Knitting Discovery! On the last day of my gadding about while DH was attending to business in El Segundo, I found a fabulous knit shop that I will visit whenever we come to LA: Beach Knitting. The first part of the welcome was off-street parking!!
I had the good luck of arriving very early (the ocean breezes in Manhattan Beach were soul healing) and getting to talk to the owner, Joan, candidly and at length. What a delightful, thoughtful woman. We discussed local and national politics, entrepreneurship, the contrast of being a lawyer vs. running a yarn shop, and the joys of grown (and almost grown) children.
I wove in multitudinous ends on the Log Cabin project, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I almost succumbed to the lucious skeins of Schaeffer "Laura" that Joan promoted... but I have SO many WIP's I couldn't justify it. Instead, I replaced my missing knitting bag "stuff." New knitting gauge, cable needles, stitch markers, Chibi (transparent this time!), and stitch counter. I skill wonder whether the old one won't return. I'll be sure to put a business card in my new little bag!
Oh, and Joan had Knitting Around (by Elizabeth Zimmermann) in stock... so I got that, as well as the Little Book of Hats... which Joan promised has THE BEST EVER Kitchener stitch instructions.
She insisted she wasn't an experienced knitter, but she definitely knew the value of good grafting!
As the morning wore on, several "regular" knitters showed up at the table. Lively conversation ensued with a marriage and family therapist, a furtive woman with "issues", an attorney, and a helicopter mom who has someone else do all her finish work: i.e. sewing pieces together, button bands, edging.
The "on-duty" expert knitter was a delightful woman named Nelly Nussbaum. Although she wasn't old enough to be my mom or grandmother, she is exactly the sort of person I wish I had as an Aunt and mentor. I was given to understand she was originally Argentina- and she had a charming accent and way with words that reflected that. We talked about Zimmerman's books, Kaffe Fasset and other colorists, and many other life issues.
The hours at that table were therapeutic for me. Oddly, with those new acquaintances, I got to be more myself, more relaxed and freer than I've been for a long time. They didn't seem to want anything from me, and I didn't feel compelled to do anything for them. How refreshing.
There was discussion of another knit shop a bit further south: L'Atelier.
The shop was FULL of novelty yarns and project kits. I got the impression that it served a different clientele. Nor was I invited to join in any conversations, or was there any talk beyond "may I heolp you?" If I were more suspicious, it would have been easy to believe that they would just as soon I left.
DH and I ended up on a trek late in the day despite our intention to avoid heavy traffic on freeways. We had seen banners advertising Noah's Ark at "The Skirball." We had no idea that it would be 4 towns north, nor that the Exhibit wasn't yet open. Fortunately, the calendars and postcards were in the gift shop (almost as good as seeing the real objects), and the docents were wonderful.
I understand the Museum of Tolerance is terrific, but The Skirball had similar value (and certainly wasn't the least bit crowded!). I was touched by their Vision and Values exhibit-- especially the sections that concerned The Holocaust. Six individual portraits with brief biographies had been selected to represent the six million killed. Very powerful.
We were grateful to find an Islands restaurant in Marina del Rey that had ample parking--- all that traffic and thinking made us hungry.