Saturday, January 29, 2011

Healing Power of Crochet

I went to the doctors today because my stomach (pancreatitis) is flaring up again, and found out I have diverticulitis, too. I'm not complaining to you, don't get me wrong. What made my visit with my doctor much better was how impressed he was with how calm I was! He asked me what I was doing to maintain my peacefulness with all that was going on with me. I simply pointed to the bag at my feet and said my best medicine right now is crochet!

When I work with my hooks and yarn, it gives me something else to concentrate on other than how bad I feel. One thought that keeps running through my head is one of amazement. I can hardly believe that I can take a simple string or yarn, and turn it into FABRIC to warm a body, or a toy to bring a child joy or a beautiful new bag that is truly one of a kind.

I mean, think about it? How many people other than a knitter or crocheter or any other fiber artist can say that? I don't think everyoe understands that, It just recently hit me like that, 'I can turn string into fabric with a simple stick! How awesome is that?'

I also think that it's something that we fiber artists should be very proud of.

I hope all my friends and loved ones are having a weekend as wonderful as they are!
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Friday, January 28, 2011

New Toy - Off My Hook Extra

I've been having a bad day, health-wise, but thanks to positive reading from some of my favorite blogs, and the warming comfort of crochet, I'm making it through with a glad attitude!

I made this chubby little baby today. There's just something about working with a hook and yarn and a picture in my head that makes almost anything bearable. Do you ever feel like that?

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Off My Hook Thursday

I finally finished my granny hoodie! I used the same basic pattern that I crocheted Brianna's cardigan with, but this time I added a hood to it. I didn't have a pattern to follow for the hood, just winged it, and now that it's complete, I can see what I want to change for the next one. Yes, there will be a next one.

I've had more than my usual trouble sleeping last night, so I crocheted a new beanie for Brianna. She hasn't seen it yet, so no photo. As soon as I can get her to try it on, I'll post some pictures. I used the free pattern found here. You have to register to view the patterns, but it's free and there are so many wonderful patterns, not only for crochet, but knitting as well. The hat is a very easy pattern to follow and works up so fast!

Now I'm working on a surprise for someone else. I can't tell you what it is or post any pictures because her mommy reads this blog, and she likes to read over mommy's shoulder! I'll wait instead until I've finished it and mailed it to her.

What are you crafting? I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Morning World

Good morning" said the Sun
as he gently kissed the Sky.
He rose to start the day
as a blush spread across her face.

I hope this day finds you all happy, healthy and loved!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Food! Glorious Food!

Today is grocery shopping day. My daughter and I make a menu for lunches and dinners for a whole week, and plan the grocery shopping around that menu. We are vegetarians, so must be a little creative with our meals. This week, I thought I'd share our menu with you.

Lunch - Leftovers (Whatever happens to be in the fridge from meals from the week before. It's eaten buffet style, which adds to the fun.)
Dinner - Redone Lentils and yellow rice.

Lunch - Hash brown Casserole and Muffins.
Dinner - Mexican Polenta and Rice

Lunch - Gingery Quinia Salad with apples, peas and coconut, Bread
Dinner - Lasagna Roll ups, Bread sticks, and salad

Lunch - Asparagus and Olives Linguine, Bread sticks.
Dinner - Eastern European Red Lentil Soup, Olive Oil Crackers (homemade), salad.

Lunch - Scones (homemade), Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits, Veggie sausage.
Dinner - Pizza topped with artichoke hearts, fresh tomato slices, black olives and feta cheese.

Lunch - Corn Fritters with Creamed Spinach, applesauce.
Dinner - Peanut Noodles, Snow Peas with a single herb.

Lunch - Cabbage Calzones.
Dinner - Cheese Verde Enchiladas, yellow rice, strawberries.


I should mention a few things. My daughter and I take turns cooking, each making one meal a day, the other cleaning up after said meal. My granddaughter is in charge of all the clean ups on the weekends.

Also, the only bread we ever buy from the store is rye bread. All other bread or bread products we make from scratch, including the bread sticks, scones and pizza dough featured on this menu.

The most read books in our household are the cookbooks. We have one whole shelf full of cookbooks, plus a box full out in the garage of them that we either don't care for or don't have enough use for.

What about you? Do you plan your menus day by day or by the week like us? Do you have a favorite cookbook? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Introducing Princess Wendy NeKe

It's another chilly morning here in north east Florida, perfect weather for cuddling up and working on my new cardigan. The warmth the yarn fabric gives reminds me of the warm feelings I get from my furbabies, ferrets Wendy (full name Princess Wendy NeKe) and Bubba (full name Prince Ga'arra). I could write volumes about both Wendy and Bubba, their various antics and all the love and joy they bring to my life, but I thought I'd start with just a short intro to Wendy.

I got Wendy when she was just about 6 weeks old (she's now almost 4 years old). We were living just outside Chicago, Illinois, and I already had a ferret, Sugar Bob (a long, sad story I'll tell you about some other time. Anyway, I took one look at Wendy and she captured my heart. She has the sweetest personality! Wendy has the ability to sense just what her 'mommy' needs at any time and does her best to fulfill that need. She, like all ferrets, is playful, loving, curious, and a seemingly endless ball of energy. I've always said that ferrets are like the best of a dog and cat mixed together. They are loyal and loving, and never out grow the playful kitten stage. They also use a litter box inside the house, and with proper training, love to go for long walks on a leash.

Some of my favorite things about Wendy is when she curls up on my chest or lap for a nap, how she loves to ride inside my jacket when the weather gets too chilly for her, and when she walks up to me, and looks right at me with a doleful expression on her face. That's her signal for, "Pick me up, Mommy, I'm too tired to walk now".

Wendy fills my life with love, joy, laughter, and brightness. What more could you ask from a loyal companion?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Night is Pizza Night!

Fridays are pizza night in our house. Tonight we had Pizza Margarita. Homemade from scratch pizza crust, a little olive oil, fresh slices of ripe tomato, a dash of salt and pepper, and a generous topping of fresh mozzarella cheese. After it's baked, while it's still hot, we top it with some chopped fresh basil.

It was yummy!

Where to Go? What to Do?

I realize that I seem to be focused on my crochet lately in my blog. I have no intentions of making this a primarily crochet blog, but I do like to show off my work once in a while. Plus, it gives you an idea of what else I do to fill the hours of my days.

Right now I'm in the process of figuring out where I want to go with my blogging. I'm considering a plan that would focus on a different subject every day. For example, Mondays would be Family Day, Tuesdays would be Food, Wednesday would be Writing (poetry or short stories), Thursdays would be Crafting or Crochet, and Fridays would be Anything Goes.

Nothing's set in stone yet, but I believe a plan like this would keep me focused on my blogging, with a little less pressure on me to come up with ideas for what to post about.

I'm interested in your opinion. What do you think of this idea?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Finally Finished!

A simple granny square lapghan using Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Soft White, Bikini, and Black colorways using an "I" hook. This took me longer to make than I thought it would as I changed my pattern after I started making it and the squares turned out smaller than I planned. Of course, I didn't realize that until I started assembling my blocks into the lapghan! I had to make another row of squares, then added a couple more inches to it by using the Cathedral Edging.

I do love the way the colors go together, this is a bright happy lapghan as far as I'm concerned!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Off My Hook!

My granddaughter and I were yarn shopping the other day, and she fell in love with Red Heart Super Saver Multi in the Bikini colorway. I knew I would have to make her something in it, so I went searching for a pattern to use, and found this Granny Cardigan by Yarn Artist.

I made a few adaptations to the pattern, mainly in the sleeves so that the cold breezes couldn't blow up them. I am very happy with the way it turned out, and so is she!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowy Owlet (Crochet Amigurumi)


Materials needed:

small amount of 4 ply (ww) yarn, for body, eyes, wings and wing trim, and feet (I used Yarn Bee's Cameo ivory for the body and wings referred to in pattern as main color, Yarn Bee's Cameo black for the eye rings, Caron Simply Soft Shadows pearl frost for wing trim, and Caron Simply Soft mango for the feet)
size 3 crochet thread for beak (I used Senso Metallics black)
"G" hook
"C" hook
stitch markers
Darning needle
2 post eyes (I used the snap on post and back type eyes, don't know what they're typically called.)
fiberfill for stuffing

Abbreviations used:
sc = single crochet
st = stitch
ss = slip stitch
inc = increase (do 2 single crochets in one stitch)
dec = decrease ( insert hook into first stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through the two loops on your hook)

Body: (make one)

As amigurumi is made in spirals, do not join rounds. Use a stitch marker or a piece of thread or yarn to mark the end of your rounds.
With "G" hook, and main color:
Start 8 sc in a magic ring. (8 sc)
Rnd 2: *1 sc in first st, 2 sc (inc) in second st* repeat from * to * around. (12 sc)
Rnd 3: *1 sc in first 2 st, 2 sc (inc) in third st* repeat from * to * around. (16 sc)
Rnd 4: *1 sc in first 3 st, 2 sc (inc) in fourth st* repeat from * to * around. (20 sc)
Rnd 5: *1 sc in first 4 st, 2 sc (inc) in fifth st* repeat from * to * around. (24 sc)
Rnd 6: *1 sc in first 5 st, 2 sc (inc) in sixth st* repeat from * to * around. (28 sc)
Rnd 7: *1 sc in first 6 st, 2 sc (inc) in seventh st* repeat from * to * around. (32 sc)
Rnd 8: *1 sc in first 7 st, 2 sc (inc) in eighth st* repeat from * to * around. (36 sc)
Rnd 9: *1 sc in first 8 st, 2 sc (inc) in ninth st* repeat from * to * around. (40 sc)
Rnds 10 - 12: work even (40 sc)
Rnd 13: *sc first 2 st together (dec), sc in the next 3 st* repeat from * to * around ( 32 sc)
Rnd 14: *sc first 2 st together (dec), sc in the next 2 st* repeat from * to * around ( 24 sc)
Rnd 15: *sc first 2 st together (dec), sc in the next st* repeat from * to * around ( 16 sc)
Rnd 16: *sc first 2 st together (dec)* repeat from * to * around. (8 sc) ss in next st and fasten off, leaving a long tail for closing and sewing.

Wings: (make two)

With "G" hook, and main color:
Work 8 sc in a magic ring (8 sc)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (16 sc)
Rnd 3: * 1 sc in the first st, 2 sc in next (inc)* repeat from * to * around (24 sc)
Rnd 4: work even (24 sc) ss into next st, and fasten off
Rnd 5: attach new color in any st and work even around (24 sc) ss in next st and fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.
Fold wing circle in half and sew edges together. Do not cut yarn, you'll use the remainder to sew the wing onto the body of the owlet.

Eye Rings: (make 2)

With "G" hook, and eye color:
Make 6 sc in a magic ring, join with a ss and fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing eye rings to body.

Beak: (make 1)

With "C" hook, and size 3 hook:
Make 4 sc in a magic ring.
Rnd 2: *sc in first st, 2 sc in next st (inc)* repeat from * to * around. ( 6 sc)
Rnd 3: *sc in first 2 st, 2 sc in next st (inc)* repeat from * to * around. ( 8 sc)
Rnd 4: *sc in first 3 st, 2 sc in next st (inc)* repeat from * to * around. ( 10 sc)
Rnd 5: Work even (10 sc) ss into next st and fasten off, leaving long tail for weaving and sewing. Weave yarn through the last row of stitches and pull to close. Flatten slightly to form beak shape.

Feet: (make 2)

With "C" hook, and 'feet' color yarn:
Start 6 sc in a magic ring. (6 sc)
Rnd 2: *1 sc in first st, 2 sc (inc) in second st* repeat from * to * around. (9 sc)
Rnd 3 - 4: Work even around (10 sc)
Rnd 5: *sc first 2 st together (dec), sc in the next st* repeat from * to * around ( 6 sc) ss into next st, and fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing and weaving.

Assembly Instructions:

I find it easiest to sew the beaks and eye rings onto the body before stuffing it and sewing it closed. Referring to photo, sew beak in place, then eye rings. Attach the eye posts in the centers of the eye rings.

Stuff the body, and weave the long tail through the last row of stitches, pull tight to close, and sew the tail to secure. Bury thread through the center of the body.

Sew the wings onto each side of the body. Fold feet flat, and sew to bottom of the owlet (I placed them at the 3 row from the bottom.


It's also easiest for me to pin my body parts into place before sewing them, to make sure they're balanced and in the correct position.

A good tutorial for making a magic ring can be found here:

If you're not comfortable with using a magic ring, you can also start with the traditional method (chain two and work appropriate numbers of sc into second chain from the hook) but I find it leaves too big a hole for my tastes.