Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eat, Sleep, Work! Repeat.

Haven't been able to get any finished projects done of late.  It is that time of year, where my "real" job sucks all of my energy and creativity.  I hate tax deadlines!!  (and "real" jobs, why didn't I choose to be a go-go dancer?)

After logging into blogger, to read various blogs that I follow and feeling really bad about not posting, last night I pulled out my rotary cutter and, despite my aching back and tired eyes, started work on the rag rug.

A year ago, with some left over dye, I tie dyed three old t-shirts to be used at a later time.  I love how each shirt became a different shade of blue.  These t-shirts were my inspiration for making the rag rug.  The rug is going to be about the size of a kitchen mat, maybe a little bit bigger.  The colors will form an ombre effect, with speckles of black throughout.

Still to do, cut black strips, finish crocheting the base and put together. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"From grease to shine in half the time".

I was taught how to make these Tulle Dish Scrubbers, by my wonderful Aunt in Law, three years ago.  (and have had the tulle strips cut out and bundled together that long) Unfortunately, last night when I wanted to work on these and finally turn the little bundles of tulle into dish scrubbers, I couldn't remember all the instructions she told me.  So I improvised.

Tulle Dish Scrubber 

Size P Crochet Hook
Large eye yarn needle

Cut tulle into 3" wide strips.  You will need two of these strips to make one scrubber, or a total of 6 yards.

Chain 3, join with slst in first ch to make ring.

R1:   Ch 1, 8 sc in ring, slst in first sc.

R2:   Ch 1, 2sc in each sc from previous row (16 sc), slst in first sc.

R3:   Ch 1, sc around. (16 sc), slst in first sc.  (About halfway thru this row you will need to join the 2nd strip of tulle.  To do this, with about 4 or 5 inches left on the 1st strip, take the 2nd strip and overlap them.  Roll the sides up to "lock" them together.)

R4:   Ch 1, sc around (16 sc), slst in first sc.

R5:   Ch 1, sc2tog around, (8 sc), slst in next stitch.

Fasten off, but do not cut the remaining tail.  With yarn needle and remaining tail sew "hole" together.  Knot.  Tuck the remaining tail into the center of dish scrubber.

If you have any questions or problems with the pattern, please feel free to email me at

*  Title is taken from the Joy Soap commercial.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Very Berry Harvest

Salmonberries this year was a bust.  I believe with all of our nice weather, it was too sunny and hot for them.  I could be wrong but that is the only explanation I can come up with.  The raspberries on my property however, are abundant!  The bushes are taller then ever and there are more berries than I have the patience to gather. 

I was able to make two batches of jam last night and intend on gathering some more berries in a couple days.  Still no crochet but my pantry is starting to look really good.

 (From Left to right, Fireweed Honey, Raspberry Jam, the last 6 jars of Salmonberry Jelly from last year.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Summers Over

They say that when the fireweed flowers bloom to the top of their stalk, summer is over.  About two weeks or so ago, there was an article in the local paper about fireweed honey, including a simple recipe.  At the time there were tons of fireweed blooming all over the place, even some in my neighbors back yard.  I procrastinated and didn't go out in search for fireweed till yesterday.

I buy my dog and cat food from a feed store out the road, it is 10 miles out of city limits.  I am sure this seems like nothing to folks that live in big cities, but for me this is a little bit of a drive.  So yesterday, I load up my dog, Kane, some baggies, my camera and head out to get pet food.  The goal was to look for a patch of fireweed that would yield at least two cups of lightly packed flowers.

I drive and drive and drive and it appears that I have missed the mark.  All the fireweed patches are void of any flowers, or only have a few left on them.  After an hour or so of driving I give up and take Kane home.  My husband calls, from work, asking if I will take him some cold medicine.  I agree, and too my delight on the way there I see a small patch of fireweed.

I picked every flower I could get my hands on.  After plucking all the flower off, I had 4 lightly packed cups of flowers!  Enough for 2 batches.

Single Recipe:  (makes 2 pints)

1 1/4 cup of water
5 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp alum
1/4 cup of light Karo syrup
2 cups of lightly packed fireweed blossoms

On the stove, stir water, sugar and alum until it comes to a boil.  Watch until the liquid changes from cloudy to white.  After the syrup turns from cloudy to clear, remove from heat.  Add the washed blossoms to the hot syrup.  Stir and let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain out the flowers.  Bring to a boil again.  Pour into sterilized jars.  If not sealing jars, store in refrigerator.

This is really, really easy to make!  I have yet to taste the honey, but if I approve, some lucky people will be getting some for Christmas.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


That is my creative mind this past week.....blank, empty, blah!  I have hemmed pants for a friend though, does that count as crafting.  Probably not. 

Work as usual is getting in the way with my creative mojo.  Really wish I could craft full time for the same salary I am making, but I am sure that is a pipe dream right now.

Also this past week, my oven broke, the hot water heater broke and my husbands truck went into the shop...can you see why I haven't been in the mood to craft?

Anyways enough of my complaining.  It is going to give me wrinkles.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Smile, It will make your day better.

The other day a good friend was over and while we were chit chatting away sitting the couch, she spotted one of my afghans draped over the back of the couch.

"Did you make this?"
and then the question...
"Would you make me one?"
then the demands...
"Can you do Smileys in it?  And not so holey, and and..."

After she left, my mind was racing with ideas.  What would be the best way to make a blanket with smiley faces incorporated into it?  Filet crochet? Surface crochet? Tapestry crochet?  Embroidery?  This project is going to take some testing.

Test #1:  Filet Crochet

To start, I created a "Smiley Face Graph" using my computer.  I created a 20 x 20 square graph, where each square is one "Mesh".  I pulled out some cheap acrylic yarn from my stash and following the chart, went to work.

Here is how it turned out.

The project is 18" wide by 12" tall.   (The size is perfect for a place mat.)  The Smiley Face turned out well and I think it would be good for a subtle design element.

Would you like to make your very own Smiley Face?

Smiley Face Filet Crochet Chart
Any worsted weight yarn.
Size H Crochet hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends.

Chain 65.
DC in 8th Ch from hook. 
*Ch 2, skip 2 ch, DC in next chain.*  Repeat from * to * across. (You should end up with 20 open squares.)

Chain 2.  Turn.

Now you will start following the chart.
  • Start with the bottom row.
  • Even rows worked from Right to Left.
  • Odd rows worked from Left to Right.
  • Each square is one "mesh".
  • White squares are "closed" mesh. 
  • Black squares are "open" mesh.
Here are the first two rows written out...

Row one of chart, (or row 20):
*Two DC into ch 2 space, DC into DC from previous row.*  Repeat from * to * across. (20 "closed" mesh)
Chain 2.  Turn.

Row two of chart, (or row 19):
15 DC (or 5 "closed" mesh), *ch2, skip 2, DC*, repeat from * to * 11 times (or 12 "open" mesh). 15 DC(or 5 "closed" mesh).
Chain 2.  Turn.

If you have any questions or problems with the instructions or how to Filet Crochet email me at,