Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Paranoidal Cyst

Mah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaa! That's a phrase I actually came across in the hospital! Giggle--(translation = pilonidal cyst).

Anyway, that was the highlight of my workday. Pathetic, isn't it :D

I love this idea for a pocket garden! What a cool original thought! Especially appealing to me now that the sky, the ground and the roads are all the same color. The season of drab is upon me, and anything green is quite welcome!

Oh, for all the time in the world, to be able to sew such a beautiful shirred duvet cover. Drool. Shabby Chic and quite restful to look at. I love that something so beautifully textured could be on your bed. And, look how cheap she made that (compared to buying it at anthropologie!) I. Want. One.

Lex is a genius, I love her tutorial on how to make your own pleater board. Great idea for the seamstress!

Okay. Done for 2010. Bye, you sucky year. May 2011 bring good things for all of us!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Surfing again

A wee bit of early morning surfin' yielded some really great finds:

For quilters, if you don't yet know of Paper Panache website, it is an amazing site with paper-piecing patterns that are available free for a limited time, after which they are sold by the designer. If you were lucky like me, and downloaded her paper-pieced nativity pattern while it was free several years ago, you feel truly lucky! While I haven't yet attempted making this pattern, I found a blog that is documenting all the work that goes into it! (link to Paper Piecing the Nativity.)

For the crocheters out there, here are some sites that show patterns for lacework: Fantasia di Crys, Edivana Crochet, You must use your own conscience to tell you whether it is acceptable to print and use these published works. If you are like me, just looking at them for the sheer inspiration is enough. I love eye-candy!

Or, look at SkyMagenta's blog where she made a crocheted pirate ship! Now that is fun!

I am indulging in surf-time, but it is time to get ready for work. Sigh. I am going to try to get some Christmas wrapping done this morning before I have to leave :)

Stay warm y'all!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Update

You know you're used to winter when 32 degrees doesn't feel that cold to you. I guess that's the only thing that makes winter tolerable--it's all relative.

I am reading the LEFT BEHIND series, by Tim LaHaye. I never thought I'd read this series, it sounded 'hokey' to me even as a Christian, but I have to admit, I couldn't put the first book down! It's gripping. I should've known I'd enjoy reading these, as Frank Peretti's books absolutely stunned me when they came out! How I wish I could write like that...:)

Bills are hitting hard this season, after a surgery, college classes next semester for DS, and the holidays all making extra expenses. I think much of America is in the same boat. I have had to have my car towed twice since I bought it in September (grrr), but thankfully that is covered on mfr warranty through next year. I just hope this isn't a trend that will continue.

Not much time to knit lately, but I'm still a fan! And I am expecting some yarn-time later this winter! I look forward to more family togetherness the next couple of weeks, then some alone time!

I am so amazed at God's goodness, how he provides for and cares for his loved ones. If only everyone would love him back. I am inspired by the Amish and their daily PRACTICE of beliefs. It is too easy to say you believe, but not act it. I am concentrating on that, like the book of James tells us. I am confident my God hears my prayers, and I rest in Him. I wish you all the same peace through Christ!



p.s. I recently found out about a great online resource for bible study, that has concordance and word-study assistance for Greek and Hebrew key words!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Latest Lace

I love fan lace edgings. I have spent a lot of time and effort collecting patterns for fan laces. And so, when I saw Piecework Magazine's latest issue with a recreated vintage version, I had to try it:

I love this pattern, but it is written out in a manner that makes it difficult to follow, and to pick it up again once you put it down. I simply cannot see being stuck to the magazine page the whole time I am making this. So I will be charting it in symbols--I think it will be worth it, I love the resulting lace!

gotta get ready for work. Sigh. Happy T-day everyone!


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Hee hee, this is what I watched on Thursday morning getting ready for work, it's an edited version as they were waiting on that bridge for a LONG TIME:

I. LOVE. THESE. GUYS. Who wants to watch stuffy old dorks report the news when you can have WGN Morning News in Chicago?! You can watch them across the country too, on cable or satellite....I wouldn't miss this show! This and Bears football are the only things I watch.

WGN News. Keepin' it real.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

S'mother Posts

On the path at Yellowstone Nat'l Park,
or, my current state of mind

Green, peaceful, but scattered. Heh.

Get ready for a whirlwind of great ideas from other bloggers:

THE. COOLEST. REUSABLE. SHOPPING. BAG. EVAH. This is the best bag idea I've ever seen! What a great use for an old shirt and a nice recycling job!

And it's likely lead-free :b

This same blogger has a cool quick poncho sewing pattern to make with upscale knit fabric--great idea, again!

And, squeeeeeee! She has a couple of wire-hanger decorating ideas! I was just lamenting in my last post about the ugliness of wire coathangers....these hanger-makeovers are amazing.

I love the SewMamaSew blog, they list such great ideas that are put out there by other bloggers(like this child's chef hat pattern), and they have free book giveaways this month! This blog is great for crafters and foodies like me, heh.

Wow, look at all the free pdf labels and gift tags lollychops offers for download. Love the owls...

These storage containers would also be fun to customize! I love her checkbook cover tutorial, also. Really want to make one for myself that is unique.

Look at these felt gnome-home ornaments you could make! Too sweet!

I bought myself two wonderful bird vases from Three Potato Four in 2008. What a nice shop! I love their style. They're on my shopping sidebar....

Here's a Christmas wreath of fabrics that is not sewn, but glued (I would probably tack the flowers with stitches if I wanted it to last a number of seasons.)

Happy Crafting,


Sunday, November 14, 2010

I wanna do that...

Mi coche.

My wanna-do list gets bigger whenever I surf my favorite blogs:

Making homemade soap is so compelling to me. I want to do that someday, especially this homemade laundry soap! I LOVE that idea--

though I have to admit, my favorite ever laundry soap is now sold at Super Target!! Woo hoooooooo!

This stuff actually gets my clothing clean, where Cheer no longer did, and it is cheap as heck! You use one tiny little scoop of this to each load, and one box of this at $8 or $11 (whatever it was) has now lasted me 3 months and I'm only halfway through it! I LOVE THIS STUFF so much that making my own laundry soap sounds like a cool thing to do once for the experience, but I plan to use this Watkins product 4-evah! It's all natural!

Back to the Wanna-Do List:
there's metal stamping!!! I just ordered my first set of metal stamps from Etsy and am so excited. My fav thing to [think about doing] is recycling old silverware. And there are some really cool examples of this on Etsy, I'm loving all of it. I bought old silverware at a garage sale once, and intended to make wind chimes of them--what could be better than wind chimes with words stamped on?! Such a great idea to stamp words....I'm loving the whole thing. Maybe I should take a jewelry making class at my local community college.....

I think these rockin' baby bibs from tee-shirts are a great idea! Squee!!! I would'a been the geekiest SAHM if this blogging world was available to me back then, heh! I guess I'll have to settle for being the geekiest working gramma someday...

Look at this lovely mosaic wall-art, made to copy a Pottery Barn item. What a gorgeous piece of art in the finished room!

And lastly, pretty lace tape. Great idea for gift wrapping, etc!

(Oh, look at the turkey placemats....)

Wish I had a million years of free time. Happy Crafty Holiday Season everyone!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


See the little crescent moon?!

I AM A FOODY! I LOVE to cook. Of course there are times when a quick casserole or fix-it-fast type recipe is needed. But I really like to cook good, healthy, unique food from scratch.

YUM! Here's a great-looking recipe for Creme Fraiche Ice Cream! And a different DIY version of Creme Fraiche. I have used CF a couple of times before and fell completely in love with it's richness. A dollop of that on top of a robust autumn pureed soup, and you will feel like royalty!

I was visiting one of my fav food blogs yesterday, and saw they are publishing a cookbook. I LOVE the trend wherein fantastic bloggers end up with a book contract, that is such fun! You go, Mennonite Girls!

I got the Pioneer Woman Cooks book when it came out, that is from one of my most favorite blogs....and several of the sewing and crafting blogs I have visited have recently published also. This is a great time for book publishing!

Now for some fun posts: love this next idea to salvage embroidered bits! I'm forever cutting off the embroidery from old pillowcases that are ruined, but I have stagnated on ideas to use them. This is great!

And here are instructions for the cutest crocheted clothes hangers.....looks like a fast project. What I never understood though, is why people choose to cover beautiful wood hangers with crochet....I want to cover the ugly wire or plastic hangers. I figure that the wire hangers you can squeeze into the overall shape of the wood ones, and just proceed with the directions as written. This is great for the free wire hangers you get from the dry-cleaners, but I'd really like to see someone dress up plastic hangers.

I have dressed up my own plastic hangers for years by salvaging old sheets/pillowcases embroidered bits, and creating a hanger 'slipcover':

These are good to keep the clothes from slipping off,

but they are kinda fussy to put the clothing on the hanger....maybe some buttons to keep them in place? Anyway....

Hope y'all had a lovely weekend.

To finish, here's a pic of my finished doily, I'm so happy it's done, but it has been done for about a month, and blocked for a few weeks. I'm just distracted from posting!


Friday, October 22, 2010

A crown, a surgery, a full moon...and Betty Neels

A dental crown put in, a surgery, a full moon, a couple of Betty Neels novels, and that caps my week! Whew! I spent the day post-op on a lounge chair on my flagstone patio, knitting and reading Robin Cook's "The Cure." I used to love his books before my career in medicine...let's see if I still do! (But I do loves me some sweet, sweet Betty Neels)

I resumed working on a scarf that is a copycat Sea Lettuce Scarf (Rav link). I wanted to try to figure it out on my own, and so far I like it a lot. I hope-hope-hope I have enough yarn in that one ball of bamboo silk to make a decent length. Did I post this photo before? I started this scarf in July, then put it aside to work on doilies. Cranked on it at a recent conference for 4 days. It's about twice this long now....

I have been adjusting to cooking for one, though occasionally DS will eat what I make. Can you believe an Italian kid won't eat any form of pasta?! Even when it is wrapped around meat, and there's meat in the sauce! Sheesh. But I remember how I ate at 22!

I have been using my Vitamix again; very handy for the cooking-for-1 quandary I find myself in. I was just at the same conference where I bought mine last year, and watched their demos again and got inspired. I got a smaller blender container this time (again, the "for-1" theme) and I already lost 3 lbs drinking a smoothie a day since then!!! Smoothie flavor of the week: cherry-plum-banana. MMMMMMMM. Don't forget the yogurt and the flax-seed. With either OJ or water to help start it off, this tastes great, and doesn't need sweetening. (Sometimes I even use leftover coffee as a liquid base, just a bit, and it gives the fruit smoothie an earthy component. Yum)

This weekend is already beautiful and warm! Just went outside under the gorgeous full moon while my doggie tinkled. Late October in Chicago is not usually this balmy; I'm so happy it coincides nicely with a weekend! Though post-op I will likely not be doing too much yard work :( I still have so much left to do out there....Plenty to do inside though, and I could paint some of my bits & pieces of furniture (which would get me outside!) I have to go to the farmer's market and get some different fruits for my smoothies. I want to try making applesauce too, and apple-carrot juice is the bomb!

Or, I could just lay around in the sun and read :D

Happy Autumn, y'all and Happy Weekend!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

ha ha ha haaaaa! For medical people!

If you are not a medical worker, you will not get it:

Snicker. OMG. Sadly true.

Spent the last 4 days at conference, racking up the CMEs. Got to hang with old classmate and friend most of the time, catching up. Nice time away from work, but I am certainly ready to be done with the morning commute! Yikes, I don't miss that at all.

I finished a doily last weekend, but it has been a whirlwind October so far, and will continue that way, so photos and the next post will likely be in a couple weeks!
Happy Autumn everyone!


Monday, September 20, 2010

A Tribute to Beth

One of our own knitters has passed tragically. At 42 years old, she collapsed suddenly with a pulmonary embolism and died. This loss of our friend is hard to accept--someone who was so young and full of life and love is suddenly gone.

I will miss her happy friendliness and calm demeanor. She was so creative, and constantly inspired me with her productivity!

Goodbye sweet knitter, you leave behind a lot of hearts that miss you already.

Saturday, September 18, 2010



Lovin' the cheapness of real food! Timeconsuming, yes, but so good for you! And I love to learn ethnic cuisine....

Not much in the way of knitting or crochet going on here. I have been sick this week, and last week I was busy doing yard work. Gotta get it done while the cool weather lasts!

Interesting Podcasts: I have yet to hear one of these Amish Wisdom podcasts, but the author Suzanne Fischer is one of my favs. I read her book "Amish Peace, Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World" and it has made a change in my Christian walk. Fascinating reading about Amish ways and beliefs. I highly recommend it.

I'm loving my new car! I think I am going to rent the movie "The Italian Job," I heard it has a lot of stunt-driving with Mini-Coopers!!! I've never been excited about a car in my life until now!

It's rainy here, so cozy indoor housework is on. Think I will bake some cookies, and make sausage pasta for dinner, with some Chardonnay...I'll save the Indian food for another time!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MidLife Crisis Relief


I am so excited! G-bye Camry, I've loved you....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ways to Save and Happy Bday!

Lots of things to do...but I am happy to tell you what I'm up to: trying to trim the outflow of cash. Here are my thoughts:

Been shopping for a car, I promised DD I'd sell her my Camry. I am socking away some money for my "new car," but I'll have to get financing, it looks like. So much for getting out of debt! But on the bright side, the checkbook is balanced and budgeting is a WIP.

I may look for a new cellphone policy. Fifty dollars a month seems a bit much....

Gonna start using coupons when I shop, and surveying the ads before I go to the store. One of the girls I work with is the queen of this and inspires me to get back on track.

Knitting related savings: my goal is to make something from each knitting book I own. I have quite a few books, but that goal makes me happy. And reminds me to refrain from more shopping....

I am starting to use the public library more frequently, instead of popping into the bookstore. I don't need more stuff cluttering up my house.

As much as I've talked in the past about walking to work to save on gas, it hasn't yet happened. I love to come home at lunch for a nap or to sit on my patio, and I'd have to give that up if I walked. So that has yet to become a reality.

I need to find an antenna I can hook up to my TV; I only ever watch the local news in the AM while getting ready for work. Don't need to pay the satellite service for that! (Except it's football season and I do like the NFL! Go Bears!)

Not much to look at, but we just put in shelves. This closet has been without shelves or rod for 18 years, piles of crap on the floor of the closet. I can now happily store the stash there, woohoo! Cost of shelves: 11.81! They still need paint, but I'm just so happy to put stuff in there I don't care right now! I have bead curtains I got on clearance at Target a couple years ago for the door of the closet. I'll show ya when it's done!

I am going to propagate some plants from my garden too, so I don't have to buy more. I have lots of perennials that really should be divided if I want to keep them going. And I am setting up my cold-frame in another week, to start some salad greens for the fall. Looking forward to that kind of gardening!

Are you all doing anything new to save money? If I had time I'd try my own canning, and I'd love to make my own soap, but there's an initial outlay of $$ that I can't afford right now. Maybe for Christmas...


Love, Mom

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

So looking on the sunny side...the past week is over, in which I had a root canal and DH moved out. The weather is absolutely gorgeous right now, and I am a child of God, and His Love for me is all I need. The world does not stop turning for my personal crises, and "My God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory." (Philippians 4:19) I am hanging all my hopes on His promises.

I had a really nice day yesterday, DD came over and we went to the farmer's market, bought some produce, came home and made a stir-fry. We didn't think about rice or noodles to eat it with until it was nearly done cooking, so we just made some couscous (5 minutes!) It was a great mix of potato, eggplant, yellow bell pepper, summer squash, cabbage, onion, garlic--all from the market. We sautee'd it in ghee. For flavor, cumin powder, tamari sauce, salt&pepper, and plum sauce. YUM! It tasted wonderful. Oh, and I was S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G so I nuked an ear of sweet corn in the microwave and nibbled on it while we cooked.

I Love to make corn-on-the-cob in the microwave, and, living in the heart of the midwest, we have the tastiest sweetcorn around! About 10 or 15 years ago, I stopped putting butter or salt/pepper on it, I just eat it plain now, it is so delicious on it's own! To make corn-on-the-cob in the microwave, you just peel back the husks but leave most of them attached at the bottom to the cob, take off the cornsilk, and fold the husks back over the cob. Then microwave it on high for 3-1/2 minutes, fold back the husks for a handle (which you have to wrap with a towel or papertowel due to how hot it is) and eat!

After DD left, DS mowed the entire property for me AND washed the dishes--what would I do without such great kids?! I had a bunch of errands to run, but also went to the library and found some really swell books:

Can't wait to crack into these! Kristin Omdahl is one of my fav designers....

Late afternoon I finally got around to my long-neglected garden. (This summer's awful heat had me hiding indoors 90% of the time. My garden had to fend for itself this year.) I prepped a weedy patch of lawn alongside our patio for a new flower bed, which was initially going to be small, but now the plans have expanded (!) Then I transplanted several of my beautiful peonies to that site, and used the Up Start transplant liquid with Vitamin B1 from Ortho to water them in. Hope they're not too stunned by the move!

After that, I was tired! I went inside and had a Madras cocktail, then took the pup for a long drawn out walk in the late evening sun. What a great day!!! I had also squeezed in time to start one of my novels from the library while laying in the nice warm sun in "the back 40."

I LOVE AUTUMN! I can feel it in the air, the trees are just beginning to turn some of their leaves, the geese are on the move overhead, and I can work in the garden without getting overcome by heat! Wooot!

Today, more planting is planned, but I am also going to church to see Michael W. Smith perform this morning. And I really want some time to work on doilies, so I'll probably set up in the sun to do so later.

Here's wishing everyone the life that God has in mind for you!

In Christ,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Such a Peaceful Morning

Rock River Illinois, 6/10

It is such a peaceful morning. End of summer bugs singing, not much birdsong, a slight breeze randomly tinkling the windchimes outside my bedroom window. Perfect temperature. How could anything be wrong on a day like this?!

Latest WIP: my attempt at sealettuce, which I believe is a Lucy Neatby design (that I am trying to duplicate.)

I'm using Silk Bamboo yarn from Knitpicks, very very drapey, no body to it at all, but that makes the ruffles lovely and pendulous!

I also started Shiri Mor's lace cardi from the summer VK issue 2010. Yarn is Melody from yarntreehouse on Ebay, something I'd stashed several years ago. I'm hoping the FO looks wonderful b/c i'm not sure of the overall color of this yarn! I hope that the color shadings show up a bit for some interest w/o distracting from the lace pattern.

Hmmm, looks like a thong...painful even to contemplate! But rest assured, it is one of the triangles for the back of the sweater (after I blocked the crud out of it, I realized I had missed out on two repeats of the pattern, which several more rows. Duh, no wonder I didn't get gauge!!!) Sigh. Good thing I had the epiphany...I simply went ahead with the same needles and made the next triangle (which is identical), and it was to gauge. Woohoo!

I went through an intensive "principles to get out of debt" seminar at our church yesterday. I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey; have seen him speak in person, have read his book and started his "Seven Baby Steps" to get out of debt last year, but lost impetus. It's so easy to get distracted. This seminar reinforced good planning and budgeting principles. I am ready to get into this fully now, let's jump in the deep end!

There is a Ravelry Group called Gonna Be Debt Free, which is wonderful to use for a pep-talk when you need to be reminded of your goal. That's where I first heard of Dave's principles.

Did you know that the Bible has >2,400 scriptures related to money management?! And, I never knew that prior to the 1980s credit cards were not common! Now the average american household has 10 credit cards. Holy moly.

I'm tightening my belt, but I still have my magazine and book fix to conquer. I did good this time, I passed on the fall issue of Vogue Knitting--instead of just adding it to my collection, I decided that all my other queued projects will long forestall any possibility to knit the Vladimir Teriokhin sweater which was the only interesting piece in that issue. So, I treated myself to only 2 yarn magazines this time--good girl.

I need to whittle the grocery bill down too. Things cost so much, and I hate waste. I have been buying fruit all summer, and not eating it. (Don't know what the deal is with that. I just haven't wanted it once I get it home.) I need to adjust to one less mouth to feed around here and stop buying so much quantity. I shop once every 2 weeks....because I really can't stand going to the grocery, and can't see the benefit of going more often than that.

I like the idea of tee-shirt yarn, and loved the photo of this yarn from aqualight's Etsy shop:

There is a group on ravelry about t-shirt yarn. Polka Dot Pineapple has a cute tutorial about making it yourself. That's a cool idea for bathroom rugs, rag-rugs, etc...but I really love that black and white striped version!

Look at this clever way to make your own shawl-pin! What a great idea!

'Nuff recycling for one day. Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Al Finalmente!

Looking Back at Yellowstone 2009

Oh, yeah! Another doily down, and a birdie doily at that! I am so happy to be done with this (as of 8/20/10)--I mean this in several ways. First, I love this doily and I love Ferosa Harald's designs. This doily was the thing I most wanted to make in this book. But, filet crochet is more boring than I can stand, so I'm really glad to be done!

This is 15 inches by 30 inches--Someone smack me if I ever say I'm going to make a filet crochet project ever again....

On the subject of birds--In my world, there has been some baby birdie drama. A nest right in front of our kitchen window caught our eye when a bright red cardinal was coming to feed his babies. So we got a close up view of them for 3-4 days. Man they are loud when they are hungry! Mom and dad have been run off their wings trying to keep them fed. I was going to try to get some pics or a video, but put it off for 2 days. Came home at lunch on 8/19 and peeked at them--business as usual. But when I looked 4 hours later they were no longer in the nest.

I had to look around, but saw both of them had left the nest. They were making so much noise!!! One was only a couple of twigs away from the nest and peeping for all he was worth! I think he was saying 'Wait for me!' because the other one had flitted to the other side of the tree. Mom was still flying in to feed them and encouraging them to fly....

At dusk I returned from walking the pup, and saw the mom fly under a neighboring bush--I peeked under there and one of the babies was sitting on the ground deep in the heart of the bush. Making as much noise as usual! I nearly went back outside to scoop him up and put him into the nest as it was getting dark. I hope the baby was able to find his wings!!! I'm looking forward to seeing the family of birdies around...

So, anyway, I finished the birdie mat in size 10 thread--it's freakin' huge!!! What the?! I am tempted to try this again (I know, I know, I'm asking to be smacked) using the extended double crochet stitch (scroll down) and smaller gauge thread. Am I nuts?! But my proportions are all stretched out as I obviously don't know the finesse required to get SQUARE FILET CROCHET! Never tried the EDC stitch, but it is supposed to make your work in filet more square....(see what the original doves doily looks like here)

I did not go to Stitches, in order to save money, but then popped into Hobby Lobby that same weekend to assuage my stash (heh) and bought a bunch of colors of "Happy Hands Lizbeth" size 20 cotton thread. I LOVE this stuff, and I only spent about $35 on it (a fraction of what I would have been tempted to spend at Stitches!!!!!)

I am already partway done with my next doily from a vintage Magic Crochet issue (#47), and it has little violets sprinkled around it. I am using the new size 20 thread, and a size 10 steel US hook--and magnifying glasses! The delicacy of the work is worth the effort, though.

The only bummer about this thread is that it only comes in 200 yard balls, but really, who is going to be making a huge project out of this tiny thread?!

Sooooo, fall is here, you can really feel it by the low altitude of the sun now when I get out of work. I've already worn my wool poncho to work some mornings! And, the geese are on the move overhead....

Was going to go to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, but upheaval in my life might prevent that. I guess that there is a season for King Solomon said. Maybe next year?!

Yesterday I went to a chain craft store after my haircut, and saw some Aunt Lydia's Bamboo Crochet Thread size 10. I made a mistake and touched this yarn in the store--which led me to bring it home!!! This stuff is lovely and soft, I'll bet it makes wonderful drapey lace projects! And it's cheap, comes in 300 yd balls in sweet colors.

Is stashing a form of getting ready for winter? It feels like it to me, I'm all snug in bad weather, working on my projects! If I just had a fireplace....

Happy Autumn, y'all!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Or stay. I don't care, cuz my house is on a hill, and I have lots of stash to dive into....

More diversions from my doily finale: home-made handtowels for the bathroom. I have a huge stash of leftover dishcloth cotton from my giant ripple bedspread, and I have been paring it down with new washcloths in the stitchpattern from last post. Then I realized, I have more washcloths than I need at this point! I am starting to run low on handtowels, though....

so Aim's Handtowel was born!

The pattern: chain 41, sc in 2nd chain and follow the stitchpattern across. When you come to the end chain, sc in it and turn your work so you can work the same stitches across the other side of the chains, as if you were going to work in the round for an oblong shape!

That gives a nice scalloped starting end. Unlike the washcloths, this will have straight edges, with scallops only on the 2 ends.

At the end of that row, start to work back and forth like usual for the washcloths, (i.e. NOT working in the round anymore) My finished towel has a total of 32 rows of scallops, giving a 19.5 inch x 12 inch towel. It used up 2 skeins exactly of Sugar 'N Cream washcloth cotton, with a size G crochet hook.

Important: remember to chain 3 at the beginning of each row, and do it very loosely so that the sides of the towel will not pucker!

Another washcloth, the last one prior to the towels:

So, though I may be temporarily finished making washcloths, I now turn my attention to handtowels. I hate buying things that I can make! Especially such thick and luxurious towels from my stash yarn, in happy vintage colors! There are several other towel patterns I'm going to try...

"Shopping in my basement" is the theme this year! Stitches is next weekend, a mere stone's throw from my home, but I am not going to go. I'd love to, but stashbuilding is all that will happen, and it's not in the budget. Similarly, this year I missed my fav Fiber Fest, which I have attended since the beginning. I'm cracking down on the spending. And, it feels good!

Happy stitching!

(p.s. that first pic is a gnome-butt fungus on the forest floor last spring! Peek-a-boo!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Washcloth Factory

This pattern is so much fun! Thanks Mary Anne for the idea to use that pattern! Here are my mods to make it just right for me:

G hook, worsted weight dishcloth cotton
Ch 31, sc in 2nd sc, *ch 2, 3 dc in same chain, sk 3 chains and sc in 4th, repeat from * across.

Row 2 is the same as the pattern, except after each sc, I ch2 instead of ch3--it draws in the holes a bit. However, at the beginning of every row it should be ch3 to give the selvage more ease & keep the edges from pulling in (this may just be due to the way that I crochet!)

I think I want to start knitting up some hand towels, I love the one Mary Anne made here.

Other than that, the filet crochet project c-r-a-w-l-s along.

Happy knitting and crochet!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"R" n Stuff

Recycling. I love to find second uses for things. It's the way life used to be, before our wasteful age of wealth for the common man. And this video is a cool tutorial on crocheting with plastic grocery bags:

Isn't that cool? I love the cutting technique and looping the plastic together--that's a great way to make a continuous cord out of the plastic! It could make good totebags for shopping green, or if you didn't mind the look of it, maybe an entry rug just outside the back door to wipe your feet off before coming in! Don't they call this 'plarn'?

It probably seems random to y'all, these out-of-order ABC posts, but I wanted to share the cool videos and links I had saved in these old drafts. (I just don't have the interest anymore to do the whole alphabet!)

Soon I hope to have another lace FO--I was certainly cranking out more lace in June. I forgot how dang boring Filet Crochet is, but my Doves Doily is nearly finished so I'll share a picture when it's done.

I made an interim linen stitch washcloth, b/c I needed a break from the interminable filet work.

It turned out nice, but the one thing I can't seem to do with any slip-stitch article is MAKE IT LONG ENOUGH! I took it off the needles and suddenly it stretched to twice as wide as high...grrr. Must remember that any mosaic stitch or linen stitch article will stretch hugely width-wise. I still like it, my Sunrise,Sunset washcloth....

I made it in 2 colors of Ty Dy Cotton I had in my stash (631 & 289).

Fun colors, pretty texture, lovely drape, and no open holes~the perfect washcloth!

Here's the details: CO even number of stitches on needles 2 sizes bigger than yarn calls for (I did 50 stitches on sz 9 needles), then start pattern stitch.

Linen stitch Pattern:

K1, SLIP 1 WYIF, repeat across. Turn.
P1, SLIP 1 WYIB, repeat across. Turn.
Repeat these 2 rows across. (I actually slip the first stitch of the row to make a neat edge and pretend it was the first stitch as written; continue across with pattern)

NOTE: I do not like the way the CO edge looks, it's all loose at the edge and looks awful. (Plus I screwed up at the beginning of the pattern!) I'm thinking that BO and CO first row/last row should be done in K1P1 rib to keep it looking neat and snug...I'll have to try that with my next one.

Happy High Summer Knitting and Crocheting!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"L" is for

Love. Have you seen the love in this lion video?! This is truly amazing (best have a box of tissues handy):

Did you cry? I did, and I do every time I watch that thrill of recognition where Christian runs to greet them after years of separation....

I am truly amazed that love can exist in the animal kingdom. We tend to think of animals as somehow lesser species, yet they are capable of so much!

As knitting goes, well, we all know that L is for Lace! And here is a great link to
Eunny Jang's tutorial series Woo hoo, I've now broken the lace barrier, and am looking forward to my next project! I still have to pick up the Mananita project and finish it. And NOW I have such a better grasp of lace. Wheeeee!

And speaking of Lace Love, I love
this great doily scarf Such a great idea, and a beautiful use for lace that would otherwise moulder in a drawer.

And...if you want to see some glorious and amazing crochet lace clothing, you should go to Antonina K's Flickr account and surf her designs. They are amazing! I am completely in love with this one (photo used with permission):

Whoa. That is some serious lace crochet! I'm floored.

Originally written 1/10/09...hope the linkies still work :)
(I think that is my favorite online video ever)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Some Old Posts

Not a very exciting title, I know, but I have a ton of partially written posts from last 2-3 years. I'm taking the salient parts and distilling them down. So this might seem a bit random....

First, some of you may not yet have seen the cool video of EXTREME KNITTING by Rachel John, so here it is:

(Start it at the 5 minute mark to see the actual knitting)

Makes my size 50 needles look small!!!

Here's the best 'word of the day': omphaloskepsis. Ha ha haaaaaaaaa! Right. (Whodathunk there was a word for that?!)

S is for Seed saving! (Articles about this on that link.) I've never tried any of them to tell you the truth, but I've heard that saving tomato seeds involves rotting the fruit until it falls apart, then rinsing and drying the seeds. Sounds kinda messy, but what the heck? Worth a little dirty work to have the same yummy harvest the next year....

S is for Slipcover: check out this pattern to cover a run-of-the-mill plastic lawn chair! If you go to Ravelry you can see someone who is knitting cabled and lace and striped versions of this. I love it :)

Quilting is a fav pastime I used to indulge in a lot. I found a link to free block-of-the-month sites for people who like to quilt. I no longer do much quilting, but that may change again, who knows?!

And last but most random: BOTTLED WATER COOKING
For some reason, I just remembered all the uses to which I would put a bottle of carbonated water. I always used to keep a bottle of carbonated water on hand. These are some of our favorite recipes:

HOMEMADE SODA: My favorite use for sparkling water, when my kids were little, was to make our own homemade sodas for lunch. We would choose our favorite fruit juice, then mix it in a 2:1 ratio with sparkling water for a yummy fruit soda. No preservatives or colors, etc. Very healthy 'spritzer'.

AIM'S POP-ROCKS POTATOES: Here's a really fun recipe for people with children or grandchildren. This is something I came up with when we were living in a place where we would only drink bottled water. One time, I was making dinner, and realized we were getting low on the drinking water. I did not want to use the drinking water up for cooking if I could avoid it, so instead of regular water in the instant mashed potatoes, I substituted bottled sparkling water I had on hand.

The result was very interesting. My family and I were entertained by the sound of the snap, crackle, pop of the mashed potatoes all throughout dinner! They taste the same, but actually make noise on your plate! My kids and DH were highly amused by this invention :)

I tried making Jello with this sparkling water too, but it didn't make much difference in the end product (I know that they have a version of this recipe on the box nowadays).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lace all Over

New washcloths for us, thick and soft cotton, in granny-style! These are awesome, I love this pattern, they whip up in less than 2 hours each. I used dishcloth weight cottons from my stash and a size G hook. Only mods I made were on round 8: I made the two center clusters on each side in 2-hdc (instead of the 3-hdc clusters) to eliminate the bulk when it is "gathered" in rnd 9.

I have been busy making lace. Can't seem to stop lately :)

It is my stress release at this time of ongoing loss in my life. There are some amazing lace creations out there, so I'm inspired to spend every free moment crocheting, and it is a mindful process that I love.

This is a daffodil doily I messed up:

Of course, I don't care, that just makes it unique.

It was supposed to be a six-sided doily, with each flower having 6 petals, but somehow only one of my flowers had 6 petals, the rest had 5!!! I like how old-fashioned this appears.

I am madly working on Ferosah Harald's Turtle Doves doily in filet crochet. I am nearly 50% done.

Yesterday, I finally finished the tape-lace part of my first Bruges style doily, from Yoko Suzuki's Book "Laceworks". In case you don't know what Bruges crochet is, there are instructions here and here, and a cool video tutorial here! Somewhat challenging in my opinion, and next time I make a Bruges design, I'll start with a finished center and build the tape lace outside it. I'm thinking that might be easier.

I also made her Thistle design, which is finished and blocked:

Here is a pic of my patriotic doily blocked, I did promise that last post!