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Archive for March 2009

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 4

March 30th, 2009 — 8:22am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

04 Ginger in a Dangerous Mood – 00:09:50

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

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

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Henry’s Green Sash Test!

March 28th, 2009 — 9:11am

Henry has been working really hard to improve at kung fu. He attends about 6 hours a week of classes — group, sparring, grappling, weapons, and a private lesson. For the past couple of months he’s been preparing for his green sash test, and Thursday was the big day!

Dan, Chloe, Sally, Bob, and I were all there to watch him. Henry demonstrated his mastery of the appropriate techniques and even did some sparring with another student. His teacher, Miss Edwards, led him through the test and Sifu Stanley watched to evaluate his skill. It was extremely intense, and we could see how very hard he was trying and how tiring it was. He “strove with great effort”, as he says, and passed his test!

I accidentally had my camera set to “multi-burst” instead of “burst” for the first part of the test so I didn’t get many good photos, but here’s a nice kick:


And here he is sparring with a blue sash student:


Here, all the students and teachers in the school are congratulating him after he was given his new sash:


For a few more photos, go to this photo set: Green Sash Test, 2009

Congratulations, Henry! You’re amazing and we’re all so proud of you!

3 comments » | Blog

Hello from the park!

March 24th, 2009 — 4:15pm

Dan surprised me with an iPhone last weekend! It’s so neat! The very first app I installed was Pandora, and then I found a few good games and utilities (reviews later), and then I bought Tweetie, a very nice Twitter client. I set up some bookmarks so I can access my gmail, my google chat, and my 30boxes calendar really fast. Today, just before I left to pick up Henry, I noticed a WordPress app, so here I am, blogging from the park! (Also we finally got to escape from Sprint, and there was much rejoicing.)

9 comments » | Blog

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 3

March 23rd, 2009 — 8:20am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

03 The Dignified Mr. Carmyle – 00:27:22

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

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

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

inkle loom

March 20th, 2009 — 10:24am

I have a borrowed inkle loom, and just finished my first little weaving project:


I’ve wanted to try inkle weaving for years and years, but never thought it would be worth buying a loom — after all, how many straps and bands and belts and tapes does one need, and that’s all you can produce on a inkle loom. So I was so delighted when our Dehesa EF, Carol, said her mom (a weaver) would lend me her inkle loom! I figured out how to make heddles and warp it, and went to town. And now I have a nice green tape that should make a great drawstring for a summer skirt. Now I’m itching to warp it again and make something else. Anyone need a strap? ;-)

Also, Henry asked me to shave off all his hair so he’d be more streamlined at Kung Fu. No more hair flopping in his eyes, and he doesn’t get quite so hot when he’s in his sparring helmet. He looks a lot different, but still as handsome as ever.


9 comments » | Blog, Handmade

Cinnamon rolls & socks

March 16th, 2009 — 10:31am

I made cinnamon rolls on Friday:


Lordy, they were good, and gone by Saturday afternoon. (Twelve rolls is only 4 apiece!) Here’s the recipe: Ninety-Minute Cinnamon Rolls. I always use butter instead of margarine.

On Friday night the Teen Club from Dehesa, Henry’s new charter school (which we LOVE), met at the mall to go ice skating. Henry had the Best. Time. Ever. and I worked on my Thick Warm Socks:

(these socks on Ravelry)

They’re made of Briggs and Little’s “Tuffy”, an aran-weight 80% wool/20% nylon blend. I love this yarn. It’s a bit rough, still has lanolin and bits of hay in it, and smells of sheep. It seems like it will wear very well.

Sunday night, Bob and Chloe came over and we talked and knitted and watched TV and had a wonderful time. You should see Chloe’s socks — I think they’re even prettier than mine: Same yarn, different colors.

2 comments » | Blog, Handmade

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 2

March 16th, 2009 — 8:19am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

02 Enter Ginger – 00:51:34

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

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

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Sweet Alyssum Socks

March 12th, 2009 — 11:30am


This eyelet pattern reminds me of the Sweet Alyssum flowers that grew in our yarn when I was a kid. If I remember correctly, there were white ones and purpleish ones, so if I make these socks again I’ll choose purple instead of orange.

I wrote up this pattern in a way that makes sense to me, but if you find it confusing please let me know and I’ll try to clarify :)

This sock fits my skinny size 7.5 foot with room to spare. The eyelet pattern and the Risata are both nice and stretchy.

One ball Knitpicks’ Risata in Clementine (use Fairy Tale or Marionberry for more botanically accurate socks)
One ball Knitpicks’ Risata in Buttermilk

Needles size 0 (I knit very loosely — you may need to use needles several sizes larger to get gauge)

Gauge in Stockinette: 6.5 st/inch

Eyelet chart:

Cast on 48 stitches. I used both colors and this lovely, two-needle, stretchy cast on: That’s my favorite cast-on for cuff-down socks and mitten cuffs.

Work 11 rounds k2 p1 ribbing in Buttermilk.

Switch to Clementine, and begin eyelet chart.

After 8 rounds of Clementine, switch back to Buttermilk and work next section of eyelet chart. Move round marker forward one stitch so that the eyelet pattern fits within the round. As you knit around, you may need to shift stitches from one needle to another to avoid having to work eyelet motifs between needles. Do whatever makes it easy. Buttermilk eyelet motifs will be centered between the Clementine ones. I carried the yarn loosely up the back of the sock between color rounds so I didn’t have a million ends to weave in.

Continue switching colors every 8 rounds and shifting round marker one stitch forward or back until you have four Clementine stripes.
Work heel flap in Clementine on 25 stitches. Be sure that your heel flap is centered relative to the lace pattern! I like a long heel flap so I worked 30 rows, I think. I used the basic Heel Stitch. Turn the heel according to your favorite method. I prefer a German heel.

Switch to Buttermilk and pick up gusset stitches. Here’s a good way to avoid holes at the corners of your gusset:

Arrange stitches so you have your 24 instep stitches on one needle, and continue eyelet pattern across that needle as established. Keep the sole of the foot and gussets in stockinette and decrease away your gusset stitches every other round, with k2tog just before you knit the instep stitches and ssk right after, until you are back at 48 stitches.

Knit in pattern until you have 5 Buttermilk stripes on foot. Switch to Clementine for toe. (If you have a shorter foot, knit until you have 4 Clementine stripes on foot and make toe with Buttermilk)

Pretty Little Toe (my hybrid of Round Toe and Flat Toe):
k 1 round Clementine
Decrease round: k6, k2tog around (42 st)
k 5 rounds plain
Dec round: k5, k2tog around (36 st)
k 4 rounds plain
Dec round: k4, k2 tog around (30 st)
k 3 rounds plain
Dec round: k3, k2tog around (24 st)
k 2 rounds plain
Dec round: k2, k2tog around (18 st)
k 1 round plain

Arrange stitches on two needles so you have 9 instep stitches on top needle and 9 sole stitches on bottom needle. KNit a few stitches as necessary to get yarn to side of toe. Graft stitches together (tutorial here).

Block to open up eyelets, and wear!


Detail of the Pretty Little Toe:



Genuine Sweet Alyssum flowers. Look, each tiny flower really does have four petals!


6 comments » | Blog, Free Patterns, Handmade

The Adventures of Sally, Ch. 1

March 10th, 2009 — 10:18am

The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse. First published in 1922. Read for you by Kara Shallenberg.

The Adventures of Sally

01 Sally Gives a Party – 00:39:06

This is not actually a children’s book, but it won’t do the little ones any harm and I think the tweens and teens will like it!

This romantic comedy stars a young American girl named Sally, who inherits a considerable fortune and finds her life turned upside down. The typically Wodehouseian cast includes Sally’s ambitious brother, an assortment of theater people, a pair of English cousins, and, of course, an Uncle.

I’ll post another chapter next Monday.

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

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

The Adventures of Sally

March 9th, 2009 — 10:43am

I’ve just finished recording another free audiobook for LibriVox: The Adventures of Sally, by P. G. Wodehouse

I’m going to add it to my podcast feed. It’s not strictly a children’s book, but it won’t do the kids any harm and I think the tweens and teenagers will like it!

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Dan’s gloves

March 8th, 2009 — 9:58am

Dan’s hands get cold while he’s computing, and, though my usual “gamer gloves” are like chopped-off mittens, he wanted his fingers to be almost completely covered, so I knit him some fingertip-less gloves based on the Annemor #10 pattern from Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition. Marvelous book, by the way.

Yarn: Knitpicks’ Palette, black and gray, exactly 50 grams total for the pair.

Needles: Size 00 for the wrist ribbing (I worked 5 or 6 rounds), size 0 for the wrist, size 1 for the hand and fingers, size 0 for the finger ribbing.

Pattern: Annemor #10 from Selbuvotter

These gloves on Ravelry

It took me a while to get the first glove done because I had some gauge issues and had to rip back several times. I started out knitting at my usual loose tension on size 0 needles, but the wrist was way too baggy. Then I started over knitting tightly on the 0s, got up to the finger divisions, and the hand was too tight. Ripped back again to the end of the wrist and switched to size 1 needles and a sort of medium tension and it worked out fine. There are not enough stitches charted for the 13-stitch finger pattern to work out, so I had to get creative and redistribute things differently and do a couple of m1s here and there, but it all worked out ok. The second glove worked up really fast! Dan loves them and they keep his hands nice and warm while he’s running around Azeroth.

(If you’d rather look at the photos on flickr, they start here:

5 comments » | Blog, Handmade

edging chart

March 2nd, 2009 — 12:51pm

By popular demand, here’s a chart for the edging I used on Kathy’s Stole. It’s a heavily modified version of an antique edging I found online somewhere. The original was twice as wide and didn’t use nicely balanced decreases. Enjoy!


1 comment » | Blog, Free Patterns, Handmade

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