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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

There are 3 WIP's that I have set aside for now.

1) Enormous Around the World Crochet Quilt
2) Virus Blanket
3) Baby Granny Square Blanket

I set those aside to make crochet squares for someone on Ravelry.  She has a 10-year daughter with Autism and her daughter loves the show "Call the Midwife" (as do I).  Her daughter wants a blanket like the ones that the nuns and mid-wives made for Chummy.  This person knits and doesn't crochet so she asked if people would donate 5-inch squares and she would sew them together. 


I bought 6 different vintage-type colors of Loops and Threads Color Wheel yarn (I am in love with this yarn) and just made as many as I could until the yarn was used up.

I ended up with 20 (5-inch) squares.  I can't wait to see the finished blanket and I hope she posts a photo of it, as requested.



Then I decided to work on a knitted shawl.  I am hoping to finish this before Mother's day and at first I thought...no way will I do that.

I can crochet up a storm but knitting is a slower process for me and I have never knitted a lace project nor have I knitted a big project...however, how will improve my skills unless I practice, right?

So, I decided to make my mom the Edith Shawl.  I've wanted to knit this for a while and at first didn't think my mom would actually use a shawl (still not sure she will) but every time I visit her church, it is always so cold in there so I thought she could take it with her to church and use it there.

Of course the suggested yarn for this pattern has been discontinued (grr!) so I found some lovely Downton Abbey Yarn to use in its place.

I have thought (and sometimes still do) that I will not finish this in time for Mother's Day - I actually have to finish by May 6th because my mom will be in town that week before Mother's Day.

I thought this because for the first 6 rows, I must have frogged it about 10 times or MORE!  But then I finally finished my first pattern repeat (there are 8 rows repeated multi times).


I doesn't look like much but that was a big accomplishment for me!  Since then, I have completed 7 pattern repeats and I seem to be on a roll now.   I am sure there are some  mistakes in there because my count was off on a few rows but I just adjusted and went with it...  It is starting to take shape but isn't as wide as I would like..but I hope that after blocking, it will be just right.

I'll post an update next week.  Until then...happy knitting!


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Yarn Hoarders - Yikes!

I am the first person to admit that I love yarn.  I currently have quite a stash but...I do have particular projects in mind for the yarn I have purchased.

About 2 months ago, I was going through my queue and realized I have a lot of projects that I have purchased the yarn for - plenty to keep me busy the rest of the year so I decided I am on a yarn diet until I have made those projects.

It has been tough, because I keep seeing such pretty yarn come out.

Take for example...Lion Brand Mandala.  I mean this stuff is BEAUTIFUL!!


It is similar to Caron Cakes.  Select Walmart stores have been carrying them but they will be sold in all Walmart stores by September (so I have heard).  Today, they started selling them on Herrschner's website.  Of course, it can also be purchased on Lion Brand's website, since they are the maker.

There is a group on Facebook for people sharing ideas and patterns for using this yarn so I joined - love seeing crochet goodness and also I thought I could see ideas for the Caron Cakes too (since the yarn is similar) - Caron Cakes are Aran weight but Mandala is DK Weight.

Well.....about 80% of the talk on the Facebook group is "My Walmart doesn't carry it, can someone mail me some" or "I found some today - drove 70 miles one way but I got it".  I understand the desire for this yarn, I do but....

So many people are hoarding this yarn - I suppose it is because it is hard to find so when they find it, they buy it all up.  It is sort of a mob mentality though - at least in my eyes.

First, I saw a photo of someone's stash that looked like this....

Good gravy!! Look at all of it - pretty yes but what is she going to do with it all?

Later, I came upon this and was truly, truly shocked !!!  I mean this lady (in my opionion) doesn't just have a yarn addiction, she has a serious shopping addiction - I mean TRULY.




I seriously thought this was a yarn store or something - NO !!  This is some lady's house.  A particular blanket she mentioned - she states needs 10 cakes (must either be very big or have a lot of detail stitches) - still...she has over 200 of them - she mentions figuring out the cost.  Well...they run for about $5 at Walmart and I am assuming that is where she got them - therefore, lets use that amount (although she could have paid more on the Lion Brand site).... $5 and lets say with 7% sales tax - that is about $5.35 each times 200 is $1,070!!!  For yarn!!

I thought that was about as much yarn hoarding as I have ever seen or heard of (plus it makes me wonder what other yarn does she have stored about her house?  Does she have a ton of Caron Cakes too? - I bet you a pretty penny, she probably does.  She must have a huge house to store all this!

But....that was nothing...I think came upon a small little comment without any pictures and literally about fell out of my chair.....


I was like 😱 (WHAT?!) when I read that.  That is 760 yarn cakes!!!  A typical afghan (which uses a lot) takes anywhere from 2 to 6 cakes depending on how big you want it.  What in the world is she going to do with 760 cakes of yarn (by the way Sweet Rolls is similar and sold at JoAnn's and Bernat Pop is also similar and sold at Walmart).  They are all lovely but 760???? It will take multiple lifetimes to use all that - plus, where in the world do you store it?  Now Caron Cakes and Sweet Rolls average about $7 a cake.  I think Bernat Pops are about the same price as the Mandela (about $5 each) so again...let's do the math

(100 x 5.35) + (400 x 7.49) + (200 x 7.49) + (60 x 5.35) is approx.  $5,350 !!!! 😱 Are you kidding me?  Who in the world has that kind of money to spend on yarn?  Well..perhaps she does I suppose but more than likely it was all put on credit cards - I suppose she could be wealthy somehow but Geez, Louise - how will she ever use all that up?  Even if she did...it will take a LONG time...wouldn't you worry about bugs getting in it until you could use it?

Now you know...they will come out with new colors - what is she going to do then, buy a bunch of new colors.  I'm sorry but this woman (maybe all of these women mentioned here) need some kind of intervention.

Of course it is none of my business how people choose to spend their money - I'm sure I have been known to spend money on things I shouldn't have, but this is serious hoarding, in my opinion. All I can say is..

Wow ... Just .... Wow !!

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter



Luke 24

Jesus Has Risen

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

I am Crochet Groot !



I am so excited that Guardians of the Galaxy - Vol. 2 is coming out soon.  As soon as the first one was over, I wanted the story to keep going.

If you saw the first movie, I'm sure you became a fan of Groot - who is an extraterrestrial tree-like creature, who happens to also be a superhero. 



Groot doesn't say much - in fact all he says is "I am Groot" but he is a great character.  At the end of the first movie, Groot sacrifices himself to save his friends but a small little twig remains and eventually becomes "Baby Groot" - who is even better than adult Groot (based on the previews).


The character (both adult and baby) is voiced by Vin Diesel. 

Well...a few weeks ago, my sister saw a cute crochet character on Facebook and asked me if I could make it for her.  I was surprised because she isn't known to be a Sci-Fi fan and I told her I was surprised she'd seen "Guardians of the Galaxy" - turns out she hadn't and had no idea who Groot was...she just thought it was cute.

And I agreed - it is cute.  I found the free pattern over on Twinkie Chan's site.  If you are not familiar with her, check her out.  Her designs are ADORABLE. If you have watched Fuller House on Netflix, then you have seen plenty of her designs worn by Kimmy....such as....

 The Bacon & Egg Scarf

 The Pizza Scarf

The Cupcake Scarf

Anyway...the Groot pattern was so fun - pretty easy to make and I like seeing him come to live as I crocheted each little piece.  I found the tiny clay pot at JoAnn's for 99 cents.

So...if you like Baby Groot - give this a try - you will be happy you did.



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Friday, April 14, 2017

Jughead Hat

I've been crafting a lot lately - a couple of weeks ago, I was watching "Riverdale" and decided I needed a hat just like Jughead's.

Yes...that is Cole Sprouse - one of the twins that were in "Big Daddy", with Adam Sandler, played 5-year old Ben on "Friends" and played Cody on the Disney channel's "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody".

I love this show - but I digress....

Anyway, I wanted a hat like that for some dumb reason and so I was off to find a pattern.  The only one I found that I really liked and reminded me of the one in the photo above was from the book "Domiknitrix".  Now most of the patterns in this book are not for me so luckily I was able to find this book at my local library and check it out.


Let me tell you - this is a great book.  I will save my review until another time.  As I said, most of the patterns are not for me, but about half of this books has wonderful knitting instructions, tips and tutorials - it is great for someone learning to knit.  It is worth looking into.

So...I found the pattern - bought some grey Colorwheel yarn from Michaels and got to it.


And...by the following episode of Riverdale, I was wearing my very own Jughead hat.....


 (I took this photo before I added the embellishments)

I am pretty happy with it.  I do wish it were a little bit longer to cover my ears but then again, it doesn't really cover Jughead's ears either so perhaps it is just right.

It was a fun knit.



 
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Instant Pot - First Try - Chili



The Instant Pot is all the rage in the cooking world.  It actually has been for a little while but I was resistant to get a pressure cooker based on stories I had heard but the Instant Pot is a newer, safer Pressure Cooker.

I have been sort of shopping (looking) around for a new crock-pot (slow cooker) because mine is very old and doesn't work well and is all scratched up on the inside but I heard you can use the Instant Pot as a slow cooker as well. 

I also heard that the Instant Pot cooks food very fast and very good.

I decided to make some Chili - to have now and to freeze some for later (this recipe makes a lot)

Here is the recipe I tried.




Pressure Cooker Chili Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 pkg. McCormick Chili Mix (I used one regular and one hot)
1 heaping tablespoon of baking Cocoa (must be unsweetened)
1 teaspoon salt
1 small can tomato paste
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel tomatoes + chili peppers (I used mild)
2 cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
2 15 oz cans Red Kidney Beans - drained
1 15 oz can Pinto Beans - drained
1 15 oz can Black Beans - drained
1 cup dark beer

DIRECTIONS

1. Brown the ground beef. When beef is no longer pink, add the chopped onion and sauté until tender.

2. Mix in the dry spices and sauté another minute to be sure the beef is well seasoned. Add the tomato paste and mix well.

3. Add the tomato sauce, and all the cans of tomatoes and beans. Stir. Add the beef broth.

4. Lock the lid and set for 30 minutes at high pressure. It will take a while to come to pressure, since there is so much in the pot. Give it 15 minutes of natural release and then use quick release. Add salt and pepper to taste.








Results?  I thought it was pretty tasty.  It sure was easy enough to make.  The only thing I would do different is puree my roasted tomatoes in a food processor next time because I like my chili a little less chunky.  Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.




Have you tried the Instant Pot?  Do you have any good recipes to share for a newbie like me?


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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Music-Filled Weekend - Part Two

As I mentioned yesterday, my friend Susan was in town and we went to a couple of concerts over the weekend.

First let me say that the weather was about as perfect as it could be - perfect temperature, no humidity, just absolutely beautiful, which is great that our Saturday night concert was outside.

We saw Duran Duran and we had AWESOME seats - near the front.  Again, we had seen Duran Duran before, back in the 80s but let me tell you - it as if no time had passed.  They have so much energy and were so interactive with the crowd.  I kid you not - we stood up when they came onstage and never sat down - danced the entire time.

They had a spectacular light show, effects and giant confetti cannons.  During the encore, they tossed out GIANT beach balls.  They really know how to give a show. 

And talk about hits - wow!!!  Only the 3 songs that were off their latest CD, Paper Gods, may not have been known by all but all the other songs....AWESOME!!! 

They didn't sing my favorite (The Chauffer) but I didn't expect it since it wasn't a Top 40 hit.  And they didn't sing "The Reflex", which I was sort of expecting.  However, they did sing "Careless Memories" which was a total surprise!! 

They sang my 2nd and 3rd favorites though - Planet Earth (which they added with a tribute to David Bowie) and Save a Prayer. 

I am still on a high from this show.  It was INCREDIBLE !!  They played for about 2 1/2 hours.

I did take more (and better) photos at this show because (a) it was outside and (b) I brought a regular camera.  I'm not posting all the photos here but here were some of my faves.

If you click on the photo - you can enlarge it and see it a bit better.




























Here is the set list.  As you can see - totally awesome!!!

Duran Duran - April 8th - Chastain Park Amphitheater

Paper Gods
Wild Boys
Hungry Like the Wolf
A View to a Kill
Last Night in the City
Come Undone
Only in Dreams
Is There Something I Should Know?
Notorious
Pressure Off
Planet Earth / Space Oddity
Careless Memories
Ordinary World
I Don't Want Your Love
White Lines (Don't Do It)
Reach Up for the Sunrise 
New Moon on Monday
Girls on Film
Encore:
Save a Prayer
Rio

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