Sunday, January 31, 2016

All You Knit is Love

Isn't that a true and lovely sentiment since our hand crafted goods are ultimately works of love.

All You Knit is Love is also the name of a yarn store in the Barri Gotic area of Barcelona, Spain. I had the good fortune to visit this shop last week while travelling for work. It is nestled in a labyrinth of old cobbled streets, interesting buildings, unique shops and is a stone's throw from the Picasso Museum.  Knowing my free time would be limited I had done my research ahead of time and was able to spend my last evening on this trip hunting out gifts for my family and seeking out this store. I was not disappointed.

The first thing that captured my attention is the creative window display of a snowman made from skeins of yarn. Looking up you notice that the signage for the store is a play on the mosaics for which Gaudi, and Barcelona, is known. Inside is a rustic charm with a wide variety of yarns and notions, some of the brands I recognized - Koigu, Malabrigo etc - and there were others which were new to me (and naturally needed to come home with a small sampling). The gentleman in the store was very happy to let me snap pictures, browse, ooh and aah to my heart's content, while my gracious non-knitter work colleague sat cozily in one of their arm chairs and relaxed. At checkout there were additional details that made this such a gem -- the business card for the store doubles as a needle gauge, and the fabric labels that were added to my linen yarn included a handy tape measure print.
Tote and yarn
Business card
Purlwise linen

The trip included a couple of other highlights: Upon arriving in Barcelona and settling into the hotel, I wanted to check out my surroundings and stretch my legs. I headed towards Las Ramblas and wandered to a fabulous market with its colorful displays of fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, chillis, seafood... A true delight for the senses with the bright colours, the smells of fresh fruits, and the bustle of people happily picking up their groceries.

The other highlight was a team building event hosted by BCNKitchen where we enjoyed spending time with our colleagues from around the globe while we were instructed, prepped and then ate this incredibly delicious dinner of a variety of tapas.  I've seen a place locally that hosts similar listen-learn-prep-eat activities and will be checking this out for sure - it was enormously enjoyable.

It was a great trip, but its also good to be back home with my lovely family.

Hoping you've had a wonderful weekend,
Sam xxx

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Clementine Cowl

I hope you have had a good week? I was in Santa Clara for work and the weather there was beautiful. It made me forget that it is still winter. Reality soon kicked back in as I arrived back home to snow flurries in Denver, late on Friday night.

Before I left I was able to complete the Clementine Cowl. I think I mention in my previous post that this is a great pattern. It works up quickly and it is enjoyable to see the colours and design form as you work along. These colours are a departure from what I would normally select for myself. I'm still undecided, although they have a nice earthy feel to them. And speaking of the feel, the yarns I selected are delightfully soft. There's the 'dyed in the wool' yarn that the pattern calls for, paired with a pagewood farms yarn from my stash.

Here's my little ham modeling the final product (donning her best model serious face in the 2nd pic :))):

Clementine cowl

Clementine cowl

Wishing you a great week ahead, and a lovely long weekend for the folks in the US.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Hard to believe that it has been approx 6 months since I blogged. It has been very busy in my work life this past year, and although that doesn't look set to change anytime soon, it is important that I carve out time for those things that I enjoy. That of course includes crafting and blogging.

Over the holidays I was able to finish a couple of Christmas stockings for Naomi and I.
Stockings hung by the tree

Naomi helped stitch these which means there are extra special memories built in. There was also the usual requests for felted slippers, and I was able to churn out 8 pairs of those over my Christmas break. Naomi also tried her hand at knitting by assisting me with these - a few knit stitches here and there. A great start! I'm not convinced that I have a crafter on my hands, but I do enjoy her natural curiosity and desire to have a go.
Little one learning
My new year project is a clementine cowl. A couple of friends have been making these, and they were turning out so beautifully that I wanted to join in the fun. The pattern calls for 2 skeins of dyed in the wool, which is an interesting fingering weight yarn that looks like a handspun.
Dyed in the Wool
I selected one colorway I liked and then partnered it with yarn from my stash that is deliciously soft.
Clementine Cowl
This project is close to completion, so I'll have to pick a new project for my work travels this week. Probably a bertie's blanket square. Before the holidays I had received squares from Andi and Sarina... aren't they gorgeous!
Bertie's Blankets - Andi Bertie's Blankets - Sarina
As a result we are now only 4 squares from finishing this blanket... yup good plane knitting right there.
Bertie's Blankets
Wishing you a great week ahead, and a wonderful 2016.