Friday, June 18, 2010

Lunch time!

Whew! I have been up since 5am today (which in and of itself is a rarity!), without it needing to be for an appointment or anything! I decided to make the best use of my day and clean. Well, that and the fact that I really need to prepare for my husband coming home from deployment and I may also have a friend coming down from Germany to visit and staying with me, so cleaning is most definitely in order! But now it's time for lunch! Nomnomnomnom! I figured that while my boys are occupied with stuffing their faces I could justify a few minutes on the computer. :)

I've noticed a few of my other mom friends share all these phenomenal recipes, but personally, I don't usually get around to trying them. (Which really is a pity, since they do truly look to be tasty...) I'm not a cook. I do not enjoy food prep. Which, if you take into consideration my employment history, is actually ironic. I like to bake. Cakes, cupcakes, muffins, pies....YUM! That's the sort of thing I enjoy playing around with in the kitchen. Sadly, that does not make for good eating. (And on top of that, my oven is gas...I have discovered I hate baking with a gas oven. It's all well and good for the stove top, but I like to bake with electricity!) So I'm stuck with cooking, regardless. So what does a military wife whose husband is deployed and has to cook for two "half-people" resort to? Lots of easy meals. Boxed mac & cheese, cereal, and sandwiches. Lots and lots of sandwiches. Bologna, grilled cheese, PB&J's, tuna fish...sandwiches. But how do you keep from feeling like you're just preparing the same thing over and over and over and over, day after day after day? Especially when your kids are going through growth spurts and are determined to pester to be fed every 1-2 hours? My mom had the perfect solution: cookie cutters!!! Now any time that's sandwich time in our house is a happy time for the boys. They love picking from my plethora of cookie cutters to make shapes of their sandwiches! And as I do like to bake (and do often!), there are shapes aplenty!

The cookie cutters I have are kid-friendly, since they enjoy making cookie shapes as well, and are plastic and about an inch tall.

My little guys are all about cutting the shapes themselves, and because of the cutters being plastic, they love that they're able to!

The bat is one of their favorites, thanks to Batman! LOL So how do I get them to eat all the excess? I tell them they have to also eat all of the "hole" that they made, too, or else they can't have a shape in their sandwich next time. Works like a charm!

I will never be too old for tips from my mom! But now, since lunch time is sadly over, it's time to get back to cleaning...

Now playing: Katy Perry - California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Unraveling Divinity

I absolutely love Rheatheylia's designs. I adore her crocheted Cable Hat, am a fan of her Mesh Hat, and I have made the Divine Hat sooooooo many times! I have noticed, though, that on Ravelry not everyone finds them as easy as I do, and often have similar issues in getting the transition of reading the pattern to come out properly through their fingers. Because of this (and because I think everyone should love making the Divine Hat as much as I do! LOL), I am going to try and make some clarifications through photographs in this post. :) (Note: This is all written in US crochet terminology. For a UK translation, there is a nifty little "translator" here.) In the following photographs, I am using sport weight yarn cotton yarn and a size G/4.00mm hook to make a baby version of the hat.

Ok, so here we go...first off, I'll address the "how-to" of front post double crochet (fpdc). After you chain 2 to begin the next round, you insert the hook to the right of the post you want to work around:

Bring the hook behind the post, and back out on the other side of said post:

You will then yarn over, pulling the loop up behind the post, and proceed to finish out the double crochet as normal.

For the rounds of the pattern that read: "dc in the space between fpdcs", the placement of the double crochets is here:

When the single double crochet is sandwiched between two fpdc, it looks like this:

The placement for the instructions "dc in the first space between fpdc and dc" (italics mine) looks like this:

Notice that the fpdc is immediately to the right of the stitch, and that there is another space in between the previous row's dc and next fpdc. You skip over that second space and go immediately into the following fpdc, leaving a small "hole" (which looks less "hole-y" and more "lacy" when the hat is completed), like this:

Here's a better shot of described "hole":

The "hole" makes it look a little uneven and unbalanced, but it's okay, because that's how it's supposed to look, and what will, in the end, create the spiral effect of the finished object. : )

In the line of directions that reads: "2 dc in the first space between fpdc and dc" (again, italics mine), you are using the exact same technique as the previous row, you're just giving your lonesome, solitary double crochet a friend. : )

The same goes for the "3 dc in the first space between fpdc and dc" and the "4 dc in the first space between fpdc and dc":

As you can see, you simply skip over all the double crochets in the previous row. The only place you put the stitches (aside from the fpdc's) is immediately after said fpdc and before the previous row's grouping of normal dc's. The "hole" that this leaves is what pulls the next fpdc to the side, creating the spiral effect.

I had noticed that one or two people actually made their hats spiral in the opposite direction, and tried something out to see if it produced the same effect, and sure enough, it did! If you group your double crochets on the other side of the section, so that it goes "fpdc, hole, dcs, fpdc," then the spiral will go in the other direction.

I hope that these pictures were helpful! If you have any other questions about it, let me know and I'll try my best to explain it! : )

Now playing: Rihanna - Take a Bow
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Advanced Potion Making

Looking back at the kit I made for Miss Clovenhoof, my favorite item of the entire thing is, hands down, the book. In fact, that book may just be the coolest thing I've ever made. In the history of ever!

A friend asked me which tutorial I used (since she was so impressed with the final was I!), and I started with using a tutorial, but ended up kind of doing my own thing. LOL I promised her I'd post it here on my blog, but I've realized I should have more pictures for it. (Well, mostly for my sake, as I'm a picture fiend...LOL) So I think I'll be tea-aging some more paper within this next week and then I can take pics as I go and share them here! :D

Now playing: Shakira - Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) [The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song] {feat. Freshlyground}
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Clara's Potions & Notions Pouch

I am so super excited!!!! April finally got the kit I sent her for the HSKS10 swap! I had so much fun putting that kit together! (You can see her gush about it over here, at her Potter-esque blog.) I absolutely love to give things to people, most especially when I know they get some happiness out of it. :) But since one of the smaller items in her kit was a "pattern" of my own design, and the second time I've made a pouch like it, I figured it was high time I posted how I made it! (If for no other reason, then it can appease my OCD tendencies in having a pattern to link to on my Rav project page! LOL) So here's how I did it (with UK terms in parentheses)!

Clara's Potions & Notions Pouch

Size H (5.00mm) hook, worsted (aran) weight yarn

Note: This pouch is worked back and forth, not in the round, and is then seamed together.

chain 32

Row 1: hdc (htr) in 3rd chain from hook and across (30 hdc [htr]), ch 2, turn.
Rows 2-12: hdc (htr) across (30 stitches), ch 2, turn
Row 13: *hdc (htr), ch 1, sk next stitch* across, ending with a hdc (htr) in top of the previous row's ch 2; ch 2, turn
Row 14: hdc (htr) in each hdc (htr) and ch stitch across (for a little more of a "frill" look, you can put 2 hdc/htr into each stitch instead, as I did with the pouch pictured above, totaling 62 sts across on row 14)


Fold the panel in half, making the width of the pouch 15 stitches, and sl st down the side and across the bottom (foundation chain row) to seam it into a pouch. Finish off and weave in ends, turn right side out, and add a ch-50 drawstring or ribbon of your choice, weaving it into the "holes" at the top of the pouch.

For the pouch pictured above, I also added a sc (dc) trim in a contrasting color after the seaming, totaling 60 stitches around the top.

The other pouch I previously made was done the same, except I only made it 28 stitches wide, instead of 30, and it is 10 rows high (and without the "frill") as opposed to 14 and is "wearing" a ch-45 drawstring, making it a little smaller than the green pouch.

I don't mind if you sell projects resulting in use of this pattern, but please don't sell the pattern itself, and always provide the link/URL to the pattern where you sell it so others can enjoy crafting as well!

Now playing: Britney Spears, Shakira & Lady GaGa - Give Me 3 Paparazzies
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