Tuesday, November 28, 2006

ZIP IT UPI'm this close to finishing the first rib and cable mitt. I've only frogged the thumb gusset 3 or 4 times before I finally liked the results. Apparently M1 purl wise was beyond my comprehension. It also became apparent pretty quickly that I was going to be running more than a little short of the main color yarn for mitt No. 2. The yarn is a lovely Elite Classic merino called Waterlily. Today I phoned Uncommon Threads where I had bought it back in Sept. and yippeee!! they had another skein in the same dye lot. The beat goes on.

With the colder weather I've been looking at what dog coats are available. I've a few fleece things that I've sewn but Omar has grown since I made them and I don't like the fit. I came across a coat I knitted last winter that turned out to too large for a small dog. After trying it on Omar I think I can take it in along the back and then put in a zipper. I've never done a zipper before and to screw up on a dog sweater is more appealing than to destroy something I've spent hours and hours on. I can't recall what the yarn is other than wool and can't find the label.
Otis is feeling fine after his surgery. He now goes outside, runs up trees and follows his idol, Opie everywhere. Opie is not amused. He has started to agree to being licked though. Opie has always loved to lick and be licked. He used to pin his brother Ozzie down with one paw and go to it till Oz squeaked. Ozzie died three years ago and the Opster never found a replacement till now. When the hormones start to fade I think they'll have a beautiful friendship.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Borrowed from Moth Heaven

I have had mixed feeling about the MeMe’s. You can say so much more about yourself than you realize. It might be that it’s the eternal conflict of wanting to be private yet craving attention. For Better or For Worse here’s mine.

1. Yourself: Strong. Not mainstream. I like to joke that I’m rarely an asshole but I’m still sometimes a jerk. I keep trying to be a better person without getting all weird about it.
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): Wonderful. The Universe came together and I met a person who is perfect for me. Even better: he thought so too.
3. Your hair: Not worth the money I pay to have it cut. Two parents both with baby fine hair. Toss in a couple of cowlicks and a hit and miss wave. Nice color going gray.
4. Your mother: Fearful, difficult, loved.
5. Your Father: Deceased. While living: hard to impossible to know.
6. Your Favorite Item: My pets.
7. Your dream last night: For some reason I had gone off to graduate school and was living in a dorm. I was not happy about this.
8. Your Favorite drink: Club soda (non alcoholic) Gin and Tonic with lots of lime (alcoholic).
9. Your Dream Car: My current vehicle, Big Red. A 1993 Toyota pickup with 4 wheel drive and an Xcab. Works hard, has only needed a major repair once and even gets decent mileage.
10. The room you are in: My living room with a fire in the wood burning stove, a blanket over my lap and lots and lots of animals vying for contact space.
11. Your Ex: A brain with a troubled heart.
12. Your fear: I don’t like confrontations but I can deal with them.
13. What you want to be in 10 years? Just what I am now but more patient.
14. Who you hung out with last night? My hubby.
15. What You're Not? Quiet in public.
16. Muffins: Cranberry.
17. One of Your Wish List Items: For the planet not to come crashing down around our ears in the next ten to twenty years.
18. Time: Slippery. The days are not long enough to do all the things I’m interested in.
19. The Last Thing You Did: Made coffee, poured juice, let the cats out and opened the cat door. Built up the fire. Logged on.
20. What You Are Wearing: Pajamas.
21. Your Favorite Weather: It changes with the seasons. I like late summer the best. When the world seems to be holding her breath before plunging into fall.
22. Your Favorite Book: Doris Lessing, Martha Quest/The Children of Violence series.
23. The Last Thing You Ate: A Clementine.
24. Your Life: The best it has ever been.
25. Your Mood: Content. Looking forward to the day.
26. Your best friend: I have three close girlfriends.
27. What are you thinking about right now? Do I want to continue working on the rib and cable mitt or clean up my sewing area?
28. Your car: See #9. This car has been everything I wanted it to be.
29. What are you doing at the moment? Typing this. Talking to my hubby as he gets his cereal.
30. Your summer: It sure went by fast. I remember enjoying it.
31. Your relationship status: Married at 52 for the first time and it is good.
32. What is on your TV? Everything. Hubby just bought a 42” HD flat screen TV.
33. What is the weather like? A storm is coming in.
34. When is the last time you laughed? Today when I woke up underneath my dog and Otis our six month old cat.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Thanksgiving has been just lovely. We've had great company visiting. They were funny, they had interesting stories, they helped carry things back and forth and knew when to stand back as The Kitchen Goddess whirled and turned. The food was perhaps a bit too much. I tend to get carried away when I have an excuse but no one has complained unless you count the groans as people pushed away from the table clutching their tummies.

Everyone hiked yesterday while I continued to coerce my kitchen into producing what I wanted. Today we all went down to Edward's Crossing, dropped off one car at the trailhead then drove over to other trailhead at Purdue Crossing and left the second car. Then we hiked. The trail ran from west to east with the South Yuba River down below. We were on the south side which is the wet side. We were damp, there were leaves, mushrooms, funny hillsides of rocks all about the side of a human head covered in deep green moss. It seemed as if something magical of a not quite wonderful nature had taken place sometime far in the past. And ferns, lots and lots of ferns.

Omar ran back and forth. As Lynda succinctly put it, there's nothing like a fresh dog. He was in heaven. On the way home we were treated to an amazing sunset which even photographed well through a dirty car window.
I love the colors of the cyclamens. So intense.
A peach tree undresses for the upcoming winter.
Some mushrooms tucked into the leaf litter alongside the trail today.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Does anyone remember the little 1 pound kitten that we rescued back in early June? That sad little waif is long gone and in his place is very feisty, I know just what I want and I.Want.It.Now six month old cat. Otis is a whopping 9.8 lbs and just back from the vet's being fixed. All has gone well and the most difficult part is keeping him quiet for a few days and not rough housing with Omar. We are hearing pitiful cries aplenty from the guest room where he is being held prisoner. Let me out! Let me out NOW!!! I was checking my Fuyu persimmon tree this afternoon when Ollie ran up one of the plum trees. As usual he looked very majestic, all silvery gray with blue green eyes.
This is as far as I knitted on the Interweave Knits Spring 2006 "Rib and Cable Mitts" pattern that Valerie kindly mailed to me earlier this year. I'm having a slight problem with the thumb gusset. That darn 2 rib part isn't showing up. I think all I need to do is actually pay attention, not try to figure it out while watching "Lost" on DVD.

This is the flannel fabric I picked up at Stonemountain and Daughter to make into lounging around/pj pants.

I've put out Episode 4 of TrueYarns, my podcast so give it a listen if you are so inclined. I'm still having some technical difficulties. The way libsyn does their links doesn't seem to be the same way blogspot does. Go figure.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

FUN.FUN.FUN. The 4 Women of Design sewing extravaganza was a lot of fun. I learned how to do great mitered corners. This takes your project from the dreaded "homemade" look to being elegant and professional. I learned how to do sewing collage which was way cool and I learned how to take a pattern and get vastly different looking garments. There was so much that I just didn't have time to take all the classes. My brain is so full of creative ideas.
There were guest artists who showed their amazing wearable art along with the trunk show where the instructors showed their patterns and what the clothes looked like made up. This was a perfect time for knitting. I spotted one knitter who told me she had just learned last week. She was knitting a bag to felt.
There was a handful of younger sewers. I never did find out what she was knitting but it looked like a scarf. I did two swatches from the yarn that my friend Suzy brought and worked on my Nancy Bush heelless sleeping sock. I had brought the ziplock baggie it lives in. In it was 3 size 2 dpn's and 1 size 3 which made things a bit difficult. I may have to frog. I was trying so hard not to take too much and it backfired on me. Lesson learned. You can never have enough stash and WIPs on a trip.
Tuesday we got on the tour bus at the ungodly hour of 7 am and drove down to the bay area. Many, many wonderful fabric stores. I thought it was somewhat humorous that I fell in love with a fabric that was of wool/silk and knitted. The price made my credit card ache for days. I bought that at Satin Moon - 32 Clement Street, San Francisco. Tel. 415.668.1623. (No web page.) They have a very good selection of some unique and unusual fabrics. I do like to sew but I think I like to knit more at this point in my life. What can I say? They are both pretty darn GOOD. At our last stop which was Stonemountain and Daughter I was delighted to see that there is now a small knitting section. Mostly novelty yarns but still. It wasn't there the last time I visited.

There were several gift drawings and my mojo stayed true. I won a book on mitering by Linda Lee and one of her patterns. Best of all: I got to spend 4 days with my dear friend Suzy. (Blogger will not let me load her photo.) She won one of the high end Rowenta's. She let out such a whoop!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

G.O.N.E. It was a lovely post, lots of photos, lots of links but it is gone and I am too tired to recreate it. Tomorrow. At the moment a pot of hot tea is all I can handle.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


No photos yet since I don't have the cable to download to my laptop but believe me, I'm seeing some fabulous things. Sewing! Felting! Collage! Taking a pattern and making garments so varied and different it's hard grasp that they are the same thing. (I'm working on my sock and doing a swatch during the show and tells. So sue me.)

Women, lots of women full of good cheer, great ideas and TALENT! Tonight Pamela of Poozles showed her amazing garments felted from sweaters that she bought at yard sales/thrift store etc. and felted then made into blankets, hats, purses, sweaters. Just lovely stuff. Best of all: we have been having great conversations AND she lives one county over from me.

(I realized I could take photos from Pamela's webpage, save them to my harddrive and post in this blog. The hats were all snapped up by the under 20 set as fast as they could sprint over the rest of us.)

In an hour we're getting into a limo (yes!) and getting an after hour shopping trip to JR Flamingo's. Tuesday we do our shopping trip to Berkeley and SF. Alas, it's still a meet in the lobby of the hotel at 6:45 am.

Tomorrow: a crash course in Collage with Rosemary Eichorn Be still my beating heart.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

SOME KNITTING CONTENT There isn't much - instead of knitting I've been sewing pants to wear at my four day event but tucked into the massive amounts of odds and ends - fabric, scissors, patterns, backing material, ribbon, self healing cutting board, measuring tapes, and rulers that I need for my classes I tucked in a ziplock baggie with the Nancy Bush Victorian heelless socks I've been working on. I'm also bring some size 6/7/8 needles to make a swatch with. My friend Suzy has asked if I would make her a vest or sweater with some yarn that she has. We've gone around about various patterns and I think we have a knity.com pattern but the final decision has yet to be made. I'll have time to knit when we do our field trip to SF on Tuesday. I like San Francisco, I really do. I go there a lot. So you'll understand why a NIGHT OWL like myself is less than thrilled to be getting on a bus (and it is supposed to rain) at 7 frigging AM! I.Will.Die. I may try Red Bull for the first time just to survive.
Yesterday the mail brought me some megacool wine labels made up by my friend Sharon. Every year I take the extra plums from our trees and make a dessert wine. For the last two years Sharon has produced incredible labels.
I was enjoying the shadows this morning as I took Omar for his walk.

I even took one of myself. Self Portrait in Shadow.
Our house continues to be prepped for painting. The painters mugged for me. I felt queasy just watching them up so high on their ladders. I don't like heights much.


One of the problems with holiday knitting is that you can't post what you're working on. So, yet again, no knitting content. (I mean, do you really want photos of my incremental progress on the log cabin blanket?)

Here is another review of an oldie but goodie disaster movie by the infamous, blogless Kate.

Here is my review of The Poseidon Adventure:
(This is based on a screening conducted two months ago.)

1. Exactly what church does Gene Hackman belong to? At the party, he is dancing with at least two women.

2. This applies to the disaster genre in general: if you are a) old, b) overweight, c) Jewish, d) bitchy; make sure you get paid up front; you will die before the movie is over.

3. If you are deaf, you will live, even Hollywood is not that cruel. Blind: first reel, tops.

4. Even NYC cops can be whipped.

5. Any movie with “and Leslie Nielsen as The Captain” in the credits is a winner.

6. Mother was right, always wear clean underwear, you never know who might see it.

7. If SMcQ* were in this movie, he would look good in whatever he was wearing. (He would not, however, be the best-dressed, it is not in his contract. He needs to switch agents.)

8. I love the red hot pants under Pamela Sue Martin’s dress. Did she know something the rest of them didn’t?

9. If Jackie Bissett were in this movie, she would serve no purpose whatsoever.

10. The SS Poseidon did not have any hubcaps.

11. I see now where Bruce Willis got his wardrobe for Die Hard. (Thank you, Ernest Borgnine.)

12. One inch of steel is definitely better than two.

13. Screaming was a significant part of Carol Lynley’s audition. I’m sure of it.

14. Next time I book tickets on a cruise ship, I’m staying in the engine room.

15. Some people should never wear tank tops. (See #11 above.)

16. The very second you start talking about your little grandson, you’re dead.

17. Gene Hackman is the studliest priest I ever saw. I ask again, what the hell church does he belong to??

18. Those old Crazy Glue ads were clearly inspired by this movie.

19. Comfortable shoes are the words of the day.

20. If Leslie Nielsen says the ship is top-heavy, then, dammit, it is.

SMcQ* Steve McQueen
Jackie Bissett** Again, we offer no apologies

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


My friend, the blogless Kate, has done several reviews of older movies. (Sorry, no craft or knitting content again with this post. )

If you enjoyed my review of Bullitt, I present for your reading
pleasure, my review of The Towering Inferno:

1. I am amazed that the entire Hyatt Regency Hotel can fit inside the
Bank of America building. How can this be?

2. SMcQ* looks good in a fireman's outfit.

3. Fred Astaire is, well, Fred Astaire.

4. Whoever dressed William Holden in a red smoking jacket has an
ironic sense of humor.

5. Faye Dunaway's dress is a miracle of modern engineering, even
more so than the Glass Tower itself.

6. O.J. Simpson as a security guard??? I feel sooo safe.

7. Sleeping with Robert Wagner is hazardous to your health.

8. Despite #4 and 5 above, RV** is still the best-dressed person in the
room. (It must be in his contract.)

9. SMcQ's second in command appears to be played by the same guy who
played his partner in Bullitt. (More research required.)

10. One of the fireman was Dirty Harry's partner in Magnum Force.
He did better in this film, he made it to the end.

11. Richard Chamberlain should have been killed much earlier in the
film, he was a jackass. Susan Blakely could have done better.

12. Jennifer Jones got a raw deal.

13. All the firetrucks had the requisite number of hubcaps.

14. Jackie Bissett ***serves no purpose whatsoever. (Oops, mind glitch.
She's actually not in the film, but who would notice?)

SMcQ* Steve McQueen
RV** Robert Vaughn
Jackie Bissett*** Note: If you are a charter member of the Jackie Bisset Fan Club we offer no apologies.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


My friend Kate, she who is blogless and plans to remain so, has been sending me reviews of movies she has watched at home recently. They are all oldies but goodies. (Kate and I delight in all things Clint. She is also gaga for the Man from U.N.C.L.E. AND Steve McQueen. She also has a special edition of The Magnificent Seven which is to die for. Ask her how tight Yul Brynner's pants were. Just get her started.)

With permission granted I begin a series of movie reviews.

So, last night I watched Bullitt for the first time ever. Here are
some things I noticed:

1. The famous car chase was probably pretty great in 1968, but since
then it has been copied so many times, it has lost its punch. Ronin's
is better.

2. Jackie Bissett serves no purpose whatsoever.

3. SMcQ *looks good in paisley pajamas.

4. I want his flat.

5. I cried when the Mustang got trashed.

6. Dodge Chargers have 6 hubcaps. Who knew?

7. Gap, Inc. has built its headquarters on the site of the hotel where
the witness gets shot.

8. The wardrobe budget clearly went to RV's** suits. (Again.)

9. I completely missed Robert Duvall, he is somewhere in the movie, I
don't know where.

10. Parking in North Beach was always bad.

11. Lalo Schifrin did the music for both Bullitt and Dirty Harry.

12. I do not miss the Embarcadero Freeway at all.

13. Al least Bullitt had a woman, unlike some other SF cops I can
mention. Pity.

*Steve McQueen
**Robert Vaughn

Monday, November 06, 2006

WHAT'S IN THE BASKET? Why Otis of course. What cat or almost cat (not quite kitten not quite full grown at 6 months) can resist a nice basket full of knitting? Not any cat that I've ever known. Speaking of knitting I have just finished the second of a pair of Irish Hiking wristwarmers and that's it. Done. Nice pattern but really. I couldn't knit one more so now for something completely different. Or maybe a trip back in time to something not quite finished. It could happen.

I did the last half while editing Episode 3 of my podcast, TrueYarns. I really hadn't meant to let a month go by without doing another one but time just slipped by. I'm attempting to post it even as I blog. I finally had the good sense gently knocked into me by my friend Sharon to list it with iTunes where it is finally getting listened to by more than my immediate circle of friends. Go back an entry or two on her blog and see the nice photos she took of me. There is a lovely one of Omar sitting on my lap. He's such a cutie.) Sunday I drove out to Auburn which is about 30 minutes away and met up with Sharon and her husband Jaya. They have bought a wonderful house. They are unsure that they want to do a huge commute down to the bay area where they both work or rent the house for now. The thought of a long commute in glorious California traffic (which includes driving past our state capitol, Sacramento) sounds pretty sucky to me. On the other hand having her live nearby sounds divine.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A POEMWhere did my day go?
The time it just flew
between breakfast and lunch
and finding my shoes.
I knit a few rows,
then stopped and posed,
while daydreaming of loves
from long, long ago.
I’m dreaming of sweaters
In a red dark and clear
To keep me warm throughout the coming year
Will I knit it for sure?
I don’t really know.
Between daylight and night
my time is in flight
But knitting just always feels so very right.

Musing of a poet who knits (but has too many things on her needles but still desperately wanting to join the Red Sweater KAL).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A dream of stash collected, sorted, organized. Easy to eyeball and find. No more of the frantic sort for that extra skein that "you thought you had". Patterns snug in their little plastic holders, threaded and hung neatly in a three ring binder. Yarn bands with accompanying yarn sample so that I will always know the make, model and how many miles per stitch I can expect. Needles sorted by size, easily found (yes both of a pair - dream big, dream strong). Free from access by puppy or kitten with points sharp and true. A place for my crochet hooks, stitch markers, and the forever never to be found when you need them tape measures. It's a big dream. An important dream. Yesterday I went to Staples and bought plastic tubs. Tubs at $6 a pop. I put yarn in them. I realized that $24 worth of tubs (not including tax) wasn't going to get me far. But it is a start. The question now is:

Yarn sure to be bought + yarn already owned
x number of tubs bought over time

= organized stash (eventually)

Stay tuned.

Secret Pal 9

I've been enjoying my emails with my secret pals. I'm thinking of a gift for the upcoming birthday of the person I'm sending things to (hint, it's chocolate). Yesterday a wonderful package came to me from my unknown person. I have been lusting after the Vogue Stitchionary for ages and ages so this is a major treat to actually own it instead of just fondling it at the store. I also received four skeins of Knit Picks wool. Merino style and Wool of the Andes. I love the colors! I knew that I was starting to be a "real" knitter last year when I no longer just considered the color of a skein but what type of yarn it was, what I could reasonably do with it and other grown up type of things. Amazingly, we all grow up eventually. I just never expected it to happen to me. (Note: this in no way connotes maturity.)

Yesterday as I was walking to lunch I came across this darling waiting for his owner to return. I'll put him under my early Eye Candy Friday category.
Today is the first rainy day of Fall. It's a gray day but not that cold. Okay, it's not that cold because there is a fire in the wood burning stove.

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