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Free Pattern :: Fingerless Convertible Mittens


I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

While I understand the sentiment, I can't agree.  I hate winter.  I don't like to be cold or the feel that annual ache I get in my fingers.  Well this year, I decided to be proactive and made myself a pair of fingerless mittens that may be worn indoors or out. They are perfect for when you need to send a quick text and not freeze while waiting for the bus.  I designed them for eHow.com with the beginning knitter in mind.  They are designed to be knitted up on straight needles rather than the usual double points. But then if you are like me and prefer knitting in the round, you could bits in the round, convert back to straight for the thumb gusset if you've never made one and then zip back to double points.  Enjoy!  

Recipes :: Chocolate - Is it healthy?


All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. - Charles M. Schulz

My diet has become quite restricted since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease.  I'm okay with it, but some things I truly love and one of those items is CHOCOLATE!  According to the Mayo Clinic website, the following guidelines are given on the healthy benefits of chocolate:

In addition, some research has linked chocolate consumption to reduced risks of diabetes, stroke and heart attack. One caveat: More research is needed to confirm these results.

In the meantime, if you want to add chocolate to your diet, do so in moderation. Why? Most commercial chocolate has ingredients that add fat, sugar and calories. And too much can contribute to weight gain, a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

We'll, I've always preferred good quality very dark chocolate.  Now that I'm on a low sugar diet, I get the stuff that is 75% or more dark.  That may be considered too bitter for many of you, but I love it!

The following recipe comes from Mary K. Lawrie, a friend and long time vegan. She calls it the Fudge Single Lady Brownie.  It looks unbelievably delicious.  There is one "weird" ingredient in it. It calls for mashed avocado.  This is second or third recipe that calls for avocado mixed with chocolate that I've seen. I've yet to try it, but given Mary's recipes are always good, I've got to give it a try.  If you decide to do so also, let me know how it goes for you. I'll report back in a few days after I've tried it.

With my rheumatoid arthritis, I've also jumped on the gluten-ffree band wagon.  It helps to keep my inflammation to a minimum in my joints.  Anyway, sometimes I don't always have time to cook from scratch, so I've looked at a few gluten-free brownie mixes, and I like the Namaste Foods Brownie Mix.  For the oil, I use organic coconut oil. Though I prefer sugars that are lower on the glycemic scale which cane sugar is not, but these don't have much sugar in them.  The mix is a tad expensive at $7.00 or so a box, but well worth it. The price helps set the brownies at the level of a treat, so you don't over indulge!  Even my daughter likes them, and she's picky having attended a French Pastry School.

And of course, there is always my favorite -Bissengers.  I've been frequenting this business since childhood. I figure if it was good enough for Napoleon (he bought their chocolates when the business was still in France), then good enough for me. Every penny I saved went toward molasses chocolate lollipops.  I can't have those now, but when I stopped by there the other day and told them about my low sugar restriction, they were happy to steer me toward their dark chocolates with nuts  and coconut. YUM! They even have a dark chocolate with Quinoa crunch.  Super delish!