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Saturday, May 01, 2004

Lots of Pictures! 

I apologize to any dial up users out there but it's been a long time since I've posted anything here and I have a lot of catching up to do...

First of all, my finished ribbon sweater from Rebecca magazine #25:



The sweater, as an inanimate object, is quite beautiful. I knit it using Madil Apache ribbon yarn in a wool/acrylic blend, and Classic Elite Provence mercerized cotton yarn. This was the first sweater I ever started and the second one I've finished. I wore it to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival this morning (more on that later) and I received several compliments from strangers. They could all tell, however, that is was homemade.

Mistake number one - I used 100% cotton for the ribbing instead of the cotton/acrylic blend recommended in the pattern. This substitution was based on the advice of a LYS owner who actually told me she started her own yarn store after getting fed up with bad advice from other yarn stores. Hmmm.... Anyway, as a result the cotton ribbing gets stretched out easily and does not retain it's shape at all. The Classic Elite is a beautiful (and expensive) yarn and it would be wonderful for something else, but to hold up a super wide off the shoulder neckline it doesn't really work.

Mistake number two - this was the first time I'd knit a sweater completely in the round, and while I liked it and I want to do it again, I didn't really know what I was doing this time. When I got to the point in the pattern where I bound off for the armholes I thought it seemed like the armholes were going to be too small. If I'd read ALL of the instructions I would have known that was not the case. I basically ended up trying to adjust for my fat upper arms and way overcompensated.

Here is a picture of me wearing the sweater:



You can't really see just how big the armholes are in this picture, but you can get an idea of how wide the thing ended up being on top. You can also get an idea of just how sweaty and worn out looking I was after just a couple of hours at the Sheep and Wool festival. I took a picture of my armpit too but I won't subject you to that. I feel I should mention now that the armpit picture was taken to show how big the armhole is, not to show how sweaty I was.

So... like I said I love the way it looks when I'm not wearing it. I really don't want to unravel and re-knit it, because I did not particularly enjoy working with that ribbon yarn. But I don't want to keep it and never wear it either. Did I mention that it was really expensive?

It just happens that my friend Sarah, who recently moved to Utah is on the road headed for my house right now. Sarah is about 10 inches taller than me and much more "well endowed" so I'm hoping it might fit her.

Here is a picture of Sarah:



I know this isn't the greatest picture of her (sorry Sarah!) but she is modeling a scarf I made for her birthday a couple of months ago. I made it holding two strands of Lion Brand Fun Fur and 1 strand of black and white Lion Brand Homespun together on #19 needles. I think it is FABULOUS, I must say. I really like the way it turned out.

Now onto my Maryland Sheep and Wool festival adventure. I was supposed to meet my friend Debbie there at 10 am but I was running late (of course) and then there were sooooooooo many other people also going to the festival that it took me almost an hour to get there and it's only 16 miles from my house.

Debbie didn't have a cell phone so I couldn't call her and by the time I got to the Information booth she was no longer waiting around. I don't blame you Debbie!

Marianna was supposed to call me when she got there but for some reason I never heard my cell phone ring even though I discovered that she'd called twice when I checked my messages. So I ended up walking around by myself :(

The festival itself was really everything it's cracked up to be. So much yarn and knitting paraphenalia it's overwhelming. It was hot and extremely crowded, and I'm a little on the claustrophobic side, so I spent most of my time browsing the vendor stands outside of the buildings, although I did push my way through all of the vendor buildings (I think) but I could only stand to do a quick run through.

I ended up buying the book "Knitting Around" by Elizabeth Zimmerman because I just read something about it on a blog the other day and decided I had to have it. I bought the book from a vendor who was from Hastings, Michigan, but I can't remember what it was called. A lot of the vendors were selling books but I decided to buy one from her because I felt the need to support Michigan yarn shops since my poor mother and sisters have nowhere nearby for nice yarn at home.

I also bought this lovely yarn from Brooks Farm and Fibers of Lancaster, Texas:



Like I said, I couldn't stand to be in the buildings for too long and Brooks Farm and Fiber had an outdoor booth. Even so, I think they had the best stuff for the best price there, in my opinion. I bought 2 600 yd hanks of the single ply (very) thick and (very) thin plain wool for 12 dollars each. It was just so much yardage for so cheap and it would be perfect for dyeing and felting, although possibly not knitting. We'll see....

I also bought 1000 yards of extremely soft and pretty worsted weight 50% silk 50% wool hand painted yarn for under 60 dollars. A pretty good bargain, in my opinion. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to knit with it, but I'm thinking of a basic 3/4 sleeve raglan knit completely in the round.

I probably would have ended up buying more stuff if it had been cooler, less crowded, and I would have had someone to shop around with that would have talked me into it.

I'm drained from all of this blogging now. I'm going to go play with my new yarn.

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