Archive for March, 2012

Not only did I get a phone call today from my “grand” nephew Daniel about his decision to accept the invitation to attend Cornell College in Iowa (he applied to four schools and got accepted to all four), he sent me the following message.

Hey Auntie Carolyn,
I hope this is your email. If not then I guess I will catch up with you around Easter instead.
I was just thinking with my mom and I think it would be great to have some Cornell colored gear when I’m there. I don’t know how much is on your plate right now but i think it would be awesome to have some nice knitted scarves or a beanie that were the cornell colors. The colors are black purple and white. This would be a perfect graduation gift from you and I would be so appreciative of you if you did this for me. I understand if you are too busy to do this right now as well.
Thank you for all of your support,
With Love,

Dan and me - Christmas 2010

Now I bet you know this young man is going to get his wish…I told I had been thinking about a blanket for his high school graduation…but whatever he wants is fine with me. We will decide at Easter. My needles are clicking overtime to finish up his sister’s slippers, to complete a newly started  project for a upcoming Skein Lane knitalong, and to embark on this knitting journey for Daniel. I am quite proud that he has been single-minded about pursing his love of music and that is his pursuit in college.

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Williams Wools +& Weavings

Towards the end of the day we came upon Williams Wools & Weavings….an amazing showing of sheep-related items. This is another booth that I wanted to dawdle in…but didn’t stay long because other booths were “calling” me. This vendor does not have a web-site…..she sells at trade shows only….she says that her offerings are ever changing and that it would be a mammoth job to keep up on an online shop. I kept my pocket-b00k intact….but I coveted many items….will shop in that booth next year. In the meantime I will try to find out where else she might be this year. One never knows where travels may take you. I’m dreaming of Arizona soon with my Colorado friend Mary. We’ve actually begun “serious” talks about it.

Other random thoughts from the delightful Stitches day. Karen and I ran into our knitting friends, Merle and Cameron. It was easy for us to leave the show floor for lunch at the hotel restaurant….we ate, we visited and saw other knitters. Only at a knitting convention can one stare so openly at what the other is wearing. It’s another kind of feast!

Close by was another booth that caught my eye….Green Mountain Spinnery. I bought three things there…two patterns and one skein of yarn. I got caught in an impulse buy…loved their marketing. One of the ladies was wearing a blue scarf that really caught my attention….it certainly wasn’t the color because I don’t like most blues…but I loved the scarf pattern. I ask about the pattern and learn that it is complimentary with a skein of yarn….well, of course, I bought the skein…yeah and got the pattern. The actual pattern purchases were for a sweater that was also being worn in the booth and then there was model of the tank shell.

Kelly (photo from Green Mountain Spinnery website)

The Blue Scarf Inspiration.....and my skein of yarn!

Alpine Lace Shell

I love seeing Stan and his wife Bev from Belisha Cashmere.…they come every year from Australia. Over the years I have purchased lovely woven cashmere garments  and yarn from them…this wasn’t one of those years…and only because I ran out of time and didn’t get to their booth.  I did finish a scarf  last year which was a blend of two colors of Belisha Cashmere (which I purchased the year before that)…red and grey which produced the most lovely heather color. Most of you know that I have a strong affinity for anything Australian….my grandfather was born there…and I lived there for three years as a child. Blend my love of Australia and yarn….and I love Belisha Cashmere!

Wonderland Dyeworks

Karen and I ran across another booth of interest…..Wonderland Dyeworks,The yarn offerings were wonderful and if I remember correctly Karen bought some yarn from this vendor. This dyer is local….hails from Oakland….and you find her goods at her etsy store.

Karen and Elissavet Livitsanos of Wonderland Dyeworks

She's wearing "Day Break" design by Stephen West

Along our journey we ran into a woman (so sorry I have misplaced my note with her name and email) wearing one of Stephen West scarf designs.…Karen stopped her to inquire..we took her photo…we talked about the great designs and that one of our fellow knitters – Bonnie – had recently shown her version of “Day Break” at Skein Lane knitting workshop. Bonnie will be featured in another post soon. Karen and I moved on and it was just moments later that we came upon a booth featuring Stephen West designs.

A Stephen West Design

One of the last booths that we visited….and for the second time that day….was Teresa Ruch Designs. Kimberly called when we were driving to the Convention Center…she had been there the day before and had wonderful buying day….but she remembered one more thing that she wanted and it could be found at Teresa’s booth. This yarn is 5/2 Tencel…you can check it out at this site. We visited another booth…and I can see that it was the end of the day…have photos but no info…hopefully it will flow back into my brain!

We left Stitches around 4 p.m….we’d had a great day…and knew there was more we wanted to see…but we were done! As we drove home on our fiber high we reflected on the day…so much fun. Karen started laughing and said, “I didn’t have an agenda….and I shopped!” Both of our plans were to look, visit…but we did buy. I can hardly wait to see all of Karen’s renditions. Today I ordered the kit for the model I tried on in MaggiKnit’s booth…you can look forward to a knitalong for the new Large MK Cotton Cowlfrom MaggiKnits. Stay tuned for more news about that!

Me - new Large MK Cotton Cowl

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NiftyThriftyDryGoods Booth

Okay…my usual mantra…can it be possible that another week has gone by?! This post has been on my mind every day since the last one! So….here we go. Karen and I continued to wander through the many vendor offerings…we came upon one of my favorite and I never do it enough justice….that would be NiftyThriftyDryGoods.  I love this booth and always think I will get back to spend more time….I often don’t….but have decided that will be the first stop on my Stitches journey next year. In the meantime I have landed on their website and it is just beautiful…I will be doing some online shopping….I don’t even like online shopping…but this site is wonderful.

So where else did I/we visit? I was eager to stop by Lisa Souzas booth….I love her yarn and Lisa. I first met her years ago when she was a vendor at the Live Oaks Fair in Berkeley…of course, I bought yarn. I’ve followed her throughout these many years. Often we were vendors together at Stitches West. At the encouragement at my own knitting workshop customer and friend Jean,  I  recently asked Lisa to match a yarn  that I purchased from her at Stitches a season or two ago…I was inspired by a scarf/shawl that Jean was wearing…it was knit in Lisa’s yarn…Lisa matched one of her yarns to one that Jean purchased. The inspiring pattern was and is the Tavgete Shawl. I’m almost done with mine and will post soon.

We moved across the aisle to another favorite vendor of mine….Cheryl Oberle. She has great yarn, patterns and has written several books…. she’s from Denver. What could be better than that! I always love seeing her and enjoying her yarn and visions for new designs. I am thinking I should go to one of her retreats…okay I am checking it out as soon as I finish this post. How great would that be..a retreat with Cheryl in my “home” state…I would go on to visit family and friends in Colorado. As many of you know I feel blessed to have life-long friends from my teenage years in Colorado.

Karen and I found ourselves moving down the aisles…stopping along the way at more  booths. While I was at Gail Hughes Art Buttons booth buying buttons for my 2-yr old Carson’s top-down sweater I heard my name called out! It was friend and teacher Melissa Leapman who has taught for Skein Lane. I consider Melissa to be one of the knitting and crochet gurus of our fiber world. I confessed that I “stalk” her on Facebook!

Along our journey we came upon another old retailer friend…Connie James of  Fiber Goddess. Connie has re-invented herself…she use to own Yarn Collection in Marin….she’s moved onto another venture…that of being a fiber goddess. Check out her web-site for some of her work.

Connie - Fiber Goddess!

Next we landed at MaggiKnits booth. Who cannot fall in love with Maggi’s designs ( you can purchase at Skein Lane Studio)and her enthusiam? I wanted to walk away with many projects displayed in her booth…I held back only to review what I wanted to market..Karen bought a great kit…and she displayed it at our knitting workshop this past Friday. I can hardly wait to see this results…we will have to share the progress along the way. Here’s what I tried on….

Me...modeling one of Maggi's latest!

I love books…and in particular…knitting books! Of course, I found myself at The Village Spinning & Weaving Shop booth.  It’s always a pleasure to see owner John…we were often associate vendors at Stitches.

John - The Village Spinning & Weaving Shop

It was a wonderful journey this year…great fibers and designs to see…great friends to reconnect with – Skein Lane folks  – Chris Bylsma whom is a treasure….truly a journey of creativity, friendship and stitches. We are indeed woven together!

Somehow at the end of this Stitches journey I am thinking of my grandma Alta….she stitched by quilting and crocheting…she was part of a woven community! Her love of community inspired me!

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As you may recall, I let you know a few weeks ago about Kimberly’s new adventure  for this year. Her next artisan in her line-up is Maia Discoe of Tactile Fiber Arts. You can meet Maia and learn about her fiber journey, her dyeing, her visions…….this coming Sunday afternoon, March 12, from 1p.m. – 4p.m. at K2Tog on Solano Ave in Albany. I’m looking forward to seeing Maia…..she use to be a customer of Skein Lane when it was a store-front business.

Stay tuned for more about the Stitches journey which will appear tomorrow!

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Me...Carolyn...with a great knitted model!

As said in last post….Karen and I crossed the aisle into Great Yarns! I think it was at this “crossing” that two women approached me and asked about the design I was wearing. At my retail shop Sandy Lee nicknamed it “The Donut” and to this day if you say that name my knitting circle knows exactly what design that is. In fact, it is the “Round Shawl” from Sally Melville‘s Knit Stitch Book. I have three renditions of this design….and the one I wore on this past Saturday is my favorite…rather rustic and most comfortable to wear! I knit it with Noro’s discontinued Shinano.

What was so amazing about my wearing this was that I was complimented throughout the day. I was approached by the two ladies again….they said were stalking me….they just had to learn more about this shawl. We met up at least one more time before the day was over for Karen and me. The day ended with yet another compliment….”Ma’am” ….I thought I had dropped something. She said, “I just want to ask you about your shawl..the pattern?? the yarn??” I’ve never worn something to Stitches before that has received so many compliments. Thank you to Sally Melville for the design…simple but yet so fun to knit and wear!

Now….notice my companion in this photo. Is that not a great model? This was found in Lion Brand Yarn Studio and I just had to hang out with this model for a moment or two.

Here are my “stalkers”…they were sharing that one of them had just bought yarn for “The Round Shawl aka Donut” and wanted to know what I thought! What a great compliment…I was so flattered!

My "stalkers"

Now…off for a couple of days to a young people treat….I am one of the leaders…I will post about that later. There is much more to share about the Stitches adventure….I’ll be back with two or three more posts…it’s all about sharing the knitting journey.

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