Thursday, August 9, 2012

Crochet Hook Holder

If you've looked at my Etsy shop recently, you probably noticed that I've been doing quite a bit of crocheting. Who doesn't like a cute little octopus? Or some flower coasters? No one, I say, no one. *Side note: Over the weekend I told my senior neighbor that I crochet and she kind of laughed about it. I know it's kind of dorky and something stereotypically for older people, but I love it anyway! My husband would tell you that he experiences the full scope of my crocheting endeavors because they cover (and I mean cover) our coffee table for weeks on end. I've decided recently to get a little more organized, for both of our sakes. All of my crochet hooks were housed in a recycled jar covered in a crocheted cozy, which worked for the time, but the jar was knocked over often, it was noisy (metal in glass..) and I had to transfer all the hooks into my tote to go places. p.s. Check out this tote:

I made this tote almost exactly like I saw one online for knitting. And, obviously, it's just a joke! I had someone concerned about me taking this in public because I might offend people..!
Now THIS was not in the original: I made some nifty slots to put my hooks in on the go.
Moving on. I saw this tutorial online a few days ago to make a clutch for crochet hooks and supplies, and thought it was such a great idea.

I made it the same day. Here's what mine looked like:

Not too shabby, right? It looks super cute, but here are a few issues I had and how I remedied them. The first issue was that my hooks have bamboo handles and are much larger than the ones the author used.

This means wider slots for hooks, which means less hooks in the holder. It also meant that the fabric bunched up a lot more when the hooks were in the holder, making it all ripply. Not cute. The clutch was also really floppy. I decided at this point to make it like this canvas roll up storage for some of my paint brushes. I cut off the button, and rolled the whole mess up to see where to sew the button again. I like it SO much better. It's a good throw and go option too.

If you decide to make this, you can just wait to put the button on until the end and decide if you'd like it as a clutch or roll up. Just make sure to only sew the button on through the first layer of fabric.

Here's another issue I had: You'll notice in the photo above that the inner-most hook slot is empty. That is where the scissors are intended to go. This is clutch not meant to be turned upside down. The scissors fall out. And you wouldn't want to drop scissors on your cat, your foot, or like a knife into the floor, would you? (I did two of these three .. I'm not telling which) Here's my solution.

Velcro it up! I did this after the fact so it was a big pain hand sewing everything on, but if you add the little flap just after you sew on the slots for hooks, it would be super easy! I also added a little patch to hold straight pins, since I use them a lot for temporarily holding on octopus tentacles before I sew them on.

That's it! Easy storage for crochet hooks. It took me around an hour to make from start to finish .. plus a little more for the hand sewing additions after the fact. Check out Little Birdie Secrets' full tutorial here!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tomato Basil Summer Pasta

One of the benefits from my job is being able to take off Fridays in August. The office is slow, so I don't need to be there as much.  I love having a three day weekend, being able to have an extra day of the Saturday morning feeling (my absolute favorite time of the week), and having enough bright sunlight when I cook to take photos! Here's recipe I found online and adapted to my liking. It's fresh and light, perfect for a summer lunch or dinner.

Tomato Basil Summer Pasta
Adapted from Ina's Summer Garden Pasta
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 basil leaves, sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
8 oz whole wheat angel hair or capellini pasta
3/4 cup shredded parmesan

1. In a large bowl, place the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for four hours.

2. Prepare pasta. Drain and add to the tomato mixture. Add cheese and toss to coat. Garnish with basil and extra cheese.

Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Hands on time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3