Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

It's the time of year to reflect. There were some hard times, like losing my grandpa and aunt. Some achievements. Some disappointments. And many good times, especially taking trips to see family and friends, and pursuing "the fiber lifestyle". We were lucky to have business, unlike many builders in the area. K. loves his preschool and friends.


On a personal front I got back into cycling, running, and hiking. I also took a lot of photos. Photos of my city:

My kid:

Myself: And fiber:


K. took a bunch of photos. It's fun to see things from his perspective. I guess I'm wearing off on him because he takes pics of himself:

The things around him:

And me:

I'm not making any specific New Year's Resolutions beyond the changes I started last year and want to continue in 2011. Perhaps I will sign up for a 5K run.

On the fiber front I achieved the goal of buying no yarn in 2010. Thanks to friends and family I got plenty of lovely new yarn, though.

I must have made some crazy knitting goals, but I don't tag my posts very well so I couldn't find them, beyond my list of stash-busting ideas (4 of 13 done). According to my Ravelry notebook I knitted twenty-seven items this year.

I haven't set any knitting goals for 2011 but I have a few ideas:
  1. Knit sweaters this year: Wollmeise? Lett-Lopi? Handspun?
  2. Keep knitting socks. Handknit socks feel so good! Perhaps enter the SF One Sock a Month 2011 Hall of Fame?
  3. Finally finish that Fana Sweater.
  4. Continue working from stash
I also got more into needle felting and starting working at a fiber place.

Whether I make the knitting goals or not, I know 2011 will be a fulfilling fiber year. I'm already signed up for a twined knitting class at Stitches West on my birthday in February.


Happy New Year! See you in 2011.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


I can finally catch up on my knitting news. First off, I am so thrilled about the just published Sluggish Mushrooms that I test knit for StarryKnit! The pattern is adorable and just challenging enough. It was a marathon knit over the week of Thanksgiving.

Staying near the redwoods, there were tons of photo ops. This was at a mushroom growing business across from a tasting room we visited.

We had our annual Purl Jam stash exchange at the first of November. At the very last minute I used the last of the yarn I received in 2009. I made this feather and fan tank out of Collinette Giotto. It took a couple months from vision in my head to finished object, but it was one of those rare occasions when the result is just as I imagined it.

That was on the tail end of knitting the Eleanor cowl from Knitty, using Arapaho Rose alpaca yarn. Another project that turned out just as I had hoped.

Also a phone cozy and little purse from Elizabeth Austen Andes wool.

We had a great time picking yarn. There is a charming account and photos of the event on the PJ site.

Here is the yarn I selected this year, from the practical to fancy yarns I have been wanting to try.

I took my tank top, this yarn, and a little sheep to a Golden Gate park for a photo shoot. Not only did I run into an acquaintance, I also roped a young man into taking photos of me. Fiber people are not weird!! And yes, I set up my tripod to take photos of myself at home. Don't we all?

Beyond swapping yarn we exchanged handmade gifts. There was something for everyone, and a little bit extra for those who used all of last year's yarn, and used a lot of it. I received delicious baked goods, jam, a handbag, stitch markers, earrings, and two mugs designed especially for my collection. And they were all wrapped in pink fur. The baked goods did not last long enough for a photo.

Purl Jam is a very talented group. Talented, and just a bit competitive. But competitive in a way that makes us better knitters.

I'm already working away at the new stash. The Sluggish Mushrooms were made with stash exchange yarn. And I made my one and only Christmas knit, a scarf which is going to St. Anthony's knit scarf drive, from exchange yarn, too.

One last knitting thing, the One Sock a Month group was featured the new magazine Knitting Daily. You can spot my rainbow fish sock here among the school of them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Of Rain and Rainbows

We just got back from a week's vacation. The morning we left it was raining, I went out early and took photos of this rainbow which spanned our neighborhood.

We rented a house in Guerneville and friends and family came from far and wide for Thanksgiving (and wine tasting). I worked on a super secret knitting project, finished it and a scarf. Despite the dire predictions of rain, and my being sick, I rode my bike all but one day.

No photos of the beautiful Armstrong redwoods but here's one of my bike camouflaging itself at the bike shop. This is only half of the pink-ness that is Stumptown Cycles.

Thanksgiving is not my holiday. Although I love pie, I don't like eating turkey, the glorification of overeating, or football. Not to mention the whole Indian/Pilgrim issue. Despite the day not being significant for me I found myself missing people who are gone. My father, who has been gone since 2001 and those we lost this year, my grandpa, and my aunt Etta.

I never could bring myself to write about her passing in September. She was my clean-living, non-smoking, favorite aunt and she died of lung cancer.

K and I took the train up to Albany where the memorial service was held. It was too soon after grandpa, and too soon to be losing my aunt. The next day we went to the cemetery where my grandma and grandpa are to add the date of his death. I had never been there before. It was raining and I debated bringing K. He had questions like "will we be dead if we go there?" and "will we dig them up?"

It was low-key and fine. We caught the train the next morning and K cried over leaving his cousins.

Back to Thanksgiving in Guerneville. A lot of the trip involved scenes like this:

My darling child had been home from school sick the whole previous week. He also woke up between 4:30 and 6:00 every day of vacation. We still love him.

One afternoon I rode out around the bend to see this rainbow over the vineyard. The next day we saw a double rainbow coming back from Sebastapol.

This post is all over the place but I have to mention that during the sick week, when I was wondering how I was going to make it, this fine fellow arrived.

He came bearing gifts of rainbow wool and more.

We came back to our apartment to settle back into the routine and culture shock of an old kitchen and small space. I found out that the pastor who confirmed me, Howard Kreiselmeyer, had passed away. He was also too young.

Rain and rainbows, that's how it goes.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I have been doing all kinds of crafty things the past couple months. I did my first yarn bombing, which you can read about on my knitting group's web site.

Next was a stop at Lambtown in Dixon on the way to Sacramento for the Princess Promenade. I only stayed for an hour, kind of checking things out for next year. I was missing Hardly Strictly Bluegrass here in S.F., so I was thrilled to see a band, "Matt and George and their Pleasant Valley Boys", perform. I grabbed a Miller Lite and sat a spell.

There were a ton of great vendors, both familiar and new. I would like to take a class next year.

I did not visit the alpacas.

Or participate in any eating contests.

I made some gnomes. One for a Ravelry gnome swap and the other for my knitting group's stash exchange extravaganza. We made non-knitted gifts for each other, but more about that on a later, knitting post. The delightful pattern is from Wee Wonderfuls. It is easy to do, but a little fiddly since you have to keep changing thread to match each piece.

I made mushroom drawstring gift bags and they have both gone to new homes. The boy was named Olaf.

Meanwhile we were working away on a Halloween costume for K. He wanted to be an exact replica of his robot, Lilliput. We starting saving parts in September and waited and waited for the right size cardboard box to show up. Some yellow gaffer's tape and a Sharpie's worth of ink later it was almost ready. K decided it needed red glitter glue, so it was.

He was thrilled with the costume.

Click on this to see the boy holding the toy. Please note I even replicated the typefaces.

I finally did some needlefelting. I made the sheep at the top of the post, Miss Merlot, out of Babydoll fleece and mohair.

And there has been knitting. That requires another post.

Monday, November 08, 2010


I rode the Princess Promenade last month in Sacramento with my sister J. It was 55 miles and she really pushed me to go faster than I would have. It was thankfully cool. One of the high points was seeing wild turkeys on the trail. One of the low points was driving around looking for Denney's and getting stuck in Old Town Sacramento. I should know better. I also discovered that all La Quintas are not created equal.

It was great to get away for a night, and spend time with Miss J. Instead of patches they give out medals at the end. Kind of neat. I would do this ride again, but it is a long way to go. Hopefully it will coincide with Lambtown again.

By the way, they had a chocolate fountain.

The bike season is winding down, and I've started running. Not sure if I want to start doing 5Ks again. I need to see what's coming up.

It was good to do organized rides again. It really is challenging to find the time to train to do the long rides. The Cinderella is on April 2nd. If I could keep up with 30 mile rides now training for that wouldn't be so bad. We shall see.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

23 Mosquito Bites...

...and one new hat.

That's what I got during our trip in Mendocino County. The main draw for me is the California Wool & Fiber Festival, but also Navarro Winery, the County Fair, and camping, too.

The hat says "Country Music Kicks Butt". The beautiful wool is from Colors of Nature in Davis.

We brought home an awful lot of dirt. I got 23 mosquito bites, the others got none, go figure. Our handknit sweaters came in handy since I forgot to bring pillows. Many s'mores were eaten. It rained this morning but we were prepared to haul out first thing anyway.

It was a great trip, we had a lot of fun. The weather was cool, but the rain held off until today. The partiers must have been scared off by the rain, we got good sleep this time. My son got a sparkly rose painted on his face:


In other fiber news, I finished my Rainbow Swedish Fish Socks a week or so ago.

They were the July-Aug KAL of the San Francisco One-Sock-A-Month group. Here is a group shot. Yes, on mine each row of fish was a different yarn so I had over 30 ends per sock to weave.

The current KAL is Shur'tugal which translates to Dragonslayer. I'm doing them in Wollmeise WD Granatapfal, a fire-y color.

On October 1st I'm starting another Ravelry Knit and Read-A-Long, Frankensocks. The group is reading Frankenstein and making socks from our leftovers. Here are mine:

Last Sunday was a crazy day. I got on the road at 6:15 for a 30 mile training ride. Then I rushed to sock group. Finally I caught the streetcar out to our Daughters of Norway meeting. We got a needlefelting lesson. I really want to do more needlefelting. My sister gave me a coordinated kit, and I traded with someone for a box of colors. We made hedgehogs.

Have I mentioned that I'm very occasionally working at Urban Fauna Studio? I have keys to a fiber store, watch out!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Favorite Things...

... are pink

When presented with the challenge of knitting my rejected sari silk yarn, my friend Erica knit a pouch, and then gave it to me. The hot pink bow makes is especially awesome. I hope her hands have recovered.

I love this cyclist!

Speaking of bikes, I've got a new addition to my pink one, a coconut drink holder. Perfect for a coffee cup, or, I suspect, a beer can.

(I just Googled this item, and was thrilled to find it described as "super tacky". Don't worry, I didn't pay $25 for it, it came from a clearance bin in of all places, Moscow, Idaho. Where you can ride on the sidewalks legally.)