Saturday, June 30, 2007

July Already

Tomorrow is July already, and it means that a half of the year 2007 is gone. Poof.

The first day of the three-day weekend (I am taking a day off on Monday) is over, uneventfully. I did sleep over ten hours though -- I spent all day yesterday at work, looking at my budget and conciliating the expenses, and I was exhausted by the early evening. I went to bed before Mitch, and boy I felt good in the morning. We went to see Ratatouille. It was the first time Mitch has ever gone to a movie theater. It's pretty amazing, because he's been ready since age one. His attention and focus have been excellent. I'm not sure why we waited so long -- I think it's largely my hesitation in going to the theater. I haven't been to see a movie for a long time -- I think the last one was Star Wars I (the little Anakin one), isn't it over ten years ago?

My life has been crazy-busy, and I really didn't want to go sit in the dark for two hours, nothing else to do -- if we watched DVDs at home, I could knit, fold laundry, read, or work on my laptop -- it's all about multi-tasking. I'm going to have to let go of wanting to do so much all the time, as my son really enjoyed the experience today....

I started on a new pair of socks today, using the red tweed yarn I bought in Fort Bragg. This one will be for my mom again. While I was visiting her in May, I saw the first pair I knitted for her -- all worn out and pilled -- well loved. Best compliment and appreciation for the handknit socks, isn't it?

I am thinking about trying Fair Isle. Something simple. The latest issue of KnitScene has a cute sweater with a pretty Fair Isle pattern, and it's making my fingers itch! Colors, though...

A while ago I saw a blog about picking a color scheme for knitting, utilizing a image processing software.

I kept thinking about it when I saw the ice plant all over the side of the hills on the beach.

They were strikingly beautiful -- pinkish deep red, emerald green. It's a color combination I wouldn't have thought of.

Impressionism effect.

Tile effect. Pretty, huh?

So many projects, so little time. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little R&R

First of all, thank you for your well-wishes! I am close to be done with my antibiotics treatment for my strep/ear infection, and although it did take a few days to fix my sore throat, I am definitely feeling better. My painful neck kept bugging me through the weekend, but today it's 90% pain free. I have to think that they were indeed all related. Fellow knitters, beware of nagging neck pain -- it may not be from knitting too much. When in doubt, see your doctor!

We were in Fort Bragg again over the weekend. I enjoyed our trip there in February so much so that I wanted to go back there again. Everyone was still recovering from whatever that hit us last week, but it sure was wonderful to get away. Nothing major on agenda, just a relaxing three-day trip by the beach -- I surely needed that.

I love the sound of the ocean -- who wouldn't? And here, it was the only sound I could hear.

I wish I could do this every weekend! I'd love to plan another trip there in the fall. Oh yes, we did go back to the wonderful restaurant, Mendo Bistro. Mitch fell asleep at the table. A few minutes of peace.

Unfortunately, they don't serve the amazing Crab Cakes in the summer -- if you think about it, of course, it should be seasonal, especially if they are good. When we were there in February, they were not good -- they were great, excellent, and amazing. Here's another reason to go back there.

We also made another visit to the local yarn store, Navarro River Knits. I bought some sock yarn and Kurikol rovings. I'd never heard of Kurikol, but from the look of it, it looks very similar to the natural brown pencil roving Nancy gave me. Can't wait to spin it!

Here are the pictures of the Bunny Socks. It really was a suspense -- when I started the toe decrease on the second sock, it seemed that it was unanimous among the knitters and Charlie that I would run out of the yarn.

The white ring-like object is the mohair I was coupling with Lang BEBE, which, as shown in the photo, just a few meters (not even, maybe) left....

Amazing! I've finished it with less than a meter of Lang BEBE to spare. This is the closest I came to running out of yarn at the end. I actually have another ball of this yarn, so I am going to knit another pair, just slightly shorter! I've bought a ball of light pink Chrystal Palace Kid Mohair to go with it. It'll be mighty girly :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I've been having pretty serious sore neck for nearly three weeks, and it was getting worse. I was worried, but I thought my being stressed a bit was the cause. Now the major stressors had come and gone, my neck ache moved into my head and was pounding! And then came the fever of 101+.

Finally I got into see my doctor today, and she told me I had a heavy-duty strep throat and ear infection. She thought the neck ache was coming from those two major nasties. I surely hope so -- I'm really tired of this pain. Because of it I had very little knitting done in the last few weeks.

Yesterday afternoon after the fever was gone, I lied on my back and knitted with my handspun -- the back of dropshoulder vest.

It was a bit hard to knit at the beginning, but now I'm loving it. I've spun multi-colored locks just randomly, so I can't predict the order of the colors or how the color blocks would look.

I am mixing in the greens here and there... Brighter pink to come. I'm a bit anxious to see a bigger knitted piece.

Oh, yeah. Girls came over last Friday, and I did finish (finally) my Bunny Socks. Pictures next time!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Demise of Yarn Stores

What knitters wouldn't dream about opening their own yarn store? Yet it's rare to see yarn stores doing well. In my short (second-round) knitting life, I've already seen several local yarn stores went out of business -- Yarn Collection in Mill Valley, which kick-started my stash. Knitting Workshop in Sebastopol, which was Liz's favorite. I heard about a month ago that the fairly new store in Mill Valley called Studio Knit was also closed.

Then today, on my daily visit on DeStash -- I made a sad discovery. They had decided to call it quit. What a bummer!

I did wonder why such site can continue -- the hosts weren't charging any fees, but they were maintaining the site for free. Apparently that became too much. So their reason is obviously very different from the ones that caused the local yarn stores to close their doors. Still, one less place to visit and shop, and I did enjoy site....

Support your favorite yarn store (hopefully local business)!

Today my son turns four! It's also Yarn Harlot's birthday. My son is destined to be a knitter :-)

Monday, June 11, 2007


No, it's not the number on the visitor counter :-)

Sunday, before we got out to the park, I put a pedometer on Mitch. By the time he went to bed in the evening, the number on the pedometer was 13,808. So, today I put it on me all day. It's less than 6,000! I need more exercise.

Speaking of the visitor counter, now I know who one of two "regulars" is! It's "Hojo" from Full Thread Ahead in Los Altos, the host of the Yarn Harlot event last year. What a wonderful surprise. Now I have to figure out who another one is, from Okayama Japan.... Drop me a hint?

Did you knit in public last Saturday? I surely did, at Wine and Art Festival in downtown Novato. Sadly, I saw no other knitters, and no one asked me what I was knitting. Just an hour or so at the festival and Mitch wanted to go home. What a bummer.... So no photos for this post.

I have had a pretty bad ache in my neck for over a week now, and now it's coming up to the left side of my head and pulsating. I don't feel much like knitting. That's just not normal....
Hopefully I'll have more interesting post soon!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Night Out with Girls

Erin, Huguette and I had a date last night. Guess where we went...

I wish they had planned this event on weekend, but I guess with Yarn Harlot's compressed book tour schedule, it just had to be on a Thursday night. I hurried home, picked up my son (who really wanted to come with me to see Erin), left him with Charlie to watch another Star Wars, then went to get Erin.

Huguette was knitting away saving us seats at the bookstore in Petaluma, just a block away from our yarn store Knitterly. Gosh, a sea of knitters. They didn't say how many attendance they had, but my guess is more than 300...

This is just the view from my seat, which was closer to the front (thanks Huguette!) It was funny to watch knitters with knitted articles (lots of shawls) on in the quite warm room, fanning themselves with the Harlot's books. And the faces of the unsuspecting bookstore customers coming in! Hilarious.

This was our second time to hear Yarn Harlot speak, after our Los Altos date last year. She was as funny as the first time around. She talked about how misunderstood we knitters are.

Underestimated and misrepresented we may be, we have allies. Lots of them.

We didn't hang around for Yarn Harlot's autograph. We each had one from last year, and that was good. What we needed was food and good company of our friends. We were all a bit stressed from our daily grinds -- I sure enjoyed the time with the girls. I needed that.

Tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public day! I will be sure to knit out at the Art and Wine Festival in downtown Novato!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Visitor Counter Blues

When we started this blog, I didn't think much of it. I always loved to write, and having a place to write about knitting and other things (I wasn't spinning then) seemed like fun. It was, and still is.

I got curious about finding out how many visitors we were getting. So I signed up with the visitor counter. I'm not sure now if it was such a good idea.

I check the counter several times a day. The counter never goes beyond the single-digit -- a day, mind you, not an hour. I realize that a half of the visitors is me. How depressing.

(My handspun for the vest project -- is it too colorful?)

And then I wonder why it has to be ever depressing. I started blogging for fun and to have a place to write. Even when no one's visiting, I still enjoy it. I am a terrible record keeper for my knitting and spinning, but now I have those on our blog. No misplacing the notes.

But still. If no one comes, why am I blogging? (Sadly, If you build it, they will come wasn't true.)

While I was in Japan in May, I gave the URL to my brother.
My brother and I were close growing up. We went to the same high school, and then to two universities in Tokyo that were in walking distance. We met for lunch sometimes.

After college we went different ways -- very different, indeed. I across the Pacific. Marriages, break-ups, kids. Have kept a very little contacts.

Last weekend, a visitor from Japan came to our blog. It was my brother.
Never thought knowing him coming to read what I had written made me so warm and fuzzy.

(Mitch's cool Japanese T-shirt)

Mitch wants to go see Uncle Jin again. Will plan another trip this summer....

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Some More Green

I haven't been knitting much lately. I'm spending all of my (small allotment of) free time carding and spinning.

I've done some counting and number punching, and found out that the Cotsweld I spun wasn't enough to knit the Cardigan-turned-Vest I was planning to knit. I had about 400 meters, but I think I needed about 550 meters. But that was all of the Cotsweld batch I bought.
But from the same Ebay seller, I had bought a bag of (dirty) Romney dyed in shades of green. They felt very similar to touch (and similarly dirty!). So I decided to card and spin it -- the spun Cotsweld has shades of green in it anyway, so it may just go well together.

From the carded fluffs of the shades of green into --

Still not sure if this will go well with the pastel pink-green yarn --

... but I will see. It could end up in an awfully colorful vest, but worst case I can always frog it.
Now these skeins are washed and hang to dry. I love the wet sheep smell!
Tomorrow I will try swatching. If I still don't have enough, I'm not sure what I'm going to do though!

P.S. We were watching Star Wars this morning -- One of Mitch's favorites -- and noticed that Chewbacca is very spinnable (and hence attractive)!