Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lucy Loves the Beach

What fun we had at the beach!
Lucy loved it!

Wishing all a very

Happy & Healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Second Sock Syndrome

I have decided to remove this "problem" from my world. I would buy two sets of needles and knit two socks simultaneously. ie. I would cast on and knit the cuff on sock 1 then stop and cast on and knit the cuff on sock 2 and on like that. I even got so crazy with the whole thing that I tried to match the stripes so each sock matched perfectly.

Why? Why am I doing this? Who cares if my socks match or not? Wow I feel like the pressure is totally off. I now start a sock and not even think about another sock to match. Often I have enough yarn that I make a second sock of the same yarn but totally different style. Like one sock I would start knitting from the top down and the next sock I will knit from the toe up. You know nobody has even noticed that my socks do not match, not one person has said a word.

I feel better now no more second sock syndrome for me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I have accepted a "commission"

When I was 18 and knitting myself a shawl my roommate's boyfriend saw me knitting and asked if I would knit him a sweater. At first I was complimented that this older sophisticated guy wants me to knit him a sweater. He must have been in his 30's. Then he offered to pay me for my efforts, wow I get to knit and get paid for it too! I love to knit so I said yes I'll knit you a sweater. Perhaps my ego took the better of me or maybe I was just naive or stupid.

We went to buy yarn and he picked out a sweater style he wanted. It was an Aran "fisherman" type of pullover. I remember thinking that this may be over my head but my ego and stupidity would not admit this. Lots of cables and lots of detail. Ok then I thought I love a challenge and I can learn how to knit this, how hard could this be?

I cast on and started and I figured it out how fun, cables and once the puzzle was solved my interest started to wane. The knitting slowed down and I realized that the amount of money he offered to pay me for my "efforts" amounted to about 2 cents an hour. My interest slowed to glacier speed and soon I would knit a row and put it down. I was 18 and busy with life I don't even like this guy and I'm stuck knitting this stupid sweater. I was in a pickle.

Once in a while he would ask about his sweater and months would go by and no progress. Finally I realized that I would have to "eat crow" and admit defeat so I offered to buy the yarn from him. The guy got very angry and refused to sell me his yarn and demanded that I finish his sweater. I'm paying for this and you promised "You start knitting right now!" he demanded.

Wow, nobody orders me around! You can't make me knit! To which he shouted at me "You are a woman and you must obey a man!" (He was from the Middle-East)

Are you out of your mind? Have you never heard of Women's Lib?

Up yours leave me alone!

So that did not go well and I remembered this episode and swore that I would NEVER take on a commission of knitting for anybody. Here it is decades later and I changed my golden rule! I've taken on a knitting job! Here is what happened.

I was dropping some charity knitting off at Stitches from the Heart and this lovely lady comes walking in asking for help with a heavy pullover she has. She would like to make it into a cardigan. She wants the pullover steeked! I've steeked before so I told her that I would be happy to show her what to do. She said that she doesn't know how to knit at all, oh.... oh..... the ladies at Stitches just looked with horror in their eyes steeking was something none of them even thought about doing. Until you have cut into a knitted piece and successfully altered something you really do not realize how simple it is.

The lady was so sweet and the next thing I knew I was willing to take a look at the project to see what could be done. We arranged to meet at the new Whole Foods Market in Venice. Here is the sweater.

Well it's a challenge but I accepted and here is the progress. When I turned it inside out I realized how it was done! It's "intarsia" lots of little knots and ends a challenge all right.

I found some yarn at Amano's that matched the sleeves pretty close so I knitted a sample to see how it would look.
Now I'm ready to CUT!

Progress to be continued!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm full of "puppy" love.

There is nothing like having a new puppy. Lucy has been just wonderful! Each day I love her more. Funny how a little creature like this can change my morning routine actually my whole entire schedule is shush out the window.

But it's the holidays, I have a schedule! Presents to buy & wrap, festive activities, decorating the house etc. Well I'm lucky if I can get the big pieces off the floor. Lucy is not neat, she loves to tear paper, chew things and not to forget the occasional "accident" in the house. This is a full time job, but I love doing it, the new puppy snuggling up to you and making puppy noises cooing and even smelling like a new puppy is all wonderful.

They say if babies were not so cute we would not have them because they are a lot of work. Here are some puppy pictures I want to share.

I was looking all over the house for the puppy. She suddenly disappeared. I was sorting yarn, of course and put this large bag of yarn to the side when I left the room suddenly I don't see the puppy. I'm keeping a close eye on her because the house is not 100% puppy proofed and there is the "house training" which is still in progress. I'm yelling "Lucy, come!" Nothing, Lucy where are you? Nothing....

Then I realize that she is perfectly blending in with my yarn, sleeping soundly and peacefully. It was so cute and I quickly grabbed my camera to take a picture finally the flash woke her up for a minute but after she finished her nap perfectly happy snuggled in with some "Fleece Artist" yarn.

Then we went to my Wednesday morning Stitch n Bitch meeting at the "the Westside Vineyard"
I was there knitting for over two hours and this puppy just slept. Totally relaxed and sound asleep.

Then when we were ready to leave my friend Brandi put this silly hat on her, she did not like it but smiled for the camera, well sort of.
Lucy does not like to walk, she much rather be carried, so she takes me for a walk sometimes.

Lucy like her older sister loves the internet, and she has been asking for her own eMail. Next she'll want her own phone. She loves to watch YouTube puppy movies.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

From the Bitch

WTF what was SHE thinking? Here I am still in mourning for my dear beloved sweet brother and she brings home this RAT. SHE must be out of her mind! I finally had the house all to myself, all the treats were mine SHE brushed only me SHE only took me for a walk and now this? Here I am a senior citizen in the so called “golden” years of my life when I’m supposed to be relaxed taking it easy and living in peace. But nooooo SHE wants a new baby. I thought I was her baby, she is supposed to love only me.

The RAT sometimes called Lucy is just such a pain, she has so much energy it makes me sick. I just want to chill and the RAT wants to play. I am an old dog I do not play! Get that trough your head ! I do not PLAY I lounge and eat preferably table food not that dog crap that comes out of cans or kibble, yuk. I want some of that home cooked chicken SHE used to make for me. Those days are gone but not forgotten, SHE says that SHE is not going to start that with the new puppy, no more table food and no more cooking special meals for the dogs. What did I ever do to deserve this?

I’m just sitting here waiting for HER to get dressed gather all the accessories the harness, the leashes the plastic bag the paper towel (to pick up the waste so the neighbors do not get pissed off) her hat, the RAT’s sweater, the RAT’s harness the waiting is endless. Then finally when we actually get out to walk, SHE has shortened the walk because the RAT can not walk that far, well pick her up she’s only 7 pounds! I have smells to check I need to know who has been doing their “business” in my territory there are many messages I need to check and SHE says it’s too cold and the puppy is too heavy!

Oh the pain of being a new older sister!

Thanks for letting me vent,
the Bitch

Hi this is Lucy, i love to watch tv and my mommie lets me watch little movies this is one of my favorites. i thoguht i would share it with you

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Teaching a friend to knit.

Welcome to the world of knitting....... I'm always thrilled to get another person "hooked" oh I mean introduced to my favorite "hobby". But for me knitting has become a lifestyle and not a hobby but don't tell anybody. So when I get a total "knit-virgin" it's exciting. Yesterday afternoon my friend Carol and I visited our Local Yarn Store (Amano) on Venice Blvd. to pick out yarn and needles for her first project a 10" wide long scarf.

Carol's first question was "how long can I make it"? You can make it as long as you want or until you are tired of knitting it, whichever comes first. She picked out Noro Taiyo. Cotton, Silk & Wool bulky yarn. So it goes faster and it has wonderful vibrant colors, it's always more fun to see your knit change colors as you knit.

The first thing I showed her was picking up stitches, I had a garter stitch scarf in my knitting bag and I pulled it off the needles and showed Carol how to pick up the stitches and put them back on the needle. My friends at the store just looked on and wondered why I'm starting a new knitter with that task?
Often new knitters are very scared of loosing the stitches off the needles and panic, so I wanted Carol to see that it is ok to take your stitches off the needles and put them back on in case she makes a mistake she can always go back to the spot where the mistake happened. So we picked up stitches "frogged" and "tinked" first.

I cast on stitches for her because I feel she first needs to practice basic knitting and once she is used to knitting she can learn casting on. I knit continental and feel that is a more efficient way to knit so I teach continental as opposed to the "throwing" method.

Like this so well demonstrated on

Carol was very excited and did really well and I look forward to her progress.

"In through the front door, up over the back, peek through the window and off jumps Jack"

Monday, December 08, 2008

Love at first sight....

Falling in love with Lucy,

It was love at first sight but we took this puppy on a trial basis, two weeks to see how things go. We have to consider "The Bitch" who has never liked any other dog and barely tolerated even her brother. We always have more than one dog so she is going to have to get used to the idea.

I was in love the moment she snuggled up to me and did not seem to want to let go. For her she seemed to sense that she had a "sucker" and that I would take care of her and protect her. She is all of 5 pounds and the world must look GIANT to her and she is only 4 months old so she is just a baby.

First trip to the pet store to buy a new leash and harness and some chewy toy and some nibbles the Bitch likes. Oh yeah and a crate, she is not house broken and so small that she may need the protection of a crate. Lucy has red hair so I got a green leash & harness that we tried on at the store, cute as could be. Very alert and curious but cautious.

Our first night she spent in the crate without a peep out of her and she slept through the night music to any new moms ears. That was the biggest hurdle how we get through the nights, but she is great, she goes in the crate and kind of feels safe and tucked in and actually likes it in there.

Sunday my dh and I took her to the pet store to get her a name tag, I guess she is here to stay. Oh lets get her a new toy and a leather collar the tag goes on and yeah more "chewies" for her to chew on and let's not forget vitamins oh and shampoo she needs a bath. I'll make an appointment at the vets for a baby check up too ...... I think that should do it.

On the way home this was the conversation.

Me: Oh she is soooo cute!
DH: Yeah
Me: And she is sooo quiet!
DH: I would prefer that she would bark!
Me: This is not a barking dog! So she does not bark, nobody's perfect.
DH: I've never heard of a non barking dog, maybe one of those Besenji's but she is a small terrier she is supposed to be "yappie".
Me: Well she is unique she just squeeks.

We are driving home and Lucy is sound asleep in my lap and I am about to fall asleep too.

Me: Being a new mom is exhausting.
DH: Being a new father is expensive.

Friday, December 05, 2008

My name is Lucy

Our new Baby. She is a Norwich Terrier and Papillon mix. Her name is Lucy and she is adorable.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Moebius Socks

They are only cousins instead of identical twins, but I like them. Hope the Sock Police won't stop me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just Kidding?

I'm just sitting here on a sunny calm day updating my blog and I look over at the Venice Beach Web cam on my side bar and I see this stormy ocean. I take a look out the window and there is no wind no clouds just sunny a little cool because it's early about 65° but nothing that may cause such big surf!

Then I realize that they are "just kidding" very funny! The storm was in December 2005.

Making Friends with the Moebius

It's a lot of fun to knit a "moebius" at least Cat Bordhi's version of it. Do not mistake this moebius with just twisting your knit in the round mistake. Cat's way to do a moebius is different, well it kind of grows from the center. BTW I often misspell this word mobious, but the correct way is moebius. It's named after the German mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius. I just wonder what the plural is maybe mobieii?

At first I did not quite know what to do with this fun sort of piece of moebius knit and suddenly I have a hundred ideas. Currently I've added it as a collar to my top down knit. Wow! Now I'm making one for my dog the little dip in the moebius where it pinches is the perfect spot for her id tag to hang. She is getting older now and needs more sweaters nice wool ones to keep her warm.

Cat made a bed for her kitty cat, see how the "dip" adds to the felted bed. Cute kitty, but I have a dog and she won't sleep in a bed like that she would rather cuddle up in a nice hand knit sweater I may have left laying on the couch. But I digress....

I know the directions call for a circular needle at least 47" long but I felt that was too big for my little dog's neck so I experimented and modified a 30" circular bamboo needle and it worked!

The cast on is similar to a provisional cast on except you are using your needle's cable for the bottom part. Well Cat will explain it better in her video or her book "The Treasury of Magical Knitting":

Here is her cast on method the video Cat produced is to help cast on for a moebius. Experiment give it a try.

Happy Knitting,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all

This is a wonderful American holiday, we remember to give thanks. I usually do not post cliche quotes but here is one I liked. Sometimes I have to remind myself how lucky I am to live where I live and to have my family and friends around me and indeed I am thankful for all my blessings.

Things to Be Thankful For:

  • Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.
  • Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party, because it means you have been surrounded by friends.
  • Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means you're employed.
  • Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.
  • Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.
  • Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.
  • Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you can walk.
  • Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you in church, because it means you can hear.
  • Be thankful when people complain about the government, because it means we have freedom of speech.
  • Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means you're alive.
~ Taken from Ann Landers’ column—11/22/01

Monday, November 24, 2008

Organizing my stash

There is an art to organizing all that I've collected not just the yarn but the tools needed for knitting. There are a lot of tools needed for this art, as the saying goes "you are as good as your tools". I learned this early and am a firm believer a good tool can make a job breeze along or not the right tool can make the job a struggle. Then there is the other part of this which is "be good to your tools and they will be good to you" I treat my tools with respect and try and keep them in good shape and organized.

Trying to organize my knitting needles and tools, especially my circular needles has been like a Pandora's box I did not realize just how many I have. The countless of duplicates are because my organization lacked and I simply could not find just the size or length of knitting needle I needed so I just went out and bought another. And circular needles have an unruly character to them they spring out at you or jump out of their confinement and just when you've uncurled them they jump back to their original curly shape.

The holder that seemed to be working for a long time, the hanging kind is suddenly not good enough. It's excellent for the longer circular needles but the little short ones get lost in the pockets. Since I've been knitting socks on 9" circulars I have collected several sizes and how to organize those? Then there are my 12" circular collection they too get lost in the hanging thingie.

Because of my knitting style I often change needle sizes for shaping and sizing so I need several needles and lengths ready and organized by size, it frustrates me to have to drag out the needle sizer to figure out what size the needle is.

I have the options needle sets from KnitPicks and they are nice even though the first case that I got was just lame in my opinion I threw that away. But the second case that came with the "Harmony" set was much better and it accommodates both sets. Although I would have liked to have the actual numbers printed on each needle pocket so I don't have to test my visual sizer each time I want a needle. Is this a size six or seven? I finally got tired of pulling out the needle sizer and labeled the pockets myself.

The Knit Picks set is great but I'm glad I did not throw away all my other needles even though when I first got the set I thought well this just solves all the circular needle problems and I can get rid of my "gypsy" collection of old circulars. But the Options only go down to size 4 and not suitable for all jobs. So the collection grows. BTW one of the reasons I love these interchangeable needles is that I can knit with two different size needles. Say a size 5 on the left needle and a size 10 on the right needle. I knit very tight and often have a struggle pushing the stitches on the left needle, this way the smaller needle lets the stitches slide easier.

At last I have found a case I like for the shorter circulars, it's almost perfect, yes almost. It looks like I may have to drag the sewing machine out and start sewing the perfect needle case I would be happy with. The Della Q "Lily" I'm sort of happy with and I love the way it has numbers but it's not quite just perfect. I guess it will have to do until I design and sew my own.

Now that I'm into organizing I realize that my double pointed needles need sorting too. The sewing machine is out I'm searching for material and here is my first attempt my sock needles. I see this may take some engineering and design. I now realize that this may be an ongoing project and will take some time.

Do you have a favorite needle case? Leave a comment tell me about it.

Happy Knitting,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My favorite Web Cam

I placed this web cam on my sidebar so I can see what the weather is like at the beach. It's located on the sidebar and it takes a couple of minutes to load. It's been put up there by surfers to monitor the surf conditions. That pier is one of my favorite walks. Here is the view from the end of the pier. You almost feel like you are in a boat.

And after my walk my favorite place to have coffee
"The Cow's End" owned by Clabe Hartley a long time resident of Venice.
34 Washington Blvd.
Marina Del Rey, Ca 90292

Venice Beach Heart & Soul

Addicted to sock knitting

One of the advantages of being a sock knitter is the huge collection of socks I've knit for myself. Yes I knit for myself and do not apologize. Besides some charity knitting I knit almost exclusively for myself. That is just the way it is and it works for me. My family does not like hand made socks or sweaters I've tried and they just do not wear them so why make more?

I wear almost everything I make for myself and the socks are my favorite. I now have so many pairs knitted that I only do "sock washing" about once a month. I wash them all at the same time and wear a new pair almost every day (weather permitting).

Then there are all the sock related travels I love, the next one I'm looking at is the Sock Summit 2009 will be August 6-9th at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon.

There is not that much information on the web site but it sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Come one! Come all!
To the Greatest Sock Knitting Show on Earth.
Step right this way where you will find:

  • Your favorite teachers, designers and knit stars
  • A marketplace filled to the brim with sock yarn and supplies
  • Live podcasts
  • Creative and inspiring exhibits
  • A sheep-to-sock contest
  • “The Parade of Socks” fashion show
  • Sock Hop in the Sunken Ballroom of the Portland Art Museum
  • And so much more …
  • Sock knitting history in the making!

Friday, November 21, 2008

One of the techniques I learned from Cat

One of the techniques I learned in Cat Bordhi's class was the iCord bind off. Wow what a beautiful edge it gives. It's in her book, she is so inventive! What an imagination she has! I know she did not invent this technique but the way she uses it is very inventive.

A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting
by Cat Bordhi

When you get to the end of your finished project and you are ready to bind off, cast on 3 more stitches to the left needle.

Knit 2, k2tog and put the last 3 sts. back on the needle and repeat all the way across.

They call it i-Cord because any "idiot" can do it. Well if somebody shows you how that is, like everything once you know how it's so easy.

Thanks Cat.

It's Turkey time!

Getting ready for the holidays. This is one of my favorite cook books, the pictures and the historical references to foods of Hungary is really great. I need to freshen up my collection of recipes of my usual holiday dishes. I think my family is ready for a change, often I get into a sort of rut and rotate maybe 10 or so recipes, maybe I'll watch the food channel too that's always fun to see new ideas in food.

On Ravelry there is a Hungarian discussion group and they have been bringing up different Hungarian foods, it really got me in the mood for cooking some Hungarian dishes for the upcoming holidays. We plan to deep fry our turkey, we've been doing this for several years now and it's delicious and best of all my husband does the whole thing. He has perfected (I hope) the method that works best and it truly is a very tasty way to cook the "bird". We usually cook several because we share, it's a lot of work for just our family. We sometimes cook our neighbor's turkey and extra ones. What can I say there is a lot of Turkey cooking going on this time of year at my house. There are a couple or organizations I belong to and we take turkey and food to feed people in need. We are blessed to have this abundance of food so we share.