Thursday, September 30, 2010

Doctor's Orders...

Sorry folks, there is going to be a minor delay in getting "Brandy" finished.  I seem to have injured my shoulder knitting a skirt (it's a contact sport, you know) and the doctor has told me I need to take a break and let it heal.  I only have 20 rows to go to complete the test knit on this hat, which I really should have finished before I started work on this lovely cabled skirt, and as tempted as I am, the doctor also reminded me that if I push it, I will regret it later and will have to take an even longer break, so for now, I'm being... good?

This "no-knit" break is providing me with a healthy dose of creative frustration.  I'm being bombarded with ideas, but don't have the luxury of casting them on.  The upside of this is I'm thinking past that first creative notion and refining the concepts mentally.  I'm hoping to have a couple fully developed ideas ready by the time I'm allowed to needle again, including a two-color short row shaping piece that's more fun than the functional feminine stuff I have been working on.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Glutton for Punishment Salsa!

1. Tomato / Green Chili Salsa recipe (see August 16, 2009), made 3 qts and 4 pints.

2. 2/3 batch Tomato / Green Chili Salsa recipe with original recipe quantity of Habanero peppers, made 8 pints and 7/8 pints refrigerated.

Total Salsa canned today – 3 qts and 11 pints.
Total Salsa canned this year – 12 qts and 15 pints.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Brandy" is on her way!

No picture yet but I'm very excited about my next offering - way too excited not to give hints of what's to come! 

"Brandy" is finally on the needles for final pattern and chart accuracy checks.  I've been working behind the scenes on this design for over a month now - it's actually been the most frustrating design yet.  I wanted to do something with a shoreline / seaside kind of motif.  I've stitched and restitched about 30 different swatches trying to find the right balance.  In the end, I actually have created a stitch to represent rolling waves, and matched it up with a lovely Aran stitch that just makes me think of the twisted rope netting you see in old pre-wire wooden lobster traps.  It has a little bit of a lacy feel, created through simple yarn overs, representing seafoam and spray.  I think this will be a lovely addition to any ocean lovers wardrobe!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Crazy People Can like Crazy Day!

1. Double recipe of Carrot Pickles (pg 34, Ball Blue Book), made 7 pints, recipe follows. Used 6# fresh picked Green Bin Farm carrots!

2. Double recipe Pickled Hot Peppers (pg 318, Complete Book of Home Canning), made 2 qts and 5 pints, recipe follows with modifications.

3. 1 ½ recipe Green Hell (see September 25, 2009), made 1 qt and 5 pints plus 1/3 pint fridge jar.
Took approx. 7 hours with breaks.

Carrot Pickles (Double Recipe)

6# fresh picked Green Bin Farm carrots
4 cups vinegar
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teas canning salt
2 tbl mixed pickling spices
2 sticks cinnamon

Wash, drain and peel carrots. Large julienne cut carrots, steam until just tender. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Tie remaining spices in spice bag, add to vinegar mixture. Boil 5 to 8 minutes. Pack carrots into hot jars, leaving ¼” head space. Remove spice bag. Bring liquid to a boil. Pour over carrots leaving ¼” head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process pints and quarts 40 minutes (Rio Rancho altitude) in hot water bath canner. Makes 7 pints.

Pickled Hot Peppers (Double Recipe)

3# yellow hot peppers (Wagners)
1.7 # jalapeƱo peppers – red & green (Wagners)
12 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
6 cloves garlic
Roasted garlic cloves for jars

Combine vinegar, water and garlic. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until garlic flavor has infused. Discard garlic.

Pack peppers in jars, either whole with slit through, or ½” sliced rings, adding roasted garlic clove, leaving ½” plus head space. Ladle hot liquid into jar, covering peppers, leaving ½” head space, air removed. Process for 20 minutes (Rio Rancho altitude) in hot water bath canner. Makes 2 qts and 5 pints.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Conspiracy Day Salsa

1. Made TWO batches of Tomato / Green Chili Salsa (recipe from August 16, 2009) using:
• 25% Burbank Slicers (Heirloom – Green Bin Farm!)

• 25% Brandywine (Heirloom – Green Bin Farm!)

• 50% Beefsteak (approx 5# commercial – Sunflower Market)

• 50% / 50% JalapeƱos and Habaneros peppers
Diced tomatoes by hand using fork for stability and “onion dice” technique. Made 9 qts and 4 pints canned plus 1 ¼ pint refrigerated.

2. Made more Evil Oil (see August 21, 2010) from drippings in green chili Ziplocs, added to existing Evil Oil in refrigerator.

Took approx. 5 ½ hours with breaks.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Karen" PDF Pattern

"Karen" has been posted to my Etsy store, and for sale. Both MyKnits and Ravelry provide automatic delivery / download of the PDF file upon receipt of payment. Etsy sales will receive an email containing the PDF file directly from me.
If you are interested in purchasing "hard copies" please email me!

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Karen" is coming!

"Karen" is in the final stages before release for sale.  I'm completing final stitch counts for pattern accuracy and completing a chart for this pattern (Yeah!).  I'm very excited about this pattern.  I modified an Aran stitch, and improvised/invented a stitch to achieve the particular look I wanted.  I hope you enjoy knitting it as much as I enjoyed creating it for you!

Errata Report - "Gracie"

Please Note: Rows 1, 5, 9 and 13 of hat band have 32 stitches, NOT 33.  The PDF pattern has been updated. 

Customers having bought this pattern prior to today will be notified by email and sent the updated pattern.

Please send error reports to  Thank you!

Labor Day!

More Canning...

1. Single batch of Sweet Pickle Relish (pg 32, Ball Blue Book), made 6.75 - ½ pints
2. Dill Pickle Kosher Style Short Method (see August 28, 2010) using 5# fresh picked Green Bin Farm cucumbers ½” sandwich slab cut, made 7 pints.

Took approx 3 ¾ hours.