In theory, this post is about a sheep and wool festival and some sweaters. In reality, it's about those things and toddlers.
Last weekend at this time, I was in Rhinebeck, NY for a sheep and wool festival. Now, if you knit, you might know what a big deal this is. It seems like nearly everyone I know was there. I met so! many! knitters! People I'd known for years online, but had never met in person. It was awesome. And, oh yeah, there were sheep. And tons of wool. I'm not a spinner, though sometimes I pretend to be, so I focused on the already-spun wool and browsed the booths and booths of yarn. (Booths and booths. Holy crap, I don't think I've ever seen so much yarn in one place! And I didn't even get to see it all!) I managed to keep my purchases small(ish) and only came home with two skeins of yarn. I'm going to knit me some socks this winter!
We had a great time. Though I wouldn't recommend traveling 6 hours in a car with two toddlers on a regular basis. All in all, they were fairly well-behaved, but between trying to get them to sleep in the car, nap in the stroller, or to sleep in a room with other toddlers, it was...a challenge...to put it politely. Good times were had, but not relaxing times, if you know what I mean! Travel with the little ones can be fun, certainly, but stressful too.
We had some truly wonderful moments though. I took E on the merry-go-round for the very first time. And oh, how I wish I had photos of it! Alas, I was holding on to both her and the neighboring horse to keep us all from falling off. If you had been watching, you would have seen my little girl literally shaking with a combination of glee and terror. I've never seen her so excited! We did, however, confirm her fear of sheep. *sigh* Apparently alpacas are pretty terrifying too.
I knit both of us Rhinebeck sweaters, which sounds a bit more impressive than it really is. Mine I started nearly a year ago and E's began life in March of this year. But I did finish them both! Although I fully admit to sewing the buttons on in the car and finishing the last buttonhole mere minutes before arrival at the Rhinebeck house.
E's sweater was the Eyelet Yoke Baby Cardigan which I modified somehow to make toddler-sized but I can't remember for the life of me now what I did. (Whatever it was, I did it in the springtime. And forgot to write it down. Silly me!) I used Knit Picks Swish Worsted in cornmeal, which was left over from part of a baby blanket. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough to knit a whole sweater, so I had to order more! And now I have extra. Again. The pattern is super simple, even with fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants toddler mods. As you can see, it's a bit long on her - I was worried about it being too short, with her being such a tall kiddo and all, so I erred on the side of long. This way, she can wear it for a long time!
I love the eyelet details at the yoke and hems. They add just a touch of loveliness to an otherwise not-very-girly sweater.
My own sweater was the very popular Coraline. I knit it using my own hand dyed DK weight yarn in a 70% merino/30% silk blend. The only major modification was to make 3/4 length sleeves, for a couple of reasons. One, I was very afraid (needlessly, it turned out) that I was going to run out of yarn. And if I had, there was no just hopping to the store to buy more - I only had a certain number of skeins, and I didn't trust my ability to recreate the colors exactly! And the second reason was that I just generally prefer shorter sleeves. If my sweaters and tops are long-sleeved, you will almost always see me push them up. These sleeves hit just below my elbow, which is pretty much perfect for me.
The pattern has you knitting the bottom of the sweater then turning it over on itself and knitting it together before continuing up the length of the body. It makes for a wonderful turned hem, though I cursed at the time because all of sudden, you're knitting along and it's like you've only done half of what you've actually done! Not very satisfying. But it looks wonderful.
So now I'm missing my Rhinebeck friends but thoroughly enjoying some quiet time at home. And E and I both have gorgeous sweaters to wear! I admit - I've been wearing mine nearly every day since our return. And it's been glorious.