Monday, January 25, 2010

This and That

Sometimes I find my head spinning when it comes to crafting.  I want to make EVERYTHING!  There are only so many hours in a day and I only have two hands.  If only I could clone myself, then one of me could knit, one could sew, one could wet felt.........

Friday was my quilting friend Deb's 60th birthday.  I have known Deb for 20 years.  That's a very long time.  We met in Ortonville when I first got involved in quilting.  I attended a church that hosted a quilt show every other year and 1990 was a show year.  The church asked members to help out but I said I didn't know anything about quilting.  No problem, they said, they'd show me how, and thus I began to quilt.  Deb was a member of the Country Quilt Guild and we became friends right away.  I moved away after my divorce  and amazingly enough, we hooked up again when I joined the Great Lakes Heritage Quilters.

Our little stitch group decided to make Deb a 60th birthday quilt.  It has 60 different fabrics and 60 blocks, the Shoo Fly pattern that Deb has always said was her favorite but she hadn't gotten around to making just yet.  We gave her the top on Saturday and her friend, Chris Husak-Zane, will do the masterful machine quilting.

Here's our Chicken group with Deb on the right, holding the edge of the top.

Deb was so stunned, she even got teary on us.  She loves batiks and does a lot of her own dyeing, too.

I picked up the new edition of Knitscene magazine because there were several projects I was interested in making.  Most of the time their patterns are too 'young' for me but not this issue.  I started the Ribby Tocque hat using a skein of Aslan Trends' Ecolana, which is 60% Alpaca, 40% Merino Wool, from Argentina.  It is all natural, undyed yarn, which seemed soft initially at the store, but now that I'm knitting with it it looks like there are guard hairs in it, kind of prickly like a new beard.  I'll post pictures tomorrow of my progress.  I keep switching back and forth between this hat and my Peace sweater, which is made from Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton.

I've been on a cooking frenzy of late and Sunday I choose a recipe from the Wonder How To website that I mentioned in Saturday's blog post.  I had some pork loin chops from Costco that I'd taken out of the freezer and needed to cook.  I chose a recipe that was super simple and delicious.  It was full of firsts for me.  First time I've used shallots, first time I put a skillet in the oven, first time I've made a reduction sauce using apple cider vinegar and apple cider.  I'll make it again for sure.

I think I keep searing meat a bit too long.  I have to cut back on that.

Here's the sauce in the process of reducing.  Hard to shoot pictures with steam billowing up on you.

And finally, pork loin chop dinner with sweet potatoes.  De-lish!