In full Bloom

I finished knitting my niece M’s Bloom dress right before my trip to California. Normally, I feel compelled to hand-over new knits as soon as they’re off the needles, but it wasn’t possible in this case.

So I’ve been basking in the glory of Finished Object happiness with the delayed ‘squees’ laying in wait. Once home from SF, I didn’t waste any time and saw my sister’s children last weekend.

But alas the squees were delayed a little longer… 2.5 year old niece flat-out refused to put the dress on! Luckily I had prepared myself for this day, but I didn’t know it would happen so soon…

Naturally my sister was panicked, but I told her not to force the issue. Little M has that stubborn streak that Aunty Sonia has and there were not going to be any winners here today. Well at least not until later that day when M had a long sleep at home… and then…





She wouldn’t stand up for her photo (baby steps), but by all accounts LOVES the dress.

Niece C, had no such issues posing. Crisis averted.


011Now to make something for my nephew before Winter gets here.


Stitches West – The Stitch Markers

Sunday was the final day of the Stitches West market, and there was not much room left in my ‘yarn case’. But there was room for stitch markers! My SF friend who we met up with again at the show on Saturday had found these super cute vegetable stitch markers. So I needed a set too.


The potatoes with dimples were particularly adorable.


Jennie the potter had made these clay ones. I now wish I had gotten a mug too.


These handmade glass bead ones broke the budget a little, but pretty huh?


These stitch markers came from Yoth Yarns, there was a lot of love for Yoth and I kind of liked the weight on these.


These Crystal type ones came from the Hiya Hiya stand… as did the balls of yarn



And finally, polymer clay candy canes, just because.

Stitches West – Anna Zilboorg class

Upon booking for Stitches, I decided that if I was going to take a class (and take 3 hours out of my market shopping budget time), it was going to be with someone memorable.

Enter Anna Zilboorg! I’d read a few things about Anna and I thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend 3 hours with her in her class: Surprisingly Special Techniques. She did not disappoint.


Her thoughts and ideas on knitting were about simplicity. How simple things can make all the difference to the finished look of your knitting. She’s a bit of a perfectionist, and for once I really liked that (says the knitter who hates ripping back). Why continue to knit sloppy garments when you can change small things to your repertoire and look clever?

I’ve been knitting (k1 p1) rib for years, and the only time I’d ever knit a twisted rib was on Cookie A socks (in the round). A simple thing like twisting this one stitch on both sides of knitting when knitting a garment, makes for a much nicer rib, right? Why wouldn’t you always do this on cardigans and sweaters, instead of saggy rib?


She taught us her method for setting up and cutting a steek. My first ever!


The perfect way to make a cluster easily and effectively.


And of course her proudest invention, the Perfect Buttonhole! Boy oh boy is it ever perfect! It’s seamless from the front to the back and it’s a thing of beauty.

She’s also a pretty cool woman. When I asked for a photo, she didn’t even flinch at the term ‘selfie’.

She is the author of Knitting Anarchist (now on Kindle) and several other knitting pattern books, including Knitting Free-Sole socks. I have a bit of homework to do.


My visit to San Francisco

After eight years of being away,  I returned to visit San Francisco on Valentine’s Day. I can see the irony.

The first thing I did after getting off the plane (and after checking in at my hotel and taking a shower), was to visit my old neighbourhood in the Marina district.


Much to my surprise and pleasure; nothing had changed, aesthetically speaking.


Not a damn thing. That was my greatest fear, and probably what kept me away for so long; that going back would somehow diminish my memory of one of my most inspiring times. The memory that I walk through like it’s a dream.


My personal landmarks, our apartment, my dry-cleaner, my local yarn store, heck even the muni bus tickets… were all the same as they were. Nothing has changed in eight years. It’s like I left the city as a time capsule.


Intellectually I know it has changed. My local friends told me it was busier and much more expensive than it was when I was living there.


The cable car rides are as fabulous as they were and the cable car drivers just as hilarious.


A pre-stitches visit to Imagiknit was in order. I hate to say it, but now with a few fabulous Melbourne yarn stores, Imagiknit had lost a bit of it’s shine for me. That’s not a bad thing.


I still managed to buy a project and a tiny wee sheep for my desk at work.


A bridge visit was mandatory.


As was a visit to the Palace of Fine Arts, my number one favourite place in San Francisco. I couldn’t really get across to Debs (my travelling partner), why it was so amazing, she thought I was just taking her to some park. Until we got there, then I think she got it.




Debs wanted to see the Painted Ladies, I was happy to oblige.


We caught up with a few of my SF Knitting buddies and there were many laughs to be had and suddenly the eight year gap had closed.


There was a visit to Coit Tower (because I had never been, and this was a regret) Did I tell you Debs has a wicked sense of humour?



A walk down the crooked street was also in order.


And. We went shopping!

That was my visit to San Francisco after all this time and as I said to Deb, I’m no longer living in the past. That makes me happy. I’ve created some new memories of the city and Debs created a lot of laughs. I don’t think I could have had a better time in SF* and I have Deb to thank for that.


*ok maybe with my husband because I have to say that


Stitches West – The Loot

I’ve had a few days to recover from my jet-lag and my disastrous trip home (long story short, it took 2 days to get home) so I think you’ve waited long enough, without further ado here’s the yarn I came home with!

You can read more about our experience at the show here on the Richmond Knitters blog. I’ll also be covering other aspects of the trip here, over the next week or so.

All of it in one shot

At this point, I think that I should say that I am very happy with everything I got and clearly I didn’t leave anything I wanted, behind. That was my mistake 8 years ago, I think there’s a lesson in that…

My shopping experience was made better by having a partner, Deb did an awesome job of inspiring my purchases; I was lost without her when she was in her class on Friday morning. I did not/could not buy a single thing then, go figure.

Table close-up 1/2
Table close-up 2/2
Yoth Yarns (Yarn On The House) was hot at the show


Western Sky Knits (WSK) a personal fave. Came home with 9 skeins…
Anzula, Lisa Souza, Miss Babs
Miss Babs Cosmic
Lisa Souza, Miss Babs
Pepperberry Knits Cashmere (of course)
Jill Draper Makes Stuff; love this colour!
Koigu (yes more koigu), Canon Hand Dyes, Invictus Yarns (gradient), WSK
Yoth Yarns
A Verb for Keeping Warm / Romi Hill Mystery Knit Along
From left: Miss Babs, Anzula, Lisa Souza

I’ll be popping all this up on Rav now in case you want the finer details and more eye-candy. On the blog this week I’ll cover off my trip to San Francisco, my class with Anna Zilboorg, and anything else I can think of. ‘Till then, enjoy!