Sunday, November 30, 2008

Red and Green

Capturing a moment of green in this garden (Getty Villa) with its different shades, shapes and textures was most pleasing to my eye.

Some plants are so sculptural, I looked at these flowers from different angles, I spend some time admiring it, It made me appreciate my gift of sight, even the camera could not quite capture the way it displayed so beautifully against the green leaves in the background.

I went back into my Farmer's Market photos from last summer and this one had not made it into my blog until now, I like the way the tomatoes spill forward in this photo. I remember the tomatoes were so fragrant in the heat of the summer evenings. Each stall at the market had its own aromas, strawberries and fresh fruit in some of the booths, flowers in another, you strolled a little further and the aromas of food being barbecued outdoors, ribs, chicken, another few more steps and the smell Kettle popcorn would waft across your path. Delicious memories.
Well this is my first attempt at designing and my second attempt at grafting, still haven't quite got it perfect as you can see by the line down the middle, any suggestions? (Shot with the new camera - I think this camera shoots in cooler tones).

The cowl looks pretty good on and you really can't see the graft line. I need to try to knit this again and try write down a pattern, (I really need to pay more attention while pattern writing, I had written down a few lines, then realized that I had altered it, but forgot where, oh dear, hope I get better at it)The yarn is Berrocco's pure Merino and knitted on a size 9 circular needle. (This photo was taken with my old camera, which I think has warmer tones to it)

I need a little more practice with this camera, it does take better photos of the actual knitting, but I need to somehow add more warmth to the pictures. Maybe taking into account the background. The winter light isn't helping much either (I took this photo outside). The cowl pattern was free on PopKnits blog so here is the link. I knitted it with Malabrigo's worsted weight yarn, I love soft yarns, tender wools that do not torment you with being scratchy or hard. I hadn't realized until I took the photos of my cowls that they were Red and Green, hence the inspiration for the color theme of this post.


This is another photo I took at the Getty Villa. Perhaps now I have an inkling as to why Monet was so inspired by the Water Lilies, the serenity one experiences when quietly contemplating, watching the reflections of light playing off the water. It brought about a quiet peace within me.
This looked like the last of the roses in the garden, it had a gentle fragrance which contrasted so beautifully with the brightness of its color, this place is a wonder, the sunlight plays softly off the petals of these roses. The light at the Getty Villa is special, the designers took advantage of this and designed everything from the flowers in the garden, to the placement of the statues, the incredible paintings, all show an understanding of how the sun reflects off them, creating magical moments that will live in your memory.

These are gorgeous, soft and yummy yarns that I bought from Celtic Memory Yarns. They are as light as air, I've never knitted with this type of yarn before, she described it as a lightweight Mousse yarn. I will have to do a little research and see what it will be best for it. The brown is destined for a friend, but the other shall be MINE. This is the first photo that I've taken with my new camera, I'm still trying to figure out all the settings.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

My favorite dog of all time is my wonderful Black Standard Poodle - Wooster. He is so intelligent, thoughtful and lots of fun. He has two companions, his younger brother Watson (looks very much like Wooster as they have the same mom and dad), and his best companion Hastings a VERY LARGE White Standard Poodle. Unfortunately the other two will not hold still for a photo, I tried so many times, but they were either blurry or the photo turned out to be a foot, tail, or other parts, but some day I will get a photo of them.

This is the Hide Your Roots headband (you can see a much better photo on Kodymay's blog). I like the alternating colors as it adds interest. I'm trying to figure out a better way to show off the headbands, maybe a Styrofoam head? I'll have to shop around and see what I can come up with.

This is a favorite cable pattern of mine, its so quick and simple to knit, the scarf is destined for a coworkers father who is a fabulous man who helps all of his (9) children in anyway he can. He picks up his grandchildren every morning and drives them to school and picks them up every afternoon. Mind you this grandfather lives in a different city and has to commute to do this. What a loving person and even though I've never met him, he touches my heart, so I wanted to do a little something for him and thought this scarf perfect for him.

Well I am about to celebrate 50 years on this earth and to mark this occasion I bought a camera which I hope will allow me to take better photos of my knitting. I can't complain about being alive for 50 years and thank goodness I was blessed with good genes, no plastic surgery for me I will just age gracefully, I know that some day the wrinkles will come, but I'm in no hurry and hope they take their time. With age comes experience and also I believe more appreciation for the beauty of life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Orange County on Fire

Orange county has a couple of wild fires a few miles from me, one in the hills of my city and the other a few miles further to the north, they may end up merging. I was driving back from Los Angeles thru choking smoke to return to ashes floating thru the air and the sun an odd hazy red.
The skies overhead were dark and looked like rain clouds, the dark grey/black smoke beginning to fill the sky. Its been a few minutes since I took this photo and now the sky is completely grey/black. From my window it looks like the smoke is starting to drop lower and the smoke is quite thick and is burning my eyes the closest thing to describe its appearance would be a very thick fog. I turned my air filters to full blast and hope that will be good enough.
There is an eerie stillness outside, no birds flitting about or singing their sweet song, I just took a quick peek and saw the ashes were beginning to cover everything in a blanket and the fires still blaze out of control in the strong Santa Ana's that are blowing so hot now. I hope they will be able to get a handle on it soon. I think I will go and knit now, it can be so comforting to feel the yarn as it flows thru my fingers.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Trying Something Different

I really tried different things this weekend. My first experience at blocking - pins, pads and all. A different Coffee House. A really exotic shopping experience. Please come on my adventure with me. This Crofters Cowl is for my wonderful niece and I am new to blocking, it seems quite a simple thing. I like the versatility of the blocks and the ability to put them away in their own bag as I have limited storage space.
I amended the Crofters Cowl for me by using size 10 knitting needles for 2 repeats, then size 9 knitting needles for 3 repeats and finished off on a size 8 needle. The cowl now sits further down on my neck and is a bit more comfortable to me. This colorway is especially dear to me as I like to contrasting colors -its quite dramatic.

I visited a place called the Coffee Cat which is a writers hang out, this little cubby looks like a favorite spot to hide in. The place was abuzz with writers, most tables had someone seated with either a laptop or a pad - pen in hand, I observed for a moment, there was the slight hum of people talking quietly abiding by the unwritten rule - do not disturb those around you.

The booths against the windows are the ones that are the most popular, I can imagine there's quite a scurry to obtain one. The air about this place is charged with intellectual energy.

I sat outdoors (my table is to the right) next to a table of female writers who were ablaze in conversations, debating over a multitude of writing topics that changed at such a frantic pace it was almost dizzying. I enjoyed my little departure from my coffee house, but I really missed it, the warmth of the place with its mixture of eclectic people, writers, knitters, cyclists, families, all doing a variety of things from quietly sitting and reading their book, some playing cards or the huge chess games, but everyone enjoying themselves.

I found the most exotic store that was chock full of really beautiful things, these purses had such rich textures, gorgeous fabrics and some were beaded. I am learning to think outside the box and it just occurred to me that one would make a lovely bag to tote my knitting around.

This skirt was so beautiful, they have so many skirts (the kind that has that lovely flow when you walk). Maybe I'm not so adventurous as to where the entire outfit, but I really appreciated individual pieces. They have quite a few cut out lace tops that would have looked lovely with just the skirt.

Their displays were so exotic and rich looking, you just did not know where to look first, I could get addicted to this store, fortunately it is a drive to get there (so that will save my pocketbook).

This display in person was so luxurious, the browns with the shades of purple were intoxicating, and while photos let you get the gist of it, the human eye sees so much more.

I'll leave you with this wonderful historical California Architecture. I love the older stuff as it has so much character.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Getty Villa

This if the view as you walk into the Getty Villa, the trees framing the Pacific Ocean, I had to pause and marvel at nature's beauty. The Getty Villa is intimate, the collection itself is astounding, the gardens wondrous, the experience - unforgettable.

This is the center courtyard of the villa, the fountains fill the air with their musical sound.

I could appreciate the view of this courtyard from every angle, I kept walking around it noticing new details emerge with every pass.

And now the west garden which faces the Pacific Ocean, some of its wonders can be seen below.

Beautiful symmetry was apparent in every garden, patterns forming with every vista. who could not appreciate such balance?

The water's reflection danced upon this statue in a way that was so magical, I wish this photo could have shown this, I had never witnessed this before and it was entrancing.

This bust of a bearded man was a little above waist height, but the photo I took while standing did not reflect his eyes, so I searched for the right angle to do him justice and finally found it, his eyes unlike many of the statues had depth and kindness.

The elegant lines of this antelope(?) was so pure in its form, so real in its beauty.

Even the garden seat was inspired, I wonder how many quilters have taken a photo of the details of this flooring and used this in one of their creations.

Surrounding the garden are walls painted in such fine detail, the beauty of this place will live in my memory, its serenity to be drawn upon when needed. I have more photos to share which will trickle into my blog now and then. I will have to return to this villa in the spring when the garden will be in its full splendor.