Saturday, February 24, 2007

Yarn Overload

Guess where I was yesterday? Stitches West! Yep, my friend Katy, a new knitter, agreed to accompany me to Santa Clara for some overwhelming yarn exposure. We did not take any classes, just attended the market and wandered around, a little bit dazed, admiring all the beautiful yarn, books, tools, garments, etc.

I am not a good shopper by nature, and I am overwhelmed when confronted with loads of merchandise and crowds of people, but I did manage to pick up a few items.

An Addi Turbo 40" size 0 for some magic loop socks. I've never tried Addi's, but since everyone raves, and I'd like a longer sock needle than knitpicks makes, I figured it's time to give it at try. Also some Tofutsies sock yarn and some Shaeffer Anne. I am really on a sock kick now and am looking forward to trying these new yarns. I really don't have much of a sock yarn stash at this point - just 2 or 3 skeins before this purchase, so I've got no guilt about my acquisitions. I wish I could go back for another day of Stitches, but I'm a little sickly again and I don't have the energy for another day of it. But next year I'll definitely plan on attending again.

Here's the latest sock I'm working on:

It's the waterfall rib from Sensational Knitted Socks in Trekking XXL color #110. I'm loving it. I was reluctant to knit a pattern from my Trekking socks because I thought all the lovely colors would get lost in it, but I cannot stand to do another stockinette sock right now, so I gave this a try, and I am loving it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My kind of weekend!

Wow! What a spectacular weekend at the coast! I hardly know where to begin. We headed down to Pacific Grove on Friday, checked into Borg's motel at Lover's Point. This place is really kind of hillarious. The view is to die for - just perfect. Full on frontal ocean view. Unbeatable. But the room was bordering on divey. As in, not much in the way of updates since the 50's. And the bathroom was comically teensy. A 26" square shower, with the shower head at about shoulder level, so I had to do some pretty deep squats just to get my head wet. Were people much shorter back in the 50's or what? And I swear to god, every time I sat on the toilet I was afraid I would knock my chin on the sink. Just weird. But you know, it was so worth it! I LOVE being able to hear the waves at night, and our room was just perfect for that, and it was warm enough to sleep with the window open, so really, it was unbeatable.
And Pacific Grove is just the most charming town. We went for some gorgeous walks along the waterfront, saw tons of seals, sea otters and other cool water creatures. We dined at some fabulous restaurants, including one with belly dancers! How fun is that?!

On Saturday we took a drove to Point Lobos State Reserve, which is now very high on my list of most beautiful places in the world. It was so stunningly gorgeous. Really incredible. There are wonderful hiking trails with amazing views in all directions. Indescribable really. Just go there.
Then we took a drive to Big Sur, which was itself breathtaking. Maybe my favorite experience of the whole weekend was driving down the coast with my honey, the windows down, warm coastal breezes blowin, listening to Stevie Wonder singing "As" (what a great song!) - I was kinda teary with all the love going on at that moment. Lunch at Nepenthe to top it all off, then back to our cheesey motel with the million dollar view! It just doesn't get any better than that.
Oh, but wait, yes it does. Monday morning, AKA, MY BIRTHDAY, my honey gives me my birthday gift - it's an elph! I am in love with it. Look at how preciously tiny it is.

And it takes great pictures too! Here's one from the car, as we were heading home, about to go over the Golden Gate bridge.

So there's more... but it'll have to wait for another post.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Birthday Weekend Fun Ahead!

Pete and I are heading to Monterey this weekend for some birthday fun. We're staying at Borg's Ocean Front Motel in Pacific Grove, and I'm hoping to do a little exploring of Big Sur and Point Lobos, and maybe a lunch at Nepenthe. It looks like the weather will be fabulous, at least on Friday and Saturday. And a little rain after that will be just fine with me. On the way home on Monday we're stopping in Palo Alto to visit some friends. I'm super excited about celebrating my birthday in a beautiful coastal setting with my Love.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Two and a half socks

I had a couple friends over on Saturday for a knitting lesson & brunch. It was so great to spend time some time catching up. The knitting wasn't as easy as I had hoped though. Funny how you forget how challenging it can be when attempting it for the first time. My friend Andrea really struggled, but when I realized she was trying to hold the yarn in her left hand (she said this is how she crochets), I decided to teach her to knit continental, and that seemed much more natural for her. Still, it was a lot to take in. I suspect it'll really click with her on a second lesson. Katy had done it before and picked it up easily.

I finished the Monkey socks and I love them! I want all my socks from now on to be monkeys.
But instead I immediately cast on a Dublin Bay sock. I had started this sock 3 or 4 times in different patterns. I love love love the yarn. It's J.Knits in the North Carolina colorway. After my failed attempts at various patterns from Sensational Knitted Socks, I finally decided something simple would be the best way to show off the fun colors. But I can't stand plain stockinette, so I found this pattern and it seemed just perfect. And I do like it quite a lot. I am using 64 stitches, instead of the 72 called for in the pattern. And this is my first magic loop sock. And I'm digging it. I'm pretty sure this will be my preferred sock method from now on.

One week from tomorrow is my 39th birthday. Woohoo! I'm working hard at changing my attitude about turning 39. Life is good!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

monkey dreams

I'm making good progress on my second monkey sock. I'm looking to wear these socks by Saturday. Hurray! Here's the current state:

And that's a Dreamweaver training book they're resting on. I'm taking a Dreamweaver class on February 24th. See what I can learn about web design. It's been years since I did any web design work, and I used to love it, but what little knowledge I had about it all seems pretty obsolete now. So I will learn what I can. Career opportnities ahead? Maybe! Go me!

I just watched a really excellent movie, "The Secret". I'm still taking it in, but it was powerful inspiring. I'm going to definitely give that some energy and attention and make some positive changes in my life.

My friends Katy and Andrea are coming over on Saturday to have a learn-to-knit lesson. Ooh I'm so excited! Can't wait to do some teaching! Can't wait to have some knitting friends too. Katy may go to Stitches West with me too! Probably on Friday, the 23rd, but maybe Sunday. I don't so much want to make the journey by myself (it's a 2+ hour drive), but if she'll come with, that'd be grand!

And here's a gratuitous Jasmine photo:

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Samus Done!

I finished my Samus cardigan! Still needs a zipper, though I like it as it is for now. It's a little bit big for me, but I think I will still wear it. This sweater was a great learning experience for me. It was my first real cable project, and it turns out I really enjoy the cable work. The stockinette took patience for me, but I'm really happy with the result. I did add a little bit of waste shaping.

Here's some pics:

Pattern: Samus Cardigan from, Size M
Yarn: Knitpicks Wools of the Andes - Grass (14 balls I think)
Needles: Knitpicks Options, size US8
Started Jan 1, 2007. Completed Feb. 2, 2007.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Jasmine sleeps in the fireplace. . .

. . . while I sleep on the sofa surrounded by kleenex and cold medicine.

But I did get a little slow motion knitting done on Samus. It's ready for the zipper, just as soon as I am well enough to drag myself to the store to pick one out. That may have to wait a few more days. But hurray for progress.