Friday, April 24, 2015

This Time, Last Year

French Quarter, New Orleans

This time, last year, we were in New Orleans for Jazz Fest.  It was also a celebration for our 23rd wedding anniversary. We had such a memorable trip. Looking back at the photos today, reminds me of the great times, good music, excellent food and new friends that we made. I've forgotten (almost) about the mosquito bites, the hot and humid weather and my aching feet!

Many of our friends have returned for this year's festival.  I LOVE seeing their posts of Facebook. It reminds me of the great times we had.
We had a chance to visit with friends and family: Cousins, Marlene & Reuben, Ms. Patti, David & Gretchen
Festival Tour of Cajun Country

Once we hooked up with our Festival Tours International Group for our trip to Cajun Country, it was non-stop fun for the rest of our vacation.
Larry with D.J., Paul Marx, KBON-Radio, Eunice, LA
Savoy Music Center and Savoy Family Home for music and a Crawfish Boil
Luncheon hosted by Cajun Chef, Patrick Mould in Broussard, LA

I treasure the time we spent in Louisiana.  After seeing so many of my friends' photos and videos on Facebook this week, I long to return. Keep those posts coming, my friends!
Festival Tours International Group, 2014 at the Liberty Theater, Eunice, LA

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grid Obsession

I've blogged about my obsession with the GRID previously. I like the grid used as a painting device. I like the grid used as a knitting and/or crochet device.  Symmetry is my middle name. The order and clean lines of the grid make me happy.

On Sunday, while I was at the Blu Elefant Cafe for a meet-up with the West Adams Knitters, Diane was working on a baby blanket.  She found the pattern on Ravelry, "Call The Midwife Inspired Baby Blanket."  "Call the Midwife" is a BBC television show currently broadcast on PBS.  From pattern-solver Rebecca's website: Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a nurse in London's poverty-stricken East End in the 1950s, "Call the Midwife" is an extremely moving story of a group of women who face incredible odds to bring life after precious life into the world.
Naturally, LOTS of crocheted and knitted baby blankets are featured on the show.  Many of the patterns definitely have a 1950s,1960s look to them.  Rebecca liked this pattern, so she figured out how to crochet it and offered the pattern on her website.
Photo from Rebecca's Website

I perused Ravelry patterns a bit and used "filet crochet baby" as my filtered search words.  I found more patterns almost like this one.
The description of the Easy Crochet Flowers Baby Blanket by Sara Turner states, This is a very simple baby blanket pattern, just a repeating block of double crochet and chained flowers, which I adapted from an ancient pattern I inherited from my grandmother.

Crochet Pattern Chart by Sara Turner

Aha! So, this is a vintage pattern!  I love when TV shows get the details perfectly.  Either the set designer found this baby blankie in someone's attic or at an antique store, or had it made from an old pattern.
Jessica McDowell's "Peter" baby blanket is another version of this flowered grid design. Jessica says that the traditional style of this pattern reminds her of illustrations in "The Tale of Peter Rabbit."

Jessica McDowell's Peter Baby Blanket

I've narrowed this pattern a bit and am using it for a crocheted scarf.  I bought a beautiful skein of Anzula Squishy in the Raspberry colorway during the L.A. County Yarn Crawl at Twist, Yarns of Intrigue in Manhattan Beach. I like the results. 

Ellen's "Raspberry Midwife" Scarf

Once I get a pattern in my head that I like, I use it over and over again with different yarns. I think this flower-grid pattern would make an excellent washcloth or table place mats!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Pyrex is Here!!!

2015 is the 100th anniversary of the invention of Pyrex.  I love Pyrex. It's so sturdy, dependable and easy to clean.  When I saw an advertisement for some limited edition 100th anniversary Pyrex for sale, I just had to have one, or two, or a few!

Pyrex is a division of Corning.  Corning Ware is my next best kitchen love. Swoon.
Pyrex Delivery! I may have bought a few for my friends.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vogue Knitting Live, Pasadena #vkl

Friday was my day at Vogue Knitting Live in Pasadena. I attended a class from 2-5 pm with instructor, Kristy McGowan. The class, "In-Depth Intro to Top-Down Contiguous Sweater Construction" was excellent. I learned quite a bit. Kristy really covered a huge amount of valuable material.
Yarny Stars, Barry Klein, Laura Bryant, Merilynn Burnside/FoxyKnits and the Lady from KOIGU in Canada

Initially, I was registered for Dora Ohrenstein's "Crochet Top-Down Sweater Construction" class. I was disappointed that the people at Vogue decided to cancel most of the crochet classes. Maybe they should have waited longer to see if registration improved.

The Melting Snowman at Mochi-Mochi Land

My friend, Diane and I met up in the Market Place to check out the various booths.  I really enjoyed the yarny art presentations: The Teepee, Ben Cuevas' anatomical knitting and the MochiMochi-Land display! A few of the installations were not up yet. Since Friday was my only day at VKL, I would have appreciated it if the MarketPlace had been fully set up.  Also, many of the fashion shows and workshop booths did not happen on Friday.  One more complaint: The MarketPlace should have opened earlier on Friday, so that people with early classes (9 am-noon) would not have had to wait around for the Market to open at 4pm.

Koigu Gnomes at FoxyKnits

I saw many friends at VKL, people I had not seen in ages. This made for a very fun afternoon.
Clockwise from top left: Lynell, Merilynn, Jackie, Carol, Ellen, Nancy, Marie, Diane

I purchased a few goodies, but did not go overboard. Even though Diane and I left Pasadena at drive-time on Friday night, around 6 pm, our ride home was traffic-free!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

We're Off to See the Wizard!

The Wizard of Bras, Monrovia

I took the day off Friday so I could take a class at Vogue Knitting Live in Pasadena.  It was a wonderful class with Kristy McGowan called "In-Depth Introduction to Top-Down Sweater Construction."  More about this convention of yarnies tomorrow.
Before my 2pm class in Pasadena, my friend, Diane and I drove out to Monrovia to visit The Wizard of Bras
When I hosted "Friday Night Blues Revue" on KPCC-FM Radio, I was in the Pasadena area EVERY week. I would visit all sorts of unusual stores before air-time. One of them was The Wizard of Bras. I love that store. They have every size, shape, color and fabric of undergarments for women available. The sales ladies give extra attention to fit and comfort. 

The store is literally on the Myrtle Avenue off-ramp of the 210 Freeway. You can't miss it. There's a small parking lot in back or street parking. The front room at the shop has all sorts of custom-to-fit bathing suits, hats, purses and more. When Diane and I walked into the shop, this darling girl (I cannot remember her first name, darn it) looked at me and asked if I wrote a blog. "Yes," I said. It's called L.A. Is My Beat." She smiled and said that she followed my blog. "Are you Ellen Bloom?" I am a sub-mini-celebrity in Monrovia! Naturally, I asked if I could get a discount at the store if I mention it on my blog.  "Maybe next time," Ms. Duran said.
My Blog-Fan

Anita came out from the back room, asked me a few questions and we went into the dressing room. Within about 10 minutes we found the bra of my dreams. The Wizard has a huge selection of brassieres and other under-garments.

Inventory at The Wizard of Bras.  Photo courtesy of Wizard Website
The Dressing Rooms are completely private. Photo courtesy of Wizard Website

I purchased two bras, one in beige and one in black. Another wonderful service at the Wizard of Bras is, that if you need any alterations after wearing your bra for awhile, they will do them, free of charge. After usual wear, the straps and elastic tend to stretch out. The seamstress at The Wizard will take them in so that your under-garment will fit you perfectly again. Also, if the hooks come loose, they will replace them. I was given an instruction flyer on how to wash and care for my bra. What a wonderful store!
After this arduous shopping trip, we were extremely hungry! We headed back to Pasadena and stopped at the legendary Pie 'n Burger for lunch. We needed fortification for our yarny adventures that afternoon!

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Vogue Knitting Live - Briefly

Ellen at The Yarn TeePee, #vkl

We had a great time at Vogue Knitting Live in Pasadena today. I took an excellent class and went to the Market Place. I saw tons of friends and some beautiful yarn!
More details on Monday. I'm exhausted!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hip Mitts

OK!  We finally got it! With the help of Mr. Larry, using my super-fab iPhone camera, we took this photo of the Lacy Fingerless Gloves that I've been crocheting.  I wanted to get a good angle so that you could see the picot edge on the mitts, along with the additional thumb and bottom crab stitch edging.  Larry's cool white guitar is a great background to make these mitts pop!
The yarn is acrylic, Tessan Ahlens Tempo, sport weight from Holland.  I made some modifications to this pattern:   I started out with a foundation single crochet instead of chaining for the beginning of the glove. The FSC is stretchy! After I finished the body of the glove, I crocheted a row of single crochet around the entire rectangle before forming the glove. I also added a bit of a thumb in single crochet, in the round. I bordered the bottom on the mitt in reverse single crochet and the top of the mitt with a row of picot stitches, so I would know which way was up!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Those Wacky Dragons

"Game of Thrones" Mitts.  Photo by Beth Ann

Everyone is watching and talking about Season 5 of HBO's "Game of Thrones."  It's an involved story and brilliantly cast. I work at HBO and feel compelled to watch the show, but I must admit that I have to check HBO's Synopsis after every episode just to keep the characters straight in my head!
The "Game of Thrones" theme has shown up in the knitting and crochet world.  Just put the title of the show in the Ravelry search window for patterns and tons show up! There are lots of fingerless mitts with each House's symbol on them:  The House of Baratheon has a wild stag; The House of Lannister has a fighting lion, etc.  There is a House of Stark, "Winter is Coming" beanie pattern. The "Night's Watch" Shawl is quite lovely. 
Daenerys Targaryen and her baby dragon

There's always lots of talk about the character, Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) and her gaggle of dragons. the items translated to knit and crochet patterns concerning these dragons are my favorites.  I LOVE "The Game of Thrones Inspired Dragon Egg."  
Dragon Eggs

The Baby Targaryen Dragon is adorable. The Wyvern-style Dragon flies. 
Baby Targaryen Dragon

Wyvern Flying Dragon

The pattern for the baby flying Wyvern is really fantastic. Somehow, these fire-breathing dragons look so cute when they're small.  Hah!  Just wait a season or two until they grow up and get all frustrated from being kept in the dungeon.  You'll see some fierceness this season!
Naturally there are many shawls and scarves that mimic dragon wings.  I love them all!
Mother of Dragons Shawl
There isn't a pattern available for these particle Dragon Mitts, but I'm going to figure them out on my own and make a pair!

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Hiren's BootCD
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