Isn’t this clever?

I decided a while ago to try Illusion Knitting. It’s a very clever way of making a pattern, but you can only see it from some angles. Spooky, eh? In fact, it shows up moderately well from some angles in the flesh, but even better in a photo. I made a couple of things for Himself but he wasn’t massively keen so I frogged (ripped) them back and I think the yarn from one of them became a pair of socks for my dad.

Anyway I’ve written a pattern for an illusion scarf with a GirlGuiding Trefoil on it. This is what it looks like on the person:

And this is what it looks like when you view the illusion bit from just the right angle:

I’m going to be selling the pattern on to raise money for my Brownies.

I do love felt

And I love my Kindle and I love making Kindle covers. And I love recycling.

So the perfect combination has to be my new Kindle cover made from recycled felt from a charity shop jumper (and some scraps of fabric from my extensive collection of fabric scraps).

Felted Kindle cover


Normally the covers have a layer of wadding to provide some padding but with the felt you don’t need this. Felted wool is lovely and cosy, and beautifully fluffy, but it’s a teeny bit harder than cotton fabric to sew in a straight line. I can hopefully improve on this in the future but it’s part of the charm really.

And you thought I’d vanished

I tried to do mobile editing of my blog last year? year before? while on holiday, but my phone just wasn’t up to it.

However, I have decided I should do more blogging about my crafting, and as this space was basically lying unused, here goes.  I notice that my main categories on here are already crafts, knitting, sewing…

One of my recently finished objects was a pair of socks I’ve been knitting since last summer – they are not at all suitable for winter wear so I photographed them and put them straight in a drawer till summer! Anyway they are shorter than the pattern intended (not enough yarn – and I had to redo the whole first sock after I discovered that).


They are from the pattern Forget-me-Not by Laura Patterson, and I knitted them in Panda Silk.

Free asparagus

I love asparagus and today when I picked up our weekly veg I mentioned how nice our small bunch was to the girl giving out the boxes.  Oh, great, she said, we have some day-old bunches there, help yourself.

So I did.

I thought about Parma ham and grilled asparagus but I’m not convinced you can get Parma ham here.

What’s your favourite thing to do with asparagus (apart from just eat it!)?

More odd veggies


It’s not your screen – the carrots are really yellow – and although one beet is a normal red colour, the other one is white. The borscht I made still turned everything red.

We’ve also had sprouting broccoli – not purple, just green – but purple potatoes (from the supermarket, not the veg box), and this week, some tiny cauliflowers, about 3in across. Too small to be out wihout their mothers. I was very mean and put them in a curry, along with some radishes I couldn’t think what to do with.

The avocados are builing up – I have two ripe ones in the fridge and one huge one ripening in the fruit bowl. I think I’m going to make avocado ice cream – just cream, sugar, lemon juice and avocado flesh, freeze and stir when still a bit soft.

We also have two lots of rainbow chard. Normally I just make pasta or something but I looked up and found that cabbage rolls can be made with chard.  Cabbage rolls are a big fat pain to make (I have never tried, but it’s a bit like those round pasta rolls whose name escapes me, you have to steam the leaves first and then roll a meat/rice filling in the leaves), and this chard is quite small-leaved. However I have previously made a great layered mince/rice/tomato/cabbage casserole so I think that’s where the chard is headed.

Seasonal cooking

We have entirely different seasons in Southern California to, well, England. But also different to the NE US which is where some “seasonal” cookery guides seem to be based. I heard Jamie Oliver extolling the virtues of seasonal cookery on the radio and thought, yes, but what do I do with radishes, pomegranates, and fresh dates?

Anyway I got several fresh chilis in our vegetable selection last week and the week before so, fearful of their heat, I only put 3 of them into 4 servings of chili yesterday. I should have put more in – they weren’t hot at all.

The radishes, plus lettuce and mini tomatoes from the veg box, and a cucumber and some grapes from the farmers’ market, went into a salad for a church brunch.

The pomegranates (from the farmers’ market) are probably going into a pomegranate pie at some stage.

The fresh dates I just eat.

I’m so boring

Shiny new wiblog, and not only have I not written for ages, but I switch my design back to my old one!

Anyway, in case you are feeling jealous, it is still pretty warm here in the daytime but houses in Southern California, especially older ones, tend not to be insulated at all so we are bundling up, buying extra blankets for the bed, and putting on the (one, for three bedrooms) heater in the evenings.

I leave you with my Halloween costume:

Halloween Wings
Halloween Wings


I’m used to people in the US not understanding my English. This starts with my name. Either I have to pronounce it very carefully, or everyone thinks I’m called Casey. This was more awkward when I was a small child with very short hair as everyone thought I was a boy called Casey.

Today I decided to have sushi for lunch and ordered a rainbow roll. I am not a sushi expert, more of a sushi glutton, but the place at work is cheap, and fresh (they make it right at the counter). The cashier called out what I thought was “rainbow roll”. But his accent was quite strong (Japanese, I’m assuming!) and it was, in fact a dragon roll. It was very pretty though and very tasty. I may have that one again.

It’s a good thing we love each other

While I’m beavering away in the lab, The Spouse™ is taking the time to do some distance learning courses. He was looking at ones that are about to start, and what they might lead on to.

This morning he was heard to exclaim “Accounting, Finance and Computing! Ooh!”.

That is not a phrase I’d ever thought to hear said in excitement.

Do drop by…

to the latest addition to our blogging stable, How did I get here?.

We’re both suffering culture shock – him I think a bit more than me but our temporary situation (we’re here till April) means some things are loads harder, like what to do about cars or cellphones, and sorting out health insurance is also harder now I’m older and sicker. But the weather is nice and our little house is very pretty and has a view of the ocean, and it’s quite relaxing to be in a little office with no students or colleagues wanting a piece of me…

Lovely. Which apparently British people say a lot – according to our Japanese waitress the other night.