Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hark! What's that I hear? ::groan:: ::plop::

Look what I found when I went into the iguana room Christmas morning!

Betza has arrived!

She is smaller than Uova and Sist were:

For now, Betza will be resting, and getting ready for her first road trip in January.

In the mean time,
I will have to dig up U&S's hats and sweaters...or knit some new ones! Well, now, there's a thought!

Actually, I do have some yarn stashed away that I've been saving to knit something. Natalie sent me some of the yarn left over from her Suck Up To The Mother-In-Law scarf she knit for, well, her MIL. I whipped up this fetching, ah, poncho? fashion scarf? for Betza tonight. Seeing as how the yarn is a luscious 45% qiviut (musk ox)/45% wool/10% silk, Betza will be warm indeed during these cold winter months.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Oeufs Still Stinky

For those who have been checking in looking for an update, why, thanks!

Eggs have been spending the summer quietly in the refrigerator because their primary chauffeur and nanny (that would be moi) has had a pretty crappy summer, health-wise. Spending the months in cold climes has retarded the encroaching creptitude but has not staved it off completely.

On the bright side, Fall is approaching and so, too, is tortoise egging season. So, Eggs may have a successor or two. Or, y'know, not. Time will tell.

After having taken a hiatus from tiny knitting, I have made two sweaters this week.

This first one is made in memory of Suzanna Marie Somerville, who died August 31, at age 98. Her daughter and granddaughter are not themselves knitters or crocheters, unlike Marie (as she was called) who, it seems, was always working one something: knitting, crocheting, crewel and embroidery, beading, and making things for small dolls.

When going through Marie's things, deciding what to keep and what to give away, Cory, Marie's granddaughter, came upon a small scrap of crochet work. Since we couldn't find anything it went with, Cory was going to throw it away. I offered instead to make a little sweater for it, to donate to Canine Companions for Independence, for their annual holiday fundraiser tree at Coddingtown Mall. (The handmade ornaments are donated to CCI; shoppers who donate $10 to CCI get to pick out an ornament to take, and the donors' names are put on the tree in place of the ornaments. The tree goes up in early December, so if you're in the area shopping, please stop by and give a little.)

The crocheted scrap was made from a white yarn. I unraveled it, and combined it with some of Marie's red yarn to create a small sweater. Here is the body of the sweater, with the needles holding the picked up stitches from which I will make one of the sleeves.

Here's the finished sweater:

The basic pattern I used was from one of Betty Lampden's Miniature Sweaters books.

This next sweater I knit using a pattern local alpaca rancher Vicki Arns shared with the knitting guild last year. Here it is, in blue and white, laying atop Marie's red and white sweater:

Wooo! Pretty small, eh? Here's a shot of the sweaters and quarter lined up:

Vicki's sweater (here worked with fingering yarn on size 1 & 3 needles) is available online in a PDF file at the Sonoma County Knitting Guild's site. You'll find a whole page of links to patterns for tiny and very small holiday ornaments at the guild's Tiny Holiday Ornaments page.

The 'Marie' sweater, while it would fit one of the Eggs, is instead going to be kept, along with other tiny sweaters I'll be knitting over the next several weeks, in an stinky-Egg-free zone, ready to pass along to

Note: If you think these sweaters are small, check out Althea Merback's miniature knitting creations at her BugKnits site.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Oeufs dans le réfrigérateur

With the weather heating up as much as it has, and the Eggs already, uhm, aging rapidly, I sent them to live in a cooler clime until I get around to knitting them string bikinis or some other suitable summer wear.

(Oh! Can you see it? Eggs on a Cruise!)

(It's okay. You can resume breathing. Eggs aren't going to be doing any cruising unless one of you takes them. Hmmmmm...maybe a houseboat on a lake? Uhm, Karen, can we talk?)

Anyway, just in case anyone was wondering where Eggs are, they are here:

That's them, in their carpeted carseat/condo, sitting on top of a glass dish holding a couple of pinkies (for Sluggo), which in turn is sitting on a couple of yogurt containers, sandwiched between the milk and juice container filled with ice tea.

You may recognize their "carpet" - it's the yarn I used for my grandnephew's sweater.

Bon apeti-- er, avoir un grand été!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Old Age Approaches...

Well, while their bain may have staved off the rapidity with which old age is approaching, the therapeutic waters were not therapeutic enough to stave off encroaching decreptitude entirely.

Eggs did go on a field trip in late April, which was good. But spending 14 hours in an un-air conditioned car while on the road was not.

Eggs are distinctly....fragrant.

Here they are relaxing with us the evening of our arrival in Tulelake. We gathered on the porch of the house we rented through Fe's Bed & Breakfast.

I supplied the grilled proscuitto-wrapped shrimp, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and shrimp with my favorite dipping sauce, a cocktail sauce spiced up with lemon juice and Tulelake horseradish (of course!) while friends Karen & Jim supplied our ever favorite Teldeschi Winery wines.

It being a warm night, Eggs disrobed and hung out al fresco, so to speak.

As you can see from the red ball thrower on the left side of the table, Sidney the Wonder(ful) Dog was there, too. What you don't see is the puddle of saliva gathering on the porch floor as Sidney awaits his share of the appetizers.

After filling up on all the augmented shrimp and wine, Karen, Sidney and I took a walk down the street. At 9:30 PM, it was as dark as it gets in the town of Tulelake. Karen brought her spotting scope, so we did a bit of star and planet watching.

About 10 PM, still needing to stretch out a bit after the ride up there, we put the scope away and walked across town. Mind you, this was Friday night. At 10 PM. We encountered not one car driving through town during our 45 minute walk which basically bisected the entire town.

Did I mention we really like Tulelake?

And did I mention there was NO graffiti? Anywhere? Well, except on and in the box cars of the trains that rumbled through on their way to bigger, but not particulary better, placed.

A final photo: Sundown in Tulelake.

I have put in an online album some of the photos from our drive to and from Tulelake, if you'd like to see them. When I get the other photos fiddled with and uploaded, I'll put a link to that album here, too.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Les Oeufs Prennent un Bain

Or, more prosaically, Eggs Take a Bath.


Because they are getting a wee bit....fragrant.

I noticed it when we were last out. Since they've been sitting stashed in their carrier on my desk, all padded by their blankie and latest hats and I-cord O-rings, and my desk sits in the coldest place in my house (unless it's in the middle of summer, in which case it is the hottest place, besides the always heated iguana room), any molecular exchange between Eggs and my Nose has been limited.

So, a bath.

Here they are in their covered hot tub:

And here they are with the cover removed:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Eggs in Stocking Caps

There is a very nice woman in our local knitting group whose name is Nita. Nita has a thing for socks. Sock earrings, sock scarves, sock socks, and at least one sock hat that I've seen. She also does a wonderful sock display she sets up at our annual Knit Out day.* So it was no surprise that, when browsing through the latest issue of Knitty and seeing the photo for a Real Stocking Cap pattern, I thought of her.

And I thought of Eggs. Atter all, some of their hats are made up of sock yarn I've used to make socks for me and others (and a few cats, who get theirs stuffed with catnip) (and a sweater with matching scarf for Sist Egg). So I decided to honor Nita's creativity, and those of other real stocking hat makers, by knitting some stocking caps for Eggs.

Here is an in-progress look at Sist's hat.

Here are are both hats. Note, too, the new I-cord o-rings I made for Eggs since they are getting sort of...floppy. Not soft, but as their innards dry out, it makes them unevenly weighted. So, Eggs now have Stands, too!

Here's a closeup of Uova's hat...

...and Sist's.

All dressed up and no road trip in sight!

* The Knit Out (which includes crocheters, too) started as an impromtu group of knitters meeting in New York's Central Park after September 11. Since then, knitting groups across the country have been staging their own Knit Outs during September-October. The Craft Yarn Council serves as a sort of clearinghouse of KO events around the country. You can check their site for KOs in your area, or, if you get your own KO going, let them know and they can list it on their site.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Eggs In Scale

Karen pointed out that many of you may not realize how small Eggs are, so I shot some nekkid photos of them alongside a couple of things most people can easily recognize: two sizes of paperclips, and a dime. Here they are with their latest hats... And here are their (only, at this point) sweaters... So, while they are the smallest things I've ever knitted, smaller even that the little socks I knit and fill with catnip for catty friends, they are the smallest things I think I shall ever knit. To see some incredible knitted things that are would make the dime and paperclips look huge, check out Islandknitter's Knitted Garden and the incredible Bugknit's Nano Knits.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sashimi and Saki and Eggs, oh, my!

Karen, Eggs and I went out to celebrate my birthday dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Shogun. We gorged on a small order of shrimp and vegetable tempura to start, followed by a large platter of mixed sashimi, followed by a softshell crab (Karen's first) and an order of unagi (smoked eel sushi, also a first for Karen). This was leisurely washed down with several large cups of green tea and several carafes of hot saki.

Here are Eggs in front of the sashimi platter containing white (albacore), red (ahi) and yellow (yellowtail) tuna, sea bass, and red snapper, along with (my favorite garnishes) mounds of daikon threads and ginger.

Eggs wore their new hats, and also got to show off their some of their sweaters (the blue with the scarf, and the bright light green and purple) to the very nice server.

Everything was great, other than the fact that Karen kept referring to Sist as the "terrorist egg" because of the proclivity of some of that ilk cravenly hiding their identity behind balaclavas.

After dinner (and did I mention lots of saki?), we let Sidney out of the car, where, alas, he had to stay, burrowed under my Sidney blankets, while we ate dinner. He decided it was way too cold to read the news around the parking lot, so he quickly got back into the car, and off we went to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream for us and to take home to Karen's hubby.

Karen's waffle cone was sort of disintegrating while we were still in the store, so the nice fellow who was handling our order gave Karen a cup to put her scoops in should the cone give way before we got home. It did give way, so Karen managed to invert the cone over the cup without running into the center median. Sidney, the lucky boy, got to eat the waffle cone. He then decided that I must not want my waffle cone, either, and so poked his snout repeatedly in my cheek to make it as easy as possible for me to hand over the cone. Which, seeing as how my cone was still filled with Mississippi Mud ice cream, I did not.

When we got to Karen's, I dished out some Truffles in Paradise ice cream for Jim, topped my own cone with a dab (well, I had to make sure TiP tasted good!), and we hung out for a while, 'we' meaning Karen, Jim, Eggs, Sid, Jack the cat, and I.
Sid, while waiting for me to get tired of my cone, cleaned up and shredded Karen's cup. Once he at the last inch of my cone, he grabbed his large (faintly obscene) Nylabone Double Action Chew toy, and began teasing me with it, offering it to me, then pulling it out of my hands. We played for a while, watching a movie, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Jack observing us from his place, stretched out in front of the fire.

Karen then drove me home (did I mention lots of saki?) where, still warm from the saki, I eventually went to bed and slept well. Well, until 4 AM when The Thing returned to its place Under The Tub.

Thank you, Karen and Jim and Sidney and Eggs (and Shogun), for a very yummy birthday!

Friday, February 17, 2006


It is frickin' cold here. After a week or so of sunny, bright, mild-to-almost warmish days, and nights ranging from brisk to nearly balmy, we are smack in the middle of winter again. A COLD winter. Here, for example, is a photo of the outdoor thermometer, taken this afternoon around 2:30 PM. The window it is on is on the south side of the house:

Here's a temperature/dewpoint chart reflecting the past 24 hours (well, from 7:50 PM last night to tonight). See??? Cold!

There was even snow here in Sonoma County, in one area enough to make a snowman that stuck around.

I don't care what it is in Wisconsin or Maine or British Columbia or anywhere else it is cold. It is supPOSsed to be cold in those places. Not cold like that here. This is coastal California, by gosh, and we just do not do cold here. So, make it go away!

But not until you see Eggs' new hats.

Well, Eggs get cold, too, and so need some warm new hats to get through these COLD days.

Here is Uova in her smart red-and-flecked number. The red is the Cascade 220 I'm using for Sidney's dog sweater. The flecky stuff is...something. Juliette gave me a leftover ball of it that had been knocking around the shop after she finished something, so I've had it in my stash for about a year. To make the hat, I ribbed a 5" long strip, grafted the two ends together, and then picked up stitches and knit them in the round to the top.
Uova was happy with the hat, but Sist wanted something offering more coverage.

So, I made her this little chenille balaclava.
All they need are some leg warmers (well, and some legs) and they could hit the slopes at Torino and catch some Olympic action.

As for me, I think I'm going to go sink into some flannel and down with a hot cuppa.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Proper Intros, Pillow Talk, and Signs of Things to Come

I thought that, before we go on much farther, you'd like to meet Eggs up close and personal. Taking advantage of their naptime today, I took their pictures. Here is Uova...

..and here is Sist.

As you can see, they are beginning to look a bit...aged. They've been living in the den, whose average daily temperature during the winter is in the mid-50s, so they are being quite well preserved, considering they are, er, uhm, raw.

Did you notice that hint of green behind them, in their individual photos? Those are pillows!!! Their Aunt Darry made them each a pillow, very much like the larger iguana pillow she made for Mikey the Cycie. She also made those cute little drawstring bags you see.

Now Eggs will be able to rest in comfort while I plot, er, plan their new finery. I've been busy lately making scarf gifts which have finally been sent off, and so I'm catching up on knitting some more squares for the
Sonoma Blanket Project, and a new scarf for myself, having belatedly realize I have no purple scarves.

But, I digress...
I am planning on using some of the left over purple scarf yarns to make something for Eggs, but more importantly, I have been thinking about how to use another gift Eggs received, this from Knatolee. Knat, who designs and makes spectacular rugs (my faves being the Albino Axolotl on page 1, and the Fintistic Fishies on page 2), also knits and does other crafty things. She recently drove herself crazy knitting a lace scarf for her mother-in-law, out of a wonderful foresty qiviut (musk ox)/wool/silk blend. Knat sent Eggs the remaining yarn!

So, while working on other projects, I've been giving serious thought about what to make out of this luxurious yarn. A lacy poncho, perhaps? A shawl and hat? Hmmmm......

Oh! Want to see the yarn? Yum....

Here's a close-up for you.

So much to knit! Only two hands!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Busy Day Between The Raindrops

As the old year wound down and the new year got underway, the northern coastal and not so coastal communities in California got slammed with record rainfall. Rather than adding to the roads crowded with people trying to lay in supplies, flee from floods and massive soil erosion, and did I mention there was lots of rain?, Eggs and I stayed inside, dry, if not particularly warm.

(I pay more than I can really afford to heat that damned lizard so I don't heat anything but water and food for myself...and with the 40% increase in the cost of utilities, further stretching the stretched-to-the-limit ends to make them meet is about to become real interesting.)

Well, Eggs were likely warmer than I was as they nestled under their holiday hats, wrapped up in their blankie. I, on the other hand, wielded cold, metal needles, knitting them their new....sweaters! Yes, this blog takes a brief diversion from hats to sweaters.

Sist is wearing a lovely stone-washed denim pullover with a scarf. The scarf was actually knit horizontally and meant to be self-fringing (like the
self-fringing shawl, which it was, but the fringe ended up to be longer than the scarf, so I chopped them down. A lot. You will recognize the yarn (okay, so maybe not) as being from the same skein of yarn as my most recent pair of finished socks.

Uova is wearing a slip-stitched sweater in yarn I frogged from a hat that turned out so badly I can't really use the phrase "turned out". Fortunately, this sweater really did turn out! (Do I have to point out that this sweater has a turtle neck? Sheesh, where are your powers of observation, your sense of how my mind works?! Really, people, have you learned nothing from reading my blogs or sites??) Finally, finally, we got a break in the rain. Not only that, we got a break in the heavy cloud cover, so much so that the ground and stuff started to dry out a tiny bit, and I decided that, with the three of us getting a touch of cabin fever, we needed to be out and so went to run some errands.

Our first stop was at Vinnie's Rohnert Park Automotive to drop off some Florida oranges from the huge box my dad sent me. I felt a little badly about leaving them a box of brownies and drunken fruit cake before the holidays, so I figure I'd make it up with some natural sugar.

Here's the eponymous Vince Lagomarsino, who is looking a bit shell shocked as he holds Sist and Uova, apparently trying to figure out just how much of my own fruitcake I must have ingested to make sweaters (well, hats, too) for eggs.

Our next stop was my friend's yarn shop, Elf Hand Knitwerks in Rohnert Park. Check out the socks hanging on the rack of sock yarn - those are mine. The blue-and-green striped one I made way to small for some reason - probably not enough fruitcake. The red-white-blue striped one fits, but it's just so not me, even me on election days. The other one of mine is a white-brown-gold fair isle-y one whose colors are just so not me. Not even when they are covered by pants and shoes. Just knowing I have brown garments on bothers me.

Here's a close of Eggs, backed by yarns, including some that have gone into making an inside-outside hat for my nephew.

Home again we went, and settled in for the evening. Comfy in their bed, I sat nearby, settling into doing some final stuff on the computer, ready to put my feet up and start knitting.

And then the phone rang.

It was Polly, asking if Eggs could come out for a drink at Chevy's where Polly and Karen were stopping on their way home from a difficult week at work.

Soooo, since Eggs aren't old enough to drive, their chauffeur (that would be moi) had to heave herself up and get dressed again (well, into street clothes from at-home-grubbies), and off we went to Chevy's.

There, Karen and Polly were already working at boosting their anti-oxidants and improving their heart health: Polly with a glass of red wine, while Karen was using fruit and cactus in the tasty combination known as a cranberry margarita. Feeling somewhat in need of some oxidant suppression myself, Karen and I split a pitcher of margaritas. See Uova and Sist waving?
Or are they trying to check our nystagmus?

I would show you pictures of Polly and Karen unwinding, but, uhm, the photos didn't turn out well, so I am afraid that we shall have to once again go to Chevy's so I can re-shoot them.