Friday, August 19, 2011

Shades of Green Goes on Tour!

The Shades of Green Knitting Collection is all ready to head out on tour! Beginning at the end of this month the collection will be visiting several blogs and casts to give you different perspectives on the designs. At each stop there will be a giveaway for a copy of the collection. Make sure you tune in for all the details!

Don't want to wait for the official tour to begin? Fibernymph did a lovely review of the collection on the latest episode of her videocast – 90% Knitting. The discussion of Shades of Green begins around 35 minutes.

Blog Tour Schedule

Dishie Yarn Review

Knit Picks Dishie
Content: 100% Cotton
Weight: Worsted Weight
Knitting Gauge: 4.5 sts = 1" on #7 - 8 needles (4.0mm-5.5mm)
Crochet Gauge: 11–14 sc = 4'' on I - K hooks (5.5 mm-6.5 mm)
Amount: 190 yards/100 gram ball
Care: Machine wash/ tumble dry

Dishie Yarn Review
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like a lot of cotton yarns are stringy, especially those marketed for kitchen and bath craft projects. This is what I expected to get from a yarn called ‘Dishie.’ However, I was pleasantly surprised when I received the yarn and found something that was very obviously a 100% cotton, but was also very much yarn and not like the stuff I’d use to tie up my tomato plants in the garden.

Dishie doesn’t split or twist up on you as you work. The tight spin of the yarn makes it very durable, so feel free to use it in projects that see a lot of wear. I can also happily report that I didn’t encounter any knots or snags in the 4 skeins I used during my review process.

The 190 yards per skein is nice. It’s a bit more than you’ll find in the ever popular Lily Sugar’n Cream Solid, which offers 120 yards a skein. At the same time, it’s also a little more expensive at $3.99 versus Lily’s suggested retail of $2.49 to $2.89 for their solid colors. (Ombres are more expensive since they have a mere 95 yards per skein.) Taking yardage and price into consideration both yarns come out to be nearly equal in the bang you get for your buck.
I honestly couldn’t come up with any negative comments on this yarn. There was nothing that jumped out at me and said ‘look out!’ My only neutral comment would be on the color selection. The range is decent, but basic and crayon like. At the same time I can also say that the colors are very rich and vibrant. I was happy to see neutrals like Linen, Coffee, and Swan among the lineup.

Working With Dishie Yarn
I was happy with both the knit and crocheted fabric produced by Dishie yarn. I wouldn’t recommend attempting complicated texture patterns or colorwork with it, but that’s a pretty standard stipulation of worsted weight cottons.

Dishie is a good basic cotton yarn that will hold up well to frequent use and machine washing. Choose it for all your kitchen and bath crafts such as sponges, washcloths, towels, bathrobes, trivets, coasters, and rugs. Dishie would also work up well in baby and children’s garments, or even adult outerwear like a pullover hoodie.

Try Dishie with a free crochet bath puff pattern.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Black Beans on Rice

This dish has become one of my easy go-to favorites. Sometimes I use the salsa, sometimes I don't.



  • lime juice
  • chopped onion
  • cilantro
  • salt & pepper
Beans & Rice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbl spn dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbl spn cumin
  • 1 1/2 tspn oregano
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice

In a large frying pan warm olive oil.
Add onion, pepper, garlic, parsley, brown sugar, cumin, oregano.
Cook until peppers and onions are soft. (About 10 minutes.)
Add beans and white wine. Simmer until reduced by one fourth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice. Spoon salsa over rice and beans as desired.