Friday, May 30, 2008


Recently Knitters Review did a piece on soft linen made by Classic Elite. It sounded so wonderful I just had to have it and a web search showed that Uncommon Threads in Los Altos carried it. Since I was going to be there soon I bided my time. It turned out to be as nice as I had expected and I had discount coupons which brought my cost down to half so I was doubly pleased. I'm planning to make the Drifting Pleats scarf from Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr. But.Not.Until.I.Finish.Up.A Couple.Of.Things. This is being so hard but I am being very FIRM with myself. The color in the photo isn't accurate, it's more of a raspberry sherbet. Since I'm planning on making myself an orangy-red wool coat for winter I shall be quite a sight come snow time.

I am almost halfway through my second vintage sock and have made major inroads to the sleeves of the Landscape jacket. It's heading down the homestretch and looking good. Girlfriend knitting tomorrow so lots will get done.


As usual, I'm immensely behind in my weeding and gardening. There's always so much to do. Sewing, knitting, gardening, sleeping, the never ending laundry, walking the dog, making food (hubby would starve otherwise). I'm starting to prepare for my Phoenix Sew In which is held in Phoenix (duh) in late June. I cut out three pairs of pants yesterday. I had hoped to cut out a blouse today but went for an extra long hike with Omar instead.

Water lilies.

Sage. I foget the name of the purple spiked flower in the back but you'll be happy to know that it's doing well.

Gazanias. They're pretty but still in my heart I see them as freeway flowers. They get no respect.

The exact name of this pretty Oriental poppy is long lost. It's the strangest plant (and a volunteer to boot). I bought the original plant from Annie's Annuals last year and it immediately went to seed. This often happens with her plants - not that they are defective in any way. She has a magnificent place. It's in Richmond though and cold with fog from the bay wafting in. I live much further north and inland. Much drier and hotter. Her plants all seem to do better the next year when they've Given Up Hope. The plant itself is almost 5 ft high and a bit scary looking. Think of the movie, The Day of the Triffids. The flowers, which are only about 1.5 to 2 inches across are perched up at the top.

Niobe. A lovely clematis. It grows in full sun, on rocky, dry-ish ground on a slope. No fertilizer but once a year (if I remember), no bugs bother it, the deer don't eat it, it flowers for months and get this, flowers again in the late summer. Every couple of years I hack it down to about a foot off the ground in the Spring. Oh wait, there is no smell. I guess you can't have everything.

Looking back towards the house. Blanketflower, roses, penstemon, sage (blue and white), mallow. The mallow is a volunteer from a single plant put in SEVEN years ago. It never grows where I want it but I've learned to just let it be. Having the bright idea that Hey, mallow seems to like this spot I put in two other types. They barely survived. I dug one up and put it in a miserable spot and the sucker is happy. Gardening keeps you humble.

I'm starting to see bits and pieces of (don't laugh so hard) my Master Plan. the deep red of the blanketflowers, the blue of the hardy geraniums in between. There was supposed to be a cascade of several Russian sages. They're lagging behind but still alive and for that I am grateful.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Looking at my photos I can see that I am rather behind on my blogging so here's a bit of catching up on what's been happening at Chez Earin's.


Hubby had a off road 4 wheeling trail that he wanted to explore up by Downieville. That's a couple of very scenic hours of driving just to get there. The trail turned out to be still bogged down by heavy mud and snow drifts. It's around 7,000 ft elevation. We decided to check out some of the local lakes instead while we were up there.

Gold Lake. I like this photo because it looks like I'm floating above the water. Omar it turns out Does Not Like things that FLOAT. After being hoisted on to this floating dock he shivered and looked very unhappy. He refused to come out onto any of the others. Little does he know that we're planning on buying a small boat and a set of water wings for him.

This is the view in front of me as I levitate over the lake. Pretty nice though a bit on the chilly side.


I headed down to the bay area last week. Kate kindly put me up and demonstrated the best way to get the air out of her airbed. Now I know. We went to see Iron Man and it was a great movie. It was good to spend some time with her. Museum visiting, cruising around the Presido looking for George Lucas's new film institute, food.

Opie, recognizing my suitcase, either decided that he didn't want me to leave OR that it had a shocking lack of cat fur. I suspect the latter.

I went with my friend Katrina to Kaiser. Not much fun but Katrina does it with grace and quiet dignity.

The second vintage sock is coming along. I'm using the French Open to spend a lot of time sitting on the couch knitting away. I'm hoping to wrap up a couple of UFO's over the next couple of weeks.

I collected up a few mitered squares from Katrina. I'm helping her make a baby blanket for her new grandchild. I can see there are going to be a few problems. This is POST blocking.


I made a pair of long shorts. The fit is perfect and I am very pleased. I used a new technique using double sided tape that washes out to place the zipper and things went much faster.

I have lots of the trim fabric. I plan to make a sleeveless version of this blouse to go with the long shorts.

I've been experimenting and practicing some techniques: Pintucks, pleats, and curved darts. Some of the darts are decorated with beads or whipstitched. Pintucks are Way Cool.


While going in and out of my studio I took a photo of a small section of the mess. I realized that it showed (or almost showed) several of my favorite things:

1 - Swift and ball winder
2 - A traced pattern
3 - Watercolor brushes
4 - Yarn and needles
5 - Home made plum wine waiting for their labels
6 - Colored pencils/pen and ink/various art supplies
7 - Soapmaking molds
8 - Drafting table. To the left is a set of shelves with ALL sorts of art supplies
9 - To the right and behind: clay/yarn stash/orchids/books/junk


Hubby had a "significant number" birthday. He gets teased a lot by me because he doesn't wrap things. Yup, they come in the box they were mailed in. So, not being able to totally sink to that level but wanting to do something I gave him his presents in this. I had to point out the post-it.


The heat wave hastened the end of the iris season though this one is of a different type and bloomed a bit later. I managed to get a photo before I left for the bay area and caught the last few blooms when I came home a few days later.

The roses and lavender are starting to strut their stuff.

The amaryllis rebloom every year. They are magnificent.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Today was a fun day. My sewing guild in the morning. We met at our new location. We had a visiting speaker who was amazing. She knows so much about sewing and sewing machines and how they work. I learned A LOT. She's coming back in August to talk about sergers. Yea!!!

This evening it was Knit Night. We were small in numbers (and one is off to the right) but mighty in Spirit.

This particular sock (Nancy Bush Vintage) has been finished. Now for No. 2. I like the French Heel a lot but am not sure about the round toe.

I continue to sew up a storm. I finished this blouse yesterday afternoon. The pants were made last summer but I never had a top that went well with them. Now I do. I made another top in a floral print which somehow seems to be on another camera. You can catch a glimpse of it in the Knit Night photo (along with the totally unseen blue capri pants that go with it - my goodness... I.AM.COORDINATED...HELP ME!!!!).

Next up: another pair of capri pants. I am experimenting with some stressed silk fabric (in the dryer) to put on the cuffs. Not sure yet but it has potential. Then perhaps a summer houserobe. It's starting to get a little warm these days.


I love to garden but it isn't all wandering around snapping photos by a long shot. A few weeds. There are more. LOTS. Feel free to come on by and pull a few. I'll make you cookies and iced tea. Then I'll send you home with an armful of flowers.

Oriental poppies. They are a wonderful purple color inside.

Iris. They both smell great. I had one that was called "Hot Chocolate" that looked like milk chocolate and smelled wonderful. No, not at all like chocolate. A delicate fruity smell. I haven't seen it in awhile and suspect that it was crowded out. : - (

Pond and Peonies.

Red poppies.

Fourth of July climbing rose with friends. This photo does not do it justice.

Euphorbia and something that trails.

Friday, May 02, 2008


There has been sewing, the buying of sewing related books, and the acquisition of fabric (check out that pile of booty!). There has been a bit of machine embroidery, some very cool techniques for things like putting on pockets and collars, and overall, a whole lot of Total Immersion in the World of Fabric and What You Can Do With It.

Much time was spent with Suzy, she who is the Goddess of Sewing. I thought, "Hey, the perfect person to sit next to..." when I, the total machine embroidery virgin decided to dip my toes into a great class taught by Bobbi Bullard. WRONG!!! Her eyes glazed over, she hunched over her machine, and after several minutes of trying to get her attention I realized my mistake. The fingers flew, the fabric was decorated and my friend was far, far away. When I finally reeled her back in I received a "You look vaguely familiar and why the HELL are you bothering me?". Sewing as a Competitive Sport. Who knew? (To be fair she was completely helpful once I got her attention.)

During the show and tell parts of the five days I knitted on my vintage Nancy Bush sock. One can only go so long without yarn even when being crazed over sewing.

There were wonderful women, incredible instructors, a bus tour to SF and Berkeley to some of the really special fabric stores, and a heck of a lot of fun and laughter over the five days. I had A.Very.Good.Time.


While I was gone the iris started to open. A perfect place for a just turned 2 cat to practice his Downward Dog.

Last night I did a firewood run at dusk. I discovered that moths come out and feed on the flowers (including a very lovely azalea). A web seach showed me that one is in the Sphinx family. It was the size of a hummingbird and rather amazing.

Yet another photo of the rose and clematis combo outside my kitchen window.

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