Sunday, November 12, 2017

Some happy finishes...

I missed my fellow Yoppers last week.  I had a vertigo attack on Saturday and even after the spinning stopped, it took it out of me for a few days.  Fortunately, by Tuesday I was feeling mostly myself again and I was able to make up for lost time.

Note:  All of my links below open up separate windows so you won't lose this page (I know sometimes I wonder about that when I'm reading someone's blog and I'm hesitant to click - so I thought a mention about it might be worthwhile.)

Had I been feeling well last Sunday, I would have shown my three As Time Goes By squares:

They turned out a little larger than the Don't Fence Me In squares, so I'm thinking I may not block these.  I probably need to make a few more squares in this blanket before I settle on what will be the final size of the squares - and deal with them all in a way that will make them stitch together nicely.

I love these patterns and the videos by Polly Plum.   The videos make the squares a breeze to make.

Also, I had made another set of stitch markers (or progress keepers as knitters use them):

I am really enjoying making these and have some more ideas brewing.  


And then later this week I finished my Leaping Stripes and Blocks blanket:

I like how it turned out, but I would have liked it more if I hadn't made it quite so wide, so I could have made it longer to fit an adult, or made two baby blankets.   As is, though, it will work well for a child (probably up to a pre-teen age).  Now I need to find a child for it.   ;^)


And now I'll leave you with a couple of videos (that I found online) of a young man who a dear friend and I had the pleasure of seeing in concert at a small music club in Indy this past week.   Ian Ethan Case's specialty is playing double neck guitars - and we were treated to a number of creations of his on those instruments.  But my favorite song he performed was done on a kalimba.  I think this was the song he performed for us:

As good as the video sounds, in person this song (all of his music) was absolutely mesmerizing.   If you stick with the video (it's only around 8 minutes long) I promise you - it will make you dance.  Right there in your chair.

And if you've never experienced a performance on a double-neck guitar, here you go (about 6 minutes in, though, he pulls out the kalimba again, and then goes back to the guitar.):

It was nearly midnight when the concert ended, but I could have stayed for hours more, I think.  ;)


To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Marking stitches...

This week turned out to be anything but full of leisurely crochet that I anticipated when I wrote my YOP post last weekend.

I've been doing some part-time companion care for an elderly lady since mid-summer (basically, I'm a fill-in for her regular care-giver).  Well, this week the regular gal took ill and I ended up working every day (or evening) except Tuesday.  I'm not complaining - I've really grown to love the woman I "keep company with" and the pay feels generous to me.   BUT...  When I have a week like this I realize how hard it is to get anything else done!  It's all very good, but it's not my normal.  And oh, my house shows it.  Not that I'm a model housekeeper (I am not), but sparing you the details...  it looks a bit rough here.  I desperately want to declutter and vacuum and dust!

All that said...  I did make something this weekend!  Yes, I did.

I was inspired by Sandra at to get out my beads and wires and all the paraphernalia needed to make some stitch markers.  And on Saturday I set up a little stitch marker factory on my dining room table.

I made some fun and funky ones:

And then I decided it would be really clever of me to make some autumny-looking ones: 

I know these look like two pictures of the same markers, but they're actually two different sets.

And since Christmas is right around the corner, I decided I might as well make me some holiday-inspired stitch markers:

And lastly, I decided to make some knitting stitch markers because well...  I haven't given up completely on the idea of knitting something substantial enough that some knitting stitch markers will be a necessity.

Granted, they are not the most sophisticated-looking, but I can't get over how easy these were to make:

And that's pretty much it, folks.  I crocheted just a bit in the evenings on my Leaping Stripes and Blocks blanket, but it looks essentially the same as it did last Sunday, so I don't see a point in taking a picture.

This week I hope to catch up some on my Last Dance squares, and maybe even finish a WIP.  Big talk, I know.  Check back here next week to see what I actually manage to accomplish.

To see what other YOPPERS are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Time for simple things...

Well, I knew it would happen at some point, and last week I broke my record for continuous weekly YOP posts since I began in June of 2015.  Not that I need a reason to miss a YOP post, but we were busy last weekend helping middle son move into his new digs in a city 3 hours away.  He's been out on his own for the last three years, but this is the furthest he's lived from us.  I know he's just fine with the arrangement, but this momma is missing him (what I really miss is that he's no longer just a phone call and a 25-minute drive away for lunch or supper).

I know it's all good, though.  He recently graduated from college, and now it appears he's got a great job (that begins tomorrow) and we know he's settled into an apartment that will work very nicely for him.  It's milestone for him.  For all of us.

And I guess it's been a busy week since because all I've really managed to accomplish with yarn since last Sunday was to block four squares crocheted sometime the week before.  These are the Week 2 squares for the Last Dance Blanket.    The stitch used is a new one for me.  It's called the Star Stitch.

I didn't have enough of the light pink color (which was my first choice for making this square), but I think mixing it up a bit with the pale lavender color will work well with the whole color combination I'm hoping to be able to finish.  I say hoping because I keep finding out that colors I planned to use are discontinued, so I'm having to substitute colors when I run out of what's in my stash.

And, as if that wasn't disappointing enough, I'm finding out that it's really hard to mix brands of yarns with the different square designs, as even a slightly thicker yarn will, of course, change the gauge a square crochets up in (and one can only go down so far in hook size when working with worsted weight yarn).  Sigh.

Just between you and me, I'm starting to not love this project like I thought I did when I first started.  Hopefully, I won't spend the next two months being forced to rethink my color and yarn choices, but after spending some time recalibrating this week, hopefully it will go smoothly from here on out.

I also knitted up a washcloth on the return trip from moving son.  I almost finished it in three hours.  Actually, I would have finished it on the return trip, but I was enjoying the countryside in a new-to-me part of the state.  And then it got dark...

I love this simple non-pattern for a dishcloth.  And I love the no-thinking involved in making one.  I also love that wooden spoon.  It was in a simple set of wooden utensils sent to us as a wedding gift 37 years ago from Poland, from a grad school friend of my husband's.  I'm not sure whatever happened to the holder for the set of stirrers (and there was a pestle, too, at one time) -- it hung on the wall for a while and for the longest time I just treated these as something to display.  Probably, something happened to the holder and I decided the spoons and stirrers were perfectly fine to actually use - and there you have it.  A nearly 40 year-old wooden spoon that is worn from 15 or so years of wear, and makes me smile inside every time I use it. Or snap a picture of it.  Truly a simple pleasure.


And lastly, Friday night, feeling the need to crochet something other than squares, I decided to start another child's blanket.  

A few weeks ago, I bought this Caron One Pound yarn (in the colorway, Country Basket):

What is it about a skein of variegated yarn that is so appealing?   Especially knowing that variegateds rarely crochet up well.  Sigh.  Well, it was on sale and I had a 20% discount on top of that, and it was so soft and just begging to be made into something for a child.  I had to have it.  Or so I told myself.  And when I got home I remembered why I've repeatedly berated myself for being pulled into the lure of variegated yarns... 

And then I remembered the Leaping Stripes and Blocks Blanket.  It's a fun design that actually works fairly well with variegated yarns and coordinating colors, so I started another one:

A few rows in, I've decided to re-do the above and make the blue rows wider than the white and variegated rows.  Otherwise it seems the solid blue is pretty much lost as a solid.  Once this gets going, this is another mindless project.  Perfect for relaxing.  It's supposed to rain and be cloudy and chilly most of this week.  Except for working a few hours on Monday morning, it appears I have few commitments this week.  Sounds like a perfect week for crocheting.  ;^)


I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had an interesting project I would share.  Well...  while my pictures below are seriously lacking, I'm excited to show what I've been doing with some friends.  We are making "Pillowcase Dresses" to send to countries (or even here in America) where poverty means a young girl without clean and appropriate clothing may be vulnerable to a variety of ills and evils.  To go to the heart of the matter, putting a pretty, but simple, dress on a girl may communicate to others that this is a child who is cared for.  Who is wanted.  Who is protected.  Hopefully, a pretty dress communicates to the one wearing it that she is worthy.  That she is loved.

Again, my pictures are really lacking  -  the lighting was all wrong, and they just don't do justice to how cute some of these dresses have turned out.  And frankly, I can't take much credit for the dresses as I've mostly cut, ironed and sewn simple hems and casings while others did the finishing work.

I'm just beginning to understand the reasons and purposes behind the various ministries that sew, collect, and distribute these dresses to children in need of clothing, but for now we have given some dresses to a church that is putting them in Operation Christmas Child boxes.  The next batch of dresses will be going to a ministry that will distribute the dresses to missionaries (short and long term missionaries) who will encounter children who will benefit from them.

Our next sewing session is in November.  My personal goal is to help us get set up in a bit more organized manner so each of us always has something we can be working on while we're together.  We're pretty hard working, but some organization will only benefit our work.

yep, that's yours truly...


To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

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