Archive for the 'Book Reviews' Category

Warning! and The Prayer Shawl Companion by Janet Bristow & Victoria A. Cole-Galo

There may be actual knitting content coming up here pretty quick. I thought it only fair to tell you in advance, so yu can prepare yourself for the shock of it all. Today while Batman was doing his handwriting I finally seamed the BSJ that’s been under my desk for a while. He wants to help me pick put the buttons, so I guess that is now on my agenda.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing some book-looking, and today I want to tell you about The Prayer Shawl Companion by Janet Bristow & Victoria A. Cole-Galo. I know most of you are familiar with the prayer shawl idea, which was started 10 years ago by these generous ladies. I’m sure many of you have participated in such a ministry as well. I was in one briefly, but, well, there was this dog-in-the-house issue of mine, and it just didn’t work out, so I made a couple on my own and gave them out, and then I got out of the habit, and maybe I should get back into the habit, and maybe this book is just the kick in the pants I need to begin such a ministry. But let’s get back to the book, okay?

Prayer Shawl CompanionThere are 38 designs in this book, and 38 stories to grab your heart and squeeze it. This is not a book to read when you are having a bad day, because you will surely cry. Or maybe it is just the book to read when you are having a bad day, because reading about people who are watching family members die will certainly remind you that your lot in life is probably not quite as bad as you think it is right this minute. Not that I have pity parties, mind you.

There are several patterns I’d like to try here, including the Ad Lib, a triangular shawl with short row shaping, the Mystery of the Trinity, and the Heart Warmer ( I already know who’s getting this one!) and the Wedding Capelet (not in white, and not for giving away). Yeah, prayer shawls can be for happy occasions, too, you know! And my next scrap blanket? It’s going to be a Striped Stole.

The book came out today, and it retails for $19.95. Not a bad price for a book that will warm both soul and body! Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to Ravelry to update my queue.

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Online Craft Club #40 Book Review

Ok, I know I have posted (twice) that I hoped to have an FO for you today. But I do not. Lately my stitching time has been limited to what I can do while talking to my kids about school, and while that is about 3 hours a day, not all of it is stitchable time. And also, it maybe takes more time that I thought it does to use up yarn. BUT! Here is Belle’s Blanket, crumpled up under my desk, waiting for attention. Which it will get some of today. F’reals.

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To make up for this shattering disappointment, I have a book review for you. And it is a goodie. You will want to pay attention, becaaaaauuuuuse! I will be doing a giveaway soon, and this book will be one of the possible prizes. If you visited yesterday, those words probably sound familiar, right? RIGHT! Ok, on to Sweater Renewal!

9780307396297How many of you have accidentally felted something? Here at Chez ManyManyChildren, I have felted more wool diaper covers than I care to count, including several that I have knitted myself. As an aside, I used to occasionally felt custom dye orders by not waiting long enough for them to cool, or forgetting to adjust the washing machine cycles. I’m only admitting that so you will know that I do have some felting experience, even if most of it is by accident. You could say that I learned to felt the heartbreaking way, and Sweater Renewal opens with just such an experience in Sharon Franco Rothschild’s life.

But the life of a sweater doesn’t have to stop with an accidental trip through the washer. From book covers and cell phone holders to a purse (It’s pink, ya’LL. With heart embellishments, ya’ll. And yes, I would totally carry such a thing in public, ya’ll) to a dog sweater, your felting pain can become a new FO gain.

In addition to the accidental felting projects, she has some projects in here that you can felt on purpose. The little girls sweater made from a larger sweater is just adorable. And the ladies burgundy sweater made from a larger one is just as cute as can be! What entices me so about garments with decorations on the back?

Finally, there are three projects that you knit and then felt, if you feel compelled to felt your own knitting. Which I admit I don’t usually feel compelled to do, but have occasionally with great enjoyment. The book is available now, and the cover price is $19.95. It’s worth more than that just for the ideas of how to salvage what would otherwise become trash-can tragedies!

So what have you been making? Or reading about making?

Take a picture of your current project, whatever that happens to be. Or maybe one you recently finished. Or the materials for the one you are about to start. Let’s say materials for a project in whatever state it happens to be in at the time you snap it. On Friday, post the picture and tell us about your project. What you did, or what you are going to do. How much you are enjoying it, or hating it. You know–show and tell.

Just copy & paste the code below the graphic and get crafty with me!

Be sure to come back and leave a comment so we know where to find you!

[tags]Online Craft Club[/tags]

Cass in the Kitchen: Two Dudes One Pan

:kitchen: What can you make with a big bowl, a nonstick skillet, a classic skillet, a dutch oven, a roasting pan, and a baking dish? A whole lot of goodness, that’s what!

I had the opportunity today to look through Two Dudes One Pan and this book is all about lots of flavor punch with not much muss and fuss. In fact, it’s sub-titled Maximum Flavor from a Minimalist Kitchen. Given how busy life is these days, this is a treasure chest of good ideas just now. And remember a few months ago I moaned about wanting a dutch oven? Now I really, really want one!

This is a fun, chatty cookbook, and each recipe has a snippet of conversation to go with it. Vinny and Jon also go back in forth in the intro to the book as well as the segues into the chapters, which are named for the pot or pan you use for the recipes in it. And the recipes!

From the frittatas to the hot tip for perfect pancakes (extras go on the the pancakes right before you flip them, NOT in the batter) to the swordfish with fried green tomatoes (hello!!! fried green tomatoes!!!!) and bacon vinaigrette to the weiner schnitzel (if these guys can show me how to make that dish that I have been trying to replicate for 22 years, I will forever be in their debt) my non-stick skillet is about to get a real good workout.

And skipping over to the dutch oven chapter–hey I said I wanted one, and winter is coming, and I love to throw meals in the slow oven in winter–I’m salivating over the creamed brussels sprouts with bacon and the buttermilk-sage fried chicken. Buttermilk chicken? I’m so on that! And the beer-braised short ribs. Definitely need the dutch oven, ya’ll.

And as if by the TheClone’s special request, there’s even a recipe for pistachio tiramisu in here. Are you reading me, daughter of mine? Time to come see your mama! 1 2 3Okay here’s the skinny: Two Dudes One Pan will be available in stores next Tuesday. The cover price is $24.95. And I will be doing a giveaway soon, in which this book will be a possible prize. Shh. Don’t tell. Ok, I’m kidding: tell EVERYbody!

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