Monday, February 28, 2005

A Benefit of Blogging

I've now met my second blogger, the first being the talented and lovely Julia and now the delightful Miriam with whom I enjoyed a meal of Indian food, followed by a bookstore browse, then a tea and KIP. Tell me THAT isn't a little slice of heaven.
On top of the lovely day out, she made me this stunning hand felted journal

It is being modeled by her sweet Lucius, whom you may read about on her blog. Hand knit and handsome as they come, Lucius is a monkey a girl could really fall for.
I was glad to meet them both.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Snow baby

LA has been outpacing Seattle for rain this year, and it's made for some dismal days, lately. The rain is going on its merry way, though and leaving behind some lush greenery and clear skies. Additionally, rain in LA means snow in the nearby mountains. One of the things that I love most about the LA area is that you never really give up any sort of weather, you need only get in your car for a hour, have your fill and come home that same day, if you please.
Last weekend, Leo brought Panda to Mt. Baldy for some romping around, while I recovered from my weekend of debauchery, and the pictures he brought back were so heart wrenching I knew we'd be back this weekend.
We dressed as warmly as we could, packed up the pooch and headed back to the Mountain.

Panda's favorite thing of all is to dive head first into a pile of snow and rub her face in it. Every once in a while she grabs a bite or a lick of clean snow, for good measure. She literally never gets tired of this.
Here's a picture of her with the incriminating evidence on her nose.

How cute is THAT?

For a dog who has lived in LA her entire life, it really amazes me how naturally she takes to snow. There was never even a moment of shock, discomfort or surprise for her.
Luckily, Leo is similarly drawn to the fluffy white stuff

I wore my Happy Hat, which not only looks VERY fashionable but has the added benefit of keeping one's ears quite warm. No pictures, though, of the hat in action, sorry.

In proper blog news, the Erte cloche sales have been a bigger success than I would have imagined. I think I've sold 12 of them so far. Between that and the Cafepress shop, I think I've recouped most of the cost of the site. I couldn't be happier. To all of you who have made purchases, you have my very sincere gratitude.

A couple folks have commented about seeing my Knitty Gritty episode. Thanks for the oodles of sweetness you've all sent. To PrincessTrish, who asked what it was like doing the show, it was a lot of fun. The staff is shockingly friendly and accommodating. If any of you have a chance to be on the show as Knitsters or guests, take it. You'll have a great time doing it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Did you know that I offer patterns?

It's true. I don't just talk about myself and my birthday, apparently, I also write patterns or something.
I got so wrapped up in birthday fun that I didn't let you all know that they were available.
First is the choker I designed for the Peace is Patriotic along and then Knit for the Cure

You can get the pattern here. There is a plain version as well as the one shown here with the beads.

Also, the cloche is now available for sale here.

People have been writing me asking when they could buy it so I figured I had the find some time to get it out.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Post 3 of 3

My friends, Chrissy, Deb and Sue, planned this incredible overnight for me. We stayed at the Standard hotel in downtown LA. Leo and I have gone to their rooftop club many times, but since we live 20 miles away, we've certainly never been guests. But the girls weren't content with simply renting a run of the mill room, instead, they reserved the "WOW" room. This is 750 square feet of retro fun.

The room features an "emperor" sized bed and a huge couch which served as extra sleeping space for us.

As well as a bathroom the size of my first apartment. The bathtub could easily fit 3 or 4 people if that were something that appealed to a group. We, apparently, feel it also makes great seating. You'll note that behind the bathtub, is a separate shower and, concealed, is a water closet as well.
But what is Chrissy sitting on?

It's a giant black foot, of course.

Funky is par for the course at the Standard and the phone is no exception. Here you can see the various speed dial options available to us. I've touched up the text to make it legible, but I am not embellishing in any way. Buttons for the front desk and room service perform as expected, but the other buttons offer some of the most surreal recordings.

We really did love the foot. It's made of foam so it was highly portable.

Here you see it testing the bath water to check if it was too hot.

It was just right, so it popped in for a scrub.

Having finished it's bath, it took advantage of the hotel robe and towels to dry off.

We really liked the foot :o)

But the whole night wasn't foam feet and hotel rooms, we took full advantage of the club downstairs. Chrissy got me a tiara to wear for the evening to make sure that we weren't the only ones who knew I was "special". Sue (the blond) did everyone's makeup, ensuring lots of bad pickup lines all evening long

But it was great fun and I'd do it all over again a hundred times.
Turning 30 is great.

Post 2 of 3

As you may be noticing, I've opted not to try to fit my entire weekend into a single post.
For my actual birthday, Leo treated me to a wonderful evening out. We both dressed up a bit which will end up posing a bit of a problem for us.
We started off having filet mignon at the Bonaventure, along with a wonderful bottle of wine. We didn't get any pictures, but, we did save a little bit of meat for Miss Panda so she'd be able to share in the joy.
It's been really rainy here in LA, but we decided to brave our way over to the Omni hotel for some deserts and drinks. The Omni has a lovely little bar and lounge area with a piano player singing all your favorite piano bar songs. It was lovely, and Leo treated himself to some sake:

We lounged a bit and enjoyed the ambiance.

Sitting near the window, we noticed that, instead of letting up, the weather appeared to be getting worse and worse. We debated, do we leave now before the streets are too flooded to get through, or do we try to wait out the rain and dash to the car in dryer comfort?
Eventually, it appeared we weren't going to see the end to the torrent so Leo and I decided to leave. He was wearing a very nice suit and doubted it'd fair well in the torrential downpour so he asked me to wear his jacket under mine to protect it, which left him wearing only a thin dress shirt.
Venturing out into the elements, we quickly realized that we were not facing mere rain, but pea sized hail as well.

Here is a picture from a stop we made under an overhang to catch our break. Despite wearing Leo's jacket and my own, I was freezing, imagine how he felt.
We finally made it to the car, and cranked the heat for everything it was worth, within 10 minutes the weather cleared completely, nary a drop of water in sight. Fear not, though, the rain picked up once more, in time for us to walk Miss Panda before bed.
It was a rainy night, indeed, but no less wonderful for this Birthday Girl.

Post 1 of 3

This post is for all the great gifts I got this weekend. I've been spoiled rotten, for sure.

From my friend Chrissy, beyond the great outing that will be covered in a later posting, I got:
Dog of Glee socks

Happy bunny socks and Money Business socks
I love funny sock :)

And a wonderful Happy Bunny bag, plus "Mr. Wonderful" doll that says things like, "Darling, take just as long as you want to get ready. I don't mind one bit."

Sue, gave me this sweet doggy key chain that says "I love my dog" on one side and has a spot for your puppy's photo on the other. Cute!

And she made me this scarf which is really really soft. It looks quite fetching on, I might add.

Deb got me this lovely 3 charm necklace.

My mom sent me this rockin' Scurvy bag, with matching socks. The bag is perfect for knitting and has pockets inside and out.

And my Secret Pal is just plain awesome. I got a whole bag of dove chocolate (dark of course) some great soap, a candle that smells incredible, a Panda-esque note pad which is absolutely going to work with me on Monday and a bag of Panda's favorite cookies. My pal also suggested I share my chocolates with Leo, which I've done, albeit reluctantly.

I did make Panda perform a demeaning trick for her cookie, but she said it was worth it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I'm now 30

Well, on Wednesday, my office S&B group threw me a wonderful pot-luck surprise party. It was really darn sweet and totally made my week. One woman knew I loved vintage patterns and gave me a stack of them that she purchased at an estate sale. This is a selection that everyone's favorite Stitch McYarnpants would approve of.

While some of the patterns are properly kitschy, there are also some that freakin rock. Take for instance, the myriad of sock patterns. Click the images for a larger view

We've got sea horses and beer...

Divers and skunks! The skunks appear to be worked with some white mohair to make the tails fuzzy...

Manhattans, anchors and bowling paraphernalia...

And this Vegas inspired assortment offering everything from champagne to cigarettes.

But the whole package wasn't just socks

There were a tons of booklets. The open pamphlet in the top left corner just cracks me up. Check out that hat!

The birthday fun has just begun. Two packages await my eager hands at the Post Office, and according to the slips left behind, one is from my parents and the other is from my secret pal. YAY! Of course I'll report back.
I can't imagine what more my mom got for me since she already got me two queen sized Tempurpedic pillows.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Anticipating My Birthday

I'm so excited, I just heard that a couple of my friends have reserved a room at one of the funkiest downtown hotels, The Standard, for my 30th birthday. We're going to have Dim Sum, dance our tushes off and make a general nuisance of ourselves. I can't wait.

In case it isn't entirely obvious, I'm not the least bit shy about announcing my birthday, as colleagues will attest. Why, just yesterday I announced it in a staff meeting for another department, to which I was invited. In my defense, someone had just announced another person's birthday, and then another employee followed my lead and announced her own birthday, several days prior.

Knitting is going well, but nothing to show since it's for InKnitters. I'm quite pleased with the results so far, though. I hope to have more to show soon.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

My Comments Runneth Over

Well, 19 comments isn't a lot for many bloggers out there, but I generally don't receive so many and, wow, you are all quite generous with your praise. It's making it hard for me to fit my head through various doorways. Thanks.

A few people have requested pictures of lace darts and a couple people have asked if there are ways to avoid having to do the modifications.

To the first question, "yes" and here they are.

Click the image to see a close up without the stitch marks.

Note that the dart is stitched down towards the back of the piece. By sewing it down along all three sides, you reduce the bulk formed by pinching up the lace. I wouldn't recommend this technique on anything thicker than a worsted weight yarn. If you wanted to eliminate more bulk you could cut the darted fabric out and serge along the raw edges, but that would involve having access to a serger.

Here's how the piece looks flat. Your aim should be to have a smooth, shoulder shaped upper edge from the sleeve to the neck.

Laid flat, this is what the corner created will look like from the outside. If your lace is very very open, it will show the dart through, but that will be minimal. Press the dart according to the yarn's specification to reduce any remaining bulk.

As for the second question, the answer is a tepid, "not really." Theoretically, one could knit a lace that could turn corners, but it would involve a level of engineering that I don't have the time to work out. Basically, you are trying to knit a wide band that will sit flat as it bends around the neckline. Since, technically, the outer edge of the lace would need to be longer than the inner edge of the lace to do this, there is no easy way to accomplish the goal without some alterations at the end. I promise you, though, the alterations are very easy.

Someone wrote me yesterday to ask about the little bit of bunching at the base of the neckline in front. I've been able to remove that as well by simply tacking the overlap.

Sewing the two piece together at the base ensures the front doesn't droop at all.

Finally, on a none knit related topic, I bought myself some jeans this weekend that *gasp* actually fit and *double gasp* didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

I'm feeling serious love for my new jeans.

They are Old Navy Stretch jeans in a boot cut design that sit just below the waist (i.e. no plumber's butt here). I bought a dark wash pair in regular length for wearing with healed boots and a lighter distressed wash in their short length for wearing with flats.

I can't tell you how happy I am to finally feel completely comfortable in a pair of jeans and they still look good. Yay Old Navy.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Maiden Voyage

Did you know that the only items I've made and actually worn out are my hats, scarves and mittens? They are often the items that are so small I hardly think they are worth posting on my blog. Well, I got Bella Paquita back from Artfibers, this weekend and I decided I'd make the modifications outlined in the pattern and wear her to work.

I snapped this picture quickly before Panda got completely jealous and jumped in my lap. I would show you that picture but I'm making the most frightening baby talk face and I just don't care to advertise that.
All I did was pinch the lace up at each shoulder seam and sew in a dart to allow the lace to lie completely flat. I then sewed the dart down flat towards the back of the piece. It worked out very nicely as you can see in the picture. I did opt to wear a camisole under the sweater so as not to put on too much of a show.

In other news, I got more yarn from people requesting patterns. There are advantages to teaching yourself to design.

That's three skeins of Koigu, my friends.
It's interesting, for the past two pattern projects I've agreed to take on, I've told them what I want to do and what yarn I'd like to use but I've left it up to them to pick the color and in both cases they've sent these deep teal colors. It's not normally a color I gravitate to, but since the colors have been so rich, I really think they are lovely.

Finally, I'm making a second ribbon choker, this time for the Knit for the Cure event hat that JenLa blog promoted. This time, I'm modifying it so that instead of picots throughout the choker, I'm using beads. I hope to post a pattern in the next couple of days.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

To everything-rip rip

Well, after finishing nearly half the knitting on my InKnitters submission, I realized I'd horribly miscalculated something and the great majority of the piece needs to be re-knit. Taking the advice of Jacqueline Fee I did not rip the piece out but, instead, am knitting directly from the carcass of the piece to be ripped, so as I rip, so do I knit. It takes a little of the sting out of things and saves time in the whole ripping, re-balling process.

But not everything has been frustration, we got lots of beach time today and plenty of good pup shots.

Do you see how high this girl is jumping? She's amazing.

And here are a couple action shots of her mummy and daddy tossing the squirrel.

And of course, for the throw, we have a corresponding retrieve, or a reasonable facsimile.

Friday, February 04, 2005

PIP project

I finished my first yellow ribbon project.

You can see more and read about it here.

If people are interested, I can also provide a pattern.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pay Day!

After finally finishing the Soy Silk piece, writing up the pattern, getting the schematics in order and confirming that the owner had everything she needs, the time came for compensation. I will be honest when I admit that I have known very little about the various yarns out there despite the fact that I'm a fairly prolific knitter. I really used Artfibers yarns almost exclusively up until a few months ago. So when Jonelle asked me to pick what I'd like for my payment yarn, I said, "Optimum DK sounds nice. I like the dark purple color."
Have any of you seen or felt this yarn

Words really can't describe how soft this yarn is. Actually, that's not true, Knitter's Review Forum does a pretty good job.
Little did I know that this yarn is $26 a ball. Even less did I know that I'd get this much of it.

Sorry for the crazy flash reflection. That's 10 gorgeous balls of the softest merino yarn I've ever held. And let me tell you, I loves me my merino.
So at 154 yards per ball and 10 balls I certainly have enough to make something pretty for myself. Taking into consideration the suggestions on K.R.F., I think I may make myself a nice wrap. I will have to scour the various stitch pattern books I have.

But for now, I need to set this lovely yarn aside as I have a pressing deadline for InKnitters (everything needs to be to them by March 1) and a less pressing, but equally involved project for my PIP along.

And just to eat a little crow in public, I totally flubbed every part of my baby brother's b-day, having suggested that his b-day was the 1st because I didn't know what day of the week it was and then realizing that I made a mistake with his address on one of the packages I sent. Yah, good going, Marnie.

At least I'm pretty sure I got everything right for my secret pal. I'm mailing her package on my way to work today.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Mo Bella

The Bella Paquita Large and Extra Large charts are now available.

Additionally, my baby brother turns 26 today (Wednesday). Let's all wish him a happy birthday and many more.

Because I'm a lazy woman, all his gifts are going to arrive late to his house, but one could look at it as a way to extend his birthday celebrations. I like putting a happy spin on my laziness.

Hey Matt, Happy Birthday. I Love you.

Meme, I'm it

There's an infection going around the internet and I caught a case of the musical variety from Miss Jessica. So here goes:

1. Total number of music files on your computer?
I have 122 files on my home computer, all stored in iTunes.

2. CD you last bought.
I bought 2 Spanish Rock CDs for my step-father
La Oreja De Van Gogh
Though if I listened to music more, I would have gladly kept them for myself

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
I honestly couldn't say. I guess it was the theme to Fresh Air with Terry Gross. I only really listen to music on the weekends, either when I go out or when I ride in the car with Leo. I'm just an information junky and listen to talk radio all day.

4. 5 songs you often listen to, or which mean a lot to you?

After the election, I played Where is the Love by the Black Eyed Peas all the way to work because I couldn't stand to hear the news that day.

Peggy Lee's Fever is a classic and brings back fond memories from college.

I love the song Dios le Pido by Juanes.

The song Zion by Lauryn Hill has always seemed so sweet to me.

And Pachelbel's Canon in D is work of brilliance.

5. Who are you going to pass this on to and why?
I'm not going to transmit my meme unless someone is willing to volunteer to be infected. It was fun enough but I don't like to put folks on the spot.


Featured Patterns

Drake the Dragon Backpack

Erte Cloche Pattern

Support the site

Goddess Magnet

PIP Tote

wyvern store

hummer sticker

Search Now:
In Association with

My Wish List

Site Info

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35