Tag Archives: Fleece To Shawl Contest

Deep In The Planning Stage.

Alrighty… it’s now been about 2 weeks since I burned my hand, and I’m healing quite nicely.  Many, many thanks to everyone who posted, Tweeted, texted, and called to wish me a speedy recovery – I’m humbled by the outpouring of care, and ever so grateful for it.

My friend and fellow blogger Karen suggested that I use the down time to plan upcoming projects, and that’s exactly what I did.

1.  A Vest For My Husband
Last year was spent knitting either socks or incredibly intricate pullovers and lace jackets.  There was no in-between – it was either one side of the knitting spectrum or the other.  In December, I said to my very patient husband that I hadn’t knit him anything other than socks in a while, and before I could finish the thought he blurted, “A VEST!  I want a tweedy, button-front vest!”

So I started trolling Ravelry for a tweedy, button-front vest, and chose about 5 patterns that I thought he’d like.  After showing him each one, he chose The Cider House Rules Vest, by Linda Daniels, owner of Northampton Wools in Northampton, MA.  But… the pattern isn’t offered as a download.  The pattern also isn’t offered on the shop’s website.  The pattern is offered through Interweave Knits Fall 2000 issue… which I don’t have.  Now what?

The Cider House Rules Vest. Picture by Ravelry user purlingswine.

Problem easily solved:  I emailed Linda Daniels to ask about buying the pattern.  She emailed me back the next day – all I have to do (and you can do the same, if you want the pattern) is send $6.00 to the store, and she’ll mail the pattern out.  And so, with the proverbial check in the mail and a satisfied, Cheshire Cat smile plastered across my  husband’s face, I await said pattern.  Next challenge:  choosing the yarn.

2.  Socks For Me
I was certain that I was going to take a well-deserved holiday from sock-knitting this year.  After all the pairs I made last year (5, plus learning how to darn), I thought I’d concentrate on other knitted items, like cowls and shawls and vests, etc.  But then Dori gave me a skein of Lorna’s Laces Solemate for Hanukkah, in my very favorite colors.  Yes, I could use it to make something other than socks.  But no.  I must… make… socks.  I must.

Pretty sock yarn = pretty socks.

But which socks?   This amazing yarn needs an equally amazing pattern, and there are, like, a gajillion of ’em out on Ravelry alone.  After multiple searches and many days, I’ve decided on these:

This is Skew, designed by Lana Holden, picture by Richard Layton. How insane are these???

So not only am I knitting socks again, but I’m knitting socks from the toe up (which I’ve never done), using a cast-on I’ve never heard of, using the Magic Loop method (which I’ve never done), with many design features that will demand my full concentration, every step of the way.  But hey… if mine turn out like the picture, it’ll be SO worth it, right?

3.  More Socks For Me
Seriously???  Remind me never to say things like, “This year, I’m taking a break from socks.”  So futile.

As I searched and searched for the perfect pattern to use for my Solemate sock yarn, my daughter sweetly asked, “Why do you need a pattern?  Why don’t you just make one up?”

Why, indeed.

Flashback to The 2012 PA Farm Show Fleece To Shawl Contest.  As the teams were setting up, I went over to chat with my friends from Sugar Valley Rural Charter School, The Sugar Valley Shepherds.  They proceeded to bowl me over with a gift of sock yarn and a card that I’ll keep forever, for coming out to their school to interview them.  So unnecessary, but SO appreciated!

This is Regia 4-fädig (4-ply) sock yarn, given to me by The Sugar Valley Shepherds.

I can’t knit just any sock pattern with this.  I think the only thing I can do to honor the spirit of this gift is… to design my first sock pattern.  The name of the pattern will be Sugar Valley.  But you’ll have to tune in to see what they look like.


… and that’s not all.  I’ve got more planned, like knitting 10 pairs of Welted Fingerless Gloves for my “eldest daughter” (aka our babysitter) to give as gifts for Christmas 2012.  But that’s enough planning for now… time to watch some backlogged episodes of The Big Bang Theory.  And dream about socks.

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T Minus 12 Hours And Counting.

Sheep To Shawl Day approaches!  As I gather the last few items on my checklist, why don’t you take a minute to read…

yarnyMarni’s Rules of Engagement

  1. Keeping up with the Fleece and Sheep To Shawl contests here on yarnyMarni is very easy (if you’re not yarnyMarni).  All you have to do is go to the Home page, and every few minutes or so, hit your browser’s Refresh button to see the updates.
  2. I will also post updates to Twitter (@yarnyMarni), but not as often.  These posts will include the “#farmshow” hashtag, for easy searching.
  3. I’ve heard rumors that the free Wi-Fi at The Farm Show has been spotty the last few days.  I have attempted to secure a back-up Wi-Fi network for myself if that continues to be the case, but if that should fail as well, please bear with me as I try to remedy the situation without resorting to alcohol.
  4. All comments are welcome, and encouraged, as long as
    a.  they’re not spam;
    b.  they’re written with respect for your fellow readers.
    Comments that are not in compliance with these 2 simple rules will not be published.

And finally…

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If Your Name Is Jessica, Don’t Read This Until After Christmas.

Sorry, Jessica, but if you continue reading, you’ll ruin the surprise that is your Christmas gift.  The one that my daughter handed you in the cute little holiday gift bag at your Open House.  The one that your daughter took and placed under your tree.  So stop reading now.  I wanna show everyone else what I gave you.  Final warning.

Everyone who isn’t Jessica:  here’s one of the reasons why I haven’t posted in a while:

Fingerless gloves made with Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe 'em.

I can’t recommend this pattern enough.  This is Churchmouse Yarns and TeasWelted Fingerless Gloves, a very easy and satisfying project, perfect for that last-minute gift (which this wasn’t.  This was planned.  Yes it was, Jessica!) or for any reason, really.  This was my first time using Manos del Uruguay‘s Silk Blend, and it absolutely won’t be my last.  This yarn is just gorgeous, whether you’re referring to the color(s) or the quality or the hand or the stitch definition… and it’s a Fair Trade product to boot.

Ok, but these mitts only took me 2 days to knit.  So what else have I been up to?

I’m knitting another pair of these:

SWTC Tofutsies socks... again.

This 2nd pair of SWTC‘s Tofutsies socks is for my daughter’s best friend… because best friends should have matching socks.  That’s what my daughter told me, and really, I have to agree.  The trick, though, is to somehow convince the Great and Powerful Knitting God(dess) that if s/he allows me to finish these without running out of yarn, I’ll never ask for any other knitting miracles ever again.  Ever.  Again.

And if that weren’t enough, I’m about 85% finished with another one of these:

Really? Another one?

The second one is black, a la:

From Vogue Knitting's Early Fall 2011 issue... remember?

Here’s the story about this whole Lace Jacket thing.  When I first saw this pattern, I immediately thought of my friend Amy.  This woman is kind, generous, extremely intelligent, and gorgeous (and I should mention here that all of that describes Jessica, too.  Sigh… I strive to be in that club.).  I had wanted to knit something special for Amy for a while, and I decided that this would be it.

Then it dawned on me that there was another woman in my life who could be described the same way, who was equally deserving of a piece of knitted art.  Even though my mom’s an excellent knitter who could probably tackle this project, she’s been so busy moving into a new house that she hasn’t had any time to pick up her needles.  And I think she’d look great in this as well.  So when my SIL offered to order me some Tilli Tomas Symphony Lace for this project (she doesn’t stock ArtYarns, which is what the pattern calls for), I ended up ordering 2 skeins.  And then I knitted like a fiend to get both done for the holidays.  Now, I wouldn’t recommend this course of action to anyone, under any circumstance, ever, but… I gotta say, I kinda rock for gettin’ it done.

The last thing that’s been keeping me away from my blog… and often, my knitting, is this:

A present for my daughter, which turned into a present for me as well.

The Hanukkah present that keeps on giving… the XBox 360 250 GB Kinect.  I knew my daughter would love it.  I didn’t know that I would love it just as much.  Serious, serious fun… if you haven’t tried one of these things, go into your local Best Buy and try it out.  Don’t worry about looking like an idiot – no one cares because they all want a turn, too.

So… next on the list, I’m trying to set up an interview with an amazing bunch of students who are competing in the Fleece To Shawl Contest at the 2012 PA Farm Show.  I’m hoping to go visit them the first week of January, so stay tuned – it’ll be a great interview.

Gonna go knit now… stop laughing, Jessica, I totally hear you!

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Quick Updates On Lace Jacket, Sheep To Shawl Contest.

Just a quick post tonight… much more to come very soon, after I photograph the Lace Jacket.

Yes, my friends, it’s finished.  The Lace Jacket is actually done, much faster than I thought, and much, much more beautiful than I ever expected.  I tried it on before I blocked it, just to get an idea of how much stretch it would afford me.  For the first time in the 8 years I’ve been knitting, I was speechless.  This is the best… FO… ever.  I can’t wait for the recipient to see it… that is, if I can find a way to part with it.

Sheep To Shawl Contest… I really don’t have any news here, except that it’s getting closer and I really can’t wait.  Once again, if you, or someone you know, is on one of the teams that are competing in either the Sheep or Fleece To Shawl contests , and you’d like some FREE PRESS by agreeing to an interview, please leave a comment with some contact info and I’ll be in touch.  One team did leave a message about a month or so ago, but maybe they didn’t get my enthusiastic email because I never heard back from them… ?  Or maybe I scared them away… ?  Try me again, oh Mystery Team!

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The 2012 PA Farm Show Website is UP!!!

Finally!!!  The post title says it all… I am SO excited!!!  Click here to go to the site.

And I was right… the Fleece and Sheep To Shawl contests will be on Wednesday, Jan. 11th.  Fleece To Shawl starts at 10:00 am, Sheep To Shawl starts at 3:00 pm, and both will be held in the Sale Arena.  If you can’t make it that day, don’t sweat it, your friendly neighborhood yarnyMarni will be carrying both events, plus the shawl auction afterwards, live via this very blog.  Take a look at my coverage of these events from 2009 and 2010, and you’ll get an idea of how I do this.  And this time, I’m going to try like mad to include some video footage.

I’ve had some questions from readers about how to enter handknits and quilts for judging.  I may have mentioned it before, but I’ve heard that for some of these categories, you have to win at the County level to be included in the Farm Show judging events.  But… I did find an entry form on the website for the Fashion Show.  Click here to check it out.

Now, if you know someone who’s entering F2S or S2S, send them my way, won’t you?  I’m looking for teams who would like to be interviewed before the big event (read, Free Press!  I’m giving you free press!).  Don’t worry, I won’t give away any team secrets or shawl designs.  I am a professional, you know.

So, if I may reiterate:  FARM SHOW FARM SHOW FARM SHOW FARM SHOW FARM SHOW FARM SHOW!!!!!!!!

 

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