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.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I am back

It has been some time since I have been on my blog.  It has been a very busy time since I was last here.  I had a sister-in-law pass away, and a brother-in-law had a stroke.  My brother-in-law never married, therefore it required a lot more running on my part.  I am the only one left in the family who could drive.  I couldn't do it all, so called upon my church family to help me out and found many people who were more than willing to do so.  My brother-in-law is now released to do his own driving, so our lives can go back to normal. I can now take a few hours each day to indulge in my passion of creating.

I am looking forward to sharing more of what I am doing in my needlework, both completed projects as well as short term and long term projects I am now working on.  I have found the importance of having kits of projects ready to go for when you run into times when you can only devote 5- 10 minutes a day to stitching.

Even though I have not written on the blog, I have been continually taking pictures of things I want to share.  It is so easy to take pictures now that I have an IPod, which is so handy to have along at all times.  No more running to find the big camera and finding the batteries need to be charged.  

I am sad to say that I didn't get the pictures of all of my yard flowers as they bloomed.  I was so hoping to have them all recorded in pictures.  The white hydrangeas were the ones that I wanted pictures of the most, and I missed them completely.  With the drought we are now having, everything doesn't last long when they bloom, so the window of time to get the pictures is much shorter than it should be.

It is time to go through the house and start de-cluttering and passing things on, for I am entering the winter season of my life and I don't want so much around for my children to go through.  The wonderful world of the Kindle allows me to read to my heart's content, and yet not have books around to dust.  Reading is a passion with me and my house is way to full of books.  It will be  hard for me to do, but I have decided that all my fiction books will go.  Well, not all, for I love the Lewis L'Amour westerns and I worked long and hard to find used copies so that I would have a complete set.  There are a few fiction books which are my favorites and I read them over and over again, but, many of the other fiction books can move on.

Speaking of the Kindle, you can find many free books on the internet to read.  One of my favorite places to go for free books is:    They put out a new selection of free books each day. 

This is it for today.  Tomorrow I will start with pictures and sharing.  Have yourself a good day today and try to steal a few minutes to create.  You will be much happier if you do.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fabric Painting

A couple of years ago, I took an online  class on fabric painting with Sue Beevers at  Quiltcampas.  I just checked the website and they are no longer giving classes.  If you ever get a chance to take a class from Sue Beevers, please do.  She is very patient with people and you do learn a lot.  When I took my course, I could only actually do two lessons with the group, for the temperatures weren't warm enough for me to do the painting outside. We did a lot of splatters and stuff like that which were messy.  I eventually used two card tables, put one on top of the other, tops facing, wrapped plastic around the legs on three sides, put a piece of plastic over the top, and made myself a paint booth.  I leveled out the working surface with cardboard.  It worked very well and could be torn apart when not in use.  
Some of the fabric was painted when dry and others were painted with the fabric wet.  The most fun I had was dampening a piece of fabric and just cleaning my brushes with the damp fabric.  I loved the way the water made the colors run

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


We are having lovely spring weather in our part of the country.  I thought I would share with you the flowering plants and shrubs that are blooming in my yard. These pictures have been taken over a two week period of time.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 7, 2012

Today I will show you my favorite pattern I make for afghans.  The pattern is called:  Fan and Feather.
This is knitted and takes me a month to knit.  It is an easy pattern to work, but I do use a lot of markers for the one pattern row that I have to pay attention too.   It is a pattern that I knit only when I am alone.

This is a baby blanket using a pattern very close to the above afghan, but just a bit different.  There are many fan and feather patterns on the internet as free downloads.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012

I made these sweaters using the Bond Knitting Frame, the original frame.  My son is such a big man, that it would take me forever to knit him a sweater by hand. He would check my progress each day when he got home from school.  Some days he would tell me that it wasn't growing very much.   I got so tired of him asking if the sweater was done yet, that I bought the Bond. .  With the Bond, I could knit a sweater and within two days he would be wearing it.
Both of these sweaters have the yarns stranded behind, which makes them very heavy and warm.  My son loves wearing these instead of a jacket.  He has often requested for me to make him one that had a zipper down the front, but I just never seemed to have had the time to make one of those.  Maybe some day I will surprise him with one.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4, 2012

This is one of my favorite bags.  It is called a No Sag bag.  Meaning that it is so constructed that it won't sag.  I made the bag from denim, which I quilted, then cut the bag pieces.  Inside, there is a zippered pocket that is built into the bag itself, that gives the bag the the strength to never sag.  It took some bit of sewing to get it done and if I remember correctly, I said I would never make another.  But, I like the bag so much, that I am willing to try making it once more.  Besides, enough time has passed since making this one, that I have forgotten most of the frustration in the making. 

This was a bought pattern called:  No Sag Bag from Oregon Treasures.  It had a tote bag as well as a diaper bag pattern.  I believe the pattern was published in 1983.

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2, 2012

This winter has been spent doing knitting.  I like the fact that knitting and crocheting doesn't require as much stuff  laying around, like what sewing with the sewing machine does.  The knit or crochet project can be kept in a pretty basket, ready for pickup work. My daughter requested some dishcloths and hot pads or potholders.  Here is what I came up with for her.
I like to use the Sugar & Cream kitchen yarn.  It seems to hold up for me a lot longer than the other kitchen yarns, but then, I have not used many of the other brands that are out there.  I am so satisfied with Sugar & Cream, that I buy it whenever on sale.
For years I searched for this pattern but could never find it.  Yet, I knew the pattern was an old one, for I would find these potholders made up and in public.  One lady made a box of them and passed them out to the guys who meet for coffee. My husband brought home two for me.   That generous lady passed away before I got to meet her to get the pattern.  By chance, on a blog, a woman put up the directions on how to do them.  There were no actual stitch instructions, just a picture tutorial, but I got the idea of how they were made and after a bit of fiddling, came up with these instructions, which I will share with you.  This makes for a nice thick potholder that can also be used as a hot pad.

Diagonal Pot Holder
Sugar & Cream Yarn
Chain 40 if using size G crochet hook
Chain 45 if using size F crochet hook
Make your chain and crochet in each loop on both sides of the chain just made.  Crochet around and around, without increases until, when the piece is put on diagonal, the sides meet.

I wish that I could remember the website where the picture pictorial was on, but I can not.  It has been some years since I saw it.  As you crochet around and around, two opposite corners are made/turned, and the other two opposite corners are made when you stitch down the center to join the two halves. 

I stand corrected.  I just did a search for the "Diagonal Potholder" in Yahoo, and find that there are many patterns  up for this type of potholder.   Where were they all when I needed them?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29, 2012

Today I will show you the two latest projects I have just taken off the knitting needles.  The first are two scarves that I knit from left over yarns.  Since both are the same, I am only showing one.  The yarn is nubby yarn, called Cindy, Bouquet.  I cast on 40 stitches, used a size 8 needle and just did a garter stitch.  It gave the scarf texture and made it look like it was more work creating it than it actually was.  The scarf is very warm.
This next project is a pair of boot socks.  I used the pattern from the booklet, The Magic Loop.  I used the pattern directions as they were written, but find that the socks were loose in fit.  I used Lion Brand, Wool-Ease Worsted, which I have found has stretch in it, which doesn't always go back to the original shape after washing and drying.  The second pair, I used one size smaller needle than the directions called for, but think I could go down at least one more needle size for even a better fit.  On the second pair, I also knit in some nylon thread to give the sock a bit of longer wear.  The pattern didn't call for a ribbing at the top, but you will see in the second pair, I did knit on a ribbing, which I like so much better than without.
If you are just beginning to knit socks, I would recommend the booklet: The Magic Loop, for the directions are well written, and you are using larger threads and needles to learn with.  I made my daughter at least 7 pair of these socks and she loves them.  She mentioned that she would like a closer fit.  The next time I use this pattern, I am going to use a different kind of washable worsted wool to see if it is the yarn I used, or, if indeed, one needs to go down a size or two in needles.

I got carried away with buying sock books, so will move on to the smaller yarn, smaller needles and different patterns.  I cruised the internet and found sales on discontinued sock yarns, and bought enough for several pairs of socks.  I am a slow knitter, so don't look for the new socks to be posted anytime too soon.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28, 2012

The month of February was way too busy for me to do much computer work.  I am happy to be back on my blog.  Winter is almost over in my part of the world, spring will soon be here and I can open the windows and let the fresh breezes blow through the house.  I can hardly wait for those days to get here!

I was only going to put completed projects on this blog, but when cleaning, I came across these embroidered ladies and thought you would enjoy seeing them.  The ladies are from a pattern called: Victorian Ladies, #222, from Remembrances Two, Chesterland, Ohio. There are 12 ladies in this pattern.  The background fabric I used is a Moda, #9900-12 and the blocks are size 16-1/2 inches square.  The pattern called for number 12 Sulky thread, but I couldn't locate the thread locally.  I substituted DMC, size 12, Pearl Cotton, color number 814.  The only complaint I have with the Pearl Cotton is that it doesn't leave a clean, sharp embroidered line.  I started this project in January of 2005.

I have no idea as to when I will get the remaining ladies embroidered, because I can't find the pattern for the rest of them.  I found the background cut blocks, but the pattern wasn't with the cut fabric.  Guess I must clean a bit deeper.  The only part of this project I didn't enjoy, was/is, the tracing the pattern to the background fabric.  Even with a light box, it was labor intensive.
Here are the ladies that are done, enjoy.