Saturday, February 25, 2012

Finishing up a few things around here...........

I did get the oven mitts felted last night and they are definitely smaller!  The directions told me to put them in a pillowcase and throw them in with another load or some jeans or tennis balls to agitate them and felt.  It also called for hot water.  Well,  they're bright red and would bleed so I didn't want to use a good pillowcase so I put them in a flannel drawstring bag and threw them in with a load of darks.  It worked and they felted for sure.  The only problem was they also stuck to themselves and it was like they were glued together and you couldn't get your hand in them.  So, after much tugging and pulling I got them separated and could get my hand and thumb inside.  I straightened them out and left them to air dry overnight.  But all that tugging did leave some wrinkles and weak spots, I think. I'm not sure they're really thick enough to use them as oven mitts at least not if you were having to hold onto something really hot for very long but we'll see and I'll let you know.  I want them to work so badly because I think they would make great gifts and you could stripe them like the original pattern and make different colors or use those transitional yarns that change colors.  Time will tell and then I'll tell you!  Here's a picture of the mitts that inspired me, aren't they just too cute?  You can get this free pattern and SO MUCH MORE on The Purl Bee.  They have knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing, embroidery and more.  Check it out it's a wonderful site and sight!

Aren't they darling?  So cute and perfect (above) here's mine before I felted:

And after I felted:

There you have it folks!  They don't look much like the "inspiration" mitts but of course, they were knitted by a "professional" and it is pretty obvious that I am still a novice!  But onward and upward and tonight I start a new project....I'm actually back tracking.....from the book that gave me my knitting start........

I've posted this book before and it is one of the funniest books I've ever read...she's a stitch in more ways than one!  She also has a website under her alias of "Crazy Aunt Purl" and yarn "recipes" in the book.  I've made the first 2; Beginner Scarf #1 and Beginner Scarf #2....that first scarf was my best work so far...I think I'm regressing.  The second scarf was made using a very troubling "fancy" yarn that cost 2 arms and 3 legs!  But the yarn was gorgeous!  I would have been better off just leaving it in the skein to look at because after it was knitted up it wasn't that pretty.  So, the next pattern on my way to "knitting mastery" is called "The Magic Scarf".  I have the yarn because I have started this scarf and torn it out a few times but I am a more proficient knitter now...RIGHT???  Ok, don't answer that but I am determined to master The Magic Scarf!  It's called magic because you knit 5 purl 5 for 10 rows and then you switch to purl 5 knit 5 for 10 rows and it looks like a basket weave pattern.  My problem mind wanders and I forget to stop knitting and start purling and back then I really thought I could watch television AND knit! LOL!  Boy was I wrong!  I could if it was all knitting but how often does that happen?  So, this is what separates the Women from the Girls in knitting.  REAL knitters can watch t.v. , carry on conversations and multitask while knitting.  I am a novice because I have to go to a safe room with no distractions or noises of any kind before I can emerge with anything that even resembles a knitted item.  In the book by Laurie, she drinks wine while knitting.  I haven't tried that yet but it seemed to help her!
I also finished a book I've been reading....

This is a used copy and I ordered it from Amazon  as it's no longer in print.  It was written in 1963 and tells about a young married couple who leave their professional lives in Boston and head out to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness.  I adore books about self-sufficiency.  He's not the greatest writer but it's a good read for sure.  He wrote 4 other books that I will be looking for too.  Have a great weekend and don't forget to tune in again for the adventure of Sam and The Magic Scarf!

Friday, February 24, 2012

FInished knitting my oven mitts!!!!!! Finally!

I spent the day finishing up my second oven mitt of the pair I've been knitting.  I still have to felt them in the washer so I'll post that later or tomorrow.  They're HUGE right now!

 So what will I knit next?  Well, it won't be my favorite owl yet.........isn't she a beaut!  Ashley made this one and it is my goal to make one...some day.  It is a PurlSoho pattern and free but you have to be a better knitter than I am!  That owl is SO soft too.

 Here's some more yarn at the shop....she carries Cascade yarn in various types but mostly natural fibers which is fine with me since I rarely use anything else.  YUM!!!  Look at all those luscious colors!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Quilted Heart and more...........

Here are just some of the views of our local quilt shop where I learned to quilt and now I'm learning to knit!  She has "the gift" when it comes to decorating and all around creativity and her daughter inherited it from her too!  They are both VERY talented individuals!
See that cute scarf she knitted out of fabric?  She has kits to make them!  Too cute!

 This is my knitting instructor, Ashley on the left (I know you can't see her and she's such a cutie!)  and Linda, another student on the right.  They are both far better knitters than I!  Linda made that beautiful green shawl they're working on.

This a DARLING felt and wool hand appliqued quilt that depicts snow people for every month of the year.  She won a prize at the county fair for it.  I have the pattern and the  material but have I done it yet?  NO!  Another UFO! 
This a SO CUTE wall hanging that I would like to do........
Jamie has her shop decorated with all kinds of antiques and "old stuff" we both love!

 Look at this needle keeper and tote bag.......LOVE!!!!!
and quilts galore......
Of course this is my favorite....Mary Engelbreit!  Who else???


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Springtime in the Ozarks!!!

Look what I found in my back yard yesterday!  The robins have been here a few weeks too!  Yesterday was in the 60's and today it's supposed to be in the 70's!  Now, I have to get outside and start's double duty again until next Winter but I love the outdoors and all it entails!

 Oh, I almost forgot....look what else came in the mail yesterday.....I haven't even looked at it yet!  But the cover alone is a feast for the eyes...lots of ideas right there!  Enjoy your day and Happy Springtime!  It's on it's way to a neighborhood near you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Look what I won from the Cranky Queen!

Isn't this just the CUTEST!!!  She makes these from recycled vintage materials and see the pin in the upper left hand corner?  She is SO creative and she had a drawing for several of her creations and not only did I win but I got my favorite and hers too!  Those are MY colors...let me tell you!  And look at the trim and the pompoms on the sides.  It is my treasure!   Thanks, Tiff!!!!  Also, she had it wrapped in old sewing pattern tissue...and a little note pinned to it ....if you can see it.......... I take terrible closeups...I really need to learn to take photographs one of these days!  Anyway, it says ""Old Souls"..once forgotten, but now found again..Items made from re-purposed, vintage materials by Tiff.  Enjoy a piece of the past!"

 This cute old photo was on the front of the package too.
 Isn't that just the sweetest card...these pillows she makes are a piece of the past and it brings back such wonderful memories for me.  To see more of what this talented "Southern Belle" has created and her wonderful blog, please visit The Cranky Queen    You really made my day, Tiff, thank you again SO MUCH!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quiet, restful day nice.........

     I got off to a nice start yesterday morning making myself a nice breakfast as opposed to my daily ritual of yogurt and toast.  I also tried something new.  I "baked" my bacon in the oven!  You cover a baking sheet in foil and lay your bacon on the pan overlapping just a bit.  It said to bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes but I about doubled that because I like my bacon crispy like my cookies! LOL!  It did require less cleanup for sure and the bacon doesn't stays fairly flat.  I got my recipe at my favorite site All Recipes.  Like I say about Johnson's Hardware Store in our area..."if they don't have it, you don't need it!" 
I also got out my "free" old waffle iron that a lady gave me with the old cloth cord which I would like to rewire if possible but it's in good shape for now. 
It even has a lever on it that you can set from light to dark.  It's well seasoned and I spray it with butter flavored  baking spray and I'm "good to go"!
  I have a favorite pancake mix that I use for pancakes and it said you could use it for waffles too.
It's their blueberry mix and it makes delicious blueberry pancakes!

And of course, you must have maple syrup!

Looking good...........
Taa Dah!  Yumm...can't wait to dig in!
well, after eating here's my "expert analysis"............ I live alone and in order to make it worthwhile to heat the oven and cook up that bacon I cooked more than I usually would using a pan.  Now, that's alright as I will reheat this week (in a pan...microwave makes it soggy) or I could turn on my oven again but probably not for a few slices.  I'll use it for blt's but for me, personally, I will cook my bacon in the pan unless I have company.  This is how many restaurants cook their bacon now because they go through a lot of it and I sure could have used this method when my children were growing up and I had a houseful but for little old me, not a very efficient method.  Also, although I drained it on paper towels, it seemed there wasn't as much bacon fat left in the cookie sheets as when I fry it up in a pan which means that more of the fat is staying on the bacon and I sure do not need any more FAT! LOL!  And I tended to eat more because I made more. 
I told you I love my pancake mix but for waffles it really didn't work well at all.  I know they looked good but they tasted like they were the frozen waffles.  They were tough and I couldn't get them to brown or get crispy.  A friend of mine suggested I try Krusteaz mix as she has good luck with that and even uses it for Belgian style but she also has one of those newer professional waffle makers too.  I have made waffles before in my waffle maker that were very good now if I could just remember how I did it?  The moral of the story is that just because it makes great pancakes that does not ensure good waffles!  But I ate it all regardless!  I was hungry!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thanks for the memories.....

Well, yesterday was my last day at The Frugal Fox where I help out on Saturdays or whenever she might need a hand.  Sue and Andy are the owners and the kindest and most giving people you could ever want to meet.  It's been a true joy and added so much to my life to be able to share in their adventure but because of  numerous reasons they are closing the shop.  Part of the proceeds also funded the animal rescue operation in our community and I think Sue started that and it is still going strong.  They have rescued and "saved" and found "forever" homes for so many animals and continue to do so.  Bless you all!  Here are a few pictures of Sue, a dear friend, and the shop which is actually getting pretty empty now with sales and consignors picking up their things. 
This is Sue....decorator extraordinaire!
 Cute dresser huh?
I love this piece too!
This is a beautiful "gate-leg" table and there's a darling "star-studded" blue and white tray and you can see what wonderful "treasures" I had to try and resist every week!  Let me tell you it was NOT easy!

 This says it all............Gratitude for the wonderful memories, the great people and the inspiration.  Thank you Sue and Andy and thank you Frugal Fox!