Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Knitting up Rhinebeck 2008: The Original Stash

Handpaint Stash 

Despite the fact I've finally been digging deep into the immense yarn stash I've accumulated over the past 10 years, I seem to have forgotten to remind myself just how fast the stuff can accumulate...as it did in 2008.

I did not approach my first Rhinebeck, NY Sheep & Wool Festival thinking I would find bargains. I wanted the amazing artisianal stuff that would inspire me as I fingered and smooshed it and sighed over it. I happily paid the dyers and spinners what they asked and deserved, and I loved what I got.

Oh boy. I went nuts. I always went nuts at yarn sales before, buying 10-skein bags at crazy prices and thinking always in sweater quantities. But this was different. Intoxicating in different ways. So I filled up a couple of bags with yarn yarn yarn yarn YARN and then I went home and took the picture above.

Then life got busy, and though I wound a lot of the yarn into ready-to-knit balls I was a bit slow to work on them. I didn't have a lot of hat, scarf or shawl patterns lying around. I had to find one-skein projects for my wonderful new stash. (Not too hard really, as some of those skeins were BIG.) Fortunately I had just joined Ravelry a couple of months earlier, and so the world's greatest database of knitting patterns was at my fingertips. Bwa-ha-ha!

Recently, I was quite pleased to realize that most of the 2008 Rhinebeck yarn is actually used up! I still have a few skeins of navy blue lace-weight (a couple of shawls are queued for this), 8 hanks of orange and green-grey rayon blend (really still no idea), some very neon-bright purple/green/turquoise worsted that really better become a sweater someday, and a couple of random, very colorful sock yarns.

Knitting up Rhinebeck 2008: Sliver Moon Rose Garden Shawl

Sliver Moon Superwash Yarn "Orchid"

Knitting lace shawls is endlessly entertaining. I credit my visit to Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool in 2008 for starting me on my shawl odyssey. I picked up a lot of sock-weight and lace-weight yarns mostly because ooh pretty but I really did intend to stretch my knitting horizons, one skein at a time.

This very pretty orchid-purple fingering yarn from Sliver Moon Farm was completely irresistible, and so much of it for so few $$! I first envisioned a sweater. As time passed and I became addicted to shawl-knitting, I decided to use it for that instead. So 1/2 the skein became a pretty Rose Garden Shawl (free pattern, yay!) for my friend who recently completed grad school. (She hadn't completed it when I started this, but I had faith!) Even the name fit...her younger daughter's name is Rosie!

The rest of the yarn is destined for a shawl, too. Haven't quite decided which one.

Gift Shawl