A Girl's Gotta Knit

A blog about opening A Swell Yarn Shop, knitting and the rest of the stuff that makes life fun :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thinking about Father's Day and new babies?

Have you started thinking about Father's Day? Are there some new babies you are knitting for? Then you will be very excited about the new Sale Bundles of Duet Yarns! These are absolutely perfect for a pair of socks for Dad.
Or soooooooo cute in little girls matching hat and socks set.

Or just right for that rough and tumble little guy in your life.
Sale yarns do not happen often at A Swell Yarn Shop, but when they do it is an awesome time to score some great deals.
Come by and check out these bundles! And remember you are just in time to get a pair of socks done for Dad for this Father's Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another step closer to green

As time to goes on, I continue to find new ways to live a 'greener' life. Reducing waste, reusing things that can be reused for different functions, and so on.
The next step on the list were reuseable sandwhich bags!
I got coordinating fabrics and nylon for the lining. I made an 8"x8" pattern for the front and a 8"x8" with flap pattern for the back. I grabbed my handy dandy rotary cutter and cut out all the pieces in no time flat.
Then I stacked the pieces together and stitched them up. Each lined with the nylon for moister resistance for even the juiciest sandwhiches or tomatoes waiting for their future salad.
After I got them seamed and topstitched, I used heat set velco for the closure.
These are totally washable and can be used for anything we would normally put in a plastic baggie and toss in the fridge.
It is a small effort to stop using those little plastic bags, but it makes a big impact on the earth. I love these little things!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eat healthy-On the cheap!

It is a general misconception that eating healthy, real or natural foods is expensive. I beg to differ!
To prove myself, I am going to share some easy, inexpensive food ideas with you-starting now.

Beans are about a buck a can at the grocery store. I know this because I used to buy dozens of cans at a time. I do love my burritos, so these were a must have in my cupboard. Dozens of cans was about $12-20 of my grocery bill and that's a lot of money!
A cheap alternative...make them yourself in less time than it takes to drive to the grocery store.
First you hit up a bulk store. We have Cash n' Carry here. It's like a mini Costco, with no membership dues and better prices. It aint a fancy place and what's available is limited, but for price-they are tought to beat!
Get a 25 lb bag of beans for about $10 or less. That's $0.40 a lb (about a $1.60 less than a regular grocery stores dry beans)

Grab a couple/few scoops full and put them in a bowl. If you are doing black beans, don't use your nicest ceramic bowl...it will stain the sides.
Now fill it up with water-(I use filtered).
Now forget about it. Total prep time=less than 1 minute
24 hours later, drain and rinse your beans. This makes it so you don't have a family of 'tootie pants' people. Yep, washing off the soaking water also washes away the tootie enzymes!
Now, pull out that crockpot that hasn't been touched in years...it's the thing your mother passed on to you in the very very back of one of your cabinets.

Put your rinsed beans in the crockpot, fill with water (I use filtered), set to low.

Now forget about it until tomorrow. Total time =2 minutes

12 hours later, test your beans. If they are to your tenderness liking, flip them up to high for about 10-15 mintues to get them super hot.

Grab some jars and put your beans in them, filling the rest up with liquid. Put your lids on. Total time=2 minutes

Now, let them cool. You will hear the jar lids pop when they have sucked all the air out. These can be stored in your refridgerator sealed like this for up to a month. That's it- you are done!
Total time and cost=Less than 5 minutes, and about $1.00 for about $8 of grocery store canned beans.
I usually do two or three batches at a time, when one is cooking, I am soaking the next bunch of beans and just rotate them. The crockpot in on the counter for three days and I have over a months worth of beans made and waiting for me in my fridge.
Perfect for burritos, southwestern breakfast scrambles, stews, chilis and on and on.
Pinto beans are great if you puree them before you put them in jars-refried beans without the fat!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I need a new pair of socks!

I decided I needed a new pair of socks, so I cast on these on Sunday afternoon.
I wanted a mindless pair to work on, but I needed a little bit of a pattern to keep me interested. I don't know if you can see the diagonal pattern (easier to see on the left one from this angle), but it is a simple shift of one purl each room. Mindless, but interesting.
Since my wardrobe has shifted from browns, reds and greys of winter weather to orange, green and pink for the spring season these will be great with everything!
They are going so quickly, I am be done in just a couple weeks! I love nearly instant gratification when knitting!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The maiden dye batch

For the very first time EVER, I dyed my first batch of yarn in my new very own yarn workshop!!! I finally got most of my supplies moved into the new shop. At this point I just need to do a bit of fine tuning on placement of things so that I can easily grab and reach everything I need. But all in all, it worked out fabulously!! Check out this Prickly Catcus.

Since my workshop is in our garage, I work with the door open. It was a gorgeous 70 degree April day (a very exciting thing in itself here in the NW) and my excitement for the weather and this maiden dye batch rolled over into the fabulously bright colors I created! This Citrus Blast speaks for itself!
One such color is this absolutely yummy Buttercup. I know you yellow lovers out there don't get thrown a bone very often, but this yellow is totally worth the wait! It is a soft butter yellow with delicate apricot sweeps within it. Seriously the prettiest yellow I have ever seen.
Then I got really crazy and kooky with the coordinating color here. How about this Spring Greens? The perfect spring green coupled with a seedling green-it is rare indeed that the coordinating color is lighter than the main color!
The shop is going to be fabulous! As I work on getting all the wrinkles ironed out and everything running smoothly, more and more batches will be headed to the website. Start your lurking :)