The Button Infinity Scarf

Say hello to The Incredible Shrinking Girl.

The Incredible Shrinking Girl

Since moving in with us in late April, Darling Daughter has lost about 50 pounds.  It’s amazing what can happen when you simply cut junk out of your diet.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she has a pretty physically demanding job (which she loves)

Above is the photo she posted to Facebook last night to show off the infinity scarf I made for her.  You have to admit, the girl knows how to take a selfie.

The photo I took is a little less flattering (it doesn’t help that ALL of her clothes are just hanging on her these days), but you get a better look at the yarn I used (black acrylic interwoven with shiny, metallic threads in different colors):

The Button Infinity Scarf

I haven’t had much time to crochet lately (and I’m not going to have a lot of time until the wedding cakes I’m doing in early October, to say nothing of canning season, have passed), but when Darling Daughter asked for an infinity scarf to wear this winter, how could I turn her down?

For the uninitiated, an infinity scarf is simply a winter scarf crocheted into a big loop – no beginning, no end.  Since I wanted to do a braided scarf, I couldn’t crochet in a big loop; I had to crochet three separate panels, sew them together at one end, braid them, sew them together at the other end, then join the two ends before adding buttons at the seam.

I’d love to give you the pattern for it, but I sort of went off the cuff with this one and while I could write a recipe in my sleep, I have no earthly idea how to write a crochet pattern.

Which doesn’t mean I won’t try.  Because you know how I am.

So… here goes.

Materials:

– 3 skeins Loops and Threads Impeccable Glitter, “Mirror” color

– size H/5.0mm crochet hook

– 3 large, black buttons

tapestry needle

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

dc: double crochet

st: stitch

Make 3 panels using the following directions:

Loosely ch 18

Row 1 –  Dc in the 3rd st from hook; dc to the end of the chain (16 dc). Ch 1; turn.

Row 2 – Sc in 1st dc; sc to end of the chain (16 sc). * Ch 1; turn.

Row 3 – Repeat row 2 to *. Ch 3; turn.

Repeat rows (1 – 3) 23 more times for a total 24 rows of (1) dc and (2) sc.  Fasten off yarn and cut.  Weave in loose ends.

Line up the ends of the 3 panels.  Using the tapestry needle and the same yarn the scarf is made of, sew together the panels on one end.  Braid the panels; sew together the other end of the panels.  Bring the ends together and join them, again using the tapestry needle and yarn.

Attach the buttons at the seam.  Fasten off yarn and cut; weave in all loose ends.

Please, all of you serious hookers out there, let me know what I’ve done wrong here – it’s all a learning experience for me!

The Ninja Turtle Cake

Well, you had to have known there was a party and a cake in my future after Friday’s post.

The G Man is all about two things these days – Legos and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  So, naturally, he had a Ninja Turtle birthday party.  Meema and Papa got him some TMNT Legos, as well as a couple of Lego Movie t-shirts because I haven’t had that damn Everything Is Awesome! song stuck in my head nearly often enough.

Ahem.

At any rate, a Ninja Turtle cake was my challenge for the party.

It was the first time I had covered a cake in ganache instead of buttercream underneath the fondant and I immediately recognized the advantages – especially because I ran out of ganache and ended up covering the “sewer pipe”  topper (which was made from rice krispie treasts) in the classic chocolate buttercream that I used for the cupcakes beneath the fondant.  Which was a mistake, because by the time we got the party and I set it all up, it looked as if it were, well, melting.

In hindsight, I also should have made the “weapons” from gum paste, which would have dried into stiffer shapes.  I also discovered that the new Wilton Decorator Preferred fondant is a nightmare to work with, and wish I’d covered the cake with the homemade marshmallow fondant that I used for the sewer pipe and other decorations.

Ah, well, live and learn.  Besides, The G Man and his friends were very impressed with it, and that was the point, right?

Ninja Turtle Cake 1

Ninja Turtle Cake 2

Ninja Turtle Topper 1

Ninja Turtle Topper 2

Pizza Cupcakes

Pizza Cupcake Closeup

I was particularly pleased with the pizza slices for the cupcakes (because if you know anything about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you know their favorite food is pizza).  I just took circle of white fondant and airbrushed them orange and brown, then covered them with a slightly smaller circle of fondant that was a mixture of red, orange and brown fondant (because pizza sauce isn’t a bright, primary red), and cut them into wedges.  Then I drizzled them with a white confectionery glaze that I’d colored yellow and left them to dry overnight.

Bingo – cheese pizza.

I was also very, very happy with how the Ninja Turtles themselves came out.  They were sculpted from Wilton classic fondant because 1) it holds up well to molding and 2) no one was going to eat them (the stuff tastes pretty gross).

All in all, not a bad endeavor.  I learned a lot in the process and the cake was a hit with the party goers, especially the Birthday Boy – which is really all that matters.

The G Man Turns 5

The Scarf Battle

Recently, Beloved asked me to make him a winter scarf (he believes in being proactive).  After he picked out the yarn he wanted, I searched for a suitable pattern; I didn’t want anything frilly.

A week later, I had this:

Beloved's Scarf

You can find the pattern here – it’s super easy, just alternating rows of half-double crochet and bobble stitch. I used a size J/6 mm hook and 3 skeins of I Love This Yarn Firecracker, from the “Colors” collection.  It turned out somewhat wider than I anticipated (both the hook and yarn I used were larger than called for in the pattern), but I’m not at all displeased with the finished piece.

Nor am I the only one who likes it; Darling Daughter took one look at the scarf and said, “That’s WAY too pretty for Dad.”

I posted the photo on Facebook and tagged Beloved, saying “Darling Daughter says this is too pretty for you, dear; I’ll have to keep an eye on it until you come home or you’ll never get it.”  (He’s out of town on business this week.)  DD, who is, shall we say, mischievous, commented on the post:

You know, my neck is awfully chilly. If only there were something fabulous laying around to keep it warm….

The Purloined Neckcloth

Don’t worry, I made her give it back.  For now.

You have to admit – it does match her scrubs really well.

My Nail Artist

Before I begin today, I would just like to say thank you! to everyone who commented on my last post, both here and on Facebook.  The warm support you all showed was incredibly touching, and my enthusiasm is renewed after months of bloggy ennui.  Again, thank you so much.

So, without further ado…

When Darling Daughter boomeranged back home in April, she brought her favorite hobby along (a fair trade, since she had to leaved her beloved kitties behind – I’m allergic).

Well, first, you have to understand something about us both.  I’m not really a “girly girl” – makeup and clothes and hair and jewelry et al has never interested me all that much (the one exception to this is shoes…I definitely have a thing for shoes).  Oh, I make sure I’m clean, neat and presentable when I leave the house; my clothes fit me well, both physically and emotionally, but “business casual” is about as dressy as I get and my hair lives in a perpetual ponytail; I have neither the time nor the inclination to futz with a ‘do every day.

Darling Daughter, on the other hand, is far more girly than I.  She loves clothes and makeup and shopping. (She also loves action films, video games and Ru Paul’s Drag Race, but that’s neither here nor there.)  She also loves nail polish.

A LOT.

DD is what my friend Lisa would immediately peg as an “artsy cousin” – I am a Sturdy Gal if there ever was one – and the young woman has flair and style I’ll never be able to achieve, at least with my person (the kitchen is something else all together).  Her fingers, more than anything else these days, is her avenue of expression for this flair and style.

Behold, the Ever Changing Manicure:

Bee's Knees
'Murica
Pink Flowers
Roses
Water Marble

Might I point out she’s got talent?  While she has an amazing bag of tricks – and more nail tools than I ever would have believed existed – the bee, flag, flowers and roses are all hand-painted. And look at the marbling on the accent nail in the last photo!  Not easy to achieve, believe me.

At any rate, after four months of bi-weekly awesomeness I finally let her give me a manicure.

A nail biter in my youth, I wore acrylics for years as an adult, only abandoning them about two years ago after becoming finally weary of the maintenance.  They were never very long and I always sported a simple French manicure (it goes with everything).  Once I ditched the fakes, I kept my real nails neatly and sensibly trimmed and filed; no fuss, no muss and it makes working with fondant and gum paste so much easier.

After being, er, persuaded to do something with my unassuming nails, I bought a bottle of OPI Nail Envy and let them grow out just beyond my fingertips.  Finally, last night as Darling Daughter removed the Bee’s Knees mani – one of my absolute favorites – and added a sky blue polish with fluffy white clouds and red, heart shaped balloons, I let her do mine.

Mint Polka Dots

Obviously, she has the whole “posing our hands to show off our manicure” thing down far better than I, to say nothing of the gasp of, “Mom!  We REALLY should have done something about your cuticles before you took that pic!”  But hey – we’ve already established I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to things of this nature.

I doubt I’ll have a new manicure twice a week from here on out; for one thing, DD has a job and a very active social life – she has far better things to do with her time than make sure Mom’s nails are painted.  Then there’s the simple fact that there’s a reason my nails are pink with mint polka-dots – those are the most subdued polishes in her ever-expanding collection.  I’m sorry, but I’d NEVER be able to rock that ‘Murica! mani the way she did, although the rose one is more or less up my alley, sans glitter.  No, I suspect most of the time, I’ll keep them neat and covered in a coat or two of the Nail Envy (that stuff really does work), and let her give me something cute when we’ve both got the time and wherewithal.  When she does, I’ll make sure and post it.

And who knows?  I might surprise even myself with something gold and glittery red at the holidays.