Showing posts with label Podcasts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Podcasts. Show all posts

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another Finished Shawl

The knit-along with Paula at Knitting Pipeline is going great guns.  Here is my finished Shaelyn Shawl that finished out at 26" x 54".  I called it the Colorado Wine Shawl because the yarns are the colors of grape leaves, merlot grapes and green grapes in many shades of green and aquamarine.

Five repeats of the lace were completed.  Two different skeins of yarn were used; the dark green has some cashmere in 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

A Knit Along with Podcaster Paula

One of my favorite podcasters, Paula, who hosts the Knitting Pipeline, is starting a knit a long (KAL) today.  I'm in.  Here is the Shaelyn pattern that several dozens (?) of us will be knitting simultaneously:

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

Wilhelmina Shawlette

One of the best digital downloads that I have recently purchased is the book What Would Madam Defarge Knit? (Creations Inspired by Classic Characters).  Over 20 patterns are available in the download, along with live web links.  A great value for the money, since all patterns are included for one low price of $16.95.  And the links are fascinating, informative, and just plain fun.  Note: the first edition hardcover has been sold out, but you can order the digital download here.

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.

(Madam Defarge found on Google images)

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 CraftLitCast-onMarch Hare YarnsJen Minnis ArtworksWeaveZine and WeaveCastSilk Road SocksGardiner 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

Designer: Chrissy Gardiner, Finished Measurements: 44″ wide and 22″ tall after blocking

(Close up of the knitted lace pattern in the shawl)

This is the variegated Ella Rae lace merino fiber I purchased from Aimee's Yarn Cafe in Paradise, CA for knitting  the Wilhelmina:

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

Chemo Cap to Crochet

Ironically, sadly, three chemo hats are still in my cedar chest that my mother used during her cancer treatment in 1999, and that I saved because they reminded me of her.  She was not a complainer, and always grateful for whatever the day held.  I do try to emulate that quality, though sometimes it is a challenge.

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:
As a quick update on Julie, she has been diagnosed with Stage III B breast cancer, and will have her chemo port placed on May 23.  They are trying to shrink her tumors prior to a mastectomy.

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

Podcasts Currently on my iTouch

Occasionally, people will inquire about what podcasts I favor.  Here is a screen shot of the current podcasts I uploaded this morning from my free account at Itunes that can be accessed here.

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

Tuna Sauce, Courtesy of Dr. Gemma

One of my favorite podcasters, Dr. Gemma, talked last week about her box of community supported agriculture (CSA) organic foods and gave a recipe for tuna to be used as a tomato topping.  The original recipe can be found here.
Tuna Sauce for Very Ripe Tomatoes:
1 egg
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.

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.
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.

I really cannot imagine using TWO cups of olive oil, along with the tuna in would basically have an oil dip. 

Here is a picture of the TUNA SAUCE (with half the required oil in original recipe):
Served with bread, tomatoes, and lettuce (and olives) ... it was tasty, gosh darn it!

And to link with Ravelry, here is my second Ishbel shawl with three repeats of Chart A completed in lace weight kid merino and silk fiber:
The fibers are splitting, yikes!



If you came to visit because I friended you on Ravelry, that is so very nice of you.  Don't you love Dr. Gemma??

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Updating Technology at Home

This month was tech update in our household.  From television to internet service provider packaging to the new iTouch and iTunes, our gadgets are now up to date (ha! ... so little I know).

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, cooking, walking, etc.

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

LED Lighting for Decoration

Coming up with a new lighting decoration for Thanksgiving dinner being served after the sun goes down, here is an idea: use LED cool white bulbs.  What are the advantages of LED bulbs?

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.

Michael's had last-of-season silk flowers on sale for 90% off, so I bought a bunch of sunflowers and cut out the centers of the stamins so that a LED bulb could be pulled through.  Silk foliage was added, and the resulting lighted garland now decorates the window sill of one of the dining area windows. This was an inexpensive Thanksgiving decoration project for less than $10.

 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

Socks Knit Inside-Out on Bottom of Foot

A few weeks ago, while listening to the Knit Picks Podcast, guest Sandra McAlister talked about knitting the bottom part of socks inside out, creating the purl stitch on the outside of the sock.  This means that the knit part of the fabric on the bottom of the foot eliminates the "knobbiness" of the purl stitch closest to the skin.

Several people even commented on the show notes that this technique would be great for a person with diabetes and those ever present foot ulcers common to diabetics.  Sandra knits socks in this manner because she is a long distance walker, and blisters are less likely to occur when walking long distances if the sock is smooth where it touches the bottom of the foot.

What a great idea, huh?  So I made the second sock of THE PERFECT FIT Socks by Becca in this manner.  Here is how the heel and bottom of the feet look with the purl side to the outside:

As soon as these socks are dry and off the sock blockers, I'll be anxious to see if there is a noticeable difference in foot comfort while walking.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Making a Yarn Cake, Courtesy of Gnat

Because part of my reason for blogging is to keep things readily organized while doing craft projects, here is one idea I am cataloguing for the next time I make a ball of yarn from a purchased skein.  This quick process is called a center pull yarn cake, and allows you to pull yarn from the center of the ball rather than from the outside.  This will eliminate that pesky ball from rolling around on the floor and creating chaos, and resulting in a dog or cat toy when you really just wanted to knit!

This website, hosted by Gnat, has an excellent tutorial worth a read;  I am keeping it handy on my blog because it looks a lot easier than how I have been laboriously performing the maneuver of getting yarn skeins ready for knitting.

At this same website, you can listen to her podcast (I just downloaded it to iTunes for listening on my walk today).  The podcast is called BarknKnit.  She likes dogs, can you tell from the title of her podcast?  I might let Libby and Mercy listen to her on the computer today while she barks and knits and I play internet Scrabble.  woof!

Monday, June 22, 2009

China Court & Other Read Aloud Books

Written by Rumer Godden in 1961, China Court: The Hours of a Country House was reviewed by The Book Diva at Viewpoints with this quick summarization:

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

mp3 holders or Cell Phone Neck Holsters

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 Can't Believe I'm Lace Knitting (by Kay Meadors)

In a previous post in October, knitting easy lace shawls was discussed. The pattern for knitting the shawl shown below came free from Knit Picks and can be found here.

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

Prayer Shawl Pattern for Wheelchair Users and Those in Bed

In a previous post, prayer shawls were discussed. I was searching for a way to make a shawl from quilting or fleece fabric because it would be much quicker to construct by sewing, using purchased fabric.

While browsing the internet, I came across more than 200 sites about prayer shawls, but not one reference could be found on how to make a shawl using fleece or flannel material. So if you are looking for something not requiring the time and expertise commitment of using yarn in a knit or crochet technique, this pattern idea might work for you. It is especially useful for wheelchair users or for those who stay in bed most of the time.

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.
This reference to the Prayer Shawl Ministry was found at Kelly Petkun's site. Kelly has a weekly podcast that her dog Xena helps produce complete with voice-overs.... I mean bark-overs in the background. You can listen to the Knit Picks podcast here at KnitPicksPodcast.

Kelly talks about knitting, products, and interviews guests discussing recent knitting designs and life, in general. Kelly and her company are virtual friends by way of download! And every bit of yarn that I have purchased from the Knit Picks website has been of good quality and arrived quickly.
The above picture is a shawl used as a prototype for the pattern I cut out this morning. The original outside dimensions are 63" (length) by 50" (width).
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:
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
Notions: thread

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.

Here is a picture of a finished flannel shawl using the same fabric on the back as on the front. It looks warm, will be easy to use in bed, is washable, and will be more comfortable because some of the bulky fabric has been eliminated in the back. This is for daughter Julie while in the hospital, at the nursing home, or in her wheelchair.
Good luck in making some of these for people you know who might need a little comfort, with a prayer sewn into them.
Leave me a comment if you have questions.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pulled Pork Barbeque with Liquid Smoke (the whole bottle)

Wow! Did we have a taste treat yesterday courtesy of a recipe I heard about in a podcast last week from The Splendid Table. It was Bar-B-Que Pork made with an entire bottle of Liquid Smoke.

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.

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.

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.

Oh, and our choice of purchased bottled Barbeque Sauce on the side was "KC Masterpiece Sweet & Tangy".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

For Everything There is A Time and a Season

For everything, there is a time and a season. Ecclesiastes, Chapter Three:
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
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.
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.

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

Sew Liberated Apron

SewLiberated has this darling apron pattern for sale on the internet. It is named the "Emmeline" pattern.

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

Knitting with Dog Hair

Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet (Paperback) by Kendall Crolius (Author)

“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 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.
Animations - happy dog

As for me, I am keeping my dogs happy and groomed, and accumulating their sheerings for a new sweater.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

iPod Holders - Knitting

My neighbor gave me a darling little bag several years ago that she had knitted with ribbon yarn. She attached an I-cord (Idiot cord) to the purse, and a bit of fluffy yarn along the top for extra blitz. It is handy to hold car keys, a lipstick and a couple of must-haves when I jump into the car to go out for errands.

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 iSock

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Over the past few weeks, I have been an avid fan of listening to various pod casts while knitting or sewing on projects. There is so much to learn from such a diverse group of talented people, that I find myself tuning in to cached programs on my iPod while also trying to do something somewhat productive. (I must admit that I also play Scrabble on the internet while listening) Scrabble Link

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:

Free Patterns

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.

Knit Picks

Take a listen; you will probably get hooked!