Posts Tagged ‘travel’

13
Nov

The Knitter’s Tool Tin

Written by Sarah. Posted in gift, holiday, knits, notions, want

I must admit, I am probably the most neglectful of notions. I’ve lost just about every stitch marker, I can never seem to find my tape measure, and, though I once had over 30 tapestry needles that I was lucky enough to pick up (for free!) from a craft office that was spring cleaning, they’ve all gone to that magical land where that one double pointed needle hides in the couch cushion. Because of this, I rarely invest in anything. Many knitters own beautiful hand-made stitch-markers from Jennie the Potter, I could just throw a $20 bill in the trash because those will gone before you can stay wrap-and-turn. (More often than not, I use a paperclips because I won’t cry when I lose them.)

What I’m getting at is that when Sarah The Sexy Knitter asked me if I wanted to give one of her Knitter’s Tool Tins a spin, I felt like I’d really put it through the ringer. Actually, my first thought was that it had never occurred to me that I could have all of my notions together in a travel-sized case (with an adorable lamb on it!).  Could the answer be so simple?

knitter's tool tin

The Knitter’s Tool Tin really has everything one might need. And I’m proud to say that in the month and a half since I received mine, I’ve only lost two stitch markers. Actually, I started putting any other stitch markers (that still survive) into the tin for safe keeping and it’s seems to have done the trick. (Maybe those Jennie the Potter markers will one day be a reality!)

This seems silly to say out loud but having all of my notions together in a travel-sized case is a pretty brilliant idea. I keep everything I’ve collected in a big bag so it’s not really portable or organized or sense-making. Before Rhinebeck I didn’t have to think “Where’s my tape measure?” and “Did I pack scissors or are they under a pile of junk on the coffee table?” (let’s keep it real). I just threw the tin into my project bag and when someone at the house needed to borrow a cable needle, well, guess who was ready to help!

The Knitter’s Tool Tin comes with a 2 1/2″ stitch holder, a 2″ cable holder, a mini double-ended crochet hook (which is something I didn’t know I needed), a tape measure, 5 origami stitch markers (that Sarah makes herself, they’re very cute, hope I don’t lose any more), miniature scissors (safe for your carry-on), and 3 different sewing needles that live on a magnetic strip on the lid of the metal tin. It’s just a great little kit. I may buy another to leave in my purse or maybe two so I can leave one in the glove compartment of my car. The tins are $25 each and you can get one with a custom picture for $30.

I’m sure I sound like a complete scatter brain but I’m really loving this kit. Thanks for sending me this one, Sarah! They’ll make great stocking-stuffers for all of the knitters on your Christmas list. Just a hint. But really.

Do you have a tool tin for your notions?

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08
Jul

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

Written by Sarah. Posted in travel

It’s been a month since my trip to the left coast but I’ve got one last piece to share! Towards the end of the trip, I was looking for things to do in the San Jose area because I had plans to check out the Computer History Museum (which is awesome) in Mountain View with Jon. I really hadn’t planned on visiting San Jose at all so I hadn’t looked into any site to see there. But I was pleasantly surprised when I found the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

It’s very small, more of a gallery than museum in my opinion, but the Museum of Quilts and Textiles has so many amazing pieces. It totally inspired me. I’ve never really been excited about quilting. Don’t get me wrong, I own some gorgeous hand-made quilts and I appreciate the art. But I’ve never felt like I wanted to put one together myself. The quilts at this museum really made me think about quilting in a new way. We’re not talking about Star and Double Wedding Ring quilts here.

martha wolfeDeath Ride”  by Martha Wolfe

The exhibit started with some quilts by Ros Cross. Her most famous quilt (Pancakes, Butter, and Syrup Quilt with Bacon Rug) is part a private collection so I didn’t see it. But the other quilts were so cool. A lot of playing with lines and shapes, all very untraditional. This one was my favorite, lines of colored stitches with long threads are all that’s quilted here. It’s like a mixture of quilting and embroidery just really simply done by stitching a few rows next to one another. 

ross cross

There was a gallery of small quilts inspired by California. My favorites were photorealistic. I could hardly believe they were made of fabric. I had my nose practically up against them, trying to take in all of the tiny details.

lin schiffner“Postcard from Home” by Lin Schiffner 

Many of the quilts in the main gallery were part of the Quilt National competition. I wasn’t able to photograph them but you can see some of them here. All of the quilts on display were amazing and none of them were traditional. I was blown away by the way the quilts were being put together, the details and the transformation that these artists put these materials through. And, of course, there were some amazing themes being tackled in these pieces including over-medication, green energy, and carbon footprints.

quilt museum

Since quilting has never really been my thing, I was surprised that I’d wanted to visit the museum (especially considering parking in San Jose almost left me in tears, but we don’t need to get into that). I’m so glad that I did, though. Quilts are pretty exciting!

Do you quilt? Have you visited the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles?

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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.

golden gate

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.

california

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).

oakland museum of california

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.

rosicrucian

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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02
Apr

Stashed: Yarns from the Second City

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

Let me preface this post by saying that not all of these yarns were actually produced in Chicago. What I mean by the title of this post is that I bought these skeins while I was on my trip. I might’ve gone overboard. But I like to give my money to local yarn stores even when they’re not local to me. I want to help make sure that they stick around for my sister knitters! It’s my duty. Also, I was on vacation. And my mom always says that I can buy whatever I want when I’m on vacation. She’s smart.

stash chicago 2

On my second day in Chi-town, I visited Loopy Yarns. They have a whole room for hand dyed and hand painted yarns. That’s where I spent most of my time. I was really drawn to the Miss Babs yarns. I hadn’t seen any of it in person. All of the colorways were really gorgeous and unique. As is true for my form, I decided to get a skein of sock yarn. (As I’ve said before, I like to buy sock yarn when I’m buying stash enhancements since I can usually at least get a pair of socks out of it. There’s usually enough yardage for one pair so I don’t have to splurge on multiple skeins. I feel like I can buy a tasting, if you will, of yarns. And it actually gets used instead of just living in my stash for forever.) It’s a really soft merino yarn. Once I’d picked my favorite, about three other women came in and one after the other announced, “I heard you just got some Miss Babs! I’m here for the Miss Babs!” I knew I’d made the right choice. I think I might make Jon a pair of socks with this salmon color. I know what you’re thinking but I think pink socks look awesome on men! (Exhibits AB, and C.)

I was just going to stop at the skein of Miss Babs but in the sale section I saw this Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace. I had to buy it. (Also Jon said I should treat myself. He’s smart, too.) Aside from the price and it being a beautiful skein of silk and merino, Lorna’s Laces is based in Chicago so how could I not buy a Chicago yarn so close to the source? (Side note: I would have loved to have seen their studio but I’m not sure if they do any tours/visits. If I’m ever back I’ll have to explore that. Their yarns are so pretty, I’d love to just give them a high five.) I don’t really knit lacey lace things so I was hoping the yarn might inspire me. I’m thinking about making Jared Flood’s Rock Island shawl with it because that thing is gorrrrgeous and designed around this yarn.

stash chicago

When I visited Nina, I was having so much fun looking at all of their yarns that I almost forgot to buy something. I know that sounds silly but their shop felt more like an art gallery than a store (I mean that in the best way!) so I didn’t want to disturb any of the yarns. I was also having a post-brunch buzz (banana bread french toast is a thing, everyone, and it tastes as ridiculous as it sounds) so I was having a tough time deciding. All of their yarns are beautiful. For some reason I was really drawn to a basket of Schoppel (Skacel) merino sock yarn. I guess I have a thing for merino sock yarn. This is just a wide self-striping yarn in shades of blue and grey, nothing too crazy.

I really liked that the tag has this big red warning that says, “Stricken kann suchtig machen!” which is German for “Knitting can be addictive!” Now you tell me!

All in all, I’m really happy with my yarn purchases. I don’t buy post cards or magnets or anything (I was looking for local honey but no luck!) so these are perfect souvenirs!

What kind of souvenirs do you like to buy when you travel? (My mom’s favorite is playing cards!)

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29
Mar

The Windy City

Written by Sarah. Posted in instagram, knits, life, travel, yarn

Jon and I just got back from a quick trip to Chicago! We’ve lived in New York for about six years now which seems crazy! I don’t think I’ve properly visited another big city since moving here. It certainly felt weird to be in someone else’s city but it was exciting to explore a new place.

chicago

I’m certainly no expert when it comes to Chi-town (unlike New York) so I can’t say that we did all of the things that you “have” to do while you’re there. (We didn’t eat deep dish pizza nor did we go on the Sky Deck. Frankly, the Sky Deck sounds like the worst idea ever. And I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower. At least that had a floor!) We did some touristy things like visiting the Art Institute (a la Ferris Bueller) and the Contemporary Art Museum. We ate Chicago style hot dogs (they put a whole pickle on top!) and rode the El (L?). It was cold!

I think my favorite stop was eating at Billy Goat Tavern, the inspiration for its own all-star SNL skit. Their burgers are delicious and simple. The bar probably hasn’t changed since 1972 in the best way possible. The walls are filled with old newspaper articles and trophies. It gives you a real feeling of Chicago back in the day. The staff behind the counter are very no nonsense and insist you get a double cheeseburger when you order a single. Love it.

chicagolys

I also got to sneak in some yarn shopping. I mean, I had to! I visited Loopy Yarns and Nina. Both were absolutely lovely stores. Chicago knitters are lucky to have them! Loopy is a classic LYS, the type that I shopped in while I was in high school. Huge selection of yarns with a variety of prices, very well organized, spacious, and friendly. I spent a lot of time taking it all in. They even have a second floor for classes and more yarn! Nina has a really different feel and I love that. (Isn’t their logo awesome?) Nina feels more like a boutique. I love the way the yarns there are laid out, everything seems well-curated yet there is still an impressive selection of yarns. The shop looks more like a high end clothing store which suits it’s trendy Wicker Park location. All in all, both stores were fantastic and, as much as I was excited to return home, I was a little bit sad that I couldn’t stay and visit them on a regular basis!

I wish I’d had time to visit other yarn stores in Chicago. If they were anything like Loopy Yarns and Nina, I’m sure they’re awesome. I brought home a few wooly souvenirs but that’s for another post.

Do you go yarn shopping when you’re visiting a new place?

ps. Speaking of Chicago, Chi-town natives OK Go just released a new song! Have you heard it yet?

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09
Jan

Stash’ed: Icelandic Yarn

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, yarn

When my good friend Allison had a twelve hour layover in New York back in November, I was delighted! She and I, on average, only see each other once a year and this would be our third get together in 2012. (For a moment, I thought it was a sign of the Mayan apocalypse. A chance I was willing to take!) I am so jealous that she is often traveling the world and her most recent trip was to Iceland!

While she originally promised to bring me a sheep, I guess it was for the best that she just picked up yarn since we’re not allowed to have pets in my building.

lopi yarn

 

The yarn she brought me is, of course, made in Iceland. I can’t read anything on the label besides the fact that it’s Lopi Alafosslopi which is a bulky weight 100% Icelandic wool. It’s delicious. It’s wooly and thick and has that tough, warm, scratchy feeling that makes wool so incredible. It’s basically like a big ball of sheep.

lopi yarn 2

Since hearing about Allison’s adventures eating delicious yogurt and seeing beautiful landscapes of Iceland, I’m dying to go there. I’d looove to visit the Textile Museum and maybe hang out with some sheep. Honestly, doing those two things would be a perfect vacation for me. I would be quite content. I’ve heard about some Icelandic knitting cruises. I dream of one day being able to afford a knit-centric vacation.

Thanks for the yarn, Allison! You’re the best! I don’t know what to make with it just but I’m just enjoying feeling it.

Have you ever been to Iceland? What’s your dream knitcation?

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09
Aug

Summer in the City

Written by Sarah. Posted in food, holiday, life, movies, new york city, party, photos, summer, travel

It’s already August which means that the summer is almost over. I haven’t posted much about what I’ve been up to. I feel like I focus so much on the work I’m doing here and I would like to inject a little more personal fun stuff because why not! I’ve been looking back over my photos of all of the fun I’ve had and I sometimes have to wonder is this my life I’m living? Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of work, heavy lifting, and anxiety (I’ve learned that going to sleep early is a necessity. Even when it means skipping out on some fun) that goes on in the day to day but I somehow manage to pack a lot of adventures in to a little bidget and less free time.

Jon’s parents threw a big July 4th bar-b-que and my family got to join us for a day of drinking and swimming. And I made a tart. It was
really wonderful having so many people that I love celebrating together.

After seeing War Horse and getting a special backstage tour from our friend Holly, we dined at Strip House and joined Ashley and Andrew to
watch the fireworks in a special private party that we threw for ourselves atop Hearst Tower. What a view!

We picked cherries. Which was delicious and adorable. We picked vegetables which was hot but so rewarding especially as city folk. We ate at Googa Mooga and we went to a lot of brunches (but not enough, never enough).

We saw a movie in the park with Andrew and Holly. I’d never done that before and I can tell you it was because of the heat and the crowds but it was so much fun!

Jon and I joined Ashley in seeing OK Go. Ashley and I have seen them about once a year since we were 14. It’s still magical. We still sing every lyric and dance like crazy. It’s amazing that we are still who we are and they are still who they are after all of this time.

This past weekend was my friend’s bachelorette party which meant lounging and drinking on the beach with my closest girl friends from way back. It’s so wonderful to see that we are all living it up and I’m so proud of us for all being successful ladies!

As our friend Alex said, quoting White Knuckles, “Nothing ever doesn’t change, but nothing changes much.” It’s been a wonderful summer.

What have you done this summer? Are you still packing in memories before it’s over?

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