Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'd rather knit ..

Periodically I have to work ... oh no ... I'd rather knit. Paperwork is my least favorite but somebody has to do it ... there is a deadline but don't they know I'm almost done with my "top down" sweater?

Here is the progress:
The sleeves will be knit on my Brother "bulky" machine, so as soon as I get the lenght that I'm after I can throw the stitches on the machine and finish the sleeves in no time. When I tried it on the neckline is really nice and it feels really comfy and warm. It will be great for those early morning chilly walks.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Men and their Toys....

Cars especially classic cars have fascinated me for many many years now. This last week I've been watching the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event in Scottsdale, Arizona. I so wanted to go but that is a lot of effort to get there and then to navigate the crowds etc. so the next best is to watch the event on television.

Just look at the site! You needed a golf cart to get around! One of the interviews I was watching talked about the auction producers ordering carpet by the acres. I was watching television and knitting most of last week. Thoroughly enjoying both!

Knitting this top down sweater in stripes... fun because I can try it on as I knit along and the "Options" needles are absolutely perfect for this type of project. The various length of the cables is great! When I want to try it on I just switch to a 60" cable and am able to see what it looks like on.

On Saturday night my DH and I were sitting there watching the Auction absolutely blown away by the prices, $100,000.00 .... $500,000.00 and so on it was almost like seeing Monopoly money! Then my husband tells me that our friend Jim is there look for him in the background!

I say it's only high rollers that get to be on the "block" and to even sit in the audience you have to prove that you have at least $30,000 in you checking account and pay $200 for admission.

My husband: Jim Mangione told me to look for him he will be there!

Me: Yeah I'll look for him! (thinking sure I'll see him maybe for a split second)

My husband: Look there he is!

Me: I'll be darn that is him!

My husband: Look he is bidding on that car!

Me: $800,000? LOOK $900,000! I can't believe it!

My husband: That is a very rare car!

Me: OMG He wins $1,000,000.00


Wow that is something, wait there is another one:

Yes folks he bought that one also $1,000,000.00 he got the pair!


The Dodge Firearrows were a grouping of four one-off concept/dream cars designed by Chrysler's legendary design chief Virgil Exner and built by Ghia of Turin, Italy. The series consisted of a full scale mockup (Firearrow I), THIS CAR Fire II a running, driving fully roadable car based on that mockup. Firearrow III a sport coupe, a further evolution of the earlier Firearrows and finally Firearrow IV, a fully roadable convertible with folding top, windows and fully designed and engineered to be translated into series production. Unfortunately, Chrysler made the decision to not proceed into production and these cars are but a great moment in automotive history. These cars are the only survivors of the wonderful early series of Chrysler concept cars that were designed as serious, elegant Italian styled sports cars which could very easily have found a market niche to compete with the Corvette, Thunderbird and several European marques. They not only are wonderful looking cars, but are powered by the legendary Hemi engine and a pleasure to drive.
About the Barrett-Jackson Auction History
What began as a simple meeting between two car buffs in 1960 has emerged over some 40 years into one of the world's most prestigious and anticipated collector car auctions and expositions.

It began in Scottsdale, Arizona a Wild-West town that had yet to spread its wings and create its own identity. The two participants were Russ Jackson and Tom Barrett, drawn together by a car advertised for sale. It seems Mr. Barrett was selling his 1933 Cadillac V-16 Town Car, and it appears Mr. Jackson was interested....

....It was in 1967 that Barrett and Jackson presented a car show they called, with the appropriate flair, "Fiesta del los Auto Elegance." ......

In 1971, the two combined their talents to present the first classic car auction, featuring classics from their individual collections. Barrett's Mercedes 770 Phaeton chiseled industry headlines, selling for $153,000 and grabbing the attention of collectors worldwide. The sale and the inaugural event thrust the Barrett-Jackson name into international prominence. ....

.......The 1999 affair featured some $22 million in sales, nearly 800 cars, a +77% sales ratio and 125,000 attendees. In 2004 we had nearly 800 cars with a staggering 98.5% sales ratio earning $38.5 million in sales and 185,000 attendees.

This year there must have been a record set look at this one:

Five Million Dollars!


That's a lot of zero's


Friday, January 19, 2007

The Bitch reads my mind...

I'm not sure is she is psychic or sneaks behind my back and logs on and reads my blog. Either she reads my mind or the blog. I'm sure she has not talked on the phone!

As I was kind of debating on weather to get a new puppy or not all of a sudden my little girl aka. "The Bitch" suddenly started acting up. She soiled the carpet poop and all and has not been talking to me. I know this may seem strange to some of you who do not have a dog who talks to them but this dog holds a grudge. When she decides she is not going to talk to me I know it, there is less greeting and she distances herself from me and I don't have the occasional snuggle etc. Usually she is right next to me all over the house no matter where I go there she is right by my ankle not now I see her as I'm writing this all the way on the other side of the house. Yup she is mad at me and is not talking to me.

I really think it was over the get a new puppy idea. I have changed my mind partially because I'm sure "The Bitch" would kill it. Besides the grooming the housebreaking and all the rest of it seems a bit more than I want to do right now. I'd rather knit...

I know I know, she is the dog and I am the master but somehow I have lost this battle and have totally let her take over and run the house. I do make feeble attempts to control her like I'm making her sleep in the kitchen because of the poop incident but I think it just rolls off her back and she waits it out for a weak moment and we are right back in her control.

Each time I get a new puppy I think OK now is my chance this time I am going to train this dog and not spoil them and I am the Master.... blah blah ... and each time I miserably fail. They get spoiled and doted upon and pretty soon they rule the house. This little girl especially has been the smartest dog we've ever had, and she has perfected the art of playing us and wrapping us around her little paws. So I guess no new puppy for us..... not now anyway.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Do I dare?

Get a new puppy?

They look just like my Bitch, do I dare? I'm really thinking about it, hard to resist a new puppy.

The Bitch is such a "BITCH"

The Bitch: Don't even try and get in the car, they told me that they don't want you anymore and they are leaving you here at the beach.

The Boy: Please can I get in the car and come with you guys?

The Bitch: Grrrr. Grrrr. NO!
I told you that we don't want you anymore and you have to stay here or just run next to the car while I laugh!

Grrr....Grrr... bite.... fight.... Grrr.. bite ... fur flying

The Boy: Oh Mommy is it true?

Mommy: No honey we love you and you can get in the car here let me open the special back door just for you.

The Bitch: Grrr... now you see how I am sabotaged SHE does it every time, he does not deserve to be in the car! I am the one they love and I am the one and only Queen!

A restaurant review by my friend Carolyn.

by Carolyn Ward

444 Lincoln Boulevard (at Sunset)
Venice, California 90291

When Venice's Baby Blues BBQ first opened over a year ago, they had been reviewed in the L.A. Times and food critics had deemed them the "hottest new restaurant on the Westside". And it still is. It's usually packed, particularly on the weekends, and the place has a party atmosphere. If its a warm night, you can sit outside at the sidewalk tables. But Baby Blues is really all about the BBQ.

Their menu hasn't changed much since they opened, except for a noteworthy addition. Its a huge burger mixed with bleu cheese on a spectacular hard roll. You must try it. Their orginal menu is pretty much intact. I can recommend the Beer Braised Beef Brisket Plate, the "Memphis Queen," a platter of 1/2 baby and 1/2 Memphis ribs, and sandwiches like their Jack Louisiana Sausage Sandwich, Catfish Sandwich, and Shrimp Sandwich. These are served with a crisp cole slaw on the roll. The slaw is finely shredded, relatively dry and lightly seasoned - a refreshing compliment to the BarBQ fare.

They also have a long list of 'Fixins for your side dishes. My favorites are the Pork n' Beans, a mixture of black and pinto beans with just enough brown sugar and a lot of shredded pork on the top. Unbelievable. Another great fixins is "sweet mash" (sweet potatoes). The "sweet mash" is not the sickening syrupy kind you have at your aunt's Thanksgiving table. This one tastes naturally like sweet potatoes but mashed to a delicate texture. Also, there is creamed spinach that is not overpowered with cream, so you can taste the fresh spinach. Corn on the Cob is also a fixin, but you never tasted one like this before. It has spices and some cheese. And can't forget the mac n' cheese which is very creamy with cheesy breadcrumbs that add crunch. The plates and platters come with cornbread that is crusty outside and moist inside with some corn kernels baked in it. Truly perfect.

To finish with dessert they usually offer Key Lime Pie that has a very thin graham cracker crust with a sharp and sweet filling, Banana Cream Pudding and Pecan Pie. Try to leave room for a taste of these.

A little backstory folklore on the owners and how they luckily for us, located in Venice. They are Danny Fischer (from Brooklyn) and James Peterson (from North Carolina) who had worked together in restaurants in New York City and often talked about opening a gourmet BBQ restaurant. They lost touch over the years until James, visiting Los Angeles, went into the old Rib place at this location and saw a "Business For Sale" sign.

He called his old friend Danny on his cell phone (thinking he was still in New York) to see if he was still interested in opening a restaurant. When James asked him if he knew where Venice Beach was, Danny answered I live there. Turns out he lived across the street from Baby Blue's on Sunset. They met two minutes later out in front - both holding cell phones!!! Unbelievable, don't you think? And, extremely lucky for all of us.

Besides the dining room, Baby Blues has a counter of blue tile that seats 6 across from their stainless kitchen where you can watch them cook.

They are open 'till 10PM school nights and midnight on Friday and Saturday Night. And they deliver. Just call (310-396-7675).

Baby Blues BarBQ is making Lincoln Blvd a great place to go for a meal and visit with neighbors. Thanks, Baby Blues for landing in Venice.


Friday, January 12, 2007

I love this story.

Cell phone use in public..

One of my pet peeves is people talking on their cell phones loudly and as if they were in their very own living room rather than at the market or other public places. A lady I met on an airplane ride Amy Alkon apparently hates this also, Amy has a blog and often has breakfast and writes at one of our local coffee shops. Amy is quite a "personality" not a shy woman and she is eccentric and quirky, one of those people you kind of remember when you meet her.

Just by coincidence we sat next to each other on a flight to Washington D.C. she was on her way to Paris and I to Raleigh North Carolina. It turned out that Amy lives but a few blocks from me and drives a classic car and blogs .... so we chatted and got to know each other.

The other day she overheard Eva Burgess give out personal details loudly while she was on the phone at the Rose Cafe, she immediately took out pen and paper and jotted down the information Eva was giving out over the telephone and
giving out details like her full name and phone number and what time she was meeting a friend and where and she needed to pick up her glasses.

Guess what Amy did? She posted all this on her blog. Wow! I've often felt like doing this but never had the nerve.

Eva Burgess Is Getting Glasses!

And she is picking them up Saturday after 4pm! I know this because she was bellowing into a cell phone about it next to me in acafefé. Apparently, she's not only inconsiderate, she doesn't seeem to mind giving a lot of personal information, starting with her full name, to a total stranger.

She continued, Eva and Ken Hashimoto have insurance there," she said under a flexible spending account. We just have to pay by the end of the year, she said. And then she most helpfully bellowed her phone number -- 347-886-2157 -- perhaps because she's lonely and wants total strangers to call and ask how her glasses are working out for her.

Hey, Eva, can I have your bank account number and your log-in so I can transfer a few bucks to my account? I'd like to get a pair of noise-canceling headphones in case you sit next to me again.
This issue comes up all the time in my life it seems wherever I go people are glued to their phones. Oh yes when I first met Amy she was at the airport yaking on the phone for quite some time, I remember wondering what on earth does this woman have so much important things to say to somebody and talking about it for such a long time. I was far enough away from her that I did not hear the details thank goodness and I had my iPod in my ears, that is my personal tool for combating this problem. I just don't want to pollute my mind with strangers personal business.

I am so nosy that I want to bud in and join the conversation sometimes I've done it but I still do not like it. The worse is when somebody has ear phones hidden and suddenly they start talking, years ago they would have arrested you if you carried on an imaginary conversation. I'm often asking the old .... "are you talking to me?" when they look at me annoyed that I'm listening to their conversation. Duh what do you expect?

I am sure this Eva Burgess was plenty annoyed that her conversation was announced all over the world. Maybe next time she won't do it. It's not just this country but I've seen it done wherever I've traveled. Every body has a cell phones these days. Perhaps I too have been guilty of this but it does not mean that I like it.

Well the story even made the Wall Street Journal:

My Dentist Retired and.....

Dr. Rota Came back! Yippie! Here is the post I wrote about a year ago and have been going through agonies trying to find another dentist. What a difficult job for me who to trust? I am so picky and dentist phobic that it started to become a major problem. All I could do was pray that my teeth would hold up until I found somebody. Then I heard a rumor that Dr. Rota might come back that he missed all his patients and wanted to work again. Good news for me and sure enough I have a tooth ache right on cue.
My fears of many many years have come true. My favorite dentist of 30 years has retired! Oh no my teeth, he is the best! But I wish him well. It is hard when you so totally trust a dentist for such a long time and it ends. Our teeth are so precious they have to serve us for a long time (hopefully). Some of my friends have lost teeth and what a nightmare not to be able to chew well.... Shish that is the worse. So young people out there take the advice of this senior citizen: TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH! You won't be sorry.

Dr. Rota, a former UCLA professor and now retired dentist, has lectured around the world and appeared on television regarding his 30-year investigation of illnesses related to dental mercury filling.

I'm still not out of the woods because Dr. Rota will retire for good one of these days and again I will have to find another dentist, so my search goes on. I cancelled an upcoming trip to Europe so I can have dental work done by Dr. Rota. I have had Dr. Rota as my dentist for over 30 years. Once I find somebody I like I am loyal!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dilemma over "Mango Tango"

Mango Tango is almost ready to Dance.....

I decided that the look I was after was the short row ruffle. Because I love hand knitting I thought ok I'll just short row and knit and knit and knit. All 112" of it.... What was I thinking?

22 stitches cast on short row 2 sts and about a half hour of knitting. At this rate it may take me forever to finish this project and I have so many others to do. But I have a Brother KH260 knitting machine in my studio! I can knock this out in about 2 hours and I did just that.

It only took 1,800 rows but it went fast! Machine knitting is kind of new for me and it is definitely limited for my liking. Some yarns are fine but other finer wools and mored delicate yarns I just don't have the heart to "yank" them through this rough machine. Also I so enjoy hand knitting, but putting the two together sometimes is just great. It is just one more tool in the Knitting Arsenal just like a good crohet hook or a needle that fits the project.

Now to attach it weather to crochet it on or to just sew it?

I had so much fun machine knitting this ruffle that I immediately cast on and knocked out a red scarf for the "Red Scarf Project" the actual machine knitting took but 15 minutes but the crochet edge took a bit longer. I love the color of the red.

ps. Yes my "dummy" has had a breast augmentation and she does wear a bra.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The dilemma continues....

Yesterday because I had all this spare time with no electricity in the house and I have my studio back visitors all gone home after the holidays. I knitted a sample ruffle on my knitting machine. Different yarn different color but sort of the same feel to it. Just a test to see how it would look. Casted on 20 stitches with a 3 stitch short row with 4 rows of knitting in between.

On the machine it took me about an hour, boy I love my knitting machines! For some things they are just great! This is what the short rowed ruffle would look like:

And this is what the "potato chip" pick up stitches and increase every other stitch would look like, hand knit no machine. This method would take much longer and a lot of stitches are involved.

Because I don't like to waste knitting I finished this short rowed scarf with a little crochet edge and now it kind of looks good as a scarf. I will wear it today to my LA/SFV machine knitters meeting. I'm not quite sure what the acronym stands for.

Which look do you prefer?

Web Withdrawl!

Last Thursday night I woke up to the house shaking the windows rattling the dogs barking, and howling noise of the gale force winds going on outside! There were things flying around in the yard my huge bamboo plants almost bent over to the ground OMG what is going on? It was so windy outside that it scared me and the dogs and my husband. It was 2 am and I was kind of groggy looking out the window watching things fly around like the Wizard of Oz scene wondering if I was dreaming. It was no dream I can tell you that. I went back to bed figuring if we blow away so be it I was far too sleepy and tired to worry.

As you can guess with all this wind the electricity was knocked out! No lights no tv no eMail no life as I have gotten used to it, I'm going through Web Withdrawl! Ten hours of no electricity! I was not prepared! My cell phone was not charged, my camera batteries were low, my iPod needed to be charged! I couldn't wash my hair because my blow dryer was not working, I wonder if they sell battery operated blow dryers? (Well I guess that would not matter because I probably would not have it charged up when I needed it.)

Withdrawal refers to the characteristic signs and symptoms that appear when a drug that causes physical dependence is regularly used for a long time and then suddenly discontinued or decreased in dosage. The term can also, less formally, refer to symptoms that appear after discontinuing a drug or other substance (unable to cause true physical dependence) that one has developed a psychological dependence for.
Yup that is me I have developed a psychological dependence on my eMail, the news, The blogs, my Knitters Review discussions, my iPod, my computers ... the list is endless. Looking for patterns, shopping! My eBay auction how did it end? OMG what is one to do?

I was almost ready to pack up my laptop to my local Panera Restaurant (they have free wireless connection) because I was in the middle of negotiating a business deal. All via eMail my favorite way to sell a car, eMail back and forth agree on a price, wire me the money, I ship the car. Never even talking to the person, just eMail. It's a brilliant invention and I love it. For many years we have been selling cars all over the world. (Some of you may not know I'm a classic car dealer.)

The web is great and I use it everyday for business for my entertainment for reference how did we live without the internet? Yes I'm old enough to remember when we first got the fax machines we though it was the greatest, when we first got cell phones but before cell phones we had pagers wow! For that matter I grew up without television, we did have a radio and thought that was grand. Progress some great some not so great. Was life better when it was more simple? No I love the gadgets!

After 10 hours the electricity came back up last night just in time for me to cook dinner and life is back to normal. Well as normal as it can be ..... wind has stopped the yard is cleaned up (sort of) dogs are sleeping by my feet I'm posting on my blog the deal was made I won the auction and I can get back to my latest knitting project. Life is good...

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I'm progressing nicely with this new shawl, I need to give it a name ....... I know I will call this one "Mango Tango"

Now I have to decide weather to short row the ruffle part or just pick up stitches all the way around and increase every other stitch etc. Either way it's going to be a lot of knitting. I thought about knitting the ruffle on the machine but I'm not sure. I guess as much as I hate to I'll have to test and swatch.

If I do the pick up stitches and increase ruffle it will look something like this:


I don't have to test this method it's fairly easy, just pick up my stitches all the way around with my 60" circular needles and start knitting. *k1, kfb, k1; rep from * across all the picked up stitches. This would be an easier knit.

If I short row the ruffle I would knit it and then sewed it on to the shawl. What to do?

Short rowing will look more like the picture from Vogue:

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

On the needles....

I met up with my good friend Ellen Bloom, (L.A. is My Beat) at the Farmers Market "SNB" meeting last Thursday evening and Ellen gave me a wonderful cone of "mystery" yarn. Kind of an unusual color but ever so soft.

As soon as I got home I decided to start right in, yes abandon my other works in progress to start this one, it is starting to take shape and feels ever so soft and cuddly. I've decided that I'm going to make a triangle scarf with a ruffle edge. Sort of like a combination of these two projects from the latest Vogue Knitting magazine.

The ruffle of this one:
But in a shawl version sort of like this one:

Once I finish the triangle shawl shape then I will pick up stitches all the way around probably a thousand stitches and increase to two thousand and then three thousand etc. Just knit and knit and knit...... Music to my ears......

Babies Knitting...

Look at this face! She is so adorable only 4 years old but she is knitting. I love to see young children learning this skill and the earlier the better. I was about that age when I learned to knit and have enjoyed the craft all my life. Alice already knows to needle felt and now she is making a scarf for her daddy.

Dorothy one of our sweet seniors is helping out! The two of them were so cute I couldn't resist taking their picture.