Bitten and knittin'

What a beautiful weekend! Saturday, especially, was a great day. It was around 70 degrees and sunny and positively hot. I saw my first flower in the yard:


I killed my first bunch of mosquitoes and find today that my whole body is covered in mosquito bites: 

Biteone      Bite2
I lightened the bite on my hand, since I have so many other spots on my hands, heh heh. I know pictures of my mosquito bites are not that interesting usually, but considering it is MARCH and I am getting mosquito bitten, I am documenting it!  

The cats loved being outside, too... Grace spent some time playing and rolling around on her rock:

...and then sleeping after all that exertion:

Nicky played under my feet and then did manage to get tricked into actually looking up at the camera (he is really good at avoiding looking at the camera):

His sister, Nora, is much better at it; she is so good that she stayed completely out of sight, so I didn't get any pictures of her. She was out having fun elsewhere. I heard a few squirrels swearing loudly in the trees out back, so I guess they knew where she was :) 

On Friday I finished a pretty wool crewneck for a customer:

and a couple of basic cotton hats for another customer:

I also knit the front and the back and the buttonbands on a windjammer sweater, but have no picture of it yet. Right now it is still just little crumpled pieces of knitting, but you can see what the finished product will resemble HERE  and read the description of it on this page if you want to get one made for you as well :) I am making it in a dark blue/green color called "Scotia"; it's very oceany.      

This weekend I worked on my Corduroy pullover, but I still have 10 more decreases and the cuff on the second sleeve. I could have finished the sweater over the weekend but a) I napped in my chair more than I should have and b) I spent a good amount of time cleaning winter accumulative crap out of my house and then spinning on my Quebec production wheel in all the resulting breathing room and c) I hung around outside playing with the cats a good bit on Saturday because of the freakishly summerlike weather. Oh well :) I will have the sweater done in a couple more nights of knitting. I will wear it to the upcoming Knitting Weekend! This coming weekend! So much fun! I am looking forward to it a lot. I still have 2 more spaces available, climb in a car and get here if you can!

If you're coming to the knitting weekend, I look forward to seeing you in a few days! And if you're not coming to the knitting weekend, happy knitting :)

Pictures as promised :)

I finally found the cord for my camera! Yay! 

 So here are pictures from the Spa:

Spa1      Spa2


People walking around the vending room :) When I got to the Hilton, there was no power, and I made the decision that I was prepared to work the whole Spa weekend with no power, if necessary; CMP was not sure if they could get the power on by the end of the weekend. But as I was checking in, the power came on, so all was well. We had had a pretty nasty storm on Wednesday and Thursday, rain and high winds, and lots of people were without electricity. I was expecting to drive to the Spa in sloppy weather, but hey, it turned out to be fifty degrees (according to the bank in Waldoboro) and sunny the whole drive down! It was the easiest, most comfortable set up we have ever had.


Lots of knitters and spinners hung out in the lobby and other public areas.

Breakfast, bring your wheel! 


Things got a little messy in our booth toward the end...

Who wouldn't love a Bartlettyarn wineglass filled with wool top?!

Springtide Farm's booth was next to ours, and Pistachio the goat spent most of the weekend chewing on a cashmere scarf.

Even the mannequins were having a good time! By the way, that luscious tan and white two color hat in the bottom left of the picture? The pattern for that hat is in the new issue of Wild Fibers magazine (Spring 2010), page 65! We have Wild Fiber Magazine at Unique One!


My sock monkey slippers got lots of attention, so they had a good time too :) 


Fluff      Fluff2

I got 4 ounces of 100% superwash blue faced leicester fluff from Sereknity to spin into something luscious! The color is Aegean. It is a beautiful mostly blue but with a little green too. Very oceany.

I got only one skein of yarn. Can you believe it??? It is a pretty orange skein of cashmere from Springtide Farm, and I am going to make it into fingerless gloves, but I have no picture of it :(

I bought 3 sets of needles from Autumn Hollow Farm, but only could get pictures of two of them to come out so they looked like much:

   Pearltops      Cocobolasize8s   

These are cocobola size 8 needles, with pearl tops. I love them! I can't wait to start using them.

Birdseye9s      Birdseyetips
These are birds eye maple size 9's, and I believe they have amethyst tops. My picture taking skills kind of suck. I love Autumn Hollow needles, for many reasons, but especially for the utterly perfect tips on them. 

I have a third set of purple heart size 7 needles with Swarovski crystals (purple, of course) tops, but I couldn't get a picture to come out well. I am sure you will eventually see them though, as I am currently using them to knit the Therapi Wrap that we have a kit for. Pictures soon :)

AND the most beautiful thing of all, I got a spindle (also from Autumn Hollow) that is so gorgeous. It is cocobola wood with an inlay of beautiful blue lapis lazuli around the outside.... it is so beautiful I can barely look at it, and apparently neither can my camera, because every picture I tried to take of it came out with a dark slightly spindle-shaped blob and no sign of the lapis lazuli. I will try to sneak up on it when I start spinning the Aegean superwash BFL and see if I can get a better picture at some point. 
When I got home, I noticed we had a LOT of water in the harbor, and some parts of the park were flooded, and the parking lot was pretty close to almost being flooded:

Highwater      Highwater1

What a wild weekend :)  


SPA 2010

This last weekend I was at the 2010 New England Textile Arts Spa Knit & Spin event in Freeport, Maine! It was so much fun!! There were tons of people there and sales were better than last year, but I really want people to remember that the Spa is about sharing and learning fiber stuff, and meeting and making friends, and although it is really great that it is an opportunity to make money for the vendors, it's not all about making money. 

I saw lots of friends, both long-time friends and brand new friends, and talked to all kinds of people about knitting and spinning, and basically I just had a ball. It was great :) 

Last year I came home with lots of yarn and fiber, LOTS, and I had made myself a goal that I would only get the stuff I wanted if I promised to use up all of it by the next year's Spa. Well... I did it! But it took literally a whole year, and actually I am still spinning that last bit of BFL laceweight fiber. As I was oohing and ahhhing over yarn and fibers at last year's spa, I was remembering all the things I had purchased over the previous 6 years' SPA events, that I haven't even pulled out into the light of day since I bought them. That had to end. 

This year, I still bought things, but I focused on tools rather than consumables. I will get pictures as I use the tools and fiber and yarn, but in a nutshell, I got:

-- 3 pairs of knitting needles from Autumn Hollow. I swapped out my rosewood needles on my Therapi Wrap so I am now using the purple heart size 7 needles I got at the Spa. Best wooden needles ever!

-- a gorgeous spindle, also from Autumn Hollow

-- four ounces of superwash BFL top in a blue/green color called "Aegean" from Serenity Yarn & Fiber

-- an ounce of orange cashmere from Springtide Farm (best cashmere ever) and the pattern for some lacey fingerless mittens (yes Kelley, just like yours! but orange). These might become a gift around Christmas. 

-- two wineglasses filled with wool top from Bartlettyarns! the glasses have the very cute Bartlettyarn logo on them. I have always loved that little sheep, knitting away ;) 

So yes, my goal this year is simple: I have to knit the fingerless gloves and spin the 4 ounces of fiber. That will take way less than a year, you betcha. BUT.... I would like to say, I promise also to use up all the yarn and fiber I got at the spa in 2008, year before last, except there is one little problem. I think probably every one of those purchases is probably still in my stash, unseen for the last 2 years, but I can't remember what I got! So I am going to look through my blog posts and try to figure out all the things I said I bought in 2008, and use up all *those* items in 2010, along with the two consumable things I got this year. Wish me luck :) 

At the SPA

I'm at the New England Textile Arts Spa, Knit & Spin event in Freeport, Maine this weekend. What fun! Hundreds of knitters and spinners gather in this little town and share information, enjoy their craft, and shop :)  I am here as a vendor, and it is a blast!

There are a lot of other vendors here too, and it is fun for me to shop as well. The people who have the booth next to us are Karen and Sharon from Autumn Hollow Farm. They make the most beautiful spindles, knitting needles, crochet hooks, and nostepinde .... I seriously want some of their stuff. I will shop at the end of the show. 

We are also next to Springtide Farm cashmere, and they are such fun :) I got that lovely dark red cashmere last year that I made into a beautiful scarf. I think I will wear that scarf today.

I wore my pink Knitting Olympic socks yesterday, and I love them. I got more comments on my sock monkey slippers, though. 

All week long I have been keeping an eye on the weather for the drive down to Freeport. We were expected to get rain and snow, so I was expecting a slushy wet drive down and a soggy time getting everything into the show. The night before, there was a terrible rain storm that went through, and we lost power. It took down a bunch of trees in the area and there is quite a bit of flooding. Imagine my surprise to find, the next morning, that it was sunny and warm! The clock & temperature sign on the bank in Waldoboro said it was 50 degrees! Huh. I didn't expect that. Joe and I happily unloaded everything in warm, sunny weather, and it was good. I think it is the warmest, most comfortable weather I have ever had at SPA. 

Yes, I have had my martinis (the traditional Spa beverage). I wore my martini scarf all day yesterday and got quite a few compliments on it. I love that scarf. 

I'll try to take a few pictures of the spa activity during the day and post them after vending is done but hopefully before the martinis arrive. :) 

Yarn Sale At Unique One!

Yarn is 20% off Jan. 21 through 31! I have a lot of yarn that is ordered, that will be arriving periodically throughout the sale, so keep stopping by to see what just came. My winter hours are Monday through Friday 12 to 6, Saturday 10 to 5, and Sunday 12 to 4. (Yes, I know I have to change the web site.) 

A funny thing happened when I was ordering the bulky weight alpaca that we usually carry. I was ordering 10 colors, so I listed them for the lady on the phone. Then I asked her to tell me how many were back ordered so I could fill in with other colors (I wanted to have a lot of colors available for the yarn sale). There are usually a few colors that are backordered because they are out of stock. The lady paused and said that they were all backordered. Huh?? ALL of them? So I said, what colors do you have in stock, I can pick from those.... well, it turns out they didn't have ANY bulky alpaca in stock. None. They expected their shipment in mid-February. 

So I called a different company that sells bulky weight alpaca, and it turns out there is some kind of chemical spill or something near some port, so a bunch of ships are hanging around waiting to get into port to unload their cargo. The 2nd alpaca company is switching their packaging of bulky alpaca over from small round balls (which is convenient but doesn't have the oooooh factor when you feel it, like a soft hank does) to braids (which has more oooooh factor.) I ordered the 7 colors they have available right now in braids. They will have a lot more of their bulky alpaca colors available in braids, as soon as the darn ships can get into port :) 

I have lots of yarn coming in, so be on the lookout for more Donegal, Schaefer Anne, Inca Alpaca and Montera, Plush, Peruvia, Lush, and more to be coming in during the yarn sale. Keep checking back, there is something new nearly every day :)

Knitting Cruise pictures

Hi! I've been busy. 

I'm actually in a mad rush RIGHT NOW getting ready to board the boat for my final knitting cruise of 2009, but figured I had better share pictures from my earlier September knitting cruise. We had a lot of fun! I've no time to chit chat, but here are the pictures : 




















As you can see, we had a fabulous time, and some really great sunsets (well, one in particular). And I actually got a whole pair of socks knit in 4 days! More about them later, and also updates on what I have been knitting and spinning. I did some spinning on the last knitting cruise too :) 

Hopefully I can get blogging on a more regular basis once October rolls around. 

Flowers and Socks and Cat, Oh My! and Fashion Show recap

I have this little stone circle planter thing in my yard, and back when I used to be normal I liked to garden and usually planted tulips or daffodils or some other spring bulbs in it in the fall, so that in the spring I could be greeted each morning with pretty flowers to look at as I dashed off to work and as I trudged in after work. It brightened my day. On my days off, I would spend a few leisurely morning moments with a cup of coffee, looking at how beautiful my flowers were. 

Now, however, I never take the time in the fall to plant anything, and I do always regret it in the spring, but then it is too late. However, a few hardy bulbs from years past are still producing spring flowers. This year I at least cleaned out the last 3 years of weeds and dead leaves so the little persistent flowers could get through, and I discovered one crocus:


and these little blue flowers. I do not know what they are. My friend Nancy gave me these bulbs many years ago when she was moving, and said they would come up every spring and spread, and they have indeed. I like them but I don't know what they are called.... I just call them Little Blue Flowers. If you know what they are, please tell me:

In knitting progress, I must report another FO! The black socks are done; I finished them last night. I took a picture of them yesterday afternoon just after I had started the toe decreases. When I downloaded my pictures, I found I had another picture of the socks when they were half done, so here are both pictures: 

While I was taking pictures outside, Nora was helping me. She looks cute, but don't let that fool you. Look at the sharp teeth and claws, and be afraid.

Nora on a stick:

Love that tongue action. 

Nora gnawing:

Oh and one more thing.... Susan and I went to the WRFR Fashion Show on Saturday night. It was really fun! The Unique One sweaters looked fabulous :) I also had a little display in the Gallery where the intermission was held: 


We actually got to have the whole table instead of half, so the display looked even better, but I was too forgetful to take a picture of it, and too lazy to go back and take a picture later. But it looked gooooood. The fashion show was very fun and I would love to do it again next year! 

Fashion Show

Last night was the WRFR Fashion Show at the Lincoln Street Center, in Rockland. It was a lot of fun! Susan and I went, and it was quite enjoyable. I must say, I thought the Unique One sweaters came off looking quite fabulous! And there were a lot of other wonderful outfits from local stores as well. I especially loved the night wear from Theo B. Camisole & Company, in Camden, a fellow Bayview Street merchant. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures. You'll have to just trust me that it was great. 

This morning I finished the back of my guernsey and cast on for the ribbing of the front, so I am making progress.Black Sock #2 is nearly down to the heel flap, probably have about 10 or 12 rows to go. 

Still no progress on the Diamond Patch Mittens. I had one little setback (due to sheer stupidity and lack of paying attention) and now I am having a hard time wanting to work on them again. I knit one little diamond in the wrong place around the thumb opening, and it was just stupid that I didn't pay attention. The mistake would be the equivalent of picking up stitches for your second sleeve of a sweater, but picking up the stitches around the neck opening instead of the arm opening, and knitting the whole sleeve before discovering your mistake.  Of course, with the Diamond Patch mitten diamond, the mistake involved far less time and less knitting to fix. I have already undone the mistake and picked up the stitches to reknit it correctly, but I just can't get going on it again. I think I am afraid of making more stupid mistakes. 

I tend to do that sometimes. I make a mistake and put the project away, and I don't know why I do it. I know I can fix the mistakes, I do it for a living. I fix other people's mistakes with their knitting. One example is my black Mystery Stole I started in July 2007, two YEARS ago. I was working on the black one, made some mistake, and just packed both of my Mystery Stoles away in a bin For Good. And the green one didn't even have a mistake yet. And now, the lace shawl is complicated enough that it will be a lot harder to fix it than it would have been if I had done it when I made the mistake, because right then I would have known what I was doing, but now, who knows. My little notes might make sense or they might not. And to make matters worse, I don't remember if I did in fact fix the mistake and then put it away in disgust, or if I didn't fix it. So I don't know when I pull it out again, if it has a mistake to fix or not. What fun :) 

Enjoy the great sunny weather, and keep knitting! 

Save the Date!

There's a fashion show! April 25th at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Street Center in Rockland, Maine! 

You gotta come. It is the WRFR Fashion Show, featuring garments modeled by a selection of lots of local businesses, including Unique One! I am showing several sweaters in the show, including sweaters for the whole family  :) It is my first fashion show ever and I am pretty excited! Y'all come, now. There will be a silent auction, too. Tickets are $5.00 in advance (you can buy tickets from Unique One) or $8 at the door. Proceeds benefit Rockland’s non-profit radio station, WRFR. 

Tickets are also available at the Grasshopper Shop, 412, Caravans, Ravishing Recalls, Leonard’s, and Theo B. Camisoles. 

WRFR has done a great job pulling this together, and I think it is a wonderful idea to have a fashion show featuring local businesses. 

WRFR, by the way, is a great radio station. WRFR-LP is a community based, volunteer powered, commercial free radio station fostering cultural enrichment and civic development through access to the airwaves, thoughtful programming and forums for expression and connection.  The LP stands for low power. WRFR broadcasts at just 100 watts, compared to the 10,000 watts and more that high-power stations radiate.

So, if you want to listen to WRFR on the radio, you have to be really near Rockland or Camden. BUT! If you want to listen to Camden/Rockland's radio and you live far away in, say, Nebraska, you can listen to WRFR anywhere that you can get an internet connection. Just go to the WRFR website and click "Listen Online!" in the top right corner. If you love the station, make sure you send them a contribution, if you can. Every little bit helps!