Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

With love to all my family and friends.....This is a digitally scrapbooked page I did using Adobe Photoshop Elements, version 8 and a ready made template from Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals, an awesome scrapbooking site for digital scrapbookers...I hope to do a lot more this coming year using our photos from our travels.

My sister and I wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas!  Love, Jeannie and Lyle

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winding Paths

I saw something online the other day, a gadget for winding balls of yarn by hand...not a ball winder or a swift, but a nostepinne. It's a beautiful piece of wood turned on a lathe, and it's used to help you wind a better center pull ball of yarn by hand. Sort of a cross between hand winding a center pull skein using a couple of your fingers, and the swifts and ball winders that make the chore a little easier by using contraptions.

I bought one off Etsy...the crafters' website. I bought one of the cheaper ones, and I think it might be a little too short, but it was still fun to have something to turn the yarn on, and not just my stubby little fingers! And I think I might have this nostepinne upside down, as the hook is meant to hold the outside starting yarn, I think! It didn't come with directions, so I'll have to go watch good old youtube! I think I'm going to look a little more for a second one that's longer...this one is 6". I think it needs to be longer, judging from some of the other ones I've look at online.
I love this sock yarn! It's Sausalito, an 80% wool, 20% nylon blend with a beautiful ocean blue, turquoise and purple colorway. Can't wait to make some more socks with it! Speaking of socks, I'm going to attempt Cat Bordhi's "Sweet Tomato Heel" socks one day soon...Gotta get those Christmas and birthday presents done and mailed, first!  I also want to make Cat's Moebius Cowl for someone in my family, but don't know who, yet.  Not sure if my daughters would like something like that, so time to check in with them.....Until next week.....Sunday is Christmas! Can't believe it's here all ready!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Going Green with Plarn

I had never heard of plarn until I got on the Knitting Paradise forum...I thought crocheting and knitting with plastic bags was cool, but not very pretty, most likely. This morning I found this site and check this's amazing what people can do with plastic bags!  Creating with plastic bags 

I've decided to keep my eyes open for pretty plastic bags in different colors....they must be out there, but everywhere I've seen, they are white....That's all I need to do...collect yet another source of craft materials. The RV is bulging out the sides already with yarn totes! :-)

We're in Naples for the month of December. There's a wonderful yarn shop here. It's called Knitting With Nancy. As far as yarn supplies, needles and ideas go, this is a small shop, but it's full of hand knitted models of shawls, baby stuff, scarves, vests, accessories and she has a terrific selection of yarn! I'm going to have to really behave myself and not go crazy here. To top it off, the store is within walking distance of the RV park we are staying in, like half a block away.. I am going to go and knit on Wednesday mornings with them. I really need to develop my skills and learn some new techniques before we leave the area in January. They need help making ruffle scarves for a local women's shelter so I am going to sit and knit scarves with them to help them meet their goal of 60 scarves before Christmas.

felt hand sewn snowman and crocheted snowman face
I put up my little 4 foot Christmas tree in the RV. It's got my little handknitted sweaters on it, mini hats, stockings, mittens, knitted angels, felt ornaments and the usual glittery ones. It's about as close as I can get to my 7 foot tree I used to put up when living back in Indiana. Every year I made some type of homemade ornaments to put on the tree. One year it was copper cookie cutter styled ornaments, ornaments made out of cocktail toothpicks, felt ones, crocheted ones, and this year it's the year of the knitted "minis".
martial arts dobok

Little mini handknitted sweater made from leftover Red Heart sock yarn....

And a little mini at least five of them on the tree, again from Red Heart sock yarn...they were actually fun to make! I think they need BLING! But wanted to get them on the tree for now. I'll go looking for some sparkly things to sewn on the tops of the hats..maybe some jingle bells! or little charms....Tis the season!  Until next time......

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What'll It Be This Week?

Finished my "cosmopolitan" baby booties...what a nightmare! The first one I blithely knitted along, doing purl 1 increases (m1P)  incorrectly. I had some holes where there shouldn't have been holes. So-o-o-o, on the second bootie, I googled and youtubed pearl increases and started fresh. Messed up the stitch count several times, ripped out and started over several to the instep and somehow, I thought there was a mistake on which side I was supposed to be starting the instep. I began the instep row one row too early. Got halfway done on the instep, realized my mistake, and ripped the entire bootie out and started over. Seventh time, got to the instep again, made the SAME darn mistake AGAIN on the instep, not remembering I thought I knew better than the pattern writer! Ripped out the bootie and started completely over for the eighth time! I was bound and determined to get this second bootie done. Mission accomplished! I didn't give up, I perservered, I know now how to do M1P's and I'll never do this particular pattern again! Yes, I's too cute in sock yarn not to do it again. BUT---you have to seam it up the back, so I may try to find a pattern with no seams on circular needles instead....I've seen seamless ones on DPN's but really get confused on the heels with those and picking up stitches.

Ta-da! Whew! That's enough for now....

Time to switch gears....How about a little mini martial arts dobok uniform ornament? It's about 4" tall...

I made it for Eldy's granddaughter to hang on the family Christmas tree....It was very easy to do on two circulars....the neckline is single crochet after you finish knitting it. The tie belt is an i-cord, the directions had a single crochet chain but I thought an i-cord might look better. I found the free pattern on the internet, of course!

We are in Naples now....time to get out and enjoy the absolutely gorgeous scenery of the city and the beautiful weather. Home just got socked in with 8 inches of snow, but it's an early snow and it won't last in Indiana very long! I miss it, though....Until next time.....When I decorate my little four foot Christmas tree!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Going to be a Grandma!

I found out a couple of weeks ago, that my youngest daughter is going to have a baby....What a mind altering event for her and for me! She's my baby, and now my baby is going to have a baby of her own....I am really thinking back to being pregnant, and all sorts of memories are popping into my head...remembering the first stir of life, remembering the not so good memories of severe back aches, evening sickness, and all that crying--her and me! I remember the ride to the hospital, laying in the back seat of the car with labor pains and her dad giving me street information about our location on the way to the hospital. I was crazy pregnancy mad because he was telling me street name by street name and I just wanted to get to the hospital! (I waited too long to go to the hospital for her. We almost had her in the back seat of the car! ) 

But I'm also remembering the sweet smiles, the baby laughs, the joys of being a mother and I'm so excited for her! It's under difficult circumstances for her, she's going to online school full time, she's stuck at home in a city far away with very few friends for support. I'm going to do the best I can to help her along the way..can't do it financially or physically be there until the time of delivery, but I am going to send her little care packages each month of her pregnancy to cheer her spirits and ease her loneliness....I'll put in little things that she is going to need for the baby.....Here's what I'm working on now...little baby booties made from sock yarn...they aren't finished yet, but I love the way the sock yarn works up. I found the free pattern on the internet. These are from the pattern by Franky's Knitted Stuff. These are seamed along the bottom and up the back, but I don't think that is a problem on how they will feel on a baby's little feet.  I think these could be for a boy or a girl, but not sure how the yarn "speaks" to different people. Let me know if you think these booties say "boy" or "girl", would you? Thanks! We won't know until January. I think I might try Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise sweater to match the booties!

So, it looks like Grandma Jeannie is going to be knitting up a storm of baby things along with socks and other gifts for Christmas.....It is fun to think about baby things and what she might need!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Talented Weaver

Every once in awhile, more than I'd like to admit, I go looking for yarn shops. I'm enjoying knitting very much, very excited about learning new skills, so now, instead of fabric stores, I'm leaning more towards yarn shops. I did a Google search for "yarn stores in Gulf Shores, AL" where we are now, and came up with only two in the area and neither one is in Gulf Shores. One was called Clara's Loom in Foley, AL just a few miles away, and the other one was called the Yarn Cottage, which is in Fairhope, AL.

I visited Clara's Loom today....I called to get basic directions and didn't ask the important question, "Do you have a good selection of yarn?" When I got there, it was a cute little tiny little store front, easy to find, and a sign was on the door, "If locked, I'm upstairs weaving, I'll be right down!" It was locked, and the owner, Celia Dionne, a fiber artist with over 30 years experienc, did come right down and let me in. The shop was stocked with shawls, weaving supplies, neckwear, "fashion bibs" and accessories made from ribbon and yarn fibers. She sold a variety of sizes of looms as well and she did have a very small portion of the shop devoted to Berrocco yarns and some other interesting fibers...She was a weaver, not a knitter nor a crocheter, but that's ok...she was a VERY talented weaver! She makes shawls, and something smaller like a shawl that she called a "fashion bib", a smaller version of a shawl that ties at the back of the neck and is a GORGEOUS neckware fashion statement...She graciously let me see her workshop upstairs where she weaves some amazing creations! Here is one of her beautiful shawls......

She graciously showed me her triangle looms of various sizes.....and she did a little bit of weaving so I could see the process....I LOVE seeing craftspeople work...She had an eye for colors and combinations of yarns that came together to make beautiful shawls and neckwear. She is an expert weaver and exhibits her work and sells in different parts of the country...I really appreciated being in the presence of a craftsperson of her talents, and I love to see new and different things being made...
Thank you, Celia, for letting me see your beautiful work.....

Did I make anything this week? Nothing new, still working on my scarf from last week, waiting to get some more yarn to add to the scarf.....working on my "Crayola" socks with one of the prettiest colorways going...I threw away the ball band that tells the name and the care of the wool! What a dummy! That's not the first time I have done that. I don't know what I was thinking!   I'll have pictures next week of this beautiful yarn.....Until next time.....  Jeannie and Lyle

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Mixed Bag of Crafts

A little bit of everything this week....felt ornaments with little felt pockets on the back to tuck in a candy cane or little bit of cash for the grandkids...The pattern is for a snowman family-Mom, Dad, two kids, and a dog and cat. These are the snowkids and little dog finished so far....

And what else have I been up to?  Making a scarf....It's been a real challenge...I've ripped it out three times because of having trouble with a simple yarn over that moves over one stitch each row. The yarn is Lion Brand "Amazing" in the color vineyard.  The other challenge to this yarn is, it sticks to itself.  Arrrrggghhh! After ripping it out twice 25 rows into making the scarf, I thought, OK, if I use a lifeline, I won't have to rip out to the beginning. Wrong! The yarn stuck to itself so badly, almost like Velcro, the lifeline was useless and back to the beginning I went again....This time, it's working well. I understand what I did wrong on the yarnover. I didn't do it correctly moving from a knit stitch going into a purl stitch. Once I got that figured out, I was well on my way, and here it is so far.....Not sure I like the gray that showed up in the colorway, but that's the way the yarn knits up....The pattern is off the web and called Eva Elongated Scarf pattern (free) and there's a hat that matches the scarf that is a separate pattern. 
Got my second sock done...these are for me...somehow they fit differently in the heel than my last pair...My last pair was made with Kroy sock yarn, slightly thicker and I made them on one size bigger needles. This time, the sock yarn is Deborah Norville's Serenity Sock yarn, I came down a needle size, but the heel is a little too loose! Sure wish I knew how to adjust numbers on the needles to get socks to fit better! I'm still stuck on one basic sock pattern--Lisa Knits Basic Toe Up's the only one I understand so far using two circular needles. Guess I need to commit to watching Youtube videos and reading some of my sock books. I don't understand how to switch a DPN sock pattern to two circulars, so that's holding me back. Maybe I'll try the DPN's for the next pair!

Wonder what I'll feel like making next week? I've got some pretty crayon colored sock yarn calling my name...maybe I'll try and experiment with a different leg pattern!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A New Medium

WOOL! I love wool...I've been collecting old sweaters from Goodwill and various other thrift stores...I'd like to figure out how to make mittens for the winter from recyclables...Also bought a pattern for a laptop case made from recycled wool jackets--it looks really cool!  My "stash" collection is growing--yarn, fabric, and now wool sweaters and very little space to keep it in in the motorhome, so I'd better start making more stuff SOON!

I made some wool ornaments this week--not for a mini tree, as these are about 4" in diameter...These are from a book called Rustic Winter, 9 ornament designs for three projects, by Marilyn Gash. These 4" ornaments are pictured on the cover placed on an evergreen wreath. Beautiful! Here's what I have made so far....
They are too big to go on our little mini Christmas tree, but I think I might hang them from the upper cupboard door handles, if that doesn't drive Eldy crazy!

I made one last trip to a knitting shop in Shipshewanna for some yarn....I saw this gal making a scarf using these HUMONGOUS needles! I could never get the hang of those, I don't think, but bet she can crank out a scarf in no time! I bought some beautiful bamboo and silk sock yarn. I think I have enough sock yarn for my stash that I shouldn't have to visit another yarn shop for quite some time. THAT will never happen! The yarns are just too beautiful not to touch and buy for future projects!

Besides, I'll be using some of my sock yarn for making more ornaments and mini gifts to hang on my family's trees. I love decorating for Christmas and I love making things that I hope will be passed on to my children, so they will remember that I loved to create and make things for the home and for others.....It's a little harder to decorate a motorhome, but we'll have a few things to show it's the season.  Until next time.....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eyeglass Chains

These were created by my sister, Lyle...she is selling them at various locations around where she lives and travels...I just love these! I think she has a real talent for color and bead combinations. She has a natural eye for color in everything she does.

She also has been making ceiling pull chains and key ring fobs which I posted a photo awhile back, but here they are on a display board. Good job, Sis!   We are both trying to figure out an avenue to sell our things, Etsy is tough to be able to stay on display at the top of the list, there are so many vendors!

She also used to refinish old furniture and then tile the table tops which were just wonderful and very useful and beautiful for outdoor patio use...Wish I had some photos of her creations! I'll try to get her to send me some. She lives in a suburb of Detroit while we are traveling around so it's difficult to get our creations and photos together!

I was in Washington, D.C. all this week so I didn't do anything but finish a sock. This is made from Deborah Norville's Serenity sock yarn. It is a superwash blend and very very soft. I just love the feeling. I made them on smaller needles this time, size 2.75 mm, so the fit is better. Time to start the second sock! I haven't ventured into two at a time toe up socks on two circular needles yet, but some day....MAYBE! I really don't mind doing one sock at a time, even if they don't quite match up! This will be my third pair of socks and I love doing them! But I need to get more adventuresome in the leg parts. I saw Cat Bordi's video on the "sweet tomato heel" yesterday and really want to try that. It's a turned heel with no wraps and is constructed of a couple of wedges. It looks very easy and is VERY smooth. It's very cool! She has an e-book on that for 20.00 I'm thinking of purchasing. We'll see what the next few weeks brings!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Angels Among Us"

I like that Alabama song....I heard it earlier this week and it inspired me to make some little knitted angels this week. It's not Christmas without angels in there somewhere.....I wanted to make some either for my daughters and for my little Christmas tree we put up in the RV. I guess you could say they are also minis since they are so little. They are EASY to knit--no seams!...Knit in rounds, decrease a round for the neck, knit some more rounds. The wing is knit in seed stitch and garter stitch then tied up to make two wing halves and then  it is attached to the body. I used size 2 needles to make them.

The arms were hard to do the way the pattern suggested, which was to make one long arm, then poke a hole through the already stuffed, knitted body and pull out the arm through the other side. I decided to just knit two little arms and sew them separately to the body. The hair was a little bit of a challenge as well, but I just "worked it" to get a look of having some hair. For a little angel, there was quite a bit of "fussy" work, but I didn't mind doing it. What the heck! I'm retired! I've got lots of time to do stuff like that!  I liked the yarn I used, it had a nice sheen to it...Paton's "Grace" in ecru...I still need to add halos, and haven't quite figured out how I'm going to do that unless I find a beaded wire garland. I think I'll sew a little charm to where the hands are joined together. I think a themed charm would be cute--a book for a teacher, a heart for my girls when I make them each one.

Speaking of angels, I like to read the stories in Woman's World magazine about people's encounters with angels.....They are such positive stories!  Until next time....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photo Week

Another week has gone by quickly...I'm still working on my little knitted angels, trying to figure out how to do the beaded halo. The pattern says use a beaded garland, but I have not seen anything like that in the craft stores in the few I've been to, so I might just do a little wire halo and figure out how to attach it to the knitted body...

Fall is here in full force in Indiana...the trees are GORGEOUS! This is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler temperatures and my energy level soars after a long hot summer. We're having a lot of rain here in Elkhart, and it's getting me in the mood for crafting and making some other things besides knitting up ornaments. I bought some cute patterns for little purses, and some zippered "pocket pals" that would look cute in a child's room...Here's a photo of what those look like:

Speaking of photos, I just wanted to post my two favorites from this week's activities with the grandkids...The first is a little four year old friend that was spending the night with the grandkids that I thought was the cutest little girl. She was just sitting at the carving table watching me take photos of everyone, so I quickly snapped this one. She was a little shy, but then warmed up to me as the evening went on....She didn't know quite what to make of all the commotion going on with the other kids at our family get-together. She made a valiant effort to bob for apples because she thought that was the only way she was going to get a little treat bag. The minute she got her face and hair a little wet, she started to cry...Aw-w-w--w, we all felt badly for her and explained she was getting her treat bag anyway! I'll bet she breaks a few hearts when she gets older!

My second favorite photo is one where I focused on a part of the action....and not the kids.

I really like photos like these, I think it's a more interesting type of photo....I hope to be able to compose more shots that capture a different aspect of an activity or moment instead of always focusing on the people. I think it just makes your photos more artistic to have a variety. I'd like to grow my skills as a photographer and take a class or two somewhere along the way on our travels...or maybe an online course. I'll have to look into that....

This week I'll be traveling to Washington, D.C. to see my daughter for five days. I won't be crafting, I'll be a tourist! So there might not be a craft blog next Sunday....Maybe I'll focus on "artistic" photos, lol!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

All Thumbs!

I'm a glutton for punishment! This week I decided to tackle mini mitten Christmas make this little itty bitty mitten took double pointed needles, size 1, an extra cable holder for stitches that kept getting in the way, (I should have used a piece of scrap yarn to hold the stitches, I know!) and the patience of Job to work with DPNs the entire way through the pattern. Up until now, I have been using circular needles for just about everything I do, particularly the mini ornaments I've been focusing on. But this little guy was just too small for those, I couldn't go around in rounds easily.
So I used double pointed needles from the very cast on. Everybody says you have to make sure your stitches don't get twisted as you move the cast on stitches between three needles, but the cast on went so easily and did not get twisted, I  may try using these more often! And as I say that, I'll probably get all twisty with my cast on the next time I try double pointed needles from the start. It's really not as hard as it looks. You are only working with two needles at a time--the others dangle underneath and you move around counterclockwise. It was actually kind of fun using the needles! I picked up a shorter length to work with--4" long and that made a huge difference!

BUT--This project just wasn't quite as much fun as all my other "minis"--the hats and the sweaters, but it could be because I'm still working with really small sized needles...sizes 0 and 1 and there were such few stitches. I think I'll move up to size 3 for the next pair. Pair? Did I say pair? That means I've got to make another one to go on the little bitty needles before moving up another size...just to complete a pair. I don't HAVE to make another matching one, I could move on, but that's the perfectionist in me, I would like to have a pair of mini mittens...sigh!

This is one of those projects that I will look back on in my later years and say, "I can't believe I had the patience to do that!" or the eyesight! It reminds me of the time I made my mother a pieced paper lily wall quilt. I had never done pieced paper quilting. The pattern involved many many mini sections, then piecing the mini sections together to make the larger sections to make the wall hanging. I just dove in and did it, figuring one small section at a time was no big deal and very doable. The hard part was having seams match up while joining the smaller sections to the bigger ones. I had to fudge quite a bit. After I completed it, I said NEVER AGAIN! Here's a photo of it...the sad thing is, I don't know what happened to it in the various moves Mom did over the last few years, and it's disappeared...I'm just glad I have the photo to remember I did it!

I love working with sock yarn, it's so pretty and I love making small things, it goes much more quickly so I will probably still be on my minis another week or a little foldable purse I'm working on, it's knitted and then you block it to make a "snap" open looks and works like origami in principle. It will be here next week if it works out. (Update: Well, I can tell you right now, after trying and trying to figure out how to do the "folds" it's not going to work so I gave it up--too frustrating!) I want to have FUN or at least enjoy the process or learn something while creating and that was not enjoyable. On to something else!.....And next, I REALLY should tackle the WIP's (works in progress) I have in zip loc bags. Got about five of those going.....a scarf, knitted flowers, another adult sized sock, a vest for me, and more least I'm off dishcloths for the moment! Bye for now......

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mini Me

Actually, it's mini ornaments to be exact...I'm on a roll....for some reason, I  just really like these little itty-bitty knit patterns. They are relatively quick, it's not a big deal if you make a little mistake, and you don't have to worry about size! I can't wait to get my little table top pine tree up in the rig to decorate it with my little sweater, sox, and now, hats!
These are made out of leftover sock yarn. It takes about 15 yards to make one. I just love them, they are actually quite fun to do and take me about an hour for each one. The pattern shows a little Christmas-y style button towards the top of each hat. I'm not sure I'll go out and buy some little buttons for these guys, I kind of like them the way they are!

I also made another sweater this week, a little purple one...I think I'll make some more sweaters and hats, and maybe even some mini mittens. I found a pattern for those this week. Looks like I'll be knitting minis  for the next week or two until I get tired of making them. Maybe I'll go back to making myself another pair of socks, REGULAR big girl sox or working on a scarf I started. Got some other little projects in the works as well...another one is a little knitted foldable pouch/box for a little Christmas candy or a little note inside. We'll see what that looks like next week.

My sister, Lyle, apologizes for not having a creative streak lately. She's got lots of ideas, but she's working HARD at Ferncare, the free health clinic that just opened up in a new building in Ferndale, MI. That's really important work and she's putting in many, many hours for free because the people are so wonderful to work with...and it's such a wonderful cause to help those who cannot obtain medical care any place else......Even though she's not crafting at the moment, we bounce ideas off each other all the time...Some day when Eldy and I settle down more, we'll be finding a cause that's near and dear to our hearts, I'm sure. I've got my eye on Habitat for Humanity.....I love working with wood, lumber, nailing things, using tools.....I used to saw my own tole painting projects a few years back. I miss that...but for now, it's keep it simple in the little itsy bitsy teeny weeny things are right up my alley!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Just Sticks and Strings

Got a hot streak going....started making my little mini sweaters and then decided to tackle a mini sock. It took me an entire day of trying to find a pattern that I thought I could do and then to knit it up. There were lots of them out there, but some had a type of heel I didn't know how to do--wrap and turn. I watched quite a few Youtube videos on how to do those kind of heels, but had all kinds of trouble trying to do them on a little sock with so few stitches. I'd start another pattern, and run into problems with double pointed needles, which I hadn't worked with. I bet I started at least five times and ended up ripping it out five times. You almost need DPN's to do tiny little things like this, unless you use another method called "Magic Loop."

I didn't have the right needles to do the Magic Loop, so I kept telling myself, "Jeannie, these are just sticks and string, you can do this!" I ended up starting the mini sock with two circulars using some leftover Red Heart and Sole sock yarn, then switched over to double points, managed to get them under control, figured out how to pick up the heel stitches and finally turned out a little bitty three inch sock!

And here I am, a total of three little socks later...more ornaments for a mini Christmas tree! I'm gonna decorate a little tabletop Christmas tree at the little craft show and tell at the rally this coming week. I think it will look great! Might even make a few more mini knitted ornaments of another kind for the tree....Actually, I crocheted a little mini taco with catnip in it! I sewed a little pouch to put inside the taco, as I thought just putting some catnip straight into the taco, then sewing it shut might invite a little debris disaster if a cat played with it. The catnip might come out through the little crochet holes. I tested the kitty taco toy on a friend, Jan White. She didn't care for it much, lol. Neither did Mister, her cat. We think the catnip was too encased in fabric to get the aroma out to her cat. Phooey! Back to the drawing board or might just forget that one! It's kinda cute, though!

Wait, there's more! Crocheted a camera lens sock---not too happy with the type of yarn I used, even though the pattern recommended worsted...sometimes I get a yarn, think I know what I want to use it for, then when I work with it, or make it into something, it just doesn't quite turn out the way I hoped! It's a sturdy cover, and will do the job, but I wish it was a cooler color of yarn!
Time to go...craft show and sale is tomorrow afternoon...we'll see what might be a seller--dishcloths, knitted eggs, mini sweaters, mini socks, fabric jump drive holders, and a variety of knitted keychain holders and mini bags for storing things.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Something New and Different!

This week I found some really cute patterns for little mini sweaters and socks for Christmas ornaments. The challenge is actually being able to follow the pattern! I've got the sweaters down, and have made three already. They are really fun to do! The socks, now that's another story! I have made two grownup pairs of sox, and to make teeny tiny little ones involves quite a bit of "fussing" with double pointed needles and new methods of making a little sock that I'm not familiar with, so the sox are going to have to wait till next week. Back to the sweaters for now.....

The first two are made from worsted weight...
Here's a little sweater I embellished with a snowflake of my own design..I think it would look cute with some "bling" little rhinestones at the tip of each snowflake branch?
And here's my favorite so far, made from leftover sock yarn....

I'm going to make little tiny wire coat hangers to hang this on a little tree in our RV if they don't sell at the craft show and tell......still debating on whether to do a little beaded design of some sort on each sweater to add a little "sparkle" to it, since they are ornaments. The jury is still out on this one...any votes one way or another?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

I missed a week on the craft blog! The weekend went by so fast, then pretty soon it was Wednesday into this week, and then I decided, oh, what the heck! Might as well wait till this coming weekend to post.

I just found out that there's going to be a craft sale at the rally in Ohio that we are going to at the end of the month. Just one afternoon, but that's motivation to get some things finished up--more dishcloths, and maybe some sewing kinds of things, they are quicker to do than knit! Here's my latest dishcloth...
getting a little more fancy with my stitches!
I found a cute pattern for a mug wrapped in a cozy with slots for pencils and pens and stuff. I think I'm going to make up a few of those for the craft's the pattern...If anybody has any thoughts on whether that's a great item that might interest people, let me know.  The mug comes with the cozy! I base most of my crafting decisions on if I personally like it and think I'd buy it, then somebody else might like it as well! I like to try and find practical things, too...

Then I found some patterns that might be great for RVers, which is what this rally is going to be all about....I thought organizers would be a great thing to have. I know we are always looking for ways to maximize space in our motorhome. Would love to have some feedback from anybody who stumbles across this blog or who reads it now and then...These organizers fit over the backs of the captain's chairs or hang from a hook somewhere.....
Then there is always the checkbook cover....I think I'll make up a few of those in cute prints....

I'll refrain from saying until next week, as it looks like I'm going to be a little remiss in getting something on here every week! So I'll just say, until next time....... Jeannie and Lyle

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Second Pair of Socks

I've been working on these this past week and for the most part am very happy with them, EXCEPT they are too loose! These were done on size 2 needles (2 circulars), so to bump down to a size 1 is going feel like microscopic to my aging eyes! I'm going to have to figure out a generic toe up sock pattern where I can change the body of the sock to fit my foot better, and still be able to turn the heel. I don't quite understand how that works when you change the pattern numbers, how that's going to affect the gusset and slipping stitches part of the heel. I've been looking, but will have to keep trying....

I've looked at "Come to Silver's Sock Class" and another gal--Liat, from Knit Freedom...she's got some great videos on knitting....I'm sure somewhere there's a sox pattern maker..ooh! I think I remember something about a "sockulator" where you put in your foot measurements and a pattern is generated. Will have to take a look at that, too. But I only know how to do toe up socks right now. If it's a DPN pattern or a Magic Loop pattern, I'm not sure I can convert it. Challenges, challenges, challenges....

My sister, Lyle, is also making is one of her creations this week....I'm looking forward to seeing more of these! (Hint, hint, sis!)
We'll see you next week...I'm working on knitted and crocheted flowers this coming week......

The Two Sisters........Lyle and Jeannie

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crafting Something New

Very short post this week...we're busy exploring Glacier National Park...I finished my second pair of socks (yay!) and will have a photo next week.

My sister, Lyle, has been the crafter this week...she is making ceiling fan chain pulls with are some of her designs.....

I really like these and am glad she is making "stuff" again...she's a busy retiree working at a health clinic for people who can't afford regular medical care..It's called Ferncare and it's in Ferndale, MI. She puts in many many hours a week for free to help run the clinic, so not much time for her to craft.

Right now, I'm trying to talk her into selling on Etsy, so we'll see what happens! Until next week....

                                                                      Jeannie and Lyle

Monday, August 15, 2011

Something Accomplished....

I've decided to knit a whole bunch of things in preparation for a craft show yet unamed, or planned, but I know the state, Florida! I'm thinking that when we winter at a great RV park in Naples, FL, that I might talk the managers into having a little craft show for the park. We'll be there in December and a craft show would be a great gift idea generator, I think!

After having gotten the family reunion out of the way, the wedding out of the way, it's full steam ahead for crafting! For now, I've knitted some more dishcloths and working on some baby shower cloths. I think I'll make some more knitted dolls from the same company that I knitted the first doll from a few weeks ago--AK Traditions, from Australia. I think I'll also do some quilted things just to mix it up a little! and why not throw in some key fobs while I'm at it! Just a little bit of everything ought to cover it! Cover it? Heck, maybe I'll go back to working on some cell phone covers or ipad covers, too! That should keep me busy as we start to spend more time in places before moving on.....We're slowing down on our traveling and spending more time in one place, like a month, so we can save on fuel costs the rest of this year.

This week I made some more dishcloths...I gave a few away at the reunion and the wedding, so needed to make some more! I like the baby ones, these are a lamb and a rocking horse. But I'm not sure Peaches and Creme yarn is the softest 100% cotton. Might look around some more for some other alternatives, like "Dishie" on Knitpicks website. Here are the ones I made this addition to the variegated one on top:

I read somewhere on the Knitting Paradise forum that some lady makes over 300 dishcloths a year and sells in the world would you have any time for doing anything else but knitting unless she is using a knitting machine--she didn't say. I like to knit but not that much to do it all day long, not to mention how stiff the fingers would get! It takes me about three hours to do one dishcloth, knitting straight at it. I would love to sell some of these, but don't think there's much of a market and you can't sell them for much as it is, just barely over the cost of the yarn itself.

I'm thinking it's time to switch to a different sort of project so we'll see what the week brings! We're getting ready to go to Glacier National Park for a week, so I might not be crafting as much this coming week.....My sister has been busy with the volunteer medical clinic that she is helping run in Ferndale, MI, so she has not been crafting much at all lately. Life has a way of getting in the middle of these crafts and hobbies, doesn't it?  Bye for now.....Jeannie and Lyle

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Too Busy to Craft!

I'm committed to posting once a week, but this week has been too busy to accomplish anything! My youngest brother got married and with all the preparations and helping him get everything done, all crafts went by the wayside this week....Here's a photo of my sister and my baby brother, Charlie the day before the wedding...He is SO photogenic!

I AM working on a new pair of socks--for me...I'll have a photo next week when I get one sock done. It's made from Kroy sock yarn in a pretty hunter green tonal color. I've been trying to be a little more adventurous with branching out and maybe trying something other than a basic sock. I purchased a book called New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book I by Cat Bordhi. It is filled with beautiful knitting patterns for socks and sock construction in ways that are just really really different. It's very inspiring, but VERY confusing to me at the moment. I'm sure when she wrote it it was crystal clear to her and her publisher, but reading through it, I'm totally lost. I debated selling it on Amazon, but then I thought, there might come a day down the road when I am ready to try something really different. For now, I decided instead of regular ribbing at the top, I'd do a garter rib...I don't think I like it! And I'm too lazy to frog it out and try again....

So for now, it's back to traveling on the road and when the dust settles, I'll have some more photos of things I'm working on.....until next week....     Jeannie (and Lyle, too!)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back to Dishcloths for Now

I gave away some of my dishcloths at the family reunion. One of my favorites, was the sailboat. So, of course, I had to make another one for myself! The sailboat is from a book called Baby Washcloths to Knit by Melissa BerglandBurnham.  I found another book on dishcloths on Annie's Attic, which I bought and then downloaded. It's called More Than a Dozen Dishcloths by Lisa Carnahan.

I know you can download LOTS of dishcloths on  and I have, I guess the colorful pictures of Lisa's dishcloths captured my eye more at the moment! It's like walking into a nice local yarn store and seeing all the wonderful skeins of beautiful hand dyed yarns and wanting to buy some of those as opposed to Red Heart yarn at the local Walmart!

No big projects at the moment..I knitted so much my left hand and wrist started bothering me so I backed off a bit. I'm a "thrower" and I know those knitting movements can be hard on your wrists and fingers....also used the steel needles for the dishcloths and that pressure against the wrists is not good. I may take a look at learning how to do Continental knitting, it's supposed to be less stressful on the lots of stuff in the motorhome I COULD do...a small punch needle sheep pattern that is designed to be a hot pad or possibly a chair stool pad, some cross stitch ornaments I started last year when we first went out on the road, and some other things.....the heat (in the nineties this week in Washington state on the eastern side)  is just bogging me down and I don't feel much like doing anything! My fingers are a little swollen, so the heat is affecting me that way, too....Guess I'm getting a little lazy in these hot temperatures!

My brother's wedding is this coming Saturday...I am looking forward to taking lots of wedding photos with our new Nikon 3100 SLR camera. I need to practice beforehand so that's something I can do this on the settings and take different types of shots....that's the ticket!  Until next week then......