Monthly Archives: May 2006

Finished At Last!
Orangina is finally done with only a few days to spare before the SKC May 31 deadline. I’m really happy with how it turned out. After I steamed and ironed the heck out of it, I tried it on. Sweetie Husband noticed it right away and even commented on how well it fit me. I’m definitely thinking about doing more spring/summer fitted cotton sweaters and tanks. I wore it out on its maiden voyage last night to see Hairspray. It was so comfortable that I wasn’t aware I had it on. You know how sometimes you put on a piece of clothing and there’s something here or there that makes you aware you have it on? Well, not Orangina; it’s perfect for the LA theatre scene, paired with jeans for errands around town, or for Sunday brunch with some casual linen pants.

Pattern: Orangina from Stefanie Japel’s Glampyre Knits
Yarn: Rowan 4 ply cotton in bloom; 3 1/2 balls
Needles: US2 and US1 (for ribbing) Addi Turbo
Mods: I went down in needle size until I got gauge and then knit according to the pattern in the smallest size. Based on other knitter’s advice about the ribbing, I went down another needle size so it wouldn’t be too loose. Perfect!
Thoughts: Once I started using stitch markers to help me keep track of the repeats, things went along swimmingly. I’m so satisfied with this fo. I can definitely see myself wearing it often!

Next stop: Wobbly Circles Felted Tote KAL that I am waaaaay behind on, in addition to Clapotis that’s also OTN. And then there’s Picovoli I want to start…

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No Working Zone

The rain stopped and the sun popped! Since it’s Memorial Day Weekend, no working allowed around this house. How about a relaxing day in the backyard poolside? Sweetie Girl enjoys lazing in the pool and being an artiste poolside.

Sweetie Husband enjoys an outdoor nap.

Sweetie Boy enjoys being a couch potato.

Can you guess what I’m enjoying? The picture at the top says it all. I cast on Clapotis, using Sock Landscape from KnitPicks. This yarn is surprisingly soft and springy. While the yarn is of a smaller gauge than called for, it’ll still turn out to be a nice scarf, definitely not big enough to be a stole or shawl. I’m speeding along quite well doing stockinette. The combination knitting technique makes this pattern so easy. When I’m purling along and come to a stitch that’s later supposed to be knit in the back, I just purl the regular way. I’m really enjoying dropping and unraveling the stitches. Why is it that we so enjoy undoing something we enjoyed creating? Is it because dropping stitches is usually taboo, and when given the permission, we embrace, nay revel in!, the unthinkable??? Hope you’re enjoying doing things you’re not supposed to be doing this weekend. I am.

BTW, Orangina is done done done! Woo hoo! Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow.

Seems It Never Rains in Southern California

Well, it is raining today. So instead of bringing you knitting goodness (or badness, on my part), I’m sharing pictures from my visit to Huntington Library and Gardens yesterday. For the past 5 years or so, my stepmother-in-law (isn’t there a better term than this?) takes my sister-in-law and me to tea at the Huntington Library. They have a tea room, and we lollygag for about 2 hours over yummy tea, sandwiches, and desserts. Then we enjoy a lovely stroll through the various gardens. In past years it has been almost too hot for a long stroll, but yesterday the weather was overcast and perfect for enjoying the flowers and greenery. The picture above is the covered walkway leading to the tea room.

Here’s the Gardening Mistress, as I like to call her, in the Herb Garden. Or is she the scarecrowess? This garden features beautiful brick walkways in a geometric pattern among the beautiful plants, reminding me of an English garden. And another picture of the Herb Garden.

One of my favorite gardens at the Huntington is the Japanese Garden, complete with bridge, koi pond, zen rock garden and bonsai court. Some people were giving the koi crackers, and started a feeding frenzy with the fish.

Some of the paths meander through a bamboo forest. On a sunny day, you still get wonderful shade and coverage from the tall bamboo.

The Children’s Garden, one of their newest exhibits, features little archways and doorways for little ones to walk through, little greenhouses to sit inside, and lots of burbling fountains and brooks to splash in.

All in all, a truly wonderful afternoon.

In the Homestretch

I’ve joined the front and back to start the ribbing and I’m one inch into it, only 3 more inches to go. How exciting! I can see the finish line and it’s getting exciting. I think I’m just gonna make the May 31 deadline. I still need to seam the sides and shoulders but I’m looking forward to having an fo that I can actually wear.

Have you ever injured or almost injured yourself trying to get that perfect picture for your blog? I have almost injured myself twice, and I’m embarrassed to say they were both the same way. I lay my WIPs (not my whips!) on my bedspread, and open the blinds to the big window next to my bed to get good natural lighting. Even when it’s overcast like this morning, I still get a great amount of light in my bedroom. I start my photo shoots by snapping pictures while standing to the right. Then I try a picture or two standing to the left, and realize, duh!, I’m blocking the wonderful natural light. Then, Einstein that I am, I realize I need a different angle, a little variety. So I climb onto the bed and stand over the project to get just the right picture, when it happens. I almost get my head whacked by the spinning ceiling fan blades. Spinning blades of death, I tell you.

Not once, people, but twice. I never claimed to be a rocket scientist, genius or even a smart cookie. Please tell me if you have ever done anything this stupid while trying to get your blog pictures. If I don’t receive any emails, I’ll know that I’m the stupidest person on earth. 🙂 Have a great Sunday!

Seeing Double

I’m making progress, however slow, on my Orangina. I’m working on the front now, and here it is next to the completed back. I’m at 10.5 inches, only 4 more to go before I join them together and start knitting in the round… my favorite! My goal is to finish by the end of the month, which is when the KAL ends. Send me any spare knitting mojo you can!

Good News!

I got my new camera, and I’m a happy camper. I only have one picture to post. Carol and Carol (mother and daughter) were special guests at our Pasadena Daytimers SnB meeting last week. We were up to at least 12 knitsters at the meeting. All kinds of knitting and crocheting fun. Carol, the Mom, lives in Baja California, and was visiting daughter Carol. Mom Carol attends a SnB group back at home also; she amazed us with her amazing speed crocheting skills. She crocheted a cap in 45 minutes! Burn baby burn!

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of you out there!

I’m participating in my very first secret pal exchange, the One Skein Secret Pal Exchange, and my secret pal has contacted me. Here are my answers:

1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?
I like so many different things which is exactly like me… lots of different interests. And to expose myself and stay open to new yarns, I’m always interested in seeing what other yarn afficionados like.

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?
Tough one… I like so many colors, but primarily am drawn to greens, purples and pinks (in the spring/summer) and reds (in fall/winter).

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns?
Yes, and I love variegated yarns… greens, purples, pinks, reds, golds, oranges, hints of brown

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?
I always choose yarns made up primarily of natural fibers, e.g., wool, cotton, cashmere, etc.

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn?
Center-pull please!

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them?
I love the feel of Blue Sky Alpaca’s organic cotton. A friend knit a scarf with it last year, and I couldn’t get the feel of the fabric out of my memory — luscious!

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year?
15-20 but don’t ask how many actually get worn!

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year?
Absolutely. I try to knit gifts here and there throughout the year.

9. What is your favorite one skein project?
(Sheepishly :D) I haven’t made anything from the book yet, but I am definitely eyeing the felted clutch, the scarf with one cable on the side, the cupcakes, and the felted bowls.

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it?
I never have enough yarn but probably about 100-125 skeins, stored in baskets on a shelf, a plastic bin, and 2 big ziploc bags under the bed.

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it?
I feel that way about any of the “nicer” yarns I have acquired, e.g., any that didn’t come from Michael’s or JoAnn’s.

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer?
I don’t knit any less, hopefully more, in the summer, but like most othes I find I’m wanting to knit more with cotton yarns and choosing summery tops.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
I actively attend and coordinate a local SnB group, Pasadena Daytimers, that meets weekly, and also belong to the SnB Los Angeles, knitlist, and sockknitters yahoo message boards.

Thanks, Secret Pal!

No Camera, No Pictures, No Fun!

My camera went kaput last week at Sweetie Girl’s birthday party. At least I got enough good pictures before it went out. The new camera is on order but for now I am camera-less. Please bear with the photo-less blog.

I have finished the first half of Orangina and a few rows into the second half. It’s going along quite well, although not as quickly as I would like. I’m just the impatient type, I guess. No progress on the Basket Robbins wobbly tote; just trying to focus on finishing Orangina before the May 31 deadline. No recent yarn acquisitions. No new projects cast on; just trying to swatch for a pair of socks for Sweetie Girl but not much luck. Just. Focusing. on. Orangina. Oh wait, I did do something new. I signed up for the One Skein Secret Pal Exchange. My first secret pal exchange. I’m looking forward to it. I was a little chicken to sign up for it on my own, so I convinced Jillian to join with me. It’s not likely that we’ll even get each other as secret pals, but I just felt less-chickeny (technical term, mind you) having someone do it with me. I’m looking forward to spoiling my secret pal, once I find out who it is.

I’ve had spring fever in a big way. Cleaned out boxes and boxes from the garage; loaded up the van and donated stuff to Goodwill. Redoing Sweetie Girl’s room so she has a desk now and a trundle. Cleaned out TONS of her old toys to make room for her new birthday toys. Cleaned out lots of old books and will donate them and her old toy bin to her kindergarten classroom. It always feels great when the stuff can be put to good use. We also cleaned out the back yard, got rid of a lot of old patio furniture, and made room for a new set. I also gardened. Did you hear me correctly? I said, I also gardened. Mark this day on your calendar because it probably won’t happen for another five years. A gardener, I am not. Sweetie Girl and I planted petunias, after I added almost a big bag of Amend to the soil. She also got some daisy seeds for her birthday and we scattered those. Don’t expect much from them but it could be a nice surprise. Now, if we can only remember to water those daily! 🙂 Happy Spring, everybody!