Saturday, November 4, 2006

What a Day!

I spent most of the day at the boutique yesterday. Business was SLOW! A lot of the group showed up at 8am to help M and me set up, and some customers arrived really early, too. M had made 20+ tote bags, all in the last 2 weeks, and at least 8 of them were gone before the official opening time. This year we did a lot of our work for particular charity groups, like the foster kids and the hospice group, so we had less 'unallocated' FOs, particularly lapghans and larger afghans.

We volunteers buy quite a lot of our own work, lol! I picked up a couple of tote
bags, one that was particularly perfect for the Learn to Knit set I'm going to send to my Auntie, since it has a pretty pastel desert motif. And another little quilt just had to follow me home; it is a mixture of my favorite purples and mauvy pinks, and the reverse is a lightweight flannel, white with a sprinkling of dainty little purple flowers. Shadow clearly approves.

After a visit to my mom and a quick stop at Unwind, I got home about 6, and WOW! did I have a lot of mail, all yummy mail! The new Interweave Knits, the latest Patternworks catalog and the November Elann newsletter were in the mail. And packages! Yarn from a terrific friend, more yarn from WEBS, and some luxurious new high thread-count sheets, found on deep discount at LinenSource because of discontinued colors.

More and more, the Patternworks catalog reminds me of the old Sears catalogs. There seems to be too much on each page, leaving too little room for good-sized pictures of the featured projects, and Patternworks doesn't list the pattern sources, which is particularly annoying. OK, OK, the good part is that they list a big range of the color ranges of the yarns, which is good for reference.

The WEBS order is purely the fault of the Holiday catalog and all the oohing and aahing from the blogger community. They made me do it! I got 2 skeins of their cotton/microfiber Longfellow in Periwinkle to add to an earlier purchase; this will make a largish scarf, I think. It may not be Calmer, but it is even softer knit up than it feels in the skein, and there's a huge price difference! I got 2 skeins of their new 100% merino Amherst in Soft Grape, a dusty mauve, just to check out the quality. Then we have two of their alpaca blends: Lenox in Grape Jelly - this is a 60% baby alpaca/40% merino yarn, and feels really next-to-skin soft; and their Deerfleld Soft Chestnut, 80% baby alpaca, 20% silk in a DK weight. Since I've been struggling with Elann's Baby Silk in the same fiber blend, I wanted to see how WEBS' new yarn compares in softness; it HAS to be easier to knit with in the heavier weight, lol!

But the biggest happy thing is the entire cone of Silk City's 3/2 perle cotton in a vivid turquoise, the generous gift of a friend. Here is 1300+ yards of yarn destined to be a beautiful shawl, perhaps Shoalwater. Girlfriend, you are too
much, and I love, love, love the yarn!!!

And to show off the upside of living in LA and dealing with the traffic and smog, here are two views of our back garden. As I've written before, we love the fountain and the peaceful sound it makes, and it is lovely to have brunch outdoors under the lime tree. A lot of the plants are overgrown, especially the roses; the SoCal climate makes our David Austen roses grow like mad, with Gertrude Jekyll (a beautiful deep pink) the height winner at 8ft plus. We'll trim back the roses in mid-January, and the first flush of blooms will come in late April. The other picture shows our herb beds and our 'Sunny Wall', which we've decorated with a small collection of sun plaques.


Anonymous said...

Barbara: love your garden, it is still very green. Ours are all under the snow. Waiting for the deep winter to come. SK

smariek said...

What a beautiful garden. We have no garden, it's just too cold/overcast/foggy to grow anything successfully, and my thumb is definitely brown!

Cindy G said...

Oh, oh David Austin roses growing to 8 feet. I do(!) envy you. I always thought I hated LA (on the basis of mostly only being on the freeway). Your garden looks like heaven.

Madge said...

Mmm, stash enhancement. Isn't it just great getting yarn in the mail? Esp. from Webs. And you're right - Patternworks is kinda weird these days. I used to order from them a lot, but nowadays not so much. Guess there's so many other yarn sources out there now - Webs, Knit Picks, elann, et. al. - with better deals that I spend my dollars with them instead.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a message for me on the Lacevember site. Isn't that wall-o-wine funny? And yes, there's Snitty at the front of the table. See you tomorrow!

jayne said...

It's too bad that things were slow at the boutique. You all worked so hard. The relationships are the most important part though. Hope you all have a wonderful next year of knitting and chatting together.

I too envy you that patio haven. That just looks lovely!

And yummy yarn too!!

Vamanta said...

Oh, your garden is fabulous. Looks like Canyon Ranch spa.

I'm thinking of one of the Webs yarns you bought for the Webs Lucy Shawl but can't find the catalog this minutes to see which yarn it is. Will email you for the story when I figure it out. I did a whole lace shawl in the Baby Silk on Knitpicks metal needles without realizing it was Baby Silk & not Baby Cash. I don't find them to be too different. Once you handle them, they become fuzzy. Did you try wood needles. I wouldn't deprive myself of BS.

Bri McStan said...

The garden looks as great as I'd pictured. Coming home to that every day must be the best.

I would be in trouble if I got all the catalogs you do!