Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Red Bolero

My friend, Ann, bought red yarn to knit a bolero sweater to match the cute smocked dress she had made for her daughter.  Then she had twins!  She asked if I would be willing to knit the sweater for her and I agreed.  She sent me the yarn and I discovered that there was enough yarn to make two sweaters, which I did, so that the twins could wear them some day.  Now the pressure is on for Ann to make another dress.  Here's her cute daughter sporting the dress and the sweater.

The sweater sans Ann's daughter.

Here are the details of the process if you're interested.  Ann and I both became addicted to while searching for the perfect free bolero pattern.  We found this one:

Click here for pattern.

Ann thought it would be nice to add a simple pattern to the sweater so I went to my 'go to' knitting book, The Harmony Guide to Knitting.

I used the All-over Eyelets pattern on page 124.

I have this long mental list of things I've always wanted to try.  'Design a sweater' is on the list.  After this experience, I've decided that designing sweaters is not my thing.  I found it frustrating just to redesign this one.  And I didn't even redesign it really, just added a different stitch to the body of the pattern.  I've been a fan of designer Debbie Bliss for decades.  My respect for her work has grown leaps and bounds after this experience and I think I'll leave the 'designing of knitwear' up to her.  I can cross another thing off my bucket list.  Thanks for the opportunity Ann!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Channeling Julie

I have a friend named Julie who lives in California.  Julie has the magic touch when it comes to decorating.  She can make a church gym look like a fancy shmancy hotel lobby.  She's also very crafty - the good crafty, not the bad crafty.  I was constantly amazed at her over-the-top efforts in all of the events we planned together at church.  For example, once she made a bunch of cute matching aprons for all the ladies who helped with a service auction that we held. 

Last week I had the assignment to make eight prizes for the winners of a game at church.  I didn't want to spend any money so I decided to put a cup of wheat berries in a Ziploc baggie and attach a recipe for blender pancakes.  It sounds lame, but it went along with the theme of the evening.  The lame part was my wimpy efforts at presentation.  And then I asked myself, "What would Julie do?"  I 'channeled' Julie and came up with the simple idea of quickly sewing up some cute little calico bags.

I know, it's a far cry from turning a church gym into the Ritz, but it's a start.  By the way, here's the recipe for blender pancakes if you're interested.

Wheat Berry Blender Pancakes

2 c. milk
1 c. wheat berries
¼ c. oil
1 egg (or 1 T applesauce)
3 tsp. baking powder
2 T sugar or honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Combine 1 cup milk with the wheat berries and blend at high speed for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining milk and blend another 3 minutes.  Add oil, egg, and other ingredients one at a time into the swirl at the top of the blender.  Mixture will thicken and rise then the blender will begin to spin freely.  Stop blender.  Pour the mixture out of the blender into the frying pan.  Note:  The egg can be left out in an emergency.