Thursday, June 28, 2018

Madeline Flower Pillow - Free Crochet Pattern

Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Size: approximately 16” in diameter
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver - Soft White
Hook Size: J and I
Other supplies needed:
16” Round Pillow Form
16” Zipper

Abbreviations and Terms Used:
beg = beginning; ch(s) = chain; blo = back loop only; dc = double crochet; ea = each; hdc = half double crochet; rem = remaining; rep = repeat; sc =single crochet; sk = skip; sl st = slip stitch; sp = space; st(s) = stitch(stitches)

Pattern Notes:
Make front and back ending with 1 round of even dc then add a zipper to insert pillow where the 2 halves meet.

Petal side of pillow
Part 1 of pattern –

Part 2 of pattern
Her pattern is to do a rug but I decided to make a pillow.

With J hook, work through her instructions through Round 12 with Petals.

Change to I hook
Round 13: in BLO: 2dc in 1st st, (dc in next 8 sts, 2 dc in next st) rep ( ) around, joining with sl st to bl of 1st dc. Round 14: ch 3, do not turn. Work even with dc around on BLO.
Join and fasten off. 115 sts

Shell Pattern side of pillow

Using the I hook
Make magic ring,
Rnd 1: Ch 3, work 11 dc, join
Rnd 2: ch3, 2 dc in each st; 24 sts
Rnd 3: ch 3,( 2dc, 1dc) around, join; 36 sts
Rnd 4: ch 3, (2dc in next st, dc in next 2 sts) rep around, join; 48 sts

Start design
Rnd 5: ch 3, (2dc in next st, dc in next st) rep around, join
Rnd 6: fpdc on post of ch from last rnd, (in the center of the next 2 dc work (dc, ch 1, dc), fpdc in next dc ) rep ( ) around, join.
Rnd 7: ch 3, (in the ch 1 center of the next shell work (dc, ch 1, dc), fpdc in next dc ) rep ( ) around, join around the ch 3 post.
Rnd 8: ch 3, (in the ch 1 center of the next shell work (2dc, ch 1, 2dc), fpdc in next dc ) rep ( ) around, join around the ch 3 post.
Rnd 9: rep Rnd 8.
Rnd 10: ch 3, (in the ch 1 center of the next shell work (3dc, ch 1, 3dc), fpdc in next dc ) rep ( ) around, join around the ch 3 post.
Rnd 11: rep Rnd 10.
Rnd 12: ch 3, ( in the 7 st shell working ea st in blo, work dc, hdc, sc, sl st, sc, hdc, dc; fpdc on fpdc) rep ( ) around.
Rnd 13: ch 3, do not turn . Work in BLO: dc in next st, dc next 2 sts tog (insert hook in 1st st and pull thru a loop, insert hook in 2nd st and pull thru a loop, yo and pull thru 2 loops, yo and pull thru rem loops) rep ( ) around; reducing sts to 127.
When attaching the 2 sides you will need to reduce the number of stitches on this side by 12 sts. So every 10th st, sk a st when sl st-ing the seam.

Flower for center of this side of pillow: I had to whip stitch some extra yarn in the center to make it fuller.

Attach flower to center of shell pattern side.
Weave in all ends.
With right sides facing, sl st a few inches of the side seam.
Open up the pillow and working from the right side, pin the zipper in place on the petal side with the end of the zipper meeting where you started the sl sts.
Using needle and thread whip st this side of the zipper.
Pin zipper to shell pattern side gathering up the sts slightly so that 11 sts match 10 sts on the petal side.
Using needle and thread whip st this side of the zipper.
It is recommended to use a sewing machine to securely attach the zipper of each side.
Use a zig-zag stitch, width 4.5 length 2.0
Open zipper and turn pieces so right sides are facing.
Finish sl st-ing around the outside remembering to sk each 11th st on the shell side.
Fasten off and weave in end.
Turn pillow right side out.
Insert pillow form and close the zipper.

Smile! You did it!!!

Monday, April 9, 2018

No Bake Cherry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Your guests will ooo and ahhh when you serve them this dessert. And trust me, it will disappear fast!

It makes up quickly and needs no baking. The cream cheese filling is the only thing you mix up, as the crust and topping come straight from the store.

1 graham cracker pie crust
1 can of fruit pie filling; cherry, blueberry or apple
8 oz. cream cheese, softened if not mixing with Cruisinart style processor
1 c. powdered sugar (unsifted)
2 c. whipped topping; i.e. Cool Whip
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Beat or blend together the cream cheese and the powdered sugar. Then fold in the whipped topping and vanilla. Pour into the pie crust. Then top with the fruit pie filling. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Options: Try drizzling liquid chocolate over the top or chocolate curls. Try using an Oreo cookie crust instead of the graham cracker crust. Try using fresh strawberries and strawberry glaze instead of the fruit pie filling.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bulky HDC Afghan - FREE Crochet Pattern

A FREE Pattern, Designed and Written by Patty Kubitzki
Yarn: Caron One Pound, 2 strands held together, about 3 pounds
Hook: size P (11.50 mm)
Stitch pattern: HDC (half double crochet) worked in back loop only
Size: 70" (92") long x 45" wide

Top Off White afghan is 1 strand of White and 1 strand of Off White
White afghan is 2 White strands held together
Black afghan is 1 strand of Black and 1 strand of Dark Gray Mix

Row 1: Ch 110 (145) sts loosely. HDC in 3rd ch from hook and ea. ch to end.
Row 2 – 50: Ch 2, turn. HDC in ea. st working in back loop only to end.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
No border, edging or blocking is needed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

US Omnibus Spending Bill - What's In It?

There's a lot of discussion and concerns right now about the Omnibus Spending Bill signed by President Donald Trump on March 23, 2018.

The best way to know what is in this 2,232 bill is to look through the document yourself to find what is written there. I have no intention to read the bill in its entirety but use the keyboard shortcut 'Ctrl F' to do word searches on topics of interest.

Having a concern about air quality and pollution, I did a search on the word 'air' but that yielded too many wrong results. So adding a space in front and behind the word 'air',
i.e. ' air ' narrowed down my search more accurately, finding page 802 that gave me the information I was seeking.

Another search I did was on the word 'internet'. This brought up a couple items of interest: On pages 611 & 612 it discusses how the funds can't be used by the Federal Government to collect data or to pay a third party to do the same (my translation, in short); also beginning on page 1,534 there is a section regarding funds to be appropriated to support Global Internet Freedom.

I encourage you to do your own keyword searches to better understand the Bill and how it relates to your topics of interest.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Annie's Mukluk Crochet Booties Pattern Post Project Notes

The following are my pictures and notes using the purchased pattern from Annie's called 'Mukluk Crochet Booties'.
Here is my finished version of the main pattern:

These are made with 2 strands of Caron Pound in the Lace color. Since I used a different yarn then the pattern suggested, I ended up changing the hook size (actually several times within the pattern) and made a size Small which fit my foot, a size 10 shoe size.

Then I decided to make 2 shorter versions of the slipper, basically without the leg section and decorative finishes. These are also using double stranded yarn.

I decided to try one more change and make a thinner sock that came up a little ways on my ankle, but wasn't binding. So these use 1 strand of the Caron Pound yarn. Again I worked the size Small directions with hook changes in different sections of the pattern and on the leg section I shortened the number of rounds and worked a few rounds of mock ribbing by alternating FPDC and DC sts.
I really enjoyed working with this pattern and found is so easy to modify. So you see I made a lot of pairs. They work up fast and I highly recommend giving this pattern a try. It's well worth the price.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Potatoes O'Brien Au Gratin Recipe

This is my homemade version of a popular dish that typically uses the store bought Potatoes O'Brien, which is often hard to find in the stores close to big holidays. With this recipe you can make it all from scratch and it's so easy and less expensive.

So here is the recipe with all my helpful notes.

2 and 1/2 medium size Russet Potatoes, scrubbed and grated using the larger grater holes. Then rinse with cold water and drain. Yes, leave the peels on!
1/4 c. EACH of chopped Sweet Onion, and 3 kinds of Peppers (orange, red, yellow and/or green)So 1 c. total.
1/2 contents of 10.5 oz. size Cream of Chicken Soup (Save the rest to make this again!)
1/2 contents of small (8 oz.) Sour Cream
1 c. shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided into 2/3 c. in dish + 1/3 c. on top per recipe
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 8" x 8" baking dish.
In medium bowl, mix sour cream and soup. Add 2/3 c. of the cheese and mix well.
Add potatoes, onion and peppers. Mix well.
Pour in greased dish, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining 1/3 c. cheese over the top. Bake uncovered another 30 minutes.

Serves 6. Leftovers freeze well, if needed.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wellness Tea Ice Cream Topping

This recipe uses the apples and some of the liquid from my Wellness Tea recipe.
In a saucepan on the stove, stir together:
1 T. Cornstarch
1/4 c. Sugar

Slowly stir in 3/4 c. Wellness Tea liquid.
Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 5 minutes.
Add chopped apples or other fruit saved from the Wellness Tea and add 1/2 T. butter. Stir a minute until butter is melted and apples are heated. Serve warm over ice cream. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg, if desired.