Sunday, December 28, 2008

When Life Gives You Apples.... Make Applesauce

Recently, I was given a lot of apples. And by a lot of apples, I mean a garbage bag full of them. Here is a picture of some of the apples. Mmmmmmm. I was racking my brains about what to do with all of these apples. I figured I would have to freeze some of them. I will make an apple crisp for New Year's Eve. But I wanted to try something new, so I searched the internet for applesauce recipes and found one that used pretty basic ingredients. Then I modified the recipe a little bit. Here's what I ended up with:

16 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups of water
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinamon

Put all the ingredients in a large pot and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Mash the apples (I used a potato masher, but I really think a handheld blender thingy would have worked really well. My mom raves about hers. ). Voila! You have applesauce. Yummy :)
By the way, that applesauce is posing in one of my new Pyrex bowls, which I got as a Christmas gift from my almost sister-in-law. They have lids and are great for food storage.

Friday, December 26, 2008

So Much for Goals....

Back in November, I wrote a post about my new goal of finishing all of my UFOs before starting anything new. Well, I finished my baby gift for Sarah, and I started to finish my granny square purse and stuffed frog, but still working on both projects. Just the fact that I said "started to finish" makes me realize what a lofty goal it is for me to complete all of my UFOs. Anyway, so much for goals. Yesterday, I cast on for a new felted purse. I am creating my own pattern for this one; it has been living in my head for a long time, and I am finally letting it out. I also picked out a sweater pattern, and today I bought some yarn to knit the sweater. Yes, I am officially starting two new projects while at least 4 others sit on the sidelines in various stages of completion :P I will post pictures of all new projects as soon as there is something worth posting :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays. I know I am; I got a Wii for Christmas, and I can barely stop playing long enough to get any knitting done :D Its so much fun!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vine Bracelet and Wire Ring

Saturday night, I was inspired in my sleep. I dreamed of a bracelet that looked like a flowering vine. When I woke up, I realized that I had some green floral wire, colorful leaf beads and flower beads. I immediately cut some wire and started twisting. Here's what I ended up with:
Here's an action shot of the bracelet. Just ignore my dazzling tan :)
With the leftover wire, I made a ring, kind of a bird's nest ring.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day

Sunday night, it snowed; it looked like about an inch of accumulation. Here in the Willamette Valley, that means a snow day. No school. It always seems weird to me, since I used to live in Wisconsin, where we never had a snow day. In my four years of high school, I had one snow day, because with the wind chill it was 60 below zero outside. I hated the snow when I lived in Wisconsin. Now, it's such a novelty, I don't mind it so much. Usually, on a snow day, I will make a snowman. However, today the snow would not cooperate, so I am posting a picture of the snowman I made 2 years ago, on a very mild snow day.

Notice how little snow is left in the yard after making a little snowman. He looks happy to hear that I had a snow day today :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Berry Hill Fingerless Mitts

So, my classroom is really, really cold. The heat comes on in the morning, and then for the remainder of the day, the fan blows cold air through the room. It actually creates a breeze in the room. Needless to say, I am always bundled up in extra clothes. I wear sweaters, scarves, gloves and sometimes even my coat. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to hand out papers when wearing gloves, so I decided to knit some fingerless mittens to keep my poor little hands warm at school. I found the pattern on Ravelry, and I love the pattern stitch in these mitts. It was very easy and it looks really cool. I used Red Heart acrylic yarn. My aunt gave me a bunch of it that she couldn't fit in her suitcase last time she visited. I guess even yarn is cheaper in the States :) The yarn is a dark green color. I knit in the round with size 3 dpns. And here are the pictures.......the right hand mitt......
And the left hand mitt.......
When I started the increases for the thumb, I followed the pattern exactly, but discovered that the method for increasing used in the pattern created little holes in the fabric (as seen below). After two increases like that, I changed the way I increased. In order to create a more solid fabric, I increased by putting the needle between the two stitches and making a stitch. This worked much better than the way outlined in the pattern.
This was my first time using a sewn bind off technique. I really like it and think I will use it more often. It allows the bind off edge more give. I usually bind off much tighter than my cast on edge, but this bind off edge is really comfortable. All in all, I love my new fingerless mitts. They allow me to do everything I need to do while keeping my little hands nice and warm :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gift for Sarah's Baby Aaron

My cousin Sarah gave birth to her first baby just a few days ago. I really can't believe it, because I remember babysitting for Sarah when I was younger. Time flies. When I first found out she was pregnant, I immediately started knitting a blanket. I didn't know Aaron was going to be a boy, so I chose a nice shade of green to knit. After the blanket was finished, I crocheted a hat to match. Then I knit some booties. It was harder than I thought to knit two matching booties, so I now have an extra bootie. Finally, I bought some blue yarn, after Aaron was born, and I knit a little teddy bear. He has a grommet in his ear, with a ribbon passed through it. The ribbon has a snap closure, so the bear can be secured to a stroller or a car seat and not get lost. Cute, huh?

All of the items were knit in Cottontots, 100% cotton. It is so soft :). I found the patterns for the blanket and the bear on The hat is from 24 Hour Crochet, and the booties are from an issue of a knitting magazine I randomly bought myself. I can't wait to mail it to her.