Thursday, May 23, 2013

Banana Dogs

As cookout season approaches, people start to look for ways to use up uneven amounts of hotdogs and buns. Taking a note from Japadog, a Japanese style hotdog stand from the US and Canada (they serve ice cream on a bun instead of a cone), I've come up with this sweet treat in a bun that may help use up your extra bread products.

The banana-dog.

Did you ever notice that bananas fit perfectly on hotdog buns? Well, they do. It might seem like a strange combo, but its just another arrangement of the classic peanut butter and banana sandwich but open-faced and with a dash of humor.

1 bun for every banana ( I used Martin's Potato Rolls)
2 Tbs of peanut butter, Nutella, or even Marshmallow Fluff
chopped nuts or candy toppings of your choice (I used 2 mini Reese's peanut butter cups and 1/3 of a Heath Bar)

It could also be fun to add fresh sliced strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, or anything else you might find on an ice cream sundae.

Start by toasting your bun. When the bun is finished toasting, let it cool a bit, then peel the banana and place it in the bun as you would a hotdog. Gently spread the peanut butter or Nutella on top of the banana. Prepare your toppings so they can be sprinkled on top of the banana dog. I chopped my peanut butter cups into quarters and smacked the heath bar against the counter a few times to break it up. Sprinkle/drizzle the toppings on, they should stick to the peanut butter and stay put.

Now eat!

Have a good Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I ordered a pound of 64 count merino top from Paradise Fibers with the intention of spinning the yarn for a sweater. It is extremely soft, white, clean, and easy to spin. The only problem is that I'm not good enough yet to spin it thicker than this.

This is the single ply.

And this is the ribbed swatch knit from the 3 plied yarn on #2 needles.

With about 1.25 oz spun, it isn't looking like the best thing for a sweater. Maybe in the future when I can get it up to a fingering weight.

For now, a scarf seems like a good little project.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


When something new and exciting happens, I usually share it here, but for the last few months I've been too distracted by that new and exciting thing to actually get some photos up. Back in January, I went to Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. There was a lady there with a really great stall selling funky yarn and these little bags of what looked like fiber geodes. She has an Etsy store called Loop.

The colors were so good, SO GOOD, that I bought one even though I'd never really spun anything before.

In early February I could not wait any longer and went looking around the house for something to turn into a drop spindle. It had to be balanced on its own and able to fit around a 1/4" dowel with a hook.

Some people favor CDs or the tops of Chinese food containers. I ended up disassembling an auto returning yoyo, it's smaller in diameter than a CD, well balanced, and it has cool clear plastic parts. You can see the neon colors and now nonfunctional springs.

I started with the spindle, thick at first and eventually thinner. Because of how the fiber was prepped, there were no lumpy bits. The center pull, pre drafted merino silk sparkle blend was perfect to learn on.

 Now I have about 400 yards of this 3 ply yarn. It took about 2 months to spin and another 2 weeks to ply using the Navajo plying method. If some of these terms are foreign to you, that's good, because I don't really know about this stuff either. In the next few months, I will be posting some videos of these techniques.

Seeing how soft, fine yarn was so easy to make, I started to experiment. All that was in the house was this really rough, course core fiber that is usually only used for needle felting. I dyed it with food coloring, and spun the yarn for these swatches:

This is a 2 ply fingering weight yarn made from one section of roving dyed in a gradient then split down the middle.

It's a good example of "breaking" or splitting the color of Wilton black foodcoloring.

And this is a 3 ply fingering yarn spun from roving dyed in a red orange and blue color.

Close up, you can see that the plies are not all the same color at the same time.

After completing these swatches, I couldn't stop. I went ahead and ordered some superfine merino fiber from Paradise Fibers with the intention of spinning a sweater.

We will see how that goes...

If you are feeling inspired to start spinning your own yarn and have questions for a beginner about beginning, please leave a comment. I hope to go into more depth in the future, possibly in the form of a video tutorial and your feedback will shape the content.

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