Review on Red Heart Scrubby yarn

Aaaand….we’re back.

I purchased this yarn several years ago with the intent of making it my “next” project, as soon as I was done with whatever I was working on at the time.  Oops.  I’d actually started this particular post around then.  Its been languishing in the Drafts section, silently accusing me every time I wrote about something else.  Why haven’t you whipped up this easy project?  I’d skim over the Drafts option and choose New.  Sometimes, that’s the way it goes.

So, what did I think after the two year wait?  The yarn is nice and scrubby, textured enough to make finding stitches a little difficult.  I can definitely see its value as a household cleaning item.  But this is a double-edged proposition.  For the yarn to be effective enough, it has to be coarse enough, and that can make it rough on your skin as you’re working it.  I had to stop twice before chafing started!  I will also add that I already have dry, rough, older skin, so this may not be an issue for all of you who try it.

As for the particular pattern I used, Fancy Flower Scrubber, that sucker is big.  I won’t be making a second blue one because I can’t see using them for their intended purposed.  It’s way larger than my hand so it wouldn’t be ergonomic for me.  I may whip up a simple square in hdc just to use it up…but later.  Need to give my skin a break.

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Let’s Be Honest

Hey, everyone.  How are your holidays going?  Treating you good?  I hope so.  Although this post has landed perilously close to Christmas and, I assume, other holidays, it has nothing to do with them.  Let’s take a break from that, shall we?

I want to take a moment and talk about us liars out there.  You know what I mean.  “Knitting is easy!”  “Crochet is a breeze.”  I’m very guilty of this.  And you’re shaking your head, if not physically, then mentally.  What is she talking about?  Knitting is easy and crochet is a breeze!  Ok, smarty pants.  Maybe for you, and a very small minority, it was a breeze.  Your needles fly under your deft fingers, your hook is moving so fast that it’s a blur and every stitch is perfect.  New techniques?  No problem.

Like the title of this post says, let’s be honest.  Think back to when you first picked up those knitting needles, felt their heft, or gazed wonderingly upon that crochet hook, marveling at the sleek lines and how they turned into…well, the hook.  Some of you may have to really dig in the vault of memories for this, but do it.  Did it feel natural?  Remember that first chain, and how proud you were of yourself.  And then, when you got tired of that, discovering how to turn and create stitches.  Let’s not forget that first successful cast on row.  My tongue worked as hard as my fingers!  Speaking of tongues, we also have our own language.  You think k2tog then yo or dbl through fp means anything to anyone else?

….but, think of the beginner.  How many will give up because it’s just too hard?  For whatever reason, they are done after that initial foray. Their skeins of yarn will either gather dust in some forgotten drawer or be thrown away (gasp! oh, no!) because they’re taking up space. And yes, there are a great many people, who, literally, simply don’t care.  Of course, they will enjoy the fruits of our labors, and marvel at the overall beauty of the gift, but that’s as far as it will go.  However, for us, we wanted to do it.  Whatever our motivation was at the time, we wanted to do it; and we did.  Look at us now –  champions of the crusade!  Not only is it easy, there are multiple benefits to knowing these crafts.

And I for one, think we should respect our hobbies for the honed crafts they truly are.  Will I stop saying it’s easy?  Probably not.  Should I?  Yes, most definitely.  Is all this work worth it?  That, I’ll leave for you to decide…

Natural Knitter or Crocheter

Now this is something I could use some help with!

Now this is something I could use some help with!

While perusing the abysmally small selection of knit and crochet books at Barnes and Noble, I realized something about myself.  I was focused solely on the knitting books.  I thought to myself, Hang on.  Why no crochet?  I did a double take on the crochet offerings and noticed titles about cowls and scarves.  I smiled to myself.  Yea.  Don’t need instruction on that.  I revisited the knitting titles.  There were a lot of subjects that I felt didn’t need further instruction, but conversely, there were so many more that I felt totally lacking.

I have had an on again, off again romance with stranding, and in this most recent flare, Scandinavian designs.  I have made a few stranded items, and I’m still not happy with the results.  I’ve read books, I’ve watched instructional videos and I’ve even asked advice.  Still not happy.  But I’ll follow my own advice, and persevere.  Sooner or later, I’ll get it!

Now let’s talk gloves.  I’m not talking mittens or fingerless mittens.  I’m talking gloves with four fingers and a thumb.  Haven’t made them.  Scared.  Yes, I said it.  Scared of spending a lot of time and effort and getting a sub-par result (reference the above stranding).

Again, I thought about crocheting.  I don’t know all there is to know, and I’m happy with my current level of expertise (advanced beginner to intermediate), but I’m not afraid of anything!

So does thus mean I’m a natural crocheter, which is way easy for me, or does this mean that knitting is actually more difficult?  You wouldn’t know that to look at some people whipping out impossible knit designs who claim they just can’t do crochet.

What are you?  Does one craft come easier to you than the other, or are you fortunate enough to have an innate feel for both?

 

Presenting…the Chicken Skodie!

chicken-skodie-3I do love the hood/cowl combo, so I decided to make another version of it -the chicken skodie! I don’t know about where you live, but chickens are real popular in my neck of the woods, so I thought, eh, why not?  Quick and easy to make like all the others, this will be someone’s favorite winter accessory.  Free for your use, if you do make to sell, just link back to me.

Enjoy!

Pattern

Confetti Eggs

It’s a dreary, rainy Saturday here in north California – yay! – so that means I got up around 11:00.  Yea, one of the perks of empty-ish nest is you get to sleep in!  However, it was too late for brunch, but I still wanted my eggs.  Recently, I’ve been discovering online organic food shopping, and now I have a whole bunch of vegetables that need to eaten.  So what does one do?  Let’s do a saute!

This is a versatile, great brunch/lunch or light supper that uses up the vegetable you have in your crisper – doesn’t have to be organic.  You will notice that the images provided are not the same as in the list of ingredients.  I used what was on hand when I first wrote this; since then, there have been many variations on the dish and I’m sure there will be more.

Cook time: 15 Min Prep time: 15 Min

Serves: 2


Ingredients:
4 Tbsp fresh basil or cilantro
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs, any style

Directions:
1. Saute onions until transparent, then add the minced garlic. Cook for another minute, being
careful not to burn garlic.
2. Add vegetables all at once.  If substituting vegetables that require longer cooking
times, add them in first and saute until almost finished THEN add quicker cooking ingredients.
3. When vegetables are almost done, prepare eggs however you like. Be careful not to finish
them before the vegetables are ready to go; nothing worse than cold cooked eggs – ick!
4. Place cooked vegetables on plate and top with your eggs.

Enjoy!

 

 

Broken Rib Cowl

It’s getting closer to Christmas and the search for pretty, useful and QUICK knits is on! This is actually a complement to another easy pattern I found online for a hat – there is a link to the other pattern and artist – but this is cool enough to make alone.  Both work up fast so you can make a set or two in plenty of time.  Click the link for the pattern.

Nice and thick!

Nice and thick!

 

 

 

Broken Rib Cowl

Homemade Everyday Pizza

You know what I mean. It’s Wednesday.  You’re trying to save money so no eating out, the leftovers are looking nasty (even though they’re not) and you’re hangry because you’ve spent the last three hours doing hard labor in the yard.  So what do you do?  Make a pizza!

Whoa, whoa! you’re thinking.  Glenda, we’re hungry and want to eat.  We don’t have the time nor energy.  And I respond with, Surprisingly, yes you do.  I don’t especially like to cook and when I do, I try to make it as quick as possible, unless it’s a Julia Child recipe; then, I plan for that weeks in advance.  I know I ain’t making it out of there under four hours.  So, if this is your approach to dinner, then this recipe will definitely be right up your alley!

Point made.

Recipe ~

DOUGH:

1 C.                        warm water

1 pkg.                    active dry yeast OR 2 tsp. active dry yeast

1 tsp.                     sugar

1 tsp.                     salt

2 TBSP.                 oil

2 ¼ C.                   flour

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Sprinkle a scant amount of sugar over the top to help the yeast bloom.  While this is happening, gather together the other ingredients and put in the same bowl.  Stir vigorously with a sturdy spoon 20 times.  If the dough gets too thick, get your hands in there and do some mix/kneading for about half a minute.  Let the dough rest for at LEAST five minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°.

While the dough is resting, make your sauce and prepare your toppings.

SAUCE:

8 oz.                       tomato sauce

1 tsp.                       salt

1 ½ TBSP.             fresh oregano OR 2 tsp. dried oregano (I use dried – easier!)

¼ tsp.                     garlic powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.  See what I mean?  Easy.

Now that your dough has rested for a bit, shape on a greased 15” pizza round, or pat into a greased 9 x 13” pan.  I like fluting my edges, similar to a pie crust, just so I have a kind of “handle” to hold my pizza in my hands.  Now add the sauce and your desired toppings, pop in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes.

Done.