Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Muffalettas , More Yarn, and Latvian knits

Candace designed these lovely fingerless gloves or muffalettas. My picture does not do it justice. This is Shelagh's finished glove. Wednesday night we met and purchased beads and received the pattern and some tips. The idea was that we would knit this on the bus to and from Brown Sheep. Well, I don't really like Feather and Fan, and I like my gloves to really hug my hand, and I like a few less beads----Surprise! I knit something different.
This is very influenced by Candace's pattern. I offset the Feather and Fan at the beginning, but used her ending. I used an old lace pattern to design the bead placements, and the reverse (palm) side of mine is totally plain. The yarn is the real key. It is from Edie's alpace Bo. So soft and warm you can't believe it.

I had to buy some for Steve. This is a mix of Bo and Bart (pictured on the label). She had the processing mill mix the black and white fibers to create a gorgeous Oxford grey. Her phone number is on the label. You can only buy this yarn from her. Her internet store is under construction. Just call her; you will love her.

This will be muffalettas for Steve--if he is good.

Last yarn purchase of the trip. Handmaiden Sea Silk. Bought this at My Sister Knits in Fort Collins.

I guess this will be a shawl. After all, that was the focus of this year's class and I have a design almost finished.

This is a group of knitters helping their friend destash. Anne is selling her Colorado house and needs to dispose of some yarn and patterns. As her friends, we tried to help.
I lucked into 10 balls of ecru Brasil for a shawl and 15 skeins of Classic Elite Newport Lite cotton which will become a sweater.

Finally, Linda's Latvian collections. This is a top border for an ecru pair of socks.
A lace glove that is still sturdy.
Another sock top; the cuff was lace and the foot plain.
My favorite. I've used this braid as a cast on for a sock, but never thought of it in the middle of the pattern. Mary Ellen told me that she uses it as the Empire line in sweaters, particularly her Gansey cardigans.

This camp is so amazing because we learn so much from each other. Do yourself a favor: Go to camp.

Shawl class at Camp; Show and Tell

Candace Eisner Strick does not stand on ceremony--at least not at camp. She is writing a new book and it will be about shawls and shawl shaping. Our class was based on some of what she will share in her book which she will self-publish. I'll let you know when it's out because it will be a must-have. I'm hoping we can bring Candace to Charlotte to teach. She's a blast and very smart.
The New Carolyn and Laura are two of our new campers. Paula Sue makes certain they feel welcome. Both plan to come back, so it must have worked.
The well-traveled Linda works with Aisha and her mom, Susan. Linda has been everywhere; I'll share some of her Latvian souvenirs later. It's exciting every year at camp to hear about her travels in the past year and she gorgeous pictures and knitwear.

Paula Sue sent me this pic from the bus trip. Can you say intense??

One of the best parts of camp is the show and tell. Usually we show things we have made in the past year. Agnes showed a gift from a friend who teases her about her obsession with pink (Aimee?). It's a lovely pink wig.
Jay and his mom won the Palm d'Or this year. This is Jay's shawl--2ply mohair lace wt. spun by Jay and his design of a hugely gorgeous shawl.
Can you see Edie on the right? Taking pictures is also a bit part of class.

Jay's mom Betty made us swoon. She has taken on the challenge of afghan's for each of Jay's four children. This is for his daughter and it is the Great American Aran Afghan from XRX. Second row from the top, second from left is Jay's own design which was chosen by Knitter's for this pattern. This made me want to dig back through my mags to find some of these patterns and maybe make some pillows, or even an Aran shawl.

Next: Latvian designs and muffalettas.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brown Sheep Purchases

See how good I was. Just this much bought and all of it either a second or a discontinued color.
This is a superwash in a DK weight. I have some in a blue and a turquoise. I'm thinking heavy socks for this. Occasionally I need some instant gratification knitting.
My beloved Cotton Fleece in the Cherry Moon colorway. This is planned for a sweater for me. Maybe a new Gansey sweater. My old one is cotton fleece and is pretty worn.
My favorite. Ten skeins of Cotton Fine, Cotton Fleece's baby sister. The colorway is Grey Dawn and -- darn it-- has been discontinued. I bought all they had. It will be a lace something. I love this yarn for lace. The 20% wool makes it a year round yarn for us Southerners and the twist of the cotton holds the shape of a lace pattern beautifully.
This is the color card for a new yarn from Brown Sheep. Most of the world loves Lamb's Pride because it felts so beautifully. The 15% mohair content also adds a halo effect to it. Some folks do not like the halo, so Brown Sheep has produced Lanaloft. It is simply Lamb's Pride without mohair. Same great felting quality and some stunning handpaints. I showed this to Remi at Charlotte Yarn and I do bellieve she will be buying it and the Burly Spun for winter.

Last night I promised Cristi I would really talk up the Cotton Fine to Remi also.

I brought a pound of top to share with my spinsters. It is the same wool they use for Top of the Lamb, another of their wool yarns. Has a great feel and Remi can order it for us. I left a sample at the shop.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Colorado Knitting Camp Day 1

The bus trip to Brown Sheep in Nebraska.

Our friend and instructor, Candace Eisner-Strick (rt) talks with Laura, whose book comes out soon, while Ken Strick looks on.
Gay, my fantabulous roomie and the camp organizer.
Aisha, age 20, our youngest camper sits with her father who also knits. Behind him is my new friend Jay who spins, designs, and teaches his 5th graders to make spindles and spin.

Gay got a real deal on a very large bus. We lucked out and had a fabulous driver, Patsy, who plans to take knitting lessons.

Twenty minutes out of Fort Collins, the bus dies. Patsy calls the owner who says "Oh, yeah. It overheats sometimes. Just let the motor cool, and from now on, don't use the air conditioner when you are going uphill."

Forty minutes later, the bus quits. We are in Wyoming. Wyoming is desolate for very long distances. Desolate means no cell towers; thus, no way to call for help. We opened the two ceiling hatches (the windows don't open) and headed off again as soon as the motor cooled. Luckily we all had Emergency Knitting.

Ultimately we made it. Peggy Wells, the owner and general manager, had made lunch for us. Peggy and her sister had attended camp last year and invited us up for the current year. We toured the facility and ate and then, bought!!!
The "hat" I'm wearing was designed by Kathy Hartmeister for Brown Sheep. Helen rode up on the bus with us. Unfortunately the pattern is still at the printer, but I will be getting it. It is more like a crown so it doesn't smush your hair. The wild felted fringe can be worn up or down. I like up---makes me look taller. The pattern for matching mittens is already out.

What did I buy? Oh, that's for another day.