Sunday, December 28, 2008

just one thing, and i'll be ok

i need a miracle, every day...

so i got one -- we went back to mission la purisima in lompoc, but poor little thing 2 had had it. christmas, and then boxing day full of nonstop star wars lego wii's rollercoaster of successes and abject failures led him to an inability to deal. he was exhausted. so the guided tour went on, thing 1 got to ring an original mission bell (!), and dad went with her. thing 2 and i retired to the car, i set up a nest in the back,

and while he snoozed (he's in the red sweater, head on the plaid pillowcase, behind the purl rows), i finished the first half of my alpaca lovely leaf lace scarf, drank in the sunshine, the cold breeze, and listened to:

on the xm or sirius, not quite sure any more. i have to say, for touring the hills of the central california coast, there is absolutely no better soundtrack than the dead. if you think of one, let me know. but try my suggestion, ok? it's perfect.

we got home this afternoon after spending the night in lompoc (and stopping by solvang to see the "world's biggest gingerbread house" which i'd also have to say qualifies as one of the "world's biggest disappointments") (but a pretty drive past alisal ranch on the way back). i decided that since i really have wanted to do this for quite a while, i would go ahead and paint this incredible geometrically, focal pointedly interesting picture from the mission. i'm not saying the painting is incredible -- i know better than that ;-) --- but the location is really satisfying visually. here's the painting scene, complete with kitchen mess:

and here's the finished product:

it actually looks better in the photo than it does in person. how's that for bloggily convenient?

i have not updated my "on the kneedles" for quite a while. lots of knitting adventures in progress.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

what?! time to blog???

not really, but after tomorrow this wreath is coming down so carpe diem! my xmas wreath this year is not the fauxla robbia i usually do -- no time -- so i spotted these gorgeous peppers on sale at the grocery store, and slapped them onto a pine wreath with some gingko leaf accents.

it's not as pretty here as in real life -- the colors are washed out, but i'm quite pleased. merry christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

my favorite teacher gift

thing 2 has a young teacher, new to the school, and i suspect she was given all the little rejects -- many esl children, a few iep kids (including thing 2), none of whom has ever attended our lovely elementary school before (except thing 2, kindergarten). she has been so kind, open to communication, and compassionate with our little one, that i decided to give her something a bit more elaborate than the $20 starbucks card that is my standard gift.

so i found this pattern, changed it a little, natch, and look how it came out. (well this is not a great picture of it, but...)

drying on the service porch

here's what i did to get my edges:

and her first name is jennifer, so here's what i chain-stitched on the front, after finding a suitably cute font:

big giant felted french knot dots the j. cute!

i think i used paton's merino, 2 skeins (one of each color), doubled, on size 15 needles. for the handles i cast off 10 st. in the middle of each side, then cast on 50.

best teacher gift ever. according to moi.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


brussel sprouts -- steamed, then olive oil, a little salt and a tiny bit of sugar -- carmelizing magic.
the kids love 'em!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

christmas already????

thing one (9) and thing two (6) are about to be displaced as the youngest (by FAR) on my husband's side of the family. a baby shower and a soon-to-be-greatgrandma whose blindness prevents her from knitting any more stockings for family babies have inspired me to start xmas early.

so it is almost finished, largely because my secrecy cover was blown by my own big mouth, talking about it to another big mouth; frantic weekend knitting so as not to disappoint soon-to-be-greatgrandma in whose name this will be given.

darn it! if i do not finish in time for the shower next week, that will be another good-intention-paver on my well-tiled road to hell.

hoping that when i block it, it won't bleed. it's lamb's pride, so nice, but...

ho-ho-ho! merry intarsia magic-loop sorta fair-isle mighta miscounted some rows while knitting backwards!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i like it

so here's what i did to poorly imitate mrs. lear's harvest wreath -- but it looks great from far away, which is where most people will see it.

i did not have much time to put into it (4 kids in house, school holiday) so used gourds, minipumpkins left over from halloween decorations plus a few veggies (turnips, radishes, red onion) i either had or could grab at the grocery store.

i like how it looks! not quite as lush as mrs. lear's, but it has its own charm...

plus it was so satisfying to do something lovely for my messy house.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

i hate getting political, but

obama did win, and having grown up in md. in the 60's, and my jr. high having been the segregated black high school 2 years before i got there, i am overwhelmed/overjoyed that we have an inspiring president-elect, no matter his color. in addition, my quaker heritage (of which i am quite proud, having great-great-grandfolks who facilitated the underground railroad), i believe, ties me more closely to the pride felt by my fellow citizens, who have endured racism's ugliness and brutality; and makes me emotional by proxy about the historic nature of this election's results and the struggle it has taken to get to this point.
but i am more elated that it seems we have someone who will govern by consensus instead of by "mandate", by inspiration instead of by command -- hoping that the monumental challenges he faces will somehow allow him to put america back where it belongs in the eyes of the world. we should never be a pariah or a bully, always the beacon of liberty and opportunity my other grandparents saw when they left estonia 80 years ago to make their lives here. this was a tough one for me, until mccain made a significant choice. up to that point i thought he might represent all of us; instead, i saw that the strongest of all men caved to political pressure, and stopped being himself. sad.
what a challenge our new president faces, and how surprisingly resentful and seething are our friends, the kind, thoughtful, bright, articulate, deeply faithful folks who believed that this new president was not the person to lead our nation forward.
may this election lead to comfort for all stakeholders.

look at this

this amazing wreath -- i'm going to try to do my own version...

pictures to follow -- if it's even mildly comparable ;-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

i want to paint this

i know it's time to talk about knitting, and there's been some, but how great is this:
for a painting? or a quilt? whoa.

Monday, October 27, 2008

fourth grade in california

i love it, and realize that this is what i've been looking forward to when it comes to homework. thing one and i are at la purisima mission in lompoc, ca, weekend before last. how beautiful is this?what a lovely mission, (restored, of course after the big earthquake of date -- OOPS early 19th century) and well expanded upon by people who care about representing the past.

here's what thing 1 was interested in:
chumash reed house.

so fun, no knitting, though i could have if i had not been the driver as well.

this seems more like foreign history than american. colonial annapolis was fascinating, but way more dominated by the european pov, it seems to me.

Friday, October 10, 2008


... i want to be:

sunset at low tide, campo las encantadas, baja california norte
breathe deeply.
sip margarita.
love life.

... i am:
those darn high school kids threw candy from the homecoming parade floats
thing 2 (with the brown hair) leapt into the street to retrieve some.
right in front of the car of our elementary school principal.

i am dealing with the sugar high. thank heavens for frozen pizza and pokemon videos.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

note to self

do not wash socks you just finished knitting and have worn once in washer until you confirm that they are washable and won't felt.

and take a picture of them before you wear/wash them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

another web quiz

here's one where i don't mind reporting the results... if i knew more about elinor dashwood, maybe i wouldn't be so free to drop her name. there's a job for me!

now, i guess i know myself a bit better...

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

i hope a little better than the quiz i took that said i was 56 % interesting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I wish I were better about following a pattern. that i actually could find one, swatch, reswatch, wash, and then find the exact proper length of circular and start. instead, i just blast off, eyeballing and willy-nillying through, hoping for the best.

i just finished my first pair of socks, and i'm not thrilled. they're cute, but they don't fit quite right, and the kitchener at the toe -- let's just say the knitting gods are wondering why i'm calling that a grafted situation.

i'll post pictures of said sad set o'sox tomorrow, and i may save the ugly bits for beyond the camera's eye, but i'm really hoping that they'll feel ok and look cute in my new all-terrain mary jane's. in the herb green, mind you.

Friday, October 3, 2008

pretty cute!

i think cute enough for a nine year old girl.

i felted it pretty loosely -- i'm still considering whether to have one more go at it in the washer. i love love love how the handles came out -- i did the buttonhole technique but cast on 16 st. after binding off 8 to form the handles, then k 2 more rows and cast off.

i think i'll put the pattern up later.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

felted bag for the no fanny pack girl

detail of the prefelted bag -- very cute with the little beads, but i don't know that i'll do that again. i wanted to knit a pocketbook so that a fanny pack for the diabetes supplies was no longer essential. we'll see how it comes out...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

knitting at the opera

well, i was not bold enough to knit at the opera, but check out the nun on the far right at 1:05 of this video from the la opera production of il trittico...

raveler and bkff senoradefarge invited me -- star sighting: barbra & what's his name. well, i barely saw them because i'm terrible at that sort of thing, and sra. stinks too; she sat at the bar right next to their table, looked them over when they were loud and STILL didn't see them. but we breathed the same air. my singing voice has not improved.

Monday, September 22, 2008

yummy horizontal

IMG_2344, originally uploaded by elisecampbell.
look at these wonderful stitches! i finished the monteagle bag from the new mason-dixon knitting book, and loved doing it. it lent itself easily to a few minor changes:
1. cast on using the eliz zimmerman double knit method -- i love how it looks sort of macramé-ish, just like the bag. it was tight for a few rows after i split it, but i'd do it again.
2. used two colors -- i didn't have enough of one, so just changed up as i went along. those remarkable stitches really stand out, i think!
and now i am atwitter(!) at my mention in the mason-dixon blog and the fact that the really talented designer Ann Hahn Buechner (MrsLear on ravelry) commented on it. and let me not forget to mention that Kay Gardiner also commented and faved my monteagle (marché mañana) bag. a brush with knitting celebrity!
finally, if you go look at my bag on ravelry, please ignore the peeling wall and tipping light cover in the first picture. we had a leak in the roof and have yet to complete the repairs -- too busy knitting, i guess! just note my lemon tree out the window -- i miss my neighbor who used to take all the low-hangers :-( , and gumby sitting on the speaker.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

OMG how cute is this?!?!?!

this little korknisse (cork elf, i think?) from manne has to be one of the cutest wee xmas knits i have ever seen. and it is really easy and quick. how cute would it be to add a stripe? fluffy white collar/ribbing on hat?

i'm using a dowel instead of cork -- didn't have any lying around.

Monday, September 8, 2008