Saturday, July 23, 2011

Oats in My Backyard

We had laid straw down in the dog kennel this spring due to the amount of mud out there and what has sprung up is oat plants. At least I think they are oats.
I need some help with a positive ID on one of these plants though because I am not absolutely sure that they are oats. I know that the top ones are oats.

This bottom picture is of the seed heads that I am unsure of. I think they are oats, but I have seen wheat and barley that look like this as well.

I plan on saving the seeds and growing them next year, in the garden. Maybe choke out some of the weeds and grow some grain for breads.

If you can help me with this I would appreciate it!
Please leave a comment.
Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Monday, July 18, 2011

Caron's Dazzleaire Yarn Review

Caron's Dazzleaire yarn is 60% Acrylic and 40% nylon. It is a 4 ply yarn that is machine washable using warm water and any detergent and machine dry. Needs no shaping.
This yarn is from the 1980s and had been discontinued. Recently Caron brought it back, however, the yarn I have is worsted weight and their new Dazzleaire is a bulky yarn. Some that remember this yarn seem a bit disappointed. I have not tried out the new bulky stuff yet so I have no opinion on that yet.

It is a lightly brushed yarn that makes your final piece feel softer, but those strands that fluff out can be a stress for a beginner especially if you are using smaller needles. It tends to bind the strands from the different rows together and makes it difficult to correct mistakes and/or pick up dropped stitches. This is something I try to test with all of the patterns and yarns I use.

I found this yarn at a thrift store and the colors they had looked like the perfect baby blanket for either a girl or a boy. Frosty Mint, Baby Yellow Green and White. I bought all 9 skeins.

I used the "Fans and Lace" pattern again as I really adore how it looks. But instead of using the size 7 circular needles I used the size 5 circular needles. It does make the blanket a little bit smaller but the end result is a blanket that is less likely to get snagged by little fingers and toes, and is a little bit warmer.

I alternated the yarns for a striped blanket and I really like how it turned out. I do have enough yarn left over to make a hat, booties and maybe a little sweater.

I am hoping to have 30 Grandbabies in total so now I only have 28 blankets left to make. So far I don't have any Grandchildren, but a mother can dream, right?
Right now my 3 daughters are shuttering.

It is a very soft blanket and has been very warm to work on some of the cooler summer nights we have had here. Right now the weather is hot and steamy so I am currently working on socks.
It is nice to have the smaller projects to work on in the summer that can be worn when it gets colder while working on the larger projects that keep me warm as I work.

 I am hoping to find local spinners to test their yarns and compare to the store yarns. I have just been too busy to look into it right now.

So when you are thinking about shopping for yarn, don't pass up the thrift stores! Many have a small selection of the older vintage yarns that were popular for a reason.
I still prefer Caron's Simply Soft yarn to this as it is softer and easier to work with.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Loops & Threads Dewdrops

Loops & Thread yarn is a Michael's in store brand. The Dewdrops yarn is a bulky yarn with sequins and when I first looked at it I was both intrigued and concerned. I was concerned over how the sequins would feel while working with this yarn and I can say that you do have to be a little careful as I have gotten one small paper-cut type of scratch from it. The pattern that I used was one of the free patterns that they provide. The color I used was Topaz which is a brown with garnet colored sequins.

I have heard that many stores are considering eliminating the free patterns which I believe would be a big mistake, because these free patterns sell yarn. I would not have bought this yarn if I had not seen the free pattern. Also the yarn was on clearance and I am on a very tight budget so that helped as well.

Dewdrops yarn is 51% Acrylic, 18% Mohair, 18% Polyamide, 8% Polyester and 5% Payette. The bulk of it is a soft, lightly brush yarn that is made up of what looks like a (stockinette) knitted chain of maybe 3 stitches of a thin yarn to produce a bulkier yarn with sequins scattered in the making. That is a lot of work to go into a skein of yarn. It was made in Turkey.

The pattern is for a wrap/shawl with a difficulty level of 2. It is very much a pattern that you need to pay close attention to and make sure that you end each row which the proper amount of stitches. I am not at an expert level of knitting yet and this pattern made me question my intermediate level that I thought I had reached if this is just a level 2. This would not be a good project to do if you have constant interruptions but one thing I found helpful was to clip a paper over the rows on the pattern that I had completed as I worked so that I did not lose my place.

This yarn does have a tendency to blend and stick with previous rows as you knit so backing up to fix an error can be a bit of a challenge.

The finished piece is warm and feels nice if you push the sequins to the right side so that they are not against your skin. It did take me longer to complete than the 8 hours they list on the pattern but I did have many distractions to deal with. In the picture you can not really see the sequins but in ordinary lighting they do sparkle well.

This would be a nice wrap for a sleeveless dress or shirt on cool nights out on the town.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Will Continue My Blog

I have decided to continue with my blog.
 I will soon be adding a donation button for those that appreciate my blog and would like to help fund my projects.
Since my last post I have been working on a few knitting projects, testing yarns and patterns and will give those reviews soon with pictures.
I am thinking about a pattern development post to help people interested in creating their own patterns for knitting.
I will also try to get some experiments documented and tested to share with you all, and to share more Back to Basics and Survival Skills that I have learned through the years. I will be sharing links that I feel will be of benefit to you from time to time because one thing that is very important is that we must all realize that every single person has something to offer in this world and no one single person is a perfect source of information.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This May Be My Last Post

I want you all to know that I have enjoyed sharing a part of me with all of you.
I have been quite excited to see that I have had views from all over the world.
I have to be honest with you all. I violated the TOS with Google Adsense because I did not read the whole contract thoroughly (I have dyslexia and contracts are difficult for me). I had encouraged people to view the ads and that is a not allowed. I thought that some of the ads were really awesome and wanted to share that as well as make a few extra dollars to help fund my projects for future posts. At the rate I was going I wasn't even making minimum wage and I was putting many hours into my posts.
I am not sure if Google will decide to delete my blog altogether so I am considering alternatives if I am to keep going, and I am trying to figure out if it is even worth it.
I find it very unfair that they determined that I had invalid clicks after I had made over $100 to my account, which is the amount you get paid at. They should have stopped my account right away if they had problems instead of taking advantage of free advertising on my blog.
I guess that is how the big guys roll.
So the ads are now off of my blogs none of you will have to see any of the really stupid and non-related ads like that Obama one (which I have NEVER posted anything political here) and really just hated looking at his face or any other politician's face on my blog and I don't care which party it would be from. This was never about politics.
I am sorry the good and related ads won't be there either.
I will not appeal their judgement because I was in the wrong, and either way, I don't think they have actual people to review the cases anyways.
We all know that freedom of speech no longer exists anywhere in the world and the TOS is just another example of that. You can't say check out our sponsors like they used to do in the 60s & 70s on TV.
Because of this post my blog might just be gone tomorrow. Speaking out against the big guys will do that to you.
Just remember the light of the Firefly may go out for a few moments in time, but will come back, maybe in a different location, and if I move I hope to find you there 555.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Indoor Burger Recipe

While I love to grill things, sometimes the weather just does not cooperate.
I have come up with a really good indoor burger recipe that is very tasty!
If you are on a diet, don't even bother messing with this one.

One thing that I have noticed with ground beef is that if you mix it like you are kneading bread it will become stiff when you cook it, so now I use a fork to separate the hamburger while incorporating the fixings into it.

I am making Mushroom Swiss Burgers here, if you don't like mushrooms or Swiss cheese you can use any kind of cheese in it's place. Cheddar is a wonderful substitute.

After you've forked up your meat, add onion flakes to taste (I like a good heaping Tablespoon per pound of meat), 3/4 package of Au Jus gravy mix, 2 tablespoons of water and one Cup of shredded Swiss cheese. The Cheese is not green, the bowl is!

Fork it up!

Cover and place in fridge.

I like to use fresh mushrooms whenever possible. Slice and saute mushrooms in butter until they scream "Yummy!"  Well, maybe they won't actually scream, but your taste buds may argue a bit.
Sprinkle some onion flakes in.
Mix the rest of the Au Jus gravy packet into 1/2 cup of water and pour over mushrooms. Simmer until reduced and thickened. After the burgers are done you can also add the drippings and simmer that down.

Form your burgers and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.

With 10 minutes left toast your buns. I do this like a grilled cheese sandwich.

When your burgers are done place on buns, add another slice of cheese (if you are a cheese junky like I am) smother with the mushrooms and serve with a napkin. These are deliciously messy!
If you want to wow your family, this could do it.
This last picture was taken before the cheese had a chance to melt.
This is just the kick off to our holiday weekend.

Thank you for stopping by.
If you enjoy this recipe please share it with others.
Dee Dee

Power Outage

Last night we had storms rumble across our area. The sky was tornado green all the way around us after the ominous shelf cloud blew over. The trees were twisting and straining as if they were trying to escape the torment. Then at around 6:15pm there was silence. It had been pretty quiet all day since it was too hot for the children to play outside, however, this silence was the kind that makes you check your cell phone to make sure it was only the power being knocked out by the storm and not something worse.

Shortly afterward we heard sirens, lots of sirens, but not the warning ones. Still not sure what happened as the news hasn't traveled this far yet.

Then we learned that a second stronger storm was heading our way so we grabbed the emergency packs and the pets and headed for the basement.
We lit a few candles and talked about some of the interesting people we have met, places we have been, music and fishing. We completely lost track of not only the storm, but time.

The phone rang. It was my brother calling to tell me that the storms had passed. I didn't even think the storms really hit here. I think it just parted and went around us like so many other storms have in the past. Many were not so fortunate. My daughter was one of them. But at least she was not harmed.

One odd thing, the darkness didn't really seem all that dark. The temperature had dropped from 97 F to 73 F in  less than 1 hour so we opened up the windows and let the fresh air pass through. There was a slight lake smell to it that really sparked the desire to go out and drop a line.

The power did not come back on until 9am this morning.
I really did not miss it. I was a little concerned that I would have to cook everything in the fridge today over the fire pit, or that we would have to make an ice run, but those are little things. Having the power out was like a vacation. If the outage would have lasted longer, then I would call it work.

Today is a beautiful day.
The air is so comfortable it is filling.
Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee