Alpacas at Windy Hill

Alpacas at Windy Hill

Despite having been fired from the yarn store and a lack of coordination, I did make it out to Windy Hill in Somis, California, where I got to meet my friend Lynette’s alpaca, Varon (sp?). Kathleen drove Cathy, Katie, Jessica and I to Skirball Center, where we met up with Jacqui. After a car seating rearrangement, we set out to the farm. After so many years of having passed the Skirball Center Drive exit off the 405, I finally got to see the center and learn a little about it.

The festival was not as big an event, as I had anticipated, but I had a good time. I learned a little more about alpacas and Lynette actually took us into a pasture where we got to pet and commune with the alpacas. I even broke down and bought some alpaca yarn: Near Sawrey Farm Alpacas (Fiber Content: 100% Huacaya Alpaca; Yarn Color: Yellow Onion Accents; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) and New Hope Alpacas (Fiber Content: 100% Suri Alpaca; Colors: [Dark Orange, Orange and Light Orange]; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering). I know I said I would never purchase yarn again, but felt I should support my friends event. Besides, it’s not like I don’t intend to use it to make something.

The day ended with a meal at Feast From The East on Westwood Boulevard. I ordered Pad Thai, but was not crazy about the red flavoring throughout. Additionally, my chicken dumplings were crunchy, but not fried…WTF!? The salad dressing – Sesame Miso – was the best part of that meal.

Overall, I had a good time despite a sour stomach which resumed upon my return home. Went to bed early and need to get ready to meet a client. Enjoy the pics!

 

 

Cousins Lapghan

Cousins Lapfghan
Cousins Lapghan
©A Hooker’s World

Cast On: August 16, 2014
Cast Off: November 1, 2014
Pattern: Cousins Lapghan by Hooker Leo
Needle: US 10.5
Yarn A: Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: 392 Cotton Candy; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Yarn B: Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: 334 Gothic; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Yarn C: Red Heart Baby Clouds (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 9074 Pale Pink; Yarn Weight: 6, Super Bulky)
Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [White]; Yarn Weight: [5, Bulky])
Finished Size: 48 x 54 inches

So let’s get the next chapter started with a lapghan I knitted for my mom’s cousin – and therefore, my cousin as well. The name – Cousins by Vampire Weekend – should be self evident. I designed this based on the gauge swatch information. Unfortunately, I did not record my desired finished size, but I think I’m close.

I cast on 126 stitches. The pattern is 10 rows of garter, 2 rows of YO, P2TOG, 20 rows of garter in each color, slipping the first stitch in ever row and KBL the last stitch. The exception is the middle section where I alternated every two rows between the Red Heart Baby Clouds and unknown white yarn.

I did not have an payment agreement in place for this afghan, but did keep track of my time. I took me approximately 52.5 hours to make this. At the time I was charging $10.00/hour. The yarn was a mix of yard sale yarn, stash yarn of an unknown source and purchase of a second Homespun Gothic because my design sensibilities could not allow me to use the blue that was picked from my stash. Total yarn amount: $8.98.

I just found out my cousin is visiting from Texas again and is expected to arrive Monday, November 3. Perfect timing, which just goes to show bad things are not necessarily bad.

Charity & Apology

Knitting Tree L A Charity Donations
Knitting Tree L A Charity Donations
©A Hooker’s World

[edited] I went to work with the above pictured donations (1. Always The Sun Scarf; 2. Buffy Come Back Cowl; 3. Tesla Girls Cowl, 4. Good Lovin’ Cowl and 5. Mahvelous Mitts) for The Knitting Tree, L A‘s charity drive. [edit]

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Now that I only have one job again, I have much more time to work on personal projects, so you can expect to see more projects being posted on a more regular basis, as fiber arts begun as a meditative therapy and continues to keep me centered. Having two jobs had consumed much of my time and now that things have slowed down a bit, I had a chance to catch up on my blogging, having discovered pictures in my phone back to September 14, 2014. [edit]

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Dear Reader:

I recently shared some personal stuff here, as my ego got the best of me and I forgot the original intent of this website: a portfolio. I have another, less known website where I publish my personal dramas. As such, I apologize for anything personal you may have read here previously. I have gone through my my most recent posts and removed my personal drama.

Sincerely,

Hooker Leo

The Last Yarn Purchase…I Swear

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

My friend Ania talked me into participating in the upcoming Stephen West KAL, which calls for three complimentary colors and one contrasting color. As it turned out Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino wool; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) is one of the suggested yarns. My color choices include Yarn Color: Jade, Yarn Color: Leaf, Yarn Color: Filigree and Yarn Color: Vintage Sari.

I just love this yarn and I like most of Stephen’s designs. I hope this design is one that I will like. I’ve never participated in a KAL. This will be my first time. I’m a little excited about this and not too worried as Ania is an excellent knitter and should I encounter any difficulty, she will be able to assist.

Stay tuned!

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
©A Hooker’s World

Josie & The Pussycats Shawl Border

Josie & The Pussycats Shawl Border

On da Hook: October 17, 2014
Off da Hook: October 22, 2014
Hook: US I-9
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk Paints (Fiber Content: 85% Merino Superwash Wool, 15% Mulberry Silk; Yarn Color: 9942; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)

Josi knitted the shawl and asked me to crochet a border on it. She had expressed that a shell border would be fine, and at the suggestion of another yarny friend, I did not continue the shell pattern around the neck. I stared with a crab stitch, but it was too much like the knitted border, so I made and executive decision and crocheted single crochet around the neck, which I think is much better. Surprisingly, considering I was double stranding the yarn, I managed to match the tension very closely so the border maintains the softness of the shawl body.

I named this project – Josie & The Pussycats Theme Song by Hoyt Curtin, William Hanna (under the pseudonym “Denby Williams”) and Joseph Barbera (under the pseudonym “Joseph Roland”) – after the customer.

Valley Yarn Crawl

Dream Everlasting

I finally found someone that offered to take me to the valley so I could pay a visit to Chris at A Major Knitwork: Gilda. She is a yarn representative and knows all the stores in the area, so we planned to go to lunch, visit some stores, drop me off to sit ‘n stitch at one shop while she attended a business meeting and then return home. We stopped at Corky’s – both for the first time. We had some lunch so that neither of us would fall out during my shopping excursion. The lunch was good and I loved the old fashioned decor. There was a bump during our visit when the wrong order was brought to us. We called the server and I mentioned that I had already touched the hamburger toppings – for sanitary reasons and as a courtesy to the unknown diner. However, I did not see the order re-plated, appearing as if the contaminated food was taken to the correct diner. I made the comment on the ticket and we left it at that.

Our first stop was A Major Knitwork to visit Chris. It is a very small store, but very charming. There was a table in the rear where someone was eating and there were computers on it, leading me to believe it was a workplace, rather than an area where one could sit ‘n’ stitch. For some reason, I was feeling purple and decided on purchasing Dream Everlasting (Fiber Content: 100% superwash Australian merino wool; Yarn Color: Amethyst 727 and Yarn Color: Angel 725; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). My initial vision is a striped shawl.

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Our next stop was Hooked On Knitting, where I purchased two skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino (Fiber Content: 100% Extra fine merino; Yarn Color: 121; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) at a 40% discount. The shop is big but I think the layout could use some improvement, though it does appear to be an oddly shaped shop – triangular. There was a huge table where several ladies sat knitting, making it a little difficult to navigate around the store with ease.

Before our final stop we stopped at Porto’s Bakery, where I had a cafe con leche and pan tostado. I got the sense that this was a Cuban cafeteria-type establishment and only added that I did not want foam on my cafe con leche to make sure it would come to me proper. Apparently, foam on a cafe con leche is a west coast thing because my coffee came to me wrong and additionally it did not have any sugar. Ew! This alone leads me to believe all the hype I have been hearing over Porto’s is west coast related, as they have never had the real thing. The toast, however, was perfect. Finally, I was not a fan of the interior which was so damn noisy with chatter.

Our final stop was Unwind, which is a pretty big shop, but has very little inventory. There I picked up Hydeaux Designs Petite (Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino wool; Yarn Color: Summerfields; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). I stayed there and worked on my shawl while Gilda attended her business meeting. After she had finished, she came, picked me up and we head home to the west side.

I had a good time with Gilda and am grateful for the ride out to the valley. One thing I noticed about the three different shops was that it appeared to me that they all had similar yarns, unlike The Knitting Tree, L A, whose selection seems to be more diverse.

Rozetti Wicked Fur

Rozetti Wicked Fur

Last week during Kathleen’s birthday celebration at The Knitting Tree, L A, a box of yarn arrived. Before I departed, I decided to check out the contents and discovered this Rozetti Wicked Fur (Fiber Content: 90% Nylon, 10% Polyester; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky). I had to have it, but which color? I ended up buying two skeins of Yarn Color: Zebra and Yarn Color: Cheetah.

I immediately set to making something with the Cheetah, hoping to beat Ms. Stewart for once, but dropped a stitch and ended up having to frog it. Now I am trying to catch up on all my other projects and have put it aside for the time being. When I get back to it, I will be making an elongated width neck piece and attaching an ecru Brown Sheep Company Lamb’s Pride Bulky (Fiber Content: 85% Wool, 15% Mohair) that was gifted to me, to accentuate the shape of the fur.

Stay tuned!

Rozetti Wicked Fur
©A Hooker’s World

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap

On da Hook: ?
Off da Hook: October 5, 2014
Pattern: 53 Miles West of Venus Wrap by Hooker Leo (In Development)
Yarn: Kent Manufacturing Company (Fiber Content: 100% Wool; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown [1, Fingering])
Hook: US 7
Dimensions: 34 x 70 inches (unblocked)

Price: USD $75.00

While experimenting one night I came up with a stitch pattern (alternating front/back post double crochets) I liked and a way to increase (one stitch per row) from the middle for this narrow triangle shawl, which may be used open or folded in half and worn in a variety of ways. By using a chain one at the beginning of each row and double crocheting in the first stitch versus the second stitch, I got a real nice ruffled/rippled border, which every loves. The fabric of this shawl is very spongy and it drapes well. It will certainly keep you warm being 100% wool. I wore it at the store for less than five minutes because my body temps run high, before I started to get uncomfortable. The wrap was constructed from the bottom point up. I name – 53 Miles West of Venus by The B-52’s – is a random selection from my music library, but I just love the appropriateness of the name to the different shape.

I had picked up the yarn at Newton’s Yarn Country Fall Festival one year. I love using cones when developing patterns because there are no yarn breaks. Unfortunately, I do not get all the yarn information I would like. I was very surprised that this cone (approximately 1 pound) turned out to be 100% wool. I just love the color, which I would call peach. As for the yarn weight, the general consensus at The Knitting Tree, L A was Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering.

Wave Scarf

Wave Scarf
Wave Scarf
©A Hooker’s World

Cast On: October 3, 2014
Cast Off: October 5, 2014
Yarn: Shibui Silk Cloud (Fiber Content: 60% Kid Mohair, 40% Silk; Yarn Color: Watermelon; Yarn Weight: 0, Lace)
Needle: US 13
Pattern: 1 x 1 Rib
Dimensions: 4.5 x 66 inches (unblocked)

As Annette cleaned out the office to make room for more yarn at The Knitting Tree, L A, she was also cleaning up her project cue and gave me this cake of Shibui Silk Cloud. I had been very attracted to this yarn and was very gracious for the opportunity to finally work with it, so I decided to gift it back to the store and kick of the charity drive Annette is conducting during the month of October and November to knit/crochet items for donation to an abused women’s shelter.

I just love the color of this yarn. I used the yarn double-stranded and still the scarf is feather-weight. This could be due to the size 13 needles I decided to use. I did make a mistake which I wanted to fix and despite the big needle size, the hair still caught on each other, but with a little perseverance and patience, I managed to get back to the hole, fix it and resume.

The name – Wave by Oscar Peterson – is a random selection from my music library.

Wave Scarf Detail
©A Hooker’s World

Kathleen’s Birthday Party

Birthday Girl

Today the Wednesday Morning Knitter’s celebrated Kathleen’s birthday at The Knitting Tree, L A. A good time was had by all and the cake – made by your’s truly – was delicious.