doing things by hand

If there is one thing that I have learned since I have taken on the hugely rewarding task of caring for an older person -- it is the art doing things by hand.

And yes, I am convinced, it is an art.

~~This lovely, tenacious woman (that I gleen all sorts of information from) is celebrating her birthday today. 
Ninety two years of being on this earth -- and she has finessed the art of doing things by hand.

Because she does not have a dishwasher I must wash/dry & put away her dishes by hand. 
But you know what? there is something almost soothing about that whole thing....it reminds me of my sisters & me standing at a sink full of dishes, giggling about some of the most dorky things ever as we rushed to get them all done.

And so now -- much to our kids' chagrin -- they are learning to do the dishes by hand (even tho our dishwasher is less than 10 inches away, ready to be loaded).  They are now standing next to a sink full of sudsy water, learning to do things by hand, wondering if their parents have completely lost it & loving every moment of it.

So what better birthday gift than to crochet Ruth some dishcloths?

I added crochet edging to hand towels that I bought from the store; used Lily Sugar 'n Cream ;  my g or h crochet hook;

...and got all of the stitch patterns from my new, favorite book:

So Ruth will be getting some new crocheted dishcloths & towels.

And I have learned of how to do things by hand:

Skills I Have Learned So Far

1.  How to stand still with hands in sudsy water and just enjoying the quietness of scrubbing some glassware & silverware.

2.  How to fold a fitted bed sheet. Perfectly. (Can you all do this? Sheesh, this skill seemed to escape me entirely! But now?! Thanks to Ruth --I show off how I can do this -- and yes, it is always met with complete eye-rolling.)

3.  How to make the fiercest bowl of home-made frosting.  (And I'm not talking about powdered sugar with a little milk added in.  Ruth gave me her grandmother's recipe from the old country that is made on the stove with flour, milk, butter, shortening and sugar...more than yummy!  Bye, bye store bought frosting in a plastic tub!) 

Thank you, thank you Ruth!  And happy birthday, sweet lady.


Stephanie said...

What a lovely post. Some of the best conversations I've ever had has been while sharing a big sink of dishes with someone. Your dishcloths are very cute and I'm sure Ruth will love them. Now I think I shall pull out some Sugar 'n Cream and make some, too.

And just what is the trick to folding fitted bedsheets? I've yet to manage this! :)

Aisyah Helga said...

Everything is lovely esp the edgings! I did plan on making some but still don't have the time. About the fitted sheet folding, I saw the trick that Martha Stewart did on Oprah and followed it for awhile but I always got frustrated that I just folded and stuffed everything into a square/rectangle! LOL!

Linda P said...

Lovely! And I thought I recognized those stitch patterns. :) I live in my grandmother's house, and do everything by hand (no dishwasher, no clothes dryer). There is something I LOVE about hanging the clothes out on the line....but the dishes, well, that part I could skip.

Marilyn said...

Isn't it amazing that doing things by hand can make one feel ....good, somehow
...a sink full of sudsy water can be "think" time
...your kids will get it one day...when they don't have a dishwasher or mum 10 inches away
...I'm sure Ruth will love those hand made cloths so much more than those nasty throw away ones and they are lovely...as are you for making them and she for teaching you the art of handmade....
and folding sheets...I learned that way many years ago and my mother was blown away...we didn't have fitted sheets in England...so I didn't get rolled eyes...well, not the first time anyway!!!! :)
great post this!!!

Paula said...

I remember the sense of pride I felt when Martha Stewart taught me to fold a fitted sheet.

We've lost something by moving away from our elderly family members or putting them in nursing homes. Great post.

Ana Reyes said...

Hola from Spain!
I do understand how you feel. I'm taking care of my parents (Dad 77 with Parkinson's and Mom 89 with Dementia) Sometimes it is very hard to cope with everything but many times it is a fulfilling experience. Many things are done by hand here and crochet is an art I started doing two years ago. I needed to do something creative. It's an excelent stressbuster. Lovely blog.
Sending you lots of love and strength.

Angie said...

What a beautiful, love-filled post! Happy birthday to Ruth. You ARE going to share her icing recipe with us, aren't you? Pretty please??? :)

Maaike said...

What beauty here!! Love the colors, the designs... all great.
Love, Maaike

sylviesgarden said...

I really love that edging!
I wish someone would show me how to fold a fitted sheet, they drive me mad.

Crochet Dude(Rob) said...

i love the edging

Deneen said...

Great post, very inspiring.

Everlasting said...

Bonne fête Happy birthday!!!
Lovely post : what a great feeling to take the time of doing things by hands and enjoying it.
Nice pictures and beautiful crochet.

Alicia said...


Jennifer Stumpf said...

What a lovely post. You and your friend Ruth are lucky ladies indeed! Your edgings remind me a bit of Estonian crochet.

Miss Prudence said...

I think we can all learn from Ruth...thanks Ruth for teaching through Ritzy!

PS how do you start with a facewasher? Do you punch through the towelling or?? I have never quite understood it.

Tammy said...

What a beautiful post. You are surely being blessed by Ruth who has much of life's lessons to offer up and your children will thank you for sharing those lessons with them. I have fond memories of washing dishes at my Mammaw's sink when we gathered for family holidays. The crocheted dishcloths and kitchen towels are a perfect gift for such a lovely woman. It truly is the simple things in this life that matter. Best wishes, Tammy

Unknown said...

I have passed the Versatile Blogger Award along to you. Please see my blog for information!

Lauren M. Dabbs
Creative Designer/Owner
DoodleBoop Designs

Anonymous said...

love you blog!!Yes ,we miss out on some of the most precious moments in time by doing so much in a hurry and not allowing our time of "meditations" happen when doing the "dishes by hand" handwork, etc.It helps sooo much in stress relief. And YES you doo need to share with us your frosting recipe!!Please!!!:)

Jessie Rayot said...

having a lovely morning bouncing around your blog using those little pics at the end of each one. Just had to comment on this one. It is so easy to overlook the little pleasures in life, and doing things by hand does seem to make us look a little closer!

Unknown said...

I have just stumbled upon your blog and I love it!

As a crocheter, I look forward to trying out some of these items.

pearls and thread said...

φτιαχνεις υπεροχα πραγματα!!!συγχαρητηρια!!

Amy @ Heritage Homemaker said...

I just found your blog today and am so thrilled to be catching up on your posts. This is a lovely post and your projects are magnificent! I, too, enjoy savoring the time to do things the simple way, as in hand washing the dishes. Wonderful times.