Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wip Wednesday - almost done!

I am finally, finally almost done with this hood thing. Do you ever feel that way? Not that the process isn't enjoyable, but there are always so many interesting new things just begging to be started. Anyway, the hood itself is done, It just needs to be sewn up. I've started on the cowl/facemask thing so it shouldn't be too much longer now.

I swear somehow I always forget how long single crochet takes to build up. Maybe I block it out. The stitches just seem so tiny and slow!

Hopefully by this weekend I will have this all done and put together, and I can go back to knitting and practicing cabling. Or even- gasp!- try to make a few gifts! I kind of procrastinated this year, not sure if it will happen or not, but there's no harm in trying.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Yes, yes. I know this is late. But I  have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I don't think Thanksgiving is the only day I should be reflecting on that.

I have a wonderful husband who loves me, great friends, and relatively good health. I have a steady(ish) job, time to craft, and two lovely kitty faces to greet me when I come home each day. And I'm thankful for this nice weather! I actually went roller blading, in IA, on Thanksgiving. How cool is that?!

I hope you all had a great holiday filled with good food and better company. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday 2

Hello again! I've been putting in some long hours at my job, so I am definitely still working on this hood/facemask/neckwarmer thing. 

Stitch, stitch, stitch... it's going pretty quickly when I actually have a chance to work on it.

Look! The hood part is starting to look like a hood! That's good, right?

I need to make this a short post, have to be at work bright and early. Hope you all are doing well, and happy crafting!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Woah, an actual craft post! Well, this is supposed to be a craft blog after all. I am currently working on a  hooded neck warmer/face mask for a friend of my husband's, pretty much like the one I made for him last year. Ravelry link to last year's project here. They work outdoors installing invisible fences and I want to keep their heads nice and toasty this winter.

I just started this a little bit ago, so I guess it's coming along fairly decently. Crochet is always so much faster for me, probably because I learned to crochet before I learned to knit. This looks so tiny though! Here's a better picture for scale-

Hopefully it won't take too much longer, I have so much I hope to get done this winter!

Happy Crafting :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds!

As promised, here is my no fail super easy yet delicious recipe for pumpkin seeds:

Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit

Take your pumpkin and cut off the top. Separate the seeds from the guts and place them in a large bowl. This is the time consuming part.

Wash the seeds thoroughly. Get as much of that orange stuff off as you can! You may want to periodically pour the seeds from the bowl to a strainer and back again, to aid in getting rid of the gunk.

Allow to dry slightly (I poured mine from the bowl into a mesh strainer, and let them sit for about 20 minutes.) It's okay if the seeds are still slick, it will help the seasoning stick.

Add salt or other seasoning to taste. I made two batches- a salty one and a spicy one. For the salty batch I just sprinkled the seeds fairly liberally with salt. For the spicy batch I added a couple of dashes of salt, garlic powder, black pepper, turmeric, chili powder and a touch of cayenne pepper into a small bowl, and sprinkled the seeds with the mixture.

Spread seeds on a greased cookie sheet in a single layer, trying to keep the overlapping to a minimum.

Take a deep breath, we're almost done!

Put the cookie sheet containing the pumpkin seeds into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Open the oven and stir the seeds around using a spoon, spatula, or anything melt proof. Be careful! Don't burn yourself!

Bake for another 10-15 minutes until seeds are crispy. You can kind of tell when they are done by the sound they make when they are stirred around, or you can be like me and taste one to find out! Be careful though, as the seeds will be very hot. It is probably best to let them cool off a bit first.


 Allow seeds to cool, then store in a zip top bag or resealable bowl. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On a quest for pumpkins!

Sunday was one of those long, almost perfect days. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? The kind of day where you can sleep in without the whole oh-no-I-wasted-the-entire-day guilt. (I'm sure the time change helped with that.) The type of morning when you and a loved one can wake up refreshed and cook a simple breakfast, then laze around until lunch. Maybe, you decide to go out and try a new restaurant for lunch. I did! Whether it's good or not doesn't matter, it's the experience that counts!

Anyway, after lunch, I decided I absolutely MUST make pumpkin seeds. Right that minute. I mean come on, It's after Halloween, pumpkins must be on sale, right? Wrong! My husband and I went to THREE different stores and couldn't find a pumpkin anywhere. Right before giving up, I remembered a pick-your-own-apple place not too far away, and thought that they might have pumpkins too. Not wanting to add another flop destination to the day, I called first. Lo and behold they still had pumpkins, it must have been fate!

On the way there, we saw some wild turkeys on someone's lawn. Wild turkeys! Recently having moved away from the hustle and bustle that is the suburbs of Chicago, this was super exciting. There are so many animals in Iowa, and it is not like we live in a very rural area either. Imagine my delight when we arrived at the pumpkin farm and saw this guy!

He's so cute! Right in the same pen there were two peacocks, I didn't get a great picture but you can kind of see the boy peacock here:

Around back they had some more critters, look at this cute little one eared goat!

And these curious guys!

I totally wanted to make yarn out of them

The little store connected to the farm was charming, I left with two pumpkins, a half gallon of apple cider, and a free apple. Woohoo!

I will show you my easy no fail "recipe" for pumpkin seeds later this week. It is super simple!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yarn storm for a cause!

I received a big huge box of yarn recently (not for me, but more on that later) and I'm so jealous! Look at this yarny goodness-

This last one is my favorite. It's so pretty and soft! 

This month there will be a benefit for two of my very good friends who unexpectedly lost their baby daughter earlier in the year. All of this yarn was graciously donated by the yarn storming group on Ravelry for the raffle that will be held. I'd like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I was yarn stormed myself earlier in the year (it was a very happy surprise!) and I will definitely be donating to the group very soon.

Happy crafting, and hug your loved ones today!