#12 – Still Thirsty

Making the yellow scrap ripple, ‘Lemonaide’, was so much fun,

629 LMN-close

I wanted to do a red one. Not having nearly enough red scraps, I included some orange, rose and peach ones, as well as a partial skein of RHSS ‘Cherry Red’.

639 PNCH close-up

Fruit Punch

639 PNCH full view

Maybe ‘Orangeade’ should be next.

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Crunchy Blueberries

This summer I experimented with dehydrating blueberries. I had read that, because they have a natural “waxy” coating, blueberries need to be cut in half before drying, so I picked out the biggest from the day’s picking and carefully cut each one in half. Can you say “Tedious!”?

Although the resulting crunchy/chewy berries don’t taste awful,

638 BLB

they don’t exactly scream BLUEBERRY either. In a blind taste test I think few people would guess they were blueberries. Very disappointing, as I had hoped that, after drying, the subtle flavor would be more concentrated, not unidentifiable!

And, I hadn’t realized that the berries’ trillions of tiny hard seeds would become so obvious. ugh.

Oh well. Not every experiment can be a grand success.

And, this experience makes me far more appreciative of just how easy blueberries are to freeze!

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Ugly Bananas

DH loves the taste of sweet fully ripened banana in his oatmeal.

Usually they’re too green for either of us to eat right when we buy them.

637 BNA 4 lovely

After a few days they’re just right for me, but still not ripe enough for DH.

637 BNA one

Eventually they start to ‘Go Ugly’, or ‘Reach Their Peak of Ripeness’, depending on which of us is doing the describing. lol

Unfortunately, bananas don’t stay at that stage for long. Even during the winter DH only has a couple of days to enjoy them! Sometimes I mash the extras and freeze them in little tiny packets.

A far better solution is to buy lots of very ripe bananas whenever we see them marked down – often to just 29¢/lb. –

637 BNA 5 lbsand dehydrate them.

637 BNA loaded

Four pounds of fresh ripe bananas, one dehydrator load, soon becomes

637 BNA dried

12 ounces of dried ripe banana slices with no additives – no sugar, no sulphur, no oil –

637 BNA scale

at a cost of only $1.16 (4 lbs. fresh x 29¢/lb.).

They’re not only Tasty! but Thrifty!. . .

especially when compared to three 4.4 oz. bags (13.2 oz. total) of Trader Joe’s Nothing But Bananas purchased on-line for $11.75, which comes to $10.68 for 12 oz. The one reviewer on Amazon says that’s double what they go for at a Trader Joe’s store. O.K., I don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby so I’ll take their word for it and say $5.34 for 12 oz., which is still almost five times the cost of ours. Yee-ha!

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Ripple #1, From a Kit

Maybe you remember this “Ripple Kit” that I assembled when the box of yarn from Sandi of MD arrived last fall.

581 4 ripple kit

I played around, arranging and rearranging the skeins, trying to decide in what order to put the colors. Eventually I decided to omit everything but the variegated and green. This was fortunate because as I was about to put the rejected colors away I discovered that the royal blue is WOOL, not acrylic. Happy that I’d found this out before I’d crocheted it into a ripple, – phew! – I quickly enclosed it in a moth-proof Ziploc -justincase- and moved it over to my wooly charity stash.

Back to designing I added a second, darker shade of green – RHSS ‘Hunter Green’ – and some black.

636 TTT close-up

The very pretty variegated is RHSS ‘Kaleidoscope’.

Time to Take Down Those Christmas Lights, Don’t You Think?

636 TTT full view

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Hooping it up at Savers

In return for donating a bunch of stuff to Savers, I got a coupon for one 30%-off shopping spree. The night DH and I returned to shop, the store was quiet – nothing like during a half-off sale – with plenty of shopping carts, no jostling in the aisles and no waiting for a dressing room!

As always, I headed straight for the craft department where I quickly passed over the few lonely skeins of novelty yarn. But I could not ignore a very pretty lilac chenille.

635 XXXL chenille

The bigger the sweater, 58″ bust, the more yarn! I’m expecting to get about one-and-a-half pounds of chenille yarn – $3.50.

I also found a cute little quilted pinwale corduroy vest for myself – $2.80

635 new vest

and a coordinating scarf – $2.10.

635 new vest with scarf

What do you think? Is this type of scarf, loosely woven cotton with fine silver metallic threads, passé?

I like the colors so much, I really don’t care. A bonus, it also looks good with both sides of my old reversible down vest! (also from Savers)

635 old vest with scarf

DH was looking for short-sleeved summer shirts to wear to work.

Score!

635 dh's new shirt

Woolrich, New With Tags

635 new with tags

– Perhaps a Father’s Day gift gone wrong? – $5.60. On the Woolrich website, shirts with the same style # are close-out priced at $29.00, It’s painful to know there are people who paid that much, let alone the full retail of $45! ouch.

After thirty-some years, DH is so used to my crafty adventures, he hardly raised an eyebrow when I added my last find, a 27″ diameter Hula Hoop, to our cart.  – $1.40.

635 hula hoop

I don’t want to ruin the surprise by telling you my plans for it. All I’ll say for now is that the project will involve crochet.

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Ripple #10 of 2015

Mixing single and double-row variegated stripes again.

Although this ripple only has eleven variegated stripes, they are made up of seventeen variegated rows, enough to use up two partial skeins of very similar pink/blue/white yarns, part of this anonymous donation that I received last summer.

575 pileI alternated two rows of the lighter version with a single row of the darker.

634 BBY close-upWhat do you think? A little too busy? Is it going to keep baby awake?

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

634 BBY full viewClimbing up and down a step-ladder with camera in hand can result in silly shots from odd perspectives. . .

634 BBY oops!Other YARNS: ‘Sky Blue’, which is a Caron Premium Acrylic that came from Ann of OK (have about 5 oz. left), Caron Sayelle ‘Baby Pink’, an unknown second pink, some white, and a lighter blue.

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Sweet Treats

Last Thursday’s mail brought more yarn to replenish my charity stash. Even if I hadn’t received an e-mail about its impending arrival I would have known the box came from yarn fairy Sandi of MD because of the unique return address label.

“So much yarn, so little time.” – How True! lol

I giggled seeing how Sandi had set all the skeins of yarn on end so they look like generously iced cupcakes, or, considering DH and my preference, cups of swirled soft-serve ice cream! yum.

633 ST 30 skeins

What next caught my attention, and probably yours, was the variegated yarn in the corner.

633 2 skeins vrgtd

The neighboring skein of RHSS ‘Shocking Pink’ matches perfectly and I think I have an appropriate shade of blue and/or orange upstairs. cool.

633 ST vrgtds+PINK

With all the yarn that has passed through my hands in the past few years I’m surprised that I’ve never met this particular RHSS variegated before; it’s called ‘Black Light’.

633 ST Black Light

I’m grateful for every one of my 30 beautiful ‘new’ skeins as this is the fuel the ripple machine runs on. – Thank You so Much, Sandi!  – But I’m especially happy to have received some more neutrals, as I never seem to have enough of them.

633 ST neutrals

Although not the typical ‘happy’ colors that we associate with young children, neutrals are have a big impact on the colors around them. Imagine this week’s ripple without the black, tan and/or cream.

632 IND full view

There are a few other RHSS colors in the box too: ‘Light Raspberry’, ‘Cornmeal’, and ‘Paddy Green’. The rest of the skeins are either unlabeled or have older names like Frank’s, KMart, Good Neighbor and Caron, which are all brands of Wintuk, or Malina and Dawn, which are both Sayelle. Thankfully, for both me and the kids, there seems to be an endless supply of these long discontinued yarns out in the world!

P.S. Sandi shared a very special newspaper article that I think you’ll enjoy reading. It celebrates the tenth anniversary of ‘Hugs and Stitches’, the charity craft group Sandi founded. Starting with just four members, the group now has over 30 and in the past year alone donated over 2000 handmade items to various local agencies. Impressive, to say the least. Congratulations and Best Wishes, Sandi! We raise our hooks in a salute.

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