Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Gallery

1. November Sweater:

Click on the above link for many additional pictures.

2. Tomten:

3. Baby Surprise:

4. Purple Swallowtail:

5. Hemp Forest Canopy:

6. Skeleton Scarf

Pattern: Skeleton Scarf from Arctic Lace
Yarn: Prime Alpaca in Silver Gray--one ball

7. Kiri Shawl

Pattern: Kiri Shawl (free online pattern)
Yarn: Kidsilk Haze in Liquor colorway--two balls plus enough to bind off with
Needle: 6

8. Diamond Fantasy Shawl

Pattern Designer: Sivia Harding
Yarn: Helen's Lace, less than one ball
Needle: 3

9. Seraphim Shawl

Pattern Designer: Miriam Felton
Yarn: Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere in the deep denim colorway, slightly more than two balls
Needle: 5

10. Adamas Shawl

Pattern: Miriam Felton via Knitpicks, with one extra repeat
Yarn: Claudia Handpaint Silk in the Ink colorway, less than one ball
Needle: 3

11. Shetland Triangle:

Pattern: Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style, with 11 pattern repeats
Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk in Ivory--one ball plus enough for the final bind off.

12. Michigan Scarf:

13. Montego Bay scarf (picture coming soon)

14. Multiple Socks which can be seen in the linked post.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays!

The blog will be on hold until the new year. Hope you all enjoy the holidays--and get plenty of time to knit and cook and catch up on all the blogs you haven't read in months. (Oh--those are my wishes for myself....)

* * *

BTW: My cowriter and I got a YouTube review!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Too Much Stuff

Watch the whole spot of The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard here.

Hysterical--and depressing too. This was made by the same people who made The Meatrix: Free Range Studios.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


...a big powerful group's conquest of a little people, and its winds up that it is all about oil. Haven't we heard this story recently?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Time for Champagne!

Susan and I were interviewed on NPR radio today. While my cowriter can say beautiful things totally spontaneously, I have a great deal of trouble talking off the cuff. (I don't talk--only write.)

We sat in a the NPR studio in DC--apart from our interviewer, the phenomenal Frank Stasio. It takes a great deal of effort to follow purely verbal discussions because hearing takes so much effort. I really can't hear and think at the same time. (Stasio did have to call on me to make me talk.)

I told my partner and son that the interview would be a success if I managed to make it home tonight alive. It would be a smashing success if I had not thrown up.

I survived. Hearing the interview now, I know that my beating heart does not even show up on the soundtrack...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Playing around on Ravelry, I found THIS (which I hope it is OK to print here:

I'm blown away by this sweater, knitted by a young man named tycho. There is a little about the sweater on his blog.

Phenomenal. Also check out his other sweaters including the two-color Henry VIII (Starmore). Beautiful.

* * *

And while you are on Ravelry, don't miss Feral Knitter's Sashiko Jacket:

* * *

I'm off to clear my head with miles and miles of garter stitch. Wowza!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

To celebrate, we are making gingerbread Stars of David from my new favorite (and relatively healthy) gingerbread cookie recipe:

5 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground cloves
3 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter or coconut oil (vegan)
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

After putting all dry ingredients in a bowl, stir well with a whisk (or sift them together if you prefer).
Blend butter, honey, and molasses.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until all is wet. You may want to use your hands to incorporate everything. If you need to, add a few drops at a time of water or milk to make the dough form a ball.
Roll out dough to .25 inches thick between two pieces of wax paper.
Cut with cookie cutters of your choice
and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.

Gobble them up!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bodies in Art

Son and I have been studying art for homeschool. Right now we're talking about the Renaissance and the rise of humanism.

Today's fresco:

Andrea Mantegna's 1474 “Ludovico Gonzaga, His Family and Court”
in the Camera degli Sposi, Palazzo Ducale, Mantua, Italy.

I'm especially intrigued with the artist's portrayal of bodies often left out of great art. Instead of an image of dwarf as one of humor or pity or childishness, the vision is a real person, a proud adult woman.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Telling the Truth--and Listening Hard

Last night at the Garden of Lights, I got in a conversation with the friend of a friend with whom I always enjoy talking. In the course of a conversation that rambled amiably and casually through subjects of great intensity for both of us, he asked if I knew this poem. I did not, but came home to look it up. It resonates so deeply with me--making me think of recent posts as well as all the things I want to write about that stayed buried in my darkness.

"A Ritual To Read to Each Other"

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give—yes or no, or maybe—
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

--William Stafford
published in Every War Has Two Losers

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cozy Morning

David is away for a meeting this weekend. Son and I took advantage of the quiet morning and made banana-pecan pancakes with local maple syrup for a late breakfast. We built a fire and cuddled on the couch under blankets for a morning of reading.

I have not knit in 24 hours. I guess that is what finishing a sweater under a deadline can do to you.

The book I am reading constantly challenges me. At moments, I love its argument and am totally enamored with its energetic style. At other times, I want to set it afire and throw it out the window for being so ridiculous. The other book on my nightstand seems to address many of the same fundamental questions. So a debate is occurring right now in my head. Details soon.

Tonight we're meeting friends for dinner at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant. Then we're off to look at the extravagant seasonal light display at Brookside Gardens. It is somewhere between amazingly cool and totally kitschy. Always a lot of fun!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The End of November

Knitting a sweater in the month of November (NaKniSweMo) is now a tradition for me, as is the exercise of posting every day this month (NaBloPoMo). This year's sweater also meets the requirements for Norovember. This afternoon during a lovely walk by the creek, I got to enjoy it:

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Still eating our local Thanksgiving feast--this time as pot pie. We chopped up some turkey, added some steamed mustard greens and cauliflower from the farmer's market, and dumped in the detritus of the pumpkin soup. After mixing a bit of leftover gravy with some milk, we poured that over the casserole and topped it with whole wheat biscuit dough (not from a local grain source, unfortunately). After heating in the oven for about half an hour, it was ready to eat. Easy and delicious!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Still Knitting

I finished the ribbing, etc., for the NaSweKniMo project and put it on to block. Pictures as soon as it is dry.

That gave me permission to start working on the Twisted Stitch Gauntlets I've been plotting to knit.

I love the way they are coming out so far--and they are absolutely addictive to knit. Rather than the luxurious baby cashmerino the pattern calls for, I'm knitting with inexpensive Filatura Di Crosa's 501--a perfect match in both weight and yardage. Although my gauge was spot on for the stockinette swatch, my actual glove is a little longer than the pattern calls for. And, for this very long-fingered person, the called-for length for the fingers is a little short. But it all sort of balances out....

* * *

Meanwhile, Son found a cricket in the bathtub (!) and gave him a ride on his Lego raft:


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Got an April Birthday?

All these come out that month:

Lisa Lloyd's A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarns

Joan Tapper's Shear Spirit: Ten Fiber Farms, Twenty Patterns, and Miles of Yarn

Maggie Casey's Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn

and, last but not least,

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Things I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not)
(no pic yet)

I'm clearing my spring for some good reading time....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Let me not to the marriage of true minds...

...admit impediments.
--William Shakespeare

Isn't it funny that the people we argue with most intensely are also the people we love most deeply?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Feeling Icky...

...lying on the couch with the blankets and a sock filled with microwaved grains of rice clutched to my abdomen...

...but, courtesy of the men in the family, have another puzzle for you. Look for a two-word phrase of 15 letters:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Totally Corny

After a lovely dinner of turkey soup, we played family games which involved lots of silliness (including trying to act out "tofu" in charades).

We took a break for a local snack: popcorn on the cob!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving, Locally

Yesterday, my family was invited to spend the holiday with friends in Virginia. Over the years, we've become more like family to each other than we ever would have expected.

But today, we had our own Thanksgiving feast at home. Following our tradition of the past few years, we divided the meal into parts. Often we have turkey, dressing, and veggies for lunch and then later have soup and salad and dessert at supper. But this year we did things a little differently.

* * *

At lunch, we made soup cooked in a pumpkin:

It is a great, flexible recipe that I think we'll try again next time we pick up a little pumpkin at the market. After cleaning out the inside, fill the body with chopped onions, a few chunks of bread (we used a locally produced whole wheat bread), some strong-flavored cheese, some milk, a little horseradish (we bought a jar at the farmer's market during Passover and it is still good), and a bit of mustard (alas, non local). Let it bake in the oven on a cookie sheet for a couple of hours, and serve with scoops of the softened pumpkin in the soup. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds.

* * *

I spent the afternoon asleep while David cooked a beautiful turkey with dressing. We bought the turkey from our Amish dairy provider. The stuffing was made with the above-mentioned bread, red onions and shallots and kale from the market, local butter, and homemade chicken stock from an earlier bird. Absolutely delicious!

We served it with sides of smooshed rutabaga and roasted Brussels sprouts.

* * *

We opened a bottle of cassis aperitif which we bought when we were in Quebec City. It is a perfect dessert wine all by itself...

...but we followed it up with a crustless sweet potato pie, served with whipped cream sweetened with local maple sugar. Wow.

* * *

Our non-local ingredients were going to be only salt and pepper--but we each made a goof. David put a bit of leftover champagne in the dressing, and I put a sprinkle of flour and a squeeze of lemon in the gravy without thinking about it. But still--since this is our first local Thanksgiving and a very quickly-planned fiesta, we followed our rules pretty well. And it was an incredible dinner.

And thank goodness it was good. We have lots of leftovers in the fridge!


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