What’s in Your Notepad?

Q – Two women had a strong influence in my upbringing; my mom and my grandmother.  Both highly creative women in different media.  One habit we have because of them; always carry a notepad in your purse because you never know what you’ll see when out-and-about that desperately needs to be written down.  I have a couple of my grandmothers old, beat-up notepads.  Ugly brown, but when I open them up and see my grandmother’s notes they are priceless.  I’m brought back to my childhood, I can see her jotting down notes as we are out.  She had notes about recipes, sketches about beading ideas, creations with yarn ideas, etc.  Her hand were always busy creating something!  I wish I had one of mom’s notepads.  She designed such wonderful clothes for my sisters and me.  Her notepad was filled with sewing ideas; such wonderful little dresses filled the pages.  I was quite envious when one of the dresses was for a sister and not me!

There is nothing more wonderful than walking into a yarn, quilt or fabric store and seeing all the models on display.  Fingers itching to do something new.  We especially love it when the yarn stores have a tag hanging from the display identifying the pattern and it’s free!  These are the notes for Curls and my trip to the Northwest, collected from various yarn stores, the majority of the free ones came from Yellow House Yarns in Puyallup:

Free Downloads:

Ravelry
Mara shawl
– Amy Hendrix
Moon River Scarf – Susanna IC
Annis shawl – Susanna IC
Gaia Shoulder Hug – Anne Carroll Gilmour
Madrid laced wristlets – Alexandra Brinck (any one up by Puyallup, this was a class at Yellow House Yarns)
Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl – Maggie Magalie – If you love ginkgo leaves you must visit Marjorie Moser’s blog she silkscreens and dyes the most fabulous items.
Urchin hat – Ysolda Teague
Advent-Calender-Scarf 2011 with beads – Kristin Benecken
Matilde Shawl – Chiara Chiavacci

Knitty
Bitterroot shawl with beads – Rosemary (Romi) Hill – I love her patterns!

Crystal Palace Yarns
Jasmine Lace Fingerless Mitts – Adrienne Fong

Not free, but wonderful:
Snapdragon Tam – Ysolda Teague
Monica scarf – Trudy Van Stralen
Traveling Woman – Liz Abinante
Entwined Cowl – Taniis Gray – stay tuned, we’re not going to buy the pattern but we’ve got a “BIG” idea
Trousseau shawl – Carol Feller

This was free in February, but looks as if it is not now.
Berry Tam – Lijuan Jing

Also jotted down were titles of  books and patterns that we liked.  One was “Scandinavian Slippers and Socks” which Curls bought.  We are knitting the Norwegian Star slipper pattern.

I found I spent the most money for yarns in Yellow House Yarns since they had so many models and the patterns were free.  I figured free patterns = more yarn!  I like that math!  Very smart marketing on their part!  This is just a sampling of the notes we took on our trip.  Doesn’t include the sewing ideas which will be a different post.  So, what’s in your notepad?

“You’ll Not See Nothing Like the Mighty Quinn”

q8~Today’s spinning retreat was AWESOME!  To paraphrase the song, Cecelia Quinn proved to be a mighty teacher.  She’s a traveling teacher from Alaska and if you get a chance to take one of her classes just do it!  We learned a great new way to join so there wasn’t a clunky seam (as I usually get). Split open the bottom, put the new yarn in the middle perpendicularly, then bend the new yarn down.  Really looks good!  Spun with a wide assortment of fibers – even cashmere!  The visual demonstration of carded yarn vs. combed yarn was perfect for understanding how the two differ.  The main technique for spinning was the long draw.  I just started spinning a month ago and hadn’t gotten to the long draw yet.  Now to practice!  Why do instructors make it look so darn easy?

Of course there were all types of goodies to purchase!  After much deliberation, I selected  a 20% silk, 40% wool, 40% camel blend.  The yarn is from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks by Nancy Finn.  It’s so gorgeous!  Fingers are itching to start spinning. I think it will be the perfect yarn for Jojoland’s Berry Tam. All of the colors will segue beautifully.  On our Northwest fiber journey we saw a model of the hat at Yellow House Yarns.  What a wonderful shop!  Friendly, helpful, staff and wonderful yarns!  Got a few great ideas which we will be slowly sharing with you.

30% change of rain over the weekend here in San Diego, Ca.  If it is nice, as today was, I’m going to do some dyeing.  Barb works Saturday so I’ll have to have fun without her. I have some great undyed top screaming out to dye.  I’m thinking forest colors.  But, I do get in a rut and pick the same colors  – my “comfort” colors.  I’m trying to step outside of my comfort zone and pick a different pallet.  See the orange in the roving above?  That’s what I’m talking about.  Maybe something with these colors, Browns, Grey, rust, golden yellow, peach:

Using the dropper in Photoshop can help isolate a great pallet!

Ah, my special iris.  This is the great-whatever-grandchild of an iris my grandma planted in the 1940’s.  My mom took some rhizomes from grandma so we had this iris at every home we lived in as children.  When Barb and I grew up and had homes of our own we snagged rhizomes from mom.  This is a family heirloom.  We’ve told our kids that they have to keep the tradition alive!  This iris brings back so many memories every year when it blooms.  We live in San Diego so things bloom earlier here.