Crochet: Blue Swirl Hat

I made a quick swirled hat, basically designed by the almost-seven-year-old intended recipient, a friend at church. She flipped through my book with designs I'd crocheted and picked out this Divine Hat pattern. I used the exact hook sizes as the pattern recommends and worsted weight yarn.

But she wanted to make specific edits - with the colors and adding the dark blue lines on a light blue background. I put off doing it for many weeks but started it while she was at our house on a play date, to ask for some specifics (what color do you want the band at the bottom - light blue, is it OK that one of the stripes -- my beginning/ending of each round -- is thicker than the others? yes, do you want a pom-pom added to cover the light blue circle at the top? no). It took me a few hours to finish over the course of a few days, very quick and it turned out great. A little big on her but not too big, probably sized for a small adult or tween because of the length. I like when hats can be worn for longer than just today (I've made one or two for my girls that are outgrown within a month ... what a waste).

Anyway, I like the way this turned out and think it would be really cute with white background and red stripes, as a peppermint, and with a striped band at the bottom, although that would be even more of a struggle!

Taco Soup in the Crock Pot

So I don't forget -- I made a delicious taco soup in the Crock Pot while my mom was visiting over Thanksgiving break. I am making it again today and don't want to lose the recipe in and among the hordes of similar recipes. This one is probably the easiest out there, but I might have added too much water today! I eyeballed it until the crock pot was full, egads. Here's my slightly modified version, mainly that I cook the meat with the taco seasoning instead of adding it with the liquid).
  • Brown one pound of ground beef and one chopped onion with packet of taco seasoning until meat is brown.
  • Put the mixture into the Crock Pot. 
  • Add 2 cups of beef broth (about half of a standard size box); a 28-oz can of Rotel, undrained; a 15 oz can of pinto beans, undrained; a 15 oz can of corn, undrained; and one cup of water. 
  • Stir it up, sprinkle on a dry packet of ranch dressing and slowly stir in. (There's probably a smarter way to do that too without sloshing the liquid! Maybe sprinkle the ranch over the meat after added?) 
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Put shredded cheese and sour cream on top to cool it down and cream it up. 
  • Eat with Tostitos Hint of Lime chips (Jane's favorite) or Fritos (maybe my favorite).

Tastes even better the next day heated up. Nom. Nom. Nom.

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Thanks for your interest in silvermari crochet hats . Most of what I make are sized for infants and toddlers, although I can size up and dow...