Monday, December 25, 2006

My First White Christmas

Sorry for the long absence it's been a bit busy and I didn't have much time for Blogging.

Business trip to Ohio and family Christmas trip to the north east.

Details and lots of photos of the fun coming soon

Well, after 47 Christmas' I finally had my first "White Christmas" OK officially it was on Christmas night, but it was still a White Christmas.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Is this the beginning of a new obsession?

This morning I drove to one of my favorite LYS, La Petite Knitterie
to meet with a master spinner and wonder knitter Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio. What a patient soul to guide me through this portion of the extensive research project to buy a spinning wheel.

Before we started she gave me a little science lesson and explained the mechanics of what we were going to attempt. Before long I was sitting behind the wheel making my first hank. As ugly as it was I saved it to put along side my first hideous knitted practice piece that will never be seen by the outside world.

Lori had me spinning Blue Face Leicester because it's supposed to be an easy fiber to learn on. now all I have to do is pull the trigger and buy one. Oh the wheel I have settled on is the Majacraft "Rose"

OK, after a nudge from Mrs. Twisted I added the finished product of my lesson. DK to Chunky without trying... What a humbling experience. I certainly have a better appreciation for hand spun fiber.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Our Little Stars Hollow

It's hard to find the small town feel in Southern California but their are tiny pockets of it if you look hard for it. I'm not sure if you watch Gilmore Girls but we would love to live in the small town of Stars Hollow and enjoy the activities that are normal in such a setting. We attend a Stitch & Bitch in a town that has some of this flair. Tonight we attended a Candle light procession concert and Christmas tree lighting ceramony. It's nice when the town closes the main cross streets for the sake of comunity culture. They arranged for an outdoor concert by a full ohchestra of 65 persons and a choir of 150+. Sound system lighting and hundreds of chairs. But with all the size and grandure it still remains a small town. The Mayor is a native of the town and that's hard to find that anymore in So Ca. "Taylor Doose" is encarnated the mayor here. The chamber of comerce couldn't have created a better advertisement than this guy.

It's about 65 degrees here tonight yet since it's Christmas time everyone insist on wearing silly hats and dressing for the north pole

I'm in a tee shirts, shorts and flips because it's not cold it just Christmas time.

This hat looked like it could be replicated with Berrocco Suede and some fluff

for those of you who like you Tube...

oh and sorry for rotating the camera. Bad Idea on Video

Friday, December 01, 2006

Exciting news

I joined the sock club at Posh Yarns in the UK this morning! Each month we get enough fiber to make one pair of luxury socks in special colorway only available to the members.
For all of you fiber snobs, (we know who we are) this place has the most beautiful cashmeres and silks. I cant wait to get the first shipment. The sock club was closed since August and it's limited to only 50 people so I'm jazzed to get in. The Mrs. and I will be making some nice socks shortly. I know, I know we really don't need anymore yarn but this was special. See my post on enabling if you have any questions....

Thanks to Dee @ Posh Yarns!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It pays not to be poultry today

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Days like this give me reasons to ponder.
I have learned to be thankful everyday not just a certain Thursday in November.

  • I have a roof over my head
  • Food to sustain my body, not always the normal 3 squares but why be normal when you grow old, have a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast or pancakes for dinner once in a while.
  • Employment to sustain my somewhat comfortable lifestyle
  • Two incredible children
  • My best friend/lover/soul mate/partner/wife. Everything is better with you.
  • I must give special thanks to the yarn Gods for Silk Merino and Cashmere, we are not worthy.
  • Leo Fender, George Fullerton and the music gods for without you, the music I love may not exist.
  • Stretch pants for days like these.
  • My friends and family near and far
  • Chocolate
  • To watch Jerry Springer instead of being on the stage.
  • and everyday I wake up for another turn in the circus, no matter what ring I'm in.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Enabler and Chrome White Hair

Our Saturday trip started as normal. I yelled at the McDonalds drive through idiots again but I won’t digress. The goal was to head down the coast to Knitting by the Beach in Solana Beach. The Mrs, and I have been looking for a Tilli Tomas Trinket Bag for our trip back east next month. Undecided on what color to chose, we picked up both the Plum and Red (American Beauty) with the thought of we keep one and gift the other.

This point brings me to the second topic.

If you’re a knitter and you teach the enabling husband to knit, watch out because it’s a slippery slope.
You may hear phrases like these:

You know that blah blah blah pattern on Knitty would look great in that yarn.
Go ahead and get it, that fiber color looks good on you, very slimming.
It’s all right, use my card, I get paid in a couple days.
It brings out the color in your eyes
You know that would look good with the blah blah blah in your closet (insert top, skirt, shoes, or purse)
I know we don’t have a project for it but I’m sure we’ll find one.
You know if we don’t get it, we’ll regret it foever and kick ourselves for not getting it.
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is good (The enabler always has this in the pantry)
Shipping is free on orders over $40.00 !
I used my frequent buyer’s card and save another 15% (the enabler has all the cards yes even Yarn stores have these cards)
I’ll knit faster soon
As I said earlier it’s a slippery slope, most of these rationalizations can be used for buying shoes and new clothes etc. etc. Even the voice of reason (Mrs. Twisted) has few countermeasures for THE ENABLER

Oh we didn’t find the right yarn for the trinket bag so we had the back up plan to head down to Yarns of La Jolla to just shop. (Really I knew we were going there all along and I was looking forward to it.) We love this shop, They have a brilliant sales person who has a wonderful knowledge of yarns used and patterns on all the heavily traveled web sites and a knack for exquisite yarn selection. Thank you Kate, you matched a ball of Rowan tapestry to the plum bag that was just beautiful. We never even thought about a wool blend on the bag, but it was a perfect match. We decided to dress up the red bag by shopping through our own stash with either silk yarn we have or we order the matching silk from Tilli Tomas

On the drive north coming out of La Jolla we passed a couple. One guy in his 20’s and a guy(we found out it was a lady after we passed her) with Chrome White hair (Think fine young Cannibals) As we passed them we both said almost the same thing at the exact same time. (I said) That guy looks like Johnny Winter and (she said ) That guy looks like Edgar Winter. As we laughed we realized that not many people would even understand the references let alone have the same thought process. We know we are meant to be together. At times it seems like we think from the same brain. Two twisted souls, loving life one glorious day at a time. For those of you who don’t know, Edgar Winter was known for the songs "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride" (1973), with Rick Derringer. Johnny Winter is a phenomenal Blues Guitarist who has been around since the early 60’s

The bag is finished too

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My Secret Pal Package Arrived!!!!

All the anticipation was worth the wait. My SP9 package arrived Saturday.

A very nice lady in Ottawa I believe her first name begins with an "L" because she almost signed the card enclosed with the gifts.

I feel a bit shamed by the attention to detail compared to my package.
Each item was individually wrapped and labeled as follows

Something Practical

A CHIBI for my travel bag

Something Sweet

Dark Chocolate and Mint, these won't last long.

Something Manly

"His" Glycerin soap.

Something Luxurious

Sea Silk By Hand Maiden Fine Yarns. 70% silk and 30% Seacell Colorway Ocean
This fiber is magnificent in color, texture and sheen. My secret Pal has selected a wonderful yarn and also shown me a Canadian source for luxury fiber.

And Something Very Canadian

Pure Canadian Maple syrup!!!! In a glass bottle.
Even Mrs. Butterworth's has gone to the plastic bottle

Thank You Secret Pal!!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

There is an FO in the house... Elvis has left the building

Not mine but I want to share..

A week and a half ago we stopped by A Mano Yarn Center, see the link in the sidebar. They are helping a women's shelter for expecting mothers. The shop donated the yarn and we donate the time to create blankets for the newborn babies. If you have the time, it's time well spent. This was adapted from a rug pattern in knitting in the round.

Check out the knit picot cast off edging I found in our library of knitting books.

We affectionately nicknamed this the spumoni baby burrito blanket. Now for your viewing pleasure, Elvis Bear models the proper roll.

I picked up the socks I cast on some months back. Note to self,
never set a project down and leave it for months because I had no idea where I was. Loving the Koigu KPPPM, it's beautiful yarn for the socks. I'm past the picking up stitches and the rest looks like smooth sailing. Problem is that I wear a size 15 show so it may take a few rounds to get to the toe.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ok I had to do the who do I look like thing

I wanted to see who I looked like because I never really thought I looked like anyone famous.

Ok, I agree with Bill Paxton but Dave Navarro? I guess it could be worse.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pirate party or party like a pirate

We had a chance to attend friends child's birthday party today. A co-worker to the Mrs did this party BIG, Pinata, bounce room and clown. Pirate themed and lots of fun, Arrrrrrrgg.

Strung up and ready for the beating of his short life.

These Guys are serious, they bring pulleys to assist in the movement of the candy filled buccaneer.

One to many shots to the pirate junk and .....

Game over! He loses his head over a little candy.

It's a bad day when you end it upside down in a trash can

Other news, we booked our tickets to go back east to spend Christmas with the wife's family. My first white Christmas. A little creative booking has us driving to Vegas to fly back to Boston. The four hour drive, saved us $400.00 dollars.

We are now on a mission to pre scout all the great yarn shops anywhere between Maine to New York. If anyone has suggestions for where we could stop and visit, please let me(us) know. If you have been reading this blog you know we love the luxury and or hand spun/hand dyed silks or blends. All you lurkers out there please let me know where you would want to go yarn shopping. We are looking at spinning wheels too.

Secret Pal Package #2 is going out this week. I'm having way more fun with this than I ever imagined.

While we were gone today someone barfed Christmas on the lawn near us. Just a bit early for my taste. Can't people wait till the turkey is gone? Isn't that what the day after Thanksgiving is for? We had another neighbor put up lights the day after Halloween. Maybe it's just Christmas lights peer pressure. I will not succumb.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Two Degrees of Separation (hold the bacon)

Today was a banner day for the Twisted couple
A brief chronology of the day
  1. Breakfast
  2. New yarn shop (small purchase)
  3. Breakfast for lunch
  4. 2nd yarn shop (no purchases but saw the cutest Tilli Thomas Elegant Trinket liner)
  5. 3rd yarn shop (no longer in business but we saw a fun restaurant sign)
  6. 4th yarn store, Major purchase, brush with person who works with stars.
  7. Found the new Lucky magazine on the rack at the grocery store before going home.

First stop. The Knot Garden located in Encino. Tucked away in a nice multi-level open mall. Nice selection of yarn and patterns. The goal of the day was to restrain our purchases and be selective. Mrs. Twisted has a future project of a baby sweater. 4 balls of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino and a couple patterns for a throw. Best of all they have a frequent buyer card.

By the time we finished in the first shop it was almost 1:00 and the food from the surrounding restaurants was making it hard to skip lunch and then we saw there was a Waffle place in the same mall, directly under the yarn shop. Who could say no to waffles? "Waffles and More",A little expensive but delicious omelets and pumpkin waffles were just the ticket.

Off to Stop # 2 "Rather B Knitting

Upscale store with luxury yarns. Nothing to make us pull the plastic card out but they had a Tilli Thomas trinket liner that was finished in a beautiful magenta silk. One problem was that they didn't have another one to sell, just the sample bag.

Off to stop #3

"Yarn for all Seasons" no longer in business but we saw a great name for an eatery in the West Valley.

Draw your own conclusions

Last stop...

A stop to A Mano was just to pick up a hat form. Mrs. Twisted made a hat that will be felted soon but she wanted the hat form to help support it while it dries. Here is where the day became really exciting. After finding the most amazing Malabrigo Velvet Grapes yarn, we decided to hang around for a little while and knit with the other customers and enjoy the chit-chat. This nice lady comes in and talks to the owner and sits down and pulls out this simply beautiful sweater made out of Debbie Bliss Superchunky cashmerino in a deep lilac color. Shannita , the owner, was talking to this lady about a repair of her sweater when the woman mentioned it wasn't for the Gilmore girls..... Huhhhhhh? Our ears perked up and we asked if she worked for the show and she replied she was the costume designer for the Gilmore Girls. OMG OMG OMG!!!

Hello! This is like one of the best shows ever!

We were thrilled to meet her and asked about some of the outfits and she was talking about the hand knit sweaters and clothes she has made for certain episodes. I asked her about a dress that Sookie wore in one episode. Mrs. Twisted bought the same dress months earlier at Torrid. She smiled and agreed and said that she remembered the distinct pattern. What a wonderful lady! So nice and friendly! She shared her tales freely as she inquired what we were all making. As she passed behind me she touched my back. The hand that has touched Lorelai, Rory and Sookie touched me! As close to the Gilmore girls as we may ever get. 2 degrees of separation LOL

Oh yeah the yarn....

Malabrigo, So beautiful and soft!

Some Yarn Bras for the secret Pal

A new Spinning Magazine. This may be a little dangerous.

A Mano is supporting a local charity knit program for newborn babies. This will soon be a soft baby blanket for a special child .

The reason for the visit to A Mano. One Plastic Hat Form

And how could we pass up this cute button in the shape of a Reese's Peanut butter cup?

This will go on a felted purse going to the Secret Pal in the second care package.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

If you love Sam Cooke check this out

I bought a new CD Sunday and I must share it. If you love late 50's blues/jazz then you'll love this. Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke reincarnated in this young English guy with an incredible band. What Style!!!!!!
James Hunter "people gonna talk"

It's so good I bought his earlier album online tonight.(of course I bought the import from England instead of the re-release because I guess I am a music snob too.)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ever see a Dolphin wearing a coconut bra?

I want to thank Our lovely friend in SF who sent us these two books recently. The spinners companion is just fuelling the fire for me to buy a spinning wheel. Like I really need the nudge.

We miss you!

Back from Mexico Friday, and had a wisdom tooth removed Saturday No fun there but life goes on. Back on the road for fun times. Saturday afternoon we went to Rogers Garden Center in Newport Beach to see the Orange County Rose Society exhibition. Beautiful roses! I forgot the camera so there are no pics. If you have a chance to visit the Garden center it's amazing. They have a Rosarian there and everything.

Sunday was a nice day of rest. Mid afternoon we took a nice drive down the coast towards Laguna and were suprised with the new costumes on the topiary trees in Corona Del Mar. Most Holidays the trees get decorated and it's just another fun thing we enjoy together. Just one more reason we love Southern Ca.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

life is good

I'm off on a business trip to Mexicali Mexico and it makes you appreciate our country that much more. Missing Mrs. Twisted like crazy but I will be home in her arms in no time.

I just received a wonderful letter from my Secret Pal ( spoilee) and this being the first time for me to do the secret pal thing I didn't really know what to expect. For those of you who read my ramblings will already know that I tend to be a tad extreme or even borderline psychotic so it was really nice to read her warm thanks. It was all worth while to me now.

(M) is a young crochet person from another continent. I had such fun investigating and learning about her craft and trying to tie the gifts into where I live and the culture here. She still doesn't know that I'm a guy yet. I had to use my return address when shipping over seas so she knows my general location.

The whole precess is like watching someone you really care about open a Christmas gift you gave a lot of thought to. but you have to read it instead of seeing it first hand

When the exchange is over I will post a link to her blog on mine.

Not to ignore my package from my Secret pal. Thanks for posting on my blog. I can't wait to see what you send. I'm all excited! What to send to a psycho....... lol

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Here is some actual knitting content

I know I havent been on lately but I started a new Job and life is busy.

First I need to introduce you to a very special lady, Natalie Wood.

No not the actress.


One of my guitars

I know it’s just a guitar but men tend to give female names to things like cars, boats, guitars or other inanimate objects. Why that name? I have always thought Natalie Wood was classy and timeless in her beauty. I see a lot of the same qualities in this giutar. Beautiful, mysterious yet not overly complex and the sultry voice . Yes I have a vivid imagination.

Oh yeah the knitting content, I was looking throughthe back of a guitar magazine and one of the advertisements had a slip on neck cover to protect from dust and dirt while it sits on the stand. I now what don’t I just put it away after playing it. You tend to play more if the guitar is readily available. Being the psycho engineer I think I can knit one of those. Mrs. Twisted went … ok. I guess, why not. So I measured the guitar neck and sketched the design and with her help I developed a pattern.
I'm calling it the "Axe Guard"

Off to buy yarn (yeah!) I found some Noro Kureyon that looked good with the colors in the guitar. It develped into a sort of huge sock well sort of.

when the length was correct for the neck I bound off the back and continued the front half until it would reach the stap hook on the end of the body. By adding a button hole to the end it attatches without any issues. I felted the top with a scuncie and did some creative blocking.

I built a filler block to hold the shape from a trix cereal box wrapped in a grocery store plasic shopping bag so it wouldn't desinigrate from the steam.

I need to shrink it a bit more so I will do some spot blocking and pin it flat so it doen't curl and lays flat accross the pick-ups and bridge.

After I finish the blocking I have some beautiful black silk. I plan to sew in a lining to ease the way it slides on and also to prevent lint and minor surface scratches from the wool. Hopefully done this week.

To all you lurkers, please comment if you like what you see or have any sugestions.