Thursday, July 30, 2015

So Soft Cocoon Cardigan - FREE Crochet Pattern

By Patty Kubitzki

2 strands of fingering weight yarn held together.
Heirloom 2/11.5 Carasoft in Royal Blue & Phentex fingering weight in Black
Hook size: N
Gauge is not calculated as garment dimensions are given instead. This way you can have a different gauge and still be able to make the pattern. Just match the measurements.

Description: Body of cocoon is hdc sts worked in back loop only, ch 2 to turn each row. This piece is made in a rectangle worked from armhole to armhole. When the desired width is reached (determined by draping the work in progress over shoulders like a shawl) the piece is folded so the ends of the rows match up and a collar band is worked in circular around those 2 edges (leaving the armholes open). Beginning chain of body determined to be from base of back neck to lowest point minus 6” for collar band. This came to 27” for this garment. The width was determined to be 41” but can be adjusted.

Body: Make a loop on the hook, ch 66 sts or until 27” or slightly more.
hdc in 3rd st from hook and each st to end.
Each remaining row of body: ch 2, turn. Work hdc sts in back loop only. Repeat until the desired width of the garment is reached (this one was 41”). DO NOT FASTEN OFF.

Collar band: Fold the piece in half so the row edges meet to start working in circular. (The body beg. chain and the last row are the armholes.)

Row 1: ch 3, turn to work on side edge. Work this row in DC sts around to beginning, spacing the sts evenly.

The rest of the collar band will be worked in DC V st pattern. The V st is made by working 2 DCs in the same st. On subsequent rows, work the V st in the center of each V st.

Row 2: ch 3, turn. 1 dc in same st; * ch 1, sk 1 st, 2 dc (V st) in next dc; repeat from * around. Join to top of beg. ch 3. sl st in center of dc V.

Row 3: ch 3 turn. * V st (2 dc) in center of V st, ch 1; repeat from * around; ending with dc in beg. ch 3 space to complete the V. Join to top of ch 3. sl st in center of closest V st.

Row 4: ch 3, turn. Dc is same dc V. * ch 1, V st in next V st; repeat from * around. Join with sl st to beg. V st of round.

Row 5: ch 4, turn. * V st in next V st, ch 2; repeat from * around, ending with 1 dc in beg. V st. sl st in 3rd ch of beg. ch 4. sl st in same V st.

Row 6: ch 3, turn. dc in same V st. * ch 2, V st in V st; repeat from * around, ending with ch 2 and sl st in top of beg. ch 3. sl st in closest V st.

Rows 7 & 8: repeat Row 6.

Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Crochet Bikini Top - FREE Crochet Pattern


Hook size: G
Yarn: Lily Sugar & Cream Cotton, about 5 oz.
Size: designed to fit size 38C but would fit smaller or larger size

For full pattern instructions. Download the free PDF file - CLICK HERE.

Almond Oatmeal Soap

Making soap at home with the Melt & Pour Soap Base is so easy and fun. I am still a newbie to this but like the freedom of experimenting with different ingredients, scents, colors, shapes and embossing pieces.The 2 bars on the left are made with silicone molds. The other ones came from the plastic covering over 8 AA batteries and from the plastic covering over some makeup I bought! This last one made a cute hospitality size bar and I added one of the embossing designs I had purchased at Michael's.

For this Almond Oatmeal Soap I used:
12 oz. Goat's Milk Soap Base
2 T. honey
about 5 T. oats
contents of 2 Vitamin E capsules
about 25 drops of Almond Oil (the scent seemed too weak for me so I also added:
about 15 drops of Lavender Oil

This combination worked very well. The scent was pleasant, had a nice creamy color, lathered good and was moisturizing.

Original instructions can be found here.

Lemon Soap

This was my first attempt at making soap. I decided to start by making soap with the Melt and Pour Soap Base purchased from a local craft store.

Original source:

Here are her instructions with my personal notes added. I will be making this again. It is easy, smells great and cleans well. I shared bars with 2 other people and they both loved it too!

1 1/2 cups Goats Milk Soap Base, cubed
4-6 drops Lemon Essential Oil (PK: use more)
Dried Lemon zest of 3-4 lemons (PK: I used 3)

Step one:
Cut soap into cubes and microwave in 30 second intervals (I like to use a large Pyrex measuring cup to melt the soap in). This recipe makes 3 or 4 bars of soap and I used about 15 cubes (PK: I used 13 cubes) of goat’s milk soap base.
Step two:
Melt soap for about a minute. Add another 15-30 seconds if it’s not completely melted. (PK: I started 30 secs. On high, then rest of time on power 7)
Step three:
Once soap cubes have liquified add a few drops of the lemon essential oil and the lemon zest; stir well.

PK: If using heat-sensitive molds, test temperature of liquid (use candy thermometer) to be sure it is not too hot (needs to be less than 150 degrees)

Step four:
Pour into soap molds and allow to harden for at least one hour. Press mold to release soap.

***Update: For longer lasting soap omit the lemon zest and use yellow soap dye for color (if desired). The essential oil will provide enough lemon scent without the lemon zest.

Easy Cream Cheese Danish

These are sooo good! I didn't have crescent rolls on hand so I used jumbo flaky biscuits. This recipe is a winner! Recipe free on another site. Here is the link. Click here!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Easy Knit Dishcloth, Washcloth or Face Scrubbie - FREE Pattern

Knitting Needles size 10
Lily Sugar & Cream Cotton Yarn

Cast on 4 stitches.
Step 1, next 2 Rows: Knit 4.
Step 2, next Row: Knit 2, yarn over, knit to end of row.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 until you have 43 stitches on your needle (or more or less depending on the size cloth you want but use an odd number of stitches)
Step 4, next Row: Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row. Repeat Step 4 until you 4 stitches remaining.
Step 5: Knit 1 row even on 4 stitches.
Step 6: Cast off and weave in ends.

For small face scrubbie: use size 7 or 8 needles. Knit to 21 stitches, then decrease.

To make without eyelets:
Increase row: Knit 1, inc. 1 stitch in next stitch *, Knit to end.
Decrease row: Knit 2, Knit 2 together, Knit to end.
* make increase by knitting 1 stitch in front loop and 1 stitch in back loop of stitch.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top Performing Trading Systems for Weeks Ending 11/30/14 – 2/28/15

Due to an imminent pending event, discussed inside our Private Client Areas, some EAs are not being run until after this event happens and markets return to more stable patterning.

For the week ending 12/6/14:
FX News Raider* closed profit of $41.97; these poor results indicate the market is still out of its normal patterning
HeikenGale* on Usd/Cad closed profit of $10.28

For the week ending 12/13/14:
HeikenGale* on Usd/Cad closed profit of $70.45
Breakout Grid Trader* closed profit of $43.20

For the week ending 12/20/14:
HeikenGale* on Usd/Cad closed profit of $8.94
Targeted Pips* closed profit of $170.48

For the week ending 12/27/14:
All EAs were off except swing traders; there were no closed trades.

For the week ending 1/3/15:
All EAs were off except swing traders.
AO Blitz* hit its take profit of 1500 pips, closing profit of $1,486.10 on 0.1 lots.

For the week ending 1/10/15:
All EAs were off except swing traders

For the week ending 1/17/15:
HeikenGale* on Usd/Cad closed profit of $129.26
>> Note: on 1/15/15 CHF unpegged from the Euro Dollar, CHF skyrockets!

For the week ending 1/24/15:
Most EAs are off as market is too volatile.
Cruisin* closed profit of $297.66 on G/J, 0.1 lots

For the week ending 1/31/15:
Most EAs off, market too volatile

For the week ending 2/7/15:
Most EAs off, still pending upcoming ‘event’.
Breakout Grid Trader* closed profit of $80.30

For the week ending 2/14/15:
Most EAs off, still pending upcoming ‘event’.
Breakout Grid Trader* closed profit of $41.00

For the week ending 2/21/15:
Most EAs off, still pending upcoming ‘event’.
No closed trades.

For the week ending 2/28/15:
Most EAs off, still pending upcoming ‘event’.
Breakout Grid Trader* closed profit of $40.10

At, our approach to running EAs may be different than most you will run across. Because the currency market is so inconsistent, we consider EAs to be trading tools and most of them should not be run non-stop with the exception of swing traders. While we realize Forex traders want a 'Holy Grail' EA to run non-stop and act like an automated cash generator, because of the market inconsistency, this mindset is unrealistic.

We do what is called 'event filtering'. In following the historic results of activity after specific news releases we have learned the more optimum times to run each EA. So each weekend we review the upcoming releases, take into consideration other news and events not on the calendar to determine which EAs to run for the week and when to start and stop them. We tell our clients how to do this in the Success Guide for each EA so they are not just dependent on our analysis.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Dry method
1 c. 20 Mule Team Borax
1 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 c. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
½ c. Oxy Clean
Mix above ingredients in 1# plastic container (I used an old coffee container).

Grate ½ bar of Fels Naptha 5.5 oz. bar soap with fine cheese grater.
Add the grated Fels Napther to a food processor and add ½ c. of first mix. Process until a fine grain.
Add the rest of the 1st mix to the food processor and blend until mixed well.
Store in plastic container.
Use 2-3 Tablespoons of mix per full wash load.
My OxyClean came with a 2T. scoop so I use that.

I would guess about 30 loads per recipe.
I was very pleased with the results!

My costs, tax not included, 2/4/15 from WalMart, all items found in laundry aisle:
$ 3.97 Borax, enough for several batches
3.97 Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, enough for several batches
2.24 Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, enough for several batches
3.86 Oxy Clean (optional), enough for several batches
0.97 Fels Naptha bar soap, 1, enough for 2 batches
$15.01 total cost

Estimating cost per load…
Add 1 more bar of Fels Naptha at $0.97 to make a total of $15.98, which should make 4 batches.
4 (batches) x 30 (loads) = 120 (loads)
$15.98 divided by 120 = $0.133 (about 13-14 cents per load)

Natural Ivory Soap Method:
Follow above but use a 3.1 oz. bar of Ivory Soap instead of ½ bar of Fels Naptha.