Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hook and Needles: No More "That Girl" with the Plastic Bags

I brought my yarn and crochet hook in the plastic bag the yarn store put it in when I purchased it.

Walking in the room for Crochet School I noticed...
   I was the only one there with their yarn and hook....

I was so embarrassed!  Everyone had these nice, fancy bags....
 Granted they were seasoned knitters...
 And had been using yarn for quite a while.

I vowed I would have a nice bag the next time I walked into that room...and that will be this Friday.

Not only did I complete a bag with lots of pockets, even one with a zipper... but I also crocheted a purse!
  Basic brown with a beautiful pink floral pretty!

Just need to do a crochet hook carrier before Friday...a pretty, fancy one...brown too!  But no more pretty pink floral fabric...I'll just have to use something else.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Recipe: Afghani Potato Salad

Our favorite Afghani restaurant has closed, and I'm obsessed with recreating their potato salad since it's so good!

This recipe is oh so good on a hot day....and pretty close to what they serve.  I'll update this page as I play with the recipe.

Afghani Potato Salad
Blend together:
 4 ounces fresh Cilantro Leaves (not dried)
 1 Jalapeno pepper, inclluding seeds
 3/4 tabllespoon Sugar
 2 cloves Garlic
 1/2 teaspoon Salt
 1/2 cup Distilled White Vinegar
In a bowl, combine:
 3/4 lbs. Russet Potatoes, boiled, skins removed, and cut into bite-size pieces
 1.5 cans Chickpeas (15oz cans), drained and rinsed
 Cilantro dressing
Once combined, refrigerate for two or more hours to let flavors meld together....and emjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hooks and Needles: Off to Crochet School

I learned to crochet from my Gramma...
   First learning how to chain...
  And then me how to do a granny square..
  Many, many years ago.

The rest of it's from books and videos...never, ever any formal instruction.

So I decided to take a few actual crochet classes....
   Hopefully learning new things...
   And helping control those stitches.

Four classes...
  Today was the first...
  Just a practice square...
  To introduce you to some stitches...
  And to make sure you were comfortable with your needle and yarn.

What I learned:
  Skein vs. Hank vs. Ball:
    Really? Not all bundles of yarn are skeins?  Tells you what I know.
    A ball of yarn is a "conglomeration" of yarn where you can pull yarn from the inside or
       outside to use.
    A skein of yarn is the same as a ball, just in an oblong shape.
    Now a hank...that's a new one...a hank is is yarn that is loosely wound into a large ring
       And then twisted onto itself...
       Usually rolled into a ball or cake before use.  Yes, there is cake in crocheting!!!
  Turning Stitch(es):
    Those little chain stitches you do at the end of a row before you turn...
     That's what you call them!
  Stitch Marker:
    Not just for knitting...use to mark your top turning stitch so you can see where to put
       your last stitch on the following row.
 Tension Matters
   If you pull your stitches too tight, you can't get your needle through them.

And, most importantly,
   Give yourself permission to RIP it all out if it's not working for you...
   It's just can restitch it after all.

Needless to say, I need to spend some time finishing my homework square...and I might just rip it again...see how the sides don't line up?  Hmmm.....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hooks and Needles: Hunting the Elusive Crocheted Elephant

Close your eyes...that's right I said close your eyes!

Are they shut? Tight?

Think of the jungle...
  and lots of green.

Animals...snakes, monkeys, spiders...


Is that the elusive Crochet Elephant I see? is! Be very quiet, and perhaps we'll get a better shot!

 There he is...hiding in the grass....isn't he just the cutest thing?
He hasn't spotted us yet...he's coming closer....look at all his marvelous color!

 Magnificent beast isn't he!  We're lucky to see him!

Ack! I told you to be spooked him! See if I take you hunting again!
  PS: Love that cute heart tattoo and curling tail!

   Crochet Elephant adapted from JamMade pattern.
   Madeline Tosh Technicolor Dreams from Jimmy Beans Wool
  This is the first animal I've ever made, and he turned out so cute! He will be the perfect addition to The Momma's Easter basket.