Monday, November 28, 2011

Smash Burger San Diego

I met an old friend whom I haven't seen for a while for lunch at the local Smash Burger.

It is situated in a mall near a movie theater and business was brisk.
I ordered the San Diego burger and it was tasty with a bit of heat.  No Colorado burger here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yarn Spun for In Dreams Redux

I had posted before about a re-knit of the In Dreams shawl.  My variegated color just obscured the lace pattern.

I dug out some 70/30 Ashland Bay merino/silk blend in the purple color and started spinning up some lace weight yarn.

I finally finished the yarn and got 1,012 yards of a 2 ply yarn with a wraps per inch of 28.
I'm ready to start the shawl pattern again.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Recap of Colorado Trip

It was a great time visiting my best friend, Val at her new home in Colorado.  There was still a little bit of snow.
There was beautiful scenery.
Fiber and sewing.

Love from dogs and cats.
Housewarming gift finished in the new house.
Food - Bonefish and Smash Burger.

And visits with family....
It is very dry in Colorado and my curly hair was totally flat.  There was bargain shopping and an excellent Mexican fiesta.

I also got a few presents.

Embroidered towel of a knitting Maneki Neko.
And a market tote back with Knitmare from Elm Street fabric. 
Val also had this cool fire experience which is a faux fireplace that has its own remote control.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Preparing Flax Strick and Spinning Linen

In the class that I took with Celia Quinn, I learned what to do to spin linen.

Celia walked the class through preparing the flax strick and spinning the flax off a distaff into linen.

She had a cool portable distaff that broke down like tinker toys and we all took turns spinning with it.

Here are the steps I recorded on spinning flax into linen.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pepper and Her Box

I order medication for the dogs from 1-800-petmeds and every time they ship something, they always include a treat.

It is always unfair since there is only one dog biscuit in the package and I have two dogs.

I recently placed an order for flea stuff for both dogs and the package came in its box.  I haven't ordered in a while so when the postal carrier delivered it, I brought it in and set it on the floor since my desk was full of stuff.

The next thing I know, Pepper has dragged the box to the bedroom and here she is opening the box for a treat that she knows is in there.
Bailey is MIA and was probably out in adventure land tracking down some squirrels.  He missed out entirely.

After Pepper finished determining there were no more goodies to be had, she left the packages of flea medication intact.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bear and Aidan

As much as I miss my best friend, Val, I also miss her two kitties.  Bear was always my bud and Aidan worms his way into your heart.

I was so surprised that both of them ran up to greet me and treated me like long lost family.  Aidan and Bear both wanted to sleep with me but I know from experience that would be a recipe of no sleep.

I took some great photos of both kitties and a great little video of Aidan being in love with water.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Merope Cowl

I finished knitting the Merope Cowl by Romi Hill using leftover yarn from Andrea's pedicure socks.

I took it to Colorado for the big craft sale and here is Val's sister, Stacie, wearing it over her black top.
I still have a bit of yarn left over.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Smash Burger

Val found a great burger place with excellent fries and she took me to Smash Burger for lunch.  I ordered the Colorado burger with cheese and green chiles and it was delicious.
Val and I both ordered the fries, the plain and the sweet potatoes and both were excellent as they were seasoned with rosemary.
Once we got home, I looked up their locations and there is a Smash Burger close to my house at the mall.  I'm going to have to add that place to my restaurant rotation.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Day I Should Have Stayed in Bed

I spent a wonderful day yesterday hanging with my peeps spinning, talking about awesome fiber events and having a great lunch.  It was so cool to see our wheels all together.
We have three HansenCrafts mSpinners in different woods and two Pocket wheels.

It was a great day and there was no rain in sight.  I also stayed after and had dinner with Jan and her husband at the Cafe Athena which is always delicious.

I had such plans for today and since the forecast was all day rain, I figured I would get all my laundry done and spend the day sewing.

I "broke" my sewing machine before I left for Colorado and took it in for service at the Sew Hut.  They called before I came home to let me know the machine was fixed.

I picked up the machine earlier in the week and had it sitting in my craft room.  After I started my laundry, I decided to get sewing and when I plugged the machine in, everything was in Spanish.  I also got no love or power from my foot pedal so no go on the sewing.....

I then took out my hot water thermos which heats water and dispenses it and keeps it heated all day.  It was the maiden voyage and after filling the reservoir, I turned the sucker on.

When I went back to check about 10 minutes later, my entire counter was full of water and water was dripping onto the floor.  Needless to say, I had a lot of mopping to do.

The only thing that was accomplished today was laundry.  It also threatened rain all day, but it is still dry so far.

I'm ready to go back to bed.  A day I thought would be so productive was a dud.

Paper Piecing Placemats

Val also arranged for me to take a private lesson to learn how to do paper piecing and make some place mats.

Sandy of Totes by Sandy taught the class and she brought her dog Daisy who can do tricks.  Here is a little film clip of Daisy.
Val set up her dining room and kitchen as a craft room and we were ready to get started.
The methodology of paper piecing is right up my alley and after getting some pointers from Sandy, I got to work.

Here are photos of Sandy's samples.
And here are photos of my progress.
The pattern called Cappuccino is from Judy Niemeyer Quilting and her quilts are beautiful to behold.  I think I will practice a while before attempting one of her big creations.

Sandy brought some of the finished quilts for show and Daisy made herself right at home on them.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fiber in Colorado

The second day in Colorado, Val took me to the Quilter's Stash to pick up some supplies for a sewing class.
We then headed for lunch at the Back Porch which is attached to the back side of Lambspun of Colorado.  This place is the setting for the Maggie Sefton mystery books.  It is a lovely store with a yummy cafe.  I could live there.
I found some yarn to buy and ended up with Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints in my favorite colors of green and brown.
I also scored two skeins of Araucania Patagonia in the green color way that I'm using to knit a sweater.  I made some modifications to my sweater and found that I needed more yarn to finish the sweater.  The color has been discontinued so I have had a hard time finding more skeins.
I also picked up the Jane Austen knits magazine that has some great patterns.

Next we hit Your Daily Fiber which is a store front for an alpaca, llama, and yak farm.  There are poster sized photos of their animals and it is a great little store. The shop had this great swift for winding balls of yarn.
I picked up a few skeins of The Fibre Company's Canopy which is a baby alpaca, merino, and bamboo blend.  It is lovely and super soft.  My plan is to use the yarn for the Mithril Vest knit-a-long which starts in January.
The shop is also trying to collect hexi-puffs to make a blanket to auction for charity and there were maybe 10 puffs in a huge basket.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bonefish Grill

On my first day in Colorado, after Val picked me up at the airport, we headed for dinner at Bonefish Grill.  We got to the restaurant at around 5:00 and the place was packed.

There was still snow on the ground but it was warmer than I expected.  Here is the first snow picture I took.
The restaurant is famous for its Bang Shrimp dish and since it was wednesday, the dish was discounted.  Here is the shrimp.  The sauce was spicy and the shrimp were very tasty.  It came on a bed of lettuce.
The specials of the day were mouth watering and both of us ordered one of the specials.

I had the Mahi Mahi with lobster, shrimp, and garlic mashed potatoes.
Val ordered the salmon with crab, bacon and gorgonzola.
Both dishes came with a pile of spaghetti squash roasted with honey, ginger, maple syrup.  Everything was delicious.

Bonefish is looking to open a restaurant in California but it probably will be in Orange County.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Valerie's Cowl

When I was in Chicago, I picked up a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Rios yarn.  It is a plied yarn which is unusual for Malabrigo.  It is super soft and the colors are brilliant.

I picked up the color Piedras and decided to knit the Pedestrian Crossing Cowl.

After knitting the cowl, I ran by Beverly's Fabrics to pick up some matching buttons.  A nice lady at the shop helped me pick out the perfect buttons.

When I went to visit Val in Colorado, I brought it along as a gift and here she is wearing it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I have always had a fascination with cotton.  I love soft cotton pjs, a rainbow assortment of cotton t-shirts, and high thread count sheets.

In my knitting, I have always purchased cotton yarn even when I learned to spin my own yarn.  I figured it was too difficult to spin enough cotton yarn to make anything with.

That sort of all changed when I got my book charkha and with some upland cotton sliver, I figured out it wasn't super hard.
I recently took a class with Celia Quinn in her comprehensive class here in San Diego and it was a three day intensive workshop.  I'll post again on things I learned, but I really was interested in the cotton spinning.

She gave us quite a few samples including some cotton bolls to spin from and I spun cotton on a loaned tahkli spindle as well as my charkha.

One of the students actually planted some cotton seeds and I took these pictures of her plants.
The cotton pod looks like this.
And when the pod opens - the cotton boll.
I want to plant some cotton.....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Winter Has Arrived

It is said that San Diego only has two seasons, nice and winter.  Most of the year, it is nice and we don't get any rain.

It was only monday when the weather was sunny and warm.  Today it is raining and I believe the start of winter.  This morning when it started.
Around noon, the ground was saturated and the rain is steadily falling.
I'm not complaining as I like the rain and miss it from when I lived in Northern California and we definitely need it here in the desert.

Ready to get out my winter gear....and the time change happens on sunday.