Posts Tagged ‘oakland’

24
Jun

A Verb for Keeping Warm

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, lys, travel, yarn

While I visited a lot of museums, my first stop when I go to a new city is the LYS. It makes me feel like I’m part of the community, like I could picture myself living there a little bit. Every store I’ve visited is different and really shows what the area is all about but at the same time it’s very familiar. There is no better home away from home for me than a LYS.

Speaking of homes away from home, I was just about ready to move in when I got to A Verb for Keeping Warm. I’d always wanted to go after seeing photos by other bloggers and it was so exciting to finally be able to make the trip. I decided to dedicate a day of my adventure to Oakland so that I’d have a good amount of time to spend at Verb. It was way more than what I’d expected!

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Verb is just a lovely shop with a great selection of the higher-end delicious yarns we all love. The fabric selection is something else. There were so many bolts that caught my eye, everything from organic, natural-dyed cottons to Japanese Nani Iro prints. There were a lot of things that wanted to go home with me. Verb recently released their first sewing pattern so I had to pick up a copy of that.

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Sarah gave me a little tour of the shop. Verb specializes in natural dyeing. They sell dyes (which I was VERY tempted to buy but have promised myself that I will not take up dyeing. I can’t have another hobby!) as well as their own line of natural-dyed yarns. I’m absolutely obsessed with these yarns and spent a long time petting them. Sarah explained that the fleeces come from a nearby organic cotton farm which is fertilized by sheep. The mill is also located within 90 miles of the shop and everything is dyed in house. I don’t think it can get more local than that.

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I wish I could’ve taken one of the natural dyeing classes while I was in town. Luckily, Verb’s owner Kristine Vejar is busy finishing up a book about the subject. Those of us who are not lucky enough to be in the Bay Area for lessons will soon be able to learn at home!

This bold red “Transitional Fury” really stood out to me so, I had to have it.

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My favorite thing about the shop is the garden. Not only is there a beautiful and sunny place to take your needles, there is a little garden of plants that can be used in natural dyeing. It really made me want to make better use of my window garden. Maybe a project for next summer? I got to meet Verb’s very own angora rabbit, Marcel. He was the sweetest! So soft and happy. He’s sheered four times a year and the angora yarn quickly sells out every season.

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I’ve certainly seen my share of LYSs. This one is definitely one of my favorites. I love it when a store not only is beautiful and friendly but has a really solid identity. Verb is really dedicated to being a great resource for all crafters and you can tell just by spending a few minutes in there. I’d love to take another visit (maybe when I can afford to bring more souvenirs home) and attend one of the classes there!

Have you been to A Verb for Keeping Warm? Do you want to learn more about natural dyeing?

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18
Jun

A Bit of the Bay Area

Written by Sarah. Posted in travel, Uncategorized

I’ve been getting settled since returning from my trip to the Bay Area at the beginning of the month. Jon and I spent five days in Cupertino so I took a few day trips to the cities nearby. I just went through all of my photos and I’m missing California already! The stereotypes about Silicon Valley are pretty true. I won’t say any of that is a bad thing (think lots of parking for electric vehicles and Google has their own branded bikes for employees), it’s just kind of wild that it’s all real but it makes for a lovely place. There was plenty to do in San Francisco (they call it “the city” which is confusing because I live in “the city” and by that I mean THE city) and Oakland. I loved the vibe there.

Think of this as my little cliff notes travel guide to the Bay Area.

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After dining at In-N-Out (sorry, West Coast, Shake Shack will always be my favorite), we met up with one of my best friends at the Golden Gate Bridge. We saw an old fort and ate clam chowder in sourdough bowls. We got to visit the Painted Ladies and pretend we were in Full House. In San Francisco, I met up with Sonya at Tartine, chatted about east coast/west coast travel and ate a crazy delicious fruit tart.

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I ended up wandering into Fabric Outlet by chance on my way to my car. I must have craft store radar in my brain! It was a great store with so much to choose from. I picked up a few yards of fabric all for under $20.

My trip to Oakland was really fun. It’s filled with such quirky places to visit. I stopped at a swap meet off the freeway that was full of bizarre treasures and Spice Girl Barbies. I wandered through the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, pawing through the old photos and sewing patterns. I spent a long time drooling over everything at A Verb for Keeping Warm (more on that later this week).

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I stopped in at the Oakland Museum of California. It really was one of the best museums I’ve ever visited. There I listened to records, found some fantastic art, and learned about the history of the state.

In San Jose, I saw mummies at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. I may have mentioned that I’m an ancient Egypt enthusiast. What a funky museum! It seemed like the pet project of an eccentric rich Egyptologist, like that wore safari hats or turbans everywhere. The collection was pretty cool and included a bunch of actual mummies. As another visitor, probably around six, put it, “Spooky!” I took this photo because the motif on this case looks very familiar.

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Jon wanted to see the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. We got to see one of the Google self-driving cars in the museum and on the freeway. Very cool collection of gigantic old computers. I have no idea what anything in there did. We finished our trip with a stop at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Fransisco. I’d really wanted to see this exhibit of the Szyk Haggadah. My grandfather collected haggadot and I’ve been helping my dad add to them. This book was staggeringly gorgeous in person.

I feel like there was so much more to do. I drove A LOT. I think in one week I did more driving than I did all of last year. Crazy, right? I also parallel parked an SUV about ten times, pumped my own gas all by myself for the first time, and sang at the top of my lungs driving 75mph with the windows rolled down. I can’t wait to go back.

What’s your favorite part of the Bay Area? Have you been? What did I miss that is really a must see?

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