Tuesday, February 20, 2007


One of my guilty pleasures is watching the fashion shows on HD TV. It's a great thing to have on in the background as you knit. As with most things of this nature some of the shows are wonderful, some boring and quite a few are just a tad silly. Would it surprise you to know that the rebirth of knitting has made its way to the world of high fashion?

I bring to you images taken from the New York Times on-line edition of clothes shown during the London Fashion week. Some of these patterns will surely be in knitting books soon. Be sure to preorder now!

I like the hat. I can see making it for myself in a nice rusty red with a bit of varigation. Learn cables. Learn cables now.
This is a personal favorite. This coat is ME. You have to custom order the size 400 needles though.

My own personal knitting continues. Claude is down to the last few inches and then the joys of knitting the band. The hubby and I will be heading out to Utah in a couple of days for fun (no profit). We'll be working our way to Phoenix where we will help our dear friend Suzy celebrate a significant birthday. Beautiful scenery, the riding of dual sport bikes, three cats and a dog contained in the RV for two weeks. How the fur will fly!


Friday, February 16, 2007

IT JUST HAPPENED...REALLY I was looking through my three Elsebeth Lavold books from her Viking series to see if the pattern my friend Sabrina was asking about was in one of them (it wasn't but she found her book so the world is again in alignment). As you would expect I oooohed and ahhhhed over the patterns and found myself over at EBay clicking the "buy now button" for a pile of her cotton patine. I'm a latecomer to the joys of buying from EBay but I'm catching up fast. The seller was amazingly prompt and even included the angelfish tape measure for free. Sabrina has suggested that we find a pattern that we both like and knit ourselves matching sweaters. Since we are vastly different as to shape and size it will be interesting to see how things turn out. We'd like to use a EL pattern.

Claude continues but I don't want to keep posting every inch that I've knitted. I'm also almost through with another pair of fun summer pants. We're heading over to Utah and Phoenix next week so having warm weather clothes will be nice.
This is the jacket I want to use the yarn for. It looks pretty complicated but I think I can do it. It would be just perfect for summer. A few days later Sabrina herself came by after riding her horse (it's boarded a few miles from here) and we knitted up a storm while drinking tea and eating brown sugar cookies which were featured in the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated. Hubby liked them so much that he has requested that I make them again (and had a slight problem with me sending a baggie of cookies home with Sabrina for her hubby).
Personally I am off sugar, even fruit sugars for a few days. I have done something wicked to my left shoulder and am in pain. It's difficult to raise my left arm. Never fear though - I am still able to knit and sew thankfully. I've been adjusted twice and things seem to be calming down. New pillow? Sitting at an angle while knitting? I don't consider myself much of a delicate flower but something went wrong.

I attempted to try and get a photo that gave the illusion of Omar standing on the yarn. This is the best of the lot.

Ollie felt that he was being ignored the other night (and he was, I was a bad parent). What you can't tell from the photo is that he is slowly and quietly flexing his claws. I have the holes to prove it. Yes, I was good. I stopped and gave him a huge cuddle. He likes to lie back in your arms (while on his back) and have you stroke his tummy. He's a big cat running 16 to 17.5 pounds and after a while your arms just get so tired. Maybe that is what happened to my shoulder though this is not the first time I've done this.

While parts of the US and Canada complain about frozen nose hairs we are basking in 70F weather. Spring as only California can do it. After seeing the chiropractor I took Omar up to one of the larger NID canals and power walked for almost two hours. It was gorgeous and so mild I wish I had worn shorts. Dappled sunshine, a gurgling canal along one side deep forest along both sides, almost no one else out on the trail. It was a gift of a day.
The first crocus are out and looking like liquid sunshine.

The last rains helped the lichen puff up and turn green. A few daffodils have opened. It's always a surprise to see what has survived the gophers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


No, I'm not having a blogging orgasm. I'm fondling a skein of the softest wool in the most perfect shade of mauve all courtesy of my Secret Pal Jollin. Jollin has been the greatest secret pal and has sent me some amazing stuff. Opie knew this was going to be good so he tried to get in there first. Sorry Opie, no cat treats. I was barely able to bring myself to share the strawberry filled chocolate with the hubby. I'm sorry I ate the cream filled biscuits so fast. They were so good.
Wow. Where to begin. Yummy things to eat, two postcards from Singapore (one with orchids which I love), some supercharged circular needles along with a hand knitted needle bag. Check out this amazing rose that Jollin made. We.Are.Not.Worthy.
She also made some stunning stitch markers. I am on the floor! Mine! All Mine!! (Did I type that out loud...?)
There is a package of scented clay which smells so good. I love to burn incense (hubby thinks I'm smoking funny stuff down in my studio but I think it's a throwback to my Catholic upbringing). All topped by a beautiful Chinese New Years card wishing me good luck. Thank you so much. I am honored.

On the knitting front Claude continues apace. I'm working on the second sleeve then the right front then the bands. I am liking it a lot. I've also been sewing happy clothes. I've started up with some fun summer pants that are loose and easy. I have another pair about to be cut out along with some odds and ends of the repairing kind (patching up small things before they unravel more).
Happy Valentine's Day to you all. It's not a holiday that resonates with me. I've been wincing every time I was at MSN's homepage and it screamed out "How to Survive Valentine's Day if You're Alone!!!!". Being alone is a) not a crime, b) rather nice at times c) doesn't mean you're a loser d) pretty normal. What can I say? My personal feelings are that we are fed a huge amount of misinformation about what love really is, what it can or cannot do for you. The NY Times on-line has had an article on their most emailed list about what people wish they had asked their partners about before they got married. Things like: dealing with money, who and how are major decisions made, what about children Yes/No? How will they be raised and by whom? How could you not get this worked out before getting married?
I just wish that someone responsible for my upbringing had given me a few realistic pointers. Things like: Passion is great but fades eventually. How do you deal with the day in and day out of being with someone? Conflict resolution/how to resolve problems. 15 easy pointers. Date people who have similar values to you. If you handle money in alarmingly opposite ways Things.Will.Not.Work.Out. Same with sleep cycles. Day vs Night Owl = Problems. Learn to take care of yourself. I'm not sure that as a teenage with raging hormones (and did they ever rage) I would have listened but perhaps at some point I might have started to think about it.
So, not my favorite holiday but I do like all the chocolate.

Monday, February 12, 2007


While walking Omar this morning I startled a hawk sitting in a tree. As she flew off she dropped something and that something turned out to be the hindquarters of a rabbit. A lot of protein is needed to raise little fledglings. While I leave you to digest that tasty tidbit of information I will show you Claude Undone. I had earlier frogged a good deal of the left front of Claude when I discovered (yet again) that I cannot reliably read pattern instructions. I took Claude with me to a dinner party on Sat. and after a very nice meal knitted away. At some point while I was admiring my knitting I discovered that I had forgotten to do one cable repeat ten or 12 rows back. With an indifferent light and only my lap to balance things on I quietly slipped the whole thing off my needles, put it in my basket, and cast on a sleeve. K2P2 - 14 rows then stockinette stitch for rows and rows. I could do that and talk at the same time. The next day I spread things out and went to work with my crochet hook. It took a little trial and error to get the cable just right and matched in height to its neighbor but it wasn't that hard at all. I am very pleased with myself.
I sometimes wonder why I don't seem to turn out projects as fast as some people. I certainly seem to spend a lot of time knitting. To help pass the time I've started getting audio books from the library. I'm very tired of TV. The cable repair was done while listening to the original radio program of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves". It's very funny.
One project that I'm working on is reserved for long telephone conversations. I have no idea what happened. I untwisted the skein and opened it out. It seemed to be tied a little funny with the tie catching several strands of yarn. It all literally burst into this pile when I snipped the tie. It's also a Sundara silky merino (think of the way over-sized after washing somewhat cowl) which just wants to expand. If you feel like a long chat give me a call. I'll put on my headset and unwind as we talk. I'd love to hear how people wash skeins before knitting with them and without the skein turning into a knotted mess.
Another reason I'm a bit slower than average is that no yarn is safe in my house. Either it's being killed or the knitting is just the perfect place for a determined cat to sleep. Bags are of great interest too though Opie does not look impressed.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Frog unto Thee

Frogging for Love.
Frogging for Pay.
Frogging just makes a
glitch in my day.

Hours of work
gone in a flash.
It makes you want
to go lie down
with your stash.

You’ve worked so hard
but you made a mistake.
There’s no use fretting
‘cause it far too late.

So, frog away,
frog away,
frog away now.
Just bite the bullet
It don’t matter no how.

*Refers to how long it takes me to write a poem. More than five minutes but less than ten.


When I switched over to the new blogger it arbitrarily assigned me a date of birth. I though, hmmm, 250. No way. I'm more like Legolas, who's a very young nearly 3,000 year old elf. (Actually, there is some dispute about his actual age.) At the moment I'm 1003 but I might add a few years down the line.

Last night I cracked the code for the cable pattern for Claude. British patterns are laid out differently from American and I was being amazingly clueless. (Note to Self: Do not attempt to cast on anything at 4 am in the morning. You.Cannot.Count. I don't care how awake you feel.) All seems to be moving along fast at long last. At knitnight I bought a set of size 7 bamboo needles to replace the metal ones. This has helped a lot. The metal ones were far too slippery causing me to spend a lot of time and effort trying to keeping things straight. Knitnight was a lot of fun with a lot of laughing and good food along with wine and lots and lots of fiber. This is one fine group of ladies.

My stash is finally organized. The photo was too boring to post. I've still got to figure out how to deal with all my needles and other bits and pieces.

Despite many returns (happy and otherwise) blogger will not let me space things so my inate desire to have my blog entry be lined up Just So cannot happen. Get over it Earin.
We're finally getting some much needed rain. It is glorious to smell the moisture in the air and hear the rain falling. Omar is less than pleased. He is a dog who prefers to remain very, very dry. Having to hustle his cute butt out into the rain to do his business is not at all appealing but a little dog can only hold it for so long. I think we've figured out how to rig a tarp that won't flap in the wind and scare the poor guy while he's feeling exposed.

I have no idea how turkeys feel about the rain. They seem to go about their business rain or shine. It's getting to be mating season so there will be lovely displays of the males spreading their plumage. Look at Me! Look at Me! We hear the calling and crying of the nesting red tail hawks on and off throughout the day. It's a beautiful sound.
The garden is starting to show a little color with the primroses now in bloom. I don't know what the pinky-purple bush is in the background.

The first azalea of spring. As you can see from the leaves we have very hard water. I planted three new azaleas last year so I'm excited to see how they look in full bloom.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Heather commented that I might need more stress in my life so I can knit tighter and make gauge. Hmmm, perhaps more tension would work. Nothing I do seems to be helping. I am fortunate that at this particular time in my life things are amazingly low stress (and like all things subject to change without notice). It makes a lovely change from my years of working in the always stressful biotech industry. (IT.MUST.HAPPEN.NOW!!!!!) Hubby and I took early retirements and I am entirely ruined for real life at this point in time.

I am finding working with cotton angora to be quite different from wool. I taught myself how to knit and never knew that you should wind the yarn around your finger(s). I do for crochet but that was taught to me when I was a tyke. Why I didn't make a connection is just a comment on how my brain works (or not). Generally my stitches are very even but I am noticing that I'm having to work at it quite a bit more with this project. My gauge (oh, the heartbreak) is all off but holding the back section of Claude over my body shows it to be a pretty good fit, perhaps even a tad on the small size. For now I'm just going to continue knitting and hope for the best.

Sunday hubby and I meet up with my friend Sharon and her husband. We did a short walk and a quick look around at the museum at the Empire Mine. We've done the tour many times in the past so passed on doing it again. Afterwards (and sorry you poor Midwesterners and Canadians - it was a glorious day - sunny and mild) we went back to our house where we all ate way too much food and paid inconsistent attention to the Super Bowl. Quick! Who played and who won? Ummmmm. I think that regardless of the teams involved it should be required that they wear vastly different colors to make keeping things straight easier taking less time away from knitting. Sharon and I knit up a storm, drank tea and ate the darkest most chocolaty cookies I've ever baked. Years ago I picked up a cooking book on chocolate at a yard sale. It's been the best 25 cents I've ever spent.

I was entirely clueless about the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading. I've had a great time reading poetry and next year will try to remember and post a poem.

Friday, February 02, 2007

WINTER BLUESAfter the problem with the somewhat cowl growing to a too large size I've fallen into a bit of a funk. The weather hasn't helped having turned cold and uncharitable. When funked I find that reading is always a good way to ride things out. Several books later I'm feeling much better and have cast on for "Claude" purchased from My Fashionable Life. My swatch was dead on for gauge. Same needle size, the exact same yarn used. As I knitted along it quickly became apparent that despite all this things were too big. I've carefully measured me, the pattern, the individual pattern pieces and decided to go down one pattern size. I've now gone down a needle size and I seem to be on target. Wish.Me.Luck.
After pulling out all my stash it sat there in an awful muddle till I pulled myself together. It's still a muddle but I'm thinking about it. I bought a new tub which cheered me up to no end. I put out Episode 7 of my podcast, trueyarns so I hope you'll check it out. If anything, just to hear me say "uh" over and over. I have no idea how Brenda Dayne of Cast-On does it. She doesn't even seem to breathe.
I've always loved this photo of my friend Lynda up by the town of Washington. We were looking for a waterfall (hubby is crazy for waterfalls) and ended up working our way up the Yuba river. Opie has taken to climbing up on our backs anytime we lean over. Right after this photo was taken he made a tremendous leap to the kitchen counter. Omar often wonders why he can't manage quite the same distance. He thinks he's a cat or at least a cat/dog hybrid.

Me at 19. I was very sad - it was a difficult time. I also wore "Twiggy" eyes.

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