Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cap Sleeved Sweater

I have been working on the Cap Sleeved Sweater by Debbie Bliss from the Pure Silk Collection for Mom in Plymouth's Royal Bamboo. It is taking a while because the gauge is 25 st/4" and is therefore being knit with #3 needles.

Bone Rattler

I have finished yet another book. I picked this one up at the library because it was about Scots involved in the French and Indian war. This was sort of an historical mystery. It was excellent. The author writes well, with good dialogue, complex plot and fascinating characters. I loved it. I will be looking for more books by this author.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I just finished this book. I read it because it was next month's Ravelry Book Club choice. It also got lots of great reviews and awards and so I read it...I say all this in explanation of why I read a book that is about hemaphroditism (if that is the right term) Anyway, I thought the book was well worth reading because it is well written. However, one person who reviewed it said "I just couldn't get past the incest," so if you feel the same way, this book may not be for you. Parts of it are quite graphic. On the other hand, this condition exists IRL-and I felt that the way the protagonist dealt with it was very real.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lady Macbeth

I just finished reading this book, and I really liked it. I am partial to books about Scotland and history, and this one is interesting because I think most people only know the Lady Macbeth of Shakespeare's play. This book is about Gruadh daughter of Bodhe who became wife to Macbeth, and eventually Queen of Scotland. If you enjoy historical fiction, I recommend it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Progress on the Unmentionables

I have been working on a project called Emma's Unmentionables for Alexa's birthday clothes. I was cruising right along until I got to the lace border. However, I figured out that it is easier to knit the lace on the same circular needle that is holding the leg stitches rather than on two separate double points as the pattern suggests. This sped things up considerably and today I finished the lace on leg number one, wove in a bunch of ends, grafted the crotch, and started the ruffle on leg number two. So here we are, And here is an older picture that shows the yarn color so beautifully.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fifi is finished AGAIN

I have added about1.5 inches to the sleeves of this sweater because they were too short before. I didn't like the way it made my arms look fat. (my arms are somewhat fat, but we don't need to emphasize this!) Now I really like it and think I will wear it often. It does require handwashing and drying flat, but I spun it in the dryer to get the excess water out and it dried in less than a day. I love the yarn this is knit with. Rowan Calmer is a cotton/microfiber blend that is very soft and stretchy. The stretchiness makes knitting with it so easy. I also learned how to do cables without a cable needle for this project, a really good knitting technique.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rhubarb Jam

As part of my effort to make more of our food from local sources I have been trying to figure out how to preserve some of the rhubarb that has been appearing in our farmer's market and local coop. Yesterday I decided on rhubarb jam. I bought some produced by King's Valley School at the Corvallis Farmer's Market a couple of weeks ago and it was really yummy. Yesterday I bought rhubarb from Gathering Together Farms sold in our coop, and Pomona's Universal Pectin and sort of improvised a recipe based on recipes for other fruits that were in the Pectin Box and a recipe online that used way more sugar than I wanted. The really great thing about this pectin is that you don't have to use sugar if you don't want to and it will still jell.I cut up the rhubarb and cooked it with a little water until it was soft. This gave me about 6 cups of fruit. So
6 cups rhubarb
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons calcium water (comes with the pectin)
3 teaspoons pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter (not sure why, but it was in the recipe off the internet)

This worked well. It jelled the perfect amount and is slightly sweet which is what I was aiming for.

I also verified that I can reuse the one part lids that some jams and jellies from the store come in. They will reseal.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I am still reading this book, and I can't say enough good things about it. It is a life changing book for me. In general this book advocates the many benefits of eating local food. There are many reasons for this a few of which are
1. We shouldn't be spending our limited oil supply on transportating our food thousand of miles when local food is available.
2. We should support small local agriculture.
3. Food that is transported long distances is bred for appearance and transportability rather than nutrition and flavor.
There are many more reasons and I couldn't possibly remember them all or state them as clearly as Kingsolver does. I really recommend that everyone read this book. Our food choices change our world.
I will probably be using the term locavore in future posts. This is a word used to describe people who are eating locally produced food, and that is what I am trying to do.

A Great and Terrible Beauty

I just read this book last weekend while traveling to Colorado. I really enjoyed it. It is a young adult fiction category of book which is very popular right now. It features a 16 year old girl named Gemma Doyle who at the death of her mother is sent to England to Spence, a school for girls to be made into a lady. At the same time she begins experiencing visions of things that are happening or maybe will happen. This is a really good book with some good stuff in it about how society treated women at the time (late 19th century). I found it very enjoyable reading and it is very likely I will read the next two books in the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I also should point out that I love the title of this book. It may be the reason I picked it up at the bookstore in the first place.
Here is a really cute dress from Boden that I am thinking of getting for Alexa.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My new blog

Here it is-my new blog for my personal hobbies and interests which are primarily knitting and reading.
First-the Fifi sweater which I finally finished. I really like this design from French Girl Knits, but the pattern is a little difficult. I love the yarn which is Rowan Calmer. Unfortunately I don't like where the sleeves end, so I am going to tink a bit and make the sleeves longer.