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Archive for March, 2008

I honestly don’t remember how March came in, but this sums up how it is leaving….

03-31 Snow

The little white blips in the sky are snowflakes that are so big, pretty, and wet that they are sticking to everything (including my camera lens) almost like rain!

03-31 snow

Just yesterday I was picturing these lilacs blooming since almost all of the snow had disappeared from my yard.  I am sure it will be back to brown grass by the end of the week….that is what spring is like in the Midwest!

While we were having a pretty spring weekend ( so easy to forget after 4″ of slush) I was working on my Pie Wedge Shawl….

03-31 shawl Update

It is a very truly easy knit…a lot of garter stitch (I love some knit, knit, knit while watching tv), throw in a couple of yarnovers, and short rows (which I am so happy are so easy…at least on this where you don’t have to worry about closing any gaps because it will add to the effect of lace).  So I am just over half done!  I have discovered I will have to go back and get one more hank of Tilli Tomas, but still very close to a FO!  I have been so bad at finishing anything lately!  Tons of things on the needles, but nothing getting done!

Not only did I knit this weekend, I went and got some culture!  🙂  On Saturday evening a friend and I went to see the Minnesota Orchestra which was so amazing!  I played the flute in high school and have played the piano for years, so love music.  But seeing such an extremely talented group of people perform like that was humbling and inspirational.  My friend says it is “good for her soul” and I agree.  I will have to go again soon…there is a tribute to Louis Armstrong coming up that is very tempting…

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Yes, San Francisco was full of familiar sights….

03-16 33 Alcatraz

03-18 04 Painted Ladies

03-16 15 Lombard from Coit Twr

03-16 17 Transatlantic Bldg from Coit Twr

But some of the best were the ones I sought out…..

03-15 Artfibers Yarn

03-21 Greenwich Yarns                                       03-21 Atelier Yarns

Artfibers Yarn was my very first stop in the city (besides food…not much gets between me and food!).  Can you believe it was only about 6 blocks from my hotel….destiny!  🙂  They have great signage otherwise I would have probably not have ventured up the stairs to their second floor paradise!  Loads of the nicest yarn!  Friendly service and yarn that you can’t get from anywhere else made it too tempting to resist!!

03-25 Art Fiber Yarn

I seemed to have a blue theme going (maybe it was the influence of the water or the sky out there):  the Rosetta is gray with hints of blue (I can’t wait to use this cotton ribbon that knits up so much different than I expected); the Hana is the most gorgeous blue silk (I am starting to have a problem with loving silk); and the chunky Inskein Asylum is obviously blue (but is a gift so there was not guilt with that one).

After much sightseeing I headed for Greenwich Yarns.  I had called and they opened at 11 AM while Atelier Yarn opened at noon…so you can see my agenda!  Unfortunately, there was a sign on the door indicating they were closed for the day due to an illness in the family.  I was bummed, but still enjoyed having a coffe and people watching in the neighborhood.

I then headed off for Atelier Yarn on a mission.  I wanted my first pair of Addi Turbos to start my shawl with.  I got there and they were a little late opening (a spilled cup of coffee made a bad start to the day for the poor lady working), but the shop was great!  Once again very friendly service and so much yarn to fondle!  I was a little burned out on being a tourist and the yarn therapy was great!  And let’s not forget the good stuff….

03-25 San Fran Yarn

Yeah, you know I couldn’t go in and just buy needles!  This Aurora Melange will make the nicest scarf for my sister!  And just to cover myself…I got 2 sets of needles!  Can you think of better souvenirs??

Finally there was some vacation knitting!  I found myself in the hotel room in a very comfy bed watching movies for a few evenings and worked on this (with my brand new needles!  Look at how they sparkle!)…

03-25 Easy as Pie Shawl

I am using the Tilli Tomas that I got at Bella Lana a few weeks ago, and can’t even tell you how much I love the feel of silk!!

That about wraps up the vacation summary!  Now I need to get to work on all of this beautiful yarn I have!!!

 

 

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I Left my Heart…..

03-17 06 Golden Gate

Ok, maybe I didn’t really leave my heart in San Francisco, but I had an awesome vacation there!!!

My very first vacation all by myself was very fun!  I had talked about doing a driving vacation and had looked into going to Texas.  Decided that might be a little to much to take on right now, and that it would be easier to stay in one town, in one hotel, for one week.  And as it turns out that was perfect since Texas did not have the best weather going on last week.  Sometimes I really do make good decisions!

The weather was gorgeous and sunny, and I did not miss seeing the many inches of new snow that we got here.  My first couple of days was spent acclimating….so many things to think about.  How do I catch the shuttle to the hotel?  What is the address of the hotel again (since the shuttle driver asked me 4 times)?  Please let my hotel be nice and in a good neighborhood.  And that was before I had even left the airport!

I love the insights you can find via the worldwide web!  TripAdvisor became my friend while planning this adventure.  The fact that you can see actual pictures that real people have taken and put on the site spoke volumes for me.  Useful things like the view of the street when you walk out the hotel door was really helpful in determining a neighborhood.  The picture of a real room that someone stayed in vs. the prettiest room in the hotel that shows up on the website helped make me more confident in my choices.  The hotel I stayed at was great.  There is nothing better than coming back to a comfy bed after walking miles up hill all day!  🙂

And, yes, I know San Francisco has hills.  I have read about them, seen them on tv, etc.  But until I was climbing the 3 block hills that seriously must at a 90 degree angle (ok a little exageration there) I did not appreciate the “buns of steel” that everyone living there must have!!!

03-16 02 Coit Twr from bottom of Filbert

Do you see the incline of that street that goes right out of the picture??  Yes, I was trying to document the Coit Tower, but the many hills to get there about gave me a coronary!!  However, I found that any climb was well worth it for the view you would get from the top!!  San Francisco is gorgeous!

The history, the views, and the architecture were amazing…

03-16 08 View from base of Coit Twr

And lets not forget the blue skies, green grass, flowers, and palm trees…

03-18 23 Conservatory

Isn’t the conservatory beautiful?!?  It reminds me of the one we have at Como Park in St Paul, but it is currently coated in snow and this one had beautiful blooming tulips!

And finally there is the ocean…

03-18 33 Pacific Ocean

I never tire of the oceans, and being a girl who grew up in the Midwest I only get to see them once or twice a year (if I am lucky).  The sand, the sound, and with this one the cold temperatures were all appreciated by me!  The cold water and wet sand were so soothing on my tired and blistered feet.  And the roar of the waves always manages to drown out all of the chaos in my head.  I already can’t wait to see it again.

There were many great things about travelling by myself…I could sit down whenever and wherever I wanted, I could go into an endless string of souvenir shops if I chose, I could walk 5 more blocks (even though my feet were killing me) to see one more place on my “must see list”, I could go to a yarn shop that is not close to anything else that I had planned that day, and if I wanted to sit and read a book or people watch for hours with a cup of coffee no one cared. 

But there are also the challenges…asking strangers to take my picture to document my being there (I only managed that twice), not having anyone to bounce ideas off of when you think you might be lost (I managed that several times….the being lost part), or missing the surprising places that you end up because someone else would like to go somewhere that you would never think of going.

Vacationing alone was a unique experience in some ways, and in other ways not so different from the life that I lead everyday.  But I do know now that if there is ever anywhere that I want to go, I will go, and have a great time doing it even if it is by myself!

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Quiet Weekend

Well, there has been the infamous winter sickness around my house this week.  I haven’t had it in probably about 5 years (that’s the last time I had visited the doctor), and I have been down for the count.  Pretty much working, sleeping, laying on the couch, sleeping, eating, sleeping, and finally the doctor…who never wants to admit that I might actually be sick…do you hear my lack of voice, buddy?  AND no one wants to be within 5 feet of me because they don’t want get it!?!?  Anywho….drugs were finally obtained and have finally kicked in.  So my highlights have been bad movies, bad tv, lots of sleep, and….

03-08 Deer

These were in my backyard yesterday morning.  You can only see 2 of the 6 (and due to this I have decided I would really like a high powered zoom!).  They then all traipsed through the yard when I was actually off of the couch to see them…..but by the time I could grab the camera.  I could only catch 1 (not moving too quickly in move “sick/feel sorry for me” mode)…..

03-08 Deer

Very cool….however….they have been eating my bushes!  I am going to have to go spray them down with Invisible Fence in the middle of the winter!  Crazy!

There has been no knitting….I haven’t had the concentration or patience.  There has, however, been a resurgence in my love for Tetris!  Hours turn into minutes while I play!  🙂  And my blooming basket continues its love….my house smells like a flower shop!!

03-09 Blooming Pot

I know spring is just around the corner!!

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Well, it’s not outside, but I have found it anyway!

03-04 Blooming Basket

Daffodils in March!!! 

And what is that at the bottom???  Possibly some new cotton/silk Noro???  Yes, I found a new yarn store on Saturday.  A good friend told me a yarn outlet had opened up in a storefront on her route home.  N.U. Yarn Outlet on 54th & Penn in Minneapolis is the outlet for Needlework Unlimited.  I have not made it to the actual store on 44th & Drew yet, but the outlet was a fun little find.  All of the yarn is 50% off with some of it being 75% off.  Who can knock yarn on sale!  The key is cash or check is all that they take….so come prepared!

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Pom Poms

Yesterday I finally finished the Vintage Velvet Scarf from Scarf Style that I have been making out of Malabrigo (Azul Bolita).  The final touch needed was the pom poms. 

Pom poms immediately make me feel like a kid.  I can remember getting to make them for my Mom when I was little.  We never had a high tech pom pom gadget.  We just used whatever was around to wrap the yarn around and then usually my sister or Mom would put it on their fingers so I could tie the piece around the middle and then snip the ends.  So in keeping with tradition I found something that was the appropriate width to wrap the yarn around…

03-01 Pom Pom making

I buy these laminated maps whenever I go anywhere for vacation.  They don’t tear and help me keep my sense of direction in strange places.  It is good know that I now have a 2nd use for them!  😉

After wrapping the yarn so nicely I remembered that I typically had a 2nd person around the help my tie it off and snip the ends.  Never fear, I am resourceful!

03-01 Pom pom making

So with my pom poms snipped, shaped, and fluffed…the scarf is ready to go!!

03-01 Vintage Cable Scarf

Since I am not felting this one the cable pattern remains more prominent and I truly do love the way it turned out!  Not much pleases me more in a scarf than double sided cables (reversible is a must for me!),

I cast on 14 stitches and increased 2 stitches in every row until I was at the 32 stitches indicated in the pattern.  The trickiest part was making sure I had the pattern right since I was basically working from the inside out until I hit the 32 stitches (all of the sudden I realized why charts can be VERY helpful!).

Someday I will figure out how to take a picture of myself modeling things, but in the meantime the front door does a nice job!

03-01 Vintage Cable Scarf

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