Take a minute to read this, it may take your breath away – it did mine.
I’m Knitting as fast as I can.. April 26, 2007
On my way to In Detroit for taping of a 4 minute segment for Shay Pendray’s Needle Arts Studio (airs on PBS). You know, these shows are great fun to do, and a fantastic experience, even though I somehow feel like I’m just making a giant fool of myself, but boy, what a lot of work.
I guess that’s really my own fault, as I choose my projects and what my presentation will be (more so with this show than with KnittyGritty). So I’m knitting and knitting..
I ran into Stefanie Japel at the Dallas Airport, we spoke briefly on the plane and then I hitched a ride to our hotel with her. We just got back from a very chatty (mainly me doing the chatting) dinner at a local restaurant. What a nice gal! That is one of the nicest things about what I do, is to run into people who you recognize or know vaguely and then get to know them a bit better as time goes on and find out that they are really cool! In her case, I’d seen her walk by a few times at the last TNNA show, her booth was somewhat near mine, and though we have both done design work for Jen Hansen at Stitch Diva Studios, we had never been formally introduced. Since I recognized her at the airport I said hello and we ended up having a nice dinner and a nice evening together, with a topic and expericences in common.
On the plane the two of us were knitting and knitting.. it’s all got to be ready for tomorrow’s taping, so why I’m writing this now instead of knitting as I should be.. your guess is as good as mine.. I call it “creative avoidance”, well, that and sore fingers.
I will be showing how to make the “Flore” petal hat – as Stefanie put it “the one you are famous for” wow.. dunno that famous is quite right, but hey, if someone recognizes it, then that ain’t bad. For my four minutes of infamy, I have decided to do a bunch of step outs,
- how the stitch pattern is done,
- how to attach the layers,
- how to work the decrease,
- and the finishing.
Sounds simple enough, except that I have to show the hat in five or six different stages of completeness. That’s a lot o’ knitting – I have once again developed a callous on my index finger. Doesn’t work well with the fancy TV manicure I got, but oh well…
And as for the other show guests also taping tomorrow (hope I’m not breaking any national secrets here) but it looks like Joan MM from White Lies Designs, Nancy Queen who wrote Chicks with Sticks, Kristin Nicholas, who, as it turns out is one of my favorite designers – check out the kid’s dotty sweater from Interweave Winter 03 issue – fantastic! – and Lisa Gentry, the world’s fastest crocheter (that would be 170 sts/minute..)
OK, now I really have to knit, and I so want to tell you about the angry young girl on the plane, and the dog trying to figure out which suitcase she would be fitting in for this trip, and the sweater with the most amazing cable design on the sleeves that I made for the show that I just love, and the cute hotel we are staying at, and the… and the..
Something so simple April 8, 2007
So, in an earlier post I mentioned that I wrangled Susie into helping me out (once again!) with some photography for my
soon to be recently released Felted Mittens. This was a perfect example of how to make something far more complicated than it needed to be.
I needed a picture of the mittens, hopefully showing the design, but also clearly showing that they are mittens. I also have a really cool pine cone, so I thought they would be a good match. Have Susie put on the mittens, pine cone in hand, take the pictue and voila!
So the pine cone didn’t do it, neither did the dog, nor the tree.
(oh, and when I took the last photo of the tree, Susie actually has her cell phone to her ear, she’s just found out that an arsonist had set her son’s future school on fire the night before,
just goes to show, you never know what’s really going on behind the photo!)
The end result? The second picture we took, and of course, the simplest
This is one of my new favorite dog walks. Since Freia lost her off-leash priviledges a month or so ago, I’ve been looking for good walks that are primarily on-leash for us to do. Years ago, I used to ride my mountain bike around the Marin Headlands and thought I’d check it out on foot. This is an area with a lot of deer, and therefore ticks. Though I treat Freia with Frontline Plus, I still don’t want her picking up any nasties on the way, so I’ve found that a couple of squirts of tick repellent spray on her paws and belly seem to work the best at reducing the tick issue. This last visit, I don’t think she picked up a single one, making the walk that much more pleasant!
Starting out at the visitor center, or Fort Cronkite, you head up the Coastal Trail, a steep climb up. The trail has both paved and unpaved options, so you can choose switchbacks or take it easy along a paved fire road. This trail follows the coastline to Muir Beach, but turn inland when you feel like you are at the top, the trail will take you to the right and keep you heading up.You will then join up with the Wolf Ridge Trail, which is limited to hikers (no bikes or horses). This part of the trail narrows, but is gently rolling just on inside of the slope. At this time of year, with the rain we’ve been having, it’s just a beautiful stretch of lush green and pretty wildflowers. They do have trail running races here so you will probably be passed by the odd studly hardcore runner, which isn’t such a bad thing! I have Freia on a 16ft Flexi so she can run up and down the sloping hillside to her heart’s content, lots of good sniffing to be had. This is the most (read- only) sheltered part of the trail and it can get very hot here in summer, so be prepared and bring lots of water for you and your dog!
This big leafy plant is Acanthus, one of my favorites, it is this leafy plant that was used as the inspiration for the Roman Corinthian columns. Here Freia is appreciating the shade provided by these enormous leaves. The Wolf Ridge Trail will eventually dead end at a T-junction. If you have a dog, your only option is to head down the hill to the right, as dogs are not allowed the other direction. You will now be on the Miwok Trail. This is a wide fire road that will take you back to the Rodeo Lagoon and eventually to the main road to Ft. Cronkite and the Beach. It’s not unusual to see coyotes here, though they will leave you alone, they have been known to hang out right at the edge of the trail. There are also bobcats, but these too will run away from you, probably long before you ever see it. The beach at the end of the road is off-leash for voice controllable dogs, but on a weekend there may be a lot of small kids so beware! This is however also one of the cleanest beaches I’ve yet come across, with a lovely thick pebbly sand in a rich brown/rust color, it’s just gorgeous. A dip in the ocean does double duty, cooling off the hound and washing off the bug repellent, as well as being a wonderful breath of cool fresh ocean air after a nice hike. The hike is about 4.5 miles and at a leasurely pace with a sniffing curious dog takes about 3 hours (including beach time!)
Susie and I went for a walk/photo shoot in the cemetery to photograph my new felted mitten design – pictures to come later – after we were done, I had to drop off a kit for a customer at Article Pract, and Susie spotted a new chocolate shop..
But it’s a sectret.. sort of.
Next time you visit Article Pract, go in the afternoon so that you can also experience two wonderful neighbors. Doña Tomás, at 5004 Telegraph, about 3 or 4 doors down from the yarn shop, only open for dinner from 5:30, but sooo good! They have a lovely patio/courtyard to eat at and if the weather is just right, you feel like you are in Mexico!
And here’s the secret – in that courtyard (on your right as you enter) go into the side door, it’s the littlest chocolate factory in the world! You have entered Cosmic Chocolate
Yummy! The chocolate is divine, the flavors are beyond delicate – so maybe best to try it before you hit the Mexican restaurant as you won’t be able to enjoy the subtle flavors.
The chocolates are all made here, you can peek in and see this amazing chocolate machine they brought from Belgium, the aroma emanating from the melted chocolate as it’s being stirred is a taste of heaven!
Next to the machine are racks of finished chocolates waiting to be boxed up. With all sorts of colors and flavors and names like Shangrila, Cosmic Bliss, Beaming Buddha, Cuban Moon, Shimmering Fizz and Blushing Geisha, this is not your average chocolatier!
Here they are, all boxed up and ready to go. You can purchase directly from the factory itself, and in all likeyhood, it will be Carly (who I believe is the founder of the company) who will help you make your selection. If you won’t be in the neighborhood, you can always order from their website store at CosmicChocolate.com
I got this one to start, containing Cinnamon Honey, Espresso Cognac, Hazelnut and Peanut Butter. My favorites were the Hazelnut and the Cinnamon Honey, Scrumptious!