I didn’t plan on it

Last weekend I went down to my old stomping grounds in Southern California to visit friends and family – it had been a whole year since I had gone!  It was a weekend of eating bigger meals with everyone – but really delicious.

Everything was blooming, including the Jacaranda trees!

and high school friends looked good while we sighed a lot about our current President.

And I traveled with these lovely young ladies on my maiden trip on the LA metro – finally!

And we saw amazing independent podcasters do their thing at the Ace Hotel in Downtown after having probably the best Chinese dumplings ever!

 

While on the trip, I watched for the Colorwash shawl  – which looked good:

but then I had a knitting emergency!  Somehow I had lost the knitting needle that I had used – a size 4 interchangeable ChaioGoo. Yikes!

So, while it hadn’t been in my plans at all, I found a new-to-me yarn store in Pasadena – right next to the Pasadena Playhouse, and it’s lovely. The staff couldn’t have been better! Next time I’ll buy some yarn – it has some great stuff. But I didn’t plan on it!

One evening I had dinner with family friends – that’s Tuan, who came here with his family as a refugee back in the 1970s, and now in retrospect, I find it funny that I taught him and his sister English – both have college degrees and are professionals. Refugees rock!

Yes, we watched SNL Saturday night since it was live on the West Coast for a change. Tuan’s daughters wanted to watch mainly for Haim. We adults were watching for Melissa McCarthy’s impression of Sean Spicer.

So good to see folks I don’t get see often enough, and there was progress on the shawl:

On my return, I ordered needle tips and a new cable for my interchangeable set (because unless you have all of them, it isn’t that useful), and they arrived quickly:

Of course, the day after I ordered them, my host Bonny found the errant knitting needle near the couch in the living room, so I basically bought two more size 4 needles than I need. Whoops!

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Decision Made

So, I’ve decided on this set of skeins for my Colorwash Scarf. I’d like to say that the voting in the pool affected me, but there was only one vote, so not so much, folks.

 

The yarn is wound, the pattern is printed and ensconced in a protective sleeve, hopefully a little watching before I leave to figure out needle sizes, and decisions on a bag to hold it.

This will be my travel project as I head down to Southern Cal to see friends and family, and also take in a fun show called Radi0topia Live – which will feature some of my favorite podcasters, and has the advantage of being in a very cool downtown hotel – the Ace. I’m pretty sure I’m not cool enough for this venue!

Photos and more on the other end of the trip.

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Spring pursuits 

Thursday it was in the high 90’s here in Fresno; yesterday we were in the low 80’s and today we might not get out of the 60’s. It must be spring!

I’m making steady progress on the summer top based on another one I knit a while back in a different yarn. I had to do the maths to make it work. I really like the Sally Melville’s Knitting Pattern Essentials for such endeavors. That’s how I figured out how to do the shirttail hem, and what kind of decreasing I need to do for a scoop-neck. But there is so much more to this book, it’s good if you want to dip your toe into designing your own stuff, or copying that sweater you love. And she has magical formulas for making your button bands turn out well in all kinds of stitch patterns!

So far, so good.  The uneven bits will be fine once I wash the yarn as I did in the switching.

It’s being done on Size 2 needles, so it’ll go slow; I forgot about that when I decided to make this again! I’m now beyond the armhole bind-offs.

The other kind of pursuit is getting the cold weather stuff put away and the warm weather stuff out. Here’s what the spring/summer sweaters look like. I did wash and block a couple that look a whole lot better now!

and that means the woolly ones need to be washed before I put them away:

 

Brandy didn’t quite get the concept of laying them out – she loved the smell I guess!

And in non-knitting news: I decided before I went out and bought a new dress for my little cousin’s wedding to try on all the ones I own, and it turns out that I already have a great but different dress from the one I wore to her sister’s wedding.  I’m not crazy about the little bolero sweater I wear with it (which is black, not so good for a farm-style wedding), but I found something on Lands’ End that will come in time. Now to find some comfy shoes to switch into for the reception!

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Options (with a poll)

Some cool things got ordered and came in the mail. First up – Eiffel Tower scissors! Aren’t they cute?

They remind me of my trip to France last year!

and then some fun things from Mason-Dixon Knitting came – a set of their Field Guides at a really good price! You get both the print books and e-books as well.

So small and cute! Such great patterns!

The one I’m looking at right now is from Field Guide No. 3 – Wild Yarns, it’s a scarf called the Colorwash Scarf, which is a fun easy knit that I can take on my trip to SoCal. The pattern calls for two colorways of fingering sock yarn, they don’t have to have a lot of contrast. I rummaged into my stash and came up with two options:

Option 1: Anzula Nebula in the Minty Unicorn Colorway (left), and MadelineTosh Tosh Sock in the Filigree Colorway (right)

 

Option 2: Fable Fibers folktale in the Asheville color way (left) and Anzula Milky Way in the Emerald color way (right)

 

If you’re reading this, go ahead and vote on which option you think I should use:

I’m chugging away at knitting more Knitted Knockers. I particularly like the silver and pink version (a way to use up scraps).

 

Finally, I found a home for my shawl – it’s a color that I don’t like. My hairdresser, Camille, is a great recipient – she’s lovely, looks good in this color, and she appreciates the hand knits!

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