HERE WE COME-A-CHEVRONING CHRISTMAS STOCKING PATTERN IS HERE!

As promised a special project just in time for Christmas. Not feeling the holiday spirit yet? Perhaps a pattern for some fun Christmas stockings will get you in the mood! Here's what I've been working on.

Here We Come-A-Chevroning Christmas Stocking pattern works up quick into a large stocking. It's a modern take on a classic Christmas stocking. Great to fill with goodies this holiday. Visit my ravelry store to get your copy now! Can't wait to see what colour combos you come up with. Be sure to post your finished projects to your ravelry account so I see all your wonderful creations!

Here We Come-A-Chevroning Christmas Stocking pattern  Buy Here We Come-A-Chevroning Christmas Stocking pattern now on ravelry!

Not sure a Christmas stocking is the right project for you? Nervous about turning your first heel? Stay tuned for more fun projects and patterns coming soon!

Happy Holidays and Happy Knitting!



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CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE AGAIN

Low and behold another year has past! It's hard to believe sometimes how fast time flies by and around comes Christmas time again and I think "I should have planned ahead...there are so many projects I'd like to make for so many people". If you are in the same boat I'm dreaming up something quick and easy for you to knit just in time for the holiday season.


How do you feel about chevrons? They've certainly become a popular trend in the last couple of years and I think they are the perfect addition so our holiday decorations. If you haven't guessed already, this is a Christmas stocking in progress! Here we come a chevroning...

Stay tuned for a pattern and more pictures! In the meantime, what are you working on? Do you have a special Christmas project on the go? Let me know by tagging @tinselmint on instagram. I'd love to see your projects!



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RAVELRY UPDATE: FREE INFINITY SCARF PATTERN NOW AVAILABLE

Due to popular demand my free infinity scarf pattern for beginners is now available in my Ravelry shop! Downloading a printable copy of your favorite pattern is now as easy as a click of a button. And don't worry...its still FREE!

FREE RAVELRY INIFINITY SCARF PATTERN

You can access my Seed Stitch Infinity Scarf pattern on Ravelry here. Be sure to check out the rest of my site as well to see what other projects I've been working on.

Thank you everyone for all your positive comments and openess to ask questions. I've really enjoyed reading them and responding. I look forward to more!

If you cast on, be sure to add your project to your own Ravelry page. I love seeing your project pics and you might even get featured on my pattern page. Let me know you've cast on by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @tinselmint and be sure to add me as a friend on Ravelry too! I can't wait to see your progress, happy knitting.

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HOW TO PICK AND PREPARE ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS FOR EATING

If you haven't heard of this before it may sound a bit odd, but I assure you eating these tasty blossoms is a treat! If you happen to grow your own zucchini (also known as courgette or summer squash) or know someone who does organically, you'll have an abundant supply of blossoms and a new favorite appetizer to add to your repertoire. Today, I'm going to show you how to pick and prepare zucchini blossoms for eating.

Over the past month or two, I've been experimenting with balcony gardening and all the ways to enjoy the small harvest it provides. Part of this for me was understanding how to make the most out of every plant I chose to grow including: strawberries, peas, zucchini, arugula, garlic, basil and tiny tomatoes. After my zucchini plants started producing blossoms, I noticed not all the blossoms produce fruit. They would blossom in the morning and close up in the evening and fall off in the following days. I had heard that you could eat the blossoms, so I thought why let them go to waste?

ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

It turns out zucchini blossoms are a bit of a delicacy. You may get lucky and find fresh zucchini blossoms at a local farmer's market but because they are fragile and not easily stored and shipped they generally can't be found in the grocery store. I suggest using organically grown blossoms that haven't come into contact with any harsh chemical sprays. Try growing your own or sourcing them from a friend's backyard garden.

It's important to learn the difference between the male and female blossoms of your zucchini plant. The males have a slender stem, where as the females have a small zucchini starting to form where the stem should be. While both are edible, if you eat the female flowers you won't have any actual zucchini to eat later on. Pick a handful of male or excess female blossoms and let's get started!

MALE VS FEMALE ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS
{Male | Female}

Cut the male blossoms with about an inch of stem still attached and the female blossoms with the entire baby zucchini still attached. I like to do this in the morning when the blossoms are open. Prepare a bowl of cold water and tray with paper towel.

HOW TO CLEAN ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

Next, rinse the blossoms in the cold water. Be sure to inspect for bugs too! Gently shake any excess water from the blossom and place on tray. There is no need to remove the anthers or stigma from the inside of the flower, but you may do so if you like. Repeat this process for each blossom. You can store your tray of blossoms in the fridge for up to 24 hours with a second sheet of paper towel on top.

RINSE ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS IN COLD WATER

SHAKE OFF EXCESS WATER

PLACE ON PAPER TOWEL


STUFFED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

Ingredients:
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large zucchini blossoms
  • 6 teaspoons of feta, crumbled
  • 4 tiny tomatoes, cut finely
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, cut finely
  • Approximately, 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil
Instructions:
STUFFED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS1. Mix together flour and water and stir until smooth. Using a fork, beat in egg and set aside. This is your thin batter.

2. Mixed together feta, tiny tomatoes, and basil. This is your filling. (Note: this should be enough to fill 3 large blossoms. If you have more blossoms add approximately 1-2 teaspoons of feta, 1 tomato, and 1 basil leaf per blossom. Your batter will coat at least 8 blossoms)
ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS WITH FETA
3. Heat coconut oil in a small sauce pan on medium heat. You should have approximately 1/2 inch of oil in your pan, add more as needed. Fill each blossom with your filling, leaving enough room for the petals of the blossom to close. You may want to twist the petals slightly to keep the filling from spilling out.


STUFFED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS











4. Dip one blossom into the batter, giving it a thin coat. Place the blossom in the oil, turning occasionally until golden. Approximately 2 minutes. Place on paper towel. Repeat this process for each blossom.

5. Eat and enjoy!


FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

After discovering this tasty treat this past week, I knew I had to share it with you. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my husband and I have. Its a great snack or addition to just about any meal. If you like this post, share it on Pinterest or tweet it on Twitter. Let everyone know how tasty zucchini blossoms are!


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HOW TO WEAR AN INFINITY SCARF

Have you just knit an infinity scarf? Or purchased one? How do you wear it? There are actually many ways to wear an infinity scarf...not just the standard doubled-up-around-your-neck way. Today I'm going to show you how to wear an infinity scarf.

If you'd like to knit your own infinity scarf, check out my post here for a free pattern.

Let's start with the most basic way of wearing an infinity scarf. To do this, place the infinity scarf around your neck and let it hang in one giant loop. This is great for everyday and mimics the way you might wear a traditional scarf.

BASIC WAY TO WEAR INFINITY SCARF

Next is the most common way of wearing an infinity scarf. Loop your scarf around your neck once and then a second time. Alternatively you can make a figure eight / infinity sign with your scarf, fold the two loops together and then place them over your head. It should look something like this.

CLASSIC WAY TO WEAR INFINITY SCARF

From this look we can move straight into the next. By pulling the bottom loop down and over your shoulders you get some added coverage and warmth. This look is great for a day that is cooler than you expected!

ALTERNATIVE WAY TO WEAR INFINITY SCARF

Alternatively, instead of pulling the bottom loop down, you can pull the top loop up onto your head almost like a hood. Wind or stormy weather? No problem, this look has got you covered!

MULTIPLE WAYS TO WEAR INFINITY SCARF

Last but not least is one of my favorite new ways to wear my infinity scarf. To do so, insert one arm into the open circle of your infinity scarf and pull it up onto your shoulder. Next, grabbing the scarf from behind you, insert your other arm into the loop and pull it up onto your other shoulder. This creates a vest or cardigan effect and is great for mild fall days or chilly days in the summer.

HOW TO WEAR AN INFINITY SCARF

It is summer here and as you can see I'm wearing warm weather clothing in all the pics. Don't let that fool you! Depending on the fabric / yarn choice and the way you style them, infinity scarves can be worn all year round. How do you wear yours? Tweet me a pic of you wearing your infinity scarf @tinselmint or tag me on instagram @tinselmint. Can't wait to see what you've come up with!



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FINISHING OFF: HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR INFINITY SCARF

If you are new to knitting, finishing off your project can be a daunting task. Even highly skilled knitters have been known to leave a project sitting for ages and all it needs are the finishing touches. Using my recently completed free infinity scarf pattern, I'm going to show you two basic techniques for finishing off: joining two edges and darning / weaving in yarn ends. You will need a darning / tapestry needle and a pair of scissors.

For those of you who've been wondering where I've been for over a month...I must first apologize for not putting up any new posts. I hope I haven't left too many of you stranding with your knitting projects! My husband, our kitty and me have recently moved. It took a little while to re-adjust to a new city and home...not to mention all the unpacking that needed to get done. We are all settled in now and loving our new home. I'm happy to be back online and can't wait to share today's post with you all!

Let's look at joining two edges first. Take the two edges that you need to join together and lay them flat next to each other on a smooth surface with the long tail closest to you.

JOINING TWO EDGES

Using the long tail that is attached to the finished edge and your darning needle, insert your needle into the first stitch on the opposite edge. Pull your needle and yarn through the stitch. Next, insert your needle in to the first stitch on the opposite edge from which it is now attached and pull it through. Continue in this manner, zig-zagging back and forth with your needle and yarn all the way to top. Remember, always insert your needle from the bottom side through to the top side. You can see what this looks like in the series of pictures below.

STEP ONE JOINING TWO EDGES

STEP TWO JOINING TWO EDGES

STEP THREE JOINING TWO EDGES

SEWING TOGETHER TWO KNIT PIECES

Your work should look clean and straight, resembling a braid. Leave the end of yarn at the top and I'll show you how to darn / weave it in so that your work won't unravel in the next step.

SMOOTH EVEN SEAM


Now let's darn / weave in all the ends of yarn to finish off your beautiful knitted piece. You will need a darning / tapestry needle and a pair of scissors.

DARN IN YARN ENDS


Pick an end you'd like to start with and using your darning needle, insert your needle into the closest stitch and weave the yarn end up through several stitches (approximately two inches) and back. This will secure the yarn end and keep your work from unraveling. Trim off the excess yarn and repeat.

WEAVE IN YARN ENDS

STEP ONE DARN / WEAVE IN YARN ENDS

STEP TWO DARN / WEAVE IN YARN ENDS
I can't wait to see your finished pieces! Let me know how it turned out and if this was a helpful post via twitter @tinselmint. Cheers!






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FREE INFINITY SCARF PATTERN FOR BEGINNERS

As promised, here is my free infinity scarf pattern for beginners! You too can knit something trendy and fun. I have been so excited to share this with you all and its finally here!

FREE INFINITY SCARF PATTERN

SEED STITCH INFINITY SCARF

Materials you will need:
  • 3 hanks / 300g of Billow by KnitPicks 
  • size 11 US straight needles that are at least 10 inches in length
  • scissors
  • darning needle
Turn your hank into a ball by following my instructions here. If you are an advanced knitter and would like to make a substitution this is a bulky weight super soft pima cotton yarn with a thick and thin texture. If you are not familiar with US needle sizes you can find my conversion chart here

Gauge:

6.5 stitches x 8 rows = 2 inches square

I know we haven't talked about gauge yet, so for the purpose of this pattern I only want you to use this as a rough guide. If the gauge of your knitted piece is slightly different that's ok because this is a very stretchy knit.

Pattern:

Cast on 33 stitches (click here for instructions on how to cast on).

CAST ON
This scarf is knit in what's called a seed stitch pattern. This pattern is created by alternating one knit stitch (k1) and one purl stitch (p1). You can find my instructions on how to knit here, and how to purl here. You'll have to remember to bring your working yarn (the yarn you wrap around the needle) from the front of your work to the back of your work when alternating between knitting and purling.

SEED STITCH

First row: (k1, p1) repeat until one stitch remains on your needle, k1. Turn work over.

Repeat the first row until your scarf measures 62 inches in length or approximately 232 rows (width is 10.5 inches).

Cast off (click here for instructions on how to cast off). Use scissors to break yarn, leaving a long tail of approximately 22 inches for stitching together the two ends of your scarf.

To complete your infinity scarf, lay it on a flat surface and bring the two ends together (while still lying flat) so that they meet. Stitch the two ends together using the tail from your cast off edge. Next darn in any ends using a darning needle. DO NOT trim your ends with scissors without darning them in first as all your hard work will unravel. If this sounds complicated, don't worry, I'll have a post on how to do this later on.

Want to download a printable copy of this pattern? Click here.

Style and wear how you like! I'll post pics soon on the many ways to wear this lovely seed stitch infinity scarf (you can find that post here). Let me know you've cast on by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @tinselmint. I can't wait to see your progress, happy knitting.


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