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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Back to Basics

Lets face it, I was meant to knit socks... atleast for now.... I consider this "heeling time". I need to heal from the scarring that occured late Saturday night. Not to mention 2 or 3 pairs of fab socks will boost the ego to try a garment again... Thanks for the tip Tracy on trying on sweaters and cardigans! great idea! why didn't I think of that? ;)

I got my Rockin' Sock Club package yesterday and what else can I say? WOW! BEAUTIFUL! I was going to dye up the same colors in self striping this weekend to put in my etsy shop! great minds think alike right? I would never compare myself to the artisians at blue moon, those ladies ROCK! But, I have already ordered the dye! So I will go as planned :)

So its time to sign up for the Sock Club again and its a bit more expensive than last year... I pre registred but I don't think I will be able to raise the money... thats okay I will raise what I can and just buy some "non club" yarn from them and have DH hide it around the house so when I find it , I will be surprised :)

colors I think I have to have?
Pucks mischeif
Rooster Rock Terra Firma More Dutch cnayon!
Down Pour
Jail House Rock

Some of those came from the January One blog... She posted a load that she bought and several of them I fell in love with :) What are your dream colors? we all do it! put stuff in our shopping cart, then think wow, i really need to close out this window before I actually buy all this!

have a safe week!

Picture to go:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Garment Nightmare!

Well the idea was simple and the knitted cropped cardigan looked good enough in my minds eye.....BUT why is it that every garment I knit LOOKS HORRIBLE on me? I knitted an entire cropped cardigan with 3/4 sleeves in 7 days..... What do I have to show for it? A filthy house, with a strange odor and a pile of yarn that was ripped this evening! Yes folks it a goner! Let me tell you this yarn I used was golden! Bluemoon fiber arts worsted (Twisted, Marbles) only I had 560 yards of it and purchased cascade 220 to coordinate... Yeah right big mistake! It just didn't look the way i wanted it :(

Just one garment thats it! I don't ask for much! Just one stinking sweater or cardigan that acutally makes me look spectacular instead of scary!

Is anyone really reading this? I haven't commented on blogs in two weeks! what can I say? I'm soooo in a funk. HELP!

Give me ideas people! this is exactly why i haven't clothes shopped in 6 years! What the heck will good on this dumpy frame? any patterns you have in mind?? Please clue me in!

I have 1400 yds of some encore... maybe i should just make a modest stripe with the blue moon fiber arts yarn? who knows?

I have no clue when I will pick up needles again :(

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Crocheted Steeks 101

Okay guys I learned a new skill! hehehe... this only perpetuates my love of knitting in the round to AVOID SEAMING! (yuckers).....

Make a few practice swatches before you try your "luck" on the real thing!

Make sure the the two rows that you will be steeking are in St. stitch so the stitches aka "V's" are very obvious. here we go!

slip crochet hook in casted on (or bound off) stitch ("V")... place your slip knot on the hook and then pull it through that stitch.
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Now go up to the next stitch (or "V")and stitck your crochet hook through both legs of it...
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Now wrap the yarn around the hook...

Pull it through the stitch legs and the slip knot...

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now you should have just one loop on that hook right? and a crochted slip stitch on your swatch... right?

Now go into the stitch ("V") above and repeat the process of wrapping yarn and pulling through.

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Go all the way up to the other casted on (bound off edge) stitch in the same vertical row... you are going to want to work that one as you did all the others.

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Then wrap your yarn around the hook without entering a stitch and pull through cut yarn and stick tail in loop, pull tight to bind off your crochet work.

Repeat this exact process for the row of stitches ("V's) next to the ones you just worked... the only thing that should be seperating them is the "bars".... this is'nt the best pic below... but you get the idea.. you would want to work the next vertical row.
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When you finsh the second vertical row then you will cut those bars... thats the only thing you will cut! the bars holding the crocheted stitches together.... The crochet slip stitch will hold all of your work in place without unraveling ;)

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any questions? I explained it as best as I could with the pictures. I hope to teach this after the holiday season at my LYS if there is a demand for it? We will see!

useful link on the crochet slip stitch

good luck! and I want to see your swatches when your done ;)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A cold fronts here GUMBO!

Growing up in Louisiana my family always celebrated the seasons first cold front with a big pot of chicken and sausage gumbo.... I really didn't know how to cook much of anything when I left home and got married.... but, the two things I did know? Potato salad and GUMBO! When I woke up this morning there was a chill in the air and a crisp cool wind...... hmmmmmm, Gumbo Season!
My friend Jenn has been asking me the recipes for years, so I decided to go ahead and take you step by step through a family tradition!

2 pound sausage (hot link, Earl Campbell)
3 Large bone-in Chicken breasts (remove skin all, debone 1 of the tree breats)
1 small clove of garlic minced
2 teaspoons of Tony's (see pic below)
2 packs of frozen pre-cut mixed Onion, celery, and bell pepper (known as the triliogy of cajun cooking) I got them frozen cut and pre-seasoned...
2/3 cup of oil (roux)
2/3 cup flour (roux)
Gumbo File

Make Roux first..... Combine oil and flour and mix in pyrex glass (microwave safe)measuring cup and put in microwave for 4 mins. stir heat again for 15 seconds (several times) until it is dark brown, but NOT BURNT like the one on the right! (see picture) I use to make roux the hard way and slve over a stove for an hour... not anymore! ( i prefer light rouxs, feel free to get it as dark as you like w/o burning....
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While your roux is heating put vegies in pot to cook down..
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When roux is ready pour it ontop of the vegies (watch out for splatter!)

Add 3 stadium size cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil.... (just fill the pot a little more than half way to have room for the meat.....) Add the garlic and tony's at this point...
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Lower your tempeture to a simmer or light boil and add the meat, Chicken breasts first!
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Can't fit all the meat? let it cook down an hour or two then add the rest of your sausage.

Skim oil and fat off the top, do not be surprised if you get almost a half of a mug full of oil and fat! dispose of this nasty stuff... yuck!

Whe ready to eat, prepare rice... por gumbo over rice in a bowl, sprinkle with file! Enjoy.
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BTW I HATE RICE! So for the very few other people in this world that hate rice, this is an excellent recipe for you too!

Remeber this is an all day event.... you ALWAYS want to start a good gumbo around noon if you want it for dinner. The chicken should be peeling off of the bone and thats when you know its ready :)

how do i get my roux the right color without burning it? Practice! you just have to get a feel for it....

Does my gumbo have to cook all day? Yes, if you want it to have the great flavor.

Can I make this in a crock pot? NO! I did that once and it tasted like crap! ;) threw out the whole batch!

What the heck is File? It's a season that comes sassafrass... trust me its good ;)

Next are Crocheted Steeks Promise ;)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Luck of the Swap!

I have participated in two swaps lately... the Yarn Aboard, and the ISE 3.... I got both packages in the mail this weekend and man o man these people are mind readers! This is why you join swaps people! ;)

My crappy photo of my fancy oh soooo soft scarf:
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His lovely photo of the same lovely scarf... Some people just have the time and space to make their pics look BEAUTIFUL!
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Karabella makes me weak in the knees and the pattern is great (reversible) He did a great job... and yes, you heard right "HE!" A male knitter named Christopher, I am simply giddy!

Here is the Yarn Aboard package and its contents.... My partner was Jenn, yep my best friend... it wasn't planned it just ended up that way! Wierd huh? She sent 2 skeins of merino sock yarn, Patons soy silk and wool, Stitchmarkers, and Socks Socks Socks, book. (not pictured)
See? told ya I luck out in swaps ;) ALWAYS!
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On the needles Socktoberfest Socks... Yes the same exact ones from last time! I have ripped these boogers 5 times!!!! and the heel twice! I decided to do a short row heel... I managed to do all this work in 2 days on a Sz 0 needles. It's crunch time ladies, I have to get this pair done and blocked by sunday morning!!!! EEEK!
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Next Post PreviewI did Crochet Steeks on a dish cloth and it was GREAT! My next post will be a step by step guide with pictures to do it yourself! I have to get Chris to take the pics for me while I do it again for you guys! I wanted to practice on a trash swatch before I did it on a sweater! can you really blame me? I have done the sewing one, and I will do that guide and instruction (with pics) later next month.....

take it easy ;)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Another FO!

I had to post about this... I went to Yarntopia to visit and gossip with Amy and I loved this French Girl hat when Amy did it!! So I bought the pattern and got crackin'! it only took a half hour :)

I didn't have the 19 inch circs to do the crown part of the hat... but I love it this way!
Needle Sz 19
Yarn Rowan Biggy Print
Pattern French Girl Cosette?

Socktober fest Socks! Ripped out!... Friday Harbor was looking pretty crappy in the STR Apple Valley colorway... I am going to start agian tonight with a plain 2x2 rib and do short row heel!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Carmen's Shawlette

This is my twin sisters new triangle scarf/shawlette! We went to the local festival this past Sunday and there was a wonderful woman giving spinning demos... She was selling this beautiful green silk/merino blend freshly handspun and plied. Carmen and I HAD to have it! Carm asked very nicely if I would be willing to work up a little something for her out of this bulky silk blen yarn ummmmm?! HECK YEAH!

Hillard and Brandon have been really sick this weekend and Hillard had run a 103 fever for 4 days! They had Hand, Foot and Mouth! ughhhh! Everyone is well now, and things should get back to normal... I hope ;)

I started my Socktober fest Socks and the shawl kind of took over my life for the past two days! back to my Friday Harbor SOCKS!

I am sooooo sorely behind on bloglines, forgive me ;)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Two hours of "Bliss"

Debbie Bliss that is....... We all know that Cashmerino Aran & Chunky are a joys to work with....I spent a half hour starting this lace scarf:

Cahmerino aran Size 8 needles
Cast on 31 Stitches

Row 1 K1, *YO, K3, Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, K3, YO, K1; rep from * to end
Row 2 P
Rep the last 2 rnds 3 times more
Row 9 K2tog, K3, YO, K1, YO, K3, *Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, K3, YO, K1, YO, K3; rep from 8 to last 2 sts, Sl 1, K1, PSSO
Row 10 P
Rep the last 2 rnds 3 times more

Scarf pattern was derived from free sock pattern by Black Dog Knits Look in here "free patterns" section... she has a lot of them avail. ;)

And the rest of the time making this lovely fingerless glove:

(Without smocking on wrist)
Cashmerino chunky Sz 7 needles
Cast on 32 stitches place marker join for round.
Rnd : *P,K2,P; repeat from * until end
Repeat this round for 3.5 inches
Begin to work back and forth following pattern for 1 inch….
Join back in the round until desired length.
Knit 1 round
Then cont. with picot BO.

Picot Bo
K2, BO 1, *cast on 2, Knit and BO 4; repeat from * until all stitches are Bound off.

I know all of you have worked with a certain yarn that made you feel fancy right? You get that giddy feeling when you look back at your work and the stitches bold ,even and defined! Thats how I felt for Two Hours this afternoon! Simple Bliss!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

My Pretties!

Okay, I am well aware that this is supposed to be a knit blog! I promise more knits to come later this week! Honest! Here's what I've been up too..

New Mama Llama Web PageI was awake for about 24 hours creating this! Thats right Mama Llama has an official web page! I also started a sock and lace club..I've always wanted to do that! Go check it out here.....

New Colorways
So let's get my latest dyeing session out in the open... Theme? Tropical Flowers! (and I threw in Fall Leaves, and Winter colorways in there too ;)
I am VERY PROUD of this batch! I really worked hard to have less of a "flop" than last weekend, and I think it is pure beauty! The solids are not pictued her... still drying ;)
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Orchid (left) Plumeria (right)the colors are richer in real life... this pic came out pale...
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Panama Purple(left) Winter(right)
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Fall Leaves (left) Bird of Paradise (right)
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I have several in each color available. I will have them up on my Etsy shop by Monday afternoon! And better pics with close up.....

Remeber the last batch? I had test knitters for most of the colors and here is the progress of one of them ... Look at Angelika's Blog to see how they turned out! FUNKY SOCKS!!!!!!

And look Brandon is wearing boys clothes now! they will shrink with a wash or two ;) No more shopping in toddlers for us anymore! (a little sad about it)