fancy everyday beanie

Well let’s be honest. I’m pretty brutal at posting but I have a new post and a new pattern for you!

The Fancy Everyday Beanie is a quick and easy crochet and looks super awesome!

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Materials:
Worsted weight yarn
I hook (5.5)

Notes:

I work in the round joining each round to the next with a slip stitch. I chain 2 at the beginning and hdc in the same stitch. This creates a bit of a hidden seam.

Directions:

Magic Circle 8 hdc
Row 2: 2hdc in each stitch (16)
Row 3: *2hdc in first stitch, hdc in next*, repeat from * to * around (24)
Row 4: *2hdc in first stitch, hdc in next 2*, repeat from * to * around (32)
Row 5: *2hdc in first stitch, hdc in next 3*, repeat from * to * around (40)
Row 6: *2hdc in first stitch, hdc in next 4*, repeat from * to * around (48)
Row 7: *2hdc in first stitch, hdc in next 5*, repeat from * to * around (56)
Row 8: *2hdc in first stitch, hdc in next 6*, repeat from * to * around (64)
Row 9-12: hdc around (64)
Row 13: ch 3, dc in same stitch. *skip 2, in next stitch 2dc, ch1, 2dc*, repeat around until 3 stitches left. IN last stitch 2dc ch 2, slip stitch to 3rd chain in starting.
Row 14: hdc around (64) *Note that in order to get 64 around you basically need to not hdc in the chains.
Row 15: Repeat row 13.
Row 16: hdc around (64)
Row 17-19: sc around (64)

Feel free to add a flower, or a skull, or some other funky addition to the hat!

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Salad in a Jar – Go Big or Go Home

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not so good at the whole “half-ass” thing. I tend to throw my everything into whatever I’m doing and even though it might bomb heavily, I’m going to go for it.

And such went the whole Salad in a Jar experiment.

You see, I’m heading down to Calgary for a weekend of teacher training – prenatal training to be specific. I’m staying with a friend of mine and she’s amazing, but I didn’t want to subject her to my food stuff. I know she’ll provide me with wonderfully nutritious food but I’m going to have to pack lunches (and in some case suppers) and I didn’t want her to have to try to feed me for 7 meals. So I started looking. And then it’s like this giant lightbulb went off. Salad in a jar!

I made 9 jars. There are 6 different types of salad. And I’m going to tell you what I put in all of them.

First of all, making salad in a jar isn’t for the faint of heart. This is what my kitchen looked like partway through the process.

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Now granted, I have an extremely small kitchen. But still.

However, this was the final result:

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My little guy was all about helping. And once I started cutting fruit he was SUPER into it.

So without further ado, here are some recipes. And know a few things: One- I love red cabbage and really dislike traditional lettuce. Two – I wanted these to be vegan if I could. Three – You can change them up using your favourite stuff!

Salad dressing base used for Taco and Curry:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar of some kind (I used red wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp salt
dash of lemon juice

This dressing made enough for 4-5 jars. I split it up fairly evenly.

Taco – I made one using quinoa, one using traditional salad ingredients.
Add 1 tsp of taco seasoning (I used epicure) and stir it up.

Quinoa version:
Add 1/2 cup of quinoa.
Layer in the following order: 1/4 cup of chickpeas, Corn, Red Tomatoes (not cut)

Salad version:
Layer in the following order: Cucumber, Corn, Red Tomatoes (not cut), Red onion, celery, radish, Top with red cabbage

Curry – I made one using quinoa, one as salad
Add 1 tsp of curry powder and stir it up.

Quinoa Version:
Add 1/2 cup of quinoa.
Layer in the following order: Snap peas, Radish, red onion, celery, 2 tbsp. raisins, sesame seeds

Salad version:
Layer: Shredded carrot, zucchini, Red onion, radish, Cabbage

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Avocado:
I used the salad dressing found here: Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing

I split the dressing between 2 jars.

Quinoa Version: 1/2 cup quinoa, Green snap peas, Red Onion, Radish, Celery, Red tomatoes (not cut), Shredded carrot

Salad version: Chick peas and lentils (totalling 1/3 cup), Shredded carrot, zucchini, Red cabbage

Waldorf Salad: I used the basics of the salad that can be found at Produce by Amy

I used a similar dressing but this is my only non-vegan option as I used Hellman’s Mayonnaise. This is my only non nut-free salad as well.

Dressing: 2 tbsp. mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. avocado oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Place on bottom of jar.

Layer: Shredded carrot, Red cabbage, Red onion, Green Apple, 2 tbsp. almonds, 2 tbsp. pomegranate.

Lentil Salad:
Layer: Dressing (2 tbsp. avocado oil, 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, splash of lemon juice, 2 tsp dill), 1/2 cup lentils, Shredded carrots, red tomatoes (not cut), cucumber

And finally, I wanted something to snack on during the long days of training so I made a simple fruit jar by layering pomegranate seeds, mango, blueberries, green apple and strawberries.

And voila. Now I have to decide which 4 to bring with me..

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Starting at the Top left going clockwise: Quinoa Curry, Quinoa Taco, Quinoa Avocado, Waldorf, Lentil, Salad Avocado, Salad Taco, Fruit, Salad Curry

Bon apetit!

Kids Newfoundland Mittens – Free Pattern

2014-01-10 14.40.51I searched and searched and just couldn’t find a pattern that I was satisfied with for these little mittens. There are some really amazing patterns out there for these mittens, but none that I could find for chunkier wool for kids. So, I made my own up.

These mittens were commissioned by a 5 year old. He bought them with his own money. Now, tell me that isn’t cool! He picked the colours and requested that they have a tie on them so he could put them into his jacket.

So I went with it. And I plan to make lots more. Well, maybe not lots, but a few more anyway.

Feel free to use this pattern at your leisure! I just ask that you not sell this pattern or claim it as your own. You’re welcome to sell whatever you make from this pattern though but if you sell online, I’d love some credit!

Fits children roughly 3-72014-01-10 14.40.44
Needles: Size 5mm DPNS
Wool: Any worsted weight yarn of your choosing using 2 strands at a time (double width) *side note – if making mittens for kids, think washable!!

Abbreviations:
K – knit
P – purl
Cluster 1 – *K4, slip next 2 stitches purl wise, repeat from * around (you will have 5 clusters). Repeat 4 more times for a total of 5 rows.
Cluster 2 – *K1, slip next 2 stitches purl wise, K3, repeat from * around (you will have 5 clusters). Repeat 4 more times for a total of 5 rows.

Cast on 20 stitches and spread relatively evenly over 3 needles

Ribbing:
K1P1 (or K2P2 if you want) for 2.5 inches

Mitten:
Row 1: Purl adding 5 stitches evenly throughout (25)
Row 2: Purl adding 5 stitches evenly throughout (30)
Rows 3-7: Cluster 1
Rows 8-9: Purl around
Rows 10-14: Cluster 2
Row 15: Purl around
Row 16: P2, slip next 6 stitches onto stitch marker (or scrap of yarn), cast on 6 stitches, purl remaining stitches
Rows 17-21: Cluster 1
Rows 22-23: Purl around
Rows 24-28: Cluster 2
Rows 29-30: Purl around
Rows 31-35: Cluster 1
Rows 36-37: Purl around
Row 38: K4 k2tog around
Row 39: K around
Row 40: K3 k2tog around
Row 41: K around
Row 42: K2 2tog around
Row 43: K around
Row 44: K1 k2tog around
Row 45: K
Row 46: K2tog around
Cut yarn and using a darning needle thread through the remaining stitches and thread into inside of mitten.

Thumb:
Use 2 DPNs for the stitches (it makes it less clunky in my opinion *thanks for the tip Emily!!*)
One the first DPN transfer 5 of the stitches from your stitch holder.
On 2nd DPN transfer the last stitch then pick up as many stitches as you want from the other side to form the thumb.
Row 1: K around
Row 2: K around starting to reduce the stitches – to reduce K2tog – try to get down to about 12 stitches
Row 3: K around reducing to a total of 8 stitches
Rows 4-12: K around
Row 13: K2tog 4 times

Using a darning needle thread through the remaining 4 stitches and thread through to inside.

Turn your mitten inside out and weave in all your ends.

Voila! Kids newfoundland mittens!

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 Sam with his new mittens!

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Fingerless Gloves – FREE PATTERN!

So it’s been at least a decade since I last posted anything (or really, maybe 6 months), but that’s what happens when life takes over.

I’m still teaching yoga (you can find my current schedule here), still cooking gluten free goodness, and dabbling in the world of vegetarianism. More like flexitarianism but eh.

In my spare time (ha!), I crochet and knit. And I’ve started making my own patterns which I’m going to start posting for the world to share. I don’t like paying for patterns so mine will always be free. You can sell anything you make from the patterns, but I’d love some credit. And finally, please don’t post my pattern and claim it as your own. That’s just really not cool.

Anyway, on to fingerless gloves. I love them. I wear them when I crochet and knit because my hands get really cold, but somehow wearing the fingerless gloves, they stay warm. These work up super fast and of course you can change them to make them your own. You can make the ribbing longer, you can add more rows at the top to make them go higher up. I made my first pair striped, but you can make them solid colours too!

Without further ado:

Supplies Needed:
Worsted weight yarn (about 100yds)
H hook (5.0mm)

Abbreviations:
ch – chain
ss – slip stitch
sc – single crochet
hdc – half double crochet

Cuff:
Ch 11
Row 1: hdc in 2nd ch and remaining (10)
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Rows 2-14: hdc in back loops only (10)

Join using a slip stitch to first row to create the cuff (it helps if you use just the back loops of row 12 to keep it looking ribbed).

Turn your work so the cuff is now at the bottom and continue with the hand.
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Hand:

The hand is worked around joining each row. This helps with colour changes to look smoother. Join each row to the first ch using a ss.

Row 1: Ch 1 and evenly sc 27 around (this forms the base of the hand). Join with a slip stitch.

If you’ve made mittens before, then you’ll know about making a thumb gusset. That’s essentially what we’re going to do here:
Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in first stitch, 2 hdc in next 2 stitches, hdc remaining. (29)
Row 3: ch 2, hdc around (29)
Row 4: ch 2, hdc in first stitch, 2hdc in next, hdc in 3rd, 2hdc in next, hdc remaining (31)
Row 5: ch 2, hdc around (31)
Row 6: ch 2, hdc in first stitch, 2hdc in next, hdc in 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2hd in 6th, hdc remaining. (33)
Row 7: ch 2, hdc around (33)
Row 8: ch 2, 2hc in 1st stitch, skip next 7 stitches, 2hdc in next, hdc remaining (28)
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Row 9-14: ch 2, hdc around (28)
Row 15: ch 2, 2hdctog, hdc 8, 2hdctog, hdc 8, 2hdctog, hdc 6 (25)

Finish off and weave in ends. Turn inside out and wear proudly!

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Yamas and Food

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve started my yoga teacher training at Prana Yoga Studio in Edmonton and it’s consuming a lot of time. Add to that my daughter who just can’t seem to get her immune system in check, and it’s been a pretty busy month.

This past weekend, we covered 2 topics that fascinate me: the first 2 of the 8 limbs of yoga: The Yamas (or restraints) and the NiYamas (or observances). While we are learning philosophy of yoga, we talk about it both on and off the mat. The point of yoga is not to just go into different postures (asanas) and stretch, or to deepen your breath (pranayama), but to live your yoga off the mat.

So let’s talk about the yamas. More specifically, the first yama – ahimsa. In specific, this yama means non-violence. Obviously we can take that to me “don’t punch someone in the face” but what about deeper? What about treating all people and things with kindness? Acting with awareness through your day. What about not gossiping? Or watching your body language? And because I have allergic kids: What about treating children with allergies as though they are no different than you? That they deserve the same care and respect with regards to food as you would take in preparing food for your own children?

An extreme example, but would you serve raw chicken to dinner guests? Not likely. You’d know that there would be a significant risk that they would contract salmonella and become very ill. So why would you risk serving a celiac sufferer gluten? Or an allergic child something that “may contain” their allergen? That wouldn’t be practicing ahimsa.

To flip the coin, we food restricted people have to understand that while we have the right to safe food, we also have a responsibility to communicate in a loving way. We have a responsibility to bring food for our own children or ourselves if someone does not feel comfortable preparing food for us. We have to act with awareness towards others that they do not live in the same space as us; they do not have to be obsessive food label readers – and that’s okay! We can’t expect everyone to be as diligent as we are when it’s not something they do on a daily basis. We can use our words carefully to try to educate others, but we’re going to go a lot farther if we do it with gentless and understanding rather than come across as rude and ungrateful.

We need to practice ahimsa daily. We need to be aware of how we act, what we say, and what our words mean. It doesn’t mean we have to be silent; quite the opposite really. It means that we have to have a voice, but we have to use it wisely, and come from a place of mindfullness.

I believe that with this, we can make strides in the allergic world. Who knew yoga and food allergies would be so interconnected?

And the winner is…

SUZE!

Suze I will be contacting you shortly to get you your yoga socks!

Thanks all for entering and stay tuned for more giveaways!

New Year, New Intentions

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I’ve never been a new year’s resolution kind of girl. Oh sure, I have said I will try to eat less junk, or that I’ll try to go to the gym more, but they never hold true.

A few years ago I decided that I would make a year of health. My intention, or my goal, was to focus on my health bit by bit. It wasn’t to obsess over the scale, it wasn’t to eat healthy all the time. Rather, it was to try to make myself mind, body and soul, health. I worked on  my mental health having suffered from mental illness for many years. I worked on my physical health (this was pre celiac diagnosis). I worked on my overall self. And you know what? By the end of that year I felt like I had accomplished something.

I haven’t set many intentions over the last few years. It’s been up and down mind body and soul, but this year I’m ready. And so I put forth to you the following challenge: Set an intention. It doesn’t have to be some grandiose effort, but rather, something you want to work on. Put last year behind you – write down all the crap that happened and burn it. Have a symbolic end to the bad. Write down all the good stuff that happened and put it somewhere safe. On those bad day this year, you can open up that “good stuff” and remember that it will get better.

My intention: to grow, mind body and soul.

That may seem like a copout. But really, I want to continue to grow. I have learned so much about myself over the last few years and I want that to continue. I’m making my mental health a priority. I’m taking my yoga practice to the next level. I meditate almost daily. I watch what goes in my mouth and try to put food as close to the earth in as possible. When I eat meat, I want it to be GOOD meat – ethically grown and raised.

Growing is a big deal.

Working on my mind health has been a priority for me for a while now and in december I discovered something that helps – crochet. How does something that involves yarn help my mind? It’s simple rather – when I’m crocheting, I’m not anxious. It gives me focus. It’s patterns. It’s repetitive. And it keeps me grounded.

I found that I have a passion for this at this current point in my life. My best Eastern friend helped me understand something important the other day. My passions centre around what I need in that moment. Yoga is a passion for me – it saved my sanity last year and allowed my body to become more flexible. I need that. I didn’t need it to the same degree 10 years ago when I let yoga go out of my life for a while – or maybe I wasn’t ready for it then. It’s the same with crochet. Right now, I need it.

And so, I opened an online etsy store. And for you, my dear readers, I’m having a giveaway. I’m giving away a midlength pair of yoga socks. Why yoga socks? These socks are amazing! They keep your feet warm before your body is fully warm in class. They allow you to still grip your mat because they have no toes or heels. And they allow you to wear capris in the winter! (Maybe not a big deal for some of you southerners but up here in Canada.. it’s a big deal.)

Here are the rules:

Comment below as to why you want to win and you’re entered.

To earn extra entries:

1 – Like Shanti Knits on facebook!

2 – Share this giveaway on facebook or twitter.

It’s as easy as that. Draw will be made Friday, January 11 at 4pm MST.

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