Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's day

I realize that yesterday was Mother's day.  A belated Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there.

I was treated to supper out at one of our favorite restaurants and a car washing.  Mostly a really good day.  I spent my morning selling carnations at my church and that got me thinking about an article I saw recently.  I didn't get to read the whole thing but the idea of it was that a pair of teen girls crochet corsages each year.  I didn't get to the part that says what these are for.

I know there are a few flower books on the market.  I know lion brand has a bunch of flower patterns also.  Perhaps  next year I will knit or crochet a corsage.  Maybe for myself, maybe for my mother in law,and definitely in favorite flower s and colors. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Schedules

Classes with Wendy Stumpf

Beginner Crochet 1                         April 27
Broomstick Lace                              April 29
Beginner Crochet 2                            May 4
Tunisian Crochet 1                             May 5
Granny Squares 1                               May 11
Crochet Joining Class                         June 1
Crochet Socks                                     June 2
Lace Shawl (learn chart reading)     June 8
Beginner Crochet 1                         August 3
Crochet Ornament Class August 4
Beginner Crochet 2                         August 17
Crochet Sweater (Back)                 August 18
Beginner Crochet 1                         August 31
Crochet Sweater [Front(s)]      September 1
Granny Square 2         September 14
Crochet Sweater (Sleeves)     September 15
Solomon’s Knot                        September 28
Crochet Sweater Joining/finishing      September 29

Warm Up America Joining Party
I will continue to go to Michaels on Quentin Rd., Lebanon, to join blocks until they are finished.  The need is great.  Donations of these afghans will go to Lebanon HOPES and Lebanon Rescue Mission, our homeless shelters.  I will be there from 2 pm – 4 pm.  Come join me!
April 26                May 3           August 30          September 13                    September 27              

Knit Classes

With Wendy Stumpf
Mobius Knitting                                May 1
Beginner Knit 1                                 May 7
I-Cord Knitting                                  May 8
Miter Knitting                                   May 21
Lace Knitting                                     May 22
Knit Joining Class                             June 4
Knit Socks                                          June 5
Short Rows                                       June 11
Beginner Knit 1                                 August 6
Knit Ornaments                                August 7
Knit Beginner 2                                 August 20
Knit Sweater (Back)                         August 21
Beginner Knit 1                            September 3
Knit Sweater (Fronts)                 September 4
Cables 1                                      September 17
Knit Sweater (Sleeves)              September 18
Entrelac 1 (Basic)                             October 1
Knit Sweater (Joining/finishing)    October 2

Warm Up America Joining Party
I will continue to go to Michaels on Quentin Rd., Lebanon, to join blocks until they are finished.  The need is great.  Donations of these afghans will go to Lebanon HOPES and Lebanon Rescue Mission, our homeless shelters.  I will be there from 2 pm – 4 pm.  Come join me!
April 26                May 3           August 30          September 13                    September 27              

Kids Knit and Crochet Classes

With Wendy Stumpf

Kid Knit – Finger Knitting                April 25
Kid Crochet 1                                                      May 2
Kid Knit – Loom Knitting                                   May 9
Kid Crochet 2                                                    May 30
Kid Knit 1                                                          June 13
Kid Weaving                                                   August 8
Kid Knit 2                                                      August 22
Kid Crochet 3                                        September 19

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What can you do with the most basic crochet stitch - the chain?

Some people, those who "don't know any better" or with really creative minds, can create masterpieces.  Basic ideas that come to almost all minds include jump ropes, jewelry, scarves and bookmarks.

As a small child, my mother taught my sister and I to finger crochet.  We made chains, chains and more chains.  We found the sport weight yarn didn't make good jump ropes. It needs some weight to be effective.  The yarn jewelry and scarves were frowned upon by Mom.  The hand crafted look was not one she liked or approved.  To be fair to Mom, psychedelic colors on skinny yarn finger crocheted by 5 year olds may have had less to do with hippie look and more to do with us not strangling each other during our fights.

She did however encourage us to make the chains.  Sadly she couldn't teach us to use the hook and make bigger stitches.  I'm not sure if this was because we didn't get it or if we lacked the fine motor skills.  Either way, we were encouraged and she dutifully sewed the chains into mats to sit a bud vase on.  Yes, you read right. I said sewed as in needle and thread.  I need to mention Mom hated to sew.  I had forgotten this memory until I started writing about this topic.  Sadly I can't post any pictures. I have no idea what happened to those childhood treasures.

Through the years I have learned or thought of more ways to use this most basic crochet stitch.  I have used chains to

  • Be a substitute for ribbons for packages or hair
  • Ties for hats
  • Puppy leash
  • Shoelaces
  • Drawstring for trunks, hoods, or sleep pants
  • Garland
  • Snowflakes
  • Doilies
  • Shawls
  • Thermal blankets
I don't advise the leash.  Puppies like to chew.  I don't advise the shoestrings for long term use.  The wear factor is nil at the eyelets.

I was surprised when I saw the blanket and shawl patterns.  The blanket was in an old, old baby pattern book.  The premise of the pattern is chains held together at short regular intervals with slip stitches.  This is repeated for the length of the blanket.  Even though I knew the size yarn used in the 40s, I decided to  try this pattern for a new baby.  This was a tedious, no rhythm slooooow to grow blanket.  The baby got a sweater.

I still have hope for the blanket.  It just needs tweaked.  The snowflakes and doilies are no surprise since lace is all about chains to create holes when combined with slip stitches.  For the record, a slip stitch is a chain that happens to go through the fabric you are creating to either join two ends or allow you to travel to the spot where the new row/round begins.

The shawl also surprised me.  The shawl I am referring to is the flower of life chain shawl.  It is based on chains, slip stitches and hexagons.  Holding the chain stitches in their floral design are the slip stitches.  I know there are more patterns out there using just this basic stitch, but I'll let you have some fun discovering them.  Please post a link in the comments of your findings.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Afghans galore!!

We have been lucky enough here in Lebanon to have enough blocks to put together 7 adult afghans, 5 baby afghans, and have 3 completed afghans donated.  We also had a bunch of hats donated.  I know they will get put to good use either locally or at Parkland with the baby afghans.  As I was uploading these pictures, I noticed I have a few loose ends to weave in and clip.

Check out what the volunteers have been up to.....  I'm impressed with the generosity of all who donated their time and talents to helping others.  Thank you!!






Monday, March 9, 2015

tiny travel purse

Last year due to the weather, my husband and I have had to rearrange our rooms a bit.  As much as I like winter, this one has been a challenge at times.  But due to that new set-up, I came across the small purse I crocheted for the trips we have taken.  I really like it as I can tuck it in a pocket if necessary or carry it on my wrist. In spite of its size it holds a lot.  I carried my husband's smart phone when we were together.  It also carried my cell phone, the cash/traveler's checks, license, credit and debit cards, insurance cards (you never know what could happen when traveling), my emergency knit/crochet guide, change, confirmation pages for all the reservations, crochet hook, pen, pencil, note paper, and some jewelry.  Best part of this was the airlines didn't count it as a purse, so I could take a backpack with as another carryon with clothes and other essentials.

How did I make this?  What would I change?  What did I like about it?  I like it for its compact size and stretchy nature.  If I did another one, I would add a gusset.  And now for the pattern.

Tiny Travel Purse

1 oz worsted weight acrylic yarn, color of choice.  I used Red Heart Super Saver in aspen print.
5 yards of a contrast color.  I used Red Heart Super Saver in aran.
H hook
4 inch closed on both ends zipper

Pocket 1. (Make 2)

Ch 16.
R1: hdc in 3rd ch from hook and rest of ch across.
R2-6: ch 2, turn and  hdc in each st across.
Fasten off after row 6.

Pocket 2  (Make 2)

Ch 16.
R1: hdc in 3rd ch from hook and rest of ch across.
R 2-9: ch 2, turn, and hdc on each st across.
Fasten off after row 9.

Main body (Make 2)

Ch 16.
R1: hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in rest of ch across.
R2-15: ch 2, turn, and hdc in each st across.
Fasten off.

Now decide your configuration.  I put the pockets all on the outside.  You can put some inside and some outside.  My configuration is pocket 1 on the very outside, pocket 2 is between 1 and the main body.  I did this on both sides with all the bottoms at the bottom of the bag.  Now starting at the thinnest part at the top of one side, single crochet all together with the contrasting color.  Work down the side through all layers as you come to them.  Work 2 sc in the corners, across the bottom and back up the other side to the corner.  For the strap, I worked 30 foundation sc and joined to the beginning sc.  Sew the zipper by hand.  That's all there is to it.

For the gusset,  ch 6, hdc in 3rd ch and across.  Ch 2 turn and hdc across.  Rep R 2 until you have 40 rows.  Insert it Between the pockets/main body sections and sc these sections to each side.  Lastly sew in the zipper.  Do this by hand for 2 reasons.  1 It's too small to do on your sewing machine easily and 2 you can be sure to position it just right and not shred the yarn.

In the new issue of Crochet World!, I saw a similar item.  The magazine called it a car organizer as it clipped on the air vent.  It was also one sided to hold the daily commute necessities.  Guess good ideas really are timeless...

My Christmas Gift Giving List

I have many plans for Christmas Gifts this year.  I do every year but I have hopes for this year given my "resolution" for 2015.

For my daughter in law, I have Corrine.  This is a ballet style sweater being knit in magenta worsted.  I will have to check the brand of yarn and needle size.  For her also, at her request, several pairs of slippers and fingerless gloves.  She wore out the previous ones.

For my older son, I plan a sweater.  No plans for pattern, color or yarn.

For my younger son, I plan several pairs of wool socks in varying weights.  He has size 12 feet.

For my sister, I plan a scarf in sock weight yarn in an orange, white, black variegated.  The pattern will be a tiger cable.  I will probably use size US 4 needles.  She has a special place in her heart for tigers.

For my husband, I have no ideas.  Since he is more of a jeans and tshirt man, I know I won't be doing a sweater for him.

For my mother and father in law, I have no ideas.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I've been looking forward to 2015.  I have made a decision.  Well, more than two decisions were made.  The only things I will be starting will be for me. I will be finishing my UFOs.  I will no longer be teaching at Michaels.  As of April 1, my classes there are done.

I came to this first decision after 2 things happened, I listened to the Knitmore girls podcast, episode 311 in which they talk about being Grinch-y during the holiday season and only knitting for yourself and after I went to get ready for a round of family holiday parties and learned I had "nothing" to wear.  OK, not entirely true but my general wardrobe for work for my day job is jeans and t-shirts with sweatshirts.  My teaching wardrobe is black slacks and beige shirts or the opposite, not necessarily the most festive in appearance or feeling even with jewelry or accessories that I don't have in abundance.

So in Jasmin Knitmore style, I have made a decision that this year I will do only new projects for myself and I will be working on finishing projects that have been sitting languishing in my UFO bin.  This will also gain me quite a few Christmas presents for this coming holiday. As I finish things I will be sharing pictures and who will get what.

As to the third decision, this was not made lightly and doesn't need to be gone into.  I like them all very much and will miss seeing them on a regular basis. They made my time there extremely good for me.  I wish them all the best with future endeavors.  I know I will be stopping in from time to time to visit too.