New slippers

A pair of knitted slippers in green, brown, and black

They look kind of crude, but I made these slippers myself. The green and brown pair is for my son. The brown and grey pair is for his girlfriend.

A pair of knitted slippers in brown, grey, and black

Fair Isle pattern

I wonder how difficult it would be to do this? A Fair Isle pattern carries strands of yarn across the back of the work, so it’s easier than trying to incorporate yarn at every stitch.


Your weekly Charlie

The Charlie Hebdo (“weekly Charlie”) cover shows Mohammed holding up a sign that reads, “Je suis Charlie.”

All is forgiven: Mohammad holds up a sign reading, “Je suis Charlie.”

How to knit

I’m parking this here for reference: How to knit, from

Okay, I need more than that: how to knit socks.

Maybe I need this: how to turn a heel (from Kelley’s sock class).

This is very useful: the rest of Kelley’s sock class (playlist of 13 videos).

How to knit basic top-down socks on five needles.

Homemade light whipped butter

I’m stealing this from a friend’s FB page so it doesn’t get lost. Homemade light whipped butter:

This has less saturated fat and cholesterol than butter, fewer calories, it spreads, and it’s cheaper than comparable prepared spreads. It’s also delicious.

1/4 cup (four tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, grapeseed, etc.
1/4 cup Greek yogurt at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
drops of warm water as necessary

Make sure everything’s at room temp. A stand mixer works best, but you need at least an electric hand mixer. Whip butter on high for two minutes. Scrape bowl. Whip on high while slowly pouring in oil. Add salt. Continue to let whip for five minutes (really, all the way on high). Add yogurt while whipping a bit at a time. Use drops of warm water to soften if the mixture is clumping.

Let whip on KitchenAid mixer high setting for at least 10 minutes. Just walk away from it.

When thoroughly whipped until the barest soft peaks form, scrape into a bowl and refrigerate. For best taste serve in a mid-century pressed-glass refrigerator butter dish.

Books: Many Bloody Returns

cov-Harris-ManyBloodyReturns-photo-20150111This is a collection of short stories edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. The quality is good. Contributors include Jim Butcher. I got this copy from the public library by reserving it so it’s sent from its home library to mine.

I prefer the humourous to the horrific. These are the stories and a version of their author introductions:

  • Dracula Night. Charlaine Harris writes the Sookie Stackhouse novels. She also writes about Harper Connelly, a lightning-struck locator of corpses. Her Website is
  • The Mournful Cry of Owls. Christopher Golden has written The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, and Of Saints and Shadows, as well as the Body of Evidence teen thrillers. He is a coauthor, with Thomas E Sniegoski, of the dark fantasy series The Menagerie, the young readers fantasy series OutCast, and the comic book miniseries Talent. He collaborated with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola to write Baltimore, or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire. His website is
  • I Was a Teenage Vampire. Bill Crider is the author of fifty published novels and many short stories. These include Too  Late to Die, Dead on the Island, A Murder Among the OWLS, and, with his wife, Judy Crider, the short story “Chocolate Moose.” See
  • Twilight. Kelley Armstrong is the author of the paranormal suspense series Women of the Otherworld. Her website is
  • It’s My Birthday, Too. Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files novels about Harry Dresden, wizard, and of the Codex Alera series. Look for him at
  • Grave-Robbed. P.N. Elrod is the author of twenty novels and as many short stories. She is best known for The Vampire Files series, about undead detective Jack Fleming. She has co-written three novels with Nigel Bennett. She can be found at http://www.vampwriter. com.
  • The First Day of the Rest of Your Life. Rachel Caine is known for the Weather Warden series and her new young adult series, The Morganville Vampires. She has written many other books and short stories. Her website is
  • The Witch and the Wicked. Jeanne C. Stein is the author of the Anna Strong series, starting with The Becoming and Blood Drive. Her website is
  • Blood Wrapped. Tanya Huff has written over 25 books, including the Vicky Nelson Blood series, adapted for television as Bloof Ties. This short story is from the world of the Smoke (and Blood) books. See
  • The Wish. Carolyn Haines has written more than fifty novels. The latest in her Mississippi Delta series is Ham Bones. She also writes single novels, such as Hallowed Bones and Penumbra. Her website is
  • Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two. Tate Hallaway has written other novels for the characters in this story: Tall, Dark, and Dead and Dead Sexy. See
  • Vampire Hours. Elaine Viets is the author of two mystery series. The Dead-End Job series includes Mystery with Reservations. Her Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series includes Accessory to Murder. Her website is
  • How Stella Got Her Grave Back. Toni L. P. Kelner is the author of the Laura Fleming Southern mystery series and the Where Are They Now series about a freelance entertainment writer. See


Other ways of casting on

Besides long-tailed cast-on, there are other, more elegant, more confusing ways of casting on for knitting.

More cast-ons similar to long-tailed cast-on: The old Norwegian cast-on. It’s a good cast-on for socks, as it’s stretchier than a long-tailed.

Here’s a nice video showing casting on of knit stitches in the Twisted German technique.

You can do an alternating knit and purl cast-on, also called German Twisted. It’s very stretchy for socks.

Knit and purl cast-on

Finally, there’s Judy’s magic cast-on for toe-up socks.


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