Last time I went to Rhinebeck back in 2010, I decided two weeks beforehand that I wanted a Rhinebeck sweater. A custom-designed, all-over cabled, handspun Rhinebeck sweater. Yes, I am well aware of the crazy. I managed it, but I swore to myself--never again.
So this year I planned ahead. The Ursa Sweater I've been working on all year? Rhinebeck sweater. I started early, I gave myself lots of leeway, it would be no sweat, right? I finished it back in September with plenty of time to spare.
It's knit from handspun, carded from bits and pieces of everything that I had in my stash. There's alpaca, merino, BFL, cashmere, and angora, and I spun it as an Aran-weight 3-ply. I made a bunch of mods to the pattern (narrowing the sleeves, changing the buttonband, changing the decrease style, twisting the rib, toggles instead of buttons) and I love this sweater absolutely to bits. It is warm and soft and cozy and I'm planning to wear the crap out of it.
So hey, I thought, I'm good to go! I can get started on knitting my Rare Breed Sheep Heid! The last time at Rhinebeck, we saw a knitting group that all had matching hats, which made it wonderfully easy for them to find each other in the crowd. My knitting group decided that we would all have matching Sheep Heids for this year, and me being me, I wanted to use the rare wools I had played with in Deb Robson's class at SOAR last year. All in all, I used Soay, American Karakul, Black Welsh Mountain, Manx Loaghtan, Shetland, North Ronaldsay, and two colors of paco-vicuna.
It still needs a proper blocking and some beauty shots, but it's done! It was intriguing to play with all different breeds on this; some, like the Manx Loaghtan and the North Ronaldsay, were wonderful for colorwork. American Karakul and this particular Shetland fleece? Not so much. They were definitely trending more towards hair fleeces, and the stitches are very wiry (as you can see with the white stitches above). It will be very interesting to see how it blocks!
So my Rhinebeck sweater is done, and my hat's done, with a good amount of time to spare. The problem?
All that extra time means I started a second Rhinebeck sweater. Wish me luck!