Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to crochet granny ripple

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I am sure many of you who can crochet fairly well may not know how to crochet a granny ripple. While I was crocheting my vibrant pillow 3 I thought I would make a tutorial on granny ripple but for some reason I couldn't do it then. Here it is now.

Once you get started and go in the right direction granny ripples are fun to make, but getting started is what irks me a lot.  The major problem here is deciding upon the number of chains to start with. Since you are not going to work in a straight pattern the length of the chains that you make at the beginning have to be somewhere around one and half times the length of the finished pattern. (I am saying this from my experience, but it may not be correct). So the safest bet is to make extra chains, you can always sew in the extra length of the chains instead of having to pull everything apart in case your work becomes shorter.

You can purchase the PDF version of the pattern with less photos from here for $0.89.

Start by making chains in multiples of 19 plus 5. Then in the 6th chain from the hook make 3 dc .

Row 1: Skip 2 chains, 3 dc in next ch.

Again, skip 2 chains, 3 dc in next ch.
Skip 5 chains  (this forms a valley), 3 dc in next ch.
Skip 2 chains, 3 dc in next ch.
Skip 2 chains. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch (forms a peak) .
Skip 2 chains, 3 dc in next ch, again skip 2 chains, 3 dc in next ch.
Skip 5 chains, 3 dc in next ch.
You have to repeat this pattern through the length of the chains. You can see the peak and the valley forming. You will be ending the row with a peak (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc). 
Row 2: Now make 5 chains and turn your work, 3 dc in the 1st ch-3 space.
[Work 3 dc in the space after the next 3 dc] two times.
Skip the valley, [3 dc in the space after next 3 dc] two times. Then [3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc] in the next ch-3 space forming a peak. Continue the pattern until the end of the row.
At the end of the 2nd row make [3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc] in the ch-5 space.
Repeat row 2 until you reach the required height. Please note that the sides will start straightening only by the end of row 5. Also remember to finish each row with a peak worked in the ch-5 space.

The below picture shows the end of row 4.
 And end of row 5.
Now you can see the edges of the pattern evolving. 



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chocolate cake with Italian meringue icing

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I love chocolate cake (who dosen't?) and I love cakes with plenty of icing in it.  I usually help myself generously but start feeling guilty later. Imagine the amount of fat that is getting piled up in the tummy. So I often keep looking for recipes that are lesser in calories.


The recipe for this cake is from Easy Cooking. Since this recipe uses oil instead of butter it is less fatty but tastes very good.


For this cake you will need:

All purpose flour - 3/4 cups
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1-1/2 tablespoons
Baking powder - 1 tsp
A pinch of salt
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Vegetable or canola oil - 1/4 cup
Egg 1

~Sieve the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder).
~Beat together oil, milk and eggs until blended well. Add vanilla.

~Add sugar (I always powder the sugar after measuring it to quicken the process)

~Finally add the dry ingredients little at a time and mix until well blended.

~Transfer it to the prepared cake tin and bake. I baked mine at 150 degree C for 40 mins.

~Before removing the cake out of the pan allow it to cool for sometime, otherwise part of the cake will stick to the bottom or it might even break.

~When the cake is completely cooled frost it generously with Italian meringue frosting, which is also a less calorie frosting.

Italian Meringue Frosting

This icing is also called boiled icing. For this icing you need NO BUTTER. Wow!  You are going to make this frosting with only sugar and egg whites. Now, I had known about this recipe earlier but was apprehensive to try it because it involved cooking. But this time I just went ahead and took the plunge. Glad that I did.


You can see how glossy and delicious it looks.

For this bowl of icing I used:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla

~Beat the egg white until stiff.

~Combine the sugar with water and vinegar and boil it until you get a soft ball stage.

~When the sugar syrup is ready pour it immediately into the egg white beating constantly.

~You can add vanilla and continue beating until it is stiff enough for spreading. If you feel that it is not stiff enough you can add a teaspoon or two of icing sugar.

~Spread over your cake and indulge guiltlessly (or less guiltly).


The frosting was done and when I was getting ready to photograph it I realized that it looked so plain. It would have been better if there were chocolate shavings or cherries or anything on the top. But I didn't have anything in hand and so I took the scrapes of the cake and put them on top :)


Have fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vintage Rose Potholder

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Potholders are always fun to make. They are quick and easy.  They are so endearing that you always want to make more and more.


I have a long list of potholders to make in my agenda but somehow I always end up making pillow covers. This is one which I did at the spur of the moment.

This one was done some time back but it just slipped my mind to post. You can find the pattern for this vintage rose potholder here.

I thought I might as well share with you some beautiful rose photographs 

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Little blue doily

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Before talking about the doily a big Thanks for all the sweet comments you left for the rolled paper frame. I know most of you would like it because it is such a simple and cute way of displaying some of your precious little things.  I have made one more, a bigger one. I will show it to you later.

This is another of my vacation doilies. As I already said I usually take along my crochet threads and do doilies while on vacation and visiting relatives because threads don't take up much storage space and they are light weight too.


The reason why I did this particular doily is that I had only very small quantity of this blue thread, which I didn't want to waste. When I searched the net for a suitable pattern I came across the chart here. The pattern was very simple and it was small enough, so I picked this one up and ended up with a cute little doily. 


I am also working on another one now. I want to make this one big and it is going to take a much longer time because my table is right now piled up with plenty of WIPs. So I will go and pick one up. Have a nice day! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

DIY: Rolled paper frame

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What I have posted here is a simple and cheapest form of craft and my favourite one too. I really loved making this and I am going to make lots more.


For making these cute frame you only need a bunch of old newspapers, glue and some paint. With these you can create wonders.


I have a huge collection of seashells. I have been having these with me since my school days. I love seashells and didn't have the heart to throw them off when I moved to Delhi after getting married. So it was there safely at my parents' place all these years. Last time when I went to visit my parents I brought these shells with me. Here too they were simply lying inside the cupboard because I didn't know what to do with them. I tried displaying them in bottles but was not satisfied. Then I hit upon this idea.


I rolled newspapers and used them to make this frame and glued my precious seashells and the result was a big WOW. 

Let me share with you how to do these frames. 

You will need:
Old newspapers
Cardboard of desired size.
Scissors.
Glue.
Two thin but strong sticks for rolling the papers with.
Paint and brush.

First choose a cardboard. I used the cover of a book. 

Then choose the background you want and glue it to the cardboard. I decided to go for a printed one. So I used the page of an old novel.
Take some newspapers, cut them into stripes with the measurement of the length and breadth of the cardboard.
Then you are going to roll these strips and glue the end. Longer the strips, the thicker and stronger the rolls.

Rolling the papers is not as easy as it may sound. It is a bit tricky. This is how you have to do it.
 You have to take a thin stick and place it at one edge of the paper strip as shown in the first image. Bend the edge of the paper over it. Now place one more stick on top of the bent edge as shown in the last image. Then you hold both the sticks together and start rolling tightly. When you have done pull out the sticks carefully. Now glue the edge and you have the roll ready.

Make four rolls in sizes corresponding to the length and breadth of your cardboard. Then glue them to the sides of the cardboard as shown below.
Paint the frame and decorate it with whatever you want. You can even paint the rolls first and then glue them to the cardboard.


This is another one I made with two paper rolls on each side.

Have a nice week ahead.

Sharing with Macro Monday

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rail Museum, New Delhi

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It has been a while since I posted anything related to travel. So I thought I would share with you some pictures taken at the rail museum here in Delhi. This is my son's THE MOST favourite place. This is the only place he wishes to go on an outing and I have really lost count of the number of times we have visited this museum. I can't blame him, even I have started to love these amazing, colourful vintage trains that are parked here in open space.
The best part of this museum is that you can go near the trains, touch them, climb on them and it is so much fun.

There is also an indoor gallery where you can find many models of old trains, signals and other such things.

Some of the maharaja's private carriages have furnitures and statues inside to give us an idea about how the maharajas traveled those days but this is not open to the public. Though we had visited the museum several times we were not aware of this until the last time when we discovered it accidently while trying to peep through the glass windows. 

These photos are not very clear because I clicked them through the glass windows. They were not visible from outside. Some of these shots were taken even without knowing what was inside. The carriages were closed shut and I put the camerea inside through a small opening in the window and took some of these shots. We were really surprised to see that the furnitures and the bed were all in good condition.

This museum is a fun place to visit and we are going to visit it many more times.
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