Spring Has Totally Sprung


These lilacs are on the table as I write this, and I occasionally lean in for a rejuvenating whiff. I also have tulips, and they are beautiful.

 I abandoned the Dan Brown book. I may go back to it later, but really, I probably won’t. Instead, I started The Hobbit again, on audiobook, which is my bedtime listening. Usually it makes me go to sleep readily, but last night it didn’t. Oh well. 

Yesterday I borrowed a Kindle book to actually read, The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by Kassia St. Clair.


It has been on my want-to-read list for a while, and I got it for free yesterday. Out of the blue, Amazon sent me a credit for this particular book; I don’t know why, but I’ll take it! I haven’t started reading it yet, but it sounds good.


My Aran sweater is progressing. I have the back done, and the front is 85% done, so in about one or probably two days, the front will be complete.

Then there are just two sleeves and the neck and sewing it up to do, and it will be finished. I’ll try to get it done by June 1.

Spinning has been really slowwwww, but I have only a little ball of fluff left to spin, and I have found as I get to the end of something that has been fun to spin, it’s hard to finish it. So, I have spun, but only a little.


My primrose throw which I have been crocheting has also been going slow. I got the top row of half-primroses done and four whole primroses in the next row:

It’s really pretty, but I think I need to finish the Aran sweater before I crochet much on it. Also I think I need to take it out to the table so I can make myself do at least one primrose a day, in the morning. That would be good.

 I found a little scrap lace weight yarn to knit on my scarf! Yay! 
I knit that bit of red-pink-orange-yellow, and now it is back in hibernation.

This spring we did a major overhaul of Stuff that was cluttering our house, put things back on shelves, and in the process re-discovered items that I had thought lost. One of them was this:

Such cute little sheep! But wait, what is lurking behind them?

It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, licking his chops! Yikes!

By the way, this little sculpture is also a box:

And inside, you will find the ultimate source of why the wolf was licking his chops:

... lamb chops. 

Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Keep smiling, keep knitting, crocheting, spinning or reading, and look up some good lamb chop recipes for supper.


I Have A Substance Abuse Problem

The substance is the chocolatey goodness that is Nutella™. For a person who has diabetes, Nutella™ is like a flame to a moth. If a jar of Nutella™ is in my house, given half or even a gazillionth of a chance, I will eat it, a large spoonful at a time, and that is A Very Bad Thing for a diabetic person to do. 

My diabetes meant that I had to eliminate it from my house entirely and forever. I was sad. :( 


But then the internet came to my rescue! I found that there was a sugar free version of the chocolatey hazelnut spread online ... but upon reading the ingredients, I couldn't do it. There is too much crap in it. To be honest, there is probably too much chemical crap in regular Nutella™ too. I fumed for awhile, but then I thought, maybe ... maybe I can make my own. Hmmmmm.

So, just for fun, I searched for recipes. Bam! There are lots!! Woohooo! 


And all of them had powdered sugar and chocolate chips! Booo! :(((


But by then, I really wanted my Nutella™. I looked in AllRecipes.com (apparently my  go-to recipe place online), and found this.  It was a recipe both time consuming (roast your own hazelnuts and take the wrappers off??? melt chocolate in a double boiler in this heat???) and filled with sugar. I laughed and ordered already roasted unsalted husk-fee hazelnuts from here and also dark chocolate sugar free chocolate chips from here too. Take that,  sugar and already-wrapped hazelnuts! 

Everything was ready. I put a cup of hazelnuts in the food processor and ground them till they were paste. I had to stop and spatula them into place a lot, but my fire to get sugar free Nutella™ helped. I added the other ingredients (I used regular granulated Splenda™, but you can use more natural sweetners too -- Swerve™ and Lakanto™ both have powdered sugar varieties, and there is liquid stevia too), and while they were grinding in the background, I put 12 ounces of the sugar free dark chocolate chips in the microwave on a medium power setting for 4 minutes til they were all melted (Ha! No double boiler mess!) and added them to the food processor and let it all blend together. The whole process took maybe 20 minutes.

I tasted it. It was heavenly! Chocolate goodness that I had known before ... well, it wasn't exactly the same as Nutella™ ... it was better! They used milk chocolate, mine used dark chocolate; they used sugar, mine didn't. And my Nutella™ used way less chemical crap too. And I added sea salt that was unground to add a salted chocolate taste, but mostly because I was too lazy to grind it up.

I am in chocolatey goodness heaven. Pardon me while I get my spoon. 

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Nutrition info of my recipe according to MyFitnessPal.com

Sometimes a Trip Down Memory Lane Can Be Pretty Horrifying

From McCall's Needlwork & Crafts Fall-Winter 1961-62:

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From McCall's Needlwork & Crafts Fall-Winter 1964-65:

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From McCall's Needlwork & Crafts Fall-Winter 1971-72:
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And now, a word from a sponsor:

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As an excuse, I can only say, it's cold. The frost has invaded my brain!

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Crasher Squirrel

It started when a young couple were hiking in Banff. They set up a picture of themselves with Lake Louise in the background, set the timer of the camera, and scurried back to their poses. A nosy little squirrel, curious about the clicking of the camera's timing mechanism, came closer to the camera. Then, just before the picture snapped, he poked his head right up, the camera auto-focused on him, and snapped the picture! He crashed the picture!

The young couple got quite a laugh over it, and the picture is very cute. They sent the picture to the National Geographic web site, the picture of "Nuts" the squirrel got popular, the picture escaped into the viral internet community, and people began inserting the squirrel into other pictures and posting them on the internet. 

You can read about it on the National Geographic blog, where you can also see some pictures of the squirrel that people have made. There is also a nice collection on mashable.com  (click here to link). And if you really want to get into Crasher Squirrel pics, you can just go to Flickr, search for "crasher squirrel", set the photostream to slideshow, and laugh yourself silly. 

Here is the original photo that the squirrel crashed:


There are many funny crasher squirrel pictures out there, but here are three that I really liked:




I think Crasher Squirrel needs to learn to knit, don't you? Or possibly spin on a spindle? 

It Itches!

Hahahahahahahahahaha I have not laughed so much in a looooong time, as I did when I opened my recent shipment of new books from Interweave Press. There is a really really funny book of knitting cartoons and jokes from Franklin Habit, and you have just GOT to look at it. It makes a great gift for any knitter you know! And it really makes you laugh. And at only $12.95, it packs a lot of humor bang for the buck!

We also got Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin, a great new collection of knitted accessories with a decidedly 1920's Flapper Girl twist.... very unusual and very fun! It's not your grandma's hats and gloves..... well maybe it is, but they are very coooooool!

And and and .... the Interweave Knits Magazing Holiday Gift issue arrived at Unique One today too! Wooohoooo! Get those needles clicking, you know what to do! And the yarn sale is on through Sunday! Wow!
The best thing is, Interweave has a contest based on Franklin Habit's book, It Itches! You have to count how many sheep appear in odd nooks and crannies through the issue, send in your answers to some questions, and get a chance to win an autographed copy of the book! There is also a Caption Contest over on Knitting Daily... make sure to enter!

"I'll Send Him Cheesy Movies.... "

Are you a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan? I am. I have been sad not to be able to enjoy the antics of Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, Crow, Gypsy and Cambot ever since the show was cancelled. Their hilarious commentary during Really Bad Movies was always guaranteed to make me laugh!


Now I can get that warm yet slightly unsettling feeling anytime, due to the miracle of mp3! Just go to Rifftrax and you can buy their robotic, inane banter via download, and play it along with your favorite movies and laugh yourself silly as much as you want! I love it!

Not a MST3K fan? Need more information? Go HERE. Or just read the lyrics from the MST3K Theme Song. (But its better if you hear it sung.)


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Santa Kidnapped by Martians

Here is possibly the silliest Christmas show ever made:
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!
(it is available to download from the web site linked to above.)

From the web site:
"Martians, upset that their children have become obsessed with TV shows from Earth which extoll the virtues of Santa Claus, start an expedition to Earth to kidnap the one and only Santa. While on Earth, they kidnap two lively children that lead the group of Martians to the North Pole and Santa. The Martians then take Santa and the two children back to Mars with them. Voldar, a particularly grumpy Martian, attempts to do away with the children and Santa before they get to Mars, but their leader Lomas stops him. When they arrive on Mars, Santa, with the help of the two Earth children and a rather simple-minded Martian lackey, overcomes the Martians by bringing fun, happiness and Christmas cheer to the children of Mars."


Holiday Re-runs :)

About a year ago I posted about a cute little Christmas animation I found on the internet.... I wanted to find another cute Christmas animation to share with you this year, but no luck.... so I am re-running this post from last year. "Ornaments" is just as cute this year as it was last year! Maybe you missed it last year or maybe you don't remember it... Enjoy!

There's a great little Christmas animation out there -- it's called "Ornaments" and it features a very cute Santa Claus ornament who really wants to get from the Christmas tree where he is hanging, to the coffee table where cookies have been put out for Santa. It's action-packed, fun, suspenseful and clever, and a wonderful amusement for children and adults alike. I love it. I highly recommend you download it, watch it, and share it with your friends. Here's the link:

Ornaments Movie -- Click Here


This is Your Life!

Okay, here's something scary you can try.

Pretend your life has been made into a movie... and Fate is writing the soundtrack for it. Fate, apparently, looks a lot like your iTunes music library on shuffle. :D

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)

2. Put it on shuffle

3. Press play

4. For every question, type the song that’s playing

5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool..

And my results:
1. Opening Credits: She Can Smell Another Woman, Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King
2. Waking Up: All Is Full of Love, Bjork
3. 1st Day at School: Requiem for O.m.m.2, Of Montreal ("When I met you I was just a kid...", heh heh)
4. Falling In Love:Write One for Me, Ringo Starr ("singin' 'bout a broken heart for hours and hours...")
5. Breaking Up: Its You Baby, Barrelhouse Chuck
6. Prom:Roller Coaster, Little Walter
7. Life’s OK: Let Your Troubles Roll By, Carbon Leaf
8. Driving: My Stupid Mouth, John Mayer
9. Flashback: Water From a Vine Leaf, Beth Orton
10. Getting Back Together: Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank, Barenaked Ladies (LOL!)
11. Wedding Scene:The Sky Is Crying, Etta James (no comment)
12. Birth of a Child: The Road to Hell (Part II), Chris Rea
13. Final Battle: As Time Goes By, Binnie Hale
14. Death Scene: I'm Not Waiting in Line, Train
15. Funeral Song: Cabin Fever, Super Furry Animals
16. End Credits:Energy Island, Jack Wall

Right. Well they're all pretty unrelated to the life scene, with the possible exception of Life's Okay and Birth of a Child, heh heh. Interestingly enough, the song choices themselves are not always bad... just placed inappropriately. For example, the Bjork song would have been perfect for Birth of a Child....the John Mayer song for Breaking Up... "As Time Goes By" for End Credits....

I considered doing it repeatedly until I got the "right" song for each number, or just going through my iTunes library and manually picking them, despite rule #6 which clearly states NOT TO. But... if it was to be about Fate, then I had to accept it. :)

Surprised that my playlist encompasses such a variety, from Of Montreal to Binnie Hale to Super Furry Animals to Little Walter? Then you don't know me that well. ;) And besides my iTunes library has over 3000 items in it..... so far. :D

(Hi Kelley! See? see? I'm writing, really I am!) :D

A Knitted Garden

From the Sept. 21, 2006 UK Metro:

Friends thought Jane Bolsover was spinning them a yarn when she unveiled her plan – to knit a life-sized English garden.

But here it is, accurate right down to the flowers and insects, even the worms and carrots in the vegetable patch.

>> Click here for a gallery of pictures from the knitted garden!

The project has been painstakingly completed by more than 300 contributors, including a group of gay men knitting in Brighton, and a 12-year-old boy in Sussex, who spent six months making the pond and waterfall.

Ms Bolsover, 46, of Dorking, Surrey, estimates her team made 4million individual stitches, knitting together 80km (50 miles) of wool.

'I'm one of the world's worst knitters so it has been a strange project for me,' she admitted.

And the 4.5m by 3m (15ft by 10ft) garden, on display in Exeter, Devon, is not finished yet.

'Anyone can come along and add to it as long as what they do is hand-knitted,' she said.