~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny at small things

Well, good morning …

Last week’s yarn-along had us all doing the happy dance because we finally had a snow-day … with a good few inches of snow (total was about 8-10 here) and dh home for the day and all was right with the world. But when the power (and internet and cable and all access to the outside except our rather “dumb” cell phones) went keflooey at 11:00 a.m. … we weren’t laughing so much. By Friday afternoon, 50+ hours later, we had power, internet and access to the outside world (but still the “dumb” phones). I have requisitioned a “smart” phone … dh is looking at the budget.

But enough of the past … y’all come to see the knitting and books!

Yarn-along - March 13, 2013

Yarn-along – March 13, 2013

We’ve been busy around here as now the weather is warming up nicely (60s last Sunday, 50s today … with no snow in sight) and the annual Spring Cleaning already starting. What with trying to do the domestic-goddess thing (which I’m not good at, but I do try) and Kit wanting to do a class on home economics next year in our homeschool, my mind and library/online searches have turned to “domestic science” books … this is particularly of interest as the economy continues to tank and our budgetary funds keep getting smaller.

Here are three of the books I’ve been reading this week:

  1. Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World by Kelly Coyne & Erick Knutzen is a fascinating read about making it yourself; self-sufficiency and homemade solutions to all that life throws at you are covered in this book. So far so good!
  2. Homegrown and Handmade: a practical guide to more self-reliant living by Deborah Niemann is similar, but a little more intense; this was one Ginny recommended on her yarn-alongs a while back. We don’t have as much land as Ginny, so much of the benefit of this book for me is the dreaming of “some day”. The info is interesting and well-laid out though; it’s all good.
  3. Simple Home Solutions from the editors of Martha Stewart Living is packed with little tips and tricks for home-making: how best to mince garlic, organizing and home storage, working in the garden, etc. Some people are quite emotional about old Martha — they either love her or hate her. Me? I like her presentation, the “look” and feel of what she’s suggesting and I always find myself saying “I didn’t know that” or “hey, that could work”. Just my $.02!
    • If you know of any other good home-ec/self-sufficient living/belt-tightening homemaking books … please share in the comments. I’ll be putting together the class for Kit, so ANY (and all) help y’all can be would be most appreciated ….

      As for our read-aloud … with the power out most of last week, we pretty much just huddled together near the gas logs and read through our ever-growing collection of Professor Noggins cards. These are a great way to learn about, review or just get interested in all kinds of various subjects. We have world countries, mythic creatures, American Revolution, Birds of North America, and others … a rather eclectic mix that kept us interested while waiting for the power to kick on. We did finish Borrowed House and worked our way very quickly through Anne Frank: A Life in Hiding. Linking the two stories about life in Amsterdam from two very different German girls’ perspectives really made the brutality of Nazism and the Holocaust come to life for the kids without having to delve too deeply into man’s inhumanity to man.

      Close-up of Spring Shawl

      Close-up of Spring Shawl

      Our new read-aloud, that we’ll start today is one that HamBone has been wanting me to read for ages … The Brotherband Chronicles book 1: The Outcasts. We love the way Flanagan writes — in fact, HamBone and I read the entire Ranger’s Apprentice series and we’re anxiously awaiting the 12th to come out in October! His story-telling skills are amazing and the almost-historic fiction creates unique story-settings for Flanagan to really ply his craft. This should be fun for a rainy day read.

      On to the needles. I am almost done with a spring-weight, lacy poncho knit in a cashmere/silk/merino blend. I’m using three shades, with three different, but linked, lace patterns — all in the “fir cone” family. It’s fun and knit-in-the-round is going fast. This yarn blocks out beautifully so the lace patterns will show to best advantage. I should finish this one today … then …..

      As far as the cotton jacket I was working on last week … it’s all done! I have to finish drafting/grading the pattern and then Cunning Cotton Cover will be liveWell, seems some white smoke and an election took precedence, but I finally did get it all done and posted …. Cunning Cotton Cover is now available on Ravelry and Craftsy)

      … what do you think?

      Cunning Cotton Cover

      Cunning Cotton Cover

      Want to come play with us …. join us at Ginny’s …. I’m off to check for PapalSmoke!

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