Monday, March 19, 2012

Next up: PLARN

As if my recycling adventures had not reached an all time high with my upcycled t-shirt yarn bag, I’m am now venturing into the realms of recycled grocery bags!

I never saw a tutorial for making plarn, so I figured it out just for you – all four of my dedicated readers. <sarcastic grin!>

Since WA has new laws going into effect soon about the use of plastic bags at stores, everyone is really into using the reusable grocery bags. Instead of throwing my plastic shopping bags into the recycle like I usually do, I’m now turning them all into plarn and I’m going to make reusable grocery bags out of the grocery bag plarn! (The irony here is killing me!)

Plarn is super easy.

  1. First: be sure your grocery bag didn’t hold something gross like chicken because it’s not really going to be launder-able.WP_000818
  2. Next: flatten out your bag and pull the corners so the plastic is nice and square.
  3. Then: fold up the sides so the handles are together.WP_000820
  4. Cut the handles off.    WP_000821
  5. Cut off the sealed bottom piece.
  6. Cut 2cm “strips” from the folded bag.WP_000822
  7. Link the “strip/loops” together so they are one long series of loops. WP_000823WP_000824
  8. Repeat with lots of bags. 50? 100? use your whole cabinet full.
  9. Pretend they’re not loops, roll into a “plarn ball.”WP_000825(1)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to make t-shirt yarn?

I’ve had a couple of requests for how to make t-shirt yarn. Its pretty simple and only a little messy. There are lots of tutorials made by fabulous bloggers out there. This is the one I used:


I usually do it at the table and then the little fuzzies that come off the t-shirt yarn as I’m pulling the strips into yarn fall on the bale instead of me or the floor. This makes clean up easier and faster. Of course if you have hardwoods instead of rugs then the floor would work fine and swiffer solves all measures of fuzzy problems.


T-shirt yarn becomes a bag.

Wonder what I did with all that t-shirt yarn? Enter bag:

The bag took about 8 t-shirts worth of yarn and is about the same size as the purse I usually use (the one my grandma quilted for me!) See the fun tassle I added. Oh yes, I'm Really stylish now. Tehe.

What do you think?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meal of the Week 16: Pumpkin and Sausage Soup

More traditional for the fall… but I had to use up my last pumpkin from our pumpkin patch trip in November (which I should have used in November, arguably). Caveat: I was trying really hard to copy the same texture and flavor as my friend Emilie’s soup… but I failed. This one is good, but Emilie’s is better. SO when I get her recipe from her I’ll post the differences and you can decide!
  • 1/2 lb turkey sausage
  • 1 onion
  • 4 mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T butter or 2 T EVOO
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 1 cup cream
Start by cooking up your sausage. It doesn’t really matter if its cooked and then sliced or just ground cooked. It looks prettier if it cooks as a tube and is afterwards sliced. Remove from heat.
In you favorite soup making pot, melt 1 T butter. Sauté diced onion and mushrooms until soft (3-4 min). Puree in a blender with 1 C stock until very smooth. Return to the pot.
Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the puree in the pot including the sausage that was set aside. Heat on Med until boiling and then lower the heat so it simmers nice and low for about 45 minutes so all your spices can cook in.
From what I’ve read online, you can easily make this Vegetarian or Vegan by taking out the sausage, using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and using coconut milk instead of cream and sugar. You can also add in celery to the sauté and puree. I’m tempted to try the coconut milk next time I make this just to see what its like (and because I can never do something the same way twice… which is actually a real problem when something comes out SOOO perfect the first time like this one did.)
Play with the liquid levels until you like how soupy or thick it is. Use 4 cups of broth for a really slurpy soup, 3 for a thicker version. I like it a little thicker than it came out, but my husband thought it was the most perfect soup ever made.
Serve with Rosemary bread, cranberries, granny smith apples, bacon bits, and sour cream for toppings. The recipe makes enough for four-6 bowls, depending on which dish set you have.
Oh yeah and the reason there is no picture is that we ate it so fast because it was SOOO good that we didn’t stop to photograph.
It looked a lot like this recipe from (But you should really follow my recipe because the one from the link has no spice!)
Here's Emilie's recipe: IT IS WAY BETTER than the one I wrote above, therefore I admonish you to use it. And if anyone knows where I can find Old Bay in the NW, please let me know!!
Em's Pumpkin Soup

1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
2 dried bay leaves
1 onion chopped
Salt and Pepper
3 TBS flour
1 TBS Old Bay
1 TBS Tabasco
4 cups chicken stock
29 oz can pumpkin (about 3 cups. Add more for thicker consistency)
2 cups Heavy Cream (give or take 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 tsp nutmeg

One or two granny smith apples chopped
a handful or two of dried cranberries

In a dutch oven: Heat oil and butter and add the chopped onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper (about 2 tsp), sautee about 6 minutes till onions are tender
Add the flour, Tabasco sauce, and old bay, stir for a minute
Whisk in 4 cups chicken stock and bring to a simmer
Whisk in the pumpkin
Add sausage
simmer for 10 minutes
lower heat and add cream and nutmeg.
Garnish with apples and cranberries

More t-shirt yarn


Just raided the t-shirt drawer to make more yarn. Any ideas for what I should make?

Here’s my list of projects so far:

  1. Tote
  2. set of multi-colored coasters

I guess you could say it’s a short list?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meal of the Week 15: P.F. Changs Knock off Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Sauces

We found a great recipe a couple of weeks ago on for knock off P.F. Changs Chicken Lettuce wraps. The sauces have a lot of sugar in them but they were well worth the extra time and effort because they were SOOoooo scrumptious! This is my favorite thing to order when we go to P.F. Changs so it makes me super excited that we can make it at home now… And did I mention that my Mr. is a super sauce fan? Oh yes. This one saturates you with sauce, leaves your belly happy and tantalizes your tongue with that fabulous eat out taste right at home. Enjoy!


Monday, March 5, 2012

T-shirt yarn experiment

This is my first time trying to make t-shirt yarn to crochet with! I found this lovely tutorial HERE and it was perfect!


Now if I could only find my crochet hooks I would be able to get to work! AHHh! Where could they be?