crochet:: rainbow granny rug

This was a really fun one to make, and so fast!  Since I’ve been into rainbow colors this summer, I had no problem figuring out the color scheme.  I needed a rug for the laundry room because the old rag rug was starting to completely unravel after 15 years of washing.  I knew I wanted a large rug again, as the rag rug had been 5’x8’ and I liked that about it, but I wanted it more square than rectangular.

I have quite a stash (as we all do filling boxes and bins and baskets), so I prepped about 6 skeins or partial wrapped balls of each color family to make sure I had enough to make a few rounds of each.  I had a lot of the same color of red, but multiple shades of all the other colors.

RAINBOW GRANNY RUG

Hook – size Q

Yarn – 6 skeins each color (I used inexpensive acrylic because it was merely for my laundry room.)

Pattern – classic simple granny square in double crochet holding 6 strands together at all times.  Because you are holding 6 strands together, take extra care when you are weaving in ends and making the knots.  They can have a tendency to unravel when in the washer & dryer later on.

The variations are unlimited.  I am already trying to formulate a plan for a smaller rectangular granny in cotton yarn for the kitchen with a P or M hook and 4 strands.  Happy hooking!

crochet:: yarnbombing::installation #1

This was a blast!  I am totally hooked!  Yes – the puns are intended 🙂

I have been thinking about giving it a try for more than a year now, and I finally had the courage to try it.  I follow several bloggers in Australia & England, and I have been fascinated with their outdoor art installations. I will definitely be doing this again!

My husband has been making suggestions for the next covert operation, but my son just rolls his eyes.  Every time I see my yarn graffiti, I can’t help but smile.  I hope passers-by do the same!  It was a fun use for old left overs in my stash and I used it as an opportunity to try stitches I have never done before.  I found 2 I really liked that I will be using in future projects for sure.  I even did some free-forming and made up some combinations and it was quite an experience 🙂

crochet:: summing up the week

Wow, this week has FLOWN by!  Here are a couple of the things that I have finished up…

More dish cloths – imagine that!  We have been really tough on them lately and I am restocking.

And Cali the wayward cat using the Mochachino Afghan as usual….Toodles!

photography:: new day::new camera::new energy

PSSSST – check it out – I got a new camera and I am soooo excited!   I have to sit on my hands to stop from waving at everyone!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE photography and my new camera is just dreamy!   For 20 years I had always used a fabulous film Cannon SLR that I bought from a magazine photographer that made my hobby fun.  In our digital world I have struggled with the technology.  You can’t take good pics with a POS cheap digital camera.  Well, I can’t anyway…and there are so many POS digital cameras on the market.  I have spent soooo much money on junk that doesn’t live up to its hype.  So 7 years and 4 digital cameras later, I have found a great one and I am having so much fun again.

I was so excited about it that I took yesterday off from work and went to the zoo merely to spend the day taking pictures and getting to know what this baby will do.  I was not disappointed.

I got the spend the day with my son, and I think I have finally gotten him interested in photography too.  The teenager that NEVER acts excited about ANYTHING (because they are way TOO COOL to be excited), even helped point out some good shots and wanted to see how they all turned out.  Bonus!!

Have a fabulous weekend! L

PS::The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo is phenomenal…but I am not biased at all…my mom is a scientist there 🙂   www.omahazoo.com

food:: fried chicken

I have been writing a cookbook for several years, and have yet to try to get it published.  My husband keeps telling me that if I will just finish it, it will sell.  I need to just have the guts (and the time) to go for it, silly me.

This was our Sunday dinner, and I am finally getting a chance to share it.  This is a favorite, a most indulgent dinner  and I absolutely love it!   My guys ask for it much more often than I will cook it.  Calorie-laden comfort food…

Ultimate Fried Chicken

2 cups cracker crumb mix

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thick strips (about 3 per lobe)

1 cup canola oil (approx)

1 cup butter flavor shortening (approx)

To prepare chicken use 2 shallow bowls with flat bottoms and a plate.  In the first bowl, beat together the egg and milk.  In the second, place 2 cups cracker crumbs.  Using a fork, dip each piece of chicken into egg mixture, and then place in crumbs.  Using fork, scoop crumbs over top and press with back of fork.  Shake off excess crumbs and transfer each piece to plate.  Now to the cooking part. Use a stainless steel skillet for best results – non-stick coated pans tend to burn the breading.  Heat oil & shortening in skillet over medium-high heat and then add the chicken.  Cook to a light golden brown for approximately 7 – 10 minutes on each side depending on thickness.  When cooked through, transfer to another clean plate with 3 layers of paper towels to blot away excess oil. This is the way to a husband’s heart through his stomach!  Serve with mashed potatoes, turkey gravy (non-fat from a packet, made in the microwave) and either green beans, corn on the cob or a salad and frozen biscuits baked in the oven.  This is a huge meal, best saved for Sunday dinner.

To make crumb mix, in a gallon size plastic bag crush the following items with a rolling pin:

1 sleeve club crackers

½ cup flour

½ tsp each: garlic powder, parsley, onion powder, rosemary, thyme, basil, pepper, and paprika

½ cup Parmesan cheese


crochet:: baby bib garden

These have to be the most fun and easy baby items I have ever made.  In the past week, I have made use of 40 minutes of free time buy whipping up one of these.  I have a new niece and her mom, my sister-in-law, likes one of a kind hand made items for her.  She is a very crafty person too! She makes awesome greeting cards I will have to share soon.  The pattern is a freebie from Lily Sugar & Cream that I found at a yarn store and is actually for a dishcloth.  I merely upgraded it to bib status; making the ties by adding 50 double chains to each side, and VOILA!  Cute and functional – my favorite way to crochet 🙂

This lily is a bit of sunshine that my husband brought in for me from the garden.  Talk about a great guy, I love it when he surprises me by such sweet gestures…

Have a fabulous sunshiny day!

crochet:: my favorite dishcloth

This simple pattern is a regular at my house.  I just can’t find a store-bought dishcloth that works as well, so these are my standard.  I have tried many different patterns, always returning to these because they just seem to be the best shape and size.

For summer this year I have been on a rainbow kick for my color choice.  It just seems cheerful 🙂

I use these with white flour-sack towels, so I always match no matter what color I choose!  (I have a thing for needing to match.  My husband tells me that it is my “inner Sheldon” coming out.  Sheldon is the totally OCD guy on the Big Bang Theory)

Directions:

H Hook

Small amounts of 100% cotton yarn (I use Lily Sugar & Cream)

Row 1 – ch 21, hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across.

Row 2 – ch 2, turn, hcd in each hdc across.

Row 3 – 13 – Repeat row 2

Round 1 – ch 2, 2 hdc in same stitch (corner), then hdc 18 evenly spaced across the ends of the row to the next corner, 3 hdc in corner, hdc in each across to next corner, 3 hdc in corner, hdc 18 evenly again, 3 hdc in corner, and hdc in each across, slip stitch in top of first hdc of round.

Round 2 – ch 1, turn and sc in each around, putting 3 sc in center of each corner, slip stitch together and tie off, weave in end.