Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hygge Throw

My very lovely friend PerfectlyBohemian on Lettuce Craft, sent me 10 skeins of beautiful Sugar Bush Canoe yarn in this pretty lilac purple color.   She had rescued the yarn from a tent sale, but didn't know what to make with it, so sent it to me.  10 skeins was a lot, more than I needed to make a sweater or hat, but not quite enough to make an afghan.  After doing some digging around online I found an awesome throw pattern for free, called the [Hygge Holiday Throw]( that was just about perfect for the amount of purple I had.  I found few more balls in a contrasting mulberry color on Zulily, and set to work.

It's about 36" wide with the added border, and about 50" long.  (I'm guessing.  My dining table that it's laying on is 3'x5'). 

When I got to the end of the pattern, it called for a single border of mulberry, but I had 1.5 skeins of purple, and 1.75 of mulberry left, so I decided to add to the border in an effort to use up as much of the yarn as possible.  After the initial border, I did a second round of single crochet in mulberry, then a round of double crochet in purple, and finally 2 more rows of single crochet in mulberry.  I had *just* enough mulberry for the tassels, but not the ties on the tassels, so I did those with some of the leftover purple for contrast, and love how they look.

Kahlua Brownies

I've been on a crusade to clean out my pantry and use up things that have lingered there for a while.  One of those lingering items was part of a bottle of Kahlua that I bought for a recipe, and never finished.  Since neither my husband nor I have been drinking alcohol lately, it was just going to keep sitting there.  So I decided to bake brownies with it.  Go pull out the bottle of Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur) in the back of your cupboard and make these.  Trust me. The added instant coffee ups the depth of dark chocolate flavor, and helps the Kahlua shine through.  

Kahlua Brownies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp (or 2 packets) instant coffee granules (regular or decaf)
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 or 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.

Beat together the brown sugar and softened butter. Next, add the eggs one at a time fully incorporating before adding the next egg. Add in the instant coffee granules, and the Kahlua and mix to combine. 

Mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips.  Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes till done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Stash Busting Star Blanket

 I have a dear friend who is expecting.  I wanted to work on something for her that would be cheerful and gender neutral, and hopefully work through some yarn in my stash.  I found two skeins of acrylic purchased to make one row each in the 13th Doctor's Scarf, a pretty buttercup yellow and soft soothing turquoise.  I picked up one skein of speckled white yarn to tie them together.  It had lots of colors in it, but yellow and turquoise showed up a lot, with some blue, green, pink, and purple.

The pattern is the 6 Day Star Blanket from Betty McKnit.  I spent more like 3 weeks working on it, off and on as I felt like it.  The pattern is bands of granny and bands of double crochet, with rows of single crochet between them.  I started with all the granny in yellow, all the double crochet in turquoise, and the single crochet in the white speckled yarn, but towards the end I was running out of yarn.  I didn't want to buy more, only to have more to stash bust, so I made do with what I had, for a slightly unusual final border.

 The final row of granny was subbed in with white, and I used up the last of the turquoise on a third row of double crochet, before finishing off nearly all the yellow with a final row of single crochet along the edge.  I think it makes the blanket pop.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Poppy Moon Pendant on Embellished Sari Silk Ribbon

I sent this off as a surprise to my friend sheepBlue on Lettuce Craft.  Since she received it today, I can share.  I made the focal piece at last year's Adornments Retreat.  The instructor, Candie Cooper, gave su collage sheets with images on them, so I'm not certain where this particular image is from.  The base is wood, which I painted white before layering on the sheer image.  Then I added the brass dragonfly and the flat back Swarovski crystals.  I painted the back a shimmery blue with some Jacquard Lumier paint that was in my stash, and then finished the whole thing with a coat of Diamond Glaze.
The image includes a crescent moon, and a faint face beside it, with a field of poppies in the foreground.  I used some Beadalon wire, and added a green glass and a Vintaj brass bead at the top, before wrapping the wire a few times around the beads.  From the bottom I suspended a Czech glass poppy bead, on a decorative headpin.
The whole piece is strong from some sari silk ribbon that I embellished with some tiny brass disks, seed beads, and a coppery orange thread.  The silk came from Monica of Mariposa Originals, whom I met at last year's retreat.  She kindly sent some lovely pick-me-up packages to jewelry making friends during the pandemic.  The brass disks came from the ever-awesome pottermouth on Lettuce Craft.  
I'm so glad that a piece I started nearly a year ago is now complete!  I love how it turned out, and think that the real inspiration to finish it, was imagining it for sheepBlue specifically, and pushing it more towards her individual style.  I love being inspired by my crafty friends!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Neverending Klaziena Shawl

This project was a long time coming.  I started it on Christmas Eve, as a gift to myself, what with the news of Craftster closing and whatnot.  The pattern is called the Klaziena Shawl, by Kirsten Bishop, and it's free.  One of the nice things about the pattern is that it comes with options for making it as a triangle, or a rectangle shawl.
The yarn is Scheepjes Whirl in the color Green Tea Tipple.  I finished the last row with about 20" of yarn to spare!  I love when that happens.  While I am very happy with how it came out overall, it was a bit of a slog.  The repeat is about 12 rows long, and not easy to remember, so you really have to keep an eye on your pattern.  Plus the yarn is so thin and the hook so small (3.5mm) that it just takes forever.  If I were to make it again, I'd try it with a thicker yarn, and larger hook, and do one less repeat of the pattern.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Red & Cream Disappearing 9-Patch Quilt Top

This little quilt top was whipped up for Edel in the Go Bananas Swap.  I found a charm pack in my fabric stash that was a free gift when I bought a quilt kit off Craftsy/Blueprint.  It wasn't quite enough to do a whole top, so I dug through my stash and added a few pieces with the same colors.  I feel like the cream florals and old handwriting prints blend in really well with teh vintage looking fabrics in the the charm pack. 
 I even had enough of the dark red solid to send along to Edel to use as binding.  Heck yeah for stash busting during the pandemic!  And here it is all quilted up by Edel, for her mom. 

Create Prayer Flag

This prayer flag was created for my dear friend Edel, in the Go Bananas Swap on Lettuce Craft.  When I saw the embroidery design on Urban Thread, I knew I wanted to use it for something.  I dug through my stash and couldn't find much in the way of plain fabrics for the background, so I went with a soft tan on on cream floral print that I felt matched the scrollwork in the embroidery.
I did a row of hand stitching along the edge and dush through my charms stash fro the letters for CREATE.  I didn't like the color balance of the charms, so I altered the C and the T with some Vintaj metal patinas, to try to bring in more of the green and turquoise from the embroidery.