A belated well-wishes

One of the delights of living in the SF Bay Area is that we have so many lovely yarn stores. One of them is A Verb for Keeping Warm, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary in its current location. There was new, unique, organic, USA-grown and manufactured yarn, an indigo dip, and of course, seeing everyone.

Over the years, the store has grown and changed a lot. For the party, most of the spinning stuff took a backseat, as the new version of Pioneer yarn was proudly displayed, (see below). There’s also a very much expanded sewing wing to the store.¬† It was full and busy, just like I’d like to see all fiber stores!

This happened a couple of weeks ago, but I still am excited by it. I got to meet one of my favorite podcasters, Nicole of the Stash and Burn podcast. She is as delightful as that photo shows, and she saw me and recognized me from my ravatar. I always forget people know what my face looks like!

with Nicole of Stash and Burn

Nicole has caught the sewing bug, and told me about her adventures in sewing panties (as in underpants). I was fascinated, but it’s not likely to happen at my house until the Zombie apocalypse.

And for dropping a fair amount of cash, I got a free project bag that we could all dip into the indigo dye vat. A lovely momento!

awfkw bag

And yes, there was yarn, but some of that is a secret gift, so it must wait to be revealed. Here’s what I can show:
Pioneer yarn

Organic wool, spun by the folks at Green Mountain Spinnery, naturally-dyed by Kristine at Verb. So yummy!

Here’s hoping that the next five years continues to bring fiber goodness to all.

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FO: Leftie and Lintilla

The Behm-a-long continues. One of my Behm FO’s will go to my cousin – her father’s name was Behm, so that will be appropriate, but I’m going to make her guess which one.

I finished Leftie first, and delighted with how it came out:Leftie1

The soft leftover idea is terrific. I used a lovely wool/silk fingering weight blend in the black, and a slightly larger needle, so it’s a generous size.

Leftie1

The second Lintilla is now done as well, and totally in gift-for-another colorways:

Lintilla2a

Martina’s patterns are very well edited, tech-tested, and are written in a variety of languages. I can see why she is succesful!

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A Tale of Two Shopping Experiences

Sorry for the lack of posts – just one of those weeks where lot’s of things kept me busy.

Shopping for clothes is not something that I consider a “fun” experience. I like clothes, and looking good in them, but going to malls and stores to try on a ton of things – not so fun.

So when a sister blogger talking about her StitchFix experiences, I got intrigued. Clothing chosen for me that comes straight to my door? Ability to decide what to keep or not¬† quickly? Modest fee? Sign me up! I worked through the survey, wondered why I wasn’t told to give even a full-bust measurement, and waited to see what happened.

After receiving two fixes, my experience is – meh. Now mind you, I am not the poster girl for the sizing of garments these days. I’m carrying more weight than I want to, I’m curvy, and I’m petite. Oh, and I am a pastor, so many things are just not going into the wardrobe because I can’t be bothered to create a whole separate set of clothes when I’m not working at the church.

The concept is ok, but lot’s of kinks need to be worked out. My primary question is: Can they really support petite women? Nothing I got was labelled petite, although to be fair, the skirt and the dress in the second fix were knee-length on me. But so many misses – I got lots of boring chiffon-y blouses (three-quarter length so they could sorta make it work for a petite woman) that gave my figure no help and hid the assets, a dress that was labelled medium, but wasn’t. I did get a stretchy sweater top with big dolmen sleeves that was meant for someone 6 feet fall.

My Stitchfix “personal stylist” apparently thought this was going to go better because there were no sheer blouses (she was very proud to have found some that weren’t), and that the skirts actually came to the knee (?).

Out of the two fixes, I bought only one top, and have only worn it a couple of times. If you are a “standard” size woman (but not XL, because this woman was told they couldn’t help her, or the horrors that this woman got or petite in my case), maybe it is worth a try, but really, if you are standard size woman there are a million stores you can go to already, right?

So much for the “personal stylist” — I decided to shop “old school” – retail bricks and mortar. I dropped into the Talbots near me where I was greeted to taste out of a party tray – yum! I browsed their lovely petites department¬† – one of the few brands that has good stuff – tried on a bunch of things, and walked out with three tops, all on sale, and a lovely fine-wool long cardigan (at 30 percent off). And I was treated well, and got some ideas about other things I could get for the holidays.

Shopping at talbots

The difference? Talbots takes the petite customer seriously, and knows we will drop a lot of dollars if things fit.

So, readers, how about you? Where do you buy clothes these days?

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New Pattern: Beads are just so much fun! (free to blogreaders)

I’m so lucky to get to teach a whole afternoon of fun with knitting and beads today with the amazing knitters at Bluebird Yarn and Fiber. As part of the class, I am teaching how to make a beaded ornament – something that you can give as a gift where size doesn’t matter. I love how this came out! The fun thing is that you knit this (including the fringe) flat, then just six stitch of grafting, a little pulling, and the fringe magically appears!

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You can use smaller beads, other kinds of yarn, and the effects will change. It’s perfect for using up scraps of yarn. Pattern details are here.

As a gift to you, my blog readers, I’ve set up a coupon code so you can download this pattern for free through Monday, October11th November 11 – after that, it will be just a $2.00. Just go here for the pattern purchase with coupon code.
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Thanks, readers, for taking the journey in stitches and life with me!

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The Way Forward is Strange and Weaves

It’s been seven months since my mother died.

About 3-4 months ago I began to put together a list – I call it a “Life List” (that sounds way better to me than a Bucket List) – things I want to do in life.

It was hard. Hard because life had kicked me in the gut, and I went down. And doubly hard because pastors are not supposed to go down (but we do sometimes). By grit I kept going, and did the list (it’s from this book, I think it may be out of print, but it’s good – Falling Awake: Creating the Life of Your Dreams by Dave Ellis.

And then I couldn’t go on – I literally had to put the book down, plop the list on my desktop and handle just today. That what I did for the rest of the time until now.

I looked at the list yesterday, and a funny thing I noticed: I had already done or begun a few things on the list. I know! I was surprised and elated that yes, things have happened and continue to happen.
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The way out of loss and grief is strange and it winds and weaves. I don’t know where or how life will go on, but for now, today has been enough, and I’m truly thankful for everyone who has had a kind word or thought in the past few months.

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Inspired

Despite all the corporate thugginess associated with the Olympics these days, I have to say that the athletes themselves are inspirational for the most part.  And this year, the uniforms are making me cry. You see, there was a big to-do leading up the 2012 games when it became clear that Ralph Lauren had outsourced the making of the uniforms to China. A petition from US labor asked the label to source the uniforms for 2014 domestically. And they did.

Last week (while I was neck-deep getting certified as a water fitness instructor), I happened on the video of Ralph Lauren’s announcement about the uniforms for the upcoming games in Sochi.

You gotta watch:

I cried a little. You might too.

And it niggled a brain neuron that fired, and voila! I found my very own skein of Imperial Yarn bought a couple of seasons ago – a bouncy, two-ply woolen yarn (tough to find woolen spun these days, let alone mulespun!):

Imperial yarn

Yep, the yarn comes from that very company whose wool is used for the uniforms.

And isn’t this message on the tag great? They think of everything:

Imperial wool tag

This will be a wonderful project to knit during the games – my homage and reminder that sometimes a corporate giant will listen to the complaints from the public, and change course. We who care about wool need to remember this!

 

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