Looking Back at 2014 and Looking Forward to The New Year

I get a little introspective as the New Year approaches. I have just spent the last twelve months zooming through the days to this day.

Then there are the many photos of our yard and landscape. We had snow and ice, beautiful daffodils, tulips and irises all in succession.

Then the beautiful summer flowers in the front flower bed, from gladiolus to Russian sage to Purple coneflowers and daisies.The many pictures of yarn and projects in process including the craft fair.

There are many photos of family and trips to museums and lovely memories to share but I will not bore you with all of these photos. I have been graced with a very full year. We moved one person twice and three people once, if that makes any sense. We moved our daughter home from college at the beginning of the summer. Our son and his wife moved into their new apartment. We moved two of our kids back to college and finally we moved my mom to her new apartment. So those were huge moves and took time and attention. I just cleared out the last box of sewing materials from my Mom, yesterday. I am working on cleaning up in the studio after all of the busy time this Christmas season.

Things I am looking forward to this year include the Use Your Stash Challenge, doing a craft fair or two, some time spent fluffing the inside of the house. Here is my list for the future.

  • Prepping for a craft fair this June
  • Creating some new products for both shops
  • De-cluttering my house and studio
  • Finishing up about ten works in progress
  • Finishing up the tree skirt. I want to add some trim to the edging and possibly a decoration or two.
  • Clean out Christmas decorations that we haven’t used in years
  • Do some dog training. We have four in the back yard right now as we are watching my brother’s dog.
  • Make a menu and grocery list every week
  • Our oldest daughter is scheduled to graduate from college this next school year. So while it she officially doesn’t graduate until 2016. I know the year will be full of getting her prepared.

This is fairly busy list. I know that we will be driving  our daughter back to college, and also bringing her home. She has a wedding this summer to go to and we might take a vacation. I would like to work in the yard and get some things cleared up. All of this in addition to living life and home schooling our youngest. The days and years just seem to get shorter and time seems to be a more precious commodity.

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

 

Washing Some Burlap

I have been procrastinating by washing some burlap bags. I have been trying to get the house cleaned up in preparation for the college kids that come to our house for Thanksgiving. It is a busy time but I love having them visit. We have spent 6 weeks or so cleaning out my Mom’s old house so she could move into a smaller place. I have tons of new (old) things that need to find a new home. So, I am unpacking and starting to think about putting them away in a more permanent home. Today, I am doing that by washing the burlap sacks that I picked up out of her garage. I am wanting to use them in some craft projects but they are dirty and smell like burlap!

Burlap bags for washingMy Mom and Dad used these on the farm to pick up pecans and haul things around. They are really useful but really dirty. They also got these from the feed store, ages ago and they have been lying around in the garage for years.An old burlap coffee bagOne is a coffee sack with cool writing on it. I am getting ready wash them with bleach and then dry them, several times. I hope the bleach doesn’t take out the writing. My washer regularly washes dog beds so I am pretty sure that it can handle these with no problems.

Burlap tote sacks or burlap bags in the washer

So this is the first wash. We will see how it goes.
It is pretty linty. The lint trap was completely full and I stopped the cycle so I could wash it again. Dryer lint from burlap bags

It is pretty gross. Thankfully, I am going to use the lint to make some fire starters for the fire pit but the burlap really needs another wash cycle, or two.

washing burlap bags

it is starting to look better than it did and it IS softer. We will see what a total of three washing and drying will do for them. I am going to stop the dryer cycle half way through and clean out the lint trap. I am also going to shake them out outside and get rid of the little pills of lint before it goes in the dryer.

Ok there was even more dryer lint the second time  but I think that third time is the charm! The burlap bags are much softer and smell less than they did with the first wash. I will show you how it comes out next time and also the cute projects I am wanting to try.

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

 

 

Friday DIY Gift Countdown

If you are going to create gifts for your family for Christmas it is time to start creating! Fridays for the next several weeks will include a DIY Gift Countdown. This weeks DIY gift countdown if for the guys in your life. My guys are all college age or above and I have no babies in my life, though I will include them. Here are some of my favorite ideas that use supplies I already have on hand. I will also have to buy some supplies as I am trying to personalize their gifts as much as possible.

A paracord belt!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32YAvNdYvAM

A personalized coffee cup for my guys!

I am counting on the fact that one of my guys is too busy to read his Mom’s blog but I will be crocheting this for him for Christmas.

So there are a few of the guys things I will be making this year, but I am also looking at these ideas as well.

I have made these in the past and will probably whip up a few new ones for the gang this year. I am also thinking about making a couple of these for some of the family., in more masculine colors, but not reversible.

I am also going to make some of these quick fingerless gloves and add hats, without the hearts and in a more masculine color.

Also a couple pairs of these.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/164527383/pattern-diy-fingerless-gloves-crochet

I had better get started as time is running out and there are others in my family that I want to crochet for.

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

 

 

 

Tutorial: Crocheting lace to a Polo shirt

I had some polo shirts that I loved wearing. Polo shirts are knit shirts like a tennis or golf shirt with vents on the side seams and a knit collar. Almost as comfortable as t-shirts they are a summer wardrobe staple for me.  I wore them every week but then they shrank in the length. They became uncomfortably short. They were too short to tuck in and too short to wear outside my jeans. While I was out on a date with hubs last night, I had a brilliant idea. What about adding crochet trim to the the bottom of the shirts. If it is crocheted in place and not sewn on then it would look as though it was always there. The shirts were headed to Goodwill since they were too short, what would it cost me to try? So I whipped out my ruler and made 1/4 inch dots with a pencil along the hem on the wrong side of the shirt.

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I then tried several different methods of putting a blanket stitch along the bottom of the shirt. The preferred method (for me) was to use the smallest double pointed steel knitting needle to poke a hole from the wrong side to the right side. You could also use a dull needle point needle. Then I crocheted along the bottom edge of the shirt. I ended up only chaining twice between each stitch because three chains made it scalloped, like this.

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When I reached the end of the shirt at the side seam. I chained twice and turned. This row was simply two single crochets in each blanket stitch. The third row was double crochet in the top of each single crochet. Chain four and turn.

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In the photo above you can see the starting row of blanket stitch, the row of single crochet and then the third row of double crochet.

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4th row.

Double crochet in the third double crochet from the edge. (You are skipping one double crochet across). Then chain 1, double crochet in the second double crochet across. It creates a grid across the bottom of the shirt. You will repeat this row 2 more times. On the last row chain four and turn.

So you will have three rows of the grid and then the edging. I really didn’t want a frilly edging so I opted for a light scalloped picot border.

The fifth row sets the foundation for the scallops and picots.

5th row

skip one double crochet and single crochet to the next double all the way across.

6th row single crochet 2 times into the first scallop foundation. Singel crochet again and chain three, single crochet to the same place and then sc 1 more time. There should be six single crochets. The two stitches in the middle will have the picot added to the top. It should look like this.

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Weave in all of your ends and you should have successfully added about two inches to the bottom of your polo top. Then repeat this to the front hem of your shirt. Wash the whole thing and hang it to dry. You can shape the crochet lace while it dries and it should reduce ironing. I wouldn’t put it in the dryer as the lace might shrink. Here is mine drying. It will still need a light ironing.

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Yay, I am so  happy. I can’t wait to wear it. I have two more polo shirts to fix.I’m off to watch some more netflix and off to fix my knit shirts.

talk to you later,

Karen