Showing posts with label autumn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label autumn. Show all posts

Recipe: Homemade Granola

Easy to make granola recipe with oats, coconut, almonds, flax seed, honey and agave nectarI love granola. I love the bars. I love the cereal. I don't love all the chemicals, preservatives and fat.

I never even thought about making it myself until my step-sister kindly shared her recipe with me. In less than an hour you can whip up a big batch and only about 10 minutes of that is hands-on time. That's my kind of cooking!

I modified her recipe slightly, eliminating the dried fruit (I just don't like it in my granola) and substituting a couple local, southwestern ingredients. Enjoy!

Dry Ingredients

  • 5 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flax seed
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cinamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and thoroughly stir them together. Divide the mixture and pour it into two 9 x 13 cake pas.

Bake for 20 minutes. Stir the granola. Bake an additional 20 minutes.


Stir a few times while it cools completely then store granola in an airtight container. Yummy!

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Knitsy Magazine Feature

Find The Chilly Dog's "Boho Crochet Backpack" pattern in Issue 23 of Knitsy Magazine!

A few months ago I was contacted by the editor of Knitsy magazine about the opportunity to have one of my patterns featured in an issue. Would I like to be featured? Heck, yeah!

You'll find my crochet backpack pattern in Issue 23 on page 19. It's available for free in the App Store or you can view it on your computer at the My Craft Academy Website.

In addition to my pattern, the "Back to School" issue is filled with other fun knit and crochet patterns, interesting interviews, tips and information about exciting fiber arts products.

Happy reading!

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Knitting Pattern: Infinity Necklace

Knitting Pattern: Infinity Scarf Necklace - Use colorful sock weight yarn to create an unconventional, fun and funky fashion accessory I love swapping with other artists! It's kind of a grown-up excuse to have a pen pal and meet new people from around the world. That's why I was so excited when Sharyn, from Kookaburra Yarns in Australia, agreed to a swap.

I sent her a handmade knitting needle case and yarn bag (here are the pictures from my Facebook Page) and she sent me two of the most beautiful, hand-dyed yarns I have ever worked with.

I knew exactly what I was going to make before my yarn even arrived. Although I had some trouble deciding what I should call my design. It's knit and worn around your neck, but it's not really wide enough to be considered a scarf or even a cowl. I finally settled on naming it an infinity necklace.

The pattern is a little unconventional but a lot of fun!

Materials




Directions


This is a short and easy pattern, although it does take a little time since the yarn is so fine.

Gauge 25 sts  and 35 rows (stockinette stitch) = 4 inches


I love to knit with hand-dyed KookaburraYarns on Etsy!co 800 - That's not a typo. Cast on eight hundred stitches.

Rnd 1 (WS): K in each stitch around.

Repeat Rnd 1 until piece measures 1 1/4 inches from cast on edge (approx 11 rounds).

Bind off


You'll find that your work will naturally roll to create what looks like a very long (approximately 128 inches) loop of cord.

Simply wrap it around your neck 4-5 times depending on the length you prefer to wear your necklace. It's a bright and colorful way to express yourself and add some fun to your wardrobe!

Knitting Pattern: Infinity Scarf Necklace - Use colorful sock weight yarn to create an unconventional, fun and funky fashion accessory

Happily, since I got a 100 g skein of yarn from Sharyn, I had enough yarn to knit a lovely pair of matching socks, too. I just love these colors. Thank you Kookaburra Yarns! Now I just need to decide what I'll be making with the blue and purple skein I received.

Made these socks with yarn from Kookaburra Yarns on Etsy. I just love the colors!


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Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden with a repurposed glass maple syrup bottle and an Italian Stone Pine treeDuring the holidays I received two gifts that I knew would be great for creating a new fairy garden. The first was a miniature Italian Stone Pine tree (which I may have over-watered a bit because I have a bad habit of thinking water = love with plants). The second was a bottle of maple syrup. Even though I received these gifts from different people, they seemed like a perfect pairing for an Alpine themed fairy garden.

I've been scouting my yard for the perfect spot to create my miniature landscape and finally settled on a large clay pot near our fire pit.

Materials



Directions


I was lucky enough to get a maple leaf bottle filled with syrup and it was delicious! If you can't find syrup in a bottle like this at the market, you can get the glass bottles on Amazon (one of my affiliates) from the link above.

Tutorial: painted glass maple syrup bottle Start with a clean, dry bottle and fill it with a bit of acrylic paint in your favorite color. I used a red-orange color. Put the lid on the bottle then swirl the paint around until the inside is covered. It's a little tricky because of all the jagged edges on the leaf. You can add more paint if necessary.
Remove the lid and turn the bottle upside down onto a protected work surface like a paper plate. Let all of the excess paint drain from the bottle.
Tutorial: painted glass maple syrup bottle Let the paint dry completely. This is the step I always want to rush, but it's really important that the paint is thoroughly dry before you put the lid back on so I'll say it again.

Let the paint dry completely!

Once the paint is dry you can put the lid back on.
Sometimes you can find these fairy wish doors in the beads and jewelry making section at the craft store. I like them because the doors actually open up.
They are meant to be used as necklaces so there is a loop at the top that you may want to remove with a pair of wire cutters.
Once the loop is removed...
...add a spot of silicon adhesive to the back of the door.
Tutorial: Create a fairy house with a painted maple syrup bottle Then affix the door to your painted bottle. Make sure to leave space between the bottom of the door and the bottom of the bottle because you will want to submerge a little of the bottle when you create your garden.

Let the bottle lay on it's side until the glue is dry or the door will slide off the glass.


Once the silicon is dry, you can head outside to set-up your garden. I used the miniature Italian Stone Pine that was given to me, bought a Fine Gold Leaf Sedum and transplanted some Angel's hair from another one of my gardens. Of course you can use other varieties of plants in your garden. I made a bark path in front of the fairy house and added a medium sized rock from the yard as an accent.


Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden with a repurposed glass maple syrup bottle and an Italian Stone Pine tree

Welcome woodland fairies! In my next post we'll head to the seashore and I'll show you how to make a miniature beach themed garden.



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Wildflowers Knit Infinity Scarf Pattern

Quick and Easy Knit Pattern: Wildflower Infinity Scarf - It's reversible and can be worn three ways; as a scarf, cowl or hoodMy December giveaway was the most popular one I have done so far. I'm sure part of it is because my readership is growing. However, part is due to the fact that the infinity scarf I gave away is a stunning and versatile accessory. I actually have a similar one in my own wardrobe and I love to wear it when the temperatures drop because it's soft and cozy and it matches a lot of my shirts and sweaters.

You may not know to look at it, but this is an extremely easy scarf to knit. This pattern is perfect for beginner knitters or those of us who just need to keep our hands busy while we're watching TV.

The stitch pattern is a variation of ribbing. The beautiful colorwork (reds, golds, greens, and purples) is all thanks to the yarn, Lion Brand Amazing yarn in Wildflowers.

Finished measurements: 8 1/2 inches wide x 50 inches long
Gauge: 17 sts or 15 rows = 4 inches
Care Instructions: hand wash in cool water, lay flat to dry

Materials



Directions


Don't blink, this is going to be the shortest knitting pattern you have ever seen.

Modified reversible knit ribbing pattern co 35

All Rows: *k2, p2* across to last three stitches, k2, p1.

Continue working rows until about 4 feet of yarn remains.

Bind off. Use the tail of the yarn and a plastic yarn needle to attach the cast on edge to the bound off edge, making sure that the scarf is not twisted.

I told you the pattern was short and easy.

The nice thing about a long infinity scarf, like this one, is that it can be worn in different ways. Of course, you can just drape it around your neck, like the photo at the top of this post.

You can wrap it around your neck twice and wear it like a cozy cowl.


Wildflowers Knit Infinity Scarf Pattern: Three ways to wear an infiniy scarf


Or, wrap it once around your neck and once around your head to keep your ears warm and wear it like a hood.

Wildflowers Knit Infinity Scarf Pattern: Three ways to wear an infiniy scarf

Free Knitting Pattern: Easy knit infinity scarf that can be worn 3 ways

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Kitchner Stitch Grafting and a Free Knit Sock Pattern

Free Knit Pattern: Show your team spirit with a pair of slippers in your favorite professional, college or high school sports team's colors | The Chilly DogBefore I knit my first pair of socks, I was nervous about two things. First, the patterns seemed confusing because there were so many different parts for such a small article of clothing. If you are unclear about how a sock is knit, check out my last post about the anatomy of a knit sock. You'll find that they aren't as complicated as you may think.

My other issue was grafting the toe of the sock. I had been taught to bind off all my knit edges, so I thought using the Kitchner stitch to graft unfinished edges together would be difficult. Let me show you the process.

You should have the same number of stitches divided evenly across two needles. Hold the needles parallel so that your last knit stitch is on the back needle. You will be using the tail  of your last stitch, threaded through a plastic yarn needle, to graft from right to left.

Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 1: Bring the needle through the first front stitch as if to purl and pull the yarn through.
Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 2: Bring the needle through the first back stitch as if to knit and pull the yarn through.
Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 3: Bring the needle through the first front stitch as if to knit. Pull the yarn through and drop the stitch off the knitting needle.
Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 4: Bring the needle through the next front stitch as if to purl and pull the yarn through.
Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 5: Bring the needle through the first back stitch as if to purl. Pull the yarn through and drop the stitch off the knitting needle.
Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 6: Bring the needle through the next back stitch as if to knit and pull the yarn through.

Repeat Step 3-6 until one stitch remains on each needle.
Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 7: Bring the needle through the last front stitch as if to knit. Pull the yarn through and drop the stitch off the knitting needle.
Knitting Tips: How to use the Kitchner stitch to graft the toe of a sock | The Chilly Dog Step 8: Bring the needle through the last back stitch as if to purl. Pull the yarn through and drop the stitch off the knitting needle.
Once you understand the parts of a knit sock and how to graft there's nothing to stop you from showing your team spirit with my Team Spirit Slipper Sock Pattern for him.

Go, Broncos!




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The Anatomy of a Hand Knit Sock and A Free Pattern

Free Printable PDF Pattern: Sweet Hearts Slipper Socks for her | The Chilly DogI had been knitting for many years before I made my first pair of socks. I was always intimidated by the patterns because you knit some sections in rounds, some in rows and it seemed like there were a lot of different parts for such a small item of clothing.

If you are new to knitting socks, let me explain each part because once you understand the basic anatomy, you'll find socks are fun to make and cozy to wear.




Knit Sock Anatomy: An explanation of the different parts of a hand knit sock | The Chilly Dog


Ankle - In western countries, socks are usually knit from the leg or ankle down to the toe. This section is worked in the round, typically with 4-5 double pointed needles (dpn) This section is usually worked in a ribbing pattern to provide some elasticity.

Heel (or Heel Flap) - After the leg or ankle section of the sock is completed, half of your stitches are placed on a holder or spare needle to be worked later and half become the heel of the sock. This section is worked back and forth in rows, usually in a combination of knit and slipped stitches to create a denser fabric.

Turn Heel - This section can be a little tricky the first time you knit a sock. You are still working in rows, but not all the way to the end of the needle as you may be used to. There is also a significant amount of decreasing (ssk and p2tog) as this small section is shaped.

Gusset - The gusset is where you begin working in the round again. You will work across the turn heel, pick up stitches along one side of the heel flap, work the stitches you had placed on a holder and finally pick up stitches along the other side of the heel flap. This is done by placing the stitches onto three dpn. As you work this section, you decrease (k2tog and ssk) some of the stitches that were picked up along the sides of the heel to create a diagonal line on each side of the sock. The section is complete when you have the same number of stitches you originally cast on left on your needles.

Foot - This section is the easiest part of the sock because you just work in rounds without any decreasing.

Toe - Stitches are evenly decreased along each side of the sock. The final stitches are not bound off like in most knit projects. Instead, the final stitches are grafted together using the Kitchner stitch (which I will demonstrate in my next post.)

Now, if you are ready to get out your knitting needles and give them a try, here's my Sweet Hearts Slipper Socks Pattern for the socks pictured in this post.


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His and Hers Slipper Sock Patterns

Stay cozy this winter with free his and hers patterns for knit slipper socks | The Chilly DogWhen the temperatures drop, you'll likely find me padding around the house in a pair of hand knit, slipper socks. I have about five pairs of these in a variety of colors. I typically make them with whatever bits of worsted weight yarn happens to be in my stash.

I enjoy making these chunky socks because it's a relatively quick project that I can finish in a couple evenings. And, since the holidays are just around the corner, you may want to consider that these make great gifts.

With that in mind, let me share my two favorite slipper sock patterns. Both patterns are knit with two strands of yarn making them toasty warm and cushiony, too! These socks are meant to be a little roomy so they can accommodate a range of sizes, but since they are rather bulky, don't expect to wear them inside of shoes.

First, my Sweet Hearts Slipper Socks Pattern.

Free printable PDF pattern for adorable, women's knit slipper socks | The Chilly Dog

I made this sweet pair of socks for her with Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Yarn in dusty pink and linen. They should fit an averaged size ladies foot, US size 6-10.

Of course hand knit slipper socks aren't just for the ladies. If you fashion a pair in his favorite professional, college or high school sports team's colors, many guys would appreciate wearing a cozy pair of slippers, too.

Here's my Team Spirit Slipper Sock Pattern.

Show your team pride with a free printable PDF pattern for men's knit slipper socks | The Chilly Dog

I fashioned this pair for him with Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in carrot and royal. (Go Broncos!) Again, they should fit an average sized guys foot, US size 8-12.

If you love the designs, but are new to knitting socks and feel a little nervous about the project, stay tuned to my next couple of posts. I'll be explaining the basic anatomy of hand knit socks as well as a grafting technique.

Stay cozy and happy knitting!


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Happy Grow-vember

When you live in a desert, summer gardening is difficult, if not impossible. Honestly, I've pretty much given up on the idea of growing anything here between May and October. It's just, too hot! Happily, when November rolls around, the temperatures start to drop creating perfect conditions for a winter garden.

Most of our backyard is filled with traditional, prickly, desert flora. However, tucked away in a back corner is the 50 square feet of gardening space I dedicate to fresh winter veggies. The area is filled with nutrient rich compost and is bordered with brightly colored glass bottles that are dazzling in the morning sun.

This year, the first plants to go in my garden were snow peas. I have never grown these before, so I'm curious how they will do. Even if they don't produce many peas, I think they'll look nice climbing up the trellises.
The next plants to go in the garden were broccoli and cauliflower. I've had a lot of luck with broccoli the last couple years and I figured cauliflower can't be that much different.

Finally, I added the greens - red and green romaine, butter crunch, speckled red leaf, two kinds of chard and kale. I love growing lettuce because you can continually harvest it throughout the winter. Just pluck a couple leaves off each plant every day or two and they flourish until about March, when they bolts and go to seed.

I'm looking forward to a fresh mixed greens salad to accompany our Thanksgiving dinner. Until then, I'll just enjoy the bright colors around the garden when I water it each morning.


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Fire Pit Season: Fire Starters

Create some “Wow” right now with a quick and easy project that can be crafted in 20 minutes or less!


How to make camp fire starters with a toilet paper tube, dryer lint and newspaper | The Chilly Dog
Now that we have comfy, new cushions on the benches by our fire pit, we're just about ready to start toasting some marshmallows and making s'mores. Yummy!

You don't have to be a boy scout to start a campfire. A friend of mine told me about a nifty way to start a fire using dryer lint and a toilet paper tube. This project is far from glamorous, but it is an incredibly effective way to get your campfire started.

Materials


  • toilet paper tubes
  • newspaper
  • dryer lint


Directions


Don't laugh, but this time of year I have a two little bags in the laundry room. One is filled with toilet paper tubes and the other, dryer lint. I like to make a bunch of these so they are ready to go whenever we're in the mood to relax by the fire pit.


How to make camp fire starters with a toilet paper tube, dryer lint and newspaper | The Chilly Dog Tear a newspaper page in half at the fold. Roll the paper widthwise and insert it into the toilet paper tube.
How to make camp fire starters with a toilet paper tube, dryer lint and newspaper | The Chilly Dog Push the dryer lint into the tube until the it is filled tightly. You may need a stick or skewer to push the lint into the tube.
How to make camp fire starters with a toilet paper tube, dryer lint and newspaper | The Chilly Dog Gently twist each end of the paper and slightly push them into the tube.

It's just that easy! Grab your graham crackers, Hershey bars, and marshmallows. All you need to do is place two or three of your fire starters under your logs and  light them up. Your family will be enjoying the warm glow and tasty treats before you know it!

How to make camp fire starters with a toilet paper tube, dryer lint and newspaper | The Chilly Dog


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Fire Pit Season: Patio Cushions

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly DogThe temperatures are finally dropping in Tucson, so while people in many parts of the country are covering up or storing their patio furniture, we are getting ready to make use of ours. The cooler temperatures mean we can finally take advantage of our fire pit and start toasting some marshmallows!

We have two lovely benches by our fire pit, but the Arizona sun takes it's toll on outdoor furnishings. The cushions were absolutely shredded by the sun. After my chair re-upholstery project a couple months ago, I felt confident that I could make my own cushions.

If you can sew in a straight line, making basic patio cushions is a snap. However, depending on the size of the cushions you are making, you may need a fairly large work surface to support the cushions while you sew.

Materials


  • outdoor fabric
  • 1 - 1 1/2 inch thick upholstery foam
  • cutting and sewing supplies

Directions


Before you go to the store and buy fabric, measure the cushions you are replacing to determine how much fabric you will need. (I made two bench cushions that were 60 inches wide and 35 inches high with 6 yards of fabric.) Outdoor fabric can be a bit pricey, so I recommend waiting until it's on sale or using a coupon.

It's also worth taking a minute to look closely at the condition of the foam inside your old cushions because you may be able to salvage it. Upholstery foam isn’t cheap and can be tricky to find depending on where you live. I decided to reuse the foam from the old cushions I was replacing.

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Cut your fabric to the desired size. The width should be your cushion width plus 2 1/2 inches. (That gives you a 1 1/4 inch extra on each side.) The height of your fabric is twice the height of the cushion plus 1 1/2 inches. (It’s a 3/4 inch seam allowance in this direction.)
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Press and pin both sides of the fabric under 1 inch. Stitch 1/4 inch from the pressed edge.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Fold the fabric in half, widthwise, right sides together, as shown. Pin the raw edges together and sew using a 3/4 inch seam allowance.

Press the seam to one side.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Turn the fabric right side out. Carefully measure and position the seam so that the seat and back of the cushion are the desired height. Pin along the seam. Sew across the cushion along the seam.

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Before I filled my cushions, I decided to make some ties (four per cushion) so I can secure them to the bench and they don’t blow away in the Arizona wind.

The fabric for each tie is 2 1/2 inches wide and 24 inches long.

Fold it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press to mark the center line.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Fold the edges lengthwise to the center, wrong sides together and press.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Fold in half lengthwise and press. Pin the tie and sew down the length about 1/4 inch from the open edge. The fabric I used was nylon based, so I was able to use melt the ends of the ties to finish them.

Once your ties are complete, it’s time to stuff the cushions and close them up.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Slide the foam into the cushions. (Having both sides of the cushion open at this point made positioning the foam inserts a little easier.) Fold your ties in half and position them at the top and bottom of the seat back on each side. Pin the sides and sew them shut.

Apparently, we aren't the only ones who enjoy the new bench cushions. I caught this little guy basking on them the first morning they were on the benches. He ran up to the arm of the bench by the time I ran inside to get my camera.

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for patio furniture | The Chilly Dog



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