Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shear Spirit

I'm a fan of photographer/knitter Gail Zucker and I like to drop in and visit with her on her blog,
she shoots sheep shots.  She always has something interesting to say that is fiber related, with lots of great colorful photos and I like her knitting style.  Check out her granny square afghan that she is currently working on.  I recently got a copy of her book Shear Spirit  which she published with Joan Tapper and it is has become my favorite book on my nightstand:


Although I am not one of those who has fantasized about giving it all up and moving to a sheep ranch to spin, weave and knit, the stories of ten fiber farmers who did just that are fascinating and quite detailed.  Joan was responsible for the text and Gail did the photography and was kind enough to give me permission to show some of her pictures on my blog:




The ten fiber farmers represented are from all over the country from Maine to New Mexico, Oregon and Texas.


A nice book to own and I think it would be a great gift for a fellow knitter or spinner.

On another note, Spring has come to my corner of the Sierras:


Enjoy the long weekend!


Friday, May 20, 2011

No, and I'm Glad I Didn't

As a knitter, I long ago faced the reality that there was no way I could knit all the projects I have dreamed of.  You have to make choices - sweaters for your kids and grandchildren or a great looking new afghan (with pillows to match) for your couch for all to see.  Thank god for Macy's and Martha Stewart who helped me solve this dilemma.  I've had my eye on a beautiful afghan from Martha Stewart for a couple of months now, and when it went on sale I had to get it.  If there is any hesitation on the part of the consumer,  Macy's takes care of that with their additional discounts, one day sales, super weekend sales, etc.   After years of shopping there, my brain has been trained to quickly calculate the additional 20%  and 40%  discounts  off the sale price - how could I resist?  And besides, would I really ever get around to making this?  Do I really want to spend the time doing all this knitting when this store bought version looks handknit?  Better get the pillows too - they are practically giving them away!  Thanks Macy's!



While I'm at it, why spend the time knitting a summer lace sweater that probably won't be done 'til Fall when I can get this on sale too?  This is actually a pretty pale peach color:


Here is the update on my shawl collared vest.  I survived the lace section with its short rows and decreases:


   Working on the shawl collar and then it will be done!



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hearst Castle, Elephant Seals And A Few Other Things

Four years of college went by in a flash and we didn't get to do half the things we wanted to do with our daughter who is graduating from UC Santa Barbara in a few weeks.  What happened to the trip to the Channel Islands we were supposed to take?  The trip to the San Diego Zoo?   Hearst Castle?  Well, at least let's fit in a trip to the coast to see Hearst Castle!   So we arranged to meet in San Louis Obispo (otherwise known as SLO) where we would then head off to San Simeon.  SLO, home to Cal Poly, is a great college town, with lots of interesting shops and Mission San Louis Obispo:


Had some time to kill as darling daughter showed up a little late and of course stopped by the two yarn shops in town.   Yarns at the Adobe  is a really charming little shop:

Great atmosphere - you feel like you have stepped into a fellow knitter's apartment and that they have a serious yarn stash:


A nice little patio out back to sit and knit:


Stopped by to see Nordic Mart,  which is primarily a mail order spot for Drops yarns.  They display a sample of each of the Drops yarns and a few sweater samples and that's about it:

We headed off to San Simeon and drove a few miles north to see the Elephant seals:


What a sight!


Hearst Castle is an incredible place; the summer "camp" of William Randolph Hearst and now a major California attraction. So much to see; there are a number of tours to take and we settled on the Experience tour which gives you a general view of the place, including those incredibly beautiful pools:

The indoor pool:

Anticipating our question about the cost of running this place, our tour guide told us it costs $2 million a year to maintain Hearst Castle, but that this is covered by ticket sales.

A great weekend!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Pulp Fashion in San Francisco

The Legion of Honor in San Francisco is currently hosting Pulp Fashion, the exhibit of historic costumes and jewelery, all fashioned out of paper, and I was really looking forward to seeing it.   It was a beautiful sunny day when I headed up the penninsula with my friends and we lucked out with equally great weather in San Francisco.  Here are Diana and Barbara in front of the Legion of Honor:


  And here is a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from there:




The Belgian artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave, is a painter by training but has long been interested in creating  elaborate historical costumes from simple rag paper.  Working with leading costume historians, and inspired by the Renaissance finery of the Medici family, Elizabeth I, and Marie Antoinette, as well as Coco Chanel and others, she has crafted a "world of splendor from the simplest rag paper" as described on the Pulp Fashion website for The Legion of Honor exhibit.

Here's a picture I took of one of the costumes before I found out that they did not allow photography in the exhibit!  :>(


As we made our way around the exhibit, each costume really looked like it was made of fabric; you had to look closely to see that it was paper.

Of course we had to head off to the gift shop after that and I took some pictures of the costumes from posters and books there:


This is a Worth design stenciled on paper:

The lace on the costumes was made from lens cleaning paper with stenciled designs:

I had to keep reminding  myself that this was all done in paper, including the jewelry:

For anyone who has the time or interest, I would highly recommend taking a trip to The Legion of Honor to see this exhibit.  It will be there until June 12th.

Then it was off to lunch at Sutro's at the Cliff House where we had a great table overlooking the water:

For anyone who has had to stop and buy a sweatshirt from the vendors on Fisherman's Wharf on a cold damp day in San Francisco, you can appreciate this sunny weather:

It was a great day!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Few of My Talented Friends

Spent the other evening knitting with some of my friends at the South Bay  Knitters group at
Green Planet Yarn and, as usual, there is always something interesting going on there.  Here's a few of the projects people were working on:

This is the Baby Bomber Jacket by Patty Davis Designs that Cris crocheted for a class project if anyone wants to take part at Green Planet Yarn.

Fae has done some really beautiful jewelry with beads:




Pam was making a Feather and Fan scarf with Noro sock yarn:

 There were some great sale yarns.  Jocelyn picked up some Lorna's Laces yarn in pink, of course!

Kelly, the owner of Lake Tahoe Yarn Company, posts a nice newsletter every week and this past week her puppy Bernard was modeling the Entwined Shoulder Shawl which is a popular project there and I have been making one for myself.  Hope to finish it soon.........

And finally, a scene of St. Lucy's Church near us that I took from my kitchen window.  I get to see this sunset  almost every night and I always enjoy the view: