Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crochet: Crossed Stitch Beanie Pattern


Today I'm sharing the pattern for my latest beanie. I've called it the Crossed Stitch Beanie because the majority of the hat is crocheted using the double crochet crossed stitch. I love the way it turned out and the crossed stitch gives the hat a wonderful texture and makes it a bit fancier than you're regular basic beanie without any extra effort.

Now I'm not very good when it comes to getting the gauge right when following patterns - you need to take into account factors such as tension, hook size, yarn - and some patterns are just too much for me to get my ahead around if I need to change them in anyway.

I'll include instructions for when to stop or keep going to make sure you get the right size. I made this hat for me but it would be really easy to make it smaller for a child and you can embellish it in any way you like - buttons, pom-pom, crochet flower, etc.

Hook: 4.50 mm
Yarn: Panda Mangum Soft

Ch - chain
Sl st - slip stitch
DC - double crochet
SC - single crochet

STOP INCREASING AND SKIP TO ROUND 10 AS SOON AS YOUR FLAT CIRCLE MEASURES 6.5" ACROSS.

R1: Magic circle. Ch 2 (counts as first DC, now and throughout). DC 11 times into the circle. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R2: Ch 2, 2 DC in each stitch around. Join with sl st to top of ch-2.

R3: Ch 2, *2 DC in next st, 1 DC in next stitch* Repeat around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R4: Ch 2, 1 DC  in next stitch, *2 dc in next stitch, 1 DC into next 2 stitches* Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R5: Ch 2, 1 DC in next 2 stitches, *2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next 3 stitches* Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R6: Ch 2, 1 DC in next 3 stitches, * 2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next 4 stitches* Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R7: Ch 2, 1 DC in next 4 stitches, * 2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next 5 stitches* Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R8: Ch 2, 1 DC in next 5 stitches, * 2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next 6 stitches* Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R9: Ch 2, 1 DC in next 6 stitches, * 2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next 7 stitches* Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

YOUR FLAT CIRCLE SHOULD MEASURE 6.5" ACROSS (if it's too small, keep increasing until you get the right measurement).

R10: Ch 2, *skip 1st stitch, DC in next stitch, cross over and DC in skipped stitch* Repeat from * around. 1DC in last stitch, join with sl st to top of ch 2.

R11: Ch 1, SC (BACK LOOPS ONLY) in each stitch around. Join with sl st to top of ch 1.

R12 - 25: Repeat rows 10 and 11.

R26 - 31: Ch 1, SC (BACK LOOPS ONLY) in each stitch around. Join with sl st to top of ch 1.

Fasten off and weave in ends.



Tip: Try the hat on as you go and adjust the length as necessary - make sure to leave enough room for the SC band which measures roughly 1".

If you make a Crossed Stitch Beanie using this pattern, I'd love for you to share some photos in the Monkey Makes Three Flickr group or leave a link in the comments.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Month By Month: 6/12

Simple and achievable.


We did a day trip up to Palmy - you love throwing stones into the river.

Cousins - you two are so sweet together now that J is old enough to play your games.

Stilton often sneaks in with Mummy to check on you while you're sleeping.


Watching a movie with Mummy - must be riveting judging by the expression on your face.

Still smiling even when you're sick.

Stilton had his operation and we needed to keep him inside so Dad slept in your room with him (to keep him out of mischief) and you ended up in our bed. You didn't even wake when I moved you but you did notice sometime in the night because you woke up and yelled "Ah, what am I doing here?" It would have been funny if I hadn't been so tired - I didn't sleep a wink.

1/12
2/12
3/12
4/12
5/12

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Recipe: Peanut Butter and Honey Granola

This year I've been trying to be a bit more health conscious. One thing I really struggle with is eating breakfast. I'm not a morning person and by the time I've gotten R dressed and out the door to school, the last thing I feel like doing when I get back is eating. So I've been making a real effort to eat breakfast every single day and I'm not just talking a couple of slices of toast here (though I do have the occasional day where that's all I can manage but at least I'm still eating something).

I'm all about quick and healthy options so today I'm sharing my latest granola recipe which you can make ahead of time and is perfect for a quick and tasty breakfast.


Feel free to play around with the ingredients and use whatever nuts and seeds that you prefer. You can also add dried fruit once the granola has been cooked.

INGREDIENTS
3 cups whole grain oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashew nuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup honey

METHOD
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, gently melt together the honey and peanut butter.

Pour the honey and peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.

Spread the mixture out on a baking tray and bake at 150 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes until the granola is golden brown (approx 20-30 mins).

Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Find more recipes here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Month By Month: 5/12

So I'm a little late posting last months photos (like almost a month too late) but better late than never right. I'm also ashamed to say that I've been using instagram on my phone more than my actual camera - it just makes it so easy to capture everyday moments.

Simple and achievable.


R and Stilton - best buds. Stilton starts purring like a machine as soon as he gets up on your bed.

Such a grown up boy! You requested spikes at the hairdressers.

You look so sweet and peaceful when you're sleeping.


Giggling and monkeying around with Daddy.

Reluctantly modelling the new poncho that Mummy made you to replace your old one which the cat now sleeps on.

All three of my boys - such a sweet moment - you love spending time with your Daddy.

1/12
2/12
3/12
4/12

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sewing: Car Caddy

I whipped up this wallet style car caddy as a gift for a little boy - it's perfect for when you're traveling and need some on the go entertainment.
I spent ages browsing Pinterest but I couldn't find a tutorial that was exactly what I wanted so I had a go at making up my own.

It's a little bit wonky and there are a couple of things that I would change next time but for a first try, I'm happy with how it turned out.

Joining in here:
Sew Cute Tuesday link party button Show & Tell Thursday's

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kiwi Mummy Blog Review:
Vitarium Sugar Free Kids Drink Mixes

Recently I was given the chance, through Kiwi Mummy Blogs, to try out the new Vitarium range of sugar free drink mixes for kids. I've always been put off by the sugar content in other drink mixes so I was super excited to give these a try.

We were given three flavours to try: kids banana, strawberry and chocolate. 

This range of drink mixes from Vitarium are naturally sweetened with Natvia and have far less calories than other drink mixes. They are also gluten free, nut free, wheat free, egg free, yeast free and GMO free so everyone can enjoy them.

They are really easy to use - simply add 4 tsp to a glass of milk and you're good to go.

R tried the chocolate mix first and guzzled it straight down. Now for a kid who doesn't really like drinking milk or hot chocolate this was pretty amazing.

Out of all three mixes the chocolate one was a firm favourite. He also liked the banana flavour but wasn't as keen on the strawberry mix as he found it a bit too sweet. I personally liked the banana one the best - the flavour was subtle and it had just the right amount of sweetness for me. I was a little bit put off by the undissolved granules left at the bottom of the cup but that's just me being fussy - it certainly didn't bother R and giving it a good stir as you drink should help disperse any undissolved mix.

Kiwi Mummy Blogs

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Infinity Scarf

I have been wanting to sew myself an infinity scarf for some time now, but for such a quick and simple project, it required a lot of thought - who knew that deciding on the length and width would be so difficult?!


I finally just bit the bullet and hoped for the best. Dare I say that it turned out perfectly?! It's exactly how I'd imagined it - not too loose (or tight) and the perfect width to make it nice and full and really cozy.


I've had this fabric in my stash for ages and it was perfect for this project. Black and white is a classic colour combination and this scarf will go with lots of other items in my wardrobe.


I can see myself making quite a few of these in all sorts of colours and fabrics. Such a quick, satisfying project.

Joining in here:

Sew Cute Tuesday  Show & Tell Thursday's

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: Stitch It Simple by Beth Sheard
25 Hand Sewn Projects to Make and Share

These projects and patterns for accessories and home decor are guaranteed to work well for sewing novices and produce fun, fast, beautiful results. Created for new-to-sewing crafters who have little or no experience in hand stitching or using a sewing machine, each project offers clear instructions and everything readers need to stitch something they are sure to love. With a wonderful passion for sewing featured on every page, readers will soon discover just how gratifying sewing can be.

Even though the book is being marketed for beginners, I'm sure that more experienced sewers will have just as much fun using the patterns in this book. The projects are sweet, simple and colourful and great for using up fabric scraps. The author also includes basic sewing, embroidery and applique instructions - which I always find handy.

Some of my favourite projects in the book are: the patchwork chair pad, circles cushion, fish on a line, sardine panel and balloon cushion - I can't wait to get stuck in and start creating.

Rating: 4/5
Taunton Press
October 14, 2014
Source: NetGalley