Friday, July 24, 2009

Dancing Bamboo Socks in Trekking XXL

Dancing Bamboo in Trekking XXL

These socks are from the excellent book Pints & Purls: Portable Projects for the Social Knitter. I received this book from my mother-in-law for my birthday and about half the patterns are on my "must-knit" list.

The yarn is Trekking XXL, which is one of the most durabe sock yarns I have every used. Loved this project!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And the winner is.....

No first place finishes at the California State Fair this year. Can hardly wait to see who my competition was this time. I had 5 - 2nd place finishes and an Honorable Mention. I was also told that a couple didn't make the final cut. Live and learn. Here are the entries and the results:

Mini Mystery A

Mini Mystery A, design by Martina Weber of Chatelaine Designs. 2nd Place.

Red Jewels

Red Jewels from a kit that I can't find the label for at the moment - not selected. (Honestly, do they understand how difficult it is to knit I-cord with beads? I think not.)

Needle Nick

Needle Nick, a kit from Lizzie*Kate. My most awesome finishing job to date. The judges were full of praise - 2nd Place.

Be Mine

Be Mine, a kit by Twisted Threads. 2nd Place

Norwegian Star

Norwegian Star, a traditional kit from Norway. 2nd Place

Playing Tour Guide

Playing Tour Guide - not selected.

Pansy Scissor Fob

Pansy Scissor Fob, a kit from The Heart's Content. Honorable Mention.

Mystic Light Shawl

Mystic Light Shawl by Anna Dalvi - Comments from the judge: “Lovely. So many elements working together. Great finishing, blocking. Try a more complicated pattern to place higher. You can do it!” Try a more complicated pattern? I wonder what she considers complicated. 2nd Place

If a few of my comments sounded snarky, well, I guess I'm feeling a little snarky. Five second place finishes?!? Seriously? Fair opens in a few weeks. Need to do some scouting for next year. I want that damn bear! (Best in Show gets a Golden Bear Trophy.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A weekend on the Coast and the 6R Brewery

We had a lovely weekend in Brookings. It was a quick trip, but well worth it. The drive is absolutely beautiful and enjoyable (unlike the desolate wasteland that is the 5 freeway through California's Central Valley). My in-laws are in the process of building a home in Brookings, and it will be nice having them closer. We can visit whenever we have the opportunity! (We'll try not to wear out our welcome.)

We took a walk down to Mill Beach Friday and Saturday, the latter being prior to sunset. I saw something I have never seen before.....

Skunk on the beach

Skunks on the beach! There were four of them and we gave them a wide berth! We also saw a fair amount of Black Tail Deer. They graze through the yards around town.

The sunset was lovely...

Sunset - Brookings, OR

I think we'll be enjoying this view quite a bit in the future!

Though short, we had a great time. Brookings Harbor had a Kite Festival, but parking was a bear, and we didn't get to see it. But, from afar, it didn't look like there were all that many kites being flown. We had some good chowder, observed that the farmers market was more craft fair than fresh produce, and spent some quality time with two people we love very much.

On the way home, we stopped in McKinleyville so we could check out Six Rivers Brewery. This did not disappoint. We ordered a round of tasters, and this is what we got:

6 Rivers Brewery, McKinleyville, CA

40 ounces of beer for $12. Kevin had me drinking most of it, since he was driving. Boy, did I find my happy place! The food was great, I had the Halibut Sandwich and Kevin had the Fish & Chips. A lot of food! Our two favorite beers were the Raspberry Lambic (awesome) and the Chili Ale (with a bit of a bite). This is my new favorite brew pub. I could drink that Lambic all day! This is definitely a must stop on our trips up North.

Eel River Brewery is not that far away, and we enjoy that pub as well. But, the brews they offer at 6R (as they refer to it) are more varied and unusual, and that's what we like. When Eel River has the Hazelnut Porter restocked, we'll stop there again.

Here is the beer menu -

6 Rivers Brewery, McKinleyville, CA

6R isn't much to look at from the outside, but it has some distinction. That glass block is so retro!

6 Rivers Brewery, McKinleyville, CA

At least the bar and dining area is open and airy. The brewery is back to the right of the bar, and there is a pool room as well. They have live music on the weekends.

6 Rivers Brewery, McKinleyville, CA

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Waterfall Scarf

One of my favorite series of knitting books is One Skein Wonders. The pattern for this scarf came from Designer One Skein Wonders.

Waterfall Scarf in Abalone

This was an easy pattern, and an enjoyable knit to work on in the car. I like dropping stitches on purpose! The yarn is from Chasing Rainbow Dyeworks in the colorway Abalone.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beer Me!

Heading up to Brookings for a weekend with the in-laws. An excellent opportunity to enjoy some refreshing beverage and tasty dishes. We stopped in Fortuna at a little gem we found a couple of years ago, Eel River Brewery.

Eel River is the first certified organic brewery in the US. We really liked their Hazelnut Porter, which we found out was a seasonal beer and not currently on tap. We bought our first growler from Eel River because of said porter. The food was good, as it was last time, and the tasters were tasty, but none quite worth getting a growler to take with us. Maybe next time. Here are some shots of the beer and bar....

Eel River Brewery, Fortuna, CA

Eel River Brewery, Fortuna, CA

I like their motto - Be natural, drink naked! I was tempted to buy a t-shirt. Kevin would wear it.

They sure have a lot of ribbons. I like ribbons.

Wendelin Socks

I'll be honest - the main reason I decided to knit this pattern is the name was similar to a nickname my friend Chris had given me in high school. The pattern is by Rosemary Waits and the pattern can be found here.

Wendelin in I Want Candy

For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know that I don't like toe up sock construction. The heels, for the most, don't suit me and cause the sock to wander around. I reversed it, constructed the ribbing to match the pattern, and added a heel flap. Tada - a sock that suits me!

The yarn is from my favorite dyer, Yarn Pirate, in the colorway I Want Candy. I wasn't crazy about this colorway because I'm not a "pink" girl, but if I had my druthers, all my socks would be purple. Yarn clubs are the only reason I have variety in my stash.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our wonderful wetlands - and Mothball Fleet?

Across the Delta from Concord is the city of Benecia. On the shores of Benecia is Suisun Bay, where the National Reserve Defense Fleet is moored. We call it the Mothball Fleet.

Here are some links to get some history and local color stories. There is even a video, located here.

But, I digress. There was another point to this, but before we get to that, here is a picture:

Wetlands & Mothball Fleet

It was a really beautiful day, and we were coming home from Sacramento when Kevin thought we should stop and take a look. He's been a bit fascinated by that odd looking tan thing with the square back. Here's a closer look....

Hughes Mining Barge - Mothball Fleet

When I was growing up in Long Beach, Howard Hughes was a name that was often discussed. For good or bad, the man made history. One of his "engineering marvels" was brought to Long Beach a couple of years after we had moved to Orange County. It was called the Spruce Goose, the plane made of wood. Well, in Suisun Bay is another of this marvels, the Hughes Mining Barge.

The story of CIA Project Jennifer is an interesting one from the Cold War. I would invite to look at all the links I have posted this time. It is an fascinating bit of history, and it's literally in my back yard!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Mystic Light Shawl

Pattern by Anna Dalvi.

Yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway Dusky Aurora.

Mystic Light Shawl

I started this way back in March of last year. A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to submit it to the California State Fair. I entered it with a fifth of the shawl undone! I have to take it to Sacramento this weekend. Think I finished in the nick of time? Yup.

Procrastination - the spice of life.

This is the first charted shawl I have done and I am quite pleased results. Let's see how I do.