Sunday, July 23, 2017

YOP Week #4


  I have a fear of commitment and now I know why!  The minute I commit to anything, it seems providence and/or  'the powers that be' start laughing and whispering.......'we shall see about that'.  Remember the sad tale of the the star ornament and remember how I said, "well, at least I should have a finished sock by next week"?  Not so much.........but I have worked on it.  You see I had several doctor appointments this week and little did I know that one would result in some 'in office' minor surgery.  I'm fine but it was my toe and I've been limping along and have meds to take with food 3 times a day and I only eat twice a day so I had to come up with something else plus twice a day I have to soak it and change the dressings.  I'm fine but it's just very time consuming and instead of being able to put my 'feet up' and recuperate.....I spent a day in Mountain Home and came home to my usual responsibilities.  There was little if any pain involved so I am very grateful for that but I had my eyes dilated the same day! LOL!  It's been quite a week altogether....do you think my life will ever settle down? 
The good news is, I am healing and my eyes are great and they will monitor my eyes for the new RA medicine I am on which is much more affordable.  End of story...........but the socks are not finished.....close but no cigar............
 My daughter and SIL  celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary so I thought I would whip up a little Bluebird of Happiness (a free pattern on Ravelry which many have made....successfully, I might add).....I had some troubles as it called for a WT (wrap and turn) throughout and I had never done that particular instruction before.  I watched some You Tube videos and went to www.knittinghelp.com which has always been so clear and helpful and they all seemed a bit different. So, I went straight to the source....the author of the pattern,  Sara Kellner.  I emailed her and she got right back to me!  She gave me these instructions which were very clear and understandable.........or so I thought.......

"No worries - it’s not a dumb question at all! If short rows in the round is not something you’re used to, then of course you’d be confused - anyone would!
The answer is very simple. If the round says to:
K3, WT, P6, WT, K3
Then you will K3, WT, P the 3 you just knit, then P the next 3 on the other side of your beginning/end spot - in other words, the last 3 sts in the round. Then you will WT, and K the 3 you just purled. And now you’re back at the beginning of the round again.
Same goes for all of the WT rounds. So on the next one you will K4, WT, P the 4 you just knit, then P the next 4 on the other side of your beginning/end spot, WT, and finally K4.
Now that you know how to do this, you can make any of my patterns! :-)"

Yes, you can laugh......I would too if I wasn't once again...disappointed in my 'knitting performance'...............and what happened to the tail?????  Really?  This is the best I can do?  I think I will be sewing this week.................
 When I was at Walmart I was able to pick up some new yarn...........unplanned for but it caught my eye............Lion Brand's version of 'cake' yarn for $6.............it's light at a 3 weight, it is 590 yards or 540 meters and 150 grams.  It comes in a variety of color combos and is machine washable and dryable which is great for my gift giving to people who do not have the time to care for fine woolens nor do they want to! LOL!  It shows a scarf/cowl and I think I will look on their website to see what else they make with these 'cakes'.  BTW...it is Christmas in July officially starting on the 25th!  Next week I will post about what I am 'gifting' this year in the 'handmade' department.

I also picked up this 'scrubby' yarn by Red Heart for making......you guessed it....scrubbies!  One of my  ideas was to make some gift sets including scrubbies and some coordinating washcloths.......so last night I got the pattern off the Red Heart website for citrus slice scrubbies...so cute! But this yarn is so stringy and sort of rubbery that I could not see the stitches so I will be returning it and getting my money back!  Has anyone used this stuff?  I am feeling extremely dysfunctional in the knitting and now crocheting arena.  I may be sewing from now on!  
I also bought the cotton worsted for the cloths to coordinate..........it was a nice idea.........until it didn't work!
I did get this new magazine by Pioneer Woman........love her and her dishes and her cookbooks and her Food Network show and her recipes are divine!    I thought it would be pricey like most magazines today at anywhere from $10 - $25 but it was a mere $4!!!!  I couldn't believe it.........thank you, Rhee!  Finally a sensible, non-greedy business person!  So, needless to say, I picked it up. 
 This week I have been watching a podcast about sewing, knitting and decorating by a darling young 'mum' in the U.K. with exquisite taste and talent......The Little Tailoress.  I highly recommend her podcasts!  She doesn't have a lot out there yet and only podcasts about once a month so it's not hard to keep up with her but she has gorgeous projects and a gorgeous home and she looks like a movie star!
Hopefully, I will get my life/act back together this week although I do have future doctor appointments and vet appointments and the roof boys were back last week!  I'm also getting new glasses so there are going to be many trips to Mountain Home in my future!
I wanted to end on a more positive note so I saved this for last............Susan B. Anderson's mini-mitten bookmark/ornament pattern which...cross your fingers.....I am able to knit.........I've finished the hand and now need to do the thumb which is on waste yarn.  If I can successfully complete this I will be making quite a few for the grand's 2017 Ornament of the year and one for my tree and also for the 12 Ornament Along by Maker's Haven and The Homespun House.  Wish me luck!
I hope you all had a great week and I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to!
Happy Trails!!!
   

Sunday, July 16, 2017

YOP Week #3


Woe is me!  Do you remember last week when I said I was just sure I would have an FO this week.....well....I worked my little tail off and I was so close but alas.....no cigar!  This is a very sad tale so you might want to grab some Kleenex.
I finished knitting all my star points, took a tutorial and learned how to properly block, I cleaned my new blocking mat (one), I washed my star points in Eucalan wool wash and used a million pins to block all 10 of them.  I took them off the the blocking mat yesterday morning and spent a majority of the day learning and stitching the mattress stitch and sewed all of them together!  Ta Da!...........except for one tiny little error............I sewed too much.....up one side and down the other.........when in reality I should have only sewn halfway up the from the point on each side.  Granted...the instructions did not specify but had I looked at the picture of the pattern it would have been fairly obvious........
  This is what I have...............
This is what it should be..........(stuffed and finished).....I told you it was a sad tale.........oh well......on the bright side I learned several techniques............beading, blocking and the mattress stitch.  I will make this ornament some day......just not today.........(there is no way I can remove that mattress stitch as I did such a good job I can't even see it so they are officially ruined....I can't even reclaim the yarn)
As for some other WIP's.............I have finished the heel flap on sock #2 and I daresay I would like to have that finished by next Sunday but I certainly don't want to jinx myself so I won't say anything...........
 I already fell off of the YOP wagon too.........I started a new project!  But in my defense, I had no T.V. project to work on.........the socks were at the heel, the star points needed focusing on and I found it difficult to work on my cross stitch with my reading glasses because then I couldn't see the t.v.
So, you see, I really had no choice and when Becki showed the Happy CAL Place project of the kitty cat blanket I was a goner!  See the little kitty cats?  Aren't they cute?  This project is fun, easily memorized and you only change colors every 3 rows.....LOVE! 
     I did not get much cross stitch done this week so I  will show you next week.  I really needed to watch t.v. because I was hooked on The Crown on Netflix.  I finished it last night and I wished it would have gone on and on it was so good!  I will most probably watch it again and again.
I'm off to search out the next Christmas ornament to work on......it's July and I have 1 pair of socks done out of a dozen by the end of the year, I have no ornaments done out of a dozen by the end of the year.........I told you.........woe is me! LOL!  I hope you all had a more successful week than I did!
Happy Trails! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

My favorite bread recipe....at the moment......

I love bread...homemade that is.  Crusty breads are my favorite but there is a place for just plain everyday bread for toast and grilled sandwiches of which this bread excels.  This recipe never fails unless you have dead yeast...otherwise you are guaranteed a perfect loaf each and every time!
This recipe is from Apples for Jam, a cookbook by Tessa Kiros and not only is it one of my favorite cookbooks but it reads like a novel and you get to meet her family and her history in beautiful photos along with the dishes.
Tessa says "You can make this as one loaf or shape into smaller rolls. Children love small white rolls, it seems.  Naturally, you can make different sizes or a different shape...long is nice for hot dogs.  You can easily make a batch and freeze them in small bags, a few together; to whip out at almost the last moment of need.  My kids like these with butter spread so thickly that they can see their teeth marks."
I was going to publish some pictures but Google doesn't seem to want to cooperate just now so I will give you the recipe straight away (I have since edited and Google is working again so pictures are in!).......all credit is given to Tessa Kiros and if you run across her cookbook (I got mine on Thriftbooks) I highly recommend it...that is, if you like to cook.....her recipes are for cooks as some are lengthy and involved and use real ingredients but not this bread recipe...this recipe is easy peasy!
Ingredients: (*FGS indicates my own personal notes for this recipe)

1 cup warm (comfortable to your fingers) milk
1 (1/2 ounce) cake of fresh yeast, crumbled, or 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast.
*since I buy my yeast in a jar I figured it to be 2 1/4 teaspoons~FGS*
1 teaspoon honey
3 2/3 cups bread flour *FGS - I recommend using the bread flour not regular*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
Put the milk, yeast, and honey in a small bowl, and stir until the honey melts. *FGS - I also stir until the yeast is fairly well dissolved*  Leave it for about 10 minutes or until it begins to froth a bit.  Put the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a larger bowl (*FGS - I use my Kitchen Aide mixer).  Add the yeast mixture, the egg, and butter, and mix through well.  (*FGS - I use my mixing paddle for this and then switch to my dough hook for the kneading*).  Knead for 10 minutes or so and , if it seems sticky, just hold the bowl firmly and move the dough around with your hand, rather than add more flour.  Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it has puffed up well.
Lightly grease a 12 X 4 inch loaf pan and dust it with flour (*FGS - I greased the pan but forgot to dust it with flour but it came right out!  Lucky me!*)  Punch down the dough to flatten it and shape it into a rough loaf of a size to fit the pan.  Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for another 45 to 60 minutes, or until it puffs right  up in the pan.  Meanwhile,  preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is firm and crusty and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove from the oven, knock the loaf out of the pan, and cool on a rack in a fly-free zone.
This is best sliced warm and spread with butter, but you can keep the loaf for a few days (*FGS -  I've kept it for over a week in the frig with no problem*) in an airtight container for excellent toast.
 Enjoy and Happy Trails!!!