October Brings…

The month of October is upon us.  For most people around here it means cider mills, apples,  really good donuts, hay rides,  pumpkins,  and we can’t forget,  Halloween!  

I saw a crocheted item on Facebook the other day and thought oh, how cute!  And I ran down to my wife cave and grabbed three things of yarn.  

Any guesses?  I didn’t look for a pattern because it looked like something that I could just wing it and have it turn out. 

Got it figured out yet?  That’s right,  a little crocheted pumpkin!  

This was a lot of fun to make, easy to wing it,  and took about 1 1/2 hours total to make.  I’m thinking of making another one.  Since I didn’t make up a pattern,  the next one could end up bigger,  smaller,  or a disaster.  We shall see!  

What are you making to celebrate the fall season? 

Finally, Some Crafting Time

This year is proving to be even busier than last year for work,  especially Wednesdays and Thursdays.  So I haven’t had much time to do very much crafting of any sort in months.  Just a little here and there. 

I’ve done a little crocheting:



I did some sewing back in January at our sewing retreat (Sew Crazy quilt store sewing retreat).  I finished one quilt top that I can’t share because it’s a gift for someone.  I also worked on trying to design something new.



Last night I finally took some time to myself and worked on some needle painting embroidery again.  My rose trio was feeling neglected.  I added a bit more to the greenery and started filling in one of the roses. 


Remember my telling you about the new feral kitten my hubby brought home? She’s growing up nicely and had become my little velcro shadow.  I finally have a lap kitty! 




My First Doily – Finally Blocked

During our remodeling, sorting, donating, and reorganizing, my hubby found the first doily that I ever made. One I’ve searched for on and off for the past two years!!

I was very happy that he found it, and immediately grabbed my tools for blocking it.

Before blocking:




And done!:


The color actually goes well with our living room remodel. So now I need to make a second one that I can put under the other table lamp.

Is Blocking Necessary?

I’ll admit, I’m horrible about blocking items that I make. To be honest, this week was the first time I’ve actually sat down and blocked a couple doilies that I made a year or so ago.

Even though I’ve seen numerous before and after pictures of items that have been blocked, I still didn’t see the need in spending all that time on it. Besides I’ve only made a few items that even would benefit from it.

My tools of the trade that I used are fairly simple. A piece of pink insulation foam. And some plastic toothpicks. Water. And paper towels. I soaked the doilies in water then squeezed out the water. After that I carefully rolled the doilies in paper towels to get the majority of the water out without completely drying them. Then using the plastic picks, I pinned the doilies to the foam.


By the way, around here it’s really hard to find plastic picks like these except for around the summer holidays. I checked almost every time I was at the grocery stores and finally one day, there they were again. They work really well. They don’t rot during the drying process like wooden toothpicks could. And you don’t have to worry about searching for rust proof metal pins. Now if I could only keep my kitty Penny from unpinning the doilies and stealing the picks!

So, is blocking necessary? Well it’s not life or death if you don’t do it, but it can take a pretty doily or delicate shawl or table runner (etc) and turn it gorgeous.

Unblocked doilies:



During blocking (I used the green doily since the pink won’t show up on the foam):


And after blocking is finished:


The green one was still slightly damp when I was doing the pictures for this post.

A side-by-side comparison of blocked and unblocked doilies:


Is blocking required? No.
Does it make a noticeable difference? Yes.
Is it necessary? Not really, but I’m sure once you do it, you’ll see the benefits definitely outweigh the time spent doing it.

Where’s The Crochet?

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted much crochet lately and may be wondering why. ┬áSadly, I haven’t been able to do much crochet lately due to a medical condition called Ezcema that affects my hands. I’ve had this on and off my whole life, but the last couple years it has been pretty bad on my hands due to chemicals at work, and the last couple months has been worse. ┬áBecause of this, I have not been able to crochet because the condition causes my hands to crack badly which then snags the yarn and makes crocheting difficult.

Sewing on the other hand, isn’t affected as much. And hand embroidery doesn’t seem to be an issue either as the thread doesn’t catch on my hands. (I think because of the difference in how I hold yarn versus thread for hand sewing).


Until my project at work is finished and I’m away from the harsh chemicals, I probably will not get to crochet as much so you won’t see much crochet showcased on this blog for a bit. But please stay tuned for more embroidery, sewing, and eventually more crochet again!

The Letter A – Beginnings of a Present

Another baby is on the way in my family. (it’s not me). So I decided to make another baby gift while learning/practicing more embroidery.

Using an alphabet pattern from my newest book:


After a couple hours worth of time looking through, tracing, trying a different one, etc, I finally settled on the ones from pages 96-98 which came from a 1925 publication.


One of the small changes I did was to use different flowers for each letter (taken from other alphabets in the book) rather than have each letter use the same flower.

Colors used:
DMC 826 (blue) for the letter.
DMC 954 (green) for the flower stems.
DMC 444 (yellow) for the flower.

A few more letters to finish, then I can do the rest of the gift.

Stash Bag/Grocery Bag

I started this bag last weekend and finally finished it last night. It is based on a bag I saw on another blog (Crochetbug) and I thought “well I can make something like that”. I didn’t follow her links to find the pattern she used because it looked fairly easy to figure out something similar.

I built up the base using HDC rounds and increasing each round until I had 68 stitches to work with. After that my rounds were:
Round 1: chain 4, skip 3 st, sc in next. Repeat around until back at first st. Join with slst.
Round 2: slst into first ch 4 loop. Ch 1. 4 hdc in each ch 4 loop around. Join with slst.
Round 3: ch 1, hdc in same st. Hdc in each st around. Join with slst to first hdc. (should still have 68 st).

Repeat rounds 1-3 until bag is as tall as you want. End on a round 3. Then add additional round 3’s until the top is as wide as you want.

I made sure to still have 68 st around when I was done. For the handle, I did hdc in first 4 st of last round. Ch 1, turn, hdc across 4 st. Rinse and repeat until I had the length i wanted. I then counted out 30 st along the last full round to figure out where to attach my handle on the other side.

Picture time:
The first picture is of the bag laying flat. This is made with Sugar,n Cream cotton yarn in the colorway Wooded Moss.


The second picture, I hung the bag from my OTT light and snapped the shot. The bag looks a lot darker on the outside but with the light shining from within, it really highlights the pattern in my opinion:


This bag doesn’t have as much stretch in it as the other two grocery bags that I made. Which could be good or bad.

Granny Still Growing

I haven’t crocheted much in the past week. We had another death in the family and I haven’t felt like crocheting that much since we got the news. My hubby’s cousin passed away last week at the age of 36 after a 3 1/2 year battle with cervical cancer.

Before we got the news, I had added a few more rounds to the giant granny blanket. Tonight I felt like doing some crochet so I added a couple more rounds.



Originally I was going to make this blanket for our house. Maybe to put on the bed in the guest room. But i decided that it will be added to the donation pile.

To my female readers: get checked. Make sure you have your yearly exams. Take care of yourselves.

Building Blocks Blanket – Finished and Delivered

The blanket is finally delivered! My sister-in-law’s baby shower was this afternoon. She seems to love the colors of the blanket.

Now that it’s been delivered, I can now show you the finished Building Blocks blanket.




I used the same border on A’s baby blanket that I used on Viviann’s Garden, found on the Cherry Heart blog.

The squares are varying sizes of granny squares ranging from 2 rounds up to 8 rounds.

What do you think? Bright enough colors for a baby?