Sunday, August 11, 2013

close call

a few days ago,  there was a small fire on my road.  Here's the report from yubanet: 

"August 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM The fire on Sycamore Lane was caused by a downed powerline. The fire is fully contained, but some interior burning is occurring. PG&E en route. Firefighters are on scene, smoke can be seen in the Bullards Bar area."

Here in Northern California everyone knows how quickly a small fire can turn into a big fire real quick.  I'm always on edge till the end of fall when the rains return.  Every summer we try to be prepared if the horrible does happen and we have to evacuate. What to bring?  

Well, yesterday the fire was super close.  Too close for comfort.  I realized if it spread quickly the road could be blocked.  When we saw the flames I said to liam, time to pack the truck.  We calmly raced around the house grabbing items and shoving them into boxes and bags.  I already had our important papers box packed.  

Later it was really interesting to see what we both packed.  Roy was out of town.  These things always happen when he is out of town.  I took some photos of what I packed.

I packed one apron, my iPad, dittie bag still packed from last overnight trip, favorite dress, one dog leash, knitting bag with my Stephen West old forge blanket project and my autographed copy of the pattern book 3(see previous post), my calendar book, my glasses, a stripped linen shirt, 2 pairs of skivvies, one bra like thing, bass pro bag packed full of knitting paraphernalia, my awesomely new knitting project bag made by soxy sue herself- which contains the man shawl thendara project I'm making for hubby, 2 skeins of yarn and a gorgeous pigeonroof studios merino braid in the verbena colorway. If our house was going to burn down and all my fiber with it, I needed at least one braid so all was not lost. oh, and my pockets were crammed full of little sentimental objects too dear for me to post.
Here's some close ups:

liam packed his bike and his mandolin and his current hemingway book, "to have and have not."  i was totally freaked out that i couldn't find the old baby photo books.  it was very fortunate that my neighbor was in her garden when it happened and was able to call PG&E and Fire right away or the outcome might not have been so good.  We lost power for the day and late into the night.  liam took these shots of the fire:


 that was a close call.  two days later another fire started by yet another downed power line.  not so close this time but still in the area.  we lost power again.  sigh.  i'm very thankful to all the incredible fire fighters we have here that help us in so many way.  thank you.  and yes, in case you are wondering we did pack the dragon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

total groupie

Some of you may not know this, but in the fiber community there are rock stars.  Yes, you heard me- rock stars!  Right now one of the popular young rock stars happens to be Stephen West.  He's one hot knit designer I tell you.  He recently taught some classes in Oakland at "a verb for keeping warm."  One of my favorite yarn shops!  Don't get there often since its about 3 hours away. 

My friend Rowen happened to be taking one of his classes and I wasn't doing anything that day so what the heck, I decided to go along for the ride.  (yes, I'm a Stephen groupie and I just HAD to meet him).  

cruisin down 80-saw a woop ass truck.

"git-r-done boys!"  that's what it says in the back.

  We had a great drive, full of laughs, a bizarre gasoline stop. (we're not in Kansas anymore) hey at least the gas was cheap here.

 We were starving when we arrived at "verb" so we went next door to the actual cafe.  they have a great place to put your bike while enjoying their fabulous food.

  We went back to "verb" to browse before Rowen's class started. Peeking in the window we got our first glimpse of Stephen! yes, that deserves a "squee" or a "woot!"

 Fabrics galore has been added to the shop! 

"Danger. danger Will Robinson.  this could get dangerous.   Back away from the fabric."

 Rowen got her hands on some cool stuff!

While looking at the fabric, I peered out the back window and yes, I had my 2nd Stephen West sighting.

The back of his head no doubt and he was just knitting away fast as lightning on the back patio.  Almost expected him to be drinking some sweet tea or something along that line.

Fell in love with this Rockefeller shawl color way.  Yes, this is one of Stephen's designs.  Rad huh?  love the romantic subtle hues.  unfortunately they were out of those 2 colors.  going to have to put a special order in!  looks even better in real life!

Rowen went to class and I shopped.  Oodles of good stuff to be had there.  I also met up with an old friend from Minneapolis and we went back to the actual cafe for the best fresh squeezed lemonade ever!  So great to visit with you Tom! Damn.  We forgot pictures!

Back to verb for more browsing as I waited for Rowen to be finished with class.  Snapped a ghostly pic of Stephen thru the window teaching. 

the moment of truth..... i got to meet Stephen!  it's a bit scary to meet someone you really admire.  as you build these expectations of them and what if they don't add up?  what if they are totally stuck up and full of themselves?  but by god he was as friendly and genuine as they come.  a wonderful person indeed-full of gratitude and easy to talk to.  

MOG!  i think we're related.  we were both going to have each others names if we were born the opposite sex.  coincidence?  i think not.  i'm sporting his thendara shawl. love love love this shawl! plan on making this for hubby.  he actually agreed to a man shawl!  im such a geek i asked him for his autograph.  he signed my westknits book 3.

okay enough gushing.  get on with it.  you may be wondering what i came home with.  most of you know my stitches west shopping spree was cut short in february due to my son breaking his ankle.  i considered this a "mini stitches" make up.

the yarn is quince and Co.  in bird's egg and twig colorways- i already have shawl patterns picked out. this yarn is fabulous and the wool is raised in the U.S.-love that! i also purchased a pattern for an everyday cardigan by Hannah Fetig.  she's another rock star!  a yard of the cutest fabric ever and a verb t-shirt complete the score.  oh happy day!

getting late we had to say goodbye.  stephen was on his way to the Philippines as he is helping with the ricefield collective.  check out their blog as well.  great to see knitting and people helping others!

dinner at Arizmendi. a worker owned cooperative since 1997.  pizza and bakery.  i'm not a huge pizza fan but Arizmendi was the best pizza ever and i could eat it all the time!   

heading home the sun was blaring in our eyes and siri forgot to mention an exit and the next thing we know we are in the bus only lane(with a cop aleady pulling a nonbus vehicle over)  heading NOT towards sacramento but the big san francisco!  hello city.  OOPS!

we ended up on frickin treasure island.  never been there before.  nice place for a turn around though!

we got home late but it was worth it!  i will soon be off to another fun fiber filled adventured.  stay tuned!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

3rd times a charm!

sigh!  okay, i'm going to try this blog post again. (third time here)  i spent a whole afternoon the other day writing an amazing blog post and it vanished into the ether. Gone.  Disappeared. Vanished.  i wonder if there are ether creatures out there that read all this stuff?  Hmmm.  anyway, i tried it once again-bam, gone again!  i was using this new app called blogGo, so i could post from my ipad. guess it's back to the old fashioned way of doing it on my ancient slow as molasses laptop.  i checked out the blogger app and saw that you can't change font size or do hyperlinks.  hyperlinks are a must for me! i'm sticking to the tried and true for now. 

there are places on this earth that are special to me.  speak to me.  i don't know what makes these places do this as there are so many wonderful places, but these hit me in the soul.  New Mexico, the California north coast, washington islands, places in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana are among some of my special spots. the Sierra buttes are also included in this list.  i'm so lucky they are right in my back yard.  i never tire of them. last friday i dropped liam and pops at packer saddle so they could bike down to downieville.

wild flowers popped everywhere!

here's another view from the saddle!

i had the luxury of taking my time back to D'ville.  doing, going and stopping wherever and whenever I wanted.  i love that.  my time! first stop, sand pond.  surprisingly, hardly any folks were there.  so peaceful and serene.  those are the sierra buttes in the background.

next stop, bassets station for some espresso chip ice cream!

i meandered my way towards Sierra city.  channeling my inner trixie:

i was able to hold my iPad with both hands, drive 55 around the curves and still snap this awesome shot of the buttes!  shhhh!

must always stop in sierra city.  beautiful flowers everywhere in the summer.  Love hollyhocks!


found this gorgeous garden tucked in between a church and the public bathrooms. Sweet!

being Friday, my favorite store fox parlor was not open.  Bummer! only open on weekends.

i also have favorite chairs around the country and fox parlor has one of them.  Ain't in grand?  i'm going to ask the owner if i can sit and knit there sometime.

i knew i was on sierra time and I'd better get back on the road. onward to downieville.  the road follows the north fork of the yuba river and is just gorgeous.  can't believe I didn't stop and get a photo.  next time!  i entered D'ville with time to spare.  Yeah! stopped by my favorite store "vintage gal" and there was a perfect woolydaisy vintage western cowgirl shirt that I fell in love with.  perfect condition and yes, I ended up calling cheri the proprietor the next day and had her hold it for me! i was losing sleep over the damn thing!

there's also a new thrift store in D'ville!  I scored a linen shirt for me and some awesome skater shorts for liam. all for 7 bucks!

i was able to visit with friends on the best wi-fi bench of all times while waiting for the boys to end their bike ride.  they came down the mountain with smiles on their faces.

roy was feeling so good he had to pop a wheelie! a whopper of a wheelie!

we headed over to yuba expeditions and i got to demo a women's all mountain ibis bike and wow was it awesome.  guess i shouldn't have done that cause now I know how smooth a good ride can be. Note: the smile.

can't believe i thought i was going to get a bunch of knitting done-ha! Great day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

one more for the pile

remember my "goals" post?  i had 3 goals for the year.  
1) learn to embroider
2) learn to crochet(for reals)
3) learn to to knit socks- the toe up way(sigh)

well, i forgot to add one-now that the year is almost half over-(holy crap how'd that happen?) i have done nothing in the goal tending department and now i have decided to add yet another goal to the pile.  why do i do this?

anyway- most of you can guess it-yes, it's quilting.  just simple basic quilting-nothing fancy.  time to dust off the old singer(yes, i still have the one i got for my 8th grade graduation-wonder if it's made it to "antique" status yet?  hahahhaha!  i crack myself up sometimes.   i've always loved old quilts and have a deep need and desire to make them.

so yesterday, i was in search of buttons to put on some hand knitted baby sweaters i have finished.  and low and behold most of our fabric shops are shut down.  except ben franklin and frankly (hahahah-there i go again) their buttons do nothing for me! i love our ben franklin but their button department needs some serious help! Humble fabrics and crafts is great but they didn't have the colors i needed.

so, i google the next big town-auburn.  no go.  out-o-luck.  i ended up at "the tin thimble" in loomis.  58 fricken miles from my house just to find buttons. but what a treasure trove this place is.  yes, i found my buttons and oh so much more.  i got some fabric for my very first quilt!  hooray for me:)  if you are ever in loomis you must stop by- it in an old historic fruit and veggie packing shed.  they have all tons of groovy stuff antique patterns, fiber for felting projects, antique buttons, fabrics, classes and much much more! website. and the employees are very helpful and friendly.  that's important to me.  be sure to check out their facebook page!

you see thay had this quilt hanging-made by one of the employees that never made a quilt before- i fell in love. it is blogged about it here.  please check it out.  i took the pic from their blog.

i love it that the corners don't quite match up perfectly and it puckers just a little-it's just so me!   i couldn't afford to get enough fabric for this size-so i'm starting out small for my first one.  here's my fabrics:

awesome, huh?  oh yes, and my buttons-the damn things i went in there for!

love my vintage buttons and they match perfectly for what i wanted them for. and yes, i bought a few more for future projects. (of course!)  i will keep you abreast on my quilting adventure. i know i must first wash may fabric. that will happen today!

oh!  almost forgot!  there's some antiquey type stores around there too.   look at this antique wire basket i got for for my craft fair booth displays.  great for holding my dyed yarns or rovings!!!

 enjoy the day- going to sew my buttons on:)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

spring delights

spring is definitely here!  the hens finally started laying again.  i was not happy buying eggs and chicken feed!  driving the canyon to town this past week the bush lupines, indian paint brush and blue dicks are blooming!  even the laundry on the line smells fresh and alive.

our lettuce is doing mighty fine.  i just planted some radishes, kale, rainbow chard and more salad greens.

 looks like i need to do some thinning!

i've been knitting up a storm lately.  trying to finish katie's cowl-made from luscious baby alpaca-ran out of yarn.  my lys is out and they are trying to find me a skein so i can get this to poor katie's cold neck before summer.

here is my dark and lovely merino/cashmere ananke shawl.  the yarn is from pigeon roof studios.  love her stuff!!!  so bummed she was not at stitches this year.  the picture does not capture the colors at all.  so much better in real life.

my daybreak shawl which i renamed "north sea quarry" is turning out nicely.  western sky knits dyes wonderful colorways as well.

how's that for a quick update.  now i must get out and walk the dragon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stitches west revisited!

leaving "stitches" early was a bummer.  but i knew where i needed to be.  home with my sweet boy.  see previous post for more details.

after i got on the road to head home hubby called to say they were going to wait for surgery.  i was stuck in san jose friday rush hour traffic.  i knew there was no turning back.  even if i did return to stitches-i couldn't enjoy myself.  it took me 6 hours to get home- what a nightmare. san jose has the worst radio stations! can't believe folks deal with this traffic on a regular basis-insanity!

one of my favorite items i came home with was a soxchik original totoro project bag!  check out her etsy shop here.  i need to get a better picture.

my new buttons:

 i usually like to give my opinions on the market place each year. keep in mind that i only saw about half of it-so it's not a fair evaluation. but here are my thoughts and a few awards:

prettiest booth once again- a verb for keeping warm!  sorry i didn't get any pictures this year.  check out their blog-you can see some there.  verb's booth is always so warm, inviting and cozy- you just want to stay and hang out-and sell yarn for them. the wonderful and amazing knit designer romi was sharing a booth with them.  i bought her kleio shawl pattern and had a great chat with her about the edmund fitzgerald.

my favorite "newbie"  booth award goes to sweet fiber from british columbia!  i bought some yarn in the color way "shipwreck" for my edmund fitzgerald shawl.  although they were a bit young to appreciate my edmond fitzgerald chatter they humored me and pretended to care.  here's a photo i stole from their blog- click the link above to see the rest of their pictures!  yum!

the award for funnest booth of all times definitely goes to fickle knitter!  kindred spirits at that booth i tell ya!!! you simply must click on the link which takes you to fickle's recap of stitches!  you can watch the stitches harlem shake flash mob.  i mean what other booth has an abundance of fun masks, devo hats, a disco ball and a karaoke machine???  unfortunately, liam's accident happened before soxy and i had a chance to try out the karaoke machine.  maybe this is a good thing?  fickle has awesome patterns too!

this is how i want to remember this years stitches adventure- gazing into the eyes of a a real life unicorn- stitches west rocks!!!!