Author Archives: kalookalei

Beefy Lemon-Spinach Rollups

Beefy Lemon-Spinach Rollup

Beefy Lemon-Spinach RollupI have a wonderful meatball recipe that is just a mess to make. It is delicious but hardly worth the effort unless you need a wow dish for guests or pot lucks. This recipe is a simplification of the original and designed to be a “Cook for One” recipe.  How ever many lasagna noodles are in the box is the number of servings the recipe will make, usually between 14 to 16 servings.

Beefy Lemon-Spinach Rollups

1 pound ground beef (browned, drained and crumbled)
1 medium to large onion (about 2 cups diced)
10 ounce package frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
16 ounces of Ricotta or Cottage Cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 4 cloves fresh
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 eggs
1 box lasagna noodles
2, 14 1/2 ounce cans beef broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Brown, drain and crumble the ground beef. Sauté the diced onion. Thaw and squeeze dry the spinach. Combine the beef, onions, spinach, cheese, garlic, pepper and eggs. Let the filling rest in refrigerator while preparing the noodles.

Published: July 12, 2011

I’ve Got Your Mouse

I've got your mouse.

I've got your mouse.

Meet Harlow, a queen who knows what she wants…attention!

Published: April 11, 2011


Pot Scrubby

Pot ScrubbyEver wonder what to do with the left over yarn from you latest washcloth or dishtowel project? This is my perfected scrubby pattern. Extremely easy using only the (sc) single crochet stitch.

It is cotton on one side for the delicate items you wouldn’t want to scratch and braided nylon cord on the other for more scrubbing power. Braided cord can be found in any hardware store. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Just choose a size about the same diameter of the cotton yarn you are using. Although I haven’t tried it, I think hemp twine would make a good scrubbing side too and would make a totally natural fiber scrubby. I’m afraid my skin is a bit too sensitive to work with twine.

It is also designed to curve over on the top forming a ridge to help protect your fingertips.

A printer-friendly PDF of this pattern is available for immediate download at my Etsy store: Creations by Kalei.


The scrubby is worked in the round without joining. Use a piece of scrap yarn to mark the beginning single crochet of each round. (Weave the yarn in and out between the last stitch and first stitch of each round. Then remove it at the end. Note: Remember that the stitches, because they are worked in the round will not lie exactly on top of each other and the beginning stitch will spiral to the left on each round.)

4 ply cotton yarn
Braided nylon cord
Crochet hook H or J
Tapestry Needle

Stitches used:
Single Crochet (sc)
Chain Stitch (ch)

Size: These instructions should produce a scrubby 3″ in diameter.

Bottom: Using braided nylon cord starting on round 2 work the single crochets in the back look of the previous rounds. This will make a ridge which will add to the surface scrubbing area.

Published: April 1, 2011

Origami Valentine’s Day Card


I thought I might share a Valentine’s Day card I received a few years back. Clicking on the image will get you a size suitable for printing on a 5×7 card. Available for personal use only, no mass reproduction please.


If you are looking for something to go with the card try the Transforming Heart and the Pot with Stem and Leaves models.


Published: February 8, 2011

Cunning, Craftiness, Subtlety

Fox with Grapes
Reaching the trophy,sublime.
You must be willing to climb.
To procure a great meal,
Designs are concealed:
Everlastingly vulpine.

Published: January 30, 2011

Self-Striping Hand Towel

Button Top Self-Striping Hand Towel

Button Top Self-Striping Hand TowelHand knit washcloths are one of the true luxuries of life. They are wonderful in either the kitchen or the shower. And they are nearly indestructible. I’m still using cloths I made 10 years ago.

Washcloths are a great way to experiment with new stitches. Instead of making swatches I make washcloths or soap savers. I find out pretty quickly if I want to do a whole garment in the stitch. As you can imagine, I have quite a few washcloths, so much so that I have begun to make button-top hand towels instead.

Lily Sugar’n Cream has started to make a self-striping yarn. I liked the idea of the self-striping but wasn’t too fond of the way the color changes showed up. The changes didn’t blend in as well as I wanted. Not to be defeated by a bit of yarn, I developed the pattern below that incorporates an eyelet row to camouflage the color change.

I formed the eyelet row on the purl side because it is easier to purl 2 together (P2T) than it is to knit 2 together (K2T), especially with yarn that does not have much stretch like cotton.

The top portion of the pattern can be added to the top of any washcloth pattern. The only modification needed would be if the washcloth pattern was made on an even number of stitches. In that case, increase one stitch in the middle of row 1.

Math alert: To determine the number of purl 2 together (P2T) you will need on rows 2, 4, and 6, divide the number of stitches in half, then divide that number in half. If the result is even, purl the middle stitch of the row. If the result is odd, subtract one set of decrease stitches, these 2 stitches will be added to the number of plain purl stitches made in the center of the row. Repeat until there are 7 stitches remaining.

Row 2: (37 stitches)
37 ÷ 2 = 18 remainder 1 (even)
18 ÷ 2 = 9
9 P2T, P1, 9 P2T

Row 4: (19 stitches)
19 ÷ 2 = 9 remainder 1(odd)
9 ÷ 2 = 4 remainder 1
4 remainder (2 + 1 = 3)
4 P2T, P3, 4 P2T

Mileage may vary on the length of the button loop, make it the length needed. Making the actual YO, K2T buttonhole on the knit side of the fabric. I have taken to making my loops with two button holes 7 rows apart.

A printer-friendly PDF of this pattern is available for immediate download at my Etsy store: Creations by Kalei.

Button-Top Self-Striping Hand Towel

Size 7 knitting needles
1 3/ 4” button
1 ball self-striping cotton yarn
Finished size 9×11 including top(unblocked)

Gauge: Not too important, the bottom section should be square or a bit over.

Published: January 19, 2011


Symbols for Ophiuchus

I am interested by astrology; I check my horoscope every day. I feel that astrology, like most studies, is an outgrowth of people trying to understand and explain the world. In many ways the study of astrology is the study of how different personality types (represented by the signs) interact—basic psychology.

I do not think the stars can tell my future, nor would I care if they did. Free will would still trump anything they had to say. That being said…let’s have some fun.

Last night, I went to bed a half-human Sagittarian, represented by the centaur, and woke up a half-god Ophiuchuian, represented by Asclepius. I suppose that is a step up on the evolutionary chain.

All the hoopla is because the sun actually spends 8 days in the constellation Scorpio, then moves into the constellation Ophiuchus for 19 days before entering Sagittarius for 34 days. That means there’s a lot more Sagittarians in the world and a lot fewer Scorpios. And with a birth date of December 14, I’m one of the new Ophiuchuians.

Symbols for OphiuchusRevised Astrological Calendar:

Aries: April 18-May 13
Taurus: May 13-June 21
Gemini: June 21-July 20
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20
Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11
Pisces: March 11-April 18

There are currently two symbols associated with Ophiuchus. One is the Rod of Asclepius consisting of a serpent entwined on a staff. And the second was made popular by Walter Berg’s book 13-Sign Astrology.

Asclepius’ Story:

Asclepius was the son of Apollo (Greek god) and Coronis (lovely human)—did any of the gods every fall for a homely human? While Apollo was away, Coronis, pregnant with Asclepius, met and fell in love with Ischys (human)—guess Greek gods aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

A white crow, the blabbermouth, left by Apollo to watch Coronis told all. Apollo glared at the messenger so hard that its feathers turned black, forever making all crows black. Moral: One should only bring good news to the gods.

Published: January 15, 2011