For many knitters and crocheters in the northern hemisphere, September 22 is an auspicious date. Having taken a hiatus from the beloved craft because of the heat, September usually brings cooler temps, for some, only slightly, but it’s enough. Out come the hooks, the needles, patterns and yarn, and the crafting season is on!
I found this particularly cool crochet hat pattern while perusing Pinterest – of course! Originally designed in conjunction with Lion Brand yarns, Jennifer created this pattern for a Stomp Out Bullying campaign. I found it a bit too late to contribute, but I still had to make it. This is for a good cause, and even if we can’t send the hats in on time, we can sure spread some love.
Meanwhile, some lucky child of my friends’ will be getting this hat!
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
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.
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
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!
One of the hats I made to sell this crafts fair season. Easy to knit up and comes in toddler, child and adult sizes. The colors I used remindedme of the leaden skies and snow that we get in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
This is the perfect dog lovers toque! There is stranding, so you have to put up with that (sigh) but the frolicking dogs playing on the new spring grass with the puffy clouds floating overhead make it a worthwhile endeavor! Because of the height of the chart and the gauge of yarn I used, this particular pattern will only work for pre-teen through adult sizing. If you want a smaller hat and want to keep the integrity of the chart, I would recommend using dk or even fingering weight yarn, and the appropriately sized needles and keeping everything else the same. Click here for the pattern.
My first Malabrigo item. Working on matching scarf/cowl…depends on how much yarn I have left. Couldn’t decide which background looks best… so I put all of them up. I think I like the dark background best. Anyway, enjoy!
About 1/3 of the way through my Autumn Wrap and I’m already doubting myself yet again. I’m
not sure I like the color combos. I adore the colors, but the way I’m putting them together just doesn’t seem to click. Before I get too rash and throw away what I have done so far – ahem! – I will use all the colors and see how I like it then. I understand that sometimes you need to have a little faith in your vision. Maybe I’m jittery because this is the first time I have ever used two yarns at once and made the very simple basketweave pattern? I don’t know. We shall persevere.
On a more decidedly upbeat note, I have finally written down the pattern for my cute little baby booby beanie. Back in December of 2014, I posted a pic of this:
I promised to post the pattern. Being that it was December, my crafting life was definitely busy, and this simple little project was put aside. It’s simple and quick and makes a great gift for the expectant/breastfeeding mother. I’m sure you could also make this as a gag gift for an adult, but you’ll have to figure that out yourself – LOL! The instructions are for up to 12 months. Click on the picture to get the pattern, or go to the Crafting Links under Crochet and find it as Baby Booby Beanie.
I will start this post by admitting that it has two distinctly separate thoughts with a fine thread that connects the two. I think, technically, that it could qualify for two separate entries, but we’re not going to do that. I’ll start with the whole reason that compelled me to write this poorly composed thought…
To begin with, we’re all guilty of running on auto-pilot from time to time, especially at work. You get caught up in the daily routine of small details, and not so small details, that go into working at an office. Detail checking needs to be improved, more files need to be scanned, get the credit card machine fully functional, and discover why the picture taking apparatus works on a sporadic basis while making appointments, setting up new patients, updating returns, blah, blah, blah….you know, work.
Then something stops you short in your tracks to remind you why you’re doing this.
And that happened on Thursday, July 30. Our last patient.* She was running late and we’d had a slow day. You know the situation. When she came in I thought she looked familiar. I took care of her input information and noticed the picture we had of her from last year. Did not look like the same woman; haggard, tired and sick. This year, she wore make-up, had done her hair and looked good. I checked some details and found out last year, she was going through chemo, wore a handkerchief over what was probably a bald pate at the time and she had stage IV lung cancer.
I checked again. Stage IV? I have included a link to the American Lung Association so you may read for yourself the grim survivability rates are at this point. I have known people with lung cancer, and I’ve known for quite some time that lung cancer, usually because of when it’s detected, is fatal. And it’s fast. Technically, the patient shouldn’t have been here, but against all odds, she was. And even looking healthy.
When her visit with the doctor was over, I had to speak with her and her caregiver/daughter. They came out all smiles and I had their recommendations printed up. I told her how happy we were to see that she was here and what a great thing this was. Her daughter described the desperate days of last year when she didn’t think her mother would make it and how she became very aggressive with the cannabis oil treatment. And here she was, downgraded to Stage I lung cancer.
As the details unfolded, I thought of my Uncle Bill who died recently, and how studies in the specific brain tumor type he had showed great results when treated very aggressively with the cannabinoids found in marijuana. Unfortunately, he’d been in Tennessee when this happened, and the doctors he and his immediate family consulted were concentrating only on traditional methods. What a waste. Then I looked at the patient in front of me, happy and given a fighting chance at living out the rest of her life without the immediate threat of cancer looming over her. I ducked my head, wiped at my eye and murmured something about having to print up something(yes, just like that), while my co-worker, Wendy, was openly crying, dabbing at her eyes with a kleenex.
Did the marijuana help or was the patient going to improve anyway with the chemo? I don’t know. I related this story to my general practitioner and his tone was very neutral when he said that was really unusual. I understood his position. Doctors in California have to be careful about their stance on marijuana; it’s not covered under any insurance, the federal government does not recognize its legality here or in other states and they have to consider the general consensus of what their patients think of it. Most doctors with a private practice can’t afford to jeopardize their standing in the community, medical or otherwise.
But think about it: A plant that has medicinal qualities, never caused a death from overdose, and even has the venerable AMA wanting to do clinical studies and the federal government has it classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. I know, I know, I think I’ve talked about this before and until the issue is resolved, I’ll probably talk about it again. When you have a documented case of stage IV lung cancer being reversed in an elderly patient, wouldn’t you want to how much of this was the traditional medicine, how much was the marijuana, how much was genetics? So why is the government dragging their feet? How many more people have to die? And WHY?
Inhale deeply. Hold for 10 seconds. Exhale.
The doctors who are usually associated with cannabis have mixed motivations as to why they are practicing this. Most of them are employees of a larger company with the protection that comes from having a group; kind of like
an umbrella. The stories I’ve heard from some of the patients about their experiences at other clinics are appalling. Patients packed in tiny waiting rooms, overworked staff and a quick how-de-do with the doctor. No real information is given and definitely no rapport is gained with the individuals. The three of us who work up front definitely try to make the experience go smoother, and the doctor who works here is in it for the right reasons, as far as I’m concerned. He is a favorite for many around here and wherever he works, they’ll follow.
When his birthday rolled around this year, I thought I’d make him something special. I put
aside my shrug (yes, I’m still stuck in the monotony of knitting 46 inches of pure stockinette!) and quickly whipped up a hat. I tried to make the leaf look realistic, but in the end, I freehanded the Rx to leave no doubt as to what kind of plant was being depicted. It took me awhile to get the plant graphic down, as I used an image of a real leaf. Nature is not symmetric! He accepted the gift with aplomb and said that definitely, he would wear it when he went skiing. And no, it didn’t escape my attention that I was giving him a knit beanie on the hottest day of the year. Oh, well.