Saturday, February 26, 2011

Master Afghan Update

Working up a pattern

Remember this?

It's now this:
Six colors: Three blue, two red and white. The basic pattern for the hearts used in the middle of the square pattern can be found at Skip to my Lou. It's been adjusted a little to fit the square.

Now it's time to take a break and give the NVO some much deserved attention. :-)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Alma Mater Scarves

Hopes and Dreams of College Educated Offspring Finding Good Jobs That They Love

University of Michigan
This school's colors are not just simply blue and gold, they're azure and maize - this is very specific and made very clear. As a color enthusiast and college advocate I am happy to conform. :-)

This is another crochet stitch from the "365 Crochet Stitches a Year" Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss  - "Braids and Cables", February 19
(Two stitches down, 363 to go!)

University of Utah
The colors for this school are, as I remember, and white. The school does, however; have a club called "The Crimson Club" and crimson could be an entirely different color from this red. Additionally, I have recently seen the football team and fans wearing black with a hint of red or crimson. Hmmmmmm...makes a freaky color conformer, like me, very confused.

Free Curly Scarf Pattern from Lion Brand.

#6a and #6 wearing their alma mater scarves.
Definitely looking all educated!

Boy, am I ever proud of and do I ever love these kids!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Diversity Scarf

The Diversity Scarf is Finished...
Cross that one off the "Dream Projects to Finish List"

For Christmas 2010 I was fortunate enough to receive, from the NVO, a crochet calendar (365 Crochet Stitches a Year: Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss.) A wonderful gift, he knows me well and is probably sorry now, but it's too late - the gift has been received and the damage has been done. I plan on trying every single one of the stitches. It will take me longer than 365 days to get through the calendar though, but since it's perpetual, everything will be just fine; no exact deadlines without a year attached to each day. :-) Many, many more posts to come in reference to these stitches. Way fun! Thank you NVO, Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss.

It was within this calendar that I found the stitch for the main part of the scarf. It's called "Chic Shells" and it's on October 6th. (Yes...I skipped ahead; I was much too excited to wait day by day. I cannot resist when it comes to daily crochet stimuli.) Perhaps it will be cold enough to wear it October 6, 2011.  It's cold enough now, but it would be especially nice to inaugurate it on its "birth" day. ;-)

I love this yarn, it's 100% superwash merino wool, lusciously hand dyed by a local gal at Mybootee Boutique (see, but I got to thinking that this stitch may be better with a solid color yarn. Perhaps, I will try that one day after I try the other 364 stitches. Too many projects and ideas and not enough time left (based on the average life span, that is) to do them all! Ha! Retirement is going to be so much fun...hmmmmm...another 15 years, ouch!

Okay, no more daydreaming and back to the scarf. The edging pattern was found in the book, Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman, that I purchased from Amazon. It's pattern number 132. I love this book. I must figure out a way to retire early in addition to living longer so that I will have more crocheting time on earth. :-0 Is there a crocheting heaven? Do all crocheter's go to heaven? I hope so.

I really am ready to get to that master bedroom afghan, now...
or maybe tomorrow night...
The next project...designing and crocheting the master bedroom afghan.

My poor crochet and laptop widower husband,
the patient, so thoughtful...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Apple Blossom Header

Apple Blossom Dreams Header Update

All apple blossoms have been crocheted and accounted for. :-)
Phase I of the new header is complete:
I love winter but these faux blossoms make me long for springtime.
The flags of the two countries that I love...
The flag of the country that the NVO loves,
and the flag of the country he is learning to love.
(The military flag, in the header, was from NVO's father.)

The leaf pattern is from the Easy Makes Me Happy Blog and the apple blossom and rosebud patterns are from Lesley Stanfields, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet, book. This wonderful book was purchased via Amazon; however, the apple blossom pattern can also be found on the Lion Brand Website.

Now it's time to finish the rainbow scarf before the weather warms up.
I don't want it to have to wait until next fall to wrap it's lovin' fibers around someones neck.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Yarn...New Project

I Want to Dream Under a Blanket of Blankets
The yarn seeds that have been planted for a master bedroom afghan.

 The colors represent the flags of the two countries that I love:
USA and Norway
(The Christmas red has been back ordered since....uhhhhhh...Christmas,
 but I was fortunate enough to find two skeins online. Yay!)

The yarn lays upon the bed on which the afghan will someday lay.
The plants have arrived, now all they need is a plan and some fertilizer.
I have plenty of fertilizer, but the plan is the problem. 
A granny square that incorporates hearts would be ideal.

A couple of unsuccessful attempts at creating the perfect heart square:
(The heart pattern can be found at Skip to my Lou)

These are a few of the ideas I have toyed with but nothing seems to click. I'm still experimenting...Suggestions?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Berlinerkranser og Forklær

Berlinerkranser og Nydelige Forklær Drømmer
(Berlinerkranser and Pretty Apron Dreams)

There's a cookie I am famous for....well...does having one HUGE fan (the NVO) constitute "famous"? It's a Norwegian Christmas cookie and it's called berlinerkranser ("Berlin Wreaths" or "Little Wreaths" depending on who you ask). The NVO calls them the "J.C. Cookies", he knows in his heart that they must be J.C.'s favorite cookie. I tell him (the NVO, that is) that J.C. likes wine and fish, not berlinakranser, but the NVO has his own theory. If the NVO's theory is correct then I have two HUGE fans.

Now you see them.....

Now you don't.....

Although these are a Christmas cookie, I know I can make the NVO feel especially loved if I make them during other times of the year. This Valentine's Day he received heart shaped berlinerkranser and I received a brand new apron that I had been observing and dreaming about through the window of a lovely local shop for the past few weeks. I think they go very well together.

I will share this recipe with you in the event that you ever are in the company of either one of these two wonderful gentlemen.


2 1/2 hard boiled egg yolks
2 1/2 egg yolks (reserve whites for later dipping)
162 grams of sugar (sorry it's my Norwegian parents recipe; hence, the grams)

Mix above ingredients in stand alone mixer, then slowly add:

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
500 grams flour
312 grams unsalted butter

Mix on slow for 3 minutes

Chill dough for 30-60 minutes

Meanwhile, whip egg whites with fork for about 30 seconds until a little frothy and place in a shallow bowl. Then pour some *sprinkles of choice in a shallow bowl, as well.

Roll pieces of dough in little snake or tube shape (a little wider than a pencil), then shape into a ring and dip in egg white mixture first and then the *sprinkles and place on sheet with parchment paper. (In addition to the ring shape these photos show the heart shape - this is a little trickier but can be achieved via practice.)

*The Norwegians use something called pearl sugar (IKEA), it looks like Margarita or pretzel salt, but it's not - it's sugar. Additionally, I used red sprinkles for V-day. The NVO loves non-pariels and, they come in many colors for any occasion but some pretty pastel colors for Easter will be nice.
Bake 375 for 10 minutes maybe 11 maybe 12...the edges will be slightly golden brown.

These flaky cookies will undoubtedly melt in your mouth. Make sure they cool a bit before removing from cookie sheet as they crumble when hot.

Pearl Sugar and Sprinkles

Heart ~ Traditional Ring ~ Strange Letter

For You NVO...Happy Valentine's Day!!!
I <3 You!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Neck Warmers

Ice Fishing with the NVO is a Dream That Comes True Every St. Valentine's Day Weekend!

And this year we have matching crocheted neck warmers...
Perhaps these "hooked" neck warmers will entice the fish to get "hooked."

The neck warmers were thoughtfully made to coordinate with our fishing attire.
(Coordination is of utmost importance, especially when one is ice fishing.)
 Pretty stylish, eh?
One day...when I get a little better at this crocheting stuff
I would love to embellish these with some small crocheted rainbow trout.
Wouldn't that be cute?
Does anyone have any ideas or patterns?
The NVO would be tickled pink...errrrrr maybe salmon. ;-)
Last year the wind whipped at our necks...
This year bring on the wind!
(Oops, I hope no one thought I meant the NVO type of ice fishing wind. Please don't bring that on NVO.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Favorite Lost Recipe

Is it possible to organize and simplify every nook and cranny of the home
 or is it just a dream?

An Organizing Opportunity:
Prompted out of necessity and a little embarrassment and spurned on by obsession.
(Sometimes obessive behavior can be a good thing....really!)

Over a year ago while cleaning out a couple of HUGE bins of old magazines, I ran across a recipe that stated it was "The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe; Crispy on the Edges and Chewy in the Middle" hmmmmm...I thought, could this be so? I preceded to show the recipe to the NVO, who is quite handy in the kitchen, and he said "Let's find out, I will try the recipe", and he did indeed try the recipe and it did indeed, prove to be so.

So low and behold, this weekend the NVO wanted to make the cookies for a Sunday sports event and "Little Miss Organized" could not find the recipe for the life of her. It's no wonder as all the recipes from the last year were stashed in a corner, well... at least most of the recipes from the last year (there may have been a few "other areas" where more recipes lingered, my memory fails me...). Then, as expected,"Little Miss Obsessive" spent over an hour going through the pile again and again and "other areas" again to no avail.

I should note that at the very beginning of this frantic search the NVO put a few key words in our old friend "Mr. Google" and quickly found the recipe...but I was compelled to continue the madness. (Click here; for the recipe...I promise if you try it you will not regret it.) 

NVO started the cookie making process while I continued the search. I did, however; put the search aside for a few minutes while the NVO helped me do "my thing" to some of the dough.

My Thing:
Being a true Scandinavian I love almonds so the NVO gave me a chunk of the dough and I added almond extract, sliced almonds and milk chocolate chips...mmmmm.
His cookies must not touch and her cookies ;-)
There would have been more cookies than this, but the cookie dough monster (NVO) was on the loose.

His and Hers Cookies

Okay, so back to the task at hand: the recipe organizing. I love my laptop and I love the Internet. It brings a plethora of recipes and answers to any question regarding any recipe instantly with a few keyboard strokes; however, I still like photo albums, recipe binders and books that I can cuddle up with on the sofa. No worries of  dead batteries, bad connections, or carpel tunnel syndrome, plus they just simply feel good.

I do like these "paper" things neat and orderly, so you can imagine my agony when I realized I had really been slipping in this area and not living up to my expectations. (I have a good friend who recently retired. When I asked her what she would be doing in retirement, she gleefully exclaimed "Organizing my recipes!" I am so jealous I can hardly stand it, it's a good thing that I love her! She refers to herself as "Nothing" in her comments on my posts; however, nothing could be further from the truth. She really is something!)

The task has begun, upon completion I can once again hold my head up high and be free. (But there is that "sewing supplies" mess that eats at me every now and again and then what about all those boxes of photo's???) Honestly, it was a great "Sports Event" watching project, not as good as crocheting but satisfying nonetheless.

As you can see from the above photos the task is daunting, but I will carry on and post the results as soon as the results are in.

And in the mean time have a Happy St. Valentines' Day week!