Tag Archives: homemade

Hot Little Handwarmers

I have a craft crush on creativeyarn’s blog. I will admit it. She whips up handwarmers and crocheted necklaces like nobody’s business AND shares a bunch of her patterns with all the world.

I just finished a pair of her “Emerald Green Handwarmers,” which are little fingerless gloves worked up flat and then sewn together. Her pattern does not taper at all, meaning it’s the same width at the wrist as it is through the hand and fingers. This did not fit me at all, so I tried altering it a bit. I  still love this pattern, and should note that I also didn’t swatch and I have very small hands. AND I used acrylic yarn, so most of the problems I had could have been solved with some good blocking. So give her pattern a whirl, with or without my changes. I added some shaping and an edging around the thumbhole, and switched the yarn to a flaming hot pink.

Cast on 28 stitches, leaving a long tail for sewing seam later.

Work in moss stitch (row 1, knit 1, purl 1 all the way across. row 2, purl 1, knit 1 all the way across) for three rows. Work in stockinette for 11 rows, ending with a knit row.

Purl 5, increase one using bar increase made purlwise. *Purl 4, increase one stitch using bar increase made purlwise*  all the way across. At least, I think this is what I did. You want to increase 5 stitches spaced out evenly across your last stockinette row.

Continue according to creativeyarn’s pattern, working with 33 stitches. Bind off loosely in pattern leaving a very long tail for sewing AND thumbhole. (note: if you have little hands, I recommend doing only 5 repeats of the pattern.)

To make thumbhole:

Starting from bottom and using long tail left over from cast-on, sew first 2 inches of seam shut.

Starting from top and using long tail from bind-off, sew 2 inches of seam shut. Switch to a 5.00 mm crochet hook and pick up stitches around open thumbhole. This is a little tricky as the edge won’t be perfectly even. You should have around 15 stitches. Chain one, and single crochet all the way around twice. Do not chain one at the beginning of round 2, just work in a spiral. Snip excess yarn, pull end through, and weave in all ends.



Curry for Dummies

I love curry. When I was told this country didn’t have much in the way of tasty vegetarian food (which is, by the way, a lie), I reminded myself that in the U.K. there will always be curry. Whether you’re into spicy or mild, veggie or lamb, take-away or sit down dining, curry is EVERYWHERE!

So I was inspired. Here is my easy peasy recipe.

You Need:

1 cup uncooked basmati rice

roughly 3 cups of mixed vegetables – I used a store bought mix of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, plus 1 potato and 2 giant button mushrooms

1 onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2-3 generous teaspoons curry powder or bottled curry seasoning in oil

1 sachet creamed coconut (this stuff is fantastic. I’d assume you can get it in the States at any health foodie store.)

Optional: milk or light cream or chicken/vegetable broth

a handful of fresh mint, chopped or torn

oil or butter for sautéing

Begin by cooking rice according to package directions. When rice is finished cooking, add the mint and toss lightly.

While rice is cooking, chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces. You want uniform size for uniform cooking. Don’t worry about having big chunks of onion, sautéing will mellow out the flavor. Set the onions and mushrooms aside.

This next step sounds like a pain but will help you immensely. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch all veggies except for the onion and mushrooms. To blanch, simply boil the vegetables for 2 or 3 minutes then rinse in cool water. If you like soft potatoes and crisper broccoli, do this in batches. Pre-cooking the potatoes will cut down on stir-frying time.

Next, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook  until it begins to turn translucent. Add in the garlic and the drained, blanched vegetables and stir. After a minute, add the mushrooms. You may need to add a quarter cup or so of water or stock to keep things from sticking. Add the creamed coconut and curry powder. Stir well, adding a bit more water, milk, cream, or chicken broth. Lower heat, and check for seasoning.

When vegetables are uniformly cooked and sauce is creamy, remove from heat. Spoon curry over the mint rice and enjoy.

If you’d like a meaty curry, simply add some diced chicken/lamb/flank steak/whatever when you begin cooking the onions. Omit the butter, and use olive oil only.

DIY – Raspberry Parfait Slippers

I have recently gotten back into crafting as a way to keep my sad little hands busy while I’m away from my man. A friend introduced me to Ravelry, and I found the CUTEST little pattern for Mary-Jane style slippers.

I think these are absolutely precious. Her pattern is darling and should work, but I made a few changes to the pattern which I’ll explain below. I’m writing these changes assuming that readers have looked at her pattern first, so check it out here.

First, I scaled down the size. I have baby feet, borderline size 6. The easiest way to shrink these is to start with 6 stitches in your ring instead of 8. I imagine for a size medium you’d start with 7, or a larger size start with 9. Increase like the pattern says (2 dc every stitch in round 1, 2 dc every other stitch in round 2, every 3rd stitch in round 3, etc.) Just use multiples of 6 instead of 8. You should now end your increase rows with 24 stitches instead of 32.

For the footbed, work the first 17 stitches instead of 23 (the number of stitches in round 3 minus 1).

When making the loop, I opted for a single crochet chain. This is very easy… when you get to the spot where you’ll place your loop, make one single crochet, then begin a crochet chain of about 25 stitches, and anchor in place with your next single crochet in the following stitch. You should have a neat loop. Continue around as the pattern says.

For yarn, I used Red Heart Super Saver in Shocking Pink held together with Louisa Harding Yarns Kimono Angora Pure in 4, a pretty raspberry color. Don’t knock this combo until you try it. The Red Heart acrylic adds bulk and durability, while the Kimono is beautifully soft but would not hold up well as a slipper by itself. Together they make a sturdy, warm, house shoe that should fluff up nicely with wear. I used some fluffy red scrap yarn for the edging, no recollection of what it’s called. I also upped the hook size to an I/5.50 mm, but I am a tight crocheter. I’m a fan of kitsch, and found these plastic heart buttons for 78¢ at Wal-Mart. 78¢!!! I am not kidding.

If you don’t want to slide around, decorate the bottoms with some puffy fabric paint and let dry.

These have the added bonus of being easy to finish in a day or two. Very cute for gifting!