Category Archives: Travel

So it Begins

Its the start of one of my favorite weekends of the year. Rhinebeck! We’re hitting the road shortly and after. And of course tonight I shall be vending at The Indie  Untangled Trunk show.  Its from 5-8pm at The Best Western Plus, 503 Washington Ave., Kingston, N.Y. So say hey if you pop by!

Rhinebeck Kickoff artwork final


After some frogging madness with Kitra, I only have Cabeladabra to wear for the weekend, but if I was only going to have one sweater, its a great one to have.  Everything is packed (I hope!) and next step is a Hamilton sing along in the car!  See everyone there! 


The Cast On Indecision

Travel Knitting is hard guys, you want something that is interesting to work on, compact enough to give you the most bang for your buck, but also simple enough that it won’t suffer when its put down and picked back up, in possibly unexpected moments.


My last travel project was my color affection shawl, which was great for a week wandering Europe. This is a much, much shorter trip. Just a weekend in Orlando. Some sun and  going to Hogwarts, and heading back during the superbowl.  I expect most of my knitting time to be on the plane this trip.  My first thought was to start another massive shawl, but that would likely then stay on the needles for ages when I got back. I hope to finish the baby blanket before I leave, as that takes up much too much space at its current size to be a good travel project.


I thought about starting a sweater but I would want it to be with the Empire I just wound and no. Remember that compact rule? As much as I love it, my “purse” can’t just be filled with yarn. I mean I could start a sweater with the Neighborhood Fiber Co worsted I have but I still haven’t chosen a pattern.  So much indecision on my end. The rainbow-along starts today and I have wanted to make some mitts from my rainbow handspun.  That would likely be a good pattern to travel with…you know once I choose a pattern.



Have you sensed a theme yet? Pattern choosing…Project choosing…heck even yarn choosing…it’s all hard.

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

And this was one whopper of a plan.  It was all set than it fell apart, than it got stitched back together only to fall apart again. But it finally looks like we are ready to go! What is this plan?


Did the giant pile of Maryland Crabs (starts humming Miss. Baltimore Crabs) give me away. I’m going to MDSW! A group of friends and I shall be driving down in the Wee hours of Sunday Morning and plan to spend much of the day there. My first trip to Maryland, so  I’m pretty excited.

Rhinebeck Fun Times

Rhinebeck as always was a great fun time.  We rented a house this weekend and had six knitters in an old adorable house about an half hour away from the fair grounds.


Granted we were across the street from a boarded up house we jokingly called the  murder house, hopefully. We kept an eye out for any impalas making an appearance.  When pitch black on a winding road, that house is a bit much. But the stars you could see at night!


At the fair, I actually stuck to my plan. No yarn or fiber purchased, though one of the house mates brought in a giant bag of destash and some things may have come home with me. Other than food, I only purchased two things.


Just a couple project bags. My first JessaLu bag and one of the officially branded bags, mostly as I like this year’s logo.


There were also necessary Artichoke French photo ops.


And look Laura Nelkin!


I ended up wearing my Artichoke French both days of the fair as, Sunday was way chiller than expected and neither DownEast or Rocky Coast was gonna cut it. Even with my addition of a color affection.


I also got a chance to try out a Hansen Mini spinner I did enjoy it, and the plan is still to play with a couple of wheels eventually before I made a decision but the space constraints of an apartment, and the complete bodily failure I had at my one drum lesson make me lean towards it.  I have some time to think about it and there will be a learning curve, but I think it would be a good fit.


And of course the animals!




Til next year!

WIPW: The Road to Rhinebeck

It’s that time of year again. Time for the NYS Sheep and Woo Festival. The weekend after  NY Comic Con, because all my favorites happen in October.


The weather report makes me think it will be more like my first Rhinebeck where I had gotten down to a T-shirt and my lovely cabled Vivian was around my waist.  I have an insane plan to buy nothing but another Bosworth spindle at Rhinebeck. We’ll see what actually happens, if last year was any indication… I kept to the yarn rule. The fiber one not so much.  I have yet to touch any of that fiber. Sigh.


So what am I planning exactly if not a plan of attack:

  • Car/House knitting is a must
  • What/if any spinning to bring
  • What meetups to go to
  • Okay one possible purchase (yarn for Alta)
  • Clothes to pack
  • Snacks to bake/pack – I’m hoping I can make deep fried tequila shots
  • Notebook for NaNoWriMo plotting
  • Weave in ends on Rocky Coast
  • Weave in ends on DownEast

I look forward to it.  I have an easy Rhinebeck, I know a friend putting together a spreadsheet, and another has a goal to see demonstrations. So say hi!


Long Island Fleece and Fiber Festival Swag

I was pretty low key about getting things at the fiber Festival but there were a few things that I did grab. There were a couple booths that jumped out at me.  Zauberzeug who had fantastic rainbow roving, that glowed in black light and glow in the dark fiber both of which I made off with.


It’s  two ounces superwash merino, silk, nylon, and polyester glitz. And I may have already put it on a spindle.


From Fiddle Knits I grabbed some neon yarn, in the colorway Got Lime. I also got, an ChiaGoo interchangeable needles to give it a try. We’ll see how it goes.



There is also a Historical house at Hallockville and after the tour a friend and I grabbed a pile of fabric. I want to use some of it to line the bags I want to make with my Batman TAS bed sheets.  This does mean its time to get some interfacing, and break out the sewing machine.



For lunch, we headed across the road to the Martha Clara Vineyards. We got a free tasting, with our bus ticket and then did another tasting there. There was food too I promise. I had a lobster roll. I left with a bottle from my second set of tastings. The Glacier white and Bellini jam, yes with Prosecco.



One of my last stops was the Long Island Livestock Company. There I got some lotion and a small bump of Alpaca fiber.



All in all a good day and a good haul.  And if you want pictures of a lot of cute animals, and old tools,  I posted them on the Facebook page yesterday and you can take a look here


Long Island Fleece and Fiber Festival

For the second time I took  the bus hosted by Subway Knits and Sponsored by  Vogue Knitting to the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Festival. With a couple of friends I had a good time wandering, seeing animals, touring and having a good time. IMG_0209 Just like last year I had a good time at the festival seeing different things happening like the llama obstacle course, having the historic fiber tour of the house, where among other things we learned that Hallockville used to have two major items, linen and wool.  The process for producing linen sounded like tons of work. IMG_0248 The rooms in the old house  were set up with tons of interesting items. Case in point the pink Gramophone. This is what happens when you send your wife to get one and don’t specify a color choice you get pink. There were a few antique sewing machines too be found too, which made me a bit nostalgic for the one my mom threw out. IMG_0244   Though my favorite item in the house had to be the yarn storage cabinet, it had a magnetic lock, and made the most Horror Movie style creak each time it was opened or closed. IMG_0251 IMG_0252   Though the linen spinning wheel and giant loom in the attic came to be a close second.  Much smaller than the usual spinning wheel, in the top left of the image you can see the legs to a much larger wool wheel that was in the back corner. IMG_0245   I think the festival will be a regular stop for me even if I head to Maryland one year.

Studying Saturday: Lights, Camera, Action

When I went on vacation in August I learned something that made me have an ‘Ah ha’ moment. My digital camera is about 5 or 6 years old. Turns out, the camera on my iPhone  4S was dramatically better than it. At least for vacation shots. Most of the photos of my vacation are from my phone. The photos below are my favorite from the trip and are all from my phone or my iPad. My camera worked best in the aquarium but for the most part by day three it was neglected in the bottom of my purse.

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This led me to thinking that it was time to get a new camera. Possibly way over due time. Outside of vacation I just use my camera for Etsy updates, which have been hit or miss.  Too much light, too little, odd shadows. Trying to get the proper angle, light, and picture. I tried an update with my phone and … no.  So I started working on doing some research. Time to control all the things I can, and learn how to use my camera or any camera better.

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I’ve also looked to work on things like lighting (a really difficult thing to get in my apartment), and recently found a great post on lighting. I also always take more photos than I need. I do use CS4 for make any picture I take better, and all but the first photo I believe have Instagram filters applied to it.  Editing, even just a little bit is magic.  But really the best way to get a great final picture is to start with a good picture. I think a lot of my photos have been ok with the occasional stand out.

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I feel like the fact that I can get perfect shots, or shots that can be made much better, with a bit of Photoshop tweaking means its not just the camera that needs work. I learned about light balance for example by accident poking the settings on the camera.  One of my favorite product photos is of my Tardis stitch markers.  And below is the photo, I remember it being a blindingly sunny day, and taking a few dozen photos, and got a few gems.


So I kept feeling that I had the right idea about the photos then would lose the message the next shoot.  Or something that worked a month ago, would not work again. I replaced my light bulbs with daylight bulbs so I would be less beholden to a sunny day.  I set up a light lamp.  I played with photo functions, and found the food setting of all things, provided the most consistent photo.


Then I won a Photography  class from BostonJen of The Down Cellar Studio podcast. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and spend a few days focusing on my photography and making it work. Even as I continue to  hunt a camera, possibly a DSLR or just an updated point and shoot, I have no idea. I spent weeks researching my last camera and clearly that was a good decision, it has lasted years hnd has;  fallen into a bowl of water, fallen often to the floor, made it through rock concerts, vacations, and conventions, so the next needs to be just as reliable.

  hpbad  harry5

I’ve come  far from thinking the first photo is good for an item listing (I actually pulled the picture off Etsy in my shop graveyard), to thinking the second is pretty much the basic standard I should be posting. My photography is still a work in progress, and I pattern photos will be a large can of worms I open up eventually.


Rhinebeck: Weekend of Glee

The trees were turning, the weather was cool the fiber was flying free. We came, we saw, we stayed, we bought. The set up of the cars also seemed to work out surprisingly well, as we seemed to keep the same pace. Our car ‘early birds with a plan of attack’ and the second car, ‘slightly less early birds with a calmer flow’. We would cross paths and reconvene throughout the day, as well as of course have dinner. And fun fact the  hotel had us in adjoining rooms that had a shared door.


There were a lot of baked goods and booze traveling through that door.  We were staying at the Superlodge in Kingston, and I liked that is was closer than the Days Inn we stayed in Fishkill the year before. Though it did mean we didn’t get to Viscount Liquor Store.  We all did agree that a Cabin would be great next year. Mostly for the kitchen.  We were imagining looting the lamb and cheese vendor and then making dinner/breakfast with our goods. As well as when you are traveling with people who make Pumpkin Cheesecake brownies  and Salted Brownies as a driving food who wouldn’t want to let them loose in a kitchen. And my cooking is nothing to sneeze at.  Mmm.


Now my plan of attack:

  1. A Sweater quantity of yarn (to make Artichoke French)
  2. Yarn for my dad’s socks
  3. One new pile of fiber
  4. A nice fancy spindle (I didn’t mention it in the last post but it was always part of the plan, really!)

IMG_3831I nearly succeeded.  Under the Rhinebeck sweater book  is the yarn to make Artichoke French, and there may be a Mini KAL with the same car friends.  The green yarn is for dad’s Christmas socks. I should wind the yarn and cast on yesterday.  The spindle I grabbed was Bosworth Redheart spindle.  I had brought two spinning projects with me, and started the second one, a Hobbledehoy Addam’s Family Collection braid I had grabbed in August.

2013-10-19 22.32.52This spindle is crack. I love it. It spins so long, that my spinning habits don’t match it yet. I’m used to my spindles stopping long before this one does. So I’ve found my self grabbing it to give it a spin while its still going.

Speaking of spinning. You know how 3 says, one new pile of fiber? Yeah so…

IMG_3834That would be four piles of fiber there.  Two braids from Into the Whirled; smaller on outside, and Aurora Borealis. One loop batt in shades of blue.  And a bag of blue from the little barn. So that one rule…Uh. So the Smaller on the Outside braid is super-wash. I think I will try to make handspun socks out of it, once I’m done.  Fingers crossed.  But I think I did pretty well. Right? One little accident doesn’t count right?


It was a very successful Rhinebeck and I can’t wait til next year.

Prepping For Rhinebeck

Well, Tomorrow I drive off to Rhinebeck with some friends I think final count is 9 between two cars and a train. You know a small group.

I  only have two goals for Rhinebeck

  1. A Sweater quantity of yarn (to make Artichoke French possibly)
  2. Yarn for my dad’s socks
  3. One new pile of fiber

Okay my ability to count may be a bit off. But those are my general goals. On that front I haven packed a single stitch of clothing, printed a single pattern or even gotten snacks to carry around. I am treating it like a Con, and will be carrying granola and drinks, if it is anything like last year lines will be miles long before I decide I want food. So….

I will be at the Ravelry Meetup and the Rhinebeck sweater book pickup right afterwards.  Otherwise I will be wandering around playing with wheels and squeezing fluff. I’ll be in my Bergen St. Cardigan on Saturday and likely my Dark and Stormy on Sunday and nerdy/knitterly t-shirts.  It looks like it will be chilly enough to actually wear my sweaters this time.

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But due to being totally unprepared, going to pick up new glasses, and having to travel an hour and a half to get to where we are driving off, I’m moving the Etsy update to Monday.  So have 10% off with the code  RHINEBECK until Tuesday.

I’ll see you Monday with a shop update, full of Christmas, Addams, and Companions.