Friday, May 31, 2013

Spinning at the Winery

Last Saturday was the annual Spinning at the Winery event at Retzlaff Winery,  also known as Fleeces, Fiber and Yarn.  I'm not a spinner, but they allow knitters to join in the fun and I went with a couple of friends to knit, wine taste and enjoy the beautiful day.


There is always alot to see, namely, fleece, fiber and yarn:


Bought some yarn from Shaggy Bear Farms;  perhaps this will be a cute scarf?  It's called Wensleydale Yarn and there's about 300 yards here:


There's always a great potluck lunch, a glass of Retzlaff wine to go with it, if you are in the mood,  and lots of raffle tickets to buy for all the nice prizes provided by the vendors and other folks.  This year I won something!  It's a set of coffee mugs depicting the whole process of making yarn from the sheep in the fields to the  process of creating yarn and ending with a happy lady sitting and knitting.  Each cup has a short phrase on the inside.  One says, ...wear wool, knit wool, live wool... love wool



 Here's my progress on my first sock;  hope to finish them up this coming week.


Happy Fiber Arts Friday!  Head over to Andrea's blog to see what others are working on. If you are interested in knowing more about this spinning event, go to the Treadles to Threads Spinner's Guild site.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Baby's Got a Dark Side

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!   I'm pleased to actually have a finished object to show; it still needs to be blocked, but it's also FO Friday and I gotta show this off:


This is my version of Thea Coleman's Irish Coffee and I'm happy to say that it fits quite nicely.  I was concerned it might be too tight through the bustline, but it drapes perfectly and I will post a picture of me wearing it when my photographer/hubby gets home tonight and takes a picture. 

Thought I would take a break from major knitting projects and do a pair of vanilla socks, that is a plain jane version, but the yarn is anything but.  This is yarn from Fishknits, a company based here in Northern California that likes non traditional color choices along with the more traditional skeins. This colorway is Baby's Got a Dark Side:


Spent last night at the Cypress Hotel in Cupertino, down the street from Apple, where my husband is attending a meeting.  You know you are in Silicon Valley when your hotel room is decorated like this:


Baby's Got a Geeky Side!


Have a great Memorial Day weekend everybody and check out what others are up to on Tami's blog and Fiber Arts Friday.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More Traveling in Maine

Spent my last few days in Maine visiting some of the small towns along the coast.  These towns are so charming and quaint, I felt like I was in an episode of "Murder She Wrote",  although that was actually filmed on the Universal lot in Burbank with scenes filmed in Mendocino in Northern California.  Of course, I had to stop at LL Bean in Freeport:


This is the famous Bean Boot that really put the company on the map when it went from being standard footwear for hunters and fishermen to the trendy thing to wear for just about everyone else during rainy weather and "Mud Season"in the Spring.   I remember visiting LL Bean in Freeport years ago and it was a small, rather shabby place that was beloved by men, including my father.  Now it is a huge retail campus with buildings devoted to outdoor gear, home and garden and clothing.  It's a must see when you come to Maine and it's only about half an hour north of Portland.  Don't forget to pick up a canvas Boat and Tote bag while you are there; this is their other famous product and we must have ten of them that we use for everything and they last forever.  You're going to need one to hold all the yarn you will be buying at Halcyon Yarn in Bath:


Halcyon is located in the coastal town of Bath which was once a major ship building center.  Today it is another pretty town along the coast of Maine and if you are a knitter who is doing the tourist thing along the southern part of the state, it is definitely worth the drive and not too far from Freeport where your husband got to load up on sports stuff and now it's your turn to hit a really nice yarn shop.


This shop was quite a surprise - I wasn't expecting such a large enterprise with such a varied selection  of yarn and fleece.  It's a most attractive place with lots of samples for inspiration and an extensive selection of books and magazines. They have rug wool, rug making supplies, yarn on cones, weaving supplies and lots of fleece.




    They had a really nice display of ski hats and I bought yarn to make the Alpine Topper Hat.  

For those who can't make it there, email them and ask for their annual yarn catalog, which is really well done.

Almost finished with my Irish Coffee - no seams to deal with!


To see what others are knitting on WIP Wednesday,  check out Tami's blog,  and I'll leave you with one last picture from my trip:


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Knitting in Maine

One last post about my two week trip though parts of New York and New England.  What a great trip: visiting with family and friends, getting to see the countryside in spring and, of course, visiting a few yarn shops along the way.  My last stop was in Maine and I made a point of stopping at the Saco River Yarn shop in Biddeford.  This shop is located in a huge old brick factory building, the kind you see scattered all over New England, usually located in the heart of a small town.  The factories, which were built in the 1870's,  have stood empty for years.  The Saco River Dye House has moved in, along with Quince and Co. and Saco River Yarns.


Here is a picture of the old factory floor:

And here is Lisa in her shop.  They are still getting more inventory, but they have all the Quince and Co's yarns and colors and it was nice to be able to see all the colors there.  As the sign over her head says, "Good Things Take Time".  If you are interested in tours of the dyeing process at the dye house, give them a call to find out their schedule.


Quince and Co's order entry department:

I bought some Chickadee in the color Bird's Egg:

The Piper's Journey shawl was made with Chickadee:

There's more to tell about my trip but I'm running out of time so I guess this won't be my last post on knitting in Maine.  Here is my Irish Coffee - only a few more inches to go and then the ribbing and then I pick up the sleeve stitches.


Head over to Tami's blog to see what others are working on.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday and Maine

It's Fiber Arts Friday and I actually have some progress to show on my Irish Coffee sweater thanks in part to a book I have been listening to called The Burgess Boys:


 This is the latest  from Elizabeth Strout who won the Pulitzer Prize for a previous book called Olive Kitteridge  and it was hard to put it down,  er, stop listening to, thus all the knitting progress on my sweater.   My trip included a few days in Maine and I thought it would be fun to listen to a book about a Maine family, the Burgess boys and their sister, and so I downloaded this from  The writing is well done, and accurately portrays life in a small town in Maine for the locals who are dealing with a declining economy and population and, at the same time,  adjusting to a new and growing population of Somali refugees.  The Burgess boys left Maine years ago and are New York attorneys who come back home to help their nephew through a crisis.  It's now on the NY Times Bestseller list.

Here's the progress on my Irish Coffee:


Lots more to tell about my trip to Maine and the yarn shops I stopped to visit, but more about that later.  I'll leave you with a picture of the historic Portland Head Lighthouse which is probably recognizable to just about everyone who has a lighthouse calendar or has seen the Edward Hopper painting of it :


To see what others are up to on Fiber Arts Friday, head over to Andrea's blog.                                                                                                                                                                  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Edith Wharton and a trip to WEBS

Spending a few days in The Berkshires, that's Western Massachusetts for those who don't know the area. Enjoying the  warm weather and the charming and gracious small villages that give this area it's character.  In the early 20th century this area was the summer home for many famous writers including Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton and her good friend Henry James.
One of Edith's first books, The House of Mirth,  was wildly successful when first published and was followed by other books that were also very popular, including The Age of Innocence for which she won the Pulitzer Prize and this was later made into a movie with Daniel Day Lewis:



Edith used some of the money that she made on her books to build a beautiful estate in The Berkshires
called The Mount and I was lucky to have an impromptu tour by a friend who volunteered there.


Here are a few more pictures of her home where she entertained her fellow writers.



I love the details in her dining room and bedroom:


The Mount is open for tours and other events in the summer and they also have a nice cafe on the large terrace which overlooks the gardens.  Since this is early Spring there wasn't much to see in the garden,  but I am sure this must be a fabulous spot in the summer and it's available for weddings.

I left this lovely place and headed on to Northampton to visit WEBS:


They are in the middle of their 2 month sale and I checked out what they had available in their back room:


I bought 8 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool which was on sale for a project to be named at a later date, possibly Hannah Fettig's Schoodic cardigan.



On to Maine and more adventures!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Traveling Along with My Irish Coffee

I have been traveling along the East Coast and so there hasn't been time for much knitting. The weather has been great and so I am out and about doing the tourist thing and visiting with friends and family.  Started out in New York City where I visited with Fae, a friend who does a lot of knitting and beadwork.  She just bought an incredible co-op in the West Village; look at this view from her rooftop:


    That's the new World Trade Center building and on the other side she has a view of the Empire State building  -  not too shabby!


Here are a few pictures of her beading projects:


Stopped by Knitty City on West  79th Street:


and saw this cute summer sweater called Isis from the Rowan All Seasons Chunky Collection:


Here's my slow progress on my Irish Coffee:


On to the next part of my trip; I'm stopping in at WEBS just in time for their May sale!