Sunday, December 30, 2007

Episode Eighty-one: Cross Examination

Today we begin the real trial for Victor as the Creature speaks (that miserable!)! As does former student Anahad O'Connor! (Buy his book!)

Chapter 11 for this episode; my voice won't hold up for more.

Some interesting bits of history sent on by Guru of the IT world, Tonia--many thanks!

Don't watch this part unless you don't mind spoilers:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Episode Eighty: Elevate Me

Today, once again, I reference Young Frankenstein, blather about Cat Bordhi's new sock book* ( it. Really. Even if you don't knit socks), and generally wax rhapsodic about Frankenstein.

Today you get chapters 8, 9, AND 10. Why? Because you would, quite literally, arrange a posse to hunt me down if I left you hanging after 9. I joke not.

Happy Holidays to the lot of you!

*Link to Sock Book errata at the bottom of the page...nice to have an internet!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Episode Seventy-nine: O The Weather Outside Is...

Actually, fifty eight degrees and sunny...but I'm watching the news with all sorts of weather advisories for my old haunts in NY and...I know I'm nuts...I miss the snow.

I don't miss the grey or the slush, but I do miss snow.

Ah get the picture.

The one link I mention in this cast is: Jeanie at Checkitout!

Today, Chapters 6-7...there will be more monster...O Yes...there will be...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Episode Seventy-eight: Cue the Monster

Not much in the way of show notes this week. Chapters 3-5...which includes the awakening of said monster.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Episode Seventy-seven: Just Breathe...

You can thank (blame?) Dawn for this.

A spinning wheel too far.

The song I've been living by lately ("Just Breathe (2am)" by Anna Nalik). Perhaps you should download a copy too, from iTunes (to make up for me using the song on the 'Cast...)?

A competition you should take part in so you can be featured like my bud Lyn.

Some amazing tapestry sites to look at: Barbara Heller's (look at Gallery One and see the 9/11 tapestry and the Afghani woman...yeesh! Tapestry never looked so amazing to me before!); American Tapestry Alliance; Desert Tapestry Weavers--our local hookup; Selvedge a textile mag;
Textile the British textile mag; awesome tapestry looms (to buy!).

Chapters 1-2.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Health Update

So it looks like podcasting will be sporadic for a few weeks yet. I'm so sorry about this! I'd wanted to host an interview today and fell asleep. They've got me on Prednisone for the (infernal) asthma. Yes, it's post-9/11 lung fun. Yes, it should get better. No, Prednisone does not like me. But it does seem to like my lungs...or my lungs like it. I'm breathing better but I'm feeling very VERY vague.

The DH prefers vague to hacking up a lung. I think I'm with him on that.

My goal is to record this weekend. As always, though, I'll keep you posted.

While you're waiting, take a look at OH! and I'm waaaay behind, but I've hit 10,000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel.

Off to rest again.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Episode Seventy-six: Back in the Saddle

Well, I'm not 100% but I can talk for chunks of time now so that's a step in the right direction.

Kaylea of Chicago is our new Charm Winner for the Month of October. Debbie Brunner is the dyer responsible for these spectacular socks,

and there was something else to put up here but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was.

Still mushy in the brain.

Come see me on Facebook. I made a little group for us there and am trying to get a podcast player onto the apps page.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

O Dear...

I have laryngitis. I've had it since Tuesday. I have no idea what this will mean for all of us...but...My fingers are crossed that I'll be able to record tomorrow.

Think happy thoughts...

Update, Dateline, Nov 3:
I can talk but only for about 10 minutes at a time. I'm going to start putting the 'Cast together in bits and pieces and we'll hope it'll be done by the usual weekday.

The doctors have no idea what's wrong with me.

At times like this I wish I smoked so I'd at least have an excuse. Of course, the scary excuse is this one.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Episode Seventy-five: Isn't it Romantic

Today I chat with Madame Professor Elizabeth Klett about Romantic Poetry (that's capital R, not romantic--ain't nothing lovey-dovey about our poems today).

You'll hear from Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats. Not bad for a night's work, eh?

Many thanks to Sandra who sent me the box of Autumn leaves. You have no idea how much that meant to me.

You can see more of my SOAR times at my other blog too.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Episode 74: SOARing in Michigan

I tried my best to eliminate the background noise in the interviews you'll hear. I found it easier to hear on headphones on my machine.
I hope it works for you too.

What you'll hear about: My Bag!

DeeDee's Racoon

Leslie and her fiber!Janel Laidman's Class (Chameleon Color Works!)

Jennie of the Lace and Upcoming Book

And our very own Laura with her hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn:

Enchanting Juno, FiberGal, Amy at and the very first pattern I ever saw on her site (love--LOVE I tell you!).

Lyrics to Meg's song "The Spinning Wheel" here, though the recordings I found were pale in comparison to her voice...

And don't forget to pick up a NEW Haute Men of CraftLit T-shirt...I already have!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Episode Seventy-three: A Haute Man is Good to Find

The September donors who will receive sock yarn from CheekyRedHead or a CraftLit charm from Jen Minnis Designs are:
Beverly of CT's name was drawn to receive Sock Yarn! (YAY! General rowdiness!)
Lauren of CA's name was drawn to receive the CraftLit charm! (Huzzah! Much rejoicing!)

We'll be getting those things out to you asap.

Today we end Tristan and Isolde (sob). We ALSO have a treat from Listener Jen Massey who recorded a retelling of Tristan and Isolde by Robin Williamson in a book called The Wise and Foolish Tongue.

We ALSO (o there's so much!) will soon have a series of Haute Men of CraftLit goodies, again, thanks to Jen Minnis—our resident artsy type, Erin, Dawn and the irrepressible Heidi—humor wordsmiths extraordinaré. Bless their talent!

And Kate, member of The Boogie Knights, singers of "Tristan The Knight So Brave"! I LOVE the member names on this page!

And next week...SOAR, then...Frankenstein!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Episode Seventy-two: Just Weave-It!

I score a Weavette (Weave-It...Weavit?); CheekyRedHead makes some LOVELY sock yarn for you (if you donate in the month of September);Jen has charms for the September Donation Drawing as well.

This episode: Isolde floats (like small rocks or bits of wood) or doesn't burn like...not-a-witch..., Tristan finds a Fairy Dog, and then finds another Isolde!

The drama!

Next week is the end of ol' T&I...then on to The Romantics and Frankenstein!

I heard that the audio is off on the last two. Anyone who can send specifics, please do, so. I'm trying to figure this one out...
Note Note:
Got it. It's going to take me a bit, but rest assured, I'll be uploading fixed episodes while at SOAR.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Episode Seventy-one: Sick, Sick, Sick... crochet (thank you to Dawn for sending the link); welcome to our new sponsor, Knitting Out Loud;
a new LYS opens here; what's up with the Weavettes?!; a little info on the insular Celtic languages (thank you Cheeky!); and if you have Nyquil, please send it.

And, of course, don't forget to donate during the last months of the year! You'll be entered in the drawing for the Jen Minnis charms (check out her website button the on the right!) and also SOCK YARN from CheekyRedhead! (It's like buttah.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Sad news.
A sorority sister of mine (long story for later) just found out that her husband, the sold breadwinner of her family, has pancreatic cancer.

I don't have to tell you what this means, right?

He is undergoing chemo, but their insurance sitatuion is tenuous. He's a freelance writer.

PLEASE, check out their auction. Friends, family, strangers, are all donating things for them to auction to support the family in this horrible time.

If you see something you like, please bid. If you'd like to donate something or some service, please contact me at MamaOKnits [at] gmail [dot] com.

And thank you for your understanding. I wouldn't come to you like this if it weren't serious.


And my maiden name was Hutchinson. They don't know me from Ordover.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Episode Seventy: With a Little Help From My Friends

I learn more from the best source--that would be YOU.

So here are the cool links: the mag that likes us, the improvement on creating knitting graph paper, Tristan's Leap, and an artist's rendition of the same, Glastonbury, it's Abbey and history, and some of the Arthurian accouterments, and I forgot to mention a blog to watch and a piece of knitting that is as spectacular as it is ingenious.

And, of course, your Liminal Space.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Episode Sixty-nine: A Diller, A Dollar...

Today we learn a bit from our very own Medieval Scholar, Kate, take a look at the Tristan Stone, draw as though we know what we're doing, check out a sock calculator and learn the dimensions to create knitting graph paper on Excel (that would be column width 0.1" and row height .067").

Don't forget to take a gander at the gorgeous pieces Jen created! And another good Arthur/Tristan-y book: White Raven by Diana L. Paxson. OH! And check out who's on our t-shirt heels!!

And some fibery-luvvins from Sandra--her new babies:

Here's the Thirty-one Rules via Kate (and quite a few of you industrious listeners!):

Andreas Capellanus: The Art of Courtly Love, (btw. 1174-1186)

[The Art of Courtly Love], Book Two: On the Rules of Love

1. Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
2. He who is not jealous cannot love.
3. No one can be bound by a double love.
4. It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
5. That which a lover takes against his will of his beloved has no relish.
6. Boys do not love until they arrive at the age of maturity.
7. When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
8. No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
9. No one can love unless he is impelled by the persuasion of love.
10. Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
11. It is not proper to love any woman whom one should be ashamed to seek to marry.
12. A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
13. When made public love rarely endures.
14. The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
15. Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
16. When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates.
17. A new love puts to flight an old one.
18. Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
19. If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives.
20. A man in love is always apprehensive.
21. Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
22. Jealousy, and therefore love, are increased when one suspects his beloved.
23. He whom the thought of love vexes, eats and sleeps very little.
24. Every act of a lover ends with in the thought of his beloved.
25. A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
26. Love can deny nothing to love.
27. A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
28. A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
29. A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
30. A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved.
31. Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Episode Sixty-eight: Okay, So...What's a Morholt?

Fun music for you (lyrics too!), a crafty article for you that you simply won't believe! (Thank you to Winglake.)

The next two Tristan stories (we're getting to the lovey-dovey stuff...don't worry!) for today, "The Morholt" and "The Quest for the Lady with the Hair of Gold".

And, a new T-Shirt?

I Want Me Some Medieval Hottie!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Episode Sixty-seven: We Begin at the Beginning

Libsyn, my host site, has been down all day. AS SOON as I can upload the file, iTunes will have it. Until then, all I can do is offer you the GCast player in the upper right corner of this web page.
Apologies all around.

My Lords, if you would hear a high tale of love and of death, here is that of Tristan and Queen Isolde (Iseult), how to their full joy, but to their sorrow also, they loved each other and how at last they died of that love together upon one day, she by him, and he by her.
By Joseph Bedier
Translated by H. Belocq

Some art to inspire you...

And I think you'll want this information (click to expand it)...

Which I'm borrowing from this lovely site that you may want to visit. Not too shabby!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Episode Sixty-six: It Is a Far, Far Better Thing...

First, once again, HUGE thanks to Julie who allowed me a much needed period of rest last week before the madness began again this week. I hope y'all scoot over to listen to Forgotten Classics too! (That Heyer woman is a hoot!)

Things I rambled about: Kohlberg's Morality Stages (I mentioned this before, right? It's soooo kewl!), anaphora, Iago.

And next...Tristan and Isolde! The High Drama of Chivalric Romance Will Commence!

There's More!

Julie, our guest host, had this to say about 300:

Now, about 300. It is NOT like the Terminator movies. For one thing the photography is a thing of beauty even if you don't like the movie. For another, yes there is a lot of shouting and sword fighting but the emphasis is on love of a husband and wife for each other, for their family, their city, their country and their culture. Drawn in broad terms, granted, but we ARE talking about Spartans here. Not a lot of subtlety. As well as the comic book version. Also not known for subtlety.

However, when we began watching it, it was clear that this movie was being drawn in heroic, epic terms. That made me instantly think of how the Spartans themselves would have thought and told the story ... in fact, the story is being told by a Spartan. Watching the whole movie as being seen through their eyes made the movie entirely enjoyable for me, as well as those themes mentioned above.

Heavens, look at how much I wrote. Not that I'm passionately defending it or anything! :-D
I stand corrected...and definitely intrigued!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Episode Sixty-Five: Gauging the Results

I'm on Vacation, but here are links Julie mentioned for y'all:

Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
(yes, I said Barbara Walker and I was so very WRONG!)

Cables Untangled
(see the cover? THAT'S the afghan I'm knitting for Rose)

LOST Reading Project: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen

Forgotten Classics

And...for reasons I'm not aware of...iTunes and Windows Media Player hates our Audacity file. I'll fill you in on why I can't fix it pronto this Wednesday. However, the player on this site is working here if you can, and I'll fix the problem asap.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Episode Sixty-four: A Woman of Valor

Not to get all Biblical on you, but Becky and I were exchanging verses. Check out Psalms 90:17 and Proverbs 31:10+.

That's right! You go, Girl!

A little Joan

A little Whangdoodle

And the Girl from Auntie hypotenuse thingy.

And don't forget to download Episode 64a, which contains the third chapter for this 'cast--another one you would have killed me for not getting to. Never say I don't take your feelings to heart.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Moment We've All Been Waiting For

The Long Awaited
(and heavily edited to remove the worst of my guffaws---yes, that's how much fun they are)
Interview/Conversation with
Tomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein,
authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar...

Some of the books they recommended: Scott Spencer's Endless Love and Men In Black, Russell Banks' Continental Drift, and Tom and Dan's Macho Meditations (Oh go buy a copy. Make them feel better.) And don't forget to stock up on War and Peace.

And, as a goofy bonus: the Fifty Best Movie Robots (according to other people, not me).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Episode Sixty-three: Start the Revolution Without Me

I race through and opening and a closing to bring you two huge chapters. Why? Because—honestly—if I didn't, you'd kill me...we're SO close!

To stave off your appetite until next week, you can watch
this goofy movie. Before there was a Blazing Saddle...before Frankenstein was Young...there were...The Corsican Brothers.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Episode Sixty-two: In The Clutch

Here's the car with a clutch.

Here's the car without.


And here's Frank's Diner. And the Aurora Forum (search for "Jefferson") thingy.

And today!?

Sorry about the stereo kicking in and out. I have NO idea what's going on...but I'm working on it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Episode Sixty-one: You May Have to Call Me Professor

A VERY BELATED congratulations to Teresa and Rachael for their Knitting Nightmares. If you're interested in a look-see, you can view the Knitty pattern Teresa used, "Blaze" and here's a pic of the completed...item.

Looks good NOW, no?

Getting close to the end of the book! Only eight more chapters! When you get on Ravelry, look up the Craftlit group and join us.

NOTE: If you sent a donation in to support Craftlit and you have a website I linked to before, I probably lost it. While I was cleaning up the sidebars I...erased...a bunch of stuff. My bad. Please email me with the weblink so I can replace it!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Episode Sixty: Let the Deprogramming Begin!

I come back to earth after my SAWP experience, find a favorite writer, learn not to fear Lucie's hair and find that I have to read a chapter to save you from mispronunciations that were simply too too odious.
Book The Third, Chapters three through five (and two of 'em from Andy)!

Friday, June 29, 2007


Apologies to all, but I have been broadsided at work. I tried to get to the 'cast last night and was so bleary eyed I couldn't actually read the GarageBand screen or the text of the chapter. Tonight's going to be a long one too.

However, the good news is that We Have More Andy Minter for the next couple of episodes. The bad news is the chapter that precedes him is so hideous that I'm going to have to record it myself. I simply cannot make you listen to someone pronouncing "Defarge" as "Deh-far-jay" for a whole chapter. And not only that, but it's a chapter where the name is said close to a million times.

Not that I'm prone to hyperbole.

Regardless, and embarrassingly in a week where there's no 'Cast, I need to send my heartfelt thanks out to donors from the week:
Lauren of California
Patty of Indiana (I think)
And, as always
Heidi of...well...her own special world.

Next week--two shows to make up for this (and I'll finish editing the special surprise interview for you too asap)!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Episode Fifty-nine: The End Begins...

Tonight we begin book three.
Tomorrow I conduct a new (surprise) interview. You'll not believe who...

I'm starting a blogroll of supporter/subscribers, so if you've sent in a donation and have a blog, please let me know so I can link to it!

I fight (and beat?) the specter of grammar education—and exhaust my wussy self in the process!

Ooh, and go here to see a Dragoon. NICE uniform! Here's David Brin's Earth. Some wild art for you!

And just a little quote to compare someone we all know with the French Revolution:

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
by: Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father
drafted the Declaration of Independence
3rd US President
November 13, 1787,
letter to William S. Smith,
quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Episode Fifty-eight: Both Over and Underwhelmed

Heather has a close encounter with the OED, some frustrating times getting SAWPed, makes progress on a Clapotis, regresses on a warp, and falls in love (all over again) with Jane Eyre. Thanks to Becky (my Bastille Babe), Tikabelle, Irish Clover, Paper, Knitting2Relax, Teresa (my doppelganger), Heidi, and Julie--don't forget to swing by her Podcast!

Next week--should all go according to plan--another bonus interview for you and (finally) the Knitting Disaster Essays! (There's still room for more! Send 'em in!)

And again, many thanks for your donations and support. Especially now when I'm not-quite-so-gainfully-employed, it's a blessing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Episode Fifty-seven: Of Math and Martyrs

Bach's Goldberg Variations, writers are fun to hang out with, but you're afraid of our competition, My first Odeo! Looking for a dime and trying not to be a martyr. (Now you'll have to listen. That won't make any sense otherwise!)

Disclaimer for this week's episode below.

Get your pattern in the Knitting Pattern-a-day Calendar* and go check out Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar... a really scary article Teresa sent in, To be or not to be? At U.S. colleges, it's increasingly 'not' :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Other Views

OH! I forgot to say on the 'Cast--there's still one knitting book out there just waiting for a knitting disaster story. I have two...will you be the third?! Send 'em in. Don't be shy!

Oh, and Chapters 21 and 22 of Book the Second! But, sadly, no Chip or Andy...not this week. They'll be back though. Promise!

Don't forget to check out Julie's podcast!

*The 411: $500 will be awarded as First place for both calendars; there are also 2nd and 3rd place prizes; and all contributors whose patterns are used will receive a 2009 calendar. Please go to our website at and learn more about the submission requirements and our contest. If you have any questions, please contact me and I will gladly answer your questions. You can also download the informational PDF if you're interested.
Good luck--and let me know if you win!!!

The "teacher as martyr" reference comes from an article I read years ago--and an idea that's still being discussed--that teachers are only "allowed" to fall into two categories: martyrs and saints. It went on to say that in any other profession this would be unacceptable, but that for some reason, teachers tend to work (and work well) within those confines. Which means when they no longer have the time or energy to be either, they have to quit. I am not saying that all teachers are martyrs, just that there are some (myself included) who fit that category. There are others (rarely ELA teachers) who manage to have a life and be a teacher. I could never find the balance. Follow up with this entry from Michael Fullan's book, Change Forces.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Episode Fifty-six: The Very Best Thing

With love to my family and especially my sons who remind me often that they are my very best things.

I get a little verklempt about Ovid as Theatre.

Today, a little rambling, what I'll do with the start of my "summer vacation", the return of Andy and Chip! (Did I tell you I wrote fan mail to Chip? He didn't write back. My heart is broken.)

Chapters 18, 19, and 20 of Book The Second...we're closing in on that revolution, folks!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Episode Fifty-five: Still Knitting...

And, um...weaving too.

Like I needed another pastime...

Begging for a knitted farm.
And did I tell you about this fantastic book?!

And, finally, I have to share my Sock Yarn Love from Katie's store (this is Desert Olive and Sincerity in the Juliet yarn, 75% superwash and 25% nylon...and it's so soft you'll wonder where they hid the nylon...). Yay Katie!

And a belated thank you to Rachael who dyed some sock yarn for me--gorgeous Kool Aid colors! MORE SOCKS! Whoo hoo! (And Rachael, if your DH convinces you to come to AZ--and you's a dry heat--be sure to let me know when and where!)

And the essay I refer to in the 'Cast.

Don't forget. If you want a copy of When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters you have to send me your most outrageous knitting horror story. My sister and husband--impartial to the intricacies of knitting and your names, but very good writers--will pick the three best for me to read on the next episode, and those three lucky folks will receive their own copy. Gratis! (You can thank the publishing company.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Episode Fifty-four: Raveled

Soon (I hope) I'll post an interview with Jessica of new website for knitters and crocheters which is in Beta now. You can sign up on the waiting list, though. And,'ll probably want to.

But don't let the definition make your head hurt--notice the odd little usage overlap below? Ow!

And, because I'm still an English Teacher at heart:

A little art to make you think...

Debra sent in a "convergence of art, science, and craft." Really. Pics here.

"HoyaGirl" left a message I couldn't reply to asked if she should go ahead and start the paperwork for her Clear Credential. My thoughts: It's never too early to start banging your head against the bureaucratic wall that is Public Education--it's a noble sort of calling that I'm proud to call my own.

My former student Anahad, and my Sister have BOTH released books this month!

And an amazing bird for you and a huge elephant seal!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bonus Episode! Knit.1 with Adina Klein

Our humble podcast has been graced by the Editor-in-Chief of SoHo Publishing's Knit.1 magazine—Adina Klein (SoHo also does Vogue Knitting and Knit Simple).

Aside from being awful fun to talk to, Adina is a knitter, crocheter, painter, sketcher, purveyor of fine books (new ones!), and--my fave--a Nationally Ranked Scrabble Champ.

How cool is that!?!

We might get a chance to talk to her again later this year. I'll keep you posted.

So, kick back, enjoy a peek into the secret world of Knitting Mag creation, then go get yourself a copy of Knit.1's new Green Issue. Chock full-a good stuff.

And for those who are non-knitters (I know you're out there!) you may want to take a look at the instructions at the back of the magazine. They're so clear, it may convince you to pick up some pointy sticks.


I'm off to weave for a bit.

No, really!

Direct link (in case iTunes muffed it again).

Episode Fifty-two AND Fifty-three—Double Your Fun!

NOTE: Glitches on 52 and 53 have been fixed--re-download Episode Fifty-two and Episode Fifty-three and all will be well. (And Verizon really does suck, but they didn't make the glitch.)

Show notes for 52 and 53 are jumbled in here.
Sorry 'bout that...

I'll tell you what!
Check this out--thank you Jenna!

Don't forget to visit ShopYarnLove! New yarns coming soon! Nummy! And grab a t-shirt while you're at it!

Updates on Turning Forty (yeah, it's in caps) and how much I miss The Met.

On Sale!
My wonderful Daddy!

Hope you caught the interview with Adina Klein from Knit1 we got in on the get-out-the-word event for their new "Green" issue (seriously, NAYY, you should pick this one up--even if you don't knit). Can I tell you how excited (read: terrified) I was?

A badger for a Swap Buddy and more on that on my regular blog.

My Goofy (see the fifth comment) Sister. (And Cool Rosslyn Church Info and video!)

When Knitters Come Unhinged. (Dark Lord? Cute?)

Anything in your life feel like a circle of hell? Take a look at The Onion. I loved this and found it again recently when emailing with a listener. Clevah!

For you Golden Compass Fans—My Dæmon (and my fear of "children in peril):

I think you can click there or here and either agree or disagree with it's shape--then watch it transform.

A cool French Revolution short story! Thanks G-Nina!

And, never least!
An Episode Fifty-two link to Becky's work at Librivox. Without here, I kid you not, you'd all be sitting there this week saying, "HUH?! WHA???". Bless you Becky, for saving our ears! I'll play you out with her rendition of "The Tuft of Flowers" by Robert Frost. Her fave.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Where's Heather?

Well, here's the thing:
Technology is only good when it works.

Last night I recorded the entire blasted podcast, realized the audio on the chapters was too low, saved the file to wait until this morning to fix and upload.

I just went into the file to fix it up and post it and...

What file?

WHAT file?

Why then, you may ask, is she not just fixing it/re-recording it now?

Because my husband is whisking me away in minutes to go to NYC for my birthday weekend!

That good.

I get to go here, and eat here, and sing here, and see my friends here.

I am happy.
I'm sorry about the podcast though.

Monday, I'll record an interview, re-record the podcast, and all will be well.

I hope YOU have a great weekend too!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Episode Fifty-one: Happy (fill-in-the-blank) To Me!

Hey, do me a favor, wouldja? Click on that Popcurrent thingy in the right margin (here if you're looking at Libsyn).

And take a look at this very useful sock page (I I obsessed?).

I'm freaking people out with my Hufflepuff Sock (What is that...a BADGER?!). Spinning a buncha llama, in public no less. Trying not to lose my mind when I go for a week at a time without talking to another adult. And being very sad over losing Vera.

Take a look here for help on French Titles. And enjoy Book 2, Chapter IX, The Gorgon's Head.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Episode Fifty: Just The Chapters, Ma'am

Waiting for word on the t-shirt glitch. I'll post here when I know more.

From Katie: I got a notice yesterday that CaféPress experienced storage and backup failure recently. My guess is our image was a part of the ones they were unable to restore. I still have a copy, so I’ll get those products put back up later on today.

I'm about to head out to see the oral surgeon AGAIN. My mouth is still stuffed with gauze and my head is stuffed iwth Vicodan (which, sadly, ain't workin' too well).

Today it's just the chapters. I'm sorry about that, but I'll post what tidbits I can here. And, honestly, you wouldn't be able to understand me talk about these chapters a sadder note, my friend Jeannie Townsend (of sock creating fame) who has given away literally thousands of sock patterns for free, is now supporting son and grandson (this would be the third grandchild she is raising!!). She is now trying to pay the light bill by selling a sock pattern. She's able to accept PayPal for $5 to JeanTownsend [at] earthlink [dot] net. Let her know in the note line that you'd like the Gold Sock Pattern.
She also donated a sock pattern which now comes free with the purchase of yarn from the Astrid Dutch Obsessions web site.

Some interesting info from Sandi (who, like me, should take up a collection for an OED):

I was just listening to episode 48, and I was curious about the last line in Congratulatory, which describes the winding sheet of the candle dripping onto Carton's sleeve. I got that it's an obvious omen of death, but I just couldn't wrap my head around how it would be possible to combine a burial shroud and a candle. So, I did a little internet searching and found this explanation:

“[a] mass of solidified drippings of grease clinging to the side of a candle, resembling a sheet folded in creases, and regarded in popular superstition as an omen of death or calamity” (OED).

Apparently, in Scottish tradition the same association is made between candle drippings and death:

"The common tallow candle in burning often gutters, and the tallow runs over the edge and down the side of the candle. It soon hardens. When the flame consumes the candle, at times the little column formed by the gutter is left standing unconsumed on the edge of the candle. It is called a "coffin-spehl," and is looked upon with suspicion as portending a death in the family at no very distant period."

Based on those two bits of folklore, I'm guessing that there is an association between candle drippings and burial shrouds because: a) the creased wax simply resembles the cloth of a shroud, and b) this creased wax is what remains of the candle after the flame has burnt out, the extinguishing of light, of course, being symbolic of death.

And then, there's today's chapters, Book 2, chapters 6, 7, 8.

Chapter 6: All About Foreshadowing–really. Nothing should be taken for mere "filler" in this chapter. Miss Pross and Mister Lorry are lovely here, and Lucie, you may notice, is in fact the "Golden Thread" that improves all it touches throughout the book. She's almost an archetype—certainly not a 'real' woman, but an important tool that Dickens is using in the book.

Chapter 7: Back to France. Pay close, close attention here. We get a little Madame Defarge here (I wonder what she'd knit?) and while this whole chapter reads like it's an extended metaphor or symbol or grand allegorical moment—it's not. doesn't hurt to see it that way, but sadly, these guys are real.
This is an ugly chapter, meant to parallel the earlier chapter of the wine cask breaking in the streets. Dickens may not like what the mob is up to, but he has no love of the aristocracy either (remember, he wasn't born rich himself).
As always with Dickens, whenever he gives you a physical description—listen closely. It's a representative of the person's soul. And speaking of souls, listen for the corruption of these men's relationship with God.
Some words for this chapter:
escutcheon the shield of a family crest.

"the merry Stuart who sold it" That was Charles II.

Convulsionists Um...think "Holy Rollers," an ecstatic religious group

Palace of the Tuileries Louis and Marie-Antoinette's digs in Paris.

Chapter 8: Lovely guy, eh? Note more red symbolism. And WHO exactly is coming to call at the end of the chapter? Hmmmm?
Some words here:
the heavy drag a carriage brake

the chase the hunt

the chain of the shoe chain connected to the brake (shoe)

And then, of course, my heart goes out to the poor students and families at Virginia Tech. I'd like to think that this finally will get us to deal with mental illness responsibly...but I think I know us too well at this point. We'll treat this guy like a freak, and the next time a teacher comes forward and says, "I have a kid in my class who needs help," that teacher will be told:
a) if he hasn't made a threat, there's nothing we can do
b) you're blowing this all out of proportion
c) you're white and he's (fill in your own) and everyone'll just think you're racist/sexist/elitist/ageist
d) we can't lock someone up for something they might do
e) look, they're just kids. They say dumb things.

And the kids who need help will continue to go it alone.

Makes me cry.

And the drop of the shoe: Vera Meiselas Mensher, 1914-2007.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Episode Forty-nine: Waiting For The Shoe...

And So It Goes...
I recorded last night and woke up today to find that Kurt Vonnegut
passed away last night. It's like my own personal Mark Twain died. So sad.

I started reading Vonnegut when I was in fifth grade. My parents let me read almost all of his books (except Player Piano) and I literally wolfed them down--most of them I've reread at some point. He wrote a two page "how to write" flyer that I THINK is still in my box of "school junk". Brilliant.
I'm so sorry he's not public domain. We wont be able to listen to him here, but I so deeply urge you to pick up something he wrote. Slaughterhouse Five (riffs on his experiences IN a Dresden meat locker (!) during our (secret) WWII bombing campaign) or Cat's Cradle (riffs on life, the universe, and everything) are good places to start.
"See? damn damn cradle..."

Back to Craftlit:

I am sad about Vera; don't forget your shirt; check out some neat yarn stores (now and pending) I came across; a cool thimble; nifty blogs to read; a Knitty Coffeeshop (no really); a knitalong for this (which I covet); and more on the mysterious "Hilary Term".

And I promised a pic of The Shirt:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Episode Forty-eight: As God Is My Witness, On You it Looks Good!

We have a SHIRT!

Take pics of yo' bad self in a shirt and send the pics to me! I'll post them on the blog...just don't expect one of me on that new glass walk-way over the Grand Canyon !

And, please visit to support Katie who has "shirted" us.

And Carrie left this note:

More random information for you - the Bedlam mental hospital in London still exists - it is now a building called Salisbury House off London Wall and Finsbury Circus in central London and houses several law firms' offices among other things including the London office of the company I work for! (you might say not much change there then!). Although the office parts have been altered and updated the stairwells are still much as I imagine they always have been complete with tiled walls and it is a very strange mixture of a building to walk around in.

My First Sock-Swap (or, Just Call Me Sucker).

And who wouldn't want a Ron Weasley Cell Phone Cover?

And, FUN!

"With over a million hits to in its first few months, we knew this program was going to be something special," Patty Parrish, Executive Director of TNNA, explains. "Stitch N' Pitch is sweeping the Nation. The response from baseball Clubs, the needlearts industry and fans is overwhelming. Stitch N' Pitch creates a unique and fun environment for families, singles, couples, old, young, kids, women and yes, even men!"

Watch carefully and you might "catch" a knitting contest, team mascots wearing handmade colorful scarves, images of men knitting, counted cross-stitch frames, teaching tables full of children learning how to needlepoint, a Ceremonial 1st Pitch with a ball of yarn and so much more!! Special Stitch N' Pitch gift bags, giveaways and surprises will round out each fantastic event. Local needlearts retailers, wholesalers, guilds and groups will come by car, bus and train to be a part of this new American phenomenon - Stitch N' Pitch!

Enter Creative & Fun Contest - Just for the Fans!!
CRAFT Magazine's Stitch N' Pitch Contest! The contest is open to everyone to enter in their own baseball theme craft in the categories of knitting, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery. The contest kicks-off on April 4th with the deadline for submissions on May 31st.

And, as a way to date myself, you really should take a look at The Battle of the Bands (some graphic images, not for kids).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Episode Forty-seven: How Sweet It Is!

I've cleaned up the craft room!
Can I get an "Amen"?

And I've got more Chip for you today!

And I've got a lot of cooking to do! Good thing that deadline is past!

We weigh in on Mdm. DeF's knitting choices, Cast on for Kenya, and generally enjoy some more Dickens!

NOTE: There may be the same problem with this week's file. Try downloading again...sorry!

The Kenya Info:

HIV positive children in Kenya need
blankets to keep them warm at night and to keep fever at bay, and
also simply to have a soft, comforting object of their very own.
These children own almost nothing, and a blanket handmade with care
especially for them would show them that someone, even someone very
far away, cares.

This blanket drive is part of the Slum Doctor Program, a grassroots
organization whose mission is "to lift the burden of despair for
people impacted by AIDS in Africa by providing hope, medicine, food,
education, and dignity." For more information visit We're asking that blankets be made of a natural fiber or high quality acrylic, so they will be easy to keep clean, and that they be sized for children ages 0-8. We're also
asking that if you do plan to cast on for Kenya, you email The blankets will be brought to Kenya by
volunteers, and they need to have an estimate of how many they will
be carrying with them. The deadline for donations is June 15th.
Finished blankets should be sent to the Slum Doctor Program, P.O. Box
2156, Bellingham, WA 98227-2156.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Episode Forty-six: In Praise of the OED

Gotta love the old OED. If only I could afford one...

In my quest for a Parisian/Dickensian map, I found this, and this, and this, but no map that would help us much.

But I did find the links to two video versions: the better reviewed of the two—GO CHRIS SARANDON (he's more than just a Humperdink!); and
this one which didn't get panned, but...well...BOO Bad hair miniseries!

Your challenge! WWMDK?
I feel a Cafe Press T-shirt coming on...don't you?
Wouldn't this be handsome?

With a big:
What Would Madame Defarge Knit?
blazing underneath?

And me?
I knit socks.

Even in line at a theme park.

And I think I may have to get a Weavette. Bad Heather.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Episode Forty-five: What Would Madame Defarge Knit?

O how I want a bumper sticker!

And hey--ANDY MINTER! What a mensch, eh?

I belive I promised you links to Antioch Univeristy, MicroRevolt and the KnitPro doohicky, and Heavenly Creatures.

And now? Off to La Disneylandia!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Episode Forty-four: Return of Chip

O how many different ways can I bring you joy? Really, only one way:
To bring Chip (Mister Sleepy Hollow to you) back as a reader.
Today BOTH chapters are his.


Happily my husband's not even jealous...maybe because I've not told him.


Little else to show for myself this week, unless you want me to upload some of the curriculum I'm on deadline for?
I have no idea why!

Erqsome (who I think has the most kickin' email address I've seen) sent some great Dickensian links for us to enjoy.

A Finnish site.
A UCSC site.
An INCREDIBLE map page (must see!).
And the ToTC companion page to the map.

Things I had to cut:

Perhaps the coolest thing to come off of my SnB callendar EVER.

My son's gonna be on this! (but we have no idea when...)

And just 'cuz I'm feelin' it...I love these guys...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Episode Forty-three: In Which Our Tale Begins...

You'll need to know a few things, like...

What's a blunderbuss?

This, this is a blunderbuss.

This is Chuck.

Who was Mrs. Southcott?
She was an English spiritualist.

What was the Cock-Lane Ghost?
One of the first ever psychic scams. Read about it. You'll find MANY different versions on the web.

This is the issue of Spin-Off that I need two bloody pages's the Sock thing from Stasia which I thought was very helpful. Check out Pandora and

And in both the "any publicity is good publicity" and the "I've never heard of an idea so dangerous it couldn't be talked about" departments: the Librarians have lost their minds! Anyone remember Are You There God? It's Me Margaret? Anyone? Anyone?

And if you have the travel bug:
West Coast Folks. East Coast Folks.

And don't forget: WWMDFK?
(What Would Madame DeFarge Knit?)

Think on't.

Thanks to our readers Michael Sirois and Kara Shalinberg.

And, finally:
Spinneret's cogent and I think important note on "Screw":

From various sources -
As in England, early lawmakers in this country adopted 10 as the age of consent.
The age of consent in England was raised from 12 (which is what it was when James was born in 1843) to 13 in 1875 and then to 16 in 1886.
The Factory Act from 1844 reduced the hours of work for children between 8 and 13 to six and a half a day, either in the morning or afternoon, no child being allowed to work in both on the same day, except on alternate days, and then only for ten hours
The Factory Act, 1891 raising the minimum age at which a child can be set to work from ten to eleven.
So the perspective on children was a little different at that point, T.O.T.S. (funny that) being published in 1898. Accepting that these children are not from the working class they still would not have fallen under the societal view as young innocents.
Thanks for the great read.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

HomeLife Intrudes

I'm so sorry, but this week's podcast is just not going to make it out of my head. I'm dealing with some sticky family stuff and need the week to get my sea legs, so to speak. Don't want to short-change you or Dickens. So, the next installment will be on March 1, 2007.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.