Winfield bound!

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Congratulations to Kay from Norman, OK! She’s the lucky winner in our naming contest who suggested Manique as the name for our new dress form.

We’re leaving today for the Walnut Valley Festival – commonly referred to as Winfield. Because stock can change dramatically during the festival season I’m removing all of the paypal buttons in the online shops until the festival season ends. If you’d like to purchase yarn, please send an email from THIS PAGE with the fiber type and colorway. I’ll check the availability and send you a paypal invoice.

If you’re not familiar with Winfield, it’s a large international guitar festival held each September in Winfield, Kansas. Official competitions include not just guitar but banjo, dulcimer and fiddle too. Thousands of people will show up to camp, play music, and have a good time. Check out some of the videos on YouTube for WInfield! The other thing about Winfield is there a lot – and I mean a lot – of people wearing tie dye! I’ve got mine ready!

I’m reknitting several patterns for display in the Lost City Knits booth for the festival season and having a heck of a good time doing so. Yesterday I finished another Monarch, this one in lace llama. I bumped up the needle size to get more openness and a larger shawl. Using the larger version (available as part of the most recent download) I also modified the Fringe Chart a bit. As you may remember on the last Monarch I knit only row one of the Fringe Chart and bound off on the back side. I liked that so much I did the same thing this time! The edging points are pointier and the Fringe looks much more butterfly-like to me. If you’re knitting Monarch – I recommend this modification!

I’m also knitting another Maaema, this one in the Wool Tussah Silk Fingering, bumping up the needle size to an 8US this time and adding beads on row 2 and row 7 of the set – up on each end. Fun!

There are four projects in my knitting bag for Winfield. I just never know what I’ll want to work on between music sets and customer rushes.

How many projects do you take with you when traveling? One big project or several smaller ones?

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Yarn, Wine, Secrets, and Socks

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My Pecan Grove scarf in the colorway “Wine and Roses” is finished! This is the simple Pecan Grove scarf knit up in the Wool Tussah Silk Single Ply (fingering weight). I love how this yarn takes the dye to a deep vibrant level. Wednesday at market I overhead a customer comment (while looking at this scarf and holding it upside down) say that the pattern was hearts. I kind of like that, and didn’t even think of explaining the  opposite leaf pattern and the significance of the Pecan Grove at the Walnut Valley Festival.

Last Saturday I bought a copy of Cookie A’s knit, sock, love and yes – I want to knit every sock in the book! Well almost every sock. I’ve tried knitting the Monkey socks before and they are entirely too big for my dinky petite foot. The majority of the patterns come in more than one size, which is a plus since feet come in – yes – more than one size.

One of the things I love about the book is that many of the socks are shown in fairly solid color yarns. I’m a fan of the solid and tonal sock yarns. Almost all of the yarns, sock and not sock, in my stash and from my dyepot are solid or tonal. There are a few skeins of busy hand-painted yarns in the stash. But as a hard core lace knitter I want to put extreme stitches, lace and texture, into my projects and that usually calls for a less visually active yarn.

As I said, this is a book that makes me knit my way through every pattern. That’s saying a great deal. This urge has only happened twice, first with the Haapsalu Saal book and now with knit, sock, love.

First though I have to finish a few things. A new lace triangle shawl design is on the needles. I can’t show you much – but here’s a peek… Wool Tussah Silk Fingering in colorway Secluded Copse. That’s all the hint I’m sharing, the rest is a secret.

I also need to finish the Lingerie Socks. Yes, I cast on the wickedly crazy lace socks in the new Knitty.com. Because I have the afore mentioned dinky foot ( a Euro size 34) I cast on with 00US dpns, and moved to 0US dpns after the initial chart. I’ve opened a basket of crazy with such tiny needles but every gal needs a pair of extra girly socks that never get shoved into boots or shoes, right? (Let’s hope I finish them because I’d hate for them to join the four other singleton socks marinating in the WIP’s bin.)

At dinner on Wednesday night I perused knit.sock.love again. (I’m having a problem keeping my hands off of it actually.) This a gorgeous book, the photography is splendidly done by Laura Kicey and I find it incredibly inspiring. I want to be one of the models, wandering around shoeless with gorgeous socks in the woods, by dilapidated buildings, perched on ladders… Sock knitting is still a booming business and some people are completely addicted, and with the continued excitement of such things as Sock Cruises and Sock Summit, Cookie A. knows her audience.

For those of you who’ve already bought succumbed to knit.sock.love you’ll be glad to hear there is a Ravelry group devoted to the book. It’s kind of a support group – support to help you knit through the patterns type group. Since there are nineteen patterns you know it’s beyond anything a twelve step program could tackle.

As I write this blog post I’m patiently waiting for a new shipment of Oklahoma raised wool (blended for sock yarn) with bamboo and nylon to return from the mill. I’m trying to control the giddiness, really I am. When the new yarn arrives and I get a few skeins dyed up, I think I may just begin with the Hedera sock, the first one in knit.sock.love and quite possibly work my way through. You know I’ll need to use them as gauge right? Yep, that’s my excuse.

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Random Friday Post

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I’m going in so many different directions so here are a half dozen random topics that are swirling around in my mind and in my hands.  There are a dozen more…

1. My new Pecan Grove in Wool/Tussah Silk Lace (colorway Wine & Roses) is almost complete. In fact, I may finish it this weekend. (It’s further along than this photo shows.)

Pecan Grove at 50% complete

2. I’ve queued Tibetan Clouds Stole again and think I’ll knit it using Wool/Tussah Silk Lace in colorway Embers. Yeah – orange! The skeins are wound but I don’t plan on casting on until maybe September.

3. Tess has battled the wild boars again. Chris has her at the vet right now for stitching. I need to learn how to stitch a wound and insert a drain tube on this dog. (eta: according to the vet these wounds were made by a beaver. The hair is shaved by the beaver tooth as it enters. TMI?)

4. Have you seen the new Lingerie Socks on Knitty? I’ve got to have a pair!  I may be crazy.

5. My friend Colleen showed me these stockings from Vogue Knitting. Dang. Gorgeous! Loved but not Queued. Maybe I’m not completely crazy.

6. The sunflower harvest has begun. I like harvesting sunflowers. You don’t have to stoop and the rip of the serrated sickle against the thick column is rewarding.

Martha likes to follow along sometimes despite the fact that she overheats easily. Silly dog.

Sweet Days of Summer

See the curtains hangin’ in the window
In the evening on a Friday night
A little light-a-shinin’ through the window
Lets me know everything’s all right

No doubt if you came of age during the mid-1970’s as I did the lyrics from this Seals and Crofts hit breezes through your mind at least once during the summer months. As I walked back from the studio this afternoon with camera in hand I managed to capture a few moments of the feeling of this song. Imagine the soft vocals of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts. You’ll be kind enough to ignore that it’s not Friday night and honestly – it’s not jasmine in my mind – it’s lavender in the air. (I think Dash and Jim would understand.)

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin’ though the jasmine in my mind

See the paper layin’ on the sidewalk
A little music from the house next door
So I walk on up to the doorstep
Through the screen and across the floor

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin’ though the jasmine in my mind

Male Clouded Sulpher
Sweet days of summer — the jasmine’s in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune
And I come home from a hard day’s work
And you’re waitin’ there
Not a care in the world
See the smile awaitin’ in the kitchen
Through cookin’ and the plates for two
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me
In the evening when the day is through

In reality Chris was still working up in the new lavender field and I was the one to get dinner cookin’ tonight. If I step out the back door of my studio I face the sunflower field and while it’s lavender in the air, a field of sunflowers is just as pleasant to watch. Each day as the sun dips westward the flowers tip their heads to the sun to catch the last rays. I never tire of noticing this. Never.

We planted five different cultivars in all, ranging from lemon yellow to bright orange – and of course the all purpose black oil seed sunflowers that I intend to dry for winter bird feeding.
Wool Tussah Silk Single Ply Lace Yarns

Not only are flowers blooming and butterflies flitting but there are new yarns as well. This is one I’m particularly excited about. I’ve combined an Oklahoma wool with 30% tussah silk and had it spun single ply into a great little lace yarn. The first colorways are up for sale in the Wool Tussah Silk online shop, and a few more colorways are coming as soon as they dry.

I’ve already snagged a skein of the Wine and Roses in the single ply to knit a new Pecan Grove Scarf. I love the little bit of sheen that the wool gets from the silk, it’s just enough to keep the color from being flat and still have that nice solidness of wool. There’s some of that little thick-thin play that will keep me interested as well.

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin’ though the jasmine in my mind

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Pecan Grove Scarf & Countdown to Winfield

The Pecan Grove Scarf is ready just in the nick of time!

Each September for the past few years we’ve attended a large music festival in Winfield, Kansas. For several weeks the groves come alive with music – bluegrass and folk primarily.

The evenings can get nippy when wandering the groves moving from campsight to campsight listening to the voices and instruments of the many talented campers. This simple scarf was inspired by nights when I longed for something to chase away the chill, allowing me to linger into the wee hours.

The Pecan Grove Scarf pattern depicts the opposite leaf composition of pecan trees.  You’ll have to supply the dulcimer, guitar, fiddle, or upright bass yourself. Twang is optional. 

Walnut Valley Land Rush is this coming Saturday! Are you goin’ to Winfield? Come by the Pavillion and say hello. Below are a few videos for those who aren’t familiar with the Winfield experience.

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What to take for Turnpike Knitting

We’ll be rolling down the turnpike this weekend to attend the Arts Festival Oklahoma on the OCCC campus (would that be the OCCCc?). This is a new festival for us, but we always have a good time when we scoot down the turnpike to the OKC area.

I’m making good progress on my Pecan Grove Scarf and hope to have it finished this weekend, either on the way to the festival or while there. Yes, expect some public knitting at the Arts Festival Oklahoma this weekend! For back up knitting, in case I get Pecan Grove finished, I’ll be taking my Brandywine Shawl. And maybe I’ll toss my Nutkin socks in too – they take up so little room.

Night before last I thought I’d block Pecan Grove just to see how it was coming along. Pretty good huh? The pattern is charted and being tested currently.

While Pecan Grove was on the wires I pulled out an UFO. I hesitate to call it a WIP because it hasn’t been out of it’s designated knitting bag for some time. There are less than two dozen rows left to finish my Icarus. The next row was a WS rest row, only a few knits along with the purls. That’s a good way to ease back into a project, even a project with several hundred stitches. That done I plopped over the big blue thing to start row 9 of the last chart. I told you it’s nearly finished! What I soon realized was that row 7 had errors. Errors that prevented me from moving forward, and could only be fixed by – – – tinking back. Tinking back two rows and what may well be 1000 stitches. (I’m refusing to count. It may hurt.)

There was groaning involved but I was not about to put Icarus away again without correcting the problem first. After several hours Icarus was back in order.

One step forward and two steps back… Is that a country western line dance maybe?

If you come by our booth this weekend in OKC – please don’t mention Icarus.
What to take for Turnpike KnittingWe’ll be rolling down the turnpike this weekend to attend the Oklahoma Arts Festival on the OCCC campus (would that be the OCCCc?). This is a new festival for us, but we always have a good time when we scoot down the turnpike to the OKC area. I’m making good progress on my Pecan Grove Scarf and hope to have it finished this weekend, either on the way to the festival or while there. Yes, expect some public knitting at the Oklahoma Arts Festival this weekend! For back up knitting, in case I get Pecan Grove finished, I’ll be taking my Brandywine Shawl. And maybe I’ll toss my Nutkin socks in too – they take up so little room. Night before last I thought I’d block Pecan Grove just to see how it was coming along. Pretty good huh? The pattern is charted and being tested currently. While it was on the wires I pulled out an UFO. I hesitate to call it a WIP because it hasn’t been out of it’s designated knitting bag for some time. There are less than two dozen rows left to finish my Icarus. The next row was a WS rest row, only a few knits along with the purls. That’s a good way to ease back into a project, even a project with several hundred stitches. That done I plopped over the big blue thing to start row 9 of the last chart. I told you it’s nearly finished! What I soon realized was that row 7 had errors. Errors that prevented me from moving forward, and could only be fixed by – – – tinking back. Tinking back two rows and what may well be 1000 stitches. (I’m refusing to count. It may hurt.)There was groaning involved but I was not about to put Icarus away again without correcting the problem first. After several hours Icarus was back in order. One step forward and two steps back… Is that a country western line dance maybe? If you come by our booth this weekend in OKC – please don’t mention Icarus. var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);pageTracker._trackPageview();

OTN – Tuesday –on Wednesday

Goals are good things, even if they don’t fall into place quite where one intended. 

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Over the weekend I thought I’d become some sort of organized blogger this week with posts like OTN – Tuesday or FO – Friday like some of my more clever friends. Yesterday was taken up with hours of plugging in codes and posting photos of the Oklahoma yarns, which still seemed to leave today for OTN – Tuesday, until this morning when I realized yesterday was Tuesday.

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In perseverance I’m declaring today OTN – Tuesday on Wednesday.

Two new projects have been getting all of my devotion for the past week, well knitting time devotion. When I cast the first one on Chris asked me if I was spreading myself too thin. I asked him what he meant, and he asked something he’s never asked before, “How many knitting projects do you have going?”  I was kind of gobsmacked by his audacity. The first time he asked I blustered through without giving him a real answer. The second time he asked the same question as I cast on the second project I ticked them off on my fingers – using two hands. I didn’t even include some projects that I haven’t laid eyes on in months. Then I gave him the stink-eye. And I kept knitting.

What has me so enamored? Two new designs!

First up is a simple little scarf that I think I’ll be needing to wear next month when we go to the Walnut Valley Guitar Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Everyone just refers to the event as Winfield. “Are you going to Winfield this year?” “Can you do such & such in mid-September? I can’t – I’m going to Winfield!

The Winfield guitar festival is one of the festivals that just boggles my mind every year. RV’s, campers, tents, guitars, and tie dye as far as the eye can see. And music 24 hours a day for several weeks leading up to the main event. Then it’s an all out bluegrass-apooloza for the four days of the main festival. There are several different stages, each with their own personality. And the same story exists for the different camping groves.

Mid-September can either be brutally hot or cool and breezy. I’ve had enough of heat and am hoping for cool and breezy this year at Winfield. Therefore, I’ve designed a sweet little scarf especially for Winfield – it’s called The Pecan Grove. I’m using the Wool/Bamboo in colorway Anything But Drab. The knitting is simple with a few decreases and increases, and requires only one 400 yard skein. I’ll have the pattern charted up for release as soon as I finish knitting the sample (for myself!) and know how many repeats the 400 yards allow. I washed out the photo with flash, the yarn is a wee bit darker and better represented in the photo on the Wool Shop page.

August at the farmers market means grapes. Claudia, who is one of the sweetest souls you’ll ever hope to meet, grows amazing table grapes. I adore grapes – chilled grapes, grape jelly, and yes – wine! My good friend Cathy and I have been known to stop at a winery on our way to the annual knitting retreat in Guthrie.

I’m using the Lost City Silk yarn in colorway Bacchus to knit Sangiovese, a large triangle lace shawl. I’m just starting the second repeat of the first chart and am quite happy with the progress thus far.

Now that I know it’s Wednesday I’ll be on time for my lunch with my fiber friend Coleen of Heaven Sent Food & Fiber Farm!

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