Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Attractions for CNY Knitters and Spinners

Summer is the time for road trips. In addition to the joy of finding a new local yarn shop, there are also several nearby attractions for knitters and spinners in the Central and Southern Tier areas of NYS.

One very interesting site is the Bemont-Billings Homestead in Newark Valley, NY. My family hails from this hometown so pardon me for boasting. The museum is run by the local historical society. The best time to go is usually on a big festival weekend. http://www.nvhistory.org/festivals.shtml
The Apple Festival in the fall is a lot of fun. Bring your kids for hands-on craft activities. The museum works with the local school system to train "youth interpreters" who learn traditional activities (driving a pony car, baking bread, weaving, etc.) and then run the booths for craft activities for the kids attending the festival. Usually, the Apple Festival also has demonstrations from the local Blacksmithing and Spinning Guilds. The town is easy to find. If you are coming from Syracuse or Ithaca, Newark Valley is approximately 45 minutes south of Dryden on Route 38. From Binghamton area, go over Route 38B and head north on Route 38.

A little farther south, in Orwell, PA is the Home Textile Tool Museum. http://www.hometextiletoolmuseum.org/.
This museum is of special interest to spinners and weavers. There are at least 5 barn looms which are available for demos by the staff. When I visited 3 years ago, I was invited to "sit down and try it" (a barn loom) under the supervision of museum volunteers. This aspect is unique to any museum I have been in. The museum also hosts a collection of historic spinning wheels. If you are a spinner or a knitter, bring your wheel and/or project and a lawn chair with you. It is not uncommon to see people just having a great time socializing on the side lawn. The day I visited happened to be a spin-in by the local spinning guild, some of the nicest people I have met. You may want to contact the staff before your visit to see if any of this information has changed recently. The staff is very knowledgeable. They are spinners, weavers, and many times, teachers in the local area. When I was there, a great wheel was being demonstrated as a well as a spinning wheel with a willow distaff.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shed a little light on the knitting

I have not be satisfied with the quality of my blog photos. It's hard to capture knitting images well. That was until I came upon the following article. http://wikiknitting.com/wiki/How_to_Take_Detailed_Photos_of_your_Knitting

I didn't have tracing paper so I substituted wax paper. This photo is my light box.

I also used a mini-tripod on my Kodak Digital Camera. The mini-tripod was included in the Kodak Digital Camera Support set which I bought at Target for $9.99. The set also included 4 AA rechargeable batteries, a charger, and lens cleaner with cloth.

The closeup is of the short rows on my Shapely Tee at the bust line.

I have started knitting the back of the Shapely Tee. The Lion Brand Microspun is a lovely yarn to knit with on the Addi Turbo circular needle.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Projects Progress

I have actually been making some progress on two projects. First, I had been knitting on the Jawoll Cotton Socks. It's my all purpose Ann Norling pattern. I had gotten to the gusset and realized I forgot to use the reinforcing thread in the heel. Rip, rip, rip. I worked on it tonight at the Meetup.com Syracuse group

I have also been knitting on the White Lies Designs Shapely-Tee in Lion Brand Microspun. The front is the first part to be worked in the pattern. There are short rows at the bottom. Then, there is a straight section. Following that, the pattern calls for some hour glass shaping. I am not up to the short rows for the bust yet, but will be quite soon. I am hoping this sweater will actually be done sometime before July. It seems to be very quick knitting. The microspun yarn is nice to work with and yes, I am using an Addi Turbo Circular needle.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Skeins and Sweater

Last weekend, I finally got all the skeins of yarn dry. Somehow, as I wound up the 100% merino, it coiled itself around my arm. I would like to introduce you all to my new pet,
Rainbow The Skein.

Seriously, I spend Friday afternoon and most of Saturday winding the dyed yarn into balls. I've found out two things. First, I could use a ball winder (mabye in the future - most of the yarn I use is pre-skeined). Second, a Mrs. Dash container makes a lovely cylinder to wind yarn around.

I have cast on the Shapely-Tee from White Lies Designs. I am using Lion Brand Microspun in Turquoise. If you look at the right of the photo, you can sort of see the short rows used in the pattern to give the shirttail edge. http://www.whiteliesdesigns.com/patterns/lpullovers/fbd.html