Pom Pom

Pom Pom Tie Cardigan by Debbie Bliss, size xs with (discontinued) Jaeger Roma, 11 sk. gray. Sweater #5 for 2010.


So let's talk about Felted Tweed. Isn't it terrific? Don't we all just love it? Rowan has also come out with Felted Tweed Aran and Chunky, but let's all hold our breath until they introduce FT 4-Ply. After all, they took away Yorkshire Tweed 4-Ply so they owe us. (Well sure, we all did stash up when we heard it was discontinued, but we still like to buy more yarn.) FT is one of the nicest tweeds made, and the colors are beautiful.

Salina is knit from 6 skeins of colorway Maritime. The pattern is a Kim Hargreaves design from the great Vintage Style and is my 5th pattern knit from this classic book. (My favorite might be Joy.) I love this pretty pullover, 50's style and so easy to wear. Raveled.

I now have a new stash of FTDK. A friend gifted me a skein of Tangerine (thank you!), which meant I had to buy 5 more so I could finally make the Tangled Yoke Cardigan! One of these days.

Yesterday Misty arrived and I immediately cast on for Arielle in a pretty pale blue Rowan 4-Ply Cotton. First summer knit of 2010.

I just love to knit.

Leonardo & Livi

True or False: Leonardo DiCaprio owes his stardom and fame to me.

Think it over...Take a little time...

Ding Ding Ding. Time's up! And the answer is...

YES! (sort of)

And here is the story to prove it:

In LA, in the 60's, when a housewife felt her kids could manage on their own after school, did she get a real estate license? No. She became a Hollywood Talent Agent. Or at least, that is what my mother did. Living in the LA area, show biz was all around us, even my older brother had a few acting jobs when he was young. True story: Once my brother worked on a film with Lucille Ball and when the film was finished Ms. Ball invited all the kids who worked on the film over to her house for a swim party, and included the siblings! I could not believe I was going to I Love Lucy's house! She was kind and charming and beautiful. She let us wander around her house, splash in the pool and supplied us with lots of kid food which was catered, certainly the first catered party I had ever been too. I remember what she was wearing: black and white capri pants, a matching cutaway jacket with long tails, black high heeled sandals, and let me tell you, her lips and hair were RED. She was magnificent.

My mother was perfectly suited as a talent agent for children, she was confident, outgoing and smart, and had an uncanny knack for seeing talent in the most ordinary of kids. She got Jodie Foster her first commercial at age 4 (Coppertone) and believed in a young Hillary Swank when she and her mother were homeless and living in their car. Mother became quite a force in Hollywood, she was busy and loved this job she was so good at.

Years later I was now a married lady, living far away but I visited my mother often. One Friday I arrived at her office, she came out and said she is running late, would I like to come in and listen to a boy she is interviewing? Sure. I step in and observe him as he goes over his dialogue several times with my mother. She coaches him, encourages him, I can tell she is good at what she does. But he is good too, a seasoned actor already at this point. The boy and his mother leave the office and mom asks me my opinion. I say, (and I am not kidding), "Take him, I think he has star potential and will be big one day!"

Of course she does take him on, young Leonardo DiCaprio, the kid with the long funny name; he gets a few commercials, then a series, next there's This Boy's Life and Gilbert Grape, and well, you know all the rest. I just saw him for those few minutes, but he seemed like such a nice kid, and mother always adored him and his mom.

So, you're welcome, Leonardo.

Segue to knitting: I am most confident that Leo has dated a European supermodel named Livi. Odds are pretty good, don't you think? Here is my Livi. The clamshell lace border is FUN to make, I could have repeated those 8 rows f o r e v e r! I am using the recommended Rowan Pure Cashmere DK, but you knit it on #3's and it knits up more as a fingering weight. So about this yarn...if you could somehow spin yarn from fluffy clouds and then toss in some even fluffier clouds, then I guess this would be close to that. It is unbelievably soft, yet has structure, and I don't need to tell you that's it's heaven against the skin.  It's quite a financial investment as it's 100% cashmere, but I don't mind an indulgence every once in a while, it's good for the soul.    Raveled here.  And of course the pattern is most definitely a Kim Hargreaves design from her very beautiful book, Winter Blooms.

8/11/13, edited to add, Rowan Pure Cashmere DK has since been discontinued.  If you want to make this pattern, Baby Merino Silk DK or even Angora Haze would be good substitutes.

sugar cookies

Just in time for Easter snacking with coffee (me) or milk (husband). I've experimented with a dozen different ways to make the perfect sugar cookie with the right balance of a good crunch with a (lightly) sweet and full buttery flavor.  This is our favorite recipe and the one I've made for years now. We prefer them just sprinkled with sugar, but these are fun frosted with royal icing. I have a great selection of cookie cutters and we make these for every occasion.

1 C butter
1/2 C shortening (no substitutes as shortening aids in the crunch factor!)
2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt

Beat the first 3 ingredients until light and fluffy, add eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Form a flattened disk and cover with plastic wrap and chill 1 or more hours. Roll out 1/8" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Lightly sprinkle with sugar before baking unless you are going to ice them after baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees F until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to rack to cool. Makes approximately 5 dozen. This recipe can be halved.

Happy Easter!

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