Sunday, August 12, 2018


Inspired by all my colorful new threads I bought a week ago, I've been making doilies. 

First, I finished the Winter's Breath Doily:

This is an easy, very well-written pattern that makes an 8-inch (approx.) sized doily (when crocheted in size 10 thread and with a size 7 steel hook).  It took me longer than it needed to simply because I felt uncertain about working with a tiny hook and thread again.  While it took me several days, in retrospect, there is no good reason it took me so long.  I'm looking forward to making more from this pattern.


Inspired by how easy the above doily was to make, and thinking 8 inches in diameter about the perfect size for my purposes, I went looking for another smallish one that I especially liked.  In my search I happened upon a video tutorial for making this doily with a very humble name:  Easy Doily

I believe the designer used size 3 thread and her results look a little more "solid" (which I actually like better), but I'm happy enough with how mine turned out using size 10 thread.

Joanna Stawniak has numerous video tutorials on Youtube of other pretty crocheted items.  For this project I found her instructions very easy to follow and will consider more of her tutorials.


I was in such a groove making doilies, I decided to jump right into making another one:

The Summer Splendor Doily seems to be a fairly simple pattern, but it looks beautiful in photos, so hopefully it will be a nice addition to the other two.  And hopefully, I'll be able to figure out how to modify it (if I need to) in order to keep it at around 8 inches.  The designer's finished doily measures 11 inches.  If I have to make mine that large, I suppose that will be okay, but I'd really like to keep it a tad smaller.

These doilies are to be a going away gift for a young Japanese lady I've been serving as a volunteer ESL tutor for.  We've only been together since April and her husband got called home much earlier than they anticipated, so our meeting together has gotten cut short.  But I have grown very fond of her. 

Yuko and her little family are planning on coming to dinner a week from tomorrow and it is my intention to give her the three doilies at that time.   I figure small(ish) doilies will be easy to pack away, possibly even in a suitcase.  If, in the end, she doesn't care for doilies I hope, perhaps, she'll find another home for them after she returns to Japan.   I'm thinking of suggesting she give one to her mother, if she likes.  I don't know...  is that an okay thing to do?  Give someone a gift and suggest she share it?  Or maybe I should just tell her that I'd like her to pick one to give to her mother from me.  Is that weird?   Her mother is my age and it tickles me to think of something I've made being enjoyed by someone(s) on the other side of the world.  But maybe her mother doesn't like doilies...

I'm overthinking this.  As always.  Weigh in with thoughts if you have them.  

And that's it for me this week!  To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

I blew it...

Yep, I blew it this week.  I really blew it.

It all started when I wanted to make this Winter's Breath Doily:

 ...and I couldn't find the teeny tiny crochet hook I needed to make it.  I knew I had one somewhere because I used it to make the only other doily I've ever made -- two years ago.

After I searched off and on over a couple of days I decided I just needed to buy another one.  It's a Yarnology hook available at Hobby Lobby and I really like the cushioned handle.   A hook like this is just a few dollars and with a 40% off coupon this is no. big. deal.  Right?

Wrong.  I knew stepping into any craft store was dangerous business for me, a yarnaholic who's been sober on a yarn-buying moratorium for the last 6 months.  And might I add, just the day before I had posted my "stash-used" totals in a goal thread on Ravelry.  All confident-like I reported that with my yarn usage to date, I was really hopeful I would be able to meet my goal of using up 100 skeins of yarn this year.  Maybe even surpass my goal.

Well...  That was Thursday.

On Friday I headed to Hobby Lobby.  

I knew I needed to be strategic. 

Once inside I made my way straight to the crochet hooks.  They had been moved since I was last in there, and much to my dismay I had to walk to the end of  a yarn aisle (where every color available of Hobby Lobby ILTY was stacked to my left).  I pretended I had blinders on and didn't dare turn to look at it.   

I readily found the hook I needed.  Hook in hand, I then did what I knew I shouldn't do.  Instead of just walking straight back out the way I came in, I went the direction of the cotton thread - you know... just in case they had a new color I might want to make my doily in, as opposed to simply using any of the colors I already had...

I turned the corner from where the hooks were hanging and saw that their Artiste cotton thread was on sale.  At 30% off.  Wow!  I don't think I've ever been in Hobby Lobby when this cotton thread has seen that kind of discount.  The best I'd ever been able to do was use a 40% off coupon, but when doing that I could only ever buy one ball at a time.  But do you think I could just buy one ball of cotton thread and walk away that day?


They had new colors.  They had many more colors than I ever recalled seeing before.  It was mesmerizing.  I started picking them up.  Soon, I had several in my hands and realizing I had too many to hold I went to get a basket to carry them in.  I came back with a basket, and after arguing with myself that while I didn't go in there to buy crochet thread, since I'm on a moratorium wouldn't it be smart to get what I want now - or else... what???  I'd never be able to buy cotton thread again????  

I just know that once I felt decided about my final selections... once I had chosen colors I felt I really couldn't live without...  I had no fewer than 10 new balls of cotton thread in my basket, and then as if I wasn't in control of my own legs, I found myself walking to the front to check out.

As I walked, I kept telling myself, "Don't do this.  Don't do this!!!"  I even meandered through a few aisles hoping for sanity to take hold.

But it didn't. 

I came home with a new hook and 10!!! gorgeous shades of size 10 cotton thread.  

Because I was mesmerized by all the pretty colors.


Well, as luck would have it, on Saturday, in Our Happy CAL Place on Ravelry, this week's CAL turned out to be bookmarks.  Bookmarks that use size 10 cotton thread and beads!

I really was in luck.   

Not only did I now have a pretty collection of different colors of cotton thread, but I also have a humongous hoard collection of beads.  Unfortunately, I only had a few beads with holes large enough to use with these bookmarks, but fortunately sanity had once again taken hold and I was resolved to work with what I had.  I'm pretty happy with how they turned out:

In fact, I was happy enough with how my first one turned out, I decided to make several so I can give them as gifts to some friends I've been doing a book study with this summer.  Wednesday is our last day to meet and while I previously felt no compulsion to bring gifts to our last gathering, I'm sure my friends will all think these are fun. 


Now I only need to make several hundred more bookmarks, or dozens of doilies, or frankly... I don't know what else I might be able to make, to use up my cotton thread.  

All I know is my goal of using up 100 skeins of yarn in 2018 doesn't look quite as attainable as it did just three days ago.

But I'll keep plugging away at it.

Or maybe I'll just admit defeat and give some yarn away.

How's this?   If by year's end I haven't met my 100 skein goal, I'll re-home however many skeins I need to to meet that goal.  That sounds like an idea I may be able to do.

Meanwhile...  I'll keep crocheting.  Trying to beat myself at my own game.  Though I have no idea how I'm supposed to win if I'm playing with a cheater...


That's all she wrote.

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

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