Monday, March 30, 2009

More Spring Flowers

I'm still suffering from spring fever and decided to make some more crocheted flowers. Sunflowers are always a favorite of mine and I adapted a flower center of a doily and added picots to the ends of the petals and came up with these little sunflowers. Vintage buttons make great centers and they can be used as a refrigerator magnet or sewn onto a bag or a hat for a great embellishemnt.

I love yo yos and I found these really cute flower buttons, so I made a yo yo out of a bright Mary Englebreit flower fabric and added the button to the center for a fun magnet or embellishment.

If you want to see some more of my spring flowers you can visit my Etsy store at

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spring Flowers to Help Me With Spring Fever

As winter drags on, I start to get spring fever. It doesn't help that here in Kansas January and February you can have a 70 degree day one day and snow with a drop to about 30 degree high the next (like today!). I found a pattern for these cute little crocheted flowers and have been working away at trying different colors and different buttons for the centers. I've been making them into magnets and have listed a few on my Etsy Store. Without the magnets, they would make great embellishments for handbags, hat, headbands or could be worn as a pin.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quilt Ball Christmas Ornaments

Creating and making quilt ball ornaments is one of my favorite past times. The possiblities for creating new ornaments is endless. I love to make Sparkling Christmas Ornaments like the one pictured. (Just listed it on ebay at: I like to go back and forth between the glitzy ones and then the more country themed ones that go well with my own country western style decor are fun to create also. Adding little touches of greenery, rusty stars or sparkly beads to the top really adds a nice festive touch to these ornaments.
These ornaments are a great way to use up those little bits of quilt fabric that you have left over from other projects. Of course, it can get addictive and then you find yourself just adding more fabrics to your stash.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Friendship Quilt To Remember

A friend of our family whom my mother had taught to quilt several years ago asked Mom if she would participate in a friendship quilt that she is making. She also invited me to put my name on it. She is making the quilt and provided a block for each of us to sign and embroider our name on. It got my mom to thinking about friendship quilts and she pulled out a quilt that her mother had made. My mother is 92 and she thinks this quilt was made when she was in grade school which would make it probably in the 1920's.

I had never seen this quilt before (it always amazes me when she pulls these things out that she's had hidden away for many years!) Anyway, she doesn't really remember the quilt being made, but her mother's, grandmother's, sister's and Mom's own name are all on the quilt and also many other women never heard of by me. She proceeded to point at each name and tell me exactly where that woman lived from their farm and a little bit about each lady.

I wonder as I practice my embroidery stitches (I'm a little rusty) for the current quilt if this women's kids or grandkids will look at it some day and remember some of the people who's signatures are forever saved on her quilt. I think it is a really neat idea and maybe someday (when the quilting genes that I surely possess kick in) I will make something like this for my kids and grandkids.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time to Start Fall and Winter Projects

Summer is winding down and in some ways I'm glad. I love spring and summer, but with gardening and horse shows, having the grandkids out, etc., I pretty much have to put my craft projects on hold. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done!
Well, I'm starting to think about what projects I want to work on first. I guess I do have a few that I need to finish up! The holidays are just around the corner and I've got to get the knitted Christmas stockings done. I'm wanting to finish up some more of the fingerless gloves, too. I think they'll make nice little winter gifts. I'm always on the look out for some soft, fine yarns to do those with.
My neice got married this summer and I'd like to make her a great afghan. Something fluffy and loose made on great big knitting needles . I've picked out a couple of possible patterns at Knitting Pattern Central.
My youngest grandson has outgrown his baby afghan and I probably ought to be thinking of something more suitable for a little boy.
That pretty much fills up my knitting time, but I'll need to get some more quilted ball ornaments done before the holiday season gets here. I'm on the lookout for some great holiday quilt fabrics to make those out of. This angel cat was a popular ornament.
Looks like I won't have much time to be bored through the winter months. That's ok - I love to create pretty things and keep my hands busy during those long evenings of TV watching with my husband.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Knitting with Alpaca Yarn

We have an alpaca farm right across the road from us. These fascinating creatures are fun to watch and something really different for our neck of the woods. My horses just can't figure out whether to be afraid of them or not!
I've been doing a little research on alpaca yarn and I think I'm going to have to give it a try in my knitting. I'm allergic to pure wool, so I usually stay away from that, but I'm finding out that Alpaca's largest advantage is that, unlike wool, it is hypo-allergenic. That means that people who are allergic to wool will not have a problems with alpaca wool.
Another great thing about alpaca yarn is that it is a hollow core fiber which will keep you warmer than wool when you need to be warm, but breathes when you need to be cool. It is also smoother than wool so will not have the itch factor that wool has.
The down side is that alpaca does not have as much elasticity as wool so therefore when items made with it are stretched they will not go back to their original shape. Don't let this scare you though, because alpaca has a beautiful drape.
There are also a few things you can do to avoid having a problem with it:
1. Use a blended yarn (about 70% alpaca and 30% wool.
2. Choose small projects that don't necessarily need to hold shape.
3. Knit or crochet tighter.
4. Twist stitches to keep the "memory" in your project.
One other tip for knitting with alpaca is to use wooden knitting needles as it can be very slippery to work with.
Armed with these facts, I'm ready to give alpaca a try on some projects in the very near future. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Knitted Christmas Stockings

OK, so I know it seems a little early to be talking about Christmas Stockings, but I found this pattern last year right before Christmas, which, of course, was too late to get more than one done. I decided that since my family needs new Christmas Stockings, I would start making them in January and, hopefully, have them all done by Christmas. I need about 8 and so far I've got 2 done.

This pattern came from If you've never checked out that site, it is a great resource for lots & lots of free knitting patterns. I've used quite a few of them for various projects.

This pattern makes a stocking about 10" long. Of course, for my family that's not nearly big enough so I've adapted the pattern by using larger needles and casting on more stitches. It's really pretty easy to do and you can experiment a little to get the size you want. I made a few just as the pattern goes and they made nice gift holders for small gifts, like a bottle of lotion or perfume, or candy. They would be cute Christmas decorations, also, and can be made using any combination of colors and yarns. You can use your imagination and decorate and embellish them in any way you like.

The smaller one in the picture is made according to the pattern and I used a fuzzy white yarn for the top. The larger one is made using a bulky burgundy yarn and off white fuzzy yarn. Have fun and I hope you can come up with lots of uses for these little stockings.


One 50 gr. balll worsted weight yarn and size US 9 (5.5mm) needles. Gauge: 8 stitches and 10 rows to 2 inches - but of course that's not essential depending on the size you want.

Cast on 34 sts.
Knit 6 rows (you could use a 2x2 ribbing also).
Starting with a right side row, work 30 rows in SS.
Starting of short rows:
Next row: K24, turn,
Next row: P15, turn,

Continue in SS working one extra stitch on every row (before your turn) until all the stitches have been worked - [i.e. K16 turn, P17 turn, etc.] ending on a knit row.

Purl one row on the 34 sts. Then you can start the next stocking stitch part on the right side. The number of rows is not that essential and can be changed if so desired.
Knit 12 rows straight in Stockinette Stitch.
Shape toe:

Next row: *K1, K2tog, repeat from*to last st. K1
Next row: P2, *P2tog, repeat from*to end of row.
Next row: K2tog to end. (6sts)******
Next row: P2tog to end (3 sts)

Note:******at this stage the yarn could be cut and drawn through the 6 sts to make a 'stubbier' toe.

Cut yarn and draw through remaining sts and fasten off.
Sew seam.
Turn over garter st. cuff.
Make a cord for hanging and fasten to top of cuff.

Hang on doorknob, fill with favours for guests to enjoy.