Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yarn Along: Ina May

My sister Juliana started reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth after I asked her to be with me when I have the baby.  She showed it to me when Anna and I visited her in Albany.  We read various birth stories aloud from it, and I was struck by how empowering and beautiful many of them were.  I didn't want to wait until she finished it to read it myself, so I requested it through interlibrary loan.  I have so enjoyed each description of birth.  I snatch moments to read them throughout the day, just as I add a few stitches here and there to my kicking bag.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012


The Knitmore Girls answered my question about knitting in bed in their latest episode.  Give it a listen!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yarn Along: Persuasion

When my friend recommended the 1995 version of Persuasion, I immediately put it at the top of the netflix queue.  Though I read it long ago, the only film version I've ever seen was the 2007 one, a massive disappointment.  (This clip conveys everything that is wrong with this version--creepy heavy breathing, undignified extensive running sequences, weird eye contact with the camera, and the most repulsive kiss ever recorded.)
Thankfully the 1995 one is infinitely superior in every way.  I watched it straight through, then started it over again so Pete could watch it with me.  In the end, he declared that it, "was not the most compelling Jane Austen ever," but I think he found it tolerable.
As if that weren't enough, I immediately snatched the book off my shelf and started rereading.  I wanted to check a couple of details I was unsure about.  It turns out it is just the thing for my last few weeks of pregnancy.  Something familiar and lovely to pick up before I go to bed, rather than all the books about babies that are piled up on my nightstand.  I find it soothes me to sleep and keeps me from having a bit of an irrational eleventh-hour panic about what's ahead of me.
I'm knitting up a little striped kicking bag in the meantime, though truth be told, it is getting unseasonably warm around here.  Yesterday it was 90!  I declared to Pete with a sigh that knitting season was nearing its close, as much as it pained me to admit it.  He was understandably alarmed, but I assured him that sewing would fill up the summer nicely.  His relief was palpable.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

bird buns

In honor of the feast of the 40 martyrs of Sebaste, my neighbors invited me over to make little buns shaped like larks, or zhavoronki.  The dough was so fragrant--with hints of vanilla and citrus.  I wish I had gotten the recipe!  Marfa posted hers here.
To shape them into birds, we first rolled out a rope of dough, which we tied in a knot.  One end became the head and one the tail.  Some people insert cloves or raisins for eyes, but we kept ours simple.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Book Club: The Princess & the Goblin

This week, we read through chapter 17 of The Princess and the Goblin.  Incidentally, Librivox has two recordings of it, if you'd like to follow along.
The seminarians concocted amazing guacamole, and I contributed blueberry muffins, courtesy of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  (It provides instructions for making quick breads vegan.)  They turned out far better this time, probably because one of the guys whipped the silken tofu within an inch of its life.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Selfish Bagels

My friend Joanna and I finally churned out a batch of bagels (almost 50!) to divide and freeze.  We used this recipe, quadrupled.  Half with mostly whole wheat flour, half with mostly white.
It seems every time we did it in the past, swarms of locusts seminarians would descend and eat them all as quickly as we could boil and bake them.
Not this time!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


 I've just whipped up a couple of velcro pouches out of my one year anniversary fabric.  There will be matching changing pads in a few moments.
 Though I was inspired by the book's version, I wound up going about these in a completely different way.  I lined them because...well, why not? 
I must admit that my sewing is only ever approximate,  because measuring extensively and following convoluted directions is beyond me at this point.  Also I willfully refuse to iron things, unless the spirit moves me.  But I did prewash the fabric.  So far things have miraculously turned out just fine in spite of my petulance, but I keep waiting for an utter tragedy to befall my sewing as a result...

New Traditions

Since so many people seem to give up watching movies during Lent, we've been brainstorming different activities for our Friday night get-togethers with the seminarians.  A few days ago we all agreed on the perfect way to pass our time.

At 7:30, they all trouped in out of the snow, just in time to help me finish up a giant batch of brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  (I quadrupled the espresso fudge brownie recipe.  And by I, I mean Pete, because that math was baffling my pregnant brain...)  If you've never cooked with a giant group of guys in the room, you need to give it a try.  They stir for you, snatch dirty bowls and wash them before you can protest, and then insist you take all the credit for the finished dessert.

After the brownies went in the oven, we settled down around the kitchen table and began.  We'd decided to read The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald.  Each read a chapter aloud, and as the book made its way around the room, I finished up the little cardigan I've been working on for Stormy.  After chapter nine, we stopped, and read evening prayers together before they all ventured back into the cold.
I must admit, I like this model better than the old one...

Friday, March 9, 2012

research: More knitting on the Office!

In the recent episode of The Office, "The Last Day in Florida," Erin's new (amazingly patient) elderly friend breaks out her knitting!

keeping up appearances

Our dryer is broken, and both tablecloths are dirty.
 Of course I could go wash them and let them air dry, but then my poor table would be naked for a whole day...
 I think my time will be better spent sewing another cloth.
There!  Nothing indecent here--just a couple of chairs and a fully clothed table hanging out.  Not a bare leg in sight...

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Anna and I set out to visit Juliana in Albany, only to discover a fabric shop along the way.  As I needed buttons for the cardigan I've been knitting for Stormy, we popped in.  
We ended up leaving with a gorgeous set of blue-green buttons, a few different kinds of jersey, with matching button craft thread, and some yarn and needles for Anna to knit a baby hat.  
 Oh, and these photos of the comic strips they had on display on the counter:

The Fresh Prince of Downton Abbey

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yarn Along: The Hobbit

Pete and I have been curling up with The Hobbit.  It's a particularly gorgeous copy too--embossed, with full-page illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien throughout.  We got it about a year ago with wedding money.
As he reads aloud, I've been finishing up the puerperium cardigan that we'll take the babe home in.  I just have to finish up the second sleeve and add buttons.  Little Stormy has been twisting and turning almost constantly, and now we can watch my belly ripple with every movement.