Rhinebeck Preview in Black and White

With only a couple of weeks left until Rhinebeck, my mind is occupied with almost nothing else. Today it’s sunny and in the 60s — really perfect weather for a day wandering around the beautiful Dutchess County fairgrounds. I hope we have exactly the same weather for Rhinebeck. Last year, it was far too hot for wearing wool sweaters, so fingers crossed we don’t have a repeat of that.

 Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

This year Rhinebeck is even more exciting because I’ve created a new design just for the fair. It’s knit in the exclusive Rhinebeck 2018 colorway dyed by an indie dyer who will be there. Since I don’t want to spoil the surprise of the color, my photos are all black and white for now. But trust me, it’s lovely — really, really lovely — a soothing and calming color that goes with just about everything.

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The yarn will be revealed and the pattern released during the days leading up to Rhinebeck. For now, I can share that it’s a garter stitch and lace crescent shawl, in two sizes. After working the lace, you transition to easy garter stitch short rows (very easy — you don’t even have to pick up the wraps, because they are hidden within the garter stitch). After the lace — which does require being attentive to a chart or the row-by-row written instructions — the project is refreshingly simple, perfect for taking along to a cafe or knit night.

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The dyer and I both wanted this design to be a one-skein project. After knitting lots of swatches and trying out different lace ideas, I made my best calculations about yardage and cast on. And at the end, when I cast off, there were only a few yards remaining. Not ideal! So I wrote up the pattern for two sizes, one 60 inches long and the other about 66 inches. The smaller size definitely requires just one skein (or about 425 yards of fingering weight); the larger one calls for two skeins (475 yards). I did manage to squeeze the larger size out of just one skein, but it was a very close call and it’s possible the skein had a little extra yardage in it. I don’t want anyone to lose at “yarn chicken” when they’re nearly finished, so I’m recommending two skeins for the larger/longer size.

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Will you be at Rhinebeck (or another fiber festival) this year? I’m getting more and more excited every day about seeing so much beautiful and inspiring knitwear all in one place, plus petting sheep, and goats, and alpacas, and bunnies. I can’t wait!

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Sneak Peek: Ischnura Shawl

Ischnura on Fence_iPad.JPG

We're finally getting some fall color here in western Massachusetts. What a warm and late fall it's been! I got some lovely shots of Ischnura, my upcoming shawl, along the Norwottuck bike trail this morning. It brought back memories of the day last summer when I took photos of the Enallagma Shawl, the first design in my Dragonfly Days collection.

Then, it was warm and humid, and there was lots of Queen Anne's Lace and purple loosestrife by the fences on the trail. Today — red, yellow, and orange leaves, and cattails bursting. A completely different, but equally beautiful scene.

Ischnura on Boulder_iPad.JPG

The pattern will be ready to publish just as soon as I edit all the photos and finalize the layout — probably later this week. 

In the meantime, here's just one of my Rhinebeck photos. It was bright and very warm at Rhinebeck on Saturday. I managed to wear my wool/alpaca sweater until lunch — then off it came. Because of the heat, there weren't nearly as many gorgeous knits to see, but still — better sunshine than rain, right? Once again, being there reminded me what a friendly and inspiring community the fiber world is. It was so much fun seeing all the beautiful sheep, goats, and alpacas, perusing yarns and spinning fiber (many from small farms), and meeting knitters and other designers. Can't wait till next year!

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