Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 25 COMMENTS




I love that I have to convince people of that. Yes, she who shares the contents of everything from her uterus to her cats’ litter box with everyone on the internets, is shy. I was once referred to in high school as “That girl who never says anything.” I live in mortal fear of speaking in front of large groups of people. It’s all a sham, people. Stitchy is really a hermit. Luckily, I am a yarn-seeking hermit, so I can actually be drawn out of my shell at times. And it is a lot easier when confronted with a gaggle of giggling knitters.

So Laurie is right. I was rather restrained in my stash enhancement last weekend. I did a pretty good job of sticking to my budget. But I also forgot to include some stuff. Whoopsie. It’s because it was all put away. Out of sight, out of mind you know how it is. I got a bunch of stuff for needle felting. I got a cool tool that holds six needles at once, five blobs of pretty roving to make an assortment of cuties, and some foam felting boards to keep you from stabbing your legs from FeltCrafts. They were extremely helpful, the woman at the booth actually ran to her car to get some extra needles for me. I shall be patronizing them again. I also got a bag of more felting fluff from Misty Mountain Farms. There are even bits of curly wool in there that should be really interesting to work with.

I don’t have pictures of all that stuff, but I do have a finished object! I made a little Rhinebeck mascot. Of course, right before I finished, I saw that Juno has already found one (see the last photo of the demon sheep of Rhinebeck). Drat! Oh well, I pressed on and came up with this little dude.

Please meet Spendy, the Spokessheep of Rhinebeck.


Spendy says “Baaaaaaaaa more stuff!” He has bendable arms and legs (well, technically, they’re all legs) so he can help point out all the things you need.

You can also see that he’s been hanging out at the fried dough cart for a little too long. Just look at that belly! Our little Spendy does not make good choices when it comes to fair fare. He should have just had that salad. Oh well. “Fraaaaaa more dough!”

And in the comments, Kristy asked about the recipe for the felted bear I made a while ago. I got the instructions and kit from Living Felt. It’s such a gratifying use of fiber, I can’t recommend trying it enough. Now that I think of it, I actually bought the kit from Marr Haven. Both places have lots of cool felting stuff, so check ¢â‚¬Ëœem both out!

And in other news, I have embarked upon the classic battle between woman and beast. No, not Jon. Not the cats. A squirrel. In our basement. When first discovered, he was napping in a box of leftover decorations from my wedding. He came flying out when Charlene walked by and startled him. My brother, unaware of Charlene’s encounter, thought someone had left one of their cats down there because garbage cans were knocked over, bottles from on top of the fridge were smashed on the floor, and there were little footprints all over the toilet seat where someone had perched to get a drink. I believe there were also some little footprints on his laundry that was hanging down there. Later, I was putting away a rake after some long avoided yard work and heard the skittering of tiny paws in the ceiling. So I tapped here and there until I startled him and he came flying out of a hole and ran to the other side of the basement along the pipes. Apparently, this squirrel is wound real tight. He needs to chill. If he would just come out and sit on my shoulder, he would get so many treats and smooches, his head would spin*. But he wants to do this the hard way.

Honestly, I was just worried that he was hungry. But it turns out he also found the birdseed we had down there. So I got a Have-a-Heart trap. It’s all steel and noisy and clanky, so from the squirrel’s standpoint, this is actually a Have-a-Heartattack trap. Jon and I set it up, we even included some treats that we’d just gotten for our own under-documented hamster, Wuzzy. We’ve been checking the trap regularly since yesterday. I moved it closer to his water supply today, though I refuse to admit it was just for his convenience. I checked it a short while ago and it looks like he had himself a lovely snack. But he didn’t hang around for the actual trapping or anything. He did, however, leave a bunch of empty seed shells for me to clean up.

Squirrel 1
Stitchy – 0

*Don’t worry, I don’t plan on kissing the squirrel when I catch him. He’s going right outside.


Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 24 COMMENTS




OK, first off, I just have to say that I had a blast last night! I love impromptu fun and when you get a bunch of knit-bloggers together, you are guaranteed a good time. Which perhaps makes it not so impromptu. Implied impromptu fun, maybe? Anyway, we rocked the house at Willow Books in Acton. So much so that I think we made them really nervous. I was lucky enough to get a seat right up front because I was alone and there were some single spots available. While sitting there waiting for the reading to start, the bookstore owner was talking to one of his employees about the number of people that were in attendance. Apparently he hadn’t expected such a huge turnout and was more than a little gobsmacked. He reminded me of every uptight shopkeeper in every Three Stooges episode. And the woman he was speaking with said “Never underestimate women and what they’ll do!” My head did a quick series of 360 degree spins and came to rest pointing in their direction. My eyes narrowed and turned a strange luminescent green and sparked with small licks of flame. And from a place deep in my belly emanated a low, menacing growl. “Knitters.” I said. “Never underestimate Knitters.” They backed away, stuttering and sputtering and falling over piles of useless, non-knitting-related books.

Ok, that only happened in my head.

Anyhoo, the reading was fantastic and the stories were great. A group of us lingered afterwards and ended up going out for a drink at a nearby restaurant. They seemed as perplexed as the shopkeeper. Must be something in the water. Or a lack of wool in their diets. Something. It’s as though they all possessed knitting needles, but kept them firmly lodged up their posteriors for safe-keeping. In attendance at the after party were CarolesKnitting Carole, BookishGirl Wendy, ObsessionDuJour Kellee, SandysKnitting Sandy, EtherKnitter Laurie, Knitigator Kathy, Stoneview Julie, WoolyBuns Chris, Woolyheaded Ruth (I wish Chris and Ruth were a couple so each could introduce the other as their better half) , MedStudentWhoKnits Kristen, Yarn Harlot Stephanie and a few ladies who’s names I have woefully forgotten. I believe two were Linga Roghaar and Molly Wolf, the creators of the KnitLit books. And there was someone wearing the most fantastic pair of blue socks with purple cables. I failed to introduce myself properly and didn’t get her name. She is now and forever will be in my mind “the woman with those fantastic socks.” And also, there was Non-Blogging Sharon who NEEDS to get a blog. What a great lady! Hop to it, Lady Jane. Now the pressure is on her to either make us happy by joining our fold or disappointing us by not sharing stories of knitting and bees and baby cows in the living room.

So now that I’ve recapped Rhinebeck Redux, let me get to other one. The one with acres of fiber.

Well, I’ll echo what everyone else has been saying. It. Was. Wicked. Fun. Cara’s Blogger Meetup was a thing of beauty. I wish I weren’t so lousy with names because I met loads of great people. I do know that my Bloglines list has gotten quite a bit longer since that fateful day, and it was already honking huge. There were so many people that I started feeling a little overwhelmed. I’m actually a really shy person. I was always the kid hiding her face, sitting alone on the corner, and never saying a word in class. One day I just decided to pretend not to be shy and it usually works pretty well. But man, there were just so many people. I fear if my mother had been there, I may have been clinging to her leg for security. But I think I managed not to say anything stupid, and I did manage to remember most of the people I met, if not by their real names, then by their blog names. I was shocked that so many people knew who I was, even though I didn’t know who they were. There are a lot more knit bloggers than I ever imagined! YAY! So, to everyone I met, it was my extreme pleasure. To everyone I saw who I had already known, it was great to see you. To those I haven’t met yet, look behind you! Boo! Just kidding. Or am I?

OK, on to the fair. Well, how about I just show you what I bought? I’m actually in a bit of a rush and Kellee has taken responsibility for documenting our drive, which required a hand-written map from a guy in a wine store. You see, we were headed to my darling cousin’s house in New Paltz on Friday night to spend the evening. They live past a bridge. The bridge was apparently ok, but the road past it was now a good old fashioned swimming hole. Kellee’s rocket car cannot, apparently, defy gravity. Some rocket car. pffft. So a nice man drew up a map. Kellee has it posted at her place. He went so far as to draw little lines around the streetlights to give the appearance of radiant light. He also made cute sound effects as he drew the blinking light. He got us to Elaine’s without a hitch. We should send that guy a thank you card. I think the store name is on the back of the map. Hang on to that thing, Kellee!

OK, so I didn’t go too nuts because I had already spent a bunch of my money at Webs, but here goes, in order of purchase, even.

Maple Creek Merino/Silk, colorway Crocus. I’m a sucker for green and purple. I can’t help myself. This is ridiculously soft and for all you yarn sniffers out there it smells really good, too. Not too detergenty, just . . . nice. It does a nostril good. This will become some sort of shawly/scarfy thing. Maybe a Clapotis? It might be too fine. I’ll have to do some research. Mike offered to provide a nice, fluffy background for the photo. Any spinners want to take a try at him?



~sigh~ Here is some Jamie Harmon wool/angora. It’s a 50/50 split and is just gorgeous. I only got one skein for myself and am making a skinny little scarf to wear in the office. I want it near my neck and facial region at all times. It’s soooo soft. I was knitting it at the book reading last night and one of the authors said he kept looking at it while he was reading because he wanted to see what color would come out next. It is a much fondled yarn, deservedly so. I also got a skein in beige/reds/blues/greens for my sister-in-law. I was going to get that one for myself because I wanted to get away from the purple and green thing, but I just couldn’t. Love the purple and green.


Here is a little salt pot from Bell Pottery, who had a booth in the 2-story barn, I think. My cousin in New Paltz has a lot of their pieces, She even has a whole shower tiled with this pattern. It slowly works from day to night as it moves across the shower. Amazing. (Someday, these will‚ be in my bathroom or kitchen. Oh yes. They will be mine.)



Here is some Potpourri Yarn for my mom. It’s fiber content is “A Little Bit of Everything”. This is a lousy picture, but it’s a very delicate rose and yellow. I hope she likes it. It’ll make a pretty scarf.


Wow, that’s it from the festival, I think. But we did stop at the Morehouse Merino store on the way home and I had to get something for the babies. I got this little sheepskin for the kitties to sleep on (and fight over, I’m sure). Here are Dot and Chi-Chi examining it. Look at how her paws sink right in. Plush, baby!


And here is Dot digging in. I’m curious so see if she sucks on it or not. It still smells sheepy, but in a nice, clean way. And there’s still lanolin in there. Maybe this will curb her need for fiber . . . Time will tell.



Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 12 COMMENTS

And it rocked! I didn’t bring a camera, but there are plenty of photos floating around the internets. Besides, it’s kind of tough to document girlish glee.

My travel mates, Melanie and Kellee were the best. We worked out sort of an unspoken system of parting and regrouping throughout the day. Rather than lingering or rushing, we pretty much moved at our own paces, but managed to come together after just about every yarn barn. It was like a little dance. Cell phones also helped immensely.

We headed out on Friday morning. Kellee drove her little turbo-charged rocket car and it was nice to just be a passenger for a change. When I work in the office (3-4 times a week), I have about an hour drive each way. The upside of this is that the drive to NY seemed to take no time. This was due in large part to my delightful companions, but also because I’m a slave to the Mass Pike and its wanton toll-collecting ways.

We made sure to leave early because we wanted to make a pit stop on the way to the great Empire state. It just so happens that Webs is conveniently located between Point A and Point B, so it would have been inconsiderate of us not to stop by and peruse their offerings. Having never experienced Webs in person, I was anxious to get there. Upon arrival, we headed straight for the bathroom. They have a little sofa in there. I love that. It made me want to sit and knit in the can for a while. This was the first of many bathroom visits. Between Melanie’s wombmates and my thimble-sized bladder, toilet-trekking made up a considerable amount of our weekend activities. Once we checked that off the list of things to do, we roamed Webs’ vast warehouse. My brain had a tough time processing the endless rows of coned yarn at first. It’s a bit much, so I just petted the chenille for a while. But once I got my bearings, it was a feast for the fingertips. There were all kinds of fiber, from scratchy rug wool to smooth-as-silk . . . well, silk. There was even a shelf of coned tinsel in an array of Barbie doll colors. For a moment, I wondered if a tinsel afghan would be a reasonable project to embark upon, and then I thought of Dot wandering around with a two-foot-long metallic rainbow trailing behind her. Although the other cats would probably enjoy their new living cat toy immensely, I thought better of it and eventually settled on this collection of goodies:

The cone is some sort of cotton/poly ribbons stuff that I’m going to use for Nuthin’ but a T-shirt. I also got some of Web’s house brand superwash called Crƒ¨me Brulee. I got enough for some kind of sweater, but I don’t know which yet. I also couldn’t pass up the super-soft Berrocco Pleasure that was on close-out. I would have if they hadn’t provided a knitted sample to lure me in. I got enough for a scarf and I just need to find a pattern for something knit on a diagonal. That’s what they had knit for the sample and it was very plain, but quite fetching. And sort of French, in a way.

I also found some squatters living among this year’s selection of knitting magazines. These little stowaways were huddled in the corner together, no doubt doing their best to go unnoticed. But my eyes are trained to catch even the slightest hint of an outdated hairdo or the twinkle of a clown’s glittering nose. So I plucked these survivors of the Great Pattern Purge of Nineteen and Ninety-Two from their hidey-holes and took them home where they could be mocked (and MOKSed) properly.

We also had the pleasure of meeting two fellow knit bloggers who were slaving away behind the cash registers. Imagine, we hadn’t even hit Rhinebeck yet, and already the bloggers were springing up! They were sweet as pie (like strawberry rhubarb or chocolate cream, not some nasty mincemeat) and wrapped up our shopping spree just perfectly. One was the SPARKnits, who immediately appreciated those knitting magazines for their unapologetic awfulness. The other gal recognized Melanie’s sweater as a Rogue as soon as we walked in, which I thought was so cool. Of course, I can’t for the life of me remember her blog name. I do know it’s on LiveJournal, but she’s making the switch to Blogspot soon. Damn. If you’re her and you read this, can you put your blog name in the comments? Pleeease?

Once we had spent a good portion of our yarn budgets before even leaving the state, we pressed on and headed for the promised land of Sheep and Wool.

Stay tuned! I will continue tomorrow and give you the scoop on the rest of the weekend, washed-out bridges and all!

Oh, I’m also going to do my darndest to make it here tonight. Anyone else?

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 13 COMMENTS

OK, I’ve been back from Rhinebeck for a couple of days, I didn’t just set up residence in one of the empty sheep stalls (but don’t think I wasn’t already making a nest when they caught me). I brought home so many new distractions, I could barely peel myself off the couch to practice simple personal hygiene, so the blog got a little neglected. But now I’m ready to share my haul with you. Well, you can look at it. No touching. I may bite.

We went on Sunday and the weather was just beautiful. The night before, we had a great dinner with my cousin Elaine, her husband Bob, and a couple of their friends. One friend was a lovely woman, very serene and kind. Apparently she had raised her kids in a commune in the 60’s and is very liberal and outgoing for her cause, but not all up in your grill. I would describe her as having a cool elegance. The other friend was a man whom my cousin described as an “unrepentant communist”. When I laughed, she said “You think I’m kidding?” His name is Bob and he was all up in your grill. But not in a bad way. He’s probably in his mid 70’s (just a guess, I could be way off in either direction) and he appears to be a bottomless well of lively and entertaining conversation. And he is indeed the most left wing person I’ve ever met. It was strange coming out of an older gentleman, but also incredibly refreshing. He wanted nothing to do with computers and the internet and all that kerfuffle. As a software programmer, I couldn’t help but be amused and jealous at the same time. Because Jon and I were company and kind of new to the fold, they all put their clothes on when they got out of the hot tub (we didn’t go in). Normally they don’t rush about it. Is my cousin cool or what?

Once at the festival, we met up with my mother-in-law, who is sweet and sprightly. She’s just rediscovered knitting and was thrilled to be in the thick of it. Bob and Elaine joined us later in the day and were looking at sheep for the farm they just bought. It’s not ready yet, but when it is, there will be critters. We took a camera, but only took two pictures. Here they are.

This is an Olde English Southdown Miniature Babydoll Sheep. I don’t think this was the actual vendor, but it has more pictures of these ridiculously cute things. They’re a lot like Ewoks, except for one major difference – I didn’t want to punch any of the sheep.

And this is a llama. I guess he’s cute, too. But you’ve got to try pretty hard after the Babydoll. Better luck next year, buddy.

I have to add that Jon (my husband) was very well behaved at this event. He whined minimally and actually showed interest in the spinning wheels. I suspect he wanted to take them apart and leave the bits strewn about the festival grounds. I told him we could try to find the husband pen and I’d drop him off there. Unfortunately, if such a thing existed, they’d want to talk about sports. He was better off with us gals and the pretty yarn. Next year he wants to open a booth for Yarn Widowers that will have a bunch of reclining chairs, Playstations, and a fountain of beer.

Alright already!! Get to the good stuff, Yappy McYap-pants! When we arrived, I made a bee-line for A Touch of Twist’s booth. I have a huge crush on their yarn. I placed an order for some Stormy Skies, which they didn’t have on hand. I also got some Middle Earth (I love their color names). I’m perpetually impressed that this is undyed.

After that, we wandered and it took me a while to get focused. I got a hold of myself and took a stroll down the Spirit Trail where I happened upon this lovely fluff.

It’s Cormo and has been taking up a lot of my time since I’ve been back. Jen was really nice and directed me to Grafton Fiber’s booth where I purchased a lovely drop spindle (mine is a dark brown hardwood called Bocote). I showed it to my brother, who is a carpenter, and he thought it was gorgeous. I asked how much he would have charged me for it and his answer was “Probably more than $30!”, so I got a good deal. Actually, my mother-in-law got a deal. She bought it for my impending birthday. Yay! AND, Jon actually want to take a crack at it. Yowza! I’ll have him converted to our yarny ways before long. mwaah ha ha ha haaaa . . .

I started trying to spin as soon as we got home Sunday night. I think I’m getting the hang of it. Here are some results so far.

I also stopped at Delly’s Delights Farm (I love that name!) and got a pound and a half of natural black alpaca.

And so begins the Age of Alpaca. It’s my new favorite yarn and I want to be swathed in it from now on. My brother agreed as he held up the skein Middle Earth to his face (turns out he’s a yarn sniffer, too! Must be genetic.). I offered to make him a scarf with it and he said he didn’t need anything that big. He just wants something big enough for his face so he can feel it all day.

As we were leaving, I ran over to Wild Apple Farms to pick up this wool for a great price ($4 each!).

I’m going to make a stripey felted bag for myself with it. I should have gotten more – they had lots of colors and the more you got, the cheaper it was. But I had hit my budget and behaved myself (plus I had no cash left).

I got one more thing, but it’s a secret. It’s for Melanie and I don’t want her to see it. But I think she’ll really like it. Can you keep a secret? If I show you, you won’t tell her, will you? Promise? Ok. Here it is. Think she’ll like it? I’m going to see her Saturday, which is good because I don’t have a whole lot of room. I hope she likes it.

And that was that. It was a great time and I will definitely go back next year. I was hoping to spot some bloggers, but since I’m terrible with names and faces, I may have been bumping into them all day without realizing it (I probably bumped into you when I was pretending to trip on (to prove a point) one of the gigantic baby Cadillacs people were parking in the middle of the aisles – seriously! Smack dab in the middle!). There should be a blogger sign in book so you know who’s there.

Oh, and because it’s almost Halloween, here’s is a terrifying picture to get the hairs on your neck standing on end.

Notice how Dot is summoning all of her supernatural power, causing her eyes to turn to laser beams that will disintegrate anyone who dares get in her way of eating all this delicious yarn? Luckily we had some tuna treats nearby. They are her kryptonite. Man, just seeing her near it is going to keep me awake for days. It’s worse than the end of Blair Witch. Gah.

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 10 COMMENTS



Yay, the plans came together and we’re off to Rhinebeck this weekend! AND my darling Hub will be accompanying me! How’s that for an enabling husband? He keeps giving me all these reasons to adore him further.* We’ll be staying with my super cool cousin and her husband (who is also super cool) at their house in New Paltz, which is maybe 30-45 minutes away. We’re going to hang out on Saturday and head to the fair on Sunday, so please save some yarn for me, people! By then the llamas ought to be good and annoyed, so that should be fun.

I was hoping to have Manly done for Rhinebeck so my fella could look all spiffy and hand-crafted, but it ain’t hap’nin. It’s getting there, though. I’m on the second sleeve, then the collar, then I have to figure out how to put it together.

Thanks so much for all the great feedback on the MOKS. It’s nice to know that people enjoy reading it as much as I do putting it together. I hope I’m getting across my love for these patterns. As much as I tease them, I really and truly do think they’re aces. You don’t necessarily have to like something in order to love it, and so it goes with MOKS. I kid because I love, that’s just how we are in my family (you should hear the trash-talking when we play cards). I’ve actually been tempted to make those shorts because they’re just so crazy. Did I just ruin the whole thing by saying that? I hope not.

This was another windfall week for the shop-a-holic. Michaels Craft store sent out some generous flyers last week that contained a 50% and 40% off coupon for one item each. I also snagged my neighbor’s copy because she had already tossed it into the recycle bin, so we had 4 coupons! I dragged the Hub to the craft store (which he actually enjoys) and made him buy The Big Book of Knitting by Katharine Buss (which he didn’t enjoy) with one of the 50% coupons and I got a Boye Needlemaster circular set with the other one. I already have Denise circs, but I figured it couldn’t hurt and at a $35 savings, I simply couldn’t resist. I took one of the 40% coupons today and got The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman. I’ve got one left, but there really isn’t anything else I need at Michaels. I want a blocking board that sweaters will fit on, but they don’t seem to have them. Anyone have any suggestions about what I should get?

*Earlier this week, he brought home a little Beatrix Potter book called The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit because it reminded him of our Fierce Bad Kitten, Mike. Let’s hear it for the boy “Awwwwwww.” It’s actually pretty hilarious and if you will allow me, I would love to share it with you.

This is Mike.


This is the Fierce Bad Rabbit.


Notice the similarities, especially in the crazy eyes just looking for something to knock over?

Here is the Bad Rabbit knocking over the Nice Rabbit because he wants the carrot. This is a very common occurrence in our house (though rarely with carrots) and the other cats all agree that they are the Nice Rabbit in this tiresome scenario.


Then something very jarring happens. You turn the page in the cute funny book for children and are faced with this.


Wow. Beatrix is done screwing around. All bets are off and that little bastard just may get what’s coming to him. Mike’s furry jaw drops while the other cats cheer. But it’s a kids’ book and the man with the gun would never actually shoot at . . .


As it turns out, the Bad Rabbit only gets his tail and whiskers blown off. Luckily, Beatrix spared us the spray of blood shooting from the rabbit’s behind, but you know that’s what the original looked like. I like to think that it made her laugh maniacally, then she calmly put it away and moved on.