Pretend It’s Yesterday (#3 of 30)

Day 3 and I’m already behind. But I’m going to post two posts today, and there might be a little backdating, so we’ll say I’m all caught up. Okay? Okay. 

When last we left our Knitterly Adventures I was headed to Vogue Knitting Live. I know a lot of people had a ton of fun there, and really, I did, too, but I felt there were a LOT of problems with the event, and I know I would never volunteer again for either Vogue or the event company running it. And that’s all I’m going to say here. Right now, I’m going to focus on the fun I had that day…

My fellow Yarnivores Alyson and Wendy also volunteered, so on Saturday we all trekked down to Century City and found our posts. I was at the the table right as you walked into the marketplace. I loved that spot. I could sit and people watch all day. In fact, even though I took knitting, I only knit a few rows before I was back to people watching.

They had all sorts of cool displays around the marketplace. Like this “creature.”

Fancy some “knitted” glass?

Are you a Zombie? How about some Braaaaains…

My table was right by this GORGEOUS machine-knit dress. Really spectacular. You would be AMAZED how many people leaned OVER the velvet ropes and reached PAST the “DO NOT TOUCH!” signs to TOUCH. THE. DRESS. *sigh* There was a lot of “Please don’t touch!” heard at my table. You would also be amazed at how many people got cranky about hearing it.

“It’s okay. I’m a knitter.” Yes, but you’re not the knitter who knit the dress, so please don’t touch.

“It’s at a knitting convention. It’s SUPPOSED to be touched.” Not according to the TWO SIGNS you’re standing in front of. Please don’t touch.

“But it’s only machine knit. It’s not like it’s HAND knit.” It’s an art piece. Please don’t touch.

“If I’m not supposed to touch, then you really should put up signs or something.” Ma’am. Take one step back, and then look down. See the sign you were pressed against? The one that says “Please do not touch”? That would be the one we placed to make sure people Did. Not. Touch. So please…do not touch.

Still, the dress WAS gorgeous. 

And finally, the best part of the day? I got to meet Franklin Habit! I went to his seminar about historical knitting patterns and had a blast. I learned a lot about them, and now I want to find some and knit them. LOL. Crazy, I know, but I’m just that kind of crazy knitter. He was charming and gracious and VERY funny. Sadly, he didn’t bring Harry. Happily, he also didn’t bring Dolores. Can you imagine the havoc?! Oh, and what you don’t see is how dashing he looks in his kilt. 

So problems with the event aside, I had a ton of fun and met up with old friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and made new friends I hope to see again. I saw lots of pretty yarns and picked up some wonderful glass stitch markers and some very pretty Koigu for a project I’m collecting yarn for. All in all, a good time was had.

Knit on!
Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks 

Superstar

My Knitting Group meets weekly at the local Borders. We LOVE our Borders. The staff there is top notch and always really friendly, and they support us like nobody’s business. We know them and they know us on a personal level, and not just as “Those crazy knitters.” They set up a special table for us every week, and chase off people who try to use it before we get there. And after the horrible experience we had for over a year at That Other Store, Borders is like hanging out at a girlfriend’s house. But with coffee and baked goods.

One day about a month ago the manager Paul came out of the office to talk to us and seemed pretty excited. After seeing us week after week and watching us buy books and magazines, not to mention food and drinks from the cafe each week, he was eager to try to reach out to the knitting community. So when he found out Debbie Stoller was touring, he managed to get a signing set up!

Last Monday, Alyson, Wendy and I went to the book signing with Debbie Stoller and had a blast. You should have seen her face when Paul introduced her as one of the foremost knitters in the U.S., if not the world. LOL It was a “Wait, ME? He’s talking about ME?!” LOL

For her talk she basically recapped the intro to her book Stitch ‘n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics.

Then she brought out a bunch of knitted items from her Book, and she talked about the different ways each item was made and how she talks about them in the book.

There was Tiger Lily, and Steeks And Stones and The Life Aquatic. My favorites, though, were In Bloom and Beatrice Gloves.  The flowers on In Bloom practically GLOW against the brown of the bag, and the purple of the Beatrice Gloves is my favorite shade of purple.

After Alyson managed to cut my head out of the first picture, Debbie was gracious enough to continue posing for a second picture.

When I got home I read her book. And it Rocked. My. World. Seriously. In the book she carefully explains how to cable without a cable needle. And OMG. It’s BRILLIANT. Now, I don’t know if this is a common technique or one that’s innovative and new, but either way…As God is my witness, I’ll never need a cable needle again. In fact, I immediately cast on for the Brea Bag (Ravel it!) and it was SOOOOO EASY!!!!! In fact it was so easy that I had no qualms about using it on my lace shawl I’m currently knitting (Ravel it!).

That’s it for now. I’ll be back in a few days to tell you the Adventures of the Bitchin’ Brea Bag.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

 

A Wonderful Weekend

This has been a fantastic weekend. It started out Friday night dinner with my mom, aunt and cousin. Indian food! YUM! Then it was a trip up the coast. Myself, Knitting Alyson, and Robin went up to Carpinteria to visit a friend of ours. We spent the day munching on snacks, laughing, knitting, laughing, talking, and laughing.  So…we did a lot of laughing. And knitting.

Alyson worked on a scarf made with a really pretty hand-dyed multi-color yarn. Robin was working on a sweater for her Spousal Unit and trying colorwork. Linda was knitting leaves on the border of a shawlette/scarf in a WONDERFUL aubergine yarn. I worked on both my Through The Looking Glass Mystery KAL shawl and the Entrelac Harlequin Hat which I’m closing in on finishing. It was overcast the entire time. It even drizzled a little bit, but none of us cared. We could see the beach, had the sound of the waves striking the shore, and some really tasty pumpkin curry.

It was a great day, and one that needs to be repeated…soon. Even if its not at the beach. There’s nothing better than a fun day with friends and lots of knitting.

Today has been more knitting, but on the sofa and with a nap in the middle there. LOL Pictures of the hat and shawl later this week. I need some sunshine in order to take pictures. I also finally finished my Enchanted Woods shawl, so there will be pictures of it unblocked as well.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

E is for…

English Relatives.

Several years ago my mom “found” a few cousins in England through her genealogy research. She and Jeanne e-mailed for over a year before Jeanne and her husband Robert decided Mom was taking too long to come to England for a visit and in 2006 booked a flight out here to meet the family. 

We all took a few days off and had a great time doing all the touristy stuff we so rarely do unless someone is here from out of town. Robert and Jeanne were horrified by the traffic. LOLOL. The plus side was that there was a lot of bonding going on. LOL Jeanne is a fellow knitter, so we took her to a yarn store for a quick hit. As someone used to buying yarn directly from the mills, to say she was stunned at the prices would be an understatement. 

We. Went. Everywhere. 

First up, a family dinner…

(l-r) Mom, Me, Cousin A, Cousin C, and Aunt J
(l-r) Mom, Me, Cousin A, Cousin C, and Aunt J

The next day we drove up the coast to Santa Barbara. Robert had his first margarita, but as it was during lunch at a fish restaurant at the pier, maybe not the best place. LOL. We introduced him to the real thing at dinner that night.

Santa Barbara Mission
Santa Barbara Mission


Courtyard at the Mission
Courtyard at the Mission

The next day we headed south to Long Beach and…

Do I really need to tell you where this is??? LOL
Do I really need to tell you where this is??? LOL

Can you imagine keeping all this shining while at sea for days???

Wheelhouse
Wheelhouse

Enjoying the lovely weather on deck…

Jeanne and Robert
Jeanne and Robert

On the way back we decided we had time to stroll the balconies and gardens at The Getty…

Looking Towards Downtown
Looking Towards Downtown
Jeanne & Robert heading up the hill to the Getty
Jeanne & Robert heading up the hill to the Getty

The last day most of the family went to the Huntington Gardens…

Statue Garden
Statue Garden

Can you imagine how lightly this balloon had to land on these cacti to keep from popping? LOL 

A life in peril
A “life” in peril
Pagoda and Oriental Gardens
Pagoda and Oriental Gardens

The family…

(rear) Uncle J, Jeanne, Robert; (front) Aunt J, and Mom
(rear) Uncle J, Jeanne, Robert; (front) Aunt J, and Mom

And the women of the family. We’re the ones actually related. The boys were married into the insanity family. As you can see, Jeanne got all the tall genes in the family.

(l-r) Janet, Jeanne, Nancy & Lynda
(l-r) Janet, Jeanne, Nancy & Lynda

Finally, my favorite picture of the entire trip. We were driving along down the freeway to the Queen Mary, when I look up from my knitting and see this massive platform truck with the strangest of loads…

 

Truckloads
Truckloads

Traffic in L.A. …Who knows WHAT you’ll see?

We had a great time with lots of laughing and eating (and sitting in traffic!) and I wish we could do it all again. Hopefully I’ll get over there soon and I’m sure I’ll have just as much fun then, too. 

The American cousins send lots of love.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks
 

B is for…

…The Beach. My mom and I took a drive one afternoon up towards Santa Barbara so I could play with my new camera. It was a lot of fun, and I learned that I still have a LOT to learn about the features of my camera. LOL. But it’s a start, and I’m pretty happy with the results, so enjoy!

Lynda the Guppy
Aka The Fish with Sticks
Aka Ansel Guppy
 

A Birthday Yarn Extravaganza!

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
 

Some Merino, Some Baseball, and a Bobblehead

This past Monday was Stitch n Pitch 2008 at Dodger Stadium. I went the first year, back in 2006, but last year I was traveling between Los Angeles and Phoenix. And, of course, it was in Phoenix when I was in L.A. and in L.A. when I was in Phoenix.

I went with a couple of friends on a bus from my favorite LYS, and we had one hell of a time! Last time I went, I was on a bus through another LYS and, while fun, they had plans to leave at a certain time, so we missed the last 2 innings of the game. This time, we stayed to the Randy Newman end.

I got to visit with Laura, who was in town finalizing her wedding preparations, and I met Rainy face-to-face for the first time. It was nice to put a Real voice to her Commenting voice. LOL. And of course, there’s the usual crew from A Mano that was there. We got Goodie Bags from the store that included some chocolate, some older pattern books, and a skein of Malabrigo! Yum! AND I got a colorway I had been eyeing for a long, long time. It’s bright…it’s wild…and it’s totally me! And now it’s totally MINE! Especially since I picked up a second skein, so I can at least do a scarf. I also found some Malabrigo Lace Weight that might be PERFECT for Miriam Felton’s Icarus (Ravel it!) that I want to do. I’ll have to swatch it to see, but the colors are exactly what I was looking for. 

And as some of you may remember, I travel with my Nora Roberts Bobblehead, so you may see an appearance or two below. *grin*. Now for pictures (as always, click for big)…

Linda-with-an-I on the bus…

And Nora trying to hijack the bus!

(There was another picture I was going to post here of Rainy, but, well, she’ll thank me for refraining)

Knitters knitting in the wild…

Inexplicable (to Shannita) Knitter Behavior (She’s such a good sport)…

The 7th Inning Stretch…

*singing* Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…

(L-R) Lynda-with-a-Y, Linda-with-an-I, and Knitting Alyson (Not to be confused with Cousin Allison). Hey, in my world we need to be able to clarify!

Bobblehead Nora…

Shannita and Laura…

Simultaneous Blogging of Laura’s Sock…

Dodgers Win!!!

And then it was time to go home. And none too soon! We were all tired and VERY cold. By the time we left A Mano, drove back to where Linda and Alyson left their cars, and I stumbled home, it was nearly midnight and it wasn’t all that long until my alarm clock would go off. But it was worth it. I had a great time with good friends and lots of knitting time out in the fresh air.

Oh, and a Dodger Dog

Lynda the Guppy
aka the Fish With Sticks