Friday, November 16, 2018

Early Thanksgiving Celebrations

Every year since I was a tiny girl, my Aunt Mae and Uncle Marvin have hosted our family Thanksgiving. Aunt Mae is my Mother's older sister. Here we are in 1956 at Mae's and Marvin's duplex on Spalding Drive in Beverly Hills. Those old duplexes had huge dining rooms!
At the head of the table, Grandpa Sam, Aunt Mae (standing), Grandma Freda, Cousin Marilyn, Cousin Janet, Uncle Bob, Aunt Celia, Mom (closest to the camera), Me, Cousin Carolyn
After Dinner. L-R, Ken, George, Grandpa Sam, Bob
Our family has grown substantially over the years. For about 15 years, our group of about 25 has convened at the Del Rey Yacht Club. This year, we're back at home! We will be at Cousin Carolyn's and John's home in Valencia. It might be crowded, but I'm really looking forward to a home-cooked Thanksgiving. Of course, we will have our deli-style appetizers before the traditional meal. There will be chopped liver, herring, dip and chips and more. We may even have LEFTOVERS this year! Woo Hoo!
Here's most of our LARGE family in 2017
I'm grateful that we'll be together again this year.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Triangles Baby Blanket

One year later, and my cousin Gena sent me the cutest photo of her little girl, Edie and the baby blanket that I crocheted for her. I'm always rewarded when I see that the things I make for family and friends are put to good use!
Edie, making good use of her blanket!
That Edie is one adorable kid! I LOVE those chubby cheeks! Edie definitely looks like her Mom Gena, Grandpa Andy and Great Grandma Metta!
Edie as a baby with her Auntie Jo
A reminder to Mom Gena...the blanket is machine washable and dryer safe!  I'm working on a few more cuddly blankies right now!

I used this tutorial to crochet the triangle squares. The blanket is crocheted with Red Heart "With Love" Yarn, worsted weight+, crochet hook size "I." I added the Chocolate Box Granny stitch around the edge of the blanket. 

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Pray for Rain!

FIRES! California is a mess! Luckily, we are safe where we live, however the skies have been might smokey lately. I have relatives who are fighting for their homes. Pray for rain.

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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Charity Crochet

It’s time to crochet this blanket.  #crochet #grannysquares #grannytriangles 
#hearts #guncontrol #stopkillinginnocentpeople #thousandoaks #borderlinebar
This blanket is good too!

I don't have patterns for either of these blankets, but they are easy enough to figure out just by looking at the photographs. This triangle square tutorial may be helpful too. 
I love to crochet and knit. I'm a fairly fast crocheter, especially with a quick granny square pattern. I've made many blankets for donation. I've made preemie baby hats, chemo caps, red scarves for foster children and more. These patterns caught my eye because of their simple message. We need more heart in this world.
Scroll down and check out these websites if you'd like to contribute. 

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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Red Scarf Project

Thanks to my co-workers Rosalyn, Cameron and Nicole for modeling this year's Red Scarves!
Time to root through your stash for red, burgundy, cherry or russet yarn! Even though we're gearing up for holiday knitting and crocheting, let's take some time to help out The Foster Care to Success Organization. They are collecting red scarves for their project! Years ago, my friend, Photographer, Gale Zucker told me about this wonderful group. Gale photographed the models for the advertisement below. I thought this would be a good time to think about others and help out this community of deserving students.
Above Photos by Gale Zucker
From the website:  We launched a unique initiative to warm the hearts (and necks) of college-bound foster youth. We began taking donations of handmade red scarves to put into our Valentine's Day Care Packages for young adults who have left the foster care system.
Here are the scarf guidelines.
It's easy. All you need to do is knit or crochet a soft red scarf, 5-8 inches wide and about 60 inches long. A uni-sex style is best...not too lacy or frilly. Include washing instructions and maybe a note of encouragement to the student. Remember, the scarf does not have to be solid red. It can be a shade of red (burgundy, cherry, russet, stripes with red, etc.)
Mail the scarf or scarves to: 
Foster Care to Success
Red Scarf Project
23811 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 210
Cleveland, OH 44122

The Organization only collects scarves from September 1st through December 15th because of storage limitations. You have plenty of time to complete your scarf! If you can't decide on a pattern, there are a few suggested patterns on the website. Get going! You'll feel good and so will the student! It's a win-win project!
I crocheted 3 scarves this year. 2 red, 1 burgundy!
I bought a skein of this gorgeous red yarn at the recent Stitches West from the Needlepoints West booth. I think I have time to make one more scarf!
One more proposed scarf!
If you live near me, give me your scarf by December 10th and I'll mail it for you!

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Thursday, November 01, 2018

In Progress

I usually have about two or three (or ten) yarny projects going at the same time. Sometimes, I'll be all gung-ho about a project and start, get half-way finished and then lose interest. Maybe I'm stuck at a certain stitch, size of the garment, whatever. There are more than a few tote bags in my workroom sitting with half-finished pieces. 
Right now, I have three things that I'm working on in rotation. If a project is sitting near the TV, then you'll know that I'm still interested.
I've been actively crocheting chemo caps for my cousin's cancer patients at the UC San Francisco hospital for years. Many of my fellow knitters and crocheters have donated tons of hats. Here are two that I finished recently:
Crocheted Chemo Caps
This is a design that I adapted over the years. I start with a circle, using front post stitches. Once the circle is large enough for a standard head-size, I stop increasing and use the granite stitch for the rest of the hat. Sometimes I add a colorful pom-pom, flower or twisty pieces to the top of the hat. This is a great way to use up various half-skeins of soft acrylic yarn.
Wollhaus' "Mira" Slip-Over

Over the summer I started this slip-over sweater I saw on the Wollhaus Yarn Shop website. It's called "Mira" by Elizabeth Smith. I decided to make it into a warmer sweater, using blue worsted weight acrylic and making the sleeves long. I'm at the sleeves now and hope to finish by the time the weather gets cooler in Los Angeles.
Working on the sleeves of my "Mira" Sweater
Every Saturday afternoon I meet up with the Ocean Park Fiber Artists at The Coffee Bean in Santa Monica. One of the members is my ol' yarny friend, Barbara Schwartz. I met Barbara when she used to attend our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch meetings. Barbara uses the MOST beautiful yarn in her projects. She has made a number of simple ponchos that consist of a shawl-like straight piece, joined along the top edge to form a neck opening. The basic size of of this rectangular piece is 22" x 48".
Barbara's Rectangular Ponchos
I have two huge skeins of Kauni Wool that I've been hanging onto for YEARS. The colors used to work with my brown hair...that's how long I've had the yarn! Luckily, there are strips of a taupe-gray color in this yarn too, so it will work with my now SILVER hair! I decided to use Barbara's formula for a poncho and crochet one, using my favorite filet stitch taken from THIS blanket pattern. This will be a long-term project because I'm using a rather small crochet hook with thin yarn.
The beginning of my "Barbara" Poncho
In addition to all of the above, I just finished three red scarves for the Red Scarf Project!

I'm also thinking about holiday gifts. I usually make something small each year for the KnitGrrlz. I'll never top THIS project, but I do have something fun in mind!
How many projects do you have on the needles and/or hook right now?

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Blue Monday

1626 So. La Brea Avenue, Mid-City, Los Angeles

Over the weekend, we had high hopes that the Dodgers would be traveling to Boston for the last few games of the 2018 World Series. No such luck. By Sunday, it was over for the Blue Crew. HOWEVER, we still had a spark of hope on Sunday morning, so we drove over to the "Dodger House" on La Brea Avenue, Mid-City Los Angeles.
Artist Hector "Tetris" Arias and his crew of graffiti artists painted a tri-plex for our beloved team. The house had been sold and was scheduled to be torn down within the next few weeks. The real estate development company that purchased the lot for future apartments hired Hector and his crew for the job. They even painted the L.A. Dodgers logo on the roof so it could be seen from the sky!
Photo by Stu Mundel, KCBS Eye in the Sky Reporter
Lots of people were swarming all over the outside of the house, including into the backyard where remnants of paint cans and rags were stashed. One of the painters arrived with extra lights to place on the front lawn so that the house could be seen better at night from passers-by.

It's quite a site to see. Drive by if you have a chance in the next few weeks. It reminds me of the PINK HOUSE from last year. I miss the pink house.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

"Can We All Just Get Along?"

The wise words of Rodney King, 1992, Los Angeles.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Stitch 'n Witch - 2018

The planets revolve around Sarah's SUN/SON

Oh! We had a great time this year at our annual Stitch 'n Witch Spooktacular. Our theme this year was free-form, Halloween, Have Fun! We had some very clever costumes. My personal favorite and winner of the Most Original Prize was a very pregnant Sarah with her "SUN/SON" costume!
Also fantastic and VERY clever was Amy's "Yarnicorn." Amy won the prize for Best Use of Yarn in a Costume!
Amy is the YARNICORN
This year's prize for MOST WILD costumes went to the Sara, Richard, Vivian and Simon family for their depiction of South American Animals. Sara knocked it out of the park once again with her mad costuming skillz!
South American Animal Family, Vivian, Simon, Richard and Sara
Everyone brought delicious treats to share too. The prizes were great. Thanks to Mary Jo, Jennifer and Amy for adding to our prize bags! 
We were happy to see Ms. Natalie of Hollywood show up, last minute, for the festivities. Natalie returned that very day from a European sojourn. She was definitely jet-lagged, but rose to the occasion for our annual Halloween party photo!
"Evil Eye Ellen" and "Hilo Hattie Natty"

To view more photos of this fun event, click on this LINK. Happy Halloween!

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Ideas are Everywhere!

Vintage Jack in the Box

I see designs everywhere. Of course, I'm always thinking about yarn and what sort of designs I can knit and/or crochet with yarn. I'm especially fond of grid-like, graphic designs. When I see the front of a vintage Jack in the Box fast food place, I see a perfect afghan or quilt design!
Turned on it's side, Jack's design is perfect for an afghan!

Some of my friends are bee keepers. They post photos of their honey-gathering efforts on social media. I'm immediately reminded of a hexagon crocheted motif!
Honey Bees
My Hexagon Motif Tote Bag
Alicia's Hexagon Table Runner

Breeze block is another favorite. Breeze block walls are made from concrete cinder blocks. Breeze blocks are cinder blocks that have been cut out in such a way that when stacked together they make an eye-catching graphic pattern. These walls are most popular in warm climates, like California, so that the breeze can flow through the wall while still maintaining a bit of privacy.
Popular Breeze Block Pattern in Los Angeles
I still haven't finished this blanket, but I love those BREEZY squares!
I recently participated in the Ravelry Dishcloth Swap of 2018. Everyone crochets or knits 5 dishcloths using the same pattern, turns them in and then gets 5 different cloths back in the swap. One of our group members, Becky, crocheted the most alluring cloths. They are so colorful and very mid-century modern in design. This pattern is called the "Kawung Motif" by Atty van Norel. This also reminds me of a breeze block pattern!
Breeze block that reminds me of flowers or leaves!
Becky's Kawung Motif Dishcloths
The possibilities are endless!
The instant I see a new and inspiring design, I want to try it out! There is not enough time or yarn in the world for this! How many projects are you working on at one time?

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Halloween Anticipation

Bob's Donuts @The Farmers Market never disappoints!
Every year for the past 14 years we've celebrated Halloween with the West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch group. We meet every Thursday night at the Original Farmers Market, 3rd and Fairfax, in the upstairs dining area above Kip's Toyland (an excellent store, by the way).
We always bring treats to share!
Sometimes we have a theme for our costume party. Sometimes we don't. As long as we're having fun, bring treats and take lots of photos, it's always a fun time!
Our Cruise Director, Ms. Natalie of Hollywood and I are the planners of this event. We often get help with prizes from some of our members. The use of yarn in a costume is a plus! Here are some of our costumes throughout the years. Ms. Natalie and I usually have our photo taken together! I hope Natalie makes it this year. She is returning from a long trip to Europe on the DAY of our partay!!!
The "Spirit Animal" year
The "Grim Ripper" and "Spider Granny"
Our British Theme Year. I guess Natalie is a cool Carnaby Street Chick and I'm some yarny version of Boy George!?!
Spirits and Mythology Theme. Natalie is Kitsune. I am Malabriga!
The Tim Burton and/or Movie Theme Year. I am "Wonder Granny" Natalie is "Zero"

The "Mash-Up" Costume Year. Natalie is "Mummy Dearest" and I am "M*A*S*H and UP"
The early years with Poodle Natty
My fave, all-time costume: The Red Heart Queen of Crochet
This year our theme is "HALLOWEEN!" So, just make it up! Have fun! Be scary. Be ironic. Bring a treat and have a blast!
2018 Prize Bags are ready!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery