31 October 2012

happy halloween punkin bread

I made this for The Bear's Halloween party in his classroom today. It's so yummy, I thought I'd share! It's vegan, since Bear can't eat dairy or egg whites.


Pumpkin Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
4 tsps hot water
2 cups pumpkin purée
2 tsps baking soda
4 cups white flour (or 2 cups white flour; 2 cups white whole wheat flour)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
optional: 2 cups raisins or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together sugar with shortening. Put hot water in a bowl and stir in hot pumpkin purée and baking soda. Let mixture foam up and rise, then add to creamed mixture. Sift flour together with salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix thoroughly. Stir in raisins or nuts. Split batter in half and bake in two loaf pans for about 50 minutes in an oven of 350 degrees F. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

And since I didn't get you a musing on Monday, this one is from Sandi Wiseheart: "There are two sides to kindness, both equally healing. Being kind to others, and allowing others to be kind to you. Try letting both happen."

I am much better on the former, but I'm working on the latter. :)

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28 October 2012


It's been a long time since I've written, but I'm popping in with some catch-up!

I released my October Pins & Lace Club pattern yesterday. (Don't miss the sign-ups for 2013!)

I've called it Firebird, in thanks to the amazingly brave and wonderful firefighters who saved us over the summer fire season.

The full club kit came with a nickel shawl pin (an impressionistic take on wings), a sample of my favorite wool wash Kookaburra, and Spark lace yarn from Little Red Bicycle. It was a special color called Scarlet Sentinel in wool, silk and stellina metallic, which adds just a subtle sparkle to the yarn. 

The sample shown here is knit in The Grinning Gargoyle's lovely Divine Lace in Signature Red, as the mail gods conspired against my receiving Didi's yarn on time.

The shawl starts in the center (in the round) and is divided later

as part of it is bound off

and the two sides are worked into wings.

I used Rosemarie's belly button start for the center, which I love love love. But I am admitting here - to all of you who have similar troubles - I always have to start several times when I knit laceweight yarn in the round. Usually, I start and rip about 4 or 5 times, sometimes more. One of these days, I'll post a video of me starting and having all the needles fall out, just so you can all have a laugh!

A couple weekends ago, at the Carson City pool complex (indoor; Olympic-sized), Reno/Sparks teams hosted a meet and my little one, The Bear, got two JO times! This means he qualifies for a championship meet (Junior Olympics) and he cannot wait to go!

We are super excited for him. He is one positive little guy. (I wish that we could move his elder brother in the positive direction, but he seems determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Someone please tell me I am not alone here. It's so painful to watch him defeat himself.)

Last Friday, it was Nevada Day, which meant no school. It was also our 16th wedding anniversary. We all piled in the car to go up to Granlibakken and pick up a Clemes & Clemes wheel that had traveled down to SOAR via Tracy and Tom from Diane in Eugene, OR. What nice people! Spinners and knitters are truly the kindest people. Here she is. (I am sure she is a she, but I'm not sure why I think so.)

While I was at SOAR - only for about an hour total - I made a whirlwind tour of the market tent (yes - tent - and apparently not bear-proof) and stopped by the Verb for Keeping Warm booth to see two shivering friends (Kristine and Aday) from the California Bay Area. I will admit to having made some good-natured fun of them. And I had to snap a pic.

I stopped by Karen's booth and she insisted I take some of her lovely yarn. I couldn't refuse. So I chose two skeins for a new two color design.

I got a much needed niddy noddy from Clemes and Clemes.
I had wanted to replace the orifice hook on my new wheel,

but they hadn't brought any hooks with them. So this past weekend, Mr. Romi and I did a tandem project.

I love it.

In other news, Otto the Dog has a new necklace. (He can take it off, as well as put it on all by himself.)

We finally installed our new doorbell.

And...look at the splash of color up on the mountain!

There must be a seep or a running spring up there, and look at the lovely grove of aspens. We've been watching them change color as fall progresses.

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23 October 2012

monday's musing - tuesday edition

This is one we need in our house right now. Teenage angst is rampant here these days!

"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And for all the other sufferers out there: I am yours in solidarity.


15 October 2012

monday's musing

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama


14 October 2012

of leaf and wave

Cushy garter stitch.




 A feast for the senses.

Being test knit right now.
The second shawl from my "Home is Where the Heart Is" eBook.
I know many of you have been to the area inspired by this design.

Terry said it first in my Ravelry forum: "Looks like Lake Tahoe to me…"

Sweet Georgia yarn, available from Jimmy Beans! Pattern coming soon!

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09 October 2012

peeky peeky peeking

I know you all want to see what is beyond the leaf. Right?

There is some stripey-ness.

I do love stripes.

And a little widening at the deep blue-ish teal.

I love this color combination and the yarn is a huge treat! Absolutely vibrant.
And I am loving the asymmetry.

It's almost finished. Well, it was actually finished, but it wasn't perfect, so now it is almost finished again. :) This one is shawl #2, and I have already imagiknitted shawl #3. Wait until you see the yarny goodness on that one!


08 October 2012

monday's musing

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Well - that may be a little bit of overkill as a prelude to announcing who has won Laura's kits, but you have to credit me for getting in the mood! There were a total of 68 comments and I chose two commenters on random.org. First was comment 54: Janet, and then 66: Raelene. Since I listed the cuff first, that one goes to Janet, and the necklace goes to Raelene! Ladies, please email me at romi(at)designsbyromi(dot)com (replace (at) with @ and (dot) with.) with your snail mail addresses!

Aside to peeps commenting about the not having thought about knitting jewelry before: you all are killing me! I wrote a book filled with knitted and crocheted jewelry, and here and here are patterns I did on knitty.com. Oh, and then there's this book - I have a pattern in it (and so does Laura!). And here's one on Twist Collective. There are others, too. I hope you all will try it! It's super fun, and knitting jewelry is great for instant gratification!

Have a terrific week! Or, as we say around here: "make it a terrific week!"

03 October 2012

adorn it

I met Laura Nelkin at my very first TNNA. She was working for Schaefer Yarn, and we shared a room, sight unseen. I thought she was fabulous then, and I still do. So much positive energy in one small person! Since then, she's left Schaefer and has been on her own for some time now. And she's doing some very cool stuff! Her second serialized knitted bling eBook, Adorn Anew, updated today with the latest pattern, so I took some time going through the whole book again.

Super cool. I love how she has links to video tutorials.

She also mentioned a photo teaser of November's design in her Ravelry group, so you all need to see that one too, of course!

I also happen to have a couple of her kits: for the Mudra cuff

and necklace. They go hand in hand with the eBook.

And I have to tell you how very very cool they are. I know more and more shops are carrying them, so I'm betting that one near you will be soon if they aren't already. And as much as I want to hoard these (because they are so freakin' awesome!) I am going to give them away to two lucky commenters. This is probably more what Laura had in mind when she sent them, don't you think? ;) So, I will pick two lucky people who comment on this post (on my blog - please don't email me a comment as they get kind of lost). You all have until Friday, midnight PDT, October 5. So comment! :)

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01 October 2012

monday's musing

"We are not born winners. We are not born losers. We are born choosers." -unknown

The Bear brought this quote home last week from school and I love it! I tried to determine an attribution, but alas. So many have used it, I couldn't track it down. I've been thinking about it ever since he told me. Now if only #1 Son would contemplate it. Deeply. ;)

Have a great week everyone!