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Welcome Friends! Please be patient while I add more info. I have SO much to share with you. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Pork and Saurkraut

Being a southern girl who grew up in the south, I had never heard of Pork with Saurkraut. When we moved to Ohio i quickly found out it was a tradition to serve this dish on New Year's Day. I just couldn't imagine saurkraut with pork, or any meat for that matter. But it soon became one of my favorite meals! There are a few different ways to prepare it, but  it is actually a German dish.

Since my mother in law cooked it in the oven for several hours, that's the way I have always fixed it. But this time I decided to cook it in my crock pot. It turned out better than any other time I have fixed it, so I'm sticking with this recipe. I looked at several different recipes on Pinterest, but decided to come up with my own combination of ingredients. You could easily use this recipe and cook it in the oven (covered) for 4-6 hours on about 250 degrees. But I'm calling this my:

Pork and Saurkraut in the Crock Pot 

1 pork roast or 2 pkgs pork spare ribs
1 large can or jar saurkraut, undrained
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 -1 cup apple juice
2-3 teaspoons brown sugar
Bacon grease (I keep mine in the freezer when I cook bacon)
Salt and pepper
Oil for sauteing pork

Salt and pepper pork on all sides and place in frying pan with hot oil. Saute pork on medium high heat, til all sides are brown. Place in crock pot that has been set to "low". Place sliced onions on top, then pour entire jar (including liquid) of saurkraut on top, spreading around. Do NOT drain or rinse kraut. (Note: It will not be as good if you rinse and drain it. Believe me, I know, because I've fixed it both ways. Salt and pepper the saurkraut. Pour the apple juice all over this and then sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Now put about 4-5 teaspoons bacon grease on top of everything. Cook on low in your slow cooker for 6 hours. This is delicious and SO tender! Not to mention the aroma that will fill your home!
I like to serve it with mashed potatoes and either collard greens or green beans. The saurkraut (thats not so sour anymore) and liquid it creates is scrumptious over the mashed potatoes. I hope you enjoy this dish.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

My Interview with Women's World Magazine!

Women’s World did an interview with me on how you can make money with crochet and it was published in their March 27, 2017 issue. Dr Oz is on the front cover of that one. 

This may not be a big deal to some, but I'm really excited because this is a major magazine and not a crochet magazine! 

I talked about pattern testing and contact crocheters. The contract crocheter part didn’t get in because I wrote the lady later and added that, but it was too late. Anyway, they mentioned me and my Positively Crochet blog, so hopefully it will bring more traffic to my blog. I thought it was cool for crochet to be mentioned in this major magazine! They have millions of readers!
I mention Ravelry and Crochetville too.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lacy Pullover by Mary Jane Hall

This lacy top was originally published in Crochet! Magazine and is now being sold as an individual pattern for anyone interested who does not receive the magazine. It's one of my favorite designs that I've created, simply because I love open lace! A # 2 sport weight yarn was used to create this and since it is an open stitch pattern, it goes pretty fast!

Monoco Lace Top by Mary Jane Hall
I found the unique stitch pattern in an old Russian crochet magazine. Since I don't understand Russian, I followed the chart they had. If you look at thus closely, you'll see that it looks like upside down Eiffel towers! I really had fun making this!

Monoco Lace Top by Mary Jane Hall

A # 2, sport weight yarn was used to make this and since the pattern is open, it goes pretty fast. To purchase the pattern go to the Annie's Craft Store here.

To see more of Mary Jane's designs, go to her Ravelry designer page here.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Yarn Frequently Asked Questions

Many people have asked me why a 4 ply yarn of different brands, feel  & look different, even though they are both the same weight, such as 4 #, worsted weight. (Example: Red Heart worsted and I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby - both # 4, worsted wt)

Here's a link that should answer all your questions about yarn. It talks about gauge, swatches, substitute yarns and more.
Annie's Craft Store 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

More Thrift Store Finds - Bottles with Crochet -- Post # 9

 I have 100's of things I could post that I've found at thrift stores over the years. Of course it's my passion, and Dayton, Ohio has the best thrift stores in the country, according to several sources. I did a craft fair in the fall and wanted to find some bottles that I could crochet around. They're a pretty quick project. I have other bottles with crochet, in fact there's a free pattrrn here on my blog. I just think they are a nice addition to any room, especislly if you like Boho style. You can do them in so many pretty colors.

I used jute to crochet around this bottle. Its kind of rough on your
hands but worth the outcome!

I used a soft cotton yarn for this one. Then added the beads at the top.

This one was made with a # 1 fingering yarn.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Monique Hooded Jacket

You may call this a jacket or you may call it a cardigan, but the Monique Hooded Jacket, found in my book, Colorful Crochet Lace, is designed more for fashion than for warmth. Of course, the open lace crochet pattern will require wearing a long sleeved shirt underneath, unless you just want to throw it on in the spring or a cool summer night.

Monique Hooded Jacket in Colorful Crochet Lace by Mary Jane Hall
The rows on this pattern are vertical, so the beginning chain is at the center front. The sweater is worked in 2 pieces and the center backs are joined with a seam.  The sleeves are worked right onto the front and back panels, because I wanted to avoid you having to work too many sesms.

Hood is completely optional, since it's worked separate and attached at the end of the psttern. 
The hood is a highlight of this jacket. The sleeves, which are long and flared on the ends, will graze across the top of your hand, maybe even to your knuckles. If you want to make this, and you have shorter arms, you should think about working less rows on the sleeves. This will need to be determined before the sleeves are finished though. 

This is the jacket shown worn with a belt. There are no buttons on the front and the 2 sides should overlap. Please excuse my pictures! I should have taken more time so i would have avoided my messy craft room. 

Monique Hooded Jacket closed together in front with a satin bow. 
And finally, I'm showing it with a satin bow. You could use a skinny scarf, but I made this bow on my sewing machine. I did not attach it on each side to be tied in front, on purpose, but I made the satin tie in one piece and put each end through the holes in the lace, so each end could be pulled through and tied into a bow in the front. I didnt sew it on, so it could be worn without the bow too, as in the other photos. The book does not show these ways of wearing it,  but I like to show as many options as possible. 
There are some errors on this pattern in the book, but don't worry, the corrections are here on my blog and also on the Interweave website here
For more info on this pattern, such as yarn used, go to the Ravelry pattern page here.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Amelie Triangle Shawl

If you're looking for an easy project, this shawl would be a great option. The Lovers Knot Stitch, also called the Solomon's Knot, reminds me of macrame. The incredibly fun pattern can be found in my book, Colorful Crochet Lace.

Amelie Triangle Shawl with the Lover's in Colorful Crochet Lace
by Mary Jane Hall
Another reason to consider this patten is that it can be worn several ways. If you are familiar with my designs, you know I have a passion for showing how many different ways a project can be worn, such as the Basic Capelet in my book, Crochet That Fits and my Cabled Cowl made into 7 different projects, for sale here on my blog.

A dk #3 wt yarn, Knit One, Crochet Two, was used for this project
I love adding anything dangling or textured to an edge, and to my surprise, I really like the look of the shawl wrapped around the neck to form a cowl.

Wear the Amelie Triangle Shawl
 as a Beach Cover

Amelie Triangle Shawl from Colourful Crochet Lace
by Mary Jane Hall
For more info on this shawl see the pattern page on Ravelry here.