Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why I heart my mailman

Lookie lookie what came in the mail today!! Knitting Never Felt Better by Nicky Epstein. The sub-title of the book is "A Definitive Guide to Fabulous Felting," and I have to agree. If you are interested in felting, this book is for you. This book is especially for you if you've made a few felted bags from some of the great commercial patterns around and are itching to come up with something unique. The best part of the book are the before and after (felting) swatches. There are tons of these and they are so helpful. My head is just buzzin' with ideas. I had been a little disappointed in some of Ms. Epstein's recent designs, so I am thrilled that she has left the felted swan bags behind and moved on to more fashionable designs.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


H and I spent the afternoon yesterday cruising around Glendale. We hit a yarn sale and Borders. As we were walking back from Borders, looking for a place for lunch, we saw a Mann theater. We didn't understand why it was so quiet, since it was Saturday and there had been all these stories about the big crowds for Pirates. "It must be a trick," I said. No trick, we waltzed into the 2:50 show at 2:50. My review of the movie: pretty good. The first movie is still the best of the three, but 'At World's End' is so much better than the 2nd Pirates movie. This movie actually had a story. I figure you either like the Pirates of the Caribbean genre or you don't. Personally, I like them (and Johnny Depp). It was a good time, a fun afternoon w/ the kid.

This is the Lotorp bag from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's book Noro Revisited. I highly recommend this book. Anyway, yesterday I saw a Lortorp made in Noro Iro that I really liked. Naturally, I had to dig out my yarn and the book to start knitting this right away. I'm using color #66.

Enjoy the long weekend. Memorial Day always feels like the official kick-off to summer. see you at the BBQ~

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Four Hundred Dollars and one cent

would buy a lot of yarn!

Unfortunately, that was the tab for a lovely afternoon spent at the Santa Anita Small Animal Hospital yesterday. Scout has been acting very strangely for the past couple of weeks, so we took the old boy in for the whole spa treatment. The vet called today to say that all of his test results were really good for a 12 yr old cat. What seems to be bothering him is arthritis in his hips and back. He's going to have anti-inflammatory meds and glucosamine/chondrotin for cats. Tuna flavor, no less. I seem to be living in some Twilight Zone universe--my 16 yr old daughter is taking the same meds as my 71+ yr old step-father, and Scout and I are both suffering from arthritis. What is up with this???

One of my guilty pleasures is American Idol. Jordin Sparks won last night and she was my favorite. She is a beautiful girl with a wonderful voice. To think that her voice will only get better with age is mind boggling. My daughter, H, is a dead ringer for Jordin. She is Jordin's mini-me. Today we were sitting at the Peach having a little lunch, and a complete stranger came up and commented at the resemblance. I was really annoyed to hear today that already the criticism of Jordin has begun. Some woman from the National Society Against Obesity spoke out today and said that it was a mistake to have Jordin as the winner because she was overweight and projected the wrong image. absolute crap! Jordin is a lovely, talented young woman of a NORMAL size. It is such a shame that we continue to force the wrong body images on our teenagers. Ok, that's my little rant for today.

This is little H, before she became "Jordin." It was Mad Hatter Day.

On the yarn-y front, I am continuing to make the squares for the Larger than Life bag. I'm on the 6th square, 6 more to go.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Once more with feeling

Why is it that the simplest projects get you? Do we get cocky? over confident? is it just too simple? or am I just a short attention span MORON? I mentioned that I was knitting the Sursa shawl for the second time. This shawl could not be simpler. It is a triangle with a very simple reverse stockinette ruffle. The body of the shawl has been done for some time, so I thought do the ruffle quickly and get on to another project. wrong! Ruffle attempt #1 - I increased too much and ended up with a wildly ruffled edge that stood out from the shawl (think: the most extreme potato chip scarf attached to a shawl's edge). When I say "stood out" I mean literally standing out from my body. My knitting buds looked at me in horror at the thought of undoing all those stitches. But no, it wasn't the way I had envisioned it, so I ripped it out. Ruffle attempt #2 - I successfully achieved a soft ruffle that I really liked. I was winding up the last row before binding off last night when something caught my eye. Huh? I looked a little closer. The reverse stockinette ruffle was not reversed. Now, it was suggested to me that I just ignore it. Since I am a perfectionist and just a little bit cranky, I could not. So, once again the three balls of ruffle yarn were wound up. I am now on Ruffle attempt #3. The ruffle is both reversed and gathered appropriately. things just may work out....but let's not tempt the fates, ok? I'm throwing salt over my shoulder as I write this.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

As promised, here are (just a few!) projects I'm contemplating:

Hanami shawl - a tribute to cherry blossom time. I'm thinking pale pink linen.. from Pink Lemon Twist here's a link to the website

Lady Eleanor stole - because it's the law, right? I recently saw a beautiful Lady E (hi Kim), that used multiple colors of Kureyon and it was stunning. from the ubiquitous Scarf Style book. I started this once before, but somehow the entrelac rectangle turned into a felted bag.

Forest Path Stole -- I know, I know! Entrelac lace in fingering weight! I usually don't get this batty until the dog days of August. However, I have a thing for lilies of the valley...also, I've read online that once you get the hang of it, it's not hard. They probably say that about brain surgery too. Any yarn suggestions for this one? I would use Jaggerspun Zephyr silk/wool, but I don't see a color I like. You folks on the East Coast have an advantage because I believe you can actually find this yarn in your lys. I've never seen this yarn in a store in California. I need the lightest yarn possible. I know that sounds funny, since it is made from a fingering weight, but trust me, I could get hot in fingering wt. alpaca pretty easily. Fleece Artist/Handmaiden have both Seasilk and Lace Silk yarns that would work for this stole. pattern originally ran in IK Summer 2003, but you can buy the pattern here (scroll down)

Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt from Interweave Knits, Summer 2007. This is a beautiful and very wearable top, it's even in linen. I even have the yarn. On the other hand, 6 skeins of linen on size 3's...kind of gives one pause, doesn't it? pictured on this page

Last but not least, the Babette Blanket from Interweave Crochet, Spring 2006. I have loved this blanket since the magazine came out last year. Even mulled over Koigu colors for it. The final straw was the feature on the blanket on the Purl Bee site (see sidebar for link) and the Flickr group that popped up with lots of beautiful Babettes. I think it's a go! pictured on this page

Scout says "Have a relaxing weekend!"

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday/Friday musings

As a stay at home mom (read: chauffeur, cook, crisis counselor, personal shopper, teenage girl wrangler and scullery maid), I was happy to learn that I have an unpaid salary due of $138,095 annually. Woo hoo! Imagine all the yarn that could buy! Even though I'm not receiving my due, I'm still buying yarn and starting projects like my last name is Rockefeller.

Here are my current projects (will add photos ASAP):
Larger than Life Bag - 3 squares done. This pattern calls for Koigu Kersti, but I'm using a Louisa Harding cotton as I previously mentioned here. The squares are fun to make and I love the colors.

Sursa Shawl from Noro book No. 2, Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Collection for Noro book No. 2. This same pattern book has the Klaralund sweater which swept through knitting blogdom like wildfire a couple years ago. This is actually the second one of these shawls that I've made. The current one is made of Silk Garden Lite (one strand) with a tweedy yarn, GGH Polo, for the ruffle. Everyone I know has made several of these shawls.

Ripple Blanket-Yes, I am a lemming, following Posie Gets Cozy & Yarnstorm on the crazy ripple trail (links to their blogs in the sidebar). I saw their blankets and it was all over. I HAD to make one. The KAL for this is aptly named the "No End in Sight Ripple-along." For me, it's rapidly becoming the "Money Pit" blanket. I'm using every nice merino wool I can find, e.g. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK and Rialto, KFI Sublime (a new yarn, very lush), Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK, Rowan Cashsoft DK, Cashcotton and so on.. So far the ripple has gobbled up about 20 skeins of yarn. You do the math, it's a beautiful but pricey blankie. Note: the colors in this picture are not accurate. I'll have the journalism ace take a better photo for me.

New Noni Patterns - the Hydrangea bag and the Fuchsia Market bag. Nora Bellows has some winners in her new Spring 2007 collection. I think my head may have actually exploded a little when I first saw them. Have the yarns and patterns, just haven't cast on yet. (see above job description). Nonibags website, click on "collections"

whew! There's also various freeform crochet projects, another shawl and a Koigu Oriental Jacket. No rush on the Oriental Jacket, I figure I'll be buried with it, haha. Tomorrow I'll talk about the projects I want to do next. The first of which will be to figure out how to add a second set of hands to my body.

Hi, my name is Lisa and I have an addiction to all things yarny.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays...

Actually, the rain part is just wishful thinking. We have had no rain--in fact, record amounts of no rain. I think I will eventually end up somewhere where they have lots of rain, e.g. Seattle. It just seems wonderful from our parched perspective.

As far as Mondays go, it was a pretty good one. After school, H (my daughter, 16) and I dashed over the hill to Black Sheep Knittery in Hollywood. Those of you who know L.A. know that this is the same general area where the Griffith Park wildfire was last week. Anyway, they have had the Sale that Does Not End going for several months, now it features even deeper discounts. It's crazy, I tell you! Here's a peek at the loot:

My part of the haul was a few skeins of Koigu, 8 skeins of Cotton Fleece, some Colinette Fandango and some Classic Elite Provence. I would tell you what I paid for it, but I don't want to make you cry. It was so cheap, I felt guilty on the way home. Ok, a little guilty.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love Koigu. I could easily open "Lisa's House of Koigu." I recently finished the Spanish Dancer Shawl from I love it! It is so light that I think I could actually wear it without moving to an arctic clime. The color is P436, purple, lavender, sage green and shades in between. I think that it is impossible to accurately describe any Koigu color, there's such depth to them.

Anyone out there doing the Larger than Life Bag from the new Interweave Crochet magazine? I've just started. One square down, using Louisa Harding Nautical Cotton. I have no idea what makes this "nautical," but it's nice yarn. Similar to Tahki Cotton Classic or Clip.

Ok, that's all for now, except for the gratuitous cat photo. This is Scout, our wonderful, goofy cat. His favorite places to hang out change every week or so. This week's fav is behind the dining table, using H's Easter basket as a pillow. And no, he's not fat, he's big boned.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

to all the mothers out there. I had a wonderful day with my daughter, H, my mother, Big Red, and everyone else in my family. We had a fabulous brunch at Mijares in Pasadena, complete with mariachis. Mijares is an old Pasadena favorite, featuring your usual old school mexican fare. No black beans here! Unfortunately, my group was very "dry" and I could only enjoy the margaritas from afar!

As you can probably tell, this is my first post here. My knitting experience has been so enriched by the blogs I read, I thought I'd give it a try.