Saturday, March 3, 2018

Rose City Yarn Crawl 2018

I have been busy knitting my fingers to nubs in the last few weeks. I've been test knitting some patterns for another designer. I got some Knit Picks Preciosa and did a larger version of the Number Play shawl.

Then I did a second version called Number Play 2 Shawl. A fingering weight with more added to the design as well as a picot bind off. I have a samples in Fierce Fibers Renai and one in Knit Picks Stroll Gradient. I posted it to the Facebook Free Ravelry Patterns group and someone started it and had a question. To double check, I cast on a third one using up leftover sock yarns. Okay, some of them are also leftover shawl yarns, lol!

I had done a sample knit mitt for Stacey along with the idea of using the stitch pattern as a cowl for her to take to Stitches West and Rose City Yarn Crawl. A communication mix-up and they didn't get debuted as I had hoped. The pattern reminded me of Willamette Falls so with the Waterway theme of the Crawl, I went with that. 

I think that I can get a beanie hat with a 50 gram ball of yarn. That's coming up next. So look for a Willamette Falls Hat. ;-)

I'm offering the patterns for free through March 7th. Then I'll change them to a low fee.

I have the Number Play shawls made up in Knit Picks yarns. I need to do that with the Willamette Falls items. I have some lovely cashmere blend yarn coming to me soon. So more samples to be knit up!  They seem to be receiving lovely attention.

Tamra and I for the third year went out and got our passports stamped all in one day. We added in a Bob's Red Mill store stop, as well as Penzey's and Trader Joe's... There was also a coffee and churros at 180 Xurros and a bagel sandwich from Spielman Bagels and Coffee Roasters. It was yummy, but oh my! It took 20 minutes to get it!  We're still in search of a good lunch point. We'll have to see what the crawl looks like next year. Tam picked up some Luna yarns she's wanted. I got a pretty blue MadelineTosh Sport to make some mitts and a hat with. We started with Wool n' Wares and ended at Northwest Wools. I think next year we might come up with a fun matched shirt or buttons to wear. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Chicken Curry and Jam recipe

I got a message from Jessica asking about my Chicken Curry recipe, so figured it would be easier to put it up here for her to get.

This is a family recipe that I grew up with that has morphed into my own version. Old version was all chicken bone-in pieces and I think you cooked it with the rice so it was done when the chicken was cooked.

Tami's Chicken Curry

1 chicken breast per person - I use boneless, skinless, use what your family prefers, my husband doesn't like thigh meat, so I don't use that

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 or 2 teaspoons Yellow Curry Powder

1 teaspoon Turmeric (optional)

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup, you can also use Cream of Mushroom (family recipe uses this) or Cream of Potato

1 potato per person

1 regular sized carrot peeled and chopped, or a handful of baby carrots either left whole or chopped

1 yellow onion (chop and saute and add to mixture - also optional if you don't like onions)

1 can of coconut milk (found in the Asian food aisle, don't skimp and you want the whole coconut milk!)

Garlic can also be added if you like garlic

This can be put into an Instant Pot with frozen chicken pieces, do the Stew or Soup setting. It can also be put into a slow cooker and cooked during the day. I used to put the chicken breasts into a pan of water and defrost/cook them with dried Walla Walla onions I had on hand.  Then once breasts are cooked, shred the chicken and add to liquid mixture. You can also microwave the potatoes and carrots and add in with the cooked chicken. Then its just a matter of heating up all the other ingredients and heating until hot.

This can either have a gravy like consistency or a soup like one. If you want it more soup like, add half to a full can of milk when adding in your Cream of Whatever soup.

Cook Jasmine rice and serve over, or in, if you're going with the soup consistency.

If you want it the "old" way, Spray a 9x11 pan to prevent sticking. Put in rice, place chicken pieces on top, make mixture and pour on top. Bake in 350 oven for 30-45 minutes. This assumes defrosted chicken! You'll need to add the milk with this soup for this option. Oh and it didn't use the coconut milk, potatoes or carrots or onions. (See much better now!)

Last week I had a container of cranberries leftover from the holidays as well as three pears from my Imperfect Produce box. So I pulled out Michele's Cranberry - Pear- Bourbon-Ginger Jam recipe.

My changes:
I didn't have 4 cups of cranberries, I had 3. I also didn't have Bourbon or the Whiskey ( I used it on the Irish Cream also on the link), but I did have some Spiced Brandy! I also only had half of a small jar of Penzye's Candied Ginger Bits.

I ended up with a pint jar, two jelly jars and two tiny Pot de Creme jars I was reusing. One of the jelly jars refuses to stay sealed, so its in the frig. I think the other jars will go in the pantry until Thanksgiving when they'll be gifted. 

I'm busy making a Bigger on the Inside shawl for our friend Jenna (my project link over on the sidebar). She's a Dr Who fan. Of course, I can't do it as the pattern is written! I'm using three skeins of yarn in different colors. Only the middle in Tardis blue as it should be. I've added in a couple extra Tardis motifs in that section, so that means I widened out the top. I used Abstract Fiber's Mighty Sock in the Constellation colorway. the middle is Spud & Chloe's Fine in the Snorkel colorway. The bottom I'm planning to use a different edging and using Alexandra's Crafts Silver Falls Blue Pacific colorway. I want to do a swirl knit on edging to simulate a vortex.

Sorry, no pics, but a couple of links to check out. ;-)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Self-Care for 2018

I decided that while I haven't been terrible about my personal care, I could certainly do better!  I used to be really good about walking the dogs. I got better in December and I'd like to carry that forward. Liz had shared this in December - I looked at it and thought that it was something I could do and asked to be buddies with her in the process. Accountability really helps!

So last night before bed I got a couple of TED talks in. Did not intend them to work this way, but since they were both in Spanish, I had to watch and read. They were these - and

Today, I need to drink a lot of water. I have some elderflower syrup that will help with that. Though with how cold things are, might make that some of my elderberry syrup to help boost the immune system!

How is your self-care?  What do you do regularly for yourself?

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Knit Designer Goal

My dear husband was the one that encouraged me to learn how to knit. I resisted for a couple years, happy with my crochet. Then took the plunge and haven't looked back. I use crochet skills still, but knitting it my love.

Along the way, I was changing things that didn't work for me in a pattern. Then he started saying that I should be writing my own patterns.

2016 and 2017 I actually did create some patterns, but nothing officially written down and published on Ravelry, except for one - Number Play (Using link will open a new window). To date I have 710 unique downloads of the pattern!  I need to knit up the Knit Picks version so that I can submit it there. I've written the Number Play Two shawl, a fingering weight version knit with Fierce Fibers yarn and Knit Picks Stroll Gradient. The first one I was inspired by the Equinox colorway of Stacey's Buxom yarn and told her it needed to be knit up as a sample for Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. I had a little over a week to write and knit the pattern up! Then go back and test knit it to fix errors, and there were a few. ;-) With Number Play Two, I've figured out a better format so when I release it, I'll also do one more update for Number Play.
So I'm going to be blogging more this next year! Hope you enjoy the ride along with me!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Here we go again

I have been feeling the lack, so going to try to improve my posting. From my SCA Facebook account I found out that LiveJournal is getting weird, so spent the afternoon and part of the evening sucking up my posts from there. July 2004 to March 2007. Dropped it all into a Word doc.

Many thoughts, but going to install Final Fantasy something or other and play a bit with my husband, because he really wants me to try it out. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I must be doing it wrong

I have been knitting a block a day almost from my recovered hexi-puffs. (I had frogged all my hexi-puffs as part of the 2016 Ravellenics Games. Why? Because it was taking way too long to get them done. Three years and only fifty puffs? I could knit them faster, but the amount needed to make a decent sized quilt, wasn't going to happen anytime soon. So they were frogged.)

So I'm now up to 27 completed blocks. The original pattern called for only 24 blocks, but seemed more shawl like. I'm going for decent blanket size here. So at least 50?

I'm continuing to put inches on my Scrappy Ten Stitch blanket. I think its about 56 inches square. I put out a call on Ravelry around my birthday and received some nice donations of yarn to continue on with the project. I did have to decide that some Lopi yarn was just a bit too scratchy for this project. Yes, its going to be on top of other blankets while camping, but still near face and maybe bare arms, so needs to be softer. I'll have to come up with another project to use those leftovers with. 

Since I had frogged or completed projects with the Ravellenics game, I thought I would start the Clapotis with some of my handspun that has been sitting in stash forever. Some pretty merino-tencel dyed by Stitchjones in a pale pink called Quince Blossom. It's a delicate lace weight yarn in the neighborhood over a 1000 yards. Yeah, I got uber fine and got a two ply out of it. 

The Quince Blossom is so very soft. So very fine. I'm thinking that I may need to ply this with another yarn or on itself. I'll have to think on that. 

Trying to get the Clapotis started, after sitting down and whipping out 18 stitchmarkers just for the project, I kept struggling. I wasn't using my highlighter tape to keep me on the correct row, so kept bouncing around. Started on a US 6 based on other lace knitters, decided that was too big and so dropped down to a US 4. That would have worked, it was making a nice fabric out of the stitches.

What was wrong then? It was going to be a slog of having to pay too close attention for all the setup, then some pretty straight boring knitting for a long while. Then I'd have a pretty scarf that I'd worry about snagging on something. I think something like this needs to be out of a slightly sturdier yarn so that it can wear well. Right now its out of my queue, AGAIN.

I have two skeins of kind of a dark colorway of Noro Silk Garden Sock that was given to me for my birthday two years ago. I tried knitting them into knee high stockings, but the pattern was so boring that even though it was fitted to my calf and I took good notes...only one got done. It sat for eighteen months, alone. I tried several times to start the second one, but it wasn't working. 

I want a pair of knee highs! Just not from this yarn. So still trying to find the right project for this yarn. I think I stuck it on a project today, but probably not enough of it for the project in reality.

Trying to find a project that isn't garter stitch to get going on. I want to knit something for me (yes, these two blankets are still for me, but blankets dude) and I want to be excited about knitting them that they want all my time. Not something I can easily put down for a few days, or a week, or never pick up again.

Going to try a pair of two at a time toe up socks in a semi-colorwork pattern using a leftover sock yarn and some sport weight yarn. 

Monday, August 29, 2016


Norbert is back home with us again. He was gone a week. Came back in a nice box and with a paw print. Leeloo and Kieran seem to be sleeping a little more and a little quieter still. I'm starting to get back to a normal sleeping pattern. Though I can tell the depression is making me want to sleep more, maybe to catch up with not sleeping? There have been noises at night or during the day when there shouldn't have been, from where Norbert used to hang out. Still looking for him during the day.

In the last few months I've finally found my reading mojo again. Granted some of the books have been slightly disappointing. Or maybe my reading tastes are changing?  Authors of series that have been going on for several years seem to have books that are not keeping my attention. Or seem to have drifted towards a style I don't enjoy.

Most disappointing is when they start a new series and you want to jump in and enjoy it, but its not the same as the other world. But you continue on trying to find something that calls to you in the new world, and you're just not finding that thing that will hold you. Not even through the whole first book, much less a new series.

So you're left trying to find a new series/author to fall in love with. I met Anne Bishop at a Patricia Briggs book signing and tried out her series "The Others." That I have been enjoying. To the point that I requested an omnibus book of another one of her previous series. See above. I have hopes that I'll enjoy it. I know others who have.

I have books coming in from the library, but not as often as in the past because of this struggle.

Here's some authors:

Faith Hunter - Jane Yellowrock and previous her Rogue Mage series
Seanan MacGuire - her Tobie Daye series, I've read the first in the Indexing and have been hit or miss on the InCryptid series (1st & 4th, but not the ones with her brother.)
Eileen Wilks
Kim Harrison - The Hollows, but not her latest
Kelley Armstrong - Otherworld Series, but not others
Iris Johansen - I've been reading her since the early 80s (Oh how that dates me!)
Kay Hooper - ditto, but some of the latest I've struggled with. I think they were too dark and I wasn't in the mood for dark, though I enjoy the psychic stuff of her series
Patricia Briggs - I think all her books, but Mercy Thompson and side series
Jim Butcher - but I've only read the Dresden Files (just to put a token guy on my list - but hey years ago I was a Sidney Sheldon reader)
Ilona Andrews (hey does this count as another guy, even if they're a team?)
Lisa Shearin - she's come out with a second series and I've enjoyed it
Gini Koch - her Alien series is a blast, I haven't tried anything else by her yet
Nalini Singh - her psy-changeling series
S.M. Stirling - hey! another guy on my list. It's hard to find male writers who write women well, I guess? I've read both Change series

I have some others but I'm open to suggestions on new authors/series. I do better when I'm reading regularly. Playing varying forms of solitaire and word games isn't the best way to help put my brain to sleep at night.