Friday, November 30, 2007

Pay it Forward

I kept going back and forth on whether or not I should join this - but, hey, I have a whole year to send out my gifts so I think I can handle that. Also, being able to sign up on Ina's blog was an extra bonus. You see, Ina and I share a very special bond. She lives in the town where I grew up and went to school, where I still go to visit my family. And that gave me the extra push to sign up.

If you haven't seen this yet, here's the deal.

The PIF pledge:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Since this has been going around for a while (and I don't really get all that many readers), I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get three comments from people who haven't signed up yet. And since sometimes I have problems getting email addresses through Blogger comments, if you are someone new to here and you don't think I have your email address, please email me at hoyerln [at] msn [dot] com because I will need to get your mailing address. Also, it's implicit that all participants have a blog (sorry, blogfree readers) since the reason behind this is to pay it forward through your own blog. Of course, if I don't get three people that I can send a gift too, I will promise to pay it forward in my community.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here Comes Santa Claus

I'm the type of person who doesn't like to rush the holidays. For example, I refused to listen to one of the radio stations I usually listen to in the morning because they were playing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving. Please, let's just try to enjoy one holiday at a time.

However, we all know that it's a different story when it comes to making holiday gifts. Sometimes I have to start in January - or maybe that is just finishing up gifts I hadn't completed from the previous year (LOL)! When my daughter made these ornaments this past Saturday at Michael's, I knew they would be a fun project to make at home. Besides decorating the tree, they could also be nice package toppers and would make great little gifts for a child to give to a teacher. All you need are the red, white and black pony beads and some cord. We used the elastic beading cord but other types should work too. Just make sure you have enough cord - probably close to 2 yards. Fold the cord together, tying a knot on top leaving a loop for hanging.

As you can see in the picture, you string the beads on one side and then you need to poke the other cord through the beads in the opposite direction. I just did a search on pony bead patterns - check out this cute lamb one. There are tons of free patterns which will hopefully explain the directions better than I can. Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Go Forth and Knit Mittens

It's time again for Knit Unto Others and I've decided to make mittens. It'll be a great way to use some of my handspun that I'm not sure what to do with and some leftovers from other projects. Small mittens don't take a lot of yarn.
I started out using this pattern (without the stripe). That's the yellowish/pinkish mittens you see in the picture. The fiber is the wool blend from Amy and I think the name was something like Strawberry Lemonade. I had used this fiber to practice my Navajo plying.
Then I switched to the book by Ann Budd that you see in the picture. It's great when you want to just use some yarn you have in your stash. You simply find your gauge, decide what size you want to make and follow the charts in the book. Very easy and versatile. I'm now using the other yarn in the picture and I must admit that I did not enjoy this fiber as I was spinning it. It is slightly scratchy and as I started the mitten, I wondered how I could make the mitten feel softer. Then I remembered that, as a spinner, I have plenty of soft fiber in my stash and I could thrum the mittens. So, I pulled out some leftover Corriedale that I had used for my Diamond Fantasy Shawl and started adding it to the mitten. Much softer and much warmer!!

Friday, November 09, 2007


As some of you may remember, I join a local CSA each summer. We had our final pickup 2 weeks ago and I will have to wait until next spring when I can start picking up my share again. The first year was the most adventurous for me since I was introduced to many vegetables I had never tried. This past summer was my third year and I really look forward to seeing what I will get each week. Some people don't get the idea of the CSA and ask me why I can't pick out something else instead. As my daughter learned in preschool - "You get what you get and you don't get upset." And that is what makes it an adventure each week.

A few weeks in a row we got cabbage and I had a great idea to make something I had never made before - a boiled dinner. Specifically corned beef and cabbage since I remembered that my daughter, who can sometimes be a picky eater, had tried it when a friend made it and enjoyed eating the corned beef. So, let me present to you my first ever (and definitely not my last) boiled dinner:

Corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Not only did it taste awesome, but the most amazing thing happened - the smell and the taste brought back memories I hadn't even remembered I had. Memories of being a little girl and going to my grandparents for Sunday dinner or having dinner at my aunt's house. I could remember my grandmother's kitchen and sitting at her table - things I haven't thought about in a very long time. It amazed me how vividly the smells and tastes of my dinner could bring back things I had long forgotten. The ties that bind us to past generations are always there in some form, coming back to us when we least expect it and maybe when we need it the most.