December 31, 2007

Knitted Gifts

I finished my Sister's poncho in time for Christmas, sans fringe. She decided she liked it better without the fringe, since it was already long. I think I should have knitted it on smaller needles, especially since the collar came out really big. She likes it though, so I won't worry about it too much. She also took some wonderful pictures of our Christmas morning celebration. Check them out at her blog.
I also made a pair of socks for my Dad. I didn't have them done by Christmas, so I gave him one sock and finished the mate the next day. The pattern is Plain Old Ragg Socks from Never Knit Your Man a Sweater* *unless you've got the ring. They were very easy, and I'm extremely pleased with the result since this was the first pair of socks I've ever knitted. (I did do a 'class sock' from Sensational Knitted Socks.)Next knitting projects:
Shawl for myself - with purple yarn!
Coasters with the leftover sock yarn - it's feltable and I really really really want to try needle felting.

Sophie Cloth Doll

I made this doll for my cousin in NC for her first birthday. The pattern is McCalls 4186 and is part of a set of six patterns. I would not recommend these for beginner sewers - they looked like good 'teaching' patterns, and very simple. I had a lot of trouble with what I've done so far, and I'm very glad I have some experience in making dolls and doll clothes. The middle picture is a nightgown, and the far right is a collar that goes over the nightgown. These were Christmas presents I couldn't blog about until now. The heart on the collar was done with my Mom's embroidery sewing machine; I didn't have time to embroider it by hand.

California Package

Remember the pretty presents from a couple weeks ago? Well, I can finally show you what was in them! The teddy bear (pattern here) is made from Bernat's soft boucle, in Softest Straw. I used Misty Shades for the face and bow. The dress is for my cousin's doll, which is the size of a newborn. The fabric came entirely from Mom's stash. The flowers on the skirt were appliquéd on. The ball is for my aunt and uncle, and you can see a better picture here.

December 26, 2007

A Year of Blessings

Blessings from the past year:
  1. Medical Science. If not for advancements in medicine, my Dad would not be with us today. He has Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, and kidney failure. I'm also thankful for the technology that allows his dialysis (for his kidneys) to be done at home, instead of at the hospital 3 times a week.
  2. God's grace, giving our family the strength to keep going through the difficult times. Sending us encouragement when it was needed the most, and the ability to look back over the past two years and see how God has used events for His glory, even though it was not always evident at the time.
  3. Music. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Throughout the past few years, whenever I've been really down, God sends me a song (or an entire CD) of music to encourage me. My current song is 'Don't Let Me Miss the Glory'.
  4. God's Glory. The song mentioned above has really impacted my life. I first heard it at the Gaither Homecoming Give It Away concert in October. Gordon Mote sang, and it was accompanied by beautiful pictures of lighthouses, oceans, sunsets, and nature pictures. I remember thinking at the time that it was an interesting selection of pictures to show, since Gordon Mote is blind, and how do you describe something so glorious to someone who has never seen anything in his life? As I was pondering this some weeks later, it dawned on me that no matter what your limitation in life, whether you're blind, deaf, or have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or CFS, no matter what you think might keep you from it, if you really truly desire to see God's Glory, He won't let you miss it. It has since become my prayer that I won't miss the glory, and God has answered that prayer in more ways than I could ever imagine.
  5. Being a helper to my family. Within the past year or two God has blessed me with a spirit of giving, and I discover daily how much more blessed it is to give than to receive. (Acts 30:35b)
  6. Family. They accept me in spite of my shortcomings. I'm especially thankful that my sister and I have grown a little closer, and do more things together than we used to.
  7. Friends. I've never had very many, but the few I do have are very precious to me.
  8. Gardens. It's so wonderful to see everything grow, and to enjoy the veggies and flowers. I'm amazed at how a tiny seed can grow into a huge healthy plant!
So that's what I'm thankful for. What are you thankful for?
Giving Thanks~

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I probably won't post until next year, so enjoy your holiday, and don't lose sight of the 'Reason for the Season'.
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

December 17, 2007

Weekly Goal List

Goals for this last week:

  1. Start (and hopefully finish) third tatted ornament cover -- I got it started.
  2. Finish doll outfit #1, start #2 --Finished #1.
  3. Wrap gifts and mail package #1 --Wrapped Gifts
This week: Finish all Christmas gifts!!! That's 1 sewn, 3 tatted, 2 knitted, and if I have time, finish sewing a dress for myself.
Here's a picture of the gifts headed for CA. Sorry I can't show you what's inside yet.
Merry Christmas!

December 12, 2007

2007 Projects

I'm working on making my completed projects list in the sidebar a link list. Here are some pictures of the knitting and sewing organizers.

This is my knitting organizer. The pattern is Simplicity 5829. It was pretty simple to put together. The hardest part was the French Bias Binding. I couldn't find a link for the pattern - it must be out of print.

This is my Sewing Organizer. The pattern was McCalls 4274, and was much more difficult. I did make the sewing machine organizer from this pattern, and that was pretty simple. If I made this again, I would change the top pocket to face another direction, or put it on the bottom and move the elastic to the top. Whatever I put in it always falls out. Other than that, it's working pretty well.


Weekly Goal List

I put off writing this post so that I could finish this tatted ornament cover.
Despite all my mistakes and having to 'retro-tat' {tatting in reverse; i.e. ripping out} several times, it came out pretty good. I also got to try this joining technique, and it worked out really well.

Also this week, I found a teddy bear pattern, a skein of yarn, and started knitting. I finished it this evening. Since it's a gift, I won't post a picture just yet. I'll try and post it on Ravelry, though.

My Ravelry invite came about a week ago, and I meant to blog about it, but got too busy. Ravelry is a wonderful way to connect with other knitters and crocheters, and keep track of your projects, books, yarns, needles and hooks. So far my favorite feature is the needle/hook inventory. It made it so much easier when I needed to know if I had size 8 needles for my teddy bear project. {Somehow I've managed to acquire 5 pairs of size 8 needles} If you're on ravelry and want to look me up, I'm simplestitcher.

Back to my goals, I got one of two items mended. The poncho has been put aside until I get my packages sent. I started the first doll outfit, and am nearly done; it just needs sleeves and a hem.

Goals for this week:
  1. Start (and hopefully finish) third tatted ornament cover
  2. Finish doll outfit #1, start #2
  3. Wrap gifts and mail package #1
These bookmarks are for some of my friends. You can't really see it in the picture, but the upper and lower bookmarks on the left have roses engraved on them. I got them from Fire Mountain Gems. The charms for them came from Let's Bead. The bookmarks and charms for the two on the right are from Beads 'N Things. All the beads are from my Mom's collection.

Happy Crafting!

December 10, 2007


Blogger has been making 'improvements', and made a terrible mess of the comment feature. I was completely unaware of this until chigiy at The Gardeners Anonymous Blog wrote a post complaining about it.
I have changed the comment setting to 'registered users' It allows anyone with a Google/Blogger, AOL/AIM, LiveJournal, TypeKey, or WordPress account to leave a comment. There's also an OpenID option for blogs not hosted by any of the above. The downside to this 'feature' is that anonymous comments are not allowed. I'll be emailing blogger about this, but in the meantime, I'm going to add an e-mail me button so those of you without blogs can contact me.

EDIT: In playing around a little more, I discovered that the 'anyone' option has OpenID and allows anonymous comments. I guess I won't have to email blogger after all!


December 3, 2007


Looking back over the last few posts, I realized that they are devoid of pictures. To remedy this problem I've added 2 pictures to my Black Friday post, 2 gauge swatches to Yarn Shop Visit, and a picture of the progress (or lack thereof) on my second tatted ornament cover to my Weekly Goal List.

Today I spent my afternoon working on a sewing project. It went pretty well until I sewed the lace on the collar wrong. it was a real pain to rip out because I used a 1.5 stitch length. After I finished ripping, I played around with Mom's Cuttlebug for a while. It works similarly to Sizzix and Cricut, but is less expensive than the other two machines. Here's a picture of the things I made:
I took closeups and uploaded them to myphotoalbum. I will add detailed information about how I made each item later this week.

Happy Crafting~

Weekly Goal List

Last week's goals & how far I got:
  1. Cut out fabric - the fabric is all cut out, and waiting to be sewn.
  2. Finish collar on poncho -I got to the neck/shoulder division (about 12 rows)
  3. Finish tatted ornament cover - When I started the second round, I had a difficult time figuring out how to connect the 2 rounds. I have finished the first pattern repeat.
  4. Tackle mending pile - the mending pile was duly tackled and the most important items mended. I missed two items; one was not in the mending pile, and the other simply needs a button loop replaced.

This week's goals
  1. 11 rows on poncho
  2. Find knitted teddy bear pattern
  3. Finish ornament cover, and start the next one
  4. Mend overlooked items
  5. Start sewing doll clothes
I managed to prioritize my list of things to make before Dec. 14'th. I will be sure to take pictures and post them after the packages have been received.

So many things to do and so little time! I haven't even started my Christmas baking yet!

December 1, 2007

Yarn Shop Visit

Spirit Work knitting and designs is one of my favorite LYS. My other two favorites are Knit-n-Purl, and The Village Yarn & Fiber Shop. I went to Spirit Work on Thursday, and got some help with my sister's poncho, and some advice about a project for one of my cousins. They were so nice and helpful. I'll probably go again in January (when I have some money to spend) and buy some yarn for a shawl.

My current list of items to knit before Christmas is:
1: My Sister's poncho
2: Stuffed animal for a Cousin
3: Gift for my Dad. (hint: it takes dpns)

Here are some gauge swatches of 2 yarns I'm considering using:

I've been trying to sort my Christmas projects so that the ones that need to be mailed will get done first. So far it hasn't been very easy, and I'm only sending 3 boxes. That'll be my Sunday afternoon project - figure out who's getting what, and make a plan for how to get it done. The deadline for sending them parcel post (and having them arrive before Christmas) is Dec. 15'th.

I'd better get stitching!

November 26, 2007

Weekly Goal List

Last week I made a list of goals, and I think it helped me be more industrious. I got 12 rows of my sister's poncho done, and finished the first round for ornament covering #2. I didn't have time to cut out the fabric, but will try to get it done this week.
This evening I worked on the poncho some more and have gotten to the part that completely baffles me. My Dad has an appointment near a yarn store that I really like, so I'm going to 'carpool' with Mom and Dad on Thursday. While they're at the appointment, I'll go around the corner and get some knitting advice. :)

Goals for this week:
  1. Cut out fabric
  2. Finish collar on poncho
  3. Finish tatted ornament cover
  4. Tackle mending pile
Happy Stitching!

November 24, 2007

Black Friday

I'm insane. Totally, completely, thoroughly insane. A week ago I had a conversation with my Mom that went something like this:
Mom: Hey Sarah - if you go to {pick a store} at 4 AM you get {fill in the blank}
Me: Ummm...I don't think so
Mom: {pretending incredulity} Well why not? What's wrong with you?
Me: I'm sane.
Mom: Good point.
Thursday evening I had a conversation with my Sister. It went something like this:
Sister: Sarah, how would you feel about going shopping tomorrow?
Me: Well, I guess I wouldn't object as long as I don't have to go by myself.
Sister: Let's go after I get home from work.
Me: Ok.

Yeah. I don't know what's wrong with me either. We got to the mall and it was packed. There were a couple of stores where we walked in, looked at the checkout line, and walked back out. On the bright side we found some Special Things for Special People. We got home just in time for dinner, and then we went out again with my Mom. We went to the craft stores: JoAnn Etc, Michaels, and AC Moore. We also stopped by the Christmas Tree Shops. I got some yarn at JoAnn's for a Christmas gift (sorry can't tell you what it is yet). At Michaels I got some of those Chinese take out gift boxes, and some mugs - several people on my list are getting Mug'ems this year.

So I managed to survive Black Friday. Next year remind me not to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Please. My bank account would appreciate it.


November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Here's my thankful list for this year:
  • Medical Science; if not for modern medicine, my Dad would probably have died from kidney failure. Praise the Lord, he has regained some kidney function and his cancer is in full remission.
  • My vegetable garden this year. We still have tomatoes ripening in the basement, carrots in the fridge, chopped peppers in the freezer, and jars of canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. It's so nice to have home-grown produce.
  • My hobby of collecting seeds has become a way for us to save money in the spring. I have two types of tomato seed, bush bean seeds, and a lot of flower seeds.
  • Living in Rochester, NY. We don't get hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, droughts, floods, or tornadoes. Just an ice storm every 5 years or so.
  • My relatives in California didn't lose their home to the wildfires this year.
  • I have a wonderful family who loves me no matter what my shortcomings.
May God richly bless you this Thanksgiving and through the Christmas season. Don't lose sight of the 'reason for the season'

Happy Thanksgiving~

November 21, 2007

Yarn Stash(es)

Is it possible for a yarn stash to be too big? Most of my yarn is for 'designated projects' but once I finish those projects I'm going to have a lot of leftover yarn... Here are some photos of my yarn stash/collection - whatever you want to call it.

This is my afghan stash for the Queen of Hearts afghan from the book 100 Afghan Squares to Knit.
So far I have 6 skeins of Vanna's choice (pictured here) and I'm considering adding some other textures; I have a few leftover skeins of Caron's Simply Soft yarn in my 'leftovers' stash.

This is my 'Sock Yarn Stash'. Since I don't have a bigger basket, I've concluded that I have one skein and one ball too many. ;) The yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted weight and destined for socks from this book. I couldn't afford to buy Philosopher's Wool, and Wool-Ease looked like a good alternative.
I really really really really don't like knitting with Fun Fur. So I found a crochet pattern. And I really really don't like crocheting anything other than Granny Squares.
But the pattern for this Sleepy Kitty Draft Dodger was so cute, and a draft dodger seems like such a good idea...

Moving on...

The purple yarn on the right is for a shawl pattern I got off Lion Yarn's website. The yarn on the left was for another shawl, but I decided that the yarn wouldn't show off the design very well. So if I like the way the purple shawl comes out I may use it for that. They are both Homespun yarns. The yarn on the top right is my yarn for practice socks from this book. The bag is just there because it's cute. I got it from House-Mouse designs.

This is my Granny Square Afghan project. I have 70-some odd squares and have not gotten very far. I'm having trouble with the white round for some reason. I have 2 other colors not pictured, and will probably run out of several before I finish. The yarn is Caron's simply soft.

This is my basket of yarn 'leftovers'. All the yarns are from previous projects, or bought at a garage sale.

So there you have it. My entire yarn collection/stash/pending projects. Whatever.

Happy Thanksgiving, and happy yarn collecting!

November 20, 2007

Craft Store Visit

Mom and I did errands today, and we stopped at A.C. Moore. They were having a big sale, and I had a gift card, so I picked up a few items. Scrapbooking is not one of my hobbies, but I wanted to put together a photo album of my gardens over the past year. I found this album 40% off, and there should be enough room for a lot of photos.

I also bought two more skeins of Vanna's Choice yarn. It's destined for an afghan from this book. That brings me up to 6 skeins. The number of colors is amazing the the hues are absolutely beautiful.

I also bought a frame for a cross stitch project - more on that another time. Since everything was on sale and I had a gift card I ended up not spending any of my own money and still have $1.55 left on the gift card. Hmmm....maybe I can get a few skeins of DMC Floss. ;)

Happy Stitching!

November 19, 2007

Knitting Project

My current knitting project is a poncho for my sister. So far I have finished the back and am approximately halfway done with the front. The pattern is Fashion Note J17-0724 from Red Heart. The yarn is Bernat's Soft Bouclé and the color is Misty Shades. I've worked with Bernat's yarn before; once as trim on a dog sweater, and once with one of their baby yarns. Each time I've resolved to never work with nubby yarns ever again. Despite my resolve I always seem to buy more nubby yarn.

My Craft Goals for this week are:
  1. Complete 16 rows on poncho
  2. Figure out how to knit faster and not make mistakes ;)
  3. Start another tatted ornament cover
  4. Cut out fabric for 2 Christmas presents that must remain anonymous for the time being.

November 16, 2007

Tatted Ball #1

Yippee!! I finally finished one tatted Christmas ball. That leaves 5 to go. I was working diligently on round three when I realized I had no idea where to connect my ring. On closer inspection I discovered that I had jumped down to round 4 from round 3. You can see it in the picture I took for my last post. After I took out the mistake I simply connected the rings and made chains in between. To attach it to the ball I put seed beads on straight pins and pinned through the bottoms of the last row of rings. For some reason it photographed blue; it's really a deep purple color.

I know how Catherine at Catherine's Tatting Attempts feels - she has twisted picots, and I have twisted chains. You can't tell from the picture, but most of the chains in round two got twisted.
The rest of the ball covers will be simple like these at Lace-lovin' Librarian's blog. If I have extra time (and patience!) I may try covers 1 and 5 from the pattern booklet.

May your shuttles always be full, your thread never tangle, and your projects be successful!

November 14, 2007

Tatting and Cross Stitch

Last night Mom and I got together with a friend to stitch for a couple of hours. I started off on a cover for a tatted ball. Two rounds are done and I'm working on the third. I'm having a difficult time with the pattern, and I think that the rest of the balls are just going to get tiny doilies pinned on them. Here's a picture of the pattern book:

I got the pattern and satin balls from Handy Hands Tatting.

My shuttle didn't have enough thread on it to make the next ring, and I was getting really frustrated, so I worked on my Ruth 1:16 cross stitch for a while. I don't remember when I started it, but I've been working on it for 4-6 years.

The pattern is Leisure Arts la 3032. I couldn't find the pattern on Leisure Art's website, but I did see it on ebay and several other sites.

The original is done on linen, but having never worked on linen before, I decided to use 14 count Aida.

Happy Stitching!

November 13, 2007

Large Dronkle Finished!

I'm not going to divulge how late I was up finishing this one. Just that I finished watching The Phantom of the Opera, watched all of Fiddler on the Roof, and nearly half of the special features. Anyway, now that they're done I'm going to (try) turning my attention to Christmas presents. So far I have not finished anything.
Without giving too much away, I have (at least) two knitting projects, one or more beading projects, several tatted items, and two to three sewing projects. I will take pictures and post them sometime between 12/26 and 12/31.

Happy Crafting!
PS~ For a picture of my Sister's animal, click here.

November 12, 2007

Large & Small Karleksdronk (or 'dronkles')

I just finished making the small 'dronkle' in this kit. As you can see, the directions are in Swedish. I tried using an online translator, and came up with some interesting results. The word at the top of the page has to do with being industrious. Then stor & liten - big and little; Karleksdronk. All I can find is that 'Karleks' means 'fellows' so I'm making 'Large and small dronk-fellows' whatever they are. If anyone can read Swedish, please tell me what these cute little things are!

My Grandparents bought the kit for me many years ago. They also bought a different kit for my Sister. She completed hers a few weeks ago, and it was so cute I got my kit out and started trying to figure out the directions. Mom said they were probably the same as my Sister's directions (Mom managed to translate them for her).

It was unlike a regular pattern where you cut out the fabric pieces. Instead you trace the pattern onto the fabric, stitch it and then cut it out. There was barely enough fabric to lay out the pattern pieces, so I got Mom to help me - she's really good at that sort of thing.

After stitching the hearts and discovering that the fabric had shifted as I stitched I decided to pin around the shapes on the larger piece of fabric. The hardest part was cutting out the shapes - there wasn't a lot of space between some of the pieces. Here they are all stitched and stuffed, ready for hand sewing:

Since hand sewing goes so much faster when you're sitting in front of a TV screen, I put in my newest music DVD and started stitching. It was sometime around midnight, two TV shows and half of another DVD (Phantom of the Opera) later when I finally finished the little one.
I took some pictures, started to blog about them, realized how tired I was and went to bed. I'm hoping to finish the large one this evening.

To help them sit better I put 'beans' or plastic pellets like the kind they use in Beanie Babies in the bottom of the body sections.

Happy Crafting!

November 7, 2007

Blogs That Inspire Me

I've been inspired to start a blog about my crafts and hobbies. Partly because I won't have very much to post about at my garden blog over the winter and partly because of the inspiration I've found at these wonderful blogs:
  • The Picture Effect: My Sister's blog. She blogs about her photography, and takes absolutely stunning pictures.
  • A Crafter's Chronology: This is my Mom's blog. Ever since she started it she's been turning out projects left and right.
  • The Happy Stitcher: I love this blog and all the cute patterns, pillows and nature pictures.
  • The Crafty Gardener: I just found out this week that the Crafty Gardener has a craft blog. Be sure to check out The Garden Side as well as The Crafty Side.
  • Jen Loves 2 Knit: I love to knit to, and have been enjoying this blog a lot.
  • Knitting 40 Shades of Green: This is one of my favorite blogs because, like me, the author has a huge yarn stash and multiple projects going on. It's nice to know that there are others who refuse to limit themselves to one project at a time. :)
  • SewChic: A blog published by a mother and daughter.
  • The Purl Bee: There's always something interesting to be found at this blog.
In future posts I will share pictures of my projects in progress. I'm hoping that blogging about my projects will help me knit, cross stitch, embroider, tat, quill, crochet, and sew faster. :)