Tag Archives: Knitter’s Day Out

Starting To Skew.

Where does the time go?  I don’t mean to be away for so long, but life is definitely getting in the way of my blogging efforts lately.  Nothing bad, thank goodness… just busy with work and daughter and stuff.

I started Skew a few days ago, after re-reading The Magic Loop by Bev Galeskas, which I had bought at Knitter’s Day Out.  It took me a few tries to get the cast-on and the first few rounds of the toe going, and then it took me a couple of days to convince myself that what I was doing was actually correct.  Because if you look at the work, it looks kinda… off.

Ummmmmmm... what IS this?

But then you try it on, and you realize that you’re actually getting it:


Well look at that... ! And it fits!

As for the Magic Loop method… I admit, I kinda like it.  But I’m not sure if I like it enough to give up my DPNs.  We’ll see what happens after I finish this project.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for my Cider House Rules Vest pattern to arrive.  I’d be thrilled if it came today, but not surprised if it comes next week.

Busy day ahead of me today… among my Things To Do:  spend a little time watching (and counting) birds. Why, you ask?  That’s a blog post for another day, but mainly, this weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, a great way to spend some time away from the TV, computer, and all things indoors.  Betcha didn’t know I had other interests besides yarn… ?


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…And What Did YOU Do For National Alpaca Farm Days?

… why, I visited a local alpaca farm with my family, of course!

"Hello, welcome to my farm!"

You may recall that, during KDO, I stopped to chat with Sheri Hunt Smith at the Alpacas of York booth in the Marketplace. She reminded me back then that National Alpaca Farm Days were September 24-25, and I quickly wrote it down on the back of her business card.  Then I committed it to my calendar.  Because I… love… alpacas.  I do.  I mean, what’s not to love?  They’re sweet, gentle, adorable, easygoing… I don’t have to mention the gorgeous fleece, do I… ?

So this morning, my family accompanied me down to York, PA to visit Sheri’s farm.  There was a LOT to see – multiple displays explaining everything about alpacas – their history, care, different breeds, how they’re shown (in contests, kind of like dog shows.  There are also contests for quality of the fleece.  They even have agility courses for alpacas!), and, natch, what you can do with alpaca yarn.  My daughter particularly enjoyed making soap with alpaca fleece – think “loofah with the soap already in it,” and you’ll get a pretty accurate picture… really, really cool!

I took a few pictures.

My daughter with her new friend.

I think these two were pretty young, but not as young as...

... this little one! S/he was, literally, born yesterday! And already smiling for the camera!

Baby and slightly-older alpaca, hanging out.

Just one of the many displays at Alpaca of York's Farm Day.

I couldn’t believe how large Sheri’s store was – it literally took up a whole barn!

A wall of fiber-y wonderfulness, thanks to alpacas.

Don't get freaked out - these are just hand puppets. No alpacas were harmed in the taking of this photo!

Alpaca roving, calling to me...

And yarn. Of course there's also yarn. Looks soft, huh? It is.

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Michelle, who I believe boards her animals at the farm.  She happened to be sitting next to the long box that I believed to be a carder…

Remember this?

… but I was was wrong.  It’s a picker.  It takes the alpaca fleece and sort of fluffs it up in advance of the carding process.

And once again, I was thinking of buying a little bit of roving to tempt me back to my drop spindle… but no, I’ll save the good stuff for when I’m much, MUCH better at it.

Oh beautifully-colored roving, I'm not worthy! Not yet, at least.

As we were leaving, I thanked my husband and daughter profusely for humoring me on my quest for All Things Yarny, but I know that both of them enjoyed it as much as I did.  And so… if you’re reading this, I know I don’t have to say it, but I can’t think of a better way to end than by reiterating:  support your local farm(s).  Every day, they’re doing things that, in some way, are benefitting your life, whether you’re aware of it or not.  Now go buy some of that alpaca yarn you were ogling at the LYS


Filed under Knitting, Uncategorized, Yarn

Planning Ahead.

All of the excitement that was KDO has gotten me into a planning mindset…

Sept. 22ndYarn Garden is celebrating their 5th anniversary (5 years already???) with an Open House event featuring Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm.  This farm is the first Fiber CSA in the country – how fantastic!  Read about it here.

Sept. 24th-25th –  Alpacas of York is ringing in the 4th Annual National Alpaca Farm Days with their own Open House.  I’ll be trekking out their way on the 25th, with my very indulgent husband and daughter in tow.  Because alpacas = love.

Oct. 1st – Dec. 31st – Knit like the wind.  The number of knitted gifts I intend on giving this year is growing exponentially.

Jan. 11th, 2012 – I’m betting that this is the date of the Sheep-To-Shawl Contest at the 2012 PA Farm Show.  I didn’t cover it last year… explanations here… but I’m thinking that this year, I’m ready to do it again.  But in the age of Twitter and YouTube and live broadcasts from the local cable network, would anyone still be interested in following the event via a live blog?  I’d be interested to hear opinions on this – if there’s interest, I’ll be there, on the floor with the shearers and carders and spinners and weavers.  If not… I’ll still be there, but in the stands (*sniff*).  Watching (*sniff sniff*).  And knitting.  😉

What fiber-y events are on your calendar?

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My Favorite Things Today.

Or, My Favorite Things Today and Adjacent To Today:

Favorite KDO Moment:  As if KDO wasn’t great all on its own, later that night I checked my blog stats.  More than 320 of you checked out yarnyMarni Central!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Favorite Tweet:  This link was retweeted by the incomparable Amy at Knitty.  Please do yourself the favor of clicking through… you won’t be disappointed.  Promise.

Favorite Read(s):  Usually I read exactly 1 book at a time, but at the moment I’m getting through 2 books and 5 magazines.  All on the same topic… except this one.  It just fascinates me, okay?

Favorite Blog Post:  Mine, of course.  No really… check this one.  So funny… and SO true.

Favorite Real-World Event:  My daughter auditioned for, and was accepted into, her school’s orchestra group.  She’s the youngest violinist of the bunch.  Go honey go!!!

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Another Successful KDO, Another Successful Heel Turn.

Day 2 of Knitter’s Day Out:

7:30 am:  Left the house an hour before my first class, fearing that I’d get stuck on I-81S again.  Thankfully, there was absolutely no traffic at that hour, which consequently made me 45 minutes early to campus.  Made my way to the classroom and thought I’d knit on the Norfolk Ramblers a bit, but instead, chatted with other early birds until class began.  Shadow Knitting was a lot of fun, and easier than I thought.  It might be a little tricky for me to create my own illusion patterns, but at least I’m more familiar with the technique now.

11:30 am:  Lunch!  Gotta hand it to the KDO Organizers, they treat their students REAL WELL.  The food was excellent!

12:00 pm:  Strolled the Market again.  Went back to some of the vendors from last night to chat with them and take some pictures:

Sweitzers Countryside Yarn Shop:

Beautiful display - rustic and homey, it just draws you in.

Sweitzers had their yarn in Mason jars... I love it!

Fluffy U Fiber Farm:

These artisans spin yarn from the fleece of animals on their farm. No artificial ingredients!

Don't believe me? All of Fluffy U's yarn was labeled like this. Personally, I love knowing exactly what kind of wool is in my yarn.

Dancing Leaf Farm:

DLF has the most gorgeously dyed yarn. Wish I had a LOT more to spend at the Market today...

Dancing Leaf also had these needle felted scarf kits... wow!

Alpacas of York:

This is Sheri from AoY, carding some alpaca fleece. At least I think this is carding. I never saw it done like this before!

Alpaca of York roving. Makes me want to attempt the spindle again.

I also had a picture of Gerry from Dyed Bright Here, but for some reason I’m having trouble downloading it.  We chatted as she spun some beautiful pink and gray roving that her daughter dyed.

1:00 pm:  2nd class, Crochet for Knitters.  It was so nice to be in a room full of smart, talented knitters who, like me, knew NOTHING about crochet.  Some of these crochet stitches were confounding at first, but I got a lot of practice during class, and I think I can single, double, and triple crochet with the best of ’em now.  Not planning on giving up the knitting needles for a hook, but VERY glad I took this class!

4:00 pm:  One last stop at one of Central PA’s most revered yarn vendors to buy some sundries, then… home.

All in all, a very successful KDO.  Many, many thanks to the organizers for all their hard work and dedication to this conference – I truly hope they know how much they are appreciated.

And now… back to the Norfolk Ramblers:

Since I refuse to allow this crazy heel turn to defeat me, I decided to do some research. Turns out that this pattern is describing a Welsh Heel, which creates a pocket that’s more square than the commonly-knit round heel.  The YOs in this case don’t create holes in the work, which is what I had assumed would happen because… that’s what YOs do.  Create holes.  Decorative ones, for lacey things, as I’m sure you know.  Maybe when I first tried this heel turn, I misread the instructions or something, because my 2nd attempt was much better:

See the cool "seams"?

So yay!  Moving on to the heel gusset… oh, and my Tilli Tomas Symphony Lace is on its way!

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