Friday, January 30, 2009

Obsession #185

Noro Kureyon Yarn, #185

I am obsessed with Noro Kureyon, color #185. I'm a 185-a-holic. I have lots of this colorway. I'm afraid that Noro may discontinue it one day. There's something about this particular combination of colors that just knocks me out. I suppose I could just put solid yarns together in stripes, using similar colors, but it just wouldn't be the same.
I have knit and crocheted many projects with this colorway.
FAN-tastic crocheted scarf

crocheted and felted tote bag

Fernwood Woolworks knitted socks

knitted striped scarf (#185 with #172, for variety)

unfinished cable knit handbag

in progress, crocheted newsboy hat

in progress, Seraphina Shawl, crocheted with sock yarn

Last night at the WeHo SnB, Lauren suggested that I fashion a costume for next year's Halloween Stitch 'n Witch where I become a skein of Noro Kureyon #185. Excellent idea, Lauren...thanks!

I will continue to knit and crochet with this incredibe colorway, as long as it survives. Cheers to #185, Noro and to you! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 29, 2009


Ongoing events this weekend: Get your knit-on at the HomeGirl Cafe Alameda and Bruno, Downtown, 2-5. It's Metro close, just east of Chinatown. If you're there, watch out for traffic, the Golden Dragon Parade celebrating Chinese New Year is Saturday!
Track 16 Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is continuing their exhibition, "Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef." This show continues through February 28. It's a must-see!
Saturday and Sunday at
Descanso Gardens in La CaƱada, you can see the most beautiful flowers at the Camelia Festival.
Sunday is the 43rd Super Bowl. If you won't be glued to your television and want a yarn break and you live in the SF Valley, head over to Unwind in Burbank. They're having a huge Super Bowl Sunday Yarn Sale from 10-6pm. In Valley Village, The Stitch Cafe is having their big Super Bowl Yarn Sale and Party, 9am - 5pm. If you live on the Westside, head over to A Mano, bring a nosh to share for their Anti-Super Bowl Party and Sale, 12-5pm.
Also on Sunday, the Los Angeles Conservancy is hosting a FREE walking tour of L.A.'s downtown evolving skyline.
Oh yeah! I was going to show you that gorgeous Araucania Ranco yarn I purchased at Wild Fiber's back room..HALF-PRICE!!!Hope to see you around town this weekend!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Best of the Vests

I have many slender friends. It's always quicker and easier knitting and crocheting clothing for these tiny people! I came across this pattern on the Lion Brand site for a granny square vest and really liked it. HOWEVER, I have seen this particular vest ridiculed on a few blogs. I happen to like this pattern. I may not have used the colors designated by the designer, but basically, this pattern rocks. Remember, "granny squares are the building blocks to fashion." I was fooling around with some Noro Kureyon yarn and figured out that if I followed the schematic for this granny square vest I could also utilize a sideways, double crochet pattern and eliminate the need for sewing squares together and weaving in ends.....even quicker! The pattern says that for size small each square is three inches. To get larger squares, the pattern says to increase your hook size. Twelve double crochet stitches equal three inches, using the Kureyon, size "H" crochet hook; four rows equals three inches for my gauge. So, I chained 36 stitches and proceeded from there. The dark color changes, using Noro Kureyon #172 made this vest a striped delight! I added a picot edge and a loop at the neck edge for one button. Perfect birthday gift for my co-worker, Aileen! I will be crocheting more versions of this winning pattern for other slenderellas out there!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chester Place

The Doheny Mansion @ Chester Place

On Sunday, Larry and I were invited to the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party for the Los Angeles Conservancy. This year the meet-up was set for The Doheny Mansion on Chester Place, St. James Park, Los Angeles. This is now part of Mount Saint Mary's University, close to the USC Campus, near Adams and Figueroa. I'd been to the mansion years earlier for a musical performance, but never during daylight hours.
LA Conservancy Volunteers, assembling for group photo

The mansion was owned by oil baron, Edward L. Doheny. It was built in 1901 and is a combination of Gothic, English Tudor and California Mission architectural style. The interior has been remodeled over the years, but the basic footprint of the home is intact. We were allowed to tour the lower floor rooms (excluding the kitchen area). All of the rooms are very grand, decorated beautifully and maintained perfectly. I took a picture of the Pompeii Room, before I was told that interior photos were not allowed. The dome in the Pompeii Room is by Louis Comfort Tiffany, famous for his work with stained glass.
Tiffany designed dome of the Pompeii Room

There were docents in each of the areas to give us some background history of the place. The Doheny Mansion can be rented for private parties, meetings, filming and conferences. You can also tour the mansion with an advance reservation. I think that you can just walk around this gated community during daylight hours. It's worth a visit, just to see how the fancy people lived in the early 1900's in L.A.
Chester Place was the first gated community in Los Angeles. As we walked around the neighborhood, we noticed many other beautiful large homes. None of the other houses seemed to be as large or grand as the Doheny mansion though. We noticed a small chapel in the modernist style, probably built in the late 1960's. It looked out of place among those 100+ year-old buildings, but it was my favorite building that day. I'm a modernist at heart.
Modern Chapel @ MSMU

It looks approachable, not gloomy and foreboding like the mansions. That's another reason why I love Los find little pockets of history all over this town!

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 26, 2009

Byzantine-Latino Quarter

On Saturday I ran errands in the morning. Later in the afternoon I was headed over to the Fairview Knitters group. Since I zoomed out to Santa Monica a bit early, I stopped in at Wild Fiber for the second time last week. I didn't have to leave my end of town early, but subconsciously (and consciously) I wanted to go back to Wild Fiber. That beautiful store is like a magnet for me. Their back room is chock full of half-price deals. I'd picked up some gorgeous Araucania Ranco yarn in pinky-purple tones last week ($9 for over 300 yards!). I started crocheting a Seraphina shawl. The shawl is coming out so beautifully, that I decided to go back and see what other colors of this great yarn were on sale. I came away with a lovely later this week.
We had a nice time at the Fairview Knitters group. When it's winter, we meet in the community room at this little gem of a mid-century-built library. In the warmer months, we sit in the patio. Natalie was our surprise guest on Saturday. We all had a great time discussing patterns, yarn and Ravelry.
I just didn't feel like cooking dinner when I got home, so Larry and I headed over to Papa Cristos and C.K. Imports on Pico Blvd. at Normandie in what is now called the Byzantine-Latino Quarter of Los Angeles. St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral is across the street from this great restaurant and market. In the old days, this area of town was essentially populated by Greek people. Today, it is predominantly Latin, however, many of the Greek businesses still exist...hence the name of the area. It's always enjoyable visiting St. Sophia's when the Greek Festival is takes place in early September and there's always music, dancing, great food, lectures on how olive oil is made, etc. It's worth going just to see the inside of the Cathedral. It is truly beautiful.
Back to Papa Cristo's. The food is simple, hearty Greek food. We had an appetizer of sizzling feta cheese and tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and spices with grilled pita bread. We shared a chicken plate which contained half of a rotisserie chicken, Greek salad, roasted potatoes and some Greek olives. Everything was truly delicious and very reasonable.

After dinner we wandered through the market side of the establishment. They have a marvelous selection of Greek food products: Olive oil, olives, wine, breads, meat, hummus and baba ghanouj, tahini, pastries, condiments and more. We parked in the FREE parking lot in back. As we walked back to our car we noticed a mural on the storeroom wall of lovely ladies preparing and cooking chicken! In fact, this place is full of murals. Check out the mural of a Greek village on the side of the building.This place definitely warrants a field trip. You really should visit.
Papa Cristo's and C.K. Market, 2771 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006, Phone: (323) 737-2970, Fax: (323) 737-3571, Open Tues-Sat 10am - 8pm; Sunday 9am-4pm, closed Mondays.

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 23, 2009

But It Was On Sale!

The other day on my lunch hour I wandered into Wild Fiber Yarn Shop in Santa Monica. It's really dangerous that I work within minutes of four excellent LYS (Wild Fiber, Compatto, Yarns Unlimited and Stitching is an Art).
Wild Fiber has an excellent selection of Noro yarns. I was looking for a multicolored-striping yarn with lots of true red in it. Alas, Noro yarns tend to the orangey-burgundies and pinky-purple warm really red reds.
Of course, I wandered into Wild Fiber's back room where all the yarn and books are half-price. I came upon a bin of Araucania Ranco. I had purchased some of this in brown tones during the Wild Fiber sale last month. Well, now this fantastic yarn was 50% off the regular price of $18 for 376 yards! I was immediately drawn to the pinky blend below.I also picked up a few skeins in blue tones. I never have blue or beige yarn for gifts when I need it. I couldn't keep my hands of this gorgeous light weight yarn. I immediately started my preferred crocheted shawl pattern: Seraphina, size "G" hook. I may keep this shawl, I may be crocheting this for a Christmas gift. I like to be prepared. There's a group on Ravelry that is working on holiday gifts for December 2009! I may just join.Forecast in Los Angeles is rain for the weekend. A perfect time to crochet, knit, watch TV and listen to all of my new CDs!


Thursday, January 22, 2009


Friday Events:
Compatto Yarn Salon is having a "Knit 'n Sip" evening. Call this great little Santa Monica yarn shop for info: 310/453-2130.
My old friend, Doug MacLeod is performing at McCabe's Guitar Shop. Doug and I were blues d.j.s on public radio at the same time. Once in awhile, we were guests on each other's shows. He's an excellent singer/songwriter/humorist and musician.
Another one of my favorite groups, I See Hawks in L.A., is performing at the Cinema Bar on Sepulveda Blvd., just north of Washington Blvd., WLA.
Saturday Events:
Get your knit-on at the HomeGirl Cafe Alameda and Bruno, Downtown, 2-5. It's Metro close, just east of Chinatown.
Track 16 Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is continuing their exhibition, "Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef." This show continues through February 28. It's a must-see!

The Crocheted Coral Reef

From 3:30-5:30, the Fairview Knitters will be meeting at the Fairview Branch of the Santa Monica Library, Ocean Park & 21st, Santa Monica.
Our friend and fellow L.A. Conservancy Mod Com member, Pete Moruzzi will be reading from his book "Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground" at the Santa Monica main library at 2pm.

Ellen, Pete and Larry @ earlier book signing

On the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. the L.A. Conservancy hosts their "Union Station Walking Tour". Call the Conservancy for ticket info: 213/623-2489. If you take this tour, you'll be across the street from Olvera Street (fabulously entertaining) and right near Chinatown. This weekend is Chinatown's celebration for Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox. It should be quite festive!
Hope to see you around town!

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Hat Was Made For You and Me

Pete Seeger has always been one of my favorite singer/songwriters. I still own his "How to Play the 5-String Banjo" book that my brother gave me when I was about 9. I've seen him play live a few times. Once, when I was a child at the world famous Ashgrove in West Hollywood; another time at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica; and the last time I saw him perform was at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, about 10 years ago. His performances always move me.
Well, there he was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, singing Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" with Bruce Springsteen, among others. Pete was wearing this great looking knitted wool hat. After his performance (he RAN off the 89 years old!!!), I immediately got online and searched "Pete Seeger's Hat." It seems that this hat is a Socklady pattern from Solemate Socks. Apparently, this pattern has been discontinued. There is a grassroots movement to bring back the pattern and re-name it The Pete Seeger Hat. Quoting KnitSquirrel, "this hat was made for you and me." Leave a message on the Solemate Socks blog if you agree!

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen @ "We Are One," The Obama Celebration Concert
at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1/18/09

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Equality for All

Equality for all...even reptiles and turtles! I saw this mural on the window of Medusa LA, a fish and reptile store, Pico and Westgate, West LA. It's kind of wonderful.
Obama fever has swept the art world! While at Bergamot Station this past weekend, we ran into artist and art collector, Michelle Page, who has commissioned artists in Nepal, India to paint dog portraits on metal.
Michelle recently commissioned the Nepalese artists to paint
portraits of Barack Obama on metal. They are really fantastic and a wonderful homage to our enlightened new President.
In the words of the Reverend Joseph Lowery at today's inauguration..."In a joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us to work for that day when blacks will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right." Amen.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 19, 2009

From Downtown to the Beach

I was at both ends of the City on Saturday. I started out early Saturday morning in Chinatown. A few of us met up at the Empress Pavillion for a dim sum breakfast to celebrate Natalie's birthday. I love going to picturesque!

Joe and Natalie

If you've never experienced a dim sum meal, you really should try it. Ladies come by with metal carts full of goodies like dumplings
filled with pork, chicken, shrimp, there's tofu porridge, potstickers, spring rolls, duck's feet, sesame desserts, mango pudding and many more delicacies.

Yarn makes Natalie REALLLLLLY happy!

You just choose the dishes you want to eat forever and ever. Eventually, you are full. Everything looks so is! Breakfast was divine...the company was lively...and Natalie receiv
ed many wonderful well-deserved gifties! Thanks for the party, Joe!

Natalie's Fan Club

After breakfast, I zoomed home to pick up my crochet tools and then headed out to Santa Monica to participate in the Hyperbolic Crochet workshop where we learned how to crochet with plastic bags.

Hyperbolic Crocheted Coral Reef

There was a huge least 60 people showed up .

Ana Petrova

I met up with Joan, Ana and Holly. After a few instructions, some of us helped others and we proceded to work. My fellow WeHo SnBr, Laurie Ann was there and related some of her afternoon teaching newcomers how to crochet on her blog.
The workshop was just OK. I really didn't learn anything new, but it's always fun getting together with other crocheters. I must say, the exhibit is amazing. You really should get over to Track 16 Gallery at Bergamot Station and see the Crocheted Coral Reef! The exhibit runs through February 28. Hey! This might be an excellent field trip (along with a mini-Santa Monica yarn crawl) for the Knitster Krewe!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 16, 2009

Me and 5,000 Others

Larry's Scarf

Want some quick knit satisfaction? Want to be endlessly pleased and amazed while you're knitting? Then, start knitting the Noro Striped Scarf! 5,000 people on Ravelry have made this scarf. There's even a Flickr site!
Ellen's Scarf

Since the colorways in Noro Kureyon and Noro Silk Garden are long, the striping affect by alternating rows with two different skeins, using a 1 x 1 rib, is infinitely entertaining. I finished the scarf I was knitting for Larry. I used Noro Kureyon #185 and #172, size 8 needles. I was so smitten by this scarf that I started one for myself using more #172 and then some odds and ends of leftover skeins of Kureyon from other projects. It's like the stripes have possessed me. There's some sort of mind-control going on here. I can't stop knitting!
Today is Natalie's birthday! She's galivanting around town today having a fine time, I'm sure. A few of us plan to meet up over the weekend and
celebrate some more! Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Crocheted Coral Reef

There are lots of events this weekend for the arts-minded person in Los Angeles. Get your knit-on at the HomeGirl Cafe Alameda and Bruno, Downtown, 2-5. It's Metro close, just east of Chinatown.
Track 16 Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is continuing their exhibition, "Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef." I'll be there this Saturday from 2-4-ish for a workshop on crocheting with plastic bags that will precede the lecture about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It's fun just to walk around Bergamot and see what's showing at all of the other galleries.
Copro-Nason Gallery is having an opening that night: The Masters of Zap Comix, featuring original artwork by famous artists, R. Crumb, Robert Williams, Rick Griffin and more.
Famous R. Crumb Image

My show-biz guru, Billy Vera and his band, The Beaters are appearing later that evening on the SM Pier at Rusty's Surf Ranch.
The big event this Sunday is Pasadena's Doo Dah Parade. Our very good friend, Charles Phoenix is the GRAND MARSHALL of this event! Congratulations Charles!
It's a free day on Monday at the LA County Art Museum for everyone in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr's. Birthday.
Kingdom Day Parade is always entertaining. It starts at MLK and Crenshaw and continues to Leimert Park where there will be a festival. If you've never visited the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, you really should. It's filled with cool shops, restaurants, clubs and art galleries.Hope to see you around town this weekend!

Labels: , , ,

Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery