Monday, January 31, 2011

Crocheted Potholder

A friend of mine showed me her potholders like this, a few years ago.  I've been intent on trying to make them ever since.  I finally found out how to make them with enough searching. Bev, over at Bev's Country Cottage shows how to make these simple yet effective potholders.  

It's actually quite simple to make as it only requires single crochet throughout the project.  The type of yarn to use is debatable.  Some say that wool or cotton is the only way to go, while others say that acrylic is perfectly fine.  From the online debates I'm hearing, I'm going to make the conclusion that wool or cotton is the safest bet, especially if you're going to give these as gifts.  However, acrylic will work perfectly fine if you intend to use for temperatures that aren't too high (less than 400 deg, for instance).  Anything higher than that, will melt the acrylic and potentially cause burns.  To be on the safe side, use cotton or wool.  By the way, this is a perfect way to use up remnants of cotton yarn. 

Okay, so here's how I did it.

ch 35
Start next row by single crochets on the bottom side of the ch  by turning the piece clockwise and continuing to sc til the first ch.
Turn the piece clockwise again and crochet another row of single crochets onto the other side of the first row.  
Continue to do single crochets around and around (do not increase stitches). 

As your potholder grows, you'll notice that the first row of 35 chains is actually a diagonal of the backside of the potholder.  The potholder will grow and basically turn onto itself until the two sides of the potholder will meet together to form the front side diagonal of the potholder, and can be crocheted closed together with another row of single crochets.  I just hold the two edges together and and single crochet thru both edges (together) to close and finish the potholder.

These thick potholders work great, are quite convenient, and can be thrown in the wash when it gets too icky. :) Plus their quick and easy to crochet.  Once you're done, you can hide any excess string inside the potholder.  


Friday, January 21, 2011

Elmer's Crocheted Wrap

I was trying out a new crochet stitch last week that looks like raised rows. I finished a rectangle of 15" x 5" then joined it together to form this wrap that now fits my garden gnome, Elmer.   Doesn't he look warm? :)  This wrap can be easily adjusted to fit other dolls, or even for an adult person.

Okay, so here's what I did.

Ch 48 (or whatever size you want to make)
Turn  and hdc to the back loop only in 2nd ch from hook to the end of row.
Ch 2 and hdc to the back loop only til end of row.  Repeat til rectangle reaches 5" (or however size you want).
Lastly, join the short edge of one side to the end of the long edge of the other side using a sc.  See the diagram below.  The red lines are edges I mention.  

So that's it. This wrap is easily adjustable.  I'm thinking of making one for me for camping because it looks so warm on Elmer.  To catch Elmer's adventures, visit

Monday, January 17, 2011

Spicy Garlicy Vinegar

I use vinegar a good amount at home.  Whether it's for dipping filipino lumpia, marinating meat, or dipping longanisa or bacon in.  I know, I'm a bit strange (blame my sister for introducing me to the whole bacon thing).  Here's a recipe I use to give the vinegar a nice spicy and garlicy taste.  First off, you can use pretty much whatever hot peppers you want to use, and a bonus, you're pretty much pickling the pepper, so if you want to eat it, you can do that too.  In this recipe, I use jalapeños.

What you need:
- Clean Jar
- Jalapeños(or other spicy pepper.  Labuyo peppers are great for this if you can find them).
- White Vinegar
- Garlic cloves

1.  First, start with a clean jar.  Sanitize it with boiling water is best.  
2.  Peel and halve the garlic cloves and throw them in the jar.  The amount of garlic to put in all depends on you. For starters, I'd put in enough garlic to cover the bottom of the jar (or maybe a bit more)

3.  Slice up the jalapeños, tossing the top branchy part and throw them in the jar as well.  The amount of jalapeños will also depend entirely on you.  For starters, try about 3-4 jalapeños.
4.  Fill the jar with white vinegar to about half inch from the top. 

5.  Close up the jar and put it in the fridge.  It'll be ready in a month or so.  Check on it every now and then, and enjoy.

On another note:  About a month ago, I made some jalapeno poppers.  It seemed like a waste to just toss the insides of the jalapeños, especially since that contains most of the heat.  So, I decided to experiment and put those insides in a jar and add vinegar.  It might not look pretty, but it sure is tasty.  You can always remove the jalapeño guts then add some garlic and jalapeño slices in for looks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beanies Update #6 - I did it! Goal Met!

I'm happy to announce that I managed to do the last two hats needed to meet my goal of 10 to be donated to headhuggers.  Yay!  Here are the latest two hats.

1. Purple and Black Kniffty Knitter hat using a purple and a black homespun yarn with the green knifty knitter loom.

2.  Black crocheted hat using a black wool-ease yarn.

I think I'll try to make another before giving them all a good wash and sending them on their way.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.  10 of 10 beanies!

More meaningful posts coming soon. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beanies Update #5

Sorry about missing last week's update, we spent the day travelling.  I decided to do last week and this week's update together.  So that's what you'll see here.  Over the past two weeks I was able to make a total of 4 hats.  1 more loom knit hat, and 3 crocheted hats.  I'm also psyched to say that my friend and Rad Linc Crafts reader also knitted hats for the Head Huggers organization. Thanks LadyAero!

First, here are the 7 hats that LadyAero made for Head Huggers.

Pictured are three different styles - A few comfy stockinette stitch roll brim ones, some folded brim with thin cables, and one that is unfolded with thin cables.  Great job on the hats, LadyAero.

For my update, my first hat was another loom knit hat using the green loom with red simply soft caron yarn (holding two at the same time). 

After that hat, I got a bit more adventurous and tried a few crocheted patterns.  The first one I tried was an easy slouch hat found here:  I made a small change in the pattern. For row 14, I did the following instead:
Ch 3, 1 dc in next 2 spaces, *dc decrease in next 2 stitches, 1 dc in next 3 spaces*, continue from * to * ending with sl st in turning chain.
Here are a few pictures of it:

I also made a change in this pattern.  Instead of doing rows 6-14, I only did 6-10, then added a row of single crochets to finish it off.

Here are the pictures of those: 
 This is made of a Bernat softee chunky yarn with the color named denim.

This one was an unknown yarn I had in my bin.  I believe it's an acrylic yarn.

I met up with another friend of mine earlier today, she's the one with which I started this pledge.  Anyway, we caught up and shared our progress with each other.  She's already done with 11 hats.  So proud of her for hitting her goal of 10 hats.  Next time we meet (before we send off the hats), I'll take pictures of her hats so I can share them with all of you too. As for me, these 4 hats makes me at 8 of 10.  Woohoo.  3 more week to go and it looks like I'm gonna make my goal.