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September 2008
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November 2008

BOO!! It's Hallowe'en!

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Earlier this week I ran into one of my dear Witch friends who was about to leave for Salem, MA.  She offered to take me along and I was very tempted because that would put me in Sandy's neck of the woods. However, I was afraid for my life (and that of my Weird Sister's) when I saw the power lines right above her head.  Green Witches are notoriously bad fliers. 

Today is the last day of Socktoberfest and I actually finished the Mystery Socks last night before the witching hour.  They will have a proper photo shoot this weekend.  Knitting a mystery was fun and knitting with Kim's fabulous yarn made it all the better.  How she dyes this yarn in so many fabulous colors is a mystery to me and I must confess to spending quite a bit of time drooling my way through  The Woolen Rabbit website yesterday.  Kim has so many fabulous colorways and I want to knit them all right up! 

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Speaking of fabulous yarn....the Foxfire yarn for my NaKniSweMo has been ordered and while it won't arrive for a few more days (hopefully it won't take much longer than that) I remain undaunted and unruffled. The pattern hasn’t been published either, but I know everything will come together…I just know it will. Last year I knit a sweater in 22 days.  I do hope to do the same this year and, yes, I am feeling a bit delusional (a state I know well). Why do you ask? 

In an act of sisterhood, I plan to blog every day for the next two months with Vicki and in solidarity with my three dear friends who will make it all the way through 365!  I can certainly join in for the next 61 days. 


WIPs State

Even though there were only four small-ish projects on my needles, I felt truly overwhelmed before heading off to the Land of Green Witches. The Mystery socks were quite complicated, which slowed progress, and I felt they'd been neglected because of my trip East. The T-day mitts were getting small amounts of attention (only what I could give them during a 15 minute work break) and it didn't seem like they were growing very much.  The Lace Ribbons Scarf was only half finished and, well, I couldn't even consider Kusha Kusha. 

As it turned out, I really needed to keep faith in my Green Grrlfriends as progress seemed to fly as fast as witches throw spells. Between Sunday (the day of my visit) and today, the needles have flown faster than I've ever seen.  At times my hands were just a blur. Their efficiency was spellbinding!

So just how much has been accomplished?

Mystery sock?  The toes, the toes….only the toes to go! In fact, only one toe is left to complete as I finished one last night. This project has been fun but sadly, while it looks like Sock Mojo will not stick around once the mystery is over, it was nice to visit with him again.

Socksandapplesforfalldays

T-Day Mitts? Well, the first mitt is nearly finished and the second one will work up quickly.  I predict a this project could be wrapped up tonight. SittingonasswatchingbadTV should help. The weather peoples have said cold weather will return by next week and the mitts will be ready.Tday_mittisalmostdone
Handspun Lace Ribbon?  With the other two projects nearly off the needles, this one might just be finished by the time the NaKniSweMo sweater yarn arrives from Foxfire Fiber. It would be wonderful to spend the weekend knitting luscious angora/alpaca handspun. Even Kusha Kusha could be running towards the finish line shortly.

All this finishing could precipitate a case of Empty Needle Syndrome (ENS), but I think Mitten and Glove Mojo are hovering nearby and if they get their way the DPNs will not be empty for long.

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October is a magical month and that's all there is to it. The fall days have been beautiful, warm, and even luxurious. I've been indulging in my favorite fall treats of crunchy apples and warm teas while knitting on the patio.  The election season is nearing its end and winter is holding off as is Holiday angst. It maybe the calm before the storm, but I'm basking in it, enjoying the moment and delighting in all things good.


Magical Mystery Socks

Every October you'll find me making a pilgrimage to commune with the Weird Sisters in the Land of Green Witches so that I can receive their spells of good knitting. They are lovely, benign and silly Grrls who always send me away refreshed, refocused (a spell that usually doesn't stay with me for long), and rejuvenated. I look forward to my visit every year, but this year, as the Socktoberfest deadline looms large, I need as much of their magic as they're willing to give.

The Land of Green Witches can  be a little dangerous because the Witches fly about with abandon. On occasion one will have an accident, but as you may know, Witches are rarely hurt by such incidents.

Flyingwitchwatchout Thiswitchfliesintothesiloeveryyear

Witches love pretty houses and the Witch who lives in this little yellow house is one of the prettiest Weird Sisters in all the land.  My favorite house, however, is the Pumpkin House.

Greenwitchesloveyellowhouses Pumpkinhouseisanicehangout
Many of the Weird Sisters have pet bats, bugs or cats.  Miss LaFey has a friendly purple spider that always has a smile for me.

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Missbugabootriestocasttherightnetsp Thepetspidertriedtostealmysock This year Miss Bugaboo had the scariest pet and it wasn't the bug eyes that got to me...it was the way it tried to run off with  my sock!  I'm not sure Miss Bugaboo knew the best way to control her pets as she had a pet net at the ready at all times. She isn't the best dressed either, as her hat clashed horribly with her skin.  I really question her taste in clothes, pets and spells, too as the sock was so afraid it nearly lost its stitches!  Off I went in search of a true friend, a Witch who had my best interest at heart.

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Knitarowtocasttherightspell_2 It wasn't long before I ran into a Witch who loved what I love,...very GOOD CHOCOLATE.  I knew to come armed with the best of the best, something deep, dark, rich, interesting and flavorful.  Miss Kookako was so impressed she cast a very strong spell and knit a few extra rows to insure a good outcome. Leaving the  Land of Green Witches is always bittersweet, but I felt very good about my chances of finishing the Mystery Sock after visiting with dear true green friends.



To Delude or Not to Delude...That is the Question

Daniel was finished just days before I left town and flew East for Rhinebeck.  There was little time to contemplate, or get started on, the next big knit. I also considered that NaKniSweMo was coming up rather quickly after my return home.  Since my Delusions had caused me to cast on a few more projects than is usual, I decided to spend the rest of October in finishing mode. Easy projects for airplane/airport knitting were a must, too. 

0cowlforblazingneedlesonneck_2 Darksidecowl
A couple of easy cowls made good airplane/airport knitting while flying East. The midnight flight was a killer and knitting while waiting in airports kept my eyes open. Terry will tell you it took considerable effort for me to make it to 9:00pm that night.  While at Rhinebeck little knitting was accomplished but on the flight home I knit like a fiend on Lace Ribbon.  Five hours stuck in my seat, five long killer hours of obsessive knitting, took the scarf from a mere 8" to over 30".  She is beautiful and I'm enjoying knitting with my own alpaca/angora handspun. However, this project is far from the finish line.

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After returning home, I did start a pair of Thanksgiving Day Mitts to match the Darkside Cowl. The Shelridge yarn is so soft and lovely and the mitts are a good project for lunch time knitting.

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However, the delusions of desire are eating their way into my brain just as I try to keep focus on finishing. While checking a preview of Knotions November issue, I saw the perfect mittens for my recently acquired Briar Rose yarn.  To make matters worse, while walking around Rhinebeck, I saw a few preview sweaters for the November issue of the Twist Collective. The sweater I fell for, and I fell hard for, is knit in Foxfire Fiber's gorgeously soft and textured Cormo yarn.  Oh my, the desire for that sweater is strong and I can't even show a picture!  To make matters even worse, I'd like that sweater to be my NaKniSweMo project AND my delusions deepens as I consider knitting the yoke of the Bohus Sweater – Gray Mist at the same time!

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There is more!! As you know...Kusha Kusha Scarf has been set aside and is waiting for attention and there is the Socktober Mystery sock. My greatest desire is to have this sock finished by October 31st.  It has received the bulk of my knitting time, but because the pattern is complicated, and it missed a full week of knitting time. Finishing by my self imposed deadline is going to take a bit of magic.



A Day of Pure Gold

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It's never the same old Silver Lake.  Yesterday was as beautiful a day as we've had during this long, luxurious fall.  The days have been warm and the skies blue.  It's hard to find anyone who isn't pleased about the weather. A large group of grrlfriends went to Silver Fork for breakfast (a couple of husbands were  along, too) and we had a nice stroll around the lake.  Days this beautiful will be in short supply in a week or two.  It won't be long before the lake is frozen (we did see iced over areas) and covered with several feet of snow. 

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Because the day was beautiful I found it hard spend time in front of the computer.  So this is all you get...pictures of a truly beautiful and spectacular day at a favorite spot.


Under the Influence

The weekend was spend under the influence of friends.  This group of grrlfriends enables good times, laughter (often uncontrollable), fiberlust, shopping frenzies (which can be but didn't seem to reach the point of being uncontrolled) and bouts of eating and drinking (which are never uncontrolled or cause us to be illegally under the influence). In other words, there was nothing but the best of times.
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Cheryl, Kathy, Kim, Laurie, Terry and Carole
Sadly Sandy and Norma were not in the picture, but they should be, especially my grrl, Sandy.  I did not get as much time with her as I'd had hoped.

The Great Rhinebeck Incident, which is chronicled here, here and here had us nearly weeping with uncontrollable laughter AND we were sober! It was a story to rival any Keystone Kops movie and the laughter continued as the story spread. This incident is indelibly etched on my brain along with all the laughter that ensued. The laughter is the main reason I love Rhinebeck.

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I love this picture!
This picture was taken while we under the influence of JMMs spinning class. Judith is an undeniable treasure trove of spinning knowledge. She left us discussing spinning techniques the rest of the weekend. I may try to put together a post about some of the wonderful things learned.  The picture is of Terry holding a bison puppet that Judith passed around class just before we spun bison fluff (a very difficult task).

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Walking through the barns from vendor to vendor quickly puts one under the influence of fiberlust. There is so much to see, so much to desire, so much to touch.  The plan I had was to buy little to no yarn and that plan lasted for about 2 seconds.  I walked into the Briar Rose booth with very frigid fingers which caused every yarn I touched to yelled MITTENS! Under the influence of the weather, I impulsively bought the skein of wool/mohair in lovely autumn shades of red. There is no buyers remorse and there will be a pair of knit mittens in short order. Also, under the influence of "last of a kind", I bought a large skein of Susan Briggs Icelandic lace weight from Tongue River Farms.

The small skeins of yarn, in natural, gray and blue, are Icelandic fingering weight singles from Frelsi Farms.  The plan is for an Icelandic shawl in stripes of color. The idea of spinning for a shawl was quickly undone by the thoughts of knitting the shawl right away.

While I may have passed up the Icelandic roving I did not pass up all spinning fiber. Foxfire's cormo wool, one bag plain and one blended with silk, made its way home with me (not pictured).  The blue fluff at the top of the photo is Jacob (a wool I have yet to try) dyed with indigo and the gray batts at the bottom of the picture are from Barnswallow. They screamed SHAWL and I was immediately under their influence.

Goldingpinkspindleonbarnswallowbatt Justbecausecloseupofspindle_2
Golding is another booth that hypnotizes me and puts me under its influence.  This spindle immediately spoke to me, as did the spindle Terry is spinning with in yesterdays post.  The understated beauty of this one won out. It's maple with a thin metal ring of bright fuchsia and it spins like a dream.  It's my true Rhinebeck souvenir.  Everything fit nicely into my suitcase and I came away with more ideas for future purchases.  Not everything needs to be owned, bought or desire at one time. While purchasing all this lovely fibery stuff, much laughter, chatting, eating, drinking and hugging happened.  We were all under the influence of a fabulous fiber festival. The trip to Rhinebeck was to be with "my people" and not for fiber hoarding.

U is for under the influence of fiberlust, under the influence of friends and uncontrollable laughter....undeniably life's best things.


More Rhinebeck in Pictures

The time I spent at Rhinebeck was "in the moment" time.  I thought only about who I was with and not about the future or past. Thus, I forgot to go to the meet ups on Saturday or Sunday and missed meeting many blog pals.  If I have any regrets that is the main one.  The other regret would be how quickly time flew by. How could it be over AND how can I now be sitting at a desk instead of still walking through the Rhinebeck Fairgrounds?  It was a whirlwind and is now a mystery.

A few times someone would call my name and another in the crowd would say "WHERE?".  That's how I met up a few friends, but my camera, while at the ready, never took a snapshoot of what was happening.  If the pictures in my head could be downloaded onto the computer would see more than you'd like, believe me!  So here is my weekend at Rhinebeck in a nutshell, with the few pictures I have. 

One good sheep picture.

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You lookin' at me?

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Laurie, Amy  and Sherie.
I've wanted to meet Amy for years and had hoped to meet Sherie at Estes last June.  It was wonderful to bump into them while waiting in line for Franklin to sign our books.

Franklinsigningbooks
It Itches
is SO FUNNY.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud while reading it in the airport.
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Here is Terry spinning on the Golding spindle I left behind (it was hard to pick between it and the one I did buy). She's wearing her GREEN Rhinebeck sweater.  It looked so fabulous on her.

Lauriebarbandterryinspectinglauries

Terry and Laurie both bought a fleece from   Foxfire.  Here they are inspecting Laurie's HUGE fleece, which I do believe she is sharing with another person.

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Elspeth and I have had a mutual admiration society for some time and she was running around with Ann who was my first ever Secret Pal. It was a treat to run into them again and again (and you already know that's Laurie with them, right?).

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You must have heard that Claudia won a first place blue ribbon for her picture of Kimber.  How cool is that?

This picture is for the Ewe-tah Grrls.

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In the  Susan's Forest Canopy and Miriam's Icarus shawls.  They were there in spirit if not the flesh.

That's just about it for pictures, but I did put together one more post with a special picture (or two) and the fiber goodies that made it home with me.  More tomorrow! 


Favoite Memories

Memory #1
Running errands with Terry on Thursday before heading out to Rhinebeck that afternoon and ending up at Terry's favorite beach.  We sunk our toes into the sand and watched the waves roll in.
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Memory #2
Learning at the feet of one of the worlds master spinners, Judith MacKenzie McCuin, and sharing it with Terry (front), Laurie and Marcia (who are not in this picture).

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Memory #3
Arriving at the Festival with Laurie earlier than almost anyone else and running to Laurie's "A list" vendors for first pick.  Later in the day we ran into Kate  who enjoyed seeing Daniel.

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Memory #4
Seeing Meli kick and laugh while being carried by her Mom or Dad. Proof that I am a bad blogger, as there are no pictures!  She is a living doll!

Memory #5
The blue sky and brightly colored leaves were a sight to behold.

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Memory #6
Saturday night Jean, Leigh, Kim, Terry, Sandy and I saw the movie Secret Life of Bees. It was the perfect grrlfriend movie!

Memory #7
Spending my last night in the East sleeping under Carole's quilts.

Sleepingundercarolesquilts

There is much more to come. I had a fabulous time!


Hi Honey!

Arrived home last night (8:00pm) and this is the first chance in a week I've had to check email or blogs.  It will take me all day to catch up with a few of you in Blogland and with myself.  I don't think I can make it around to all 25,000 posts!  I thought Blogland would be slow and here you are already posting about the Festival, too!   

Today my goals are few.  Laundry, groceries, vote (early voting is a must this year), post to blog for tomorrow, and go to SnB to see my grrls.  I've missed them while away.  I miss all the freinds I left in back East, too!   I'm so sorry I didn't get to see more of you at Rhinebeck. Few pictures made it to my camera (I was a bad blogger) but I did make sure to get one of a sheep.

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See you tomorrow!