Monday, June 29, 2015

Put a Fork in it...Done!

I finished my "RozGhan" over the weekend.  This will not be given to my Mom until the holidays, but I wanted to use up some of the blue and green yarn in my stash NOW!

Thank you, Mr. Larry, Afghan Display Model

The pattern I used for each square is called "Willow."  I love this square pattern.  It's fun to do, not repetitive, holds my interest, but is not difficult. I also love crocheting solid color squares. They are fast and require weaving in only two ends...the beginning of the motif and at the end. 

The "Willow" Square

I did crochet a multi-color square for the bottom corner. This pattern looks like a sunburst to me, so I used sun colors for the "signature" square. For this reason, the afghan reminds me of a decorative quilt pattern.

Sunburst with a Chocolate Box Edge

I wanted a simple border, so after I finished the 6-row by 8-row group of squares, I crocheted one row of single crochet around the whole piece. THEN, I crocheted a 3-row Chocolate Box granny pattern around the entire afghan. I think this simple border is quite effective. 

All specs for this afghan are found on my Ravelry page.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

"Adam and Steve"

"Marriage Equality" by Tony de Carlo, acrylic on canvas

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry, no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.
I am reminded of my friend, the late artist, Tony de Carlo (1959-2014) and his depiction of various "Adam and Steve" paintings throughout the years. Tony would have been very happy to see this decision today.  
"Adam y Steve" 

"Adam and Steve and Child"

"Adam and Steve, Ants and Bees"
I am proud to own MANY of Tony's paintings and wood cut-outs. Below, our first purchase, many years ago. Congratulations, America. RIP Tony.

"Carondelet Street, Los Angeles" 
All paintings, above by Tony de Carlo, acrylic on canvas.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Seen Around Town

Big Roots, Park La Brea

I like to snap photos as I'm driving or walking around Los Angeles!

Ambassador Dog & Cat Hospital

Terrazzo, DTLA

Applying the strips to the Bacon Building, Miracle Mile.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Four Years Later

Sport Weight Acrylic Yarn

Four years ago I found this yarn shop, south of Little Tokyo, downtown L.A.  I don't think it's there anymore. The shop only sold acrylic yarn in all weights and colors. The thing is, you had to purchase a whole bag of 12 skeins of ONE color of yarn. You could not get a mixed bag. That's 12 skeins!  I ended up buying a bag of sport weight, olive green rayon yarn...12 skeins for $24. This is approximately 3,500 yards of yarn. Wow!

Interior, Mexican Thread and Yarn Co., 2011

I experimented with a few patterns for this yarn, but nothing was quite right. The yarn has been marinating for four years. I finally found a pattern I want to make with sport weight yarn. I'm crocheting the "Toasty Poncho" by Lili M. Chin. My poncho will not be "toasty." 

"Toasty Poncho" by Lili M. Chin

This is sport weight yarn, perfect for summer.  Also, the pattern says that all the stitches are treble crochets. I started the pattern and noticed how quickly it was moving along. Treble crochet stitches are long. After checking Ravelry and few other people who have made this pattern, one lady said that the pattern was written in U.K. terms. In the United Kingdom, a treble crochet stitch equals a double crochet stitch in United States terms. Oh well. I like the airy look of the treble crochet stitches, so I am going to continue in this manner.

I'm glad that I've finally found a use for this yarn!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Talented Friends

Hat form with knitted flowers and leaves

Last Saturday at the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild Meeting we viewed the results of a 3-month challenge.  I wasn't able to participate, but many of my friends did.  The challenge was to use the yarns given to you in a packet (KnitPicks yarn) and create something totally fabulous.  I believe that only two colors of yarn were in each packet, but that members of the challenge could swap and borrow yarn from each other, if needed.
Creative Cowls

WOW!  I was very impressed with the results.  The membership voted anonymously for the winners. I hope that the creators of each project are announced in next month's newsletter!

Huge dolls with yarn wigs, wearing knitted items, doing needlework

It was great to see everyone so involved with this event! There were tea cozies, pillows, mitts, hats and more.

Beautiful Fair Isle Sweater and Hat for creepy "Stepford" baby doll

LOVE the Monster Family!

Carol Hayes' Mouse with Giraffe in Pocket! The winner for "Most Creative"

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Fancy Cars!

Yesterday, after breakfast at The Nosh in Beverly Hills with Mom, Larry and I wandered a few blocks east to the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.  The car show ran down Rodeo Drive from Little Santa Monica to Wilshire.  Every ritzy European car was represented.  All the super-flashy man-cars were on the street.  Many of my Facebook "friends" were there, but the street was so crowded, that Larry and I didn't run into anyone we recognized.  I noticed that most of my friends posted photos of cars like this one (below).
Super-Testosterone Man Car
I guess these are dream cars for guys.  Me?  I like cars that I might actually drive around town. There were plenty of cleaned up normal cars in the show.  Here are some of my faves:
It's an OPEL!

A modified electric VW Van

Larry and his fave "rat-rod"
The "Entourage" car.  LOVE those suicide doors!

Anderton Court Shops, designed by architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. 1952
Anytime I have a chance to stand in front of this gorgeous building, Anderton Court, is a good day. 
We saw this cool car on Little Santa Monica, just outside the show. No speed bumps allowed!

It was a sunny day, with a slight breeze...a perfect way to spend a late Sunday morning in Beverly Hills!

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Land-Locked Luau


1959. Reseda Republican Women's Club Members get into the mood for their benefit Hawaiian fete. Notice the diving board and no visible water in the swimming pool.

I do love going through the L.A. Public Library photo collection. Here are a few photos from the Valley Times Collection from my search of the word "luau." Since this is the Valley Times, all of the photos were taken in the land-locked San Fernando Valley. Of course, there is no shortage of swimming pools in the Valley. That's where most of these luaus must have taken place!
1962.  Members of the Woman's Club of Burbank will gather with their husbands and guests for their first social event of the year, a luau at the clubhouse.
1963. Burbank Jr. Woman's Club members get in the mood for their Hawaiian Hootenanny.
1965. Flowers set the theme for the Canoga Park Emblem Club's annual summer luau.

Well alright!  Time to dig out the tiki torches and exotic cocktail recipes, practice some ukulele songs, press my muu-muu and prepare for summer luau time!  Have a wonderful, hot summer weekend!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Close, Convenient, Tasty and Reasonable

The car wash that I frequent most often, Expert Car Wash, is on La Brea Avenue at 9th Street, just north of Olympic Boulevard.  For the past few years I've noticed that the hamburger stand on the property changed to a Japanese restaurant. They cleaned up the little building, added a patio and some festive lanterns. I've been wanting to try this place for awhile.
Isa is small inside, but there are tables on the patio

On Tuesday, just as the car wash was closing, we ventured over. Easy parking at closing time! Isa is open seven days a week from 11am-11pm. They specialize in curry, udon and ramen. I'm not a big sushi lover and I'm not so sure about car wash sushi. The people at the next table ordered some though and it looked fresh.
I guess this means that Isa is open on holidays

I ordered the salmon teriyaki which was served with rice, salad with miso/ginger dressing, miso soup and a taste of kimchee. Larry ordered the creamy chicken ramen. His bowl was gigantic!  

Teriyaki Salmon Dinner

Creamy Chicken Ramen

My small bowl of miso soup was a bit too salty for me, but the rest of my meal was delish. Larry's ramen broth wasn't quite as rich as the nearby Ramen Jinya, but it was chock full of chicken and there were TWO eggs! We will be visiting the Isa again! Close, convenient, tasty and reasonable.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Work In Progress (WIP)

Title, prompted by the V-Shaped Shawl

I have so many Works in Progress (WIPs), that it's not even funny. Many of these "hibernating" projects are really mistakes...not the correct yarn for a certain project; wrong size; lost interest in the stitch pattern or color. You know what I'm talking about.
Sometimes, I get inspired by a certain yarn. Ms. Natalie was clearing out her stash at the WeHo SnB last week. Brenda C. and I each took two skeins of this lovely Delicious Yarn called "Sweets Fingering." This prompted me to look through Brenda’s patterns on Ravelry. All of her patterns are knit. I’m more of a crocheter, but I really do like the shape of Brenda’s Molto Bella Shawl. Years ago, I used to make ponchos with a very similar construction…a V-Shape. The V-shape always reminds me of a PEACE sign….OR, the VICTORY sign!

I decided to copy this shape and size and crochet a shawl with Natalie’s beautiful yarn. I’m using a crochet stitch from the Provence Summer String Bag.

I’m crocheting random-sized color blocks for this shawl. I've added another similar yarn, for the borders and edging.  The third yarn is a skein of my friend, Drew’s yarn in a beautiful coral color. There is a pinky-coral dot of color in Natalie's grey yarn, so I think this will work out. I have LOTS of Drew’s Inappropriate Yarn in the "Tiki-Torch" colorway, enough for an edging and a lacy border. I like how my V-shaped shawl is turning out. The shawl is a perfect light weight for summer.

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