Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Deep Sea Silk Butterfly

This is Traveling Woman, blocked and ready to wear. It looks like a beautiful butterfly spread out on this glass table. I wore it today and it is light as a feather and the perfect accessory for our spring/summer weather. I know that you will all get tired of seeing me wear this but I will make a conscious effort not to wear it every day; maybe just every other! It took one week to knit and block this beauty. The pattern is very doable and is free on Ravelry. Do check it out. Almost 2700 Ravelers have knit this one. That's just gotta be a record!

Monday, May 24, 2010

We're in Sunset Magazine!!!

This weekend we had a lot of traffic at the Grove. I found out why when a customer went out to her car and brought me a copy of the South Park spread in the June issue of Sunset Magazine. Who knew it was out yet! (Ah, always the last to know!) It is a 2-page spread with this photo on page 2, right smack in the middle. Okay, I don't want to be critical because we deeply appreciate the publicity but I just want you all to know that our fabrics and yarns have much more saturated colors than depicted in this photo. Again, I don't want to bite the hands that feeds us, but we don't consider ourselves a "DIY Throwback" either! Our beautiful yarns and fabrics are state-of-the-art-gorgeous so I'm not sure what the "throw-back" stuff means and the "DIY" label...doesn't that sort of apply to Home Depot projects? Well, maybe I'm being a bit hard on Sunset because after all, it has not dissuaded people from seeking us out. I'm just sayin'.....

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Woman's Work Is Never Done

It's hard enough for me to get to the endless piles of wash this small household generates, but it is especially hard with the Scout around. I had just taken the towels out of the dryer and was about to fold them, when I made the mistake of leaving the room for a moment. I came back, and there she was, sitting right smack on top of the clean towels. ARGH!!! She may have thought of the basket as a suitcase and was damned and determined not to get left behind so she planted herself in it. Or maybe she was just messin' with me like she does when I try to vacuum. She runs into the front of the vacuum cleaner and acts like it's trying to eat her whereupon she bats at it, barks, tries to bite it, etc. Sigh. I put her in the bedroom and when I shut the vacuum off, I hear "scratch, scratch, scratch" and I can just feel her scraping the paint off the door frame. Ugh. It's just damn hard to have a clean house when you have a high maintenance dog. So eventually I give up on the whole idea and happily return to my knitting with a very good excuse!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Swept Out to Sea in a Riptide of Color

Yesterday, I waited impatiently in the line at the post office to pick up a box of Hand Maiden Sea Silk. When I got the box, I went back to my car and began tearing at the packing tape with my keys, my nail clippers, my teeth, etc. Had To See It Right Away! Finally, I broke through and gasped as I took out each one of the incredible skeins with names like Cezanne, Lily Pond, Hemlock and Peridot. Jewels. As I drove from place to place doing my errands, I got to look at them. At every red light, stop sign, and in every parking place.

Later, we took Scout to the beach. While walking along the ocean's edge watching her body surf, DH said he didn't think he locked the car. My first thought was My Yarn!!! but then I remembered it was safe at home. Ah, don't worry about it, I said. I do have my priorities straight.

As soon as we got home and washed the sand off our feet, I took out my swift and rolled the magnificent skein pictured above into a ball. Sea Silk is 70% silk and 30% sea cell. I've never seen any fiber hold color like Sea Silk. It's drape is so fluid, it's hard to think of it as solid matter. And it has this very clean feel, a tiny bit crunchy almost like walking in sand that has a lot of mica in it.

Last night, I started Traveling Woman losing myself in a sea of color. It was a good day.

P.S. Whoops! BTW, it is for sale at the Grove. I'm not going to keep all of it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On a Personal Note...

This is my dear and remarkable mother-in-law, Vivian Wells on Mother's Day 2010. She is still beautiful at 88 years old. She gives Betty White some competition. Betty White was on Saturday Night Live recently. She is 88 and 1/2 and said it several times throughout the show as she engaged in risque jokes. How lucky are to have such vital, hip, older women to show us that Life is fun at any age?

The lessons I learn from Viv as I watch her age with dignity are ones I would have never learned without her. She maintains her interest in those around her, putting her aches and pains aside to focus on our stuff. She plays bridge at least once a week if not three times. She's been a long-time volunteer at the American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop where you will see her every Saturday. She still has us over for dinner every third Sunday evening of the month with the table perfectly set in advance and everything simmering so we can sit and have a drink together before dinner is served. She has friends. Plenty of them. She drinks wine and has no dietary restrictions. And she stays on top of her stuff. All her affairs are in order. We know exactly where her important papers are kept and who gets what when she dies. There is nothing in her cabinets that are not used. She still loves clothes, dressing for any occasion with accessories perfectly matched. She still drives, grocery shops, takes care of her car, goes to the movies...you name it. She shows me every day how to love and value Life.

Aside from all these things, she has given me my beautiful husband and his brother Jeff and sister Julie. Here are the three "kids" on Mother's Day:

Blessings abound.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A FabKnit Project!

Standing at the center of attention on our sample table for May classes is the freshly made "Floral Motif Yoke Top" from Linda Permann's Crochet Adorned. Susan Schlessinger crocheted the yoke from Blue Sky's Skinny Dyed Cotton in Mallard and judipatuti finished it with a crisp cotton fabric called "Mingle" by Robert Kaufman. The crocheted yoke is a one-size-fits-all piece. Think of it as crocheted straps that are secured to a fabric top, with the fabric top cut to fit any size. Pretty ingenious, eh? We start by crocheting the yoke in the first class on May 29th and attach the fabric top in June. For more information, just click on the photo of the bird nest to the right.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Namaste Circular Needle Cases Have Arrived!

OMG! These are too cute for words. These cases have 14 pockets, labels, expandable sides and a secure clasp. And they come in Namaste's wonderful colors such as Hollywood pink, peacock, eggplant, etc.! They are only $21.00 and make perfect Mother's Day gifts. So buy one for your mom, or honor the mother inside you by buying one yourself! We've waited a long time for these to arrive and supplies seem to be limited, so don't wait to stop by the Grove!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Yesterday, I took the crocheted trivet class taught by Susan Schlesinger formerly of Bonita Knit & Sew. Melody Hufford has tried to change my mind about crocheting for about 7 years now, but I maintained that knitting ruled and crochet was icky. She tried to teach me on occasion, but the student was not ready to learn. Well, I'm so knocked out by Linda Permann's Crochet Adorned and the sample trivet Susan brought into the Grove that I pried open my mind and decided to try crochet one more time. And this time it clicked! I finished the back at home last night, crocheted the double layers together and finished it off with a picot stitch. Child that I am, I then called my mother-in-law, the infamous Viv, and told her that I made her something for Mother's Day in class. She was very touched and said she can't wait to see it...whatever it is. She's a terrific mom in my book.

This morning I got up and thought, I can probably do the flowers in Crocheted Adorned by myself now. And I got all set up and didn't get past the first row of instruction. This magic loop thing is kicking my butt. So, rather than get frustrated, I decided to just wait and join Susan's flower class on the 15th. Man, it's so much easier to do it in class! Meanwhile, I will be making DH a trivet to rest his cup on and calling it a large coaster (like John Stewart holding the ipad up to his ear pretending it was a large iphone).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How Blocking Helped Me Avert Danger

Several days ago, I was blocking my Lace Fichu shawlette on the rug in front of the fireplace (sans Scout's puppy). Our house was built in the 20's with a wood-burning fireplace. But darn it if I didn't smell gas. Ah, probably nothing. Pin, stretch, pin, stretch, curse, pin, curse (that's the sound of me blocking lace with a hundred or so points). Sniff. Sniff. Geeze, that's pretty strong. I called in DH ... why is it that only women smell things that don't belong in a particular place? Anyway, I insisted that DH call the gas company which gratefully he did the next day (after my shawl had dried). The "gas man" (what do you call those guys anyway?) walked around the room with a Geiger counter-type machine that went wild by the fireplace. I'm here to tell you that these guys don't mess around. He shut off the gas immediately and locked the meter saying that in an old house with old wiring, one spark and poof...no house. (Even I thought that was a bit dramatic but I wouldn't take any chances). He suspected that the gas came from a defunct in-floor heater and that the gas line had not been capped. After searching around DH and Gas Man concluded that there was no access to the gas lines that once fed the heater. Good lord, the scenarios they were spinning. Yah, uh, well you could blow a hole through the exterior wall to the kitchen, pop the tiles out, grab the line from under the island, reroute it to....blah blah blah. Why don't you just go in through the floor heater, I asked? Pshaw. Women. They continue: we could rip up the deck and try to access the pipes that way. Again, why don't you just go in through the floor heater? Well, finally, our handyman came and he actually listened to me. He removed the floor heater and easily saw that there were 3 dead gas lines that had never been capped; one of which ran towards the fireplace. The next day he capped away. Gas Man reinspected, declared us "clean", and within minutes we had hot water and a stove again! As far as I can figure it, the lesson here is: never ignore a smell and speak until heard!