Friday, September 12, 2014

Back to knitting

I don't think I mentioned on this blog that we moved in July. From western North Carolina to central Tennessee. After nearly 26 years in the same house, it was quite a chore! Plus we are living on a school campus in a rather small house, so downsizing has been hard. I have no room in the house for any of my sewing, knitting or craft stuff, so we purchased a 10 X 12 foot storage shed and put it out back. I call it my yarn barn. I got kind of discouraged the other night when Larry and I were out there working on putting up a tabletop, and found several wood roaches. UGH I hate those things!! I have sprayed a bunch, and put out sticky traps. We will caulk and seal the thing this weekend, and hope it's less buggy. Finding time is a real challenge. The school keeps the kids busy with lots of activities, and we attend most of them.

Faculty pre-session started a week and a half after we arrived, and during the meetings, one of the other teachers knitted a sock and started on another one. Alas, I couldn't find any of my knitting! What a waste of good knitting time! Finally I found it, and have started back on Christmas balls. I knitted one in a day on the bus ride to and from a school picnic, and the other in the evenings before dropping off to sleep.

I want to do a whole bunch of blue and white balls and put them in a bowl or something to display.
Better go and walk my attention-starved dog. (Haha - he probably gets more attention than any dog on earth, but it's never enough for him!) I hope everyone has a good weekend. The schedule is slow here this weekend, so I'm hoping to get a lot of rest, and a lot of things done.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My own market bag

Mia's bag is almost finished - I just need to sew the strap on, and I'd like to find a cute button to put on it. I went ahead and started my bag next. I really like this color - "Swimming Pool".

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mia's Market Bag

I started on Mia's market bag last week. I think it's going to be really cute - I love the colors in this yarn!
As I was resizing this photo, I noticed what looked like a dropped stitch in the upper lefthand corner. I panicked and went to check it out. I'm NOT good at fixing dropped stitches, especially in a pattern stitch, but luckily it's just a tail from where I changed balls of yarn. Whew!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Claire's Market Bag

Finished! Even the tails are woven in. I ended up ripping out the top edge and doing it over in garter stitch. I want to put a button on where the handle is sewn on, but I can't find my stash of buttons. My craft/sewing area is such a mess!

Now, on to one for Mia. Hers will have light purple and a variegated called "Beach Ball Blue" that's really pretty.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bunny Crochet

I found a tutorial online at YouTube for making these little bunnies. Theirs have glued on googly eyes and pompom tails, but I don't have either of those in stock in my craft pile, so I just made a little yarn tail. They can be used for pins or fridge magnets.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Claire's Market Bag

I finished mine, and of course, the girls both want one now. For Claire all things must be purple, and I decided to make a full-size bag so she can carry swimsuits, towels, shoes or whatever. I have the bag finished, although I'm not happy with the way the top rolls, but I'm not sure I have the courage to rip it out and do it over. I didn't know how to do garter stitch in the round, so it's reverse stockinette, which of course will roll. I found a YouTube video on how to do garter stitch in the round - super easy - knit one row, purl one row. I also am still working on the handle (and need to weave in the tails - my most hated task of knitting and crochet!).

Monday, March 31, 2014

A little more crochet

I've been looking for simple crochet patterns that are something useful, on which I can practice. No doilies are needed around here! (Although, I think that's what Larry thinks I'm working on most of the time.) I found this pattern for a hot pad that I thought would be cute. It's nice and thick, since you sew two layers together - very fun!

Front side.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Market bag - finished!

I decided to make just one I-cord handle, so my bag can be carried over the shoulder. I won't line it, because then it won't stretch as much. I think it turned out pretty cute. Thanks, Laurie!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Market bag

I went to the knitting class yesterday. Good snacks, good conversation, and knitting - what fun! I learned about picking up stitches, which I've never been good at, and learned that I've been doing yarn overs incorrectly all these years. Luckily I rarely have done them! Here's what my bag looks like so far. Love how the colors are spiraling around the bag.

Monday, March 10, 2014

More crochet

During the last few days I've been working on another crocheted drawstring bag - this one in lavender, for Mia. I've still got to make the flower to go on it, and then I'll post a picture.

Here's a different coaster, made from a free pattern from Red Heart. I found a Youtube tutorial for it, although it was pretty easy. I may make some of these at Christmas time in green, white and red.

I had to stop myself from running out to Michael's on my lunch hour today and getting more Sugar 'n Cream yarn. I've got quite a lot, but it comes in so many colors, and there are so many combinations I want to try.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekend Project

This is what I've been working on this weekend. I just got the lining tacked in, and pulled it closed, and one of the strands of yarn in the drawstring broke - UGH! I think I'll re-make them a little thinner than the pattern calls for, and maybe they'll slide more easily.

I guess I better stop and pay some bills while I wait on that last load in the dryer. Life outside of knitting and crochet goes on...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bunny Eggs

Just finished the purple one last night.

I'm having lighting woes. If I take pictures inside, my camera makes the colors look off. If I take them outside, the lighting is always lousy - in the sun is too bright and bleached out; in the shade is too dark. With a flash is too bright and bleached out, too. Seems like I had good luck one time on a bright cloudy day. I'd love to have a little spot specifically for photographing small items. It would have different colored backdrops I could use, and some of those umbrella light diffuser things, like at Olan Mills - ha!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A knitting class

My friend Laurie of Worthwhile Creations is holding a knitting class/sit and knit next month, and I signed up. This is what we'll be learning to make:

 I can't wait! I've never knitted anything like this before. She says we'll come away with a small bag like this, and instructions to make the bigger one. I already plan to line my little bag with fabric and use it for a small-project knitting bag.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More coasters

I guess I have an addictive personality. I tend to find something I enjoy, and be addicted to it for awhile, then jump to something else. Well, right now it's these coasters. It's fun to crochet for a bit, and it goes so much faster than knitting! There's some way that I'm holding my work that is almost wearing a blister on one of my fingers. That's always been one of my frustrations with crochet - I don't know how to hold the yarn correctly. Anyway, here are a couple of pictures, taken in better light.

I think I have just about all that I need. We'll...maybe just a couple more.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Crocheted coasters

I dug out my cotton yarn and crochet instructions this weekend and tried those coasters. They are easy and pretty fun! I even learned to crochet a magic loop. YouTube is a wonderful thing!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another thing I want to try...

I have done just a little crochet, and I'm not very good at it, but I just found this free pattern for coasters on One Dog Woof. They are so bright and cheery, I really want to try them. So much inspiration. So little time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Two more finished this weekend

I am loving these. They are quicker than the Christmas balls. I think I may try an Alan Dart gnome next - I made a few several years ago, and gave them all away. I'd like to have one for myself!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day!

Schools were closed today, and since our road was terrible, I decided to stay home, too. Larry and the girls did a bunch of sledding, and I stayed in and puttered. Even though I did laundry and cleaned up the kitchen twice, I really enjoyed myself. People who get to stay home are the luckiest people in the world! I even got in a little knitting, and made this cute little bunny egg. I just love it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another egg

We had a partial snow day today. Once we were all home and safe, I took a little nap, and then got up and finished my second egg. I used a different pattern that I found online. It was done in the round. I like the gingham, but I think I'll keep the ends more simple from now on. The patterns in the increase and decrease rows don't show up very well, and it's not really worth the extra complication of multiple yarns.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winding more yarn

I got 3 more hanks of yarn from Jimmy Bean's. I can't afford to buy too many at once, but I love the Cascade Heritage. It has the white white and Christmas red and green that you can't always find. Now I'm working on stocking up on a few spring pastels.

Something a little different

I want to make a few knitted Easter eggs - just because I think they're bright and cute. I found this pattern online. It's knitted flat, and then stitched. Cute and easy, but I'm not happy with the seam. My stitching abilities are not too great, and in trying not to lose the pattern, I didn't do a very good job. I may try it again with an extra stitch on each end, to use for seaming. It also seems a bit symmetrical,  where it should be a little more tapered on one end, so I may try altering the pattern to fix that. If I don't have any luck, I'll try knitting it in the round.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Our cat, Jessi, checking out one of my knitted squares.

Two more squares done

Whew. I've discovered that I'm really not a very good knitter. I can do the stitches okay, but the concentration is where I struggle. Keeping track of rows and counting stitches. Arrrggh! Sometimes I feel like I'm spending as much time going backward as forward. These were finished late last night.

This one was very simple, but I was winging it on the pattern, so it took longer than necessary.

This is called "Shingle Stitch", and involves knitting and purling into the back of stitches. Not hard, but it took me awhile to get into the counting groove.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A new craft for Mia...and maybe me

I'm trying to get Mia into felt crafting, as an introduction to sewing. Felt is so easy to work with, and there are some great ideas online for things to try. Here are a few I found.

                                             Of course, I HAVE to try this one!

Anyway, I tried some, using cookie cutters as patterns, and it's really quite fun!

Baby afghan squares

The baby shower is going to be Monday for my co-worker and his wife, so we've decided to try to get this afghan finished by then. That means between yesterday and Friday, I need to complete 6 squares.
Nobody at work really purls much, so I feel compelled to add some pattern to the squares I do. And it's actually a great way to practice some new stitches. But because of the time constraint, I've got to stick with some basic tried and true stitches. I worked all last night on it, and got 2 squares finished. I had some trouble with one. Apparently I got interrupted and got off on my pattern. I had cast off, and then realized that it did not look right. UGH! I tried something that I'm terrible at, and try to avoid at all costs - I ripped out, back to where I was before the mess-up, and started again. I was shocked that you can't even tell!

I really should have gone another row on the chevron one, but I didn't, and I'm not ripping it out again!
Sorry about the dark pictures - with flash you can't see the pattern, and without flash, they are dark, and the color is definitely prettier than this. Kind of a light teal. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Some oldies

I took a few photos on Sunday of some of my older handmade ornaments, before we took down the tree.

(Sorry for the blurry picture.) This is a little caroler boy I knitted back in 1985. We had just moved to Brevard, NC so my husband could teach. It was a year before I found a full-time job. For Christmas that first year I bought yarn and knitted ornaments for gifts. It was the first I had knitted since I was a child. I did not like being so poor, but I have fond memories of those low-stress days spent knitting.

The caroler girl. I don't know if I'd attempt these now - so many details!

Another blurry picture. We made these last year in the children's class I help with at church. I remember my mom making these with us when we were kids.

Crocheted paper clip ice skates. Love 'em! I made a bunch one year for the attorneys and staff at work, and a couple of years ago I made a bagful for the kids in class at church. We were studying about heaven, and talking about what we planned to do there. I invited them to come to my ice skating planet. I've never ice skated, but it looks so fun, I can't wait to get there and learn. If I tried it now, I'd fall and bust every crackly old bone in my body!