Baby, It's Cold Outside

Well, as cold as So. California gets. The wind is howling around the house and it's supposed to get down to the low-30's tonight. Not as cold as where Addy is - they got 5" of snow yesterday - but cold enough for me. And my studio is a lightly insulated 'garden' room, with lots of windows. It's chillier in here than the rest of the house.

Want to see my
new favorite thing? Oh, yeah. My very own portable room heater. Sitting right by my feet. Turned up on 'high'. That plus a cat-on-my-lap equals lots of warmth!


All Addison, All The Time

We got home late last night from Colorado and we're in the midst of Addy-withdrawal. There's nothing as sweet as holding a newborn in your arms for the first time (or second or third or fourth time).

Each afternoon, John & Rachel would take a nap, trying to catch up on some much needed rest, leaving the new grandparents in charge of cuddling Addy. And we tried valiantly to live up to the challenge. It was a hardship (NOT) but I can safely say that Addison never left our arms. (geez, couldn't they take a longer nap? Two hours just flies by when you're watching the faces a newborn makes.)
We would occasionally let Uncle Gary share the baby-holding duties. Gary was absolutely fascinated by Addison - and absolutely petrified that he would break her. Rachel had to cajole Gary into holding her the first time. You could see how fascinated he was by her size, and how unbelieving that he had ever been that small.

And somehow or another, Addison inherited the same toes as Gary.
Long, slender monkey-toes. Tiny little toes that are the same length as her fingers. When she's older, I'm sure Gary will give her pointers on what she can do with those toes - or is that (hopefully) just a 'boy' thing?

(You can see more Addison pictures here.)

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Addy's Family

Addison, with Mom & Dad. Another photo is here.


She's Here!

After a few false starts, she's finally here!

Addison Grace
Born November 21
9:31 pm (Colorado time)
6 pounds 15 ounces
20" long

Welcome Addy!


Fini, Finished, Ende

All done. And I love it. Laceweight cashmere from my favorite place. I have to confess that this is the first thing I've ever blocked. I never saw the need for it. You make it, you wear it. What's the problem? Ah, yes, never again.

The shawl went from this - approx. 61" wide by 30" long -
to this - 66" wide by 36" deep. And the pattern is so much more open and defined. I used pseudo blocking wires (fluxless welding rods; much cheaper, & since we have a Harbor Freight almost across the street, much more readily available), 100 T-pins - because that's all the store had - and a large handful of quilting pins.I ran the rods through the top edge and the center spine, bracing them in place with T-pins. That allowed me to pull against the rods as I shaped and pinned each half of the shawl. I sprayed it liberally with water and let it dry overnight. (The cats thought it was their new bed. Even when it was soaking wet, they wouldn't stay off. Typical.)

I could easily have used 3 times the number of T-pins; as soon as Michael's restocks, I'm buying them out again. And I want more welding rods, longer than the 12" ones I have now. I love how easy they were to use.

(Tech Specs: Lily Chin's Mock Faroese Shawl, "H" crochet hook, 2.5 skeins (400 yds. each) Fearless Fibers 2-ply cashmere in Exotic Wood. Shawl could easily be made with only 2 skeins.

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Griffith Observatory

We've wanted to go to the Observatory since it's recent unveiling after a $93 million dollar makeover. We tried to go last week, but didn't have the required reservation (Dick didn't read the fine print on the website; imagine that.), so we had a scenic tour of Los Feliz instead. But this week, armed with a free reservation*, we made it.

Griffith Observatory has always been one of our favorite places to visit, especially when they had the laserium show, so we were really curious to see the changes. As you approach, the building and front lawn look the same, except cleaner & all spruced up. The beautiful front doors are still there, as are both domes. The murals on the ceilings have been cleaned but are otherwise unchanged. The views are still spectacular (and smoggy).
And my favorite thing (and probably everyone else's) - the pendulum - is still there. But remember the tiles that got knocked down every hour or so? Gone. I was so disappointed. I remember standing there with the kids, waiting and waiting for the next one to go. You'd think the next swing would take it, but it didn't. Nor the next. But eventually, down it would go, often to the cheers of the crowd. I'll miss that.

I love the Camera Obscura. I don't remember it from the old building, so I think it's new. And magic. It projects a moving image of the outside world onto a table in a dark room, using a pinhole and mirrors.
The Planetarium has been totally rebuilt - gone are the old wooden headrests on the chairs, replaced by super comfy reclined chairs - and the show is great.

The biggest change is the addition of two underground levels. Remember the "unchanged" front lawn? It may look the same, but it was completely torn out and the observatory itself elevated on jacks, to make room for the new exhibits. And a new cafe (Wolfgang Puck. Be sure to have some of the pastries. Yum!), something that had been missing from the old building.

But the best of all?
The 18 minute film in the new Leonard Nemoy Event Horizon Theatre which "explores the history of the Observatory, it renovation and expansion, and all the exciting new features." Wonderful! Definitely a must-see attraction. It's amazing to hear the history of the building, but the absolute best part is seeing how they built the underground sections. Absolutely fascinating.

Our only complaint? The almost complete lack of signage. When we arrived (before opening time), everyone headed for the line at the front door. Turned out, it was only for buying planetarium tickets; the actual entrance was off to the side. Were there signs telling you that? Nope. We stood in line, along with everyone else, for the planetarium show; turned out it was the wrong door, even though it was the only door shown on the map. Any signs? Nope. No signs directing you to the new underground area; no signs by the back stairs telling you where you were headed; no signs downstairs with directions to the cafe or store or exhibits. Nary a one. And the maps they hand out were next to useless. They really need to fix that. And I'm sure they will. Eventually.

* Once you are on the reservation page, click on Limited Free Timed Reservations from Greek Theater Information. If you use the Zoo or Hollywood shuttle link, there is a fee. Free reservations can be made up to 48 hours in advance. You park at the Greek Theatre, hop on an uncrowded bus - all the school kids use the LA Zoo shuttle - for a short drive up the hill, and you're there. For free. Woohoo!


Fiber vs Football - Fiber Rules!

Check this out - be sure to put Irene in your Bloglines or leave a comment on her blog.

Quoting: "
So I have a proposal, dear knitters —in an attempt to prove to the Arizona Daily Star’s UA football blogger that insulting knitters is a rather massive mistake on his part and that a knitting blog can certainly get more hits than a football blog — I will be hosting contests this month, complete with fabulous, one-of-a-kind, knitting-related prizes."

I can't wait to see Football Blogger have to learn to knit. Never, ever doubt the power of the Fiber People!



This week's Lacevember challenge is to describe "your ideal lace making conditions". For me, just about anywhere, just about anytime is good. My usual spot is in my comfy chair, (curious about the fish? The story is here - scroll to the bottom.) in my studio (this is the view from my chair. All the curtains are up now & it's a little more cluttered, but I love it), with a cat - or 2 - on my lap and either music or the TV playing.

I've also been known to crochet during DS's soccer games,
on a boat, and in a plane, but not while riding in a car (I get motion sick. Bummer, especially on long trips.)

While watching TV, during boring meetings, while waiting for meals in restaurants (I'm a lot more patient now; slow service? Yeah, baby - more time to crochet!), and standing in line. At guild meetings is another favorite spot.
I love to see what everyone else is working on - and show my stuff too.

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Flash Your Stash

Or, what the heck do I do with all this fiber?

My favorite purveyor of stash had a sale this week, so I had to stock up, right? Who knows when she might have another sale. It would be silly not to take advantage of it, right? Yeah. Right.

Deb was selling off orphans - single skeins - and some multiples that didn't turn out as she intended. The one-day only sale was scheduled to start at 8 a.m. . . . . so I was up and online at 7:15, just in case she had them listed early. Not that I'm competitive or anything (stop laughing) and you know that I am not a morning person, but I wanted first crack at those yarns. And it worked!
Cashmere. Gorgeous, laceweight cashmere. From left to right, Morocco, Midnight Rendezvous, and Sedona. Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but eventually they'll tell me what they want to be.

And two skeins (score!) of October, a DK weight 55% mohair/45% wool blend. Almost 1000 yards. I love these colors - so autumny and perfect. I think this will make a great lacey shawl; I just need to find the right pattern.

While at the fiber retreat in Cambria, I picked up two hanks of Corriedale roving in a wild colorway called "Toucan's Fruit".
I loved the vibrant colors - and Corrie is one of my favorite wools - and thought this would make a great lockerhooked rug for Addy's room. (Actually, for Addy's mom to stand on in the middle of the cold, cold nights when she has to get up - yet again - to feed, change, burp, or just hold young Addison.) I haven't gotten very far yet, but I love how this is turning out.
And, of course, I don't have enough of it. I've emailed Judy's Novelty Wool to see if I can get more. Otherwise, this is going to be a very short rug.

This is the start of the baby bunting I'm making with
Plymouth Yarn's Bella Colour, a cotton/acrylic blend. I still love the colors (it's 2 strands held together so the colors blend & change) but it's not as soft and pliable as I thought it would be. Hope I don't end up frogging this one.

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My Wheels

Florence - Lendrum double-treadle folding wheel

Grace - antique Saxony wheelClaire - antique European Castle wheelBekki - Ashford TravelerEleanor - Dundas cherry & purpleheart wheel
Helga - Clemes & Clemes Kit Wheel
Maggie - antique European Castle wheel
Elspeth - German wheel from approx. 1849

Rebuilt Wheels:

November 2006 - Sally's Wheel, dated 1871

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Lacevember Questionnaire

The Crocheting Questions, Or The Usual Suspects

How long have you been crocheting? Since I was 9 or 10; let's just say it's been more than 30 years and leave it at that, shall we? ;)

How did you learn to crochet? My mother taught me. She also taught me to sew. Crocheting took; sewing didn't.

Favorite thing about crochet? The creative process. I love how you can take string and a hook and make just about anything you want. The possibilities are endless.

How long have you been crocheting lace? I've crocheted lace, off & on, for over 25 years. About 20 years ago, I loved making crocheted doilies, but the hooks are just too small for me to hold comfortably; my hands cramp up badly. Now I concentrate on projects that use lace weight yarn with a larger hook size.

Favorite thing about crocheting lace. How beautiful it looks when it is blocked.

The yarn questions, or flash your stash
Favorite lace yarn? Fearless Fibers cashmere

variegated or solids for shawls? Depends on the pattern; I love to use handpainted fiber with a simpler pattern. It shows off both the lace and the yarn colors.

Favorite lace color? Shades of brownTechnique, or show us your skillz

Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet? Welding rods & T-pins, stuck in my carpet. Who has the $$ for blocking wires? It cuts into the cash available for stash enhancement!

Pattern, or can you follow directions

shawls or lacey items? Shawls

triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls? They're all good. Triangle & rectangle are my current favorites.

Charts or printed instructions? PRINTED! I actually love reading patterns. (very strange, I know.) I've never gotten the hang of reading crochet charts.

Favorite lace you've crochet? Lily Chin's Mock Faroese Shawl

Favorite lace you want to crochet? I want to design my own shawl pattern. Soon.

Just Fun, yup that's right, just for fun

Favorite jelly belly flavor? Watermelon

Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red..... Eric the What?

Coke, classic or with lime? Diet Coke with Lime. Diet Coke rules, especially with breakfast.

Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves? Love, love, love listening to holiday carols.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? Who has the patience to lick them? Just bite it and get to the good stuff!

Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door? She can smell the dirty socks that litter his floor. Why should she be the only one that doesn't gag?

What is your superhero power? Procrastination.

If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that's a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? Purple. If I have to spend time doing the ***** laundry, I might as well have the room be a fun color.

What's for dinner tonight? Eggplant parmesian from Macaroni Grill. Yum.

What is clogging my children's bathtub drain? Why would I want to know this?? Ignorance truly is bliss.

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We Lost

My new socks weren't so lucky after all. P6 lost. If we'd needed only a simple majority, we would have won with a very comfortable margin. But the 2/3's majority was just too big a hurdle.

There are still a lot of absentee ballots to be counted, but since the ratio of yes/no has remained fairly constant from the first absentee ballots through the final precinct tally, I don't think we'll pull off a miracle. I'm bummed - but very, very happy to be retired once again.

To console myself (or celebrate, depending on how you look at it), I took a jaunt to my favorite LYS. Last Sunday, I worked with Lois in her booth at the Torrance Weaving & Spinning Festival. This was the first time she'd taken her store on the road, other than our guild's annual sale & show at the Dudley House, and she seemed a little apprehensive. I offered to go with her; I didn't need anything but I wanted to see the show and since I my usual partner in fibe
r acquisition wasn't interested in going, I was happy to hook up with Lois.

Fabulous day.
The show is small but has high quality vendors. We had lots of traffic all day long at the booth - and those women (and the few men) were there to spend money. We did very, very well; our tables were looking plenty picked over by the time we packed up for the day.

Plus, as a vendor, I didn't have to pay
admission, received a free lunch and Lois drove, so I didn't even have to pay for gas. I had plenty of time to wander around and look at what the other vendors were offering. To top it off, Lois paid me in yarn.

Today's yarn store trip was the first chance I've had to spend Sunday's yarn-check. I bought this -
Blue Heron's bulky rayon chenille in 'Deep Water'. It is decadently soft and the colors are gorgeous. Don't know what I'm going to make with it; just knew that I had to have it.

And I got this:
14 skeins of Plymouth Yarn's Bella Colour, a cotton/acrylic blend. I'm planning to make a baby bunting set from the Big Book of Crochet. The colors are more intense than the usual baby colors, but I think they will work up very nicely. And I'd better get started on it soon. After talking to Rachel today, I don't think Addy is going to put off her appearance much longer.

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