Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Do You dc2tog?

How do you double crochet 2 together?

Method 1:
YO, insert hook in st indicated, YO and pull up a loop (3 lps on hook); YO, pull through 2 loops; YO, insert hook in next st, YO and pull up a loop (4 lps on hook); YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, pull through rem 3 loops.


Method 2:
YO, insert hook in st, YO and pull up a loop (3 lps on hook); insert hook in next st, YO, pull through, (4 lps on hook); YO, pull through 2 loops on hook, YO again and pull through last loops on hook.

One of these methods just came up on a pattern I found and the other is what I've always done. It makes me wonder if I've been doing it wrong all these years or if there's simply another variation.

What do you do?

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I've been away for a bit.

One of the projects that kept me away was for a friend of mine that needed a whole new wardrobe for the next few months.

It's not the clearest picture, but here's what we accomplished:
Out of 15 items, only 3 were pre-existing items that needed alterations. Everything else was made by us (with extra help from my mother and her serger!).

Sorry, we were so busy working our tails off that there wasn't a lot of energy for process pictures. Your imagination can fill in the cutting, ironing, sewing, more pressing, modeling, altering, and one silly moment after 11:00 p.m. when we realized we'd been a little too generous with a piece of material, and it was big enough for both of us...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mother's Day Card, 2013

One of the Mother's Day cards I made for this year:

The inside:

The back:
This card was made with a mish-mash of stamps from Stampin' Up! and Hobby Lobby.

Unfortunately, this post has been held for a couple months now because I forgot to take a picture of the other one until JUST after sealing it. Grrr. =( We were hoping to get a picture later that week, but it never happened. We'll see if we can snap a picture another time because I liked how it turned out! ;-)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baby Blanket in progress

Here's a blanket I've been working on.

Help me out of this quandary. My friend lives kind of far away and is expecting sometime this month. I figured Red, White, and Blue would work well since they don't know if it is a boy or girl. However, I had hoped to have it finished and in the mail so they would get it around the 4th of July before baby was born. I'm not finished, so it's not going to be in the mail anytime soon.

My question for you: should I wait until baby is born and just send a pink or blue blanket? Or should I send this one anyway even though baby could be born weeks after Independence Day?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crochet Camp

Hey! This looks fun!

Slugs On The Refrigerator Crochet Camp

Anyone else joining in on the fun of these projects?

I'll have to decide if I can swing it since I'll be away for one of the four weeks.

Monday, July 8, 2013

CAL Doily Update

Here's my progress on the CAL Doily:

I'm LOVING this one, but other things keep having to take precedence due to time.

This is at the beginning of the last set of pineapples. Looking at the picture, it seems smallish, but remember the center portion is about the size of a dinner plate.

I can't wait to see the finished product!

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July Doily

Inspired by Olga, I raided my thread stash and made this yesterday...

(Here's a better shot of the true colors)

...then I promptly ruined it. Bummer. Waste of the day, but that's life! My starch sprayer had trouble and sprayed a stream too directly causing the red to run into the white tinging it slightly pink. It's hard to see the spots in the picture, but it's definitely there.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Feeling Patriotic

Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans!

More pictures of the blanket will appear after completion. ;-)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Surprise project

I have a new (huge!) project in the works, but since it's a surprise and a gift, a full post will have to wait.

Here's a sneak peek:

Any guesses? No cheating if you live close to me and already know! =)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Mama Card

Ever since I bought this stamp set, I've been so excited to use it!

...and then it sat...

...and sat...

...and waited...

...and now (years later), I've finally put the stamps together and made a card. It would have been a shame to waste that money on unused stamps, right?

Hmmm. Picture issues. Well, the back has a tiny pair of feet punched out of silver paper, and the words "Happy Waiting!" underneath.

I'm not always a big fan of puns, but I'm a big fan of saying "You go, girl!" The play on words worked for me. ;-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Doily Crochet Along

Ever since Stitchy invited us to join her on a Doily CAL, I've been super excited about the pattern.

Isn't that incredible?!

Well, the pattern calls for Size 20 thread. I had Size 10 on hand, and I hoped it would be enough.

See that center portion that sort of gets missed since its job is simply to prepare for the gorgeous pineapple rounds? Here's a view of mine so far.

It's almost the size of a dinner plate.
Yep, my finished product will definitely be bigger than the 18" one made from Size 20 thread!

I'm already much farther along than this picture shows, so I'll update again soon. It's HUGE!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Since I last posted, it's been a little crazy around here. We've had a weekend away for a training event with junior high students, we made a whirlwind trip from Wisconsin to North Carolina for a funeral, had a huge event involving a formal dinner (hubby cooked) and high school students acting out a mystery for adults and peers, and our first weekend available to actually be at home was spent with a sick hubby. No Mother's Day celebrations for us except enjoying what Mama's do best--taking care of family, right? I wouldn't trade that 'down-time' for anything!

Well, in spite of all the craziness, I have completed a lot of crafty projects! Some with paint, others with paper, and definitely a bit of crocheting.

While I work on actually getting pictures onto the computer, I have a question for you fellow crafters.

Have you ever packed for a trip and scaled back on your 'necessities' in order to make room for your crafts? Have you spent more time deciding which crafts to take than what clothing to take? Tell me all about it! I love to hear your stories!

Monday, April 8, 2013


...will be spent like this.

Here's hoping the big people in the house avoid it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Pearl" Bracelet

Our son has been in an Ocean Odyssey class this semester. Each week, the students were given a list of homework assignments that would help them earn points. One week, he chose to use beads to make a 'pearl' bracelet for someone (the lesson that week was about shells, univalves/bivalves, pearls, etc.).

Even though this blog is mostly my crafty creations, it's time to show off a little highlight of a kiddo craft.
He started with the simple pearls, and then he decided that he wanted some extra color added into the mix.
For the 'clasp' part, he added a large bead to one end and a loop of elastic to the other end.

Unfortunately, we could have used one or two more beads because this ended up just a bit tight (you can sort of see the impression from where it was sitting a little higher on my wrist earlier), but that's ok! Maybe I'll have to try to undo that knot and add a couple at some point so it's a little easier to wear. I'm proud of him!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hot Mustard Recipe

We're huge fans of spicy food around here. There are myriad condiments in our refrigerator, but very rarely do we have the standard ketchup and yellow mustard. I decided recently that I wanted to try to make my own mustard rather than buy some of the specialty mustards that we tend to like. This recipe is definitely worth repeating! It reminds me a lot of the Asian Hot Mustard that you'd put on an eggroll.

Hot Mustard

1 C dry ground mustard
1 C apple cider vinegar (we prefer the raw, unfiltered variety)
2-3 T Truvia or 1/4-1/3 C honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; whisk to blend. Simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Pour into a clean jar. This will last for several weeks.

The hot mustard flavor comes through VERY strong initially, but it mellows out a bit over the next day or two. If it's still too strong for you, add a bit more sweetener to balance it out. It took a few adjustments to get it just where we liked it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I was featured!

My New Row No-Chain-DC photo tutorial was featured over at Sarahndipities' Make Something Monday!

What an honor--thanks Sarah!

Go check out the other features and link up your own special project!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mother's Day Cards

Interesting time of year in the U.S. for this post. That's what happens when you look through last year's photos! You suddenly find a project you forgot to post.

Nothing special, just some stamped cards. But since I'm never very creative about making original cards, I was pleased with the final product. One for my mom and one for my mother-in-law.

This was done with a Stampin' Up! set. I stamped the letters, trimmed them close, stuck them to the turquoise paper, trimmed that close, and stuck them to the card which I had already stamped to create a colorful background. Fun geometric look!

This one was also done with Stampin' Up! stamps. It is just a stamped image and ribbon with layers of purple, red, and silver paper. It's hard to see in the photo, but the silver has a nice matte shine to it.

Do you ever hand-make cards? Do you have an intense amount of guilt buying any when you know you could just make them if you'd planned ahead or had enough time? Some people are so talented at it that I'm often afraid mine won't measure up, but that's what keeps us trying, right?

Friday, March 15, 2013

A regular goofball

My favorite conversations seem to happen while preparing or eating lunch. I never quite know what to expect, but it's always entertaining! Recent example:

Son: Well, VeggieTales teaches us at least one thing!
Me: That 'God made you special, and He loves you very much!'?
Son: ...and not to point! Because they don't have any arms OR hands!

Yep. I didn't see that one coming.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baby Hat

Some friends of ours just had a baby girl. How about a little purple hat for that precious tiny head?
I used this pattern as a guideline for the hat and my own made up pattern for the rosette. The hat was done with a lavender and a shiny white yarn held together, and the rosette was done with a dark purple with silver strand running through.

Hopefully I'll get to see her wearing it before she grows out of it!

Friday, March 8, 2013

No-Chain-DC to begin a row

Recently, I saw this video on how to start a new row of double crochet without doing the ch 2 or ch 3. I don't always want to load up a video to try a new technique, so I decided to make a photo tutorial really quickly. Now you can try whichever way you learn the best.

Complete your previous row, and turn your work.

Start your new row by pulling up a loop a little taller than a dc.

Place your pointer finger on the loop to hold it in place.

While keeping your finger on the loop, pull your hook toward you then behind the loop.

Yarn over, and pull through the first part of the loop...

...leaving two loops on the hook.

Yarn over...

...and pull through both loops to complete the dc.

Dc in the next st. They look identical!

There you have it! Have you ever tried this? Am I just slow to catch on to this technique as I was with the Magic Circle? Do you like it? It has taken a little practice to get a consistent size, but I really like the way this turns out.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Another Gift Scarf

I finished another gift scarf recently. It's the first Catherine's Wheel pattern I've done. One misread step caused great frustration, but it all worked out eventually.
Yarn used is some leftover Loops & Threads Impeccable in Lavender, Chocolate, and Cream.

The pattern can be found here.

I'm not a fan of fringe--it seems to get messy too quickly or get caught in things. Instead, I finished the edges with a strand of Chocolate and a strand of Lavender in 15-20 ch before a sl st back to the edge to form the loop. I've done this once before and have been very happy with the results.

It turned out to be quite thick and warm!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bananas In Pajamas

Our boy was greeted by this on the kitchen table one morning.
Giggles, galore.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow, snow, snow

We've been getting a lot of snow lately.
This is only the beginning.
Thick, heavy, wet snow.
Many, many more inches fell. It's a joy being so close to the lake!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A scarf gift

A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a free tear-off pattern she had found at a craft store. She mostly knits (with the occasional crocheted edging), but she thought the scarf was so pretty that she'd hang onto it for me. It certainly was very elegant! I'd never worked with Patons Lace yarn before, so what a fun opportunity to whip something together, try out a new yarn, and share it with her!

This yarn is beautiful!!! The pattern calls for 2 colors--one neutral and one variegated. The variegated one was not in stock at our Michael's, so I replaced it with another one that seemed to have a similar look.

Final product:
OK, a little explanation is in order. I was about to rush out the door to deliver this when I realized I hadn't taken a photo! Bad blogger!! So I threw it on really quickly and had hubby snap a shot before I flew out of the house. I delivered the gift, she loved it, I got home and realized I should have flipped that part around my neck so that you could see the colors better. Oh well, haste makes waste, right?

Notice how the gradient of color is very gradual, and it highlights the dark/light tones at one end and the mid-range tones at the other end of the scarf. It's also done in two layers; that's why you see the ivory spiraling around the grays. So you start with 222 ch, then sc across. Then you do 2 trc in the back loop only and continue your rows. Once that's complete, you take the other color and do 2 trc in the remaining free loop of the first row of sc then continue with the rest of the rows. Even though this is a very thin yarn, the double layer makes it plenty warm without being too heavy.

The pattern can be found here at the bottom of the links.
Colors were Antique and Patina. Less than one skein of each.
Size G hook.

I'll definitely use this yarn again! Maybe Bonfire or Sachet... But first, another friend admired this so much before I gave it away that maybe I'll have to use my leftovers to make one for her. =)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beautiful Yarn and Temperature Scarf Progress

Well, I'm just about caught up with everyone else's blog posts that I've missed... 'almost' being a relative term. There's one other Temperature Scarf that I've seen, or at least the mention of a plan to make one.

I'm ridiculously excited and positively giddy that my colors are now decided, and the yarn has been purchased.

How pretty is this?
...and I haven't even started yet!

There's a scarf (gift) sitting in my 'Crocheting Corner' and another small project that I've assigned due dates. Once those are completed, 2013 Scarf, here I come!

My assigned colors, in case anyone is interested:
100*+: Simply Soft, Autumn Red
90*-99*: Red Heart Soft, Really Red
80*-89*: Simply Soft, Persimmon
70*-79*: Simply Soft, Sunshine
58-69*: Simply Soft, Soft Green
46*-57*: Simply Soft, Sage
33*-45*: Simply Soft, Lt. Country Blue
21*-32*: Simply Soft, Blue Mint
10*-20*: Simply Soft, Pagoda
0*-9*: Simply Soft, Blackberry
Below 0*: Yarn Bee...uhh, dark purple with a silver strand running through it.

These temperature chunk cut-offs are pretty arbitrary, so small adjustments may be needed as the year progresses.

I'm still thinking that I will add some 'extreme weather' conditions to some days, i.e. white curly yarn with sparkle for blizzard/snow, gray for extremely high winds, and maybe even a black for severe thunderstorms (I'm hoping I won't need to add any brown for a tornado...). At this point, I can't decide if it will detract from the color gradient I've already created. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Post-sledding Fun

Here's a quick picture from some sledding fun this weekend.

mmmmm...what's better than a thermos full of cocoa waiting for you in the car to warm you up a bit? Remember playing outside so long that your cheeks were this rosy and cold? Ah, the sheer joy of childhood fun!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Temperature Scarf

It's taking a bit of time to get caught up with blogs again, so maybe I'm a little slow in catching on to some popular projects. But once the idea of this one entered my mind, I can't stop thinking about it!

It's a scarf that has one row (or more) every day according to the weather. You choose your location (where you live or a place you wish you lived or a city you'd love to visit) and keep track of the average temperature of each day. Then you choose your colors according to those temperatures. The 'or more' of each day's row comes in if there are notable weather conditions (like a blizzard, high winds, thunderstorms, tornado, etc.).

Basically, you will end up with a scarf that is over 365 rows and a beautiful transition of warm and cool colors!

Initially, I thought that this project should wait a little while since I've recently started my third Ugly Blanket (a newly created pattern, too!). But since the idea just keeps brewing in my head, I've decided on this: I will keep track of our weather (going back to January 1) and start a list in a notebook. I will gather scraps of yarn that I need for the various temperatures and pick up a skein here and there of colors I don't yet have. That way, I'm not going to end up buying a whole ton of yarn all at once, but I'll still have all that I'll need to make this project.

Now I just need to decide what kind of yarn I'll use. Red Heart or I Love This Yarn are good choices because of the variety of colors, but Caron Simply Soft would be nice and light-weight for something that could potentially end up with a lot of length and weight. Obviously, Bernat suggests their own brand, Bernat Satin; however, I don't have any of that on hand.

I'm really excited about this being a project that won't be too warm to work on in the summer, too! Is anyone else making this project this year? Or have you done it in the past?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A picture

A friend just sent this to me. It's a pretty good depiction of my life!

Perhaps if this was accepted for my driver's license picture, it would be more recognizable as being me. Seriously, I've had to 'reintroduce' myself over email to people as 'the crocheter' so they know who I am when they don't remember my name.

I love everything about this.

Now where can I buy those socks?