30 July 2012

Monday's Link to Free Crochet Pattern (30 July 2012)

Here's a pattern to crochet a doll's bridal gown. This pattern is written for several sizes. This brings back memories of when I was a little girl and bride dolls were very popular. I hope you enjoy this.

If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.
author unknown

27 July 2012

DANGER!!! I've been THINKING!!!

There are times, when I find myself thinking about things I've seen or heard and I wonder how others think about about those things too. Recently, a few family members of my mom's generation have started to have health issues. One of the relatives I'm not very close to but I have very fond memories of from childhood. The other is an uncle I am extremely close to. He's more like a big brother than an uncle because he's only about 11 or 12 years older than I am. In a roundabout way, what I want to say is that I still address my relatives with their titles such as "Aunt Nan" and "Uncle Bert" (not real names but think about what famous children's books those names are from). I know that many people don't do that as adults but what do you think?

I have a few friends on facebook that are the now grown children of friends from my youth. I see their "wild side" on facebook and can only shake my head. I "unfriended" one individual the other day because of graphic vulgarity and "smuttiness." I know that I had my "wild child" days as a young person but back then, virtually the entire world wasn't exposed to my  antics via social media--what a relief that is! Anyway, There are a few points here that I want to make. Point #1--The information that is posted NEVER goes away even when you delete it. Someone, somewhere has the knowledge to pull up embarrassing information and redistribute it. Point #2--Parents, monitor what your children are doing on social media sites. I've seen young teens and preteens posting sexually provocative things online and the language some of them use embarrasses me and I'm a navy veteran! I have a young girl as a friend. She is the step-daughter of a friend of a friend. She has over 800 friends on facebook. Over 800 friends, really???  Point #3--There are registered sex offenders on facebook even though it is against the rules. They use aliases to register an account. Please, if your children have a social media account monitor what your child/teen is doing there. Point #4--If someone posts a cute picture but it originated from a site with a vulgar name, I will copy the picture to my computer and then repost it without the vulgar reference to the originator and they will not get visitors from me. This is my soap box ranting on social media sites for today.

Anyway, that's what has been swirling around in my head today. Thanks for listening to "Sharon's Soap Box Rant for the Day" ! ;)

For a hint about the names from children's literature I used see here.

26 July 2012

Quick Look at My New Project

I'm making a baby blanket. This is for one of the twins that my cousin is awaiting the birth of. He's having a boy and a girl. I've already made a "girlie" blanket and now I'm on to one for the baby boy. Here's a quick look:

Blue, yellow and a variegated yarn

Close up view

You might remember this one I made for the baby girl.

Gotta go get son. He needs a ride to come over for laundry day. I'm going to take him to Michaels with me so I can have him use one of their coupons for me.

Take care everyone and have a great day!

ps--If anyone is interested in the pattern, this is the one I'm using.

25 July 2012

WIP--OOPS, It's a Finished Project Wednesday Today!

I finished 2 things last night. The first is the afghan I had put aside for a little while. I only needed to weave in the ends but we know that those can sometimes be project "stallers." A super-duper good friend commissioned me to make this so she could gift it. I need to finish a little "something-something" and then this will go in the mail. Anywho, here's the finished 'ghan:

The pattern is a freebie from the Red Heart site. You can see it here.

And there is another pair of baby booties I finished last night. The pattern came from the June 2010 edition of Crochet World. The pattern is also available at e-Patterns. You can find it on this page.  Here's the picture--

Looks like I have a fondness for purple. Actually, they're different brands and the booties are made of "leftovers" from some slippers I made myself earlier this year.

Hope y'all are keeping your cool. We're in a heat wave again and it is predicted that we'll be having record breaking temperatures today.

Thanks for stopping in. Hugs to all...

24 July 2012

Bitty Baby Booties

Here's a pair of baby booties that I made for a quick project. The pattern is from Crochet World ("Winner's Circle: Easy Baby Booties."Crochet World, June 2010: 6-7.) The pattern is a bit confusing but then a "ta-da" moment strikes and it is simple as pie. These slippers are made out of the "old" dazzleaire yarn from Caron. This yarn is supposed to be worsted weight but it seems a bit thicker and has a nice fuzziness/softness too.

When I recollect the treasure of friendship that has been bestowed upon me, I withdraw all charges against life. If much has been denied me, much, very much has been given me. So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.
 -- Helen Keller

23 July 2012

Monday's Link to Free Crochet Pattern (23 July 2012)

This pattern is a bit different from what I usually post because it requires a bit of fabric and sewing. I thought this was cute, and not too difficult and I like it so that's why I'm posting it. :) It is a summery dress with a crocheted yoke. The main part of the dress is a fabric tube so it won't be too hard to  make. Enjoy folks!

When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. (Romans 12:15 TLB)

22 July 2012

Quick Crochet Fix and Some Questions Answered.

It's time for a quick project to get a swift sense of accomplishment after working on a few larger projects. I'm making a pair of crochet baby booties. I've already used this pattern and had good luck with it. The post I made about it last year is here. I was recently asked a few questions about it so I decided to post what I hope are good answers to some questions as I make another pair. The pattern is copyrighted so I can't post it here in it's entirety (drat) so I hope I'm not causing more confusion. :)

For this pair, I'm using some old Caron Dazzleaire yarn out of my stash of partial skeins.

Question referring to the start of the ribbed cuff after making the main portion of the bootie: "...it starts with a foundation chain of 9 chs. But what purpose does it serve? Where is it attached, if at all? It doesn't say. Until now it's like a single tail that just hangs there.

Here's where I've finished row 8 of the upper foot (do not fasten off unless you want the cuff a different color):

After finishing the upper foot, you will have your choice of the plain cuff or the ribbed cuff. I am doing the ribbed cuff.

Starting the ribbed cuff for 1 color bootie:

Starting the ribbed cuff for 2 colors:
  • Join 2nd color at the center back
  • Ch 9

From now on, I'm just going to show the white bootie because it is the same for both pairs.

"why don't Rows 2 and 3 of the cuff go all the way around? I have 20 sts all around, but it says to just sc in 8 sts then turn, sc in 8 sts then turn etc. When/how do I get to the other side?"

There is some confusion in how this pattern is written. Since you are slip stitching into the main part of the bootie at the end of every other row, you should be at the other side after finishing 20 rows.

You'll be working the 7 single crochets in this chain that is attached to the main part of the bootie. 

Then you will slip stitch into the next 2 dc that are in the last row of the main part of the bootie.

Next you will turn, and (in the back loops) 8 sc aross the single crochets you just made in the chains

Look at the pattern and you will see that you will work in a similar pattern until the end (I had 20 rows).

Here's a picture of mine up to this point:

Last question: The last sentence says to "Sew last row of Ribbed Cuff to opposite side of foundation ch." But which side is the opposite? Until now, the foundation ch has 2 sides because it remains unattached!

The foundation row is the one the crochet hook is pointing toward.

Stay tuned for finished booties...

Pattern info is: "Winner's Circle: Easy Baby Booties."Crochet World, June 2010: 6-7.

Finished Baby Bright Baby Blanket

I finished making what I'm calling "Baby Bright Baby Blanket." I was originally going to go around with another set of squares but this one turned out to be a nice size for a baby.

I used some DK yarn from my stash and some baby yarns that I bought to make this. I need to do a quick wash on delicate and a light blocking and it will be done 100%.

I used 3 styles of squares--traditional granny squares, closed/solid granny squares and one style that is a combination of both that you can see in the center.

It's pretty nice here but we're in for a heat wave next week again. I've been canning and freezing some foods lately. The other day the big pot of tomato sauce cooked down and yielded 3 pints and 3 quarts so a total of a gallon and a quart. The quart sized containers are a nice size to make spaghetti for dh and me.

Today I have some broccoli to freeze. Tonight I'll be working on 2 projects--a pair of baby booties and weaving the ends in on an afghan I made.

Hope y'all are having a nice weekend and later gator!

Jewelry Clearance

20 July 2012

I Forgot to Show You--

How full my pot of tomato sauce is. This is how much sauce there was before I started cooking it down. This pot is my big canning pot so if you've ever seen one of those you know that it is a very big pot.

Susie Homemaker Day--

I'm making more tomato sauce today. MIL got a hold of a box of tomatoes she brought over and I had a pile from the garden so it was time to break out the food processor and the canning jars and get to work.

This year we either planted our tomatoes too close together or overdosed them on Miracle Grow (cheap equivalent not the name brand). The plants are a regular jungle.

Drat! Tomato cages are falling over!

I received a special gift in the mail from my friend Jackie. She made me 2 bracelets and sent a book of inspirational quotes. The bracelets are based on the popular Pandora bracelets. Thank you Jackie!

In closing, I'm going to include the quote for today from this book.

Something deep in all of us yearns for God's beauty and we can find it no matter where we are.  Sue Monk Kidd

Charms to Make Your Own Pandora-like Bracelets

Recycled Silk Sari Yarn Giveaway!!!

This At the Bahamas yarn was made by underprivileged women in a co-op in India. They make their living by sewing together remnants of sari silk fabric and making them into yarn. By buying this yarn you are helping  these women sustain their families and end the cycle of poverty. Since these fabric scraps would normally be thrown away this up-cycled yarn is also environmentally friendly. Who knew that something as simple as yarn would be making the world a better place?

To find out how you can win 2 skeins of this delightful yarn please visit here

Good luck everyone! Hope one of my blogger friends wins....

18 July 2012

WIP Wednesday (18 July 2012)

Not much done this week--only a few more squares.

After the purple squares, I'm going to go with a round of squares in greens. The greens that are here are for the corners. Once those are done and everything is sewn together, I plan on going around the entire thing one or two times in off white.

I'm sharing this at:

I've Been Thinking...

I want to make something out of  the African Flower Hexagon. I'm thinking of making an afghan out of them but a big butt here-- I really, really need to finish some ufos before I start anything else.  I need to weave the ends in on the last afghan I made and finish up the baby blanket I'm working on. I'm not spending too much time crocheting lately because this heat is getting to me. If I spend much time outside I don't have the motivation to do much more than a granny square or 2.

I've also been irritated/sad/disgusted with some things I've seen on a social site recently. There have been some postings that make fun of God, not religion(s) but God. When I wrote "not nice" some one else posted that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I wonder what these people are thinking????

Yesterday I went to a military burial. It was the first one I've been to since the law was changed in 2008 that now allows veterans in civilian clothing to salute during taps and the national anthem. I was proud to salute when taps was playing. It felt more respectful and fitting to salute a fellow veteran.

I've been rambling here so I think I'll get out of here and do something constructive.

Take care...

17 July 2012

Please Vote for Mikey!!!

Mikey has been offering free tutorials and advice to crocheters on his blog, facebook and youtube. He's in the running for the "On the Rise" award on Youtube. If you wouldn't mind, would you go to this Youtube page and vote for Mikey? When you're at the youtube blog page, look toward the upper right hand side of the page to see the voting gizmo. I included this short video to give you a glimpse at Mikey's vibrant personality that makes his tutorials so inspiring.  Thanks so very much.

Two on Tuesday (17 July 2012)

1. Antidepressants-- Guess this is kind of weird, but antidepressants are a wonderful thing. I wish that so many people weren't against them. We have to go to a graveside service today for an elderly gentleman who committed suicide. Maybe if he would have had the right meds he'd still be with us.

2. Coupons--I had a coupon for any free Oscar Mayer product that I could use on any product up to $9. I bought the thick sliced bacon and we had some great BLTs last night.

16 July 2012

What I've Been Up To...

The other day when I told you I was making and canning tomato sauce, it smelled so good, that I decided to use some of it that night and make spaghetti so my daily yield wasn't as much as originally expected--2 quarts and 2 half-pints.  Here's what I got.

When I date them, I only put the year, some people put the entire date but tomato sauce is one of the quickest items to get used up so I don't worry about it.

Spent some more time on the baby blanket/afghan. Here's the update:

I know, it's a bit on the colorful side.  :) Still don't know who this is going to. Anyway, this is it for now. Have a great week. Hugs...

Monday's Link to Free Crochet Pattern (16 July 2012)

Some of you may be old enough to remember hanging plants that were very popular back in the 70s. Here's a pattern to crochet your own plant hanger. This is a nice pattern not only to use in your house but it would be nice to hang plants outside too.

14 July 2012

It's Time to Can Tomatoes

Today I have started canning tomatoes. I have a pot simmering on the stove and it smells wonderful!

My sauce is adapted from Presto's manual that comes with pressure canners. It is available online here. The difference between what I do and the manual calls for is that I do not peel the tomatoes.

Wash tomatoes and cut off stems and bad spots. I leave the skin on and whirl in the food processor until liquid. Then strain with a fine mesh strainer to get all the seeds out.
Heat in large saucepan or pot until sauce reaches desired consistencycooked about half way down. Just before your sauce is finished cooking, give your jars an inspection and then a good hot rinseI use my dishwasher for this. This is also a good time to read the directions that come with your seals and get ready to use them.

For quarts--add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice. For pints-- add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice.

Pour hot sauce in clean, hot canning jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Adjust jar lids. Using a nonmetallic utensil, slowly mix the sauce and lemon juice in the jars trying to get all air bubbles out.

Pressure canning: Process at 10 pounds pressure, pints and quarts
15 minutes.

More Pressure Canners

11 July 2012

WIP Wednesday (11 July 2012)

It's going to be a baby blanket when it's finished. I'm working on this in between other things. I finished a "surprise" last night but since it is a surprise for someone I can't show it to you just yet. Also finished an afghan except for weaving in the ends so when I get that done I'll show it to you. Anyway, here's the baby blankie--

The center squares are from this pattern. These squares are a pain in the patootie to make difficult because there are many, many ends to weave in. I'm also using a traditional granny square and a solid granny in this. No plans on who to give this to yet but I'll find someone.

I'm linking this up to the following sites. You can visit them and see some great things and link your project up to them too.
Have fun everyone and stay cool!

I Like These...

Last week when I went to the PX I picked up a copy of Crochet! magazine. There are 2 afghan patterns in there that I am heads over heels for. One is a single color afghan that is very plain but the edging/border is so pretty and it makes the afghan into something special.

From: Gormley, Ellen. "Serene Meadow." Crochet!, Summer 2012, 70-71, 94.

The next one may be at the top of my afghan making list (unless, par for course, I change my mind again). I have enough neutral browns, tans and tweeds in my stash to make this.

From: White, Shari. "Summertime Blues." Crochet!, Summer 2012, 68-69, 93-94.

Okay, that's all I wanted to share with you today. I actually put this together ahead of time so I had a post for today!

10 July 2012

Two on Tuesday (10 July 2012)

Two more things I like--
  1. The cooler temperatures of spring and fall
  2. The good feeling when someone likes what I crochet for them

09 July 2012

A Cautionary Tale

I received this in an email and thought it funny but at the same time a lesson to be heeded.

Old Butch
John was in the fertilized egg business.

He had several hundred young layers (hens), called 'pullets,'
and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.

He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the
soup pot and was replaced.

This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and
attached them to his roosters.

Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance,
which rooster was performing.

Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report
by just listening to the bells.

John's favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen,
but this morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!

When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were
busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing
the roosters coming, would run for cover.

To John's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it
couldn't ring.

He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the
Saint Lawrence County Fair and he became an overnight
sensation among the judges.

The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the
"No Bell Piece Prize," but they also awarded him the
"Pulletsurprise" as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but
a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted
awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the
unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren't
paying attention.

Vote carefully this fall, the bells are not always audible.

Monday's Link to Free Crochet Pattern (09 July 2012)

Faithful dog guards small sleeping child

Before you know it, Christmas will be knocking on our doors. Today's link is for a cute pillow designed to look like a Christmas present. This is a nice size project to work on during these hot summer days. Here's the link and I hope you enjoy.

08 July 2012

I Did Some Pot and Pan Rattling Yesterday

When I go in the kitchen to cook, dh says I "rattle the pots and pans." Yesterday, I wanted to figure out what do do with a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 or 9). I pondered this for a bit and decided on a big chicken pot pie. So, not being a Julia Child clone, I hied myself to the store and bought 2 pie crusts.

Note:  I didn't use any "measurements" so I can only give you an idea of what I did.

I simmered the thighs in a bit of water (water to the top of chicken but not covering) to which I added a couple chicken bullion cubes. I turned the meat over a few times as it cooked. When the meat was cooked through, I cubed it and put it back in the water/bullion.

Then I mixed the following items in with the chicken

  • handful of green beans from the garden
  • handful of frozen peas
  • a bit of frozen corn
  • bits of green onion
  • can of mushroom stems and pieces
  • can of potatoes cubed
It didn't look right so I whipped up a batch of "convenience" country gravy (2 cups) and mixed it with everything else in the pan. I still needed to simmer the concoction down a bit because it was a little thin.

Because of the salt in the bullion cubes, onions and the seasoning in the gravy mix, I didn't add any additional seasonings.

After the filling was thickened up a bit, I poured it in a store-bought pie crust. Oops! I made too much filling so I filled the other pie crust. Now I needed tops to my pot pies so I made the homemade pie crust from my old Betty Crocket Cook Book. I put the tops on the pot pies and baked at 425 for about 30 minutes. My picky husband loved it and he's not much of a chicken-eater!

Lesson learned--it really isn't hard to make pie crust so no need to spend the extra to buy it.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend and staying cool. 


Added: Hubby just asked if we could have the leftovers tonight for supper. That's okay with me!

06 July 2012

Good Morning Everyone!

And there is yet ANOTHER giveaway. This time it is for a Knook. I've seen these kits and thought it  might be interesting to learn but haven't bought one yet because I still have to break out the butterfly looms I bought a few years ago when they were deeply discounted to around $1 each. I do want to give this a try though. Maybe we should have a try a new technique with yarn day here in blog world. Hmm, that's not a bad idea. Anyway, we're talking Knook and not butterfly looms so for your chance to win one, head on over to this page at AllFreeKnitting.

Good luck my friends and I hope one of you/us wins. Stay cool...

04 July 2012

Go here to win 2 hanks of reclaimed cotton yarn. Good luck to all my friends in blogger world. I hope one of you win!!!