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Archive for March 2010

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1

March 30th, 2010 — 7:48am

01 – Down the Rabbit Hole – 00:13:16

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Hap Blanket

March 27th, 2010 — 10:18am

I’m knitting a Hap Blanket for a friend who’s having a baby in May. Such a simple, pretty pattern! I’m using Knitpicks’ Simply Cotton, which is a great yarn. Soft and nice to work with, and I haven’t found a single knot or flaw. I bought 4 skeins of Malted Milk (off-white) and 2 in Envy Heather (dark green).

My gauge with worsted weight yarn on size 5 needles is 3.5st/inch, so I’m modding the pattern somewhat:

CO 80 using provisional cast-on (the pattern doesn’t say to use a provisional cast-on, but it will turn out much nicer if you do). I prefer to counter garter ridges rather than rows. Double the numbers if you count rows.

Knit 8 ridges in MC, then 1 in CC, 15 MC, 1 CC, 15MC, 1 CC, 15 MC, 1 CC, 15MC, 1 CC, 8 MC (in other words, 15 ridges for the fat stripes and 8 ridges for the end stripes)

This gives you 81 ridges, so when you pick up for the edge, pick up 85 on each side (pick up a few extra, evenly spaced, to make up the difference). The edge pattern is a 12-st repeat (plus one st at each corner) so this will work out perfectly and you won’t even have to think about the extra pattern repeats.

Obviously, you don’t cast-off when you’re finished with the garter-stitch square. Just keep going after your last row and commence picking up edge stitches. Now you will be glad about that provisional cast-on because you can just slide the loops onto the other end of your circ and knit them as you come to them. Don’t forget that you need to end up with 85 st per side, with a marker at each corner.



Comment » | Blog, Handmade

baroque socks

March 26th, 2010 — 10:56am

I finished the Baroque Socks, finally! Now, I have nothing against the pattern. It’s well-written and certainly very pretty. And the finished socks are lovely. But oh my, they were not actually that much fun to knit. Terribly fiddly, so no good for casual tv-knitting, and I couldn’t seem to memorize the chart. If I hadn’t promised them to Mom for her birthday, I would have ripped out the first one when I was halfway through. :)

Needles: size 0
Yarn: Knitpicks’ Risata



2 comments » | Blog, Handmade


March 24th, 2010 — 7:29pm

Henry’s charter school has their yearly 3-day camping trip to Catalina Island this week. This is Henry’s first time going and he’s looking forward to it very much. The kids get to do all kinds of ocean-science things on the trip; sounds so cool!

We got up at 5:30 and left the house at 6:15 to get up to Long Beach by 8:30. We made it, even though we got stuck in some nasty traffic near Long Beach. Here’s Henry in line for the ferry to Catalina:


I drove home down the coast highway which was much more pleasant than the nasty freeway. Got home around noon feeling pretty wretched but lay down and actually slept for an hour and a half!

Now Dan and I are off to hear Rockola play and acoustic gig at a place near us.

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March 19th, 2010 — 7:50pm

Switched on the radio on the way to fetch Henry from Kung Fu tonight and caught the middle of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I’m not a big Vivaldi fan, but a couple of facts floated up out of my subconscious to the surface of my thoughts: red-headed priest, music master for girls at an orphanage in Venice. Don’t know why I remember that from long-ago music history classes, but I checked wikipedia after I parked and it’s all true.

Brenda Montiel, you were a good teacher!

1 comment » | Blog

Alice is done!

March 18th, 2010 — 9:56pm

My recording of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is all done. I’ll be adding it to my podcast feed, but if you want to hear it right now, here it is:

(As always, all LibriVox audiobooks are in the public domain and free to download, share, remix, whatever.)

This was so fun and easy that I got it done in record time.

3 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Pie for Pi Day

March 15th, 2010 — 9:45am

Yesterday (3/14) was Pi Day, so I baked a pie. We loved the apple-blackberry boysenberry pies we bought in Julian last weekend (did I tell you we drove up to Julian in the pouring rain and walked around and had lunch and bought wine and pie and had a lovely time?) and I wanted to make something similar but couldn’t find fresh or frozen blackberries boysenberries so bought raspberries instead.

I made the pie similar to my regular apple pies but left out one apple, added an entire bag of frozen (thawed) raspberries, and skipped all the spices.

So: five apples peeled and chopped, one bag of raspberries, mixed with a cup of sugar (this made a VERY sweet pie, could probably cut back on the sugar), a half-cup of flour, a half-teaspoon of salt (or so).

Pour into pie crust (I use a Trader Joe’s frozen crust). We like crumb topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, a bit more than an 1/8th cup cold butter. Cut everything together as if making pie crust; sprinkle all over pie.

Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then for an hour at 350. Cover with foil towards the end so it doesn’t burn.

It turned out AMAZINGLY delicious.



6 comments » | Blog, Recipes

This Country of Ours, Chapter 21

March 15th, 2010 — 9:34am

21 The Story of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe – 00:7:15

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog


March 11th, 2010 — 5:46pm

I’ve had such a hard time picking a book to record next. I’m still in the middle of the giant kids’ US history book, but I wanted to do some fiction at the same time. I finally decided on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (in English this time), and I’d like to do Through the Looking-Glass as well, and then maybe Tom Sawyer after that. Yes, we already have a few versions of each in the librivox catalog, but none of them are read by me, plus I love all three books and would just really enjoy recording them! :)

So today I got my Alice project set up (well not quite all the way, but it’s in the database anyway) and downloaded a copy of Alice into Stanza on my iPhone. And then I recorded the first three chapters. And just now I sat down to start editing them and got to the part where Alice doesn’t want to drop the empty marmalade jar for fear of killing someone underneath her… except the part about not wanting to kill someone wasn’t in my recording. So I double-checked against the text — had I imagined that part? No, there it was in the version I had been looking at on the web. But it seems that I had put an abridged version on my iPhone! It doesn’t SAY that it’s abridged anywhere, but it clearly is. Sigh. So that’s three chapters wasted. I thought they seemed kinda short…

Now I’ve got the proper unabridged version in Stanza so I’ll start over tomorrow.

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

This Country of Ours, Chapter 20

March 10th, 2010 — 8:26am

19 Bacon’s Rebellion – 00:19:01

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Funding Goal Achieved: Thank You!

March 9th, 2010 — 10:08am

Hooray! In only about two weeks we at achieved our goal and can now shut down our fundraising campaign.

We raised $23,000 from 433 donors, in 13 days, averaging $1,769 in donations from 33 people every day. We had a couple of big donors, who gave a few thousand dollars each, and many more smaller donations which all add up to: everything we asked for.

A big thank you to everyone who donated!

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Nice article about LibriVox volunteer

March 8th, 2010 — 9:13pm

Our own Adrian Praetzellis was just the subject of a very nice article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Way to go, Adrian!

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This Country of Ours, Chapter 19

March 8th, 2010 — 9:15am

19 The Coming of the Cavaliers – 00:11:30

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This Country of Ours, Chapter 18

March 8th, 2010 — 9:13am

18 – How Englishmen Fought a Duel with Tyranny 00:07:41

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Lovely album art

March 6th, 2010 — 12:34pm

Some of our very artistic volunteers have been creating beautiful album art/cd inserts for our books. Some are so appealing, it makes me want to listen to the books even though I don’t know anything at all about them.

Here are two collections:

And here is the art for some of my solo books. Clicking an image will take you to the catalog page for the book, where you can get the audio files, the album art, and a printable CD case insert! Aren’t they pretty?

I think KathyrnD made most if not all of these. Thank you, Kathryn!!

5 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

This Country of Ours, Chapter 17

March 4th, 2010 — 9:45am

17 How the Redmen Fought Against Their White Brothers – 00:10:24

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog


March 2nd, 2010 — 9:49pm

Sorry no proper posts in such a long time. I’ve been feeling quite rotten in one way or another for so long. Saw doctor and he’s running tests. I’ll let you know.

1 comment » | Blog

This Country of Ours, Chapter 16

March 1st, 2010 — 9:01am

16 How Pocahontas Took a Journey Over the Sea – 00:13:25

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