Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lovely Gift

A friend who I have not seen in awhile brought me back this lovely yarn all the way from Ireland. Isn't it gorgeous. I believe it is calling to become a scarf, I've never worked with this kind of fabulous tweed before and so am not sure what kind of pattern would show off this beauty. Any suggestions?

This yarn became the Basket Weave socks, I still have one skein left, plus a little extra and shall have to ponder what to do with it, Should my darling Niece think of anything else she should want from this, please let me know.

The basket weave socks are finally done, and my Niece's patience will be rewarded with warm feet as I am sure that winter will eventually come this year (temps still in the upper 90's so it is a little hard to imagine right now).

This lovely yarn is drawing OOOOHS and AAAAHS where ever it goes. This is my break time knitting project as it can tolerate the many interruptions that I experience so a simple knit is a must. So far this has been the most popular yarn, everyone automatically reaches out to touch it, exclaiming how pretty it is and are astounded by its softness, this will really be a joy to wear and Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns did such an outstanding job with the dye, the pattern that has emerged is lovely and really does remind me of Birch Leaves - so the cowl will have the name Birch Cowl which I think is most appropriate.

Coffee Nirvana!!!!! This is by far the best coffee I've ever had, it is rich and so full of robust flavor with no bitterness - REALLY! At work I've created my only little peaceful haven, a small coffee maker, my radio playing classical music Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven... Anyone who enters my wee little cubicle said they can't believe how peaceful it is. Oh and of course my knitting bag has a prominent place and sits on top of my in box.

You could smell the chocolate perfuming the air down the street from this chocolate shop and of course I just had to investigate the cause for these aromas. I spotted these in a large glass case full of sweet wonders, Espresso Truffles, they would make a lovely companion to my coffee - yummy!

I had taken this photo during one of my Farmers Market trips this past summer. I remember these well, their intense color - perfection - wonderfully fragrant - so full of flavor - don't they just make your mouth water?

Friday, October 17, 2008


Dare I? I still have to locate the beads(am pondering whether they are really needed), I have the right yarn and needles now (see below). I just love the look of this cowl and am such a romantic at heart that I know I would wear it, especially when on a foggy morning. (photo is from Knitty's website)

This is the lovely stuff of dreams Rowan Kidsilk Haze that I won on ebay and now it has a destiny. Hope I can do it justice. I will need to learn how to do a Provisional cast on (I don't know how to crochet, guess I'll have to learn). I needed a 16" circular needle with sharp points and I could not locate the Addi Turbo Lace in this length.

I've discovered that the right knitting needles does make a difference in your knitting experience. One of my friends Tricia innocently stopped by my desk with some of these beautiful colored wood knitting needles from Knit Picks - they were so smooth and shiny - with defined points, plus they were pretty reasonable, considering that I have been purchasing the Addi Turbo's as needed, it was time to shop smart so I bought the detachable cables which will be more reasonable as only the needle part needs to be purchased and a few circulars. I will be venturing into the world of sweater knitting soon and the multiple cable lengths will really help. I have really come to appreciate the needles that I have acquired and remember when I first started I had a bunch of old heavy metal needles which made my hands ache. So it was either give up knitting or begin to explore other materials. We learn from experience about what we like and dislike, and now I stick mostly to the Addi Turbo or wood knitting needles depending on the project to be knit and the yarn I am using.

Aren't these pretty? So my theory is, pretty needles = pretty knitting. Right?

These headbands are such a quick knit, they hide a world of flaws (such as when your hair color is growing in faster than your trips to the salon, which of course I would not know about as my hair just naturally changes color all by itself every four weeks). I love Kody May's headbands, I get so many complements on them, she has several free patterns on her blog and her hats are really cute on. These headbands are knitted on size 8 circular needles with Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes), it is reasonably priced and available at most craft stores.

The Farmer's Market has become quite small, so this was my last visit until next March. I had a difficult time finding subject matter as for the most part my berries and fruit were gone and the vegetables were definitely limited. (This might be due to the heat wave and the Santa Ana's we experienced with wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour).

The onions were quite lovely, they just have so much more pizazz than your ordinary store bought variety, they shimmered in the late afternoon light.

There weren't many fruits left, these grapes did look good though.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Neck warmer or Cowl

My current project is so simple that I thought just to cast on without reference to any patterns. So far I have cast on 130 stitches on a size 8 circular needles and a simple knit one purl one rib. The yarn was bought for sock yarn -this was the Birch yarn (merino & bamboo blend) that I had bought from Celtic Memory Yarn - but it is far too pretty and I just couldn't see it being hidden by shoes, so a cowl came to mind. I'm not sure if I have cast on enough stitches and will have to wait and see how it turns out. I really wanted to photograph this outdoors, but the Santa Ana's are howling outside and just blew down our gate, I can hear things being blown about, so this is the only photo I could get and the flash does wash out the color a bit.

This is the last month for the Farmers Market, the crowds have thinned, but the produce still looks pretty good. The tomatoes were ripe and you could tell that they had just been harvested as the stems were so fresh. There were huge dark Haas avocados right behind, but they were camera shy and their photos did not turn out.

The jalapenos had a jewel like quality and glistened, their spicy aroma filled the warm air.

The peaches sweet fragrance perfumed the air, enticing you to come and buy them. They are probably the last of the season.

The veggies were holding up surprisingly well in the heat (the Farmer's Market starts at 5pm and the temperature was about 90 degrees)

A spontaneous Friday Night - you make plans that go astray and are replaced by the something special. As we strolled down the street intending to go the movies we came across a fellow playing the guitar at an outdoor cafe. You could tell he loved what he was doing and that made us stop and we began to listen to him play Croce, the Beatles and lots of other songs from the 60's & 70's. I couldn't recommend the latte or the pastry, but the performance was worth the tasteless items that this cafe served. I didn't get a photo as it seemed I thought it would disrupt this magical moment.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Belated Post

This is the Crofter's Cowl knitted with Malabrigo's Stonechat, this photo does not due the color justice, they are quite rich in person. I still need to wash and block this cowl which leads into the next picture.
Most indulgent (or I'm telling myself maybe it isn't REALLY as it is difficult to find a safe place to block with three Standard Poodles looking for soft things to carry to their beds to chew or cuddle with ).
This set of blocking tiles was in one of Knitty's featured articles. The compact storage was a big plus and now my projects are calling for them. I've never used tiles like this before so I purchased the small kit and will see how far that will get me. This will be especially handy when I begin my sweater making adventure.

One down, one to go, these will help keep my darling Niece's feet warm this winter, they are a sportweight yarn by Nature Spun (Brown Sheep Co.) and the pattern the basket weave sock on Criminy Jicket's blog. The pattern is very clear and simple to follow and the results are anything but boring. (Hope you will like them my dearest Niece).


Newport Beach residents demand perfection, the stores there are almost beyond belief. This is a local pharmacy in an incredible strip mall - attractive buildings and landscaping (which I failed to photograph this time around) and the most beautiful pharmacy I have ever seen. I was so overwhelmed - it was beautifully composed and attention was paid to the overall look and to the tiny details that you wil see below. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a kitchen large enough to display these Roosters? The hen was especially nice and since this was just a fantasy shopping trip where one did not need to look at price tags and be practical about things, I could choose whatever I wanted and put it in my imaginery Villa along the Cote D'Azur overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

They did not leave out anything, even your sense of sense of smell was pampered with the lovely fragrances of well made candles. (There was just enough fragrance that it was pleasing - not overwhelming and the gentle ocean breeze drifted in the open door keeping the air clean and fresh)


I could visit this pharmacy many times and still find something new with each visit. I was so charmed by the flower arranging area that I failed to notice the ribbons until I posted this photo. I will have to be sure to return to this store so that I can pay proper attention to them - ribbons are such usefuly things to have around the house - one can never have too many ribbons. A plain gift wrap is so greatly enhanced by a beautiful ribbon that I believe it can turn a simple present into a cherished gift.

The accessories area is what first drew me into the store as I glimpsed them thru the window. I found the scarves especially soft to the touch, the mixture of textiles and the color combinations made them so stunning.