Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday morning tea

Double thick single crochet potholders

This past Monday, a very nice lady approached me when she noticed one of my crocheted flowers. I gave one to her and in exchange she showed me a stitch I had never come across in my 35+ years of crocheting! It is made by crocheting into the back loop of the current row and a loop of the previous row at the same time. This produces a single crocheted piece that is double in thickness compared to a regular single crochet. She then gave me 3 potholders that she crocheted this way. How nice! I was happy to share my treasures with Leah and Steph. Unfortunately, mine now sits next to my chair, partially dismembered because I forgot how the potholder was made by the time I got home. Thank God for the sample because now I can share it with you!

Mine is made with a size "H" crochet hook and two colors of Lily Sugar 'N Cream cotton.

Chain 26. Turn and single crochet in the 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, which makes 25 single crochets. At the end of every row, ch 1 then turn.

From here to the end of the potholder, put hook into the back loop of the current row and the corresponding loop from the row below. Make sure you continue to have 25 sts every row. I found the last stitch to be the most difficult to make because the stitch from the previous row is a bit tight.

When the piece is of the desired length, you will put the hook in the the two loops as usual, however, you will make a slip stitch instead of a single crochet. This will finish off the top of the piece nicely. Create a hanging loop if desired by chaining 7 or 8 and attaching next to beginning chain. Chain 1, turn and single crochet into the loop. Fasten off and weave in ends.

I did some baking this weekend and this potholder was sufficiently thick to protect my hands from the heat.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sewing on Friday, yippee!

What do you do when you have two kids at home sick? Well, I spent a few hours sewing! The big kid had an upset tummy and the little one is getting over the flu. They were both parked in front of their TVs and didn't even notice I was in another room.

I've been wanting to make something out of these quilt squares I bought last summer when I was back home in Hawaii. The obvious thing would have been a quilt but I wasn't in the mood to devote that much time and I really have been wanting to make a runner for my coffee table anyway. I chose to make it very simple, using just three of the five prints available in my pack, backing it with microfleece and choosing to turn and topstitch rather than sew a binding on it. Also, as far as quilting it, I chose to machine tie it. I thought it might be neat to tie buttons on every intersection but it would have created an uneven surface upon which to rest a drink and I didn't want that.

After I finished with my table runner, I decided to make a little runner for the boys' bathroom to place their toiletries upon. Anthony vetoed it but as soon as he's not home I'll get my way!

Next, I wanted to treat myself to what was left of my Mary Englebreit fabric. I had made some pads for my Etsy shop out of it and always loved it because of the teacups and teapots, but hadn't made anything out of it for myself. I had just enough for two new pads and a matching zippered pouch. I love them! I swear, next time I see this fabric, I'm buying a few more yards of it and treat myself to a few more things.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

PG Tips Commercial with Monkey & Al

Love this commercial!

How about those outtakes?

Wallace & Gromit for PG Tips

Keeping my tea warm and a new round ripple

I was reading Steph's Cup of Tea today and in a previous post she asked if people drink tea at work and how they do it. That post reminded me of Betty, a very lovely, older British lady I used to work with. She made tea in her favorite rose covered cup several times a day and stashed her biscuits in her desk. As far as I can remember, she was our lone tea drinker. I was a coffee drinker in those days but I still loved watching her drink her tea. Betty resembled Maxine (from Hallmark cards) in both appearance and demeaner, but I liked her and she liked me. It was an honor as she didn't like a lot of people.

This got me thinking about how I used to keep my large mug of coffee warm at my desk and that I tried keeping a pot of tea warm like this awhile ago. However, I forgot the most important thing about keeping a pot of tea warm...preheating the pot! Very important! So, today I got out my two little warmers (one is for candles and the other for keeping food warm) and redid my experiment. After over an hour, both the pot and lidded cup's contents are at a nice drinkable temperature, not too hot. I didn't want to waste the water from my tea kettle for preheating the pot, so I filled it with tap water and heated it in the microwave for 3 minutes with a chopstick in it to prevent superheating. Superheated water is a pheonomenon where water is past boiling temperature but hasn't actually come to a rolling boil. This is extremely dangerous as it can cause 3rd degree burns to whichever body part happens to touch the water. Watch it here and here.

I just posted a picture of my new ripple over at the No End In Sight Ripple Along site. Geez, I haven't been there for a long while. I'm making it for my friend, Leah. It won't be a secret from her for long as I will be working on it in front of her on Monday. If you haven't already guessed, she's the same Pittsburgh Steelers fan I made the flowered hat and scarf for a little while ago. I hope she likes it.