Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yarn, so much, Time, so little

20070628 Knitivity SockI ordered and received more wonderful sock yarn from Ray at  Why do I do this?!?

The reason the picture is taken on the rug is that there is no other place to put the yarn!  There are bags full of yarn, a closet full of yarn, furniture full of yarn.  It must stop here.

The thing is, I'm a really slow knitter, slow project planner, etc.  I'm going to start knitting from patterns in sizes that a regular person would wear, and then I'm going to give the finished things to charity.  I'm not going to worry about perfection.  I'm not going to design (well maybe just a few adjustments).  I'm going to make television watching verboten without knitting in my hands.  I'm going to knit from all the wonderful patterns I have and learn lots along the trip.

... right after I tear out the gusset in my current sock and re-do.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Embed a slideshow

I found a new (to me) toy for embedding slideshows in any web page.  I was inspired by String and I to figure out how to do it.  She uses Picasa's features to embed her slideshow, but I am a flickr lover.  What to do?

It turns out the flickr forums are a wonderful source of shared user information.  People have been embedding slideshows in their blog entries for years!  I found a link to Paul Stamatiou's cool tool, flicrSLiDR, and voila!

Note:  This works a whole lot better in my Firefox browser than it does in Internet Explorer :-/


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Typepad down this Friday night

Typepad is telling us that it will be down for maintenance this Friday night between midnight and 2am Saturday morning (California time... PST).  Read all about it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Like a Phoenix Rising


Like a Phoenix Rising out of a hot ruin.  You can see his wings in this picture.

This Fire Shawl is in the next issue of Spin Off.  The description says:


Pattern: The Susan shawl from Myrna Stahman's Stahman's Shawls and Scarves.
Fiber: 4 ounces of Merino/tussah roving in a hand-dyed Guardians of Fire colorway from Carolina Homespun, scarlet Romney locks, glittery Angelina, and firestar.
Yarn: 125 yards per ounce and 800 yards 2-ply.
Needles: Ebony U.S. size 7 (4.5 mm) needles.

(Links aren't available for previews.  I got this informaiton from my Knitting Daily email subscription.)

Stahman Cover If you don't already have a copy of Myrna Stahman's Shawls and Scarves book, then now would be a good time to invest in a copy.  Is it out of print?  It's selling for between $90 and $190 US Dollars on  It's selling for $95 - $125 on Barnes and Noble.  It's not available from Powell's Books.  The good news is that it appears to be selling on The Needle Arts Book Shop, Schoolhouse Press, and probably elsewhere, for regular price.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I like 1980s designs

I checked out (from the library) "Cotton Knitting: Over 30 exclusive patterns from top designers", edited by Sally Harding.  The designers featured are not familiar to me - Vivienne Bannister, Sue Bradley, Joan Chatterley, Lotte Courts, Alison Ellen, Sally-Anne Elliott, Hicks & Hobro, Zoe Hunt, Ann Morgan, Sue Turton, and Janice Wilkins.  It was published in 1987 by Barron's.  It is available from Amazon for amazingly low prices.

It's full of boxy, oversized cotton knits with color in geometric shapes, curvy or slanted lines, squares, and circles.  There are drop shoulders, batwings, cap sleeve, sleeveless, and more.  One of my favorite sweaters was a purple batwing sweater with black and white geometric shapes.  I still have it, even if I can't fit into it any more.

My scanner is broken, so I can't show pictures of these lovely designs.  Blast!  I'll have to install that new printer so I can add pictures here later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Here and There

I've been away from Chico!  First I went to Hidden Valley Lake to visit a friend's sick computer.  I couldn't find the cause of the problem, but Plug and Play wasn't working, few of her services were started, and most of her devices were not available (e.g., the printer).  I felt badly that I couldn't wave my magic wand and make things better, but at least I helped her backup her pictures and financial records.  Come on, people, you have to back up your stuff!!

Then, last Sunday, J and I went to San Francisco to visit with friends.  We met them at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, toured the museum, listened to free jazz in the cafeteria, and had a very nice visit.

20070617 Rodin The HandThe Palace of the Legion of Honor has a nice Rodin collection, including The Thinker.  Here is his "Mighty Hand".  This is how I feel if I knit too much :-)  ... and the view from there is spectacular.


20070617 Golden Gate Bridge

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Waitress

The Waitress: **** Very Good

WaitressPoster This was a Nice movie with a capital 'N'.  There was no blood and guts and no special effects, but there was a heroine (Keri Russell) who is stuck in a bad life but is trying to make it better.  Then she finds herself pregnant.  The movie is about her pregnancy, her job at the Pie Diner, her co-workers, her husband, and her lover.

Throughout the movie she is baking pies with funny names for the daily menu.  The Bad Baby Pie is made when she finds out she is pregnant with the baby of a husband she doesn't love.  Later on she writes letters to her baby in the womb.

The cast is good.  The writing is good.  Here's what the NY Times says (click on movie poster for movie details):

Stuck in a marriage to a man she loathes, inconveniently pregnant with his child, oppressed by long hours waiting tables for a grouchy boss, Jenna finds relief baking pies. Adrienne Shelly, who wrote and directed �Waitress� (and who plays one of Jenna�s co-workers), demonstrates a similar confectionary gift. The movie, her third and last feature before she was murdered in November, blends familiar elements into something both satisfying and surprising. Part feminist fable, part romantic fairy tale, it is by turns tart and sweet, charming and tough, rather like its heroine and like Keri Russell, the plucky, pretty, nimble actress (still perhaps best known as Felicity, from the television coming-of-age melodrama of the same name) who plays her. � A. O. Scott, The New York Times

One little whiny bit here.  The woman next to me brought her little girl (maybe 4 or 5?) and sat right next to me with her friends.  There was no seat for the kid so she started out sitting on mom's lap.  The movie isn't really child material so the kid was bored and squirmed for much of the movie.  Why would you bring your kid to a movie like this?  No common sense, that's what I think.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Touring Nova Scotia in 2008


We are plotting and planning a trip to Nova Scotia next year.  When I say "we", I mean that J is doing the plotting and planning.  Here's what she has so far.  If you have suggestions for things to do and see along the way, please speak up!

Boston To St. Andrews

Fly to Boston, MA, and stay the night.  The next day get up and drive to St. Andrews, NB, Canada.  It's a drive of many (about 360) miles, and a long day for us.

St Andrews to St Martins

Then we go from St. Andrews to St. Martins, NB, Canada.  This is a day for doing stuff, and not so much driving.  We stay in St. Martins for about a week.  Do you have an suggestions for things to do and see while we are there?

St Martins to Antigonish

Our next stop is Antigonish, NS, Canada, where we stay for another week.  Suggestions?  So far J has Cape Breton (N and S side), Prince Edward Island, and Louisbourg (sp?)

Antigonish to Digby

After a week we leave Antigonish and head for Digby, NS, Canada.  This is another longish drive day.

Yarmouth to Boston

Finally we take the Yarmouth ferry back to the USA and then drive to Boston.

The trip plans call for a 20-day vacation, which includes a couple of days for air travel (first class on frequent flier miles!).

New GLBT & Friends Knit list on Google

Rainbow YinYang I opened a knitting discussion group on Google, called glbt-knit (  It is for the GLBT community and their friends.  Leave a comment here on this blog if you would like to be invited to join.  Right now the group is by invitation only... just until I figure out how all this Google list stuff works.  As of today there are two members and I'd love to see more (men and women) and some activity!

The purpose of the group is to discuss knitting and other fiber-related activities (spinning, crochet, weaving, etc.).  It's a place to ask questions and get answers from others in the group...  a place to talk about your fiber life - funnies, disasters, triumphs, latest book-magazine-tool, old books-magazines-tools... a place of good cheer and support.

Is this group an adults-only group?  Right now it is, but I don't know if it should stay this way.

Can I use swear words, big words, misspelled words, or pictures?  Yes, yes, yes, and I don't know yet.

What is misbehavior?  Flaming, name-calling, constant off-topic posts without other fiber-related contributions (my personal pet peeves).

What will happen to misbehavers?  Warned, then banned.

Is the group a democracy?  No, it's a benevolent dictatorship with me as the mostly invisible dictator.

But, can't we have spirited discussions in the group?  Yes, until I start to get complaints.

Is the Google list a replacement for any other list?  That's up to you.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

Ocean's Thirteen: *** Good


Click on the picture for the NY Times Review.

This one was lots of fun.  Acting?  Check.  Story?  Check.  Beautiful people?  Check!

Julia Roberts isn't in this one, except as a reference to her character, Tess, in a conversation between Brad Pitt and George Cluney.  The attractive female part is played by Ellen Barkin, who is the lovely assistant to the villian, Al Pacino.

Andy Garcia, who was a villain in the first Ocean's... movie is now one of the team that sets out to rob Al Pacino.  They are getting revenge because Al Pacino's "Willy Bank" double crossed one of the team, Elliott Gould's "Reuben".

All the actors do fine jobs.  And it just keeps getting trickier and trickier.  Lots of fun.

It's good on big screen for the Las Vegas scenery.



Monday, June 4, 2007

Yosemite Weekend

20070603 Yosemite Stitched

We took a quick weekend trip to Yosemite Valley National Park.  It's a special, special place.  My trip pictures are here.

Since you have to make reservations to stay at the Yosemite Lodge a year and a day (really! No kidding!) in advance, we stayed outside the park at Cedar Lodge.  The rooms are okay, but don't ever eat at their dinette.

We took the scenic route from Chico to El Portal, through the historic gold mining country.  Lunch was in Mokelumne Hill at the Hotel Leger (le-jay', if you please).  Weather was terrific, so we sat on the balcony.

The next day, J's birthday, we spent the entire day in the park.  First there was a small breakfast in the Yosemite Lodge Cafeteria, then a walk in the valley, then brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel.  Brunch was terrific, as you would expect from the Ahwahnee.   After lunch we drove up toward Tunnel View, which is a view point where I took the picture in this post.  It was jammed with tour buses and tourists, but I managed to push my way through to the view spot to take my photos.  Then we drove up to Glacier point, from which you can view the entire valley - breathtaking. 

The morning walk included Happy Isle, which neither J nor I had been to before.  It's worth a walk in June - wild azaleas and dogwoods.  In fact the flowers this year were all wonderful.  We even saw some matilla poppies.

It was dryer and warmer than the last time we were there, so walking in the valley was easy.

Life is good.