Monday, April 13, 2015

Mother's Day Gifts

If you're looking for something besides a scarf or blanket for Mother's Day, here are a few ideas.

My bestie asked for some soup bowl cozies.  You know, something to hold under a hot bowl of soup instead of a tea towel.  This is what I came up with.....crochet a basket with cotton yarn and line it with fabric.  Now, you don't need to line it with fabric.  It works just fine without it.

Here's what I did:
Crochet a circle and start increasing using a soup bowl as a guide.  Keep doing that until you you get the size you want.  Just keep checking the fit after a few rows.

I cut the fabric in a circle, including a 1" hem.  I then just whip stitched it to the yarn basket.  

They're reversible too!

I really like them and so did my bestie!  As I said, you don't need to add fabric and they work just fine at keeping the heat off your hand using just yarn.  Also, the yarn has just enough stretch to fit many a bowl size.

Socks are a great gift too!  There's plenty of time until Mother's Day to whip up some in her favorite color.  I use a free pattern from Susan B Anderson.  Great "how I knit my socks" pattern can be found on her Rav page.

I love this pillow I crocheted for our couch. It's from Lucy of Attic 24,  You can use any weight yarn and she has the free pattern on her lovely blog.  In the above photo, I used Knit Picks Chroma in a fingering weight.  No need to change colors as you go if you have some long run yarn in your stash.  Again, another great gift for Mom.

If you know how to crochet some edging, just add it to some pillow cases as a gift.  Get out your crochet edging books and pick a pattern.  I like to do this using fingering weight or finer.

Crochet up a few little baskets for her to hold bits and bobs or place a little potted plant inside of one.  You might want to cover the bottom of the plant with plastic wrap or foil to protect the basket.

I used this pattern with whatever yarn I had and added fabric.

I'd love to hear about ideas you have for Mother's Day gift giving!


In the 1950's, 75% of American households had sewing machines.  Now it's less than 5%.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Yarn Stash Sale

When I was creating my knitting studio, I had the arduous task of going through bins of yarn.  I decided I just couldn't keep it all, so I'm having a Yarn Stash Sale in my Etsy shop!

Some full skeins, some partial, some yarn balls that you could make your own Magic Ball!  All different weights sold by color.

Purple (sold out)

Blues (sold out)

* Pom pom (full skeins)
* Boa (full skein)
* Fun fur (full skeins)

* Pom Pom Parade by Herrschners (full skeins)
* Cashmere (full skein)
* Vicki Howell
* I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby
* Soft Secret

* Vanna's Choice
* Patons Lace
* Fiesta Yarns

Grey (sold out)

* Rowan
* Kaffe Fassett (2 full skeins)
* Misti Alpaca (full skein)
* Colourscape

* Cascade (full skeins)
* Queensland
* Lion Brand
* Vanna's Choice
this one has a finished shawlette included!

* Dyeabolical
* Malabrigo (3 full skeins)
* Nashua Handknits (2 full skeins)
* Lion Brand
* and more

Sizes US 5 to US 17
Cable lengths from 24: to 29"

* Soft Secret
* Caron Simply Soft
* Red Heart Love
* Lion Brand Homespun (full skeins)
* Lion Brand Jiffy
* Vicki Howell Sheep(ish)
* Jojoland Baritone (full skeins)
* Patons Grace
* Louisa Harding (full skeins)

It's tough to let go sometimes, however, now I have room to buy more!!

Have a great weekend,

Yarn tip:
If you don't have a place to sell your stash, many organizations will welcome a donation. Schools, churches, womans' shelters, youth organizations or, just share with your fellow knitters and crocheters.  Have a Stash Swap Party!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Creating My Knitting Studio - The Big Reveal

I'm calling it done!  If you have followed me this far, maybe you'll go a little farther.  

The cabinet is almost full...

a $25.00 thrift store mirror gets a little paint.....

pardon my "fluffy" self.....


another gift from my bestie!  An antique stroller to use as a photo prop for my baby blankets.  It awaits some new fabric on the inside.

I think I need to buy more knitting needles....not!

"Oh no, Mr. Bill"!  This is funny if you watched Saturday Night Live in the '70's!

A giant diamond ring paper weight, just because!

Some of my cross stitch dusted off from the attic....

and a white folding table, we use for summer parties outside, in the middle of the room ready for the yarn swift and winder.  The white bookcase we've had for years.  It was just holding junk in "the junk room".

If you look closely you can see the table folded up behind my basinet photo prop.

This is a very cool hologram type poster!  If you look at it straight on, it shows Des Moines, Iowa in 2005.  If you view it from the side.....

it shows what the city looked like in 1919.  No, I did NOT find it in a thrift store, but in a shop called Tandem Brick in Des Moines.  Cool isn't it?

I brought in an extra chair we had in the living room.  This was a hand-me-down from my parents when I first moved away from home 30 plus years ago!  I reupholstered in myself some time ago.  The pillow is the zip code I lived in when we lived in Des Moines, Iowa.  Some of my happiest years were spent there.

The music stand has been in the closet since my daughter took violin lessons for 5 minutes in middle school.  It works great for holding a book open for reading the pattern.

The area rug was rolled up and in the attic.

Oh, and the chandelier was free!  Years ago, a friend of mine moved into a new house and she hated it.  I told her I'd be happy to take it off her hands!  It was dripping with crystals, which was a bit much, even for me.  I removed three fourths of them and it has been in our daughters room ever since.  If you are just catching up, this was her room until she moved out a few weeks ago.

A wire dress form in the corner, another free find that someone had for the trash man!
The vintage, plastic trash bin was a thrift store find for $6.00 and the crystal stand next to the chair is actually an ashtray....

The dress form on the floor was found at a garage sale a few years ago for $6.00.  I still need something for that corner.

So that's it done!  It's not professional and the closet holds WIPS, baskets full of tools like needles, blocking paraphernalia and such, but it'll do for me.  The whole thing cost me $155.00.  The paint was the most expensive at $100.00 for one gallon of primer and two gallons of white paint.  The rest of it was for the thrift store finds.  Now, I did not add in the cost for the things I already had, like the white table, area rug, basinet, my cross stitch projects and so on.  

Granted, I had a whole room to work with.  Maybe you have a little space you can carve out for yourself.  A storage room maybe?  A basement or a large closet or even a corner of the laundry room.  You can easily do it without spending any money at all.  Look around your house for things to use.  
Poke around in your kitchen and dining room cupboards.  Do you really need all those coffee mugs in the cabinet?  Need a yarn bowl?  Use a large soup bowl.  Do you have china and crystal in your dining room hutch that only comes out twice a year?  What can you use in that stash?

Dig out old photos, posters, art work, baskets and such.  

If you store all your yarn in big plastic bins, stack them up and throw a tablecloth over them to use as a big table.  Or, get out your ironing board and put it to use.

Have your children outgrown their plastic toy box?  Give it a coat of paint.  Yes, you can paint that stuff!

Don't have an extra side chair around, bring in one of your plastic patio chairs and toss one of your throw pillows from the family room couch.

Paint does wonders for an old trash bin, too!

I really could go on and on!  Just ask any of my girlfriends.  I'm always helping them with conundrums like this and I LOVE it.

Thank you so much for coming along.  If you are just finding this post, I did two prior posts if you'd like to catch up!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Creating My Knitting Studio Part Two

I'm making great progress on my studio!  This past week, my husband and I and finished painting the walls and pulled up the carpet to reveal the lovely hardwood floor underneath.  

Nice, right?  Below is the before....

 We brought in a china cabinet that will hold my yarn stash.  This actually belongs to my daughter, who just moved out.  She left it at home as she lives in a 3 story walk up and we weren't about to carry it up three flights of stairs!  She will retrieve it when she moves to a larger place or someplace with an elevator!

She bought this with her own money when she was in high school.  We found it at a thrift store for $80.00.  She just loved it but was concerned about the cost.  I reminded her that she would have it her whole life and it was a good investment.  She agreed.  

A simple white bookcase was next.  We have had this since 1994ish which was 3 houses ago.  We are in our 6th house, so it has seen many rooms!   A fraction of my bins of endless yarn start to stack up!  

After I pulled out the yarn I loved, liked and would use, this was left.  I sorted them by color and will be selling them by the bag in my Etsy shop after the studio is finished.  

TONS of yarny goodness.  Pom Pom, worsted, lace, sock, eyelash, fun fur, DK, wool, cotton, acrylic and "yummy" yarns.  Some full skeins, some balls and some partial skeins, great for making a "magic ball".  The yellow/orange box even has a completed shawlette in it!  

After I take photos, bag and weigh them, I'll let you know when they are ready for sale.

A linen tablecloth, which still needs to be ironed, goes up in the closet.  Two sliding doors were there, but they are so useless!  Only a man would invent something like that.

I put up a tension curtain rod and some hooks that you pinch to open.  You then place the fabric in and it closes over the fabric like teeth.

Some of the yarn goes in the cabinet.  It's hard to see, but there are glass shelves and doors.  The doors also have a mesh like chicken wire in front of the glass as to keep the dust out of the cabinet.

Inside, on the bottom shelf are clear containers that hold yarn balls.  These are actually bread containers I found at a thrift store for $2.00 each.  They are intended to hold bread that was baked in a bread machine and are expandable.....

 More clear plastic bins.  This is on the white bookshelf.  Again, a thrift store find for $.39!  And a small tray I bought years ago in my moms hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, to hold bits and bobs.

A little, 3 drawer, plastic thingy for buttons, blocking pins and some ribbons.  On top, a cupcake pin cushion and a hand felted polar bear pin cushion from my bestie!

A few blank journals, a cracked, but much loved, glass that reads Iowa and hold crochet hooks.  A painting from my bestie Melinda, yarn bowl and a ceramic olive server from my sis-in-law.

A lovely, black ceramic container, a velvet painting I did as a child, goldish Oklahoma cigarette tin, rose tin and a Chimes candy tin.  I do love little tins!

An old glass pill jar for small rubber bands that I use for little yarn balls to keep the tail in check.  A crystal shot glass to hold hair barrettes for the same reason.  Also, another $2.00 thrift store find to keep all my reading glasses.

I love this plastic clam shell.  Again, from a thrift store for $3.00.

I'm not exactly sure what this was made for, but I love it!

Well, I've got to get off this computer and get busy on getting more things moved in to my new room.  I'd love to know what you think so far and what tips you have for organizing all your yarny goodness!


Think out of the box when you see something you adore, especially if you shop at second hand or thrift stores.  Like the bread containers....what is it?  What else can it be used for?  Look around your house too!  Like the shot glass and olive can I repurpose this or that.
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