A while back Amy Herzog invited me to vend at a knitting retreat she was hosting. The retreat was called make.wear.love and was held in beautiful Sebasco Maine. What a treat it was to spend time in this lovely place! I had never been to the beaches of northern Maine and truly this spot was just breath taking.
Amy's retreat was an in depth class on her book Fit 2 Flatter, and also included classes with Clara Parkes on different yarns and the fabric they produce and Mary Jane Mucklestone on Color Theory. As a vendor I was invited to attend the classes, and I was thrilled. I learned SO much about sweater construction and how to get a better fit with a few changes within the pattern. (the math part though....ey yi yi...not my strongest subject)
One of the fun things for me as a vendor was sitting back and just watching the excitement as the women tried the various sweaters from Amy's book. Finding sweaters that really fit them well...sweaters that they couldn't imagine wearing, looking great on them. So much fun!!
There were 2 other vendors at the retreat, Indigodragonfly and String Theory. We all gave Amy a sweater's worth of yarn that she used to make 3 different sweaters for the retreat and this was the sweater that she knit with my Frolic yarn. I love it enough that as soon as I finish Courtney's socks, this will go on my needles.
Amy and her husband have also been working on a software program called CustomFit which will allow you to plug in your carefully measured measurements and a knitted swatch for a sweater that is custom fit just for you. VERY exciting! The beta test knitters have been working with the software designers over the past year and on this weekend, a very excited Amy opened up the software to the retreat members, and over the week has slowly been opening it up more.
I left the retreat full of new ideas and new tools for knitting sweaters. Once home I immediately cast on and knit 2 swatches. I can't wait to get started!!
Many years ago I was fortunate to meet and become good friends with pattern designer, Anne Podlesak. We actually got to know each other through our mutual love of angora rabbits. Anne came to visit here one day and went home with one of my favorite little fuzzy ones and a friendship was formed. It was Anne who introduced me to the wide world of blogging all those years ago and once I discovered blogging, I was hooked! Many of my dearest and closest friends today are those who I have come to know through blogging.
Over the years Anne and I have worked on a number of projects together. Anne is amazingly talented both as a designer and a dyer, so when she emailed me about an ebook that she was working on and I looked at her inspiration pinterst board, I was intriqued with what she was imagining for this sweater. I sent a bundle of my Sporty yarn to her in the Midas Touch colorway and then didn't think much about it for a spell, until I got an early glimse of Rapunzel...I swooned.... I LOVE it!!
I am an Irish girl, so when I see those celtic cables I always smile. This sweater is so beautiful. It also makes me smile when I see my yarn displayed in such a beautiful work of art. Thank you Anne!
Rapunzel is part of Anne's ebook Legendary Knits. Do yourself a favor and go take a peek. So many lovely patterns!
Sunday morning was a bright, brisk morning as Ken and I set out on our mission....to visit with my whale friends. Every year for my birthday we try to get out on this adventure. Usually we head out for a long weekend in Plymouth, Ma, but this year I had a show to work on Saturday, so we stayed a bit closer to home.
Heading out for Rye Harbor, we gave ourselves 2 hours to get there which should have been plenty of time, but as we headed for the beach road realizing we had only 15 minutes before the ship headed out, it was a race! Poor Ken was sighing and groaning. I knew how much he wanted to give this to me for my birthday, which made me feel so bad. We rounded the corner into the harbor with barely a minute to spare!
...and just like that we were off! A much smaller boat than we were accustomed too made for even more fun as we were very close to the water. The waters were fairly calm and the sun was brightly twinkling off the waters.
After seeing some small minke whales and harbor porpoises we headed out for deeper waters. Soon enough we came upon two logging humpback whales. Whale rest is referred to as logging. Whales don't sleep like people do in regular rest periods as they need to "think" to breathe, so a portion of their brain has to be awake enough to remind them to breath.
Every now and then, one would take a semi deep dive.......
...and the other would follow suit. They gave us a long show before we headed off to even deeper waters for more whales. Before we left however I was able to catch this picture of the florescent green light that appears when a portion of a whale is right under the surface. It's the barnacles that live on the whales.
You can see a glimpse of this under the whales tale as it was just lifting out of the water.
And again here when this whales flipper was suspended right beneath the surface of the water as she was resting. (both of these humpbacks were female).
There were times when we were as close as 6 feet away from these majestic animals and as you can imagine it was just breath taking. We could almost reach out and touch them.
We stayed with them as I said for a while but then the captain was told there were some fin whales further out, so we set out again. Fin whales are HUGE!! Not only are they huge, they are FAST! So fast that I wasn't able to get a clear enough picture as we followed 2 of them. One a suspected male, named Fjord was chasing a female named Comet. It appeared that Comet did not want to be caught because the ground she was covering at the speed she was moving at was amazing. It felt more like a whale chase than a whale watch.
We stayed with them for a good amount of time although not nearly as close as we were to the humpbacks because of their massive size and the huge waves that they were producing as they move that quickly through the waters.
As the sun was getting lower in the sky, we headed back to the harbor in the chilly Autumn air relishing every single moment of the wonder that we were blessed to witness on this beautiful day....and of course an ocean trip would not be complete without one of my favorite little friends.
If you get a chance to spend an afternoon with whales....DO IT!
Just a short post to say hi! I am busy winding lots of yarn for the Squam Art Fair tomorrow night. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. Doors open at 7:30 pm. I would love to see you!
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to just disappear like that. August was a crazy month here at la casa woolenrabbit. With the 2 girls headed off to college, it meant all of us working extra to help finance it. The carrot in front of our nose was our vacation on Cape Cod. We stay in a town called Mashpee where the sunsets are unmatched and we weren't disappointed this year either, so beautiful!
Our vacation was filled with wonderful things that made all of our hard work worth it. We were joined by our good friends Carole and Dale, which always makes for a fun time when we get together on the beach or for dinner. We took one day to all go on a seal watch off of Chatham. I have never seen SO many seals in one spot. It was definitely a highlight of our week for the girls, as seen here in Hannah's vineo.
Another first for us (Ken and I) was kayaking.
I have frequently said to Ken that I thought we should get a couple of
kayaks as a way to get out on the water and just enjoy nature. Ashley
has been raving about it for years, so when the owner of our rental
house offered us the use of his kayaks, we were thrilled. I really
really enjoyed it, enough so that I am hoping to add a few here this
fall or next spring.
There have been many things going on here that I didn't get to post about....lots of knitting, sewing and gardening, some highs and lows with the girls leaving for college, but I will leave some of that for another day, another post. :)
As the summer is starting to wane, I thought I would leave you with one of my favorite pictures from our summer.......
Yikes...a whole week went by and not a visit from me here. It was a crazy week! We have all been working a ton to get ready for the upcoming school season. Hannah will head off as a freshman to Plymouth State University and Courtney will be starting her senior year at the University of NH. Both girls have really put a full effort into working as much as they can to offset the expense of college and Ken and I have worked right alongside of them to help as much as we can, so last week was just a blur. Thankfully a week on the Cape in a few weeks is the carrot dangling in front of our noses. :)
In between working, I tucked in a little trip to Patternworks and picked up a bunch of Rowan 4 ply cotton that is being discontinued. The price was very fair, so a bunch of little balls hopped into my bag........
.....you know what they say about rabbits. These are very addicting!
I have never been a patient person, one who carefully sits down and reads directions, but rather one who learns visually and carelessly plows thru things hoping for the best. Book learning has always been a challenge for this ADD brain, so when I started this pattern and noticed on Ravelry that a few people said to read the tips carefully, I tucked that tidbit away in my brain and promptly ignored it.
I will back up a little bit. I have been following Julie's blog, Little Cotton Rabbits for many years. Julie knits the sweetest little bunnies and if you are lucky enough to win a random drawing to purchase one, you are rewarded with a very sweet little bunny, and what Woolen Rabbit wouldn't want a sweet little bunny, right? I was fortunate enough to purchase Blanchine, the brown and white bunny above and I just love her!
A number of months ago, Julie released the pattern for 2 rabbits and some dresses and I was so excited that I bought all of the patterns right away. It's taken me months to get to it as I have been happily knitting away on some stockinette sweaters, but I needed a change of pace in my knitting with a little challenge for a spell so I picked up this pattern, all 14 pages, and started on a little companion bunny for Blanchine.
Well .....back to the directions part. If you look at my bunny, you can see that her bottom half seems to be bigger than Julie's and that would be because I used the wrong needle size. Sewing the joints onto the body....so much trickier than it would seem to be. Stuffing the body to just the right firmness, again, not as easy as you would think and of course in re-reading the directions I found little tips that I should have followed to make it easier...aggh.
Well, while I might not be good about reading directions carefully, I am a very determined person when it comes to doing something right, so I will finish this little blue bunny and then I will start another one reading the directions carefully and hopefully it will be half as nice as Julie's. (The bunnies are in a baby bunny bucket)
There is a ton of work involved in making these little bunnies. I am amazed that Julie has made so many of them and each one lovlier than the next, God bless her!
With that I am off. Have a wonderful weekend in your corner of the world!
This week's Ten on Tuesday is Ten Favorite Summertime Treats. I didn't get a chance to post yesterday about our weekend, which was another trip to the ocean, except this time we went with Hannah, Shawn, Ashley and Brian which made it extra fun. Hannah snapped off this picture of the gulls in the marsh...love it! Top of my list of summer time treats is:
1. Going to the ocean. By far my most favorite summertime treat!
2. Seeing seagulls at the ocean....love those little scavengers with their steely blue eyes.
3. Lobster. I don't eat it often, but every now and then it is a wonderful treat.
4. Knitting on Summer evenings with a glass of wine. I think I actually knit more in the summer than any other time.
5. Lemon Drop Martini's. (used to be a summer treat, now its a regular Friday nite treat...LOL)
6. Ice Cream. No doubt about it....ice-cream is and always has been my biggest weakness. Y.U.M!
7. Caprese Salad made with yellow and orange tomatoes. I don't love red tomatoes, but I really enjoy these heirloom type tomatoes that you can only find here in the summer along with fresh mozzarella and garden basil.
8. Watching the fireflies on a warm night.
9. Corn, bean, tomato salad with feta.....mmm....thanks Carole, it's definitely a big summer time favorite here!
10. Summer winds. I really love a warm windy early afternoon. Gentle summer breezes.
How about you, what is your favorite summer treat?
It's been hot, hot, hot here this week, so I tried to keep the dye-pots fired up only a few long days and worked up in the air conditioned studio making some new bags for the shop the rest of the week.
Bags that are big enough for a sweater project and easy enough to tote along. Through lots of trial and error, I came up with this simple little tote bucket. The bucket is lined with a layer of cotton batting and a layer of stabilizer to hold it open and has a pocket for smaller tools or a phone. I like it. :)
Tomorrow promises to be another scorcher, but Sunday is going to bring us some much needed relief with drier air and cooler temps. It's going to be another beach day for us..yay!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend in your corner of the world!!