Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Well folks, 'tis almost the new year! As such, I've lined up a few teaching gigs around LaLaLand in honor of '09. Let's hear for working 7 days a week!


Despite the time suckage factor, I really do love to teach. As many of you are probably aware, teaching was my career of choice way back when. I absolutely loved imparting my passion for making unto others. I just had trouble making ends meet while doing so, hence my transition to the Cube Farm. However, I am fortunate to still have a few opportunities to play with you all! So, without further ado, I present my teaching schedule for the next few months...

On Saturdays (for the foreseeable future) I can be found at Abuelita's Knitting and Needlepoint in South Pasadena, where I teach both knitting and crocheting. Project based classes as well as private lessons can be had. Currently, we are encouraging peeps to crochet a pair of Fuzzy Boots!

Contact the store to sign up or just email me and I will pencil you in for a lesson!

My other teaching opportunities will occur at The Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica. Contact those peeps to sign up for class!


Design your own Amigurumi (must know how to make loops with a hook to take this class)
Sundays, 1/18 & 25, 11-1 pm


Project Ugg (my westside Fuzzy Boot class)
Tuesdays, 2/10, 17 & 24, 7-9 pm

Acid Dyes (oooooh, dyeing yarn!)
Sunday, 2/22, 11-1 pm


Crochet Project Class (beginners to know-it-alls welcome)
Sundays, 3/8, 15, 22 & 29, 11-1 pm

Whew! I am going to be a busy gal...

Happy New Year all!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Solstice Wrap

Finished this woven wonder just in time for the cold weather. And yes, it is cold in LaLaLand. About 56 degrees during the day. Okay, that's a spring temp for much of the rest of the country, but for us weather weenies, it is frigid!

So, back to my wrap. It's big (I wanted this to work as a coat replacement) and it's made entirely of scrap wool. Let's hear it for stash busting!

As is my way, I wove this example of diamond motif goodness on my 12" Hazel Rose Loom and crocheted the pieces together with a cone of Lamb's Pride worsted in their Smoke colorway.

I really enjoy using these little looms. In fact, I just finished up a diamond wrap made entirely of my own homespun and have one more in the works using a bushel of boucle from my stash. After the boucle wrap is complete, my plan is to move onto square, rectangle and smaller triangle looms. I also have to weave something on my Ashford Knitters Loom and my Spriggs Adjustable Rectangle Frame Loom. You can be sure that there will be lots o' weaving in 2009!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!

Copyright 2008 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poultrypalooza Apron Redux

Tuesday evening fellow cube farmer, Rebecca, and I headed over to the Sewing Arts Center for a fabulous course in apron actualization taught by shop proprietor, Russell! I am a huge fan of apron-age and have tried my hand at one before, a poultry-themed lap wrap, but it didn't exactly display expert sewing technique. Basically, I just threw it together sans pattern, working from applique to finished product. The fact that it came together at all was more a result of luck than anything else.

So, needless to say, I do have a little sewing technique under my belt, albeit far (very far) from expert. Rebecca, on the other hand, is quite the avid seamstress, yet she is always interested in honing her skills and she's way into aprons (check out her etsy store!). Therefore, when she told me that Russell was teaching aprons and she was planning to take the class, I told her I was in!

I figured I'd do a little tribute to my first apron by revisiting the poultry theme in my second attempt...

Thanks for modeling Kristen!

Is it not darling?

Check out those wood scallops!

And the heart-shaped pocket!

This lovely piece of apron technology was also constructed sans pattern. Well, not entirely. Russell had us create a pattern for the bottom scalloped edge by using a quilting template and some freezer paper while in class. We also used a technique called the burrito roll to attach the scallops and apron strings to the body of the apron. All I have to say about the burrito roll technique is nea-to.

I am so proud of my little chicken apron! There are definitely more Sewing Arts Center classes in my future. Next up, I tackle the dreaded shirt...

Angelenos, won't you join me?

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I spent last weekend immersed in activity. Saturday, LittleLinoleum and I drove to South Pasadena so that she could work her weekend shift at Abuelita's Knitting and Needlepoint. Needless to say, I don't generally have any knitting and crochet students this time of year due to crazy holiday schedules, but simply dropping Lena off at work, going home and returning to retrieve her is pretty much out of the question due to distance and traffic. So, I use my student-free waiting time at the store to work on knitting and crochet projects, while chatting it up with the customers and Samantha (store proprietor). It's a nice way to spend the day and I'd like to believe that LadyLinoleum Jr. will look back fondly upon our Saturdays together.

I spent Saturday evening behind the spinning wheel while in front of the tube watching Christmas flicks (Little Women and It's a Wonderful Life), gas log blazing, lights twinkling on the tree(s), the hubs and I making the most of our quiet evening at home.

Sunday morning was all about a bit of baking on the kitchen front and a little assembly on the fiber front. From the kitchen emerged popovers, of which I forgot to snap a photo, and from my living room based textile mill half of new diamond shawl woven from some of my crazy handspun took shape. Pictures to come of the shawl. It's a wild one to be sure, lots of metallics embedded in the yarn. I'm quite happy with the results!

Then it was back to the kitchen for another round of making eats. This time I tried my hand at homemade marshmallows!

I never fancied myself a concoctor of confections, but marshmallows were surprisingly easy with Alton Brown as my guide. (Love that guy!) In fact, making 'mallows is nothing more than creating a syrup, whipping the syrupy mixture up with some gelatin until the final product is thick and sticky, yet airy. It's pretty fast and relatively simple if I do say so myself.

Marshmallow sugary syrupy base.

Curing mallows in a pie pan.

The most difficult aspect of the recipe process is trying to get the 'mallow mix from the stand mixer bowl into its final resting place, the pan. Wow, sti-cky! I won the battle however, and the mallows look superb. Tonight, I plan to coat my masterful marshmallowy goodness with chocolate. Mmmmm!

The hubs and I rounded out our Sunday with friends at our annual outing to Merry Tuba Christmas! (LittleLinoleum is currently too cool to attend this much loved *by the rest of us* tradition.) Sans child, we began the evening with a fabulous friends-filled dinner at Far Niente, then headed over to the Alex Theater to partake in a bit of musical majesty that only 150 tubas playing Christmas (and Hanukkah) carols can provide.

It was awesome. Incidentally, this year marked my fifth Tuba Christmas and, thankfully, the event always manages to kick my hibernating Christmas spirit into gear.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Linoleum Homestead

There seems to be a direct correlation between my escalating descent into a world where making is tantamount to breathing and my compelling desire to leave urbanity for a rural existence. I long for space, solitude, time to experience and experiment. How wonderful it would be to whittle away the daylight hours baking pies, crocheting pies, wearing pies...Ahem. Yep, I am ready to leave the hectic pace of my current existence behind, flee the 9-6 toil of cube farm life, shed the confines of my multi-family abode and head out to more sparse pastures, far, far away from the urban topographic maze I currently inhabit. I want to have the space and time to just live and breathe and relax and work with my hands. This is what I call bliss.

You see, I am an individual who finds great joy in mundane, repetitive activities that bear fruits. The shine of the kitchen counter surface after buffing, the diminutive band of stitches dotting the hem of a garment freshly sewn, myriad interconnected loops composed with needles, hook and hands, fleshy, yeasty dough coaxed into mound by kneading, wool loosed into a thin veil and drawn into an endless pirouette about the bobbin of my spinning wheel while treadling. As I said previously, to have the time to dedicate my day to such circumstance would be nothing short of my own personal heaven, but alas, such is not my lot in life. For better or for worse (depending upon my mood), I find myself the epitomical urban career girl, days occupied by a barrage of emails, memos, meetings and conference calls, only to find retreat in the hour long snippets of crafting during my lunch hours. For me, the bulk of my creative freedom happens after the sun has set, when the sky has dimmed and the city is slumbering.

Although I long for wide open spaces and the time to devote to my creative freedom while the sun is high in the sky, I will tell you that, for the most part, I have come to terms with my current living, working and creating lifestyle. I actually do rejoice in the mostly successful urban homestead that I've created. Sure, our condo is cramped. I have frame looms adorning the living room walls and spinning wheels dotting the floorscape. My butter churn is small by necessity, but quite mighty nonetheless. I don't have the room for any fuzzy barnyard buddies, but we do cohabitate with our share of friends hailing from the animal kingdom, as will most likely always be the case. But the best part of my urban homestead existence is the fact that I have lots of opportunities to expand my crafty and culinary frame of reference due, in large part, to the fact that I live in an urban area ripe with resources. Knowledgeable friends and acquaintances, classes and workshops galore all enhance my artsy, craftsy and cooksy skill sets and although I voice my share of complaints about the fact that I am, for all intensive purposes, the main breadwinner at ChezLinoleum, my income affords me the luxury to experience and experiment with much of what the crafty world around me has to offer.

So for the moment, my exodus from urbanity to all things rural is but a dream. In the meantime, I shall fill my urban nights and weekends crafting it up to the best of my ability, attending my weekly SNB meetings, taking classes at the Urban Craft Center and the Sewing Arts Center, teaching the uninitiated how to wield hook and needles at Abuelita's Knitting and Needlepoint and hey, I may even engage in a cooking class or two. Then, when the time comes for me leave the bright lights of the big city for a less populated locale, I'll be ready to soar in my new environ, my crafty bag of tricks overflowing. For now, I'll keep the dream alive and imagine a future filled with spinning wheels, butter churns, homemade cheese, lots of yarn and a feelings of utter fulfillment. Wait, that last statement characterizes my current lifestyle! Okay, absent the cow and pasture and sparse country lane. I guess I can live without those other things...for now.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cover Girl!

Guess who's hat made the cover of Crochet Today mag???

Yes, that would be my hat!!!

I am so excited!

Needless to say the pattern for this very funky, yet oddly fashionable earflap hat is included within the pages of the latest issue.

But wait, there's more...

I also designed a pair of fuzzy faux Ugg-ish slippers for this issue of the mag as well.

Just trying to help you guys keep your heads and feet nice and toasty this winter.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Beauteous Bagels

How did you spend your Thanksgiving weekend LadyLinoleum?

Well, I sported a few pies atop my head while darting to and fro about the western reaches of the Los Angeles city limits AND when not driving around while donning pie, I attempted a bit of baking! Oh yes, bagel baking...

Are they not beauteous???

Okay, I admit it. My rings o' dough are probably not the most handsome examples of bagel-dom. However, they're not a bad first attempt and, more importantly, they taste like heaven. Seriously good. Really, my lips shall never touch another store bought bagel again. Okay, not really, but you get my drift.

Inspired? Come on, you know you wanna boil and bake some chewy bagel-y goodness! I know that homemade onion bagels are definitely on my upcoming weekend's slate of baking activities...Yum!!

Recipe source for bagel-y goodness: Fannie Farmer Baking Book