Is this the knitting section?

Yesterday was Stitch ‘n Pitch at Nationals Park.  I headed over to the stadium after work and met up with Jessica and Liz and their men. 

(Men not pictured)

Our seats were pretty high up.

Look, a knitter!

More knitters!  That’s Orangina on the left.  There actually weren’t as many knitters present as we were expecting.  We seemed to be spread out among lots of unsuspecting non-knitters.  Some made comments about being in the “knitting section.”  We had them surrounded.

These are pretty much all the pictures I got in before my camera crapped out on me.  So you’ll have to settle for my project pictures from Ravelry.  I worked on my Leaf Paneled Sweater for a bit, and then my Palette scarf.  The yarn for this scarf is some Spunky Eclectic corriedale I spun on the Hitchhiker.  (Yes, we are getting along just fine now.  More on that later). 

Oh yea, baseball.  The Nationals played the Texas Rangers for 14 innings, the longest game in the Nationals’ short history.  And they won, 4-3!  It was a very long game but it was neat to be part of it. 

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Maryland Sheep and Wool! Festival!!!

Today was the big day.  The weather, the fiber, the sheep-y smell, it was glorious.  We spent the first few minutes wandering through the barns. 

This is the best sheep photo I could get.  Apparently they are camera-shy. 

Then came the shopping.  

 

Ok, where to start.  The white stuff on the left is some heavenly soft cormo.  The big bag in the middle is one and a half pounds of shetland.  I have grand ideas of spinning this for a sweater.  That is, if I can get it all to spin up the same weight.  Ha.  Moving on…the small bag in the middle is some amazing baby alpaca.  The brown stuff next to that is not-as-nice adult alpaca, and the multicolored stuff is merino.  When I found it I thought I had some unique locally produced fiber.  Then I found this same stuff all over the freakin’ place.  But I got the best price for mine, so there.  (This reminds me of the time I found some amazingly soft and inexpensive alpaca yarn at a small festival and thought it was something special.  Then my bubble bursts when I discover–thanks to Ravelry–that it’s distributed pretty much all over the place.  Oh well).  Then there’s the niddy noddy, and a couple stickers from Jess and Casey.  Note that there is no yarn in this picture.  That’s because I really don’t need any more.  I need to make more.  There’s a difference. 

Most of the fiber there was in fleece or lock form.  Otherwise I might have come away with much more than my five and a half pounds.  But sadly, my little condo is not equipped for fiber processing.  Plus, my sister probably wouldn’t appreciate the smell of sheep poo. 

Of course there is much more to the festival than just shopping.  We checked out the skein and garment competition, and caught the judging of the sheep to shawl competition.  My camera was somehow absent during these, sorry!   

Here’s Jessica, Liz, and Mai at the Ravelry meetup.  At this point we had been at the festival for four and a half hours.  We didn’t much feel like socializing to say the least.  But we couldn’t pass up a photo op with a couple celebrities:

All in all it was a good day.  There was sheep petting, yarn fondling, lamb gyros and my brush with fame.  A good time was had by all.  Now please excuse me while I go pass out.  If anyone has any creative ways of storing a fiber stash, do let me know.      

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How to spin on a Hitchhiker wheel.

 

Teach yourself to spin on a wheel in 8 easy steps!   
 
Step 1. Figure out how to use a leader. If you already know how, goody for you. Go on to step 2.
 
Step 2. Thread the leader. Hint: it goes through the hole.

Step 3. Get your fiber ready and start treadling. When nothing happens, try treadling faster.

Step 4. Notice that thing that resembles fishing line on a stick. It looks like it’s supposed to go somewhere, so take a guess and put it there.

Step 5. Start treadling again. Spin happily for about 10 seconds, then watch the flyer fall off and hit the floor. Curse.
 
Step 6. Screw the flyer back in. Start treadling again, only this time go the opposite way. Watch your yarn unspin itself. Fantasize about chucking the thing off the balcony as you untangle the yarn.
 
Step 7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until most of your free time is shot.
 
Step 8. You couldn’t possibly make any more mistakes. Spin some uneven yarn until you feel better about yourself.
 
Now, wasn’t that easy?  Who needs fancy-pants spinning lessons?

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome home, little guy.

I won an auction on eBay.  Looky! 

What could it be?

Still not sure?

It’s a Hitchhiker!  Yep, I caved and got a spinning wheel.  I do love my spindles but I couldn’t resist this little guy.  He’s portable, he’s cheap, and come on…the treadle is shaped like a foot for pete’s sake.  And he has his own tote bag for traveling.  That is, if I ever get the courage to spin in front of other people (you know, people that can tell I kind of suck).

Note how the bobbin came with some yarn on it…thanks? 

Now if only I could hole myself up in the house and play with my new toy.  But I guess I should do those errands I’ve been meaning to do.  Olive might want to eat sometime soon, right?       

 

 

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Sunday Spinning

I’m still spinning and still loving it!  I’ve spun up a bunch of mini-skeins since I started but never got around to posting them here.  They’re solid, natural colored and just…meh.  But here’s my first “real” skein I started yesterday and finished up just now. 

It’s merino from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club.  Yes, I joined another club.  This one is awesome…you pay by the month, not all at once, and just cancel when you want the fiber to stop coming.  And Amy is so great to work with.  There was a problem with my shipment and she got right on it and I had my fiber in no time. 

The yarn is bulky/superbulky, about 75 yards.  I thought merino was supposed to be a non-beginner-friendly fiber but I didn’t have any more trouble with it than usual, and it didn’t come out any more uneven than usual!  I enjoyed the spongy-ness.  Now…what to do with it…

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Hoppy Easter!

Olive wants to wish everyone a happy Easter, and hopes your Easter basket is filled with lots of hay, twigs and raisins.  Oh, and maybe a pinecone or two, if you’re into those. 

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Summer of Knitting

First day of spring!  Wheeeee!  Time to put away the heavy sweaters and start working on summer projects.  I usually don’t go for knit tank tops and such, but there are a few summer tops I want to knit.  I also really really want to finish all the piddly little projects I have yarn for.  Scarves, hats, mittens and the like.  So, I made a list of everything in my Ravelry queue that isn’t a sweater, socks, or an incredibly daunting and/or time-consuming lace shawl.  Here it is…I’m going to be lazy and not link them all.

Tops:

Shawls:

  • Clementine lace shawlette from IK Spring 07
  • Loop shawl from Sensual Knits
  • Logan River wrap from IK Fall 07

Scarves:

  • Diamond leaf ascot from The Little Box of Scarves
  • Halcyon from Knitty
  • Feather and Fan scarf from The Little Box of Scarves
  • Misty Garden from Scarf Style

Mittens:

Hats:

  • Cabled newsboy cap from SnB Nation
  • Amelia from SnB calendar 2007
  • Foliage from Knitty

Bags:

Other stuff:

My plan is to…brace yourselves…knit all of these by the end of the summer.  28 projects.  Think I can do it?  I’m starting at the top with the DROPS tunic.  Here goes!

*Only if the yarn I already have works out with this pattern. 

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