Saturday, March 31, 2012

Super Easy Cole slaw

I found an easy way to make cole slaw.

First, you need some shredded cabbage. I usually just buy the pre-shredded kind. We only eat cole slaw when this goes on sale.  Feel free to shred some yourself though, if you prefer.

I have a Lid and Lock container that I use. I just dump the shredded cabbage in the container. A nice tall tupperware container works great for this but I'm sure a shorter one would work just as well.

Then, mix up some coleslaw dressing and just pour on top of the cabbage. Put it in the refrigerator and walk away. This works best if made first thing in the morning or the night before you plan to eat it. I like my Lid and Lock containers because I don't have to worry about smells. I bought it to put "stinky" Thai food in and it works great! :-)

The colder it is the better it tastes! Let it sit in the refrigerator and when you're ready to eat it, just give it a few stirs.

See, wasn't that super easy?

The cabbage comes to the top of the container.

What it looks like after you pour the dressing on top.

Checked on it after one hour. The dressing comes to the bottom and the cabbage starts to shrink and settle down.

After 3 hours. It's done but I let it sit until it was time to eat and then mixed it all together. 


Friday, March 30, 2012

Our garden

As I said earlier, Nick dug out our garden space during spring break this month. I'm very excited!!

Here it is after he got it dug out. The week after it rained for the whole week, but Wednesday it was finally dry enough to plant some seeds!

The dirt that has the pile of sticks on top is an area where there used to be a tree. Nick piled up charcoal on top and around the tree stump and burned it to the ground. I'm planning on putting an herb garden in that spot.

Nick took some pvc pipe and made a frame and then took some string to mark where to plant the rows and left it in the garden so we know where everything will be coming up at. I'll try and take a picture of it later to show you.

He planted beets, spinach, radish, lettuce, cabbage and peas. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll have some more pictures to share.

He dug a trench also to plant some potatoes in on the other side of this plot. He had to cut the potatoes last night and in a few days they'll be ready to plant.

My basil is growing bigger every day. I am hoping for a large harvest as I have been craving pesto for some time now! lol

I also planted some lemon balm seeds that I got from a friend the other day in an indoor pot. I was super happy to learn that it is an invasive plant and I'm planning on planting some outside as well. I don't mind that it will spread! My mint died from last winter so I'm going to have to get some more.

I read about an idea for a tea garden in one of my Ravelry groups. Never thought of doing that before, but I love the idea! What kinds of herbs should I grow? I think it would be neat to have different herb garden themes. A medicinal patch, a culinary one, a tea garden, and what else?

Speaking of gardens, this is from our garden in Kansas from July 27, 2007. Where has the time gone?!
We had a pretty good year that year but the weeds sure tried to take over.

Striped sock from stash

I started knitting a sock with the "new" sock yarn I got the other day. I'm using a pattern from my favorite sock book: Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd. I really like the book. I doubt I'll ever buy another sock book. Different variations are given for making the heel, as well as a wide range of different types of socks using varied techniques.

I've wanted to do a progress pictorial but somehow I always seem to forget to take pictures along the way. So, last night, I snapped a photo after I had done a few rows. Then today, I snapped some more. I just love it when the color starts to change, especially when it's a yarn that I don't know how it's going to look.  So, that's why there are so many photos of the sock so far. Usually, I will just take a picture at each step. Leg. Cuff. Heel flap. Heel, etc...

This yarn is so easy to work with too. I was a bit sad though to learn that it's been discontinued. It's such a lovely color.

I am using a size 2 and while I did my gauge first and measured only 7 stitches per inch, I'm a little worried that it may be different once I get going. It usually is. My gauge is normally never the same as in the "final" project. I'm not sure why. If the stitches per inch are a difference, than I'm not sure what I will do. Do I just consider this my gauge and start over? Or do I decide to keep knitting it, but not make it for Nick. (Which is who this socks are for). He commented specifically on the liking of this yarn so that's why I started with it. I saw that in the 8 stitches per inch pattern, that the cast on is the same, but for a smaller sized foot. I suppose I'll have to make the choice sooner or later but for now, I'm going to keep knitting the leg.

The cuff is in ribbing and I have yet to learn how to count my stitches with the purl stitches in the way. So, that's why I'm not doing any counting until after the leg is complete. Or at least 4 inches done on it.

Well, whoever this sock ends up going to, I'm having a blast making it.

Here are some progress pictures to share. Stay tuned for more! I'm planning on knitting more this afternoon.

I'm always amazed at how the colors/stripes turned out. It's always hard for me to tell how it's going to look just based on looking at the skein.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kind friends.

Yesterday I was stuck in town all day and could not get the mail, but I knew there was a box waiting for me since I called to see what I'd gotten.

So, today first thing as soon as they opened, I was waiting at the post office to pick up my package. I also received two letters from friends including some knitting patterns. The box contained some sock yarn that a friend of mine sent. Even though we've never met, I still call her a friend.

And such a kind one at that! She sent me a beautiful box of sock yarn. Lately, I've been in such a knitting slump which is so unlike me. I hardly have touched my knitting needles all week! My day started out feeling pretty lousy due to some emails I received, which got me very discouraged, but now things are starting to look up.

I can't wait to start knitting a pair of socks with this yarn. The hard part will be figuring out which pattern and which yarn to try first. I should probably go to the yarn store and get some size 1 needles first though. I've just been using size 2 but they aren't keeping their shape and someone told me it was because my needles were too large.

Then, again... I forgot about the book at the library called One skein sock wonders and all the beautiful things you can make with one ball of sock yarn... Hmmm... I might have to go check that book out again! lol

Thank you again, if you are reading this. You made my day! Thank you for your generosity and for thinking of me!

I will hopefully be posting up pictures soon of my new creations. More to come on the reviews of this yarn too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Announcement of Winner

I had a drawing on my blog for a free dish cloth and only one person entered? Are my dish cloths that bad!?

Congratulations, Jennifer!

I'll mail it out tomorrow!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Progress made

I've spent most of today catching up on dishes and housekeeping and putting tags on all the items I will be selling locally. I've got a few combs and beaks left to put on my chickens but those will be done tonight. I hope to visit my friend tomorrow to pass on the items to sell.

Yesterday I did not work on any knitted cloths as I had planned to. Instead I got 5 inches done on Nick's hat. I was quite pleased with how much I got done on it. I learned (again) that if I can just set my focus on one project at a time, that I can get way more accomplished. So, I'm taking a break on all other started projects minus the combs and beaks of the four chickens and working only on Nick's hat. Since his head measures larger than most, I am going to use Size 7 needles for the decrease part. I don't think it will be that much difference from the size 6 that I am using now. Plus, I don't want to have to buy any more needles right now.

The first hat that I made (this Cambridge Style) took me almost 2 weeks to finish. At the rate I'm going, I should have it done in one. Sadly, the hat I made for the friend has been lost so he's asked me to make him another. While it's not my most favorite pattern in the world, knitting it has gotten much easier. In fact, I often find myself knitting in the back loop instead of the usual front! lol

I'm planning on knitting up some hats in the Nature Spun Worsted yarn to try and sell this winter. The 100% wool yarn made in the USA is a nice plus. I think the hats will fit a wide range of sizes and will be super warm for the wintry woes. If I can't find anyone to sell them to, I will give them away. I love sharing my love of knitting with others!

If anyone has any ideas on how to make a mannequin's head, be sure to let me know! I know it would be easier to just have a true mannequin but since they are very costly, I will have to improvise instead. I'd like to try and sell some both locally and online for next winter.

I will be taking it extra slow and easy this next week as my right hand heals from doing too much knitting during spring break! It started out feeling numb and tingly and is just a little sore to the touch. From what I've read on the net and talked to friends, I need to take more breaks during knitting.  So, blogging may slow down a bit. At least as far as knitting topics go. :-)

Update on hand- I took the week off of knitting and learned a few things in the process. #1- There is life outside of knitting. I've taken up reading and pursuing other hobbies and enjoying it immensely. #2- I've found within myself the ability to just sit and do nothing. Well, almost nothing- learning the art of  meditating but not doing things with my hands as I thought was impossible at first. #3 I have a better sense of direction as to where I want to take my knitting which I hope will be obvious in the posts to come.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dish cloth Giveaway Now Closed


I'm a member of Ravelry as some of you know and in particular a group called, Random Acts of Kindness.
Here we post up our "wish lists" and find others to bless. I like the group a lot! I've met many people through this group and love fulfilling people's wishes.

One of my wishes was to receive a pattern set from here specifically one titled, "Flower Cloths". I said if I got the set that I would have a dish cloth giveaway on my blog in celebration of my 15th wedding anniversary.

I knit up the "Violets" cloth in hot pink. The only problem is that my cloth does not look much like the one she has pictured! I used a larger size needle because I tried using a size 3 as suggested (but not required) and could not get the stitches to come off the needle. I can see using a size 5 for the pattern but a size 3? That's way too small! I thought my wooden needles were going to snap off!

The dish cloth still turned out cute but looks more like an egg with a nice pretty design on it! lol I'll have to post up a picture of it tomorrow but thought I'd have a drawing for it. I'll ship it out after the 22nd of this month.

Consider this the place to enter for the drawing. Please remember to leave me some contact info when you enter. No anonymous entries will be accepted. I will have the drawing on March 21st.  If I can't get a hold of the winner in three days, their name will be forfeited and another drawing will take place.

Sorry, open to US only.

Good luck everyone!

Knitting dish cloths

So far, I've knit seven dish cloths. I've really come to enjoy using the pattern that I've picked. Grandma's Favorite Diagonal cloth. It's simple. I can knit it while watching a tv show and not have to worry about constantly looking at the pattern and taking out rows that I've messed up on.

I remember years ago before I could knit, my sister gave me a handful of hand knit dish cloths that one of her friend's mom had made. Along with some garter stitched headbands. Apparently, the friend was sick of the dish cloths since she was given them all the time so she passed them to my sister who then passed along some to me. I loved them! That's when I decided I wanted to learn to knit too and make more of them.

Then, when we moved to Missouri, I met a family who sold us some chickens (for eating) and she had asked me if I was interested in making her some dish cloths that she could give away to customers. At the time, I only knew how to crochet so I crocheted her some cloths. Oh, how I wished back then, I could knit. Crocheting dish cloths took me forever to make! I could only do a few rows before having to stretch out my hands.

When we moved to Kansas, I heard about a knitting club that met at the library. I was too shy to go at first, but I'd watch from a distance the ladies all gathered together. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me (especially when I found out we were moving again!) I finally got the nerve to go talk to the ladies. They were so nice and friendly and helpful. I learned to knit and purl and the rest was history! I'm so glad I learned to knit and really can't imagine my life without this great hobby. How ever did I survive before? What did I do with my time? I can't remember. ha! ha!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Variation on Diagonal Dish cloth Pattern

I was looking through some old patterns of mine and came across a different version of the Grandma's Favorite dish cloth than I'd posted before. This pattern was shared with me at my first knitting meeting back in Kansas. It was the first thing I ever learned to knit! (I said this once before, but it was actually this pattern that I used, (not the other one) that I thought.

Here it is:

With size 7 or 8 needles:

Cast on 4 sts
Knit across Row
K2, yo, knit to end

Repeat until you have 45 sts across or desired number

For the decrease-
K2, yo, K2tog, knit to last 5 sts, K2, knit last three sts.
Repeat this until you have 8 sts left.

K2, yo, K2tog, K2
K2, yo, K2tog, K1
K1, K2tog, K2tog, K1

Cut thread and pull through last 4 sts and tie off.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pickles aka Bully cat

I used to call Pickles: Bully cat because she was always stealing our other cats food. She's a very vocal cat and I'd call the other ones to come eat and I'd always hear her meowing nearby. She never came within ten feet of me though. As soon as I'd go inside, she'd pick fights with the other cats and steal all the food.

I chased her off every chance I got, but she always came back. Recently, she started coming closer and closer to me. Then, one night, after not being able to steal any food from the other cats as I would guard them and not let her get even one bite. She walked right up to me and started rubbing against my leg. I was completely shocked!

I leaned down to pet her and she seemed to melt. I feel bad that I chased her away but she has seemed to forgive me. Well, mostly. She's still pretty "wild" but as long as you move slowly and just scratch the top of her head she's fine.

Naturally, we've adopted each other and I've been feeding her. I've learned I have to feed her slowly, meaning no quick movements on my part. A few times I've let me hands linger after I've given Pickles her food. Bad mistake on my part as it's resulted in scratches! To be fair, I was moving her food to another place and she didn't like that one bit.

Now to feed her, I just distract her long enough to throw down her food! lol But it saves on the scratches on my arms so I don't mind. I couldn't decide where I wanted her eating place to be, but she pretty much picked one spot that she liked so that's where she eats.

She thinks that every time I come out the door that it's time for her to eat. She's quite demanding to be fed. One of these days, I'll get her on video so you can see what I mean.  She has this meow that she does, saying, "Feed me now, or I'll claw your eyes out!!" When that doesn't work, she'll throw herself at your feet and try to be all cute. If I accidentally step on her (which has happened a few times), she'll claw my legs. Nick says I need to teach her who's boss, but he's not the one with the claws! lol And most of the time I'm wearing a skirt so my ankles are bare.

She's still quite the bully cat though which is why I named her Pickles. Sometimes she's as sour as a dill pickle but she's trying to be nice.  She'll come around. I know she will. She's made so much progress already.

How to make a larger nylon net pot scrubber

As some of you have wanted a larger one than the original post, I thought I'd share how to do that.

You just simply cut the strips a little wider and add in 1-2 extra strips when you are doing the "Next 4 strips" part.

I tried it this week and it worked. But I prefer my scrubbies to be smaller, so I'll just leave them as is.

I remember when I cut the strips the opposite way, that the scrubbiness seemed less scratchy and more soft and shiny. I'm not sure what the benefit would be to that. I just know that I didn't like the way it felt in my hands, so I will continue making them the way I have been.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Knit pattern for baby hat and booties

I was searching the patterns on ravelry and found a neat sounding pattern. You use different weights of yarn to get the different sizes you need. Sounds like a great way to use up stash yarn!

There is even a pattern for a matching pair of baby booties.

Click here for the hat pattern.

And here for the bootie pattern.

The cute hats are knit in the round with a rolled brim and stockinette look. I might have to dig around my stash and see if I can't find some yarn to knit these up this weekend.

I'm really trying to decide what it is that I want to knit and for whom. I feel that I'm taking on too many projects and feeling overwhelmed at the moment.

I'd like my spring break to be productive but not sure what I plan to knit up yet.

Cell phone zippered pouches

Last week a friend asked me to sew her a cell phone holder that she wanted to give to a friend. So I took out my supplies and started to d...