Friday, November 30, 2007

2nd post for this Friday

I know I already posted for Friday but I woke up to something really strange happening outside my window this morning. It was raining. This is huge because it has only rained 2 or 3 times in the last 6 or 8 months. The roads are getting washed clean and the bad drivers are learning how to drive all over again. But I will take a rainy day every couple month just to make me appreciate the beautiful sunny days we tend to take for granted here in Southern California. Mrs. Twisted and I were commenting last night when we walked to the car last night and she had on flip flops and neither of us had a jacket. The last weekend in November and most of the country is seeing weather and have broken out the winter clothes. For us it's life as usual.

Another fun thing I saw this morning. I checked my site meter and looked at the referrals because I'm curious where or what brought my readers to this blog and found that I'm #99 on Knitting Friends Daily To Blog watch. site is #99 out of 211,986 sites being tracked. No idea how I got on their radar but I thought it was fun. The social rank and increase in traffic has something to do with it. I just think it's fun. I look on the referral list and found that my blog is translated in Spanish and German on two different sites. Well thank you to all who read this even if you just skim through and are not compelled to leave a comment. And for those of you who take the time to comment, You really make my day.

Tonight is the Company Christmas party. Semi formal and it should be a fun evening. Music and dancing and a chance for Mrs. Twisted to put faces to all the people I describe in my work stories. It's a small company and they still enjoy the small company type parties. Mr. Twisted is going to wear his dark suit and the Mrs will wear a very pretty two piece set that we bought the last time we were in Chicago. We found a wonderful boutique in the suburbs and had dinner at the top of the John Hancock building as sunset the Friday night before we left. Watching the city lights come to life as the sun faded away. What a wonderful memory.

Friday thoughts

1. Sunsets still make me pause and enjoy. The colors and shapes, the way it changes so quickly with each minute that passes.

2. For 30 years I used to eat breakfast every morning at the kitchen table and now I just have a few cups of tea at work and look forward to lunch. I love to sleep in more than I miss a bowl of cereal.

3. Random thoughts constantly run through my head. Ideas come and go. Maybe someday I will write a book to make some sense of it all or at least just keep a private journal of thoughts.

4. Most non-knitters think that knitters are all alike. The knitters I know are like snowflakes. Similar but so different from each other but each with its own beauty.

5. I hope to realize as many of my long term wants that I’ve put off doing for whatever reason.

a. Spin luxury fiber on my new yet to be purchased wheel.
b. Take fencing lessons and test the theory that left handers and tall people have an advantage.
c. Enroll in a rowing class to someday race singles in Newport Back Bay
d. Take a sailing class..
e. Make Ballroom dancing a reality instead of just watching “Shall We Dance” while living vicariously through Mr. Clark’s character.
f. Write a song that I can play on my guitar that requires me to expand my skills.

6. Love is best shared without any expectations.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day Three of the Oregon Adventure

I will warn you this is a long post and yes the shopping done in one day with lots of careful planning and the help of a GPS. Lots of pictures and pretty yarn and even shoes mid way through.

This was going to be a busy day (Saturday) so we planned the order of the shops we had pre-selected based on the selection we found on their web page. I've realized that we are getting more and more selective. If we can find the same fiber at a LYS at home, We just pass it over. One exception, if we see a colorway that is new or dyed special for that shop, it may peak our interest.

Stop # one and a major reason to plan the trip was to visit Woodland Woolworks in Carlton Oregon
They had the largest selection of wheels for test that I have found. Nice comfortable roomy shop with a separate spinning wheel room up stairs. I sat behind each wheel and I realized I love the look of the traditional or Saxony wheels but I will probably stay with my pick of the Majacraft Rose. I wanted to see and feel the Fricke S160DT in person but my first choice still holds true.

After a little debriefing afterwards in the car we were off to the second stop.

Farm House knit shop. Cute shop located in a Craftsman style home just outside Portland. Nice selection of fiber but nothing that made me want to spend. Lots of STR sock yarn but still nothing we wanted.

Well we were in need of some special yarn for a couple reasons. We are going to a Christmas party for the Pubknitters/UCISNB in early December and we had to get a gift for the swap.

This is our new best find shop! If you ever go to Portland, go see Shannon, and Emily at Twisted. First of all the name is perfect! Second they have half a wall of local indie dyer fiber. Third they have a tea bar and plenty of couches that just invite you to sit and enjoy the friendly shop.

They welcomed us with open arms and made us feel at home. We felt like it was the "A Mano Yarn Center" of Portland.
The closest 7 columns are full of local or indie dyes fiber. We came home with a bit.
Seems like an endless list of refreshments. Loads of books and patterns to brouse

Shannon posing with Mr Twisted. We helped the local economy after shopping in this cute shop. For those of you who know us personally, you know we really really really love a good yarn shop. This is one of our top 5 of all time. Yes we loved it that much. Great people, really nice special yarn and the right atmosphere. Do yourself a favor, if you ever get to Portland, stop by and see Shannon and Emily. Tell them Twisted Knitster sent you :) And they do mail order too.

Ok we have done this before. It's almost like cleansing the palate after a good meal before the desert or between courses. We knew we had a couple more places to go see today and it hard not to be biased and compare them to Twisted. So we even verbalize new shop open mind and look for the good things. Well it was easy, we found another really nice shop. Dublin Bay Knitting Company turned out to be one of those elegant shops that you just love to oooh and ahhhh and fondle all the wonderful fiber. Lots of soft warm wools waiting to be knit up into a sweater and one of our favorites, Fleece Artist /Hand Maiden silks and Seacell in all the deep rich jewel tones. While we were in Doublin Bay this lady made a comment about my ravelry tee-shirt and then realized that she saw my profile picture on the thread I posted asking all the locals to share the must see yarn shops in Oregon. What a great way to find new yarn shops when you travel. Most places have a group that will offer their favorite shops and then you will have some idea of what they carry and the style they project. Mrs. Twisted just chuckles now because it seems like we get recognized all the time. This wasn't the last time today.

This area was all Fleece Artist fiber. The most we have ever seen in one shop. She had baskets of it on the tables too.

Comfy place to sit and relax.

We loved the window decorations and the attention to detail.

Mr. Twisted in his "I Swatched Ravelry" tee-shirt. What can I say, it's black and it sort of reminds me of a concert Tee for knitters. The ladies in the yarn shops seem to get a kick out it too.
Off to the next shop or so we thought. "Red Foreman," the name I gave my GPS (from "that 70's show"), had us almost a block west of our next shop and because it was a one way street we decided to park and walk back. WELLLLLLLL, we walked past a shoe store that had Dansko's in the window. Last year on this same week we drove to Solvang and The Mrs got a pair of purple suede Dansko's. Problem is that she didn't think she would want to wear hand knit socks in them. We just happen to have a pair of hand knit socks with us and it was so fun to try on the shoes that we both coveted from the online shops. I had to sneak the pictures because the salesman was not to happy to see a camera in the shop. Forgive the blurry ones.

These were my favorites.

Teal Mary Janes, so cute!

The style is "Rose" I know the green socks don't really go with them but it was for sizing purposes only. We also found out that the shoes she already has can be stretched. :) These also come in Red too!
Mr. Twisted tries on a pair of size 49's and they fit!

They had only two pair in the store in my size. :( Good news is that I know I can get them online.

Off to the last shop for the day. No we didn't buy shoes, we wanted to but we had willpower and limited funds. We know what we like and it's all a matter of time till they all find their way into the closet.

Our last shop is called Knit-Purl. Once again we were taken by the window decorating.

The lace hat was something My Mom would have coveted because she loved hats like that. Posing with Terrisa, the owner and forgive me but I can't remember the wonderful ladies name on my right. We talked about the fact that they had Holz & Stein Shawl pins ( look at the bottom right of the picture above). So friendly and welcoming us to their shop. This was another person who was just a name on Ravelry until we met. She said "don't I know you? " So much fun meeting people after having some contact on line. The one thing that struck me about this shop was that they had all of the yarn grouped by weight. #1, #2 and so on. Not by color. So if you wanted to do make a DK sweater you could walk over to the #3 section and it was all arranged by brand and then by color. Nice ! You didn't have to look at the whole shop to see all the sock yarn. We looked anyway but it's nice to see a format that works well. Warm bright shop with a feeling of bright colors all around you.

The Wall of Sock Yarn. And No I couldn't resist. :) Look at the signs over the yarn. What a wonderful way to identify the areas at a glance.OK I guess if you made it this far you deserve a prize or at least some pictures of what we bought. I can't show all of it because their are some gifts in the bunch but at least some of it. The first bag is from Dublin Bay. One hank of Hand Maiden "Silken"100% silk for Mr. Twisted and one hank of Hand Maiden "Lady Godiva" 50/50 Silk wool for Mrs. Twisted. I also twisted her arm just a little bit to buy the pewter tea cup pin cushion.

So hard to get a good picture of the deep rich colors.

The Lady Godiva Hand Maiden

So cute isn't it?

Next was Twisted, wish we could show you all of it. mmmmmm good

Cute stitch markers with the shops name on them.

Like the yarn Clam but different. It's magnetic and stronger. Not sure if I like it yet but I will let you all know how it works out.

The yarn that I loved the most was a new to me indie dyer Dream in Color. Smooshy was similar to other "soft" sock yarns we have bought in the past. This is Superwash merino in the most amazing colorways.

Colorway Deep Seaflower

Colorway Ruby River

Yarntini Sport weight colorway Vintage

These came from the last top of the day Knit Purl

SHI BUI Superwash Merino Sock yarn colorway Sky

Special hand dyed yarn for Knit Purl from Pagewood Farm

The whole load except for the gift items. The last picture does show the Noro, Manos and the sock blockers from the last post. I hope you enjoyed the mega shopping trip.

Life Is Good