Tuesday, August 23, 2011

HAAA YAAA!! Ninja Death HexiPuff!!!!

I'm Bored...=(

Bare Naked Ladies:
I woke up this morning and everything was different
Something was strange in the air
I woke up this morning and everything was different
I knew that the ninjas had been there
I looked all around my bedroom, underneath the dresser
Behind the bed, but nothing could be found
There was nothing left behind them, nowhere that I could find them
No fingerprints or crumbs on the ground
The ninjas are deadly and silent
They're also unspeakably violent
They speak Japanese, they do whatever they please
And sometimes they vacation in Ireland

The ninjas are deadly and silent
They're also unspeakably violent
They speak Japanese, they do whatever they please
And if you tear off their masks they'll be smiling

Monday, August 22, 2011

HexiPuff Progress

I knit several puffs this weekend.  They don't take very long and the pattern is easy to memorize so you don't need anything other than yarn and needles.  A little ball of polyfill for the very end and bag or basket to pop the finished puff into.  Great couch project!! 

Just laid out, not stitched together.  This is not how it will look, I just wanted to see how large a space 25 puffs would cover.  Not much....

The decorated ones.  Since this picture I've finished a little Fox Face so he will be added at a later date. 

Piled, it just looks like there are more of them when you pile 'em up!

I read on the KAL group forum that one person had set a goal of knitting 1 puff per day!  That is wonderful, set a goal and work towards it.  However, I would like to at least be able to start stitching a quilt together before I'm dead so I will try for several in a day.  Not sure how many but I'm going to try for 5.  5 a day and I need over 500 that means about 100 days. 

I put a little HexiPuff counter on my sidebar for me to keep track.  Progress Pics once a week?  This is going to be awesome!

New Grace Ennis Patterns!!! YAY! Well, not new...

I went to my Ebay account Saturday morning to check and see if a customer had left feedback because I honestly took longer to mail her item than I should have and decided to see if there were any Grace Ennis patterns out there.  There were 13 or so and several I didn't have!  Score!  They are all Buy It Now so no fighting, GOOD!  I purchase the ones I need, send the seller an email requesting combined shipping and tell her THNX she had filled some holes in my collection. 

She responds that she has 40-50 more to post along with the original GE Binder.  I didn't even know there was such a thing!  COOL!!  I ask if she would be willing to tell me just what she had left because I was still missing several and she said to just check back on Sunday, she was a slow typer!?!  She's KILLING me!! Not only did she NOT list anything new on Sunday, she went up a dollar in price!  Lesson?  Keep your mouth shut and lurk!!  Oh well, my new awesome finds.....

#7216 Outline Diamond-Overlay which appears to have a monogram so there will be an alphbet chart on the back, I can sort of see it through the paper.  I've never seen this one listed before.

#7288 German Shepherd or Police Dog Socks and Necktie.  I've been looking for this one, I knew it existed just had never seen it listed before.  As with all the dog series the necktie pattern comes with.

#7287 Boston Terrier Socks and Necktie.  This completes the dog series!  I now have them ALL!!  YAY!

#7292 Football Player Socks, Necktie and Car Charm.  This the second Football themed sock in Grace's line that I know of.  I have the other titled TouchDown which is a ball and the endzone thingy.  SO 1940-50s with the car charms!  I've heard rumor there is a Fuzzy Dice pattern but have never seen it!  LOL

Wish me luck on my furture Ebay purchases!  I really can't wait to see what this seller has, I just wish she was faster at listing.  In her defense, she does have 8 listed right now, I just have them all already!  Fingers crossed.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tiny Owl's BeeKeeper Quilt

Yesterday I started  what may well take a year to complete if you believe the designer.  I joined a KAL or Knit-A-Long on Ravelry.com to knit a BeeKeeper Quilt.  Below is the picture provided by the designer, TinyOwlKnits.  Here's how she describes them.
"Made of little stuffed honeycomb shaped puffy pockets ♥
Use leftover scrap sock wool & it doesn’t have to be lined because it’s puffy & double sided!"

So you knit these little honycomb shaped pieces then stuff them.  You can also decorate them using the duplicate stitch that I found out was totally beyond me!  UGH!  How can that be?  Oh well, now I've watched a YouTube video by VeryPink.com, thanks Staci and I will try again at a later date!

Here are my first 9 HexiPuffs.  All using scrap or leftover sock yarn so this project could be an awesome way to destash.  I don't really love the different color combos together but to go buy matchy-matchy yarn would totally defeat the purpose here!!!  I will resist!

I am a little ashamed to show the close up of my two failed attempts at duplicate stitch but since I'm not frogging them, go ahead and look!  I'll get better at it and the blanket will be for me so I don't care!

The designer says you need 102 HexiPuffs for a 2 x 2 foot pram quilt.  167 for a 2 x 3 foot quilt and 384 to cover the top of her daybed.  This very well could take a years time to complete something useable.  I've timed the process, so far and totally uninterrupted I can complete one HexiPuff from cast on to stuffed in just under 50 minutes.  I'll get faster and I can already do them while watching TV/movies so ....

Last night I started a solid powder blue puff.  Just naked and boring.  This morning I tried that darn Duplicate Stitch again and it worked better.  I made an Emery puff.  She will have a special spot on my blanket!  Also did a little sheep on a leaf green puff.  I'm kinda diggin' this stitch now that I know what I'm suppose to do with it!  Still need to practice but since I need upwards of 500 of these little darhlin's I will get it!!

See, my adorable little white pibble with the brown spot above her tail.  Oh well...

Chris says this doesn't look like a little sheep but a skull and crossbones!  I will NOT be asking for his opinion!!  LOL
This little HexiPuff is made using Yarn Bee baby Pitter Patter in Angel (white)!  WOW what a soft little puffy pillow!  This yarn is a thin chenille and if I hadn't promised myself I would NOT buy any more yarn I would be out there getting more of this yarn!!!  Someone on Ravelry just said they could see doing a baby blanket in blue with little white clouds and it would be heavenly!  It would be the softest thing ever, that's for sure!
I HexiPuffed all weekend, off and on, and now have 25 Puffs!  I would have more puffs if I hadn't stopped knitting and started decorating existing puffs.  The Flowers, the Gnome, the Heart...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cozy Mystery Knitting Series by Maggie Sefton.

I found this series online and then found the first 3 books at Half Price Books a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know if you are familiar with Cozy Mysteries but below is a brief description.  You can find many different themes, Golfing, Home Repair, Haunted Home Repair, Scrapbooking, Cooking, etc., there is a Series out there for just about everyone!!  Most have something extra to offer, in this case 2 knitting patterns and a recipe.  The culinary ones all have recipes!!!

Cozy mysteries are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-creating the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

The crime-solver of such stories is usually an amateur female detective who often has a college degree and uses her life experiences as a tool for solving crimes. She is usually, a very intuitive, bright woman. Often she has a spouse, lover, friend or family member working for the police force, who can therefore provide her with important information about a case to which she would otherwise not have access.

The occupations of the amateur sleuths are very diverse: caterer, bed and breakfast owner, quilter, cat fancier/owner, nun, gardener, librarian, book store owner, herbalist, florist, dog trainer, homemaker, teacher, needlepoint store owner, etc
The authorities usually dismiss the detective as little more than a nosy gossip and barely register their presence. However, this makes it easy for the detective to eavesdrop on their conversations at the scene of the crime and thus gather clues.

There is usually an array of eccentric supporting characters, who provide light relief and are generally very likeable.

Cozies very rarely focus on sex, profanity or violence. The murders take place off stage, and are often relatively bloodless (e.g. poisoning), while sexual activity (if any) between characters is only ever gently implied and never directly addressed.
The cozy mystery usually takes place in a small town or village. The small size of the setting makes it believable that all the suspects know each other. The amateur sleuth is usually a very likeable person who is able to get the community members to talk freely about each other. There is usually at least one very knowledgeable, nosy, yet reliable character in the book who is able to fill in all of the blanks, thus enabling the amateur sleuth to solve the case.

I'm about half way through my first one, Knit One, Kill Two and so far it is an easy, enjoyable read.  I still haven't a clue as to the murderer but we are starting to reveal a mystery character, dum, dum, dum....  These are fun!  Another fun series is the Hannah Swenson Murder Mystery series by Joanne Fluke.  These are culinary mysteries and start out with just cookie recipes.  Lots of YUMMY cookies.  The first in this series is The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.  Check it out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grace Ennis Graphic Knitting Patterns 8 Point Star Clock Socks from 1949

These took a while longer than I had anticipated.  Not because they were difficult but because I am easily distracted and I found other things to entertain me while these sat unfinished in a tote bag.  Finally decided that they needed to be done and worked on them last night.

Nancy Aldredge, at my LYS explained what "Clock" meant and I can't really remember. Something about the position on the sock and the direction, like clock hands. She went on to explain that way back when the men who knit (because women didn't) where tested to become Master Knitters and one of the test items was knitting a "Clock". Interesting, I'll need to look into that further.
"Leg" portion still on the needles.  You can sorta see the bobbins to the left.  This sock required 3 Ivory Bobbins, 2 Blue Bobbins and 2 Brown Bobbins.  I'm getting better at not getting myself all tangled!!

Decided to knit the heel and toe in the same baby blue as used in the design.  I think it turned out cute!  Change of pace!

Sort of remindes me of a Nordic Snowflake, like these should be winter ski socks!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Miniature Chicken Pot Pies!

Nothing knitting or scrapbook or even dog related today.  This weekend I made miniature Chicken Pot Pies.  I was cleaning out a seldom used cabinet and came across my Sunbeam Electric Pie Maker and it brought back such wonderful memories.  My son and I used to make pies both sweet and savory, all the time for his school lunches using this maker!  It's been at least 15 years and probably closer to 20 so I was fully prepared for the pie maker not to work, imagine my joy when the light came on!!

No real recipe here, just chopped up about 1/4 cup each of white onion, celery, red bell pepper, yellow squash and zucchini. 1 teaspoon minced garlic.  Sauted in EVOO until tender and added 1/4 cup frozen peas & carrots and 1/4 cup frozen chopped broccoli and 1/4 cup frozen Southern Style Hash Browns.  Let that simmer on low until everything was thawed and tender.  Added 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup, 1/4 cup white wine and 3/4 cup chopped grilled chicken breast.

Cheated here and used Pillsbury premade pie crusts.  These are wonderful to have in the frig for spur of the moment desserts or in this case, meals.  Just take out a roll of dough, let it come to room temperature (about 15 minutes on the counter) and unroll.  My Sunbeam Pie Maker came with a little cutter to cut the dough that has long gone missing.  I used a round cutter for the tops and I cut around a dimitase saucer for the larger pie bottoms.

Preheat your Pie Maker

Because I no longer have the cutter/tamper provided with the machine, I had to work rather quickly and carefully (this thing gets HOT!) to position the bottom pie crust into the machine and push the center down for filling purposes.  Take a little more than 1/4 cup of filling (you want the top to be domed, it cooks better if touching the top) and place your top pie crust on.  Close the lid, lock in place and wait for the light to go off.  I did add steam vent slits so they wouldn't ooze.

Here are some of my pies, I made 3 crusts worth.  Didn't count them.

Cut a slice to show you the tender flaky crust and yummy filling.  Sorry the light at that point was so bad!!  I don't have any idea if Sunbeam still produces the little 2 pie electric Pie Maker since mine is so old.  I do know that Breville has a 4 pie Pie Maker that you can get from Williams Sonoma.  They also have a recipe book, Mini Pies that looks really interesting and maybe I will break down and get it soon.  If you don't want to invest in the Electric Pie Maker then you can always make Pocket Pies. 

These are most of my Pocket Pie Molds.  The top 2 are from Williams Sonoma.  They also have a Heart and a Pumpkin.  The white ones I've picked up over the years.  Some  called Dumpling molds but you can fill them with anything!  Tovolo also makes shaped pie molds, a pear, strawberry, heart and star that are reasonably priced.  I do not have any, have never used them and can't tell you anything more about them.

Just to walk you through how these work (and I didn't think to actually make one to show you before using all my pie crust)  This side is the Cutter.  You use this to cut the pie crust.  Now turn the mold over.

This side is for filling and sealing.  Place one piece of cut dough into each side, fill and close.  Make sure to really squish it closed to seal it well, they will still taste good if the filling oozes but they aren't as pretty!!

These little pies are great for picnics, school lunches or after school snacks.  You can freesze the baked pies and take out what you need, thaw, warm gently in the microwave and viola, easy snack/meal!!  The kids would love to help with these and aside from actually putting the pieces into the electric maker, can help with every step!  I hope you get to try one of these soon!!