Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Christmas, Day Seven. A nice, pleasant trip to Forget Me Knot and a stop at Stitches in Time, both in Bellflower, neither have a website. I got four colors of DMC crochet thread and a size 7 hook. There are smaller sizes but this size looks pretty daunting to me. I didn't get any practice done but I did get started on the kufi. I got a nice comment from Deb explaining what it is and how it's worn. The pattern says they're very popular with teens. I'll have to watch and see if anyone is wearing these. While I was at Forget Me Knot I saw a milliners's hat blocking form. The lady at the counter told me she got it from a millinery supply house in LA. Have to check that out after the holidays.

The crowds of people in town for the Rose Parade have started to gather along Colorado Blvd. Streets and parking lots are filled with RVs and busses. People are saving spaces along the side walk using duct tape and patio chairs, whatever they can find. I'm getting ready to leave for my friend's house on the other side of LA. I will work at Skein today and then go directly there. Driving in Pasadena on this day becomes a high stress activity. I won't come home until tomorrow afternoon, after the game is started and all the crowds have left (leaving heaps of trash along the way). I get very cranky about this, as you can probably tell.

Looks like I will be ending the year with a cold. Judging from the way I feel now I may have to stay home and endure the noise from the boulevard. But maybe by this afternoon I will feel better. This year of blogging has been wonderful. I've "met" some terrific people and a few I've met in person. I love it when I find a new link to another knitter's site. So I hope you all have a great celebration today, doing whatever you like best, and a happy new year (and Ann Mary always adds prosperous, so that too).

Monday, December 30, 2002

E-smut alert! I forgot to mention this morning that I had received an intersting email. At first it looked like it was from me which I thought was strange since I didn't recall sending myself any emails. I looked closer and noticed that the ISP was AOL instead of MSN. I looked at the subject and realized that there was no way I would have sent that. So if you get an email with knitdad as part of it and if it's from AOL it's not from me. So don't open it, unless, of course, you want to help lonely housewives find love.
Christmas, Day Six. Ah, Monday. My day off, so to speak. Yesterday was another madhouse at Skein. Stayed about an hour after the shop closed to help one of our really good (read, spends a lot) customers with her cable disaster. I guess I just assume that people in certain professions are bright and above average intelligence, doctors and lawyers for example. This is just not true, at least when it comes to knitting. Anyway, we fixed the problem and I explained how she should be checking her stitch count on every row, and the logic of the pattern. She was impressed and I felt good as I had her rip a lot of rows, just because I have the power. One of my lawyer students needs a refresher course about once a week. But she's very funny about it so I love her anyway.

Today I'm going to Forget Me Knot in Bellflower. This is one of the few yarn shops that is open on Monday. This will be my last yarn shop hop of the year. I'm working tomorrow so won't have another chance until sometime next year. (So it's a little corny. It's only a joke!) Anyway, my friend Carole and I will go check out their crochet supplies. They have the only large selection I've seen of cotton crochet thread. I have this craving to learn to crochet and Carole knows how to do this. I sort of know but I want to get better at it.

Have you taken the Fantastic Fiber Voyage yet? Go over to Alison's and see what's happening in Boston. And there's another whole day tomorrow. I think it must be very nice to live in Boston. I wonder if they have double decker busses.

It looks like Lily Chin has slipped some in popularity. I haven't seen one awestruck reference to her in over a week. The newest idol would appear to be Sally Melville. (If you don't know what I'm talking about you probably aren't subscribed to the Knit U list.) Anyway, I like the Melville book, The Knit Stitch, much more than I liked than I liked the Urban Knitter, or whatever that drivel was called.

Do you know what a kufi is? I'm getting ready to make one and the instructions just tell you to work the body until it's as long as you like and then start shaping the top. Well, how long should a kufi be, for chrissake? And how do you wear it? Comments gratefully accepted.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Christmas, Day Five. Back to pandemonium at Skein. Lots of traffic and plenty of folks spending their holiday loot. Several sets of Mons with Home for the Holidays kids. And people from colder climes. The people from Michigan think it's really warm here, while we're freezing. No knitting to speak of.

I just noticed that yesterday was the one year anniversary of my retirement. Wow! time really speeds up when you get to be this old. Except for not being able to spend freely on yarn, retirement is a good thing. I'm less organized than ever and I have more time in which to procrastinate. I really like it.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Christmas, Day Four. Fun day at Skein. A table full of knitters just having a good time. I felt like I was at a party. The soon to be a grandmother, Margery, stayed most of the afternoon. She's so excited and a real delight to work with. And another relatively new knitter, John, came in for some help with the London Beanie. He's a quick learner and will do just fine. Several other folks that I've taught also joined in the festivities: Stephanie, Barbara, Theresa, Dodie and the ever faithful Carole. All current or former students, except Carole. The shop wasn't all that busy compared to last week so Ann Mary had a chance to rearrange some of the yarns and start putting out some of the new stuff. I like it when we have new yarns.

I'm going to start a new hat today for my Egyptian friend, Fouad. He celebrates Christmas a little later than the rest of us, I think it's January 7. I gave him a London Beanie for our Christmas and he was crazy about it. Wore it all night. So I think I'll make another one in a different color way and a little bigger. These hats are tight!

Friday, December 27, 2002

Christmas, Day Three. Ann Mary and I were expecting the pace to slow after Christmas. We were so wrong! All day long, folks just can't get enough. I spent part of the day showing the husband of one of our customers how to make corrections in his own knitting. He seemed really excited about being able to do this himself instead of having to rely on his wife to do it for him. And I explained the physics of knitting and why edges curl sometimes.

I also have picked up two new students, both of whom claim not to have knitted for over forty years. They are both so excited, just like brand new knitters. One of them is becoming a grandmother for the first time. She's making a baby blanket. She has the sweetest smile as she sits there doing her garter stitch border. I can just imagine how she's dreaming of her first grandchild. The other one wanted to make a top down raglan from a pattern she had made before. That did not work out in the yarn she chose, which was a great relief to me. She got started knitting again because her daughter asked for some help with some socks she was knitting. It's fun having such wonderful customers.

Finished another dishcloth and started another. I still have lots of Kitchen cotton I want to use up. I also worked on my striped beanie. I think I've gotten the hang of the jogless jog. The third one looks pretty good. Since I'm going to be demonstrating this later today, that's a good thing.

Haven't had time to read all my new books. But I have looked at the pictures. I love new knitting books.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Christmas, Day Two. The morning after report. Happy that everything went smoothly and all the gifts, given and received, were much appreciated. I have three new knitting books: "Hollywood Knits", "Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified" and "Knitted Shawls, Stoles and Scarves". All three books were on my Amazon Wish List, which I will go and update, just in case.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Christmas, Day One. The big kick off! I'm just about ready to load the presents in my car and head out to spend Christmas morning with Lisa and her Mom. I didn't have enough boxes or holiday bags for everything so I just used an assortment of paper shopping bags, whatever I had. I even used some wine bags. I kind of like this idea. But I did have plenty of Christmasy tissue paper to line the bags with.

I spent Christmas Eve wrapping gifts and making Applesauce Raisin bread. Listened to lots of Christmas music and marked the beginning of Christmas Day knitting another dishcloth. Didn't finish but I'll take it with me to work on between gifts this morning. During the day I worked at Skein. One of our customers was a young woman whom I had taught to knit years ago when she was about nine years old. I didn't recognize her but I did recognize her mother. She used to work in an antiques shops that was across from Mariposa, a now defunct yarn shop, that I worked in about ten or twelve years ago. Kinda neat!

All is well. Just one more time... Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Merry Christmas! Last year everyone was saying Happy Holidays. I guess it's okay to say Merry Christmas again. But whatever, I hope you all have the best of times.

The best thing about waiting to the last minute to do my Christmas shopping is: it doesn't take long to make a decision. I am pretty pleased with the things I got and it only took about an hour and a half to do it. Someone at Macy's actually asked if they could help me. That hasn't happened in years! Tonight I'll wrap everything while I listen to my favorite classical music station. I also plan to make some zucchini bread. (Is that how you spell that?)

My last hat didn't get done. I'm trying to make a jogless jog and it isn't working. Finally broke down and got out Meg Swansen's Handknitting. Now I think I see what I was doing wrong, but it's too late to finish before tomorrow. Besides, there's twelve days of Christmas so I still have time.

Monday, December 23, 2002

So close and yet so far! That is, Christmas is close and I'm so far from being ready. This has got to happen today! Lisa didn't give me any clues as to what she would like so it's not my fault if she doesn't like what I pick out. Some people are going to get IOUs, or projects on the needles.

I made cookies last night and am very pleased. Oatmeal/banana. Cookies are a lot of bother to make and they disappear so fast. I had five dozen when I started. I'm not sure how many are left but they look good in the glass jar I filled. I'm just going to tell the recepients that there was some settling during shipping. That ought to work.

We were very busy at Skein yesterday. People were happy and in a holiday mood, the good kind, not the crabby, I've got too much to do, kind. After we closed I sat for about an hour with Ann Mary and her husband, KC, and talked about the year and plans for the start of next year. I think we were all too tired to go home and pretty wired from all the activity. We have sold out of many of the most popular yarns.

I'll be at the shop again tomorrow. My friend Carole is coming in. Her birthday is on Christmas so I have to come up with a couple of things for her. I've had so many people thank me for my help. It really is a good feeling to know that I've made a difference.

Getting ready to go out, visualizing a parking space. The weather is nice and crisp. So off I go, humming Jingle Bells all the way.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Lots of celebrating and not much knitting going on. I'm trying to finish just a couple more hats for some friends that I'm having dessert with tomorrow night. And I have only one day to do my shopping. That will have to happen tomorrow or it won't happen at all. I sure hope I get some inspiration between now and then because I surely don't know what to get as of right now.

Ann Mary and KC gave me a Christmas bonus as well as a gift certificate and a case of wine. Imagine! All this and I get to spend my days with all that yarn and all those knitters. Life is good!

The carolers from the church on the corner came by a couple of nights ago. They sounded like the were having a really good time. I could have done without the Jingle Bells. And someone was a little flat. But it was still a warm and fuzzy moment. Thanks, guys!

Gotta get ready to go out with friends for brunch. Run around, run around, it's no wonder I'm not ready.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Couldn't find the Toasty Toes sock yarn but I did find a hat that I had started last Christmas season but didn't get it done. This one is from the book "Hats On" by Charlene Schurch. Not sure about the name and spelling and I can't find the book anywhere. And I'll need to before I can continue with the hat because it's a fairisle type. And, instead of decreasing at the top the hat is sewn together in three points that are to be embellished with tassels.

Bonne Marie was wondering about the new Rowan Magazine and all the other spin offs that they produce. The way I understand it, from their rep, is that in order to carry the regular Rowan Magazine a store has to qualify as a stockist. That means a store must commit to a certain volume of purchases within a given year. In exchange the store gets to be the exclusive stockist in a specific geographic area. The dollar amount and the square footage needed are pretty high for most yarn shops. So for those shops that want to carry only small amounts or only selected items there would be not pattern support. Rowan publishes the specialized books in support of their new yarns and these books are available to non-stockist shops. That's what I was told, anyway. You can also buy the main magazine online direct at Rowan's site.

Now, I wonder what stack of books the hat book is in.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Now that the dishcloths are done I'm looking around trying to decide which UFO to take on next. I have lots of choices but nothing is really calling me. I think I'm still in the mood for small, quick to make stuff. Another hat? I went looking for my Toasty Toes sock yarn this morning. It's buried somewhere in my stash. Maybe I'll find that tonight and make some tube socks.

Skein continues to be very busy. Most of the eyelash yarn is gone so we've been selling other hairy, fuzzy stuff for scarves. And people are beginning to talk about what they're going to make after Christmas. Ann Mary ordered some new stuff from Karabella today. Ombres and striations seem to be making a come back. And more smaller sized yarns.

Well, off to make some carrot bread.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Staceyjoy has some more new hats. She continues to amaze me, not only with her creativity but with her productivity.

I'm still trying to finish up some silly dishcloths and have only managed to get five done. I need at least one more. So that's what I'm up to today. I bought some of the new Method Dish Soap, cucumber fragrance, that someone recommended in a blog last week. (Sorry, can't remember who.) So I'm putting that with the dishcloths.

Yesterday I wrote, somewhat flippantly, about the rain here in Pasadena. I didn't realize how bad it had been in other parts of the city and the state. Ellen commented on how bad it was on her side of town. And then I read the news. Lots of flooding and really horrible traffic. So I'm really grateful that we didn't experience that here. And I hope no one thought I was being too glib.

Monday, December 16, 2002

We don't get snow in Pasadena. We get rain. Just in time for Christmas. Oh well, the palm trees will be bright and shiny.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Teresa is having a birthday. Go say something nice.

Last night I went to the December concert of the LA Chamber Orchestra. All Baroque program with music by J. S. Bach, Correli, Cimarossa and Handel. A wonderful Russian soprano, Karina Gauvina, brought the house down in the Bach and Handel arias. I heart Baroque music.

Before the concert we went to Gaucho's Village for dinner. A new churrascaria in Glendale, a couple of blocks from the Alex Theater where the concerts are held. I had been looking forward to it but was somewhat disappointed. The buffet was okay, just not very exciting. We were early so there wasn't much of a crowd. Maybe if there had been more activity I would have enjoyed it more. But anyway, I'll probably not need any more protein for the rest of the year. I had a couple of different cuts of beef, some lamb, some chicken and some kind of very spicy sausage. I liked the fried bananas most of all.

Probably because I had eaten too much and had had too much coffee I did not sleep well at all last night. I finally got up at a little before four and finished another dishcloth. Dozed off for a couple of hours around five. So I'm going to be tired all day today. It's only a three hour day at Skein so I'll probably have a nap when I get home.

Knit a swatch yesterday in Naturally Landscape color number 808. It's a lime green and navy boucle. One of our customers had purchased some to make a scarf and decided she didn't like the color so she gave it to me. My swatch was off by a whole stitch so I have to start over on a smaller needle. I'll also need to buy a few more skeins. If the new swatch isn't right I'll just redo the pattern at the new gauge.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Getting ready for spring? Yesterday the rep for Rowan/Jaeger/S.Charles/Takhi came in to show the new yarns for spring. I was pretty busy with some students so didn't get in on the whole presentation. However, it seems that chartreuse, lime green and similar colors are still the big thing for the coming season.And orange continues to be popular. The new patterns from Jaeger are quite nice, a little more complex than what they've been showing this past year. Some intarsia, not complicated but still intarsia.

Ribbon is the very biggest thing going. Lots of really beautiful ribbon in everything from fine to fat. Most of it is multicolored either with the handpaint look or by the addition of another texture, little bits of color attached along the way. Most of these yarns are from S. Charles/Takhi/Filatura.

There were also several very fine yarns in silk/cotton from Jaeger and S. Charles. These are things that need to worked on small needles, 2s and 3s, US. So I think the move is away from the big, instant yarns. Overall the colors seems brighter and clearer. Ann Mary picked out a few things but is going to wait for TNNA next month before making her final selection. I'd like to go to TNNA this time but I'm staying behind to run the shop.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Sitting here reading blogs, knitting and drinking coffee. Multi-tasking at its best. It's either going to rain this weekend or it's not, depending on who you listen to or read. Rain would be nice, except for the bad traffic part.

The new pumpkin bread recipe was a flop. I'm sticking to my old tried and true one from now on. Maybe it was just because I used the house brand sugar.

The pace seems to be slowing a little at Skein. I guess everyone that's going to get a scarf has already been accounted for. There's still time, folks. Ann Mary's favorite encouragement, "Only two hours". Speaking of Skein, I'd better get ready.

As you can probably tell, I'd don't really have much to report.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Have been struggling with MSN all day. At first MSN 8 seemed like it was an improvement but that was an illusion. I'm getting a lot more disconnects than I ever did before and slow doesn't begin to describe what's going on. Someone over there must have dropped everything because frequently I get a message that they can't find a file. Couldn't even find Google today. Very irritating etc.

Started some holiday baking today. A new recipe for pumpkin bread. It's still cooling so I don't know how it came out, except that one loaf stuck to the pan. Guess that one's for me. I have some fresh persimmons that are just about ready so I'm going to make a persimmon cake next. Some folks don't like persimmons. Don't understand that.

Finished a couple more dishcloths and that's about it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

How did it get to be Wednesday already?

Still working on the dishcloths and fantasizing about projects that I could make using some of the stitch patterns and trying to connect the patterns with yarns I have in my stash. Generally I like working with cotton, especially Cotton Classic, but this Sugar 'n Cream is not all that much fun. Kind of stiff even on just plain knit. I hope it softens up when it's washed.

Alison was wondering about adding thumbs to mittens. I just walked through this process with one of my students. She was using a very old, bedraggled pattern that she copied from someone's book. It was a little difficult to follow, mostly because it was so beat up. But by following the directions exactly we managed to add a thumb and it looked pretty good. Once we had worked it I pretty much got the concept. Unfortunately the student didn't so we had to go through the same step by step thing the following week. The second thumb wasn't as successful as the first one, there were larger holes where the stitches were picked up. So we just used the tail to patch them. I see that other folks do the same. The trick about picking up some extra stitches in the "corners" is also a good idea. I'll try that the next time.

Last night I went to Joanne's for my weekly knit chat session. Anita was there with her newly knitted sweater. I helped her get started assembling it. I think it went well. It's always good to work with someone who "gets it" and is willing to redo something until it's right. Joanne brought out one of the books she got in Sweden about twenty years ago to show me some of the hats. Not being able to read Swedish made it a little hard to understand the directions but the charts for the "fairisle" were easy to follow. I'm going to borrow the book after the first of the year and try out some of the patterns. More hats!

Speaking of hats, check out Staceyjoy's newest designs. Tres cool!

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Knitting dishcloths is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Each one is just the right size to keep my interest. The thing I like best about knitting is seeing how a stitch pattern is going to look and these do just that. Swatches on a large scale. The patterns from Dishcloth Boutique are nice but several of the ones I selected seem to have errors. At least the pattern does not produce what the image says. I can see that my Barbara Walker Treasuries are going to come in handy.

Of course, Michael's didn't have the Kitchen Cotton in white or natural. So I got some white Sugar 'n Cream. Enough for six cloths. But I did get some colors in Kitchen Cotton just to see how I like it.

Monday, December 09, 2002

I finished the lacy star cloth last night. It's pretty much okay but I don't think I'll make another one. It took four or five hours and that's just too much time for a dish/face cloth. My fingers are killing me from doing all those ssk, k2tog and k1,pl,k1 in the same stitch. The cast on row left a large hole in the center so I just drew it up using the tail of the cast on. I used some left over Sugar 'n Cream. I think the yarn is too stiff for working but it should soften up a lot when it's washed.

So, since I'm not going to make another one of those, I went to the Dishcloth Boutique and printed out about twelve or so really simple patterns that I will use instead. I'm going to Michael's later today to pick up some plain ol' Kitchen Cotton, I hope in a natural or off white. If they don't have it I'll go to JoAnn's. I don't like going there but one gets desperate sometimes.

I didn't leave Skein until about an hour after closing yesterday. She of the apparently bottomless pockets came in just before closing and needed me to help her pick out some more yarn for scarves. This is a good time to get rid of those two or three skeins of leftover yarn and to push some of the flashy stuff. So it was worth the extra time.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Before I start all over let me just say that it really, really bugs me when Blogger eats my post before I've even had time to finish it. Where do these messages go? So, here's what I started to write:

Saturday night and I'm just finishing reading my daily blogs. Didn't have time to get them all in this morning because I slept in and there wasn't enough time before I had to be at Skein. Lisa came over last night. She was wearing an orange turtleneck sweater I made a year or so ago. I was very pleased, not only to see her wearing it, but at how well it has held up. Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in a pattern from one of the Classic Elite books, not sure which book and I don't want to go find it right now. Anyway, we went to Amigo's, a neighborhood Mexican restaurant that we like, and watched the amazing Lakers come back from a twenty point deficit and win. Very exciting!

Before we went to dinner we tried to get pictures on my blog. I must be missing something here. I've had some suggestions from Teresa and Joe but nothing seems to help. One of my students is a web designer and has offered to come by and show me how to do this. If I see her tomorrow I'll try to set up a time when we can do this. I really feel dumb!

It continues to be very busy at Skein. Mostly scarves and shawls. This morning I worked with four or five people pretty much simultaneously. Primarily pointing out the error of their ways. I finished the merino/possum hat between bouts. So glad to have that done. Tonight I'm going to try this lacy, star cloth that I found on Liz's blog. If it works out okay I think I'll make a stack of them for one of my friends, who has everything except handknitted dishcloths.

The bleachers for the Rose Parade are starting to go up all along Colorado Blvd. The Parade is always exciting and fun to watch, but not from my place just a few steps from the blvd. I usually leave town and come back after the Parade. Am always amazed at the amount of trash left behind.

I'm off to see if I have all the ingredients for some carrot bread.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

I've been spending more time at Skein this week. It's really busy. I'm not getting as much knitting done as I thought I would but it is so neat to be able to help the customers make their selections and to get them started. But I am so tired when I get home in the evening. It's pretty draining to be "up" all the time. So I've just been working on some miscellaneous small items. More hats, of course.

I finally got a hat started with the merino/possum yarn that I think is going to be all right. I was getting a very large, loose stitch when I switched from knit to purl in the ribbing. I started purling through the back of the loop on the first purl stitch and that seems to have been adequate to fix the loose stitch. I worked three inches of K2/P2 ribbing and then changed to stockinette with five cables (2/2 back cross, 2/2 front cross) evenly spaced. When I get there I'll do a gradual decrease until I'm down to about 8 or 9 stitches and then fasten off by pulling the tail of the yarn through the loops. I'm happy I finally found something to do with this wretched yarn.

I'm also happy that the Staples ad "controversy" has finally ended. At least on the KnitU list. Now, if they'd just stop the charts vs. narrative pattern discussion.

I think I'm in some kind of pre-holiday funk. This is my first Christmas since I retired. I think I miss all the brouhaha. Maybe I need to get out and mix with the shoppers. Or do some baking. I really appreciated Annie's comments about the holiday season in her post today.

Tonight is bowling and I'm supposed to be cleaning house in preparation for Lisa's visit tomorrow night so I better get going.

Monday, December 02, 2002

I haven't had much to say for the past few days. The truth is I haven't been feeling so hot. But I'm better.

It was extremely busy at Skein over the weekend. Pouring rain on Saturday did not deter very many people. Late afternoon it was practically party time. Lots of students and other favorites came in and sat around our two tables and just enjoyed themselves. It's really neat that so many have become good friends just from the accident of being in the same place at the same time. When someone hasn't shown up in a while, everyone starts asking where is so and so. A couple of people I'd been wondering about showed up this weekend. It's good to know they're all right.

I haven't been teaching many new knitters lately. Mostly I've been helping people with their patterns or showing them how to do some technical thing that they don't understand. And I've been spending more time selling. It's always exciting to see the new yarn/color combinations that people come up with. Wish I was having so much excitement in my own work.

I have some Berroco Celeste that I've been trying to turn into a scarf. I've ripped it at least three times. I wanted to add something to it to make it a little more exciting but haven't hit the right combination yet. It's a really pretty yarn with autumn color variations throughout. So I tried working it by itself. Not all that great. Meanwhile, I've started a new hat using the Naturally merino/possum yarn. I just don't like how this yarn works up. The current hat is going to be ripped. This yarn may become Christmas ribbon.

I finished the Nordic hat on Saturday. Showed it to Ann Mary. She was so excited. She didn't know I knew how to do fairisle. I am pretty pleased with it myself. I really liked doing the two color knitting. I'm still not very fast with my left hand but by the time I finished the hat I at least felt comfortable with the technique. I have another pattern lined up for after the holidays.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Well, I'm back from my trip to Arizona. Very nice time had by all. Thanksgiving was great. Driving was interesting. High winds kept me bouncing around most of the way. And rain coming back plus the high winds are still with us. My watch cap came in very handy.

I finished a couple of scarves while I was there and am almost finished with my Nordic hat. My sister liked the scarves but said the ladies in her circle do not wear them. She didn't seem to know that those exaggerated scarves are the biggest thing going right now. So I decided to not give them to her. Maybe I'll be able to sell them at Skein.

So in a little over three weeks it will be Christmas. Time to start wrapping and making decisions about who gets what. I wonder if I have time to make a couple of pairs of socks.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

All packed and ready to go. I'm spending Thanksgiving in Arizona with my sister and her husband. We're meeting tomorrow afternoon at Harrah's in Laughlin, NV, for a couple of days of fun and games. (Wonder if that's what the Pilgrims had in mind?) Then on Wednesday we will go to their home in Scottsdale. I'll be back sometime Friday. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday.

Have to go decide, and pack, which projects I'm going to take. I'll need something to do after I lose all my money in Laughlin.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Blogger is acting like me in the morning. Slow, creaky and running in fits and starts. What a way to run a business!

Went to a concert of traditional Chinese music tonight. My 75 year old neighbor plays in the student orchestra at the community college just down the street from where I live. She invited me to come and hear the group. I had been a couple of years ago so I kind of didn't want to go but she is my neighbor, after all. Overall it was pretty amateurish. There was one soloist who played the erhu, two stringed violin, who is a professional and his performance made up for everything else. And the zheng (Chinese long zither) ensemble was pretty good, if you like angels and harps and such. Almost forgot. My neighbor didn't play tonight after all.

I had a student this morning who is duplicating a Christmas stocking that her grandmother made sometime in the '60s. Everything was going okay until she got to the heel. Now, I've never made socks so I didn't really know what to tell her to do. So we grabbed one of the kits we have on display. I told her we would just used the directions in the kit and see what happened. After some adjustments for the different number of stitches we began the heel. Not really understanding what the directions were telling us, we just slavishly followed the pattern. Pretty soon we figured out that we were duplicating the pattern of the original stocking. What luck! If people keep making stockings and socks, and coming to me for help, I may never have to make socks myself.

Well, off to spend a little time with my Nordic hat.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Vogue Knitting, Knitters Magazine, Interweave Knits. What do they have in common, other than the knitting, of course? My guess would be: everyone hates them. Such a flap of agitation has been going on of late just from these three publications. Read the knitting blogs; read the KnitU list. I was a little put off by all of them myself. But I don't usually buy magazines just to make whatever is in them. I like to study the techniques and stitch patterns. I'm not renewing my subscription to any of these publications but not because of perceived lack of content. (I may keep Vogue just because my collection goes back almost to the beginning of its current incarnation and I'd like to see that continue. Kind of silly nostalgia thing, especially since it's not even owned by the same people anymore.) Mostly I'm not renewing because I don't really need any more magazines. I can read the new issues when they come in to Skein and buy the ones that have something in them that I want. And also, I don't have any more room to store them.

Not much progress on anything I'm knitting. I finished the ribbing on my Nordic hat while I read the blogs this morning and have started the design area. I miscalculated the number of stitches so had to adjust that on the first row. Looks okay to me. Think I'll go do a few rows now.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I don't know if that's really true but it works for me right now. Today I was just finishing up the Gedifra Carioca scarf while I was at Skein. A customer came in just to look around, took one look at my scarf and bought the yarn to make one for herself. In and out in less than ten minutes. (2 skeins of Carioca, 2 skeins of Living. Cast on 19 stitches on size 17. Work in K1 P1 until you run out of yarn. The scarf is about 9 inches wide by 48 inches long. Unblocked.)

I stayed for the Wednesday night class because Mary Fulton, the yarn rep for S.R. Kertzer and a close personal friend, was coming to sit in. I haven't seen her for several months so wanted a chance to visit. She brought two large cartons of hand dyed Schaeffer yarns. They were beautiful. Very intense colors. I also worked with a new student from this past weekend. She's already completed one large shawl and is half way through another one. I got her started on her third and fourth ones and sold her the yarn for a fifth one. I don't know what this woman does but obviously she has a lot of time on her hands. And a pretty good credit limit. I love an enthusiastic beginner.

Started another scarf using Plymouth's Paradise and Trendsetter Eyelash. This one is black with flecks of red and olive green. 25 stitches on size 13. Garter stitch 'til you run out. One skein Paradise, two skeins Eyelash. And I'm swatching for a Nordic pattern hat using Maratona in rust and teal. So I'd better get busy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

LA Tour, or should that be la tour since we're going to La Knitterie Parisienne. Taking over the magic bus from Kristi, our intreprid tour director, this is Knitdad (Larry).

Since we're taking a magic bus, we will be able to avoid the traffic congestion on the 134 Freeway and 101 Freeway. But we'll miss seeing ABC/Disney Studios and Forest Lawn Memorial Park, not to mention beautiful Downtown Burbank. La Knitterie Parisienne is located at 12642 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. If you're in the movie or television business Studio City is pretty near the center of the world and Ventura Blvd. is where most of what happens, happens. Trying to avoid all the drivers who have their own agendas we manoeuver our way into the parking lot. LKP is in the Coldwater Curve Shops.( We would normally call this a strip mall but the shops are too chic and the parking is too limited.) The shop opens at 10AM so we're just on time. (Actually we may have to wait a few minutes since Edith and Merrill usually stop at their warehouse on the way.)

If you're the least bit claustrophobic you might want to take a few deep breaths before we go in. Did you notice all the cute kids sweaters in the window as we waited? We enter through a Dutch door and the first thing we see are all the baby yarns, unless UPS has been there, in which case the view will be blocked and access to the baby yarns nearly impossible. The shop is basically two large rooms. The first room has more yarn than most of us have ever seen in one place. And buttons for almost any imaginable project. Space is at a premium. You have to be very careful not to trip on the big baskets sitting on the floor. They're filled with lots of bulky yarn and miscellaneous fibers from seasons past. This is also the room where all the Anny Blatt angora yarns are kept, way up high so you have to ask for help if you want to see them. In the back of the room, past the cashier's desk, are lots of old yarns as well as some "basic" stuff. There are racks of needles and notions.

Merrill, husband of the more famous Edith, runs the money part of the operation from behind a counter that is laden with books and magazines. There's usually a line of people waiting for Merrill to either ring up their purchase or to give them the price of some yarn. Oh yes, nothing is marked with the price. So if you want to know you have to ask.

Squeezing past the waiting people we go into the other room, The Bulky Room. As we enter we see Edith, knitting guru to the stars, holding court with her group of students. The din is amazing as each one tries for attention. In a space designed for maybe eight people there are perhaps twelve, or more if you count all the doggie carriers and occasional upscale stroller. (If you listen closely you might get some pointers on where to get a good massage or what school you should send your kids to.) We nod to Edith and go on into the Bulky Room. This is where it really gets good. The perimeter of the room is literally floor to ceiling yarn. The center gondolas are also full but stop about three feet from the ceiling. Never mind, we can get a ladder. Every new yarn that I've heard of is stacked in this room. Most of it is of the oversize, bulky ilk. Baskets line the fronts of all the shelves holding the latest yarns, or the ones that couldn't be jammed into their own cubbyhole. There's the most complete selection of Trendsetter Eyelash I've ever seen. Shelves of Noro Silk Garden and all their other fine stuff. Mixed in with all this are more of the old yarns.

What's with the old yarns? Be careful what you fall in love with. It may no longer be available. The manufacturer may not even be available anymore. But if you're looking for one or two skeins of a discontinued yarn, give Merrill a call (1-800 2 BUY YARN). He may just have it.

Now, for those of you who are too claustrophobic or whatever, there's Belwood Bakery a couple of doors down. They have all the latest coffee drinks, some beautiful pastries and a killer chicken/rosemary sandwich. Or you could cross the street and perhaps bowl a few games at the Sports Center, where I bowl on Thursday night. Or go a little west and dine at the Sportsman's Lodge. Ventura Blvd. has something for everyone.

I love going to LKP. You just have to be prepared to spend a lot of time. There's an incredible amount to see. They carry all the major brands as well as some of the lesser known ones like Hannah Silks, Prism and Great Adirondack. If you know what you want it's probably best to ask where it is. There's no real rhyme or reason to how yarns are displayed, at least not that I was ever able to figure out. Okay, back on the bus.

We're going to the other extreme, i.e., the other side of LA and to the opposite in yarn shop decor. Just before we get there we'll stop at Paco's for a little lunch. Better than average Mexican and great margaritas. I'll have a Diet Coke myself.

Skein is where I spend my time on weekends and occasionally some other days. Ann Mary Chow, the owner, opened the shop just a little over three years ago. It's been exciting to see it thrive and grow. The interior was designed by her daughter, Desiree, an architecture student at Berkley. When the shop first opened the space was spare beyond belief. Partly because Desiree wanted it that way and partly because Ann Mary started out small. Compared to most other yarn shops Skein is still pretty severe. But, take your time, and you'll discover lots of different yarns from many of the leading manufacturers. And there's always the "I can order for you" line.

I am so familiar with this shop that it's difficult to describe in a very enthusiastic way. The two outer walls hold all the yarn. Ann Mary keeps every yarn neatly stacked. Except for the baby yarn and the Encore display, all the yarns are moved around frequently. It keeps the stock looking new and attracts attention to yarns that might have been overlooked for a while. In the back of the shop, near the register, is a bookshelf holding lots of samples. There's also a shelf of scarves and shawls near the front of the store. When Ann Mary finds a simple to make pattern that works up quickly, she really pushes it. (Currently we're selling a long shawl using Karabella's Gossamer. We can't keep it in stock. And a garter stitch scarf using Berroco's multicolored Chinchilla with matching Glace fringe.)

Skein offers drop in classes, which I teach on weekends and Joanne teaches on Tuesday. There are also two organized classes, one on Wednesday night and another on Thursday morning. There are also lots of patterns and books to choose from. If you make one of the famous scarves you'll get the pattern for free, not that you'd actually need it.

It's been a long day. I hope you enjoyed it. And if you're ever in Arcadia be sure to stop by and say hello. I'm going back to Paco's for one of those margaritas. Be sure to check back for the next episode when Emma will take us to the far away British Isles.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Tonight was LA Chamber Orchestra Night. The soloist was Alicia Weilerstein in Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor. Fantastic! And an encore of J.S. Bach's Prelude in D (I think). Before the concert I met my friend Ron for dinner at El Morfi, an Argentenian restaurant in Glendale. The menu is mostly Italian but with a twist. The lasagna had a little cinnamon in it. Very nice.

So, about knitting. I finally settled on Gedifra Carioca and Live for a scarf for my sister. The Carioca is really funky, lots of short "tails" protruding from a crinkled center twist yarn. I'm using the multiple blue colorway. I added the Live just to give the fabric a little substance. Using a size 17 and a K1, P1 pattern. So far I like it but will need to buy another skein of each in order to make it long enough to be fashionable. Worked on it at Skein today and sold four skeins to one customer who was so impressed with how it looks.

It's was a little quiet today, especially for a Saturday. Guess everyone went to the beach! It was near 90 today. Not the best time to sell yarn.
Hmmm! this is not a good sign. Blogger is taking it's own sweet time to do anything. Wonder if this is going to make it or die of old age like so many other posts in the past. Oh well, I'm here now so might as well keep going.

Ann Mary was not at Skein today. She finally gave up and acknowledged that she had a bad cold, ever her doctor told her she had a bad cold. So she stayed home and her husband, KC, came in to run the register and handle all the paper work stuff that I don't know anything about. It wasn't incredibly busy, but I stayed on my feet most of the afternoon. I think we had a pretty good day. Pizza for lunch always helps!

I'm always a little shocked when someone asks for a discount. Toward the end of the day we had a new customer who thought she deserved a discount, just for being a new customer. KC just ignored her request and told her the price again. It's not like we're running a swap meet.

Falling behind with my holiday projects. Worked a little on my watch cap tonight. That's about it.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Oy! it's after midnight! What am I doing still up? I've been trying to make some progress on my secret project and have decided after all that I do not like it. So that's one less thing I have to finish for Christmas. I'm not going to rip it just yet. Maybe it'll look better in the morning, but I doubt it.

Another frantic day at Skein. I was planning to stay home on Thursday but will go in for a few hours midday before going to my bowling league. Worked a little on the merino/possum hat and taught a couple of returning knitters how to cast on etc. We tried to get some of the shelves restocked but it just was too busy. Kept going to the back to bring out more stuff as we needed it. I hope tomorrow we can order some more Brown Sheep worsted. This stuff is so popular right now, especially with the felters. Makes great slippers and bags.

I'm also going to change the yarn I got for my sister's scarf. I don't think she's a lime green sort of person. So I'm thinking about what will work with the yarn I already have. I'm glad I have an extra week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Remember that scarf, the tube one made from fuzzy yarn? Well, it showed up again today. A young woman came into Skein with one and wanted to know if we could teach her how to make them. Turns out she doesn't know anything about knitting and only a little crochet. I think the price of the yarns actually scared her off. But I did get to look a little closer at how it's made. This one had some machine stitching around the ends that made the edges ruffle.

I went to Skein to pick up some yarn for the scarf I'm making for my sister, and some needles etc. It got so busy while I was there that I stayed for the rest of the day. Ann Mary was completely occupied with the register and I just kept schlepping the yarn. What fun! I didn't get much knitting done except for trying out the yarn I bought just to see if it would work. And did a new swatch for a hat that I'm making with the merino/possum. Joanne was there too. She was kept busy with students.

We've been picked up by a yoga group from Eagle Rock. I don't know much about them but I guess the instructor thinks that knitting and yoga are natural partners. So she's been referring members of the class to Skein. Three of them plus the instructor herself were in the shop at various times this afternoon. They were all great to work with. Very adventurous in their yarn and color choices.

I discovered today that Thanksgiving is not next week but is the week after. Who knew? So I'm not going to Arizona next week, but the following.

Monday, November 11, 2002

No response from Blogger to my email request for assistance with my FTP connection. From what I've read this is standard procedure for Blogger. So I'm trying some other options. I think I can use MSN but I'm not sure yet.

Like many of you I am unable to write about some of my current knitting projects. But I have finished a couple of items. I'm still on a hat kick. Finished one last night and am about half way through another one. I'm making a watch cap for myself. I'm using some left over yarn from a sweater I knit about 15 years ago.

Going through my stash of odds and ends I found a bag with two skeins of Berroco Celeste. I think I'm going to use this to make a scarf for my sister. I'm driving to Arizona next week for Thanksgiving so I can take it with me. I need to go to Trader Joe's and see if they have a good deal on wine. TJs in Arizona don't have a very good selection and something about the tax structure there makes it cost a lot more. So I guess I'll try to find some Shiraz for the brother-in-law. They don't even have a computer so I'm going to have some serious withdrawal next week.

My friend Carole came over today and we went to Sonnie's, an eclectic boutique in South Pasadena. Hadn't been is several years. They used to carry mostly "ethnic" clothing but they've switched and have become more main stream but with a tinge of exotic. They had some interesting knitted scarves. Basically long, loosely knitted tubes in some fuzzy yarn. The ends sort of flare out. A customer on Saturday had one that she bought at Nordstroms for ten bucks. These were around forty eight. I think it will cost more like sixty to buy the yarn to make one myself. So guess I won't be doing that, unless Ann Mary supplies the yarn.

Well, I'm going to go cast on another holiday gift. After I have some of the chocolate Ann Mary's sister brought me from Milan.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

And furthermore, my archives are missing. Something else to check on.
Back to the drawing board. There seems to be something wrong with my Blogger information, or something, I can't connect to the ftp site. So I have to check into this. I keep getting the message that the page is unavailable. This is becoming a serious pain in the whatever part you want. There must be an easier, more enjoyable way to spend a Saturday evening. Think I'll go knit for a while.

It was incredibly busy today at Skein. Even though it rained continuously. Ann Mary ran an ad in the local Chinese newspaper which seemed to be the primary source of new people. I'm going to add another afternoon to my schedule starting this week. I'll now be there on Wednesday afternoons in addition to my Friday through Sunday hours.

Friday, November 08, 2002

This is one of those days when my anxiety level is so high I can hardly sit still. And I have no idea why. It's probably because I installed the new MSN 8 yesterday and almost everything on my screen has been rearranged and renamed or some such foolishness. I was totally comfortable with everything the way it was. The new screens are so busy and the point sizes are so small! Plus all my favorites have been switched around so I'm having a hard time telling where I am in my daily reading routine. I'm sure I'll get used to it, just like I did the previous version but for now it makes me feel like a beginner all over again.

Going to work at Skein today. I haven't been there all week. Too many other things to do. So I'm looking forward to that. Lisa is coming over tonight. We're going to work on posting some photos here. Thanks Teresa! I hope it works this time.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Well, we got a little rain, not much, just enough to make the freeways worse than usual during rush hour. More is promised for tomorrow and through the weekend. Good knitting weather, as has been said.

Not much on the knitting front. I finished my hat last night and started another one this morning. I spent most of the day cleaning and generally taking care of stuff I have neglected for the last few weeks. Had to move a lot of yarn around to get to every little corner. I really need more storage, and to finish some of the projects.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

A beautiful day outside. Lots of sunshine for a change. Who would believe it's supposed to rain tomorrow? Since I got this info from my MSN weather page it's probably wrong. That's what happened last week anyway.

I went back to Elegance yesterday to see what Ashley has in mind for knitting classes. I don't have a clear picture of what she's planning, and frankly, I don't think she does either. So whether or not that happens is still to be determined. She's made some progress in getting the shop organized but still has a lot of work to do. Her two previous shops have been very nice. She uses nice, comfortable chairs and some sorta chunky furniture. Lots of books and yarn just spread around everywhere. It feels like being in an interior designer's showroom. The building she's in is from the 1920s and is supposedly an historical site. Green Street is an older section of Pasadena. I really like the ambience of the area. (On the rare occasions that I actually get out for a walk, it's one of the places I like to go.) Parking is a bit of a problem but committed knitters can deal with that.

I'm studiously avoiding doing any of the household chores I told myself I would do today. Have spent the last four hours reading blogs, answering email and drinking coffee. I see that nothing has been taken care of so I guess I'm going to have to go do it myself. Working on a mindless hat as I read. I decided not to include any Fairisle patterning because I'm using a tweed yarn and I don't have anything that really works with it. I'm getting a callus on my right hand forefinger from using it to push the left hand needle back when I slide the stitch off. I think this is a good thing since this particular circular is very sharp.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Today was drudgery day. Took most of the day to catch up on laundry. But I did get a little knitting in between loads.

I'm on such a hat kick. I'm trying to use up a lot of old, one of a kind, skeins of yarn. Most of it is worsted weight wool. I adapted a flat pattern to "in the round" but I have to chart it out. There's a problem with the decreases and I'm not quite sure why. Started another hat today that I think I'm going to add some Fairisle patterns to, just to practice my two-handed knitting. I worked on making cables without a cable needle on the hat I made yesterday. Not sure this technique is all that much faster than using a cable needle but it may come in handy some day.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Today was the day for our annual trek to the Southern California Handweavers' Guild Weaving and Spinning Festival. Joanne and I have gone to this event for the last five years or so. Unfortunately, each year it gets smaller and smaller. But it's usually worth going to see. There weren't as many vendors as in the past, but I managed to find some stuff I didn't even know I needed. After looking at the small display of member-created items I stopped at Robin and Russ to see if they had brought any Galway with them this time, but they hadn't. So I got three spools of a gold/red combination metallic yarn to use as a carry along yarn for some undetermined project.

Next, I went to Newton's Yarn Country. (Their web page doesn't seem to be working right now but while looking for it I found this list of lots of yarn related vendors.) I got a couple of bags of Baruffa Monkey. It's a really shaggy yarn that I think will make a fun cardigan or Chanel type jacket. They didn't have as much stuff this time as in the past, either. And some of what they had was priced higher that Skein has it at retail. So even though they were offering a 30% discount most of what they had wasn't such a good deal. After I hooked up with Joanne a little later I went back to Newton's with her and found a good deal on seven skeins of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride and five skeins of Nature Spun, both in orange. These were less than half price.

I stopped at the Wildfiber booth and talked to Mel for a short time. She told me they have expanded their knitting yarn section since I was there in August and that it's about taken over the store. Have to get back over there soon.

I didn't find anything else that I really wanted. They had lots of books on knitting, weaving and spinning but they were all at full retail so I decided that Amazon would be better. Plus I already have most of what was on offer, well, the knitting books anyway.

After I dropped Joanne off I made it to Skein just in time for opening. We were busy all afternoon. I think everyone in So. Calif. is going to get a scarf for Christmas. Some very colorful and exciting, some very safe and predictable. And babies just keep coming, so there are plenty of afghans being knit. Saturday was as busy. I love helping people spend their money. I get to create all kind of color and texture combinations and not have to do the work. Although I sometimes come up with something that I think I really have to do myself. I'm mulling over a hat or scarf combining some Berroco Hip Hop in a purple/green combo with some Furz, also from Berroco, in a washed out purple. I wanted to add some Trendsetter Aura in lime green, but we sold out.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Saturday. The day I work 8 hours at Skein. This one is going to be rough because I haven't had enough sleep. Stayed up until about 2:15 finishing the cap pattern I tested for a lister in London. It wasn't difficult but there were a couple of things I thought should be revised. So after I finished knitting it I wrote a long email explaining the problems I encountered. Haven't heard back.

I used some old Rowan Magpie that I had in my stash. I found that moths have invaded this yarn. So now I'm concerned that I'll find similar problems with my other wool yarns. I don't have time right now to go through my stash and check this out but I'll try to get started sometime next week.

The new yarn shop, Elegance, could turn out to be very nice. She's carrying only the very top lines. Trendsetter, Anny Blatt, Lang and a few more that I didn't have much time to look at. She's still not really ready for business. Some of her shelving has not arrived so lots of stuff is still in plastic bags or cardboard boxes. The shop is in one of the most expensive areas of Pasadena. She's gonna need to push a lot of yarn just to pay the rent. And she has some strange hours. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 11-7. Other hours are available by appointment. She also asked me to consider giving some classes. This could be interesting. Not sure if Ann Mary will have a problem with me working in another yarn shop so close to her location. But I'm going back on Tuesday to talk some more.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Happy November! Halloween is the start of the holiday season for me. I usually have my first listen to Handel's Messiah on this date. Will do that tonight after I get home from Skein. Now it's time to really get serious about my holiday knitting.

I just agreed to test knit a "London Beanie" for someone on one of my lists. I think I even have the yarn specified in the pattern. He says it only takes an hour to knit. It'll take me longer than that to find a size 7 circular needle. There must be one here somewhere. Anyway, if this works, and it should, I'll have another gift ready to go. Just need to find someone who needs a beanie.

I'm off to check out the new yarn store.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Probably I should have posted this earlier but Happy Halloween to one and all. This is not one of my big day holidays. I usually hide out so I don't have to deal with the trick or treaters. Tonight I don't have to worry. It's my bowling league night so I won't be home. I expect some folks will come in costume to bowling. There's always a few uninhibited people around, especially in Studio City. But I do have some treats that I got as a party favor at dinner on Sunday night. Snickers are the best!

Looks like I won't need new glasses for another year. That's a good thing right now. I just need to make sure I don't focus too long in one spot, like in knitting or surfing.

There's a new yarn shop here in Pasadena, Elegance in Yarns, or something like that. It's not actually new but is a return from the past. The lady, Ashley, was in business before at another location, and disappeared one day. Lock, stock and barrel, gone with no note telling where she could be reached or anything. Never did find out what happened but heard lots of juicy speculation. I meant to stop by the shop today after I left my eye doctor but it was too early so she wasn't open yet. Looked in the window though. She's still moving in. Boxes everywhere. I'll try to get back by there tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

I don't know if it's my computer or just something with the 'net, but this morning everything has been extra slow loading. So while I've been waiting I've been working on my secret project, correcting a mistake I made last week. I used my project to demonstrate some technique and somehow didn't undo the demonstration completely before I continued knitting. So three rows later, at about 350 stitches each, I discovered the mistake. So I ripped out the rows and quickly picked up all the stitches, but some of them were twisted so I had to fix all that. Now I'm back to knitting but am not sure where exactly the increases go. But it looks like I've reached the point where I don't need any more increases so I don't think I'll worry about it.

A pleasant evening at Joanne's last night. Anita was able to join us so that made the conversation more enjoyable. Sometimes Joanne just cracks me up. She seems to have a need to always be right, no matter what. I think it irritates her that I don't teach or knit continental. She always tells me that continental is better. And of course I should teach a different way of doing the long tail cast on. I guess I'm just not as confrontational as she is. I like to leave people a little room. And give them some options for doing things a different way.

I still don't have my new Vogue Knitting and I'm getting really irritated, even though I've already seen it at the shop and don't particularly like anything in it. But where is it? What's the point of a subscription if you have to wait until everyone else has already seen the magazine? Just being silly here.

I got started again on the Christmas gift shawl. Thought I had lost my place but I figured out where I was and got a few rows done last night. If I don't work more on this I'm going to be minus one present. I don't want to have to wrap it up still on the needles. And I still want to start some socks and a Christmas stocking.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Another great day. Got to experience fall, changing leaves and all. Lisa and I drove up to Oak Glen a small apple producing area about half way between LA and Palm Springs. It's way up in the mountains so it's quite cool. There are different trees up there than around here. They were all changing colors, except for the cedars and other evergreens. It was sunny and clear. There are lots of vendors selling apples and apple related items, like pies and butters. We just had lunch and walked around a little bit. Very refreshing!

When I got home I had a package waiting for me. Clara had sent me a "Boys Who Knit" mug. What a treat. Check out her catalog and Knitter's Review, if you haven't already.

And, congratulations to Ellen! Her funky hat won the Most Popular vote in the Red Lipstick Hat Show.

Well, back to the holiday knitting. Almost done with another one.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

What a beautiful day! The sun is out for the first time in a week and it's autumn out there. Love this cool weather!

It's kinda hard to write about my knitting right now as most everything is for holiday gifts and certain people read this blog. But a little bit about some yarn I bought. I got a couple of skeins of Merino and Fur, from Naturally. It's 30% possum and 70% merino. Worsted weight. I'm trying it out right now. It's pretty easy to work with except I'm making a hat and am having problems getting the stitches to look even. That's probably because I'm using an old circular needle and the yarn isn't moving off the tips very easily. I forgot to get a new one yesterday. I don't know what this yarn retails for elsewhere but Skein has it at $11 per 50g and 131 yards/120m. A friend of mine is the rep for the company that distributes this yarn so I hope it does well.

I also got a couple of skeins of Paradise from Plymouth. It's another one of those yarns that folks are using for scarves, kinda like Charm from Trendsetter. Haven't tried it yet but the colors are nice. Each skein has 164 yards, about double the yardage in a skein of Charm and less than the price of two skeins of Charm. Not exactly sure what these are going to become. Another friend is the rep for Plymouth Yarns so I try to help her out where I can. Go buy some!

Also got some Zap from Berroco to use as a trim. This stuff is way pricey! But it will look good on a vintage hat or sweater. Also got three Berroco pattern books. Like I need some more patterns, but I really like their designs and they have a wide range of sizes from XS to XXL. Saves a lot of refiguring time.

Had another land office day at Skein yesterday. Taught another couple of new knitters and helped some of my other students with their projects. And a great time playing with colors and textures with a customer who is really into glittery scarves. This is more fun than the proverbial barrel of monkeys!

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Went to Skein yesterday so I could have some company while doing the finishing on the cap I made for a shop sample. Like a lot of people I don't like finishing but I find it more bearable in the company of other people. So anyway, that's done and it's cute. While I was there I looked at the new Vogue Knitting. (It really bugs me that my copy hasn't arrived and the stores already have them.) I didn't see anything that really interested me but maybe when I get my own copy I'll find something to like about it.

I also looked at the newest XRX book, The Knitting Experience, by Sally Melville. This is a good enough book for beginners and for folks who like garter stitch. Some good photos of techniques and such. I can see it moving well among the knitting groupies.

My books arrived from Amazon. Christmas Stockings, from Interweave Press, edited by Elaine Lipson. I don't know why I like this book so much. I don't even knit socks and have no need for a Christmas stocking, but I find some of the patterns fascinating There are several that I want to try. Haven't really focused on the details of the instructions as yet but at a glace they seem pretty straightforward.

I also got Folk Vests, by Cheryl Oberle. I bought this sight unseen. I already have her book Folk Shawls and really enjoy just looking at it so I was pretty sure I would like this one too. And I do. These are challenging patterns. Think I'm going to start with the XO cardigan.

I've been reading Zen and the Art of Knitting by Bernadette Murphy. This was a gift from one of my students. I would never have bought a book like this. I will probably not finish it. First of all, I think the title is a cheap shot. Secondly, I don't think knitting is all that meditative. There is just too much sweetness and light in this book for my tastes. And another thing, the type size and the margin widths tell you right away that there's not much content but they managed to make it big enough to look like a real book.

Well, that's about it for now. Not feeling very charitable right now, but I promised the American Institute for Cancer Research that I would help out by mailing some letters for them. Now I find out that I'm actually supposed to be collecting money for them. This is irritating me but I think I'll go ahead and do it.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Not much knitting yesterday. It was very busy again at Skein. Had a couple of people who needed help with their projects but mostly I just helped people get their yarn fixes. The last hour was chaos but we got through it. When I got home I just wanted to relax so I spent most of the evening looking at magazines, talking on the phone with my friend Carole and playing FreeCell. But today will be different. Lots of knitting time over the next four days.

On the upside, got an email from Amazon that my books have already shipped. So maybe by the end of the week.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

What a day! Not much happening at Skein all morning then after lunch it was pandemonium. Skein is a small shop and when you get ten people all talking at the same time it's pretty noisy, but when those same ten people are all trying to talk over each other, well, you can imagine. And then, why do all the knitters who can't fix their own mistakes come in at the same time? And why do they wait until they've totally messed it up to get help? But everyone went away happy and ready to screw up again. That's why we'll be there again tomorrow. So after work Ann Mary and her husband KC took me to dinner at one of their favorite Chinese places and we stuffed ourselves.

Couldn't find the Christmas stocking book at any of my local sources so I ordered it and the new Folk Vests book by Cheryl Oberle, from Amazon. I hope it doesn't take as long to get here as they said it would.

I really liked the Red Lipstick hat show. I'm glad I didn't have to pick a winner, even though I have a personal favorite. I wonder how many hats were submitted. I hope the show is a big enough success that it's repeated next year. I like making hats but I'm usually too lazy to make anything as complicated as the ones in the show. But now I'm inspired. Oh God! not again. Speaking of which, I started a kid's hat for the shop. Made in Velvet Touch and with a brim in front. Really cute and the yarn is a breeze to work with.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Other than my daily round of knitting blogs there hasn't been much in the way of knitting to report here. It's amazing how well I can live vicariously. While I have met a few bloggers in the flesh I feel as though I know all the bloggers I read every day. And when someone hasn't posted in several days I begin to get concerned. So on the outside chance that you've been wondering why I haven't posted recently, this is just to let you know that all is well. Just been distracted by things like housework and not feeling very inspired.

I finished one half of the handbag I'm making for the shop. It's really kinda cute. And I've spent a lot of time on my secret project but still have hours and hours before that one will be done. I'm looking for a copy of Christmas Stockings. Anita brought her copy to our Tuesday night get together at Joanne's and I really, really need to have this book. Border's didn't have it last night so I'm going to a couple of other stores today. If they don't have it I will order it from Amazon, but I don't really want to wait for it. I looked for some patterns on line for stockings but nothing was as appealing as the stockings in this book. Ann Mary said she would order it for me, but again, I don't want to wait.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Today I taught two new knitters. Monica and Cynthia. Very different results for each. I wonder why some people have so much trouble getting it and others just pick it up like they were born for it. Monica finally got the knit stitch; Cynthia knits, purls, casts on and off. All in the same time frame. I hope they'll be back tomorrow.

Yesterday I was given a copy of "Zen and the Art of Knitting". I haven't read it yet. Today another customer gave me a copy of "Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans, Fisherman Sweaters from the British Isles".
The Guernsey book is terrific if you're looking for stitch patterns. Some of the sweaters are pretty dated but look like they'd be pretty easy to update. And they're mostly turtleneck. Not exactly what we need here in Pasadena. But I'm very pleased to have both of these books. I also brought home the yarn to make an evening bag. Two colors of Vision from Trendsetter. So I'm going to try to do that tonight. Another shop sample.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Not a lot to write about today. I was at Skein for the afternoon. Had a couple of students and a few people who just came by to say hello.

I bought some two gallon freezer bags yesterday. I got them to store my current but inactive projects. I only got twenty and I need some more. But they do help get the stuff off the floor and from under my desk. I also realize I'm way over-committed. So I'm off to work some more on the holiday gifts. I wonder where that cotton yarn is that I got to make another handbag.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Time to get organized. I need to spend today straightening out all my current projects and put away the ones I'm not going to finish anytime soon. My holiday knitting is way behind and I decided yesterday to start a new, secret, one. Talking to my friend Carole last night I itemized at least seven things I'm working on that are near my knitting chair. I didn't even get to the projects that are stacked in the corner of the living room. And the ones in the den need to be dusted off. There must be some kind of medication for startitis.

Yesterday, this lady comes into Skein and is gushing over all the yarns, etc. "I just love yarn shops but I always end up buying something." What does she think we're there for? It's not a museum, you know. And she did buy something, a lot of it.

How many years in a row can you give someone a scarf for Christmas? Even if you've never seen them wear the ones you gave them in the past? Scarves are not a big item for most of the men that I know so they don't usually get one. But the women? Oh well. I like making them so they can just keep on not wearing them I guess. Ann Mary and I spend a lot of time putting together yarn combinations. Some of them we make into shop samples, some we just enjoy imagining. Ann Mary likes going to Nordstrom's to see their latest selection and then trying to duplicate, or imitate, what she's seen.

I got three Berroco pattern books and a book of sweaters from the top down. So I'm going to see which ones I think I can get done before 12/25. Somewhere along the way I need to clean house and pay bills. Maybe that can wait another day.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Back from Idaho where I attended the memorial for my nephew. Thanks to all of you who sent messages of condolence and comfort. I did get to spend a lot of time with my brother which was a help to both of us. And I got to spend a lot of time with my niece and her husband and two sons. I had never thought about being a great-uncle. But it was a lot of fun playing with the kids and watching my brother be a grandfather.

I taught my niece to knit. She saw me working on the shawl I took with me and started asking questions. I swear, it took less than five minutes and she had it! So we had a great time talking about sites for free patterns and what kind of things to start with, and where's the best place to buy when you're on a tight budget.

Idaho was beautiful. Lots of trees changing color and amazingly blue skies. We even got to walk in the rain.

I've just spent four hours getting caught up on my blog reading. And about three hours to catch up with my email. Went to Skein for the afternoon and worked with some drop in students. Not much knitting on my part, just a few more rows on the shawl. I'm going again tomorrow. It's good to be back in my own place and doing my own stuff.


Wednesday, October 02, 2002

No time to work on my new Blogger Pro. Spent all of yesterday at Skein and had my Tuesday evening knit and chat session with Joanne and Anita. I tried to take a picture of the completed Karabella scarf but the batteries were dead. Maybe today.

I have another new knitter this morning so I'll be at Skein at least for the morning. Trying to finish a pumpkin trick or treat bag. Just need to sew it together. And I'm trying to decide what project to take with me to Idaho. So many choices, so far behind on all of them.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

I'm so jazzed! Lisa gifted me with Blogger Pro so pretty soon I'm going to be all high tech and cool looking. Well, maybe. I have to sit down and figure out exactly what it is that I have to do.

Going to Skein today and tomorrow since I will be in Idaho from Thursday through Monday. I have a couple of new students that I want to work with. And after staying home all day yesterday I'm ready for some genuine interaction instead of what you get when you play FreeCell all day.

I finished the Karabella scarf and will take that to Ann Mary today. Will try to get a decent photo to post using my new Blogger Pro. Finished the pumpkin hat but I think the leaf is too big so I may have to redo that one. And reworked the Turnio silk neckline so the front doesn't pull up. Gotta decide which UFO to take on next.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Remember that rain I mentioned a couple of days ago? Well, it had an amazing effect on the wild fire and on the air over the LA basin. Yesterday was a perfect fall day in Southern California. Clear sky and gentle breeze and mild temperature. You get the picture.

So that made everyone at the Knit Out very happy. Lots of knitters and crocheters milling about, fondling fibers and gushing over all the samples. We handed out over 500 brochures for Skein and I probably explained the drop stitch at least 50 times. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get away to see all the other shops but I was the only one at our table that could answer all the questions etc. Ann Mary's daughter, Desiree, and her friend, Julie, were charming company but they neither know diddley about knitting or fibers. But I did get to see a lot of people.

Ellen stopped by and we had a great chat. Hope to meet up with her again soon.

And Shannita came by and introduced herself. We're going to try to hook up some time in the future when she does her big craft show thing next year.

I also met Ruth of Twisted Spinster (can't seem to link to her blog) and we had a short visit. I think I had a lot of people there at the time. I met several other folks who read my blog and that was lots of good head trip stuff. It's nice to know there's a real community out there.

All the exhibitors got these turquoise t-shirts to wear. I think I'm just gonna retire mine. Not my best color and the big logo on front doesn't work well for me. But it was fun wearing it at Knit Out.

Most frequently asked question: where's Arcadia?
Answer: just east of Pasadena
Reply: Oh, I think I know where that is.

We're not exactly in the sticks but I guess when you live on the Westside it seems like it. So that's it for Knit Out 2002. Today I'm staying indoors and finishing up this scarf. I've been working on it for a week now and I'm tired of it. (That link doesn't take you directly to the scarf but once you're there you can find it. It's made with Silk Boucle and it's pattern number 3 under that category.) Then I'm going to finish the pumpkin hat and redo the ribbing on the neckline of the Turino silk top.

Remember that rain I mentioned a couple of days ago? Well, it had an amazing effect on the wild fire and on the air over the LA basin. Yesterday was a perfect fall day in Southern California. And the Knit Out was a major hit as a result. I really had a good time talking to people from all over. Most frequent question: where's Arcadia. Just east of Pasadena. Oh, I think I know where that is. We're not really in the sticks but if you live on the Westside maybe it seems like it.

I got to meet Shannita and

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Just got home from the opening night concert of the LA Chamber Orchestra. What a treat! Hillary Hahn was the soloist in a couple of J.S. Bach pieces. Very rousing Mozart symphony (Jupiter) brought the house down as a closing number.

Other interesting news is it's raining here this evening. I hope it helped squelch the big wildfire we've had going the past week. But on the down side I wonder if it will continue and wreck the Knit Out tomorrow. The Third Street Promenade is very open air. I don't know if any provision has been made since it rarely rains here at this time of year. Guess I'll just show up and see.

Sometimes I just don't believe people. One student today. She wanted to learn to knit and only had a half hour to spend. She wanted to know how long it would take her to make a sweater. Oh, and could I teach her to crochet too. Is it easier to learn than knitting? She wants to make a lot of stuff so she can make some money selling it. This is going to be interesting. I'll see her again in a couple of weeks and see if she's mastered the knit stitch yet.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Time is out of joint and my world is out of whack. Family events have stirred up and mismatched my daily routine. So I'm not sure what day it is. It feels like Monday but it isn't. Going out to lunch with friends today will make it feel like Sunday. Went to Skein yesterday so I could get some more un-knitting done on my current shop project. I just really needed Ann Mary's presence and advice. I felt much better when I left. I am also ready to re-knit the last third of the Karabella scarf.

Almost done with the second pumpkin hat. Got a lot done just while reading my daily blogs. The arms on my desk chair make it a little awkward because if I put my arms down inside the armrests then I can't move freely, if I put my elbows on the armrests it feels like the bones are being crushed. What a wimp! But I still got a lot done.

For my nephew, Jonathan. The world was too much and love was not enough. Rest in peace.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Well, the other student didn't show up on Sunday and I forgot to get the double point needles. But Sunday turned out to be a good day just the same. Finally got to meet a new knitter that I've been "chatting" with via email. Great!

Trying to get myself psyched up for next Sunday and the big Knit-Out in Santa Monica. Ann Mary informed me yesterday that she is only going to go to set up and then leave me to take care of everything. I didn't go to the Knit-Out last year so I don't know what to expect. One thing for sure, I hope it's cooler by the weekend. It was 109 yesterday and close to that today (in Pasadena). Not good knitting weather when you're outside. I hope you'll stop by and say hello, if you're in the area.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Thanks all for the great recipe and food blog links! Some delicious stuff out there. And my friend really appreciated them too!

Sometimes teaching is just plain fun. Three new knitters yesterday, all of whom got it. A pair of sisters, neither of whom have ever done anything "crafty". I would guess them to be in the early to mid twenties. One sister, the younger, really understood the knitting and purling part but had a bit of a problem with casting on. The other one was just the opposite. Between them they'll do just fine. I hope to see them next weekend to get them started on their first projects.

The third new knitter wanted to learn so she could help out at her son's Waldorf school. I don't know much about Waldorf schools but one of the things they're famous for is teaching all the students how to knit. Anyway, the school had a group session to teach the parents how to knit. I guess it was just chaos and very few people went away satisfied. This lady is a natural. And it turns out she and I have a mutual friend.

We don't put a time limit on our drop in classes so I had all three of them for 2 or 3 hours of the afternoon. It was party time, sorta. One of my earlier students was also there for most of the time. She was so encourging and really gave everyone a lot of support. And I also taught another experienced knitter how to do the long tail cast on and how to do a drop stitch.

So I'm jazzed and looking forward to this afternoon. I'm expecting a least one continuing student. And I must remember to get some 2.5 dpns so I can start my socks.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

This is more about un-knitting than knitting. I've been going through my stash and reviewing all the unfinished items. I decided that two of the shawls just weren't ever going to make it. So I spent several hours yesterday ripping them out. It is possible, with patience and persistence, plus some occasional profanity, to rip fine mohair. So now I can start a new project, once I find that pattern that I know is here somewhere.

Does anyone have any good blogs for culinary and recipe types? A friend of mine recently lost all her bookmarks when she upgraded her Netscape and has asked me if I had any recommendations. If you have some links that you like, please, send them to me so I can forward them.

I finished the Turino silk top and don't like it. I think it's going to become something else but I will wait until Lisa sees it. I set in the sleeves using slip stitch crochet. This went a lot faster than mattress stitch and worked better with the yarn. And if I do take it apart it will be a lot easier to undo.

The pumpkin hat with leaf is cute but a little too small. I've started another one using Sugar'n Cream that will be about one inch larger which is what I think I need. I like the darker orange color better, too. And I have enough to make a Trick or Treat bag to go with it. Lisa doesn't go trick or treating, but she loves Halloween.

Found some Reynold's Candide in my stash that is going to become a plain, raglan pullover for me, if I ever finish the other things I have going. I want to work a swatch, just to see how it will look. And to get the gauge so I can write the pattern. I shouldn't do this because I know I will start the sweater and then I'll have at least five active projects. But I probably will.

Monday, September 16, 2002

I got my copy of Norsk Strikkedesign last week and have looked through it several times. The sweaters are really beautiful. Can't decide if there's anything I have the patience to knit. Why did they make the charts so dark? Who can read these?

Saturday, September 14, 2002

When I arrived at Skein yesterday there was already a line of people waiting for me. For about two hours I was so swamped that I can't even remember who I worked with or what their problems were. Meanwhile, Jim, the rep from Trendsetter, came back to show the other yarns that he handles. Lana Borgosesia, which is now part of Trendsetter, has one of my favorite yarns, Maratona. He also handles Garnstudio yarns. I've been looking for someone who sells this yarn as I want to make this sweater.
I first saw it at Mama Kate's.
And then Theresa translated it for us. Kate has already started hers and has even changed the pattern for a different gauge on a different yarn. I want to use the exact yarn called for but didn't know where to find it. Now I can order it through Ann Mary or I can go to Alamitos Bay Yarn Company and get it there.

Lisa came over in the evening. I hadn't seen her in a couple of weeks so I was really happy to see her. We went to Fuji for dinner. She had sushi and I had the generic, Americanized Japanese dinner special. She couldn't stay late because the LA County Fair is open and she had to be there early to help with the crowds. But it was still a very good time.

Today at Skein it was very quiet for most of the day. Ann Mary's husband was involved in a car accident when he went out to buy our lunch. He wasn't hurt but his car had to be towed to a repair shop. So I drove him home so he could get their other car. I finished the pumpkin hat and started a new wrap for a shop sample.
Busy day yesterday. I didn't even have time to read all my daily blogs, but I'm caught up now.

Went with Joanne and Leah to visit Weaver's Cottage. Cool trip! I had been before but they weren't quite as well stocked as they are now. I didn't buy anything, for a change, but spent most of my time learning about their indigo dye pot. Fascinating stuff. Also learned how to warp a loom from the front and tie it on. Sandy, one of the owners, invited me to come see her on Wednesdays when they're closed so she could work with me on my weaving.

More later as it's time to get ready for Skein.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Not a whole lot to report in my knitting life. I'm just about finished with the Turino silk pullover. Need to set in the sleeves and work the neckband. I decided I need to make some small projects for a while so I'm making a pumpkin hat. I'm also going to make a leaf for it.

Here's a sample card for Hannah Silk that I found on the
La Lana Wools site. Hannah Silk doesn't appear to have a web page, at least I couldn't find it. Anyway. The rep for Trendsetter and Classic Elite came to Skein yesterday and showed us some of their new yarns. He also reps Hannah Silk. He had a big case full of knitted samples. Pretty awesome stuff. It gets even more awesome when you see the suggested retail. If you ever get a chance to see it, just enjoy. Also, if you've never been to Taos, NM, the trip to La Lana Wools is worth the price.

The Rowan Big Print handbag came out well. It looks very cute hanging next to the new display cases that Ann Mary got her husband to assemble and install over the weekend. I bought a skein of Opal and some needles. I'm going to try socks for the first time.

I ended up spending most of the day at Skein yesterday. I just couldn't handle being alone. The day was too sad. Ann Mary is very objective and her calmness and reassurance really helped.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

I just finished knitting the pieces for a handbag made from Rowan's Big Print. Took about 2 hours. I'll put it together in the morning when the light is better. I used Brown Sheep worsted weight doubled for the handle because it will wear better. And besides we didn't have any of the Biggy solid colors. It's cute but anything smaller than a dictionary will probably fall through one of the holes. The pattern doesn't call for or recommend any lining.

I'm waiting more and more impatiently for my copy of Norsk Strikkdesign to arrive from Crafter's Choice. I hadn't planned to order this book until I saw some pictures on Katy Bird's blog. (She's a fabulous knitter, by the way.) Now I'm really looking forward to getting this book. I had enough bonus points to pay for it so I only have to pay the shipping charge. And today I was reminded again that I don't have it yet by a reference in Theresa's post. It's been a couple of weeks since I ordered it so maybe next week.

Ann Mary got some additional shelving today so maybe tomorrow we can begin putting out more of the new yarns. The weather has cooled a lot this week and people are beginning to think about Christmas. So it would be good if we had this stuff out.

I was helping a new customer today with some questions she had about the sock pattern she had bought at another store. The book had been translated from German and the phrasing was a little awkward. Everything was going fine until Carole came in an announced, "Hey, that's pretty good considering you don't know how to make socks!" I don't think the customer was all that bothered but I was a little embarrassed. I don't knit socks and maybe never will. But I can read a pattern.

I've never seen a heel worked like this. (Sorry, I don't remember the name of it or the pattern book.) But it was made by putting about a fourth of the stitches on a holder, then separating the remaining stitches on three double points. Work back and forth doing a yarn over at the beginning of each row, working one stitch less each time until all the stitches on the two outside needles have been wrapped with a yarn over. Then work two rounds including the stitches that had been on hold, working the yarn overs with its partner knit stitch. Put the same stitches back on a holder and work the heel stitches again starting with the center third, wrapping one stitch at the end of the row and then one stitch from the adjacent needle. Do this until all the stitches one the side needles have been knitted up. Then resume working in rounds, again working the yarn overs with the partner stitch. The yarn over wraps serve the same purpose as wrapping stitches in short rows. There is a diagonal line on each side of the heel but that's the only thing you see. The stitches from the leg just seem to continue into the foot. No heel flap or anything. Anyway, I thought it was ingenious. People who knit socks all the time may be familiar with this and think it's so last week, but I enjoyed it.

I got a little finishing done on my current project, and we had pizza for lunch.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Thursday is not one of my usual days at Skein but today I went in to meet with a new customer. Had a wonderful time and we became quite chummy. She had just spent a little over$300 for her next project, a cardigan using Trendsetter's new yarn, Papi, plus their Voila and Metal with a little bit of Dulcino for the finishing. (Trendsetter doesn't appear to have a web page as yet but there's an ad for the cardigan pattern in the newest Vogue Knitting.) I also sold her some Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride for a vest in the same issue of Vogue. I had actually met her at Temple City Knit Shop about a month ago. But the bottom line is we really like each other and it's going to great working with her.

We also had two more new customers today. I only worked with one of them but we also got along well and she'll be back in a week or so to take some lessons. I just hope this trend of people learning to knit or returning after not knitting for a long time continues. I've been trying to figure out why knitting is so attractive to me. Its meditative and allows me to create but there seems to be something more to it for me. There's a little bit of competitiveness somewhere in there. Not sure what that's about. Maybe it's about acknowledgement as well. Hm! have to work on this some more.

I fixed the decreases on the front of my current project and will probably begin putting it together tomorrow. Ann Mary wants me to make a hat and scarf using Rowan's Big Print. Size 35 needles. You've got to be kidding.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

It's a lot cooler today, only a hundred. But we did have a small earthquake and there's a huge wild fire burning just east of where I live. I guess the fact that I have to rip out the neck decreases on my current project is pretty small potatoes, all things considered.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Yesterday it was 112 degrees in front of Skein. I couldn't believe anyone would actually come in, but we were quite busy all afternoon. After the shop closed I drove to Culver City to have dinner with my oldest friend, Robert. It was only 85 there and he thought that was too hot. I guess perspective counts a lot.

When it's this hot I just don't want to do anything. Except sleep and that's not easy to do. So I finally turned on my A/C today. It helped a lot but isn't quite up to the climate control you'd find in a nice mall. Went out to lunch with some other friends. I could have stayed all afternoon. Unfortunately, they couldn't. So I came home and worked for several hours on the silk sweater I'm making. I finished the sleeves and back first as the front is the only part that's a little interesting.

Lisa told me that Blogger doesn't support photos in the blog. This is curious since I see photos all the time in blogs that use Blogger. What am I missing here? We tried for about an hour Friday night to post a photo but neither of us could figure out how to do it. PITA.

Worked on my interminable, mindless scarf tonight while I watched Antiques Roadshow and Mystery on PBS. Haven't touched it in weeks as I don't watch all that much TV. I think it will be about 10 feet long when I'm done.

Friday, August 30, 2002

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Stuff. Stuff is nice and I have lots of it. A room full of yarns, a collection of silver, several sets of dishes, which I rarely use, more linens than I'll ever need, and a big stack of gray t-shirts. Stuff is lots of fun to have until it's time to clean house. Spent the whole day yesterday just cleaning the living room. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my loom into the yarn room/den. I think I need some more stuff, like storage containers that let me see my stash, instead of the cardboard boxes I currently use. I also need another lamp. Wonder if there are any thrift shops with a great selection of tasteful lamps.

I finally sat down for a couple of hours and worked on the shawl I'm making as a Christmas present. That's when I realized I needed more light. Gotta spend some time today putting hanks into balls. Especially the yarn I just bought on Tuesday.