Saturday, September 29, 2007

You're never too young!!!

You're never too young to start showing your pride with your team colors! The Red Wings BSJ and it's little hat is all complete. And I like it better than the first one I'd finished back in April. The side of the white stripe on the bottom is smoother with picking up stitches in that area with a purl stitch. It cleaned up the area very nicely, I think.

So, with this now all finished for Little Miss "B", the gifts from each of my kids for her have all been finished (ya, I know they were due back in June)...I am now just stitching up a hat for 'Daddy' to be included in the package, then Little Miss "B", her Grandpas and her Daddy can all wear their Wings Pride. I had plans of getting it all finished up this am and run to the post office before they closed at noon. The Lavender Heart Blanket is waiting, patiently for me to have finished up all the red stuff but I can hear it stomping it's foot loudly.

Well, did you catch the operative word?

You know the one....


Yep....gotta love landlords that don't send the gardener (which is in your rental contract) since before June...which makes your yard look like this:

and like this:

Those are weeds folks. Long, hay fever producing/asthma inducing weeds. I told them in writing with the September rent check that the gardeners hadn't been here since before June. Nothing was done about it this month. So, while I was taking pictures this morning to include in the October rent check note, the eye doctor's office called. I ran over to get my new frames attached to my lenses. YEA! I thought. My nose won't get cut anymore from the nose piece being broken. And double YEA that I have a lifetime guarantee on the frames so I didn't have to pay for them to be replaced. I grabbed the hat for 'Daddy' and ran (ok gimped) out the door.

I no sooner sat down after handing over my glasses when my daughter called. "MOM! I HATE THIS HOUSE I HATE THIS HOUSE!" "What?" I thought maybe she stubbed her toe or something...nope...."There's water flooding the house! It's coming up from the tub and the base of the toilets!!!" niceeeeeeeeeee......

Up the tub, under the wall to the front door, and out the door...into the hallway and into my bedroom.... Yes, that was 4 1/2 hours ago, and still no answer from the landlord, and the water's been shut off to the house since then...think about that one for a YEA.

I do believe I love the Rotor Rooter guy! This makes my 25' snake from Home Depot years ago..look like child's play....

Have a great weekend....and may you NOT have to 'dance' for over 5 hours.....

Oh, and my Dad's count? Home for 5 days this round...back in the hospital last night again...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Only in LA!

Remember my saga back on September 15, of trying to get to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's talk up in Los Angeles? You remember, my trials of once more thinking I knew it all and could out smart the freeways? Where I ended up lost and then stuck in traffic? Ya..the one that included the sign on the freeway that said it was a one hour delay? It was due to a HOUSE on the freeway?

Yeah. I wasn't kidding.

The noon news said they're finally going to move the house today. Can you imagine that it's been there since the 15th? 10 days! The owner took the wrong direction (permit was for another set of freeways) and then it's been 'decorated' while it's been sitting there. Thanks for another reason to make LA the worst freeways in the country!

(click on pictures to make them larger)

It could ONLY happen in Los Angeles...*sigh*

Thanks to Crazy Aunt Purl for giving me the idea of taking pictures from the TV to post on the blog...if she can get the weather...I can get the "HOUSE" tie-up on the freeway. Right? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR........

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sometimes I'm just sooooooooooooooo smart!

I got sidetracked again...oh, don't look at me that way. Don't be shocked. You should expect it by now. HA! Another Grandma's favorite, but rather than using YO's for the increase, I used a M1. I like it. This is made in the Amish's not perfect - it's got a glaring mistake, but I'm not telling where. It should, however, pop out to you if you're familiar with this pattern. I took it up to 45 stitches and it's being sent home with my daughter's friend after spending the weekend down here.

Now, sometimes I think I'm soooooooooooooo smart. While staying up to watch the UCLA football game late last night, and then the Iron Chef competition (that Food Network Channel is mighty addicting I tell you!), I got a good start on Dad's vest. Thinking about how some folks like to make two socks at the same time I thought I'd do something similar. Smart cookie that I am. I figured if I started all three sections at that same time, with 3 sets of yarn cakes, I wouldn't have to count how many rows for the ribbing. EH? Keeps the row count the same and the tension on the same sections even. Now that's using the old noodle. Right?

It would take a smidge longer to knit them all at once while keeping track of each separate strand of yarn. Not as hard as it may seem. I've done this before when knitting two sleeves or two sets of the front of a cardigan sweater. It keeps you knitting cables, etc... evenly.

I added row markers on the FRONT/RIGHT sides of the ribbing. That way when you have to stop between sections you can figure out which part to restart with again. In the back, I put the row marker in the center of the section.

The right and left front sections have the markers on their respective edges. When I pick up my knitting, I can see right away that a) I'm on the right or wrong side of the vest, and b) which section that I'm on to minimize confusion. (good place to insert the music here...)

See how they all lay flat? Can you see all 3 row counters? Pretty smart cookie here, eh? I thought so-at least at the time.... (if you notice, rather than the 1 x 1 rib as the pattern calls for, I've changed it. Don't be's a personal preference to make 2x2 twisted rib here.) Now, seeing how smart I am, take a guess what thought I had at 3am as I was putting this all carefully away in my bag.

Sometimes smart people are just too smart for their own good.

If I'd really been smart, I would have cast on all of the stitches continuously with only one strand of wool. As if I were knitting in the round without joining the ends together. DOH!

I'm off to find me some Paula Deen. "Hey Y'ALL! Let's make something DEEE-LICIOUS!"(Did you know that she sells aprons on her web site with some of her phrases on them? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......hint hint...oh family of mine..hehehe) She's calmer to knit to than the Iron Chef competitions. *sigh*

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ready, Set...get healthy!

Now that the team who 'could not be named'...has remembered what to do out on the football field, I can wear my sweatshirt out in public again without being stopped for condolences. And my kids won't give me too much more grief about how their team was still in the winning column without being publicly embarrassed. Thank goodness!

I finished two of the things on needles. Well, two from the picture that I posted the other day. I don't think I'd be wise to show you how many I don't have finished all together. I'd have to stop starting things. Or getting ideas on how I should be making this or that or the other for son or daughters or parents...or or or... You get the idea, right? (har har har) (and let's not forget, there are still a 'few' baby blankets that need to be worked up as well. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

Couldn't find some brassy rose buttons, but thought this little bird house would be cute here.

And I finished the second hat to go with the first red and white one for Little Miss "B"s grandpas. Hope they like them!

Now to really see how fast my needles can click. This is going to be for my Dad. Yep...he's back in the hospital! Can you believe it? He just went home last week on Wednesday, stayed there for 6 days and wham. Right back in! This time for a blockage. I tell you, it's always something. I keep telling him that a skein of yarn and a pair of needles would be a MUCH cheaper hobby than testing every room in the hospital and each Doctor's skills in town! GRRRRRRRRRRR...

While he was home, one of the things that's bothering him now is getting chilled. His circulation still isn't up to snuff yet. My guess is it's from the combination of chemo, radiation, his kidney not working, having been in bed for 12 days in the hospital, and not being able to walk his regular 5 miles at the mall. While he was home he was really feeling the cabin fever, too. I kept telling him that once he gets back to walking with his buddies he's going to feel much better. No sooner had he been ready to get over there to visit while Mom walked, and wham-o, back to his nurses he went.

Thank goodness they have health insurance!

I've spent my knitting time today finishing up that last hat, weaving in ends and sewing on a button before I wound up the grey wool to be certain that there are no knots. Nope, not a one! Hallelujah! 6 skeins, not a single knot. It's a good feeling! And after all the cotton I've been working with, it felt great to start with the wool again.

Now that we had our first measurable rain since April here in Southern California over night, it's time to go back to working with wool. The pattern is Man's Cabled Golf Vest from the June, 2007 issue of Knit "N Style. I'm using Paton's Classic Wool in the Dark Grey Mix. For a change, the local Michael's store had enough in one dye lot! I didn't have to go to multiple stores to get what I needed.

Ready, set, Knit! HEY DAD!!! READY, SET....GO HOME AND BE HEALTHY!!!!! PLEASE???

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How to figure out what's next...

Want to know the secret of how to gain ideas for what to knit next? Finish two...

and start three - Right?

Makes sense to me!

Finished, one more Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth in Lilly's Neptune Ombre, red and white Cathy's Beanie (adult size Med). On the needles (in this picture) green KBB Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel, red and white Cathy's Beanies (Adult size large) and EZ's BSJ in Red Wings' colors!

What's on your needles this afternoon?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dodger blue set finished

Since the son is a HUGE Dodger's fan, this is the closest that I could find for Dodger Blue yarn. It's a cone that I ordered through the parent company of Peaches and Cream out of North Carolina. It was a special order color that they had a limited quantity in. The color is Royal. Now, since this was for the 'Dodger True Blue' fan, when I found this button, it was a no brainier to put it on! Too cute! (but not so much the price...I'm not crazy for $2.75 for 2 buttons. But, he's worth it. This is the Hanging towel that I'd started on Saturday while listening to the Yarn Harlot. KBB Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel, KBB Dishcloth, Puffy Basketweave Dishcloth patterns are all over in the Wishing I was Knitting at the Lake pattern section over to the left <--------. and the bottom is a Grandmother's favorite.

They're just like potato chips, you can't stop at one!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Knitting Survey

I found this on Laurie's blog, and since she 'borrowed it' from a friend, I'm borrowing it from her. Thanks my knitting friend! (Oh, and enjoy your MIA time with hubby!)

A Knitting Survey

Mark with BOLD the thing you have knit, with Italics the ones you play to do something, and leave the rest.

Garter Stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette Stitch
Socks: top down
Socks: toe up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop Stitch Patterns
Knitting with recycled/second hand yarn
Slip Stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with Circular Needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Designing knitting garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Participate in an exchange
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items on one or two circular needles)
knitting with someone else's hand-spun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Free-form knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm-warmers
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair Accessories
Knitting in Public

hmmmmmmmmm not too do you guys stack up? There are a few on there that I've left unmarked..that might change over time. But for now, am not interested. Found it interesting that they didn't add knitting pet hair. From time to time it pops up on the group discussions. Now, I wouldn't do it intentionally, but having been raised with a border collie, it certainly got mixed in from time to time. What would YOU add to this list? What do you think is missing?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tenacity or Lost on the LA freeways

Have you ever heard of the saying that goes: Sometimes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Have you? Um.....believe it. Especially when you THINK you know the LA freeways (only because you've lived here for 27 years) and you THINK you have a clue. Watch out, those phrases will jump up and bite you in a big old way. Big time.

Have you ever heard of full circle moments, or how things happen in life for a reason? Ya. Believe those, too. Big time.

And when you drive 60.1 miles to get to an event, in 2 hours and 41 mins, but only 25.6 miles and 34 mins to get home, ya. Believe them all!

This is all I got done today while listening to the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Why?

Why? Well, to understand how this adventure began today, you'll have to know some back information. a) I've lived in the greater LA area since June, 1980. b) In 1984, we moved from Glendale to Orange County. c) For the next year, every time, and I mean EVERY FREAKIN' TIME!!!!!!!!!! I had to drive from LA back to the OC, I got lost. And not lost in an easy way, no no no! We're talking here majorly lost on the 10 freeway at rush hour. In the wrong direction. With a 1 and a 2 year old in car seats in the back seat. So much so that they refused to get into the car with me just to go around the block to grocery store. "NO Momma, no Momma, we don't want to get into the car!" OY!

I finally learned to read a map of Southern California and figured out where the major cities were in relationship to each other. (Back then, the freeways had names, not numbers. Freeways should ALWAYS have numbers.) Do you remember the old Johnny Carson sketch when he would put up a map and use a pointer talking about the LA freeways and the Slauson cut off? Ya. Looks like child's scribbling. Uh ha. That's what the freeways have been like to me. Give me a way to get lost and I promise I'll find it. On any given day. Twice.

Now that we've progressed from the Thomas guides to printing maps from Google, I was feeling pretty darned confident. (Like the time I was knitting a wool, sleeveless, t-neck last winter, and realized only AFTER cutting the yarn and weaving in the ends perfectly(for a change), that I'd done the wrong neckline and had now goofed up the amount of yarn needed. No problem I thought. I'll just add sleeves. Only to put the sleeves on to notice that there is a reason they tell you to watch your dye lots. Did you know that navy yarn isn't all the same shade? (can you see where this story is headed?) Put your feet up, get comfy, knit something while you read, grab a snicker's bar, it's going to be awhile.

Back to the story - last night I thought I was doing pretty good. I had my stuff pretty much all packed up, printed map in hand, just needed to decide which project to take. One for a deadline, one for fun. When the girls reminded me that they were not coming because they had gotten tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert, I let the LA SnB group know that I had 2 tickets available in case anyone was on the wait list and still wanted to come. Maggie was the first to respond. After a few emails back and forth, her suggestion was for me to take both of my projects. I like Maggie. Maggie just might be an Enabler. She said to bring all the projects! That's a good thing!

This morning started with an email from Denise in my in-basket. She would like to go, too! Cool, I thought, both tickets are taken, and we're on the way. Out the door I went, but since I GREATLY dislike the 5 freeway north (never fails, I get stopped dead on that freeway every freakin' time and then I'm late!-made me miss my daughter's first performance as a UCLA band member years ago. Moms don't like to miss their kids performing. That's not good.) I thought well, self. We can fix this. The directions say to go the 605 to the 5 to the 110 and get off at Grand Ave. Heck, UCLA and USC both have away games, freeways should be clear, I can do better! My car can do auto pilot to LAX and UCLA...I'll go to the 605 to the 105 to the 110 to Grand Ave. I don't need 'no stinkin' 5 freeway!' (uh ha....words...they bite ya!)

Tootling along the way, we errrr...I hit a not uncommon slow down on the 110. Not too bad I'm thinking...I've seen worse. Hey, we're still moving so all is good. Passing the Coliseum I call the oldest daughter..double check that the 5 meets the 110 NORTH of where I am and that I didn't think this through poorly. Yep, she says, I've got a little bit to go yet, but the 5 is north of where I am, and I'm heading in the correct direction. Freakin' fan-tastic I'm feeling.

What's that over there? A sign saying accident on the 101N, delay one hour! Whew, I'm thinking, thank goodness I don't have to go there! That would suck. I turn on the local news radio, to hear that there's a Dodger game this afternoon. Whew I think once more, thank goodness that's on the dreaded 5 freeway and I've been wise enough to avoid the 5 so I'm good to go. I've picked going up the 110 from the 105. Smart girl!

Suddenly, after realising that there's backed up residual traffic from the 101N (a house-yes, a HOUSE! was being moved and got stuck under an over pass and the tires blew out on the truck causing the back up) was slowing down the 110. Then, passing the 5 freeway, the backup from the Dodger game was causing some more traffic issues. (Issues-ha! It was stopped cold.) I started looking carefully for the Grand Ave exit. It's gotta be here. I'm now past the 5 and since the original directions called to go FROM the 5 to the 110, logic says I have to be near that exit. Right? Funny thing about logic. It can bite you down the road as well.

Next thing I know, I've passed Highland Park and am getting close to the Rose Bowl exits. This now, is.not.good! Somehow, I MUST have missed seeing the Grand Ave Exit. I still have about 35 mins to get there, I'll get off the freeway and turn around and I've gotta be able to find the exit if I take the 110 back to the 5. It's gotta be there somewhere, right? (Again. Logic. One would think so.)

Right about then my phone rings. It's Maggie. Hi Maggie, are you there yet? I'm lost. Do you have any idea how to get me there? Is there someone there that can help me figure this out? I'm on the 5 south freeway somewhere. Maggie, lovely Maggie, trusting Maggie, hands her cell phone over to Joyce who's the security officer at the event. We let them know to let Maggie into the room (tickets are under my name) so she can get her seat and I'm home free. Right?

*ahem* yaaaaaaaaa...right!

It gets better.

Joyce first thinks she heard me say I was on the 5 north. By the time we get that straightened out, I'm closing in on the city of Commerce. Off on Telegraph Rd, and onto the 710 to the 10 to the 110 - I'm going now. Off on Olympic and the new adventure begins. One ways, construction, drop the call signal where I later would learn was 1/2 block from the event, and I'm thinking that this doesn't look like anything on the map that I'd originally printed. I'm getting confused, but Joyce, bless her heart, won't get off the phone and has promised to stick with me until I get there. In fact, I'm hearing her tell two others that she was staying on the phone for this poor lady who's lost but just a couple of blocks away. Really I'm thinking..this doesn't feel right but at this point I'm so confused I put all my trust in Joyce. And I'm thanking my lucky stars that last night I'd offered up the tickets so Maggie would be able to call me so I could get help with this major 'getting lost trip' today. THANK YOU MAGGIE!

By the time I get Joyce back on the phone, twice, she's got me driving into the Central Library downtown. CENTRAL LIBRARY I say...yes, she says, this is where the event is today. Wait. This isn't the Mark Taper FORUM! Joyce laughs a little, and says, No, but it's the Mark Taper Auditorium! Wait, I remember seeing an exit on the freeway about an hour ago for the Library. ULG!

Now, imagine my shock when it dawns on me that even if I'd followed the printed directions I still would have never found the event! I'd printed directions to the WRONG PLACE! Immediately it struck me that had I not offered the tickets, had Maggie not responded last night, had we NOT exchanged cell phone numbers, had Maggie not allowed Joyce to stay on the phone to guide this lost soul into the parking garage. I (who's pretty much always knitted alone for 40 years) would have missed this:

The ability to sit and laugh and knit (check out their hands, they're all moving!) while Stephanie Pearl-McPhee talked long enough (thank you thank you)

for a girl who ALWAYS gets lost to gimp her way into the MARK TAPER AUDITORIUM (who knew there was a difference?) 49 mins late, to be able to hear Stephanie say:

Yarn, What yarn??????????????

Afterwards, being the last person to GET to this event, I was in no hurry to get into the line for the book signing. I was happy to sit for awhile in the nice, soft, comfy chairs and knit a bit. I asked a lady at the end of the line where to put the hats. We got to talking and I really liked the yarn she was using to kit up a log cabin blanket with. I thought she was changing colors to find out that her yarn had really long color changes. And it was cotton and it was SOFT! Now, understand that I know NO ONE here. So, can you imagine who this lady was? Come on now...full circle here. Get ready for it!
It's Denise! Denise from the tickets in the morning! Can you believe it? The two tickets that I offered at the last minute, one saved me on the freeways...and one was a lovely conversation while I was waiting my turn. What are the odds? Unfreakin' believable.
The story continues. (told you I tell long stories). How many snickers bars are you up to by now?
Time comes and the security guard comes to lock the door and Denise and I head for the end of the line where I reach into my bag to start knitting like everyone else. Only. My needle is missing. (figures) Gimp gimp back to the door, to find the security lady outside of the door. Wait, I need to get in for a quick moment, I think I left my needle there. Ummmmm shes says, I just locked the door. But my needle is in there! Okkkkkk, I guess I could get the keys. (I'm thinking she's not a knitter and she's not happy with me.) Back to the line I head thinking again, Thanks Maggie for the suggestion of more than one project, and out comes the baby blanket!
But wait, it gets better.
Finally, the line is nearly at the end and it's time to get the book signed and say our thank yous hand over the hats and head out the door.
But that would be too easy after all of this - huh? Denise takes the picture for me (sorry about the fuzzy on some of these, I MAY have dropped my lens this week and the auto focus won't work)
just about the time the security lady comes back with the keys to the Auditorium. I'm telling the amazingly shortened version of my 'I was the last person here, and Joyce was wonderful getting me here, after being on the phone forever with me, I have to go find her to thank her from the bottom of my heart." story, when the girl behind the counter says (ready for this?)
That's Joyce right there! and points to the security lady with the keys to be able to retrieve my lost needle! I begin to bow to Joyce and say, You're Joyce? I'm Cathy! and Joyce, poor Joyce, realizes who I am and that she's been taking care of my Lost Issues coming and going all day and gives me a look that brought the whole day together for me! She stopped and well, you know that look...the one that says...of course! Who else would need the additional help today! It couldn't have happened to ANYONE ELSE! (I tried to get Joyce's picture, but she declined.)
Another full circle moment today!
Moral of the the directions. Carefully. Both in knitting and driving and while you're at it.... Learn from someone else's mistakes..mine, for example.
So, tonight now that I'm home, and on the sofa, and have been getting text messages from the girls at their concert, I have to say a whole lot of Thank yous to lots of people!
1) Thank you Stephanie, for coming to town, for writing your books, and for the opportunity to sit in a room with so many other knitters knitting and laughing along together. It felt GREAT! to be in the company of so many knitters.
2) Thanks knitters for being who you are..Stephanie said it best through her stories today about the quality of knitters' and who they are.
3) Thanks to Maggie and Denise for the roles you unwittingly played in my saga today so I could get there and enjoy it all the more.
4) And last, but certainly not least...Thank you Joyce for getting me To the Mark Taper Auditorium (not the Forum) and home, and for letting me retrieve my lost needle.
I had a really good time, and I hope everyone there did as well. And thanks for letting me talk on and on (can you tell I was nervous) both there and in written story form.
I've been told I need to get out more often.
I think I agree.
Just not on the LA Freeways, please.
At least until I learn them better.
I have until October when Laurie's book comes out to figure out the correct directions.
This is how the freeways should be...and how they were on the way home. No slow downs, and no stopped traffic. Just clear sailing!
And if you're still here at the end of this other news...there was good and best news to be told today. Which would you like first?
ok....Good news...that 'unmentionable' team from last week...pulled one off...Thankgoodness! I was ready to tell them to shutter up the stadium and call it a year.
But, as much fun as it was today listening to Stephanie, and meeting others and laughing and knitting together..the best news came while I was waiting to get into line for the book signing...I called home to find out that MY DAD IS FINALLY HOME! after 12 days in the hospital, he was released at 9pm the other night and is finallyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy home! He's on a pic iv line, and Mom has been trained to give him his medication at home, but he's finally home! HOT DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!! It's about time!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you all for the emails and well wishes for him. He's home and still CANCER FREE! May that last a veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long time.
Now, as Stephanie would say...I think I need a little lie down. Or some screetch. (Do they even sell screetch around here?)