Review of Bernat Home Mix Yarn

Failed crocheted floor mat. And yes, I plucked this sucker out of the garbage to get this pic!

This endeavor was one of those spur of the moment, “let’s break it up a little bit” type of moves.  I was meandering around the local Michaels Crafts with my husband without any plan in my mind.  I wanted to check out the new Halloween displays and be inspired by what I saw.  Well, I was, but not for seasonal decorating.  The yarn clearance bin was strategically placed right in the middle of all the brilliant autumn colored silk flowers and garlands, and everything else faded away as I worked my way to the display.

I glanced over the typical off-colorway offerings one would find in such a bin, then noticed a whole load of the Bernat Home Mix yarn on the bottom.  At half the regular going price, I thought, why not?  I’ll make a new door mat.  The one we currently have was a Dollar General impulse purchase and had done a good job for over a year; in fact, it still is.  I bought two of the large skeins just because.

In order to justify the crocheted hot mess I posted, I must say that I’ve always had trouble with textured yarn and the crochet hook.  Amazingly, I do have a few crochet patterns that feature knobbly yarn and they came out great, so what the deal really is, you got me.  This was one of those instances where the yarn just wasn’t willing to work with me, so in my frustration, I just bundled up the disaster and tossed it into the trashcan.  I knew at this point that knitting was the only way to do this, so I brought out the second skein.  Good thing I bought it, huh?

I didn’t count how many stitches I cast on, and I worked the whole skein in garter stitch, so this was a no-brainer.  What I noticed about the yarn, though, is that the mix wouldn’t, in my opinion, make a good blanket.  I mention that because a blanket pattern is printed on the inside of the label.  It was actually a little rough on my hands, and the differences in yarn texture created uneven edges.  Still, for a floormat, who’s going to be looking?  Other than that, I was happy with it.  If you want a fun or different yarn to work with, this would be an option.

So much to say, so little time to say it!

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A lot has happened since my last entry, though none of it has had anything to do with the yarn shop except for the idea that I’m presenting in the YouTube video!  LOL  So, like I ask, talk to me!  Suffice to say, I had a busy few weeks here and I’m trying to put it all in perspective.  The reference book seen in the photo gallery is Knitting Pattern Essentials by Sally Melville.  So far, so good.  I’m one of those kind of people – I’ll read just what I know to get started, then when I get stumped, I’ll return to the book and read what I should have, usually wasting time and resources.  Don’t ask – it’s just my way!!

For those of you not registered on YouTube, I’ve given you the option of a poll:

See you in the funny pages!

Unashamed Plug


Crazy Knitter humor T-Shirt

Crazy Knitter humor Women’s Classic T-Shirt

by
NittinNinja

I don’t know why I think thought this was so funny and why I still think it’s funny, but hey – it is what it is.  And I can’t wait to get that shirt!  I sell my designs on CafePress and Zazzle.  Since knitting and crocheting are “niche” crafts, I don’t sell that many.  Or maybe they’re not as good as I think!  Anyway, I am so proud of this one that I had to actually write about it.  I laughed at each ridiculous stroke of the mascara and wildly applied eye shadow.  I come from a family of gurners and this just seemed to fit so well with my personality.  Anyway, right now CafePress is having a sell on this particular t-shirt and you can put whatever you want on it, but I’d really appreciate a thumb’s up!

Oregon Visit and More Research

What happens when two cousins meet for the first time and you’re researching the market for grants for opening a yarn shop

About two weeks ago, I went up north to Oregon to visit a cousin I had never met, let alone, knew even existed.  Long, complicated story; suffice to say, there were valid reasons.  Yup.  Like so many families I know, ours is messed up, too!  I had been communicating with her for a few years before the idea of a visit occurred to us; it was just time.  There is something to be said about meeting a person face-to-face.  All sorts of information was omitted when I talked to her online, via skype, or on the phone.  I realized almost immediately that I finally met someone as crazy as me, in the same ways, and she is family!  ❤ ❤  Better still, she crochets, so our nights were spent with our projects out, listening to the television.  She knows how to party, crafter-style.

Yea, yea. I had to put a pic of me in here. This was on our stop in Ashland, OR.
Long-lost cousin
Nancy and I finally meet! Never knew of her existence until about 3 years ago.
Tillamook cows
In Tillamook country!
Clowning around with Sasquatch! Didn’t really think of the crotch shot there…
A farewell gif
Saying goodbye to my cousin, Nancy and one of her doggies, Odie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super helpful employee at Web-sters in Ashland.
Obligatory visit to Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Reminds me so much of Morro Bay in California!

 

That meant a trip to a yarn shop.  I didn’t get any pictures, I don’t know why, because the owner I spoke to was real helpful.  Hi, Tina!  Anyway, check out her page, and if you’re in the Hillsboro, OR area, meander your way into her shop.  I did get images while I was in Web-sters, in Ashland, OR.  I was wonky when I walked in there – no other to say it.  We had driven from Colfax, California to Aloha, Oregon, with as many stops as we could handle.  That meant a LOT of Starbucks and the occasional gas station (btw – did you know that in Oregon you MUST have your gas pumped by a station attendant?).  By the time we reached Ashland, we were a little over halfway to our destination, and I was in no fit physical state to talk to anyone.  It literally took a few minutes of walking around to orient myself.  While I perused the yarn shop and confused the nice girl (see pic), my husband took a walk in Lithia Park.  I don’t think he got to see all those beautiful sights, because he didn’t mention anything!

It was a great stay, and I’m thinking I have to go back.  This Wednesday.  And why?  Because the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) is having their annual conference in Portland.  And it’s BIG.  There is also a class I would love to attend that addresses my shop-opening concerns.  I have tried to research yarn store opening tips online, and besides vague references to the craft or yarn itself, nothing has been very specific.  I would hate to drive all that way just for one class!!  Does anyone know where I can access similar information online?  Thank you in advance for any leads there.

And speaking of accessing, I have been researching grants, and I must not be doing this right.  I am a woman and a veteran, and I can’t find anything.  I have followed up on promising information on grants.gov, only to discover that the grants are not valid anymore, or the links are no good, or just out of date.  I did decide to add chocolate to the store, not coffee, because of all the regulations involved, and I’d have to be a barista, and that just doesn’t cut it in a 500 sf area.  The chocolate I decided on is artisan, one brand is actually local, and it would be their bars and bagged goodies.  I don’t want to try and fit refrigerated cases in here.  So, if I don’t locate a good grant program, my whole idea hinges on Kickstarter – !  Again, does anyone know anyone who would be interested in philanthropic causes?  The cause being me wanting a yarn shop to help boost local economy, pass on the bug to younger generations and keep the craft alive.  That, and there’s a whole bunch of yarn. ❤  

But enough for now.  What’s everyone else doing out there? And am I the only who spends an inordinate amount of time to write these quick entries?  🙂

 

A Little Too Much

Hi, there, dear reader.  Glad you could drop by after my long absence.  It’s been awhile, I know, so let the excuses begin!

The last several weeks I have been caught up in spring.  This season makes me feel light-hearted and yet, ready to take on the world.  Out in the garden everyday, buying flowers, potting soil, and seeds, spring cleaning, clearing out the fountain and raking away the tons of pine needles that threaten to take over my roses, and in general, just being outdoors; enjoying the sun after months of a typical gloomy Californian winter.  Granted, in just a very short while, I will be posting about summer’s relentless, grinding heat and moaning for autumn; however, in the meantime, I will bask in this mindset and weather.

I finally finished the flame stitch bag and gave it a strengthening liner to turn it from a bag to a purse.  I didn’t do the pom-poms because I am really tough on my purses.  They’d need to be taken off after a week!  For the handles, I purchased some at Joann Crafts and Fabrics.  Attaching the handles did turn out to be problematic, but I went with it anyway!

Malabrigo Sea Green yarn
I was supposed to get the $2.99 rings only. $65 later….eeesh!

With the temperatures climbing higher on the thermometer, all the fresh, new growth has attracted deer, especially to the aforementioned roses.  I’ve babied those bushes because they have to Floribunda rosesbe; the pine trees block all but about 5 hours of sun, even on the summer solstice, so I’m always sure to prune them, nourish them, ensure they’re disease-free.  Anyone who has had a serious interest in roses knows how hard this can be.  With the drought conditions we’ve been having, my roses have become a food mainstay for the hungry deer.  To combat this, I’ve been using Must Garden natural deer repellent.  During the winter, it didn’t work so well.  The deer were starving.  So my poor babies were beat up. I didn’t think they would make it this year.  But lo, and behold, they’re blooming.  Not a whole bunch, but it’s a start.

So pretty
Colors are Malabrigo Ravelry Red and Spun Right Round Newsprint

And now that we’re finished with my easy purse, I’ve moved on to another Malabrigo project.  I know, I know.  I love that yarn and it was on sale.  At least, today’s purchase was on sale….But I digress.  I’ve been working on a pattern for a sweater that I bought on Ravelry, Zweig, and I can’t wait to finish it.  I’m realistically shooting for November, when I’ll need it!  I intend to do some more planned pooling on a new brand of yarn – I will report the results!  I’ve also got some more fan art to do.  Never thought I’d be that kind of a fan at my age!  LOL  Life’s too short not to do the things you want when you can.

See you in the funny pages!

One of My Favorites

It’s been awhile since I’ve made an entry, because I have been so frustrated with my little “fan art” project, not even a third of the way through.  I was just going to make three beanies with a design.  That was it; however, I have tried two separate methods to achieve the

No way was I continuing with this method!
Removing the stitching

look I want, and have failed miserably!  I tried intarsia in the the round. The method used a modified short rows hook up, and you actually went back and forth. Not good.  The site of the join was lumpy, bumpy and quite easy to see.  I went to my LYS where I was told to use duplicate stitch instead.  So I tried the duplicate stitch which, apparently, I’m not that good at.  Stitching on fabric knitted with fingering weight yarn is beyond what my eyes want to do anymore, even with reading glasses!  The hat itself is fine.  The pattern that I attempted to duplicate stitch over the fabric, not so good.  As you can see, I am in the process of recycling the hat itself and someone (my husband) will get a nice, bright red toque.

This one worked!

That was actually the first time I’d worked with fingering weight yarn for something other than a pair of socks, and the process took way longer than I thought it would.  So, learning from this disaster, I changed the design, and employed worsted weight yarn.  The results?  Not as fancy as I would have liked, but at least it was completed, and I can carry on with my life!  Will I try fingering weight yarn again?  You bet.  Will I try the same design again?  Yes, because it was supposed to be correct.  Will I post it?  Eh.  Maybe.

If anyone out there has successfully created designs with duplicate stitching on fingering weight yarn fabric, please let me know what your secret is!

Now, on to one of my favorite subjects – food!  The title of this blog is referring to the food, not the knit fails!  I thought I would share this with you, as it is a good all around pork recipe that can be incorporated into many other foods, and is not seasonal, even though it’s cooked in a crockpot.  I originally posted this on Cafe Luna’s blog to see if I could get some other fab recipes from locals here in Colfax using Mario’s salsa.  So far, I’ve been the only one.  Maybe that will change?  For those of you not fortunate enough to live in the area, substitute your favorite green salsa in lieu of Mario’s blend.  You guys have any good recipes that uses salsa?  Post it here!

Glenda’s Gringo Slow Cooker Pork Chile Verde

2 lbs. pork, preferably a little fatty, cut into one-inch cubes

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pint Tenderfoot Salsa Verde

flour for coating

salt and pepper to taste

cooking oil

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high, then add onion and cook until almost transparent; add the garlic.  Cook another minute, careful not to burn the garlic.  Remove the onions and garlic from the skillet and put into your slow cooker.  Add more oil, if necessary; should cover the bottom of the pan.  Coat the pork in salted and peppered flour and brown the meat in two separate batches.  You’re not trying to cook the meat at this point, you’re just caramelizing the proteins to give the verde a richer flavor.  Mix all ingredients together in your slow cooker and pour the Tenderfoot Salsa Verde over the mix.  Remember, the slow cooking will render out meat juices, so you may not want to use the whole pint.  That’s up to you.  Anyway, cook on slow for 6 – 7 hours, high for 3 – 4 hours.  Makes a nice meal with leftovers!

The original posted here – https://cafelunacolfax.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/salsa-recipes/

If you want rice to go with, here is a recipe of mine:

https://nittinninja.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/chile-rellenos-casserole-and-green-rice/   –  Scroll all the way down for the green rice recipe.  It’s worth it!

 

The Endless Scarf

Showing off the scarf length
We’re getting there! It’s a simple garter and moss stitch design and is going to be fab WHEN I finish it!
Pattern Detail
The basic pattern is here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mr-woodhouses-scarf

We’re halfway through March and the February blahs have followed me with dogged determination.  I have been working, very slowly, on a simple red scarf.  It should have been a week at the most  We are looking at a month right now – daaanng!  For those of you who are following the link, be aware that I only cast on 29 stitches and didn’t do a center piece.  Didn’t want to count all those rows.  I feel like I’ve been too busy; even writing this entry seems to be a great excuse to not knit or crochet!  Does anyone else have this waxing and waning pattern towards your yarn?  I know that when I’m finished with the scarf, I’ll be fired up to do something else.  I’ll be trying a new technique, working intarsia in the round.  I’ll definitely document it, even if I don’t finish it.  I’ll be doing “fan art”.  Christ, I’m 54, almost 55, and I’ll be making”fan art”.  What’s this world coming to?

Upside, my social media biz has grown; woo-hoo!  So far, I’m still doing trade instead of receiving money, because it seems everyone I take on has a product or service I need!  Tax-wise, it’s easier, and it’s definitely more friendly for new, local businesses that don’t have a budget or time to take care of their social media.  I feel it’s more…organic? primeval?  In any case, it’s the way I roll.

And speaking of rolls, around December 27th, after stuffing myself silly during the holidays, I reached my top weight.  No, I’m not going to mention it; suffice to say, I was not happy.  I didn’t want to do a New Year’s Resolution, because there is the new tradition, I’ve noticed, for the resolutions to fail.  Have you seen that?  Most people resolve to lose weight, but by February, they’ve given up.  And that means more weight gained over the course of the year, and another resolution to fail.  I didn’t want to do that.  So I began thinking of food differently the day I decided I was going to lose weight.  Nothing happened for the first month or so of me just eating less.  It wasn’t until I started counting my calories, which I really didn’t want to do, that I noticed a change.  I still have a ways to go, but I figure – eh.  What else are you going to do?  Any of you have New Year’s resolutions you’re still keeping? gave up?  Let me know!