Forgive me readers…..

for I have sinned.  It has been 9 months since my last post.

Much has gone on since I’ve last written here.  I’ll get one thing out of the way first:  The caravan is NOT completed yet.

Last time I posted I was preparing to leave for NYC with my dear friend Dana from Jonesboro.  In a nutshell, we had a blast.  I wanted to show her my NY.  I had a list, but we didn’t make it through all of it.  It consisted of, among other things, of a trip to Habu, Dean & Deluca, The Turkish Kitchen, Liberty House, some yarn shops, and pizza.  We didn’t make it to Dean & Deluca .  Habu is a yarn shop, but they import and sell their own.  The other yarn shop we hit was my favorite in NY, The Yarn Co.  It’s located on the Upper West Side.

Subway tile work

I bought some very beautiful wool and stainless steel and cotton yarns from Habu.  It was quite an adventure.  I highly recommend it!

I had a visit from my youngest brother, Frederick, in December, in time for Christmas.  It was a much needed trip, as we hadn’t seen each other in a long time.  I haven’t been able to make it to Cambodia to see him.

I took a break from working on the caravan before Frederick came to town.  The weather got cold here in Memphis.  My little fingers became brittle and hurt when I tried to do anything outside.  SO, I took a fairly long break.  I started working on it again in earnest about 1.5 months ago.  THEN, it was time to meet my sister in Vienna.  This was the trip to beat all trips.  Sevgi had everything planned.  I flew into Vienna and took a cab (for speed’s sake) to the hotel.  She had tickets for us to attend a Mozart concert.  The orchestra was in full costume!  It was excellent.  Vienna is a Mozart loving city.

We spent two nights in Vienna.  Our hotel was very nice, and the staff was wonderful.  I might add here that one of the valets was Turkish.  He was helpful, humorous, and handsome.  (There a LOT of Turks in Vienna.)  We walked a lot, marveled at the limestone architecture, and even caught a free concert and some kind of rollerblade excursion they were having on the city streets one night.  We had traditional Viennese food whenever we could.  We wanted the full effect, know what I mean?

We had a three city, five day Eurail pass.  This gave us the ability to visit three bordering countries within 5 days.  Our next stop was Salzburg, the city of salt.  Salzburg is very much a pedestrian city.  I don’t really know how to express this, but I’m always amazed at the ages of the structures and statues.  The US is such a young country.  I yearn for aged, seasoned buildings like wine connoisseurs yearn for good wine.

Salzburg street scene

on the right Griechenbeisl, the oldest restaurant in Salzburg

 

 

 

    

 

 

Sevgi knows what she’s doing.  She signed us up for the “The Sound of Music” tour.  What a blast!  The two of us sat at the front of the bus with our tour guide, Gunter, and sang the loudest.  Our mommie would have been proud.

Gunter the 15-time Ironman participant

Apple Streudel with whipped cream - DUH

We had a lunch break during the tour.  In keeping with our plan to eat traditional foods on our trip, we had apple streudel.  Yummy!  THAT was our lunch.  Enough for me!

We visited the fortress.  It was armed with ancient weapons, furniture, and torture devices.  Yes, torture devices.  These fit well with my obsession with historical fiction.  Standing in front of this chair, I could actually visualize how badly people used to behave! 

Torture chair - Hohensalzburg Fortress

Locally brewed beer and pretzels were a must afterwards.  Our waiter was Turkish.  Surprised?  Don’t be!  Those wonderful people were everywhere!

our beer and pretzel at Stiegl Bier Garden - Salzburg

So.  After two busy days and nights in Salzburg, we took the train to Thun, Switzerland.  Met a VERY nice couple on the train from Seattle.  Told the nice lady about etsy.com so she could sell her wares, the “pass-along” fabric gift bags.

Here’s Thun as we saw it.  Two days of dragon racing by my brother-in-love, his dad, and their sailing partner, Michael.  Such nice guys.  (that one’s for brother-in-love’s benefit)  Those German dudes came in 3rd overall in the Swiss Dragon Sailing Championship.  I’m so proud!

With the spinnakers up in Thun, Switzerland

It was very cold on this day.  I was hurriedly working on a Noro sweater, trying to sew the seams up so I could wear the darned thing.  I kid you not, my ball o’ Noro flew out of my lap and into the lake.  That put an end to my hopes of getting warm anytime soon.  I had other knitting on the trip…a lightweight summer cardigan I’ve been working on for my sister-in-law.  It’s called Paper Crane.

So after two days of sailing, we snuck away, again on the train, to France.  After a couple of sprints from station to station, we were picked up by my brother Dana at the train station in Chantilly.  A short drive later we were at our bed and breakfast.  This was my third stay there.  As usual, it was beautiful and quiet.

Some kind of apricot pie at the grocery store

Pepperoni type sausages at the grocery store

 

We like to do “local” type things when we travel abroad.  Besides, spending the most amount of time possible with my family was our goal so we went everywhere with Dana, even the grocery store and hardware store.  Manue took us to an outlet store where Sev go lucky and found a garment she could use.  I wasn’t so lucky.

We had many good meals and played a lot with my nephews.  We spent quality time together.  However, it ended too soon.  After 3 nights in Gouvieux, it was time to go home. Very sad.  I know I’ll visit them again soon.  I won’t have to have my arm twisted!

I’ve discovered that I have a genetic blood condition.  More on that next week.  But before I part, some photos of my knitting in Europe!

My knitting (Paper Crane) in a cab to hotel in Vienna Austria

Girl with knitting in front of Swiss chateau in Thun, Switzerland

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June 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm 1 comment

Zoo York

I’m off to New York City again.  I cancelled my plane ticket to TNNA Market in June, and had to do something with it, so planned a spur of the moment trip with my friend Dana of Stirling.  She’s the one who makes those gorgeous leather knitting bags and accessories.  We’re leaving tomorrow afternoon and won’t be back to the big M town until Sunday afternoon.  In the plans are The Turkish Kitchen, a day in Brooklyn including Grimaldi’s and many Smith Street shops, and characteristic of a couple of knitters, YARN SHOPS.  Lots of them, and that includes Habu.  Gotta go to The Gap, maybe Niketown, and maybe catch a movie, since we don’t party much.

I can’t wait to see/buy some locally hand-dyed sock yarns!  I’ve got several yarn shops on the “to do” list that include one in Brooklyn and many others in NYC.  Dean & Deluca and Kalustyan’s (for some sucuk and maybe pastirma) are a must do on this trip, as we both like good food.

statueofliberty

I’m finishing up a project for Norah Gaughan/Berroco for NGV6 and will ship it from there.  Teva Durham has contacted me to do more work for her.  As usual, I’m honored.  If she can send me something on larger needles, say 6-8 US, I’ll do it.

I’ll try to blog better when I get back.  Lots o’ caravan work going on!!!

I’ve added some books to the website.  They use Noro yarns, and are GREAT!

September 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

Kaffe Fassett Squares Scarf Kits are ready!

I finally have some good news for those of you waiting for the Kaffe Fassett Squares Scarf Kits from Vogue Knitting Winter 2008.  THEY’RE READY!  I have (2) in stock.   I had (3), but Phyllis B. has been waiting for a while and got first dibs.  I’ll be working on getting more together.  This is the PERFECT time to start knitting your Holiday gifts and those cold weather items you would like FOR YOURSELF.  Here is the photo from Vogue, to refresh your memory.

Kaffe's Square Scarf/Shawl from VK Winter 2008

Kaffe's Square Scarf/Shawl from VK Winter 2008

Please don’t hesitate to email me at info@yarnstudio.com with any questions about this kit.  Remember that it does not include the magazine or needles.  I’m so happy to finally be able to offer this kit!  It’s hard to get 20 colours in stock at once.
 
Here are some things I’ve been up to in the kitchen:   
Mermaid Salad a la Papatya

Mermaid Salad a la Papatya

Figs and Raspberry Galette in my kitchen

Figs and Raspberry Galette in my kitchen

The girls in my knitting group, Memphis Knit Mafia, were all about the figs last week.  They got my baking juices flowing and I went out back and picked some figs from my tree.  Epicurious.com is my favorite cooking site, so I went there to see what I could do with the figs.  The galette is delicious, and very easy.  You should try it!
I’ve been busy making jewelry as well.  The Intergalactic Bead Show (who came up with THAT name?) was in Memphis this past weekend, and I dropped some coin there.  I bought 3 different shapes of pearls to use in my creations.
Pearl Drops on etsy
Pearl Drops on etsy
Coin Pearl on Linen

Coin Pearl on Linen

Please check out my latest works when you get a chance.  I’m having so much fun!

Oh, and I’m STILL knitting.  This one’s a long-sleeved pullover in Nashua’s Creative Focus Silk for Susan Mills at Nashua Handknits.
Here’s a recent caravan photo before I go!
Caravan Photo

Caravan Photo

July 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm 3 comments

Paris and Poison Ivy

I apologize.  I do have plenty to write about.  This Summer heat in Memphis has made me downright lazy.  Those of you who live here know that I’m not exaggerating about the heat.  We’ve already broken 100 degrees F several times already, and we’re deep in to one of our droughts.  We’re very lucky to have a dependable water supply.  We’re allowed to water our gardens whenever we want to.

Paris was beautiful.  It was a different experience with my sister than it was the first time with DB.  My sis made it her mission to show me Paris the way she sees it.  We spent 3 nights in Paris in a quaint 6-story hotel down the street from the Odeon Theatre, near Luxembourg park. 

Front of our hotel in Paris

Front of our hotel in Paris

We had mostly French meals;  terrine, crepes, salami sandwiches, much fruit, foie gras, CHEESE.  For the sake of speed, we had McDonald’s one morning. 

In France, this is dessert.  CHEESE!!!

In France, this is dessert. CHEESE!!!

The French Open (tennis tournament) was in progress.  We waited in line 2 hours, only to be sold that it was sold out for the day.  We spoke with some interesting characters in line with us…a couple of girls from Belgium and an old French geezer. 
We walked through an open air market that featured much fresh fruit and vegetables.  It was fun to see the different produce.  (Some of it I’d already seen, growing up in Turkey.)  It was at this market that I bought 4 different types of cheese to bring back with me.  I’m still munching on them! 

French radishes

French radishes

Near the end of our third day in Paris we broke down and hopped on one of those open air tour boats you’ve seen in the movies.  It was well worth it.  Our feet were tired.
During this trip we saw the usual sites; Musee d’Orsay, Les Tuilieres, the Eiffel Tower (at night), just to name a few.

Hmmmmmm........

Hmmmmmm........

The subway was very convenient and simple (except at the Eiffel Tower station….remember that when YOU go).
The fourth morning of our trip we took a train to Gouvieux, where my brother, his girlfriend, and their two sons live.  We spent three glorious days in the garden, eating cherries off the tree and visiting with the nephews.  We stayed in a B&B because the house is so tiny.

The flight is expensive, but if you’re diligent, you can find a nice hotel or B&B for a reasonable price, and have a great time in France.  I highly recommend it.   It helps if you have family there!  I’m very lucky.

View from the B&B window of the Oise River

View from the B&B window of the Oise River

I didn’t visit any yarn shops.  I have PLENTY of yarn.  I knit a little on a pair of socks, “brainless“, but not much.  {BTW, these socks are NOT brainless!}  I’ve been having a problem with my ring fingers….they hurt.  I may have the beginnings of arthritis.  I’m currently working on two projects for Norah Gaughan (Berroco) that are due July 23rd.  I just got the yarn yesterday.  I doesn’t hurt to knit, I’m very happy to say.  However, I have to submerge my hands in ice water for 15-20 min. per day once a day.  IT HURTS when I do that!

The air-conditioning in our home decided to break down last night.  We’re now looking at a huge replacement cost.  I must knit faster if I’m going to pay for my half!

The caravan is looking good.  I have a good excuse for not having any photos.  The camera is broken.  It’s a Canon PowerShot A75.  The camera began malfunctioning in Paris, and finally quit working in Gouvieux.  I have contacted Canon, and they refuse to fix it for free.  This is the second problem I’ve had with this camera.  The first time, they fixed it for free.  You may have a Canon camera and love it.  I believe that if something stops working properly, totally unprovoked, it should be repaired for FREE.  Canon refuses to fix it for FREE.  SO, when I can get my hands on a camera that works, I’m going to take a picture of the Canon A75 that I have smashed with a hammer.  I will try to remember to post the photo here and send them a photo as well.  Canon is dead to me!  Sony would not have done this to me!

Sorry about that rant…..it had to be done!

The poison ivy.  We have some in the back yard.  Ripper has been rolling around in it and giving it to me.  I’ve got it on my legs, behind and on my right ear, on my elbows and forearms, and on the back of my neck.  This happens every year.  I get poison ivy, THEN I finally clear it from the yard.

Crank up the air-conditioning, if you have it, and start knitting those holiday giftsHere is a good place to look for patterns!  Also, I have a new kit available, “Da Vinci” from Rowan Magazine 44.  It’s at 10% off retail of the yarn, PLUS, it’s already all in one place, so you don’t have to shop different places to get all the colours/yarns.  Start knitting NOW for Winter garments!   🙂

July 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm 5 comments

Jo Sharp has just left the building….

 Carol Durdin is a terrible human being.

JOSharplogo-holding

Jo Sharp is leaving the States.  Below is the email I received from them this morning:

“Dear Customer: [that’s me, the retailer!]
Jo Sharp is closing her US operation because sales are not sufficient to support the stock and supply service that was offered. Closure is effective from May 18th.  A website based in Australia will offer on-line sales to consumers worldwide in the near future.” 

Her yarns are beautiful.  She has the softest tweeds on the market, without a doubt.  It’s very sad the the US hasn’t realized that soon enough.  I had it in the yarn studio (brick & mortar) and still have it on the website.  I don’t have everything, but I have a good amount of the Classic DK Wool and some tweeds.  I also have some of her books, which are EXCELLENT.  I’m currently working on the “Loose Textured Cardigan” from knit 7.  Of course I couldn’t just knit it straight out of the book.The beginnings of Loose Textured Cardigan knit 7

I decided I would knit a “black” colourway since I had the black Alpaca Kid Lustre in stock.  I’m making the cardigan in the blacks, and I will knit the pullover in the chartreuse (my other favorite colour) as written in the book.

I’ve gotten a lot of work done on the caravan.  HOWEVER, I kind of injured my right wing doing it.  I must heal up before I leave for Paris.  I’d much rather drag that roller bag around the Metro with my right hand than my left.  It really would be better for everyone in the vicinity!  The downside of the injury is limited activity.  I’m still able to KNIT, cook, and pack.

Deciding what knitting to take on this long trip [MEM to ORD to DUB to CDG and back again] is a challenge.  I think socks are a must, as I enjoy the challenge of the patterns I seem to gravitate toward.  I knitted a whole SKIF sweater to and from Turkey a year ago, so I think a sweater should also be included in the carry on.

I hope the food’s good on the plane!

I may or may not post again before I leave, but, I will be listing a new necklace, again a la Sundance catalog, on my etsy page: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6978923

I’ll be taking a lot of pictures in France!  We’re staying in a B & B in Gouvieux (where my brother lives).  Hostellerie du Pavillon Saint-Hubert.  Check it out!

May 19, 2009 at 11:03 am 2 comments

My Wavy Baby

I can’t wait to be finished with this tank!  (by Kate Lemmers, in the Knitter’s Magazine 94, Spring 2009)  I think the cut will suit me.  I hope so…I plan on making another one in the Jitterbug in the Popsicle colourway, just for a little variety.  This one’s in the Bright Charcoal colourway, which is a little subdued. 

Wavy Baby in Bright Charcoal Jitterbug

Wavy Baby in Bright Charcoal Jitterbug

I’ve got a new necklace on etsy.  I bought these really cool light green glass leaves (with a matte finish) that I couldn’t WAIT to use), and they are perfect for Spring:  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24678655  The photo should be in the feed on the right, at the top.

I’m almost finished with the dress for Teva.  Depending on when I get the final instructions from her, I hope to have it out of here by Saturday.  I have my next project lined up with Susan Mills at Nashua/Westminster Fibers.  I have no idea what she’s sending me, but I’m grateful for the work.  That project should carry me through my trip to Paris. 

I baked a strawberry cake Saturday night, and I substituted a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the plain old flour.  I always feel good about using wheat flour, BUT, it sure does dry things out!  Also, it was kind of “brickish”.  Kind of stiff.  It does taste good though, and the most important thing is that DB liked it.   

 

Martha's cookies

Martha's cookies

 I remained in a baking mood and baked Martha Stewart’s Rosemary Butter cookies from her cookie cookbook, since I have a rosemary plant, and had the butter.  I didn’t roll the dough in the fine sugar as instructed, as I thought there was enough sugar in them already.  DB seems to like these too.  They are going fast.

I’ve decided I’m going to knit the new SKIF Swing in Schaefer Laurel in the Ethel Waters colourway:Waters_web

I’ve been getting emails from people who want help selecting yarns for their SKIF garments….I have a little trouble with this also, so I’m having reservations about making suggestions.  My advice to you is:  read the pattern and try to do what they say.  I’ve only knitted the Martha, and I used Schaefer Laurel on that one too (Frieda Kahlo colourway).  I plan on trying GGH Safari one of these days, but I love that yarn so much that I want to be careful when I finally use it.  If I don’t answer your emails about the yarn selection for the SKIFs, it’s because I’m scared to.  Please understand and have mercy on me.  I’d like to apologize for the disarray of the SKIF Patterns page.  I somehow really screwed up the top and don’t know how to fix it.

Keep on knitting, and be happy!

May 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm 4 comments

I’m working for Teva Durham!

Yes, you read it right.  THE one and ONLY.  Forget modesty, I’m bragging now.  She’s doing a book for Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, a high-class operation.  It will be a very nice knitting book and I am the one knitting the PIECE DE RESISTANCE (that’s what she told me anyway).  I wish I could tell you more, but I need to preserve her privacy.  I just want you guys to remember that I’m the one that knitted that piece de resistance, when pick up the book at the bookstore/your LYS and see it.  YOU WILL REMEMBER.  I’m getting a little wary of rising at 5:30 a.m. every day, but you know what they say!

I’ve almost sold out of the new SKIF “Swing” pattern.  Only one left!  I have more “Mateo” patterns on the way if you’re interested.  Also on the way (I’ve been told, much awaited) are more colors of Nature Wool Chunky Multi, Nature Cotton, Pomaire, and Nature Wool.  I cannot stress how exquisite the Araucania hand-dyed yarns are.  If you are a hand-dyed person, you know whereof I write.

I have a new creation on etsy, and another few to come tomorrow morning after I attend the gymnasium.  Here is one that’s already there:

Crystal Palace Earrings

Crystal Palace Earrings

Tomorrow I will list the little bauble I’ve made for my Mom.  It’s a surprise!  If you’re nice and you pay the price, you can have one for your Mommie, too!  HERE is the link.  The “surprise” won’t be up until tomorrow morning, around 7:00  AM CDT.

I’ve planted my tomatoes, herb garden, watermelons, and cantalopes (for Paul).  The herb garden is extremely helpful, for it prevents me from spending a lot of money on those fresh herbs (in those little un-earth-friendly plastic containers) that aren’t even at the grocery store when I need them.  I LOVE walking out to the garden, and just cutting off what I need.  There is always the danger that little Ripper may have hiked his leg on it….. hmmmm……..  Something to think about.  I’m seriously considering planting a “bee garden” to nourish and attract the honey bees that may be surviving this crisis they are experiencing as of late.  I don’t remember which issue it was, but I read the how-tos and whats in a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living (my hero) and think it’s the right thing to do.  It would be really nice if these flowers were self-sufficient!  I already have one plant that’s on the list, foxglove.  As you can see, it’s beautiful, and very much an “English” garden type of plant.

Foxglove
Foxglove

Please keep in mind that these beauties are poisonous.  Keep your babies and puppies away from them.  Oh, and I found out that Wisteria is also poisonous.  Ripper is always pulling at it, as it prevents him from going through the neighbor’s fence.

I also have a new item in my other etsy shop, Papatya.  It’s a rather unusual item, and would make a great gift for house-warming, wedding, birthday, or coworkers.  (I have one on my desk!)
Have a great weekend all!

April 30, 2009 at 4:02 pm 4 comments

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