Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am so excited because we finally put up a couple of bird feeders. So far we haven't attracted the song birds I hear twittering in the trees, but we have managed to attract a couple of hummingbirds!

They love to perch on what should be the hangers for the seed bird feeders. This one especially likes this spot and will sit there and watch the other hummingbirds fly around before chasing after them.

They just love this hummingbird feeder. I love it too! I found it at Lowes and I think I just might need another one. So far we are getting a couple different ones which we think are Rufous Hummingbirds, or Allen. We have both in the area, so we might just be getting both. 

They also like to look in the window at us which gives us a strange feeling of who is really watching who. I have some plans for putting in some hummingbird friendly plants in the future, now that I know they are here and like our feeder. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011


So, two major projects I have been working on are now bloggable!

First, I dyed up the yarn for this month's Nellie's Never Enough Sox Club put on by For Yarn's Sake. The yarn is called Peace Rose. It's one of my favorite rose colors, so I was happy to work with Anne to develop this colorway. I was even happier when I found out Judy Becker is the designer. So she has now knit with a skein of my yarn. Yay! I forgot to get a picture of a single skein before delivering it, but you can see the finished sock and a skein of the yarn on For Yarn's Sake's website here.

The other project now bloggable is I am the featured dyer for August on Yarn 4 Socks. Donna chose some very beautiful colors of BFL Sock to feature for this month. You will be able to find the yarn in her shop and she posted an interview with me here.

Now back to work on Sock Summit stuff! If you are going make sure to stop by and say hi, I'll be in booth #604, right behind the information booth!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Free with the Purchase of the Yarn

For awhile I have been meaning to put both of these patterns up on the website:

First off is the Ribbon Scarf. If you have been to my booth at a show then you have probably seen this scarf. I have sold tons of Ribbon Yarn because this pattern is a freebie with the yarn. It's so fun, fast and easy to knit it up. I also have some real followers who buy yarn from me to make this scarf and sell at craft fairs. I don't mind as long as they keep coming back for more yarn!

The other pattern is a new one I have been meaning to put up since about February. This past few months have just flown by! Anyway, this is the Cloud Cap Cowl I designed this cowl to use exactly one skein of my new Cashmere DK yarn. It is sinfully soft to wear, since it is pure cashmere. I simply love it! It would make a great project for getting a head start on all of your holiday knitting. It's small and portable for summer, but warm and soft for winter. A win-win in my book.

I have a couple more free-patterns-with-yarn currently in the works. Maybe a couple of other projects too. Some you might even see at Sock Summit (booth 604) before they make it onto the website!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coming & Going

First off, I am sad to announce another yarn being discontinued:

Aztec Boucle. This yarn is made of organic cotton. It has a soft nubbly texture which is great for babies or next to skin projects. When knitting with it I have thought it would make great washcloths or scrubbies. I have sold a lot of this yarn over the past couple of years, so I was very sad to hear that this yarn will no longer be made. So, I have marked it down and put it all on sale until it is gone. Not much is left, so if you love this yarn as much as I do make sure to get it quick!

Somehow there is always a balance to these things. I just added this new Alpaca Silk lace yarn to the shop. It is 70% Baby Alpaca 30% Silk. It has 100 grams and 874 yards. As you can imagine it is super soft and light and airy. It's perfect for summer knitting those lightweight lace shawls. It's light to knit, but should definitely keep your shoulders warm on cooler evenings. I have dyed it up in a variety of different colors, so there should be plenty to choose from!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grandma's Perfect Pie Crust

I don't know about you, but I tend to think of pie crust as a pain in the butt. When I first read recipes for it I was daunted by the instructions and warnings about keeping the butter/shortening cold, using ice water, and keeping the crust perfectly cold the whole time. What a lot of work! So I was mildly surprised when I ran across my grandmother's recipe neatly written on a card. There was no mention of butter or shortening or ice water. In fact it uses oil and milk, which I thought couldn't possibly work. So I tried it out and it makes the most easy, lightweight flaky crust I've ever eaten. I documented my last go of it here:

Simply mix together in a bowl:
2 Cups Flour
dash of sugar
dash of salt
2/3 Cup of Oil - I use Safflower, but another light tasting oil would work just as well.
1/3 Cup of Milk

I use a spoon to mix it all together. I've tried a pastry cutter before, but it tends to get all gummed up and doesn't work as well.

Next, roll it between 2 sheets of wax paper. It usually ends up bigger than the wax paper, so I just tear off those extra bits and put them aside for later.

Then I take off one of the sheets of waxed paper and place the pie crust into the pie dish. I can position it and push it down into the pie dish before I remove the 2nd sheet. I take the 2nd sheet off very carefully making sure to keep the pie crust in place. It doesn't really matter if the crust tears or has holes because those can be patched with the extra crust from around the edges.

I tear off the extra bits of pie crust around the edges, patch any holes, then go around the edges shaping the dough edge with my fingers. It's very fun. Then I fill it with my favorite pie filling. This happens to be a Dutch Apple Pie, made with apples from our CSA box!

Mmm...Hot Apple pie out of oven! It's perfect on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The crust comes out nice and flaky and perfect. It makes me so happy!

And this is what you do with the leftover pie crust! Simply add jelly between two pieces and instant mini pies! I used Oregon Marionberry Jam from Costco. So tasty too! I can say all desserts were well received and disappeared all too quickly!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Black Sheep

This week has been simply a whirlwind. We got back from Black Sheep on Monday. Our wedding anniversary (9 years yay!) was on Wednesday, then our 10 year class reunion was yesterday. Today we are going to have a few friends over for a BBQ for the 4th then go watch the fireworks. I think tomorrow we will sleep and that's about it! Anyway, I finally have a moment to post about Black Sheep, so I thought I would take advantage of it:

This is my final cast and what I wore for the show. It is a walking cast. I can't exactly get it signed, but I can take it off for showers and things. Which is something I am definitely thankful for. I didn't get out of the booth too much because I am still getting used to the crutches. Hopefully by the time Sock Summit happens I'll either be used to them or will find alternative transportation.

So here is the booth from my vantage point. This is our first year inside. So we had to try out a slightly different way to display everything.

We didn't have quite the same heighth we are used to with the tent, so the displays were much lower. We have some ideas of how to improve this for next year. I love how each show is different and we slightly change things every time! I think we are pretty happy with our new spot, so we should be there from now on.

The other benefit to our spot is it is right down the aisle from Blue Moon and Dicentra, two of my favorite vendors! I had a lot of fun chatting every day with the Blue Moon ladies. I even got to try on the Moonstruck Cardigan, which is definitely on my must knit list for the fall. I now have an idea of what size I need to knit, now to just choose which yarn before I see them again at Sock Summit!

In other news, I have joined Google+. You can find me on their either as Yvonne Ellsworth or through my email address: lavendersheep (at) gmail (dot) com!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! Stay Safe!