Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival

You guys. The Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival was amazing. It was so much more fun than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be really great. It was like all of my favorite parts of the state fair were in one air-conditioned building without massive crowds. It was lovely.

I loved the hall of breeds. The most interesting to me was the Jacob sheep, because of the four horns. We also saw Corriedale, Romney, Cormo, and Rambouillet. I have knit with wool from most of those breeds, and it was cool to see them in real life. It felt like seeing a celebrity (I might need to get out more).

My favorite sheep was a Shetland. I got to hold her. I wish I would have brought a bigger purse, because I think I could have stuffed her in my bag and taken her home.

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Next to the sheep there was a big market. It was the biggest market I’ve ever been to before. We walked around for over an hour. We met incredibly friendly vendors. We are now planning a trip to Colorado to learn more about alpacas.

In a shocking turn of events, my attention span for perusing yarn ran out before the market selections did. In the end, I bought yarn from two booths, both of which I also bought from at Fiberpalooza. Their booths were as beautiful as their yarn. I want to make the shawl that was on display at the Yarn Geek Fibers booth.

I bought one skein from Yarn Geek Fibers. I bought a skein of her Super-Geek (75% Corriedale Wool 25% Nylon) in the Grace Hopper Colorway. I love that she names all of her skeins after scientists. Grace hopper was a computer scientist, and the yarn is destined to be socks for my computer geek (John). Her skeins are generous at 113 gr, so I might be able to make Audrey a pair of socks out of what is left over.

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I bought two skeins at Garden Wool & Dye Co. (formerly South Dakota Yarn Co.). I bought a skein of her sustainable merino (100% sustainable new merino wool). in the colorway milkweed. I was drawn to it because it is the color of a raspberry push pop. It is dyed using cochineal, which is extracted from insects in a process that sounds gross but makes pretty yarn.

I also bought a skein of 100% Cormo wool from Minnesota in a medium-wash denim colorway that is dyed with indigo. The sheep that that skein is from is named Dalai. I used some yarn from the same farm when I knit my diamond girl hat earlier this year. I’m looking forward to knitting with that wool again.

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After shopping and cuddling sheep we were ready for a good meal, so we headed to The Cafe for an amazing brunch. After one passion fruit bellini I signed up for the Garden Wool & Dye Co. CSA. For $90 you get one skein of yarn in the weight of your choice every month for three months. You pick a color when you sign up. I signed up for blue, but I’m thinking green may have been a better choice.

Had I not signed up for the CSA I would have been within my yarn diet. I am OK with that. I don’t plan on buying much more yarn this year, and I plan on knitting a whole bunch, so I’m sure I’ll be back in black by the end of the year…

….unless I go to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in September.

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WIP Wednesday: 23/52

Summer continues to be crazy and I continue to forget to pick up my knitting. I’m 2 days behind on my scrap yarn blanket. The sock I was going to finish last Wednesday night? That didn’t happen until Sunday. I don’t even have the ribbing done on the second sock yet.

I did manage to finish the hot pink scarf. It was well received. She was a little distracted when I made her take pictures, but I can assure you it did make her smile.

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Please note the old bunny slippers she wears whenever we visit my parents. 

I have high hope for getting a lot of knitting done this weekend. Saturday Ivy and I are heading to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. I think being around the sheep, producers, and vendors will get me excited to pick up my knitting. I also think I’ll blow through my 300 g of allotted yarn from my yarn diet. I’m pretty sure I’ll go over that, but I am OK with that as long as I make it up by the end of the year.

I hope you are pleased with your crafting progress. You won’t judge me if I buy too much yarn, will you?

WIP Wednesday: 22/52

Happy Wednesday! I’ve put off writing this post all day because I really thought I would be able to show you one finished sock. Unfortunately that didn’t happen (darn kids and their short and/or non-existent naps!). I am very close, and with any hope I’ll be finishing this sock tonight. I will be picking up the toys before I start knitting. Probably. 20180606_1908401016252877.jpg

I started a scarf last week. I had no plans to knit a scarf, much less a garter one, but I was going to a movie (Book Club – hilarious!) and I can only knit rib or stockinette socks in a theater. So I dove into my stash, found yarn, and cast on. The yarn is knit collage. It’s a sparkly hot pink silk. I bought it when my favorite yarn shop was closing and I was blinded by discount yarn and the emotions of losing my home yarn shop. This is a case of falling for the look of a yarn without thinking about how you will never want to wear an item knit with the yarn. Audrey loves it though, so it all works out in the end.

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I’m really enjoying having a completely mindless project to work on when I find time to pick up knitting. For the next week I hope to start the second vanilla latte sock and work a few inches on my scarf. We have been on the go and I just haven’t found time to sit down and knit.

SYSKO Update

I actually swatched this week! I’m happy that I made some progress. I did two swatches. One in size 11 and one in size 15. I then sent them to Mary-Claire to get her opinion. signal-2018-05-31-1558191444481178.jpg

She said she couldn’t tell a difference, so I went with what I wanted to do and picked swatch B (size 15). After that I thought I should block them to see how they turn out. 15 remained the winner.

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The next thing I need to do is a bit of math to determine how many stitches to cast on and how long each stripe needs to be. I will probably get that done this week. But maybe not. Summer is hard to resist.

JoAnn’s Impulse Purchase

Audrey loves giraffes. If she has a clean giraffe shirt or dress that is what she is wearing that day. She loves to see them at the zoo. She likes books about them. She has several stuffed giraffes – Mr. Giraffe (her favorite), two baby giraffes, teeeny tiny giraffe, and big baby giraffe. Did you know a group of giraffes is called a tower? We had to look it up in order to describe the animals Audrey sleeps with.

Audrey and I were out running errands this morning and our last stop was JoAnn’s. While we are there we happened to find some giraffe flannel.

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You may have noticed that I never write about sewing. That is because I hate it and I refuse to do it. Yet I bought a yard of flannel. I bought it with the hope that I could convince my sister Kathleen to sew something with it. She is an excellent sewest and has made Audrey clothes in the past.

I sent her a message and asked if she would make something with it. She said of course. Then she asked what I wanted her to make. That is the point where I came up blank. A dress? Jammie pants? A maxi skirt? Well, not the maxi skirt, Kathleen nixed that idea because it would have a weird nightgown vibe (that is a great example of how she is good at all things sewing related).

Please help me out. What should Kathleen make for Audrey with the giraffe fabric? What should I make her as a thank you? I’m thinking her favorite cookies.

WIP Wednesday: 20/52

I’ve made great progress on my Felici socks. I am worried they are a smidge small. I think I’ve had that scare with Felici on a 3×2 rib before and they blocked out fine. I’m hoping that happens again. If it doesn’t I’ll give them to my Aunt who loves hand knit socks. It will all work out in the end.

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I’m so close to being finished I have already pulled out the yarn for my next pair of socks. I’m using La Jolla in Tequila Sunset. I’ve never used their yarn before and I’m excited to try it. I’m not sure which pattern I’ll be using. I would like something like the Simple SKYP sock pattern, but not that one as I’ve made it a lot in the past year. If you have any suggestions please send them my way.

I hope to have more than one project on the needles by next week. I think two projects at once is a comfortable place to be.