Monday, October 03, 2011


I love yarn. What's even more to love is yarn that comes in the mail to you FREE!

So, lucky me received a BIG package in the mail a few weeks ago from one of my favorite bloggers and Crocheter Extraordinaire, Angie, of Le Monde de Sucrette.  Go visit. She celebrated her one year Blog Anniversary by hosting a Giveaway and I was her Random Generated Winner!!! What a lovely note too!

Thrilling! Angie sent 5 balls of Nako, a very nice acrylic yarn made in Turkey, which I plan to make something granny square and fun with! I really like the colors! See my new little friend there? He was made by Angie and he's terribly exhausted from his long trip from Beirut. I named him Sucrette.
Let's let him rest a bit on his cushy bed of yarn.

Sucrette is channeling Vanna White as he displays the mini balls of Nako. Again, adorable colors to work with.

Buttons galore and so unusual. Click on the photo for closer detail. I'll have lots of fun finding ways to use them in my knitting and crochet projects!

My petite Sucrette is urging me to try out the new 4 mm crochet hook Angie included.

Seriously cute, this little guy! Love his curly tail.
Angie, many thanks again for picking my name and making my day.
Oh, and by the way, keep YOUR eye out for a package arriving at YOUR door someday soon!

Monday, September 12, 2011


What can I say. I just enjoy crocheting little things for my home!
Often I spend a lot of time knitting. Mostly gifts for others, which I enjoy doing, and less often, it seems, trying to complete one of several projects for myself. Example: Einstein Jacket-circa: many years ago! Status: Not done yet, but almost.
It's a very rare thing for me, during the summer months, to NOT be knitting on my back porch or poolside, a Ball Band dish cloth. None knitted this summer. Nope, not a one.
But, I do like to make things for my home.

This year, my summer turned into THE SUMMER OF CROCHET LOVE for me. My back porch time was usually spent crocheting little cloths at 2 am while my aged collie, Scotty, was leisurely relieving himself in the moonlight. This was my coping skill to deal with my enforced sleep deprivation.

These little wash cloths were made with Plymouth Earth Oceanside Organic Cotton, purchased at the Knitters Edge, in Bethlehem, Pa., in assorted natural color tones. This was my very first experience working with organic cotton of any kind. This yarn is very soft and works into a great wash cloth, which, from personal experience, feels quite luxurious. Keep them for yourself or gift to a friend!

Here is the pattern. Enjoy!

2 balls of Plymouth Earth Oceanside Organic Cotton, in 2 different  colors.
F Hook
Two balls make roughly 3 cloths, with contrasting color border edging.  
Size approximately 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
Chain 30
Starting from second chain from hook, single crochet across, chain 1, turn.
Row 1: Single crochet across row.
Repeat row 1 for 35 rows or until desired length. Cut yarn and attaching contrast color, single crochet along all 4 sides, making 2 single crochet stitches in each corner stitch. Cut yarn, weave in tails, and make another one!

Monday, August 01, 2011


Every year a small group of us that  knit and crochet together meet in January for our own little Christmas/Hanuka celebration luncheon. And, because our lives seem to be getting more and more hectic, this year we had to postpone our celebration until July!
So this year we had a Christmas In July Party, which really was much less stressful than if we had kept to our January schedule!The timing was really fortunate for me because I still hadn't completed all of my gifts! Please don't think I'm a procrastinator-I just get sidetracked throughout the year with all the many different  projects that come along as gifts for others! Let's just say I do lots of multi-tasking when it comes to my craft!

Anyway, the rules for our group's holiday gift giving is to make all or some of the gifts, preferably using materials from our stash. Of course, no one says we can't keep adding to our stash(s) but you get the main point, right?
So, this year, being so totally into flowers and crochet, I wanted to give the gift of flowers to my Knitting Chicas!

Here is how I did it:


The hardest part of this project was deciding which flower from which book to make! I used Perle Cotton and a size 7 steel crochet hook. I had on hand a surprisingly good quality fleece gloves found at the Dollar Tree in December, and without knowing exactly what to do with them, had bought and put them aside until I had that crochet Epiphany!

It really wasn't difficult....I picked flowers from several books that I thought the recipient would like.

I dug out my collection of beads to embellish....

 The flowers kind of decided on their own where they would be arranged on each pair.

I pinned each flower in place, the glove mate a mirror image of the other, and sewed them on with black thread.

And, each pair of gloves fit nicely in a little project basket from Lantern Moon.
I was very pleased with how they urn out. My friends seemed to really like their gloves. Of course, they'll need to be hand laundered. Now I must make a pair for myself!

Monday, July 25, 2011


I continue to knit for the soon-to-be-born-babies of my co-workers.
 This little car seat blankie/wrap was made with Bernat Cottontots yarn from my yarn stash.  It's been perfect to knit and crochet with during the recent heat wave.  It is a very soft yarn that becomes even softer once it's washed and dried on low. The blanket/wrap is not too big, so it will be easy for Mom to handle. Later it could be a little doll blanket!

I have amassed a nice stash of cotton yarn over the years. It's a great feeling to be able to make something from that yarn stash of mine! Most of the Cottontots was purchased on sale or with coupons from Michael's and Hobby Lobby. When the price of cotton began to increase I saved a lot of money buying a little of this, a little of that, a little here, a little there...
Do you like my rationalization?

The stitch pattern is worked across the row 4 times and there is a 4 stitch Garter Stitch border on each side. I suggest using a stitch marker on each side to denote the borders. 

Length: 29 inches
Width:  19 inches
Yarn: Bernat Cottontots/colors: (A)Grape Berry, (B) Lovely Lilac, (C)Very Berry, (D) Wonder White. One ball in each color. Choose the colors that work best for your baby!
Needle size: #8 circular-24 inch length
Stitch Markers: 2

 With Color A, C/O 80 stitches and knit 4 rows.

(RS) Row 1: K4, Place Marker, knit to last 4 stitches, Place Marker, K4.
(WS)Row 2: K 4, pass marker, purl across to last 4 stitches, pass marker, K4
(RS) Row 3: K4, PM, *(K2TOG x 3) (YO, K1 x 6)(K2TOG x3)** repeat from * to**, until marker, PM, K4
(WS) Row 4: K4, pm, k across, pm, k4.
Continue working with Color A until you reach end of the ball. For me, that worked out to be about 9 wavey ridges facing the Right Side. Attach Color B, and continue in pattern, repeating 4 Row pattern until you have finished Colors B, C, and in the case of  Color D, worked Row 4, followed by 3 rows Garter Stitch and Binding Off. Let me know if there are any errors or the pattern is unclear.

Monday, July 18, 2011


When one of my co-workers experienced a very serious health crisis recently it was only natural that I wanted to do something to show my concern. Having participated in many Loveghan projects for folks I never met over the years, this was the very first time I had a personal connection to the recipient. I wanted to work quickly, so I decided that this Loveghan would be crocheted, instead of knitted.

Since I work with a fabulous group of people who are so willing to lend a hand through thick and thin, a one woman project grew into a group effort to create a blanket of love.
What was so amazing about this was that a good part of this afghan was made by people that hadn't a clue how to crochet...
but were so eager to learn how to in order to be a part of this show of support for a friend and colleague!
Several people donated money to purchase crochet hooks and extra yarn to supplement what we used from my yarn stash.
A Tunisian Crochet square was a perfect canvas to embroider our message of care and concern!

Thirty 9x9 inch blocks and a double crochet shell border later it was completed!
Our blocks were an inch larger because we were mostly loose crocheters!
This required more yarn than the 11 skeins listed in the pattern.

The pattern came from here and the yarn used was Vanna's Choice, so soft and colorful!

If ever you have an opportunity to contribute just one square toward a Loveghan, please do so! It will bring comfort to someone in need of good thoughts!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


You just never know what you'll find when you go on a motorcycle ride with one's dear husband!

I had purchased this pattern a short time ago as my way of contributing to the Japan relief effort. You can order it here and read about it on the Mason-Dixon Knitting Blog. Since the background yarn is now discontinued and a very rare find, folks, including myself, must consider other yarn substitutions for the square's background color. So, I just tabled this project until a sub could be found.

We traveled to Jim Thorpe, Pa, recently, and we stopped at Hooked on Yarn, just to browse and pick up a little yarn token....such as a lovely skein of Rowan something. I'll save that for another post!

Anyway, as I came through the shop's doorway, I happened to look down, and my heart quickened! Could it be? The MYTHICAL Silk Garden that possibly no longer exists anywhere in this Universe? The Mother Lode??? Diane, the shop owner, informed me she had 30 skeins left of her original 60 skein order.
Well, upon returning home, I checked the pattern and miraculously it was indeed THE YARN DYE LOT!  I contacted Diane and gave her my order for 13 skeins of Noro Silk Garden #269-E. My check was in the mail faster than you could say "SSK"! And, she kindly shipped that beautiful 269 to my awaiting arms.

So, Gentle Knitter, if you had also purchased the pattern, and have been wondering what to do about the yarn substitution, here is your chance to buy the 13 skeins of #269 needed for the blanket. I had told Diane I would post her shop info. Maybe I should send a note about this to Kay also? I wonder if #269 can be found anywhere else? Or, could this really be the very last of it? Forever.

When it comes to finding unexpected treasures...
Always look down!

Sunday, June 05, 2011


That totally terrific blogger and prolific crocheter, Angie, of Le Monde de Sucrette (go visit her -but beware! You'll feel compelled to take up the hook and crochet colorful versions of her free motif patterns!)
recently selected me as one of her award recipients. Such a kind thing to bestow upon a fellow blogger!
I'm tickled, of course to think anyone pays attention to any of my blog offerings, let alone considering them worthy of any recognition! So, many thanks, dear girl, for thinking of me!

With this honor comes an obligation to nominate a few bloggers I admire, and to reveal 10 things about myself. First, my favorite bloggers:
Grammy Pammy  You are amazing!

Julie    Your blog is a fun place to stroll!

Hakucho  Always something fresh and new to see!

smariek    Beautiful cloth patterns offered freely!

Now, 10 things you probably didn't know about me:

1. I can write words and sentences backwards.
2. I can say the "Hail Mary" in Spanish 37 years post catholic high school Spanish class.
3. My favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life".
4. I had a huge crush on Prince Charles, circa late 1960's, principally during the time of his Investiture as Prince of Wales.
5. I regretted never getting tickets to see Yul Brynner in the revival of "The King and I" before his death.
6. My favorite ice cream is Hershey Moose Tracks.
7. My secret hope was that I could play the guest arraignment judge on the original "Law & Order", just like writer Fran Lebowitz, another L&O fan. But, alas, the show was cancelled and with it, the dream!
8. I knit continental.
9. I always get weepy when I hear Susan Boyle sing "I Dreamed a Dream". Always.
10. I painted my kitchen walls a shade of green called Benjamin Moore "dill pickle" and have yellow, orange accents. Can we say "Hello 1970s"?

well, that's it for now! Take care.

Monday, May 23, 2011

BABY SHOWERS and all that knit...

If you're wondering what I've been up to, well it involves lots of knitting and crocheting for all those babies who are getting ready to be born in the upcoming months! Their Moms all work with me, it seems. So I've put most of my personal knitting and crocheting to the side for the time being.

For the most part I've been trolling for baby patterns on the net, pouring through my personal library, and all the patterns stored in my filing cabinet (yes, it's that bad-did you think I only collected yarn?) in search of THE PERFECT BABY PATTERN. What qualifies as "perfect"? It must be:
1. Cute as-all-get-out!
2. Adaptable to the yarns in my STASH-stash friendly!
3. Not too fussy a written pattern
4. Something that little baby wouldn't be embaressed to be seen in

So there are lots of baby patterns out there and at home, but the problem lies in that there are JUST SO MANY to choose from!

Since the stress of the hunt was making me gnash my teeth, I decided to take some sort of decisive action and design this little bib (QUICK! STASH-FRIENDLY! BABY WORTHY)
Although by no means would I ever consider this a perfect baby pattern, my design is simple to work up in no time flat. It's worked in Tunisian Crochet (SURPRISE! You should have seen that coming!) It makes a bib that is thick and looks woven, so baby or toddler stays nice and tidy!
It's so easy and did I menton that it goes really fast? Give it a try.

Basic TSS-Tunisian simple stitch-is so easy to learn if you know how to chain and work a single crochet already. Here is a great video to help you get started

Enjoy and get crackin' 'cause those babies arrive sooner than expected more times than not! THE TC BABY BIB by Linda Ball

1 skein stash yarn-worsted weight cotton or acrylic (I used Sugar and Cream cotton from my stash!)
Hook size G

Chain 37
Begin TSS by picking up 36 loops to create the foundation/base row.
You will have a total of 37 loops on your hook
Work as directed in video until bib is 8 inches long. Wasn't that simply the most mindless fun!

O.k. Now it's time to start binding off and make the straps:
Watch this video!

Ready-let's go!
Starting a forward pass, (go toward the left-remember?)
Work 9 TSS, then bo 19, then continue to TSS 9 st. You'll have loops, a big gap, and more loops!

Now, continue working TSS on the single strap ( the strap will be on the left side of the bib facing you and you will have loops on the hook on the right edge for a while while you work this strap!) for 6 inches, B/O these stitches, and cut yarn.

Attach the yarn to the bound off neck edge nearest to the loops on the hook and work a return pass on the remaining loops. Now work TSS for 6 inches.

Time to make the buttonhole!
Starting with a Forward pass, work 4 stitches, B?O 1 st, work 3 st.
Return pass: Work 4, chain 1, work remaining stitches.
Continue in TSS until strap measures 7 inches total, then B/O and cut yarn. Weave in all ends. Securely sew on button to opposite strap. Wet block to tame that bottom curl of you're not going to attach a edge.

RUFFLE EDGE (optional)
I knit my ruffle by picking up and knitting the stitches along the edge for one row. I worked in stockinette pattern , increasing the stitch number by knitting in the front and back loops in each stitch across on every right side row and just purling straight back on every wrong side row.

Do this until you get the ruffle length and fullness you want and then B/O. I repeated this one time before I was satisfied. A crocheted edge would look beautiful too! Lots of possibilities!

Now, wasn't that quick? Leave a comment telling me how yours turned out or if there are any issues with the pattern.
Send me a photo link if you'd like! Hope you enjoyed this pattern!

This is a free pattern from me to you, so please don't sell this pattern or any article made from it. Why not make one to gift and another to give to your favorite baby charity!

Monday, March 28, 2011


So, first off, I mailed my surprise stash yarn package to my winner Hakucho. She's been a reader of my blog for a few years now, and I've followed her blog too! Why don't you drop by her blog today and see all the beautiful knitting she does. So inspiring, practical and fun! Maybe she even posted photos of what she received from me.... Speaking of readership... Even though I supposedly have over 26, 000 visitors to my blog (if you can believe the counter)based on the lack of commenter's, I couldn't help but notice that mine has dropped off a bit. Of course, I'm totally to blame because I have so sadly neglected my blog over the past year. To maintain a blog one needs time and lots of it! How to repair the damage I've done? Post more and relevantly too? And, how does one go about generating a large following? By posting regularly? Daily? weekly? Sign up with a blog list? Does anyone one know of any good ones? And, hey folks, leave a comment already! I love hearing from you guys! I make it a point to always visit the blogs that leave comments. It's the neighborly thing to do. I always drop a line or two when I visit others, so don't you be shy! Anyway, how to increase my readership..... Posting scads of colorful and unique creations or just plain old vanilla type knit or crochet? AH! And should it be knitting, crocheting or both? IMHO, I think crochet is undergoing it's very own renaissance movement right now. Take a look at this, this, and this, favorite sites of mine and you'll see what I mean. The new catch phrase is "Granny Chic". I love it! Looks like knitting might be taking a turn in the back seat, but not for too long. Everything is cyclic, even in the creative craft world. Which leads me to this: I want to concentrate on crocheting more for my charity because the results are quick, and gratifying. There are excellent videos on YouTube for the Scrappy Steps Afghan. Looks like a great stash buster for oddballs of leftover yarn. Aren't those baby shoes adorable? My favorite is the pair that looks Japanese.
I can honestly tell you that this is an excellent resource for anyone who loves to crochet. Even if you're only thinking of learning, or a brand newbie, this book is full of easy to follow instructions, covering basics to Tunisian. I'm loving more and more the way a simply single crocheted dishcloth made with Sugar and Creme cotton and a size H hook looks and feels. I blinked and it was done! Chain 25, work only the back loops, quit when it feels right to do so. No blocking needed. Yes, I still love my knitting needles, just in case you've been wondering if I've gone completely GA-GA for crochet! I've been wanting for years to give The Accidental Bobble by Coming Unravelled a go.
This, too, worked up very quickly, and was quite pretty, so I was glad that I finally made the time to try this pattern. Find it here. As we were invited by our neighbors to a weekend ST. Patrick's dinner, I added this quickly knit shamrock to my last minute hostess gift. My thanks to Vicki Howell for this one. As long as you can knit or crochet you need never go empty handed to a social gathering! Until later, Happy Spring!

Monday, March 07, 2011


Keeping with my commitment to a regular posting schedule, today I'll update you with a few photos of recent FOs.

Ever since returning from Stitches East 2010 in Hartford, Ct. I've been totally intrigued with the art of Tunisian Crochet. The Bagsmith provided great demos at the show for both knitting and working Tunisian stitches on gigantic long crochet hooks and needles, using several combinations of yarns at once. Think "Stash Buster"! If you visit the site I linked you'll see a great video on getting started crocheting Tunisian style. Although I'm eager to dig into my Stash and get busy working with the collection of interesting novelty yarns I've amassed over the years, I've played around mostly with the dishcloth cotton stash and Tunisian crochet. I enjoy the process and the outcome!Very easy and quick, IMHO. The cotton becomes more like a thickened woven mat with a stiffer body. I'm seeing the potential for a bath mat or baskets.

I probably could have just left the potholder as a single layer but wanted to have two different front and back designs. The checkerboard design was worked in panels, with the second and third panels connected to the previous panel as each end of row stitch was worked. I really didn't have a pattern for this initially, just made it work for me as I went along. But, you can order this book for some guidance and patterns, which I eventually did!
And here is the back. Just some Sugar and Cream cotton Ombre and some bits of hot green to finish around the edges and connect the two cloths at the same time. I think I used a G or J hook, but you get some great looks and draping by going up in hook sizes. I like to use a K double hook for dishcloths for just that reason and to change colors, but, really, you could get by with just a crochet hook that's a bit on the longer side to accommodate your # of stitches.

I'll be doing a lot more of this, I think!

Until next week-happy Tunisian!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


True Random Number Generator 3 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Stop by her great blog for a visit and a little inspiration too! And Hakucho, let me know what type of fiber you'd let me to send to you!

Many thanks to those who responded. I appreciate your comments and kind thoughts!

Not a big response to my previous post. Apparently, various knitting groups no longer allowtheir members to post blog updates or giveaways to the group. AHEM! Oh well, that's the way the yarn ball rolls....

Or, perhaps the lack of response has more to do with folks HAVING MORE OF THEIR OWN STASH THAT THEY COULD POSSIBLY USE UP IN THEIR LIFETIME???
I get it.

Anyway, here's what I've been up to:

Another nice dent made in my dishcloth cotton stash.
Until next week-
Happy knitting!