Saturday, July 9, 2016

2016 NC State Fair Projects: Crocheted Baby Sweater

This is my 3rd year to enter items in the North Carolina State Fair. Last year I got a 2nd prize for a crocheted baby sweater so I decided to enter this category again. 

The pattern started out as "Karen's X Stitch Sweater." I followed the pattern through Row 8; Row 9 begins the X stitch pattern. After doing the pattern for a few inches, I decided (1) I didn't like doing the stitches (too fiddly for my taste), (2) I didn't like the look of the stitches (too much effort for the results), and (3) even if (1) and (2) weren't the case, any distinctiveness of the stitches was lost in the busyness of the yarn textures and what was the point? So starting at Row 9 I changed the X stitch to the V stitch that was presented in Row 6. 

This brings up an interesting situation. In the state fair's competition categories, there is a separate category for items that are the maker's own pattern. At what point does a change in someone else's pattern make the pattern more yours than theirs? 

One of the requirements when submitting an item in the clothing contest is to include the name of the pattern on your entry form. How do I handle this case? Do I say it's Karen's pattern until Row 9 (plus the last 3 rows of the sleeves)? Is it a hybrid pattern of Karen's and Carolyn's design? Hmmm...I may have to contact the judging office on this one.

The sweater took less than one skein of Stitch Studio by Nicole's "Picnic" in variegated colorway "Strawberry." It's a 100% acrylic yarn that is soft and squishy that makes it a good choice for baby items. The yarn label suggests using size G/6 crochet hook, but I used a size F/5 instead. The original pattern calls for making a yarn tie and inserting it into spaces around the neck area as a closure. Instead, I included two chain-4 loops on the right edge and sewed two red plastic heart buttons on the left side to close the sweater.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Off the Stove: Eggrolls

Usually my posts deal with fiber projects, but today's is a culinary project -- homemade eggrolls. I haven't made them for years, but this week I got the urge. And they turned out just as easy and delicious as I remember.

For the meat I used a small chunk of pork roast cut in very small pieces. The rest of the filling included bean sprouts, chopped cabbage, sliced spring onions, chopped carrots, pickled ginger pieces, and soy sauce mixed with a little cornstarch. The eggroll wrappers came from my usual grocery store. Mix everything together, sauté for a couple of minutes, and fill the wrappers according to the package instructions.

I fried them in a shallow amount of coconut oil until both sides were browned then drained them on paper towels. The package of wrappers made 20 eggrolls. I had more filling left which I'll probably eat later with rice.

Ta-da! Ready to enjoy: