Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snowmageddon Part II

Last winter, Washington D.C. got hit with a major storm that stopped the city and just about all  parts of government.  The Washington Post called it, "Snowmageddon" and my son, Ryan, and a few friends put together a web site called Snowmageddon that became a resource center for all things relating to the storm,   from where to find a store with snow shovels, to getting help digging out your car and everything else in between. His site was featured on the front page of The Post as being THE place to go to for help.   A few days ago, he got a call from some people in NYC and Snowmageddon NYC was born. You rock, Ryan!

Meanwhile, we have our own Snowmageddon going on here in the Truckee area;  the difference is, we are expecting it, we plan for it, and gosh darn it, we all have four wheel drive cars!!

Knitting some mittens for my daughter to take back to school at UC Santa Barbara - yes, it actually gets cold and damp down there near the ocean!  This is called Cruiser by Cailyn Meyer and I saw this pattern on Ravelry:

                                                                                                                                                                          Here is a picture of the socks I finished for her:

Love Gail Callahan's hand dyed yarn !  She's known as the Kangaroo Dyer and her sock yarns are really nice to work with.

Stay warm and dry everyone!



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thank You Kristin

Knitters who have worked on projects from Kristin Nicholas' book,  Color By Kristin, have been sending her pictures of their completed projects and she has been showing them on her blog, Getting Stitched On The Farm.  I sent her a picture of my Over the Top Shawl and last Saturday she included my picture in her post with some very nice comments about it - what a thrill!  I have been knitting Kristin's sweaters way back when she was designing for Classic Elite and I have always enjoyed her patterns. Way back then, she published a Classic Elite knitting book and it was the only knitting book published that Fall!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!  In the middle of racing around this past week shopping, mailing, more shopping, more mailing ( next year, more online shopping!) writing Christmas cards, receiving wonderful letters and cards from friends, I saw this at a local shopping center:

 I sat in my car drinking my coffee (just finished my last trip to the Post Office) and enjoyed this beautiful sight. A few more pictures from around this area:


Monday, December 20, 2010

The Coldest Spot in the Nation

This is how the Truckee Chamber of Commerce promotes the town on the Visitors/Weather section of  it's web site;  how they think that will entice visitors to come here has always been a mystery to me.  Actually, Truckee isn't the coldest place in the nation in the winter - it's usually pretty mild by Chicago and Buffalo standards.  One doesn't talk of "wind chill factors" as in, " It's 15 degrees with a wind chill factor of minus 20!".  We got this title from USA Today which tracks the coldest and warmest place in the nation every day and in the summer it is not unusual for temperatures to drop into the 30's at night, and be back up into the 80's during the day.  Truckee seems to be the town with the most consistent cold temperatures in the summer and, thus, the title.

When I made my Over-The-Top Shawl by Kristin Nicholas I was thinking of those cool (ha! cold) summer nights when we go to concerts, plays and other outdoor events.  Kristin's Julia yarn is 50% wool, 25% alpaca and 25% mohair and this shawl is a delight to wear.  So warm and cozy.  It may look complicated to make, but if you are comfortable with Fair Isle or two handed knitting, it is really pretty easy.  Knit Picks has a good You Tube video on Fair Isle Knitting called Stranded Colorwork - English and Continental.   More about this project on a previous post if you want to take a look.

Meanwhile, I think we may be aiming for the title of  "Snowiest (is that a word?) town in the nation".  It has been snowing here since last Friday with more to come - lots of great skiing, snowboarding and snow shoveling!!  Here is a picture of our Weber grill on the back deck:









Sunday, December 12, 2010

No, But I Wish I Had

It's looking more like Seattle than Lake Tahoe around here.  Misty, rainy days offer a good excuse to stay in and knit and catch up on my Netflix movies. Watched Remember Me with Robert Pattinson, of Twilight fame.  Now I know why the girls are crazy about him; not only very handsome but a very good actor.  I would recommend this to my  friends;  it is very touching.

I ventured out to buy a new winter hat and stopped at this great outdoor clothing shop next to Safeway in Truckee. Saw this neat earflap hat and bought it as part of my current effort to update my look during  ski season.    Next is getting rid of my eight year old ski jacket.                                                                                              

It's handknit in Nepal of Recycled Silk and I just love the colors, especially chartreuse!  Why didn't I find time to knit something like this? 


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Out of This World Solar System Sweater

Here's a picture of the finished Solar System sweater for my grandson Rowan:

I sent it off to him and he has already worn it twice - so pleased that he really likes it!  Along the way, I learned alot about our solar system as I researched this project; it was really fun to do.  I used Berrocco's Vintage yarn which I got at Lake Tahoe Yarn Company and this is Jen Small's pattern which I found on Ravelry. To learn all the details, check out my Ravelry site here.

Working on some socks for my daughter:

This is an old sock pattern by Pamela Rush called Embossed Bootee from 3 Trails Handknit Designs. The yarn is from Gail Callahan, the Handknit Dyer at WEBS.  Her yarns are beautiful and she has put out a book on yarn dying called Hand Dyeing Yarns and Fleece that is most informative.


   Unfortunately, these pictures never seem to quite capture the beautiful coloring of  most yarns, but, trust me, this one is a beauty.                                                                           


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Talented Friends

I happened to be down in the Bay Area the other week and went to a meeting of the South Bay Knitters in Campbell.  A very talented group of knitters with lots of interesting knitting going on and wonderful finished projects to show off.  Here is Vera with her Knit One Below Vest by Elise Duvekot.

and here's  Fae with her Elektra Shawl by Rosemary Hill.  She used Lisa Souza sock yarn for this which inspires me to pull out my sock yarn bin and start using up some of that yarn for projects other than socks..


Chris Johnson is a master at challenging projects,  like lace and Alice Starmore sweaters.  Here she is wearing an Alice Starmore along with her lucky mother who got one as a gift.


                                                                                                                                                                               Great work South Bay Knitters!                                                                                                          

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And It's Not Even Thanksgiving!

Ok, I enjoy the winter wonderland of  Tahoe as much as anyone, but this is getting a bit much! Wasn't it just a few months ago ( May to be exact) when we were knee deep in snow?  Here is our house this morning -- not even bothering to dig out because there is more to come and the wind just undoes all the shoveling you just did.

Here is our back deck  - need to clean off my birdfeeder for my little feathered friends the Chickadees and one big Flicker.
Almost done with my Out of this World sweater for my grandson.  I'm embroidering chain stitches for most of the planets:

Lots of time to sit in front of the fireplace, and knit and watch Oprah; is there anything that woman can't do?                                                        

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Lake Tahoe Shawl

Stopped by the Lake Tahoe Yarn Company in Truckee.  It's a cute little shop that features lots of hats, mittens and sweaters for the ski crowd and I always seem to find something that I have to buy when I'm there.
Kelly has a new puppy, a St. Bernard, and he is at the shop with her until he gets older - and a lot bigger! Here he is:
Saw the Entwined Shoulder Shawl by Deby Lake and just had to have it:

It was made with Universal Yarn's Classic Shades and here is the yarn I chose:

        It calls for 3 balls of yarn and looks pretty easy.  I like the entwined front so you don't need to worry about wrapping it or the front coming untied.  An incentive to finish my grandson's sweater so I can start this!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Newbie projects

Wanted to show off a few projects done by some new knitters.  They had fun knitting them and I think they did a great job.  First is the Shawl Collared Vest made by my daughter, Sara.  It's made with Misti Alpaca Chunky and with size 11 needles, it knits up very quickly.  If you want to see another version of this, check out the Alpaca Shrug on Ravelry.

My good friend Joan came to visit me and we spent our time hiking, wine tasting and doing lots of knitting while we watched the World Series. Here is Joan's scarf made with Malabrigo worsted.  Love these colors.

                                                                                                                                                                            And here is my progress on the Out of This World sweater for my grandson.  It's an easy project; no seams because it is knit in the round and then you knit the sleeves and attach them at the yoke:


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An FO and a Sweater for Fo

Well, the change to cold weather and snow has gotten serious around here:

The ski resorts are delighted; they always plan to be open for Thanksgiving, even if they have just a few runs functioning.  All of this has motivated me to finish a sweater  for myself that I started last June.  It's called Foliage and I actually made it with the yarn called for --  Snowbird by Nashua Handknits which is a wool alpaca blend.  Great for these days when I am out and about and in denial that it is actually cold and I really could use a jacket.

    And who is Fo?  That's a nickname for my grandson Forest  who has an older brother named Rowan.
My daughter has gotten to calling them Ro and Fo and I have been waiting for Fall to arrive to make him a sweater.
     This pattern is a free one from Diane Soucy of Knittng Pure and Simple fame.  I used 2 skeins of Plymouth Encore worsted weight which is acrylic with 25% wool.  It's called, appropriately, Easy Baby Cardigan and it really is a great sweater to do when you are trying to finish a sweater before baby has grown out of it.                                                                                                                                      

Sunday, November 7, 2010

On To New Things

New season, new projects.  We have gone from beautiful Fall days to snowy days and back again.  Here is a picture from my deck from 2 weeks ago:
And here is one from this morning:

In between we have had warm weather and sunny days -- that's life in Truckee, California!

My new project is a sweater for my grandson who is really into anything relating to space travel and the solar system.  Saw this pattern, Out of This World, by Jennifer Small, on Ravelry.  I'm making it in Berroco's Vintage which is a wool, acrylic and nylon blend.  Soft, but machine washable.  Will post pictures as I go along.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall in the Sierras

Fall has been beautiful here - lots of yellow, red and orange Aspens, lots of blue skies and warm days.  This scene is of the Truckee River in beautiful downtown Truckee. The San Francisco Chronicle did an article on
Quincy, as a great weekend  trip to see Fall colors.  Quincy is about an hour north of Truckee and we decided to take a trip up there to check it out.

We were a little early for the changing of the leaves, but it was a nice trip.Years ago, we took a trip there and stopped at Medrith Glover's yarn shop, The Wool Room.  In the early days of  The South Bay Knitters group, a bunch of us traveled to The Continental Stitch in Morgan Hill and took a class with Medrith to learn how to knit her Circumnavigated Cardigan, all knit in one piece.  Looked this pattern up on Ravelry and there are about 60 people who have knit it, if you care to take a look.  She is a wonderful and very clever designer and all her work displayed at her shop is really worth seeing.

Medrith's sweater designs work well for all body types.  Here is the back of her Elegant Shirt Yoke:

                                                                                                                                                                           The Wool Room doesn't have a web site, but if you contact her, she can send you her catalogue.

Medrith's mother is Emily Ocker, who invented the Circular Cast On , and they were good friends of Elizabeth Zimmerman and are friends of Meg Swanson, her daughter.  Emily's Lace Garden Shawl is on Ravelry  as well.  Medrith's shop is a great resource for all of Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns, newsletters  and Schoolhouse yarns.                                           

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Trip to WEBS

New England is a knitter's dream - so many yarn shops, sheep farms, talented designers and, of course, WEBS
Traveling back from the Franklin Fiber Twist  through Northampton, I had to make a stop there.  I drove by it several times, because it is actually located in a warehouse in the back of a small mall. The retail shop has been much improved since I was there many years ago with a big selection of yarns, patterns and needles and lots of  tables to sit and browse, however, I was drawn to the big warehouse of yarn in back:

Wow!  So organized since I was last there - and better lighting to see it all! You could spend hours going up and down the aisles -  so many beautiful yarns and so many possible projects spinning through my head.  Must practice self control!

Somehow I managed to get out of there within an hour with just a few small purchases and headed off to  Norman Rockwell's home town of  Stockbridge.  I'm standing in front of The Red Lion Inn, a very popular hotel in Stockbridge:


Then on to Great Barrington, a quaint little town in Western Massachusetts to check out Karen Allen's shop:
                                                                                                                                                                        Karen Allen Fiber Arts is a beautiful shop selling very fashionable handmade knits.  Check out her website to really get a view of what she carries there.  Karen Allen is the movie actress who was  Harrison Ford's love in the first Indiana Jones and she is an avid hand knitter.  If you stop by the shop, you may see her there.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Scenes from New England

Before  I get back into the Fiber Show, a few more scenes from the backroads of  New England:


Besides Rug Hooking there was lots of spinning and fiber:


Then I stopped by to see Kristen Nicholas who was exhibiting here because her sheep farm, Leyden Glen Farm, is in Franklin County.

     She was signing copies of her books and I bought  Kristin Knits
She has a Navajo-inspired afghan in this book that I would love to make -  she used her Julia yarn and the colors are fabulous! 

Gail Callahan, The Kangaroo Dyer, was there with her beautiful sock yarns and Heather Hall with a booth full of wonderful felted shawls, pins, and clothing. There were a number of booths displaying beautiful felted items and it inspired me to try more felting.  For a small county show,  I was impressed with the number and quality of the vendors there and the products they displayed.  I would definitely recommend  The Franklin County Fiber Twist, and you get to take a drive through the countryside of western Massachusetts  and enjoy the Fall colors!