Tag Archives: friends

Honored

If you’ve been reading the Yarn Harlot’s blog recently, there’s been a lot of talk about knitting for babies. It’s probably just the hormones, but some of it is making me teary… For instance the discussion on Heirloom knitting includes this piece of wisdom,

anything that a baby receives that is handmade with care is heirloom quality. I’ve crocheted many a baby layette and it still amazes me how few babies get handmade gifts anymore.

Well Random Internet Commenter, prepare to have your faith restored, because my friends have been knitting up a storm! I am honored that my baby has received so many handknits. Honored and more than a little blown away.

baby gifts2

My friends at camp outdid themselves, along with cake and tree garlands they managed to put together this piecework blanket right in front of my eyes without me even noticing! Friends who couldn’t make it to camp this year mailed in squares while others were knit and crocheted on friday before I arrived. Saturday morning the crocheters assembled everything. It’s beautiful, don’t you think? I’m told they didn’t even try to coordinate colors…

baby gifts1

Along with the blanket my not-yet-here baby has also received sweaters, booties, a hat. SO MANY wonderful things.

baby gifts3

This little top is especially precious. My awesome boss Marcie died last spring. She knit this top for a coworker’s new little girl the summer before. And this summer my coworker passed it along to me, with Marcie’s original note and one of her own saying that of course Marcie would want me to have it.

Stephanie herself said,

Knitting for impending humans feels like improving their chances. It feels like throwing a line out into the ether and towing them in. Preparing the path, paving the way, and making it clear to the fates that there are people looking out for this kid, and expecting them.

Thank you everyone. You’re all amazing.

Whirlwind

We took a tour of New England this weekend. That wasn’t really the point, but it’s as good an explanation as any! Saturday parts of Vermont were under water and the rain was still coming down. But we were on the road by 6:45am headed to Maine for a wedding!

Neil was driving, and of course I was knitting. Somewhere in western Maine I finished the body of a tiny baby sweater, only to discover I’d left my dpns at home. That’s how the embroidery started…

perpernum embriodery

The wedding was beautiful, even if they did have to move it inside. Our friends are farmers and so everyone there agreed that rain on a wedding day is good luck, not a problem.

Our next stop (because Neil is awesome and enabling) was Knit Wit in Portland where I picked up an extra set of dpns (whew). Then we headed to Fort Williams where the continuing rain just made standing on cliffs overlooking the stormy ocean feel more stoic.

Fort Williams

From there we met up with Neil’s friend, then my friends. The next day we swung through Massachusetts for dinner (you know, because we clearly needed 4 states in 3 days) Finally we visited my family in NH on Monday.

Yes, I finished the tiny baby sweater (more details to come.)

do it for the doggies

You know I don’t come to you often with causes asking for money. But this one is important to me. My friend Jenn’s dog needs help.

Jen (as in Jen of Old Post Farm) fosters dogs. Not just one or two though; sometimes she has 10 or more dogs at her place, all waiting for their forever homes.

And she fosters puppies. Not cute, 8 week old puppies that need to be socialized; but pregnant pit bulls and their litters of 8 puppies that all have diarrhea and need to be bottle fed.

Jen has a big heart (and a big, puppy-proof garage). Last year she fostered FIFTY-THREE (that’s 53) dogs all the way to their forever homes. Jen has put her own time and money into caring for other people’s dogs, more specifically dogs that are between people.

But Jack is her own dog, her first dog. He has a blastomycosis infection. Blastomycosis is hard to treat, the outcome isn’t always guaranteed, and it will cost several thousand dollars to treat. Her foster organization helps with the vet bills* for the fosters, but no one is helping her with Jack’s vet bill – except us.

So if you can spare $5 please click through and donate a little to the Save Jack cause. If you can donate more that’s great. Don’t think of it as just helping Jack, think of it as also helping Jen so she can keep helping more and more other dogs find their forever homes too.

Jens Jack

*but just the vet bills. All those fosters? Jen feeds and cleans and buys snacks for them out of her own pocket. 53 dogs eat a lot of food.

Rhinebeck Recap

Rhinebeck tree.jpg

This was possibly the most beautiful Rhinebeck yet (it’s only my 3rd). Blue skies and white puffy clouds greeted us Saturday morning- which was a welcome change from the sheeting rain we drove down in on Friday*.

fairgrounds.jpg

The crowds on Saturday got intense at times but the fairgrounds are big enough that it’s always possible to find a quiet corner where we could sit, knit, and watch the sweaters go by (and the alpacas and llamas.)

Camelid parade.jpg

We got there first thing that morning and were at the front of the line. My friends Amy and Dana love Cephalopod yarns so we headed there first before the booth got too crazy.

Cephalopod booth.jpg

I love the Ravelry meet up. It’s a break from all the shopping to actually hang out and talk with other knitters. I met Ann who chose Boyden for he Rhinebeck sweater. She totally made the whole weekend for me! And I visited with some fellow designers (Triona from Triona Designs and Danielle from Makewise Designs pictured)

boyden.jpg designers.jpg
(That thing with the cable I’m wearing? It’s a sneak peak. But I can say I think you should go pre-order your very own copy of What Else Would Madame Defarge Knit. Do it now.)

I didn’t mean to buy a lot of yarn, I swear… But ended up coming home with 2 skeins of sock yarn for socks. Another 1400 yds in two colors for a sweater. Some lace weight and some fiber. I thought I was being good and not buying a spindle. But I think next time I’ll just get one. They take up less space!

just a little yarn.jpg
(why yes, these are ALL crappy cell phone pictures. Some more crappy than others)

Possibly my favorite purchase is the pottery though. I LOVE my new casserole dish with the goats on it!

* Sheeting rain, 5 accidents, and a 24 mile detour in Albany where they’d closed 87 entirely…

Apple picking

pick your own

We went apple picking this weekend! I know a lot of the orchards in the north east lost their harvest due to the weirdly warm spring which included some nasty crop-killing frosts. Luckily we missed the worst of that.

macouns

But their were some varieties that didn’t survive. And the varieties that did, were a lot lighter than usual. This was the LAST weekend for apple picking – and usually it goes well into october!

handsome sweater

The apples that were left were mostly up high. They had the little claw baskets available. But sometimes we wanted apples that were even higher up…

reaching the high apples

We got a lot of macouns and liberties. A few cortlands, and a selection from the old heritage trees that were at the back of the orchard. Best line of the day came when we asked one of the employees what kinds those apples were and he said “oh, you probably won’t like this one.” So then of COURSE we had to try it!

gorgeous day

It was a gorgeous day for apple picking. And now I have a bushel of apples in my kitchen. The liberties will be for eating, while the macouns and heritage breeds will go into the apple chutney and apple sauce I’m planning to make. Of course I still have tomatoes in the fridge… Maybe I’ll make some tomato chutney too…

signs of summer

I went to an ice cream social at a friend’s place this weekend. Complete with home made ice cream! In four flavors even: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip.

ice cream

I had to try a little of each (obviously). There was also whipped cream and caramel sauce (also home made)

sunday

What can I say? My friends know how to eat well! There was a pretty good spread of deliciousness besides the ice cream too:

snacks

I made peach clafoutis. I think it went over pretty well, all I brought home was the empty pie plate…

Along with good food there was bocci, swimming in the creek, chatting on the shady porch. And music! Really good fiddle and mandolin music.

musicians

Oh yes, and some dancing

star

Dancing with swords. Just for good measure. Maybe that’s not part of everyone’s summer. But I rather like it!

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is a thing people do on twitter. It’s a way of recommending cool/interesting/entertaining people you should be aware of.

I’m feeling rather like there’s nothing going on around here that’s blog worthy, so I’m going to make a recommendation instead.

I think you should check out the series of posts on the Gaze over at Knitting Kninja. Kristen talks about Gaze and how it affects* our craft, especially since so many of us connect online where photography is the best way we have to show off our work. Here’s her introduction:

Gaze as it is used here comes from a usage popularized by French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan and refers to the anxiety inherent in the awareness of one’s visibility to others. In being viewed, the subject of viewing loses some control over how that viewing is perceived. Gaze requires theory of mind – the ability to understand that others have their own reactions and emotions separate from one’s own.

Yeah, so the subject is a little (ok, a lot) deeper than my standard fare of knitting, chickens, and gardening. But I’ve been fascinated with her whole series. Start with the first post on the male gaze or with the one about the crafter’s gaze (featuring my Morningtide mitts!) Either way I highly recommend it. And I understand she’s not done with the subject yet!

*effects? no, pretty sure this is affects

party prep

Neil is GRADUATING TOMORROW!! I’m so proud of him!! He went back to school after working with troubled teens for several years, when he realized he really wanted to do more. But he knew he needed to actually get a degree in psych before he could even make further plans.

neil award

That’s a crappy cell phone photo of him getting an award for academic achievement in a non-traditional setting. He’s at Johnson State College as part of their external degree program (which is set up for grown ups who want to finish their degree but also have jobs, mortgages, real lives, can’t live on campus, etc…) and yes, he’s wearing a fedora!

Anyway! Today I’m at work. But I have a list going beside me – things to do for tomorrow’s party:
pile bonfire wood
clear coat rack for guests
shove crap back into guestroom closet and close the door
get a burn permit
make popcorn and snack foods
find lawn chairs, badminton set, pop-up tent for shade

Tomorrow I’m starting the TWELVE POUND ham before we even head to the graduation ceremony. Tomorrow afternoon there will be food, friends, a bonfire, and good times!

I can’t wait, I’m so proud!!

little things

I admit it, there are plenty of little things I knit that never make it to the blog. But today I got some especially adorable pictures, and decided I need to correct at least one omission.

waffles

It’s a digital age hat! (I’m told someone just took away his waffle, not that he hates the hat)

My friend Sam provided two of the clocks for the ebook (the melty one in Cocktail Hour and the classic alarm clock in Morningtide) It takes a really good friend to not question my sanity when I ask if she can mail me a couple of clocks from PA just for two knitting photo shoots…

And since she and her husband are pretty geeky people, I thought they’d appreciate the binary coding in Digital Age.

digital hat

So for their son’s birthday I knit him a digital age hat. I took the binary colorwork and arranged it for 5 rows instead of 8. I knit the whole thing on larger needles. Mitts are best with a nice, dense fabric so they don’t pill with all the wear and tear of being hand coverings. Hats for toddlers should be squooshy and trap lots of air. I aimed for 16ish inches relaxed, but with plenty of stretch. Babies and toddlers can have pretty large heads. I don’t remember the final size. I did test it, and I can tell you this hat fit over my 20″ head (it looked badly stretched and didn’t cover my ears, but it didn’t pinch my brain either)

marshalls hat

The hat is knit out of the leftover Chris yarn from Schaeffer. I had more green leftover so that became the body of the hat. The best part is I’m told his snow suit this year: it’s gray and green. I WIN!

fiber and friends

Rhinebeck was FABULOUS!! In case you were worried I wouldn’t enjoy myself :-P As I can be heard to explain on the Subway Knitter’s podcast, I’ve decided Rhinebeck is part fiber festival, part knitters’ convention. Amy and I were interviewed by the Savvy Girls as well, I can’t wait to hear their take on Rhinebeck. It’s great to shop, see the animals, watch the demos, and eat delicious food, but my favorite part of Rhinebeck is being with my people, both new friends and old.

knitting friends

People who completely understand taking pictures of shawls and needing to stop a random person in the street and ask what pattern they used for their sweater.

rhinebeck or bust
(that window says “952 miles is NOT too far to go for yarn!” I have no idea who these ladies are, but clearly they’re my kind of people.) People who understand buying fiber when you don’t even know how to spin it up yet, and who will turn the car around to go back to that yard sale with the spinning wheel.

sheep incognito

I laughed myself silly reading the titles at Sheep Incognito.

I blushed furiously when people commented how much they love my patterns and photography (Thanks guys, you made my whole weekend!) I pet sheep and looked at alpacas, and watch a little boy walking a littler goat on a leash.

icelandic sheep cashmere goat

I went to the Ravelry meetup on Saturday and Sunday. The meetups are a great place to chat with knitters, spinners, bloggers, hula-hoopers, because you’re not interrupting any other activities. I found lots of people playing rhinebeck bingo, and almost got bingo in 4 different ways.

bingo

My friend Amy* had her picture taken with Ysolda.

amy and ysolda

I met so many lovely people it’d be silly to try and name them all. Farmers, yarn dyers, authors, publishers but mostly wonderful KNITTERS are what made this weekend so special. Oh, and of course I did some shopping too:

rhinebeck stash

4oz, of blue wool/mohair/alpaca with sparkles, a packet of coordinated silk hankies (which I now need to learn how to spin) a huge hank of green yarn from Briar Rose fibers, and some shiny, wonderful blue glass earrings. But I’m still a little sad I didn’t ask how much the antique spinning wheel at the yard sale cost. but it needed work, and I didn’t need another project wheel (at least that’s what I keep telling myself)

*A different Amy. Amy C and Amy D? Something…