Thursday, August 29, 2013

scalloped washcloth pattern

I saw some dishcloths online and wanted to make my own as washcloths for Mother's Day with some cotton twine I had.  I studied the picture and came up with how to do it.  while writing my pattern it seemed a little difficult to follow, but this is really an easy one to do - I just don't know how to write it out so it's not confusing!
a cotton yarn like Sugar and Cream with a size 5.5mm hook works well with this pattern.

ch = chain
dc = double crochet
sc = single crochet
sk = skip
sl st = slip stitch
st = stitch

round 1:
12 sc into loop, pull tail tight, sl st into 1st st to join round

round 2:
ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 2 corner)
*1 dc in next 3 sts, ch 2 to make corner, repeat from * 3 times
sl st in top of the first dc (the ch 3) to join round, and sl st into ch 2 corner space
total of 12 dc sts (including beginning ch 3)

rounds 3-8:
ch 3 (counts as first dc)
1 dc, ch 2, 2 dc into corner space
*1 dc in between each dc from previous row
2 dc into the ch 2 corner space, ch 2, 2 dc into same ch 2 corner space
repeat from * 2 more times
1 dc in between each dc on the last side
sl st to join into first dc (the ch 3 from beginning of row), and sl st into ch 2 corner space
total of 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, and 84 dc sts (including beginning ch 3)

round 9:
ch 3 (counts as first dc)
8 dc into ch 2 corner space
side: (sk 2 dc sts and sc in between dc sts, sk 2 dc sts and do 7 dc in between dc sts) - repeat 3 times
corner: (sk 2 dc sts and sc in between dc sts, 9 dc into ch 2 corner space - you'll be skipping 3 dc sts this time)
repeat side and corner for the next 2 sides
repeat side once more, then sl st into the top of the ch 3 of the 1st corner to join round
weave in ends
total of 168 sts (including beginning ch 3)

if you want to add a loop to hang the washcloth from, when you get to the 4th corner, between the 4th and 5th dc, make a ch 10 and sl st to the first chain, then continue in the pattern.

once you get the hang of these, they whip up in no time.  this one is sort of a mindless project for me, but I think a video might work better to see that than my written pattern.  I will try to work on that.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

laundry detergent

I've been seeing ways to make laundry detergent for a long time, and just never got around to making any.  I finally accumulated the last few ingredients I needed for this recipe from How Does She? (minus the scent crystals) and then sat on it all for a few more days before mixing it all up!  some days I'm just not up for extra projects.
I had baked the baking soda to make washing soda back when I made pretzels, so grating the Zote was the next most time consuming part.  great arm workout, though.  I can't imagine if I'd made the full recipe with two bars of Zote!  this would have been a 2 day project so I could rest up after the first bar was grated ;)
the Zote smells pretty good, kinda lemon-y, but I can't really tell that there's a scent after the clothes have been washed, which is fine.  I couldn't find the white bar so I went with pink, and after I got the pink I found the white.  way it goes!  so next batch I'll use the white in case the pink tints our clothes, as was suggested by someone else online.  I haven't noticed anything turning pink, but I'd rather be safe than sorry with a house of non-pink-wearers.
it made quite a lot more detergent than I was expecting (this is a 8QT mixing bowl!), so halving the recipe worked out fine, but I had to go find a larger container to hold it all so I didn't have a bunch of smaller containers full of detergent on top of the washer.
what I really like is I hardly have to use any at all so it should last a while before I need to make more.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

soft beer pretzels!

on Hilah's Texas Kitchen she shows how to make soft beer pretzels.  I wasn't sure they'd be all that great because I've never had luck with homemade stuff like this in the past, but I was surprised!

I used Honey Brown Lager in mine.  I don't know how much the brand impacts the flavor because I couldn't taste it after they were baked, but I'd like to think it made them extra awesome.  Leo and Jack liked them as well.
they're best when they're fresh out of the oven, so we ate them smothered in caramel and nuts and powdered sugar the next day when they lost a little something while sitting all night and had that pruned look to them.  the salt absorbed up the moisture from the bread and they were a little soggy, but when they had sugary goodness all over them ya didn't notice!
these will be added to our backyard movie night recurring menu for sure - yay!