Yesterday afternoon I learned to knit I-cord!
This might now seem super duper exciting if you already know how to do this amazingly simple little thing - but I was a little worried...
You see, when I've been searching for knit blanket & throw ideas (on the internet & on Ravelry
) I seem to be drawn to the ones that use I-Cord edging. Like this great improvised knitting piece
, or this Apple Core
design, & this simple Hip To Be Square
blanket. I just love the applied I-cord!
But, what's a girl to do when she's clueless about such things??
Why, find an awesome headband tutorial
, of course!
It took me an hour.
I learned I-cord & knit a headband all at once, in an hour
. What the heck was i so worried about?!
Now I am I-cording some craft yarn my Aunt gave me to make an inspiration line, like these
but with clothes pins & I-cord! The yarn I have is green & I think it'll be just perfect for hanging Christmas cards off of when that time of year rolls around again.
I made this I-cord a little thicker than the headband version. I was just curious to see if I could add extra stitches & get the same result. I can, I did, it worked out great.
I also have a fun crafty design using this little skill that is in the works to share with you soon!
In my hunting & gathering blanket inspiration I've settled on a gradient rainbow theme with an applied I-cord edging. This is intended to be a Christmas gift (yeah...I'm already working on the list!) & the recipient loves rainbows. The improvised blanket post above led me to another awesome post with videos for easy to follow instructions for applied I-cord edging
. I just love the internet for the sheer ease of learning so many things!
I'm only in the earliest stages of gathering yarn for this project. Since I do not have a stash (a new knitter's bane!) to pull vaious shades of each color from I am having to buy most of it. A few of these skeins were also gifted from my Aunt, & maybe I'll be able to hunt up a few more donated colors. But, for the most part I am just going to slowly gather colors to add to the blanket, which means I won't be able to work on the blanket in the near future because I need to have at least the red/pinks gathered to get started. I want lots of variation, similar to this
, so this not-having-a-stash thing is my only downfall.
I also want to make one of these
, & again my lack of stash hinders that just at this moment. I think a little granny square might be a good place to start when learning to crochet?
Anyone got any advice on how to build a yarn stash somewhat quickly & not crazy
expensively? I'm hunting our local thrift stores in hopes some fine yarn lovers will destash a little to help me out. So far that hasn't happened, but with warmer months ahead maybe I'll get lucky. I know some people craft with the seasons just for comfort's sake.
So, what's been on & off your needles lately? Have any designs you're just dreaming about?
If you're on Ravelry stop over & add me as a friend
, I'd love to see what you've been up to!
I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!
The last couple of days I've been messing with a little knitting project.
I've been working on a pattern for a mug koozie. Not because there aren't already plenty of these out there, but just because I want to make a few as gifts & I kinda enjoy the process of knitting one up & tweaking the design & trying again. The currant one is a little too tall for standard mugs (the mugs in the photos are taller than normal), & I think it should be knit with doubled yarn...I figure once I get the basic idea down then I can play around with different stitch combos to make some different patterns.
Do you enjoy the design process? The trial & error? Or do you prefer to use already tried & true designs to build from?
What does your creative process look like? Do you sketch out a plan or just jump right in?
I tend to be a sketcher myself. It helps me to see the shape or concept I'm working towards. While my sketches are rough & childlike they do help me to organize my thoughts.
Maybe that is why I am also a list maker. I enjoy seeing the road ahead of me. I enjoy even more marking off each accomplished thing. I have a friend who hates lists, they overwhelm her. But, she has an advantage in memory. She remembers all the things she needs to do, & can recall things like dates & times & projects much easier than I can. I need it written out for me, I need lots of visual reminders. My husband also has a great memory for things & that is why we work so well together. Our strengths are in different areas & so we compliment one another.
Do you have people in your life like that? It really is a blessing.
First of all -
Can you believe
the blooms on my African Violet?!
Not even my black thumb could hold this little lady down! She's a bloomin' like crazy
It only took about 4 years for it to finally bloom more than one or two little flowers...So, I am enjoying every little blossom. And
the purple basil seeds I planted in an extra pot (we'll pretend it was extra
& not just recently vacated) last week are sprouting! Woot!
It is a good Spring in our house. Anything blooming where you are?
Secondly, you will probably be noticing a bit of rearranging around here at HCC.
I'm moving all the shopping back over to Etsy
, where controlling it all is so much easier. I also made a page for recipe & tutorial links, called Make
, to make them easier to access. And, finally I made the blog the new Home page to cut down on some clutter. I dunno yet if I'm done tweaking, but maybe...for now.
In the process of all this rearranging I had some issues with losing my blog page & had a few days of panic while I waited to find out if I would be starting over from scratch. I was greatly relieved to discover that the good folks here at Weebly could do a bit of IT magic. So, that was why it was all quiet here this past week, I couldn't publish anything new until I got it all sorted out.
I've only got one week left before my big two week vacation heading out to California. I'm already getting things ready...labeling the freezer food for the hubby, collecting scrapbooking supplies for scrapping my adventure on the road, figuring out what clothes to take...Anyone live out that way? What kind of clothing would have me prepped for the weather? I've never been farther west than Las Vegas so I'm pretty darn excited!
How's your week been?
.. I dreamt
of a party on the beach.
.. I saw
snow falling & looked out the window in surprise.
.. I smiled
at the (2 + 1) four-legged little ones roaming & napping & needing love.
.. I shopped
the fridge for leftovers for lunch.
.. I noticed
I've been adding kale to everything (& loving it), from fried rice to soup.
.. I heard
the birds filling the tree & the air with music.
.. I'm waiting
for the tulips to open & brighten the entrance to our home.
.. I'm anticipating
a wonderful night out with family to see Temple Grandin
.. I'm excited
about a baseball game & a birthday party & a full weekend.
.. I'm loving
every little thing that says Spring is here. (even when it snows).. I'm wishing you lots of love & joy.
Are y'all wondering what's with all the talk about food lately?
Well...I guess I'm takin' an impromptu break from crafting & getting my cook on. :)
Hope you don't mind!
If you aren't familiar with spoon bread you are going to be so glad you clicked over here today! The easiest way to describe it is like a cornbread souffle. It's considered a southern dish so it's not uncommon to see it beside fried chicken & greens. To me, it is just a geat side dish for any meal.
Tender & corn-y & yummy!
Let's get to it!
What you need:
1 cup cornmeal
2 3/4 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
12 ounces sweet corn
(I used frozen because I had it on hand, but fresh would be better!)
3 eggs - seperated
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Begin by mixing your cornmeal & 3/4 cup milk together & letting it soak. It makes the end result have a less grainy texture.
Saute the butter & whole corn together until the egdes just begin to brown.
Add salt & half the sugar & remaining 2 cups of milk.
Remove from heat and allow to steep together about 20 min.
After the 20 min. steep time bring the mixture back up to a simmer & add the cornmeal & milk mixture that has been soaking. Wisk this together over until the cornmeal has absorbed the milk and everything is well combined. It will be very thick.
Remove from heat & allow to cool about 20 minutes so that when you add the egg yolks they don't cook in the mix.
Whip your egg whites with the remaining bit of sugar until it has stiff peaks. (You can also use cream of tartar to make them more stable. And, you might get a little more lift from your spoon bread if you do it that way. But, I don't usually have cream of tartar in my kitchen so the little bit of sugar works just fine for me.)
Add the egg yolks to the corn mixture & combine them well.
Then, add 1/3 of the egg whites to the corn mixture and combine to lighten the batter.
Finally, add the remaining egg whites & gently fold them in. It is OK if there are still a few small streaks of white, it is better not to over mix it. You don't want to lose all the lightness you just whipped into the whites.
Although you preheated the oven to 400 degrees you will turn the oven down to 350 degrees when you go to bake your spoon bread. Bake in a greased 1 1/2 quart cassarole dish at 350 for 35-45 minutes. It should be lightly golden on top, a toothpick should come out pretty clean, but the center should still move/jiggle just a tiny bit.
I recommend serving right away, it is at it's most tender that way. As it cools it will get a little more dense in texture. It's great with a little extra butter, or (my hubby's favorite way) with honey drizzled over it!
It's a little hard to believe I've been away for a week!
What have y'all been up to??
I was out & about a lot this week.
Also, I decided to send my phone through the washing machine...
Don't panic - I think it can be revived. At least, it turns on & lets me access everything, but it hasn't gotten signal to say -call, text, or email yet...hoping that is just a small & overcomeable glitch. I don't want to have to replace another phone!
Oh, did I mention this is the 2nd time I've done this?
We should move on...
On Tuesday, I hit the road with some friends & headed down to Denver to do some exploring at the Nature & Science Museum. We had a pretty great day - sadly no pre-historic animals or dinosaurs came to life to shock & awe us. But, the T-Rex Cafe was a lovely surprise! It's the little restaurant inside the museum, & they had prices that were actually reasonable! The salad & sandwhich bars were a new vegetarian's dream come true & we ate a pretty fantastic lunch.
On Wednesday my mom & I decided to look for a new veg-friendly restaurant to try out. We used Happy Cow
to hunt up someplace we've never been before. The place we decided on, after reading lots of reviews for different places, was Zudaka
We LOVED it!
Due to the fact that the small strip mall where they are located is going to be torn down in a year & be replaced by a fancy new multi-use retail, office, & restaurant space Zudaka is a little hard to find. Just keep your eyes peeled & don't be afraid to have to turn back & look again - your effort will be well rewarded!
It is owned by a husband & wife from Venezuela & Columbia, & they make wonderful latin homecooking. The wife was just wonderful to explain the menu to us. She really took the time to tell us what things were the most traditional, what she grew up eating, & what she knew we weren't going to find anywhere else. We ended up ordering 5 different things from an appetizer, to entrees & desserts! Everything we had was fantastic!
My most favorite thing was the tamales!
So very sorry for the messy plate, but it didn't dawn on me to record our fantastic find till I was already in the middle of the best tamales ever! She said that they just dump everything over them & eat them as messy as possible - so, that is what we did!
Yum. Yum. Yum!
Now, it is no secret that Boulder is not my favorite Colorado town. I used to enjoy going down to Pearl Street - which is this big outdoor mall - to walk around & hunt the great shops. But, even that has been tainted. Now, when you walk Pearl Street you get stopped by people wanting you to petition or join their cause. It is no longer just a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
I was walking with a bag in one hand & a cup of coffee in the other & a guy came up and wanted to shake my hand to get me to stop so he could deliver his speech. Uh - no. Hello?! Do you not even notice -1- I'm in the middle of a conversation with my mom, & -2- my hands are FULL! It's like walking the gauntlet at the state fair with people heckling you to come play their games & win a cheap prize. Totally annoying.
All that being said, I would gladly drive the hour+ from Fort Collins over to Boulder just to go to Zudaka. It is these kinds of family owned places that make a community - a community! Great people, great food, great atmosphere. Love it!
I'm using Happy Cow to find more Veg-friendly places to eat when my mom & I go on our California trip in a couple weeks. I already know we are stopping in Salt Lake City, Reno & we'll be staying within driving distance to Fresno so I've searched for places in each city to try out. I just adore finding little treasures in new places!
Do you have a little treasure in your town or state? You should tell me about it! That way if I'm ever passing through I know just where to go to eat, or shop, or sight see!
Hope your week has treated you well, sweet readers. And, I hope that the weekend ahead is full of love & laughter!