Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Switchmarker Swap 2

I have been remiss in not thanking my November "Switchmarker 2" pals on my blog. So, THANK YOU, Zonda and Ari!

Both of these sets are so clever, and show that the makers put a lot of time and thought into creating them. Zonda sent the set on the right, which includes different flowers and a little frog -- how cute is that! :) Ari's set is in dreamy blue and green, and one has a special charm on it that says "Made with love."

Both of these stitchmarker sets are headed for projects this week, where they will be hard-working and much appreciated with every round I knit. Thank you again, Zonda and Ari. And thank you, Jenn, for organizing this fun activity.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Knitter's Harvest

I have just published a new pattern! It's a knitted and felted cornucopia, complete with a gourd, a pumpkin, Indian corn, and some Autumn leaves. It was a lot of fun to create — I kept thinking of different ways to get the shaping just the way I wanted it. You should see my collection of discarded vegetable designs — it's like a biology project gone seriously wrong!I used Lite Lopi because the colors are just perfect for a Fall arrangement. It's a little fuzzy when felted, but the effect is quite nice.

For right now, Violet at Frog Pond Knits has the exclusive rights to sell the pattern. She has even kitted it up with all the yarns necessary. I feel like a new mom . . .

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Train Trip

Last Saturday, several members of the Knits of the Round Table -- a local informal Sunday afternoon knitting group -- took a field trip to Berkeley. We took the Capitol Corridor Amtrak train to Richmond, then BART to Ashby Station. From there, we walked about a mile and a half to Article Pract -- a really top-notch knit shop!

The ladies at Article Pract recommended we go to Bakesale Betty's for lunch and come back to eat in the knit shop's back room. They also recommended we try Betty's buttermilk-fried chicken and cole slaw sandwiches: Oh. My. God.

So here we are in Knitters' Heaven -- eating these FABulous sandwiches surrounded by the most yummy yarn imaginable!

After stuffing ourselves with food and our bags with yarn, we hiked another mile or so to Lacis, a shop that defies description. It is nirvana for all needle-related arts, from needle felting to bobbin lace to yes, knitting. They do not carry yarn, but their book and unusual tool selections are excellent.

Lacis' centerpiece is the lace museum. They have examples of the most exquisite hand-stitched lace ("lacis") that is hundreds of years old. You need a magnifying glass to see these unimaginably tiny -- yet absolutely perfect -- stitches. And the craftswomen who created these laces did so without the benefit of Ott lights and magnifying lamps! Just incredible -- and definitely worth a visit.

All good things must come to an end, so we left Lacis, crossed the street to the Ashby Street BART station, and retraced our steps, er, tracks back to Sacramento, knitting all the way.
A good day from start to finish.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Helping displaced critters

One of our Sacramento-area knit shops, Babetta's, is having a silent auction to assist an organization dedicated to helping animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

I have donated two items to the auction — the beaded bracelet above and this set of glass kitty-face stitch markers:

Other folks have donated beautiful scarves, a felted hat and matching purse, a lovely poncho, gift bags, needle sets, books, and other goodies. If you happen to be in the neighborhood between now and October 15, drop in and place a bid. As "someone" once said, "It's a good thing."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

It's a mystery...

This is the other set of September stitch markers that came my way. They are shades of green and blue, tucked in a cute pink organza pouch. Also included --some thoughtful extra plain markers! :) Thank you very much!

But there was something else in the envelope...

A set of clues about the sender's secret identity!!!

The clues: This person has a blog; has only been knitting for about a year; has a favorite project designed by Glampyre; and lives within two hours of Webs!

Hmm....Well, I guess I'll put on my Sherlock Holmes cap and get to work...

All the way from Cherry Hill

Well, the focus is not so good -- but these stitch markers from the September stitch marker swap are excellent! Beautiful shades of aqua, blue and green, with pretty pink rings. I have some lovely Fiesta La Boheme in the Caribbean colorway that matches these colors perfectly! I think I will make something lacy.... and dream of sparkling waters and white sands.

Thank you very much, Whoever You Are in Cherry Hill, New Jersey!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Direct assistance to Hurricane Katrina victims

Last night the Sacramento Knitting Guild donated $500 to assist Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston. Specifically, this donation was earmarked to provide school supplies, school uniforms, and personal necessities for children housed at the Astrodome who are enrolling in Longfellow Elementary, where my cousin teaches.

This morning, based on that donation and others, the first wave of children to enroll are already outfitted with their school needs! Wow! That's what I call immediate assistance!

Houston is sending evacuated children to many schools throughout the city, and all of those children will need basic supplies. The school district has set up a donation site, and all monies will go directly to getting these destitute children ready to go to school. If you want to help, here's the website: http://www.houstonisd.org

Texas is a state that requires students to bring their own school supplies. We can help these kids get a fresh start on the school year after a horribly traumatic experience.

I don't know about you, but when I was in school, having a new box of crayons, a colorful stack of construction paper, and a bottle of fresh paste went a long way in making my world OK.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Vacationing With Katrina

Hurricane Ivan "visited" Pensacola, Florida last September and did a number on my daughter's townhouse. It is still under reconstruction and she won't be able to move back in for several months. Hurricanes are so horrible, but people in Florida say they prefer them to California earthquakes. Go figure.

Well, I have just returned from visiting Pensacola. While I was there, Hurricane Katrina had Pensacola in her crosshairs before moving a hundred or so miles west. Once we realized we would not have to evacuate, we hunkered down and knit during the storm -- I even got a new knitter hooked! It was a great way to take our minds off of the storm raging outside. We still got plenty of wind -- 70-80mph-- but did not incur any damage. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in the Gulf cities who were not as fortunate.

Right now, I am thinking of the Bette Bornside Company, a yarn shop in historic New Orleans that I have done business with for several years via mail and Website:

Bette Bornside Company was established in 1986 as a retail mail order supplier of medium-priced, quality yarns and accessories to knitters and crocheters. In 1991, we expanded to include a retail shop at 2733 Dauphine St., New Orleans, LA 70117.
We are located in the Faubourg Marigny, an historic district in New Orleans, adjacent to the French Quarter. Our neighborhood, which runs along the Mississippi River, was established in 1806, and is a time capsule of 19th century New Orleans.

I wish them well. Be safe, Bette Bornside, be safe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Knitting at Bodega Bay

Last weekend, six knitting friends and I rented a lovely house on Bodega Bay, and spent the whole weekend knitting, eating, knitting, buying yarn, eating, and (did I mention this?) knitting.

It was heavenly.

No phones. No kids or pets. No non-knitters who needed explanations for our behavior. No questions about exactly what is a "yarn emergency" and why, when only one person has one, does it result in three other people dropping their needles, grabbing their purses, and piling in the car for a 40-minute-each-way drive on a twisty two-lane road to the nearest yarn store. Knitters know.

This is the best photo I have of the group. You will notice that there are no needles or yarn in this picture. That is because all projects have been quickly dropped and abandoned mid-row so we could partake of the other major event type of the weekend -- eating. Who knew that knitters were such good cooks? Each of us hosted a different meal, and, of course, we also had a Beverage Engineer and a Snack Engineer. Doesn't everyone?

It was a great weekend. Great company, great conversation, great knitting. Let's do it again!

Real soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Hmmm....might be a good idea!

Well, I guess it would be "sheeper" than gas, anyway. . .

Gone to Charlestown, MA...

This is the stitch marker set that went to Becky. Kinda hard to see, but those are little pink glass flowers with green leaves underneath. The little pouch is felted alpaca from West Valley Alpacas.

A day trip to West Valley Alpacas is not to be missed if you are anywhere within 100 miles of Esparto (a little northwest of Sacramento). Pat & Jon make everyone feel right at home, and are happy to introduce you to their very friendly herd -- one by one. Of course, while you are visiting the alpacas, you might as well wander over to the onsite store and indulge yourself in some very beautiful yarn. I never can decide which is my favorite color -- which is probably why I have so much of it!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Here's a Hint...

Here's what I sent to one of my stitch marker swap pals for August. Hi Jenn! :)

From Someone In Vermont

This is from the second of my August stitch marker pals. The markers are bottle-green glass with lavender flowers on the bottom, and purple stars on top -- except for the "center stitch" marker, which has a lavender star. Absolutely beautiful!

This stitch marker exchange is such a great idea! It's so much fun seeing how creative knitters can be in a related medium. Some folks might say that yarn and glass are not related -- guess some folks are not knitters!

Stitch Marker Swap!

I am so thrilled with these beautiful stitch markers! They are a beautiful shade of turquoise blue, and remind me of the ocean. And this very thoughtful person even included some plain jump rings for larger projects. They arrived tied up in a little ribbon and tucked into a too-cute mini-purse gift bag -- how clever is that!! Thank you very, very much, Whoever You Are!