Sunday, March 29, 2009


It is definitely spring here in Missouri. Last night we had a bit of snow, so we ran outside before the snow started and picked a sample bouquet of beautiful spring flowers.
A bit of forsythia, a few daffodils, a few narcissus in a nice cobalt vase....just my style.
Have a happy spring!

My New Sock!

OK, here it is...took me about a week to knit it, but hopefully the next one will take less time. I made it out of all cotton I Love This Cotton (thank you Hobby Lobby) yarn in color #64 Aqua Ombre. The pattern is from the booklet Patons Next Steps Four Socks and Slippers, the basic sock (medium worsted).
It was listed as a beginner level pattern, but was a bit confusing. But then again I haven't knitted socks since high school.
Speaking of that, here are my high school knee highs in just about the same colors. They were made of acrylic yarn and so they have little fuzzballs on them.

I was very proud of them and wore them until the bottom of the sole became very thin. One of the socks is about an inch longer than the other. Thirty plus years later I notice this, although I do not remember being a problem at the time.
Anyway, here they are side by side.
I had to put elastic in the top of the cuff so they would stay up.
I didn't find any mistakes or slipped stitches with them.

So much for my knitting reminiscing!
I'm on to knitting sock #2!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sock #1

I am so excited to report that I just finished the first sock of a pair. I haven't knitted socks since high school and I still have those socks too. Anyway, I will post Sunday on the fantastic sock....quite an acccomplishment for me!

The best gifts are tied with heartstrings

This is the finished product...beautiful lacy hearts that are great tie ons for packages or ornaments or valentines gifts.

This is what you start with-a bunch of shades of pinks or reds yarn or string (quilting thread, sewing thread, embroidery thread, crochet cotton, yarns of any type). Even narrow ribbon can be used. Center the pile of threads on top of a square of water soluble stabilizer (I used Sulky® Solvy for machine embroidery and other craft applications). Shape it into the general shape of whatever you hope to make.

Then cover with another piece of the stabilizer.

Now sew around the strings in the shape of what you want to make. You can use a pale marker (Washable Crayola markers work best) to mark the outline of the shape you want, but it is also fun to just freehand the design too.

Keep sewing until you have all the yarn covered with stitches, sometimes I use a straight stitch, sometimes a zig zag stitch. Your stitches don't show too much so it really doesn't matter. I use a matching machine thread to do this part so it blends in with the threads and yarn inside the squares.

This is the finished sewn product.

I cut off the extra stabilizer around the shape so it melts away faster.

Soak the design in the sink or a bowl of warm water.

Don't be alarmed if they look rather shaggy when you dry them with a towel from the soak. Lay them flat to dry and when they are dry trim the ends sticking out from the edges of the design.
To make them look more finished, starch and iron the designs and now you are done!
These can also be made in the shape of leaves or flowers.
String them up into garlands, or tie them on packages.
Your imagination is the limit!
Have fun!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Knitting dishcloths and dishcloths and dishcloths...

Here are some of the 20+ cotton knitted dishcloths I have made over the past few months. I tried out several patterns, some with the yarn over loops at the edges, some without the loopy holes
Lots of different colors...
I have already gifted three of these to my niece Jessie along with some of the handmade potholders to match (hopefully) her kitchen.
I spent a lot of time at the ball field during high school baseball tryouts while Sam was working out and much to Sam's chagrin, I knitted the whole two hours every workout.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bob and Joy visit for Spring Break

Bob is fairly low maintenance, he runs outside a bit, naps a lot and eats and drinks frequently.

Joy on the other hand barks and growls at anything that moves in the yard. And when she is ready to come back in the house, she jumps high against the door while Bob just patiently waits.

Joy does take the occasional nap...
We always enjoy having them here.

Before and after

This is my collection of knitting and crocheting tools stored nicely in a gallon sized zip lock bag...knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn needles, stitch holders, scissors and tape measure...this is how they were stored. Not convenient at all....

And here is the after....
I have had lots of time on my hands lately and saw a pattern for this organizer for knitting needles. I have actually looked at needle holders in the store, but they never had enough space to hold all my larger needles.

I had the fabrics and ribbon so I didn't need to buy anything. I did buy the pattern when it was 99 cents, but didn't use it (a common habit of mine, I prefer to do things my way...sometimes I will read the directions but I seldom actually use the pattern). Using the striped fabric inside helped me stitch neatly for the pockets.

Knitting needles, straight and circular, big and little

Double pointed needles and needle gauge

And finally crochet hooks!
It is so much easier to find all my implements now!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cat in a tree

Now this is the face of a guilty dog...Rachel sat underneath this dogwood tree just waiting for this cat (Baby Kitty) to come down so she could chase him.
Guess we all have spring fever...
If dogs could talk, it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one. ~Andy Rooney

Birthday #50

My 50th birthday was a few days ago and two of my sisters (Sue and Sarah) sent me a live calla lily, yellow, my favorite color. I was so surprised to get a call from the florist! I had a great birthday with lots of calls, gift cards and all sorts of wonderful birthday cards. I am blessed to have such a great family.

My singing cowboy quilt

Here it is, the singing cowboy quilt top I put together one day last week...I paid $5 for the cowboy hats and guitar fabrics (Alexander Henry fabric on eBay) but did have to purchase the sashing fabric at full price...luckily it gave me an excuse to go to my favorite fabric store, Satin Stitches. The quilt top measures 67 x 72, and it hasn't been quilted yet. My aunt Marge will be doing the quilting (that is I have to ask her to do it, but she always says yes. She has a huge Gammill quilting machine).
Now all I need is a singing cowboy to go with this quilt!

Dishcloths and potholders

OK, this may not be very interesting, but yesterday I made these six neat potholders and two dishcloths from vintage fabric that I think I either got in a box at an auction or a yard sale out of a free box. The fabric had been made into a curtain and was four panels sewn together...each panel was selvedged and 36" wide, typical for older fabric. Some of the fabric was stained, but most of it was good, passed the strength test (me pulling hard on both directions of the pieces) and was the coolest colors for my kitchen.
I have lots of cobalt blue in my kitchen with Delft windmill tiles so this fabric was perfect.
I washed the material twice to make sure it was wash-stable...then cut the potholders in 8.5" squares and added three layers of quilt batting (saved for me by my quilting mom and her quilting friend Margaret) to make them thick.
The dishtowels are nice because they are double faced, so you turn them over and they look the same on both sides. The material is soft and really absorbent, so will be great for dish cloths. I have other dishcloths made from feedsacks that are some of the best dish cloths!
The best of it all is that they didn't cost me a thing! I often give gifts of these pot holders to match the recipients kitchen--it does make an economical gift if you have a fabric stash to pull from!

The Beginning of it all

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

I have been persuaded (thanks Kate) to start this blog to show some things that I make, sew, knit, or otherwise create...I have lots of skills, but don't really concentrate on any one area.

I have my Grandmother's loom, a floor loom that is really big and takes up most of my spare bedroom which we now call the sewing room. I have not recently done any weaving because I need to warp the loom, which is a huge undertaking, so no current projects there.

I also have a serger sewing machine (Baby Lock Imagine) and a really nice Pfaff quilting machine which I use for regular sewing tasks. I have been sewing a lot lately because I have been off work because of a back injury. My sewing machines are now in my living room (thanks to my niece Ruth and my sister Carol who carried them downstairs), so it is very convenient to sit and sew for a while.

I have also been knitting a lot son had baseball tryouts a few weeks ago and I would sit and wait for him in the car and knit while I was watching him tryout.

I will post photos as I can to show you my endeavors!