Learn to Crochet A Hat!

7459.jpgFirst things first…the winner of my Craftsy class! Congrats to Alaxandra L! I’ve already contacted her. Thank y’all for playing along!

Now…onto the actual blog post!

Remember my blog post, Learn to Crochet a Shawl? When I announced my new line of patterns, Singles?

Singles are specific patterns available via Ravelry that are perfect for beginners to take their skills to the next level. Each will focus on a different technique!

This week we have a really cool hat, Ruga. A perfect three season hat (maybe four depending on where you live) that is versatile, unisex, and really fun to work up! Did I mention it is only ONE DOLLAR.

You can get the pattern here for just $1.00!

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Crochet hat’s are a perennial favorite. They tend to be the second or third thing we learn to crochet and they are a lot of fun.

However, one of the scariest steps for crocheters is to go from working flat (back and forth) to working in the round. That, combined with decreasing/increasing, pattern stitches, and changing colors can make a lot of hats challenging.

I wanted to counter that by making a fun and fashionable hat that is worked flat! Yup! FLAT.

The hat uses an older yarn that is no longer in production but that’s okay. You just need a DK weight yarn. Something in between a fingering weight yarn and a worsted weight yarn. As long as everything matches up gauge wise…you’ll be good to go.

Gauge is the measurement of stitches and rows per inch.

The fun stitch is inspired by one of my FAVORITE plants and the colors just happen to be that of one of my fav college football teams. You can make it in your favorite colors, though.

You can get the pattern here for just $1.00!

I hope you share this post with all of your friends!

Keep Crocheting!

R

7 Secrets to Clean Eating Success

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Whether you are already counting points or just thinking about eating a healthier dinner once a week, here are some secrets to help you succeed…

1) Walk Off Your Next Meal

Sometimes you don’t need to change what you’re eating, you just need to change the amount you’re eating. I keep every meal within the same caloric restrictions. If I cannot walk it off in a reasonable amount of time…there are too many calories.

At my height and weight I burn off about 500 calories if I walk for 45 minutes at a brisk pace. That is a great tool to gauge the size and quantity of what I should eat. This will save you calories and after a few weeks will become second nature. Just make sure to adjust the caloric intake as you lose weight!

2) Be Mindful

Clean eating isn’t just about making sure you’re putting the right foods in your body to keep it running at the optimal setting. It is also about getting your mind and body in sync with one another. You must be mindful.

When cooking a meal, try shutting the kitchen door and focusing on just what you’re doing. Don’t multitask. Focus on the food. Limit distractions.

Doing this gives you the time you need to connect with your food and to connect with what you are going to be making yourself. Clean eating is about detoxifying your mind, body, and soul. Cleaning out all of those areas of life that have gotten clogged over the years.

3) Go Organic…if You Can

One of the benefits of clean eating is that you are limiting yourself to only putting good food in your body. That’s it. We all know that the world is full of stuff that’s not so good for us and often that stuff is injected, sprayed on, or coated on our food.

Going organic means you are keeping those chemicals off your food and out of your body. This is primarily important when juicing or consuming raw fruits and veggies. Washing doesn’t take all of the chemicals off.

The easiest way to go organic? Shop at your farmers market. Don’t have one? Grow your food. Can’t do that? Check your local area for a CSA (community supported agriculture) that you can join! Your body will thank you!

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4) Juice

I’ve said it before but I cannot express enough my love of juicing. Why? It is one of the most successful ways of delivering the right nutrients to you body. Think of it as healthy fast food.

Every morning I’m up at 6. I make my family a huge pitcher of Carrot, Apple, and Lemon juice. It is invigorating, full of fiber, and filling as all get out. I don’t drink coffee or tea. My energy is simply from the juice.

Juicing provides some key benefits:

  • Calorie reduction without nutrient deprivation
  • Promotion of healthy eating habits
  • Delicious way to consume fresh produce
  • Floods the body with micronutrients

Not sure about juicing? The best way is to try it just once a day as a snack! Lots of places sell cold pressed juice! Here in Raleigh, I can get it delivered!

5) Get Geeky

Sometimes the excitement of a new adventure burns only long enough for you to see it through one meal. The key is in repetition.

The best way to do this? Immerse yourself in the lifestyle. Cook lots. Read articles. Research cookbooks. Make your library or indie bookstore your best friends. There are so many resources out there for individuals looking to get a bit healthier.

My rule of thumb is to read everything once, making notes as I go about passages or chapters that I’d revisit. Then I go back. Sometimes a book isn’t worth it’s weight in paper and the diet industry is a billion dollar business…so be careful.

However, there are a few gems out there from trusted sources! Dig!

6) Follow the Leader

I often find what I need is to follow. I like a plan. A set workout routine. I want something that I can rely on with certainty.

In 2006 I discovered Leslie Sansone and her Walk at Home program. I HIGHLY recommend it to those of you that cannot get time to get outside and take a walk. If you can only fit 15 minutes in a day…you can walk a mile. Just 15 minutes will clear your mind, airways, and get your heart pumping the way it needs to.

Sitting is the new smoking…we’ve all heard it. Our bodies were meant to move. Get up and move. You’re body (and mind) will thank you! Not to mention…it helps flush toxins…a double benefit!

7) Be Independent

I always heard…YOU NEED A SUPPORT SYSTEM…I call bull crap on that. You don’t need anybody but you. You are strong enough to do this. You are strong enough to succeed.

The truth is…gaining weight is often isolating. Losing weight can be just as isolating. Sometimes a support system just isn’t there and I’m here to tell you…that’s okay. You don’t have to have a weekly meeting, a supportive spouse, or a family that backs you up. If you do? Great! That’s awesome and it might help you succeed even more.

Me? I live far away from most of my family and the support system here at home, isn’t always the best. Can it be lonely? Sure. However, that loneliness is often overtaken by a desire to succeed. You have to learn to be your own support system. No one’s going to be there to help every minute of every day…except you!

Clean eating and getting healthy can be the greatest thing that ever happened to you or it can make you feel trapped in a hamster wheel of kale and hemp protein. How do you make clean eating work for you? I’d love to hear your tips!

Learn to Crochet a Shawl!

 

Happy Thursday y’all!

Today, I have a really cool new thing to share with you. For awhile I’ve wanted to do a series of patterns that are fun, quick to stitch, and great for learning new techniques. I get to do that now!

Introducing – Singles!

Singles are going to be specific patterns available on via Ravelry that are perfect for beginners to tale their skills to the next level. Each will focus on a different techie and the pattern will include LOTS of information about that technique.

This week we have a really sweet shawl, Camellia. Named for the strong flowering plant…this shawl will stand up to the rigors of spring, summer, fall, and winter. It is a versatile piece, made in a popular yarn…and only ONE DOLLAR.

You can get the pattern here for just $1.00!

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There is something special about crochet shawls, amiright?

They are perfect for spring, summer, fall, and winter. They are a great way to show off that special skein of yarn. Not to mention…they make every outfit a bit brighter.

However…want to know why I love crochet shawls?

They are perfect for learning new techniques, don’t take all that long, and look gorgeous in the end. This shawl will definitely take you from beginner to advanced beginner overnight. If you can crochet a granny square…you can crochet this shawl.

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I need to clean my desk…

This shawl is worked from the top down beginning at the back of the neck and working your way out. The overall stitch is one you may be familiar with, a modified granny triangle stitch. Modified in that it’s a lot lacier. What’s this mean? Not only is it great for this time of year, but it uses only a tiny bit of yarn.

How much?

Just two skeins of Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted. However, you can use any worsted weight yarn you’d like! Red heart? Yup. Vanna’s Choice? Yup. Caron Simply Soft? Yup. Cascade 220? Yup.Just make sure you have about 250-300yds of whatever yarn you choose.

Any worsted weight yarn will work. The pattern itself is less about the yarn than it is about the hook. You need a larger hook, it’s a must. The larger the hook the lighter weight the shawl will be overall.

Remember, when crocheting shawls use a hook size 3-4 sizes larger than that recommended on the ball band. 

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The overall shawl size is the perfect size at a 48in. wingspan. The depth is close to 14in. from the neck to the point. The shawl could be made larger, or smaller, depending on what you’d like! A rose petal inspired border is added to give the shawl a finished and classic appearance!

The shawl itself was inspired by the botanical gardens I visit every weekend here in North Carolina.

You can get the pattern here for just $1.00!

I hope y’all will share this post and this pattern!