Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Pixie Hat Pattern (Child size)

When Leyla was younger, I crocheted her a really cute little pink pixie hat. I can't remember for the life of me the pattern now but I loved the way it looked so I decided to improvise a new one for her. The old one was button closing and this one has braided ties so not exactly the same but still extremely cute!

This hat was so easy to make and worked up very quickly. Leyla has since told me that she would rather a pink one so this one will be going up in my shop. I am almost ready to open, just need to get a few more things made up. Anyway, more details about that soon :)

First of all, you need to know how big to make your hat. To work out your measurements, take a tape measure. Measure right around the top of your child's head, from where one side of the hat should fall to the other. This will give you your width measurement. For Leyla that was 18". To make sure your gauge is right, work up the first 3 rows then measure your width. It should hit exactly 18".

To make my hat, I used DK yarn in this lovely green colour and a 6mm crochet hook. Use whichever yarn weight and crochet hook needed to match the gauge.

Pixie Hat (Child 4-8 years)

1. ch62, hdc in 2nd ch from hook and across (61)
2-22. ch1, hdc across (60)
23. Fold in half lengthways to make a bonnet shape. Stitch the back together and fasten off. Weave all ends in.

Neck Ties:
Cut 12 lengths of wool measuring 45" each. Find the very corner of the hat, at the front, and thread the 12 lengths through, hanging half of the length either side of the joining hole, so you end up with 24 strands of wool. Braid the strands together in groups of 8 to get a nice plait. Tie off with a knot at the bottom and trim the ends. Repeat on the other side of the hat.

I am currently working on a toddler sized hat and an adult sized one, the both of which I will be blogging about in the near future so keep your eyes out for those :)

I'm linking here:

Get Your Crap Together

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Chickpea Dip

I've got a very yummy recipe to share with you all today. I made this chickpea dip the other day when I had a load of cooked chickpeas in my fridge and no idea what to make with them all! I threw a load of what I had in the fridge into the food processor and this delish dip came out!

Chickpea Dip

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small yellow pepper
2 x tomatoes
1 x celery stick
1tsp paprika
2 tbsps lemon juice
plenty of black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Done :)

You can use this as a yummy dip or you can use it as a wrap filling like I did, with a little mango chutney spread on the wrap and a good dollop of natural yoghurt on the side. Tasty!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Crochet 3D Butterfly

I know I normally post Mint Stuff I've Seen on Mondays but I think I want to go a different route with this blog and start including more crafts and recipes every week. I'm going to give Mint Stuff a break for a few weeks and do an extra craft and an extra recipe post instead.

Now on to today's craft :)

Last month I joined a local knitting and crochet group. I wanted to meet more people who share my love of all things wool so I went along and had a brilliant time! We just sat and chatted and drank coffee and crocheted and that was my perfect night. We are currently making flowers and butterflies for a massive yarnbombing event taking place in March. I am soo excited!

I planned on making mainly butterflies because they are so cute but I couldn't really find a pattern I got on with. I started off using a free pattern by Maggie Weldon but could not get it to work for some reason. I think it's probably just my pattern reading skills, or should I say lack of, because I know other people have gotten on well with it. Anyway, with that pattern in mind, I came up with this cute little 3D butterfly pattern. I've been making loads of these and they work up very quickly. The beauty about this pattern is that you can experiment with different yarn weights and crochet hooks to get different looks. There's no real 'right' way. Just have a little play with it. Enjoy :)

Crochet 3D Butterfly

You will need:
main colour yarn (I used DK)
contrasting colour yarn (I used DK)
crochet hook (I used 4mm)
yarn needle

1. using main colour yarn, make a magic loop, ch3, 15dcs into loop, join with sl st in top of ch3 (16)
2. ch3, turn, dc in st at base of ch3, ch1, 2dcs back into same st *sk next st, (2dcs, ch1, 2dcs) in next st*, rep *-* till end, sk last st, join with sl st in top of ch3 (8 shells)
3. turn, do not work a turning ch, *2dcs in ch sp, ch1, 2dcs in ch sp, slst in space between prev rows shells*, rep from *-*, sl st inbetween last prev rows shells then join with sl st in top of first dc (8 petals)
4. ch1, turn, hdc in st at base of ch, sl st in prev rows sl st, (hdc in next st, dc in next st, dc in ch1sp, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sl st in prev rows sl st - first small wing made), [hdc in next st, dc in next st, trc in ch1sp, ch3, trc in  same ch1sp, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sl st in prev rows sl st - first large wing made], rep from [-] to make second large wing, rep from (-) to make second small wing, rep from (-) to make third small wing, rep from [-] to make third large wing, rep from [-] to make fourth large wing, rep from (-) to make fourth small wing, omitting last hdc which was worked at the beginning of the round, join with sl st in 1st hdc, join contrasting colour yarn, if using (4 small wings, 4 large wings)
5. ch1, do not turn, hdc in same st as join, sl st in prev rows sl st, hdc in next st, dc in next st, 2dcs in next st, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sl st in prev rows sl st, hdc in next st, dc in next st, trc in next st, 5trcs in ch3sp, trc in next st, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sl st in prev rows sl st, repeat around, omitting last hdc which was worked at the beginning of the round, join with sl st in 1st hdc, bind off and weave in ends.

6. ch40, bind off, tie a knot in each end of the chain. Fold your butterfly in half and wrap the chain around the middle. Tie in a knot at the top of the body.

Now to make about 10 more!

I'm linking here:

Get Your Crap Together

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Wholewheat Broccoli and Goat's Cheese Muffins

We have been eating muffins by the dozen lately. I love how I can sneak veg in that the kids would otherwise never eat. It feels like we're having a treat but we are getting lots of healthy goodness!

The latest addition to my ever growing muffin repertoire is this wholewheat broccoli and goat's cheese muffin recipe. Delicious!

Wholewheat Broccoli and Goat's Cheese Muffins (Makes 12)

1 x medium broccoli, diced
150g hard goat's cheese, cubed
200g natural yoghurt
2 x medium eggs
3tbsps olive oil
seasoning (plenty of black pepper, pinch of turmeric, pinch of chilli powder, big pinch mixed herbs)
1tsp baking powder
145g wholewheat plain flour

Bring the broccoli up to the boil in a large pan, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4 mins or until tender. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Add to a food processor, along with the cubed cheese, and chop finely. In a large jug, mix together the yoghurt, eggs, oil and seasoning. Add the broccoli and cheese mixture. Add the baking powder and flour and mix until just combined. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. Use the mixture to fill the cases to the top. Cook on GM5 for 45mins - 1hr, until nicely browned on top and cooked through.

These didn't last more than an hour in front of me and my two hungry girls!

I'm linking here:


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Box Bottomed Plarn Bag

I always seem to have a million plastic bags in my house. Every time I go food shopping, I mean to take my own plastic bags with me, and every time I seem to forget. So I bring home another load of plastic bags, can't bear to throw them in the bin, and so keep them. I have an ever-growing mountain with bags full in my kitchen, spare room and in various cupboards!

Enough is enough. I'm going to make as many of these plarn bags as it takes to rid my house of the many plastic bags.

To make your own, you will need:

8mm (or bigger) crochet hook

Boxed Bottomed Plarn Bag

1. ch31, sc in 2nd ch from hook and across (30)
2-9. ch1, turn, sc across (30)
10. ch1, turn, sc across long edge, working 3scs in corner st, sc across short edge, working 3scs in corner st, sc across second long edge, working 3scs in corner st, sc across second short edge, working 2scs in same st as 1st sc, join with sl st in 1st sc (82)
11-17. ch1, turn, sc around, join with sl st in 1st sc (82)
18. ch1, turn, sc3tog, sc in next 7sts, sc3tog, sc in next 28sts, sc3tog, sc in next 7sts, sc3tog, sc in next 28sts, join with sl st in top of first sc3tog (74)
19-32. ch3, turn, sk st at base of ch3, dc around, join with sl st in top of ch3
33. ch1, turn, sc around, join with sl st in 1st sc (74)
34. ch1, turn, sc in next 17sts, ch 12, sk 12sts, sc in next 25sts, ch12, sk 12sts, sc in next 8sts, join with sl st in 1st sc
35. ch1, turn, sc in 9sts, work 12sts evenly around the chain, sc in next 25sts, work 12sts evenly around the chain, sc to end, join with sl st in 1st sc (74)
36-37. ch1, turn, sc around, join with sl st in 1st sc
38. bind off and weave in ends

Naomie and Boots seem to like it too :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Ruffle Heart Tshirt for Valentine's Day

I have actually been feeling extremely bah humbug about Valentine's Day this year. It is the first time I have been single in 5 years so I was just not at all feeling it. However, Leyla's nursery asked that all of the children wear something pink to celebrate. As soon as I heard that, I knew I had to make something for her to wear. I ummed and aahed for a while over what to make her but I finally decided on this simple little ruffle heart tshirt. It was so easy to make and turned out so cute.

I made this lovely ruffle heart tshirt using one plain tshirt in her size and a pair of leggings that I bought because I fell in love with the gorgeous polka dot pattern. You can use any knit (aka tshirt material) to make this.

First things first, you will need to trace a heart shape onto your plain tshirt. I made myself a template heart out of a piece of cardboard and just drew around that in the middle of the tshirt.

Next, you need to make your ruffle. Cut ½" strips of knit material. You don't need to finish the edges since knit material does not fray. If you are using small strips of knit, you will need to stitch them together to make one long strip. Lay the short ends of two strips together, right sides facing in. Stitch across the short ends with a straight stitch then a zigzag. Trim seam allowances. Open all of your strips out to get your long strip. Set your sewing machine to its highest tension setting and longest stitch setting. Sew a straight line right down the middle of your long strip, making sure NOT to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitch line. Your strip should start to automatically ruffle as it goes through the sewing machine. You can adjust the ruffle if needs be by pulling gently on the bobbin thread.

Now you will need to take your ruffle and pin it around the heart you previously drew onto your tshirt. I laid the middle line of stitching on top of the pencil line to make sure it was not visible once sewn down. If you use washable fabric marker then this is not a major issue but I couldn't find mine so had to use a pencil instead. Stitch the ruffle down, following the middle line you stitched in the previous step. I just stitched right on top of it. You can unpick the first row of stitching at this point but I didn't bother.

Stitch a line of straight stitch across the bottom short edge of your ruffle, just to neaten things a little and make sure the ends are not flapping about.

Aaand your done. Wasn't that easy :)

Now go and make one quick for Valentine's Day. You've just about got time!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Perfect Pancakes

Happy pancake day everyone!

Today I am going to be sharing a really simple and yummy recipe for pancakes. I actually love pancakes but I don't make them very often for my kids since they are a bit more effort than our usual breakfast. However, since it's pancake day, how could I not? :)

Perfect Pancakes (makes 8-10)

1 x mug
6 x eggs
plain flour
toppings (we use lemon juice, brown sugar and honey)

To make your pancakes, get yourself a large jug. Measure out 6 eggs into your mug. Take note how far up the mug your eggs go. Pour the eggs into your jug and mix. You will want to add the same amount of flour and then the same amount again of milk. It's really as simple as that. Whisk it all together well and leave it to sit in your fridge for about 30 mins.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add a ladleful of pancake batter once the pan is hot. Turn the pan to allow the batter to coat the bottom of the pan. Leave to cook until nicely browned on the bottom, then flip and cook the other side for a few minutes.


Now go and make your own and have a yummy pancake day :)

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