Sunday, July 29, 2007

socks and socks

In the last few weeks I have been doing lots of other things and not much knitting. Mrs. Twisted has been knitting for the two of us. I have been knitting rug squares but the gage is still off from changing to Continental knitting. The squares I'm working on will be ripped and re-done but that's ok. Meanwhile, Mrs. Twisted has been engrossed in socks lately.
A few weeks back, Moma Llama sent us some test yarn (Squishy in colorway Angelika) and what a beautiful sock it made. You saw the hank picture already but here is a couple FO pics. We had a problem because she ran short on the second sock.

Mrs. Twisted had deemed these the prettiest socks she has ever made.

I sent for some rescue yarn in the same colorway that I found from Wool Girl but in a different fiber. We decided that the socks were too special to substitute so it was quickly discounted as a viable fix and the socks went into a dark place until we could get another hank of the same colorway and same fiber. Thanks to Catherine for dying the extra skein for us, we love the Indie dyers because they are focused on customer service and great yarn. Awaiting an paypal request and then the package that will complete the beautiful socks.

The second sock I will show you was inspired because I bought other yarn when I got the rescue yarn. Did you think I would just buy what I needed? Of course not. Well, here is the Posh Yarn Emily in colorway "Illustrious"as it arrived.

Here are some WIP pics.

Sock #1 is about 80% done. This was done in toe up and Mrs. Twisted is loving the toe up method.

To Dye or not to Dye, that is the question

Today (Saturday) I had a chance to take a yarn dying class. I know we dyed some yarn in the past but I wanted to see some new techniques I hadn't tried yet. A shop we visited last year had moved and was offering a class, so I thought I would go see the new shop and learn a little. Annie from Hissy Knits had Charles Lee give the class and he stepped us through the process of sock yarn dyeing with a microwave and various dye brands. Before I start I must tell you she moved the shop to a Barn she had built located behind her house.
Yes she had a "Barn" built to hold her business. So out of place here in Los Angeles but again so very cool. The down stairs area has a large kitchen that was perfect for the class.

Here I am slowly applying some dye on the first hank. The class was $40. and that included 2 hanks of sock yarn (880 yards) and all the materials.

Here is my first hank ready for the Microwave. Three shades of pink and two of lavender. Not bad for the first hank. Off to dry outside after a quick zap in the oven.

My second was the hank closest to you on the near horn

Turquoise, ocean blue, white(undyed) lavender, and burgundy. I was trying something and it turned out muddy and almost brown so I over dyed and the burgundy seemed to cover it well and looks well, better. Not really what I wanted but it will work ok. Love the Cow head by the door of her shop, we used it as the drying horn.

Here is the group of us with Charles Lee in the middle and that's me 2nd to the right. Like you can really miss me. What a wonderful group of ladies to spend the day with. She ran this as an all day event. it only took about two hours but we had lunch in the middle and the drying time so some of us knit and we all talked. One lady dyed her first hank and left for an hour and a half for an Italian lesson and returned later for the second hank. It was open ended so you could come come anytime between 11:00 and 4:00 and still finish the two hanks. You may have to take home wet hanks instead of damp ones but it was a well run class never the less.

Annie is the 2nd to the right. She was a little camera shy but very friendly. Let me add this, I live 40 miles from her shop and pass at least 20 shops to get to hers but I would do this again just for the wonderful people and interesting conversation with all of you who attended.

Here is the first hank wound up and dry. "Little Princess"

The second hank also tied up. "Boysenberry Beach"

To answer the initial question; will I dye more or stop buying other hand dyed yarn? Are you serious? You know I will continue buying all the yarn I always have but now I may create an exclusive Twisted Knitster coloway to send out in yarn swaps and other special occasions. Maybe a new creative outlet for the my own yarn for the one of a kind color that makes a common pattern a little less common. The possibilities just grow with each new thing we learn. Well happy knitting to all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yarn Crawls are going High Tech

I got a new toy and you'll never guess what my first thought was. I received a GPS in the mail and have raised the bar on the yarn crawl. I can now, on the fly, look for a knit shop anywhere at any time through the yahoo browser within the GPS unit. I have some of the local shops I like plugged in already so if we are out and about and it's late in the afternoon I can hit the button and it checks the local traffic conditions and calculates ETA with multiple routes. We can make the judgement call on if we can make it to just one more before they close. I know boys and their toys right? let me tell you the story how I got this. A few months ago I was in the break room at work fixing a cup of hot tea and there was an article about a new company road testing a Wi-Fi/cell based GPS system. The article was in the business section based on the fact that they were still a Privately held IPO and that the business was expecting to take off after the road test and product launch. Here was what caught my eye, They were looking for testers who would be commuting to work in Orange County Ca. They were looking for a wide demographic and accepting request from potential volunteers. What you get in return is the use of the GPS for a whole year If you drive around with the unit and let the comapany know of any problems you find. I figured there was going to be thousands of applicants but went to the website and applied. Well a month later I got the E-mail saying I was selected and 2 weeks after that it arrived. I've used GPS systems in rental cars for a few years, but this has live traffic and suggest alternate routes when the ETA changes for the worse when alternate routes become faster. Well it's fun for me because I think driving in Southern Ca is a sport anyway.
The Xterra looks more like a James Bond car now with the Satellite radio on the left and now the GPS on the left.

I plugged in the address for the Saturday monthly knit group in Balboa Park San Diego. Good traffic past the Marine Base according to the green line.

They don't sit in my line of sight because I'm 6'5" and from my vantage they are not blocking my vision. Shorter people may have difficulties seeing past the gear though.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I just noticed I'm over 6,000 hits!

I can't believe I went from 3,000 hits to 6,000 hits in such a short time. I'm happy to see that a few of you feel comfortable enough to leave a comment once in a while. What a shock that people find it interesting to come read my ramblings. Thanks to Punkin, Gordana and the few faithful who usually say hi, I love to see the feedback. What a kick in the head to realize that 6,000 people came to see the info on my blog either by accident or on purpose. I have a request? what would make you comment? What drives you to comment on other blogs? I'm not really stressing about how many comments I get because I do this as a way to relax and express myself but why do you comment on someone Else's blog? Do you feel a connection and want to share? Empathy for the writer? Common situations? Just curious? if you were curious, out of 6029 hits I had 499 responses. I'm an engineer I always do the statistics. Just part of my mind set. Life is Good!


Well, it made me laugh

I saw this on Inky's blog and thought why not. It seemed to be right on for her and well why am not surprised when this card came up for me? OK, I'm not a beauty but the rest made me smile. If you know me then you would understand and smile as well or maybe a chuckle..

You Are The Empress
You represent the ideal female figure: beauty and nurturing.You bring security and harmony to many.At times, you are also a very sensual person.You are characterized by love, pleasure, and desire.
Your fortune:
You need to take some time to think about the role of commitment in your life.It's possible you need to commit more to others, or deal with how others have treated you.It is very important for you to support your friends and family right now, difficult as it may be.You may need to look at your relationship with your mother, or your relationships as a mother.
What Tarot Card Are You?

OK I know this is just fun and no I don't believe these random generators but it's fun to see what pops up. I promise this was the first submission.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New Casa De Twisted

I really didn't want to talk about this too soon but now it's all buttoned up. We are moving to a new place. Larger and nicer and a real home for us. Well, it's a condo but in So Ca it's very nice. We are moving about 12 miles away, still in central Orange County. Closer to the ocean and a more temperate climate. The second room will become the craft/music room. A spinning wheel is in the future :) The Guitars get to come out and live in the room for more than an hour at a time too. So the packing has begun, one little segment at a time. Cleaning out the stuff we don't need anymore and only packing what we really need. Funny how much junk you collect in 5 years together. This morning I packed the CDs and cleared the CD holders. You know the cases of paper? Five boxes full of tunes waiting to move to a new place.

We are sooooo excited, it has a south facing balcony, Ocean Breezes in the afternoon, a fireplace with and real mantle, Washer Dryer (the best part besides the extra room).

Some knitting content Mrs. Twisted knit up a hat with cables that looked like little owls all the way around it. Well the first one was too small but we have a wonderful friend with a "smaller" head and she loved it. Number two was adjusted and is on the second turn after being ripped back once already.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hootenanny Review.

I've been slacking a bit on the blog but Ravelry is evil and sucking my time. No not really, really I have just been a little busy. Ravelry is just a wonderful place to meet like minded knitters with every possible side interest.

Last weekend Mrs. Twisted and I went to the Hootenanny Rock-a-Billy show. I was asked for a review by more than reader so here it is. To me this was a place to see a few really great bands, a few good bands and some that didn't live up to expectations. Furthermore this was one heck of a great side show of fashions and people of ALL kinds.

Where else could you see such a wide array of people. Supporters of the Pacific Symphony also enjoying to alternative music. The Arts, a place where we can all share common ground.

"The Man" Thank goodness the crowd was mellow compared to the last time when the pit was vicious. They just stood and watched the crowd and enjoyed the show.

Most of the people dressed up for the show and if you had a custom car you could drive it onto the grounds giving you a place to hang out between bands or if you just need a place to relax. We always love to check out the cars.

A 1959 Chevrolet. The year I was born. Wish I looked as good.

Pink Cadillac Sedan De Ville with pink leopard print interior. RRRRRRrrrrrrooooowwww. Nice car to take for a cruise.

Later model 60's GTO. Nice condition.

Yes they drove this car to the show and were driving it home. This is almost street legal in Ca. shocking huh?

Love the H.R. Puff N Stuff guy attached to the frame. Another attention for detail OCD moment here.
A nice Late 40's Mercury with a chopped roof.
Beautiful Early Chevy with the chopped roof line.

The hood or Trunk on this Coupe De Ville is longer than most of the little imports

This is the 2nd one of these we attended so we knew what to expect or sort of. We both worried about the heat but a little overcast skies helped keep the temps down enough to make it The venue was really harsh about any sort of blanket to sit on or chairs so you had to make due.

I just wondered why the ladies would subject themselves to hours in high heels but I understand the look isn't complete with out just the right shoes. but some of these were hard to fathom for 6 plus hours on your feet standing on asphalt, grass, sand and uneven surfaces.

Nice rhinestones

Mr Twisted gets a new hat. Doesn't go with the Supersuckers shirt but looks nice with the shades.

Like I said the parade of fashion was so much fun to take in. The wide array of styles and oh the hair styles.
Nice braid and the purple over the silver over the blond was eye catching.

This lovely lady had a booth and was quite busy. I loved the hair and dress and the red flower. Not the best picture by your's truly.
Nice Mohawk, but not the best hair of the day
These ladies were wearing vintage style swim suits and not to worried about attracting attention. At least there were cool but the shoes were not the most comfortable for the venue. Hmm Red polka dot shoes with a gold leme' suit and gold shoes with a red suit? Don't think so...

Blue hair dead center and another shelf Mohawk, close but no cigar for best hair.

Nice style and the two tone color looked very good together. A parasol was the right accessory for the day to beat the sun.
Pretty hair and one of my favorite dresses of the day. Nicely tailored to fit and classic high waist style. She looked like she just arrived at the end of the day. Perfect hair, make-up and fresh looking dress. How do they do it? It was hot and dusty and we enjoyed standing under the misters to cool off. Love the matching fabric covered headband too, just wish you could see the shoes.

Great dress and shoes...

Remember the WIP basket a few months ago that was trimmed with some red skull bandanna fabric. Also the apron I was wearing a few post back? The fabric was every where here. We saw three different dresses made from it. Rock-a-Billy/Punk music fans tend to be very crafty because of necessity.

Nice halter version of the same fabric.

A wagon lined with the same fabric....

Some of the hardcore, wear true vintage outfits and they even had a few vendors with vintage clothes. Their were even two "beauty shops" set up to transform the ladies who didn't think to do the hairdo before the show.

This is the hair of the day.

Two for the price of one. My guess was that they were Nekromantix fans.

Now don't get me wrong here but this is what I thought when I saw this, Does he roll his pants up because they were too long or because he wanted to follow the style? Look at the other jean pant legs around them.

OK to the music. There was stage A,B, and C. Stages A & B were side by side so one was setting up while the other was playing to eliminate the down time between bands.

Stage C was on the other side of the grounds so the music didn't bleed over too much. We had seen some of the bands before and some were new to us.

The first band we stopped to watch was on Stage A

Big Sandy and the Fly Right Boys are a regulars at this show and tend to play a lot locally in So Cal. Always a great show. Sound was spot on and the set was very typical of their style. Thumbs up...

We wandered over to the C stage to see Deke Dickerson play and were not disappointed. What a true musician and class act. I wondered why the 3rd stage had some
Deke is a legend, go see him if you get the chance.

The Blasters with Dave Alvin were solid again too. I was a little disappointed with the Dave Alvin solo set later in the day until his brother joined him for the last song.

One of our favorite live bands was on the ticket again, The Supersuckers. A Texas Rock and Roll band that always gets the in a fervor. The are a tight band with loads of polish while still holding the raw edge. Big Thumbs up for them.
Eddie Spaghetti front and center.

Lee Rocker from the Original Stray Cats had his band but couldn't hold the crowd as the same with Mojo Nixon. The crowd began to swell when The Nekromantix came on stage. I must admit the sound was very muddy and thin. Like there wasn't much substance to the music itself. the songs on the recordings are a little better but the energy wasn't coming through to the crowd. The previous band sounded much better so it wasn't the sound system. The lead guitarist played an orange Gretsch similar to My Betty and had some chops but the rest of the band wasn't very impressive. I know they have a huge following but the shtick of this guy using a coffin shaped upright base was not making the music more palatable. Looks to be a little over produced on the album and not able to give the same quality live. Thumb down from me.. Sorry Madge.

We walked over to hear the band at Stage C again and found Michael Ulbaldini. Good rock-a-billy sound. the group was well rehearsed and held the smaller audience well. Notice another hand made dress on the lady in foreground from the same skull bandanna fabric. She was quite good or the person who made this was. the finishing was really good. Sorry got off topic a bit. Big Thumbs up ...

The steel guitarist sort of looked like Alice Cooper without his eye liner and 10 years younger.

We waked back to see the end of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and didn't think they were the right band in the right order for this crowd. The crowd wandered away again and then swelled when the main act was getting close to coming on. Thumbs down on Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Would have rather seen Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. but way too late in the show after the energy was raised by some of the other bands.

Social Distortion was the headliner and they didn't disappoint. Lots of older music and great tone from this long time Orange County Band. Mike Ness held the attention of the fans who waited all day and slowly built the tempo from some of his slow stuff to the hard driving crowd pleasers.

With all the "interesting" people there we almost fell over laughing when we saw this. As we were heading to the parking lot I snapped this bad pic of the "Short Bus" pulling out.

Mrs. Twisted did bring some knitting but the show took prority and it was a little too hot to knit.