera, came too!

It was so nice to have them along, and we had such a marvelous time!

And yes, I stayed up late the night before, blocking my Lace Leaf Shawl on the floor of my parent’s guest room so that I could wear it to the festival! 😉




There was a lot of fabulous yarn bombing going on at the festival, and I am a huge fan of yarn bombing!…

There were beautifully yarn bombed trees and fences…


… all along the path leading into the festival…


…and adorable little knitted and crocheted sheep dotted about here and there…

…even the entrance itself…

…was decorated with colorful knitting!

Here is one of my very favorite things about the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival – so many fiber-arts-loving people relaxing outdoors and working on their projects together! I always find myself wishing that I had brought my camp chair so I could sit down and join in!

There were more vendors than I could count, and they were all amazing!…


The sheer range of colors on display was staggering!



This vendor (Woolbuddy, I believe) had adorable and fascinating felted items; and just look at that enormous felted giraffe!!

Many vendors had items made from their yarns on display; this particular vendor (Scandinavian Weave and Knit) would give you the pattern for free with your yarn purchase!

In addition to those outdoors under tents, there were also many vendors inside the vast tunnel-like buildings…

Aren’t the colors amazing?!

We could not get over these booties! Aren’t they precious?! We would have gotten some for Vera, but she’s growing so fast that they would have been too small in just a week or two… Nevertheless, they are totally adorable!

Another thing I absolutely love about the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is the people. All the many people wearing lovely handknit or crocheted garments they crafted themselves, or perhaps were gifted by a friend or loved one…


We met these two lovely ladies and their gorgeous handknit shawls just inside the entrance!


Just look at these amazing hats! Aren’t they fab?!

I love the colors, shapes, and textures on her vest…

…and this lovely lace knit sweater!


This stunning circular shawl had to be the most spectacular sighting of the day, though!

And then there were the animals, the wonderful animals!

We saw angora goats…

…keeping cool in the shade…

…lots of lovely sheep…


This friendly little guy just wanted to play!

And it looks like he found the perfect buddy! 😊

Sheep are very social…

…clearly, they like to be together! ☺️

And let’s not forget the angora rabbits!…






And what treasures, I’m sure you’re all wondering, did I bring home with me from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival?…



These lovely gradients are from the Fiber Optics booth! I’m planning to knit an Echo Flowers shawl with the lace weight neon gradient, and the lovely fingering weight raspberry gradients are going to be a pink and white shawl for my sister Melody!


These beauties are from the Scandinavian Weave and Knit booth! Their yarns were absolutely stunning, and so were all of their knitting patterns! It was really hard to leave their booth… I haven’t yet decided exactly what to make with these gorgeous skeins…ideas…suggestions…?


I’m good at spinning in the worsted style, and now I’m learning to spin in the woolen style. I picked up these gorgeous balls of roving from Riverside Farm’s booth and plan to spin some nice soft yarn once I get a bit more practice in!


These are some lovely gems I picked up at the festival as well…

This lovely glass bead was hand made by Kris Schaible. Isn’t it stunning?! I got a second one for my aunt-in-law who is into beadwork, and she loved it! Kris was kind enough to mount both beads on lovely ribbons for me so they’d be ready to wear!

  

This lotion is the best!

It’s all natural, smells heavenly, and feels even better! It even works wonders for sunburn! 😊❤️

Does anyone else enjoy the Maryland Sheep & Wool? If so, we want to hear all about it! What do you like best?

Family, Knitting

Bunny Home!


We had a lovely couple of days in Maryland visiting my family…

with my sister in law, Annelies

 

my sister, Hannah, andd brother in law, Everitte

 

with Mom in the kitchen

 

 

with my sister, Melody

 

Annelies & Hannah with the family dog, Charis

 

There was a lot of talking, laughing, and yummy food!

with my niece, Vera

And of course there was little Vera; we couldn’t get enough of her!

We introduced her to Bunny


…they seemed to get along quite well together!




Annelies decided to wait and let Vera give Bunny a more specific name herself when she’s old enough…

…I’m really looking forward to finding out what she comes up with! 😊

Family, Knitting

All About Miss Fox

Progress and photos of Miss Fox have been scattered through several different posts, so I thought I would bring them together for you here…

yarn for miss fox

For Miss Fox, I’m using Cascade Yarns Cascade 220 in a lovely rusty brown, cream, and black (for ear and tail tips!).

Her dress will be the Knit Picks Shine Sport in cream with light pink and bright Spring green accents!

  

I started with Miss Fox’s head. Here I’m getting ready to attach her ears…

  

… and embroider her cute little face! I believe her ears are my favorite! 

  

Next, I made her body…

  

It was a beautiful day for anything, but especially for knitting!

  

This, by the way, is my favorite “nice weather” knitting spot, which I got to enjoy while knitting Miss Fox’s body and one of her feet!

  

Body finished! Now on to the feet…!

  

The feet are interesting…

  

…because you start at the bottom of the shoe, work up to the top and bind off…

  

…then pick up stitches…

  

  …for the little pink socks!

 

Foot finished! Now you pick up stitches for the leg…

  

…and of course, repeat, because Miss Fox needs two feet and two legs! 😉

Now it’s time to sew up the legs, stuff them, and attach them to the body! Perhaps next time you see her, Miss Fox may be all in one piece…! 😃

Family, Knitting, Seasons, Uncategorized

Spring – Again!

It seems Spring has arrived at last, friends!

 

Our cheerful herald, the robin, is proof! 

 

 Last year, I had such a hard time getting even one (not so great) photo of a robin…

 

I ran all over the yard for hours, chasing after robins (who were hopping happily to and fro) trying to get at least one photo in which you could tell it was a robin and not some sort of speck. You would not believe how fast those little buggers are! Nor how skittish! In the end, the only way I was able to manage even one meager shot was by hiding behind one tree after another as I hopped after the crazy robin… It’s a really good thing I live out in the country and don’t have any neighbors to wonder about my sanity…

 

This year, I took a much more intelligent approach. Or maybe it was lazy? I simply sat. In one place. On the back deck. And I waited. For the Robin to hop close enough… and then… I took his picture! Not the best robin portrait ever, but definitely an improvement upon last year…!

    

The first Crocus in my flower beds, still closed yet from the night’s chilliness…

Later in the day, when it got a little warmer, it opened out all the way!

 

There are buds starting on trees, folks!

  

 And Daffodils pushing up out of the ground!

  

  

And it was even warm enough for a lovely afternoon knit on the back deck…

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Miss Fox now has a head, a body, and one little shoe-with-sock! Hopefully there will be time for more out door knitting tomorrow…! 

Family, Knitting, Uncategorized

Bunny Finished!

The Bunny is complete…

… and clothed!

Here is her little dress just finished…

front
back

I think her dotty pink dress is just the perfect final touch!

Although, when I make her a second dress, there is one thing I believe I will do differently…

… leave a hole for the adorable little tail!

Now, for a little fox…

yarn for miss fox
head and ears

Claire is making a gorgeous little elephant! Check out her blog for a peek!

Family, Knitting

Bunny Progress

The bunny has been growing!



two little feet

Two feet, ready for stuffing…



two little feet

Two little feet, finished and ready to go!



bunny



One little bunny, with head and legs attached…



little bunny

….and body stuffed!





Voila! Arms…



cute little tail


And tail!



cottontail

(Love that tail…)



happy bunny

I think bunny is very happy to be all in one piece now! 



start of a pink dotty dress


This week, Claire and I are working on dresses for the bunnies! 

Family, Holidays, Knitting, Uncategorized

Cables for Phyllis

I was so thrilled when my mother-in-law, Phyllis, asked for a handknit sweater for Christmas! The important thing to understand here is that I was longing to knit something for someone who would actually wear it. My dear husband, you see, refuses to wear anything I knit for him ever since the unfortunate incident of the black-hat-with-the-red-angora-lining. And who could really blame him?! But that’s another story for another time. He saves me time and trouble though, by telling me up front, not to knit him anything because he won’t wear it, so at least there’s that. This then, is why the excitement was impossible to contain when Phyllis asked for a sweater!

[Yes, I do realize that we are currently in the month of March, and that this fact makes my Christmas gift to Phyllis about three months late. Fortunately, Phyllis is a fabulously gracious person who didn’t at all mind opening a half-knitted sweater on Christmas, and who waited very patiently while I finished it. ❤️]

Since she was actually visiting at the time, we got online immediately and went virtual shopping to pick out the perfect yarn and pattern together! What a good time we had! It was even better than “normal” shopping because we didn’t get worn out and stressed from walking and driving from store to store and dealing with crowds and traffic. 😊

Phyllis settled on the Cable Down Raglan by Stefanie Japel. She wanted a turquoise color, and the sweater was to be warm, but not too warm in order to layer in Virginia’s mostly moderate winter weather. We decided to go with a cotton yarn, and settled on Knit Pick’s Shine Worsted in Aquamarine.

 

the yarn

 

Once the yarn arrived, I could hardly wait to cast on and start knitting! It was really hard to make myself knit gauge swatches, but I’m REALLY glad I did!

 

the beginning

When one is knitting a garment, especially for someone else, (especially if that someone else does not live in the same house or even what could be called reasonably close by) it is vital to:

1) Take said person’s measurements with care, ahead of time; paying close attention to his/her preferences regarding ease…

2) Note and plan ahead for any alterations in fit that will be preferred… (for example, my mother-in-law wanted the sleeves on her sweater to be full length rather than 3/4. This necessitated planning ahead by ordering more yarn.)

3) Find and maintain the proper gauge…

4) At least one or more fittings along the way to ensure the garment will be a success!

 

knitting the body

The Cable-Down Raglan, as the name suggests, is worked from the top down, circular fashion, raglan style, and all in one piece.

 

cables & raglan shaping

I love the cables. I really enjoyed knitting them, and I still enjoy looking at them! You can see the sleeve stitches on hold and the rest of the body in progress.

 

counting repeats

 

I put my Grellow & Gray Sirka Counter to excellent use on this project! Would have lost my head for sure without it! At one point I was using all three hands to track three different sets of repeats! What a lifesaver!

 

knitting nook

 

This was my first experience with knitting a raglan sweater, and also my first experience with knitting a sweater in the round – all in one piece!

Edit

cable detail

I really like the idea of knitting a garment in one piece. Of the entire ensemble flowing along smoothly in an orderly and aesthetically pleasing fashion. Of not having to go back and sew up seams afterward.

cabled waist ribbing

 

But I discovered, as I worked on the sleeves of the sweater, that it became very frustrating to deal with the bulk of the body of the sweater while knitting around and around each smaller sleeve. I had to adjust the entire body of the sweater in relation to the sleeve four times per round. It really slowed me down. In the future, I think I may try holding the body stitches and working the sleeves first since they are so much smaller and could be easily pinned in place to keep them out of the way while knitting the body.

 

weaving in the ends

 

There were a lot of ends to weave in, but that just goes with the territory! Aunt Peggy had made a gorgeous bracelet that went perfectly with the sweater!

finishing

 

As a final touch, I sewed in a special label…

 

a personal touch

 

Phyllis loves her sweater, and it makes me happy to see her so happy!

 

front

 

She looks fabulous in it, if I do say so myself!

 

back

 

shoulder detail

 

 

sleeve detail

 

 

neckline detail

 

 

 

 

Family

Vera

image

 

My precious little niece, Vera Elisabeth, was born December 5th, 2014!

She’s just two months old now, the apple of her Mommy and Daddy’s eye, and treasured by the whole family!

Its a really good thing she’s super snuggly and loves to be held because we all adore her and are constantly waiting for our turn to hold her!

I have it on good authority that her orange Gullfoss Blanket is her favorite, which makes me so glad because whenever she is wrapped up in her blanket, she’s wrapped up in a warm loving hug from her doting Aunt Sarah! ❤️❤️❤️

Family, Knitting, Weather

Snow!

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First snow of the season! And before Thanksgiving too!

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I started for work VERY early, wanting to be on time regardless of lovely white flakes swirling through the air…

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I finally made it! In one piece (despite several scares) and on time! Perfect day to wrap up in warm woollies to keep the chill away…

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The shawl is the Flambé One Skein Shawl (pattern by Michell Miller of Fickle Knitter), and the hat (above) is my Hounds Tooth Hat.

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The pretty view from from my office window…

Now the hubby and I are off to be with family!

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful and joy filled Thanksgiving!

 

Family, Knitting

Gullfoss Blanket for Baby

I’ve been doing alot of knitting for my little niece-to-be lately!

Just off my needles this morning is the Gulfoss Blanket by Karen S. Lauger.

gullfoss1

I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash. It’s a lovely light worsted weight 100% wool that can be machine washed (on cold) and dried (on cool), so it’s perfect for baby items – warm, soft, and washable!

gullfoss2

The color is called “Tangerine Heather,” and I love it! The brilliant orange makes me feel so happy!

image

You start with a nice textured seed stitch border that continues up the sides of the blanket.

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There is also a very interesting horizontal stockinette stitch that functions as a second border before the cable stitch pattern starts.

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The cables are really fun to knit! They are not too hard but definitely keep things interesting! They form a beautiful textured pattern on both sides of the blanket, making it reversible!

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I found this post by Jaala Spiro extremely helpful because in it she teaches how to work cables without actually using a cable needle. Not having to use a cable needle is really nice because it allows you keep your rhythm flowing and unbroken.

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The small markers along one side there are the wonderful antiqued brass removable stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co.;

image  image

I used them to mark each pattern repeat as I went so that it would be easy to count how many repeats I had done and how many I had left to go! This made keeping track of my progress really easy!

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Now I’m off to weave in the ends and block the blanket!

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What have you been working on lately? Feel free to share in the comments, we’d love to hear all about it! Have a lovely Labor Day weekend, Everyone!