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March 30, 2008


Harlequin Flower_SparaxisTricolor.jpg

When you have trouble thinking of color combinations I've heard advice to 'look to nature.' These flowers are the most unlikely combination of red, pink, brown and yellow. I had to search for a while to figure out what this plant is called. The benefits of a print catalog is you can look at many pictures quickly to find what you are looking for. On the internet it is a different story. To find this I started with gladiolus because for the longest time I thought it was a hardy gladiolus but when I really looked at it tonight I noticed it is symetical all the way around not just one one axis like a gladiolus is/are. I looked at about 5 bulb company web sites before thinking maybe this is a Crocosmia. So I searched and searched for a Crocosmia that looked like this. No luck. Then I came across Tritonias that kinda of looked like these. I finally saw a fuzzy picture of a flower with the same center pattern on www.bulbsdirect.com.au which led me to Sparaxis tricolor or Harlequin flower. Finally a name for this! These flowers grow with very little care in my clay soil. At the end of the bloom i eventually cut off the dead leaves and flowers but that's it. I also came across a site that sells bulbs for warm places like So. Cal. www.easytogrowbulbs.com. One of the things that don't grow well here are Tulips. Most of the big catalogs specialize in bulbs that require a cold period that we don't get here. So to grow tulips you have to store them in the fridge for a couple of months and then plant them. Forget about reblooming next year unless you want to dig up, clean and store them in your fridge again. This fall I will try to add something to my garden that is more suited to our climate.

March 29, 2008

Working On

Current works in progress:

Birch: Finished Knitting at three skeins and in the progress of a flexible handsewn bind off. There were/are 299 stitches. On average I can bind off about 20 stiches per sitting, it's so much more time consuming that the regular way i bind off.

Lorna's Laces Pin Stripe Sock yarn: Started socks in plain stockinette stitch with a picotte cuff. I'm wondering what the stripes will look like.

Bracelets: Still at the drawing board on this one.

Garden: Growing Pumpkins and Basil.

March 24, 2008

Drawing Board


I am working on making a bunch of bracelets with the beads I made in the last days before my new job started. The clasps are giving trouble plus I don't have quite enough of the silver beads in the pic for the whole bracelet. Some solution will have to come to me hopefully without having to buy a bunch of silver at Rio Grande or Fire Mountain Gems. I want the bracelets to be strong and solid, but the clasp is tending to break it up too much. Maybe I'll make the bead part of the clasp. The other thing I want in the bracelet is one where the boring part doesn't end up on the top part of the wrist while I am wearing it.

March 20, 2008

Socks for my Sister


Finished. Whew. The particulars? Koigu KPPM, Color 415, kinda scotch thistle heather, Size 2 needles. Pattern: Retro Rib from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks. These have been sent to the Icy North for my sister. Hand wash only!

March 08, 2008

Crib Bumper Refashion

021608 XY quiltb.jpg

Last year on my time between jobs I reused the fabric that I had used the year before to remake XY's crib bumpers into a quilt. Crib bumpers I found were not really needed. First XY slept in the room with us or his small bassinet, then all the books say take out everything so your child doesn't climp out etc. So the bumpers sat in the room taking up space until I ripped them apart and used the fabric to make a quilt about the length and and a little wider than the width of the crib. The middle has three white panels that alternate with black panels. The whole quilt is bordered with the black panels. I machine quilted lots of lines very close to each other leaving a retangle unquilted in the middle of each center panel. The outside borders are heavily quilted all over.

Current knitting progress is slow, a 10 or so rows of Birch and a few inches of the retro-rib socks. I'm back in the working force so time will be limited again. Plus the little guy is sick going on day 6, fever , ear infection plus upper molars coming in.

March 05, 2008

Even When I was 11 I Photographed my Knitting

021608 Oct1979b.jpg

I found this photo in my album. It's of two knitted projects I made when I was 11. This is the earliest photo I have of anything I have knitted. This photo was developed in Oct 1979, but I seem to remember that I made these in the summer when my sister was home from college. The green one is a belt with a D ring (garter stich) and the red object is a very ineffective potholder in a basket weave pattern. I remember knitting these but not the kind of yarn. Obviously this photo was taken with a point and shoot camera with no marcro. it was probably 110 film and I probably only took one picture because film and developing weren't cheap for an 11 year old.

March 01, 2008

Encinitas Yarn Crawl


We are lucky to have three local yarn stores in Encinitas/Solana Beach. Black Sheep, Common Threads and Knitting by the Beach.


St Tropez in the Encinitas Lumberyard is a great place to go before or after shopping. ~900 block of Hwy101 (Closer to Black Sheep than Common Threads)



            This is my favorite bakery/bistro in Encinitas. I lived in Santa Cruz for 7 years and I was spoiled there with high quality bakeries…Gail’s, Rebecca’s, Kelly’s, Beckmans, The Buttery and Emily’s. Ok, I digress, back to St Tropez. The have excellent croissants ($2.10), flaky not dry and not too buttery. The almond croissants ($2.45) are just above average and sometimes way too dry. Other tasty treats are the Custard Brioche and strawberry éclair (these tend to sell out early in the day).  Hungrier for something more substantial? For breakfast they have egg and omelet dishes (~$7). Since I’m not an egg eater I can’t comment on those dishes but I do know that my husband has ordered the ratatouille omelet more than once and that the rosemary roasted potatoes are excellent. Sometimes I get a grilled panini. I like the Monaco or the St Tropez panini. These are big enough to share and come with a small salad. They have a full menu of salads. I particularly like the goat cheese salad. Finally the best thing about St Tropez is the large patio for people watching, paper reading and or course knitting. St Tropez does not serve espresso due to limitations in their lease by Starbucks. If you like Starbucks though, it's is next door.

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