We had a little weekend getaway trip to Oxnard, CA, just an hour’s drive west from home.
Some moments from our escape down toward Encinitas.
I ended last year with a dog walk through some Renton woods with family. The smell of moss never fails to take me out of myself.
What scenery grounds you?
The Websters is a little knit shop in the center of the charming town of Ashland, OR. I often stop in Ashland when I’m making my drive up to Seattle from Los Angeles. My favorite thing about this LYS next to their warmth and wide selection of fine yarns and tools? No sales tax!
This trip was sorely needed. Nick knows to take me to a very tall forest if I need to remember who I am. Thanks for being here for me.
First stop was Yarns Untangled. This small shop is gorgeously lit and incredibly well curated, I wanted to bring every one of their skeins home.
My choice of yarn is Zen Garden Serenity 20, in a OOAK colorway. (Photos of these stash-quisitions were taken at R2, with a fantastic Spanish Latte).
My next stop was Romni Wools, which was an overwhelming experience. The first floor was absolutely brimming with yarn of all weights and colors!
I chose a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Sequoia colorway, entirely for sentimental reasons--for Nick and my first year, we visited the Sequoia National Park and had a fantastic and unforgettable experience. This was the perfect yarn to commemorate that experience and I had to get it, even if it betrayed my personal mission to grab local yarns while 'abroad'. Photos from that trip are coming soon for sure.
This skein's perfect and accurate hue is going to become a pair of How Come That Blood socks. With the gorgeous tree-knot like motif, making this match was a no-brainer. I also grabbed a circular needle, so I could get started on this pair on the flight back home, as well as to be able to have two magic loop projects going on at the same time. I'm glad I made that choice.
I also paid Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs a visit, and met its kind and quirky owner! His store was currently in the middle of a move about 6 doors west of the original location, with big plans to become a knit café! I refrained from taking any photos yet because of the hard work underway, but am entirely excited to drop by when I next come to Toronto. The world needs more knit cafe's. If you're in the area, do let me know how it turns out!
My garden TAAT socks are moving very slowly as usual! I cast on in May on our way to Silicon Valley, with the grand expectation of completion before our return to Los Angeles 4 days later. When there's a lot to see up there, sitting down long enough to knit a pair of socks is too tall an order to complete, no matter how long you're expecting to be in transit.
Lesson learned (and due to be re-learned).
Now, I'd be thrilled if these socks were finished in time for a brand new Socktober project. As of this moment, I'm past the heel turn and on the cuff, so with a good book and a heat pack for hand soreness, I just might make it.
Speaking of the quick trip to the bay area, here's a tiny sample of what all was photographed there. The experience at the Teamlab exhibit was absolutely magical.
See you next time, and let me know what your plans are for Soctober and NaKniSweMo.
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 responsibilities 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 gifts 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.
On the way up to Washington this winter, we stopped one morning to stretch our legs in Old Sacramento.
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.