Monday, April 24, 2006


I received the Level 3 Master Knitter's materials in the mail the day before we left on vacation last week. I've been working on the swatches I have to knit. I've finished five of the 18 already and am knitting on an interesting swatch this evening.

Herringbone. This is a knit stitch that ends up looking and feeling like herringbone tweed woven cloth. I am fascinated with the texture. It's super easy to knit with only one new technique--knitting an increase by knitting into the back of the stitch below the next stitch and then knitting the next stitch. The style and texture are old fashioned and I don't think I'd ever make anything with the stitch, but it's interesting and looks different depending on how I hold it up to the light.

Double Brioche. That is a cool looking very elastic and springy stitch and it was harder to knit. I'd knit a baby blanket for a grandchild using that stitch, but not for anyone else. Too easy to make a mistake and have to start all over again.

I know this final level of the Master Handknitting is going to challenge me. If you see me staring off into space and muttering to myself, it's normal, I'm just thinking about a project.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Last Week

I want to mention that I spent a great two days in Camarillo last week. I drove up Wednesday morning to my friend Sandy's and we talked nonstop until 1 am and then got up in the morning and started in again. Sandy has a business teaching writing to grade, middle and high schoolers. We have a lot in common and enjoy bouncing ideas off each other. After eating lunch at the Ventura Marina we walked over to the beach and then to the Channel Islands National Park/Museum where we were able to climb up the tower and look around Ventura, and out to the Channel Islands. It was a beautiful day and we just stood up there and looked out toward Hawaii...
I spent the afternoon with Martha and came away laden with treasures as usual. Martha always makes me laugh :) Then at the last hour I drove to Joy's and got some blueberries for Easter dinner.
I ended up having to pick up Mia at Biola so I drove straight down the 101 to the 5 and over to LaMirada. Way too much night driving for me!
But all in all I had a great getaway. But who wouldn't if you went to a place you love and were treated as a dear friend every place you visited?

Home Again

We got home from Morro Bay last night about dark. We have had a lovely vacation--about 100 hours away from LA traffic. We enjoyed our visit in Visalia with Jeff and Deb and while we were there we took two 5 mile bike rides around town, visited the local knit shop, had coffee with Debbie and Jerry, bbq lunch at Deb's office (the boss lady referred to Deb as a diamond! Yes, my girl does shine!) and morning coffee with Deb before work. Of course I enjoyed playing with the boys, Touchy and Hobbes a bit although they usually ignore me.

We took off from Visalia Thursday morning and drove the back roads to Morro Bay. I never used to get car sick but again Thursday I was a little woozy by the time we got out to the ocean. Maybe I shouldn't try to knit on windy roads...

I love Morro Bay. We walked out to the jetty and on the beach; we rode our bikes 20 miles to Los Osos and back; we visited a funky used book store, the Two Dogs' Coffee Shop, Willow Creek Beads, a couple of great restaurants along the Embarcadero; we soaked up slow traffic, friendly people, even met and conversed with a group of INDONESIAN speaking tourists. Best part? Probably the bike rides and relaxing. We needed it. On the way home we stopped to see Martha and Will and Joy. Starbuck's pastries and blueberries.

Mia got in from Philadelphia last night and John picked her up at LAX. We crashed and got up this morning and went to GBCLB and did the usual coffee at Starbuck's and dinner after. Today we went to a mall, bought me some shoes and met Mike at Red Robin for lunch. I love a week when I get to see all my kids!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I am using Deb's laptop to write this evening because even though we have our wireless card in my laptop and it worked last night, it's not working today. Technology...

We have had a nice time visiting Visalia. We dropped Mia off at LAX to fly to Philadelphia and then we drove up to Visalia arriving just before Deb got home from work. After a nice dinner we hung out and then went to bed. This morning we rode our bikes to the AAA office to get a map of Visalia (about 5 miles) and then we went to lunch at Deb's office. That was really fun because the people she works with are great people and they seem to really like her. And she's really happy working there. We had made sate and teriyaki and took them to bbq. Then we met Debbie and Jerry for coffee and had a good chat and picked up some freshly ground whole wheat flour. After that, we got our bikes and took another 5 mile ride along the St. John's River. After a dinner of more sate, rice and green beans, and ice cream, we watched a Thin Man movie.

Tomorrow we are going on over to Morro Bay for a couple days of beach walking, bike riding and relaxing at the motel. We have plenty of books and I have my knitting.

Speaking of knitting, I've finished the vanilla socks and wore them last night for a while.

Also, I received TKGA Master Handknitting Level 3 instructions. OK, I'm a good knitter, but I've never heard of tubular cast-off! I've got to find out what it is so I can do it on the first swatch.

I haven't written about my wonderful two day visit to Ventura County to see my good friends Joy and Sandy and my sil Martha. I had a GREAT time and even visited the Channel Islands National Park in Ventura. I LOVE the beach!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

He Is Risen!

Easter Dinner will be at our house as soon as the ham is cooked.

How does this sound for Easter Dinner: baked ham, buttermilk mashed potatotes, Laurie Maaz's yummy mandarin-almond green salad, asparagus, green beans, and, for dessert, blueberry parfaits with blueberries hand picked by Joy on the ranch.

Guest list: Matt and TaraSky Alford, Mike, Dan, Mia, John, Me, Dorothy Steventon and Lynette Bartsch. And Angel.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Walk The Line

John and I just finished watching Walk The Line, the story of Johnny Cash. I spun some more of that brown wool and also did a 30 minute work out on the elliptical machine while watching. Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix were great. I loved the scenes in Folsom Prison. And I want the lakeside house!

If you want to know what goes on in our neighborhood look up and click on the top stories. There is a video clip about the murder of the man who was dragged out of his car and shot in front of the middle school where John teaches. When the English teacher got to school this morning at 7:15 he couldn't drive into the school because the police had the whole street blocked. He had to park at the elementary school and walk over. By the time we arrived, I guess the police were gone, but we didn't know anything because we usually park at the elementary school (in the next block).

Tomorrow I'm driving up to Ventura County to see a couple of friends and Martha for a couple of days. Sandy said we can do whatever I want--shop, go to the beach, hang out--well she knows me--the beach it is. I love the beach and I'd rather do most anything than go shopping! I'm hoping to get to the ranch and pick some blueberries and get some honey.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Vanilla Socks

OK, I just wrote a long entry and somehow deleted it. So you are going to get the short version.

I knitted for a bit on the white socks which are actually VANILLA, according to the Brown Sheep Co. Wildfoote Yarn label. I like the yarn for the most part but it does split when you're knitting as everyone knows and which annoys everyone. I was driving down Imperial Hwy after dropping Mia off at Biola and I was missing EVERY stoplight. So I pulled out my sock and knitted at the stoplights and got 3 or 4 rounds knitted up by the time I made it to the 105 Fwy. Portable knitting projects are the best!

I started working this morning with the sweetest first grader named Karisma. She's not too sure about coming to my room and so I have beguiled her with stickers. K is really quite smart but she is so sensitive she has been in tears several times over having to come work with me. Now she's finding out it's so much fun--writing on blackboards and with crayons and getting stickers. K reads well, just has developed some really bad writing habits which I think will self correct quickly with a little guidance.

The older girls are writing sponsor letters for me to send to my sponsors. heheh. This month I'll send those out as thank yous. The girls are having some much fun with the letters. They get to erase and that's a big deal in our classroom! And the best part is that they asked if they could write them and they practiced all the words and spellings and it is really being a fun learning project.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Back Again

I haven't written for almost a month. I check Dan's and Deb's blogs every day but I don't think about writing in mine. I figure no one reads it, anyway. So, if you read my blog, let me know and maybe I'll be inspired to write more often.

Dan sent me a post about a group of blogger knitters who took photos of their yarn stashes. I looked at them all and envied their large piles of yarn and had to stop because I really wanted some of that yarn! All of my yarn (except some handspun stuff) fits in one dresser with four drawers. It would fit in two of the drawers if I filled them up, but I like to be able to find my yarn easily.

Right now I'm knitting a pair of white socks. The tops have lace cuffs. I've finished the first sock and am well into the second.

Also, I took the plunge and ordered The Knitting Guild Association's Hand Knitting Master's Level Three last week! I'm looking forward to getting the directions and looking through them. I'm not sure I'm looking forward to all the work, but it will be a good learning experience and I want to reach the goal of being a Master Knitter.

Off to watch another episode of Foyle's War!