Monday, October 28, 2013

Village Venture Aftermath

This past weekend was a busy busy weekend.  A couple of friends and I headed up North to Claremont and attended the Village Venture.  The Venture is a huge arts and crafts show.  It spanned 19 blocks.  The stalls were set up on each side of every street and most of the shops in the village were open as well.  I didn't take a lot of photos of stalls, most of the vendors had signs asking that no pictures were taken.  (Probably because most of what I saw I could recreate if I had the time, energy and desire).

We started the day at a LYS- Colors 91711 in Claremont.  Colors is also next door to the public library which made it an excellent starting and ending spot (actually bathrooms and not port o potties and easy to remember).  We wound our way through about a quarter of the venture before taking a break for lunch.

We choose Dr. Grubbs.  I actually checked in on Facebook (which I rarely do because frankly who cares where you go and what you do and where you choose to eat-unless on vacation or there's another reason you want me to know where you are at every moment of your day- you know who you are...).  I mention this only because of the following conversation that took place in the comments of that checkin.

Mom: "Are you ok"?
Me: "Yes.  Its a restaurant with tasty yummy food"
Brother: " Amy, stop making your mom worry!  Imagine, going to a medical themed restaurant like that!"
Mom:  "Sounds much better than a physician's office"

We giggled over that conversation for the rest of the afternoon.

There were several booths selling yarn related merchandise but no real sellers of yarn.  I did find this purse and thought that the flowers were pretty.  I would never use a purse like this because I would get those blooms caught on everything and it wouldn't take more than a week before they were ripped off after being caught and me not noticing.

We stopped in one shop with vintage things (if you can call stuff from the 80's and 90's vintage) and they had a beautiful covered garden patio in the back.  

This little garden is pretty and about the right size for my patio.  Plus bonus-not much watering required.

I just love the way they decorated these pumpkins.  The plants are glued on.  I'm not sure how long they would last before dying but I think you could add plants on top of a pumpkin without glue as long as it was a bowl type of top and not rounded.

There were at least three vendors selling silverware jewelry.  Do you remember that stuff?  I know I have a pair of fork earrings somewhere and a spoon bracelet.  I think I bought them in 1992.  In any case I think this guy (girl?) is pretty cool.

The Venture had one street dedicated to community groups, charities and animal shelters.  One of the shelters works with birds and brought a hawk and several owls.  It was fun seeing them up close; especially watching the owls watch the golden retrievers next door.  

We also spent half an hour or so sitting on the grass watching people walk by, resting our feet and knitting.

I'm still working on the Graphically Gray Baby Blanket for Emmaline who arrived on Friday.  

It was a great day.  We didn't break the bank shopping, got about 2.5 miles of walking done (thanks fitbit) and came home with a small haul:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's On The Needles Wednesday

I've been working on several projects, which isn't unusual for most knitters.

Graphically Gray Baby Blanket
Cuff down socks-two at a time one circular needle
Channel Sweater, modified
Hats, Hats and More Hats
Bazaar Hand knits
Cherry Blossom Socks
Basic stripped socks

There may be more on the needles, but I'm not admitting to it.  My knitting group is selling hand knits and hand crocheted items at a local bazaar and on our Etsy shop.  

The Bazaar is the Bella Boutique which will be held on November 2, 2013 in Costa Mesa, California from 9am until 1 pm.  This will be an awesome event. There is a free kids carnival to entertain your brood while you shop.  You won't want to miss it if you are local or will be in the area.

This cowl is one of the items for sale.  We'll have toys, hats, scarves, shawls, and so much more-you won't want to miss it.

I don't have a picture of the Graphically Gray Chevron Baby blanket.  It's coming along.  It has two colors that repeat 16 times.  I think I'm on 4.  I really enjoy the knitting but it feels like it will take me forever to complete it.  Which is not good as the baby will be here on Friday.  I have a slight reprieve as I won't meet her until mid November.  I can finish it by then.  I think.

The Channel sweater has been on the needles for a while.  I ignore it most of the time.  It's not because I don't like it, because I do.  It's because it is something being knit for me and gets set aside while I work on other things.  I did put it in my bag today for train knitting and was able to get an inch or so done this morning and will continue tonight.

The Cuff down two socks at a time are in a pretty blackberry color and are done except for the toe grafting.  I will use the Kitchener stitch.  I love the Kitchener.  I just need the recipients toes to ensure that the fit is perfect and then I will graft.  In the meantime they are hanging out in their project bag waiting.

The Cherry Blossom socks are for me and are waiting for time.  I've gotten two inches of one done.  I am planning on casting on the second sock, getting to the same spot and moving them onto one circ so I can do them at the same time.  I have SSS (Second Sock Syndrome).  I am a lifelong sufferer.  Well, lifelong since I've begun sock knitting.  

I participated in an ornament swap in the last couple of weeks.  Here are the ornaments I received.  Aren't they cute.  I will be "stealing" the ideas for ornaments for friends and family this Christmas.  Which means I've got to start those soon.

Love this one!  Such a good idea.  

Sorry for the awful picture.  I didn't think it was too bad until I cropped.  Major blurriness occurring.  

This one is nifty.  It's got something on it to make it stiff.  I am getting excited for Christmas and decorating.  I am not looking forward to dragging the tree out of the garage.  It's behind, well, Everything.  Some husband bribery ought to do the trick.  We'll see.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Train Knitting and Weekend Chocolate

I've been commuting on trains daily for several months now.  I love the trains.  Los Angeles traffic is well known and hated.  It's awful.  It can take a 20 minute drive and turn it into a four hour tour.  As anyone who knows me really well, the world took a huge sigh of relief when I began commuting via the train.  (I confess to having a minor road rage problem.  Rumor has it that a demon takes over my brain and says terrifyingly mean things to other drivers, including cursing offspring.  But you know-rumors-can't trust those).

So I started taking the train.  Not only do I not have to sit barely moving behind that one guy who is holding everyone up because clearly you can see the miles of open road in front of him-at least if my car was higher I could see that.  But now I get 2 hours a day to knit or read or sit and stare.  I tend to knit.  And now I listen  to some pretty awesome and entertaining pod casts while I knit.  My most recent and new fav is the knitmoregirls show.  It is a mother daughter duo and I am always thoroughly entertained listening to them.  The ride goes by in a blur.

This week I've been working on a pair of long ago cast on socks.  Last night at knitting Bessie was petting them and said complementary things and so I told her she could have them.  I've turned the heel and am half way to the toes after this morning.  Although Bessie's feet are longer than mine, so the half way may be a bit off, but who's really checking?

Here they are in progress:

They are knit in knit picks sport weight yarn and are really really pettable.  I'm wearing a pretty flowery skirt that reminds me of spring and summer.  And because we're still sporting the 80+ weather in the south land I can get away with wearing it.

This weekend I am taking a chocolate class with a friend.  We're going to learn all things gourmet and chocolaty.  I can't wait.  I'm especially excited for the chocolate boxes and have my fingers crossed that there will be tastings allowed.

I may or may not have pictures.  Depends on how much chocolate tasting is allowed and whether I can still operate a camera with chocolate covered fingers.  Chocolate for lunch is healthy right?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yarnosphere Results

This past weekend the Yarnosphere event took place.  This was Orange County's very own fiber related event.  They advertised the event as a show for yarn, fiber, and related products for knitters, crocheters and fiber lovers.  We're a fun filled shopfest with learn-a-longs for yarn lovers!

My local knitting and crochet group, the Twisted Stitchers, signed up for a community table at the event to promote our group and as it turned out, have a place away from home to veg out at.

Fellow group members and I arrived at 8:30 AM an hour and half before the event opened in order to set up our table and scope out the show.  I also volunteered for the event.  I was originally scheduled to man the front sign in desk but was moved to man a yarn game.  The game consisted of a bag of various types of yarns wound into balls.  The player choose a ball, guessed its content (wool, cotton, bamboo, acrylic, etc.) and then stood at a toss line and tried to throw the ball of yarn into a small box with a picture of the animal, plant or chemicals that created the yarn.  Winners were given raffle tickets.  (California is extremely anti-gambling and so you had to earn the raffle tickets.)

After a couple of hours of explaining the game and handing out tickets I was sent to sit in front of a door and make sure that no one entered without a ticket.  Turns out that the doors were locked and my real role was to open the door for other fair event goers who needed to use the bathroom.  (A very important position-especially from the perspective of someone desperately in need of the facilities-of which there were many).

In the afternoon I was able to hang out at our community table with a large group of members knitting, crocheting, chatting and having a ball.  We encouraged each other to blow our individual yarn budgets out of the water-a task that was really really easy, especially with one vendor selling yarn half off.

A company called the 30 Day Sweater Challenge gave a demonstration and offered a deal plus a bag as enticement to join.

This challenge has a book and website that will guide you step by step through choosing a pattern, yarn, supplies, measuring and gauging and then knitting the perfect sweater for you in 30 days.

Our group made our very own encampment at the Yarnosphere.  We always have a good time together.  We had a lot of people stop by and we hope they join us in the future.

Another view:

And our pretty table.  We covered it in projects that members have recently completed and a few things that we will be selling at a local boutique.

And of course there was candy.  

I took a class on interpreting Japanese knitting and crochet symbols so that I can knit or crochet Japanese patterns from the charts without learning Japanese.  The class was great and I left with enough knowledge and resources that I can confidently start a Japanese pattern.

Overall the first year of Yarnosphere was okay.  I hoped for more vendors and a better class selection. There were 13 vendors.  Saturday was a lot of fun.  There were a lot of people shopping, taking classes or just hanging out.  Sunday was slow with less than half the numbers of Saturday.  I hope that next year the event has more vendors and in turn more attendees.  Part of the low attendance numbers can be attributed to a San Diego Fiber event that has been around longer and was advertised better.  

Keep an eye out for Orange County's own fiber event for next year.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sewing Day & Speed Knitting

Last Saturday some friends and I had a sewing day together.  Six ladies (with 4 machines) in one room working on various projects.  It was a lot of fun.  A bit loud, but always fun.  We took a field trip to a local shop for supplies and more fabric at the beginning of the day, had lunch, learned something new together and at the end of the day I finished a pile of project bags, a stocking for a swap, a blanket, and a remodeled T-shirt.

When there were only 3 of us left, we took a break from the sewing to work on some yarny projects.  Lisa just learned how to knit and has finished a pair of duffers (just the felting is left).  She told me about a friend of hers who knits really really fast and explained how she holds the yarn and knits using one motion.  That, I was really interested in.  I have a lot of hand movement when I knit and it slows me down.  So I picked up my needles and some yarn and practiced.  And you know what?  It works.  I'm a bit awkward so far and a bit tight in my tension, but that will all work itself out as I practice some more.

Today as I perused my blogs I came across "The Knitting Needles and the Damage Done blog by Orange Swan and she posted a video by Knit Picks on the worlds fasted knitter (118 stitches per minute)  WOW!  If you want to see how fast she knits and see how you too can knit faster with less movement-check out this video:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Twisted Stitchers go to Yarnosphere

My local knitting and crochet group is attending Orange County's first fiber event.  YARNOSPHERE!  It's this weekend at the Orange County Event Center.  We've signed up for a community table to promote our group and as part of that sign up we've been asked to write up a group profile for their blog.

Bessie started our article and I've added a bit- Here's a view into our Twisted World:

Twisted Stitchers- an Orange County Crochet and Knit Group

When non knitters or crocheters think about going to a crochet or knitting meeting, they generally think of a bunch of old gray haired grannies sitting in rocking chairs, talking about their grandchildren and bible study while working on their knitting or crochet.  Twisted Stitchers is the farthest from the grannies knitting illusion as a group can get.

We formed in October of 2012, out of the dregs of an older group, as a group.  We are made up of over 100 crocheters and knitters of all ages (from teens to grannies and every age in between) and experience levels from beginners to pros.  We meet every other week at Corner Bakery in Costa Mesa (Plaza Dr & Sunflower) and the opposite weeks at Paradise Perks Coffee House in Irvine (Jeffery Rd & Irvine Center Dr). 

We’re easy to find wherever we go-just look for the loud boisterous group with tables piled high with knitting, crochet, baskets or bags of yarn, toys, and the odd crocheted penis thrown in for good measure.  We have diverse backgrounds but unite over our mutual love of all yarny things; from the crappy acrylic to the luxurious cashmere yarns.

Our group loves getting together and has a blast wherever we go together.  We’ve been seen recently at the Stitch N Pitch (Go Dodgers!), LA Yarn Crawl (Yes, you can always use more yarn & bonus competition to see who can hit the most stores), Griffin Dye Works Retreat & then the Fiber Frolic (weekend long retreat with classes and YES yarn and a daylong event of more of the same), Sound of Music Sing A Long at the Hollywood Bowl and a Family BBQ (a daylong event of food, games and yarn).

We’ve also been to small local events like the Fullerton Arboretum Blues, Brews and BBQ and the San Diego Yarn Crawl.  We’re excited to attend Yarnosphere this weekend and look forward to Yarnosphere becoming Orange County’s annual must attend fiber event. 

We welcome any and all yarn lovers to join us on any given Thursday.  Check us out at:

Check out Yarnosphere at their website.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Flying High

As I waited for a subway train this week I looked up and saw this:

It's extremely odd.  They have hung mannequins from the ceiling so that they look like they're flying.  Its strange.  It made me giggle.

I do like the Shadow and reflection on the ceiling.

What I don't understand is-why do they have numbers on their chests?  

Are these mannequins running from the law?  Recently out of prison?  I'm just generally amused by the odd decorations in Los Angeles' metro stations.

In knitting news-I finally finished my niece's boot cuffs.  I ripped them out three times.  If you remember, I did not find a pattern that I liked and so I was winging it.  I decided to go with a basic pattern with one cable on each side of the cuffs (total of 4 cables).  Once I started the final pair they knit up really quickly.  I finished them in 4 hours of train knitting.  This morning I began casting off in rib stitch, hated the look of the edge-too wavy, and tinked back to do a regular knitted cast off.  

Ta Da:

They need to be blocked to even out some of the stitches on the edge where the cable kept stretching them out.  Totally worth knitting two at a time on one circular needle.  

I cast on 52 stitches for each cuff.  Worked a two by two rib for an inch did one row of purls (so my niece knows which way is up) and then started the basic cable.  purl until you reach the 8 stitches where the cable goes and knit then return to purling.  After four rows, I did a c4b, c4f for a row and then repeat the pattern.  4 rows purl and knit row 5-purl and cable.

Simple and fast.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lady Bugs, Ornaments and New yarn

I crocheted a diaper cover and hat in a lady bug pattern and finished it last week.  I've forgotten how fast crocheting can go.  A friend of mine gave me the pattern and it turned out stinking cute.

You make several button holes to allow for a longer use.  Here's the back:

I also signed up for a quick ornament swap and decided to make granny stars:

A close up:

And my favorite part of today-showing off my newest yarn acquisitions.  These were all purchased at the Fiber Frolic.

Slime time will become some socks

I have no idea what I am going to do with this.  A shawl maybe?  Hat?  Christmas ball ornaments?

This is destined for a cowl.

This will be used in a sweater-there are 3 cakes and I think with some navy stripes or sleeves there will be enough for a sweater.  Now to find a pattern and some time to knit.

My buddy, Bessie, bought this for me.  She said she couldn't resist once she saw the name of the yarn.  (Everyone loves to make those lawyer jokes.)  It's gorgeous and has a lot of green colors in it.  The picture doesn't do the yarn justice.  I'm planning some socks.  I love it.  Thanks Bessie!

Since I taught myself, with the help of you tube, how to knit two socks at the same time on one circular I've been buying or collecting sock yarn like crazy.  It's crazy because I mainly go sock-less.  This is flip flop territory and even sitting at my desk at the law firm I am often wearing flip flops (I bring "real" shoes and put them on when I have to).

In a couple of weeks we're having an event here in Southern Cali-the Yarnosphere.  There will be classes (I signed up for reading Japanese knitting or crochet patterns), a sit n knit to make some wash clothes for charity, and of course there will be SHOPPING!  New yarn anyone?