Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Cake and Candy Corn Fingerless Mitts

Weezalana at Ravelry gives a free, quick pattern for fingerless mitts on this website. It was fun to put in a few cabled stitches, but the screaming colors in the yarn obfuscated don't let those cables shine through.                So why would you NOT wear fingerless mitts? (Don't answer that.)

Here is my pair:
Jelliebean sold me the blue Faced Leicester 4 ply sock yarn, individually hand painted by none other than Jelliebean herself.  We passed pounds under the table in Cardiff, Wales, at the Knit Up held at a pub this month for this and other yarn bounty. It was great fun and the beer and camaraderie made it even more festive!

Jelliebean Yarns and her dye partner can be found here on Etsy - All Things Handmade.  I previously purchased some yarn from her long before I met her in the flesh, so it was a treat to get to meet that talented young lady while traveling.

Now for more orange goodness, go to for a sweet pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.

Yes, it has lots of butter and cream cheese and sugar in the frosting.  That is why it is so delicious.  My bargain is that I won't eat any  too much leftover Halloween candy if I eat cake.  But, my, my, that pumpkin cake is good.  We'll see if we can keep it around a day or two.
Can you tell that Libby is not crazy about the doorbell ringing tonight for tricksters? She and Mercy get in such a frenzy over that noise.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nephew Jackson McCarroll Williams Arrived!

Proud Grampa Mac put together this video.  God bless you all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Susan Howatch and Knitting While Listening to her on Audio

Susan Howatch is another of my favorite authors.  Howatch was introduced to me (her writings, not her person) by my SIL Charlotte.  We both read one of her book set series several years ago.  That series is entitled "The Church of England", or the "Starbridge Series", and can be found here.  Howatch has many more books that I need to catch up on.

From that same site:
Susan Howatch was born in Surrey in 1940. After taking a degree in law she emigrated to America where she married, had a daughter and embarked on a career as a writer. She left in 1976 and lived in the Republic of Ireland for four years before returning to England. She lived in Salisbury - inspiration for the very successful Starbridge sequence and now lives in Leatherhead, Surrey.
Howatch's Facebook page has thousands of fans, and is fun to peruse occasionally to see how her thoughts are still effecting others.

All this to say that I just purchased a download of her book The Rich Are Different (recorded in 2009, written in 1977).  It is 28 hours long, so will be good company as I knit up The Sage Remedy Top from Ravelry in this Hyacinth Blue colorway from KnitPicks:

The hyacinth color has some red tints in the blue and is working up nicely. Wool of the Andes (a workhorse in the KnitPicks line) shows up the stitch definition.

This is designer Sarah Sheperd's version of the finished top:

I really like this pattern because it will hide my lymphedemic left arm and flat chest since it will be layered over a turtleneck, and has extra fullness to hide all kinds of body flaws.  You know what I'm talking about, girls.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Inspector Lynley Series of Books and TV Shows by E. George

Do you like mystery books?  If so, don't you love Elizabeth George?

You might like to go to George's website and peruse all the book titles she has written.

We have enjoyed  watching many of the Inspector Lynley shows on TV.  The Inspector (a titled British bloke) and his sidekick, Barbara Havers, do service to Ms. George's  main characters.

Fifty-one of George's stories and fan comments can be accessed at this site, so you, too, can be an active fan of Inspector Lynley and interact virtually with other fans.
BBC Mysteries has their own website where you can also delve into the characters of Lynley and Havers.

Over the past year, my husband and our two dogs and I have viewed these TV shows in the Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley series via Netflix:
  • Guise of Death
  • Know Thine Enemy
  • Natural Causes
  • Limbo
  • Great Deliverance
  • Word of God
  • Deception on His Mind
  • Blink of an Eye
  • Suitable Vengeance
  • One Guilty Deed
  • Cry for Justice
  • Traitor to Memory
  • In Pursuit of a Proper Sinner
  • Payment in Blood
  • For the Sake of Elena
I just downloaded George's audio book Number 13 (With No One As Witness) on to my mp3 player, since it is not yet out on TV.  The reader has an authentic British accent and is an easy listen.

Most of my knitting is accomplished while Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers are chasing murderers in the British countryside (while on the TV background).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pennies Per Hour of Pleasure for Doctors Without Borders

OK, I was sucked in.  Again.  This time it was a knitting group from Ravelry that caught me:
p/hop (although it sounds like a rapper’s name) means pennies per hour of pleasure. It is a fundraiser for the international medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Fontieres (Doctors Without Borders). Lovely designers from all over the place have pledged to donate patterns to MSF, which you can download in return for a donation! Once you have your newly knitted/crocheted scarf/socks/sweater in hand, we ask you to donate an amount that corresponds to the amount of pleasure you got from making it… I think I’ve made this sound more complicated than it is! Hopefully you know what I mean…
p/hopping has grown from the original name and is what happens when someone offers and item and (hopefully) someone else decides they want it.  Visit to see our patterns, catch up on news and share some virtual cake and a cup of tea.
Here is a picture of the pair of fingerless gloves I'm making, with my wages going to Doctors Without Borders in the US:

Designer Jane Lithgow says about the Cranford Mitts:
As the title suggests, the inspiration for this pattern came from the BBC adaptation of Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. Jane says, ‘This gentle drama, both humorous and touching took us into the lives of gentlewomen of certain age living in reduced circumstances. I noticed that many of their costumes included delicate mitts which they wore to ensure warm fingers in their draughty houses. I have adapted this idea to create some warm but delicately lacy mitts to take the edge off chilly spring mornings."
Further information about Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders:
MSF is an independent humanitariam medical aid organisation, committed to providing medical aid wherever it is needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or gender.  We currently work in over 60 countries helping victims of war, natural disasters, disease epidemics and those who simply have no access to even basic healthcare.  For more info, please visit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knitting to Beat the Band

Cowls are the magic cure for disguising crepey necks. If the money fairy gave me an extra $10K, maybe that could be fixed, but that is not going to happen.

So here is my latest cowl rendition, knit in a silk and wool blend purchased at I Knit London and found on Ravelry at this site.

The free pattern from Bernat for the baby blanket is finished and off in the mail to Laura:

This 100% hand painted silk fiber, from Cascade Lace (Switzerland), luscious to hold and light reflective, is being made into the lace Norwegian Woods Shawl:

Designer Sivia Harding says about her design:
This top-down lace triangle portrays a forest progressing from winter into spring. Beads grace the bottom edge....This pattern can be upsized by doing more repeats of one or more of the three lace patterns used in the shawl. Note that more yarn and beads will be required if the pattern is made larger.
The repeats are 12 stitches, so I made lettered index cards for the pattern rows from the stitch charts.  It was too difficult to read that chart, and the cards seem to work for me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All 33 Miners Rescued in Chile

All Chilean miners were rescued by last night.  One miner said  "I met God.  I met the Devil. God won."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pictures and Music Accompanying the Craftlit Tour

Please sit back and relax as you tour through London, Bath and Wales on the Craftlit Tour:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oliver! Stage Play

A quick message to say the stage play Oliver! that the Craftlit group saw in London last week at the Royal Drury Lane Theater was over the top!

The synopsis of Oliver Twist can be found here

Charles Dickens wrote Oliver! which was published in 1838.  Why did he write it? Look here:
To make money - it's what he did for a living.

He wanted a subject which would appeal to his audience - readers of Bentley's Miscellany, which was published monthly. He probably based it on the account of the life of Robert Blincoe - an orphan whos story of his life and hard times was popular in the early 19th century - but Dickens's work had originality and it is probably the first novel to have a child as the protagonist.
Dickens used his novel to draw attention to social problems, particularly the Poor Law and child labour.
What struck me was the familiar song "As Long As He Needs Me" that the prostitute character Nancy sang to both Bill Sykes and then later to Oliver could be interpreted as strongly anti-feminist in its lyrics because Sykes regularly mistreated Nancy.

The complete lyrics to the song are here:

As longs as he needs me 
I know where I must be 
I'll cling on steadfastly 
As longs as he needs me 
As long as life is long 
I'll love him, right or wrong 
And somehow I'll be strong 
As long as he needs me 

If you are lonely then you will know 
When someone needs you you love them so 
I won't betray his trust 
Though people say I must 
I've got to stay true just 
As longs as he needs me 

If you are lonely then you will know 
When someone needs you you love them so 
I won't betray his trust 
Though people say I must 
I've got to stay true just 
As longs as he needs me 
(lyric provided by John Bol)

Some of us at intermission ...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tintern Abbey

William Wordsworth's poem Tintern Abbey
.........Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
Here is a description of the area in Wales around the abbey:
The hills around the Abbey are covered with woods, changing colour with the seasons. The land upon which the Abbey is set makes the most of the sunlight, the Abbey receiving the benefit of the last of the sun shining down the Angiddy valley.