Sara’s Craft Blog

Crochet, Quilts, Knitting, and any other needlecraft I can find!!

  • WIPs

    Arbor-style filet crochet curtain (3); Pink Panther afghan (pattern won't be available, this is a licensed product); New theme for checkerboard afghan; Noble Reflections Dimension Cross Stitch (Native American); Baby Afghan to sell; Broom Dolls (Have 4 ready, a dozen in the works); Idea to design for a nurse's item; 2 scrub caps; Re-learning to tat :)
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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I am an addict

Posted by sara1955 on May 6, 2012

No, I do use drugs or alcohol to calm my nerves. I am, instead, addicted to patterns, fabrics, crafting supplies, crafting and writing groups (online), books, and research. It is quite a problem. But, it is one I have no intention of changing because I LOVE my addictions.

I am on so many mailing lists for group talks on crochet, knitting, writing, tatting, history, and recipes that it’s just silly. I don’t have time to read them all. So, I create folders to hold the emails. That way I can go read them later. Do I read them later? Ummm . . . . no! LOL  Most of the emails I receive are digests, so I can go online to read them. So, do I get rid of the email? Ummm ….

You see where the problem lies. I need a personal assistant/secretary to get rid of all this unnecessary stuff.

I craft, read, and write, sometimes actually for pay, most of the time for enjoyment, and almost always to give something special to someone. I have very few items that I keep for myself. So these addictions are in the way of the time I could use for doing the things I like to do. They’re counterproductive. But, will I change? Ummm . . . probably not J

In the meantime, I have all my little emails waiting for me to take time to do something with them (we’re talking in the thousands), and crafting supplies waiting for my hands to attack them, and books waiting to be read then reviewed, and research projects waiting for me to take time to read and write about them (I’m working on a novel). But . . . oh look! Another pattern for me to grab and save!!! I’m off again!

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Posted in cross stitch, Free Patterns, General | Leave a Comment »

Remember Hope Chests ?

Posted by sara1955 on March 23, 2009

I remember as a teenager receiving a mini hope chest for graduation from one of the hope chest manufacturers. All the graduating girls received them. The little thing is about 1/3 the size of a shoe box. It’s lined with cedar (mmmm!!!). It included a coupon for dollars off the purchase of a full-sized hope chest. I even bought a “good” set of cookware before I moved out on my own. My mother taught us to be prepared.

I’m not sure today’s teens know what a hope chest is. I’m going to rant briefly. It seems we have a few “good” kids and MANY not-so-good kids out there.  I know (this is fact) that many teen girls today want a baby.  They want a baby of their own.  Some of these girls might be the oldest daughter or child in a family and may be left baby-sitting her younger brothers and sisters.  She may want a child of her own so that she doesn’t have to baby sit any more.  Some may want a baby to have something “of their own.”  I’ve heard statements from teens of this fact.  It’s unfortunate that many have sex to start having “their own” family, some girls are younger that 13.  I know of many girls (yes, many) that are 13 and giving birth.  So, my rant is over …

I hope changing a focus for girls (and boys) today might help.

Let’s talk HOPE CHESTS! What is a hope chest, besides a wood box lined (usually) with cedar? It’s a box that girls put their newly made linens, laces, and other goodies waiting to set up their own household. Now you’ll notice I said household, not preparing to marry. Who says we have to marry to leave our parents’ homes? Who says one must be a girl to have a hope chest? I say each and every kiddo out there needs a hope chest. How will we fill it?

Hope chests should be filled with items needed in a new home, whether the home is an apartment or a house, shared with someone else or to be lived in alone. Let’s remember how expensive it is to set up a home with items we take for granted every day. Towels, wash cloths, sheets, pillows, sauce pans, skillets, microwaves, refrigerators, mops, brooms, vacuums, dust cloths, and a whole plethora of other items …. Paper towels, toilet paper, glass cleaner, dish soap, automatic dish soap, laundry soap, etc., etc., etc. Below are a few suggestions of mine to help fill the chest:

Towels: bath, hand, kitchen
Wash cloths: bath and kitchen
Sheets, pillows, blankets
Shelf liners!!!
Sewing kit/Mending kit
Pattern books (never ever, ever go unprepared for needlework)
Pot holders/ hot pot pads
Pretty new nighties (okay, we need those! We do!!!)

Girls and boys should learn how to sew a button on, repair a tear in clothing, knit or crochet an afghan. These are every day skills that come in awfully handy. They need to learn how to do laundry, including how to separate laundry (ugh! Pink underwear for boys hehehe). They need to know how to wash dishes, not only how to load a dishwasher. Learning the basics makes each and every one of us prepared for tomorrow. We may, or may not, be in a position to hire someone to do these mundane chores … but if we have to do them ourselves, we need to know how to do it!!

So, to make things for the hope chests, I’d like to hear YOUR suggestions. Do you have something that you’d like instructions to make? I’d love to see your comments.

Posted in General | 9 Comments »

Pot Holders

Posted by sara1955 on January 13, 2009

–ONE of my Achilles’ Heels —

I love the “old” pot holders of days gone by.  I’m especially fond of the decorative Pot Holders, mitts and hot pads.  I have a bunch that I made hanging on the wall above my stove.  They’re in 4-5 fruit patterns with different colors to make my “50s Fruity/Tuscanny” kitchen a little more finished.

There are a number of patterns, both free and for sale, on the internet.  My favorite “for sale” patterns came from Maggie’s Crochet (www.maggiescrochet.com).  Get used to seeing Maggie’s link!  She has a number of my favorite patterns.  I’ll add more links as I think of them in this blog. 🙂

Believe it or not, a number of people collect pot holders, like they collect Pyrex, Fire King, Tupperware, and other oldie-goldie items.  and you guessed it!  M & I both collect these …. and more!  *sigh*.  I think we’ll end up having to buy a second house to house our goddies!! LOL

“Gay & Gifty Pot holders” by Barbara E Mauzy is a nice book for pot holder collectors.  The particular book I have wa published in 2003, so I’m certain things have changed a bit since then.

I’m not a “serious” collector of anything.  I do treasure my items and treat them well, but I believe “if ya’ got it, use it” even applies to my goodies around the house.  That being said, I ue collector’s books not to find the perfect collectible, but to verify that I’m not gouged by a seller when I buy something.

In Ms. Mauzy’s book, there are wonderful examples of crocheted pot holders.  There are a number of these that I think I’ll have to figure out how to make them for my kitchen and there are several that I think, “hmmm, if this or that were added or changed . . .”  So, I supopose off and on you’ll be seeing potholder patterns here.

I am working on the checkerboard and have sent the first part out to be tested.  Hopefully I’ll have it all out to be tested by the end of next week.  This pattern will be free on this site, but not alll my patterns will be.  As a tester “you” get a free copy, it is copyrighted so please don’t share, send anyone who wants to peek or make it to this site.  Would you like to be a tester?  I only allow five people (of different skill levels) to test the patterns.  I’m always looking for beginners, beginner-intermediate, intermediate and advanced crocheters.  Contact me and we’ll see if we can find common ground.

Until later, stay tuned —

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It’s been a while . . .

Posted by sara1955 on January 6, 2009

It’s been a while since I last posted. Through the Christmas-New Year’s holiday period, we moved back to our “old” home.  It isn’t quite big enough for two pack rats and three dogs, but it’s more affordable for the time being.

 

I’ve been working on a couple of crochet designs.  One, I hope to publish soon, the the other design will come later.  I’ve also been making a quilt for my lovely niece.  It’s burgundies and blues in a log cabin design.   I had it ready to lay out the blocks to decide on the final design layout, when …….. duh!  I’m one block short!!  So back to the sewing machine & rotary cutter I go.  I was in the middle of the last block when it was time to move, so the project is on a short hiatus.  Hopefully I can get back to it soon.

 

For those who don’t know me, I’m, a single grandmother and have a roommate (or is it housemate?).  We’ve been friends for years and an opportunity arose that allows us to live in the same house sharing expenses and babysitting each other’s dogs.  “M” goes to nursing shool (LVN, then RN) and I stay home making and selling my creations.  We’re not rich,,,,,,, but I love the lack of stress!

 

I’m sort of a “lay” historian and hope to finish my degree after “M” gets her RN completed.  I need my BA then want to get my MA.  I’m a voracious reader, I’ve been reading about ladies in WWII (service women), Henry the VIII’s life and wives and ancient Egypt lately.  I not only enjoy the history, I enjoy well-written novels from a historical perspective.  If you haven’t read Nefertiti by Michelle Moran, take a look at it.  I highly recommentd it.

 

Wow!  I didn’t know what I could come up with to write, but it appears that once startedI can’t shut up!

 

I’m going now to do more reading and work on my pattern so my lovely testers can get started on it.

 

Bye for now

–S–

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

Before You Start — an Overview of non-Stitch Knowledge in Crochet

Posted by sara1955 on December 17, 2008

I learned to crochet from my grandmother when I was 16 years old, way back in the ‘70s.  I learned to rip out any errors I had made, whether it was  an incorrect stitch, a too-tight or too-loose stitch, or a wrong row stitched.  By striving for perfection and knowledge, working in any new craft one makes errors.  These errors help one learn. 

Non-Stitch knowledge is any base of information that does not involve the actual construction of a stitch, excluding tensions and gauge.  When learning crochet, it is important to learn to rip out (also called frogging).  By remembering to rip out errors, you can make beautiful projects that you can be proud to give as gifts and sell to customers. I think the biggest plus to crochet is that it is so easy to frog and get your hook back in correctly. 

Check your tension as you crochet.  I have found that even tension is more important than gauge, and gauge is important!  By using even tension, the beginning rows of a project are the same width as the ending rows.  Sleeves will set in properly and evenly on both sides, the bottom of a project will be  the same width as the top of a project, one side will be equally full (or narrow) as the opposing side.   

Gauge is important to the crocheter so that your finished project the same size as the pattern.  If you are making a tablecloth and the stated size is 36” x 36”, but your gauge is different than the pattern’s, your tablecloth may be 32” X 32” or 40” X 40” or any other size.  Many things affect gauge:  yarn or crochet thread choices, tension of your yarn or thread, the size of crochet hook used or any combination of the aforementioned.  Because yarns are different thicknesses, textures, and sizes, using a baby weight yarn will provide a smaller project than using a worsted weight yarn.  You can make the same afghan pattern with either yarn, but expect different sizes when changing the yarn or hook from what is used in the pattern specifications.

Types of crochet require different knowledge bases.  Although all crochet work requires the same basic knowledge, Tunisian crochet is worked differently than filet crochet.  Tunisian crochet is worked with an afghan hook (now more commonly called a crochetnit hook or double-ended hook), looks more like knitting, and produces a thicker project.  Tunisian crochet is worked with yarn.  Filet crochet is most commonly worked with the small steel hooks (sizes 00, the largest, to size 14, the tiniest).  Although filet crochet is most commonly worked using bedspread cotton (similar to string), it can also be used when working afghans with yarn.  Filet patterns are more commonly written as charts. 

Crochet provides comfort, whether in giving a gift to a friend or loved one or in giving a gift to a charity organization, something I wholeheartedly endorse.   Crocheting also is also good therapy!  When I’m stressed out, I love to crochet.  I also love to crochet while watching sports or movies.  Finishing a project gives one a wonderful feeling of fulfillment, much cheaper than a therapist!  If you want enjoyment, fulfillment, and a creative outlet, crochet can be your tool. 

We will look at techniques, tools, yarns and threads for crochet in later articles.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

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Hello world!

Posted by sara1955 on December 15, 2008

Hi — I finally entered the world of “blog.”  This blog is for my opinions and patterns.  I love fiber crafts and am always making something.  My family enjoys receiving them as gifts, in fact some are disappointed if I DON’T make them!  LOL

Stay tuned for more posts and for my patterns.

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