Sunday, January 25, 2009

Life on a budget

I've been trying my hand at budget yarns and found they can be enjoyable for the right person and the right project. I made a friend the above bath mat out of Sugar N Cream. This knit up in only a couple of days, I used two strands on a size 11 needle, with just a garter stitch border, this cotton was not bad to knit with and on sale was quite a bargain, plus being available at most craft stores was easy to obtain - so no excess driving as my local independent yarn stores have all closed.
Never judge a book by its cover - we've all heard this before -but- Red Heart, EGADS! I am guilty of this and would have never have given this sock yarn a chance had it not been for Trish (a knitting instructor) who brought some in one day at work, I was very surprised, this yarn is soft and the addition of Aloe really makes it wonderful. I ran to one of the large craft stores and picked some up, it was reasonably priced, I was also surprised to find it had been made in Italy. It is knitting up very nicely, hope to have photos for you on my next post.
Here is another budget project with just some Lions Brand yarn. I knew it had to be easy care for my soon to be Nephew who was kind enough to request a hat from me, it looks a little small in the photo, but stretches nicely and should fit a man size medium. The yarn is a wool blend that he can just throw in the washer and dryer. The pattern was from Knitting Pattern Central, I like the twist on the Knit stitch it gives the pattern a little more interest.
Last weekend I was quite delinquent in my knitting, it was very warm and sunny so I spent most of the weekend outdoors. The air was dry so the water feature of this delightful shopping center was much appreciated.

There were loads of beautiful flowers in pots and containers, their colors cheerful and bright, merging together in a happy fellowship.

When I came upon this view, I was hoping that the camera could capture it's loveliness and it did a decent job. In real life the colors were so rich, the winter sun is a little kinder in Southern California, I believe it allows me to see things clearly, to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. I know people think of Palm Trees when they think of Southern California - and rightfully so - they are a frequent focal point in the local landscape. They REALLY thrive here.

I looked carefully at all of the beautiful planters and especially liked this one, I thought of my fellow bloggers who dwell where the weather is cold and wanted to bring you a vignette of colors, and a little taste of the warmer weather that is soon to come for you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hot & Sunny in Southern California

Today it was hot and sunny so I headed out for Fashion Island in Newport Beach, hit the bookstore and did a quick impulse buy. I wandered outside and found a wonderfully shady spot under a large tree and began to read. The warm weather was so comforting, temps about 80 degrees, sitting in a sleeveless top and pedal pushers and innocently sipping a tropical ice tea. This book should come with a warning, CAUTION - COULD MAKE YOU SNORT YOUR ICE TEA as you collapse in laughter. It is so much fun to read, she really gets knitters and her take on things is outrageously funny!!! A fresh viewpoint sure to cheer up any reader (although I think especially knitters).
This is my latest WIP, I've tried for over a week to get a decent photo of this, red is so difficult to photograph. Yes it is slim, it is supposed to fit like a glove and my very tall Niece has long slender hands, so I believe they will fit her perfectly. I am supposed to have them done my next weekend. This is my first pair of mitts and I must admit, they won't be my last, they were very entertaining, This was a free pattern with great charts and clearly written instructions, I had no problems with any part of this and was quite surprised. Here is the link (I really need to learn how to create a better looking link, any helpful hints would be appreciated.) The yarn I used is by Cherry Tree Hill and it really is a pretty yarn that is lovely to knit with, the stitch definition is quite clear ( in person).

I promised to share more photos of the Huntington Library. This was the main residence of the Huntingtons, it is filled with the most beautiful art, painting by Remington and Gainsborough, beautiful bone china, exquisite French Furniture, so many more beautiful and priceless treasures. There are other buildings that include art and also an impressive library, a few items are on display, but most of the library is for scholars and their research.

The view from the rear of the Residence is stunning, so in addition to this amazing garden they had a clear view of the local mountains and it must of been really spectacular before modern air pollution dimmed the view a bit. It must have been a great place for afternoon teas or a place for breakfast on warm summer mornings.

While on my stroll thru the gardens, I came upon this butterfly precariously balanced atop the delicate Love in a Mist, the orange of its wings showed so strinkingly against the blue flower.

Pots of Amarlysis were displayed on the Logia, this place has a lyrical quality, even without the orchestras that play in the summer evenings. I can imagine all of the symphonies that were played here throught the decades. The music still seems to linger.