Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mobile Yarn Sales-YAY!!!

Last Saturday I went to the launch party for the Yarnover Truck.  This is a truck that travels around the LA area selling yarn and notions for knitting and crocheting.  The two women who opened the business were friends who both wanted to open a yarn store.   Food trucks are quite popular in Southern California and in other areas and other types of products are now sold the same way.  This truck is a former little Debbie’s snack truck.  It has been completely remodeled and now sells yarn.  They have a skylight in the top, hard wood floors and shelf after shelf of beautiful yarn.

Everyone at the party checked in and received a gift bag with a large mug with the Yarnover truck logo, a little Debbie snack, a few stitch markers, and a mini skein-sampler of some of the specialty yarn designed for the truck, a coupon and a button.

Then we were invited to shop.  We were the first yarn lovers to enter the truck and buy yarn.  Let me tell you it was crowded in that truck.  But none of us let that bother us or stop us from standing, crouching, leaning and grabbing for what caught our eye.  There were so many pretty yarns.  So many soft yarns.  Way too much temptation.  I held myself back.  The LA County Yarn Crawl is two weeks away.  I gave myself a very small budget for this launch party. 

I bought the knitter’s tool tin with the YO Truck logo filled with a ton of notions.  A measuring tape, cable needle, sewing needle, yarn holder, stitch markers, tiny scissors (like the puppy snips) and a yarn sewing needle.

I knit a quick swatch with the sample yarn from the gift bag.  It's beautiful too.  I think I will buy more and knit a t shirt or sweater out of this yarn.

I bought three little buttons:

Yarn on Board

I knit because I am smarter than you

Warning I touch strangers in hand-knits.

I also caved in and bought two skeins of gorgeous green yarn from blue sky.  Alpaca silk in the shade of peapod.  The picture sucks.  The light is wrong.  It makes the color look icky.  This is a beautiful light shade of green.  This yarn is so soft.  It makes me want to buy more of it.  A ton.  For a blanket, a sweater, a hat and anything else that I can curl up with or for wearing.

Wouldn’t it be nice if these blogs had a feel feature.  You’d want it too.

You can go buy beautiful soft things at the Yarnover Truck too.  They’ve got a facebook page and also update their whereabouts on twitter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and in the knitting blogger world that means it is WIP (work in progress) Wednesday.   

I just finished a huge long project- the Cardigan for my dad.  I am rather proud of that sweater.  It turned out great and I love hearing the comments from other people about this sweater.  Knitting is a practice of love.  We don't knit for money and we don't knit for fame.  We do it because we love it and love the recipient.

This week I have a felicity hat on the needles and am working on my sampler square blanket.

The felicity is a simple slouchy hat.  I decided to use cascade 220 sport.  Not only is this yarn machine washable but it is also a lovely soft yarn to knit with.

The Twisted Stitchers, a local knitting and crocheting group in Orange County, decided to do a KAL or CAL.  We decided on 12 inch squares and a swap.  I have a collection of squares and just need to decide how to put them together.  I am still playing with the order of the squares.  There are a lot of different colors and no theme. 

I think I'll frame each square in black, add a few rows of simple black in stockinette stitch and then sew them all together.  That way each square will be featured, the same size and shouldn’t get lost by some of the others.  The ladies in my group are quite talented as you can see from the squares.  

I'm really looking forward to seeing my finished sampler blanket and seeing what everyone else comes up with for theirs.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finally FINISHED!!!

It's done.  It's Finally FINISHED!!!!  The sweater that has taken FOREVER to finish.  It didn't really take forever.  I began knitting this sweater in November.  Hoping to finish it in time to give to my Dad for Christmas.  I also had a list of other things to knit for Christmas.  December came and I didn't have a chance to knit Dad's sweater.  Why do we knitters think we can get so many projects done during the month of December.  Things are so hectic with life, that knitting time was not available.

In any case, I did not finish in time.  I finished the back part of the sweater and wrapped that up and promised to have the entire sweater done soon.  I took the back home with me and continued knitting.  The only problem was boredom.  This sweater has a ton of cabling.  Not something that you would normally get bored with.  I think it is the amount of time.  Even my knitting speed decreased by half.  Too many different stitches.  Too many opportunities to f*ck up.  I love mistakes.  But I didn't want a ton of them.  Take a good look at this sweater and you will see mistakes.

I don't rip out.  What's the point.  Most mistakes I can fix later.  Others I leave as a design effect.  In this sweater there are purls where there should be knit stitches.  I think of them as my own take on the design.

February began and I took up the sweater with a vengeance.  Every spare moment, every game night, every minute watching movies or TV I was knitting.  I wasn't always knitting this sweater.  As I said boredom was a problem.  So when I was really bored, I worked on and finished other projects.  Mainly hats.


Take a look:

The color is light grey.  The first photo is taken outside.  The others inside.  The yarn is Lion Brand wool ease worsted weight.  The pattern is the Northshore Cardigan by Lion Brand.  See the details on my Ravelry page.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Yummy Pot Pie

We love pot pie in our house.  But not the traditional pot pie-you know the one-dripping in sauce.  We prefer a slightly dry but packed with flavor pot pie.  Here's how I make it.

I start with a pre-made pie crust.  I bake the bottom for 10 minutes in a 450 degree oven.  Make sure to poke holes in the crust.

While that is baking, I cook the filling for our pot pie in a large saucepan.  Tonight I am using leftover turkey.  (I've used chopped up chicken and canned chicken in the past).  Chop up the meat into smaller than bite sized pieces.  I add a chopped onion and seasonings.  Poultry seasoning, pepper, salt, garlic powder (or minced garlic), cayenne pepper, and worcestershire sauce.

Once the filling is heated through add a DRAINED can of veggies.  (I use Fresh and Easy's peas and carrots).  You can use fresh or frozen or whatever you have on hand.  Make sure to drain the liquid out of the filling.  Once the veggies are cooked through I add a can of cream of chicken soup and a quarter of the can filled with water.    Mix the liquid into the filling until it is thoroughly incorporated.

By now the bottom crust should be done.  Take it out of the oven.

Add the filling.

Add the top layer of crust.

The pan is HOT so be careful.  I use a fork to press the sides down and to punch holes for venting.  It doesn't have to be pretty-just yummy.   Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.


Bingham's Pot Pie

Meat (Chicken or Turkey-chopped)-Use however much you want.  I used approximately 2 cups
Pie crust
can of cream soup
1 tsp poultry seasoning (or to taste)
Pepper to taste
salt -1 tsp
cayenne pepper (to taste-I used 1 tsp)
garlic- 1 tbsp minced or 1/2 tsp powder
worcestershire sauce -1 tbsp or to taste

Bake the bottom crust, cook filling on stove, adding soup last.  Fill pie crust, add top crust and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Helpful Pretty Things

I love stitch markers.  They are essential when knitting (and sometimes while crocheting).  There are all different types of stitch markers.  Small, medium and large.  Those that lock and those that don't. Plastic, beads, metal, etc.  You can purchase the little plastic locking ones or the little plastic hook type. My favorite are the locking stitch markers.  (Forgive the awful phone today).

The last thing you want to deal with when knitting is forgetting to move a non locking stitch marker and have it become a permanent part of your project.  Or cutting the marker or ripping out to remove it.

I decided to make some of my own markers.  I have a large box of beads left over from making books about 15 years ago.  (Anyone else out there play around with homemade books?)  First problem- I had no idea how to make stitch markers.  So I googled.  I love the internet.  I remember what we did before the internet.  I love the library.  Card catalogs and tons of books.  Books- My first love.

Anyhow...Google had a few suggestions.  There are some tutorials online-sort of.  The type of tutorials for people who already know what they are doing and forgot.  I think.  Not the type of tutorial that someone who has NEVER made jewelry or stitch markers looks for though.  I did not find one of those.  A few of those tutorials and websites had a list of tools and supplies necessary.

I took an early morning trip over to Michaels (a lot of people there on a weekday early am).  And found a plethora of options.  Most people suggested getting headpins.  No one mentioned that you need a headpin that is larger than the bead holes.  (FYI you want a headpin larger than the bead so that the bead doesn't just slip off.)  Not to worry I had some supplies from a friend who made some beaded necklaces and attempted to draft me into the project.

Back to supplies:  headpins or wire, closures, crimp beads, beads or whatever you want to decorate with, wire cutters, and good lighting.

This is what I came up with:

I'll work up a tutorial eventually.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Owl motifs have been really popular lately.  Kate Davies, an author, blogger and yarn artist from Kate Davies Designs introduced me to the motif first.  She designed this sweater entitled "Owls" (search for owl on Ravelry and you'll find it).   I then found an awesome pillow in the form of an owl from the Purl Bee and really really wanted it.  It’s still on my list of things to make-so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I am still working on the cable sweater for my Dad.  It’s only been 4 months.  (At least I haven’t been working on it continually and only have half a sleeve and finishing work to go).  When I get to the point where I don’t think I will ever finish something, because it is taking FOREVER, I grab something fast and finish it.  I get a finished product and feel that sense of accomplishment. 

Last week I reached that point and found the “Who” hat by Sara Amoroso.  I choose a skein of Caron Soft in grey from my stash and got to work.  The hat was a fast knit, taking me about 5 hours.   I knit it on circular needles, using the magic loop method at the top.  I also used a spare double point needle for the cabling instead of a cable needle.  Here it is in progress:

Choosing buttons is another story altogether.

My husband suggested putting grey buttons on every other owl so that they look asleep.  Others suggested black buttons for the eyes or white pearly buttons.  I still haven’t decided. 

Check out the finished hat.