Friday, July 31, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Beary Pretty Dress

Free Crochet Pattern Beary Pretty Dress 800938

The first thing I thought of when I saw this pattern was that Darla Dearlin needed an outfit. So I set out to make a little dress for Darla. I knew I wanted it to update the look and to make it my own. So I chose the variegated pink thread and decided to make it a top instead of a dress. That meant that I would need to make some bloomers. Then I had to break out the sewing machine. Even that wasn’t quite enough because I needed to thread something through the eyelets that are made at the waist of the bodice of the dress. I decided to use a piece of rick rack picked up during one of my treasure hunts, After embellishing the top, I still had rick rack left over, so I decided to poke-a-hole-in-it and crochet on one edge of it to make a fun and funky headband. But the outfit wasn’t complete until I added a little turquoise flower corsage.

Darla in Her New Outfit

Man, sometimes I just don’t know when to stop, but I’m very pleased with the outcome. What do you think of Darla in her new outfit? Does this ever happen to any of you? Get this week's free crochet pattern Beary Pretty Dress.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Business Cards Story


I asked Amanda from where I work if she would be interested in helping create my business cards. (Check out the basic card above.) Since she does have a degree in graphic design, she would be perfect for the job, and since she is such a sweet person, she said yes, even before she found out that I need them right away, like within four days, and she didn’t even know what I was willing to pay for her services.

I told her that I planned on fixing a taco dinner for her and some of her friends. She asked if 20 were too many. Then she remembered that she was invited to a Mexican dinner and would have to take something for it, and so I agreed to make the taco dinner for 10 people. Then, when one of my other friends from work heard that I was making tacos for Amanda, she said that her birthday was coming up, and since I had made tacos for her birthday two years ago, she asked if I wanted to make her some more tacos for her birthday this year. Well, I couldn’t resist her and told her that I would love to make her tacos (her name is Tamara, too). Plus I am making the tacos for the KS My Stitch crochet guild retreat for the end of this month, so I will be getting all of the fixings for THREE taco dinners. Anyone else want Tamara’s Tacos?????

I’m afraid my business card may turn out to be in the shape of a taco. Ha! Ha!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Fascination With Men Who Crochet

I have this fascination with men who crochet. I had a Great Aunt Pearl that crocheted beautiful tablecloths, bedspreads, doilies, and jackets, just to name a few things. They were mostly made with the Size 10 crochet thread. She gave all of her sisters one of her bedspreads, and she ONLY had eight sisters--can you imagine? I have made one bedspread, and I think that’s enough for me. Anyway, her husband, Uncle Chet, also crocheted, knitted, embroidered, and I'm not sure what all. But when we would go to visit them, he would be sitting there crocheting, and I was just fascinated to see that. I’m sad I don’t have a picture of him crocheting.

Leroy crocheting

When my new BF (Biggest Fan, Barbara) joined Crochet Soiree, she told me how her husband, Leroy, had been crocheting for 20 years, and she had only been crocheting for several months. I was so interested in finding out more about this man. Come to find out, he is a Viet Nam vet and has crocheted lots of things including afghans (some of which he has designed himself), granny squares (made these into many things), houseshoes (slippers), hats, dishcloths, and towel toppers.

Barbara said that he had recently put his crocheting away and had been helping her out with learning to crochet, but he had been so inspired by Crochet Soiree and that he wanted to pick it up again.

Barbara and I have started a contest under the groups here on Crochet Soiree, and Leroy wants to make a cup cover and use his own twist to my cup cover pattern. He is using crochet thread for the first time, and maybe we have inspired him enough to take crocheting back up. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with and some of his designs. Hopefully, he has some more pictures of his projects he can share with us.

Afghan Leroy crocheted

Here is a picture of the afghan that Leroy made. I just love the colors he chose. I would also love to hear about what all of the men out there are making and what inspires them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rescued Afghans

Does anyone else out there have the same addiction to rescuing afghans as I do? My husband will probably hit the ceiling if I walk in with one more afghan from the second hand store, but I can’t help myself. I know how much time went into these afghans, all the thought about colors, and patterns, and different yarns.

Yet, somehow these afghans end up in the second hand stores, and I seem to find them. I do admit that I don't bring home all that I find. They have to WOW me before I will rescue them. I plan on donating some of them to the Children’s Home since they need them worse than I do.

Rescued Afghans

Tell me about some of the things that you like to rescue.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yarn Barf

I’m sure this has happened to many of you out there--more than once. It seems like it happens when you are in the biggest hurry to finish something. It happened to me the other day as I was crocheting the last row of the little top that I’m making for my granddaughter Megan. I was already into my second row of the last row of ruffles on the top. I wanted to finish the row before heading off to work, and "POOF" this happened.

Yarn Barf

When I found out that there would be no way of untangling it without an end, I decided to take out the rows that I had started (since I couldn’t, or should I say wouldn’t, cut the yarn?). I was successful at untangling it and finished it up on my lunch hour at work. Whew, another skein of yarn untangled and saved from cutting. Doesn’t it feel good when you accomplish this? It makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Ha! Ha!

I would love to hear about your untangling adventures.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Lovely Lampshade

Free Crochet Pattern Lovely Lampshade 800937

Happy Friday!

When I first saw this Free Pattern Friday Lovely Lampshade pattern, I thought about using it to cover the lampshade in my living room. I started making it with the thread that the pattern called for, but it was going to take a lot more thread than I had. So I got to thinking about my recent purchase of this new yarn called “Country”.

Skein of Yarn

I decided that I had enough of this yarn to make the lampshade, and it would be faster. (The funny thing about it is, now the lampshade that it actually fits is the one in the basement.) The yarn is a blend of merino wool and microdenier acrylic (whatever that is?) with a twelve-ply cable, size 4. It’s so soft, and I like the way it drapes.


This is my version of the Lovely Lampshade pattern.

Lampshade on Lamp

Mine is very 70s inspired since I am just an old hippie at heart. Have fun with it and hope to see some of your lampshades soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Finished Doily

Outside Section of Doily

This doily was so much fun to make. Little did I know when I started making it that I was supposed to start with the outside piece first. You crochet the outside piece back and forth kind of like knitters do to make lace. Then, just like magic, it starts forming a circle to fit on the outside of the inside piece.

Finished Doily

Here’s a picture of the finished piece. This needs to be added to the bottom of the pile of ironing for a nice surprise.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trip to Newton

The Beadery

The Friday before the 4th of July, my husband and I had the day off. So we decided to go to Newton, Kansas. Newton is a small town north of us and has a wonderful downtown area that has that old town feeling and lots to do and see. They have Charlotte’s Sew Natural quilt shop, the Etc. Shop, and The Beadery.

Fabric and Buttons

I love to go to Charlotte’s Sew Natural. Her shop covers two storefronts of a really cool old building. She has the best selection of fabric and buttons. I found everything that I was looking for to go with my crochet pieces. Charlotte was out of town celebrating her and her daughters’ birthdays, and I was sorry that I missed seeing them. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Crocheted Hanger

Collar Turner

The Etc. Shop is run by a church group, and it’s a second hand store. It’s always lots of fun to see all the vintage things that are in there. I always seem to find something that just has to go home with me. This visit, I found some hangers, plastic rings to crochet around, and this cute turquoise collar turner. You may not be able to see it very well, but the crocheted hanger has thread wrapped all the way up the hook of the hanger.

Row of Beads

The trip would not be complete without stopping off to see Julie at the Beadery. The fun thing about the Beadery is that she not only carries a wonderful selection of beads, but she also carries yarns.

Yarns and Sit and Stitch

You just feel welcome when you come in the door. I found some buttons for a crocheted top that I’m trying to finish up for my granddaughter, and my husband found some beads along with a peace sign pendant that he’s going to make into a necklace for me. I can’t wait because I’m just an old hippie at heart.

We ended the day by having lunch at a quaint restaurant called Reba's where all of the food is made with love. And the chef herself came around and greeted all of the customers personally, serving tea, water, clearing off tables, etc. We had a great time out, just the two of us.

Tell me about some of your adventures.

Monday, July 20, 2009

World Wide Knit Out Day

WWKiP Day takes place on the second Saturday of June each year.

This is the information that I downloaded off of the internet when I typed in World Wide Knit Out Day:

“World Wide Knit in Public Day was started in 2005 by Danielle Landes. It began as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Knitting is such a solitary act that it’s easy to knit alone somewhere and sink into your work without thinking about all the other knitters out there. Neighbors could spend all their lives never knowing that the other knits. This a specific day to get out of your house and go to a local event just for you and people like you (with your knitting in tow). Who knows, you might even bump into your neighbor! Consider this a spark, to ignite a fire, getting all of the closeted knitters out into fresh air."

As I arrived at the yarn shop that day (the rainy day), I remembered that LYSO had put out an email about observing WWKiP Day with knitting on the sidewalk in front of the store. But the rain pushed them inside and some sat in the windows, which was very cool, because all the passersby could see them knitting away. Check out some of the participants:

Jill, Marlo and Lara’s

Jill, Marlo, and Lara all know how to crochet, too, but they would rather knit, and they are all very good knitters. They all looked so cute just sitting there knitting. These were only a few of the knitters that were participating, but the shop was full!


Cori joined the knitters, too, but she was crocheting her really cool sweater, crocheted from the top down. It is going to be really neat, and she hopes to show everyone the finished product very soon. Notice Cori’s hands. Since they just fly when she is crocheting, they are just a blur.

Molly Lara’s Daughter

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of Molly (Lara’s Daughter). She was so cute with her hair pointed like that. I told her if I could I would like to wear my hair like that, and everyone said that I sorta already do.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Farmer's Market

Rosina and I had planned to go to the Farmer's Market, but got rained out, so we planned it for this Saturday and wanted to go early enough to beat the heat. We arrived around 8:00, and I think everyone else decided to do the same thing. The Kansas Farmer's Market has a little bit of everything. They have some Mexican food already prepared, logs and sticks from the river, big huge rocks, wood furniture, jams and jellies, vegetables, flowers, plants, and some handmade items.


While we were there, I also stopped to visit with Nancy and see what she was up to. I had seen her in the yarn shop before and knew she was a knitter. But I thought she just looked so cute under her Nancy's Nice Knits sign, I had to take a picture of her, and she posed for me.

Kansas Alpaca Yarn

Nancy proceeded to tell us about the Kansas Alpaca yarn that she had for sale, and we got to pet some of it already made into a scarf. I asked Nancy if she spun the fiber into yarn, and she said no, that there is a mill in Phillipsburg, Kansas, that she gets it from, and they are very reliable. She said that she didn’t want to take up spinning because it would cut into her knitting time. Anyway, Rosina and I think we should take a trip to the Alpaca farms and take one to the mill. Here we go again planning another field trip.

Rosina and her Red Potatoes

Rosina wanted to pick up some new red potatoes, and they sure looked good. All of the vegetables colors were so pretty. They made me want to go out and look at yarn in the same colors.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Pastel Palette Baby Afghan

#800912 Pastel Palette Free Crochet Baby Afghan pattern

Happy Friday Crochet Fans!

When I started trying to pick this week's free crochet pattern, I found this Pastel Palette Baby Afghan design. It looked like a lot of fun, plus I had some colors that I thought would look pretty together.

The pattern is made by crocheting the length of the afghan instead of the width; I don’t believe I have ever made one like this before. This could be one of those projects that you could take with you on a long car trip. I would even consider making it in variegated yarn so that you wouldn’t have to change colors every two rows.

Pastel Palette Crochet Baby Afghan Pattern

But I must like to change colors and weave in ends because these are the colors that I chose to make mine out of. I love the way the colors look and the way part of the stitch hangs down on the previous row.

I know I’m crazy, but have fun with this pattern. Hope to see your afghans soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CGOA Design Contest Entry is Leaving for North Carolina

CGOA Design 1

Well, here is my design contest entry getting ready to go into the box to get shipped off to North Carolina. Oh man, it's hard letting your design go. How many of you are going to enter the contest?

Guess what? I get to see my design contest entry displayed in person this year! I’m going to get to go the Knit and Crochet Show in Buffalo, New York, this August.

CGOA Design 2

I’m so excited and can hardly wait. If you plan on going, please come by the Leisure Arts booth and meet Drew Emborsky, Mary Beth Temple, Melissa Leapman, and me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bowls & Iced Tea Jackets

Bowls from Retreat Planning Trip

When I brought my bowls home from my trip a couple of weekends ago, I noticed that I would have to clean out my pie safe in order to fit everything in. I had to get rid of some junk that accumulated in there.

Aren’t the checked towels so cute? I found those at Kmart, and they’re from Martha Stewart’s collection. When I bought them, I thought they needed to have embroidery on them, but now, I’m thinking that they need a little crochet on the edge to go along with that rick rack. What do you think?

Pottery Mug Collection

When I was cleaning the pie safe out, I found the pottery mugs that my sister-in-law started collecting for me. I decided that the mugs needed to go in my kitchen, so they could get used instead of just collecting dust. Then, I was off in another direction. I had to get the kitchen cabinets cleaned out, so that I could put the new iced tea glasses in there, and I decided that I needed to line the shelves with some of my dresser scarves, and those needed to be ironed. So I was off running in another direction.

Iced Tea Glasses with their Jackets

Here are my iced tea jackets on my new glasses. And guess what? My husband already broke one of my glasses, so here we go again. It is such a good feeling to finally take the time to clean out and purge some things, and next is my sewing/ironing/craft room.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Secret Pals

In our KS My Stitch crochet guild, we have a fun thing that we do. We have Secret Pals. You have the choice of whether to participate or not. Last year was our first year of doing this, and I thought what a neat idea, so I signed up right away. I thought that it would be so cool if I got my friend Rosina, and, guess what, I did draw her name.

Oh my gosh, deciding what would I make for her and trying to keep it a secret from her was so much harder than I realized it would be, but I had fun with it anyway, and, of course, I signed up for it again this year.

Whoever ended up with my name, I’m sure, has had a hard time. They think, oh she crochets everything she wants to, but that would be wrong. I appreciate anything that I receive that is crocheted or handmade because I know how much work goes into all of it. (I would hate to get my name, too.) Well, the person that drew my name this year has done a wonderful job. So far, I have received a counted cross stitch bunny rabbit, cilantro (I make my own homemade salsa and she knows that), and she gave me this wonderful book of doilies, tablecloths, and bedspreads. There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t want to make out of this book. I chose this pinwheel doily to start with.

Doily I chose from Secret Pal Gift

Do you like to crochet from a chart? All of the patterns in this book have charts to go by. I would much rather use a chart than to have to read all of the words.

Diagram or Chart

Please tell me about some of the special things you do during your guild meetings.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Charity Workshop

This summer, we were set to teach some of the young adults at the Wichita Children’s Home to crochet. But the last few times we have gone, they were out doing their own thing, and there was no one to teach. So we have come up with another plan for charity. We will still be doing charity crocheting on the Saturday after the guild meeting, but we will be making some things that are needed for the home--like all sizes of afghans, baby booties, toys, and stuffed animals (with embroidered facial features not buttons).

Rosina making flowers for baby afghan

Rosina decided to add some flowers and leaves to the baby afghan she found on one of our treasure hunts. It is going to be really pretty.

Kelly making a dishcloth

Kelly has decided to make a dishcloth for the young adults who are learning the skills to make it on their own.

Pam making a granny square afghan

Pam decided to use some of her scrap yarn on this granny square afghan. The size will be determined by how much yarn she is willing to use from her stash.

Slipper Start

I chose to use some of the Lion Suede and make these cute vintage slippers from the vintage book that my sister found for me on one of her treasure hunts. I think the suede will be perfect for the slippers as the yarn is a little sticky and maybe won’t be so slick on the bottom. If it still seems to be slick when I'm finished, I will add some soles to them. I remember when I loved to slide in my slippers across the kitchen floor at home. But now that I’m older, I really like the ones with the sticky skid proof bottoms on them.

Thank you to Rosina, Kelly, and Pam for helping out with the charity workshops. I know all of you enjoy working hard for the Children’s Home.

Tell me about some of the charity projects that you are working on.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Summer Bear

Summer Bear Free Crochet Pattern 2

TLC Heathers Yarn

I found this TLC Heathers (Nutmeg) yarn in my stash, and it talked to me and said that it wanted to be a bear. So I chose this Summer Bear pattern for the free crochet pattern this Friday. The pattern tells you to hold two strands of yarn together, and I chose to only hold one strand, so it made my bear smaller.

Darla Dearlin

Little did I know, I was creating a hybrid (as my son calls it)! We think my bear looks like a cross between a dog, a bear, and a gremlin. Consequently, her name is Darla “Dearlin” (Dog, Bear, Gremlin). She’s so ugly, she’s "adorkable."

Have fun making your bears. I can’t wait to see how yours turn out.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Planning a Retreat

As I have said before, it’s my responsibility as president of KS My Stitch crochet guild to organize outside activities, and the next thing up is our Second Annual KS My Stitch Retreat. First thing I have to do is find a place to have it, and since Jinna said that we could have it at her cabin, I decided that we needed to make a little trip to check it out. Jinna’s sister Donna is here visiting her for three weeks, so she came along.

My Haul from Planning Retreat Trip

Before I arrived at the place we were to meet up, I stopped by the second hand store and found a clothes hamper, skirt (that will become the cover for the hamper, photos later), and a unique old hanger. Of course, we had to make another stop before we came to the cabin. Along the way, there is a quilt shop out in the middle of nowhere. It’s called “Needle in a Haystack”, and their sign is on the side of an old silo, and the quilt shop is in an old house. We found lots of really pretty fabric, but we found some treasures, too. They have local artists that sell their crafts in the shop, like creams, lotions, soaps, spices, and lots of crocheted items. There were also some antiques. Well, there were some stoneware bowls that couldn’t stay there and had to come home with me and a bar of soap that smelled so good I couldn’t leave it either. Jinna found some antique buttons and some yarn that she had to add to her stash. Then, it was off to the cabin, which we decided will hold ten people during the day and seven people for the night.

My Tacos

Everybody liked my tacos so much during the last retreat that I will be making my famous tacos, rice, chips and homemade salsa for our retreat lunch. We will have two class activities, and then a dinner of hamburgers and hotdogs. We'll have a movie that night; then, in the morning, we will help Jinna clean up the cabin and head home. Nearby, there is a little town called Beaumont with an historic hotel and cafe which has an airplane landing strip right next to it that pilots use to fly in just eat at the cafe. We will be stopping there for breakfast that morning. It should be lots of fun.

First Annual KS My Stitch Retreat

Do you think I could’ve taken my camera out and recorded this trip? I had it in my bag but never took it out. This is a picture of last year’s evening meal. We held the retreat at Sheri’s and had a wonderful time.

What a fun thing to do on the weekend; spend a day at the lake with crochet, friends, food, and laughter. I will let you know how it turns out, and I won’t forget to take pictures.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship with Ironing

Plaid Embroidered Tea Towel

I’m not sure if anyone else out there still irons, but I do. I love the crisp lines that ironing produces. I remember when I learned to iron. My mom would let me iron on plain pillowcases and handkerchiefs. As soon as she thought I was able, she added embroidered dresser scarves and pillowcases to my stack of ironing. I also remember the old black and silver iron that we used. It seemed so heavy for my small hands to hold, but I was determined and willing to keep trying. We also had a glass Pepsi bottle with a cork like stopper made out of aluminum with holes in it, and we used it to sprinkle each piece with a little water as our iron had no steam. My how times have changed. Now our irons have steam and a little sprinkler built right into them.

Stack of Ironing

Now that I have a family of my own, I still iron, but I find myself putting off the ironing for weeks at a time. I would much rather crochet. But just to entice myself to go ahead and tackle that stack of ironing, I will stick in a few embroidered things or crocheted items towards the bottom, so that I can see how crisp the little wrinkled up things become after ironing them. There’s nothing that makes me happier (except crochet) than to have all my laundry and ironing caught up. Next week, it starts all over again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Laptop Computer Case

I was probably almost the only person on the planet that didn’t have a computer. My husband had a computer way before I even knew how to use one. My son even had one, and I told them that I never wanted a computer of my own because I have to be in front of one all day, so why would I want one at home. Then, I started helping my sister with her patterns and decided to write a few of my own, so then I started using my husband’s computer in the basement. Then, my son decided I needed to have an email account other than my work email. So he set it up, and of course, it had to be something about crochet. Then, I started updating the blog for the KS My Stitch meetings with all the show and share pictures. So every time I would need to write, I would take my things to the basement. Then, when Leisure Arts asked me to be their blogger, I continued to write them in the basement. The weekend before Crochet Soiree launched, my husband’s computer died. With approval from my boss, I continued to write the blog entries on the weekends from my computer at work. Then on Memorial weekend, my husband surprised me with this: (Isn’t he sweet?)

My New Laptop Computer

I think I’m in love with a computer. I get to carry it around the house with me. And guess what it needs? It needs a crocheted case. Of course, I started out making the case pictured below for my computer case, but I got so involved with the tapestry crochet that I forgot to measure it on my computer until it was too late, so guess what? My son's DVD player needs a case, and it fits perfectly in it.

Dog in sweater

I have started a new design for my computer case, and here is just a sneak peek of what it’s going to consist of:

Dog in sweater

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July


Flag Coaster & Star Coaster

Happy Independence Day!!! Look at the potholders and coasters I've been making! Can you tell that I've been looking forward to the Fourth of July?

When I think of the 4th, I again think back to my childhood when everything was different. When it came to celebrate Independence Day, it meant another three-day weekend with my dad off of work. Our house was big, and we lived in the country on ten acres, so all the relatives would come to our house to gather. Some would bring their fireworks out to put on a fireworks display.

The best part of all was that my mom really seemed to enjoy all the relatives coming to her home, and I remember she would again pull out all of her quilts and bedding so they could spend the night, and she could show off some of the things that she had completed, like her quilts, embroidered dresser scarves, or a crocheted doily that she had just made.

The other thing that I remember is my mom telling my dad and my brothers the day before the 4th to make sure that they soaked the ice cream freezer in water. After she got the dishes done from lunch, she would make her lovely creamy concoction of homemade ice cream, and if you haven’t had homemade ice cream, you haven’t lived. There is nothing like my mom’s homemade ice cream from that big huge wooden five-gallon freezer. All of us took turns turning the handle, and mostly my sister and I would take turns sitting on the freezer while my brothers would turn the handle. We sat way high up on the top of jean quilts as they held the cold in best.

Tell me about your celebrations for the 4th.