Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Pecan Ice Box Cookies

Just like Grandma used to make, though I haven’t made them in decades, these deliciously simple slice and bake cookies are just as I remember them - thick, rich, chewy and chunky.  As written, they are classic refrigerator cookies. You can use pecans or leave them out. You can roll the logs in sprinkles or chocolate jimmies. Or try mixing sprinkles into the dough!

Pecan Ice Box Cookies 
1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
2 cups brown sugar 
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar 
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
Beat butter and sugar on high until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then vanilla and water. Mix together remaining ingredients and add to the egg mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Form into two logs and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate. Slice and bake as needed. Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake approximately 13 minutes or until brown on the edges. Each log makes 24 cookies. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Sourdough English Muffins

I’ve kept a spelt sourdough going for awhile now. After playing with several traditional bread options, I’ve found they end up with a crust that’s too hard and chewy for my Mom to enjoy. Once I tried these English Muffins I knew this was a keeper. I make them often and keep some in the freezer.

Sourdough English Muffins 
I usually feed my starter in the morning and let it sit. That night, mix together 1/2 cup starter, 1 cup milk and 2 cups all-purpose flour. Mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl clean. Cover with plastic wrap or something to keep it from drying out. Let sit overnight or at least 8 hours. The next morning add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup flour. Mix well. Knead lightly on a floured cloth. Roll out to 1/2” or a little thicker. Cut into 4” rounds (I use a large glass). Sprinkle a cookie sheet with corn meal. Place muffins on cookie sheet. When you get to the last of the cut up dough, shape them gently into 1 or 2 muffins. Cover with a towel and allow to rest 45 minutes. Preheat a griddle or cast iron pan to medium low. Bake a few at a time, 5 - 6 minutes per side. I like to cover them with the lid to my roasting pan. It seems to help them bake through the middle. Allow to cool on a rack. Makes 8-10.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Heart Stitch Cowl Crochet Pattern

Heart Stitch Crochet Cowl
Pattern by Tricia Hodson - LazyTcrochet

1 ball Yarn Bee Tender Touch
6.5 mm (K) hook
yarn needle
Gauge is approximately 4 puff v-stitches and 4 rounds in pattern (4 puff x 4 puff) = 4”
Fits ladies average - 8” high and 22” around.
Tender Touch is a #5 bulky weight yarn. You could substitute a similar weight yarn.

Slst:  slip stitch
Ch:  chain
Sc:  single crochet 
Puff V - stitch: (hdc3tog, ch 3, hdc3tog) in same stitch as follows:  YO insert hook and pull up a loop
3 times,
YO and pull through all 7 loops on hook, chain 3, YO insert hook and pull up a loop 3 times, YO and
pull through
all 7 loops on hook.

Pattern is worked in the round, marking the beginning of each round with a stitch marker if
Rounds 2 and 3 form the pattern with a round of trellis chains then a round of puff v-stitches.

Chain 60 join with slst, making sure it’s not twisted.
Round 1:  Ch 1, sc in same, * ch 3, skip 2, sc in next*, rep from * to * 19 times until 2 sts.
remain, ch 3, skip 2, join with slst in beginning sc.
Round 2:  Slst into first ch loop, ch 1, sc in same, *ch 3, sc in next ch loop*, rep from * to * 18
times, ch 3 slst in beginning sc.
Round 3:  Ch 3, puff v-stitch in same st and in each sc around. Join with slst in top of
beginning ch 3. (20 puff v-stitch)
Rounds 4 - 16: Repeat rounds 2 and 3. Finish round 16 same as round 2. Fasten off.

(There will be 7 rounds of puff v-stitch with trellis chain rounds in between.) Work yarn ends in
with needle.

Copyright © 2020 LazyTcrochet
For personal use only.

If you'd like to purchase a Heart Stitch Cowl, please visit me at my Etsy shop at

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

2019 Yarn Discovery Tour

I only discovered the Yarn Discovery Tour for the first time last year. Of the 19 shops involved last year, I only made it to six! It was fun. I got to visit shops I’ve never been to before AND scored some fabulous fiber!

This is the 12th year of the Yarn Discovery Tour and there are 19 shops participating throughout Northeast Ohio. If you visit yarndiscoverytour.com you can see the shops, click the links, check out a map and plan your trip. Last year I enjoyed my time alone and managed to hit up some in my area. Many people plan a trip with friends or a knitting group.

There are rules and guidelines for shoppers and stores. You can purchase a passport and receive a free tote bag from any participating shop.  The tour dates are September 3rd through 22nd, 2019. Make a purchase at a shop and receive a stamp in your passport as well as their pin for your souvenir bag. Purchase a minimum of $10 and receive a free knit or crochet pattern exclusive to that shop and an entry to win prizes. More details, shop lists and tour hours are on the event page at yarndiscoverytour.com

I’m excited to announce that I was asked to design a crochet pattern for the Yarn Discovery Tour this year!  My pattern for the Discovery Mitts includes instructions for both the ribbed cuff and long version and will be available exclusively at Gwen Erin Natural Fibers in Hubbard, Ohio. This pattern uses Gwen Erin's  Enid yarn which is a gorgeous DK weight, 3-ply, 100% Blue-faced Leicester wool. You can get this pattern with any $10 purchase at Gwen Erin Natural Fibers during the Yarn Discovery Tour. Visit GwenErin.com to plan your visit and see what fabulous supplies and classes they offer!

The Discovery Mitts pattern will be available in my Ravelry store after the tour. For now, I'm posting a rather amateurish video tutorial that includes techniques used, tips for sizing, finishing and more. Bear with me as I am new to the video tutorial and movie editing scene! I apologize in advance that there are no captions as of yet. If I have time to include them I certainly will. As with all my patterns, support is available by emailing me at LazyTcrochet@gmail.com. Thanks! I hope you enjoy this pattern.

Video tutorial for the Discovery Mitts available here:  https://youtu.be/DPLhTBGn1Jw

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekend Crochet

I recently published the pattern for my Hooded Scarf or Cowl, using Lion Brand Homespun yarn. This design incorporates the rounded hood technique that I used in the Wildwood Capelet and works quite well in Homespun for a soft and warm hood. You can add a scarf to wrap around or tie in the front or add a circular cowl that can be looped around for warmth. This pattern calls for 2 skeins of Homespun, but only uses a small amount of the second skein. I decided to share with you an easy pattern to use up part of the remaining yarn.

These Homespun Fingerless Mitts are sized to fit ladies or teens, but once you've made a pair you can easily adjust the starting chain to fit the hands of a man or even a child. Just use as many stitches as fit comfortably around the knuckles or base of the fingers and follow the pattern from there, adjusting for the different stitch count. The Foundationless Double Crochet stitch works great for the fingertips of these because it creates a nice, stretchy edge. There's a link for that tutorial HERE.
When crocheting with Lion Brand Homespun yarn, the best advice is not to work too tightly. The yarn calls for a K hook, and most of the time I do use a K hook with Homespun. However, when working with a smaller hook (such as a J hook, as called for in this pattern), you don't want your work too loose either. The reason for using a smaller hook is for a slightly tighter fabric. The more you work with Homespun, the easier it gets. I've read reviews from people who don't like working with it because it gets caught on the hook. I've learned to keep my stitches relatively loose and, at the same time, if it does get caught on the hook I can back step just a bit to drop the bit that doesn't belong off the hook. You'll be able to tell which is the working loop and drop the tighter, incorrect piece off the hook. If you continue and force the next stitch it tends to become tight and difficult to manage and can affect the overall look of your finished fabric. The best thing to do is to go back and fix the loop so that you're sure it's only the working loop on the hook. At any point, you can also drop the loop off the hook, pull it free from the catch and continue on from there. Knitting with Homespun sometimes requires a similar approach, dropping the extra "catch" off the needle as necessary to prevent a tight and inconsistent stitch.
Overall, Lion Brand Homespun continues to be one of my favorite commercial yarns. It makes wonderful shawls, hats, mittens and more, whether knit or crochet. These patterns are easy and should make for a fun weekend of crochet!

Homespun Fingerless Mitts
by LazyTcrochet
© 2013 LazyTcrochet

Lion Brand Homespun (less than one skein)
J hook (6 mm)

Stitches used:
hdc = half double crochet
DcCh = double crochet chain or “foundationless double crochet” (instructions and tips can be found on my blog at http://lazytcrochet.blogspot.com/2010/03/foundationless-crochet.html )
Reverse sc = Reverse single crochet (sc in the next stitch to the right instead of working to the left as usual)

Round 1:  Starting at the fingertip end, leaving approximately 6" tail, DcCh 17, join to bottom of first DcCh. (beginning ch 3 counts as first DcCh) (17 DcCh)
**If you don’t wish to try the DcCh or foundationless double crochet, you can start by chaining 18, double crochet in the 3rd chain from the hook and in each across. Join to top of beginning chain.**
Round 2: Ch 2 hdc in next st. and each st. around. Join to top of ch 2. (ch 2 counts as hdc throughout) (17 hdc)
Rounds 3 - 5:  Repeat round 2, join. (17 hdc ea. round)
Row 6:  Ch 2, hdc in next st. and each st. around. (17 hdc) Do not join.
Row 7:  Ch 2, turn. Hdc in same (creates an increase) and ea. st. around, working the last st. loosely (18 hdc).
Row 8:  Ch 2, turn. Hdc in same (creates an increase) and ea. st. around, working the last st. loosely (19 hdc). Join to top of ch 2. Do not turn.
Round 9:  Ch 2, hdc in next st. and each st. around. Join to top of ch 2. (19 hdc)
Rounds 10 - 15: Repeat Round 9 (19 hdc ea. round).
Round 16:  Ch 1, working loosely, work in reverse sc for one round and join. (This step isn’t necessary, but creates a nice edging and it helps distinguish between the wrist end of the gloves and the fingertip end.)
(If you want a longer glove, continue working in the round until you reach the desired length. You can increase a stitch, if necessary, to fit your arm. Then work the last round in reverse sc to finish the edge.)
Fasten off and start the thumb.

Join yarn in the thumb hole opening.
Ch 2 and work 9 hdc evenly around the opening. Join to top of ch 2. (10 hdc)
Ch 2, hdc in next st. and each st. around. Join to top of ch 2. (10 hdc)
Fasten off.

Use the yarn tail at the fingertip and a yarn needle to sew closed the gap created by the DcCh then work all the ends in.
© 2013 LazyTcrochet
For personal use only.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Along Came A Spider

You can see the real spider's web on the outside of the window!

I haven't officially decorated for Halloween yet. I was about to wash the windows, like I do every Fall, and noticed a spider web on the outside. It reminded me of a picture I saw of a crocheted spider's web and thought I'd try it.
I don't particularly care for thread crochet as I'm more of a chunky girl myself. I thought of trying it free form, but since I'm not used to doilies or working with thread, I decided to search for a pattern to get me started. Once the center was started, it was easier to change it up and free form the outside. (Having an asymmetrical center might be better next time.) I added a piece of Ric-Rac that reminded me of the Orb Spiders that we have in the vegetable garden.
This pattern from Crochet 'N' More is for a Spiderweb Table Topper and calls for a sport weight yarn. I used Aunt Lydia's crochet thread size 3 and a D (3.25 mm) hook, following the instructions through round 4 or 5 and then improvised. You could make it as large or small as you like.
I pinned mine to a window corner, but you could make it large with worsted yarn, tie it to a fence or a door, and add a really big spider if you want. I will add a tiny spider to mine once I get the decorations out. 'Tis the season!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Button Tips and Techniques for Knit or Crochet

I love buttons and have been incorporating them into my designs as often as I can. Whether functional or decorative, you want to make sure they're going to stay in place and, if necessary, stand up through washing and ordinary wear. I've put together some tips and techniques for sewing buttons on knit and crochet pieces.

I love chunky and bulky yarns and they provide a fabric with which you can use some bold and beautiful, large buttons.

With some yarns, you can adjust the gauge of crochet stitches, or use longer stitches to accommodate the size of the buttons and just button anywhere in the stitches, without having to create an exact button hole. For example, with Wool Ease Thick & Quick yarn, a size P crochet hook, and a double crochet stitch pattern, a 2" button will fit nicely between the stitches. For an extra large button, a triple stitch might fit better. Test your stitch size with what buttons you want to use, but it's best not to use too small of a button if you use this method. You don't want it slipping off all the time. Also, smaller and 4-ply yarns might split and get caught on the buttons, that's why I tend to do this only with the thicker, bulkier yarns.

 If you can, plan on using the tail of the yarn to sew on the button. If the tail yarn is near where you want the button to be, the holes of the button are large enough for the yarn and needle, and the yarn is appropriate for sewing on a button, just weave it through a few stitches and sew the button. Knot the yarn and weave in the ends.  You'll need a longer yarn tail if you choose to do it that way. Most types of yarn would be appropriate for sewing with, but be careful if you're using single ply wool or loosely spun fibers since you can't pull snugly, they might pull apart.  I do this a lot with some of my button wraps. The corner button uses the yarn tail, but I'll sew with an additional piece of yarn when adding a second button in another location.

I highly recommend having a sewing kit on-hand. Often times, you'll need a particular color of thread to sew on a button on knit or crochet fabrics. Instead of buying a whole spool of thread in a color you may not need again, you could probably find a close enough color in a sewing kit.

If you're using sewing thread to sew on a button, it's best to double the thread and knot it. If you only knot one end of the thread, leaving a loose tail, that knot might slip through the yarn strands and not be a secure start to sewing on the button. It might work for some fabrics, but not when working with yarn.  I like to start by working the needle with knotted double thread around the yarn, pull the needle through the doubled thread and pull tightly. This makes a nice foundation to start sewing on the button
One last tip, in regard to button holes, is to whip stitch on the side of the button hole. As you can see here, a button hole was created by skipping a stitch. That skipped stitch might be loose enough to catch on a button, so I like to whip stitch a few stitches over it to tighten it up and create a more prominent button hole.  If you happen to have a yarn tail to weave in near the button hole, whip stitch around a loose stitch if desired.

For more button tips see this great post at Crochet Me.