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Entries in firsts (2)


First Knitting Retreat Jitters and a Bit About the Dam Anniversary

This weekend I get to try something completely different. I’m going to my first retreat, which will be the Knitting Pipeline Retreat. I was going to just go as a casual observer, but then ended up agreeing to vend on Saturday afternoon, so at least part of my trip may be paid for by the end. Mr. Yarn Geek is staying at home, so this will be the first time I manage everything by myself.

I was stressing a little bit about it but Paula (of Knitting Pipeline fame) has assured me the vendor market is a completely casual affair and if I dump all my stuff in the middle of the table it will be just fine. I'll still probably use the bins somewhat, but dragging in the grid wall is out of the question. Maybe I should just bring a tarp, pile all the fiber in the middle and fulfill that dragon sleeping on its stash fantasy I have. (Of course, I'm just kidding... or am I?)

The past few months have been a whirlwind of dyeing and packaging spinning fiber with a little bit of personal spinning sprinkled in. I really haven’t done much spinning of yarn for sale because most of you seem to want to spin your own yarn. I’m totally OK with that because I’d like to have the time to use some of my own hand spun yarn myself. If someone asks for custom spinning, that would still be fine though.


A few nights ago a neighbor told me about a local show in June promoting the 100th Anniversary of the Keokuk, IA Lock & Dam #19 Power Plant. It was the largest Lock and Dam on the Mississippi, and second longest in the World, for a while. Hugh L. Cooper, who built the Niagara Falls power plant came to Keokuk directly after that and then moved on the build the Hoover Dam. I didn’t know any of this, so that’s cool. All I know is in the winter it freezes above the Dam. Stories tell of a man who accidentally drove his truck off the Ft. Madison Bridge in Winter a while back and walked across to the other side for help. You can click the pictures and it will take you to more about Lock and Dam #19.

Anyway, I guess they are having a vendor market that weekend in the riverfront park next to the power plant and are expecting around 20,000 people to come through during that time. I need to get by the local bookstore to talk to the owner lady about more details, so we may be adding a date to our calendar in mid June.

Whelp, that’s about it for now. What’s going on in your world?


My First Ravelry Pattern

Please scroll to the bottom for Errata. The pattern now reflects the changes as of 1/2/2013.

I'm stepping out on a limb here and trying something new. Today I am putting my very first pattern on It is nothing really complicated, but for a first pattern, I feel it should be very easy. The term "winging it" comes to mind here. I am suddenly filled with trepidation. Will it be good enough to put out there where everyone can see it? What will people think when they see how simple it is? Good Lord...did I remember to count the yardage? Gosh, how do real designers do this? OK, enough panicking, time to get over there and make this thing happen.

OK, several hours later and a lot of fretting, here it is, and I feel pretty good about it. Please let me know what you all think of it because I am pretty excited to know. *squee!*

Presenting, the

Puff Rib Cowl

The Puff Rib Cowl is meant to be roomy and non-binding. It works up quickly, so it is an excellent last minute gift. The simple Puff Rib stitch adds an interesting texture that imitates cables without the extra bulk.

The fabric is very stretchy when worked in wool. It has not been test knit in cotton or silk, so the results in a non stretchy fiber are unknown for now.

If you desire a closer fit, cast on fewer stitches by reducing the stitch count in multiples of three. Conversely, if you want a larger cowl, to pull down over your shoulders perhaps, cast on more stitches in multiples of three until you reach your desired width. If a longer cowl to cover both your head and neck is what you want, just keep on repeating the Puff Rib pattern until the optimal length for you is reached.

17 stitches and 20 rows to 4 inches in the Puff Rib pattern with the DK yarn held doubled. (This is actually a Bulky gauge. If you want to substitute Yarn Geek Fibers Dyed and Plied, just cut the yarn amounts in half.)


K (or k) = Knit;  p = Purl;  YO = Yarn Over;  K3tog = Knit 3 stitches together

You will need:
275 to 360 yards 550 to 720 yards of DK weight yarn or sport weight yarn
24 inch US Size 8 circular needles (or size to make gauge)
One stitch marker

The cowl in the picture here has been knit with 315 yards 630 yards of DK Weight yarn. It measures 30 inches in circumference and 6.5 inches tall. The instructions for it is as follows:


The yarn is held doubled for the entire cowl.

Using US Size 8 needles, cast on 87 stitches using the long tail cast on. Join the ends to begin knitting in the round, being careful not to twist your work. Place marker to indicate the beginning of the round.


Puff Rib (Worked in the round over a multiple of 3 sts)
Round 1: Yo, k1, yo, p2 to end.

Round 2: K3, p2 to end.

Round 3: K3, p2 to end.

Round 4: K3tog, p2 to end. K3, p2 to end.

Round 5: K3tog, p2 to end.

Work Puff rib pattern a total of 5 times.
Bind off