Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yarn Addiction

My daughter called me the other day and said, “Mommy, I think I need a yarn intervention. I just walked out of Hobby Lobby with $54 worth of yarn that’s brand new. It’s called, Patons Bamboo Baby.” Like any good mother would do, I asked her what she plans on making with it, how much it costs per ball, how many yards are on a ball, and what time does Hobby Lobby close? As soon as I got off of the phone with her, I found myself at Hobby Lobby, and this yarn is so soft that I couldn’t resist it. I had to have some, too. I was leaning towards the turquoise since that’s my favorite color, but I went for these colors:

Patons Bamboo Baby

I already have in mind what I will make out of the yarn. It will be used in the computer case that I’m designing. I wasn’t any help to my daughter, especially since I have the same addiction. I don’t think I’m the only one. My daughter called me later and even before she asked me if I had gone to see the yarn, she already knew that I had to have some, too; she just asked which ones I bought. Like Mother Like Daughter. More pictures to come of what she makes and what I’m making with mine.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun Things to Make in the Summer Months

Here are some fun things to make during the hot summer months:


More strawberries, and these would make perfect hot pad trivets.


More dishcloths, and they are always handy to give as gifts or keep for yourself (especially if you have a husband that likes to use bleach in the kitchen, because dishcloths seem to disappear very fast at our house.)


Jewelry is fun to make; this is the bracelet that I made after our last crochet guild meeting program. I just love how it looks on my husband’s arm. He’s such a good sport when it comes to modeling jewelry.

Tell me about some of your summer projects.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Cup Covers

My Husband's Crochet Cup Cover

On Sundays, my husband loves to go outside and sit on the lawn swing with his cup of coffee and the newspaper, but he always complains that bugs and flies get in his coffee. He hates to dump his coffee out, so I came up with a solution--The Summer Coffee Cup Cover.

It couldn’t be too lacey as flies and bugs could still fit through the holes, and, besides that, my husband doesn’t like lacey. My husband does like to make jewelry, so he has plenty of beads and baubles that I could use. He gave me some options, and these glass beads seemed to work the best. Later he told me that I had picked some of most expensive beads for his cup cover, and they were hand-painted glass beads. I told him he was worth it. and they are just the right weight to hold the cover down in our Kansas winds.

My Summer Crochet Cup Cover

Of course, I had to make another one just for me, and I wondered if buttons would work. I had purchased these vintage buttons from Tinsel Trading Company at the International Quilt Festival last year, and I think they work great, too. Just make sure that you pick buttons that will thread onto your needle and also allow the thread to pass through the button. This was a fun summer project, and you could use up some of your excess beads or buttons. Just have fun with it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free Friday Pattern: Lacy Coaster

Lacy Coaster

I chose this free Lacy Coaster crochet pattern for this week's Free Pattern Friday project. I started it while I was waiting for my sister to go through surgery. It was fast and easy, and while I worked, lots of people talked to me about crochet. I love to pull out my crochet in waiting rooms and see how many people comment on it. Some of them say, "Wow, crochet is a dying art," where others say that they love to crochet, too, but they haven’t done it in a long time. They say that I’ve inspired them to pick up their hooks again, and that always makes me happy.

Lacy Coasters

How do you like my take on the coasters? I really enjoyed making them with the bright colored threads.)

(By the way, my sister came through her surgery fine and is back home recovering.)

Please tell me about some of the different or weird places that you have crocheted.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top-sy Turvy Top


I was looking through my books the other day and came upon this book of patterns for little girls--Top-sy Turvy Tops. Since my little girl is all grown up, I thought about my granddaughter--Megan. I had some thread left over from my CGOA design contest entry and all of the colors that I love and one of them was pink, which is my Megan’s favorite color.

Top-sy Turvy Crochet Top

Of course the thread was not the same size as the designer called for, but I thought, that’s ok. I’ll just go up a couple sizes in the pattern and use those instructions with this thread. Well, you know me and gauge (I just can’t get it); I thought the top would be ok since Megan is so tiny anyway. I was wrong again, and the sweater was way too small even for her.

My Rendition of Top-sy Turvy Crochet Top

Oh well, I gave the top to my sister's granddaughter--baby Ava. It will look so cute on her this coming winter with a pair of leggings and long sleeved onesie underneath. I will show you as soon as she grows into it since she will be a year old on October 31st.

Megan’s Crochet Label

And I already have this great tag for Miss Megan’s special crocheted item, whatever that might be.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Unknown Woven Mats and Coasters

Woven Pieces

I guess I have started another collection. I can’t stop collecting these woven pieces.

Field Trip Find

When we went on our Guild Field Trip, I found the white ones with blue. The set consists of one long piece with two small coaster-like pieces. I talked at length to Paula and Jinna about my obsession with these woven pieces. They told me that they are made on a loom.

Why have I not heard about this loom thing before and how does it work? I think Jinna even said that she has one. The hunt is on now. I have to find a loom and instructions on how to make these cute woven things and find out all the things I can make for future generations to find in second hand stores and wonder about.

Does anyone out there know anything about these cute woven pieces?

Monday, June 22, 2009

First Day of Summer

Ah! Yesterday was the first day of summer, the day most people are thinking of when they might be going to the lake or taking that summer vacation. My thoughts are drawn more to what crocheted items will I be able to wear now that it’s hot outside. The more you know me, the more you will find out that my wardrobe is not complete without some crochet. I was so happy when I found this pair of socks that I had embellished last summer with crochet and beads.

crochet embellished sock

Then, as I was putting them on, I remembered this:

crochet embellished sock with hole

All the beads that I strung on and all the holes that I poked. Ha! Ha! Oh man, to darn or not to darn? That is the question! What do you all think? What fun things are you working on this summer?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father’s (Daddy’s) Day

Father's Day

There are several different kinds of fathers. There are dads, fathers, and daddies. Mine happens to be a “daddy”. I remember growing up, he was strict with my brothers, but with my sister and me, he was just a big teddy bear. I only remember one time that he really got mad at my sister and me. We were playing outside at the neighbor’s house, and my mom had called us for dinner, but we were having too much fun and not paying attention. But when we heard my daddy’s voice yell for us, we knew we were in big trouble. We ran home right away, and when we got in the yard, we had to run by Daddy who had a tree branch (switch) in his hand, and how he hit both of our legs at the same time I will never know, but you better believe we never ignored our mom’s call for dinner again. Ha! Ha!

Father's Day 2

I have always thought that when something got broke, my daddy could fix it. With five kids, he never ran out of things to fix. He was always working on something, whether it was something from around the house to motorcycles, mowers, cars, etc. He has even rebuilt a pickup from just a shell. He is currently working on a scooter that they use in factories to drive around in. He has two lathes; one is a metal lathe, and one is a wood lathe. He can make nuts and bolts on one and turn a wooden chair leg on the other. He even helped me with my table and chairs and helped me make one of the chair rungs from a block of wood. I think I may have inherited my daddy’s sense of collecting and the knack of taking something and making something out of it. He always has a screw, nail, nut, bolt, or tool for whatever you may need.

I don’t ever remember my daddy ever being sick, but nine years ago, he had a heart attack, and they had to do some surgery to open the main artery and place a stint in. When he came out of surgery, he suffered a stroke which affected his speech and ability to talk. He has gone through extensive rehabilitation from physical and speech therapy. He has also helped at the University with other stroke victims along side his therapist as he understands them better than anyone else.

My Dad Sleeping

A year ago he was not feeling good, so he went to the heart specialist, and the specialist said that he needed to have open heart surgery to open up his veins that had collapsed. The doctor did seven bypasses and after the surgery told us that he may live another year. He tires very easily now, and most of the time you will find him on his couch sleeping. In the year since his surgery, he has only missed one of my son’s drama performances. I hope I live as full a life as he has lived. I love you Daddy and Happy Daddy’s Day!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Leisure Arts Visit

If someone had told me two years ago that I would be blogging on the Internet, I wouldn’t have believed them. Somehow Leisure Arts found me at the Fall International Quilt Market in Houston last year. Susan Sullivan, the Editor-In-Chief of Leisure Arts, wasn't looking for a crocheter when she found me in my sister’s booth. When Susan contacted me before Christmas and told me that they had something that she would like to discuss with me after the first of the year, I was very excited and had a hard time waiting. When the time came, she called and told me what they had planned for Crochet Soiree, and I couldn’t believe my ears. She asked me to be their blogger or their voice of crochet. She said that she had been following the blog that I keep updated with our local chapter’s meetings. I was again surprised and excited that she liked what she saw. For someone else to like the things that I have been doing for all these years and to want me to join the group is a dream come true and truly a blessing. That’s all I can say about that.

When I agreed to be the blogger, I was also asked to do some videos. Well, I want to tell you that I am not an actor and have not been filmed except in home movies and that was just in the background. My husband was the one that was behind the camera for all of the family videos that have been taken here at my house, so he was the most likely one to videotape me.

Our try at home videotaping did not go so well. By the time we hung the backdrop, tried to get the lighting just right for no glare on my glasses, got the big shop lights out with smoke coming out of the top of them because they get so hot, wardrobe malfunctions after a nap while husband was getting the shop lights set up, me forgetting my lines, it just went on and on. We spent all day on videotaping and after cutting all of the bad parts out there might have been three minutes of video that would have worked.

That’s when Margaret (Leisure Arts Marketing Director) stepped in and said, “Just come to Little Rock, and we’ll videotape you.” After I picked myself up off of the ground, I thought, oh no, what am I going to wear? That was fairly easy. I had only four days to decide. The hardest part was what crocheted items would I bring and how was I going to fit them into my suitcase. Well, the logical thing was to take two suitcases and, believe me, I did.

Flowers outside of Hotel

When I left Wichita there was about three inches of snow on the ground, and the temperature was about 21 degrees. I arrived in Little Rock, and the temperature was about 50 degrees. My trip started off with a welcome from Susan Sullivan. I really want to thank her for taking time out of her Sunday to pick me up at the airport, take me to lunch, deliver me to the hotel, and then to spend time looking at all of my projects and listening to my ideas. She was amazed at my bottomless hot pink suitcase. Afterwards, she let me rest for a while, and then, she came back, and we went to dinner.

Leisure Arts Sign

Margaret picked me up the next morning for a day of filming, and let Carrie (Leisure Arts Sales Manager) show me around the beautiful facility of Leisure Arts. We had a very long day of filming, between camera lighting issues, me forgetting my lines, and me not being able to stop laughing at one point, but it was a good day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Iced Tea Jackets

Iced Tea Cozies

I thought I would choose this pattern for this Friday, so it will give you a couple of weeks to make several sets of these Iced Tea Cozies before the 4th of July weekend. I had a lot of fun making them. It’s just too bad that I don’t have any iced tea glasses to display mine on right now.

My Iced Tea Cozies

Please don’t feel sorry for me because all of my iced tea glasses have broken over the years and were never replaced.

My Cupboard of Mismatched Cups

My cupboard has a mixture of different sets of glasses--even some Mickey Mouse glasses. Now, I’m ashamed of my cupboards and as soon as I get done here, I’m cleaning out my cabinet and making room for some new iced tea glasses that I plan on buying soon. When I do, I’ll show you my set of Iced Tea Cozies displayed on them.

When you get yours made, make sure to add them to your projects page under your account. I hope you have as much fun crocheting them as I did.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Market Bags


You know how everyone is carrying their own bags into stores to be more “GREEN”? Well, I decided that I should get started on that right away with some crocheted market bags. First, I found a great bag in the Leisure Arts Enviro-Totes book. I chose #3, the Beach Bag. I figured it could be used for both a beach bag and/or market bag.

First Attempt Crochet Beach Bag

I decided I would use some yarn that I already had, which was I Love This Cotton, and I thought I knew how to make a gauge, but evidently not so much when it comes to round things. Anyway, my bag came out very large. The amount of groceries that will fit in this bag would not be good on the back.

Second Attempt Crochet Beach Bag

Then, I attempted another one, but with another stash yarn called Punto that I purchased at my LYS. But guess what, it’s only a little smaller than the first one, but I love them anyway. I think they will be used only for the beach.

Interweave Crochet Magazine

Then I saw the Spring 2009 Interweave Crochet magazine and had to purchase it. Guess what it had in it? There it was, a Spring Market Bag designed by Carol Ventura, and you know what that means. Tapestry crochet.

Carol Ventura’s Spring Market Bag

my Spring Market Bag

Since I hadn’t ever tried to do tapestry crochet, I thought it would be a good project to try. How fortunate for me, I had just acquired some mercerized cotton from my LYS. It’s called Catania. This time, I think it worked. What do you think?

I’m now in love with tapestry crochet, too, and I can’t wait to show you the next project that I’m working on with the new technique that I learned.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Site Tour

Site Tour

Has everyone had a chance to check out the Site Tour here on Crochet Soiree? I highly recommend it for a full tutorial on everything you can do on the website. After I completed the tour, I was amazed at all my options, and I wanted to know whose nice voice that is narrating the Site Tour.

I also happened to find out about a cool feature from my friend Rosina. She told me that there is a Postal Service available to talk to other members through Crochet Soiree. I decided to look in my Inbox and, much to my surprise, I had a message. Check it out on the Site Tour under My Account. And I will check my Inbox to see if any of you have figured out how to leave me a message. Talk to you soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Brothers #1

I couldn’t go another day without telling you about my brothers.

My family was a very close family growing up. Notice the shirts that the boys were wearing? My mom made them of course. We only had each other to play with as my mom was a stay at home mom and my dad always worked to provide for all of us. I remember fighting a lot, but also I remember love.

As I remember, my mom taught all of us to do the cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, laundry, and sewing. My brothers were no exception. We all had our chores to do, and we had to do them every day. (As part of a family that was just something that you did.)

After we did our chores, we could play and have fun. I'm sure Mom was relieved to have us all out of the house, and we could play for hours outside. My brothers taught my sister and me to play in the mud, make mud pies, and make roads for our toy cars. As we all got older, my dad started working on motorcycles, and he built us a couple of motorcycles so that we could all have them to ride. My brothers showed my sister and me how to ride them and how to drive an old pickup with the gearshift on the column. I remember sitting on my oldest brother's lap, steering and shifting, while he worked the brake and clutch. My mom always said that whatever one brother didn’t think of, the other ones would. They got into some trouble, but they were always looking out for their little sisters.

Brothers #2

As my brothers started dating, my sister and I were ruthless to the girls they dated. But the best girls all stayed, and the boys each married, one by one, and left the house. My sister and I were sad when they left, but life does go on. All of my sister-in-laws are the best because they take care of my brothers like I would take care of them.

Brothers and Sisters

Of course our mom made our dresses, and I do believe I was wearing crocheted gloves. Ha! Ha!

As we girls got older and started dating, my dad didn’t have to worry too much because he always had my brothers to make sure that our dates behaved themselves. They ran a lot of boys off by just hanging around as they would arrive. I’m not sure what they said to them as they waited for us to get ready, but I’m sure it was something to scare them away. They were always quick to tease us, but always there to protect us, too. My middle brother told me way after I got married, that if my date and I would have turned our car around, we would have run right into him.

My oldest brother Tom is a diesel mechanic who works for a trash hauling company here in Wichita and services all of their trucks. He is married and has three children and seven grandchildren.

My middle brother Dean is a machinist lead and works for an aircraft company here in Wichita. He supervises machinists that make aircraft parts that are made out of steel, aluminum, brass, and bronze. These are only a few of the materials that he turns on a lathe. He has five children and nine grandchildren with one on the way.

My third brother Terry is a farmer and also works as custodian for the schools in Madison, Kansas. He has four children.

I am very proud of all of them, and I know they have learned to work on all kinds of equipment, and I believe they could probably fix anything, and they learned all of these things by hanging out with my mom and dad.

Tommy, Deanie, and Terry

I love you, Tommy, Deanie, and Terry!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

KS My Stitch Field Trip

Tamara's KS My Stitch Field Trip Haul

As president of KS My Stitch, it’s my responsibility to organize outside activities, so I organized a field trip for our group. I had 14 people sign up. By the time the day came to go, we had four people going. So I waited in the parking lot that we agreed to meet in, hoping that more people would show up. But guess what? There were only two, plus me. They were Paula and Jinna. I gave them the option of calling it off or to go ahead and go. We all were unanimous in our decision to go. So off we went.

First stop was the Antique store that my sister, my friend, and I had gone to the month before. Jinna decided that her house was full of too many treasures just like the shop's, so she didn’t find anything. Paula said that she grew up around some of the things that she seen, so she left empty handed. But oh not me. I found some crocheted things, flowers from a millinery box that the owner had just brought in, and a turquoise hair dryer that didn’t have a handle, but oh my gosh, it was turquoise, I couldn’t pass it up. All of these things came home with me.

Jinna's Scarf made from KS My Stitch Haul

Next stop was the yarn store; I think we all found something that we couldn’t live without. Paula even saw a friend in the store that had come to the guild meetings once upon a time. They caught up with things, and Paula ended up teaching her a new stitch. Jinna later showed us a scarf she crocheted up in one of the yarns that she purchased at the yarn store. I’m still thinking about what I’m going to make with mine.

Then it was time to eat, we went to the little cafe on the corner and had soup and sandwiches. We decided to wait and have dessert on the trip home.

Our next stop was the Goodwill Store. That’s where I found a few more things that couldn’t be left behind. Jinna even found 10 skeins of the same color of yarn really cheap. I found a lime green straw purse that I'll take the handles off of to use on one of my skirt purses, and there were some really cute flowers that I plan on using for embellishment.

Then, it was time to head back home. On our way home, we stopped at a restaurant in an Amish community where they sell homemade food, pies, cakes, and cinnamon rolls the size of a dinner plate. We all had a piece of pie, and we all agreed that it was the perfect ending of a wonderful day. We were kind of glad that it was such a small group; we got to travel in the same car and get to know each other better. Jinna also agreed to let us use her cabin near the river for our summer retreat. A weekend full of crochet and food, what a way to have fun!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Free Pattern Friday Spring Fantasy Afghan

Spring Fantasy Afghan

Happy Friday Everybody!

When I saw this week's free crochet pattern, I thought “Hmm” what a great summer project. It’s made in strips, and I won’t have to have a heavy afghan on my lap during the hot summer.

I Love This Cotton Yarn

And I can still use some of my stash yarn. I chose some of my yarn that I had left over from another project. (Of course, there is not enough, so, oh no, I will have to go and get some more yarn!) I picked cotton yarns because, with cotton, the afghan will be lightweight, soft, and airy. I think it will make a perfect summer afghan.

My Spring Fantasy Afghan

Another Spring Fantasy Afghan

I started it this morning, and it is going really fast. It’s kind of like a mile-a-minute afghan. What do you think of the colors I chose? I've made samples in a couple of different color ways, and I can't decide which I like best.

What kind of yarn are you going to use for your afghans?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Son Joshua as a child

Son Joshua 17 years old

When I gave birth to my daughter, I was content with one child. Fifteen years later, I found out I was pregnant, and at the same time, I found out that my husband had two sons, also. I wasn’t positive if I could love boys the same way I did my daughter, but I tell you what, when my son, Joshua, was born, he stole my heart! When he hurts, I hurt, and when he is happy, I’m happy. It’s like we have the same heart. His passion is the theater. He has lettered all three years that he has been in high school for drama. He has been active in every play, in one acts, and in the musicals that have taken place at his high school. He has served as an officer of his drama club and will take over as president next year, his senior year. He loves to sing, act, do set construction, and direct. He is as passionate about drama as I am with my crochet. He is now seventeen years old, and everyday goes by a little faster until he graduates. His goal is to go to New York and attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. He is looking so forward to that day. I’m not so much. I am so proud of him in all that he does and will not hold him back here. But you know that he will take a piece of my heart with him to New York. To which his reply is “Oh Momma”!?!

Sons Daniel & John IV

I am very proud of our other sons, too. We never had the opportunity to have them grow up in our home, but they are still close enough to travel and see. Their names are John IV and Daniel. John IV is married (wife Aleshia), and they will soon have their first child. (If it’s a boy he will be named John V.) Daniel is married to Chrisinda, and they have a little boy named Eyan and another baby on the way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tips for Worn Out Tights

Amigurumi 1

Amigurumi 2

I had a thought the other day. I have made several amigurumi things lately. One is a tiny bear and the other one is a doll with braids. I stuffed them with leftover quilt batting, but the fibers show through the holes in the crochet. So I got to thinking. What’s stretchy enough to stuff with batting and yet won’t let the fibers show through? Hmmm!

Amigurumi Tights Tip

I have some tights that I refuse to wear anymore. I wondered if they would work. So I cut pieces the same size as my crocheted pieces and sewed them (Yes, you can hand sew them together.) and stuffed them. Then I stuffed those pieces down into the crocheted pieces. Voila!!! It works. No more batting sticking out of the holes of your crochet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Secretary/Treasurer for KS My Stitch

Rosina Secretary Treasurer

One of the responsibilities of the secretary/treasurer in KS My Stitch is to take care of the publicity and marketing for our group and to promote the national guild. Rosina is our secretary/treasurer, and this year, she had an idea to send our local newspaper a press release in March.

Much to our surprise, they published it the Saturday before our Monday meeting. We had the biggest turn out for both meetings that month. It was a great way to get the word out about our group and the national group. We are now 29 members strong.

Rosina also sent our press release to the Crochet Guild of America for publication in Chain Link. Much to our surprise again, they published it their magazine called Crochet! If you get this magazine, it is inside the Chain Link section under “Charity Project-March Session”.

Rosina does a great job of secretary/treasurer, and I want to thank her for all that she does. Please share what your group's doing. I’d like to hear about some of your promotion ideas.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Published Patterns

I’m not sure if anyone knows this, but I have a few published patterns that I think are really cute. Some of them are published with my sister's sewing patterns, and two of them are published by DRG Publishing.

Published Pattern Baby Overalls

I was visiting the store here at Crochet Soiree and noticed one of the books that they have for sale has one of my patterns in it. The book is called Crochet for Babies. The design is a pair of bib overalls. The pair that is shown is for a girl, but you could easily make it with different color of yarn and change out the buttons for a boy.

ublished Design Baby Sweater & Hat

I also have a pattern for a baby sweater and hat in another book called The Easy Learn to Crochet in Just One Day. This book is not available on the Crochet Soiree website, but I have found it at AmazonBooks.com.