Sunday, August 30, 2009

the summer of my 39th year

Well, I realize that summer is not yet over but I gauge it by the school year and it feels over. I started out the summer in Vermont, a beautifully green and country setting. I realized more than ever this time how much of a city girl I actually am. The bugs and the mud got to me. Overall though, it was a great trip. We rented a beautiful farm house close to the in-laws. Everyone seemed happy and the boys got to experience things they would not have here in Oakland. I shot a gun for the first time, not too gracefully or too good of a shot, but oh well, I don't see target shooting as a future of mine.

I knitted a sock, a sleeve, part of a scarf and a couple of shawls.

I read a few books, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, Netherland by Joseph O'Neill, Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz, While I Was Gone by Sue Miller and White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. I got some spinning done as well, finished the spinning for what I hope will be my first handspun sweater. I'm also drop spinning some cashmere silk and finding a new love and appreciation for drop spinning. It's been very peaceful and slow for me compared to spinning on the wheel.

I got to spend a few weeks with one of my very best friends and her kids who usually live across the world in London. I got to go to a girls weekend in Calistoga, which was like heaven. Just perfect in every way. And I feel very happy, trying not to get anxious about all the scheduling and busyness that is around the corner. Almost 40. It is amazing to me to be here at this juncture, I never thought as a young person that I would someday be 40. Not that I wouldn't live that long, but that the day would just be so far away in the future that it just wouldn't come. I'm okay with it. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by my incredible friends and family.
My creation

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Music in my ears

Seeing live music takes me back to when I was little and my step-dad was always in a band and we were there, listening, dancing, singing-along, and watching. I remember being tired and wanting to go home, but now when I see music, I think about those days and how special I felt because I knew the band. And even though these days I hardly ever see live music and I hardly ever know the band, I still get that feeling of being special. Friday night we went to the Fox Theater and saw TV on the Radio. I was not a huge fan beforehand, but I am now, it was a great show. I was high on life. They put on a kickass performance, it was so much fun.

And the Fox Theater, what a beautiful job they've done restoring it, we had an amazing view of the stage. It has to be one of the best places to see a show.

This blog is seriously neglected. It takes time and energy that I don't give it. But I have been knitting and spinning. I've been knitting lots of gifts, now I'm just knitting to knit some my yarn that I have accrued.

I'm knitting the Winter Windows Silk Scarf from Luxury One-Skein Wonders, which was a lovely mother's day gift. I'm using some yak/silk handspun from the Ultra Verb For Keeping Warm Fiber Club,"Capitan Pink's Lost Pearl". I tried knitting the Silk Berry Bag with this same yarn, but there was something wrong with the pattern and I didn't have the patience to figure out what it was. This is a nice book full of beautiful little things to knit, but almost every pattern has some corrections so be sure to check if you're knitting out of it.

Also on the needles is a lace stole from Knitty, the Seascape Stole. I can't seem to put this down for very long, it keeps calling to me. I'm knitting it with Malabrigo Lace and it is very, very soft. A one ply though which will probably not hold up to well.

I'm trying unsuccessfully to spin fingering weight yarn. This is my attempt. It's a little thick in places. I think next time I'll try the high speed whorl. I do love this yarn though, so pretty. it's made from overdyed BFL from A Verb For Keeping Warm. Another beautiful creation by Kristine.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'm back

So I'm back from my international travel.

There were birthday celebrations.....

A Lazy Day At the Pub.....

3 days in Spain...

at the airport

at our favorite tapas bar

La Pedrera

Witch chaser atop La Pedrera

Roof of Sagrada Familia

View of Barcelona from La Sagrada Familia

A beautiful Spanish Marketplace

A funky costume shop near our hotel...

.....and back to London

I also went to Stitches West and worked for A Verb For Keeping Warm. It was so much fun to see all the different knitterly types of people in one place. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of yarn, fiber and tools, and hanging out with, and getting to know new people. I only bought one thing, this skein of sock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts

and Adrienne so kindly gifted me with this lovely skein

I better get crackin' on some socks.
Next time I'll post some knitting and spinning!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A New Year, A New Wheel, and a Vacation

Happy New Year!

For Christmas I got a new wheel, and it's so pretty. It's a Schacht Matchless double treadle. I'm a little apprehensive, it's such a different wheel than my last. I spent some time with it today, the first real time since I've gotten it and am slowly getting used to it.

I've been knitting many projects, and unsaid out loud until now, a resolution is to get through some of this yarn I seem to have acquired. It somehow had babies when I wasn't looking and now seems a little out of hand. So many small projects are on the horizon...I'm trying to get rid of the scraps I have as well. My last yarn purchase was for a throw that we desperately need, although not today as it's a strange 70 degrees outside. Just last night it was so cold and now people are out in shorts and t-shirts.

Here are some projects: a stocking for S, still needing his name, from the Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines: Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits, Whole New Worlds, and Familiar Ones, Too:

the beginnings of a throw, Cable Comfort Throw from the Lion Brand website, made with knitpicks superwash swish bulky:

and Argosy, made with handspun Baby Camel/Silk from A Verb For Keeping Warm

My current big news is that I'm traveling to London in 9 days. The decision to go was made very quickly. I'm definitely not a live-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, so I'm still in a little shock. There I will help my best friend Nona celebrate her 40th birthday and her husband Adam's 38th birthday. We are also taking a little jaunt to Barcelona for a couple of days. I've never been to Spain, it should be a lot of fun. I'm really excited and a little nervous, I still need to don my jet-setter attitude.

Pictures when I return.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


my friend sarah died yesterday. although i have not been close to her for many years, i will miss her forever, and am so sad. she was an amazing, wonderful woman and i feel lucky to have known her.

sarah helped make endless hours at the counter bearable, she taught me how to make potato pizza, she helped me get my second car (only 50 bucks and with a cool story too), she taught me more than i realized at the time....

life is short, don't let it slip away, and hug someone you love tightly.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Life just keeps on plugging away.....

He's 12, I can hardly believe it.

Well, as the beginning of not only the school year, but also soccer season has started, everything seems like a blur. Life has taken on a new speed. It seems as though I've had many problems with my car lately. It is a trusted minivan, which I was a little apprehensive about buying. Must maintain the rockstar image, you know. But now I've had it for 4 years and I love it, except when it's broken and not working. Really not all the fault of my little minivan. There have been some extenuating circumstances... The reason I mention this is that lately I've felt like I've been spending a lot of time and money on the car. Time and money I'd rather not spend.

My knitting has been following suit. It's been particularly time consuming, but not that satisfying. It's been a lesson, I suppose, in patience and doing things right the third, maybe fourth time. Equally frustrating. I'm working on Liesl by Ysolda. I had some Cotton-Ease in the stash, from long ago when it was truly black, so I thought Hey! almost like it's free. Well, now I'm starting again for the 3rd time. The first time it was too small, the second time, I realized halfway down the body and the top were not matching. One was right side out and the other wrong side out, whoops. So I ripped it out and started once again, an even bigger size, which I'm hoping will be the right one. But hear that HOPING. I'm a glutton for punishment. Why oh why don't you just swatch and get it over with? I don't know.

And now I'm finishing up the Tempest Cardigan from Knitty. On the button bands. But it is tight, and my finishing abilities suck. I can knit and knit and knit, but when it comes to sewing, it's an ugly thing. So I love this color combination. I'm not wanting to give up entirely, I've decided to try to make a top down cardigan modeled after the Tempest (using my soon to be frogged yarn). I have to say this is going slowly, one because I've never made a top down cardigan on my own, without a pattern. I'm using Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top . But as a stringent recipe knitter, I'm having a bit of trouble with the vague-ness. A lesson in trust I suppose. And stick-to-it-iveness. Will she or won't she be able to do it?

Not the last project on the needles, but one I'll talk about because I'm really enjoying it is Abby, a cowl made from handspun yarn. I'm spinning it and knitting right off the spindle (oooh aaahhh). I knit one of these already with yak gifted to me by Kristine of AFVKW. It is beautiful and soft, but somehow I didn't feel finished with this pattern and felt like I needed to knit it yet again. Which is unusual for me, but it's somehow so captivating, maybe because it's small, finite and one size fits all.

In spinning news, I've been spinning some baby camel and silk also from Kristine, and it is incredibly soft and wonderful to spin and beautiful to look at--it's 10% chance of rain--you should go get some right now if you spin.

So as I knit and re-knit my current projects, while waiting for my car to be fixed, I try to remember that these are small problems, they are fix-able, do-able. Really I should be grateful that these are my problems. It's just hard to recognize sometimes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You Can't Always Have Meat on Your Pizza

Well two weeks in Hawaii is like heaven, it has completely rejuvenated me, even though I did take home a few pounds of the island on the belly portion of my body. I don't know how that could have happened, maybe it was the Passion Fruit Mojitos, or maybe pork for breakfast lunch and dinner. Hmmm.

There really is nothing better than to knit and be able to see the ocean. See above for the view. It was so relaxing and beautiful.

We also saw Kilauea, the volcano that erupted in March--

and fishes! I went snorkeling for the first time, incredible how close all the beautiful fish are. I didn't even freak out....very much. It was so much fun, the days were full of playtime, eating and drinking.

Now that I'm back though there is no eating, and only drinking a little water. We are now on a strict diet and exercise regimen.

My mom was very happy to receive her sweater, here is a picture of me in it...

Details: Ariann
Needles: 6 & 7
Yarn: Misti International Pima Cotton/Silk
No changes made to the pattern. Very easy pattern to follow.

I started my second Clapotis in Noro Silk Garden on the plane:

A halfway okay picture of Glasgow Lace taken by my bigger son:

Details: Glasgow Lace
Needles: 6 & 7 denise interchangeables
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece about 5 skeins
Modifications: I made the body about 2 inches longer to cover above mentioned belly section, and knit the collar all the way around the neck instead just in the front.

All in all a fun and interesting knit. The lace was easy enough to knit without complete concentration, but also interesting enough to keep me going.

The rest of the summer awaits, and I'm excited. My good friends from London are coming soon and I'm loving the staying up late and not having to get up and out of the house. I also have been having a great time with my boys. They are a lot of fun these days.