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Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Crochet Pattern: Mesh Summer Hat

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days.Crocheted hats aren't just for cooler weather. If you choose a lighter (non-wool) yarn, it's easy to make a breathable hat that's perfect blocking the sun on warmer spring and summer days.

This hat design is really a recipe that can be made to accommodate any size with just about any yarn. I used a skein of Bernat Cotton-ish Yarn which is a 3-light weight yarn.

Gauge is not important (Hooray!) and you can use whatever hook feels comfortable as long as the top piece of the hat lays mostly flat when you work it.

Materials

  • tape measure
  • ruler
  • yarn
  • crochet hook
  • stitch marker (optional)

Measurements


Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your head. Use a ruler to measure the vertical distance from the top of the ear to the top of the head.

Abbreviations


ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch

Directions


Top

For the top of the hat you will create a circular piece (technically, it’s a hexagon) that has the same circumference as your head. If you notice the top piece does not lay mostly flat, you will need to start over with a larger or smaller hook.

The top of the hat is worked in continuous rounds, like a spiral, so do not turn the piece at the end of each round. It may be helpful to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the rounds so you don’t lose your place.

Ch 3, sl st into beginning ch to form a loop, ch 1. (You can use the Magic Loop method to get started if you prefer.)

Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop.

Rnd 2: *2 sc in next sc* 6 times. (12 sc)

Rnd 3:
*2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc* 6 times. (18 sc)

Rnd 4: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc* 6 times. (24 sc)

Rnd 5: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc* 6 times. (30 sc)

Rnd 6: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc* 6 times. (36 sc)

See how the repeated pattern for each round has 1 additional sc? Since you repeat the pattern six times, you are increasing the top of the hat by six stitches every round.

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round in the same manner until the top piece is the desired head circumference.

Write down the repeated pattern for your final round and the number of stitches in the round because you will continue increasing in the same way once you get to the brim.

Fill in the blanks:
Final Top Rnd: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next _________ sc* 6 times. (_________ sc)

Mesh

There is no increasing in this section. It is still worked in a continuous spiral, so there is no need to turn your work at the end of each rnd.

Rnd 1: *Ch 1, skip 1 sc, dc in next sc* repeat as many times as necessary to reach the end of the round.

Rnd 2 - end of Mesh: *Ch 1, dc in next dc* repeat until the mesh section is the desired length. If you want to be precise, mark your piece so your work is exactly a full number of rounds, but it’s ok if you end this section mid-rnd.

Since the mesh is very stretchy, the length of the mesh section should be at least ½ to 1 inch shorter than the measured distance from the top of your ear to the top of your head.

Brim

Rnd 1: Ch 1, *sc in next dc, sc in next ch 1 space* repeat as many times as necessary to reach the end of the round. There should be as many sc in this round as the final round of the top section of the hat.

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round in the same way you did for the top of the hat.

For example, my final round on the top of the hat was:
Final Top Rnd: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 14 sc* 6 times. (96 sc)

So my next round will be:
*2 sc in next sc, sc in next 15 sc* 6 times. (102 sc)

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round until the brim is your desired width.

Sl st in next st. Finish off.


Embellishments

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days. This hat looks just fine without any additional embellishments. So it's just fine to weave in the ends and wear it as-is.
However, if desired, you can create one or more crocheted flowers in contrasting yarn to brighten up your hat. I made two Button Carnations and two leaves from the book 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trim by Claire Crompton.
Another simple embellishing option that I think would look really cool, is to make a long chain in a contrasting color and weave it through the mesh section of the hat.

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days.

Happy crocheting!



Tutorial: Recycled Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

DIY a hummingbird feeder with recycled glass bottles and wire from the hardware store.A couple years ago I shared a tutorial about making wine bottle hummingbird feeders. It's a really simple and fun DIY project for the yard, but if you don't have a lot of hummingbirds in your area, it can take a long time for the hummers to finish off a bottle.

The good news is, you probably have lots of smaller bottles in your pantry right now that would make perfect hummingbird feeders. So here's your excuse to go clean out the fridge and pantry in the name of crafting.

Materials


  • glass bottle
  • 2-4 feet of 6 or 8 gauge copper electrical wire
  • wire cutters
  • pliers
  • electrical tape
  • hummingbird feeder tubes

Directions


Head to the kitchen to find your perfect bottle. Think hot sauce, vinegars, oils, soy sauce, soda or even small liquor bottles. I'm using a Patron Citronge bottle. The only requirement is that the hummingbird feeder tube needs to fit into the opening.

Wash the bottle and remove any labels, caps, safety rings, stoppers, etc.
I'm kind of a wimp, so I need a pliers to bend the ends of the copper wire. The only problem is that the grippy grooves on the pliers can mar the copper. So, I wrap a couple layers of electrical tape over grooves to prevent scratches.
Use the pliers to bend one end of the copper wire into a loop that fits over the neck of the bottle.
Slide the loop over the bottle neck.
Wrap the remaining wire around the bottle until about 6-inches remain. Give yourself some space for this part so you don't poke anything around you with the length of wire while you work.
Use a pliers to bend the end up into a hook so you can hang your feeder.
Finally fill your feeder with the nectar of your choice.

Please note, this type of hummingbird feeder can be prone to leaking if it is not filled properly. Luckily, I have some quick tips on how to fill your feeder as well as a video to show you exactly how it's done.

Once it's filled, you can hang your feeder outside and wait for the hummers to start snacking!

DIY a hummingbird feeder with recycled glass bottles and wire from the hardware store.




Garden: Growing Potatoes in the Desert

Garden: Can you grow potatoes in the desert?Gardening in Tucson is not an easy task. The summers are intensely hot and other than a brief reprieve during monsoon season, in July-August, it is ridiculously dry. I've pretty much given up on the idea of growing summer vegetables. I've watched my plants wither and die too many times.

The last few years, I have had more luck with winter veggies like lettuce, chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and snow peas. I plant seedlings in early November and we eat fresh salad greens through early-mid February.

When the spring temperatures start warming, the lettuce bolts and I clean out my garden, toss the remaining plants in the compost bin and let the soil rest until November. Until this year...

When I was getting ready to clean out the garden, I found a nice little surprise in the compost bin, potatoes that had sprouted. I asked my friend Anne, from Anne of Green Gardens, if these plants could be productive and make more potatoes if I transplanted them into my garden. She seemed to think they would, so I carefully removed them from the compost.
I was pretty shocked that there were already little potatoes growing around the roots. Nature is awesome!
Off to the garden with my pretty, new potatoes.
Even thought it only had a few small sprouts, I decided to plant this yam that was sprouting in the compost bin as well.
After they were planted, I gave all the potatoes a little drink and things looked good for a couple days. Then, all the vines shriveled up. (I was too depressed to take pictures of that part.) I didn't give up, though. I kept watering my garden every couple days and before I knew it, more vines started popping up.

Potatoes from the compost bin It's still a little too early to see what magic is happening underground, but I'm hopeful that I'll be eating some home grown potatoes in a few months.
Sweet potatoes from the compost bin Maybe even some yams!

If my little potato growing experiment is successful this year, I may put a little more thought and effort into potato growing next year because potatoes are, quite possibly, one of my favorite veggies.
Who knew that you can grow potatoes in the desert?



Craft Challenge Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Flowers

Kids Craft Tutorial: How to make garden art flowers from plastic water bottlesMy friend and blog buddy, Teena, from Serendipitini, recently suggested that we have a little crafting challenge. Since I am always up for a new project (and can't resist a good challenge) I agreed.

The objective - Transform one or more plastic bottles into a cool craft. Seems easy enough.

After a little experimenting, I finally decided to make water bottle flowers. These make cute decorations for the garden. You could even enlist the help of your young crafters.

Materials


  • empty plastic water bottles
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • 16 gauge floral stem wire
  • Mod Podge (optional)


Directions


Start by removing the label from your bottles. You can leave the caps on for now.
Next, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut around the top ring of the bottle.
You are just going to use the top portion of the bottle. Recycle the rest.
For a five petaled flower, make five, evenly spaced cuts from the cut edge to as close to the spout as possible.

Tip: You can make flowers with more petals by making up to 8, evenly spaced cuts in this manner.
Fold down the petals, almost like you are turning the bottle inside out.
Use a scissors to round off the edges of each petal.
Remove the bottle cap, but do not throw it away. If there is still a thin ring on your bottle that held the cap in place, remove it as well.

Tip: If there is any printing on the bottle, like a freshness date, it can be removed with a cotton ball and a little nail polish remover.
Set the flower on a protected surface, spout up. The petals should curve up like little cups.

Apply one or two coats of acrylic paint to the petals.

I used three colors. Yellow at the center of the flower.
Light purple in the middle and dark purple on the tips.
If you use more than one color, like I did, make sure that each section of paint is completely dry before you add the next color or they will get smeared up. Let the paint dry.

To seal your paint and add water resistance for outdoor use, I also recommend adding a coat of Mod Podge after the paint dries.
Replace the cap. There should be a small gap between the lid and the bottle where the protective ring used to be.
To make the stem, wrap an end of the floral wire tightly around the gap beneath the lid.
Straighten out the stem and place your flowers in a pot or the garden.
A Final Note - Make sure to help younger crafters with the cutting in this project. The curved plastic bottles can be tricky and the cut edges are a bit sharp. Also, if you don't feel adventurous or have the time to let three colors of paint dry, it's fine to use a single color.

Stay tuned, because on Wednesday I'll be sharing pictures of Teena's project and you won't want to miss it. Happy Crafting!



Recipe: Strawberry Watermelon Slush

Recipe: Strawberry Watermelon frozen slush dessert in my Ninja blenderTucson in July is HOT and we are always looking for ways to cool down. Since it would be a ridiculous to even consider turning on the oven this time of year, I like to prepare a different kind of treat. This recipe makes about 4 servings and is so quick and easy, even I can make it ;)

Ingredients



  • 1 small seedless watermelon
  • 24 oz frozen sliced strawberries with sugar, partially thawed
  • juice from 1 lime


Directions


Remove the watermelon rind and cut the melon into large cubes. Combine the melon, strawberries and lime juice in a blender. (I use my Ninja Professional Blender an love it!)

Recipe: Strawberry Watermelon frozen slush dessert in my Ninja blender

Once the fruits are well blended, pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 glass pan. Cover the pan to prevent spilling and place it in the freezer for 3-4 hour, stirring the slush hourly until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon the slush into glasses or bowls to serve.


Serving variations - Although we haven't tried it yet, my daughter thinks this recipe would be delicious garnished with a few sprigs of fresh mint. Another option would be to pour the slush into popsicle molds instead of the glass pan and freeze them completely. And, if you are looking for an adult beverage, this slush makes a great base for a daiquiri-type drink. Yummy!



Crochet Pattern: Swim Cover-up

When we were in the Dominican Republic last month, we spent much of our time on the beach or at the pool. I was a little jealous because many of the women had beautiful swim suit cover-ups. As soon as we got home I decided to make one of my own so I would be ready for our next beach/pool vacation, wherever that may be.

This crochet pattern is probably a bit unconventional because it uses the same type of cotton yarn that you would traditionally use to make crocheted washcloths. I chose it because there were plenty of fun colors of yarn available and, since it's cotton, the finished product is quite cozy. It measures 44 1/2 inches wide x 26 1/2 inches long and fits a women's size small-medium. (There is a note about advanced sizing options at the end of the pattern.)

Materials



Gauge


14 rows or 13 sc = 4 inches

Directions

Ch 146

Row 1 (WS): 1 sc in 2nd chain from hook, 1 sc in each ch across, turn. (145 sc)
Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each sc across, turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in each sc across, turn.
Row 4: Ch 1, 1 sc in each of first 3 sc, *ch 5, skip 3 sc, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc,* repeat across, omitting 2 sc at the end of the last repeat, turn.
Row 5: Ch 1, 1 sc in each of first 2 sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 5 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc,* repeat across, omitting 1 sc at the end of the last repeat, turn.
Row 6: Ch 1, 1 sc in first sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc,* repeat across, turn.
Row 7: Ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, *ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space,* repeat across, ch 2, dc in last sc.
Row 8: Ch 1, 1 sc in first dc, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 5 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc,* repeat across, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd of 5 ch at the beginning of the previous row, turn.
Row 9:  Ch 1, 1 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc,* repeat across, ch 3, 1 sc into next ch 3 space, 1 sc in last sc, turn.
Row 10:  Ch 1, 1 sc in each of first 2 sc, *1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 5, sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc,* repeat across, omitting 1 sc at the end of the last repeat, turn.

Work Rows 5-10 ten more times.


(Note: If you would like your cover-up to be longer, buy an additional skein(s) of yarn and work Rows 5-10 until your wrap reaches the desired length,)

Row 11: Ch 1, 1 sc in each sc and 3 sc in each ch 5 space across, turn.
Row 12: Ch 1, *1 sc in next sc, ch 3, skip 1 sc,* across, sc in last sc, finish off.

Tie Strings
Ch 80.

Row 1: With wrong side facing, sc in each ch across the top of the wrap (145 sc), ch 81, turn.
Row 2: Sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc in each ch and sc across, finish off.

To wear, wrap the cover-up around your body and tie once, loosely at the front. Bring the tie strings up around your neck and tie in a bow.

Care Instructions

Machine wash in cool water on a delicate cycle. Tumble dry low on a delicate cycle.

Advanced sizing options


If you would like to increase the size of this wrap, you can do so by making the width of the wrap your bust size plus 10-14 inches depending on how much overlap you would like across the front.

The stitch pattern will work as long as you chain any multiple of 8 stitches +2 at the beginning.

If you are increasing the width and/or length, make sure to buy additional skeins of yarn before you begin the project.

Happy summer!



Tutorial: Flower Crown

Tutorial: How to make a feminine, spring or summer, silk flower crownHeadbands are a fun summer trend. Last week I shared a fabric headband tutorial that was pretty and functional. This week's flower crown is a bit less practical. But how can you not feel beautiful when you are bedecked in flowers?

I used silk tweedia and delphiniums, but you can easily use different types of flowers to suit your mood. This feminine, floral crown would be a beautiful bridesmaid or flower girl accessory at a spring or summer wedding.

Materials



Directions


You will begin by creating the base of the crown with the 24-inch length of wire.

Note: If you are making this for a younger girl, you may use an 18-20 inch length of wire instead.
Use the pliers to bend over the wire about 1/2 inch from the end to form an elongated loop.
Insert the other end of the wire into the loop and bend it about 1/2 inch from the end to secure it.
Gently bend the wire into a circle.
Next, you will prepare the flowers.
Using a scissors, trim the blossoms from the main stem.
Make sure to leave about 2 inches of stem on each flower so it can be secured to the crown.
Cut off 2-3 inches of floral tape and tightly wrap it around the joining loops on the crown.
Cut off 2-3 inches of floral tape. Position the first flower. Starting at the base of the blossom, tightly wrap the tape around the stem and the crown wire.
It's okay if the floral tape is wrapped past the end of the stem.
Position the next flower, just below the first and secure it with 2-3 inches of tightly wrapped floral tape.

Continue securing the flowers around the crown. I placed my flowers in a pattern (1 delphinium, 2 tweedia), but it would be fine to place the flowers in a random order.

Once all of the flowers are attached, it's ready for your favorite princess to wear. And, don't worry, I won't judge if that princess is you ;-)


Tutorial: How to make a feminine, spring or summer, silk flower crown