Purple & Green

31 03 2007

I’ve been planning a trip! Hubby and I will be celebrating our 10 th wedding anniversary this June. We have started a tradition of celebrating it with my brother and sis-in-law since their anniversary is the day after ours. Last year we discovered the semi-local treasure of Broken Bow Lake and Beaver’s Bend Resort in southeast Oklahoma. That trip was mostly planned by my brother. This year’s trip is being planned by your’s truly.

As a knitter and a spinner, my eyes were peeled for interesting fiber destinations when I found it. It is perfect!

Estes Park Colorado /Estes Park Wool Market looks amazing, and the timing is perfect, June 14-17. We are planning to camp in the Rocky Mountain National Park, attend the market, go whitewater rafting, flyfishing with a guide, visit a winery, spend time at the spa, tour an alpaca farm and ride a dinner train! I have come up with a list of Colorado yarn shops as well and am planning a wonderful shopping day!

All while my other darling sis & bro-in-law are enjoying my kids in St. Louis.

This will be the beginning of a very busy summer in which we will be getting our kids ready to attend public school after being homeschooled. There may a possibility of us moving as well. And I will be getting all the final details worked out in order to launch my business this fall (details coming soon!).

If you read my blog and live in the Estes Park area, could you please leave me a comment with your opinions on the local yarn shops? If time becomes an issue, I may need to pick and choose between them, but I don’t want to miss out on the best! Thanks!

I can’t wait to see what goodies I will come away from this trip with. The possibilities are mind-bending!


The pot’s on….

23 03 2007

Care for a bowl?

I have a reputation amongst family and friends for never following a recipe as it’s written and never making the exact same dish twice. What can I say in defense? I really don’t care! So I’m creative in the kitchen, I don’t see anybody turning down seconds! However there is one recipe….that I make few changes to; one I keep coming back to again and again. It’s good people, really, really good. And when I find something this good, it’s a crime not to share it.

Black Bean Soup ….. serves 6

2 tsp. olive oil

2 onions

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, and chopped (wear gloves to prevent irritation!)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 15oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (veg. broth would make it vegetarian)

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp oregano

2 tbsp dry Sherry

1/2 lime, juiced

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 green onions, minced

1 avocado, diced

light sour cream

Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle (salt-free seasoning)

1) In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Saute’ the chopped onions, jalapenos and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, broth, chili powder and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors are blended, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the sherry, lime juice and salt. Cool slightly.

2) Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender; puree. Pour back into the saucepan and heat to serving temperature. Garnish with the cilantro or Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle (salt-free seasoning) , green onion, avocado and sour cream. This is excellent served with our favorite Jiffy brand cornbread and butter.

(Not including the avocado or the light sour cream) Nutritional Information per serving: 207 calories, 4 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 292 mg sodium, 31 g total carbs, 7 g fiber, 11 g protein, 78 mg calcium.

And here’s a bonus quickie for you!

Instant Guacamole

1 very ripe avacado, diced

a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice

Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle (salt-free seasoning) to taste! WARNING!! This stuff is potent! So Beware. A little goes a long way.

This is a great quick dip to go with some baked tortilla chips when you’re craving Tex Mex but need to watch what you eat.

…..Now, I’m gonna go spin! Have a great night.

What’s on the wheel?

21 03 2007

First, thanks for all the comments on my latest pair of completed socks!  I forgot to mention the particulars.  I used crystal palace bamboo dpn’s size 2 and the yarn was the sport weight superwash merino sold by Helloyarn as Fat Sock.  I wholeheartedly recommend her yarns!  (no profit made by this statement).  The pattern was based on one in Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch.

Second, I’ve been commissioned to create an afghan for a friend of mine. She gave me a bag of yarn and told me she doesn’t want a ripple. Other than that I am free to choose! It will be a knit not crochet throw since my carpel tunnel is freakin out whenever I even come within 10 feet of my hooks. 😦 So I cast on yesterday and after spending 2 hours choosing stitch patterns and swatching I chose to go with my KnitPicks Options size 9 needles. I’m going to work it in several panels, creating a multicolor sampler style throw.

Yes, I’ve taken a pic but no you don’t get to see it yet! I want to get some of the 2nd panel worked up first then I’ll share.

However I won’t leave you pictureless. Here is the yummy Vineyard Merino I’m spinning up. It was a prize won at our local Handspinners Guild Rock Day festivities. The plan is to ply it up into a luscious fingering weight. My goal is to produce a strong yet soft 2 ply fingering weight to sport weight sock yarn. This is my first attempt. I will try to have this done and plied by the weekend.

Thanks for all the get well wishes!  My hip is feeling a little less stiff today and I took full advantage of it!  I joined the 100 miles in 100 days challenge!  I got up off my fanny and grabbed my kiddos and we headed out.  Slowly and carefully I logged .8 miles for my first foray.  It’s not much but as the inflammation around my hip goes down I’ll be able to pick up the pace a bit.

Change of Subject!…………………………..

I have put in my resignation at Michael’s.  My last class will be the 31st of this month.   Teaching there was taking too much time away from my family and the cost of gas was nullifying any profit I was making.   I will still teach but privately, not thru their stores. Anyone interested in classes please contact me thru my email or as a comment to the blog.

I really want to focus more on my volunteer work.  Speaking of, anyone who would like to contribute to teaching senior citizens and the elderly to knit and or crochet PLEASE CONTACT ME!  While we have enough yarn for the moment we are in desperate need of crochet hooks and knitting needles.  Any donations would be greatly appreciated!

Boy, am I late!

20 03 2007

I just finished my February socks for Socktopia.  These are knit from yarn I purchased from Adrian over at Helloyarn. She dyes such beautiful, vibrant colors!  Resistance was futile.

The deadline was March 10th. Oh well.

I may not be in the drawing but I’ve got some awesome socks to wear so all is good with Rebecca. Well,… maybe not all.

I’ve been dealing with what the doctors are calling tendonitis in my right hip. It had not bothered me for about 8 yrs and then all of the sudden, BAM! I’m in pain. So….for the last 48 or so hours I’ve been limping when I walk and sitting alot which is why the socks are done. Unfortunately I can’t take the meds. the doctor recommended at the moment due to the fact they also thin my blood. And right now, that’s NOT GOOD. In a few days I’ll be poppin those babies with nary a worry and then it’s back to spring cleaning for me.

In the meantime, I’ll be casting on the next pair of socks. I’m trying the 2 circs method for the first time, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Spinning pictures next!

Brownie Batter!

14 03 2007

You Are Brownie Batter Ice Cream

You’ve been known to lick *everything* clean

What Flavor Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Are You?


So, so very true.

Brownies are my very favorite desert. All kinds except the blond ones. (ugh!)


I’m starting to think about the next pair of socks to go on the needles, definately want to try a picot hem and I want lace. Hmm….which one to pick?

I’ve decided on the green handpaint called Mojito, care to guess which pattern I’ll be using?

So that’s what I need!

14 03 2007

A drum carder! Nah, I’ve known for a long time that I want one but the price can be more than a little prohibitive. But still I’m gonna start shopping around and checking out different brands for when I do have some extra dough. This totally did me in. Meanwhile I am getting ready to start Branching Out yet one more time. I finally have yarn that is screaming for it and won’t be persuaded otherwise. The yarn from my handspun pal has been constantly in my mind since it got here and it gets cast on tomorrow!

My hubby is very creative and after offering to wind all my yarn into balls for years, now he finally decided it was time for a swift. So he made one. And it works, fairly well for clothes hangers, pvc pipe, packing tape and a board!

So now my yarn is
all balled up and ready to roll. The colors in this are so beautiful. I love how my pal decided to spin it and ply it to get this particular effect. And even though my camera is lousy, the colors are pretty accurate on the side view photo.So anyways, that’s what I’m getting ready to knit. The SeaSalt socks are still on the needles, just not feeling the love right now. I’m not worried though, I’ll finish them before the month is out. Then I want to start thinking a little bigger……………..(to be continued.)

Spin to Knit Handspun Swap

13 03 2007

Spin to Knit Handspun Swap….Feb. package, originally uploaded by heartknits.

Thank you CJ! This has been a wonderful swap experience; it’s so special to receive someone’s handspun! You were a great partner.   CJ sent me 300 yds of a fingering to dk weight 2 ply wool, anybody have the perfect pattern for it?  I can hardly wait to see how it knits up!!