Thursday, June 30, 2016 1 comments

Pineapple Lace Crochet Doily #1

It's been about 20 years since I've done thread crochet. I recently bought a ball to make some small doilies for the church platform where we currently pastor. I had TONS of it leftover, so I decided to make some pineapple doilies with the remainder.

My all-time favorite lace crochet design is the pineapple. I had forgotten just how much I like it!

This one has taken up residence in our travel trailer.

P.S. I think I may have finally figured out a way to post here from my phone. Hopefully this will allow me to post on a regular basis again.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, March 28, 2016 1 comments

Lacey Raglan Sweater: My Experiment with Reverse-Engineering

I saw a sweater pattern that was pretty, but I couldn't justify buying it at the moment. It was a pretty basic pattern, and they were charging a good bit for a basic pattern. So I decided to try my hand at reverse-engineering it. It was a basic raglan sweater with a lace design that starts at the center front and increases diagonally until it meets in the back.

I found the lace pattern that they used in the original pattern, but I found an even prettier one, too. It's very similar, but I liked the looks of it better. It's called Openwork Diamonds and can be found at

It was pretty easy, once I figured out how to diagonally increase the lace design. (I was under a lot of stress at the time from a non-knitting-related incident, so it took me a lot longer than it should have to figure that out. I think it was several days.)

I like how I can add a colored tank top under the sweater to add a bit of color to my outfit.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 24, 2016 0 comments

Falling Leaves Cardigan

I've been getting braver with my knitting lately. I've begun to look at sweater patterns and think of how I'd like to change them to make them perfect for my tastes. Usually a pattern has at least one feature that I'd like to change.

For this particular sweater (Falling Leaves pattern, available free on Ravelry), the yoke was knit in garter stitch. I HATE garter stitch. I have no idea why, except maybe because it looks like the sweater is inside-out. At any rate, I loved the lace detail but I knew I'd never wear it if I did the top in garter stitch. So I decided to change it to stockinette stitch, add ribbing at the top and bottom, add button bands afterward, and lengthen the sleeves. Maybe I came up with a completely new sweater, now that I look at all of those changes ...

The trouble is that garter stitch and stockinette stitch have completely different gauges. I got 8 rows to an inch instead of the 11 that the pattern called for. I did some math and adjusted it accordingly ... and it worked! Really, math is your best friend as a knitter. It's how I can get a perfectly-fitted sweater, instead of an ill-fitted one (like storebought ones usually are on me).

This one is done now, once I find buttons ...

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, February 1, 2016 1 comments

Dyeing Yarn with Kool-Aid

I recently decided to start tackling my stash of natural fibers and knitting them. My stash is rather large, but a lot of it is the wrong color for me. Rather than donate it to someone else and buy yarn in the colors I wear, I decided to go ahead and start dyeing some of it. I've done it before, but on a limited basis. I think this is my first time to dye a whole sweater's worth of yarn.

Before I go on, you need to know a few things if this intrigues you:

(1) It only works on natural fibers (i.e. animal hair) and nylon.
(2) Kool-Aid has citric acid in it, which makes the dye stick permanently. If you don't use Kool-Aid, you'll need to add a bonding agent. (I think I've seen people use vinegar, but you'll want to double-check first.)

I started out with this Patons Wool yarn in a mauve color. Mauve is NOT my color at all. I look like death when I wear it, although I know people that look beautiful when they wear it. The yarn was a fantastic clearance deal, though, so I bought it. I need a more vibrant color, so I chose to go to a darker and brighter red. At least, that's what I was aiming for.

The general rule to get vibrant colors when dyeing with Kool-Aid is to use one packet of Kool-Aid per ounce of yarn. I had accumulated quite a stash of Kool-Aid for dyeing purposes, but I had to mix a few brands and flavors to come up with enough (14 packets total for the whole batch). If you're a perfectionist (like me), you'll need to let go of that a bit when you dye yarn with Kool-Aid. I *thought* I'd get a vibrant, true red. I ended up with a slightly different - but gorgeous nonetheless - color.

Unfortunately, I can't link to the tutorial I used since I'm writing this on my tablet without Internet access (at least until it's published). But the information is readily available online if you just search. I used the "hot water on the stove" method.

This is what the yarn looked like when I first put it into the pot (after soaking in plain water).

About 10 minutes later, this is what it looked like (after all the color was absorbed).

See? The water was clear after I took the yarn out.

Here's the yarn hanging out in lukewarm water, returning to room temperature.

And here it is, hanging to dry in my bathroom. You can see that the color is a bit different than it looked when it was fresh out of the pot and wet.

Lastly, here it is in ball form, dried and ready to be knit. It wasn't the color I set out to make, but it's a lovely color (somewhere around tangerine, I'd say) that will look good on me. I'll keep you posted on what I make with it!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 1 comments

Rag wreath for a primitive bedroom

If you know me well, you know that I don't usually decorate in the primitive style. Nothing against it, but it just doesn't go with the decorations I've accumulated over the years. But when we moved to a home that had a bedroom wallpapered in a gorgeous primitive style, I decided to capitalize on the theme. After all, we had sold almost all of our decorations when we moved from the last house, so I almost had to start from scratch anyway.

Here's the catch: It was my 12-year-old son's room. Hmm ... How do you make the primitive style look good for a boy that age? Fortunately for me, my son isn't into cartoon themes and such. I ran the idea past a friend that decorates a good bit in primitive style, and she advised me to capitalize on the blue stars in the wallpaper. I created a board on Pinterest, filled it with ideas, and then showed it to my son. He liked it, so that's what we went with.

My very first project was a rag wreath. I found the tutorial on Pinterest, but I really did my own thing once I saw the basics of how it was done. I didn't want to have to spend money needlessly, so I used an old metal coat hanger as the base. I was afraid my wreath wouldn't be very full since I wasn't using the kind that you buy with at least three layers to them, but I shouldn't have been. It turned out beautifully!

Here it is in progress. You can get a better idea of what my coat hanger base looked like.

And here it is finished. I was surprised at how nice it turned out!

And here you can see what it looks like on the wall.

This wreath used a total of two yards of fabric, so it wasn't expensive to make.

I have a few more projects to share from decorating this room, so stay tuned!

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, January 1, 2016 2 comments

God cares about shoes.

If you've been around for awhile, you may remember the story about the Vermont Teddy Bears that my kids wanted when we were on vacation once. We just didn't have the money for them, but God provided one for each of my kids from thrift stores - the exact fur color and everything! (I'll try to insert a link to the post, but if I can't figure out how to do that from this blogging app, you may have to search for it on the blog. It's from May 11, 2011. It's still here and is one of my favorite blog posts of all time.)

Well, my kids have grown up a bit since then. My son turned 12 this year, and he's turning his attention to things like tennis shoes these days. Around his birthday this year, he told us he'd like some expensive Nike shoes that he had seen another teen wearing. Since my husband was unemployed at the time, we just couldn't justify $80 for a pair of shoes when he already had a pair that he could fit. And because of his age, he sometimes seems to outgrow a shoe size in one month. We promised to keep an eye out at thrift stores and buy him a pair if we found them there. We looked and looked ... and were still looking when his birthday rolled around. He had even mentioned that he'd love to have those shoes for his birthday present (a sure sign that he's not a little kid anymore).

I probably don't need to tell you that I had prayed many times, asking God to prove Himself to my son at this time in his life. Yes, my son remembers the Vermont Teddy Bears (we still have them), but I wanted another reminder for him that God hears him when he gets older, too.

Well, we still hadn't found the shoes when his birthday came. On the morning of his birthday, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a bus. (I later found out that it was the flu, but I didn't know it then.) My husband had work to do for someone, so I was the only parent around during the day. Since we homeschool, I have the liberty of taking the day off when it's my kids' birthdays, and we always do. We do something special. I asked my son if he'd like to go to the local thrift store to look for shoes, and he said that he would. I felt a bit better later in the morning, so we went.

Now I have to tell you that my son takes after me. He was a bit skeptical that we were ever going to find those shoes because he knew as well as we did that they weren't a real *need* - just a *want*. Even at his age, he knows that we don't always get what we want.

But we went straight to the shoe section that morning and found not one, not two, but *THREE* pair of those shoes - all different colors - *IN HIS SIZE* and in beautiful condition!! It's just like God to answer my prayer over and above what I ever could have expected. He even got to pick what color he wanted!

Needless to say, my son was grinning from ear to ear when we left the thrift store that morning. God had come through just in time and given him a special birthday present. I made sure he understood that God had provided even more than we had asked for this time.

I knew it would encourage other people, so I wanted to share it here.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, December 26, 2015 0 comments

Sorry I've been MIA

I disappeared rather abruptly and unexpectedly. Sorry about that! My laptop died, and then we moved where I don't have Internet access on a regular basis. I'm going to try to post more often now that I've replaced my laptop with a tablet, but it probably won't be as regularly since I'll have to use a public hotspot to do it. :)

To catch you up ... We accepted a 6-month pastorate at the beginning of December. After 6 months, we'll evaluate how the arrangement is working for us and the church. We're allowed to keep our evangelistic meetings, so it works out well for us. We also have a very nice place to stay for the winter (without heading south) as well as a steady income, so we're counting our blessings.

This has to be short right now, but hopefully I'll have another, longer post for you soon. See you then!

posted from Bloggeroid