Friday, December 25, 2009

Socks and Mitts!

So here are the most wonderful socks (still have them on!!) and mittens from Margaret (Mugginsquilts on Ravelry) that she made for me. Aren't they just beautiful!!! The socks fit perfectly - not too tight anywhere! And the mittens are nice and warm. I already went out into the 18 degree morning and through the Frisbie for the Border Collie (you can see here tail-end at the bottom of the photo) and my hands never did get cold! Hooray for mittens and roving! My winter coat is black, so they are a perfect match.  Thanks Mugsy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Are you a Runner or Naughty Knotter?

...or perhaps you are a Weaver?

The hardest thing for me to learn was to weave in my ends.  I remember my nephew's afghan that looked like ribbons weaving in and out with a black background...I had ends every five rows and the strips were ten stitches I had a million. I went around tying things down, weaving in one inch, etc., and it was a mess.  A real mess.  You know, I could not drag that out of my nephew's hands....I offered to make him another one when I realized just how goofy the weaving really was and he told me no, that it was made with love by the hands of his Auntie, and there was no way he would give it up or want another one. Made me cry.

Doesn't negate the fact that the ends were STILL a mess....although made for a softer landing for Auntie, believe me.

So, what do you do?  I have learned to weave, and weave well.  I harkened back to my embroidery days, the one needlework that my mother taught me.  I weave back into the yarn, using about 1" going one way, 1 1/2" coming back, and then going back 1" where it ends in the middle of the weave. That way it is tight. I tug it on each pass so that it is tight - but hold the fabric so it doesn't bunch or pull.  All the books have something on weaving in the ends. In garments they generally say to weave if you do a lot of garments, please leave a long tail so you can work it in correctly.  Contrary to popular thought, it is better to have more than you need and cut it off than to think you have just the right amount and find out you cut it too short.

When making afghan squares I make sure that I start and stop by a corner. Nothing better than a corner where you have a nice little area to hide your yarn! If you read the pattern in advance (each row) you can tell what the pattern calls for repeat wise. That way you can start in the corner area (and if you use my Air Crochet the joins won't show a ch3!) and no one will be the wiser.  Some patterns call for you to slip stitch over to a corner after finishing your row...but if you start in the corner you also don't have to add those extra bunchy stitches. One particular designer has nearly all of her patterns slip stitching to a corner & then starting the next row.  After reviewing her patterns there seems to be no good reason for it, so I would start the rows in the corner each time and they came out just fine.

If you are a Naughty Knotter, QUIT!!!!  It isn't professional looking and it is distracting to your work.  It can also look like you have added a stitch as it makes a gaping area in the work.  No need to tie off your work - just do an invisible join, and weave in the ends as above.

If you are a Runner, QUIT!!!!!  It comes out 90% of the time. Has to be woven back in by you or the recipient. What if the recipient isn't handy in needlework?  It just hangs out.

Weaving is so much better! More secure and therefore protects your handiwork.  Don't you put a lot of love and effort on what you make? Why would you do that and then use an inferior finishing technique? Finish it with the same love you put into all those stitches. Practice finishing it so that no one can tell where you did finish it off -  you will feel so proud of your work and proud to give it away or sell it.

A job worth doing is worth doing well.......

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Other Passion

I love jigsaw puzzles!  I LOVE THEM!  I have only had one I could not put together, but I think that had a lot to do with the fact it was one someone gave me and I didn't like it all that well anyway.  A Thomas Kincaid which seemed to be all the same color!

This one was a gift from my baby DSIL.  They visited a couple of months ago and she helped start it. Unfortunately, they left before it was finished.  It only took me a couple of weeks to get it done, but I kept it up for a couple of weeks after that.

I sent it to another DSIL as she loves them as much as I do.  She sent me a doozy one time, and it took me ages to finish!  She, however, was able to finish the one that I couldn't in just a couple of weeks or less.  BAH.

I am in the process of making her an afghan in blues and greens in Vanna's Choice.  I forgot to ask her if she wanted light color or dark colors, but at least clarified she doesn't like wool. I decided to buy yarn that looks a lot like the Caribbean Ocean....beautiful lighter blues and greens with a touch of teal.  Hopefully she will like it.

I did finish my Hexagon afghan and posted it on my other site.  It didn't sell at the bazaar so am touching it up a tad with another border - in Eggplant, to match some of the colors in the afghan.  Might give it to my DSD as she seemed to like it a lot.  I'll post a photo of it when I am finished with the whole border.

Happy yarning!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fisherman's Ring

These two squares are for the Three Course Meal swap - so aptly named because of the yarn. Lamb, Chocolate, and Cranberry.  Beige is also part of the group.  The top one is in Beige and Cranberry and the bottom one is in Lamb, Cranberry, and Chocolate.

This pattern is from Priscilla Hewitts web site.  I am providing a link, but please be aware that it opens a PDF file that has 17 free patterns.  Generally the only thing you see in the download is the cover page, but after you download and open it in Adobe Reader you will see each pattern. You can save each file separately, or the whole of the portfolio. I you want to see more of her pattern links quickly, just go to the web address in your browser bar and delete all the info to the right of the word "net."

The first square, made in mostly Beige, I used an H hook, but it seemed to me that the pattern wasn't as sharp and defined as the photo she had posted. I then tried the second square with the recommended G hook, and to me it looks about the same, just tighter.  The square is a little bit thinner, but a tiny bit stiffer, too.  I am going to make another one in an I hook and see how I like it then.

Once you get the hang of it, it goes quickly.  Just remember to watch out on the last stitch in each row, as they are a tad different.  I went merrily along thinking I knew what I was doing and when it said to crochet around the dc post, I did not have a dc!

Just to let you know, these are much prettier in person than in the photos!  And as an aside, I think the fisherman's ring is something that a Priest, or the Pope wears.  A ring for the finger, not a ring in a rope.  I'll have to look that up to be sure!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Newest completed Squares

The top square for the Autumn swap is for Margaret - she isn't IN the Autumn swap, but we are doing a friendship exchange.  It is the Velvet and Lace pattern by Hewitt....just this minute forgot her first name!  Her name always reminds me of the actress.

The second square is for the Muddy Waters swap and is a pattern from 101 Crochet Squares by Jean Leinhauser.  It comes out a bit wobbly after the flower is formed, but the rest of the rows seem to make it behave for the most part. 

I think I'm going to use the Velvet and Lace pattern for my SIL's afghan in blues and greens.  I think it will look a lot like a stained glass window.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

For Mugsy

For Mugsy - this is the hex from Caron's site - by Doris Chan, called the Rockland Throw.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tote & one handle

Continuing with the tote, here I have finished one handle for the tote. It is 70 stitches long. I first did a foundation chain, that pesky little thing that is hard to remember to do, and hard to remember HOW to do! Then I single crocheted around it. The buttons are for decoration only, but I think they look really great. The last thing I will do, besides weaving in ends, is to single  crochet or crab stitch an edge around the opening and handles to tie  it all together. I purchased some material, but am undecided as to what I will do about lining it. Most likely will, with a couple of pockets. We shall see.

What do you think so far?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Inga's Tote

Actually this is called:   Inga's Haekelbeutel

I assume that means tote....???

This is a learning process.  This particular pattern is free on the  It's a pdf download, and in case it doesn't work you can access the Ravelry site which is below. If you click on the word English, not the link to the free pattern, the pdf file will pop up into another window.

So it calls for 16 squares...I made 12.  Several people who made it seemed to think it was too large, so I opted for a smaller version just in case.  I found that using Vanna's Choice, size I hook, the 12 squares were sufficient.  As you can see each one has four rows only....I was trying to get the look of a rainbow, but it didn't come out that way.  When I put them in a row, I put every other square a different color...and then putting it all the way together, sewing it up into the pouch/tote, it put all the same colors together! Hah!  Next time I am going to make each row the same color and see how that works out. I bought some cool buttons and have one handle finished.  Should have it ready before the end of the week.  It was going to be for a gift, but am liking it so much that I just may keep it. Yes!!
Do your thing and try this out.  Check out the Ravelry page and see some AWESOME totes...I mean haekelbeutel's........happy crocheting!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One More Hex Finished - 12 more to go!

This is one for Jaime.

Cat and her Kawasaki Voyager IIV

Photo of me with the San Diego Touring Society in Borrego Springs, CA at the park. We had just stopped for lunch at a restaurant that was "famous" for their buffalo burgers. Might be one reason I am slowing turning vegetarian! Dry and tasteless to me. Sold the bike in 2003.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fall is Coming!

Fall is coming - can you feel it?  It's just around the corner - 18 days to be exact, and the very first day of Autumn 2009 will arrive!

The summer has been cool compared to last, and last summer was cool compared to the one before.  The winter that followed each was also colder and longer, so I am anticipating a long cold winter with lots of snow staying on the ground.  Thus, I am preparing to sew together all the afghan squares I have received in the Vanna's Choice Fan Club group swap this year.

In a previous post I showed off the two afghans I made for the grandchildren.  Now I am working on one which was made in more Christmas colors in rather Victorian themes.

This is going to be one large, heavy, luxurious blanket!  And it's going to me MINE!  I also have one from the Winter Wonderland colors that 'may' stay home, and one in the Dusty colors that I love.  I may have to give that one up, but maybe not!

The one below will be going to my SIL when it is finished. Hopefully by Christmas! It has taken me lots of time to finish as it is one of those time consuming projects that just keeps eating up more time that I have to spare (and get other crocheting done!).  When it's completed it will be a joy to give away! ;o)  That said, it really is a blessing to make something for such a lovely lady who is cat crazy, too!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Same Square-Different Backgrounds-Different Lighting

This is a Hexagon for one of my swaps. I was trying to take a photo that would show how pretty it is, but could not get the color right. I believe the top one is the closest, but none is quite right!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jelly Fish

Will visiting the kids and grandkids in Portland I saw something that my DSD made. The knit Jelly Fish on the left. It really is darling! Not made in Vanna's Choice, but darling nonetheless. The one on the right was purchased - and cute, too. I love the way they gathered the iridescent ribbon - looks pretty right on!

The pattern for the knit Jelly Fish came from one of the only knit books that she could find on Amigurumi. Perhaps a Christmas hunt for more from me, huh??!???!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Granddaughter's Afghans

The first photo is of Amy Jo under her Pinkalicious blanket. She was so thrilled to have such a huge one. It was just a tad shorter than her bed, but each time I visit I have vowed to bring a couple skeins of yarn to edge it (it took nearly one whole skein to go around once). So in no time the afghan will be a nice cover, and she won't "grow out of it."

The middle photo is of the girls playing peek-a-boo through the blanket!

Last photo is of hubby Sid, Alice & her afghan. I edged it in several rows of the Dusty Purple as that is one of the colors their mom loves. Alice was ambivalent about the blanket, but really thrilled with the attention Grandpa was giving her!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2 More Rose/Pinks

The first square is Circle of Friends which I love. The second one is a made up square - sort of. I was basing it on Circle of Friends and the Diamond Square previous done in this swap. It came out looking like a star rather than a square of bobbles! I then had to fill in the middle of the four V shaped dips! When I made it to 12" I had to stop, even though it tilted inward slightly. It will attach to other squares and will square-out nicely, even though it looks a little wonky now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Last Two Dusty Swap Squares

The top one is Rosy Wreath, but only to the first row of green...I changed the stitches in the next row of pink. The other one is called Embossed Floral, I think. It's the same as one I had already finished, but for some reason needed one additional row. Hopefully the other one isn't less than 12" as I already sent it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vanna's Choice projects

The afghan was finished while on our trip to see Mt. Rushmore. The middle square was one I had made for the White swap, but didn't use it. so just continued to put rows around it. By the time I finish (I have one more row of Lamb and then I'll put about 3 or 4 rows of Purple), I think I'll call it my Ice Cream afghan. Looks to be made with French Vanilla, Chocolate, & Strawberry ice creams, with marshmallow, caramel, and blueberry syrup!

The Waldo's puzzle (middle) is one I received & adore, and the other is one I'm sending to Jaime for her angel square.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Angel & Exchange Squares

Toffee Square is my Angel Square for Califlamingo and the Pink Square is for the Pinkalicious Swap. It is made in Tunisian Knit stitch and 3 rows of Cables - it's for Karen. The photo was taken while it is wet-blocking, but that made it look flat. I may just wash it and use a softner to get it to fluff back up before mailing out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Two more squares to send

Square for Karen on top, square that was suppose to be for Jaime on the bottom.  It doesn't look better in person...I have no idea how it came out to a pretty square in the book.  Saw one mistake on the last corner going around, but cannot see how I made such a mess of one square following directions.  The one it the book doesn't look pulled apart or stretched in any way.  I did see that what appears to be 3 little sc on the top of each of the fp stitches on the last row (101 Crochet Squares) that are not in the directions.  Perhaps I'll try it again and see if I can get the wonky out of it and make the sides comes up to par.  Also, it is possible that the maker of the square did not do a regular post stitch all the way into the post but rather a modified one under the loop instead.  I'll have to make a few more to see.  I think this would be a good one for Jaime's SIL's manly afghan - in other colors - IF it is fixable.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


One of my Ravelry cohorts thought the photos were being taken on a granite table top. I'm taking these photos to show it is really a slab of an old tree with lots of some sort
of liquid acrylic poured through it.

The thing is heavier than you can imagine and hard to move. It is an african tree (I forget the name off hand) that has thorns on it. The tree gets gaping holes in it as it grows old (where bats then live), so to make it solid it had to have the acrylic pour. The thorns were shaved down so that it could be a table. It had belonged to a friend who passed away and left it to me. I love it so very much.

Pinkalicious Square to send; Va Va Victorian Square received!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two more squares to send.

The top one is in Tunisian
knit stitch with a dc border.

The second one is my made
up design. I kind of like it!
The thing is there are LOTS
of the same designs out there!
I am not innovative.... ;o(