Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On the Coast

I have always been enthralled by the ocean, and I love making pictures with my camera whenever I am on a beach or near one. For my photographic post this month, let's visit some scenic spots on the Pacific Coast.

Sea and Sky
The view from Ecola State Park, near Cannon Beach, Oregon

Wings and Waves
MontaƱa de Oro State Park, Los Osos, California

Deserted Coastline
Near Crescent City, California

Rain Approaches
Manzanita, Oregon

Santa Barbara, California

Day's End
Morro Bay, California

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Good Times and Good Yarn

I have been missing from the blog for almost the whole month of March, battling a terrible cold that I came down with the day we returned from our California road trip. Now that I am finally feeling better, I want to share some quick highlights of Madrona and Stitches West with you. In the previous  two years, I have written more extensively about both events, but this year's report isn't much different: I had a great time, took some excellent classes, hung out with friends and spent some time (and a bit of money) in the markets.

Madrona was a quick trip this year. I drove down for the day on Saturday, February 14, hung out with my Knitajourney retreat friend, Ellen (twinsetellen on Ravelry), wandered the market, and took a really fun class with Janine Bajus in the afternoon.

Here is my one and only yarn purchase from the Madrona market. Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Quill colorway. I am currently looking at two-color shawl patterns and this yarn may become one of the colors when the pattern is chosen.
Stitches West started only five days after the day I spent at Madrona. During those five days, Mr. D and I packed up and, on February 17, took off on our drive down to California. The weather was beautiful, and the trip was uneventful, except for the fantastic meal we had our first night, when we stayed in Ashland. This dessert was definitely an event!
Once I was safely delivered to Stitches (and Mr. D to his sister's house in Santa Cruz) the fun really began. I love hanging out with my knitting pals, Sarah and Martha, as well as meeting up and chatting with friends I only see once a year. I again attended the Saturday afternoon podcaster get-together, which is so relaxing and fun, and affords a great opportunity to just sit and chat with other knitters, some of whom are podcasters and some who aren't.

The market always looms large at Stitches West. You may remember from my January goals post that I was determined to have a strategy for my shopping this year, and I did, and it worked very well. In the weeks leading up to Stitches I reviewed the vendor thread in the Stitches West Ravelry group and made a list of yarns and other items that I wanted to check out. I also made a list of patterns and yarn requirements for some of the sweaters I am thinking of knitting as I knew I wanted to look for a sweater quantity of yarn, something that I haven't purchased at the two previous Stitches I've attended. So after all of the list making and vendor stalking, here is what I actually purchased:
At the top is a Huckleberry Knits gradient that will become Jen Lucas' pattern Saffron. On the left is Forbidden Woolery Temperence, a DK weight yarn that was my one random purchase. I plan to knit it into a Clapo-Ktus. In the middle is that sweater quantity, Huckleberry Knits BFL/Silk DK, and on the right is a skein of fun self-striping yarn from White Birch Fiber Arts. And yes, I did notice the preponderance of purple in these yarns. It is my favorite color, so you shouldn't be surprised.

So that is the Madrona and Stitches report for this year. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming months as I begin to knit up these lovely yarns, because I will be sure to share those projects with you here.