Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Oh sure ... I could be talking about Winter ... and I am certainly not disappointed to see the 66+ inches of snow start to disappear ... but the real news is that we are coming up on the release of the newest addition to the Madame Defarge series ... What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?

LOL So, tons of knitting fun and adventure ... I have already picked out my up coming projects. Go pick out yours ... there are thumbnails of them up on Ravelry ... I'll wait right here.
Right then! So, Have you picked out your first project? Yea, I know .... lots to choose from.
Before the book comes out though you can sign up for the newsletter which will contain links to a few free patterns and more about the upcoming release dates. And soon there will be a mitten pattern in the newsletter to compliment (I hope) the Ahab's Aran Gansey designed by Todd Gocken. That sweater is definitely on my "to do" list.They both make me think of long walks on the beach and a fine ocean breeze. Here is a sneek peek of the mittens:
A new thumb type for me ... and I am working on a pair using (mostly) the same pattern only felted. I should have those notes for you on a day or two. The great thing about these mittens is they are knit using Lamb's Pride Bulky and I can knit a pair of them in a weekend. So they make a fairly fast knitted gift.
I am off to finish the second one for the felting experiment ... here's hoping!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tis the Season ...

For lambs ... lots and lots of baby lambs. I have been up in Idaho helping a friend of mine with her lambing and I had so much fun I almost didn't come home. Here is a picture of the fun to be had:
They are so much fun when they are little. There was s suspected wolf kill about 2 miles from here the day after I left ... so the sheep have been moved up closer to the barn for the time being. The fire season was so bad last year that I suspect the wolves and mountain lions are running a bit short on options. But here is another picture to brighten things up:
OK .. headed out to herd some sheep with JennietheDog ... have a great day!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Has Anyone Seen My Life?

Seriously ... I feel like I do not have 2 minutes to myself anymore. LOL I am still trying to finish my Christmas knitting while trying to get things lined up for my 30th Wedding Anniversary. Yea, I know ... and BTW to all of those folks who were taking bets at our wedding that this marriage would never last ... HA! the jokes on you.
We finally have snow, Not much but it is snowing in the mountains quite a bit which is fine with me as that is where my summer water will come from ... and I don't have to shovel it if it falls up there. For me (and all of the skiers) it 's a win win. And I suppose it is possible that we could have a white Christmas.
However all of this snowy potential means that it is just a wee bit dampish around here and so not much dyeing is taking place ... but I have to get on it this week no matter what because the New What Would Madame Defarge Knit book is coming out soon and I have a pair of mittens in it that use my yarn.
Here is a sneak peak:
I love them ... I truly do. It was everything I could do to send them off to be photographed. And they are toasty warm which with mittens is always a plus. I am working on a pair of felted mittens now and that is fun if for no other reason than they are a huge floppy mess when you first do them and then they are a wonderfully thick mitten when they are done.
JennietheDog has been working on herding sheep. I will try to take pictures this weekend and get them posted. She loves it even though she is a bit slow on the uptake with it. It seems that her Therapy dog training has messed with her instinctive desire to herd ... but it is coming back slowly but surely. And she wanted to be sure to wish all of her friends a Very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Click Your Heels Together Three Times and say ....

... there's no place like home ... there's no place like home. And so we are back in the States and living close to our home in Idaho ... if you consider living next to The Great Salt Lake as being close. We have lived here before but WOW has it changed. Guess the Olympics wrought a bigger change than I would have thought possible. We are still not unpacked but I do have chickens and I have put in some pasture in preparation for spring lambs ... it's all about priorities.
We miss Italy so much it is unbelievable. Our friends there were wonderful and while a few have followed us back Stateside we have left some behind ... guess this means I will have to go and visit. Yea, tough gig.

Jennie the Dog hated the trip and hates flying now so if we were to move back overseas I will have to find a way to take a boat. LOL She is learning to herd sheep in preparation for the spring crop. Still undecided on what variety of sheep to get and if I even want to overwinter a flock. We live in a neighborhood here ... like I have neighbors I can see from every window in my house ... this has been a very tough adjustment for me. But they are all nice and seem to be ok with all of our little quirks. And I can start back up the dying business and that is good. I have a new mitten pattern coming out in the second What Would Madame Defarge Knit book and I have to say that they are my favorites so far. Those and the Winter's Stag mittens that I put up on Ravelry ... I like those too.
So, I am going to try to keep this updated a bit better ... and yes, I have said that before but all I can do is try. Here is a last picture of Italy ... one of my last stops before leaving ... Lake Barcis.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I cannot believe I have not posted since February! Yikes! But in my defense I have had company and the chance to do a bit of travel. That's my story and I am sticking to it!
My daughter came with her boyfriend and then a friend of mine from when I lived in Japan came down from Germany to visit. Also, Jennie the dog was swamped with work due to the current "War Effort" on NATO's part. She loves working with the troops ... better than the kids I think as there in much less tail grabbing. And they will throw her frisbee for her which is about all it takes for her to be your friend for life. So on to my travels.
This is the Castle Miramare where the Archduke Ferdinand and wife lived for 4 years before he left to take the Imperial Crown of Mexico where he was executed by revolutionaries. It is a small but stunning castle surrounded by an amazing park. A true jewel by the sea located just outside of the city of Trieste.

This is the view from the Salon windows. Every view is amazing. Also, you can see here the eagle and snake motif which are the symbol of Mexico. Trieste also had the southern most concentration camp that the Nazi regime established along with the Facists here in Italy. When it was overthrown it was discovered that they had tried to hide their crimes by burning the bodies of prisoners in the ovens en mass. They were exposed and killed. It was a grim reminder.
Trieste is an old city and has some amazing architecture. They are currently excavating some from Roman times that were discovered in the heart of town. The port is busy and so on a food note ... the seafood is great!
Next up will be Rome. But give me a day or two...LOL.
On knitting .... not too much. I did do a big dyeing project of some silk hankies that I am going to try to draft out and knit into a pair of mittens. I am taking tons of pictures and will try to post most of it together. The colours are wonderful and rich so it is a project that I can hardly wait to start. Also, one of a pair of knee socks is finished. It is a project for the next What Would Madame Defarge Knit book. Why I am knitting knee socks all of a sudden I do not know ... but there you have it.
So, I am off to the market ... but I am back to writing. So there will be more to follow. Later ....

Have you ever seen
All the world in a raindrop
But falling ... falling

geesh... still spell checking in Italian only. I am a bad speller in Italian, apparently, since the whole thing lights right up. LOL

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Book! A Book!

Monday would have been Charles Dickens' 199th birthday, and on that day Cooperative Press announced that preorders for What Would Madame Defarge Knit? opened in honor of the author whose formidable character Therese Defarge inspired Heather Ordover's book. If it's been a while since your last literature class, remember that in A Tale of Two Cities Defarge knits and knits, secretly encoding the names of people she will have killed. Vive la revolution?

And why do I care?
Because I have three designs in the book!

Don't worry, there isn't a murder prerequisite to love this book! Ordover, the creator of popular podcast CraftLit, has assembled an inspiring and thought-provoking collection of 20+ patterns, as well as essays and other tidbits inspired by literature, illustrated by the talented Jen Minnis in a black-and-white woodcut style that pays tribute to Dickensian-era publishing.

And if you're reading this, chances are good you are a strong supporter of small independent publishers. You may be interested to know that this book will be the first Cooperative Press release where all designers receive a direct royalty share of each sale. Our Fresh Designs series, which will be out later this year, is set up similarly. Instead of a small, one-time payment for their work at the beginning (and not a penny afterwards, no matter how many copies the book sells), designers have an opportunity to earn an unlimited payment for their work.

Visit the WWMDfK? website for more about the book's contributors and other behind-the-scenes information. As of today's pre-release, the book is 200+ pages, illustrated.


Signed, with extras. This is a special creation and will be limited to less than 100 copies, numbered. Shipping is included, as is a PDF copy of the book.

Add to Cart View Cart


Add to Cart View Cart


Add to Cart View Cart

DIGITAL (PDF) + PRINT ($26.95)

Add to Cart View Cart

E-READER EDITION ($16.95) (For Kindle, Nook, Sony e-Reader, iPad, etc)

Add to Cart View Cart

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pursued by the Headless Horseman ...

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has been a fireside classic for centuries. The tale of a gangly schoolmaster and the ghost of a Hessian soldier has set spines tingling the world over and spawned many dreaded fears of the dark forests. I myself loved the story and spent many childhood hours out in the forest with my father imagining all sorts of wild things happening around me.
Now it is JennietheDog who roams the forests of the Italian Dolomites with me. Wild boar crash through the undergrowth and the small deer that live here occasionally spring up and scare the daylights right out of me. But it is beautiful ... spring, summer, and fall. This soup recipe is seasonal here in Italy and served all throughout the Fall and winter. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Zuppa di Zucca
(Pumkin Soup)

You will need:
olive oil
1-2 T. butter
1 small kubocha or a nice size butternut squash
1 sweet potato
1 small onion (diced)
2-3 cups of a good vegetable or chicken broth
1-2 t. of maple syrup or honey (optional)
Garnish with creme fraiche, sour creme, or roasted hulled pumpkin seeds and a sprig of chives.

Preheat oven to 350 F. or 175 C.
Cut the sweet potato in half. Cut the pumpkin or the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Lightly coat with olive oil on the inside and the outside and roast, cut side up, for about 1 hour or until very tender. Allow to cool.
While that is cooking sweat the onions in the butter over very low heat till clear but not browned.
Once the squash and sweet potato are cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh and add tothe pot along with enough the onions and enough of the broth to cover. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Purre in small bahes in a blender or use a hand blender and ouree in the pot. Add salt and taste. If you would prefer it to have a bit more sweetness add the syup or honey. Serve hot with a dollop of creme fraiche, sour creme, or roasted hulled pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumkin Seeds

Lay a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a cooki sheet and lightly coat with butter.
1/2 c. hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 T. butter
1 t. sea salt ( I like the bits of salt but you could easily use kosher salt)
roast till they bigib to turn golden.
In a sauce pan boil 1/2 c. maple syrup  for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the seeds and a pinch of smokey paprika or cayenne pepper. Boil for another 3 minutes and pour out onto the buttered piece of parchment paper. Allow to cool and break into bits.

We eat these as a snack quite often which is why there are none in the photo above. Sorry, just imagine little golden brown toasty bits perched on top. There you go!