Friday, January 13, 2017

It has been some time since I have written on this blog.  Since the last post, much has happened in my life.  Another BIL has been in the hospital and then to the nursing home.  My husband has fast become disabled and I had another brush with death, and added to my family is a son-in-law and three step grandchildren.  My remaining two cats have gone to kitty heaven, which makes my house seem empty and boring. Remaining is a  dog, Samantha and my parrot, Ike.  

A full recovery of my health is going to be slow and long.   I am embracing the Paleo diet and learning new ways of cooking.  It is tough giving up my comfort foods and coming to terms of spending more time in the kitchen, but if this is what it takes to get well again, I will do it. 

Needlework projects had been put on hold until recently.  It is fun to re-discover treasures.  One regret, was that I didn't make notes, or better notes, as to what my ideas were for different projects.  Also, I regret that I didn't make kits of the projects because I find pieces missing, or know that the fabric needed is "somewhere".  I have found some "special" fabrics but have forgotten what I was going to do with them, [notes on the fabric would have been helpful].

For the last two years, my sewing room has turned into a junk room.  That all has to be cleared out before I can get to my machines and fabrics.  Yarn is scattered all over the house, so as I clean, I am trying to corral it all and then put some kind of organization into the mess.  Patterns that I had printed off, are scattered all over instead of in neat folders. You are getting the idea as to what my needlework stuff is like.

The first step in organizing all this mess I am in, was taken when I bought a bookcase for my knitting books.  I thought I bought a bookcase large enough, but found that it was quickly filled.  The next step in this is to put all the books into an app called:  My Stuff 2.  This is an app for the Ipod, not sure if they have an android version.  In my cleaning, several books had been bought twice, so I am hoping that this app will keep me from spending twice for the same item.

This year I am going to try to finish one UFO a week.  There is so much started and I would really like to be using and enjoying these projects.  Already, I am three weeks behind in that goal, but I have hopes.  Even if I don't get 52 projects done for the year, whatever is done will be a step forward.

Each winter I would buy kits to learn a new technique or a step up in something that I already know what to do.  The last two years, I have not used these kits, so this year I get to choose from many things to learn something new, but only have the time in my day to learn one thing.  I also bought a keyboard because I want to learn to play the piano.  Learning new things keeps your mind active and sure makes life more interesting.

This brings you up to date and the next post will start with pictures of what I am working on and some of the projects I have already completed in the past, along with any stories that I have for them.   These are being recorded in case at sometime my family will be interested.  Right now, no one in the family is interested in what I do, but they do enjoy the end result. 

Till next time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

After over a month of working cleaning out the apartment of my BIL, we are finished and out of there.  Most of the stuff had been brought to my house to go through at a slower pace to decide which charity would benefit the most from a donation of what is here.  The past few weeks have been filled with shredding personal papers during our rest breaks.  We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of the shredding.

July has given me another birthday.  For the last three years, my birthday has has been associated with sadness, for one of my favorite uncles was buried on that day.  My birthday brings back all the other sadness of the last three years as well.  Within six weeks of each other, I lost my best friend, my older brother and older sister, then my uncle.  The deaths didn't stop there, by fall, my cousin, whom I had been close to as young children, passed away.  Then the following spring, I lost three aunts within weeks of each other, the one aunt was a second mother to me.

These last three years have taken a toll on me emotionally.  It is difficult at best to say goodbye to our loved ones, but even more so when they pass away so close together in time.

During this time, I have also lost some online friends because I didn't continue writing to them regularly and there was misunderstanding as to why they had not heard from me.  I tend to want to be by myself when working through grief and I withdraw from the world around me. My own brush with death has taught me that friends and family are precious and the time with them is fleeting at best.  I am going to make an effort to be a better friend and more loving to the family members who are left.

I am sorry if anyone finds this post a downer, but it is what has been on my heart for some time and I feel better with putting my thoughts into words.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Much has happened since I last wrote on my blog.  Life happened in a big way.  My husband became seriously ill, and it was touch and go for a couple of months.  Next, one of my BILs had two strokes.  Since he is single, we helped him as much as we could until he was well enough to go back home.  Then I had my first experience with riding in an ambulance.   Was too sick to enjoy the attention of eight good looking guys.  Oh well.  At present I am in recovery and will be for a few months yet.

We are once again embroiled in drama.  Another, single, BIL, has dementia and we are scrambling to get him into a place where he can be safe.

Of course Microsoft decided to stop supporting Windows XP.  That meant that I needed a new computer since the one I had didn't have enough memory to install a new system.  That took a while because I am not up on the computer language to know what all the descriptions of the computers meant.

Now you know why I have not been to my blog for some time.

On a happy note, I have a new fur-baby.  She was a rescue from a neighbor who is in the first stages of dementia and felt that she could no longer take care of the dog.  Samantha is a cock-a-poo, nine years old.  She is sweet tempered and is settling into my household without any problems.  I wanted to put up a picture to accompany this announcement, but she loves the camera and walks towards it each time she sees it.  I was reluctant to post a picture of her nose.  Maybe on the next post I will get the picture so that I can show off my newest "child". 

Friday, August 10, 2012

One of the things I enjoy in life is receiving hand made gifts from friends.  Knowing how much time it takes to make something, I appreciate the fact that these people have taken the time out of their lives, when they could have been doing something possibly more fun, to make something for me.  I enjoy using the gifts because when using, I feel loved, for if they didn't love me, then they wouldn't have taken the time to make the project.  Here are just two of the recent gifts that I have received.  The first is a runner that a friend made for my birthday.
I have a hump backed trunk that this will fit perfectly on.  This gives me the incentive to move all the books off the top of the trunk in order to use the runner.  The colors work perfectly with the colors in the room the trunk is in.

A friend made me this lovely sachet.  It is filled with lavender.  I have plans on making a sewing case that will be large enough to place this inside so that each time I open the case, I will not only have everything inside smell good, but I will also have something lovely to rest my eyes upon.

There are many things that I love to use.  One is baskets.  When my husband was recovering from heart surgery, I needed some time away and signed up for a basket weaving class.  Here is the very first basket that I made.
As much as I enjoyed making the basket, I realized that it would take quite a bit for me to tool up to make more.  Also, it is something that I would only do outside for I found the soaking of the reeds a bit messy.  After much thought, I have decided that this will be the only basket that I will ever make from reeds and slats.  I have decided that I will spend my time making rag baskets and rag rugs until all my old clothing is used up, then I will decide on whether or not I will do more baskets like this.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am going to have to work out a better agreement with my husband about sharing the computer.  Yesterday I didn't get it for a long enough time to post.

I have a love of woven rag rugs for which  I no longer have a source for them.  Our church use to do rags and hire someone to weave them for us.  The weaver person passed on and the elderly women of the church who did the cutting and rolling of the rags, have gone to their reward as well.  Since I don't want to invest in a loam and yet want rag rugs, the desire is forcing me to learn to make my own.  I found that there are many ways to make rugs.  The one I am going to show today is a Toothbrush Rug.  There are many You Tube videos on Toothbrush rugs and how to make the Toothbrush Tool from an old toothbrush that has a hole in the end.  You break off the brush part and file the end smooth and to a blunt point.  The hole on the other end of the brush is where you thread your rags through like thread through a needle.

This is the first rug I had made, using the instructions from an Aunt Philly's.rug pattern.  For this rug I used the method of joining the fabric strips, by slitting both ends and looping through each other.  That left some pokey ends that looks kind of folksy to me.  I like it but don't think that I want all my rugs to be like this.
  On this rug, I did a bit of both, the looping for joining as well as sewing the fabric strips on a 45 degree angle and then snipping off the excess beyond the stitching.  I find that I like this method better, gives a neater appearance.  The color on this is actually pink, don't know why it comes out red. 
 To get these two small rugs, I used a queen sheet set, plus the pillowcases.  Here are  two hints when making these.

 1. be sure to lay the rug on a table or other flat surface when you are making the rug.  The rug will stay flat much better if you do.  I held my first rug on my lap and was seeing that it was beginning to cup instead of laying flat.  Plus, with the table holding the weight of the rug, you aren't fighting the weight of the rug as you make it.

2. When you wash the rug, don't run it through a dryer, but lay the rug flat to dry.  When I first washed my rug, I put it through the dryer and it cupped in the center.  I was told to wash it again and lay it flat to dry and since I have been doing that, I have had no problems with cupping.

I am looking forward to making more of these rugs.  They are fun and easy on the hands.  The stitch is a buttonhole stitch, which is very easy to do.  Try making a rug.  It costs nothing to make.  Just get an old toothbrush and make your tool, or anything flat and pointed with a hole in one end will work as well.  Go to your closet and find some old clothing and you are all set.  Here is a set of instructions to help you get started.  Do a web search and you will find more instructions as well as You Tube videos to help you along.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another hot and humid day in my neck of the woods.  Spring, summer and fall are my favorite times of the year and I am very unhappy with all the humidity we are getting, which means the air-conditioning must be on and the house closed up with me inside instead of outside. 

Today I thought I would show you my very first pair of socks that I knit using sock yarn.  The boot socks I  knit, were made from knitting worsted weight yarn and large needles.  This pair of socks was made using thin needles and actual sock yarn.  What a difference in knitting between the two.  An online friend decided to knit these socks with me as a knit-a-long in case I got stuck.  I got the pattern and yarn from   The pattern is called: The Girlfriend Socks.
I was so enthused about these socks and they felt so good on my feet, that I started buying sock books and closeout yarns from KnitPicks.  I also bought a computer sock program where I can put in my own measurements and it will generate a pattern for me, as well as give me options for the cuff designs.  I have an 18 quart tub of sock yarn just waiting for me to dive in and start knitting.  The Stroll  yarn that I am using, washes up nice. The above socks have been washed countless times and they still look good.  They have felted a bit, but that makes them warmer and actually makes the sock fit better.

When doing socks, I am one of those who fall into the second sock syndrome.  When I get done with a sock, I want to wear it, not have to wait another week or two before I can.  In order to not have to wait, I am going to have to learn to knit two at a time on one cable, or, I am going to have to get another set of cable needles and start both at the same time and then switch back and forth on the two socks to keep the work even so that they will be finished at the same time.  I like the one sock on a needle because for me, it is easier to take along with me, where as, knitting two at a time on one needle, means I have to pay attention to switching the balls around so that the yarn won't tangle.   I have only played around with knitting two at a time on one needle, but have never actually done a pair of socks on one needle.

 I like the Magic Loop method of knitting socks, much better than using double pointed needles.  I am forever dropping the double pointed needles out of the work in progress.  With  playing around, I finally figured out how to switch the first stitch to make a tight joining, when doing two on one cable.  More playing will have to wait till cooler weather for the yarn is hard to move through my fingers in this humidity.  For now, I will stick with using the kitchen cotton and making the dishcloths until cooler weather. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Like most parts of the United States, I am living in a section of the country that is affected by the drought.  Since it is hot and humid here, it is difficult for most varieties of yarn to flow smoothly through my hands.  Cotton seems to be the yarn of choice to work with this summer.  A friend gifted to me all her Sugar & Cream kitchen cotton, which I have been turning into kitchen hand towels, dishcloths and hot pads.

My kitchen hand towels were fast becoming rags and seeing the prices the stores were asking for well made ones, was more money than I could spare.  It was much cheaper to knit my own.  Doing a search of the internet brought forth tons of patterns for towels and dishcloths.  They make great pickup work and fast satisfaction of a project well done.

I will show you a few of what I have already produced.   Here are some towels. 

Here is the hot pad that I really like.  It is crocheted on both sides of the starting chain, which makes the hot pad double thickness and only one seam to sew when done.  The pattern was found when doing a search on the internet.  I have no idea as to what website it was where I found this particular pattern. Basically, you choose your yarn and crochet hook size, crochet a chain of the length that you want and then single crochet on both sides of the chain, round and round.  You keep crocheting around until two ends meet.  you are actually making the hot pad diagonal.  You only have the one seam to sew down the center.
Here are my latest dishcloths and some more hot pads.  I won't be putting up any more pictures of these, for I keep using the same patterns over and over, but be assured that I will be making a lot more until all the Sugar & Cream yarn is used up.  About every four years, I take time too knit up a goodly supply of dishcloths.  With daily use, they last about 4-5 years, or longer.  They are so cheap to make and I love watching the stack of completed dishcloths grow.  I also like to feel the completed stack, they are so squishy.
Knitting dishcloths and towels isn't all that I have been doing while away from my blog.  I have also been doing some embroidery work.  Here is a Jack Dempsey, stamped embroidery picture.  I don't know if I will frame it, or put a cloth frame around it and use it for a wall hanging, or if I will use it for a center for a baby quilt.  There are so many options, that I am going to just let it sit for a while before I decide which way I will go with this embroidered piece.  There are no babies in the family and none in the future, so I have plenty of time to decide.
My friend also gave to me some kitchen towels that needed to be embroidered.  I have three cats who share my abode, so these towels strike a cord with me.  Aren't they cute?  I have seen these  stamped towels still available in some needlework catalogs.
This is it for today.  I hope you enjoyed the show.