Some time ago, on a trip to Austin, Texas, I visited several yarn shops – sort of my own mini yarn crawl. I wrote about the darling yarn stores I visited here. On that trip, I purchased this multicolored skein of Cross Creek Sock yarn in Africa Kente Cloth (Color 039/002).
This skein is 468 Yards / 100 Grams of 75% Merino (Superwash) / 25% Nylon.
I had knit several pairs of socks but none for my son. He told me he liked bold colors so this was the yarn for him. After a few rounds, I could see the swathes of color emerging.
I was still in graduate school so I carried the yarn with me and snuck in knitting time when I could. Those nifty knitting tubes are great! I never worried about losing stitches since there were long periods between my knitting sessions.
Things seemed to go faster once I cast on the second sock.
Just look at those rich colors!
As soon as I finished knitting them, my son tried them on and I haven’t seen them since.
I tried to get a photo of them on his feet but he was gone back to college before I had a chance. I guess he liked them.
Mostly to release tension during my MBA program, I started knitting a scarf. It took a long time because I only worked on it in short spurts. But the motion of the needles and the fusion of the colors gave me something to focus on besides case studies on Starbucks and Amazon.
I found this amazing free pattern called Born Trippy on the Hedgehog Fibres site. I liked that the samples used all sorts of funky color combinations and it had cool uneven edges. I started with a lovely skein I had gotten at Homespun Boutique during one of my MBA residencies in Ithaca. This is Serenity Silk Single, a fingering weight yarn from Zen Yarn Garden: 430 yards, 75% Superwash Merino / 15% Cashmere / 10% Silk in Fr. Vanilla Blurple (bottom ball).
Then I went through my stash and looked for complementary and contrasting colors. This is what I came up with:
Leftover yarn from Copenhagen (the shimmery solid blue and gray): Duo Silk/Merino from Design Club DK, 65% Merino Wool / 35% Silk.
A partial skein of Fine Sock yarn (the minty blue-green): Spud & Chloe, 80% Superwash Wool / 20% Silk in Color 7806 / Calypso.
Another purchase from Homespun Boutique (yellow/green variegated): Ty-Dy Socks from KNIT ONE, Crochet Too, 436 yards, 80% Superwash Wool / 20% Nylon.
Here’s a close-up of the Ty-Dy ball.
As I made progress on the scarf, I introduced the variegated yellows and greens, the solid blue and gray, and the minty blue-green. It all flowed nicely and those uneven ends were easy to make.
It’s important to block this piece so that the ends are nice and sharp.
Here is the FO (finished object) with its refreshing colors in the sun.
Someone wanted to hang out with me while I took the photos.
I am very pleased with the fusion of the colors.
The combination of wool, cashmere and silk give the scarf a lovely drape.
This is a great pattern to use when you have a single skein and leftover yarns in the same weight. You can repurpose those bits and pieces and make something beautiful.
If you follow my blog, you may recall that I started an Executive MBA program in the Summer of 2016. I am happy to report that this past February, I submitted my final assignment and graduate this May! It took me almost 20 years, but I finally accomplished a goal I’ve had for a long time. It’s never too late to refresh and sharpen your skills. If you are interested, I was interviewed for an article on why I chose to do an MBA at this stage of my career. A student currently in their first year of the program was also interviewed.
Here I am with my cohort.
As you might imagine, the MBA curriculum left little to no time for blogging or knitting. Nonetheless, I did sneak in a few skeins here and there. On a trip to Austin to see my son (who is an undergraduate there), I went in search of my fave LYS (local yarn store) which had moved to a new location. Hill Country Weavers was formerly housed in a quaint Victorian on a hip strip on South Congress. After visiting my boy, my husband drove me to their new location at 4102 Manchaca Road, Austin, Texas 78704. It’s a much larger space than what they had previously and with the same incredible selection of gorgeous yarns.
I had seen enticing photos of FOs (that’s finished objects for the uninitiated) using yarns from Hedgehog Fibers, but I had never purchased any. After walking around their new digs, I headed over to the Hedgehog Fibers section and ogled all the color combinations. Even though I would not have time to do anything with it, I purchased this lovely skein. It’s called Boombox and it’s 437 yards of fingering weight yarn made of 90% Superwash Merino Wool and 10% Nylon for a bit of stretch.
I also could not resist this Sock Mini in Banana Legs yellow. It’s 87 yards of the same soft 90% Superwash Merino / 10% Nylon and perfect for adding a splash of color.
I haven’t decided what these beauties will become but I’m looking forward to wrapping my fingers in this yarn and going at it with my needles.
Somehow between running multivariate regressions, drawing supply and demand curves, case studies and five forces analyses, I found time to knit.
The projects took longer to complete as I fit in spurts of knitting between exams and assignments. These socks started out at Mom’s house so it was fitting that they be for her.
This is the first time I used a Schoppel Crazy Zauberball and what a joy it was to knit. The colorway is Papagei (parrot). The colors flowed into each other languorously. Row by row, the transitions morphed into rich textured colors.
Knitting these socks was like a process of discovery wondering what the next color combination would look like.
These were a labor of love knitted in small spurts. The time out from school was like a special treat, like smoking cigarettes behind the gym between classes.
Mom loved them. She called to tell me she put them on as soon as she opened the package. Her feet were cold and she was trying to get comfortable. From my hands to her feet. Feet that paced the floor while she held me in her arms, scurried around the kitchen while she prepared dinner and which stayed firmly planted while she scolded me for some childhood transgression.
I didn’t tell her they were in the mail. I could almost see her ripping the package open wondering what was in it. I hope she wears huge holes in them.
Our trip to CDMX (Ciudad de México or Mexico City) was packed with visits to historic archaeological sites, museums, street festivals, and restaurants serving the most delicious food. These photos do not do justice to the sights, sounds, and smells of the city but they will give you a glimpse of the amazing CDMX.
The Great Temple was the Mexica sacred space par excellence. The most important rituals were enacted here, including those dedicated to their gods, the naming of their leaders, and the funerals of the nobility. The Mexica architects designed the Great Temple as the center for their model of the universe, where the horizontal plane converged with the vertical plane. (Source: Site placard).
Frida Kahlo’s blue house is located in the neighborhood of Coyoacán. The word means roughly “place of the coyotes” in náhuatl, an Aztec language still spoken today. The neighborhood is vibrant. Walking along the shady streets, we came across this brightly decorated altar to the Virgen de Guadalupe.
Our destination was La Casa Azul, the home that Frida Kahlo was born and died in. A hand painted sign tells visitors that Frida y Diego vivieron en esta casa 1929-1954 (Frida and Diego lived in this house 1929-1954).
Frida’s studio still has her collection of paint bottles and brushes.
A special exhibit called Los Vestidos de Frida Kahlo (The Dresses of Frida Kahlo) displayed the artist’s clothing, jewelry and footwear. Also on display were the tight corsets she wore as a result of a childhood accident that left her with a lifetime of pain.
“My painting carries with it the message of pain.” – Frida Kahlo.
The exhibition takes its title from an artwork by Frida Kahlo of the same title – Las Apariencias Engañan (Appearances can be Deceiving) – where Kahlo portrays herself in manner of an X-Ray, revealing her dramatic disabilities concealed beneath the layers. (Source: http://bit.ly/2s0j0lC)
Giant paper mâché figures are located throughout the house and courtyards.
Leon Trotsky’s house is a ten minute walk from La Casa Azul. The home is simple and the grounds peaceful although the guard towers and bullet holes in the walls tell another story.
Trotsky’s desk still has the items he used on a daily basis – his spectacles, papers and ink bottles.
The Mercado de Coyoacán is a typical Mexican market with all kinds of touristy items on sale including pottery, traditional dresses, puppets, t-shirts and the like. The market also carries an abundance of fresh fruit, meats and spices. Walking along all the circuitous aisles I finally spotted yarn. I didn’t buy any but it was nice to see and touch.
City of Teotihuacán
The holy city of Teotihuacan (‘the place where the gods were created’) is situated some 50 km north-east of Mexico City. Built between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., it is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, laid out on geometric and symbolic principles.
Human occupation of the valley of Teotihuacan began before the Christian era, but it was only between the 1st and the 7th centuries A.D. that the settlement developed into one of the largest ancient cities in the Americas, with at least 25,000 inhabitants.
A full-day excursion took us to the City of Teotihuacán where my son and I climbed to the tops of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. The Pyramid of the Sun is the third largest pyramid in the world rising to 75 meters (246 feet) high. The 248 steps to the top are high and narrow. I won’t show you a photo of what I looked like once I got to the top, but trust me, I did it. We also climbed the Pyramid of the Moon which is 43 meters (140 feet) high.
Pyramid of the Sun: The pyramid’s base is 222 meters long on each side, and it’s now just over 70 meters high. The pyramid was cobbled together around AD 100 from three million tonnes of stone, without the use of metal tools, pack animals or the wheel. (Source: http://bit.ly/2r8Zr9p).
Temple of the Feathered Serpent
The structure known as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl or the “Plumed serpent,” was built between 150 and 200 a.d. It consists of seven stepped bodies, with “slope and panel” designed walls on all four sides, decorated with plumed serpents, carved in stone, which move among seashells. (Source: Site placard).
As we walked down one of the pyramids, we saw these stones jutting out of the slanted wall. There wasn’t a sign telling us what they were but we surmised they are there to break someone’s fall should they have the misfortune of tumbling down the pyramid.
El Bazaar Sábado
Early Saturday morning, we made our way to the neighborhood of San Ángel for the Bazaar Sábado. We walked along cobble-stoned streets into beautiful colonial buildings and around the periphery of San Jacinto Square overflowing with artists. Artisans in many crafts gather every Saturday morning featuring artwork in leather, glass, pottery, jewelry, and textiles. The Androna textiles were magnificent in their multi-colored hues.
Textile techniques and designs are a living heritage passed from mothers to daughters throughout generations in regions like Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Guerrero, Hidalgo and Yucatán. With materials such as cotton, silk, wool and linen, Androna Linartas curates traditional textiles made with different techniques like back strap loom, foot loom, embroidery and hook among others. Her goal is to preserve the essential Mexican textile culture. (Source: http://bit.ly/2suKWAI).
This is already a long post so I will stop here. Luckily, the flight to CDMX is only two and a half hours from Houston. I see another trip on the horizon. Hasta la próxima.
Some time before starting graduate school, I had time to knit socks.
This yarn came from Knitty City on New York’s upper west side between Amsterdam and Broadway. The place is long and deep and has a huge selection of yarn, all neatly arranged in cubbies and baskets.
It was a bit narrow (like so many little shops in the city) but that did not deter a table full of knitters from hanging out and gossiping about everyone and everything!
As has become my habit of late, I spent most of the time perusing the sock yarns. That bottom cubby was brimming with Alpaca Sox.
These were to be guy socks but I still wanted them to have pops of color. The yarn is Schachenmayr Regia Design Line by Arne & Carlos (75% Virgin Wool, 25% Polyamide). I think I used two 230 yard, 50 gram balls for a pair of calf-length socks. To make the yarn go farther, the heels and toes are knit in a solid black from my stash.
These socks are very cushiony. They make a nice sporty pair to wear with sneakers or boots. The pattern is a simple K3, P1 ribbing that is way less boring than K1, P1. The full pattern can be found here.
The next pair was all for me.
This is the yarn I bought at Gauge during a trip to Austin, Texas. It’s Lane Cervinia’s Forever Sock Yarn (75% Superwash Wool, 25% Polyamide). It took two 230 yard, 50 gram skeins to make the pair.
I loved the bright colors! They reminded me of the confetti in Easter eggs so I call these my “confetti socks.” For the pattern, I used Jaywalker by Grumperina.
The chevron pattern is simple and complements the self-striping colors of the yarn. The color way for these socks is #72 – pink, yellow, turquoise.
Here’s the second sock on top of my stack of textbooks.
My fingers are itching to cast on a new pair but multiple regression tables and p-values await.
My search for local yarn stores in the big apple continued but this time, I decided to venture off the island and check out the shops in Brooklyn. I popped out of the subway to lively streets with pedestrians enjoying the warm day.
The first shop on my list was La Casita Yarn Shop (“little house” in Spanish) which besides serving up yarn, also served coffee and pastries. It was also selected as one of the best 5 knitting stores in New York by CBS NY. Unfortunately, when I walked up to the door, it was closed 🙁. The note read something about enjoying the outdoors over the long weekend. From peeking through the window, I knew I would return on a future trip. Alas, I later found out that the shop closed permanently sometime during the summer. They even had a farewell party on July 1st! Even though I never shopped there, it made me sad that a yarn shop closed. 😢
Given my bad luck in finding several stores closed during my trip I called ahead to my next destination and was relieved when a friendly voice answered. Argyle Yarn Shop is a few blocks from the southwest corner of Prospect Park. If I’d had more time, I would have liked to walk through the park and see the botanical gardens or even the zoo.
The shop was bright and roomy and I was warmly greeted by the staff. They had the wall of cubbies full of yarn and baskets and displays everywhere. A large table and comfy chairs welcomed knitters and crocheters.
I was lucky in that they were having a 20% off sale on sock yarn! And even though I had absolutely no business buying more yarn, I took home this skein of Heritage Wave by Cascade Yarns (75% Superwash Merino Wool / 25% Nylon).
They also had a basket of other sale yarns where I found these two lovely MadelineTosh A.S.A.P. super bulky skeins in gorgeous fall colors (100% Superwash Merino Wool). Really, could you have resisted?
As I left, I smiled at their yarn egg display. Imagine sitting in a nest full of yarn!
Over Memorial Day weekend this past May, I spent a few days in New York City. My husband was supposed to go with me, but couldn’t after all. I had to attend business meetings the following week and had already bought my ticket. Alas, there was nothing else to do except make the ultimate sacrifice and leave without him.
I spent the weekend walking everywhere. I walked a lot. I forgot my Fitbit so I don’t know how many steps but I walked for hours each day and it was hot. I meandered around SoHo, walked up and down Canal Street in Chinatown, past the Greenwich and West Villages, through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, then all the way to Columbus Circle and the Upper West Side. When I became really tired, I rode the subway. It was fun and exhausting. Here are snippets from my walks.
Cool window displays in Soho.
So much yarn, so little time.
Cooling off in Washington Square Park.
Walking past the Chrysler Building in search of yarn…
…but it was closed. 😞 I found out after I walked up the six flights (elevator wasn’t working). 😓
Nothing to make me feel better than a whole restaurant dedicated to meatballs on the Upper West Side.
Heading back to the Financial District, I walked past Gramercy Park and found this little gem in the East Village – Downtown Yarns.
Tiny and adorable with the sweetest staff.
Didn’t catch the address but I call this the “Jenga” Building.
Yarn bombing at PS 87 between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.
Where else can one get warm cookies delivered to your door until 3 am?
Hanging out on Columbus Circle.
Yarn purchase from Downtown Yarns.
Next stop on the F Line – Bergen Street, Brooklyn.