Sunday, June 2, 2013

SF Day 2: CalTrain and Kristen

On Friday, I got up bright and early and made my way to the CalTrain station to head south for my meetup with Kristen of Knitionary.


Kristen was among my earliest Ravelry friends.  I probably discovered her through either the Rowan group or the Kim Hargreaves group on Ravelry - we both love Rowan and Kim, and have pretty similar taste in sweater designs.  I was following her work on Ravelry and being inspired by her beautiful knits long before I started reading blogs.  But once I did start reading blogs, I followed her on Knitionary as well, where I got even more inspired by her gorgeous garden.

I love trains, and was super-excited to be able to take the CalTrain down to see her.  I know - it's a commuter train, but a train is a train!  I got to see some very pretty scenery along the way.  So many of the stations were really cute, and I loved how so many of them are convenient to the centers of the little towns they service.  I swear I'm going to ride the Metra train here in Chicago one of these days - as soon as I can figure out where I want to go!

Kristen doesn't live in Palo Alto - I just thought the station was really cute!

When I got off the train at the stop Kristen had designated, she was there waiting for me.  One of the great things about already "knowing" your blogging buddies is that you know what they look like, and you don't have to say, "I'll be wearing a coral coat" (which I totally was)!  She offered me several suggestions of things to do, but in the end I opted to wander around her little town and visit her LYS.  I love wandering around new places and just looking at things.

Along the way to the LYS, we stopped in a few cute little boutiques, a couple of shoe stores, and even a beauty supply shop - Kristen was out of her favorite color of nail polish.  She told me she'd already gone through 3 bottles of that color.  I was astounded - I don't think I've ever completely used up a bottle of nail polish!  Of course, when you have 300+ bottles to choose from, it takes a while to use them up. 

I didn't think I needed anything, but I was wrong.  I ended up getting 2 of the new OPI Liquid Sand Bond Girls polishes:

Honey Ryder and Jinx

When these first came out, I didn't think I'd get any because I'm one of those freaks that continually feels the polish on my fingers, and I like it to be smooth.  But I was intrigued by the swatches at the beauty supply store and decided to try it out.  I ended up liking them so much that later I went to another shop and got Solitaire:

Solitaire, Honey Ryder and Jinx

And here's how Honey Ryder looked on the nail:



I'm really kind of fascinated by this stuff!

OK - back to my visit with Kristen.  Sorry for the nail polish detour, although it wasn't totally off-topic!

We finally ended up at Kristen's LYS, Uncommon Threads.  She loves this place because they stock a lot of Rowan yarn, and I loved it for the very same reason!  Here we are:  two happy, yarn-loving ladies, in our element:


Kristen was wearing her gorgeous Lily sweater.  And I was wearing my dying Danskos - you can see that my feet are turning outwards here!  And also my Floral Stripe Dress, which you can't see beneath the Coral Coat.  Oddly, I ended up not buying any Rowan yarn.  But I did end up with a nice skein of sock yarn:

bright pink and a few shades of green . . . mmmmmm

After some lunch and a little more walking around, we headed over to Kristen's beautiful house, where she gave the the grand tour.  Then we got into her sweater storage and looked through lots of her hand knits, talking about different patterns and yarns.  She also showed me a bunch of the quilts she has made over the years. 

Finally, I got the garden tour I'd been hoping I would get.  If you're a reader of Kristen's blog, then you know that she is a serious gardener - her posts are often full of gorgeous pictures of whatever is currently in bloom.  Back in the day when I had a yard, I loved to garden too; I've always loved flowers, plants and trees.  So it was a real treat to get to actually be in the beautiful garden I've been seeing all these years on her blog.  I was so entranced I didn't take a single picture, but there are plenty over on her blog for you to peruse!

By that time it was late afternoon, and time for Kristen to pick up her granddaughter and for me to head back to SF.  I had such a great time with Kristen:  she's just as warm, friendly and generous as you'd imagine from reading her blog.  

And it ended up being a good thing that I had a low-key, relaxing day with her, because as soon as I got back to the city, I ended up going out for the rest of the evening with Hubby and a group of friends to Cafe Claude again!

12 comments:

  1. Lovely trip! And I'll remind you that the Metra does come out to Berwyn . . .

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    1. But it's so much faster to drive there!!

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  2. Ah so much fun! That state just has too much to offer. I'm with you on the nail polish, it would really bug me, but it didn't bother you so I'm really curious. Do you think it would play well with a clear overcoat though? I've heard a lot about Uncommon Threads, lucky girl!

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    1. Scrangie* did a very complete review of these polishes, with and without topcoat. The topcoat makes it shiny, of course - so you can get 2 looks out of one polish!

      * http://www.scrangie.com/2013/04/opi-bond-girls-liquid-sand-collection.html

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  3. Hey, Uncommon Threads is one of my LYS, too! Funny to think I might have run into you there ("don't you live in Chicago?")

    The PA station is very Art Deco. If you'd traveled farther south you could have seen the Santa Clara station, a historic landmark (I think, anyway) built in 1860-something.

    -- stashdragon

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    1. Hehehe - that would have been funny!

      There was a part of me that wanted to spend a day just getting off at a bunch of stops to explore, but there just wasn't time. Next time in SF I might do that though!

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  4. Gail, We did have fun that day, didn't we, and I enjoyed meeting your sweet and warm self in person! I'm am so flattered you came down to spend the day with me and we could finally meet in person after being friends for so long. I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip. We are in Mendocino right now enjoying some chilly weather but have been to a lot of wineries. Something else for you to do next time you come to California!

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    1. It was so great to spend the day with you! Mendocino sounds great! I've heard it's lovely - but I'm so afraid of the bridge! I should see if there are any ferries that carry cars. Or just go the long way around!

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  5. She looks like so much fun! What great places you hit up. The polish colors are great.

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    1. She is fun! And I forgot to mention that we also came across a shop selling gorgeous silk fabrics from Thailand and China! I'm kind of kicking myself for not picking something up, but again, I was overwhelmed!

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  6. How fun! I love the CalTrain-- it's so fun! I used to love taking the South Shore into the city when I was a little kid. There's just something so fun about trains.

    I've said this before, but I'll say it again-- I LOVE that coral coat! It's amazing!

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    1. Thanks, Sonja! I wore it every day but one in SF, so that makes it my most worn (sewn) item ever! Well, except for the PJs I made years and years ago!

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