Saturday, January 29, 2011


Brown bread, fresh from the oven.  Oranges, fresh off the tree.  Cream cheese, fresh out of the supermarket.  Life is good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Daily Fiber

Blend  ("CotsDale", a cotswold/corriedale blend)

Bread  (Foccacia)

Done, Done, and Done

These socks were finished a long time ago, but for the buttons.  I found what I knew would be the perfect ones, and then promptly misplaced them.  Since I had to purchase ten of them, I wasn't about to buy more, so I waited until they turned up.  It was worth the wait, since the buttons are indeed just right.  The pattern was a quick and fun knit, especially in worsted weight yarn.  Long Night's Journey Into Day by Star Athena, in Brown Sheep Nature Spun, colorway French Clay.  Tagua nut buttons, from Eco Beads.

I like to work on basic socks when travelling, and took these along with me to Port Ludlow in November.  I added a simple stitch pattern on the leg and down the top of the foot to keep them interesting, but not so involved as to require a lot of concentration.  I really like the way these turned out, and will use them as a prototype for a more robust design in the near future.  The rather, uh, interesting yarn is STR Lightweight, handdyed by me at Sock Camp last year.  The colorway was not quite what I was going for, but I learned a lot and will give it another go sometime. 

Recently off the needles, these socks show that sometimes the simple can be extraordinary.  I love these.  A simple center panel down the front of the sock adds interest, but doesn't compete with the gorgeous colorway (STR Lightweight in Persephone's Persimmons).

I do seem to have a browny-orange thing doing, eh?  Time to mix that up, so I've got some Pepe La Plume on the sock needles now.  It's way outside my normal color range, which is a good thing now and then. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hot Off the Carder

A new fiber blend, unnamed as yet.

50% Romney, 50% BFL, in a pale greyish-oatmeally color.  It's big and fluffy with a nice hand, and just begs to be spun.  This one will make its debut at Stitches West. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fresh Picked Sunshine

Winter here (the northern reaches of Southern California) is certainly not the same as winter there (pretty much all points north and east of here).  But we do have our own version of winter.  Overcast skies, chilly days and chillier evenings, and dry relentless brown everywhere, everywhere, relieved occasionally with brilliant patches of green on the hills when the winter rains arrive.  Those blessed rains refill depleted reservoirs and wells, dust off the plants and trees to let their true colors come through, and give knitters a good excuse for hunkering down by the fire and knitting.  They come with a price, though, in the form of deadly floods and landslides.  The overnight frosts occasionally turn into hard freezes, and threaten the citrus and avocado crops here which so many farmers depend on.  Luckily, we haven't yet had a freeze, and our local produce has been spared.

We have a young orange tree in our back yard, and I've been waiting since we moved here almost six years ago for a crop.  For whatever reason, the tree would flower but never produce fruit.  This year, though, my impatience has finally paid off, with a tree ripe with fruit and more flowers blooming, sending out the sublime scent of orange blossoms on the crisp air.

This morning, I picked my breakfast juice.  How cool is that?  Here's to winter.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I'm back from TNNA in Long Beach and in the throes of order fulfillment.  The energy level of the show seemed much diminished from the last show in Columbus in June, but maybe it was just me, or the fact that my booth was in the hinterlands of the showfloor.  Still, overall it was a lovely show, and as always there was the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. 

I was incredibly fortunate to have Michelle Miller from Fickle Knitter Design right across the isle from me.  How fun to have a buddy nearby to talk to.  Stephen came by for a visit, and I got to taste his now infamous handmade caramels.  Here we are, along with Stephen's host for the weekend, Wendy.

I didn't get to room with my buddy Jeane de Coster of Elemental Affects this go-round, but we managed to meet up for a couple of dinners and brainstorm.  As always post-show, my brain is on overdrive processing new ideas, and my to-do list seems longer now than it did before the show.

I also got to chat with the charming Rick from Laurel Hill.  Last show he generously gave me a pair of their palmwood straight needles to test drive.  I much prefer wood needles over bamboo, and Laurel Hill's are really nice.  They have a long tapered point, are very smooth and feel good in your hands, and the end finials with a little bit of inlay are quite attractive.  Kismet and Karen were there (wo)maning the Bar-Maids booth, where I scored a product sampler including a jar of Face Pudding and a Lo-Lo Bar.  These products are absolutely the finest face and body products I've ever used, and I'm looking forward to restocking when I see them at Stitches West.

Okay, back to the work table while there's still daylight.  I aim to finish all orders by the end of the week, and then start in on inventory for Stitches (Yikes!  Yikes!  Can February really be just around the corner?)