Thursday, December 13, 2012

Angels Bearing Gifts for Knitters!

Every Christmas I'm on the look-out for unique gift items for knitters. I was feeling like there was nothing new this year and out of the blue, I got a call from Claudia Carlson who wondered if I'd be interested in seeing her shawl pins.  I haven't come across a shawl pin I've liked in eons, so I readily said yes.  Claudia and Larry, her best friend and husband of 35 years, came to the Grove on Monday with D.O.G. (pronounced dee-OH-gee) and knocked my socks off with their gorgeous pins!!!  Each one is hand-made with wood felled in the Julian fires.  There's manzanita, white oak, black oak, and pine.  The grain of each is stunning.  It's as if Larry teases out the textures as he makes them.  They are shiny, lightweight (he hollows them out), and each one has a unique embellishment.  They come as singles or doublets.  The doublets can be worn 9 different ways (instructions are on the back of each card).  And every one has a heart charm that says "made with love".  You can see and feel the love that has gone into each one of their creations.  The prices are incredibly reasonable starting at $28.  We have less than a dozen on hand, so if you're interested do visit us soon!

A NOTE FROM CLAUDIA:  My hope is each creation finds an owner who just adores it. I find such satisfaction and solace in my creations, each item is a part of me and I’m very picky when I put my name on it, it has to be unique, beautiful, and of course makes you proud to wear/own it!.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where's Everybody Going?

We got 2 pieces of news this week that saddened us. The Shepherdess and Schaefer Yarns, two creative vortexes, are gone. Both Cookie and Cheryl are retiring, but if business was good...they may not have. So please support the small businesses who have added color and texture to your lives and buy from the few San Diego yarn shops that remain open!  You make the difference!

From the Shepherdess' Website:
Shepherdess is Retiring!
"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” Twyla Tharph
This is one of my favorite quotes. Every now and then, life comes full circle. After many enjoyable and successful years I have decided to retire and close the shop. This has been in the planning stages for awhile and I feel the time is right. What does retirement mean? In the past it meant that you stopped working. But for me retirement now means that I can reorganize and start concentrating on the things I want to do most: my art and teach. I have a very full life, awesome children, beautiful grandchildren and a supportive husband. And of course, all of my dear friends, many of whom I have met through The Shepherdess.Retirement does not mean that I am going to stop working. I am traveling and teaching at different venues and am excited that I will now be able to do more of this. While the casual observer might perceive that The Shepherdess consists only of a store and classroom containing the delights and joy of fiber, beads and metal art, those of us who consider ourselves to be part of this eclectic community, know it to be much more than that.So, while the physical store will be closing (2 months shy of 35 years) with this part of my retirement, The Shepherdess will continue to grow and evolve. The wonderful weekly groups where ideas, techniques and friendships are shared are closest to my heart. They are a continuing inspiration to me and to those who give and receive so much by their participation. They represent and embody the true creative spirit of all The Shepherdess is and they will continue to meet. A new, exciting venue has been secured that will allow these groups to expand. Watch for more information to follow.
As our evolution continues, you will see other inspired changes to our shared Shepherdess community. However, one thing will never change and that is the gratitude and affection I have for all of you who have supported me. Thank you for being such good friends and loyal customers.
Happy Trails!
Cooky Schock, Owner
The Shepherdess
From Cheryl at Schaefer Yarn:
          To all my Valued Customers,

While I intended to tell my reps first, then you, that I am retiring and closing Schaefer Yarn at the end of the year, some kind person has already put it out on Ravelry. So forgive me for not beating her to it.
My feelings, to put it mildly, are mixed. I need to retire but it's very hard, after 33 years, to give up this colorful business. I'll keep my hand in by keeping my outlet shop open 3-4 short days a week but it's time to have time for myself. My lifetime is no longer enough for all the projects I've put aside in favor of Schaefer Yarn.
So, my thanks for the support over the years. It has been a pleasure to dye for you and I do hope you'll remember Schaefer as it fades into the sunset.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


We just got in a gorgeous array of Kid Seta, a silk/mohair blend, in the most delicious colors! The colors blend perfectly with Loden, a worsted tweed, also by Plymouth Yarn Company. Putting them together in a squiggle scarf, using 6 balls, was the only logical thing a girl could do with all that scrumptiousness! So here it is ...

The Self-Fringing Scrumptious Scarf!

Starting with Loden and leaving a 5-6" tail, cast on 200 stitches on a 24" #10 needle.  Break yarn, leaving a 5-6" tail.  Turn your work.  Starting with a fresh strand of yarn with a 5-6" tail, knit across the row.  End with a 5-6" tail.  (This creates the self-fringe).  Work 6 garter stitch rows in this fashion randomly alternating the colors and textures. For the body, knit 3 rows in the Kid Seta followed by 1 row of the Loden as follows:  With the right-side of the work facing you and with a new strand of yarn, knit across the row leaving a 5-6" tail on each end.  Without turning your work, take a different strand of yarn and start over again, leaving a 5-6" tail of the new yarn at the beginning and end of the row.  Although you never turn your will get a stockinette stitch without purling! Continue knitting as established until piece measures 6" or until desired width.  End by knitting 6 garter stitch rows ending with Loden.  Cast off.  On each end, snug up the tails and knot 3 strands of fringe close to the knitted piece.  Block lightly.

P.S.  To my dear reader and customer, Jane, I forgot to write down the names of the patterns you wanted!  On Ravelry, check out Claire for the Filigran, Jeweled Cowl for the ????, and Piper's Journey for the Smooshy with Cashmere.  I'm pretty sure those are the ones you wanted.  Call me at the shop if not!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Knitter's Bumper Sticker!

Yesterday, while Sandy was beating up the East Coast, I went for a long walk at Torrey Pines State Beach. The sun was shining.  The sky was crystal clear and it was an ideal 80 degrees.  I couldn't waste a day like yesterday inside.  It just didn't seem right.

Along the way, I spotted this bumper sticker which made me laugh out loud.

That's one good reason to knit, alright!

Monday, October 29, 2012


When:  Saturday, November 3, 3:00 p.m.!
Where:  The Grove at Juniper & 30th
Why:  To Support Small Neighborhood Businesses

Cash mobs are grass root events where some caring souls decide to mob a local store at a particular time and place and spend $20 a piece to support the local economy.  Last year, December 7, to be exact, the locale of South Park's inaugural Cash Mob was a mystery.  Word spread quickly through the neighborhood to meet in the parking lot of Ray's Liquor (corner of Juniper & 30th) at 7:00 p.m.  An impressive "mob" gathered and chose to mob Make Good, an ideal target.  There was t.v. coverage.  Yours truly was interviewed (2 seconds of fame).  And several media picked up the story.  Afterwards, the mob descended upon the Whistle Stop for a few pops.  It was a terrific way to draw attention to the indie stores located in South Park.  

This year, Marianne Reiner, is the motivating force behind Saturday night's cash mob.  Marianne is the founder of the web site Tend of San Diego (The Entrepreneur Next Door) and a devotee of South Parks shops and eateries.  She is an example of the type of people in South Park that make our neighborhood the neighborly place it is.  Because of folks like Marianne, the Grove has survived 9 whole years during the worst of economic times.  We are so grateful for all who support us and make our being here, possible!  We'd love to see you Saturday as well, so if you've got the time....we've got the place!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Knitting the Blues!

It occurs to me as I write this that it is appropriate to be knitting the blues this week in the quiet we are left with without Scout. My yarn selection was not intentional but it's funny how we gravitate towards certain colors at certain times in our lives.  Aside from sadness, blue represents the calmness of blue skies and water.  It's a rather complex color that has been studied.  Check out the recent New York Times article, "True Blue Stands Out in an Earthly Crowd".

I have always gone for The, earth-wise, and feeling-wise.  I play the blues all day long when I'm in the shop and no one's complained yet.  In fact one customer asked "why do the blues make you feel so good?"  Don't know, but they do!

And speaking of feeling good, Smooshy with Cashmere by Dream in Color (pictured) is heaven to work with it.  I am knitting a sample of Piper's Journey, a class we're offering on November 7th and 21 from 6:30 to 8:30.   The body is all in garter stitch and only every other row is a pattern row.  Only the first and last 4 stitches form the pattern.  Easy schmeazy! (Of course, I haven't gotten to the lace edging yet!)  The only down-side to this beauty (and it is far outweighed by the positives) is that the dye does come off on your hands and wooden needles.  That's how you know it's dyed with natural dyes.  There are only 2 blue dyes in nature: indigo and woad.  Neither are colorfast.  I have never experienced it staining anything, though, so don't let it deter you from working with the soft beauty! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scoutie Rose

Scout, our beloved body surfer, ball chaser, scrabble coach, travel protester,  grandma lover, joy-giver, and David's constant companion of six years isn't with us anymore.  In my heart, I knew from day one that Scout wasn't a dog who would grow old.  She lived twice as fast as any other with inexhaustible energy.  We're not sure what happened, whether it was a poisonous snake bite, cancer or a heart infection.  None of the possibilities were curable.  And she wasn't one to live with restrictions of any sort (okay, that was a double-edged sword!).  So this is a farewell to the craziest little beagle mix to come out of Tijuana.  May she not rest in peace.  May she run wild and surf the clouds chasing a ball of stars forever.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jeweled Collar

This jeweled collar can be knit in an evening and makes a spectacular gift.  Luca Tape is a 3-strand yarn of rayon, cotton and a wee bit of polyester.  The sequins are so securely attached  that not a single one popped off as I re-knit the yarn.  Yes.  Re-knit. 3 times to get the right look!  I started out knitting a long cowl.  That wasn't right.  I ripped it out and knit a second shorter cowl and that wasn't right either.  As I was taking it off, I held it up around my neck as a collar and knew that was the right thing to do with the yarn.  So I ripped it out a second time, rewound it, and created the third and final pattern pictured here. I was amazed at how well the yarn held up...especially with the sequins.  I was prepared to sacrifice the first skein but it wasn't necessary.  So keep this beauty in mind for the holidays and for gift giving.  We've got about 7 handsome colors on the shelf and it retails for around $26.00.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Around the Table

We've got a wonderful class schedule this Fall and before a lace class last week, I decided it was imperative to have a table where we could rest our patterns and keep track of every row.  While I loved the comfort of our knitting circle in our cushy black chairs, balancing a lace pattern on your lap was never an optimal way to knit.  So in a flash, we removed the chairs to our very back room and placed an abandoned table in it's place.  A sheet of craft paper came in handy to cover the top, enabling us to write notes, draw diagrams, and sketch patterns with ease.  When Krista from the Daily Scoop saw the table, she remembered seeing a set of oak chairs outside a restaurant supply store in the 'hood.  So quick as a flash, we closed our shops and made an emergency run to get the chairs.  We were back in 15 minutes with the chairs.  They look perfect and are really comfortable.  The feedback has been great and I love the energy around the table.  Remember that you are always welcome to sit and knit at the Grove with yarn you've purchased from us!  My store hours are posted on our monthly newsletter (the link is the bird nest on the right-hand side of this blog) and I would love to see you!  Our newest and most exciting yarns are from Dream in Color...we've got Wisp, Classy, and Classy with cashmere is due to arrive on Friday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tiny Empress Set

Blue Sky folks are marketing geniuses.  Honestly, their packaging and presentation are absolutely irresistible.  I ordered the Tiny Empress Set patterns along with some yarn.  Enclosed in the box was a stiff 3 1/2" x 4" envelope.  And I thought, oh, geeze ... they forgot the patterns.  I opened that little envelope, and what did I see .. the patterns!  They are only 3 1/2" x 4".  They open like a tiny book with two pockets.  On the left side is a pull-out photo of the most darling baby alpaca and on the back is information about cria, baby alpacas.  On the other side, is this Japanese type paper that, unfolded, is the two-sided pattern. 

And, the pattern!  Well, see for yourself.  Have you ever seen a cuter home-from-the-hospital baby set?  I doubt it!  This sample will be at the Grove tomorrow, September 5th. Seaglass is on the shelf and the other colors have been shipped today from Minnesota with promises that they'll be here by the weekend.  Also, on route are the fingerless mitt patterns, the man's hat and other exciting patterns knit in Royal Petite's.
Royal Petite is made from the finest alpaca in the world and in a blind test, you would not be able to tell the difference between this alpaca and cashmere.  The 100 yd. balls retail for only $14.50, making accessory projects more than affordable!  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pretty Darn Cute!!!

Oh hell!  That's all I can say about this darling little skirt!  It's knit out of one skein of Jelli Beenz, a new washable wool blend by Plymouth Yarn Company that retails for $8.25.  Jelli Beenz has great yardage.  It took only one ball to knit this Scattered Notions Skirt, a free pattern on Ravelry.  It's as simple as making a hat.  Instead of decreasing for the crown, you just knit one eyelet row to form the waist band and ba da're done!  Except for adding all the cute finishing touches, of course.   

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gradient is GREAT!

I am continually impressed with Skacel's yarn, especially the Schoppel yarns from Germany.  This yarn is called Gradient which has a "great long gradual colour exchange".  It is a slightly felted 100% virgin wool that is hand-washable.  It is as soft as alpaca but in a more substantial way, if that makes any sense! 

Our rep, the famous Mona Lisa, showed us a beautiful Wingspan made out of this yarn.  It was so inspiring that I ordered two balls immediately to make up a store sample.  And even though it's way hot here in San Diego, nothing could deter me from knitting with this scrumptious yarn.  The way the color changes fall into this pattern is remarkable!  I haven't planned any of this, but doesn't it look like the color changes lined up with the short rows are intentional?  Crazy, right?

This is just one of several new yarns we have ordered for Fall.  We will be bringing them into the shop gradually starting September 15th.  If you would like to start knitting with Gradient before then, just give me a call and let me know which colorway you want and I'll have it sent earlier!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gone Fishing

The truth is, I haven't actually gone fishing but I'm sort of on vacation the month of August.  I'm not teaching or putting out a calendar.  I will be in the shop August 8 - 15th and August 23rd-29th though so I am available then for knitting purchases and questions.  

Our treasured intern from Arizona Sate University, Megan, will be heading back to school soon.  Her last day working at the Grove is Friday, August 10th.  She will be greatly missed but we wish her every success in completing her Fiber Arts bachelor's degree in 2013! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pasadena Bead Show

The Pasadena Bead and Design Show starts this Thursday, July 26th and runs through Sunday, July 29th.  The Grove's judipatuti will be a vendor and yours truly will be helping her sell her fun and colorful bead mats, thread catchers, and totes.  We had such a good time at the Tuscon Bead Show, we couldn't resist exhibiting at one that was so close by (well, sort of close!).  So if anyone's up for a road trip, come see us!  It's known to be an excellent show and there will be plenty of inspiration. 

When the Pasadena show ends, we'll head over to the L.A. Gift Show with Christmas purchases in mind.  By that time, we'll be pretty "showed out" and happy to return to San Diego.  Megan, our fiber art intern from Arizona State will be covering for me with the help of Melody, Jo, and Julie so even though I won't be at the Grove until August 1st, your knitting needs will still be met at the Grove.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Torrie Rises To The Top!!!

I've met a lot of wonderful people at the Grove and Torrie Dunlap is at the top of the list! She's neighborhood for one thing and felt like family right away to me and David. Everything she creates is beautiful from handmade cards, dinner to go for Joe (who was undergoing radiation treatments) to darling knits for the treasured loved ones in her life. Thursday we attended a party for her at Wine Steals in Liberty Station (very cool place, BTW) in honor of her being named the CEO of Kids Included Together (KIT).  There was so much joy that evening, it felt like a wedding!  Torrie, who has spoken several times at the Pentagon about KIT, gave a brief but rousing speech saying she believed KIT could change the world.  If Torrie says so, I believe it!  CONGRATULATIONS, Torrie!

P.S.  Check out KIT's website and the fundraiser they're having on August 18 where you can repel 33 stories down the face of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the tallest waterfront hotel in downtown San Diego.  Torrie's mom and her uncle are doing it together representing the over 60 participants! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ribbonwork Gardens

Ribbonwork Gardens by Christen Brown is a masterpiece publication that will inspire even the least crafty folks to try their hand at making their own ribbon garden.  The beauty of her book comes as no surprise since Christen's work has always been breathtaking.  The photographs in the book do her work justice.  You feel as if you could just reach out and pick one of her flowers.  Her directions are clear and easy to read.  This would make a great project book for craft groups to use!

We were so pleased to have Christen do a book signing at the Grove yesterday where she demonstrated her craft to the delight of the crowd.  Signed copies of her book are now available at the Grove.  And we have a beautiful selection of double satin ribbons that are perfect for growing her beautiful flowers so do stop by and take a look!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Drinking Gloves!

What an incredible idea!!! Cosmo gloves, or in my case, Grey Goose gloves!  I'm going to modify this pattern a titch by excluding the finger holes (only thumb hole), ditching the bow, and not doing the fan wrist thing.  Okay, so that means the only thing I am actually going to use is the martini glass detail!  My girls and I do happy hour at C-Level once a month to celebrate our 6-month birthdays (since celebrating only one birthday a year isn't enough).  Our next date is July 23rd which gives me plenty of time to design my own pair.  If they come out good, then I'll be making three other pairs.  We all like wearing the same knitted pieces in different our Mrs. Beaton's and our kiri shawls, etc.  I know.  We have no pride, right?

Monday, June 25, 2012

My New Puppy

Recently, I've made the harsh realization that Scout is really David's dog.  They sit together, sleep together, drive together, eat together.  It's kind of sick.  But maybe I'm just jealous.  I really want a dog of my own that is shop friendly, non-aggressive, non-territorial.  A dog I can take anywhere.  I want that little heart beat in the palm of my hand.  Yes, I'm talking small.  Not tiny, but small.  Portable.  Since Scout is aggressive with other dogs especially around food, I know it's not possible to get my own pup.  This was probably in the back of my mind yesterday when I saw this darling puppy on Ravelry as I sipped my morning coffee.  Hmmm.  I think I have Skinny Dyed in beige right there in my stash.  Ah-ha!  I do!  I can probably whip this little guy out in no time and so went my Sunday.  It took 2 hours to knit, and at least an hour to sew, stuff, and embroider.  The pattern is clear and easy to follow.  It's done flat which I find much easier than knitting tiny in the round.  And this little guy will be on the July calendar.  So you can knit one too.  Maybe we'll have a Grove litter!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Knitty First Fall 2012 Issue Is Out!

What a nice surprise!  This morning on Ravelry I noticed First Fall Knitty patterns.  It's out!  I'm loving these fingerless gloves, for one thing.

The TNNA, The National Needlewords Association, is the big show for us retailers where we buy a lot of our yarn.  The June 23 one features the new Fall 2012 line of yarns and shortly before the show, we receive a lot of promo about what's going to be offered.  That includes new patterns also to entice buyers to seek out the designers/yarn manufacturers at the show.  Unfortunately, the Fall show is in Columbus, Ohio so it's cost prohibitive for us to attend.  But we will be at the January Spring/Summer 2013 show in January.  They have changed the venue from Phoenix (last year's) back to Long Beach and we're pleased they've done that!  As are many others as I understand it. 

We'll keep you posted as the new Fall yarns are introduced.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Claire Finished!

Claire is light as a feather and just perfect for these June gloom days where it can be downright chilly in the mornings and early evenings.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  If you want to get into lace but are a little intimidated, just give this one a try!  It is a one row repeat pattern.  That's it!  You do the same row over and over again.  And it only takes one 656 yards skein of Filligran laceweight yarn which is 100% merino.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sammy Ready to Fly in Bumble Bee Sweater!

Awww!!!  This is little Sammy all ready for his flight from Virginia to San Diego.  He's wearing his flight jacket, of course, and a flight "helmet" that his mom, Joni, crocheted for him.  Already surrounded in love, that little one!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


This is Claire from Nonsuch Knits, a free download on Ravelry. While intended as a stole, wouldn't it make a beautiful curtain? The yarn is Filigran Lace. Can't seem to stop knitting with this particular yarn! This is the easiest lace pattern I've ever come across. It's a one row repeat and the results are beautiful. We're having a class in it on May 30th from 6:30 to 8:30 for $20. Give me a call at the shop today if you're interested (619) 284-7684. I start my work week today. So if you have a WIP that you need help with, c'mon down. This is a free service we offer to all who have purchased their yarn at the Grove. And you are always welcome to sit and knit with our yarns in our comfy chairs!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

High tea

Is there anything more genteel than a high tea? Me thinks not! Yesterday 12 of us attended a surprise tea party for Sandy's birthday. It was a big one and we shall leave it at that. We all made some delicious thing for the table (I made mini Boston cream pies) and several brought beautiful roses from home gardens. The table was an absolute picture to behold. The teas were extraordinary. The savories and sweets were out of this world. And our dear Carol Brown made each of us a pearl bracelet with a tiny silver tea pot charm near the clasp. Sandy was truly surprised and moved to tears. It was awesome! We all had so much fun we've decided to have a high tea every other month...the society of high tea ladies and pearls. Hah! Awesome!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Early Morning Beret

Sometimes the things we wear the most are the least spectacular.  This Early Morning Beret (free download on Ravelry) is knit from Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece.  It's an easy pattern made all the more fun by knitting it in stripes.  Love the pinwheel look of it from the back!  This is the hat you grab in the morning when you're walking your dog before work.  It's the one you grab when you're running to Von's to get milk for your morning breakfast (before you shower and get ready for the day).  It's an everyday Bad Hair Day buster.  It's light, machine washable, and it's comfy.  This is the store sample which you are welcome to try on.  In case you're wondering, I put the left over yarn in the glass "head" see "Putty" in the cheek and "Charcoal" in the neck!  We're also offering a class in this on Wednesday, May 16 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. for $20.  If you're interested, do give us a call at 619-284-7684.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vogue Crochet

Yesterday, we received advance copies of Vogueknitting Crochet.  There are several stunning pieces that are worth the price of the magazine, including the ultra feminine wrap by Nicki Epstein pictured.  Coincidentally, it is crocheted in Kid Paillettes, that awesome sequined mohair yarn by Skacel that we have a hard time keeping in. Just picture it in their latest color, pale mauve.  Owie!  And then there are more traditional patterns which have updated granny square patterns (gag).  But don't let that deter you!  Hit the link above and it will take you directly to the design page with photos of every pattern in the magazine.  We've got six copies on hand, so if you're interested c'mon in!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Have you ever noticed themes of color running through your life?  This morning I was sitting at my computer in my Sweet Pear room with the windows open so I could smell the blossoms on my lemon tree.  In front of me was this gorgeous peach rose that I cut from our front yard yesterday.  On my To Do list was the notation:  photo Assemblage for blog, Ravelry & Facebook.  So I got Assemblage from my knitting chair and placed it on the desk wondering what to hang it on to shoot it.  And darn if it wasn't the same color as my peach rose.  You would think that the yarn was died from the petals on that rose...that's how perfectly it matches. 

As for Assemblage, we are having a class in it on Thursday, May 10th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (cost of $20).  It's a fun knit with an interesting construction.  Although there are 6-7 strands, it is knit in one piece with no finishing.  So it's a good class for those who would like to learn how to knit in the round and join without twisting. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Metallico, a New Yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas!

PRESS RELEASE  Introducing Metalico

By Blue Sky Alpacas

Debuting at TNNA June 2012

A shimmering blend of baby alpaca and raw silk, available in six natural, undyed colors; genuine whites to silvery grays and flecked golds.

Blue Sky Alpacas is proud to offer Metalico. This rich yarn is a dappled blend of 50% baby alpaca and 50% raw silk, a sport weight yarn, available in 146 yard shimmering braids.

Luxury, as nature intended.

Utilizing naturally occurring shades of baby alpaca blended with undyed mulberry silk, Blue Sky Alpacas developed a sumptuous subtle palette; color ways provided by nature. Metalico will be introduced and available in six hues, supported by new patterns featuring pretty, classic designs.

Cinnabar – warm gold tones.

Flint – subtle notes of brown and silvery gray.

Gold Dust – soft, warm brown bewitches.

Opal - luminescent like its gemstone namesake.

Silver – delicate tones of gray with an elementary polish.

Platinum – engaging gray is deep and full bodied.

Metalico is available for preorders now, shipping in June 2012. It will also work with all Blue Sky Alpaca Silk Patterns.

Metalico will retail for $15.50 per skein.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stop the Deflowering of San Diego's Stop Signs!

You may have seen these delightfully decorated  stop signs throughout the city.  The most recent sighting for me was the stop sign located where Redwood dead ends at Pershing in North Park.  We were squealing with delight when we saw it and again thought of yarn bombing the decorative red bicycle in front of Daily Scoop this summer. 

On Ravelry today, I came across this entry about the City of San Diego requiring the removal of these innocuous stem and leaf decorations.  From what I gather the City's demand has something to do with not messing around with traffic control devices. Charlene Holkenbrink has started an on-line petition in protest to the demand for removal.  208 people have signed it including me.  1000 signatures are needed so if you have any interest, do visit that page and sign the petition.  Geeze, if they can yarn bomb the steps of Helsinki's cathedral we should at least be able to wrap the pole of a stop sign, no?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sammy's Little Bumble Bee Sweater

Joni Schulz, who teaches crochet and knitting at the Grove, and her husband Chris, are adopting a newborn baby named Sammy.  We are all anxiously awaiting his arrival anticipated around May 26th.  Joni is also the creator of Grinning Cat yarns, those delicious hand-dyed sock yarns we carry.  I wanted to knit something special for Sammy as a welcome gift.  Since Joni and Chris will be flying him home from Virginia, I figured Sammy would need an in-flight sweater.  When I saw this Grinning Cat Curiouser and Curiouser yarn, I knew Sammy was going to get a Bumble Bee sweater!  I already had the bumble bee buttons in my stash so it all came together beautifully.
The amazing thing about this yarn is that it patterns like an argyle sweater on the front and back and ends up striping across the yoke!  Perfect!  Wouldn't you say?  And here's a detail shot of those darling little buttons.

This is a free pattern from Purl Soho called Little Baby Sweater and we'll be teaching it at the Grove on May 19th and 26th so if there's a little one in flying into your life soon, you may want to sign up.  Our May calendar is in the works and will be posted by tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

San Diego Love Affair

I know this is a really schmaltzy thing to say but, "San Diego?  Have I told you lately how much I love you?"  Cuz last night when I took this picture outside of C-Level Lounge I was thinking it really loudly!  And I'm thinking it again as I look at this view.  Some silly part of me thinks that by expressing our appreciation out loud, we will never lose what we love.  So on the outside chance that that's true, San Diego, I'm crazy about you!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flower Fields in Full Bloom

Yep,it's that time of year again. Oh, the color! 5 acres of it. It's magic, really. And in the parking lot, there are strawberry stands with the absolute sweetest, freshest berries you'll ever taste. The strawberries alone are worth the ride. We were a little surprised at the fees to enter the Fields: $11 per ticket. Not sure why you'd pay that but I guess it is to stand in the fields right smack in the middle of it all. We did that once and it was like being at a ballet and too close to the stage...hearing every foot/toe step and seeing the straining muscles, etc. When you're in the fields, you see too much detail that detracts from the overall beauty. Better to view it from afar while eating strawberry shortcake (yes, they have that tooooo)!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pelican & Succulents

One of my favorite things to do is take my dog Scout to the beach in Del Mar. We used to live in that area and took her often. She appears to remember it well because she starts whining on the 5 when the Del Mar exit approaches. When we actually take the exit, her joy is uncontainable and contagious. This week, I was reminded what a magical place Del Mar is in the Spring. The fragrances that blend together with the ocean are like none other. And the homes on the streets closest to the beach are individual, unique, and East Coastish which makes this long-time transplant feel at home.
This particular house had lovely roses on the street level and on the upstairs porch, the most colorful succulents I've ever seen. Aren't they amazing? Do treat yourself soon and take a drive to Torrey Pines Beach, Power House Park or Dog Beach and breathe deeply.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lambie Video

Good lord! You must watch these precious, darling little ones. Oh, how I want one. I've wanted one my whole life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not to be harsh...

but, really?!!!

Eye-yigh-yigh. This pattern, "Romp Around the Clock" has been featured for the past two days on Ravelry under "What's Hot", "Designs Ravelers are looking at today". Geeze, I think I'll go get a donut and contemplate this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's to stop a guy ....

from diving head first into a box of soft, colorful, delicious,newly-arrived Cotton Fleece yarns?

What's to stop a girl from ripping open these bags of Blue Sky's irresistible organic Worsted Cotton and rolling in them? Beat's me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This is Vine by Jenise Reid, an 8' long scarf knit in lace weight yarn. Intriguing, isn't it? The pattern is both written and charted and it's a toss up as to which is easier to follow. I usually flip back and forth between the two. I'll follow the chart until I mess up and then I'll refer to the written instructions to figure out where I went wrong and then I'll stay with the writing for awhile. Eventually, I will learn the pattern, but until then, I am definitely pattern-dependent!
After completing the 3rd leaf, I decided it was time to block and see how the leaves lay and whether they'd stay open and flat. Blocking lace is critical in determining drape and appearance. Until those eyelets are opened up and trained, there's no predicting the final outcome. Ah, yes, I can tell this is going to work nicely and that it is worth the time and effort (t&e). I'm always weighing the t&e factor for every project. Since I knit every sample in the store, I can't afford to spend too much time on a piece that isn't working out. I am knitting this in Non-Repeating Filigran, an ombre merino lace yarn by Zitron. According to the distributor's blurb, this is quickly becoming Europe's go-to lace weight yarn. I need no convincing! It's heaven to knit with!