Wednesday, May 23, 2007

O, Canada

Those Canadians really know their yarns and we have some goodies to prove it.

First, a lovely alpaca/shetland laceweight for shawls arrived Barb at Wild Geese Fibers in lovely Saskatchewan:

Each one has a natural undyed color of alpaca making up 90% of the fiber content and 10% of a dyed shetland wool, giving the yarn body and loft. Above is a natural white with a seafoam color of shetland.
Above is a natural, rich brown (my photo doesn't do it justice) with a bright pink shetland giving the yarn a warm sitting in front of a fireplace drinking cocoa feel. I know it's 80 degrees out.

This one is my absolute favorite. It's a natural black (which is really just super dooper dark brown) alpaca with a crazy tealy blue shetland. It's such a deep lovely color. Again, my flash has ruined it.
Next up, we just got a bunch of beautiful yarns from Handmaiden. 4 new colors of Seasilk, great beach knitting but also these new colors of Mini Maiden a lace/sport weight 50/50 wool and silk that is hands down on of the best on the market. The sheen is unbelievable, I can't imagine that the blend is really 50/50. The feel makes it seem like there has to be more silk in it! It's really pretty spectacular.
We also got a new summery yarn from Handmaiden called Flaxen. It's 65% Silk and 35% Linen in super soft and subtle hand-dyed colors. We were thinking, obviously, Clapotis for summer or some other similar wrap for chilly boardwalk evenings. I only have one picture of it though because my camera decided it was done working for the day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Koigu Mill Ends

Anyone who gets here to help me shelve the new Koigu gets first pick at the 5 bags of Koigu mill ends!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Very Belated Maryland Sheep and Wool

Well, I know, I promised pictures from Maryland and the scoop. It's a bit late but I've been doing a lot of catching up around here from all the things that didn't get done last week because we were gearing up for the trip. It only took 5 days for things to get back to normal.

I apologize in advance for not having more pictures to show you but I really am horrible with a camera and unlike the great bloggers out there I never stop and think, "Oh! I should take a picture of this for the blog!" Instead I only took pictures of the sheep dog trials. And Lisa only took pictures of her kids. So now you know where our hearts truly lie.

I should have taken a picture of the mobs of people on the sidewalk in front of Rosie's at 7:15 in the morning. There were a lot of folks here and everyone was very punctual (yeah!). There was coffee out on the sidewalk, and tea, and lovely boxed breakfasts from Picnic who do a great job every year bringing us the food, even though we are often late with the final count. Everyone got on their buses, with only a few snags (note: next year ALL the buses are leaving at 7:30!) and we were off, leaving poor Judy behind to tidy up the shop because she is really a better person than the rest of us, go Judy! (and THANK YOU!!). We raffled off exciting prizes on the bus and people seemed to really enjoy getting free knitting related stuff, imagine that! We raffled off books, yarn, Rosie's gift certificates--all kinds of fun stuff. Good times were had by all, until we got the phone call. I got a phone call from Lisa, just as we were pulling off the highway, who had gotten a phone call from (I think) Wendy saying that the Koigu people weren't there. Maie had broken her ankle, which we knew, but Taiu was still hoping to come to MS&W, but unfortunately was unable to make it. I braced myself to make the announcement on the nifty bus microphone and surprisingly it went over okay. Not one person rioted, which was secretly what I was thinking may happen. Whew!

Everything continued without incident until we were on the road up to the festival when a small car decided it would be a really good idea to pull out in front of a charter bus, running us off the road momentarily but we were fine--three cheers for Tropiano bus drivers!!

We arrived safely and everyone scattered to SHOP! My purchases were minimal this year. Some socks that rock, but only 2 skeins, and some superwash merino from Brooks Farm. So soft, so lovely. And then there was the food. I ate a lot. It was good. That's all I'm saying.

The ribbon chips were the winner this year. They were cool, right? Maybe I'm just easily amused. All in all it was a great time, and the border collies enjoyed it too.

Note: for normal pictures from MS&W that aren't all of animals go to Carol. She's better at this than me!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Public Service

I know you are all thinking that this is going to be a Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival entry but it's not. That's gotten bumped to tomorrow's list of things to do, partly due to the fact that I left the stinkin' camera at home like a space cadet. It happens. No, today's post is for the greater knitting good of all humankind.
As you may know, we here at Rosies are hosting a Charlotte's Web Knit-A-Long (KAL). There has been much confusion and ripping and some crying at kitchen tables over the, um, lax instructions. So here is my attempt to clarify what is supposed to happen for all of you Charlotte's Webbers out there.

The chart on the back of the single pattern is incomplete. If you have the book you are in buisness--the entire chart is there so this only applies to those of you agonizing over the chart on the leaflet pattern. The motif repeat is the shaded area on the chart. Think of the beginning of the shaded area as the first * of an instruction that would be worded, "repeat from * to * to the last _ number of stitches." The end of the shaded area is the second of those *'s. The motif repeat is not, in my mind, the same thing as the shawl repeat. This means that there are a certain number of rows that repeat themselves to allow you to add additonal motif repeats to the shawl. The shawl's repeat happens from row 11 to row 25. Essentially, once you have the beginning set up you repeat rows 11-25 on the chart OVER AND OVER again along with the mantra of the motif repeat across each of the corresponding rows. So row 11 is THE SAME THING as row 27. And row 13 is THE SAME THING as row 29 is THE SAME THING as row45, etc. You are just adding two additional mantras of "*knit one, yarn over, ssk, yo, [sl1, k2tog, psso], yo, k2tog, yo*" for every shawl repeat.
Here is my advice to you: Get a pencil and a piece of paper (or sit at a computer) and write it out from row 11 to row 25 using the *'s where the shaded area is on the motif repeat and put each row on an index card (Judy's brilliant idea) labled 1, 2, 3, etc. or a, b, c, etc or however you want and put the pattern away until you get to the end of the shawl. I can't write it out here because it's a copyright infringment but row 11 should look like this:
k2, yo, *k2, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k1* repeat from * to * to last stitch, k1, yo, k2.
Good luck.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Only a few days left....

'til Maryland Sheep & Wool! It's starting to hit me how soon it is, and I'm getting more and more excited. (If you haven't signed up yet, as of 7 pm Wednesday night, we have about 5 seats left. Call the shop ASAP if you are interested, at 215-977-9276.)

From your pals at Rosie's, who've been to more than a few fiber festivals, here's our list of tips for newbies:

1. Be on time. Rumor has it that a gung-ho bus captain (ahem, me) left at the appointed time even though a passenger wasn't back. We have only a limited amount of time and the buses sometimes have engagements that begin after we return, so we have to be sticklers about departure times. We also have had people tell us it can take a while to find a parking lot that is open at 7 or 7:30 a.m., so if you are driving, plan on leaving yourself some extra time to find a spot.

2. If you have any food issues, be sure to bring some of your own. You'll find lots of lamb, and more fried stuff than you'd believe possible

but not so much in the way of, say, fruit or veg. Plus, the lines are often long and who wants to spend an hour waiting for a fried lamb-kebob when there's yarn and rovings to fondle? Water bottles are also good to pack.

3. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Also a sunhat wouldn't hurt.

4. Dress in layers. It can get stifling hot in some of the "barns" when they fill up with people, and it might be a little cool in the morning.

5. Possible things you might wish to bring: an extra tote bag, chapstick, your checkbook (ha!), a pad and paper, a list of yardages/gauges for potential projects, tissues, handi-wipes, any medication you need, some advil or tylenol just in case, some knitting or reading material for the bus, camera and extra batteries and/or film.

6. Meet up with some of your favorite knitbloggers at 1 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday) in the grassy field next to the big building in the back where the Koigu ladies usually are.

7. For the particularly anal-retentive prepared, visit the official vendor list, print out a map and circle your must-see destinations.

8. And the cardinal rule of the Rosie's Maryland bus: No. Livestock.
We mean it. No matter how fluffy the bunny or wooly the lamb, no matter how much that alpaca bats its eyelashes at you,

we will not transport livestock across state lines.

Have a wonderful time! Can't wait to see you there.