During my whirlwind European tour, I spent a couple of days in Dresden and a few hours in Berlin. Even in the rain I was able to enjoy the restored splendor of these two cities.
I was surprised by the memories and stong emotions invoked at the Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie.
All the feelings of unbelief and horror I felt in 9th grade social studies came back to me as I stood at the monument, remembering the stories of men and women being shot in their desperate attempt to cross to West Berlin.
Then, the shock and amazement I felt as I sat with my first newborn watching Berliners tear that wall down 26 years ago; truly an awe-inspiring part of recent history. It was a gift to be able to visit Berlin.
We spent two days in Dresden, another east German city well into the process of restoration.
May 8, 1945 was the official end date of World War II, and almost 70 years later, Dresden is dedicated to the restoration of these cities to their pre-war beauty.
The restoration began at the collapse of the Soviet Union, 26 years ago, and the painstaking and meticulous work is still underway thanks to mostly private fundraising.
It was here, in Dresden where I got my yarn fix for the day. I fell in love with the newly opened yarn store, The Green Wheel.
Located in Dresden in the arts district at Rothenburger StraBe 7, The Green Wheel is owned by Anja Lorenz-GroBer and Franziska Horeth GbR.
They feature roving wool and handspun (produced by the owners), as well as yarns of all weights and colors produced by co-ops all over Europe.
I fell in love with the natural DK merino wool from co-ops in the Barvaria region of Germany. I bought several skeins, brought them home, (more than these!)
and will be making these hats for the boyz for Christmas! Follow this link to the free pattern
This was my first visit to East Germany and I loved it. What are your favorite sights in East Germany?
The kids are back in school, the weather is turning, and soon our leaves will be gone and our grass and our bushes and our deck and our road and our roof will be covered in snow. Winter brings its own beauty, but I will miss the green. Here’s some 2014 highlights of our Alta, Wyoming summer paradise.
I just finished a project from the 2014 Early Fall Vogue Knitting with Blue Sky Alpacas and wanted to share it along with my love for this fabulous yarn line.
I have a fondness for Blue Sky Alpacas because it was the first luxury yarn I ever purchased.
My first knitting project below took about 3 months of constant knitting and purling, and following the sage advise of my knitting mentor, “Don’t be afraid to rip it out.” I must have ripped out and started over twenty times and still the yarn was a beautiful as the day I bought it.
This is a popular pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas. I love the silky sheen of this yarn with these easy cables.
I made this darling bunny for my daughter for Easter.
I have several different Blue Sky Alpacas yarns in my stash. Sometimes I just take it out and look at it!
I also have a few skeins of Spud & Chloe Sweater. I plan to use this yarn for a striped baby sweater, or hats, or maybe cute leggings, the possibilities are endless.
I have been planning this post a couple of weeks and was tickled pink when I saw the latest post from meetthesheep.wordpress.com about their trip to Minnesota and visit to the headquarters of Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud & Chloe. I really enjoyed learning about these two yarn companies that are known for their high quality, natural fibers and stunning colors.
Do you use Blue Sky Alpacas? I’d love to hear about it!
When my family was here in July, we made several trips to Yellowstone to see the sites and enjoy the water.
On our way out of the park we stopped in West Yellowstone, Montana for some yummy mexican food
and my Honeypie discovered a LYS – Yarn & Quilt Shop, aka Send It Home
I was delighted to see that among other fab yarns, they carried one of my favorite yarn brands, The Buffalo Wool Company.
I only have two skeins of Buffalo Wool in my stash.
Here are my FO’s,
and one WIP.
Ron and Theresa Miskin (no relation, but how cool that we share the same last name!) are the owners of The Buffalo Wool Company. They are committed to helping conserve and promote the American plains bison and the ranchers that raise them and they stand behind every product 100%.
Why bison? I can personally attest to their website claim that bison is soft enough to wrap a baby in, tough enough to keep a mountain man warm in a blizzard!
Some other awesome bison down fiber facts:
-Hypo-Allergenic – No known allergies to the fiber.
-Water-wicking- Bison down has a moisture regain of about 30%, keeping you warm and comfortable even when wet.
– Easy Care- Because its not hollow or have barbs like wool, it doesnt shrink.
The Buffalo Wool Company is currently a nominee for Martha Stewart’s American Made award. Follow this link to help them win!
I come from a long line of hard-working women. Both of my grandmothers fed their families with vegetables from their gardens, milk from their cow, and chickens and eggs from their yards.
My grandmothers kept their families warm with clothes and quilts they stitched themselves.
My mother also kept a garden and put up vegetables and fruit. She sewed cute outfits for me and sisters.
This heritage is what makes me appreciate the yarns of Manos del Uruguay. The Manos Cooperatives were founded in 1968 by five women whose goal was to develop economic opportunities for women in a country where there were, and are still, few opportunities for work. As members of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Association), Manos meets the standards set by the UN Convention for the rights of the child regarding child labor.
In my first knitting year, I purchased several skeins of Manos del Uruguay’s Wool Clasica, a handspun Aran weight yarn to make each of my five Boyz hats for Christmas.
I picked up this skein of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in Ogden, Utah at The Needlepoint Joint.
Silk Blend is a delight to knit. The yarn is bouncy with an almost felted feel. The striated look of the colors are beautiful and add a pleasing depth to my textured knit design.
Here’s a great quote taken from the Manos del Uruguay website explaining the early importance of the co-op. “We all were happy to have an income derived of the products we made with our own hands, but there were also important changes…This job took the women out of their homes and made them function individually. We were learning to group, have meetings, administrate money, make decisions, organize orders, deliveries and stock, take charge of all the coop’s needs and make ourselves responsible for them. We grew up and found aptitudes we hadn’t imagined we had. It was a revolution.” – Elisabeth Sosa, artisan and former President of Manos board. I love the feeling of working with a yarn that came to me from somebody’s mama’s hands. Have you used Manos del Uruguay?
In my experience, Noro Yarns makes the answer easy.
Mr. Eisaku Noro is the artist and innovator behind the fabulous Noro Yarn line.
He was born near Yoshino-Kumano National Park and has applied his sensitivities of the natural world he enjoyed there to the selection of natural materials which make up the yarn as well as the spinning process itself, which honors the unique qualities of the wool.
The yarns are dyed using rich, vibrant colors with a depth that mirrors the natural world combined with the artistry of art, music and dance.
Noro is truly a world-class yarn as it comes from the finest natural materials in the world.
Standard wool from England
Falkland wool from the Falkland Islands
Polworth wool from Adelaide, Australia
Kid mohair from Camdeboo, South Africa
Patagonia wool from Patagonia, Argentina
Alpaca from Peru
Cotton from California, USA
Ganpi (plant fiber) from Japan
Silk from China, Brazil, Vietnam, Japan and Uzbek
Cashmere from China, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Kyrgyz
Camel from China
Angora goats from China
My favorite new yarn is Noro’s Silk Garden Solo. I was thrilled to find it at Black Sheep LYS in Encinitas, California
Do not be deceived! Solo is not a solid color. This chocolate colorway has the look of a color found only in nature, with subtle hues of rich brown and occasional flecks of dark blue. When I decided to write the pattern for my Ralph Lauren inspired Pierre’s Fringe Wrap, I knew this yarn would give the garment the drape and substance I was looking for.
Add pic of wrap
It is a true pleasure to knit with these beautiful yarns that have traveled the globe before they reach my own wayfaring fingers.
We found this down-home island market and restaurant just behind a gas station off the main road in La’ie.
The Samosas were among the best I’ve ever tasted and the Dahl, a pea-based soup, was for sure the best I’ve ever had. It was perfectly seasoned with cumin and mustard seeds and had just the right creamy consistency.
My hubby is an Indian food aficionado, so I will try to recreate at least those samosas for his birthday. Stay tuned in August (maybe September) for that attempt!
We were warned by our vacationing neighbors that the portions were large. The sign should have confirmed that for me…but, no. I insisted that I was hungry and declined Megan’s offer to split an order of French Toast. I mean, it was only $4.95. How big could it possibly be?
When our order came up, I immediately gave mine to a local.
I was determined to eat at least one humongous slice, but was stuffed after only a half. I mean those bad boys were LARGE!
In Haleiwa, we enjoyed a Tofu Pad Thai dish at the Souvaly Thai Mobile.
The atmosphere was heavenly with plenty of large, clean picnic tables under a canopy of twinkling white lights. The pad Thai did not disappoint. It was delicious with thin rice noodles and a sweet red curry.
After Meg’s surf lesson, she asked her instructor for a healthy lunch recommendation. He told us about The Beet Box Cafe right there in Haleiwa.
We split the most delicious Portobello Burger I’ve ever tasted. The surprising and yummy part of the burger was the sunflower sprouts. I had planned to recreate this recipe for today’s post, but the sunflower sprouts are taking longer than I thought.
I will be making this for my family as soon as my little sprout garden decides to produce. Roasted portobello, grilled zucchini and hand-leafed lettuce topped with garlic aioli and crunchy, nutty sunflower sprouts served on a whole grain bun sounds like the perfect summer dinner to me!
Once I resigned myself to the slow growth of my sprouts, I decided instead to make a dish I didn’t get a chance to try during our short stay…Coconut Banana Pancakes with Coconut Maple Syrup. Since my mom is gluten-intolerant and is currently visiting our home, I’ll be sharing our gluten-free version.
Coconut Banana Pancakes with Coconut Maple Syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 1/4 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Coconut flour may be lumpy, use a whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and oil.
With your whisk, stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until smooth.
Ladle approximately 1/4 cup pancake batter onto hot griddle prepared with cooking spray or oil. Flip when bubbly and edges are slightly browned. Top with sliced bananas, shredded coconut and coconut syrup.
Coconut Maple Syrup (thanks, Mother, for this recipe)
Combine coconut milk and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Cook on low until steaming.
The Boyz gave it a 5 star rating. Hope you enjoy it as well.
Last week I went back to the Rainbow State with my Meggie-pie for a mother-daughter island dream trip come true. We enjoyed the ocean, relaxing on the beach and great restaurants (not necessarily in that order). We made a cute little bungalow in La’ie our home base and explored the island from there.
After only two visits I’ve concluded that the happiest, most relaxed people on earth live on the beautiful island of O’ahu.
And of all the happy, relaxed people on O’ahu, the most relaxed were at Aloha Yarn in Kanoehe.
The owner, Nanea Kuaiwa is seated on the right. Her given name means “peace” in Hawaiian. It seems she was fated to own a knit shop.
Nanea has beautiful samples everywhere. Why didn’t I take more photos?
I’d never been to Dallas (the city), but I have great memories of Dallas (the TV show) as a teenager. JR Ewing, his family and their crazy exploits were a weekly part of my teenage years.
I flew in for a family function and had a little time to do some sightseeing, so I drove over to Trip Advisor’s #1 attraction in Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum. I wandered around for a couple of hours, enjoying the many varieties of heat and humidity loving plants.
Seeking relief from the 100 degree weather, I decided to tour the estate home of oil tycoon, Everette DeGolyer.
I loved seeing so many girls being photographed in their quinceañera dresses.
After the Arboretum, I managed a little time to visit a darling, fun LYS in North Dallas, Yarn and Stitches. A cute group of women were chatting and knitting away and they were all ready to help me when I walked in (although I’m pretty sure they didn’t all work there). I went straight for the Juniper Moon Yarn and picked Herriot, 100% Baby Alpaca, which is a light worsted weight. The owner, Hope Logan helped me find a darling pattern for some fingerless gloves. Unfortunately, this pattern was sold through Etsy and (no surprise here) I couldn’t figure out how to download it once I got to my hotel room. I did, however, find another equally cute pattern on Ravelry using the same worsted weight yarn. I love it!
I don’t know if I’ll be back in Dallas again, but if I am I hope I have a little more time to sit and knit with these fun ladies. Yarn and Stitches was everything I love in a yarn shop. Happy people chatting and knitting and LOTS of beautiful yarn. I’m sure there would have been a lot less drama at the Ewing Ranch if they had raised sheep instead of longhorns. Just imagine those Ewing women sitting around the Big House spinning and knitting and see if it doesn’t make you smile.