Monday, February 27, 2012

Stitches West 2012

I took this past Friday off so that I could attend Stitches West with the hubs. :) I had every intention of us arriving in Santa Clara by the times the doors opened. HA. We got there about an hour or so after the doors had opened. We just got off to a late start.  We traveled lightly (meaning no camera amongst a few other things).  I had my list of things I needed, my map, and the hubs was in charge of all the snacks (the real reason we were behind schedule getting out the door!). It worked out fine though. We ended up spending the entire afternoon there. We left at about 5:30 or so to go have dinner. I hadn't intended on being there past 3:30. Boy was I wrong.  In comparison to our first Stitches, I think there was a better turn out of shops the first time we went.  The only 'big' shops that were there this year were Webs, Yarn Barn (of Kansas), and Village Yarn and Spinning.
Oh, I failed to mention that on this particular day, it was going to be in the 70s. There was no way I was going to throw on a shawl or knitted socks for that matter on a hot day even though I was going to be around thousands upon thousands of other knitters. I did bring the little thing my boss gave me a few weeks back though.  As I mentioned before, we traveled lightly this year (that included not bringing too bulky of a sweater/jacket that I would have to either tie around my waist or stash in a bag. I even brought a smaller bag than normal!
I only really wanted to hit the major shops listed above and my other go to shops were The Mannings, Foxyknits-All Things Koigu, and Alpenglow Yarn. Yes, that's it.  We hit The Mannings and I actually didn't find anything I wanted. Then we trekked to Alpenglow Yarn and finally I feasted my eyes on some pretty things. Here's what I picked up from her sales bin.
There was only one skein of the red. I really really liked it.  The unique thing about Alpenglow Yarn is she uses natural dyes. The yellow is made from something called weld and the red yarn is actually made from bugs that are found on cacti! The hubs thought that was awesome.
After that purchase, we got wind that Ysolda was there so we went to her booth. I don't know why I didn't realize she was going to be at Stitches! Her booth was very cute. We got to see Whimsical Little Knits volune 1-3, Saturday Treat in their adorable booklet formats! While we were at her booth, I noticed that she had rav buttons! I asked if I could have one and she said sure. I also dropped my map while I was getting a button. So here it is (on that thing my boss gave me):
The hubs got one too and the dork wrote his real name on it. lol. After that, we just went up and down each and every aisle. After the first round (and having found nothing that I really wanted), the hubs sat down and I went down the 800 aisle. I picked up some blue sock yarn from Western Sky Knits.
We took a lengthy break, sat down, snacked majorly by the Webs location, and people watched. Then finally I made my last two purchases of the day. I picked up some MadelineTosh Merino Light for an upcoming shawl that I'm itching to cast on for.
I don't know if either shot does the colorway justice. It is called ink. And lastly, I made a Zen Yarn Garden purchase from Fickleknitter. I had seen the colorway at the Zen Yarn Garden booth too but I ended up getting it from Fickleknitter instead.
This picture totally doesn't do the outrageous color justice. It's a dark pink mixed with reds or black. It's awesome and it is called Pop Rock.
Here's a family portrait:
Believe it or not, I stayed within my meager budget of about $100. That was all I had extra this month in my checking account. I don't often have anything leftover so I felt I deserved a little treat (why not?). Aside from the lovely purchase of yarn, I saw a few patterns that I did not yet have in my queue or my wishlist.  A few from Kira K Designs and there is a booklet coming out called California Revival Knits. It is amazing!!!
Remember I said I traveled lightly? I didn't even take any knitting with me! No, instead, I did lots of yarn and needle tasting whenever we were at a booth that had them at their disposal. I tried some hexagonal needles from Indian Lake Artisans.  I tried out the square needles (can't remember where). I tried out the signature needles that people were raving about a while back and I tried some yummy yarn.
There was one thing I didn't get. I had wanted to get some tweed yarn for a guernsey wrap and nothing called out to me. :( Oh well. Overall though, we had fun and I can't wait until next year! :)
Next time I ought to have finished photos of my socks that are currently blocking as well as my henslowe (also blocking) and maybe my cowl that I cast on for and finished in the same day!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Here, There, and Everywhere

Time surely has not slowed down one bit. After the hubs' brief stay in the hospital, I officially began tutoring at school three days a week. It is to help get the kids who are stuck in a bubble out of that bubble.  They just need an extra little push and they'll be at grade level. Tutoring has taken over my world!! After the first few days, I realized it was a lot of work.  I found myself saying to my teaching partner that I actually have to do work now. He chuckled and said that's why he didn't volunteer for it. We are all burnt out and it was super dumb to schedule the tutoring to occur immediately after school let out because the teachers don't even get a break in between much less the kids. I am seeing growth though in my little group of students and I like getting to know other kids. I am also getting a little extra for tutoring.
There has been knitting. One yet to be documented finish and one near finish on my needles. I spent Saturday afternoon sorting through my printed patterns. I filed away the newly printed and I also separated out the ones I want to knit in the near future. The hubs and I went through most of my stash the other night too.  I came up with a genius idea. I cleared out a binder and in it I put all the patterns I intend to knit this year.  I grabbed my mini post-its and set off to work.
So that's a pattern and on the post it I have written what yarn I intend to use.  The binder is full of patterns and post-its. The reason for doing this is the hubs and I will be going to Stitches West on Friday!!! I can't wait! I still need to go through the patterns that require yarn purchases to write down what exactly I need to buy. I also need to select the must see first booths.
March is going to be a busy month for me. We have our second assembly of the school year. My children will be singing "De Colores."  I'm thinking of asking them if they want to sing "Firework" too by Katy Perry. I don't know, I just think it would be a good song for the kids to sing. They don't have much time to learn it but I'm sure they all mostly know it! That is on the first Friday of March. That night I will be going to a teacher event at our local aquarium.  It's a sleepover but I didn't sign up to sleep there. You get to sleep in your favorite exhibit which is cool but I don't sleep well in new places. The following weekend I have a teacher training at Elkhorn Slough. The third friday in March is when I make my directorial debut!  The last week of March we have parent/teacher conferences. Whew. 
Pictures soon of said finished and nearly finished projects!