Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trinket the Pygmy Goat

The dainty little Trinket daintily stepped his dainty little paws on those dainty little pebbles so he could daintily munch on those dainty little weed. Dig the dainty little nose a little deeper. A few feet away, some even daintier watermelons are quietly growing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yarn Crawl

My guys signed up for a basketball camp for the weekend at St. Mary's, so I invited myself with my knitting friends on a yarn crawl. A yarn crawl, for my non-knitting muggle friends, is when you go from yarn store to yarn store and in the end your credit card and yourself crawl back home through the crack of the door, before your family catch a glimpse of what you drag home. Since I'm playing home alone, there is little concern about getting caught, as long as I find enough room to stuff the yarn in the closet before the guys get home Sunday afternoon.

First stop, the main event of this yarn crawl, is Muench Yarns second annual warehouse sale in Petaluma, about 90 miles from where I live. My friend Jocelyn graciously offered to drive the carpool, a task not so easily accomplished considering by the end of the day the car was packed to the brim with knitters and their yarn purchases.


 Yarns yarns everywhere. Everything was 50% retail price. There were some bag deals, mostly novelty yarns, not my cup of tea. The secret of scoring a good deal is to grab before seeking the ultimate answer -- what in the world should I do with this lovely pink cashmere? Some fast hands snatched up those cashmere quickly.


 One complaint we had about the sale, they had only one cash register, so we were waiting in line for a good part of an hour. We all ended up doing quite a bit more snatching and putting back while we were in line. Of course this could be a ploy to make us hang around longer and therefore grab an afghan kit en route to the cash register. We had lunch at this sports bar down the street. The lobster sandwich was delicious.


 We turned around and started heading back south to stop at couple of stores in downtown San Rafeal. This big church on a side street is rather nice and grand, what really mattered was we found parking in front of it.


 A quick stop at Starbucks.


 Then head to Marin Fiber Arts. I'd never heard of this store before, and it just recently moved to this location from around the corner. This seem to be a much nicer store front even though they had to give up some interior space.


 Gorgeous hand dyed Whisper hanging on the racks. I scored some Drops Alpaca in sports weight. I fell in love with Garnstudio yarns and patterns when I worked at The Knitting Room. The very traditional fine gauge designs.


 Outside on the plaza Fae and I spotted this sculpture named "The Lion" by Bryan Tedrick. Rather strange looking creature, reminds me of The Body exhibit, but thankfully it's not flesh and blood.


 A few blocks away is Dharma Trading Company. I've been getting their catalogs and email updates for years, it's a fabric colorists' heaven.


 Racks of undyed garments awaiting for creativity to be splashed on.


 But I never dreamed they'd have such a huge yarn selection!


 On the way back to the car, we had to stop at this bead shop to accommodate the beaders among us -- which is like, everyone but me.


 The beads were so pretty, I even called my mom to see if she needs any supply. No, she didn't.


The loot:
- 6 balls of Zarina merino (the green/blue/pink/orange variegated yarn on the lower left) from Muench
- 7 balls of Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK (the orange yarn on the lower right), a wool/silk/cashmere blend, from Muench
- 1 skein of Alchemy Promise, the red mohair, from Muench
- 8 balls of Garnstudio Drops alpaca (the purple yarn on the upper left), from Marin Fiber Arts
- 5 skeins of Araucania Nature Wool (the blue yarn), from Dharma Trading Company. These were their last 5 skeins of this color, on sale. Lovely.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Irish Diamond Shawl

New project!

Yarn: Newton Yarn Country cashmere merino, about 2200 yards from stash
Needle: Size 6
Pattern: Irish Diamond Shawl by Cheryl Oberle, from Folk Shawls
Notes: The shawl has grown a bit since the picture was taken, now has about five or six repeats. So far the increases and stitch pattern are pretty easy. It's lovely.


Baby Alpaca Scarf

Yarn: Hand dyed baby alpaca aquired through Knittalk gift exchange in 2006 Pattern: Free lace stitch pattern from Lion Brand website Notes: I had two skeins of this lovely yarn so I figured I'll knit a scarf, knit until I run out of yarn. This turned out to be a very long scarf.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trinket Survived July 4th

Old age gives our pup the benefit of not hearing the fireworks. This is what he did when the explosions were in the air. And the pug is as usual.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Two Years

A continuation of my hair cutting and growing story. Click on the link to fill yourself in for the background. 

This is the original length.


 First cut, April 2006


 Second cut, May 2006


 Third cut, July 2006


 Henry took this picture for me on Saturday, so it's almost exactly two years growth with couple of minor trimmings to even out the length. Pretty impressive growth, don't you think?


Friday, July 04, 2008

Power of Ravelry and Big Sur Fire

I'm a big fan of Hayley Westenra of Christchurch, New Zealand. Last year when I first "found" her I posted a clip of her signing with Andrea Bocelli on my blog. (Sarah, I didn't quite understand the Amy Winehouse connection, but now at least I know who she is.) About a month ago I found this clip of Hayley Westenra singing on stage when she was 9 years old. Notice in the back ground the store name is xxxxon Knits and there is a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles on the logo, also there are sweaters hanging in the window. As any sane knitter would know, this has to be a yarn shop, some 15 years ago, on the other side of the globe. I just need to figure out a way to prove it. As any sane knitter living in today's world that has a presence on the wonderful knitters' social networking heaven Ravelry, I posted the question to a group of New Zealand knitters. A month later, much chatter happened, and someone turned up with the truth: The store was Fashion Knits in Hornby Mall, Christchurch, New Zealand. The mall has been remodeled since and the shop was moved. However this knitter worked at this store and knows others that worked there. Isn't it amazing what you can find between an old music clip on YouTube and the collective wisdom of knitters on Ravelry? If you want to see the complete string of posts, just go to my profile, bitsnpieces, and click on my posts, or go directly to Kiwi Crafting group. A little more on Ravelry, they have updated the Friends Activities section, and it's now showing friends stashed, favored, commented or posting linked items as well as queued items. I usually tag projects or patterns that I'm interested in as my favorites since I want to keep my queue relatively small and manageable. So I'm enjoying this latest change. On a sad note, a serious fire is burning in Big Sur, the most beautiful coastal region in California. Many familiar places, Henry Miller library, Nepenthe, Big Sur Lodge, Post Ranch Inn, etc. have all been evacuated. There was interview with the owner of Nepenthe on TV last night, he and some of his staff had signed waiver and refused to evacuate. They will rebuild if the building burns down, they said. The most up to date information is on Sur Fire News blog. Sounds like Nepenthe is safe so far. My mom is 30 miles away from the fire in Carmel. The air is bad and the seniors could be trapped on the hill if the surrounding woods catch on fire. I don't think there is much chance of that happening, but please send your well wishes our way.