My Ultimate Hair Goal

I have never heard of this woman or her new “sprAngz” hair styling tool before, but after coming across her video on YouTube, I was just amazed and kept staring at all the hair she has. I’m about 1/3 of the way since taking down my locs 6 months ago, but in a few years I hope to have as much loose hair as she does right now. Also heck out her comments about people’s reaction to her natural hair as well. I can relate.

Rhinebeck 2012: The Results

Once again, we came, we shopped, we bought more than we probably should’ve, and we had a blast doing all of it. Of course I’m talking about the annual knitter’s pilgrimage that is Rhinebeck, or formally known as the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival.

There are three reasons I do this: 1. It’s a great opportunity to spend a day out of the city without going too far and spending too much money. 2. I get to indulge in my hobby, which incorporates bargain shopping and 3. My (self) appointed task each year to encourage my friend Nikki to give into her temptations to impulse buy yarn.

I’m not one who enjoys getting up at the crack of dawn to catch a train, but that’s exactly what I did to make the subway trek to the Penn Station to meet Nikki. The journey, in this case a 2 hour ride on Amtrak along the Hudson river is as relaxing as the destination. There was evidence of some rainy weather the night before. One moment, there was mist and fog above the river:

and in the next moment, the sky was crystal clear:

The train ride reminds me of the annual car trips my family took to visit my dad’s relatives in North Carolina. The countryside was full of miles and miles of pine forests. How can you not help buy enjoy those views? Autumn is in full effect up in this area, with trees completely covered in red or yellow leaves. I’m born and raised in the city, but everyone needs a bit of country to spice up their brick and mortar life.

Like I said in my last post, I didn’t have any specific projects in mind to buy yarn for. I was just winging it, buying whatever yarn I liked. I was on the lookout for some fancy crochet hooks similar to the ones that I found on eBay a while back. While I did see some hooks, nothing came close to the beauty of these.

I didn’t keep receipts, but I believe I spent about the same as I did last year. Bought slightly more yarn this time. I passed up the opportunity to buy more “sexy needles” in favor of spending on some more fancier yarn.

This year’s stash:

Clockwise from top:

Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport 100% Blue Faced Leicester, Colorway: Bittersweet. I had to google Blue Faced Leicester to find out it’s wool imported from English sheep. It’s very smooth, doesn’t feel heavy at all despite the gauge calling for a size 8 needle. I didn’t buy enough skeins for the original pattern I have in mind but found a shawl substitute from one of my old issues of Vogue Knitting that should work perfect with this yarn. Can’t wait to knit this one up.

Bittersweet hand dyed DK weight yarn 40% Merino, 40% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk. Color: Dark Heart I’m not really a big fan of alpaca because of it’s tendency to shed, but this yarn looked very tempting and the variegated purple color combination looked fabulous, plus the price was great. Spotted a couple of knitted clapotis scarves at the fair and thought this will work well. I bought all 5 skeins they had in stock that should be enough to knit the scarf as well as a matching hat.

Oasis Fiber Farm Mill: These yellow skeins were on sale. Not much info on them except that they’re a combo of 50% merino wool and 50% nylon. What I will do with these, I don’t know yet, I’m taking suggestions.

Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool, worsted weight in Turquoise A nice lightweight wool that I may make into a hat or scarf depending on the yardage required. Or maybe a couple pairs of gloves or gauntlets. handspun, hand dyed, handpainted angora yarn. 80% merino, 20% nylon sock weight. Initially I had in mind making some gloves with this one, but since the yardage is so great, I may work these two skeins into some type of shawl or coverlet. I also like that the wool feels light and won’t weigh you down.

I’ll leave you with more photos of the picturesque scenery we were surrounded by during the day.

View of Hudson Valley north of Rhinecliff Station Way in the distance is the Kingston-Rhinebeck bridge.

2012 Rhinebeck bound

In two days, I will start my two week vacation. That time off will begin with me making the trek upstate once again to the picturesque town of  Rhinecliff, NY for their annual Dutchess County Sheep and Wool festival. Known colloquially among us yarn addicts as Rhinebeck. See my post from last year here.

Last year was my first trip to the festival, and unlike my knitting friends, I wasn’t as organized. I didn’t arrive there with a shopping list of yarn, patterns, notions, etc. Spent the day randomly shopping, mostly for bargains and discount yarn, which is pretty much what I do when I visit yarn shops. Most knitters will find a pattern for an item they want to make, then look for a suitable yarn. I tend to do the opposite. I find a yarn that inspires me, and I think of what item would work with it. Then find the pattern that works with the yarn. Right or wrong it’s worked for me so far.

This year has turned out to be the same. Once again, I don’t have a specific shopping list. Over the past several months I started to pick up crocheting again so my options for yarn work have expanded that much more. I will simply be open minded as I shop and see what moves me.

One thing I can think of I will have my eye out for are fancy crochet hooks. Last year I bought what Nicky from D’NALI coined my sexy needles. Since I’m starting to dabble in crocheting as well, I’m working on adding to my sexy hook collection. I started off with a set of 3 domo wood crochet hooks I bought from Ebay. They’re beautifully carved, smooth finished and are a real joy to knit with. Much more interesting than the standard metal hooks.

I’ll maybe if I have time do a search tomorrow for some patterns to knit or crochet. Or I may just go there and wing it.


Woman, thou art loosed (hair)

A week ago, I finished taking down my locs and debuted what was gonna be a twist out that ended up being a fro instead at last week’s Natural’s Night Out event.

This past weekend I went to my loctician / natural hair stylist, Tameeka for a color and style. Tameeka, who’s been my stylist for the past 7 years, is a highly creative person, Which means I don’t have to give much direction when it comes to styling, I like to just sit back and watch and see what she comes up with.

The result: a nice combo of flat twists, coils, twists and cornrows. The color, a mix of bright red and auburn did not come out as bright as expected, but it still works. Folks are still wowed by the results, just the same as when I had locs.

My hair transition

If the above link doesn’t work try this one:

"Transition" by Zina Saro-Wiwa

This video I saw on the Huffington Post website was a bit timely. Although I’ve been relaxer free since 2000, I am undergoing a hair transition of my own. After almost 7 years of wearing locs, I’m in the midst of taking them down. I didn’t think I’d ever miss not combing my hair, but after seeing one too many fabulous looking afro, twist or cornrow style, I started to miss having my hair loose.

It’s not an impulse decision. I first began thinking about taking down my locs a little over a year ago. Decided to give myself a year to make sure this was really what I wanted to do. I promised myself if after a year, the thought of cutting off my locs was still there I would go ahead and proceed. The other thing is I like to change it up every so often. Blame the gemini that I am.

Six months later I thought maybe I would just have my locs cut shorter. Another 3 months pass, and I decided I wouldn’t be satisfied with shorter locs and if I could cut them shorter then I may as well just cut them off. My initial plan was to grow my locs out, I haven’t had them twisted since January, and then cut them off at the point of the new growth. After looking at some youtube videos of folks who combed out their locs though, on a whim, I decided to give that a try. With the metal end of a rat tail comb I managed to comb out a few locs. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, just a bit time consuming. Then I saw a youtube video where someone used one of those plaque scraping tools from the dentist’s office to pick out their locs. I later bought one at a street fair and it ended up being much easier.

Finally broke the news to my hairdresser who was slightly disappointed, but gave me some tips on making the takedown easier. I’m about roughly halfway done. I’m deliberately taking them down gradually, a few at a time due to time constraints and the fact I’ve been keeping it a secret from folks at work. I have vacation scheduled next week and I plan on surprising them when I come back with a brand new look, color & style.

It’s all about you

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn” ~ Gore Vidal

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