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Archive for February 2009

me, on the BBC

February 28th, 2009 — 9:40pm

According to rumor, part of my recording of Caedmon’s Hymn for LibriVox is featured somewhere between minute 3 and 4 on this BBC program about the history of English poetry:

However, I do not have, and do not want, the revolting Real Player on my computer. If anyone can do an audio capture of this program for me I’d very much appreciate it :) If not… well, I suppose I can install RP temporarily without vomiting too much. Maybe.

(Update: a kindly fellow recorded the show for me. Very interesting!)

5 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

White Wedding: literal video version

February 27th, 2009 — 10:23pm

Re-posting this awesome vid I saw on boingboing because I can’t find it on youtube and I’m afraid I’ll never find it again:

White Wedding: Literal Video Version – watch more funny videos

(… and my hair needs to be BLEACHED AGAIN!!! YEAHHHH!)

There are quite a number of “literal music videos” on youtube, too. The one for “Under the Bridge” is fantastic! And now I have to go watch some of the others. They make me laugh and forget about my constant headache.

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February 26th, 2009 — 9:16pm

Last night, Bob and Chloe and Henry and I did a cryptic crossword together. We did the whole thing!!!

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Cute hat

February 26th, 2009 — 4:53pm

I knit a hat for Henry today:

How cute is that?

Yarn: Knitpicks’ Wool of the Andes Bulky — exactly one skein, wine-colored.

Needles: Harmony circs, size 5

Pattern: Sí, Capitán! (Free!)

My hat on Ravelry

Such a cute hat, and a very easy pattern! It took about four hours, start to finish. I knit the hat part yesterday but knit too tightly (for a change) and ripped it all out and started over this morning at about 10. I had all the knitting done when I left at 2 to pick Henry up and he chose his buttons on the way home. He tried to find the steampunk-iest ones. I sewed them on and shot the brim and band with some steam to even them out, and Hey Presto, it was finished! Thanks for the GREAT pattern, Rosi!!!

1 comment » | Blog, Handmade

opera and girasole

February 23rd, 2009 — 3:52pm

On Saturday Henry and I went to a really neat behind-the-scenes Family Day event at the Opera! We got to go on stage and see their Don Quixote sets up close, listened to little talks by their costumer and conductor and stage manager (all women, by the way), saw a demonstration of the science of the human voice and, best of all, were treated to a little up-close-and-personal performance of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, accompanied by piano. The singers were marvelous. What a treat!

Last night Henry and I went to Chloe’s house to watch the Oscars, and I finished Mom’s Girasole Blanket!

Here it is, blocking on our queen-size bed. It’s about 6 1/2 feet across!

Close up. It’s not really this gray.

Pattern: Jared Flood’s “Girasole” (The pattern costs $6.50 and is worth every penny. It’s extremely well-written.)

Yarn: 18 balls of Knitpicks’ Wool of the Andes in “Winter Night” (18 was not enough to work the pattern as written. Keep reading.)

Needles: Knitpicks Harmony circs size 9

Project on Ravelry

This was a really fun project. The first few charts worked up really quickly, and the whole thing was well-planned and well-written, and the result is just fabulous.

I actually thought I’d finish last weekend, but I ran out of yarn with just a few feet of edging left to go. This color is out of stock at knitpicks, so I ripped back all the edging and the second rep of chart G, and that gave me enough to finish. There’s only a tiny bit of yarn left. If I were to knit this again with the same yarn, I’d buy 21 balls to be safe. The finished and blocked blanket is 6 1/2 feet in diameter, which makes it about 20 feet in circumference. Whew! I loved making it except for the edging, which of course I had to work twice (that’s nearly 40 feet of edging). That did get a bit tiresome :) The edging ruffles quite a bit, so next time I might try working two stitches together at every K2togE (that is, work together two stitches from the blanket with the one stitch from the edging)

7 comments » | Blog, Handmade

art museum and edging

February 17th, 2009 — 10:26pm

It was free day at the Art Museum, so Henry and I went first thing and had a lovely time. It rained on us as we walked from the car to the museum! We looked at some of the French paintings, then an exhibit of Oceanic art, then walked through the Asian room (there was an amazing embroidered Chinese robe, my goodness) and then we listened to a docent tell about a 12th century Chinese bodhisattva and a painting of a Madonna and child with roses. Great stuff!

Went home, did math and English for a while (Darn, I forgot to give him a German lesson! Maybe tomorrow.), and then went to Park Day, which was lovely as usual.

I nearly finished Mom’s Girasole blanket on the weekend, but I ran out of yarn with just a few feet of edging left to work. Grr. On Monday I called Knitpicks to see if I could get another ball of yarn with the same dye lot but they were completely sold out and won’t get more till mid-March. Yeah, um, no, I’m not waiting till MARCH to finish Mom’s Christmas present! So I ripped out all the edging and the second repeat of chart G, which will give me plenty of yarn to get all the way around the edging this time and only makes the blanket a couple of inches smaller. I started the edging over again today and have already gotten a few feet of progress. I should be able to finish up and block by the weekend.

Oh, and I am making a pair of Hobbit Socks for a girl in Germany — started last night and worked one furry foot-top already. Photos soon!

2 comments » | Blog

When Mother Lets Us Cook, Part 4

February 16th, 2009 — 7:25am

When Mother Lets Us Cook, by Constance Johnson. First published in 1916. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

A book of simple receipts for little folk with important cooking rules in rhyme together with handy lists of the materials and utensils needed for the preparation of each dish.

Part 4: Beef Tea, Milk Toast, Blackberry Bread, etc.


Come back next Monday for a new book!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Surface cardigan, finished!

February 11th, 2009 — 1:59pm

My beautiful Surface cardigan is all done! I sewed on the buttons yesterday!

Pattern: Surface, by Norah Gaughan (free at

Yarn: 9 balls of KnitPicks’ Merino Style (which I won in a Knitpicks contest back in December). Color: cinnamon.

Needles: Knitpicks “Harmony” wooden circs, sizes 3 and 1 (for ribbing)

My Ravelry Page

I was, of course, as usual, completely unable to get gauge. The nearest I could get was 21st/4 inches on size 3 needles in stockinette, and 18st/4 inches on size 3 needles in the blister pattern. Ok, whatever. So I just had to do a lot of math. It’s apparently my fate to NEVER get gauge. Luckily I am fearless about rewriting patterns :)

I worked the sleeves on 50 stitches, which gave me about 11 inches in the blister pattern, which is about right for the xs size (I have the world’s skinniest arms). The blister pattern was great fun! Looks fantastic and tricky, but is actually a piece of cake and super-simple to memorize.

I worked the smallest size around, and the third size in height, more or less. But smallest size armholes.

When the sleeves were done, I made the back, using short-row shaping for the shoulders, then worked the fronts both at once on one needle, working short-row shaping for the shoulders and then three-needle binding-off with the back.

I decided to seam before blocking. I hate pinning out curved edges. Sewed everything together easy as pie, knit the button bands, then decided to pick up stitches for the collar instead of working it separately — was sick and tired of seaming :) When the collar was done, I wet-blocked, then sewed on the buttons!

Here it is, blocking (no pins, you see):

Here’s another finished photo:

9 comments » | Blog, Handmade

When Mother Lets Us Cook, Part 3

February 9th, 2009 — 9:58am

When Mother Lets Us Cook, by Constance Johnson. First published in 1916. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

A book of simple receipts for little folk with important cooking rules in rhyme together with handy lists of the materials and utensils needed for the preparation of each dish.

Part 3: Meat Loaf, Birthday Cake, etc.


(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

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February 8th, 2009 — 7:09pm

I’m feeling a lot better — sore throat is gone and my head is just a little bit stuffy. I spent the whole weekend lounging on the couch, listening to podcasts (The Adam Carolla Show, mostly), knitting, watching TV with Dan, and playing a bit of WoW.

Speaking of TV, we discovered a show called Dexter a few weeks ago. I’m trying to remember how I heard of it. I think the actress who plays Rita (Julie Benz?) was on Loveline, and then I must have heard something about the show somewhere else, too. Anyway, something called it to my attention and I did a bit of googling and found that a lot of people like it, so we thought we’d give it a try. We watched the first episode of the first season about three weeks ago, just finished up the third season on Friday night, and are counting the days till the fourth season starts in March! What a show! It had its weak moments (what show doesn’t?) but overall was really excellent, though often extremely stressful and uncomfortable to watch, at first because of the implied violence but later because I grew fond of the characters and had to worry about their safety through every episode. The main character is a serial killer, by the way. I spent a lot of time NOT LOOKING, eyes on the knitting, eyes on the knitting.

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sick again

February 6th, 2009 — 1:10pm

Woke up with a little sore throat yesterday and I still have it. And a drippy nose. Bah. But the weather is cold and rainy and blustery, which makes me happy. While I help Henry with schoolwork I’m seaming my “Surface” sweater. That’s the one I won the yarn for from Knitpicks! Can’t remember if I’ve posted photos yet so here they are:



Fronts, partway done:

I usually knit sweaters all-one-piece and top-down, but I figured I’d give the pattern as try as-is. The seaming is not that bad, but I’d still prefer being able to try on as I go! Some books say you must block before seaming, and some say you must seam before blocking. Seaming before blocking makes the most sense to me, so that’s what I’m doing and it’s working fine.

5 comments » | Blog, Handmade

knitting and stuff

February 4th, 2009 — 9:31am

Busy day yesterday, my goodness. The Science Museum was free, so we were there a few minutes before they opened at 9:30 and stayed till about 11. Lots of fun, lots of neat science! Then we stopped at Target for binders and paper and whatnot, then came home, ate lunch, and did math and science until it was time to go to the Tuesday homeschooler park day. We went to it a few times when Henry was very little but then we moved too far away. Now we live only ten minutes away! The kids are mostly teenagers and Henry had a great time wandering around the park with them. I had a great time playing Scrabble with the moms, so we’re both looking forward to next Tuesday. Most of the kids go to a charter school called Dehesa, so if Mt. Everest doesn’t work for us we’ll have something else to try.

Current knitting projects:

Girasole blanket for Sal: Wool of the Andes, needles size 9. Terrific pattern!

Helena sweater for Jaylah: Swish DK, needles size 3. I’ve already divided for the sleeves, need to take a new photo!

And Dan wants fingertipless gloves, so I need to pick a pattern from my Selbuvotter book and get those started before summer comes!

1 comment » | Blog

When Mother Lets Us Cook, Part 2

February 2nd, 2009 — 8:15am

When Mother Lets Us Cook, by Constance Johnson. First published in 1916. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

A book of simple receipts for little folk with important cooking rules in rhyme together with handy lists of the materials and utensils needed for the preparation of each dish.

Part 2: Sweet Omelet, Cereal Cakes, Pan Cakes, etc.

little cook

Come back next Monday for the next part!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

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