Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do you knit?

I love the Yarnharlot's blog, I think Stephanie is just a very funny person and love what she has to say. Especially having met her a few times and spending a bit of time with her at the Sock Summit I appreciate her sense of humor and she knits like the wind. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has a number of books out and she travels a lot promoting her books and teaching how to knit faster.

I took her class because I want to knit faster even though I thought I knitted fairly efficiently, the Continental method, during class she timed us and it turns out I was just average. Burst my bubble, but as we all know it's the "journey" not the destination. Knitting is such a zen exercise, and at the end you get a prize. In today's entry on the Yarnharlot's blog she writes about somebody remarking about her knitting and it reminded me of what happened to me the other day.

I was sitting at Starbuck's all by myself having a cup of much needed afternoon pick me up almost $5 dollars cup of coffee and pulled out my little socks that I always have going in my purse to knit. Everybody is busy at Starbuck's working away on their laptops, or pretending to be working on something so very important, and I am listening to my knit pod cast and knitting. When a lady comes walking over to me and asks me the following "Do you knit?".

Yes I say, this is my form of meditation, I listen to meditation music and try and pull loops through with these needles and this string and all the while I count how many loops I have finished. You should try it, they say it lowers your blood pressure and improves hand and eye coordination. I asked her if she was interested in learning how to knit because it's so much fun. There is a whole knitting community online just google knitting.

P.S. about the Sock Summit I want a "do-over", will there be another Sock Summit? If you read this Steph & Tina I would so love that.

During the Sock Summit they asked for volunteers to help out so I volunteered after all it was to do with knitting and I love to help out. One of the volunteer jobs I had was to be Stephanies helper during the book signing. Which meant I got to hang around and collect all the goodies people brought Stephanie and got to hear her conversations with each fan. I think this was one of the best jobs, her quick wit is amazing and had me entertained and fascinated how many fans the Yarnharlot has. Here are some pictures from the event and in this first picture I found from one of the fans blogs (sorry I don't remember the url) but there I am sitting right behind having a great time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The missing sock syndrome

I've written about this before, about how one sock always disappears. I called it the one sock syndrome. I've gone as far as declaring that I am only knitting one sock and felt that they do not have to match. But that has not gone well, it feels weird to have two different types of socks. But I digress.

I posted about this a while back when I thought that the washing machine ate my sock, because I kept ending up with one sock and the matching sock simply disappeared nowhere to be found. Once I started knitting socks this problem seemed to be solved, the socks were so precious because of the amount of work and expense that went into them I was keeping a close eye on the laundering process. But as time went by I started to have a large collection of socks, it turned out that I love knitting socks so I have lots of them now and I have gotten a bit lazed about keeping an eye on these socks.

The problem persisted and I am still fighting the one disappearing sock syndrome. Then this morning I was out in the garden and one of my dogs the older one was digging to bury something. She usually buries cookies or chewies so I did not think anything of it. My son came out to join me for coffee outside in my bamboo garden and he says "Mom do you see what FeeFee is burying?" and to my shock and horror she has one of my socks and she is digging to bury it!

The dog is making my socks disappear not the washing machine! All this time I blamed the machine and it's the dog!
Who me? I did not do it! See how cute and innocent I look?
Why I knit socks when you can buy them for a couple of bucks?
And here are my top ten reasons why I knit socks:

  1. You can never have too many socks
  2. They are pretty
  3. They are functional
  4. Nothing feels better on your feet than a pair of new hand knit socks
  5. I can make any color any style
  6. It's a small project and I can take it with me anywhere
  7. Why take it with me because I hate to waste time. There is so few hours in the day.
  8. When waiting in line I can knit my socks (market, bank etc...)
  9. Keeps my feet comfy and warm when it's cold
  10. Because I love them
There are many other reasons most of which most of my non knitting friends do not understand but this is a knitting blog so I will keep writing about my sock obsession.

SeaSocks - Cruising the high seas knitting socks
Sock Summit - Join 5,000 fellow sock knitters from all over the world at the Portland Convention Center
Travel to Friday Harbor - to knit socks on an island for a week

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Urban Bandit

  1. One Chopped Yellow Onion
  2. One Chopped Jalapeno Pepper
  3. One tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
Boil ingredients for 20 minutes in two quarts of water. Then let it cool and strain the mixture through cheesecloth. You can apply this with a pesticide sprayer or a spray bottle. This will deter just about any animal from an area where it is applied. The only draw back is that it only lasts for three to five days.

About 3 or 4 in the morning I've been getting a knock on my bedroom window. The first time it happened it scared the sh......t out of me and I jumped grabbed the flashlight. And to my horror/relief it was an animal not a human. The huge masked face was staring at me with it's little hand in a fist knocking on my window and I swear it was smiling.

I grabbed one of my longer knitting needles and tapped on the window while shining the light at it and sure enough it ran away. But then it got up on top of the roof and started dancing. It sounded like a two year old running barefoot. Now I'm awake and have the lights on it's too early to get up yet I can't sleep because this little bastard is running around in the yard banging on things and having a great party.

As soon as it was time I called my Local Animal Control asking for help, a friend told me that you guys can get me a trap and maybe we could trap this animal and you can take it and put it somewhere more conducive for wild animals than my back yard and roof. No we do not have traps anymore we will send you instructions, and they sent me the above recipe.

In the mean time the raccoon and I have bonded and wave at each other almost every night. This disturbs my sleep and I'm getting a lot of knitting done in the middle of the night. My dogs have lots of fleas, I walk around with dark circles and drinking a lot of coffee!

I just wonder how long this will last? As if I did not have enough other problems now I have this!

Any suggestions?

ps. Maybe it was not smiling after all.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Too many Tweets!

Tweeting is a lot of fun especially keeping track of friends you would not talk to on such a regular basis yet it sort of keeps you in touch. But.... yes there is a but ..... I feel another pet peeve coming on ..... I follow several people some I know personally and some I just like and love to see what they have to say.

What comes to mind is a commercial that runs in this area about some teen agers telling their parents to stop tweeting so much. "I know you are on the patio and sitting on a chair" do I need to know every detail? But why are people doing this? I tweet but quite frankly I don't have that much to say. My life is rather on the boring side, I'm knitting, I'm cleaning, I'm doing the dishes, I'm working in the garden etc. I am sure actually I am positive nobody wants to know such details about my life nor do I want to know such details about other people either.

I guess this is an art when too much is too much. As they say in my neighborhood "Too Much Information!"

I've been following Lance Armstrong and it was kind of fun to follow him around the tour de France but enough is enough!

Stop it Lance! I may have to delete you! Five pages of this is really too many tweets!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The dreaded knitting boredom has set in....

Oh no the KB's are creeping in with my two main projects I'm working on. Don't misunderstand I've never been a monogamous knitter, I've always been kind of fickle. Actually I'm always amazed that I finish projects. I start out with great enthusiasm at the beginning, it starts with the yarn most of the time or sometimes just a need for a piece that I feel I should have for my wardrobe, once in a while a gift or two or charity knitting.

In the summer time I like to knit little cotton camisole's like the "Easy Breezy" top I made last month. The fiber content is cotton/rayon mix so it's nice and cool and very functional. Other times I may decide that I need a new sweater to wear for some trip coming up or some event. It's always fun to have a new piece of clothing to wear.

So the project usually is dictated by need, function and what materials are available. After the stash I got at the Sock Summit amazingly I was able to find 4 skeins of Bugga. Beginner's luck I think, since then I keep looking at Sanguine Gryphon's site and I do not see anything but "SOLD OUT" red signs.

The progress has moved along very nicely until now when I was sidetracked by some new yarn. This Bugga yarn is very nice oh but look at that colorful Blue Moon Socks that Rock yarn I also got and love. It's so colorful and I have 3 skeins, what to make? I know it's sock yarn but it would be a shame to make socks from this beautiful yarn. And besides the Bugga project has hit a design snag, I have to decide how long and what kind of edge to do. I think I have to let it rest a bit and start something new.

I love to knit caps and buy hats, somehow I never or very seldom wear hats or knitted caps I'm always attracted to them to buy or knit. Here is my latest design, and as you can see I'm still working out the details. When I finish I'll get somebody to take a picture of me wearing it, in these pictures it looks a bit small but in person it does fit very nicely.

That is if I could stop making iPhone pouches.... but I digress and will tell you about those in another post.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pet Peeve

"A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find it."

I must confess I have several of these some annoy me more than others but this one REALLY annoys me. Black background with white lettering web page. I can not read them, I usually just skip those kind of pages unless it's something that I'm really interested in and then I make my computer read it to me.

I can not look at the screen because it hurts my eyes and I always feel like screaming at the web designer to tell them how stupid this is and it does not look "cool" or "artsy" anything of the sort.

So what, exactly, is my complaint? If I don’t like the design of a site, I don’t have to visit it. Well yes, but there is a lot of interesting content on some sites that use inverted colors. I just stop visiting. It’s a shame, but my eyes simply can’t take the strain. Did I say it hurts my eyes yes and it gives me a headache!

The reason I thought of this is because there is a gal I met on one of my knitting excursions, Jamie from Chicago "the Yarnsnob" and I would love to read her blog but each time I visit there it is black background with white text. I won't even talk about the animation that keeps moving on the right side that's for another day another rant. Thank you for letting me vent.

A knitting guild

I was invited to come and join a knitting guild a couple of years ago, I liked the idea so I went to check it out. There are two guilds in my area one meets in El Segundo and the other meets in Mar Vista. For those of you who are not familiar with Los Angeles both El Segundo and Mar Vista are part of Los Angeles because L.A. is not like a "real city". We are a patchwork of little areas, like Venice Beach, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Hollywood, etc..... even Malibu is part of the greater Los Angeles area. L.A. is HUGE you can really see this when landing at LAX at night the lights start and you are flying almost a half hour to reach the airport. It is a beautiful sight to see all the lights shimmering below.

We also have lots of people who live here and because we are so big we need our cars to get around. Public transportation just never works out for us, we are too dependent on our cars and I must say it's damn convenient. I'm not sure what this does to the environment or any of the numerous negatives that come with owning and driving a car but such as it is in Los Angeles.

I tell you all this because the traffic and getting around becomes part of life, I don't like traffic and I don't want to drive far distances to go to meetings etc. The Sand & Sea Knitting Guild used to meet out in Malibu, and it was a lovely drive up the coast with the magnificent Pacific Ocean and beaches, movie star homes etc. I really enjoy that drive except when it become bumper to bumper traffic down the Pacific Coast Highway. So I deemed this guild to be "geographically undesireable".

I always thought that it was called the Malibu Guild, and now I realize that it's formal name is the Sand & Sea Knitting Guild. For some reason they lost their meeting room and had to move and to my advantage they moved only a few miles from my home. It takes me 5 minutes to get to the church where they meet. I get to go through the Santa Monica Airport "Cloverfield" a small but noisy airport a couple of miles from the beach. I've always loved this airport there are so many interesting things there.

I really like meeting with other knitters and the benefits a guild can offer, such as their extensive knitting book library, the educational programs they offer and not to forget the raffle and lunch. It's only $25 dollars a year so I joined. There are many very talented knitters at this guild I've seen some really beautiful projects shared. This year one of our new members (my friend Olga) won 1st place at the Los Angeles County Fair for a beautiful sweater she knitted.

Here is a bag I won in the raffle, I'm so easy I was happy as could be when I won this. I don't know what I did before I had this, I am using it every day now.

"Visitors are welcome to attend the monthly Guild meeting which is held on the second Saturday of each month from 11:00 am until 1:30 pm at St Andrew's Lutheran Church, 11555 National Bl., Los Angeles."

Last month I was lucky and won two great grab bags in the monthly raffle. How this works is when you win something the next month you are supposed to bring something equal in value and it gets raffled off.... the raffle tickets cost 3 for a dollar I think and you can put your ticket in a bag of the item you may want. You can put all your tickets in one bag or whatever you choose. This system is a lot better than just having a raffle because often you would win something you may or may not want. I won this wonderful little bag, for small projects and a kit to knit a purse. I spent a gran total of 3 dollars. Now next time I will take some new items that I have in my "gift" drawer.

I love supporting my local yarn stores and my knitting guild, spreading the word about knitting and how much fun it is just trying to get others addicted like the rest of us. We are after all just "yarn pushers".

Monday, September 14, 2009

I may be hovering near the "line"

As I have shared in a earlier post "I got my new glasses....."
and I shared how much I love getting new glasses, ok I'm an accessory junkie and I get bored with things rather quickly. I have lots of glasses because...... well just because. Some of them I love and wear all the time and some I find I get bored with. When I first ordered these glasses I loved them and had my prescription put in them but soon I got bored with it and hardly ever wear it.

I was visiting my friend Carol's studio the other day and she had all these wonderful colors of paint all over the place and I wanted to wear some of them. Then the idea of painting my glasses popped into my head and I was calling Carol back and asking if I could come over for a painting session.

You know the expression "she has stepped over the line" is what Carol was thinking when she asked me what I wanted to paint. I answered my glasses Carol with a puzzled voice asked drinking glasses? No My Eye Glasses. But why? Just because I feel like it. Ok come on over.

Soon Carol broke out the colors I was asking for and started mixing, and within minutes I was painting. It's acrylic paint and no I don't have a sealer if they fade, chip or wear off I'll paint them again. I am very satisfied with the outcome and love the colors and love the painting idea, now to keep from painting all of my glasses.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Soft as angel's hair 100% silk

At the Sock Summit 2009, Portland, Oregon Jennie the Potter chatting it up with Heather Ordover, Jennie was very pregnant and full of smiles. I am so happy to see both of them and to see that Jennie is going to have a little one was wonderful news. I first met Jennie and her mom on the SeaSock's Cruise to Alaska. I ran into so many people I met on the cruises it was such a surprise. I think I counted 20 people I knew from SeaSocks and each time I'd see somebody they would say "have you seen so and so she's here too".

Jennie came on the cruise with her mom Lucinda who had a broken ankle and was in a wheel chair. What impressed me so much is how Jennie treated her mom. She was gentle patient and with so much love it brings joy to my heart each time I think of it. Jennie never left her mom's side and made sure that her mom had a good time and was able to get around, oh I wish I had a daughter.

Jennie had her booth www.jenniethepotter.com and I expected the lovely "functional ceramics" that she makes but had no idea that she also dyed yarn. Not just ordinary yarn but this beautiful 100% silk. I have now misplaced the label but I think it had about 1,200 yards. I love the color and the sheen, oh and not to forget the soft and light weight of this yarn, so I decided to crochet a shawl. Just a triangle plain lacey shawl. I love this yarn.

PS. I just read Jennie's blog that her baby was born today! It's a girl! 7pounds 7 oz. Delivered at 6:12 this morning. 9/9/09!

Happy Birthday baby Lanners!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Cat Bordhi has a new book out

Take a look she is giving us glimpses of what the book is about. "This video introduces you to the key elements of my book, PERSONAL FOOTPRINTS FOR INSOUCIANT SOCK KNITTERS. You'll also see about a dozen of the new designs from the book, which is to be released..."

Still remembering the Sock Summit

Tina Newton with her camera taking pictures often. I wonder where all those pictures are? Tina if you read this we want to see your pictures! (please)

Here I am holding my socks I knit for the Sock Museum. Oh yes there was a sock museum!

Stephanie and Tina quite the comedy team.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker, Tina Newton.

I just found this radio clip interview about the Sock Summit organizers Tina Newton, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Cat Bordhi. Cat is described as one of the rock stars of knitting. Cat is talking about her enthusiastic description of sock knitting. Here is Cat knitting with her friend Clara Parks (Knitter's Review).

So fun to listen to, I'm just hanging on to a little bit more of the memory of the fun time we had. Next month I will be going up to the San Juan Islands to visit Cat and spend a week with her knitting. My idea of a fun vacation.


My friend Joan checking out the sock museum.