Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weaving the Weekend Away

Originally, we had planned to go camping this weekend. Unfortunately, those plans were thwarted due to a very important art-related event that my beloved is involved in tomorrow morn. As a result, I was left with many empty hours to fill. I figured, I try relaxation for a change. After all, there is a very nice pool mere steps from the door to my domicile. So, clad in my requisite black tankini, basket of string and things in one hand, towel in the other and sunglasses atop my head, I hit the chaise lounge for some pool play with the teens. Oh, and a bit of weaving as well...

Diamond Lap Loom

Weaving by the Pool

It was lovely to sit under the sun, talking with my beautiful daughter, relaxing the afternoon away.

Basking in the sun's glow
I love to see my DD smile!

I went inside for the evening with sun freckles speckled about my nose and cheeks, fully decompressed and inquiring to myself,"Why don't I do this type of thing more often???"

Weekend Warrior
Me, the weekend anti-warrior.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Half of Granny

I have a stack of FOs that has travelled with me from residence to another, waiting to be immortalized in living digital color. It just so happens that I pulled one of these purty wooly wonders from the stack this morning, as we seem to be in a state of perpetual cold in West Los Angeles. So, not missing a long overdue opportunity to photograph said item, I present to you my newest Half Granny Shawl...

Half Granny Shawl

Crocheted from some of my Koigu sock yarn stash (and let me tell you, I've got a store's worth of this stuff), this light wool number is great for throwing over one's shoulders on cool summer evenings or for donning in offices that double as meat lockers, as is the case with my lovely cube farm abode.

Half Granny Shawl

In shaping this triangular shawl, I began using double crochet (dc) until I reached the bottom of my shoulder blades, then moved onto trebles (tr) for the length of the shawl. I stole this idea from my personal crochet idol, Ellen Bloom, who has both granny square technology and drape down to a science. Thanks Ellen!

Half Granny Shawl

I edged the entire shawl with a basic picot stitch as I'm not a one who fringes (well, not with regard to crochet anyway).

Half Granny Shawl

Yay! I feel so accomplished having decreased my pile o' FOs by one! Plenty more knitting, crocheting and weaving to come...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yes, We're Farmin'...

For me, cooking is a close second to arting and crafting as a way to pass my otherwise free time. As such, the pursuit of fresh ingredients for my cooking endeavors is also high on my list of pastimes that I enjoy immensely and what better way to source fresh ingredients of the produce variety than on a farm? To that end, I spent last Sunday afternoon with three people I adore picking fruits and veggies at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, CA.

We had such a good time loading up our baskets with raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, plucking fresh squash from the vine, picking eggplants and myriad variety bell peppers from their leafy progenitors. We even liberated a few heads o' lettuce, roots and all, from their rich beds of soil. For me though, the best part of the entire day was whiling away the hours with my peeps talking, laughing, listening to Eric (LittleLinoleum's boyfriend) make up songs about farming with my daughter as well as listening to the teens scream whenever they encountered a bug. Hel-lo? Nature.

It was a great day to be sure! Now onto the produce pr0n...




Our Berry Bounty

Our Strawberry Bounty


Red Leaf Lettuce


And here's my crew...

My Crew
L-R: LenaLinoleum, Eric & Steve

I'll end this very berry post with the lyrics to Eric's farming song...

‎”Yes were farmin'. Were havin' such a good time, yes were farmin'. Pickin' fruits of every kind, yes were farmin'. Lena’s not havin' such a good time…but were farmin'.”

Monday, July 19, 2010

Two New Patterns!

Let's hear it for some crochet content!

Yep, I've begun designing again for Crochet Today mag, the new October issue to be more specific...

My Newest Headgear

Nuthin' like a blue do to make your Halloween memorable! Oh, and just in case your mini me wants to be in the club...

My Newest Headgear

So, there ya go. A little crochet content, a bit of pattern hoohaa and a nod to my fave holiday to boot. She's baaa-aaack!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Patch Me Up!

So, yeah, I've been doing a bit of traveling and hiking lately. As such, I have been wont to record my expeditions in a format that suits my personality. What method have I come up with, inquiring minds want to know? A wearable one of course!

I bring you, my very personalized trip record jacket...

Trip Record Jacket

I purchased this lovely tapered-at-the-waist military cast-off at my local surplus store for a mere $9.95, upon making my decision regarding format of this, uh, journal. Now, I just comb the wilds of our state (and, hopefully, eventually, beyond) for gift shops and visitors' centers in search of patches. It's like I'm a girl scout on a scavenger hunt! Weeee!

So far, my right sleeve holds a few state and national park patches...

State and National Parks Patches

My left sleeve is becoming an homage to Smokey DA Bear...

Smokey Da Bear Patches

One can see forest and national park emblems emblazoned on my chest...

Yosemite Patch

Forest Patches

And I've even done a bit of embroidery meself...

Eagle Embroidered Patch

Gives new meaning to the term, eagle scout.

Anyhoo, I plan to do a few more embroidered patches of my own for this special item of apparel as well as A LOT more collecting as I continue to get my outdoors on. I may eventually need a matching bag...

Love these evolving type o' projects!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More Homespun Goodness

I'm sure that you all read that title and your scratching your heads saying, "Does that Monster Crochet chick ever, uh, crochet?" The answer to that question is a confident yes, but I'm working on a few large projects so I don't have much to show with regards to the ways of the hook just yet. However, I will! I promise!

Until that time I can share a few new hanks of homespun love. To the left is approximately 400 yards of woolly wonder called Surf N Turf. I began with about 4 oz. of beautiful hand dyed roving, spinning it into a neat single. Then I plied that with a bit of gold thread, attaching golden silk cocoons here and there. The final effect reminds me of our California coastline, which incidentally is one of this state's myriad landscapes from which I am currently drawing inspiration.

Segueing off the spinning path for a moment...Some of you may be aware that I'm currently on a hiking kick, which means the boyfriend and I have been traipsing around the mountains on weekends and some evenings in search of some fresh air, spectacular views, a bit of fitness fun. In addition to these lovely attributes, I have become reacquainted with a landscape that I find infinitely inspirational. After all, this place is in my blood and it will always be home as I'm a native of the Golden State. I mean, just look at some of my recent shots from some of our hiking trips...

Top of the Trail - Grays Peak

Grays Peak Trail


Wrightwood, CA

Top of the Trail - Temescal Canyon

Segueing back to the premise of this post...My new homespun is beginning to be a visual reference of the topography of California and I'm really liking the results. Case in point, a bit of golden dazzle and a little purplish, goldenish 2-ply...

Not So Mellow Yellow

The Royal We

The Royal We Detail

Needless to say I have many, many ideas churning about my gray matter. This is just the beginning. I have oak leaves and golden grasses on the brain to be sure.