Saturday, August 13, 2011


Where Laura proves that knitted food-stuffs are actually adorable and irresistable.

First, let me just say that I do agree with Emily that baked goods made to look like knitting are totally awesome and impressive. Other than that though, I have to say, as a knitter, I was a bit put off by the rest of the post. Just kidding, but seriously, knitted food is way cute.

 Exibits A- D:

(C) Budaknit
Knitted Food Pattern 4. by Lissa Napora
Ravelry Pattern Link

(C) Amanda Berry
Fruit and Vegetables by Amanda Berry
Ravelry Pattern Link

(C) Pezdiva
Knit Strawberries by Pez Diva
Ravelry Pattern Link

(C) NeedleNoodles
Knit Sushi Pattern by Needle Noodles
Ravelry Pattern Link
Case closed.

P.S. Emily, does your aversion to wool extend to alpaca? If so, I want the sweater I knit you for your birthday back!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

When Flours and Fibers Meet

A sensory adventure in which Emily discovers that food made to look like it has been knitted is adorable and knitted things made to look like food are horrifying.

So the subtitle of this blog describes us as "a blog about baking and knitting...only occasionally simultaneously."  Yet, to date we haven't actually broached the "simultaneous" subject.  You may be surprised to find out that there are quite a few instances in which the line between flour and fiber is blurred.  Cookies that look like knitting patterns, yarn-based hamburgers, etc.  And, *nerd alert,*  I love doing research.  So I did the dirty work for you and compiled a collection of links related to the subject.

First up, the cupcakes that inspired this post.  I stumbled upon them over a year ago and fell in love.  Apparently I'm not the only one; Martha Stewart also thinks they're a good thing.  The cupcakes feature marzipan yarn balls, sweaters, scarves and more.  So cute!  Check out the post from VeganYumYum's blog here.

In keeping with the cupcake theme, we'll move on to knit cupcakes.  These are basically their own genre within knitting, nestled somewhere between hats and sweaters.  There are way too many examples to link to every one, but I think this one is incredible.  It's made to look like it has dripping frosting and sprinkles!  This post from mydeco also features some beautiful knitted cupcakes.  You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post, but that's ok, because there are pictures of lots of other knit things to keep you occupied on the way down.

I have to admit, cupcakes are pretty much where my enjoyment of knit food ends.  The rest I find pretty gross.  I've always been pretty sensory defensive, and I still can't stand the feel of wool (no one tell Laura!).  For some reason the cupcakes don't bother me, but any other type of foodstuff rendered in yarn just makes me imagine a mouthful of itchy yarn-ness.  And when it comes to food, I'm definitely a texture person.  Now, I don't want to offend you, hypothetical food knitter, by being mildly repulsed at the sight of your handiwork. I think what you're doing is cool, in a somewhat repugnant sort of way.  Just not my thing.  If knit food is your bag of wool, you might want to check out these pictures or maybe these books:

To end the post on a happy note, here's a cool tutorial about how to create the knitted pattern with icing and a picture of some tiny knitting-themed cut-out cookies.  Hopefully I'll get to try some of these ideas out soon!

Stay tuned for a post about Laura's wedding shower, which was last weekend.  I'd hoped to write about it sooner, but...ahem...a certain co-contributor to this blog hasn't gotten the pictures to me yet.  Everybody send her an angry email!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunday in the Garden

As I've mentioned in a couple earlier posts, last summer I had the opportunity to intern at Miss Effie's Country Flowers and Garden Stuff in Donahue, Iowa.  Almost exactly one year ago, I was frenziedly baking, weeding, and otherwise preparing for Miss Eff's Second Annual Ice Cream Social.  Carrot cake, sour cream chocolate cake, German chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, lemon shortbread, lemon poppyseed Bundt cake, yellow cupcakes with fudge frosting, French vanilla ice cream, chocolate silk ice cream, a few batches of last-minute jam...I was in heaven, people!  Read about last year's preparations here.   And check out a picture of the fruits of my labor:

The ice cream social holds a very special place in my heart.  The first one was in 2009, and it was the first time I ever went to Miss Eff's.  I was seriously in a daze.  At the risk of sounding saccharine, I'm going to say that the farm felt like home.  And I don't mean like my childhood home, I mean like the abstract, can't-put-your-finger-on-exactly-why-it's-so-perfect "home."  You can scroll down past the recipes on this post if you want to read about my maiden voyage to Miss Effie's.  It was the start of a beautiful friendship! 

As has also been mentioned a couple times, Laura's getting married in October!  My mom and I had planned a trip to Iowa to help her get the invitations ready, and it just so happens that that trip coincided with Miss Eff's Third Annual Ice Cream Social!  It was amazing to be back on the farm, but also kind of bittersweet.  So much has changed!  Take Miss Eff's retail shop, the Summer Kitchen, for instance:

What the Summer Kitchen looked like when I credit Cathy Lafrenz
What an amazing sign!
The Summer Kitchen today

It was great to see how far the farm has come, and visiting with Cathy and Cliff is always a treat.  They raised over $500 for their local food pantry at this event!  But for Laura, nothing topped the goats from Zen Goaties:

Laura getting in touch with her motherly side...
If you'd like to read some other points of view about the day, check out these blogs:
That's all for today, folks!  I'll leave you with my favorite picture of Miss Eff's.  I took it last summer after a long day of weeding.  Now before you go thinking I'm a photography genius, the whole hazy thing was an accident.  I actually thought I broke my camera, because all the pictures were turning out like that.  Turns out I had left my camera sitting in the grass and the lens got all dewy, resulting in that dreamlike look.  Gotta love happy accidents!

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    A Recipe to Make You Appreciate Mom's Tuna Casserole

    Ever look through your cookbooks and come across a recipe that makes you wonder what the author was thinking?  I have too many a lot of cookbooks, ranging from turn-of-the-century textbook-style references for homemakers to brand new tomes heralding the merits of tofu.  Naturally, while perusing these cookbooks, I occasionally come across what I call a WTF recipe.  This was exactly the case tonight as I leafed through my 1917 edition of The New Household Discoveries: an Encyclopedia of Recipes and Processes, edited by Sidney Morse.  The book is 842 pages long (including the index) and offers sections like The Art of Correct Table Service, Economical Use of Meat in the Home, Candies and Candy-Making, and Prevention of Communicable Disease.  If you need to know which fork goes where or how to counter hookworm disease, this is the reference for you.  The recipe section comes complete with such appetizing headings as "Meat with Macaroni and Other Starchy Materials" (highlight recipes: Meat Cakes, Mock Wild Duck, Meat Salad). 

    In terms of WTF recipes, this book is rife with them.  One in particular, however, caught my eye.  Ladies and gents, allow me to introduce you to Chicken-and-Ham Mold.  I hope I'm not violating any copyright laws by posting this, but honestly I can't imagine anyone wanting to actually take responsibility for this recipe. 

    Chicken-and-Ham Mold
    From The New Household Discoveries with editor's comments (okay, they're my comments, but I imagine any self-respecting editor would respond in a similar fashion)

    2 cupfuls cold chopped chicken (not off to a great start)
    1 cupful chopped ham
    1 cupful cold boiled macaroni (WHAT?!)
    2 eggs
    1 tablespoonful butter
    1 cupful gravy (oh hell no)
    pepper and salt (you sound like a fool.  It's salt and pepper.)

    Mix the chicken, ham, and macaroni (not happening), moisten (dirty, disgusting word that should never be used and especially not when referring to food) with the eggs, melted butter, and gravy, season highly (unless you're seasoning with Mrs. Dash magic de-disgustifying blend, don't bother).  Butter a mold, pour the mixture in (ew ew ew ew), put on cover tightly (and don't EVER take it off), and boil two hours.  Dip the mold into cold water for a minute and turn out on a hot dish (yes, because you don't want to ruin as gourmet a dish as this with a cold plate).  Serve with tomato sauce (to someone you don't care for much at all).

    So now you know what to make next time your in-laws visit.  You're welcome!

    What are some WTF recipes you've come across?

    Monday, July 18, 2011


    I've never been good at seeking out the positives.  Born a pessimist, some of my earliest memories involve my mom asking why I always had to be so contrary.  And so when it comes to my hometown, I all too often focus on what's wrong.   

    My whole life, I've been surrounded with murmurs of "There's nothing to do here," and "this town is so boring!"  More than a few of those murmurs were uttered by me. 

    My mom always used to say, "Boredom is a choice."  It was unbelievably annoying.   Of course, she was right.  Any place is boring if you don't look into what that place has to offer.   And I probably wouldn't change how things happened, but it's almost embarrassing that I found my dream in Iowa, only to come home and discover a similar version of that dream right in my backyard.  Funny how life works!

    So what is this hometown dream?  Peterman Brook Herb Farm in Porterfield.  For those of you who don't know, Porterfield is in Northeastern Wisconsin...about 15 minutes from my house!  I happened to find out about this farm just days before their annual Faerie Festival, an event that reminded me a lot of Miss Effie's market party, with numerous vendors and proceeds going to charitable organizations (none of Miss Eff's famous French silk ice cream, though!).  Of course, I'll always be partial to Miss Eff's--it's impossible not to be after having spent so much time there weeding in triple-digit-with-the-heat-index temps.  Er, I mean...after having found a second mother* in Cathy .  My first time at Peterman Brook was not quite the same as my first time at the aforementioned flower farm, but it was very nostalgic to be back at a place so similarly aligned to Miss Effie's philosophy.  And I'm always happy to go somewhere that allows me to unleash my inner ethnobotanist!

    Though I'm no photographer, I did manage to snap a few pics of the grounds:

    Vendor stalls flanking the soap shop
    Coming up the drive.  One of the most amazing porches I've seen...and how about that barn?  SWOON.
    Side view of the soap shop plus some herb gardens
    Of course, we couldn't leave without picking up a couple souvenirs:

    One of Peterman Brook's can buy them here!
    Laura's having a fall wedding...pending her approval, these may just end up in the centerpieces.
    In addition to soap and mini pumpkins, you can find bath salts, essential oils, candles, and more.  Like Peterman Brook on Facebook to stay up to date with their latest goings-on.  And if you're looking for an excuse to break out the tutu and ferry wings that have been gathering dust in your attic since Halloween of [insert year you turned ten and begged mom for them and she said no but you cried at the store so she relented and then you ended up being a cheerleader anyway], mark your calendars for next year's Faerie Festival. 

    *My sister and I are those adopted daughters!  Just a note, we have an amazing biological mom.  But she lives in Wisconsin and at the time Laura and I both lived in Iowa.  We needed a local motherly influence!  Plus, Cath never enforced curfew.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Sorry If You Thought I Was Dead

    Howdy folks!  It has been an embarrassingly long time since I've contributed to this little blog of ours.  Truth be told, I haven't been doing much foodie-wise except drooling over other blog posts I've found via StumbleUpon (you think Facebook is a time-suck?  HA.  I scoff at your Facebook.).

    The good news about my long hiatus is that I have lots of ideas for future posts, and lots to share with you, dear readers!  Highlights may include (but are not limited to) my first trip to Europe, graduating from college(!), my first real job (pending actually getting a real job), grad school (pending a decision to go/where to go and selection of a course of study), Laura's wedding/shower, the opening of my new bakery (pending funding, a business plan, and growth of "a pair" large enough to actually do it), and, of course, my future exploits in the kitchen.

    But today I will leave you with a link to a blog related to my most recent obsession--though it is, for now, only an obsession played out through the internet.  Can you guess what it is?  No, not that.  It's decorated cookies!  And I have seen few bloggers with as wide an array and as well-done an arsenal of decorated cookies as Callye of The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.  After discovering her site on--where else?--StumbleUpon, I spent several hours devouring all 51 pages of her Flickr photostream.  I could never actually pick a favorite, but these* are near the top of the list.  If you'd like to try your hand at decorating, the blog has tutorials, recipes, and lots of drool-worthy pictures.  You can also follow Sugarbelle's on Facebook and/or Twitter (while you're at it, follow me!).  However you decide to check out this Texas-based baker, be prepared to spiral into a tailspin of despair as you realize you will never EVER be as good as she is.  (That may have been a singular reaction on my part.  You may be a better decorator/more confident person than me.) 

    *Little-known fact: I am OBSESSED with anything nautical.  I have maritime-themed shoes, jewelry, undies, sweatshirts, sweaters**, t-shirts, socks, you get the idea.  But, alas, I fear I am a poseur because I have never once been sailing.  Although I did spend a lot of time on ferries between Greece and Italy during my three-week sojourn in Europe this May-June.  More on that later, I promise!

    **Does it piss anyone else off when people call sweatshirts sweaters and vice versa?  They're not synonyms, people!  They are two distinct entities with clear differences.  Confession/irrelevant rant (leave now if you don't want to read an account of how my Catholic education resulted in legitimate elitism craziness): one of my many faults is that I'm somewhat of a vocabulary/grammar/language snob.  That's not to say I'm a perfect writer, but I do spend a lot of time trying to make my compositions technically correct and fun to read (anyone else use a thesaurus when writing posts?).  I just don't think it's that hard to proofread your stuff or have someone who knows their stuff proofread your stuff.  Blame it on the "Grammar Nazi,"  aka my fifth- through eighth-grade English teacher who had us diagramming sentences 50 minutes a day.  And now, almost a decade later, I still know what a predicate adjective is, so I guess my Catholic-school education was worth the tuition after all (just don't tell God I haven't been to church in about five years).   By the way, sorry for the footnote within a footnote...that's probably not proper English.  Sometimes it's okay to forgo convention for the sake of style, right?  It's all about balance.  Just don't confuse sweater/sweatshirt, there/they're/their, your/you're, or its/it's. ;)

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    I'm a knitting instructor!

    Hi Knitters!

    Today was an important day in my knitting life. I taught my first class, and it was even better than I hoped it would be.  I took a couple of hours off of work today, so I could be completely prepared for class. I had high hopes of presenting the class with a great tutorial to go along with Allison LoCicero's awesome Entrelac Scarf pattern. They got the pattern alright, but after two hours of hard work, I was only able to produce one tutorial. I won't get into the whole story but it involves two printers, two laptops, one outdated operating system, one jump drive, and the blue screen of death. It's a miracle that I got one printed. The entire class will be getting the tutorial by email later tonight.

    The class was held at the 365 Days on a Farm Yarn Shoppe in Eldridge and the topic of the day was the technique of  "Entrelac".  I had been intrigued by it since I saw Miss Effie's beautiful scarf when we were at the Crafting at the Convent Retreat. I started out with Dorrie's Cowl.

    Then I made my Summer Cowl, with Stonehedge Millends from a mill in Michigan. (I bought this skein at Serendipity Yarn Shoppe.)

    Then Tami of the 365 Days on a Farm Yarn Shop talked to me about teaching a class, and I went crazy knitting samples.

    So today, I breathlessly arrived at the shop a few minutes late, hoping that myearlier technical difficulties were not indicative of the rest of the evening. I was pleasantly surprised to see nine (!) women there eager to learn the technique of entrelac. The technique is not easy, and at first, it's definitely confusing. I was really proud of all of my students. Some of their work is below!

    I really enjoyed this class and all of the women who participated. I love sharing my passion for this craft, and one of my favorite things is the fellowship that comes along with spending time with other knitters. So thank you, Sue, Brenda, Heather, Sue, Shelley, Ann Marie, Maggie, Pam, and Janalee.

    As you can see, a couple of hours is not enough time to finish a project like this. So I'll be back at the shop on Thursday, June 23, at 5 pm for additional help. All are welcome to stop by and join in the fun!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    The Yarn Garden

    Last week, I traveled to Annapolis, MD to attend a wetlands class for work. It was a great week, filled with field trips, dinners with friends, and on my last day, a few hours at the Local Yarn Shop. After asking around and doing some internet research, I quickly learned that "The Yarn Garden" was the place to be.

    Nestled on the second floor of a fairly large shopping complex, it took me a few times around the parking lot to notice the unassuming sign. But once inside, I was in for a treat!


    Inside, there was a little bit of everything. The store is a knit, crochet and needlepoint shop. I always love seeing all the tiny skeins of embroidery floss and needlepoint yarn! They also had all kinds of curiosities, like this gnome needlefelting kit. This was really hard to resist! And they carry one of my favorite yarns of all time, Manos Silk Blend.

    This is the yarn that I used for my mom's Christmas present. I made her the Lovely Leaf Lace Scarf from the Purl Bee.

    I couldn't get everything I wanted, though, because I had over three hours to stay in the shop before I had to leave for the airport, and limited luggage space to bring back my treasures. So before I bought anything, I sat down at the table and started knitting. It was then that I met a few of the shop's wonderful employees. Robyn was there knitting on her day off. Maybe her family didn't understand going to "work" on your day off, but I certainly would do that too, if I worked at a yarn shop! Beth and Alex were both very helpful, and I'm glad I got the opportunity to knit with all of them during a quiet hour or so at the shop around lunchtime. Alex was so nice to let me leave  my knitting while I went across the street to grab lunch. I met many of the shop's patrons, and all seemed very happy to be there. Including the 91-year-old grandmother, who took the bus to the shop to get some help on a baby sweater!!

    Of course, I couldn't leave empty-handed. Does this yarn look familiar?
    Yep, that's the discontinued Noro Silk Garden Lite that I used for the Dorrie Entrelac Cowl. I don't know what I'll do with three more skeins, but somehow my stash seems more complete with these new additions. I also picked up some Second Time Cotton, from Knit One, Crochet Too. This comes in many colors and is very affordable!

    I reluctantly left the shop at around 3 pm. But it didn't talk long for me to see another knitting project. Meet my knew friend Rae's airport knitting!

    This sweet basket weave scarf is made from a beautifil skein of Miss Babs hand-dyed yarn. Rae split the skein and is holding the yarn double for this project. I was so happy she sat down next to me in the airport to talk knitting!

    And if you think that sounds like a good knitting day, stay tuned. I'll write about World Wide Knit in Public Day soon!

    Cheers and Happy Knitting!

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    World Wide Knit in Public Day!

    Attention all Quad Cities and North Scott Knitters!!!! There are multiple opportunities to participate in "World Wide Knit in Public Day"!

    Miss Effie's Country Flowers and Garden Stuff is hosting a sangria-fueled knitting, spinning and crocheting extravaganza. Starting at 2 pm on Saturday, June 11 until 7 pm. There will be trivia games, sangria and much crafting! Please RSVP to me or Miss Effie so we don't run out of wine.

    If you want to get a good food base before you start knitting and drinking sangria, stop by the new yarn shoppe in Eldridge, 365 Days on a Farm Yarn Shoppe. I know I will! On Saturday, there is a potluck starting at 11 and the event runs until 4! Bring your knitting, a dish to pass, and a lawn chair. We'll be knitting outside across the street from the shop! RSVP to Tammy at 563-285-9985!

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    The Elegant Ewe

    I grew up in Northeastern Wisconsin, along the Michigan/ Wisconsin border. It is a beautiful place, with many hidden gems. One of them is Menominee, Michigan's LYS, The Elegant Ewe. Paul and I went up north for Mothers' Day,  and I couldn't wait to stop in. This shop is currently located in a beautiful old home, on First Street in Menominee, MI, along the shores of Green Bay. The entire first floor is a yarn shop, with a staggering amount of fiber. There is also a very large selection of needlepoint and cross-stitch supplies. Rumor has it that if you want to see the second floor of the house, just ask to see the cross-stitch fabric. It fills an entire closet. Em can back me up on this one!

    One of the best  parts about this place is that you never know what you'll find. There is an extensive sale section that offers at least 25% off the yarns there. Also, any discontinued fiber is 50% off. Martha, the proprietor, doesn't take anything off the shelves, she just moves it to the discount section. This means I was able to score some pretty great deals.

    First, five skeins of the discontinued Annabel Fox Chunky Donegal. I have visions of making this a warm zip-up cardigan for fall. I had a fleece jacket when I was little in similar colors. I'll try to find a picture of the jacket, so I can replicate it. This yarn was just $4.50 a skein!
    Then I couldn't help but pick up all the partial skeins of Bartlettyarns 2-ply wool. I absolutely love this yarn. If I could only knit with one yarn for the rest of my days, I think I'd pick a 2-ply woolen spun 100% wool yarn. This yarn is proudly made in a mill in Harmony, Maine that has been running since 1821. The yarn is also extremely affordable, at $7.75 for a 210 yard skein. I paid much less than this for the remnants I bought. I restrained myself from buying full skeins, but it was difficult. I really love this yarn!

    Then came the real suprise. Ever since I went on Flood Duty earlier this spring, I have been mulling over the prospect of making a set of "outside work" accessories. Very simple hat, mittens and a cowl, made with heavy-duty, respectable wool. Something our great-great-great grandmothers would knit. (At least mine would; they lived in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Canada!) So I've been on the lookout, and I found it! Ragg Wool from the former North Bay Yarns  in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. It's exactly what I had in mine. The yarn is that color between grey and brown that won't show dirt very well and I think the yarn will bloom nicely once blocked and be incredibly warm. I picked up the last 4 skeins for $3.50 each, which is over 800 yards.

     And don't you just love the yarn band?

    I left some pretty great stuff on the shelves as well, so if you find  yourself in Northeastern Wisconsin, or along Green Bay in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, please stop by!!

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Laundry Day!

    This is what laundry day looks like when you have a wardrobe of handknits. Someday I hope to not need the washing machine at all! Today I thought I'd show you my knit-washing process. It starts in the soaking room, a.k.a. the guest bath.

    The Eucalan stays there all the time, right next to the hand soap. I fill up the sink with lukewarm water, add a capfull of Eucalan, and let the knits soak for a half an hour or so. Now it's time to break out the ShamWows! These were purchased at the one and only U.P. State Fair. (Which is the best state fair, despite the fact that the U.P. is not a state!)

    Then I roll up the sweaters and stomp on them, "I Love Lucy'-style.

    Finally, I bring them up to the blocking room and lay them out under the fans.  I  put the ceiling fan on high and then set up a desk fan to blow directly on the spare bed/ blocking area. The sweaters should be dry by the morning; now I just have to decide what to wear tomorrow!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Spin Me a Yarn

    So I've been a bit quiet on the blog lately. I think there are two main reasons for this; 1.) March Madness took some of the wind out of my blogging sails, and 2.) umm... spinning!!!

    It finally clicked and now I am a woman possessed! I'm quickly spinning my way through my small fiber stash. First there was the gray Corriedale from Susan's Fiber Shop.

    Really uneven and chunky, but it does look like yarn. I found this first batch of roving to be really difficult to spin and a bit frustrating, but I stuck with it. Next I spun a wool top from the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival.

    Still uneven, but I could probably knit it on US 10 needles into a cool scarf or something. Then I went to Serendipity Yarn Shoppe for a Spin-In with Abi, from High Prairie Fibers. I learned a ton in the short time I was there and my next yarn actually looked like "real" yarn. You know, the kind people pay money for.

    Another wool top from the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. This one was 100% merino and hand-dyed. So soft, and really, really fun to knit. After skeining this yarn, spinning was all I could think about. Last summer, at Miss Effie's Market Party I bought some roving from High Prairie Fibers. It turned into this:

    Next on my wheel is Louet Northern Lights 100% Wool Top Handpainted Pencil Roving in the Caramel Apple colorway.

    If only I didn't have to keep up with the housework or go to my real job...

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    In the Heartland

    In the last two days, I've received some pretty interesting mail. First, yesterday this showed up!

    I've been waiting for this and finally my mouse will get some farm companions! And then today in the mail I received this:
    Are you sensing a theme here? It seems farm-themed knitting is all the rage. Click here for the cover project, the "Heartland Road Trip Tote Kit".

    I've been drawn to pastoral scenes for as long as I can remember. I'm pretty sure this was started with a smocked dress I had when I was really small. The dress was embroidered with a farm scene and I loved it!

    Now with the recent inspiration, I'll definitely be casting on for some new projects soon. There are a few more projects that have caught my eye in the same theme.

    From the Fall/Winter 2008, Knit1 Magazine, the #04 Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves.

    I've also been seeing some very cute versions of the Sheep Yoke Baby Cardigan on Ravelry. This adorable FREE pattern was designed by  Jennifer Little of Looking Glass Knits. French Press Knits (one of my favorite bloggers), made an adorable version for her newborn daughter to wear home from the hospital.

    And finally, the other day in anticipation of getting Spud and Chloe at the Farm, I was searching Etsy for some plastic canvas patterns. I got the idea to make a plastic canvas barn to house all the knit farm animals in. I really like the idea of having an enclosed space to store all the toys. Here are a couple of the patterns available on Etsy.

    This barn set is really close to what I was imagining. I would probably make a few changes, but the pattern might be worth getting.

    This is not what I was originally looking for, but it's incredibly detailed. After seeing this pattern, I found a ton of really cute toy plastic canvas patterns.  My grandmother used to craft us all sorts of plastic canvas projects; toys, ornaments, purses, and the ever popular tissue box cover. My mom's sister also used to make plastic canvas placemats and coasters for everyone in our family. These sweet projects hold a lot of fond memories for me, and I'm excited to learn a new craft soon, in memory of my Aunt Sandy and in honor of my Grandma Elaine!