Sunday, September 24, 2006

On The Wagon...

Yep, I have jumped on a few wagons this past week. The first, being the Ballband Dishcloth wagon. I had seen these in the Mason Dixon book and was a little intimidated by them, but decided to give it a try. What fun they are to make!! Here is one I just finished for a good friend of mine.. (they are her favorite colors!) Hopefully it will make dishwashing just a little more fun!!

The next wagon was a literal hay wagon, as it is that time of the year again to get hay for the llamas for the winter. Always a big job to get 250 plus bales of hay up into our neighbors barn and into our barn. But with a beautiful day and lots of good help, the job gets done!

There is nothing like the smell of fresh hay! And now we are ready for winter to come. We are keeping a close eye on our neighbor's llama, Celeste, who is expecting a cria anyday. I will post photos shortly after the new one arrives!!

The cheesecake wagon is next..... We have to bring a dessert to a music night tonight at church and I decided to make these fun little individual cheesecakes. Using a pan I got from Williams and Sonoma and the easy recipe on the box it looks like I really slaved hard!! But in reality I was sitting in front of the T.V. knitting watching my Vikings lose to the Bears. Aargh! 4th down 2 yards to go is not a time for a long pass!!!(Well, it might have been a bit more complicated than that... I was knitting after all and only looking up for the 'highlights'!) Mom just said the Twins won, so that is some consolation!! (If I haven't mentioned before, I am a Minnesotan by birth...Iowan by marriage)

Back to knitting.....
I have two bags about ready to felt... The first is a Sophie bag made with Lion Wool. Haven't used this before, but it was on sale at Hobby Lobby this past week so thought I would give it a try.

The second is a modified Runabout bag that is about finished. (will be tomorrow) Made with Wool of the Andes Bulky. Will add a green strap and a fun button. Decided to not make the compartments and added a bit of a bottom.

INTRODUCTIONS: Well, just two this week. The first is the miniature pony that came to live with our neighbor. He's a funny fellow. We call him 'Phoney'. Our daughter actually takes him for runs like she use to run our dogs. Gets some funny looks. He actually is trained to pull a cart, but you feel bad making him pull you because he is so small....
Llamas are afraid of him, but he really is a gentle little guy!

And then there is Miss Molly. She is a Wheaton Terrier that lives next door with Phoney. Talk about a bundle of energy. Miss Molly loves to jump up and dirty a perfectly clean pair of pants. Good thing she is so cute....

Life is good out here on the 'farm'. Always an adventure.......

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fall Is In The Air....

Well, it is definitely starting to feel like fall around here. Had to pull out a warmer sweater today and start thinking about what coats I have and what coats I might 'need' this year. (I LOVE coats!!!) Also decided it was a good day to make a nice batch of Taco soup and my cornbread rolls for dinner. Thought I would share these two recipes with you, because they are both easy and so delicious.

1 beaten egg and water = 1 cup
1/3 cup honey
3 cups flour
1/2 cup corn meal
2 Tbsp dry milk
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp butter
1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

1. Put into bread maker in the order given.
2. Complete the dough and first rise cycles.
3. Remove the dough and form into rolls (approx. 16)
4. Place on greased cookie sheet.
5. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.
7. Can also be made as bread in bread maker

I can tell you that my mom took 'Grand Champion' with these rolls at the Ortonville, Minnesota county fair so you know they have to be good!! (She even won $2.00 and 5 pounds of honey!! Way to go Mom!!)

This is the taco soup that warms you up on a crisp fall day. We like to eat it over rice with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 cups tomato juice
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix*

1. In a large pot combine ground beef and onions.
2. Cook over medium heat high until onions are tender (about 5 minutes.)
3. Add the tomato juice, corn, beans, tomato sauce and taco seasoning.
4. Stir well, and heat throughout, but do not boil
*We like to use 'Hot and Spicy' taco mix

I did get a few things felted this past weekend.
I made two coin purses with some of Sebastian's wool. They actually fit an Ipod or cell phone and are nice and thick, so they will be great protection for either.

Well, here it is. My first felting disaster!! That wonderful Fling bag I showed in my last entry had a major operator error... I had twisted the strap when I connected it, so when it felted, it was twisted. Still not sure what I will do to fix it. I may find some fun wooden handles in Minneapolis next week and cut it at the top and add those... Who knows. I have set it aside for the moment as I get over my disappointment. (Again, it is not the patterns fault... I love this pattern!) I will post my final outcome when I decide what to do!! In the meantime, I press on......



And I am lucky enough to be just that!! This is my husband and best friend, Steve.
We have been married 23+ years and are extremely blessed.

Took this picture on a recent trip to Colorado (no, this is not Iowa!!!) We love the mountains and go every chance we can.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What's On YOUR Needles????

As I have mentioned before, I have SO many projects that I want to make, but am trying hard to finish up the projects I have started before I start TOO many new ones. Right now I have several that I am working on:

The first is my second attempt at a dishcloth. The first cloth I did, I used too large a needle, so it is very loose. Still cleans a mean dish, but I went down a size for this one and will see how that comes out. This one is about half way done

This is my first attempt at a sock. I started this in June and barely have enough to keep my toes warm at this point. I hope to wear them before I am 50. At 2 or 3 rows every 3 or 4 weeks, that should be just about right....... (I'm 45 now)

This is the first of a pair of Fiber Trend Felted Clogs that I am trying. It is by far the most complicated pattern I have attempted and has required tremendous concentration on my part. (I have even been seen counting out loud the stitches I have been knitting). Anyways, I messed up a row and had to FROG it (which, for you non-knitters means to Rip-it; Rip-it; Rip-it)
But I am not a quitter, and plan to start again this afternoon.

On the needles to the left is a Fling Bag made from Noro Kureyon. I have only the one side of the strap and the tab left to knit and it will be ready to felt. Hope to do that this weekend when I head to Galena with some friends.

Hot out of the oven is this batch of Monster Cookies. These are my favorite cookies to make (note the M&M's of course). I have even been known to refer to them as breakfast food because of the high oatmeal and peanut butter content!! (No flour at all!!) These cookies are going in a box and heading off to Ames Iowa to my son Aaron who is a sophmore at Iowa State. (well, most of these cookies are going.......)

And now to introduce my daughter, Kirstin. Here she is (on the right) with her cousin, Sarah (on the left) on a recent trip to Vertical Endeavors in St. Paul Minnesota. Too bad we don't have any mountains here in Iowa to practice her rock climbing skills!! Kirstin is a senior this year and READY to head to college!

Here is another picture of Kirstin (on the left this time) with Aliya, a University of Northern Iowa student from Mongolia, who is living with us for the year. (She lived with us half of last year as well).

Of course I am saving the best for my next post when I introduce you to my wonderful hubby...

Until next time.....

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mmmmmm... Why Do I Do This???

Ok... I LOVE Rice Krispie Treats. And I LOVE M&M's and the two of them together... well, just plain yummy. My question is why I even make them. 1. I am the only one in the family that really cares for them 2. I need the calories like I need a hole in the head. 3. I think I am going to have the willpower to leave them alone.. but obviously I don't. (This picture was taken just a bit ago and there is even more gone since then... and I am the only one home!!!)
So I will cut what is left and take them to someone who 'needs' them....

A few more bags to show you today. This is a Vintage Bubble Bag that I am growing quite fond of. May need to keep it for myself!! It is made with Paton's new varigated wool that I have been aching to see how it felts up. I double stranded it with a plain color and it made a wonderfully thick material. Have decided to do longer, knotted handles that can be adjusted if desired. Also, I started a new Vintage Bubble Bag and adjusted the pattern so it has a bottom to it. Making it from the bottom up instead of from the top down. Excited to see how it comes out!!

This is another bag made with the new Paton's varigated wool. I also double stranded this... tried to match the colorways in the yarn... it was a bit off, but not bad. Am going to make the same bag single stranded and compare how it is size wise and thickness wise. I'll keep you posted.....

The third bag is a small bag that I made with Paton's wool and Noro Kureyon. It is almost like a booga bag. It felted wonderfully and is very very sturdy. The dark purple almost overshadowed the beautiful colors in the Noro yarn, but still a fun bag.

Introductions: Well, last time I introduced my oldest son. Here he is again (on the left) with our middle son, Aaron (on the right). Isn't it amazing how different 2 children can be??? Can you tell which one produces more laundry??? Fortunately, they are both in college and do their own laundry. (In theory, of course, it still often comes home for mom to do!!!)

I LOVE my boys!!!

Parting shot: This is Hoover. He is an alpaca that lives next door. He makes me smile!