Tag Archives: summer

Blueberry Pie Halter

I recently found a half-finished bohemian-looking crocheted halter top lurking in my closet. I started the piece in high school using a pattern from Debbie Stoller’s The Happy Hooker. The book calls it “Blissful,” and it’s a lacy, skimpy, summer top done with a pretty wave stitch and lightweight linen. The pattern  works up much smaller than I intended, but I like the style and it’s simple enough to customize for a better fit. I’m also not sure if the wonky sizing is because of poor directions or my refusal to swatch (ever).

I made this according to the book’s directions for a size small.  I’m petite, but this finished up looking fit for a pre-teen. I added a few extra rows of the wave pattern on the skirt for length and had to alter the bust. I started with slowing down the decreases on the cups, but they were still wayyy too small so I added this shell edging. It adds a good two inches on the sides of each cup, and goes nicely with the skirt’s wave pattern.The original pattern also calls for closing up the back with hook and eyes. Mine was way too small to reach around my whole body, but I don’t mind the apron style and just tied it with a ribbon and called it good.

I recommend picking this book up from the library and giving this top (found on page 158) a go. Try a size bigger than what you usually do and don’t be afraid to play with the pattern. Directions for my super simple shell border are given below.

Variation:

With right side facing, join yarn at bottom left edge of left cup. Make 30 single crochet (or a multiple of six that fits your size) evenly spaced along edge. Chain one. Single crochet in second chain from hook and in next 29 stitches. Chain 2, single crochet in the second chain from the hook, then skip two chains and make 5 double crochets in the next chain. Skip the next two chains and make a single crochet in the next chain. Repeat pattern of *Skip two stitches, 5 DC in next stitch, skip two stitches, 1 single crochet in next stitch* all the way down. You should have 5 shells. Anchor with a few slip stitches along bodice edge. Repeat on outside edge of right cup.

I should have made a shell border on the inside as well, but was in a hurry to finish.

Love!!!

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Happy Daze

One of the most fitting nicknames I have ever received is Stressbunny. Teen angst has plagued me well past my 20th birthday, as have a whole host of neuroses, anxieties, and paranoias. While all that twitchiness is great for the metabolism, it’s hell on the brain. And nothing perks me up when I’m stressballin’ than a few choice tracks! Here’s some favorites that multitask as fabulous moving jams (helloooo end of summer).

This Week’s Playlist click to download

Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus. ahhhh… a nice easy track to get you off your self-pity horse and out into the world.

Cards to Your Heart by Groove Armada. slick juicy electro pop. They’re called Groove Armada, it ain’t gonna be groundbreaking acoustic artistry.

Bodyaches by Sugar & Gold. The album is called Get Wet! see above.

Tell Me Why by M.I.A. get that blood pumpin and pat yourself on the back for knowing one of her newest tracks that ain’t the ginger-bombing Born Free.

Wolfboy by Seabear. Simple and delicious, like a perfect vanilla cupcake.

If you listened to these tracks in succession, you should now be in full-on jump-on-the-bed-in-your-skivvies mode. Good for you.

LOVE!

Experience the Tradition: How to Make Sweet Tea

Real Sweet Tea (pronounced thayyy) is an absolute lifestyle in the south. Whether served straight up, spiked with bourbon, or with a little mint or lemon, sweet tea is as much a part of summer as charred meat and bikinis.

Meaning that my first summer in Boulder was a bit of a shock. Boulderites don’t generally like their beverages caffeinated and tooth-crackingly sweet. Now I get that Kombucha is great for you, but it just ain’t the same. The solution? Make your own! It’s ridiculously easy, much cheaper, and nothing makes you feel like a retro southern hostess quite like offering the men in your life a tall glass of Sweet Tea.

You need:

white sugar, roughly a cup. If this is your first time be gentle and start with a half-cup. Just remember that you’re making at least a gallon, and that a whole cup of bad bad white sugar works out to around 30 calories per glass.

3 family size tea bags, I recommend Luzianne iced tea blend.

a big glass picnic jug, I found mine in the picnic section of the grocery store. Most stores carry these in summer, or you can find one at Goodwill. You could brew it in a pot but where’s the fun in that?

Pour your sugar into the jug. This is the most important part. If you add it later, you don’t get proper caramelization. Wrap the strings of the tea bags around a fork, and hang the fork over the outside edge of the jar. The bags should now dangle nicely, keeping the paper tags out of your tea. Bring a soup pot of water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and into the jar. See that insta-melt of the sugar? That right there is the difference between Sweet Tea and sweetened iced tea. Minimal stirring, and the sweetness should have a smooth mellow edge bordering on caramel. Let steep for about 5 minutes, then pop in the fridge. I always forget to remove the tea bags, but I like mine strong. Play around with it.

When cool, serve in a tall glass with ice and a lemon wedge. Sip on your porch while bitching about the neighbors.

If you’re using a glass jar with a plastic lid, heads up transporting hot tea. Heat makes things expand. Lifting by lid while hot = serious burns.

note: “Experience the Tradition” shamelessly pulled from the Luzianne homepage.