Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Yummy Halloween Cupcakes, baked by Co-Worker, Jessica
Happy Halloween! We've been celebrating since last Saturday. Our neighborhood held its annual Wilshire Vista Halloween Haunts for the kids. It was extremely well-attended this year. Mr. Larry took photos of the event, of course. He prepared a scary mask, but couldn't quite figure out what clothes to wear with the mask. I unearthed an extremely cool tiki dinner jacket that I bought at a thrift shop 20 years ago. He was a Scary Swingin' Swizzler!
Tonight, we expect a few kids to wander by for candy. The parade of children in our area has dwindled in recent years, probably due to more secure organized parties. I'll be working on my costume for our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Witch party tomorrow night. If you're anywhere near the Original Farmers Market, 3rd and Fairfax, between the hours of 7 & 9pm Thursday night, you should really climb the stairs to the upper dining area and join in the fun. Mistress of Darkness Cruise Director for the evening is Ms. Natalie. She will be awarding prizes in three categories for costumes: Best Use of Yarn; Scariest and Best Dia de los Muertos Themed Costume. Many of us will be bringing treats to share.

Workin' on my costume


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You Asked For It

Everyone always asks me where I get my faboo eyeglass frames. I buy them at the yearly L.A. Eyeworks sale. I've posted about the sale in the past. It's a glorious sale. It doesn't matter which day you go because L.A. Eyeworks just keeps pulling out boxes and boxes of frames from their warehouse during the entire 3-day sale. It is quite incredible.

L.A. Eyeworks is located at 7407 Melrose Ave. (near Poinsettia), WeHo. The sale is this Friday (10-9), Saturday (10-8) and Sunday (11-5). See you there.
Ellen's Collection of L.A. Eyeworks Frames


Monday, October 29, 2007

Seen @ the Mall

On Saturday I was at the Century City Mall. WOW! I hadn't been here in awhile and I hardly recognized the place. There are so many new stores, new levels and new restaurants! You have to understand, this Mall grew out of the backlot of 20th Century Fox Studios in the mid-1960's. I lived about 4 blocks away. One of our fun things to do as kids was to ride our bikes around the perimeter of the new shopping center and see if we could get into the construction site. I also went to high school next door. We would often drop over to the Mall after school to check out the new fashions at Judy's or Joseph Magnin's. Years later, I worked at 20th Century Fox Studios and would go to the Mall at lunchtime for shopping. Needless to say, but I knew this Mall better than my own house! How things have changed. Not that this is a bad thing, just confusing for an old timer, like me.
On Saturday, I must admit, I was lost half of the time and couldn't quite figure out where certain stores were located. Eventually, I made my way into Macy's. Just inside the door there was a large display of hats, gloves, mittens and scarves. All were machine made, but resembled handmade knits.
Check out the competition below, my fellow knitsters and crocheters!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Working on the Wristys

I've been faithfully churning out knitted wristys for this season's holiday gifts. I think I have about 8 pairs knitted so far. That's what I'll be doing this weekend....knitting and crocheting!
Wristys in Noro Kureyon and Paton's SWS Yarn

Wristys in Vanna's Choice/Lionbrand Yarn

I still have to finish up my faboo WeHo Stitch 'n Witch costume for Thursday's Dia de Los Muertos party at the Original Farmers Market, upstairs dining area, 7-9pm. You're invited too!

I might just stop by the Stitches From The Heart Store to check out the sale. Hope to see you over the weekend.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stash Enhancement

Goodness knows I do not NEED more yarn. HOWEVER, during my travels this past weekend, I happened to stop in at two lovely LYSs. Compatto, a Yarn Salon on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica was having a half-off sale. I picked up four skeins of Tahki-Stacy Charles, Bunny Print. This yarn is super soft, 50% merino wool, 25% alpaca and 25% acrylic. I need a few different colors for more "wristys" for holiday gifts.

THEN, I zoomed south to Mar Vista to check in with the ladies at A Mano. I sat down at the table with Shannita and few others and knit a bit before checking out the yarns. This little shop is fully packed with yummy yarniness, along with every book and magazine on knitting and crochet. I purchased 2 skeins of Vergnasco' in a rusty colorway (more wristys). My eyes wandered over to yarn next to the cash register and knitting needles. There I spied some gorgeous Schaeffer Yarn in 100% mercerized pima cotton. The yarn is called "Laurel," but the colorway I chose is "Frida Kahlo." The color concept is one of a series created for memorable women in history. A short biography of Frida was on the back of the tag. How perfect! I often wear colorful, crocheted flower headbands to emulate my artistic idol, Frida Kahlo. I absolutely LOVE this yarn. Not sure what I'll make with it. Have you enhanced your stash lately?
I mentioned to Shannita about our WeHo SnB Stitch n' Witch party coming up on Thursday, November 1st. She wasn't able to attend last year, but she put the party on her calendar and she's coming next week! ALSO, Shannita graciously offered to add to our prize bags for the costume portion of the evening! Yippee....A Mano and Shannita are the greatest!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

While SoCal Burns

Close-up of Flames from Lady Linoleum's Flaming Bowling Bag

While the hills of Los Angeles and San Diego are burning, I've been watching it all on local TV while knitting and crocheting. Our neighborhood is covered in black ashes, even though we're miles from the blazes. The sky is a terrible shade of brownish haze. My heart goes out to all of the 500,000 SoCal people that had to evacuate their homes. It's always helpful to check the local Red Cross site to see if there's anything we can do for our fellow Citizens. Pray for rain.

I'm still working on various "wristys" to give as holiday gifts. I'm also working on some top-down sweaters in various stages of WIP-dom. As if I didn't have enough deadlines, I'm ALSO working on a portion of this year's Stitch n' Witch costume for next week's WeHo SnB Halloween/Dia del los Muertos party at the Original Farmers Market.

In between knitting and crocheting I've been reading "Knitting Classic Style" by Véronik Avery .
This is an extremely interesting book from a historical standpoint. Each chapter deals with different aspects of fashion that have inspired the author, "Fashion Mavens" like Christian Dior; "Tomboys" which illuminates the menswear influence in women's fashion ("Annie Hall", etc.); "Global Travelers" showcases ethnic influences and folk traditions in fashion; and "Thrill Seekers" which explains the inspiration that sports attire has had on modern fashion. All of this wisdom has influenced Avery's knit designs.
"Knitting Classic Style" is a very clever take on updating vintage patterns for the modern-day knitter. I may not actually knit any of the designs in their entirety, but there are tons of ideas and stitch patterns to take and work with while creating my own knit and crochet creations. I'm keeping this book for reference, plus, the photographs are beautiful. You can see photos of some of the designs here.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Seen in L.A.

Painting by Kathryn Jacobi
It was a busy weekend. We were all over the City, back and forth on the 10 Fwy. Below are some photos of our travels, starting at yard sales in Santa Monica and Mar Vista, to costume and mask-making in Mid-City, picking up some Schaeffer yarn at A Mano, back in Mar Vista, the new Samy's Camera in Culver City that still retains lots of model trains because Allied Train Company used to be in this building. On Sunday we took a trip to The Mosaic House in Santa Monica, then back to the Mid-City studio of artist, Kathryn Jacobi. Phew! Time to go back to the office and rest up.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Knit Success & Weekend Plans

Last night at the WeHo SnB, Joan brought her completed brown sweater. Joan is a new knitter. Her previous projects included two spa cloths and a pair of wristwarmers. She picked up crochet last year and really got into it, completing a scarf, a hat and maybe a few other small items. After seeing this year's fashion magazines, using chunky, bulky yarn for the latest sweaters, Joan decided that she wanted to learn to knit. We picked out some Wool-Ease® Chunky yarn in a beautiful, warm brown color, size 13 needles and started to knit! I modified a pattern that Joan found in a book and followed the lines of sweater in her wardrobe that she really liked. Joan is a knitting savant. She picked it up very quickly and within a month, her sweater was completed. Congratulations, Joan on your fashionable, oversized sweater!
There are lots of things to do this weekend. Larry and I will be attending a few estate sales on the westside early on Saturday morning, then I'll see if he'll swing by Compatto Yarn Salon with me for their fall sale! Compatto (2112 Wilshire Blvd., SM, parking in back) has a really wonderful selection of unusual yarns like Bamboo, Tencel, Yak and more.
On Saturday night, Copro-Nason Gallery at Bergamot Station also in Santa Monica is having an art opening and Halloween party. Can you just imagine the type of costumes that all of those wild low-brow artists will be wearing?
On Sunday, The Mosaic House (1116 Palms Blvd., Venice CA 90291, between Lincoln Blvd & Penmar Ave) is holding it's Fall (pre-Christmas) show of artwork and functional, whimsical pottery, 12 - 5 pm. The artwork and pottery by owners, Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran are truly worth seeing. Of course, it goes without saying that The Mosaic House is a folk-art landmark in Los Angeles. We've visted often and we always see something new with each viewing.

Close-Up, The Mosaic House Patio

See you on the Westside this weekend!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

One more scarf

Photo from "Knitting New Scarves"
Now that I'm a member of Ravelry, I've been adding to my yarn and pattern addiction. I've been queueing up patterns I want to make someday like crazy, fueled by others queueing up's a vicious creative circle! There are so many cleverly designed patterns out there. I have a huge amount of vintage knit and crochet magazines, so I've noticed lots of recycling of old ideas, using newer yarns and popular colors. I think it was the real estate developer, Del Webb, who popularized the saying "there's nothing new under the sun." Del was right.

HOWEVER, I was e-mailed a pattern by the publisher to download. The pattern is SHAG by Lynne Barr in her upcoming book, "Knitting New Scarves." I thought I'd had it with knitting scarves. Come on. Only beginners knit scarves! But, when I saw that this scarf was in 3-D, I was instantly intrigued. I don't think I've seen this exact design in any of my old knit books. I could always use this idea for a stand-up collar on a cardigan instead of making a scarf. Of course, the sample scarf in the photo is orange. That may have had something to do with my orange crush. Not sure what yarn I will use from my stash for this one, but it is intriguing!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Rippin' out that ol' olive poncho
In architectural circles, when someone speaks of re-use or re-purposing, they are usually talking about renovating an existing building and using it for purposes other than for what it was originally built. There are many examples of this around our City of Los Angeles. The Rancho Park Bowling Alley on Pico Boulevard near Prosser became the Stanley Holden Dance Studio (all those great wooden floors); the Stadium Theater on Pico and Livonia became Temple Bnai David (fantastic art deco design); the original Nibbler's Restaurant (formerly Armstrong-Schroeder's Restaurant) on Wilshire and Spaulding in Beverly Hills became the Israeli Bank Leumi (lots of dark smokey glass windows). Of course there are countless other examples.
I believe in re-purposing. I've often used cracked Tupperware for non-food uses (storing accessories); cracked coffee cups make cute little planters after drilling a small hole in the bottom for plant drainage; crummy old couch pillows look like new when you crochet a new cover for them.
I've been cleaning out my closet and I came across an olive green wool poncho that I made a few years back. The yarn is gorgeous. I'm not quite sure what the brand is, but I do remember purchasing it at the now defunct Emmaline's Yarn Shop in Kenneth Village, Glendale. Speaking of re-purposing, Emmaline's is now Itza Knitterie (Natalie recently blogged about the shop). Let's face it, the poncho has seen better days. It has gone the way of fuzzy eyelash yarn. The hip and stylish fashion magazines are not showing ponchos right now. It's over. So, I've decided to frog this poncho, even after repeated steamings, and see what I can make with this gorgeous yarn. My original poncho was of the asymetrical variety, knitted in a twisted drop stitch with a granite stitch crocheted border.
The poncho in earlier days
Do you have something in your closet that could be re-purposed? The possibilities are endless!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blue Marlin Restaurant

Found on Sawtelle Avenue
Today's post is HERE.
In addition to having marvelous restaurants, there are so many faboo shops on Sawtelle Avenue, between Olympic Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard in West L.A. I picked up some great Japanese crochet magazines (with complete charts) at the Asahiya Bookshop!


Monday, October 15, 2007


Exciting New Construction at LACMA
On Sunday afternoon Mr. Larry and I zipped up the street to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We hadn't seen the exhibition, "Arts in Latin America" yet. My knit/crochet friend, Alicia, works at LACMA and told us that this exhibit is a must-see. The Salavador Dali exhibit just started, but was way too crowded for us to check it out. We stepped into the LACMA courtyard, and who do we see? Alicia, of course. She was hosting a children's program for the day. We chatted for a bit, then went in to see the Latin America exhibit. Alicia was correct. This exhibit is a must-see. There were artifacts, sculpture, paintings, furniture, etc. from all of the latin countries.

Then, we wandered across the bridge to the 20th Century Art and Photography and toured thru that gallery. Our last stop was for shopping, of course. The giftshop at LACMA is awesome. I took a few photos of some of my favorite items. There were lots of Halloween-themed items. I'm waiting for the Members Discount Day...usually before Christmas, sometime in November!

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Crazy Aunt Purl Book Signing

Last night the WeHo SnB attended Crazy Aunt Purl's (aka Laurie Perry's) book signing at Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles. We all had a marvelous time. It was standing room only. Laurie was a major success! She looked great, she sounded great, the book is faboo! Congratulations, Laurie and best of luck on the book tour!

Los Angeles loves Laurie!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Little Knittery

I visited the new location of The Little Knittery last weekend. I didn't buy any yarn, but I was really tempted!! I was looking for a pair of size 7 circular needles with a short (16") wire to finish up the sleeves on Larry's green cardigan that I've been ignoring for months! TLK had the needles and Robin gave me a tour of the new shop.
The new space is small, but filled with light. There's a small seating area inside and a larger patio table in the back. The yarn, book and accessories selection is good. The Little Knittery offers many classes along with informal instruction. If you live on the east side of town, this is a good shop to visit.
The Little Knittery
3042 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village


Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I've been reading "Knitspeak: An A to Z Guide to the Language of Knitting Patterns" by Andrea Berman Price. Granted, I never have time to actually READ books! I'm too busy knitting and crocheting. I get a lot of radio, TV and iPod listening, but rarely any reading, unless I'm working on some boring stockinet and have a book holder.

However, "Knitspeak" is a huge help with my current knitting project. I'm knitting up holiday gifts of wristwarmers. I call them "wristys." The pattern that I'm using for the wristys said to use the mattress stitch to join the edges of the wristwarmers. I wasn't quite sure how to do the mattress stitch, so I just looked it up in the alphabetical section of "Knitspeak." Perfect! There was a clear explanation with pictures of how to accomplish this stitch. I figured it out and now my wristys are perfectly joined.

"Knitspeak" is organized with a section on pattern-reading basics, like what do parenthesses mean in a pattern? What knitting patterns don't tell you. Helpful hints. Using charts and common pattern conventions. The following section is an A to Z guide to the terms of knitting. I didn't know about "LLI", Left Lifted Increase. Each term is diagramed and described in plain English. Toward the end of the book is an Appendix that discusses guidlines for substituting yarns, how to read a yarn label, picking up dropped stitches, worksheets for planning a project and much more. The final section has a list of knitting abbreviations, so you can quickly refer to this list while working on a project.

The perfectly pink book is small in size, less than 5 x 7, so it will fit neatly into your knitting bag or purse. I've been taking it with me everywhere, just in case. You can always find answers to knitting questions online, but when I'm knitting in the park or at the Farmers Market, I don't have my 'puter with me. "Knitspeak" is a knitting lifesaver, even for a veteran knitter like me!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Birth of the Cool

On Saturday we were invited to attend the opening reception for a new exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art. "Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury" is just that....extremely cool. We walked into the 60's style OC Museum to the sounds of trumpeter, Jack Sheldon and his swingin' band, passed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, beautifully dressed people and mid-century art celebrities. It was quite a scene. We were invited because Larry photographed the outdoor furniture for the California Living show brochure.
The exhibit was a timeline of art, music, graphic design and culture from the 50's and 60's.

Photographer of the era, William Claxton was there, as well as many of the artists represented. We had a great time, hob-nobbin' with the big shots of O.C.!
The exhibit continues thru January 2008. It's a must-see!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Wristy Weekend

I was obsessive about knitting Wristys for most of the weekend! I finished up another pair made from Vanna's Choice yarn in a taupe color. I'm almost done with a pair made from mystery yarn, obtained from Beth, thru Faith, thru Heather (formerly of A Mano) at the WeHo SnB last week. I'm 90% done with the pair pictured above, made with Noro Kureyon, #150. For this pair of Wristys, I used this pattern.
I've been reading alot about wristwarmers online. It seems that people do not like a thumb sleeve in their Wristys, because it impedes their dexterity on the computer, playing guitar, etc. Woo Hoo! Much easier to knit these things without the added thumb! Thank you internets. Must go knit some more Wristys!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Wrong Number!

Whoa!!! Someone got a WRONG NUMBER! For the past two weeks, I've been receiving calls on my work phone for someone named Sarita (sp?). These calls have been occuring toward the end of the week...Thursdays and Fridays. Apparently, Sarita has been passing out flyers on the Santa Monica Pier for her escort service. Most of the men calling have sounded kinda' meek and shy. I ask them what phone number they just called. Yup, that's my number. No one here named Sarita. After a few more of these calls, I found out that Sarita was advertising her "services" on Craigslist. Yikes! I e-mailed Craiglist administrator to get my phone number offa' there!

Sarita is a poor typist. No wonder she can't get a regular job!

Have a marvelous weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Love the Lion

"Wristys" knitted with Vanna's Choice Yarn

There's a group on Ravelry dedicated to people that have a relationship with Lion Brand yarn. The group invitation says, "This is a safe space. You can come here and admit you love fun fur and no one will judge you. Or maybe you are a lover of their new wave of yarns. Either way, come on in! Welcome to the Lion Brand Cafe." Of course, I joined this group right away.

I have to admit that I use Lion Brand yarns quite a bit. I think the colors are fantastic, there's a variety of textures and it's highly affordable. Most of their stock is acrylic and cotton, but they have recently added wools and wool-blends. The other day I was cruisin' the aisles of Michael's and I ran across the new Vanna's Choice yarn, endorsed by Vanna White. It's100% acrylic, 170 yards per skein, worsted weight and about $3 per skein. The colors are marvelous and interchangeable. So far, I've knitted a pair of wrist-warmers (I like to call them "Wristys") with the Honey color, and am working on another pair in the Taupe colorway. I'm considering making tons of pairs for this year's holiday gifts. I like the idea of Wristys made out of washable yarn, since they are definitely gonna get dirty and will need to be washed often.
Taupe Colorway

I do love the fancy Manos del Uruguay, Koigu, Jaeger Wool, etc., but there's something comforting about good old-fashioned 100% virgin acrylic yarn. Hey! This is Southern California. We don't really need to wear WOOL!!!

Thank you, Handmodel, Lisa P.
Project Specs: Vanna's Choice yarn, size 8 needles. Cast on 33 sts. p3, k2. Every fifth row work a cable twist on the k2 stitches. Bind off after 9 or 10 cable twists, sew inner side seam, leaving hole for thumb. Crochet thumb sleeve in the round, size G crochet hook. Of course, you could also pick up these stitches with double-points and knit in the round for a bit.


Chulada Grille

Today's post is here! A truly yummy place.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Getting Ready?

Less than 30 days until Halloween 2007! This year at the WeHo SnB, we'll be celebrating All Saints Day or Dia de los Muertos on Thursday, November 1, 7-9 pm at the Original Farmers Market, upstairs dining area. Our cruise director, Ms. Natalie is planning a wonderful party. We always appreciate it when you bring yummies to eat too. All are welcome to attend, provided you come in costume. Natalie is planning three divisions of costume competition: Most Original Costume; Best Use of Yarn Costume; Day of the Dead Costume. There will be prizes!!!!
To inspire you, here are a few of my yarny faves from years past.
Kim's Incredible Freeform Wighat

Laurie Ann's Seasonal Candy-Corn Ski Mask
Regina's Severed Crocheted Fingers

The Red Heart Queen of Crochet

So, start thinking about your costume now! Even if you just wear a funny wig or a hat, you'll get into the "spirit" with the West Hollywood Stitch 'n Witch! Hope to see you there.


Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery