places : solvang, santa barbara

Nick and I decided to celebrate our 6-month weekend by making a two-hour drive over to Solvang, CA. I took on navigating and shotgun-knitting responsibilties for the ride. An absolute burden, I know.


Coming along with me were my Two-at-a-time Toe-Ups on the magic loop bought while on my stop in Ashland, Oregon. (I regret not properly documenting that awesome little LYS adventure!) It's awesome to not have to worry about a tiny DPN falling right out of my project and falling into the crumb-filled crevice between the seats! Seriously people, if you are a victim of stopping mid-project to fish through crap for your lost DPNs, learn magic loop. It just might change your life.

I've only been to Solvang once in the last decade or so, but distinctly remembering getting to feed ostriches. So when I saw this big obnoxious OSTRICHLAND! sign, we had to stop to feed those god awfully ugly yet fascinating living dinosaurs. The feeding bowl + dust pan combination is a little high-tech for my tastes, but I did my best to grasp that we were living in an advanced age.



Anyway. Solvang! Big beautiful horses! Delicious food! Walking!

And, wait, did I just hear you say there were yarn shops here? Fuck all else, let's go there.
Village Spinning and Weaving would be number one of two that I knew of in Solvang. The moment I smelled that wool I knew I was home.
Despite the cosy space of this particular shop, there was quite a nice selection of yarns at Village Spinning and Weaving. I was most impressed by the gorgeously cushy skeins of local undyed alpaca offered by the shop itself. Next time I come around here it's in my plan to get at least a sweater quantity's worth of the stuff. Those colors are what I'm all about for garments.
Because of my recent interest in my very own Operation: Sock Drawer, I had only an interest this trip to acquire nice fingering weight stuff.



Wildfoote is a very new line to me, so I opted for a pair of skeins in each of these two lovely muted colors here. I promised Nick that I would make one of these into a pair of socks for him, but I haven't decided which color to reserve for myself (or, let's be honest, whether or not these both will just end up as selfish knits).


I also learned about the wealth of locally sourced alpaca available here. Here was a gorgeous palette of undyed sweater quantities just calling my name. Some even had the name of the animal sheared for the skein. These I will have to come back for when I make the room in my stash bin.

The next shop that I insisted we visit was Rasmussens, which on the first floor features gofts and toys, but offered fabrics and crafts supplies upstairs.
The modest space was put to good use--everywhere I turned there were gorgeous linens and colorful yarns, as well as many vintage pattern books and magazines.


I was dead-set on whatever sock yarns there were on offer, and came across a little basket right in the center of a glass display labelled SALE. I think two out of these three were discontinued. They're gonna make great additions to my future collection of self striping/scrap ankle socks.
After those two yarn-shops were checked off my list of must-see places, we just strolled around until we were tired. The day ended with lounging on a beach in Santa Barbara to watch the sun set.

places : old sacramento

On the way up to Washington this winter, we stopped one morning to stretch our legs in Old Sacramento.
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fo : zwerger nillas

FO Zwerger Nillas This has been a long-overdue post but here are my Zwerger Nillas all finished. I mostly worked through this pair while on the holiday road-trip to Washington with Nick and it's been a relaxing, if at times boring project to have had at hand.


pattern : Zwerger Nillas by Susan B. Anderson
yarn : Zwerger Garn Opal Ladies & Gentlemen in Significant
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]
size : 9.5

I revisited Susan B. Anderson's very trusty (and free!) cuff-down sock pattern for this one. I think I'll memorise the pattern after just one more future sock project. As always it is an absolute pleasure to allow a self-striping yarn express itself in such a minimal sock pattern. I believe in hand-knit socks relating to each other as siblings rather than twins, and the look of this sock yarn all knit up holds up really well as evidence for my conviction.


The yarn is Zwerger's Opal (hence the very creative name), an unfortunately discontinued yarn I bought as a souvenir from the cozy Ippikin in Much Wenlock. Holding these socks take me back to my walk in the rain to that little shop and how much warmth was felt through their lively conversation and helpfulness. Thanks again, Lesley for being such a fantastic host!

To finally have these finished is to be able to fully commit to seeing these naughty Rhubarb socks see their end on my needles. Expect a post soon announcing their long-awaited status as an FO.

places : joshua tree coffee company



A hasty moment spent at the Joshua Tree Coffee Company. If you ever plan to drive eastward toward the Yucca Valley, make a stop here and sample a roast. I didn't believe any of my friends' bold statements about the coffee's pure taste until I had a cup for myself.
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