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.

crochet:: mochachino afghan

Welcome to YarnChick!  I am a country girl with a full-time job and a lot of hobbies.  I hope to share fun crochet patterns, recipes, and whole lot more.  My first free pattern will be for my Mochachino Afghan.

Mochachino Afghan

It is a simple 4 count, 3 front- then 1 back-post double crochet (treble for our non-US friends).  It is one of those easy-peasy ones that you can work on AND keep pace with a conversation.  No pleading “Hold that thought, I’m counting” necessary.

This works up super thick and cozy and just the right size.  I have counted it twice and apologize in advance if you find an error – please let me know and I will happily edit the pattern.

This is an original copyrighted design – please only use it for good, not evil.  You know the drill.  This pattern is only for personal use – please do not sell it or alter it for resale.   Blah, blah, blah…

MOCHACHINO AFGHAN

Hook: “I” (5.5mm)

Yarn: “Vanna’s Choice” brand acrylic (3.5 oz ~ 170 yds)

(6 skeins each); Linen, Taupe, & Chocolate

US Stitches: sl = slip stitch

ch = chain

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

fpdc = front post double crochet

bpdc = back post double crochet

Notes:  each skein will make approximately 5 rows; the pattern is 4 stitches repeated 48 times per row

ch 195

row 1 – dc in 4th ch from hook (counts as 1 dc), and in each ch to end (192 dc), ch 3 and turn

row 2 – ch 3 counts as 1st stitch, 1 fpdc around each of the next 2 dc, then bpdc around next, *fpdc next 3 then 1 bpdc* repeat all the way across to last 3 stitches and just do the fpdc of the pattern (do not add the final bpdc), ch 3 and turn

the entire pattern is the same as row 2 – change colors after every 5 rows

Variation: you could work any multiple of 5 to make the stripes wider