A HUGE Surprise!

I had no idea that yet another box of yarn was coming my way until I heard that telltale Thump! as it landed on our front porch.

I, of course, wanted to open Ann of Oklahoma’s surprise gift immediately, but decided to wait for a few days as 90º+ weather isn’t the best for playing with yarn. . .

especially when you’ll be doing it on a blacktop driveway.

681 1 hotondrive

And it’s a Huge box. . . 25″ long, so I knew I’d playing for a good while. Such Fun!!

I marvel at Ann’s generosity. As if it’s not wonderful enough that she chose to share so much of her stash with a fellow crocheter, she decided to ship it all the way from Oklahoma to me, in Connecticut! ~ Thank You, Ann! ~

681 2-BIG

First thing I found under the cardboard flaps was this, the cutest teeny-tiny little card, telling me to expect lots of baby yarns inside!

681 3-card

Yet I immediately noticed a few skeins of worsted weight. . .

681 4 1st-layer

including some of my dear old friend Red Heart Super Saver in ‘White’, ‘Cherry Red’ and ‘Black,’

681 5-RHSS

four 3.5 ounce skeins of a beautiful variegated from Bernat, called ‘Purple Camo’

681 6-Camo

and these coordinating rose and grey yarns.

681 7-Marble

Unfortunately the two Encore solids, although machine washable, contain 25% wool. Wool is not allowed in the blankets I make for foster kids, but I do have a special bin marked “Charity Blends”. That still leaves the one-and-a-half skeins of beautiful grey and rose ‘Marble’ to inspire a ripple. I imagine it will be an especially pretty one!

These partial skeins of Pound of Love are the last of the worsted weight yarns on this layer.

681 9-+wrstdThe rest are sport weight – mostly partial skeins of Lion Brand Baby Soft, a few of Bernat Baby Sport. I see a very pastel ripple in my near future!

681 8-sportpstls

Oh. My. Gosh. Looking at the second layer of yarns. . .

681 10-2nd-layer

I’d say I have many pastel baby blankets in my future, and it’s as if Ann has already planned out their color-combos for me. Working my way from left to right. . .

Three jumbo skeins of Bernat Baby Sport in colors ‘Pale Blue’, ‘Funny Prints’ – I kid you not, that’s the name, ‘Funny Prints’! – and ‘Sweet Grass’.

681 11-bluprntgrn

More Bernat Baby Sport – ‘Baby’ and ‘Mint’

681 12-mint-baby

Switching to Lion Brand, four skeins of Baby Soft ‘Pistachio’, a sportweight, and a partial skein of Pound of Love ‘Pastel Yellow’, which happens to be a light worsted weight, so maybe I can use these two yarns together in a blanket.

681 13-grn_yello

More LB Pound of Love, ‘Creamsicle’, with a mix of both LB Baby Soft and Bernat Baby ‘White’ and a partial skein of lavender, which I suspect is also Pound of Love.

681 14-pchwhlvndr

It may seem that I saved the very best  last – Bernat Baby Sport ‘Strawberry’, ‘Punch Fun’ and ‘Tangerine’.  Such YUMMY! colors.

681 15-stwpnchtng

Referring back to ripples #26 thru #33 of 2013, a series of baby blankets that I crocheted of mostly fingering weight yarns, I expect a sport weight baby ripple – about 36″ square – will weigh about twelve ounces, so, with the help of a little solid white, this is enough yarn to make three! It’ll be fun to come up with three slightly different striping patterns, and then DCF will be prepared to welcome a set of triplets!

Seen as a whole, it looks a little like a yarn truck emptied itself onto my driveway. lol. Can’t wait to see how many baby blankets it turns into.

681 16-ALL

I don’t know about you, but the sight this much beautiful new yarn makes me want to pick up my hook and get to work. Silly me, I’ve already shown this photo to the Crochet Corner ladies – the pressure – they expect to see a baby ripple in progress when we meet next week!

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

Preparing to Get Klutzy

Thinking of the Crochet Corner ladies, B, who struggles valiantly to crochet, in particular, I recently bought a Klutz brand potholder loom kit with book.

680 Klutz book

It’s original retail price, $19.99, but I got it, on sale at Sal’s, for only 50¢! – Woo-Hoo!!

I have a second loom that probably also came from Sal’s. – Can’t remember, I’ve had it for so long. –

680 older 2nd-loom

Convenient to have an extra so I can demonstrate or, if I’m so lucky as to engage two ladies in this project, they can both weave at the same time.

And, to go with the looms. . . I grabbed an unopened one pound bag of loops,

680 loops

also on sale – $2.00.

Look! Inside the Klutz box there are more loops and a finished potholder. Nice to have a ready-made sample.

680 sample potholder

Boy, it’s pretty small, only 5″ square. – wince – Not very practical as a potholder, but would work as a trivet, I think. I suppose I could sew six of them into a placemat, although I wonder if any of the ladies will want to weave six potholders.

But maybe someone will find the “fancy” weaving patterns in the Klutz book intriguing

680 patterns

or will want to make one of the other items suggested. Chicken bean bag, anyone?

680 projects

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#30 – An Ombre Ripple

This is the first project I’ve made using Bernat Satin, a lovely yarn with a very smooth finish and soft sheen. Nice! Melissa of GA gave me several skeins last winter. – Thanks again, Melissa! I really enjoyed getting acquainted with it. –

Listed light to dark, these three colors of Satin are ‘Silk’, ‘Camel’ and ‘Sable’.

617 8 skeins

I combined them all with RHSS ‘Cafe Latte’ from Lisa of TN. It is every-so-slightly darker than ‘Sable’. The other three colors are, light to dark, an unknown peach and coral, plus some Jack Frost ‘Rust’.

679 SCS-close

IMHO, together they make a rather elegant-looking ripple!

Satin Smooth

679 SCS-full

Note to Self – One skein Bernat Satin yields 11 rows of my usual ripple.

Posted in Ombre Ripples, Ripple Afghans of 2015 | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Beaded Pins

Unfortunately, most of my blog entries do not get posted immediately, which sometimes requires a bit of time travel. . .

Fourth of July was quickly approaching and I had yet to find a patriotic pin that I wanted to crochet for the Crochet Corner ladies and their friends. Then I saw these patriotic Perler bead designs. With a little play I came up with a smaller version of that flag heart.

Here are a few strategies that helped me make 25 flag heart pins ASAP.

If you sort your beads into muffin tins like I did

676 perlersorted

an ordinary teaspoon comes in real handy for moving them around.

678 0-spoon

A yarn needle makes it easier to

678 5-needlepick up,

678 6-pickupcarry

678 7-carry

and place a single Perler bead right where you want it on the pegboard.

678 9-doneSince I was working with such a small shape I could build

678 16 ready

and iron several of them at once.

678 7-ironIf you happen to lose the piece of “special” ironing paper that came with your beads, you can substitute parchment baking paper. A box of 25 square feet sells for $1.00 at Dollar Tree.

678 19-prchmnt

I wanted to iron my hearts from the backside only so the beads on the front would remain well-defined, but I soon discovered that this left the hearts’ points very vulnerable to breaking.

678 4-brkn tipAlthough I continued to iron from the back only, from then on I ironed for a much longer amount of time, until I could see that the holes in the beads had almost closed. No more problems with broken tips. Yay!

678 18-ironed

Ta-Dah!. . .  heart flags ready for pin backs.

678 20-ta-dah!

Boy, oh Boy! – hot gluing pin backs is amazingly fast compared to sewing them, like I did for the Mother’s Day rose pins.

678 3-back

But let me tell you something – don’t try to hot glue all twenty-five pinbacks right off the bat! Instead, take the time to let the glue on your first heart pin cool and check to see whether you can pull or peel the pin off, or even the pin and glue. Because you may find out, like I did, that you need to let your glue gun heat up for a much loooonger time, about 25 minutes in this case. sigh.

When I visited the nursing home on July 3rd I saw that S. was already celebrating, dressed in a bright red top with Uncle Sam hat and red, blue and silver strands of star-shaped beads! Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to take a photo or two to share with you until I was well on my way home. . .  yet another missed photo-op. – Will I ever get good at this!?! ? ! arrrggh. – But at least I thought to offer S. a flag heart and pinned it on for her!

I guess this means that I was truly “living in the moment”. That’s a good thing. . . right?

Posted in Beads | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

#29 –

Very excited to find out how RHSS ‘Black Light’ will look in a ripple,

633 ST Black Light

I ‘cheated’, looking for ideas of how to best use it, by doing a project search within Ravelry. The majority show it used it alone or with black. There aren’t many blankets and most of them put ‘Black Light’ with RHSS ‘Glow Worm’, which is a NEON green, a color-combo too similar to that of the blanket I recently re-finished.

673 full

SO, for my ripple I ended up pulling out an old 16-ounce skein of RHSS Black, a skein of RHSS ‘Shocking Pink’, also from Sandi of MD,

633 ST vrgtds+PINK

and the remaining RHSS ‘Turqa’ from Lisa of TN.

677 BL-yarns

Shaunna’s ‘crocheted zigzag skirt’ gave me the basic idea for my striping pattern,

677 BL-close-up

which took an entire five-ounce skein of the variegated and not only that sixteen-ounce skein of black, but another three ounces. That’s nineteen ounces of black! And yet it’s still pretty and feminine.

Black Light

677 BL-full

Posted in Ripple Afghans of 2015, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Beads!, Beads! and more Beads!

I had so much fun making my Perler bead snowflakes

620 flakes - a few more

I’ve watched for beads at thrifts and tag sales ever since.

You can only imagine how happy I was when I found this huge jar of what I’m guessing is about 8,000 beads at a tag sale!

676 perler-beads

Remembering how much I paid for the few white beads I bought for the snowflakes, I paid the little girl double the $1.00 she was asking. Unheardof!!

The bead projects I had in mind were little hearts that I could add to the snowflake tree for Valentine’s Day, and some flowers and butterflies come spring, – Cute idea, eh? –

but then I found more, at Sal’s. . .  a bucket of aprox. 5,000 Elmer’s Fuze Art beads,

676 Elmer's

with four pegboards and ten project cards, all for $3.99.

676 Elmer-accs

There was also a small Ziploc-ful tagged 99¢, an extravagance when compared to my other finds, but I couldn’t resist its many black and purple beads.

676 ziplocful of beads

Then, since I was going right past on my way home, I stopped into Michaels to get yet another skein of the RHSS ‘Soft White’ that I’m collecting for the Watercolors blanket, 40% off with a coupon.

676 soft-white

This particular Michael’s usually has caches of clearance-priced items scattered throughout the store, so I slowly sashayed up and down the aisles. Eventually I came upon a skein of Caron One Pound ‘Deep Violet’ to keep the ‘Soft White’ company. . . priced $3.49!

676 soft-&-purple

And, on the same shelf, a Perler Super Pegboard, (10″ x 14″) marked down from $9.99 to $5.99, which felt like getting to use a second 40% off coupon on the same day, a big No-No at Michael’s.

676 superpegbd

With a giant pegboard and a wealth of beads I started thinking about larger projects: creating bead mandalas, adapting cross-stitch and tapestry designs for coasters or tiles, melting beads into bowls or vases, or building a pixelated portrait. But why stop there? Why not reproduce a huge painting!?! While I thought about which I’d do first, I started to sort my bead treasury by color.

I soon realized that I need to get a few more of these wonderful little square containers. – Dollar Tree – 10 for a $1.00 –

676 cntnrs 10/$1.00

because Elmer FuzeArt beads come in 31 colors!

676 Elmer sorted

Until then I can use muffin tins.

676 perlersorted

Turns out that the unmarked tag sale jar, which I suspect is Perler brand, held about forty colors.

WOW!! Depending on how much the two brands’ colors overlap, that’s potentially seventy different colors, and I have yet to open the little bag, not as wide a variety of colors as in the Biggest Box of Crayola Crayons, but I think it’ll do. . .  said as I gleefully go back to sorting my pretty little plastic beads.

Posted in Beads, Thrifty Treasures | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Catching Up

Seeing this picture of me wearing warm flannel jammy pants while joining pink and white granny squares

675 1 in progress

made me realize that you’ve waited a very long time – nearly two months – for a progress report on this blanket. How time flies!

Let’s catch up.

As soon as Emily finished inspecting my choices of yarn for the border,

675 border picks 1

which, unfortunately, took her quite a while

675 border picks 2

because she’s a very,

675 border picks 3

very thorough inspector, lol. –

675 border picks 4

I quickly got on with the task.

675 border close-up

I hope you agree – I think my simple border compliments the blanket very well.

675 full view

On the day that I prepared it, the Burgundy/White/Navy and Pink/Pink Camo blankets for donation Emily clearly declared her personal preference.

675 peference

And so, from now on “The Pink and White Granny” shall be known as. . .

Emily’s Preference

675 slanted

A special thanks to Karen of MA for providing the inspiration for this blanket, as well as many of its squares.

Posted in Granny Afghans | Tagged , , | 6 Comments