Felicia's Notebook

Blogging from the beach.

This is all kinds of wonderful. I’m presently tucked into a little hostel by the beach in San Diego for a few days before TNNA, full up on super delicious fish tacos and enjoying more sunshine than I have seen in months. On Monday morning, I woke up at 4:30 am to make my early morning flight from Vancouver to LAX. The flight was short and sweet and the trek to get the rental car was easy. Mari and Rob (who came to visit Vancouver a few months ago and have amazing photos of Tofino) were so generous to host me for my first night in Los Angeles, but finding my way to Mari’s house was not so easy. I even rented a GPS but didn’t know how to use it… I kept going around in circles and the GPS kept saying I was “one minute from destination blah blah blah”. Anyhow, I finally met up with Mari and had the immense pleasure of sleeping under a quilt that she made herself!

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It’s breathtaking. She says it was easy to make… pshaw.

She was such a lovely host, showing me around town, and we crisscrossed Santa Monica in search of new yarn stores. One of the first stops was not quite a yarn store, but SO awesome. The Urban Craft Center is like a larger version of what I’d like to see my own studio become… it’s a communal craft center where people come to participate in a whole slew of crafts including everything from candle making to wet felting to scrapbooking to soap making. They have three Lendrum wheels on-hand for you to use and at least ten sewing machines. There are crock pots and drum carders and pasta rollers (for polymer clay?). Oh my. If I lived in Santa Monica, THIS is where I would spend all my spare time.

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They even have wool combs for you to borrow. I like that.

We also managed to slip into Wild Fiber and buy a tiny bit of yarn. This is the first time in such a long time that I’ve bought yarn for myself… personal stash yarn. It was such a welcome change of perspective and I left the store with a few skeins of Mirasol Tupa, a Peruvian silk-wool blend, some Trekking sock yarn, and a skein of Wollmeise sock yarn. Typically, the yarns I like tend to be expensive because they have some fabby combination of silk in them… or they are dyed amazingly… but one yarn I was seriously moved by was the Tanglewood handspun. Those skeins of handspun yarn often had cashmere, yak or angora in the blends. They were hand-dyed and then spun into big skeins with prices ranging from $60 to 150 a skein. For the amount of time, effort, and artistry put into those yarns, Tanglewood deserves every single penny.

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I know this is a crappy photo of the Getty building itself… but this is proof that we have cloudless bluebird skies.

This morning, after eggs for breakfast (yay!), we visited the Getty, a gorgeous building with equally impressive landscaping, followed by a trip to a new yarn store, Compatto, in Santa Monica. It was a crafty celebrity sighting as one of the girls who worked at the store instantly recognized Mari because of a pattern she had just published on Purl Bee _this morning!_

We drove to Manhattan Beach and stopped at another new yarn store, Twist Yarns of Intrigue. Compared to the large, spacious 2000 sq ft at Wild Fiber, Twist was tiny. _Maybe_ 400 or 500 sq ft? But it was filled from floor to ceiling with some of the most lovely and thoughtful yarns I’ve seen. The owner, Cathy, has plenty of Habu yarns stocked as well as Handmaiden, Dream in Color, Malabrigo, Be Sweet, and more. She herself was a graduate of a textile program where she learned to weave, but unfortunately, there is no space for her large Macomber loom in the store. But she does fabric dyeing on site at the shop and also yarn dyeing off site. Her colour sense seems very sensitive and sophisticated. And she seems so at peace with her passion for yarn. It struck me how much the personality of the yarn store owner affects the mood and atmosphere of the entire store. Each of these yarn store owners was vibrant and strong and passionate in their own way, and the shops they created expressed their very personality. Stepping into a yarn store is like stepping into someone’s personal closet, full of there most favourite colours and textures. It’s so revealing.

To end the day, we made our way to the Purl Soho warehouse in Orange County where Mari works and I had the opportunity to meet Jen, the co-owner of Purl Soho. The warehouse is divine. About two-thirds of the warehouse is stocked with shelves and shelves of knitting yarn… everything from Alchemy to Koigu to Manos… all the yummy stuff. And then the other third is filled with beautiful, contemporary quilting fabrics. I was so tempted to get Joelle’s quilting book, but I barely have time to knit for myself let alone start quilting. Instead, I found a few skeins of yarn that called out to me, including some Shibui Kid Merino and Koigu Mori (mulberry silk and merino sock yarn).

It is all kinds of wonderful that it was possible for me to meet up with Mari. Knitters are different than other people, and knit bloggers are even more rare. It’s a blessing to be able to share so much in common with friends from so far away. We should all be so lucky.

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About Felicia Lo

founder + creative director of SweetGeorgia // designer + dreamer // wife + mama // dyer, knitter, spinner, weaver, youtuber + author // been writing this blog about colour and craft since 2004 // see what I am making @lomeetsloom and @sweetgeorgia.

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18 thoughts on “Blogging from the beach.

  1. Nadia Lewis says:

    Get Joelle’s book. I don’t quilt either but that book is made of magic. Seriously.

    And should you actually want to dabble in the dark arts of quilting, there look to be some fairly quick projects in there — “quick” meaning “elegantly minimalist” not “boring and simplistic”.

  2. Nadia Lewis says:

    Get Joelle’s book. I don’t quilt either but that book is made of magic. Seriously.

    And should you actually want to dabble in the dark arts of quilting, there look to be some fairly quick projects in there — “quick” meaning “elegantly minimalist” not “boring and simplistic”.

  3. Gale says:

    You will so enjoy the Shibui kid/merino. I am currently working with it and cannot put it down.

  4. Gale says:

    You will so enjoy the Shibui kid/merino. I am currently working with it and cannot put it down.

  5. mari says:

    yay! i’m glad you had such a nice time with us! I had such a wonderful time yarn shopping with you – it’s amazing to shop with someone so knowledgeable. Have a great time in San diego!

  6. mari says:

    yay! i’m glad you had such a nice time with us! I had such a wonderful time yarn shopping with you – it’s amazing to shop with someone so knowledgeable. Have a great time in San diego!

  7. blossom says:

    wow, sounds like so much fun! especially with beautiful southern cal. weather.

  8. blossom says:

    wow, sounds like so much fun! especially with beautiful southern cal. weather.

  9. Brianna says:

    This is beautiful. The quilt is amazing! I love your blog…

  10. Brianna says:

    This is beautiful. The quilt is amazing! I love your blog…

  11. MJ says:

    Oh, quilting is so much fun. You have to try it once, at least.

    If you’re still around Monday and not frazzled with meeting more new people, let me know. There’s a French bakery down at the Hermosa Beach strand that makes a decent but oversized croissant aux amandes.

  12. MJ says:

    Oh, quilting is so much fun. You have to try it once, at least.

    If you’re still around Monday and not frazzled with meeting more new people, let me know. There’s a French bakery down at the Hermosa Beach strand that makes a decent but oversized croissant aux amandes.

  13. Stephanie says:

    It sounds like a fabulous time! And I can’t wait to see what all that yummy yarn becomes.

  14. Stephanie says:

    It sounds like a fabulous time! And I can’t wait to see what all that yummy yarn becomes.

  15. martha in california says:

    Wow, you’re in San Diego. Welcome! There is no better time to be here than now. The weather is agreeable, especially near the beach. I hope you enjoy your stay.

  16. martha in california says:

    Wow, you’re in San Diego. Welcome! There is no better time to be here than now. The weather is agreeable, especially near the beach. I hope you enjoy your stay.

  17. Annie says:

    It was so great to meet you, and I’m blown away with the beauty of your photos in your blog – just lovely!

  18. Annie says:

    It was so great to meet you, and I’m blown away with the beauty of your photos in your blog – just lovely!

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