Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beautiful Flowers and a little spinning video

Here is a little post to show why we live in Southern Ca. My condolences to the people elsewhere who are fighting the poor weather. We love to take a trip to Rogers Garden's around Christmas because they always make everything extra special. It's not far but it's worth the trip. The sun was warm and the air was a little crisp but it was wonderful. We had 65 glorious degrees of Fahrenheit today and expect 70 tomorrow. If you click on the pictures they will fill the screen with color.

They always add some Kale to make the landscape look pretty. The rest of the pictures were just the pretty flowers of which we love to go see. Oh they have Christmas ornaments inside too. We try to buy one each year to commemorate our visit. The grounds looked as immaculate as always but what an amazing job they did if you knew that we've had rain and wind off and on for the last week.


I love the Poppy Flowered Anemone especially in purple.

The honeybees don't know it's winter time here.

This was my favorite flower this trip.

I thought I would share a little spinning video of me relaxing in the Ikea chair wearing my basketball shorts and man-monkey socks in front of the fire. The fiber is superwash Merino and I'm spinning long draw woolen style. I'm not sure what the end product will be yet but probably something small because it's only 8 ounces.


Align Left video

I hope I didn't scare you away with my legs lol

Life is Good

Friday, December 26, 2008

Here are few post rolled all into one.

First I was tagged by UndyedYarnpire to share a picture.

The instructions were to go to the pictures folder on the computer and take the 4th picture in the folder and tell four things about it.
Here is the picture according to the guidelines. I found this online while researching a plate we bought 5 years ago.

Now I'm supposed to tell 4 facts about this picture.
  1. The castle on the plate is called Stokesay
  2. The plate in the picture was produced in approximately 1921 in England by Enoch Wood & Sons
  3. It's in purple transferware that isn't all that common but we love it.
  4. We paid less than $20.00 at the Rose Bowl Swap meet/Flea Market and found it it retails for about $100.00 on various online sites if you can find it.
I don't typically tag others but if you want to do this let me know so I can read about it.

Next up is the handmade Christmas gifts that for my kids.

The scarf was an idea from over a year ago and the decision to cast on was easy after last Christmas. My daughter loved her pink feather and fan socks so I wanted to give her another hand knit gift.

It's a little long but this is for my daughter and she loves the double wrap around the neck.

The pattern really looked sharp and distinct after the blocking.


My second project was a lot more interesting because it also included hand dying the yarn prior to knitting.

I bought almost 2,000 yards of Henry's Attic superwash merino a few years back in sportweight without a project in mind and this looked like a good fit. We picked the Syncopated Cap by Kate Gilbert. After looking through all the 100 plus projects on Ravelry and taking my Son's preference in mind I wanted to make a three color version in black, dark gray and light gray.

The shades I wanted are close to what you see here. Not solid but rather subtle changes in shade to give the effect I had in my head before we ever began to knit. I've heard or read somewhere that getting black was hard to do when dying. I had issues getting the light shades of gray, they always seemed too dark. I did numerous samples before settling on these.

Here is the WIP pic taken last Saturday evening. The knitting started late Friday night and had to be finished to hit the mail on Monday to make it there for Christmas.

The end product looked so good we want to make one for me. I want to thank Mrs. Twisted for her speedy needles when I needed it and all her help or these two gifts wouldn't have been finished in time.

After my phone call Christmas evening with the kids I knew they loved the gifts.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.

We spent the day at the Beach or a portion of it. I know it was a little cold but we make it to the beach every year on Christmas and it's sort of our tradition because she comes from the North East and it's usually bitter cold and snowy there. The weather was cool and a little windy with very few joining us but a few kite surfers who were enjoying the wind and the recent storm swell.


video

The waves were a little blown out and unsurfable but it still felt good to enjoy the fresh air and get out of the house.


A couple weeks ago I joined a new group on Ravelry that is focused on all of us spinning the same fiber and knitting the handspun in the same pattern to see the interesting variables we all come up with. A few of my friends have been asking when I plan to knit with my handspun yarn and I guess this will be the first real project. We are planning to knit the Morning Surf scarf because it's adaptable to multiple yarn weights. I'm sure this will make at least one person out there smile, Lori of the painted fiber. :) More info after the fiber arrives in the next few days.

Life is Good

Monday, December 15, 2008

I was tagged with another Meme

Yarnpiggy tagged me Sunday morning but even though I've done this meme at least once I thought why not.

Here's how it works:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random things about Twistedknitster:

1. My feet are cold most of the time. They have been referred to as cadaver dogs, cadaver toes and popcicles. Even in the warm weather my feet are cold. The rumor about big feet is true... They usually have poor circulation. Ha Ha I don't even realize how cold they are because they are in some state of numbness from the cold so it's all good.

2. I have a purple transfer ware plate with the scene of a British Castle. It's from the early1920's and we found it at the Rose Bowl swap meet. I've spent many hours online looking for the other pieces in the set of 12 castles, yes in purple transfer ware.

3. My parents rented a car for me to drive to the High School Prom because my Mom didn't want me to take our 8 year old Volkswagon squareback or our 2 year old Chevrolet pick up. She said it it just wasn't right to bring a girl to the prom that way. They rented me a brand new cream colored 1977 Chevy Monte Carlo. Thanks Mom! and yes I'm that old

4. I once ate 12 Jack in the Box tacos in one sitting. (not recently, I was 17 at the time when I had 4% body fat)

5. Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite meals. We occasionally go to Norms at weird times of the day or night just to have breakfast, they're open 24/7/365.

6. My favorite gemstone is Pietersite. I first saw some while attending a gem/jewelry shows with my wife. I have a small, chatoyant collection and have dreams of one day doing a fretboard inlay on a guitar. oh I prefer the blue variety.


If you haven't done this yet here is your chance. I won't tag others since I've done this before.

We went to the spinning group tonight a little late because we had a previous obligation. I started spinning some really pretty yellow superwash merino that I carded a month or so ago. Not sure what it will become but it's very soft spun woolen style. Pictures to come soon.

The Christmas gift scarf was completed tonight. Very soft and pretty, thanks to my wife for her help knitting a little when I wasn't in the mood or busy.

Life is Good

Friday, December 12, 2008

Loss of a legend, spinning and 2nd guessing a run.

Yesterday we lost an icon from another era. RIP Betty Page. One of the original pin-ups from the 50's. . While she faded into obscurity in the 1960s after converting to Christianity and serving as a Baptist missionary in Angola, she experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 1980s and had a significant cult following. Her look, including her jet black hair and trademark bangs, has influenced many and so many who didn't even know who they were emulating.

more info here
and here.

One of her last appearances was 5 years ago, where she agreed to attend the 50th anaversary of the Playboy magazine. She was quite reclusive and the mystery was perpetuated because she never granted interviews. She posed with Anna Nicole Smith and Pam Anderson. Thanks to thebettiepage.com for the picture.

Interesting how 50 years ago this pin-up had a college education and later dedicated her life to helping others while one of the latter had problems finishing HS and lived her life one embarrassing moment after another in the tabloids to a tragic self destructing early death.

The knitting is going famously or should I say it looks like the scarf will be finished this week. :) I've been watching the wife knit her new sweater the last few days and it's looking very pretty. We named it "The Velvet Grapes of Wrath"

On the spinning front, I was asked to run the programs in our spinning guild next year but I will probably decline because of my possible limited availability. Following Janel Laidman would be difficult anyways because of her many contacts in the spinning world.

I did join a new spinning group in Ravelry. One of the ladies I know on Plurk started this group where we voted on a pattern to knit from our hand spun then the fiber content and finally the colorway. It's a 4 once pattern that many of you spinners already know because it was featured in the Fall spin-off. We voted on a half dozen patterns and the Morning Surf won easily. The fiber content is superwash merino and colorway is Sunshine of Your Love. Not my 1st choice of color but I know it will look nice so it may end up as a gift or blog give-away.
The purpose of the group was in the first round we all spin and knit to the same pattern that would facilitate a wide variety of yarn weights and all in the same color. I plan to spin a 2 ply woolen style lace/light fingering weight. Others have already expressed interest in Navajo plied and chain plied so the color effects from these different methods will be quite interesting to see.

A few nights ago I thought I would try running with some mixed results. I ran about 3 miles while it felt like 30 miles. During my run, I felt pretty good as far as the legs and feet but the inability to breath made it hard to continue at a brisk pace. Yesterday I realized the last time I did any kind of running, it was at the gym we used to belong to almost 3 years ago. The good news was I was clipping along at a 6 1/2 minute mile pace. Not too bad for an out of shape almost 50 year old man. The bad news is that I've been soaking in the jacuzzi each night since and taking anti-inflammatories because I feel like I'm a hundred years old. I know I have some knee issues including but not exclusive to the lateral meniscus the ACL and MCL in both knees. The last two days have been a nightmare going up and down the stairs leading to our Condo. No swelling but pain like I'm not used to and in places I've never felt. For years my knees have been letting me know that arthroscopic surgery was in my future. When its really quiet and I'm walking up a flight of stairs you can actually hear what sounds like "rocks in a bag" or my knees grinding with each step. Maybe I should take it easier next time?

One last thing. We have been clipping through the Netflix queue and found a gem based on recommendations from movies we've already seen. We watched the first season of Doc Martin over the last couple days and thoroughly enjoyed the show. It's life in a picturesque English town nestled in a bay with a cast of colorful locals and the idiosyncrasies of a surgeon who left a prominent position in London for the simple life of a small town doctor.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

more more more

I found this on Elspeth's blog

and thought I would share with all of you


1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
I was the 3rd child and my Mom was hoping for a girl so nope .

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Probably while watching a movie.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I'm left handed and no.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Black Forest Ham

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
A son who doesn't resemble a child anymore and a teen Daughter.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
No, unless I had a split personality and then I would only be friends with myself. :P

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
See above.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
nada

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
fear of heights so nada

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Oatmeal

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
yes

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
I have microburst of strength.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Strawberry Cheesecake

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
mannerisms

15. RED OR PINK?
Pink if it's lingerie or deep red otherwise

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My creaky old body

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My Mom who passed and my kids who live in another state

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO DO THIS?
It's always fun to learn a little about others.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Tan leather flips

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Double Double with cheese and fries from In-and-Out.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Army Navy Football game

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Best Friends #D600FF that used to be called Orchid but I would want to be next to the purple in the box.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
The smell of Victory, Coffee before it's brewed, two stroke motorcycles, nitromethane exhaust.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My son

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
I stole it from Elspeth

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Baseball and college football

27. HAIR COLOR?
more gray than brown

28. EYE COLOR?
Caramel

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
no

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
my cooking (mexican)

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
happy endings

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
The Ghost & Mrs Muir

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Oatmeal

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Spring

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
both.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin chiffon pie, Jello pudding cake

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
not sure

38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
not sure

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Marcel Proust

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
it's a ThinkPad, no mouse pad

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
disc 3 season 7 of Gilmore Girls

42. FAVORITE SOUND?
the ocean waves

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Selected songs from both.

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
The Netherlands or Asia

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I notice things that that many tend to miss

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Garden Grove Ca

Monday, December 01, 2008

Have you had your Phil today?

Today is the last post for the NaBloPoMo mini-marathon. My goal was to get back into the swing of blogging more often and I'm not sure I could continue the daily barrage but maybe 3 times a week is possible.

So, my day was not really exciting but it was productive. Multiple loads of laundry, I know not very exciting but necessary. While the clothes were doing their thing, I re-organized my share of the closet. Pulled everything out, re-folded the concert tees, sorted the different shirts and sorted everything the way I want it.

Later in the afternoon I went to the pool and read almost half of My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather. What a wonderful day, mid 70's no clouds and the slightest ocean breeze.

My wife thinks I should be cloned and she already has a name for him. Phil, since his job would be to "fill" in for me when she wants something and I'm not readily available.

I picked up Season 7 of the Gilmore Girls today because of the Christmas sales and to fill out our library. We already had the first 6 seasons but we needed the 7th instead of skipping back to the pilot without seeing the ending.

Tonight I did 5 pattern repeats (30 rows), I had to tink back one row but it's all good now. The scarf is looking better now and I'll be adding another ball of yarn tomorrow.

No great nuggets of wisdom or stories of day trips today :(

That's enough for tonight, I hope you all have a great week.

Life is good

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Saturday And Santa is a Homie

It's hard to tell that it's Christmas time here in Sunny southern Ca so the Decorations on the topiary dolphins in Corona Del Mar always gives an indication. Seriously, there were Christmas lights up in October and it made me want to scream. The Holidays just blur together and you don't get a chance to enjoy each of them singularly. The Grocery store was setting up displays and stocking the Christmas candies on Thanksgiving day.



I just found the most offensive yet funny Christmas item today. While walking around the grocery store we saw this. I had to go out to the car and get the camera to take a picture and a little video to share with you.


Hey, the packaging said to "TRY ME!"


video

Santa is a Homie with his Polar-Posse...
I guess the band "War" never imagined their song ever being used to represent a questionable Christmas toy.

Yes we laughed at this because its just so wrong. They even used a mid 60's Chevy Impala. The hydraulic suspension an undercarriage lights were just bonus.

Not much else of importance happened today but I'm hopeful for tomorrow.

Life is Good

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The other side of Black Friday

Black Friday came and went, and for me the only purchase was a double pack of deodorant because it was on sale and I ran out yesterday. This year the lines of people waiting to rush in and buy what they think is a good deal didn't make me feel like I was missing something. Sure I would like to buy some of the things that were on sale but my needs are few this year. When the wants become needs without cause or reason you just have a house full of meaningless stuff. How I spent Black Friday may not have helped the economy but my happiness isn't measured by balance sheets.

I had plans to return some books to the library today but they were closed. I didn't expect the library to be closed but I guess they wanted to go shopping today too.

I started reading The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust without knowing what to expect. The Forward was written by Roger Shattuck a world-renowned Proust scholar and the Preface by Anatole France, a leading French poet, journalist, and novelist who later won a Nobel prize for literature. The dedication by Proust was to a friend who passed away just nine months before the book was published exuded his deepest admiration. I'm savoring this like a good meal. The style and composition of his writing is unlike what I normally read but instead of feeling foreign to me it's like listening to your favorite college professor connecting vague unrelated references into a clear message.

Do you read the preface and forward when you begin a book? Or are you one to just dive in and enjoy? In most cases I prefer just to gain a little insight on what the writer had in mind.

Here is my question to you..... Do you read multiple books at the same time? Do you have a "work" book or a "train/bus" book and also a "Home" or "quiet time" book? Do you find that you read certain genres in one environment and others when you have the alone time to relish or focus on your selection?

The clock is ticking and I'm not focusing enough time on the Christmas scarf. I'll need to spend a lot more effort on this if I plan to give it as a gift this year.

Life is good

Friday, November 28, 2008

The turkey was good!

The turkey was better than years past. This was our first Thanksgiving in the last 4 that we stayed home. Last year we did the Portland whirlwind tour to test drive spinning wheels. The year before that we spent in the Bay Area so it was nice to enjoy the relaxed pace of home. After a wonderful dinner I sugested a walk on the Seal Beach Pier to get some ocean air and walk off the meal.
The Christmas lights were already up and it was very quiet tonight. One of the first times I've walked the pier and didn't see someone surfing the North side.

We decided to hit the jacuzzi after we got home and before the home made pumpkin pie. All relaxed now and full of comfort food but I'm afraid we'll have turkey for a long time. I haven't had the appetite that I used to but that's ok. The 14.02 pound turkey was the smallest I could find and it'll probably yield 4 to 5 meals disguised at burritos and who knows what else in the next week or so.

Turkey day is behind us and "Black Friday " is in progress. Are you going to fight the crowds for the that super deal? We have a Mall that opens at Midnight in an attempt to steal the shoppers from the big places. I'm not even going to venture into the fray. If you do I wish you well.

Life is Good

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Faux Friday

First and foremost I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

I do some reflecting at times like this and feel grateful for having two wonderful, healthy teen "children" who are the most special gifts a parent could hope for. My loving wife who I share my life with and puts up with all my faults. I feel thankful for my contact with all of you. We exchange comments on our blogs or other social network places. The ones who I have met in person are warm generous people who inspire me to new heights in my craft or share a friendship that is priceless. My life is better because of you all.

Today was a productive and good day.
Let me hit the bullets
  • Netflix fiasco
  • AT&T negotiations
  • Finding missing yarn
  • Finishing a book and started the next
Netflix had some issues and my account was put on hold for no reason at all. I called and they said it was resolved and the next day it wasn't fixed. I called again and the person closed my account and lost my whole queue. 156 movies lost, but after a 3rd call and some raised voices this too was resolved. but wait, it goes on... When they reinstated my account I was double billed, yes not only did they mess it up they double billed me for it. My 4th call resolved the billing, I will have movies on Friday and the billing cycle was moved two weeks to compensate for their error. Score one for the Twisteds.

A week ago AT&T sent me the online bill for my phone and internet. They raised my bill and it wasn't pretty. I called the customer service today and once I was able to get them to transfer my call back to the USA from India I inquired why my service was raised. After they went through the whole "rates have gone up for everyone" song and dance I quoted the advertised prices that are in the TV commercials and then told the person I was ready to cancel my service and move to cable. All of a sudden she was helpful said she could offer me a new plan and reduce the price by almost half. Funny how when times are tough and you have an option to move your service they are willing to work with you. Score two for the Twisteds.

Tonight I was watching public access and saw someone who looked like someone I went to High School with. Googled his name and the position and found out his middle name. Then went to a sealed box that contained my HS yearbooks and sure enough it was him. The surprise was when I opened the box and found a yarn kit that was missing since we moved here last August. I never opened the box because I thought it was just the yearbooks but this was in there to fill the void in the box.

Mrs. Twisted was thrilled at the discovery. Score three for the Twisteds

My last bullet was, I finished the much often interrupted Jules Verne classic Carpathian Castle. The ending was extremely good and not what I expected. For those of you who appreciate the forward thinking of Gene Roddenberry, you would love Jules Verne. He was in touch with the inventors and the dreamers and he wrote about the future or the cutting edge technology before it was common knowledge. This was his one love story that he wrote over the stretch of 30 plus years. Not like the science fiction style of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or his other adventure novels. Moving forward, I started the Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust. I'm intrigued by the attention his novels attracted in the early 1900's and the praise of his contemporaries. This looks to be a long and hopefully enjoyable journey through his catalog of work.

Last and not least, I saw that today I passed 20,000 hits to my little blog. Still amazing to me that people read my ramblings about the crazy things that appear here. I could never predict what will inspire visits or comments. Thank you all for the visits and your comments mean so much to me.

To those of you traveling tomorrow I hope you arrive safely and everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Life is Good

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cool Beans

A little impromptu road trip happened today. We talked about going to the apple orchards a few months ago but it was hot and we didn't want to fight with the crowds that go up there on the weekends.

I knew we had to go fil up the car before we left and that to was another good reason for the delay in going.

Yes, that's $1.95 per gallon and how appropriate the sign behind the station. How cool is it that gas is under $2.00 per gallon?

For those of you who live outside of the So Ca area and don't know of Oak Glen Ca, it's about 70 miles North East of Orange County. I've been going up here since I was a kid with my parents in the late 60's. The orchards are fewer and the sheds or road side stands have turned into tourist shops, but it's still a nice day trip when you want to escape the city. This was our 2nd trip since the Mrs. moved here. Last year we watched Huell Houser do a show from the orchards and she saw things we missed on our first visit and so she wanted a return trip.

We arrived in the early afternoon and stopped for some cinnamon apple mini donuts at Snow Line orchard. After some sampling of the 5 varieties available we took our hot sweet snack outside and enjoyed the quiet crisp fall day. While sitting under a hundred year old chestnut tree we saw how the growth of the tree resembled cable patterns in our knitting.

Look at the continuation of the pattern from the trunk onto the branches like cables that extend onto the arms of a sweater.

More to see so off to the 2nd stop. Los Rios Rancho is one of the larger places so we stopped to look for apples due to the previous visit where they had the most variety.
We settled on a bag of Staymen Winesap for the pie we plan to bake later this week. I think a few McIntosh will be added as well for the right mix of sweet tart that we both like in our pies. The season was about over so we didn't get to do the pick your own but we did that previously. I was hoping to pick some raspberries too but the late season heat was not good for the crop.

We try to always have our knitting with us and the quiet brisk fall afternoon was inviting us to sit and enjoy a little before the hour drive back home.
The clouds were filling the sky and as I'm witting this the rain arrived so our trip was well timed.
The trees were beautiful, for Southern California standards it was quite pretty to see the red and yellow leaves.

Another great day.

Life is Good

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cold as Ice with an epiphany

You never know what you'll read about when you come here. How many of you still use ice cube trays? We used to buy the 5 lb bags of ice at the grocery store but I got tired of paying so much for frozen water that comes from the tap. Yes it may be purified but since we started drinking so much iced tea were using more ice. I bought the ice maker for fridge but hooking it up would be more than a pain since the water supply is not anywhere near the fridge. This brings me to one of the things I've been dealing with for the last few months. The plastic trays didn't last long when the cubes began to stick. Twisting as you are told to just made them crack and I quickly moved onto something new. We used to have these wonderful aluminum trays when I was younger, before it was normal that ice makers dispense through the door your choice of cubes or crushed ice.

They used to come with every fridge and I thought I'll just go buy some of those. I drove to Bed Bath & Beyond and picked up today's version that looks like this.

Trust me they are not like they used to be. Thin gage and the handle failed within a week. Such a disappointment. I was thinking, the place where these are made is probably half way around the world and the idea of these must be pretty strange. On to my next ice freezing incarnation. Trying to locate some silicone ice molds but these are not readily available in the stores nearby. Tonight I found something online but my need for instant gratification had me driving to The Container Store for a hybrid ice cube tray. Not that they burn alternative fuels, these are hard plastic with a silicone bottom allowing you to press the cubes out.
The first load came out like like greased lighting. I just bought one to try out in blue and if they work over a couple week period, I'll go back and pick up a red one too.

I had a little knitting epiphany today. For some reason I had issues with tinking back through a K2tog, psso sequence. The scarf I'm knitting has these repeatedly in every other row so when I mess up, I would mess it up even further and my wife would help me get back to ground zero. I've tried numerous times to get this and it meant dropped stitches and some serious messes. Well today it clicked and I tinked back the whole row without messing things up and corrected the mistake and proceeded without incident. I've been able to do some repairs but this one stitch sequence gave me trouble. Tinking in lace takes some concentration but not so daunting as it was.

Life is Good

Sunday, November 23, 2008

To list or not to list?

Are you a list maker? Rambling ahead....

Do you enjoy researching and planning? Do you feel better when you know the path you are on? I love the research and self examination on each item. I prefer to control my life or at least maintain some order. That's not saying I don't enjoy a little spontaneity too. My wife cringes a little when I talk about doing something new because she knows what's coming. Like when I took up spinning, I researched for months on end. Spreadsheets with all the features and pro/con list. The decision to buy my first guitar was a research exercise ad nauseum, ask the wife about it and she can answer with just a facial expression. I'm not sure I could put up with my OCD behavior but I'm glad she does. When we started going back to the library, I started looking at my life and felt like I missed so much because of the books that should have been read by now. Looking at all those list of 100 books you should read before you die and there are bunches of list. No matter what list I looked at their were holes in that compilation. That caused me to begin merging list but its turning out to be just a place to begin my loose guide. Every time I go to the library or book store I find another book looks like it should be on my list. My problem is that I'm adding more books to the list than checking them off. As I was writing this I realized the same sort of applies to all my list. The fiber list has paused at least and the yarn stash has idled in the last 6 months. At least we seem to be using yarn at the same rate as we are buying it now. It's just easier to talk about or think about doing things and actually doing them. My endless struggle with time management frustrates me because I never account for the time I spend thinking about what I want to do. At least this only seems to apply to my personal life, my professional life is almost void of research in comparison. That's enough talking about doing something, time to engage and participate in my life a little before bed.

Have a great week

Life is Good

Gems & Minerals or Rhodochrosite & The Alchemist

I have some spinning to show you today. The South African Fine is now yarn.

The coloring is really nice and it blended well as I plied it. The color is similar to rhodochrosite. I found it a little hard to keep the thickness consistent because of the occasional felted spots in the roving. I should have combed the felted spots but I didn't expect this from purchased roving.

After winding it off and measuring, it worked out to be 310 yards of light worsted at 10 WPI
I'll probably spin more of the SAF but will buy it undyed.

The Mrs. already has a Tam pattern in mind to knit this yarn into. More on that when she casts on.


Yesterday I went on and on about the book "The Alchemist"
I finished the book this evening and enjoyed the story very much. The theology or lack of it was welcome because everyone has their own idea of what God is. This was more about reaching for your own "Personal Legend" by listening to your heart. The author referred to the personal legend as your meaning of life and you connecting to God because you share the same soul. I enjoyed how the story weaves the characters in one by one but they all were integral as the boy journeys towards his personal legend. If I didn't know better the phrase Personal Legend sounds like a buzz word used by Oprah.....

Have a great Sunday everyone

Life is Good

Friday, November 21, 2008

enlightenment or entertainment?

Not sure how you see self help or inspirational books. I read Deepak Chopra's "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams" right after it came out and was curious about what I would find between the covers. I was 35 and looking for answers to the questions about life and thought I was looking outside the box. I must admit I read the book and didn't fully understand all of the teachings. So much was in vague parable form and left so much open to interpretation. What I did take from the book was our connection to everything and how you react can have so much effect on circumstances. Common sense meets the Dalai Lama. The reason I bring this up, I returned to the library today and while looking at the audiobooks I saw a book by Paulo Coelho "The Alchemist." I thought back to the Deepak Chopra book and wondered if this would be similar. The story of a boy who travels the lands and becomes one with the world while an elder man shares his sage wisdom. Each parable puts the kid in another situation where the elder can guide him and let him learn another nugget of life. It brings to mind the TV show Kung Fu with David Caridine. The elder blind sensei would teach life skills while the martial arts were the structure or vehicle to do protect the student in real life situations while "he walks the walk." there is no Kung fu here... If it makes me think or reflect then it's worth the time to listen to the 3 hours of Jeremy Irons. I read for a few reasons, to learn, to promote thought, or to be entertained. If a book is able to give me more than one of these features it just makes the book that much better.

Another book jumped at me for completely different reasons. I do enjoy a quick read and one with lean, no fluff story telling is even better. "My Mortal Enemy" by Willa Cather looks like a good read before I ever turn the first page.

wobbling wagon wheels

Nothing to excess today and a little falling off the wagon.

Sometimes you have a little short attention span theater going on. A little spinning, a little reading, even a little nap after dinner.

The falling off the wagon happened because we had a craving for a quick dinner and Del Taco was whispering "come back you'll love it, trust me." We gave in and I even had a Cherry Coke, why not be really bad if you are going to fall off the wagon. It just wasn't as good as it was in my mind.

I was asked to be the gift consultant for the Wife's Father's lady friend's gift. Her Father is quite the ladies man or was until he met his "lady Friend" last year. The plan was to knit her a pair of socks. The favorite colors were Blue/Green so we discussed yarn and pattern and I recommended the generic feather & fan pattern, very pretty and easy to finish quickly for her.

We have a thing that happens with most projects, we come up with a little name that goes into her Ravelry projects page. Not the simple "Aquamarine sock," sometimes fun and descriptive of the mood we were in at the time. The sock yarn is SW merino/nylon in a pretty seafoam green from My Small Wonders so I suggested "Dad's Ladyfish Socks." Semi-obscure references to most, but she got it. I love the Incredible Mr Limpet movie and the way he, The Don Knotts character, changed when he found his Ladyfish. Not saying that her Father is Mr Limpet, but she knows the connection I was going for.

Back to the spinning and a little more reading before bed....

Life Is Good

Thursday, November 20, 2008

multi-tasking while spinning

Not much to blog about today.

I took the Mrs. to the library today after she heard me talk about it yesterday. She grew up in Salem Mass and was used to large beautiful old libraries so she was very happy to see a beautiful new library with a little history. Our little town has two libraries and is building a new one behind to replace the existing older one that is supposed to open early next year. After discussing the policy with the nice librarian we found out we could return the books we checked out at the old one at the nice one. So I don't think we'll be back to the other one until the grand opening of the replacement. I'm sure this rambling is very boring to everyone outside of the city limits of Tustin. :P

I did pick up some thing really cool though while I was there. I looked at the audiobooks and they had these special digital players that have a book already loaded and all you do is add the headphones. I plugged in my speakers, turned it on and spun 2 ounces of that South African Fine while I listened to the first 14 chapters of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It's so nice to multi-task while spinning. Their are so many books I want to read and I love the audio book format when you can adjust the speed of the spoken word. The player has three settings so you can make the reader speak faster or slower. You can book mark and come back to a certain passage if you like and it restarts where you leave it when you turn it back on. The player is called Playaway, I don't see myself ever buying one but I love that the library has them for checkout.

Pretty cool when they have an audiobook on a ram chip housed in a player that's smaller than an Ipod Nano. The Story was preformed by Michael York. When I heard him read it, was like hearing Professor Asher Flemming lecturing in his class. I know not everyone will get the reference. I'm sure a few of you who enjoyed the Gilmore Girls know what I mean.

Life Is Good

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pink wool and new books

Two fun things happened today. I went to a new Library, one that I've passed many times but never went in. This is on the original site of the Irvine family Ranch house. It was gutted by fire in 1965 and converted to a library just a few months ago. What a beautiful home it must have been. It's a huge building with two floors and a basement. It was like walking into a Barnes & Noble but these books were all available to come home with my card. I inquired and the librarian said they bought new books for this branch. I've never seen a library full of new books.

I picked up two books, not like I finished the others yet but these were calling my name. How many of you are fans of The Thin Man series of movies? Dashiell Hammett wrote the books that the movies were created from. You may know him from the Maltese Falcon. I also picked up Woman in the Dark from Hammett. This was originally released as magazine segments in 1933.

Second thing was I went to the Tuesday night spinning group. It was only Julie, Kelly & I tonight. I stood before the wall of yarn and fiber just hoping to get inspired and pulled a braided coil of hand dyed South African Fine wool to spin. Originally I bought it for dye inspiration and to try spinning South African fine breed. I bought this last spring but it just waited for me to want to spin it.

I split it into two 2 ounce mini-bumps. Not sure what it will become but it looks good so far.

Here is most of the first single.

It was a very good day....



Life Is Good