Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry X-Mas and all that...

We had a great holiday here at our house, Mike's mom just left this morning to go back to Philly. I have been kitting like a mad-woman for the past 2 weeks, trying to get everything ready for x-mas. Thankfully, i finished with a few hours to spare, even managed to knit a little for myself.

Here is the finished purse with pretty lining that I felted for my step-mom. I think she was surprised when she opened it!

My first attempt at the Sheldon turtle from this season's Knitty. I knit it on size 10 1/2 dpns, so it is gigantic! Perfect for my knit undersea display in my classroom.

Since the big green one turned out ok, I decided (last thursday) to make a smaller one for the tot in our family, Ridgely. He is Mike's nephew. That gave me 4 days to get the whole thing done. I finished assembly on x-mas eve around 10 pm. argh, what a relief to get that off the needles. This one was done with worsted weight yarn and size 4 needles. I love how cute this patern is! Also, kudos to the author, since it is so readable and very easy to understand. If you are looking for a challenging but do-able double-pointed project, try Sheldon. Trust me! I have a purple one on the needles now, with a pink shell. My friend Leslie in Chicago is having a baby in March. Plenty of time!!!!!

No sure when my next class will be. We need to put on our thinking caps and come up with something fun to teach. Any suggestions? Call Yarn Garden or email me.

School is out for another 2 weeks, hopefully the kids are home knitting their fingers off. They have a design project due the first day back from break, along with a pattern that they wrote. Then, the final! A baby sweater and beanie. The more advanced kids will probably want to add a pair of booties as well. These kids are unbelievable! We have 3 weeks left in the semester. I'll post picks of their work as it comes in.

Have a safe and happy new year!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Another week, another purse!

This is the zig-zag felted purse from the Felted Handbag workshop. Very cool purse patterns available at Diane's website. I changed it a little to fit my needs. You can see my soap of choice is Ajax dishwashing soap. Very nice. This one is a gift for x-mas. I am adding leather straps tomorrow (recycling a really long belt). I'll post pics once it is finished.

My next project, starting tomorrow, will be Sheldon, from the latest issue of Knitty. SO CUTE and the perfect addition to my marine biology corral of animals. My favorite part of the pattern is that the shell is made like a little sweater that he wears. Adorable.

Tonight I worked on X-mas gifts for people at work. Here they are. Cucumber-melon candles in vintage china, with really awesome bows on the handles. My favorite part is the perfect little box of matches. These were so much fun to make!

This week I took my Marine Biology kids to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium for a day of fun and adventure. We had so much fun! The pier aquarium is located underneath the pier. Go check it out! They just had a huge remodel, and are re-open for business. I think it is just a few dollars to get in. Very kid-friendly and lots of volunteers to explain stuff. Here are my students modeling our new binoculars that were donated by the Pali High Booster Club. Thanks, Boosters!

Here is the latest pic of our boy. He is feeling under the weather today, moping around and looking sad. Sad dog = good photo opportunities. :)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December Already?

Wednesday we had a great knitting club meeting at lunch. Over 40 kids showed up. We distributed some of the yarn donated by Fayanne and The Gilmore Girls. Let me tell you, the kids were exstatic! They couldn't believe I was handing out so much yarn! I am eagerly awaiting the scarves, hats and sweaters they are going to make. Thanks again to everyone who has donated yarn this year!

Thursday, our Knitting class got a treat, when expert knitter and knitting book author Maureen Lasher (The Teen Knit Club) came and spoke to our class. She brought tons of cool items that she has knit, and the kids asked lots of questions about her knitting history. As a class, we are putting together a book of patterns and family stories. At the end of the semester, each student will get a copy.

This is what I am currently working on. It is the zig zag bag from the Felted Handbag Workshop. I am starting the center diamonds. Wish me luck. I am going to felt the whole thing and have leather strips added for handles. Fingers crossed that it will be finished in time for X-mas, so I can give it to my step-mom. She was admiring it at Thanksgiving as a work in progress.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to me...

I'm old enough to be president!!! Lucky me. :) A student-made cake. Yum.

We went karaoke-ing last weekend and had a grand old time. Here Andi and I are singing "Baby Got Back".

We also had a girls-only tea that afternoon at Chado Tea Room on 3rd street. Delicious!

On to knitting news...

i finished a beanie for my TA Jeff. He is on the basketball team (#23). Go Dolphins!

Here are a few student projects that were finished last week:

So Hyun made this totally cute pink and purple sweater vest.

Shannon made this lemon yellow baby blanket for a family friend.

Ivonne finished her stuffed bunny. Very sweet.

Yesterday, Andi and I got a wild hair and decided to make candles. Never done it before, so we channeled our inner-Martha and dove in. Here's what we did...

first, chop up the brick of wax...

then, melt the wax...ours is sage green with melon/cucumber scent.

then, pour the wax...

then, the candles cool...

...finish with a matching saucer and a cute matchbox.
LOVE IT!!!!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Donations and Knitted Toys!!!!!

Something wonderful happened today. Fayanne, a yarn angel, has donated TONS of great yarn to our class. This is her livingroom this afternoon, after many people came by and picked up yarn. Thanks so much to Fayanne for the generous donation! I will keep you posted throughout the year(s) of the great things my kids do with this stuff.

Speaking of great kids, this is Ivonne and Jennifer. They are beginners and decided to tackle a toy bunny. Jennifer made a baby sweater set for her third ever project (she is so good!) and they thought a knitted toy was the next logical step.

They knit the body in a single piece, then sewed up the toes and the legs and stuffed as they went. They are in the process of adding the finishing touches. Face, ears, jaunty scarf. Who knows?!? I am eager to see the progress they have made this weekend. I'll post pics of their finished bunnies next time.

Another super-motivated knitter is Shannon. On her own, with no prodding from me, she found this funny pattern for a little man. With no previous construction experience, she pieced this doll together last weekend. Here he is keeping my coral reef tank company. Way to go, Shannon!

I have been busy as well. I purchased some mohair from Suss Designs and made this tam. Charlie moved, i moved and the picture is weird, but the tam is fabu and I can't wait for a little bit of a chill so I can wear it and keep my head warm.

Last night I went to the USC stomping of the Oregon Ducks. Not fun, since I am a Duck fan. Graduated in 1994. A fun time was had by all, here is Jack (my favorite football fan) and me standing in front of the stadium. A little intimidating, to say the least!

Then, to top off a weekend of gluttony (Barney's Beanery for burgers and beer on Saturday afternoon followed by stadium food last night) we got up early to brave the crowds at The Griddle on Sunset at Fairfax. Holy Pancakes! Check out the size of my pumpkin pie pancakes! I got through the first one and had to admit defeat. Their selection is awesome, and the portions would feed a large group. My out of town friends enjoyed the LA-style diner, and I enjoyed the company.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It 's The Little Things That Make All The Difference

I had a great week. Professionally and personally. My knitters are "getting it" and I am filled with joy when I see this appreication for knitting growing in them. Nothing could make me happier in the classroom. A great example this week is LaTijera. She found a simple pattern for baby booties and wanted me to show her how to make them. I was busy with another student, and asked her to read the pattern all the way through, and highlight anything she thought she didn't understand. She happily went back to her seat and began her task. I didn't hear back from her for about 30 minutes, when she proudly showed me the purple bootie she had finished on her own. "But what about knitting in the front and back of a stitch?" I asked. "Oh, you were busy, so I looked in the book's glossary and figured it out myself." This is music to a teacher's ears. I took initiative and figured it out on my own. Better yet, she then taught someone else how to do it. Now, there are booties springing up all over the room. They can go with our slew of baby hats. Hopefully, this passion will sustain through the baby sweater assignment!

the first bootie

LaTijera working in class

Mike and I carved pumpkins on Monday night in preparation for the onslaught of trick-or-treaters we were expecting Tuesday evening. Here are our favorite carvings, but we did 10 pumpkins total. They lined the driveway and our front walkway, and were accompanied by halloween music playing from the house and lots of scary skeletons and other decor. I really like Halloween. (sigh) We had about 400 visitors that night, and still managed to have leftover candy. I took it to school and my students got rid of it very fast. Scarily fast.

Hannibal Lechter

Dracula Burns

Jack Skellington

Charlie and I went on a few car rides on Saturday. He is obviously getting better at riding in the car. Here he is relaxing and using the arm rest.

My latest project. The tam. I have seen them on celebs lately (Kirsten Dunst and Ashlee Simpson) and yet I still want one.

The grey one I made is a little bit big, so I am trying to shrink it. I have started a new one, in pink mohair from Suss. I'll post pics once I have one that fits!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


My alter ego...Flava Flav. 80's rap icon? VH1 reality star? You decide. Halloween was a blast yesterday. My students enjoyed my costume and I won the school costume contest. Yeah, BOY!!!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Charity! Halloween! and Charlie!

I finally made it over to Stitches From the Heart last night to drop off our first big donation. 73 baby hats and 25 scarves. Thanks to the hard-working kids in class for doing such a great job, and THANK YOU (that's a big thank you) to everyone who donated yarn and supplies for these projects. Your donations are on their way to good homes!

Halloween is in a few days and I am REALLY excited! Charlie? not so much. Here he is acting like a vampire sleeping. Or, a bat. Or, a dead cockroach. You decide...

This is what I came home to last night. Very happy pooch standing on a chair, wanting to dance with mommy.

I LOVE Halloween, and wanted to give you all a hint about my costume. I really like dressing up as current reality show "stars". In the past years I was Anna Nicole Smith, Brittney Spears (my friend Chris was K-Fed and we were Chaotic), and Kelly Osborne. I think this costume is my greatest yet. I will post pics next weekend. For now, here is your hint...