Light As Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

Light as Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

What is it about infinity scarves? 

I love knitting infinity scarves and made this one for my cousin’s 25th birthday. This Wool & Grace  pattern is easy but it suggests binding off using kitchener stitch, a stitch I’d never used before. I got the hang of kitchener stitch, a way to bind off that creates an almost invisible seam, by watching a tutorial online (see link below). My advice when binding off this way is to adjust the tension as you go because you don’t want to do it at the end (trust me!). Next time a pattern calls for this bind off method, I’ll be prepared.

Happy knitting, hon.

Light as Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

Yarn: 1 skein Madeline Tosh Merino Light (Yarn A) and 2 skeins Rowan Kidsilk Haze (Yarn B) {I used one color for the whole scarf but knit from 2 skeins.}

Needles & Notions: US 10.5 circular needle, Size J Crochet Hook, extra 10.5 straight needle, Darning Needle, Smooth waste yarn

Gauge: approximately 14 stitches/4 inces

Abbreviations: K=knit, P=purl, KFB=Knit into the front and back of the same stitch, RS=Right Side, WS=Wrong Side, STS=Stitches

Instructions: Using crochet hook and waste yarn, chain 86 stitches and fasten off. With knitting needles and two yarns held together, knit into the bumps on the back of the chain 82 times (82 stitches cast on).

Row 1 (RS) K1, KFB, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1

Row 2 (WS) Purl

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until approximately 42″ ending with a purl row. Cut yarn leaving 5 yards for grafting.

Carefully unravel your crochet chain from your provisional cast-on and place stitches on extra needle. Place two ends of the scarf with WS together. Cut yarn leaving tail 24″ long. Join beginning and end to your work and join using kitchener stitch. Click here to watch a video on how to bind off using kitchener stitch. Weave in ends and block as desired.

Source:  Wool & Grace

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DIY Holiday and Hostess Gifts

Berry & Nut Granola and Mini Pumpkin Breads

Need last minute holiday or hostess gifts?  

Mini pumpkin loaves and granola are easy to make and delicious. Fill mason jars with granola, wrap the loaves in twine, and voila–DIY for the holidays! Click below for links to the recipes.

Pumpkin Bread I have two multi-loaf pans: one for baking four mini loaves and one for baking eight single serving loaves. Multi-loaf pans can be found at the craft store Michael’s. No time to get to a craft or baking store?  Bake pumpkin muffins instead. I used whole wheat flour and less sugar than the recipe calls for.

Homemade Granola  Add whatever seeds, nuts and dried fruit are in the house to the mixture. I purchased mason jars at Michael’s, but any jar, such as a jelly jar, with a mouth that’s not too small will work. I filled tomato sauce jars with larger batches.

Happy Holidays, Hon!

Quick, easy and delicious. Photos courtesy of Cherie.

Knitted Cable Baby Blanket

OMG! Isn’t this the sweetest picture of big sisters with their baby brother?
Knitted Cable Baby Blanket

What to knit when a dear friend is expecting her third child and doesn’t know what she’s having?

I picked up 35 Knitted Baby Blankets for the Nursery, Stroller and Playtime by Laura Strutt at my favorite knitting store Wool & Grace, and chose a pattern for a cream blanket–the color of the crochet edge tbd (to be determined). I hadn’t cabled since college, but it came back quickly. I love how this blanket turned out. New mommy loves it also. Yay!

Darling Baby Boy with his new blanket.

Sources: 35 Knitted Baby Blankets by Laura Strutt, Wool & Grace

Squishy Soft Knit Cowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Air

The minute the season turns from summer to fall, I can’t wait to knit new projects. Here’s an “easy, fast cowl that looks more complicated than it is” from Studio June Yarn.

Happy knitting, hon.

Yarn: about 120 yards

Needle: 18″ to 24″ circular, sized to work with yarn

Finished Size: approximately 30 inches in circumference and 6 inches tall

Directions:

  1. Using a long tail cast on, cast on 87 stitches.
  2. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist your work.
  3. *K4, P4, K4, P4.* Continue in pattern until about 3 yards remain.
  4. Bind off in Purl.

Source: Jill June at Studio June Yarn, studiojuneyarn@sbcglobal.net

Three Berry Lovely Hostess Gifts

Chocolate-covered raspberries from Sweet Nothings.

One of the best things about summer is getting together with friends. With less carpools and craziness, it’s nice to hang out and catch up. I love that the day seems longer. Last night, we left a concert in our town’s park about 9pm and it was still light.

Summer invitations mean hostess gifts. Here are three berry-lovely ideas.

I found this adorable strawberry basket filled with chocolate-covered raspberries at Sweet Nothings, a chocolate shop in Summit, NJ. How easy is this to make yourself? All you need is a basket, filler “grass,” and candy or berries. How about making a berry mix? Wrap the mix in plastic wrap and nestle it inside the basket. Tie a bow and off you go!

Hand-thrown berry bowls filled with local berries.

Berry bowls aren’t just pretty, they’re practical since they are small colanders. I made the two ceramic bowls above, but I’ve seen them in several stores. How sweet would it be to give the hostess a berry bowl already filled? Want to make it even sweeter? Bring along whipped cream and (dare-I-say?) chocolate sauce.

Photo of Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries from bettycrocker.com.

I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture the last time I made Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. Click here for a recipe. Know what’s fun about making these? Finishing up the leftover melted chocolate at home.

Berry-yummy!

Sources: Sweet Nothings  and bettycrocker.com

 

Manly Scarf

Manly Scarf
Manly Scarf
Hubby modeling the Manly Scarf.
Hubby modeling the Manly Scarf.
Nephew trying on his Holiday gift.
Nephew wearing his Holiday gift.

Despite its name, I worried this scarf wasn’t manly enough. Maybe it was the yarn or maybe it was the stitch, but I wondered, “Does this scarf look masculine?” I wasn’t convinced until Hubby tried it on. Yay! It looked great, and was ready to be wrapped as a gift for my nephew.

Happy knitting, hon!

Manly Scarf

Stitches are cast on for the entire length of the scarf, which is knit from side to side on a circular needle. Tip: Place stitch markers every 20 stitches (or however many stitches you like). This makes keeping track of the total stitches much easier. 

Yarn: The yarn used in the pattern on Ravelry was Manos del Uruguay Handspun Semi Solids, skein of 100g: 138 yards/126 m

4-5 skeins of main color

1-2 skeins of contrast color

Needles:  One US 10 (6mm) circular needle (as long as possible). Change needle size if necessary to obtain gauge.

Notions:  Stitch markers. One yarn needle for weaving in ends.

Gauge: 

In stockinette stitch, 10 cm/4 inches = 14-18 stitches

In pattern stitch, 10 cm/ 4 inches = 10-12 stitches

Pattern Stitch

Row 1:  Knit all stitches.

Row 2:  Knit 2 together to end.

Row 3:  Knit into front and back of every stitch.

Row 4:  Purl all stitches.

Directions:

Cast on 250 stitches. Work in pattern stitch until scarf has desired width. The stripe pattern is 3 pattern repeats in the main color, then one in the contrast color like this:

MC x 3

CC

MC x 3

CC

MC x 3

Cast off.

Notes:  Click the link under Source to see the original pattern, where the author of the pattern explains how to substitute the yarn. I used a different yarn than the one shown on Ravelry and since–gasp–I detest making swatches, I winged it, casting 250 sts and knitting to a width and length I thought looked good on a guy. (I know, very scientific!)

Source: Ravelry, pattern by Johanna K Sarten

 

DIY Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Wrapped and ready to give out.
Wrapped and ready to give out.

Go from this…

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to this…

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in four easy steps!

Four-Step Favors

Need a quick and easy idea for favors, goodie bags or stocking stuffers? These sweet-n-salty snacks are so yummy, my family couldn’t wait to eat the duds and broken pieces.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Ingredients:

pretzel logs

chocolate discs (click here to see Wilton’s Candy Melts)

sprinkles, cookies to crush and/or sparkly sugar

wax or parchment paper

Prep:

Pour sprinkles into pans with sides. I used several 9″ x 11″ dishes for different sprinkles. Line baking dishes with wax or parchment paper so finished pretzels can dry.

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate discs in microwave according to package directions. I used several flavors and melted one flavor at a time. (Tip. I microwaved the discs a little less time than recommended and stirred to finish melting the discs. Over doing it in the microwave causes the chocolate to get “sandy” and then it’s not usable.)
  2. Spoon melted chocolate over half a pretzel log.
  3. Immediately either roll the chocolate part in the sprinkles or spoon the sprinkles on top of the chocolate. Rolling is more efficient, but the melted chocolate drips into the sprinkles and makes the sprinkles globby. I ended up spooning decorations on top of chocolate.
  4. Line pretzels up on baking dish to dry. Drizzle melted chocolate over the bare half of the pretzel.

After all the pretzels are decorated, refrigerate them until the chocolate has hardened. Since I made these at night, I refrigerated them overnight (although they’d probably be fine in an hour) and wrapped them the next morning.

Melt chocolate in microwave.
1. Melt chocolate discs in microwave.
Spoon chocolate over half of each pretzel, then spoon sprinkles over melted chocolate.
2. Spoon chocolate over half of each pretzel.  3. Spoon sprinkles over melted chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

Line pretzel logs on a baking sheet. Crushed cookies and sugar were used as well as sprinkles.
4. Line pretzel logs on a baking sheet. Crushed cookies and sparkly sugar were used as well as sprinkles.
Drizzle melted chocolate over bare half of pretzels.
4 continued. Drizzle melted chocolate over bare half of pretzels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were such a hit, I’ll definitely be making them again!

Happy Holidays, hon!