Friday, June 29, 2007

Fiber Geeks Unite!

Knitting Rules and so does Crocheting!

I am in love with knitting right now and drool over lace pattern books and sweater patterns on Knitty, a free online knitting magazine. I found my self saying I love knitting, I am hooked! So I can't help, as a crocheter first, picking up a knitting needle and poke a little fun at knitters, myself included. I find it humorous that some one using pointy sticks is hooked but knitters do need crochet hooks, if you drop a stitch they are necessary.

Sadly there is some infighting between knitters and crocheters. Some knitters think crocheting is a lesser art. Crocheters are understandably offended. I wish it wasn't true. We all have a love of all things fiber. Truly we are all fiber geeks. I came to my fiber geekiness through crocheting not knitting. So maybe now that I crochet, knit and spin I am totally fiber geeked.

My thoughts are from a recent read: Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot. She never put down crocheters in her books, of the few I have read so far. She is an absolute riot fiber and knittingwise but I could replace crochet for knitting and the books would be true for me. I'm always looking at anything made of yarn and wondering if they made it themselves. I window shop at my local yarn store. I have a serious addiction to new patterns. Now that I have added knitting to my fiber skills I have even more that I want. So truly I am blessed.

Knitting and Crochet Rules, Fiber Geeks Unite!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Hangin' Up

Hangin' Up
Originally uploaded by Fiber Star.

I haven't done this in a while.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

out in the garden

The raspberries are here. Yum!

You can see some grapes too.

I planted two more grapes as well. These are the Canadice, good for jellies, wine, juice and table grape. We'll be eating ours. We got new grapes at Vinland Nursery, so now we have a Kataba and a Niagra.

We also picked up a fragrant Purple Cone flower called - I did save the tag. It doesn't loo like much yest since I cut back the first flower. You want to do that when you get new plants, so the plant establishes good roots first rather than flowers.
Out in the Garden
We were sold on its butterfly attracting properties since the monarchs really liked it while we ere there. That was something that was pretty cool about this nursery they had bugs. How many nurseries do you see like that.

On the way home we stopped off at Davenport Winery to get some Kansas grown wine. We like it there so I recommend taking a trip out. They are open for wine tasting 4-7pm on the weekdays and 12pm- 4pm on Sat.

The potatoes are going gang busters at least on top.
Out in the Garden

Monday, June 18, 2007

Keeping the House

No this is not a post about housework, but I have some thoughts on that as well. This is a book review. Remember when I told you that I won a pre-release book here? I didn't get the book I thought I would get, but I did get Keeping the House by Ellen Baker.

The story focuses on a house, the Mickelson House, that is said to be cursed. Dolly, newly married and new to the town of Pine Rapids, falls in love with the house. She falls in love with the family that lived there. We see the family through the eyes of their neighbors when Dolly asks questions about them and we see the family for themselves as the books goes back in forth in time. The story is about women's lives from early 1900's to 1950's. It's about the sheer boredom of your life only being housework and dinner. It's about relationships, intimacy, war, and death. The author covers it all and does it well. I enjoyed the read.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Read this book - Please

Pretty, pretty please with Locally Grown Honey on top (maybe if you live in Florida you can do Organic Florida Crystals), read this book:

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Babara Kingsolver and her family. It's about their goal to eat locally for a year in the Appalachia Mountains and also about the history of modern agriculture. Kingsolver and her family, share their story (so far , I'm 15o pages or more in to it) with wit and wisdom. After reading a book like this I feel overwhelmed and guilty as hell but not with this book.

I am inspired. I am recommitting myself to eat more locally this year and in season. Organic Apples from Australia, maybe not this year. I think it's a visit to Fieldstone Orchards, maybe some peaches nearby and can them for some freshish fruit this winter. Heck she has me thinking about making cheese again. Barbara Kingsolver make her own cheese. Now how cool is that! Not sure what to do about my love for caffeine. We shall see. Some changes are in order.

So Stephen and I started by going to the Farmers market Saturday and came home with some locally grown salad greens, radishes, carrots, basil, honey, honey sticks (for the kids), and broccoli.

Lunch Menu:

Today we had Carrot Top Soup which included carrots, diakon (don't know where it came from), herbs from out garden, onions (not from kansas I am sure) , rice (that doesn't grow here.)

Dinner's Menu is Pesto Pasta and a salad:

Pesto was made with is local garlic and basil, the walnuts were not local nor was the olive oil or lemon I squirted in it. The broccoli was local and steamed. The pasta was organic but not local

Salad: local radishes, some salad greens, read leaf lettuce came from California and the grated squash I don't know. Salad Dressing : pre-made and not local

Now off to finish dinner.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Foodie Friday - Hummus Pocket

It's been a while since I shared any recipes. A few days ago I made the most delicious hummus pocket which I thought was a great cool summer type food.

Hummus Pocket

Here's what I used but add more to your liking. It's a great user upper of odds and ends from the garden this summer.

Hummus Pocket
I forgot the lettuce in the pic- oops!

Pita Bread
  • This is ideal but you could substitute tortillas to make a wrap or bread for a sandwich
  • I like to warm up my pita by toasting it a bit with a little olive oil. If you use a tort it's a good idea to warm it up a bit too so it doesn't break when you wrap. I'd like to toast up bread if I used it 'cause I like things crunchy.
  • I bought mine pre-made at our local co-op but you can make your own. There are lots of recipes on line just get your google on.
Veggies -these were what I used
  • lettuce- shredded
  • cumbers - thinly sliced
  • carrots - grated
  • red onion- thinly sliced
You could also use:
  • squash - thinly sliced or grated
  • red pepper - thinly sliced

I like to add some chili garlic sauce for some zing. If you do use this remember a little goes a very long way, it is very spicy.

Cut your pita in half then fill with the above goodies of your choice. One half is about good for a light lunch, eat both halves if you are really hungry.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Not such a tragedy really , well maybe if you have lots of kids or your kids are young.


Our dishwasher died a few weeks a ago. So it's back to hand washing dishes. It's a good thing I've been knitting and crocheting up several dishcloths. It makes the job much more enjoyable, when I get to hold a colorful and pretty cloth in my hand.

I have also limited our dishes down to basics for each person in the family, everyone has their own set. We have mix matched dishes so that works well. So if your bowl is dirty it's time to wash it. So far it working well. Dishes are usually done, before I go to bed. The dishes need to be done once more during the day. It never takes long, 15min. max.

When doing the dishes, isn't looking at pretty dishcloths much more fun that that ugly old thing above?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Finished Socks

Originally uploaded by Fiber Star.

I finished these in May. I like them but I washed them and they shrank and they were already a bit to small. So I will need to deal with the snug fit or offer them to someone with smaller feet. I love the color way and their feel.

yarn: Gedifra Fashion Trend Sportivo, color #5768
needles: #1 dpns
pattern: here
Cuff down sock

Still trying to get the hang of the toe graft and still not quite succeeding. Thankfully the yarn hides. Currently on my needles are a pair of toe up magic loop socks so I don't have to do the toe grafting.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

too many wips ...

too many works in progress (wips) that is.

I say I have too many wips and I just might because I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. But truly I like having several projects to work on because they each have their place. If I'm bred with one I pick up another. I'm know to start another project, usually small ones in between all this too. Did you see all the dish cloths I made? I've been working on those more than these lately.

Like my crocheted sweater has some patterning to it and needs some attention so it good for quite time at home. This is the Suzanne Hoodie from Cool Crochet by Melissa Leapman. I making out of a heathered purple yarn wool yarn by Cascade. The pic really doesn't do the yarn color justice.

The Harry Potter scarf is great for car knitting (I'm not the one driving, I promise!) I like taking to homeschool group too. I got lots done on this visiting the in laws.

The socks in progress I'm doing a basic knit on the foot so they are also good out for an about project. I keep these in my purse for emergency knitting ie. the kids are taking forever at the library or at the grocery store. I got some done on these this weekend too.

I have the ripple gahn but it's unlikely I will do much on it until it gets cool again.

I also have some thread grannies and yarn grannies I'm doing. I see these as long term use up the stash projects. The ripple ghan is like that too.

This doll spiral blanket I really need to finish. I know my daughter will love it because she picked out the colors. I have a hard time working on it because it just doesn't excite me at all. I will persevere.

I crocheting this lovely Chrysanthemum Shawl from Amazing Crocheted Lace. I'm not far from finished. I'm using Soy Silk yarn from Southwest Trading Co. It is divine. Been working on this today.

The exchange bag from Happy Hooker. It's made from nylon yarn from omega. I'm not really a bag/purse person but I love the looks of this so I had to make it.

See this afghan, blockas are from 200 crochet block by Jan Eaton, I *still* have not woven in all the ends.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

coffee swap goodies

The awesome stuff I got from my partner

An over view of all the goodies and crafted goodies: an apron, coffee playdough for the kids, coffee, homemade mocha mix, instant chai mix too, two bookmarks, and a box filled with teas. She out did herself.

The apron is perfect for holding a small ball of yarn and I can walks around knitting or crocheting, might need to be carful arounf my house or might trip! You can see a close up of the drink goodies and my favorite is the Sweet Elixir of Life, and instant mocha mix, let just say there is nothing left. Thankfully she sent me the recipe so I can make more.

A wonder box to hold loose teas and filled with more tea than I can drink.

A close up of one of the bookmarks she sent. I also like the green paper one she sent that had this quote: "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." - CS Lewis

Here's what I made for my partner:

A crocheted coffee cup bookmark with needle felted centers and a amigurumi cup

coffee cozy to keep the coffee warm and your hands cool

sewn and embroidered head scarf

felted tea pot coasters -that pattern can be found in the March 2007 Crochet!

I got the revved up caffeine filled gummies from the swap organizer as a thank you for helping her out with the swap. That was sweet!

Friday, June 8, 2007

knittin' and crochetin' up a storm

It's true. Didn't you see the rain and lightning yesterday? The kids and I were going to go to the pool but by the time we got there is was raining so we bailed. It's all my fault since I've been knitting up a storm making dishcloths and washcloths. I crocheted some too for a swap on craftester.

Spiral Swirl - dishcloths/washcloths
I might use this in the bath so it stays cleaner than for dishes.

I used LionBrand Cotton and #6 circ needles (I think) using a magic loop for all of the above. They were all made using the Spiral Swirl Pattern here, scroll down a bit and find the pdf for the pattern. I think the instructions are incomplete. So I had to fudge it to make the petals work after the first one.

Lacey Diamonds dishcloth

This one has already been used but I saw two errors. Drats! If you click on the pic you can see the error notes on flickr. Knitted with LionBrand Cotton on #7 circ needles

Overall I am still pleased with the result. I used a lifeline on the purl rows so I could easily frog back if I missed something. You can find the free pattern here.

I made the below for swaps on craftster. The first three are were crocheted for the dishcloth/washcloth swap. They are all "my own patterns" or adaptations from patterns I have. I used an H hook and Lionbrand Cotton.

Wavy Cloth
Wavy Cloth

Shells Cloth
Shell Cloth

Wavy and Shell came from a Japanese stitch pattern book I got on the cheap at my LYS.

Willow Cloth
This one I adapted from the Willow Block from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks. This block is also in Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet.

"coffee" dishcloth

This is also a free pattern on line but I'll need to hunt for it first. This is jut a sneak peek of what I sent to my partner for the Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Swap on Craftster. I had fun getting creative for this swap and got some great stuff from my partner too.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Lucky Me

I rarely ever win anything. Really, it's true. I hope it's true because first I got an email that said I didn't get a book to review but then I did. So with luck I will get a review copy of Amanda Eyre Ward's Forgive Me. I'm getting this book because I'm participating in this new program here on Library Thing

I encourage you to check out Library Thing. It's a great way to keep track of your books and see what others are reading. I've found lots of books I liked there.