I store all kinds of things about cooking, quilting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Welcome Blanket – Knitting – WIP

My daughter told me recently about a drive to collect 3200 blankets, 40×40 inches, to make a wall of blankets for refugees that would be equal in yardage to the 2000 miles of the proposed Mexican border wall.  The blankets will be donated to deserving refugee families of many nationalities.  The idea is that they are “welcome” blankets and each is to include a personal note from the donor about his/her family immigrant history.  Any kind or color of yarn can be used and they are also accepting crocheted blankets or quilts of the same size.  Check here for details:  https://www.welcomeblanket.org/

For my blanket, I chose off-white and blue-green worsted (#4) yarn used with #9 circular needles – piece is knit flat.  I am about 2/3  finished with the blanket and am using a pattern I’ve used before with good results:

http://www.anapsid.org/pdf/incdecblanket.pdf

The blanket starts with 5 stitches and is worked on the diagonal.  I did the first half in a random stripe pattern.

I’m doing the other half in sampler rows of various stitches.  See update below.

The color is actually closer to green than the pictures show.

I’m looking forward to completing the blanket and getting it in the mail along with the note about my proud immigrant background.

Update 6/24/17 – If you’re making the two halves of different stitches, as I did, be sure to check periodically to see if the two halves are matching as you go. 

My friend at Knit ‘n Kwilt is also participating by making a quilt.

http://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/40-x-40-welcome-blanket-project/

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Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Each summer I look forward to the wonderful, flavorful blueberries grown by a local farm/market – Blooms and Berries (Loveland, Ohio). I was looking for a sauce to be used on ice cream that would not detract from the natural flavor of these berries and came up with this very simple recipe which everyone loves. I make the sauce as I’m finishing cooking the meal, turn it off and allow it to set until we’re ready for dessert. That makes it just the right temperature for serving.

Fresh Blueberry Sauce

  • Servings: 2 cups - 4-6 servings
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2 cups (one pint) fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
¼ cup plus 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. water
Dash of grated nutmeg
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Place berries, sugar, water, nutmeg and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil – approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for a half-hour or so to cool a bit. Spoon over vanilla ice cream. 

Blooms and Berries just announced that their U-Pick session for blueberries begins tomorrow.  My daughter will have to get down there early to pick berries and I’ll be sure we gave enough ice cream on hand.  Summer is here!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Last Thing I Needed Was Another Swan, but….

The last thing I needed was another swan, but I couldn’t resist these beauties at the Broadway Antique Mall in Lebanon, Ohio (near Cincinnati).

After all, my collection didn’t include a piece in blue and here were two little examples.  One is such a gorgeous color ….

…and the other is an unusual example with a cork in the opening.  There is a very light fragrance, so I’m assuming it held perfume at one time.

The large set with the candle holders is also in a color that I haven’t seen before and will be so pretty in autumn arrangements.  My daughter discovered this set and gave them to me as a surprise gift – no occasion, just a gift.

I also found a unique piece to add to my Dutch collection.

What a fun day at the antique mall!

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Knitting – A Really Nice Heart Pattern – Free

My daughter recommended this pattern to me and I love it. I enjoy doing Fair Isle patterns and this one seems to go together especially well. It has become my favorite heart pattern, found on Ravelry.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/love-the-winter-hat

I tried the pattern first on a hat in grey and peach worsted (pictured at the top). This is destined for the Pine Ridge Lakota drive that is held every fall to provide winter wear for the school children.

The second hat is in the required yarn/colors of the Iowa Special Olympics. I hope this will help a little girl keep her ears warm while competing.

I’ve made up my own chart for making this heart pattern in different colors because I know I’ll be using it often in all kinds of hand-knit items.

 

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Raspberry Mountain

In the 1980s-90s, my husband and I lived in a rural area called Blue Jay, located on the Ohio/Indiana border.  My husband had a huge garden and every kind of berry bush and fruit tree that does well in our area.  My favorites were the black raspberries and we got bumper crops year after year.  I used them in every conceivable way, but regret that I found this recipe after we had to leave our country home and all the wonderful berries.  It’s a quick, easy way to turn 1-½ cups of fresh raspberries into a delicious dessert with a little cake and lots of berries.

Butter is melted in the oven in a 9-inch pie plate.  Then cake batter is poured over the butter (no stirring) and berries are scattered on top along with a sprinkling of sugar.  The cake rises up over the berries to form a thin layer and is delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Raspberry Mountain


¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Dash of salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
1-½ cups fresh raspberries
Additional 1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and melt butter in 9-inch pie plate   Heat until butter is melted but not brown.

Meanwhile, mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and baking powder in bowl.

Stir in milk.  Pour this batter over the melted butter – DO NOT STIR.

Drop berries over top, scattering evenly over surface.  DO NOT STIR.

Sprinkle 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 F degrees.

The butter and batter rise to make a thin top crust that is buttery, sugary and crunchy at the edges.

Delicious plain or with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

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Knitting – A Good, Free and Easy Slip-Stitch Pattern

I like to work in color when knitting and early on found a good, free slip-stitch pattern that forms a brick design.  The pattern was originally written for a dish cloth but was easy to convert into a soft, sweet baby blanket .

More recently, I used the same pattern for a scarf for the Arkansas group of Special Olympics.  They specify the use of Red Heart yarn in colors of red, grey, black and white and I designed a scarf using these colors and incorporating the brick pattern.

This group asks for scarves and headbands and I included two headbands with Fair Isle patterns.

The free slip-stitch pattern is available at Ravelry.com

Knit Freedom offers a good class on slip-stitch/mosaic knitting for a fee:  http://knitfreedom.com/classes/double-knitting

 

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A Bevy of Swans

I received an Easter gift of a vintage swan holding some delicious chocolate eggs.

This new addition to my collection inspired me to gather all of the pieces which are displayed throughout the house and form a bevy of swans on the living room mantel.  (Note:  I had to Google “group of swans” to see what it was called.)  They range from a wooden candle holder …

… to a small planter with a Dutch girl …

I love them all, but I’m particularly fond of the pieces that are the kind that were found in the dime store in the 1930s-40s – the kind my mother, grandmothers and aunts would have had in their homes.

I love the large bulb bowl ….

…which my daughter keeps filled with beautiful arrangements made from simple grocery store bouquets.

My usual TV/knitting spot is on a couch facing the mantel where I can enjoy my special bevy of swans.

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