Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lace Knit Along Update

So I've completely changed my mind about what to knit. I am knitting the Cold Mountain Stole by Kieran Foley from the summer 2009 issue of Knitty. I'm not much into girly lace and I'm growing sick of socks because of the current pair I'm knitting, so I did a total knitting turn around. This stole is right up my alley and would work with yarns and supplies that I already have.




I tried using my red merino wool cashmere blend, which I have tons of, but I have found that if I pull it too tight it breaks. I suspect this would be a problem with any one-ply cashmere, so I'm just going to be careful with it. I think red would work extremely well with this pattern. Another option, but one that would take a bit more time, is that I have a 100% silk sweater with 4 ply lace weight yarn that I haven't unraveled yet. It's a salmon color, which isn't a fav of mine, but silk is incredibly strong - oh, and it's silk. BUT, I probably could make a boatload of money off of 100% silk laceweight, so I think I'll go with the red (stream of consciousness writing helps solve so many problems, I've found).

So that's it. Will be casting on Monday! Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Another vintage book

This book is a copy of a limited edition of books that Andy Warhol put out entitled "15 cats named Sam and One Blue Pussy." I Know what you are thinking but yes, it is a play on words - after all, this is Andy Warhol we are talking about! There is no narrative to the book, just pictures, so that is what I'm giving you today.







Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Simple Things

The crisis in Haiti is bringing out rare character in people. Christina of Soul Aperture is sending $1 to Doctors Without Borders for each blog that writes about The Simple Things in life. Write your post, comment on her blog, and participate in this worthy cause.

Simple Things


The beautiful blue of a robin's egg

An old chenille robe

The iridescence of a dragonflies wing

A fresh peach, just off of the tree

Fading Mail Pouch Tobacco signs on old barns

cmpbarns, photobucket

A house wren, small and plain, with the most brilliant song

A stand of wild tiger lilies

Peeling bark on a birch tree

eliahd24, photobucket

A fresh box of crayons

The contented purr of a cat

Hot apple pie

Red, white, and blue

A dog lying on its back, waiting to have its belly scratched

Mason jars full of flowers

erinfrichtl, photobucket

Warm towels

That patch of sun on the ground, and the cat lying in it

Origami swans

Children's laughter

A red door

cosmonaut1959, photobucket

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Putting William to bed tonight I paid attention a little more closely.

I watched his fingers trace the letters as I read Curious George.

I feel his hair against my cheek - silky and smooth.

How he snuggles into my arm, close to my side. I hug him a little tighter.

He twirls my hair while I read. His button nose scrunches and he yawns from his toes. He has always fought sleep.

I turn off the light and he falls asleep.


I try to push this moment deep into my heart. I wish my eyes were cameras so I will never forget what he looks like when he sleeps.


Because the day will come when he reads on his own.

When he won't want snuggles and won't twirl my hair.

When his button nose will grow away.

When he won't want me to hold him when he sleeps.


So I hold him a little longer than I should, listen to him breathe for a little too long.

Because I love him and that's all I can do.


Finally, some Knitting Stuff!

So I haven't written about my knitting in a while; I thought I'd let you know what is going on in my little yarnie world.

First, I am knitting a pair of socks. After looking through Ravelry's free sock patterns FOREVER, I decided to knit the Spiral Eyelet Sock by Sandi Rosner. It seemed a good pattern for a self-striping sock yarn; I'm using Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Yarn in Thyme. It's a pretty good yarn (Merino Wool and Bamboo for $3.29 a skein), and I love the colors,except that I've found that if I'm not careful it does split. It's easy on the hands, and it is really soft, so overall, I'm pretty happy with it!


I am really slow with socks. I don't know if it's because the stitches are so tiny, but I'm not one of those that can knit a sock in a day. Also, William may have something to do with it - almost three-year-olds tend to want your attention all of the time. But I figure this is good prep for Kate's Lace Knit Along, for which I have decided to knit Absinthe, which is a toe-up sock (I may be crazy, but it's all about challenging myself, you know??).


So I unraveled a sweater made of fingering weight yarn in merino wool and cashmere and there is more than enough for a pair of socks (once I get to it, I'm going to list the rest on Howard Knits). It is red, however, so I'm going to have to think of another name for my Absinthe socks - perhaps "Opium?"


Finally, a few weeks a go, I won a $35 gift certificate from Becky of Needles of Iron to her etsy shop Atomic Sisters. It's a great shop, and I opted for 250 yards of homespun natural black alpaca, which I got in the mail a few days ago and is totally divine!!! I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet; right now I'm just squeezing it and petting it and thinking how lucky I am to have won such lovely yarn! Thanks, Becky!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

My journey with Proust

So, in light of all the Proust discussions, I have decided to read Remembrance of Things Past. And to read it slowly and let it tumble around in my head - not like the mad dash of college when it had to be read by such and such date and , My God, how am I going to read all of this???!!!


Perhaps I'll take you on a journey with me. Perhaps you can come along with me.

Oh, and here is the grave upon which the Madeleine was placed. It's in Pere Lachaise cemetery and you should visit it sometime. It is amazingly beautiful, full of feral cats (including a ginger tabby who bit me on the nose that I named Mr. Puddintaine) and lush trees, and higgeldy piggely cobblestones. You'd also be able to see the final resting places of Heloise and Abelard, Chopin, Poulenc, and Modigliani, oh, and that rock star from The Doors. AND, you'll be in PARIS!


I love cemeteries. I suppose I should save this for a Wednesday post, but I do love them. I don't find them creepy, I find them peaceful and quiet and beautiful. I wasn't prepared for how beautiful Pere Lachaise would be. I snatched a few photos off of photobucket to prove it to you.






Friday, January 22, 2010

The Coolest Bracelets/ My Husband is Open for Business

The Coolest Bracelets Ever

So I have a Facebook account (who doesn't?) and one day I saw that my High School friend Jeanna was selling jewelry on etsy. So I HAD to check out her shop. And I found THE COOLEST BRACELETS EVER.


Guitar strings make amazing bracelets! Who knew? Apparently Jeanna. Anyhow, these are phosphor bronze strings for an acoustic guitar. And the bracelet will come in the pouch that the strings originally came in. My teenage son and daughter thought it was extremely cool, too. All for $14.


There are several varieties of bracelets available, as well as other pieces of jewelry. Jeanna's etsy shop is called Fox Designs Jewelry and is well worth a visit.

My Husband is Open For Business

In other consumer type news, I finally got the website up and running for my husband's business, No Sweat Odor and Sweat Eliminators. We've had nothing but great reviews from the people we've had testing them, which include a teenage girl with shoes so stinky her mom can't go into her room without gagging, my father-in-law who runs, works out, and apparently has stinky gym shoes, and our daughter, who uses them both to stretch out and keep her skates dry and smelling good. There are more, and yes, it's a biased group, but these things really work!


They can be used in shoes, boots, gloves, helmets, gym bags, lockers, closets - you get the picture. And they are hand made with loving care and attention to detail by my husband.


So check us out, stop by the website (which still has a minor bug or two but is totally functional), and see what I've been doing with my time when I'm not blogging, knitting, mommying, wifing, and keeping a lovely house!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Toulouse-Lautrec: The Art of Cuisine

So I thought I'd share some of my treasures with you. This cookbook by Toulouse-Lautrec and Maurice Joyant is one of my absolute favorite books. It is filled with art by the artist and is, most definitely, a serious cookbook. Toulouse-Lautrec was apparently well known for hosting lavish dinner parties and this book was a result of his gourmet prowess.


The book is supposedly filled with Toulouse-Lautrec's most requested recipes. A delightful thing about the book is that most pages also are illustrated by the great artist. Here, a recipe for Roast Turkey for a Shooting Lunch:


Dindon Roti Pour Dejeuner de Chasse
"For a 14 lb. turkey use 1 lb. each ground beef, veal, and sausage meat and 1/2 lb. chestnuts. If no boudin (blood sausage), chop turkey liver and 3 chicken livers, sauteed, plus 1/2 lb. extra sausage meat."

Each section (game meats, desserts, vegetables) is introducted with a full color painting:


And then there is my favorite section, Ultima Ratio Finis, which includes recipes for Grasshoppers Grilled in the Fashion of Saint John the Baptist, Saint on the Grill, and Ancient Recipe.


Saint sur la Gril
"With the help of the Vatican try to procure for yourself a real(!) saint.

Treat him as St. Lawrence was treated on August tenth, A.D. 258. When you have whipped him, lay him on the grill over a big bed of charcoal. Like his predecessor, if he is a real saint, he himself will ask to be turned over in order to be grilled to a turn on both sides"

This is one of my favorite books and believe it of not, Amazon has a few copies of it. The new copy is $75.00, but the collectible copies sell for much less. Here's a link of you are interested. I promise that if you are an art lover and/or a cook, you will get hours of enjoyment from this amazing book!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Love: Old Books

One of my favorite spots to waste away a day is a musty, crammed to the rafters used books store. I love the dust. I love the way the books feel when you open them, the slight yellowing of the pages, even that slight smell of mildew that comes from a long stored treasure.

Walk into a store like this with me and count your day gone. I will not be leaving soon. Who Knows what treasures await?


When I was a child, I found a medical textbook from the 1800's. "Chill Blane" was a diagnosis. So was "Histrionic Female."

Perhaps I will find a new addition to my ever growing Wonder Book and My Book House collection. I read these over and over again as a child, somehow parted ways with them, and am slowly reacquiring them.


In Paris, a French biography of Marcel Proust (that I can't read as my french is not good enough) with a beautiful red leather cover. This the same day I placed a Madeleine on his grave site.

jleeson21, photobucket

In New Orleans, the complete Remembrance of Things Past to add to my Proust obsession. In England, first editions for my mom's Miss Read collection. The journals of a Country Doctor. A cookbook by Toulouse Lautrec in which "Grilled Saint on a Stick" is an entree.

My great grandmother's copy of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Tennyson's poems. My mom's High School year book.

StarGazer806, photobucket

I Love Old Books.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lace Knit Along

Now here is something that I am excited about! Kate Creates is hosting an
Adventures in Lace Knit Along
which I've joined. I am not good at knitting lace. In fact, I pretty much suck at it. It's one of those things that I've thought I really needed to work on. So what better way to improve my skill than join a knit along hosted by one of my favorite bloggers?


The rules are simple (you can't complain about these!):

1. You can use any pattern.
2. You can use any yarn you wish.
3. You must have fun.
4. Anyone can join at anytime - there are no deadlines.
5. There are no more rules.

Here are the patterns that I am considering. I could only get tiny pics of them, but I've placed their Rav links below. What should I knit? They are all so beautiful!

Absinthe by Sara Morris

Vent d'est vent d'ouest by Marie Adeline Boyer

Woodland Lace Socks by Keere Ann

Victorian Lace Scarf by Rachel Leverton

Baudelaire by Cookie A.

So I'm really excited! First, I've never knit a pair of socks that I actually liked, second, I have so much yarn for this type of thing it's ridiculous, and finally, maybe I'll knit some lace that actually had holes in it!

Son of a Preacher Man

Today we must remember one of the greatest figures in America, Martin Luther King, Jr. Our America, our world, would not be the same had he not walked it. There were other great figures who fought segregation, and I believe that they could have gotten the job done - Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks in her heroic act, W. E. B. Du Bois, but is seems that none of them had the charisma, the words, the voice that Dr. King had.


I've always been fascinated by Martin Luther King, Jr, minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, PhD in systematic theology from Boston University, son of Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. His sermons were Powerful. He preached forgiveness, love, grace. His words are just as relevant today as they were when he first said them. Here is an excerpt from "Loving Your Enemies":


Because of the power and influence of the personality of this Christ, he was able to split history into a.d. and b.c. Because of his power, he was able to shake the hinges from the gates of the Roman Empire. And all around the world this morning, we can hear the glad echo of heaven ring:

Jesus shall reign wherever sun,
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom spreads from shore to shore,
Till moon shall wane and wax no more.

We can hear another chorus singing: "All hail the power of Jesus name!"
We can hear another chorus singing: "Hallelujah, hallelujah! He’s King of Kings and Lord of
Lords. Hallelujah, hallelujah!"
We can hear another choir singing:

In Christ there is no East or West.
In Him no North or South,
But one great Fellowship of Love
Throughout the whole wide world.

This is the only way.


And our civilization must discover that. Individuals must discover that as they deal with other individuals. There is a little tree planted on a little hill and on that tree hangs the most influential character that ever came in this world. But never feel that that tree is a meaningless drama that took place on the stages of history. Oh no, it is a telescope through which we look out into the long vista of eternity, and see the love of God breaking forth into time. It is an eternal reminder to a power-drunk generation that love is the only way. It is an eternal reminder to a generation depending on nuclear and atomic energy, a generation depending on physical violence, that love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power in the universe.

(Loving Your Enemies, November 17 1957)


Dr. King had a thousand reasons to stop his ministry. He was shot at multiple times. He was beaten, jailed, spit upon. People who were ignorant of his message shouted obscenities, cruel, cruel words at a man who's heart they didn't understand and who's skin color they didn't approve of . He had a beautiful family that loved him fervently. Yet he didn't stop. He lived his life modeling Jesus Christ. He believed so passionately in his mission as a pastor and a peace maker that when death seemed imminent, he went on. We all know what happened. He became a modern martyr for a cause that could no longer be ignored. Yet Dr. King continues to live on, through his legacy and his words. Let us all remember with reverence Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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