Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Calm Before

I'm posting this less than 24 hours before my friends and I will be leaving for Maryland Sheep and Wool. I am super excited, but before I get to enjoy the trip, I have to do the dreaded task of packing. I hate packing. I'm always afraid that I'll forget something and as a result usually overpack. That's not really a big concern in this case, but it still stresses me out.

This year -- my sixth time going -- feels a bit different. We've been extremely lucky with weather in previous years, but this year looks like conditions will be less than optimal. The forecast keeps changing, but the gist of it is that it's going to be a bit cooler (no warmer than the low 70s) and there's the potential for rain. It's always been raining in Maryland all week, so the fairgrounds are bound to be muddy. So I am packing layers and several changes of clothes and shoes -- I'm even packing some wool socks!

For the first time, I also don't have a shopping list for myself (though I do have a list for a friend). I am still actively trying to reduce my stash, so while I'm not restricting myself from buying anything that truly calls out to me, I don't feel like there's anything I really need or want. I'm sure I'll enjoy admiring pretty things, but most of all I'm looking forward to being among my people. I'm hoping to get to meet some people I only know from online and see some beautiful knitwear.

More than anything, of course, I'm looking forward to a long weekend away with the girls and plenty of extra knitting time. I'm hoping to use it to my advantage to make some decent headway on my WIPs. I'm taking my Hitofude, of course, which has gained only a few rows since you saw it last, so I won't bother with a photo. Another project that I'm taking is one you haven't yet seen, a new shawl design that I'm knitting for the Mad May original design contest using a skein of Tosh Merino Light in Chamomile.

I've only spent one evening so far knitting on this, so what I have done isn't much, but I'm hoping to put in at least a few hours on it this weekend. What you can't see is all the advance prep I've put into this -- I've already written up a draft of the pattern and done some charting. I'm hoping this prep work will make it easier and faster to get the pattern ready once the sample is done.

I am also still knitting my adorable Earbud Pouches out of leftover sock yarn. They are so fast and addictive that I can't seem to stop -- I already have three done and a fourth about halfway there! My very loose plan is to make a bunch of them and put them away for little holiday gifts.

I'm taking a skein of sock yarn with me to MDSW as well, as I figure that a sock is a good thing to knit while standing around or waiting in line.

If you'll be at MDSW this weekend, please do say hi if you see me! I'll be wearing a Ravelry button with my ID on it (and possibly also one of my pattern samples, depending on the temperature) and carrying a Ravelry sheep bag. Hope to see you there!

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