Sunday, April 15, 2012

American Girl Doll Cloche

So, I finally had a chance to try out my new pattern for an american girl doll cloche hat that a fellow Ravelry member bought me. I wanted to make it for my niece's AG doll. It was really easy to make and didn't take long at all.

The first hat I was able to model it on Kirsten an American girl doll. The second hat, Nick offered to model it for me!

I've since made a black one like it. I just need to go buy some ribbon and I'm all set!



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oster Express Bake bread machine

I finally looked up the model to see which one I had, and I'm glad I did. I read the reviews on the link I gave yesterday and there were so many bad reviews on the other machine. That is not the one I have!

One of the things I learned when making bread with this machine is using the Express bake feature. It bakes a loaf of bread in under an hour. I don't use it very often but always pleased when I do. One of the ingredients it calls for is "rapid rise" yeast. After having to remember to buy "special" yeast to make the bread, I googled the yeast to see what the big deal was. And what did I learn? It's the same exact thing as the other yeast! The only thing about using this recipe is that you use twice as much yeast. But no worries about buying some with a "special" name anymore. Since I buy my yeast by the pound, now I don't have to worry about buying two different types.

Speaking of yeast, my favorite brand to buy is: SAF Instant yeast. I like it because I only pay $2.99 for a pound of it. It lasts me way over a year in the freezer or refrigerator. You don't to mix it first with warm water and then slowly add it to the rest of the ingredients. Nope! You just add it straight to whatever you're making. With my machine, I add the liquid ingredients first and then the dry ingredients. Then the yeast goes on top. The manual for my bread machine makes a big deal about not letting the yeast touch the liquid. I don't worry about it at all, I mean sooner or later it's going to touch! lol

Now, the amazon price says it is close to $10 but I've never ever paid that much. Now, I haven't any for awhile now, but I'd be shocked to discover that the price is that high. The place I buy mine is at the Mennonite bulk food stores around the area. You can buy yeast in teeny tiny jars at Walmart for about half the amount and I think they charge about $8! That is too expensive! The prices seem to be dropping a little but that's what they charged back when I bought the bread machine.

I can't wait to try the "jam" function this summer when I can go pick some fresh strawberries at the local pick your own farm place. There have been rumors that they were going to close years ago, but I'm so glad they are still around! Nick said he might plant me a few strawberry beds this year. I hope so! I love berries of all kinds. I once tried some homegrown raspberries and they were delicious!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Honey Grain Bread

I'm trying a new recipe tonight called Honey Grain Bread in my bread machine. (Mine is similar to the link provided. I have gotten so much use out of this bread machine. I think it's one of the best purchases I've made. Now, you know I'm not much into gadgets, but I love the fact that it doesn't take up much space, I can put it away when I'm not using it and unlike an oven, I can put it outside to bake when it's too hot but we still want something yummy to eat! I can't remember how much I paid for it but it was on clearance at Walmart. I've had several brands of bread machines in the past, but another reason I like mine is that it makes horizontal loaves of bread. As much use as I've put it through it's still going strong.I remember when bread machines were really popular. Do people even use them nowadays like I do? I see a lot of them still in boxes sitting unopened on thrift store shelves. Don't people realize what they are missing!? lol

My bread machine has a "bake" feature and I've just recently been experimenting with it. The feature lasts an hour and so I've baked dinner rolls, cobblers, apple crisp, cornbread, brownies, cakes, and monkey bread in it. I just love the thing!

Anyways, in the manual that came with my machine there are a bunch of recipes that I still haven't tried yet, this recipe being one of them. What took me so long to try this recipe is that I was trying to find a source for whole wheat flour that I liked. And I've found it! Walmart started carrying this brand, and we really like their unbleached white flour. It's certified chemically free and non-GMO which is a big plus!



The recipe is:

Honey Grain Bread

1 cup water
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick cook oats
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

This makes enough for a 1.5 pound loaf.

I'll let you know what I think when it comes out of the "oven".

Update- This was AWESOME!

until next time!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Knitted Phone cozy or soap sack

I thought I'd make this a separate posting rather than editing my last post. This way I can share a few secrets that I've done to make this pattern go more smoothly.

First off, I have yet to figure out how to make this on double pointed needles. The pattern never turns out right when I do. So, if you're brave enough to do it, PLEASE let me know how you did it! I thought it would just turn out the same but the holes show up in odd places...

Secondly, when I made this, I did not want to have to make two of them and sew the bottom and sides up, so what I did is this:

I made it according to the pattern and it helps to write things down as you go along otherwise you may (like me) forget which row you're on and do another extra set as shown in the photo! I also decided to just make the back be stockinette (easier) but I have done it before with the pattern showing on both sides.

Anyways, after I got done with making it, instead of binding off, I simply went backwards on the pattern and kept making it longer so that all I'd have to do is fold it (no need to sew the bottom up) and then I only had to sew the side seams up using the mattress stitch.

It helped me to write out the pattern backwards otherwise it got too confusing.

The pattern isn't mine but found here.

Some other lovely ones I can't wait to try.

Pluie Soap Holder

Dropped Stitch Soap sack- I tried this years ago but couldn't figure it out at the time. Perhaps now that I'm more skilled, I can figure it out! lol

Yesterday, I made a cell cozy out of sock yarn and planned to have it done in the pattern as I did the first one but somehow I ended up with two extra stitches. Rather than take it out for the fourth time, I decided to just make it similar to my dish cloth with ridges pattern. I made the back in simple stockinette. I had a hard time showing the ridges, so sorry the picture isn't that good!





Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another knitted phone or soap cozy pattern

Here is a knitted sudsy sack I made the other day with organic undyed cotton yarn. My favorite so far! Shown with a bar of spearmint soap from here.



Blessing bags completed.

The first batch of blessing bags have been completed. Here are the last of them. Next challenge is to make 25 more in a Christmas...