Saturday, June 26, 2010

Making Waves

I thought I better talk some Knit or you'll really think I've gone to the dogs (or pigs as the case may be)! So here is my most recent project, this gorgeous Wavy Scarf. Knit out of Handmaiden's Double Sea Silk, the drape and texture are indescribable.

I am over the drop stitch scarves we were all madly knitting several years ago so I all but dismissed this pattern when Handmaiden sent it to me. This pattern is different, though, because of the tiered yarn overs that create the waves. And then I remembered that when I was in law school, I knit an over-sized ivory boat neck sweater (all the fashion then) in this very same wave pattern. I wore it with a cami underneath and a long rayon skirt with soft pleats that started below the hips and faded to nothing but swish. It was celery green and I absolutely loved that outfit! Of all the things I've made throughout my life that was one of my favorite sweaters.

Anyway, judipatuti volunteered to knit up a Wavy Scarf sample for the shop. She used a color aptly called "Lillypad" which really shows off the sheen of the yarn. I wasn't expecting a great response to the pattern. To the yarn, yes. But not the pattern. I was wrong, oh so wrong. It is very popular!

And I love this yarn so much that I actually violated my no-custom-knit rule when a customer asked me to knit her a Wavy Scarf in Peridot (pictured above). And it has been such a pleasure.

On Monday, I will be meeting with Handmaiden's rep to fondle her yarn samples and select a wider range of colors. Oh, it's a tough job because it is difficult to eliminate colors! But somebody's got to do it. I'll have to wear a drool cup (kind of gross, but do any of you remember that old Saturday night skit?) That's what I need when I get around yarns!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Swifty the Swimming Pig & Friends!

This here is Swifty the Swimming Pig being positioned by his handler on his "diving board". The trough that bears Swifty's name is filled with water and it's probably 8' long. The track that surrounds Swifty's stage (outlined with triangular flags) is where Swifty's friends race and beyond that are three sets of bleachers that are packed with a cheering crowd including some very excited children. Oh, the tension mounted.

Swifty barely laid a hoof on the diving board before he dove/belly flopped into the water and swam like the devil. I am glad I got this photo because it shows that his handler did not throw him in the water...rather Swifty dove of his own accord. And that Swifty was so swift that if you blinked, you would have missed his triumphant moment.

Here he is in all his glory basking in well-deserved applause and whistles.
Now Swifty was not the only star that day. There were three races where Swifty's friends raced around the track for oreo cookies. Really, that was what they were fed at the finish line. They were so dang fast that it was impossible for me to get their pictures. But then again, I was laughing too hard to get a good shot anyway.

After the show, the ring master (who did the most awesome job of narrating) took pictures of folks holding little Daisy, the sweetest little piglet wrapped in a towel. A long line formed very quickly and Celeste and I decided not to wait it out (besides which, we'd be the only adults unaccompanied by a child in that line!). So we walked around. I got an ear of roasted corn the likes of which I haven't had since I was a kid. As we walked past Swifty's, we saw that the line had died down. I zipped through the rest of my corn quickly and rushed in to hold Daisy. It's really hard to see, but little Daisy apparently smelled the corn (okay, the butter) and was licking my cheek. Awwwww. It was the sweetest thing Ever. Stay tuned for ... the Chickens!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Day at the Races

It's hard to believe but I have never been to to a county fair ... ever. When I learned there were worm races at the Del Mar Fair, I was beside myself with excitement. Seasoned fair-goers are probably scoffing at the idea of a worm race, but I ask them...what does the track look like? Dunno. What does a winning worm look like. Dunno. What motivates worms. Dunno. Hah, so don't be too quick to dismiss worm races unless you've actually been to one and can answer the foregoing questions.

This is a photo of the track. The ref takes a red wiggler from the pile of dirt in the center of the track and places it in front of the contestant on his/her letter.

Next, the Ref squirts Magic Worm Racing Spray (H20) on each participating worm. AND THEY'RE OFF!!!

One little girl (she's the doll with the green scrunchie in her pony tail) was desperately trying to get the Ref's attention to tell her that her worm was dead. Nah, she's not dead, exclaimed the Ref! She just needs more secret spray. [Okay, just for the record, I think her worm was dead.]

Anyway, the Big Winner by far was "M", who bought the house down. Now this is what a winning worm looks like!

As for motivation, the lettuce you see on the track is really just a bunch of who-ee to give the kids something to do while they are waiting for one of the worms to haphazardly slide over the finish line...perhaps heading back to the cradle of dirt in the middle of the track. If anything motivates our little friends it's water and possibly dirt! Stay tuned for more Fair news...racin' piglets are next!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blue Sky Trunk Show Has Arrived!

This beautiful green and ivory collection highlights how wearable Blue Sky patterns are and how soft and scrumptious their yarns are. It is so difficult to capture the appeal of their colors and textures with my little "point n' shoot" camera, so you'll just have to drop by and see them for yourselves. The pieces will be here for the next two weeks. The beautiful pleated ribbons draped as necklaces are judipatuti's hand-dyed shibori ribbons. The crocheted flowers that look like corsages are made in Blue Sky's organic Worsted Cotton from patterns in Crochet Adorned.
AND, I just got in Blue Sky's promo materials for the Fall 2010 Collection. I have beautiful samples of their new colors in Brushed Suri, Multi Cotton, and Melange. Ouch, they're too pretty!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, etc.

This is the reason I have not been knitting every spare moment these past couple of weeks, along with reading the second book in the trilogy: The Girl Who Plays With Fire. These books are to reading what Pop Chips are to snack food. You cannot put them down until the last word is read! Not only have I read the first 2 books, but I saw the movie "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" last week at the Landmark. They did a brilliant job with the movie. The third book in the trilogy, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" has just come out in hardcover and I am loathe to pick it up because I am afraid of missing another 3 days! The books are non-stop action. Intriguing with a big cast of characters (and I mean characters!). Complex plots. Murders to be solved. Mysteries to be figured out. And at times both protagonists are subjected to horrible violence. That makes for some tough reading but not enough for you to give up on the book. And revenge soon follows and you find yourself cheering because the bad guys don't win. They are punished. And not by the law, either. Enough said!!! I don't want to give away too much, just pique your interest. These books make for great summer reading!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Another Day, Another Bag of Popchips!

If you're a snacker and you're not familiar with PopChips, you will rue the day I told you about them. They have very few calories so guilt does not enter into the PopChips picture at all. The best, in my humble but experienced opinion, are the original chips. Nary a day goes by without me getting a bag from the liquor store across the street from the Grove. They have actually started carrying 3 oz. bags of Originals per my special request. So now I feel obligated to make sure that they sell well! I've damn near cleared the whole column. I figure once the first load is exhausted, they're on their own.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


PDC is an acronym for "Pretty Damn Cute", a description that fits this simple cap perfectly. With time on my hands today, I whipped this out from a free shop pattern that we use to teach students to purl, decrease, and seam. Made from Blue Sky Alpaca's Worsted Cotton (organic), I used some leftover yarn and while the colors are admittedly in-your-face, I love this cap! Susan Schlesinger made the crocheted flower from a pattern in Crochet Adorned (also out of BSA Worsted Cotton). The button which is at the center of the flower is a handmade polymer clay button from Zecca.

While I love this cap, if I made it again, I would use just one color in the transition ridge instead of carrying both colors together. I thought that by holding both colors, it would create a braided look but it didn't quite come out that way! Nevertheless, it's still PDC!!!

P.S. Today is the day we are supposed to receive our BSA trunk show so I'll be waiting in the window for UPS. I'll keep you posted.