Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Seamless Crochet Ear Flap Hat




This is a simple double crochet beanie hat with ear flaps.  This hat is worked in a continuous spiral so there is no seam.  This hat can be a regular beanie or add optional ear flaps.





Seamless Crochet Ear Flap Hat

This pattern is written in US crochet terms.  I used worsted weight yarn and a size H crochet hook.  You will also need a measuring tape or ruler, scissors and a yarn needle to hide your ends.  You will need about 3 ounces of yarn


Notes: Think of this hat in 2 parts (3 parts if you are adding ear flaps). Part 1 is the crown or top of the hat, part 2 is the sides, and optional part 3 is the ear flaps. The crown is a flat disc or slightly cupping disc. With each round the disc will grow wider and wider. Once the crown is as wide as you need it for the size you are making, then you will skip to part 2, the sides of the hat. Part 2 is just 1dc in each st. Continue with part 2 until the hat is as long as you like. For a beanie you will want the hat to hit you around the earlobes or make it longer for a slouchy style or if you will roll the brim up. For an ear flap hat you will want to make your beanie a bit shorter, having it end near the middle of the ear. If you make your ear flap hat too long is will fall over the eyes.


Part 1 
The crown of the hat (this will be a flat or slightly cupping disc)
Begin with a magic loop
  1. Work 1 sc (mark this stitch), 1 hdc, 10 dc into the magic loop (working over the loop and the short tail). Pull the short tail to tighten the magic loop (12 stitches)
  2. Work 2 dc in each st around (be sure to move the stitch marker from the last round to the first dc of the new round for every round) (24 stitches)
  3. *Work 2 dc in the next st, then 1 dc in the next st, repeat from * around 11 more times (36 st)
  4. *Work 2 dc in the next st, then 1 dc in the next 2 st, repeat from * around 11 more times (48 st)
  5. *Work 2 dc in the next st, then 1 dc in the next 3 st, repeat from * around 11 more times (60 st)
  6. *Work 2 dc in the next st, then 1 dc in the next 4 st, repeat from * around 11 more times (72 st)
Can you see how this pattern continues? You will always increase by 12 stitches on each round.
The next row would be

  1. *Work 2 dc in the next st, then 1 dc in the next 5 st, repeat from * around 11 more times (84)
Continue until your disc is large enough. Below is a guideline but you can make the crown any size that you want. You do not have to finish a round, you can stop at any point once your disc is the appropriate size. Keep in mind that tightly crocheted hats will have less stretch and loosely crocheted hats will have more give to them

Diameter of hat crown (inches)
Baby : 4-5 inches
Toddler : 5-6 inches
Teen/Adult : 6-7 inches

Part 2 
The sides of the hat

Once the crown is the appropriate size you will continue working dc in a spiraling fashion. Using a stitch marker is no longer needed. You will no longer be increasing and instead of the disc growing wide and wider the disc will begin to cup and the sides of the hat will be formed.

  1. 1 dc in the next st and in each stith around until the hat is as long as you like.
  2. Once the hat is as long as you like you will need to taper down and fasten off. To do that you will work 1 hdc in the next 3 st, then 1 sc in the next 3 st, then 1 sl st in the next st, fasten off


Part 3 
The ear flaps (optional)
Turn the hat so that the tapering decrease at the end of Part 2 is at the center back, this will help make it less noticeable. You will want to make the location of the earflaps. You can put the hat and make where the ear flaps would need to be to cover the ears, or if that is not possible you will need to estimate. The ear flaps should be slightly set back from center, as this is how your ears are slightly set back.

  1. Join the yarn on at the mark where the ear flap starts. To join on you will pinch the new yarn with a spare finger onto the backside of your work (the inside of the hat), insert your hook into the appropriate stitch on the hat, pick up the yarn and pull it through the stitch. Ch 1 and pull on the short tail to snug that ch down and help hold the new yarn on. You will need to continue to hold the yarn on the backside of your work for several stitches until it is secure.
  2. Ch 1, starting in the stitch that you joined the yarn on to, dc2tog, dc in the next 6 st, dc2tog over the next 2 st, ch 1 turn your work
      To do dc2tog: yo, insert your hook, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on your hook, yo, insert your hook into the next st, yo and pull up a loop, yo through 2 loops, yo and pull through all 3 loops on your hook
  3. dc2tog, dc in the next 6 st, dc2tog over the next 2 st, ch 1 turn
  4. dc2tog, dc in the next 4 st, dc2tog over the next 2 st, ch 1 turn
  5. dc2tog, dc in the next 2 st, dc2tog over the next 2 st, ch 1 turn
  6. dc2tog twice, fasten off


To finish: work a border of sc, work 1 sc into each stitch along the bottom edge of the hat and work 1-2 sc into the sides of each row of the ear flaps. More or less stitches may be needed for the sc border to lay flat and look smooth. Hide all the ends of the yarn with a tapestry or yarn needle. Add any embelishements you like such as pom pom, tassels or braids to the ear flaps and/or a pom pom to the top of the hat.

This pattern, tutorial and video are my own creation.  Please link back to this original patterns or video when sharing.  Be sure you check out all of my free crochet patterns.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Easy No Seam Thumbless Baby Mittens ~ No Scratch Mits



These mittens are very similar to the Spiral Baby Mittens only worked in a single color.
This pattern is written in US crochet terms.  I used acrylic worsted weight yard and a size H crochet hook.  You will only need a small amount, about 2 ounces total

  1. Ch 4, working into the top loop only,  2 sc in 2nd ch from the hook, 1 sc in top loop of next ch, 2 sc in top loop of next ch\
  2. Turn your work upside down, working into the other loop of the foundation chain, 2 sc in the other loop of the st you just worked into, 1 sc into the other loop of the next st, 2 sc in the other loop of the last st
  3. Now you will be working under both loops on each stitch as usual. You will not join round with a sl st and you will not turn your work. Place 2 sc in the first sc (this will count as your first increase on this short end, the 2nd increase will occur once you have gone all the way around), then 1 sc in each of the next 3 stitches down the long side, 2 sc in the next 2 sc (here are the 2 increases for this short end), 1 sc in each sc going down the long side
  4. Continue spiraling around, increasing by 2 stitches on the short ends, until you have 20 stitches around  You will end with just 1 increase (the first increase was already completed at the beginning of that round)
  5. Once you have 20 st you will not longer be increasing on the short ends. Place 1 sc in each stitch. Continue spiraling until the mitten measures 3 inches long (for 0-6 month size) or 3.5 inches (6-12 month size)
  6. Next you will work one row of eyelets to lace the drawstring through. To make this row you will *ch 1, skip 1 st, 1 hdc in next st, repeat from * around until you have 10 holes. The 1st and 10th hole will end up on different rows, this is expected and the nature of spiral crochet. Once the drawstring is in it will not be noticeable.
  7.  Work 2 sc into the ch 1 space.
  8. Now continue sc in each st for 3-4 more rows to make a cuff. Add an increase to the short ends of each row of the cuff to flare it out a little, making it easier to get onto baby's hand.
Once the cuff is as long as you like, fasten off by working a final sl st into the mitten and fasten off  Weave in ends.


For the drawstring: Ch 60 (or as long as you like), fasten off. Tie an overhand knot at each end, weave through the eyelets and tie a bow



I created this pattern and tutorial, please link back to this original pattern or the video tutorial when sharing.  Thanks you

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Rumpled Ripple Rainbow Crochet Baby Afghan Pattern

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Homemade Pretzel Rolls Recipe


I love these pretzel rolls. They are great for hot dogs, bratwurst, ham and cheese sandwiches, hamburgers or any type of sandwich.  You can use this same dough to make regular soft pretzels as well.




Pretzel Rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
1 T sugar
2 t salt
2 ounces butter or margarine, melted
4 1/2 - 5 cups all purpose flour
pretzel salt (optional)

Egg wash =1 egg + 1 T water beaten well

Alkaline bath = 8 cups of water + 1/2 cup baking soda at a gentle simmer

Mix the water, yeast, sugar, salt, butter and 2 cups of flour together to form a wet batter.  Slowly incorporate the remaining flour a little bit at a time to form a sticky dough.  knead 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  This is a dense dough that will not spring back and will still be a bit sticky after kneading.  oil the dough ball with cooking oil and put the dough in a draft free warm place to rise until doubled.  Divide the dough into 100 gram dough balls (8-9 balls).  Shape into round or oblong rolls.

In a wide shallow sauce pan combine 8 cups of water and 1/2 cup baking soda.  Heat and bring to a gentle simmer.  One at a time dunk and submerge the rolls in the baking soda water for about 30 seconds.  Drain and transfer the rolls to a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking mat or grease the cookie sheet.  Cut superficial slashes in the top of the rolls.  Brush each roll with egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt if desired.  Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes until a rich mahogany brown all over.  Allow to cool slightly before slicing open.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Rumpled Ripple Rainbow Crochet Baby Afghan Pattern




After I finished my Rumpled Ripple Scarf I knew my next project would be to expand that pattern into an afghan size.  The pattern in essentially the same but for the afghan (and anything larger than a scarf) the foundation chain will need to be more repeats.



This pattern is so squishy and soft and I knew it would make a perfect baby blanket.  I chose an a rainbow of colors, making it as bright and colorful as possible.  This blanket is off to Sweden to the newest baby in our family.



This pattern uses US crochet terms.  I used a variety of acrylic worsted weight yarn. The colors I used
Red - Red Heart Soft Really Red
Orange - Red Heart Super Saver Pumpkin
Yellow- Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Radiant Yellow
Light Green - Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Radiant Lime
Dark Green - Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Kelley Green
Blue Red Heart Soft Teal
Purple - Stitch Studio by Nicole Story Book Lullaby Mulberry
The hook I used was size I.  This finished size of this blanket was about 38" square but your project may end up larger or smaller depending on your hook, yarn and tension.  It may be best to stitch of a swatch of several rows of 1-2 repeats then calculate how many repeats you want based on the finished size you are wanting.


Rumpled Ripples Rainbow Baby Afghan

Special Stitches


Cobble Pattern - alternating dc and sc (each segment of the cobble pattern will be 7 stitches long and start and end with double crochet)

Increase - sc, dc, sc all in the same st

Decrease (worked over 3 stitches)- insert hook into the st, yo, pull up a loop, skip the next st, insert hook into the next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo and pull through all three loops on the hook

Beginning of row decrease (worked over the first 2 stitches of each row starting with row 2)- insert hook into the st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and insert hook into the next st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops, yo and pull through all three loops on the hook - This stitch counts as a dc

End of row decrease (worked over the last 2 stitches of each row starting with row 2) - yo and insert the hook into the st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops, insert the hook into the next st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through all three loops on the hook- This stitch counts as a dc


Pattern

Video tutorial of this stitch pattern can be found HERE

Foundation chain: ch multiples of 18 -1 (17, 35, 53, 71 etc)  For this afghan I did 9 repeats and my foundation chain was 161.

Row 1: dc in 3rd ch from hook (counts as the first dc in the cobble pattern), *work the cobble pattern for a total of 7 stitches up the side of the front mountain.  Increase in the next ch, work the cobble for a total of 7 stitches down the back side of the mountain, decrease over the next 3 stitches, repeat from * across.  Do not work the final decrease at the very end, just end with the 7 stitches down the back side of the last mountain. Ch 1 turn.

Row 2: Work beginning of row decrease over the first 2 stitches (counts as the first dc of the cobble pattern), *work the cobble pattern for 7 stitches up the front side of the mountain, increase, work cobble pattern for 7 stitches down the back side of the mountain, decrease over the next 3 st, repeat from * across.  Do not work the final decrease, instead work the end of row decrease over the last 2 stitches (will count as the last dc in the cobble pattern)

Row 3 and onward: Repeat row 2 changing colors as you like until your project is as long as  you like.  For my project I did 3 rows of each color before changing to the next color.  For the best results from this pattern I recommend using as least 2 colors.

To change colors:  

I find I get the best results if I change colors by finishing the last stitch of the row with the new color.  For this pattern that will be the End of Row Decrease stitch.  Work the stitch as normal but just before the final "yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook" drop the working yarn to the back, and holding the new color yarn from the back work the final "yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook" in the new yarn.  The tails from this color change will need to be woven into the work with a yarn needle at the end.

This pattern and these photos are my own work.  Please link back to this blog post when sharing.  Thank you!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

5 Dairy Free Smoothie Recipes

A Vitamix found itself delivered to my front porch. I don't really know how or why, but it did. My loving husband (my sweet, kind, wonderful husband) ordered it without really telling me so it was a big surprise. Our stick blender died and our food processor was on it's last leg. Instead of buying another $100 blender or food processor that is just going to die on us in a couple years he went ahead and invested in a Vitamix.

 I saw the UPS truck pull up and I assumed my husband had ordered something from Amazon as he is fond of doing. But as the UPS driver emerged from his truck I saw that he was holding a large cardboard box with big bold letters spelling out "Vitamix". What a surprise! Initially I scoffed at the idea of spending so much on one kitchen appliance but I really do love it. I have been experimenting with it as much as possible. I've been making homemade almond milk, smoothies, pureed soups and sauces. I still have more I want to try, like peanut butter, hummus, and dairy free Nutella. I have collected 5 of my favorite smoothie recipes plus a bonuse vegetable juice. I love that I can make vegetable juice without a juicer in my Vitamix.





  Whole Fruit Smoothie - Orange, banana, blueberries and spinach


Mango and Coconut Smoothie - Mango, coconut cream, and coconut milk with a hint of lime


Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie - Strawberries, almond milk and vegan vanilla ice cream

Pina Colada Smoothie - Almond milk, coconut cream, pineapple and banana, garnish with shredded coconut


Shamrock Shake - Sweet creamy peppermint shake with a surprise ingredient

Monday, May 18, 2015

Edith's Baked Beans


Summer time is right around the corner and if you are looking for a new favorite recipe to take to cookouts and backyard parties, this just might be the thing you are looking for.  Everyone loves baked beans and these beans are so delicious and easy to put together.  Large meaty butter beans, bacon and kielbasa in a rich homemade sauce.  A great change from your usual baked beans made from small navy or great northern beans.

This recipe came from my grandmother's friend Edith.  I knew her when I was a small girl but my family has been enjoying this recipe since before I was born.  Try this recipe for a potluck or just with your family.  I know you will enjoy it :)



Ingredients:
3 (14 oz) cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 pound bacon, sliced, fried and drained
1 large onion, large dice
1 green bell pepper, large dice
1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes
3/4 cup ketchup
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 lb keilbasa sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

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