Sunday, August 14, 2016

And Bread

So when I recently, finally, got wise to the genetically modified food catastrophe, I have been making pretty much everything from scratch to entirely cut out gm foods from our diet here at the house.
I was not planning on spending all this time in the kitchen, but there it is.  Whenever I think of slacking off on this...Like, really?  I have to MAKE marshmallows?!!...Well, yes, I do.  There is no going back.  And believe it or not, it is actually really easy to make marshmallows.  lol  
With four kids at home still, it has been a challenge, but I must say, actually most of the time it is pretty fun and once I figured out how to make some of the basic ingredients, I found we don't lose out on much at all! 
With my new project of learning about food, I have been reading a bunch and watching videos on how to make various ingredients, and also there are a several food related programs on Netflix.
One of them was "Cooked"  by Michael Pollan, which was interesting, if a bit pretentious.  The section on fermented foods and bread really sparked my interest...hmmmmm...My mom made bread.  My dad made sourdough for years...Why don't I give that a rip n see how it goes...

So, out came the flour and water in a bowl on the front porch for a couple of days...
and within a week or so, I had a pretty healthy starter going!
I made the bread like my dad used to, and ended up with a doorstop type of item, just like his.
Flavor good but not super great in the "crumb" department.  Just a little bit sad.

He demonstrates a yeast bread, but through trial and error, the same method can be used for sourdough, with fantastic results!

What a difference!
Actual bread anyone would like to eat!  A-mazing!
It can be done!

Note to anyone who loves making rye bread:
It DOES matter what caraway seeds you use.

Check it out:

What the...see those little spikey things sticking out?  No, they do not go away when you bake them in the bread.  

Now look at these:

I wish we had Smell-O-Vision.  omg the fragrance from these when you open the jar is just amazing!
And they are nice and smooth, clean, and glossy.  No spikes! lol

Just saying.

Happy baking,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Knitting, actually.

Like Toad, in the Wind and the Willows, when he discovered motor cars.

Just like that...Only for knitting socks.


Stop the presses, I need to learn how to knit.  Socks.
So, from Thanksgiving, that has been my obsession.

I did have the general idea, of how to knit, from sometime in my life, and I must have tried it out at some point...Maybe Brownies?  There seemed to be some element of muscle memory with how I tension the yarn.  It is kind of a wacky cat's cradle thing my left hand wanted to do to carry the yarn.  So I let it.  But the actual how to wrap the yarn and do the stitches, I really did have to learn from scratch.
Thanks to so many excellent YouTube tutorials, I did it!
Special thanks to my knitting teachers:  Cat Bordhi, Staci Perry (Very Pink Knits), Tina Robbins (BloomingKnitter), Liat Gat (KnitFreedom), and Elizzza (Nadelspiel).

So how did I do?

First pair!  Thank you for my large footed children.
Toe-up, sweet tomato heel.

Second pair!
Toe-up, sweet tomato heel, syncopation socks for the pattern.

3rd  pair, toe-up, Bubbles Down the Drain socks, sweet tomato heel again.

4th pair, child's toe-up, sweet tomato heel socks for my youngest.
4th of July socks.

And a pair of the same for me! #5

6th pair, in progress. 
These were actually supposed to be my first pair!  lol  It did take a bit to work myself down to size 0 needles.  The pattern is out of a book called The Knitter's Book of Socks.  Super cool.  Super great beautiful yarn.  I love it. 

I also knit this beautiful pattern from Nadelspiel Medici sock
Just the one so far.  I just made it up into a mitt because I wanted to try to figure out the pattern.
This glossary came in super handy.

I also knit a moebius scarf (no picture, gifted) and and am almost done with a Sontag shawl, which is this:

So there it is and there you have it folks!

Happy Sewing
(and knitting!!)


Friday, July 31, 2015

From the Studio...August Project!

I was thinking....hmmmm....What to do for our very first project together...
Something small
Something easy
Something FUN!
And something that says "us" or that we can all relate to as a group
So, I came up with this:

From the Studio BAD keychain!
What. Is. Not. To. Love.
All the sistas will want one!

So here we go!

Here is what you will need:

(Click on that to make it bigger, in case you can't read it this size...)

You can choose to do the one with the HSTs or the plain one.
Because we love our Marla.
I have chosen colors that I hope reflect the most awesome stack of fabric ever, of course.
The famous Penelope Jones' stack o' fabric in our From the Studio header!

For the 4-patches, let's do it Lynn's way!

Your 2 contrasting 2" squares:

Put them right sides together and sew 1/4" down each side
While you're at the machine, also sew down either side of the diagonal for the HSTs, with your other two squares, if you want that version!  Sew those seams a scosh scanter than usual from the center line, which you may or may not bother to actually draw.  Just so you know the seam allowance on those HSTs, once you cut them apart, will be a generous 1/8", rather than a scant 1/4".

I am sorry that this picture above is sideways.  I have just tried for an hour to turn it once counterclockwise and it just will not do it.  So kindly tip your head towards your right shoulder as you view it and it will be perfect.

Next, go ahead and cut the 4-patch block down the middle, parallel to your stitching, 1" from the edge.
Also cut the HST block between the stitch lines.

Square those HSTs to 1 1/2"

Now, you should have this:

Put those 4-patch units together like this:

And sew down each side, 1/4" from the edge

Now, cut THAT apart...

And Voila! Open them up and spin your seams on the back.
Just because you can.

Now you lay out your mini block...

Either way...

Sew it together, like normal, then flip it over and spin those seams again!
Because it is super fun!

Go ahead and square that up.  Should be right about 2 1/2".  

Now, take your 3 1/2" square and lay it wrong side up on the table.
Place your batting square on top.

Place your mini block up top...

Quilt as desired.
Or not.
Either way.
I kind of like the quilting though! lol

Once you've quilted it, you can trim the whole thing to the 2 1/2" size.

Set that aside!

We gotta make the hanging loop and the back now!

You can use a piece of cord or a shoestring instead of this step!
But here goes...

Your 2 1/2" x 3/4" rectangle:

in half

put sides to center fold, inside...

(You can of course press it with an iron, I just finger pressed)

Sew it.

Pin as stiletto.  Handy to guide that end through!

Tack that loop onto the top, front of your block, about 1/8" in from the edge.

Now, for the back...

Take your 2 1/2" squares and fold them in half.  Press.

NOTE!  When you fold them in half, for this project, it improves the final result if the fold here on these back pieces is along the lengthwise (non-stretchy!!) grain of the fabric.
I know they are small. But even so, they do look a lot neater and stay that way, if time is taken to do it this way.

So, then you lay them out in the following manner:

Folds towards the center!

Double check...All the folds to the center...Right?!

Okay, so layer it with your quilted block...
Pin as desired.  Sometimes I pin, sometimes not.  Whatever.  Be happy.

Starting at the top edge, anywhere between the corner and where the loop is, sew allll the way around.  I found it good to keep slightly shorter than usual stitch length.

Ending at the top, past the loop and backing up over it again!  So that makes 3 or 4 times over that loop,  It's not coming loose.  lol

Trim and grade the seam allowances away, all the way around...

From both sides

And you're ready to reach in under the back and turn the whole thing outside out!
It is a bit fiddly.

But they are so CUTE!!

Lookit here, this one Jenny!  Crumbettes!  lol

Just cut the 1 1/2" squares from your made fabric  :  )

I made a bunch of 'em...!

Here's my other favorite one, with the Liberty lawn, little tiny orange flowers on the blue background!  Aaawwwww!

I hope you all enjoy this project!

Much love,