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

Knitting Bargains

Last week, I found some bargains which will help me out with my knitting.  First, a book from a library used book sale for only $4.00.  I figure if I can find one pattern or technique that I like in a book, it’s worth buying.  I’ve already found one very good pattern and there are 43 more to audition.  I particularly liked a pattern for a hooded scarf.

The other bargain was at a Goodwill thrift store where I bought a huge container of acrylic yarn for $10.00.  There was one skein each of a large assortment of colors.  This is good for me because I knit a lot of small items like hats, scarves and mittens for charity.  The hooded scarf pattern called for #4 worsted yarn and #8 needles for a child’s size scarf.  I used #10 needles with the yarn and added a few rows to make it suitable for an adult.  I had a nice variety of acrylic yarn to choose from.

Using the same pattern and needles with worsted yarn, I made a version with a short scarf that buttons in front.


I’m currently working on another long-scarf version, using some more of the bargain yarn.

I still have a lot of yarn and a lot of patterns to use.

The real bargain in the large container of yarn was hidden until I got it home and started sorting it out.  There were 8 two-oz. unopened skeins of this yarn in a beautiful dusky blue-violet color.

I checked on the company web site and this wool yarn sells for $16 a skein!  I gathered it up and gave it to my younger daughter, an experienced and excellent knitter who will make good use of such a great bargain.

Purple Hats for Babies–Charity Knitting

My blogger friend, Kelli, alerted me to a drive by Oklahoma hospitals to increase awareness of deaths of shaken babies by providing newborns with a purple hat (any shade of purple).  Other states are also participating – information is here:  http://clickforbabies.org/partners/oklahoma.php

The deadline is September 30, 2017.

I made the 5 hats pictured above in purple and lavender and my daughter made the 7 hats below, in purple and yellow (hats have to be at least 50% some shade of purple).

These were quick and easy to make and I hope will serve as a reminder to all of the new parents.  We had a tragic incident of this type a couple of weeks ago in our area and it is always heartbreaking.

Old Blue and Johnny

My youngest son is an engineer who paints as a hobby.  This is his most recent painting in acrylic of my father and his dog, ca. 1915, using an old photograph as reference.

I always loved the original photo and love the painting even more.  I always thought of the picture showing a boy and his dog, but the painting seems to show a dog and a boy.  I think the way the dog is painted is masterful.

My grandfather is holding the very substantial chain and my mother told me that once she was crying about losing a dog and Grandpa said, “Marthy, I was always told it was bad luck to cry after a dog, but I cried when Old Blue died.”  We know that Grandpa named all of his hunting dogs Blue, but I like to think that the one he loved so much is the one in this picture.

 

Mixed Fruit Lasagne

For Sunday dinner, I had intended to bake an old favorite, Peach Lasagne, using leftover Italian bread and some beautiful peaches from the farm market. Unfortunately, the peaches I had bought most recently weren’t ripe enough and the three peaches leftover from the previous week didn’t equal the four cups I needed for the recipe. I decided to add some leftover strawberries and drained, canned pineapple tidbits. I also substituted toasted pecans for the almonds in my original recipe and the dessert was delicious. My daughters loved it.

This is the original recipe: https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/peach-lasagne/

Mixed Fruit Lasagne

Fruit Layer:
4 cups mixed fruit (I used equal amounts of strawberries, peaches and pineapple)
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Bread Layer:
6 Tblsp. butter
8 slices hearty bread, sliced fairly thin
1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 Tblsp. butter
3 Tblsp. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F

Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces, add granulated sugar, mix and set aside.
Spread butter on both sides of 8 slices of bread. Place slices in a large skillet over medium heat and brown on each side.

Line the bottom of a 9 inch baking dish with half of the browned buttered slices – just cover the bottom without overlapping. OK to break the bread into smaller pieces to fit them in. Sprinkle ¾ Tblp. sugar over the slices. Spoon half of fruit mixture on top of bread slices, spreading to cover.

Repeat with another layer of bread slices sprinkled with sugar and the remaining half of the fruit mixture.

Crumb Topping: Mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt and cut in butter. Sprinkle the topping over the last fruit layer and top with chopped pecans.

Cover and bake @ 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

Serve warm.

 

Two Welcome Blankets Completed

I wrote earlier about knitting a blanket for the Welcome Blanket project and am happy to report that both my younger daughter and I have completed a blanket for immigrants.

My daughter is a talented and experienced knitter who made a gorgeous blanket which really says, “Welcome”.

She used the pattern from this link:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ondas

I made a very simple blanket which is garter stitch on half and a Fair Isle sampler on the other half.  I used this pattern:

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

I didn’t keep a close enough eye on the gauge for the Fair Isle portion, so the very last corner was not quite correct.  I asked my older daughter to crochet a large flower to sew  on the less-than-perfect corner and considered it a design element.

 

These two blankets are in the mail for distribution to needy immigrant families.  We were asked to include a note and this is what I sent.

“Welcome, neighbor

I’m 84 years old and live in Ohio, USA.  I was so happy to be able to knit this blanket for you in honor of all of my ancestors who came to America in the 1700-1800s from England, Holland, Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.  This is a picture of my great-grandfather whose family immigrated from England …



… and my grandmother whose family immigrated from Holland.



I welcome you and wish you peace, love, hope and joy in your new home.”

 

Orzo, Chicken and Artichoke Salad

I started out intending to make a completely different orzo salad but was lacking some of the ingredients. I changed to what I had on hand and made a very delicious and filling lunch or supper salad.

Orzo Chicken and Artichoke Salad

4 cups boiling water
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast
7.5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped

Red Wine Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp chili powder or cumin
¾ cup plus 2 Tblsp. light olive oil

Cook orzo in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and stir occasionally until pasta is slightly warm. Add tomatoes, chicken and artichoke hearts.

Place dressing ingredients in a one-pint jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake vigorously to mix ingredients and pour over chicken/orzo mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving and stir.

4-6 servings

 

Five Basic Shawl or Scarf Shapes-Free Knitting Pattern

This is a great, easy pattern for 5 basic shawl shapes: Square, Circular, Triangular, Semi-Circular, and Heart-Shaped.  http://www.laylock.org/?s=5+basic+shawl+shapes

Each style begins with casting on three stitches and is worked to a full-sized shawl or stopped at any point for a smaller scarf, which I did. The pattern calls for garter stitch but can be made in any stitch or pattern you choose (be sure to knit 5 stitches on each end of each row to keep edges from curling). The size will depend on what yarn/needles are chosen.

I made a child’s size triangular scarf out of scraps of baby yarn (above) and an adult sized scarf with a vintage button added.

Note that the scarves are worked top-down and the beginning three stitches will form a part of the top of the scarf.

This is a fun project and a good way to use up small amounts of yarn.

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