From Rug to Table Runner; OR, I Didn’t Buy Enough Paracord

Sometimes I remember things or objects from my youth that have literally been forgotten for decades.  One of those bits of flotsam and jetsam that recently floated across my consciousness was the rag rug from my childhood we had on our living room floor.  The colors were drab and muted, very utilitarian in nature; however, put on the old wood floor, it really fit.  Around 1975, my mother decided she’d had it with her young daughters cleaning the floor by using Pledge and creating a dangerous, slick surface for her stockinged feet – don’t do it! – and she had the standard gold shag carpet installed.  Goodbye wood, goodbye rug.

Flash forward 41 years, and here I am, wanting to make a rug similar to the one from my childhood.  This transmogrified into wanting to make an outdoor rug for our new deck; a rug that wouldn’t require washing and was durable.  I’d read somewhere that it was possible to use paracord for certain crocheted objects and the said material could be purchased at a craft store.  Without further thought or research, I did just that.

I purchased 120 yards (really?) and a more ergonomically friendly size “N” crochet hook.  With only a vague notion as to how I should proceed, I powered through it.  I’ve done enough crocheting through the years to improvise, even though I’m not a big fan of it.  As you can see, the yardage fell far short of the imagined rug, but at least it made it outside.  It’s sturdy, a bit rough on the hands, but it will last quite a long time out in the elements.  My family was so impressed by this little place mat that now they want me to make a bigger one.

Will I?  Yup.  But later.  My fingers got callouses from this!


Back to Square One…Or Is It Stitch One?

So, just when I was really jamming on my Deadhead Baby Blanket – yea, someone wanted this! – I noticed a gaping hole in my fabric about 4 rows down.  Puzzled, I tried to figure out what caused it.  Normally, we’re talking an easy fix to pick up the stitch, because after counting my stitches, I discovered I was short one; but WHERE I lost it remained a mystery.  I was stumped.  As you can see on two of these pictures, I was pretty far along.  And I also included the point that had me guessing.  If you point out where I lost it, please let me know!

I was so frustrated, I just frogged the whole thing, and we’re starting again.  I’ve decided I’m going to do a different texture, a bit more complex.  Like I need that with this!  Either way, it’ll look good when I’m done and again, Wendy better like this…!

Freebie Purse Pattern for Christmas

I had removed this pattern from circulation quite awhile ago because I wanted to make revisions.   During that time, I used this purse for months and was continually complimented on it.  One of the revisions in the pattern I made was to use plastic (which can be purchased at craft stores) instead of using cardboard.  You can do either, but I used cardboard and now I can’t wash my purse, which is in great repair after much abuse, because the bottom will be ruined, and that was a big focus for me while putting it together.  This sucker is made to carry a a lot, and without a decent base, it loses its charm for me.  In the meantime, the pattern was languishing in my portable hard drive for well over a year; I made the changes that had required my attention and felt this would be a nice gift for the hookers in the crowd for the 2015 season; so, for a limited time, go to my Ravelry Store and use the code Free2015 to download it for free until January 2, 2016.


Change of Schedule

Yuuup.  That's me all right!

Yuuup. That’s me all right!

In my last post I announced I was looking for a group of crafters to do a Crochet-A-Long on a simple afghan. Something easy.  I received a few likes, but no comments.  I took that to mean a  group of polite onlookers, which would be cool also; but, summer is bearing down upon me and I’ve found myself in a Hawaiian mood.  No, I’ve never been, and yes, I want to go.  I want a plumeria lei and a hibiscus tucked behind my ear, to take the pineapple field tours, walk the beautiful black sand beaches at sunset, go to a luau and drink cocktails with pretty umbrella toothpicks.  I want to be at the peak of Mauna Kea and see the curvature of the earth as the sun peeks over the ocean horizon and to pay incredibly inflated prices at the local McDonald’s because everything is shipped from the mainland.   And let us not forget the muumuus and brilliantly colored Hawaiian shirts.  I even want to hear the strains of Don Ho complementing the relaxing sounds of the waves susurrating as I recline on the beach in the middle of the day…underneath a huge umbrella with layers of SPF 50 sensitive skin lotion still shining whiter than my legs with its zinc content.  But most of all, I want to see the Kilauea Volcano erupt its low silicone, high basaltic lava and create the a’a rocks, so named because the natives cut their feet on the sharp edges of the cooled surface.  I also want to see the pahoehoe lava, so smooth it looks like a pudding set in the shape of ropes.  I want to see the lava drip into a steaming surf from a recently created shelf.  I. Want. To. Go.

Returning to reality, the odds are that I will never make it.

Yes, my shoulders slumped forward as I thought of this.

But that won’t stop me from being inspired by the tiny island state with a big heart that has stolen mine, sight unseen.  (Pictures don’t count!)  In choosing the yarn, I thought of the personality of the state, and the first thing that came to mind was:  relaxation.  I don’t know about you, but knitting something inspired by Hawaii could not be done in wool.  There are a few island nations where this does apply, of course, such as Great Britain and Iceland.  Wool is highly recommended there.  Hawaii?  It had to be one of three choices:  cotton, bamboo, silk.  For economy’s sake, I went with cotton.  No more $60 tank tops here…ahem.  If I stopped making those, maybe I could afford Hawaii!

Progression of color scheme

Progression of color scheme

When it came to colors, I wanted to stay with the relaxed personality range and I used my “go to” colors, blue and green, added some purple and a bit of white.  Continuing with the serene, easy-going theme, I have decided to make this a simple box – no ribbing, no shaping, no sleeves, with a little twist.  How I’m going to accomplish the one aspect of this is beyond me, but I’ll manage.

In the meantime, I will keep the afghan on the back burner.


Sick and Struck (rather belatedly) with an Epiphany

As I was sitting here on my deck – yes, lovely weather in CA, wish it wasn’t -, trying to get some fresh air to counteract my sickness, perusing my crochet and knit groups on FB and being overwhelmed by Pinterest entries, it struck me.  Yes, the epiphany.  (And yes, I’m still on my deck.)

As I see all the beautiful, and maybe not so beautiful, entries from everyone who pitches in to the communal internet soup of fiber arts, yarn arts, whatever, I look at all the feedback and think how it wonderful it is.  These artists willing to share their work with, well, virtually, the world.  And the reason my title mentions belatedly, is because until just today, I didn’t notice anyone’s color.  I don’t mean their projects, I mean the contributors themselves.

And that was the epiphany.

Artists from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, North America, and South America are all represented.  Sorry Antarctica, you need to get busy.  Also, my apologies to the island nations; your entries are too numerous to write down – kudos for you!

I like to consider myself without prejudice, but I seriously doubt it; and if you say you aren’t, well, maybe you know something I don’t, and please tell me.  The ugly reality of prejudice is that we all have some, but the good and bad thing is, we’re humans.  The same inherent, ancient xenophobia that we are all born with, can be overcome with diligence and understanding.  I imagine back in caveman times and before, this fear of “outlanders” was a good thing (you’re not from my tribe); but as ever expanding means of communication has improved, our fear of other cultures has subsided, but not gone away. Mind you, I’m not saying to go fearlessly and naively out into the world, there is danger, but it’s changed.  And it has for quite some time.  But you get my point.  We all harbor some irrational prejudice.  My internal optimist thinks that most people are very conscientiously trying to overcome this ugliness, and winning, including myself.

One avenue to pursue in this altruistic hope?  Take up knitting and/or crocheting, and go online.  There, you will find the most colorblind community ever.

But how many of you already knew this?

Blue Jean Baby Fingerless Texting Mitts

DSC_0757 - Copy

The awkward angle was due to the fact that I couldn’t get anyone to take a picture for me – ! >:-(

One of the many projects I worked on during my blog hiatus this month was a simple yet colorful pair of texting mitts I made for my mother while she was visiting.  Every time she comes up,  she freezes, and yet, she always forgets to bring any of the previous hats and scarves I’ve made her.  Hm.  Sounds like she just wants me to make her something new when she’s here.  Anyway, I needed to knit something simple and quick so she could use them while she was cold – stat!  While perusing the yarn at the newly opened local Michael’s Crafts store, she espied some pretty yarn, and of course, being the dutiful daughter that I am, I bought a few skeins and then decided what I should do with it!  I tried to do it on the down-low, which was fairly easy as my mother is at the age where she does a lot of napping.

As usual, the links are down below for the pattern and for the purchase.  Enjoy!





Year’s End and Yarn Fashion Trends

With 2015 rapidly approaching, most of us reflect upon the last 12 months, some of us actually write up a list of resolutions, while others of us don’t really care.  I would put myself in the last category; not that I couldn’t do with a few of the usual resolutions, such as lose weight, but one does not have to wait until the new year to effect that life change.


Over the course of the last several weeks it would seem that I’ve been busy with my yarning, but not in any significant way.  Since I’ve taken up with big, bulky yarns – love them! – my projects have a tendency to last about a day, and then I’m casting about for something else…no pun intended there. I have mentioned, frequently, that I like quick projects for that instant gratification one feels when one is finished, but now, I’m looking for sweater/pullover projects.  The one I started last month turned out to be a dud, and I had to frog the whole thing.  Whoever wrote the pattern didn’t make the sleeves concomitant with the size and I didn’t catch this until I was putting the sweater together.  >:-(  I will be posting the patterns I whipped up with pictures, with either a pattern from me or a link to fiber artist I found.

In the interim, it’s that time for me to post fashion trends information for those of you who are interested.  And guess what?  Bulky yarn is IN!  Enjoy the read.