Friday, August 31, 2007

We're Havin' A Heat Wave...

... with no relief in sight for the long weekend at least. However, some areas are getting a bit of rain or at least some "shade" from the clouds.

We had an extremely brief, but very loud, thundershower a couple of nights ago. All it did was wake everyone up, and leave us with sticky humidity.

Sorry to keep complaining about the heat. It's just that I don't tolerate it very well, it's hard to sleep, and that makes me grumpy.

And cranky.

Okay, okay.

and crankier.

So, just for a change of pace, this is what was on the agenda today.
Can you see the sign in that first cloud picture? This is where we met for lunch today--three Ds, a mom, and an auntie.

Well, and a grandchild-to-be. D3 said she felt mildly guilty for not bringing the Grandcarrot, however he is at an age where this particular restaurant--with the flaming onion volcano, the spectacular eruptions of flame, and the searing hot cooking table--would definitely not be the best choice.

Hold the presses! News of the World, pay attention!

mehitabel has... drum roll, please...
a real life, bona fide, Finished Object!!

Yes, the Rose Garden Shawl is done, finished,


and lovely and soft! (Thanks to Ms Patty for the superb modeling effort!)

It has been pointed out to me that this pattern is nearly identical to the Fir Cone Shawl that has been spotted elsewhere in Blogland. I couldn't agree more! It's actually something called The Lavender Linen Lace Shawl but I think of it as leaves. Rose leaves.

Between the resemblance to rose leaves and the fact that it's made from two skeins of Artyarns' Silk Rhapsody in the Rose Garden colorway, I think I can be allowed to call it the Rose Garden Shawl.

Can't I?

Close-up of leafy prettiness. I love the way the color played out on this piece--I was a little worried about using a variegated yarn because I didn't know how the pooling would look.

Looks fine to me!

When it's hot outside and inside, what's a big furry boy to do?
Why, find a cool spot on Mom's keyboard, of course. And if you squinch your eyes closed really really really REALLY tight, you can pretend to be sound asleep if someone tries to move you. Because, really, being The Cat means the world is your pillow.

Happy long weekend to those of you who are celebrating Labor Day. If you are in this particular corner of the world, do try to keep cool. Flex your power and all that--both your electrical power and your personal power. A little knitting, a tall cool drink, and some fur to love--what more does one need??

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quilty Things

If it's Tuesday, it must be quilting night, right? Well, now that we're down to two Tuesdays a month, not so much; but tonight was one of the magical nights.

There was much rejoicing as Anne finished the binding on two more "charity quilts." As I talked about last week, the Guild wants to have 100 quilts ready by Christmas time for their outreach program. Anne and three friends took these two quilts with t hem on Saturday to "practice" long arm quilting. One of the semi-local shops has a long arm machine which they make available--they'll teach you how to use it, then let you come in and quilt on it for a fee.
So these babies got quilted. And tonight I hauled in the ol' box-o-bindings and Anne put the finishing touches on them. Don't they look good?

A close-up of one of the blocks so you can see how really darling this Noah's Ark fabric is. Very sweet faces on the animals.

Interesting discussion tonight, sparked by a remark made at the guild's workshop by one of the members. I had just held up a top I'd put together (blocks pieced by Ellin and Harry) and this woman said that it was "too pretty for a charity quilt." I really took umbrage at that remark (Hello, Delores! *waves* at the Grand High Inquisitor) because, to me, there is little value in giving someone a badly made item just because it's "charity." Seems to me, someone who's down on his or her luck deserves to have the best I can do for him/her. In spite of our joking around about our "ugly" quilts, they've all been nicely made, colorful, and proof of the old axiom that you can make a pretty, attractive quilt out of "ugly" fabrics. And one person's ugly fabric is someone else's treasure, as I also learned that day.
Hey, I still think "that" fabric is ugly! Which doesn't mean I wouldn't put it on the back of a quilt, because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who think it's very attractive. (I know--I heard from them. Vocally. That fabric is now known as "the one mehitabel thinks is so ugly." )

Oh well, I guess I'm pretty outspoken sometimes. (Surprise!) But I'm going to keep on doing charity stuff (quilts, shawls, whatever) that I'd give to someone I love as a gift. Because isn't that what charity is all about?? (I think St. Martin de Porres is one of my favorite saints!)
By the way, that's how the group tonight felt about it, too--it was unanimous!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Summer Doldrums

Meet this month's Full Moon. This is, depending on how fond you are of the movie version of Pocahontas, either the Blue Corn Moon or the Sturgeon Moon.
Take your pick.

I know it's not a great picture but at least this one looks like a nice circular moon. For a while there, all I could get when I tried to photograph the moon was UFO-like curlicues.

Maybe the camera's brief illness has restored it to decent moon-shots.

Had to take a picture of my Combretum fruticosum--I don't know if it has a common name. It has been through a lot, this poor little plant, in the many years it has lived here with us.
It came as a one-gallon potted plant and was our membership gift for joining the LA County Arboretum. Once upon a time, the Arboretum, like all the LA County facilities, didn't charge for admission, so it was a great place to take the kids on a Sunday afternoon--feed the ducks, visit the Hugo Reid Adobe, ogle the Queen Anne Cottage, go sit by the waterfall. Then they started charging, and all of a sudden it wasn't affordable--so I saved up, and clipped coupons, and got us a family membership so we could still go whenever we wanted to, regardless of the current state of the family budget. This plant has always reminded me of that time, of good times shared as a family. Plus, of course, it has these very strange looking blossoms. It reminds me of a Bottlebrush, but the leaves are very different.

Stash diving--which in my case is very close to dumpster diving--has been going on. Behold 11 boxes of mostly yarn, on their way to new homes. Some of t hem are going to an eBay reseller and it will be nice to think of them moving on to new homes. However, the sheer volume of what's remaining is making this seem like less of a good plan, so I've come up with another bright idea which I will share with you all when the time is right.
Soon, my pretties, soon!

Since my knitting mojo seems to have taken flight after the fiasco that was my MS3--which I haven't ripped yet, it's still in time-out and I have a very faint hope of fixing it and restarting it--I tried to think of some way to get it back and operational. So, here's my new project, really thrilling, although I put it in my new Trader Joe's tote bag just because it's so doggone cheery and colorful. How can you look at this thing and not smile?
It's another comfort shawl for the ministry in CT. I found 4 skeins of well-marinated Jiffy (how long has it been since the label looked like THAT?) and I'm hoping it will be enough. If it's not, oh well, I'm sure I have something else around here that will look okay with it. When I finish the first skein, I'll know if I have to go find some pink or blue or white in the further reaches of the stash to make some stripes. Stripes are okay, aren't they? I mean, they won't look like "I was running out of yarn and decided to punt" will they?
Guess what? This seems to be doing the trick. I got all that you see here done last night, watching Big Brother and Design Star and something on E! about 40 fashion disasters--summer is for train-wreck TV, the kind you know you shouldn't watch but you just can't tear your eyes away from it. At least I have some knitting to show for it!