Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Afternoon with Leonard

As a teenager, I enjoyed ironing. Not loved it, but, really, kind of enjoyed it. As an adult, not so much. Not at all. I couldn't figure out why this was so until today. Of course, I haven't spent much---any---time trying to figure it out, since I have pretty much successfully learned how to avoid most ironing: put whatever needs ironing in an out-of-the-way closet and forget that I own it.

The ladies at Rants from MommyLand are looking for music to put on their new iPod playlist and I wanted to add my two cents. I thought: These ladies are young. I bet they've never heard of Leonard Cohen, so why not pass him along? I'm olderish, and I hadn't heard of him till a year or so ago.

So while I was ironing, I took my laptop into the room and played Leonard Cohen's music in order to decide which piece I should recommend. I was having a lovely, relaxing time ironing, and suddenly I remembered that when I was young, I ironed with music on.

Bingo! That's the secret! Today I was even disappointed when I realized that I was running out of things to iron---I KNOW! That is SICK! But now I can't decide on a recommendation: Tower of Song, I'm Your Man, Dance Me to the End of Love, A Thousand Kisses Deep, So Long Marianne?

I'll just have to listen some more, ironing or no ironing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It sure doesn't feel like it.

I keep knitting and knitting and knitting, and while that IS the point of knitting, I would think I should have made more progress than just these 18 inches.

So I will keep knitting and knitting and.........................................some day I will have a Summit Shawl.

I hope I will like it by then.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuscan Pot Roast

It's 11:00 AM and dinner---Tuscan Pot Roast--- is ready, sort of. Once it is all put together, it requires no work for the 8 hours it cooks. My b-i-l and nephew are coming at some point this evening for dinner and this will be ready any time after 6:00. All it needs is crusty French bread and a salad. I don't know where I found the recipe so that I can give credit where credit is due, but I'll share it anyway:

Hands on time: 30 minutes/total time: 4 ½ or 8 ½ hours, makes 6-8 servings
Egg noodles on the side will soak up the delicious gravy.

1/3 cup olive oil
1 2 ½ to 3 pound bottom round pot roast
2 large onions, quartered
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced (2 cups)
2 large carrots, thinly sliced (2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 ½-ounce package dried mushrooms (such as Portobello)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the roast on all sides. Transfer the roast to a 4-to 6-quart slow cooker. To the fat remaining in the skillet, add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables; transfer to the cooker. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add the contents of the skillet to the cooker, along with the mushrooms, salt, oregano, and tomatoes (plus 2 cups of their liquid). Cook 8 hours on low heat, or 4 hours on high heat.

PS: And a glass of wine. Don't forget a glass of wine!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


is older daughter and son-in-law's 14th wedding anniversary! They were married outdoors in Austin, Texas, on a perfect, beautiful spring day.

Happy Anniversary H & B. And many, many more!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I needed a quick, immediate-gratification project, and this Marley hat fit the bill. It is from Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Hat book, and I love it. I made it for a baby boy to be born in April; I started work on it at this past Thursday's knit night and finished it yesterday. Immediate indeed!

I'm still working on the Summit Shawl and the Juneberry Triangle, but I've gotten bored by the first and still a bit intimidated by the second. Someone (perhaps the shop owner?) had left this new Rowan book out on the table we knitters gather around, and I fell in love. There are 20 projects in the book and I love, oh, ALL of them! That's a lot of knitting, so I will have to narrow down my ambition a little...a lot.

I LOVE this!

And this!

And this!

Where to begin???

Friday, March 18, 2011

They're baaaaack....

According to this map, the hummingbirds are on their way back north and have reached Atlanta and beyond. I haven't seen any yet, but I just put out the feeder, so maybe.....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Granddaughter, the Reader

AGAIN????? REALLY?????

Rats. I only turned away for...oh...maybe one or two minutes. And Baxter took advantage of it.

I am making progress on the Summit Shawl, even though it doesn't feel like it. But this yarn is beautiful 100% raw silk from Tess Designer Yarns,
about 1800 yards of previously un-knotted yarn.

And now, as a bonus, what is left coming from the shawl is slimy. Ick.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Part two (seen at a MacDonald's drive-through)
(part one here)

I just knew it. He favors Jags.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wow! Lucky Me!!!

My associate has helped me to send your first payment of US$7,500
to you as instructed by Mr.James Gordon Brown the British prime
minister after the last G20 meeting that was held on December 27th 2010
in London, making you one of the beneficaries. Here is the
information below:

Last name: Britten
AMOUNT: US$7,500

You can track your payment online at our website
for confirmation purpose.

I told him to keep sending you US$7,500 twice a week until the FULL
payment of (US $360,000.00 Dollars) is completed within 6 (six) Months.
For track, send your

Full Names via Email to:
Mr Garry Moore

Unlike the sender, I realize that Mr. Brown is no longer Prime Minister, but I'm sure this is still official. Right?

Monday, March 7, 2011

137 Stitches

That is how many stitches I am supposed to have once I have finished Chart B of the Juneberry Triangle Shawl, and I just counted and that is how many I have! Victory is mine. And now I have to take back the words "I will never knit from a chart." As I have been told many times, it really IS easier to read a chart than it is to read stitch-by-stitch instructions. Now I consider myself a chart-knitter and worlds of lace are open to me. And no, this isn't the chart from Juneberry Triangle. I couldn't post that unless I wanted to risk going to prison for copyright violations, and I'm pretty sure that while they might allow yarn in prison, they probably don't allow knitting needles. I think those could be used to shank someone, if shank also means to stab with a needle and not just with a knife. My knowledge of prison argot comes from Law and Order and they haven't specifically covered knitting needles and shanking. This diagram I can post as long as I say it's from Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, by Kitty Burns Florey. It is an offbeat history of diagramming sentences. And yes, I do own it; and yes, I have read it, cover to cover; and yes, I really enjoyed it. Go ahead and snicker, if you like. The un-diagrammed sentence says, "Whenever a man in the banking profession announced his marriage to a circus pinhead, it was the custom for friends to present him with a bellows and a three-year supply of wax fruit." Just in case you wondered. But back to knitting. I can't show the chart, but I can show the sort-of triangle.

The picture below shows the lifelines or safety lines. I decided early on that I definitely needed them.
In fact, I have learned several things about knitting lace:

Safety lines---use them.

Stitch markers to define repeats---use them!!! If I don't I could be a stitch short for a repeat section and just blithely knit along, unknowingly taking a stitch from the next section. And then from the next, and then from the next, and at the end of the row...%$^&*(

Count stitches, very, very often...especially on a pattern like this one, where the purl rows have pattern in them instead of just being plain old purl rows. (Mean designers)

Really, really pay attention to which direction the pattern needs to be read from. The first time I used a chart, for the Autumn Leaves Fingerless Mitts, the chart was always read from right to left because the gloves were knit on double point needles. This triangle is knit on a long circular needle and so the chart lines are read alternately from right to left, then left to right. It's not fun to take out a row of knitting after I discover that I've just knit an entire row from the wrong direction.

Slip, slip, purl: Whoever thought that stitch up was a sadist.

That might be all I've learned so far.

On to chart C!!!