Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where are you From Wednesdays?

Today was prompted by my participation in Southern Summer Of Socks. I Joined as a way to keep inspired to work on my socks. I'm giving socks for gifts this Christmas so I need to stay motivated. The Southern Summer of Socks is based in Australia and New Zealand so I'm getting a little traffic from south of the equator. Some of you will remember that I had a Secret Pal from Australia, Michelle AKA Angel Crochets. A wonderful young lady who taught me so much about Australia and the differences to this country. Girls like football there. Well their football is our Soccer but still, a lady who enjoys sports is quite special. Since we met I have enjoyed Tea again. I'm not a coffee drinker and she was always having a cuppa ( her term for a cup of tea).

OK the Facts right?
Australia was claimed in 1770 by Captain James Cook 6 years before Columbus sailed into the waters off the East Coast of the future USA

In 1901 the country was federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia

It's the smallest continent but the 6th most populated country. about 20 million live there.
Sidney has over 4 million residents


Most of you recognise the signature opera house because of the 2000 Summer Olympics that were televised here in the USA and elsewhere all over the World

It's 8,555 miles from where I live.

I would love to visit someday and see the sights.

Mrs. Twisted has a thing for men who have the Aussie accent. Too much info lol

It's interesting that the more I read about it the more it seemed like other major cities. They even have a China Town
Looks a lot like the gates to China Towns elsewhere I have been.

The beautiful sunset photos plentiful when you go looking for them.

Final thought, The world is diverse but the people are pretty much the same all over. I feel lucky to have made so many acquaintances with the Australians who have crossed my path during my short blog life. Warm caring people.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pink sock update.

Day one sock update. I promise I won't bore you all with daily sock updates but the colorway is better than I expected and I just wanted to share.

Those are size 2 Holz & Stein DPNs and the yarn is safely residing in in a yarn clam. 3" done and 4 more before I turn the heel.

Monday, October 29, 2007

it ain't over till the kachungie clicks

I know it looks like the fires are all out according to the news but we still have the local fire burning. After walking out of the local grocery store we looked beyond the car and saw the red glow in the foothills. After the two minute drive home I thought I would walk back to the parking lot to see if I could capture some of the sights. I had the diner in the oven and had 25 minutes to waste so off I walked. As I hit the front of our complex I saw the most eerie moon peaking from the clouds.



The blue coloring was from the smoke I think. Well I thought the fire was about 7 miles away but later that night I found that at one point last week that we were only 4 miles from the burn zone.


Forgive the last pic but this is just a little simple digital camera but it suffers a little when you zoom it so close in the dark.

Walking back to our home I was surprised when it began to sprinkle. Yes, you heard right, it started to sprinkle.



You know it doesn't rain much here when I take picture of the rain drops hitting the ground. I think this was the 2nd rainfall in the past 3 or 4 months and it was just a few drops that ended quickly but it was a sign that the humidity was up. Bad news is that the winds are said to start up again so hold on tight Dorothy because we may start this whole thing over again.

I cast on for some Christmas socks for my Daughter tonight. My first toe up and they are from some yarn I bought not to long ago. I know I was going to use the fluorescent pink Koigu but I loved this yarn so much better.

It's Yarn Addict Anni sock yarn from the UK colorway Pink swirl.


Sunday Mrs. Twisted and I took a drive down to Encinitas to pick up a Thomas the Tank Engine Pattern for a sweater. She has a co-worker who has a little boys birthday coming soon and he just loves the Thomas stuff. I guess he is going to a stage show or Thomas the Tank Engine on Ice show soon afte his birthday so I know he will love to wear this to the show. I also got a manual row counter because the new fangled one I had stopped working and I replaced the battery and it still didn't work right. Sometimes you just need to use the manual versions of things. I got a red Kacha Kacha or what I call Mrs. Twisted's the chunka chunka or she calls the Kachungie.

Oh for you sports minded people, I'm a converted Red Sox fan and NE Patriots fan because of Mrs. Twisted's origin. The Red Sox swept the series and the Patriots are rolling through the NFL each week like one sportscaster said, "it's like they are playing the junior varsity. " A little depressed that Baseball is over till the spring but it's only a few months until the spring training begins and we start this all over again. Really, I'm not sports fanatic, I just enjoy the chess like moves in baseball.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Men's Knitting Group

Friday night I was feeling a little better so I attended the Mens knit night at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. I missed the last meeting 2 weeks ago from the flu/cold I've been fighting forever. There were only three of us there but I guess there are a few more that had other plans this week.



The group meets in the Annex just south of the shop in the same shopping center. If you haven't been to the shop it's a nice place with lots of beautiful yarn sitting right on the Alamitos Bay docks.


What a nice comfortable setting with sofas, easy chairs and a central table in the middle.

This is Chris, he works part time at the shop.


Gene (Pictured here)was the one who organized the group and was there when I arrived. We all chatted about work and our projects just like other groups, just a differ dynamic being all guys... Any other male knitter lurkers out there? We meet every other week, don't be shy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Is it a sock or skeleton cozy?

Time for some knitting content. As Christmas time quickly approaches, Mrs. Twisted was thinking of making socks for her nieces as gifts. This is Posh Lucia Merino/Cashmere from the last shipment of the now defunct Posh Sock club, colorway "Farewell"... Posh Yarns still continues stronger than ever but you don't get that little pink bag once a month with the magic that is Posh yarn.

Mr. Bones latched onto these and made himself a Posh sleeping bag to cushion his bones.

Well, it is the Halloween season....


A more traditional shot on the back of one of our new couch pillows.

A nice full shot of the Wavy Lace sock by Evelyn A Clark from the 25 Favorite socks book.

These may never become gift socks because who can give away cashmere socks to a 20 something?

The Twisteds are going on a multi-day road trip soon! Details to come... Hopefully going to meet some blog or Ravelry friends and shop at some wonderful new yarn stores while we're gone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Update

Update this morning. The fires are easing up and the wind has stopped. Some pictures from this morning on the way to work. The end of this disaster is close. I feel so bad for all that have lost to much... It really humbles you and makes you grateful for what you have. Hoping to hear some good news from the San Diego Fiber Folk today about some of the fellow Balboa Park knitters. Wishing you all the best Bobbi Christy and anyone caught up in the fires down there.

This was taken from inside our complex over the buildings and through the trees. No wind for the first time since Friday.


These are taken from the same vantage point as yesterday. You can see Saddle Back mountain through the smoke. Everyone heading to work while so many have lost so much. Life just moves on. That is smoke not clouds just hanging in the sky. The Sun was filtered over the last few days almost like you had those yellow shooting glasses on. I'm not a gun owner but I have worn the glasses at one point in my life for some reason and it was a similar experience but less bright.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Not that close thank goodness.

To all of you who are wondering if we are close to the fires, yes and no. We are about 9 miles to where the Irvine fire is still burning. Santiago and Modjeska Canyons are still losing homes and they say it may burn for another 3 to 5 days. The homes in the local canyons are tucked away and used to be a pristine community away from the bustle of the city and yet close enough to enjoy the benefits when they are wanted.

I just heard that over a million people are displaced and over 1800 homes lost in 20 different fires. It Makes me feel so helpless and angry that it seems like the resources were not readily available when they should have been. For the first day all we heard about was the Movie stars homes in Malibu on fire. Every year they have fires and floods mudslides and yet they choose to live there. Listening to a local politician who was frustrated by the lack of support he was getting to get air support for his Orange County constituents. OK off my soap box now.


Here are a few pics from the parking lot behind our place. on the left side of the horizon you can see how close the foothills are to our home.



The wind died down a little but the palm trees don't lie.

Casa De Twisted is safe and not in danger. Positive energy to all the firefighters who are still risking their lives to extinguish fires set by arsonist.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jet Setting Softball Fans

Bright an Early Saturday morning I met my father at Ontario Airport, he was there 2 hours early. It's nice to live in So Ca because there are 5 or so airports to chose from to get the best fare and times. This was more so my Dad didn't have to drive so far and we got great fares to Phoenix. This was probably the 4th commercial flight for my Dad that I could count. Not counting the Military flights he took 50 years ago while in the Navy.

I finagled exit row seats for us and let him enjoy some Dean Martin on my MP3 player and showed him the joys of noise canceling headphones on flights with children nearby. He had a very enjoyable 50 minute flight. We arrived in Phoenix around 8:30 and off to the rental place for the car. Phoenix has really got the who airport car rental thing worked out. One shuttle brings you to the complex and all the companies are in the same building about 5 miles from the airport. I pre-paid for everything using priceline, love that! They wanted $36 per day and I offered $16 and got it. I've done the same in Boston for $12.00 per day in the past. We had a choice of any car in the row and I looked quickly and said "that one". My father looked confused and said why that one. I replied it has no plates. It's brand new. Sure enough it was a 2008 Suburu Lagacy with less than 1,500 miles. Nice car! I pulled my pre-programmed GPS out of my bag and popped it on the dash and hooked up the MP3 player to the AUX jack and we pulled out of the garage with just a barcode swipe to the windshield to the car as we paused for the gate to raise. My Dad was getting a kick out of my road warrior ways of travel. I guess all the flights I've taken in the past have taught me to appear a little travel savey at least in my Dad's eyes. We went over to the Hotel to see Jen and drop of the burritos I had in my bag. I didn't get pictures of the contraband but trust me the smiles from the recipients was worth the effort. I removed the foil wrapper and left them wrapped in the white butcher paper and in two 1 gallon freezer bags. The salsa cups even made it through the inspection in the FAA TSA approved less than 3 oz marked cups. I had enough electronic gear to keep them busy. The burritos never were questioned. I would have just checked the bag and hoped for the best otherwise.


Quick breakfast at Mc Donalds and it was off to the fields to see the 1st of 3 games for Saturday. The handy dandy GPS even told us the nearest food place and how to get there, isn't technology is grand?


Even the parking lot was pure softball, check out the decals. The first team drove in from Las Vegas. The second Team was a local Phoenix team.







Jen plays on a Varsity High School team and this tournament was for Travel teams. If you don't know know travel ball, they try out for the team and it's parent sponsored. They pick and choose the players very carefully and the better teams have the best pick of the quality players. Everyone want to play for the best team but they choose you to play with them if you fill a need they have. Jen's team uses this as a way to face better teams than they normally see and to get ready for the regular season that begins in early spring. They build continuity and enjoy the time even though they are playing a bunch of all star caliber teams. They lost the 3 games we watched but they were playing with 15 and 16 year old girls against mostly 18 year olds. I was happy to see the fun of playing was strong despite facing such impressive players. They played their first game with the 3rd best pitcher because the 1st was taking her SAT exams and the second was injured. I was proud to watch them fight what they knew was an uphill battle that first game.

Here is Jen warming up just prior to the first pitch with a wonderful throw down to 2nd base. Right on the bag.

video

The 1st string pitcher made it for the second game and warms up with Jen with some help from the coaching staff. They have a Lady manager who keeps the egos in check and it looks like they have fun when they have down time. look at the girls in the back ground relaxing after running drills for an hour.

video


Just prior to the 2nd game the ladies keeping loose and having fun. Jen is in the middle with the leg gaurds on.



video




I loved this girl. Always smiling and got on base a few times. But check out the lavender batting gloves!



Watching the game prior to their 2nd game, the sun sets and all you can say is WOW. This lady was pitching 58 MPH from 40 feet away. that's like a 90+ MPH baseball. but the movement is much more extreme. Screwball, curveball, rise ball, drop ball, fastball and change up. Not the easiest thing to hit.




After the third game it was almost 10:30 and we went back to the room for some well deserved down time and up for the next morning. We didn't get to watch the Sunday game but I talked to them after I got home and she had a good game. Nobody steals on her and I watched her pick off 3 runners who led off to far and she threw behind them to pick them off. Dad was proud.


Sunday Morning before I had to take my dad back to the airport and head home. 11:00 AM 66 deg and she was cold. I was feeling good because it was 95 on Saturday. They had snow in flagstaff Sunday, where they live and I know they were looking forward to the cooler weather I guess the J-lo glasses are in style because I saw Them everywhere.

Flight back was a little bumpy but We made it home safe and sound. Even finished a rug square on the flight home. Good news is that I'm having the kids fly home for the Hollidays one at a time. It's nice to have the 2nd bedroom.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Exporting burritos to Arizona

I'm off to the airport in a few hours. Of course I can't sleep. I'm bringing burritos and salsa from one of our all time favorite mexican food place. You would think that Az would have good Mexican food but this is quite special. Well Jen has three games today. Yes it's Saturday, we land at 8:40 and by 11:30 I will be watching her catch in a game for the first time in almost a 8 months. I'm happy because she will play again at 6:00 PM and again at 8:30 PM. I expect around 4:30 we'll be enjoying the burritos. for years we would would share a jumbo orders of Nachos with carne asada covering the beans and cheese. When she knows I'm coming I always get request to bring good food from her former home. The flu has eased and I feel better today than I have in almost two weeks. You know I'll take lots of pictures. so be prepared for a brag fest when I come home.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

8 Meme

I know we have all been hit with the MEME thingies. I was tagged by my PRGE pal Alison.

8 Random things:

  1. I have 18 pairs of shoes. Sorry ladies no Christian Louboutin here. He doesn't make mens shoes and I doubt he would make size 15 anyway. A few nice dress shoes and some leather loafers and my favorite Doc Martins.
  2. Work life seems less important the older I get
  3. Bora Bora is my lotto vacation destination
  4. I'm afraid of heights but not of being in tall buildings or flying. Seems like the older I get the more severe it has become.
  5. I miss driving a stick shift car.
  6. Before the age of 21 I was a Motocross Racer, Bicycle racer, surfer, Boy Scout, Auto Mechanic, and Machinist.
  7. Mrs. Twisted says I'm the best wife she has ever had.
  8. I never played in youth sports ( baseball basketball football) as a child and learned to play baseball as my son learned T-ball 13 years ago. I let them play any and all sports and loved being the assistant coach.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Coming back from the dead I hope.

Not much is going on here at Casa de Twisted since last week. Day 7 of the flu and For me I'm seeing a break in Flu Watch 2007. I haven't had a cold or flu this long or severe in at least 10 years. We have had a few not so bad days but I forgot what a good nights sleep was like. Mrs Twisted is about 2 days behind me in this flu but it looks like but she is seeing much less intensity. Trust me she is very happy not to be the sickest of the two. No competitive nature when it comes to feeling like crud here. Some Knitting news...... She finished her Valentine shawl made from Lorna's laces Lace weight on Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday she whipped up a cloche hat in pink Debbie Bliss Soho. Pictures soon. I did make it out of the house on Saturday morning to pick up a book for my Secret Pal and shipped her first box for this round of Secret Pal 11. I hope she will be happy.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Crazy Aunt Purl @ The Grove


Last night was the official launch of Crazy Aunt Purls book. We made the trek to West LA from Orange County and got there in time to stand in the back which turned out to be good fortune for us.

They had a raffle for a gift basket that had yarn and Wine and cheetos (both types) and goodies.

As normal B&N had too few seats set up because they don't expect a knitter to draw a crowd. We estimated 105 people and 48 chairs. We stood off to the side and as it turned out we were the first to move up for the signing portion after she did her reading and Q&A session. She has said there is a 2nd book already in the works.



What a pleasant surprise that she remembered us from the Stitch and Pitch a few months ago. I think it helps that she doesn't meet a bunch of tall married men knitters.



Here is the obligatory pose with the Author/book

She was so warm and friendly to us in line.




Laura from Little Devil Works was there early enough to get second row seats and I was surprised on the ride down the escalators by Rainy one of my friends on Ravelry. What a nice ending to the evening. Funny how many times I get recognized at these public events now. All the ladies have been so nice and friendly that I've met on blogs or Ravelry.



The good news is that we were finished first but the bad news was that the freeways were full of accidents last night and we didn't get home till 10:30. My cold seems to be hanging on and I couldn't wait to crawl into bed and sleep. I probably will forgo the Men's knitting tonight and stay home to recover.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Men, CAP, Mama Llama

Hi all, I hope you are having a good Thursday. Just a few updates and an FO picture.

I'm going to a Men's knit night that happens 2 Friday's a month. A local shop, Alamitos Bay Yarn Co is hosting it and it looks like there are at least 6 of us for the first meeting. Nice shop right on the water. They have an annex room in the same complex that is full of comfy couches and easy chairs. They use the room for classes but I guess someone convinced them to host the men's night when there are no classes.

Last nights Pub Knitters was quite fun. Mrs. Twisted baked cupcakes for the 2 birthdays since last week. Megann and myself. We shared our cupcakes with the waitress and she was so grateful that we would include her in the fun. Yesterday I did something and I may do this more often. I work relatively close to my home and we really don't have much time on Wednesday nights to fix dinner. I ran home at lunch and made spaghetti sauce during my lunch hour and after browning the meat and adding all the spices and simmering the sauce for a while I fixed a quick ham sandwich and ran the dishwasher after I left. I slid it into the fridge and left the spaghetti pot on the stove full of water before I returned to work. It's amazing how much you can get done in 45 minutes. I sent an e-mail to the Mrs and let her know whoever gets home first just turn on the water and we can eat 9 minutes after it comes to a boil. It's not as good as spaghetti the second day but it's not bad this way. Resting 5 hours melded the flavors pretty well. I walked in the door @ 5:15 and by 5:35 we were eating complete with garlic Texas toast mmmmmmmm We have been having fun with our pasta dishes lately and I've started adding crushed red peppers to the sauce to give it a little kick. Lots of garlic and onion seasoning too. Last night I thought it was too much and Mrs. Twisted said hey, the sauce is really good this way! So much for too much huh?

More encouragement to some of the members last night regarding the Halloween party / yarn swap the Pub Knitters are having. Costumes are not required but scorn and ridicule will be heaped on your otherwise. Just kidding, most of us can't wait to do this. No hints of what I'm going as but it will make most of you smile I think. I will post pictures of the event. I was thinking of a few prizes from the stash to inspire some creativity. The Yarn swap will be fun too, this group has some pretty amazing hand dyed yarn that will be swapped for other hand dyed. No fun fur in this crowd. I know that Megann and Gaby have a huge stash and now Amanda is joining the fun. it will be fun. I've been making some overt advances toward a hank of Pink Zen semi-solid that Megann had a few weeks ago but I'm playing coy, even brought a new hank of pink sock yarn last night as a decoy. The games we play... :)

These socks were finished over the weekend. The Yarn is Schaefer Anne from the Sock club for all Seasons. Autumn Spice

Mrs. Twisted didn't follow the pattern for the month. The Fiesta pattern was what the yarn wanted. The next shipment is due in a few weeks.

Last but not least we are driving into LA tonight to go be a part of the book launch of Crazy Aunt Purl. One of our favorite daily blog reads and she is a local So Cal resident and a genuinely nice lady. We had the opportunity to meet her at Stitch and Pitch last May. So we cant wait to wish her luck on getting published. Amazing that the knitting public is so powerful that it can take a blogger and allow them the forum to get published. We wish you all the best! Her next stop is Houston where they are going to be a the local Yarn Shop where Mama Llama is having her first trunk show displaying her stunning yarns. Mama Llama, Catherine, was my Secret Pal Giftee during the last round. Recently she was the featured yarn on the Lime and Violet pod cast and now a trunk show to spotlight your fiber during the CAP tour. Way to Go Catherine! If you keep this up the secret will be out and it will be impossible to buy your fiber like so many other inde dyers. Just kidding... I hope you sell every last hank and it spurs you to make more and more for us Mama Llama lovers. So if your in the Houston Saturday make you way over the Yarntopia and say hi to Laurie and pick up some Mama Llama Fiber. Small world, at least in the knitting community.
Thant's all for now.

Life Is Good!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where are you From Wednesdays?

It's Wednesday and you know that means. Time for a new installment of "Where are you from Wednesday"
When I looked at my site meter first thing in the morning, this is what I saw.

1 Germany Hannover, Niedersachsen 5,704
2 Norway Hellen, Hordaland 5,187
3 Australia Leichhardt, New South Wales 7,517
4 United States Verona, Ohio 1,872

Since I have traveled to Germany a few times and it was the last visitor, I selected them as the point of interest today.

Hannover Germany
Hannover is part of lower Saxony and is named after the Saxons who occupied it for the past 15 centuries. It's hard to fathom such history living in America. Being from Southern Ca, we have just a few buildings here over a hundred years old. So to see whole cities that are 500 to 1,000 years old is exciting for me at least.


This is the "New Town Hall" built between 1901 and 1913


The geographic concept of Saxony has undergone great shifts and has acquired many meanings in the past 15 centuries. The land of the Saxons, Saxony was in Frankish times roughly the area in NW Germany between the Elbe and Ems rivers; it also included part of S Jutland. (This area corresponds in part to the state of Lower Saxony, created after World War II.)




Now for the "if you were there right now" kind of stuff.


Today's weather Partly cloudy with a high of 60F and a low of 38F


Population is 522,944 as of Jan 2007

Now for some fun facts


Hannover has the second largest Octoberfest in the world

24 museums


40 Musical theaters

I love when the only notable residents listed are Rock Stars.


Those of you old enough to enjoy the 80's hair bands would be interested to know that the Scorpions are the only notable "famous" residents of Hanover. I have "Rock You like a Hurricane" stuck in my head now. lol



The 36 most important sights of the city centre are connected with a 4.2 kilometres (3 mi) long red line, which is painted on the pavement. The so called Red Thread is a kind of walk around and starts at the tourist information and ends on the Ernst-August-Square in front of the central station.



I've been doing a lot of research on spinning wheels because I plan to buy one soon and how interesting that it all comes back to knitting fiber all the fun we have.


This is a "Saxony" style wheel. Not from lower Saxony but rather a Schacht-Reeves wheel of Boulder Colorado. A long way from Hannover but the influence of design comes from Europe. No I'm not getting this wheel I just thought it was a fun way to tie the post back to knitting and fiber arts.
A nice Sunset in Hannover


Life is Good and I hope it is in Hannover Germany too

auf Wiedersehen!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Yarn Tasting and Tasty Yarn

Today we went to a Yarn Tasting at Uncommon Threads in Encinitas. A lot of us knitters here in Southern Ca have been to Nancy's lovely shop in the beautiful Seaside town. Mrs Twisted and I enjoy the little drive down the coast and yarn is always a bonus. Today was no different and the 74 deg temperature and gentle ocean breeze made the trip that much better. Cia from Skacel was explaining the new yarn lines and encouraging us to try something new. We had the pleasure to meet Margene, a pistol of a lady with many years worth of knitting behind her. What a lovely lady, she had so much spirit and shared her stories how she made her own sock blockers and gives a set with each pair of socks she gifts. She even told us that her socks came with a life time guaranty, if they get a hole or wear out, she will replace the toe or heel and return them.



When I looked in the mail box tonight after we got home I found this purple bag of heaven waiting for me.



You all know what was inside. Big surprise right? From a new yarn company I found with a little help for a fellow Raveler pjyarngoddess. Yarn Addict Anni was touted to me and who am I to resist. 440 yards of each.




Not only is it pretty but it's very soft!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

PRGE gifts arrived

Look what arrived this week. A gift box from my Punk Rock Gift Exchange partner. This is a half secret and half open exchange so we know who out partner is after the first package arrives. I was blessed to draw the hostess as my spoiler, Sunneshine or Prue as her secret pal name. She has been very giving to me and this is the third package so far. Soaps in the first box and then some Man yarn in the second box and now this.


She went above and beyond this time because she included a gift to Mrs. Twisted as an anniversary gift to us. The Organic Cotton was her gift to us staying in the theme of the 2nd anniversary. So soft and inviting to just cast on but we need to find the right pattern.


A ball of Tofutsies sock yarn in multi-blue and grey that will make some wonderful socks for me. Chocolate pop-rocks that I haven't ever seen in this flavor before but I'm sure will be fun because I loved them when they came out 20 years ago. Keeping in the PRGE theme there are some cool iron ons and wonderful patterned tissues. How she knew I needed a new pair of scissors I will never know. My nice scissors were borrowed and used on paper by some other knitter a few months ago. Why people don't respect someone else's property but live and learn I guess.

I loved the illustrated cartoon post cards because they show the style of the giver so well. I was reading your blog too. Thank you so very much Sunneshine!

Life is Good