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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Hero Gary

Gary is my hero - no doubt about it, he saved my beloved shoes which I had considered replacing this year after being worn to the point where it was just embarrassing to be seen in them. Now they have a second life, this man cares about what he is doing and takes pride in his work. Honestly you have never seen anything like this, a simple task performed to perfection (and this is while he goes through the trials of dialysis - yet there is no self pity in his voice). He has his stand at the Grove (behind the LA Farmer's Market). He carries with him an album full of celebrity photos, all of whom have been his customers, which he will share with you to peruse while he is attending your shoes. He was busy when I approached his stand, a couple from the Sacramento area made sure he was one of their stops while visiting LA. After this couple had left, Gary shared with me that their family had originally owned the Farmer's Market. You meet the most interesting people at his stand!
See - they are presentable again! (Lila thought so too)
The Farmer's Market is so inspirational. Now that I have to work on a quilt for my great niece, I was inspired by so many different things.
The square containers that held the various fruits instantly brought quilt squares to mind - I love the playful color of the fruits.
This is my first attempt at a real quilt. I sewed strips of fabric together and then cut them into small strips. Quilting is hard work and at this moment I am not in love with the process. But I love my little great niece and she is worth the effort, I have never seen a baby that is so happy, she has such a gentle disposition and loves to laugh - her big blue eyes dance with merriment.
I am on a vacation now and will be dedicating my vacation time to this quilt, so will post more photos soon. I also have a few more photos to share of my favorite yarn store and also my knitting projects. Talk to you soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cable Socks

The Cabled socks are completed, sorry about the photo, but the plants have a fine dust of ash on them and I couldn't find a clean outdoor surface anywhere, as soon as the plants dry, they are covered in ash again from the local fires, so I got creative and hung them from a pant hanger - not a glamorous picture, but proof they are done! My friend couldn't stop giggling with delight.
I finally got around to reading this book and was in for a pleasant surprise, it was a fun read. I can actually recommend this book - not too gory and the yarn store described in this book makes me want to move to this small imaginary town.
The author has written a series of these book -I keep surprising myself, I would not usually follow a whole series of books, but actually may this time and have bought the second book in the series and have just begun reading it, hope it is as good as the first book, now I'm torn between reading and knitting. I'll have photos next weekend of my WIP (or perhaps even a completed project if the overtime at work dies down a bit).
Did I mention that I miss cooking? I am getting a new kitchen sink and counter top, which is now on hold until some one's back gets better. So I am in kitchen limbo and hope all will be repaired fairly soon.
The new kitchen counter top is going to be mostly white tile with touches of black and the new sink is one of those smart sinks - still cast iron and very heavy (hence a back injury ensued and the project is on hold until they are mended and able to work on it again).
Flowers seem to always make everything better, you forget your problems (like the lack of a kitchen) and get lost in their color, if they have fragrance to boot, then its a double dose of pleasure.