Sunday, August 13, 2017

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - The Finale

 I'm glad you've come back to visit my blog, especially since it's been so long since I last wrote.  Working full time and preparing for a move is time consuming.  I found a condo that I like a lot and the closing is in a few days, moving is in two weeks.  My yarn is almost all packed up, which is the biggest part of the preparations.  If all goes as planned, it will be housed in my new yarn room/office/den/whatever, that I've named The Makkin Room.  It sounds like 'making' and is the word for knitting in the Shetland dialect.

For tonight, I'll round up my trip to Denver with pictures from the last concert that I went to.  For me, a concert at Red Rocks is the best possible venue to hear music - and the Doobie Brothers and Chicago put on great shows.  I had a wonderful seat, front row center, and got to meet the Doobie Brothers.  What a huge thrill for a fan like me.

So....here are a few shots from that night. First up, the Doobies.  I'll be back to writing about knitting again as soon as I can.

Tom Johnston

Patrick Simmons

John McFee

John Cowan (bass) & Ed Toth (drums)

Marc Russo

It was over too soon.

Chicago filled the night air with their big and brassy sound.

Ray Herrmann

James Pankow

Keith Howland
(love the turquoise shoes & shirt combo!)

Pankow (left), Herrmann and Lee Loughnane (right)

I hope to be back at Red Rocks again before too long.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sock Monkeys

It's been a bit busy around here.  I've been shopping for a condo and have now found one that I like.  So, for the next while I'll be busy packing and cleaning and moving and generally getting settled in. All this has been in between days at work.  I'll blog when I can and will catch up once everything settles down.

While I was on vacation in Denver last month I knit two pairs of socks.  One pair was made from the monthly sock yarn (2016) from The Loopy Ewe, which I blogged about a while ago.  The other yarn is from a favorite dyer, Artistic Yarn by Abi.  Abi is very creative and her sock yarns are fun to knit. The yarn is a good quality and they have been holding up well. In the past I made watermelon striped socks, kiwi socks and a pair in Mardi Gras colors.  I have Bacon & Eggs yarn patiently waiting for its turn.  This time, the colors are those used in sock monkeys.

THE DETAILS


Pattern:  Generic.  
Cast on 60 sts., K2, P2 ribbing for 12 rounds, 
Stocking stitch leg for 75 rounds, Short row heel,
 Stocking stitch foot for 50 rounds, Shaped toe.

Needles:  
US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  
Medium

Yarn:  Sock Monkey Self-striping Sock Yarn
by Artistic Yarns by Abi 

Ravelry Link:  Sock Monkeys

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Part 2

The first few days of vacation where turning out better than I'd hoped.  On Sunday I had brunch with former co-workers from the University of Colorado Hospital at Mimi's.  I'd heard some great music, driven a fun car, met up with friends and knitted with a group at Wooden Spools.  But there was another surprise in store for me.  It's no secret that I love live music.  I've always had a mental list of groups that I'd like to see and hear.  Fortunately, the list is getting smaller as I've been lucky enough to see so many of my favorites at least once.

One of the bands that was still on my list is Boston.  I turned on my computer one morning and learned that Boston was playing that very night at Fiddler's Green.  A wonderful venue, by the way.  I was initially a bit disappointed as I felt quite sure that I wouldn't get a ticket on such short notice, but I was wrong.  I got a seat in the third row!


The show was fabulous and they played all their hits.  The crowd seemed to know every word.  The venue is outdoors and the weather was perfect.  I wouldn't hesitate to see them again.

I spent the rest of the week hanging out with friends, knitting, a bit of shopping and some sightseeing.

Whenever I'm in town I like to meet up with a small group of special friends - friends that I've known for over 15 years.  We meet at the Corner Bakery, get caught up and have a nice dinner.  This is always the highlight of any Denver trip.  I also met with another group at a favorite yarn shop, Colorful Yarns.  It is a feast for any knitter - lots and lots of temptations.  

The next day... Saturday, would be a trip to the Estes Park Wool Festival....

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Suggestion for the Governments

Since the ties between Canada and the US are close and since our two holidays are within days of each other:  Canada Day on July 1st and Independence Day on July 4th, shouldn't we just have a week off to celebrate both countries?  Just an idea.


Happy July holidays, y'all, eh?  



If you're not in Canada or the US.... have a great day no matter what you're doing or where you are!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Packing For The Trip

Knitters know that the hardest part of preparing for a trip is packing their knitting.  Clothes are easy, an clean outfit for each day.  Cosmetics and toiletries:  as long as you have your toothbrush and comb, everything else is a bonus.  Prescription. ID. Credit cards.  Check✔, check ✔ and check.  ✔


Now knitting is harder.  There is lots to think about.

1.  How many projects do I need to take?  For me, I would gone for 16 days so I packed:  yarn for at least 4 pairs of socks, two sweaters in progress, a cap that needed a tassel, yarn for swatching for a new sweater project and yarn for a class I was going to take.  That seemed about right.

2.  Patterns?  Yes, for everything except the socks (will use my standard sock "recipe", which is memorized) and the cap that needed a tassel.  Now, packing books can be heavy, especially since I  wanted to save room for any souvenirs/new yarn that might beg to come home with me.  So... time was needed to download patterns or make photocopies.  Downloading can take a particularly long time, especially since I saved one of the patterns on Ravelry.  One does not just pop into Ravelry for a minute.  There are always new projects and patterns than must be looked at - and it would be rude not to see what your friends have been knitting.  I wanted to leave a bit of time, too, to check out discussions on my favorite groups.  Gathering patterns could easily take several hours, if not days.  I also wanted to pack a pattern or two for something I might want to make in the future, just in case I saw the ideal yarn and had to have it.

3.  Gadgets?  A knitter cannot work without an assortment of gadgets, everything from stitch markers, tape measures, pins, scissors, stitch holders, etc.  The clever among us have their gadgets
already housed in a cute little bag.  I've tried that several times, but then, I need something from the bag and somehow it doesn't always make it's way back into the cute bag.  It can take at least an hour to go over the gadgets in my mind.  I had to "mind knit" the pattern - reading it over slowly and carefully and thinking what I might need to make the process easier.  Do I need one stitch marker or several?  Can they all be the same color or do I need some that are distinctive from the others?  I'll need a tape measure - is it long enough, it is metric?  I'd better pack a needle sizer, just in case.  If I get far enough along on one of my projects I'll likely need a tapestry needle to weave in the ends or to work the Kitchener stitch.  Should it be sharp or blunt?  How big a needle will I need?   Is one enough?

4.  What needles should I bring?  For my sock projects I was all set.  I know that I'll need 4 US size 0/2.0 mm needles.  But, what if I break one?  Or get the urge to start another sock before the first one is finished.  I'd better pack extras.  My sweaters were in progress so they were already on the needles.  I'd better check the pattern to see if the needle size changes somewhere.  I was planning to swatch for a new project - more needles, but what sizes?  I'd better pack extra sizes and lengths.  Along with the needles, I had to make sure they are protected from bending or breaking.  How to do that?  I'd better pack needle protectors (so the stitches don't fall off the end) and a needle holder of some kind.  Will I pack my needles in my checked bag or can I carry them onto the plane?  Something to think about.

As you can see, packing knitting is the hardest part of all.  Forget the fact that there are more than 20 good yarn stores in the Denver area if I "needed" anything.  There was also the fact that I was going to the Wool Festival in Estes Park with at least 50 vendors.

How did I make out?  I finished 2-1/2 pairs of socks.  Bought some yarn.  Didn't work on the sweaters.  Didn't swatch for another sweater.  Didn't make a tassel.  But I never ran out of anything, although I did shop - and I had a very good time.

Here's one pair of socks that did get finished:


THE DETAILS

Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, 2x2 ribbing,
stocking stitch leg and foot,
short row heel, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color exclusive to The Loopy Ewe:
"Lake Dillon"

Each month The Loopy Ewe offers an exclusive colorway.  This one is from June, 2016.

Ravelry Link:  Lake Dillon

Sunday, July 2, 2017

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Part 1

In September, it seems like everyone in grade school had to write an essay about their summer vacations.  I know that I did, and when I was teaching school, I assigned the essays.  It was an easy way to get to know the students in those early weeks.

I've already had my summer vacation, actually late-spring/early-summer.  I spent 16 days in Denver, the longest I've been there since moving away in 2011.  From the first day, after I'd only been off the plane for about half an hour, it was already better than I'd expected.  On a previous trip I had rented a car and the radio was awful - lots of static.  I complained about the radio and was given a coupon for a free rental car upgrade for the future.  At Enterprise, I was told I could pick any car except the Porsche.  I chose a new (only 800 miles on the odometer) red Camaro.

Click on pictures to enlarge.
While there's almost no room for a back-seat passenger and little room for luggage in the trunk, it was a blast to drive - a lot more fun than my aging, 14-year-old Xterra.  It was hard to give the car back at the end of vacation, and I'm pleased to say that I didn't get any speeding tickets!

On the first full day in Denver I was registered to take a class with Stephen West at Fancy Tiger.  I didn't know what to expect.  From all that I've seen online (mostly on YouTube) I was afraid that the class might be a bit of a Gong Show.  I was pleasantly surprised when he turned out to be a kind, professional teacher and charming and funny. He was teaching the brioche stitch which I'd never done before.  Now I have another technique in my knitting repertoire.

Check out the "eyeballs" around his neck. On the flip side is where his phone is carried!


But wait, the Sunday wasn't over.  In the evening I went to The Hudson Gardens to see a group that I've been listening to since I was a kid, The Four Tops.


The members of the group have changed over the years.  Some of the current members are family with the originals.  The songs like "Baby I Need Your Loving", "It's the Same Old Song", Reach Out I'll Be There" and "I Can't Help Myself" still sound as good today.


Check out the flashy outfits.  When it started to get dark and the lights were on the group, those suits shone and made for great stage clothes.  Sitting in a lawn chair on the grass with my friend, P, and listening to the music was a wonderful way to spend a pleasant June night and to start my vacation.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

In Love With Lilacs

Another pair of socks is "done and dusted", as the saying goes.


THE DETAILS

Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, 2x2 ribbing,
stocking stitch leg and foot,
short row heel, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color exclusive to The Loopy Ewe:
"In Love With Lilacs"

Each month The Loopy Ewe offers an exclusive colorway.  This one is from May, 2016.

Ravelry Link:  In Love With Lilacs

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Roger Moore

I heard on the news today that Roger Moore has died.  I was a bit surprised that he was 89.  I would have guess he was younger.  He has had a varied career.  Before he was James Bond he was a model, showing off sweaters on knitting patterns.  This was back in the 1950s.


R.I.P. 007.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Best of Both Worlds

As a huge fan of both Pink Floyd and Fair Isle knitting, this is the most creative picture I've seen in quite a while.  I like it and wish I'd thought of it!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Struggling With Color

Last year a good friend passed away and her husband wanted her knitting friends to have her yarn.  She had lots of beautiful yarns including The Plucky Knitter in various shades and bases.  I decided that I would make a sweater.

Stripes was the most logical choice as there were a number of single skeins.  I have some Plucky Yarn in my stash, but I preferred to use only hers for this project if I could.  I started this top-down design, A Mermaid Darkly by Yelena M. Dasher (Ravelry link).

Originally I had planned to start and end with the color "Rye".  It's also used in the two-row stripe where the colors change.  It wasn't long before I realized that there would not be enough of the color to end with it at the bottom, so I order a skein of Rye.  The original one is Snug Fingering, but the new one is Primo Fingering and the color is a bit darker.  I can live with that.  I was also okay with purchasing just one skein in order to complete the sweater as I envisioned.


I had planned to use at least 6 or 7 colors, starting with Rye - then going lighter with Noisette and then Brulée, then to Breakfast Blend and followed by moss green and the darker rye.  I started knitting but didn't like the direction these colors were taking me, so I ripped out the moss green, going back to where the Breakfast Blend ended on the body.  Then, I wasn't sure if the tan was working, so I ripped out the stripe on the body and knitting another Noisette stripe.  My plan was to knit it, then another Brulée, another Noisette and finish with new Rye.

Now that I'm looking at the photo, again I'm not sure.  Maybe I like the Breakfast Blend afterall.  Maybe I should put it back into the body, replacing the second Noisette stripe.  If I so, than what's next:  repeat the last 3 colors and end with Rye?  Maybe I should reverse them, Breakfast Blend --> Brulée --> Noisette --> Rye?  Confusing?

 At the moment I just can't make up my mind, which is frustrating, as I'm anxious to finish and wear this sweater.  Will I rip out the last stripe on each of the sleeves? Or, will I ripped out the bottom color on the body, than choose the one already chosen on the sleeves.

I guess I should just make up my mind and go for it.  It's not like I'm trying to create something to be hung in the Louvre.  Whatever I finally decide on, I'm sure it'll okay.  It's a sweater, for heaven's sake!

And.....if you're celebrating Mother's Day, have a good day tomorrow.

Dancing Dandelion

I haven't blogged much in the past little while.  Like so many others around me, I've been busy coughing and sneezing.  What time I did have, I've been on a quest to finish up a few knitting projects.

I have socks on my needles almost constantly.  Fortunately, they aren't always the same pair!  The mini-KAL I've doing with my friend is right on track.  Last month I finished the April socks, just as the month was closing out.  When these socks were done I was happy as they were getting to be a bit boring.  The color has a lot of similarities to the socks from March and I was ready for a change.  And change it is this month:  the May socks are shades of purple.  I'm also making a pair of socks in a bright orange.  Subtle?  I think not!  Boring?  Definitely not.


THE DETAILS

Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, 1x1 ribbing,
stocking stitch leg and foot,
short row heel, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color exclusive to The Loopy Ewe:
"Dancing Dandelion"

Ravelry Link:  Dancing Dandelion

Tomorrow I'm planning to blog about a sweater that I'm working on and my color decisions.  I hope you'll come back.  I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

News Bits - 5/2/17 Edition

Book:

I learned today that there is a new book in the works by Alice Starmore called "Glamourie".  I can't find a link to it but will add one later if I see one.  It's described as entering "the magical world of Scottish folklore".  Glamourie is the Scots term for magic.  I'm looking forward to.  I've seen the front cover and, if it doesn't change, the cover sweater will likely be a cardigan/jacket that will be on my needles at some point in the future.  In the meantime, I have the yarn for three other Starmores:  Amphora (started, but I'm thinking of restarting and making it a cardigan with a modified drop or set-in sleeve), Eala Bhan and Meadowsweet.  I do love her designs.

Store:

The Jamieson's store, on Commerical Street in Lerwick, decorated their window to celebrate the Shetland Folk Festival, which just ended.  If you look to the right I think you can see why I particularly liked this window display:


On the web:

Have you ever watched a show like Project Runway or the Great British Sewing Bee and wondered if a similar knitting show could be done?  Well, the Danish have done it.  The show is on You Tube and called "Den Store Strikkedyet" or "The Great Knitoff".  I watched the first two episodes of season two.  The first episode is all in Danish, but the second one has subtitles and it's not at all difficult to follow along.

Shetland (TV Series):

For those of you who have watched the Shetland TV series, the good news is that the fourth season is now being filmed.  I learned that today they were filming outside of the Ninian store.  I'm looking forward to watching it - soon, I hope.

Detective Jimmy Perez' home
On the needles:

With a new month starting, I've cast on for two new projects.  The first is a knitalong with the Solid Socks group on Ravelry.  The color for this month is orange, a color that I'm quite fond of.  My yarn is not just orange, it's ORANGE!

I'm also doing a mini-knitalong with my friend, S.  We're using the monthly sock yarn offerings from The Loopy Ewe for 2016 to make a project each month in 2017.  I've been sticking to socks for my projects.  For May the color is "In Love With Lilacs".  I cast on last night and have made pretty good progress today.  Both pairs of socks have a May 31st deadline.


Temptation Averted:

It seems like every knitter and knit shop I've seen on the web lately is going to participate in Joji Locatelli's knitalong.  I must admit that I was tempted but with a couple of sweaters and socks on the needles, I was good.  I'll watch as others knit.

Another book and more temptations:

Have you seen the book "Springtime Collection Six" by Marie Wallin?  I'm drawn to almost every sweater in the book.  For now, I'm just admiring!  My next Marie Wallin design is going to be "Lovage".  The yarn is waiting for me and I can't wait to cast on.

Denver Yarn Shop:

The shop Tea For You is closing around the end of May.  There will be an online store going forward as well as a Yarn Truck.  I hope that it's up and running in the first part of June as I'd like to check it out.  I've seen one Yarn Truck in Nashville from the Haus of Yarn.  I know that there is also one, Purlin' J,  in my hometown of Kingston, Ontario but I haven't seen it.

Now I'm off to turn a heel.....  Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Procrastinator

Okay, I admit it.  I've been procrastinating about posting to my blog.  There has been lots going on in life, including a number of knitting projects.  I've been getting my money's worth from one project in which I knitted, ripped back, knitted, ripped back again.  More about that one next time as I need to take some pictures first.

For now...I have a finished object (FO)... a pair of socks.

I have lots of sock yarn and certainly didn't need another skein, but when I saw the color "From The Ashes" from local yarn company/dyers, Ancient Arts, I couldn't resist.  Previous blog post and pictures are here.  I used exactly half of the generous skein and next month the rest is going to a friend for her to enjoy.  When I saw the skein I didn't know that it was going to stripe.  That was a pleasant surprise.


THE DETAILS

Pattern:  Generic.  Cast on 60 sts., stocking stitch leg and foot,
short row heel, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0/ 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Yarn:  Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts
Color:  From The Ashes

Ravelry Link:  From The Ashes

Note:  The socks are actually a wee bit brighter than in the picture, a nice rich red.  The colors in my earlier blog post are more accurate.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

2 New Knitters

I've taught a lot of knitters over the years, but my recent knitting lessons were my most special.  I gave two of my grandkids their very first lesson.

Makayla is 4 and wanted to learn.  Her attention span is short at this age and that's fine, and she's a lefty so it was a bit harder for her.  It doesn't matter.  I'll continue to teach her as long as she wants to know how to knit.


Braydon caught on very quickly and said that he liked knitting so much!  I started by casting on a few stitches and knitting a couple of rows for both of them.  They can learn the cast on later.  For now, I just wanted them to learn and practice the knit stitch.  Braydon, who is 7, wanted to do it himself after he was shown how...and he did well.


Both were happy with their little knitting kit which included a set of 4 mm plastic needles, 4 colorful balls of DK weight yarn, a little Gromit the Dog instruction book and a red plastic bag with yellow handles to keep it altogether. I bought these little kits a number of years ago - I don't remember where.  I'll have to keep my eyes open for another kit for granddaughter #2 who is just 1.

I've often heard people say that they learned to knit from their grandmother.  At the time I never thought that someday I would be that grandmother, but I am so happy that I am.

Way to go, kids!  We'll be doing more knitting soon.  xoxo   Love, Grandma Jo

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sock Mojo & Podcasts

My sock mojo is in full gear right now.  I finished up my March socks with the 2016 colorway from The Loopy Ewe for the little knitalong that my friend, S. and I are doing.  Then, last night I cast on for another sock that I've called "Verb" using the leftover yarn from block #15 of my Travel Afghan.  The sock went very quickly and I finished it today.  With the "From The Ashes" sock, I now have two single socks that need their mate.  I'll be working on them as my main projects this week because next Saturday is cast-on day for the April socks and I don't want 3 single socks.  I'd like to have full pairs!
 
While knitting I was watching a couple of video podcasts on You Tube.  One is Fruity Knitting that I've mentioned before and is my favorite.  I also watched Sticks & Twine.  The host talked about a Brooklyn Tweed knitalong that he has started as well as a visit to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and a side trip to Amsterdam and Stephen West's shop, Stephen & Penelope.  The Edinburgh Yarn Festival is on my bucket list.

Here are the Clickety Clack socks for March:


THE DETAILS

Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, stocking stitch leg and foot,
short row heel, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0/ 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color exclusive to The Loopy Ewe:
"Clickety Clack"

Ravelry Link:  Clickety Clack

Notes:  The colors come from the picture, below.

I was pleased that there was no real pooling.  The yarn looked like it wanted to pool but the stripes helped to break it up.  While these aren't my favorite colors, the socks will get lots of use.



Next month:  Dancing Dandelion

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Voting Has Begun

Earlier this year I joined the Jamieson & Smith "Fire Festival KAL".  It was great fun to decide what to make using the colors that were required.  I made a cover for my hot water bottle.  There were so many creative projects from sweaters to scarves and cowls to hats to gloves to socks....the list goes on and on.

Now Jamieson & Smith has created a link on their website where you can see all of the finished creations in one place.  It's time to vote for your favorites.  Of course, I voted for my own.  How could I not?  And, I voted for one of the sweaters.  If I'd had more votes, I would gladly have picked some others items as I like many of them.

If you want to check out the finished projects, the link is here.

Now, I'm not asking you to vote for me, but..... if you do (and anyone can), this is what my entry looks like on the site... and, thank you for your support!

I wonder what goodness J&S will come up with next.  I hope it's nothing too tempting as I have a couple of sweaters to finish.  So much great knitting to do, so little time.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Fair Isle Workshop

The reason for my trip to Berkeley was to take a workshop with Janine Bajus and it was fabulous.  I learned so much about color, design, techniques, hints and tips.  I was totally blown away with how much knowledge she has about fair isle knitting.

The workshop was held in her home and limited to 5 students.  We were made comfortable from the moment we walked through her door.  Introductions were made and we gathered in the kitchen to start each day with bagels and coffee and tea.  Then, we settled around the table and Janine gave us detailed information about fair isle, what it is, where it's from and what distinguishes it from other techniques.

Color is an important first step, so we looked at the inspirational pictures that we had brought with us, discussing the way colors work together, or not...how they might work in a photo but not in a garment.  The only way to be sure about your colors is to swatch.  Next, we were shown the "playpen" which contained at least one ball of every one of the 225 colors of fingering-weight Spindrift that Jamiesons makes.  Janine dazzled us with how she can remember the name and number of every one of the 225 colors and recognizes them on sight, even those that are close together.


We learned about values, color families, speed swatches, mirroring, color placement and the color tool.  Then we swatched, first a simple swatch and then more complex swatches.  We discussed, we analyzed and we learned from our own swatches and from each others.


It was a good group and, along with the knitting, there was lively conversations.  Sometimes we strayed a bit off topic but were gently guided back to project at hand.  It was all very enjoyable.

From there we started thinking about the motifs we'd like to try out and looked through books and magazines to find inspirations and to do some planning.  Janine taught us how to think about color and how to work it into our designs to best advantage.  She showed us her vast collection of sweaters and explained why the colors were chosen and placed as they were.  To me, the design process is fascinating. One of the techniques I'm going to use right away is how she does her steeks with a crochet hook...so much easier and better than using the sewing machine, in my opinion.

As a bonus, we met Janine's family, including Mason, the dachshund.  He charmed everyone!  Janine spoiled us with freshly-baked, warm cookies every afternoon.

On the last day, I excused myself just a bit early.  As I had such a short visit to the Berkeley area, I wanted to get in some sightseeing.  Janine planned out a route for me to take through the Napa Valley and the scenery was amazing and beautiful.  I even found time to take a detour to Fairfield and visited the Jelly Belly factory.

This is just a very small amount of the Jelly Belly candies that I saw.
I learned so much, had a great time, loved seeing palm trees and leaving the snow in Calgary behind.  I would not hesitate to recommend Janine's classes or workshops or designs to anyone.  She is an expert and this Master Class was everything I hoped it would be and much more.  I've only talked about a small fraction of the curriculum of the workshop.  I would definitely take a class with her again.

Oh, and yes, some wool followed me home.  I don't normally wear vests or a lot of pink but when I saw the Rosebud Vest "in person", I knew that I had to make it, so I bought the kit.  I'm looking forward to starting.

Janine, if you're reading this..... A huge THANK YOU from me.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Avenue Yarns and Lacis

Avenue Yarns is a wonderful shop in Albany, CA with lots of tempting yarns and supplies and friendly people in the shop. I enjoyed talking to Ray and Jody. I was surprised and impressed that they had copies of the book about Shetland Wool called "Oo". 

         
This is only some of what I saw in Avenue Yarns.  I'd be happy to pull up a chair and start knitting with the yarns on the left and work my way around the room. 


They had some gorgeous garments on display and ended up buying a pattern for a sweater for The Ropes by Graeme Knowles-Miller.  It's a fairly plain pullover with some cable accents - a practical and pretty design. 



If I lived in this area I would probably be visiting this shop often.


Visiting Lacis was a must while in Berkeley. I'd heard about this store for many years.  It's not a yarn store but a museum of lace and textiles as well as a retail store.  


If I ever find myself in need of the understructure for a hoop skirt I know where to come.  They are hanging from the ceiling like lamp shades. 


As well as lace making supplies, everything you can imagine, they have a huge selection of books for a wide variety of craft and textile interests. 


You can spend a lot of time just browsing in Lacis, and I did. I'm finding this shoos in the area to be varied and eclectic. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

California

It was a good first day in California. I saw trees. I saw flowers. I saw flowering trees. The weather is beautiful, sunny and warm and not a flake of snow to be seen anywhere!

I did lots of sightseeing and, of course, I had to visit a yarn shop - well, I actually visited two. The first one I visited is in Oakland - A Verb For Keeping Warm.

  

They carry yarn, dyeing materials, fabric, magazines and more. 


Dyeing is a big part of what the store is known for.  It's done in the yard behind the shop.


I believe that the owner is the dyer.  She dyed all of these swatches using cochineal.  It's hard to believe you can get so many variations in a color.


One of the main reasons that I wanted to visit this shop was to get a skein of their  hand-dyed yarn for my Travel Afghan.  I always try to pick something that is unique to the place I'm visiting and this is an ideal choice, and a very nice yarn..  


They've named this weight and fiber combination "Annapurna". This particular skein is a limited edition colorway, dyed with cochineal.  Even the dye date is on the label: 2.19.17, a recent vintage.  

The details are:  80% Superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. 385 yards/4 oz, fingering weight. I'm looking forward to adding it to my travel afghan. 

The second shop that I visited today is Avenue Yarns in Albany, CA., a very nice shop that I'll write about another time. 

Tomorrow is Day #1 of three of the workshop with Janine Bajus.  I'm looking forward to it.