Sunday, January 27, 2008

Even more photos of Balboa Park

More photos from Balboa Park

Balboa Park outing

Today, we spent the entire day in Balboa Park in San Diego. It is even more amazing than I remember from childhood. The weather was perfect for spending outdoors and going in and out of museums and gardens. We started out with the Automotive Museum and Sluggo tried driving a 1922 truck as you can see. The building had concept cars including a hydrogen powered vehicle and even a 1916 Harley-Davidson. I fell in love with an old Cadillac from the 1920s or 30s. Next, we hit the Aerospace Museum. It was jam-packed with the beginnings of flight to the space station. Some of the things I personally enjoyed were a Flying Tiger plane, Apollo space suit and moon rocks. After that, we moved on to the Japanese garden (which is still a work in progress and quite wonderful even in the state of winter dormancy. As you can see, there was a wonderful Koi pond with waterfall, bonsai trees and an overall serenity that was a delight. We ate lunch at the Japanese tea house, enjoying a delicious salmon teriyaki with rice and veggies.

Throughout the park were lots of wedding parties and quincinera parties along with their photographers. It was truly magical and there were some wonderfully charming young ladies and gentlemen who graciously allowed me to photograph them on this day. A quincinera is a very special occasion in a young girl's life symbolizing her transition from childhood into womanhood. It is filled with much ceremony and has a lot of religious significance as well. It was an honor to acknowledge such a day of celebration and to see all these beautiful young people filled with joy.

Onward to the Minature Railroad Museum and checking out all the different scale trains and dioramas. It was incredible how detailed they were and the dedication of the different groups creating these splendid displays. Sluggo, of course, was totally impressed and showed his enthusiasm.

By this time, we were ready for a cup of wonderful coffee and a bit of rest at one of the many fountains. Then, on to the Botanical Pavillion and the many varieties of ferns, orchids, bromeliads and cycads. Quite astounding. At this point, time was beginning to run short and we went into the Timken Museum where a collection of Russian icons, French tapestries and paintings by Boucher, Rembrandt, Reubens and VanDycke were on display as well as the most moving painting of Christ on the cross by Bartolome Murillo that I have seen in many years. It brought tears to my eyes. We really did not have enough time here as in my opinion, art requires time to view for true appreciation of the work.

At this point, the museums were closing and it began to sprinkle and we scurried back to the car and afterwards went to supper at a little Mexican restaurant that had started as a walk-up taco stand in the 1920s. The food was quite good and by this time, we were all pretty tired and ready to rest for the night. A good time was had by all. I know this is a really long post having nothing to do with knitting but thought you might enjoy a little excursion.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cabin fever

Between cold, wet weather and having an earache, I have been tethered to the couch and bed for a number of days. The good thing about this is that a) I've gotten a lot of sleep (which the cat appreciates as he snuggles with me) and b) a lot of knitting and crocheting time. Several of my languishing projects are well on the way to finishing and sharing with you all in the near future. Hurrah, I was beginning to think they would never come together. I've have written a bunch of new patterns for Ozark Handspun which should be up on their site soon.

Tomorrow, I am meeting Dave and Terri (Ozark Handspun) in San Diego as they are just returning from a week long cruise to Acapulo. We are going to the San Diego Zoo (I haven't been there since third grade.) At that time, there was a beautiful Japanese garden adjacent to the zoo which is since gone and was absorbed into the main zoo property. I remember exploring it as a child. I was always a lover of gardens and ponds even when I was young. I have a lot of new samples as well as patterns to give them to start off the new year. Sluggo will be going with us tomorrow and will be reporting on our travels. In the meantime, I am going to get a good night's sleep and am looking forward to my wildlife adventures.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Finally completed

At last, this new concept "apple peel" sweater is complete. For some reason, it sat in my work basket for about a month unfinished. Then, yesterday, I decided that the time had come and the sleeves were knitted and the edges crocheted and voila! The back has a little fishtail effect which is really cute and covers those "assests" that we as women usually want to cover. I need to take some photos with a model as that always makes it easier to see how it all looks "in action." This concept is something I am going to explore further and do some variations on a theme.

On Saturday, January 19th, I went to San Diego, CA and did a spinning, needle felting and freeform demo at a lovely store called The Shepherdess. It was a gorgeous day and they had the doors open so it was almost like being outside in the sunshine. Lots of people came through and we had fun playing with fiber and I answered a bunch of questions about fiber uses that are outside the ordinary. In the near future, will be teaching some classes at the store and these will be announced on the blog as they approach. I was also seduced by all the wonderful beads and even bought some wire to experiment with wire knitting and crochet as I have been curious about this for a while. More on that soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New quick knit shruglet

Finally, I'm feeling rested from all the excitement of TNNA. My mind is still buzzing with all the beautiful yarns and interesting new knitting related products. I did buy some wonderful dicroic glass buttons from Geddes Studio and some incredible glass shawl pins and large glass buttons from Moving Mud. They both make absolutely stunning things and are very nice people as well. Another bit of a thrill was having the opportunity to fondle quivit down. It is so luxurious and lovely spun into yarn. However, I had to restrain myself because of the above purchases as well as my adventure in the Habu Textile booth. I am giddy with excitement awaiting the arrival of these yarns. I can already see projects evolving in my head and have begun sketching so I have reference points from which to launch them into reality.

Just to keep my hands busy, I was playing around with different shapes and came up with an idea for a shruglet using Noro Silk Garden and Ozark Handspun. It turned out great and I am posting some photos. I need to photograph this on a model as it will really come to life. The great thing about this design is that it is easily adjusted to fit many sizes. I love it when that happens. A number of other projects are in the works as I am now working towards TNNA Columbus in June. It will be my first time going to that show and I've heard that it is very different from the show out here in California. So it should be educational and interesting.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Magic Balls!

Just a quick report on the three hour workshop with Brandon Mably at TNNA. First of all, he is an amazing teacher and did something I have never seen before. He played music in the background which was great as it helped everyone focus and cut down on any chit-chat. Things moved along so quickly and before I knew it was over. The lovely bonus, however, was the fact that Kaffe Fasset sat in toward the end and we got to meet him. All of the swatches were pinned up and critiqued. There was some amazing work. Mine was not one of them as I had gotten "too tasteful" in one section and it sort of dropped away in terms of color (never thought I would be accused of being too tasteful, LOL.) I did ask if it was possible to continue and knit my way out of that problem. Kaffe said yes and explained how. They are very big on no ripping out, just working through it. That was a very useful piece of information for me and I am going to continue on with this project.

Additionally, Brandon did see all these swatches that I have been working on my own as since I got to the class 30 minutes early gave me hints on how to make them better. He did particularly like one of them and said it reminded him of a lovely old carpet. I agree that it was my most successful swatch and now I know why. It was a great class and in future I hope to take a two day workshop with him. Amazing teacher!


TNNA was amazing. There were gorgeous yarns and lots of the celebrity fiberatti everywhere. It was all a bit of whirl for me. We were very busy in the Ozark Handspun booth. I've included a few photos of the booth and you will notice that Sluggo is hiding in amongst things absorbing the atmosphere and greeting those coming and going. The fashion show was a big hit and everyone loved the freeform fleece capelet. I was very pleased about that.

On Friday, Margaret Hubert came in and said hello and let me know how much she liked all the new pieces. Prudence Mapstone and Myra Wood came through early in the day but I was in a class with Brandon Mably and even got to meet Kaffe Fasset (I snapped a photo but it is very obscure but I'm posting it anyway.) Debbie Stoller came through, Fayla Reiss, Sara Lytle (amazing crocheted sweaters.) Also, Larry Davis of knitdad fame came through. Prudence and Myra returned later in the day and we got a chance to talk. Myra showed me an advance copy of her new book and I must say it looks great and has some really nice work in it. My friend Ellene Warren also dropped by and you should check out her blog report as she was able to get photos of some of the people I have mentioned above. Elle is so talented and gorgeous as well. It is always fun to see her. So many wonderful things happened at this show that I haven't completely absorbed it all yet. As my old brain remembers things I will post about them. Also, I got a chance to meet Patti Subik of Great Adirondack Yarn Company. I adore her yarns and she is an absolute hoot! I just loved her and I am going to be designing some pieces for her with her incredible yarns. I feel as though I landed in yarn heaven (Ozark and Great Adirondack) who could ask for anything more glorious!?

Additionally, the Habu Textile booth is where I dropped most of my cash by ordering some of their wonderfully elegant yarns. The sample garments in the booth were so exquisite. I have been wanting to order from them since last year and I decided that the time had come. Can't wait to get the yarn order in my hot little hands.

By Sunday, I was pretty exhausted and needed a nap so I folded my tent and went home to soothe the cat's ruffled feelings. So, we are getting ready to take our second nap of the day. As I get older it takes a little longer to recover from a good time!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Meet Sluggo, boy reporter

Yesterday, at our monthly LA Fiber Guild meeting, we began to explore wet felting. This workshop will last for five months. I am so excited. Even though it was rainy and cold, I still enjoyed the process. My fingers were cold, wet prunes by the end of the day. I have posted my first little piece and my first ball! This was kind of cool, instead of being made with roving, it was done with the little snips of wool yarns that are usually thrown away. I really liked that idea. No waste!

Also, one of my friends (Katy Croshier) at the meeting gave me a present. Meet Sluggo! He is a wet felted slipper gone terribly wrong. She created him and patched his boo-boos and I just think he is a scream! In future, he will be traveling and reporting on my fiber adventures, so who knows what places he will be able to get into?!

Additionally, I've posted a few photos of yet some new bags that will be at TNNA and will be free patterns on the Ozark Handspun web site. Happy knitting and felting.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

More bags

H-m-m, it seems like I've got a trend going here. Bags, bags, bags. They are multiplying like rabbits or tribbles. Some of these are samples for TNNA Long Beach and on Thursday, we are setting up the booth for Ozark Handspun. That night is the fashion show and one of my pieces is going to be in the show. There are all kinds of new projects that will be debuted over the weekend at the show and then I will post more here.

The Belle Armoire articles on the wrapped necklaces and belts as well as the freeform fleece shawls are done and the photos are taken. I'm still not sure which issue they will be appearing in so I guess it will be a pleasant surprise when it shows up in my mailbox. Also, they want more articles on my knitted and crocheted flowers and some modular jackets and sweaters. They have also shown an interest in doing further work together so I am pleased about that. There is nothing like having things photographed by a professional as they make it look so great. So this will be a real treat to see things in print.

My work area as again reached avalanche status and I promise that after the show I will clean it all up and start all over again. Creation is a very messy process, at least for me. I have never understood how people can be so neat and organized while they are making things. It just doesn't work, I've tried, honest! But then it happens, the yarn pile explodes and there are odd bits of this and that all over the place and the next thing you know there is a new garment/bag/hat, etc, etc. Getting these ideas out of the brain and into the yarn and out through the fingers is a challenging adventure. Afterwards, I just sit there and admire my handiwork for a bit and then I'm off again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Finished purse

This purse was finished last night including lining and a handle. I think it turned out well. This was done using needle felting as well as machine felting with wool locks, Ozark Handspun yarn, silk and wool rovings. Hope you like this one

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Day 2008

I know that I have gotten to be an old person, my husband and I were in bed asleep by ten o'clock last night and got up this morning and watched the Rose Parade. There were some absolutely stunning floats this year especially the one from Rain Bird with a theme of India. The flowers are so glorious and the ingenuity of the designs never ceases to delight me. As usual, tears welled up in my eyes as the Marines went by and I felt a surge of patriotism. They always affect me that way. I guess when you are the child of a Marine that is just the way it is. Also, there was enough football on the tube today to satisfy any man in America. I personally have overdosed but survived, whew!

Just to keep myself busy, I worked on a new felted jacket and have been taking photos of the progress. I also did a quickie felted bag. Drawing from boxes of felted wool clothing, I created the body, needlefelted by hand and with my needlefelting machine using Ozark Handspun, pieces of fleece, dyed silk hankies and rovings and embroidery. Almost finished, but thought I would post a couple of pics so you can see what can be done in a couple of hours of doodling. This is all kind of new to me and I believe that the more this is explored, the more interesting the results will be.