Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

The sun is out with blue skies and the perfect temps for days spent outside. This most wonderful yarn is called Wood Smoke by Celtic Memory Yarns my favorite Merino and Bamboo sock yarn, I love knitting with this that I didn't half mind frogging most of my previous sock from a previous post and reduced the stitches a little to produce a better fitting sock.
Here it lies atop a beloved unfinished cross stitch I had done years ago, I found it laying in the bottom of a drawer - forgotten til now.

The panels depict different fruit and is done on Irish Linen. I should be brave and try to hand sew it to some beautiful fabric to hang on my wall or maybe something else, I'm not sure, but I should do something soon with it.

I visited the beautiful Huntington Gardens today and want to share some of my stroll with you. Above is a waning rose called Maman Cochet, I thought it beautiful at this stage of its bloom, its fragile petals beginning to curl.

Just a few steps down was this Rose trio - yes they looked this magical in person, the color of the pink/lilac roses against the blue green leaves made them almost look like a painting.

I sat on a bench to rest awhile and looked up to see this Magnolia branch beginning to bud, standing out against the bright blue sky - it looked so sculptural. I shall have to return late next month to see what it looks like in full bloom.

I was about to exit the gardens when I was called back to these fruits, they were so amazing, the photo was taken in the shade, yet they were still ablaze in color, I wish this photo did them justice - would anyone know the name of them? There are still more photos to come from this wonderful garden, I'll be sure to include them in my next post.

These are a few of the wonderful plants that I spotted in the garden of a friend's new apartment. I liked the way the cactus sit at the foot of this Palm, Palm trees are so abundant in Southern California, they even pop up in my garden, usually in some hidden spot, like behind a shed. This garden sits on the outskirts of foothills and on occasion deer will visit this garden along with another interesting visitor - SKUNKS!! I've never experienced them before, but I will be sure to keep a respectful distance from them. Places to walk abound and I shall have to be sure to bring my camera so that I can share photos, whenever I am privileged enough to be invited on a lovely stroll among the hills.

The temperature today was in the 60's and quite sunny with blue skies and those wonderful puffy white clouds. This Easter Lilly caught my eye, as you can tell by the photos, this garden leans towards tropicals. There were a few rose bushes, though not in bloom right now, I'm sure they will make a good show of it this spring and I shall take their portrait then.

Hibiscus still in bloom, maybe not at its peak as the nights have been chilly, but never the less a bloom indeed!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I was finally able to start on this afghan with Misti Baby Alpaca, the yarn is so soft to knit with and will be warm and comforting, it does leave quite residue of fibers on me while I am knitting with it. Does anyone know if this yarn stops its shedding? Upon completion I was planning on throwing it in the dryer on cool air and tumbling it for a little while in hopes of arresting this shedding.
There were still lots of color, daylilies are still in bloom, along with a plethora of other flowers, and various berries abound on green bushes. On some of the blogs I read they were showing photos of snowy landscapes, so here are some touches of green. Saturday was a warm day, no jacket was needed, the sun felt gentle, unlike the harsh sun of summer.

The parking lot in downtown Whittier buzzing softly filled the air, here a honey bee is perched on this lovely yellow flower, the warm sun inviting it to rest a bit, the bee did not seem in a hurry and remained there long enough for me to take several photos.

This yellow flower was nestled up against this blue berry shrub which shown brightly in the sun.

I don't have any photos of the sock from my previous blog, I have to frog it back to the beginning of the heel flap - the fit was too loose on my friend, I had started the second sock before I discovered this, but caught it in time, I believe I have a handle on this and hope to finish them in the next week or so.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Being Open to Change

Well I had bought the yarn that was listed on the pattern, Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn and began knitting this sock pattern called Diagonal Cross Rib. I knitted the ribbing portion and about two repeats of the pattern, but it just didn't feel right too me. The yarn feels hard and was not a pleasure to knit with, so I stopped. Yes that's right STOPPED knitting, this yarn needs to find someone who enjoys knitting with firm yarn and that person is not me. I am finally learning to listen to my inner voice, instead of stubbornly pushing on just because a pattern is telling me that is the yarn to use.

I remembered some yarn that I had purchased from Celtic Memory Yarn in a lovely Merino and Bamboo and the sock is coming along just fine, the yarn is soft and cushy and will be a great pleasure to wear, all that is left to do is get the length of the recipient's foot as I would hate to go thru all this, to knit it either too long or too short. I've already started the right foot and like the fact that the diagonals go in different directions for each sock. I did change a couple of things, I continued with the size 3 needle until the leg portion was 6 1/2 inches and substituted Eye of the Partridge for the heel flap as I wasn't enthralled with the vertical lines on the heel flap in the original pattern.

We do get a little fall color in Southern California, but it is quite scattered. I had my heart set on capturing a tree ablaze in Orange, but it was just not meant to be. Each time I would see the right tree for my photo, some circumstance would prevent me from obtaining my photo. As I was walking thru the parking lot at work I noticed the yellow of this Crepe Myrtle, it looked lovely against the blue sky. Once again a change in plans turned out quite well.

My three day getaway was initially planned for the mountains of San Diego County, with hopes of visiting some of the Native Tribes that still live there. Last minute changes occurred and instead I ended up on the coast of California in a room that overlooked one of the back bays. I loved the stillness of this place, teaming with life. This is the view from the room, when I first stepped out onto the balcony I was annoyed by the trees. Upon sitting still and observing, I began to notice that there were many birds that were drawn to these trees, just a few feet away from me. I was serenaded every day by a beautiful & charming black and white bird, a Hummingbird loved this tree as well and returned to perch regularly on its branches. There were so many different finches also that visited this tree, some had quite of bit of red on them. So once again, I changed my mind, I welcomed the trees and would definitely select this room again.

The left side of the balcony had these palm trees, and you could still see the bay thru them. I liked the contrast of the golden bark against the bluish back bay water . Being open to change has definitely been a wonderful experience, the unexpected can be so rewarding. Perhaps a little wisdom comes with our time here on this Earth, to savor every moment as it happens, to live in the present.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scene - Robert's Shop

A quick little note: I did find a connection to knitting, Robert's wife loves to knit and so I sent her links to some of my favorite knitting blogs.

Ok, you caught me, this particular post is not about knitting or gardening, but we knitters have an eye for beauty, yarn is a visually appealing medium which can be appreciated by anyone, whether they can knit or not. The same can be said about art, you don't need to be able to paint in order to appreciate the actual paintings. This blog is about an incredible shop In Newport Beach called "Scene". I don't mean to sound stupid, but I really made no correlation between frames and art, it just never occurred to me that the one could have a great influence on the other, until I noticed the masterful matches Robert had displayed in his shop. You should hear his sage words, carefully guiding the customer to the right selection on their own treasured works of art.

The shop itself has a welcoming feel (not the sterility of some galleries where you must talk in whispers, while being snubbed by those around you) it is warm and cozy and chock full of paintings -discoveries just waiting to happen.
I fell in love with this mirror, my taste normally runs towards very simple things, but when I touched the intricate work on the frame, gazed at the rich colors as they passed beneath my fingers and yes - my heart even beat a little faster, but practicality had to win out, I shuddered as I thought of my dogs racing around the house and bumping against this incredible work of art, it deserves a place where it can be quietly kept, to be enjoyed by future generations and not to become another one of Hastings mishaps (he did demolish a full length mirror a couple of years ago, miraculously no one was injured).

I was reflecting on how independent stores are especially hard hit by the economic times - everywhere, even in Newport Beach! Still this brave man marches on, offering words of kindness and support to the many friends that drop by. We enjoy sitting at one of the tables in front of his shop (a cafe that offers lots of delicious salads, sandwiches, baked good, coffees...) with me knitting away while we chat, interesting conversations involving revealing bits of a play he may be writing and countless other interesting topics. Sometimes I wonder how can this man be so sane? Patiently listening to a chum telling a sad tale, which given the times we face now is a little more frequent. (Being tender hearted at times I retreat into my knitting at this point, letting it shield me with its softness, sinking - focusing all my attention on the pattern if things get too tough to hear).

I was just reflecting -This man is an artist in every sense of the word (yes he paints and plays musical instruments as well), but the thing that moves me most at this time is that his plays go unpublished and they (like the paintings in his shop) are awaiting to be discovered by the world. One of my hearts desires is to be able to see one of his plays being performed - to witness the rich tapestries of his words being revealed to all.