Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hugg Me Baby Boots

Hello Everyone,

It's a mellow late night Tuesday after a lovely, sunny day.  I'm feeling good,  listening to Jazz 88.3 play Rebirth Brass band.

I just finished some cutie patootie baby booties.  So I wrote them up and  I'll be posting them on Ravelry as soon as I get to it, probably tomorrow. 

Hugg Me Baby Boots

These cute little high boots are suitable for either a boy or a girl. They look just like the famous sheepskin boots, but are knit of practical machine washable brown wool, with a creamy faux shearling sheep cuff, knit in loop stitch to look like sheepskin. Altogether much cute baby snuggliness.

Size: 4 (5) inches long, about 6 (9) months. Baby feet vary, better to be too big and grow into them. Instructions for larger size will be given in paren.

Gauge: 4 stitches to the inch in garter stitch

1ball, cream worsted weight washable wool yarn, I used Lion Brand Collerction Superwash Merino, Antique
1 ball smooth chocolate brown Worsted weight washable wool yarn, I used Lion Brand Collection Superwash Merino, Mahagony
size 5 circular needle. I know this is small for the size of the yarn, but it needs to be knit tightly if the loop fabric is to look “sheepy”
1 marker, I used a coilless safety pin
large yarn needle to sew up heel

Special stitches:

Knitted-on cast on: Slide a slip knot on the left hand needle. Insert the right hand needle from heel to tip of the left needle through the loop. Bring the yarn around the needle and pull it through the first loop as if knitting the first stitch. *Do not remove the first stitch, instead, rotate the right hand needle so it lies parallel with the left hand one, heel to heel and tip to tip. Slip the left hand needle through the new loop, so both needles lie heel to heel and tip to tip again. Snug up the yarn around both needles. Draw the yarn between them and draw up a loop as if to knit a stitch. Repeat from * for desired number of stitches. This creates an open, lacy cast on.

Loop stitch: *Knit a stitch, but leave it on the left needle, draw the yarn to the front between your needles and sling it around your left thumb, using the thumb to hold a long loop. Bring the yarn back between the needles to the back and knit the stitch again and this time pull the "old" stitch off the left needle. Pull the first stitch over the second one on the right needle to lock it down. Tug on the loop to pull all the slack into the loop. Knit the next stitch plain. Repeat from * across, alternating every other stitch with loop and regular knit. Knit the next row plain. So, every other row you have a row of loops, every other stitch. If the loop rows alternate the loops so that they do not stack up, but instead alternate like an eye of partridge heel flap, why, that is a nice touch. If you can't make that happen, don't worry. Nothing shows in all the loops!

3 needle bind off: with a third needle knit 1 stitch from each side together, *knit 1 stitch from each side together again, pull the first stitch over the second to bind off 1 stitch. Repeat from * until all stitches are bound off.

Lilo sez,  "G'nite, Mates!"


knitted-on cast on

Hello, Everyone,
It is a beautiful, clear Monday night.   I'm listening to En Aranjuez con to Amor by Joachin Rodrigo, London Symphony, James Galway, Flute.  So beautiful.  I copied this from the XLNC1 website and it gives me interesting blue bars and boxes I can't make go away.  Hmmmm, I'll push them to the bottom of the page.  No extra charge.

Yesterday I talked about a knitted-on cast on and I got questions about how to do it.  So here is the 411.

Knitted-on cast on: Slide a slip knot on the left hand needle. Insert the right hand needle from heel to tip of the left needle through the loop. Bring the yarn around the needle and pull it through the first loop as if knitting the first stitch. *Do not remove the first stitch, instead, rotate the right hand needle so it lies parallel with the left hand one, heel to heel and tip to tip. Slip the left hand needle through the new loop, so both needles lie heel to heel and tip to tip again. Snug up the yarn around both needles. Draw the yarn between them and draw up a loop as if to knit a stitch. Repeat from * for desired number of stitches. This creates an open, lacy cast on, especially useful for lace work.  

The painter finished today, but he messed up the front door.  I'll have to talk to him. 

Lilo is far away sitting on a gopher hill, I'll see her later when she gets cold.  Interesting, I typed her name and she came inside the car door.  I swear that cat is psychic.  

More tomorrow...

G'night ,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kissing Cousins - the beginning

Hello, Everyone,

Well, it's a cold and windy Sunday night in San Diego.  I feel just fine.  I'm listening to Chris Botti play a very sweet trumpet.  I had a nice dinner at Szechuan House in Mira Mesa, thanks to Dare.  You know you lived right when your kid picks up the check.  Eating there reminded me of why we used to go there often, the food is really good.  I especially like their take on Peking duck, juicy meat and crispy skin.  The Sizzling Double Happiness is shrimp and scallops in a spicy black bean sauce, yum.  Kung Pao Beef, spicy and full of peanuts.  Nate loves to go there, he has the house special Lo Mein.  That boy loves his noodles.  Nice wait staff, too.  

The bedroom is the warmest room in the house and the computer is in the dining room, hmmmm.  Maybe I'll go get the electric lap blanket and plug it in by the computer.  Be right back.

Ok, That's better, nice and warm despite a drafty house.

The Kissing Cousins Shawl is maybe 1 hour from done, which is nothing on a big lace shawl.  Time to write about it.  It is a horseshoe shape in oh-so-soft lime green baby alpaca lace weight from Misti Alpaca with a bit of mohair (Kid Merino ) for interest half way through.  The ends are rectangular and the center section is a semicircle.  

Kissing Cousins is worked from the outer edge in to the center edge.  I cast it on in the alpaca by making the pretty beaded lace outer edging and then picking up stitches all along its top edge.  There are stitches on each side edge kept in garter, some along each of the straight rectangles, and more in the center section.  Periodically the center section is reduced by K2tog across.  Several straight forward patterns create bands of beautiful lace between the decrease rows.  Half way through the yarn switches to cloud soft, fuzzy, baby mohair.  After a bit of fluffy mohair lace, the yarn switches back to the alpaca and finishes off with more lace.   The top edging is for the most part a simple eyelet edging, with a bit of beaded lace at each of the ends to visually tie into the beginning outer edge.  It turned out great!  I can't wait to see it blocked.

The edging, Beaded Lace:

It begins with a knitted-on cast on and goes for about 1000 rows, LOL.

This is the end of the first installment.
More to follow later...

Lilo sez g'nite!



Monday, May 24, 2010

Kissing Cousins

Hello, Everyone,

It's windy, overcast and cool this afternoon in San Diego.  More like the central California coast than the Southland.   Let's all pretend we're in Solvang instead of San Diego.  I'm listening to 30 greatest hits from Elvis and drinking hot tea to keep warm. 

I'm working on the edging of the Kissing Cousins Shawl.    The edging is a quick way to bind off that provides a very narrow lace edging.  It is a straight  edging, but could easily be blocked out to points if desired.  

Here is how I am working it:

Eyelet bind off: 

Pithy version :
Row 1: Slip 1, K1, YO, K2tog, P2tog, turn
Row 2: Slip 1, K4 turn. Repeat rows 1 and 2 until all shawl stitches are consumed. Bind off 5 loosely.

In playing with this I came up with a version I did not use for the shawl because it caused the edging to fold over and flip back to the wrong side.  Eureka! This is not useful for this shawl, but it is perfect for many hemming situations... Here it is written up:

Eyelet hem

Row 1: Slip 1, K1, YO, K2tog x 2, turn
Row 2: Slip 1, K4, turn Repeat rows 1 and 2 until all shawl stitches are consumed. Bind off 5 loosely.  Let the edge curl to the backside and stitch it down to the main fabric, creating a neat hem.  It flips back on the second K2tog.

I like the eyelets on the inside of the hem because it is easy to insert the elastic or drawstring if one is being used.  There are eyelet holes everywhere to use.  Easy to replace the elastic, when needed, too.  

The house smells so good.  I'm cooking a vegan dish from Tibet for Curried Cauliflower (and some other veggies).  Last night I was watching a travel show on Tibet and it reminded me that I have this dish I like and some cauliflower in the fridge.   I'm not usually vegan, but I like this one.  So here we go.

Curried Cauliflower

Put 1/4 cup good EVVO in the crockpot and set to high.  (This can also be done in a regular large pot if you are careful to regulate the heat.)  Now, if we want to be really authentic we can use yak butter, but I thought the olive oil was easier to source at the local megamart, LOL. 
Cut up 1 head of cauliflower, including the stems, core and leaves.  Be careful to cut any woody stems thinly across the grain. Add to the pot.  The pot will be more than half full, but as is cooks a bit it cooks down, so you will be ok on volume by the time you get everything cut up and in the pot. 

Trim, chop up and add to the pot:
10 ounces Crimini mushrooms (the brown ones, but any mushrooms are good.  Never met a mushroom I did not like)
4 stalks celery
3 carrots
1 large onion
3 large cloves garlic
2 dried California Chili pepper pods
1 red bell pepper
2 large potatoes 
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper to taste (Dan likes it so I add a lot)
Stir and let brown a bit.

Add in:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups water (more in a regular pot, the crock pot hold moisture in very well)
salt to taste

Let cook until soft (couple of hours in a crock pot) and enjoy the smells in the house!

Serve over rice.  Try not to spill the sauce on yourself, it stains bright yellow like the dickens.  Ask me how I know. 

Someone in my crochet group made this.

Cute, huh?

Lilo is hiding from the painter again.   She'll be back later. 

See ya,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lime Llama?

Hello, Everyone,

It's a nice mellow early Sunday morning.  I can't sleep, so I may as well knit.  And blog about knitting, LOL.  Music is Austin City Limits on KPBS.

I had Nate for a day and that was great!  Took him back to his mama after dinner with Anita and Peter.   I'll have to do a toy roundup tomorrow before I step on something sharp.  He was so cute.  Anita ordered a nice, healthy salad, so he offered to share his french fries with her.  Sweet boy.

I was looking for a pair of #3 needles, the ones I had just gotten were not working in the sport weight stockings I was making.   The slippery texture of the new #3 needle caused the gauge to open up so it was as if I were using #4 or bigger needles.  Couldn't get the fabric I wanted for the stocking to save my life.   Ever had this happen?  Frustrating, as these were new #3's bought just for this purpose.   So I started digging about in a bag of UFO's looking for something on #3's I could steal use.   I found this lovely lime green horseshoe shaped alpaca shawl and realized that (a.) it only needed a lace edging bind off to be done and (b). it was on #3 needles, nice wooden #3's with a normal texture that would work great in the stockings. 

So I started in merrily in to finish the lace edging muy pronto, only to find that I hated working it.  So I changed the edging to a simpler one I made up that I call an eyelet bind off.  I like it much better and I'm about 1/2 of the way done now.

I was working on this at a friend's house and she said it reminded her of her lime green llama.  She is a partner in a wonderful deli in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego called the Deli Llama.  (Great sandwiches, BTW, stop by if you are ever in the area.  She doesn't skimp, only the best of everything.  Yum!   And the sweets are really yummy, too.)  The deli has a circus theme and painted on the mural above all is the lime llama, as I recall.  Well, the shawl is close to a lime llama, it's lime alpaca, with a lime mohair (goat) band in the middle.  Cousins of llama.  Cousins of camel.  Just cousins.  Maybe even kissing cousins.

So, as soon as I finish the Kissing Cousins Shawl,  I'll post pictures and then write up the pattern.  It's my own design, so I may as well write it up and offer the pattern on Ravelry.  Here are a few detail pics to tide you over. 

The impossible fussy lace edging  on the outer edge (with 3 pearls placed with a crochet hook per repeat).   I did not want to repeat it on the inner edge.

The eyelet bind off I did on the inner edge.   Floral design below the edge is one you have seen recently....Remember?

1 skein Cousin mohair (Crystal Palace Kid Merino) kissing 2 cousins Misti Alpaca Lace.  Estonian Nupps in the section below.  More details to follow.  Just wait until you see it all blocked out and showing the pattern...  Hmmmm....  I wonder how you block out a horseshoe shape?  I'll find out, won't I?   News at 11!

Lilo sez "G'nite".  She's wanting to to sit on my lap a lot and tell me how terrible it is that there is a painter putting lime green paint on the house trim.  What's with the lime green right now?  Must be mystical, LOL.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Birthday Stockings

Hello, Everyone,

It's a lovely clear Friday night.  Well it's after midnight, so I guess it's really Saturday morning.   I feel fine.  No music, just Dan listening  to economic politics.

The magenta socks are done and have their ribbons...

See how the pattern is on the top of the foot, so you do not have to walk on any lacework, and then swirls around at tbe ankle so that the pattern goes up the sides of the calf, not the front.  Notice the light pink German heart heel.  Heel shaping and decoration all at once.

Closeup of the lacework.

Closeup of the action where the pattern swirls around the ankle to he side of the calf.

Aren't they great????!!!!

Lilo sez "Hi" to Everyone.  She's eating a lot now that the house is quiet and she is home.  She is very pleased and has no idea the workman will be back tomorrow to work on painting the house. 


Friday, May 21, 2010

2 new Omamori covers

Hello, Everyone,

Today is a beautiful, warm, sunny, Friday afternoon.  I feel good.  Flowers are blooming on the hillsides, the Jacaranda trees are crazy purple with blooms everywhere, the birds are twittering in the trees and there is a gentle breeze.  Isn't it great to be alive in San Diego in the spring time?

This is for you, Evelyn:  The other day I finished 2 cute little Omamori Gohonzon covers. These assume that you want to use the steel chain and white case that comes with the Omamori, and just use these covers for protection and cleanliness and to keep the plastic off the skin in the summer heat.  If you wanted to make these into an amulet bag you could add a cord or strap, or you could make the tie 30 inches long, so that even after tying the bow it would be long enough to go around your neck.  I have also done them that way for someone who no longer had the white case.  Just be sure whatever you do is secure and strong.  The long tie should be securely attached to the bag and then the top tied shut with the ends.

The Omamori cover on the right is crocheted with a # 1 hook out of beadspread cotton and the one on the left is knit on size 1 needles out of Skacel lace weight merino wool. Both with beads of course. The knit one looks small, but it really stretches.  I call it an "Omamori sock".   For those who want to make one, here is a "pithy" pattern, as EZ would say.   I have another knit one in work in dark teal, same beads as the white one.

 For the knit one I threaded some #11 randomly mixed brown, peach, gold, and yellow  beads onto a leftover bit of lace weight wool.  Then I CO 10 stitches with #1 needles, did 6 rows garter.  Gauge must be about 10 stitches per inch or a bit tighter.  Then I picked up around the sides and bottom of the garter patch, about 30 stitches total around.  I knit around up about 2 inches, some rows plain garter and some rows K1, P1 ribbing, beads whenever I felt like it.  I kind of mixed it up a bit to get a brambly texture.  Next the Eyelet row: *K1, K2tog, YO, repeat from * around for 10 eyelets.  Then a couple of rows garter and suspended bind off.  Crochet a tie (chain 10 inches and SC)  and lace through the eyelets.  Cute as a bug's ear!

The crochet one is made from bedspread cotton, thread on the beads, chain 17, 16 SC in the top of the chain, 16 SC in the bottom of the chain, in total 32 SC all around.  SC on around for about 2 inches, adding in beads as the spirit moved me. 

The beads will fall to the backside of the work, so either work in the usual way and turn it inside out when you are done, or work it "inside out" by crocheting on the far side of the bag sticking the hook from the inside outward.  Your choice.  

I started out 1 bead every 7 stitches and then beaded more and more frequently, so that I ended up with a bead in every stitch in the last couple of rows.  I was going for an ombre effect on the beads.  

Then 2 rounds plain SC.  1 round DC, end off.  Chain a tie and SC in each stitch, end off.  Thread the tie into the DC row and tie the ends in a bow.  Just for fun I used a different color for the tie, and #20 cotton thread.

Have fun making one...  They're like potato chips... Can't do just one...  I need to get some pink cotton and white pearls to make a girly one for a friend...

The workman is busy painting the house, making all kinds of banging noises, so Lilo is nowhere to be seen.  She'll turn up later after he leaves.

Gotta run.  Heading up to Orange County to see the grandson this afternoon.  Lucky me.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

floral lace scarf

Hello, Everyone,
It's a lovely balmy night after a great sunny day.  I feel great.  I'm listening to play classical music.  

I wrote up the pattern for the floral lace shawl.  Here the promo for the new pattern I posted today on Ravelry.

Floral Lace Scarf for Mother Anita

This reversible dainty lace scarf is perfect for spring wear when warmth is not so much desires as style. Feminine and sheer, it dresses up a top with a dainty floral pattern. The sheer lace scarf weighs next to nothing as it floats gently around your neck, 6 1/2 inches X 72 inches.  The diagonal ends trail off into delicate points.  I made it for my hubby's mother, Anita.  It is a lovely gift, an easy, quick knit and so feminine.  This makes the perfect first lace project.  Eyelets edge the scarf, making it easy to block out into points if desired (as pictured).  Or it can be blocked out with wires through the eyelets to make straight edges.  Instructions allow for a wider scarf if desired.  Instructions included for suspended bind off and blocking. 

Teddy modeling for us to show off the points...

Size: 6 1/2 inches X 72 inches.  May be made wider (10 inches) if desired (instructions included below)

Gauge: while gauge is not important for this scarf, I got about 4 stitches per inch after blocking.

1 ball lace weight yarn, I used Skacel Merino Lace in white.  The scarf used maybe 150  yards from a 1700 yard ball, so this is great for using up lace weight "leftovers".  Or that single pretty hand painted ball you always wanted to try lace with...

size 4 needles, I used Addi lace points, but there are no tricky nupps, so any needles would do.

size 6 crochet hook for bind off.  Can be done with size 4 knitting needles, but you must take care to bind off very, very loosely if you use the size 4 needles.

14 stitch markers, I used no-coil safety pins.

Scarf in progress,  unblocked.

All done!

Lilo finally turned up after the workman quit banging on the house.  It's going to look really nice after he paints it!  Chill, Lilo, it's ok.

See you,

FO City

Hello, Everyone, 

It's a lovey breezy spring midday in San Diego and I feel fine.  Listening to Respighi on   Finally a nice sunny day!  Birds are twittering away in the garden.   I thought winter was going to revisit us forever....  Yesterday afternoon was somewhat sunny for a while, so I was able to wash and block out some recently finished knitting, plus my "wedding shawl" which also got its annual bath while I was in block out mode.  Last night I could not sleep, so I went on a finishing spree, so today I have a wonderful list of finished objects to show you. 

FO list for today: white floral lace scarf, red alpaca shawlette, tall magenta lace panel stockings, 2 cute little beaded Omamori "socks" 

Let's start with this one:

Here is the floral lace scarf I was making for my mother-in-law.  

Here is Nate's teddy bear modeling for me.  The ends are diagonal points.  I love how lace transforms when you block it out.  I'm working on the pattern and want to post it on Ravelry soon.  It weighs nothing, like a feather.

Here is the red alpaca  shawlette, a reprise of the red tango shawl.  Notice the gold beads sparkling on the top edge.  It's a Finnish leaf pattern I found on the 'Net.  I don;t speak Finnish, but I read knitting chart.

The red shawlette blocked out to be about 53" x 34". 

Here is the shawl I made for my own wedding, all fresh and clean.  Notice the same floral pattern I used in the white scarf above.  Also, lily of the valley with nupps, Russian chained hearts.  The edging is print o' the wave.  It was kind of a lace knitting pattern sampler.  Basically I could not decide on just one, so I did them all.  Maybe not great design, but meaningful to me. Cream laceweight wool from Knitpicks.  

There is a workman scraping the trim on the house in preparation for painting it, so the house is full of strange noises.  Lilo is nowhere to be found.   She must be hiding somewhere from the noises.   

I'm off to write up the floral lace pattern.  I'll post more FO here as I get more photos made.

Bye for now,

Monday, May 17, 2010

summer piece on a cold day

Hi, Everyone,

It is a chilly Monday afternoon.   Been cold all day.  Funny winter day, like it all of a sudden forgot to be spring, LOL   I'm listening to Liszt on Iceberg Radio, drinking chamomile tea and trying to keep warm.  Not really feeling so great today. 

Friday I showed the doctor a strange looking lesion on my hand, and she said, "That's what mersa looks like,  you'd better keep an eye on it. "  That's why I showed it to her...   So, I'm looking at it, now what?    I guess if my hand falls off, at least I'll know why.

Dan had to go back crosstown to the discount pharmacy again, they missed 3 meds when they filled the prescription, sigh.  I really do appreciate that they have me on the special discount program.   Next time I will xerox the RX for him before I turn it in, so he can check off each item as he gets it. 

I finished the Storm Water Shawlettte, a free pattern on Ravelry, as Evelyn would say,  done in a double strand of crochet cotton.  It's the sort of thing to wear in hot weather as a fashion accessory that adds no heat.   Pinks and purples, a little sparkle in one layer, actually kind of pretty.  Big crescent shape, very open, mostly holes, pointy tails to tie.

Sorry for the wonky picture, best one I've got.  I'm sure I'll enjoy it when the weather gets warmer. It adds a bit of color and cheer to an outfit, but no heat.

Still working on the almost-done magenta tall socks and the delicate lace scarf.   I wonder if I have enough white merino lace weight for one more floral pattern repeat on the scarf  or not....hmmmm...  I think I'll try it and see how it goes....   famous last words...  (File that one under things that knitters never learn, LOL.)

Miss Lilo sez, "hi".  She's staying in and staying warm today, too.   Helping me blog is more fun than chasing about in the cold.   The gophers will have to wait for a sunnier day.

See ya,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

lace scarf getting bigger

Hi, Everyone,

It's a coolish (60 degrees F) foggy Sunday evening after an overcast and foggy day in San Diego.  I'm listening to Julian Bream play Greensleeves beautifully on the guitar.  The silly "morning and evening low clouds and fog" never burned off at midday like it should.  I hope it rains tomorrow, my garden could sure use it. 

I'm starting to feel normal after my cold.  Tomorrow I "plan" to be 100% a-ok.  Had dinner at Chevy's with the family.  Fun, silly, almost-Mexican food. Good fruity margarita.  Thank you, Honey.

I've been knitting on the magenta thigh-high stockings and they are all done but the top eyelet row and ruffle.  I can only work on them for a certain amount of time since they are on #2 needles, or else my hands hurt.  So, I trade them off with the floral lace scarf, which is on #4 needles.   Maybe later tonight I can go back to the stockings and finish them off.  We'll see.  I'll post pics as soon as they are done.

The lace scarf is getting pretty.  Maybe I can hold it stretched so you can see the garter floral lace even before blocking, sigh.

Can you see the floral pattern starting to emerge?  I know it's hard to see before blocking.  The flower is a Russian (Orenburg) version of cat's paw. 

I'm still thinking about the lace weight Evva sent me from White River.  The shop owner double-wound the ball to avoid stretching out the spring in the yarn.  Nice and soft ball, good idea.  Can you see the color from this pic?  It's a nice deep heathery purple.

I'm starting to see folks appreciate my patterns on Ravelry.  It's very exciting to see that. 

Lilo kitty is prancing about, looking for some attention.  She would like to go out and hunt gophers, but she is not so fond of fog.  There are not so many gopher hills in my yard now.  She is having an impact.  Out she goes, for a little while anyway.

Bream is on to Recuerdos de la Alhambra.  MMMMM... one of my favs.

Oops, here comes Lilo back in for a quick pass by the food dish for a bedtime snack.  That was quick.   Must have been too foggy and drippy wet out there. 

See you all soon.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Lace

Hi, Everyone,
It's a chilly Saturday night in San Diego.  I am a bit under the weather with a stupid bug, but I'm trying to get past it as fast as possible.  I'm listening to Hillary Hahn play Bach on the violin.

Dan and I have been eating a lot of pho lately.  Vietnamese penicillin.  
Here's a pic of a cute kitten I found looking around for a pic to use as the basis of a sketch.

People have told me that the last post made the big Eagle Shawlette look like an itty bitty thong.  Well, I guess I should have left something next to it for scale, like my scissors or my hand or something.  Trust me, it's not a thong.   It's a shawl for a grown up,  LOL.  Here's the very tip on one wing.

Lilo sez "Hi, Everyone.  Rest assured, I'm still as beautiful as ever.   Ta-ta, I'm off to go hide in the nice warm sweater drawer."  Silly kitty.

I started a new white lace piece, a little charming wisp of a scarf in a floral lace.  We'll see how it turns out.  I could show a photo, but you know how lace looks like nothing until it's blocked.  

I had 2 shawls to block this afternoon, but it did not happen.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  Maybe Monday.  Gotta conserve energy and get well.

My sister Evva sent me some lovely laceweight in a beautiful dusky dark aubergine.  She got it from White River Yarns in Vermont.   I'm thinking about a big, oval lace mantilla.  Maybe lace that looks like roses??  I'm thinking at this point.

I used this picture I found on the Internet as a basis for a sketch I used in a mother's day  card  for Amber.  Aren't they cute?


Monday, May 10, 2010

Eagle Shawlette

Hello, Everyone.
Today is a cheery Monday morning in San Diego and I'm feeling fine.  I found a shawlette pattern I wrote a couple of years ago,  so I decided to work it up and post it to Ravelry.  You'll be able to get them here:     Here's a preview for you. 
Eagle Shawlettte
This beautiful Eagle Shawlette is worked from the snuggly sideways garter collar with a slipped edge, down through two lace patterns, to the delicate beaded edging. The unique shaping creates an image of outstretched eagle wings, flying to the stars and sun, which keeps it on the shoulders. First the traditional arrowhead pattern looks like a multitude of stars in the sky which transitions to a row of suns. (The sun pattern is a variation on a sunspot pattern from Barbara Walker's Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns.) Crocheted loops with beads finish the edge, reaching out at the front tips like eagle feathers stretching to catch the wind. This is lace, so a modest amount of knitting experience is recommended. Knit one for yourself or your favorite eagle and let your spirits soar!

1 ball Elegant Yarns Angelic, 100g machine washable merino, 363 yards, color 045 flame red (optionally, a second ball on the Angelic lets you lenghten the shawlette into a full length shawl)
Size 6 circular needle

Size after blocking: 44 inches from tip of tail to tip of wing

Gauge over garter stitch:   4.5 stitches/inch, although gauge is not important for this project

Shoulder panel of stars

Sun pattern
The sun pattern produces a row of reverse stockinette suns against a lace background all along the edge.   Rivetting!  And Beautiful...

Sun pattern

Loopy crocheted edging

Did you hear that Lena Horne passed away?   I love her music and I'll miss her.  Playing Stormy weather in Lena's memory.  She was in her nineties.  What an amazing period in American history her life and career spanned.  

Lilo sez "Hi!" as she heads out the window to hunt gophers. 

See ya,

Hi, Charlotte and Olivia

Hello, Everyone,
I tried to leave a posting on a blog this morning, but blogsdpot wa having a bad day and woulod not post it. So, I'll leave it here and hope she finds it after I clicked "follower" on her blog.

Hi, Olivia,
You probably do not remember me, I was a friend of your mother's in the SGI in San Diego.  This morning I found a piece of paper with your mother's name on it in an old purse and i decided to search for her.  I found you instead.  It looks like you are getting a great education.  I'm so glad for you.  Please tell your mom Julie Stanley Lanner sez Hi.  I'm at if she wants to say hi to me.

Nice day today, I'd better run.  Lots to do.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Hello, Everyone.

It's a lovely Sunday evening after a coolish overcast kind of day.  I'm listening to Cole Porter on Iceberg radio.  I had a nice dinner with family at China Chef 2 on Mira Mesa Blvd., very hot Szechuan Chinese food.  But Good.

This is what I found in my knitting and decided to show you.  I'm writing up the pattern ad we speak.  I'll post it to Ravelry later tonight.

Ziggety-Zag Scarf

This soft, yummy-warm, rich, alpaca scarf is not identical on both sides, but it is reversible as both sides look nice. The tubular edge adds a refined charm. The zig-zag pattern adds interest to the ends, the center is quickly knit in stockinette.   It is suitable for either a man or a woman, so a very versatile item on your gift list.  Make one for someone special in your life.  Or make several.

Size: 60 inches X 12 inches

Gauge: I got 4 stitches/inch, but gauge is not important for this project.


2 balls Classic Alpaca Yarn Co's Classic Alpaca sport weight  (100 % alpaca )
size 9 needles

I'd better go finish the pattern and post it.

Lilo is helping me post ad sez to tell you G'night.


Friday, May 7, 2010


Hi, Everyone,
It's a balmy Friday night in San Diego.  I feel good, except for the fact that I ate too much.  We had a Mother's Day dinner with the kids at Polly's in Huntington Beach.   It was really great.  This is the wedge salad.  Lots of bacon, dried cranberries and glazed walnuts.

The food was good and inexpensive and the pie was great.  The Rotisserie chicken is moist and tender.

I'd go again anytime.   I even got a jar of their mixed berry jam for a Mother's Day prez.

Lilo is bumping me with her head,  trying to interrupt me to tell you all how beautiful she is.  OK, OK,  Lilo, I told 'em.

Not much action on the knitting front today.  Too busy with other stuff.  Tomorrow will be a great day to knit.  I have another pattern just about ready to post to Ravelry.  Tomorrow I'll get it up there. Check 'em out here  Cross your fingers for me that I get through all the technical hurdles to get it actually up and live tomorrow.

See you,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bridal Shawl pattern is live on Ravelry

Hi, Everyone,

Shannon's Bridal Lace  Shawl pattern is live on Ravelry for purchase! Check it out at  So far (24 hours) 48 people have hearted it, and I just got the first sales receipt from Paypal!!!   I just added Ramsey, and he has 3 hearts in just a few minutes.    I'm so excited I can't stand it!!!

Now I'll have to work on adding some of the other patterns I have written.

Ta, ta, gotta go for my swim class,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bridal shawl pattern posted to Ravelry

Hello, Everyone,

It's a lovely sunny, breezy Wednesday afternoon in San Diego and I'm feeling great.  I'm listening to Roy Orbison's greatest hits.

Yesterday afternoon the strangest thing happened.  I heard a loud ruckus outside and when I went out on the porch to check it out, there was a flock of about 15 bright green parrots flying about the neighborhood screeching.  They had red patches on their heads, yellow around their eyes and were really BIG, maybe twice the weight as a pigeon.   They were perching on telephone lines, playing upside down as parrots do.  They were eating the ripe, sweet loquats from the neighbor's tree.  And generally making a great noise.  Then they flew off and disappeared as suddenly as they came.  Not native to San Diego, I wonder where they came from?  I wonder if they are escaped pets who are now breeding in San Diego?   We are not so tropical as Florida, where I hear various parrots are freely breeding in the back yards. 

They looked like these conures I found on the web who are living wild in San Francisco.  

Last night I finally figured out how to post Shannon's Bridal Lace Shawl to Ravelry.  I took the installment bits from the blog and used them to write up a proper pattern.    I decided not to wait for better pictures, but to post now and add the better pictures when I get them.   So check it out.

I bought some Mother's Day cards today and made a hand drawn one for my daughter.  

I hope she likes it.

I'm going to knitting guild tonight.  I'll let you know if anything fun comes up.

See ya later,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

French toast

It's a beautiful spring Tuesday morning in San Diego, the birds are singing, there is a warm sun and a gentle breeze so it doesn't get too hot.  Perfect! I'm listening to Dvorak's Carnival Overture on XLNC1.  Earlier they played Khachaturian's Spartacus (did I spell that right?)   So romantic.  I need to buy that so I can hear it whenever I want.

Today I am working on finding out how to post a pattern on Ravelry.  I want to share Shannon's Bridal Lace Shawl there, too.  Cross your fingers, I'm not so good at these things. 

We had the yummiest French Toast this morning.  Very eggy and puffy.  I had cooked up some fresh sliced strawberries with some sugar yesterday to make a strawberry compote, so I poured that over the French toast 

French Toast
3 large pieces of white Italian style bread. 
2 jumbo eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix the custard up in a flat dish and let the bread soak, flipping it over once, until the mixture is completely absorbed.
In a large frying pan melt 2 pats of butter. Slide in the breads and let them cook until puffy and browned, then flip and brown the other side.  Serve hot with strawberry compote.

I have this quote on the Butsudan:
"Inside of us we are constructing a happiness that is not influenced by external change.
Even in the abyss of anxiety or in the moments of rapture, in the center of our being there will always be this indestructible treasure.
Then we will be able to fully participate in the joys and pains of the world without being dominated by them, with the power to overcome adversities without being crushed by them and to enjoy prosperity without being corrupted by it. "
-Daisaku Ikeda

I like the connotations of the word "constructing".   It allows me to be a work in progress.   Under construction, that's me.  Some days better than others.   It's written on a bookmark card that I got as a take-away gift at a WD meeting, so I do not know where it originally appeared.   I'd love to know where it came from so I could read the whole thing.   Anybody recognize it?

Lilo's in the "dog house", or maybe it's a cat house in her case .  I was listening to my messages on speakerphone so I could brush my teeth at the same time (you ever have a day like that?) and she found the volume just "Too Piercing" so she flattened her ears back and came up and bit my foot.  That cat!  I threw her outside and scolded her.  So now she is sulking.  I never had a cat like that before.  All my other cats were sweet and nice.  She was taken from her mother too soon and it was a struggle to raise her when she was very little.  Maybe that is why.  Maybe her mother never got a chance to teach her manners.  Bother!   After all these years she still thinks she can do that!  Bad kitty...


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mockingbirds singing in the night

It's a mellow, cool night after a bright and sunny Sunday in San Diego.  Now I'm at home knitting and  listening to Seal 4.   I'm feeling a bit better, the head cold is almost totally gone.   Tomorrow I hope be be 100%.  Heavenly...

The mocking birds are singing in the night, really belting it out.  It sounds like a vocal contest of some kind.  Interesting.   One is on the house next to me and the other is across the street.  They sing a series of sounds over and over, copy each other, then switch to a new tune and do a new series, and keep the sequence up for a long time.

I had dinner at Pho Cadao.  Nothing like a big hot bowl of soup for my cold.  I love the "tendon" part.  I must have been Vietnamese in a past life.  I really love Vietnamese food.  For an appetizer we had the beef spring rolls, yum.  Pho Cadao does a good job with the soup and the wait staff is nice.  Freshly squeezed OJ for my cold, too.  Then wash it all down with some Jasmine tea.  Yum.

Dan had the flame grilled chicken, it was good, too.  They pound out a chicken breast, marinate it and then grill it over charcoal. 

I talked on the phone to Nate.  We'll see him next weekend, if all goes as planned.   Happy little guy.  Talks so fast I can't understand a word, LOL.  Love is another word for grandchildren.

I'm knitting on a pair of socks for Heather in magenta and a white lace Fichu.  I trade off so that the size 2 sock needles are not so hard on my hands.

The Lace panel starts on top of the foot, then swings back at the ankle to go up each side. Eye of partridge heel flap.   German heart heel with the heart in light pink.     These will be thigh high by the time they are done, with a ruffle at the top and a fancy ribbon garter with beaded ends to draw them up tight at the top.  Should be very pretty.  Coming along nicely.

The yarn was knit once before so the texture looks a bit rough right now.  The size was too big the first time.  The pattern called for 5's and did not specify a gauge!  So, now I'm doing them over on size 2 needles.  Well, now they're the right size and the rough texture caused by the kinked yarn will smooth out the first time I wash them and block them out.   Since the size is unusual, I might have to make a custom sock blocker from a wire coat hanger.  We'll see when the time comes.  Notice the markers to keep me straight on the lace panels.  It's the only way I can both get it right and keep my speed up.

Lilo came by to be admired a bit and then headed out to gopher hunt.  This morning she and Dan found the gopher she "misplaced" in the living room yesterday.  She ate all but the head and then Dan threw the head outside.  Thank you, Dan. Better him than me!  At least we do not have any stinky "missing  gopher" mysteries to deal with! 


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bridal Shawl Pattern, Part VII

Hello, Everyone,

It's a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon in San Diego, a bit breezy and cool, but just lovely.  I have a cold today, so I'm drinking tea and resting and trying to shake it off.  Listening to Bream peacefully play Isaac Albaniz (Classical guitar).  Dan made lunch for me, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.  All gooey with melted sharp cheddar cheese running out everywhere.  You know,  he does a great job when he cooks.  The official myth is that he can't cook, but don't you believe it.  When I'm under the weather, he comes up with some great stuff. 

Well, it's time to finish the Bridal Shawl pattern.   Now that you have it all blocked out and can see just how wide the corner lace turned out to be,  it's time to address the slits at the corners.   I used the tails I had left dangling to gently stitch them up.  Don't pull it tight, just gently float the stitches in there and hide the ends.   The stitching needs to have the same elasticity as the shawl.   Yes, I could have done the edging all in one piece and there would not have been any stitching required, but it would have been rather unwieldy with 1200+ stitches in the edging rows.   This method is rather easier to handle, but does require 2 tiny little seams at the corners, which probably strengthens the shawl where the bead tassels attach anyway. 

Then I stitched the bead "tassels"  firmly onto the corners,  make this stitching good and strong.   The 3 strands of beads for each corner Heather had prepared in advance, so they just needed to be stitched on.   The beads will pull on the corners, so several stitches through each, please.

I'm searching on my hard drive for the photo of the shawl tassels in place.  Kodak uses this really evil hyper-aggressive software when it develops your pics and when you upload them, it puts the photos where IT wants them, not where I can find them.  It is so hyper-aggressive it acts like a malware program.  I may have to add the pics in when I find them.  Phooey on Kodak!

Found it! here it is...

Then all the ends were worked in, which was not many as I tend to arrange the order of work so that I do not generate so many ends.  All done!  Wear it and look fabulous!

Lilo caught a gopher in the yard last night and brought it into the living room.  She was playing with it and "lost" it as it crawled away from her behind something.  Big sigh.  This afternoon, I need to tear the place apart and find the (by now) dead gopher.  Lilo is a newbie, just getting the hang of hunting, and is not clear on what to do after she catches them.  BTW, a live gopher bites with big long nasty orange digging teeth, so I have learned to use the long BBQ tongs to pick them up when I find them.

See ya,