Rhinebeck 2018

Good morning and happy Saturday! Last weekend fiber artists from all over converged on one tiny little upstate town for the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, and it has a history of being quite the mob scene. This year was no exception. Each year it seems like more and more festival goers race each other to queue up at vendor booths (after standing in queues at the gate just to get in) to get the same stuff they can most likely get from the same vendor online at the same price, and without so much extra hassle. Yes, some vendors at Rhinebeck have special prices on some products for that show, or have some products that might be in limited supply. What is it about those details that turns an ordinarily sedate knitter into a rabid fiber fiend? I have never wanted yarn or fiber so badly that I would subject myself to the kind of craziness that seems to be getting worse every year. Continue reading “Rhinebeck 2018”

Russia, Russia, Russia!

As I was going through the blog posts in my drafts folder that I have yet to re-publish here, I found this gem. I don’t even remember when I originally published it on the Times Union Fiber Arts blog, so I’m doing it as a new entry here.

Quite some time ago, my dear friend Will found this Russian blog about men who knit which features us and some of the guys from the apparently now defunct menwhoknit.com page. If you’re interested, you should be able to get a rough translation of the page into English on Google.

Enjoy, and happy knitting!

A successful first North East Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat

Good evening and happy Sunday! Last weekend was the first North East Men’s Knitting Retreat, and I cannot be more thrilled about how successful it was for a first retreat. The spring retreat is well established now and in its 11th year. In fact, the popularity of the spring retreat which sold out in a matter of minutes last year and the year before is what led to the creation of this additional retreat. How could it not be successful, right? Well, both Joe Wilcox and I had our concerns which he has written about on his blog. Also, since I am notoriously terrible at taking pictures at pretty much every fiber related event I go to (mostly because I am notoriously bad at taking pictures in general) I will once again direct you to Joe’s blog because he is absolutely amazing at it.

Most of my fears that the retreat wouldn’t be a success disappeared on Thursday as more and more guys arrived. In my opening remarks later that evening after dinner, I asked the guys who had been to any of the men’s knitting retreats before to remember what it was about their first time that made them want to come back again, and try to extend that to the many new guys who came. But by dinner time, it was clear that they were already doing that. The amazing spirit of brotherhood that I have always felt at the spring retreats was already starting to grow.

When we wrapped up our retreat on Sunday Joe and I got an opportunity to hear feedback from everyone about the retreat. Many of the guys who came to the retreat, especially those who had never been to a men’s knitting retreat before, told us how fantastic their experience was at this first fall retreat, and suggestions for future retreats were shared. Afterwards, when I went to get my car to begin packing up, I sat in the car and had a little cry. A good cry, really.

It was an incredible honor to be able to bring this retreat to reality, and I could not have done it without Joe’s help and guidance. He has been an excellent mentor for the past several years that I have been helping him with as the co-organizer of the spring retreat, and I was very glad to have him as my co-organizer for our first North East Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat.

Most of all, I am honored to have been able to spend the weekend with so many talented guys who took a chance on this new retreat and registered for it. Of all of the things that have contributed to the success of this retreat, it is the guys who come to it that have the biggest impact on its success and I cannot thank you enough.

Although the retreat has been over for a week, my excitement continues because I am already thinking about next year’s retreat.

Just a few more days

Good morning and happy Saturday!

Before our two canine house guests went home last Saturday, we acquired a new foster dog. This new foster dog has a relatively short stay here with us because he gets to go to his forever home tomorrow. This last week has been fun, but it has also been a bit challenging. I had been looking forward to reclaiming my craft room when our friends’ dogs went home, as that is the only room we have space to set up an extra crate. The arrival of foster dog meant that I would have to sacrifice that space for just a little longer. We knew he would only be here about a week, so I was okay with that. I will be able to remove that crate later today.

Two boxes of stuff NOT coming home with me!

Continue reading “Just a few more days”

Remembering one fall retreat, and my growing excitement for another

Good morning and happy Saturday! Four years ago on Labor Day Weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the West Coast Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat for my first time. Until then, I had only attended the Spring retreat here in New York. I had a fantastic time at that retreat and met a number of friends in person who up until that point I had only known online. Many of those same guys are back in Seattle again as that retreat is happening again this weekend. I have been enjoying the pictures and posts on Facebook, and I am hoping I get the opportunity to join them again some time soon. Continue reading “Remembering one fall retreat, and my growing excitement for another”

The New Girl

On our way home from Provincetown last Saturday, before we got off the cape, we made a quick stop in Barnstable, Massachusetts. For most of our vacation we kept to no specific plan or schedule, deciding what to do as we go. This stop in Barnstable was different, and had been part of the plan for weeks.

Back at the beginning of June, Halo’s breeder, Lori, called me to see if we might be interesting in having another pharaoh hound come to live with us. I had told her in November when Halo and I were visiting for the Purina National Dog Show that Michael and I were open to taking in a dog should she need to re-home one. Well, that’s exactly what she needed to do, and she thought the dog would be a good fit here. Continue reading “The New Girl”

Good morning from Provincetown

Good morning and happy Saturday! Michael and I have been here in beautiful Provincetown, Massachusetts since last Saturday. Today it is time to go home. In fact, by the time this post publishes we may already be on the road home. There’s just one stop we need to make in Barnstable on the way, and I will have more about that next week.

Our journey here last Saturday was uneventful and started early enough so that we did not get stuck in any traffic waiting to cross the bridge onto the cape. When we came out for the weekend last summer, we didn’t get as early of a start, and we sat in the car inching along for about two hours before we could even see the bridge. Timing is indeed everything.

There has been knitting on my vacation this week. I brought the slipper socks to finish up for our NEMFKR KAL, and then began a new sock with some Cascade Heritage Prints sock yarn from my stash.

For as many afternoons as I could, I joined some dear friends at the coffee shop in town for knitting. I didn’t think I had spent as much time during the past week working on this first sock as I apparently have. It was cast on Sunday, and now by the end of the week I am well on my way to completing the foot and then toe. In addition to coffee shop knitting in the afternoons, this sock has accompanied me to the beach and the pool to keep me occupied as I bask in the beautiful cape sun shine.

I can pretty much guarantee that the second sock will take considerably longer to complete.

There has been a bit of spinning here this week too. I couldn’t bring a wheel. Well, I could have. There was plenty of room in the car and there is plenty of space in the condo we rented to set one up. Still, as tempted as I was, I left them all at home and stuck with a spindle project instead.

The fiber is undyed Targhee and the spindle is from Jim Johnson, and I packed several of Jim’s spindles for the trip because I was unsure of which one I’d use to start this project. I chose the lightest of the spindles as I wanted to keep the singles as thin as possible, and if you have spun Targhee before, I am sure you know why. Targhee puffs up a surprising amount during the finishing process that gives the yarn a distinct springiness.

While we had an incredible week on the cape, I am glad to be going home. We miss our dogs, who have been in the care of friends since last Saturday, and I’m sure they miss us too. I hope they like the surprise we are bringing home with us.

Have a great weekend!