Showing posts from September, 2010

More Magic (Not Really)

Step-by-step photos of knitting socks in the round on one circular needle. If you're like me, the concept seems daunting until you try it. Then you wonder why you waited so long. Hopefully the pics show just how easy this trick is.

A loop of cable on the left separates front (instep) and back (sole) of the sock. Needles are to the right and not yet in the knitting position.

Stitches to be knitted (in this case instep/leg front stitches) are slipped forward onto needle while the sole/leg back stitches remain on the cable.

Knitting the stitches. A loop of cable exists the sock at each side of the sock.

The instep/front leg stitches all knitted and the needle they were originally on now empty. Loop of cable now at right.

Move the stitches on sole/leg back onto the needle that has become free.

Slip instep/leg front stitches off needle and onto cable.

Begin knitting as before.

The final magic: slipping on a pair of socks that only need a few ends sewn in.

Not Really Magic

If you've been following my blog then you'll know my latest addiction has been to knit socks. I was doing them on two straight needles (with a seam) because I'd found that to be quickest but just recently I've discovered (wait for it ... drum roll please) the Magic Loop. Now, there's not really anything magic about it. You simply knit socks in the round on one long circular needle. The instructions I had suggested a needle that was about a metre long (um, 40" I think would be the equivalent) but I didn't have one that long. Instead I had one that was 80cm long (about 30") and decided to give it a whirl. What I discovered was ...

it works! It really works!

It's faster than knitting on two straight needles and definitely faster than two circular needles which was the technique I'd tried previously to knit socks in the round. Now I can knit socks in the round to my heart's content.

Well, almost. Sons#3, 4 & 5 want knitted socks and I'm h…

Some Simple Pleasures

Perfectly cooked toast.
A stranger's smile.
A rainbow.
Roaring fires.
Hearing "Hello Nana!"
Birds singing.
The scent of rain.
The grasp of a baby.
A freshly made pot of tea.
The smell of crushed lavender.
Watching the clouds move across the sky.
Towels that smell of sunshine.
Kittens (and puppies).
Chocolate cake.
Listening to music.
Long summer evenings.
A good book.
Handmade soap.
A sleeping child.
Clean swishy hair.
Starry nights.
Hearing "I love you."
Clean sheets.
A dog's slobbery kiss.
Fruit and vegetables straight from the garden.
Child's giggle.
Typing the last word of a manuscript.
The first daffodil in Spring.
Good friends.
A long hot soak in the bath (tub).
Comments in my inbox (and I want to thank those who commented on a recent post - I intend to reply soon but just want to say that I'm doing much better these days).

And the list could go on ... and on ... and on ... Add to it and tell me your simple pleasures.

I'm On The Short List!!!!!!!!!!!

Please indulge me for a moment while I jump up and down and scream for joy. A few months back I entered my novel in the CALEB Prize for published books. Today I received the email with the news that I'm on the short list!

Who cares if everyone who entered ended up on the short list (they wouldn't do that - would they)? I made the short list with my submission and I'll jump up and down and sing for joy if I want to.

If you want to see who else made the short list (including some well-known Australian authors) check it out.

Obviously Not Meant To Be

It all began when Son#1 wanted to help Son#2 tile his kitchen floor. I invited Son#1 and family for dinner and Son#1 invited Son#2 and wife to join us. No problem. This morning DH suggested we see if Son#3 and Son#4 wanted to come home too so that we could have a family dinner. Son#4 agreed (I'm not sure yet what Son#3's excuse was but I suspect it has something to do with a certain young lady even though she lives hundreds of kilometres away). DH then said to invite his mother which we did.

So ... a family meal was in the planning.

Then DIL#1 rang and said that The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#2 had been vomiting during the night and they wouldn't be coming in.

Okay. The rest of us could still get together.

Then Son#2 rang and he said his wife wasn't feeling well but that they'd still come.

Then DH rang. He was on his way home but had been forced to turn back due to flooding and land slips. He was told that it would be two days before the road was cleared! …

Insane Cake or Cake for the Insane?

The other night as I was trying to cook dinner, bake bread, and make hummus all at the same time I also had the wonderful idea of doing some baking for Son#5 who is currently sitting exams. He wanted Chocolate Chip Muffins but I wanted something where I could just plop all the batter into one tin and be done with it.

A quick search online and I found the perfect recipe. I don't like it when DH changes a recipe even though I do it all the time (as this next recipe proves). But when DH changes one of my recipes I feel offended!

Hopefully though the inventor of this recipe won't be offended. It's called Insanely Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake. I'm not sure why there are two 'Chocolates' in the name as the recipe only has chocolate chips in the ingredient list, but I changed that by adding cocoa - so now two 'chocolates' are allowed!

Here's 'my' recipe:

2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cu…

What Am I Worth?

In our society we often measure our worth by what we earn or own, by what we've accomplished, or by what others think of us. Recently as I've struggled with the task of examining my thoughts and emotions for truth a greater truth has slowly dawned on me. Instead of measuring my worth by what I see in the mirror or how I feel about myself or even how others perceive me, I've come to realise that there's another way of calculating worth.

I've discovered that in front of my name there's a great big zero. So great that there's no getting away from it.

But in front of that zero is not a dollar sign but a cross. Because of what Christ did for me on the cross, my sins have been taken away and are remembered no more. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my sins.

When He looks at me He doesn't see what I see - or even what you see. Instead He sees someone that has been redeemed. His outstretched hands proclaim, "This is how much I love …

Lowering the Mask

I have a little book in my collection titled "Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?" I don't know if I've ever read it from cover to cover - possibly because I know the answer already. If I tell you who I really am then ... you might not like me ... you might judge me ... you might confirm my [poor] opinion of myself ... you might not be my friend any more.

And yet there is freedom sometimes in letting the mask slip and in revealing who we really are.

Statistics show that in New Zealand alone 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience depression at some time in their life. If that's the case then there are a lot of people out there who are suffering and hiding it very well.

This was brought home to me quite vividly last night. DH, Son#5 and I attended a dinner for those who are planning to go to India soon to complete the building of houses for a village that was destroyed by the tsunami. I was sharing with someone why DH may not be going after all and she began to…

Spring is Sprung

While we were enjoying a gorgeous Spring day, residents of Christchurch were reeling from the earthquake and subsequent after shocks that shook their city in the early hours of the morning (follow the link for pictures).

Earlier in the week I had promised The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#1 that when she came on the weekend that we would plant up some pots but on Friday it was not looking like gardening weather. Even Saturday morning at the time the earthquake hit (and we woke with that sense of "What was that?" but not realising - we're a long way from the epicentre) it was teeming with rain and gardening still seemed out of the question ... but thankfully we were wrong.

The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 had her heart set on buying pink flowers so we headed off to the garden nursery where it seemed that every other person in town had the same idea on this beautiful day (i.e. to garden, not buy pink flowers) and bought pink flowers - along with purple and white …

A Smile

Over the past few months, as I've pulled out of my driveway each morning, I've noticed a lady across the road waiting to be picked up. Even on the coldest, frostiest morning she's been sitting on her fence waiting. Recently I started smiling and waving at her as I've driven past. At first she looked at me with that "Do I know you?" kind of look, but today she waved back.

It's just a little thing, but hopefully it brightened both of our days (I know it did mine).

Several years ago I would often pass a car after I'd dropped my children at school and the driver would smile and wave enthusiastically. At first I thought she must have mistaken me for someone else because she looked so thrilled to see me yet I had no idea who this lady was - as far as I knew, we'd never met. Yet it kept happening. I remember thinking one day, "Lady, I don't know you but I sure wish I did!" I later found out that our children attended the same school, yet we h…