Friday, September 11, 2009

face lift

You may (or may not) notice a bit of a change around these here parts....I decided, after three years, that we needed a bit of a different look around By Hook or By Crook, so I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how the heck it all works  previewing new layouts and generally being indecisive, until I finally settled on a new template...I  like it, it feels right, and it was time for a change.
I thought I would continue showing some of the projects I started during the time I was being neglectful and not posting.  There's no way I could not post the Marialis End to End Scarf I started from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders.  I had the perfect yarn, thanks to the perfect Sharon, of the perfect Stitchjones yarns...crank it to eleven and head on over there to get your socks rocked off.

This is La Villa Strangiato Super Sock.  I wanted to showcase the insanely gorgeous colours, so I decided no mere pair of socks would do, and cast on a light summer scarf.

This picture was taken when I first started.  The scarf is now about two feet long.  I take it with me everywhere I go and work on it often.  I can't count how many comments and compliments I've had on it and it isn't even done yet.  It's delicious, and a pleasure to work with.

Since I'm a total unapologetic bag ho, I have been working on several.  I seem to have an unending supply of kitchen cotton.  No matter how much I use, I keep finding more skeins of it hidden around the house....funny since I haven't bought any in years...why can't that happen with cashmere or alpaca, or the delicious Noro Silk Garden?  I have a theory that elves break in at night and leave skeins, in between trying on our clothes and making fun of the size of my underwear...yes, I need help....In my attempt to get the kitchen cotton stash down, I cast on another market bag.  This one is a free pattern called "Let's go shopping - market bag"  you can find it by doing a pattern search on Ravelry.

Right about the middle of the summer, my hooks were feeling lonely....I try to give equal attention to both the pointy sticks and the hooks, so I yanked out the One Skein book and whipped up a couple of the Geometric Bags:

These are the Rectangle Bobble bag and the Circle bag (obviously)...I made the pieces for both of these in one night...ahh the speed of the lovely crochet hook!  I wanted the rectangle one to go in my project bag and hold all my knitterly things like tape measure, needles, etc.  But decided I liked the circle one better for that purpose.  Cee's mum took a shine to the rectangular one, so she will probably end up with it.  I lined and zippered both of them....

A bit of a sad story trusty, faithful Singer sewing machine, that I bought with my very first paycheque from my very first job, finally gave up the ghost....that or it needs servicing, I'm not sure.  In any case it doesn't owe me a single thing, it's a magnificent beast, and made many a Hallowe'en costume, Christmas dress, play outfit, etc. etc.  Sigh, goodbye old friend, I will never forget you.  I ended up doing all the sewing by hand....what would have taken mere minutes ended up taking hours, but it got done.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery....

My niece recently got engaged....this put me in a quandry, because while I was completely overjoyed for her and her fiance, I was also horrified to realize that I am now old enough to have an engaged niece!  I take comfort by telling everyone that I was but a young teenager when she was's true...really it is!

I noticed that Stephanie was making the Moderne Log Cabin blanket for a wedding present, and loved the colours she was using....and since my niece is building a house (well she herself isn't building it, you know what I mean) and her colours are all in the gray/brown family, I decided right then and there to steal the Yarn Harlot's idea make them a blanket in similar colours!  No picture as yet as it's quite boring, just a grey rectangle with a bit of cream on it....but I found her post on picking up stitches around the blocks a total Eureka moment.

And now, since I promised, here is the recipe for the Jalapeno Jelly....soooo good...with just a little kick:

Jalapeno Jelly

5 Jalapeno peppers (I use fresh, but canned will also suffice)
2 Medium-sized green peppers, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 Cup white vinegar
1 Package powdered pectin
6 Cups sugar
10 Drops green food colouring (optional)

Prepare 5 half-pint (I use 125 ml) canning jars.  Rinse Jalapeno peppers, discarding stem ends, any bits of blackened skin, and about half the seeds (the seeds and the  membrane bring the heat, so if you like it hot and spicy, leave them all in!) Chop peppers ****I strongly recommend using surgical gloves while doing this, as you can burn the creases between  your fingers, and trust me, this is not fun!*****  Place in a blender or food processor along with green peppers, and 1/2 cup of vinegar.  Blend until finely chopped  Pour into a large pot.  Use the remaining vinegar to rinse out the blender or processor, then add to the pot.

Stir in the pectin and bring to a full, roiling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Add sugar and food colouring and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil again.  Let boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim off foam.  Pour into jars and water process for 10 minutes.
This is heavenly with pork, and I love it on melba toast, drizzled over a smackering of cream cheese...yummmmm...


lexa said...

I like your new look!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Love the scarf (and the yarn name!)and the bags are all cute, but I really love the fabric you lined the circular one with