Thursday, December 27, 2012

Knitted Stars

I'm sure it's been a busy week for all of you with the Christmas holiday.  I had a great time with my family.  I'm anxious to take down my Christmas decorations since they have been up since the day after Thanksgiving!

I wanted to share a recipe with you but I realized that it was too late - I had already made it and forgot to take pictures!  So, instead here is a quick, fun project that you can do.  It's knitted stars and they are so much fun to make.  They are made on DPN (double pointed needles) and you can use sports weight or DK weight yarn.  You only need a little amount so it's a good project to use up odds and ends.

Stars are popular at Christmas time but you can also use them anytime of the year in different color schemes.  I plan on making a number of these in red, white and blue and use them in a 4th of July wreath.  Here is the pattern:  

1 set DPN size 3
small ball of sport weight or DK weight yarn
darning needle

And the finished product!

I hope you enjoy this project.  I would love to hear from you if you wish to comment.  I will leave you with my best wishes for the New Year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Scones

I follow a wonderful blogger who lives in the north of England.  The other day she sent out a recipe for Christmas Biscuits.  I was so excited to try the recipe so I prepared all the dry ingredients yesterday thinking that I would wake up this morning and make these wonderful biscuits for breakfast.

Well, I took another look on her blog and found out that these "biscuits" were really cookies!  I should have known this.  My daughter spent two wonderful years in England and I know that the British call our cookies biscuits and they call our cakes and desserts, puddings.  I guess my age is getting the best of me.

Anyway, I still went ahead with my Christmas biscuits this morning, but I made them into scones.  When I go to coffee shops and order scones, they are usually so dry.  And, if you add too much butter, they are too rich.  I hope you will like these.  They go great with a morning cup of coffee.  Here is my recipe:


2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup finely ground almonds (almond meal)
1/4 teaspoon of:  allspice, nutmeg, ginger, mace, cardamon and cinnamon
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg, beaten
"scant" 1/2 cup of milk

1 egg for eggwash
decorator sugar

In large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients together.  Blend in butter until mixture resembles cornmeal.   In small bowl, beat egg and add the milk.  Pour into dry mixture and blend just until it sticks together.  (Dough may be a little wet but don't add more flour).

 Place dough on floured board and flatten with hands to a thickness of about 3/4".  Cut out with your favorite biscuit cutter.  Place cut out biscuits on parchment lined pan.

 Beat 1 egg with a teaspoon of water for the egg wash and brush each scone with egg and sprinkle some sugar on each.  I used this colorful decorators sugar.

Bake in a 375  degree oven for about 15 minutes (or a little more depending on which type of baking pan you use).  Bake until just lightly browned on the bottom.  

 Remove pan from oven and place scones on wire rack to cool.  This recipe makes about 15 scones.


Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or your favorite beverage!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Egyptian Christmas Cookies "Petit Fours"

If you have read this blog before, you know that my passion is knitting.  But my other passion is baking cookies.  I love to create special holiday cookies.  In years past, I made close to a dozen different types.  But, since my husband and I are empty nesters now, I make a few favorites.

My husband is Coptic.  You normally wouldn't think of Egypt celebrating Christmas, but the Christian community there does celebrate and it's a special time for special foods, especially after the long Advent fast.  These cookies are quite popular there during Christmas or Easter.  They are easy to prepare.  The most complicated part is clarifying the butter.  So, here is the recipe:


Take 1 pound of butter (or 3/4 pound) and put into a small covered saucepan.  Place on low heat and heat until butter melts.  Do not let it boil.  After it is melted, remove from heat and pour into a tall skinny glass or other vessel.  You will notice that the milk solids begin to drop to the bottom of the glass and the clear liquid butter "ghee" is on top.  Pour off the butter into a 1 cup measuring cup and a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  Place in refrigerator and let cool until it is solid.  It's probably best to make this a day or two in advance of making the petit fours.  If you only end up with 1 cup of clarified butter, you can use  1/4 cup of regular butter for the additional butter needed in the recipe.  I use only unsalted butter.


1 1/4 cup clarified butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs (not extra large)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 to 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In mixing bowl, add butter and sugar and mix until creamed.  Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until blended.  Add in flour, 1 cup at a time along with baking powder.  You may need to mix by hand at the end after all the flour is incorporated.

Divide dough in half; half will be left plain and the other half will be mixed with the cocoa powder to make chocolate dough.  If you prefer, you make make 1/4 chocolate dough or 1/2 or whatever you wish.

Put dough in cookie press and press out on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom of cookies are very light brown.  You don't want them to color but you do want them to be done inside.  Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet.

You will then sandwich them together using your choice (or a mixture of) apricot jam, melted white chocolate or dark chocolate.  Place a little jam or melted chocolate on one cookie and place the other cookie on top.  Dip the end of the cookie sandwich into melted chocolate and into sprinkles or nuts.  You can mix it up a bit.  The traditional way is to sandwich them together with apricot jam, brush a little apricot jam on the end and dip in chopped nuts.  I used white chocolate since I found out I didn't have any apricot jam in my pantry!! 

You may think they are like the Danish spritz (I'm Danish) but they have a little different texture.  This is because of the clarified butter and powdered sugar.  They have a lovely "melt in your mouth" texture which I'm sure you will enjoy.

Feel free to add comments if you have any questions.  Happy baking!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Tea at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort

Time goes by so fast!  I can't believe that it's already December 1st and the holiday season will soon be here!  I had a lovely day today.  My daughter invited me to a Holiday Afternoon Tea at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA.  It's a short drive from our homes and it turned out to be a wonderful afternoon.

As you may recall, I'm new here to Southern California.  I love the weather and most of all, I love being near my wonderful grandson and my family.  But, I sometimes miss the quaintness of my home town.  Today's outing gave me new memories that I can share and hopefully it will be an annual Christmas adventure that my daughter and I can do.

This is a Christmas tree made of chocolate.  It not only looks beautiful but you could smell the chocolate!!  We enjoyed touring the hotel and seeing the decorations.  I thought this was a unique way to display a Christmas tree:

 Here's a photo of my lovely daughter, Heidi. 

 We had great service at the tea and enjoyed the canapes', delicious tea sandwiches and delicate sweets. (The French raspberry macaroons were to die for!)  We didn't realize that it also included a holiday martini!

 It was truly a lovely afternoon that I hope we can experience again next year.  If you wish to know more about the tea, you can contact the St. Regis at 800-722-1543.  The tea is served Thursday, Friday and Saturdays now to December 22nd.

 I will leave you with a picture of my "save the planet, green tree".  It's a little Norfolk pine that I found at my local grocery store.  Since it's a live tree, I can use it next year.  And best of all it can be an indoor plant.  I think it looks so cute!

 My children of course do not approve of this tree but I do have a full size tree but it's a fake tree and they don't like that either!!

 At least I accomplished getting the home deocrated for the holidays.  I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beaded Knitted Wrist Warmers - Hand Warmers

It's been awhile since I have written.  Like everyone, I seem to have been busy doing whatever takes up my time.  I love to read the different blogs where they write every other day and attach lovely pictures and what not.  I wish my blog could be so popular!!

Anyway, the fall weather we have had here in Southern California has been warm and sunny.  We did have a little rain this week.  I fondly remember the beautiful snowy winters of long ago back in Washington.  It was always so quiet and peaceful when it snowed. But, after a long winter it got old quite fast.

Speaking of winter, here is what I currently am working on.  I originally found the pattern here.  They are knitted wrist warmers, hand warmers, fingerless gloves or whatever you wish to call them.  I used size 3 DPN and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn.

I tweeked and pattern a bit since I like to knit in the round and have a seamless product.  Here's the pattern that I came up with:

Size 3 DPN
54 Size 6 glass beads
1 skein Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn

sl = slip 1 stitch
yrn = yarn over
psso = pass slipped stitch over (in this pattern you will be passing the slipped stitch over the 2 knitted stitches)

First you will need to string 45 glass beads onto your working yarn.  Keep the beads towards the bottom of your working yarn until you need them.  Cast on 45 stitches and distribute 15 stitches to each DPN.  You will be knitting in the round so make sure you join the stitches for the first row.

1:  *P2, sl1, k2, psso; repeat from * to end
2:  *P2, k1, yrn, k1; repeat from * to end
3:  *P2, k3; repeat from * to end
4:  *P2, k1, k1 with bead, k1; repeat from * to end

Do a total of 4 repeats of the above Beaded Pattern Rows for a total of 16 rows.
NOTE:  do not put any beads on row 4 of last repeat of pattern!

Then continue as follows:
1: *P2, k3; repeat from * to end

Continue repeating row 1 until desired length is reached.  Desired length will be to your thumb.  You will now make the opening for the thumb as follows:

 Thumb Opening:
- slip first purl stitch on working needle #1 to needle #3

Row 1:
- work p1, *k3, p2; repeat from * to 1 stitch before the end of needle
- p1 for the last stitch on needle #3

Row 2:
TURN work and work as follows:
- k1, *p3, k2; repeat to 1 stitch before the end of needle
- k1 for the last stitch on needle
- turn work 

Continue to work row 1 and row 2 until opening for thumb measures approximately 1 1/2" ending with row 1 so that you can join stitches together on right side of project.

After desired opening is reached, join stitches by knitting in the round again on the right side of the project.  (Remember to slip the last stitch on needle #3 back onto needle #1).  Then continue to work in the pattern established, p2, k3 for approximately 1" to 2" then do 12 rows of the beaded pattern stitch again:

1:  *P2, sl1, k2, psso; repeat from * to end
2:  *P2, k1, yrn, p1; repeat from * to end
3:  *P2, k3; repeat from * to end
4:  *P2, k1, k1 with bead, k1; repeat from * to end

After doing 3 repeats of the above (or 12 rows),  repeat row 1 of beaded pattern row.  Then bind off in stitch pattern.  Weave in yarn ends and enjoy the warmth of these lovely beaded wrist warmers.

Voila!  And here is the finished product!

I must leave you with a lovely picture of my cat Lilly.  Since this blog is called "Lilly My Cat" here is Lilly enjoying a cat nap.  She's a 15 pound Maine Coon kitty!


 I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to those who are traveling during this special holiday season.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Noro Silk Garden Knitted Socks

It's the first of September and the weather here in Southern California is still warm.    This is my third summer down here and I love the weather, especially in the winter but this summer has been a bit too hot for me.  Anyway, the last thing on my mind is thinking about winter wear.  But, since my real niche in knitting lies in knitting socks, I thought I would share my latest project with you.

I knit my first pair of socks probably about 12 years ago.  I found a pattern and followed it - no classes or help.  But, since I like to read and follow directions, it was fun for me to see how the sock came together.  Since then, I have made many pairs of socks and one of my favorite yarns to work with is Noro yarn.  Noro is a Japanese yarn and is known for its lovely shades of color.  There are many different types of Noro yarns.  These socks were made with Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn.  I buy my Noro yarn from  They have some great buys on Noro and other types of yarn.

These socks feature a cabled pattern.  The link to the pattern is here

The pattern mentioned above is written correctly and fool proof.  I hate following a pattern and then it has errors.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this post and maybe try knitting socks if you have never knitted them before.  Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Crocodile Stitch Crocheted Handbag

UPDATED April 21, 2013 - Hello.  Be sure to check out my post dated April 21, 2013 "Temucula Wine Tasting and Crocodile Stitch Handbag" and you will see another design made from the crocodile stitch.

Wow, I can't believe it's been five years since I wrote on this blog. It's a miracle that I was even able to find my blog on the internet.  Thanks to my son who is the computer expert, I am now writing to you.

So, lots has happened in these last five years.  My children are truly grown up and I am now a grandma.  I guess that makes Lilly my cat an aunt!  Lilly is such a good little kitty.  She was an indoor kitty until we moved to California two years ago.  Now, she can go outside in the backyard (it's really a pool yard) and loves to hunt geckos and look at birds.  The yard is fenced in so she is too large (I can't say fat) to get through the fence.  Anyway, she loves to lounge by the pool but she always knows when its time to come in for lunch or dinner.

I have become a knitting addict these past couple of years but I first taught myself to crochet years ago.  Now, I find that sometimes I am bored with knitting and will do a crochet pattern now and then.  I ran across a tutorial for this crochet stitch which is called "the crocodile stitch".  To make the bag shown, I made two panels in this stitch pattern, seamed them together and crocheted a handle.  I then made a lining and attached it to the bag with handstitching and beads.  It would make a great little sachtel for work or play.

Here's the link to the crocodile stitch tutorial.

This bag is made from Bernat Softee baby yarn.   Originally I was going to crochet a scarf with this yarn which is 100% acrylic.  I wasn't pleased with the pattern so went online and found this wonderful, fun to make stitch.  I then created this bag.  It used one skein of the Bernat yarn.

There are many tutorials online showing how to make this stitch.  I'm a bit old fashioned in that I like to see the pictures and read the instructions.  It's quite easy to make and really only consists of two different pattern rows.

Until next time, I wish you happy crocheting! 

P.S.  March 13, 2013  I would love to hear your comments as I know this post is still being read.  I will soon be posting a new post on Bavarian Crochet!