Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Un-pretty Shelf: Tomatoes



One of the first things I like to go look at when I enter a grocery store is the shelf that has the over ripe produce on it where they have reduced prices. I’ll call it the un-pretty shelf.  The only bad thing is you never know what is going to be there. I like to plan everything out before I go and stick to my list. The un-pretty shelf is always my lucky splurge, where I’m not really splurging.  Usually I can make a lucky guess at what will be there because of what is in season and what was on sale last week.
The thing that is great about over ripe or bruised produce is that there really is not anything wrong with it, especially if you are going to cook with it and within the next couple of days. The store wants to sell things that are pretty, and we customers also want to buy something pretty, but what to do with the un-pretty.  Instead of the store losing profits, it gains at least something back by selling the un-pretty at reduced priced.
This week on the un-pretty shelf they had bags of tomatoes. Each bag had about 10 tomatoes in it and the bag was priced at .99 cents. Score! One of the things that was on my list was tomato sauce. I was overjoyed at the prospect of making tomato sauce for cheaper than what I was going to buy it for.
The store brand sauce was on sale for 1.59. It come in a 640 ml jar (did I mention I just moved to Canada) which is like getting a 32 oz jar. To make my sauce I picked up some celery, and a can of tomato paste. Now if I was wonderful shopper I would have already had tomato paste at home from when I stocked piled 40 of them when they were only on sale for .25 cents, but I am not. I had to pay .54 cents for mine.  I had everything else I would need at home.
At home I was able to make 32 oz of sauce that I put in freezer containers for use throughout the week.
I paid .99 cents for the tomatoes
.54 cents for the tomato paste
.15 cents for the onion
.10 cents for the amount of celery I used
.10 cents worth of spices
So the grand total of my sauce was a 1.88.

In a way I guess you could say I lost out on .30 cents, especially when I think about the tomato paste I could have gotten on sale.  Though I guess I will take the .30 cents when I count in the fact that we will get to eat homemade sauce for the week and I know exactly what went into it without any preservatives and extra salt.  That is priceless.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sunrise Sunset Scarf/Cowl Pattern

Have you ever had an idea but you did not know what to do with the idea. This scarf or cowl is one of those ideas. I first came up with it when I was thinking about hairpin lace and how you have to crochet strips of lace together to make it into something. I wanted to make strips of lace that would come together to make a cowl.

 When I was finished I was really excited with how it turned out, but then I thought the strips are really pretty by themselves. I wonder what it would look like if I chose a chunkier yarn and just had one strip. That brought about the scarf. Then I thought to myself what would it look like if I added some more color. It was stunning.

Some times that is how patterns happen, they evolve and grow into something more than what they were. Sometimes patterns have a hard time deciding what they are, this one sure did.

I like all the sides of it and all of the different personalities that it can have. I wanted to share with you what can happen with one simple pattern and that sometimes the possibilities for something is limitless.



Scarf pattern 


Yarn: I used a fine lace weight yarn for the cowl.  I'm sorry I don't have the name, or really anything about it.
I used simply soft for the scarf.   
 Hook: For the cowl I used a size 7 steel hook, and the scarf I used a I  6.00 mm hook
Gauge: really not needed but, for the cowl each strip is 8 by 4 in. and The scarf is 8 by however long you want it. 

Foundation Row: Ch 4, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in forth ch from hook, {ch 1, turn, sl st into next 3 dc and into the ch 2 space, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch 2 sp} repeat {to} till you have your desired width if making a cowl or till you have your desired length if you are making a scarf. Do not finish off.

Row 1: (you will be working down the side of the foundation row), Ch 6 (counts as tr and ch,2),{ tr, ch 2 in next dc that is sticking out} repeat {to } till last dc group, tr in last dc group.

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as a dc), ch 2 more dc in same starting st, {sk 2 ch, 3 dc in next tr}, repeat {to}.

Row 3: Ch 2, dc2tog with the next two dc, {ch 2, dc3tog with the next 3 dc}, repeat {to}.

Row 4: Ch 8, sl st in forth ch made ( tr, picot just made), {ch 2, Tr in dc3tog, picot}, repeat {to}. Finish off.

Repeat rows 1 through 4 on the other side of the foundation row.

(If you want to add color to the scarf like the picture you will change color at row 2, and change back at row 4.)

To make cowl: (connect the strips together)


Make the scarf pattern (1 strip)

Repeat the scarf pattern on one side (2nd strip)

On the second side of the foundation row repeat rows 1- 3:

Row 4 for joining piece: Ch 6, sl st into first strip’s first picot, ch 2, sl st into forth ch of beginning ch 6, {ch 2, tr in dc3tog, ch 2, sl st in next picot of first strip, ch 2, sl st into tr just made}, repeat {to} till all picots are joined.

For the last strip you make for the cowl you will be repeating the second row 4 on each side, joining up both sides. 

Once it is all pieced together you can sc around both sides of the cowl to give it a finished look.