Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 Coventry Farmers' Market - Fiber Fest

Yesterday was my first official yarn event of the season! My family and I headed out to Coventry for the Fiber Fest theme weekend of the farmers' market!

2014 Coventry Farmers Market

I love this farmers' market. The Fiber Fest booths were fewer this year, but it was nice to walk through the tents and see some familiar yarn-folk and meet some new ones. My mom was keeping half an eye out for a yarn to match the yarn in the cowl she was working on because she needed another skein and ended up finding the exact match from the vendor that she's pretty sure she bought the original skein from! It was hilarious. She couldn't remember where she'd bought the yarn from and she had lost the label, but it all worked out.

There was a lot of lovely yarn and wool to touch everywhere. And the regular vendors for the market were great, too. Our favourite jam and pie folks weren't there this year, but we made a stop at the fudge stand and the new cannoli truck. There was a lotion bar and handmade chapstick stand that I grabbed a card from which I may end up buying from online. It was a great trip.

2014 Coventry Farmers Market

And The Gabbers brought Audrey the corgi to the market, which everyone loved. It was hilarious. Audrey doesn't particularly like other dogs and generally won't be social with them, but there were dogs everywhere. She avoided all the dogs her size and smaller and wanted to say hello to all the giant dogs. GIANT DOGS. A gorgeous black St. Bernard and an Irish wolf hound and another giant black dog whose breed I can't recall... But she didn't want to stick around too long once she'd greeted the dogs and all the big dogs were disappointed that they didn't get to play.

Frankly, I think it's Audrey's ploy to make other humans pay attention to her. Folks love looking at the little corgi sniffing out the dogs five times her size. And she got plenty of human attention, too.

2014 Coventry Farmers Market

We didn't end up eating at the market, which is normally our tradition, but Dad had it in his head that we'd find some kind of outdoor cafe thing to eat at. We ended up eating Taco Bell in a park in Willimantic, which is fine, but I missed eating great food truck sandwiches. We then met up with Pickleface at college to drop off some stuff and catch up on his new college-ness and get ice cream. It was good times.

I worked on my Event Socks during the car ride, but didn't end up getting very far due to dog in the car and some elbow pain, but I did finish the gusset and did a couple of rows on the foot. So that's progress!

I didn't end up actually buying any yarn at the market. I did, however, re-establish my roving stash for spinning:

2014 Coventry Farmers Market 2014 Coventry Farmers Market

Some white alpaca and a big ol' blend of alpaca/BFL/merino stuff that's really soft. I'll probably spin these together.

2014 Coventry Farmers Market 2014 Coventry Farmers Market

This is some gorgeously dyed BFL that I had to have. It's beautiful. I'm including two photos because I needed everyone to see both sides of this skein.

2014 Coventry Farmers Market 2014 Coventry Farmers Market

And these two braids are lovely as well. I think I'll be spinning these separately because I don't think they'd quite work as combo-plies, but that green is really calling my soul and I love a good autumnal red/orange/purple.

Next yarn event, Yarn Crawl!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Varsity Stripe Socks and Other Stuff

1. Varsity Stripe Socks

Varsity Stripe Socks

Pattern: Varisty from the book 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes

Needles: US 3 - 3.25 mm

Yarn: Grab bag yarn from the Holiday Yarns booth at Stitches East 2013. As much yarn as I could fit in my hand for $20. Yep.

This was my first time doing socks on a really long circular needle and socks done 2-at-a-time. It was interesting. I purposefully staggered the stripe progressing so that I was working with two different colored yarns at a time to keep straight which sock was which. I like how the socks turned out, but I'm not entirely thrilled with the stretch to the stitches while the socks were on the needles. I don't know if my needles just weren't pliable enough yet, but the cord kind of stretched out the socks around the halfway loop. If you know what that means. Yikes.

(Sometimes I forget how ridiculous talking about knitting can be until I write it down.)

Anyway, it was slow going because I was still learning and I still favour DPNs for my socks, but I wouldn't be averse to using this method again and I have some other patterns from that book marked for future projects.

Varsity Stripe Socks Varsity Stripe Socks

Also, thanks to @clamhoppers for the photos of my actual feet! I was trying to take these photos with the 10 second timer, but the surface in the photo is actually a trailer that I had to climb onto, so without help all I was getting were photos of picking the grass out of my socks:

Varsity Stripe Socks

2. Other Stuff

Speaking of @clamhoppers...

(Who is my youngest brother Pickleface, if you didn't know)

He's off to college! He's completed one whole week so far!

And that's partially why the blog hasn't been updated. There's been too much going on. There was some drama at work going down that led to a lot of anxiety on my part. Both brothers were moving to college for the fall semester (Stovetop for his senior year and Pickleface for his freshman), which meant a lot of house and car wrangling for a while. The Gabbers' boyfriend has been up in our neck of the woods for work training, so she's been coming up pretty often to hang out at the house to kill time or keep herself from murdering her landlord or make tomato sauce. My mom's van tried to die, so there's been a lot of vehicle wrangling at home as well.

With everyone out of the house but myself and my parents, there's been this a drive to get stuff sorted while no one else needs the space. There was some furniture gymnastics involving a very large chaise and some stairs and there has been a lot of organizing neglected spaces.

And I've got more craft things started now than I did last time I posted! I'm trying to get things together for a fall/holiday shop update with new Christmas things AND a few scarves which are time consuming. I started a large-ish Halloween cross stitch pattern. I've started a new quilt.

And I'm fretting about my Halloween costume which will be very easy and not so costly with the exception of one thing and I have to get that one thing right. If I get it right, it will be bad ass. If I get it wrong, I'll be very sad about it.

But things are improving. I'm trying to get to work earlier so that I don't have to make up so much time at night/will only be working overtime at night. I'm working on balancing out all the craft stuff into manageable chunks. I'm looking forward to the madness of my upcoming yarn event schedule:

  • September 9th - Coventry Farmer's Market Fiber Fest
  • September 26th & 28th - Western Connecticut Yarn Crawl (Mom's working on the 27th so we're skipping that day)
  • October 10th - Stitches East (actually 9th - 12th, but we need to limit ourselves here)
  • November 1st or 2nd - New England Fiber Festival (which I might be going to alone, depending on Mom's work schedule)

So excited about it. And worried. But it's the natural progression into the crisp goal-oriented worry of the end-of-year months, which can be mitigated by copious lists, tea, and spontaneous baking.

Now if only summer would just leave and let fall settle in.