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Sunday November 4, 2012

California Cafe and Farewells

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So we just had time for a very special brunch before leaving for the airport. Here's Fin* tucking into his breakfast food medley. I am never able to remember to take photos at the start of the meal - too anxious to get on with the serious business of eating - however I did manage to remember this time before I actually licked the plate clean, so below is my own (minus a bite) plate of Eggs Benedict. Yum.

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The weather this weekend is just lovely and sunny - a bit of a change from the last week of cold grey skies - and snow! (albeit when we were further north). We strolled back along University in the sunshine - and finally we were off to San Francisco where I began my thankfully uneventful journey back to the UK.

* In case you were worried about Adam and Nigel apparently missing out on all the fun over the past two days - well, of course, they have been. They have both been at scout camp; hence I had to say my fond farewells to them on Friday. However we have seen regular updates on facebook and they seem to be having their own kind of fun.

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 10:27 AM

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Saturday November 3, 2012

Santa Cruz

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The holiday would not be complete without a visit to Santa Cruz.
We had the usual lovely fish and chips on the Pier at Stagnaro Bros., and Fin tried a bit of fishing; it was lovely in the autumnal sunshine - but maybe a bit too windy to stand much of a chance catching any fish.

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Posted on November 3, 2012 at 10:26 AM

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Friday November 2, 2012

At home with the Woodlands

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Early morning coffee is always themed at the Woodlands. Today we are influenced by the astonishing banana crop from Alison's tree in the garden, and we may take coffee on the terrace or in the cabana. Often we are joined by well-known celebrities (even if only in spirit). The resemblance is uncanny isn't it?

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After coffee we had the energy to visit Uncommon Threads in Los Altos, who carry stock of Jamieson's yarns, which we each bought to make Kate Davies' Sheep Carousel tea cosy. After a great deal of deliberation, I bought the inspired combination of black and (you guessed it) white, while Alison went for a sophisticated combination of brick red and dark brown.

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AlisonsCosy.jpg

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 11:19 AM

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Wednesday October 31, 2012

Los Gatos and Halloween

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What can I say?
Yes - we did go out like this.

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Earlier in the day I went out and about in downtown Los Gatos admiring the Halloween decorations in the shops on my way to visit Yarn Dogs. On the way back I dropped in at Icing on the Cake. [Alison had taken me there on Sunday to get Nigel's birthday cake]. I picked up a few highly imaginative "vampire bites" cup cakes, which, when it came to it, we were much too full of candy to eat in the evening!

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM

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Saturday October 27, 2012

Silk and Colour (or possibly color)

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This was our final day at SOAR and I am going to start with our final class all about silk production run by Michael Cook.

I am thoroughly glad I did the class as it's not something you would casually take on at home, but I think I can say that Alison was a little less taken with it than I - boiling and stirring silk cocoons is not to everyone's taste - even when the bugs have been previously euthanised and are not suffering further. Ever since we arrived at the snowy resort, I seem to have lost my sense of smell - whether due to the cold or the altitude I do not know, but it certainly seems it was very helpful in this class, since the unpleasant smell of the boiling cocoons was quite overwhelming (apparently).

The first part of the class was producing silk thread from cocoons and the whole process was very interesting (you can see me above being very interested, winding my silk filament onto a drying frame). The thread is drawn out from multiple cocoons, boiling in a bath, dried, twisted (as opposed to spun), and finally washed to remove the gum.

The second part of the class was making a silk hanky from the cocoons, where the cocoons were also boiled, but then taken individually and flattened, after the bugs had been removed (eeuw!). Interestingly, Michael demoed this part but you can see below he really does not like it.

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Michael is a weaver producing fabulous miniature woven silks, and he breeds some silk worms himself as well as importing the many cocoons it takes him to support his habit. You can see a little weaving round his neck, which is a QR code sampler; we though this a great novelty and Alison swiftly read it into her iPhone.

Our morning was spent in a much less messy and more fluffy environment with Deb Menz. I liked this class very much - I had read all the colour wheel stuff but I realise now - not properly. The exercises in blending colours were designed to illustrate the difference between hue, value, and intensity, and to show the effects of blending with families of colour as opposed to using complementary colours (which I tell you right now, is grey). I was pleased to find there is an index card to help you decide on the value of a colour if you don't have much of an eye for it - something I could well use in fair isle knitting as well as quilting.

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The little nests that Alison and I produced with our newly acquired hackle were very pleasing - see below. While we were working, Deb talked to us about her early experimentation with colour from which she had many sample skeins to illustrate her points. This was actually a very valuable mini-lecture, given almost in passing and I thought in hindsight it warranted more of my attention than I was able to give it while working.

ChristinasNests.jpg

AlisonsNests.jpg

After this full day of heavy concentration, Alison bravely drove us home.

Posted on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

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Friday October 26, 2012

Wild Downs and the Market

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This is Mr Lendrum - (I know!! so exciting!) - letting us have a go on his wheels in the marketplace. We met him over dinner, and I think he was a bit bemused at our delight in meeting a real person behind the family name, (Mr Ashford was there too). Truthfully though, I have always been keen on Lendrum wheels - ever since I first tried Janet's at Epsom Spinners - and it is noticeable how many of the tutors have them, (admittedly I suspect they are not their sole wheels though, but good for travelling).

Our first class today covered drawing techniques with Jacey Boggs. It was a great class, but for some reason (intense concentration) I failed to take any photos. So as she is such an appealing teacher, here is a You Tube item where she is publicising her book about fancy plying.

She did a 3 day workshop on this before we arrived, and although our interest in either creating or using these novelty yarns is limited, we did buy her book on the subject. Alison firmly wished she had signed up for plying rather than silk - which was reenforced once we finally did the silk class... more on that later.

Meanwhile - back in our class - Jacey skillfully led us from short forward draw seamlessly through to achieving long draw with apparently no problems at all - though I will reitterate that the ability to do long draw depends a good deal on having well-prepared fibre/rollags.
This turned out to be just as well, since the afternoon class was with Judith McKenzie ** ["Three Wild Downs"], and the very first fibre she gave out came with the words "now we're going to spin this woollen spun" - where before the morning class, we would have been unable to comply. Even if we'd not spun anything in Judith's class, though, it is simply wonderful just to sit and listen to her talk - mesmorising. However, spinning the fibres was a real treat, and we hurried to the marketplace immediately afterwards to secure ourselves some cashmere, yak, and bison. [This is a recurring theme - every time we did a class we rushed to purchase the fibre or books concerned...!].

** Since returning to the UK we heard the terrible news that, while at SOAR, Judith's entire studio burnt down destroying all her work and equipment. Read more about her friends efforts to help her rebuild here.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

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Thursday October 25, 2012

Ski Hut

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Here we are setting off for our classes. Today it is "spinning the yarn you want" with Amy Tyler. All year we have been certain that after this we will not need any other classes, as this is all we need to do: Spin the Yarn We Want.
All I can say is - there's a lot to this spinning lark.

The class was lots of fun and surprisingly exhausting. In fact, I can say in retrospect that for some reason I never foresaw quite how tiring SOAR would be to be, getting up for 9 am starts and being so highly focussed throughout the entire day.

The event logistics, and the arrangements for the meals were excellent throughout - though no-one was quite ready for the snow, and Alison spent the first 10 minutes of the day ferrying fellow-attendees (slithering about clutching their spinning wheels) to their various classes in her car, before we finally drove to our own class.

Yesterday evening we arrived in the dark with the extremely slippery conditions and parked up at reception as we were only just in time for dinner. We swiftly established that there is no bar.... (no bar!!) - hard to imagine a ski resort with no bar - wonderful log fire but no egg nogs etc to drink around it.... Everyone helpfully happy to tell us that you can buy wine with dinner or that we could get liquor by driving to the local town - not quite comprehending the concept of social drinking somehow...
So we then drove round to Ski Hut (easily walkable in better weather) and settled into our well-appointed room, which has 2 huge beds, a simply vast bathroom, and a comfortable sitting room (where we could make a start on our solitary drinking without the embarassing possibility of being seen to imbibe).

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

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Wednesday October 24, 2012

To Tahoe

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So our journey North (or possibly East... not entirely sure where we are!) begins (and ended as it turned out) in the snow.

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

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... and it's only October...

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Posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

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Tuesday October 23, 2012

Dyeing at the cabin

Hurrah! Here I am at long last after a year of anticipation visiting Alison - currently at her "cabin in the woods" prior to travelling to SOAR in Granlibakken. We came here to do some dyeing well away from children and her new kitchen work-surfaces.

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A great start on the week of fun - though surprisingly tiring - and boy is it cold here. To everyone's amazement, (as I arrived in San Francisco last Friday and it was hot and sunny), they were predicting snow at Tahoe this week. Sure enough, when we woke at the cabin this morning, everything was covered in a layer of snow. The route we had planned to take to Tahoe across the mountains is closed so we are taking the main roads on the long way round tomorrow.

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We made quite a day of it, mixing up all the dyes (far too much!) and colouring 3 sock blanks and several types of fleece, including some silk and merino. (Note the Nordic Cushions just visible in the background).
We finished the day spinning and watching sentimental children's movies in the shape of Pollyanna (not the Disney version with Hayley Mills 1960 but the TV movie from 2003) and Ballet Shoes (also a TV movie from 2007). Both of these are British productions, where Polyanna, in an interesting departure from the norm, relocates the American story to an English location (the Lake District - so the backdrop scenery is particularly beautiful as well). I always thought they did a very good job of this movie, though a real flavour of the American manners and society still seeps through somehow, seeming not quite right for even rural Victorian England; this isn't a detractor though - thoroughly charming.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 8:16 PM

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Sunday November 21, 2010

San Francisco

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It was dull and drizzley so what else but to hit the shops. We went to Nordstrom in the Westfield Center - mostly just Nordstrom! It boasts the first spiral escalator - and it is a pretty impressive centrepiece to the mall.

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Last night's torrential rain had ceased but it was a cloudy brooding day - this is a perhaps a less-than-picturesque view from our hotel window - but I thought it was great.

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To rally ourselves for the shopping, we had a marvelous "brunch" at Dottie's True Blue Cafe, in the Tenderloin neighbourhood. It's a much-loved unpretentious cafe which I would liken to a UK transport cafe (in a good way). The main difficulty with Dottie's is a cramped interior (adds to the charm) and thus the potentially long wait for a table (not so charming). However, on the day, we hardly had to wait any time (20 mins?) and the food was great.
Since our visit, Dottie's has reopened at a new location in Sixth Street - the interior looks very swish, but I think the biggest plus must be the increase in covers, which - even if you regret the old earthy styling - must mean that more people can enjoy their great food without the terrible queue.

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Posted on November 21, 2010 at 8:35 PM

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Saturday November 20, 2010

China Beach and Lands End

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We take a weekend off in SanFrancisco.

Having had fabulous holiday weather ("for the time of year" - as the natives kept reminding me but which I took entirely for granted), the predictions for the weekend were for heavy rain. However, on our arrival, the day was beautiful - breezy as usual in SF, but lovely. We visited Lands End and China Beach, where I could not resist a paddle. The sea had one lone swimmer, but I did not envy him his bracing experience.

We had a light lunch at the Cliff House - we could not get into the restaurant but in fact that suited us better because it turned out they had "bar snacks" which meant a proper cafe style lunch (as opposed to an inappropriately large meal). The Cliff House has burned down a couple of times in its early history, and when rebuilt around 1909 it was in neo-classical style, not the amazing and wonderful Victorian edifice that preceded it.
The Sutro baths were part of the same development - to my amazement built in the 1890s. I was going to embed a YouTube clip here - but there were so many good ones, I simply refer you to these:

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This is just the sort of place that interests both of us - in history and style. Sad that none of the amazing architecture of the baths survive, (always too expensive to maintain "working" buildings that no longer pay their own way).

In the late afternoon, before checking in to our hotel, we found our way to Imagine Knit - a lovely yarn store on 18th and Sanchez. We spent some happy hours browsing books and yarn, and finally bought some absolutely fabulous lace-weight yarns that we don't really need. Perfect.

We had parked on a residential side street that seemed to be almost vertical, which was quite something even taking into account SF's reputation in this area; the cars were parked sideways on, and we puzzled over how the residents got their cars into their built-in garages, which were at street level on one side of the doors, but about a foot higher at the other side, (....ramps?). So it was quite a relief to get back to the car and manoeuvre it back on to saner streets, and finally into the hotel's valet parking. We got under cover just in time as the rain swept in. The hotel restaurant has a reputation for good dining, so we began discussing the issue of where to have dinner over a refreshing cup of tea, went seamlessly on to happy-hour cocktails, and then as we watched the rain tipping down outside, we happily settled on an excellent dinner in the hotel.

Posted on November 20, 2010 at 10:41 PM

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Friday November 19, 2010

Quarter Century

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And now to the main purpose of my trip to the USA. Alison has been with our company for 25 years, and this is her celebratory lunch with colleagues at the California Cafe in Los Gatos. It was a really good experience and great to meet all her co-workers.

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Posted on November 19, 2010 at 8:15 PM

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Thursday November 18, 2010

Santa Cruz and Natural Bridges

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We both love Santa Cruz and spent a lovely day here - mainly to see the Monarch butterflies - which, despite many trips, excursions around Monterey, and tales from colleagues about the amazing sites, I have never managed to see the reputedly spectacular congregations of these insects.
Note: also took in lunch and purchased lovely Coach bag... (!)

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If we look slightly wild in the above photo, it's because we took it with a delayed timer; we had many attempts before managing this one, involving balancing the camera on a tree stump, rebalancing (quickly) after pressing the button, then running round into shot. What Larks!

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The butterflies were much more wonderful than my ability with a camera can convey. Above you can see what looks like a hanging cluster of dead leaves - which are the Monarchs; the more orange colours are them with their wings open (you have to trust me).
Below is the best close-up shot I could achieve of one with closed wings - sadly focussed on the twigs rather than the insect. However, you can see how a mass of them just look like dead leaves.

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Monarch Grove

Directions to trailhead: Natural Bridges State Beach is located off Highway 1 in Santa Cruz at 2531 W. Cliff Drive. Follow the signs from Highway 1.

The hike: Signed Monarch Trail begins near the park’s small interpretive center. Soon the trail splits; the leftward fork leads to a monarch observation platform. Sometimes on cold mornings, the butterflies look like small, brown, fluttering leaves. As the sun warms the tropical insects, the “leaves” come to life bobbing and darting. As many as 200,000 monarchs cluster in the state park on a “good” butterfly year. The other branch of the trail is a self-guided nature trail. It ends in a grove of Monterey pine.

Posted on November 18, 2010 at 9:42 PM

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Tuesday November 16, 2010

Blossom Hill

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So this is just a boring road - with some pretty autumnal trees.
But it is bestowed with a name to conjure with. It is filled with nostalgia, encompassing my first ever visit to California through to the very origins of its name. For me, it was the first road I had to become familiar with in California stretching right from my initial lodging in Los Gatos up to the factory gates of where I was working in San Jose (which in those days was almost a little town all on its own - and is now bulldozed, despite having been designated of historical interest); and going home to my condo "down Blossom Hill, turn right at Snell". It makes me think of those sad lyrics dating from long before there was a Silicon Valley, when a lonely would-be actor wistfully dreams of home.
You are hard pressed to find the plum trees there now - but I always see the blossom.


San José

The City of San José has a rich history, one that has been marked over the years by the extent of change that has accentuated its landscapes - both physical and figurative. Once a largely agrarian community, San José was a city of bucolic hillsides and an expansive valley dotted with orchards of apricots, walnuts, cherries and plums. In those days, San José was known as the "Prune Capital of the World." Decades later, the city successfully carved out a niche as the Capital of Silicon Valley, and is known around the globe as a high-tech center.

San José Statistics

  • Founded: November 29, 1777 San José was California's first civilian settlement
  • Incorporated: March 27, 1850 San José was California's first incorporated city and site of the first state capital.
  • Incorporated Area: 178.2 square miles
  • County: Santa Clara
  • Population: 1,007,000*
    San José is the third largest city in California, following Los Angeles and San Diego.
    It is the 10th largest city in the U.S.
    *2009 California Department of Finance
  • Technology Expertise: The San José area is home to the largest concentration of technology expertise in the world--more than 5,600 technology companies employing more than 240,000 people.
  • Climate: Temperatures vary from an average of 50º in January to an average of 70º in July.
    San José boasts an average of more than 300 sunny days per year, and has a mean annual rainfall of 14.4 inches.
  • Elevation: The highest elevation is 4,372 feet at Copernicus Peak on Mt. Hamilton (near Lick Observatory) in the Diablo Range; the lowest elevation is sea level.

Distinctions

  • 10th Largest City in the U.S.
  • #1 Recycler among nation's largest cities
  • Highest credit rating of any large City in California
  • #1 median household income in the United States

San José by the number

  • Cultural Events (Approx.) ..........................450
  • Arts Groups (Approx.) ...............................125
  • Regional Parks .............................................9
  • Neighborhood Parks..................................203
  • Parks Acres.............................................2,884
  • Libraries......................................................18
  • Community Centers....................................29
  • Senior Centers ..........................................12
  • Youth Centers ............................................14
  • Fire Stations ..............................................34
  • Sworn Fire Personnel ...............................716
  • Sworn Police Personnel .........................1,343
  • Total Employees ....................................6,623
  • Miles of City Streets ...............................2,300
  • Miles of Trails .............................................50
  • Airport Area Acres .................................1,050

All information in extended entry about San José copied from San Jose City Facts Leaflet 2009

Office of the City Manager
200 East Santa Clara Street, San José, CA 95113
Customer Service Call Center
(408) 535-3500
www.sanjoseca.gov

Posted on November 16, 2010 at 4:31 PM

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Friday November 12, 2010

Where in the world...?

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I am always so excited I have to take a photo like this.

Posted on November 12, 2010 at 12:23 PM

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Thursday October 25, 2007

Hedonistic Heels

Alison took me for a pedicure. It was wonderful and comparatively inexpensive. Lovely Vietnamese American ladies fussed over our feet,while the chairs we sat in gave us a vigorous back massage!

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I would love to be able to have these regularly - apart from the pleasure, it must be so good for your circulation as the whole lower leg is scrubbed and massaged. However, in the UK, I am afraid the experience is more expensive and less rewarding. Age concern recently raised a debate about the lack of NHS foot-care services, pointing out that when you cannot care for your own feet, it is no longer a beauty treatment but a health issue.

Posted on October 25, 2007 at 3:16 PM

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Sunday October 21, 2007

Back to reality

Two items left on the itinerary: kumihimo braiding and .... underwater knitting. Yes... you heard that right.

I was keen to try the braiding using the polystyrene circle tool, and it seemed to work out just fine; it produced the same kind of braid as my marudai, and the plastic bobbins seem very handy - could be used for intarsia - except I'm never doing that again(!). I hope to be able to use this method with thicker wools to make corded bag handles - to go with all those other bag handles I have bought in my time.... If you use thicker wools though, it will distort the polystyrene, making it unsuitable for further use with finer threads.

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The under water knitting was really amusing - as the weather was so good, we did want to try it, and Alison managed to jolly a lot of people into it, even though the last thing she felt like was a dip in the pool. The rules were made easier for us, so you could chose full immersion or not, and only the knitting had to be under the water; some chose to stay at the side and some had snorkels...!

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Alison was declared the winner, being first to 4 rows with her speedy continental style! Below is the winning knitting - Alison's in stocking stitch on the right and mine in garter on the left.

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Finally it was all over, and we had to say good bye to everyone, and goodbye to our lovely room with the view of the sea, and set off for home. It was a thoroughly enjoyable few days, excellent value for money, and just the sort of break Alison and I wanted it to be. Hollis and her colleagues put a lot of effort into making it a great weekend - thanks to them, and looking forward to next year (or maybe the one after that...).

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Posted on October 21, 2007 at 9:06 PM

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Saturday October 20, 2007

Carmel by the Sea

To breakfast, (and for most of the morning truth to tell), I wore what I now think of as my very luxurious Rowan bedjacket (Carolina - magazine 39) - a good opportunity to show off, I thought, - and our group of knitters did not disappoint with their nice comments. The seminar this morning was on shadow knitting; this is a method of knitting stripes in a combination of plain and purl stitches such that, when viewed at an angle, a "secret" pattern can be seen. There are entire books devoted to the subject, but I preferred the more abstract cushion covers over any form of clothing. We had a choice of what to knit - I did the "piano keys" scarf, and Alison chose the "DNA" scarf.

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For lunch we adjourned to the Forge in the Forest - which is neither a forge nor in a forest - but does (as they advertise) love dogs - the dogs provided some unwanted distraction for our group. I think knitters are mainly cat people.... it seems inevitable.

ItalianWool.jpg After lunch, we went en masse to the woolshop, "Knitting by the Sea", conveniently situated across the road from the restaurant. I bought some wonderful Italian wool - wildly rich in colour and now definitely destined to be Pattern of the Month for December... I was also captivated by some buttons they had in a set of four with the playing card suits on them (heart, club, diamond, spade). This inspires in me some sort of memory - these card or gambling motifs are very fifties, James Bond etc and I think there a lot of retro patterns featuring them. Whether I find anything suitable is another matter; both Alison and I are agreed that any motif in the knitting should be very low key. I was so enamoured of Hollis' merino knitting wool which we used this morning that I plan to buy a cardigan's worth in black perhaps to use on such a project with these buttons....

Alison and I then spent the afternoon chilling out - buying patent cold remedies (Alison), buying sun glasses, (me), and sunning ourselves on a handy bench in the town.

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In the evening it was back to work with the "short rows" clinic.

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We tried 3 methods of essentially wrapping the stitches when knitting back on a short row (such as you might do, say,when turning a heel on a sock). I preferred the conventional method that I am used to, and the second method produced the same result with a slightly different technique. The third Japanese method seemed overly complicated for very little benefit - but some of the group thought it was less visible on the right side of the work (but much more visible from the wrong side). The continental knitters had some difficulty in getting the stitches twisted into the right orientation - but any short row pattern will inevitably be slower to knit than just whizzing away with plain stitches.

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Note: this isn't Alison's new design for a knee warmer, it's the three methods of short row knitting. Can't really see a difference can you?

Posted on October 20, 2007 at 9:52 PM

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Friday October 19, 2007

Knitting Camp

With great excitement we set off for our weekend at the Full Thread Ahead Retreat in Carmel. After a dubious start to my holiday (rain), the weather is all set to be beautiful for the next few days. On the way to Carmel, we stopped off at Capitola for lunch, which turned out to be quite substantial ["I always eat a light lunch"] - I ate a kind of Chinese duck in a wrap served with a marmalade sauce - no really - delicious.

We arrived at 3 pm to find one other person already there, Trish, who was very friendly and waved her knitting at us from the seminar room windows. Our room - our suite of rooms! - was simply lovely with a full view of the sea from our balcony.

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People were arriving throughout the rest of the afternoon, and we slipped out for a pre-prandial stroll via the Coach outlet, as per our itinerary, and popped in for a little aperitif at the Hogs Breath Inn before our pot-luck dinners.

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There was a ton of food and we could see there was unlikely to be any necessity to actually go out in the evenings hereafter. Once we had knitted, introduced ourselves, and our projects, (which was actually really interesting - being one who copies rather than designs, I love seeing what other people are doing), we moved on to the "class" for the evening. We dyed 3 small skeins of wool, by micro-waving with KoolAid, and food colourings; I was very smitten by the brick-like red colour unexpectedly produced by the morello cherry drink.... Alison bravely managed to stay the course despite not being well, and we retired at about 9, and hung our skeins to dry on our towel rails in the room.

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Kumihimo fingers. [We haven't learnt how to do this yet but I am sure this is close...]

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We did not buy any coach bags but Robi bought the most wonderful.... well to call it a "tote" does not do it justice. It really was fabulous and - the best part - it was a thousand dollar bag sold for 250.

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Posted on October 19, 2007 at 10:43 PM

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Thursday October 18, 2007

Saratoga Knitting Arts

Already visited Yarndogs in Los Gatos and bought some lovely sock wool ("Wildfoote"); I would have bought more but they had only 2 balls left - still, that's enough for socks eh?

Wildfoote.jpg

Today we went shopping in Saratoga. The wool shop there is wonderful, and I bought a great bargain pack of mixed wool, which I am hoping to use on Pattern of the Month for December.

I also purchased some buttons - two to match the wool pack, and two for my latest project.

We also did some clothes shopping (for my benefit really - although Alison picked up some camouflage clothing and boots for the boys). Despite Alison's best efforts, after we had tried Nordstrom Rack and Favorite Footwear, we ended up in Ross "Dress-for-Less". We were looking for some cheap T-shirts that we can use this weekend in case the dyeing class gets splashy. Here we were successful - and I also bought a splendid 1950s/60s styled short jacket in loose weave plaid, and a rather busy patterned shirt for work (which I instantly mutilated when I got home in order to remove the pockets, which, to quote Alison, "might look nice if they were actually on the bosom rather than under the armpits" - at $7 mutilation seemed acceptable).

Posted on October 18, 2007 at 11:56 PM

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Sunday October 14, 2007

Santa Cruz

Day one and the whole family (and me!) were off to Santa Cruz for lunch.

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We started with a little walk to get our apetites up.

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Despite distractions on the way, the boys found the walk a bit too long but they were encouraged by the promise of seeing a surfing competition.

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In fact we didn't get a very good view of the surfers (lots of onlookers) - but I was delighted with a really good view of a cormorant, who wasn't the least bit bothered by 3 adults and two small boys standing within touching distance.

cormorant.jpg

Lunch was great and I ate the traditional sand dabs - yum.

Posted on October 14, 2007 at 9:50 PM

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Saturday October 13, 2007

Jiggedy Jig

I can't tell you how great it was to be here again. Alison and Finlay met me at the airport, and I was delighted to see them, [...and mightily relieved to have got through customs without having to have had to explain the various imported Christmas goods in my luggage (like that there is no actual meat in "mincemeat")].

My room is lovely and the weather is sunny and just .... perfect.

MyRoom.jpg

KnitPicksNeedles.jpg
There was much excited talk of our planned weekend in Carmel, and I eagerly claimed the Knit Picks needles that Alison had ordered for me.

They are circular wires with interchangeable needle sizes. Such a good idea, and very nice to use. Discovered this almost right away by casting on for my next project.

Posted on October 13, 2007 at 11:21 PM

Comments

Just perfick!

Posted by: Alison on October 22, 2007 2:33 AM

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Do you know the way to San Jose?

Yes.

Flight.jpg

Posted on October 13, 2007 at 9:52 AM