Sunday, October 31, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds ~ Oh So Nice

I have a new Oh So Nice for this week....  Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!  I think these little devils are addictive.  I can't stop eating them.  Here's how to make them if you didn't already know.

First: buy a pumpkin.
Second: gut your pumpkin taking out all the innards. Sounds gross huh?
Third: remove all the stringies and things.
Fourth: melt 2 TBS butter and poor over your seeds.
Fifth: lightly salt.
Sixth: bake 45 mins in a preheated 300 degree oven. Or until they are nice and toasted and crunchy.
Seventh: eat them!

That's it.  They are delish.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's The Great Pumpkin!

One thing that I set out to learn this year was crochet.  I think I've done a fair job of learning the basics.  For example: I can chain, I can do the slip stitch, I can join my work in the round, I can do the single crochet and I under the concept of working my stitches using the front loop vs. the back loop vs. both loops.  Not bad right?

As part of that journey into the world of crochet, I joined the Raverly group 10 in 2010.  My goal was/is to crochet 10 projects in 2010.  I have not done to bad with this.  With the completion of the project detailed in this post I've completed 8 projects.  At the end of the year, maybe, I'll post a full listing of my 10 in 2010 projects.

As for today's post,  it took me a while to finish this project because I was working on other projects in between, and I only worked on this here and there.

I at first thought I wanted to make another Pumpkin Hat because I thought the one I crocheted for my daughter was so gosh darn cute! Then one day me and my dh were talking about how we don't have any halloween or fall decorations and my mission changed.

I finished crocheting the side pieces as detailed in the pumpkin hat pattern (Only I made them slightly bigger). Once I had the pieces complete, I assembled them all with the exception of the last seam. I crocheted the stem, and then finished the final seam. Afterward, I turned my material so that I was now crocheting with the right side facing out and crocheted one round making a clean edge. After this I started a 4 to 1 decrease round, followed by a 3 to 1 decrease round and so on until my bottom was almost closed. I stuffed the pumpkin with fiberfil and the finished decreasing stitches until WALAH!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Half Way Wrong Way Cowl

Yesterday and into this morning, I knitted two cowls.  One I used a pattern I found on Raverly, and I'll talk about it in a later post.  The other pattern is a pattern I kind of sort of made up by accident. And I love, love, LOVE it!  I couldn't be happier with the way this cowl turned out, and I'm going to share the long, sorded details with you today. Don't you just love that?!

I know you can't wait, so let's get started.

 I call this pattern the Half Way Wrong Way Cowl because as I was working on it I realized at about half way through I switched the way I was knitting up the piece.  Instead of frogging the cowl, again for the 3rd time, I decided to go with it and see what I got.  The outcome was pretty darn cool.

First, the yarn is a 100% Wool super bulky thick to thin, hand spun, hand dyed yarn that I found on Etsy.  The seller's shops is Absolute Knits, and as soon as I saw it I fell in love with the wild colors.

I noticed she doesn't have the yarn listed anymore so I obviously wasn't the only person who fell in love.

So I knew I wanted to knit a cowl with this yarn as soon as I saw it, and I at first thought I wanted to knit the other cowl I mentioned earlier with it.  I soon realized that wouldn't work.  So I tried to figure out how exactly I wanted the cowl to look.

As luck would have it, a while back I'd bought some fun, bright colored buttons and an idea started to wiedle it's way in.  I was pretty certain those buttons would match the yarn.  And if that was the case then the cowl didn't have to be a closed cowl.  I could attach the buttons and wear it in many different styles.

So that's what I did.

 I know, I know.  It seems like I've jumpped ahead of myself.  So here goes the pattern.

Half Way Wrong Way Cowl

Use a super chunky/bulky yarn of your choice.
Size 17 US or 12.75MM Needles

Cast On 11 stitches

Repeat these rows until your peice measures 10 inches.

Odd Row - Knit(K) 1 Purl (P) 1 to end of row
Even Row - P1, K1 to end of row

Once your piece measures 10 inches switch the order of your knitting.

Odd Row - P1, K1 to end
Even Row - K1, P1 to end

Once your cowl measures 20 inches Bind Off using a K1 Purl 1 bind off.

Next, using a piece of your left over material, sew on your buttons.

By doing this switch halfway through the piece, it creates a ridge. See the second photo up top there.  But if you look at the third photo, the switch gives the front of the piece a very nice cushy appearance.  Also by doing this, you don't have to worry about button holes.  The ribbed valleys gives the buttons a nice place to rest so that they pop! And you can just slip through the stitches. Viola! No button holes required.

I can see me wearing this a lot this winter.  And I can't wait!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Oh So Nice

So, I'm thinking of starting a regular feature here on the blog.  I'm not sure how it will go or if it will be a weekly feature or a whenever I have something new feature.  We'll just have to play that one by ear.  But the feature itself is going to be called something brilliant.  Well, maybe not that brilliant. Maybe something as simply as Weekly Favorite, or perhaps Oh So Nice.

Anyway, enough of that chatter, I'm getting on it.

As you might can guess from the Weekly Favorite, the topic will be something that has enraptured me for the given time frame (or during the given time frame).  I alway enough hearing about new things that I might fall in love with, or perhaps just fall into a big lust with. So that's where this new idea has steamed from.

And now to get on with it.

This week's Oh So Nice is Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

Oh my goodness!  It is wonderful.  I've been having some trouble with my morning coffee for about a month or longer.  First I my coffee pot went kaput, then my replace maker was just awful.  It did heat the water so my cup of coffee was like drinking mud. Not nice.  Finally I splurged and bought much nicer coffee maker and made some fair coffee.  Not the maker's fault this time.  This time it was the coffee.

Then I stumbled on the Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice in Target the other day and thought, Why not?!

I'm glad I did!  It is wonderful.  A very nice blend of pumpkin and spices blended with a smooth coffee flavor.  If you like pumpkin, I highly recommend you give this a try.

Disclaimer: I tried to find a link to the actual coffee but could not.  If I can I will update the link.  But for now it's pointed to Dunkin Donuts.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coaster Woasters

Hello there!  Well, it's been awhile yet again since I've been out to post, but you have to admit, it hasn't been as long since the previous time.  I thought a good topic for today would be about getting ready for the holidays.  And by the holidays, I really am only talking about Christmas.  Because you see, I am up to my arm pits (Yes, arm pits!) in Christmas knitting.  However, I am proud of myself.  I started mucho earlier this year than last and I'm knitting up from existing patterns and not making a new pattern up as I knit along.  This is making the process much easier.  Well so far at least.

Perhaps in another post I'll talk about some of my current projects.  But for today, I thought I'd share the projects I knitted up last year and the pattern I used.

It all started when I tried to think up a 'family' gift for my three brothers and their family.  You see, we used to draw names but then a few years back my sister in law thought it would be a better idea and cheaper to do one family gift for each family.  So that is what we have done for the past few years.  The trouble is how to keep from being boring and repeating the same gift over and over.  I thought up a remedy.  I'd knit something.

So that's what I did.  I set out to knit up some coasters to go in a basket full of coffees, teas, ciders, hot chocolate mixes etc.  Sounds cool huh?  Well, it did to me so I went with it.

So in honor of starting the homemade Christmas gift process all over again I thought I'd share with you the pattern I used last year to create these coasters that went into my families Christmas gift basket.

Coaster Woasters

1 Skein Lion Brand Thick 'N Quick Grass
1 Skein Lion Brand Thick 'N Quick Cranberry
1 Skein Lion Brand Thick 'N Quick Natural Cream

(These are the colors I used.  You can choose any contrasting colors of your liking.)

Size US 8 - 5.0 mm needles

Stitches used in this pattern are:
Garter Stitch
Yarn Over (YO)
Knit 2 Together (K2tog)

Gauge isn't really important.  You just want to make sure that your stitches are nice and tight. Which using the size 8 needles really does help with that.

CO 2 stitches

Row 1 K1, YO, K1
Row 2 K1, YO, Knit to end of row
Repeat Row 2 until you have 22 stitches on your needle.

Row 21 K1, YO, K2tog, Knit until 3 stitches remain on needle, K2tog, K1
Report row 21 until you have 2 stitches left on your needle.
Bind off

The increases and decreases with using the YO leaves the nice little openings along the sides.  Using one of your contrasting colors, weave the yarn through the holes and then tie off at the starting / ending corner to make a nice decorative bow.

I made these in sets of 4 and tied them together with a festive card that said Handmade Coasters by my name.

And there you have it.  The pattern I used this time last year to knit up nice, quick and easy Christmas gifts.  In a later post I'll show off some of my current Christmas knitting.  But for now, I think it's safe to call this blog post done.