Friday, January 29, 2010

Redeemed

The scarf was frogged. Spenser and Sawyer helped. Jackson was sad that he was at school and missed it. Apparently I had told him he could help and I forgot. (Don't worry Jackson, I'm sure there will be plenty of frogging in my future.)

I actually finished another knitting project. A cowl (found via Ravelry). This was my first attempt at knitting with circular needles. And I learned almost everything I needed to know from Youtube. Except when it was completely finished and tried to put it on my head. The binding was too tight to stretch over my head. When I casted off I had used the regular, old cast-off method and it resulted in a tight binding. It could fit my sweet little girl, but not her mama.

I fretted and fretted over this. I did not know what to do. I then thought I should place a 911 call to my knitting and bloggy friend, Amanda. Thank goodness that I did. She saved the show. And the cowl, too. She suggested I try a Russian cast-off and check Youtube. I did and came upon the elastic cast-off that I thought might work. Silly me. I thought a cast-off was a cast-off and they were created equally. Now I know.


Alas, this cowl is not without its own issues. I don't know what happened. It doesn't look like a slipped stitch to me because I could never locate the stitch. Maybe my tension was off? But there are some holes. I was afraid to take it apart. I was afraid it would just keep raveling away until it was completely gone. I think I can live with this mistake. It's not very noticeable.

It's so popular in my house that some boys have requested their own. And Miss Spenser is upset that I have reclaimed the cowl she thought was hers ...

Details:

4 mm circular needles
less than one skein of Patons Classic Wool in charcoal
elastic cast-off method
(It took a lot longer than the 1 1/2 hours the creator said it took her. It took that much time alone to pick out my old binding and correct the slipped stitches from said raveling.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Knit Scarf

I have tried knitting in the past. I could do the knit stitch just fine, but when it came to purling ... well, that was another story. I had purchased books and tried to figure it out. Without much luck or success. That was a few years ago. (I think Sawyer was a baby.)

My desire to learn was always strong, but other things were more important or pressing and it wasn't a priority.

A few weeks ago I decided to try again. I picked out the ribs and ruffles scarf pattern (as seen over at Amanda's) and got to work. Well, I didn't get far before I placed an emergency SOS call to a fellow blogger, friend and knitter, Karyn. After she thoroughly explained the "Eve's ribbing" to me, I was back on my way.

Along the way I had issues. As you can see. For some unknown (to me) reason, my ribbing kept skipping. It wouldn't stay in a straight line. Just when I thought I had it, I'd realize it wasn't matched up again.


And, at some point, it went missing altogether. I don't know what happened there.

I knew that I would not be able to wear this thing, even if it is the first thing I knitted almost to completion, but I persevered. I kept forging ahead until I realized I was running out of yarn. (I had another skein of yarn that I could have used, but I didn't want to invest any more money in the scarf that would eventually be frogged. In fact, Spenser and Sawyer have been asking to help take it apart. I think we'll do take care of that this morning.)

So, I post this so you can laugh at its hideousness. Go ahead. It's okay. I've gotten my fair share of laughs from it. Now it's your turn.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Best Pie Ever

See this pie here? Well, it's the best pie ever. And I mean ev-er.

A few years ago a friend told me about the recipe she found on the back of her peanut butter chips. I immediately went to the store, bought the chips and made the pie. It is so very good that every time I make one, I make two. Once I gave the other one away. Other times I cut the extra one into slices, wrap the individual slices in foil, pop them in a gallon zippy bag and freeze them. When you're ready to eat a slice, just pop it in the microwave for a bit and voila! You have an awesome, warm, gooey slice of heaven on your plate.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. (It's like a cookie and a pie all in one! How can anyone resist it, I ask?)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional*
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Beat butter in medium bowl; add eggs and vanilla. Stir together sugar and flour; add to butter mixture. Stir in milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and nuts; pour into unbaked pie crust.

3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool about 1 hour on wire rack; serve warm with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. 8 to 10 servings.

To reheat: One slice at a time, microwave at HIGH (100%) 10 to 15 seconds.

*I personally do not recommend the nuts. This pie is meant to slide and glide down your throat with as little effort necessary. Adding nuts will guarantee you will have to take your time chewing and you will lose out on the instant gratification of it hitting your belly. But that's just my opinion.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Necklace

I stumbled upon a great (free) tutorial for a crocheted necklace and decided to give it a whirl. Now, I must admit that mine isn't looking as pretty as hers and I think mine is also sitting funny on my neck in this photo. We have no sunlight today (this was taken yesterday), so this is all we have.

I accidentally only made three strands for the necklace, instead of four. My bad. I liked this so much that I immediately made one for my sister's birthday (with all four strands) and a black one for myself (which has its own set of issues). Oh, and I made a pink swirly one for Spenser.

If you look through her free patterns, you will see a bunch of cute stuff. I am in the process of making two of the headbands (just need to assemble them) and then I was inspired to create a few necklaces on my own.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thrifted Finds

On Tuesday I hit my favorite thrift store. Sometimes I wish it were closer. Other times I'm happy it's not. I can go a little crazy in there.

I found a few vintage sheets to add to my ever-growing stash. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I have two full storage containers of vintage sheets.

The top one looks familiar. Like I might already have it. But I can't really tell. Spenser loves the pink one. She walked around the store rubbing her cheek on it. (I tried not to freak out much that it hadn't been laundered yet.)

A bowl to go in my downstairs bathroom.

A set of matching Fire King. Please ignore the chicken that I'm thawing out. I had limited fridge space and had to find the right size pan to fit in that space so I could thaw the meat. This one was just perfect. (See! I totally use my stuff.)


Curtain panels. I have a few ideas for this. Maybe a large bag? Maybe as skirt? I'm not quite sure. It was a set of four.


And some vintage patterns for 25 cents each. I just couldn't resist.

I also bought a lamp for Spenser's room. It's similar to the ones in my room. I guess she's going to want a new lampshade now, too.

And I found a cool wooden chair. It needs something and we're still in negotiations as to what will become of this chair. Taylor is getting a taller desk and needed a chair. The chair will need a new seat cover, but we are trying to decide what fabric and what color. I also told him I could paint it. Or leave it as is. So many decisions. (I'll be sure to share before and after soon. At least I hope it will be soon. As soon as my eldest decides. Or I decide for him.)

A funny little story about the day we went thrifting:

Spenser and Sawyer saw a Skittles/M&M's dispenser near the front door of the thrift store. I said to them, "I don't know if I have a quarter. Let me see." And I started to fish around in my purse looking for either loose change or my change purse. I continued digging until I found two, of course. I bought them each some Skittles and turned around to pick up my purchases. An elderly, one-armed man walked over with a $5 bill in his hand. He was trying to give it to me. I can only guess that he thought I was destitute because I said I didn't know if I had a quarter and I was shopping at the Salvation Army. I told him we were okay. He still tried to pass off the $5 and told me to buy something for my little girl. I told him I bought her a necklace (which was already around her neck). And then he sweetly said, "Do you think you can use it?" I couldn't believe how sweet he was and how much he wanted to help me. A stranger. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, "Thank you. Really. My husband takes care of me." I really didn't know what to say. And after I left the store I wondered if I looked like I was some destitute mama. I later ran into a friend of mine and she confirmed I did not. It just makes me realize that there are some very kind and charitable people out there. And it warmed my heart on a chilly January day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Headbands

A few weeks ago I was on a real headband kick. One evening I whipped up two orchid headbands. A white one for my most beloved girl and a brown one for myself.

I bought a stem of fake orchids, disassembled them, put two together, sewed a few stitches to make them stay together, and then glued a button on the top (with Household Goop). And then I gooped the flower onto the headband. Easy peasy.

The next headband was a little different. I cut circles from different colors of jersey from old tees I've embellished (I used two tones of gray and black), folded them in half, sewed them together in the middle. Then I sewed a pink cultured pearl to the top.


Sometimes I have to fight the girl child to wear the headbands. It's not unusual for her to come along and snag the headband right off the top of my head. But that's a good thing ... right?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cherry Cobbler

Earlier this week I decided to look for some online recipes for a pumpkin cobbler to use up some of the canned pumpkin I hoarded when I was making pumpkin roll (weekly! ahem) this fall.

I quickly found some recipes and then stumbled upon a recipe for cherry cobbler. Joe loves cherry-anything, so I thought I'd make this first.

Oh. My. Goodness. Is it ever good. I used two cans of cherry pie filling (20 oz. each), although the recipe only calls for 32 oz. I just didn't want to have it sit in the fridge and go to waste.

I could eat this all day long. For real.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Own Turbie Twists

One of the gifts I received on Christmas Eve was a Turbie Twist from my sister-in-law. My older sister exclaimed, "I love these things!" I had never used one and really didn't think I needed one until that moment. I was immediately intrigued. Maybe I had always needed one and never knew I did.

The next morning (Christmas morning) after all the gifts were opened and I was looking back through my basket of sisters' gifts I decided to check out this Turbie Twist. I turned it inside out and said to Joe, "I could so make this." And so, the next day I did.

It's true that the original is a nice microfiber and I only had regular terry cloth in my baby fabric bin, but they work just as great. And maybe a tad more absorbent than the original.

I made one white turbie. Two blue ones (I was using leftover terry cloth from my bib making days before and after Sawyer was born) and one


swirl. For a little girl.


This one so reminds me of swirled soft-serve ice cream. Don't ya think?

I am so happy to be rid of a "hair" towel. That's just one big towel I don't have to wash!

(Here is a tutorial for one if you don't have one to trace.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sisters' Gifts 2009

One fabric rosette pin+

one bar of handmade chocolate-mint soap =

Sisters' gifts for 2009


Every year on Christmas Eve my sisters and I (and my mother, sisters-in-law, my brother's fiancee, and my sister-in-law's sister) all exchange gifts. Everyone gets the same thing or with little variance. The gift I gave this year was a bar of my soap and a fabric rosette pin.

Previous years of handmade sisters' gifts:

2008 - snowman towels and soap
2007 - zippered pouches and soap
2006 - family cookbooks and tissue pouches and soap
2005 - "home is where the heart is" embroidered, framed plaque (not blogged)
2004 - can't remember
2003 - can't remember
2002 - "sisters are forever" embroidered pillow (not blogged) which was the Christmas after Kristen died.
2001 - homemade glycerin soap and bath salts.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Framed Trees and Candy Cane Skirt

There are so many things that I've made and never blogged, including my Thanksgiving skirt and a skirt from before Thanksgiving. Here are two things I made before Christmas. I guess I'll worry about Thanksgiving some other time.

The day that I was nearly attacked by a deer in front of my house is the day that I made these Christmas trees. I was going to do a patchwork/quilted Christmas tree and then decided to keep it simple instead. So glad that I did because the other one probably would not have been finished. Even a month later.

I spray-painted this thrifted frame black (and in the process, broke the glass trying to put it back in). The trees are just appliqued on with a straight stitch along the edges. The trees and trunks came from my scraps. I found a bunch more that would have been cute (like some felted wool scraps for trunks, which would have been too thick if I had used the frame), but the frame was smaller than I had trees for. So a compromise was in order.

I like how the trees look "snow-covered" with the white in the fabric. The one on the far right is a vintage sheet.

And then I remembered that Spenser would need a new Christmas skirt or dress. I had a few ideas in mind, but ultimately settled on a ruffle skirt.

I sewed ruffled red and white tulle in lines across a piece of white fabric. And then I sewed the skirt up the side (matching up the ruffles) and gave it a quick hem and elastic casing.

I love the skirt. I really should have made one for myself. (Sadly, there was no time for Lera to sew herself a skirt for Christmas this year.)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hoping ...




your New Year's was as sweet as ours.