Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tea Light Tutorial Part 3 (Final)

Apologies, it's taken me simply forever to finish this tutorial.  If you have been following the previous parts of this tutorial, you will have completed PART 1 LINK HERE and then you've gone on to PART 2 LINK HERE.  Part 2 ended after Round 9, so we will be picking up after Round 9 where we left off.

Instructions for Part 3

Round 10:  scflo (single crochet in the front loops only) into ea dc stitch from Round 9.  Join w/ slst at end of round.  (30 sts)

NOTE:  Using the front loops only allows the crochet to "bend" more easily when you "fold down" the top edge of crochet to add the white edging.

Round 11:  sc in ea sc from Round 10.  Decrease 2 st over the course of this round (I decreased around st 5 and again around st 20). Join. (28 sts)

Decreasing by two stitches allows for even stitch pattern in the following rounds.  It also serves to give a snug fit when the tea light is inserted into the cozy.

Round 12:  sc, *ch 2, sk 1 st, sc in next. Repeat from * to end of round, join.

Round 13:  ch 1, 3sc in ea ch2 sp from Round 12.  This should give you 14 sets of 3sc.  Join.

Round 14:  sl st in 1st sc of 1st set of 3sc from prev. round.  (sl st, ch 3 sl st) in 2nd sc of 1st set of 3sc from prev. round.  sl st in 3rd sc of 1st set of 3sc from prev. round.  Repeat pattern (13 more times) once in each set of 3sc from prev. round. Join. See diagram.

Finish off color (pink shown in sample photos).

At this point, the pattern is complete and you need only add the edging.

White Edging:  Join the white thread after folding down the edge of your cozy.  You will add the edging to the inside (wrong side) of round eleven.  Round eleven falls right between the dc row and where sets of 3 clusters begin.  Round eleven is also the round where 2 stitches were decreased.  SO, when you add the edging round, you should have 28 stitches.

Once you've joined the white thread, sc in each stitch to end of round and join w/ a sl st to the first sc.  Finish off.

Weave in ends.  Insert your tea light.  Voila!  Now make a few more so that you have a colorful assortment of teeny tiny tea lights~!

A pdf version of this pattern can be found on my ravelry page under my designs.  Click HERE for the link to the ravelry pdf.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Playing Around With My PEEPS!

Easter and PEEPS!  They seem to go hand in hand.  I mean, check out the seasonal aisles in the grocery and drug stores.  Personally, I never liked peeps.  I mean not to eat them.  They just don't float my flavor boat.  How about you?

Yesterday afternoon, about the time I should have been thinking about dinner, I remembered a pattern I'd saved for crocheted Peeps and right then and there - I had to make some.  Into the bin of cotton I went, hunting a few pastels.  Four colors of Lily Sugar and Cream and a size G hook (4mm) would do the trick.

I used this pattern HERE.  It's from a blog I follow, Whiskers and Wool.  I'd pinned this one and knew just where to find it.  The pattern is a pdf file that can be saved and printed.  The instructions were easy to follow.    I liked that the peeps were stuffed, but not too round.

Four peeps... white, purple, yellow and teal.  That would do the trick.  I lined them up, stood them up, placed them in a circle, yes, they would do quite nicely.  Off to make dinner.

I was uninspired to cook, a basket came to mind.  I'd seen a little crocheted basket on someone's blog yesterday - the empty plastic cake icing container that I'd saved and run through the dishwasher was now clean and I swear it BEGGED me to make it into a basket.  I informed said little container that I would do so, but dinner had to come first.

For the most part I winged the basket.  I created a circle the same diameter of the bottom of my icing container, then I stopped increasing stitches and the basket turned and started to have sides- so it goes with most baskets.

Here is a flat circle pattern.  or try this one instead.

The base is all in single crochet, but as I rounded the sides, I threw in a few random rows of hdc and dc.  When the sides were tall enough to sit just above the container, I joined my last row with a slip stitch and then chained enough chains to make a basket handle.  To the handle chains, I added a few more rows of sc until it was a bit thicker.  I attached the handle at both ends as I went, slipstitching it to the sides of the basket.

For the final touch, I added an edging.  sc, ch3, sk 1 st, sc - I simply repeated around the top edge, slipstitching my way across the handle when I got there.

I used a varigated cotton and the same hook for the basket as for the peeps.  Miraculously, when I went to find some basket yarn, the skein I chose had ALL the same colors as my peeps - clearly it was meant to be.

This cute little package will be quickly bundled up for the post today - and sent of to my super cute neice and nephew.  As vegans, who eat only organic and gluten free and who DONT consume artificial coloring or corn syrup or genetically modified foodstuffs, I'm sure they will get a lot more pleasure out of my crochet peeps then they would the eating variety.

So, quick, go play with some peeps.  These little cuties makeup quickly and are just begging to be part of your Easter decor and fun.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Birthdays Breakfasts and Breaks

The month of March has proved to be quite full:

Full of birthdays, flowers, travel, spring breaks, snow flakes and so much more!  Here are a few of the more mundane highlights.  Although the photos are a bit mundane, they are certainly things that make me happy to remember them.

Making breakfast -
The thing that excites me the most about mornings is FRESH HOT COFFEE... seriously, I LOVE coffee.  For breakfast, I usually wait a bit - I eat it late morning, more sort of a brunch.  Breakfast isn't very exciting.  For one, I'm usually here alone and don't realize I need to eat until I hear the growly noises begin.  By then, I just try to throw something together.  I like to vary my breakfasts - switching it up a bit between oatmeal, cereal, English muffin, crumpet, bagel, toast, eggs etc...

But some mornings...

Breakfast just looks a bit more appealing - maybe it's the fresh organic fruit that was available this week or the homemade peanut butter (see a post about making your own HERE), but I thought it looked pretty enough for a picture - so I took one.

Or 3 or 4...  On this morning, I actually sat at the table and read the paper while I ate - normally, I'm running from thing to thing and I stand at the counter and woof it all down - I need more days with a sit down breakfast and time to enjoy what I chew!

On the 18th, my husband turned 49 (I beat him to that number a few months back).  He's a true music lover and if there is a microphone available or a dance floor nearby, you can be sure he'll be on it!  To celebrate that part of him, my oldest son and I devised this cake decor.  We turned his 2-layer chocolate cake into a 45 record.  The song title is a long-standing family joke!

We went out for dinner with two of the four kids (the others were off at college/grad school).

The restaurant was having live opera singers that night which was fun.

And we enjoyed our bottle of wine since we had a designated driver with us.

We saved some room for cake and ice cream back at the house while we opened some presents and cards.

Candles out the side of the cake left our record groove decoration in tact.

And even at age 49 - he managed to blow out the 4 candles on one side of the cake and the 9 on the other - all in one breath!

We've had a lot of snow flurries this month - not much accumulation to speak of, but often just enough to salt the grass and coat the cars.

This little dusting arrived right alongside the first day of spring.

Early morning yard outing with the dog, exploring the bits of white fluff on the tree branches.

She couldn't have cared less about the flurries - it was the squirrels that had her attention.

This week I had another coffee drinker hanging about the house - he discovered my new coffee mug... 99cents at the "bargain store."  Since he was home for St. Paddy's day, he added the hat.  He tried to make a lot of new fashion statements while he was here.

One night he met up with some local college friends and wore these VERY turquoise pants quite unabashedly.

We are almost at the end of the month and we certainly aren't done... we still have two college visits, Easter, youngest son's 17th birthday and who knows...maybe still more snow to come.

It's been snowing most of today.  After the early morning accumulation, not much is left though.  Check out today's snowy photos in THIS POST.

Come back soon to see photos from my trip to New Orleans earlier this month!

Ripple Along Progress on a Snow Spring Day

This week on the ripple blanket, I made WAY more progress than I'd realized.  I'm up to 98 rows now - that's 2 rows beyond my initial blanket proposal.  I was supposed to have hooked on 20 rows this week and I managed a whopping 32!

This week I'm supposed to add 16 - my final week on the blanket.  However, I am definitely feeling like at LEAST another 30 belong.

This morning is the first day of spring break for #3 son.  Each of his college brothers have already come and gone with their spring holiday.  #1 son (aka #2 child) just headed back to college this week with one of our cars.  He was thrilled.  He's going to be renting a house near his school and won't be living here this summer so the car will help.  He is BORROWING the car, long-term.  Hmmm...

#3 son is in high school and the school district break usually coincides with Easter week.  Since #3 son works at a local bakery and holidays are big times at bakeries, he's needed in the kitchen many hours this week to bake the scones, biscotti, cookies, breads, and other yummy things that people like to purchase for their holiday meals.  We do plan to fit in a few college visits while he's off from school.

We were going to visit a local college in the city this morning, BUT... I don't really fancy traipsing around campus in the weather the day has brought, so we've decided to stay home.

My internal alarm clock is set to "EARLY," so there was no sleeping in today.  And I'm glad.  I looked out the dining room windows this morning to see a soft coating of SNOW! And... it's still coming down.  We're only supposed to get 3 or 4 inches.  It looks so pretty.

I got to look at this whilst making the morning's coffee.

I LOVE the way the snow paints EVERY branch and twig on the trees outside my kitchen window.  I know I'm supposed to be craving spring.  I do love spring. I love living in a part of the world where I get FOUR REAL and DISTINCT WEATHER SEASONS!  But honestly, snow means I'm further away from the dreaded humidity ( I DONT like humidity ) and further away from shorts-wearing weather (regardless of the fact that I've been running all thru the winter season 3 times per week, I've not got the figure to show for it!)  Snow means cuddle up with a crochet hook and sit by the fire (Dear Hubby had one going all day and night yesterday - and a fresh load of wood is still stacked outside the front door).  Snow means lots of good things, especially when there's just enough snow to look pretty on the grass and trees but remain clear on the roadways.

I'm waiting a bit to go out and shovel the walks.  Since school is out this week, I don't have to worry about clearing the pavement right away for the neighborhood kiddies to pass my house on the way to school.  Do you like to shovel snow?  I do.  I have a pretty good lot of walks to shovel and I do my elderly neighbor's walks as well.  I love shoveling - the noise, the crunch under my boots, the lift and toss, the feel of the muscles that only get used for this specific activity...

I brought some spring indoors this week - I snipped a bunch of forsythia branches before they bloomed.  The bush outside is brown as can be, but the ones I brought into the house have popped a bright yellow bunch of little blooms.  Inside the house it looks like spring, but outside - definitely still wintery.

After a spot of housework and hanging up some laundry (inside, of course), crossing of a few things from the never-ending TO DO list, I'm sure I'll find a bit more time to bond with my trusty hook.

Here's hoping a hooky week for you!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Google Reader and Bloglovin'

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I really don't mind change.

But I don't like changes that aren't easy to make!

If you are trying to follow me with Bloglovin' I'm trying to add a button to make that easier for you -

Hang in there.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ripplin' the Irish

A bit of Baileys in the coffee for St. Paddy's Day
"You've a fine steady hand, Lass!"

For crochet of course.  After a week off from my ripple blanket, I finished off the evenings with as many ripply  rows as I could fit.  Week 1 I managed to hook up my quota - Week 2 I traveled to New Orleans (photo post coming) - Week 3, I made my quota and a few more.  Find the previous posts about this ripple project HERE, HERE and HERE.

The blanket is now up to 66 rows.  I'm liking it.  But, with only 36 more rows on the proposal, I think I need to extend my original plan.  I could easily double the current size of this blanket - maybe even make it bigger.  So, I will stick with my original plan to hook on 20 more rows this week and 16 rows next... I will either add more weeks to my plan or crochet more rows in Weeks 4 & 5.  Either way, I think I might like to add a border to the blanket tho. the ripple doesn't really require one, it has a nice ripply edge and straight sides.  I'll leave that for a later decision.

Yesterday was St. Paddy's Day.  We put on a bit of Irish for the occasion.  I do have some Irish in my background - probably a lot more Scot but definitely some Irish.  I've never been to Ireland but it's fun to transport it back here for a festive day each March.

I dug some green clothes out of the closet for the day, searched out the claddagh ring my sister brought me back from a trip to Ireland and retired at the end of the night in some green flannel jammies and rainbow socks.

Unlike last year at this time when I was enjoying a sunny weekend in short sleeve shirts and sunglasses, the weather was brisk and windy and cold.  The Saturday morning running group found the perfect window of time for our run - 7:30am gave us just about the only time of the day that wasn't raining, sleeting or snowing.  It remained cold for Sunday which gave us the chance to enjoy an all day fire and a relaxing day.  I did find time for a jaunt around the neighborhood with the dog and my hubby who was taking his "puttin' on the Irish" very seriously.

I spent much of the lazy Sunday afternoon rippling rows between household duties, computer work, lesson planning and hanging out with the boys.

Yes boyS - plural.  Middle boy had his spring break from college this past week.  He left early Sunday morning to head back to the western part of the state.  Big boy's spring break is this week and after a bit of confusion with the Mega Bus boarding location, managed to transport himself into town Saturday night.  Little boy will have spring break the following week.

Strange way the weeks worked out, and only a very small window of time when all three were home together.

It was fun to have a fuller house and more people around the table for a few days.

After a quick bite at a local Irish pub for a sandwich, a few beers and a festive band strumming some lively Irish tunes, we rounded out the weekend with an annual watch of our favorite classic Irish tale, The Quiet Man.  Big boy watched the show with us - and hopefully enjoyed it.  He hadn't seen it before and he had to deal with two parents quoting all the lines before they came.  Of course the movie watching lent a bit more time for a last few rows of rippling before retiring for the night.

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door. 

Onwards to spring for you - and off to do a spot of grocery shop and cake baking...hubby turns 49 today!
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