Sunday, September 28, 2008
A gift for me!!!
My dear friend Sara sent me a wonderful present!!! I'm so excited! She created new banner art for my blog! I just love it, and think it's such a personal and wonderful gift!

Sara is a wonderful graphic artist and designer. She's worked in publishing, has created fabulous logos, brochures, and t-shirts (you can see and buy some of her fun t-shirt designs at Shirtsations), and I feel honored that she took the time to design this banner for me.

Sara surprised me by re-designing my blog title and using one of the baby sweaters that I've made as a background. I just LOVE it!

Thank you, Sara!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008
Sleepy-time Express

I'm still working on the blanket in my previous post, but that involves a little too many yarn changes to work on a plane. I had to fly to Orlando on business this week, so I used my Edgerydoo to prepare this adorable Choo-choo Train pattern fleece, and I made this blanket on the plane.

The pattern is a variation / combination of two of my edging patterns. I modified them to use a row of X-stitch to represent a train track with a row of puff-stitches to represent the wheels of the train engine. I think that these representations require a bit of creative interpretation but that any baby boy will love the soft warmth of this blanket.

To make this edging pattern:

Prepare your fabric by cutting it to the desired size and piercing evenly-spaced holes around the edge.

Using a 3mm hook, attach your yarn through the first hole, sc, chain 2. Continue working around the fabric placing a SC in each hole with 2 chains in between.

For the next round sc all the way around, placing a sc stitch in each sc and each chain in Row 1.

For the 3rd round do a row of X-stitch all around. [ to create the X stitch: DC, chain 1, do a sc two stitches to the right of your first DC (working backwards) Then working in a forward direction, skip 2 stitches after your first DC, chain 1, DC in the first skipped stitch - this will form an "X" pattern]

For the 4th round, I chose to change colors. Attach the yarn in the center of any "X". Puff Stitch, chain 2. Continue this pattern placing a puff stitch in each "X" with 2 chain stitches in between. [ To create a puff stitch: DC, yarn over, insert your hook in the same space, yarn-over and pull yarn through 2 loops. Leaving remaining loops on the hook, yarn over, insert your hook again in the same space, yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops, yarn over and pull the thread through all remaining loops).

For the final row, SC all the way around. You will place your stitches in the top of each puff-stitch and then 2 sc in the spaces between each puff.

Join with a slip stitch, finish off, and weave in your loose ends.

I'll be making a matching hat for this blanket, and donating the set to Operation Marine Corps Kids.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Work In Progress
Last night I decided to start a project using something from my incredible stash! I have so much yarn, and so many partial skeins, and I really need to start using some of it up before I splurge on more.

I chose a few skeins of Bernat Baby Coordinates, and started playing around with stitch variations to make a baby blanket.

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand I love the look of the pattern and the subtle pink stripes. On the other hand I really don't know if this pattern is practical for a baby blanket.

I'm going to finish this and donate it to Marine Corps Kids. I just hope that the open pattern doesn't make it problematic for babies.

I'm flying to Orlando on business tomorrow, and won't be back until this weekend. I have an Edgerydoo project prepped to work on on the plane, so this project will need to wait until I get back home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Hello Old Friend
Ok, I recognize that it seems a bit desperate and pathetic to refer to my EdgeryDoo as an old friend, but it's been months since I've been able to use it, and this feels like a happy reunion!!

Last night I got to use my Edgerydoo again after many months (after the flood, my Edgeydoo kit was trapped behind lots of boxes, and my cutting table was covered). I did a simple solid blue baby blanket, and edged it with a wonderful new thread that I bought.

This thread has a beautiful sheen to it, and mixes so many bright colors - I love it. It's called Copa, and it's made by Cascade Yarns. It's beautiful!

I used a simple shell edge - nothing fancy. I think the beauty of this thread speaks for itself.

I plan to donate this to Marine Corps Kids.

Saturday, September 20, 2008
Waste Not, Want Not
Our new house is outside of the city limits. As such, we pay for private trash collection, and we don't have recycling pick up.

When we were unpacking all the boxes from the move, it became clear that the boxes that had been exposed to the flood waters had some sort of spores or were exposed to something that was causing our hives. Hubby made it a point to get rid of the boxes as soon as possible, and made several trips a week to the recycling center.

We finally are completely unpacked and have no more boxes to deal with, but we have been separating our trash, and hubby goes to the recycling center about once a week to drop off glass, cans and plastics.

Today was the first time I made the trip with him, and I was so impressed that I just have to blog about it. This recycling center is really impressive. There are large bins for glass (by color), steel cans, aluminum cans, plastics, moving boxes, cardboard and paper, magazines, junk mail, and more. There are places for chemical wastes. There is even a "re-use" center where people can drop off used clothing and household items, and others can feel free to take items that they need. The center was spotless. No mess. No smells. Everything was clean, clearly marked and user-friendly.

The most impressive thing about the center though was that the place was packed! There were a lot of people there dropping off all forms of recycle-ables! Perhaps it's a bad sign that I was so surprised. I've lived places where the city picked up recycling from the curb-side weekly, and where people still complained about having to sort trash.

Hubby tells me that he's never been to the recycling center when there wasn't a good number of people there. Even people who live in the city limits and have free pick-up of bottles and plastics brought other recycling products to the center. It really made me feel great to see so many "neighbors" taking responsibility and making the time to recycle!

I love this community, and recycling is just another reason why.

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Can't crochet
can't read.
can't sleep.
can't walk.
can't stand.

Migraine from Hell.

Not happy.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's hard out there for a Tater!

Easy Baby Sweater

This pattern was one of the first baby sweaters I ever made. It's been a long time since I used this pattern, and I wanted to try it again.

I still love it. It's a really simple pattern, but the finished sweater doesn't look so simple. I think it's really pretty.

For this one I used Cabin Fever brand cotton tweed in Lime. I purchased this yarn at In a Yarn Basket. It's been fun working with some less widely known yarns! They cost just a little bit more, but I think that they're worth it. They work up really beautifully.

I can't afford to buy premium yarns for all my projects, but it's fun treat to buy something special every now and then.

Welcome Cousin!!

This adorable baby girl is my new little cousin, Orian. She was born on 9-11, and I just received photos today. Are those dark brown eyes not the prettiest!!!

Orian is the first baby of my cousins Yatir and Maanit. We've been waiting for her to arrive (she was a few weeks late), and she is just perfect!

This is the baby I that I crocheted the pink sweater set for. Orian is a tiny little peanut - not even 6 pounds! I think she'll need to grow a bit before she'll be able to wear that set.

Orian and her parents live very very far away, so I'm not sure when I'll get to meet her in person, but I'm looking forwards to receiving lots of photos!

Sunday, September 07, 2008
Autumn Baby
This is another baby sweater made using the Kollegiate Hooker's Summer Set Pattern. I love this little sweater pattern, and I've made quite a few of them.

This time I used Reynold's Kids Cottentail yarn that I got yesterday in a blind grab bag sale at In the Yarn Basket. This isn't a terribly expensive yarn but it's a step or two up from the yarns I usually buy at the large chain stores. I love it!!

The yarn is softer than the mass-marketed cotton yarns that I usually use. It's hard to describe, and it doesn't show up in the photo, but this yarn worked up more easily and was really fun to work with.

I won't be giving up my stash of "every day" yarns. I can't afford to go fancy, and for my charity projects I like to choose soft but durable yarns that can be machine laundered. However, I think that every now and then I might treat myself with a "fancy" yarn purchase! It really was a nice change to work with this yarn!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008
In a Yarn Basket
How delightful it is to find a fabulous local yarn shop!!! A friend of mine told me that there was another yarn shop in town, but I had never heard of it. Today, hubby and I took a drive, and ended up going right by it. Of course we had to go in!

In a Yarn Basket is a terrific store!! They don't carry any of the standard yarns that you find at larger craft chain stores. Everything there was smaller labels and the assortment was amazing! Beautiful cottons, wools, blends. Exotic yarns from alpaca, soy and corn. Lots of notions and patterns. And to top it off, a staff who all were friendly, funny and didn't look down their noses at crocheters.

Of course I left with a bag full of yarn - even though my stash is bursting. Supporting local businesses is a good thing, right?

Friday, September 05, 2008
RIP Moshe
Earlier today I found out that Moshe Rosenthalis passed away. Moshe was a cousin of mine. Technically he was my 1st-cousin, once-removed, in-law. We lived on opposite side of the earth so we didn't know each other very well, but on the occasions when I met him, as a child and as an adult, he made a huge impression.

He had a wonderful sense of humor, a wonderful relationship with his family, and a huge spirit. He loved his wife, his children, his dogs, and he loved his art.

Moshe had an enormous gift. He was a world-renown artist. His art has been on display in some of the finest museums and galleries in the world. I don't have the vocabulary to describe the beauty of his paintings and sculpture. Whether or not you like his style, you must respect his accomplishments in the world of art. Personally, I loved his style. His work is dramatic, moving and inspiring.

When I was still in high school, Moshe saw my art portfolio. He invited me to work in his studio over the summer. What an opportunity that might have been, but I was a teen in New Jersey, and he was a famous artist in Israel. If I had the means to have gone, I certainly didn't have the guts.

Now he's gone, and considering that I really didn't know him all that well, I feel incredibly sad. Our family has lost someone special, and the entire world has lost an incredible talent. I suppose that one can gain immortality through their art, and it is my hope that Moshe's spirit will live forever as future generations enjoy the beautiful art he left behind.

Rest in peace, Moshe.

Thursday, September 04, 2008
Good Golly, Miss Molly!
Good Golly Miss Molly Baby Blanket

A co-worker is expecting her baby this month. She has two teenaged sons, and is just tickled pink to be having a little girl. Her mom and I have decided on her name. Her daddy isn’t so sure. Obviously, my opinion holds no bearing, but we’re hoping that dad will get on board and name this little one Molly!

After living with all men, Molly’s mom has decided that as long as this child needs help getting dressed, she will be a girly girl. Everything will be pink and white and ruffled. Naturally, anything that I decided to crochet for her needed to be soft and pink and girly.

I have a rather nice stash of Bernat LuLu yarn. It is one of the softest and most cuddly yarns I’ve touched. It’s also almost impossible to crochet with!!! I wanted Molly to have a super soft blanket, so I created this little blanket using LuLu yarn, Baby Softee and a 6mm hook.

Mixing the yards made it easier for me to see my stitches and keep my row counts correct. It’s also a super simple blanket. Basically I alternated rows of DC (with the LuLu yarn) with rows of SC (with the Baby Softee). It took a while to make because I had to change colors almost every row, but the result is a very soft and sweet blanket with a very pretty and subtle striped pattern.

I used just over 2 skeins of the Lulu, and a small amount of the Baby Softee yarn.

To start, using the Lulu (or any other soft and cuddly terry like yarn) chain 63 stiches

Row 1 : starting in the 3rd chain from the hook, DC across the row to the end. Switch to the Softee yarn, cut the Lulu leaving a 3 inch tail.

Row 2: Chain 3 with the Softee yarn. DC across the row working the loose ends in as you go.

Row 3: Chain 3. DC across the row

Row 4: Chain 3 DC across the row. Switch back to the Lulu (leaving a 3 inch tail)

Row 5: Chain 3 with the Lulu yarn. DC across the row working the loose ends in as you go. Switch back to the Softee yarn. Cut the Lulu leaving a 3 inch tail

Row 6: Chain 1, SC across the row working the loosed ends in as you go. Switch back the Lulu yarn. Cut the Softee yarn leaving a 3 inch tail

Continue this pattern repeating rows 5 and 6 until your blanket is 32” long

Switch back to the softee yarn. Complete the next 3 rows in DC.

Switch back to the Lulu and do the final row of DC in Lulu.

Finish the piece by doing a row of sc all around the border of the blanket.

The finished blanket will be approximately 32” W x 36” L

This is an original copywrited pattern.
Feel free to use it for personal and charity work. You may link to the pattern at this site, but please don't post it elsewhere.