Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Happy New Year!

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Bitch and the Boy at the Beach

I take back everything I said about the weather, it was a perfect beach day in Southern California for this Christmas day. Warm clear and sunny! We went to the beach here are a few pictures ....

We loved the car ride, even though He is not as cute as I am, but we already knew that.

Down the stairs we go...

I wonder if these owners of mine can read? I could have sworn that the sign said no dogs! Even I can see that big red line may mean NO DOGS allowed!

That is not right, I think I can sue. We have a right to that beach as well as those humans.... Oh well it's a holiday.

This is a beautiful beach I think it's called Malibu.

And you thought we did not get along, see we walk side by side, that brother of mine even though he is such a simpleton.

My sweet Papa he loves me so, only me not him.

Gosh I was getting nervous there is one of those signs again.... I dare them to get me off this beach....
I'm waiting ...
Me too, boy oh boy this is as good as life gets.....

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I need to knit socks...

Ever since my friend Ellene Warren introduced me to sock knitting I need to be knitting socks. I may have other "major" projects going but on the side I'm knitting socks. After the last pair I finished my "Christmas Socks" I thought well I'll just take a little break from knitting socks.

I missed having a little project in my purse just for those little "sippy" opportunities to knit. Like waiting in the dentist office, or at the dmv....oooh the dmv I shutter just to write those words, I hate the dmv but that is another blog story. So another pair of socks got cast on and voila:

This is yarn I picked up at Stitches from the Heart, it is Soy Silk. I'm not sure what that means exactly but it's soft and a bit bulky for socks but a nice pair for summer/California winter, if it ever warms up again. Right now it is cold here in Southern California we are having a real winter. This morning the back yard thermometer measured at 38º for us that is very cold.

Next socks will be wool warm socks for sure.

Happy Sock Knitting and I'm counting down the days, 4 months 6 days till I go on the Sea Sock Cruise.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I call the jacket "Szöges"

I call the jacket "Szöges"

I actually finished this jacket last spring, then the weather got warm and I put it away. I was going to put bottons but I never got around to it. Guess what the weather is freezing now and I got my jacket out to wear but no buttons! At last I'm finishing this project, sometimes it takes me a couple of years to get to the finally "I'm finished and I love it just the way it is!" stage.
Otherwise I can tweak a piece for a long time then decide it's not working, maybe next year. But because I knit for myself and there are no deadlines only the ones I put on myself this sytem seems to work just fine.

Now for the buttons? I really have a large button collection, I write about it here. Yet I'm unable to decide which button is exactly right for this sweater, the design is so busy that the buttons can't also make a statement, so what to do? I sewed in snaps and I think I like the look, it just closes the jacket without adding another element to the look.

It is freezing this morning here in Southern California, my outside thermometer said 37 degrees! It is sunny and it will hopefully warm up today but it really gets me in the mood for Christmas. There has been years when the weather was so hot this time of year that it was hard to get into the holiday spirit. Who says Southern California doesn't have seasons?

The jacket is warm as toast, wool Noro. I am now pleased with it and "love it & wear it" till I decide otherwise.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I can be so annoying.....

The only thing I live for is to annoy her my captor/tormenter/"owner" ! I have many ways to do this but one of my favorites is to sit right behind her when she is very busy working and start whining. At first I just let out a kind of meow sound that I learned from that awful grey creature I think he's name is Clifford and he is a CAT, but he did teach me this little meow noise. I practiced and practiced and finally have it down.

At first I just do a whisper of a sound, just so she can hear me but not to annoy too much just as a courtesy sound that I'm here and I want something. Then I increase the volume ever so slightly and work up to an out and out scream! At this point she is really annoyed and usually says WHAT? Then ignores me and that is when I give her a good poking with my nose! That always gets her good. Then I just give her a blank look because I don't really want anything in specific I just want to annoy her and maybe I may get a chewy or some other attention I like.

Sometimes she does bend down and gives me a "hug" this I hate and every time she does this I just shake my whole body afterwards just to get rid of her touch and shake off the smell oy the smell...! Then I start running around to the front, to the chewy basket to the cupboard or just sit there and cry. By now she is so frustrated with me sometimes she even yells.

This is a double bonus for me because when she yells it scares my brother too, so not only is she is annoyed but he hides. It doesn't get better than that folks cheap thrills is what I'm all about. What is a bored dog to do? There is not much happening in the front yard I've chased all the animals out of the back yard. Clifford the cat next door is nowhere so what should I do? Watch tv? I hate tv. The boy likes it but for me the shows are kind of boring same old and every channel. Bad news on the news channels, same story on the other shows, the comedy sitcoms they just have that canned laughter that makes me crazy so there is not much left.

Annoy HER, bark at the people outside or ambush him and give him a bite on the rear. I call it "run-by & bite" it scares the sh....t out of him and gets HER annoyed that I'm so mean to my brother. So that is all for today, tune in again I will be back.....

The Bitch

from the boy:

What a great morning we've had I've slept most of the morning and it was devine! I love to sleep my sister sometimes tries to wake me but usually I can just ignore her. Then mommy gave us cookies for breakfast they were great, I can hardly wait for lunch. Mommy must love me very much to be so nice to me.

I think I'll take another nap and wait for lunch, it's kind of quiet around here.

The boy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

On the needles....

I'm revisiting an unfinished freeform creation that I got tired of working on. It is time to finish it ... I was at a stumbling point with it, the neckline started not to work the length was bothering me and I was just not sure how to go with it to get it to a point of "I love it, I'll wear it".

It looks interesting enough to wear but it needs finishing... so I got this idea for the neckline... last week when I was at the once a month Stich n Bitch meeting at the Farmer's Market one of the ladies was knitting the "wavy" from Knitty.com

I decided that is just perfect for the neckline, what a fun knit! Here is what I have so far...

Maybe over the holidays I'll be able to finish this. The yarn I'm using is Paton's wool "paprika" and I started it last year when I first mastered the "bullion stitch". I tried and I tried and for a couple of years I could not do it. I would wrap my crochet hook but when I went to pull it through all those loops it just would not work.

Then one day I got it, I was using this old carved bone crochet hook and it worked! I could not believe it all the time I tried and tried this time it worked!

According to About.com the Bullion Stitch goes like this:

This stitch consists of a coil of wraps around the hook, through which the thread is drawn.

Wind thread around the hook smoothly 10 times (or as many times as called for in your directions); insert hook in work, wrap thread over hook and draw a loop through, wrap over hook again and draw carefully through the coil of all the loops on the hook, (you may find it necessary to pick the loops off the hook with your fingers, one at a time), wrap thread over hook again and draw through the remaining stitch.

The length of the roll stitch (bullion stitch) is determined by the number of wraps around the hook.

This is the book I was trying to learn this stitch out of but I must say it's a nice little book but not that informative. I think just from the above description and picture is about all there is to it.

Taking a crochet hook and wrapping yarn around it and pulling it through. Do not get discouraged at first it was like Chinese finger cuffs. I was not successful for a long time. Keep trying different size and brand of crochet hooks and one day it will be as easy as that.

So once I mastered this new stitch I could not get enough of it and that is how this project was born.

The book:
Bullions & Beyond
Prudence Mapstone
Published by Prudence Mapstone
30 pages

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A special reminder

My sweet mother has been gone for over ten years now and especially during the holidays I miss her but every once in a while I get a sweet "hello" from her. I inherited all of mom's sewing and knitting things and buttons including her sewing basket etc. She told me once that she needed to sew something almost every day. Hems, and other alterations, she seldom sewed anything from "scratch" but did a lot of alterations. At the time I thought who has time for that ? ? ? Just buy things that fit (easy for me to say at the time a whopping size 3).

I'm not a size 3 any more! Now that I'm older and my body has shifted, I too am making alterations and sewing and custom knitting things the way I like them to fit. I guess I now seem to have more time and I actually enjoy this. Yes folks at some point it happened to me I've become just like my mother..... When I was young I protested this with fervor but now it's comforting.

Because she was European the tape measure was one of the things she had to get used to, yards instead of meters. Even though meters seems to be so much easier and more logical we had to get used the 12" a foot, 36" a yard etc.
I've heard rumors that the U.S. was converting to meters but it was only a rumor.

The other day as I was working on my Christmas Hat I needed a tape measure so I would not end up with a top hat instead of the cap I was making. On my way out to the Farmer's market to meet Ellen Bloom "L.A. is My Beat" I grabbed a tape measure from the sewing basket. It looked a bit odd with the rubber band around it and I thought gee I don't remember putting a rubber band around this, but it was neat and fit in my bag so I grabbed it.

How sweet it is to see her handwriting, and to touch something that she used. I felt like she came and said a special little hello. Her memory stays with me and every once in a while I see something that reminds me of her. I carefully put the tape measure away so maybe one day I'll grab it again and have the same warm and fuzzy feeling .

Here is the hat almost finished.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I think I saw Santa

I really do think it was him. In disguise but I think it was "Santa" himself. Trying to hide but I saw him.

I was at a press conference and there in the background I see him. I think he was checking up on our city officials to see if they were good this year..... hm....

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas socks are finished

With a little sparkle added they are warm and comfy. But I like short socks and I guess my feet are not that big so I always have sock yarn left over.

What to do with a partial ball of red sock yarn? Hm..... oh I know I'll knit a hat!

Current project on the needles a Christmas Hat. I promise I won't wear them together. I'm really not into the Matchy matchy bit.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

He is so Silly...

My brother is so silly, I'm still on the "random acts of kindness" kick so I'm refraining from calling him stupid. Stupid is really the better description but I digress. Finally SHE got us some greenies, now I know how bad that is supposed to be for me but I LOVE greenies. After all everything we seem to love to eat is either bad for you or fattening or some weird disease will get you.

Yesterday after the beauty shop we went to Centinella Pet Feed, she forgot her coupons (ha ha) but she always forgets her coupons. I don't even know why she bothers to carefully cut them out and put them in her purse and forgets to pull them out when we are at the store. Talking about stupid, but I'm not calling her stupid but give her the benefit of the doubt and say she had a "senior moment" (ha ha) cheap thrills for me. I bet you that day will never come when she actually has the coupons when she buys something, I have not seen it yet.

She finally got greenies and I am thrilled, greenies are my absolute favorite chewy, whatever they put in them I think is addictive because if she would let me at the bag I think I would eat the whole package of greenies all 36 of them. You know these sneaky companies they add stuff that makes people addicted, she's addicted to Starbuck's whatever that is I've heard her talk about it but again I digress...

I got my greenie, I always go first I'm the queen, then he gets a greenie now here is the fun part. Whenever he gets any goodies like a cookie or chewy or a greenie he feels like he has to go and hide it. Which is fine sometimes I too get into hiding things my favorite place to hide a half chewed pigs ear is under HER pillow and then when she goes to bed she screams oh my that is funny. But my brother never ever finds a suitable place to hide anything, he takes the greenie in his big mouth and starts running around the house and the garden looking for a place.

This may take him anywhere from a half hour to sometimes a full hour and then finally he gets so tired of running around that he sits down and eats his treat. He has NEVER found a suitable place to hide anything. I just laugh my head off every time he does this it is the best.

From The Bitch
Queen Dog of the house.


From the boy:
I am so lucky mommy took me to the store and got some greenies, I tried to hide it from my sister but I gave up and it was so delicious I hope I get another one tomorrow. I love my mommy...

The boy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Now for the funny side of Knitting

Sometimes things just strike me as funny and when I saw these I really did have to laugh....it certainly is in the "just because you can ... why?" category. But just maybe someday when I have nothing else to do I will know how to go about this technique....

The tin can alley guy tells me that "This craft simply does not lend itself to precise measurement, symmetrical shapes, or exact patterns." FreeForm Knitting right up my alley...

From the Tin Can Alley blog a whole entire entry on how to aluminum can crochet where "Perfection is Not Allowed".


The time honored tradition of aluminum can crochet is almost as much fun as emptying the cans in the first place. Whether in a drunken stupor or sugar-induced hallucinatory state, nothing inspires fashion more than downing a six-pack of just about anything! If you can crush it against your forehead, you can make an outfit out of it.

The Golden Rule of aluminum can crochet is this: Perfection is not allowed.

Doesn’t that make everyone feel better? This craft simply does not lend itself to precise measurement, symmetrical shapes, or exact patterns. By the time you’ve cut the cans, trimmed them, and punched all the holes, you’ll notice that they’re all a little different. A wonky corner here, a few extra holes there, an entire finger sliced off and rolling away over there. Because of this, the patterns given are more like guidelines. We’ll show you how to prepare the cans and tell you how we ended up with what we made. The forgiving nature of crochet it will allow you to experiment and make adjustments as you go.

From suds to duds, let’s find out how the magic happens.

What you’ll need:

Read on and Visit the Tin Can Alley Guy, well you did not expect a woman to do this?

Monday, December 04, 2006

First a shawl now a Jacket/shawl...

I'm still playing with Free Form Knitting.....

It all started while I was shopping on Ebay, one of my favorite activities, sometimes it works out well and other times it's "iffy" but that story is for another entry. I see this very nice looking rich chocolate brown knitted pancho pure wool for 15 dollars plus shipping. So I thought I would get this shawl and kind of cheat and maybe add to it or "dress" it up.

The pancho arrives and it looks sort of ok so I went to the yarn store and bought some beautiful chocolate brown yarn that matched it exactly and I thought 2 hanks would be enough to do this dressing up I was dreaming about. Now the pancho cost 15 dollars and the 2 hanks of wool almost 20 dollars. Then I got the yarn at home and decided that it was just too nice to "waste" on this kind of ok pancho.

So I washed the pancho and felted it and made a purse but that only came later. Now I'm going back to the yarn store and got one more hank of yarn and decided to knit a shawl. I did not quite have enough for the size I wanted so I added stripes of yarn from my stash.

I was really having fun with all the colors and the fringe kind of naturally happened because of all the color changes so I left them. Then I added the bottons and wore this shawl for a whole season 2 years ago.

Then I got tired of the look and decided to make something else the fringes were getting old looking and the whole shawl thing was not working. I'm still not crazy about the fun fur fuzzy stuff but the colors work so well together I'll forgive the "fun fur" look.

Back to the yarn store and got more wool added two front panels and a collar with a border all around and voila we have a piece reborn and sweater/shawl.

I wore it yesterday and stopped by my favorite LYS (local yarn store) and several of my favorite knitting friends were there and the sweater/shawl was a great hit. Good color and not too warm for our climate. Another UFO (unfinished object) done and finished.

Did they think I would not notice?

Because I'm a female just sometimes I have to talk about "girlie" things...

This is my favorite hair spray, so you say fine but there are two cans there. Well not too long ago they "switched" packaging so they say. First of all I was not able to find it on the shelf because it looked different and this sort of thing always confuses me.

They could have put a little note on the last old can to warn me that they are "updating" their packaging to their new logo and art work so I would not be so shocked or confused. I'm a creature of habit when I find a product that works I pretty much stay with the proven sure thing.

I know some people like to experiment but when it comes to hair spray this is an important part of my grooming procedure I stick with what worked yesterday. This hair spray holds my hair in a gentle but firm and shiny way. Now that they have the new and improved packaging oh wait the can shrank too, oh wait the price went up...

So let me sum this up, the new improved packaging is now a lesser amount for more money. Improved for whom I ask certainly not for me! It used to be 14 oz for around ten dollars and now it's 10 oz for around 12 dollars.

Did they think I wouldn't notice?

But I still buy it because I'm a sucker and a creature of habit. So the can will get smaller and smaller and the price will go up and up. That is marketing for you.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Bitch...and random acts of kindness...

Finally I get to write again, she has been so busy on the phone typing stuff just a lot of .... well who knows what she is up to... but I can tell you she is ignoring us...

I over heard a conversation she had about "random acts of kindness" frankly I'm really not a fan of this but I thought it's the holiday season what the hell I'll give it a try. Last night as usual she's on the phone then typing a mile a minute and it was way past my bed time but the loyal dog that I am I sacrificed and stayed up right at her feet. I know this is not appreciated by her but I do act like a loyal dog sometimes and sit right next to her and wait patiently. My only tiny little pleasure is that sometimes she trips over me but I have to tip toe over so she does not notice where I am then I have to be very quiet but I don't always succeed but I wait and hope.

Finally we go to bed and I can't believe my eyes HE is in MY spot on the bed! Sigh... What has he lost his mind? Doesn't he know that I'm going beat the sh.... out of him? But noooo he is not moving then I remembered this "random acts of goodness or whatever" and thought ok I'll let him this time so I just jumped up on the bed and curled up next to him. It was so cold last night that as much as I hate to admit it the warmth kind of felt nice.

Guess it was a two dog night last night... (ha ha ha) I am so funny sometimes I crack myself up! My only pay off was that we were on top of the blanket and she had to sleep like a statue because she did not want us to fight. Oh yes I'm not above having a dragged out fur flying fight right there on top of the bed in the middle of the night and it usually scares the sh... out of her. But as a random kindness blah blah I let it go this time.

The Queen Bitch


For some reason my mean old sister let me sleep on the bed last night. It was wonderful! We were so warm and cozy and I know after all she must love me. I knew she would come around. And mommy slept so well she never even moved, although she was complaining about how stiff she was. But she never kicked me or anything she must love me very much.

The boy