Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts

Knitting Pattern: Simple Reversible Boot Cuffs

This easy to knit boot cuff pattern is a simple stash buster projectOver the holidays, I had the cutest outfit planned for a work event and found myself in need of a set of boot cuffs to complete my look. Since I am a knitting geek, I immediately raided my yarn stash to see what I could whip up. This wasn't a project I ever intended to blog about.

In my creative frenzy, I was indecisive about what color yarn I should use, mainly because I didn't think I had enough of either of the yarns I liked. Then I had an epiphany, why not use both colors! That way, later, the cuff could be reversed for different outfits.

My cuffs are about 5 inches wide by 8 inches long. I used Lion Brand Jiffy Yarn and Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool on US size 10 knitting needles and cast on 44 sts, but you can easily adapt this pattern to use any color or weight yarn for a quick and easy stash buster project that will accommodate super skinny or fabulously full legs.

This easy to knit boot cuff pattern is a simple stash buster project


  • two colors of leftover yarn from your stash (They should be a similar yarn weight.)
  • dpn or circular knitting needles appropriate for the weight of your yarn


This design is worked in the round. With your first color, co any multiple of 4 sts. The length of the cast on edge should be about 3/4 of the circumference of your leg.

Rnd 1: *k3, p1* around
Rnd 2: *k1, sl 1, k1, p1* around

Repeat Rnd 1-2 until piece measures 3-4 inches from cast on edge.

Switch to the second color and work Rnd 1-2 for an additional 3-4 inches.

Bind off.

I ended up wearing my cuffs with the lighter side showing because it matched my poncho, but I'll definitely try the darker color with another outfit.

This easy to knit boot cuff pattern is a simple stash buster project

Tutorial: Clay Snowman Ornament

Make a polymer clay Christmas ornament celebrating a snowman's first and last holiday in Arizona.
This project was completely pin-spired. When I saw this fused glass ornament, I had a little giggle and imagined it is exactly what would happen to any snowman that visited Tucson. It would be Frosty's first and last holiday in Arizona.

While I had all of my clay crafting tools out to make clay snowflake ornaments, I couldn't resist building a little "Arizona Snowman" ornament.



When working with polymer clay, remember take off your rings and protect your work surface. I like to use parchment paper.

Draw a 1-inch and a 1 1/2-inch diameter circle on paper and cut them out. Roll out a piece of black clay on the thickest setting of the clay conditioner or to about 1/8 inch with a rolling pin.

Place the paper circles on the clay and cut around them by using an awl to "trace" through the clay. Be careful not to press to hard and damage your work surface.

Tip: If you don't have an awl, a toothpick or bamboo skewer would also work.
It's okay if your circles aren't perfect. This isn't exactly Frosty's finest hour.
Stack the small circle on top of the larger circle to make the snowman's hat.
Cut a 1 1/2 inch circle from white clay in the same manner to make the head. Place the hat on the head as shown.
Roll out a piece of white clay on the thickest setting to make a square that's approximately 4 1/2-inches on each side.
Set the snowman's hat/head in the corner of the clay square at least 1/2-inch from the edges.
Use your awl to cut out Frosty's poor, melted body.
Use a straw to make a hole in the clay where you will attach the hanger.
With your finger, gently press the clay around the snowman's head to round out the edges and attach it to the body.
Press around the hat and the edge of the body in the same way.
With a small piece of orange clay, make a little carrot nose and press it on to the snowman's face.
Make 5 small balls with black clay. Flatten them slightly and press two onto the face for eyes and three onto the body for buttons.
Finally, make two brown clay stick arms and press them onto the body.

Bake the clay according to the package instructions.
After your ornament has baked and completely cooled tie a ribbon through the hole and frosty is ready to hang on the tree.

Poor Frosty! It was his first and last Christmas in Arizona.

Tutorial: Clay Snowflake Ornaments

Make it a white Christmas with DIY clay snowflake ornaments.It's always fun to participate in events with other bloggers, so when I saw that Erlene from My Pinterventures was hosting a 2015 Christmas Ornament Exchange, I jumped at the opportunity to participate.

I'm exchanging ornaments with Pili from My Sweet Things. Like me, she lives in a temperate climate, so I decided to make her a clay snowflake ornament to give her a little bit of a white Christmas. (Here's a peek at the ornament Pili made for me).

Many thanks to Endless Leather for providing the gorgeous red leather cord I used in this tutorial.



When I'm working with polymer clay, I like to protect my work surface with a sheet of parchment paper. I also make sure to take off my rings so they don't get gunked up.

Start by tracing the large, round cookie cutter onto a piece of paper and cutting out the paper circle. Cut out the circle and fold it into quarters to mark the center of the circle.
Roll out a piece of clay so it is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Use the cookie cutter to cut a circle.
Place the paper circle over the clay circle and use a pin to pierce the paper and mark the center of the clay circle. You don't need to go all the way through the clay.
Use the flower cutter at the center of the circle. The pin mark makes it easier to center the flower cutter.
Next, use the diamond cutter to make six diamonds around the flower. The diamond points should be aligned between the petals of the flower.
Cut a teardrop between each diamond.
And finally, cut two triangles between each teardrop.

To finish, bake the clay according to the package directions. After the clay has cooled, cut a 10 inch length of leather cord. Knot the ends and attach it to the ornament.
And now, my snowflake ornament is all wrapped up and on it's way to Mallorca to spread a little holiday cheer!

Make it a white Christmas with DIY clay snowflake ornaments.

Of course one ornament tutorial is nice, but you don't want to miss the other beautiful ornaments that were shared today:

Happy Holidays!

Knitting Pattern: Wintermint Sock Trio

Free Knitting Pattern: Make a trio of striped, red, green and white knit socks to share your Christmas spirit!November is here and for me that means it is officially sock knitting season. I adore hand knit socks. I love to make them. I love to wear them. I love to give them as Christmas gifts!

This is a kind of unconventional knitting pattern because it makes three "mismatched" socks. They are a stripey and fun way to show some holiday spirit.

These socks should comfortably accommodate an averaged sized woman's feet (foot circumference of 8 inches and foot length of 8 1/2 inches), approximately US 6-9 shoe size.


3 - 50 g/220 yd balls of Cobasi by Hikoo

US size 4 (3.5 mm) dpns


26 sts and 40 rows of stockinette = 4 inches


k - knit
p - purl
sl - slip 1 stitch purlwise
ssk - slip two stitches individually knitwise then knit them together through the back loops
p2tog - purl two stitches together
k2tog - knit two stitches together
pu - pick up
RS - right side
WS - wrong side

Color Order

Sock 1: color A - green, color B - Red, color C - white
Sock 2: color A - white, color B - green, color C - red
Sock 3: color A - red, color B - white, color C - green


Except for the heel flap, turn heel and toe, the sock is worked by alternating yarn colors every round. Begin by alternating colors A and B for 12 rows, then A and C for 12 rows. Repeat.

Color A produces the elongated stitches in the vertical stripes. Colors B and C create the wide horizontal stripes.


CO 56 sts across 3-4 dpn.

Rnd 1 (color A): *P1, k3* around.
Rnd 2 (color B or C): *P1, k1, sl 1, k1* around.

Repeat Rnd 1 and 2 until piece measures 4 ½ inches (48 rnds).

Break B and C.

Heel flap

The entire heel flap and turn heel are worked in color A.

Turn work, sl1, p27 onto a single needle, turn. Place remaining 28 sts onto a stitch holder or spare dpn to work later for instep.

Row 1 (RS): *Sl1, k1* across, turn.
Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, p27, turn.

Repeat Row 1 and 2 twelve more times.

Turn Heel

Row 1 (RS): Sl1, k15, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 2 (WS): Sl1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: Sl1, k to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 4: Sl 1, p to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn.

Repeat Row 3 and 4 until all stitches have been worked ending after a WS row. Omit the last k1 and p1 on the final RS and WS rows.

Sl1, k7, do not turn. This will now be the beginning of each remaining round.

Heel Gusset and Foot

With color A and a new needle (needle 1) k8 remaining turn heel sts, pu 14 sts, knitwise, along the heel flap. With another needle (needle 2) k acros 28 held sts. With another needle (needle 3) pu 14 sts, knitwise, along heel flap, k8 turn heel sts.

Rnd 1 (color B): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 4 times, sl1, k2, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k3, *sl1, k3* 4 times.

Rnd 2 and all even rounds (color A): K all sts.

Rnd 3 (color B): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 4 times, sl1, k1, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k2, *sl1, k3* 4 times.
Rnd 5 (color B): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 4 times, sl1, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k1, *sl1, k3* 4 times.
Rnd 7 (color B): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 4 times, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, *sl1, k3* 4 times.
Rnd 9 (color B): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 3 times, sl1, k2, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k3, *sl1, k3* 3 times.
Rnd 11 (color B): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 3 times, sl1, k1, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k2, *sl1, k3* 3 times.

Rnd 13 (color C): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 3 times, sl1, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k1, *sl1, k3* 3 times.
Rnd 15 (color C): On needle 1, *sl1, k3* 3 times, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, K2, *sl1, k3* 6times, sl1, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k1, *sl1, k3* 3 times.

Rnd 16 (color A): K all sts.
Rnd 17 (color B or C): *Sl1, K3* around.

Repeat Rnd 16 and 17 until piece measures 7 inches from the back of the heel (60 rounds from the beginning of the heel gusset).

Break colors B and C.


The entire toe is worked in color A.

Rnd 1: On needle 1, k to last 2 sts, k2tog; on needle 2, ssk, k to last 2 sts, k2tog; on needle 3, ssk, k to end of needle.
Rnd 2: K all sts.

Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until 40 sts remain.

Repeat Rnd 1 until 8 sts remain. K 2 sts from needle 1 onto needle 3.

Break yarn leaving an 18 inch tail. Use Kitchner stitch to graft the toe sts.

Free Knitting Pattern: Make a trio of striped, red, green and white knit socks to share your Christmas spirit!

A printable version of my Wintermint Sock Trio Pattern is available in my pattern shop. Happy sock making!

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!

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!



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!

Recipe: Southwestern Corn Chowder

Recipe: Southwestern Corn ChowderMy husband does most of the cooking at our house. If he weren't around I would probably eat macaroni and cheese (yep, the unnatural boxed variety) every night of the week. I don't particularly like to cook and other than a handful of recipes, his food just tastes better.

There are a few exceptions, of course, and one of them is corn chowder. This is my comfort food. I don't remember when I started making it, but it's one of my few signature dishes.

It's a creamy blend of corn, onion, potato, chiles and cilantro. This hearty treat is sure to warm your tummy on a cold winter night.


  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 T cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 12 oz frozen corn
  • 4 oz can of diced green chiles
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 T Knorr Caldo con Sabor de Pollo (Chicken Bouillon)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 c heavy cream
Optional toppings - shredded cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, Cholula hot sauce



I have made this soup for years and recently discovered a way to make it taste even better. I put the cubed potatoes into a mixing bowl, cover them with water and put them in the fridge for about an hour before I start cooking. Then, when I'm ready to use them, I drain and rinse the potatoes. (This step is optional, but let me tell you, everyone in my house notices when I take the time to do this and think it makes that soup tastier.)
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until the potatoes are slightly browned.

Add the corn, green chiles, water, chicken bouillon and salt and pepper. Cook over a high heat until the chowder begins to boil.

Cover and reduce to medium heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked.

Meanwhile, remove the stems and finely chop the cilantro.
Once the potatoes are soft, stir in the cilantro and cream. Cook for another minute or two until the chowder is heated through.

Spoon into bowls, top with cheese, bacon or a dash of hot sauce and enjoy!