Fate seemed to smile upon us, because we took off on Monday 12 and landed Tuesday 13, just a mere 12 hours before the Icelandic volcano decided to blow it’s top and suspend all British air traffic.

What that meant, though, was that I was back in time for work.  And the culmination of 16hrs travel + one day recovery + 2 nine hour days back to back + one saturday of working with kids = dead.

The trip, however, was wonderful!  It was great to see my family and the scant friends I managed to squeeze into our super busy days.   I really wish I had more time for myself so I could have gotten out to see more Cali pals, but playing tour guide 24/7 didn’t leave much lone time for myself.

I did make sure to leave plenty of space in my carry on for the all important yarn, and I have to say, I pigged out.

Je vous present les laines:

Far Left:  2 contrasting colour skeins of Canopy Fingering from Fibre Orchard.  These lovelies are 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino, and 20% bamboo.  I plan to make a Selbu out of it.  AND, the best part was that it was a FREE GIFT from my in-laws, who saw me spending over 2 hours in the shop and went in after I left to ask the lady what sort of things I was looking at.  Those sneaky buggers!

Left top: 7 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.  I really wanted 8 skeins because I plan on using this lovely silk, merino and nylon wool for a delishly drapey Manu, but I’m gonna just go for it anyway and if I need an extra skein, then I’ll have to search around the interwebz for one.

Middle Left:  Malabrigo sock in Turner.  This was also a gift from the in-laws.  I had gone into the shop enquiring about a yarn for the Brandywine Shawl, a design from a local Santa Rosian.  I ended up not getting anything because I got seduced by something else, but luckily for me, the shop lady remembered my enquiry and told the Parents that Malabrigo sock was where it’s at.  At first I was appalled by the colour- chartreuse, green and purple? Really? But as I wound it, I realised how lovely the colours actually do flow together and now am in love.  Well done.

The first three listed here are from an AMAZING shop in Santa Rosa called Castaway.  And it truly is AMAZING!  You walk in, and there’s this large ship of yarn, surrounded by more yarn and more yarn and then some more yarn!

It was pure yarn heaven.  I seriously suggest that if you are ever in Santa Rosa, CA, take a wander into Railroad Square and pay this place a visit.

Back to the yarn-

Middle: More Malabrigo sock, this time from an equally awesome shop in San Francisco, Imagknit.  This place is also filled to the brim with amazing yarns and was even featured a few times on those ‘how to’ vids that are sprinkled on youtube.

Middle Right: Two more lovely skeins from Castaway. This is Alpaca Silk from Blue Sky Alpaca.  I feel madly in love with this yarn when I first touched it, and couldn’t stop stroking it every 5 minutes.  I would have loved to bought enough for a jumper, but it being on the pricey end, I got two to make a small something out of- most likely another small shawl.

Right: Two skeins of Malabrigo worsted from Imagiknit.  I couldn’t resist- Malabrigo is just so much more afforadable over in the US than in the UK, and I wanted to make something nice and summery- Thinking of perhaps a cropped sleeve Liesl from Ysolda , or any other type of cropped lacy shrug.

I also managed to finish knitting Cochella en route to the US, but have yet to weave in the ends or block it, so more of that to come.