Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Soup Time!

This is the time of year that I really love homemade soup and chili. Last week I made a new three-bean and beef chili recipe that I found on the Food Network website. It was so good! This week I decided to make Tim some soup especially for him. He has been begging me to make a chicken, noodle and vegetable soup that he had at a friend's house. I asked for the recipe last year, and all I got was a text with what she "usually" puts into it. No accurate amounts, no specifics for cooking. I made it and I hated it! So I ditched the text and figured I was done with that!

Tim brought up that recipe again and asked me to make it. I cringed, knowing I no longer had the "recipe!" After some discussion I decided I would attempt the soup again only this time I would pick up veggies that I like and think work well in soup. It turned out really good, so I thought I would share it with you. Now that I've typed it up, I'll remember it!

Chicken, Vegetables and Tortellini Soup
  • 2 chicken breasts, simmer for 45 minutes in water; let cool and cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 carton of Kitchen Basics Chicken Broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can great northern beans
  • Half of a package of Trader Joe's (dried) cheese tortellini, cooked and drained as directed
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Prepared pesto
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat; add garlic, onions and carrots. Cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, beans, cooked chicken and beans. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding some water if necessary. Add the cooked tortellini, spinach, peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of pesto in each bowl.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Crocheting One Large Granny Square

We have been getting in a whole lot of new yarns since I last blogged. It's kept me busy in the shop. In the process I have fallen in love with many of the new yarns. One of the new yarns to us is Classic Elite Liberty Wool and Liberty Wool Print (122 yards per 50 gram ball). It's a really soft superwash wool that knits at a light worsted-weight gauge (5 stitches = 1 inch on size 7 needles). This week we got in Classic Elite Liberty Wool Light (200 yards per 50 gram ball). The new yarn is the same lovely fiber but knits at a sport-weight gauge (6 stitches = 1 inch on size 4 needles). We have pattern books for both yarns.

I decided that I would crochet --- yes, you heard me, crochet, with some Liberty Wool and Liberty Wool Print. I'm using a basic granny square pattern and changing my colors every couple of rounds, varying the number of rounds as I desire. It's been a couple of years since I crocheted anything, but I am really enjoying it. My daughter likes the resulting design of the granny square blanket and "reallyyyyyy" wants to take it with her to college next year. I told her it won't be big enough for her to cuddle under, as it will only be about 32 inches square when I am done! I'm using 7 different colors, but a total of 10 skeins (3 of the colors I am using required 2 balls of each).

My big granny square blanket
Speaking of crochet, yesterday Barbara Anderson came in the shop wearing the spoils of her winnings from the March Madness Scarf contest we had this spring. She won a $100 gift card to our shop and bought lots of lovely yarn to crochet a long coat. She chose yarns that had silk in them, so it has nice drape. I took a picture so you could see how beautiful her coat turned out.

Barb's beautiful crocheted coat
 Happy knitting & crochet, too!


Friday, August 24, 2012

I finally finished my shawl for the KAL!

The back of my shawl with the tails tied in back.

The front of my shawl showing the asymmetrical tails.
After a bit of thought and worry, I finished the Rockefeller Shawl for Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL. I ran out of both yarns, but got an extra one of the dark gray (Color A) and begged for a remnant of the Opal Vincent van Gogh (Color B) from my friend Stacy. Even at that I had to modify the pattern for the second wing/tail. They were both supposed to look the same as the evenly striped one on the left above. In the end I actually like the modification better. I think it would have been too busy. I'm really pleased with it, and would definitely recommend knitting it. Just make sure you have more yarn. I think you need at least 525 yards of each to make it the way Stephen West designed it.

I've taken a short break from all the blanket squares, but only have about 5 left to knit. I will keep plugging away on them! I dread blocking all of the remaining ones (I've blocked only about 25 of them so far). 

Keep on knitting!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mystery Shawl KAL is Progressing

I have completed all three of the clues for Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL. It's been entertaining to knit, but I'm not sure I will wear the shawl. Unless we add more than an I-cord to the outside edges of the front it will be a bit narrow to sit on my shoulders. I may have pulled the I-cord a bit too tight when I started Clue 1, so heed my warning! If you decide to do the Rockefeller when the pattern is available on August 10th, make sure you read all the FAQs for each clue on the Mystery Shawl Knit-a-Long group on Ravelry!

Follow this link to see my shawl so far.

Keep on knitting!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm Somewhat Out of Control!

On Friday I joined the West Knits Mystery Shawl KAL on Ravelry. I had a really weak moment ... you know how I am about sock yarn! I might even say there was a bit of peer pressure involved. Regardless, I am now doing and enjoying two KALs at a time. I am actually done with Clue #1 for the Mystery Shawl, but I have a couple more inches to knit on my Independence Pillow button band for this week. I will try to get it done tonight. I need to be ready for the next step of my pillow on Thursday! Of course I'm still working on my blanket squares, so that's also part of my knitting agenda. I LOVE IT!

The two colors of sock yarn for my Mystery Shawl KAL.
This is the completed section from Clue #1.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Cable Without a Cable Needle is Amazing!

The unblocked front of my Independence Pillow.
I don't think I'll ever use a cable needle again when I have to do a 4-stitch cable. I completed the front of my Independence Pillow for the KAL from Knit Purl Hunter and started by using a cable needle. After about 2 rows of cables, I watched the Cables Without a Cable Needle video and tried it. What a fantastic and SUPER SPEEDY cable technique! And what great videos Michelle Hunter has created. I really recommend that you bookmark her Video Tips Lessons page and watch them whenever you need help! Her videos are close up and Michelle does the knitting steps slowly as well as repeats them.

Keep on knitting!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Join me for a new KAL!

I'm back in the shop after my fantastic mini knitting vacation at home. And I'm just in time to start a new KAL! Michelle Hunter of Knit Purl Hunter started a new "Progressive Needles" knit along, and her first clue came out today for the Independence Pillow. You will need two skeins of HiKoo Simpliworsted to make one 12-inch cabled pillow. We have the yarn in stock at the shop, so be sure to stop by. You will also need three 1-inch buttons and a 12-inch pillow form for finishing. As always she offers outstanding videos to help you through the process. I'm really excited to watch her "Cables Without a Cable Needle Video." You have a month to finish the project and can win great prizes; check out Skacel who sponsors the KAL for all pertinent information!

As for my mini vacation, we had a lot of fun as a family. Tim took off the doors and the front roof panels of his Jeep and we drove around and played House Hunters in the heat. Not because we are planning to move, just because we like to look at architecture. And yes, it was fun even in our record heat. We also managed to make some good meals together. We made fish tacos one night. And last night we made steak, grilled veggies, mushrooms, and potato salad. It was a feast. 

Whenever I was at home over my vacation, I knitted on my sock yarn blanket squares. I am a few rounds short of completing five squares in five days, so later today I will have 51 total squares complete. (Hey Stacy, are you still ahead of me?) I also worked on the linen version of my Bias Before & After Scarf. I didn't get too far, as it's hard on my hands to knit with linen. I may have about 8 inches done, but it will be an ongoing mindless project I can pick up when I feel like it!

Keep on knitting!