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Category Archives: crochet

I Must Tell You About My Weekend!

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Camping At Lum’s Pond

My granddaughter Charli was participating in the Diamondman Triathlon (children’s division) last weekend at Lum’s Pond Sate Park in Delaware.  So a camping weekend was in order for Lana and her family and Paul and me!

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We arrived Friday afternoon and spent the next few hours getting set up.  Lana and her family were staying in a yurt directly on the banks of the pond.  We were a short distance away in a site designated for larger RVs.

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The fog was still rolling off the water on Saturday morning at 6:30 AM as Charli prepared for the swim.  The weather was quite chilly and some swimmers were wearing wetsuits.

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The second leg of the triathlon was the biking.  Soaking wet, Charli raced to the transition area and jumped onto her bike.  She completed her ride and quickly dropped her bike to begin her run.  When all the excitement was over, she finished in about the middle for her age group, the 12 year olds.

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We enjoyed a quick lunch after the big event. Troy and Charli were worn out from the morning exertion and spent the remainder of the day bumming around the campsite.  Sammi wanted to practice her driving and finally talked Troy into letting her drive the jeep. The two of them dragged the kyak down to the water and took a peaceful paddle in the pond.

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As evening approached, Lana helped to build a fire by gathering kindling.  Sammi placed the kindling in the grate and before darkness fell, we were all chowing down on barbecued brisket, sausages, corn on the cob, baked beans, pasta salad and turtle pie.

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Sunday morning found everyone sleeping late.  Paul and I prepared a big breakfast of pancakes, fruit, sausages, bacon, and corn muffins.  By 11 AM, Lana and family had to decamp and head home for Charli’s Fall Softball game.  What a great weekend it had been! I’ll end this account with a few more pictures of our visit to Lum’s Pond and the Diamondman Triathlon:

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Projects

 

Bits ‘N Bobs

Bits and bobs

The folks in the UK have a saying for what we in the US call odds and ends, this and that, or chachkies.  They use the term “bits and bobs”.  Or at least they used that term in the 80′s when some of their older police dramas were filmed.  We occasionally watch these police dramas on Netflix and have been getting a kick out of some of the expressions.  So I thought I would post some of my summer “bits and bobs” today.  First, crochet!

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Riverstone Cowl

My younger sister, Chris, is having a birthday in September.  She has had several neck and back surgeries and frequently must wear a neck brace to support her head.  I thought that a nice warm cowl would be just the ticket to wrap around the brace and keep her warm when the wind blows on the PA mountain where she shares a log cabin with her partner, Glen.  Chris also suffers from the same hair loss that plagues me.  The last time I saw her, she was wearing a jaunty fedora.  Wouldn’t it be nice to make her a fedora to match the scarf?

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I chose two great patterns from Ravelry.  The Calm Cowl has been so popular that it has generated thousands of projects from admiring crochet fiends.  This cowl is beautiful yet classic and rugged.  It’s just the ticket for life on the mountain.  The Fedora Hat will work up perfectly in the Filatura Lanarota Fashion Tweed yarn that I have in my stash.

Karen’s Visit

My other sister, Karen, came to visit in July and as usual, we had lots of food and fun!  One activity that we had never done since living in PA is to take a ride on the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat.

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The trip only took about an hour but the captain was very knowledgeable and told us about the role that the Susquehanna played during the Civil War.  The view of Harrisburg from the riverboat offers a perspective that we had not previously seen.  When driving through the streets of town, Harrisburg appeared unremarkable.  But when we saw the town from the water, we were surprised to see how attractive it is.

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Gifts From A Friend

I was very lucky to receive two great gifts last month.  My friend Rose had given me a vintage cookie press that she received from a friend who was moving to a retirement home.  I had always wanted to make the spritz cookies that I had seen in magazines at Christmas.  The set that Rose gave me is in beautiful condition and I am excited about trying some of the recipes in the booklet that was enclosed with the press.

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And the other gift is actually for my grandson, Michael.  I am sure that this life-sized cutout of Johnny Depp once graced the lobby of a movie theater but now he has taken up residence in the guest room.  When Michael and Erika visit for the week next Monday, he will be there to keep them company.  In the meantime, Frazier has not taken kindly to this interloper.  If I don’t keep the door to the guest room closed, he will snarl and charge the cutout!  I hope that this thing manages to stay intact until Michael can take it home!

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Posted by on August 13, 2013 in crochet, Projects, This 'N That

 

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Taking A Break

I see that it has been a few weeks since I last posted.   Summer is in full swing and crochet is snoozing on the sidelines.  I am still working on my Calypso Clutch but had to take a break to e-mail Lindsay Jarvis at Interweave Crochet Magazine for the dimensions of the side panels.  My gauge is a bit smaller and I want to be sure that the bag assembles properly when done.  Lindsay couldn’t have been nicer!  She located the sample clutch and did the measurements.  What service!

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I also had to take some time out to go car shopping.  The 2002 Taurus that we inherited from Paul’s dad when he passed away finally became too expensive to repair.  I had been pushing for new wheels for several years now but I think there was a sentimental hurdle to overcome on Paul’s part.  Our new ride is a charcoal grey Nissan Altima.

I must  spend some time learning the electronic features.  This car does everything!  I synced my iPhone up and now I can answer the phone by pushing a button on the steering wheel.  All the commands are voice commands so that making and receiving calls is completely hands-free.  I also no longer have to dig in my purse for my key as everything is keyless!  I wonder how the electronically challenged folks will manage with these new vehicles!

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Next week I will enjoy a visit from my sister Karen who lives in West Palm Beach.  We always have a great time together, bumming around second-hand shops and flea markets.  We plan to ride the New Freedom Steam Train and visit Chesapeake City.  If time permits, we might also drive up to Longwood Gardens.  It will be a week of dining out and enjoying a mini-vacation at home!  I’ll post photos.

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I hope that all my readers are enjoying a beautiful summer.  It always seems that the summer season is so short.  I noticed that WalMart already has their school supply display at the front of the store.  Keep cool everyone and I will be back in a couple of weeks!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in crochet, This 'N That

 

The Perfect Summer Project

Calypso Clutch

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The Spring Issue of Interweave Crochet had the cutest little bag designed by Brenda K.B. Anderson.  The bag features chevrons in alternating colors, side gussets, and two bold buttons to set off the front flap.  As soon as I saw it, I knew that this would be the perfect summer project.  The yarn I chose is Cleo from Plymouth Yarns.  It is 100% cotton and very lightweight.  I ordered 2  hanks of each color, gray and lavender.   These two colors are so close in tone that they virtually blend together.  I have to admit that this is a combination that I would not have considered before seeing the one in the magazine.

At first I had a lot of trouble with the initial row of chevrons.  They must be worked into a chain space several rows below and I discovered that my chain spaces were almost impossible to see once subsequent rows had been crocheted on top of them.  After ripping my work out several times I finally decided to mark the chain spaces with stitch markers.  Once I got beyond that first row of chevrons, it was all downhill from then on.  The rows began to flow off my hook without effort and the result is a beautifully thick and textured fabric.

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Because you are working over top of previous rows, this project does take some time to complete.  The work does not grow as quickly as most crochet.  But because this is a little whimsical endeavor anyway, I’m finding it very satisfying and enjoyable to work.  My lap is not covered with hot, wooly yarn and I can hold the whole thing in one hand!  I believe that I will add a wrist strap or a shoulder strap to my finished bag.  But first, there is the assembly, plastic canvas, and lining to finish.  Quite a fun little project!

Miller Plant Farm

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Who wouldn’t like to go to a plant farm on a day that the weather is sunny and warm and you get to taste tidbits offered by area restaurants?  And you get 50% off any plant that you buy?  Well, that’s what we thought so we headed north to Leader Heights PA.  Miller Plant Farm is beautiful!  We had to pay $10 each to take part in the tidbit-tasting but it was well worth it.  Indoors and outdoors various restaurants and markets had set up serving tables and were offering everything from barbecue beef sliders to chocolate covered peanut butter balls.  All of the meats and vegetables had been raised locally.  Our favorite treat was a penne and seafood pasta dish being served at the Paddock Restaurant in York PA.  Not to be outdone, The Glen Rock Mill Inn was cooking up roasted vegetable skewers and delectable appetizers.  Miller Plant Farm was responsible for that decadent treat, the chocolate covered peanut butter balls.  After eating one of those, you are not hungry anymore!  I was particularly interested in Sonnewald Natural Foods.  They were offering coffee and tea made from dandelions and beet juice.  I only tasted the coffee.  It vaguely resembles traditional coffee in its color but the taste is much milder.  Not bad actually.

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After moving to PA 4 years ago, Paul and I did not spend much time investigating the restaurants in that area.  We tended to rely on habit and patronized the eateries that we knew across the state line in Maryland.  After all, both of us had lived in Maryland our whole lives!  I have to be honest when I say that we had a slight disdain for the small city of York and its lack of amenities.  We bemoaned the fact that there was virtually no cultural influence and we assumed that the restaurants would be inferior to those across the Mason-Dixon Line.  But we were wrong!  Armed with menus, brochures, and business cards as well as pages of recipes, we now have a good idea of where to dine next time we go out.

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After eating our fill we got down to the business of shopping.  The store has everything imaginable for the yard and garden, all kinds of food, and many gift items besides.  We were quite taken with a small wall piece that was a combination gel fireplace and fountain.  The space in our home does not allow for a fireplace so I was gazing longingly at this item.  I was also quite taken with the beautiful art glass bird feeders and bowls.  As you can see from the photos, there was much to admire.

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Outdoors we enjoyed the array of flowers and shrubs that were on display.  Our mission was to buy a Crepe Myrtle for our side yard and we found a nice specimen right away.  The helpful saleslady encouraged us to get a cart immediately and reserve the plant before somebody else decided that they wanted it.  That 50% off had folks loading up their carts as quickly as they could!  In another area, a small enclosure held a calf that had just been born.  Little children were coming along to pet this delightful little creature.  Paul loaded the tree into our truck while I took another quick turn through the gift shop.  No more purchases for me so we headed back down the road after a very enjoyable afternoon!

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What’s Happening At JC Penny?

JC Penny is renovating selected stores and adding a cutting-edge home department; think Crate and Barrel or IKEA but even trendier.  I spent a bit of time walking around the White Marsh, MD store last week and was impressed by the variety of up-to-date merchandise that was available.  Not only was it beautiful, but it was also displayed in imaginative ways.  I’m a pushover for contemporary furniture and I saw several items that were worth drooling over!  It remains to be seen if Pennys can sustain this new venture but I sure hope so!  I couldn’t help taking a photo of a couple of crochet pouffs…

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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in crochet, Projects, This 'N That

 

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Crochet Designers are Shooting the Lights Out!

Crochet Has Come A Long Way

Gone are the days when little old ladies stitched up day-glo orange and brown granny afghans in church basements.  I began to seriously follow crochet on-line in 2002.  At first all I could find were some vintage patterns offered on ebay.  Kim Guzman had a website that had a few free patterns. Cylinda Matthews and a few other folks were posting photos of crochet projects on the web.  Crochetville.org was born soon thereafter and the explosion began!

But even in those early days, many crochet designs copied the earlier vintage looks.  Worsted weight yarn was a heavy (and I mean HEAVY) favorite.  Acrylic was very popular because it was economical  and the leader was clearly Red Heart.  Gradually soft acrylic yarns, such as Caron Simply Soft,  became the norm.  Today, you will see crochet designs in everything from thread and lace to super bulky weight yarns.

Once the website Ravelry came on-line, crocheters were able to view collections of patterns in every conceivable yarn weight.  The search system over at Ravelry is still the most useful for gaining inspiration.  You can enter your desired item (sweater, bag, toy) and desired yarn weight (fingering, worsted, sport) as well as the yardage that you have on hand.  Up come pages and pages of photographs with the corresponding patterns and information about the designer!

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Not to be outdone, today’s crochet magazines jumped on the bandwagon.  There are now four major crochet magazines but my favorite is still Interweave Crochet.  The editors at Interweave Press consistently present sophisticated designs that use new and delectable yarns.  This month they outdid themselves.

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Vashti Braha, a fellow Raveler, has a stunning shawl on page 20.  The Ennis Shawl is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright with its architectural border.  For this shawl, Vashti chose a very economical yarn, Southwest Trading Company’s Bamboo.  You will only need two skeins for this beauty!

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Vashti is also the designer of my favorite piece in the magazine.  The Electra Wrap is worked in mohair and features an easy love-knot stitch.  Two different yarns give this shawl a 3-dimensional look.  And according to the editors of Interweave Crochet, this shawl looks airy but is actually quite warm.

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Mimi Alelis is a crochet friend from my early Crochetville days.  Her specialty is thread crochet and she offers a variety of colored threads on her website.  Her Hibiscus Tunic is simply gorgeous.  It is feminine without being fussy and can be worn as a swimsuit cover-up or as an overblouse to a tank top.

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And Kathryn White, another friend from Crochetville, is a true crochet artist.  Her intricate doilies have won many awards and have been published in many magazines.  For Interweave Crochet this month, she has designed the Love Is A Rose Shawl that is featured on the cover.  This shawl can be worn as a shoulder wrap or as a waist sarong.  What a beauty to take to the beach or to wear over a sundress!

There are many other wonderful summertime designs in Interweave Crochet.  Just because the warm weather has arrived, there is no excuse to lay aside your hook!  This summer’s designs and lightweight yarns can keep you occupied through many a balmy evening.  Let’s hear it for some of the most innovative designers in the field!

DIY Leather-Look Lamp Project: Update

Here are the photos of my finished lamp.  As I stated previously, I ran into a couple of snags but I managed to overcome the problems and to finally finish the decoupage overlay on my old ceramic lamp.  The leather-look finish that I was after is not really in evidence here.  I don’t know why the finish ended up looking so shiny.  I tried to tone it down with a matte coat of polyurethane but it still came up quite glossy.

Despite the disparity between what I had envisioned and the end result, I am very happy with how it turned out.  To dress up the top rim where the base meets the harp, I cut an old belt to size and glued it around the edge.  A quick trip to Joann’s for trim netted me a beautiful copper-shaded cord which I attached to the shade on the top and bottom edges with fabric glue.

This lamp looks much better in my living room than the previous more modern fixture.  It has some real bulk which serves to balance out the arc lamp on the other side of the sofa.  Additionally, the more versatile bulb mechanism allows me to set the light level at three different brightnesses.  The bigger shade allows more light to shine onto my work area.  And I really do love the finish on the base!  It may be a bit shiny but it has a great textured look and feel.

I know that I will try a paper craft like this  again.  The next time I will use heavy craft paper instead of the thinner picture-frame backing that I used for my lamp.  I will be sure to use dark shoe polish ( Thanks Dee Bullock! ) instead of the oil-based stain that I had on hand and I would color the paper before I coated it with Modge Podge.  I think that the shoe polish would have added more emphasis to the raised areas of the paper.  As with most DIY projects, you have to give yourself a little leeway and adjust your methods as you go along.  This was certainly the case here but I am pleased to say that this project was a success!

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I’ll leave you with a photo of the wildflowers that are growing next to our shed.  On a whim, Paul threw a few handfuls of wildflower seed onto the unsightly mound of pineneedles and dirt that borders our shed along the back fence line.  What a feast for the eyes this little spot has become!

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Beautiful, Beautiful Shawl!

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I have to say that I think that this is the prettiest item that I have ever made.  Just look how weightless and airy this shawl is!  I mentioned before that I am not a fan of wearing lace but oh, how I love to make it!  Not only is the pattern repeat very interesting and keeps you on your toes as you were crocheting, but the lace trim is simply scrumptious.  The yarn, called Scrumptious, is a blend of Merino Wool and Silk.   A good blocking opened out all of those beautiful fans and fillet stitches.  Honestly, when you have it on your shoulders, you can hardly tell that you are wearing it.  My mom is the only person I know who will wear a lace shawl and appreciate the effort that has gone into making it.  I’ll let my sister take it back to Florida with her in July and give it to my mother for her birthday.

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Faux-Leather Lamp Project

Everything was going along swimmingly with my lamp project.  I had torn and crumpled the brown paper, glued it to the lamp base and covered it with Modge Podge several times.  The trouble started when I decided to stain it brown because the light color was not working in my living room.  I used a Minwax stain that we had on hand and I didn’t notice that it was also a sealer and was oil-based.  I applied the stain with a foam brush and then wiped it off with a rag.  The stain was causing the Modge Podge underneath to soften and become sticky.  Then I noticed places where it had apparently bled through the Modge Podge and caused what appeared to be unsightly ink blotches on the finish.

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This was not a happy development!  If only I had used a nice water-based stain instead!  Oh well, it was too late for that but I found a good solution to the problem.  wherever the stain had blotched, I simply tore some more paper and made patches, applying the Modge Podge extra thick this time.  Of course the patches were much lighter so I had to wait 3 days for everything to dry and then I stained the patches.  I am actually quite pleased that this happened because the base was looking a bit monotone without the relief of the lighter patches.  Now it has to dry again for a few days.  I will still put a light coat of a coppery colored glaze over the whole thing and then seal it with polyurethane.  You’ll notice that it now appears extremely shiny.  I’m hoping that a matte coat of polyurethane will tone that down.

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The shade still needs some work.  I think that I will add a bit of trim to the top and bottom edges.  I had purchased a subtle animal-print ribbon that I had intended to use but Paul did not like it at all!  So it is back to the drawing board as far as the shade is concerned.  I guess I’ll have to make a trip to Joann’s next week to see if I can find some nice trim.

So just to re-cap:

Supplies

  1. Brown Craft Paper or Brown Paper Bags
  2. Modge Podge
  3. Foam Brushes
  4. Water-Based Stain
  5. Pigmented Glaze
  6. polyurethane

These are the supplies you will need if you want to begin a faux leather project.  In my next post I will show you the completed lamp with its enhanced shade.

Market Bags

The market bags that you buy in the supermarket may be ecologically beneficial but they get extremely dirty after a few uses.  I’ve noticed that the bottoms of mine were stained with everything from meat juices to spilled milk.  Instead of throwing them away and buying new ones, I’ve decided to use up some of my scrap yarn making bags that are washable.  However, it’s difficult to find a market bag pattern that has a square bottom.  I like to be able to have my grocery items stand up  in some kind of decent order instead of falling all over the place.  Enter that clever designer, bobwilson123!  This lady has made a film tutorial on utube of how to make a square-bottom market bag that even beginners can master.

You can see that my bag holds both of my yoga blocks.  It will also hold a lot of groceries!  I used Elan.com Sonata sport weight cotton for my bag.  This is a lovely yarn.  It’s very sturdy and a bit rough, just perfect for a market bag.  It has been discontinued but I had 6 skeins left over from a project I made in 2006 and have been wondering what to do with this yarn ever since.  I made 2 bags and each one took about 345 yards.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Crafty Home Decor, crochet, Projects

 

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DIY Leather-Look Table Lamp

When we changed out our furniture in the living room, I relegated my mom’s 80′s style pink and white lamp to the basement.  I did this with a certain amount of regret because this lamp has a nice stylish barrel shade and stands 30″ tall.  It also has a very functional 3-way switch that made this lamp perfect for reading or for crochet.  But I wanted something contemporary that would compliment my new tables.  I ended up buying two wood and brushed chrome lamps with oval shades.  Gradually, one of the lamps went to the guest room and I restored my thrift-shop arc lamp in its place.  Now I am ready to send the other one downstairs to the Paul’s bat cave.  I’m tired of squinting to see my needlework and I definitely have always disliked the shade seam that is on the side instead of in the back!  So I unearthed the pink lamp and considered it with a jaundiced eye.

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I wanted to make it match my living room furniture without spending a fortune.  I know, I could just go out and buy a new lamp but I really am attached to this one for some reason. It was in my parents’ house when they moved to the retirement home and it is one of only a few pieces that I saved.   And I really, really have wanted to try the leather-look idea that I have seen on-line.  By simply tearing craft paper into pieces and glueing it down, you can re-do anything from  picture frames to floors!  That was just too tempting to resist!

So this is the way it works: 1) you tear brown craft paper into pieces  2) you wrinkle them up in your hand  3) you glue them onto your item  and let it dry  4) you stain and glaze the craft paper to make it look like leather   5)  you polyurethane the whole thing to protect it.  Very simple!

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So I gathered my supplies, tore up the brown paper, and wrinkled it in my hand.  Then I glued the pieces to my lamp with Elmer’s Glue, pressing the wrinkles into folds and overlapping randomly.    I used a small foam brush and mixed the glue with some water in a plastic container to make it a bit thinner.

The glueing took about 3 hours. I also made a small practice piece by partially covering the top of a cardboard box.  In this way, I will be able to test my stain and glaze. Now my lamp is drying and will be ready to stain and glaze in a day or two.  I am quite excited about the way that this has turned out so far.  The white material you see on the lamp is the glue that has not dried yet.

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Izumi Shawl

I am still working on the Izumi Shawl and am now ready to begin the lace edging on each end.  This has been a fun pattern to work and the shawl is coming along very well.  It is so lovely that I may have a hard time gifting it to my mom!

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Izumi, Water Infusion, and the Glories of Spring

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In a previous post I mentioned how I was smitten with this pattern.  Instead of trying to approximate a similar edging on my Richelieu Scarf, I ended up with something completely different but my love of the Izumi Shawl could not be requited until I had purchased, downloaded, and hooked the pattern!  I had the beautiful deep rose lace Merino Wool yarn that I had purchased in Chesapeake City and there was just enough in the hank to make this project.  To be on the safe side, I subtracted one of the repeats, making it slightly narrower.

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At first I almost ditched the G hook and switched to an F.  My stitches were coming out very loose and baggy and the delicate filet pattern that begins the shawl was not evident at all.  Mindful again of my limited yardage, I stuck with the G.  When I referred back to Ravelry and inspected some of the other Izumi Shawls that had been made, I was heartened to learn that some aggressive blocking will bring out the pattern.  So I am persevering with this lovely wisp of lace.  Funny, I virtually never wear anything lacy and only very seldom do I actually wear a shawl.  Perhaps I will give this to my mom who does were shawls and loves a lacy look.

Primula Infuze′

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My daughter Heather gave me a wonderful gift for Mother’s Day.  I had often sought to buy some flavored water that was unsweetened but tasted fruity and fresh.  There are a few products out there on the market but they are expensive and you really have no control over the ingredients.  The Primula Infuze′ pitcher comes with three inserts, a cylinder filled with gel to place in the freezer, a tea infuser and a basket tha holds fruit and herbs.

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In my first foray into water infusion I used strawberries and fresh mint.  I should add here that you will want to use organic products because the fruit will steep in the water for 12 hours or more and you don’t want any pesticides leaching out into your water.  The flavor was very subtle and delicious with the mint overriding the strawberry essence.  Next I tried the cucumber and mint combination.  While this concoction was also very good, I found that the cucumber had a slightly gassy effect on me so I moved on to trial # 3.

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This time I used one of my all-time favorite fruits, apples, and included 4 sticks of cinnamon in the basket.  As far as I’m concerned this is the most successful of all.  I adore the subtle flavor of apples and cinnamon and will probably make this often.  I have yet to try the orange and lemon combination.  A real consideration here is the cost.  Once you have used almost 2 cups of sliced fruit, you must really throw it out or put it on your compost pile.  The fruit is waterlogged and unsightly and not fit for consumption.  Strawberries and other berries can be quite expensive, making each glass of water expensive too. Apples, lemons, oranges, and tea not so much.

The Glories of Spring

For whatever reason, this year’s display of blooming trees and flowers has been over the top.  Perhaps it has something to do with the cooler weather that we have had but everyone in our area agrees that nature has put on her finest.  Mother’s Day, my birthday, and our anniversary all fall in May and I have been gifted with some extraordinary flowers that are still filling my home with fragrance.  The yard has brought forth its abundance and we are still anticipating the flowering of the Star Dogwood in front of the house.  Here is a gallery of photos of the beauty that has graced our lives this month.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in crochet, Projects, This 'N That

 

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Richelieu Scarf

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The beauty of a lacy scarf is often found in the edging.  I spent quite a bit of time researching various borders and edgings to find just the right look for this scarf.  I wanted something that looked complicated but was easy to do.  So I started out by making several different edgings using leftover sock yarn.

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Both the body and the border on this scarf are very easy and they work up quickly making this an ideal project for a gift.  This is not a long scarf but it will wrap around the neck three times.  If you would like to make it longer, simply work more rows but you will then need another ball of yarn.

The whole thing only took one ball of Knitting Fever Painted Desert, which is a fingering-weight yarn.  I had a little bit of yarn left over from my ball.  The ball I bought in a yarn store cost me $13 but I believe that you can find it on-line for less.  When working with the Painted Desert, you will notice subtle shading from one color to another.  The color changes are long so there is no pooling.  I must say that the yarn was a bit crinkly to work with.  The strand wanted to twist and turn, keeping some of the longer chains from lying flat.  However, you will have to spend some time carefully blocking your project.  The extra effort is worh it!  I hope that you will enjoy this new free pattern from Wolf Crochet.  Just click he link below!

Richelieu Scarf

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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in crochet

 

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New Yarn–New Project

I love the Knitting Fever Painted Desert yarn that I bought in Chesapeake City last week!  It took me a while to come up with a project since I only had one skein of 437 yards.  It wasn’t enough for a shawl but really a bit much for a scarf.  Since I haven’t done much with lace crochet, I envisioned an airy all-season scarf with a non-perpendicular stitch pattern.  I toyed with the idea of using the same pattern that is featured in that oh-so-beautiful Alpine Frost Scarf  by Amy O’Neill Houck but I wanted to design my own.

Finally I settled on the star trellis stitch pattern.  That decision led to another whole issue.  I didn’t find this pattern in my stitch dictionary but in one of my other books.  I suddenly realized how completely inadequate my stitch dictionary was!

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I had purchased it years ago at a used book sale and it contains knitting as well as crochet stitches.  The number of patterns is limited, the instructions are not well written, and there are no charts.  I have been limping along with this thing for too long!  So I decided to treat myself to this dictionary.  It contains 500 crochet patterns, which should keep me happy for a while.

Dict3Dict4

My new dictionary does not squeeze instructions for four or five stitch patterns onto one page.  It shows no more than 2 stitch patterns per page and always includes a chart.  I love it!

Yarn2a

But I digress…I love the way that this yarn shades from deep magenta to deep blue.  The colors are much darker than in the above photo.  One problem I am having, which I seem to ALWAYS have when making a lacy scarf, is that my edges are looking a bit funky.  I had to restart this project 4 times because if I followed the instructions for the edge stitches, I ended up with gaping holes on each side and the sides of the scarf were bowing outwards significantly.  After a bit of trial and error I came up with a set of end stitches that I could live with but the edges still seem crooked to me.  In the end, I will probably run a row of stitching along the edges, we’ll see.  Maybe once it is blocked it will be straight.

I am completely smitten with the lace edging on this scarf and this scarf.  I could do something similar to  second edging by designing a half-circle motif for the ends.

Dilemma

CT

Crochet Today  is a great little magazine.  The patterns are usually in the “Easy” to “Intermediate” range and they make use of some of the more popular yarns that can be purchased at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.  I’ve made many great projects from Crochet Today.  But recently I’ve decided to limit myself to one magazine and I chose Interweave Crochet.  I have many back issues of Crochet Today and some of them contain projects that I will never make.  How in the world do you get rid of them?  My local Goodwill will not take them.  I would send them out as give-aways but the postage is getting too expensive to do that for all of them.  The local senior centers don’t want them.  Oh I hate to just throw them away!

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2013 in crochet, Projects

 

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