How To Knit A Coaster

A few weeks back, one lucky winner claimed her #scissorsandsage contest prize.  I decided to make her a cozy coaster she could use on her breakfast table, night stand, or side table.  I had been wanting to learn how to knit the knot stitch, a beautiful stitch that creates perfect texture for a project like this one.  The Weekly Stitch provided a straightforward tutorial on how to create this stitch.  (I learn best from watching YouTube videos, so I was happy to see that her website had both a video and written tutorial.)

If you are looking for a last minute gift for the holidays, let me assure you that my slow knitting skills got me through this project in no time at all!  This knot stitch coaster would look great gifted in a set of 2 or 4, perhaps in different colors.  I used The Weekly Stitch’s pattern to create my own design with a border, and am really happy with how it turned out!

The Materials:

  • 1 skein, or a decent amount of leftover yarn
  • Size US 8 straight needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

How-To:

  • Cast on 23 stitches
  • Garter stitch for 6 rows
  • Then:
  1. Knit 1 row
  2. Knit 3 stitches / purl 17 stitches / knit 3 stitches
  3. Knit 4 stitches / make knot* / knit 3 stitches / make knot / knit 3 stitches / make knot / knit 4 stitches
  4. Knit 3 stitches / purl 17 stitches** / knit 3 stitches
  5. Knit 1 row
  6. Knit 3 stitches / purl 17 stitches / knit 3 stitches
  7. Knit 7 stitches / make knot / knit 3 stitches / make knot / knit 7 stitches
  8. Knit 3 stitches / purl 17 stitches / Knit 3 stitches
  • Repeat steps 1-8 two-and-a-half times (ending on step 4)
  • Garter stitch for 6 rows
  • Cast off 23 stitches
  • Weave in ends with a tapestry needle

*To make a knot, purl 3 together and leave them on the left needle.  Knit these 3 together, and then purl these 3 together.  Finally, drop them off of the left needle.

**Be sure to purl each stitch on the backside of the knots separately.

That’s all there is to it!  Happy knitting!

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Project Roundup: Holiday Inspiration!

I have to confess that I did not pre-plan a blog post for today.  I practically forgot that today is Monday.  Anne and I had a wonderful weekend together, as we celebrated our 6-year anniversary! We purchased our very first Christmas tree — a little guy, about 2.5 feet tall — that fits perfectly in our apartment, and enjoyed a delicious dinner at probably our favorite restaurant in Philly.

In conclusion: I didn’t write a blog post.  So, today I have for you a nice roundup of a few giftable projects I’ve created here on Scissors & Sage.  I hope that they inspire you to make something special for a loved one this holiday season.  And if they don’t inspire you — well, let me make it for you!

EDIBLE

These Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies really are perfect.  If you don’t believe me, make them yourself and find out!

Make Quick & Simple Fudge for your holiday hosts, family members, or friends.  It makes a big batch that can be distributed among many.

These Chewy Chocolate Jumbles are delicious, and can be customized with all kinds of added ingredients like nuts or dried fruit.

NON-EDIBLE

Make someone happy with this Honey Citrus Hand Scrub.  It smells incredible, and leaves your hands feeling very soft.  Easily gift it in a small jar.

This DIY Stencil Pillow is a labor of love.  There’s still plenty of time to begin working on lengthy DIY holiday gifts!  (This was also, believe it or not, the first project I ever posted on Scissors & Sage!)

Learn to make these Mirror, Mirror bathroom signs that are only readable when viewed through the mirror.  Check out the first installment of Mirror, Mirror here, too!

Feel like knitting?  This Cowl Me Crazy project has you covered.

These DIY Pencil Eraser Stamps require few materials and yield great results.  Use these stamps to create a matching set of custom stationery for a friend or loved one.  Need envelope inspiration?  Look here, and be sure to use old December issues.

Do you know someone who loves cooking or baking?  Give them the gift of a curated recipe box.  First, find a beautiful recipe box.  Second, learn to create custom dividers (see link).  Third, add recipes you think your gift recipient will enjoy — perhaps recipes that are important to you!

These DIY Dragonfly Earrings are cute and simple for the nature lovers in your life.

Make a statement with this Oscar Wilde Stencil Art.  It’s easily customizable if you know your gift recipient loves a specific quote.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup.  Be sure to let me know if you make any of these projects!  Share your creations using #scissorsandsage on Instagram and Twitter.

{NEW} FOR HIRE

It’s hard to believe December is upon us! Thanksgiving in Chicago was so much fun.  We even went to northern Illinois to chop down a Christmas tree!  Anne and I put our holiday decorations up last night, as it was the first activity in our advent calendar, and the Christmas spirit is officially in full swing.

I thought I’d take a minute to introduce you to a new component of Scissors & Sage: I am for hire!  In this new section, you will find details on the work I am currently offering.  I’ve also copy and pasted the details below for your convenience.  I hope that you will consider selecting me for your holiday needs this year.  I’ve already finished designing one family’s holiday card, and I have a holiday photoshoot scheduled this weekend with a local couple.


{NEW} FOR HIRE

I’d love to work for you!

Just in time for the holiday season, I am offering my graphic design services to create custom holiday cards.  I will transform one (or a few!) family photographs into a beautifully designed card for you to send to loved ones this season.

  • $45 for one photo per card
  • $55 for two photos per card
  • $65 for three or more photos per card
  • $75 for full-service (does not include printing and shipping fees)

Give the gift of a handmade item.  I will recreate any of the projects seen on Scissors & Sage, whether it’s an edible treat, something hand-knit, or another type of DIY craft.  Rates vary depending on the item(s).

Celebrate a special occasion with a photoshoot.  This may include engagement, holiday, maternity, and “just because” photographs.  (Customers must live in or near Philadelphia, PA.)

  • $75 for 1 hour shoot, photo editing, and digital files
  • $95 for 1.5 hour shoot, photo editing, and digital files
  • $105 for 1.5 hour shoot, photo editing, digital files, and text over photos
  • Text over photos can be added to any package for $15

Receive guidance on that blog you’ve been thinking about starting.  I will help you with blog layout and design, content ideas, goal setting, and more!  Meetings may occur in person, over the phone, or on Skype.

  • $55 for first consultation (up to 1.5 hours)
  • $35 for all other consultations (1 hour each)

Email me at victoria@scissorsandsage.com if you are interested in any of the services mentioned above.  I will then send you a more detailed estimate for the time and materials needed, and shipping fees (if applicable).

Follow these five simple steps if you know exactly what you want, or if we’ve already connected over email:

  1. Checkout via  Buy Now Button
  2. Fill in your desired order in the “Enter description” box
  3. Enter the appropriate item price based on prices listed above
  4. Click “Update” to refresh your order
  5. Pay using either a PayPal account or a credit card

I look forward to working for you!

Spooky Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

A few weeks ago, Anne received a care package in the mail from her mom, Janet.  Among the goodies were tools to make Halloween-themed treats: a mini doughnut pan and spooky sprinkles!  It’s always exciting to add new kitchen gadgets to our ever-growing collection.

Anne decided to whip up a batch of cake doughnuts this weekend using the recipe from the pan’s packaging.  They are delicious, and were incredibly easy to make.  It was a fun project for a Saturday afternoon at home.  Below, I’ve created a “recipe view” so that you can print it for easy access and use in your own kitchen!

Spooky Chocolate Cake Doughnuts (via Norpro)

Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 8 minutes | Yields: 24 doughnuts

For the batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water

Before starting, here are some items that you will need: Mini doughnut pan, cooking or baking spray (we used Crisco brand), and spooky sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325°F.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla until thick.  In a small mixing bowl, combine milk and butter.  Alternately combine egg mixture and milk mixture into the flour mixture.  Blend until smooth and soft.

Spray pan lightly with cooking or baking spray.  Pour batter into a piping bag, and fill doughnut molds 2/3 full with batter.  (Or, pour batter into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and squeeze batter down into one corner.  Using scissors, snip one tip of the Ziploc to create an opening of no more than 1/8″.)  Bake for 8 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Carefully transfer doughnuts to a cooling rack.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl.  Dip tops of cooled doughnuts in the glaze, and finish with spooky sprinkles immediately.  Enjoy!

From Scissors & Sage 

After taste-testing a doughnut (read: several doughnuts), both Anne and I felt that they could have tasted a bit more chocolatey.  Let us know if you make these at home, or if you experiment with adding more chocolate flavor.  What other spooky recipes have you been making this Halloween season?  Tag photos on Instagram with #scissorsandsage!

Lead chef and hand model: Anne Kenealy

Valentine’s Day Playlist

Whether you are at home, traveling to and from work, or sipping wine over dinner, this mix is here to accompany you!  There are old standbys from The Temptations, Joni Mitchell, and The Rolling Stones, as well as newer tracks from Wild Cub, Bruno Mars, and Lianne La Havas.  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

“You’re The Love of My Life (The Love of My Life)”

  1. Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub
  2. I Feel It All – Feist
  3. From – Dr. Dog
  4. I’d Like To – Corinne Bailey Rae
  5. Don’t Stop – The Rolling Stones
  6. Kiss – Prince
  7. Wildfire – John Mayer
  8. You Turn Me On I’m A Radio – Joni Mitchell
  9. Age – Lianne La Havas
  10. You and I (feat. Feist) – Wilco
  11. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – The Temptations
  12. Treasure – Bruno Mars
  13. Dream – Alice Smith
  14. Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye