Thursday, March 22, 2018


Calendula Quilt

I've been intrigued by modular patterns lately. I do love the traditional quilt designs, interpreted into yarny afghans! Click on the captions for links to the patterns.
Granny Star Blanket

I also love these modular sweaters. It's nice to be able to knit a sweater, connect one section to the next and have very little to sew after finishing the pieces.
Log Cabin Pullover

In addition to my Eyeball Sweater project (and a few others,  heh-heh), I started a log cabin sweater. When we were in Palm Springs last month we stopped by the Michael's. I picked up one of those Caron Cakes that everyone on Ravelry is talking about. I decided to just start knitting a log cabin block and see how far I could get with one skein (383 yards). I completed a block large enough for one side of a sweater! I picked up two more Caron Cakes in this Rainbow Sprinkles colorway. We'll see what it becomes. Maybe a slip-over sweater, maybe a blanket/afghan!
Caron Cake Block, "Rainbow Sprinkles" Colorway

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Back to the 60s

Saturday night we were transported back to the early 1960s. I decided to re-live my youth and purchase tickets to see Jim Kweskin at Boulevard Music in Culver City. Decades ago I'd inherited my brother's jug band record collection, which included The Jim Kweskin Jug Band album (1963). 
Considering that I idolized my older brother, Ken at the time, the music that he loved was the music that I loved. He taught me to play the most unfeminine of instruments, the jug! It involved a lot of spitting. I do love the snappy music of the 1920s and 30s on this record.
Although the performance on Saturday was not a jug band performance, Jim played lots of old-timey songs. He sounded great! He was accompanied by bass player Matt Berlin and a harmonica player. I didn't catch his whole name, but Pedrick was part of it!
Pedrick (?), Jim and Matt
Jim performed on guitar and 5-string banjo. His playing and singing sound the same as they did in the 1960s! 
Jim Kweskin, Matt Berlin

It's always fun seeing shows at Boulevard Music in Culver City. The vibe is great, the room is small and the sound is perfect. Thanks, Gary Mandell, for another great show!

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Friday, March 16, 2018

The EYEs Have It!

"Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up." "Twilight Zone," 1961

Last night we started our Crochet-A-Long, Knit-A-Long at the West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch. The theme for this KAL/CAL is "The EYEs of March."  We started on March 15th and all projects have to incorporate some sort of eyeball motif. You can view some of the other project suggestions HERE.  
I decided to go with this granny crochet eyeball top that has intrigued me ever since I saw it on the internet. There is no reference for this image, no pattern that I can locate, so I've decided to see if I can re-create this top on my own!
Granny Crochet Eyeball Top
I think I've figured out the big eyeball!
Ellen's Crocheted Eyeball
For the body of the sweater, I've decided to use some of my leftover yarn from my G.G. Cardigan.  I love these colors, burgundy, eggplant and orange with some defining black thrown in the mix.
Ellen's "G.G. Cardigan"
Hey! Maybe this could be a SWEATER SET! The Eyeball Top would look fab underneath the G.G. Cardigan.....maybe.
Too much?
 We'll see how this turns out. I know what I'll be working on this weekend!

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pasta Sisters, West

The historic Beacon Laundry Building, Culver City. Zig-Zag Moderne & Art Deco Architecture. 1931.

I'd driven by Pasta Sisters in Mid-City, Pico & Arlington, several times, but never stopped. My yarny friends at our West Adams Knitters Group highly recommend this spot. The Mid-City location is in a strip mall with just a couple of tables. Take-out is encouraged. You can buy a prepared meal or buy the homemade pasta and sauce separately to cook at home.
I was pleased to hear that Pasta Sisters was opening a sit-down, casual restaurant in the Helms Bakery Complex, Culver City. 
On Tuesday, Larry and I ventured there for dinner. It was jam-packed! The place is huge. There are tables and counters inside for seating and a large, covered patio in front with lots of tables and HEATERS. Looks like there's a patio in back too. The back patio was closed on Tuesday. 
We ordered at the counter and then found a seat at the end of one of the large, community tables on the patio. Did I say the place was packed? Yes. So, service was a bit slow, but we could see that the staff was working hard to bring out everyone's food. They brought a basket of delicious bread. The price-point is excellent for this quality of pasta and sauce. We were dining early, so it was the children's hour. This made for a rather noisy experience. We will dine at a later hour in the future.
Patio Dining
Larry ordered Tagliatelle pasta with Bolognese sauce. I ordered Pappardelle with Porcini Mushroom sauce. We shared a plate of roasted vegetables. Everything was yummy! 
Tagliatelle Bolognese
Pappardelle w/Porcini Mushroom
Roasted Veggies
I really like this end of Culver City, east of the downtown CC area. I've always loved the Helms Bakery building in it's many incarnations over the years. The neon on the Beacon Laundry and the original Helms Olympic Bread sign are highlights of visiting Culver City!

Pasta Sisters in Culver City is way more convenient for us to purchase fresh pasta and sauce than Eataly in Century City. We shall return often.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The "EYEs" of March are Upon Us!

Our fab Stitch 'n Bitch group, the West Hollywood SnB is having a Knit-A-Long and Crochet-A-Long! We're calling it, "The EYEs of March." Natalie came up with the idea to create knitted and crocheted items that feature eyeballs. Sara came up with our clever title. We are starting this KAL/CAL on the Ides of March (March 15th). I hope you'll join us!
There are a couple of suggested patterns, but you can make ANYTHING as long as it has an eyeball on it. We haven't come up with a time limit for this project yet, but it will probably be in a few months, close to summer.
Here are a few ideas:


The above patterns are only suggestions. There are SO MANY eyeball-oriented patterns on Ravelry and well as in the internet world. You can just applique an eyeball on an existing hat or scarf! Here are two hats that I've added eyeballs to in the past. These are my "third eye" contributions to the yarny world.
Third Eye Martian Baby Beanie, crocheted by Ellen B.
Third Eye Meathead Hat, knit by Ellen B.
I must say, I am intrigued by the possibilities of this KAL/CAL. I've seen fabulous eyeball yarny items on the innernets that do not have actual patterns attached that I might try to figure out, like these:

Pom Poms!
Come on over to the Original Farmers Market, 3rd and Fairfax, L.A., this Thursday, the Ides of March, 7-9 pm, upstairs dining room to join in the fun!

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Thursday, March 08, 2018

International Women's Day

That's EVERY DAY for me! I'm so lucky to have amazing women in my life. I celebrate International Women's Day constantly. Here are a few of my favorite women on our recent trip to Hawaii.
Mary Jo, Natalie, Ellen, Brit, Carla and Darcy
photos by Larry Underhill
How are you celebrating International Women's Day? #IWD2018

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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Up On The Roof

Sunday, we were invited to attend the Los Angeles Conservancy's Volunteer Appreciation party at the Freehand Hotel. The Committee always meets at historic venues for their annual party. The Freehand Hotel was formerly the Commercial Exchange Office Building
From the CURBED LOS ANGELES blog: Built in 1924, the Commercial Exchange Building was designed by Walker & Eisen, the architects who designed two other prominent buildings in DTLA: The Art Deco Oviatt Building and the building that houses the Ace Hotel.
This is the largest vertical neon sign in DTLA! I'm so glad it was fully restored.

From Wikipedia: To allow the widening of Olive Street in the mid-1930s, a 10-foot slice was removed from the center of the building and engineers rejoined the remaining halves by sliding the western portion eastward. Total cost of the removal and realignment was $60,000.
Lobby, Freehand Hotel
Lobby, Bar and Restaurant, Freehand Hotel

Our meet-up was on the roof, next to the pool. We'd had intermittent rain the day before, but it was clear, bright and beautiful up on the roof of the Freehand on Sunday. 
LAC Volunteers at the rooftop pool, Freehand Hotel

It was so great seeing many LAC volunteers and reminiscing about last year's activities. This is a dedicated group of individuals, often working long hours for no pay, just the satisfaction of doing a good job and helping to communicate and preserve Los Angeles' history for future generations. Bruce Scottow is in charge of organizing the volunteers and events such as this one. Bruce and his staff did a terrific job on Sunday! Thank you!
LAC Volunteers
Service awards were given, drinks and light snacks were served. The vista from the rooftop was breathtaking!
The Garfield Building, viewed from the Freehand roof, is under restoration
L.A. Conservancy Photographer, Larry Underhill
JOIN the Los Angeles Conservancy! It's an extremely worthwhile organization with many opportunities to participate, learn and tour our City's most valuable assets. 

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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Anniversary Weekend

We Still Like Each Other!

We have been celebrating our anniversary since Mardi Gras which happened to fall on Valentine's Day this year. We were in Honolulu at the time. The ACTUAL date of our anniversary is March 3, 1992, 26 years ago. This year, 3/3 was on a Saturday. We decided to celebrate in a low-key manner, since we'd just returned from two weeks of vacation in Hawaii and Palm Springs.
We started out exchanging anniversary cards. We had similar choices this year...old couples, hanging in for the long haul! Larry gave me two cards, one funny and one mushy (swoon).
Olson's on Pico

After a few morning errands, we stopped at our local Scandinavian marketplace and cafe, Olson's on Pico Boulevard, near our house. They make the most delicious Dilled Shrimp Salad Sandwich. I love going to Olson's. It's filled with Scandinavian treats, gifts and colorful imports.

We parted after lunch and did our usual Saturday things. In the evening we ventured over to the Baldwin Hills Mall for dinner. We love the Mexico City-style cuisine at Mexicano. It's a beautifully decorated restaurant on the east side of the complex, just off the parking lot. The food is fantastic and they serve exotic drinks!
Mexicano Restaurant

The decor is awesome!

We started out with Guacamole and drinks. Larry ordered the Chamorro Adobado which is beef shank with guajillo marinade, served with beans, white rice and spicy onion and herb sauce.

Chamorro Adobado
I ordered the Enchiladas Tres Moles with chicken. They featured their three different mole' sauces, Poblano, Pepi├ín and Green. They were all delicious, but I liked the green sauce best.
Enchiladas Tres Moles
We had a lovely anniversary. After all of our traveling, it was wonderful to stay close to home for our celebrations. We love Los Angeles!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery