Coming In from the Rain

Hi all, I’m finally resurfacing… to tell you all about my time at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival! It was great fun this year, as usual, but soggy. The rain has been going on for 8 days now and frankly it has me a little down. Hence the blog silence. I’m sorry! But I wanted to talk about the festival before the week was out. So, here goes!

I was all set to go on Saturday, but I wound up being sick during the night in a most unpleasant way, so could not go to the festival until Sunday. Of course, it was POURING rain the whole time. I guess I should consider myself lucky, as this was the first time in my five times going that we’ve had weather that bad. It was cold, wet, and muddy. Ick. I’m surprised I’m not sick! But the festival itself makes me happy and it was still worth it to go. But, I will say that now that I’ve done the festival once in the rain? Once was enough. I don’t think I need yarn that bad!!

Trish with Jess, Casey, and Mary-Heather from Ravelry

Trish with Jess, Casey, and Mary-Heather from Ravelry

The first stop was the Ravelry meetup in the Rabbit Building. I’m not sure I would call it a “building.” It’s more like a covered pavilion with a gravel and dirt floor. The mud getting into the place was horrendous, and if I had had any sense, I would never have gone, but since when have I had any sense? No way was I going to miss the Ravelry crowd. It was great to see everyone again, and this year they were all modeling designs by Ysolda Teague. Jess had on this amazing little purple shawl that was so lovely! She took it off and showed it to me. It was beautiful, and it even looks like something that I could do, even with my limited lace skills. There were pictures all around, and it was great to see everyone again.

Ysolda Teague and Trish

Ysolda Teague and Trish

And why were the Ravelry folks all wearing Ysolda Teague? Why, because we had the pleasure of being in the company of Ysolda Teague herself! How wonderful! She was adorned from head to toe (literally!) with examples of her beautiful knitwear, and oh my gosh it was SOOOOOO beautiful in person! Ysolda was modeling another version of the same shawl that Jess was wearing, along with the matching hat. Both are available in Ysolda’s book, “Whimsical Little Knits.” I was so enamored of each of these patterns that I got the book right away when I came home. Luckily it was available for immediate digital download. I am all about the instant gratification.

Ysolda was also wearing her Coraline sweater, which she told me even comes in my size, and oooh did I get excited. It’s lovely and now I want to make one. She was also wearing a pair of long, lacy socks which might have been the Rapunzel Stockings. I hope she didn’t get them ruined in the mud!

Speaking of mud, the rain was so persistent and the ground so wet and boggy that boy oh boy, did I ever get stuck in the mud while trying to get out of the Rabbit Building. I can’t believe the size of the hole my wheelchair dug into. I was mucky and muddy for the whole rest of the day after that! But hey, it was fun! Except that I don’t think my wheelchair is a huge fan of water. I started having an electrical short early on during the day. So once again I am in my old, clunky chair that makes me generally grumpy. Sigh.

Here is a collection of images from around the festival that day:

basket weaver in action

basket weaver in action

There was a guy weaving handmade baskets,


a collection of sock designs

a collection of sock designs

and a plethora of sock designs and sock yarns.


bags of colorful yarn on a shelf

bags of colorful yarn on a shelf

And of course, there was lots of yarn!


Oh, and lots of cute sheep to pet:

Baah!

Baah!

Baah!

Baah!

Baah!

Baah!

And there was music! That’s one of my favorite things about the festival. The sounds of music filled the air from just about everywhere. Here was where Maggie Sansone usually performs, except that the one time I got close enough to film, she had actually stepped away. Maggie’s Celtic music is a real highlight of the festival. You can check her out on iTunes, among other places. But here is some of what I got to hear:

Of course, I bought lots of yummy fiber and yarn. More about that… but in another post. Right now it’s past my bedtime, and there’s a new episode of Lime and Violet calling my name. I’m glad I’ll be listening to a podcast while going off to sleep. It’s storming again. Ugh.

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Be Warned: Loooong Knitting Post Ahead

And Thank You for that, oh Cable Internet Provider Craptacular! I’ve been offline more than on since last Wednesday so this is the first chance I’m getting to update since our Bowie Knitting meetup on Saturday. So, bear with me, as this is sort of a catch-up post.

First, I have an FO Report!!

Lady Hawk Hat

Lady Hawk Hat

Project Name: Lady Hawk Hat
Source: Me!
Yarn Used: Cascade 220, less than one skein each of Navy and White
Needle Size: 5 (I’m a loose knitter)
Date Started: October 17, 2008
Date Completed: February 7, 2009

Tammy did the duplicate stitching on the hat

Tammy did the duplicate stitching on the hat

Notes: I did this hat using a simple top-down formula and changed colors back and forth basically when I felt like it. Except that I knew that the letters I’d be using were 10 stitches high so I had to do one of the white bands at least wide enough to accommodate the lettering. I am not sure why this hat took so long to finish, except that it did. Perhaps it was that I was dragging my feet about doing the duplicate stitch lettering, and it turned out that was for good reason, because I sucked eggs at stitching. I’m going to have to practice with some swatches before next time.

So, enter in Tammy, who graciously (and patiently!) tried to show me how to do duplicate stitch at our last group meeting. She felt sorry for me and my pending sense of disaster, I think, because she took pity on me and offered to do the stitching and bring the hat back to me. This was so generous of her! It looks great, doesn’t it? And I do think that my generally hard-to-please, almost-teen was genuinely thrilled with it, even if it was in her usual understated way. Thanks to Tammy for helping to make this project a success!

February Bowie Borders Meetup Report

Our little monthly group met on February 7 at the usual time in our favorite little coffee shop. There was much yarn and much fun enjoyed by all! Here are some photos of the afternoon’s doin’s!

I brought my little Flip Ultra video camera with me to group for the first time and I got a few shots of the fun.

It was a great day! I am always so excited to go to group every time. I love the bunch of people that I am getting to know!

And Finally, A Ravelry Connection!

You know, I am amazed at the number of ways Ravelry has impacted my life over the last year and a half. Over the weekend I got my glasses done, at long last, after being frustrated with my poor quality of vision correction for at least 4 years. Wouldn’t you know it? Someone I met on Ravelry is a Master Optician at a local optical chain, and she helped me make some good decisions about my eyes. I have progressive lenses, and have had them for the last several years, but my mid-range vision for the computer has been consistently awful. Anne Marie (“Roxy”) fixed me right up! Given the amount of time I spend at the computer, she recommended two pairs of glasses, one for distance and reading, and one for computer use and reading. Wow. I never would have thought to do it this way, but it works and I love them! Of course I had to make sure to document the occasion for the blog:

Trish with Anne Marie... I can see again! THANKS!!!

Trish with Anne Marie... I can see again! THANKS!!!

So as you can see, Saturday was a great day filled with many rewards. I do love the knitters!

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New Year, New Yarn

Wait, you didn’t actually think I’d have one of those silly “I won’t buy any new yarn this year,” resolutions, did you? Moi? Uh huh.

Well, ok, technically, it was last year when I bought it. And it came today! Yay! What is it? Why it is this pile o’ loveliness:

seven shades of Dream In Color Classy

seven shades of Dream In Color Classy

When Sheri at The Loopy Ewe wrote last week that they had the Dream in Color Classy new shades of yarn in, I thought I’d click on over and check them out. As you can see, maybe I shouldn’t have! The colors are so yummy and warm and they looked so nice together that I had to have a bunch of them! These guys are destined to be a Tulip Baby Sweater. No, I don’t know of a baby to give them to. But eventually there will be one, and I will be ready. (Did I mention, sheepishly, that I actually have a Tulip Cardigan Kit waiting to be knit up already? Shhhhh…. we won’t talk about that.) At least this way with full skeins of each color I should be able to whip up some matching booties and a hat. Or maybe a whole other sweater with the stripes in a different order.

Ravelry Now a Household Word

My nearly 13-year-old daughter loves to make bottle cap art with Klutz Capsters, and asked for more bottle caps in her Christmas stocking. They arrived a little late (Santa was backordered) but she did find them in her stocking on New Year’s Eve and has already made a whole pile of new bottle cap art objects. “What do you plan to do with them, Diana?” I ask. I got a shrug and a giggle for an answer.

She dumped her collection of bottle caps on the floor tonight for me to see them all, and she said, handing me two of them, “Look, mom, isn’t this the Ravelry dog?”

Bottle cap art with Bob

Bottle cap art with Bob

Oh my! Bob is everywhere! Ok so maybe these aren’t as cute as the real thing, but hey, my kid knows who Bob is! I think that means I’m too obsessed with my knitting community. But, hey… there are worse things that could be.

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Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2008

This year, the theme of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was–RAVELRY!!

Trish, with Jess and Casey from RavelryHere I am with Jess and Casey! Thanks for making sure I could attend and enjoy all of the Ravelry events, guys. You did good.


Trish and Jessica Me with Jessica. The Ravelry meetup was so crowded that I didn’t really get to meet quite as many folks as I was wishing to meet. I did get my sticker, but thank goodness I already had a button, because I hear they ran out. When I went up to try to get my sticker, my chair dug a hole in the muddy gravel and it took several guys to help me out. Oh well, that happens!



Me with buttercups in my hair


My buddy Steve picked a bunch of little buttercups and stuck them in my hair, and in my shoes, and, and, and…


traditional music, banjo, dulcimer, bass


As always, there was the sound of traditional festival music that filled the air. This sort of stuff always makes me think of my dad, and it makes me happy.


ladies petting yarn at festival booth


I don’t know these women but they were sure petting some pretty yarn! (There was lots of petting going on, everywhere I looked!)


The Fold, a.k.a. Home of Socks that Rock


Since I am finally learning to knit socks, I decided it was time to pay The Fold a visit and see if there was any Socks that Rock yarn left. The selection wasn’t huge, given that it was probably about 2:30 in the afternoon and all, but honestly I thought it would be completely sold out, given all the hype I’ve heard in previous years. I managed to get three colorways of mediumweight, but more on my festival haul in tomorrow’s post.


sheep


I didn’t actually go into the sheep barns this year, but outside some sheep were getting washed and this one was being particularly noisy! She’s cute, isn’t she?


Trish with Mary-Heather of Ravelry


Steve and I headed out just after 4:30 and went to Columbia for dinner. We had yummy ribeyes at Clyde’s, and headed around the lake to the Sheraton for the Ravelry party. Here I am, finally getting to talk with Mary-Heather, who was super sweet! I really enjoyed meeting her. Getting to the party was interesting… the only way I could get to the pool area was by cutting through a room that was hosting someone else’s wedding. I’ve never been a wedding crasher before. Haha!


Team Ravelry, making announcements


After mingling for a bit, Casey, Jess and Mary-Heather went to the front to say some thank you’s and do the door prizes and dream stash giveaways. I won a Namaste needle cozy. I don’t knit with straight needles so I’ll either find someone to give it to or I’ll find a use for it somehow! But it was fun to win a prize!


Steve learns to spin a yarn


At the party, my friend Steve decided to sit inconspicuously in a corner by the door, so he’d be easily seen by me, but not noticed by anyone else. Ha! I turned around and found Steve spinning yarn with a drop spindle! I’ve been trying to get him to play with fiber for years, with no success. Then this total stranger is standing there spinning and next thing I knew, he was doing it, too. Unfortunately I did not get the lady’s name…


Steve shows the bit of yarn he spun on a drop spindle
Steve shows off his little bit of spun yarn.


Giant Bob Window Sticker
Of course, Bob was there in spirit! All in all, it was a seriously fun day, packed with great food, great yarn, great friends, and fabulous fun! I really enjoyed meeting the folks that I could meet, and hope to catch the ones I missed next year. For some reason I didn’t have my camera out much, which is odd, but the crowds were so overwhelming that at times, good pictures were nearly impossible to get. But I have lots of memories of a really great day, and a bit of sunburn to remember it by.

Seriously, I was so worn out that I could not blog until now… I spent the entire evening (about four hours) passed out in my den. Now of course I’m not sleepy! Oh well… I’ll be thinking of the fun at the festival as I try to drift off…