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The Offensive Knitter

And the winning title prize goes to my husband Seth. Those of you who know me know that I am rather fond of the double entendre. In this case, "Offensive", refers to a mindset, and not to my tendency to speak my mind. A person with an offensive mindset is decisive, assertive, and poised for success. So there you go. All right. Here we go. It has been a crazy busy couple of weeks around here. I don't think I ever recovered from the holiday. Not as much knitting as I would have liked has happened in the past two weeks. On the other hand, I went to Rhinebeck for the first time this past weekend. I have been dream of going since the first time I heard about it shortly after I learned to knit, and believe me. I was not disappointed.

Rhinebeck: If you are a knitter and you haven't been to the NY Sheep and Wool festival, you must go. Go mark it in your calendar for next year. It always happens in October at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY. I only got to spend about four hours, but those four hours were enough to convince me that I need to spend the entire weekend next year. The weather was gorgeous. There were so many things to see. I am pretty sure that I missed quite a bit. Some highlights? Well, let's face it. Shopping was a major draw. So many vendors! If it is related to yarn, fiber, or crafting, it is probably available at Rhinebeck. A lot of companies will dye yarn especially for Rhinebeck. Then there was the food. Lots of fair food, and the BEST FALAFEL I have had in the USA. Be sure to check out the Leaping Llamas. Goats, alpacas, llamas, and a nun jumping over a limbo pole. What could be better? So what did I buy? I am glad you asked. I didn't go too crazy. I think this is actually a small Rhinebeck Haul. Next year, I will probably have projects in mind when I show up. Click on each image for more information about the yarn.

I can’t wait to cast on the Whippoorwill Shawl by Carina Spencer in the Miss Babs Sojourn. I do, however, have a few things on my needles which need to be finished first.

On The Needles: I have made some progress on Mom's sweater. I have finished the bust

increases in the sweater front, and have begun the armhole decreases. I still have reservations about the yarn for this particular pattern, but I do love working with it. It feels very good on my hands. The pattern is Corrina by Ann McCauley, and I am knitting it in Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere in Colorway #198 Remembrance. It is 55% Silk and 45% Cashmere. I am knitting it on size 4 needles.

I am not, nor will I ever be, a monogamous knitter. I seem to have cast on a new project this week, as well

. Last January, I bought a skein of Dragonfly Fibers Damsel in Starry Night. Each hank consists of 335 yards of 100% Superwash Merino. I have regretted only purchasing one hank pretty much since I left the Marriott Marquis last year. So guess what. I bought another hank at Rhinebeck. I love the yarn even more, now that has been wound into cakes. It really does look like the Van Gogh painting, don't you think? I spent a couple of hours on Ravelry looking at different patterns and finally decided on the

Stone Croft Shawl by Judy Marples. I am almost done with chart b. Check back next week for progress. There are 7 charts, but don’t be intimidated. They are small charts, and they are easy to follow. Nothing too complicated here.

Socks: The Ragg socks are moving along quite nicely. I have turned two heels. Honestly, I don't see what the fuss is about. If you have good directions, it really isn't all that complicated. Which brings me to my discussion of suitable patterns for new sock knitters. I do not recommend the pattern I have been using which is, the Basic Adult-Size Ragg Wool Worsted Weight Sock by Kathleen Taylor from the Threads publication, Hand-Knit Socks. The directions were just too confusing. I went as far as I could, and then I pulled out Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks.

The directions are crystal clear and easy to follow. The illustrations in the book are very easy to understand. My next pair of vanilla socks will follow the Ann Budd pattern exclusively. I figure I will do three more pairs of vanilla socks before I branch out into something more complicated. That way, I will get to try each of the three basic sock patterns recommended by my knitting group. One thing I should have thought about before now, but did not: It makes sense to count your rounds when you are knitting socks. It is easier to have a matching pair that way. Next pair: Row counting and better directions. All in all, I think they are looking pretty good. And the best part: They fit! Onward and upward!

Ragg Socks in Cascade 220

New Things to Love: I subscribed to updates from the Verdant Gryphon. If you are not familiar with Verdant Gryphon, check out the website. They are an independent textile and dyeworks company. They make really beautiful yarns in delicious saturated colors. I recently received an email with links to some exclusive autumn kits, and somehow, the Harvest Moon Fingering Kit made its way to my home in New Jersey. It contains three beautiful hanks of skinny Bugga. Each hank contains about three ounces. The color names are as follows: A Wistful Moment (gold), Persephone (red) and Bordeaux (burgundy). The yarn is 80% Superwash Merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. It may want to be socks, but it may want to be a yummy cowl instead. To Be Continued. I seem to have done more shopping than knitting this week…

Up next week: My first shipment from Yarnbox. I joined a sock club. The content will have spoilers, so you may not see it until next time.

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