Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Bit of a Break

Hi everyone! I'm back from Santa Barbara, which was delightful. It feels like spring here at home, but spring in San Francisco still involves a good amount of fog and cold evenings. Certainly not many opportunities for patio dining while wearing skirts and sandals. The weather was gorgeous, and I got to visit two of the local yarn stores. Here's my haul:

Haul from Loop & Leaf

I only had a small time to check out Knit and Pearl in the La Arcada shopping center just off State Street, and they didn't really have anything that caught my eye. I was able to spend more time at Loop and Leaf (conveniently located about three blocks from our hotel!) which had a very unique yarn selection. They had a lot of Fleece Artist and Handmaiden yarn, more than I've ever seen in person in a California yarn shop. I fell victim to their collection of drop spindles. I bought a Greensleeves Ethan Jakob spindle, weighing in at a tiny 0.25 ounces. It's gorgeous, and I can get the yarn sooooooo thin! It's ridiculous. I also got some Lorna's Laces superwash wool roving in the Blackberry colorway. The color in the picture is a little off, there is actually more variation in the color. Some areas are very vibrant purple, while others are darker (more towards the color I mentally associate with the fruit). I started spinning some very thin yarn that evening in the hotel room. The superwash is very easy to work with, it needs very little prep, and the spindle is beautifully balanced. They also carry various organic loose-leaf teas at their shop, and I picked up two 1-ounce canisters of black tea in Santa Barbara Sunrise (a yummy, fruity tea that I'm drinking right now) and Organic Guranse (review pending a tasting, but it smells very nice).

I worked solely on my Tangled Yoke cardigan while on this trip, and I finished the second sleeve and started the body. I got about 4 inches into the body, and realized while sitting in the car on the way home, that I had misread the directions and needed to rip back about half of my progress on the body. My significant other asked if that was a lot of knitting. His mind works well when given numbers to process, so I told him that I was ripping out 22 rows of about 220 stitches each. He was very impressed that I was willing to frog over 4800 stitches to get the pattern right. Other than that semi-major hiccup in the sweater knitting, I had a great time relaxing with this pattern. The garter rib is perfect for chugging along while sitting at a cafe, reading a book, occasionally sipping on a cup of tea, and people-watching in downtown Santa Barbara. Here's a shot of where I'm at right now:

Tangled Yoke Progress

The one thing I realized while on this trip is how tiring surfing the web can be. I barely logged in to Ravelry, Blogger, or iGoogle at all. I didn't turn my iPod on even once, I talked to real live people and listened to real live sounds and read printed words from a page rather than a screen. It was more relaxing than I thought it would be. I think I need to make some changes in the activities I use to "relax" at the end of a work day. I don't really want to blog less (shoot, I just got started here!) but I think I'm going to try and cut down on mindless web surfing, and try to pick up a book more often and take out my headphones more often. Anyway, I'm on break until Monday, and then it's one long haul (read: no three-day weekends or school holidays) until the end of May. I'm looking forward to two more days of recharging my batteries and two days of getting ready to go back to work. In the comments for the last post, Ruth asked how I'm going to make the color changes work out for the yarn. The short answer is I'm going to navajo-ply to preserve a gradual color change, but I want to do this the right way, all tutorial-style. So look for a longer post (with tons of pictures) on this once I start the project, probably before the end of April.


Ruth said...

I had not thought of the Navaho

Nanana said...

I didn't realize you liked Santa Barbara so much! We'll have to meet in Carmel sometime. I'll be up there with my family in July.

I think you're makeing excellent progress on your work, and thanks for bloggin about it! Thanks to you, I've started now too. (It's an upgrade from my myspace. Hmmm...)
Anyway... it's nice staying in touch this way. Hope to hear from you soon!