December 10, 2012

posts are heading over to my new website, Know Your Maker.  see you there!

simple single crochet washcloth

June 11, 2012

making a washcloth with single crochet is easy!  you’ll need a cotton yarn, like peaches ‘n’ creme or lily sugar ‘n’ cream.  the lily brand is slightly more expensive but comes in bigger balls.  lion brand also makes an excellent cotton yarn that is colorfast- a must if you’re making things that get wet all the time.

to create your washcloth, simply chain 36- you can make it bigger or smaller by making a shorter or longer chain.  then, sc in the second chain from the hook.  sc all the way to the end, turn, ch 1, and then sc across.  make sure to count your stitches to make sure you’re getting the same number of stitches in each row.

and that’s how you make a washcloth!  when you’ve made it as long as you like, simply cut the yarn, make a knot, and weave the ends into the washcloth.

photo to come soon.

how to crochet – half double crochet // a littlehippiegirl tutorial

June 11, 2012

hello friends!  it’s been a while, for sure, but alas i have been without internet.  i am now however back in the land of the internet living and ready to continue my crochet series for you- i hope you’re enjoying it so far!

the half double crochet is abbreviated “hdc” in patterns (such as “hdc in each stitch around” or “2 hdc in each stitch”).  the half double crochet is kind of like a cross between single crochet and double crochet.  it’s excellent for projects, because it’s short and compact like the single crochet, and it’s also very thick, making it excellent for washcloths.

make a chain of any length.

wrap the yarn around the hook…

and insert your hook in the third chain from the hook.

wrap the yarn around the hook again and bring it up through the chain.  you will now have three loops on your hook.

wrap the yarn around the hook again…

and pull it through all three loops.

continue on down the chain.

when turning, you will chain 2 for the starting hdc.  try using this to make a washcloth or scarf.  by working in the back loop only, you can create a nice ribbed pattern.  this pattern for a ribbed helmet hat is an excellent pattern i use often- it works up quickly and the hat looks great and fits well on the head, especially when you want a hat that will be snug at the ears.

the art of making money beautifully

February 14, 2012

i purchased tara gentile’s the art of earning e-book today.  since i’ve become homeless by choice, with my entire life packed into my car, traveling from one place to another a-calling on friends, i’ve started to do some hard thinking about how much simplicity should be mandatory in a person’s life for them to be able to own their own small business.  how much i need to pare down to be able to work doing what i love.  i have had an etsy shop since 2007, selling on average 1.5 items per month, which isn’t bad for someone just dabbling.  i’ve always thought of money as tara quotes kelly diels:

I’m not terribly motivated by money. Shiny things, yes. Money, no. When I have enough, when the survival mark is made, I lose interest in making any more.

but i’ve repeatedly considered what it would take to be able to support myself.  the numbers are staggering when considered.  for me to pay my 2 bills, allow myself 1 tank of gas per week, $50 per week for food and incidentals, $30/month for dog food- in other words, the bare minimum- i would need $500.  i can’t be homeless forever, so add onto that the exceptional price of $300/month for a magical all utilities paid apartment, and you have a bare minimum needed of $800/month.  with an average of thirty days per month, i would need to make $26.70/day.  if i could sell one hat per day at that price plus shipping, it could work out- provided i could make it to the post office with the gas on my allowance.  but that’s just the bare minimum.  what if i got sick and needed to go to the doctor, or my tire blew on my car?  i would have no buffer.  so if i added $200 in savings to that a month, that would make it $1000/month for all of my expenses.  that brings the total up to $33.30/day.  i can knit one hat a day if i spend four or five solid hours knitting.  but would i be able to physically knit every day for five hours?  what if no one bought hats in a month?  what if five hours wasn’t enough to make a hat that i could sell for $33.30 plus shipping?

this is just to point out that my current hat-selling business is going to have to change, i’m afraid.  haberdashery just ain’t what it used to be.  i’m an obsessive knitter, though, so rest assured there will still be a few tams available for sale at all times.

this is why i turned to tara, and i am hoping that her e-book helps me formulate an idea for a profitable business.  i have a few ideas and i’m looking forward to exploring them.  and i’m looking forward to getting settled somewhere again where i can set my plans into motion.  i’ll let you know how it goes.

how to crochet: selecting yarn // a little hippie girl tutorial

February 12, 2012

i’ve been wanting to do crochet tutorials for a while, but it seemed that it would be a bigger undertaking than i was capable of.  i’ve written some tutorials on quazen, but i really don’t like how much advertising they put on their pages.  so this is my humble attempt at providing you, the general public, with a free crochet class via internet.

you can crochet with any yarn-like substance, from plastic bags to t-shirt scraps, but when selecting commercial yarns, a few basic tips will go a long way. yarns are classified by weight, and weight is determined by gauge- or how many stitches it takes to make a square inch of crocheted fabric.

weights range from lace, the finest, to super bulky, the heaviest. if you’ve ever seen a crocheted doily, then you’ve seen a good example of lace weight crochet thread. baby items and socks are made from super fine (also called sock or fingering) weight yarn, or the next weight up: fine, also called sport or baby weight yarn. many crocheted clothing items and accessories are made with DK and worsted (also called aran or medium) weight yarns. very thick items can be made from bulky and super bulky weight yarns- most rug yarn is also bulky weight.

various yarn weights

crochet is done with a single hook, and for each yarn weight there is a corresponding range of hooks to be used to get the gauge you need. hook sizes can vary if you want a looser or tighter stitch. a small hook with a heavy yarn will produce very tight, solid stitches, and a large hook with a lighter yarn will produce loose stitches. the best way to know which hook is recommended for the yarn you’d like to use is to read the label.

yarn label with various indications highlighted

many patterns will provide the yarn weight and hook you need to use for the project. others are more open to interpretation, and most will suggest that you crochet a small swatch to make sure that what you make is the correct size.

we need nature

January 30, 2012
duck footprints by littlehippiegirl
duck footprints, a photo by littlehippiegirl on Flickr.

i believe it is both vital and necessary for human beings to remain in complete contact with nature.  it’s likely no one realizes this because we have been so easily separated from it for so long and have been allowed to tame it to keep it near to us for what we need.  as humans, we are gifted with thinking minds.  but too often we forget that our thinking minds are only a small part of our systems, and that our human body is not different from plant or animal bodies, consisting of the same chemical structures.  therefore, when we are removed from an environment which once was our atomic equal, and placed among the pavement and pesticides of chemicals not matching our own, it damages us.  it is not by accident that even the most unfocused and hyperactive of children pauses to watch a beetle in the dirt.  we are inexorably linked to the earth that birthed us from its oceans, several protein strands ago.

January 25, 2012

here’s a translation of my groovy hat-in-a-flash pattern translated by the lovely lara of bebés y especias! muchas gracias lara!

random wisdom from 1785

January 17, 2012

little excerpts from The housewife: Being a most useful assistant in all domestic concerns, whether in a town or country situation by Laetitia Montague, 1785.

to break a boil: take the yoke of a new-laid egg, some honey, and wheat flour; mix well together, spread it on a rag, and lay it on cold.”

an easy and useful remedy for a fresh bruise or contusion: take fresh butter and parsley, of each a sufficient quantity, and having chopped the herb, mix it very well with the butter, to the consistence of a cataplasm or poultice, which is to be applied warm to the newly bruised parts.”

bisquick banana bread

December 30, 2011

i wanted to make banana bread with my old bananas but we were out of flour, so i found this delicious bisquick recipe!  i used jiffy mix, which worked spectacularly.  i baked the bread in small loaf pans with tinfoil over the bread and left it in for 40 minutes instead of the recipe’s recommended 55.  the bread turned out flavorful, sweet and spongy.  it’s delicious.


  • 2 1/3 c bisquick or jiffy mix
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 large very ripe bananas
  • 1 t vanilla

mix together bisquick, sugar, oil, and eggs.  beat well.  stir in bananas and vanilla.  bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes.

5 excellent reasons you should give a crap about recycling

December 27, 2011

i was told the other day that i recycle because i’m a democrat.

after fighting with my eyebrow, which after shooting up as quickly as it did was dangerously close to getting stuck in an upright position, i replied that people of all political affiliations recycle.

the person i was talking to replied, “yes, but you know, the whole going green thing, it’s such a liberal thing to do.”

when faced with (il)logic like this i am always at a loss for words.  it is one thing for someone to say, “studies show the energy used at recycling plants heavily offsets the environmental benefit gained from recycling.”  this can set the grounds for actual exploration, debate and discussion.  but statements like this are the ones that make me bang my head on the desk when no one is looking because i am sad that in this world people can still think this way.

so if you are a person who does not think about it, here are five quick and easy reasons you should give a crap about recycling.

1. landfills suck.  the more we recycle, the less we shovel into landfills.  landfills, despite containment efforts and standards, are rife with things like human waste, decomposing plastic, and toxic computer chemicals that leech into groundwater and soil.  they are also one of the largest contributors of methane gas to the destruction of the ozone layer.  the less ozone layer we have, the more cancer we get.  and cancer sucks just as bad as landfills.  if we’re pumping this much methane gas into the environment, it makes us no better than all those burping cows that are doing the same with their rumbly guts.  do you really want to be on par with a burping cow?

2. it’s too hard for you to avoid it without being lazy.  i am lazy, you say, and i don’t care who knows it.  well, all right.  while you’re at home explaining your position to your realdoll, the rest of us who have other people directly affected by our actions (spouses, children, family, pets, customers, guys we regularly beat up at the bar) will adjust our round tuits and realize that recycling is really not that difficult anymore.  if you live in a city with a recycling program, they make it easy and put a nice big bin next to your trash bin.  if you can take out the trash, you can recycle.  take five minutes to learn what can be recycled and what can’t, and easy as that, you’re a pinko commie liberal.  just kidding.  you can recycle and hate gun control.  you can even recycle your guns (in some places.  please do not ever place a weapon in a recycling bin.)

if you’re like me, and live in an area where there is no curbside recycling, then proceed as follows: buy a laundry sorter at wal-mart, separate your recyclables accordingly (newspaper/cardboard in one, plastic in another, aluminum in the third), and, next time you head to town to go to the mall or the feed store or the NRA meeting, pause at your local recycling place and dump the sacks out.  not knowing where the recycling center is in your town is no excuse anymore, either; Earth911 will tell you in 2 seconds.  go!

3. it helps raise money for our severely underfunded schools.  sometimes people won’t do something unless it’s attached to the mean, green almighty dollar.  these days, a lot of schools are using the paper retriever program, which pays schools for newspaper, cardboard and magazine recycling.  if you’re looking for a way to give back that requires very little effort, take those old papers you’ve been hoarding in the garage and drop them off at the nearest bin. maybe if you have a newspaper subscription, ou could find a way to use it as a tax write-off.

4. you don’t actually want to wallow in your own crap, do you?  it took a lot of effort to reduce litter, and now it’s taking even more effort to take the next step toward recycling.  but to me, the math is simple.  more consumption = more waste.  more waste = more litter.  more litter = more filth and problems for all of us.  if you have kids, you should be especially mindful of the fact that you’re trashing the world they’re growing up in.  it doesn’t seem like a big deal to most of us until our toddler decides they want to pick up and play with a natty ice can or a plastic bottle full of urine on the way to the park.  some say this is impossible.  i say nay, good people, look closely next time you decide to park at that pull-out along a scenic road.

5. you’re smart. i’m saying this in good faith, so don’t let me down.  humans have the most troglodytic methods of dealing with our trash: dig a hole and bury it.  i think it’s time we moved past this option and used our expanded, eco-conscious, fully functional brains to actually find inventive ways of either reducing our waste or coming up with better ways to dispose of it.

we live in a society of disposable goods, and sometimes it’s difficult to remember that with every article we dispose of unnecessarily, we are adding that much more to our landfills.  try recycling for a month- you’d be surprised how quickly it becomes a part of your life.