Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Re-entry is difficult

Ok, we're back. Four fun days of beading, eating out and spending time with old friends was wonderful, even if I had to get up at 7:30 every morning (I am NOT a morning person). Anyway, back to life, back to reality, as the song goes. Summer School started on Monday which means getting up even earlier! It also signals a return to my chauffeur duties. oh well... It is also going to really heat up this week here in So. Cal. Welcome to summer! I am up to the shoulder strap on the Lotorp bag. This is a good thing, since knitting a large bag out of chunky wool isn't a good idea when the temp is close to 100 degrees.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gone Beadin'

I am spending the next few days @ Creative Castle in Newbury Park, taking two workshops from the divine Cynthia Rutledge. The classes I'm taking are the Turkish Veil workshop and the Lattice Weave Parure.

My Habu Tsumugi silk arrived for the MS3, so I'll start swatching soon. See you soon...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thought for Today

I'm not the first to use this quote in reference to knitting, but it resonates with me so much, I wanted to share it:

In Hell there is no other punishment than to begin over and over the tasks left unfinished in your lifetime. Andre Gide

Better start taking my vitamins! The technical difficulties have been resolved and the Lotorp bag is back on track. I just have to finish the last diamond and knit the strap.

I think I've found the perfect hat for my chauffeur service:

Yes, I've finally lived long enough to be an embarrassment to my child!

here's a link to the free pattern

Monday, June 18, 2007

My new summer job....

Chauffeur. If today was a taste of it, it's going to be a busy summer. Potluck and the park, followed by a trip to an Academic Decathelon meeting. In between jobs, I had lunch with my mother and took a nap. I'm thinking some kind of uniform might be snazzy...

Speaking of driving, Saturday we took a little road trip to the O.C. Laguna and Mission Viejo to be exact. Talk about traffic!! It took us over 1 1/2 hours to get down there, 30 minutes just to go the first 8 miles. Once we got there, we had a really nice time. The weather was great, not too hot with the ocean breezes wafting across. Solely for the sake of market research, we felt that we should visit a yarn store. We decided to check out La Petite Knitterie. I had read many good things about LPK and their yarn, so I was interested in seeing it. This is a lovely shop with very friendly staff. It is a small shop, but filled with many treats. We treated ourselves to some of their house brand sock yarn. I don't think the photo will do this yarn justice, but the colors are absolutely beautiful. I actually got to chat with the dyer, Lori Lawson. Here is a photo of my yarn (for another Spanish Dancer, don't yell, C)

and this is the yarn H selected

Good news/bad news

The Lotorp bag is experiencing technical difficulties

now, the good news:
I have finally finished the body of the Larger than Life bag. I'm taking a breather before I have to dust off the old Singer and get the lining together.

The bag isn't as wonky as it appears in this photo.

I never sign up for knitalongs, but I took the plunge and joined the Mystery Stole 3 KAL, along with about 1,100+ others. come on, let me see a show of hands--who's going to do it with me??? I'm waiting for my yarn so that I can swatch.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Time flies

This little girl...

Is now this beautiful, self-possessed, talented girl who finished her last day of 10th grade yesterday. I am now the mother of an 11th grader! I can't tell you how stunning that is. It seems like yesterday that we were watching Barney and playing with Barbies. Now it is SAT's, political commentary and arguing over music. I am so proud of you.

Today, to celebrate, I made the ultimate sacrifice and took the kid to Old Town in 90+ degree weather. Old Town is perfectly nice except for the parking and the crowds. Anyway, the kid cut loose in Forever 21 (if you don't know, you don't have a teenage girl in your life) and then we had a really nice lunch across the street at The Kitchen. Thanks for letting me have a front row seat on the rollercoaster called "H." xox

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Can I get an intervention please?

Would someone please stop me. This yarn, Kauni Effekt, is one of the "hot" yarns on the internet now. Yarn Harlot mentioned it on her blog a couple days ago. If you buy 2 skeins you can easily knit a faux fairisle cardigan. Now, of course, I want to get some. I live in L.A., aka the last heat stop before Hell and Arizona. The yarn is a hand dyed somewhat scratchy shetland type WOOL from Denmark. It comes in huge skeins of approx. 1,200 yards. This fact alone should discourage me from buying this since I get annoyed winding Cascade 220. I am a person who has been warm her whole life, summer is approaching (it was 90 today, some would say it's here) and I may be experiencing hot flashes. I still want the yarn. call 1-800-Imalunatic. I can already hear certain friends of mine screaming...

In other news, things are really coming along on the Larger than Life bag. I've got one side completely sewn together, one side to go. You can see the lining fabric lying there on the table. As others have said, this bag really is larger than life. So large that the plastic needlepoint canvas sheets that I bought to stabilize the bag are too small! I am now mulling over other ways to firm up this bag. Maybe fusible interfacing attached to the lining? I was in Jo-Ann's this evening to look at interfacing, but it was so hot and stuffy in there, I had to leave. They had this ultra firm interfacing called Peltex, has anyone tried that?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weekend wrap-up

It's been a fun weekend. Saturday, I inadvertently participated in World KIP day. I went to my favorite yarn store, Unraveled, and was happy to discover Janice Rosema, the uber-talented freeform crochet & knitting artist sitting at a table there, surrounded with gorgeous yarns and projects. Janice is usually teaching, so it's unusual to get to just sit and hang out with her. Spending time with Janice, her various completed pieces and just general fabulousness is a mind bending experience. Whenever I get to spend time with Janice, I generally end up racing home with a thousand different ideas...Saturday was no exception. Janice is teaching a new class called Geometric Freeform Knitting on June 23 at Unraveled. check it out--it's a beautiful piece.

Speaking of Unraveled, it's a great yarn store. Starting on Tuesday, June 12th, they're having a sock yarn sale. Colinette Jitterbug, Sockotta, Koigu and all other sock yarns will be on sale. While you're there, you can get an entry form for their flip flop contest. A cool way to kick (get it, kick?) off the summer! If we want to have the luxury of local yarn stores, we need to support them, especially this time of year when things start to slow down. Unraveled has the most beautiful interior that I've ever seen in a yarn store. There are comfy chairs in a very inviting seating area where you can knit the time away. Unraveled has a friendly, talented staff and, oh yes! Beautiful yarns. drop by and get some sock yarn and say hi to Christine and company. I'll be there waiting on the couch.

Sunday afternoon, H and I spent a couple enjoyable hours with Knitdad. Our little excursion involved a mountain, a barn and yarn... There may have been a little yarn acquisition...I'll never tell. :-) It was a lot of fun as always.

Finally, today is my mother's birthday. My whole immediate family, all six of us, three generations, had a party. We had dinner at a favorite italian restaurant, then returned to my mother's house for cake, cards, gifts and general carousing. There was even a crown involved. (contractual obligations prohibit me from showing my mother from another angle. In other words, she'd kill me!)

Happy Birthday, Mom! you're the best.

It has been a very nice weekend indeed.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Larger than Life...

Things are rolling along on the Larger than Life bag. Eight squares done, four to go. After that, I have to crochet the sides/bottom and assemble.

My friend and sister-from-another-mother, Fay Lynn of Marvels of Knitting, gave a really nice mention of our new blogs (Hannah and her Mother and mine) on her blog today. Thanks a lot! My readership may soar above 5! Actually, I think FL is feeling guilty for torturing me for months with her Chevron scarf. I resisted as long as I could. I forced myself to stop pairing Koigu colors looking for a good combo. But when I saw (fondled) the finished scarf last Saturday I was finally hooked. This pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts has spread around the internet faster than a case of chicken pox in a kindergarten class. Just google "chevron scarf" and you'll see what I mean.

I just happened to buy 2 skeins each of Lorna's Laces sock yarn in Tickled Pink and Envy. Guess I'll have to cast on for the scarf.... just to be polite...

There are 7 days left of 10th grade. I hope I make it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Knitting ADD

We have recovered from the drama of last Friday. I think my mind actually relaxed some time Saturday afternoon. Anyway, it's over. H took the SAT on Saturday (imagine "Sunrise, Sunset" playing in my head). I hung out for a while at Unraveled with the gang.

I've had to put the Lotorp bag on a brief timeout because it's killing my hands. To make a bag that is really nice and firm, I'm having to knit a bulky wool on size 9 needles. I've knit up 3 skeins of the Iro, and it's also pretty warm to have sitting on your lap in Southern California in June. I'll be able to pick it up in a day or so. Until then, I've been crocheting more squares for the Larger than Life bag. My philosophy is to aggravate as many muscle groups as possible. ;-)

My increasingly severe case of Knitting ADD continues to flourish. I literally want to make EVERYTHING! The Op Art bag in the new "Knitting Never Felt Better" book (see below) sent me scurrying to find suitable colors in my Lamb's Pride stash. Then, there's the Tuscany Shawl from "No Sheep for You." I've seen several beautiful completed Tuscany's online this past week done in Handmaiden's Seasilk yarn, which I just happen to have. I need more hands.

Finally, my good friend M is flying off to teach at the big Bead & Button show tomorrow. For beaders, this is Stitches, Maryland Sheep and Wool and the Super Bowl all rolled into one. Have a great time!

Friday, June 01, 2007

The one call you hate to get

11:34 am - the phone rings at home. I let the machine pick up and I hear "Mom, Mom, pick up the phone right away" hello? "Mom, we're on lock down." click. that's all. Now how in the heck am I supposed to get my heartbeat back to a normal rhythm. geez.

11:49 am - H texts that there's a man with a gun. I feel sick to my stomach

11:50 am - I call my sister. We decide not to call our mother, who is a block away and can hear the helicopters as well.

Noon - I call my neighbor who always is listening to the police scanner, he confirms that there is someone with a gun.

12:10 pm - H texts "can you hear the sirens?" I can, we are only 3 blocks from the high school. I can also hear several helicopters overhead.

12:11 pm - I get a breaking news email from ch. 7 telling me about the situation at the high school. I realize that I have switched into the calming breathing exercises I learned in a lamaze class 16 1/2 years ago.

12:35 pm - I get a call from H telling me that they have the person.

This was one of the worst hours of my life. I know how lucky I am that I was only scared for a while and that nothing worse happened. I am very grateful.

postscript: 2:30 pm, I leave a message for my mother to tell her about the whole gun incident and how we decided to not tell her about it as it was happening.

6:05 pm - still waiting to find out if I'm grounded.