Special Olympics Scarves

Special Olympics Scarves

Ok, seems like I promised, once upon a time, that I would post the patterns for the scarves I knit for the Special Olympics Scarf Project.  Turns out that you can get three scarves from the 2 skeins of yarn required.  One must be turquoise and one blue, so that each scarf has both colors.  Well, they were each fun in their own way.  The top one was a beginner sampler scarf.  Each block uses some combination of knits and purls, with the 7th block throwing in a yarn over and knit two together.  The bottom scarf was an experiment with a stitch from the 2011 Vogue Stitch a Day calendar.  And the middle scarf was an attempt to use up every last bit of that Red Heart yarn so I wouldn’t have any left over!  I know, I’m a yarn snob!  But Red Heart is really not my favorite yarn to knit with, what can I say?  All three were finished in time to send off to the CT Special Olympics division.

Starting with the bottom scarf and moving up, here are the patterns I used.

Bottom Scarf:

Using size US8 needles and the required blue yarn, cast on 28 stitches.  The stitch used is the Meandering Eyelet Vine from the 2011 Vogue Stitch a Day calendar.  In order to not infringe on any copyrights, I’ll leave it at that.  Follow stitch pattern for 30 inches.  Change to turquoise yarn and follow stitch pattern for another 30 inches.  Bind off.  I like this pattern because it reminded me of ski slopes, and since this is for the Winter Special Olympics, it seemed appropriate.

Middle Scarf:

Using size US10 needles and both colors held together, cast on 14 stitches.  Knit in garter stitch for 20 inches.  Change to 2 turquoise strands held together and knit for 20 inches.  Change back to one strand of each color held together and knit for another 20 inches.  The reason for the middle section of solid color is that this was the third scarf I knit and there was quite a bit more turquoise yarn than blue yarn.  Quality control at Red Heart must have been on vacation, even after knitting this scarf, I still had turquoise yarn left over!

Top Scarf:

This pattern I decided to write as a beginner sampler to teach to new knitting students.  There are 8 blocks, the color changes with each block between the blue and turquoise, and they can be knit in any order.  The order listed is the order in which I knit them.
Using size US8 needles, CO 26 stitches.
Block 1: Garter stitch for 6 inches in blue.
Block 2: Stockinette stitch for 6 inches in turquoise.
Block 3: Seed stitch for 6 inches in blue.
Block 4: Stockinette stitch for 5 rows, Reverse Stockinette stitch for 5 rows in turquoise. Repeat til block measures 6 inches.
Block 5: Stockinette stitch for 4 rows, Seed stitch for 2 rows in blue. Repeat til block measures 6 inches.
Block 6: Row 1 – Knit in turquoise, Row 2 – Knit 3, Purl 1, Knit 4, Purl 1, Knit 4, Purl 1, Knit 4, Purl 1, Knit 4, Purl 1, Knit 2. Repeat rows 1 and 2 til block measures 6 inches.
Block 7: Row 1 – Knit in blue, Row 2 – Purl, Row 3 – Knit 2, yo, k2tog, (Knit 3, yo, k2tog) 5 times, knit 2. Repeat rows til block measures 6 inches.
Block 8: Row 1 – Knit 2, Purl 2 to end in turquoise, Row 2- Purl 2, Knit 2 til block measure 6 inches.
Finished scarf is approximately 6 inches by 56 inches.

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Ten on Tuesday – Cocktails

Well, this week’s Ten on Tuesday couldn’t be more fun!  Cocktails!  When I think of cocktails, I think of summer, and when I think of summer, I get happy!  I love summer, and having a nice refreshing cocktail on the deck after a long day, well, you just can’t beat it.  Oh, wait, yeah you can.  Having a cocktail on the deck while looking out to sea, that would be the best!  And summer isn’t too far off, is it?  I’m in NC this week, yesterday was a balmy 75 degrees, today, more like the 50s, but summer has to be around the corner!

If summer won’t come to me, I’ll have to go to summer.  Here’s my favorite cocktails, in no particular order.

1.  John Daly – Sweet tea Vodka (preferably Firefly) and lemonade

2.  Margarita, on the rocks, with salt

3.  Pusser’s Pain Killer

4.  Mango Daiquiri

5.  Tequila Sunset

6.  Hurricane

7.  Whatever the rum punch thing was I had in the Bahamas last summer!

8.  Vodka tonic

9.  Mimosa

10.  Hot Toddy, but only when I’m sick

Yeah, now I’m thirsty.  It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!  Cheers!

Ten on Tuesday – Blogs

Alright, I’m almost missing this Tuesday, but it’s been on my mind all day.  Seems to be a trend!  Today’s request, 10 Non-knitting Blogs.  Now, since I’m new to the blogosphere, I don’t do a ton of blog reading, but those that I do read tend towards the knitting, cooking, and humorous side.  Since I have to refrain from the knitting, here are my favorite foodie and funny blogs.  Enjoy!

1.  Shooting the Breeze – Basically email correspondence between two friends on the mundane, but funny bits of life.  And yes, friends of mine.

2.  Fix Me a Snack – A mom who is trying to get her kids to eat better, successfully!

3.  Martha Stewart’s Blog – I need my Martha!

4.  PoMo GoLightly – Another blog from a friend, has some knitting, but more insightful thoughts, ideas, and really cool pictures.

5.  LA Weekly Food Blog – I know I’m stuck on blog’s of friends, but this one is really good.  Jenn has some unique ideas and perspectives on food.  And some killer recipes on occasion!

6.  Wet the Buns – Again, humorous ramblings from a friend living in LA.

7.  Jane4Girls – How to feed a family on $800 a year.  I only wish I could do this!

8.  100 Days of Real Food – Just what it says.  Take the pledge.

9.  A Year of Slow Cooking – Love my slow cooker.  This is an excellent resource for new recipes.

10.  Wicked Cool Deals – What can I say, I love a bargain!

These are all fun blogs, but I’m looking forward to reading other people’s lists.  I need to find a photography blog to get me going with my new camera!

 

I love the Grammys

I’m not much for award shows, for the most part I either don’t agree with who wins or I have no clue who the nominees are.  That being said, I look forward to the Grammys.  Not for the awards, but for the musical perfomances.  So, last night I DVRed the Grammys (love the DVR!) so that I could watch all the performances without interruptions.  Thus far, I’ve enjoyed some great music, found a new appreciation for a tween sensation, and a new band or two that I need to check out.

I’m not a Justin Bieber fan, couldn’t even tell you a single song the kid sings, but the boy has stage presence!  You can’t deny the fact that the kid is an entertainer.  While his music isn’t my taste, I could probably watch him perform for quite some time.

And the jam sessions!  Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers, and Dylan?  Couldn’t understand a word Dylan said, but the music was outstanding!  I’ve been a Mumford fan for some time now.  I think I would do things I would regret in order to see them live!  Dylan, I’ve seen live, in Charlotte, with Paul Simon.  Avett Brothers, gonna have to break down and buy their CD.  Probably today.  While my daughter is at school.  Think it’ll be on sale?

Also might pick up the Muse CD.  I know, my musical taste is all over the page, but they are an awesome band!  I’ve already got some of their songs downloaded, should probably just download the rest of the album.

Historical pairings of artists?  Where else but the Grammys?  Cee Lo and Gweneth?  With the Muppets?  Who would’ve thought?  Norah, John, and Keith?  That one was amazing!  Think I can find their rendition on iTunes?   If not, might have to settle for another Norah album and a first Keith Urban album.  John Mayer, I think I’ve got him covered!

And congratulations to Arcade Fire for the Album of the Year Grammy.  I’ve never heard of them, but find that I’m going to have to check them out!  Hope you enjoyed the Grammys for whatever reason you may have watched.  And if you didn’t watch, DVR it next year and catch all the live music!  And go listen to some music!  Like a good book, it can truly take your mood wherever you need it to go.  Want to be somewhere warm and tropical, try some Jimmy Buffett.  Need to get your groove on, Katy Perry.  Want to get something accomplished, well, my personal choice is Mumford and Sons!

Ten on Tuesday – Oscar Winners

This week’s Ten on Tuesday asked us for our 10 Favorite Oscar Winning Movies.  I’m sticking with Best Picture.  Since my Oscar winning movie knowledge is not what it should be, I had to look up the winners.  So, my list consists of all best picture winners and the year they won.  Generally, I shun the Oscar nominees, in most cases, I don’t agree with the Oscar nominators.  Or, at least, that’s what I thought.  There’s some great movies that have won for Best Picture! Who knew?!?  And some even better ones that didn’t win, The Wizard of Oz, the best movie ever, was up against Gone with the Wind in 1939.  In no particular order or preference:

1.  Gone With the Wind (1939)

2.  Casablanca (1943)

3.  The Sound of Music (1965)

4.  Schindler’s List (1993)

5.  Forrest Gump (1994)

6.  Shakespeare in Love (1998)

7.  Chicago (2002)

8.  The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

9.  Gladiator (2000)

10.  The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Now, get out there and watch some Oscar winners, I’m going to!

Homemade yogurt

I haven’t gotten on my soapbox over here about the Yoplait Kids Yogurt, you know, the one with 25% less sugar?  It now comes in a convenient pack of 50% LESS yogurt, but, oh yeah, you get to pay the same as you were before.  Before, you got 6 pots with 4 oz each, that’s 24 oz of yogurt.  Now, with the newly redesigned version, you get 4 pots with 3 oz each, a total of a whopping 12 oz.  And at my local grocery store, it still costs $2.99, which I thought was too much for the 24 oz, and really can’t stomach now that there are only 12 ounces.  I do despise being hoodwinked.  Therefore, I asked around and found out you can make your own yogurt at home.  In a slow cooker, no less!

So, while my kids are going to have to learn to like homemade yogurt, I’m thrilled.  I don’t eat yogurt on a regular basis. The good stuff has too much sugar, fat, and calories.  The “light” stuff tastes like crap with all the aspartame.  I never understood why they couldn’t just put less sugar in the “light” version.  Plus, I grew up on frozen yogurt from the health food store.  It was wonderful!  Tangy, like yogurt is supposed to be.  I’ve searched many a health food store since then and no one does it anymore.  So when I do eat yogurt, it’s been Greek-style with no sweetener.

This brings me to my experiment.  A friend recommended a crockpot yogurt recipe that she uses.  You can find it here. So, with a snow day at home yesterday and all the ingredients conveniently in the fridge, I set about making some yogurt.  The pictures are in the gallery above.  At first, it’s just milk in a crockpot.  But then, overnight, the magic happens.  I could hardly wait to take the towel off the crockpot this morning to see what we had made.  It had thicken, not to the point of Greek yogurt, but more like a “light” yogurt consistency.  I’m currently letting some drain through a coffee filter to see if I can thicken it up.

The kids weren’t thrilled with the outcome.  But then again, I gave it to them with no sweetener or flavoring, so I can’t expect too much.  I thought it was very tasty, even without sweetener.  We’ll be experimenting through the week with what works and what doesn’t.  Already I know that vanilla extract does not work.  But we’ll be trying vanilla beans later this week.

As a recipe note, I did use the powdered milk.  I added it right before I turned the crockpot off.  The powdered milk that my grocery store carried was sold in packets, 5 packets to a box.  Each packet contains about 1 cup of powdered milk.  I added 1 packet.

Ten on Tuesday – Bedside Table

My bedside table

As I sit here listening to the sleet hit the window, yes, we’re getting more of this stuff, I realize I never posted my list yesterday.  I’m a day late and a dollar short on this one, but I’m determined to keep it up.  I’m blaming all this crazy snow.  So without further ado 10 Things On My Nightstand/Bedside Table:

1.  Stained glass lamp made by my grandfather.  I’ve always had a thing for dolphins, wanted to be a marine biologist, so my grandfather designed this lamp just for me.  The red eyes used to freak me out, but I’ve grown used to them over the years.  I have a smaller version on my desk that was given to me after he died.  Never knew he made the smaller one, must have been the prototype.

2.  Seams to Me by Anna Marie Horner.  I’ve been looking for some new inspiration.

3.  Amy Butler’s In Stitches.  Same story, looking for inspiration, but with AB, I find her fabric as inspiring as her patterns.  I’m a sucker for an Amy Butler print!

4.  Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.  Just started this last night.  I’m ahead on my book club reading so thought I would pick this up before the next book club book.  Sometimes you just need a little guilty pleasure.  If it’s any good, I’ll be done in a couple of days, and that’s only reading before I fall asleep.

5.  Phone

6.  Electric blanket controller.  I do believe this has saved our marriage.  It’s a queen size blanket with separate controls.  I turn it on when I come upstairs so I can get into a nice warm bed on these cold winter days!

7.  Reading glasses.  Yep, had to finally breakdown and get them, but I must say, they really do help.

8.  Old Cooking Light magazines.  I’ve been working on my magazine collection, as in, purging.  After I flip through the Cooking Lights and pull out any recipes I may want to keep, I’ll box these up and send to my parents who are also trying to eat healthier.

9.  Sudoku, it’s addictive.

10.  Dashing Diva Cuticle Nectar.  This was on my list of 10 favorite health and beauty items.  It’s awesome!  I just forget to use it, that’s why it’s now located between the lamp and electric blanket controller.  Hopefully, I can’t miss it!

That about wraps up the Ten on Tuesday list this Wednesday.  I’ll admit, deciding to add the picture inspired me to clean off the bedside table.  This, of course, is the after.  You don’t want to know what was on there before!  Enjoy your snow day if you have one and stay warm!

Snow day craft

Colored Ice

By my count, it’s a whopping 18 degrees outside.  Perfect for a Snow Day craft!  The kids are home, probably for a day or two from what I’m hearing from the weatherman.  While they are watching The Big Aquarium, thanks to the public library, I’ll tell you about our craft for the day.

I wish I could remember where I read about this fun-sounding craft.  Probably Family Fun if I had to guess, but I really can’t remember.  I read a lot of magazines and websites, so it’s no telling where I first read about it!  It’s a suncatcher for the winter time, made out of ice and food coloring.  Found it!  It is from Family Fun with a link here. But here’s how we’re doing it.

Here’s what you do:

  • Fill some ice cubes about 1/2 way or so with water.  I varied how much I filled them to see what difference it would make in the final product.
  • Next, put one drop of food coloring in each ice cube well.  You may need to stir it around with a toothpick to make sure it mixes well.  Freeze.  We’re doing this on our front porch since it’s so cold!
  • When the ice cubes are all frozen, take them out of the trays and put in a round cake pan.  Any size will work, as will any shape for a variety of suncatchers.
  • Fill the cake pan about 1/2 way with cold water and freeze.  Some of the colors may melt and run with the addition of the cold water, but that’s what’s going to make it so pretty!
  • If you want to hang these from a tree, you will want to put a small glass or something about an inch from the top to leave a hole through which you can tie a string.  If you want to just put them out in the pretty white snow, you won’t need to worry about the hole!  I’m thinking about setting ours up in the snow or letting the kids build a snow fort and using them as “stained glass windows”.

I can hardly wait for the ice cubes to freeze.  I’ll post a picture tomorrow to let you know how they came out!  Happy snow day!

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