Thursday, February 14, 2008


Take one humongous shopping mall, mainly outlet stores but also a good smattering of other shops.

Add some sturdy walking shoes,

two strollers,

two sisters,

one grandmother,

one great-aunt--who also happens to be a great aunt!

Stir and allow to blend for several hours plus a good nourishing lunch.

Result? Today's outing to Ontario Mills, in Ontario, California. As opposed to that "other" Ontario, which it's often confused with, particularly in airports. This is the one you don't need a passport for, assuming you live in the USA; if you live anywhere else, well, it's definitely worth the trip!

Nathaniel is showing his dimples.

Do you know how hard it is to catch a little tiny guy's smile long enough to get the picture?

The cousins were playing on Audrey's quilt. Nate doesn't seem to mind that he's a boy on a pink quilt, and Audrey doesn't seem to mind sharing.

Head over to Audrey's place and check out her video!

A little while later, she found his sleeve and then his hand. Of course by then the cameras had been put away! Take my word for it, though, it was pretty darn cute.

"Read my feet!"

Audrey's Valentine's Day finery had a message for you!

Cat meets girl:

As in, who is this and why is she on my sofa?

Highland gets acquainted with Audrey. I'm not sure how he managed to balance himself on the side of the sofa cushion--he's a Very Large Cat, after all, and still outweighs Little Miss--but he did it, and he did NOT fall on her.

The blanket is one my mother had made, which I brought back on one of my trips East last year. It's made of one of those Mystery Yarns that my mom specialized in. It machine washes and dries and seems pretty indestructible. Yes, there are some glitches in the knitting, but then my mother was one of those people who never learned to read a pattern, so she'd just work out the design by knitting and trying different tactics till her piece looked like the picture. So I think this is pretty wonderful.

She'd only hate seeing the cat on it, I think, because she felt as though all living creatures were dangerous and out to get her. Naturally, all of our cats loved her, and she'd sit there with a purring cat draped across her lap, just exactly as if it was a rattlesnake coiled to strike. "You're a very pretty cat, but I don't like you, now go away!" she'd say, and the cat would curl up and purr a little louder.

Yes, that's a copy of Knitting Around next to Audrey. Her daddy's hat is coming from that book. Pictures soon, I think, as I'm almost to the decreases. Unfortunately most of the lights in the living room don't work (happens a lot) so there isn't enough light to read directions by. Tomorrow. You see, I think it's just that the extension cord came unplugged--but there isn't enough light to see by, to plug it back in. Old houses are such fun...

Nate got his blanket. He seems to like it a lot. His mama does too!

Hand for proportion.

Here's hoping you had a good V-Day! I will probably be hitting the leftover-Valentine's Day candy-half-off sale first thing in the morning!

Tomorrow is Cast On for Lenore Day for the OOPS Knitters. I still need to wind my skein into a ball...and find my pattern.

Tomorrow is also Audrey's 3-month-old "birthday" and Nate will be 4 weeks old as well. He gets to visit his doctor and we're waiting to hear how much weight he's gained.

Isn't it hard? Here some of us adults would love to lose weight, and we're cheering little Nate along to gain some. Life just isn't fair sometimes--I mean, I could spare him (quite) a few pounds!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday Topics

or, what makes me happy! Here's a perfect example: three, count 'em three, skeins of Lotus Yarns in a gorgeous deep dark black cherry/black raspberry/chocolate colorway called Bloodflower. Enough to make a shawl.

Because, you know I buy sock yarn to make everything BUT socks!

This is sooooo soft and pretty, and I love love love the colorway. I totally heart Melanie's yarns!

Oh, and today I got my Yarn Pirate shipment, too. I will show it once I know that everyone has gotten it. Suffice to say, it's another Georgia original, and a totally cool colorway. I already know a couple of projects it will work well for!

Okay, this is one of those serendipitous finds. I made this little blanket many many moons ago.

As in, probably close to to 25 years ago. It's a cream-color wool blend, in a fairly large gauge, with lots of Aran patterning. I remember making two of these; one for a friend, and this one I think was meant to be a gift and just took too long. Anyway, D4 was on the hunt for another "artifact" and while she didn't find the christening dress, she did turn this up. This is going to go to Nate. It's been washed and is now drying, and I'll take it to him next time I'm over that way. I think there may be a few more surprises like this lurking in t he depths of the closets. Have I mentioned that this house is generously endowed with closets and cubbies? Well, it is.
There are other treasures as well. I decided to do a little bookshelf-clearing. I mean, who else would have 4, count 'em 4, bookcases in just the bedroom? With paperbacks double-decked on the shelves? So I started going through them, and just in a half hour or so came up with 8 grocery sacks full.
These came to quilt class with me tonight, and I sent all the quilters home with a sack of books. I decided that I was driving the "bookmobile" tonight! The majority of them went home with Anne, since her complex has a lending library and they can use infusions of "new-to-them" books.
The saddest thing is that you can't even tell, looking at my bookcases, that I've gone through and done this. Now, that is truly indicative of what a bookworm I am.

Or, as one of my knitting friends commented apropos of my stash buildup, moderation is not exactly one of my virtues.


Okay, for the flower lovers among you (and you know who you are, all one of you!) here are my mini-daffodils, having a grand burst of springy color in amongst the dry soil.
Yeah, today was one of those winter days I just loathe--over 80, hot, dry, windy, and so smoggy the mountains have disappeared again.
The snowdrops are adorable. I love the tiny green dots on the edges of the blossoms--so improbable!

And, if you keep scrolling, you'll find more yarny goodness.
This is not new yarn, I should make very clear. This is some previously-acquired Kid Silk Haze, in a series of colors that I thought would make wonderful Ice Queens. Of course, that meant matching up beads to the colors.

When a friend happened to mention t hat she had a craving for Carmine's pasta pesto (yum), I knew the chance had come. Carmine's happens to be right next door... RIGHT NEXT DOOR!-- to Bead Central, aka The San Gabriel Bead Co. Yes, they are in Arcadia; they were in San Gabriel before that, and didn't change the name when they moved. (They were in the adorably kitschy Clearman's Village complex, next door to A Quilter's Dream, but it was razed to make way for what is possible the world's most hideously ugly department store. And the parking there is a mess, too.) Anyway, I found these beads to complement the KSH: a nice silver-lined clear bead for the Kid Silk Night in pale grey; a pretty blue for the Heavenly KSH; and for the smoke, a lavender/amethyst kind of color. Both the yarn and the beads are less purple-y than they look in this picture.

Let's hope I like making Ice Queen. Yes, I know I have supplies for 3 of them. See previous comment about moderation in all things...and besides, I spent less than $10. for all 6 packets of beads. That was a lot of fun for a little expenditure, and they don't take up a lot of room in the stash. As soon as I finish the current spate of hats (Nottingham 2 down, halfway up the first half of The Very Warm Hat/Scott's Charlie Brown hat, still looking for yarn for Nottingham 3) I think I will treat myself to some beaded lace.

No quilty pics tonight; most of the projects were in that kind of indeterminate state where they would look like a lot of little pieces of cut-up fabric. That happens some nights!!