Thrift Thursday Sad News

011 (4)This was my favorite Goodwill.  It was on the same street as my library.  Horrible news-they closed it last month.  It has seriously thrown off my thrifting mojo.  Now there are plenty  other thrift stores nearby… but it’s just not the same.   So sad.

Thank goodness I still have the library!

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Randomness

024A new motto to go by for 2015?  Thanks again Claudia, this was a birthday gift this year.

These  were not arranged, honestly, the yolks just landed there.

007Shocked face….

006Happy face….
I don’t remember what I was baking when I took these pictures. It wasn’t banana bread though, that uses four eggs. Having more than one Kitchen Aid bowl is so awesome! Dare I admit I have 3 bowls for my mixer? It is so helpful when one is baking in quantity as I often do.

Trying to use up yarn scraps, combining yarns  for Big Squash knitted hats.

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Christmas Treats, Cinnamon Pecans

There are many recipes for these nuts on the internet.  I have made a few over the years, and this is what my recipe has evolved into.

Final product?  Delicious!  My family was fighting over these this year.

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I put some in canning jars and some in these cute plastic containers that came with the snowman topper you could write on, bought these from Aldi’s.

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Cinnamon Spiced Pecans

Preheat oven to 250.

Line 2 10 x 15 inch pans with parchment and spray with Pam.

In a large bowl beat 2 egg whites until very frothy.

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Add 1 TBSP vanilla, 1-2 tsp salt, 2 TBSP cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves.

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Add 2 1/4 cups brown sugar

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Stir it all into some cinnamon syrupy goodness!016Add 2 pounds pecans.

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Stir it all in.  YUM!018Spread half of the bowl contents into each prepared pan.

Bake at 250 for approx 75 to 90 min.  You need to stir every 20 min or so.

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You need to get the nuts to dry, they should look like the last picture.  They will get less gloppy with each succeeding 20 min.  DO NOT overcrowd the pan.

Try very hard not to eat them all when they are warm and your kitchen smells like Heaven.

Store in airtight containers, otherwise the coating on the nuts will soften.

 

 

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Christmas Cactus

It’s a Christmas miracle, my two Christmas Cacti both had blooms on them for Christmas this year.

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I’ve had both plants for over 10 years, But I think this is the first time they have actually bloomed for Christmas.

As I was writing this post I realized I was unsure if cacti was the correct plural for cactus.  Turns out either cacti ( which is the Latin plural) or cactuses ( which is the English plural) is correct.    I also learned that these plants are part of the genus schlumbergera, and only grow wild in the south east of Brazil.  They grow on trees or rocks and grow up to 4 feet tall.  Guess my plants have something to strive for.

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Thrifty Thursday Pyrex Sightings

Pyrex I left behind.  Yes it does happen!

This pattern is Gold Acorn, I do have one piece in this pattern,

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I don’t know the name of this pattern.  Does anyone?  I do have the bottom of the sugar bowl on this set already.  I would have bought these, but they were priced way above what I wanted to pay, even at a thrift store.  004

This is Golden Grapes, thiswas actually part of a chip and dip set.  052

And I have no idea what this “pattern” is either.  But no pretty pattern on it, so I wasn’t even tempted to buy them.  088

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How to dye yarn with Kool-Aid, Lesson Three

There are so many things I like about knitting for Wool-Aid. There’s the gauge doesn’t really matter thing, the helping cold kids thing, the it’ll fit somebody thing…. Another reason I like it  is whatever you knit, it is sure to please someone. I mean, I love bright hot Barbie pink, others love earth tones… But honestly, even though I know somewhere there is a child who would like this hat, to me it is just plain ugly. Pale light blue is one of my least favorite colors, maybe that’s why I dislike it so much. It was one of those yarns that looked way better in the skein than knit up.

Luckily there is Kool-Aid. To me dyeing over an already knit project is a bit risky. What if the color doesn’t uptake well in all areas? I probably wouldn’t try it on a sweater, but a hat? What’s to lose?
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Just like when you dye with your yarn in a hank, you need to soak it first.  I let the hat sit in a bowl of water for about and hour.  Sure I could have used my sink, if it was clean…

 

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Recognize my generic bargain Kool-Aid from a past Thrifty Thursday post?  Cost for  these two packages was about 12 cents.  Full price Kool-Aid, why that would have cost at least 40 cents!  LOL.026

 

I could have taken the  hat out of the bowl and just microwaved the whole bowl with the same water.  That would have been the environmentally correct thing to do.  But I did not think lifting a bowl of extremely hot water from my microwave was a sound idea.  So I dumped the water ( my plants were already freshly watered otherwise I guess I could have dumped it on them) and instead heated fresh water in my tea kettle.  A better idea would have been to soak the hat in a pot I could heat the water in on the stove top.  Live and learn.

Then I poured the almost boiling water into the bow and dissolved the 2 packets of Kool-Aid in the water. Remember to stand back a bit.   The hat weighed about 70 grams, I decided on 2 packets.  Once the powder was dissolved I placed the hat flat in the bowl.  028

Gently swish the hat about from time to time.  029

An interesting thing to note about dyes, often one color exhausts before another.  As you can see, the red is absorbed but the blue has not yet been absorbed.  Often with Kool-Aid the absorption is so quick you can’t really see that.  What red?  Remember grade school?  Red plus blue makes purple.   033For some odd reason the dye never completely exhausted.  I was left with a very, very pale blue, not the cloudy white liquid that is the usual remains of Kool-Aid dyeing.

Let the hat cool in the liquid or carefully remove and let sit and drain in the sink.  You don’t want to handle the hat too much now, remember temperature change plus agitation equals felting.  Do not take your super hot hat and rinse it vigorously in cold water.   After it has cooled then rinse and let dry.

Final product.  A BIG improvement right?

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This hat was part of my mother daughter Scarlet project.  I started the hats with my stash, mom knit on them until the decreases and then I finished them.  We knit 28 hats this year this way, all with partials/scraps from my stash!  All the hats went to Wool-Aid.

Here’s a pic of them.

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Thrifty Thursday It’s Yarn!

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Despite the recent post about the New England Fiber Fest, overall I have been very restrained about yarn purchases throughout the whole year. My “yarn out” yardage is greater than my “yarn in” yardage for 2014. The three boxes I shipped to Wool-Aid in Oct contained 9 sweaters, 1 vest, 12 pairs of mittens, and 73 hats. I had another 9 hats to ship but they wouldn’t fit, so I decided to save them for the next box.

I went to Webs last week. I had not been there in a couple months and wanted some Malabrigo Rasta for a cowl. More on that project later. In the warehouse there is a shelf of discounted yarns. Of course the whole warehouse is shelves of discounted yarns…LOL. But these skeins are extra extra marked down, maybe with no label, or the last skein of a color. I’ve gotten some pretty good deals off this shelf in the past.

This time I found Tahki Yarns Jackson. 100% wool, retails for $10 a cake. It was marked down to $2.50 a cake. So I bought 10 cakes for $25.00. Full price retail? $100. Ravelry has this yarn listed as a superbulky. At 131 yards/100 grams it looks more like a regular bulky to me. My plan? Probably hats, except for the black/magenta ones, I have 4 cakes of that and I think I can knit a small sweater or vest with that color.

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Thanksgiving Baking

What did you bake for Thanksgiving?

I took three pies, a batch of chocolate chip brownies ( Ian and Deb don’t like pie) and lots and lots of banana bread to my aunt’s house.

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Crusts all ready for filling.  Do I make my own crust?  Honestly no.  I really do not enjoy the pie crust experience, it rarely goes well for me.  I gave up years ago.  For me the whole point to a pie is the filling.  I make a chocolate cream pie every year, it is always 100% gone.  Me?  I’d rather just have chocolate pudding.

I filled the crusts with  #1, chocolate, #2 pecan #3 pumpkin.

All set on the porch just waiting for my ride, ready to go.  I could have driven myself, but this way I could have a designated driver!  And wine, lots of wine….

Have to satisfy both the real cream and the Cool Whip people.

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Tortilla chips ( and other yummy snacks underneath) were for my niece to take back to college with her.

My aunt and mother both complained that I made too much banana bread.  Is that even a thing?  Too much banana bread?  I don’t think so!  I made it for people to take home with them, not for dessert.  Zachary said he was going to make french toast with his the next morning.  Yum!

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Thrifty Thursday

 

001It’s that time of year. Grocery stores have flour and sugar at a significant discount to get you in the store to buy all your other holiday items. So I bought 45 pounds of flour and 20 pounds of white sugar. I saved $24 off the usual price for these items due to the sale. And lest you think who the heck can use that much flour, let me assure you that this will last maybe 6 months before I run out. I keep it in a 30 gallon bin in my cellar.

I also stocked up on nuts, brown sugar, and oil at Costco. I have never seen the chopped walnuts at Costco before, I usually buy the regular and chop them myself, I decided to try these. They taste fresh, don’t cost more than the regular walnuts and are labor saving, so I’m glad I bought them. I should probably go back and buy more in case they are only a holiday item. I use lots of nuts in my quick breads.

Although i don’t cook Thanksgiving dinner, I do always take advantage of the turkey sales. I already bought one 22 lb turkey to keep in the freezer for a future family meal. At 59 cents a pound who can resist? You only have to spend $25 to get that price, and that only takes about two seconds in any grocery store right?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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New England Fiber Fest

Thought you might like to see my  purchases from the New England Fiber Fest.

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My first purchase was a bag to carry my loot in.  I of course had bags in my car. I am big on reusing bags, plus I really prefer to lug around something easier to carry than a crappy plastic bag.  Problem is I had forgotten to take a bag out of my car before I went in.  It was damn cold and rainy, so I chose not to go back for the bag.   Angie says I needed to support the cause anyways…so I purchased my hundredth reuseable shopping bag.

I of course visited Pollywogs for some discount Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky for Wool-Aid knitting.  I bought 7 hanks in French Lilac and Jaded Dreams and 2 in Blue Flannel.  I thought this was exceedingly restrained of me!  The blue I plan to use to stretch out some of the many LPB colored scraps I have into striped hats.  The other two colors are sweaters, some assembly  required.  Thanks to Carolyn for helping me select the colors, and finding enough hanks for a sweater.

The little Dr Who project bag is from   Stitched by Jessalu http://stitchedbyjessalu.bigcartel.com/

Every year I greatly admire her bags.  She has some awesome fabric and her bags are so well sewn.  Sadly the bag is not for me.  I am not a Dr Who fan yet.  It is a gift.

We stopped at Lynette’s favorite booth, Hundred Ravens.  Such beautiful colors!  I am not one to be hoarding the mini, but I absolutely couldn’t resist the fingering weight Rainbow set.  The colors are incredible!  003

Next up, the DBNY booth purchases.  I bought 2 hanks of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock solid in a really pretty red.  My plan for this is Wavebird, a really pretty shawl designed by Christiane Burkhard of Lismi Knits.  I bought the pattern last year at the fiber fest from her.  So pattern 2013, yarn 2014, guess that means I have to knit it in 2015 right?  Christiane is a lovely lady, hope you get to meet her some day!  This is her site  http://lismiknits.blogspot.com/

Also at DBNY I bought Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Green Mountain Madness.  004

The picture doesn’t do the colors justice. So pretty!  This is also not for me…

That’s it for yarn purchases but I also bought some goat soap and lip balm from Flat Brook Farm, and some Honey Almond hand cream from The Rose Field.

I can’t wait for next year, it’s such a fun day!

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