Tag Saling

I’ve visited very few tag sales so far this year, so I decided to check out a relatively new all-town one, just across the Massachusetts border. I planned to get to the town green by 8:00 when the local Boy Scouts would start selling maps marked with all the sale sites. – I’d prefer to spend my money on somebody’s used junk, lol, but I don’t know my way around Monson and figured I’d quickly get disoriented if I tried to follow sale sign after sale sign. – Well, I didn’t get my map until about, oh, 9:30?, cuz sales started popping up long before I’d reached the town limits.

DH had reminded me the night before to watch for Pampered Chef stoneware bread pans as he really likes the way his bread turns out when baked in them.

SCORE! $6.00, at the very first sale!

588 bread pan

I didn’t dicker as it was so early in the day. Besides $6.00 is a Great price, compared to $25.50! This is pan #3. I earned pan #1 years ago as a Pampered Chef consultant and I found #2 just a few weeks ago at the new Sal’s. DH makes four loaves of bread at a time, so I hope to find one more.

At that same sale. . . a box of over 100 skeins of embroidery floss, all rolled neatly on little bobbins, priced at $1.00, – There was another one with only about a dozen skeins. I squeezed them in with the rest so DH can have that second box for sorting/storing little screws, hangers, etc. -

588 some floss

and this generously sized project bag, which surprisingly, considering its age – Could it possibly be from the 40’s? – is in pristine condition! –  50¢,

588 vintage bag

and a bag of zippers – forty of them for $2.00. A single zipper probably costs that much at full retail!

588 zippers!

What a fantastic way to start the day!

Other crafty finds, from two separate sales, were a single skein of RHSS and a partially knit sweater, which will provide over a pound of green heather wool, $1.00 each.

588 some yarn

As I was taking these photos I discovered why this sweater was never finished, two different dyelots; some pieces are yellower than others. Won’t be a problem if I use it for projects smaller than a sweater.

588 two dyelots

Throughout the day I picked up a lovely assortment of stuffed critters for foster kids. – How unusual to have come across three elephants, all grey. – I paid anywhere from ten to fifty cents. The tiniest bear was free.

588 critters

That black blob at center back is a cute gorilla.

For teen foster girls I bought Avon lotions, 50¢ per 4 oz. tube, – Such a Deal! -

588 lotions

and a few pairs of like-new flip-flops.

588 flip-flops

They were marked 50¢. As the saleswoman bagged them I commented that they were headed to Haiti, so kids wouldn’t have to walk to school barefoot. . .

and she insisted on giving me my money back!

Posted in Tag Sales | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

#38 Trial and Error

I started by gathering a pile of yarns: light pink, green and blue, medium rose, green and blue, and some white. I had a generous amount of every color. Nice, but a shortage in one or two colors often jumpstarts my creativity, while having plenty of everything seems to stymie it, ” What will I do with all this yarn? Hmmm? What will I do? ” lol.

I went with two-row stripes of the three mediums. Eew, the three Country Colors together reminded me the 80’s. I had flashbacks of White Geese with BIG blue ribbon neck bows trailing off into the distance, lol, you know the type!

So I ad-lib my way through another series of stripes: med light blue – white – med light green – white – med light pink – white. Not as bad as the first, but I don’t want to do that for the rest of the blanket, do I?

587 close

I know! I put the three mediums together at the beginning, how about I put the three lights together next? yeah.

And that’s how it went. I made things up as I went along, one stripe set at a time, until I reached the mid-point of the blanket. Then I repeated everything a second time.

Sweet Peas

587 full view

I see now that reversing the order of the striping for the second half would have created a much more powerful design. I should make a note of this somewhere – as an idea for a future ripple.

Oh, yeah. I can do that right here!

Note to Self: Make a second version of Sweet Peas. . . like I said above.

Just created a new tag, ‘ideas for future ripples’. Cool.

Posted in Ripple Afghans of 2014 | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

BUG Update – no photos

A few days after I wrote that post about the Glorious Bugs on our blueberry bush, I noticed that one of the caterpillars had disappeared and the remaining one’s red ‘antlers’ looked like someone had nibbled on them!

Now he’s gone too.

So much for a Cecropia plague.

Posted in Our Gardens | Tagged , | 5 Comments

This Never Gets Old

My stealthy postman struck again, silently leaving our mail on the front porch, including a box from yet another new yarn fairy, Chrissy in Texas. – Hi, Chrissy! -

586 box

It doesn’t seem to matter that over the years I’ve received many gifts of yarn for my ripple project, I still get really excited about each one! Can’t wait another minute; I want to see what Chrissy sent. . .

Oh, Look! Right on top there’s some RHSS ‘Spring Green’!

586 open box

This is wonderful as my stash has no zingy lime/chartreuse!

586 chartreuse

And I love this particular shade of yellow too! Almost all the yellow yarn I have is either very bright or very pastel; it’s nice to have some that’s in-between.

Did you possibly notice the little surprise that was tucked in the back corner?

586 hook

A size I (5.5 mm) hook. – Thank you, Chrissy! – In my opinion, you can never have too many H and I crochet hooks, especially when they color-coordinate so well with your yarn. lol.

586 baby+hook

Baby Bee Pitter Patter and Sweet Delight could be the beginning of a beautiful baby blanket!

Oh. My. One Thousand Yards of ‘Antique White’.

586 lb. of love

Pound of Love yarn is so soft, it seems meant for something more elegant than your everyday ripple. I’m somewhat tempted to make a solid-colored baby blanket with it, a non-ripple, non-granny one!

This skein of ‘Buttercup’ I Love This Cotton! holds enough yarn to knit three more washcloths. Yay!

586 cotton

And there are several Caron One Pounders. . . every skein a color that my acrylic stash is low on.

586 one pound

I’m going to have such fun designing ripples around the the colors in these pretty variegated yarns.

586 Ilovethisyarn

Funny, the green, called ‘Tweed’, reminds me quite a bit of RHSS’ ‘Fleck’.

I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to play with I Love This Yarn! before, not surprising as the nearest Hobby Lobby store is now about 30 miles away. But a new one is going to open soon in Manchester, CT, which is much closer.

Oops, distracted myself for a second there. . .Was just thinking about the Hobby Lobby coupons that I’ll be able to use at JoAnns, – lol. – not that I need to buy yarn anytime soon, thanks to my all of my incredibly generous yarn fairies.

Chrissy simply told me that she had mailed off a package of left over acrylics. Well, these are SOME “leftovers”! lol.

586 refilled

What a wonderful assortment of yarns to pick from, including some new-to-me brands/types. Thank You, Chrissy!

Recently, yarn fairies like Chrissy have become a bigger part of my ripple project. Yarn flows in – at the astounding rate of one box per week for the past month! – and kids’ blankets flow out, at the rate of at least one a week. Hmmm. If I don’t want to be buried in yarn I think I’d best try my hand at weaving a blanket real soon. I gather, from what I’ve read, that weaving can go even faster than crocheting!

Posted in Yarn Stash | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Ripple #37 – A Blue One

Technically, since there’s off-white in it, this ripple can’t be considered part of my All-Blue Series, but it still helped me to burn through a bit more of my overabundance of navy and light blue yarns.

585 close

I used an RHSS variegated, ‘Blue Ombre’, to border all the off-white stripes. Wanting to use up as much of it as I possibly could, I put double-row borders on two stripes.

Blue on Blue

585 full view

Hunh. Those two don’t stand out nearly as much as I thought they would, which is neither a good or bad thing, but just how it turned out. shrug.

All in all. . . I’m happy. I made a Nice-Looking Blanket.

Posted in Ripple Afghans of 2014 | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Glorious BUGS

That title is meant as warning for those of you that wouldn’t like to be surprised by a photo of an insect. I hope that you will take at least a little peek – I start out with a couple of small pictures – as I’m about to show you the jazziest-looking caterpillar that I have ever seen, a bright green one with little orange-red, yellow and blue, – yes, blue – protrusions!

Check out the spectacular head-gear.

584 BUG sideview

I found him/her munching on one of our blueberry bushes, along with this sister/brother.

584 BUG bro

Who knows, there may be several more of these guys hiding on other bushes and trees in our yard.

I can’t help but think that we’re a little nuts to let these ravenous beasts live on in our blueberry patch, but we feel a sense of connection as we met their gorgeous moth mother as she busily laid eggs on our garden fence early this summer. Click here to see an adult Cecropia, the largest moth native to North America. We never got to see Mom with her wings laid out flat like that, but I’d guess that her wingspan was at least five inches.

We look forward to when these Bugs finally Stop Eating and spin their drab cocoons. I read that these things can grow to four and a half inches in length!

584 BUG w:ruler

I’ll let you know how many Cecropia moths we see around the yard next year. Hopefully there won’t be a plague of them – I read that Mom may have laid over one hundred eggs!

Posted in Our Gardens | Tagged , | 6 Comments

It’s Time to Burn Some Stash!

Cotton stash, that is. – I’m long overdue to use more of my worsted weight cottons.

Back in 2011, I crocheted a few cotton shopping bags. I soon realized that I really prefer  using fabric totes, so I donated these two to a charity raffle

4 stash bag wide135 Seaside Tote - sitting

and unraveled the third. – Hey, the yarn is blue. I love blue. -

#184 - 3rd Market Bag

Last year I wove two cotton dishtowels.

508 towel set #1

Two more towels are waiting to be hemmed and fabric for yet another two is in progress on the loom. They’re all very nice towels, but as slow as I weave, I’d never make it through the rest of my cotton worsted stash and who needs dozens of towels anyway!

So. . .  I decided to make washcloths.

You see, I read about a charity project sponsored by a local church. – They collect shoes, sandals and flip-flops for a mission in Haiti. What do shoes have to do with my cotton yarn? Well, when they fill a shipping barrel with shoes, they stuff the spaces in and around them with personal care items, mostly bars of soap and Washcloths!

At first I thought I would crochet them, – Crocheting is so Fast! – but then I found out that I could expect to get only one crocheted cloth out of a two-ounce ball of cotton yarn, leaving a substantial amount of scrap, – If there’s one thing I don’t need, it’s more scrap yarn! lol. – while if I knit the washcloths, I could probably get two from each ball! Although I spent very little money to build my cotton stash, I still want to squeeze every bit of goodness out of it that I can.

I headed to Ravelry to pick out a washcloth/dishcloth pattern, a free one, obviously. lol. The most popular, by far, is Grandmother’s Favorite (pattern) with over 10,000 projects, but it’s primarily garter stitch, which is sooooo boooooring, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, row after row after row. Next up is the Ballband Dishcloth (pattern) with over 9000. It looks best when knit with two coordinating colors. I want to start with something simpler than that, so I kept looking.

Eventually I settled on the Double Bump Dishcloth (pattern) even though there are “only” 2300 of them, compared to Grandmother’s 10,000. Still, I think this pattern has alot going for it:

  1. lovely texture, making it interesting both to look at and to knit
  2. a simple four-row pattern, which should be easy to remember
  3. reversible – looks Great from both sides
  4. lays flat even though it doesn’t have a border
  5. slip stitches enhance the look of variegated yarns of which I have quite a few!

For my first washcloth I’ve picked Sugar ‘n Cream ‘Landscape’ (circled) from among the oldest cottons in my stash, the eight balls shown in the middle of this donation of 2011.

583 yarn with bag 1

The Double Bump pattern was as easy as I’d hoped.

Ta-Dah!

Washcloth No. 1

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I love this little thing! It’s just big enough to do the job, at about 8″ square, and the pattern stitch creates a very smooshy feeling fabric. – I think I’m going to have to knit at least a couple of these for DH and myself. -

After, I discovered that I’d used more than half of the two-ounce ball –  groan – not leaving enough for a second cloth, so much for my ‘grand plan’. lol. But, wait, I happen to have a little scrap of lime ombre, part of this $4 thrift shop haul of cotton from last summer.

463 cotton yarns

Combined with the ‘Landscape’ I have left, there’s enough for another washclothl Yay!

Washcloth No. 2

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and it’s even a little bigger than the first one.

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This scrap stripe thing worked so well, I did the same with Peaches & Creme ‘Orange Sherbt’, also from the above donation. – I have no idea why they spelled sherbet with no e, but that’s how it is on the label and I have no idea where the scrap of solid peach yarn came from, either. -

Washcloths 3 & 4

0-CTTN-3+4

This is fun! Already I’ve used up two balls of cotton worsted

and finished four washcloths.

0-CTTN-1thru4

Posted in Knitting, Washcloths and Towels | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments