My friend Marilyn and I have made it a tradition to do a yarn crawl near my birthday in December. The first year we drove up the coast about 2 hours and visited every knitting store between here and there. Last year, we just did a mini-crawl, and went more locally to the yarn stores in Ventura County. This year, I decided it was time to head south. 

Along for the ride this year was Marilyn, me, my mom, and my friend Alyson. We got to Marilyn’s at 7:30 and headed south. Our first stop was Liscat. A charming, welcoming, and fun store. Definitely a favorite. The owner was very chatty and friendly, and so were the people sitting and knitting. The store had a ton of store samples scattered around and creatively placed, and there were some fun uses for stashbusting, such as the chair back covers. I wish I lived closer to this place, because I’d be there all. the. time. 

Yarn purchase:
Laceweight Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro in dark purple (
Ravel it!)
Fingering weight Aurora Yarns Acquerello (
Ravel it!

Next stop: Alamitos Bay Yarn Company.

While I do love their laceweight yarns, and their selections of both Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace and Fiddlesticks Knitting’s Zephyr is unrivaled here in SoCal, I find this store to be completely underwhelming. I’ve been in there exactly twice and the staff have either ignored me completely (when no one else was in the store) or made me feel like I’m interrupting brain surgery to ask a question about their inventory. Don’t get me wrong…they’ve never been rude or hostile, just…unwelcoming. Frankly, unless I’m going for something specific, I probably won’t make an effort to get back there.  But I still bought yarn. LOLOL.

Yarn Purchase:
Laceweight Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace in “Devon.” (
Ravel it!)
Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn in “A” (
Ravel it!

Now for my favorite: The Yarn Lady

I have a sentimental attachment to The Yarn Lady. It’s such a HUGE store with really great yarns, tons of toys and tools, LOTS of bags, and the friendliest staff around. I’ve been there on Bag Sale days and even then we’re greeted with bright smiles, cheery faces, and get cookies and coffee delivered to us when we’re in line. LOL Even this time, when we left, we got hugs. LOLOL It’s a happy place. And here’s where I bought the most, and I think we spent the most time there. By then we were getting tired, so it was nice to sit in the back of the store at a huge table and just go through pattern books and rest for a bit.

Yarn Purchases:
Collinette Cadenza in Velvet Bilberry (
Ravel it!), Florentina (Ravel it!), Jay (Ravel it!), and Jewel (Ravel it!)
Noro Silk Garden Lite in 2013 (
Ravel it!)
I also picked up a couple clear plastic bags for small projects or tools, as well as a 4 more sets of Addi Lace needles in various sizes.  

And finally, an unexpected jewel. Strands and Stitches.  

This little store has one room in the front for knitting and a room in the back for needlepoint, and in between is the register. But aside from that, it’s remarkably well-stocked, and the two ladies that work there were VERY nice. In fact, we didn’t realize it until we got back in the car that we were there after closing. They didn’t mention it, and they never tried to hurry us along. And they had nearly as much fun trying to find yarns for us as we did! Great, great little shop.

Yarn Purchase:
Fiesta La Luz in Iolite (
Ravel it!)

By then it was after 5:00, so we wouldn’t have made it to The Sheared Sheep, so back to Costa Mesa to hit the Container Store and Barnes and Noble before we had dinner and then headed back. We got home at about 10:30, unloaded the car, did a bit of fondling, and fell face first into bed. 

It was a great Birthday Yarn Extravaganza!

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks
 

Today is Christmas Day. It’s been a long and troubled year, but looking back on it, I have a home, a terrific family, the best friends, a great job I love with a company where my position is secure. I have food on the table, presents to give and receive under the tree, and yarn in my stash. I’m happy, healthy, and I have hope for the future. So no matter the ups or downs this year, I’m grateful for all the things in my life. They have helped make me the person I am today…both good and bad. *grin*

So Merry Christmas to you, if that’s the way you celebrate. If not, then Happy Hannukah, Merry Solstice, Happy Kwanzaa, Joyeux Noel, and all other seasons greetings and good wishes to you and yours.

May your days be merry and bright.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khSml43oKJQ&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x402061&color2=0x9461ca&border=1]

Love,
Lynda the Christmas Guppy
Aka The Fish With Sticks 

I’ve seen variations on this MeMe, so I stole it from The Crazed Weasel who stole it from Carole Knits who stole it from Felt Like Knitting who stole it from…. well, you get the point. LOLOL.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. But sometimes Wrapping paper IN gift bags. LOLOL

2. Real tree or Artificial? I love, love, LOVE real trees, but it gets so cold and dry in my condo that literally 3 days after I put up a real tree, it’s so dry that I don’t dare turn on the lights. So…artificial. Damn it.

3. When do you put up the tree? Beginning of December.

4. When do you take the tree down. Sometime after New Year’s Day.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yup! Love the stuff! Especially if it comes in a can. *grin* Hey, it’s nothing but high class here at Chez Guppy.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm…Tough one. Probably either one of my bikes, since I got SOOOOO much use out of them. Or my roller skates. 

7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad or my uncle Jim. They both have so few actual hobbies it makes gift giving a bit difficult. (And if either of you are reading this, WHAT THE HECK DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS????)

8. Easiest person to buy for? My mother. In fact, in purchasing gifts I had to cut myself off because I found too much. LOLOL

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I think so. I know there was this plastic set my parents had when I was a kid, but I’m not sure if my mother gave it to me or not. Since The Great Flood at Chez Guppy, and with various other issues at this time of year, I haven’t decorated in about 3 years, so I can’t remember who has the set. 

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Always. In fact, I’m going today to take the picture for this year’s card. It’s a doozy. LOL 

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received I’d say 99% of the gifts given to me by my grandmother. LOLOL Until I turned 21 she would always give me a gold charm for my birthday and a music box for Christmas and I LOVED them. I still have all of them, in fact, packed safely way. When the reconstruction is completed, I’m FINALLY going to get this display cabinet of hers out of my aunt’s dining room. And I’m going to put some of my favorite music boxes in there. Sorry. I rambled. Anyway, after I turned 22, she started giving all of us this weird stuff. You know, like the free radios with purchase. Well, we’d get the radios. LOL And the cake slicers, and the glass ashtrays (when none of us smokes/ed), etc. Usually we all would get together after she left and open the gifts and then donate it to the Salvation Army. One year we got all cheap kitchen stuff, and one of my cousin’s friends was moving into his first apartment, so he got most of it. LOLOL 

12. Favorite Christmas Movie Do I even need to answer this? The Grinch. ABSOLUTELY the Grinch. I am obsessed with all Grinchy Things. LOLOL. 

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas I start thinking about it after Halloween, but don’t really do any of it until after Thanksgiving. 

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present Yes, but the recepient knew it. LOL

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Gingerbread in any form.

16. Lights on the tree Yes. And colored, please. 

17. Favorite Christmas song O Holy Night in nearly any form, but the Studio 60 version is my current favorite. Silent Night is a close second. And at the moment, I’m really loving the Barenaked Ladies’ Elf’s Lament. LOLOL Those boys are twisted.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home Stay home. 

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen. And Rudolph, of course. When I went out shopping on Thanksgiving night (yes, the outlets were open that night) I found a sweater that had all the reindeer…except Blitzen! What’s up with THAT?!?!

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning With my mom or dad on Christmas eve, and the rest of the family Christmas day.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year People seem to be more stupid than usual.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color Theme? What do you mean THEME? LOL I guess I do have a theme, of sorts. I collect ornaments from when I travel, and my mom especially buys them when she travels, so I guess that’s a theme. LOL But they’re all different. I have surfing santas and sledding bears and Palace guards and race cars and…and…and…

23. What do you want for Christmas this year I got it already. LOL I bought myself a kickass new camera. I have some accessories on my list, too, but those I’ll get after Christmas. 

24. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel. 

25. Favorite Christmas dinner? Pierogis. Made by me from scratch. 

If you’re reading this…consider yourself tagged!

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks
 

 

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