Thursday, February 28, 2013

Send me a Chart!

Karen's "Maia" Shawl

OK.  I bit the bullet and PURCHASED a pattern.  I don't know why I balk at purchasing patterns.  They are REALLY hard to write. I know.  I've tried.  The designer should be compensated for his/her work.  I guess I'm just accustomed to buying a whole book of patterns, not one at a time. 
I was so dazzled by Karen's "Maia" Shawl at the Student Banquet at Stitches West last weekend, that I couldn't get the pattern out of my head.  Here are some other "Maia" Shawls, found on Ravelry.

Now that I have the pattern in hand, I wound up some of Drew's beautiful "Gemstone" yarn and started the shawl.  ACK!  I need a chart.  I checked the list of everyone on Ravelry who has made this pattern.  So many of them say that the directions are easy.  Hah!  I've been crocheting for over 35 years and I think the directions are confusing.  I'm sure that if I sit in a quiet room, all by myself with photos of other versions of this shawl, I'll be able to figure it out.  I have discovered that I am a visual crocheter, not a literal one.  GIVE ME A CHART! PLEASE!
Ellen's feeble attempt at the "Maia" Shawl

I e-mailed Lisa Naskrent, designer and asked if there was a chart of the first few rows available for "Maia."  I haven't heard from her yet.  Updates soon.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Carved Wood Wedding Clogs

In my advanced years, I just cannot function wearing high heels or any other fashionably styled shoes.  I've been wearing clog-type shoes for a long time.  Danskos, Sanitas, Crocs and more.  Ever since my friend, Ana introduced me to Alegria clogs, I've been hooked.  Whenever I switch to different shoes, my knees hurt.  Yes, they're clunky looking, but I'm at the point in my life where comfort is key!
Traditional Wooden Dutch Clogs
Ellen's Tooled Leather Mules - not comfortable!
Felted Clogs (Ellen-left; Mary Jo-right)
Clear Vinyl Clogs, showing off socks knit by Mary Jo
Ellen's Latest Alegria Clogs
Which clogs do you like wearing the most?  Inquiring minds need to know!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spinning in My Head

MOST of my new yarn

After coming home from Stitches West and reviewing all of my photos, I have so many ideas spinning in my head right now.  Naturally, I do not want to work on any of my OLD  works in progress.  I want to start something NEW with my gorgeous new yarn!
Here are some of the wonderful pieces I saw at the Market Place, Stitches West:
A crown is a very useful wardrobe item
Bargello Sweater by Patty Nance
I can find patterns for many of these pieces, but I really like to incorporate a few ideas from outside work with my own viewpoint to create an entirely new garment!
Instructor, Gayle Roehm modeling Japanese Vest Pattern
Drop Stitch Sweater
Lacy Tee
Karen's Shawl.  I NEED this pattern!

Peggy's Koigu Granny Square Shawlette

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Stitches West 2013

Patty Nance's Yarn Clogs
We had a fantastic time at Stitches West this past weekend!  Brenda and I drove up to Santa Clara on Thursday morning.  With a stop for lunch at Harris Ranch, we made it to the Convention Center by around 4pm, plenty of time to register and attend the Market preview.  We had dinner that night with a few of Brenda's knit blogging friends in the bar at the Hyatt Hotel, next to the Convention Center.  I must say, it's really heart-warming to see hundreds of people sitting in the bar and lobby of a major hotel with knitting needles, crochet hooks and alcoholic beverages!

Brenda and designer, Kristin Omdahl

I had classes on Friday and Saturday.  Friday was my class about learning to read Japanese crochet patterns.  Gayle Roehm was the teacher.  Her information was invaluable.  I can't wait to utilize this info with some of the gorgeous yarn I purchased at SW.  The next day I attended a class by designer, Marly Bird, all about designing crocheted sweaters.  This class was full of useful information too!
Ellen and the Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky
Friday night Brenda and I ate dinner at a local restaurant with our friends, Ana and Kathleen.  There were so many people from L.A. that we ran into.  On Saturday night, we attended the Student Banquet.  I sat at a table with other members of the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild.  Dinner was delicious.  The highlight was the student fashion show...very inspiring creations!
Peggy, Ann and Karen @the Student Banquet
On Sunday, Brenda and I zoomed through the Market one more time to make sure we saw everything.  We headed home around noon and made it back to L.A. almost in time for the start of the Academy Awards.  I can't wait to sort out my yarn and ideas and plan my next project!
You can see MORE photos from this fabulous weekend here.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday

Very busy.  I'm at Stitches West knitting and crochet conference in Santa Clara with my yarny friends!  I'll be knittin' with my peeps and attending classes ALL weekend!  Have a wonderful one!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

On the Road


Driving up north today to Stitches West.....hanging out with my Yarny Girls!!!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stitches West!

Woo Hoo!  Very excited!  Brenda and I are driving up to Santa Clara tomorrow morning to attend Stitches West this weekend.  I haven't been to this fiber conference since 2007.  There will be tons of people there that I know from various SnB's around L.A. plus members of the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild
I'm really looking forward to taking a couple of classes.  On Friday I'm taking "Getting Started with Japanese Crochet Patterns" taught by Gayle Roehm.  I can read the Japanese charts, but I'm looking for more clues as to how to read these directions concerning weight of yarn, hook size, etc.  The Japanese crochet books are photographed beautifully.  I have many in my collection for inspiration.
On Saturday I'm in a class called "Curvy Crochet: How to fit Crochet Sweaters" taught by Marly Bird.  I've made many crocheted sweaters in the past, but they just don't fit as well as knitted sweaters.  I'm extremely impatient.  Crocheting is much faster for me than knitting, so I'd like to learn a few tricks to make crocheted sweaters as attractive as knitted ones.
On Saturday night there is a banquet and student style show.  This is always a fun event.  Students from all over the globe get on the runway and strut their latest knitting and/or crocheted fashions.  There are prizes in addition to little gifties for everyone attending.
The Market Place at Stitches West is amazing.  There are hundreds of vendors from all over the world.  I plan to visit my Slipt Stitch friend, Merilynn who owns Foxy Knits.  She is a major Koigu yarn distributor and is giving Slipt Stitch Guild members a discount on this faboo yarn.  Merilynn was kind enough to give me a copy of "Melrose."  This pattern is really gorgeous.  The photo on the Foxy Knits page does not do it justice.  My Ravelry friend, Suzanne, crocheted this pattern and her version is really a stand-out!  Such an inspiration.
Suzanne's "Melrose"

I do have quite a bit of Koigu and the very similar Pagewood Farms sock yarn in my stash.  I will be adding to it this weekend to achieve an excellent blend for "Melrose."
Uh, Oh...Natalie...I think that little ball of grey Koigu in the bottom left corner of the above photo should be transferred to you! 

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

License to Snap

It was a lovely holiday weekend!  Larry and I saw a few good vanity plates while we were zooming around town!
Pico & Beverwil, BH adjacent
"I'm a Prince" - Sawtelle Blvd., WLA
I saved the best for last!  This is my favorite vanity plate to date!
Look at the sweet Kitty bow on the window!!  Melrose Ave., WeHo

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Guild Meeting

On the third Saturday of the month, I attend the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild meeting at the Joslyn Center in El Segundo.  This is a very large group of knitters and crocheters.  In addition to a yarn-related raffle, refreshments, seeing what everyone else is making and communing with my yarny friends, we also have some sort of lesson at the end of the meeting.  This past Saturday we learned many different methods of knitted short rows.  Short rows are excellent for perfecting the fit of your sweater or for adding design details.  

I do love all of the gorgeous yarny items I spy at these meetings!  It's all very inspiring.

"Coquille" Shawl by example of short-rows for decoration
My friend, Ana taught the Japanese method of short rows.....very instructional.  There were two other teachers.  I could only wrap my brain around two teaching sessions.  Each teacher had 20 minutes to teach her method.  It was a bit rushed, but I still learned quite a bit.
Ana, teaching us the Japanese method for short rows
Ana's short row vest, in progress

After the Guild meeting, I had lunch with Ana and Joan W. at The Hummus Factory, across the street from the Park.  It was a delightful morning and afternoon!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery