Friday, May 29, 2009

30 Roses - a poem & pattern

I made this Rose Trellis Afghan for my Grandma on my Dad's side and wrote this poem to go along with it... the pattern is 30 squares large.

The Gift

A dozen roses could not give thanks
for the love that you have given.
Yet a single rose so pure and sweet,
wilts shortly after given.

You may dry the rose to a delicate state,
and display it on a wall.
An untouchable memory that surely would crumble,
if ever it were to fall.

So this special gift I give to you,
made with love and care.
Thirty roses from granddaughter to grandmother,
you may display them anywhere!

Monday, May 25, 2009

the GREEN in me

So I'm one of those environmentally conscious people. I have worked at eliminating the commercial chemical cleaners from our household and have succeeded! Vinegar & baking soda are about all you need.

But i though I would share my laundry detergent recipe along with a few products I LOVE and have gone back to time and again to buy from them.

Laundry detergent:
1 bar Fels-Naphtha soap (shredded)
1 cup Borax (I get the classic 50 mule team borax)
1 cup A&H super washing soda (different than baking soda, find it in the laundry isle)

just mix it all up and use 2T per load (more or less as you see fit)

For fabric softener I fill a downy ball with straight vinegar and pop it in (my washer doesn't have a fabric softerner dispenser). It works, doesn't leave a smell on the cloths. And even if you don't make your own detergent the vinegar will help strip soap residue off your cloths. For whites I add extra borax.

As for products I like....
Crystal body deodorant -
I work in a factory on the production floor and I find this works very well. It is NOT antiperspirant so if you have a sweat problem this will only take care of oder.

Chagrin Valley Soap
These soaps and products are GREAT! I have switched to the bar shampoos for quite a while now and love them. Their lotion bars are also excellent if you have excessively dry skin and during the winter months when your skin dries out.

Ecover Dishwasher tabs
I was a die hard Cascade girl till i found these! I didn't think I could find an environmentally friendly product that compared to Cascade. These work GREAT! I don't have to pre-rince my dishes and they come out clean, no residue. You can also use Vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser and it will also reduce spots.

All Battery
I have been buying my rechargeable batteries from here for several years now. the prices are great and the quality is good as well. I charge them in my RayoVac charger and have used all the sizes and am quite happy with them. i also like the fact that they ship "empty" so there is less packaging and they can bundle them together.

And you can't forget the best 1st aid product nature ever made!

Tea Tree Oil
I have used it personally for psoriasis, cuts, scrapes, burns, acne, bug bites... you name it and it will help it heal faster! Follow the link above for a list of what PPL have used it for.

I will add more as I think of it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

knit pocketbook slippers

These are super easy and a great beginner project. They are super stretchy and I have used this same pattern for my self (11D with in men's), my daughter and my aunt and they fit each of us just fine. I originally got the pattern here: but made a slight adaption to the edging directions on both the increase and decrease sides.

Pocketbook slippers

* #7 needles (I actually used #6 because my needles were mislabeled and that is what the ones in the photo were made with)
* Worsted weight yarn

cast on 5 stitches
knit 6 rows

Next: K1, yo knit entire row. Do this for each row until you have 22 stitches on your needle

Next: increase each stitch. 44 stitches on your needle

Next: K2, P2 each row until you have 6 inches of ribbing.

Next: K2 together across entire row. you now have 22 stitches on your needle

Next: K2 together, yo, k2 together. knit remaining row. Do this until you have 5 stitches on your needle

Next: Knit 6 rows.


sew together the ends of the strap

fold in half and stitch ribbing together to create the heal and toe.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quick and easy baby blanket

I found this free patter on this blog It works up really fast and is very easy to do! It creates a lighter, more airy afghan so I would consider it a mid-weight. I had some yarn left over from when my boys were babies and a lady at work was expecting so I whipped this up for yer in a couple days. I think I did the edging a bit different than described in the pattern above but it works for me!

Round afghans are very pretty and just something different than your normal square or rectangle blankets.

Kitchen set #3 - multi color

I was really hesitant to buy this yearn, even put it back on the shelf! I just didn't look as attractive on the cone in the store. I was leery of all the colors it had in it and how they would look together but i went and bought it anyway and am quite glad! I think it worked up very pretty! The yarn has yellow, green, brown, rose, tan & natural colors. The last photo shows a close up of the mat and you can see the colors in that one. I think this yarn will turn out the best as a stain hiding yarn.

Sorry, it appears I had smudges on my camera lens.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The most important thing about crochet

If you like the way it looks, you did it right!

As a mostly self taught lefty I have learned this. Before i could read patterns or before I even knew the name of the stitches I was doing I was crocheting my own way, the way that worked for me, the way that looked good to me. After I learned more about crochet I found out that some of the ways I did things weren't necessarily correct but after trying the "right"way I went back to my way because i just liked it better.

So if you like one side over the other but it's not what most would consider the "right"side YOU consider it the right side. If you stick your hook in a different place to make your stitches and like it, keep it up!

Some times I sew things up in strange ways because i simply like the way it looks better.

I've become quite used to smudging patterns to work for me. Dropping a stitch, adding a stitch as i see fit or maybe using a different stitch altogether.

The thing is to make it yours, make it great, and enjoy it in the process.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Foundation row SC or Chainless foundation

I have just discovered this and so wish I had found is sooner! This method combines your foundation chain and your 1st row all at the same time which makes a nice finished edge that is stretchy. I have started to use this for my next dish mat and it's wonderful! Normally I chain for as long as I think I need then start my work only to find that after I stitch into the chain it's no longer as long as when i started as the stitches pull it. Also it's tougher to stitch into the 1st chain. This method is an excelent substute and much easier to stitch. Now I can make a foundation row as long as I need and not have to rip it out because it shrinks!

Right handed instructions

Left handed instruction

Kitchen set in yellow

This whole set took a little less than 1 cone of variegated yellow and 2 balls of solid yellow. The mat on this one is a little wider than I prefer. I really need to write down my formulas so I can keep them consistent. I posted photos of both sides of the pot holder because I just think that the contrast of the bold yellow and variegated looks really neat on both sides. I generally don't like to use white on kitchen items becuse of staining but I thought this was pretty.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How to make a net bag

G's String Bag

I get allot of comments on the net bags I make. They are very easy to make and rather fast to work up to! I don't write patterns well so I won't try but I will share my "formula" for creating a bag.

I use an I hook and 100% cotton yarn. I prefer to buy my cotton yarn on 1# cones for convince.

The bottom is a classic granny square (I explain how I make my granny squares in this post) that is 7 rounds large and fasten off or continue on if you are keeping it the same color. The way I make my grannies leaves the joining seam centered along the side. You may want to slip stitch to a center point on the Grannie to start the netting.

The netting is ch3, 1SC in space, ch3 all the way around and in the round till you have 18 rows of this then fasten off or just continue to the trim if it is the same color.

The top trim is 2 rounds of 3DC in each ch3 space on the netting and the 2nd round is 3DC in the spaces between the 3DC in the previous row.
The handle is about 20 rows long and done in the same 3dc clusters throughout. to save some yarn i often do my handle in 1dc, ch1, 1dc instead of the 3DC clusters.

And that is how I make my bags. you can of course customize the size to your liking but remember that these bags stretch so the handle length I wouldn't recommend going longer than about 20 rows or 18 for the netting or your bag may stretch to your knees!

Here are some other bags I have made. The 1st one is a close up of the handle followed by a close up of the netting so you can see how i did it. Remember I'm a leftie so my work goes from left to right. You can see in the 4th photo that they really do hold alot! I have 3 cases of Capri Sun's in it! The last bag is a small one I made just to hold my roll of trash bags. On this one the base is round.

I have modified my handle and have included the hand drawn chart for how I make them now. When finishing the last 3dc cluster that sits at the base of the handle I turn and slip stitch back to the space between the clusters and slip stitch into that space and chain up from there. At the end of each row turn and slip stitch back into the ch1 space and chain up. the 1st dc of each round will be your chain up.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

So the school year is coming to a close. Girl Scouts is nearly done and we just wrapped up our cookie sales. I volunteered at the school carnival today and also baked a pineapple upside down cake for the cake walk, it's my standby recipe for these things. I was going to bake my chocolate & cherry cake but could not find a disposable pan with a dome large enough for the double layered cake so we are baking that tonight for the family. Anja is having one of her friends stay the night and they have baked the cake on their own.... that's my girl!

On a more somber note, DH has been laid off and we are not sure for how long. Tomorrow is his last day and he also has some vacation time and personal days to use up and then will be filing for unemployment. Luckily with our taxes we were able to pay off the student loan and only have home equity and mortgage for debt so we are doing pretty good in that area. And I'm a pretty resourceful cook when it comes down to pinching pennies.

Next year I will be the Troop Leader for Anja's Cadet Girl Scouts troop. She just bridged to Cadet Scouts this year. This should be interesting. Though the future is uncertain it defiantly won't be dull!

I have been crocheting "delux" kitchen sets for my uncles who are coming in from out of state for my Grandma's 90th b-day this summer. they include 1 dish mat, 1 pot holder, 1 handle cover, 1 net bag and 3 dishcloths all in matching colors.

Have fun, and always try to look at the bright side of life!