Category Archives: Greedy Me

Mmmm, Stitches!

A friend and I drove down to Stitches West today for the last day of the Market.

Our feet hurt after nearly 6 hours doing the shopping walk. After a while, we would look at each other and say, “Oh, it’s more yarn.”

So much loveliness!

Only a few, out of so much:

I met Cheryl Oberle briefly, when I ordered a kit for the Dakota Shawl (scroll down) in that lovely blue. Oh, the joy of her sweaters and shawls and vests in person! Beautiful, and beautifully made, and lovely to feel and wear. And she seems such a nice person. (Raving Fan here!)

And we bought Bob lapel pins at the Ravelry booth. We met Jess! She made us eat leftover doughnuts! (another Raving Fan moment)

When I have too much money, I am going to buy enough from La Lana Wools for a coupla blankets, and a sweater or two, and some shawls… As it is, I have a mistake skein of 2 ply Forever Random and another skein of something lovely for a friend. And I need to make a monthly La Lana secret cash stash until next year.

And I leered at every shawl in the Skaska booth.

I love the Merging Colors Adagio Shawl. I saw a few samples hanging around.

I peered briefly into the booth for Tactile Fiber Arts. The yarns dressed in natural dyes – beautiful! The booth was crowded; I couldn’t stay; no more money.




Filed under Excursions, Greedy Me, Knitting and more knitting

Holiday Afterglow

Today we’re playing with our new toys. The Kid has a friend over while his mom runs errands for a dinner party tonight. And we’ll go to their house later to play with their new toys.

We’re well spoiled. Putrid and maggoty and stinky spoiled. It’s great!

The friend distracts us from being sad today. My mom and dad left in the wee hours this morning after a lovely, not nearly long enough visit. The Kid fell asleep on his abuela’s lap last night. A nice end.

Too bad we’ve all been sick. This time I brought the cold home and it has worked it’s way through all of us.

Today I finished the last cherry chocolate cupcake (from Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess cookbook) and I’m washing all the sheets and blankets in the house. Germs, Begone!


Well, that was last night.  I got distracted.  Printing photos.  Taking a shower.  More laundry.  The cousins in Richmond came over and then I was busy feeding big people and then kids until we abandoned them here, and went to dinner.  And work today.  Many days I have sporadic phone calls (and I make more than I get).  Today was one of the, luckily infrequent, days the phone rings constantly.  For about an hour this morning at the office, the cell phone rang, the desk phone rang, the other line on the desk phone rang, the cell phone rang again.  And most of the calls needed more than a minute or two of attention.  And then I finally got out of the office for some visits.  I usually don’t feel as rushed when I’m in the field, unless that cell phone keeps ringing or I absolutely need to make more visits than I have time for.

And as I got out of the car early evening, a low cloud bank in the western sky was aflame.  I had to stop a passing stranger to point it out.  And I made the folks in Laurel Book Store go out to look too.

May we have joy, peace, health, and prosperity this year.  Happy New Year!

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Filed under Greedy Me, Oakland

Now with more Knitting Retreat

I’m sick on a Saturday.  Grumble grumble grr.  And we had plans:  wash all the dishes, clean the bathroom, go to the Farmers’ Market, go to the grocery store, ride around on BART.  The morning grizzled, so that was a good excuse not to go to the Farmers’ Market.  The dishes and the groceries had to be done, so they were.  The bathroom, well, tomorrow’s another day.  And I could not avoid BART.

On the drive to school, we’re along the BART tracks for a while.  Every morning, and every afternoon, the Kid says, “I want to go on BART.  When are we going on BART?”  This week, I answered, “Saturday.”  I’m stuck.  But it was a nice, low-key adventure, and I downed tea and ibuprofen all day.  We walked over to the Ferry Building and ogled the skateboarders on the way – ogled because somehow they managed not to run into anybody.  We watched the ferries fill up and leave.  Now we have more plans involving BART, ferries, my grandmother in Marin, and a lot of walking.  The Kid chased after some pigeons, “I’m going to get you!” and a whole crowd of pigeons swooped after him.  Ready to defend their own?  Joining in the chase?  Or looking for the trail of crumbs that fell off him as he ran?  Who knows?  But we got back home safely, despite the pigeons.

I pay more attention to buildings after reading The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton.  101 California is interesting with it’s columns lifting it off the block on one corner and atrium windows pyramiding underneath through the columns and down to the sidewalk.  It nicely opens up some space and clears out the claustrophobia.  And, before I forget, the Friday morning sky was blue with spreads of small clouds.  Driving into downtown Oakland on 12th Street, I noticed a building I’ve not noticed before.  It’s one of those buildings with lots of green/blue glass windows.  It rippled with the sky Friday morning.  The Kid noticed the very top floors have windows that curve inward and didn’t reflect the sky.  The Kid has good eyes.  One thing I like about this drive into downtown is the landscape/skyscape of very different buildings against each other.  Across 12th Street from the rippling sky building is the Tribune building, with a clock tower.

It’s been a surprisingly nice Saturday.

Did I say more Knitting Retreat?  Oh, yes!  Now I’m not at work, I’m at leisure to use lots and lots of words.

2007 Skein Lane Studio Knitting Retreat with Chris Bylsma
trees in the sky

Not that we can tell from this photo, but Chris is showing off the supermodel walk we learned during Show and Tell.  It is absolutely possible to knit and laugh.  I know – I had a great view of the laughter all weekend, and I did it myself.
hilarity with chris

Good thing we laugh.  It’s amazing how intense knitting a teddy bear vest can be.  And, no, it wasn’t just the steeks.  It’s a great project choice.  Small, so it’s not so hard to catch up.  It’s for a teddy bear, and teddy bears don’t complain out loud.  And Chris’s Madly Plaid vest is loaded with interesting and useful techniques:  starting out from a waste yarn crochet chain, shaping points and their placement, adding vertical stripes without intarsia or stranded knitting, knitting in the round all the way up shaping armholes and the V-neck with steeks, preparing and cutting the steeks, shoulder seams, applied I-cord edging.  Mine’s not done yet.  I’m still working on the applied I-cord.  The Kid complains that the leopard is still cold, and so is the giraffe.  Mom?  We’ve got to get these things finished!  All the peluches in the house are threatened by cold!

Friday night after dinner, Marlie from Black Mountain Artisans in Pt Reyes Station and Mimi from Windrush Farm inspired us.  Marlie and Mimi are marvelous workers and artists.  They believe that we should not be limited by what we can buy.  Mimi told/reminded us we can have our own unique yarn, even if we don’t spin it ourselves, by combining different yarns together as we knit.  Marlie kept pulling out unique skein after skein and unique finished article after finished article.  “Oh, this was fun!  I spun this with that using the other technique.”  “You just knit a ___ and put it together like this…” “So and so used this yarn and knit it up like this.”  They had wonderful, inspiring energy late Friday night.  I’d love to spend more time with them, and I hope we have the opportunity to visit Mimi’s Windrush Farm next year.

Inspired us right into buying a few things!  Green mohair and silk hand dyed by Bo-Rage, autumn-y hand dyed and hand spun merino and silk by Bo-Rage, and luscious hand spun hand painted mohair curls on silk.  Reach your hand into the monitor and squeeze these locks! 
Black Mountain Artisans1

On our way back into the real world Sunday, I picked up a little hand dyed mohair to play with, from the store in Pt Reyes Station on Hwy 1.
Black Mountain mohair 

Bad enough that Carolyn had Black Mountain tempting us with lovely goods.  She also had yarn from Lisa Souza.  Oddly enough, I bought something.  This is superwash merino hardtwist petite, color Earth Birth (on a bed of mohair locks).
Lisa Souza earthbirth

I bought one or two more ordinary, and lovely, things (again on a bed of mohair locks).
cotton fleece and maggie merino

I now have a dilemma – what can I make that is worthy of these locks?

Thank you, Carolyn, for a lovely retreat.  It seems like a magical coming-together of wonderful teacher, wonderful knitters, wonderful yarn.  But I know that the magic starts with a lot of very hard work.  Thank you.

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Filed under Excursions, Greedy Me, Knitting and more knitting, Oakland, Skein Lane Knitting Retreat


Catch up photo time!

Mom wanted to see what I came home with from the Knitting Basket sale.  To recap: Barbara Walker, Lady Gainford’s Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings, Kidsilk Haze, Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn, Koigu KPPM in a colour I’ve been coveting for months but leaving on the shelves, Habu natural dyed bamboo which is not sky blue but greener.  (One of these colours is not like the others.)
knitting basket greed

The robot, inspired by Jess Hutch’s pattern, on top of the Baby Surprise Jacket in Rowan Felted Tweed (still needs sewing up).
robot and BSJ

And the back of the robot.
robot down

The Night Kitchen Socks, with vegetables!
night kitchen still life

And my new sock.  I decided to put away the Fleece Artist Sea Wool for now.  I really don’t like any colour variegation in a patterned stitch.  Because the last socks were such a plain knit (but not plain colours), I want something more complicated.  The bordello pattern is lovely, but easy enough to be a plain knit.  So I’m knitting the Canal du Midi socks from Nancy Bush Knitting on the Road in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock.  Look at that cast-on edge!  When I started this sock with the Sea Wool, I was too tired to figure it out, but I did it on this start.  It’s the Double Start Cast-on, with one double strand over the thumb.  It starts with my regular continental long-tail cast-on, but with an added part.  Makes a lovely, quiet band of horizontal stitches across the top, and seems to be very stretchy.  I’m glad I took the time to figure it out.  The Kid’s bath is a great time to work on something more complicated.
Canal du Midi start

Meet the gallinas!  They’re inclined to taste my toes, but otherwise seem to be lovely personages.  My husband says they’re seven months old.  I hope to have eggs sometime.  Be sure I’ll have photos!
chickens are here

For Margaret, watching the machines next door, from Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness,

There are few harsher indictments against architecture than the sadness we feel at the arrival of bulldozers, for our grief is in almost all cases fuelled more by distaste for what is to be built than by any hatred of the idea of development itself.

Forgive my vaguely coherent meanderings about this book previously.  They do not do the book justice, nor were they meant to.  I think they were just meanderings.


Filed under Farm in the Backyard, Greedy Me, Knitting and more knitting, Reading

Las mangas unidas jamas seran vencidas*

Unless they’re on the green sweater of course.  I tinked back the uniting round, left sleeves and all on the needles, then got out the calculator while I was on hold (on the phone – work, you know).  The numbers were just fine, and I certainly haven’t knit the yoke far enough to be able to tell if a problem exists.  So, they’ve been divided, when they should continue united. 

One of the local yarn stores, Knitting Basket, in Montclair, is sadly going out of business.  I admit I’ve been there only once before – Montclair is really out of my normal run-around area.  Pretty store, good selection.  Now that we’ve got friends nearby, the store is closing.  But not without discounts!  I took advantage.  (Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Koigu KPPM, Habu Bamboo, Colinette Jitterbug) (and a couple books)  I’d love to show off the haul, but something odd is happening between the camera and the computer.  The computer is reading pictures I took and deleted off the memory card last weekend, not the ones I took today.  

Things are making me cranky.

Grump.  Grumble.

Maybe I should go knit a green sweater.

Or start some orchid lace mitts with Habu cashmere I got on sale at ArticlePract a while ago.

I’m feeling more cheerful already!

*The sleeves united will never be divided.  El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido (the people united will never be divided).


Filed under Greedy Me, Knitting and more knitting

Alabama in August is for… Knitting?

baby surprise jacket

I’m nearly done with the Baby Surprise Jacket in Rowan Felted Tweed (into second ball).

green sweater almost one sleeve

My green sweater in Kathmandu Aran is almost to the armholes armscyes and a Sleeve! is nearly done.  I have high hopes I’ll finish the second sleeve flying home.  (More 20 year old roving hides underneath the sweater, fearful I’ll attempt spindling soon.)

fleece artist sock yarns

We went back to the yarn store – I felt the lack of Fleece Artist sock yarn in the stash.  Now I have a skein of sea wool and one of merino sock yarn.

I know today is Thursday.  I know it’s early August.  But, alleluia, I do not know the date! 

Work worries are quietly pervasive.  I have a small, irrational, midnight fear that something will come up that reveals to all my basic ineptitude.  And I feel this after nearly a week without working!  I have a much more rational, and infinitely more substantial, dread of what urgencies wait my return.  So far I’ve resisted the urge to check voicemail and email.  Despite the acrobatics of the hyper work gerbil part of my mind, –

– Alabama in August is restful.  The cooler (ha!) days are too humid to move outside.  The hotter days are, well, too hot to move outside.  (Cooler = 94F.  Hotter = 102F.)(I need a handy C to F converter.)  I’m not in touch with old friends here, so I can stay at home without guilt.  Besides the heat, there aren’t so many Must Visit places around Birmingham as around the SF Bay Area, at least for us.  More reason to stay in the air conditioning.

The Kid has toys all over the house, mostly picked up at bedtime, and used all day.  We swim in the neighbor’s pool every evening – the Kid is more comfortable in the water every day.  Mom is off work this week and we knit – several projects each.  We’re reading Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy to each other.  The Kid plays rhyming games with us – his definition of rhyme is expansive.   We corrupt nursery rhymes.

There was a little boy who ate his shoe

and the stinking dirty sock too.

Or this one:

There was a little piggy who ate a shoe

and a box!

If Dad gets back from work soon, and the sky is good, we might look at Jupiter tonight.


Filed under Excursions, Greedy Me, Kid Stories, Knitting and more knitting

Yep, it’s hot

Birmingham in August.

It’s very green.   Not as suffocatingly green as usual, because it’s droughty this year.  Overcast, but not cool. 

We had a good time wandering around Homewood Saturday.  Walking!  In 90+F heat and just a little humidity.  Lunch.  Toy store.  New sandals that fit the Kid.  Yarn store.  We made it a few minutes before they closed – enough time to put together the Kid’s Playmobil boat, pick up some Sea Silk,

 sea silk

and make a half-minute decision to get a lovely little walnut spindle. 

Ooh!  Mom just tossed a bag of roving at me!  From our previous life as sheep farmers, fresh out of 20 years in the freezer. 
20 year roving

 Okay, I’m off to play now!

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Filed under Excursions, Greedy Me