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Welcome Wagon
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Welcome Wagon

You see, technically it started on Tuesday night…

Risa and I met up to knit for a little while before meeting Nova and Steph and heading over to the restaurant (the fabulous Khan Toke Thai House) to meet Rangsiwan and Vanessa.

Spectaular Dinner Feast
In our cozy dining room!

Over a delicious five-course meal, the six of us shared numerous stories and upcoming plans.  Minutes turned in to hours and the night slipped away…

Going home, we made elaborate plans for the next day… plans that spanned the San Francisco Bay even! We started early with a yummy breakfast at Stacks in Hayes Valley and a little photo shoot with the sculpture in the park across the street.  We formulated a plan, and jumped into Rangsiwan’s sweet ride and headed over the Bay Bridge to visit an amazing little shop in Berkeley:  Stonemountain and Daughter.  It is primarily a fabric shop, but they had quite a beautiful supply of notions and even some yarn for knitters too.

Button mosaic
The store name button mosaic

I spent a long time looking at buttons. There were hundreds to choose from, and I was looking for something special for my Moldova Coat… and I found a couple of choices, so I got them both! (and a few other pretties too for future cardigans and pullovers.)

My creation

Everyone else came away with lovely fabrics and elaborate plans for quilts and garments.  I really can’t wait to see what comes of all of the lovely inspirations!  One day, I would love to devote more time to sewing (and this would be such a great place to go for all of that inspiration!) but I feel like knitting and weaving are keeping me busy now.

We drove through Berkeley and headed back to Oakland towards the storied Article Pract store:  the shop’s reputation proceeded it, and it lived up 100%.  Especially when I saw their sale room with 40% off bagged yarn… I picked up 2 bags and the new Vogue.  Evidently I was in a tweed frame of mind… Rowan Summer Tweed and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed came home with me! (click for photos).

The Bay Area had higher than average temperatures last wee, so we were all looking for some refreshment.  We headed back to San Francisco and went to the MIssion neighborhood, anticipating our next yarn shop stop at Imagiknit… but first, we needed some sustenance.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Juice at Samovar (I want to find a recipe for this!)

Once we cooled off and filled our bellies, we were ready for more yarn shopping/browsing.  We walked across the street to Imagiknit… we all seemed to have agendas to look at yarn, books, magazines, and in my case, the sales wall.  I am happy to report that they had an amazing selection of sale yarns. In fact, the owner Allison was begging us to help her make some room for all of the new autumn yarns that were sitting on boxes on the floor.  I did my best to oblige.

Rangsiwan, Steph, and Risa

Rangsiwan, Steph, and Risa picked up a few things too…

The shop has such an amazing selection of yarns and such a great space – everything is so well-lit and the people are very friendly.  My basket was filled a few times as my eyes tended to gravitate towards all of the pretty colors with no real plan for patterns.  So, I pulled out a little list that I made earlier when consulting some patterns on Ravelry.  So, I got 3 bunches of yarn that will make some great things.

Hempwol

Hemp for Knitting Hempwol – also Kraemer Tatamy Tweed and EL Silky Flammé

And just when you think “how can they fit any more in?”  well, I told you we got an early start, so by the time we were finished with Imagiknit, it was still early afternoon.  We had plenty of time to spare… and after stopping by Tartine for a spot of tea and some knitting (Nova was craving one of their pastries) and we all agreed that it was photo time.  Everyone in the group is into Flickr as much as I am, and we wanted some fun shots to document our day.  We headed to a nearby high school and set up my camera and remote for the infamous JUMP shots!

Best Attempt (all in air)

(Risa, Steph, Nova +baby, Rangsiwan, and me in air!)

Jump shots are known to induce laughing fits, so if you attempt such things at home, BE READY!  We did about 6 of these, and this was the best one where we were all in the air.  Rangsiwan even went for the pirouette!  We also posed for some fun shots that Rangsiwan turned into clone shots on Flickr.

We headed north to Japantown to check out Kinokuniya’s craft books – so many great things (but I left empty handed, you may recall my little spree at the NYC location back in April) and then we ended the amazing day at the delicous Cafe Lettüs.  We were a tired bunch, but so happy.  I think we all had tired grins on our face as we said our good byes.

Hotel Elevator

As I entered the elevator in my hotel, it became very obvious that I would need another bag to get all of the yarn home!  I sat in my room with that familiar “afterglow” feeling: amazing people and an amazing city!

…and lest you think it was fun and games all the time – this free day aside – I worked diligently for the rest of the week in my work conference.  I made some great connections with other archivists (a few knitting archivists even!) and attended some enlightening sessions that got me “fired” up about my own work at my institution. That is a good feeling.

One more post about SF coming – all knitting and art related!

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35 Responses

  1. Mouse

    I *heart* buttons in a big way.. I would probably have been there all day digging through them and imagining what I could knit to put them on. Great photos!

  2. Leslie

    You hit some GREAT spots! Many of my favorite!!!

  3. Jodi

    Looks like tons of fun all around! Now I’m going to be on the lookout for that hemp/wool blend.

  4. whitney

    What a fun post!

  5. Nonnahs

    Looks like you gals had so much fun!

  6. jillian

    What a day!! Great gals and great yarn finds too!

  7. Kim

    That looks like a wonderful day!

    ImagiKnit was one of my favorite things about San Francisco. I went one day while the husband was working – it was a business trip for him, pleasure for me – and then sat in Samovar after, eating tea nibbles and knitting. One of the highlights of my trip.

  8. Julia

    Awesome! You were in my old stomping grounds 9I went to Uc Berkeley) and I love revisiting all my favorite places…and hearing about some new ones. Never been to Samovar! But I *always* went to Stone Mountain and Daughter, especially when I needed a little creative “pick me up”, and I learned to knit at Article Pract!! Fond memories of that. Imagiknit is one of my favorite knit shops…need to get back to the Bay Area soon!

  9. MarthaH

    Between Imagiknit and Artfibers, it is hard to understand why I ever get on that plane and come back to DC. I’m happy to see that you, too, were overwhelmed by the area and the yarn stores and everything else that is SF. Welcome home!

  10. yvette

    i LOVE your buttons. just beautiful – nice choices!

    and the jumping pic is such a great idea, i will definitely do it when i’m back in australia visiting friends sometime soon, hopefully.

  11. Harpa J

    What a great day! The buttons are beautiful.

  12. Moni

    Looks like lots of fun!

  13. Josiane

    Wow, what a day! I would have been totally exhausted after such a day, but in a very good way. The afterglow feeling confirms that it was all worth it!

  14. Aunt Kathy

    I love the jumping picture, I don’t think I could even get my feet off the ground, yet.

    Oh and I googled aloe juice and there are several recipes there

  15. kate

    It looks like you guys had a wonderful time!

    My two years in San Francisco were far too short, I’d love to go back and visit all my favorite haunts again.

  16. Erin

    It was great to meet you in SF! I was the knitting archivist in the diversity session, knitting pink lace. Your blue malabrigo cowl(?) looked wonderful. I’ll definitely make it to the knitting meetups in Austin next year.

  17. Thalia

    I love the story of your adventures – but the shoes! the shoes! Where did you get your shoes?!?!?

  18. gleek

    what a fun trip! you got to hang with such lovely ladies too :) thanks for posting to flickr! i enjoyed your travels while they were happening (god, i’m a flickr addict lately!)

  19. Elinor

    Oooh, it sounds like you guys had so much fun! I love your photos! And major props to Nova for jumping pregnant. I don’t think I could have gotten even an inch of air when I was preggers with B! Heh! Oh also, I LOVE that tea shop opposite ImagiKnit! I always make a stop when I visit my SIL in SF. I’m glad you all had such a great time!

  20. yaiAnn

    So fun! =) Jumpy shots definitely should be part of every meet up!

  21. Alexandra

    Great buttons! And I LOVE Rowan summer Tweed! I can hardly wait to see what you’re going to knit out of it! Seems you had a very good time…

  22. stacey

    whew! i was exhausted just reading about your day!!!!!!

  23. Mary

    Hey, Stone Mountain and Daughter! I had almost forgotten. I took summer Latin at Berkeley 8 years ago, and had stumbled across them, as well as a yarn store on University Ave that is now closed, I think. (But I recall spending most of my time at A Musical Offering–an entire store of early music cds? Rock!) Looks like I missed some cool places, though.

    Glad you had such a super trip!

  24. Jewel

    Love the buttons, I’m glad you had such good weather. We had rain and it was cold.

  25. Cassy

    I was just in San Francisco and I loooooooooooooooooooved Imagiknit.

  26. Nicole

    Phew! That’s a lot of fun/pretty to pack into one post. Looks like you scored big time in SF!

  27. LizKnits

    Looks like an amazing amount of fun!

  28. Steph

    I wish we could do it all over again this week!

  29. tiennie

    I’m so jealous that you have all these fun meet-ups!

  30. Sonya

    Sounds amazing (as any outing with a stop at Tartine would be). Stonemountain is my favorite fabric store and my go-to place for buttons and animal eyes. You covered A LOT of ground!

  31. Allegra

    When I was in SF a couple of years ago, I went to Samovar for lunch before indulging at ImaginKnit. It was one of the best lunches I have ever had. I hope to go back there (and ImaginKnit) again!

  32. jane

    It looks like you had a great time. I so wish I could find a group of friends that would like to do things like this with me. I am working on converting many of my friends over to knitting so maybe one day :)

  33. Stacey

    All these SF posts are making me jealous. Imaginknit! The school where that picture is taken, I know that school! Japantown! Cafe Lettus! (I worked at the Starbucks right across the street on Chestnut.)

    *sigh*

  34. nova

    I misplaced my camera and can’t get to my SF pictures, so I am glad you took so many! Also, I am glad you took so many jumpity shots, because I think you got a pretty great one! I look like I am going into labor or something!

  35. Lolly Knitting Around » Finally… Sienna

    [...] It was simple and classy.  Finished off with some lovely square mother-of-pearl buttons that I bought in Berkeley, California last summer (coincidentally with Nova, who also made this cardigan) it was the perfect [...]

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