Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Crochet is my present mode of marking time and sanity saving. As with a lot of you, crafting has been my therapy whether it was crochet, quilting, sewing, mosaics, beadwork, papier mache or whatever I was involved in at the time. Crafting is my way of keeping busy and working through instead of wringing my hands and pacing. In some instances I would have no skin left on my hands and no floor left under my feet.
The impetus to set aside quilting for a while and drag out my hooks and yarn  was fueled a couple of months ago by a young lady named Meghan when I read about her and her friends who were making blankets for underprivileged and sending them with missionaries on the mission field. You can read about  them in "Meghan's Ministry" at wwwTheAlabasterBox.blogspot.com.

Much has been crocheted in the last several weeks that normally would not have been finished because much has occurred-much pain, much waiting, much concern, much prayer. I have actually finished: 2 baby  blankets, 3 little girls' sweaters, 3 matching dresses, 4 hats, 3 granny square purses to complete the sweater/dress ensembles, 2 pairs of knee high foot warmers  and since this post was started a week or so ago, another toddler dress. Under normal circumstances, I would have been hard pressed to have one sweater done. Handwork like this is usually done as my Granny used to say in "snatches and grabs" instead of almost full time as recently.

One of the blankets was done as I sat with my sister-in-law who  was found to have a tumor on her brain and was rushed to have emergency surgery.  She did really well but has to have care 24/7. The squares that were brought out with coordinating yarn after I met Meghan and troop were put to use because they were so handy. These were finished in a granny square. I do a lot of granny square-it is kind of a mindless pattern that I don't have to think much about as I work.

The foot warmers were crocheted for my 2 oldest grandchildren to keep them from taking my pair that my sister, Jackie, had made for me for my birthday. Both were threatening to take them.  These were also done as I sat with my sister-in-law.

The second blanket was completed a week or so later as we  waited all day for word on grand nephew, Ayden, who is only 9 months old. A brain tumor had been found and he was having a scan and mri. They were expecting to have to do emergency surgery but that was scheduled for a week later. Prayers went into each stitch. I made sure the blanket got to him several days before  his surgery.

The day before Ayden's surgery my son, Jeff, had surgery on his shoulder. One of the sweaters was worked on as I waited during his surgery. The matching pieces were also worked on as I cared for him after his surgery during the waiting week for Ayden's surgery.

In all this,  news came that niece, Debbie, has breast cancer. More intense crocheting, crocheting, crocheting-something to keep busy, something productive to do, something of beauty to create for 4 beautiful little girls.

Having the girls' outfits done,  I had been searching for sweater patterns for my great grandsons so they won't feel left out when their sisters get their new outfits. An email arrived announcing new hard to find crochet patterns for boys from Hooked On Crochet at AllFreeCrochet. I will be using one of the new vest patterns-it is just what I was looking for.

You see, Debbie's surgery won't be for a couple of weeks and I need the calm of handwork. I started one of the boys sweaters earlier today.

Being busy is a blessing, being able to be busy is a blessing.

Below are photos of the 3 sweater outfits and granny square dress that I have been able to make for my great granddaughters-Hannah, Jenna,  Ashlynn and Maizin and the site where I got the inspiration and patterns.  My friend, Valerie, sent me the link that I have looked over almost every day. 

It is a site for all kinds of crafts with patterns and even video tutorials and instructions. If you work with children's groups, there are a lot of crafts for reclyclables and all of this is free. From that site, I have gone to several others that I didn't know about.

I have downloaded enough patterns to keep me busy for the next 200 years even if I work 24/7 and they are all gorgeous. 

The original site Val sent me is: wwwfavecraft.com and from that I have visited:
AllFreeCrochet-Hooked on Crochet
Annie's Attic
and there are many more

On favcraft, I seem to pick patterns designed by "doublestitch twins" [see photos-sweaters/newsboy hat, below] and Vintage Creations [see photos-dresses, below. There is also a beautiful crochet lacy duster that one day I may get to for myself].  

I so admire the people who have designed the wonderful patterns available. Robin Murphy on the Red Heart site has some of the most beautiful little girls' dresses I have ever seen-they are breathtaking.

For Hannah-size 6, Jenna-size 4-5, Ashlynn-size 2-3
BIG & LITTLE DRESSES by Groovy Crochet
Flower Child's Sweater by doublestitch twins-FAVECRAFTS
Vintage Rose Pattern-FAVECRAFTS
Granny Square Purse-use any Granny Square pattern to size desired
For Maizin-size 18 months
Granny Square Yoke Dress Pattern by Valerie Moffitt on RedHeart.com
I have really enjoyed working on these outfits for the girls in the light coral, yellow and white. 

Two of each pattern-one for me and one for my sister were printed,  put into page protectors and into notebooks. The extra set made a nice gift for my sister who is an avid crocheter and I keep adding to our collections.

Blog Hop Button Finished on the 15th: FaveCrafts Blog Hop for February


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I am sitting here chuckling to myself at what I am about to put down for posterity. My husband keeps glancing at me because he evidently knows I am up to something so I am trying to keep from snickering. Even I cannot believe the foolishness I am about to write. It may not get posted when I get through and see how petty this may sound- I am a 71 year old great grandmother- married 54 years. My sister-in-law has cancer, my 9 month old grand nephew is pulling through brain surgery, my son just had shoulder surgery, grandson had knee surgery and now niece, Debbie, has breast cancer and I am aggravated and writing about: CRUMBS ALL OVER THE COUNTERS!

When I go into the kitchen to fix lunch-crumbs. To fix dinner-same thing-crumbs. The kitchen is straight when I fix the coffee pot at night for the next day but when I turn on the light the next morning, there they are-crumbs. They are like rabbits-they seem to multiply.

Now I brought this phenomenon of the mystically appearing crumbs to the attention of the only other person in the household  a few weeks ago and he said, "is it really a big deal?" I said "yes, when you are the one who has been cleaning them up for 54 years". I thought that maybe, just maybe, the crumbs would not appear anymore but lo and behold, there they are. 

I hate arguing, so, offbeat as it may sound for someone who has cleaned up 1000's of crumbs among other things behind many people, I am on strike. Oh, the laundry is getting done, dishes, cleaning, sewing, quilting, cooking, etc. but the crumbs are piling up [see photos below]. The cooking, however, is subject to join the way of the crumbs very soon, then the kitchen completely.

A strike, you see, has been the only way in the past to get my point across. Over 40 years ago it took a couple of times of running out of socks and underwear to get husband dear to dig them out from under the bed and all over the bedroom floor where he had thrown them and into the laundry room to be washed. Something I had been doing til I decided enough was enough-if clothes are not by the washer, they don't get washed.   The most recent point was made a few months ago. Papers stopped being piled on the floor beside a certain recliner when the vacuum was parked with the papers in front of the chair. No amount of telling not to put them there worked until he had to finish vacuuming a few times.

I am biting my tongue to keep from saying anything to see how long it will take and my tongue is just about chewed off. I am still chuckling at myself and to myself that a 71 year old, gray haired, supposedly mature, great grandmother would just not go ahead and take a couple of minutes to wipe the counters. This may be Custer's last stand. I have my yardstick ready to measure how high they may get. I don't know if Ripley's Believe It Or Not has a crumb pile category but if it does, we may just win.

So far, two days and counting.

I am honoring the handsome gentlemen at the bottom of the page who are family members that have served and are serving in our armed forces.
My brother, Jim, was in the Air Force
Nephew, Brian, is in the Marines.
Grandson, Joey, was in the Navy
Son, Jeff, also in the Navy
Nephew, Aaron, was in the Marines
Brother-in-law, Jerry, served in the Army