Thursday, May 22, 2014

This Stitcher's Gotta Eat!!! GF Peanut Butter, Nutella Filled Cookies

A long, long time ago (approximately 22 years ago)
In a galaxy far, far away (Altus, Oklahoma)
I learned to make the most wonderfully simple Peanut Butter Cookies.  
They only required 3 ingredients.
Peanut Butter,
Sugar,
Egg.


They were the best tasting peanut butter cookies I had ever eaten. And for a family on a very, VERY tight budget,it was a treat we could afford. But now money is a bit more plentiful. Nutella has been incorporated to make it an extra BIG treat!!! And for those of you with that pesky gluten allergy, you can now eat a cookie without paying for it later with much pain!!



GF PEANUT BUTTER, NUTELLA FILLED COOKIES

1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread

Mix ingredients thoroughly.  Roll dough into 1" balls, or use a small cookie scoop and place each one in the well of a mini muffin tin. I use one 12 muffin tin and fill it twice, but if you have a 24 muffin tin you can bake the entire batch at once.   Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. While still hot, use a rounded measuring spoon and create a well in each baked cookie.




While still hot, fill with Nutella.  I use two spoons to scrape a heap into the well.....do not worry about smoothing it out...the heat of the warm cookie with flatten it out.  Although if you overfill, it WILL run over the sides LOL....not always a bad thing!! Once the cookies have cooled, use a small knife and remove each cookie from the muffin tin......these cookies are VERY SOFT while they are still warm...so be careful removing them from the muffin tin before they are cooled.


I like to refrigerate them before I eat them.....but they are VERY good and GOOEY if eaten warm with a tall glass of ice cold MILK!!!!

ENJOY!!!
Amy B

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Newborn Photo Props in ACTION!!!

Last month my niece had her first child.  A BEAUTIFUL baby girl!!!!  I had crocheted her some newborn props and she could not WAIT to try them out.  She sent me some snapshots of her sweet baby wearing each set I sent her.  They are not from the newborn photo shoot, but it will give you an idea of how each set fits if you follow the gauge for each pattern (if given).

Angel Wings from MonkeyShine Designs

Boot Scoot N' Cowboy Hat and Boots pattern from TheLovelyCrow

Dinosaur Baby Crochet Hat and Diaper Cover Set by Amy B Stitched (that's ME!!)

Peanuts the Elephant Crochet Hat Pattern by LoveCityCrochet
I have done a review for each pattern with my own personal notes for changes I might have made or things to be aware of if you want to purchase and make any of these patterns (the dino baby pattern I designed is a FREE pattern).

Be Blessed!!!
Amy B

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

IT"S FINISHED!!! Pineapple Lace Pullover - PATTERN REVIEW

I was not able to meet my previously set goal of having the Pineapple Lace Pullover made for myself by Mother's Day....but I have finally finished it!!


I am SO happy with this sweater!!!  It is designed in a raglan style, so the front and back are exactly the same.  It was a little more off the shoulder than what I was expecting, but with a nice camisole or tank top underneath I am more than comfortable!!!

The pattern for the Pineapple Lace Pullover designed by Ann E. Smith can be found in the Crochet! Magazine Summer 2014 Issue.  You can purchase it online here as an instant download.....or you may be lucky enough to find it at your local Hobby Lobby.  The one near me has them in stock.

The pattern is marked as an intermediate level pattern.  I would say that is about right, but if you do not have any experience with clothing construction, you may be confused with the assembly instructions.

If you plan to make this and have never crocheted clothing before, be very careful to follow the schematic on page 88, making sure the measurements are correct for each piece.  I ran into a bit of frustration with the sleeves.....they are very simple....but I made them on two different days and did not measure the first (which ended up being too big).  You will also want to block the front and back pieces before assembly.

The recommended yarn is SO SOFT and has beautiful drape, but because of those qualities I was concerned about stretching at the neckline.  Therefore I crocheted the final 3 rounds at the neckline much tighter than the rest of the piece. Also, for the size I made (large) the pattern required 4 skeins of Trigio - 3.5 ounces each.  I had one FULL skein left and a bit of the third skein....probably enough to make half of another sleeve :) Of course, I did NOT make the full sized gauge swatches, and the materials list usually includes the amount for them, so that is probably why I had so much left over.  I purchased my yarn online at Creative Yarn Source.  They were quick and fairly priced!!

I really loved this pattern and am contemplating make MORE of these in DIFFERENT COLORS!!!

Be Blessed!!!
Amy B

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Inspiration for the Stitcher - Quiet Time

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31


Is your life ever so busy that you “catch yourself coming and going”??? 

My life has been extremely busy lately.  My stitching business took a downturn when I moved (as I expected), and though financially we are fine, I really wanted to be able to contribute to our savings (or at least pay for my own yarn LOL).  So I took a job outside the home (that's why I'm not here so much anymore).  It’s been a wonderful thing!! I’ve met some great ladies and finally feel like I’m part of a local community. 

There have also been some things happen that have taken hostage of my brain and consume my thoughts during every waking moment (and even sometimes in my dreams).

I have felt myself becoming more self-consumed. Time with my stitching, time on social media, time that I spend worrying about what I think others are thinking about me (crazy huh??).  And I realized my life hasn’t been a picture of what a true and loving Christian should be. 

When I sat to re-evaluate my time this morning, I realized I have put time with the Lord on the back burner.  Only spending time with Him when I need to offer up a quick prayer for someone in need. This morning I dusted off my devotional that I started reading 6 months ago (it’s a 60 day devotion and I’m only 1/4th of the way through it).

The verse above reminded me that I need time away with him to myself.  Of course, when he spoke to the disciples they were in “full on service mode” and really needed to recharge.  But I think I can apply this to myself right now.  Setting aside time DAILY in quiet time with the Lord should be my priority. 

Be Blessed!!

Amy B

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On My Hook Today!!! Pineapple Lace Pullover by Ann E. Smith

I got the newest issue of Crochet! magazine last month as part of my Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) membership.  It is full of lots of fun summery projects....but my favorite is this Pineapple Lace Pullover by Ann E. Smith!!



 It took me a while to decide on the exact color I wanted to make it.....because I think the yellow is STUNNING....but.....I do NOT look good in yellow.  So I settled on this beautiful Turquoise!! I ordered it online from Creative Yarn Source.  It was reasonably priced and arrived very quickly!  I also got a personal note from the shop owner inviting me to send pictures of my completed projects to share on her website.  How Exciting!!


Now I have been asked MANY times "how hard is it to crochet clothing???"  The truth is....it is not any harder than crocheting anything else.  But you do need to remember to closely match your gauge provided in the pattern.  If your pattern does not provide a gauge to follow you will be in for some extra work....I'm most sure of that.

If you are wondering what "gauge" means, it is simply "how many stitches you can get within a certain measurement.  This particular pattern was 21 sc = 5 inches and 18 sc rows = 4 inches.  Take a look at my swatch pictured below.


If you look closely you can see I am just shy of the 5 inch mark.....but given the stretchy nature of crochet and the size of the project I thought it would not be a big issue.


And you can also see I did NOT do 18 sc rows.  I'm like most people and really dread doing swatches.  So if I can divide the # of stitches/rows and the measurement in half, I will make a smaller swatch.  In the case of this one I was able to do half of the rows and you can see that it equals 2 inches.  Spot On.

Another thing worth mentioning....I did NOT use the recommended hook size to reach my gauge.  My work would have been too big, so I moved down a hook size.

In the future I hope to do an entire blog post about the importance of gauge and give examples of what can happen if you do NOT check your gauge.


So far this is what I have done.  I'm pretty excited that it is working up so quickly!!!  And the fact that I do not work the next two days and have lots of free time I think it will be done very soon!!!  I would really like to finish it for myself for Mothers Day!!!  haha!!!!  I don't often make things for myself....and that has got to change!!

Be Blessed!
Amy B