Wednesday, October 26, 2016

postcards from rhinebeck 2016: ny sheep and wool

A splendid weekend all around. Sheep, wool, friends, yarn, the Hudson Valley, autumn.....what could be better?

Facetime with fiber on the hoof (and on a head). I adore the NY Sheep and Wool Festival weekend.
Booksigning: Most of my weekend was shoulder to shoulder with my co-authors, Kirsten Kapur and Mary Lou Egan, signing and blabbing about Drop Dead Easy Knits. It is a joy to share the book we worked on all last year, with knitters. We had a blast, as we squooshed into our Barn B space with friends Ann and Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting as tablemates.  Fortunately, friends old and new came by, like (upper right) Emily (LoveaSlug) and Karen Clark, (ChooChooKnits).  So many inspiring knits! And um, yeah, Mary Lou and I really did wear matching versions of the Keynote Pullover. And, um, yeah, we do know it looks dorky but we both love this sweater she designed. We tried to act all sophisticated and pass it off as showing the sample on two different body types.....
Friend Sightings:  clockwise from upperleft, Mal from Common Cod Fiber Guild in perfectly accessorized necklace and cowl, the adorable Jill Draper and her mom Gail (Jill's studio open house on Saturday night was a scene, itself), Bristol Ivy's killer Rhinebeck sweater, I mean..that yoke! Those colors! and I finally got to meet Jan, of the Twinset Designs. Ellen Silva, the twin on the left, has been a friend for  years.  She tech edited Drop Dead Easy Knits. I can't say enough about how great it is to work with her.  Go ahead if you want to hire her, she recently retired from her non-knitting job and may be available, if you are very very lucky. The Twinset Designs Podcast, linked above, is excellent too, give them a listen.
More sightings: Clockwise- the vendor with the beautifully whimsical felted sheepy headwear- apologies, I forgot the name- was a hit this year.  Another (non-yarn) favorite was Grace Gunning's Reliquary Boxes, beautiful art pieces in hand wrought copper boxes. That quick shot doesn't do them justice, click over on her link. A performance piece by Corpus. And the crowds and trees-- wouldn't be NY Sheep and Wool without them.
The weekend digs: Our house rental was last minute, and we struck the jackpot. I'm not even going to show you how amazing the inside is, you'd want to book it for next year immediately ;-) And also, this blogpost is already running crazy long, right?
There was , of course, knitting! My plum wool Pompano Tank tunic wasn't finished, but got some inches added, as we lounged and wallowed in our luxury. That bright orange Fringe Supply Co. bag in the lucite bubble chair with the sequined pillow is colorwork by Mary Jane Mucklestone.  It's the bizarro-world version of Fringe Association aesthetic, right?  Not shown here, Mary Jane was knitting a modern feeling two color version of her new design Sigla.  Onto my queue it went.
The roomies (most but not all): Jani Estell, replendent in her Starcroft Yarn knits and her handcrafted dresses . This one is a new design from Odacier, but I didn't really give you much of a peek...sorry, Fibertrek Sarah Hunt, always in beautifully executed  knits from thoughtfully chosen yarns, Beverly Army Williams in Alabama Chanin and Stopover, and the original Stopover, modeled by the designer herself, Mary Jane Mucklestone. By my unofficial count, Stopover was THE sweater from the festival this year.

I missed getting photos of so much, and so can't show the joy of meeting/seeing friends in person, like Vicki Knitorious . And yes, her stitching and knitting is every bit as gorgeous as it looks online. (Also--I thought she was going to be super tall)! 

I'm a slackerly shopper by nature, even so I didn't come home empty-handed. But that is another post!

Friday, October 14, 2016

what it's all about: rhinebeck style returns

Bringing it back!  Years may change but the feeling is still the same. (I'm humming As Time Goes By here). Although everyone talks about shopping and eating at the festival, what the weekend in Rhinebeck is really all about? Is putting on all your knits, flying that fiber freak flag and being amongst your people.

Whether you are heading for the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and the NY Sheep & Wool Festival * this weekend, or you are knitting on a beach in the southern hemisphere (and if you are, good on you!) or busy with work, family, and life demands.....enjoy!  Happy sweater gawking!

Feel free to embed this video wherever you want. I like to share it.

 * so, if you are going to be at the festival- do come by Barn B where the books are,  and check out Drop Dead Easy Knits, squeeze the trunk show, say hi,  and get a signed copy from Kirsten Kapur, Mary Lou Egan and me.  We will be there on Saturday from 10-11:30, and from 4-5, as well as on Sunday from 10-1, we'd love to meet you. Check us out! 

Upcoming this week
Tuesday Oct 18th 4-6pm (or so) booksigning party & trunk  show at Knit New Haven  in CT

Thursday Oct 20th 6-8pm slide talk, trunk show and booksigning at Knitty City in NYC!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

a happy week for knitters: rifton, rhinebeck and sweater weather

So much to revel in this week! I suspect you've heard of Mason Dixon Knitting but on the teeny tiny chance that you haven't, or if you haven't checked out their space lately, let me point out it is reason to rejoice. They have turned their longtime inspirational and entertaining pretty-much-daily blog into a ...I plus web-zine plus shop. And still daily. And still funny and clever and inspiring.  It's a bonanza. And wow the shop. The latest offering is killing me, it is so good:

 A CUSTOM COLORWAY of Jill Draper Makes Stuff Rifton. Swoon. 

One cake of it makes a STUNNING version of the Grand Central Scarf from Drop Dead Easy KnitsFor example. 
with CUSTOM semi-solids to coordinate.  It's too good.

I am a Jill- and a Rifton fan from the moment  I saw it a couple of years ago, and made my Wingfeather Shawl in the winter colorway. 
 A new cake of it, in a colorway with natural brown, and pinks/raspberry came home with me from a photo shoot at Jill's last month, it'll no doubt be cast on any moment for the Grand Central Scarf, as I mentioned above, instead of two colors, use the inner and outer ends of the same cake.  (as beautifully executed by Mary Lou Egan, I'll add a photo here when I can)...and I am eyeing some of the semi solids when I visit her open studio this weekend. (Saturday night, Kingston NY, the Mason Dixon Knitting ladies will be there too, info on her etsy page link above)

So even if you are a summer loving knitter like me, it is a happy week for working with wool  (can I have an uh-huh) and suddenly there are new patterns and books popping up temptingly, daily,  and... if all that isn't jolly enough, this weekend is the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck , NY, which is the State Fair for Knitters. (But better.)

 You can find the Mason Dixon Knitting ladies, Kay and Ann, signing their new Field Guides in the booksigning barn - along with me and my Drop Dead Easy Knits co-authors and a slew of folks you'd like to blab with. Full schedule here. Get your sweater on and say hi!

Monday, October 03, 2016

pompano tank tunic underway + the DROP DEAD EASY KNITS giveaway winner

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments on our little video for Drop Dead Easy Knits, and for the book itself.  The giveaway winner: Liza Kirschner. Come on down!
Our book launch was a blast.  We were stunned, and thrilled, to sell out of copies right away.(I mean, for that night! Plenty more to go around, online and in stores and at events).
Seeing as we were at FibreSpace surrounded by gorgeous yarn, we knew how to to fill our time. I was seized by the need to cast on a wool version of the Pompano Tank, I am thinking of it as the Pompano Tunic. I'll be wearing it as a layer over a long sleeved top, with dark jeans, styled differently than our model Katrina in her linen version of this fabulous design.  In my mind, it's what you'll see me wearing at two and a half weeks....
I chose this yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Loft, a nice dark tweedy purple**. I have been acquiring purple yarn in unrelated yarn-acquiring incidents all of September, without realizing the vast cumulative purple-ness of it all.  I am declaring it my new neutral. Officially. 

The Pompano Tank it is a delightful knit, just as you'd expect, as it is designed by Kirsten Kapur. The last two weeks have had  little needle time for me, so I've only completed the first few repeats of the holey bottom edge.  It's fun knitting this texture, and after this, it's all stockinette with some shaping.  One piece from the bottom up. I can get some steam going- and if I have some knitting time--then there is  hope I'll have it done for the NY Sheep & Wool Festival,  
If you want to check it out or even better, come get a copy of DROP DEAD EASY KNITS  signed by me and my co-authors, and touch all the samples from the book, we will be on a teeny tiny tour.

Saturday & Sunday OCT 15 & 16th in Rhinebeck NY at the  NY Sheep & Wool 
Saturday 10-11:30 am and 4-5pm
Sunday  10am-1 pm
booksigning and trunk show in the barn where all the author events take place

Tuesday October 18th at Knit New Haven* in New Haven CT 4-6 pm (or so)
 trunk show & booksigning

Thursday October 20 at Knitty City in NYC, Upper West Side, 6-8 pm
we'll present a fun slide talk about making the book and all that is in it, along with signing books and trunk show

* it'll most likely be Mary Lou Egan and myself in New Haven. You can always snag that third signature when Kirsten comes to Knit new Haven inNovember to teach a workshop from the book. 

** Normally indecisive picking out yarn for projects, I surprised myself (and my eyball-rolling friends) by quickly nabbing this colorway, Plume. Then I cracked open the pattern and realized I'd subconsciously gone for the shade most similar to the sample in the book. D'oh! Does that happen to you, too?