Friday, May 30, 2008

Red Shawl

Red Shawl Redux
I just can't get that red shawl from my teen years out of my head. Since I have a large amount of red yarn in my stash, I decided to cast on and reproduce the shawl. I'm using Leader acrylic yarn (mill ends) that I bought on sale at Webs; size 11 needles; a twisted drop stitch, just like my original shawl. Instead of using fringe on the ends like I did in the '70's, I'll probably crochet a lacy border around the entire piece when I'm finished. The shawl is knitting up very quickly (large needles, drop stitch), so this is only a minor detour from my regularly programmed projects.

Last night's WeHo SnB was grand. There were at least 20-25 attendees. The cutest girls there were Natalie (with her darling new haircut) and the adorable Miss Vivian...I can't believe she's almost 1!
There's so much to do in L.A. this's overwhelming! Over in Highland Park, it's Lummis Day and the First Annual Los Angeles Accordion Festival. Stitches From The Heart is having a Gemini B-Day Party on Sunday at the shop, along with a sale. The Book Expo at the L.A. Convention Center should be fantastic. Our own, Crazy Aunt Purl will be there. It's the Artwalk in downtown Culver City. Besides ALL that, the weather is gorgeous and perfect for exploring our fair City! Have a great weekend!

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back to the Present

Charlie, Lee and Billy
OK, OK...enough of my blog-reminiscing! Back to the present and last night's gathering at the Original Farmers Market. We meet up with a few friends every Wednesday night for dinner and conversation. During the spring and summer our group tends to grow because of the excellent evening weather here in Los Angeles. Last night, Brooke, Debbie and Christopher joined us for the second week in a row. Also, surprise b-day boy Billy V., along with his sons, Charlie and Lee pulled up chairs. Since it was Billy's b-day, they were celebratin' big-time with pizza and Pepsi!
T.K., Christopher and Debbie
Our conversations veered from old-time rock 'n roll to HPOZ designations to karaoke at the Market. It was a lively group. Sorry, Stuart. I didn't snap your picture because you were sitting right next to me! Next time.
Rob and Joan
Tonight, I'll be back at my home away from home, The Market, for the weekly WeHo SnB, upstairs dining area from 7-9. Won't you join us?


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Knitting For Years

Downtown Idyllwild, photo from California Weekend Blog
I'm thinking about summertime and remembering Idyllwild. I just have to revisit some more of those camp photos from my younger years. My friend and fellow ISOMATAN, Jonde Northcutt, recently scanned many of her photos from our years in Idyllwild. Those were the days of Brownie Cameras, so we had to wait until we got home to have our photos developed. I usually didn't see my Idyllwild buddies during the school year, so I've never seen Jonde's photos. Everytime we've gotten together since those days, we usually talk about the future, not those ancient times. I suppose, now that we're all hitting those milestone birthdays and pausing to reflect on our past, the memories are all coming to the surface, along with all those old photos.
I've been knitting since I was seven years old. It's part of my DNA. In Idyllwild, the days are warm but the evenings can be cool. It was the years of granny dresses, hippie sandals, ponchos and shawls. I made quite a few shawls to wear in Idyllwild. Jonde has this photo of me wearing one of my red, acrylic creations with a typical red and white checked granny dress. I wish I still had this shawl!

Jane, Jonde and Ellen (Buzz at top)

(Check out Jane's groovy plaid slacks and my shag haircut!)

Another photo from Jonde's archives is a close-up of her actually knitting. Currently, Jonde has forsaken her knitting needles for paint, ink and other artistic pursuits. She said that she just cannot imagine herself making something out of yarn and two sticks! I must get ahold of that girl and re-introduce her to yarn and those sticks!

camp photos from the archives of Jonde Northcutt

Labels: ,

Monday, May 26, 2008


Partial Stash
Partial Stash
I did manage to organize much of my yarn stash yesterday. I tried to weed out some of it for donation, but I could only come up with about two bags to give away. I admit it. I'm a yarn hoarder. Even though the photo above may not look well-organized, I actually know where everything is located. My bins are filled to over-flowing, but I will not buy more bins. I must use up some of my stash. Heh heh.

I zoomed over to Burbank this morning (Monday) to attend the yard sale held by Faith, Allison and Laurie. Luckily, most of the good yarn was gone. Phew! I did manage to pick up a couple of vintage crochet instruction booklets from Faith.

Faith Magazine

Faith Magazine
Later, I zoomed up to Montrose and met up with Madgick, Marie and Wen (and Wen's visiting Mom) for a latte and some sittin' and knittin'. Madge gave me a bag with more donation yarn from Laura, along with another vintage crochet pamphlet. I actually like some of the patterns in this book and may just try to crochet up a few! Thanks, Laura!
Laura Magazine
Hope you all had a good Memorial Day weekend.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

This is the holiday weekend when Larry and I lay in a supply of groceries and stay close to home. The roads are usually full of traffic, all of the entertainment spots around L.A. are jammed and most restaurants are busy too. It's the first weekend of summer but you wouldn't guess it from the crazy weather we've been having. Last weekend it was 100 degrees in parts of L.A. This weekend it's cloudy, windy, cold and raining. There are spots in the nearby mountains that had snow yesterday! There was a tornado in Riverside! It's the apocalypse, fer shure.
Due to our pending home construction project, we'll be cleaning out and clearing out this weekend. I have much yarn stash organization to accomplish. I want to tackle my closets too. Maybe I'll even get to clearing out old kitchen stuff.
Current Yarn Bargains to Organize

In preparation of Spring cleaning, I've been going through some old photo albums and came across many pix from my years as a camper and counselor at Idyllwild School of Music and Arts up in the San Jacinto mountains, above Palm Springs. I spent at least a few weeks every summer from the time I was about 14 until I was 20 in Idyllwild. For a few years, when I was a counselor, I spent the entire summer up there. I was a student in the art/painting/drawing/pottery program. Many of my friends were in the various music programs. I've recently re-connected with some old pals from those days. We're hoping to meet up sometime in the Fall. I have to say, the best summers of my life were spent up on The Hill.

Ellen @ 16 & Leslie Green. catching up on news from home @ ISOMATA Snackbar (notice my clay tools in jar on the table)

Ellen @ 17, Sketching @ The Grotto in Idyllwild

Have a marvelous Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kwick Koigu

Mom's B-Day Scarf
Mom's b-day is coming up. I know that I gave her a FANtastic, hot pink, cotton blend scarf for Mother's Day, but Mom wears scarves ALLLLL the time. A scarf is such an great gift to give. They're quick and easy to knit or crochet. I had such success with Carla's b-day scarf, that I decided to make a similar version for Mom. I used less than one skein of each colorway of Koigu. This time, I wanted a shorter version, so I chained enough stitches for a lengthwise scarf, about 200, size "G" hook. I'm pleased with the results. After Koigu is steamed a bit, it drapes so beautifully.

Thanks to co-worker, Courtney for modeling the Kwick Koigu


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


It must be spring because our streets are filled with the purple blossoms of Jacaranda trees! Lots of people hate the sticky residue that these blossoms leave on their cars. I don't care, the purple is invigorating...beautiful...glorious! Are there Jacaranda trees on your street?

Our little Jac-Tree

Jacaranda Trees on Fairfax Ave. @ 18th St.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stitchin' with my Homies

This past Saturday I ventured over to the HomeGirl Cafe on Alameda St., downtown (just north of Union Station) for a new SnB meeting. The HomeGirl Cafe is part of HomeBoy Industries. It is a full service restaurant with fantastic food. Our meeting started at 2pm, after the lunch rush. HOWEVER, many of us ordered lunch and some cool limonadas. At least 20 people showed up for the meeting! Thanks to organizer, Adriana for asking Founder of HomeBoy Industries, Father Gregory Boyle for his support. It was so wonderful to see so many knitters and crocheters in one place, sharing their knowledge.

We had people from all over the City attending.....Downtown, Mt. Washington, Pasadena, El Sereno, Boyle Hts., Montebello, Silverlake, Echo Park, Hollywood, Mid-City, Playa del Rey, WLA, Highland Park, Torrance. Adriana hopes that people will continue to come every Saturday from 2-5pm. There's a free parking lot in back of the building and street parking too. The Cafe is right across the street from the Gold Line Metro/Chinatown stop. I will try to attend this fun meeting as often as possible....when I'm not at the Fairview Knitters group in Santa Monica!
HomeGirl Cafe, 130 W. Bruno St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; (323) 526-1254


Monday, May 19, 2008

The Most Perfect Scarf

I've knit and crocheted hundreds and hundreds of items in the past. I would say that the BEST thing I have created is Carla's Birthday scarf. I used my trusted "Rhoda Scarf" pattern, alternating every two rows with two different colorways of Koigu Yarn, one in orange variegated and one in burnt sienna, solid; size "G" hook. I created a border using a pattern from a Leisure Arts pamphlet in the solid color.
After this piece was blocked, I truly fell in love with it. I must make another one for myself! Again, happy birthday, Carla!

Carla @ Karaoke B-Day Party


Friday, May 16, 2008

Wilshire Ebell

The other night Larry and I attended a meeting of the GWNC (Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council) in one of the meeting rooms at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. The building is really beautiful, even though it could use a sprucing up. The Ebell is on Wilshire Boulevard at Lucerne Avenue in Windsor Park. It was founded in 1894 as a service group. We walked thru the building a bit to see the layout. There's lots of beautiful paneling, historic paintings, wonderful high and decorative ceilings, patios and more. I've attended graduations, weddings and other parties here. The meeting was informative. We always like to know about building and planning affecting our 'hood.

After the meeting we drove up to Koreatown, Western Avenue near 4th Street for a bowl of noodles at Pho 4000. I'd read online that Pho 4000 is better than Pho 2000! It was yummy.
Have a marvelous weekend!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stash Enhancement

Hacho Yarn, Sienna/Olive Colorway
I just happened to be at the Stitches From The Heart Store in Santa Monica the other day, speaking with my friend, Brandi. Brandi is quite a yarn enabler. She pointed out two big baskets of Hacho Yarn by Mirasol-Peru. It's a beautiful DK weight twisted sock yarn, 100% merino wool, 137 yards per skein. It's on sale. I managed to snag 16 skeins of the "Sienna/Olive" at a reduced price....even better than the stitcker price, 'cause I paid cash! Brandi threw in one skein for free! There's still lots of it at the store, if you want some. Of course, it's faboo for socks.
Not sure what I'll make with this gorgeous yarn. I have enough for a vest, maybe a cardigan. Shall I knit or crochet? What would you do? Must swatch!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Garden Party

On Saturday, Larry and I attended an L.A. Conservancy garden party in honor of Connie Humberger. Connie has served for 20 years as the Conservancy's Coordinator of the Volunteer Program, among other jobs. This L.A. native has been tireless in her dedication to Los Angeles and to the Conservancy. The surprise party for Connie was held in a large, historic home in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles. There is much work to accomplish in the restoration of this home, but we all saw the results of this beautiful work in progress.

It was a lovely afternoon, filled with tributes for Connie, good friends, yummy cupcakes and an interesting historic home. To become an LA Conservancy volunteer and reap the benefits of belonging to this group, click here.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

Mother's Day brunch at our house was great. Larry's cousin, Susan and her friend Rosie were in town from Virgina, so we had a real party!

I served bagels, lox, whitefish, etc. My Mom loved her crocheted FANtastic scarf.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 09, 2008

La Maria's

Head-Tops of Christine & Michael @ La Maria's
Today's post is here.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pix From The Car

Mid-City to East Santa Monica

Living in Los Angeles means that I do lots and lots of driving. This is a horizontal town. You've seen my banner, above...."From Boyle Heights to the Beach....from Manchester to Mulholland...." It's a wide town. I always want to experience EVERYTHING L.A. has to offer, so I drive around quite a bit. If we had a reliable and all-encompassing transit system, believe me, I'd be on it. One day, maybe.

I work in Santa Monica and live in Mid-City, about an 8-mile drive from home to work. This SHOULD be a 15 minute trip on the freeway. Somedays, I'm stuck in traffic for over an hour.'s just part of my day. I amuse myself by singing to the radio and to CDs, listening to Jonesy's JukeBox or NPR. When I'm completely stopped in traffic I've been known to knit or crochet a few rows. Since the advent of digital cameras, I've been snapping pix of quirky roadside stuff. Don't be pickin' your nose in your car if I'm in the lane next to you!!!

The other day, on the Cloverfield off-ramp of the westbound SM freeway, I spotted this "Baboo" sticker on the lane indicator sign. I always call Larry "My Sweet Baboo" after the "Peanuts" cartoon by Charles Schulz. Charlie Brown's sister, Sally has a crush on Lucy Van Pelt's brother, Linus. Sally always calls Linus her Sweet Baboo.
I love it when taggers are sentimental and sweet.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ana's Artwork

Ana Petrova and her artwork, Off Rose Gallery
On Sunday, Rhoda and I went to the Off Rose Art Gallery in Venice. Our friend and fellow-fiber artist, Ana Petrova was part of a group show, called "Fired Up." The gallery is hidden behind a house. We walked down the pathway to a beautiful, lush, tropical garden. The garden was filled with people, music, food and art. The official gallery is at the back of the property. It was a wonderful group show. Of course, Ana's felted artwork was the highlight for me. Ana is a very gifted artist. She has added acrylic paint to parts of her felted pieces. They are absolutely gorgeous!

Felted Vessel with Paint by Ana Petrova

We saw some friends from Stitches From The Heart at the opening, including SFTH founder, Kathy Silverton, Brandi Dailey, Carolyn McCarthy and Joan Whitten. Music was provided by an old friend of mine, Fred Sokolow as well as by some of his students. It was a gala event!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Spring Cleaning

One of my knit groups has decided to have a Spring Cleaning Knit-along for the month of May. I think it's a great idea! How many UFOs do you have at your house? I have way too many to disclose. I'm working on a "day-at-a-time" schedule. The other day I finished up another FANtastic Scarf out of Noro Taiyo yarn. I had started a knit scarf with this yarn, but it wasn't sending me, so I reverted to the FAN.
I'm also working on my Artfibers sleeveless shell, Valparaiso Yarn in a beautiful Baby Alpaca - Merino Wool blend, DK weight, shades of olive. I have about 3 more inches to go on the back before shapiing the armholes. I like this yarn and sweater so much, that I just might make it into a cardi-vest instead of a slipover...the better to show off the yarn and stitch pattern.
This Sunday is Mother's Day. I whipped up yet another FANtastic Scarf for Mom in hot pink, TLC cotton which is 35% acrylic and extremely washable.
I liked how Mom's scarf turned out, so I whipped up a shorter version for myself in some leftover TLC in green from Larry's cardi.
I'm the whirling dervish of WIPs!


Monday, May 05, 2008


L’Imagerie Gallery, North Hollywood
On Saturday we met our friends, Christine and Michael at La Maria's Colombian Restaurant in North Hollywood for a pre-art opening dinner. Soon, I will post about La Maria's. It was excellent! We had a marvelous dinner.
Across the street from Maria's, L’Imagerie Gallery just moved to a new location. The exhibit is called "Carnivora: The Dark Art of Automobiles." Many artists from the low-brow scene were represented, including SHAG; Coop, Dennis Larkins; Robert Williams (godfather of the low-brow art movement); custom car god, George Barris and many more. There were paintings, sculptures, posters. The place was packed. There was even a mini-car show of vintage rods in the parking lot. It was a scene, man.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 02, 2008

100 Baby Hats!

Ellen's contribution to Stitches From The Heart

Yesterday was the big Knitting Throwdown at RPA here in my office complex. We knit and/or crocheted 100 baby hats and 8 pairs of booties! Wow! This is an amazing accomplishment for less than 20 crafters. We had exactly one month to create hats and booties for donation to Stitches From The Heart. First Place: A $30 gift certificate to the SFTH Yarn Shop; Second Place: A SFTH tote bag; Third Place: A SFTH keychain. 2 points were given for each finished object (or pair of booties). Each crafter could also collect from 1-5 points for total creativity and quality. The judges were employees of RPA.
Considering I don't work at RPA and am an outsider, I was happy to participate and win Second Place. I donated 23 hats and received top marks in creativity and quality. The winner for the day was Joycelyn with close to (or over) 30 hats and a few pairs of booties. The organizer of the event, Judy came in third place. Everyone really put forth an effort into making their hats and booties highly stylish and fashionable. Stitches From The Heart will be ecstatic to receive this bounty.

Oh's MY BLOG, so my photo is highlighted with MY HATS!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 01, 2008


Self-Portrait by Jack Spiegelman, oil on canvas, 24 x 24
One of my friends at the Original Farmers Market is Jack. I met Jack thru Amy. We all hang out at the F.M. You can read all about Jack on his blog. Jack is a writer, painter, teacher and music lover. I must say, he does tell interesting and humorous stories.

The movie archive section of Jack's blog is updated monthly with his friends' favorite all-time movies. I'm the Friend of the Month for May. I tried to be eclectic in my movie tastes. Funny thing, none of the movies date past the 80's. Hmmm? What does that say about today's movies? What does that say about my taste? Yeah, I'm old.

Jack is such a character. Sometimes, when I'm at the Farmers Market on Knit Night (WeHo SnB), I'll see Jack off in a corner, reading or writing. I always yell out, "Hey Jack, come on over and join us!" Jack is afraid of ladies with knitting needles. He smiles, waves and runs the other way!

Yes, the Farmers Market is full of interesting people. Amy calls it the "vortex of Los Angeles." Eventually, everyone gets sucked into the place.


Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery