Saturday, October 31, 2009


Can you figure out who this Shutter Bug is? I'll give you some hints. She made this outfit. That is her husband's camera in her hands. And she won Most Creative Costume at Fashion Career College on Thursday.

Answer: judi patuti!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spud & Cloe

Yummmm! Two bags of almost every color in Sweater by Spud & Chloe. I received this bunch of pleasure on Tuesday and I already reordered the teal blue, firecracker and chipmunk this morning. My mind is whirling, thinking of projects for every color. but I must resist until I finish the three store samples I have underway with other gorgeous yarns. Man, there are just not enough hours in this day!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


We just got in the latest Namaste bags and I set up this display, highlighting the red one, which is their latest color. The picture seems so cluttered to me and as I analyzed it, I realized all that's going on there! We have red and green Namaste bags (which may suggest Christmas to some) in close proximity to judi patuti's Henry Alexander's Skull fabric (which definitely says Halloween) and on the table, is a Thanskgiving day placemat and apron! What a conflict of seasons! Well, I guess what we're saying is that we're ready for all of 'em!

Also fresh off the UPS truck are the Namaste Mini Clutches that are darling. Removeable, adjustable shoulder strap, magnetic clasp, and 3 sections. Best of all, they fit beautifully in Hermosa's exterior pocket. Pretty cool!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yarn? What Yarn?

I've had young knitters before, but this little guy Micah, at 7 months old, is definitely the youngest. At first he denied his interest in yarn.

But while his mom and friend shopped, he began playing with the yarn. Within a few minutes, it looked like he had taught himself to finger knit. His mom was not necessarily pleased to discover this. And Micah was definitely not interested in giving up the yarn!

The inevitable tug-of-war ensued, a game I have witnessed many times in my shop. Micah thought that was even more fun than knitting.

Obviously, he didn't get the seriousness of the matter.

Well, that's a 7-month old for you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stocking Star

Dorothea was in our Christmas stocking class 2 weeks ago and she surprised me yesterday by presenting her completed stocking (before Class 2 on heel turning and toe shaping even took place)! Her stocking was made challenging by the frequent color changes, which aren't so easy when you're knitting in the round. She mastered the technique of "jogless striping" from Class 1 and as you can tell from this picture, she's rightfully pleased with the outcome. She's on her second stocking now using the same organic O-Wool from Vermont. This time she's knitting the stocking pictured below on the right in red and white, which sort of makes me think you can't make just one of these! Due to the popularity of this class, we've scheduled another one for November 28th and December 5th.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I hate to be one of those pet owners that thinks their pet is the cutest thing alive. And, I hate plastering my pet's picture all over the internet, but honestly, you have to admit, Scoutie Rose is a pretty cute dog. She is adopted from the streets of Rosarito, Baja. Having been on the kill list (via electrocution), she is pretty grateful to be alive. And she loves Dog Beach in Del Mar where we first took her when we got her at 1 year old. She is never freer or happier than when she is running on the beach. This video, taken this afternoon at low tide and 72 degrees, demonstrates that she is part dolphin as well as a fully indoctrinated Southern California pup! In the still picture, she found an abandoned tennis ball and hid it among the rocks and she wasn't about to leave without it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ode to My Socks

As I finished this sock, I remembered this tender poem by Pablo Neruda and the appreciation and reverence many men have for hand-knitted items:

Ode to My Socks
by Pablo Neruda (translated by Robert Bly)

Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder's hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,
Violet socks,
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.

Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere as schoolboys
keep fireflies,
as learned men collect
sacred texts,
I resisted the mad impulse to put them
in a golden cage and each day give them
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.

The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in the winter.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Fall & New Beginnings

Ah, there is nothing more satisfying than to see a group of young knitters seated around that table (which used to be in my dining room) learning to knit for the first time. This was last weekend's drop-in knit class and to me, it marked the beginning of the Fall Knitting Season! The minute, and I mean minute, we get a whiff of Fall in the air, knitters come out of the woodwork!

Melody, who is seen here skirting along the outside of the group, has been teaching at the Grove for several years. She has decided to take a sabbatical and return to her roots for 4 months in the Midwest. This means that I will be taking over the knitting classes again. I've had a good break from teaching and am ready to relieve Melody, but man oh man, we're sure gunna miss her.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Color & Skulls

judi patuti has delighted us all with Henry Alexander skull fabric perfect for Halloween. You don't even need to know how to sew to adorn yourself with this. Take a square, fold it in half from corner to corner, and make yourself a pirate's bandanna. Or sew yourself a simple trick or treat bag! The possibilities are endless.

Those gorgeous ribbons flying above the skull fabric are Shibori silk in drop dead colors. Select a crystal pendant from MAD Designs' bead collection and you've got yourself an incredible necklace in no time. More to come on the ribbons soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Foyers & Fall

When you walk into the home of an artist, there's usually a dead give away right inside the door! And so it is at my friend's house. She needle-felted the dresser scarf on hand-dyed silk creating wonderful whimsical birds and flowering trees:

And she always has seasonal vignettes around her lovely home. Halloween is one of her favorite holidays which makes sense because she is all about orange!
On this tray she has a needle felted pumpkin, a decorated orange take-out carton holding knitting needles, and screaming paper poppies. At a time when most of us are feeling financial pressure, it is wonderful to be reminded that you don't have to spend a lot of money to decorate. Gathering the small things you love and arranging them artfully will just make you happy. Right now, I am going to gather orange yarn from my stash in a big salad bowl on the dining room table. Ah, it's the simple things, isn't it?

Monday, October 5, 2009

On the Waterfront

When we saw this fishing boat pull up to the pier this morning, we thought for sure we were going to see fisherman offloading their catch. For all the times we've walked the waterfront, we've only had the pleasure of witnessing that once. Judy and I stood there, while guys stopped to join us, watching the workin' men hoist their catch out of the boat on winches. I just wanted to spit and jangle change in my pocket and make comments like... can you imagine pulling that baby out? Hah! Ya know, be one of the boys. Well, that didn't happen this morning. No catch. Disappointing!

We did, however, spot other wild life along the way.

It took us a little while to figure out what we were looking at when we saw this woman.

An alien, perhaps? What on earth is sticking out of her chest?

Ah, it's Pepper, a 9-month-old Jack Russell terrier going for a morning ride. Well, in her defense, there was a chill in the air.

Thanks to Pepper's mom for being kind enough to stop and pose for these pictures!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Walkabout Stars!

Man, was it happenin' at the Grove last night! We always look forward to the Harvest Walkabout which is usually our second busiest night out of the year (topped only by the Winter Walkabout in December).

This is Haley. It was her first Walkabout. Is she not the cutest little peanut?

And this pup, who gets the cutest-dog-in-the-whole-world award of the evening, is Jolie. When her owner put her on top of the table to get her picture, she spun around barking, looking just like a wind-up toy.

And last but not least, is J.C.(Jeffrey Craig...for real) of Junc Boutique, one of the most creative and talented people I've ever met. His theme for the evening was the 7 deadliest sins, which explains his lust t-shirt. Now about the barbed wire crown, well, like I said - he is one of the most creative people you will ever meet!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Yesterday, we took Scout to run free at the beach in Del Mar where she first experienced the ocean as a puppy. While David and Scout played ball at the ocean's edge, I walked barefoot and automatically began looking for seashells, which is something I have done all my life. I saw three perfectly shaped sand dollars that were still alive. To a shell seeker, sand dollars are quite a find. The one pictured here is probably 20 years old. I found it in Del Mar when I first arrived in San Diego. Then, I realized that most of the shells pictured here, I have had my whole life. That means some of them could be over 40 years old! My father's beautiful hand picked some of these. They are from Cape Cod, Misquamicut Beach, Kittery, Old Saybrook, and a secluded beach on the Sea of Cortez. How amazing that every time I've moved (and I've moved a fair amount!), I have always brought them with me. They are my jewels, each one reminding me of where I have come from and where I have been.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Haute Handbags

It is with great pride that the Grove is selling the most recent issue of Haute Handbags because Val Hebert's incredible needle felted handbags made out of recycled wool are featured in it! When we opened the doors to the Grove in 2003, Val was the very first customer I taught to knit. She has become a friend over the years and I have watched her growth as an artist with amazement. Her sense of color and design is extraordinary, her workmanship...well, I don't think it can be duplicated, and her artistry...she has got it all going on!
So come on in to the Grove and support Val and other local artisans (the bags on the cover are done by a woman in Coronado)! Buy the Mag! Also, check out more of Val's art on her newly-designed website at!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Material World

Yesterday, at the Textile Show in L.A., I came face to face with this sticker on the door of a bathroom stall!

It delighted me!

As did this room full of aisles and aisles of silks. What a color and texture fix that was!

And the color forecasters reminded us of this all-important principle...

especially the part about collaboration & emotional connection.