Friday, March 29, 2013

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs

 What is Easter with out colored eggs? Even though we don't usually color eggs every year, we don't let too much time lapse between colorings. To add a bit of interest last year, we tried tie-dying the eggs!
 It is actually a very simple technique. Perhaps a little messier then normal dying, but not too much. All you need is paper towels, rubber bands and egg dye. Wrap the paper towels around the egg, bunching and wrinkling the towel. Use the rubber bands to hold in place.
 As you can see there are many many ways to wrap the paper towel. Once the towel is secure to your liking, place the egg in a dish and pour spoonfuls of dye on it. The paper towel keeps the dye on the shell so it has a chance to color the egg. Wait until the paper towel is mostly dry or completely dry, depending on your patience and what affect you want.
 There are endless possibilities to tie-dying. Use one color.... two or three........ or all of them! Dye your egg first or leave it white.

Happy Easter!!

Robin's Egg Blue

I discovered Berroco Vintage Yarn, it is washable with a blend of acrylic, wool and nylon. I love the softness of all Berroco's yarn and finding a washable one was exciting. I couldn't choose between the lighter or the darker shade, so I took both and knit an infinity scarf in stripes with the Robin's Egg Blue or # 5194. The number doesn't do much for me, think of the catastrophe if they simple numbered all the crayons... no more cerulean, turquoise, azure or robin's egg blue. With Spring in the air and a new scarf around my neck it has inspired me to find Robin's Egg Blue items, cookies and pillowcases, eating candy and maybe a little coloring.


This also reminded me of a Shirley Temple movie I saw when I was little about a brother and sister trying to find happiness when they discover its in their own backyard all along. With a cookie, crayons and jellybeans how could I not be happy?

I couldn't get a picture to appear but the link works, I believe you can watch this entire movie on youtube, but I have just included the credits so you can hear the sweet music and see the lovely drawings.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Is Spring Here Yet?

I saw this idea on the internet somewhere (I think on a blog). I thought it was cute and had to make one for myself!  I love terrariums, so I’m always on the look out for good glass containers for them!  
It is a really fun way to do a terrarium, a no fuss one!  You just have to be a little creative!
First, I needle felted a base of dirt (brown), then I put some moss on top (green), added a log,  mushroom, stones, and a blue bird!
Here you can see all the fuzzy fiber!
I think next time I make one I need to add more color in it !
As you can see in the pictures, we still have snow on the ground. The temp this morning when we went for a walk was 12 F with the wind chill at 0.
Writing this post reminds me of a book we use to read when we were little.
“Peep peep”  said little chick “I’m looking for spring.”
I don’t remember the title but, the cover had a picture of a little chick and it was fuzzy too! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Northinger Abby Mittens

 I few weeks ago I finished these  Northinger Abbey Mittens from Jane Austen Knits-Winter2013. They are made with Cascade Sport, the perfect lightweight wool for spring weather! (Unfortunately, Spring is missing right now!)
 The mittens only took a little over one skein, so I had to have a classic beret to match! The mittens have a long elegant cuff, which I love! Such a vintage touch. For more info, Ravelry page.
Perfect picture taken by sister Mandy.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rice Crispie Cake

We have a fetish for rice crispies in my family, they are eaten before they get a chance to be poured in the pan or even before they firm up. When my husband came up with this idea to make a rice crispie cake for my parents anniversary surprise, I was skeptical. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. 
We started by pressing the crispies into two round cake pans, we needed to make a double batch to fill them both. Then we chased each other out of the kitchen to let them form.
Then I suggested we try using marshmallow cream for the filling and icing, it seemed to go so well.

Until we started topping the cake....
You can see the marshmallow is not as thick as I imagined and started sliding off, we even put it in the fridge overnight. Next time we might try adding a little cornstarch or powdered sugar to firm it up.
It was a big surprise when Mom tried to cut into the cake. At first she thought it was a prank and we had frosted cardboard, but then we explained the cake was gluten-free and might have gotten a little over-baked. In the end it was a success and there was none leftover.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Yellow Sweater Update

There are a lot of reasons why I have always wanted to knit myself a sweater, but the reasons why I have NOT  are even greater. For instance, I am afraid that I will spend all those hours, days, weeks, ok months of work and then the sweater might not fit. Or I won't like how it looks on me or something ...... Then I would have to go throught  the painful process of unraveling and deciding what to do with all the crimpy yarn.
All of those are big IFs. But sometimes the ifs in life can hold us back so I decided to trick myself and take one teensy step at a time.

I worked up the courage to at least cast on for the front and make the ribbing because I like doing that and you can't really mess it up. 78 stitches isn't too much to unravel if necessary and eight rows of ribbing really doesn't take that long. Once I started knitting I remembered how much I loved knitting with Cascade Soft Spun yarn and began to think it might not be so dificult.

I do love the soft buttery yellow color of the yarn and can envision being comfy on a saturday with a pair of jeans working on projects. And a sweater may seem like it will take a long, long time but its just a matter of volume. Knitting a pair of socks takes At Least the same amount of time and I love kntting socks. What a difference accentuating the positive does, but for now I think I will go back to my sock and listening to the Andrews Sisters.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Basics of Blocking

 First of all, don't let the name scare you. Blocking is really simple and Easy!
What is Blocking? Blocking is setting fibers (such as yarn) by either wetting or steaming. (Isn't that simple?) Once you have knitted your masterpiece sweater, you notice the ribbing is not laying flat or the shoulders aren't quite as smooth as you would like. That is where blocking comes in. The properties of animal fibers make them especially good for blocking. That does mean you can't block cotton or synthetic fiber, they just don't respond as well.
First Step: Wet your wool. Submerge your knitted item in lukewarm water and let soak for a few minutes. Especially if it is an easily felted fiber or yarn, you will just want to let it sit, not swishing or scrubbing needed. Once it is thoroughly wet and the fibers have relaxed, remove from the water and squeeze out. I think it is too soggy or it is a large item like a sweater, I will roll it in a towel to remove more water.
 Second Step: Lay flat on a surface. (This might be the tricky part. Finding a good surface to lay it on.) For scarves and small items I use my ironing board. You could also use a table or bed, laying a towel down first. Lay flat and make sure edges are flat, pin if necessary. (This is where an ironing board comes in handy.) As you can see in the picture, the edges laid flat by themselves pretty well.
Step Three: Have patience and let it dry for a day or two. I would also recommend flipping it once. I usually do this after it is mostly dry, so the movement doesn't mess any of the edges up.

 Step Four: Wear it with Pride! Or in the case of this scarf, give it to a friend. (And no, Kerri was not the friend. She is just the model.)
Isn't she doing a good job?
Did that yarn look familar? I posted about it here- Hand Dyed With Fun. It was Our friend's yarn and I knit it into a scarf for Christmas for her. Looks a lot different, doesn't it?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Amazingly Quick Quilt

 Combine a wonderful book and clearance fabric already pre-cut into blocks, add a Mom visiting for the weekend and you will have a wonderful quilt in four days! This was my first dip into Modern Quilting and I am in love...

My biggest worry about machine quilting was that I would get bunches of wrinkles and tucks and spend more time ripping out stitches than sewing. I would rather pick pills off all my sweaters before ripping stitches out of an entire quilt. So I ironed the pieced top three times, I should note as I sewed the top together in strips I ironed it so all the seams lay in one direction. I also ironed the batting and the backing, to keep it smooth!

Unfortunately or maybe it was fortune, I made this quilt during a snowstorm which meant the light in the house was just terrible for picture taking. I had to wait two days until the storm was over so I could drag my blankie around the great outdoors for a photo shoot.

Incidently I think the yellow was a great choice of color to work with during a dark and cold winter week. I just love the backing of the quilt, don't you? All the ironing did pay off, as well as a lot of pins to hold it together, although I would recommend safety pins as my hands were really scratched up and bleeding my the time I was done.

My great idea to hang the quilt from the tree branch didn't work so well as the wind kept blowing it down. I was trying to capture the look of how I placed the blocks so the gray faded into yellow on a diagonal. When I started quilting, I chose a block in the middle and sewed out from there, that way any wrinkles that came up, I could hopefully smooth them out. As far as I know, there weren't any major wrinkles, but I haven't wanted to look at the back too closely.

Into the wash it went after that ordeal, my fingers were completely numb and my face was aching from the below zero wind chill. Oh what we do for a good quilt...