Saturday, August 23, 2014

Leaf Me Alone, I'm Knitting Cardi/Vest

I love autumn. It is my favorite time of year and I celebrate it often by designing another leaf item. I celebrated Autumn 2010 with Leaf Me Alone, I'm Knitting Cardi/Vest Yes, it has taken me that long to publish it.
You can buy it here
Though it has taken me 4 years to publish this design, I hope you think it is worth it and enjoy making it and wearing it as much as I have enjoyed designing it. 

This pattern has a unique construction. The Leaf Panel is knitted (14 sts wide) and then the stitches for the body are picked up along the end of rows on the Panel to form the lower body of the cardi/vest. The Yoke above the Leaf Panel is picked up along the other side and worked up. 
It has a 2 button chain loops closure and is meant to be worn slightly open across the Leaf Panel area.
I have used many different yarns to make this and love the way all of them look.

The gauge is 16 sts and 22 rows for 4” in Stockinette Stitch.

It comes in a great range of sizes, so choose a size that is closest to your bust measurement. 
X-Small    Small     Medium    Large     X-Large    XX-Large 
33 1/4”     36 1/4”  39 1/4”     42 1/4”  45 1/4”     48 1/4”

Thank you for supporting independent designers. We love keeping you in stitches!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Just thought I would check in and share a recipe.

Spicy black bean soup

4 cans of seasoned black beans (drain and rinse 3 of these)
2 cans of chicken broth (low sodium kind)
1 can of Mexican style lime and cilantro Rotel
1 large onion diced
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbs of oil
1 pkg of Williams taco seasoning
1 pkg hidden valley dry fiesta ranch dressing mix
1  1/2 cup frozen corn

Add oil to a large soup pan. When oil is hot, add diced onion. Sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. 
While the onion are sautéing, open all the cans.
Place one can of black beans (juice and all) into blender, add one of the cans of chicken broth. Pulse until most of beans are not visible. Set aside.

With the other 3 cans of black beans, rinse them and set them aside,too.
By this time, you will have added the garlic and are now ready to add everything to the pot, rinsed beans, broth, Rotel, corn, dry ranch dressing, taco seasoning, and beans that are in the blender.
Stir and simmer for 30 minutes.

Garnish bowls of this soup with shredded cheese, diced avocado, a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DFW Fiber Arts Fest 2014

My DFW trip was different this year. Michael, at the first of the year, did not know if he would have the vacation time to spare for this. My friend, Cindy, came to the rescue. Since she always goes to this retreat, too, and stays with her sister. I asked her to let me drive up with her on Thursday morning. She and I enjoyed time together and then my Michael came up on Sat afternoon and drove me home on Sunday morning. 
The conference had moved this year to Irving. The convention center was really nice and so was the Marriott that we stayed in. There were nice restaurants close so Cindy and I hoofed it for our dinner. We usually ended up walking a mile total to and from our restaurant choice. The weather was just perfect. It had been forecast as warm and a cold front had come through and given us cooler temps.
Here we all are waiting in line for registration on Thursday morning.
Here is Cindy wearing her lovely "Lyra's Song" Shawl. 
This is Vivian. She took my "Lace Knitting with Beads" Class that I taught a couple of years ago. 
Sadly, the classes at this event fill up super fast. I had a mentalpause moment that afternoon and did not register for classes until 9:00 the day of registration. All the classes that I wanted were gone. I did get in one of my wanted classes a little later though. I took "Spinning a Self-Striping Yarn" and "Knitting with Mawata". I had in my mind how to do spin a self striping yarn, but needed to find out if I was on the right track. I found out that I had it right in my head, but I did learn a lot of helpful things, too.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee taught the class on Knitting with Mawata. 
She soaked the silk cocoons in a crockpot, while she talked of the history of the silk worm and silk industry. It was interesting to hear a lot of the history of silk production. 

Here are the gross, dead silk worms that were in the silk cocoons that we stretched.
Next, we stretched the cocoons over a board to make a silk hankie, which consists of several cocoons that add up to a certain gram weight. 
We were next shown how far a single cocoon could stretch. 
Once it was stretched, she drafted it into roving that you then could knit with. 
Lighter that a feather!
This is a silk hankie that has been dyed. It consists of layers of the stretched silk cocoons. To knit with it, you pull off one layer (a single cocoon) and draft it for knitting into a baby bonnet. I started mine, but have not finished it. My hands are just so dry and the silk catches on them horribly.

Me and Cindy, posing for our 2014 Fiber Fest Photo.
This is my yarn haul for 2014. In my defense, I did real good! I was given the Forrest Hills Lace weight by Cascade Yarns to play with! Have been playing with that and loving it! I got a fresh batch of bamboo as a trade. I did buy the beads, buttons, and orange yarn to the right. My buddy, Cindy, came home on Monday with me the Wool Wash. I, also, got a few ounces of nylon roving to ply with some roving that I am spinning for hiking socks for Ben and Grace. 

This was the night time view from our room on the 4th floor. 
This was sunrise from our room. Lovely way to welcome the morning, with a cup of coffee, of course! 
I took 3 knitting projects and some roving that I needed to get spun on this trip. I did finish spinning  the roving, but the only knitting that I did was this cardigan. It is called Hitofude Cardigan. It is a dream knit! A masterpiece in construction. Go on over to Ravelry and get the pattern. This one is for Grace. I saw the pattern and just knew I had to make it for her. I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fine in Mariner Blue. It is so soft. A perfect pattern and yarn for a spring cardigan. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My hands are never idle

Warning! This post is photo laden!
So much has happened since my last post. I have knitted my way through 5 states, found fresh yarn, finished a Vitamin D Cardigan for my DIL, a Manly Man Vest for my Michael, one for my Ben, sewn 35 corn cozies with a couple of dear friends.............etc.
First, I will show you some things that I have been making for a silent auction.

Who can resist baby shoes?
Add a cute hat and it is double delight!
This set is called Wabbit Hunting.
I always think of Elmer Fudd hunting for Bugs Bunny. 
This is my Shell Border Hat with a pair of my Criss-Cross Button-Up Shoes.
I love the hearts!
These are my Tennis Shoes worked up in adorable boy colors and paired with a cute little hat.
This is my Baby Allison Dress with the Bonnet.
This comes in a Christening/Dedication Gown length, too.
Tennis shoes and a hat in girly colors!
This set is called Baby Dots.
Am going to work it in 3 colors next to see how that looks.
I made some crocheted Mary Janes to go with it.
So perfectly pink for a girly girl!
Is there anything more adorable than baby shoes?
Who can resist lady bug?
This is my Celebrating Cardigan done to celebrate lady bugs.
I had to come up with a hat to go with the cardigan and shoes.
I love, love, love this hat!
You can do any theme with this cardigan.
That is why I call it Celebrating Baby Cardigan.
Whatever season or holiday you want to celebrate, it is up to you.
This is my absolute favorite Christening/Dedication Gown.
I love the lace dripping at the bottom.
It has a matching Christening/Shawl to wrap the baby in. 
Yum! I just love the lyra leaf edging!
Simple ribbon embellishments are all that this one needs.
Just perfect!
Pink Coral Ballet slippers and a tutu.

Now for the other knitting that I have been doing.
This is Ben's Manly Man Vest. I did Michael one in Aubergine Brown Sheep.
Will have to post a photo of him wearing it. 
This is one of the designs in my Twisted Stitches book,
 that I have been working on for about 5 years or more. 
I just love a man in a vest!
When I got back from our trip to IN,
I had the privilege of doing a mini workshop at a knitting retreat for Claire and Sabrina at Knit Unto Others.
My dear friend, Cindy, came along.
She and I had the greatest time with this great group of ladies.  
Knitting, fun, fellowship, fresh yarn, good food, what can be more fun than that?
I taught blocking your knits, measuring yourself to fit,
swatching and the importance of gauge,
deciphering yarn labels and substituting yarns,
dealing with yarn ends, three needle bind  off and weaving seams. 
Met new friends!
Now to talk about the knitting through 5 states! We left AR on the morning of February the 8th! On Friday night, the 7th, we got a bucket of snow dropped on us!
We left Arkansas the next morning in this!
Michael told me to look at it as a grand adventure! And it really was!
I was so thankful for our old 4 wheel drive Tacoma truck!
We would need that 4 wheel drive many times!
 We were heading to Layfayette IN for a biblical counseling seminar, more on this at the end.
 We decided to go one day early and take a day and night in St Louis. We got us some Italian food, fresh yarn at SKIF on the Hill and visited the Chess museum.

Tried a new coffee joint.
This place was so cool. 
I had a pour over, along with some baby sock knitting!
Look at the tables, they were so lovely!
Michael had a macchiato. This is some lovely coffee art!
Michael posing in the Chess club.

It was located in a quaint downtown area of St. Louis.
The snow just added to the experience of being there.
Here I am outside the Chess museum. 
And of course, we had to visit the London Tea Room,
so that Michael could get a proper cuppa!
Michael had a scone with Devonshire Cream, oh my!
I had a cup of coffee (this southern girl like's her tea iced) and a chocolate croissant. 
Now, that is a proper tea!
If you ever go to St. Louis, you just have to visit the London Tea Room!
We left St Louis, by way of Springfield IL. Cool mural. 

Took a quick, freezing look at Lincoln's home!
This was the terrain for most of our trip.
Snow to the right, snow to the left, but nice cleared roads!
It was beautiful to see that much snow for miles!
It was my first time to experience that. 
This was a little town on the outskirts of Indianapolis.
I can't remember the name of it, but we met Michael's step-brother, Walter, here for dinner. 
This was our first time to be on his turf.
I only wish that Cynthia, his wife, could have joined us.
I would have loved to have spent an afternoon with her at her favorite knitting shop that was right down the street!
We left IN on Friday noon on the 14th, heading to Cincinnati to visit relatives that were only 3 hours away.
We could not be that close and not take advantage of the chance to have dear family time.
This is a beautiful church that we encountered on our way. Isn't the setting just lovely?
It was snowing to beat the band! 
This, my friends, is the best fried chicken in the world!
We were looking online for a place to get real food and found Wagner Inn, Oldenburg, IN.
This fried chicken would make Colonel Sanders cry!
One of the owners informed us that it was NOT deep fried, no, it was fried in a #14 iron skillet in LARD!
I about had a coronary attack, but it was so good!
The gravy was pure gravy heaven.
The food at this place was made with love.

The town of Oldenburg, IN was so lovely with the snow coming down hard.
They had lots of lovely little shops.
I was so disappointed that this one was not open.
We took a peek in the window at the nativities.
How I wanted to go inside and get Grace one of them as a surprise!
This town was called the Village of Spires.
With the snow falling, it could not have looked lovelier.
Wagner's Village Inn, Oldenburg, IN
On to Cincinnati, OH for family time!
Our dear, sweet Aunt Ruby Jewel, all wrapped up and cozy in an afghan that I made her a few years ago.
She was wife to Uncle Howard, Poppy's oldest brother.
Uncle Edgar, Poppy's younger brother.
Carol, Michael's cousin and Aunt Ruby's daughter.
Phyllis, Michael's cousin and Aunt Wanda's daughter, Aunt Wanda was Poppy's baby sister.
Phyllis and her husband, Russ, came down from Michigan for the get together. 
I brought photos that I had developed for Michael for a Christmas surprise.
I had found about 100 black and white negative, when we were going through Poppy's things.
Most of them were photos that were taken before Michael was even born. 
We got to see our Kaitlyn and her new little doggy. 
Michael, with Uncle Edgar and his daughter, Connie.
It snowed a whole bunch that night and again, we were thankful for our old 4-wheel drive truck.
It came in real handy in transporting everyone up the hill to Carol's house!

One of Carol's sweet dogs. 
Saturday afternoon, Feb 15th, we headed toward home.
This was a beautiful church along the freeway. 
The industrial part of Cincinnati. Kind of sad to see it so dormant.
Thought of how it was booming at the end of WWII and how that made many of our KY relatives relocate for work.
Lovely metal bridges!

While February was a super busy month, I was thankful for an opportunity to see relatives in OH and IN.
But for me the whole purpose of the trip was our Biblical Counseling seminar. 
I wish that I could share what a great blessing that seminar was. It was an exhausting week of all day classes and like trying to drink from a fire hose. I am still trying to process it all. But it gave me great hope and joy in knowing that God's word is so powerful and is such a precious lifeline to those who struggling in this life. I came away with great joy and a greater desire to hide God's word in my heart, so that I am able to minister to hurting people who God brings across my path. Pray for me in that area, please.