Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall knitting and nibbling

"How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days." - J. Burroughs

I've never done a post combining knitting and food before (for obvious reasons, as one usually and hopefully precludes the other), but these are great ideas for Fall that are too good to pass up.
  • Homemade Caramel Apple Spice - Now you don't have to run to Starbucks if you're at home and craving this delicious Autumnal drink. Simply pour some of your favorite Apple Cider into a mug, heat it in the microwave until piping hot, then stir in two teaspoons of this blend of spices
  • Crock Pot Reuben Casserole - terribly simple, quick and delicious dinner for cold days. Spray the inside of the crock pot with nonstick spray, then layer the following ingredients in the following order two times:
    • 2 cups deli-style corned beef, torn into small pieces, divided
    • 15 oz. Sauerkraut, divided
    • 1/2 cup deli-sliced swiss cheese, divided
    • 1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing, divided 
    • 4 cups dry stuffing mix, divided
Once both layers have been arranged, cover and cook on Low for 2-4 hours, until the casserole is cooked through and the cheese is melted.

Now that dinner is cooking in the pot and you have a cozy delicious drink in your hand, time to break out the needles n' yarn and start thinking about this year's Christmas presents.

Seeing as times are tough and money is tight these days, homemade Christmas presents can help reduce costs while giving a gift that is unique and special. Even if your knitting skills are rudimentary, there are many things you can make that only require basic knitting ability. Now is the perfect time to get started on those projects, and give yourself enough time to negotiate potential rough spots in the patterns. 

Here are several ideas:
  • These adorable Penguins and Polar Bears. The pattern does not include an explanation of abbreviations, but they can easily be researched online, and with a bit of tenacity and patience (if you learn one thing from knitting, it is patience), these can be really cute stocking-stuffers. The pattern recommends using a rolled ball of yarn to stuff the body, but I'm planning on making a bean bag using dried beans sewn into a cloth pouch for the stuffing.
  • This Harry Potter Scarf Bookmark. I grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione, and when the movies came out I adored the Gryffindor House scarves. This pattern calls for double-knitting, which makes the scarf thicker, but it can be done like a regular scarf, too - just cast on 10 to 12 stitches instead of the 16 suggested (adding an extra two or four stitches instead of just casting on half of the original number of stitches gives a little extra at the sides of the "scarf" for rolling under), and knit away. If you don't do the double knitting, be sure to block the scarf so that it lays flat.
  • These Little Women Bookmarks. Ok, yes, I know - I promised simple and easy knitting patterns and these involve lace knitting, but don't worry; lace knitting is not as hard as you think, just a little tricky to figure out. With the internet at your fingertips, and plenty of knitting video tutorials out there, figuring out lace knitting on your own is possible with tenacity, patience (nope, that word is not going away), and prayer. These bookmarks are definitely "spicier" than the previous two patterns and should not be attempted unless you've been doing basic knitting stitches for a while, and are looking to branch into something a little more challenging. 
  • Coffee Cup Cozy. This cozy is ridiculously simple to make, uses up leftover sock yarn, and is more fun than the boring cardboard sleeves you get with your regular latte. 
  • Wine Bottle Cozy. These can be made with fun yarns that have sparkles, fur, etc. Just pop a bottle of wine into one and put a bow on it - instant tidings of comfort and joy!
  • Cell Phone Cozy. This pattern is terribly simple, and there are more complex ones out there, but this is perfect for a small amount of yarn and basic knitting skills. 
Stay warm this fall, and good luck with your knitting!

No comments:

Post a Comment