Monday, August 31, 2009


Driving back from the bay area yesterday, feeling dozy and ready to be home after an emotional weekend attending Katrina's memorial I snapped awake when I started seeing large amounts of smoke off towards where I live.

After getting off the freeway and heading north (ish) on the local highway it became apparent that it wasn't likely that my home was in danger of burning down but this thing was between me and it. If I had been 10 minutes earlier I could have probably slipped through as the road block was being erected. As it was it looked like a war zone. Flashing lights of emergency vehicles, smoke and wind whipping past with bits of debris. So, back up I went to the freeway and then up and around the fire through some very rough and narrow back roads. It's now fairly contained but 60 structures, half of them private homes were lost. Probably because someone threw a burning cigarette out their car window. Around here it's not only saving your home but getting your pets and livestock to safety. Thankfully, it's something that there is an emergency plan for and critters are taken to safety fast.

I stayed with the every lovely Kate who took good care of me. I was expecting the usual 20 degree difference in temperatures (Fog! Lovely, cool fog!) but hit a heatwave. Not fair at all though we did get to walk on the beach at Half Moon Bay.

I took her to meet Sammy for the first time. Sammy is wearing my booties. How cool is that? One of the hooded bath blankets was hanging up (and damp from use!) in the bathroom. I just love it when things I make are used.

Sammy is turning into a bruiser. 14 lbs so far at two months and growing fast. He still sleeps most of the time and make the cutest little noises.

It's All Gail's Fault.

Last Wed. I was hogtied, tossed into a car kicking and screaming and taken to MeadowFarm for their annual sidewalk sale. Yeah, right. I put up SUCH a fight!

Silk and some Mountain Colors Twizzle.

di.vo. I use this yarn a lot. I've already turned the red/pink into another neck warmer - a present for my cousin in Canada. After the button, a photo!

Some Lana Grosso cotton. I've started a Minnowknits denim jumper. I like the yarn a lot but it is staining my fingers and bamboo needles. It will be interesting to see how much dye bleeds out when it's washed.
Random Cat Pictures

A curious Otis.

Not A Tan Line

The dog days of summer are rather dusty. After walking Omar this is what my legs looks like.

Garden Stuff

The hardy banana is producing its first cluster of bananas. Inedible but still so cool.

The veggie portion of the garden continues to churn out lots of produce. Extra tomatoes are cut up, lightly stewed, then frozen for lovely soup and sauces come winter time. There's a touch of fall in the air though. Soon it will be long pants and sweaters.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Yesterday my dear friend Katrina died from ovarian cancer. She fought long and hard before losing. She knew she would in the end but she was never anything but upbeat yet realistic. She went about her business as her health allowed and always looked forward to what life had to offer her. She was the happy recipient of my various offerings of knitted hats and experimental scarfs. Some of them were quite experimental!

She was an avid hiker and a great lover of the outdoors. Part of her childhood was spent in Alaska and she traveled extensively all her life. Always simply - fancy inns and hotels were not her style. She was a Quaker to the core.

I met her in 1992 by a funny series of events and ended up renting the back part of her house for nearly 10 years leaving only upon my marriage. She saw me go through one very hard breakup and eventually into a very happy marriage along with pulling a career together. She seemed to always like me for who I was though we came from very different backgrounds.

I did many a hike with Katrina and her partner Dave. There was one particularly lovely one where my husband and I met up with them at Lassen. (Correction: It was Mt. Rainer.) In my mind's eye I see acres of flowers with glorious mountains covered with snow. The wildflowers that years were spectacular. Then there were the two times we did the Palisades above Calistoga. The first time it started raining 4 miles in and I was not all that well prepared. When Dave would wander back to cheer me up, still full of pep and enthusiasm as the rain pelted down I had a vague, crazed thought of bumping him over the edge of the the trail but I liked him too much and honestly, I just didn't have the energy.

The second time we were much better prepared, and of course, it did not rain. Still, towards the end of the 11 miles I was in the back limping along with a lovely blister and Katrina was at the head of the queue striding along with that incredibly wonderful smile of hers. They could hike me into the ground any time, any place despite being 15 years older, and in Dave's case, closer to 25.

Dave died earlier this year though in some ways he died some time back. The delightful person we knew and loved had faded away with the onset of Alzheimer's. He was the sort of man who patted trees as he went by. Katrina continued to drive him to hikes and even camping before it became too much for the both of them.

To say that I am going to miss her hardly sums up the void of her passing leaves in my life. One of the saddest things about aging is seeing friends pass away and the emptiness it leaves behind. Well, she wouldn't want me to be making a fuss. It just wasn't her way. I was fortunate to know her and be her friend.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Lately there has been a fair amount of new fiber around Chez Earin's. Some fabric too along with a couple of new toys. (I can't really explain about the tomato.)

I have fallen in love with this little gadget which was a birthday present from my knitting buddy (and good friend) Gail. It has almost everything a well stocked knitting basket needs. I loves it.

One of the Auburn Knit Night Knitters (say that three times really, really fast) was cleaning out her house recently and brought various items including yarn to knit night. I scored some yarn and a lovely pair of sandals. (Noro's "Silver Thaw".) She was making a shawl and just didn't feel the love. I'm not quite sure how much but something like 5 skeins. AKN had it's first annual pool party and it was so much fun that I didn't take a single photograph though I did polish off the rest of the potato salad. Not only do we knit we're darn fine cooks too.

After a fairly long period of back and forth emails on Ravelry I purchased a HUGE amount of Rowan California Cotton (discontinued alas) that I adore. I always enjoy the various emails one has with complete strangers all over the world talking about yarn. I think I'll have a very good time with this yarn.

The froggie was my birthday gift from Kate who has a very fine blog at long last. Froggie is a tape measure and I adore him. (Link to her blog when I find it. Done!)

Some Colinette superwash sock yarn destined to become a baby item. Or socks. Or....who knows. I also bought some Mountain Colors superwash sock yarn in a lovely varigated purple that's around here somewhere... I started some Baby Monkey socks in it but it's so dark I am having difficulty seeing the stitches even in a good light.

The Monkey socks are finally done. What a cool pattern.

Garden Stuff

The garden continues to be bountiful. These little pumpkins are so tasty. I'm going to grow a lot more of them next year.

These English cucumbers are now bread and butter pickles.

...and tomatoes. We have lots at long last.

On the Baby Front.

I continue to make baby items for little Sammy. This fabric was turned into baby bath blankets.

I'm about to do the sole of the second sneaker bootie. The photo doesn't really show that the white yarn has sparkles in it. Diamonds on the soles of his sneaker booties. Way cool.

Next up. Finishing off more UFO's (yeah, the Pink Mimosa) and sewing up a table cloth to go with my new placemats.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


I'll change the layout of my blog, add a list of sites I visit, links to cool places. Things that I like. Yeah, sure. I must somehow get a HTML savvy friend over and ply them with frosty drinks and place them in front of a computer. Snacks are included!

I might also actually add photos to my Flickr account. You know, the account where I actually pay them money instead of just using their free service? I could wander around Ravelry learning how it really works and posting photos of my stash and finished projects. Don't get me wrong, I do seem to spend a lot of time looking at patterns and yarn. I adore Ravelry and get a little thrill when I see how many members there are (over 400,000! YES!) and don't you just adore the little message notice that give a wiggle? ToDieFor.

In the meantime, valuable coding/reading/learning time is spent knitting. Well, I am in the midst of some serious kitchen cabinet cleaning and reorganizing too. At some point all those old yogurt containers just won't stay behind closed doors.

While checking Valerie's blog I came across these adorable Sneaker Booties. With a newborn now in my knitting realm I cranked these out asap using some Sundara scraps and old acrylic yarn for the laces culled from my mother's Enormous Non-Wool Yarn Stash. (I gave away a CAR LOAD - really, I have a photo somewhere of a car stuffed with acrylic yarn and a rather stunned looking friend somewhere. Yet, I still have lots.) No natural fibers please! I think Red Heart has her on their Christmas card list.

Are they not the cutest things? I just bought some Mountain Colors Superwash sock yarn in a Very Seriously Purple colorway to make up another pair and some baby Monkey socks. The parents are serious lovers of the Color Purple.

I finally got around to making my photo light box on the cheap. I am going to try putting a sheet of tracing paper over the inside paper to see if I can get rid of the overlap line. Otherwise, it's a nice addition and helps enormously with photographing small items. I had priced them on-line then googled how to make one from scraps. I think I spent all of 15 minutes on it. Way To Go!

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