Saturday, January 29, 2011

Heather's new jacket

Hello, Everyone,

It's a lovely night after a lovely, warm and clear Saturday in San Diego.  The TV blimp for the Torry Pines golf tournament is showing the whole country how lovely it is here, sigh, they'll all be moving in come May.

I'm feeling good,  listening to Nestor Torres play his flute.  Dances, Prayers and Meditations, I think it's called.  He incorporates his Gongyo into the 3rd track.  Very peaceful and beautiful.

Dan had the day off, so we had some fun, ran some errands on Point Loma together, ending up sitting at the pier in OB watching the surfers in the choppy wind-driven surf as the sunset peeking through the clouds gave the sky a beautiful glow.  There is a rain storm coming in a few days, so the surf was high, but blown out and choppy at the tops of the waves.  Big surf but hard to stay up.  Lots of wipe outs.  Never thought you'd get a surf report from me, did you?

You gotta see the surfing sheep on the yarning for you web site.  Shows you that wild sheep live on rocky crags and have awesome natural balance. 

We haven't done this in a long time.  Like a couple of romantic teenagers.  I feel very lucky to have him right now. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.  We went through an adventure this past week involving his heart and the emergency room, but then it turned out to be a bad reaction to his blood pressure meds, not a heart attack as his doctor feared.   They changed his meds, declared him fine and sent him home to recuperate.   Today he is finally starting to feel more like himself.  But it was more than a little scary.  I'm glad I had a pair of pink and orange socks in my purse to knit on, lo those many hours in the ER, or I surely would have gone batty.  Dan being Dan he drove himself to the ER.  Looking back on it, that's funny.  Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo of appreciation.  I don't know what I would do without him.  Beyond that I love him dearly, he literally dresses me, chauffeurs me, and does all the housework when my Shogrens acts up.

Heather sent me some pics of the interesting sweater kit she bought at the club holiday luncheon. It's almost done.

Very interesting construction.  It's done is easy-to-take-along panels in extravagant fou-fou yarns and then assembled.  The sleeves are especially interesting.  First you knit a narrow straight rectangle for the top half of the sleeve.  Then you make another long rectangle and fold it so that the end meets the side and stitch them together.  Then it fits into the underarm like a gusset.  It's hard to see in this pic as the underarm piece is black and so is the bedspread .   I can't wait to see how it turns out. 

I made a shirt with a big underarm gusset (7 inches on a side of the square, turned to be a diamond) one time.  It was a historical reconstruction piece based on the battle shirt of the crusader king, Charles the 2nd of France, was buried in.   The big gusset meant that he could constrict his waist with a heavy sword belt (maybe hang a 20 pound mace on it) and still swing his sword arm over his head without having to move the shirt under the belt, as the gusset unfolded as needed to let him swing his arm freely over his head.  The shirt was an actual practical piece of battle hardware. When they renovated the cathedral in the 19th century they moved his grave, checked on him and measured the shirt.  The pattern is to be found somewhere on the I-net.  Everything is somewhere on the I-net.  I had made it for Dan to wear to Heather and Ron's medieval wedding, but in the end Dan wore a Hawaiian shirt.  He's an actor, go figure. Similar interesting gusset-based construction on this jacket.  I think this gusset might be even larger on this jacket.  When she's done I want to look at the pattern.  I might want to make it, but it would have to be considerably up-sized.  Sometimes with something like this, I might "knit" it in paper first to make sure the geometry still works in the up-size.

The Estonian white lace for Evva is coming along nicely, as is a pink woolly scarf in bulky yarn and size 10 1/2 needles I work on when my hands need a break from the tiny (size3) lace needles.   I grip a big needle differently than a tiny lace needle, so it works my hands differently and creates a kind of hand-stretching exercise break when tense lace knitting cramps my hands.  Sigh, every stitch "counts" in lace work.  So I try to work lace paired with an easy, bulky project.

Lilo is being very good these days.  Who are you, strange white cat, and what have you done with my usually naughty Lilo?  No more "love bites".  They really do know what to do when you talk some serious turkey with them.  It's so warm she went outside where she is enjoying the beautiful evening.  Maybe she'll be back in a bit with a gopher, a present for me to admire.

Nestor's Gongyo-song reminds me I need to go do evening Gongyo.  I fell asleep after dinner and got a nice nap, so now it's time to play catch up!

See ya.

Friday, January 28, 2011

pink stockings pix

Hello, Everyone,
It's a cool, breezy Friday evening in San Diego.  It was warm this afternoon, but now it is getting cold.

I promised pix of the pink stockings, so here they are.

They have diamonds on the foot that swing around to the side as they go up the leg.

German heart heel peeking out in back.

Here you can see the heart better.  and the Eye of Partridge heel flap, nothing but the best!

Ruffle bind off so it will never bind. Pretty good, if I do say so Myself!

Lilo sez Hi to her adoring fans.  It's cold out so she is napping on my bed.

See ya!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Finished the Pink stockings!!

Hi, Everyone,
It's a coolish Friday evening after a day that had a hard time making up its mind. It started out really cold in the early morning, and got really hot in the afternoon.  Wacky weather anymore in San Diego!  Listening to Brad Meldau - jazz keyboards.  Nice.  Mellow. I feel pretty good today.

I finished the pink thigh-high stockings for Heather yesterday as we were having lunch after our swim class.  She promised pics, so I'll post them as soon as I get them. 

I'm working on the the bridal lace scarf I'm making for Evva.  I'm almost done with the edging lace, all 603 stitches of it. 2 more rows to go  =  about1200 stitches.  Then I'll work the middle lace pattern and attach it to the edging at each side as I go.  Then the top edge of the center is grafted onto the edging.   Or maybe a Russian join...Heather, what do you think?  She taught me Russian join.   Pictures coming soon.  Center lace is from page 52 of  "The Haapsalu Shawl" by Siiri Rieman.   It has Lily of the valley on one side of the pattern and a leaf on the other. Very nice, like lilies growing in the forest.

I am thinking about making this sweater when I finish the bridal lace scarf for Evva.

Maybe in some fluffy raspberry mohair I have in my stash, for a lighter version.

I went to visit a friend in the hospital with Dan and Evelyn.  Then we had dinner at Kip's in Hillcrest.  Kind of Pan-Asain cusine.  Pretty good, but too expensive for what it was.

Lilo is trying to be good. Silly Lilo.

See ya later, alligator!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On the Sajj

Hi, Everyone,

It's late Wednesday night after a coolish, foggy day.  After a couple of days of upper 80's!   We had the AC on in the car Tuesday. Am I confused or is this January?  I feel ok, still have a tail of a sniffle after a cold yet.  I'm listening to piano Concerto #1 by Gonzalo Curiel on XLNC1.  I had never heard this composer before, I like it.

I found a new Lebanese Bakery and grill, Off the Sajj, in Hillcrest.  Yowza, they are good!  The word Sajj refers to the freshly baked flat bread or it's oven, every flat bread freshly baked there.  Make their own sausage, etc.  Great soup.  Try the "pies", more like flat burrritos.  Gotta try 'em when you're in Hillcrest!

Knitting another bridal veil.  Commission.  Ha,ha, I'm as excited as a kid the day before his birthday!  My strange idea of fun.  Cast on 601 stitches yesterday...    I must be crazy!!

Lilo is being very, very good.  I think she understood my very serious talk about "Turkish Van Rescue".  Only one bite since then, and she really got it when I scolded her for it.  I looked on Craig's List and found several Turkish Vans looking for new homes where the owners mentioned "love bites".  Hmmm...  Must be a Van thing, but definitely not a Julie thing!!!  Hopefully she stays in this new consciousness.  She's sleeping on Dan's side of the bed right now.  Keeping outta Momma's way...

See ya,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ron's boat

Hi, Everyone,

It's a lovely cool, clear winter Monday morning in San Diego.  I finally got caught up on sleep after a couple of weeks fighting a slight cold that kept interfering with my sleep. I feel pretty good.  Dan is making tea and he looks good today, no more chipmunk effect.  He's feeling better, too.  When I sleep better, he gets more sleep. too. 

I went to see my friend Mitsuko yesterday and she gave me a belated New Year's present, chocolate macadamia nuts.  So, I know what I'm having with my tea, ha!  I gave her a hand stitched bead case on New Years, you all saw it earlier.

I'm listening to the Christmas Channel on  I know, it's after 12th night, but I guess I'm not quite ready to give Christmas up just yet.  Silly me.  The tree is still up too. Big sigh.  Gotta get to it.

Ron sent me a new sailboat design picture.....

He and Brad are building this at 1 meter scale.

I was listening to this recently and it is really great.  Brene Brown.  I've never seen that first name before.  I'll have to pick up one of her books and check her out.  She seems really interesting.   Gave me some ideas to chant about.

Have you seen baby jacquards florals yarn by Bernat?  Very interesting computer-driven print.   I have a skein and I'm thinking about it. Knitted up it looks like a floral print band set into coordinating stripes of solid.

Lilo sez, "Hi".  She's sitting by my feet, dozing and acting innocent.  She was so bad over the weekend that Dan and I seriously talked about calling Turkish Van rescue and seeing if they could help us find her a new home. It's nbot that I don't love her.  She has been really cranky lately.  She hates winter, so she kept biting me out of the blue for no particular reason.  I had just absolutely had it after a particularly bad series on Saturday morning.  I was rushing to get dressed and out the door for an early training class I was taking, and she kept interrupting me to bite me. Hard.  Also, she had the night before jumped into my lap for pets and then dug her claws into my legs until she drew blood.  I told her Saturday as soon as I had time after my training class I was calling Turkish Van rescue.  I guess she figured this out.  She has been very, very, very good ever since. 

Turkish Van cats are an odd lot. Very pretty and dainty. They like to swim (they'll jump in the family pool, love to run in the rain), good hunters, one person cat, not crazy about other cats, can't really relocate to a new house, not happy campers (go through life with ears usually back), very bad attitude with people, never really get it that the human is in charge.  Affection seems to trigger aggression.  Rub your legs and then bite you.

I've never had a biter cat before Lilo.  After a lifetime of lovely cats (maybe 15 beautiful, loving cats), Amber gave me Lilo when her honey was too allergic (Vans shed a lot).  More "Cattitude" than I've ever seen before in a cat.  She just does not get it that her behaviour is unacceptable.  I've tried all the usual, (No!, water squirters, remove her to another room, lots of love and praise when she is not biting, etc), but she just refuses to "get it".  She thinks her troops are acting badly when I discipline her and bites me all the more.  When we were at Lake Isabella I saw a sign on a mailbox "free kittens, inquire within" and I very nearly went for it.  We'll see, Lilo fans, we'll see.  She needs to turn it around this winter if she is going to continue to live "chez Lanner".  Just now she came to be petted and then she snapped at the air in my direction.  Just letting me know how she feels.  You're on thin ice, Cat!

See ya,

Friday, January 7, 2011

heather's slippers

Hello, Everyone,
It's a lovely cool January Friday evening in San Diego. I'm listening to KUSI and the music is not so fun tonight.  I'll switch it in a minute. ... That's better. Santana.

I went to my friend Nhien's house tonight. Always fun.

Heather has been Playing with the construction of  slippers this winter.  Last year it was hats.  This is her latest design.  

Did you see Barb's new haircut over at squishykuma?  I like it.

Lilo is feeling very bratty tonight.  She got up on my lap to fight with me.  Time to get down before we get into trouble, Lilo.

Heather's shawl

Hi, Everyone,
It's a cool early Friday morning in San Diego.  I've been up, sewing animals onto a baby quilt. I'm listening to Vivaldi on XLNC1.   I feel pretty good, I think I'm over my bug. Dan is also much better.

Heather sent me some pics of the new shawl her friend gave her.  It is really lovely.

Beads, silk and kid mohair, yum!

Lilo just came in, she must be psychic.  She knows when I'm blogging.  She's all pretty and white and fluffy when she's been playing outside in the cold.  Probably chasing mice.

We had the best breakfast this morning  We had a croissant breakfast sandwich from the local donut shop.  Yummy. A croissant stuffed with ham, bacon, cheese and egg.  The thing is so big we split one.  Gotta love it.

Lilo sez, "Happy mouse hunting to all my feline friends." 
Julie and Lilo

Thursday, January 6, 2011

amber's great party

Hello Everyone,
It's a coolish and clear late  Wednesday nite/Thursday morning in San Diego, warmer than it has been and no wind.  Great! I'm feeling better than my last post, trying to put the bug behind me.   I'm listening to Rita Ford play Victorian music boxes.  Better than it sounds.

We had fun at the Knit @ nite.  Good knitting, good friends and good food.  Linda's sweet potato/pecan  dish was out of this world.  I took my famous home-made lemon dressing of a romaine heart and walnut salad.  Yummy

Heather sent me some pics from Amber's Birthday I'd like to share with you. 

We were at the Red Lobster and had a great time.  I had a steak and lobster tail special and enjoyed it very much.  Steve had honking huge meaty crab legs, wow!  It was actually worth picking the crab.  Thank you, kids, for inviting me.

Here's a preliminary design pic of Ron's boat.  This one is from December, but it shows the sails.  The one in yesterday's post is the latest and greatest of the hull.

I'm 10 rows into my Oslo walk shawl variant. A few mods, LOL.  Blue Pagewood Farms variegated sock yarn, 100 crystal beads on the bottom edge. top edge is going to be I cord and the short row section is garter in mine.  Lace pattern is different.  Muenchen walk shawl maybe...

Lilo is in my bed keeping warm up against Dan.  Maybe I should join her....


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Hello Everyone,
It's a lovely sunny but cool Wednesday afternoon in San Diego.  I've been a bit under the weather, some stupid bug, but I'm doing better now.  I'm pretty happy.   I'm listening to the suite from Lawrence of Arabia on XLNC1.

Dan had a freebie coupon from Chick-Fil-A so we had breakfast there.  They even have a guy in a chicken suit walking around to greet the customers.  Fun in a hokey sort of way.  Good chance for me to catch up on my phone calls.  For a couple of hours I returned calls.  Got a little behind when I was sick. Dan is still recovering, looks like Alvin at the moment...

I'm knitting on a pretty white washable fake-mohair shawl for my massage therapist at her request.  Very long and slim so you wear it doubled.  I also keep plugging along on the long pink stockings for Heather.  I'm determined to finish them.  Added several rows to them today at breakfast.

I finished a fuzzy beige cloche in time for New Years for my friend Barbara  I hope it looks good on her dark hair.  Dan and I were too busy New Years Eve and Day to really party. So, we had a great Jan 2 on a Hornblower boat in San Diego Bay. Amber gave us tix for x-mas. The hunky young bartender kept refilling my glass with Canadian, too bad...LOL.

Did I happen to tell you all that I'm going to be a Grandmother again this summer?  Wahoo!!!  I sure love the grandmother thing.  Quilt and baby jammies in progress.   Nate is so cute. We had so much fun with him.  I had him for a few days after the holidays so that I could take him to swim lessons.  I was chanting Gongyo (2 chapters from the Lotus Sutra) and he was in the next room playing video games.  I came to the part at the end of the prose portion of chapter  2 where you repeat the 10 aspects 3 times. "Nyo ze so..."   I was on the second time thru when he came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder, "Gramma, you need to turn the page."  LOL.

My brother in law, Ron sent me a pic of the sailboat he is building.
Brother in law Ron says he is building a sailboat in the garage.  Actually, it's only going to be a one-meter RC model boat.  He made a cartoon sketch in the process of making the model drawings and then placed himself in it.  We know it's one of his graphic compositions (i.e., phony landscapes) because their garage was never that clean.  Go, Ron!  Wouldn't it be fun to build one full size?

I'm going to the JCC tonight for the Knit @ Nite group for the North Coast Knitting Guild The evening one is better for my schedule.  I plan to have a great time at the usual January potluck tonight.  This is our answer to the post-holiday letdown.  Annual January vegetarian potluck.  So many people have special dietary requirements that we just do it vegetarian.  I think I'll bring a lemony walnut romaine salad.  Heather and I will go together and let Mr. Alvin stay home and get well.

Lilo is in her usual place, on the rug beside my feet.  She stays in when it is cold. Then she gets cabin fever and wants to fight with everyone.   She would love Hawaii. Puerto Rico, Cuba, etc.   Hey, Kitty, can you hula or cha-cha?  No?   Well, maybe a pinch of catnip on your rug will help you along...   Now she's happy.  Rolling in it.

See ya,