Looking for Love

Thanks everybody for your nice comments about the yarn I made. I’m very happy with it. As to what I’ll knit with it? I don’t know. I haven’t really spun up that much yarn, and only once did I have a project in mind while I spun. When I was spinning up the yarn that became my Seraphim Shawl, I absolutely KNEW the yarn would be a shawl. It made the spinning much different for me, honestly. But the yarn I just made? It almost feels like it’s finished – I don’t need to knit it up. In fact, when I was done smelling it and loving it, I threw it on the top of this basket:

This lovely basket sits utop my yarn bureau and it’s got mostly handspun in it – not just my handspun, but all of my Sock Hop yarn as well. And maybe a half a skein of STR. It’s a beautiful burst of color in my otherwise neutral bedroom. Eye candy in every sense of the word. I like the idea of yarn as the finished product – yarn as art. Maybe I’ll submit it to The Yarn Museum.

Anyway, I have no plans to knit with it just yet. I will, of course, show it to you if I do. In the meantime, I’m looking for yet ANOTHER sweater project. I think I had a dream last night that I was wearing Short Rows and someone complimented me on it. I’ve had incredible luck of late in picking sweater projects – Ariann, CPH – but I don’t feel like I’m done yet. I’ve been knitting away on the mates to the J-One/G-Rocks socks but I’m not feeling the sock love. I need something to SINK my teeth into. It’s funny – I’ve read like five books since I started Ariann and knit two sweaters – and now I’m on the look out for another book AND another sweater.

I actually started a swatch for Am Kamin. But I haven’t gotten farther than the twisted ribbing. Although I did make beautiful copies of the charts and such. I just need to start knitting the actual cables. Most likely this won’t be my last swatch for this project so I better get going. I just want to be IN THE MIDDLE you know? All this prep work can be so tiring. It’s why I don’t like to cook. I’m too impatient for the prep.

I wouldn’t be surprised if another sweater bites me in the ass before this swatch is off the ground. Just sayin’.

I’m BACK baby!

So it would seem that my Wookie Winder (as G called it) or my Willy Wonka (as Claire called it) or my WooLee Winder, as it’s properly called, and I have been getting along after all. You know how you meet some people, and at first they piss you off to no end and you think why would I spend more than five seconds in a room with this person and then suddenly as your forced together more and more you start to see something you missed in that first five seconds? You start to think, hmmmmmm. I could grow to love this person. I’m not saying I’m in love or anything, but I will say that I’ve never plied better in my life. In my LIFE people!

I’ve had some questions about what a WooLee Winder is – it’s a flyer that goes on your wheel in place of the flyer it came with and it has a mechanized bobbin attachment or some such thingy that allows the bobbin to fill up on it’s own – meaning you don’t have to stop and change hooks or move hooks in order to fill the bobbin evenly. The flyer moves back and forth, powered by the spinning wheel, and fills the bobbin in an even and orderly way. So you can essentially spin forever without getting up to pee or pet your cat or hug your husband – you can sit there until the bobbin is full. And these bobbins are quite large and can hold like half a sheep or something. You have to buy the WooLee Winder that is right for your wheel (assuming one is made for it) and you have to buy special bobbins for it, but it’s not terribly expensive. All the information you need can be found here.

So it seems all I needed was a little more patience and/or Ann laughing at me, calling me a petulant child and pointing jeeringly as I stomped my feet at my own frustration. (Seriously – who doesn’t need a friend that can point jeeringly?) Ann invited me out to Lawn Guyland last week to attend one of her FABULOUS guild meetings. She’s always bragging about her guild – they’re all so talented, they have the best classes, blah blah blah. (Secretly I think she wanted me out there so we could practice our new Bee Gees act. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Look here. Or maybe we’re going to have to be the LI edition of Bronx Beat, which is hands down the funniest new skit to come out of SNL since Will Farrell was a cheerleader.

What are you Sioux? Are you Sioux? Cherokee? Are you Sioux? Funniest fucking thing ever. Go watch.)

Okay. Sorry – back to business. So last week I traveled out to LI to the Spinning Study Group of Long Island meeting. Before hand I spent the afternoon spinning with Ann so she could help me get the feel for the WW. Then I spent the night at the meeting, where they had almost FORTY people show up to spin in a wonderful old barn in Smithtown, spinning my little heart out. I loved the meeting so much I JOINED! YAY! I’m officially a GUILD MEMBER! WHOO HOO! I feel like a real spinner now! Thanks Ann and everyone out there in Smithtown. It was great to meet you all! Thank you for accepting me into the fold.

When I got home the next day I ignored the piles of work I had to do and got down to some serious spinning. The WW is very fast so I was able to spin up aroung 2 oz on Thursday night in just a few hours and 2oz on Friday night in another few hours. But then it was time to ply. For a long time I’ve had some issues with my Lendrum Lazy Kate (apparently this is Lendrum owner wide – it’s not the best out there by a long shot.) I knew, too, that my new bobbins would probably be even worse on the Lendrum LK because they’re a bit wider and taller. So I put on my thinking cap and remembered that it’s fairly easy to make your own Lazy Kate. One of the first places I looked for instruction was over at Theresa’s – she’s always got GREAT stuff – especially on spinning. Didn’t take me more than a second to find what I was looking for: A Do It Yourself Lazy Kate.

I had everything I needed right in my house – a cardboard box (wide enough for the bobbins, but not too wide so there was lots of room for the needles to stick out), some excess cardboard (I used the flaps from the box), two knitting needles (size 9s were perfect to fit through the bobbins and the box), and some waste yarn. I also used a box cutter, but a scissors would work.

This is how I made the Lazy Kate. I stuck the needles through the box. That’s it! Done! No, okay, really, I stuck the needles through the box to establish the holes, then I cut up some cardboard and folded it so that it would act as a buffer against the bobbins so they wouldn’t slosh around on the needles, then I loaded up the cardboard and the bobbin and stuck the needle through the other side of the box. Pefection!

In order to provide some tensioning on the Kate, I thread some waste yarn through a hole in the side of the box, right at the corner, then over the grooves in the bobbins, then out the other side through another hole. Then I pulled it a bit taut and tied a knot.

I’m not sure if it was the lazy kate or the WooLee Winder or both together but I have never had an easier time plying. AND I was a teensy bit handy which is like a miracle for me. G was so impressed!! Thanks There
sa!

The roving I spun is from Dudley Spinner. She sells wool blends in super bright tie dyed colors. This particular color is called Lamba Bada (I think – I can’t seem to find the little piece of paper it came with) and was a bit more than 4 oz. I ended up with about 320 yds – I’d guess it’s sport weight. I’m very happy with it – and I can’t wait to decide what to spin up next!

Re: The Oscars. Clive Owen is HOT. Markie Mark is HOT. The Japanese guy was HOT. Whoever dressed that little girl should be shot. What a sin. Jerry Seinfeld introducing the Feature Documentary was by far the best part of the night. Every time they announced another title, Georgie and I laughed harder and harder. I’m so glad Martin Scorsese won – it was a CRIME he didn’t win for Raging Bull. And please, Academy people, bring back Billy Crystal. He seems to be the only one who can make this evening tolerable (or maybe Will Ferrell? I love Will Ferrell.)

And last but not least, thank you for all your comments on my last post. It’s so nice not to write in a vacuum. I really appreciate your reading my blog.

The Grass is Always Greener

I’m not perfect. (Even if I strive for it at times with an unhealthy force.) I’m human. I can guarantee you that, on a fairly regular basis, I piss off and annoy and sometimes hurt the people that love me and that I love most in this world. So imagine the damage that I can inflict upon the strangers that may stumble upon this blog. I have deliberately chosen to write this blog in an open, intimate way – I’m not sure I could do it another way; that’s how I am in real life – and because of that it may seem to regular readers, and even casual readers, that you know me. The closer you feel to a person, the more you think you know about their life, the easier it is for them to let you down and disappoint. It’s just the way it is.

It’s been suggested that I put myself in someone else’s shoes. I am empathetic to a fault, but the truth of the matter is that I CAN’T put myself in anyone else’s shoes. I can ONLY KNOW my own life. I’ve often said that one of the reasons my marriage is as healthy as it is, is that early on I figured out that people CANNOT read your mind. If you want something from someone – if you’re not getting what you need – you MUST communicate what those needs are! You can’t fault anyone for not giving you what you want if you’ve never told them what it is you need and/or expect. (Now if they don’t deliver after that – or your demands are extraordinary – well – that’s what couples therapy is for.)

Many times I’ve felt myself apologizing to people when I talk about my problems, my pains, my disappointments because they just aren’t as bad or important as war or famine or disease – or whatever horrible thing you or someone else has had to suffer through. My problems surely aren’t as bad as other peoples. But I still have problems. And they’re the only problems I know. And because they’re my problems and I have to live with them every day, I can’t diminish how they make me feel. NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR HOW YOU FEEL. Feelings aren’t rational. They oftentimes come out of nowhere and don’t make any sense whatsoever but they are what they are and there’s nothing you can do about them. If you’ve got a hangnail and it’s making your day as shitty as it possibly could be – THAT IS VALID because you’re having a shitty day. There is no need to feel bad about your shitty day because someone else found out that their loved one is very sick. Or they lost their job. Or their kid is being picked on in school. You can feel for those people, sure, but you can still feel bad for yourself.

I think this is really important. We live in a society that is always comparing things – my tv is bigger than yours. Your house is bigger than mine. My stash blows away your stash. Children are starving – why are you still buying yarn? Size matters. And, honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with a little healthy competition every now and again. But not when it comes to feelings. My feelings are my feelings and I have every right to feel them – whether you think I’m an ass or not – just like you have a right to your wonderful, horrible, gut wrenching, soul soaring feelings. I would never take that away from you. I would never judge your bad day in the face of all the horribleness happening in this world at any given minute of the day.

I think one of the greatest strengths of humans is the inability to really understand other people. It’s our most useful survival mechanism. If we could be in each other’s head – if we could actually feel the pain of others – we’d all be doomed. How could we possibly live with the weight of the world literally on our shoulders? As it is, it’s enough that we have to feel our own pain. And through that pain, we can imagine what other’s might be feeling and show them the compassion we’d want shown to us.

We all know how hard it is to get the people around the us – the people we live with every single day – our partners, our children, our parents, our friends, our co-workers. We SEE them – their body language, their facial expressions, the evidence of the bad hair day, the hang nail, the sore back that makes them moody and belligerant. We HEAR the pain in their voices, the excitement, the pity. We can FEEL their arms around us, the hand on our backs, making us feel that it’s going to be okay. All this and we STILL have trouble understanding what they’re really all about. As great as the Internet is, there is A LOT missing. Honestly, if I had every one of your phone numbers, I’d call you in a heartbeat – way before I returned an email. I NEED that connection. But since that’s not practical (and my husband would plotz at the phone bill) we must make do with this superior, albeit, cold communication. We miss so, so much. We read things wrong all the time. We say the wrong things all the time. I, myself, have hurt people through email and have been hurt through email. I’ve imagined relationships that weren’t really there. I’ve been disappointed, I’ve disappointed. I’ve also found some of my best friendships. A commaraderie that I never imagined I’d find. An understanding I’d never thought I’d realize.

I’m not perfect. I’m human after all. And more than compassion or sympathy or understanding, the one thing I’d like most in this world, the one thing I try very hard to extend (and I fail miserably sometimes) and have extended to me is RESPECT. From respect grows all manners of human kindness.

My Woolee Winder and I have come to a temporary truce.

We’ve decided to start over from a place of respect. I communicated my needs, and it communicated it’s needs and hopefully we’ll have some new yarn to show you on Monday.

As always, I know you have a choice on the Internet. Boundless choices, actually. And I fully understand if you don’t like what you read here. I encourage you to move on and find something new. But if you choose to stick around, I’d ask you to remember – I can’t read your mind. I can’t see your face or hear your voice. I don’t know how you’re feeling and you don’t know how I’m feeling unless I tell you. Most of the time that’s better for all of us. I hope, though, that to the best of your abilities, you will treat my little corner of the internet with respect. And I promise, to the best of my ability, to treat you with respect. I thank you for spending some of your hard-earned time with me and wish you only the best.

L, C

Jump Start

Aw man. You guys make me blush. Hard. Thank you so much for all the kind words on my CPH. I hope you all knit it – it’s really a nice sweater – and like I said – it’s a great FIRST sweater. I forgot to mention yesterday that there’s a KAL going on – with all kinds of nice pictures and good advice. I never officially joined up – but I certainly referenced the site. Thanks again! It’s great to be able to share my knits with such a receptive audience. I mean, Georgie’s suitably impressed and all, but you know what I’m saying.

Okay. Now I want you to click here. It’s okay – nothing work inappropriate. Just click and then come back. I’ll wait.

See that? Yup. That’s right. I used to SPIN! USED TO being the operative words here. Used to. Back in October, I finished my first handspun project which I knit with my own handspun. I loved the shawl, loved the yarn, loved the fact that I had spun the yarn to make the shawl – loved all of it. I loved it so much that right after I finished it I decided to buy a Woolee Winder because everyone said they made spinning so much better and plying a breeze and gosh darnit, I deserved one. I thought I might be able to buy it and pick it up at Rhinebeck, but the Woolee Winder people weren’t going to be there, so I ordered it and thought it might be here when I got back from Rhinebeck.

Well, it wasn’t. And then I waited and waited and I had emtpy bobbins and I didn’t want to start any spinning projects because I was waiting for the Woolee Winder. No use starting something only to abandon it in the middle when the new toy comes. So I waited and waited and after about a month I started to question the whole Woolee Winder thing. In the meantime, G got sick and I reverted back to my first love – knitting – and let the whole spinning thing fall by the wayside. And I STILL freaking waited for this Woolee Winder. Of course, the day I send the threatening email (after about 100 nice ones before that: “Um, dear sir, can you please tell me when my Woolee Winder will finally be arriving, you know the one you were paid for six weeks ago?) it comes in the mail. But by that time I was so disgusted with the whole thing (and, honestly, the world in general) that I let it sit in the box for a few weeks before I ever took it out to try.

One day, though, I did try it and maybe I just had a lot of bad karma stored up around this particular apparatus because I hated it. I couldn’t get the tension right, I was wasting good fiber on it and eventually I pulled out some of my plain vanilla BFL to practice on. I still couldn’t get it and truth be told it’s been sitting there ever since, my poor wheel, lonely and neglected because of this freaking Woolee Winder. Why didn’t I just take it off, you ask, and go back to spinning without it – the wonderful way I know how? Because I was too pissed off. I figured I’d ruin everything I touched.

But now I think I’m ready to get back on track. Tonight I’m going to my inaugural Guild meeting way out in Lawn Guyland. I’m hoping this will jump start the whole spinning thing. I really, really miss it! And if it doesn’t go so well, watch this space for a very slightly used Woolee Winder. I’ll be selling it. See you Friday!

I believe!

In the power of the swatch.

Georgie and I had a FANTASTIC weekend. Saturday morning I woke up and started seaming the sleeves on my Central Park Hoodie. While I was out in California, Nona had suggested that I seam up the sleeves first, before I tried to set them in, because it was easier to go tube to tube than flat to tube. (I had knit the body in one piece so there were no side seams.) So I seamed up the sleeves and I was enjoying the seaming so much (I heart mattress stitch!) that for a little while I was almost sad that I did the majority of the body in the round instead of in pieces the way the pattern was written.

I seamed on the floor while Georgie was on the couch and we watched a very interesting PBS program on past presidential administrations. They had great slogans back then. Like in the 1884 Presidential Election between Grover Cleveland and James Blaine. “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!” That was Blaine’s slogan for Cleveland, since Cleveland had a child out of wedlock. And Cleveland countered with “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine.” Good times. Anyway, I had a blast seaming up the sleeves, then managed to get them set-in on the first try! Both on the first try! Nona was right – tube to tube couldn’t have been easier.

They could probably be a tad bit neater, but I’m pretty happy with them. Then G and I took a trip into the big city and I hit up Tender Buttons. I had bought some buttons a few weeks ago for the sweater, but they turned out to be too small. I spent about an hour picking out the PERFECT buttons. I wasn’t entirely convinced, but another trip into the city today to go to M&J Trimmings determined that I did indeed have the perfect buttons.

They’re wood, I think, with lots of great swirls and I particularly like the square in the circle idea. Once I got them on I knew they were the right choice all along.

Saturday night I washed the sweater in some delicious special edition SOAK. This is where the whole swatch thing comes into play. I inadvertently made three swatches, which was fine because I love this yarn (more on that in a minute) but the swatches DEFINITELY changed after washing. And when I say wash I mean the sweater was fully emerged in lukewarm water with SOAK and left to sit for like 15-20 minutes. Then I tried as best I could to drain the water from it, took it out of the bucket I soaked it in, and rolled it in two towels TWICE (so four towels total) to try to get as much water out of the sweater as I could. Then I laid it out on the floor as straight and flat as possible (the hood made it kind of interesting.) I didn’t stretch it or pin it – just flat. And then I crossed my fingers.


Doesn’t my ass look great? I showed the pictures
to G – who took them – and he was like “Yeah.
I noticed that.” “So why didn’t you say anything?”
“I thought you could photoshop the lines out. ” If only it were that easy!

Sunday I had a job in the morning with a really great family and a super cute baby girl, visited with the in-laws a bit, and came home to obsess about my sweater and how long it was going to take to dry. G and I had a great date that night for some of the best steak I’ve ever eaten and then went to hear a friend play with his band. FUN! Today we did our city run, did some car stuff and house stuff, and then went out to take pictures. Here’s one of the cute sexy ones G took:

And here’s how I looked one frame later when the wind kicked up:

This is a great pattern – very easy – it’s a really nice first sweater. The cables aren’t hard at all (and if you should happen to fuck them up, I’ve got a nice way to fix them.) The directions are simple, easy to follow and while there are two mistakes in the published pattern, they’re incredibly intuitive to fix on your own in case you miss the errata. Modifications: I did the back and the fronts together up to the arm holes, and cut out one stitch at the ends of the fronts where they met the back and one stitch at each end of the back – this way my ribbing matched up perfectly. Instead of doing the shoulders stair step, I did them using short rows and then put the fronts and back together using a modified three needle bind off. (I say this because I don’t know what else to call it.) Margene taught me this: you put the stitches of the corresponding front and back on two needles and you slip one stitch from one needle over it’s mate on the other needle. Do this with all the stitches. You now have one row of stitches – bind them off as you normally would. Supposedly this is a stronger bind-off than
the regular three needle bind off.

I also kitchenered the hood together instead of binding off and seaming it up as the pattern called for. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Perhaps the greatest modification I made was to adjust the pattern for my row gauge. When I washed my swatches, the yarn gained about a stitch per 4 inches in stitch gauge and LOST about 4 rows in the row gauge. The pattern called for 6 rows per inch and I got 7. I changed every measurement to match up to this gauge. It was pretty long and big when I tried it on before washing it and I kind of held my breath until it was completely dry. AND IT WORKED!!! The sleeves shrunk up (even though they’re still a bit long – I made them long to begin with) and the hood is DEFINITELY smaller and the yarn bloomed and it’s a bit bigger around and everything that was supposed to happen happened. How’s that for bossing my knitting around!?


Central Park Hoodie

Pattern: from Knitscene, Fall 2006, by Heather Lodinsky
Yarn: Beaverslide, Huckleberry Heather, 90% Wool/10% Kid Mohair. I used just under 7 skeins I think. FABULOUS YARN! Now one of my favorites. I can’t wait to use it again – and I will. While I was knitting this sweater I bought enough for two more.
Needles: Addi Turbo, US size 9 (5.5 mm) and 8 (5.0 mm) and a cable needle.
Buttons: Purchased at Tender Buttons in NYC.
Pictures: By Georgie. When he complained that he couldn’t feel his fingers anymore, I told him to BUCK UP! He wasn’t going to make it as a Swimsuit photographer by complaining about the cold. He didn’t appreciate that. Who loves you baby?

I’m loving all this sweater knitting – now I just need a new project! Thank you for visiting!

By Request

I’ve had a lot of requests for my sheepy cards, so here they are! I’ve also got beach cards and palette cards in stock. Feel free to mix and match. I can’t figure out how to put it all together in paypal, so if you buy up to three boxes of any mix, I’ll only charge shipping for one box.

Thank you so much for your support!!!

Sheep Blank NoteCards

Box of ten press printed notecards, two of each image. 5″x7″ glossy card stock. Blank inside. Envelopes included with each box. $25.00 per box. $4.50 shipping and handling charge added to each purchase.




Box of eight press printed notecards. 5″x7″ glossy card stock. Blank inside. Envelopes included with each box. $25.00 per box. $4.50 shipping and handling charge added to each purchase.




Box of eight press printed notecards. 5″x7″ glossy card stock. Blank inside. Envelopes included with each box. All cards in box are the same. $20.00 per box. $4.50 shipping and handling charge added to each purchase.















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Smile!

No cavities! YAY!

CONGRATULATIONS

ANNA!

Anna won the Valentine’s Day contest – but really we’re all winners. Seriously. Those stories are all fantastic and I encourage you to read through the comments. Some great stuff there! Thanks for playing everyone!

Hopefully lots of CPH pictures coming soon. I’m going to bust ass on some work today so I can do the second button band tonight and tomorrow the sleeves will hopefully be ready for seaming! YAY! I can’t wait to wear this sweater – it’s really cold outside.

ETA
: Sorry this wasn’t clearer – but I chose the winner at RANDOM, as I usually do. Unless otherwise specified, all winners of my contests are chosen at random. I like to play fair. Again, thank you all for playing.

ETA AGAIN: Fuck it. I’m all about the LOVE.

Drive By….

On my way to the dentist…

– Winner announced later today. Dudes. I fell asleep.

– My first button band was grossly underplayed. Second one was perfect:

Now I have to decide where to put the button holes on the second band, knit it, and block the sleeves. This baby SHOULD be done over the weekend.

– HUGENESS! Get your calendar’s out: I’ve got a TENTATIVE DATE for Spin Out 2007: September 29, 2007. I had my heart set on a date in September (I figure there’s less chance of rain) and apparently that’s a real tough month for Central Park. But Cherry Hill Fountain is free, and we’ve got our application in, so now I just have to wait for it to be approved. Fingers crossed. Don’t make any plans. We are DEFINITELY spinning in the Park this year!

Be back later. Wish me luck for no cavities!

Homage

I’ve been so enjoying the entries to the Valentine’s contest – remember – I’m going to close comments at 11:59PM tonight – so you’ve got time to tell me a good story! I’m thinking of doing this more often – not necessarily a contest – but asking for stories from you all. We’ve all got so much to share and I think it helps everyone to hear other people’s stories. NO ONE is alone out there. NO ONE.

Okay – on to the last of my vacation posts! Before I left, I was talking to Margene, and she told me that while I was in Big Sur I should make sure to stop by Nepenthe – the former home of knitting legend Kaffe Fassett! Who knew? I thought the guy was invented by Rowan! Turns out, we were just down the road from Nepenthe, which is a rustic restaurant, cafe and gift shop that overlooks the Pacific from swooning sweeping cliffs. It’s got quite the view!

The gift shop specializes in crafty spiritual stuff from all over the world, and one famous knitter. I looked all around the first floor and couldn’t find anything specifically Kaffe-esque, but then I went downstairs. As soon as you turn the landing, there’s the shrine, in all its glory! (Don’t forget – as always, click on the pictures for a bigger view!)

A woman came over and asked me if I needed help and I asked her if it was okay if I took some pictures of the Kaffe shrine because I had a friend who ADORES Kaffe and I wouldn’t be allowed home if I didn’t get lots of pictures and she said of course! Would I like her to take a picture of me with the shrine in the background? Sure! Why not? That’s sure to make Kay even more jealous!

So here are the goodies in the Kaffe shrine:
We’ve got some books – not for sale – although some of them are for sale upstairs.

We’ve got one of Kaffe’s mosaic tables and a painting:

The card reads:

Kaffe Fassett —— raised in Big Sur and is known around the world for exquisite knitting, magical tapestries, and wearable art as well as brilliant mosaics and painting. The son of Lolly and Bill Fassett, founders of the legendary Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, Kaffe won the Salamagundi Prize for Painting, studied art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, then ventured to England where he found his muse in textiles.

On a train to Scotland, traveling with the late clothing designer Bill Gibb, Kaffe became enamored with the colors of the country-side, bought 20 odd colors of heathery wools, and asked a woman on the train to teach him to how to knit. The rest is textile history as Fassett has written and published eleven books on various knitting and textile subjects, and tours the world teaching the joys of colorful creative work.

Oh the LEGEND! (FYI: Here’s an article on Kaffe from the Nepenthe website.)

Then there are the sweaters! (And vests. And tables. And tapestries. And quilts. And other crafty delights.)

The labels on those babies all read ROWAN in big letters and I only checked the price tag on one: $800. Yeah. I didn’t buy it. The masterpiece, though, was a couture looking bustier QUILTED dress!


WOW! It was truly beautiful! (Hope you like the pictures Kay!) A couple funny things: first of all – they sold Denise Schmidt quilts upstairs. I thought that was pretty funny. Secondly, when G and I were on a walking tour of the property we stayed at (Ventana Inn – HIGHLY recommended) our guide mentioned Nepenthe and I mentioned Kaffe and how he was literally a ROCK STAR in my insular world and this guy was like Kaffe? Kaffe Fassett? Lolly and Bill’s kid? He seemed to get quite the chuckle out of that. Which just goes to show you, you can’t take the kid out of ANYONE!

Hope you enjoyed my little adventure! Now we can get back to some knitting. I’m working on the hood of my CPH – the sleeves are done and I think I’m going to do a little wet block today. Nona suggested I sew them up first before I attach them to the body – I’ve never set-in a sleeve before so I’m a bit nervous. So finish the hood, do the button bands, sew on the sleeves and VOILA! I’m done. I can taste it really. I think it’s going to be great. Fingers crossed until the last button is sewn on!

Have a great day today – my honey left me a heart note on the computer this morning, then I reciprocated by driving him to the train in the ice and snow. Now that’s love!

Knit Nite

I’m LOVING all the contest entries! I love the confessional nature of some of them. I love when people share their stories. And for the record, G and I never celebrate Valentine’s Day. I can barely remember a present or a card even. We don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving – so VDay is really off the radar. Besides, we’re one of those couples you love to hate in that every day around here is VDay. We’re so in looooooooove. (Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me!)

More trip news! Firstly, let me just say that blogging can oftentimes feel like a job. Sure – sometimes it’s a fun job, but sometimes it’s not and don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy to come up with something on a fairly regular basis. I mean, I knit a lot – but I don’t knit THAT much. (Not that I’m really complaining, per se. I know full well that I have CHOSEN to do this. I could take it all down in a second but I would honestly miss it. Breaks are good. For the most part this blog has brought nothing but goodness into my life. THANK YOU for that.) Anyway, when I’m thinking ugh – I have to write something witty and funny and smart and take pretty pictures and knit something fabulous or I know no one will ever read my blog again – my faith in blogging is RESTORED!

I mean, how else would I have ever had the chance to hang out with SUCH fabulous people?! How else? So far now I’ve met bloggers in Maryland, New York, Boston, Chicago, LA, The Peninsula. I’ve met bloggers from Wisconsin, Utah, Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Pennsylvania. Canada. I’ve met people in my own backyard that have become some of my favorite people in the world – all through this little blog. My trip out to the Central Coast of California was no exception. Or it’s called the Peninsula. Or South Bay. The area just south of San Francisco where all the computers companies reside. Near Stanford University. Seriously – this is THE fiber community. They’ve got like a million shops out there and everyone knows everyone and everyone (from what I could see) likes and RESPECTS everyone and the shops are all in on it with each other and they all carry really different yarns with almost NO overlap. I visited three stores (there are like a million more) and they were all very different in style and layout – but they were all equally warm and inviting and I would’ve been comfortable kicking up my heels and knitting for a while in any one of them.

My knitblogger adventure started Friday night. The incomparable Cookie picked me up and took me to dinner with Nathania, Jeni, and NO BLOG Hannah – who it turns out – is my long, lost twin. (GET OFF THE MYSPACE GIRL and grow up. Get yourself a BLOG!) I’m positive I laughed more than I ate and I was instantly comfortable with everyone. Which is saying a lot for people you’ve never met before (or met for just a little while – DUDES! I was at Nathania’s Bridal Shower!)

After dinner, we walked a few blocks to a coffee shop and hooked up with Kristi, Jocelyn, Freecia, Lu, Lisa, who came out with her gorgeous 2wk old son that seriously made my ovaries ache, Linda and Jill.

We ended up moving to a crepe place a couple doors down because the first place couldn’t accomodate us and we preceded to get thrown out of the crepe place. We’re so bad. HAHAHAHA! No, really, they wanted to close. So then we stood in the street because we could NOT STOP YAPPING. Nathania’s got a picture of us!

The next day, Nona picked me up and we headed out for a yarn crawl with Cookie and Kristi! I was really excited to hang with Nona – I’ve long been a fan of her blog and her new swatch project is INSPIRED! What she can do with a log cabin square just stirs my heart. Our first stop was Full Thread Ahead where Hollis, the owner, was super generous and let us into the Secret Stitches Stash where I picked out the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever seen!

Have you ever? It’s HandMaiden Sea Silk in the Straw colorway (such a pedestrian name!), but let’s be honest here – that’s pure gold folks.

Everyone was in agreement that this was definitely MY COLOR and it was all I could do to stop smelling it and fondling it and generally behaving with it in a very unladylike way. Thank you Hollis! I will definitely use this yarn for something very, very special!

Our next stop was Uncommon Threads – and unfortunately I didn’t get to hang here long enough. The back table was a VERY inviting spot and it would’ve been a lot of fun to hang with the knitters I met back there. And they had fudge. What more could you ask for?

We rushed out of Uncommon Threads so we could get to Purlescence before it closed. Another VERY fine knitting shop! I couldn’t leave empty-handed two stores in a row, so I picked up some Louet Gems and Claudia’s Handpainted for some potential Anemoi Mittens!

I’m thinking of a stained glass effect. We’ll see. After we closed down Purlescence, Kristi, Cookie, Nona and I did what knitters do best – we hung out and knit! Some delicious local flavor and fantastic conversation was the end to a perfect knitty couple of days.

I can’t thank you all enough for taking time out of your busy lives to spend time with me! It was a blast and I loved knitting and talking and hanging with all of you! Anytime you’re in my neighborhood – SHOUT! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Next up tomorrow…. A LEGEND is revealed!