Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New York Sheep & Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck)

  We went to check out the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, for our first time this weekend and it was amazing! Sheep, goats, llamas, alpaca, and yarn. So. Much. Yarn!

The festival is held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and the fall colors were in full swing with a crispness in the air. The weather was perfect for everyone to wear their favorite hand knit sweaters and shawls; a Rhinebeck tradition. As I walked around, it became a game to name the patterns and yarns I saw on people: “ooh, a TinCanKnits Flax sweater in MadelineTosh; there’s a Stephen West Exploration Station; and she’s wearing Color Affection in Plucky!”

 We met up with friends, made some new friends and perhaps brought home a few skeins of yarn. (No, I did not bring home any baby goats this time.) My favorite new (to me) vendor was Kelsey Stephens at  Primrose Yarn Co. Her booth was busy and her yarns are amazing. This is where I ran into Stephen West shopping and was able to snap a picture of us. Notice he is towering above me at about 6’5”.

 Next year I’m planning ahead and snagging some of those coveted spots for workshops- like basket weaving and beginning wheel spinning. In the meantime, I’ll be working my way through my basket of beautiful new yarn and making a sweater for #Rhinebeck2017.

-Joanna Elsas

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

That Darn Heel!


   Ask any novice sock knitter and they’ll tell you that turning the heel and picking up stitches for the gusset can paralyze even the most adventurous among us.  It’s one of the top reasons knitters think that sock knitting is an advanced project.  Fret not, fiber friends, November’s snuggly sleeping sock class is designed with you in mind.  After this class, you’ll see that any advanced beginner can knit a simple sock. Everyone at Yarns By Design wants each of you to have that Eureka! moment when you turn your first heel and see your gusset stitches just waiting for you to gather them up and conquer the heel once and for all.  If you can count, you can turn a heel.  It really can be that simple.  

   Here’s a quick sneak peek of what you’ll learn:

  • Half of the stitches of the sock leg will form the heel flap in nearly every basic sock pattern. (Of course a knitter can customize the flap to fit an unusually narrow or wide foot.)
  • The total number of gusset stitches picked up (on both sides of the heel) is the same number of stitches on your heel flap.
  • Picking up an additional stitch or two at the top of the heel flap when you pick up your gusset stitches will help avoid the dreaded hole at the top of the gusset.
  • Turning a simple heel is no more complicated that knitting a few short rows.
  • Vanessa's super-simple trick for knowing WHICH stitches must be picked up to conquer the gusset and more!

   So come join us on November 10th and see how easy sock knitting can be!  You’ll never fear that darn heel again.