More ventures in Ventura..




Walking around Downtown Ventura…

Over at the shop (Anacapa Fine Yarns), we’re in the midst of 10th Anniversary preparations.  I’ve been taking pictures for part of a special project to celebrate, and while I can’t let you in on the secret just yet (more to follow in the next few weeks), here are some gems I found.  Some are right there for anyone to see, some are hidden gems that I discovered while looking for locations.  Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend….






WAV - old Law Bldg pic(800)




















WAV - Looking Up El Jardin(800)














WAV - Historic El Jardin Courtyard pic1(800)























WAV - the view from behind El Jardin pic(800)

Blood Moon Rising

This post has absolutely nothing to do with knitting.  We homeschool, and last night was a rare learning experience in the wild.  I hope you all saw last night’s lunar eclipse.  If not, you will have three more chances in the next year and a half.  Here’s what dear 12yo son and I saw last night:



I am super please with my Nikon P510!  No special lens, and just on the pre-set Night Landscape setting.  Best value for our budget!

What’s on Your Needles?

I hope you all got through the January Flu season unscathed….we didn’t.  However, now that everyone in the family is sans cough or fever, I’m back to the needles.  I knit.  a lot. like hours and hours EVERY day.  It takes many days of 102 degree fever to make me put down the needles.  Losing 10 days of knitting time made me knit furiously to catch up with deadlines, class samples, and projects in general.

Now that I’m in the rhythm again, I’d like to share what’s on my needles while I’m watching the Olympics.  Currently, I’m participating in the KAL for the Ambrose Chapel Capelet from the book, “Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock.  Luise O’Neill is the designer.  This is a comforting wrap that begins at the neck and works down in a circle shape.  We were fortunate to have had it at the shop for a trunk show of Hitch! patterns.  It was very impressive and received much attention.  I’m making mine from Juniper Moon Farms Moonshine in the Seaside colorway:


I started last Thursday evening, and only got to knit on it at night while watching the Olympics.  Already, I’m on Row 81 out of 114.  I love the texture, and if it ever gets cold around here (83 degrees F expected by Wednesday, ugh!), I’ll be most glad to have it around my shoulders.

The pattern is clear, and easy to understand – just the kind of pattern I need while oohing and aahhing over the Women’s Slopestyle, or Team Skating competitions.   I’ve mostly knit lightweight shawls; this is my first worsted wt capelet.  I love the way the sample rested on my shoulders, and the Moonshine in this one will drape beautifully as well.


Here the cabled edges are worked as I go, and the textured center is a fun knit.


Up Next:

The KAL for Our Gal Midge will be starting March 1st and will run through May 1st.  I hope you will join me, and can start planning for your materials soon.  I will post links and more information next week.  In the meantime, I leave you with this question:  What are you knitting while watching (or not watching) the Olympics?  Please share in the comments section. Thanks.

edited to add:

BW cover pic

There is an awesome new fiction book by Larissa Brown (amazing designer) called Beautiful Wreck.  It is set in the future and the past – a time travel Viking Love Story for certain!  Larissa’s vivid writing style places you in the settings.  It is easy to see, smell, and picture yourself in both worlds.  Imagine a place where small patches of grass are novel, and rare; where “regular work attire” means everyone walks around in wardrobe like a Hollywood backlot.

Right now Cooperative Press has some benes for ordering the book on Amazon.  It’s too late for the discount, but until Valentine’s Day, you can still get a free copy of Lichen by Ms. Brown with purchase, AND if you review it and share (like I am right now), there is another bene  – Betta.  You’ll get codes for them to download in your Ravelry library.   Hurry, though, as these bonuses will only be available for a few days more.

What a deal!  Beautiful Wreck while I knit in the day, Olympics to knit by at night!

..with a little help from a friend-(ly bit of fabric)

Welcome to the next stop on the Hitch! blog tour.  I love, I mean really LOVE suspenseful black-and-white movies, and especially the work of Alfred Hitchcock.  If the drama of monochrome wasn’t enough, the slightly off-center camera work adds to the feeling of unease – love it!  When the call-out came out from Stepannie Tallent (author of California Revival), I didn’t just send in one idea.  I sent in 5!  It came down to two, and she let me pick my favorite – Our Gal Midge.  Today I will share with you a fun tip I use to keep my buttons supported on my knits, and I have a wonderful giveaway from my favorite stitch marker maker, too!


It is a one-piece, top-down contiguous shoulder women’s polo shirt, based on Barbara Bel Geddes character in the movie, Vertigo.


I knew that there would be plenty of glamour items submitted (I had submitted a couple myself), but I really loved how comfortable and confident her character was, and wanted to design something that every woman can wear, everyday.

It is worked in fingering wt yarn  – Opal from The Woolen Rabbit – awesome stuff with merino, silk, and cashmere on US4 needles.  It feels so soft, perfect for next-to-skin garments.  Neither I nor my model wanted to take it off so I could send it on to Stephannie.

One feature in particular that I love is the support and pop of color that a strip of fabric lends to a buttonband.  This garment is comfortable, but also very plain; so a little drama at the neckline is welcome. I’m making another Our Gal Midge, because I will be teaching it at our shop (Anacapa Fine Yarns, Ventura, CA) in February, and will be hosting a KAL in our Hitch! Ravelry Group in March.  This time I picked a lovely mustardy color, and I was able to order a fabulous fat quarter of dramatic fabric from Spoonflower that will really add a bit of pop.  Here’s how I do it:

1. Measure out a strip of fabric (dimensions per pattern instructions) -


2. Press the edges in -



I don’t have a buttonband ready on my new one yet, but here’s an idea of what it would look like….(continue on to step 3 below)Image

3. Sew fabric to right side of right knitted buttonband, then sew down buttons matching up with the  buttonholes on opposite band (see original Midge) -

hitch button options (1)

I used this same technique for a sideways-worked cap – The Bay Waters Watchcap:

Bay Waters Watchcap (3)

Bay Waters Watchcap (6)

Bay Waters Watchcap-(edt) (11)

It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my original sample, but this week we will be reunited!  Our Gal Midge is part of the Hitch! trunk show, starting at our shop,  Anacapa Fine Yarns – this week through December 7th, our annual Holiday Party.  We will have about 12 samples from the book – gloves, caps, sweaters, socks, cowls…a little of everything, and copies of the book for sale as well.  Make sure you drop in.

As a bonus treat, my favorite stitch marker maker, The Winemaker’s Sister, has made a special collection of non-snag stitch markers called, Dial M for Murder, just for Hitch!

Dial M for Murder st mkr pic2

Is it wrong to love the meat cleaver?  These come in three sizes to fit all your needles, your choice.  To win a set of these beauties yourself,  just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite Hitchcock film, or favorite Hitch! pattern.  After midnight, on December 10th I will use a random number generator to pick a winner from the comments.  I couldn’t wait.  I had to order 2 sets right away, so they are also available for purchase.

Dial M for Murder st mkr pic

Don’t forget to visit the next stop on the blog tour…..11/22013: A B-ewe-tiful Design

9/28/2013: Sunset Cat Designs
10/5/2013: Knitting Kninja
New! 10/05/13: Knit One, Heart Too Podcast
10/7/2013: Herrlichkeiten
10/8/2013: Knit and Travel
10/9/2013: Knit & Knag Designs
10/10/2013: Wooly Wonka Fibers
10/11/2013: Verdant Gryphon
10/15/2013: Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches
10/16/2013: Rewolluzza
10/21/2013: Knitwear Designs by Carolyn Noyes
10/22/2013: Peacefully Knitting
10/23/2013: Dark Matter Knits
10/24/2013: Turnknit: Dani Berg Designs
10/25/2013: SweetGeorgia Yarns
10/28/2013: doviejay knits
10/29/2013: Triona Designs
10/30/2013: Tactile Fiber Arts
11/4/2013: A Knitter’s Life
11/5/2013: Catchloops
11/6/2013: Yarn On The House
11/07/2013: Ramblings
11/12/2013: Hazel Knits
11/13/2013: Knitcircus
11/19/2013: indigodragonfly
11/9/2013: Fyberspates
11/25/2013: knittingkirigami
11/22013: A B-ewe-tiful Design

Who doesn’t want a cozy blanket for the neck?

Welcome to my part of the world!  While we may not get the extreme temps of other places (average temp range is mid-50s to sweltering heat wave of mid-80s), we do need something comfy to keep the coastal chill off the neck.  My inspiration for the Chumash Cowl came from our home school field trips to the local park & museum, where docents would give us hands-on lessons about our local tribe.  I watched as my children learned about the early peoples of our area – what they ate, how they lived, and even say the toys they made from naturally seeping tar and broken shells (a form of dice).  (P.S. if you’ve ever read The Island of the Blue Dolphins, then you’ve read about a lost, local tribe from San Nicolas Island off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA, and the main character is based on a true story of the Lone Woman of Ghalas At.)



I love the woven texture of baskets; how one color is drawn vertically over horizontal ridges, so I was super excited to be a part of the Holla Knits! Accessories 2013 collection!  I applied this woven-basket idea to my cowl by wrapping stitches 2 & 3 times, and slipping them over garter ridges of a contrasting color over multiple rows.


I think that the reverse side of this application is just as intriguing, so working it as a Möbius just seemed natural.  Möbius knitting starts from the center and is knit out in a figure-8.  I love how quickly this knits up in bulky yarn, and it is long enough to wear as a scarf, or double it up as a super cozy, comfortable cowl.  You can even wear one layer of it over your ears like a hood, while the other twist keeps the chill of your neck.


A special bind-off that adds a yarn over creates the look of a blanket st, often used in embroidery.  It is also a stretchy bind off.  I’ve made two of these and I’m ready to cast-on another.  I just have to decide who I’m going to give my next neck-blankey to?


Be sure to stop in with Knits in Class tomorrow for the next stop on the blog tour.

Nov 12 – Wattsolak
Nov 13 – Mari Knits
Nov 14 – Knitters Pride – Subscriber exclusive giveaway
Nov 15 – Emily Greene Blue – Subscriber exclusive giveaway

Nov 18 – knittingkirigami
Nov 19 – Knits in Class – Subscriber exclusive giveaway
Nov 20 – Claire Sandow Designs
Nov 21 – Baah Yarns – Yarn giveaway
Nov 22 – Jill Draper Makes Stuff – Subscriber exclusive giveaway

Nov 25 – Lee Meredith – 2 subscriber exclusive giveaways
Nov 26 – Wooly Wonka Fibers – Subscriber exclusive giveaway
Nov 27 – Bumblebirch – Yarn giveaway

The new Jane Austen is here!

Today, the mailman is my favorite person.  He brought a wonderful surprise – my print copy and my first paycheck (for a non-self published pattern) for my contribution to Jane Austen Knits 2013

     I’ve been a Janeite for as long as I’ve been reading.  My Northanger Pelisse design, a full-lengthed coat with oodles of cables and lace, begins with a strip of I-cord.


I wish you could see the “buttons.” 


They aren’t buttons at all, but crystal clear beads with silver foil and sapphire cores.  They hide a snap closure sewn to strips of ribbon…



It is worked from the top down using the Contiguous method


This issue is full of wonders from cover to cover.  I’m making two other items from it…a men’s vest (A Vest for Charles)


I’m using Plymouth Encore, and the one alteration that I’m making is an afterthought pocket in a contrasting color.  I’ve set-up where I want the pockets to be, and will make them when I’ve finished the rest of the vest.  The son for whom this is intended wears a pocket watch, and this vest needs a pocket for a pocket watch, dontcha think? 

     I love to work finishing as I go, and I was really excited to see that the front edges are done this way as well.  Hooray for one-piece garments!



The other item is A Most Sensible Bonnet by Theressa Silver.  She is the author of Hat Couture, and a fellow contributor to Stitching In The Stacks.  I love this Dupioni Silk Ribbon from Midori.  The two-toned sheen will be awesome against the black of my hat.

As if those projects weren’t enough, I’ve been working on the October project for the Unique Sheep’s Playing in the Snow Club.  These colorful mitts are called “Toasties” by Allison George.  This is my first time working with Wild Thing, a merino/silk blend from The Unique Sheep.  I wish there was Feel-O-Vision on the internet so you all could experience how creamy soft this yarn is!  



Now the question is…will I keep these, or gift them?  Hmmmm…

What are you all knitting for the upcoming gift season?  Please comment and share.



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