Saturday, December 19, 2009


I've been taking care of my Standard Poodle Wooster, he has a sore that is infected and needs tending. Will be back to blog soon. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Where did the time go?

I had bought a really nice pair of black Mary Janes and was trying desperately to find a nice lacy sock, what I found was that most of the patterns are toe up and try as I may I COULD not get the provisional cast on. Does anyone know of a good You Tube for this? Well anyways I found the Hedera pattern on Knitty and decided to make them into knee highs (hopefully have enough yarn). I started them on a size 3 needle (cast on 60 just like the pattern states) and plan to move down to a size 2 for the lower calf and then the foot will be knitted in a size 1 (hope this works). Using Rowan 4ply has been a blissful experience and so far it fits my calf just fine.
Here is the Mansey legwarmer, its so cool looking on, adds an edge to these worn black denim slim pants (hate to say skinny). I love the way they lay over the boot, if you love leg warmers you should give this pattern a try, the cables make it interesting, I did amend the pattern a bit to account for being just a hair under 5'2" by eliminating one of the cable repeats, added a slouchy effect by using a size 8 needle (verses a size 7 the pattern calls for) and knitted using the directions for the size small. (To get a better photo I think I need to practice gymnastics a bit.)
I'm hooked on reading mysteries again, I am growing fond of Monica Ferris's books that center (at least in my opinion) around a store called Crewel World, the books are very entertaining and an easy read, as the series goes it feels like the characters have come into their own and I grow fonder of them with each book. I am also almost through with Maggie Sefton's series and with only two more books to go - I thought - better find another series to start, so it will be the Tea Mysteries by Laura Child's (this time I'm doing it right and starting at the beginning).
Isn't it PRETTY!!!! A very dear friend knows how much I've enjoyed blogging bought me a camera that can take macro shots - so this will hopefully improve the photos of my knitting. I will dedicate some time later this week to read the manual and then next weekend I'll have to find time to actually play with it (hope its user friendly). This dear friend would wish to remain anonymous, but I am so grateful as I could not afford this myself right now. At the end of this week I will turn another year older and will be 51 years of age (still got carded 2 years ago though - tee hee). It is so surprising how quickly time flies - really amazing how could I be this old?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

80 degree Cowl

I have been knitting this cowl in spite of 80 degree weather, the yarn is so pretty and is a combination of silk and wool with a wonderful sheen. It isn't very soft though and it is a thick and thin yarn (not exactly sure of the terminology) that would not hold up well to a garment, hence the cowl, I will have about 3 hanks left - any ideas? I am hoping that when I wash it - the yarn will soften - we shall see.

Last Sunday was photo day for the family so off we went to downtown Disney. The mist from this waterfall was refreshing as the day was a little warm.
Here are my great Nieces and nephew, it was a great idea to bring this along to keep them occupied as the photos took so long. The younger generation kindly retrieved all the balls that kept flying in every direction.
This is the little darling Danzie who is the sweetest baby I've ever had the privileged to have known. Her mommy does such a fine job with her too.
Birds of Paradise just thrive in our climate and are everywhere. This one was a beauty - for my snowbound friends - enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flu & Blogging

Woke up at 2am feeling totally crummy, its lunch time and the feeling continues. So what is a girl to do? Blog a little and see if I feel any better. I've almost finished the Mansey legwarmers, got to refresh my technique on i cords and pom poms (used my pompom gadget for the first time). I followed the yarn suggestion this time - Paton's Classic Wool in a nice gray. I liked this legwarmer as it finishes with a bootcut instead of being tapered. My only change was instead of a size 7 circular, I used a size 8 and the fit is perfect, it drapes a bit and is a bit slouchy. Maybe I should knit a slouchy hat or cowl to go with these?

I finished the Red Scarf and true to form, the red yarn would not photograph indoors or out, so I took a quick shot in the car on the way to the Post Office. I do hope the recipient (who ever it is) does like it, the yarn is Alpaca (my own pattern) and I made it with lots of love.

Isn't this fabric BEAUTIFUL! One of my family members is making me a quilt and she just told me the front was done. So off I ran to M & L fabrics with her words ringing in my ear "get something you really love" and so I did. I feel happy just looking at this fabric, I love the butterflies, bees and multiple flowers, they all work so well together (in this design and in real life too).

More photos from the Huntington (taken last month). I love flowers no matter what their stage, so I thought I would share with you this perfect Rosebud.

A Rose in full bloom, dazzling in the sunlight.

Roses in their final stage with only a few petals remaining are still wonderful to me as they peak through the new rosebuds. It almost seems like the older rose above is caressing the new rose bud that is emerging next to it.
Finally, what would a trip to the Huntington Library be without sharing another of their magnificent statues with you. I'll do better next time I go and get more details about the statues to share with you. Well back to bed I go rest and perhaps finally get a little sleep.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Knitting Photos - At Last

Monkey Socks - aren't they fun to knit. I liked the pair I made my neighbor so much that I knit myself a pair. The yarn is from Celtic Memory yarns and is a merino bamboo blend that is so soft and yummy and I think it works really well with this pattern.

Maybe its my love for gardening, but I am drawn to socks with leaf motifs. This pattern is from Vogue Knitting - The Ultimate Sock Book and the pattern is called "Leaf Lace Socks", I really enjoyed knitting the picot edge and the chart is short and very easy to work with. The yarn is Knit Picks on size 1 needles. This will be a nice color to wear this winter, wouldn't these look great with a similar colored skirt?

Project #2 is just a simple ribbed cowl, the yarn is a mystery yarn of Wool and Alpaca on a size 13 needles. I had originally purchased the yarn for a gorgeous little top, but realized that the pattern called for each hank to have 100 yards (these only had about 60 yards - oops!) So a cowl they will be, another great way to extend my wardrobe.
WIP #3 - half way through the Red Scarf that I am donating, I'll put some extra time on it this week and see if there is any way I can finish it before the weekend (my knitting group meets on Saturday). Wish me luck! I read on Stitches of Violet's blog about limiting WIP's to 3, so I am trying that for now, it seems manageable.
Just wanted to share a couple of photos from my last trip to the Huntington Library. These giant bamboos are incredible, I've been near them when there was a strong breeze and the creaks and thunks that they emit is quite loud, I could appreciate them there in that garden and can imagine how they would be in a storm. (am quite happy that I never planted these in my yard though)
Ok, you've probably guessed by now, I love flowers and roses just move me, their fragrances, the way the petals glisten when they are kissed by dew, I even like it when you can see the new buds coming up while the older flower are fading.
This place had a lot of character and if you like loud music and
girls on roller skates (in rather short skirts), then this place is for you.
I'll admit the breakfast was good and the prices pretty reasonable, but it was hard to relax and enjoy my food. (I'll just leave it at that).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thanks to my Fellow Bloggers

I leave for work and it's dark, and arrive home just as the sun is setting (on an early day). This has made taking photos for my post - most challenging. So I sit and read lovely blogs when I get home to unwind from a long and weary drive. My fellow bloggers how I appreciate the care you've taken, with your words so carefully crafted, comforting and inspiring me. The wonderful photos that I sit and day dream about, their beauty is surreal at times. This weekend I will take photos of my knitting and be sure to post them. Last spring I had these dear little columbine pop up again, I love when flowers reseed themselves.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Warmth at the Huntington

Today was another warm day at the Huntington Library. The Roses were still in force (have quite a few more photos to share over the next couple of posts). The fragrance of their Rose gardens in the heat of the day is amazing, the quiet only broken by the buzz of the honey bees.
The colors of nature astounds me, the vivid orange red against the soft yellow, with the sun streaming through the petals, wish I could have done it justice, but this was the best that I could do, still nice - even in the photo.
It became a little too warm to continue strolling in the sun. The cafe's tables sit under these amazing trees. Gently sheltering you from the direct sun, but still bright enough to sit and read comfortably.
Yummm - French Fries, spring water (in a wonderfully thick glass bottle) and a new book. What more could one ask for? Well I did have the company of a tremendously great friend who shared the French Fries with me.
I really did intend to share knitting photos with you this post, I even made sure to bring a WIP with me(you can see the circular needles just peeking out of my bag) and intended to knit while sitting on the Veranda. It's right off the main house and is donned with the most delightful wicker chairs, beautiful potted plants and statues. There is this perfect breeze, even on warmer days, it gently cools you. I thought about the Huntingtons and how their family must have enjoyed afternoon teas. It is a place for day dreaming (which is what I did) along with a little more reading.
When I looked up from my book, this is one of the statues that I could gaze at. Sigh - so peaceful.
Everywhere you turn there is beauty, the soft curves worn a little by the ages, still breathtaking - still beautiful.
Ooops! Looked what I missed, I noticed this on my way out, looks like I'll have to go back in a couple of weeks and visit this new exhibit. Next post I will be sure to include knitting photos!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Friday!

Well I finished the Monkey socks for my neighbor Tammy, I hope she loves them. Knitting two at a time was not that bad (although a little slow), I'll probably use this technique again when I know that I will be altering the pattern, I love the fact that they both turned out identical. The colors of these socks are so rich (photo doesn't quite show this). I made them shorter in every way as Tammy has a size 5 foot and is quite petite - being under 5 feet tall. I love this pattern so much that I dug through my stash and found a soft hand painted gray and beige merino bamboo blend that I think will do nicely. I could not believe that I dropped the WIP as I came into the front door and the yarn unwound nicely all the way through the house. This would not have been a problem had is not been for the 3 dancing Standard Poodles that had become tangled in the yarn. I saw the yarn take a leap into the air and snap between two of the dogs. I quickly managed to grab the yarn and haul it in. I quickly grabbed the second half and followed it out the front door - where Momma kitty was about to en snag it with her paw - I actually caught her with her paw in the air and she ran off in fright when she saw me charging trying to rescue my poor little WIP. I think it will be okay and will try knitting on it tomorrow. Since it will have to have a knot now, would the knot go on the top of the sock? Any ideas?
I came across this photo in my archives and it brought back memories of my vacation in Solvang. I love flowers, even just a few simple flowers can bring joy to your heart. I love the colors in this flower (would these colors be great for a sock yarn?)
Photo of Oranges at the LA Farmer's Market, it's hard to improve on nature don't you think? These oranges glistened like jewels, each one unique in its own way and you could smell all the surrounding fruits that filled the air with their sweet fragrances.
I love receiving gifts, one of my friends gave me these three bottles of soda. Their flavor was unbelievable! My favorite is the golden colored soda, it tastes like tart green pears. I savored each one, their color and aroma, their amazing flavors. The kindness of others touches my heart and simple gestures are so appreciated.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Too tired to be clever

The hours of overtime this past two weeks has been very challenging, but I am grateful to have a job and now have more financial responsibilities - so it is very much needed. It does make blogging a challenge. This is my latest project - Cookie's Monkey socks with Paton's sock yarn and I'm trying my hand at knitting two at a time. Last night I attended a local knitting group that meets at the Anaheim Starbucks on Lincoln, we had a great time. They call themselves All Things String (yahoo group). I will definitely make this a regular thing, so nice to sit and chat with fellow knitters.
This sock (may it rest in peace) was going to be for my neighbor - after frogging them three times in an attempt to make them a little more comfortable (they felt HORRIBLY stiff and I think would be tortuous to wear), now they are destined for the frog pond. It made me a little sad as I do so love the design and it was fun to do, but how do you make these things wearable? The yarn was reused for the monkey socks above and the blue will be used for another nice sock design.

This Saturday is the meeting of our monthly knitting group at the LA Farmer's Market, we meet from 10am through noonish. On my last trip there I strolled by this candy display and thought - how many children must pass this, their eyes wide open, filling their heads with sweet dreams of rainbow lollipops. The L A Farmer's market is a wonderful place to go, I have to visit it each month, with each step you are rewarded with wonderful aromas from the surrounding cafes, creating a dilema as to where and what you will choose to experience. The worlds best donuts (Bob's)? Incredibly tender Belgian Waffles? Perhaps sitting at the french cafe with a bon amie?
Then after my knitting group I'll wander over to the Barnes & Noble for another book and visit Gary and have him rescue another pair of shoes. I love everything about this place!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quick WIP's

Here is the beginnings of the scarf for the Red Scarf Project. The yarn is Berroco Alpaca and the pattern is something I put together from a stitch dictionary called a flat diamond stitch (will not need blocking) and bordered by Seed stitches. I am knitting on size 8 knitting needle so that it will drape nicely. If anyone is interested in this pattern I would be more than happy to email them a copy of what I wrote down (free).

My neighbor's son is now in junior high school and recently came through knee surgery successfully. He is such an exceptional person and has been involved in sports his entire youth. His local sports teams have made him an honorary team member and he will support the teams by attending every game, supporting them from the bench. The colors for his basketball team are royal blue and gold. It's going to get a little chilly at some of the practices so I thought it would be nice for him to have a warm hat, this is a nice merino and I am knitting it in the seaman's cap. He is so appreciative of my work and that touches my heart.
I was able to purchase 4 pairs of Addi Turbo circular needles from a dear person who had to retire from knitting. One of the girls from my knitting group gave her my info and now I am so much richer from this experience. It is sad when one has to give up something they love for health reasons, but these knitting needles will be well used for many years to come.
The Grove (behind the LA Farmer's Market) has a Barnes & Noble, but not just any Barnes & Noble, this bookstore has character, it has style, the books are shown in a way that I can only consider Art. I snapped away at so many books and their arrangements, these two stood out.
I just wished I had more time and energy, many authors do books signings and readings at this store, but they are usually during the weekdays, traffic and distance are prohibit me from attending them, why can't they have a bookstore like this in Orange County?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Latte Knitting

Located in the charming old town section of Camarillo is the coffee house "Element" and it welcomes you into its doors like an old friend. This was my first time in this place and Mike greets everyone with a warmth that you just don't find at most places (including my favorite LA coffee house). I studied the coffee board and the first thing that caught my eye was an Agave Latte?
Doesn't it look yummy! I did behave myself and ordered it in Nonfat, and wasn't the least bit cheated - it was creamy and the Agave did not overpower the deep rich flavor of the espresso. This has to be one of the best Lattes I've ever had in my life! I actually had to order a second one to accompany my knitting as the first one was polished off while reading the third book in the series "A Deadly Yarn". I also was exploring my stitch dictionary for an appropriate pattern to use for a scarf for the "Red Scarf Project" that Ellen had shared with us on her blog L.A. Is My Beat. The Yarn I selected is a Red Alpaca and the pattern is mulling around in my head. Should get started on this by the weekend.

Just in case you don't want to sit at one of the tables there were also comfy chairs to lounge on and I noticed many people were on there laptops. Everyone tended to linger here, you did not feel pressured to gulp and leave.
This place has a sense of humor, when I read this sign I couldn't help but laugh, I must have a wicked sense of humor as I could picture the little one balancing an espresso cup in one hand and a kitten on the other.
It appears that they have original works of art on the walls as well (I didn't really notice the little plaques next to the paintings til now) but there were several works of art there on the walls. While I was looking at the art I happened on a fellow knitter who has a knitting group that meets there on Saturday afternoons, so the next time I'm in town I'll have to drop in for a visit. Hope Mike will be there to spoil me with another incredible Latte, they could be addicting!
Why I am including a photograph of Ice you say? Well it's so hot here that I had to prepare my local readers for what is about to follow. Think cool thoughts - no its not nearly 100 degrees any longer you are now in the midst of a cool meadow with frost coming off your breath. In which case you would need one of these.
An earflap hat! I had won the yarn on Ebay a couple of years ago, it came from a farmer/spinner who raised her own animals. The yarn is a very soft natural wool, with a fine yarn of brown alpaca and a strand of fine black mohair. It has such a home made quality about it that I find endearing.