Wednesday, January 30, 2008

~WIP Wednesday~

I have one square done for my afghan:

I'm calling it "My Sock Afghan". I blocked it this morning. Now on to the rest of the sock yarn I have! *Grin*

My cabled scarf is 99.9% finished. I just need to weave in the ends and lightly block it. I'll post a picture when I get that done.

And my ripple afghan is coming right along. I think I have enough yarn left for four more stripes. We'll see! That should be finished shortly!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Just popping in to at least say "hello" to my bloggy readers. *Smiles*

I have been sick most of January. I got over my cough, only to get another virus less than a week later! I'm hoping February will be a healthier month for me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

~WIP Wednesday~

I always, always, always have some sort of project going! It doesn't feel "right" to have no WIP's about!

My ripple afghan had been neatly folded and set aside for awhile, and now I'm determined to finish it up as quickly as I can! I had to buy one more skein of yarn, but that is it! I'm buying NO MORE YARN for this project!!!

This is a picture from last spring, since I procrastinated today and never got around to taking a decent shot while it was still light out!

My cable scarf has been in and out of my workbag, but mostly in. I have a love/hate relationship with the cables. I love the way they look, but I get to feeling annoyed every row that I need to pick my cable needle up. It's just one more thing to have in my hands, I guess. I know there is a method for not using a cable needle, but I have tried it several times and it doesn't work for me. That being said, I hope by next Wednesday I will have a finished scarf to show off! I'm about 75% finished!

And then, because I needed another project, I cast on for this afghan:

The book with this pattern in it is coming out this spring. Oh, see the tan and brown square near the lower left hand corner of the picture? I knit that, and it ended up in the afghan pictured in the book! *big, silly grin*

So of course, since I have the pattern, I decided to start the afghan now. It will be a sampler of the socks I've knitted. I figure it will take a while, but that's ok! My first square is being knit with the yarn from my mother-in-law's socks.

That's "all" I have in the works...for now! *Grin*

PS. Stop by Mrs. H's blog if you have a WIP Wednesday to share!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

~My happy mug~

I have a love for Winnie the Pooh that I can't quite explain, and my husband can't quite understand. When we were at Disney Land a few years ago, my husband was shocked that I wanted my picture taken with (a person dressed as) Winnie the Pooh . LOL What can I say?

Look at this adorable mug my husband got me recently:

I smile every single time I look at it! Winnie's face is on the front and back. My husband sure knows how to make my day!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Last fall, while talking to my dad's mom, I asked if Kevin and I could come over for sukiyaki one night during our California visit.

Now, my family's rendition of sukiyaki is completely different than the description found on Wikipedia. The explanation is simple - years ago, my grandparents were served this dinner by a missionary family, and over the years it has greatly evolved to what it is now. My grandma used to make it for my dad's birthday. It had been years since I had had it, and Kevin has never had it!

A large bowl or plate is essential. The order of the ingredients is equally essential. When I was young, a huge deal was made about the order. *Smiles*

egg noodles
grated carrots
scrambled eggs
beef gravy
mung bean sprouts
chow mein noodles
green onions

Soy sauce for flavoring

It sounds like an awful combination! But it is oh, so yummy! It brought back so many memories for me. Kevin was sceptical, but he enjoyed the meal too!

Friday, January 18, 2008

~Cloth Napkin Tutorial~

I wrote this tutorial last fall, and since then I have come across several tutorials for cloth napkins. While a napkin is a napkin, I especially like the corners, which are unique from the tutorials I have seen. I copied them from a purchased set of napkins that I have. This tutorial is also written (hopefully) for the beginner seamstress. If you need extra help, please feel free to ask in the comment box.

For four napkins, you will need one yard of fabric. I suggest 100% cotton, but a cotton-poly blend will work too.

1. Pre-shrink your fabric. Just throw it in the wash with like-colored clothing, or if you're in a super hurry, get it thoroughly soaked in the sink, spin it in the washer, and throw it in the dryer.

2. Cut out your napkins. I cut my squares at 18", but you can cut smaller square if you wish. If you are making four napkins, and cutting 18" squares, you will need to measure your fabric carefully before you start cutting, and make sure you still have a yard long piece of fabric. Otherwise you might get just two napkins, and that wouldn't be any fun!

You can make a pattern out of tissue paper, if you want. I used a quilting ruler to make my first square, and then used the first square as a pattern.

3. Now the fun begins! My napkins are a little more casual; I will be using these for every day, not with my good china. Therefore, I've made the hem a little wider. The more formal the napkin, the narrower you'll want your hem.

Working on the wrong side of the fabric, I started out by folding one side down by 6/8".

If you don't have one of these 6" gauge rulers, and you do any amount of sewing, I highly recommend you get one. It costs less than $2, and you'll find many uses for it!

Next, flip the edge under so that it meets the fold. The hem will be a little over 3/8" wide now. As you're flipping it under, iron it down. Hint: take the water out of the iron so the steam doesn't burn your fingers!

Do the same exact thing on the opposite side ("top" and "bottom").

Now you're ready to do the other two sides ("right" and "left"). Iron down 6/8", right over the other ironed down hem.

On each corner, open the hem back up and fold back the hem by 45 degrees (on the side you are working on--the "top" and "bottom" sides are left just as they are):

Then you'll fold under the hem just like you did on the other two sides:

See, a neat, precise corner!

I put a pin on the corners, but not along the hem. Sometimes fabric doesn't hold a fold as well, so you might need a few pins along the hem.

That was a long step! Now on to the next step!

4. Sewing! This is the quick part! Choose a seam allowance close to the edge of the hem. In my case, it is 3/8". Just pick a place to start, and sew along.

Pivot at the corners. (Leaving the needle in the fabric, lift up the pressure foot and turn the fabric.) Some of the corners may be a little tricky to get just right. Sew slowly and use your fingers to press the folds down.

When you get back to your starting place, sew right on top of the stitching for about an inch or so. This will keep the stitching from coming undone.

5. Stand back and admire your handiwork! Set the table and take pictures for your blog! If giving as a gift, find a pretty ribbon to wrap around them.


If you want to use a different coordinating fabric for each napkin, buy a fat quarter for each napkin. Square it up and sew it up! (The fat quarters will be a bit more expensive than buying fabric by the yard, but then you'll have all different napkins, which would be fun.)

If you are giving these napkins as a gift, perhaps you could find some pretty napkin rings to go along with the gift. Or, you could make them.

Cloth napkins are very eco-friendly. They are small and even if you use them at every meal, you probably won't notice the difference in the laundry. I'm working on sewing up quite a few so that we can use them instead of paper napkins.

Remember while making these napkins: they are not a ball gown for the queen. No, people will wipe chicken grease off their faces with them! So if they are not perfect, don't fuss about it! Just do your best, and remember that no one (unless your mother-in-law is that way; thankfully mine is not! LOL) is going to turn them over and measure the hems to make sure they are all exactly the same! Just have fun!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Today's Small Thing was to corral the shoes around your home. It was very timely, because just yesterday I had gone through my shoes and selected the ones I need to throw out. Shoes aren't that big of a "thing" for me, so I had quite a few ratty pairs that just need to be tossed out! I also thought it was funny, because I have the bad habit of kicking my shoes off wherever, so shoes end up in all rooms of the house. No, not a very tidy habit! There were three pairs and a pair of slippers under the dining room table alone! LOL

Since we don't take our shoes off at the door, I tend to kick my shoes off when I sit down. I definitely like to have shoes on when I'm working around the house though.

Next on my shopping list: a pair of navy dress shoes. And then, a pair of "fun" shoes. I need to get my "fun" in before I get too old. Hehe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

~Pepper Jelly~

Over our Christmas trip, one of my goals was to make pepper jelly with my youngest sisters. I've wanted to try making it for a while, and I knew it was something simple that they could help me with.

I'm really, really liking these days. There were many pepper jelly recipes to choose from, but the one I picked was Recipe #58516. Since the jelly we were making wasn't extremely spicy, we went with green food coloring instead of the red.

The jelly came out so beautiful. It was a fun, easy project. My mom already had the jars, and I bought the ingredients for around $8 (for a yield of 5 half-pint jars. We would have had 6, but we had a little problem when the jelly boiled over onto the stove - my fault!).

I brought one jar home with me, and my sisters gave the remaining jars as Christmas gifts to grandparents and aunts.

One way to use pepper jelly is to place a block of cream cheese on a decorative plate, and spread the pepper jelly over the cream cheese. Serve with crackers...instant hit!

Monday, January 14, 2008

~I'm a Company Girl!~

Click the link to read about it!

I'm joining in a little late, but I saw others participating in Company Girl, and it just sounded like a lot of fun with a lot of good ideas and inspiration.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Today I discovered a lovely blog titled "Simply Breakfast", which is a photo blog with...breakfasts, of course! I spent time looking through all the archives. The photography is superb, the breakfasts look absolutely delicious, and it definitely gave me inspiration for making breakfast a special meal!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


What are some great books you read in 2007? And what books do you have lined up for 2008?

Currently reading: In the Best Possible Light by Beneth Peters Jones. An excellent resource for any Christian woman! I received it for Christmas.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

~Guess the Gadget~

Any ideas???

HopiQ wins the "prize" for the most detailed answer! *Smiles!*

It is indeed a ruffler, and since she explained it so well, I'll let her do it here:
I have one of these exactly like yours! And I even used it recently. My grandma (who is no longer living) gave me all her sewing machine attachments several years ago. It may even have been when I was in high school. (Time flies!) Many I don't use, but this one does come out from time to time. It is so handy! It is indeed a "Ruffler." It attaches where an ordinary sewing machine foot would attach, but it also needs to engage with the little doo-hickey that tightens your needle into place. The little numbers indicate how often the ruffler will make a tuck (every stitch, every six stitches and so on). You can play with your stitch length as well to change how your ruffle comes out. I use it when I need to make a long ruffle from a strip of fabric to use as trim. It creates evenly spaced tucks and very pretty trim. I've used it on flat lace and strips of hemmed fabric. I have the instruction paper that came with mine. Let me know if this was just for fun or if you actually need to know how to use it!

When I was putting away my Christmas tree, I took a picture of my tree skirt. I made it several years ago, and used the ruffler attachment. It worked marvelously! It not only gathers or tucks the fabric (or in this case, I used organdy ribbon), but it will attach it to a flat piece of fabric as you're stitching!

Here's the tree skirt:

It is a pretty amazing attachment!

Monday, January 07, 2008


I had such grand thoughts of updating my blog every day this year. Well, at least every day for a while....LOL You can see how long that lasted!

The reason for the title of this post is that I have a cold, and I feel "blah". The last few days I've done little more than move from the couch to bed. I get to feeling better, and get up to do things, then my head aches and I start coughing more. So back to the couch I go! I'm hoping to be on the mend soon!

I hope the winter bugs are staying away from *you*!!!

And on a side note, I cannot believe the weather we're experiencing! I think today's high was in the low 60's! That is just amazing weather for January!

Friday, January 04, 2008


Ravelry is becoming increasingly addictive to me. Yesterday I spent an exorbitant amount of time adding my stash of yarn, complete with pictures. I forgot I had so much yarn! And I found out that two skeins of yarn, which I thought were the same dye lot - they aren't. And it is very obvious. Hmmm.

Do you knit or crochet? Do you "do" Ravelry? If not, why not join in the fun? I got my invite in July, promptly joined...and then did nothing. But now that I see how fun it can be, and how organized I can make my knitting (and crocheting), I'm having fun with it!

My user name is "Tammy" (very original, huh?). If you are a Ravelry member, will you leave your user name in the comment box? I'd like to visit you. :-) (I already have Mrs. H and Heather of Knit or Knot as friends on Ravelry.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

~Everyday Cassoulet~

Last night's dinner conversation:
Kevin: "Where did you get this recipe?"
Tammy: "From my Betty Crocker cookbook."
K: "Oh, I thought you were going to say 'from a blog'."
T: "No."
K: "Well, I bet it will be going on your blog then!"

Well, Kevin was right. *Smiles*


Cassoulet is a French bean and meat stew.

1 pound Polish or smoked sausage, diagonaly cut into 1-inch pieces (I used beef sausage)
1 can (15 to 16 oz) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 to 16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 to 16 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 small onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup beef broth
2 TBS packed brown sugar
2 TBS chopped fresh or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1. Heat oven to 375*.
2. Mix all ingredients in ungreased 3-quart casserole. Cover and bake 50-60 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly and carrots are tender.


This stew is delicious! Perfect for a cold-weather dinner! I served it with crusty bread and a fresh green salad.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

~WIP Wednesday~

(Work In Progress Wednesday)

I'm stealing borrowing this idea from Mrs. H. Each Wednesday (that I get around to it!) I'll post some pictures of my works in progress. Want to join the fun? Mrs. H has a Mr. Linky set up on today's post.

My current WIP is a reversible cabled scarf. I love the look of cables, but I don't like the wrong side of the project. I really didn't want a scarf that only had one nice side, so I was thrilled to find a reversible pattern!

Pattern: "His/Hers Reversible Scarf" from Cables Untangled.
Yarn: 100% fine merino dk weight by Classic Elite Yarns (classic one fifty)
Needles: US 6

On a side note, picture taking is a real challenge for me at this time of the year. We don't have good lighting/natural lighting in our house, so I end up taking a lot of shots outside. It happens to be really bright outside right now, so I guess that didn't make for a good picture either! LOL

Tuesday, January 01, 2008