Saturday, November 8, 2014


1 lb ground Italian Sausage
6 cloves garlic chopped
3 med onions chopped (2 yellow and 1 red if possible)
7 carrots pealed and sliced
7 stalks celery sliced
2 med red potatoes pealed and cubed
2 yellow squash quartered and sliced
4-8 baby bella mushrooms cleaned and sliced
1-2 cups chopped kale
1/2-1 cup fresh parsley
1-2 Tbsp fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
1 can chick peas drained and rinsed
2 14.5 oz cans Muir Glen Organic Fire Roased tomatoes
1 14-16 oz can tomato sauce
6 cups water
4 beef bullion cubes
1-2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp fresh ground pink salt
1 cup cooked mini shell pasta

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Steak Chili

Heather's Steak Chili.... inspired by Jim Maturo's Chili on page 71 of The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook.

Serves 8-10+
10 oz pork Chorizo
2.5-3 lbs Flat Iron Steak (or other tender steak) cut into 1/2-3/4" cubes
3 C beef broth (or 3 cups water and 3 beef bouillon cubes) 
3 C chicken broth (or 3 cups water and 3 chicken bouillon cubes)
2 15 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
3 small-medium onions, diced
6-7 Tbsp chili powder
2 cans Great Norther beans, rinsed
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2-1 tsp ground black pepper

Toppings:  Cheddar cheese, sour cream, Frito's, chopped onions

1.  Brown the Chorizo in a 7 Qt Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven.  Remove.
2.  Brown the cubed steak.
3.  Add remaining ingredients.
4.  Boil on medium to medium-high heat for 40 minutes.
5.  Simmer for 40 minutes.
6.  Serve with toppings, as desired.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I use 100% Wool yarns for most all of my diapering woolies. Below are the properties of most of the bases I use that are non-superwash (not machine washable.) Machine washable wool (superwash) can also be used, and I have several nice superwash options in my inventory. However, they will not behave as well for diapering as non-superwash wool does. Superwash wools will be harder to lanolize, not be as absorbent, will need washed more often, and will be more prone to compression wicking. However, the flip side is that they are machine washable.

The ideal yarn I look for is a worsted to aran weight, or even a slightly bulky weight yarn that is 100% wool, non-superwash, and as soft as possible while maintaining durability. Minimally processed with a lot of lanolin still present is an added bonus.

Malabrigo/Purewool Single Ply/Galenas Merino/Single Ply Uruguayan – These are all essentially the same yarn base. They are all a single ply, super soft merino wool yarn from Uruguay. The wool is very, very soft and fine. It knits up to a soft, buttery material with a nice drape. It is wonderful for newborns especially, but can be used for all ages. It is mid-weight for standing up to wetness. It does pill and felt more easily than some other bases, but a sweater shaver helps with the pilling, and its softness makes up for the bit it is lacking in durability.

3ply Purewool/3ply Uruguayan - This yarn base comes from the makers of Purewool. Many Indie Dyers use this as a yarn base, but it can also be purchased already dyed by Purewool. It is the same wool that is used in their single ply yarn, just spun up a bit differently to create a 3 ply yarn. The spinning process makes this yarn a bit more durable than its single ply counterpart; however it is still nearly as soft.

Cestari and Targhee – These are both woolen spun, 2 ply yarns. Cestari comes in 3 types, Fine, superfine and traditional. All 3 are very similar, the only difference being the fine and superfine are softer than the traditional. The fine and superfine are 100% merino, and the traditional is a merino blend. Targhee is its own breed of sheep, but similar in touch to Cestari. All of these create a nice, durable fabric that is virtually pill free, heavy weight for standing up to wetness, and indestructible. Great for crawling and/or outdoor toddler wear. The fabric softens more and more over time and use.

BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) – Most BFL’s that I work with are aran weight, but some are a bit more bulky. This breed of sheep is silky and soft. The yarn takes dye in a lustrous manner, giving the color(s) a beautiful shine. BFL is a great, all ages yarn. It is soft, yet sturdier than a super fine merino like Malabrigo. It does pill, but after it is shaved a few times, the pilling decreases dramatically. It is medium to heavy weight standing up to wetness.

Peace Fleece – This is a Wool/Mohair Blend, 2 ply. Not very soft to start, but does soften up with wear and over time. It is ideal for babies 12-18 months and older. This wool wears like Iron. Heavy weight when standing up to wetness and perfect for crawling and outdoor play. I’ve heard of moms washing Peace Fleece in the washing machine on gentle with no issues of felting. This is the hardest wearing wool I knit with.

Blackberry Ridge Merino – This is a 2 ply merino that is a bit lighter weight than the Cestari/Targhee, but one of my favorites. This wool is very soft, yet wears well and is virtually pill free. It is medium to heavy weight for standing up to wetness.

Wool of the Andes Worsted – This is a multi-ply yarn spun from Peruvian wool (a merino/corriedale blend). It is not one of the softest yarns, but does soften very nicely over time, It does tend to pill quite a bit, but always looks new after a shave. It comes in many solid colors and is a nice, basic yarn. It is light to mid-weight when standing up to wetness.

Wool of the Andes Bulky – Like it’s worsted counterpart, but a bit heavier. This wool is mid to heavy weight when standing up to wetness and comes in several solids and some great variegated colors from Knit Picks. It is a perfect workhorse yarn.

Mountain Meadow Merino - This yarn is a 2 ply merino that is a bit lighter weight than the Cestari/Targhee, but one of my favorites. This wool is very soft, yet wears well and takes color beautifully. It is in between Blackberry Ridge and Cestari for thickness. It does tend to pill a bit more than those 2, since they don’t pill at all. It is medium to heavy weight for standing up to wetness. This is a fabulous yarn base.

Gaia Organic – Comes in both a worsted and bulky version. They are both very soft. Both pill quite a bit, but yet hold up nicely to felting. The worsted version will give a light weight protection to wetness, while the bulky version gives a mid-heavy weight protection to wetness. A fabulous all ages yarn.

Corriedale Aran – See BFL. The weight, spin and feel of Corriedale is very similar to BFL. It is lacking the sheen and not quite as silky, but very similar.

Cormo – See Cestari/Mountain Meadow, CormoVery similar to these 2 yarns. It is in between them in thickness and softer than both.

Lion Brand Wool, Lion Brand Fishermans, Patons Classic Merino – All 3 of these are very similar to Wool of the Andes Worsted. Good workhorse yarns in solids and some variegated colors available in many big box craft stores, so readily available and highly affordable.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lily's Strisce Felice.... My Little Lollipop

birthday and lollipop 022 by freckle432
birthday and lollipop 022, a photo by freckle432 on Flickr.

I am working on finding my notes to how I modified this to a bigger size from the original one size pattern.  Once found, I'll happily share them with anyone wanting to make a bigger top than 0-18months.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Birthday Dress, Nearly Done

birthday dress 002 by freckle432
birthday dress 002, a photo by freckle432 on Flickr.

I'm working a test knit for Dakine Knits for Melissa's Candy Girl pattern. I thought it would make the perfect birthday dress for Jackie. I've got about 48 hours left to adjust the strap placement, wash and block. I sure would like to get a matching one knit for her new American Girl doll too.... not sure if that will happen or not.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hats Galore!

Hats Galore! by freckle432
Hats Galore!, a photo by freckle432 on Flickr.
Check out these hats today at Bitty Fluff.  I had so much fun crocheting all of these bitty fiber creations.  They are all size newborn through 0-3 months and would be the perfect gift for that expected baby in your life.  Blog followers can take 10% off if purchasing 2 hats, or 15% off if purchasing 3, or 20% off if purchasing 4 or more.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

~~~Facebook Fans, We've Reached 150 Followers Giveaway~~~

Fantastic!  Freckle's Natural Fibers has reached 150 fans on Facebook.  To celebrate, I'm holding a Giveaway.

The winner can choose 1 of the following options:

  • Surprise Skein of Handspun Yarn - You can tell me fiber and color likes/dislikes, as well as whether you'd like a single ply or 2 ply yarn.  Yarn will be worsted-bulky weight.
  • Surprise Skein of Hand Dyed Yarn - Tell me your fiber and color likes/dislikes and I'll dye a skein of yarn up for you.
  • Surprise Braid of Spinning Fiber - Tell me your fiber and color likes/dislikes and I'll dye a braid of fabulous fiber your you to spin up at home.
  • Surprise Small Handwoven Scarf - You tell me any fiber sensitivities, and color likes/dislikes and I'll weave you up something special!
  • Surprise Hat (Up to size Small Youth) - Tell me fiber and color likes/dislikes, as well as the size and gender.
  • Surprise Soaker or Shorties (Up to Size Medium) - Tell me fiber and color likes/dislikes, as well as the size and gender.
  • Surprise Shrug or Sweater Vest (Up to Size 2/3T) - Tell me fiber and color likes/dislikes, as well as the size.
  • $25 Coupon to be used towards to the purchase of any items I have stocked on Freckle, Bitty Fluff, or Their Own Knitted World, or Tiny Lady Cooperative (sale or regular price) or towards a full custom slot (regular price only.)  Coupon could also be used at Fluff Again in Omaha on March 24th towards the purchase of any items I am selling that day as a vendor.  (Coupon Expires 5/31/12)

Now, you might be wondering...... How can you win?

For a chance to win this giveaway, you need to do any or all of the following.  Each item will allow you one entry.  The drawing will be done using, and will take place on Thursday, March 15th.  If we reach 250 Facebook fans by then, I will draw 2 winners.

1.  Follow Freckle's Natural Fibers on Facebook.  Comment here that you did so, or are already a follower.

2.  Follow Their Own Knitted World on Facebook.  Comment here that you did so, or are already a follower.

3.  Follow Bitty Fluff on Facebook.  Comment here that you did so, or are already a follower.

4.   Follow this blog and comment here that you did so.

5.  Post a link to this Giveaway on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter and comment here than you did so.

Please create a separate comment for each entry, as multiple entries within one comment will be counted as just one entry.  In stock items will ship right away.  Surprise and/or custom items will ship by April 15th.

Here are some pics of recent items that I've completed.  They are not necessarily what you will receive, but examples of my work.

Thanks so much!  Let's have some fun with this!

Songs of a Thundering God (1)

Dry Grass Montana for Mandy (14)

Classic Girl 013

November 025

Orchard S African Fine (3)

october morning (1)

Little Rainbow 012

yarn 037

yarn 030

Prism 007