Knitting Necessities: Notions Boxes

Over the last decade I have knitted my way across the western United States.  Every road trip, weekend get away, and even just a drive for the day my knitting goes along.  My knitting notions boxes make it so I can knit everywhere while on the go without worry I’m missing a vital tool.  When you knit so many different projects like I do, you never know when you will need an extra stitch marker or a cable needle.  Finishing a project while out and about without a tapestry needle is pure torture for me because I can’t stitch in the loose ends.  Don’t even ask how many times I have been caught without a notions box and in need of scissors.  I have chewed my way through yarn more times than I can count.

I keep all my projects separated in large plastic zipper bags.  These bags have the yarn, needles (or hooks), and the paper pattern (or name of pattern on my kindle) in them.  Basically, my project is all packed and ready for me.  When I am ready to work on one of the projects, I simply grab the project that catches my attention, drop a notions box in the bag, and I am ready to craft on the go.

A notions box is a small container that holds all those little tools that make knitting or crocheting easier.  I have a couple of notions boxes that I thought I would share with you in this post.  One I put together myself with bits and pieces out of my collection.  One I purchased pre-made on Etsy.

knitting necessities blue notions box

My blue notions box was put together out of my own supplies.  It has a flexible measuring tape, fold-able scissors, three different tapestry needles, a handful of stitch markers, and a stubby little pencil for paper pattern notes.  This is my go to notions box when I am working on a simple project that will not have need of cables, row counting, or held stitches.

knitting necessities alpaca notions box

I recently purchased this little notions box on Etsy.  The seller is The Sexy Knitter ,she has a whole slew of different designs for these little notions boxes in her store.  You can purchase just the tin, a partially stocked tin, or the fully stocked notions box.  I purchased the fully stocked notions box.  It came with a cable needle, an adorable retractable sheep measuring tape, a wooden needle gauge, a tiny double ended crochet hook, a stitch holder, tiny scissors, a row counter, three tapestry needles, five paper origami star stitch markers, and five plastic safety pin stitch markers. The lid also has a surprisingly strong magnet in the lid to hold the needles.  I was so impressed with this little notions box!  I really didn’t have much faith for those tiny green scissors.  I honestly expected them to not be able to cut very well.  Boy was I wrong!!  Those little things are amazing!

Whether you put a notions box together out of the supplies in your knitting stash, or purchase a pre-made one, a notions box is definitely a knitting necessity!

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Our family Thanksgiving dinner is small by comparison to some.  We usually have less than ten people total.  I still love all the cooking and togetherness that comes during this time of year.  Because most of the people that attend live in our house, I am always the host.  That means most of the cooking falls to me.

One secret to a successful holiday meal, big or small, is proper planning.  A couple of weeks ahead of time I sit down and plan the menu, grocery lists, and cleaning that need to happen.

This year our menu will consist of:

  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Candied Yams
  • Mashed Potatoes With Gravy
  • Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Ginger Cookies

Given our busy schedule this year, we chose to purchase our pumpkin pie and cheesecake at Costco while grocery shopping the weekend before the holiday.  The turkey is lounging in the refrigerator to thaw since early Monday morning.  The yams, stuffing and potatoes will be cooked on Thursday.  The cranberry sauce will be made Tuesday while I cook dinner.  The ginger cookies will be made on Wednesday while we clean the house.

Today I would love to share my super easy recipe for Homemade Cranberry Sauce with you.

cranberrysauce Title

Are you ready?

Here it is….

Homemade Cranberry Sauce:

Ingredients:
‎1 Cup water
1 Cup sugar
4 Cups Fresh Cranberries.

cranberry sauce ingredients

Directions:Put in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool. It will thicken as it cools.

cranberry sauce cooking

Yep.  It really is that easy.  Just three ingredients and ten minutes gives you beautiful, delicious, fresh cranberry sauce.  Once you try this, you will never want to eat the factory canned stuff again!  You can make it a couple days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.  Another option is to home can it.  You can water bath can this sauce just like a jam or jelly.  Ten minutes of processing in the water bath canner makes it shelf stable.

What is your favorite recipe to cook for the holidays?  Comment below and let’s start a conversation!

Don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest for more pictures, stories, and ideas!

Butter Biscuits Recipe

My family really enjoys warm buttery biscuits. They are delicious with roast and vegetables, or you can drown them in hot sausage gravy. Or you can go the traditional route, and just top it with some lovely homemade jelly.
This is my favorite recipe for biscuits. One batch makes nine good sized biscuits. I usually do a double batch, just because we all love them so much. What makes these biscuits different than most is how they are baked!  Not only is there butter in the dough, but a good helping of butter in the pan for them to soak up as they bake.  So tasty!

First you need to preheat the oven to 350*f and get the pan ready. If you are doing a single batch, you will need an 8×8 pan. (If you are doing a double batch, you will need a 9×13 pan.  The 9×13 pan makes 24 biscuits.) Put a half a stick of butter in your baking dish and slide it in the oven to melt while you make the dough. (A whole stick if doing a double batch.)
Ingredients for the dough:
2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk (approximately)

Time to get your hands dirty!
Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Start to work your butter in.  Just squish the butter in with your hands.  Work the butter in until it is all crumbly and you don’t see any large chunks of butter.

Butter Biscuits Dry Ingredients

Now it’s time to mix in the milk.  You want just enough that the dough holds together, but isn’t sticky.  Just add a bit of milk at a time.  Mix and knead.  If you still have dry bits, add a bit more milk.
Once you have made your dough, it’s time to make the biscuits. Take your hot pan out of the oven. Your butter should be melted, but not burnt.

Butter Biscuits Butter
Grab chunks of dough slightly larger than a golf ball. Roll it into a ball in your hand, and then give it a bit of a squish. You want it to be about half an inch thick. Put the biscuit in the butter, then roll it over and place where you want it. Each side of the biscuit should have melted butter on it. Don’t leave space in between the biscuits. You want them to push against each other as they bake.

Butter Biscuits in pan
Bake at 350*f for 15 to 20 minutes or until a nice golden brown. Remove from pan as soon as they come out of the oven. You should be able to just dump the whole pan out onto your cutting board.

Butter Biscuits Done
Then it’s time to enjoy the buttery goodness that is a butter biscuit.

Butter Biscuit Recipe

Loaded Potato Soup

This is my absolute FAVORITE soup. I am only allowed to make it once or twice a month because I will eat myself sick. I just cannot control myself. Be warned, not a low calorie recipe!

loaded potato soup recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bacon cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 32 oz box of chicken broth
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups instant mashed potatoes (apx)
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream

 

Toppings

  • Green onions sliced
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese shredded
  • Bacon crumbles


Directions

1.Start the bacon pieces frying in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic with the bacon until the bacon is cooked through.

2.Stir in the potatoes and just cover with chicken broth, bring to a boil and then simmer until the potatoes are tender (apx 10 minutes). Add the cheese, stir until melted.

3.Pour cream and instant potatoes into the soup stirring constantly, until soup has thickened. Add more instant potatoes if it isn’t thick enough.

4.Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, and bacon crumbles on top.

DIY Stitch Marker Display

I have started putting together quite the collection of stitch markers.  Originally, I stored them in a small jar on top of my crafting dresser.  They tended to get tangled, and I struggled to find particular sets when I was looking for them.  Today I am sharing my solution.

With this stitch marker display, all of my stitch markers are stored on display.  The safety pins keep them in their sets.  I can quickly unpin, and take the entire set for my project on the go.  Plus, I think they look lovely!

These were quick to make with supplies I happened to have on hand.  I have included links to Amazon if you want to purchase the supplies quickly and easily!

supplies needed

Supplies Needed:

2 – 6 inch embroidery hoops

Safety Pins To Hold Sets

2 Felt Sheets

Scissors

DIY step 1

1.Cut felt sheets so that you have a bit of fabric all the way around the hoops.

DIY step 2

2.Stretch the fabric on the embroidery hoops.

DIY step 3

3.Trim extra fabric from the back of the hoop.

DIY finished

4.Finished!  How easy was that?

DIY Stitch Marker Display Finished

Use the safety pins to display your stitch markers in sets, ready to go!

 

*This post contains sponsored links from www.amazon.com.  I was not paid to do this post.  However, if you use the links to purchase, I will receive a small compensation.  Thanks for checking it out and helping to support my bloggy habits!*