Monday, December 31, 2007

The Great Recipe Box Show and Tell- revised recipe

Ann and Kay, of the marvelous Mason Dixon Knitting blog, have invited one and all to show their recipe boxes (new is fine, but old and battered is better) and post a recipe from said box. My own recipe box is from the late 70's or early 80's, a cheapo tin contraption with blue flowers on the bottom and a solid blue lid (it's also rusty on the bottom and chipped on the back). I know that I bought it at the Ben Franklin store, and I think I paid $1.35 for it. It has served me well.

I don't use the recipe box much lately because my husband found out in September that he is diabetic, so all of our recipes these days come from new books with titles that feature the words *lo-carb* and *healthy*. So just for nostalgia (and because I didn't make any this year), here's one of our old high-fat, high-carb, totally wonderful recipes. I adapted it from an Oreo-Cookie Fudge Recipe:

Heath Bar Fudge

2 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter (no margarine)

2/3 cup Evaporated milk

2 cups (7 oz) Marshmallow Creme

8 ozs white almond bark or vanilla chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 bag Heath Bar bits (the kind with the chocolate) or several Heath Bars crushed

Butter an 8" square pan

Melt or soften the almond bark (in the microwave, 3+ minutes on high in a microwave safe cup)

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallow creme, almond bark and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the Heath Bar bits. Pour the remaining mixture over the bits, smooth, and top with the remaining bits. Chill and cut into pieces.

I have no idea how many calories or carbs are in a single piece, and anyway the notion of eating just one piece of fudge is far too depressing to contemplate. But I hope you all enjoy this recipe. Trust me, it's yummy.

Find more links to recipe box stories at Mason Dixon Knitting:

p.s. Despite missing fudge, the diabetic regime has been good for both of us- we've both lost over 30 lbs and I am wearing clothes with numbers like *1* and *4* on the tags... amazing...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Christmas Tally

Well, Christmas has come and gone, the tree is down (I put it up early, and take it back down as soon after Christmas as I can), and the gifts are open and with their new owners. Here's what I knit during 2007 for Christmas (and it did take me all year). I wish I had remembered to take pics of some of the people in their knitwear finery (though most of the items showed up here, either as FO's or WIPs, or Freebie Friday patterns, so you've seen them already):

2 adult sweaters (both fit perfectly- I can finally show the picture of my son's sweater, the Garter Stitch Aran sweater from Men in Knits. The picture doesn't come close to how nice the sweater is. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Heather)

2 child size sweaters and 1 child size poncho

7 hats

15 pairs of socks (3 child, the rest adult)

19 pairs of mittens (some fingerless, some full mittens) and 1 pair of Selbuvotter gloves that fit my daughter in law perfectly (I was afraid that they would be too tight).
And 4 pairs of mittens (2 pairs Selbuvotter), 1 pair of gloves, 1 hat, and several pairs of socks left-over, which will go in the pile for next year.

And now it's time to start all over (though I do wish I wouldn't leave the sweaters until October).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Your Freebie Projects

No new Freebie Friday pattern this week. However, I can show you a couple of FO's that readers have sent me.
An old school (Elementary, Jr. High, High School) friend of mine, Kristy K, sent a picture of the Child Size Hoodie that she made for her granddaughter. She modified the pattern by using Lion Brand Homespun and size 10 needles, and it came out beautifully. She also found an error in the pattern, so I am going to ammend the pattern for everyone.
Child Size Hoodie Pattern- newly ammended to fix the pattern error:
And Gail adjusted the Beaded Felted Mary Jane Slipper pattern to fit her 3 year old daughter. The slippers are adorable.
Here's the Beaded Felted Mary Jane Slipper pattern, in case you missed it the first time:

Thanks for sending the pics, Kristy and Gail.
If you have made items from the Freebie Friday patterns, send pics to me and I'll post them.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday Tab- Saalfield Cha Cha Cha #2730

This one is definitely a reprint- there are 4 dolls but 2 of them are numbered 5 and 6. The clothes are lovely. I have no idea how historically/culturally accurate they are, but they are representations of traditional dress in assorted Central and South American countries. I would guess that this book was originally published long before my reprint. The artist's style is very similar to the Carnival book I uploaded on the first Thursday Tab. The dolls certainly have been redrawn and judging by the style and the cover price, I think my reprint is from the early 60's.
Click on images to enlarge, right click to save as jpgs. Print from any graphics program- clothes on plain paper, covers on card stock.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Vestmas

Make your own Ugly Christmas sweater here:

Here's mine

Super Secret Holiday Book Giveaway Grand Prize!!!!

And for those who entered all three days of my Holiday Book Giveaway Contest, I held a special, super secret grand prize drawing selected from those who entered all three contests- All Three Books!

christyh- you are our Super Secret Grand Prize Winner!!! e-mail me with your address and how you'd like your 3 books signed!

Thanks everyone for playing! My grandkids had a lovely time choosing the winners!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone!

Holiday Book Giveaway #3- Becky

Becky- you're the winner of Knit One, Felt Too! e-mail me with your address and let me know how you'd like the book signed, and I'll get it in the mail!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Contest #2 winner- Jennifer Wollesen

Jennifer Wollesen, come on down! Or at least e-mail me with your address, and let me know how you'd like your copy of Yarns to Dye For signed.

my email:

Holiday Book Giveaway #3- Knit One, Felt Too

You know the drill by now- post in the comment section for a chance to win a signed (if you want) copy of Knit One, Felt Too. The winner will be drawn from the names on Tuesday (Christmas Day). Everyone who posts on Monday December 24, up until midnight, is eligible.

Don't put your address in your comment. We can get all of that info later.

Good Luck!
The winner of Sunday's drawing will be announced sometime on Monday.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Pacific Northwest's Worst Christmas Sweaters

According to the Seattle Times, and I can't say that I disagree with any of them...

Contest #1 Winner- Donna

Donna, of Hockey Mom Knits is the winner of Holiday Contest Book Giveaway #1- 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.

Congratulations Donna!

Please e-mail me with your address, and let me know how you'd like the book signed.

My e-mail:

Holiday Book Giveaway #2- Yarns to Dye For

Just like yesterday- post your name in the comment section of this post for a chance to win a copy of Yarns to Dye For. We'll draw the winning name tomorrow, from all those who post from now until midnight tonight, Sunday December 23.

Good luck- and thanks again for making blogging such an adventure!
The winner of Saturday's contest will be posted later today.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What I've been doing when I really should be doing something else entirely...

Big announcement coming soon (maybe within 2 weeks) and some major family/work/holiday obligations are taking priority over everything else, but I managed to sneak in a little extracurricular knitting in anyway. I finished the We Call Them Pirates Hat for my son. I used worsted weight yarn and size 5 needles, both larger than called for in the pattern, and got the required gauge (go figure). But the hat came out way too long- I don't think it's a pattern problem, it's that my son likes shorter hats. So I felted the hat a bit by hand. It was still too long, so I folded up the lower border as a hem (that's a small head form, by the way). It's drying now. I think he'll like it. Pattern available free here:

And I was drawn to Nanette Blanchard's Black Forest Braided Gloves- the design is so striking, and the colors pop so well. I decided to use a little free time this Holiday (while the grandkids colored at the kitchen table) to start a pair as a gift to myself. I'm using Knit Picks Palette- Navy (which looks black in my scan) and Grass, and size 1 needles. I'd never done that braid stitch before, but it came out beautifully- Nanette's instructions were clear and easy to follow. I don't know how much time I'll have to work on these, but I hope I get them finished so I can wear them. (pattern for sale here: )

Holiday Book Giveaway #1- 101 Designer One Skein Wonders

Thanks for the entries so far, this is exciting for me too! And yes, overseas entries are eligible.

Post your name (with or without a comment, but definitely without your address) in the comment space for this post before Midnight tonight, December 22. I'll draw one name from the entries and the winner of a copy of 101 Designer One Skein Wonders will be announced on Sunday. I'll mail the book next week, signed if the winner likes.

Sunday's contest will probably not be listed until early morning on Sunday- I don't think I can stay up until Midnight two nights in a row...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Book Giveaway for the Holidays

As a thanks for the wonderful folks who drop by every day (or every other day, or once a week, or once a month), I'm going to have a contest on Saturday Dec 22, Sunday Dec 23 and Monday Dec 24 for a free book each day (drawing to be the day after each contest). Saturday's book will be Storey's 101 Designer One Skein Wonders (my broken-rib sock pattern is in the book). Sunday's book will be Yarns to Dye For, Creating Self-Patterning Yarns for Knitting (from Interweave). Monday's book will be Knit One, Felt Too (also Storey).
All you have to do to enter is post your name (and a comment if you wish- but no addresses) in the Comment section of each day's Contest Post (Saturday, Sunday, Monday). Only coments made between midnight and midnight on the proper day will count. One of my grandkids will draw the winner's name each day, and I'll contact the winners for their addresses. Books can be signed or not as the winner desires.

One win per person.
Have Fun and Good Luck, and thanks for making Blogging such fun!

Freebie Friday- Fingering Weight Fingerless Mittens

This is the last Freebie Friday pattern for this year (I'll have wonderful company all week and no time to work up one for next week). This pattern is great for last-minute gifts, and for using up those odds and ends of sock yarn. I always have enough left to knit a pair from 100gr of sock yarn after the socks are finished (all sizes except size 13 men).

This pattern is similar to another fingerless mitten pattern I designed (link: ), but this one is bigger all around. Either is good for a quick gift.
Right click on the pattern page, save as a jpg. Print from any graphics program.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


A last-minute Christmas present for my son- We Call Them Pirates hat (pattern available here: I'm using worsted weight yarn and size 5 needles but I'm getting the same gauge as listed in the pattern (which calls for a lighter sportweight and size 3 needles).

This is a fun hat to knit, and it makes me want to dig out an eyepatch.

Thursday Tab- Whitman Santa's Press Out Book, #1922, 1966

Happy Holidays Everyone!

This book is flocked, and the flocking has survived pretty well, given its age. This would be a fun project for little ones on Christmas Eve, when the clock slows to a crawl.

Click on images to enlarge, save as jpgs. Print from any graphics program, all pages on card stock.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Playing around

Yes, there's a reason we're not seeing any new knitting at the moment. And no, I can't say why. Yet.

In the meantime, here's some goofiness (shameless promotion for my new book, which will be out in February, and a Dakota Dreams tattoo, which I am totally going to get when I turn 21). You can make your own here:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Freebie Friday- Stranded Fingerless Mitts- Companion to Fair Isle Tam

I was asked to design a pair of fingerless mittens to go with the Fair Isle Tam (which I think was the first Freebie Friday pattern posted here). I think they turned out really well. I happened to have some of the same Noro yarn that was used in the tam (though the tam itself has long gone to a new owner), though I had to use a different solid color yarn. Two skeins of Noro Kureyon will knit both the tam and the mitts (and you'll need 100gr of solid) as shown. If you want plain Noro cuffs and ribbings, you'll need another skein.

Here is the link to the coordinating tam pattern:
Click on the images to enlarge, right click to save as a jpg. Print from any graphics program.

Thursday Tab- Lowe Square Dance #968-10, 1950

This is the only set I own where one of the dolls is looking over her shoulder at us. All of her clothes are viewed from the back (so she can square dance). The background art is detailed and great fun, and the clothes are quite pretty.

I've talked often about reprints, and the fact that paper doll publishers would recycle books, dolls, sets, and clothing- reissuing the same book under several different names, and using several different publisher names (in fact Abbott was a subsidiary of Lowe). I happen to have 2 versions of this book. #968-10 Square Dance is the original book, published in 1950, with 6 pages of clothes. I also own Abbott #1394 Polka Party. Polka Party has the same dolls, arranged differently on the covers, and 4 pages of clothes. The clothes have been *distilled*- much of the detail was elminiated, and the colors reduced. Polka Party was printed on pulp paper rather than heavier white paper.
I'm uploading Square Dance, but I've also made a file of Polka Party showing the differences.

Click images to enlarge, right click to save as a jog. Print from any graphics program, clothes on plain paper, covers on card stock