Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rest & Relaxation

What a wonderful week of holiday festivities, food and family.  Now... time to relax with a cup of tea and lose myself in a yarn project.

After exclusively crocheting for the last 6 months, I've switched gears and picked up my knitting needles.  Someday I'd like to try knitting cables, but haven't worked up the courage to try yet.  In the meantime, I came across this "mock cable pattern" and enjoy it immensely.  Not difficult, soothing to work, yet just enough concentration needed to make it interesting and satisfying.

A scarf in the making, using one of my favorite acrylic yarns, Caron Simply Soft.
I discovered this pattern through the lovely blog, My Sewing Serenity.  Here's the pattern if you'd like to give it a try:

Mock Cable Rib (Pattern Stitch)
(Multiple of 4 sts plus 2)

Row 1:  (RS) *P2, k2; repeat from *, end p2
Row 2 and 4:  *K2, p2; repeat from *, end k2
Row 3:  *P2, k2tog without slipping sts from needle, then k first st again, drop both sts from needle;  repeat from *, end p2

Repeat rows 1-4 for pattern st

Example:  Worsted weight yarn cast on 46 sts.  Work for desired length.  Bind off.  Approx. 240 yds for ~ 9 1/2 " x 49" scarf.

Enjoy some down time and quiet moments :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I 'Heart' Hearts

Heart = Love

This festive heart is perfect for the holiday season, but it hangs in my home all year long!

I found this heart recently by accident.  Went to a store selling handmade items and it was stuffed in a little basket on the floor.  It's a felted beauty embellished with ribbon, yarn, buttons and felted bits.

Turn it over and the back is knitted with stripes.  Such wonderful handmade goodness.

And just a final thing to share with those who need some last minute gift tags.  I found these via My Sweet Savannah, but you can go right over here to download the free template.  They're really wonderful.  Make a bunch of them to have on hand any time.

Merry holidays, blessings and joy to you all :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010


I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
~ Maya Angelou ~

Completed granny throw for my sister
Thinking of her with every stitch

Ready to be wrapped and sent with love

Beanies for a wonderful young couple I know who will be spending the holidays in the chilly Northeast

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, Size N hook

Simple sc rib pattern from Lion Brand:

Tweed Hat
Lion Brand Tweed Stripes Yarn, 1 skein
Gauge:  11 sc = about 4 inches (10 cm)

Ch 26
Row 1:  Work a sc in the 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across - 25 sc
Row 2:  Ch 1, turn, working in back loops only, sc in each sc across
Repeat Row 2 until piece measures about 19 inches (48.5 cm) from beginning.  Fasten off, leaving a long tail.  Thread tail through ends of rows along one long edge and pull to gather for top of hat.  Knot securely.

Since I used a super chunky yarn, I adjusted the foundation chain to 22.  Very quick and simple to make.

Have a lovely season of heartfelt giving :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little Luxuries :: Soap

I'm off to work shortly, but wanted to share some purchases I made this past weekend.  I love a good deal and am always looking for bargains.  So off to my local Ross store I went - prepared to face brutal parking and crowds this time of year.  I was pleasantly surprised to find neither (I must have gone at the right time!).  My aim was to find soap to go with the washcloths I've been making as gifts.  Oh my, I wasn't disappointed...

Handmade and triple-milled soap made in Italy

Sweet-scented rose and lavender

The loveliest vintage-y packaging

And the best part was the bargain:  nothing above $8.00 (and that was for a box of 12)
My photos don't do these soaps justice, I'm still working on my photography skills and will get the lighting right one of these days...

Make your day a beautiful one :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crochet, Please...

After spending some much needed, lovely quality time with my family over the last week, I'm now really itching to spend quality time with my crochet hook.  Getting back to work at the office was a bear and while my mind says I want to crochet, my tired body is saying not today!  Sooooo, I've been doing the next best thing and catching up with my favorite blogs - there's so much creating going on out there!  I'm enjoying all your wonderful images of places and people and projects.

So my goal for this week (once my body cooperates)... try and finish a granny blankie as a gift for my little sister. 

I'm using the join-squares-as-you-go method using Attic24's tutorial.  It does eliminate one step because you're simultaneously working your last row and joining squares.  I love this shortcut!
Happy crafting and creating :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm thankful for...
  • Hubby dearest :: my rock and BFF
  • Dearest Son #1 :: The source of much light and laughter in our home
  • Dearest Son #2 :: Our angel...quiet and reserved, always in a state of calm when things are crazy
  • Sonny, Cher & Squirt :: Who see only the good in us and love unconditionally
  • My family and friends
  • My new blog community whose ideas and projects provide me with creative inspiration daily
  • My faith
My cup runneth over...
Enjoy your bounty and blessings.  Happy Thanksgiving :-)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crochet Therapy :: Hats for Little Ones

I hope you're all keeping pace with your holiday things-to-do.  I definitely am not.  So to deal with the stress, how about dropping everything for a short while and simply doing this... sit down with your hook and yarn, take a nice deep cleansing breath and begin.  Take time to enjoy the process. 

My own recent personal crochet therapy...

Sugar & Cream 100% Cotton

Filatura De Crosa Baby Wool & Acrylic Blend

Such a little girly-girl hat
I found this by way of Anita at ASE Knits 'n' Crochets who has a lovely version of her own using solid colors.  It is a fairly easy pattern :: took me about 2 hours to complete one hat.

Hope you find a few moments of your own for creative therapy :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Days Rambling

It was a topsy turvy week in my household as we replaced all our worn carpet downstairs with wood flooring (thanks to our doggies).  Much moving of furniture and all our stuff - from one room to another and another and another, like musical chairs - and then all back again.  Not fun.  Fortunately, this is when it starts paying off to have 2 teenage boys.  Taking out the trash and moving furniture.  Life as Mom gets better and better :-)

We are pleased with the result...

Our living/dining room.  The "After," unfortunately wasn't able to snap a "Before."
It's called African Zebra Wood.  Characterized by bold graining in the wood.  We used this in a total of 3 rooms.

To maintain my sanity through all this, I managed to steal some moments of Autumn.  We don't get a true Fall season where I live so I sort of create it.  On average, November days are 70 degrees and sunny, just like today.  So here are some snapshots I took in an effort to collect some of the beautiful colors of the season.

And finally...I managed to do some stash busting using leftover yarn bits.  Came up with a couple of crocheted hot pads.

The solid centers are Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in half dc.  Since it's an extra chunky yarn, the disc came out very dense and firm.  Perfect for the Thanksgiving table.

Happy home-y Autumn days to you :-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The 2nd annual international marathon is taking place in my lovely city of Santa Barbara today.  There's been a buzz of activity in my usually quiet neighborhood as the marathon route runs through a road here and down along the shoreline.

Hats off to those who are undertaking this grueling challenge :: I'm sure their preparation and training began weeks and months before.  My utmost respect to all these participants who push their physical and mental capabilities to its limits.  Quite an achievement.

But while these runners do their thing today, I will embark on a slightly different type of marathon activity.  No running shoes involved, just slippers of the fluffy sort.  Instead of water, my drink of choice will be pots of tea.  It's happening in the comfort of my own home on a worn, but very cushy sofa.  Yup, you've guessed :: it's a marathon of the hooky-knitty type.  My favorite kind.

I'm sure you, my crafty friends, will begin or have already begun your own marathons to complete by year's end.  By that I mean much holiday crafting and homemade gift-making to do!

Washcloth gifts in the making

Screaming for an edging :: but I know Sandy's Flickr will help me decide which one

Only a bazillion more to go...

I send positive thoughts to you for optimum health and stamina this holiday crafting season.  I will cheer you on to the finish line :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Crocheted Flowers

There are soooooo many ways to crochet flowers :: infinite combinations of stitches, infinite possibilities!  Here's one that I focused on for a few hours...

A pile of pink and blue daisies

I'm not sure what their purpose is yet...
this scarf...

plus these...

The flower pattern is from a book titled, Crochet Edgings & Trims, edited by Kate Haxell.  Stitches used are:
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet


Base ring:  8 ch, join with sl st (I used 4 ch because I wanted a smaller, tighter center ring)

1st round:  3ch (count as 1 dc), 1 dc into ring; [6ch, 3dc into ring] 5 times, 6 ch, 1 dc into ring, sl st to top of tch.

2nd round:  *1ch, (1sc 1hdc, 7dc, 1hdc, 1sc) into next 6ch-sp, 1ch, skip 1 dc, 1 sl st into next dc; rep from * 5 more times placing last sl st into top of tch of previous round.

Fasten off.

Let me know how you get along or if I can help.  Have fun with flowers :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010


...the possibilities.  I so enjoy yarn shops and all the endless colors.  My own collection has grown because I can never resist adding to it when I visit my favorite yarn places.  Here's a peek at some of my stash...

Sugar & Cream 100% Cotton

Hap'i 100% Tanguis Cotton and Jo Sharpe Aran
Hmmm...what to create with all this fiber goodness?  I'm joyfully overwhelmed with the possibilities.

I wish you yarn abundance and joy today :-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Works in Progress

Some of my ongoing projects to be picked up now and again as the mood strikes...
Little granny squares (Caron Simply Soft Yarn)

Like yummy cookies on a tray...

Inspired by Attic24

Knitted scarf in a seed stitch variation (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky)

I have in mind to finish with a crochet edging all around

More granny squares (Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran)

I envision a blanket developing here...

Do what makes you happy today :-)