All together now


I can't believe a week has gone by since I've been here. Where does the time go?

I have some fun things to share with you all and a dress to show off, but that will all have to wait. I did want to tell you that Blair asked if I would contribute to the granny square sampler this week and of course, I said yes! I even made a little video. You can see what I chose over on her blog.

And with this week's crochet work all complete, I need to go back and do last week's assignment. With that, I'm all caught up. How about you?

More hand stitching


I'm behind on my hand stitching homework.

I finally (FINALLY) finished the start of my modern medallion today. I had planned on finishing it on Thursday and time ran out before our road trip. I even woke up early on Friday morning, determined to sew the borders on the reverse applique block only to find out that I had squared it  1/2" too small. Aargh.

After some simple math, I adjusted the measurements and I quickly cut widths of fabric for new borders, packed it all in a zip lock and continued packing clothes for the trip that we were taking in less than two hours.

Procrastinate much, Erin?

(To be fair to myself...with great effort, I've cut down on procrastinating in the last year or so. I've been mindful of it and have worked hard to change things. Really. I have. This last incident was out of the relatively recent ordinary which made it hurt just a bit more).

Luckily for me, I have a mother-in-law with sewing skills and equipment so I managed to finish this square up this afternoon. That is not to say there weren't issues. There were. I am the sole person to blame - Rachel wrote it all up beautifully. All faults are mine.

Now to embroider.

Crochet 5:6

As much as I've let the hand sewing pile up, the crochet is happening.

And people, I am loving it.

Thank you, Blair. I KNOW how much time things like this take. I do not take it for granted.

Hey there.

Granny week 4

Summer is busy. I thought I'd get here earlier this week, but it just did not happen.

I am managing to get my crochet homework done each week. And I have one of my hand stitching projects finished, too. I'll show and tell just as soon as I get some one to take photos of me wearing it.

Someone asked for lime cocktail recipes...I'm working on that, too. I have a new one that I'm excited to share.

Camera strap colorways have been chosen. Realistically, the shop will be restocked in July. I'm also working on another item for the shop. I'm super excited about it. Giddy, in fact.

I best go. There's a field hockey game starting in a half hour. I'll be yelling loudly for Jane and under my breath for Kate as she has forbidden me to cheer for her.  So be it.

Back soon.


This week's granny squares


I finished the latest granny square sampler assignment over the weekend.

I am really, really having fun with this project.


I was storing my yarn in a tote bag because a certain feline someone really likes wool. She likes it even more when it is in ball form and I was not going to let her get her paws (and teeth) on this. But I was having a hard time seeing what I had and was making a mess with all of the yarn ends as the balls unwound while I dug through looking for certain colors. I pulled this basket out of the sewing room where it was holding some random patterns and papers and brought it downstairs.


I put it up on a chest that Scout can't reach. I can see what I have and it's much prettier to look at this way, right? Now I just have to wait for tomorrow's assignment...

Granny square sampler status

Granny 2

Here's my first week's homework made from my original stash of yarn.

May 28


Nine more colors arrived on Saturday and I quickly got working on this week's assignment. I'll probably keep going until I get to 14 three-round squares. I'm up to 20 colors, but I feel like the palette is cohesive if a bit crazy. And purple? Loving it these days, especially next to green.

I am really enjoying this project, especially since someone else is telling me what to do - thank you, Blair! If it were left up to me, I'd probably keep crocheting until I was burned out and then it would sit for a few months until I got the urge to work on it again. The one week at a time approach is great for me right now. It's a good lesson in patience (waiting for the next assignment) and follow through (getting a week's worth done on time). All good things.

It's not too late to join in, you know.

And now it grows


Hey. Long time no see.

I finally got around to almost finishing my Sullivan sweater that I started back in August. I just had to three needle bind off the shoulders and knit the applied i-cord. I got just as far as necessary so I could liberate the rosewood Lark for the granny squares. This weekend, I'll get out the tapestry needle and weave in all the ends. Then it's blocking time.



Or maybe I'll just make more granny squares. I like watching the pile grow. That sounds like more fun.

Happy weekend to you.

This is how it goes


I couldn't wait to start so I forged ahead without a swift and ball winder. I do think that they would be excellent gifts (ahem, Fatty.). But for now, I'm doing it by hand. I wind three skeins and then I get to make 1 granny square. Rinse and repeat.

Blair's tutorial is up. Go and learn. Then get hooking. I am using a Clover size 7 hook (4.5mm). It's between a G and a H and seems to be a good size for the Lark yarn. I bought it at JoAnn's - all crochet hooks are on sale this week, in case you are in the market for one.

Sometimes I wonder how I became so compulsive about making and about needing to do things right away. Now, not later. And then I remember that the key to my happiness is making. It has taken me a very, very long time to figure this out. I need to MAKE to feel fulfilled, to be centered, to be mindful, to be present. I have to remind myself of this frequently because it is so easy to get caught up in the house cleaning, grocery shopping, kid carting, dog walking of my daily life. Without the making, I am unbalanced and crabby. I don't like that side of myself and I know that family does not appreciate that part of me either. So, get ready. This year there will be constant self-reminders in the way of blog posts about MAKING for making's sake. Just thought I'd warn you.

Ok. That said, there's a box of yarn calling my name.

My yarn rainbow

February 14

I'm having one of those days. The kind where it would have been better to not get out of bed at all. It started with some less than stellar parenting and has gone downhill from there. I'm trying to turn it around by adjusting my attitude, but it was a half day of school and the ten year-old is singing Christmas carols. Loudly. Off-key. In February.

On the bright side, I did receive my rainbow of Lark yarns from Quince & Co. earlier this week. Blair is promising a granny square tutorial and I'm going to go for another afghan fully knowing it may take me three years to make it. And I'm not even counting how long it'll take to hand wind all those skeins into usable balls. Maybe it's time for a swift and ball winder. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

My granny square afghan

Granny square afghan

I don't even like the word afghan, but I'm using it here because it just fits.  You know what I mean? This isn't a blanket and it's not a throw, per se.  It's crochet and in my mind most afghans are crocheted.  So I'm going with afghan, which I like and don't like all at the same time.  The word, that is.  The actual thing that I made - I like it quite a lot.

Granny square afghan 3

Started in July 2007 and finished just this past week, this has been one a handful of very large scale, tedious and expensive projects that have been sitting around the house waiting for me to feel inspired enough to tackle them.  I've worked on it in fits and starts, but seeing Blair's scarf really pushed me to its end and I am so glad that I dug it all out and just got it done.

Granny square afghan 2

It's made of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.  I am not sure what the colors are - all the yarn tags are long gone.  I also can't tell you how much yarn it took.  I have some left over and don't remember exactly how much of each color I started with three years ago.  I can tell you that I learned how to make this type of granny square from the book Simple Crochet by Erika Knight and that I used this tutorial (via Blair) to join the squares together.  The joining was the part of the project I had been dreading the most, but it really went fairly fast and smooth thanks to the tutorial.  It's made of 63 squares, laid out in a 7 x 9 grid - the squares are about 8" square each.  I haven't measured the finished size exactly, but before I joined the squares, I did lay down on the floor next to it to ensure it was large enough for a couch nap.  It is - I took it on a test run Saturday and had a hard time motivating myself to get out from under it.  For the border, I pulled out Crochet Adorned by Linda Permann for inspiration. I did something similar to one of the borders in the book, tailoring it to my needs which means I totally winged it and it worked!  After it was all joined, I blocked it on the guest room bed because it was the only space big enough to lay it flat that the dog and cat wouldn't get to.  It's super cozy and soft.  And I love it.

Granny square afghan 4

Sometimes I wonder why I feel compelled to start these crazy big projects that I know will take forever and a day for me to complete.  I really don't have an answer, but I know that I am as excited about this afghan as I was when I started it over three years ago.  It's not perfectly made, but it is perfect for me.  I'm haven't tired of the colors or the design - that may have something to do with why I plodded on.  I'm not sure entirely the why of it all, but I am so happy with the what.  This finished afghan is so very me, if you know what I mean.  I'm glad I saw it through to the end.

And since I'm on a roll of finishing what I've started.....single girl quilts, you're next.

The state of my granny affairs

Just four minutes ago, I saw Blair's post on her new scarf and the how-to that accompanied it.  Go - read. Back?  OK. Good.  Completely charming, isn't it?  I want to make one, but seeing as that I already have a giagantic crochet project going, I really shouldn't start another.  So do you understand why I immediately pulled out my stack of granny squares and started contemplating?




I have 49 completed squares and 4 that need the light green ring.  That's 53, more or less, finished.  I figure I have to have at least 63 squares (or maybe 72 or 80). I definitely have enough yarn so I think that firmly puts this project in the I-may-just-finish-it-after-all category.  Sweet.

Also, the pillow challenge is going to happen.  I think it'll be the week of November 8th - plenty of time to recover from sewing all those Halloween costumes, but with enough time so it's not too terribly close to Thanksgiving.  Sound good?  More details on that tomorrow.

Later. I've got some serious crocheting to do.

Book Review & Giveaway: Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans

I have a large craft book library.  It's split pretty evenly between sewing books and knitting books.  It seems like a whole slew of books come out each season, and just like everyone else, I need to be selective about which books end up lining my shelves.

In that vein, I have come to appreciate craft books that focus on one area - maybe a technique like reverse applique or a theme like knitting for men.  The newest title in the STC Craft knitting library, Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans by Norah Gaughan continues this trend.  Using one kind of yarn, Berroco Comfort, Gaughan and her team came up with over 50 patterns for blankets and afghans.  The patterns vary in colors and technique.  Want to knit a solid throw with cables?  Or maybe lace is more your speed? You can find patterns that fit the bill.  How about simple stripes? Squares knit individually and sewn together? Colorwork? Those are there too.  Crochet is more your speed, you say? You'll find some simple patterns and some more challenging. Basically, there is something for everyone in this book.

This garter stitch throw is among my favorites. Simple and still interesting, it looks like the kind of project I could get into.

I also really like the fish ripple crocheted blanket.  Its small size (30" x 36") makes it a perfect baby gift.

There are so many more patterns (50+!!!) that I can't even begin to do the book justice.  The directions appear to be well written and easy to follow.  Additionally, the specified yarn, Berroco Comfort is machine washable and available in over ninety colors.  You can truly take any of these patterns and make it just like you see them or in the colors of your choice without having to worry about gauge.  I like that.

* * * * *

If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans, tell me about your favorite blanket or throw.  I will pick a winner tomorrow, Friday, April 23, using the random number generator.

I'll be back tomorrow with shop news!


Crochet Adorned (and giveaway!!!)

Crochet adorned

Crochet Adorned is the new book by Linda Permann.  If you follow Linda's blog, you know that she is a master with yarn and a crochet hook as well as a talented seamstress.  Her book is just as lovely as she is!

Crochet flowers 

And if you have been reading this blog for awhile now, you know that I don't really crochet much at all.  I taught myself how to do it just so I could make granny squares.  And really, that is about all the crocheting I have done.  This book has given me the confidence to move beyond the granny square and try something new.  Linda gives wonderful advice and directions for beginning crocheters and lots of illustrations to help you get going.  The back of the book has an immense stitch glossary - trims, motifs and stitch patterns all written out and charted.  I had an epiphany when looking at the charts!  Crochet started to make sense to me and now I know that with a few basic stitches, I can probably make anything in this book.

Crochet trench

So of course, I had to try to make something!  In the book, Linda shows you how to adorn store bought and hand sewn items as well as to alter clothing you might already have with crochet.  The possibilities are endless.  I took the same trim that Linda added to this trench coat and crocheted it to add to a pillow for the window seat in Jane's room.  I had never made anything with a foundation chain before so I was a little worried that it wouldn't come together properly.  With Linda's written directions and the chart, it was a breeze.

Crochet pillow 2 

Crochet trim detail  

It's super cute and it received the Jane stamp of approval.  It was also a very quick project which means I will definitely be making more pillows for her room with crocheted trim.

Crochet tote 

Crochet apron 

Some of the other projects that I really like are the tote bag with trees and the apron with a butterfly.  But I think the butterfly might end up on a t-shirt and the trees might end up on a pillow.  Like I said, these projects are versatile and will get you thinking about how you can use crochet to adorn different items.

Linda has been kind enough to offer a copy of her book to one of my readers.  If you'd like a chance to win Crochet Adorned for yourself, leave a comment on this post before 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, August 23.  I will announce the winner next week.

. . .

In other news, I've been working on camera straps so there will be a shop update within the next couple of weeks.  When I have a definite date, I will post it on the blog.

Thank you all for the kind comments about the plight of my tomatoes and the girls' first day back at school.  It's been a full week around here with its share of ups (school starting, gifted tomatoes from a friend, riding bikes to school) and downs (late blight, the kitchen faucet that broke off in my hand).  I am so glad it's Friday.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Hooked again

I have a good number of unfinished projects sitting around.  I get all excited about starting something new so I gather the supplies and get a good start only to be waylaid by yet another new and exciting project.  It's not that I don't want to finish what I started - it's that when I get tired of something or it isn't working, it's sometimes easier to set the project aside and move on to something different.  Case in point:  the granny square blanket.

May 15 008_1_1

I started this a little less than two years ago and have picked it up from time to time.  I packed it up to take to jury duty last month,  but it just sat in its tote bag hanging on the mudroom pegs because I never had to go to the court house.  On the way out the door Friday afternoon, I grabbed it for our road trip.  And wouldn't you know, I like making granny squares again.

May 18 003_1_1  

I crocheted the better part of 12 squares on our trip.  I say better part because they all need their green border.  I pulled out the stack of squares previously made and was pretty amazed to count 37 completely finished.  I hope to finish up the others while in the carpool line these last two weeks of school.  I'm not sure how many I need.  I had originally thought 77 squares, but that seems huge.  No matter - I will lay them all out and if 49 is not enough, then I will figure out just how many more I need and make them.

May 18 006_1_1

They will get crocheted together with the lighter green yarn.  That seems like a good project for watching TV.  Come fall, I plan on cuddling up with my new blanket.

I'm just not going to think about weaving in all those ends.

I've got the fever

And I have it bad.


I have wanted to learn to crochet for a very long time.  Well, maybe re-learn as I am pretty sure that I crocheted some (simple chains) as a kid.  I don't know why, but the hook just intimidated me.  On a whim, I went to my local yarn store last Tuesday and bought this book recommended by Kristin.  It has nice projects in it and very good basic directions with lots of pictures.  Just my speed.  With some leftover bits of yarn and a F hook, I crocheted some small swatches.  By Tuesday night, I was two granny squares into my newest obsession.


I went back to yarn store on Thursday and settled on seven colors to make a granny square throw.  I bought all that I could there and then drove around town looking for the missing skeins.  And it was certainly meant to be because I found them all and some were even the right dye lots.


I am using Cashmerino Aran by Debbie Bliss.  I have said before, but here I go again:  I am in love with this yarn.  Soft, soft, soft and with some really wonderful colors:  lime green, another green, denim blue, gray, red, pink and chocolate brown.  I had bits of all of these colors (except the brown) left over from the 2006 hat knitting spree.


I am hooked.  14 down, 63 more to go.

And I think I need more yarn.