Thursday, April 30, 2009

You're on Your Own

I'm kinda' burned out on providing the yarn world with the L.A. Calendar every week. I think, by now, you can see that I usually list the same basic events every week. Here are some good sites to check out if you're looking for an L.A. activity:
L.A. Weekly
Los Angeles Conservancy
American Cinematheque
Stitch 'n Bitch - L.A. Calendar
I'll be working on my various knit and crochet projects over the weekend....out in the L.A. sunshine, hopefully. On Saturday we're going to an opening exhibition at UCLA's Fowler Museum with Audrey and Jeff. That should be fun.
Tomorrow at my office, we having a Spring Craft Fair. I have so many "leftover" yarny projects that I'm going to try and sell. Personally, I think that a winter craft fair, just before Christmas, is a better time to sell wool hats, scarves and shawls. I've tried to put light weight and springy-color items in my "for sale" pile. We'll see what happens.

Craft Fair Yarny Items

I'm working on the lining for my Hexie Bag. I'm adding some pockets for my phone, digi-camera, etc. Hopefully, I'll be sufficiently inspired this weeked to make and attach the bag handles and stitch up the lining!

Lining with pockets for the Hexie Bag

See you all tonight at the WeHo SnB!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Imagine all the Frogging

I've had twelve balls of this olive yarn for a long time. It's Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran...slik, cashmere and merino. I've started and frogged many a sweater with this yarn. I just can't seem to find the correct shape sweater or a pattern that I love knitting. I'm hesitant to crochet something with this yarn, although I know I could make something faboo. It's just that crocheting does use up about one-third MORE yarn than knitting does. I want to maximize the amount of yarn I have.
After reading about this sweater, I can't seem to get it out of my mind. The designer, A. Karen Alfke, talks about how this symbol means a lot to people of her mother's generation. I must be close to Karen's mother's age, because the peace symbol and John Lennon's song, "Imagine" are both very powerful for me too...Imagine all the people living life in peaceā€¦
If only.
Karen Alfke's Peace Symbol Knit Chart
I'm going to attempt a top-down version of this pullover and see how the symbol turns out in olive green. The olive color may be too dark to properly show the highs and lows of the symbol, so we'll see.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hexie-Bag Redo

I decided that I didn't like the edging on my hexagons for my Hexie Granny Bag. I took apart most of the hexies, crocheted up some new ones and re-assembled the bag. Phew! That was a fiber mess!
After re-assembling, I joined the hexies with aqua yarn and crocheted an extra join stitch between each crochet group. I like this look much better. Now, I'm crocheting a lining, double crochets with some leftover acrylic from this project. I'm not sure about the handles. I'll probably either crochet multi-striped flat handles or knit an i-cord with an inserted tube center to give it some stability.
Home-Front: Our room addition project is nearing completion. Larry has been painting quite a bit. I just love a workin' man with paint-stained hands!

Taking a Break

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Golden State

The Golden State burger
Today's post is here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

"Heidi Bird's Favorite Perch"
Larry - 1953, Sherman Oaks, California

OK. Enough of my family photos. This morning I asked Larry to scramble a bit and see if he could scare up any vintage photos from his family album. Bonanza!
Above is a photo of Larry at his family home in the San Fernando Valley area of Sherman Oaks, around 1953. That's probably his Grandma Underhill holding his hand. It appears that he has some sort of scrape or smudge on his forehead. He was a rascal even back then! Heidi, the bird seems extremely comfortable perched on Larry's head.
Granted, I am biased, because I think my darling husband, Larry is the handsomest man alive. However, he was also the most adorable, cutest baby EVER!!!
Santa Monica Beach, 1953
Cowboy Chic, Christmas, Sherman Oaks, 1956

School Photo, 1958

Wait until you see the photos from the mid-1960's of Larry zooming down the sidewalk on his skateboard!!! Boss and bitchin'!

More Vintage Photos here.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Springtime is busy-time in Los Angeles.
My only plan this weekend is to clean out my closet and go to the Fairview Knitters Group on Saturday afternoon.
However, I might just change my mind and go to one of these places:

Marion Davies @ her Beach House

The Annenberg Beach House is open to the public! This is the former Marion Davies estate on the beach in Santa Monica, at the end of the Santa Monica incline. William Randolph Hearst had the estate built for actress, Davies, who was his longtime mistress. They entertained many celebrities there during the 30's and 40's. When I was a child this same property was known as the Sand and Sea Club. We had friends that were members, so I got to go often. It was a great place for lunch! We'd eat, then swim in the pool, then run down the sand to the ocean and swim there too. Later, when I was a teenager, my group of friends used to hang out on Tee's Beach (named for the hamburger stand nearby), just outside the perimeter of the Sand and See Club. Awww...fond memories.
The Grilled Cheese Invitational Cook-off is this weekend. Cheese is my most favorite food. Imagine the combinations that the chefs will create!! Oh!
The BIG, BIG event this entire weekend is the L.A. Festival of Books at UCLA. This festival has grown and grown over the years into a really big deal. There are always famous authors there, lecturing, signing books and more. If the weather is nice (and it looks like it will be), it's a wonderful place to get your read on.
On the music side, my favorite troubadors, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer will be performing at the Wiltern Theater in their Unwigged and Unplugged concert. From the website: The trio, known as both Spinal Tap and The Folksmen, announced their upcoming Unwigged & Unplugged tour. For the upcoming shows, the musicians come "out from behind the hair, the facial hair, and the absence of hair" to perform songs including hits from Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind.
Esotouric is holding their two-day tour, Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: In a Lonely Place. Here are some photos of a past Raymond Chandler tour.
Maybe we'll bump into each other around L.A. this weekend!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Oh! I have soooo many WIPs (Works in Progress). Sometimes we call these "procrastination projects" because we really ought to get back to working on our major projects, but don't want to!
This week's "P" projects are the Hexie Handbag and yet another "
It's a Wrap" shawl.
I saw the handbag pictured below on someone's blog or on
Ravelry, I'm not sure. I really like the placement of the hexagons to make a shallow bag. I've finished making all the hexies, but now I'm having trouble putting it all together. I realized that one of my hexagons had seven sides, not six! That's what happens when you don't have a pattern or a schematic to follow! Argh! To calm my nerves and frustration I started crocheting another shawl to add to my holiday gift duffle bag for December 2009. This one is crocheted with a size "G" hook in Blue Heron beaded rayon in the colorway "Kelp." I picked up this gorgeous skein at the Ultimate Point LYS in La Quinta when we were there last month. The drape is fabulous. What projects are you working on right now?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birthday Brunch

On Sunday, probably the hottest day of the year so far in L.A., I met up with my Knit Krewe to celebrate a couple of birthdays. We went to a great restaurant in East Hollywood called Cha Cha Cha. East Hollywood is hot. There's rarely a breeze. Needless to say, it was really hot by high noon. Luckily, the cold drinks were in abundance at Cha Cha Cha. Warning: The place is NOT air-conditioned.

Even though their b-days are more than a month apart, we always seem to celebrate Darcy's and Mary Jo's birthday together. Brunch was great there were lots of excellent b-day gifts and we had a wonderful time.

We were only a few blocks away from Scoops, a boutique ice-cream parlor in the area of town called "Mel-Hel," near the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope. This is a very popular spot with many bike riders around town, due to the proximity of bicycle shops nearby. Scoops is known for inventing unusual ice-cream flavors. We sampled Brown Bread, Salt Walter Taffy, Maple Nut Cookie and more delicious flavors. It was blessedly air-conditioned inside the shop, so we slurped our delicious ice cream and stayed for a bit.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Knitsters @ The Hammer

Lori, Sarah, Jenna, Natalie and Laurie Ann
background: Debbie and Kath
We had a sensational field trip to the Hammer Museum on Saturday! Lisa Anne Auerbach met up with our Knitster Group for lunch and a tour of the group show, "Nine Lives...Visionary Artists from L.A."
We descended on the Hammer Courtyard around noon. I'd say there were 15-20 of us, enjoying lunch, knitting in the courtyard and generally having a great time. I want to thank everyone for coming....from as far away as Catalina Island and Santa Clarita! The weather was perfect.
After lunch we went upstairs to see the exhibit. Lisa's knit work and photos are at the end of the exhibit, so we were able to enjoy the eight other artists' work before gathering in the hanging torso room. Many of us had some pertinent questions for Lisa about her work. We had been given approval to take a few photos, but naturally, not every guard got the memo. It was wild to hear all the walkie-talkies buzzing with alarm as many of us raised our cameras. I did manage to get some good shots of all of us roaming through Lisa's exhibit.

Everyone was impressed by Lisa's knitted sweaters and skirts and her commitment to socio-polital commentary in yarn. Thanks to Lisa for joining us on Saturday and giving us insight into her work. It was a very successful day!

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

Ken Bloom in his Hop-Along Cassidy Outfit
1950, Los Angeles
I've mentioned before that my brother, Ken, is a character. He's a professional musican and instrument builder. He still likes to wear costumes. It must have been our parents indulging their first child, the post-WW II baby and dressing him up in the pop-culture icons of the day, that influenced him. Today, his wife, Ginny still indulges Ken's need to wear authentic old-timey gear. She even knit him a beret and felted it for his Scottish Highland kilt outfit that he wears in the bagpipe band! Yikes!
Topper the Horse & Hop-Along Cassidy
William Boyd was an actor during the silent era. He made the "Hop-Along Cassidy" movies in the late 1930's and early 1940's.
Ken, in our backyard, Beverlywood, LA, 1950
Boyd had the rights to the movies, so when television came along, he licensed the movies to be played on TV. Subsequently, all of those baby boomers became Hoppy fans, including one Kenneth Bloom! There was lots of merchandising goin' on in those days too, just like today. My brother had a Hoppy outfit, Hoppy guns and holster. There were bedspreads, books, radios and more.
Hop-Along Cassidy & Topper Cookie Jar
You could say that my brother was properly spoiled as a child. Hmmm? Maybe that's why there are so many more photos of Kenny as a youngster than there are of me! Harumph.
Anyway, William Boyd eventually retired, but still rode in parades and made public appearances as Hop-Along Cassidy to promote the TV shows. In 1950 or 1951 (pre-Ellen), my parents and brother were staying at the Ocotillo Lodge in Palm Springs for vacation. Who was sitting around the pool, looking all tan and handsome? None other than William Boyd! My brother was so excited. He had his photo taken with his idol, Hoppy!

William Boyd and itchy Kenny, Palm Springs, 1950 or '51

More vintage photos! Have a great weekend.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Hammer Museum Courtyard

This Saturday, April 18th is our big event at the Hammer Museum in Westwood! Lisa Anne Auerbach will be there to guide us through her exhibit of extraordinary knitted and photographed artwork! We plan to meet in the courtyard of the Hammer Museum at noon. We can sit, knit, chat and snack a bit. At 1pm, we will make our way upstairs to view the exhibit.Read more about parking, admission, etc. here. I hope to see many of you on Saturday! Faith also posted some great events for this weekend!

I'm still catching up on last weekend's photos! Last Saturday morning was our once-a-month Saturday WeHo SnB at the Original Farmers Market.We had a very congenial group, a few newbies! Lots of great conversation, projects and laughs. You must join us sometime! We always meet on the second Saturday of the month from 10 am to noon, upstairs dining area, Farmers Market, 3rd and Fairfax!

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stick a Fork in it!

It's done!
I'm finished with my modified Wendy Bernard "Favorite Cardigan" (Ravelry). I haven't added buttons yet...not sure about that. I may add some toggle buttons. I didn't provide button holes while knitting, but the weave on this sweater is loose, so I could definitely add smallish buttons and just poke them thru the stitches.
I'm very pleased with the results. This is a slightly bulky knit, so not that flattering, but at least it's black and goes with everything. I've been wearing it non-stop during our cool, spring SoCal evenings...not so much during the day.
Specs: "Favorite Cardigan" from "Custom Knits". Mystery acrylic in black tweed, worsted weight. Size 10 Addi-Turbo circular needles. Modifications: I added a collar, made the sleeves longer and ribbed the lower portion of the sleeves. I also made this sweater longer in the torso. I washed the piece in the machine with lots of fabric softener so the ack-rylic would soften up and the sweater would drape nicely. Basically, I followed my usual top-down formula and just used Wendy's pattern as a style jumping-off place. This was a very quick knit. There's something to be said for using fat yarn and chubby needles for speedy project satisfaction!
Other News: Check out the L.A. Times today. Our own Lisa Anne Auerbach had an entire article written about her event coming up at the Hammer Museum tomorrow. It's "Bike Night." Lisa is a bicycle enthusiast and has scheduled a bike ride to the Hammer in Westwood from MelHel (Melrose & Heliotrope, by LACC). There will be a screening of "Breaking Away," along with a visit to the exhibit, cocktails, etc. Congrats on the publicity, Lisa!!
Our knitster group will be meeting at the Hammer this Saturday, April 18th at noon to sit, knit, view the exhibit and ask Lisa questions about her faboo work! Read about it here.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Sunday

We're so multi-cultural! Our Passover was good and our Easter Sunday was glorious. We started out with a delicious matzo brei breakfast. I hadn't made this excellent scrambled egg dish in ages. It was really good. Here's a basic recipe. Some people like their matzo brei sweet and fried, like French toast, served with syrup. I like mine savory and scrambled with chopped onions, salt and pepper. You can enjoy it anytime of the year, not just during Passover!
I crocheted Larry a little Easter basket and filled it with See's candy. He's still enjoying it.Later that morning I prepared my famous Cherry Cobbler to take over to Carol's and Thane's home for their annual Orphans Easter Party.
The party was very well-attended this year. There must have been about 30 people. Everyone brought something to share for the meal. Carol and Thane prepared the most delicious appetizers, barbecued lamb, fritters and a few salads. You can see from the pictures how sumptuous the buffet was!

Thanks to Carol and Thane for once again, hosting a fabulous party!

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 13, 2009


We had our family Passover on Saturday, the 4th night, just so that all of the family members living outside of Los Angeles could attend. It was an excellent evening! We all contributed to the meal and the celebration. Basically, it's the same very year. We all have our assignments. There were a few less people this year, so it was quieter and more relaxed.

Oh boy, did we have some delicious leftovers!
Easter Sunday report tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

Ahhhh! The '70's! So many of my fiber friends think that photos from the 1970's are VINTAGE. I suppose, to them, 30-40 years ago is ancient history. To me, photos from the '70's look so current.

Yeah, I'm old.

I've recently been getting messages on from many of my old friends from high school. We've got a reunion coming up next year. Yikes! I only have a year to lose 100 pounds!

Here's a blurry version of my prom photo. That's me with high school band drum major, Kelly. He was really cute and such a nice guy! We met up again at our 20th high school reunion. At that time, he was a police officer out in La Habra. I haven't seen him since, but have fond memories of the prom at the Beverly Hills Hotel! Woo Hoo.

Ellen and Kelly, 1970

Only four years later, I was a bride. I'm not married any longer to Husband #1. Husband #2, Mr. Larry is far superior!!! As you can see, I might have some tears in my eyes as I stand next to Mom and Dad at the Ambassador Hotel on my first wedding day! I must have known that this marriage was a mistake.

Ellen, Roz and George Bloom, 1974

The wedding, however, was really lovely. It was in the Venetian Room at the Ambassador Hotel, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles. There were 250 guests for luncheon on a Sunday. Bernie Richards and his Orchestra performed and everyone had a splendid time!

Click and scroll down to see more Vintage Photo Fridays.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easter Weekend

Easter @ The Hollywood Bowl, 1937

I'll be at the Once-a-Month, WeHo SnB at the Original Farmers Market this Saturday morning from 10am to noon. I'm taking time out from my cooking marathon to sit and knit a bit! I hope you'll join me.
Alas, I won't be able to attend the Fairview Knitters meet-up later in the afternoon (3:30-5:30) in Santa Monica. I keep having other events planned during this bi-monthly meeting. I really like this knit group too! I hope to make it back in two weeks. My huge family is gathering for it's annual Passover-Easter extravaganza out in Valencia. I promise to take photos!
Sunday is Easter. There are lots of things to do. You can start out early, get over to the Hollywood Bowl at 5:30 AM for the sunrise service. This is the 88th year!
You can head over to the Aero Theater in Santa Monica for a screening of the 1948 Warner Bros. film, "Easter Parade" with Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Peter Lawford and more!
Larry and I will be at Carol's and Thane's house for the annual orphans Easter gathering. Last year's party was fantastic! I hope the weather is nice!
2008 Easter Cake @ Carol's and Thane's Party
Crochet News: I used up all of Madge's Colinette Jitterbug yarn and came up with a shawlette or a big triangle scarf. After blocking, I think I'll love it!
See you tonight at the WeHo SnB!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Knit & Crochet for Passover & Easter

Knitted Bowl of Matzoh Ball Soup by Leslie TikkunTree

Knit and crochet patterns commemorating holidays are the most fun! They make me smile. I am most impressed with the Passover patterns by Leslie TikkunTree. She calls her pattern page, "Patterns for Peacebuilders." Not only are Passover patterns available, but there are patterns for Rosh Hashonah, Sukkot, Chanukah and more. Leslie is a very inventive knitter. You can find her on Ravelry too.
My favorite pieces from Leslie's Passover Seder series are her knitted Matzoh Ball Soup ( I would have added a bit of green parsley to the mix) and the Ten Plagues. Leslie really researches her knits extensively. Brilliant!

The Knitted Ten Plagues by Leslie TikkunTree

As far as patterns in celebration of Easter, there are so many to choose from. Here are some of my favorites:

I whipped up a quick crocheted Easter basket yesterday for Larry. I'm not done with it yet, but I plan to fill it up with some goodies for him. I don't think he's had a basket since he was a child. It's time for another one!
Crocheted Easter Basket, In Progress

Have you crafted anything for the upcoming holidays?

Labels: , ,

Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery