Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bits & Bobs...Sweater & Sweets

"My First Sweater" Craftsy Class, knitted three
times. I'm surprised it didn't felt.
There's always a little somethin' somethin' that I'm working on...stealing a few minutes here and there. But there's also projects that just sit in a holding bin, and others practically on life support. My Craftsy sweater went through both stages, and last week, I buckled down and finished the darn thing.

If you're wondering why my cardigan looks a little different, it's because I also knitted some flowers to enhance and hopefully draw one's attention away from my little knitting glitches. But overall, I think it turned out okay for my first sweater. If you're wondering how I knitted the flowers, here's a tutorial I used as a guide, except I changed the pattern ever so slightly for mine. You can find instructions HERE at Julie's Mack and Mabel blog. It's a generous blog that's filled with goodies for knitters and quilters.

The sweater was also the first test subject for my newly constructed photo studio. My daughter and I spent Saturday piecing it together, and she's volunteered to shoot photos for me in her spare time. I'm interested in learning how to improve my photography and playing around with lighting.

The mochi was "almost" too lovely to eat. The Cascade yarn is from the
"Cloud" brand. Bone china cups are the best for tea sipping (IMHO). 
This past Friday was my birthday, and yes, it was a wonderful day.

The kids bought me sweet gifts (for the heart and tooth) that really represented some of my favorite things: new bone china tea cups and handmade mochi. The absolute surprise was my son, who walked into the local yarn store with his sister, and picked out two lovely skeins of Cascade wool and alpaca mixed purple yarn. How apropos? I already have my eye on this free pattern HERE .  Every gift was thoughtful and filled with love.

The double gauze is on the top right corner.
My husband took the day off, and we spent a mostly Bay Area traffic-free day in Santa Cruz for lunch and fabric shopping at Harts. I wanted to get some inspiration from Harts' wide selection of Japanese imports. I do most of my fabric shopping online these days, but it can never compare to physically being inside a fabric store.

Harts also has three or four shelves stuffed full of organic cotton. It's a quilter's dream...but alas, I'm not a quilter, (which is probably a good thing).

I picked up three pieces of Kokka cotton. All the double gauze rolls were pretty thinned out by the time I got to them. I found one pattern I've been eyeing for a while, and couldn't resist a couple of yards. The other two Kokka cottons were waffle weaved, almost like a knit, but no stretch. Both pieces have a good weight and thickness for a top or dress. I think the colors of the two waffle weaved pieces actually coordinate. I found them on the 30% sale table.  Score!

I also picked up my first Decades of Style, 1952 Wrap Blouse pattern. I'm pretty excited to sew the blouse for Fall.  It looks like the sizing is better than the Eva Dress pattern, and I don't have to do too much grading. If it's easy enough, I might have to pick up more. Decades of Style is a local Bay Area pattern company based in my former hometown of Berkeley, California. See all their patterns HERE.
There was pork belly, yellow tail sashimi, fried okra & mochi, salmon sushi,
tonkatsu okonomiyaki style, and ikura and sea urchin rice. Not shown was the 
seared duck, beef tongue, vegetable tempura, wakami salad, (and beer). 

The rest of the day was spent lounging around, and eating lots and lots of yummy food. We tried a new izakaya restaurant (Japanese small plates), and loved all our dishes. Pretty soon, this is going to turn into a food blog too.

Check out all the deliciousness! Oh, and don't forget the strawberry shortcake from the Buttery!

Happy day!