Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Out of the Box

This past weekend, we had our annual knitting retreat in Julian. Just five of us who have grown close over the years knitting our memories. We chose this project to work on...Out of the Box Sweater using hand-painted South American cotton from Punta Yarns. Yum!!!

We did not get as far as we had expected because there were distractions.

One cuter than the next!
And there were plenty of reminders that Thanksgiving is not too far away.

Can you tell these photos were taken from inside our airconditioned lodge! As my husband always says...I got the indoor model. Yes, that would be me. Now, back to my knitting!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crystal Blue Persuasion

I know I date myself by that title but it seems so appropriate for these stitch markers. I am crazy about them and have made many for my friends and even a set for Louisa Harding when she visited the Grove in January. I can still see her clapping her hands and squealing with her British accent "I love my stitch mahkers". She went so far as to say they would appear in her next book. We shall see!

I make mine with decorative sterling silver head pins and Swarovski crystals, and I wire wrap them. Marcia has come up with an even easier way using silver cable and crimp beads instead of head pins. Hers are pictured above. Either way, they are stunning. We figure it costs about $1.97 a piece to make them. Not bad when they are pretty enough to wear as earrings! And we have all the materials at the Grove. If time allows, I'd be happy to show you how to make them. Hmmm. Maybe I'll do a class for them in October. Any interest?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall Abundance

For a yarn shop owner, there is no better time of year than the Fall when the new yarns start arriving. The shelves are full, color selections complete, and the visual appeal of it all is almost too much for one who has The Passion. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture the saturated colors of this new South American Hand Painted Cotton from Punta Yarns. They are spectacular and the yarn, rare. Rare because it is a bulky cotton. It's damn near impossible to find a nice bulky cotton. Cotton is a heavy fiber. Much more so than wool. It it's not spun correctly creating a light loft it's, well, heavy. Heavy's not so nice in a cotton. It's sort of like wearing the weight of a wet blanket. But This Stuff! Oh my, it's light as a feather, spun so it doesn't look like it will pill or mat. I'd have to say, this is the most exciting yarn to hit the market in a long time. We've also ordered the wool, which comes in colors as rich as Manos, but the hand is much softer. They are to ship October 15th from upstate New York. And I will be waiting in the window for them to arrive!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Catalina Island

I was going to post a "Gone Fishin'" sign on the door of the Grove before I left, but Melody and Anne were kind enough to work for me. Three days on an island. Just me and my Sis from Maryland sitting side by side in beach chairs. Sorting out our lives. Reflecting where we've come from and where we're going. Swimming when it gets too hot. Eating when we're hungry. Drinking whether we're thirsty or not! Heaven on earth! And now, after that nourishment, I'm ready for the Fall and hunkering down to some serious knitting on glorious new the amazing bulky South American Hand Painted Cotton from Punta Yarns. Oh my, wait 'til you see this stuff!