So you want to set up a YouTube crochet channel ..

Not I ! – and I doubt I’ve ever responded negatively to such a thought as vigorously as I did when coming across this pattern:

Gosh, this is pretty ..

It is a glorious thing indeed !

It is called “Spring Fling Garden Blanket or Throw“, and was created and made by a young Canadian woman living in London whose name is Debi. Her website is Dearest Debi and on YouTube she’s DebiDearest, with over 59 thousand followers. She looks like an adolescent, but is the mother of a couple of children. And she is, as you can see from the image, a very creative crochet designer.

Just imagine how exhausting it must be, developing a pattern like that, and of that size .. The mind boggles. Well, mine does.

And then she has to actually produce one, right ? – probably a few for her own satisfaction before she hands it over to her testers.

But that’s far from the end of it ! Because then she has to make another one, in segments, for her crochet-along videos !  There are no less than 8 videos covering all of the 108 rounds, and they show every round with nothing left out: CALs or KALs must do this or they can’t be considered useful (or usable !). So there a crochet YouTuber must go again, making it yet another time but in close-up segments, editing repeated bits to prevent the video’s being hours long, and talking over it as she goes.

Jesus. Not for me. Not that I am ever going to be sufficiently talented as to design anything.

Honestly: can it be worth it ? I might ask Debi.

Wondering if it’d be a bit risky asking her about weaving in all the ends ..    [grin]

Me not being a quitter (for once)

I thought a fair bit about my dissatisfaction with the knitted entrelac ..

Not happy, Jan !* I told myself.

So, using a new ball to prove that any images were not merely continuations of the now frogged first attempt, I started over.

This is THE BACK, people ! (Hope it’s meant to look like this ..)
THIS is the front ..

You can see that it is definitely not the same piece of knitting as previously shown, yes ?

I had just begun to feel smug about managing to do so much better the 2nd time when my day was made and smugness cemented in by L&M’s dropping by with a bunch of flowers from their sensational garden (which they know I miss more than I can say). It’s a sort of cross between a wilderness garden and a cottage garden; and when – in normal times – I’m at their place, I mostly sit on their back patio and gaze upon it ..

See what I mean ..?

 

*This is an Aussie thing: it became a kind of meme back in the day (which means I can’t remember when); and most Aussies of my ilk remember it

Well, it was new to me

Here are my fairly pathetic attempts at following PDX Knitterati’s Minerva scarf KAL. Michele told me I could easily learn to knit entrelac using only one ball of wool at a time, and I believed her. Just as well: she was right !    :D

But, whilst her instructions certainly did enable me to make knitted entrelac, I did not knit it very well. Far from admirable, in fact. The M-R knitted entrelac is lumpy in the corners. Uneven ditto. ACK !!

When I reached a level wherein I could ‘look back’ and see an actual hole between the squares, meaning I’d done really badly, I fell into a pit of despair.

This is it. Took me a while to dig before I fell into it .. [grin]

Anyway, apart from all that nonsense .. much and all as I do admire Michele’s ability to knit anything at all and beautifully, as well as her efforts to have students do the same, I’m bound to admit that I am not going to be a knitted entrelac star. Part of my problem right now is the long-awaited Noro Silk Garden: I do not understand what the mad enthusiasm is about !

I find NSG to be often difficult to move along the needle; it goes up and down in size to the point where one moment I’m happy with my #4 needles and the next I wish I had a pair of #7s in my hands. AND ! – in the first of the 4 balls I bought, there are no less than THREE KNOTS ! This makes me very grumpy indeed; for when one is paying through the nose for yarn that’s spoken of  by sellers and distributers in tones of hushed reverence, one does not expect to find even one knot, let alone three.

So I think The Frog is needed, here ..

Heavens ! – another FO !

Who knew ?

There I was, crocheting away like a fiend, readying a scarf/shawl for a friend’s birthday, and wondering what had made me start with 297 chains ..

Anyway, here it is:

laid on the pathway outside our side of the units.

It is, you must agree (or I will give you a chinese burn on the softest part of your arm !), different.

I started out to make Tinna’s pattern called ‘Coorie’, but became lost after the first row. I shan’t bore you shitless with the story: suffice it to say that the scarf/shawl is based on Tinna’s pattern, OK ?

Tinna on Icelandic shores

I lost the plot, as I say, very early on; and having taken some desperate measures to get help (then signed out of the d.m.s VERY promptly), was only able to achieve a kind of vague likeness. No matter, S will not know how unlike it is to what it shoulda bin.

I reckon it’s OK.

I do believe I’ve done it ..

.. posted a recipe that needs no alteration or faffing about with in order to be able to be consumed by my mate Sue !!

HOORAY !    [grin]


Spicy Lentil, Sweet Potato and Coconut Casserole (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1½ tbsps coconut oil
  • an onion chopped small
  • piece of ginger, chopped small
  • seasoning
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • medium sweet potato, cut into 1” cubes
  • medium carrot, chopped smaller than s.p.
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tsps curry powder
  • 2 cups Massels stock
  • 2 cups coconut milk

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and ginger until onion starts to soften.
  • Add the turmeric, curry powder, lentils, sweet potato and carrot, with seasoning, and stir to combine.
  • Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the lentils and carrot are tender. It’s possible you may have to cook it a little longer for the lentils; but try hard not to over-cook the sweet potato !
  • Stir in the coconut milk. Check seasoning and warm back to desired serving temperature.

This recipe was claimed to be a curry. Words fail. It is, however, just about as simple as a recipe can be – right up my alley.

I have swapped ginger powder for fresh ginger.

I have increased the volume of coconut milk and decreased the stock amount to match up.

You are at liberty to re-change, should you so wish. But I can tell you that with my alterations this recipe is singularly yummy. In fact, I’m finding it fairly amazing how delicious all these vegetarian recipes are .. but that is not to say that I haven’t tried some and cast them into exterior darkness as soon as tasting ’em. You’re seeing only the successes: what else ?!

[Sob !]

My Noro Silk Garden ! – it’s in there, somewhere.

No-one in Australia Post is saying “Oh look: here’s one for that Stringer woman .. put it on the next flight, ’cause she’s been ordering on-line for the last umpteen years !”, like they should !

This is what I get for living in a regional centre.

Shall I be grumpier than ever today ..?

Naah; the weather’s good (I think: it’s dark outside right now ! But it was good yesterday) and I have a Coles delivery arriving this-arvo. I’m ploughing ahead with my “mosaic” crocheted shawl while awaiting my beautiful Noro to be able to start on Michele’s Minerva knitalong .. I just watched Obama’s video in support of Biden and am, as ever, buoyed by the site of he who still represents everything good about government. Can’t be bothered being grumpy today.   :)

My first lentil recipe

I went to a shop that sells bulk foods, a couple of weeks ago, and bought (inter plura alia) half a kilo of small sort of green lentils. Today I decided it was time to cook the little buggers – not the whole ½k ! – and found in my recipe files the following:


Borlotti & Lentil Casserole

Prep: 10’ – Cook: 1 hr 30’ – Servings: 6 portions

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 red capsicum,finely chopped
  • parsley – stalks chopped fine, leaves rough
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • tin chopped tomatoes
  • tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g puy lentils, rinsed
  • tsp Massel vegetable stock powder
  • 3 squares dark chocolate

Instructions

  • In a large casserole heat the oil and add the onion, leek, pepper, parsley stalks, garlic, chilli and spices. Fry gently for 4-5 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture gets too dry.
  • Add the tomatoes, then refill the empty tin with water, tip this into the pan, re-fill it again to half-way and add this too.
  • Tip in the borlottis, lentils, stock cube and chocolate, stir, then bring to the boil.
  • Turn down to low, cover and cook for 1½—2 hours until the lentils are tender and sauce has thickened. Remove the lid for a while if there’s too much liquid. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
  • Stir through the parsley just before serving, and top with sour cream.

OK. That’s the recipe and here is my dinner a little while ago:

See the sort of hazy part inside the right-hand top quadrant ? – that’s steam.   :)

Because I’m strange, I had it with couscous rather than rice; and I can tell you from my own somewhat gluttonous experience that it tastes very nice indeed !

HOWEVER ! See what I put in red text ? – the cooking time ? Well, I dunno what lentils are like where this recipe comes from (and I have zero memory of where I found it), but my small more-or-less-green lentils were perfectly cooked in half an hour ! So please keep in mind – should you, like me, like the sound of lentils and borlottis together – to keep tabs on your cooking time, yes ?

And if you do, you’ll derive as much enjoyment from this yummy and healthy vegetarian meal as I did. And will ..

WIPs are multiplying like rabbits   :(

It took me forever to finish another cardi; and as I ran out of wool I was obliged to crochet the drop-shoulder sleeves out of a much darker blue. In trying to provide an (unspoken) excuse, I used the same darker blue to edge around the whole thing. End result: wearing it, I look as if I have peripheral artery disease of the arms. Sighh ..

I was stuck doing this bloody thing for so long that when I finally finished it I instantly began on something entirely different to excise the V-stitch from my mind: having found a very appealing afghan square that a crocheting Pom I admire, the inexhaustible Dora Does, had come up with, I started in on that.

I call it ‘my bed of nails’. Imagine a whole afghan of these squares !   [grin]

But then, I was completely sidetracked by coming across a faaabulous scarf/shawl created by the talented Icelander, Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldar. She based her design on her idea of a tartan; but it’s open to endless variation. I have begun this, too – 297-stitch chain !

I’m expecting – nay, hoping for, rather – a delivery of Noro Silk Garden on Tuesday morning; this I was informed by Australia Post would be delivered last Thursday ! Pfuh ! The porpoise of the Noro is a knit-along on the site of Michele Lee Bernstein, of whose work, too, I am an admirer.

From Michele’s site I’m going to learn how to knit entrelac without using several different balls of yarn at once ! I already know how to make tunisian crochet entrelac, and have a photo of a swatch I did to show my eldest sister of an array of blues:

by which she was unimpressed, thank all the gods. I mean, all those ends ..

Unlike Hannah, who thrives on WIPs by the dozen, they only make me feel stressed. I have decided that although I’m now well in to the other two, it’s Michele’s entrelac I shall actually make my next project. WHEN I lay hands on my wool.   [grump grump ..]

We use the term W(ork)I(n)P(rogress) largely to mean something sitting somewhere not being worked on, do we not ? Or is it meant to describe everything that’s actually been started but not finished, including the one we’re working on ..?

Boodie on the wander

Looks like a little angel. Is actually a very small monster .. Well, OK, not that bad; but he was making my life a misery with wanting to escape. And then he found out how. Did my best to prevent it, but couldn’t block up the escape route. For a while I was intending to spend a painful amount of money on having a professional bit of cat-fencing-in done (which would’ve brought his cost, so far, to over $2,000, what with the vet fees); but before that came about, the solution did !

After yet another escape, I simply gave up. I opened the front door and went about whatever I was doing at the time. Boodie was back in an hour or two; rushed about excitedly and went out again. Came back in half an hour. Repeated the activity, and returned in about ten minutes. From then on I didn’t bother about anything: I knew that there was nothing to bother about.

Last night for the first time he went out into the dark before I’d gone to bed. I decided not to panic when he didn’t return for half an hour, and shut everything down, including myself; but I left my bedside light on.

At some stage he leaped onto my stomach from the ground – fairly likely to wake me up – and settled down to sleep. At some other stage he went out again. When he woke me up this-morning, the dent in the duvet told me he’d been asleep there for a good long while.

Made my teeny adorable cat happy. Stopped myself from being driven mad. Saved almost $700.

Yes, I do know cats are not meant to be outside at night for fear of their eating the local wildlife; but there isn’t any around here – except one very large goanna, which would in all likelihood eat Boodie in any confrontation – but he is not a confrontational moggy – and this is a very singular environment. I like it so much, here at MACS; and now I like it even more.

This is me being helpful, see ..?

Phil, the gasp-making knitter I posted about some days back, has herself posted about re-growing vegies – one of her many “gardening” activities (inverted commas to divide this one from those where she is actually out in the garden). Definitely worth reading, as it’s couched within writing about knitting !

This is of great interest to me: buying seeds is fairly expensive; and the whole process fraught with the difficulty of dealing with flying or crawling or hatching pests.

So I draw your attention — in the event that you, too, should wish to have in your kitchen some vegies that are much easier to produce than are their seeds alone — to this YouTube video.

You’ll find that it actually IS helpful, once you can get your head around the mechanically- (I s’pose I should say ‘electronically-‘) produced voice-over .. I find these largely entertaining, as they’re generally appalling with phrasing: I’ve heard some that have so puzzled me as to prevent comprehension of some sentences; but this one isn’t as bad as that. Promise.

OK, that’s it – my contribution to the Covid-19 time-filling agenda.

:)

This made me laugh like an idiot (shut up !)

I do like all the Covid-19 memes and jokes and spoofs that are going about: they often make me laugh – A Very Good Thing, eh ?

But this one ! – it was meant for a crochet site, so mine will have to do:

I laugh every time I look at it !   :D

And here’s another one, that’s just nice:

Whaddya reckon, eh ?   :)

P.S.: you probably need this – I did !

A rave about a blogger

There is a Pom up there in the country where Spring is happening who has a blog called “The Twisted Yarn”.

She is without peer in her field – mostly because her field is not small. Phil is a truly expert knitter, hence my choice of category; but she has a wonderful garden in which she does wonderful things; she has 9-y-o twins (“the twinnage”) upon whom she dotes in a practical manner; she has an almost tame robin (“Robyn”) who consumes meal-worms with an appetite more than merely voracious and is fast becoming tame; she takes photos to die for; and more than any of that she has a sense of humour that is immensely appealing and, to me, satisfying because I recognize it.   :)

She is compiling a book. This is not one iota surprising because her knitting prowess is amazing; but it IS amazing when considering how much she manages to fit into her life.

I hope that anyone reading this will take the time to check out Phil(ippa)’s blog: it is so very worth it that you will thank me.

:D

I told you she’s an expert !