Tag Archives: finger lakes fiber arts festival

FO Friday: Baby legwarmers and Winner: 30 Min-Knits

For the second week in the row, I’ve finished a quick project from stash yarn for my friend AW’s new baby.

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This is my version of the Cozy Crawlers Leg Warmers from Linda Permann‘s Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers.  (The pattern is also available as a free download here.)  I used about half a skein of Bitsy Knits Bitsy’s Sock in the Quite a Party colorway.

I bought this yarn at the 2011 Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival.

It’s the yarn in the front.

Once I wound it up, I realized it wasn’t going to work for an accessory for me since it was too… lively for my tastes.

I was also a bit worried about pooling.  (If only I had read this post from Le Tissier Designs then — I would have known exactly what to do with this yarn!)  I’m not too stressed by pooling in infant legwarmers, though ;).

I may have time to make another quick project, but I might just mail these out with the booties, a card, and some children’s books.

In other news, according to Random.org, the winner of the giveaway for my review copy of 30 Min-Knits: What Can You Knit in Half an Hour or Less? by Carol Meldrum, courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series, is number 5…


Congratulations, Jane, and thanks to everyone who entered!  You can read my review of the book here.


For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis!

Non-yarn haul: Knitty City

Although I’ve been participating in Surmount the Stash all year and have been fairly good about avoiding new yarn purchases, the siren song of my favorite local yarn shop, Knitty City, began calling to me last night.

The start of my yarn craving was receiving an email update about another local yarn shop that is closing because the owner is relocating to Philadelphia.  I was feeling very good about the fact that I deleted the email and didn’t ride up there to start buying yarn I don’t need because “it’s on sale.”

I’ve also been working on some design submissions, and when that happens I often get the craving for a new color or brand of yarn.  I’ve wanted to try Sweet Georgia Yarns for a while now, and they happen to be the yarn of the month at Knitty City, and as such, are 10% off.

And, this weekend I was actually supposed to teach at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival, but when my classes didn’t fill, I decided to stay home rather than take the long trip up to teach a small class.  I’m sure I would have had a lot of fun anyway, since last year was so wonderful, but I needed the rest and saving the money didn’t hurt either.

While all of these things were influential, in truth, like most Americans, I partake in retail therapy from time to time.  (I’ve been working on curbing that, too, after participating in the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge through Frugally Sustainable along with one of my best friends, OB.)  The past month at work have been remarkably taxing, and I’ve been in the office about 60-70 hours a week while also trying to keep up with my various part-time jobs.  Since I had already budgeted for yarn shopping at the Festival, I decided to stop by Knitty City instead.

I did check out the Sweet Georgia yarns, and they were as beautiful as I remembered, but I didn’t immediately have a project in mind so I decided not to buy any yarn.  (I consider this a small victory.)

Then I saw the sign mentioning a 20% of sale on books.  I immediately headed right over to the Japanese book section.  Since those tend to be more expensive and are harder to find in the States, it seemed like the wisest choice.

I fell in love with the top swatch.

Although I have a reasonably sized collection of Japanese crochet and Tunisian crochet books, Knitting Patterns 500 is my very first Japanese knitting book purchase.  I’m not as familiar with knitting stitch symbols, so I look forward to that new challenge.

I also discovered two other books that went onto my wishlist for a future time, 1000 Knitting Patterns Book and 100 Aran Patterns.  I’m really looking forward to decoding the knitting symbol patterns and coming up with some fun designs using this book!

Year of Projects, Year 2: Burst

Yesterday, I had a burst of creative energy and the time to crochet.  I designed a Bruges lace scarf pattern and made the sample.

MC took a picture of me outside this morning.

I don’t usually finish one of my Year of Projects goals on the same day that I start it, so I’m as amazed as you are.  This will ultimately be a Christmas present for my friend, JS.  I made it with this wonderful Bitsy Knits yarn I bought at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last year.

JS and I usually spend time together with another friend, OB.  She’s getting a Bruges lace scarf, too, but one designed by Tatyana Mirer.

By a strange coincidence, I happen to be wearing the same outfit in this photo, taken by MC over a month ago.

It’s nice to have both of their gifts finished so early in the year.

A detail of my Bruges design.

If you are interested in helping me test out this pattern, PM me on Ravelry.  I have a few other things I’m working on right now, so it probably won’t be written up until next week.

(Edited to add: The pattern is now available on Ravelry as Visit to the Kantcentrum.)

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge – Week 14

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

Thanks to everyone who voted last week about which yarn I should choose for my friend JS’s scarf.  And the winner is…

Bitsy Knits Squoosh Superwash in Aquamarine.

I pretty much love this yarn, which I bought at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last year.  (As an aside, if you’ll be in the Hemlock, NY area on Saturday, September 15, I will again be teaching at the festival this year.)

I am on the fence about using the same pattern I used for OB’s scarf (since the three of us celebrate the winter holidays in a group) or just designing a different scarf for JS.  I have two design-related goals for the second Year of Projects, and with time being a premium these days, I might just need to combine my Holiday Stashdown Challenge with my YOP goals.

I haven’t made any other progress on my holiday crafting list since my last post, and I definitely want to finish at least one more project by the end of August.  This Bitsy Knits yarn is so pretty that I’m itching to get started on the scarf.  I just have a few secret projects to finish up first :).

Have you been working towards your holiday crafting goals?  Or were you stalled by the summer heat like me?  Feel free to share your progress on your personal holiday gift making journey in the comments!

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival 2011

This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class series.  You can find my first three posts on Tunisian crochet here, here, and here.

On Saturday, I taught Introduction to Tunisian Crochet at my very first fiber conference, the 17th Annual Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival at the Fairgrounds in Hemlock, NY.  I had such a great time at the Festival – even though I couldn’t stay for the whole event :( – and would definitely recommend it to anyone for next year!

My dirty little secret (to those from the rest of the universe that isn’t New York City) is that I can’t drive.  Yes, I took a few weeks of Driver’s Ed in high school but never finished the class.  Thus far, I’ve only lived in cities where driving isn’t required (New York for about 92% of my life, with a year after college in Washington, D.C., and a few years in San Francisco as a pre-schooler).  My lack of driving hasn’t impaired me in my hometown, but it has limited my vacation options and has made me dependent on others when traveling – and, of course, it has kept me living in major urban areas.  (Driving lessons are on my to do/bucket list, by the way.)

Anyway, the person who I was going to be dependent on for this trip :) had to work over the weekend.  So I had a very interesting itinerary as a result.

Here’s a blurry phone cam shot of my Friday train ride.

I started out on Friday afternoon on Amtrak to Rochester.  I took a taxi to the hotel in Henrietta, which was, er, um, well let’s just say the price was right and there was free wifi :).  In the morning, I was lucky enough to picked up from the hotel by CR, another teacher on the festival committee.  She’s been working at the festival for the last 8 years, so it was great to hear about her experience with the event during the ride.  We also “talked shop” about teaching for a bit.

This is the building where I taught my class. The class areas were very spacious and we had plenty of room for everyone to spread out.

Since CR dropped me off early, I had a chance to check out the vendors and the animals before preparing for my class.  As a City Gal, seeing the goats, sheep, and alpacas who are responsible for my favorite yarns was a real treat.

Some of the yarn vendors setting up.

How cute is this alpaca?

“Are you talking to me?”

These guys didn’t feel like posing. They were too busy munching.

“Look at me, I’m smiling for the camera!”

Miss Molly is a true “Chatty Cathy” but she clearly doesn’t want her picture taken. This is the least blurry of the several pictures I snapped of her.

More super cute alpacas.

What do you call the black sheep of the alpaca family?

There were vendors from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania at the event, but it was great to see a local vendor, the Hemlock Hills Alpaca Farm, too.  I especially loved this sign from their booth.

Besides workshops, demonstrations, and vendors, there were also wagon rides at the Festival!

After watching the vendors set up for about 40 minutes, I went back to the 4-H Exhibit Building to set up for my class.  While cleaning off the tables and organizing the chairs into a circle, I was thinking about what I was going to buy :).  I knew that I shouldn’t go wild, but I definitely wanted to pick up a few things that I had seen during set up.  Once my workshop area was organized, I stepped back out when the vendors were officially open for business.

I should mention here that I’ve had a bit of a soap crisis in the past few years.  I used to make my own soap, which, of course, did wonders for my skin since I could formulate it exactly for me.  Unfortunately, my current kitchen layout isn’t conducive to safe soap making (especially with my cat around).  For about a year, I bought soap from Simply Sensational, which was a shop on Etsy that the owner closed for health reasons.  Then for a while I shopped at Dirty Loves Clean, but she seems to have disappeared, too.  For the last year or so, I have tried soaps from tons of online and in-person vendors and have not found the soap which really works for my skin, and I have been back to buying soap at Whole Foods.  So naturally, I was on the hunt for some soap at the Festival.

I found these three soaps – all with great scents – at the Longmeadow Farm tent.

I haven’t used them yet, but I have high hopes.  (By the way, I couldn’t find an online presence for Longmeadow Farm, except in this ad on the Creekside Fabrics website.)

I also wandered into the Bitsy Knits tent and left with some goodies.

My haul from Bitsy Knits.

I got two skeins of superwash Merino wool, the Squoosh! Superwash (in the back) and the Bitsy’s Sock (in the foreground).  Although I don’t “need” another gauge ruler/needle-hook sizer, I was very attracted to this Knit Picks View Sizer, so I decided to add it to my collection.

I was hoping that the yarn would work well with my coat.  I ended up with a Blue Chalk colored coat last year when I waited until the last minute to buy my winter coat and the color options were quite limited.  As a result, I can’t wear any of my handmade accessories that were designed when I had a black coat.  I really want to show off my stuff this winter, and I think these colors go well with my new-ish coat.

Here is the hood from my coat, along with the yarn. What do you think?

After my shopping spree, I went back to the 4-H Exhibit Building to teach my class.  I had a wonderful time, and I think my students did, too!  I’ll be teaching my Tunisian Crochet Basics class again at the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival on September 30.

After I finish my online Crochet 101 class as part of the Crochet Lyceum with Underground Crafter, you can expect to see a version of my Tunisian Crochet class online :).

Once my class was finished, I had to hurry to reach the Rochester bus depot in time.  I was picked up from the Hemlock Fairgrounds by a taxi right after class and I was whisked away to a Trailways bus.  Seven hours later, I was back in New York.

Bright lights, big city: The view of Times Square from my phone cam.

MC picked me up at Port Authority and we headed back home.  It was a lot of traveling within 36 hour period, but well worth it for the chance to see the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival and to teach my Introduction to Tunisian Crochet class.

Visit When Did I Become a Knitter for more Year of Projects posts.