Tuesday, October 16

Rhinebeck viewed from across the river

I'm getting ready for Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago 10/26/8 but first I have a weekend of fun planned at NYS Sheep & Wool right across the river in Rhinebeck. I don't have a booth thus year so I get to have all the fun and none of the stress!

I love Sheep & Wool, it is, in part, why I chose to move to the Hudson Valley from Brooklyn. I know  knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, felters and fiber lovers of every kind are heading to Rhinebeck this weekend and I thought I'd share some tips from a local this week so you don't miss any of the awesome stuff my *neighborhood has to offer.

Local Yarnie events
Thursday & Friday 5-9pm
Hudson Valley Sheep & Wool is having evening open houses both nights to welcome fiber lovers from near & far into the shop to hang out, work on a project, eat and enjoy the company of others in town for the fest as well as the local crowd. HV S&W carries lots of yarn & undyed roving, including handspun art yarns and yarns made on the premises from their own flock of Icelandics. Added bonus: there is one of the sweetest Pyrenees you will ever meet "guarding" the door and you will be forced to give pets before entering.

Friday 4pm-6pm
The Perfect Blend Saugerties NY
The gals from Kelbourne Woolens are signing their new book November Knits.  I just met them at Interweave Knitting Lab and they are lovely, as is the book! The Perfect Blend carries a great selection of yarn (including mine) and teas. The shop is staying open late all weekend if you need to pick up last minute notions or just want to cozy up & knit or crochet after a day wandering the fair grounds.

A Fall 2012 Clotheshorse design using Splendor Sock

Saturday 7pm
White Barn Farm New Paltz NY
Local pal Heather Dixon of Army of Knitters & Clotheshorse is hosting a trunk show at White Barn Farm. You can try on some of the garments & enjoy an evening hang with refreshments at a shop devoted to showcasing the work of many local artists.  White Barn Farm has lots of locally dyed yarn & roving, some from their own flock of Cormos (lots of my yarn is here too!), hand spun yarn and even finished garments. If you haven't been, it so worth the drive. Oh, and if you go to New Paltz DO NOT MISS Lagusta's Luscious seriously, the best and most interesting chocolate you have ever tasted lives here. Just make sure to save some of these for me.

Saturday 7pm
Wing & Clover Rhinebeck NY
Shannon & Co are throwing a little post S&W shindig at Wing & Clover, a great local workshop space where you can find classes with me, Cal Patch or Jenny Lee Fowler often in the roster. The party is pay what you want and every dollar gets you a chance at what I'm sure is some awesome swag.

And a couple other "things" that I think you shouldn't skip if you're visiting:
Tuthilltown a local distillery that makes small batch spirits that are perfect for warming up on cool nights. You can find their products at many local liquor stores and their own shop in New Paltz. A great souvenir for the non fiber lover you go home to.
Keegan Ales a local micro brewery that recently opened a craft beer supply shop across the parking lot from the pub. So you can stop in for a pint or bring the supplies to make your own home with you!
Diesings Bakery The Front Street one is the only one to go to in my opinion. It is a weirdly old fashioned diner with walls covered in cuckoo clocks and a strange bar seating area that I love. Homemade doughnuts and pastries are amazing, not fancy or artisanal but super sweet and comforting.

I hope you love visiting the Hudson Valley as much as I love living here! I'd love to hear what local gems you come across when you're in town.

*Please note: outside of cities neighborhoods extend to a much wider range of around 20 miles

Wednesday, October 10



Hi friends!

It is the busy season over here at Camp JDMS. 
Yarn is in just about every stage of the process here, raw wool waiting to go to the mill, yarn soaking, yarn in dyepots, yarn drying, yarn waiting for labels and labeled yarn waiting for a new home (yours maybe?)

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest to win a 3 month subscription to Creative Bug! There are so many things you all want to make! The winner (chosen at random, thank you random number generator!) is Kelli who has been contacted and will be getting a hank of Catskill to make her practice swatch and a hank of Splendor to knit a Little Something.

Creative Bug (like most of us) is obsessed with Pinterest & is running a Pinterest contest with a serious grand prize and some pretty awesome "runner up" prizes too.  All the details are on their blog so if you didn't win this contest you have another chance and EVEN if you don't win the new contest I think a subscription is a great deal, you can take as many classes as you want for one price! And the roster of teachers is a pretty impressive group that I'm humbled to be counted among. If you aren't on Pinterest yet send me an email jill@jilldraper.com and I'll send you an invite. It's pretty fun and a great way to collect all those bookmarked projects into one place.

Back to the dyepots for me! Hope you're having as lovely rainy Wednesday as I am!

Tuesday, October 2

Overwhelmed, awed, amazed

Friends, I can't begin to thank you enough for all your votes & shares during the craziness of the voting for the American Made Award!

First, to even be selected as a finalist among thousands of businesses making things here in the US was such an honor. Then, to see the quality of things being made, I felt even prouder. Finally, to have all of you; customers, colleagues, old friends, the best family in the world and even my personal favorite record label getting in on it and trying to help me win what could be one of the most amazing prizes awarded to a small business has been utterly and completely heartwarming.

I spend most days alone, head-down, working away to bring you the yarns I've always wanted to knit with. High quality, ethically sourced and hand painted or kettle dyed with love and attention to detail. 

Sometimes working alone like this it's hard to remember why I'm doing this. It's all of you that remind me, every one of you who *squee-s* in my booth at a fiber fest or sends me an email with your finished project, comments on yarn pics on facebook or joined my Ravelry group!

The good news is it's not over yet!! The winner won't be announced until 10/8 (I know! I'm dy(e)ing too!) and apparently it isn't all about votes! Your part is over and for all your active participation I can't begin to thank you enough.  It was truly humbling, awe inspiring & heartwarming to see this little (one woman!) company stay among the top vote-getters day after day. 

Everyone keep your fingers & toes, knitting needles & crochet hooks crossed for me. Without you Jill Draper Makes Stuff wouldn't exist and my life would definitely be much less awesome than it is.

From the very bottom of my yarnie heart...