Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Beautiful Spring

It's finally spring in New Hampshire, when a woman's mind turns lightly to thoughts of...knitting?

Last Sunday, on Mother's Day, I went with my two daughters on what I hope will become a Mother's Day ritual, to the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival. For a knitter, it's a delight. First, you get to see the sheep, goats, bunnies, alpacas, etc. that your yarn comes from. For the breeders, they get to compete for prizes, but for me, I just love touching them and imagining the supply chain from fuzzy animal to finished skein of yarn.

Then there are the sheepdog trials. You can watch dogs...mostly border collies, but a few other breeds...compete at being the best and fastest to herd a group of sheep hither and yon. I've seen it in the movies, but seeing a dog creep up on a group of sheep and then move them this way or that is really amazing. Those dogs are so smart! Makes my dog look like a slouch...he can't even herd our cat.

Of course, for knitters, the vendors' booths are the ultimate goal. It's so much fun to wander past booth after booth selling unique knitting needles, shawl pins, sweater kits, finished knitted items, and of course all that gorgeous yarn. And you're encouraged to touch the yarn...because the tactile sensation is as important when choosing a yarn as the color or weight.

I ended up purchasing a Goddess shawl kit from the Knitter's Knook booth (a retail store in Keene, NH, and a shawl pin from The Elegant Ewe (a retail store in Concord, NH, Would have purchased more if my budget had been larger. ;-)

Most of the New England states have a yearly Sheep & Wool Festival. I'm not sure about other states...but I'll bet YOUR state has some type of yearly tradition. Tell me about yours!

Most recent finished object: Finally finished the shrug for my older daughter that was supposed to be her Christmas gift. She got it on Mother's Day. ;-) Will post pictures when I get some.

OTN now: But of course...the Goddess shawl from the kit I purchased at the Sheep & Wool Festival! Patience is not my strong suit.

What are YOU working on?


Monday, May 07, 2007

New Finished Object

Here's my latest finished object. It's a hot pad, done in double knitting. My daughter Heather created the pattern, and I think she did a fabulous job!

Double knitting, for those of you who don't know, is a way of knitting a two-sided fabric at once. It makes great heavy fabric for a warm afghan, good insulation for a hot pad, or you could knit both sides of a pillow at once. The picture on one side comes out as the reverse, a mirror image, on the other side.

Here's the picture of the reverse side of the hot pad, so you can see what I mean:

I'm new to double knitting so not an expert at it. But it is an interesting technique that I'll definitely want to dabble with more. It might make a great, really warm baby blanket or afghan...shawl or poncho...and of course works great for coasters and hot pads. What experience have you had with double knitting?