Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stitches West 2012

Last Friday I headed out to Santa Clara, California for Stitches West.  I did not get on the road as soon as I wanted but I still managed to get to Stitches with plenty of time to wander through the entire market once.

Friday night was the vendor fashion show and dinner. Garments and accessories from the different vendors were shown on the runway along with items featured in Knitter's Magazine.  Even better, during the show attendees' names were periodically pulled as winners of the yarn and pattern to make many of the items modeled.  Unfortunately my name was not picked but I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

Afterward I headed to the dinner.  I did meet several knitters at my table but when I attend Stitches next year, I would find dinner elsewhere.  My meal was the normal hotel conference fare without a speaker or other entertainment.

Saturday started early at 8:30 a.m. with my class with Lily Chin learning all about reversible cables.   Lily does an amazing job sharing her methods of cabling. 

Yarn Barn of Kansas was doing a signing of Lily Chin's book Power Cables during the lunch hour in between my class and I was able to get my book signed and also have my picture taken with Lily.  I would highly recommend a class with Lily Chin.  She has a very organized way of teaching about cables although you do need to be comfortable referring to cables as monogamous and adulterous couples, involved in menagie a trois and the kamasutra.  She does ask to make sure no one will be offended.

Walking through the market it was pretty evident that the small shawl is the knit of the moment although versions of the poncho are a close second. 

I did not add to my stash of yarn but I did purchase the  Hermosa bag from Namaste.  With my purchase I got a set of the larger Oh Snaps.
My only other purchase was a Peppermint Kiss Lo-Lo lip balm and a Lavender Lil Lo-Lo to go bar from Bar Maids.  I love their stuff.

My time at Stitches flew by quickly and I'm looking forward to attending again next year. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012


The other day my daughter sent me a text with the message "One of these things is not like the other" along with the picture below.

As much as I try, I must confess I am not perfect.

All I can say is "Oops".

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Westward Ho

Tomorrow I'm headed out to Santa Clara, California for Stitches West which is actually a little over two hours southwest.  My plan is to spend the day at the market and then I have tickets for the fashion show and dinner.  Saturday I will be spending the day in class with Lily Chin learning how to create reversible cables.  I will be reporting back next week.

Jim will be holding down the fort with Millie and Jake.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Am An Enabler

We have just finished a KAL (knit along) this past week of the Beezy's traditional tam  at the yarn shop I work.  I am in awe at the ease everyone participating in the KAL was able to learn to do fair isle carrying one strand of yarn in the left hand and the other in the right.   Way to go using both sides of the brain. 

Being the teacher I wanted to brag on them.

Here is Jennifer with her finished and blocked hat.

 I think I now have her addicted to fair isle.
It's like eating potato chips - you can't stop.

And stop I can't.
 Here is my latest version of the Beezy tam.
I am now working on fair isle fingerless mittens.  By the time these are finished I will be waiting until next year to wear them while walking the dog.

I think I might need to move to a colder climate to wear all my latest finished knitwear.
If you know me you also know that won't be happening, I'll just wear my knitwear in airconditioning!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Napa Celebration

This past weekend we headed to Napa to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Joining us was our niece Shannon and her husband David and their good friends Anna and Jacob.  We met up with them at the Westin in Napa on Friday morning and headed out to share with them a few of our favorite places.

  Our first stop was Chappellet . We weren't able to tour the grounds but we had a lovely time sampling an array of their wines.

 After our tasting we headed to Dean and Deluca for turkey, bacon and avocado sandwiches for lunch. We all managed to order the same sandwich although there were plenty of other choices. We enjoyed these sitting outside next door at Flora Springs sharing a bottle of their 2009 Trilogy.

  From there we headed up Howell Mountain to Bremer Family Winery

 There we were guided through the wines that Bremer produce by Richard who has a vast knowledge of the valley.  He also managed to rename my husband Tom so I spent the weekend with my new boyfriend. 

The Crew - Anna, Jacob, Me, David, Jim and Shannon
 We also got to tour through their almost finished cave which is going to be awesome when it is completed.
The finale of our day was a seminar at Joseph Phelps on Insignia blending were we got to explore the components of blending wine.The best was getting to create our own blend.

Saturday we began our day at Silver Oak for the release of their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The weather was beautiful and the wine was very approachable - not as 'dusty' as the last two previous years.

We have attended the release party for Silver Oak since we honeymooned in Napa five years ago and lunch is always included.  This year we had our choice of sliders from three of five restaurants.  My three  choices were -
BarBersQ and my favorite was

The two I did not sample were from Farmstead Restaurant and Brassica

And then we headed down the road to PlumpJack winery for the release of their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.

My favorite is the Cade 2010 Sauvignon Blanc from their sister winery.
 And of course no visit to Napa would be complete without a visit to Gott's, formerly known as Taylor's Refresher, for hamburgers. 

Our last stop for Saturday was new to all of us,  Spring Mountain Vineyard

We spent a wonderful few hours
exploring the winery with Patrick.

These are the wines we sampled.

We finished our evening at the The Press.  The Press is Jim's favorite steak place but I prefer to order the chopped salad and my entree is the truffle oil mac and cheese and the roasted brussel sprouts.We brought with us a magnum of 2002 Silver Oak which we had purchased on our honeymoon and it had aged very well.  And I always have dessert, this time the Valrhona Chocolate Layer Cake.  This is my heaven

We said goodbye to our drinking/eating companions Saturday night as they were heading back to Mississippi Sunday morning and Jim and I planned on sleeping in on Sunday.  After breakfast in bed we finished our time in Napa picking up our member shipment at Whitehall Lane Winery and Michael Mondavi Family Estate before heading home to watch the Super Bowl.

Napa is one of our favorite places to visit and we always love to share the experience with family and friends.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Saturday one of our customers at the yarn shop brought in meyer lemons from a tree in her yard.
Also last week my friend Cheryl shared a recipe for meyer lemon bars with coconut crust from the blog Mountain Mama Cooks.

 I was starting a new knit along at the store today and decided to make these for the ladies.  I do like to ply them with treats.

They are delicious.
Just a note about the recipe.  I toasted the coconut in the oven and learned you need to stir and watch it closely to keep it from burning.  To make the 1/2 cup lemon juice I used four meyer lemons.