Sunday, February 24, 2008

it started with this

i was pretty excited about going to my first stitches west this past weekend. i had enrolled in one of the hour long classes being offered which gave me a free ticket into the market floor, a yarn haven.

the tuesday evening before the big weekend i was going through various groups on ravelry to see if i could carpool with fellow attendees. in one of the groups there was mention of a special "stitch and ride" version of the capital corridor, an amtrack train which travels from sacramento to san jose (where stitches west is held).

a few clicks of the mouse later, i found the site, discussed with my cute husband the financial and logistical advantages of taking the train and decided to buy a ticket. due to the late purchase, the site said i would need to pick up my ticket from the ticket booth the morning of departure.

but on thursday there was a DHL package by the front door and it contained this...

and the excitement factor increased 10 fold. the cute husband could hardly contain me in the car on the way to the train station.

the train was about 25 minutes late, but once inside all riders received one of these:

holy moly! and all the free coffee you could drink. what could be better on a drizzly saturday morning?!

the train arrived about 11ish; the description had said the convention center was a 10 or 15 min walk away so i thought walking wouldn't be a bad option, but the shuttle buses were waiting with open doors so in i hopped and was at my first stitches west stop, the ravelry booth, within moments.

ravelry did a passport book to introduce members to ravelry supporters and businesses. it was a great way to meet some fellow ravelers and support their various yarn endeavors. it was also a great way to make sure every aisle was explored. there was some amazing yarn being offered. my personal favorites the buffalo and musk ox yarns. so soft and beautiful, so incredibly expensive.

it was suggested i have a plan of who or what i wanted to see. so i put a list together of things i needed; vendors i wanted to see, etc. so between the "plan" and the passport, i pretty much saw every booth on the floor. webs had two huge booths which were always packed. since i didn't have a specific project in mind, i didn't visit them. i was drawn to the smaller, single person type yarn vendors.

i was also drawn to sock yarns. one of the sock yarn vendors i wanted to see was blue moon yarns, which also happened to be in the ravelry passport. the colorway i was truly lusting after was rock star. there had been one skein left when i was in my lookie-lou phase. by the time i went back to do my purchasing, it was gone. fortunately that set back wasn't a deterrent. i just purchased this colorway instead. it is called peaseblossom and it is 360 yards of lightweight 100% superwash merino. rah. can't wait to knit it up.

the second sock yarn i was drawn to were those by lisa souza. this is her elektra colorway which is 560 yards of 100% superfine superwash merino. i am thinking this would make the cute husband a nice pair of socks.

the last big sock purchase was from the bins of a vendor from so cal, the yarn lady. the bins in front of this booth had bags of yarn for 70% off. with the first look-see i found yarns i wasn't interested in; a second look-see unearthed bags of 8 balls of fortissima colori socka color sock yarn all in the same color way. a third look-see unearthed this, a bag of 8 balls of fortissima in 4 different colorways, meaning a pair of socks per colorway. all i could think of was presents! at 70% off! there were very few bargains but this was definitely one of them. i was very pleased.

the only non sock yarn purchase were these two, from terilyn needleart, two sisters who like knitting lace shawls. the first time i passed by this yarn it screamed "shawl!". the second time i passed by, i just stopped and shopped. all of their colorways are lovely but these two really captured me. these are the heather yarns, the light one is colorway 5680, periwinkle and the dark one is 5751, midnight. each hank has 560 yards! i love the midnight colorway but it will be very dark to knit with. i will need very good lighting, especially with lace. but so it goes!

all in all, my first stitches west was a great adventure and i look forward to next year!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

holding strong

i made it through another sunday update without purchasing sock yarn from sockpixie. i am so proud. especially since her colors were inspired by the provence region of france, i thought for sure i would get hooked. and i did, but the colorway was sold out by the time i logged in. whew. on to stitches west next saturday!

and speaking of socks, i am wanting to knit some ankle length socks for the big guy and am in need of a pattern. i am sure there is one out there, i just can't remember where i saw it. if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. have a good week everyone.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

i got to choose

my cute husband and kids are involved with the ymca youth & government program. after 5 months of practicing state government their big weekend of taking over the state capital building is always around valentines day; this year it just happened that valentines day and the first day of y&g were the same. they are going to take over the state capital for five days and i get to stay home to do whatever i want. not a bad trade off.

for valentines day supper i decided i wanted pink food. really i just wanted salmon. the fam isn't fond of me making salmon because of the "fishy" smell. but they are not here and the dog doesn't mind if the house smells of salmon. i had this idea i wanted to have pasta with the salmon. then i decided to mix the salmon with the pasta.

so on the way home from work i stopped at the local market, got salmon, lemons, thyme, chives, italian flat leaf parsley and asparagas. i put water on for pasta and asparagas; made a poaching broth of water, lemon slices, parsley, shallots and garlic; poached the salmon; drained the pasta; sauted garlic and shallots in the pan with some olive oil and lemon juice; added the pasta; sprinkled it with minced chives and parsley; added the salmon and asparagas, which, in the meantime had been sliced into thirds; mixed them all together until everything was warm and served it with a sprinkle of some lovely, fresh parmesean cheese in one of my favorite bowls.

it was perfect. it was just what i wanted. and, there are leftovers. not to bad for being alone on valentines day! hope yours was wonderful, too!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

how time flies!

wow, time is flying by! it is already february and i am still futzing about with christmas presents.

i realized the garter stitch ruffle scarf out of rowan cashsoft was b-o-r-i-n-g! and if i was bored knitting it, the recipient would more than likely be bored wearing it. plus, in order to match the vision of this scarf in my mind's eye, the scarf needed to be a bit thinner and have more ruffle. the plan was to make two of these type of scarves which would give me an opportunity to fiddle with the pattern. but i was so bored with the scarf and the knitting of it, i decided it would look better in a verigated, fun yarn instead of a solid color yarn. plus i found this great lace capelet pattern on ravelry and wanted to see how it would look in the second cashsoft colorway.

and it looks pretty good. i really like how it is coming out. apart from the fact i got about 20 rows from the end and realized i had dropped a few stitches about 5 inches down and had missed a couple of yarn overs which are essential to the pattern so i had to frog it practically to the beginning. thankfully it is a real quick knit so i wasn't to concerned. and once i get it off the needles, i think it will stretch to fit nicely. i haven't frogged the boring ruffle scarf yet because i want to see how the capelet turns out. when i get closer to the end of the capelet, i will frog and straighten the scarf yarn.

i also started blossom out of elsebeths lavold silky wool, colorway #56. this is for my mom. since i purchased the yarn moments before christmas, the thought was to have it done by valentine's day. ha! so it is currently languishing on my needles. plus, i am being a little to cautious about the repeats, which i have to figure out on my own, instead of having the pattern tell me exactly what to do. aughhh! once i figure it out i am sure everything will be fine and i will chuckle at my doubt. but until then...

i have also been knitting my cute husbands sock. i am on the foot. and though this has taken me quite a while to knit i feel like i have learned alot about sock knitting or about how i knit socks. so i bring it with me everywhere just in case i get a moment to knit a few rows.

the last challenge i have is to not buy any new yarn. ha! stitches west is coming in a couple of weeks and i am trying to save all my pennies for their marketplace, which i hear is overwhelming, but then i look at sockpixie's new sock colorways and i am so very tempted. it is so hard to keep the finger from clicking "add to basket"! maybe i'll just frog the scarf.