I usually have a small (okay maybe large) list of fiber goals each season.  It’s often wishful thinking.  But occasionally I actually make some respectable progress.

This year I really wanted to find an easy way to make socks.  I love hand knitted socks; it’s luxurious to put your feet into something thick and warm when the weather gets cold.  So I searched out some potential books and settled on Cat Bordhi’s Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters.

Cat’s the sock guru and her toe up, personalized method really worked for me.  And when I would get stuck on a particular aspect of her method, I found she had video support segments on YouTube.  What a brilliant idea.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the car this summer traveling with my family and I always take my knitting along.  My socks are almost done.

In the picture you can see the cardboard cutout of my foot with markings on it.  This is part of Cat’s wonderful personalized method.  You may have also noticed that I knit with double pointed needles.  In an age when everyone is fascinated with the circular needle method of knitting, I find that I still knit better with dpn’s.  Strange but true.

I have enough yarn for two more pairs of these socks. I’ll have to plan some more knitting road trips!

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About two years ago, I got the urge to knit myself a sweater.  Winters in Northeast Ohio can be pretty cold and I needed something other than the Aran sweater I purchased in Ireland 20 years ago.  Despite my limited knitting skills I had some grandiose ideas about a complicated pattern.  Let’s just say those quickly got tossed as I struggled to make progress.

When a year went by with little to no advancement on the project, I finally got going and made it a goal to get it finished.  Problem is, I finished it last week…just as the hot, muggy weather hit. 

The pattern is very basic; the yarn is Jo Sharp Silk Aran Tweed and at least it fits.  So here I am, modeling the sweater with shorts on.

Now that it’s finished, I’ve put it away in my winter clothes drawer.  I’ll probably forget about it until the weather turns cold again.  Then it will be a welcome surprise when I’m looking for something to keep me warm.

Every year during Memorial Day weekend, Wooster, Ohio hosts the Great Lakes Fiber Show.  When I first started attending there were enough vendors to fill one building at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.  This year, they filled four buildings with vendors and open field with alpaca farmers and another building with workshops.  It’s grown into quite a show with something for every knitter, spinner and weaver.  There is equipment everywhere including carders, combs, spinning wheels and this year I saw many, many rigid heddle looms for sale.  Rigid heddle is a great entry way into weaving, but seems to be gaining popularity with even experienced weavers.

The vendor below sells buffalo fiber and it’s incredibly soft and warm.  Here she demonstrates to a patron how to drum card the fiber.

A big favorite at the festival is the appearance of all those adorable animals.

I managed to get through the festival with just one hank of fiber from Creatively Dyed Yarns and a circular knitting needle.  I was lucky I had an unusual amount of discipline.

It’s been extremely cold here in Northeast Ohio for the past week or so.  But the sun was out on Saturday and my family and I decided to spend the day in Coventry, a funky neighborhood in Cleveland Hts.  Coventry has a Bohemian flair that was home to a hippie culture in the 1960s.  Today it mixes ethnic eateries with unique shops.

My main destination was Mac’s Back’s, an independent bookstore with an amazing owner and a wide array of book titles. 

 

I immediately asked if she had any weaving titles.  Most stores have plenty of knitting and quilting books, handweaving….not so much.  But she disappeared down the basement and recovered a 1956 book called a “Manual of Swedish Handweaving.”  I was properly impressed and purchased it.  We spent an hour going through the titles.  My boys ended up with some great reading.  We bagged our treasures and moved onto a fabulous retro toy store that sent my husband and I down memory lane. 

Big Fun is a unique toy store.

John Lennon glasses

 Silly Putty, gyroscopes, Mallo Bars, wooden snakes, Curious George, slinkys, you name it.  Big Fun is just what it says.  We laughed a lot.

Passport to Peru was one of the last stores we visited.  It was particularly interesting for me as a weaver and knitter.  Many handmade items from South America including a fleece lined, hand knitted jacket/sweater for my one son for $45.  Honestly, you couldn’t make it for that price.  We purchased a hat for my other son.  Wonderful craftsmanship.

 

A good lunch was had by all at the Mongolian Grill. A very satisfying day!