Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Millie says "Beeeee Happy".
 Hope you get lots of treats!!
Yes folks I am making hair bows and dressing up the dog now.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Latest Adventure

A few weeks ago Thursday I met up with Cathie who had driven down from Reno and we headed out for the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara. It is amazing how quickly the time flew between the vendors and the phenomenal quilts.  We spent five hours looking and enjoying and wishing we could spend another day but that was not possible because we had signed up to attend  the CogKnitive Fiber Retreat 2012 in Tehachapi.  After our fun day at the quilt festival we spent the night in Santa Nella and Friday we headed towards Tehachapi with a brief - okay it was a couple hours- stop in Bakersfield.  It had been suggested that a visit to  Sweet Surrender Bakery was not to be missed for their delicious cupcakes and baked goods.  We were driving by so we had to stop.   Oh my goodness, this place is just wonderful and the cupcakes are very tasty.  We found out they are open on Sundays.  Should I mention we stopped by again on the way back home.


From top left clockwise:  turtle, lemon raspberry, toffee crunch and red velvet
We also found a wonderful quilt shop Strawberry Patches which is a stones throw from Sweet Surrender.  We had a fun time wandering the store and I bought a pattern and some fabric that will become some Christmas presents hopefully.

From there we went onward to Tehachapi and the retreat - this is the fourth annual CogKnitive Fiber retreat put on by 'Dr. Gemma' of the CogKnitive podcast. Her idea for the retreat is to keep it small, affordable and give local vendors exposure for their fiber related products.

Welcome to Tehachapi, the middle of nowhere.
Friday night many of the attendees headed out to the King of Siam Thai Restaurant
It was a delightful evening of community and food.  I had ground chicken larb which had been suggested by another attendee and it was spicy and delicious.
The camaraderie of this retreat was stupendous.  After dinner everyone went to their rooms to collect their knitting, their spinning wheels, some munchies and assorted libations to share and headed to the general meeting room at the La Quinta of Tehachapi.  It was a wonderful evening of sharing which was to be duplicated again on Saturday evening.
Saturday morning started poolside with introductions and a raffle.  I won a lovely skein of BFL superwash fingerweight yarn from DyeForYarn in a deep forest green.
Afterwards we all headed inside to check out the vendors and some classes.
I tried spinning with a drop spindle.  I need a lot more practice but I did end up producing a small amount of yarn.  I'm still on the fence if this is a hobby for me to take on. 
 My raffle winnings.
Here is Tracie doing a much better job than I spinning with a drop spindle.

Here is our marvelous host 'Dr. Gemma'.
What I found most inviting were the spinning wheels.  I love the rhythmic and soothing sound they produce.

This is Minerva, a Jensen wheel.

This is a Matchless wheel.
Although I'm not certain I want to become a spinner I like the idea of hanging out with them.  Spinning to me is so zen.
Cathie and I had a wonderful time.  I do hope to be in California next year for the fifth annual CogKnitive fiber retreat.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


 This weekend was the Lambtown Festival in Dixon.
I have heard about the fiberiness of Lambtown since I came to California but unfortunately I have been working on Saturdays when it happened in October.  This year the festival had been expanded to include Sunday.  Although I'm not working now, Sunday was the better day for me to attend.
I did take a camera with me but managed to forget to take pictures.  The best part which I didn't photograph where the sheep.  I really need to learn more about the different sheep and what they actually produce wool wise. I loved the one's that had dread locks.  I really wanted to bring a sheep or two home but Jim had suggested we really did not have anywhere for them to graze plus I'm sure the HOA rules would forbid sheep although I could maybe refer to them as "sheep dogs", maybe?
While the majority of vendors were selling roving there were a few selling yarn.
My favorite was Fishknits.
I love the vibrancy of her colors and couldn't resist her self-striping fingering sock yarn, Panache, in the colorway Witch's Brew.

 It's really hard to see the little bit of bling the Stellina gives the yarn.
I got home and immediately wound up the skein.  I can't wait to get started on a pair of socks.
Don't tell the sheep but I also enjoyed a lamb gyro before heading home.  It was delicious!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

And The Winner is Me

I listen to pod casts and books on my ipod.  When I was working, I had a thirty minute drive each way and this kept me occupied along with my knitting at stop lights but that's a different post. I also listen when Jake and I walk as well as when I infrequently go to the gym.
One of the pod casts that I listen to and enjoy is the 2knitlitchicks.  Barb and Tracie are a mother and daughter team and talk about their knitting and also about the books they are reading.  They are the ones that had me reading  (actually listening) to  Defending Jacob and also The Devil in the White City  .  I have to give them credit for expanding my literary senses. 
In August they hosted a knit along for the Mother Bear Project.
 "The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear. "
  I knit for charity when I am stressed and August was a very stressful month. I managed to finish six bears.  Each bear was entered to win in a raffle and I won two prizes.  Both prizes were from Buffy Ann Designs.
Can I just say my stitch light is awesome.!! And it is purple.  What more could a girl ask for?   I originally saw these at Vogue Live LA and was impressed with their quality so I was excited when I found out I had won one.  I have used it several times in the evening and it has made knitting life better.
The yarn cozy's are also a great addition to my accoutrement's of knitting.  I normally work from the outside of my skeins but these yarn cozy's will enable me to work from the inside.

And this is the first group of winning bears.
From left to right: Ben, Martha, Hank, Amy, Annabelle and George.
Four more have been knitted but they need faces and names.
These bears have become somewhat of an addiction and my go to project.  It makes me sooooo happy to know through knitting I am giving a bit of comfort to a child.