Yankee Candle Cosy

I was a little bit bored one evening so I decided my large Yankee candle needed a sweater! It’s a really quick pattern so it shouldn’t take too long.

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Equipment:

  • 7mm crochet hook
  • DK wool in any colour you like.

***I use American crochet terms in my patterns!***

Pattern:

  1. Make a foundation chain 38 sts long.
  2. DC into 3rd st from end of chain. Continue to end. (35)
  3. Ch 1. SC to end.
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 twice more.
  5. I added shell pattern stitching for the next few rows. I recommend this link for thorough instructions on how to crochet in this stitch.
  6. Repeat 5 twice more.
  7. Repeat 2 and 3 three more times.
  8. Fasten off and use the loose end to sew the sides together.

You can now pull the candle cosy over the top of the candle!

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This fits on all large Yankee candles, but will also fit any glass jar or candle of a similar size.

It’d be a great personalised addition to any gift (birthdays, housewarming, Christmas, etc)

(Pattern can also be edited to exclude the shell stitching. Another 3 repeats of steps 2 and 3 would do instead).

 

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Crochet Camera Bag

I have to confess, I don’t know this pattern off-by-heart because I made it up as I went along, but I’ll give you a rough idea!

Note: I use US notation for my patterns.

I used a 4.5 mm crochet hook and double knit yarn. You’ll also need a button and a darning needle for weaving and sewing the button on.

  1. Measure the width of your camera and make the foundation chain that long plus two sts. (I think mine was around 20).
  2. 2 hdcs in first st  (placing your hook through the third st on the chain) and 1 hdc  to the second last st, 2 hdcs in the last, then start crocheting in the “bottom” or underside of your foundation chain. Start with 2 hdcs and then 1 hdc to second last st and 2 hdcs in last st. Sl st to join.
  3. Ch 2 and hdc into each st around. Sl st to join. Repeat this until you get to roughly the right size of your camera. (It would look like a bowl or basket-type thing at this stage.
  4. When you’ve gotten to this stage, begin rows of hdcs on one half of you bag only to make the flap. (So if you’ve got a bag 44 sts in the round, maybe make the flap 20 sts.) Repeat rows until you reach your desired length.
  5. To the end of the flap on my camera bag, I added triangle edging. Firstly, because it looked nice and secondly, because it saves on having to make a button hole and you can pop your button through the central triangle. The pattern for that can be found here.
  6. Weave in your ends once you fasten off.
  7. Sew button on. I used a contrasting yarn for this, but it’s not essential.

Et voila!

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Bottle cap coasters

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I collected bottle caps at barbecues and parties (considering I live in Bavaria, I had quite a few in short time.)
I used nine of them per coaster.
I simply cut thick hemp string into pieces that would span three caps. Stuffed the caps with self hardening clay (bought it on amazon) and made sure the rope/string was well in the clay. I let them dry and voila, finished. Handy if you need coasters for outside things (the edges are too rough to use on good furniture inside) garden parties or barbecues are a good place to show off you alcoholic coasters.

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The caps will fall off the clay once it’s hard! They won’t last forever. I used a hot glue gun to glue the caps to the clay if they fell off. Worked like a charm.
To be honest you could probably just glue the string in without the clay but I think the clay is good to have to make it all a little heavier, easier to place with one hand and move them about.

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Advent Calenders

A little lae again … I take too long to upload my stuff…. oh well.

I made myself an advent calendar out of cardboard, empty matchboxes, wrapping paper scraps and a battery operated christmas lights.

First I covered the matchboxes in wrapping paper and numbered them 1 to 24. I bought the boxes on ebay for 3euro. I filled them with a piece of chocolate and a little note with instructions.

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Drew a Tree, made a shoot, coloured it in (badly… it was meant to be the prototype, it will end up staying this year.) stuck the light in from the back, filled the shoot with the matchboxes and lit it.

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I made one for my hubby too. Its a crate of beer with 20 different types of beer and each of them wears a numbered tag. We only need twenty because we’ll be gone for teh last 4 days.

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Hello-veen

 

Almost a month late… or maybe just ridiculously early for next year??

Here are a couple pics from our halloween party.

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A red light hidden behind a red ball wearing an old war gas mask and a glow in the dark fireman’s helmet…. yes these things are part of our “normal stuff”

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Light chain and fog maschine in the hallway. Later that night the fog flowed along the floor because we sent the fog through ice before letting it out onto the floor.

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avocado skull, chopped off fingers (with onion finger nails)

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cthulu’s tentacle. (made a mould from nwespaper around my arm, cut it in half, lined it with tinfoil -cling film is better – and poured in grape jelly and stuck some halved grapes in as suckers.)

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Again, the fingers…. and some “full of shit”eggs.

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Bowl of mud with worms.

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Yours truly and my other half.

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I made a brain. (stuck a piece of cardboard to a headband, glue a crocheted pink rope to it.)

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(camera phone pic) it looked pretty freaky in the dark cause you couldn’t identify my actual mouth. just looked like I dropped my jaw clean off. Also, manny te cat is on my shoulder. He kept a close eye on all the guests that night from his perch on the sofa.

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A vegetarian large intestine  (stuff spread  on filo pastry and sat in a bed of tomato sauce and baked.) I was told my Bowels were great! IMG_20131031_201622

sangria type witch’s punch  (with an ultrasonic fogger in it) .

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Spiced Apple Jam

Christmas is coming, so aside from the usual knitting and crocheting of gifts for people, I thought it would be nice to make some preserves as gifts for people. Nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like something you’ve invested time and effort into making yourself!

My grandad (and many others) absolutely love jams and jellies, so I thought this jam recipe was perfect for the Christmas season. I always associate apple and cinnamon scents with the festive season!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Bramley (or crab) apples
  • 1 kg jam sugar (contains pectin)
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 tsp each of nutmeg and allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • If you have no nutmeg, allspice or cinnamon, 1 tbsp of mixed spice will do perfectly well.

NOTE: if you want to make jam quickly without delay, do step 8 in the hour the apples are stewing (step 4).

Recipe:

  1. Wash and core your apples and chop them into roughly the same sized pieces into a large pot.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice on apples to stop them going brown.
  3. Just cover apples with water and place the pot on the cooker over a high heat until it is brought to the boil.
  4. 2013-09-24 18.42.03Simmer for an hour or until the fruit is pulped.
  5. Add sugar and spices over low heat until it has melted into the apple mixture.
  6. Raise the heat and test frequently to see if the jam has set, using a sugar thermometer or the cold plate method.
  7. 220°C is the setting temperature of jam. For the cold plate method, if you have no sugar thermometer, put a teaspoonful of jam on a plate that was in the freezer for 10 mins. Wait 15-20 seconds. If the jam wrinkles when pushed with the tip of your finger it has reached setting point.
  8. Place your jam into pre-sterilised jars. Washed jars placed in an oven at 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 1/2 for 10 minutes, a hot cycle in the dishwasher or just Milton should do the trick (rinse in plenty of water after Milton sterilisation).
  9. Enjoy your home-made jam.

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Jar labels can be removed with methylated spirits or by placing in water for a while and peeling off.

I have made my own labels and material lid covers 🙂

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Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Carving!!!

I’m sure nobody needs to be told how to carve their own pumpkin, so I’m just going to post a few pictures of the pumpkins I did this year and last year.

This was the owl pumpkin I carved last year. I just looked it up on Google images and drew it by eye with a permanent marker.

26102012465The permanent marker is a great way of making sure the design goes on smoothly (if you have no template). You can wipe off what’s left of it when you’re done with nail varnish remover (or alcohol) and tissue.

I did two pumpkins this year. One is just a creepy pumpkin face (design also found on Google).

DSCF7230This one was pretty easy to do because there were no delicate bits to contend with. Including all the scooping and clean up it took less than 2 hours. The second pumpkin was a bit more tricky. It’s a banshee that was carved part of the way through with a lino print tool.

DSCF7236This one took about 2 and a half hours, because of the delicacy involved and the fact that you must be very careful when using a lino print tool as it will slice through your finger without a bit of trouble!!

The only tip I can offer you with regards to pumpkin carving and display is to find some battery-operated tealights to put into your pumpkin to reduce the risk of fire and so you can leave it on the windowsill unattended even with the curtains drawn! They should also last all night so you won’t have to replace real tealights. Also, dip your carved pumpkin in diluted bleach to prevent it from going mouldy. It should last about a week that way.

Have fun, be safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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