Friday, December 10, 2010

Quick and Easy Crocheted Scarf Pattern





The bulky new chunky yarns are wonderful for knitting or crocheting quick accessories. Bernat Softee Chunky yarn was on sale this week at Michaels at the price of 2 - 2.8 oz. skeins for $5.00 and it comes in a variety of colors and color combinations. Using an ombre color creates a stripes. This yarn is 100% acrylic and is machine washable and dryable. Two skeins are just enough to make a simple scarf that is 6 ½ inches wide and 54 inches long. You can crochet a whole scarf in 2-3 hours which makes a nice last minute gift or quick replacement if you lose your scarf.

Easy Crocheted Scarf

J hook
2 – 2.8 oz skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky yarn or
5.6 oz chunky yarn .

Instructions:
Chain 16.
Row 1: Single crochet in second chain from hook and across to the end, chain 2 and turn.

Row 2: Half double crochet across, chain2, and turn.

Repeat row 2 until you have about 56 inches, then chain 1.

Last row: single crochet across, cut yarn, and weave in end.

This makes a nice warm scarf. You will need another skein if you want to add fringe or another finish to the ends of the scarf. You can also use two strands of a thinner yarn held together. This is my own pattern. Crochet Pattern Central has a lot of other good scarf patterns .


It looks like it is going to be a long, cold winter this year. We’ll probably need a couple of warm scarves to get us through.





Thursday, December 9, 2010

Easy Gift Idea for Mothers and Grandmothers


A hand decorated sweatshirt or bag with a child’s hand print or foot print can be a much loved and appreciated gift for a mother or grandmother. It is also very easy and can be inexpensive. Your child will also enjoy making a gift.

Choose a blank sweatshirt, canvas bag, potholder, apron, Christmas ornament, photo album, or garden stone. Hobby stores have a wide variety of these items. Buy a bottle or 2 of acrylic paint. Spread some newspapers on a table and pour some paint out on a paper plate and spread it around in a circle large enough to fit your child’s hand or foot using a brush or plastic spoon. Have some paper towels ready for clean up. Choose a time when your child is well rested and feeling cooperative. Dip their hand into the paint and press as hard as they can onto the item. You might want to let them practice with water on a paper towel first so they can get an idea of what they’re supposed to do. Wash hands or feet immediately with warm soapy water. After the print dries, you can let them add their name or you can do that yourself and jazz it up too. For a fabric item, you will need to set the paint after it dries for 24-48 hours. Place a piece of wax paper over the paint and press lightly with a hot iron. Carefully remove the wax paper.
My son made the potholder in the picture 14 years ago! I get it out every year for Christmas. I love it! It reminds me of when he was a sweet, little boy.
I found a couple of good decorating ideas on the web. The first is an Angel theme sweatshirt from About.com. The second is a cute reindeer made from a footprint and hand prints from eHow.com.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Santa Claus Coaster Crochet Pattern


Materials:
Small amounts of yarn:
Peach, red, white, blue
H hook
Face:

Round 1: Beginning with peach, chain 3 and join. Chain 3, 5 dc in ring, switch to white, carrying peach along, and make 6 more dc in ring and join to top of chain 3.

Round 2: Switch back to peach, (carrying white) chain 3, dc in same stitch, and make 2dc in next 5 dc (should be peach). Drop peach and switch to white and make 2 dc in last 6 dc(should be white) and join to top of chain 3.

Round 3: Continuing with white, chain 1 and single crochet in first peach dc. 2 sc in next 11 dc. (24 sc made for hair.) “Chain 1, sc” in next 12 dc and join to top of chain 1. Chain 3 and turn. Sc in chain one space. Chain 3 and sc in next space around to end of white sc. (Beard)

Hat:

Join red with a slip stitch to the 3rd sc above beard on the right side of the coaster. Sc in next 3 sc. Hdc in next 2 sc. Ds in next 2 sc. 2 tr in next sc, 3 dtr in next sc, 2 tr in next sc, dc in next 2 sc, hdc in next 2 sc, sc in next 2 sc, and slip in next sc. Finish off red. (Note: this will work if you have 24 scs. You can place a marker in the top and count down if you end up with more or less than 24sc.)

Pom Pom

Attach white with a slip stitch to middle dtr and chain 3. Make 2 dc in same stitch. Slip stitch into same stitch. Carry yarn to the back and fasten off.
Make 2 French knot eyes using blue yarn.
Abbreviations:
Sc: single crochet
Dc: double crochet
Hdc: half double crochet
Tr: triple crochet
Dtr: double triple crochet

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Easy Christmas Gift: Make a Bookmark



Giftgiving at Christmas can be a difficult and expensive task. It is truly the thought that counts but my thought is that I don't want to disappoint anyone. When I give a gift, I want the recipient to know I was thinking about them. Just about anyone could use a new bookmark and they can be personalized to fit the recipient. Handmade bookmarks are a perfect gift. They are quick and easy to make. They are inexpensive. They are fun to make. You can make them fit a personality, be a reminder of a shared memory, or just be a useful marker for a book. They can be given alone or with a book.
The simplest bookmark is just a rectangle of firm paper to mark a page. Used greeting cards work well alone and when attached to card stock papers or large satin ribbons. Recycling is a double gift that gives to nature as well as to a special friend.
Choose a sturdy piece of paper or greeting card picture and cut out a long rectangle. The average size paperback is approximately 4 X 7 inches so a bookmark should be less than 7 inches long and about 1 ½ - 2 1/2 inches wide. Decorate your paper with cutouts from greeting cards, stickers, paint, stamps, a comic, charms, or pictures. Pictures can be photocopied and cut into shapes and glued to the bookmark. Write a message on it. Leaving it plain is fine too. If you want to protect your bookmark from wear, you can put some heavy, clear tape across it. Clear packing tape works well. Next, you can punch a hole through the top and thread a piece of ribbon, yarn, rick rack, or lace trimming through the hole and tie a knot to keep the trim from falling out. You can also thread a pretty button through your yarn or card.

Bookmarks are a great gift. You can never have enough because they are easy to lose and they eventually wear out. Taking time to make a personal bookmark for a special friend can be a thoughtful way to show your friendship and love for that person.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rotten Bananas









Banana Bread can be a cheap and easy gift to make for Christmas presents!

If your bananas turn brown before you can eat them, there are several ways you can use them. There is no need to throw them away if they are too mushy to eat. You can make banana smoothies, muffins, bread, pudding, cream pie, a banana facial, and even a banana hair conditioner. Even better: bananas can easily be frozen for future use. Just peel, slice, and freeze in a container or bag.

Banana bread is fun to experiment with and makes a wonderful Christmas present. You can add nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter – there are hundreds of combinations. For gift giving, you can bake it in a festive tin foil pan or simply wrap it in saran wrap and tie it up in a pretty bow.

The secret to making a moist, delicious banana bread is to use overripe, mushy bananas and to take care that you do not over mix the batter. Mix dry ingredients separately from wet and then blend together just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. I will share my favorite banana bread recipe. If I am gifting this bread, I will usually butter the pan well and flour with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. I might even drizzle a little vanilla frosting over the top for decoration.


Banana Bread
Mash 3-4 ripe bananas and combine in bowl with the following ingredients:

1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar

In a separate bowl, combine the following ingredients:

1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup walnuts

Blend flour mixture into the banana mixture and spread into a greased 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool and remove from pan. (This recipe is from Simply Recipes.)