Hats, Knitting

Headbands!

I love warm headbands.

I love hats too, but headbands are uniquely suited for Fall! I mean, they…

  1. Keep your ears nice and toasty,…
  2. Prevent over-heating by allowing excess body heat to vent,…
  3. Don’t interfere with “up” hair styles,…
  4. And they’re just plain fun! (Not to mention stylish!)

If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen this photo of a hat pattern I’m working on called “Desert Star.”

I’ve been toying with idea of creating a Desert Star Collection, and could not get the thought of a Desert Star headband out of my brain!

So I made two versions, and I need your help to decide which one to write and publish!

Headband Number 1: Narrow(er) Headband

So sorry about the rolling edges in these two photos, I hadn’t yet blocked this one!

This style is simple and traditional, no shaping, just a colorwork headband with ribbing on both edges. It provides both plenty of ear coverage and top ventilation!

Headband Number 2: Wide(r) Headband

This style is a hybrid hat/headband cross, also known as the “Mom-Bun-Beanie.” It has minimal crown shaping, and is a little wider, providing a bit more ear/head coverage and a bit less top ventilation while not interfering with your up-do!

Having made and worn both, I have to admit that each is very likable – for knitting and wearing!

But… I think that I personally prefer the wider headband because I find that I like a bit more head coverage.

Which headband would you rather knit/wear? Don’t worry, there’s no judgement here! I’m just curious to know what you all think! 😊

Knitting, Puppy, Spinning

Lesson Learned…

This afternoon while I was working on some sample knitting…

I learned a very valuable lesson:

Do not leave alpaca wool (waiting to be spun) un-attended while assuming that Puppy is still contentedly chewing the bone she was totally engrossed with 30 seconds ago! πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ™ƒ

Sunny: Who? Me?! No, I have no idea who got into the alpaca wool…!

SUCH an innocent face! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

Sunny When She Thought My Back Was Turned: Hmmmm… Do you think she bought the act…?

Heehee!! Not for a second!πŸ˜‚ But it sure was cute! πŸ’—

Fortunately, it seems that Sunny was having so much fun pulling the alpaca wool out of its bag and spreading it around the house that she hadn’t actually chewed up any of it yet! So I was able to pick it all up and save it. 😊 Happy Ending! πŸ˜„

Family, fiber festivals, Knitting

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival 2017

Yesterday was as close to a perfect day as I am likely to get! πŸ˜ŠπŸπŸ‚

The weather was beautiful and it was Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival day in Berryville, Virginia;Β and I got to go with my sister-in-law, Annelies and my two-year-old niece, Vera!

We met up in Harrisonburg to carpool to the festival; and truly, the brilliant smiles with which they greeted me totally made my whole week! πŸ™‚

Well stocked with fabulous company and good coffee, the 1.5 hour drive flashed right on by and before we knew it, we had arrived at the festival just in time to get a prime parking spot! (An unusual occurrence for me! πŸ˜‚)

I showed Vera how to politely examine the soft and luxurious yarns on display in the vendor booths. Not only was this fun, but it helped re-direct the two-year-old urge to pull all brightly colored skeins off of the shelves and hooks! πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

But of course, the biggest hit of the day, by far, was the animals: Alpacas, sheep, and angora goats!

These adorable alpacas were so friendly and calm!

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The white one is named “Fenway”, and the brown is “Carpe Diem.”

 

They were just chillin’ and people-watching, and socializing with whomever came by to say hi!

Vera took a couple of minutes to warm up to the alpacas since this was her first time seeing them up close! Watching another child petting them certainly helped. πŸ™‚

 

Once she had a chance to get to know them a bit, she absolutely loved them!

 

I swear she was having lots of fun – right up until we asked her to smile for a photo!

 

Fenway was very cooperative and photogenic! πŸ™‚

Later on, the sheep really wanted to share a popcorn snack!

 

And across the isle, a super nice girl brought her goat right up close so Vera could pet it!

 

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In addition to enjoying the wonderful animals, I was also excited to snag a great book…

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…some gorgeous yarn…

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100% alpaca and SO soft! πŸ˜„

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…and a blending board!

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My plan for the blending board is to use it to blend my Angora Rabbit’s wool with Alpaca wool so that I’ll have enough to knit something special once it’s all spun up!

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Annelies was on a mission to find the perfect yarn to crochet a hat for Vera to match her new Winter coat! Here’s the yarn!

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And here’s the hat!

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By mid-afternoon, Someone was completely worn out from so much fun, and took a very good nap all the way home!

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A hand-knit shawl does make an excellent car-seat blanket, don’t you think?! πŸ˜‰

Do you go to fiber festivals? Do you have a favorite? Got plans to visit any this season? We’d love to hear all about it!

I’m excited to be heading to the Fall Fiber Festival @ Montpelier this coming weekend! Stay tuned for updates! 😊

Blocking, Knitting

Finishing!

I’ve mentioned before that blocking is not my favorite part of knitting…

…but it is an important part of finishing! It’s been said that blocking is to knitting like ironing is to sewing, and I firmly believe that to be true!

In order for your knitting to look its best, a good blocking is an absolute necessity.

So I recently scrubbed my bathtub good and clean and blocked a couple of large shawls that I had finished knitting a while ago but hadn’t forced myself to block yet!

Alpaca shawl going in for a soak!
Alpaca shawl going in for a soak!

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Wool/silk blend shawl going in for a soak!
Wool/silk blend shawl going in for a soak!

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It was totally worth it because the stitches evened out and opened up, allowing the stitch patterns to be fully seen and appreciated!

Alpaca shawl drying on my living room floor
Alpaca shawl drying on my living room floor
Wool/silk blend shawl drying on my living room floor
Wool/silk blend shawl drying on my living room floor

I always dread blocking, but I’m always so glad that I made myself do it after I’m done!

How do you feel/what do you thinkΒ about blocking? Do you always do it? Never do it? Sometimes do it? Love it? Strongly dislike it?