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I decided that I needed to check something off my bucket list. Madrona Fiber Arts Festival.

Luckily for me, I could visit with someone and enjoy the atmosphere as well. So I showed up and sat around in this booth for a bit. Aren’t these mugs awesome? They sold out of course.

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Unfortunately for me, we were a bit too close to Carolina Homespun‘s booth. I’m not exactly sure what happened here….I must have mouthed off about how I was “NEVER” going to spin. I should not have said that within earshot of Morgaine. Because within the day, I was doing this:

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Then this….because this was prettier:

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And it is resulting in me checking a box on the plane, home bound.

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Whoa.  Moral of the story. Don’t say never. Especially in front of a great teacher.

It appears that I was well on my way to catching a cold when I posted last, which explains why I seemed completely intrigued by liquids.

Armed with Purled’s chai recipe (folks, it is ridiculously good — the only thing I have done  to it is adding a stick of cinnamon for its warming properties), I have been a busy bee on the knitting front.

It also helps that it’s baseball playoff time, which means hours and hours of potential knitting time while supposedly socializing. I have one such afternoon coming up, and while my guests are armed with beer and hot wings, I will be content with my sweater in my lap.

See. Knitting is also my way of “dieting”. If my hands are busy, and I have gorgeous yarn running through my fingers, do I want wing sauce all over my face and hands? I can just have my share, wash my hands, and knit away as my 100 wing tub magically disappears.

Just in case I drink beer, the sweater I am working on is stockinette in the round. It’s going to be perfect (although I’ve been known to seriously mess up very simple knitting while knitting socially).

Just in time for Rhinebeck, fresh off my needles is Romy by ANKESTRICK. I made sure my sweater was fall-weather ready by knitting it out of Hedgehog Fibres Merino Aran (the old yarn — Beata has a new Merino Aran base out that is now superwash — I haven’t tried that yarn yet) in a great pumpkin-y orange called Rusty Nail. It variegates from yellow to brown, going through almost every shade of orange. It’s got a high neck to ward off the wind, and this is the other sweater which will require some Jennie the Potter buttons to complete.

This sweater almost knit itself. I was really intrigued by the contiguous shoulder method, so that took a bit of reading and ripping out (complete user error. This was the first time I knit an ANKESTRICK pattern and I was not 100% familiar with the set up. Once I “got” it, though, it went swimmingly — the pattern is fantastic), but once I saw what was going on, the knitting flew. The measurements in the pattern are perfectly clear, and this sweater, fitted properly at my shoulders feels like a garment custom made for me (which it was, of course, but fitting a sweater is not always easy). It may be because the sweater was knit at a relatively tight gauge and it is a “slim” fit, but it is feeling less bulky that I thought it may.

I love this sweater, and while it hasn’t been worn in public yet, I am hoping that Rhinebeck weather cooperates.

Eying any new sweater patterns?

 

And the farmstand had a beautiful head of broccoli.

I like broccoli any old way, but broccoli always reminds me of one of the best bowls of soup that I had in New Zealand several years ago.

I can’t remember where I was exactly — but it was raining, and cold. We walked into a small cafe with teeth chattering, and I ordered a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup.

The thing I remember the most about it is that the bowl in front of me wasn’t a bowl of green bits swimming in cheese colored liquid, but it was a steaming bowl of beautiful green soup, with a mound of grated cheddar in the middle which was melting into the soup as it was placed in front of me.

Since then, this is my favorite way of eating broccoli soup. The soup itself is nothing special — just sauteed onions, celery and broccoli stem, boiled in home made chicken stock and some wine, and the heads added at the last minute and cooked until just soft — and then blended.

I eat it with lots of cracked black pepper, and of course, the mound of grated sharp cheddar cheese.

YUM! Totally warms you up from the inside.

Speaking of warming up from the inside…The other thing that I like to make is chai. I use this version from Elana’s Pantry with extra ginger, but I cannot forget the chai that Nancy/Purled made for me (every morning!!). Ever since I read her last blog post about knitting in bed with the mug of chai, I have been thinking about it! Maybe the chai master will reveal a bit about her secret concoction……

Chai…..mmmmmm

P.S. Yes, I consumed both the soup and chai out of Jennie The Potter ware. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

When it comes to yarn, I’m pretty fickle.

My love for Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace has been pretty well documented. I still love it, and happily bring this yarn out of my stash for deserving patterns. In fact, I recently finished the Romi Hill shawl that I wrote about, in Gaia Lace in Owlets, which is a beautiful silver grey. I was a good girl — only modified the pattern slightly by beading the bind off. I have yet to wear this shawl, since the yarn and the beading combination makes this shawl pretty dressy.

My first foray into blogging about knitting was about Wollmeise so my partiality to Claudia’s beautiful colors is also no secret. I am about to cast on a project in Lacegarn, which I will talk about at some point…and I have Cookie A’s Conic on my needles right now in 100% Merino in Ruby Thursday, which is a really pretty red.

I think I may have a new favorite indie dyer. French Market Fibers. Of course, it appears that I have fallen in love with another dyer whose yarn is tough to get. I have two finished objects out of Margaret’s lovely yarn that I wanted to talk about…

First, the secret test knit I wrote about last time. You can see the shawl all crumpled up in the group photo. It’s BooKnits Almost Autumn. It’s a wonderful pattern, slightly different from Bev’s usual designs and it is lace all over. I made mine out of French Market Fibers Mohair Lace in Spanish Moss.  I was a bit of a rogue test knitter (!) and omitted the beads. I wanted this shawl to be ethereal and…well.. look like Spanish Moss. The photo doesn’t quite do justice to the beautiful and subtle colors in the yarn (look really closely — there are hints of pink, green, grey…) The shawl is about to board a transatlantic flight, to be worn by a friend at a wedding, in which she is a guest. I hope I get the shawl back!

The second project is a sweater that I just finished knitting and is currently being blocked. It’s Levenwick by Gudrun Johnston. It was part of Brooklyntweed’s Wool People I, and has been in my queue since it first came out. I made mine out of French Market Fibers Merino Worsted in Wrought Iron. I cannot wait to get this sweater off the blocking boards. I had originally ordered this yarn from Margaret with thoughts of making something else, but as soon as I opened my package, I knew that it would be perfect for this sweater. The body of the sweater is knit in reverse stockinette — which makes the fabric look woven. It’s really perfect for a subtly variegated yarn, I think. The color is sort of purply and grey and black and lovely. I ran out of yarn so I couldn’t make the pocket for this, but I think it keeps the lines simple and very work worthy. I plan on wearing this with a shawl pin to close at the neck until I see Jennie at Rhinebeck so she can make me the perfect buttons for the sweater.

What’s new on your needles, now that the weather is turning a bit more sweater-worthy?