Tag Archives: OystersandPurls

Weekend Vibes

 This weekend wasn’t full to the brim, but it was nice.  I like them like that more and more these days!

I’ve been in Thomasville all week for work and Wheat was in Atlanta Thursday night for a meeting, so Friday night we laid low and cooked a steak from Jones’ Meats at home.  I wound up my yarn and cast on my Slope tank top by Shibui Knits (I know, I’m wild and crazy!).  I have been saving a gift certificate from Christmas, a little Valentine’s Day treat $ from my parents, and some Thomasville Downtown Dollars for a while now, and I thought I would knit the James Sweater as my first garment for myself.  But then I started thinking about how I want something to wear this summer, and I’ve been eyeing the Slope tank for a while now… so here I go.  I’m learning short rows and some garment shaping with it, but otherwise it should be a fairly mindless and pretty quick knit.  Shibui Twig is indeed a bit twig-like to knit with, but I can already tell it’s going to drape beautifully and the linen will get softer and softer over time.  I cannot wait to wear it already!

 Shibui Knits Slope Tank | oysters and pearls

Saturday I worked at Maiden South, and it was a quiet, beautiful day on the Square with lots of people in town for Swamp Gravy.

Scenes from Maiden South | oysters and pearls

I managed to sneak in a couple repeats of the antler cable in this Tin Can Knits Antler Hat, which is starting to really look pretty!  I love the variation in the yarn, and since it’s 100% undyed alpaca, it is insanely soft.  Going to be so warm and squishy and cozy!

Tin Can Knits Antler Hat in Cascade EcoDuo Alpaca Yarn | oysters and pearls

Saturday morning I also perused the latest Anthropologie catalog, and I fell in love with this dress… specifically the knit overlay.  But with a $168 price tag, it ain’t gonna happen.  But I can totally knit that to wear over my own maxi dresses, right? PS I’m also kind of obsessed with her hair.

 And thus began a new obsession: to find a pattern to mimic that overlay to wear over maxi dresses all summer. Any suggestions?

Anthropologie Dress | oysters and pearls
Anthropologie Style | oysters and pearls

Meanwhile, in Babyland, we passed the 30-week mark last week with baby K!  I’m starting to get a bit uncomfortable, but most of that has to do with this baby’s head being stuck under my ribs most of the time – ha.

Despite that, I still feel really great and I’m fortunate to have been able to stay really active, which I know has helped. With an expected arrival the first week of May, we’ve got about 9 weeks remaining. Not that anyone around here is counting.

30 Week Bumpdate | oysters and pearls
30 Weeks 1 Day Bumpdate | oysters and pearls

And last but not least, I had finished these little Moss the Sheep for a mobile back in November, but as a finishing touch in the nursery, Wheat helped me hang it up finally on Sunday after we did a bit of yard and house work.  I LOVE it SO much.  It turned out just as I had hoped and imagined, thanks to a bit of help from my sweet friend Cadence at Fuzzy Goat in the form of some leftovers of that gorgeous Shibui Knits Silk Cloud yarn she shared with me.  She gave me enough that I could wrap an old grape vine basket form (leftover from a Georgia Basketweaving Convention a couple of years ago) in it as well as use it to hang the entire mobile and all the sheep.  I ADORE it!  And of course, my favorite part is the lone little black sheep, who ended up turning out a wee bit husky.  A little reminder for baby that it’s okay to be different. :)

PS I promise a sneak peek at the entire nursery soon… Pinky promise!  Until then, consider this another sneak peek. ;)

Moss the Sheep as a Baby Mobile | oysters and pearls

And to start your week off right… sharing a bit from my devotional this morning.

Savor Devotional by Shauna Niequist | oysters and pearls

Happy Monday, friends!  We have lots of my college girlfriends coming into town this weekend to throw us a baby shower, and I couldn’t be more excited for some girl time with them!  I’m such a lucky, lucky gal, and baby K is going to be so lucky to have them in his or her life, as well.

Then on Sunday it’s Elah’s FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!!  I absolutely cannot believe she is one year old.  I love that little girl so much, and every time I get to see her she is more and more fun. Time flies, folks!

Tonight is Knit Night at the shop, so come knit with me from six to eight at One.Two.Three!

It’s going to be a busy, fun week full of creative endeavors, work, family, friends, and celebrations and I have a heart that is so full!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

What I’m Knitting Now: Tin Can Knits Flax Sweater

Well technically I’m not knitting the Tin Can Knits Flax anymore… because I’m finished!

I was going to give myself a year… A YEAR (!) to finish this Flax sweater in Sweet Georgia super wash worsted (color is English Ivy).  Yarn was purchased from – where else? – Fuzzy Goat in Thomasville.  I chose the 1 to 2 years size in the Flax because I figured 1) that would give me plenty of time to knit it and 2) it would give baby K plenty of growing room.

I cast on the first full day of our #bacation in the mountains a few weeks ago.  I figured it would be a great sweater to teach myself how to knit a sweater, since the Tin Can Knits Simple Collection comes along with lots of blog posts on how-to’s on all the steps of the sweater, and there are TONS of projects already out there to take a look at on Ravelry.  I was correct in that having all these resources made it MUCH easier to knit my first little sweater!

Cast on Tin Can Knits Flax Sweater for Baby Kirbo FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

I casually knitted a bit each morning and each night, along with some solid car knitting, and once the shoulders were complete (it’s a top down in the round pattern), it was just steady stockinette stitching, and it went SO quickly!

Tin Can Knits Flax Sweater for Baby Kirbo - Progress | oysters and pearls

I learned a bit of garment construction with this little sweater, and the basics of a top down sweater, and it turned out so cute I can barely stand it!

Tin Can Knits Flax Sweater in Sweet Georgia English Ivy, and Maisie Daze Fleecery Alpaca Yarn from Cairo, Georgia - Vacation Knitting | oysters and pearls

I seriously keep picking it up going, “I TURNED YARN INTO THISSSSS!!!!!”  I feel like a knitting super hero.  If sweater knitting is always this satisfying, consider me a sweater knitting soon-to-be addict.  It may or may not help that it’s so little and adorable.  I cannot believe in a few short weeks (12, give or take!) there will be a real live bebe living in my house and able to wear this sweater.  Well, not immediately, but you get the gist.

Now I’m wrapping up some more little projects – a Rivoletto cowl with Maisie Daze Fleecery alpaca yarn from Cairo, Georgia (available at Fuzzy Goat!), some tiny pants for baby K (aka precious adorable knit diaper covers), and another little side project I just blocked, and then I’ve decided I’m going to start working on a sweater for myself!  It will be my summer project and hopefully I’ll finish it up in time for next Fall.  It took me ages to figure out which one I wanted to knit for myself, and I thought about knitting a Flax for my own self, but decided that would be boring.  Plus it looks a bit frumpy on the mom in the pictures on Ravelry.  Then I was leaning toward the Lila, thanks to this My First Sweater post over on Fringe Association, which is another top-down sweater with worsted weight yarn.  The perk of this one is that I’d get to learn short rows – I always try to learn at least one new thing with each new project – so that was cool.

my_first_sweater_marlee_grace_wip

However, I always stress about knitting something too warm and then not being able to every really wear it here… so although I still really, really love the Lila, and I hope to knit it for myself later on down the road, I decided to pass when I ran across this post from @thecraftsessions on Instagram.

James Sweater by @thecraftsessions on Instagram | oysters and pearls

Now I am SO excited to knit this James sweater up.  It’s sport weight, so it should drape beautifully and be a bit cooler for our warmer winters down here (or be perfect for layering when it’s colder than cool).  Doesn’t the picture just make you want to knit the James?  And go to the beach?

James by Amy Miller | oysters and pearls

So that’s what’s next up in my queue.  I can barely wait to pick out the yarn!  I have a feeling with bebe K well on the way, this one might actually take me a year.  What are you knitting?

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Asheville Babymoon (Bacation?) Recap

I thought I’d share some pictures from our Asheville trip, which my phone autocorrected from “vacation” to “bacation” in a text that week, which I thought was an appropriate alternative to babymoon. ;)

We left Saturday after the Allee’s French Brittany field trials got to the house fairly late Saturday night.  We slept like rocks and woke up to SNOW!

Saluda, North Carolina Snow | oysters and pearls

It was just a dusting, but gosh it was pretty!  We were also in shock as to our view from the house!  Simply breath taking.

View from Saluda Mountain House, North Carolina FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

View from Saluda Mountain House, North Carolina FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

How unbelievable is that view?  We stayed in Saluda, North Carolina, and you can stay in this very house, too!  We used HomeAway.com (we aren’t being paid to say this or stay there, just thought I’d share for those interested) and this is the house listing.  It was too much house for just the two of us, but gosh it was nice!  Next time we’ll invite friends and family… or have more family ourselves! ;)

It turned out to be bitterly cold, so we didn’t get to do any hiking.  However, each day we chose a new city or town to explore.  After a leisurely breakfast at home, some reading and knitting and relaxing, we’d get dressed and head wherever we were feeling that day. Sunday we explored Hendersonville, and I forgot to take any pictures.  However, it was a REALLY cute little town and we really liked it!  We had lunch at a really great Italian restaurant called Mezzaluna.  I had pasta carbonara with homemade noodles that was delicious, and Wheat had their wood-fired pizza and it was really good too.  We hit quite a few antique stores, some local craft and art stores, and then the Bi-Lo to shop for groceries for the week.  We made spaghetti at home that night and it was really nice to cook and relax.

Monday we headed into Asheville and explored the Biltmore first.  It was AMAZING!

The Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

I still can’t believe the enormous wealth that went into building a HOME like that… and that a Bachelor in his early thirties built it for himself!  It just really floored both of us and we both really, really enjoyed it.  Also, my antique wrought iron bed, which my dad had to put plywood over the bottom to support a mattress because it has pegs for ropes on it, was most definitely one of the beds on display in the servants’ quarters.  I thought that was hilarious and pretty awesome.

After the Biltmore, we went into Asheville for lunch.  We had lunch at Early Girl in downtown Asheville, and it was THE BOMB.  Super Southern lunch – we both got chicken fried chicken with gravy, and I got collards and macaroni and cheese with mine.  It was so good I wiped everything off my plate with my amaze-balls biscuit.  After lunch we explored the frigid and hilly streets of Asheville, did more antique shopping and bought a couple small things, which included checking out the yarn shop downtown next door to Early Girl – Purl’s Yarn Emporium.  I have to say, the guy working there was EXTREMELY rude, stayed on the phone most of the time I was in the shop, never spoke to me once, and I was generally unimpressed.  Fuzzy Goat, you have spoiled me!

Then we visited The Imperial for happy hour (thanks for the recommendation, Ashley!).  I got a fancy mocktail while Wheat had a couple beers, and it was so good I almost forgot it wasn’t booze.  Almost.

Mocktail at The Imperial, Asheville, North Carolina FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

For dinner we followed our wonderful bartender’s recommendation and walked over to Limones for fancy Mexican.  Sounds random, but it was SO GOOD.  I had goat cheese quesadillas and a warm radicchio salad with apples and gorgonzola that was amazing (both appetizers) and Wheat had a short rib burrito that was probably bigger than our baby will be when born.  It was all SO good.

Chevre Quesadillas at Limones, Asheville, North Carolina FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

Tuesday we went over to Black Mountain, mainly for a little yarn tourism, as an Instagram friend (thanks @ninja.chickens!) recommended I make time to visit the Black Mountain Yarn Shop.  I wasn’t disappointed!  They were SO friendly and nice, and the shop was clean, uncluttered, and had some beautiful yarns and gorgeous samples knitted up.  I highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area!

Black Mountain Yarn Shop in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

We had some really great coffee at the Dripolator Coffeehouse, hung out at the Black Mountain Yarn Shop (I got some lovely souvenirs here, including two shawl pins for my newly finished Ceridwen Shawl!), visited an adorable pet store and picked up some homemade treats for Harold and Juin, and did more antique shopping (including one of my favorite finds of the trip – a tiny roll-top desk for baby Kirbo one day!)

We had an AWESOME lunch at FRESH and some of the best pizza I’ve maybe ever had.  The Chèvre pizza and the bruschetta were so good – I can’t recommend them enough!

FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls Bruschetta at FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls Chevre Pizza at FRESH Wood Fired Pizza in Black Mountain, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

After a bit more exploring, we headed back home and had a nice steak dinner and more relaxation (aka reading and knitting).  We joked that basically we were practicing retirement for a week.  And we liked it a lot.

Wednesday, which, unbeknownst to us, was to be our last day, we went on an adventure to find a potter Wheat’s aunt told us about.  We headed to Tryon, did a little exploring downtown, which was really cute.  Then we followed my GPS to Tyson Graham’s pottery studio… which turned out to be pretty far out in the middle of nowhere!  Wheat, per usual, was a wee bit skeptical of yet another of my seemingly nuts missions to find somebody cool… but it turned out great.  We finally made it to this quaint little shed with a faded sign.

Tyson Graham Pottery, Tryon, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

Tyson is related to some family friends of ours, too, which was pretty cool – his dad grew up in Cairo, Georgia!  Tyson grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and one of his bandmates’ parents were potters here in Tryon.  After playing at a few of their gallery openings and such, Tyson became interested in the pottery itself.  After taking some classes, he found he had a real talent and ended up eventually moving to Tryon and taking over their studio.  We did some serious shopping while we talked with Tyson and got a run-down on his methods and style.  He turns everything on a wheel and fires it in a kiln in the back of the studio.  He has some stoneware and some red clay pottery, and uses a lot of natural motifs in his designs.  We just loved his work!

Tyson Graham Pottery, Tryon, North Carolina | oysters and pearls Tyson Graham Pottery, Tryon, North Carolina | oysters and pearls Tyson Graham Pottery, Tryon, North Carolina | oysters and pearls Tyson Graham Pottery, Kiln, in Tryon, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

Wheat even admitted it was a pretty great adventure. :)  Then we headed into nearby Landrum, South Carolina and did some antique shopping.  We ended up LOVING Landrum!  The antique stores were amazing, and we had lunch at a great pub Tyson recommended, the Hare and the Hound.  Lots of architectural salvage places here and in Tryon, which we really enjoyed.  We plan to maybe build a house one day, and now we plan on making a trip back up with a uHaul when the time comes to build!

It started snowing while we were in Landrum, and got heavier as we ventured back through Tryon.  We headed back home and ate leftover pizza from FRESH for dinner, and THOUGHT we would get to go play in the snow, but the snow stopped. :(  Didn’t stop me from wearing my newly knit hat with fur pom pom though!  I guess this counts as baby Kirbo’s first snow? ;)

Natalie (and baby Kirbo!) in Saluda, NC Snow | oysters and pearls

We did explore Saluda a bit after Tryon and Landrum on Wednesday.  It’s a teensy tiny little town, but it’s adorable!  It’s got a great coffee shop, too, called The Steamy Mug.  We had lots of afternoon coffee shop stops during the week since it was so cold!  I’m currently addicted to chai lattes, in case you’re interested in my order. ;)

Coffee Shop in Saluda, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

I had also investigated yarn shops in the area ahead of our trip, and read that there was a yarn shop in Saluda, but we didn’t see it downtown.  I plugged it into my GPS app and we ventured further and further out of town and further and further up the mountain.  Turns out, Kniticality is up a mountain… with a huge knitting porch and one heck of a view! The sweet lady who owned the shop was kind and the shop had a huge selection of yarns, including quite a few local yarns.  I ended up purchasing some Goat yarn that is a fundraiser for a baatany project in North Carolina – could it have been any more perfect for me? You can even buy an already-knitted hat to support the project, in addition to purchasing the yarn from the goats, adopting a goat, adopting a Great Pyrenees guard dog, or volunteering with the project.  Directly from the website (baatany.org):

Baatany Project’s Botany Project

The past seven years of the Baatany Project has first and foremost been an attempt to restore Grassy Bald and Alder Bald on Roan’s western balds using goats as an experimental management tool. The first scientific publication from this project, with Jamey Donaldson as lead author has been published in the Southeastern Naturalist. The full article is available for download here.

Please see our SCIENCE page for full citation listing.

The mohair collected from our goats is spun into yarn by Green Mountain Spinnery. Unlike most commercial mills, they use no chemicals to bleach, moth-proof or shrink-proof their yarns, making for a very clean, “green” fiber. The yarn’s make-up is is 60% Roan Mountain Goat mohair and 40% fine wool. Natural color, no dyes added.

What a neat way to make a donation to the Goats on the Roan project AND get something nice for yourself (or someone else!)

Kniticality, Local Yarn Shop in Saluda, North Carolina | oysters and pearls View from Kniticality, Local Yarn Shop in Saluda, North Carolina | oysters and pearls

I got two skeins of the yarn, but have yet to decide what I’m going to knit with it!  Anyway, if you’re in the area, Kniticality is a wonderful yarn shop that is definitely worth getting off the beaten path for.  I love that the yarn I found there is a local treat that combines my love for goats and science (I was a wildlife ecology and conservation major in undergrad!).  It was the perfect yarn souvenir!

We had plans to head back into Asheville on Thursday – I was going to go to a yoga class at Asheville Yoga Center and we were going to meet a friend of Wheat’s from college for a drink… but Winter Storm Jonas had different plans for us.  We didn’t want to get stuck on the mountain in case anything happened with baby Kirbo… so we packed up Thursday morning and headed on home.  We were a bit bummed to head home so soon, but we were also really happy to get back home to our critters.  We continued our vacation at Camp Bristol (aka my parents’ house) for the weekend and arrived to this adorable welcome party!

French Brittany, French Brittany, and a Boykin Spaniel - At Attention  | oysters and pearls

Can’t think of a better way to end our bacation. :)

Thank you to everyone for your recommendations for our trip!  I reviewed each and every one and we tried to go to as many places as we could squeeze in!  I think we just need to go back again and do some more exploring – maybe when there is less chance of snow.

And for those of you looking to go to the Asheville area, we can’t recommend the house we stayed in enough – it would be perfect for a big group or a couple of families looking to go on vacation… or ya know, just a couple of babymooners. ;)

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls