Hometown Tourist

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Mom came to visit, her first trip west in a decade, so we did lots of sightseeing.  My version of sightseeing…go for a walk, get something to eat.  That’s pretty much what we did for a week!  There’s lots of places to walk in San Francisco and even more places to eat!

We spent a lot of time in Golden Gate Park.  I love it there!

 

The DeYoung Museum currently has a Summer of Love exhibit for the 50th anniversary.  I’m into rock posters so it was fun to see the genesis of the art form!  And of course, the late 60’s were a great time for crochet!  I think I feel my annual urge to crochet coming on!!  I want that rainbow sweater!

 

After that, we spent a lot of time on the water front.

I never get sick of taking bridge pictures.

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Not even on foggy days!

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We did leave the city a bit too.  Visited Pacifica for the grand opening of my friend’s micro-distillery!  Hand crafted vodka and duck fat french fries!  As if that wasn’t enough, the pier was hopping with crabbers and the beach put on a good show in both the surfing category and the tide pooling category!  Two enthusiastic thumbs up for Pacifica!  (Not that I ever doubted!)

Our other trip out of the city went north.  First stop Dharma Trading in San Rafael.  Mom picked out some new dye colors, some new yarn to dye and some white skirts & dresses for dying!  I can’t wait to see what kind of color schemes this trip inspired!  One of the yarns dyes two-tone!  I guess the plys alternate superwash and non-superwash?  It’s going to be a fun experiment to find out!

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The creativity continued north to Petaluma.  We visited Knitterly in historic downtown Petaluma.  If/when I own a yarn shop, I want it to be like Knitterly.  It’s a beautiful shop with great yarns.  Definitely check it out, if you’re ever in the area!  I brought home a skein of Hedgehog.  How could I resist?

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Then it was off to Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers!  If you were a girl in the 80’s, you probably know all about Mrs. Grossman’s!  Talk about irresistable…those sticker walls!!

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I’ve already realized, I didn’t buy nearly enough cat stickers?!?!  I’ve gotta go back!  Mrs. Grossman’s gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me as well.  I highly recommend you go there.  It’s amazing!  And, as if that wasn’t enough…

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There was an In & Out Burger around the corner!  Mom’s first! YUM!  The eating didn’t stop there…

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We had east african food, ice cream made with nitrogen, dim sum, sweet potato fries covered with chicken tikka masala, the salsa that beat Bobby Flay in the burrito throwdown…delicious!

And, I still had a few hours for World Wide Knit in Public Day!

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Knitting update coming soon!

Friday Photo Dump

Hoooooray for Friday! I’m very excited to get some knitting done this weekend! In the meantime, here’s a random bunch of pictures I took but haven’t shared yet!

First, some yarn my Mom dyed for me recently!  The olivey green is going to become a felted hat with a wide brim.  The color has a lot of depth to it, lots of gold & mustardy tones to it.  Hopefully that’s not lost when it’s felted.

The multi is a special handspun yarn I got in Iceland.  Not sure what to do with it yet.  Something for the torso I think.  It’s the soft part of the Icelandic wool, next to skin softness for sure!


Next, my little Yoda, done he is!

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His friends will be joining him soon.


My latest foray into beading.  The beaded part was lots of fun!  I didn’t even mind the pre-strung business.  It’s tough on the yarn but it’s way less fiddly that stopping to pick up a crochet hook every time you place a bead.  Now it’s just slogging through a regular old scarf.  No bells or whistles to get excited about.  Oh well, that is what I signed on for after all…


And last but not least, the sequence knitting shawl has been getting lots of outdoor love with spring springing so much in the recent weeks!  I’m really looking forward to wearing this one.  If all goes according to plan, I predict I’ll love it!

Hope you all have a beautiful weekend filled with lots of knitting!  Only a couple hours to go, I’m confident I’ll make it…


 

Stitches West 2017

Yay for Stitches!  After missing it last year, I returned this year on a mission!  It was a challenge but I waited until the very last day to attend.  It was perfect for avoiding the crowd!  Sunday means no problems parking, no waiting in line to get in, no waiting in line with the vendors.  Yes, it was perfect.

In three short hours, I managed to shop for this year and make up for last year’s lack of a shopping spree!

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Clearly, I had a color theme.  And I even bought pink???  It seems protest season is upon us and I really need a pussyhat.  There’s Hedgehog Fibers, White Birch, Magpie, Primrose and Western Sky Knits in that pile.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it’s going to be awesome, whatever it is.

I did go for one neutral…

…and I got two slub skeins of bare yarn.  Only $20 from Anzula…it’s an amazing MCN.  I’m gonna send it to my mom so she can dye it!  I’m sure she can cover those little slubs and it will be a truly amazing MCN!!

I found a few cute accessories too!  I spotted these from across the aisle and knew they were mine!

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And this…

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Now for the hard part…waiting to cast something on.  It’s still Finish it February for two more days.  I finished my sweater!!!  I even wore it to Stitches…more details on that later this week!

And so, for two more days, I can stay true to no extraneous cast ons.

I need time to wind and plan anyhow!  Just winding those pretties is going to be fun!

So, yes, Stitches West 2017 was a success!  I’m plotting for next year already!  :)

 

Happy Two Year Blogiversary!

It’s that time of year…My Mom’s Birthday and my Blogiversary…conveniently located on the same day so I won’t forget!  Normally this would be a great day for a blog post…I like to knit things for Mom’s Birthday.  Unfortunately, this year things have gotten in the way.

 

I started blogging when I was funemployed, awash with free time.  This year, not so much.  Having been through a series of not even close to ‘real’ jobs, I’m now back to work at a very real job.

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Hello Organic Chemistry!  You’re looking mighty fine today!  Also, like you want some attention, so this will be brief!

Instead of an FO worthy of one’s mother, today, I give you one third of a sock.  I’ve been dutifully carrying it with me, hoping to find time to squeeze in a row or two.  I’ll take it anyway I can get it!  This weekend that meant, knitting during brunch with friends.  Luckily, my friends all understand, the knit must go on.

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Even if it’s sideways.  Eventually, a row here and a row there adds up.  I’m almost to the heel!  This is going to be a traditional gusset sock with a slip stitch heel.

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Eventually.  I’ll keep plugging away.  Slow but steady wins the race!  And eventually, I’ll even get Mom’s Birthday present done.  It’s going to feature all those flowers I knit last fall.

It’s going to be worth the wait!  I promise!  I’ll even have time to orient the photos properly when the time comes!  Until then, it’s tech difficulty and chemistry for me!

Happy Birthday Mom!  Hope you’re having a great day!  I’ll call you when I reunite with my phone!  XOXO!

Needle Review: KnitPicks Foursquare Interchangeable Set

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KnitPicks popped up in my news feed at exactly the right moment with their new square interchangeable blue, green and purple needles.  I could not resist buying them.  Had they been a blonde finish or an orange/red/yellow sunburst color, I would not have even looked twice.  They got me this time though, exactly the right product at just the moment I was having an impulse to buy something!

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So far my only complaint…KnitPicks slow ‘free’ shipping.  I was optimistic that it would be different this time, the warehouse seems to be shipping quicker.  The FedEx SmartPost USPS conglomeration is a cluster fuck though.  UGH!  WHY??  The USPS without FedEx involved actually does a decent job.  Mail service blows but their package handling is much better.  So, I’m annoyed at KnitPicks.  You should do better by your customers, KnitPicks.

These needles are softening me up though!  I’m enjoying them.  They’re laminated birch, which is new to me.  My preference has always been super slick metal needles.

They’re also square, which is really why I bought them.  They’re theoretically better for RSI.  Having suffered from knitting related hand/wrist/arm issues in the past I’m always interested ways to avoid going through that again.

The idea is, a square needle barrel is easier to grip, it doesn’t roll around the way a circular needle can.  That seems logical enough to me to give it a try.

It’s February though, I’m resisting the cast on.  I’m trying really hard to be good and get stuff finished.  I’ve given myself the allowance of a hat or two.  These needles are long barreled.  They don’t come with a 16″ cable.  I’m okay with that.  I prefer a long barrel and I have plenty of 16″ needles for hats already.  Rules is rules, though.  I made my one allowance.  This isn’t the gov’t, I can’t just change the rules on a whim.  No, unlike our current executive branch, I have some standards.  I’m following my completely self-imposed rules, dammit.

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I did come up with a work around though.  One of my beginning knitting students is interested in shawls!  And so in the vein of 5 Shawls, 5 Days or the 5 Basic Shawl Shapes, I’m putting together an Intro to Shawls primer for next week’s class.  Perfect justification!  It’s already finished so no guilt hanging over my head and lots of instant gratification!  I knit 4 shawls this morning!  That is a good morning!  Oh yeah!

One of the big differences between my shawl summary and others…I’ve included a Sequence Knitting inspired triangle (the orange one!)  I love Sequence Knitting.  Once my students give it a try, I think they’ll love it too!

It also gave me an opportunity to try out the different needle sizes.  Each shawl sample is knit from the same yarn (Lett-Lopi, from my trip to Iceland!)  It made for the perfect study of my new needles.  Much to my glee, these needles tighten my gauge up!  A LOT!

I’m an incredibly loose knitter, going down typically 3 needle sizes to get gauge and recently even going down 4 size.  Yikes!  I like slippery metal needles and I like to knit fast.  Loose stitches are the only way to do that.  I happen to like loose fabrics so I’m okay with it.  But it’s not without problems.  Tighter stitches wear better & pill less.  Some patterns require tighter fabrics — socks for instance, or anything knit for warmth.  The wind wastes no time biting through loose fabrics.  There are lots of reasons to knit tighter.

And, so, I’m giving these new needles the FogKnits Seal of Approval!  They’re pretty.  They’re light weight.  I like the cords, just the right balance of flexibility without being floppy.  They’re easy to hold.  The verdict is still out on whether they help with arm aggravation.  I need some more time before I can comment on that but…so far so good.

My last concern:  they screw together.  I’ve always used Addi-Clicks.  I hate the join, it’s awful but I like the click.  You know your needle is secure.  It will not come apart.  I like that security.  The KnitPicks Options come with a little pin for securing the needle to the cable.  I’m not going to use it though.  I’m hoping the square nature of the needle makes hand tightening enough.  I don’t like extra tools, if they can be avoided.  I figure, if I never tool tighten, I’ll never have to use to the tool to loosen them.

Thus far, my decision to blatantly ignore the manufacturer’s instructions has not come back to bite me in the ass.  I’ll let you know that progresses.  I’ve only done small stretches of knitting, lemme get a 450 stitch shawl on one of those cords and see if they still stand up to all that work with just a hand tighten of the screw.

I’m optimistic about the squareness.  I think it’s a real benefit for knitting needles everywhere.  I hope this trend continues!  I’ve always known it’s hip to be square!  :)

Handmade Holiday

Immediately after I said I wanted to get my sweater done by Christmas, I cast on a non-sweater thing.  I couldn’t resist.   They’ve put the tree up at my local bar.  A new ornament needed to happen!

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This little stocking is just the thing!  Find the pattern here.  Quick and easy!  Only took me 3 days!  (I think this week I’ll actually stay awake passed 9 pm!  Fingers crossed!)

Of course, I couldn’t stop there.  The tiny thing bug has bitten me.  That’s when I found Santa’s Laundry Line.  Just like it sounds, it’s Santa’s laundry hanging out to dry!  I had to cast on right away!

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So stinkin’ cute!  I don’t think I have the stamina to do all of Santa’s laundry.  It’s really cute though…if you’ve got the tiny thing bug, check the rest of the pieces out–A hat, mittens, boots, a jacket and even long johns underneath it all.  I love it all.  Santa’s pants tickled my fancy the most though.

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And, because handmade ornaments are not enough, I’ve upped my Christmas card game this year.   Special, limited edition, handmade Christmas cards.

Complete with a little knit star at the top.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I’m only doing 18 cards.  Luckily, I know all 18 cards are going to good homes where my handmade efforts will be appreciated!   How bad could it be?  Only 8 more to do.

And then, I’m gonna cast on sleeve two!  Hopefully.  If I’m still awake.  Weekends go awfully quick when they’re only two days long?!?  I think this week I might be able to push bedtime to 10 pm.

My new goal:  NYE sweater debut!  Even that seems soon though.  It’s gonna be 2017 before we know it!