Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2014

Spontaneous Craft-Room Reorganization! (Now with Photos!)

When the last entry closed, I was thinking happy thoughts of playing around with the sewing machine, right?

Then I thought maybe I'd tidy up the craft room first, because clutter's been accumulating.  A quick tidying up and then craft-time as reward for a job well done!  Sounded like a good idea.

Of course there were a few minor distractions along the way:
-- moving things to another room, seeing stuff that needed to be done there, and oh, it'll just take a minute...
-- going into full purge mode in the closet of another room and ending up with a stack of board games and puzzles that we never-ever use...
-- writing an e-mail on the possibility that someone else in the family might want the games and puzzles before they are donated...
-- composing a list of a few other items that might be worth selling online... 

Then I got really started in the craft room.
Ugh.  Lots of stuff that needed to GO somewhere-- but where?  Decided to roll up my sleeves and get some serious clea…

Doily Photos (& Miniature Food)

I hinted in an earlier entry that I was working on yet another "Summer Splendor" doily.  (That makes four!)  This one was for my paternal grandmother. 

The thread is Red Heart Classic Crochet Thread (size 10) in "Delft Blue". 

I still like the pattern and recommend it to other doily enthusiasts, but four times is probably enough.   Actually, I think I've had enough thread projects of any description for a while.  Maybe it'll be time for thread again when summer rolls back around.

- - - - -
It's been a while since I did much with polymer clay, and even longer since I made miniature food, but a few days before Christmas, I dug out the supplies and played with the clay.  It's still fun, though I'm out of practice.  I'd forgotten how "fingerprinty" clay can be-- especially when you least want fingerprints.

I made these little goodies for my mother, with the idea that she could use them with her miniature tea sets/platters:

The bread (l…


I haven't taken the photo(s) mentioned at the end of the last blog entry.  The day was dreary and dark-- not ideal photography weather.  Besides, I was too lazy to clear the table and snap some photos.  Sad, isn't it?  ;o)

This morning, I weaved in the ends of my latest crochet project, but since it's a Christmas gift, I'll save the details. Having that done (all but the blocking) means I'm free to return to work on one of the WIPs.  The Catherine Wheel scarf, maybe. 

However, even if the Christmas crocheting is done, that doesn't mean there aren't other crafty distractions of a holiday nature.  I have a small decoupage project at the top of the list, along with plans for a tiny dalliance with polymer clay.  (It's been a while since I've done much with clay.)  Then there's a very small possible hemming project (for something to go along with a Christmas gift)...

I'm excited about all of those small projects-- and yet what I really want to do…

Latest Doilies (with Photos!)

This year, we had our Christmas get-together with my maternal grandparents (and assorted aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) earlier than usual, which means I can post photos of the doilies I crocheted for Granny L.

After initially planning to make a large oval or runner, I found myself at the end of November with limited time and an even more limited desire to crochet something complicated.  So I went simple this year.  Tried and true patterns that I've made before (but not for the intended recipient).

First up was Denise Augostine Owens' "Summer Splendor"

This was my third time crocheting from this pattern, and I've enjoyed it every time.  (~whisper~ I may even be working on version number four right now...~)  It's a simple pattern with nothing more complicated than 3-dc clusters.  Now, there are a lot of the clusters, but they're not bad.  You may even find yourself loving them.  For such an uncomplicated pattern, the resultant doily makes a strong impres…

Oh, Brother!

Sometime during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday jumble of sales, I bought a new sewing machine! 

My old machine is a super simple Singer model bought at Target on Black Friday 2006, I believe.  It still works-- better now than at some times in the past, since I've gotten a little more comfortable with sewing-- but it has some rough miles (of stitching) on it, and at its best it's an extremely bare bones machine, so I've been thinking about getting a nicer one "someday".  Then Donald saw this new machine on sale... and someday came sooner than expected. 

(I'll keep the old Singer, too, for now.  As long as it works, I'll use it for messy projects like rag quilting, to save the new machine from that wear and tear and flannel fluff.  It wouldn't be worth much second-hand, and I don't know anyone who is in desperate need of it, or I might have passed it along.  Fortunately, there's plenty of storage space in the craft room's double-closet.)



I realized after posting last time that I actually had finished something "photographable" recently.  It was a silly little impromptu crochet stuffie that I started, oh, two years ago.

(*unfocused saucer-eyes*  If there's one thing I hate most about projects that go into hibernation mode, it's the way they highlight the relentless passage of time.  Good grief, Charlie Brown!  Two years.  Gone.  Just like that.  *starts humming "If I Could Save Time in a Bottle*...)

Anyway, as I was saying, I decided on the spur of the moment (two years ago) to make a little stuffie in the shape of  a piece of Ã…hlgrens bilar for Donald, to give him on his birthday.

(Ã…hlgrens bilar is a brand of Swedish candy-- my husband's favorite candy ever.  They traditionally come in three colors-- pale pink, pale green, and white-- and are in the shape of cars.  "Bilar" means "cars" in Swedish, by the way. The singular "car" is "bil".)

When I saw…

Keeping the Cobwebs Away...

Just posting to stay in the habit and keep the cobwebs from getting out of hand.  ;o)

No photos today, I'm afraid. 

I still haven't blocked anything, and the only project I've made any progress on, lately, is a gift item, so I'm trying to avoid spoiling the surprise with photos here, there, and everywhere. 

I'm really, really trying to keep my gift-making to a minimum this Christmas, but there are at least two people who'll get handmade gifts. 

...And every now and then I start thinking about making a small amigurumi animal for each of the two little kids in my family (my niece and a first-cousin's son, whatever the technical name for that relationship might be... "first cousin once removed", I think...).  Not that they need more stuffed animals, I'm sure.  And not that I love the process of sewing together stuffed toys and embroidering the faces.  But the finished amigurumi animals are so cute!  And handmade toys are unique...  I don't kn…

Scrappy String Quilt Progress Post

It's an honest-to-goodness sewing-themed blog post.  It's almost as though this blog is aptly named!!  ;o)

I've been sewing the scrappy string quilt from the kit Mom gave me-- and I'm really enjoying it!

A few progress photos?

This is probably how I'll lay them out, with the white central lines forming diamonds.

In the photo above, you can see some of the currently "in progress" blocks, draped over the sewing machine. 

And here's a peek at the twenty blocks I've completed so far!

There are another ten "in progress".  I'm not sure how many I need... I'm running low on the (very subtly-patterned) white fabric that goes down the center (or somewhere in that vicinity) of each block, so if I want to stick with one fabric for that (and it's probably best that I do), that'll determine how many more blocks I can squeeze out.  If the blanket needs more size, I might make a more elaborate (wider) border.  You can also put sashing …

Crocheting & Quilting

The doily has been done for several days, but remains unblocked.  I think it may need a bigger surface than the foam insulation board I normally use for blocking.  (Another largish doily has also been hanging around the house for over two years, waiting.)  There's a new system I want to try for blocking larger items, but since it's new, there's a tendency to stall... Maybe sometime this week...

- - - - - - -
After finishing the doily, I picked up the Catherine Wheel scarf again.  It was slow going at first.  That yarn (Premier Serenity Sock Weight) can be splitty.  It's giving me less trouble now, but I'm not sure whether that first bit was different from the rest or I've just gotten better at dealing with it.

I had to refamiliarize myself with the pattern.  I skipped right to the chart, missing some notes jotted on an earlier page of the print-out-- notes in which I described some slight alterations to the pattern.  The changes were important enough that I ha…

Progress Report

Ok!  Doily progress report!

I'm in the middle of adding the "afterthought" white picot trim to the previous band of turquoise.  It's going pretty smoothly.  As long as this doesn't somehow mess up the blocking by making that round too tight, that should be fine.

The next step is choosing pretty rose and leaf patterns.  I have a few options bookmarked in this book (Harmony Guides Crochet Stitch Motifs).  Now for the difficult process of actually making a decision!

- - - - - - -

I added a few hexagons to the stash-buster last night.  Those little hexagons are fun to make! 

- - - - - - -
I'm feeling the urge to start a(nother) knitting project, but maybe I'll resist and pull out one of the crochet WIPs instead.  The Catherine Wheel ("Rhubarb wanna-be") scarf was just barely started when I put it away, but I think that one has real potential... It should be fun to watch the colors change, but I have to, you know, crochet until I come to those co…

Doily Progress (???)

I did run out of the light aqua thread for the current doily-in-progress.  It was so close, but there simply wasn't enough yardage, so I ripped out that round and started again with a different thread-- Aunt Lydia's in "Aqua".

The two aquas are not quite the same, but they're not glaringly different, either.  If only I'd known I wouldn't have enough of the first aqua, I could've introduced the second aqua earlier in the doily.  There are two repetitions of those meshy, loopy bands in the doily, and crocheting with the darker aqua for just one round, earlier in the pattern, would've made the use of two shades look entirely intentional.  But I was unwilling to rip back to that point-- and it's fine as it is!  Most likely, when it's in use, there will be something on top of the doily, covering enough of it that you won't even think about it. 

When I came to the final round, with all the picots, I decided to use white.  I hadn't used …

Mysteryghan Finished!

The 2014 Mysteryghan/Deco'Ghan is all done.  Ends woven in-- washed-- dried.
Photos, anyone?

It's not my favorite afghan I've ever crocheted (the colors...), but it's not hideous, either (imho). Of course since it was a mystery crochet-along-- and I was trying to stash-bust-- some of my color choices/placements could have been better, but I don't think it looks bad.  Even the dreaded harvest gold is alright in this context, I think.   (To tell the truth, the longer I look at it, the better I like it...)

Although this is not a huge afghan, it's still been on the WIP list for months and months, so I'm happy to have it completely done. :o)

The pattern (Deco'Ghan) has plenty of variation to keep things interesting.  ...Well, there are several of some of the motifs... Twenty of one type of square, I think-- but that's nothing compared to making an entire adult-sized afghan from one type of square.  Lots of fpdc, though.  If you hate them, I think the …

Another Hobby?

I've been playing around with paints-- acrylic and watercolor-- off and on (mostly "off"), for the past several months.  Just for the fun of it, mind you!  No formal training, as they say.  I used to love drawing and coloring with crayons, markers, and color pencils, as a child.  I still like doodling, on occasion.  However, while I was fairly good at drawing-- for my age-- as a child, I'm afraid that my artistic skill stopped developing, at some point.  Sadly, I can no longer say I'm a decent artist for my age.  ;o)

Well, if I can make something I'm not ashamed to hang in our own home, that'll be satisfaction enough.  I can only improve with practice, right?  And it's a very engrossing pastime... Pleasant, too, until you realize you've just messed something up royally and will have to try to fix it, somehow.   

Donald has painted/drawn pictures as gifts for members of his family, before, but he's yet to make anything for us to keep.  I'v…

No FOs!

I still don't have any finished objects to show!

1.  Donald was sick with a cold most of the week before last.  It always throws things a little out of kilter when one of us is sick.

2.  Now that the cool weather is finally here (after cruelly teasing us, then deserting us again), we've been trying to get a few things done outdoors.  I've been pulling weeds.  (SO MANY WEEDS.  Piles and piles of them.  How did they grow so quickly?!)  Then over the weekend, we took out a rotted fence post and put down a new one, which involved clearing some overgrown grass and pulling/attaching the fencing material.  Also, we started work on the round "stone bed" over the septic tank.  Took out the stones (as many as possible), put down old asphalt shingles to serve as a barrier, and put the stones back on top.  (Lesson: Stones work their way into soil with alarming speed, without some type of barrier in place.  Or at least these did.)  We still need more stones to finish…

This and That Crochet

The doily is going along very sloooowly.  I think it'll be pretty when it's done, though.  :o)

Should I admit that I've already made a mistake?  There are some rounds with long chains and lots of single crochet into those chains, and though I went to the trouble of counting and marking up my chart, I referred to the wrong number on one round, which made it impossible to work part of the next round into the very center of those many single crochets (because there was no exact center).  Eh, it'll be fine.

- - - - - - -
A long while ago, I sorted through my stash of yarn and pulled out all the Caron Simply Soft and similar yarns.  (I've decided not to buy more of it, because I don't love it, and Simply Soft's skinny version of so-called worsted weight doesn't work well-- imho-- with other, chubbier worsted weight yarns.)

A lot of it seemed to fall together into a decent color scheme (or so I tell myself).  There are blues-- white-- grey-- and a little gree…

Frosting Cowl Finished!

Last week, I decided to call the Frosting Cowl finished.
(And now I'm going to blather on about it for paragraphs.  Apologies.)

I weighed my leftovers (from two balls, because there was a knot near the end of one, so I went ahead and joined the next ball early), and it turns out I used less than I expected-- 2.62 skeins (531 yards).  I could've kept knitting on it, but it was time to stop, and I think it's plenty big enough. 

I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that this was my first time using a provisional cast-on.  Are there multiple methods of provisional cast-on?  I imagine so.  Anyway, I used one that starts with a crocheted chain of scrap yarn.  (You'll find a link in my Ravelry project notes-- see link above.)  It wasn't exactly difficult, but getting the knitting needle into the chain wasn't the smoothest thing I've ever done, either.  Undoing the chain and "reclaiming" the loops seemed much easier.  The whole process wasn't bad at …

Rubber-Handled Crochet Hooks

The Tulip Etimo Rose hook arrived earlier this week, so I decided to pull out all my similarly sized rubber-handled hooks and do some comparison. (I left the Clover Amour hook mostly out of it, because that's a steel hook and the handle is not likely to be quite the same size as a Clover Amour aluminum hook would be.)

I'll include a few photos at the bottom of this entry, but first things first...

Tulip Etimo vs. Tulip Etimo Rose: 

The differences appear to be nearly entirely cosmetic.
The Tulip Etimo handle is a brown, and the metal is a very warm golden tone.
The Tulip Etimo Rose handle is pink (thus the "Rose" part), and the metal is a silver tone. 

The brand and size markings vary slightly between the two, but in every other way, they appear to be identical.  Same length.  Same handle shape and size.  Same style of tip and length of shank.  Both are aluminum hooks with a fairly matte finish (for metal).  Both have an "elastomer" handle with the same tex…

A Little of This, A Little of That

Last weekend, I started the border for the Mysteryghan.  I'd just started the time-consuming cable round before becoming completely sidetracked.

Then I picked up the Frosting cowl again.  I'm on to the third (and final) ball of yarn, trying to decide how long it should be before I have to figure out how to seam it-- and whether or not I can/should make it a moebius.  (It definitely has a "right" and a "wrong" side, and I'm not sure how that'll work with a moebius.)

It's an enjoyable project, but it needs to be finished to make room for another WIP!  I've gotten fully into the groove on this one, now: I no longer need to refer to the pattern to remind myself-- just in case-- what to do for each cable row.  (It's a simple pattern, but it's knitting, you know.  That makes it harder for me to memorize and feel confident that I'm doing it correctly.)  Funny how that always seems to happen.  Just when you really get into the flo…