Monday, November 02, 2015

Newborn Hat Pattern: Tut Tut, Looks Like Rain


If you would prefer a PDF of this pattern, you can download it here from Ravelry.

  • Approximately 30 yards (28 metres) of sport weight yarn
  • US 3 (2.5 mm) set of double pointed needles, or suitably long circular needle for Magic Loop
  • Yarn needle
  • 4 stitch markers (one unique)

24 sts = 4 ins
32 rows = 4 ins

  • CO 60 sts.
  • Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. Place unique marker to indicate beginning of rnd.
  • Rounds 1 to 3: K1, P1 around.
  • Knit in stockinette (K all sts) for the next 20 rounds.
  • Round 1: (K1, P1) 3 times, PM. k18. (P1, K1) 3 times. PM. Knit to end of rnd.
  • Round 2: (P1, K1) 3 times, K18, (K1, P1) 3 times. Knit to end of rnd.
  • Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 five times more. You are making two seed stitch squares at the top corners of the front of the hat.
  • Put first 30 sts (front of hat) on one dpn and last 30 sts (back of hat) on another needle. Use Kitchener Stitch to graft front and back of hat together.
  • Break yarn and weave in ends. You're done!


CO = cast on
K = knit
P = purl
rnd = round
sts = stitches
dpn = double pointed needle
PM = place marker

(This pattern is free for personal use; please do not sell hats made from this pattern or use it without attribution to the author.)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

movie review: The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet 
(2013, France/Australia/Canada) 
directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is most well-known for Amelie, the movie that got even people who don't like subtitled movies from France to watch a subtitled movie from France. Amelie, Delicatessen, and MicMacs have a similar sensibility--whimsy and a lot of visual delight, with an undercurrent of darkness and sadness. Jeunet's newest film (released in 2013 in Europe but delayed until 2015 in North America) continues in this vein.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, because I didn't really know anything about it beforehand, and I think I enjoyed the movie all the more for it. However, without spoiling anything, I can say that it involves
  • a quirky family of scientists and ranchers (with one budding thespian)
  • a ranch nestled in the beautiful, stylized mountains of Montana
  • a tragic accident
  • an ingenious invention
  • a cross-country adventure by rail
  • the Smithsonian
Jeunet divides the acts of his story with dynamic images of a pop-up bookn. This movie is a lot like a good pop-up book: gorgeous and stuffed with tiny delights. The storyline is absorbing, though at times seems to be teetering dangerously close to too slow--but it revs up again just as things seem to be grinding to a halt. I thought there was a good balance of lightness and sadness, too, which is a tricky thing to get right.

The actors are uniformly good, and there are some cameos that Canadians will enjoy (the movie was made partly in Canada). The boy playing T.S. Spivet is odd but likable, and I have to say this may be one of my favourite roles for Helena Bonham Carter.

Overall, I'd recommend it if you liked Amelie and are OK with whimsy.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Easy Green Sauce (Vegan)


1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 package soft tofu (silken is best, but soft will do)
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste


Pulse garlic clove, nutritional yeast, basil leaves and lemon juice in blender.
Add tofu and blend until smooth.
Add salt to taste.
Pour over hot, freshly cooked pasta.
Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

This takes about 5 minutes and tastes like the colour green. Very herbal. Nice way to use up the last basil leaves of the summer. You will feel healthy and virtuous for having eaten it.

I like to put this "vegan parmesan" on it for texture (from maple*spice).