Giant Easter Egg

I was giving an Easter gift, and I wanted to put it in a giant egg, but any plastic eggs I found were too small, so I decided to make my own. So, maybe it ended up looking more like a weird missile than an egg, but whatever.

Start with a large rectangle of cardboard, score the entire length of the cardboard every two inches with the grain.

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Roll the cardboard into a tube, with the scores on the outside. Overlap the last strip on each edge and hot glue together.

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Score the outside of the tube to make shape the ends of the egg. My cardboard already had creases, or I would have scored it again about half way down. This would have been easier before gluing it into a tube, but I wasn’t sure how far up to start the curve. Cut through the scores delimiting the strips, up to the farthest circumference score.

Do the same on both ends. On one end make the circumference score farther down the tube, so one end of the egg will be pointier.

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Put two balloons inside the egg, inflated to just fit inside of it. Use these as a base to help shape the ends. Pull each strip down, each strip overlapping the previous one. Hot glue may have worked best here, but I couldn’t find any more glue sticks. So, I used duct tape. Lots and lots of duct tape. I completely covered each end with colored duct tape and used that for the coloring too.

I wrapped the middle section of the egg in blue painters tape. (Painters tape because it was handy.)

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Cut through the score along the length,then cut through the scores on the top and bottom of each of the flaps, to make an opening to put things inside the egg. This will pop the balloons.

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Close the flaps and tape them shut. I was hoping to put just one strip of tape to close the flaps, but they kept popping open, so I wrapped the whole thing in tape a few more times.

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It…kinda looks like an egg…

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Chocolate Oatmeal

Chocolate Oatmeal

35 g        Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/2 T      Chia
14 g        Almonds, ground
1/2 T      Cocoa
20 g       Chocolate Chips, 51% cocoa
3/4 C      Water
1/4 t       Vanilla Extract

  1. Put the cocoa and chocolate and almonds in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Put the oatmeal, chia seed, and water in a large microwave safe bowl (6 cups, at least – it seems overkill, but I have never had my oatmeal boil over in the microwave).
  3. Microwave for 2:30 on high power.
  4. Pour oatmeal into the bowl with the chocolate, add vanilla, add milk to taste, stir.

353 calories (without milk)

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I prepare oatmeal packs ahead of time – one container of oatmeal and chia, one of chocolate and cocoa, and one of the almonds.I measure out the vanilla last minute.

The advantage of this division is so I can make different flavor combinations. Sometimes I use walnuts instead of almonds. And sometimes I’m in the mood for cinnamon raisin instead of chocolate.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Flavor

¼ C Raisins
½ T Brown Sugar
¼ t Cinnamon

Prepare as chocolate oatmeal, but add the above ingredients to the oatmeal before microwaving and omit the chocolate and cocoa.

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Nutella Cresent Star

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  • Recipe source: http://www.popsugar.com/food/Braided-Nutella-Croissant-Bread-37225124
  • Modifications
    • Used two tubes of ‘big and flaky’ crescent rolls instead of four regular tubes
      • They are cheaper and four tubes seemed like a lot
    • Shaping the dough
      • Not as easy as it looks in the video
      • I tried rolling it, it wasn’t working for me
      • This is more of a bread dough than a cookie dough, so I treated it as such – more pinching and pressing and stretching than rolling
    • Used an 8 inch circle instead of a 10 inch
      • Because I used less dough
      • And I have an 8 inch circle handy
      • And I don’t have a pizza pan, so I had to fit it on a cookie sheet
    • I didn’t use the whole jar of Nutella
      • Because I used less dough
      • Next time, I will use the whole jar
    • Used a tiny Tupperware cup instead of a mason jar
      • Because I used a smaller circle, and because that seemed like a lot of unused dough
    • I did not cut off the excess dough to make a perfect circle
    • Skipped the egg wash
      • Mainly because I forgot

 

 

A friend tagged me in a video recipe of Christmas Tree shaped pastry made of puff pastry and Nutella. But I didn’t really like that recipe – I’ve never used puff pastry before, and the shaping of the tree looked unnecessarily finicky. So I searched around and I found this recipe. Then I simplified it even further. I didn’t make it for Christmas, but I did bring it for new years. It was delicious, and big hit. There was none left by the end of the evening.

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Bunny Hat

Child’s Ribbed Blanket Hat with Bunny Ears

I was getting together with some friends for Easter, and I had Easter gifts for the kids. Then, the day before, I realize there was one more kid coming than I had planned for. So, of course, I decide to knit her a hat. Luckily, I have a nice little stash of Blanket Yarn.

 

Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn – “Pink Twist”

Size 10.5 needles

CO 32 stitches

Knit first and last stitch of every row in stockinet (for seam), knit rest of row in 2×2 rib.
Repeat for about 7.5 inches, then start decreases

Decreases: (keep first and last stitch in stockinet)
*k4, dec,* knit the same stitch as the one below; for decreases, if one of the stitches below is a knit the knit, if both are purl then purl
knit a row in pattern (same stitch as the one below)
*k3, dec*
knit row in pattern
Continue until decreasing every stitch
Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Pull tail through the remaining stitches and use it to sew seam.

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I could have stopped there, it took me less then two hours knit up the hat, but I couldn’t shake the thought of how cute it would be with little bunny ears. (The ears took about twice as long as the hat.)

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My first ear looked a bit more Yoda-like than bunny-like. I went back to Google and decided that I needed to alter the shape (more tear drop, less pointy) and that I needed a contrasting color for the underside of the ear. The second ear came out adorable.

Ears:

(‘back’ of ears is the underside, ‘front’ is the top)
Pick up 4 stitches on the hat, right below start of decreases
knit all in stockinet
knit 3 rows
pick up 4 stitches from the back of the ear on a second needle and start knitting in the round
knit one row
on back of ear: k1 mc, k2 cc, k1 mc (continue mc for entire front of ear)
continue about 2 inches
Increase:
on front inc 1st and last, on back inc 1st and last stitch in mc
you should now have 6 stitches on each needle. At this point you may want to split the front to 2 needles, 3 on each
back: k1 mc, k4 cc, k1 mc
continue about 2 inches
Decrease:
on back  dec 1st and last in mc, front: dec 1st and last. Leaving 4 st in front and 4 in back
cut cc and continue only in mc
k 1 round
dec 1st and last on each side, leaving 2 on each side
dec front and back leaving 1 on each side
cut yarn and pull through remaining two stitches
stitch in tails

Repeat on opposite side of hat.

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Next time: Make it a little wider: co 38. It fits alright as is, but because of the way it stretches it gets a bit of a cone-head effect. I could make it shorter instead, but I like the idea of leaving some room to grow.

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The ears were worth it; it looked super adorable on her.

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Cow-Dog Plushie

There’s a kid I know, and I’m pretty sure he has a knitting curse. Nothing I have tried to knit for him has turned out how I planned, starting with the baby blanket. After two tries at a minion hat this summer, I skipped a knitted gift for Christmas and got out the sewing machine (that turned out awesome).

I knit a baby blanket for his incoming baby brother, so I was determined to try again. My specialty is hats, but he’s not really fond of hats (which may be part of my problem), so I’ve had an idea for a while to knit him a stuffed animal. I already failed at that the Christmas before last, but I’ve been making a bunch of tiny monster toys since then, so I gave it another go.

I knit most of it at a knitting retreat, and I was really happy with it. Most of the people I was with looked at it, and asked if I was making a cow, and I happily responded that yes, I was making a cow. I loved how it turned out and thought it was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever made.

Then I took it with me the next time I saw my mom, and proudly showed it off. Her response: “Well…At least it’s recognizable as a dog.” She’s not the only one that thinks it’s dog. I think the main problem is the torso is too long. The tail sticking up doesn’t help any (I didn’t mean for it to do so). My mom blames the ears, says they’re too big. Actually, she first blamed the color, because it’s not the right color for a cow … because dogs are green and blue? I thought about adding horns or an udder, but I’m not sure I could pull either off convincingly, and I’d need to add another color.

Anyway, I still think it’s pretty cool, and I’m willing to go along with it being a dog. Besides, it’s not my fault; the kid is cursed.

 

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Folly Cosplay: Shirt

“Her grey shirt was made of ethersilk, patched in several places, and looked as though it had been tailored for a man almost two hundred pounds heavier than she was.”

I started looking for the shirt early; I was checking thrift stores for large, grey, button down shirts, preferably something silky. I hadn’t found anything close, until I mentioned it to my family one day. It turns out that my brother had the perfect shirt in a pile of clothes he was getting rid of.

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All that’s left was sewing on some patches. I figured that an ethersilk shirt would most likely be patched with ethersilk, so I looked for silky fabric to patch it with. I found some appropriate shirts half-off from Goodwill. I went with bold colors, because I figured that Folly would patch her clothes with whatever seemed ‘appropriate’ at the time. I used the same logic when choosing thread to sew the patches on, and I didn’t stress too much about keeping the stitches even. I even switched thread colors in the middle of sewing on some patches.

 

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Butterfly Scarf

I wanted to knit something with butterflies. So I went to the internet. Turns out there’s a stitch called the butterfly stitch.*

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It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind at first, and was completely different from anything I’d done before, but it grew on me. I knit a few practice swatches, and experimented a little with different dimensions for the butterflies.

I settled on the original pattern – 5 stitches wide and 5 repeats tall. (by repeats, I mean visible strands in the butterfly wings – one row of slipping, one of knitting, well, purling.) The butterfly needs to be an odd number of stitches wide, in order to get the head in the center. I didn’t want any wider, so I tried three stitches wide but it didn’t look right. It was disproportionate and the strands were too narrow to be noticeable.

I did try three wide by three tall, but those looked more like ants than butterflies. Regardless of width, three strands tall looks more like insects.

I tried the top and bottom strands five wide and the middle strand three wide, to make them look more like a butterfly, but it didn’t work out, The middle strand wasn’t noticeable enough. One of these actually stayed in the final scarf.

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Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (medium weight): 1 skein Soft Grey Heather (silver), 1 skein Charcoal Heather (darker grey)

CO 5 x 5 + 8 = 33
Stockinette first few rows
Stitches 1, 2, 32, 33: garter stitch
Stitches 3, 4, 30, 31: stockinette
The middle stitches: Butterfly stitch, 5×5, start with 3 butterflies. So, butterfly 5 stitches, stockinette 5, butterfly 5, stockinette 5, butterfly 5; the next set of butterflies stockinette 5, butterfly 5, stockinette 5, butterfly 5, stockinette 5.

Knit half the scarf, then put it on a stitch holder and knit the other half (so the butterflies face the same direction).

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I originally planned to do the entire scarf in silver, but I realized that I wouldn’t have enough yarn to make the scarf as long as I wanted it. I considered buying another skein, even if the dye lot would be different, but then I settled on using a contrasting color instead. In the end I like it better this way. I really like how the color join turned out.

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The hardest part ended up being joining the two halves of the scarf. I’d used the kitchener stitch once before, but I didn’t have it quite right. I didn’t really care at the time, because it was in an inconspicuous location, but for this I really wanted the join to be smooth. I practiced quite a few times until I got it right. The key for me ended up being working on the wrong side – the purl side – instead of the right side, and practicing using a contrasting color to stitch the pieces together, so that I could see my work.

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In the end, the join turned out beautiful. I have to check the direction of the butterflies to make sure I have the right place.

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I intended this scarf to be a Christmas gift. I did start it before Christmas, but I didn’t finish it until…much later. Part of the problem is that the pattern is repetitive enough to be boring after a while, but complex enough that I can’t do it without looking. So working on it in venues like a movie theater is not an option. Then it took me a few more weeks to master the kitchener stitch for the join.

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After all that time I put into the scarf, I took a few photos of it. Then a few more. I may have gone a bit overboard. I decided that the real reason that the butterfly scarf took so long is because it wanted to go on adventures, and, well, this happened:

The Adventures of the Butterfly Scarf

*http://www.vogueknitting.com/resources/stitchionary/knit_purl/butterfly_stitch
http://knitting.about.com/od/stitchglossary/g/butterfly.htm

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