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March 16, 2011

Knitting Block By Block -- A big ol' Wednesday freebie

Today's book giveaway selection is one of my favorite new knitting books of the year. It's Nicky Epstein's Knitting Block by Block: 150 Blocks for Sweaters, Scarves, Bags, Toys, Afghans, and More.


It's a luscious hardcover book that features my #1 most favorite thing in all of knitting: the knitted block. A block is like a swatch with attitude. You can learn amazing techniques this way and knit yourself a whole blanket. I personally use knit block patterns to expand my handwarmer repertoire ... for what is a handwarmer except a knitted block that is seamed up one side? Leave a hole for the thumb and you're golden.

This book is a tome, really packed with patterns and information. There are a lot of charts in this book, so if you abhor charts and can't bear to knit from one than this is not your giveaway. (I always think it's good to know in advance what you're trying to win, yes?) But if you're into complex and beautiful block patterns this is your book. Thank you so much to Jessica Reich from Crown Publishing Group who hooked me up with a giveaway copy.

To be eligible to win, post a comment in the comment section of this entry. Comments will close tomorrow. Winner(s) chosen at random and notified by email. Good luck!

If you want to win you need to include a valid email address with your comment. IF you do not want your email address to show up beneath your comment name, you must enter some web address in the URL field. This is internet tomfoolery! I'm sorry I am bad with the code. Anyway, you can just type http://www.crazyauntpurl.com in the URL if you want.

If you don't want this book but still want to comment by all means please do, but let me know you aren't interested OR just leave off your email address.

Winners of the crochet book were alerted (still waiting confirmation on one) and yesterday's winners will be selected this morning. Need coffee!

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Jen asked: (About yesterday's photo) I love the print on your wall behind the Soba -- where is it from?

Jen, it's a silkscreen that I bought in the Target garden department (I know, right?) about three years ago. I'm sure it would be cooler to make up a story about buying it from some hip local gallery but yeah, I got it on sale at Target for like six bucks. It's actually one of three, all the same print but on different fabric. I have them hanging like a mini-installation above the stairs.


Debbie said: Seriously, Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat is the BEST cat litter with a really dumb name. In Cincinnati, the only place I can find it is at PetsMart.

Debbie, I buy it there, too! I mean the L.A. store, as a drive to Cincinnati and back would be crazy even for me. I once bought the 40-pound bag off amazon.com with a free shipping thing and the UPS man practically flipped me off as he delivered it.


The Cat Litter Chronicles: A New TV Show
Not really, but it would be funny to show up at a pitch meeting and do a whole spiel on a TV show just about cat litter. Especially since men in Los Angeles seem to be unnaturally terrified of cats.

Yesterday I heard from lots of folks on their favorite brands of cat litter and while the cats here at Chez Hairball love Dr. Elsey's, you will probably have to experiment to find something just right for your own home and herd. The one thing that is ALWAYS true and applies to ALL CATS is that you must keep the litter box clean! It doesn't take long. A quick scoop twice a day will do it. Clean, clean, clean!


Heather asked:
Wait - by corn based cat litter not sold in California you don't mean World's Best do you??! 'Cause if so, I need to get my cats used to another brand before I make the planned move West in 18 months.

Hi Heather. Don't panic. They sell WBCL here. You can read about the banned brand of corn litter in this old post where I shook my tiny fist of rage. Every other litter company in the world just added a small sticker to the bags which says, "Don't flush!" except the one brand I used to use and WILL NEVER EVER USE AGAIN. That company simply does not care about Californians. I HATE them still. Even though hate is a strong word I believe it applies in this case.


Jill said: About... HEAVY. I love the shows both ways and wonder why the switch? The shows had to be taped long before they started airing, so the switch can't be blamed on viewer feedback.

Jill, I think that's what I was most curious about -- why the format switch midseason? Did a bi-polar director helm the season? Or perhaps the show was split between two producers, each with their own vision? So interesting. Unless I am just dreaming up some backstage drama that never happened. But that is what I do when I'm not talking about cat litter.


Candice asked: Laurie, are you watching Celebrity Apprentice? The ratio of crazy to not as crazy is unbelievable. Hello, naked guy from Survivor 1, Gary Busey, LaToya Jackson... If you aren't watching it, you should because this coming Sunday they put Gary Busey in charge of it all and that's going to be a hilarious disaster, I can only imagine!

Hi Candice. I don't watch but I am just posting a reply to your comment because you made me laugh. I can only imagine what a world where Busey Is Boss would look like. Teevee brings us so much goodness.


Readers Diana in NYC and Zaftiguous both asked what I am knitting these days. I'm into entrelac right now, I have a scarf going. I kind of took a break from knitting from December-February. I've been writing a lot and exercising a lot but not knitting so much and now I'm back into entrelac which seems to either bore or scare my fellow knitters. Sometimes I think I am all alone in my entrelackian world.


Kristen said: I just picked up The Book of Awakening, based on your feedback...I like it, some days it's just what I need to hear. I confess that I have been reading ahead, I can't help myself.

Kristen -- I read ahead, too. Some of his essays don't hit me (that day) but I'll skip ahead and find one that just grabs me. I don't do any of the meditation stuff, though. I really suck at meditating and it stresses me out. Go, Team Neurotic.


NOW for the Investigative Photo Journalism portion of the day:


If I spoke Cat, I imagine I would have heard this:

Frankie: OM MY GOD, you guys, look, look, I am touching her!!!! I am going to sit here and inhale her sweet, Dictator smell and just be in her presence and look OMFG I am touching her! I am trying to remain CALM. YOU GUYS! I am touching The One! It's like that time when they said there was no spoon, except, like, I am so totally touching The Spoon!

Sobakowa: Do you see the crap I have to put up with?

Posted by laurie at March 16, 2011 9:01 AM