Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm counting the days....

29 degrees that's cold! Yippie, I get to wear my wool socks, my wool sweaters and my winter coat! Because we have not had much winter around here I'm looking forward to some cooler weather! I have so many wool projects that I can't wear too often around here, so I can hardly wait for a bit of a change. Our summer weather here in Southern California in early February is just not suitable for winter clothes.

81 degrees yesterday...... I'm glad to see we are cooling down and expecting rain on Thursday and Friday. At least I can test my rain shoes. I always obsess which shoes to wear on a trip more so than clothing. Taking into consideration that we have to take our shoes off for security then walking, rainproof, just hanging around etc. I'm wearing my MBT "The anit-shoe" (Nice web site BTW) but they are not very dressy I think comfort wins. And my all time favorite Crocs always wins out.

I can hardly wait to get out of here little R&R is needed badly. Don't get me wrong I love my family and my dogs but once in a while I just need a break. What better mini vacation than to get together with knitters and take a few knitting classes buy yarn etc. I'm getting ready to go to the Madrona Firber Arts Winter Retreat!

Some of the classes I'm signed up for have homework some just have supplies I need to gather! Yikes I better get cracking.

1. rubber/disposable gloves,
2. apron and dye-appropriate clothes.
3. 35 yards each of 1-3 yarns from your stash. These will be dyed and divided among the participants so each of you go home with lots of samples. If any of the 35 yard sample pieces are all or mostly cotton, please presoak them in water before class.

This one I am not doing! I was kind of anxious to meet Sally and looked forward to her class but with the homework requirement I am considering dropping the class!

The first requirement is to put on a leotard when mentioned to friends we all had a good laugh! I may have to use my "dummy" form to photograph as my stand in because I am not photographing myself in a tight leotard!

I have not had a tight leotard on my body for many years and I don't think I will be wearing one in the near future.

HOMEWORK: It is essential that this exercise be completed. You will be disappointed if you don’t do this!
  1. 1. Dress in close-fit lingerie. (You may add a bodysuit or leotard or tights, but do wear supportive lingerie.)
  2. . Standing straight, with arms slightly away from your side, have someone take a straight-on photo of you. (Have the photo fill the screen as much as possible.)
  3. Print the photo to size 8X10 and onto plain paper.
  4. Trace your outline only with a fine black pen.
  5. Take your height in inches, and divide by 8. Round off only to the nearest 1/16”. (For example, if you are 5’ 5”—which is 65”—then 1/8 = 8 1/8”.) You will get the best results if you take the time to get this exact.
  6. Reprint your outline to this height. (If you need, get help from a photocopying expert,) You will get the best results if you take the time to get this exact. And you may bring more than one copy of this outline.
1.Colored paper
2.White paper
6.Measuring tape

1. yarn (same weight as homework piece), contrast colour is fine,
2.needles appropriate for ribbing for homework piece,
3.homework pieces (see below).

Use non-textured, light-coloured yarns. Worsted weight is best. Block both swatches.
  1. 1. Work 4X4" swatch in Stst, working selvage sts in Stst also: change to smaller needles and finish with 1" k1p1 rib, and then bind off all stitches with needles MUCH TOO LARGE.
  2. Cast on 24 sts: work 3" St st. DO EXACTLY AS WRITTEN: do not slip sts and do not work short rows. At beg of next RS row, bind off 6 sts. At beg of next RS row, bind off 3 sts. At beg of next RS row, bind off 2 sts. At beg of next 3 RS rows, bind off 1 st. Work 8 rows straight. Bind off all sts.

There are a couple more, but minimal knitting and I plan to do it at the airport. Wish me luck.

Hyperbolicised..... Ballerina....

My inspiration the Hyperbolic Crochet exhibit I saw a couple of weeks ago.

The Hanne Falkenberg "Ballerina" was a great fun knit but I've never really wore it as much as I thought I would. It clearly shows in the pictures that it has a really full back and shorter front but somehow I did not notice this when I bought the kit. I've talked about this before that this design is back heavy and when I have it on it constantly pulls to the back and it has no closure. I really love zipper front sweaters so I decided to alter this sweater so I would enjoy wearing it more.

I will wear it tomorrow to the "Anti-Superbowl" party and sale at Amano Yarn Center. I'll let you know what other people think.

Hanne Falkenberg Designs: Ballerina, Swinger jacket in garter stitch.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Another project in pieces

A friend of mine just had her first grand baby and I've been knitting. I got the pattern from Knit and Crochet Today PBS television program. Which I love and record every episode. This is what it's supposed to look like when finished.This is what mine looks like:

Knit and Crochet Today

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have a serious case of Finishitis.

I have many many projects started at various stages of progress but I can not seem to get anything finished. I hate when I get like this, I want something finished to get it out of the UFO pile! Some things are 90% done and yet I can not seem to get them finished. I have "finishitis".

I've been knitting and crocheting baby things, a good friend just had a baby and I want to send presents. So all has been put on hold, baby things it is. Yet I'm having trouble finishing them also. I see a new project and I want to start another ....... here is the progress on the booties and hat for baby. There is a blanket and a stuffed toy to go with them 80% done and I could probably finish it all in an hour so my goal for the weekend is to get them finished and in the mail by Monday!

Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hyperbolic Crochet exhibit & PLASTIC

The crochet "hyperbolic" pieces were amazing! I've seen pictures of crochet coral reef before but never really knew what it was all about..... but the picture below is the one that disturbed me the most. OMG look at the trash! PLASTIC! The frustration is what can I do about it?

If you are reading this please Google "the great Pacific Garbage Patch"

Do you see those two dark patches in the above picture? Those are huge Garbage Patches in the ocean full of plastic.

Located halfway between California and Hawaii lies the Pacific Ocean's Great Garbage Patch. Double the size of Texas, it consists of -- you guessed it -- trash. Mostly plastic which never disappears, it may change and degrade but it never disappears.

Twice the size of Texas? OMG What are we doing to our earth?

I joined Ellen and her friend to see an art exhibit given by FIG (the Institute for Figuring) "Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef" at Track 16 Gallery Curated by Margaret and Christine Wertheim, and they got serious about plastic trash. The exhibit is running from January 10 - February 28, 2009, if you are in the area it is worth seeing it was amazing.

There was a great turn out and many people were interested in learning how to crochet especially the idea of recycling plastic trash bags and making something useful or artistic out of plastic trash. Many of the pieces used video or audio tape, shiny and black. Margaret and Christine explained what hyperbolic shape was and how this project came about then down to cutting up and crocheting recycled plastic bags.

I posted a tutorial if you want to see how click here. It's a lot of fun and you get to have your own market bag made out of plastic bags or cut the strips smaller and make a purse.... endless possibilities you can even make a coral reef.

Here is my friend Holly teaching how to crochet and a young man who looks like his hand is all bandaged up but it was his "yarn" of plastic wrapped around his hand.

After a demonstration in how to crochet a hyperbolic piece from cut up trash bags they had a talk by Captain Charles Moore world expert on oceanic plastic trash. And it was not a pretty picture.

What is hyperbolic crochet?

The hyperbolic crochet reef started in Australia, and has travelled around the U.S. gathering beautiful creatures, made by avid crocheters, where ever it goes. Now it has come to London and it is a wonder. Using bright and vivid colours such as oranges, reds and purples, every shape from the sea has been made: shells, coral , starfish and jellyfish. One whole set is made out of black and blue beading and shines in the light with golds and silvers.

What is it? It was the brainy idea of a mathematics researcher and crocheter who realized that she could recreate in crochet 3-D models of creatures such as corals, anemones, kelps, sponges and flatworms. They all have a unique shape known as hyperbolic geometric structures and these shapes can be crocheted so that one can "hold the theorems in their hand". The "reef" has been created as a statement about the impact of global warming on the coral reefs in The Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the world. When the microscopic organisms that make up coral become stressed by environmental factors such as rising water temperatures, they become bleached out. If conditions improve the colour comes back, if not they continue to decline. Over 3,000 sq. km. of reef are lost every year.

Here is a post note:

The beach we like to go to is in Malibu and it's a beautiful bay and amazingly pristine I seldom see trash just driftwood once in a while and very little plastic. We like this beach because we can let the dogs run free and they just love it. However this weekend we could not let them off leash because there was an Elephant Seal beached and dying in the sand.

The lifeguard advised us to stay away, elephant seals are the size of a car, 16 feet and weigh 6,000 pounds! And if it's suffering it could attack. Then the life guard went further and said that it may be dying because it ate plastic and they can't digest plastic!

See the big gray lump in the center of the picture? That is the seal, this is as close as we could get safely.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Who knew?

I got this in my eMail from a friend:

I had to go into the kitchen and check this out for myself. Whoever looks at the end of your aluminum foil box? You know when you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.

Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, Press here to lock end. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.

I'm sharing this with my friends. I'm not the only person that didn't know about this.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

a Heat Wave?

A couple of weeks ago I was freezing my buns off, we even had ice on the lawn that made it look like it snowed. It was just the early morning moisture from the ocean frozen on the lawn but it sure looked like snow!

But this is not a summer hot it's a winter hot. Yes I know 86° degrees should be the same but somehow it is not. Winter 86° and Summer 86° is a totally different dress requirement. The Winter 86° is only for 5 minutes at noon. It's 9 am and as you can see it shows 59° and I have a sweater on but on television and all the weather reports it tells me that we are having a "heat wave".

I feel guilty about complaining about these mild temperatures when some of the country is "freezing" but I'm here and I've got a cold because of all these temperature changes. I dress in layers but somehow I don't pick out the right thing to wear. I'm either sweating or shivering.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I love my big sister.

Oh if she would just let me nibble on her ear! While she is busy checking her "pMail" I manage to get in a bite or two. Now that I have more teeth it's easier. I'm still practicing what my mommy calls gentle biting. Sometimes I get carried away and bite down and they scream.

I must admit that is a load of fun but sometimes mommy puts me in the time out corner if I bite too hard. Biting is my favorite thing to do right now, I chew anything that I find on the floor sometimes it's my mommies shoes but she really gets mad when I do that. Especially if she is wearing the shoes, although if there are shoes left on the floor I think it's fair game.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A pictorial to the Rose Bowl.

Forgive me I've lost my mind. Over the many years my DH and I have so enjoyed the Rose Bowl Flea Market, the "grand daddy" of all flea markets, that I decided to take pictures of the trip from the Beach to Pasadena. It all started with taking out my camera to take a picture of my yarn project I decided to work on for the road, it's a crochet creation for my puppy.

My husband does not like me to knit with sharp needles in the car while he is driving in case the airbag well he may have a point. (Excuse the pun). So I try and comply and crochet or knit with very small non pointy sticks. The sun is shining and it's a beautiful day as a matter of fact it's too sunny so I put up my "old lady" sun shield. I come prepared.

Then I get fascinated with the freeway ....... and here is the pictorial trip from the beach to Pasadena Rose Bowl. I'm an old fashioned sort of Los Angelino and like to call the freeways by their name rather than the number they have been assigned.

Santa Monica Freeway East to the Harbor Freeway to the Pasadena Freeway. The Pasadena Freeway by the way is the very first freeway built in Los Angeles.
The Pasadena Freeway or Arroyo Seco Parkway is the first freeway in the U.S. state of California, connecting Los Angeles with Pasadena alongside the Arroyo Seco. It is notable not only for being the first, mostly opened in 1940, but for representing the transitional phase between early parkways and modern freeways.

The end.