irish rose potholder

Crocheted potholders always evoke a strong feeling of simple living for me. Walking into the kitchen of my grandmother's farmhouse, I could smell the freshly brewed coffee and home-made bread baking in her oven. She would be hovering over pans and a skillet and always -- a crocheted potholder tucked into the strings of her apron.

These are the fondest of memories for me. I cherish them & try to recreate them.

Using this same book -- Kitchen Basics in Cotton, I crocheted this Irish Rose Potholder.

With Peaches n Cream crochet cotton and a size H hook, I used colors that bring to mind those images of a simple, country life.

An irish rose is such a gorgeous, intricate flower. And when given a pattern that somewhat replicates that beauty, well -- I honestly may never use this potholder (ha! can't imagine gooey cheese from an oven-baked pizza all over this thing......)

But hanging from an apron string, now that might just be the thing.


sock school

Yes, I am going to school. Sock school. And no it's not an actual building, but a place where I am learning, learning, LEARNING.

(I spotted these flowers roadside while my husband & I were out driving)

The class is called Silver's Sock Class and she presents it here with the best directions for knitting a sock. I almost gave up in this endeavor, but after viewing the pics and her outstanding instructions, I. am. actually. knitting. a. sock!
(Okay. Don't look too closely. I may be getting an A for effort, but about a C- in technique. I have purled when I was supposed to knit and I do have some huge holes/gaps where the dpn's are separated when knitting the round. There is room for improvement, but I'm hoping my enthusiasm will smooth any knitting rough edges.)

There is ribbing, a heel (that I actually turned! yippee!) and gusset 1 and gusset 2...

and very soon a toe and a finish.

I love school.


crochet motifs

Earth tones seem to become more obvious when autumn nudges summer to an end. In fact, while grocery shopping today, I noticed on the end aisle a display that involved those deep autumn tones. And honestly, I don't even remember what the product was -- but I do remember those rich colors.

And it set a smile on my face.

So when I got home, I found one of most favorite crochet books:

....and set about crocheting motifs.

This is motif #107 in Edie Eckman's book

And motif #2


I used a G hook and the yarn is just scraps from my stash. I have yet to know what these will become. But just sitting and seeing what comes from my hook can easily get the design juices flowing. And man, oh, man! Edie has the most delightful motifs to choose from --- goodness! you'd be hard pressed not to be inspired by her book.


a knitted apple a day

Well. After frogging my knitted socks about 14 times, I figured maybe I set my sights a little too high with those pointy needles and a sock pattern that is geared for experienced knitters.

So, I downsized my expectations and started an easier knitting project.

A knitted apple cloth which can be found here. And I don't know if it was this gorgeous-ly soft cotton yarn that I used -- or this ultra-easy (but still manages to look stunning) pattern or a mind-set that I finally hit upon:
This is not crochet. It does not involve the same tools. It does not involve the same stitches.
So ---> stop comparing it to crochet!

And just enjoy this for what it is:

a relaxing, soothing way to create cloth with just yarn & needles.



'take a spin' finish

My Take a Spin doily is now finished.
The delicate lacework is so simple, but yet so beautiful in its simplicity.

I couldn't wait to properly block it, but merely ran a steamy iron inches away from the stitches to smooth out the wrinkles.

And I realize that for some -- doilies conjur up musty, old, out-dated, relics stashed away in a trunk, in the attic, surrounded by mothballs. In other words ----> doilies are not *uber-cool in this high-tech, contemporary society......

They are more than uber-cool in my world.
*(Did you know? The urban dictionary defines uber-cool as supremely chique.)


yes, you can 'blame' my weekend

Okay. You can 'blame' my weekend because I am going to attempt to do something that I have never been able to do. Ever.
I was surrounded by beautiful things this weekend. A lovely long weekend spent with friends & family --outdoors, with the beauty of vibrant pink begonias & shabby, painted window frames.

....and surrounded by a beautiful pic of the most gorgeous sweater. Which I found here.

In the Fall '09 issue of Interweave Knits.

Huge, huge gulp. Because this issue has so many eye-catching patterns.

And my, oh, my. Then my eyes fell on these:

People actually make these? By hand?

They are Bandelier socks. Yes, more than gorgeous. More than yummy. And drat! they are not crocheted. They are cast on knitting needles.

Something that I can not do.

Or, maybe I can.

Hands down, I believe those Bandelier Socks are more than beautiful & I have yet to see a crochet sock that looks as lovely as those.

So, using some left-over yarn from some frogged crochet socks....

....I have knitted 10 actual rows of my first ever sock.
Yup. Even I can't believe it.

A loooong way to go before I ever knit a Bandelier Sock, but hey-- I gotta start somewhere.


lacework in progress

I started to crochet 10 years ago because I desperately wanted to know how to make doilies. I was fascinated by them -- still am -- and want (okay. need!) to actually feel the delicate & intricate stitches form right in my hands.

Here is the latest delicate lacework forming in my hands. The pattern is called Take a Spin and it is from Decorative CROCHET magazine, March 2001 -- number 80. And I am using this luscious, drapey crochet thread:

It is bamboo crochet thread and wow! it is not stiff or unyielding which is my slight complaint with regular crochet thread. This just feels so incredibly soft and works up even softer.

I have 10 more rows to crochet before it is finished and when done -- it will yield some beautiful pineapples. Which I am especially fond of.