The Edinburgh Yarn Festival

Two weeks ago I attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF),  a  fiber festival in Europe.  After years of going to Maryland Sheep and Wool and New York Sheep and Wool (Rhinebeck), I wanted to see what an urban fiber fest was like.  It did not disappoint.  The Edinburgh Yarn Festival was on held on March 9-12 this year.   Friday and Saturday were market days — codeword for shopping, and 8 – 12 March were class days.  In between there were opportunities for seeing the city, taking a day trip, joining others for knit night, and a traditional Ceilidh – Scottish dancing.  It you’re a fiber fest officianado you probably knew that some of these events were limited and required a combination of luck and dedication to score a ticket.  Esther and I signed up for classes at 9 am on the Saturday of Rhinebeck in October 2016.  Advance purchase tickets sold out quickly as did space at the Ceilidh.  But no worries.  There was plenty to do in the evening in a city that parties hearty. Continue reading

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On the march on an American island

Our older daughter and a friend at the Women's March on Washington in D.C.

Our older daughter and a friend at the Women’s March on Washington in D.C.

Larry and I got back from vacation a few days ago.  While we are still recovering from jet lag, we jumped back into our lives.  The dogs need to be walked, and laundry awaits.  As I listen to the wind outside and watch the temperature drop, I remember the warm breezes of the Big Island of Hawai’i.  This was our first time in Hawai’i and we decided to get a bit off the beaten path.   No beaches for us.  On the Big Island we were greeted by highly changeable weather and micro-climates, and found common ground with the people we met, both tourists and residents.  The population is diverse.   Native Hawaiians live beside mainland transplants looking for warmer climes, descendants of Chinese and Japanese immigrants, and every other race and creed.   We learned that Hawaiians are not shy about expressing their opinions.  They were enthusiastic participants in the Women’s March on Washington in Kona.  I think this may have been the last Women’s March in the world.  We joined in, and my pussyhat came along for the ride. Continue reading

A pussyhat goes to Washington

 

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A pussyhat in progress.

In the past weeks I have been literally knitting my fingers to the bone trying to complete as many pussyhats as possible for the marchers in the Women’s March on Washington on 21 January.  Last weekend I had to go out and buy more yarn.  Pink yarn is getting hard to find.  Word has spread about this project and it seems that everyone who can lift a needle is making pink hats.  I still have to make labels, photograph them and get them in the mail.  Somewhere in deep stash I found two more skeins of pale pink yarn.  All over the country messages are coming in on Ravelry, requests for more hats to warm more heads who have a seat on one of the buses going to DC.  I am living vicariously through all the anticipation.  I won’t be there, so it’s especially important that I do my bit to support the sisterhood. Continue reading

Pink pussy power: a hat to warm them all

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I hope my readers will forgive me using a certain word in the title.  It’s actually taken from a website and a hat initiative called “pussyhat project” which can be found here:  pussyhatproject.com.  I am a knitter and lately a bit of an activist, so this project appealed to these two interests.  I came across the project on Ravelry, a social network for knitters.  Last week I ordered 18 skeins of pink yarn when my favorite yarn store offered free shipping.  On day four I’ve completed three hats.  I keep coming across more and more people who want to attend the Women’s March on Washington — website here —   and who need a warm pink hat.  Because baby it’s going to be cold outside!

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Film and Fiber, October 2016

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Two weeks ago we went to upstate New York for the New York  State Sheep and Wool Festival, otherwise known as Rhinebeck.  Unbeknownst to us it was also the same weekend as the Woodstock Film Festival.  What luck!  Yarn, knitting, and film.  What more could you ask for but a crisp Fall weekend sporting hand knit sweaters and scarves, independent movies, good food and new friends.   I was in vacation heaven.

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I wrote multiple posts about Rhinebeck last year.  This year I’m just going to touch on some of the highlights.  We only spent one day at the festival this year.   My DH was not willing to go back for a second day.  Boo hoo.  I’m hoping to do a ladies weekend next year so I can fully enjoy all that Rhinebeck has to offer.  That means two days at the fairgrounds.  Woot! Continue reading

An Icelandic knitting odyssey

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Icelandic sheep hanging out by the side of the road.

Larry and I just returned from a one week vacation to Iceland.  While we saw a lot and I took many photos, I want to start with a post about knitting.  Why, you ask?    I am an avid knitter — that was one of the draws to Iceland.   Also, it’s that time of year when the days are getting shorter and the evenings have a crispness in the air that lends itself to all things wooly.   On top of that, Rhinebeck is coming up next  month, the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.  I am in a knitting frame of mind. Continue reading

Finished objects

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Newly finished object,  Knitspot’s “Pedal Pusher”

There is a special vocabulary for knitters.   A UFO is an unfinished object, and a WIP is a work in progress, and DISO means you are almost finished with something but ran out of yarn so you are desperately in search of some more of it.  These words are a shorthand knitting language.  Then there is the SABLE,  which means stash acquired beyond life expectancy.   I have been working hard since October to finish some projects, and have sprinkled pictures of them throughout this post.  All of them have been completed in the past two months. Continue reading

Sunday at Rhinebeck: Food, friends, and snow

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Sunday at Rhinebeck is a calmer affair.  For one thing they don’t open the gates until 10 AM so visitors are forced to sleep in and relax before hitting the fairgrounds.  We arrived just after 10 and cruised right in.  The crowds were smaller, but still formidable.  I had a list of some places I wanted to return to that I missed the day before.  In addition we wanted to have a hot lunch before heading home, I wanted to get back to the book signing booth, and walk through one barn that I couldn’t even get close to the day before.     Continue reading

Jill Draper’s open studio

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The front door of Jill Draper’s studio

On the Saturday of Rhinebeck Jill Draper had an”open studio”.   Jill Draper is the owner of Jill Draper Makes Stuff.  She is a knitter, dyer and spinner who sells yarn sourced from American sheep and spun in the U.S.  and dyed lovingly by her.   For the past several years she has shared a booth at Rhinebeck with Jennie the Potter.  As they both attract a crowd of loyal followers, sharing a booth was no longer a viable option.   Jill recently got dedicated studio space to dye and dry her yarn, so it was the perfect time for an open house.   Did I mention that Jill lives in Kingston, New York, just a hop and a skip from the fairgrounds, and close to our hotel? Continue reading