Postcards from Rhinebeck ’14

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IMG_6516.JPGIt was so good to get out of the city this weekend and head upstate to Rhinebeck for the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. The weather was the most perfect October weather you could ask for, by turns dramatic, steel grey skies with the woods all orange and red and gold and the clearest blue sky and sunshine with cold air and chilly breeze. It was perfectly cold and that meant that the hand knits could be worn comfortably, but not so cold that you needed a jacket over them. Florrie finished her Aunt Fred and it looked so great on her, I would have lost my marbles knitting a whole sweater in that fiddly sport weight wool. Kudos to her. I wore my Astoria cowl, it was snug and perfectly warm.

Florrie had much more shopping restraint than I did, I bought two skeins of Miss Babs Yowza in a really pretty green/blue/grey colorway (Shaken Not Stirred), the line for Miss Babs wool was predictably long, a giant bag of Maple Cotton Candy, some Hot Maple Mustard (it’s seriously the best thing ever), a gorgeous cherry wood stirrer/spatula from Chester B. Basil’s stall, some beautiful grey/green ceramic buttons from Melissa Jean and on the way home when we stopped off in Tivoli at Fabulous Yarns I got a squishy red skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Extra.  I’m not sure if it was because it’s the third or fourth year that we have gone, or if it was in fact smaller this year. Not sure, but it was fun and we got to scratch a few goats and sheep under their chins, and see so much beautiful wool.

Until next year Rhinebeck, maybe I’ll get my act together in 2015 and have my own sweater to wear. 😀

-Marie

 

 

Planning and Plotting

20140104-113811.jpg     This weekend I (Miss Procrastination) am working hard on a new collection of patterns. I had planned on releasing them at the end of this month, but after sitting down this morning and planning out the remaining work I have to do, I’m not as brash and certain as I originally thought. I suppose if you are saddled with the procrastination gene, its a bonus if you also have the brash self-confidence gene to back it up.  Its my “I can do it!” side that makes me think that, yes, just maybe, I can! So far this morning, to procrastinate, I have taken down my Christmas tree, packed away the decorations and tidied and vacuumed the dining room and living room… oh, and written this blog post.  Like a champ!

I have already written several of the patterns, and I just need to re-knit, chat with my test knitters and make sure the finished projects are ready for photos. But a couple of the patterns are still just sketches, notes and swatches.  Its officially Crunch Time!  So after I make some eggs and coffee for my at-home brunch I will have my nose to the grindstone and knitting like a madwoman to keep my deadline.  Do you think I can do it? Wish me luck! -Marie

PS – In case you were wondering…  the wool in the picture is Cascade 220 (aqua) and The Periwinkle Sheep (pinky-purple) Merino DK and yes, its going to knit into something wonderful! 🙂

The Fiber Festival of New England

A couple of weekends back I took a roadtrip to Springfield Mass.  They were hosting the 4th annual Fiber Festival of New England. There were plenty of vendors selling their gorgeous yarns and some even had their livestock with them. It was lovely meeting the source of the yarn I was about the purchase.

Yarn

The yarn on the left is Reflections at Roclans, a 100% superwash merino from Roclans. It’s soft and cosy and will probably be turned into something for Cobra Commander. The yarn on the right is soooo deliously squishy and in person the colours are so stunning. The photograph doesn’t do justice to the subtle colour twists.

This is from Long Island Livestock Company, they offer limited quantities of their yarn. The one I bought is number 5 of just 18. Needless to say say this will be knitted up into something I’ll be keeping for myself. I’d eyed this at Rhinebeck but didn’t purchase it, so jumped on it in Springfield.

What I’m possibly the most excited about is this;

Lincoln fleece

A 4 1/2 pound bag of Lincoln fleece. The natural colour variations remind me of the sky just before a thunderstorm.

Lincoln fleece

It’s so soft, and the variations are just beautiful. This is the beginning of a new and hopefully exciting, no doubt stressful journey into Yarn Making. I’ll keep you up to date on Lincoln’s progress.

F.

Postcards from Rhinebeck

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Maple cotton candy and fat squishy skeins of wool… It really doens’t get a lot better than this!

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Llamas and Alpacas. I firmly believe that they are the silliest of farm animals.

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Oh October. You are so beautiful.

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I mean really… show off.

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The incredibly gorgeous wool for our Leaf Kerchief giveaway.

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Florrie reads the map, we must find Melissa and her gorgeous buttons!

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Saturday evening walk in the woods. Dusky autumn beauty.

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Our totes were over-flowing with wooly goodenss!

We had a great time at Rhinebeck this year.  The weather was cool and the days were sunny. It did rain, but luckily it was just overnight on Saturday. But MAN, did I sleep well. We bought way too much wool and saw so many great vendors and so many silly llamas and alpacas and sheep. We were tempted by Melissa Jean’s button stash. We stood in line for the wonderful Miss Babs yarn and found the most gorgeous colorway for our Leaf Kerchief Giveaway. Make sure you comment on the post before Friday for a chance to win. You’ll get a FloMa canvas tote, knitting notions, the kerchief pattern and enough of Miss Babs beautiful yarn to make your own.

We’re dreaming big for next year! Can’t wait!

A Sheep & Wool Celebration!

We are so excited to be gearing up for the annual Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival in a few days at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. While we aren’t quite to the point where we’ll have a booth, (fingers crossed and working hard towards having a FloMa booth next year!!) we are planning on going to the fair both days.

There’s lots to see and buy so I always mean to start saving up months in advance, and yet I never seem to start early enough! I want to indulge in all of my impulse buys. Believe me, there is a lot to be tempted by. The gorgeous yarns (that means you, Miss Babs!), beautiful knitting patterns, eating the great food, taking in a lecture or two, not to mention the silly  critters.  Though I do not anticipate taking home any sheep… just wool.  We are so fortunate to have this great event in our own backyard and would be crazy to miss it!

So in the spirit of woolly goodness we’re offering a FlorrieMarie coupon code! Starting tomorrow, Friday October 18th you can get 30% off of any one FlorrieMarie knitting pattern. We really hope you see something you like!

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We’re going to be passing out these little cards at Sheep and Wool, and during the Ravlery Meetups.  We don’t want our internet friends to be left out, so we’re sharing it here with you, too!

The Fine Print: The code, sheepwool, is valid starting at 12:01 am Friday October 18th through midnight Saturday November 30th.  The code will give you 30% off any one pattern in the Ravelry FlorrieMarie Pattern Store.  It is good for one use per person. We’re sorry, but it is not valid for past purchases.

FlorrieMarie Tote and T-Shirt

We thought a little shameless self promotion never hurt anybody, so we thought that at the New York sheep and wool festival we would do just that. We ruled out streaking and came up with a tote and a t shirt.

T Shirt

FloMa T shirtTake one t shirt. We got ours from Michael’s Arts and Crafts 2 for $5.00, Bargain. I washed and dried them

FloMa T shirtChoose an image and text and print it onto image transfer paper. Remember to print the image in reverse

FloMa T shirtCut it out

FloMa T shirtIron it on..

…Leave it to cool, and..

FloMa T shirt…Peel off the paper

FloMa T shirtAnd you’ll end up with your image on the t shirt

FloMa T shirt

The letters aren’t as vivid as I wanted. Next time I’ll be sure to get the transfer paper specifically for darker colours

TOTE BAG

We used a Muji tote, and before you sigh, I know we use them ALL the time, but they’re only 75 cents!!!! That’s a bargain not to be sniffed at.

FloMa toteFloMa is how we refer to ourselves, I toyed with the idea of putting FlorrieMaire, but thought it would be too crowded. Ok, so this is just text printed onto paper

FloMa tote

Slip the paper inside the bag and position it.

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Using a tailors pencil lightly trace the shape of the letters

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The lines should only just be visible

FloMa toteAs this tote is going to The New York Sheep and Wool Festival, I wanted to show our love of knitting, so knitted some icord for the letters

FloMa toteStart stitching it down, but don’t cast off until you’re close to the end, just in case you need to adjust

FloMa toteThis will provide the bag with some pretty 3D detail

FloMa toteAlmost at the end, so time to cast off and hide away the loose ends

FloMa toteNow that the lettering is in place, it’s time to lay out the rest of the design and make any changes

FloMa toteFrom the rough sketch of the sheep, I’m tracing the image onto freezer paper. Freezer paper is GENIUS, paper on one side waxy on the other. It is perfect for projects like this…

…Here’s why

FloMa toteAfter tracing, there’s cutting

FloMa toteThen Ironing. Iron the freezer paper wax side down and it will bond to the fabric which allows you to use it like a stencil. See told you it was Genius

FloMa toteDab on your fabric paint, I think I’ll have one white sheep and…

FloMa tote…one brown sheep

FloMa toteWait for the paint to dry completely, I put my mine in the sun as I was born with almost no patience

FloMa toteThen slowly peel the freezer paper away. There won’t be any waxy residue left

FloMa toteEt voilà, two sheep bodies

FloMa toteNow, Ilm repeating the freezer paper process for the sheep’s head. Trace it..

FloMa toteIron it down, lining up the pencil marks with the edge underneath

FloMa toteI choose to give the sheep contrasting faces

FloMa toteUsing transfer paper again, I had to get the web address  in somewhere. I hope it’s straight

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The big reveal

FloMa toteTa Dah!! So far, so good, but it needs something

FloMa toteThe sheep are going to get a little personality with embroidered faces

FloMa toteBa Ba brown sheep

FloMa toteNow all that’s left to do is to stitch on the red gingham ribbon

FloMa toteThe finished product

FloMa toteWaiting to be stuffed full of the fabulous yarn we plan on buying this weekend!