Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crochet Stocking for Chloe

For Chloe's 1st Christmas
Stocking adapted from
free pattern from Bernat Handicrafter Crochet Thread - Teeny Tiny Stockings

Bernat's pattern is for a small decorative stocking worked in cotton thread as pictured below from their site.  I adapted the pattern to create a stocking for baby Chloe's 1st Christmas using heavier yarn and larger hook.  My changes to the pattern are in red.
Lighten up your holiday decor with these sweet little stockings. Shown in Bernat Handicrafter Crochet Thread.
Skill Level 
Intermediate




MEASUREMENT
Approx 4 1/4" [11 cm] long from cuff to heel. {8" FROM CUFF TO HEEL AND 11" FROM TIP OF TOE TO TOP OF CUFF AT HANGING HOOP}
MATERIALS {I USED VANNA'S CHOICE BABY (AQUA) AND VANNA'S CHOICE (LIME)  100% ACRYLIC 4 MEDIUM WEIGHT AND "H" HOOK}
Bernat® Handicrafter™ Crochet Thread (85 g/3 oz; 339 m/371 yds)
Contrast A Fresh Fern (31220) 1 ball
Contrast B Still Water (31201) 1 ball
Contrast C Sky Blue (31128) 1 ball
Contrast D Loyal Blue (31116) 1 ball
Note: 1 ball each of 2 shades will make approx 5 Stockings.
Size 1.75 mm (U.S. 6) steel crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge. Stitch marker.
GAUGE
30 sc and 32 rows = 4" [10 cm].
Note: When joining colors, work to last 2 loops on hook of first color. Draw new color through last 2 loops and proceed.
Beg at toe with Color 2, ch 3. Join with sl st into first ch to form ring.
1st rnd: Ch 1. 8 sc in ring. Join with sl st to first sc.
2nd rnd: Ch 1. 2 sc in each sc around. Join with sl st to first sc. 16 sc.
3rd rnd: Ch 1. 2 sc in each sc around. Join with sl st to first sc. 32 sc.
4th to 8th rnds: Ch 1. 1 sc in each sc around. Join with sl st to first sc. Join Color 1 at end of 8th rnd.
9th rnd: With Color 1, ch 3 (counts as dc). 1 dc in each of next 2 sc. Ch 1. Miss next sc. (1 dc in each of next 3 sc. Ch 1. Miss next sc) 7 times. Join with sl st to top of ch 3.
10th rnd: Sl st to first ch-1 sp. Ch 3 (counts as dc). 2 dc in same sp as last sl st. Ch 1. Miss next 3 dc. (3 dc in next ch-1 sp. Ch 1. Miss next 3 dc) 7 times. Join with sl st to top of ch 3.
Rep 10th rnd until work from beg measures 2 1/2" [6 cm]. Join Color 2 at end of last rnd. {I WORKED A TOTAL OF 4 ROWS AND THEN BEGAN HEEL}
Heel: 1st row: (RS). With Color 2, ch 1. 1 sc in each of next 16 sts. Turn. Leave rem sts unworked.
2nd row: Ch 1. 1 sc in each sc to end of row. Turn. 16 sc.
Rep 2nd row until Heel measures 1" [2.5 cm], ending on a WS row.{I WORKED 8 ROWS}

With RS tog, fold heel in half. Working through both thicknesses, work 1 row of sc to join 2 sides tog. Fasten off.
Ankle: Join Color 1 with sl st to first ch-1 sp after Heel. Place marker.
1st rnd: Ch 3 (counts as dc). 2 dc in same sp as last sl st. Ch 1. Miss next 3 dc. (3 dc in next ch-1 sp. Ch 1. Miss next 3 dc) 3 times. Work (3 dc. Ch 1. Miss next st) 4 times evenly along side of Heel. Join with sl st to top of ch 3. 8 groups of 3-dc.{I HAD 9 GROUPS OF 3-DC}
2nd rnd: Sl st to first ch-1 sp. Ch 3 (counts as dc). 2 dc in same sp as last sl st. Ch 1. Miss next 3 dc. (3 dc in next ch-1 sp. Ch 1. Miss next 3 dc) 7 times. Join with sl st to top of ch 3. Rep 2nd rnd until work from marker measures 3" [7.5 cm]. Join Color 2 at end of last rnd. {I WORKED 10 RNDS MEASURING 5.5-INCHES}
Next rnd: With Color 2, ch 1. 1 sc in each dc and ch-1 sp around. Join with sl st to first sc. 32 sc. {I HAD 35 SC AROUND}
Next 3 rnds: {I DID JUST 2 MORE Rnds} Ch 1. 1 sc in each sc around. Join with sl st to first stFasten off after last rnd.
Optional: Hanging Loop: Join Color 2 with sl st at center back of Stocking at top edge. Ch 18.{I CHAINED 12}  Sl st in same sp as last sl st. Fasten off.

Since my stocking is going to be filled with gifts. I lined it with fabric from my small stash to keep items from poking through the holes.

Linking to Foodie Friends Friday @Walking on Sunshine

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pasta Shells with Cheese Filling

Have you used up all of your delicious Thanksgiving dinner left-overs?
How about an easy and yummy dish with tender pasta shells and a creamy, cheesy filling for a lovely meal. Add a side salad, bread and maybe even a glass of wine on a candle-lit table for an extra special dinner.

JUMBO SHELLS WITH CHEESE FILLING
source: Ronzoni box 

PRINT RECIPE
Ingredients:
1 pkg. (12 oz.) RONZONI JUMBO SHELLS, uncooked
4 cups (2 lb.) ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups (about 28-oz. jar) spaghetti sauce or homemade sauce

Heat oven to 375°F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir together cheeses, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg. In 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish, spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. Fill each cooked shell with about 1-1/2 level tablespoons cheese mixture; layer one-half filled shells in prepared dish. Spread one-half remaining sauce over shells; layer remaining filled shells over sauce. Spread remaining sauce over shells; sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover with foil; bake 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly (doubling recipe or more may require increased baking time). 8 to 10 servings.
For ease in filling each shell, I use a decorator with a large opening tip.
An added bonus... they freeze really well!
Assemble in a foil pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and freeze.  When ready to serve, thaw and bake as above. {remember to remove the plastic wrap before baking}

I recently picked up a FoodSaver at a garage sale. I had never used one before.  After making a batch of stuffed shells, I placed them (without sauce) onto a waxed-paper lined pan and set them in the freezer.  When frozen, I then sealed them using the FoodSaver.  The vacuum did crush them a little but they baked up just fine.

So, for the work of one recipe, I got several meals for John and I.

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