Friday, May 27, 2011

Midnight Lover now an eBook!

So here I go, taking my first step into the world of digital books with Midnight Lover, my 1989 western historical romance originally published by Pocket.

I'd be much obliged if you'd set a spell and check it out.

Right now it's available only at Barnes and Noble but will be hitting the other major retailers within the next few weeks.

If you'd like to download a sample or (even better) buy yourself a copy, click this link and enjoy!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jacqueline Kennedy Interviews from1964

Apparently Jacqueline Kennedy taped hours of conversation with historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. not long after President Kennedy's assassination with the idea of having them released at some date far into the future.

Diane Sawyer will host a special in September where the tapes will be played for the listening public. The tapes will coincide with release of a book featuring text of the conversations.

I'm not a Kennedy groupie by any means but I always admired the former First Lady for keeping her own counsel all those decades. Except for one publishing-oriented interview she never spoke publicly about her personal life and times. Ever. She even burned all of her personal letters and journals a few days before her death. So there is definitely some historical significance to this release.

But here's my question: will anyone under 50 be interested?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another new baby in the family

Our next-to-newest member of the family, Kingston, was born earlier this year. (Isn't he adorable?) Now don't ask me why I made a New England winter hoodie for a Southern California baby but knitters sometimes think with their hearts, not their heads.

This is the Easy Baby Cardigan by Diane Soucy for Knitting Pure & Simple and it really is wonderfully easy.
  • 2 skeins Sirdar Crofter DK 0049
  • US6 needles
You can use an I-cord tie or work buttonholes. Lots of places in this pattern to make your own choices. I ended up making it a pullover hoodie instead of a hooded cardigan. I also made matching socks and mitts with the leftover yarn.

Another highly recommended pattern.

Not that I'm partial or anything but that is one cute baby boy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Patriotic Baby Stuff

These were made for a U.S. Marine family's baby boy.

Yarn: Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Colori Socka, #1776
Needles: US#1
Socks: my own top-down pattern
Hat: Lyric by Laurie Lee

Quick, easy knits.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cabled Keyhole Scarf

This is Anne Hanson's Cabled Keyhole Scarf. I celebrated New Year's Eve working on it and I must say a good time was had by all. The friend I made it for loves it and I'm delighted.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran, 1.01 skeins.
Needles: US6

I would probably knit an extra few inches next time I make it. As it is it's a little snug for larger necks.

This is a clearly written, easy to knit pattern with just enough going on to keep your interest. Definitely recommended.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spenser books will continue

I've been spending time talking with other Robert B. Parker fans on Facebook and found out that his estate has decided Spenser and Stone will continue without the master at the helm. Ace Atkins will be writing the Spenser series and Michael Brandman will write the Jesse Stones.

I honestly don't know how I feel about this. While I am not at all ready to say goodbye to Spenser and Hawk and even Susan, I'm not convinced another writer can do justice to Parker's series characters. They are so complex, so nuanced, so deeply a part of his writer's psyche and experience -- how can anyone match his skill?

I guess we'll find out very soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kali the Food Goddess: another 5* review

Kali Amanda Browne has been posting food essays and recipes on my website for years now, building a devoted readership and adding immeasurable fun to the proceedings. She's a witty, literate writer with a sharp eye for nuance and detail and those qualities shine through in every essay in Kali, The Food Goddess: A Compilation of Delightful Recipes and Memories of Food.

And the recipes? Wonderful multicultural offerings (should I say "fusion"?) that blend all that's best about Caribbean/American/Spanish/Chinese/Middle Eastern cuisines. She's a global culinary force to be reckoned with, one of those rare cooks who combine art and practicality in their creations. Do yourself a favor and give this cookbook a try, if only for the wonderful story about the Chinese influence in Puerto Rico and the recipe for stuffed peppers. Trust me. You won't be disappointed!

You can buy your own e-copy here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

JUSTIFIED: a 5* novel by Kali Amanda Browne

In the interest of full disclosure, author Kali Amanda Browne is a good friend of mine (and yours: she's our beloved Food Goddess) but trust me, friendship doesn't mean much at all when it comes to novels. In fact, knowing the author often makes the reading experience an exercise in pain and anxiety. Trust me when I say, nothing is harder than reading a novel written by a friend. It's very difficult to separate the friend you know and love from the work of fiction in your hand. With JUSTIFIED, Kali Amanda Browne did the impossible: before the first chapter ended I was so deeply immersed in her fictional world that I forgot she had written it and settled in for a great read.

And JUSTIFIED is a great read. Murder, betrayal, sly humor, witty dialogue, laugh-out-loud moments interspersed with real emotion. The characters are real, the dialogue crackles, the ending surprises. What more can a reader ask for? Well, maybe one thing: a sequel featuring Carmen and Sean. Highly recommended.

Click here to check it out!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

ET Dice Bag

A friend and his wife were expecting their second daughter. I was busily working on some booties for her arrival when it occurred to me that her four year old big sister might be feeling a little left out. Enter the ET Dice Bag pattern by Elizabeth Thomas.

I used less than half a skein of Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Aran Tweed and size 5US needle. (The pattern calls for dpns but I substituted Magic Loop and two-circs depending on my mood of the moment.)

Fast. Easy. Totally adorable. Highly recommended!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cherry Ames on Kindle!

Brave new world: Cherry Ames has gone Kindle! Now if the Vicki Barr Airline Hostess series and Beany Malone books make the transition too, I will be one very happy, very nostalgic reader.

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I Don't Do Hats

I'm not a hat lover. I look a total idiot in hats. But I've got to tell you this winter was so cold and so snowy that even I, an avowed anti-hat kind of girl, gave in and yanked one on.

And boy did I pick a winner. Now there are those who might (unkindly) say that I am way too old to wear a Thorpe but when you're digging your way through a few feet of snow in sub-zero wind chill, trust me when I say Thorpe is your only choice!

This is a fun knit. Easy and quick and it keeps your ears worn in a winter storm. What more can you ask for?

SPECS: One skein Noro Iro; size 9US needles

I made this one for my niece in Huntington Beach. When it comes to cold YMMV.

You can find the pattern for Thorpe right here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bloomin' Babies

I don't know about your world but my world seems to be popping with babies. Every time I turn around another relative or friend is announcing another grandbaby on the horizon.

From January through April my needles were flying!

This was made for my old friend Pat's first grandson, Ryan, who arrived early this year. Pat and I lived a block and a half from each other back in Queens. We chased the Beatles together. She even caught the bouquet at my wedding! I can't express how sentimental knitting something for her first grandchild made me feel.

SNUG by Hinke can be found on Ravelry.

The mitts are Wee Baby Mitts by Christine Vogel. They also can be found on Ravelry. (Is there anything that can't?) The booties are Greemy Booties by Machelle Salmeen. The cap is Welcome to the World Newborn Cap by Nona.

The cap, booties, and mitts are all worked in leftover Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Colori Socka Color #4008. The snug was Sirdar Highlander Chunky trimmed in the Fortissima.

I have to admit I started to understand why everyone loves knitting for babies. The FOs come fast and furious and there's something unbelievably satisfying about seeing a tiny person wearing the garment you knitted.

For awhile I couldn't stop making those Greemy booties. I think I was obsessed with them to be honest. Is there a baby item you just can't seem to stop knitting?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Knitterly Milestone

I know I've been very quiet but that doesn't mean I haven't been knitting. (Or writing for that matter but that's for another post.)

Last month I had the absolute pleasure and honor of being one of Dusty Mills's test knitter. If you don't recognize her name, I'll bet you know her from The Knit Life. I volunteered to test knit CHIPPEWA, a stranded hat that I knew would definitely stretch my skills.

What a terrific pattern! (And I'm not just saying that because I'm part Chippewa.) Even better, a portion of the proceeds will go to Friends of Pine Ridge.

I have so many things to show you. I did a ton of knitting during our long, cold winter here in central NJ. Mostly baby items because it seems that suddenly everyone I know is expecting a grandbaby.

This may not be a long post but it's a start. Hope to see you again tomorrow.

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