Friday, September 30, 2011

More knitting, less cooking: Gina, BBQ and Irish "food."

Next up in our hit parade of ridiculously easy recipes that will buy you more time to knit...BBQ Sandwiches, slow-cooker style, from our beloved Gina H.:

1 skirt steak approximately 2 lbs
1 cup water
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground garlic
BBQ sauce of choice
Sandwich buns

Put skirt steak in slow cooker. Add water and wine, sprinkle beef with spices and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Slice across the grain of the meat every 1-1 1/2". Put in bowl and add BBQ sauce until desired consistency. Yum!!!

We know Gina must have lots of these easy recipes, because she completes projects with astounding frequency. Just today, she showed up at Loops South in the prettiest little piece in Rowan Lima:

It's called the Gabriele Shrug and it's in the new Winter Warmers book. Already we're running out of this yarn - I've got to order more today!

And speaking of warmers, yesterday was beautiful and sunny here in Oklahoma. This was my view from the Loopsmobile as I headed from carpool to Loops South.

Holly and I spent the day working on displays at South. At long last, we've finally given our Three Irish Girls yarns and patterns the "display respect" they deserve.

Little tension rods let us show off these sock-weight skeins the proper way, so you can really appreciate Sharon's spectacular hand-dye skills.

3IG Springvale Worsted got the same treatment.

3IG recently came out with some of their own gorgeous patterns, but until now they've been hidden in a binder. Shine, little patterns...shine!

I also took some of our favorite patterns in the shop and paired them with 3IG yarn suggestions.

So throw that steak in the crock pot, come see some of the other inspirational display things we've been up to at both stores, maybe cast on some Three Irish Girls "food for your fingers"...everybody's happy.

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P.S. Here's what's coming off Gina's needles next - Moonlight Picnic in new Twinkle Baby Chunky:

Friday, September 23, 2011

More knitting, less cooking: It's Pat!

Fall has always been my favorite season. But after the Dante's Inferno of a summer we've had, I've never been so excited for a fall in all my life! I think I share this sentiment with many fellow knitters, especially those from Oklahoma: My needles are flying, and I just can't get enough!

And still, the family has to eat.

Many of us yarn-addicted folks share the same problem: We want to knit. Our kids (and husbands) want to eat. One can only live on delivery pizza for so long. What's a busy knitter to do?

So today, dear knitters, we start a new blog feature that we plan to carry through the holidays. Each of the Loops Troops has agreed to share their current projects, along with a complete no-brainer recipe that will keep the family satisfied, yet allow you time to knit.

Pat goes to the Head of the Class for being the first Loopie to submit her recipe. Here's Pat in a vest she recently made in Weekend Cotton from this pattern book:

And here's her recipe:
Pat's 5-Hour Stew
(Don't worry, that's not 5 hours of preparation. That's 5 hours while it cooks in the oven, thus 5 hours of knitting time for you!)
2 lbs stew meat
2 chopped onions
4 carrots (or bag of baby carrots - there's another 10 minutes of knitting!)
3 potatoes cubed
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 can water
1/2 can burgundy wine (Warning: don't drink the other half-can yourself unless you are working on a garter-stitch scarf)
Seasonings: garlic, salt and pepper

Mix all together and put in a large roasting pan. Bake covered at 275° for 5 hours. Enjoy.

While her stew cooks, Pat is busy working on her Tea Leaves Cardigan in Tosh DK (from our last post), plus a vest in Noro Taiyo:

Plus a Summer Flies shawl in the beautiful new Bamboo Cotton Worsted from Three Irish Girls (available at Loops South; 3IG Springvale would also work great):

I keep looking for an excuse to start this project. Think I'll put on a pot of stew and go pick out a color...

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The monthly un-meeting.

When is a meeting not a meeting? When it's a Loops Troops Monthly get-together-gathering-sorta-thing. On the one hand, it's at 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday. So yes, there is lots of coffee. On the other hand, with a group like this, it's just really too fun to call a meeting.

Peek-a-boo, Pat!

All 20 of us (or at least, usually most of us) gather together once a month to talk about new store arrivals, inspiration, and new ideas for helping customers. Even the boring details become more interesting with this crowd. For instance, I needed to fill some empty shifts, so we played a game called "Take That Shift!" with prizes. Much less of a drag that way.

My favorite part of the meeting is usually the end, when we go around the table to hear what everyone's working on. Yes, this is one "meeting" where stitching is actively encouraged. Gene is close to finishing his blanket in our new SMC Baby Wool.

Andrea is making a great hat in Malabrigo:

Sherri just completed this top for her grandbaby, Josie. It was her entry in a crochet motif contest online. I think she used her favorite yarn, Cascade Cotton Pima.

Cindy is working on a Canterbury afghan in Marble Chunky. It's going fast!

Gina has just cast on a new vest in Rowan Lima. (She's the only one with tea instead of coffee.)

Harriet is finishing this scarf for our next Francophile Club meeting, in two Bergere yarns.

Pat and Linda have really taken to this "twin knitting" thing. Linda says she gets the ideas and Pat copies her, then ends up finishing it first! Whatever the truth may be, we love seeing their projects knit up in contrasting colors at the same time. This time they're doing Tea Leaves Cardigans in Tosh DK.

Can't wait for next month, Troops!

- Shelley
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