Posts Tagged ‘organic’

On the Road: A Verb for Keeping Warm

July 6, 2013

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.

A Verb ... and a cafe

A Verb … and a cafe

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.

Pioneer from AVFKW

Pioneer from AVFKW

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.

The kit in its souvenir bag

The kit in its souvenir bag

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

Hootiful fabric

Hootiful fabric

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.

Over-generous

July 20, 2010

In the wake of my last (hopefully) thought-provoking, but not really cheery post, time to take a happier track.  Make that, joyous.

Generally speaking, knitters are some of the nicest people in the world.  In my experience, we operate on a “pay it forward” sort of system, reaching out to assist one another or treat one another at any random turn.  Early deposits in the karma bank, so to speak.

Even so, I have had two recent occasions to be flat-out bowled over and virtually speechless at the generosity of my fellow knitters.

As mentioned last week, Minh-of-the-legendary-stash somehow pulled my name to win her blog contest.  This is what showed up chez Owl:

Christmas in July

Two skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery New Mexico Organic.  The label of  this DK-weight wool says it is soft enough for baby or next-to-skin wear.  They are not kidding.  This is quite likely the softest wool I have ever touched.  And Minh well knows my fondness for GMS yarn (since I’ve relieved her stash of some before).  Speaking of that – and of generosity, this is also the place to mention that the last time I bought yarn from Minh for a Knitter’s Review contribution, I purchased five skeins and she sent six.  But I digress …

In the center, that is indeed Wollmeise.  The stuff that has knitters and yarn collectors in quite a tizzy.  And it’s in my favorite colors. 

(I. Am. Dumbfounded.)

And, finally, SweetGeorgiaYarns Silk Lamb Lace in Honey Fig.  A double skein, no less.

“Thank you!” seems oddly inadequate.

So, too, with my swap partner TulipLynn in the Sundara Yarn Love Spring Swap on ravelry.  This is the part where I am rather embarrassed at my own performance.  I had never participated in a swap like this before, and I really didn’t know whether (or how far) people went over-the-top.  So my well-intentioned but straight-along-the lines package seems terribly miserly by comparison to this:

TulipLynn's Sundara Swap

A pretty brown Julip bag, a tin of clever knitting notions from SlippedStitchStudios, the most cunning little mini crochet hook, and a skein of Sundara Sock in Hyacinth.

In retrospect, I think I have it figured out now: it’s like The Law of Sock Yarn.  Sock yarn doesn’t count in stash.  Or at least that’s what I’ve always been told.  That must also be the case with various little gifties one squirrels away for another knitter’s rainy day.  Thus, it doesn’t “count” per se.

Now I know better.

I’m still rather speechless, though.


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