Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pattern Picks - Chic Crochet Cloche & Scarf

Continuing in my spotlight on other blogs and pattern post I just had to throw a little light on this scarf and hat pattern and thought it was just beautiful and right on time for the fall weather. Well done to Coats for their Chic Crochet Cloche & Scarf pattern.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Manuf®actured

Museum of Contemporary Craft page has up a really keen display called Manuf®actured: The conspicuous transformation of everyday objects and that's just what it is. The exhibit has several really killer crafty displays that are really inspirational such as art made from: re-crafted cardboard and polystyrene, sculptured lipsticks, hair that's been manipulated in every way imaginable, incredible intricate lace doilies, cut out container sculptures, mosaic-ed marker caps & thread spools, Marcel Wanders Knotted Chair, Hexagon wallpapers and the pièce de résistance [IMO] of the show Crochet Cube table. Holy cow! If you can't get inspired by that then I just don't know what. That cube is just too cool for words and I want one in the worst way. :-D Go check it out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pattern Picks - Indian Corn

I've decided to add a new feature to my little blog world. I occasionally come across some nice patterns on the net and I've decided to share some of those links with all of you. There will be some from yarn sites and I will also feature some blogs. There are tons of patterns out there as you know and this is just a sampling of things that happen to appeal to me. If you have a pattern on your blog or don't have a blog but want to share a pattern you know of feel free to comment in to me.

So without further ado
Create! blog and the Indian Corn crochet pattern. These are just so adorable and are just perfect for your autumn decor. You may want to also check out the other recent posts of The Cutest Pumpkin Out There (And How To Make It!) & Crochet Halloween 2008 which highlights some of the Etsy shop Halloween items. Well done Create! !


Monday, October 13, 2008

Loopy Passion 4 Fashion

Yes it's Loopy Monday once again. Due to some technical difficulties Dora was a little late so we got to hear from ZoomieJr, a frequent flier in the chats and also Doris Chan dropped in for a few to tell us some of her late breaking news. Dora Ohrenstein did show up though as tonight's 25th Getting Loopy show featured her new book The Crochet Insiders Passion 4 Fashion and her work with Stitch Cooperative, indie pattern distribution by and for designers.

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, October 11, 2008

Rabbit9's Zucchini Bread

Rabbit9's Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter softened
2 eggs
1¾ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup finely grated raw and unpeeled zucchini
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl cream sugar and butter together. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Stir half the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add the zucchini and the rest of the flour mixture and blend well. Stir in walnuts and vanilla until completely mixed.
  • Pour into greased pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes then move to a wire rack and finish cooling.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Small Town Living

Small Town Living is a free pdf magazine and the October - November issue is out. I've been reading these for some time and it is appropriately named. It often has simple living tips and craft related articles. Some of my favorite articles from this issue are as follows.

Small Town Business Basics by Rich Musgrave
Which is some thoughts on how to make and keep your business more profitable.

Not Your Grandmother’s Aprons by Bev Frankeny
Is a pretty cool article about the old fashioned type of aprons, you know, actually functional. It also has some links included for pattern resource so you sewers might want to check it out.

Homemade Cheese by: Kristina Ecker
Real cool article for anyone that has had an interest in how to make simple mozzarella at home. Yummy.

The Art of Rescuing Vintage Textiles by LuAnn Smith, Artisan
Now we are getting into the crafty stuff. If you either have some vintage fabric or want some this is a must read in this issue. They also have some resource links.

Frugal Living 33 Ways to Save and Stretch Your Dollars
Self explanatory and who couldn't use and extra money saving tip these days.

To get your issue follow the link above and click on the picture to download the pdf. Back issues are also available on that page and some of those are very good too like the August - September issue witch has an article on spinning fiber.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lion Newsletter

The 1st Lion newsletter for October is out and the Halloween fun has begun. In this issue you will find Halloween candy bags & amigurumi candy corn, loom-knit slippers, over 70% off easy scarf kits, the trim of the week is crochet slip fringe and if you click the link for the Lola cartoon there are some extra links for a candy corn felted treat bag, amigurumi lollipops & amigurumi roll candy. Lots of cute things to get your spooky started.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Adventures In Frogging

With all love and respect to the tech editors that have to run through patterns and make sure they are correct, sort out the math and what not. I know it's a tough job but I just have to interject a wee rant here.

Now with a free pattern grabbed off the net by someone not used to writing a pattern one might expect some mistakes. However! When I drop cash I expect the patterns have been gone over enough that it should be reasonably easy to sort out the pattern and get it complete with a relative amount of ease. Lately I found several errors in a publication and I felt a little teeny bit annoyed after paying for this.

Now I will grant you we are all human and I'm not going to name names but deal with the party privately. Nothing is perfect. That said don't we have some right when paying for a pattern[s] to be able to make them without having to rewrite the pattern to try to get something that actually works?

One of the patterns with a mistake was a hat that was just a math nightmare. Increases and decreases just didn't match up with the end totals at all. This threw everything off because there were certain turns and joins that didn't line up properly to be able to complete the pattern. I frogged it over and over and tried to get it to work out. The last round of frogging lead me to actually sit down and try to rewrite the pattern so I could actually make the hat. It was at that point that this rant post started to form. I thought to my self what in the world am I doing?

I just paid for a pattern that I have to write! I really didn't know if I should laugh or cry. Now I don't spend money on published patterns and books often because I'm on a really tight budget right now. I felt really frustrated. I felt I just spent money that was scrimped for a treat on something that was nearly useless. Yes I'm experienced enough that I probably can sit down and sort it out in the end but that's not the point. I put it aside for now and perhaps at some point I will take it out when the frustration has passed and do just that. I guess I'm just disappointed that my "treat" ended up being more of a headache than anything else.

What in the world could have happened? How could something with so many errors come through from editing to publishing? Did the editor have any crochet experience at all? I may never know the answers but I really hope the industry does their very best to improve. In the current economy who can afford to toss good money at a luxury item [yes I consider pattern books a luxury item as compared to necessities like food and rent] that isn't going to be usable? Not many.

Has something like this happened to you? Have you ever been frustrated with a pattern or book? Post a comment and share your story. Thank you readers if you're still with me after all that. I feel a bit better now. Okay, where's my hook. ;-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

3 White Mice

These are my 3 white mice made from KristieMN's, Little Mouse pattern, from Crochetville. The pattern is very easy to follow. Thank you Kristie. There are some slight variations from the pattern in that I used size 10 crochet thread and a size 7 hook. I also opted to embroider the mouse eyes instead of using beads as well as the nose. I think they are very sweet. The coin in the photo is a U.S. half dollar piece that I included for a size reference.

3mice1

Monday, October 6, 2008

Loopy Kids

I scream, you scream we all scream for Loopy Monday. Tonight's 24th Getting Loopy show featured Phyllise Sandford and Sharon Mann talking about crochet for kids in their book Crochet Kid Stuff. It has 20 fun projects to make for for boys and girls. How do two people from Las Vagas and New York collaborate on a crochet book? The same way they handled the G.L. interview, teamwork and lots of phone calls. Phyllise and Sharon, who both have a background in art, fielded questions on their book and for those of you with the for legged kids there was a discussion on sweaters for dogs as well. How do you size those furry pal sweaters anyway? Tune in and listen. Lots of fun in this show and great info from these two talented ladies.

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]

Note: The dog coats mentioned are not in the kids book but there is info in the G.L. show on where to get them so go listen. Just wanted to be clear on that.

Fall Festival Virtual Arts & Crafts Show Opens

The first-ever Fall Festival Virtual Arts & Crafts Show opens today and runs to to Nov. 7th and it is run by American Craft Guide. Whether you're getting a head start on your holiday shopping or doing some casual browsing, we know you'll find lots of great handmade merchandise made right here in America! Be sure to check out each of the exhibitor's booths to find show specials and discounts!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Interesterified Oil

I came across this little tidbit of information and thought it would be interesting to share with you how the food industry is making changes but not necessarily in our best interest. One more reason to eat local, cook your own food and move into a healthier diet.

Q: What are interesterified oils? Are they less harmful than trans fats?

A: The food industry is phasing out artery-clogging trans fat, found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in cookies, crackers and other processed foods. As an alternative, some companies are using interesterified oils, vegetable oils chemically altered to provide the properties of partially hydrogenated oils without the trans fat. More research is needed to determine the effect of interesterified oils on health. However, a recent study published in Nutrition and Metabolism suggests that they may lower HDL "good" cholesterol and raise blood sugar, increasing the risks for coronary artery disease and diabetes. For now, play it safe. Read labels, and avoid partially hydrogenated and interesterified oils. Choose foods made with canola, safflower, corn, olive and other unprocessed vegetable oils.

Source: Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH, RD, clinical assistant professor, department of health policy and administration, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


My oil of choice is olive usually but hey, I'm Italian, it may be genetic. Never the less, it's tasty and as oils go pretty darn good for you. Now what you really want to know. What are you cooking with that olive oil Rabbit9? Here my friends is the tasty answer I'm sharing with you. This tasty soup is adapted it from Vegetarian cookbook by Linda Fraser. Thanks so much to her for a warm health soup to go with our crisp fall weather. As always, feel free to improvise. If you don't like white beans, try black. A bean is a bean and they all have something good for you so don't stress it.

White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

1½ cups dried cannellini or other white beans
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups boiling water
ground black pepper
Olive oil, to serve

  • Pick over the beans carefully, discarding any stones or other particles. Rinse thoroughly in cold water to ensure that they are clean. Soak in a large bowl of cold water overnight. Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan of water, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain. Return the beans to the pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil again. Add the bay leaf and simmer for 1-2 hours or until the beans are tender. Drain again. Remove the bay leaf.
  • Puree about three-quarters of the beans in a food processor or blender, adding a little water if necessary, to create a smooth paste.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and cook until it softens. Add the carrot and celery, and cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and thyme. Cook 6-8 minutes more, stirring often.
  • Pour in the boiling water. Stir in the beans and the bean puree. Season with pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve in individual soup bowls, sprinkled with a little olive oil.

Makes 6 servings

Friday, October 3, 2008

Creativity & Spinning and Weaving Week

I was reading a recent article in The New York Times called We’ll Fill This Space, but First a Nap. I want to first quote a piece of it so you know what I'm talking about.

Dr. Ellenbogen’s research at Harvard indicates that if an incubation period includes sleep, people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas, and yet, as he puts it, these performance enhancements exist “completely beneath the radar screen.” In other words, people are more creative after sleep, but they don’t know it.


Now I have to say I can't agree more. When you are so tired from running and doing for everyone including you it just saps your creativity. There have been a few times where after a good solid sleep I was able to sort out a problem I was having with a pattern or been able to come up with something new.

I encourage you to get some good sleep and boost your creativity. You never know what gorgeous designs await when you wake. Yes, it's simple and it's something you probably know already but when is the last time you really acted on it?

Now for all you spinners and weavers out there. Boogie on over to the Handweavers Guild of America for lots of ideas to celebrate Spinning and Weaving Week [Oct 4th to the 10th]. Just click the picture below to get there. Look for the same picture on the linked page and click it to get their free pdf download of the poster size for you club or group to help spread the word.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Project Interests

Everyone has their own little niche. Sometimes we gravitate more to one type of project or another. For me I notice I've made a lot of hats and little things for my nieces. Which isn't to say I don't like other things to. I tend to do more practice projects like the "ears" project I just finished. I just like having the use of something. Sure there have been doilies too just because I thought the pattern was pretty. So I wonder what my readers think. Where do your interests lie? Lets find out. If there is a category you feel I've left out or would just like to tell me more about the crochet projects you love, please feel free to use the comments section.
Note: Sorry for the gap but it has something to do with the page layout and I can't change it. Please scroll down and take the poll





















































free polls at easy-poll

What types of crochet projects interest you the most.

Accessories/Hats/Socks/Bags
Afghans/Blankets
Amigurumi/Toys
Clothing/Children
Clothing/Men
Clothing/Teen
Clothing/Women
HouseholdDecorative/Doilies
HouseholdUsable/Dishcloth/PotHolder
Pets




boblasvegas.com

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interweave Crochet Survey

Interweave Crochet is running a survey. Now I have to say right off that I.C. is a really great crochet magazine. They are one of the two magazines I actually put down money to subscribe to. They are up on the cutting edge and it's not just doilies and afghans [though I also dig doilies and afghans]. Now I.C. love aside I have to say I have a few pet peeves.

To get the free crochet patterns I have to join up to get the knitting newsletter. Say what??? Now I can knit very basic stuff and I have no bad feeling toward knitters. BUT! I am a crocheter and I'm a little tired of being asked to step to the back of the bus. They have I.C. so why not have an I.C. newsletter to go with it so we can opt to get a newsletter that actually goes toward our interest.

I was also sent the info on taking the I.K. survey and the information that weather or not you did the knitting survey you could get a free download of a knitting pattern. No such offer was made for the crocheters. No this is not a whinge about not getting free stuff. It's the principle of the thing. There are more crocheters than knitters out there so why are we at not at least getting equal time?

I encourage all of you to go out and fill out the crochet survey and let I.C. know that we are just as important as the knitters. We need some love too and we will not be quiet any longer. Raise up your hooks and your voices. Be heard and take a stand for your crochet WORK. Yes it's just as much work as knitting. Lets stand up for our designers who can't make a living wage by doing what they love unless they have so much going I don't know how they keep their schedule straight let alone have a life, family and raise kids.

Now some of you may think this is an off sprout of Monday's CLF show on Loopy. Well yes and no. I have been tired for a long time that it's always knit and crochet at whatever places have both. As though crochet is an after though. Well it's not. It takes skill and work and so on just like knitting does. The CLF show just reminded me that I need to speak up on this once again. We need to make our stand and get the love we deserve. We have hooks, we’re not afraid to use ‘em and you will be assim….that is…woven in. Yeah! ;-)



"The deadly Hydra now is the hydra of Equality. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity is the three-fanged serpent."
Lawrence, D. H.

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.

headphones2hb

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


Ingredients:
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.

Articles:
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.


Patterns:
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. ;-)

corinthianluhat

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.


headphones2

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.

Articles:
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.

Patterns:
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? :-)

CrockPotBeefCabbageStew


Crock Pot Beef & Cabbage Stew

Ingredients:
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.


heritagesquare1

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!

CorinthianJacketBlueSkiesJacketorig

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.

PlarnGroceryBag
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