Friday, March 11, 2016

Ruffle Cuffs in Crochet

These ruffled wristwarmers are crocheted with sportweight yarn.  Fast and fun to make: no seaming or blocking.  An innovative ruffling technique is included, which produces uniform ruffles that keep their shape.  Wear them tucked in or tucked out, or put one on your jam jar to dress up a meal.

Skill Level   Easy - Intermediate

86-120 yds / 79-110m sportweight / DK wool, acrylic, or blend

A free .pdf of this pattern is available as a Ravelry download.

download now

You can find crochet tips and variations for this pattern in the following posts:
Ruffled Jar Cozy
Smooth Chain Finish
Forming a Base Chain Circle

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Victoriana at Its Best

Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy
by Sarah Ban Breathnach

One of my favorite books!  It has lovely Victorian pictures in a month-by-month treatment of various holidays and seasonal celebrations with great recipes and ideas on how to observe these special days.  In the process, "Mrs. Sharp" manages to put forth a gentle, family-centered philosophy of life.

This is the first Sarah Ban Breathnach book I came across several years ago.  I loved it so much that I went out and got her Simple Abundance books.  Personally I prefer Mrs. Sharp over her widely popular series.

This post is part of Orange Week on the blog.  Check out the other posts:
Orangey Jar Cozy
In Love with Mandarin Oranges
Avocado & Orange Salad

Monday, March 7, 2016

Orangey Jar Cozy

This is the prototype for my new free Ruffle Cuffs pattern--a crocheted pair of wristwarmers. I'm showing it here on a jar of orange marmalade.  Yum.

As a jar cozy, I made this one out of 100% cotton baby-weight yarn in the pattern's Small size. X-Small fits a 1/2-pint canning jar, and Large fits a pint canning jar--both large mouth and regular. For a custom jar cozy, you might want to vary the sleeve length somewhat, but it can be squished up or stretched down a bit as needed.

If you use cotton yarn for a jar cozy, it will shrink when you machine wash and dry it. So if you plan to do that, you might want to make the cozy a size larger. It will still fit the jar before it has shrunk, just not as snugly. To make it bigger than size Large in the pattern, just add a multiple of 10 chains to the base chain when you start.

This post is part of Orange Week on the blog.  Check out the other posts:
Victoriana at Its Best
In Love with Mandarin Oranges
Avocado & Orange Salad

Friday, March 4, 2016

Avocado & Orange Salad

This salad makes a yummy meal, which we eat about once a week at our house.  Here in South Texas, avocados are available year-round and we have a mandarin orange tree in our yard.  Heaven!

You can easily use a regular orange or a grapefruit instead of a mandarin.  Just add extra dressing to sweeten it up, according to the fruit you're using.  A small batch of my golden poppyseed dressing can be made using the recipe below.  You can get the full recipe here.


serves 2
1 medium  mandarin orange or tangerine
1 medium avocado
poppyseed dressing*
fresh spinach leaves

Peel and separate the orange segments.  Cut into bite-sized pieces and remove the seeds.  Place in a bowl and stir in 3-4 tsp. poppyseed dressing, depending upon how sweet or sour the orange is.

Cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with salt.

Assemble the salad in individual large bowls.  Start with a bed of lettuce, add half the orange mixture, then half the avocado pieces.  Drizzle more poppyseed dressing over the avocado.

*Golden Poppyseed Dressing
 1 Tbsp. honey or vegan sweetener
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground mustard
pinch onion powder
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. poppyseeds
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well.

This post is part of Orange Week on the blog.  Check out the other posts:
 In Love with Mandarin Oranges
Orangey Jar Cozy
Victoriana at Its Best