Friday, June 24, 2016

Back from the Sticks

Hi all!

Lately, I have been polishing off my knitting lessons. I am feeling secure enough to leave the emersion and venture back into crochet without forgetting everything that I learned about knitting. I figure I will keep knitting to socks and crochet everything else. I miss my hooks.

Happy Mail:

I have been a swapping fool as of late. Just ravenous to send and receive.


Today this beautiful package arrived from a project bag swap on Ravelry!


She sewed an amazing and beautiful bag fromt he Hue Loco tutorial. (I love Nicole and her yarn and her bags and her videos). I cannot believe my swapping partner isn't a seasoned seamstress. She claims to be new to the art. I am thinking in a past life she sewed alot. 

The yarn that she gifted me awesome, too! The two balls on the left are Deborah Norville Serenity Sock in Violas. SO pretty and soft. I use the nude to dye on sometimes. I just love the way it knits up. 

The two balls on the right are hard to see in my picture. The yarn is dark but gorgeous. Its Patons Kroy Socks FX yarn in the Celestial Colors colorway. This Kroy Socks has a tougher feel but it makes up some socks that last and after a few washings they bloom into some really great feeling socks. Great for my family because we are not kind to our socks. This is what it looks like in the light:



Those colors are just magical to me. I love purples and blues. I cannot wait to get started!

I am not sure what type of yarn that big ball in the middle is but it looks like it will stripe up beautifully. I think it will be the next sock on my needles. 

AND I received this package yesterday from a Craftster swap. Her name is LinyV321 and she does the most beautiful embroidery. Our theme was "monsters":


Above is my youngest looking REALLY excited about the package because he is just like me. REALLY excited about receiving packages.  Below is a picture of all of the amazing goodies that were inside of the package. Such a thoughtful package. I am loving that dishcloth. 


Feeding the Stash:

Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Tealberry

Two days ago I was walking through Michaels needing absolutely NO yarn. Then I saw this staring up at me innocently. It was like a kitten. Super soft and needing to come home with me! It has teal and shades of deep purple set off by ashy browns and peachy creams. I almost crumbled when I saw it. It is beautiful! In the picture below it is becoming a knitted shawl but that just won't work out.

It turns out I like Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable a lot better crocheted than I do knitted. I am almost certain that I will be trashing the used portion. You don't frog Unforgettable...its a nightmare to frog. It leaves you with a fuzzy, unshiny mess and it snags terribly while you are ripping out the stitches. Nothing short of a wrestling match. I have used maybe $1.50 worth of the yarn. I can trash that portion without it hurting.

I was thinking that this would make a pretty Virus Shawl. In my opinion, that looks better in more gentle variegations. The stark dark and light of this colorway would distract my eye from the Virus Shawls charming details. More thought is needed. Do you have any suggestions?


Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Tealberry
Purchased at: Michaels
$6 a ball
100g/3.5 ounce ball is 280 yards
Worsted Weight
100% acrylic
You CAN machine wash it. But I wouldn't. A quick sink wash in handsoap, lay it flat on a towel, roll the towel up to get all of the moisture out without making it misshapen. Lay it on a dry surface after the towel and it will be dry in no time because it is acrylic. I have several items made from unforgettable they are all still in great shape with all their rich colors years later.

Where we have gone:

The library. It's been super hot. Playing in the backyard works for me. I have made a goal to go exploring once a week for the summer. Preferably on Thursday. I even bought this cute backpack my exploring days! I nabbed it at Platos closet for $16. I was pretty thrilled. I love that shade of blue!

That being said today was Thursday. I knew it was exploring day and for the life of me I could not remember where I wanted to go. I may need to jot these things down as they come to mind.

What I am watching:

I just finished binge watching Gilmore Girls. I had never seen it before. It was really cute and I am looking forward to the revival that they are promising will be around soon! That was pretty beefy to watch. It was 7 season of 22ish episodes each. I am thinking that I will try Hart of Dixie next. I like lighthearted stuff while I am crafting.

What I am drinking:

Aside from my tons of coffee? I have been all about Tea Pigs Mint and Licorice tea. Its so sweet and amazingly spearminty. If you want to try it then I hope that you can find it near you because I cannot find any online for a reasonable price. Buying it at Central market I only paid $4 for 15 cute silky tea pyramids.


Thank you for stopping by and catching up. I hope that you have an amazing week. (((hugs)))



Please note that I use affiliate links. If you use them I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Meatloaf Muffins



Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit

1 lb ground beef 85/15
2T Italian bread crumbs
Big Squirt of Ketchup
Little Squirt of Yellow Mustard
1t pepper
1t garlic powder
1t Italian seasoning
2 eggs

I put it all in a bowl and mooshed (technical term) until uniformly combined. Then formed large enough meatballs to heapingly fill the cup of a regular sized muffin tin. I had enough meatloaf to fill 6 of the cups perfectly.

In the oven please put a cookie sheet underneath your muffin pan. Some fat spilled over (on to our fries...thank GOODNESS they were there or that would have been a mess).

Bake for 20 minutes.
Take them out and put a little ketchup on each and put them back in the oven and back until cooked through. Mine took another 15 minutes.

Nutrition per meatloaf muffin: 198 calories, 3 carbs, 13 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Nigellas' beautiful Clementine Cake!



Hi All! Happy New Year!

I am so excited about 2016. We ended up finding the home of our dreams after an "interesting" rental experience. It was not convenient to have my yarn out or blog or share. But I learned so much about what I really want in a home. And we found it. We moved in December 18th and its just been amazing to finally feel at home.

Today my husband is working through the evening. Sometimes it is more convenient for him to work when other people have gone home. He has more room and freedom to get his work done. He is quite the work tornado. So this evening was just me and Izzy. Being at home and lazy with a six year old is so relaxing. We played Don't Break the Ice and watched a few shows. I got all of my housework done for tomorrow. I poached chicken for this weeks lunches and made an amazing pot of tea. And...a cake!

I love Nigella Lawson. She has been my absolute favorite celebrity chef for as long as I can remember. Her laid back, genuine style just makes me feel more comfortable jumping in the kitchen and attempting new things.

Today her recipe of the day was a clementine cake. I really push the vitamin C on my guys this time of year. I have lots of left over clementines and I got right to boiling 4 of them.



I adjusted the recipe slightly because my springform pan is larger than the one she suggested.

I used:

4 clementines
7 eggs
3 cups of almond meal (the whole bag)
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

It still just needed 1 hour at 375 and I covered it with a foil tent after 40 minutes.

The cake is moist, sweet-but-not-too-sweet and orangy. The house smells amazing. I tried to wait until it was cooled off to eat it but that was impossible. Now I have breakfast for the rest of the week!






Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Gluten Free Banana Bread for Breakfast



We are back in school! I excited. I have a college freshman and a first grader. I am homeschooling my first grader which is going great. I am using the Discovery k-12 program and it is a great guideline for our day. Which gives me real peace of mind. I really worry that I will leave out important "first grade" stuff. He will be going back to public school sooner or later and when he does I want him to be prepared. We are on day two and its just awesome so far.

During school time its always nice to have breakfast ready to go in the morning. Cereal isn't bad but they always claim to be hungry long before lunch when they have cold cereal.

I am not nearly gluten free but we do like to replace wheat with an alternative as often as possible because there is just SO much wheat around. It is in everything! And I feel better when I don't eat a lot of it.

This breakfast cake is filling, dense and tasty. This is very loosely based on a recipe from this post at a blog called Ceara's Kitchen.

1 tsp of ground flax seeds
3 tsp of water
(mix these and set aside...it will be your "egg" later in the recipe)

4 large bananas

(mash them and then stir in the...)

1/4 cup light agave syrup
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar 
1/4 cup cooking oil (coconut worked great)

(beat this together really well. then add...)

1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

(use a fork to stir your flax/water one more time, it should be a little gooey and then turn this into the mix well. Then stir in...)

1 1/2 cups rolled outs (ground up a bit in the blender)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup gluten free baking mix

Toss this in a loaf pan that is well sprayed with a non-stick spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

I make this the night before and the next day its awesome!


There are affiliate links in this post. If you use then then thank you so much for your support! <3






Friday, September 4, 2015

Izzys Pom Pom



Hello and thanks for stopping by!

I had the best time at the "DFW Its a yarn crawl, Y'all"! I can't wait to share each of my experiences.

But first. A hat. I stopped into the yarn shop with my little guy and he got bored. Yeah, not a surprise. To amuse him I had him go pick out the yarn for a winter hat because winter is coming. I directed him toward the Encore yarn. He went over and to a huge section and chose the brightest and most neon yarn they had...and a matching pre-made pompom. I tried to keep it positive.

1. I won't lose him in the park in this hat.
2. I can probably make this hat in the dark. Literally. I think it has its own light source in there.
3. He chose TWO skeins so I get to make matching mittens!

So, I got to work making him a nice big pom pom hat in two colors (in a low light environmont...to protect my corneas).

Finished product...



I found the link to the yarn just in case you NEED your own. They sell it at amazon.com. Here is my affiliate link to the yellow and Here is the link to the green! They do not have the pompom but I will do a tutorial soon on how to make hat pompoms.

I am so excited that recently I have had the chance to get the yarn stash organized and accessible enough to start shopping for more yarn. I cannot justify buying yarn that will be stored in bins. I have to see it to be inspired by its softness and color. But now its out! I have taken on several (too many?) crochet-a-longs. I am just loving it! Plus it gives me the opportunity to have more to blog about! Which is awesome because I have really missed it. I don't like blogging on "MelodyCrochet" when I don't at least have a little crochet madness to toss in between the recipes, knitting, family stuff, reviews, etc. I will get a chance to play around with blog gadgets and sharing all aspects of our lives! My goal is to work on my pattern writing my social media. I have never really made a pattern beyond writing it out on the blog and I know that can be hard if someone wants to print it out. I am so lucky to have such a great group following me and sharing with me what they are up to. They are so supportive and encouraging! I want to be that for them, too. So, I would like to get better about blending the social media, too. I use it all but I pick and choose what will go where instead of sharing everything everywhere. Ok! Back to the fun stuff.

I did not receive any money or merchandise to write this but I do use affiliate links in my posts. Thanks for your support.


Fringe Scarf Pattern

My son wanted a fringed scarf for his girlfriends birthday. So he searched around and came up with one...but it was knitted. It was triangular and had a very open stitch and lots of fringe that fell down in front. I set out to create something similar with my hook.

It's so pretty! I cannot wait to try the deep purple. 
I started with a N hook and a ball of yarn that he picked out from the craft store. Lion Brands Heartland in Great Smoky Mountains. (Not the Thick and Quick). Its really pretty. It's black with silver undertones. Its very soft and has a drape similar to Simply Soft, with a bit more body to it. This project only took one ball so I will be making another tonight. I used a 6" x 8" notebook to wrap the yarn around to make the fringe. My scarf ended up being about 62" wide minus the pompoms on the corners.

Chain 150 loosely.

Row 1) Single Crochet (SC) in 3rd chain from hook. *Chain 1 (Ch1), skip a chain, Double Crochet (DC) in next next chain*. Repeat *-* until there are only 3 or 4 chains left. Then Ch1 and SC in the last chain.

Row 2) Turn, chain 3, SC in second Ch1 space from the hook. *Ch1, DC in the next Ch1 space*. Repeat *-* across until 2 Ch1 spaces. Ch1, skip a Ch1 space and SC in the last Ch1 space.

Repeat row 2 until one or two Ch1 space are all that remain. Fasten Off.

Making the Fringe! Wrap the yarn around the side of a 6"x 8" Notebook or something similarly sized about one hundred times. Cut the yarn in one place. So you have 100 strands of 12" yarn strands.

I attached 4 strands in each edge chain space along the edge of the pointy side of the triangle scarf. I did not take it all the way to the tips. I stopped 2/3 of the way up. You can see it in the picture on the left.

Here is a great tutorial video by Very Pink Knits on how to attach fringe with a crochet hook.

Making the Tassels! On the ends I attached 10 of the strands through the corner spaces. I took another stranded and wrapped it around the tassel strands at a point about one inch from the fold over point. I wrapped it about 10 times, then tied the ends together in a square knot. Then I use my crochet hook to work the two knotted stands into the rest of the tassel.

Here is a great video about making tassels. Instead of making it on the string...make it on the end spaces of the scarf. The rest is the same.

TADA!!!
Izzy is showing that the yarn is super soft and snuggly. And that he is a ham. And that he has lost is two top teeth. :)

I hope you try the pattern! It was fast and fun and would be GREAT for a going back to school gift or even those of you that are already Christmas crafting. You are guys are my hero.

I did not receive money or supplies. But, I use affiliate links. :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Knitting In Progress!

Hi!

It is a beautiful and warm summertime. I have had the best time but missed yarn and blogging so much! My oldest graduated high school, turned 18 and we moved. Not far. But a wild time none the less. Summer started very mild considering this is Texas but we are now in full swing "woo, its hot!". I love the hot summer days and the late sunsets.

Yarn wise I am working on knitting my very first sweater. I got this amazing yarn from a friend. 



The color is gypsy and its a beautiful red with light and dark variations. Very soft but tiny! The sweater is meant to be lightweight for spring and summer. It uses thin yarn on thicker needles. (sock weight on size 8 40" circulars in this case). I am a slow knitter still. I just learned a year or so ago. But I am loving how this sweater is coming together. Now I need to get through 11 inches of back and forth. I have not had the nerve to do the math and see just how many rows that will be---I am a little intimidated. I really need to find a great show on Netflix to serial watch and get those 11" inches of sweater behind me. Here is the pattern! It was written by Uncommon Clouds and I am really excited to see how it turns out. So far the fabric is soft and light and working up quickly (relatively...for me). 


Being a new knitter one of my challenges is learning to have a regular tension.

I found some great suggestions!

- Give it time. 
- Try to make the same motion with your hands each time. Rest when that gets tedious.
- Give it time. 

It seems that long, repetitive rows are just what I need.

My next project will be a shawl in some MadelineTosh DK Twist that I found at the yarn festival in Dallas this year! Its so pretty. I really want it finished by the time winter comes for cuddling up with a cup of coffee.