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Knitting – Turban Twist Hat – Free Pattern

goldturban-sbMy younger daughter looks so much better in hats than I do

I follow a Facebook page called Addicted to Knitting which features knitted items that people have made, a lot of question/answer sessions and a very nice group for reading about what others are doing all over the world.  I saw one picture of a turban hat that a lady had made of deep purple yarn with a large purple gemstone in the center and was inspired to look up the free pattern by Bernat on Yarnspirations.comhttp://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/turban-twist-hat.html

I didn’t have any purple yarn on hand but did have some Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the Yellowstone color which was nice and soft and worked well in this project, using #8 needles

It’s basically a long narrow scarf in an easy Seeded Rib pattern …

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…which is folded and sewn in place to form the turban.  The scarf was easy to make.

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Although the pattern comes with a diagram on how to fold and sew the turban, it was confusing to me and I’m showing how I got it together.  First mark the center of the scarf and then fold into this shape.

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Fold the two ends back to meet in the center and pin in place.

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Starting in the center and using a yarn needle with some scrap yarn of a different color, loosely baste each end in place, leaving 4 inch tails to make it easier to remove the waste yarn.

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Using another piece of waste yarn, stitch the center section where the two ends meet.  Baste as far as where the two pieces cross.

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At this point, put the hat on yourself or some volunteer and pin to close any gaps on top of the hat, basting them in place with waste yarn.

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Baste and try on the hat as many times as necessary to be sure it is the way you want it.  Then, using matching yarn, stitch the turban together, pulling out the waste yarn as you go.

I sewed a big vintage button on the front of my turban.

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1/9/17

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Knitting – Isabella Baby Top-Vest

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For the past year that I’ve been knitting, I’ve taken advantage of all of the wonderful free patterns available online.  This is one of the few patterns I’ve purchased, simply because I thought it was so cute and looked like something I might be able to do.  The pattern for this pretty piece was purchased from an English designer, Maybe Baby, in September, 2016, through PayPal at the exchange rate in effect at the time for $2.72.  It was an easy instant download and the pattern is very well written.  http://www.maybebabydesigns.co.uk/charityvestpattern.htm

I used Bernat Softee yarn with #7 needles and thought the jacket would fit a baby around 3 months old.

I enjoy knitting baby items the most but feel that the charity where my work goes has more need in the toddler and pre-school sizes.  My first project for 2017 was a remake of the jacket using Red Heart #4 worsted in the color, Corn Meal.  I went to the garter stitch after 7 rows of pattern on each side just to change the appearance a little bit.  I think this top would fit a chubby one-year-old.

Since I don’t crochet well, I omitted the crocheted edging in each case.

I used circular needles – Magic Loop (circular needles with long cables) – and am giving a brief outline of how I did the piece using these needles to do the portion  where the left front begins and across the neck.  I’m not sure this is the way the designer did it, but it worked for me.

After completing the right front, leave the stitches on the cable of the Magic Loop, cut the yarn (leave a 6-inch tail), and just slide the piece down the cable, letting it “hang out” while you complete the left front.

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After the left front is completed, do not break yarn and follow directions in pattern to start the back, casting on 12 stitches across to form the center of the neck and knitting across the stitches from the right front that are hanging from the cable.

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These are the only two places in the pattern that I found a little confusing.

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I think it’s a very cute jacket that could be used with various designs and stitch patterns.

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A Christmas Walking Cane

On Friday, I remember a single moment from the past week.

walking-cane-5“Hand me down my walking cane”

The most unusual Christmas gift I received this year was from my older daughter who thought that since my 84-year-old bones can’t handle much walking any more, I would enjoy a cane that commemorated all of the walking I’ve done in the past in some beautiful, wonderful places – most of them with her at my side.  She found just what she wanted at an antique store in Lebanon, Ohio – a vintage cane with metal tags commemorating hikes the owner had made.  It so happened they were tags from German places which we had visited over 25 years ago.  She bought a few more tags on eBay and I have a good start on a cane that reflects some of our trips:  Berchtesgaden, Herrenchiemsee, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Indiana, Monticello, Gettysburg, Antietam, and Gateway Arch – St. Louis.

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I love the worn and well-used look of the cane right on down to the tip.

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I know more tags will be added – we haven’t even touched on Ireland and Switzerland yet, not to mention numerous places in the U.S.  I might need another cane.

The walking cane will have a treasured place by the fireplace where I can see it every day and think of all of the memorable walking I’ve done in my life.

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Happy Holidays to All

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My youngest grandson has been coming to my house to bake Christmas cookies since he was three years old.  He loves the holiday traditions and even though he received his acceptance from Wright State (Dayton, Ohio) this week, he’s happy to cut out and decorate sugar cookies once more.  He says it’s one of his favorite memories and that makes it one of my favorite memories.

Happy memories to everyone during this holiday season, whatever your celebration might be.

 

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Easy Fruit Stollen

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I really love this version of stollen which is easy and fairly quick to make.  The ricotta gives the dough an interesting texture and the bits of dried fruit are delicious.  Even with a heavy coating of powdered sugar, this is not overly sweet.  Lovely with hot coffee or tea.

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Easy Fruit Stollen


Dough:
2-¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1-½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter, cut in cubes
1 cup ricotta cheese, part-skim milk type
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-½ tsp. butter flavoring (optional)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
l/4 cup each of figs, dates, apricots, raisins, chopped to ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled

Topping:
3 Tblsp. butter, melted
½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Blend the butter cubes into the flour mixture to form uneven crumbs.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, egg, vanilla and flavorings.

Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed.  Than combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it two or three times until it holds together.  Divide dough in half.

Form each half of dough into a rectangle about 4 inches x 7 inches, 1-1/2 inches thick.
Place shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the stollen until they’re lightly browned around the edges – about 40 minutes.  A cake tester inserted into the center of a stollen should come out clean.

Remove stollen to a rack and allow to cool.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar.

Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve.  Cut into one-inch wide slices to serve.
Yield:  Two one-pound stollen.

This version of stollen does not keep for weeks as traditional stollen does.  Best if used within 3 days or  so. 

stollen-2Fresh from the oven

stollen-3Topped with butter and sugar

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Pause and Remember –12/16/16

On Friday, I pause and remember a single moment from the past week.

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Having fun at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant with great-grandson Isaiah.

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Knitting–Easy Neckwarmer–Free Pattern

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There are so many free patterns available online and one of my favorite sources is Marianna’s Lazy Daisy Days.  A lovely lady in England provides a large file of free patterns, most of them for babies and pre-schoolers, but also has an occasional pattern like this Warm Tweedy Neckwarmer in sizes for child, teenager and woman.  This is a very easy pattern that turns out especially pretty.  It’s basically a long rectangle that is folded back on itself and held together by buttons only or, in my case, some stitching along two edges.  There are no buttonholes in the design – the neckwarmer just slips over the head.

Instructions are clear and accurate and I would rate it a “beginner” pattern.  It’s also a nice way to use some pretty buttons.

This past week, I made this one for an adult using double strand worsted yarn and a size 8 needle…

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…and this one for a child, using single strand worsted and a size 8 needle to do a garter stitch.

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https://mariannaslazydaisydays.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/warm-tweedy-neckwarmer.html

I’ve previously made these neckwarmers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children’s group:

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I like to think that these are providing some warmth for the children in the bitter cold of South Dakota.

http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge

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