My Favorite Play Dough Recipe

The Holiday Season is upon us and this healthy family won’t be making sugar cookies so we have to find something that’s just as fun and festive. The solution may lie in the many, many online tutorials for making salt dough ornaments! This reminded me of the homemade play dough I made when my children were little. While there are gazillions of salt dough recipes out there, this one is my all time favorite because it’s very close to the commercially made “Play Doh” that everyone loves! This recipe was given to me years ago by a college professor. It’s cheap, easy and fun to make!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need but watch the video for handy tips!

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Optional:
food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Stir constantly to prevent sticking over medium heat. Mixture will be soupy for a while then ALL OF A SUDDEN it will thicken and stir itself into a ball! Immediately remove from heat but continue stirring. Dump the hot dough out onto a floured surface and continue kneading as it cools.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator OR it can be frozen for later play! Projects can be air-dried (don’t make them too big or thick). Alternatively, (though never tried my ME) is to put them in a pre-heated oven on the lowest setting for 1-4 hours depending on the size of the object.

Dyeing Acrylic Yarn

Recently, I ran across a couple of YouTube videos explaining how to dye acrylic yarn (virtually impossible to do by conventional means) by using acrylic paint! I was curious so I gave it a go and I share my experience with you. (Links to the original instructional videos are in the description box on my video:

Interesting… very interesting! If your interested in dyeing acrylic, I wouldn’t suggest this method. Some of the commenters told me of special dyes for synthetics that would work better.

For the Week One Winners!

If you watched my latest video, you’ll know that I’ve begun to pick winners for the giveaway! I needed a place to post a picture of their notion or project bag choices so here it is! (Click on it to make it larger.)

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Sheepishly Sharing Yarniversary!

September 10 marked the 2nd anniversary of my becoming part of the YouTube yarn community! I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from this experience and how much I appreciate those who have shared their expertise, encouragement and friendship. I have no plans to stop anytime soon and as a matter of fact, over the next month or so, I’ll be giving away notion bags and a few project bags to subscribers who enter into the “giveaway.”

Edited 9-12-2014: NOTE! You enter on the YouTube page as this giveaway is for YouTube Subscribers only!

This video contains all the scoop:

Crochet Hook Information

I’m strangely fascinated by the reasons different people prefer different crochet hooks so I went on a quest to learn more about the different types. In the process, I ran across 2 EXCELLENT blogs that took the time to explain the detailed features and provided descriptions and reviews of the ones they’ve tried. Inspired, I did the same with my “collection.” Below is a video where I used those 2 blogs as “textbooks” to give you an overview followed by my own experiences.

DEFINITELY take the time to review these pages! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

First, there’s Crochet Cabana. There are 2 pages loaded with great crochet hook info and reviews entitled “All About Hooks.” There are even links to purchase specialty hooks that are too pretty to use!

At Nerdigurumi, check out the Guide to Crochet Hooks and be sure to see the information on Crochet Hook Size Conversions.

FAQs about Addi Express Knitting Machines

I get LOTS of questions about the Addi machines and it finally occurred to me that an informational video would be in order! In the video, you’ll find answers to these questions:

1. First of all, “What IS an Addi Express Knitting Machine?”

2. “Why would I want one?”

3. “What are the advantages over a flat bed knitting machine?”

4. “Can you make other things besides hats and scarves?”

5. “I can only buy one machine. Which Addi is the best?”

 

Tutorial: Crochet Sock Yarn Hat

1 skein (50g) Paton's Stretch Socks Yarn; Color: Pumpkin Spice

1 skein (50g) Paton’s Stretch Socks Yarn; Color: Pumpkin Spice

Sock Yarn. Face it. It’s pretty stuff! The fiber content and color variations are endless and always seem to be so well matched. However, I’m not into making socks. (Truth be told, I don’t want to work that hard and stuff that pretty yarn into my shoes!) Since I’m a hat addict, the logical solution for me is to make a hat with it!

  •  Fact: It takes 2 skeins to make 1 pair of socks but only 1 to make a hat!
  •  Fact: As a general rule, self-striping yarn works better with knitting, however, you can get great results with single crochet!
  •  Fact: Sock yarn is usually a weight category of 1 (aka “Super Fine”), thereby needing small needles or hooks. I used a 3.5mm hook (aka “E” in American terms) thereby making the work go slower!
  •  Fact: The results are worth it.
  •  Opinion: I wouldn’t recommend the use of sock yarn to a beginner simply because of the fine yarn weight/small hook.

 Tutorial:

Since I’m not recommending this for beginners… the basic single crochet pattern and notes for what I did are included below.  A non-beginner should be able to run with that.  Regardless… this video explains it quickly and you may not even need to refer to the pattern at all after viewing:

Single crochet gives nice results with sock yarn striping.

Single crochet gives nice results with sock yarn striping.

Written Pattern:

Rnd 1: 12 sc in a loop but don’t join!

Rnd 2: 2 sc in ea sc. (24 stitches) Put a marker in the first stitch of this round!

Rnd 3: 1 sc in ea sc around. (24 stitches)

Rnd 4: 1 sc in next stitch, 2 sc in next st. Repeat around. (36 stitches)

Rnd 5: 1 sc in ea sc around. (36 stitches)

Rnd 6: 1 sc in the next 2 stitches; 2 sc in the next stitch. Repeat. (48 stitches)

Rnd 7: 1 sc in ea sc around. (48 stitches)

Rnd 8: 1 sc in the next 3 stitches; 2 sc in the next stitch. Repeat. (60 stitches)

Rnd 9: 1 sc in ea sc around. (60 stitches)

Rnd 10: 1 sc in the next 4 stitches; 2 sc in the next stitch. Repeat. (72 stitches)

Rnd 11: 1 sc in ea sc around. (72 stitches)

  • Continue sequential increases until the crown diameter measures the size you need. (Refer to a chart for sizing.)
  • Once proper crown size is achieved, single crochet in each stitch until the desired length is achieved. (Refer to a chart for sizing.)

Note: I stopped single crocheting about 1.5” from desired length and added a Front Post/Back Post Double Crochet Ribbing for the bottom of the hat.