Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Being grumpy

It's nice to be grumpy. At age 69 I feel I'm entitled and my daughter says it's fine to be grumpy here on my blog. Yesterday I was very grumpy and today less so. I decided to let off steam on the Beadchat email group about people who come to me for free beading lessons for as long as 2 hours of my time. These are people who can't read instructions for themselves, have almost no beads and materials and just try to learn for free using the cheapest materials. They also never bead on their own. I met some of them at the local retired center where there's a lovely woman who teaches crafts and seems to mainly teach beadwork. She's really good too. But in 2 hours with about 30 to 40 women all wanting her help, she really can't do that much so some of the ladies seeing that I'm pretty good, try to come and visit me for help. They come with poor materials that are not suitable and are not interested in buying the right stuff. Some think they can use mine. One lady came without her glasses which she really needed as she had a high cylinder number. AFter quite a few of these visits I finally popped. Well, today the beadchat email group responded. I thought I'd be burned for sure and was very surprised to read the outpouring of support by other beaders who had also been burnt by students and people wanting to learn for free. I got a lot of good ideas too and the big one is to just say: no.

I also posted a letter to knittalk which is a knitting email group and here I wanted to write about a knitting book published in 2003: New directions in Knitting. Several people said they had bought it and others wrote they were ordering it and it was available very reasonably now. So I just might send in a few more reviews. I know that people prefer positive reviews so I need to take a look at my large collection and see what is there. Now that I'm alone again, and dieting, I often take a few books or magazines to read while eating to eat less and it also gives me time to go back over something I had forgotten about and say: wow, I'd like to knit that.

I had to go to the dentist today after hours of pain yesterday. The lady dentist said it's time to take out the tooth. It didn't even hurt and she hardly used any pressure as it was so wobbly. Then she had to put that horrible thing in my mouth to get the measurement for the new tooth which will be added to the stuff I have. I'm so happy as it will be ready tomorrow. No waiting.

And today it's terribly hot and heavy. I don't usually feel much from the weather but sitting at home in my usually lovely living room, I felt a slight headache. And the weather tomorrow is going to be even worse.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Potawatomi weave

Potawatomi weave is shown in the Goodhue book "Indian beadweaving patterns". It is similar to Daisy stitch but I think faster and if you change the beads you can come up with some of the designs I made in my picture here. You can Google for it too. There's a lovely pattern by Carolyn Pedrick called Twilight necklace http://silverdesign.com
Books with it are "A Treasury of beaded jewelry" by Mary Ellen Harte (p.20-21) and "Beaded jewelry with found objects" by Carole Rodgers on p.30. It is very good for chains and she has a few in this book. Bead and button also had something on it some years ago. I find it works fastest with larger beads and in more than one color. I did it with 11s in one color and was quite unhappy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My favorite chili recipe

My daughter asked for this one.
3 TB butter or olive oil
1 large onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound chopped beef or red turkey meat
1 1/3 cups canned tomatoes with juice or substitute 2 cans of tomato sauce
1 green pepper, minced
1 cup water
2 TB chili powder
1 tsp cumin seed, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp basil
1 small bay leaf

1) Heat the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic and saute until golden brown. Add the meat and brown.
2) Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 3 hours. If desired, add 1 can of kidney beans and just heat through.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Feminine knits- review

This book Feminine knits by Samsoe is translated from the Danish and the publisher, Interweave, has not bothered to change the yarns used. The cheapie way friends. Instead on p.126 they indicate where you can make substitutions of course using the more expensive yarns like Rowan. In addition the patterns are written for small sizes and generally don't give much extra width. Biggest sizes are about 43" around.
Now some of the patterns are inspirational so the excellent knitter (and why she or he needs this book I have no idea)can then fight with it and get the particular item they want at the gauge he or she wants. But after all that work, I say just use the patterns for inspiration and do your o wn thing and next time don't buy this book sight unseen. This book is best borrowed from the public library although here in Israel you can scratch that one too. And as for Interweave, well I've been burned before by them so now I will be that much more careful in the future.

The book got 3 stars from me on Amazon in my review and I think that was generous.

Knitting in the sun -review

I reviewed this book on Amazon and gave it 3 stars. Today I tried to figure out the yarns used. 32 patterns and pretty much 32 different yarns as well. I didn't find all of them but after a long search on 2 different yarn index sites came up with most of them. In the book many are not labeled correctly as there are different weights under the same name and the book doesn't indicate that so you need to check yardage as well. Already in this new book some yarns seem to be discontinued. The main problem here is that the book doesn't give indications of whether the yarns are worsted, dk or whatever. That's the old way. The new way is a cockamanie number system which is very useless especially if you happen to be a crocheter.
Since I don't live in the states and want to use my stash, it's important for me to know what kind of yarn is in the pattern as many of the yarns especially in this book are the newest latest thing. In general after all that searching I discovered that most of the yarns are either worsted or dk weight. But that doesn't mean that you will need the correct needle and here is t he big problem. Sometimes the pattern changes the gauge the yarn usually gets into something looser or tighter and if you want to make your item the same way, first of all you need to know what the yarn gauge is supposed to be and then figure out what you can do based on the pattern gauge. So that all makes this book a big headache.
Because of that, I now prefer to use this book and similar just for inspiration. Then I can madly go my own way. Now we are lucky here because this book has schematics and that is the key. With the schematic I can then do my own thing and try to come up with the same size. See? The life of a knitter just gets harder all the time.
And of course if you want to make your sweater a different size from the sizes here, well you're are definitely on your own. So therefore this book is not for the beginner who is planning to make something from it. In general she will fail.

Sabta's Polish red peppers

I dragged this pickled pepper dish from Sabta who came from Poland.
Boil 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar with some cloves and black pepper. Boil about 4 minutes and then cover and cook a few more minutes until peppers are tender. Refrigerate. Very good with chicken dishes

chicken and rice dish

I travel a lot and I need my recipes but don't carry them along so this is a great way to access them. Not too many. I'm basically low-salt and dieting although my blood pressure with pills is fine and my drs don't t hink I need to lose much if at all but I have to compete with what I see around me.
My new friend Ilana is Persian and that inspired me to make a chicken dish with rice. It's fast and easy. Salt can always be added after. This is enough for me for 3 or 4 meals as I only am eating 100 grams of meat at a time.
1 breast
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot grated
1 tomato, small pieces
1 red pepper, small pieces
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup white dry wine
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup uncooked rice
Fry the onion and garlic a nd remove from pan. Flour chicken breast cut up into portions (3 or 4) and quickly fry til golden color. Remove from pan. Now return everything with chicken on top. Add spices. Can be anything. I use black pepper, tumeric or curry powder and something called chicken spices from Schwartz. Add 1 cup uncooked rice and 2 cups of liquid. I like to use some dry white wine and water. Cook uncovered a few minutes. Lower heat, cover, and cook until rice is done. About 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

new c hair

This is my new knitting, beading and guest chair from Gary Alexander. Took 2 months, but it's here. The wood is gorgeous and the rest is black leather. It's a very heavy chair.

cotton top

I started this one very long time ago. now done.

Kathryn Alexander sweater

I finally found this project in my stash going back about 4 years. It's the Kathryn Alexander sweater with lots of entrelac using a kit of her great single ply yarns.