Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cutie Pie!

Ah, this brings back memories of my college days at the University of Connecticut where I spent more time visiting the barns (it's an agricultural school among other things) than in the library.  Spring was the best time with all the lambies being born.  In the evening, the babies would be all tucked in with clean hay and soft glow lights in their pens surrounded by their siblings with mom planted securely in the middle of them all.  It was a quiet and most peaceful nursery.  My roommate made such fun of me.  Where's Suze, people would ask.  She's down talking to the sheep.  Ha Ha.  One night I absolutely insisted that she join me on my evening rounds.  I wanted her to understand and bless her heart, she did.  She was entranced and finely understood the pleasure of being in a hay-strewn barn at dusk with well-cared for animals breathing lightly on full stomachs, nodding off to sleep. There's just something about that.  
University of Connecticut's Agi Center

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Blue Sky's Done It Again!

I don't know how Blue Sky does it.  Twice a year they come out with new colors, new patterns and oftentimes new yarn.  Their marketing and packaging are extraordinary.  They just added 3 colors to Extra, a luxury yarn we debuted at last year's yarn crawl. They are: Canyon, Mist, and Ocean.  When I sprung these yarn samples from the muslin bag, I gasped and said ....ohhhhhh! You will too when you see them!  We'll have them in for our San Diego Yarn Crawl which starts September 17-20.  It's a Don't Miss!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Knitter's Approach to Summer

From Debbie Stoller, the author of Stitch N' Bitch, who knows what Summer is all about!  We've got some beautiful Worsted Cotton by Blue Sky Alpaca that makes the most beautiful baby blankets. It's organic, incredibly soft, and has a worsted weight gauge (rather unusual for cotton) so it works up faster than most.  Check out the their incredible color palette which has grown more beautiful with the years!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Jilly Mini Skein Bundles Are On Their Way!

Jilly (which we debuted at last year's San Diego Yarn Crawl) is an amazing super wash merino lace weight yarn by Dream in Color.  Dream in Color has put together two bundles of six Jilly mini skeins; one in a cool colorway and one in warm.  One bundle makes Arcoiris, the pattern shown here designed specifically to showcase Jilly's dreamy colors and soft texture.  Our shipment left the warehouse last week and I'll be waiting in the window for the UPS delivery hoping for its arrival.  Can't wait to get my hands on it!  You know I will let you know!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Nothing on Your Needles? Cast on this Perfect Summer Project!

Notched Hem Tank Top by The Purl Bee is a free pattern that is all the style with the side panel inserts and equally long front and back pieces. This was knit in Habu's Knitted Linen which is exquisite and at $14.10 a ball, with 14 balls needed for the medium size, it should be!  For a more cost effective solution, knit this in Plymouth Yarn's Linen Concerto, a drapey rayon linen blend finished with a touch of cotton. Linen Concerto has a bit of a sheen and with an interesting twist of fibers that adds texture.  And unlike indigo, it is colorfast and won't dye your hands or needles blue.  Best of all, it's just a little more than half the cost of Habu's Knitted Linen.  So don't just sit there, knit something!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Not Just Knitting

This here dresser top is a New York Roundabout design made from judipatuti's delectable fabrics! It's a quilting process called paper piecing and it was a challenge for this newbie to learn!  We took a class at Rosie's in La Mesa but it wasn't until I got home to a quieter environment with no distractions that I was able to finally figure out how to do this!  Plenty of ripping out, I can tell you.  But by the end of the project I had it down.  And now I am working on a flying geese quilt which involves smaller pieces.  I am using one of judipatuti's charm packs of coordinated fat quarters which makes a beginning quilter's life so much easier!  If you haven't seen Judy's 2015 summer collection yet, you must come visit us!  It is so inspiring!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Why May Day?

Happy May 1st!  As I was sitting here contemplating the new month, I wondered how Mayday became the universal distress call that it is.  Bottom line?  It's from the french word for "help me".  And here's the detailed explanation!


This is an excerpt from our new book: The Wise Book of Whys, available in: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audiobook
distressToday I found out why those aboard planes and ships use the word “Mayday” to indicate they are in extreme distress.
In 1923, a senior radio officer, Frederick Stanley Mockford, in Croydon Airport in London, England was asked to think of one word that would be easy to understand for all pilots and ground staff in the event of an emergency.
The problem had arisen as voice radio communication slowly became more common, so an equivalent to the Morse code SOS distress signal was needed.  Obviously a word like “help” wasn’t a good choice for English speakers because it could be used in normal conversations where no one was in distress.
At the time Mockford was considering the request, much of the traffic he was dealing with was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, France. With both the French and English languages in mind, he came up with the somewhat unique word “Mayday”, the anglicized spelling of the French pronunciation of the word “m’aider” which means “help me”.
Four years later, in 1927, the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington made “Mayday” the official voice distress call used only to communicate the most serious level of distress, such as with life-threatening emergencies.
When using Mayday in a distress call, it is traditional to repeat it three times in a row, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”. This is to make sure it is easily distinguishable from a message about a Mayday call and from any similar sounding phrases in noisy conditions.
In situations where a vessel requires assistance, not from grave and imminent danger, a distress call of “pan-pan” can be used instead. Essentially, it means you need aid, but you don’t need support personnel to necessarily drop what they’re doing right that instant and come help you, as with a Mayday.
Like Mayday, pan-pan is the anglicized spelling of a French word, in this case “panne”, which means “broken/failure/breakdown”.  Also, as with Mayday, one should state it three consecutive times: “pan-pan pan-pan pan-pan”, followed by which station(s) you are addressing and your last known location, nature of your emergency, etc.
If there is no reply to a Mayday or pan-pan call by the Coast Guard or other emergency agency, and a couple minutes have passed since the last one, some other radio source, such as another ship or plane that received the call, should transmit their own Mayday call, but on behalf of the ship or plane that first made the call, repeating the pertinent information they heard when they received the Mayday message.
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Bonus Facts:
  • Making false declaration of “Mayday” in the United States can get you up to six years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
  • Contrary to popular vernacular, you would never actually say “over and out” in an official radio communication.  Why? Because “over” means you’re done talking and are expecting a reply.  “Out” means you are both done talking and are finished with the communication, not expecting a reply from anyone.
  • During the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, even though four planes crashed, only one was able to make a Mayday call. Flight 93 crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and made two Mayday calls to Air Traffic Control in Cleveland. The first call was at 09:28:17. Captain Jason Dahl can be heard shouting, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” over sounds of violence. The second Mayday call came at 09:28:50 when someone in the cockpit shouted, “Mayday! Get out of here! Get out of here!”. No one knows exactly when Flight 93 came under the control of the highjackers but by 09:31:57, highjacker Ziad Jarrah was making announcements to the plane’s passengers and inadvertently to Air Traffic Control in Cleveland.