Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good-bye 2011, Hello 2012...

Suffice it to say I am ready for the new year.

Happy and Safe New Year's to all!

Renee  :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry, Merry...

Good times to all during the Holidays!
Renee  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A New Square and How we Blog...

I am participating in a friendly Granny Square swap over at Debi's blog, Dly's Hooks and Yarns.   I received Debi's square in yesterday's mail.  Man, I am going to have to participate in more swaps; I LOVE getting this type of mail!  The square (from my last post) I made for Debi is winging its way to her as I write. 

I am not into variegated yarns too much, but the colors in this one are some of my favorites -- green especially.  Purple, too.  And she  included a packet of coordinating buttons, with a cute little note.  I know my photo is a bit fuzzy.  Blur reduction was "on", too.  Oh, well.  Thank you, Debi.  I can't wait til the next swap.

Just wanted to show you my blogging partner; her name is Cassie.  We've had her almost a year and a half now.  She was a rescue dog from our local shelter.  The closest we can come to her ancestry is part Huskie and part yellow Lab.  I don't know if you can tell, but she's a mama's girl.

Onto one of my Christmas WIPs.  Here are photos of snowflakes and icicles for a garland to hang here at home.  The snowflakes are all from different sources; the icicles are coincidentally from Debi's blog.  10 minutes if you're a slow crocheter is all it takes to make an icicle from her pattern.  Easy peasy.

Because all I wanted to accomplish was to stretch the snowflakes and icicles, I did a wet blocking .  As they are made from worsted weight yarn (Red Heart Super Saver), they will not hold a blocking without steam. 

I took a loose interpretation of "snowflake" when I was searching out patterns.  I couldn't pick too intricate a pattern; the yarn wouldn't accommodate fine details.  So I guess I am just calling it a "Christmas" garland.

I hope everyone is having a good week.  Stay busy!

Renee  :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Square is Ready...

Hello, and how is everyone today?  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Onto business...

Granny square swaps are great stash-busters.  I am participating in Debi's swap over at Dly's Hooks and Yarns.  When I chose the colors, I was ready for some "not-Christmas" colors, if you know what I mean.  And I wanted a pattern I had never made before.  So a-surfin' I did go!

I ended up at Sunshine and Whimsy's free pattern, the 6" Sunburst Square.  I pretty much followed her pattern, except (and there's always an except -- I hardly ever follow a pattern exactly)...  I made the last row dc's around with 2 dc's in the V-stitches.  Here's hers for comparison:

It's a quick and easy pattern to work up.  And I get to mail my square to Debi before the deadline.  I'm trying to redeem myself for that mix-up over at SIBOL with the Jan Eaton square.

Okay, back to Christmas WIP's.  I'm making garlands, buntings, whatever the correct phrase is, for this year's gifts.  Oh, and one for my house, too.  Plus I have a new great nephew on the way, be here in the spring.  This pattern just might be the one I use for his blanket!

Photos later this week on Christmas progress.

Happy, happy,
Renee  :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Now onto Christmas and new projects...

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

At my house, we had a warm and wonderful visit with my sister and her daughter.  My son and my niece are a year apart, both in high school, and have a lot in common.  It was, however, a working visit.

Our mother died a little over 12 years ago.  At that time I was designated keeper of photos, and I was supposed to get them sorted and parceled out to family members -- in a timely manner, one might assume.  I am really good at ignoring stuff I don't want to do, ok?  

My sister and I sorted through hundreds  thousands, tens of thousands even of photos.  Actually it was only one medium-sized box.  (There other boxes, but this was the easiest one to find at the moment.)  It was a good thing she was here as I didn't recognize half the people in the photos -- new babies, new husbands, relatives I hadn't seen in years, et al.  So we were able to sort into piles for each family member per executive decision (mine with a lot of advice from my sis).  That left a stack of photos, probably a good 200 of them, we thought everyone would like to have.

So after much discussion and input from everyone, it was decided I would scan the photos, post them online, and let people help themselves.  Further discussion brought the unamious, but reluctant (on my part) decision to join Facebook.  Family members would have to friend me and be designated as family to have access to the photos.  I have resisted joining Facebook up to now, although my sister has wanted me to for a long time.  Easier to keep in touch, I suppose.

My son and niece helped set up my account on Facebook, and I will start scanning soon after Christmas.  I am sure I will be reaching out to crocheters and others on FB as well; I have not linked my blog to Facebook as of yet.  If anyone has tips, tricks, or hints regarding scanning photos or working Facebook, I can always use all the help I can get!

And, as usual for this time of the year, I am feverishly crocheting in an attempt to fool myself into believing I will get all my projects done in time for gift-giving!  Oh, and I need to get my Christmas cards sent out.

Happy Holidays,
Renee  :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Time to Vote...

Good Afternoon to all of you!

Inside Crochet has opened voting  for our most favorite craftiest blogs of all time.  Okay, just for 2011 then.  Vote here.

Originally there were to be 5 finalists in the running, but there was so much bloggy love we get to choose among six top nominees:

Crochet Concupiscence -
Little Tin Bird -
Emma Varnam -
Planet June -

Okay, go vote.  I did!

See you soon,

Renee  :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Some of my Favorite Blogs...

As of today, I have 120 blogs on my Blogger Reader.  I love each and every one of them; to varying degrees, of course!  Some days I decide to declutter the list; which means I have to at least read the latest entry of any blog before I can decide to get rid of it.  And THAT is my downfall, I usually remember that this person has great free patterns, or really cool links, or a way of writing I really enjoy.

Then, there are those days where I just surf other bloggers' favorites -- the ones listed in sidebars on other people's blogs.  More than likely I will find one, or two, or more new and cool blogs to follow.

OK, all of this is leading to:  Inside Crochet's new blog awards, "Bloggies 2011".  They are taking nominations for any crafting blog til November 14, 2011.  The top 5 most nominated blogs will then be put to the vote.  All persons who comment (and thus nominate) will be put into a special drawing.

I commented today and nominated 5 of my favorites.  My list, in no particular order (I've added links so you can visit their goodness, too):

Dottie Angel — peachy keen stuff,
SIBOL — it feels good to remember our elderly,
A Thrifty Mrs. — a crazy lady with lots of good advice,
Scotty’s Place — this girl crochets like there is no tomorrow,
Refashionista — what can be done with thrift!

These were the first five that popped into my brain, so I figured they must be some I truly enjoy.  I wish I could have nominated another 5 or 10 or 115!  Be sure to get over to Inside Crochet and nominate your favorites; then we'll get to vote for them!

Have a safe and happy weekend everyone!
Renee  :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Long While...

Well, I have been gone awhile.  What's been happening and what I've been crocheting all that time? 

We've moved:  different house, same town.  I currently have a broken foot; so much is unpacked even at this late point.  I DID make sure where my yarn and patterns ended up in the new house, but I think I still have more yarn in the garage.  Hmm, problems and dilemmas.

Hooky-wise, let's see.  Three squares for SIBOL, but I neglected to take pictures.  AND, try as I might, they ended up packed and moved to the new house.  So I was the reason Mrs. Twins' Jan Eaton (3) was late in being done.  And, you can tell how early in the summer this was.  The Jan Eaton (3) blanket was #82.  Mrs. Twins and SIBOL are currently on #107!

Utilitarian crocheting from my stash is what came next: a dishcloth made with thrifted Peaches 'n' Creme, a beautiful self-striping green.  I had to make the dishcloth because this house doesn't have a dishwasher!  I was the dishwasher, et al, til I broke my foot.  Now it's my poor husband.

Then came a rug to put between the kitchen and dining room, but has ended up where the dogs like to sleep (one at a time, thankfully).  Oh, lesson learned on this one to use stitch markers if I don't want to count.  The rug does tend to veer out a bit at one end, bottom left in the pic.  It's a lot more noticeable in person.  Two strands held together of Red Heart Super Saver, half doubles and double crochets, made up as I went along.  This went so fast, and not as fiddly as I thought two strands would be.  This was my first time using two strands held together and an 'N' sized hook.  Easy peasy!

I am still working on the blanket I started last year.  I have all 35 squares done now, they measure 11" each.  I am trying  some different joining methods.  Nothing's really clicking yet.

A Happy and Safe Halloween to all!

Renee  :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SmoothFox and Online Angels...

Charity Square No 1
 If you don't know SmoothFox and her patterns, she is very ingenious in designing and generous in giving free crochet patterns.  She focuses primarily on squares, but does venture into baby blankets and scarfs.  In the past few months, she has branched out to knitting, and designs and patterns for knitting.  All her patterns are listed on Ravelry as well as her blog.

Charity Square No. 2
In February 2011, she announced she would dedicate 4 charity patterns to her favorite charity -- Online Angels.  These patterns are for crocheted squares (6" or 12").  Cindy (at SmoothFox) will email the patterns to you IF you make one square per requested pattern.  The idea, of course, then is to ship the completed squares to Online Angels who will assemble them into afghans.  Online angels is a charity that distributes hand-made items and other supplies to those in need.  They run great programs!
Charity Square No. 3

I requested all 4 patterns because... well, because I like me some free patterns!  Ah, but that meant I committed to making at least 4 squares.  So, I ended up making 3 from each pattern = 12.  I made 8 quick and easy granny squares.  That equals 20 squares of  the 6" variety.  Yay me!  I'm good, I'm on a roll.  Let's make some 12-inchers! 

Hah!  I did 2 granny variations and decided the
big squares are NOT for me.  They take way too
long.  Give me the quick and easy of 6" squares
Charity Square 4

SmoothFox opened this challenge on February 25.  The goal was 500 squares by ending date April 30, 2011.  On April 9, she revised the goal upwards to 800 due to the fact over 600 squares had been received.  As of today, as listed in her sidebar, over 700 have been received -- that's with 11 days to go!  

6" Charity Granny Squares
She also gives special mention to those crocheters who make and send in 20 or more squares.  Guess what?  I have 22 ready to go to the post office.  Yay me!  Am I shallow enough to want to be on the "Special Kudos" list?  You betcha!

Everyone have a great and safe weekend!

Renee   :)

12" Charity Granny Squares
UPDATE:  Link your stuff at AnneMarie's Breiblog. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week... Day Three

Hello All!  Today's post is all about Organization.  Oooo, that sounds so official.  I say that because my stash yarn is NOT organized to any great extent.

My current project(s) usually reside somewhere near my end of the dining room table.  Don't look behind or to the side of my chair.  You cannot see the floor or lower wall for the bags of yarn and/or WIPs sitting there.  Drives my husband insane, let me tell you.  And he truly does not understand the concept of having more than one project going at a time.

I have several large plastic bins full of yarn and various crafty things; these currently live in the garage.  Those are the bins I found the 28 granny squares in awhile ago.  They are currently a WIP to become a blanket; I am using Priscilla Hewitt's flat braid join.  Once I figured how to do it, it works like a charm!

If you think you will see a photo of my dining room and my wonderfully messy work area, think again!  I will leave you with the image of "My Sweet Rose" aka "The Soul of a Rose" by John William Waterhouse, courtesy of  This is such a calming picture for me.

See ya tomorrow!
Renee  :)

P.S.  Remember if you want to blog along, click on the top banner.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week... Day Two

Today's post is to be about how we bettered ourselves craft-wise over the last year...

The beginning of 2010 saw me make up my mind I was going to get back into crocheting whether my hands liked it or not!  Some arthritis, especially in the left hand,  made me think that crocheting would make everything worse. 

Well, I bought my Clover hooks...already had my stash.  Hmm, this just might work.  My hands, esp. the left one, felt better -- not as "swollen" or stiff; both were more flexible.  I couldn't believe this! 

Well, it didn't take me long to start making plans.  Afghans, squares, garlands, all kinds of yarny goodness floated through my brain!  I do miss making doilies though.  I wonder if Clover makes small size hooks with big handles?

Yes, crochet still makes a difference in how my hands feel.  I didn't crochet yesterday; NOT once.  (I did look at patterns though.)  And my hands feel "swollen" and stiff, maybe not as bad as before; but I can definitely tell the difference.  And, THAT is a good feeling.

See you tomorrow for Day 3,

Renee  :)

P.S.  If you want to post along with the rest of us, click on the above banner!  Whee!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week... Day One

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Banner Blue

A week full of yarn people blogging together is what 2KCBW is all about.  The first day's post is to compare a yarn you love with a yarn you hate, or whatever degree of emotion you feel about said yarns!

To begin with, I have to confess of not ever using any other yarn except 4-ply worsted weight.  I have used all sizes of thread... I used to make tons of doilies back in the day.  You know, the pre-arthritis days.

Anyway, my current yarn of choice is:  Red Heart Super Saver (aka RHSS).  Durability, range of colors, availability, price are all the reasons I use it.  I use it especially for afghans.  Below are squares I did for Share A Square this year.

My choice of the "other yarn" used to be my favorite until K-Mart stopped carrying it.  Ok, so we don't have a K-Mart in my town anymore either.  I am speaking of LoveKnit.  (Actually, I think the manufacturer stopped making it.)  Much softer than RHSS right on the skein.  Price, color, durability -- all there.  Below is an afghan I made for my father-in-law's Christmas present about 25 years ago.  He had cancer, and so sat a lot of the day.  This photo was taken last week.  As you can see, still holding up strong.  I actually buy any and all LoveKnit I find at thrift shops, garage sales, etc.

So, my "Tale of Two Yarns" is done.  If you want to participate in Knit and Crochet Blog Week, click on the banner at the top of today's post.

See ya tomorrow!
Renee  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Garlands... Part 2

Morning to all... even if it's not morning where you are!

Thanks to all who have commented on my Spring Garlands.  I just became aware not too long ago of the copyright issues involved concerning the publishing of the pattern/diagram for the Japanese flowers.  Copyright must be respected, and so the diagram and links have been taken down from Lucy's post.  I also believe the book from which the pattern is taken is sold out in most places.  Motif Book, Vol. 4 by Nihon Vogue Sha (September 2006) is the book which features the original pattern.

I hope everyone has the best weekend.  We have tons of snow here -- last of Winter's storms, first of Spring's.

Renee  :)

UPDATE:  Elizabeth Cat still has her version of the pattern posted here as a tutorial.  So Lovely!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Garlands...

Ah, yes.  Spring has sprung.  Finally!  And some more work out of my stash.  A couple of Spring Garlands using the now-famous Japanese Flower pattern featured here on Lucy's post.  They are so quick and easy to do, even with color changes.  The small flowers and leaves are also from a Japanese pattern book.  But my copy of the pattern is from a photocopy.  I cannot find the particular book although I have looked through a LOT of books.  And drooled a lot, too!  The Japanese crochet books are sooo lovely; printed very nicely featuring wonderful patterns!

UPDATE:  Joining in Kootoyoo's Creative Spaces today...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Share A Square...

Hello again.  I've finished 12 squares for Shelly Tucker's This Eclectic Life project called Share A Square.  She has taken on a massive mission to make 150 afghans for kids with cancer.  Each afghan is 80 6" squares.  I think these can rightly be called blankets, not afghans!

Out of the 12 squares, 5 are standard grannies.  Another granny has my very first flower on it.  And 2 of the patterns are my own; the 3 squares in the 2nd photo and the 2 pink ones in the 3rd photo.  The back one in the 3rd photo is a log cabin pattern from Dutch Girl Diary.  All the yarn is from my stash.  I don't think these squares even made a dent in my yarn, I have so much!

I went to mail the squares this afternoon.  Our post office has a machine in the lobby to do your own mailing.  It's a handy little thing.  But just because it's a 3-day holiday, the machine was not taking either of my debit cards - Visa or the other one that starts with an M.  I will have to go back on Tuesday and try again.

Friday, January 28, 2011

PIF Winners...

Good morning to one and all!

Today is the day I announce the winners of the PIF give-away. Woo-hoo! The winners are: Gail from Yankee Teapot, Aisyah from My Tinker Space, and Marisol from Heart and Sol. Yay Ladies!

So, Ladies, please email me with your mailing address.

The process: I have 3 months in which to send each of you goodies. At least one of them will be handmade. After you receive the goodies, gifts, presents, etc., you blog about the PIF and link back to me. You then get to hold a PIF giveaway of your own! And so on, and so on, and so on. No stress and no worries, only handmade goodness going out to the universe!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just a reminder...

Hello to all!

I haven't been very regular in my blogging efforts this past couple of weeks. So this is just a quick reminder that on this Friday (Jan 28th) I will be choosing the participants for my Pay It Forward giveaway. If you want to be considered, just comment on today's post. Today's commenters and last time's commenters will be considered for the giveaway.

I am working on granny squares for several different causes. I don't have the fanciest yarns and colors, but I've got heart and good intentions. And a huge stash just waiting to go. LOL, don't we all!

Remember, leave a quick comment to let me know if you want to participate in my PIF.

See you on Friday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

PIF Goodies in the Mail...

Yesterday I received, in the mail, from Clara (our reappearing blogger friend - yay!), my PIF gifties! How's that for a run-on sentence?

The wonderful Clara sent me a lovely, soft green scarf. I love, love, love it! This woman is clara-voyant (bad, huh?). She also sent me a quilted bag for my crochet hooks and stuff. How did she know I needed one? Hmm, who told her? And a pattern book for Christmas ornaments. As I told her, I don't NEED another pattern book, but I sure WANT another pattern book! LOL. She also sent a really nice card along in the package.

Okay, this means I get to do my own PIF -- Pay it Forward give-away. PIFs fall into the category of Random Acts of Kindness.

Just comment anytime from now until Friday, January 28 on one of my posts. I will pick the names of 3 people and send them 3 things from me. At least one of the gifts will be handmade. The winners of my PIF must then send gifts onto 3 people of their own. Within 3 months is a reasonable timeframe for the send-out. Plus you get a couple of ready-made posts for your blog!

A couple of links here and here if you want to know more about Pay It Forward. PIFs seem to be happening all over blogdom nowadays.

All I can say for sure, is getting that nice bundle of crochet goodies just made my day. Thanks, Clara!

Bloghop and links are courtesy of AnneMarie's Breiblog:

Monday, January 10, 2011

28 Granny Squares...Wait! What?

Morning to everyone!

There's been a lot written lately, and over the past few months, about stash-busting. Some even go so far as to pledge NOT to buy anything new for a full year!!! I don't think I could handle that, but stash-diving IS something I can do.

So, about 2 weeks ago, I dragged my son...uh, he volunteered, yeah, yeah, that's right, he volunteered! Anyway, we went out to the shed and he helped me bring in 2 enormous bins full of yarn and stuff. This is stash that hasn't seen the light of day since we bought this house. We've only been here *cough* 9 *cough* years. The bins were then left in the garage until I could get to them.

A couple of nights ago, I was in the mood. Stash-diving here I go. It was so much fun remembering the yarns and colors I had worked with years ago. As well as some UFOs and other things...

I came across a bag full of blue, yellow, white, and tan yarns -- you know, a couple of skeins, some balls --leftovers from a bedspread I had made my dad and stepmom about 15 years ago. Okay, next bag...The same colors, only granny squares this time. Cool! I started counting -- 10 yellow squares, 9 blue, 9 white -- all edged with tan. 28 granny squares! 10 inch squares, no less!! Wait, what!?

I am still trying to figure out why I had that many squares. The bedspread I had made was full-sized and completed and given away. Why would I have so many squares left over? Generally, after a project of that length, I would be so tired of the colors I wouldn't want to see them again for a very long time

So, what to do with these 28 granny squares? A blanket, of course! Though I am going to have to frog all that tan edging and re-do it. It's embarrassing, but I am glad I've improved in some things over the years.

I haven't seen that original bedspread for some time, hopefully the weight and tension of being attached to the other squares has helped even them out over time!

The top photo are the 28 granny squares, of course. The next photo is a very bad one, taken in a hurry while the cat was still in the bag. LOL, I amuse myself sometimes.

He's Raji, by the way. That's short for "garage-y" which is what my son named him when Raji decided to live in our garage about 9 years ago. We had to adopt him after that. He was living off the dogs' kibble and that's just not good for cats. (I thought it was a pretty good reason, even though my husband didn't).

Always an adventure here at my house...


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hey y'all!

Two posts in two days! Woohoo!!!! Sorry, just got a little excited there.

Here's a photo of the reworked blue square and the new pink one: Blue Square 2 and Framed Flower. The 2nd version of the blue square isn't exciting in design. But, most exciting to me is, it lays flat. By itself. I didn't have to press it out with my hand!! Sorry, I think I was actually foaming at the mouth there for a second.

Followed by a photo of The Royal Sisters Grandma Twinkle and Ellen Bloom's stars. These 2 have to be THE quickest-ever items to crochet. Ever! I didn't make any projects with these wonderful stars, I just needed a break from the afghan. Some (almost) instant gratification, you might say.

I am probably the least productive crocheter in all of blogdom, but I love every second I am able to spend with my hooks and yarn. Oh, and, NO. My photography skills have not gotten any better.
See you next time,