My apologies for my absence. These days, Owl Manor owns me from sunrise past sunset. Yes, I knit. At times, rather frantically, trying to find my “center” again. The needles are always beside me, and I often fall asleep with them in mid-stitch.
A recent trip to the Left Coast gave me the opportunity to visit multiple LYS in that part of the world.
First, a stop at the much-talked-about A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, Calif.
I am fortunate to have a spouse who builds LYS visits into vacations. He is a foodie ~ and since food is a requirement, we always “manage” to visit places he wants to go. He makes mine a priority, too. The presence of a terrific cafe on one side and a cupcake shop on the other on San Pablo Avenue didn’t hurt, either.
I should not have been surprised to find owner Kristine in the light-filled front window at the big work table. Somehow, after reading so much about her, it seemed a little too-good-to-be-true. But in a day and age where so much trash seems to get more than its requisite 15 minutes, this shop was exactly as advertised.
If you have wanted to test-knit Quince & Co. yarns, this is the place to find them. So, too, for some Spirit Trail Fiberworks yarns (very hard to find in a brick and mortar shop) and Kristine’s own ever-changing lines. This stop could have easily been a bank-breaker. Only the limited quantities of yarn in each dyelot and the knowledge of limited suitcase space provoked restraint. If you are looking for a West Coast version of Webs, that’s not what you find here: This is a carefully curated shop catering to knitters who care about what they use ~ and where it came from.
Which brings me to Pioneer, Kristine’s foray into limited-batch organic merino raised in California and dyed naturally. I relished the opportunity to pick my own colorway for the San Pablo Cowl Kit, which will be some good late night knitting chez Owl. I don’t expect one of you to be the least bit surprised by my choices (in order): Grizzly Peak, Bonfire and Harvest.
The shop also left me
wishing I knew the first thing about sewing ~ or that I had made enough decisions about Owl Manor to know where in the world I could use bright, bold, graphic prints like this one from Cloud 9. (Again, organic cotton.) It was too pricey to pick up without knowing how much I would need or for what sort of project, but I have it bookmarked for when I have figured it out.
If I lived in the area, I would spend a great deal of time at this studio and shop. As it was, I am glad it was on our itinerary, and I look forward to putting Pioneer and its siblings on the needles … eventually.
In the meantime, one more skein of Kristine’s dyeing has arrived at my house: a skein from The Great White Bale dyed with madder. Find out more about our adventure here.