knitting it up in a big way

Monthly Archives: July 2013

while i was in new mexico, i got to stop at two yarn stores. yarn store at nob hill is in albuquerque, in a neighborhood called nob hill (i know, you’d have never guessed, right?). nob hill is one of my favorite places to shop and walk around. it’s not too far from the university, and is home to boutiques, restaurants, tattoo parlors, coffee shops, and resale shops. something for everyone! the yarn store is just off the main drag.

yarn store at nob hill
from the front door

the store is very spacious and filled with light. they have several rooms (they have expanded into multiple smaller storefronts), each seperate space dedicated to a certain yarn weight or different element of the craft.

yarn store at nob hill

something i look for, especially when i’m traveling, is local yarn. there are many tried and true brands that i love to buy, and i always stop to admire a good selection of my favorite brands, or see what palette they carry, but local yarns are where i want my money going when i’m traveling. the bookcase to the left in the photo above is full of STRANDavarious, based out of bernalillo, new mexico.

yarn store at nob hill

the yarn i ended up bringing home is a buttery baby alpaca & silk laceweight. i have 650 yards (594 meters) of silver with green tones. it’s not local to new mexico (it’s from montana), but i’d never seen it before!


now… what to knit? my brain offers up: emily dickinson (i have such a crush on ness’s moody version), or rock island (this cheerful yellow one is so great)? those are the first that spring to mind…


ahhhhh, this post is quite overdue. i’ve been working on it in bits and pieces over the months, but since i declared july as a catch up month, here we are!

i wasn’t exactly sure how i wanted to do my blog post on bristol. honestly, most of the time we were there, we didn’t have the camera out as much. we hung out with emi & james a lot, and wandered a little. so i thought i might just do this post as more of a tourist-y break-down, the things we tried and liked while in bristol.


the clifton suspension bridge– the iconic bristol landmark. we went at night, which i later appreciated when i saw exactly how high above the ground it is (yeah, i’m not super keen on heights).


boston tea party– a bristol-based chain of cafes with great coffee, good food, and a good atmosphere. we visited several locations, multiple times. their english breakfast was quite good! as a note: i *think* it might be mandatory for someone with pink dyed hair to be working in the cafe at all times. i saw at least three different pink haired employees. ^_^ please let me know if you find any reason to support my theory!

cider from the mall

the mall– a pub in clifton with really excellent aesthetics (loved their deep purple exterior paint, awesome victorian wallpaper, and overall mood), a pretty garden outside, and a good selection of cider.

at the mall

pie minister– julie told me this was a ‘must-do’, and it was so so so so good. turns out mushy minty peas aren’t really my thing, but the mashed potatoes & mini pies were outstanding!

clifton arcade

wandering around clifton village- fun. lots of shops to browse, from boutiques, bakeries, interior design, antiques, etc. shown above is the clifton arcade. there was a good sweets shop in there. which was good, because we needed something to tide us over til lunch. which ended up being pasties from one of the aforementioned bakeries. nom nom nom.


never let it be said that i am anything other than the epitome of feminine delicacy!

wandering around st. nicholas market- an indoor market with all kinds of stalls and shops. there was a great used book store, a little goth shop (where jake got some pretty rad glow in the dark skeleton fingerless gloves), a shop that sells vintage photographs of bristol (we bought an aerial view of the clifton suspension bridge to remind us of this trip), and all kinds of food stalls, though we ended up having lunch just around the corner at:

rummer hotel– i had the wookey hole rarebit, a name i found really amusing on the menu (i was channeling star wars), only to later discover that the nearby wookey hole caves are used for aging cheddar. but any way someone serves me warm cheese and toast i will be happy. no exception here!

this image is from wikimedia commons, as i did not take a picture while at the christmas steps. click through for the source

wandering down the christmas steps. a little street built down a hill, lined with shops & businesses. totally charming.

the thali cafe– indian cuisine. i lovelovelove the idea of their ‘tiffin takeaway’, where you can buy a reuseable stainless steel takeaway container, and bring it in any time, get it filled with nommy meals to take home. so much less to throw away, so much more to enjoy! we went out for jake’s birthday dinner here.

grounded cafe– good pizza, good english breakfasts, good croissants, good atmosphere. funnily enough, we had actually talked about trying to avoid british pizza before hopping the pond, as british pizza has a bit of a… repuation amongst many americans we know (including some of jake’s previous experiences). but this is one of emi & james’s favorite local eateries, and they were keen to bring us there, so of course we went! and it was really excellent!

watershed– cool cafe/bar/shop/movie theatre at the riverside.

hausbar– speak easy style bar. need i say more? their cocktail menu was so long, i was intimidated. but the bartender’s were knowledgeable and engaging, and very ready to make up the cocktail we wanted to drink. (for the record- i ended up drinking a rude cosmo. which was delicious AND it got rihanna stuck in my head! and it has been my ‘fancy occasion cocktail’ since!)

our lovely hosts and the first radish they ever grew!

and lastly, but never least (in fact, first for us) james & emi’s b&b- limited availability, by invite only. the bed is comfy, the amenities modern. the food & company are out of sight! i highly recommend: the veggie full english breakfast, jameson bones special stirfry (OR just plain anything james cooks). emi’s guided tours are beyond reproach, and custom tailored to the audience! she’s also just great to hang out with.

in case anyone happens to be planning a trip to bristol, and found this by googling around, let me also take a moment to direct you to design sponge’s bristol travel guide. in case you need more ideas of places to eat: slummy single mummy’s guide to bristol eateries.

i don’t know about y’allllll, but when i make goals, i find it useful to check back in on them occasionally. gauge my progress, make sure i’m not forgetting anything, that kind of thing.

so let’s check it out. my 2013 goals are here (along with my 2012 knits).

publish one pattern

nothing on this front. i’m not even sure which pattern i should be pursuing writing up.

hat patterns
waldo, sr? broham? double aspect? something else entirely?

knit one sweater (doesn’t have to be for me!)

done! i finished slow news day in march. i wouldn’t mind making another though! i have the supplies and intentions to make an aidez.

FO: Slow News Day Sweater

finish 20 knits

i’m fairly on course with this one. i have 11 finished knits at this moment (two that have yet to make it to your eyes), and several more that are really quite close to being done. with five months remaining in the year, and december usually being one of my busiest months for finishing knits, i feel fairly confident this goal won’t be a problem.

knit for pleasure/knit selfish

i’m doing well with this one. i did a lot of obligation knitting in 2012 which sapped some of the fun out of it. and while my ratio of knitting is still mostly for other people, i’m being careful to pick projects that i find a lot more fun & engaging.

go back to spinning. maybe 6 skeins?

nothing on this yet.


cook more

good! i’m not really any more adventurous than i have previously been, but i keep trying new things (risotto springs to mind) and slowly amassing skills.


lower consumption

this is an interesting one. i could probably write a whole post on this alone. i almost always have reusable bags when i’m shopping. i had our household down to nearly exclusively biodegradable soaps & cleaners, as well as refillable containers for our laundry & handsoaps, but it took a little bit of a hit when we started going to the gym…. gym clothes require a slightly stronger soap. and i’ve been working on finding a biodegradable kitty litter. any suggestions?

and just always:
be kinder. always be kinder than is necessary.
think before acting/speaking.
don’t be afraid.

that first one especially stays on my mind a lot. i’m not sure how to gauge this exactly, but it influences my actions, and so i think i can call it a success?

anyways, how is your year coming along? are you accomplishing everything you’d hoped to?

i can be just awful about remembering certain things. like sharing in this blog-space something that i did in a completely different space of my life. such as the web-series that i spend many many hours of my life working on; as a story & script editor, set finder, schedule coordinator during pre-production. as an actress, boom pole holder, camera assistant, prop designer, craft services during production. as a visual consultant and graphic designer during post production. and during all of those things, as the watcher-over of jake, the one who tells him the time has come to step away from this project for a minute, whether it’s to eat, spend time with friends & family, or just to save the computer from being thrown out the window, or other such consequences.

this episode has been a long time coming. here’s the trailer:

and if that piqued your interest, you have multiple options from here:

go start at the beginning of the series: where we had no budget, low grade equipment, and less experience, and marvel at our improvement in each episode.


catch up on the whole thing in 77 seconds, a quicker option fo sho.


hey, if you’ve already done any of those things, just start watching from the beginning of episode seven!


1, 2, 3, 4, 5


6, 7, 8, 9, 10


11, 12, 13, 14, 15

i never actually picked 15 items. i just kind of worked my way up to 12 and never expanded from there.

most valuable player- definitely goes to my thrifted cole haan loafers. i wore them for 12 out of the 15 outfits. next highest was my cream skirt, which i wore five times.

most versatile- goes to my j. crew dress, which i wore as a dress, a skirt twice, and a shirt once.

least valuable- (but only in the context of this remix) my floral blouse. i wore it twice. i did think about pairing it with my orange cords but i just never quite got around to it.

i was using this remix to test whether or not the polka dot blouse was gonna stay with me in the long run, and while i find it stylistically fantastic, i’m just not a fan of the fabric, and the way it gaps.

i really like the palette of this remix. a lot of these are my old stand-by’s, colorwise: blue, black, grey, brown, cream, but spiced up with occasional hints of peach, orange & yellow.

2, 4, and 13 are my favorite outfits, but i really liked this whole remix.



gift hat – hand-me-over polka dot blouse – thrifted belt – anthropologie skirt – ebay cole haan loafers

this outfit is 100% inspired by jen’s. the moment i saw it, i stored it away for future use. i really like crisp white paired with off white, and i’ve tried it before, but i think this attempt is a little better.


and woot! that’s the 15 outfits. rebecca and ness finished their remixes eons ago. before it was technically summer. but kessa and i have been going at about the same pace!

FO: honeyblock hat

FO: honeyblock hat

FO: honeyblock hat

FO: honey block hat

yarn: grey yarn recycled from a thrifted sweater, yellow yarn is brown sheep lamb’s pride superwash worsted (leftover from my honey cowl)
needles: US 6 (4.0mm) for ribbing, US 8 (5.0mm)
pattern: my own. pretty basic. 2×2 ribbing, switch over to bigger needles. eventually switch yarns. use a pom pom maker to make the fluffiest of pom poms, because i’m crap at making them without the assistance of the helpful device.

this hat was commissioned, but i’m totally in love with it. i will be so sad to say good bye to it.

FO: honeyblock hat

i’ve been feeling a little stressed out recently. too much to do, not accomplishing nearly enough. so i decided today to focus on things i’ve already accomplished, like this hat. which i finished like over a month ago. take some pictures, proclaim the project finished on ravelry, write up a blog post, and presto! a little feeling of accomplishment to tide me over until i can catch up a little more.

i’ve been terrible about keeping my current knitting up on the blog, so:

elongated rib sock in progress

i’ve been working on a toe up sock since new mexico. the yarn is wooly wonka fingering, which i got at a yarn store in sante fe. i took some pictures, which i’ll share with you later! the colorway is called winterfell, so i was thinking i’d call these socks ‘winter is coming’. i love it when my pop culture, nerdiness, and knitting combine!

what’re you working on? you got any stress deferring advice?

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