Thursday, November 29, 2007

We Have Winners!

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Single Wristy Syndrome....Cured!
Many of you are just tooo tooooo speedy! Sitting at their computers yesterday, waiting for me to post were winners, Laurie Ann and Sharon! They were the first two people to answer my question correctly. The question: "What does my auto license plate say?" The answer: CROCHET. Laurie Ann and Sharon will both be receiving a copy of the book "Knitspeak" and little Knitspeak magnets sometime next week. Congratulations!
Thanks for the fantastic response! I didn't realize just how many people actually read my blog everyday. I know I don't get as many comments as Crazy Auntie or the Yarn Harlot, but I always enjoy the responses that I receive from YOU, YOU and especially YOU!!!
On to another subject....JURY DUTY. I reported to the Hollywood Courthouse today. To my surprise, my knitting needles and crochet hooks passed thru the security with no problem! Woo Hoo! It's a good thing too! I was there all day, knitting away on the wristys. I finished two orphan pairs! No more SWS for me!

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Almost Completed...Just have to sew up the orphan!

My group didn't get called into the courtroom until after lunch. 18 people were questioned, the Court dismissed 6 people. I have to report again tomorrow to see if I'm chosen to be on the jury. Sigh. Hopefully, I'll just have another full day of knitting and then get dismissed. We'll see what happens. Luckily, the Courthouse is across the street from my most favorite Thai restaurant in L.A., Palms Thai. That's the place where the Thai Elvis performs in the evenings.
What's up for this weekend? many things to do. On Saturday, Peter Shire's Echo Park Pottery is having it's "Holi-daze Hustle" from 1-5pm...always a fun hang. Peter's place is also open on drop by. The address is 1850 Echo Park Ave. He has marvelous pottery for sale, food to eat and live music! Saturday evening, Larry and I are attending the West Adams Homeowners Association Historic Home Tour and Progressive Dinner. Sunday, I'll be over at Compatto in Santa Monica for Laurie Perry's book signing and reading. In between all that, I hope to get my knit on and finish up more holiday gifties! Have a marvelous weekend!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jury Duty

the scales of justice
Ack! I've been calling in ALLL week and have been excused. Tomorrow (Thursday) I have to report to the Hollywood Court for jury duty. I guess I can take my crocheting, but might have the knitting confiscated. I'll bring plastic needles and see what happens.

Results of today's contest will be announced tomorrow evening.....after court!

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Remember when I wrote about "knitspeak"? It's a great little book. I use mine all the time for quick knit references. I'm waiting for the "crochetspeak" book to come out!

The publishers of "knitspeak" have been kind enough to give me two extra copies of this little pink book, along with magnets, to offer to YOU for a holiday gift!

The first two people to e-mail me,, and answer the question below correctly, will receive one copy of the book and a magnet. Keep the book for yourself or give it as a gift.
image can be used for an iron-on t-shirt transfer
THE QUESTION: What does Ellen's auto license plate say?


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Single Wristy Syndrome

Single Wristy Syndrome

You've heard of "single sock syndrome." That's when you knit up one sock, then you get bored or distracted and never knit up the second sock. This has happened to me. Has it happened to you?

I am now suffering from "single wristy syndrome" (SWS...not to be confused with Patons' wool solid yarn). Maybe I spy a perfect ball of yarn for a pair of wristys. I knit up one wristy, then I spy another ball of yarn that would also be perfect for a pair. Well, I want to see what that new yarn will look like knitted up. This has happened to me quite a bit, during my marathon holiday wristy knitting program. As the holidays draw near, I'm finally going back to all of those single wristys and knitting their partners.

SWS will not trap me. I am determined to finish up my 20 pairs of wristys for Gift-giving--2007!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to Normal

OK, the Festival of Eating is over. I haven't been bloggin' much because I was on vacation last week. We ran around town alot. We saw Joan Tucker's art opening at the Milo Gallery on the Miracle Mile;
Artist, Joan Tucker
went to the Felt Club; got my knit-on with the Eastside Goils in Montrose;
Eastside Girls in Montrose w/Devil Baby
met up with Ana Banana at Azalia's sale and picked up a few goodies AND saw Ana's latest knit creation;
Blue Heron Yarn creation by Ana
stopped by the Farmers Market on T-Giving Eve for dinner with the Chicken Girl and the usuals;
Amy @ The Farmers Market
T-Giving at Punch Grill in Santa Monica; went to Carnival Restaurant in Sherman Oaks on the day after T-Giving with Cousin Myrna, et. al.,
Beef w/ Hummus @ Carnival
stopped by the Wild Fiber 2-day sale on Saturday and found some 50% off yarn. You know....just the usual running around!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Yes, our family Thanksgiving at Punch Grill in Santa Monica was great. We had a marvelous dinner and a faboo time. I'd rather knit than blog today....check out the pix and have a lovely weekend!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Easy as Pie

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Felt Turkey from Munky King Stuffed Show
Pie really isn't that easy to make. I don't know who said that! My personal culinary hero was the recently departed Peg Bracken. She wrote the "I Hate to Cook Book". Now, I don't really hate to cook, I just like to have lots of time to really plan my cooking. In this day and age of working overtime, traffic and busy schedules, who has time to cook? Not me, that's for sure! Besides, why waste time in the kitchen when I could be knitting or crocheting?
I used to cook all the time. I am a good cook. People expect me to turn out an excellent meal when I invite them to dinner. I usual comply. However, I have taken Peg Bracken's philosophy of using prepared, canned and frozen food to heart and have tried to come up with guaranteed crowd-pleasing side dishes with little or no effort.
OK! You are invited to a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. You don't have to bring the turkey (thank goodness), but you are expected to bring a side dish. Here are some easy "recipes" that will please your hostess and their guests. If you're going to make any of these recipes, you must go to the market right now! These are not last minute choices. There is de-frosting to be done!
That easy pie I was talking about? Well, it's pumpkin ice-cream pie. Get yourself a prepared graham cracker pie crust at the market. Pick up some seasonal pumpkin ice cream and a can of whipped cream. When you get home, leave the ice-cream out so that it melts. You may want to scoop a bunch out of the container into a bowl so it melts faster. Once the ice-cream is sufficiently melted, pour it into the graham cracker pie crust. Cover the pie with the plastic domed cover the crust came with and pop it back into the freezer overnight. When you're ready to serve the pie, top it with whipped cream and slice! This is an excellent substitution for "real" pumpkin pie.....very light and refreshing after that heavy turkey dinner!
Your hostess asked you to bring a vegetable side dish. Don't go all ordinary and bring that tired old green bean casserole with the mushroom soup (although this is an excellent dish, using my beloved cans o' stuff). Instead, bring a delicious spinach souffle. Back at the supermarket, pick up 5 containers of Stouffer's Spinach Souffle. Once at home, release the souffles from their packages. You may want to just dump them into that large bowl to defrost them, or you can dump them directly into your 13" x 9" serving dish. (Note: Awhile back, I was thinking of writing the "Dump and Shove-It Cookbook"). Once all the souffles are melty, smash them up a bit and distribute the spinachy goodness evenly in the serving dish. Bake the souffle according to package directions (usually about an hour). You may have to cook this a bit longer so it's not soupy. Keep a watch on it thru the oven door. You'll know when it's done. Pop your perfect souffle into a hot carrying case and take it over to your Auntie's house.

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Cousin Marilyn and Larry @ Past Family Gathering
If your hostess asks you to bring something starchy...something like potatoes? Dazzle her and say that you'll bring a Mac 'n Cheese casserole! This is the same idea as the spinach souffle, above. This time, go to Trader Joe's and buy 5 containers of their frozen macaroni and cheese, it's positively delicious. If you don't live in an area where there is a Trader Joe's Market, then good ol' Stouffer's can be substituted. Defrost, place in baking dish, smoosh around. I like to add extra grated cheese on top with some bread crumbs and a dash of paprika before baking....about 35 minutes.
If you volunteer to bring the cranberries, you can do this at the last minute. Buy a can of whole berry cranberry sauce (the chunky kind). Then, buy a can of mandarin oranges. Open up both cans, drain the mandarin oranges and cut them up a bit Mix the cranberries and oranges together, place in an attractive serving bowl, chill and serve. If you really want to impress, grate a bit of orange rind as garnish on the top.
You'll be the hit of the party with your divine contributions to an excellent meal!
What is my family doing this year for Thanksgiving dinner? We're going to a restaurant!!!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Felt Club

I'm on vacation this week, so I haven't been blogging as often as I usually do. I'm just tooooo busy having fun. Today I met up with the eastside ladies, Madgik, Mary, Marie, Wendy, Patty, Barbara (and more) in Montrose Village for their Monday morning knit-meet. We met at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for a few hours, then walked down the block to a good Mexican restaurant for lunch. I love being a lady of leisure.
This past Sunday, Larry and I went to LACC for The Felt Club extravaganza. It was great! There were so many booths with wonderful crafts. It was extremely inspiring. We ran into Brit and Tad, Angela and her husband with Baby Ari, designer Cecily Kim (we're ravelry friends, but had never met in person), Cathy of California and many more crafters. I picked up some beautiful hand-dyed yarn from Mary Janes Attic and an "E" vintage typewriter key necklace drop.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Felt Food

I went to the Munky King Gallery on Melrose near Poinsettia in West Hollywood to see the new show, "Stuffed." It was whimsical and wonderful. The show of stuffed food sewn from felt and other fabrics is toward the back of the store. The show will be up thru December 3rd. It's a must-see!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Baby Model

Baby Tommy with his all-girl fanclub
Remember the darling hat and booties that I made for Baby Tommy? Well, Tommy visited his fan club at the office today, modeling his designer duds. He is totally a chick magnet!
The close-up photos are slightly blurry, but you can see how adorable this baby boy is!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Plush Art Announcement

Candy Corn by Jelene Morris @ Munky King
After the WeHo SnB tonight, I'll be heading over to the Munky King on Melrose and Poinsettia to see "Stuffed: A Plush Food Show." I am extremely fond of fake food sculptures. The only thing better than crocheted food is sewn food made out of felt and other groovy stuff.
Speaking of felt, The Felt Club is this Sunday. There's been lots of publicity about this craft extravaganza show and sale. It will be held in the quad at LACC. Get there early. It's always fantastic. My friend, Cathy of California will be there. And the always entertaining Charles Phoenix will be emceeing portions of the event.

Ellen's Crocheted Taco,

Currently Residing in the World Famous Crochet Musem,

Joshua Tree, CA

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kwazy for Koigu

Alice's Scarf
I wanted to whip up a quick giftie for my step-sister-in-law. She's visiting in early December and she's a doll! I dug through my stash and picked out a skein of beautiful Koigu KPPPM for a quick crocheted "Rhoda" scarf. I added a few more chains to the pattern to compensate for the weight of the Koigu sock yarn.I will probably crochet a picot edge around the entire scarf. There's just something about knitting and crocheting with Koigu that is so divine! I started another scarf for myself out of some more stash Koigu.


Fresh & Easy

There has been lots of hub-bub about the new Fresh & Easy stores in Southern California. There's a branch in Eagle Rock. Since Larry and I were in the neighborhood over the weekend, we decided to stop by. I had read about the store on many L.A. food blogs. I wanted to check out the place for myself.
Larry and I arrived on Saturday at 6pm, during the pre-dinner rush. The store was busy, but the shelves were empty! We talked to one of the Fresh & Easy employees hovering around. He said that they prepare fresh food once a day. Once it's gone, it's gone. Well, that's not gonna fly here in L.A. We need those shelves re-stocked constantly. Your first impression, when walking into a grocery store is very important. I got the impression of a poorly stocked, third-world market at the Fresh & Easy.

The food that we did see looked fine. The prices were O.K. The Fresh & Easy brand is on many food items. The store also carries common brands in cereal, toiletries, juice and other items. When I walk into a grocery store, I want to see the shelves fully-stocked and I want to have a variety of choices. Considering what I saw at the Eagle Rock/Glassell Park Store, I wasn't impressed. I'll see you at Trader Joe's and Von's.
Fresh 'n Easy
4211 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 255-1113

ADDENDUM - NOVEMBER 15, 2007: Thanks, Kevin, for referencing this post on your blog. I was also linked to Curbed LA. This has generated many comments on the new Fresh & Easy Stores. Thanks for the comments. I sent the F&E Corporate website my comments. They replied, "Thanks for your comments, we do appreciate your feedback. We are delighted at the incredible response from customers to our newly opened stores. As you can see, our fresh produce and wholesome prepared foods have proven to be very popular with everyone. In fact, these items are being cleared off of the shelves as fast as we can stock them. So, we are working very hard to bring in more items for everyone. We thank you for your patience as we get up and running and do look forward to seeing you soon! Best, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market."
I will certainly be visiting Fresh & Easy again to see if they have ironed out the kinks in their operation. I only wish they would open a store in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles. There have been rumors that a downtown F&E was to open at Adams and Central....still waiting.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Saturday Stitchin'

Stitchin' on Saturday at the F. Mkt.

On Saturday I met up with an off-shoot group of the WeHo SnB at the Original Farmers Market. This meet-up meshed with a ravelry meeting of spinners. We had an excellent time discussing yarny stuff! Lauren was there, along with Rainy, Andree', Zoe, blogless Vickie and a few other nice ladies.
Rainy Spins

Vickie's working on a beautiful granny square afghan. Zoe is almost finished with a darling pink cotton baby sweater.
Zoe's Baby Sweater

Notice this spinner's webby-tee!


Friday, November 09, 2007


Lovely Hands of Lisa P.
Patons Soy Yarn - Loden
12 down, 12 to go! I've made 12 pairs of wristys for holiday gifts. I have about 12 more pairs to go. Last night at the WeHo SnB, Jenna asked me how long it takes for me to knit a wristy. I timed myself one Saturday. If I make a cabled wristy, it takes 3 hours for each one....6 hours for a pair. If I just knit a 2 x 2 rib for the entire wristy, it only takes me about 1-1/2 hours per wristy....3 hours for a pair.

I've had various "hands" model my wristys for gift tag purposes. Below, is the hand of rugged "Bob" using his wristy to ward off the chill of an ice-cold brewski!
Rugged Hand Model, Bob
Dive' Teseo Yarn
This weekend, I'll be at the once-a-month Saturday WeHo SnB at the Original Farmers Market, upstairs dining area from 10 am to noon. I'll be running errands the rest of the day until Larry and I head up to Highland Park for the Second Saturday Gallery Night. The rest of the weekend will be spent KNITTING WRISTYS!!!
Have a great one!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Public Art in Our Town

Culver City Post Office
I love walking around Los Angeles and noticing public art that I'd never noticed before. Much public art in our beautiful City is hidden in the lobbies of buildings, on ceilings in out-of-the-way parks, etc.

Last week, Larry and I were having lunch in downtown Culver City. Larry often photographs historically significant buildings for the Los Angeles Conservancy, so he is an excellent source of public art and hidden treasures in the L.A. area. After lunch, while we were walking back to the car, Larry mentioned that there was a WPA-era mural in the Culver City Post Office at 9942 Culver Blvd. (near Sepulveda). We walked inside. Surprisingly, in this era of online shipping there was a long line of people waiting to buy stamps and ship packages. I suppose, since this branch is near Sony Studios, they get lots of walk-in business.

Up on the wall at the west end of the building is a lovely mural. I did a little online research and found out that the artist of the mural "Studio Lot" is George Euregy Samerjan. The mural was painted in 1941. It's an impressionistic view of empty movie sets on a backlot. When this mural was painted, MGM (now Sony Studios) was right around the corner.

I really enjoy exploring the City and finding little gems like this mural in an everyday location. What L.A. area places have you discovered lately?

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yipes! Stripes!

I bought a 10 skein bag of this divine Noro Big Kureyon #19 at the Great Black Sheep Knittery Sale of 2007 last summer at an extremely low price. I absolutely love it! I hadn't been able to think of what to knit or crochet with it. It's bulky, so crocheting was out. I finally decided to just go for it and knit up a big, comfy stripey sweater. I used size 10-1/2 needles and the top-down sweater generator. You should really check out the's incredibly easy and very satisfying.
This was a very quick knit. I finished it in about a week. I must admit, the horizontal stripes are not too flattering, but it's warm and cozy. Hence, the close-up of me wearing this stripey wonder is cropped cropped cropped!

I know I could have figured out an easy pattern knitting sideways, so that the Noro stripes are vertical instead of horizontal. There are many on the internet. Sonnett on is one of my faves and it would look awesome using Noro Kureyon and just stockinet stitch. I just love knitting top-down so I can try the sweater on as I knit. I'm so impatient. I suppose I should get that ol' knitting machine outta the box and see if I can make it work! I really must get back to all of my UFOs and those darn holiday wristys.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Desert Weekend

Larry and I had such a nice weekend in the beautiful California desert with our friends, Jacquie and Bob. There's just too much to talk about. I've uploaded a few slide shows 'cause pictures really do tell the story. I know there's a lot to look at here, but my pix might save you a trip!

First stop, The 1960's era Desert Hot Springs Spa for lunch.

Next stop, the Lautner Motel in Desert Hot Springs. The real estate sales photos make this place look waaaaay better than it really is. This place needs lot of work, but could be great.

We drove into La Quinta to Jacquie's and Bob's house. They graciously hosted us in their lovely casita for the night. The next morning we all drove to 29 Palms for the Art Studio Tours. First stop was Shari Elf's Art Queen Gallery and Crochet Museum in Joshua Tree.

We headed back to 29 Palms to Benjamin Bottoms' family home and sign museum. Ben is a painter and has an incredible collection of vintage signage on the property.

It was closing in on 4pm, the time that the 29 Palms Historical Society Weed Show was about to end! We wanted to get our votes in for the best display of weeds and desert objects. We were rushing back and forth along Highway 62 all day!

We finally had a chance to rest before dinner at the 29 Palms Inn. They grow their own vegies on the property. Everything is delicious and fresh.

On Sunday morning, we arose bright and early (due to the divine time change). We had a quick breakfast and then drove over to the 29 Palms cabin and studio of artists Mary-Austin Klein and Diane Best. Their artwork was excellent, but the standout at this stop was the vintage 1950's desert cabin. Everything had been perfectly preserved. The owners even had the original receipts for the "catalog" cabin and built-in metal kitchen. Even the furniture in the cabin was original!

We had been searching for Noah Purifoy's art and sculpture site for awhile. After much computer research, we finally found it. Noah passed away a few years ago, but his foundation has maintained his assemblage art site for visitors.

The antithesis to Noah Purifoy's area is the studio of Bobby Furst in Joshua Tree. Talk about organized and perfect! Bobby's artwork makes you think. He uses found objects in his work. He was getting ready for the closing party to the Art Studio weekend and welcomed us to look around.

After our tour, we waved a fond farewell to Jacquie and Bob as they headed off to Las Vegas. Larry and I drove back to L.A. after a most interesting weekend! Phew!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery