Thursday, October 20, 2016

Making Things for Friends & Family

I don't know if any of these ladies have EVER worn their flower headbands again, but it made for a great photo opportunity!

Holiday gift time is near. Many of my yarny friends are making items to gift to friends and family. Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes it's not. Usually, I only give yarny, handmade items to other friends who craft. They appreciate the work that goes into a custom item.
Recent Shawls for Nancy and Leah

When gifting someone with one of your own creations, it's usually safe to give them something where size does not matter...a scarf, shawl, household items, etc. I've made sweaters for my Mom and Husband, but I know their sizes and see them often enough to check the fit.
Checking the fit in progress on Mom's cardigan

You can ALWAYS make a tiny sweater for a new baby. Babies don't care what they're wearing. As long as you please the mother, the baby is sure to get some use out of your creation.
The Twins are a captive audience!
Mom Sara and Baby Vivian in her green cardi, whether she likes it or not!

Here are some of my successful yarny gifts!
Brooke's 70's Granny Afghan
Larry's Blue Cable-Knit Pullover
Suzette's Sock Monkey Toilet Roll Cover
Last Christmas I made hipter beards for EVERYONE, including me! They might not wear these in public, but at least they're cozy on winter days!
Hipster Beards for Everyone!
Jeff and Audrey

Are you planning your crafty gifts for this year's holiday season?  What are you making?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Today, I filled out my absentee ballot and mailed it in. It was my privilege to do so.
Voting is a sign that you believe in your democracy and that you feel that it is a worthwhile and important thing to do.  Therefore, every time you vote, it is a declaration that you believe in your country.
Before 1920, women in the United States of America could not vote. My own grandmothers could not vote in the years that their children were born. Thank you for fighting for our rights.
The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was ratified in 1920

Voting day is Tuesday, November 8, 2016. I am not going to recommend who you vote for or which ballot measures to support. It is just important that your choices are counted. Your vote can make a difference, especially on the local level.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Inspiration at Guild Meeting

Once a month I try to make it to the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers meeting. Sometimes, there are ukulele adventures happening at the same time and a possible conflict! In October, our meeting was switched to a Sunday due to scheduling reasons by the Joslyn Center, where are meetings are held. Win, win! I went to everything this weekend!
ESSS is really a great knit/crochet guild. We have monthly meetings, yarny challenges, classes, field trips and more. There are always refreshments at the Guild meetings. Along with the usual store-bought cookies and cakes, some members actually BAKED this month. There were home-made cookies and Jackie's delicious plum tart!
Jackie B's Plum Tart
After the meeting where we talk about old business, upcoming yarny activities and announcements, we have a "show and share" portion of our meeting. This is my favorite time. I just LOVE seeing all of the beautiful things that my yarny friends create. In addition to "show and share," I like to walk around during the break and take photos of what people are wearing. So inspirational!
Carol's Adorable Giraffe
Close-Up of Susan's Shawl
Close-Up of Kim's Shawl
Close-Up of Chinda's Sweater
Free Vintage Magazines for Everyone
This month we had a class after the meeting about joining yarn ends. One of our members, Laura, did a great job showing us various methods so that we wouldn't have any bumps in our knitted garments!
"Methods of Joining Yarn" with Laura
Everyone was enthralled. I love the looks on Sarah and Lenora!
On the way home, I spotted this great vanity license plate. Very appropriate to the knitty day that I had!
My kind of jam! Knitting and PURLING!

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Vintage Photo Friday - Venice Crossing and Beyond

Culver City-Palms Railroad Station, 1940. LA Public Library Archives

While I was shopping at our new Sprouts Market last week, I was wondering what this large piece of property was before it was made into a shopping center. The shopping center is called Venice Crossing. The Sprouts was formerly a Haggen Market, previously Albertson's. There's a Starbucks, Noah's Bagels, Ross Dress for Less and more chains.  
The Markets keep changing at Venice Crossing
Chain Stores at Venice Crossing

I do remember the A-1 Noodle Company being there, right next to what used to be the railroad tracks that run along Exposition Boulevard. You can still see the painted A-1 sign on what used to be the factory, from the tracks. Our new Expo Line now occupies these very same tracks.
In my hazy memory, during the late 1960s to the 1980s, I think this was just an industrial zone with the A-1 Noodle company and vacant land around the tracks, probably a few parking lots. Some of the areas were paved over, but the tracks were still visible. This particular line ran all the way west, behind the Westside Pavillion and ended at Fisher Lumber in Santa Monica.
Industrial Section of P.E. Tracks, facing east near La Cienega, 2007. Photo by Mike Palmer. This is how I remember the Venice Crossing area looking in the past.

Ahah! Culver Junction! I came upon some wonderful old photos online that described Culver Junction at this very same intersection, near Venice and Robertson. 
Culver Junction, located at Venice/Robertson, 1953. Photo from Historical Photos Expo Line
This was the Culver City-Palms Station, located at 9013 Venice Boulevard, a bit west of Culver Junction, serving both the Pacific Electric Railway Company and the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Palms Depot, 1953. 
The Palms Depot building is where a self-storage facility is today, near Vinton Avenue and National Blvd. in Palms. This particular building was saved and moved to Heritage Square Museum in Highland Park and now serves as their Visitor's Center. Most of those large palm trees were pulled out to make way for the Santa Monica Freeway in 1963.
My little section of Venice Boulevard has changed a lot over the decades. It would be unrecognizable to old-timers! Remember to take photos of mundane things on the streets where you live. One day, those buildings and streets will be changed forever!

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Valley Baby Blankie

Lauren and Eric are having another baby!  They want to be surprised as to whether it's a girl or boy. I chose a color theme of orange, lime green, yellow and some neutrals for a lightweight blanket. Lauren, Eric and their son Lucas live in the San Fernando Valley. It's hot in the Valley most of the time, hence the lightweight blankie. 
Jo-Ann's "Sensation Breeze" self-patterning yarn is the perfect yarn for this project.  Too bad they discontinued this yarn. I really like it! The yarn is 72% acrylic, 20% cotton and 8% nylon, fully washable and machine safe! Perfect for a baby to drag around the floor!
I crocheted the blankie with a size "H" crochet hook, using the Diagonal Box Stitch for most of the piece.  
After I ran out of yarn, I used the lime green and yellow version of this yarn for the border. I crocheted a granny border using the Chocolate Box pattern.  I paired the blanket with a few onesies in coordinating colors. Mama Lauren loves the blanket! I hope that Baby Astor #2 loves it too!
Lauren at our "Baby Sprinkle," WeHo SnB, Original Farmers Market. Market regular, Paul Mazursky looks on favorably!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Erev Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews. It is our day of atonement, a time to repent for our sins of the past year. From sundown tonight until sundown Wednesday, it is customary to fast and pray. The blowing of the shofar at the end of the temple service signifies the end of the fast. 
Portion of the Fairfax Community Mural, Canter's Deli, Los Angeles, by Art Mortimer, 1985

The early history of Jewish people in Los Angeles is very interesting. My own family followed the trail from East and Central Los Angeles to the Westside. A pictorial history is depicted in a wonderful mural on the side of Canter's Delicatessen, 419 No. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles. The Canter Bros. started their business in New Jersey, moved to Brooklyn Avenue in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles in 1931 and later to Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood.

Click on photo to embiggen!

If you live in Los Angeles, whether or not you are observant for this High Holy Day, take a drive by Canter's, park and really look at the mural. The highlights and history of our vibrant cultural Jewish life in Los Angeles, painted by Art Mortimer in 1985, are all there in glorious sepia and black and white for everyone to see, learn and absorb.

Have an easy fast and may you be sealed in the Book of Life!

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Friday, October 07, 2016

Fiber Cuteness

The Gift Shop at the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle was so colorful and chock full o' great items! I was surprised at all of the knit and crochet pieces.

Hydrangea Crocheted Hat
Felted Bird Houses
Most of the pieces in the Chihuly gift shop were garden oriented, of course!
Strawberry Crocheted Hat
Learn to Knit Project Kit
Large Felted Bugs and Veggies

Seeing all of this yarny goodness has made me want to dig right into the new yarn I purchased in Port Townsend!  Diva Yarn and Trim had Koigu ON SALE!
There's nothing like the feel of this gorgeous yarn!

Bazaar Girls Yarn Store had this gorgeous hank of Sonoma Yarn in the color way called Garden Party. They had the Indian Cross-Stitch Cowl by Dale Spears made up using one skein. I bought it immediately and got the pattern for free (well, for the price of the yarn)!
"Garden Party," Sonoma Yarn
There were so many more yarn shops I could have visited on our travels. I'm proud that I showed some restraint. HOWEVER, I cannot wait to see the new location of The Knitting Tree, my home yarn shop in Ingle-Chester this weekend!

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Thursday, October 06, 2016

The Road Home

Our long road trip is almost over. Yesterday, we zoomed across the state of Oregon. Most of the time it was raining and the road looked like this:
Fog and Rain in Oregon
We saw a few interesting sights along the way, including this old diner, The Burger Basket. Love that name.

Mostly, we just drove and drove and drove. When we finally reached California, the skies looked like this:
Beautiful Blue California Sky
We had a wonderful vacation. It was so much fun visiting with old friends. I LOVED the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival! Oregon and Washington have much to offer, but I'm really happy to be back in my home State of California!

Looking forward to seeing all my yarny peeps at the Saturday WeHo SnB at the Original Farmers Market!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery