Sunday, December 21, 2014

Designing tip

I mostly chart my stuff in Excel. I like it, it's easy and you can do some neat things with it. I'm making a shrug based on a stitch pattern in an old book. The pattern was written so I had to chart it. It's a busy pattern so charting it wasn't the easiest to transfer from flat  written to charted in the round.

This is a section of the chart i printed for decreasing.  Te center is the pattern repeat and the sides are the repeat sections I will be decreasing. I have shaded lines across the chart on the decrease rows and I changed the font for the sections I will decrease to a really light font. I printed this out and it allows me to see what the pattern repeats are supposed to do and I can adjust and over wright with a pen the changes I made as I decrease. I use a pencil and shade in "no stitch" areas as I get rid of sections and can easily decided when it's to narrow to continue in pattern. When I am done I will go back in and make the changes to the chart to reflect what it really needs to be.

The dark row at the bottom is an unaltered pattern repeat for reference to build off of.

Here is what it looks like in progress with notes over written. I take this back to the computer and update the chart.

And this is what I'm working on

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Carving Starry Night


So this Halloween i decided to tackle Van Gogh's Starry Night. To do this I have some wood carving tools I picked up at Michael's craft store. Clay tools really aren't sharp enough. i also have a couple small loops for carving out.

I printed off the picture. To conserve ink I just printed it under the "draft" setting. Didn't need a really nice print, just to get the idea. I used a regular ball tip pen to transfer it to the pumpkin. I did this freehand. You can make a couple pricks through the print to get a few points for size reference.

To start carving i clipped my print to a board so I could have it to look at as I went. After gutting the pumpkin and thinning the walls I got one of the tap lights that are battery powered and put it inside. I put the light in a sandwich bag 1st so it didn't get pumpkin on it. I liked the light so much that we ended up using it instead of candles when we were done.

To get the walls a uniform thickness i have a needle probe in my set and poked it through teh wall in several spots to cofirm that it was all the same thickness. I scraped it to about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thickness.

 I used a small curved blade for most of the pumpkin. To get the crisp outlines I partially cut into the skin following the lines I made than used a flat chisel blade and cut towards the outline cuts and chipped out small bits to create the outlines.

Slowly carve in layers! You can't un-carve. I worked away at he moon with large and small curved blades. I used a hole punch for the stars (you can see the tools in the background... and the pumpkin all over me!)
 Pumpkins like this are in revese. The deeper you go the brighter the spots get. I used the edge of the angled chisel to scrape the deepest lines by the mountain and moon. the Moon is nearly cut through on the outer edge and I did cut through around the points and circle
For the buildings I poked in straight with a flat chisel than cut towards my 1st cut to chip out the flesh.

 This angle shows the moon well.

 When I'm done I wash the pumpkin inside and out to get any hanging bits. this really does make a huge difference in how clean the lines of a pumpkin look! i than went and checked for any areas that needed touch ups.

This was only the 2nd time I have done a shadow pumpkin. I really am happy with this. I think I could have had more depth around the stars, but this is pretty good!
Thse are pumpkins that my kids did.

My daughter Anja's pumpkin
 My youngest son, Michael's pumpkin. he will be 9 in January and he cut this by himself!

You can see the tap light in this one. They really do work great!
 And my older son, Robert's pumpkin.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weaving in ends - knitting

I just came across this amazing post with excellent photos detailing many ways to weave in ends in your knitting and thought I would pass it on.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Posting my lasagna recipe.
1. because it's good
2. I thought i lost it when I lost my cooking program files but found a paper copy and don't want to loose it for real.

I actually double this when I make it

1 lb ground beef (I use Bob Evans Italian roll sausage)
1 can tomato sauce 
2 jars spaghetti sauce
I used my own sauce so don't add these ingredients, will post sauce recipe
 chopped onion to taste
chopped bell pepper to taste  
2 tbsp chopped parsley (to taste)
1 tbsp chopped oregano (to taste)
minced garlic (to taste

1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 container ricotta cheese 
1 egg
mozzarella cheese - shredded to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

combine parsley, ricotta, cottage cheese, oregano and egg

preheat oven to 350ºF

I do not fully cook the pasta, I just boil it till it's a little bit soft but still 

In pan coat bottom with sauce
layer with pasta, ricotta mix than mozzarella (save some mozzarella for end)
repeat layers ending with sauce.

cover and bake about 35 minutes

uncover and top with remainder of the mozzarella and Parmesan and return to oven uncovered for another 10 minutes.

For my spaghetti sauce I brown 1 lb roll Bob Evans Italian sausage I add the onions and bell pepper with the sausage. I combine that all into a pot with 1 28oz can tomato sauce and 1 14.5 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes. Add in what ever you like to sauce (mushrooms and such). I also add about 1 tbs honey (or brown sugar).

simmer down to desired consistency. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tunisian lattice throw

This throw is tunisian crochet on the bias and has a simple but elegant texture. For mine I used Caron Simply Soft in Heather Grey and it took about 5.25 skeins. This pattern is written and will allow you to make this as wide or long as you like. If you want to switch up the edging or add open spaces to it, it is easy to modify.

The pattern is written

Tools 6mm / J extended tunisian/afghan hook (or long straight hook). 6 skeins 1500 yards / 852 grams Caron Simply Soft Heather Grey

I have 3 downloads for this pattern.
Tunisian Lattice Throw- mirror. This pattern includes photo instructions on how to create the tunisian stitches and they are left handed.
Tunisian Lattice Throw - standard - This is the same print but I have went and flipped all the images so they appear right handed.
Tunisian Lattice Throw - Chart (left hand) - This is a chart for this pattern. It is a left hand chart ( read left to right) if you are right handed and read patterns right to left you will want to either go into your advanced printers settings and print this as a mirror image so that you will be able to read it right to left. Or just read the printed chart left to right. This chart does not have detailed stitch directions so use it along with the instructions on the written patterns.

The 1st pages are just bare bones with 2 images. I than follow with photos on separate pages to show how to do the various tunisian stitches required for this pattern. This will allow you to just print the pattern or print the photos and tutorials.

I think this blanket works best with a medium shade yarn. Nothing to bright or dark or the texture will be harder to see. Also I chose a solid grey but Tunisian tends to play well with variegated yarn.

This would make a lovely large blanket, just be cautious to make sure you purchase enough yarn as this does consume a LOT of yarn!

This is also on Ravelry

I don't know why these pictures are showing up sideways,