Friday, April 17, 2015

Vogue Knitting Live - Briefly

Ellen at The Yarn TeePee, #vkl


We had a great time at Vogue Knitting Live in Pasadena today. I took an excellent class and went to the Market Place. I saw tons of friends and some beautiful yarn!
More details on Monday. I'm exhausted!


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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hip Mitts


OK!  We finally got it! With the help of Mr. Larry, using my super-fab iPhone camera, we took this photo of the Lacy Fingerless Gloves that I've been crocheting.  I wanted to get a good angle so that you could see the picot edge on the mitts, along with the additional thumb and bottom crab stitch edging.  Larry's cool white guitar is a great background to make these mitts pop!
The yarn is acrylic, Tessan Ahlens Tempo, sport weight from Holland.  I made some modifications to this pattern:   I started out with a foundation single crochet instead of chaining for the beginning of the glove. The FSC is stretchy! After I finished the body of the glove, I crocheted a row of single crochet around the entire rectangle before forming the glove. I also added a bit of a thumb in single crochet, in the round. I bordered the bottom on the mitt in reverse single crochet and the top of the mitt with a row of picot stitches, so I would know which way was up!


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Those Wacky Dragons

"Game of Thrones" Mitts.  Photo by Beth Ann

Everyone is watching and talking about Season 5 of HBO's "Game of Thrones."  It's an involved story and brilliantly cast. I work at HBO and feel compelled to watch the show, but I must admit that I have to check HBO's Synopsis after every episode just to keep the characters straight in my head!
The "Game of Thrones" theme has shown up in the knitting and crochet world.  Just put the title of the show in the Ravelry search window for patterns and tons show up! There are lots of fingerless mitts with each House's symbol on them:  The House of Baratheon has a wild stag; The House of Lannister has a fighting lion, etc.  There is a House of Stark, "Winter is Coming" beanie pattern. The "Night's Watch" Shawl is quite lovely. 
Daenerys Targaryen and her baby dragon

There's always lots of talk about the character, Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) and her gaggle of dragons. the items translated to knit and crochet patterns concerning these dragons are my favorites.  I LOVE "The Game of Thrones Inspired Dragon Egg."  
Dragon Eggs

The Baby Targaryen Dragon is adorable. The Wyvern-style Dragon flies. 
Baby Targaryen Dragon

Wyvern Flying Dragon

The pattern for the baby flying Wyvern is really fantastic. Somehow, these fire-breathing dragons look so cute when they're small.  Hah!  Just wait a season or two until they grow up and get all frustrated from being kept in the dungeon.  You'll see some fierceness this season!
Naturally there are many shawls and scarves that mimic dragon wings.  I love them all!
Mother of Dragons Shawl
There isn't a pattern available for these particle Dragon Mitts, but I'm going to figure them out on my own and make a pair!


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It Must Be Spring

Jacaranda Trees on South Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles

The jacaranda trees are starting to bloom in my neighborhood.  It must be Spring! I do think our drought has shortened the foliage time of these lovely trees. Only a few have bloomed on our block. 


I love those purple flowers, especially when they form a canopy over the streets.  I do not like it when those sticky, purple flowers fall on my car. Oh well. One must suffer for beauty.

This has brought my attention to purple yarn.  I have lots of it in my stash. Time to figure out what to crochet and/or knit with these beauties!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Calm and Relaxing


I love going to the Original Farmers Market early on a Saturday morning. The tourists haven't shown up yet.  

The Market is relatively quiet. The vendors at the food stands and shops are still setting up. Delicious, sweet smells are emanating from Bob's Doughnuts

There are clean, empty tables everywhere.
Once a month, on the second Saturday, my West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch group meets in the upstairs dining area at the Farmers Market. We meet from 10 am to noon. A few different members who cannot attend our weeky Thursday group (7-9pm) come for these Saturday morning meetings. It's always fun to compare yarny projects and hear what's new.

Jean, Meri, Leah, Molly, Amy

A small group showed up this Saturday, including Molly, who we hadn't seen in ages! Everyone was working on some interesting projects.
Leah's Linen Cardigan

Amy's Colorful Afghan

Jean is working on a pair of socks

Meri just started a sweater.  I love those strawberry markers!

I'm working on a black shell

Molly is crocheting these beautiful Papel Picado pieces

Join us on the second Saturday of every month.  We always have a calm, relaxing morning. It's a great way to start off your weekend.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

National Siblings Day? VPF

Palm Springs, 1964.

I'm re-posting this from last year.  Nothing has changed.  I still love my brother.

After perusing Facebook this morning, I found out that today is National Siblings Day.  Sheesh!  There's a holiday for EVERYTHING now.  Used to be we'd just celebrate each other on our birthdays.  Now, my brother and I have a particular day where we can reminisce about how he used to call me "Shrimp," "Pokey" and "Pipsqueak." 
Hollywood, 1959
Halloween, 1957

Sherman Oaks, 1958

San Francisco, 1959
Los Angeles, 2004


I must say, I'm eternally grateful to my brother, Ken for teaching me how to play the ukulele, guitar and banjo and for furthering my love of American Roots music.  We are seven years apart, so I cannot remember too many favors I did for Kenny when we were kids.  He was out of the house by the time I was 11 or 12.  I do remember Mom saying that he couldn't use the family car unless he took his little sister along, thus ensuring that he wouldn't get into any REAL trouble.  Little did Mom know that I was sitting in smoky back rooms at The Ash Grove (L.A.'s premiere folk music club) listening to the less than wholesome sounds of Reverend Gary Davis, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Bill Monroe rehearse before performances!

After all these years, Ken has maintained his interest in music, making it his life's work.  This weekend he's hosting the Pilot Mountain Bowed Dulcimer Festival in North Carolina. 
Me, I'm still playing the same three chords on the ukulele!  
At left is a blurry photo taken at our Mom's 90th birthday, 2-1/2 years ago, with our spouses, Larry and Ginny, Marina del Rey.  We must get together soon to take some better photos for posterity, Bro!

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

License to Snap

I like to take snapshots of personalized license plates in Los Angeles.  I'm betting that this City has the highest number of registered vehicles with vanity plates. I see new ones everyday. Here are a few, some collected by me, some by my reporters in the field. Shout out to Brenda and Jacques!
We've definitely got a west-side, beachy theme goin' here!

A "Nemo" Fan with Oceanic Plate Frame

In East Santa Monica

It's almost always sunny in L.A.

Peace + Love (Man)!

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Lacy Mitts

Christie Pruitt's Lacy Fingerless Gloves.  I like the colorful ones!

The weather in L.A. this year is wacky.  Over Easter and Passover weekend we had a heat-wave. Yesterday, it rained. Today, it's breezy and on the coolish side. This weekend it should warm up. It's cold inside my office, hot in the car. Ack!
I've heard that if your pulse-points are warm, then you are warm. I've taken to wearing fingerless mitts to achieve a bit of warmth. I have many pairs in different colors. Some are knit, some are crocheted. The mitts make great gifts too.
I've made a lot of fingerless mitts over the years!

Recently, I found this simple pattern on Ravelry by Christie Pruitt called "Lacy Fingerless Gloves" (see top photo). This is a straight-forward, easy crochet pattern. I've made a few of my own modifications to these gloves. I started out with the Foundation Single Crochet stitch, instead of just a chain. The Foundation SC gives the glove a bit of stretch at the bottom. After I finished crocheting the rectangle that becomes the mitt, I crocheted a row of single crochet stitches around the entire piece before joining at the edge. Once joined, I added another row of single crochet around the thumb-hole for stability. I also added a picot crocheted edge to the top of the glove so that I'd know which way was up when putting on the gloves!
Ellen's Lacy Fingerless Gloves, Koigu KPPM yarn

I used about one-third of a skein of Koigu KPPM yarn, leftover from a shawl project. I also increased my hook size to "G," because my hand is large.
Overall, I'm pleased with this quick project. Next time I might add a half-thumb in single crochet.
Next up, photographing my new project. This takes more time than the actual crocheting! I saw this photo of fingerless mitts online and thought it was so cool:
Hip, electric guitar-playin' chicks in pink jeans wear knitted fingerless mitts!

I tried to imitate this photo, above, using one of Larry's guitars. We were rushed this morning, so our photo is just OK. I need to position my hand like the hip chick above! Where's Gale Zucker, knit photographer extraordinaire, when I need her?
What is wrong with this photo?  Well, my hand is in the wrong position. The neck of the guitar is essentially the same color as the mitts and it takes away the attention from the mitts. I need to show more guitar-action and generally pretend that I am a cool person, twangin on my axe!. Argh! Must schedule another photo shoot.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

What a Doll?

Twinsies with their friend, the Garden Slug (swallowing an alien)

I never know what to expect when I walk around our house. Larry has a vast collection of toys that he places in unexpected places. It's an ongoing performance piece at our house.
The other day I walked into the bedroom and thought I was seeing double.  When did Larry get another ventriloquist dummy? This doll is almost identical to the doll that has been sitting on our bureau for years. I keep waiting for these two guys to start talking to each other. I'm tired of them staring at me!
It was thoughtful of Larry to pose my Garden Slug with the boys. Suzette knitted this Mochi Mochi Garden Slug for me. Sluggo has a Mochi Mochi Alien in his mouth. Charming.

Garden Slug. Photo by Suzy-ette

The boys remind me of these girls:
Twins from "The Shining"

I might have to stage a rival performance piece with my "Ellen" doll!

Sweet dreams tonight, my friends!

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Food Stuffs with Religious Significance


I know a lot about the reasons for eating or NOT eating certain foods at Passover. We reiterate these lists during the Passover Seder every year. Click here for a few guidelines from Rabbi Shapiro. 
I was not certain about why Gentiles eat certain foods, especially lamb, during Easter. I had to look it up. This is from the Catholic Education Resource Center:  "Lamb has significance in the Easter celebration. A special Easter pastry is a cake shaped like a lamb. In the Middle Ages, lamb was the customary meat eaten on Easter and was the main meat for the Holy Fathers' Easter dinner. Remember that the Jews sacrificed a lamb for Passover during the time of Moses; because of the Passover sacrifice, the Jewish people were freed from slavery in Egypt and taken to the Promised land. Christ is the new Paschal lamb who was sacrificed for our sins and whose blood made the perfect and everlasting covenant; Christ has freed us from the slavery of sin and opened the gates to the true Promised Land of Heaven. Together, the mystery of the Last Supper, the sacrifice of Good Friday and the resurrection of Easter form the new Passover...the new Pasch."
Aha!  This is the reason I have seen those lamb cake-molds in the craft and house-ware stores!
Lamb Cake Mold.  There is a back-side mold too!

I went on to read about all of the different types of lamb cakes that people bake to celebrate Easter.  It appears that many different types of frostings are used to resemble the lamb's wool.  I found coconut, Rice Krispies and heavily swirled white icing.  Personally, I like the coconut "wool."
Coconut covered lamb cake

Rice Krispie covered lamb cake

Butter and Sugar Icing Swirled Lamb Cake

One of my office co-workers brought in his half-eaten lamb cake for the rest of us to enjoy.  I'm sure it tasted better than it looks!

Wallie's Leftover Lamb Cake

All I could muster for Mr. Larry this weekend in the way of Easter baking was a batch of mini-brownies!

Ellen's Easter Brownies

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