Friday, October 14, 2011
Five repeats of the lace were completed. Two different skeins of yarn were used; the dark green has some cashmere in it...so soft.
113 people have posted on Ravelry over the past two weeks about this shawl, with almost 1,000 people worldwide having knit up and documented this pattern on Ravelry.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
And here are two yarns I will be using; the main color is a madelintosh pashima in the colorway of "Manor" and the variegated color is from Farmhouse Yarns in a sock weight called "Grapes on the Vine".
The darker color will be used on the lace panels, while the "Grapes on the Vine" will be the solid stripes. With a KAL, there will be lots of people to help if any of us get pestered by the pattern details.
If this sounds fun, join us here and enjoy some bagpiper music, too.
PS: 907 people on Ravelry have knit this pattern with gorgeous results. You can view most of them here.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Madam DeFarge was a character in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. She is known for her knitting activism during the French Revolution, secretly purling names into her knitting of those who would be charged with crimes in the upcoming revolution. Go to Wikipedia for the quick and dirty about Therese Defarge.
The inside page of the WWMDK book explains a bit about how the book came into being:
What Would Madame Defarge Knit? is a new book of crafty patterns—in pre-orders February 7, 2011 from Cooperative Press—written and designed by the good people who bring you CraftLit, Cast-on, March Hare Yarns, Jen Minnis Artworks, WeaveZine and WeaveCast, Silk Road Socks, Gardiner Yarn Works, and Crochet Compulsive.
It all started back in 2007, while listening to A Tale of Two Cities on CraftLit. Not far into the book, WWMDfK? became a rallying call for t-shirts, knitting, and fun. And now—patterns!The Wilhelmina Shawlette is the first pattern I'll be knitting from the book. And the name Wilhelmina? It comes from here:
What would Mina, the heroine of Bram Stoker’s epic novel, Dracula, wear to protect her neck from the bloodthirsty count? Chrissy Gardiner thinks that, as a practical girl, she undoubtedly would appreciate this simple, delicate wool shawlette, featuring Serendipitous Ewe’s Autumn Glow vampire-inspired colorway, one in a series dyed exclusively for SandraSingh.com.
Designer: Chrissy Gardiner, Finished Measurements: 44″ wide and 22″ tall after blocking
My neck will definitely be warm when I wear this, even if I don't need to be protected from vampires.
(Dracula is a book that will be read on the Craftlit podcast in the fall. I can't wait!)
Saturday, May 21, 2011
This is my mom and me in 2000 just before she died, wearing one of her favorite hats covering her little bald head:
Then, lo and behold, wouldn't you know that I then had the "opportunity" to use those same hats, and especially the one shown above on Mom, when I went through chemo. Yup, it is so.
And now my daughter will be the recipient of these useful little garments to keep her head warm after she loses her hair due to chemotherapy. Three generations of women with cancer: bing, bing, bing.
Never fear, she won't have to just use those old hats (even thought they are quite attractive and still functional). I am making her a couple more with crochet and knitting needles.
Here is a pattern I came across this morning: free, free, free and easy, Bernat offers this chemo hat as a download with a (also free) registration to their website:
The chemo cotton hat will be started today as I listen to Frank Delaney's Ireland on audiobook. If you are on Ravelry, there is an audiobook group and a podcast group that you might check out; this group has excellent suggestions on good listens. I'm currently listening to several books on tape, depending on moods and inclinations.
Now I'm off to Michael's as soon as they open to buy three balls of cotton yarn so I can snuggle down for a good session with Ireland and my hooks and needles.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
After downloading iTunes and creating your account, just search for "podcasts" and up will pop thousands of podcast topics; be sure to check out the "favorites" since they have the most listeners.
Literally ANY topic which interests you that can be found through the "search" feature. Podcasts range from about 20 minutes to well over an hour, depending on if there are interviews included and how much information is broadcast on the given subject. Podcasts are generally updated frequently...some on a daily basis, and some are updated very infrequently. Your MP3 player will catch them all, according to how you set up your preferences. Or, you can download, save and listen to a podcast directly from your computer.
Here are my few purchased audiobooks recently acquired from iTunes, (not including the free loaned books from the local library):
We won't even get into the applications which can be download free or for a minimal fee. Check it out. There is a world of knowledge to be gained through podcasting.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1 c olive oil
7 ounce can dark-meat tuna in oil
1 anchovy fillet
2 Tbsp capers
Put egg, juice, & mustard in blender. Process 1 minute.So, with modifications using three cans of 5 oz. tuna (i.e., doubling the recipe) and using HALF of the amount of specified olive oil, it turned out pretty darn good. And instead of anchovies, I substituted Thai fish oil. Don't leave out the capers, though.
Keep the machine running and add 1/4 c olive oil in a stream of droplets.. Then add the rest of the oil gradually.
Add remaining ingredients, 1 at a time, with the machine running. (I do stop it to add the tuna).
Get it all nicely liquified, then refrigerate the sauce to thicken. Serve over sliced, ripe tomatoes with lemon slices and black olives as garnishes.
I really cannot imagine using TWO cups of olive oil, along with the tuna in oil...you would basically have an oil dip.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Of course, updating was not without its hazards, as our internet connectivity suffered during the transition. Why, sometimes, internet Scrabble was not available for play. That was a serious situation!
Above is a screen shot capture of podcasts that I listen to while knitting, painting,
The program (free) that was used to capture the screen shot is Faststone Capture found here under downloads. It was a free 30 day trial. I will continue to look for the eternally complimentary program. Meanwhile, the intuitive program is fun to learn.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Here is a good summarization of LED cool white lights:
LEDs present many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved robustness, smaller size, faster switching, durable and reliable. However, they are relatively expensive and require more precise current and heat management than traditional light sources. Current LED products for general lighting have higher costs than fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output.Also, the lights are stated to have a 25,000 hour average light bulb life. The purchased light string consisting of 30 bulbs was less than $5.
Although the cool lights do not emit a "warm" glow, hopefully the candles on the table centerpiece will add to the soft lighting ambience.
Please visit tomorrow for a famous cranberry relish recipe supplied via an NPR podcast.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Rumer Godden spins a complex and delicate tale of family, and time, and love. Past, present, and future weave around each other in layers of story centering on an old family home and the generations who live and hate and love there. I first read this story many years ago, and I still find many of Ms Godden's strong characters and unique turns of phrase vivid in my mind. I would recommend this book without hesitation - a re-readable joy.Prolific reader, blogger, and all around marvelous personality and strong soul Julie, who writes at Forgotten Classics (and two other blogs!) has recorded this book on audio. I have recently downloaded her readings of China Court from this site: complete-episodes-listing, starting at episode number 23.
When downloading, each episode (a chapter or two) is copied automatically into my iTunes account. For some reason, it is saved to my "music" folder. But when saved onto my iPod, it is easy enough to pick up the first episode in that folder and begin listening to the book either in the car or my favorite easy chair (while knitting, of course).
These audible books in the public domain are easy to record onto a CD, or you could listen to the recorded podcasts/books on your computer, although those venues are not so portable.
Julie has recorded the entire China Court: The Hours of a Country House book (over 14 hours of recording time) in a clear voice, that although is not a professionally trained reading voice, Julie's tempo and lack of regional accent is very easy on the ears. What a gift to hear this read, and at no cost to the listener!
Try Julie's website, Forgotten Classics, and spend some time poking around there. She has a lot to offer.
Another of my podcast favorites, Craft Lit, hosted by Heather Ordover from Arizona, spends some time each week talking about things going on in her life (actually, quite interesting) and then either she or other readers read one or two chapters of a book each week. The past month or so, Heather has been reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. As a literature teacher, she has lots to add from her literary background which aids in content understanding.
Here is a listing of books which Heather has read/reviewed since 2008:
Frankenstein; Little Women; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Scarlet Letter (and probably one or two others I have forgotten or missed over the past 18 months)
You can find Heather's recordings at Craft Lit; just look on the left hand side under "Library".
Since April of 2006, Ms. Hardover has recorded many books in the public domain that have been read aloud by faithful followers of her blog. Like Heather says, "If your hands are too busy to pick up a book, at least you can listen to one." She is another amazing woman who has so many stars in her crown, like Julie at Forgotten Classics, it would be a full time job just to shine them.
There is a wealth of goodness at the sites of these two podcasters, and I encourage you to take advantage of them to increase your knowledge of the classics.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Over your shoulder or around your neck, these knit pouches are handy to hold keys, lipstick, and your cell phone or MP3 player. Off you go on a walk or quick trip to the grocery.
These little pouches can be used in many ways. Vary the dimensions according to your needs. (I made seven of them in different sizes!) Women's clothing is notoriously poor for providing pockets, so you might need to resort to making this as your own "pocket" to wear around your neck.
Materials: any DK weight yarn, ribbon yarns and purchased broaches and fur yarns for embellishment. A half ball of yarn makes a small pouch; size 6 or 7 dp needles; broaches for embellishment (optional)
Directions are provided at Fig and Plum.
For a long strap, you might want to try this simple technique described in Elizabeth Zimmerman's instructions to make the handle termed Idiot Cord I-cord. They are fun to make and can be used for a variety of purposes.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I made two scarves from this pattern, and then got a bit more ambitious, using the same pattern, but repeating the lace row four times across instead of twice, resulting in a 16" by 83" shawl.
(photo courtesy of Knit Picks)
This pattern is versatile; according to the number of lace repeats, the shawl can be knitted as either a scarf, or by using more repeats, a shawl can result.
While listening to Episode 74 on the Knit Picks Podcast, it was a learning moment to listen to author Kay Meadors discuss her new book "I Can't Believe I'm Lace Knitting". The book was on my Christmas wish list, and DH let me open up this present early.
Author Kay Meadors says her passion is lace knitting, and after looking through this new book published by Leisure Arts, one is convinced of her love of knitting lace. It is a good read, with 12 projects included in this paperback. Each project is given in order of difficulty. I can't wait to try one of her intermediate patterns in the book and find a new challenge.
Here is a picture of my finished Knit Picks 1-2-3 Shadow Scarf Pattern, incorporating a 4 repeat row shawl, made from a fiber 70% wool and 30% soy. I wore it to church yesterday, and liked the warmth and the fact that it felt like a comfy warmer around my neck and shoulders, and not like a blanket which many shawls can mimic.
You won't believe you are lace knitting when following the simple directions given in the pattern.
Maybe you might even want to start one of the more challenging project in Meadows' new book about lace knitting.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Here is some background on prayer shawls before I get on to the quick pattern I devised below:
The Prayer Shawl Ministry was started by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo in 1998. Susan Izard and Susan Jorgensen wrote Knitting Into The Mystery which is an excellent introduction into the rituals of prayer shawl knitting. A very good introduction into the process and a good reference for starting prayer shawl ministries. But, there was really only one pattern so it was a bit limited in terms of yarns that would look good with that pattern.
To make this shawl for someone who stays in bed, the fabric was cut down in the back so that the shawl will drape across the shoulders and warm the front of the body. Cutting out extra fabric from the back makes it easier to maneuver in a wheelchair, and also decreases bulky fabric while using in bed.
Here are some easy directions and a picture of the work in progress:
PATTERN FOR PRAYER SHAWL (using fabric):Fabric requirement: 2.25 yd EACH of two contrasting fabrics (fleece, flannel, old quilts, etc); or a total of 4.5 yd of 45" wide fabric from the same fabric bolt
1) Cut two pieces of fabric 39" long (includes 1/2 inch seam allowance). The total width will be 50", most of which will be used for the front of the shawl. You will need to piece these two cuts of fabric together, making a seam down the center back, ensuring the width of the cut pieces, when sewn together, is about 50" wide. Press pieced seams flat.
2) Cut a "U shaped" window from the fabric from the bottom up, leaving about 8" at the top for neck and shoulder placement (the "U shaped" cut out should be about 8 " wide and 29" deep and will be placed behind the neck).
Repeat the above steps for the second fabric side.
3) With right sides facing each other, sew the two fabric pieces together, leaving about a six inches opening for turning the shawl right sides out. Press seams flat.
4) Hand sew the opening together using a slip stitch.
Monday, November 10, 2008
In all my cooking life, I have only used liquid smoke by the dropful because of the power packed into it. So when I heard about using the entire 4 oz. bottle, I was dubious of the results. But the pork was fantastic and tasted like real Southern Barbeque.
It took a total of about ten minutes to put together, and cooked about eight hours in the crock pot. (And YES, use every bit of the contents of the rub recipe on the pork, although it seems like a large amount of spices. The original recipe calls for using 1/4 cup of the basic rub, but I used the entire 2/3 cup and was pleased with the results.)
Here is the recipe found at this website: Recipes
Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork
Reprinted from Cheater BBQ: Barbecue
Anytime, Anywhere, In Any Weather by Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn (Broadway
Books, A Division of Random House, Inc., 2008) Copyright 2008 by Mindy Merrell
and R. B. Quinn.
I was so hungry after smelling that aroma of meat cooking in the kitchen all day, I forgot to get out the camera and take a photo of it. Instead, we delved into the pork and a couple of side dishes of cole slaw and garlic bread, and the camera was left aside for the mouth watering event.
Okay, here we go. Either we have you hooked at "Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork" or this book is headed straight for the library's used book sale. We know that. You know that. So, let's drop the chitchat and make some cheater barbecue.
In short, you drop a pork butt into the slow cooker, add dry rub and bottled smoke, close the cover, go away for a while, pull or chop the meat and pile it on a bun, add sauce, get out the pickles, open a beer. BOOM! That's barbecue, baby. Can you feel it? That's Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork.
Makes 12 to 14 servings
One 5- to 6-pound boneless Boston butt pork roast or same weight of boneless country-style pork ribs
1/4 cup Cheater Basic Dry Rub (recipe follows)
1/2 cup bottled smoke
Barbecue sauce of your choice
1. Cut the pork butt into medium (2- to 3-inch) chunks (the ribs don't need to be cut up).
2. Put the pieces in a large slow cooker (at least 5 quarts). Sprinkle the meat with the rub, turning the pieces to coat evenly. Add the bottled smoke.
3. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours, until the meat is pull-apart tender and reaches an internal temperature of 190 F.
4. Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a rimmed platter or baking sheet. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Pull the meat into strands. It should shred very easily. Serve the barbecue piled on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce.
5. To serve the barbecue later, cover and refrigerate the meat when it has cooled. Pour the meat juice into a separate container and refrigerate. Before reheating the juice, skim and discard the congealed fat layer on the top.
6. To reheat the barbecue, place it in a saucepan moistened with some of the reserved juice. Gently heat the meat on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Or, place it in a covered casserole with some of the reserved juice and heat in a 350 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
7. While the meat warms, combine the barbecue sauce and some of the additional reserved meat juice in a saucepan. Heat through and serve with the barbecue.
Cheater Basic Dry Rub (Makes about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend.
Oh, and our choice of purchased bottled Barbeque Sauce on the side was "KC Masterpiece Sweet & Tangy".
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:The past week has been high drama for family and friends with health crises and simultaneous emotional upheavals. I have been away from home for a while, trying to help. I don't know how much help I gave, but at least I offered distraction and prayer.
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Podcasts of craftlit and pray-as-you-go and knitting, of course, are some of my coping mechanisms to help maintain mental stability. Time to just listen to meditations and time for reflection are gifts which I have been given during this time. While knitting, I have been able to offer prayers and selected thoughts for family and friends facing difficult situations.
And I've decided over the past week that for this new autumnal season, I want to tackle a different and challenging project: an (easily) knit lace shawl.
I found a complete tutorial which sounds like it would be pretty and one that I could finish within a reasonable time frame. Never mind that I still have one beaded sock and a sweater to finish before starting the shawl!
A preview of (white) simple lace knitting is shown on the right, photo courtesy of Knitters' Review.
Here is the site I found: Making an Easy Lace Scarf. It looks like all the essentails are there: an easy lace scarf pattern, how-to's, and lots of links to patterns, tutorials, books and yarns. Once I master the "making of lace" technique, maybe a shawl will be on the list for another project for the winter.
Now to decide on the yarn to be used for the scarf. For everything there is a time and a season. Maybe next season will be the time to start the referenced lace shawl.
For Donna, may God's peace be with you. For Mary, Julie and Jack, may God's will leave you with strength and purpose. For Kathy, may God's peace shine on you. For anyone reading this post, may your time be purposeful.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It shows a high waisted, longer shift that goes great with jeans as a savvy sort of jacket. This flattering pattern is easy to sew, attractive to wear, and will brighten up an outfit and make wearing jeans a little dressier. Conversation will follow just by wearing it.
These are three coordinating fabrics I am going to use when making this apron:
Pictured above is the face of a Roaring 20's woman that will be one of the pockets to be added to the apron front. You can read about how this vintage pocket was hand colored with crayons and watercolor pencils and coordinating embroidery, here in a previous post.
Meg McElwee, the designer of this pattern, was interviewed on the podcast CraftSanity (catch it on a download from iTunes). Ms. McElwee was the featured guest on June 17, 2008 . McElwee is a Mexican expatriate and a current Montessori teacher. She has an interesting story about her designing efforts and how she started in the textile business. The podcast has some fun coversation about women wearing their liberation in a way that is both catchy, yet homespun. It is well worth a listen.
In the June podcast interview, Meg said that one of her readers' ironic comments was that the only bad thing about wearing her Emmeline apron was that her husband was constantly chasing her around the house (she must have looked so-oooooo cute).
Wearing aprons outside the home is going to be the next old-to-new trend, count on it. Wearing new styled aprons will say "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" in a big way, while at the same time being ultra feminine.
Meg's blog "Sew Liberated" can be accessed here. Ready-made aprons can also be purchased on her website, if you are not one to sew. She will be moving to North Carolina this summer, and will have further independent sewing design patterns in the future.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
“Stop Vacuuming and Start Knitting!” Is the Read Bite on the cover of the book.
In the first paragraph of KnittingDogHair, Crolius says
For millions of years, the human race has been living with and benefiting from its relationship with animals. We’ve relied on them for companionship, for transportation, for food - and for our clothing.What a shame that all our dogs’ fur just goes to waste each time they are groomed. Since I knit, and know a couple of women who spin sheep’s wool, I wondered if it were a crazy idea to start saving my pups’ hair for a future knitting project.
After some research, I came up with a LOT of good information about utilizing dog fur. And, I am now collecting our dogs’ fur. Note picture on the left that shows results from last week’s sheering efforts of the Shih Tzu and Maltipoo.
Natalie Kestecher of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a pod cast on www.soundprint.org. Tune in here if you are interested: radio podcast on dogs. It is fascinating and well worth a listen.
The highlights from my listening to Kestecher's show were:
1) a bit of history of how knitters used Great Pyrenees mountain dog hair for Polish and Russian peoples;
2) an Australian speaker regarding dogs, the environment, recycling and other matters pertaining to dogs at International Dog Day where about 20,000 people gathered recently in Sydney, Australia;
3) a woman’s story of Sarah Ben-David, her great grandmother born at the beginning of the 20th century in Poland. She recalls Sarah’s story of farming olive trees in order to get to her end purpose of breeding dogs for the purpose of using their fur for clothing. Her dog hair farms reached all across Europe by the end of Franco’s regime;
4) the psychic relationship of dogs with people
You are likely skeptical at this point. You might think "won’t I smell like a dog if I knit a sweater from dog fur"? The answer is NO. You wear wool sweaters, don’t you? Do you smell like a sheep? NO, of course not. It is all in the cleaning of the fur/wool in preparation of spinning.
This article found on USAToday highlights a couple who speak to the advantages of dog hair made into clothing. They espouse the advantages of dog hair as fodder as being both warm and waterproof.
As for me, I am keeping my dogs happy and groomed, and accumulating their sheerings for a new sweater.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
My friend Pat also gave me the pattern for this purse, and since then, I have made several more in differing sizes, yarns and ribbon yarns. Then I made another smaller one for my iPod so it could be hung around my neck while keeping plugged in, hands-free and mobile. To make a fun little three-knit-stitched tube for a handle or long cord, try this simple technique described in Elizabeth Zimmerman's instructions: I-cord
These little cords are fast and fun to knit, and are handy accessories.
Here is a picture and pattern for this iSock holder from fuzzynoodleknits.com: iSock
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
One podcast that is new to me is from Marble Falls, Texas, the “Hill Country” of Texas, hosted by Rhonda Bell. Since I am a Texas native, and my sister lives in Austin, her locale holds special interest for me. Her pod casts go back over the past two years, so I am going to record all the back casts for future listening.
Take a look at her website and maybe listen to a pod cast; she hosts them in a friend-to-friend atmosphere, like you were chatting over coffee:
Rhonda's Knitting Pod Cast
On her website, take a look at these free patterns which she has garnered:
And another site for People Who Knit and Also Love Books: Knit Lit is a fun site since host Heather Ordover has a professional read classical books in the latter part of her program. It is sponsored by Knitting Out Loud, Knitting Audiobooks.
And I cannot forgot to give a hoot out to Kelley Petkun, another favorite podcaster whose program "Knit Picks" is also on my iPod iTunes podcatcher.
Take a listen; you will probably get hooked!