New Bobbin Lacer

Since Naia did so well with weaving, I thought she might like to try bobbin lace. She went with me to class tonight and . . . . . . got it on the first try! She did much better than my buddies and I did in our first class. It took us the entire 2 hour session to make one little fish (the traditional first project). Naia got hers done in under an hour and immediately started another, harder pattern.

My fish is at the top left, Naia's red first fish is next to it.

The kid's a natural. And I am one proud grandma!


Second Project

Naia and I have been talking about what she'd like to do for her second weaving project. Her first scarf was a big success - so much so that she has a list of friends who've asked her to make them one. Our plan - subject to change, of course, after we do a bit of sampling and see how it looks and feels - is to cut up some of her out-grown jeans and use them as weft. Naia's thrilled that her old clothes can be turned into something so cool. (And I'm thrilled she won't be able to try sneaking out of the house again, wearing her favorite much-too-small shorts.)

Naia got the 12" Knitters Loom warped in about an hour tonight (with only a little hindrance help from her baby sister who does not like being left out of anything Naia is doing.) She did all the work herself, except for tying the final knots after the warp was wound on. Actual weaving should commence tomorrow once homework is done (and I'm betting she's going to be very motivated to get it done quickly. Bonus for me!)
And another bonus? I get to try out the new-to-me strip cutter I bought earlier this month. Enabling a new weaver and playing with new toys. Can it get any better?


Lace and Strudel

Took a quick trip northward Friday for a strudel and yarn fix, but ended up with a lace and tatting fix instead (and strudel, of course). Village Spinning and Weaving (since it's our local weaving/spinning shop, we just call it John & Marsha's) has about the best supplies of craft books I've ever seen, including an entire shelf on bobbin lace and both shuttle and needle tatting.

I've wanted to learn tatting for a while now, but getting a needle tatting demonstration at TNNA turned it into an obsession. I picked up a how-to book and needle, along with a knitting pattern, bobbin lace pattern book and a pretty pair of hand-painted lace bobbins.
Notice what I didn't get? Yep, no yarn or fiber. I was really proud of myself for sticking to my goal of use-it-up, aka I have too much yarn to use in six lifetimes.

And that feeling of accomplishment lasted until I made just a quick stop at Loop and Leaf in Santa Barbara on the way home . . . . where I picked up this -
What makes L&L a must-stop location is the fact that they carry completely different yarns than my LYS, including Habu (stainless steel and silk yarn?? oh, yeah), Kauni, and every color of Madelinetosh Pashmina imaginable. Totally irresistible stuff.

And speaking of Kauni - my Pi Shawl is coming along nicely. Only 15 rows to go until I hit the last increase row, which will put my stitch count at 576 per row for the last 60 rows. So, 13,509 stitches down and only 38,880 to go.
Almost wish I hadn't figured that out.


Start 'em Young

Leia helped me with the dishes tonight, for the first time. We ended up with more water on the floor than in the sink, but who cares? Water is easily cleaned up. Meema and Leia time is priceless.


How To Entertain A Two-Year-Old

We took Leia with us on a lunch trip to Ventura Harbor today. What started out as a quick trip for fish 'n chips turned into a 2-hour adventure. It still amazes me how much fun little kids can be, and how fresh and new everything is to them.

How to entertain a 2-year old:
First you feed them oyster crackers and french fries, with lots of ketchup on the side.

Then you take them on a hike around the harbor,
admiring the boats, dodging the gulls and taking pictures (while giggling like crazy) at all the usual tourist spots. You watch the look of pure joy when they first see the carousel (we were the only riders) and chase behind when they take off at a dead run for the ice cream store (where they've obviously been before with Dad) yelling 'ice cream, ice cream, ice cream' all the way up the stairs, through the shop and right to the counter. How could anyone say 'no' to that face?
Then you bring them home for a nap - but they stay awake and you fall asleep, totally exhausted from your big adventure.


Baby Shower

Today was Marie's baby shower, held at Scott's mother's house in Sherman Oaks. We had cake from the BreadBasket (super yummm!), wonderful food prepared by Marcella, great friends, sweet gifts for Leanne, including this from Meg's son William -

so perfect for Marie's lady bug baby theme
and played my very favorite game of pass the baby. This is Celedonio, my 5-month old grand-nephew. Such a sweetie! And such a good sport about becoming a human football. Marie's due Feb. 15 so I'll soon have lots of pictures of a brand new baby!


FO and a Half

Finding time to blog has taken a back seat to finding time to craft. I finished Leanne's baby blanket in time for Marie's baby shower this Sunday - and I'm about halfway through the Pi Shawl I started in class last week. I decided to do the medium difficulty shawl, the one with concentric circles (yarn-overs) every 5 or 6 rows. About the time I get bored with the pattern, the yarn starts to change color and I get re-energized. I've gone from green to lavender, and blue is next up. Last class is Feb. 2 and I need to have this done and ready to start the border. Anyone want to place a bet on that?

Leanne's blanket was supposed to be a hexagranny but - since apparently I can't count - it ended up as a pentagranny.
I changed colors at random, using more pink since I had 3 balls of that and only 1 of white from the 75% off sale at Pearl's. I eventually found more white at Anacapa, but it was on backorder for a looooong time - I was getting seriously worried I wouldn't get the blankie done on time.
I pinned it out for blocking today with a little help from Leia,
who was anxious to show off the Mardi Gras beads she appropriated from Naia after the later left for school this morning. Edie gave these to Naia at spin night last night and both girls love them. They've been great for talking about colors and counting and sharing and bugs (the lobster you see in Leia's hand; she loved it at first but later decided it was scary.) So sweet of Edie and it made two little girls very happy.

Please pardon my bed-head; I have a cold
and combing my hair was not on my agenda for the day.
Love, Leia


Icelandic Shawl

I started this back in July as part of '10 Shawls in 2010' but couldn't quite get it done before 2011 rolled around. Almost made it - this would have been #20 for the year but shoulder and wrist pain made me rethink priorities. But it's now knit, soaked, blocked, guarded

Leia insisted on making her 'bed'
right beside where I had the shawl blocking

and modeled by Leia,
and the cat, both indoors and in the great outdoors.

Pattern is 'Traditional Icelandic Three-Cornered Shawl'
by Halldóra Skarphéðinsdóttir. The yarn is almost an entire skein* of Kauni 8/2 Effektgarn, a sport-weight Shetland-type wool that is fast becoming one of my favorite fibers. It's a little stiff straight from the skein, but it's heaven to work with - absolutely no splitting and the colors are wonderful - and softens up nicely when soaked in a bit of warm water and wool wash (I use SOAK but hair conditioner works too.) The finished shawl is light, airy, warm and wonderful. Can't wait to show it off at Guild Saturday.

* I had planned to use the entire skein but, with only two rows left to go, the d##n cable pulled out of the d##n KnitPicks interchangeable needles** and I had to carefully pick up the several dozen stitches that had fallen off while sitting in my knitting bag. Can you say 'not a happy camper'? I held my breath and didn't even dare to swear until I had them all safely back on the repaired d##n cable.

** I've had this happen before, on other projects. Which is why I'm switching to Addy Click Interchangeable needles. Love.Them.


Malabrigo Scarf

I seriously love this scarf. I wasn't sure the yarn shading would work with this pattern - but it does. This is less than a full skein of Malabrigo Lace, probably 400 yards, with a weight of 1.5 ounces - which also explains why it was so hard to photograph outdoors yesterday. It kept trying to fly away from my model. Who asked a) if she could have it; and b) when was I making her one. My plan to make fibernistas of the baby grands is definitely working.


Sleepy Time

Naia and I came home from knit night about 7:45 to find this - Leia sound asleep on her favorite pillow and PopPop looking like he just woke up from a nap of his own.

Leia goes to daycare 3 times a week and by the end of the day she is very tired - in a good way. She is running and playing all day with her buddies and she loves it.

Coming home to practice twirls in her new outfit probably played a part in tonight's sleepiness. I found this on sale at Target last night and had to have it. Leia loves the soft little pink skirt. Be sure to click the pictures to make them bigger; her expressions are so cute.

Before leaving for knit night, Naia modeled my newest FO (more info soon.)
Too bad the sun was directly in her eyes. I didn't notice it until I uploaded the pictures tonight and found not a decent facial expression in the lot. Oh well. Maybe I can get her to model again tomorrow. In a more shaded spot.