Editor’s note: The maaany links in today’s post should all open on separate pages. Should, but they won’t all cooperate & I’ve given up trying to force them. Just wanted you to know, in case you’re expecting them to all do the same thing.
As most frequent readers will know, the recipe above was altered when I made it up — I was looking for a spicy microwave cake recipe that didn’t require an hour’s baking time (in other words, a quick Raisin Spice Cake alternative). You can download it here.
I’ve been giving the above with spice variations a trial run. So far have made it twice, managed to waaay over-spice the first one (hint: 1 teaspoon of ginger, not 2 ), forgot the molasses the second time, but got the spice amount a bit better.
As usual, I only used 1 tablespoon of brown sugar rather than the 3 listed. Have yet to try it with a few raisins, but the chocky variation, which includes chips, came out nicely. So maybe a few raisins will be fine.
As mentioned above, this also chimes in with Deb’s & Donna’s monthly #WhatsOnYourPlateBlogChallenge.
But I’m tempted by this one as denims would “go” with everything. It’s James C Brett Marble Chunky MC10.
However, on close examination (hence the close-up), all the Brett Marble Chunky is probably 2-ply. But aren’t those strands thicker than the 4-ply of the red Vanna Yarn on the right (which I used yonks ago & still had a bit of)?
I know Vanna is not as soft as Brett’s Marble Chunky. Which might be why I’m not too keen on using any of the specified Lion Brand yarn. Aside from the fact I cannot find any colour I like. 😒
This might be an “official” holiday weekend here in the U.S., but having the real holiday on Sunday sorta throws me off, if you know what I mean. There were fireworks displays in some places on Saturday night, and other places Sunday night. I wonder if tonight will also be punctuated with pops . . .
But life goes on, and with it came this morning’s overdue walk up to the recycle center, right past a huge hydrangea bush. I couldn’t resist the photo op!
Seems about time for a knitting update, too.
I ripped everything out and started over, using the same 12 stitches cast on. I played with the alternating k2p2, p2k2 and didn’t like the effect at all! This yarn is so slubby and has different colours running in slubs as well as tiny bits of bright colours — totally obliterating everything else.
I found it very frustrating, and definitely not restful knitting. So I am back to the basic stockinette stitch of knit one row, purl the next, and am using where the tail of the yarn is to remind myself which row I’m on. Curling will have to be handled after I’m done. That’s the extend of my definition of relaxing knitting!
Now I might guess someone is gonna spy with their little eye that the felted piece above is attached to a large hair pin. Yes, an extra large plastic hairpin.
But no, I haven’t started felting –it was included in the package Sis#2 sent around the hols. She’s the master crafty person, dabbling in felting, eco dyeing, and a major knitter, far as I can tell. One difference between us is she has a house. With a back porch. And lives farther north, where it’s (generally) cooler than my apartment complex/state.
She also recommended a new author to me (Tony Hillerman), and although technical/electronic bits are outdated, the stories include correct info on various Southwestern areas and peoples.
Have I already raved about Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club? In case I haven’t, let me report I literally couldn’t put it down. Finished it in 2 days, and sincerely hope there’s a sequel already in the works.
As this is fast becoming too long a post for Macro Monday, I’ll love you & leave you, to report on sewing projects another time . . . hehehee!
Above is my completed, crocheted scarf… but I discovered another ball of the same yarn. So . . . . .
First, let me define some terms. I can only knit & purl, and I crochet/knit for relaxation so don’t often do anything with a pattern. Besides, with such a busy yarn a pattern’d get lost!
After I got the brown crocheted scarf long enough to finish off (see above photo), I realized I had that other ball of yarn, plus the leftover from the crocheted scarf.
So I decided to knit another scarf.
I started out trying to do 1 row knit, 1 row purl… then forgot which one I was on when I picked it up later. Now I have 2.5″ of what I’m calling the forgetful pattern… but the whole thing’s curling quite a bit, which I don’t like.
Do you think I should rip it out & start over? I’m not averse to that, and am tempted to restart with either all knit or all purl. The thing I really don’t like is that curling, which I’m not convinced can be steamed out, given it’s half cotton, half man-made. What do you think?
Yarn deets:Content: 51% cotton, 37% acrylic, 12% polyamide. Recommended needle size: 4 or 4.5 mm but I only had 5 mm.
Hello, Lovely Readers, and welcome to my Friday evening!
🌬 🌦 🌈 ⚡️ 🌪
We’re very much in see-saw weather so I’m flipping between fleece and cotton, with intermittent cogitations on corduroy & ponte — the season of “what to sew next?” But more on that in another post.
Before I forget ~
In case you’re peckish for something oaty but your recipes are calling for an oat type you’ve never heard of, have a gander at this page. It describes what American oat growers & grinders mean when they use “their” terms. Hope it sheds some light.
I always enjoy a jaunt with Joanna Lumley and was delighted one night to follow her around her own isle, Britain. You don’t have to have access to BBC’s iplayer to watch – just check out YouTube for her latest 3-part series, Home Sweet Home.
On a sad note – The hyacinth I’ve been photographing committed hari kari. Yes, this last ickle bulb, the runt in Aldi’s litter, always had a disconcertingly major bend in the bud stalks. That evidently became too much to overcome Wednesday dead-of-night, and it toppled off a high shelf. 💔
I haven’t done a thing on my blues blanket since pinning 2 of the 3 long rows together, preparatory to joining them. They got carefully rolled up, put away, and not looked at since.
Problem is I keep thinking I need to clear off my long cutting table. Sewing long rows together needs consistent tension everywhere, no? And to get that, everything needs to be flat, right? Any suggestions or hints? Am I being too cautious?? Is a monster trying to stop my progress?!?!?!?!
First, hello, Lovely Readers! How’s your week gone? Hope everyone is holding up under whatever rules & regs are in place in your space.
Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S., so Happy Mother’s Day to you all, but let’s extend that to all Mothers in any country.
And let’s extend it to all those Dads who’ve had to be both Mum & Dad.
We’ve been having wonderfully cool weather, and I’m sending a giant THANK YOU to Canada for shipping it down to us. ❤️ 🇨🇦 ❤️
It’s been heavenly — mostly breezy with low humidity and 60’s for highs. As we’ve really had no winter to speak of, the prolongation of moderate temps is MOST appreciated.
[Could we talk about repetitions in June, July, August, September…]
Having recently met folks who had no idea there was such a thing as raw peanut butter, which separates quite naturally if not stirred, I looked it up, and discovered our Northern Neighbours created it! Another reason to be grateful to Canada! 🇨🇦
🐸 Crochet 🐸
Crocheting continued until Thursday, when I thought I had finished the ski hat and could go on to the pompom. Then I tried it on. Oops.
The bulky superwash wool yarn I was using was bulkier and less stretchy than I’d bargained for.
Currently the cap would fit a very short and extra-wide head. Am preparing to rip it, and maybe do a scarf instead. . . .
Still unable to purchase whole wheat flour for my weekly loaf, I started reading about substitutions. Taking my own advice, I did a quick check on the Library of Congress’ website, wondering about flour substitutes. Found a few things that might be doable, if I can get corn meal. Both are circa 1918. You can see them in situhere and here.
Please do stop by either Su’s place, on the 14th New Zealand/Southern Hemisphere reckoning, or right here on Friday, the 15th if you’re Northern Hemisphere/East Coast North America, or both.
Come as you are, or in your best bib & tucker. No need to bring anything, but you can if you want. There’s always an interesting assortment of peoples and conversations about food, recipes, coping, whatever. But we keep it civilised. It is a Tea Party. 😉
P.S./ Here’s a closer look at that page with recipes . . .
[I see Comments have disappeared. Again. And there is no earthly reason for it. Have spent an hour double-checking everything. My apologies, Dear Ones! Click to this post and use the Comments.]
Left: Camel cut from old tablecloth, backed & stuffed for hanging. Below, Right, is the back.
Hope everyone has had time to rejoice and celebrate❣️
I’m taking this week between holidays to exhale slowly and let Life settle. “Digestion” takes time, and this year may take more than most. 🥴
But hands don’t have to idle, and to that end I have several yarny projects on the go.
They started out as it: a single ski hat in my TNT pattern. Details are here. However…..
This scrummy yarn has two threads of colour in a single strand. As I had doubled the strands, that frequently meant four different colours.
Ever notice how combined colour yarns make distinguishing the stitch pattern more difficult? I did.
After too much frustration searching for back loops, I frogged it, and started over, this time as two projects.
The very solid piece on the right, is single crochet. I needed a rest after the hat tussle. It will be a rug for a pair of pirates of a feline nature.
The narrow one below will be a tasseled scarf. And there’s always the “forgotten project at the bottom of the pile. 🤣
Tuesday I did my traditional Christmas listen to A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College (Cambridge). Thank you BBC Four, for carrying it live. Incidentally, if you’d like to have a listen, it’s available here for a month.
Hoping everything in your world is fresh and new and creating beauty for you to enjoy. ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️
Billed as “defiant art,” it was a fascinating journey from history into current art. What was very revealing came at the end… and spoiler alert… I’m going to leave you hanging.
The artist asks the interviewer:
“Do you cook?” she asked me.
“No,” I said.
“Do you garden?”
“Do you sew?”
“No.” I blushed, unsure how to justify myself and suddenly reconsidering my life choices.
“Well, you see,” Hicks said, . . . . .”
Leaving it there to point out she included sewing.
Speaking of which, ahem, about those buttons in the top photo. They’ve just been reclaimed from a never-worn blouse which I found whilst going through packed away wardrobe. Now that winter weather is definitely here… at least this week and last… I’ve just about completed that phase of my dream wardrobe makeover.
And since it’s also Macro Monday, here’s one more piccie. Enjoy!
Hello, Lovely Readers — how are you? Life’s been happening since my last post, so this is a mite lengthy.
Hope you’ve time to settle in with something cool (or hot, as appropriate to your weather) and stay for a catch-up, including some sewing. Yeah!
Have cogitated and cogitated over what to do with this medium weight cotton, of which I bought maybe 1½ or 2 yards. Finally decided on shorts with pockets, as my blue pair gets worn constantly at this time of year. How long has it been in stash? Ummm . . . absolutely no idea.
But I couldn’t resist it as it’s that wonderful tomato red that I love but can never find when I have a specific project in mind. Now that I consider it, I was probably thinking “summer dress” but after laundering realised it would be too hot, and stashed it.
At one point I thought “tote bag” and have a piece cut off for that, as well as what I assume were the handles, except there’s a strange “V” cut on one end. Wonder what I was thinking…
Anyway, this is finally out of stash, ironed, and might be cut out by the time you read this. (Not yet, but the pattern’s out!)
Remember that green & mustard ski cap I was working on last time? I got it out and looked at it, then counted my stitches and realised I’d got off about 8 rows from the start.
Yes, I was good and frogged it back, but that put a damper on my crochet ardour. That, plus the early onset of extreme heat & humidity. Managed late last week to pull out of the doldrums a bit, and am almost back to where I was.
See what the triple digit temps have done to the lovely hydrangea bushes dotted around the apartment complex? The roses are too scraggly for piccies and grass that isn’t on a sprinkler system is dead brown because our rain has been sporadic.
Looking on the brighter side… Heat means time to tackle the small unread stack of books on my shelf… and was delighted to have found one I’d forgotten I had!
Back story: Several years ago I discovered the British Library Crime Classic series and ordered Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay. I quite enjoyed it, and learned what a humpty is (a.k.a., hassock), as well as absorbing more bits about British women’s university years.
BTW, if anyone has a humpty pattern they wouldn’t mind sharing, please let me know (sewing, not knitting or crochet).
My forgotten mystery was another Hay book, Murder Underground, which also mentions a humpty.
(I’m blaming my humpty fixation on triple digit heat. That and a desire to stuff one with stashed fabric. Add a zipped top & it might be great storage as well as hassock.)
Hay has a third book, The Santa Klaus Murder, that I haven’t acquired yet just ordered, but I’m also looking for a nice used copy of Bats in the Belfry, by new-to-me author E.C.R. Lorac (Edith Caroline Rivett).
If anyone’s read any of Lorac’s books I’d love to know what you thought. Somewhere I read she was a witty author, and if there’s one thing I like to read in summer heat, it’s something humorous.
(Speaking of witty, just found & ordered Doonan’s Wacky Chicks & another Gerald Durrell. And that third Hay book, too.)
I’ve been puzzling over what to do with some of this cotton batik (below) ordered last summer from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago, but now out of stock. It’s heavier than I’d thought and has a funny sort of texture (possibly from all the dyes used to get the particular splotchiness of the pattern). I love the colours, but the texture put me off for a season.
Chatting over t’internet with fellow sewer Jen (Let the Sewing Begin) with fabric in hand, she thought it would make a good duster, and we talked a bit about what colours to wear with it. Afterwards I remembered a green linen camp shirt I’d found at a thrift shop in Arlington and got it out to check. What do you think—a definite maybe?
Lastly, a “goodness, I’d forgotten” moment earlier this past week when WordPress sent a Sixth Anniversary note. It’s been a tough time down here for most everyone, and I’m trying to buck up and stay more focused on goodness.
To that end I really really am valuing all you sewing bloggers around the globe. Reading your posts and seeing how you all are coping with a very turbulent world makes me feel not so alone over here, and sometimes even hopeful for a decent future. To that end, am sharing one last thing, which I hope will make you smile as much as it does me. . . . . . .
I finally read the last bits of Doonan’s book, Eccentric Glamour, and want to share a quote from the “Wallflowers and Big Stinky Peonies” section (p. 217). This might sound a little strange, but hang on as I’ve the perfect example below it.
“As you begin to stick your toes into the luscious lagoon of eccentric glamour, you will experience a jarring increase in the amount of amorous attention you receive… It is simply a result of how gorgeous and fabulous you think you are…” (Doonan’s emphasis)
If you begin to feel overwhelmed at such prospects, Doonan chides us not to “stay at home and watch “Dynasty” reruns…” Instead, he flatly says that is “…a waste of time—yours and mine (meaning Doonan’s)—unless you share it with someone… It’s a “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play” Liza in Cabaret kind of a thing.”
As promised, here’s one of my favourite bloggers’ recent posts that perfectly illustrates Doonan’s concept. If you don’t already know NYC’s utterly & outrageously adorable Marcy Harriell, also known as Ooonabaloona, click and say howdy.
HEARTIEST THANK YOU’S & CONGRATS TO ALL WHO’VE MADE IT THROUGH!
chunky yarn that looks different when crocheted – comes out in stripes!
see how this yarn stripes?
After a slight meltdown last weekend over wrong style hair colouring (it’s growing out), the whole area is now into a real meltdown. Unfortunately, my old air conditioner’s compressor protested Thursday, packed up, and left town.
In other words, no cold air speweth forth-eth.
With ‘feels like’ temps in the 90’s this is not something to mess around with. Thankfully, Maintenance was ready: They moved in a room unit so I could have a cool bedroom – yeah!
Then after closing time the supervisor came by to try his luck on resurrecting the old compressor one more time. Yep. He raised that puppy from the dead, and had the new one installed by noon Friday. Phew!
For which I am very grateful as this weekend begins some seriously hot weather… probably ‘feels like’ temps in triple digits. Seriously. Not. Nice.
What am I sewing? Welllll . . . I did get the thread changed twice last weekend, and sewed a seam. Does that count? LOL! 😇
But I have been industriously crocheting and even picked up knitting needles.
You’ve seen what I call the peacock colours currently and slowly being crocheted into a throw for the bedroom. Six 200 gram balls should do it, I hope.
I succumbed to a sale yarn, which is crocheting up nicely into a ski cap (pattern here). Am having to concentrate a bit more with this yarn as the two colours (green & gold) are twisted together to form the strand. When I single crochet into the back post (to create the stretch) often those two strands will appear to separate. But the acrylic is softly agreeable to work with so I’ll persevere.
The other has autumnal colours that are so enticing I couldn’t keep my hands off it. As soon as it arrived I knew I wanted to knit a long scarf and maybe crochet another cap. I love how the colours are shading into each other. It’s like working with soft acrylic angel’s hair.
Other than that I’ve been reading Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour, just finished listening to Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing magic of tidying up, and re-read a couple of M.C. Beaton mysteries.
The Kondo book is quite a different sort of organising book, stressing quite different things than other books I’ve read about organising. And I’m not certain I should have listened to it. Might take a look at the actual book to see if there are pictorial examples illustrating her methodology. I would enjoy hearing from any Lovely Readers who’ve read her book.
What did you think of her way of characterizing “things?” Am not certain about her concept that “things” all have energies of their own, and we should thank them for being in our lives and bringing us joy. Maybe it’s just a word thing, because I am frequently grateful for the joy of having the right tool for a job, or a yummy yarn or fabric.
A good contrast has been Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour (2008). I’d never heard of Mr. Doonan until Hila (Saturday Night Stitch) mentioned him, and piqued my curiosity. (Thanks, Hila!)
I found the book humorous, enlightening, occasionally upsetting, yet affirmative. I particularly appreciated his concepts and explanations of Gypsies, Existentialists, and Socialites.
A section with much food for thought was “Growing Old Ungraciously.” Considering he wrote this 10 years ago and Things Have Changed, I’m not going to quote anything. . . but here are a couple of brief ones just ‘cause I couldn’t resist–
“Confidence, not physical perfection or power, is the ultimate aphrodisiac… Children and dogs and God do not discriminate against people based on their looks.” (both p. 217, Eccentric Glamour, American edition)