How can you NOT leave your heart in San Francisco? Such a feast for the senses; a visually stunning city, with kind and thoughtful people, incredible architecture, great food, perfect weather. The next few posts will be devoted to photos and descriptions of my trip. I think that was simply one of the loveliest, happiest weeks of my life. There is nothing like getting to spend time with the people you love best in the world, in a city so endlessly interesting and lovely.
But first of all, I wanted to thank you all so much for the kind comments on my finishing the last KOTOTW project! It does feel kinda unbelievable. I never would have guessed that I could fit that much knitting into a period of just a little over 3 years.
And in answer to an oft-repeated question, I don't know if or where I'm going to be able to put on a local show exhibition of the finished pieces. One of my friends used to work at the Textile Center but she doesn't work there anymore, so I don't have a connection there. I know the MN Knitters Guild either uses or meets at their space, but I've never been a member (they meet Tuesdays, and I have my son that night and we're usually doing homework, etc.) I think I might join in the future when he is grown and on his own. But I don't know any of the guild members, either, so I don't know if they'd be interested in seeing the knits or helping me put on a show.
I'm going to ask Steven Berg, who owns the Yarn Garage and Steven Be, if he'd like to help me do a show sometime, and if so I'll make sure to get notice up on the blog well in advance. And I know that Nicky and I will be showing the pieces at VK Live in Chicago in the beginning of November.
A friend suggested I might like to rent a space, but that seems kind of ambitious (and expensive); I don't have access to mannequins, or display tables, etc., either. There is some gallery space in the hallway in Minneapolis between the new and old courthouses; I thought it might be interesting to display the pieces there, but not a lot of people (besides lawyers) know about that hallway, and again, I don't know where I'd get mannequins, etc. I'm going to focus on catching up on work for a bit, and helping Nathan get through the rest of his school year; I will likely have a bit more time this summer when his homework lets up, to devote some thought and effort to organizing an exhibition, and getting the auction plans together as well.
My Trip to San Francisco - The First Day
I had such an amazing time with my sister Susan and her boyfriend, Paul, during my week-long trip to San Francisco last month. It was kind of busy (I had two closings going, with one wrapping up literally just before I got on the plane to go home!), but we managed to do a consierable amount of sight-seeing, shopping and walking in and around the conference calls.
Susan and Paul live in this apartment building on Vallejo Street, just a few blocks from Coit Tower in North Beach:
That is them, looking cute and bashful. Note the extreme angle of the street. You'd think San Franciscans would eventually develop physical adaptations, like one leg longer than the other, so often are they standing at an angle! For a flat-lander Minnesotan like me, my first impression when walking around in the city is that I just fell into a scene from the movie Inception, with the streets and buildings starting to tilt at alarming angles.
Susan, Paul, and Paul's mom (known affectionately as Noni) bought the building a few years ago and have spent the intervening time earthquake retrofitting and renovating it. They just recently put on the finishing touches, including the lovely blue-grey exterior paint, and moved in (which was a huge relief; after Susan's son, Eric, went off to college, Susan sold her house in Moraga and moved most of her stuff into storage, and the two of them had been living in a pretty small apartment during the intervening years, making it hard to have company, or cook, or live a normal life; especially hard for Susan, who is an incredibly organized person and likes to have a place for everything and everything in its place. My disorganized and messy house makes her nearly faint with anxiety!)
Susan and Paul live on the top two floors; Paul's mom is in the process of moving up from Los Angeles to live on the second floor; and the bottom floor is rented out. There is also a basement level with lots of storage space and a laundry room.
I flew in on a Friday night, and we went out to dinner and planned our week; I mostly just wanted to spend time with my sis, and cook in her fabulous new kitchen, sip tea while knitting and talking about knitting and planning our long-awaited knitalongs on numerous projects, and do other sisterly things like helping her clean out her closet, and sort through her yarn stash. So we planned on staying in the city, taking long walks each morning, and seeing only a few special friends from law school days.
On Saturday, we woke up and took a walk down the hill towards the bay, to go shopping at the farmer's market outside the Ferry Building. Once you walk about another block upwards from their house, this is the view to the bay:
You can see the Bay Bridge out there in the morning haze.
Hard to convey how steep these streets are. I found out that going down is almost harder than going up; after awhile you really feel it in your thighs!
To the right, above, is the famous Transamerica Pyramid; the smaller building to the left is where I worked right after law school, where Morrison & Foerster used to be located. We called it "Tweezer Towers" due to the funny little points on top. I hated that first year of practice, and thought of it as "The Fortress of Doom," actually.
The Ferry Building is a classic San Francisco landmark; you can see the tower at the base of California Street as you look towards the bay. When my sister worked at Equity Office, she was part of the renovation project, which was a huge undertaking, but resulted in bringing a beautiful building to life again, rejuvenating an aesthetically beautiful structure and also turning it into a social hub. The building contains a long aisle of retail spaces which are filled with purveyors of exquisite foods, spices, flowers, teas and coffees, kitchenware and ceramics, baked goods, and useful objects, and there are also a number of wonderful restaurants, like the Slanted Wall. During the weekend, the outside walkways are transformed into a truly amazing farmer's market (which, considering the Northern California climate, remains bustling and well-supplied year-round), with every kind of edible growing thing you can imagine and many you've never seen before in your life.
I loved these knitted dollies. Made me feel like I should just quit lawyering and make toys for a living. Although I'd have to sell them for a pretty penny, to be sure.
Oysters on the half-shell...
An entire bakery of gluten-free pastries...
Very fancy mushrooms...
A sample of what a box might be if you join a farm cooperative and get weekly deliveries of local fruits and vegetables (I've ALWAYS wanted to do this, but since there is just me and Nathan in my household to cook for, and he has yet to meet a vegetable he likes, I think I would be a bit overwhelmed.)
As Merle Oberon said (as Cathy in Wuthering Heights, playing opposite Laurence Olivier), "Oh Heathcliff! Fill my arms with heather!")
I mean, really. So much beauty everywhere the eye falls. Words just fail me.
Especially since I come from the winterlands of Minnesota, where color almost completely disappears from the world for half of each year.
This one in particular is just mesmerizing to me. All of my favorite colors. Just astonishing.
An ivy-covered snail...
We finished shopping for a very healthy dinner (salads of kale and heirloom tomatoes, fresh-caught tuna), and went for a walk to Paul's office south of Market.
A beautiful building - the photo doesn't capture the lovely dark green of the glass.
The lobby of Paul's new law firm (Utrecht & Lenvin); I really liked these paintings:
My favorite part of dinner - a coctail of blood orange juice and Lillet:
More, much more San Francisco delights, to follow!
So, Mar... What are you knitting?
Working on catching up on a LOT of overdue baby gifts.
First of all, Kirstin was kind enough to send me some photos of Sullivan modelling his new mouse-bedecked knits. It is a good thing I knit fast - he is growing so quickly he almost grew out of them before I finished!
Here is an old-fashioned set for my friend Rob's little baby girl (from an old American School of Needlework pamphlet); I love the sunny yellow color!
And I'm making a bunch of these for recent babies of co-workers, just in time for Easter (from an old Debbie Bliss book called Nursery Knits; I modified the pattern to be smaller for newborns, and to make the ears shorter and more curly (I made the pink linings shorter, and when I sewed the ear backings on, I sewed together two rows of white for every one row of pink near the top). I also made the ties thicker by working a row of slip stitches along the row of chain stitches.