Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bodega Bay and beyond

Bodega Bay was wonderful. It always is, but this year it was more special than ever, for me at least. This year the trip was not about the shopping on the way, or the sewing projects I would make or the amount of knitting I would complete, but about being with my friends. This year is posing some major challenges for m e personally and to just being there with so many people who I love and respect meant everything to me. Ladies, you are all the best and I can't tell you how much of a difference all your love, support, and words of kindness, encouragement and wisdom make. You are all the best friends I have, and many of you I have known longer than any other people in my life outside of my family. Thank you so much for being there and sharing your time with me. You are all the best.

( I did take pictures of Bodega Bay, due to technical difficulties with my new phone/camera and a new computer, they absolutely refuse to upload into this post. This also explains in part the extreme tardiness of my post-Bodega Bay -post!)

But of course, I did shop on the drive up! I couldn't resist this gorgeous red Silky Wool by Elsbeth Lavold, found at Yarns on First in downtown Napa. I hadn't seen this particular shade before, and felt a huge urge to wrap myself in the gorgeous, rich, warm colour. I bought all 9 skeins that the store had and am thinking of making another cardigan with it.

Later on I found this fun purple heathered cotton, spun from 75% recycled cotton with 25% acrylic. I usually don't mind acrylic when blended with cotton, whereas I loath it when blended with wool. There are little flecks of red-violet mixed in with the purple that gives the colour a lot of life. This was from Knitterly in Petaluma, and they had lots of gorgeous shades in this yarn. But I bought all of the purple - all 10 skeins! I'm not sure yet, but I think this will become Pam Allen's Come Together from Twist Collective.

I did get a lot of sewing done while there. I didn't take photos of my sewing projects, as everything I made was in natural coloured linen and would just look like a bunch of beige clothes in photos. But I got a good start on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan by starting on a sleeve to double check the gauge as I went. I have since finished the first sleeve up to the armhole, and it's now residing on a string holder until the rest of the sweater is ready. The cardigan is knitted in one piece to the armholes, and the sleeves in the round, to the yoke, and then all the pieces are joined together. I must say, I really love this yarn!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bodega Bay is coming up!

Anyone who's known me for a while knows that one of the big events of my year is the annual retreat to Bodega Bay with my Sew Group. We've been making this trip every year for over 15 years now, and it's truly the high point of my year. This year's trip is next weekend, and a small group of us is going up a day early this year to have a whole extra day. The timing couldn't be better. Life has gotten a whole lot more complicated on the last few days and a long weekend in a beautiful place with my wonderful friends is a dream come true.

So, this will be a boringly picture-less blog post as all I have to talk about is what I am going to knit on over the BB weekend. I'll also not be posting next Sunday as usual as I won't be back from the trip until Monday sometime but I'll catch up when I can.

So what are my knitting projects going to be? (And of course, determining what my projects will be is one of the most critical pieces of planning that goes into each year's trip.) I've got 3 projects lined up, not with any idea of finishing any one of them but it's always possible a project just won't work out the way I planned so I always need a back-up.

A fairly quick project (I hope) will be the Krista Tee from White Lies Designs. I'm using a nice ivory shade of Cascade Sierra (80% pima cotton/20% merino wool) and the swatch is drying as we speak. I'm probably going to make the lace borders on the sleeves and body a little deeper butotherwise think I'll be making this one right by the pattern.

I'm also excited to finally be starting the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from Interweave Knits. I saw another Ravelry member Llyrmoon's version done in Elsbeth Lavold's Silky Wool yarn, and it looked great. As this is already one of my favourite yarns anyway I have been planning on using it for this sweater; just which colour? I ended up choosing a beautiful periwinkle blue - yes, the same periwinkle I used in my Moderne Log Cabin Blanket a while back. That blanket has been such a deep source of comfort for me, n an almost spiritual way, and that convinced me that now was the time too make this sweater n this yarn, and to stick to my favourite colour. I'm in need of a little portable comfort right now and I think this sweater will carry me through the summer in the best way imaginable.

Lastly, I am planning another knitted toy for my niece, Madi. Twist Collective's spring 2009 issue had this adorable Sunflower doll and I had almost all of the necessary colours in my stash, so how could I resist? I'll probably gussy up the dress on the doll a bit to make it more interesting but I love the petals on the head.

So, it looks like I won't be bored at BB. Not that that has ever happened.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's finished!

The Alpaca Striped Fringe Scarf is finally, finally done. It is soft, beautiful, oh so warm, and I love it. It has been a very lengthy project (I started it on Christmas Eve and just finished it this weekend) I really enjoyed it and only started getting tired of it on the very last few inches of the intarsia portion. The fringes on the second half flew by and then the knitting was over at last.

I gave it a good soak in Eucalan and warm water, spread it out on some towels on the floor to dry, the floor being the only place bug enough for the whole length of it. And now it's really, really done.

The only downside to this scarf was that I failed in my goal of using up al of the yarn. I weighed and measured each ball after I finished and found that I used just a little more than half of the yarn. I think I can feel a hat coming on to finally finish up all the yarn............