Thursday, August 27, 2009

Curran Theatre Experience

Curran Theatre Experience
Originally uploaded by knittingbrow
I saw Estelle Parsons star in August: Osage County at the Curran Theatre on Wednesday, August 26, 2009. This three act play had me engaged from the opening scene. Dynamic performances by some amazing actors took me through what Sheryl Flatow called "a harrowing and hilarious, sharply observed family drama."

This solid ensemble never missed a beat in taking me from outright laughter to gasps of surprise to shocks of discovery. Timing was impeccable during the three acts. Estelle Parsons plays the matriarch of the Weston family, Violet. Her husband, Beverly Weston, played by Jon DeVines, has decided help is needed in the house to care for Violet. The three daughters all arrive home and what follows is the unwinding of each of their stories and their dysfunction as a family member.

Strong female characters elevate this show to amazing levels of theater. It's not often that plays are written with strong female characters. This show has not one but five. I know several actors who would enjoy the challenge to bring these characters to life.

I was not emotionally drained as I expected to be. Instead, I find myself remembering my own family interactions and gatherings in a new light. My family is not the only one to hide behind humor as a shield against the uncomfortable. Some have described the experience of watching the show as "watching a train wreck." This wasn't true for me. A train wreck happens and I may be pulled to watch, but not become involved. The wreck keeps me as an outsider. August kept pinching me to pay attention and remain connected to the experiences on stage. I became part of the experience at a deeper level.

If you have an opportunity to see the show, you owe it to yourself to go. Our seats were in the rear balcony. I had no complaints about the view. This show is so well written that it kept me engaged all three hours. I would have been willing to stay for more.

The set was a three story house on stage with the first floor cleverly separated into the study, living room and dining room with the kitchen set into the back. The cast moved smoothly during the scene changes so to add the final touches to what just finished (often in dimmed lights) and melt into the next scene. The set dressing and props were an ideal fit to complete the experience. No curtain came down between acts so I got to watch the efficient props changes and resetting of furniture. (I want to be that good on the shows I do props and set dressing. Just sayin')

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eagle Lake & knitSB's sock

Eagle Lake & knitSB's sock
Originally uploaded by knittingbrow
We took the 1 mile hike up to Eagle Lake on Monday and it was a perfect afternoon. The hike up took one hour and fifteen minutes and was well-worth the trip. We stayed at the lake and relaxed. I knit and did a short vlog that will be posted soon. The trip down was only thirty-six minutes. Gee, I wonder why? *wink,wink*  

The yarn I'm using is from
100% Superwash Merino
5sts=1" on a US #7 needle
approx. 270 yards in the 100 gram ball
The pattern was found on Ravelry "Anklet Slipper Socks" by Karen Konop. 
I've not altered the pattern. These socks were knit from the top. 
The yarn is soft on my hands and pleasing to knit. I just finished the first pair. It was so pleasing that I want to cast on a other pair! I know I have enough yarn for another short pair of socks.   I enjoy the orange color and the purple over-dying. I can't tell how she dyed the purple. I think it is discharged or sprayed because the purple doesn't always go through the yarn. The previous statements are my own guesses as a non-dyer knitter. I hope I can get Esmeralda to do a vlog with me about her yarns.  

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lofty Lou's in Placeville, CA

Lofty Lou's

Each trip I take to Tahoe Lake gives me an opportunity to visit Lofty Lou's in Placerville, CA. Lofty Lou's is a cute LYS stocked with yarns and fibers for spinning. I visit for Lou's handspun yarn. I purchased three skeins this visit.

Lou's has a nice selection of yarns for an LYS, a nice selection of books on knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving. Staff have always been nice when I've visited and willing to help other knitters that come in. 

Lou's handspun is being used in a current WIP that's been stalled because I don't know how I'm going to do v-neck. The WIP is a pullover vest. 

I have an appreciation for handspun yarns and really like knitting with it whenever I can. I'm willing to pay for the yarn because of the skill and artistry that goes into its creation. You would think that I would learn to spin. I'm ok not spinning now and glad to support those wonderful spinners out there. 

I'll post some pictures of the yarn soon. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mandarin Duck by Lake Tahoe Yarn Company

Mandarin Duck by Lake Tahoe Yarn Company 
Truckee, CA 530-587-1060 
100% superwash Merino
270 yards
5 sts=1" on US #7

The colors are inspired by a photograph that the owner put on the label. It's a mandarin duck. The colors of the yarn didn't photograph well. The dark color isn't black, it's a rich teal. That teal next to the orange and brown is visually exciting.

This yarn will make beautiful socks for me. I like thicker socks. Honestly, I like knitting socks in thicker yarns because they are faster to knit. Sock weight yarns require smaller needles which aren't as comfortable to knit with my hands.  

A Beautiful View: Measure for Measure

A Beautiful View
Originally uploaded by knittingbrow
A. and i took the 45-minute drive across the north part of Lake Tahoe to arrive at Sand Harbor State Park for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare festival. This picture shows the view while watching Measure for Measure. We opted for the upper level searing area which gave us a great view of the stage for a very good price. And we also had a nice view of the lake.  

The beach chairs sit in sand. I have never watched theater while sitting in the sand. I've never had some with a shovel offer to get my chair level.  That made me smile. I snapped a photo of the guy using his shovel but the picture is too dark. 

The performance was enjoyable. I had some difficulties adjusting to the sound system and the language. The highlight of the show was the performance by Gina Daniels as Isabella. Her stage prescence was commanding in a gentle and pious manner appropriate for the character.   I'm really happy that I saw the show. 

This performance was an Equity Performance and that means there should be no photos or recordings taken during the performance. My photo was taken before the performance started. There was a person taking photos during the first act. That bothered me. She started to take photos at the top of the second act and I went over and told her that "photos are not to be taken during the performance.". She stared at me, shocked. "please put the camera away now." She did.  

Friday, August 21, 2009

I got Crazy Zauberball

I got Crazy Zauberball
Originally uploaded by knittingbrow
Crazy Zauberball
420 m=100 g
75% virgin wool 25% nylon
purchased at Imagiknit in San Francisco 

We arrived in SF on Saturday and headed to the Castro for lunch. After lunch, we wandered around for a bit  I felt the need to find yarn. 

I really like I've been using it a lot on this vacation to find local yarn shops. I've been to Imaginknit in San Francisco on my last trip and saw we were really close to the shop. 

Have you ever been to Imaginknit? It's quite a nice shop. There are two rooms, one for wool and the other for plant and man-made fibers arranged from lace-weight to super-bulky. What I saw at the sop but didn't pick up was the new Jared Flood book, Made in Brooklyn. I'll have to find it later.  

When I discovered this Zauberball in the sock area I actually gasp outloud. I'd seen this yarn on Ravelry and heard people talking about it. It is colorful and exciting. I know I'll be able to get a full pair of socks out of it (460 yards) if that's what  I decide to make. I am struggling with not wanting to knit socks on really small needles. 

Vacation Yarn: Lorna's Laces Swirl DK

Lorna's Laces Swirl DK
Originally uploaded by knittingbrow
Lorna's Laces Swirl DK
85% Merino Wool 15% Silk
approx. 150 yards
5 1/2 sts=1" on size #5 needles
Purchased from Lake Tahoe Yarn Company. 
Color 208 "Edgewater" in dyelot 9309. This yarn is being discontinued. If you like it and can find it, grab it up!
I got some more vacation yarn!
This is a thrilling yarn for me to find. The "swirl" adds a exciting visual texture to this very soft yarn. The colors go from a brown to dark blue to light blue into green back to brown  I bought 2 skeins which will be plenty for socks.
1 skein would make a pair of fingerless gloves. I'm not sure what I'll make. I considered buying all 6 skeins but opted for the more affordable option of 2 skeins.

I visited Lake Tahoe Yarn Company in Truckee, CA. The shop was small and part of another shop. I took photos of the shop and will post those when I have access to my computer. 

I purchased two skeins of her dyed yarn. details to follow.....  

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rainbow Trails: A View To Remember

Yesterday we drove around Lake Tahoe. The 81 mile trip gave great photo opportunities and we stopped several times just to snap photos. On 89 N, just after leaving 50, there is a little park that you can park your car and walk. This photo was taken on the Rainbow Trail. The trail is named for the Rainbow trout that swims in the streams/river. 

The amazing view here shows the delicate balance of nature. Off in the distance is the lake. The lake gives way to marsh. Marsh gives way to meadow. Meadow gives way to forest. It was easy to see the difference between these areas. Hmmmm. I learned something on vacation. :)

The knitting on the karius-type shawl is going rather well. This skein Kureyon sock yarn hasn't been twisting and snagging as much as my first shawl. this skein is a second (or possibly third) run o the new yarn and I think Noro has worked out a lot of the technical difficulties.  I agree with you Kay in New Mexico, the colors are wonderful. I don't think I would actually put the skein into a hank, wash it and then reskein it. That takes time away from my knitting. *grin*

I just got to the halfway point on the shawl last night and started the decreases. I'll post my pattern adjustment here and on Ravelry when I'm finished with the shawl. 

I appreciate the comments on the vlog post. I'm vlog answers to your questions Beth when I can use my video. Congratulations on your son getting into CCAD.

Vlog postings will resume in about two weeks. I'm taking some video but have no way to upload. Comment with questions if you like. 

BTW: Jeanne from Jimmy Beans Wool read my post. That made me very happy. It's one of those "brushes with greatness" I treasure.    

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport

While visiting Jimmy Beans Wool, I picked up a special edition yarn by Lorna's Laces in Shepherd Sport called March 2009 Garden Daze. Jimmy Beans has a monthly special colorway arrangement with Lorna's. They get a colorway in all the yarn options. Once it's gone, it's gone. I'm glad this is one of my vacation purchases.    

I also picked up the fall 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting. I'll give a review after I have a chance to read it.

Jimmy Beans Wool

Jimmy Beans Wool
Originally uploaded by knittingbrow
While on vacation, I found the Jimmy Beans Wool store!  We made it to the shop without difficulty and discovered they have in amazing amount of Lorna's Laces!  So much in fact, that I found it difficult not to throw all the yarn into a pile and roll around in it. Jeanne was a pleasure to see while there.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mr Wiggle Butts

This post does not have knitting content.

It's meant to just to give you a smile.

This is how Hugo greets us every time we come home and let him out of his crate. He gets really excited and wiggles about. He has this habit of going back into the crate to find the perfect toy that should go outside with him. Sometimes he'll head in two or three times for the right toy. He's so much the puppy, isn't he?

He's 13 months in this video.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Albums I gave to knitSB

These are albums that I've given to knitSB to give a listen.

Eurythmics Savage with the song You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart (wow, there's a lot of detail with that "Savage" link)
Erasure Union Street with a nice version of Boy. This video isn't a good one of Boy, but it's live and sounds really close to the album version.
The Who's Tommy the New Musical a great version Tommy Can You Hear Me. I'm sorry that I couldn't find a link to a video for that.
Peter Gabriel US. I enjoyed Come Talk to Me and Digging In The Dirt (with great video visuals in the Peter fashion. He's such the video pioneer. )
The Beatles with Sgt Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band. I never know for sure, but is it always THE Beatles? or Beatles?
Pink Floyd The Final Cut I listened to this a lot while I was in college. I had to listen to the entire album (with headphones on) to get the entire experience.

Bonus videos
Brand New Day from Savage

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baktus, oops..Karius Scarf

Here's the great pattern on Ravelry.
The lacy version is here.
A nice photo and the pattern can be found here on flickr.

Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn details here and on Ravelry here. I don't like this yarn for socks. I've tried. I think it's spun too tightly. I heard rumors that the second run of the yarn wasn't spun so tightly and would be easier to pull out of the skein. I did get frustrated with the number of times that the yarn twisted. I was able to untangle the "yarn belch" without needing to break the yarn (or anything around me at the time.) The colors are quite enjoyable as Noro usually is. I did knit a baby surprise jacket out of Kureyon Sock. The size of the BSJ is definitely for a small baby.

I like the ideas of a few nice beads on the ends, don't you? I think something natural looking and not too large. The added benefit for me is it would weight the ends a bit.

Cat can be found here. Go say "Hi." Read her blog, you'll understand.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Julie and Julia

I saw Julie & Julia last night. I read the book and enjoyed the journey of Julie cooking all the recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. Preview here.

A delightful blend for me with this movie is the incorporation of Julia Child's life in France and how she learned to cook. Julia and her husband were deeply in love and this devotion to each other comes across in the movie.

I left the movie smiling. If you enjoy a pleasant movie, cooking, Julia Child and some nice scenery of France, go to the theater and see it. If not, wait to get it on DVD. I think it's worth a watch.'s info

How many copies do you think the movie will sell? I don't have a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and would be glad to get one. I think knitSB will put this on his Thanksmas gift list!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Reviewing knitSB's albums

The non-knitting videoblog.

Savage Garden's self titled album. One of my favorite tracks is I Want You which got some airplay when I was actually listening to the radio. Video is here.
Michael W. Smith the first decade 1983-1993 included a few hits that were pleasant.
In All Its Glory by James Swearingen has a number of good tracks. It was a good listen.
Let's Talk About Love by Celine Dion was just too much for me, overall. Her voice is too big and the songs seem like power ballads. I wanted to turn her down.
the cranberries with everyone else is doing it, so why don't we? including the two songs I know, Dreams and Linger. I really do like the song Salvation from their second album. The video has creepy clowns in it.

The idea of sharing CDs came one summer when I was on a three person bowling league with Musicaljeff and LibrarianDebbie. Each week, we brought two CDs to share new music with the other members of the team. I got to hear a variety of music that I would have missed. knitSB and I were talking about music and I suggested that we share music that "made a difference" in our lives for some reason or another. Sharing the music like this has been a lot of fun for me. I enjoy getting an inside glimpse of what makes knitSB tick.

What are some of the albums that made a difference in your world? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear about your music.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mags, Bits and Frogging

Once again, knitting patterns for men are left off of the two most recent issues of Cast On and Interweave Knits. This is becoming a habit. I ranted about this before.

The Tit Bit can be found on It's a really easy knit and a great way to help someone who needs a better option for a breast. I gave #1 the option of yarn color and texture. The best yarn for the pattern should be soft! I used Art Fibers. I knit two Tit Bits in one night. My special note: only use an i-cord for the nipple if you want a really prominent nipple. I fixed both of the ones I made.

Time for the Elbac to go away. The pattern doesn't hold any interest to me. It's be awhile since I last picked it up (almost 2 years ago). The only think I like about the project is the color of the yarn.