Thursday, February 25, 2010


Have you ever had an idea that, once it popped into your head, you just couldn't not see it through? I love it when it happens to me. Of course I only remember the very best results from these flights of fantasy, but it seems like they turn out rather well in general. A few years ago I felt so inspired by a ball of yarn and my first set of Addi Turbo needles that I designed a baby sweater. I'd never even knit a sweater of any sort, or designed anything, and had only been knitting for about a year and a half, but a week or so later there it was. Eventually I'll get around to writing that pattern up.

I participate in a game on Ravelry called the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup. Everybody is sorted into houses from the Harry Potter books and some players are professors, offering a class prompt each month and making at least a loose connection back to the Harry Potter universe. I've been playing since last September and it's really been motivational for me to get things made and finished. So this month one of the classes required that we make something that scares us and then another class focused on making the scary thing no longer scary (the tie back to HP was a boggart that transforms into the thing you fear, and that laughing at the fear made it go away). One of the students in my house has some pet rats (real pets, just to be clear) and she writes little motivational cheers starring the rats. They've gotten more and more involved, and it seems to cheer people up and get them going. So for my boggart classes I made a stuffed rat for the thing that scares me:

the hufflepuff rat 023

and a cheerleading outfit to make the rat not scary:

the hufflepuff rat 036

Because who could be afraid of a rat in a cheerleading outfit?

The rat is loosely based on Yuki the Rat, and the outfit and pompoms are improvised. (Ravelry links for the rat and the outfit)

I know that a crocheted rat in a cheerleading outfit is not how many people would choose to spend their time, yarn, and energy, but I love it. It's just something I had to do, and it makes me smile.

(Huzzah Hufflepuff!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Carried Away

I seem to be getting a little carried away with things lately. In an effort to reduce the ridiculous amount of yarn in my house, but not institute an outright ban on new yarn, I've made it a goal to track yardage in and out for 2010. Yardage out includes finished objects and any yarn I give away or sell. I was in the clear until January 14 and it's gotten disastrous since then thanks to a couple sales. In fact, I think - no, I'm certain - I've bought more yarn in the past month than I usually would have. Ack!! So, starting in March, I'll be posting my totals here at the first of the month. Hey, the more public the accountability, the better.

In January I made a couple bookmarks out of embroidery thread.


Raveled here and here.

It's a scarf pattern for an adult made with a tiny hook and thread.

I made a beautiful little baby hat. (rav here)


It was my first experience with Knit Picks Swish Worsted, which is a superwash merino wool yarn. It was fantastic to work with and made a beautiful hat. Unfortunately, after I washed it according to the label directions, it looked like this.


So, I made another hat in an acrylic yarn (Red Heart Soft Touch), modeled here by Zee (age 8 months). (rav here)


If anybody has any thoughts on living in peace and harmony while machine washing superwash wool, I'd love to hear them. I have 5 more skeins of the Swish.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chili Cook-Off: Week 4

I apologize for the delay!

To finish out the chili cook-off series, here is the recipe from the final week of January. This one surprised me once I looked it over closely and I realized that there are no tomato products!

*2 tablespoons EVOO
*2 cups cubed cooked chicken
*2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) white beans, drained and rinsed
(I like to use one can of Navy Beans and one can of Great Northern Beans
*1 cup chicken broth
*1 can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chiles
*1/4-1/2 of a small onion, diced
*1 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon oregano
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 can of corn, drained (or 1/2-1 10 oz. bag of frozen corn)


1. Pour EVOO in large soup pot, heat and then add chicken. Cook chicken until browned.

2. Place remaining ingredients in soup; mix well. Bring to boil on medium-high heat.

2. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.

This one was very straightforward and no modifications were made. Shocking, I know!

chicken = $2.50
navy beans = $0.79
great northern beans = $0.89
chicken broth = $0.58
chopped green chilis = $0.99
corn (frozen, partial bag) = $0.75

Olive oil, spices, and onion are on hand.

Total $6.50
6 servings
$1.08 per serving

Even though I don't even like tomatoes, I missed them in this chili. In fact, it almost seemed like more of a soup without the liquid inherent in a soup. However, the taste was very good and it improved over the week as I slowly ate it all for lunches. I really enjoyed the addition of the chopped green chilis and was surprised by the navy and great northern beans - I didn't think that I would like them, but they were just right.