Thursday, April 24, 2008


Things continue to be very busy at Chez Earin's. My eyes are a bit glazed from it all. We've had two sets of company. One, my dear friend Katrina whom we took hiking. It was a nice five mile loop out to a waterfall. Having rarely done the hike on a weekend I was a bit surprised at how many people were out and about.

People of all ages (though I would rethink the baby stroller, it's a bit steep and rocky in places), mountain bikes and horseback riders (they were really nice). Omar enjoyed them all and it was a beautiful spring day. Katrina was thrilled with her two hats. Somehow I didn't manage to get a photo...

I've also been busy getting ready for my four day sewing retreat. On the agenda? What to knit. There are times where we sit and watch fashion shows so it's a perfect time to work on a vintage Nancy Bush sock worked in a beautiful Sundara colorway called Bird of Paradise. They're half hose with calf shaping but I will make them shorter without the shaping.

I'm struggling to knit it in the Continental manner. I am having conniptions with the purl stitches but I carry on. Old dogs don't like learning new tricks but I'm stubborn.

I'm finally getting around to spraying fixative on the latest wine labels. Very cool labels I might add made up for me by Sharon. We are grateful (and we have two more batches coming up soon needing labels).

Opie and Ollie had varying reactions to my going down and up, down and up as I carry things out to my truck.

We had some rain (and some hail). A perfect afternoon for a much deserved nap. They were amazingly cute.

I put my tomatoes and beans out earlier than usual and paid the price. We had a hard frost.

This year I was lazy and didn't start everything from seed so back to the nursery I went. How I suffer.


Both my fig trees and the grape vines took a frost hit too (and one poor hydrangea). Iris coming into bloom with a Japanese maple in the background.

Not one but two types of lavender. Whoo Hoo!

Walk around the side of the house and the Floozie is budding. Walk around a short while later and she's overblown. She lives Fast and Hard.

The clematis and roses are actually blooming at the same time. What a change.

Chinese takeout tonight then four days of sewing with a little knitting in between. Heaven.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Dear Midwest,

It has come to our attention that you recently experienced a 5.2 earthquake. Congratulations! If we may be so forward to pass on some advice.

Stay indoors during the next one. You're more likely to be injured if you're running around.
Yeah, you can go stand in the doorway but really, unless it's a weight bearing door it's useless. Chances are you'll be bouncing around from the first nanosecond and won't be making any choices. Personally, we have a theory that the prefab shower stalls are a good bet. They're flexible. Watch out for the glass door though.
Keep a fair amount of canned goods and water available. If the quake is big enough you'll need them.
Don't light up if you smell gas. Oh, and it's a good idea to know how to turn the gas off. Is your hotwater heater secured?
Don't count on the phones, landlines or cell to work for a few hours.
Stay home. The emergency personnel really don't need you driving around gawking.
Accept the reality that California isn't the only place in the US to have them. The world is a shifty place.

While the Midwest was having a good time I finished four mitered squares and sewed them together. I am not entirely happy with my seams but am not sure what else I can do. Suggestions?

I spent most of Tuesday waiting to administer justice. Since I was denied my constitutional right to arm myself with the dangerous weapon of my choice (knitting needles) I crocheted a dishcloth while waiting. In the end the trial was dismissed and we were sent home. I was ready though.

I put the final touches on the second chemo hat. The band was looser than I liked so I threaded in some elastic. The recipient will be here tomorrow so she will receive two hats and a tutorial, pattern, needles, and yarn included, of how to knit mitered squares.


We've been hot, we've been cold but Spring continues on. Poppies

The native iris popped open. Wow.

I introduced some euphorbia plants into the garden last year. I am pleased.

To the delight of myself and most flying insects the ceanothus is in bloom.

Not much in the way of fragrance but oh so gorgeous. Lilac.

Cascading rose bush, lavender, the Floozy in the background and a climbing rose in the way, way background (Dreamweaver).

Friday, April 11, 2008


And I'm not just talking gauge, I'm talking length and width. I didn't even realize that one side of my Manos del Uruguay landside jacket was shorter than the other until I laid it out to photograph. Thankfully, it is easily fixed. I've been knitting away doing the double version along with frogging my first attempt; making skeins, washing them, etc. I am now done with that part and my umbrellas and wine bottles can go back to their usual living spaces.

I've knit up a couple more mitered squares too. I want to get four total so I can sew them up and demonstrate what the baby blanket will look like.

It's been a busy week. I went out to Auburn last Sat. to meet up with my friend Sharon. We then went down to Roseville and visited a new to me yarn shop called Filati. It was BIG. It had lots of lovely yarn. It was also rather pricey. I like to support my local yarn stores but I don't like to feel overcharged and frankly, I did. If a project is going to use more than a couple of skeins I'll buy on-line, usually from the Yarn and Fiber Company. They have free shipping! They are fast! They had great stuff! They run an average of $2.50 less PER SKEIN! The baby blanket will take 10 to 12 skeins. It adds up.

Oh, the dancing pickle? He was boogieing on the corner on my way through Auburn. When he noticed I was taking his photograph he poured it on. That pickle sure could dance.

I had not one but two medical procedures this week. I think this means I'm officially old. One was quite minor. The second was a much put off colonoscopy. To amuse the doctor I had hubby decorate the area in question beforehand. All was fine. I knew it would be. If you need one - Just Do It. It was pretty easy. Well, except for the laxative part. I didn't mind that so much. What it did was upset my stomach to such a degree I upchucked several times. Ewwwww.

In other news...Spring continues to unfold. In fact, it was 81F today which is actually a little scary for April 11. I am hoping we have a mild spring before the summer heat knocks us flat. We did another hike earlier in the week down at Bridgeport along the Buttermilk Trail and there are even more wildflowers. Some of the more delicate ones on exposed slopes have dried up but new ones have unfolded.


The river from the trail above.

Two views of a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly with some wild iris.

A little froggy. At home our swimming pool is yet again the Love Boat to many hopeful males croaking out their hearts looking to get lucky.

A California salamander.

Chinese Houses.

Canyon Dudleya

At home, the first clematis of the year.

The wisteria has started to bloom. It also smells amazingly good.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Some time in the last couple of years I knitted all but nine inches of the Manos del Uruguay Landside jacket. It never thrilled me because it was limp, seriously limp. Now the pattern had an option to knit it with double yarn and gosh, I had inadvertently bought just that amount. No, I don't know why I knit it using the single option. These things just happen.

In between working on my other UFO's I've been frogging my first attempt. It's a little bit kinky as you might expect having been knit in garter and then having to sit around unloved for two or so years.

I've had to be a little bit ingenious (and what knitter isn't?) finding a way to weigh the yarn after I've wet it down. My first attempt worked quite well: make the yarn into a skein, tie off, wet, blot in a towel then hang on a plastic coat hanger. Hang coat hanger over the dining room table (who eats there anyway? it's covered in my knitting) on a convenient hook then weigh down with another coat hanger with an umbrella looped over it. Voila!

At some point all my convenient hooks were busy so I used a dowel and a wine bottle for the next set of skeins.
I am liking the double version much more. I'm still working on Storm along with a couple of other things. I tend to jump around a little bit (stop laughing).

I knit a test mitered square for a friend who's son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby. She asked me to help set her up with an appropriate baby item to knit. We both have some lovely grey-green RY Classic DK on size 5's that turns out to be perfect. It is so very soft. I first tried a lovely blanket pattern found on My Fashionable Life but decided it would be too fussy for the person knitting it. A Mason-Dixon mitered blanket turned out to be just the perfect project. She'll knit, I'll wash, block and sew up the squares then put a border on it.

I also made up a pair of capri for the upcoming summer. I was rather pleased how they turned out. I am eagerly awaiting my four day sewing retreat at the end of this month. It's certainly going to be a lot more fun than the colonoscopy I have scheduled for next week!

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