I attended my first Yellow Springs Wool Gathering with some knitting friends Saturday. There were 6 of us that made the 1 hr trip. It was two huge tents filled with booths. Some were yarn shops that brought their wears. Some were indie yarn dyers. Some were indie yarn spinners.
I was on a quest to find Christmasy yarn for a pair of socks. Sadly no one had any although two yarn dyers said they would soon. I got the business card from one, Redbird Yarn Studio, so that I can order her Christmas yarn once she makes it. Her colors are so vibrant!! I couldn’t resist her fall Harvest skein. Her skeins make self striping socks. I’m already making a fall striped sock but it’s acrylic and nylon. I’m looking forward to making a pair with the Redbird wool and nylon yarn.
I was also looking for some cute yarn bobbins. Colleen taught us a way to make yarn bobbins for our argyl socks but a) I still need a way to distinguish between the two bobbins of main color and b) the bobbins seem to pull out if I drop them off my lap/table. I wanted to try to see if yarn bobbins would help keep the yarn short. I didn’t find much on etsy or yarn websites like webs or knitpicks. I was tickled to find cute sheep bobbins in different colors at one booth. Teresa, Ruth, and I bought different colors so we could exchange.
So my first wool gathering was a success. I found beautiful yarn for a pair of socks as well as a contact to get vibrant colored Christmas sock yarn. And I got some reasonable priced and cute yarn bobbins. It was fun to go with a group. Not sure I feel it’s a “have to go” trip but I would go next year as part of a group. I’m probably less excited because of the big yarn show that will be in Columbus for Vogue Live Knitting the first weekend in November. That’s a “once in a life time” event in Ohio so next year the Wool Gathering will be the only yarn event.
There is an app, Knit Companion, that is pretty handy for “storing” patterns. The app lets you have a highlighter line for the line you are knitting which is easy to move down the pattern as you knit each line. No more physically moving highlighter tape on your paper pattern.
It’s particularly helpful in two color knitting such as brioche because you can highlight the pattern lines in two colors to go with the two colors you are knitting in. This is a helpful reminder to me which color I’m supposed to be using!!
It also lets you make notes on the pattern which is helpful to keep track of what you did as well as for future reference to help avoid making the same mistakes again. (I also do this on my project page in Ravelry – and have gotten compliments on my good notes).
From knitting friends that use KC, I know it has many more features that I need to explore. It has counters so I could stop using my counters that I put on the cable or my wrist abacus counter. There are good tutorials that I need to watch so that I can get all the benefits of the app. At $10 a year, I think it is quite a bargain.
The only negative to using the Knit Companion app is that my Kindle needs to be charged. If the battery is low, then I can’t access my pattern. This is why I always like to have a paper pattern as backup. I have also had problems with the “project” suddenly no longer being able to open. So now I’ve lost access to all my notes and where I am on the pattern. I haven’t figured out how to save to DropBox which was KCs suggestion to my problem. Also, now I have a new Kindle so the KC app says I’m not subscribed!! I don’t want to buy a second subscription!! In the short term, I’m going to have to use my old kindle as my knitting kindle so I can use the Knit Companion app.
I just read a cute blog about packing knitting for vacation. Seems I’m not alone in packing more projects than I could possibly complete. There are multiple factors in over predicting what I can accomplish. Since I knew the place we were visiting had limited Wi-Fi access, I envied long days of knitting. So I packed two pairs of socks and my Haiku shawl expecting that I would spend most of the three days knitting.
Instead, I spent much of the time in conversation with our hosts. I’m definitely not complaining. Our mornings were spent sipping coffee by the fire pit and talking. Plus we did visit some local sites, had lunch after grocery shopping, and visited a local brewery. In the evenings we played games.
So even though Tom did do some of the driving, I didn’t get a lot of knitting done in our 5 day weekend even with no TV and limited Wi-Fi. Oh well. Better too much than not enough. Still got to get those watermelon stripped socks done before Sara gets here!!
Again, more tidbits on stitch marker use. This is a shawl border of over 300 stitches. It has a repeat pattern of 24 stitches which is made up of 2 12 stitch patterns. HELP!! Stitch markers to the rescue.
Sooo, each repeat is it’s own color. Thank goodness I have so many colors of stitch markers. LOVING those colored ring markers I got on Amazon. Then I added a matching colored pin to the second marker ring to differentiate between the first half of the pattern and the second half. In the picture above a gold ring marks the start of a new repeat. The gold ring with a gold pin marks the second half of the repeat. To the right you can see another repeat that used pink ring markers and a pink pin.
Course that’s not all on this pattern!! It’s hard to see in the photo but I needed a different type of marker to identify the mid point of the shawl border. I’m using a beautiful marker that my sister gave me for Christmas. The big blue ring markers show where stitches are being added around the mid point and aren’t part of the 24 stitch repeats (which was causing major errors till I figured this out.😡)
As I’ve written in the past, I’m a BIG stitch marker user. So even though the pattern doesn’t call for stitch markers, I use them anyway.
This is an example. I love how easy the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern is. But I like to put a stitch marker after EVERY twin stitch I make. By using the same color, I can even easily see if I’m on the knit side or the purl side if I stop knitting before the heel is completed. If there isn’t a matching set of markers, I’m on the purl side.
Yes, I should be able to recognize the twin stitch before I get to it so as to know where to make the next twin stitch. But a marker makes it idiot proof. I like big red flags!!
I’m happy to have found a system that works for me. I find heels stressful enough so anything that makes knitting a heel easier is welcome.
Maybe it’s a summer thing as roughly this time last year I wrote about being thankful for my LYS supporting a “knitting community”. In addition I’m extremely thankful for the group of friends I’ve made that meet weekly. We meet at the LYS on “odd” Fridays when the LYS hosts an open knitting session. Then we meet at a local coffee shop that has graciously allowed us to be in their “spare” room on “even” Fridays.
Thus we get together weekly to knit and share. It’s through this group that we decided to create a knitting plan for the year to help guide our projects rather than bounce from the latest idea to the next. This helps my need for control. And helps guide yarn purchases. We encourage each other as we try new patterns and techniques. We even have plans to have mini-KALs if 2 or more want to knit the same thing.
We plan the occasional trip such as our girls weekend last December and our trip to the Knitters Pride warehouse sale. We are already planning a trip to the Young’s Dairy Farm Wool Gathering in September. I never took “girls” trips before meeting this group.
This group is a big reason that I struggle with living in Florida for months. I will miss the friendship of our weekly sessions. I appreciate that groups like this can be “time sensitive”. Retirement might bring changes. Employment is definitely bringing change for one. Hopefully she will be able to join us during school breaks (we may have to throw in a Monday session for some holidays).
Last week we had the sad occasion to attend the viewing of a knitters husband who had died in an accident. I know she was surprised but pleased to have her knitting friends recognize her grief.
Living means change so I know to appreciate this group for all the richness it has now. I don’t know what the future will bring but I certainly can be thankful for what this group means time now.
I’ve posted previously on how I have started using clear plastic zippered bags as a way to store a projects worth of yarn together. I usually try to have a project in mind when I buy yarn. Thus I put the title page of a pattern and the yarn in a bag and it’s ready for when I start the project, even a year later.
Now I’ve moved to also using a clear bag for my accessories. The ones I was using were either too small or poor quality and were starting to tear. These are larger and better quality. I like using clear bags so I can easily see if the item I need is in the bag and where it is.
I have two accessory bags as I use two quilted totes to carry my projects. One of the totes is large enough to carry two or three small projects. The other is good for a single large project like a sweater.
These clear bags are from Amazon and have colorful trim. I still have 3 in pink and purple as backups.