July 6 2017

Aunt Mary’s Antique Crochet circa 1974

I was thinking about crochet and talking to someone about granny squares and that got me thinking about the things my favorite Aunt Mary made us when we were kids. It meant to much that she made these things especially for me, that I save them. I know I wasn’t given special treatment because she made them for all her nieces I think. I recall a photo that was taken at our grandfather’s funeral in 1974 with many of the girl cousins dresses in matching patriotic ponchos. The only difference was that I think some had blue fringe and trim and some had red like the one shown here. I was eight years old at the time and I would guess all three of these pieces were about the same size. The two granny square ones were made the same front and back, so there wasn’t the need to take so many photos to show measurements and such as there was with the little red vest.

If you are handy with figuring out patterns, please feel free to do so. I do ask that you share a copy of the pattern with me, link back to this blog post and that you not use my photos without my permission.

 

My sisters and I all had a tank vest like this but they were in different color combinations. One had bright yellow where the pink is on this one if I recall correctly.

 

I don’t know if Aunt Mary made this little red vest shown below or not because quite honestly, I don’t recall ever having seen it before. I thought it worthy of sharing anyway, and because it is more complex I tried to take the photos so anyone who wants to can make a pattern.

This is the back with side seams showing, though they are barely noticeable, really.

The right front has little ties to loop through the hole on the left front and tie it closed.

The edging is the same all the way around the neck, hem and front opening.

This shows the edging and side seam areas pretty well.

All three of these pieces appear to be made with acrylic yarn similar to Red Heart Super Saver, a worsted weight “4” size would be my guess. It suddenly dawns on me just how much time my aunts must have spent crocheting, but then again they didn’t have the internet or nearly as many television channels to distract them.

If I can find them, somewhere I also have several Barbie dresses made by my aunt Mary or Aunt Norma (Mom’s side). I also have a knitted Christmas stocking made by my grandmother (on Dad’s side) that is personalized with name and birth year. If these sound like something you would be interested in seeing photos of also, please leave a comment below. Subscribe to the blog using the box on the right side of this page so you won’t miss any future posts. Stay tuned!

June 29 2017

Learn to Crochet Edging on Fleece Blankets

Rotary Cutter with Skip-Stitch Blade

Crochet edging is a great way to add a personal touch to a fleece blanket. There are so many options for fleece available. Here are two I have bought to edge as gifts for specific people. Both of these team prints were bought at Hancock Fabrics. I used black yarn to add trim to both. When making a blanket for an adult, I usually get 2 yards (60 x 72 inches)  or if the person is particularly tall, 2-1/4 yards (60 x 81 inches). These blankets are very snuggly and washable, perfect for car trips or watching TV under on a chilly night.

University of Cincinnati Bearcats Fleece Fabric
University of Alabama Crimson Tide Fleece Fabric

Shark Baby BlanketNote the stitches on this one mimic the teeth and gums on the sharks.

Learn to make these easy blankets yourself. Continue reading

June 25 2017

Steady (Five Minute Friday)

Steady is something I think I have always tried to achieve. To me, steady means dependable, consistent and ongoing. I want to be a steady writer with a steady income and feel like that writing life is stable. I like the idea of working consistently toward a goal by breaking it down into baby steps that are manageable.

I have been making steady progress on a few of my goals for 2017. While I got off to a very slow start (5 months into the year before starting) on the office clean out project, I feel like I have gotten a great deal accomplished on that so far in June.

My goal of crocheting 26 hats this year for charity is one I jumped on very early and got ahead on. Now, before the year is even half over, I am finished with 25 of the 26 hats that I set as my yearly goal. If only I could make such steady progress on other things!

I have wanted, since November 2013 when I finished my first NaNoWriMo challenge, to become a year-round writer. To me, that means someone who writes during the other 11 months of the year, not just in November. It has taken almost 4 years, but I can honestly say that I AM a year-round writer now. I may not be writing books all year, but I am writing and publishing blog posts.
I feel like all of these little things helps me to make steady, albeit slow progress toward achieving my goals.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!

The prompt this week is: Steady

The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write. 

June 22 2017

Crochet for Better Mental Health

Have you ever considered learning to knit or crochet? Perhaps you should. It could help your all around mental health.

I have discovered that I like the mind-numbing meditative comfort of knowing I can make the hat pattern I make all the time. I have to focus a bit at the beginning of each hat and count the stitches in each row before moving on, but then I can just crochet and talk to those around me without fear of messing up. It is very relaxing and enjoyable as long as my carpel tunnel doesn’t act up too much.

The fact that most of the hats I make will be given to the homeless and help make them warmer and let them know that someone cares about them only makes it that much better.

I can carry the things I need to make each hat in either a quart or gallon sized slider plastic storage bag. Easy enough to tuck into my tote bag or toss in the trunk so I can always have something constructive to do. Much of the yarn I use to make the hats has been donated to me for this purpose. It is my pleasure to find ways to make almost every hat unique and beautiful. I especially enjoy using variegated yarns because you never know what sort of pattern you will end up with. Note the diagonal striping in the brown hat shown below. I have fun putting different yarns together to see how they will turn out. See some of the photos below to see how pair different solid color yarns with the same variegated yarn can drastically change the way it looks. Here are some of my latest creations. So far, I have made 24 hats in 2017.

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June 17 2017

3rd Update on Office Project

On Wednesday, 6/14, I spent a total of about 3-1/2 hours working in the office. I didn’t intend to work so long, but I had pulled up a video on NetFlix to watch that didn’t really require much actual watching, just listening. It was a two-hour video and I told myself I would just putz around a bit while I watched so I wouldn’t feel so guilty about not doing anything constructive. I started out by moving the boxes of paper that were so overfilled they had become piles. I decided to disconnect my desktop computer and pull out all the wires. I wiped everything down to get rid of the thick coating of dust that had accumulated. I found I had tons of things connected to my computer. A few were disconnected but never reconnected because I want to reevaluate whether I even use them. I figure I will reconnect them if and when I need them.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, I could see some real progress. As the saying goes, things had to get much worse before they could get better. I felt like I was making a huge mess when I moved things out of the way to wipe the desktop and get rid of all dust bunnies hiding everywhere. Apparently, I don’t have a dust allergy. I tried arranging things a little differently but discovered they wouldn’t work in the new places I thought I would put them, so things went mostly back the way they were but without the piles of paper and clutter. Here are the before and after photos.

Right side under hutch (Before)

 

Scanner area of desktop (Before)

Desktop (After)

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