Happy Halloween!

Ran over to see the baby grands' costumes before coming back to hand out treats tonight. Naia is a monster's bride -Miles is Spiderman - and Leia is the cutest pumpkin ever. We've been trying to get Leia to start walking but she's not having any of it; she's a fast crawler and can get anywhere she wants to be, so why do the 2-footed thing?

Stuck under the chair with her favorite ball.

Tonight she was fascinated by Naia's soccer ball, rolling it, catching it, carrying it. Carrying it seemed to be the important part. At one point, she picked up the ball but couldn't figure out how to start crawling without letting it go - so she took 6 or 7 steps with it in her hands. We were all so surprised, nobody thought to grab a camera. Next time!

Happy Halloween!

ETA: I **love** Marie's glittery lashes and her fashionable new hair-do.
Wonder if she'll keep it going after Halloween?



Just found a link to this - m.i.n.k. and cashmere yarn. Can you imagine how soft that's going to be??

The animals are sheared, like sheep, once a year and the guard hair is removed, leaving just the downy undercoat*. A yarn review - here - convinced me to give this a try.
Now I just have to wait i.m.p.a.t.i.e.n.t.l.y. for the package to arrive from Great Northern Yarns. Picture me standing with my nose pressed against the front window, chanting 'hurry, hurry, hurry.'

*From their website.


3-Hour Scarf

I was looking for something else in the stash tonight and this - practically jumped into my hands. So I broke out the little Knitter's Loom and started warping about 6:30. By 9:30 I had the scarf woven, felted and drying in the laundry room. I *love* rigid heddle weaving. This second set of scarves took a little longer to complete. I started them 2 weeks ago in a color and weave rigid heddle class at my LYS. The pink is yarn Lion Brand gave away at a crochet conference I attended; I've always called it 'pepto bismol' pink but a classmate was closer to the mark with 'Barbie' pink. It's LOUD. And I didn't exactly tone it down when I added sparkly white as the contrast color. These are obnoxiously cheerful scarves - and the little girls will love them. The longer one is for Naia, the shorter for Addison. I think they'll like having matching Princess scarves.

Leia come out to help me photograph the scarves and the first thing she did - of course - was find something to put in her mouth.
The child has excellent hand-mouth coordination.
It's yummy, grandma.


Yard Work

Dick has been putting a lot of time into the yard this week - and I love it. I'd planned on helping him (no, really, I did . . .) but he gets up early, while I'm still sleeping, and gets several hours in before the day turns too hot.

Lots of new plants, redwood bark,
fake boulders (a la Disneyland; just thinking about it makes me laugh) and worker ants. We found this guy at the Ventura Street Fair in July and he's been hard at work ever since.

I need to find a name for Ant-man. George? Henry? Clive? Nothing sounds right. Suggestions?

Today Dick and Gary broke out the Halloween decorations - just in time for tomorrow's predicted wind storm. It never fails - October = hot and windy. Leia gave her approval to the tombstones - but AJ is still miffed about this guy hogging her favorite sunning spot. Wonder if he'll last the week before she puts the bite on him.


Pumpkin Day

I love the fall - the colors, cooler temps, holidays, everything except the wind - especially the traditional hunt for the perfect Halloween pumpkin.
click any photo to see bigger

Today we headed for the fall harvest festival at Underwood Farms for the first time; (the Colorado grandbaby visits her pumpkin farm here)
other than being very surprised at the $10 per person entrance fee, it was perfect. Lots of food booths staffed by volunteer organizations, our favorite Zydeco band, Acadiana;
Leia makes a run for it while we listen to Acadiana

a petting farm that including pony rides - a first for the fearless Leia - dirt trikes - which Naia loved - sunflowers, pumpkins, and more. We got there an hour after opening and parking was already out in the back 40. When we left 2 hours later, there were several thousand people inside the festival, with parking spread all over nearby fields.

Leia was full of herself, wanting to be down crawling on the ground (not going to happen!) but settling for moving at whim from grandparent to grandparent. At one point she practically jumped out of Grandma Kathy's arms, trying to get to the candy Naia received after her trike ride.
Leia didn't know what Naia had, but she knew it was food and she WANTED IT NOW. So funny to watch.

Family tradition (sounds better than 'rules') says that you must be able to carry whatever pumpkin you pick out, which saved us from this monster -
although Naia made a valiant attempt to get it out of the field - before setting her sights on something a little more modest. Marie looked over every.single.pumpkin before settling on this one; you can tell she already knew the rule tradition. All in all, a (hot, windy) perfect day.


Starry Eyes Scarf

I'm teaching this pattern tomorrow so I made a long skinny scarf tonight to double check the instructions I'd written. Found this silk/cashmere yarn hiding in my stash - I have no idea where or when I got it - and it's the perfect color for a Halloween scarf. (I'll post some better pix tomorrow, after I take it off the blocking board.)
The finished size, on the blocking board, is 4" wide x 60" long. I'm sure it will shrink a bit once I unpin it and the stars will be more pronounced - like the first one I made. This is an easy pattern once you understand how to do the star stitch. The pattern is posted - free! - on Ravelry (click here.) If you make it, I'd love to see your finished scarf.


Low Tech

We've made a few adjustments to the house now that Leia's here everyday. We restrict her mainly to the family room - for both her safety and the cats' sanity. Dick came up with a low tech, highly effective way to do that - foam blocks on the stairs and the entrance to the hall. Easy to move when we want to get by; easy to store away when Leia goes home.

The other exit from the family room is barricaded with a couple of ottomans. If they aren't positioned just right, Leia has learned she can bulldoze her way through. Originally, she beelined for the cat food. But now she heads as fast as she can crawl into my craft room, beelines for my recliner and stands there, patting the seat, until I sit down and put her on my lap. She already knows that's where Grandma belongs.



A new-to-me rendition of my favorite song. With gorgeous visuals.


About Time

I finally have a crocheted FO to show; seems like forever since I gotten something off the hook. This is a baby blanket for a friend, done using an expanded version of my Feather & Fan Scarf pattern and two stands of baby yarn - 1 solid, 1 variegated - held together. Details are on my Ravelry page here. I pretty much made up the border as I went along, evening out the ripple pattern on the top and bottom to create a straight edge, then adding an airy shell edging. I thought the color stripes might be too subtle in the finished blanket - but they aren't. Very happy with how it turned out.


Small World

I'm still a bit in shock. You don't expect things like this, not in the real world. One of the students in my beginning crochet class tonight was my best friend from high school. I haven't seen her since her wedding in 1972, just before she moved to the east coast.

It started with a 'you look familiar', and then the usual 'where do you work', 'where did you go to school' and 'what was your name then.' My mouth dropped open when she told me her name. We did everything together back then; I knew her entire family, just like she knew mine.

It's weird how fate works. I've thought about her over the years, wondering where and how she was. When I joined Facebook a few months ago, she was one of the first people not already in my address book that I searched for. (Different married name + not on FB = fail.) Too funny that I'd meet up with her in a crochet class, of all places.

Something else that's weird? Talking to someone about boys and grades one day, and the next time you see them, you're talking about grand kids. Just . . . wow.


Yarned Out

I'm so tired after not sleeping last night and then standing in the sun most of the day - think I'll go to bed and dream about how successful today's annual guild sale was. We made a very nice profit and got to spend the day with like-minded fibernistas. Already looking forward to next year.


Yarn - and Goodies - Sale!

The annual guild open house and sale is this Saturday at SCIART, on the campus of CSU Channel Islands.

  • We have artists - guild members will have finished weaving and spinning items, along with handmade wood fiber tools, for sale. SCIART artist studios - including the weaving studio!! - will be open for viewing and visiting.
  • and pre-owned items that would love to follow you home.
Yarn, tools, books, fiber, wheels, looms, finished items plus lots of fiber people to answer questions and show you how it's done. Hope to see you there!

Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild
Open House and Sale
Saturday, October 17
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
SCIART at CUSCI (click here for directions)


Riiiiiiip It

The littlest princess is 15 months old today. Still only 2 teeth - right in front - but her hair is getting longer and straighter, and she's allllllllmost walking. Leia loves pushing herself to stand upright but just won't take that first little step. And really, why should she when she can get everywhere she wants to go by crawling? Or by batting her baby eyes until grandma picks her up?
This sweater, that I started 2 years ago, is now this - And I feel good about it.

After finishing the front, back and most of both sleeves, I finally gave in to reality. It was going to be enormous on me; at least 6 inches too big around. I love the yarn and the pattern so I've already started the reconstruction. Think I'll get it done before another 2 years are up???