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Moving to a new bloghome

Hello, Everyone,

I'm moving my blog for a while to dragondotr.blogspot.com.  See ya over there!

Lilo and Julie



Hi, Everyone,

It's Thursday night, cool (55) and clear.  I went artho-swimming with Heather today in Clairemont, so I'm feeling pretty good.   After the swim Dan and I were looking for a cheap and quick and good lunch.  I had picked up a 2-fer coupon for Joe's Pizza, 5583 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, http://joespizzasd.com, so we stopped by there.  We had a really nice time.   Super nice people, good salad bar, Sobe included on the fountain drinks (yeah).   Beer if you want it.   The pizza bar had good thin crust New York style pizza, lots of choices, fresh, hot.    All you can eat for $8 weekday lunch, and some other times.  Nice, friendly local joint.  I recommend it if you are in the area.  I'll have to bring Mr. Pizza (Nathan) next week when he comes to visit.  I'm a kid at heart, I guess, but I love pizza, too.    Sorry, no pics of Joe's  this time. 

But here is one of Nate on a previous pizza adventure. It's his fav.

This evening I attended a meeting in the neighborhood of Claire de Lune, so I was waiting for Dan there after the meeting over decaf and cookies.   Full of kids, comfy chairs, kind of fun, but loud.  It's a little dark for lace knitting, but I got a few rows done.

Dark lace knitting in Claire's.

I really appreciate Dan who tirelessly transports me in the cooler months when I can't drive.

On the knitting front, it's lace, lace, lace and nupps, nupps, nupps. 

Lilo hated the rain last night, so she kept jumping up on the bed and poking me awake to tell me about it.  Like maybe 10 times.  Tonight I am getting a good night's sleep if she has to sleep in the living room.  Lilo's evicted from the bedroom for tonight.  She's asleep on the bed right now, so obviously she didn't get the memo.  Yet. 

Good night,

Hi, Everyone.

Well, today was windy and cool, with rain coming later. 
(Ask my knees how they know.)   Winding down with a nice warm cup of Earl Grey tea and my lace is is my idea of a fun evening.  

I know, lace doesn't look like anything until it's blocked.  But maybe you can get an idea of where we are going.  This is the bridal shawl about 1/2 of the way through the center section.  Then comes the edging and beading, so maybe 1/3 done in total. Yes, those are nupps, the glory and bane of lace knitters.

We stopped in South Park, as it is handy to my Doctor's appt and the tax lady, Dan read and ate very nice fresh scones with freshly made strawberry sauce at Rebecca's (
www.rebeccascoffeehouse.com/) while I went across the street to the Grove, www.thegrovesandiego.com to fondle yarn and knit a bit.  Susan has some wonderful yarns and books.  There is some lace weight alpaca and silk she is going to be getting in soon that is to die for.  HMMMMM...  How am I going to wait???  Also Susan has some samples that show beads dangling from the points of the lace.  And I thought I was the only one doing that!!!  The bridal shawl is planned to have plum beads at the points, as per the bride's request.  We'll see how it works out.  I may ask Heather, aka mother of the groom, to assist in stitching on the beading, as she is better at it than I am.

Susan also has some to-die-for shawl pins.  After this bridal shawl is done, I may have to pay her another visit..  For the shawl pin, mind you. No, NOT the alpaca/silk lace weight.  Say this three times out loud, I already have too many started projects, 
I already have too many started projects,  I already have too many started projects.  Big sigh, we'll see when the day comes...  I can already imagine the lace weight in a nice reversible garter lace scarf, for example.

Susan also has some very interesting jewelry and fabric projects... I was very good and only bought a pretty little clasp that just jumped into my hand.

Dan eating scones and reading papers at Rebecca's

Don Lee was playing guitar at Rebecca's.  I think he knows everything ever written since, say 1940.  Amazing musician.  He played his unique version of "Nights in White Satin" for me.  His "Riders on the Sage" took me 'way back.  Check him out if you get a chance.  He puts a very original spin on everything he plays.  One guitar and a drum machine, but he makes it sound like a full room.

I did my taxes this afternoon, so we had dinner in a little inexpensive Chinese place whose sole virtue is that it is right by my tax lady.  Well, in addition to being really cheap.  So, I'd rather  talk about LAST night.

This was last night.   Amber asked me if we were doing anything special for passover.  I said, "Ummmm, we were thinking of going out for Chinese. "

said, "Yeah, right, Mom.  Be sure to set aside a plate of moo sho pork for Elijah."  Smartypants daughter, LOL. 

So we went to the Dumpling Inn, http://www.yelp.com/biz/dumpling-inn-san-diego.   They offer a regional Chinese cuisine from the north west part of China.  Wheat farmers up there, so lots of noodles and dumplings.   First we had the best pickled jellyfish in San Diego, IMHO.
  Then steamed dumplings with meat and soup filling and shredded ginger on top.   When you bite into them, your mouth is filled with a burst of savory soup flavor.  Youza, good!

Next hand made noodles with lamb.  Ask for the home made noodles or they give you store-bought.   The noodles were wonderful, eggy and fresh, cut rustic and raggy.    Now I like the gamey  taste of lamb and they had gone to a lot of trouble to have it turn out non-gamey.   So mixed results for lamb-lover me.   Many years ago when I first started coming to this place, the lamb was more like mutton, rich and gamey.  So I loved it and most other Americans did not.  Too bad they changed the style, sigh.

Followed by shrimp, garlic slivers, snow peas and broccoli.   Now I love snow peas, so I wish there had been more peas and less broccoli.   After we ordered we noticed asparagus and shrimp on the specials board.  Next time I will try that.

Dan has to have at least one shrimp dish, or it is not Chinese for him.  If he were marooned on a desert island and had to pick the one food to be airlifted in, it would be shrimp.  Sounds like the beginning to a reality TV show.   His mother is the same way, shrimp-a-holic.  A few years ago, his parents got back form a vacation trip to Mexico.  Dan's father made a very sad face and told us he had some really terrible news to share with us. 

"What, What", we said. 

"It's terrible.  But I must tell you.  There are no more shrimp in Mexico." 

"What do you mean - no more shrimp in Mexico?"

"Your mother ate them all." 

Lilo and I wish you a lovely night,

A Day in the Country

Hello, everyone,

Today was one of those spring days so beautiful you almost can't stand it.  Monday never had it so good.   I went far out in the back country to see a friend, Dan drove.   Yes, I'm spoiled.   Lilacs at every turn, colorful wildflowers, fresh breezes float an herbal perfume with floral notes softly over the mountain side, trees budding out, hawks flying free and in the valley beautiful green farmland with real live cows and horses.   Can you tell I'm a city girl?  Wow, it was really beautiful. 

Then I stopped by to see another friend in a nursing home out in that neighborhood.   She had taken a turn for the worse and it nearly took my breath away.   I had not expected to see her so bad.   Kind of shocking.   I need to chant for her before I go to sleep to regain my equilibrium.   Somehow, it made me feel very grateful that I married Dan.  Yes, like all men, he has his quirks, and sometimes they drive me crazy,  but he takes very good care of me whenever I am sick.  That includes driving me when my knees are too tight to move quick enough for traffic safety.  Thoughtful nursing care in a husband is a wonderful thing. I'm confident if anything drastic happened to me he would see that I got he best care.   It's not like I don't have any quirks, too, LOL.  I'm the queen of quirky.  Today my friend tried to tactfully tell me that I looked like a circus clown....  I think it was the bright red and yellow plaid pants with the lime green watermelon print shirt that did it.  Or the dark green crochet hat and rhinestone sunglasses?   Ha!  Sometimes I amaze myself.

On the way home we stopped to have dinner at Sycuan, http://www.sycuancasino.com/.  Now you see just how far out in the country we were, if Sycuan is on the way back, LOL.   We had the $10 buffet.   I was surprised at how good it was.   It has improved since the last time we were there. 

Dan ready to dig into a nice bit of rare prime rib.  The carving station guy was putting the slabs of rare meat on the grill for those folks who like, say, medium/well.  He asked me how I like it and I said, "just so it doesn't moo".  He smiled and nodded.  The man knows beef.  

The salads were good and so were the deserts.  The green beans were fresh, not frozen.   ( I put the cheese sauce from the garlic Alfredo pasta on them, tee-hee.)  Of course, it did not hurt that we poured the rum sauce intended for the bread pudding all over the desserts.   The bread pudding was eggy and good, too, not just the rum sauce.   As Tony Bourdain sez, "I'm such an egg slut."   Applies to me, too.  Egg slut, that's me.  Can't wait for some deviled eggs this weekend.

Some kind of yummy layered bars...

And the staff was very nice and friendly and helpful.   Altogether a great experience.   The only downside is that it is a little loud in there for intelligent dinner conversation.   My friend, Larry, called me and said, " What's the matter with your cell phone?  I can hardly hear you."  LOL.   I told him my phone was fine,  I was just enjoying a great buffet dinner in a very loud Indian casino and he laughed.  

More yummy sweet bits... Off the diet tonight.   I'm no gambler so it only cost me $10....  Can't seem to get the hang of the gamble thing.  I just lose and what's the fun in that?  They say your worst night gambling is the first one where you win...

I finished a dark green crochet hat last night, but now I am not so sure it is totally finished.  I think I want to add a second layer in pink or rose to make it reversible.  So, I'll let you see it after it is really done.  I have to take some breaks from the bridal lace in order to not go completely crazy.  I'm on the 4th repeat of the "5
nupps on a branch" pattern.  The blog spell checker doesn't speak Estonian, LOL.  It always flags "nupps".  12,904 stitches so far and I'm just getting started.

Lilo wanted to cuddle earlier and I didn't so she was offended and went outside to be a cat of deep mystery for a while.  She'll be baaaack.  Whoops.  Here she comes back in her favorite cat window.  She must be psychic.  I mentioned her name and here she comes a-runnin' for a pet.

Lilo sez, "Goodnight", too.

More on the red shawl, Phat's Pho

Hello everyone,

It's a beautiful spring Sunday in San Diego, sunny, clear, warm, and breezy.  Birds chirping, flowers blooming, trees budding out in fresh spring green, tiny pink roses on my porch.    I got a good night's rest and I feel great.

I've been gettig emails asking for more details on the pretty red shawl I gave my sister.  Gay Fakkema made the "shades of red" sock yarn I used.  Not so much difference as to show,  just enough to provide depth of color.  She  is so happy at how it turned out, she asked me if she could use my sister's pic in the shawl.    Evva Gay (number 1 sister) said, sure, use the pic, she'd love to be famous, LOL.   Gay can be reached at  Lamzie Divy Woolens on Etsy, on a web site and on a blog.    Just Google it and you'll find all three.    This is the sock yarn she sells, Jacob sheep and a little nylon, I think.  Firm twist.  Yes, it was 1 skein and a little more than half of the next.  I'm guessing 1 2/3.   Gay puts up a nice big skein, almost 400 yards, if I remember right.  For details on the yarn, you'd better ask Gay.  I gladly 100% recommend her sock yarn.  Nice to work with, too.

Before I blocked the shawl, it was small and woolly and cuddly and warm.    An entirely different animal.    When I washed the shawl in shampoo in prep for blocking it,  I used a whole mini-"hotel bottle" of hair conditioner in the rinse water (Sheraton mint and lavender, LOL) which I did NOT rinse out.    This makes the yarn slip easily on itself and the blocking comes out so much evener and bigger and drapier and prettier.   Otherwise the yarn grabs itself and impedes the blocking.  If there is a bit too much conditioner in the yarn, no problem, it rinses out at the next washing.  Also, I think the moths do not like the herbal conditioner so much so that helps with them, too.  BTW, the red color did not bleed much in the wash, so my compliments to Gay's dying skills.  Now is is big and floaty and drapes elegantly.  The pattern really pops.  You can actually see all those nupps in detail that I worked so hard on.

The pattern is Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail.  Free on her web site, http://www.evelynclarkdesigns.com/portfolio.html.  Size 9 needle for sock yarn opens it right up.  Thank you, Evelyn.

Right now I am busy with a beautiful snow white shawl in very fine merino yarn (smaller than sewing thread) in Estonian Lily of the Valley pattern for my nephew's bride this fall. It's coming along nicely.  I think I will use the edging from Swallowtail or one from the Estonian knitting book on the bridal shawl.  They want to marry 10-10-10, so I'm in speed knitting mode.   When I finish the bridal shawl, I want to make another one in Gay's sock yarn.  Maybe deep regal purple or Greek Islands blue.  She has very intense colors.  Assuming the bridal shawl has not made me blind, LOL.  Well, at least it's white and easy to see that way, even if the sheer number of tiny stitches on the barely-there yarn is crazy-making.

Today Dare took me to lunch at Phat Restaurant in Kearny Mesa.  Wow!   It was great!!!   We had the pho buffet.  If you love pho like I do, this place is amazing.  I can't wait to bring my grandson, Nathan, who is pho-crazy.  There is one long table of appetizers: roll ups, dumplings, Chinese red roasted Cha-sha pork, lettuce cups with spicy chicken, different kinds of chicken wings, shrimpies,  etc.  Many, many appetizer dishes, more than you can try all in one visit.  And handy to the SGI Community Center.

Then you help yourself at the pho bar.  You put want you want (very thinly sliced raw meat, cooked and sliced tendon, noodles, sprouts, herbs, etc) into your bowl and then ladle over the boiling hot broth.  The hot soup instantly cooks the meat and turns the whole thing totally yummy.  There are 4 kinds of soup to choose from, rich beef, spicy beef, rich chicken and another beef identified with a label in Vietnamese, so I do not know the difference on that one.  I had half spicy beef and half rich beef.  To-die-for good, and not expensive.

Speaking of food, my husband has started a foodie blog Thoughtsofarandomeater.blogspot.com, so check him out. 

My favorite track on this dance CD, Nine levels of consciousness, is "You are perfect, just the way your are".  I'm dancing in my seat.

Lilo is sleeping beside me.  She loves to help me blog. 

Have a great afternoon,
Hello, Folks,
What a beautiful warm spring day we had today!  It's Friday evening and Dan is busy at the KMCC, so I actually get the computer without having to ask him to give me a turn. Yeah!

He and I just about came to "words" today.  He saw a new version of Palm software on the Palm website and wanted to upgrade my phone.  I explained that he needed to wait until Verizon released their version or it would just mess up my phone.  I went  to bed.  Male with itchy upgrade finger could not resist the siren call of technology and tried the upgrade anyway, which bombed and wiped out my database.   Heh, you no touch-a my phone again or I break-a you fin-ger.   He spent several hours on the phone with Verizon and Palm and finally got it all put back together, including an intact database, back on the original version.  He now understands that we will have to wait until Verizon is ready for the upgrade.  Uh-Huh.  But could not believe his wife.  Uh-huh.  Oh, well, I guess I'm over it as he manfully strove all day long and finally was successful at restoring my data.

We had lunch in Solana Beach with Anita and Heather today.  On the drive up the freeway embankments were so beautiful.   The deep purple lupine flowers were so beautiful, and the red and pink freeway portulacca, too.  Some call it Moss Rose.  We ate at Claire's,  http://clairesoncedros.com/.

Great food!  Everything very fresh.  Duck salad was awesome.  Other Salads great, too.  I enjoyed a yummy omelet.  My roasted potatoes were too greasy though.  I shuda had the sweet potato fries that Dan had with onions and cheddar cheese on top.  Those were crazy good.  Great bakery, too.  The lemon bars are heavenly.  Nice service.   Over lunch I gave Anita a pretty necklace I made at the beading class.  I blogged about it earlier.  Then she gave me one, too, LOL.  Great minds think alike. 

Today I invented something.  When I work on delicate lace knitting, I like to use a point protector, so the the sharp points of the lace needles do not snag the lace when it is riding along in my bag.  But... there is a fly in the ointment.  I take off the point protectors and then have to find a place to put them where I will not lose them, drop them in the car, under the table where they roll into that back corner that is hard to reach, etc.  As you can imagine, I tend to lose them.  That must be why they sell them 4 at a time, instead of 2.  I thought of piercing the tips with a needle, installing a jump link  and attaching a chain.  The the chain could be clipped into one of  the many stitch markers I use for lace (25 stitch markers in this piece).  But, this sounds like some considerable work.  Then my mother-in-law suggested making a tiny bag to attach to my knitting instead.  Probably much easier.  So, Ta-DA, here I give you a free pattern for a:

Point Protector Keeper.

Worsted weight scrap yarn, I used bright purple so it would be easy to find against the white lace.
size 8 knitting needles and crochet hook to match

Cast on 16. Knit 10 rows. Slip 8 sts onto the spare needle.  Fold the work in the middle. Russian join from the middle to the edges.  Crochet  the edges together with slip stitch.  SC around the top to strengthen, end off.  Put your point protectors inside and pin to work across the  top.  That way the lil' buggers can't jump out and escape.  Thanks to Heather Walkabout Knitter for the Russian join instruction.  http://walkaboutknitter.blogspot.com/   

I use that method all the time now, as it is less bulky than a 3-needle bind off.  You just have to think a bit.  It goes in the opposite direction - from the middle toward the live yarn tail, as opposed to the 3-needle bind off, which begins with the live yarn and goes to the middle. 

Here's what we had for dinner tonight.  I noticed that the braided string of  Garlic I have hanging on the kitchen wall knows that it is spring, too, and it is starting to sprout.  So I decided to use as much garlic as possible for the next few days and use it up.  Look out , World!  Here comes garlic breath.  But you know I love it.

Julie's Easy 40 clove garlic Chicken recipe.

Into a slow cooker put:
10 chicken thighs
40 cloves of garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp red pepper (the kind from the pizza place)
black pepper to taste
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
toast triangles

Notice that no liquid is added.  This gives more of a roasted effect, rather than boiled.  The original French version is baked in a sealed casserole, but I like the ease of use of a slow cooker.

Leave it on low for 5+ hours.  The smell is unbelievable.  If you love garlic, you'll love this.  The garlic is as soft as butter, so serve with toast .  Spread the soft garlic on the toast and dunk it in the rich pan sauce.  Enjoy!  Just make sure your spouse has some, too!

Lilo sez, Yuck, stinky garlic smell all over the house!  I'm loving it, of course.  Hmmm, maybe there is a reason I have the house to myself tonight...

Julie, aka garlic breath

Hello, Everyone,

It's a lovely spring Thursday night after a warm spring day with flowers blooming and birds singing. I feel great after a wonderful nap.

Heather and I went swimming this morning.  We had gotten out of the habit to do it every Thursday at 11 like we used to, so now we're trying to get the habit going again.  It's really good for my joints.  The water in the pool at the Boys and Girls Club where we go is kept at 85 degrees F so that they can teach babies to swim, so it is heavenly warm.  All this swimming probably has something to do with the wonderful nap...

After e swimming we went to lunch at Alladin Restaurant, http://www.aladdincafe.com.  We split the Meza,
#7 ALADDIN  MEZA PLATTER:  Hummus, Tabouleh, Baba Ghanouj, Chicken & Lamb Shawerma, Dolma, Falafels, Aladdin's Hot Sauce, Garlic Sauce, Pickles, Served with  Pita Bread.
with a side addition of extra Kebeh.  This is one of our favorite places.  Our waiter, Haithem, is a really funny guy and so nice.  He looked at me funny at first and seemed not to know me with the new red hair, but then he got it and laughed and asked if we wanted the usual Meza Platter, LOL.

Heather with a full tummy of Alladin goodness.  After lunch I was working on the bridal shawl.

Now I know that lace just looks like a mess until it is blocked out, but just you wait, this is going to be absolutely  gorgeous when I get it blocked with the rich plum beads on the edging, and the plum Swarovski crystals on the points.  Very bridal in its Lily of the Valley-ness. 
Estonian nupps galore!   The pretty inlaid box is sold at Alladin's, they have lots of that kind of stuff.

Thanks for the request for the curried chicken recipe, Dee.  Dan tells me that curried chicken is the most commonly cooked dish in the UK.  Here's my version.  We had it tonight for supper.  Yummy and the house smells heavenly of curry.

Curried Chicken
in the Crockpot for the busy Woman

In a crock pot put:

4 chicken thighs,
2 diced potatoes
4 chopped ribs of celery
1 large sliced carrot (or 2 medium)
1 10-ounce package sliced mushrooms
1 C tomato juice (Low salt)
3 C water
1/3 C minced dried onion (huge time saver)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 C flaked coconut
1T Wocestershire
1T curry powder ( I use Delish)
freshly ground black pepper
1t salt (omit if using salty tomato juice)

Let 'er roll on low all day while you are out and about.  When you get home the house will be smelling like heaven and dinner is ready.

Lilo is curled up napping, dreaming of big fat, juicy mice, probably.


Baa-Baa Little Lamb


Well I'm back form Mountain View and I finished the Little Toy Lamb, Ramsey.  I started him on the train on the way down the coast from Santa Barbara.  He's eight inches tall and a real honey.  I'll post a pattern at the end of this post.  It's a coolish Tuesday night after a warm spring day and I'm feeling good, if a but tired.

He's sitting on the vibrant orange silk scarf that number 2 sister, Heather, bought me in the Chinese silk shop in Los Altos to go with my new hair.  

Across the street is a LYS, Uncommon Threads, http://www.uncommonthreadsyarn.com.  Really nice shop.  Lots of yummy yarn.  I got some tip protectors to help me work on the bridal shawl.  The lace is so ephemeral that even putting it away in my knitting bag can cause the sharp Addi Lace circ tips to snag the lace.  So, it goes better with big, green, silicon needle tips. 

Evva decided since I gave her the big red Swallowtail shawl as an early Christmas present, she'd give me mine early, too.  So, she bought me a newly released book on Estonian shawl knitting, "The Haapsalu Shawl, a Knitted Lace Tradition from Estonia" by Siiri Reiman and Aime Edasi.  Since I'm crazy about these shawl patterns with nupps, this is the ultimate reference.  It has every Estonian lace pattern you'll ever need, plus.  I'm now thinking about changing the bridal shawl to include more patterns so that I can try some of them out.    Page 53 has a Lily of the Valley pattern with an attached leaf that is a real humdinger.  We'll see.  I'm sure I'll talk about this shawl until you're all real tired of it.  The wedding is 10-10-10 so I'd better get going a little faster with the shawl.

Just in case you want to make yourself a niffty little Ramsey like mine, here is a sort of a  pattern.   Hey, it's free.

Magic Loopy Little Toy Lamb Pattern

small amount, maybe 1/3 ball, loopy white boucle
scraps of smooth black, cream and brown ww yarn
size 5 circular needles.  I know this is small for the yarn, but it needs to be knit tightly if the stuffing is to not show through.
needle to sew up and embroider face

Special stitch, loop stitch:
Knit a stitch, but leave it on the left needle, draw the yarn to the front and sling it around your thumb, holding a loop in place.  Knit the stitch again and this time pull the "old" stitch off the left needle.  Pull the first stitch over the second one on the right needle to lock it down.  Knit the next stitch plain.  Repeat across, alternating every other stitch with loop and regular.  Knit the next row plain.  So, every other row you have a row of loops, every other stitch. If the loop rows alternate the loops so that they do not stack up, but instead alternate like an eye of partridge heel flap, why, that is a nice touch.  If you can't make that happen, don't worry.  Nothing shows in all the loops.

Note: Most of the lamb is worked in Magic Loop Method, the other parts are clearly specified.   So, when in doubt, loop on around. 

Feet:  With black yarn, cast on 4 and make I-cord for 1 inch.  Cut yarn and remove from needles, set aside.  Make 3 more feet.

Body: Arrange 2 feet on the needles so that you can magic loop across the fronts of both, then pull the loop and do both back sides.  Change to white yarn and increase to 8 stitches on each foot.  Continue in I-cord method for 1 inch.  Cut the yarn of the second foot as it faces you.
Using the attached yarn, work from here on in loop stitch.
Knit 4, make 2, knit 4, same on reverse side.    This creates the opening between the hind legs you will later use to stuff the lamb.
Work a few short rows across just one side to shape the rump.   All instructions from here on out for the body will be the same on the reverse side unless specified otherwise (Until we get to the forefeet and then the back of the head).
Increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of each row until 17 stitches on each side. (34 around)
Work even in loop stitch  for 1 inch.

Forefeet:  At the end of the row, cast on 5 stitches, turn, knit 1 together with the first stitch from the 3rd black foot.   Knit 4, continue across body in loop stitch.   Cast on 5 stitches, turn, knit 1 together with the first stitch from the 4th black foot.  Knit 4, continue across body in loop stitch, knit 5, turn.   Knit 1 together with the second stitch from the 3rd black foot.  Knit 4, continue across body in loop stitch, knit 5.   Knit 1 together with the second stitch from the 4th black foot.

Pull loop to work the back side. At the end of the row, pick up  5 stitches from the underside of the stitches you cast on for the front of the forefoot , turn, knit 1 together with the third stitch from the attached foot.   Knit 4, continue across body in loop stitch.   Pick up  5 stitches from the underside of the stitches you cast on for the front of the forefoot, turn, knit 1 together with the third stitch from the attached foot.  Knit 4, continue across body in loop stitch, knit 5, turn.   Knit 1 together with the 4th stitch from the attached foot.  Knit 4, continue across body in loop stitch, knit 5.   Knit 1 together with the 4th stitch from the 4th foot. Tie off the ends of the black yarn, snugging up neatly if needed.

Shoulders: Using 3-needle-bind-off method, bind off 9 stitches from the top of the forefeet, joining the two sides together as you bind off.  Knit across to the other side and 3 needle bind off 9 more stitches. The extra 4 stitches you bound off from each quarter shape the shoulders.  = 18 stitches around when you are done.

Neck:  Work 2 rounds in loop stitch for the neck.

Back of the head: Identify the back and front (look for your short rows across the rump hiding in the loopiness)  In loop stitch, knit across the 9 stitches of the back inc one, turn. Purl back, inc 1.  This counts as the no-loop row.  (you will be working flat up the back of the head). Continue working flat in loop stitch, increasing until there are 14 sts. Work a couple of rows even until the back is 1 1/2 inch from the shoulder bind offs.   Evd after a purl row.

Top of the head: K8, K2tog, turn, *Slip 1, P2, P2tog, turn, Slip 1, k2 (one is a loop), k2tog, turn. Repeat from * until 4 sts remain.

Ears: Pick up 4 sts from edge of the face and knit only those sts for 4 rows (I did not loop here), K4tog. using crochet hook, slip stitch down the side of the ear toward the top of the head. K4 on the top of the head, pick up 4 sts from edge of the face and knit only those sts for 4 rows, K4tog. using crochet hook, slip stitch down the side of the ear toward the side of the head.  Pick up stitches until you meet the front stitches.  Pull loop and knit front stitches, pull loop, pick up the other side, pick up 4 under the ear, k4, pick up 4 under the second ear. 

Nose: Change to black yarn. No more loop stitch, the nose is all stockinette stitch.  Knit 1 round, adjusting sts on the needles so that there are the same amount on each side. Decrease 4 EOR until 4-6 sts remain. 3 needle bind off horizontally to make lips.  Break yarn.   Hide end. Embroider nostrils and mouth.  Satin stitch the eyes in cream and put a big French knot in brown in the middle for the Iris.  Stuff the head firmly and the body lightly. Sew up the hole.  Doodle a short lamby tail with the remaining end using a crochet hook.

I was surprised how much instruction it required to describe what I did to make Ramsey.  When I did it, I just doodled with the yarn and made him.  

Lilo caught a mouse in the living room today.  Go, Lilo!  The mouse was so fat, he looked like a cartoon mouse.  He must have been eating her cat food for a while!  She is so pleased with herself.

So, I guess I'd better go to bed and let you all start your Ramsey Lambsies.


Shawls, shawls, shawls

It's a cool Monday night.  There is rain coming and my knees and hands are talking to me about it. 

Here's some more on the Mountain View trip:
Sunday we went to see the King Tut exhibit at the De Young Museum.

The iris in front of the black wall had absorbed some reflected heat and were ahead of season, in full bloom.  The flowers in Mountain View were lovely, tulips and daffodils and plum trees and lilac and redbud.  But most iris were just budding out., not these.

While we waited for our turn to see the Tut exhibit, we took a quick look at the New Guinea section.  Heather lined up Brynna in front of this headdress so it would look like she was wearing it.

Heather and I sporting the new hats we made on the train up.  Heather wins the wildest-ever foo-foo yarn award.

Tut himself was great.  I used a chair as so much walking was beyond me.  Evva wins the bestest sister ever award for pushing me around in it.

We decided to act like crazy high school girls on a sleep over instead of dignified grandmothers and colored our hair.  Heather looks great.  I tried out the new red, "Hot Tamale".  Here I am a few days later waiting for the train in Santa Barbara, just so you can see the new color.

Some hot tamale grandma!  Like the new rhinestone shades?

For lunch the next day we went to Cafe Mazeh, http://www.cafemazeh.com .   Awesome place with a wood fired oven and the freshest flat bread ever.   Evva ordered a cold dip made of eggplant and many other things - Kashneh Bamedjan - easy for you to say.   It was so great.  I will have to search online and find a recipe for it.  Yum, yum.

I finished the shawl I was making for Evva and we blocked it out on her huge patio table.  I wish I had a blocking table like that.  The breeze and fresh air dried it in no time.

Here's Evva trying it on.

And from the back to show the length:

This is her Christmas for 2010 but I let her have it now.  I would have had to resort to crazy tactics to get it off her.  Can you tell that I am just a wee tad pleased by how it turned out?  Blocking makes such a difference with lace shawls.

Goodnight from Lilo and Julie


Mountain View

It's a warm spring Sunday night and I'm feeling good.  Dan and I  had pho with Dare for dinner and it was good. 

Here is some more on my trip to Mountain View.    When we first got there I gave Evva (number 1 sister) her birthday present, a nice beaded necklace that I blogged previously.  She gave me some very fine snow white lace weight yarn, 1700 yards in a skein.  Number 2 sister, Heather's son is getting married 10-10-10, so I began to think about a lace bridal shawl for Shannon, his bride. 

The first morning we had breakfast at Hobee's.  Its a great little omelet place.  They make a great home-made coffee cake.  Full of fruit and fluffy light.  It's great. 

You may notice I am still a blond. Wait until we get to that part......

After that we went to the Lace Museum.  It was really great, definitely worth a stop if you are in Sunnyvale, www.thelacemuseum.org.  Right now they are showing wonderful lace undergarments from the 19th century and older, very nice lace indeed.  I researched in their collection of great books and decided which Lace pattern to use.   So I decided on a Baltic pattern stitch, rows and rows of Lily of the Vally, oodles of nupps, for Shannon's bridal shawl.  Her colors are violet and plum, so I was thinking of some beads in those colors for the edge.  

I love the lace Museum.  I bought some great buttons from their button drawer.  I also had an amazing discussion about nupps with another lace knitter.  What a place!

Then we went up the way to Purlescence, a great LYS in the same mall as the Lace Museum.  Awesome place.  I got some size 4 Addi lace needles, a circ actually, still thinking of bridal lace.  www.purlescenceyarns.com  Great place and great needles with long, slim, sharp tips, perfect for lace and pointy enough to feature prominently in a murder mystery. 

My fingers were itching, so I cast on 251 stitches and started in.  Plunge into the nupp pool.  Later when It gets a bit further along I'll post a pic. Right now it is only a few inches in.  Lots of tiny stitches.   Lots of tiny  Plum beads for the edging.   More on this later.

Notice Evva has her birthday necklace on and I am wearing the hat I knit in the northward train, deep furry cuff and beads in the top lace. 

Lilo sez, goodnight.