Friday, June 15, 2007

Feeling Lucky?

Mr. M and I are minutes away from making good our escape for summer vacation! We won't have much internet access during our getaway, so it's probably going to be radio silence for the next two weeks. But we wouldn't want it to get dull around here, so how about this - a contest for some FREE YARN!?!

The details -

1. You can enter by leaving a comment on this post between June 15 and July 1.

2. You can get a second entry by sharing about this contest on your blog:
-include a link on your blog to the contest inviting others to join in the fun
-leave a comment here with the URL to your blog post

3. I will make a table of entries and use a random number generator to come up with some winners when I return.

4. Hint, hint - I may use some of the yarn from my posted stash (Ravelry users check it out - you know my name), but other surprise goodies will be included as well!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


v. the act of blogging about a backlog of events, projects and ideas that one has previously been unable or unwilling to post about. A common cause of long, disjointed blog entries.

Well, you've been warned ;) Here it goes!

My grandparents, my mother and my sister came to visit us last week. We had a lovely time discussing literature, eating local delicacies like onion sausage (note to self: must get a photograph of "onion world" sometime) and cruising the local wineries (yours truly= designated driver). There was lots of talking, and eating and some long walks in the park next to the aviary. Ahh, I enjoy my family so much! I went into a bit of withdrawal when they left.

Of course my grandmother (whose impeccable taste I have blogged about before) went with me to the LYS while she was here. She wanted to see the Habu textiles display I was raving about.

This is not apparently yarn - it is is roving. If I was a real fiber connoisseur, I would know all the implications of this lack of twist. Do you think it would like to be a lace shawl? I'm hoping so.

I thought these two would make a nice scarf, but when I got home I noticed that the mohair had shed all over the wool wrapped steel. Mohair is so seductive... there's just something about the halo. But if I'm going to spend a million years knitting a scarf out of thread, it had better be something very wearable. For me, sheddy is a deal-breaker. I have since exchanged the mohair for more wool wrapped steel in "mocha."

In other crafting news, my recent perusal of Etsy has left me looking for interesting fabrics like these. JoAnn's wasn't cutting it, so I stopped at my local quilting shop (LQS?) for the first time. That might have been a mistake. The fat quarters above may turn into a summer bag, and if the budget recovers sometime in the near future I may have to go back and get that cute cherry blossom print for a skirt...

On the home front:

In an attempt to make up to my husband for fixing him tofu for dinner, I also made him these

Drop biscuits from The Joy of Cooking (pg 633 in my 1975 edition). I make biscuits much more often now that I discovered that I don't have to roll and cut them.

And his absolute favorite (from scratch with fresh lemons):

Somebody must love that boy :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Afraid of all the right things...

Note: sorry for all the duplicate posting, I've been having trouble with blogger. If you'd like to check out my DESTASH post scroll down. Thanks :)

Today the sermon was on the mystery of the trinity. I think a mystery must be a difficult thing to preach on, and I appreciated the pastor's approach. He affirmed it, described it, and detailed the implications of our belief in it, but he was careful not to explain away the mystery at the heart of the doctrine. Instead, he reminded us that a spiritual mystery cannot be comprehended, only engaged with by faith.

Part of the pastor's point was that science makes us feel we can understand many of the mysteries of the universe, even when scientists themselves admit that there are many aspects of reality that may be beyond our comprehension. That reminded me of a Shakespeare passage that I came across in college:

They say miracles are past and we have our
philosophical persons to make modern and familiar
things supernatural and causeless. Hence it is that we
make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming
knowledge when we should submit ourselves to
an unknown fear. All's Well That Ends Well 2.3.1-5

The other day I caught myself lamenting that I don't know where I'm going to live in a few months, or what will happen with my job... but then I realized that no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Perhaps it is more of a blessing to recognize what it is that we don't know. Modern life has made it so easy to feel safe, to find "familiar" things that we ought to hold in awe.

Many people would rather ensconce themselves in false security than “submit themselves to an unknown fear” and for this I cannot blame them. Who wants to be at the mercy of a chaotic universe?

What this point of view fails to take into account is the sovereignty and goodness of God. He does not call us to fear the future, or to fear evil, or to fear death... but only to fear him. For to fear him is the beginning of wisdom. I am not the first to observe that a constant awareness of God’s presence, his holiness, his love… would profoundly change the way we live every moment.

If we fear God, we need not fear anything else.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Time for spring cleaning, not to mention I'd like to tank up the fiber budget for things like spinning lessons or maybe just a ball winder (my sock project is woefully immobile in its current state... hank draped open over the back of a kitchen chair).

For Sale:

A paperback copy of Knitting Marvelous Mittens. Please note that this picture shows my hardback copy which I am keeping - you will receive the paperback copy which is identical in content. The book is in VERY nice condition (tight spine, no bent or folded pages) but is not new. The book is legendary and you can see why. Great photos and patterns!

Prince: $55.00 Continental US shipping included.

15 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. Color Licorice (119). A nice tweedy black with flecks of grey, and jewel tone burgundy and blue/purple. Pet free, smoke free home. This yarn is pristine - unswatched! Enough for a nice sweater.

List Price: $8.50

85% Wool

10% Silk

5% Cashmere

Approx. 95 yds

Weight: Aran

Gauge: 4.5 sts/1 in

Needle: US 8

Hand Wash

All 15 balls for $70. Continental US shipping included.

Any interested parties may email me at englishmajor AT hotmail DOT com. Paypal preferred.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007


The front of Orangina is now finished.

It really is true - first lace is magical. All those bunched up, twisted stitches turned into rows of little vines and eyelets with nothing more than water and pins. The blocking process also added just enough crispness to the fabric to give it a structured, classy drape.

I am just now about 5 repeats into the back. My progress was slowed by the scorching weather we had last week. Really, it's enough to muster the energy to breath when it's 98 degrees.

Fortunately though, the heat broke when we had our first summer thunderstorm. Around here storms are apt to rumble a bit and give forth only a few scattered drops of rain, but this one was the real thing. We had about 45 minutes of lightning and thunder accompanied by a good downpour. When it cleared up a bit for the sunset, I got this picture of our neighbor's rose.

I'm using Mr. M's camera while mine is in the shop, so I'm glad I got this shot. The Kodak Pro doesn't have a fully automatic setting and it is much more sensitive to camera shake, so nearly all of my photos from this session where useless. As you can see in the knitting photos, my depth of field is rather hit and miss.

But this rose, with its damp and poignant beauty, was my chance success...