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.