Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Healed Ears

My first idea for fixing up my headphones [see previous blog post] tanked big time. To be honest I wasn't to sure about that one anyway. So I moved right along to idea two. I sorted out what stitch to use and a basic pattern plan. Then it was just a matter of having time to work on it. I sat down a few times to get it done and it seemed to flow pretty well. After choosing my stitch I crocheted a width that would accommodate the size of the headphone speaker. Then I continued on rows until it fit around my head. I doubled that so I would have a layer for each side of the headphone, joining in back. I crocheted the long sides together, placing the headphones in the right spots and when that was complete I stitched carefully on each side of each headphone so that they wouldn't shift around inside. Now instead of having to go out to buy a new set I have a working headphone set and a stylin' headband at the same time.

On a side note I want to wish a happy Rosh Hashanah to those participating in that spiritual holiday.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Loopy Liberation

Yes folks it's Loopy Monday once again. Tonight's 23nd Getting Loopy show featured Laurie Wheeler from Crochet Liberation Front talking about the power of crochet and the new book. Monty Python meets crochet. The book has a flying pig on it and has 36 patterns and 13 articles. There's thread, there's yarn, there's lingerie, there's all sorts of stuff so just go listen, and buy, and join the Ravelry group!

This was a really fun show so give a listen if you do nothing else. Hop on over and check out of the archive if you didn't get to hear it. Links and all the info can be found at Getting Loopy. [G.L. link in this posts header and also on the right sidebar]

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cod And Herb Vegetable Foil Packets

We had some nice cod on sale at the market yesterday so here is what I made today. Cod is a solid but not very fishy tasting fish. Give it a try and feel free to improvise. Sorry I don't have any pictures on this one. I forgot to take one before it disappeared.

Cod And Herb Vegetable Foil Packets

1 medium zucchini halved lengthwise and thin sliced
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and thin sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
1 tsp black pepper
4 boneless, skinless cod fillets
4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 450° F.
  • Combine zucchini, fennel, garlic, onions, basil, thyme, wine, and pepper in bowl and mix well.
  • Lay four long pieces of foil on the work surface. Place 1 fillet on lower half of each piece of foil and top each fillet with ¼ of vegetable mixture and 1 tbsp butter. Fold foil over fish and vegetables and crimp edges together to form 4 packets.
  • Arrange packets in single layer on baking pan and cook until vegetables are tender and fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer packets to individual plates. Open packets carefully to avoid steam burns and enjoy.
Makes 4 servings

Friday, September 26, 2008

Crochet! November 2008

I just got my November issue of Crochet! yesterday and I've had a bit of time to page through before posting my comments. As with my post on I.C. this is just a review through Rabbit9's eyes and not meant as any criticism to unpicked items. I'm just highlighting the patterns and articles that especially appeal to me.

Caron Launches Exciting New Yarn Line: This is a little review of the new "Naturally Caron" yarns Country, a wool microfiber blend & SPA.

Insider Shaping Secrets: As mentioned in past posts shaping is a weak point for me so I really want to read this article carefully and hopefully I can improve.

Flower of the Month Pins by Jane Brown: The series continues and though I'm not a very fru-fru kind of girl I really like the two presented in this months issue.

Granule Stitch & Staggered Diamonds by Annie's Attic: This is also a continued series. What's not to love about learning a new stitch you might be able to use in making up your own patterns. These two stitches are both very pretty in their own way Granule is a close weave stitch and Staggered Diamonds is more open. Something for everyone.

Winter White Car Coat by Melissa Leapmin: This is a very lovely long coat, about knee length. It's really beautiful. This is a big project & I would try it but I already have something similar made by my mother.

Camo Socks by Julie Farmer: I so dig crochet socks. For so long I could only find knitted patterns and I knew there must be a way to crochet them. Actual socks not the slipper things. These are a typical short woman's length sock and blue camo but you could choose a different yarn if you wanted.

Double Take by Kim Guzman: This is a slipper pattern, options for men or woman. Nice, simple and would make a good slipper sock. Mainly I like the way they used buttons on the men's pattern.

Sienna Jacket by Candi Jensen: This is really pretty to me and a very classic styling. I may try it at some point but as I mentioned I'm not so great with shaping on garments.

Great Stocking Stuffers by Bendy Carter, Darla Sims, Barbara Worn-Wurtz, Lori Zeller: These are little amigurumi animals [elephant, octopus & pig], Very very cute so if you're into amigurumi check 'em out.

Beaded Bag Necklace by Barbara Worn-Wurtz: Very cute little bag necklace that would be very customizable with different beads.

Those are my personal hot picks for this issue and my congrats to every designer in the issue for their patterns and pushing through to make crochet fun and fashionable.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Corinthian Lively Up Hat

Lively Up Hat from Get Your Crochet On! made in Corinthian Homespun to go with the Corinthian Jacket I recently made. [see previous blog post] It was an easy enough pattern but I did have to adjust for sizing since I wasn't using the recommended yarn. I chose the brim option but I did alter her brim suggestion a little to get the look I wanted. Thank you to my lovely model since it was impossible to get a decent pic of it on my own head. It does look a bit better on me though. ;-)


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Broken Ears

I don't know how they got on the floor. Usually I'm a pretty tidy rabbit. They must have fallen off the table when I didn't see it. Stuff happens and I stepped on my headphones accidentally. Crunch! They are the kind where the plastic bit goes around the back of your head so glue didn't work because every time I spread them to get them on it snaps again.

So I took the foam bits off and unscrewed them [see photo] so I could take off the broken plastic part. I put them back together and now I have two still working ear speakers. Rabbit ingenuity to the rescue. I'm working out a plan to crochet a suitable alternative to get them to stay on my head. I'll start that right after I finish the hat I'm working on. I hope to get hat pictures up with a post on that project in the next day or so. Wish me luck on my headphone project. I may need it.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Interweave Crochet Fall 2008

I just got my fall issue of I.C. yesterday and I wanted a bit of time to page through before posting my comments.

I want to start by saying all the patterns are lovely. I just want to highlight the patterns and articles that especially appeal to me.

There is an interview with Robyn Chachula that I'm really looking forward to. I've heard her before on G.L. and her patterns are really beautiful so I'm looking forward to reading about what she has to say in this issue.

There is an article that seems to be the start of a series on garment construction, this being part 1: seaming. Now this has particular appeal to me because to be honest I have trouble with making crocheted garments. I hate doing any sort of shaping because it takes me no end of frogging to get it right so I'm looking forward to this series and I may even make notes.

Oxford Town Tote: Lisa Naskrent. This is a beautiful bag and if I didn't have so many already I might make it. However if I need a gift at some point it would be a pattern I'd consider. It's very simple but with some lovely bits of fancy on the strap and edges.

Austen Lace Muffler: Robyn Chachula. Now to me this pattern is ultra yummy. I love the look of the layered ruffles and I am in no way a girly girl. This is just pretty and classic looking to me and it is going to get made. I love nice neck mufflers because I get cold easily and they keep the winter damp out of the top of my coat. This one rocks. [told ya Robyn is good]

Sweet Lorraine Lace Throw: Doris Chan. Beautiful beautiful. Not only is the blanket lovely but there is a picture of part of the pattern made into a scarf. It's pretty, and lacy in a feminine way without being girly girl. There will be Christmas gifts.

Those are my personal hot picks for this issue and my congrats to every designer in the issue for their patterns and pushing through to make crochet just as up to date and fashionable as knitting ever was, and in my humble Rabbit9 opinion, even more so.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Loopy Editing

Yes folks it's Loopy Monday once again. Tonight's 22nd Getting Loopy show featured Susan Lowman who spoke about technical editing and contract crocheting.

What is tech editing, what is contract crocheting and what is the difference between the two? How do you become one or the other? Get some answers to all these questions and more by checking out the show. The show was really great as always and very informative. Hop on over and check out the archive if you didn't get to hear it. Links and all the info can be found at Getting Loopy. [link in this posts header and also on the right sidebar]

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crock Pot Beef & Cabbage Stew

Yes this is a craft blog for the most part but the way I came up cooking is a craft. Now that doesn't necessarily mean fancy gourmet meals. It does mean cooking with and as an expression of love. It means making food that's good for you and nutritious. You have to eat anyway so why not make it something you are going to enjoy. Sure those little box means are handy once in a while and I've relied on them sometimes to but when is the last time you could really say that microwaved frozen thing was really something enjoyed? Now I have to say I'm a hard core fan of my crock pot. Sure I want tasty healthy food but standing over a hot pot isn't exactly something I'm always up for. Making your own life easier is also part of the craft. To that end I will sometimes post recipes here though not all of them will be for the crock pot. That said I've always seen recipes as sort of a suggestion and not a hard and fast law. For example in this recipe if you don't like black beans then use a bean you like. If you don't have or like quinoa then try some rice instead or maybe some barley. If you don't like beef, try some ground turkey or a vegetarian substitute. Make it something you will like and use what's on hand. Lets go to the kitchen shall we? :-)


Crock Pot Beef & Cabbage Stew

1 pound ground beef
2 15oz cans black beans
1 10oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 14.5oz can Italian style diced tomatoes with juice
8oz frozen corn
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups water
1 16oz package coleslaw mix
1 tsp mint
1 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
  • In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown drain.
  • Add meat beans, tomatoes with juice, corn, onion, water, coleslaw mix, mint, sage, oregano & pepper to the crock pot and cook on high for 6 hours OR low for 8 hours
  • Rinse quinoa in cold water, boil water. When boiling add quinoa and simmer 20 to 30 minuets until done. You can do this step ahead if you want to.
  • When the stew is about a half hour from done mix in the cooked quinoa and finish cooking.
Serves about 8

Friday, September 19, 2008

Heritage Square Realized

As I mentioned my grandmother is the one that taught me to crochet as a young girl [around 7]. She taught me using thread because that was mainly what she used and maybe that's also how she was taught. A few days ago I had decided to try to figure out a pattern for piece I have that she made but that had never been written down.

There was definitely a bit of trial and error here as the piece is cotton and been washed quite a few times since it's making so the stitches weren't always clear as rows seemed to have blended a little. After a few tries and frogging I finally got a square that resembled her's.

Having a workable pattern I decided I'm crazy enough to work the squares in 3 plies of ombre embroidery floss [that's half of a hank strand which is 6 ply] and a size 9 steel hook. Now I may be crazy but I'm not totally insane. ;-) So I decided to keep it down to a small block of 6 squares in the primary and secondary shades. I may use it for a book mark or perhaps under a small figurine. I present to you my heritage square block. Thank you Nana.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Corinthian Jacket

This project is my Corinthian Jacket from Crochet! July 2008 printed in the magazine as the Blue Skies Jacket. I made it for me in size medium using a J hook [6.0 mm] and Lion Brand Homespun yarn in Corinthian colorway [about 3 skeins]. I mainly followed the pattern with some slight modifications using Lion’s Homespun instead of the recommended Moda Dea Metro bulky. Both yarns are (5) bulky weight. I lengthened the sleeves to half arm, 4 additional rows of DC and then the same shell edge as pattern. I also added 4 SC rows to the bottom edge like the neck edging before the patterns shell row. I really love the Corinthian colors that reflect falls changing leaves to me and the bulky yarn is just the right weight for a fall jacket. Not to heavy or light. I know some people don't like working with Homespun but I think it gets a bad rap. It's very soft, it's warm and it washes well. A lot of people seem to find it difficult because it splits if it gets caught wrong on your hook. I recommend using a metal hook because they are smooth and slide easier than some of the plastic hooks which can have seams from the injection molding process. I also recommend being aware of how you turn your hook when working. If you keep the hook turned completely downward when pulling your yarn over through loops you wont get that splitting. If it's angled the hook may catch in the yarn and make it more difficult to pull through. The following is my jacket with the changes mentioned and the original picture of the pattern design from Crochet!


I'd also like to thank my friend T for giving me a hand with the pictures. Thanks T!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me And a Surprise Gift

A while back I posted my first original pattern using plarn [plastic bag yarn]. The pattern was for a Plarn Grocery Bag made of recycled plastic grocery sacks into a reusable bag that looks like a paper bag. My inspiration was just trying to make something practical for myself. I wanted to start using my own bags when I found out about that big plastic bag island that is floating around the ocean and killing animals. I looked at some other patterns on line but they didn't look to me that they would hold much for a full grocery trip. [no offense to anyone's pattern] I wanted something the size of a normal paper bag so I made one.

I don't know exactly how many bags it took. I didn't count because I used up my whole stash and then started raiding other peoples. If I had to guess I'd say maybe close to 100. It took a real lot and I had to cut out sections where bags got ripped and work with what I had left. It also is a much bigger bag than others I've seen. As you can see by the picture I put it next to a regular paper bag so you can see it really is that size.

Finished bag size is about 14"wide X 7 ½"deep X 15 ½"high

The handles are adjustable to carry short/doubled or long for over the shoulder carry. I cut a piece of stiff cardboard to put in the bottom of my bag and I found that was enough to reinforce it. The plastic itself is pretty thick and sturdy once it's crocheted but the cardboard helps with any sagging if you carry any heavy items like juice bottles and so on.

The response to the bag was amazing. Definitely more than I expected. To me it had become a big plastic rectangle as it took some time to get the pattern right and the occasional back track. I guess I was not the only one looking for a bigger sized plarn bag. I had over 50 requests for the pattern and even now that blows me away. I want to thank everyone at Ravelry and Crochetville that was so kind with their comments and that was interested in my bag. However, being sort of new to some of this on line stuff I had no idea how to get the pattern on line and linkable so I mailed them out and my dial up connection groaned incessantly.

However I know there are folks out there that just don't want to give out their e-mail so for all you lurkers out there that are needing some Plarn Grocery Bag luv too I think I have an answer. After some rooting around on how to do this stuff I think I have figured out how to get a link situated. The PDF file is 5+MB and instructions for making Plarn are also included in the tutorial. Anyone that just wants to make a comment on the project is welcome to do that and a comment is appreciated if you are going to download the pattern.

I have to say I had a bad experience before with someone trying to pass off one of my patterns as theirs so this is a little leap of faith for me. We're using the honor system here so please be kind and follow the disclaimer.

Standard Rabbit9 Disclaimer for pattern use:
  • My pattern is free for personal use.
  • Do not sell my pattern.
  • Do not sell bags made with my pattern.
  • Do not pass my pattern off as your own.
  • Do not post my pattern on your page.
  • Do not post my pattern on any group pages.
  • Do not direct link to the PDF file.
  • Please DO Post a link back to Twisted Fibers Burrow or my Ravelry page if you want to share the pattern.
  • All patterns posted here are © Rabbit9.

And now the moment you've all been waiting for, except for those that read the back of the book first, ;-) [crosses paws and hopes the link works]

Rabbit9's Plarn Grocery Bag Tutorial

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Loopy Humanity Updated

Hello everyone,
I wanted to post the update link for those that gave to SaveLorisHouse.com Thanks to everyone that opened their heart and gave, spread the word or both. Crafts people have the softest most giving hearts and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to care for a fellow human being. A short quote from the update is as follows.

Due to your generosity over $7,500 was raised via the blog-a-thon, and combined with personal donations from many of the members of ASJA (the American Society of Journalists and Authors), and a grant from WEAF (the Writer's Emergency Assistance Fund, a non-profit organization that helps writers in dire need), foreclosure was avoided for now.

Thank you. Apart from that, tomorrows a big day. Stay tuned for tomorrows surprise!

All Those Bits

Recently as I've been trying to catch up with any unfinished projects I've noticed a tidy pile of small yarn balls accumulating in my stash bin. Those little leftovers that mount up after finishing a project that are never enough to make a full anything. Personally I'm convinced this is what started Amigurumi. Dozens of cute little baby animals and dolls born just trying to use up all those end bits that you never really know what to do with.

Enter Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs and her scathingly brilliant Crazy Yarn idea. Ash she puts it.

I took all my bits and bobs of leftover yarns which have been accumulating. I then cut them into assorted lengths (no greater than six metres) then mixed them all up and knotted them together randomly. No fancy knotting technique, just leaving a tail of about an inch or so. Regardless of fibre type and thickness. There's cottons, acrylics, wools, novelty yarn, and every possible blend in between. All mixed in together.

And if you follow the link you will see the lovely bag she made with he crazy yarn. I don't know about you but I'm all inspired. I just may take a scissors to those wating bits in my bin and just see what I come up with after I get my current WIPs done. Thank you Purple Goldfish.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Loopy Charity

One of the things that makes Monday bearable is the weekly podcast Getting Loopy over at Blog Talk Radio. Even with my sometimes snails pace dial up I have not missed an episode even if I have to grab it off the archive. I really enjoy hearing what the guests views of crochet are and what they are doing in their corner of the world. If you haven't heard it I urge you to hop your tail on over there and give a listen.

Past Guests:
Amy O Neil Houck, Dee Stanziano, Doris Chan, Carrie Sullivan, Jess And Casey Founders of Ravelry, Carol Ventura, Julie Amstrng Holetz, Dora Ohrenstein, Kim Werker, Robyn Chachula, Jacqueline from SOAK, Nicky Epstein, 1 hour Live from Chain Link, Dee Stanziano, Lily Chin, Gwen Bakely-Kinsler, Margaret Hubert, Edie Eckman, Kim Kotary, Kim Guzma & Bendy Carter.

If all the names don't ring a bell you probably know one of their books or whatever area of crochet they are involved in. If you don't the shows are a great way to learn about them.

Tonight's 21st show featured Erica Lombardo, Lucy B Kenedy & Meg Eckman [Edie's daughter] [Sorry if I misspelled any of the 3 names. I guessed a bit as it wasn't listed in the show notes] and their work with a charity crochet project over at Duke University to help patient waiting for treatment to learn crochet, knitting or drawing. Links for donations and all the info can be found at Getting Loopy. [link in this posts header and also on the right sidebar] The show was really great and I applaud these ladies in their project. I think it's a very worthy endeavor.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Heritage Square

I still have a sleeve to go on the sweater I'm working on but I decided a small break would be okay. More to the point I felt pulled to something else. A specific something. As some of you may know, my grandmother is the one that taught me to crochet as a young girl. It was one of the gifts she gave to me. I still am thankful to her for it. I have a small table covering that she did made up of a square pattern she used to do in thread crochet. It reminds me of her every time I go by it and see it. There is no written version of the pattern. Last night I just felt pulled not to loose this pattern that feels to me so much a part of her and therefore a part of me. So I sat there on the floor late last night looking at the squares and trying to sort out some sort of pattern for it. I think I have something but I will have to work it out on the hook and see if it comes out as it should.

Now I love when I come across one of those old vintage books. Seeing the old patterns. Thinking of who made up that pattern and just what was their inspiration for it? This brings to mind, to me at least, how many patterns not written down have fallen by the wayside. Lost forever.
Where is your heritage square (circle, pattern, etc.)? How many patterns get lost because we are so used to seeing them or that they are simple stitches that we might have come think of them as nothing special. What was left to you in a bedspread, a tablecloth or even a dish cloth? What treasures lie undiscovered in that dusty old attic trunk you haven't opened in years? I encourage you to take a peek. Maybe try to reproduce them. Even if it's not exactly the same wouldn't it be worth it to hold on to that precious piece of family history? What if you just did that one square and incorporated it into a remembrance page in a scrap book to be passed on down generations with the written pattern for the future crocheter in your family that you may never meet. What if you just invented one little square of your own? What gift will you pass?

I can't wait to hear and see your stories and I hope you will share them with me in comments or perhaps a link to your blog with your own story.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Loopy Humanity.

Hello everyone.
A sad story has come to light. Many of you crocheters may know Mary Beth T. who has hosted many a wonderful Getting Loopy shows on blog talk radio. If you are a crocheter and haven't listened I encourage you to. That is not the point of this posting. A friend of Mary Beth is in a seriously bad health situation. I excerpt from her blog here as she tells it better than I can.

Lori Hall Steele is a gifted professional freelance writer with over 3,000 articles to her name. She is a 44-year-old single mother of seven-year-old Jack. And she is suffering from an unholy combination of Lyme disease and ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and is days away from foreclosure. Stuck in a hospital room, attached to a machine that is helping her breathe, there isn't much she can do about it - but we can.
This is not an urban legend or an internet scam - this is someone whose work I know and respect, and the horror of her situation gives me chills.
If you have a dollar to spare, please visit Save Lori's House
and make a PayPal donation. Any amount, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated, and put to immediate good use.

I have had Lyme's myself and I can tell you it was no picnic. I suffered with complications of a health problem of my own and though I don't have ALS my heart goes out to this woman and her family. I have a serious rant about the medical insurance/system in the USA and this is one reason why. I wont delve into the rant except to say that something like this shouldn't happen to anyone. Facing the worst of health is not the time you should have to worry about money and make choices between health care or every day living bills. Though I dont know Lori myself I have known many others that have faced hard situations and choices like this. I write about this to help spread the word to anyone that can and wants to help. I ask only that you look into your own heart and do what you think is best for you to do. To Lori I wish the best and to her family I wish any peace possible at a time like this.

Digging Out A New Burrow

The time has come for me to try out this blogging thing so Rabbit9 has a brand new Burrow. I intend for this to be craft related mainly featuring my crochet. There will also be a mix of other things like an occasional recipe, some simple living tips and just plain old life related stuff. Anything may end up here while I decide where I want to go with this and develope my style. It's going to be interesting I hope and I look forward to your input too. If I can get things sorted out I'm planning to add in a surprise in honor of my upcomming birthday so stay tuned all fiber-rific people. I've got a crochet hook and I'm not affraid to use it! ;-)