it’s been a busy week

handknit head scarf

It’s been kind of a busy week for me. I made up/adjusted a pattern for a head scarf/bandana/do-rag that the Mr. detests. Yes. Detests. He said to me, “I am really not attracted to you when you’re wearing that thing.” Ouch! Still not sure if I want to proceed to making more of them to sell if he felt that strongly about it. Darn! I thought it was cute and was very proud of myself for my brilliant adaptation.

k at starting line funrun 2014

k wins his grade funrun

{K} ran in his school’s fun run and placed 1st! Way to go buddy!

I spent all day Monday and Tuesday answering emails about fundraising and trying to get paperwork in order for {G}’s trip to China this summer. I have to stay positive that we’re going to raise enough for her to go. We’re going to do it!! We’re going to do it!!

g's quilt

g sewing her quilt

Yesterday, {G} tried to finish the quilt that she’s been working on since last fall for her Young Women in Excellence program. She took a beginning quilting class at Harmony in Provo, taught by the very lovely and talented Holly LeSué, and still hadn’t finished it. But we made great progress this week! She finished the half-square triangle top, chose a border fabric, we chose a back fabric, pinned it all together with the cotton batting, and she’s almost done with the machine quilting! She is SO EXCITED about it! Which makes a momma proud.

We’re gearing up for our Fundraising Garage Sale on Saturday. So many people have been so generous! And I’m teaching the Sunburst Granny Square class at Harmony on Saturday afternoon. I’m so excited for this class! It’s going to be fun.

I think that by Mother’s Day on Sunday, all I’ll want to do is sleep. Because next week is going to be just as busy.

(These pictures came from my Instagram feed. You should follow along!)

ways to help {g} get to china

Many of you want to help {G} in her efforts to attend the Diplomat Summer Study Abroad Program in China this summer. Thank you!! But many of you don’t craft (what??) or you’re not interested or not able to take one of my classes.  So how can you help?

JSA Fundraising Page* You can donate directly on {G}’s fundraising page. 100% of the funds raised on this page will go to {G}’s tuition. Thank you so much to those that have already donated!! You can also go to her page to find out more about the program she will be attending.

* You can recommend {G} for grants or scholarships. Are you a member of a local community group or business that awards funds to outstanding kids? Well, {G} qualifies! She is willing to come to a meeting or an event to share why your group should invest in her and the things she will be learning on her trip.

* You can donate items to {G} that you’d normally give to goodwill. {I} and I will come pick up items from your house and sell those items at our Fundraising Garage Sale, Saturday May 10. You can also come shop for gently used treasures at our Fundraising Garage Sale! Message me if you’d like information on exactly when & where the sale will be. alipyper[at]gmail[dot]com

* If you don’t live in Utah, you can have your own garage sale and donate the proceeds to {G}! You de-clutter your home and you help {G} go to China. Win-win! Or, if you’re crafty and artistic you can sell something fabulous and then donate the proceeds to {G}.

keldan cookie dough announcement fall 2013* You can order {K}’s Cookie Dough (available if you live in Utah County). This is cookie dough that {K} and I make, in our kitchen, with my time tested, yummy recipes! The cookie dough is portioned, packaged, and delivered to your house frozen and ready to bake. Dough will be delivered May 15th. Available flavors this time are Chocolate w/ Coconut & Dried Cherries, Milk Chocolate Chip w/Toffee & Pecans, Oatmeal w/White Chocolate Chip & Craisins, and Peanut Butter. Specifics on how to order will be coming soon…

* In the coming weeks, I will be offering for sale custom crochet and knit items – so keep posted! If you already have something in mind that you’d like to commission – message me! We’ll talk terms and timelines.

Let me know if you have questions about any of the ways you can help {G} attend the study abroad program in China this summer. And, Thank You! Many hands make light work, so thank you in advance for all the ways in which you’re helping our family!

fundraising for baby g

alipyper - baby g is going to chinaWe found out a few weeks ago that our daughter {G} was accepted into the JSA Summer Study Abroad Diplomat Program in Beijing, China this summer. We’re over the moon excited for her! And we’re scrambling a little bit, trying to figure out how we’re going to pay for it.

The whole family is getting in on the fundraising action. {G} set up a fundraising webpage. {I} is organizing a garage sale. {K} is selling my frozen cookie dough. The Mr. is working his guts out at work – like he always does. And I am going a little bit crazy.

I have several classes at Harmony that I’m trying to fill. Are you local? Do you have friends or family that are local? If so, you might consider coming to one of my classes! The classes are very reasonably priced and I’m an excellent teacher 🙂 Will you help me get the word out by sharing on Facebook and Instagram?

IMG_2932Beginning Crochet – Beginning Crochet is a 2 hour, $20 class designed for someone with no crochet experience or for someone that needs a refresher course. Students finish the class having made a lovely, versatile crocheted flower. Bring a friend and learn this exciting craft! Beginning Crochet, $20, Saturday May 3 or Sat. June 7, 3-5pm. Hurry! The May class is this Saturday!

sunburst granny square pillow closeupSunburst Granny Squares – This class is new for Spring! Learn a variation of the Granny Square that turns a circle into a square, with puff and cluster stitches adding texture and visual heft! Basic crochet skills are needed before taking this class. Learn how to crochet in rounds, change colors and learn a new way – slightly different from the technique taught in the Traditional Granny Square class – to join the squares together as you go! You are going to be so pleased with the squares you make at this class – you won’t want to miss it! Sunburst Granny Squares, $15, Saturday May 10, 3:30 – 5:30pm.

Seamless Bootie ClassMagic Seamless Knit Baby Booties – Would you like to learn how to knit a pair of baby booties that you can finish in a few hours and not have to seam together when you’re finished?? With only the ends to weave in when you’re done, this class teaches you how to seamlessly cast on (a useful skill to learn for toe-up sock knitting) and use the “Magic Loop” method of circular knitting on one long cable to finish beautiful baby booties. Basic knitting skills are needed before taking this class. Magic Seamless Knit Baby Booties, $15, Saturday May 31, 3-5pm.

granny square cross pillowTraditional Granny Squares –  Take your beginning crochet to the next level as you learn how to start crocheting in rounds, change colors, and join crochet motifs together as-you-go. And, you learn the timeless Granny Square pattern that has endless applications for clothing, pillows, blankets, and decor! Basic crochet skills are needed before taking this class. Traditional Granny Square, $15, Saturday June 21, 3-5pm.

Market BagCrochet Market & Beach Bags – This is going to be a really fun class that teaches you the tricks of crocheting with hemp and yarn and how to read crochet diagrams, while making a practical and useful summer bag! Perfect for the market, beach, or swimming pool! This is a two session class. Basic crochet skills are needed before taking this class. Crochet Market & Beach Bags, $18, Saturday June 14 & 21, 1 – 2;30pm.

Filling all my classes at Harmony would be a great step forward in helping {G} get to China this summer. Will you help?

#wallaceplaid forever

On Thursday evening, March 6th, my father Lynn Pyper Wallace passed away. He was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis fourteen years ago, but up until the last year and a half, you wouldn’t really know it. It was a slow and gradual decline and we all had lots of time with him to say our goodbyes. In the end, we were all so grateful that he was no longer suffering to breathe.

alipyper - my dad

He reached his 80th birthday, which was his last wish, and lived an amazingly full and productive life. Always working, always thinking, always doing, my Dad rarely stopped moving. His motto was, “Leave the campsite better than you found it,” which he translated into every facet of his life – his career as a civil engineer, his marriage of 54 year to my mother, his work with our Church, his family, his hobbies. Clean up after yourself and make things better for others if you can.

alipyper - Lynn and Kaye at Laurel & DJ Dorff Wedding, Nov. 5, 2011

As Easter is approaching, my heart has been so full of love and gratitude for my Savior Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice and resurrection. I know that #BecauseofHim, because of Jesus Christ, I will be reunited with my father again. That we’ll be reunited as a family again. It’s an amazing blessing of comfort and peace to me.

My fathers legacy weighs heavily on my and my siblings shoulders. He truly was an amazing person and I love him deeply. I will miss his annoyingly silly jokes, his brilliant mind, and his Priesthood blessings.

But, thankfully, #wallaceplaid forever!

march: make it happen month

I’m putting my self in time out. I have until March 31st to clean up the gradual creep of disorder in my home. Craft projects will be put aside. Pinterest will be ignored (whaaaaaaa!). Other than a quick check for birthdays, Facebook will be abandoned. Instagram will only be updated with my cleaning and organizing progress. Continuing to ignore the problem is no longer tenable. It’s time to roll up my sleeves, turn up the music, and get to work. Clear out the clutter so that I’m free to pursue all the ideas and plans I have.

March is the month where I make it happen. Go, alipyper, go! Clean that house! See you April 1st!

noro cyochin moss stitch scarf

alipyper noro cyochin infinity scarf pattern

When I was first introduced to Noro yarn, I was a little bit reserved in my judgement of it. My first instinct was to not like it – the color combinations were a little bit too much for me and I had never really worked with variegated yarns with much success before. But Laura Harmon, whom I admire tremendously for her personal style as well as her crafting skills, was a huge fan and she displayed the yarn prominently in her shop when it opened in September 2012. So, it was great yarn, right? I eventually purchased a few skeins of the Kureyon yarn and it sat in my stash.

For my 40th birthday, a dear, dear friend –  knowing that reaching this milestone was not sitting well with me, AT ALL – knit me the most AMAZING scarf using the Silk Garden yarn. The entrelac scarf she knit for me was so beautiful, so perfect, so fantastic that I was immediately won over to the Noro side. I get compliments on this scarf from complete strangers whenever I wear it. And it matches EVERYTHING in my closet! I’m wearing it here. And I used the same colorway in the Noro Silk Garden Sock for this disco halter top I just finished.

So I decided that I needed to use up the Kureyon yarn in my stash and went searching for a project. I wanted a cowl that I could wear inside and out without worrying that the ends would dip into dirty dish water while doing the dishes, like a scarf might. This pattern caught my eye, but I was worried that I didn’t have enough yarn in my stash to make it long enough. So I went up a size with my crochet hook and went for it. I love, love, love it! In fact, I loved the yarn and the way the cowl looks so much that I crocheted a cowl for {G} to wear too. I’ve already borrowed it several times!

{G} has been wearing her scarf everyday and I can’t keep borrowing it! I wanted a scarf with similar colors to the scarf I made for {G}, but I didn’t want to copy hers exactly. When Noro’s Cyochin yarn showed up at Harmony, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the color progression – it’s a lot more mottled and tweedy than the Kureyon – but again, the yarn knitted up beautifully, the colors are perfect, and I’m in love again! This scarf was unbelievably easy to knit. It took only one skein and it’s a perfectly lightweight, stretchy cowl that provides just enough warmth to wear inside and outside, all day long.

Noro Cyochin Moss Stitch Infinity Scarf/Cowl

1 skein Noro Cyochin yarn

US 13 (9.0 mm) knitting needles

Large tapestry needle

Gauge: 12 stitches & 14.5 rows per 4″ – in moss stitch

Cast on 25.

Row 1: K1, P1 repeat across to end.

Row 2: K1, P1 repeat across to end (moss stitch)

Continue in moss stitch until almost all the yarn is used – leaving enough for the bound off edge and joining seam (about 45″).

Bind off loosely. Knot. Thread yarn end with the tapestry needle. Bring ends of scarf together and give one side a half twist. Sew ends together flat. Weave end in. Wear, and enjoy!

granny square love

alipyper granny disco halter topI’ve been experimenting a little bit with the incredible granny square. It is so versatile! If you want to learn the inside tricks – come to my class on Saturday!

Harmony in Provo.

Saturday February 22, 3-5pm. $15.

315 E. Center Street, Provo, UT. 801.615.0268

Halter top inspiration here. I didn’t buy the pattern – just made up my own after seeing the picture. Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn, color #279 with Rowan Felted Tweed DK yarn, color #152 for the trim & ties. Size G/6 4.0mm crochet hook.

More #grannysquarelove on my Pinterest boards!

lots of pinning going on

alipyper - fall pinterest inspiration 2013

I’m kind of addicted to Pinterest right now. These are a few of my recent pins. I’ve been incredibly busy with lots of different things going on, but the pure joy of spending a half an hour (haha! right!) being inspired by creative and beautiful images is pretty darn fantastic. A happy visceral gut-instinct reaction to images and ideas..that I can file away for when I have time to process them later. Brilliant!

Follow along if you want…

dress / potholder / cowl / lace shirt / baby cardigan / raspberry thumbprints / sweater / knit pattern / rose / slippers / fair isle / quilt / room

ralli quilts symposium 11.7.13

Ralli Quilt - collage

When we moved back to Provo a few years ago, I became reacquainted with Tricia Stoddard. She’s an amazing woman, neighbor and friend – and a fellow returned missionary to Taiwan.

Tricia with quilters

I was so excited to learn about the work she’s doing with women in Pakistan and India! She has made a tremendous effort to bring to light the amazing quilting and handiwork techniques, called Ralli Quilting, that are unique in that area of the world. I truly want to be like her when I grow up.

Ralli Quilt - Lila Handicrafts Women

Tricia is speaking about Ralli Quilts at a FREE Symposium hosted by Harmony in Provo, UT on Thursday November 7, 2013 at 6:30pm! Please come and learn about this fascinating handwork technique and about the power of women to use their hands to shape the world.

pie crust dilemma

I’ve been using the same pie crust recipe for 20 years. Since moving to Utah, though, I’ve had three, count them, THREE huge apple pies end in disaster.

Not a taste disaster, mind you it still tasted amazing, but my crust fell flat and pretty much just disintegrated, letting most of the yummy apple pie filling spill out onto the baking sheet I had precautiously (I just made up that word. It should seriously be a word.) placed under the pie dish. It was making me mad, especially since the first two pies were meant for the fundraising bake sale our dear friends were having!

So, I’ve been mulling over the problem quite a bit. I’m not eating sugar, so I’m not making pie as often as I used to, but this pie crust dilemma is really bothering me. I think it might be too much water in the dough (it’s a lot drier in Las Vegas than Utah – duh. I guess I have to scale back the water in “wetter” Utah?), and I was using a different flour than I’ve been using for 20 years.

So – I tried the crust again, using not as much water and I’m back to Gold Medal Unbleached Flour. I’ve used Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee recipe for my pie crusts forever. This time I only used 3 Tbsp of water for the two crust recipe and it held together fairly well, but not perfectly.

alipyper - Mile High Apple Pie Recipe

It’s normal for my pie to leak a little, but not quite this much. (The crust cracked on the side I didn’t photograph. Darn!) I’m on the verge of switching to a different pie crust recipe, but I don’t want to because this crust tastes I’ll keep working with the crust, but it’s really bothering me. In any case, here is my recipe for the pie. Maybe yours will turn out better?

Mile High Apple Pie Recipe

Pate Brisee

12 to 15 baking apples – peeled, cored, and sliced thin (I like a mixture of Granny Smith and Gala apples)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup tapioca

1/4 cup flour

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

2 Tbsp. whipping cream

1 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F

Prepare Pate Brisee according to recipe. Roll out half of the recipe into a large circle and transfer the crust into the bottom of a 10” deep pie dish, letting the extra edge of the crust hang over the side. Set aside.

Juice the lemon into a large mixing bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into the lemon juice, turning the apples every once in a while to help prevent the apples from browning too much. After all the apples are sliced, add sugar, tapioca, flour, and cinnamon and mix gently, but well. Carefully spoon all of the apples into the prepared pie dish and pour any juices over the apples. Dot the apple filling with the cubed butter.

Roll out the second half of the Pate Brisee recipe and drape over the piled high apples and butter. Fold and crimp the edges of the pie crust and slit the top of the crust near the top to allow steam to escape during cooking. Mix the cream and sugar together and with a pastry brush, brush the cream onto the top crust. Place pie on a cookie sheet.

Cook the pie for 50 min. Check the apples for doneness with a knife. Continue to cook in 10 minute increments until the apples are knife tender and the crust is golden brown. If the crust looks like it’s browning too much, make a tin foil “tent” and loosely cover the pie until the filling is done. Serve warm or cold.



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