Phoenix United Craft Society


The Best Pies In _______ (insert your town here)

Australian style meat pie! meat pie

I’ve been asked for this recipe enough times that I’m finally typing it up and sharing it here. At The Winter Festival of Pie, one of the party goers who was from Australia said that the pie “tasted like home”. An ex had a description of how to make the pie filling, but no amounts or measurements of the ingredients. After some experimenting, this is how I documented it. Feel free to adjust to taste, I do little flavor tweaks depending on the wine I end up using.


2 lbs of ground beef (80/20)

1 T garlic powder

1/2 c red wine (I like merlot. Use something that you like drinking with meat dishes.)

1/2 c flour

1/2 t ground clove

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1 t prepared yellow mustard

1 heaping t Better Than Bullion – beef flavor

1 c warm water

dash or two of fish sauce (to taste)

2 prepared circles of pie crust dough (I use Pillsbury, from the refrigerator case.)


Brown beef on med-hi with the garlic. While you are browning, mix the bullion into the warm water and set aside. Add flour and stir in thoroughly, the mixture will become thick. Add wine and stir in until the mixture thickens again. Add mustard, clove, nutmeg, and bullion water. Stir until thickened. Add a dash or two of fish sauce to taste. The resulting filling should be thick enough to hold together a bit as you stir. Allow filling to cool for at least 30 minutes. It can also be made ahead of time and chilled overnight in the refrigerator.

meat pie last slice

Preheat the oven to 425.

Line the bottom of a 9″ pie plate with one dough circle. Fill with the meat mixture. Cover with the other dough circle. Pinch the edges of the two pieces of dough together. Pierce the top dough in a few places to vent. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve!

I’ve substituted ground lamb or pork, or a mixture of, with great results. Not all of the PHUCS are meat eaters, so I’ll have to see if I can come up with a version using vegetable protein at some point.

posted by chriswass in Food & Recipes and have Comment (1)

Eleventh Bow Tie

Bowties are cool, right?

Knit your own “thistle” shaped bow tie in linen stitch to emulate your favorite Doctor, or just add some classic flair to your style.

Eleventh Bow Tie

Fingering weight yarn, about 58 yards

US 2 / 2.75mm needle

24 sts = 2.75” wide in linen stitch

Linen stitch:

Row 1: Knit 1, slip 1 with yarn in front; repeat

Row 2: Purl 1, slip 1 with yarn in back; repeat

  • CO 24 sts
  • Work linen stitch for 6 rows, turning work at the end of each row. Continue working linen stitch throughout the tie.
  • Reduce 1 stitch at each edge every 4th row, reducing 2 sts total until you are down to 10 sts (on RS; left leaning decrease, work to last 2 sts, right leaning decrease).
  • Work 6 rows.
  • Reduce 1 stitch at each edge = 8 sts.
  • Work 6 rows.
  • Increase 1 stitch at each end using a closed increase (like kfb or a lifted increase), such that the increase stitch is placed inward from the edge stitch = 10 sts.
  • Work 6 rows.
  • Increase 1 stitch at each end every 4th row until you have 24 sts.
  • Work 14 rows.
  • Decrease 1 stitch at each edge every 4th row until 8 sts remain.
  • Work these 8 sts for the neckband to the length of your lower neck measurement + 3 inches. EX: I used 21” for a medium man/large woman.Un-tied Tie
  • Increase 1 stitch at each end every 4th row until you have 24 sts.
  • Work 14 rows.
  • Decrease 1 stitch at each edge every 4th row until 10 sts remain.
  • Work 6 rows.
  • Decrease 1 stitch at each edge = 8 sts.
  • Work 6 rows.
  • Increase 1 stitch at each end = 10 sts.
  • Work 6 rows.
  • Increase 1 stitch at each end every 4th row until you have 24 sts.
  • Work 5 rows.
  • Bind off.

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posted by chriswass in Projects and have Comments (10)

A Girl Who Can Craft Is Her Own Best Friend

This collage is dedicated to my first partner in crafting, Brenna Walsh.  As an adult, I had not had very many female friends.  The ones I did have, I had a tendency to view as competition rather than sisters.  Brenna changed that.  I started spending time with Brenna, and rather than just hanging out, we began creating together.  She helped me learn how to make jewelry and developed my interest in photography.  Our hangouts did not have a teacher/student dynamic, but rather we just had fun and encouraged each other to try new things.   We played dress up, painted, collaged- pretty much any raw materials we could get our hands on, we wanted to make into something, even if it was something terrible.  Over time, we accumulated quite a stash of goods, and deciding to try our hand at selling our wares.  We staged our own shows out of her house, calling our collaboration “Sisters in Insanity.”  For a girl who spent the majority of her twenties creating only in secret, to view my crafts as sellable was a huge step.  It changed my life forever.

When I moved to Arizona, I struggled to meet people.  I had spent my entire life in Colorado, surrounded by people who knew and understood me.  I did not go to college right after high school, so I never really had an experience of being thrust into an environment of strangers and forced to make friends.  My new workplace turned up to be a dead end as far as meeting people I would want to spend time outside of work with.  I had never been one to meet friends in bars or random places.  I was desperate.  I went on and found a craft group that had not held an event in awhile.  I offered to host a crafternoon for anyone that was interested.  At the first gathering, Lissa and Alice showed up.  At the second, Chris became an addition.  Chris had a huge assortment of friends, and pretty soon, our numbers began to grow and the PHUCS were born.  We started out with little in common besides crafting.  But over afternoons of sewing shopping bags and learning to knit, we got to know each other.  True friendships were born out of a love to craft.

I guess I always loved to create, but I have women like Brenna and my fellow PHUCS to thank for helping me to gain confidence in my creations.  Brenna continues to inspire me even though she lives all the way in South Dakota.  This year for Christmas, she sent me a shopping bag from .

On it, there was a silkscreen of a doll’s head with antler ears.  A couple of days prior that, I had found a picture of some antlers that I knew I wanted to use in a collage, but hadn’t thought of the capacity.  I began to think how I wanted to make a collage to commemorate how crafting has enhanced my life.  In homage to my sister in insanity, I created twin girls, each with one side of the pair of antlers.

I started out by drawing them, and then began to collage.   I wanted them to look somewhat like pictures of saints I had seen, as I believe crafting and the camaraderie that comes with it has had a profound and sometimes divine impact on my spirit.   The craft supplies at their feet are offerings to the saints.

A girl who can craft is her own best friend.  She can amuse herself in times of loneliness.  But she can also use her craftiness as a gateway.  Thanks to all my sisters in crafting out there.  I am forever indebted.

posted by katglover in Completed Projects,Projects and have No Comments

September 13, 2009

September 2009-Brunch Planning Meeting @ Kat’s House

posted by Rain in Past Events and have Comments (2)

Mini Felted Fascinator Hats

In my search for a cute head covering to wear to my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, I came up with two bases to make some little felted fascinator hats from. The “Fedora” style has a little more brim and a smaller dome than the “Bowler” style, which, conversely has a narrower brim and wider potential dome. Both are very malleable, depending on the amount of felting and shaping that you do to the fabric, you can use these two basic shapes to pull out many styles of tiny hat. Finished hats will be around 4 inches in diameter.

Feathered Fedora

Feathered Fedora

Needed: worsted weight yarn that will felt
Gauge: 4 sts = 1” on US 10.5 before felting
Optional: comb, clip, or headband to hold the hat to your head; needle and thread or glue to hold add-ons to hat; assorted frippery of choice to fancy-up the hat.


CO 54 sts
Join in the round and K 1 round
*K6, ssk*, repeat 5x, K6
*K6, ssk*, rep 6x
K two rounds
*K4, ssk*, rep 7x
K three rounds
*K5, ssk*, rep 5x (30 sts)
K seven rounds
*K3, ssk*, rep 6x
K one round
*K2, ssk*, rep 6x
K one round
*K1, ssk*, rep 6x
ssk 6x
ssk 3x
Cut yarn and pull through the last 3 sts.

Mini Bower Hat

Mini Bowler Hat


CO 54 sts
Join in the round and K 2 rounds
*K7, ssk*, rep 6x
*K6, ssk*, rep 6x
*K5, ssk*, rep 6x (36 sts)
K six rows
*K4, ssk*, rep 6x
K one round
*K3, ssk*, rep 6x
*K2, ssk*, rep 6x
*K1, ssk*, rep 6x
ssk 6x
ssk 3x
Cut yarn and pull through the last 3 sts.

Fedora Prefelt

Mini Fedora before Felting


Yarmulke/Kippah or Fasinator Base from Bowler Pattern

Bowler Prefelt

Mini Bowler before Felting

Notes about felting and shaping:

I have great results with Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted 100% wool, if you are unsure of a good yarn to use. When felting, I put the knit item into a pillow case that either zips closed, or I pin it closed. This prevents wool fluff from shedding off your project and potentially clogging the drain on your washing machine. Also, I can put the items to felt in with towels or sheets that need to be washed in hot water anyway so I don’t have to run a special load just for felting. Economical! The fedora and kippah pictured above were shaped entirely by hand, post felting. I used a 1-cup measuring cup to shape the dome of the bowler, then finger-pressed the brim into place.

posted by chriswass in Completed Projects,Tutorials and have Comments (27)

Um, Chris’s Interview Thing

1. How did you wind up in this group?

I was looking to meet other crafty ladies, and there were a lot of knit and crochet groups out there, but I didn’t see any others where people, like me, did many different crafts. Then, I found these awesomely crafty ladies on Meetup.

2. What’s your craft diva drag name?

I’ve always been Chris Wass, since junior high school.

3. What or who are your favorite mediums?

fiber and metal

4. What inspires you?

I’m inspired often by colors and shapes that I want to wear, or materials. I’ll often collect little tidbits like beads or a charm, then years later I’ll find something else that will inspire me to bring those disparate bits and parts together into a necklace or some such. This usually happens at some odd hour of the night when I should otherwise be sleeping. I also comb Ravelry for knit and crochet ideas.

5. Soundtrack?

I don’t listen to music much when I craft, I don’t think to stop to turn it on. But, sometimes I spontaneously sing old Cole Porter or Gershwin tunes. That comes from the two summers that I worked at a craft gallery with the same 5 disks of old vocal Jazz, it’s imprinted on my brain now. When I knit or crochet, I’m usually watching some sort of TV or movie. Lately, I’ve been re-watching Babylon 5. Because I am a geek.

6. In the movie of your life who plays you?

Recently, I was told that I look like Christina Hendricks. That’s the first celebrity as an adult that I’ve ever been told that I look like. She’s pretty hot, and two years younger than me, so I think that she’d work well. (You always want someone younger than you to play you in the movie, right?)

7. Favorite reads?

BUST Magazine, Craftzine, Boing Boing, Ravelry

8. Guilty pleasure?

Watching True Blood with friends. Chocolate and cheese, but not at the same time.

9. Current obsession?

Um, True Blood! My boyfriend got me hooked!

10. Make up your own question.

You come up with the question to this answer: Because my heart tells me to.

posted by chriswass in Crafty Bloggin' and have No Comments