Today is the FIRST day of the rest of your life!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sunset

We had a dramatic sunset right before a rain. They took on a look of a dark golden color, when in fact the hills and valleys are quite gorgeous in varying colors of greens.
I bought Hubby a new camera as his is over ten years old, and although still taking good photos, its parts were starting to wear. Also, it is much bulkier than the newer ones that are pocket size. This is one of the test photos. His birthday was in February and too much was going on for me to concentrate on a gift, so when I finally had a day alone I did some shopping. I think he is pleased with his belated gift.
It is harder on us older folks to get use to the new fangled dangled machinery! All digital, touch here, push there...so much more complicated than one of those box Kodak camera you could pick up in the store!! However, I do believe that is one thing that keeps Hubby younger than men of his age. He is willing to try...grudgingly sometimes. I even have him using the new Touch iPod I gave him for Christmas and he is finally beginning to understand and appreciate its possibilities.
Isn't that always the way - we get older and renounce all the new things in life without really trying them out and savoring what they offer. Wasn't that one of our complaints about our parents? Time to put away the "old age card" and pick up that "young at heart" card to carry with us...get out and try things new and different. The tried and true may be where we end up, but we should not let youth have ALL the fun!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trying to make friends....

I'm holding the Border Collie while coaxing the cat out from the underground pipe area - he is actually stretching rather than going after the dog. Then he trusted me enough to come out....I held on tight to the collar, and just seconds after the last shot Maggie tried to grab the cat with a quick snap! Luckily I held on tight and the cat went back to his hiding place.

Hopefully I can get Maggie to see that this is my friendly stray cat rather than another rabbit or grey squirrel! I have never had a problem with introducing dogs and cats before this....Maggie is too intense to actually listen, which is a big problem.

I shall keep trying!

The color looks better in this photo.....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Afghan For Baby Eva

Except for a couple of ends, it is finished. Only the border and the joining are my work.....the squares were all made by my friend Jamie.

She's AWESOME!!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away......

Seems that we are really in the rainy season.  Better than snow, I suppose. However, I'd like another sunny day during the week.  Hubby needs to burn the fields and that won't happen until it dries up - which doesn't look too soon.

We visited Portland and the grandkids. We saw the tulip fields in the Woodburn area. Stunning! They say not as beautiful as the ones in Washington state, but these were just gorgeous nonetheless!




Friday, April 15, 2011

Fair Isle Crochet

Well - every time I browse Enthusiastic Crochetaholic's web site I end up spending money on crochet books.  I thought I was bad about collecting books, but she surpasses me on all accounts because:

1.   She is faster in making items that I am, and
2.   She knits, so she has dual interests in books!

Right now she is into Vintage.  Take a look.

So when I went looking for one of the books she was touting, I came across this Fair Isle To Crochet book by Karen Ratto-Whooley, our own KRWKnitwear on Ravelry.  It was published last year and I have no clue why I just ran across it.

Although the patterns ARE Fair Isle, they are rather big because they are in afghans. This great idea can work, however, in smaller items. You just need a smaller hook and smaller yarn and a smaller project! ;o)





I am particularly fond of the Southwest Warmth, #2 and the last one on the back cover, Baby Hearts.

Whether it is tedious or not, I don't know - I do knot that you only work ONE way, leaving 8" of yarn on both ends and that the right side remains the right side, and you don't strand, you work over the yarn. Sort of like Tapestry.

I'm going to try my hand the Southwest one for a nephew this summer for Fall delivery.  You can change up the colors, too, so you may not like her colors, but the patterns are awesome!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Problem Solved.....and the answer is.......

It's a Goldfish Plant.

Can't go outside.

:o(

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Signs of Spring

I have bulbs coming up, but more than that there are other signs of Spring right now.
My dog Maggie is now able to get out more and chase her ball - because I am able to enjoy the outdoors more.


My Peonies are coming up, but one in particular is already starting to bloom....have no clue the name, or why it is so early.  It is also SHORT. ;o)


..and the yard is green while the skies are blue (some of the time).


Now - something different. We received this plant as a thank you. It has the leaves of an azalea, but isn't. The blooms (if you can call them that) look a tad like tiny yellow peppers.  I have no clue what type of plant it is, or what type of weather it can take. I was thinking about an azalea the other day and where I could put it, so now I have to figure out this one instead. ;o)  

Does anyone have ANY idea???



Monday, April 11, 2011

An Elfin Stocking Cap


This is for my niece's photographer. I have one more to make for a boy.
I was thinking about Lamb and Chocolate Brown, or something with grey.....what do you think?
I really am at a loss as to what would look good. Blue and Grey? Black and White? Brown and Beige? I know I am not suppose to use greens or yellows as it makes babies look "sickly" in photos (so I am told). It leaves little from which to choose.

HELP!

Link to Ravelry site for pattern by Amanda Dean


Decided to add a photo of a different "boy" cap I already finished for another gift. These look SO much better on a baby!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Potholders - Fronts and Backs

More potholders. These are getting to be fun.  The round one comes from another book by Edie Eckman. The only reason I used it was I could not find the one by Jean Leinhauser I wanted to use.  I made a circular back in the green - nothing fancy.  The bobbles were so eye catching I decided not to fancy up the border.



On the square potholder, I used a pattern from a baby book for the center, then added rows.  On the back I sort of matched the chartreause row to give it interest.

Although you can't tell, the light color is a peach.  Hubby liked the bobble one best, and actually complimented me! Yay!

These may end up as Angel potholders. Don't know yet.....I have a few from which to choose now!

       

Monday, April 4, 2011

Edging the afghan

This afghan is the result of the Uptown/Downtown swap in the Vanna's Choice Fan Club group on Ravelry.  I am going to edge it in one of the Edie Eckman borders (of course), but thought that I might share the experience.

In the photo you can see that I have bordered the whole afghan in black.  I used the double crochet stitch. Then I found the pattern I wanted and proceeded to count the sides. Each side had a different count (also, of course).  


The pattern I chose was a repeat of four stitches, plus one extra, plus the corner stitches (not counted).  That means the amount of stitches per side had to have something divisible by four, and add one. So lets say as an example it had 16 stitches. I would get four repeats of the pattern...but would need one more stitch to end the pattern. Therefore I would need 17 stitches on the side.  

When adding or subtracting a stitch on a border you should use the same color (in this case black) to then go around the border once again and subtract or add however many stitches you need to even out the sides AND to make the sides ready for the pattern.

In this case I had to add and subtract stitches just to get them to the same amount of on opposite sides (two long sides, two short sides).

Then I added one more round of single crochet to be the base round of the pattern. In this case I added that in Lamb. It is often a good idea to add it in the same color, though. I then added yet another round in Cranberry, and am going to proceed with adding the actual pattern in black (maybe with a Cranberry accent for drama).

The long sides have 197 stitches to start - that would be 48 patterns, plus the one stitch (197/4=48+1).  The short sides ended up being 157 stitches, i.e., 38 patterns, plus one stitch (157/4=38+1). Perfect! ;o)

Ahhh - but I wanted the border to be wider.  No problem. When doing each row after obtaining the correct amount of stitches needed for the division, as long as I add FOUR stitches per side, the pattern remains in tact. Easy peasy.

The great thing about Edie Eckman's book is that she gives you the corners which makes it easier to border an afghan. If you are using another book which gives you the straight side of the pattern, but not the corners, you might want to consider figuring out the pattern repeat and what it takes in each corner to make it work right for the next row. I haven't found any other border book that does it for you...so if you know of one that does, please let me know!!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Double Sided Potholder

This is one of those potholders where you go around and around a chain, and then flatten it out so the stripes are diagonal.



I wanted to put on a fancy border but forgot to bring my book to church with me, where I work on some of my projects. I just used single crochet for three rows, and then put on a shell border, so this one is none too fancy or special. Functional, however! 

Although not fancy, it is a bit prettier than the ones we have sold before at the bazaar, so I am hoping that by the time it is here I will have loaded them down with little lovelies. I keep hearing "Oh, that's too pretty to use for every day" to which I reply, "If ALL your potholders were pretty, they could ALL be used everyday."

Have you started your beautiful collection yet? Get your kitchen cotton out and get started!