Thursday, January 31, 2013

Packing The Van & We're Off

Hubby went up to storage Tuesday and brought our travel van back to the house to pack for our trip to Florida.

Usually we have the van at the house for several days before a trip so we can take our time and  pack a little bit each day.  But with Hubby sick this week we weren't able to do that.  We decided to delay our our departure to give him another day to rest up for the long drive and give us time to pack.

The van is winterized (all tanks drained) and we won't be de-winterizing it until we reach Florida.  So we will be staying at motels on the way south.  

We like to use these zippered cloth sacks for our clothing.  This top cabinet goes way back along the side of the van and holds several of these sacks in different sizes.  This is my cabinet.  Hubby has his own identical cabinet and clothing sacks on the opposite side.  

We like to use these fabric bins we found at Target for storage of miscellaneous items we use frequently.  They are light weight (and fold up when empty) so they don't add much weight to our vehicle.  This year I replaced a few tan bins that were showing their age with colorful green and blues ones.   They slide under the sofa overhang out of our way and are easy to pull out when needed.   

 The one by our chairs holds tissue and a small waste paper basket (also a fabric basket).

My crochet bag is packed.   I'm taking the V-Stitch ripple I'm working on.  

Today we gathered up a selection of books, magazines and DVDs.   Hubby will collect all the electronical things like laptops, cords and accessories tonight.

It's been so cold here but I was pleasantly surprised by the warmer temperatures yesterday and today.  I was dreading packing in the cold.  So glad I didn't have to.

Have you guessed where we are headed?

Hurray...we off to WDW!!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Be My Valentine Dishcloth

Isn't that a cute name for this dishcloth?

This is one very cute dishcloth. 

 I loved the stitches and the colors used in the pattern and had to try making one.

I found some similar colors in my Lily Sugar n' Cream cotton yarn stash. 

 It worked up nicely until about the 5th round and then mine started to curl up slightly...even though my stitch counts seemed to be correct.

Even so I will try this free pattern again (here) - the next time I will try adding some stitches on the outer rounds to lessen it's tendency to curl.

I love the bobble stitches in red in the fourth round.

And wait until you see how the circle of hearts on the outer round are crocheted.

Have fun trying out this dishcloth.  

Keep crocheting!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Adding R.E.D. In Your Home

This is a fun post showcasing some of my favorites from Pinterest...

Folks who love RED as much as I do.

Believe it or not I had a red and white tile floor in my childhood bedroom.  

My Daddy installed it for me.


 I'm still leaning towards painting my oak kitchen cabinets some day.

A red island with white cabinets is perfect.

And isn't that green and white painted floor adorable too.

This is something none of the designers are doing...pretty red and white tiles around the kitchen sink.

And one of these days I would love to order a red and white table covering like this one.

And when the carpet wears out on our staircase I would love to replace it with a painted red and white gingham pattern just like this one.  

Yes, I have red Buffalo Check valances so, of course, I like these checkered drapes and that lovely red and white rug.

I like the blue lamp too.  

And here's a very cheerful red and white vintage kitchen. 

Followed by another cute red, white and blue farm kitchen.

The only thing missing from this adorable kitty is some red jewelry!

I hope you enjoyed my splashes of RED today.

Maybe you will be inspired to add RED to your home.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lazy Saturday

I don't feel like cleaning today. 

 I did manage to put the wash on. 

 And fixed a hot oatmeal breakfast for my sick Hubby. 

 I'm still using my vintage pyrex oops it's a Corning Ware teapot to boil the water. 

 I guess it's considered vintage if it's from the 70s.

I have HGTV on with a nice cup of hot tea to slip and I'm going to sit here and rest until lunch. 

 Maybe I'll pick up my White Caps throw and work a few more rows.

After seeing these red and white potholders on Pinterest I want to make some sooooo badly.

Unfortunately, there weren't any patterns with the photo. 

Maybe I can fudge some look alikes?

Whatcha doin' today?

Are you being lazy like me?

This is how I feel today.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Valentine's Hearts Tray

I ran out this morning to stock up on a few groceries before the forecasted snow arrives this afternoon.

While at Safeway I saw this cute Valentine's Hearts Tray for less than $5 and of course I immediately put it in my cart. 

Isn't it cute?

{{{White Caps}}}

is coming along. 

I have two color sections finished. 

I plan to take this project with me to Walt Disney World.

My poor Hubby is sick with a nasty head cold. 

He's taking it easy just resting. 

He doesn't get sick very often. 

I got him some Nightquil to help him sleep tonight.

It's sooooo cold here too.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

White Caps

I wanted to get through the dreaded foundation row on my next

 Is there anything worst than counting hundreds of chain stitches {{{{correctly}}}} ?

Yeah, sewing in the ends comes in pretty high in that dreaded category too.  

 I wanted a lap size throw so I did a foundation row of 220 chains plus 3. 

 I ended up with 14 mountains/valleys and it measures 37 inches across without a border.

I'm using five shades of blue acrylic yarn (Simply Soft Solids) with a white yarn row between the blues. 

 I upped the size of the hook to "H" too.

These colors remind me of "snotty seas"...that's what boaters call the seas when the waves are rough.

I'm thinking of naming this throw "White Caps".  

I love the look of this pattern, and if you asked - yes - I'm doing the stitches correctly this time!

Have you ever used a lighted hook? 

 I bought two of them awhile back, put them in my case and never used them. 

 Last night I pulled one out to try it. 

 It was perfect time and situation. 

 Dark yarn and crocheting at night in low light.

A combination that isn't easy on the old eyes. 

 But this lighted hook really helped. 

 And it was a smooth hook which also helped to reduce splitting the yarn. 

 If you are interested, I bought these at Michaels.

Hubby feels like he is coming down with something so we had soup for supper tonight.

It tasted good particularly with this extreme cold...brrrrrr....we are having here in SE PA.  

Later tonight I'm having a cup of hot tea with creamer and honey.

You would think I was the one not feeling well.

Here's hoping you are feeling well and having a good night!  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Little Blackie the Blankie

Last night I finished my black and white ripple Vintage V-Stitch Blanket

 This is the blankie where I goofed on the double V-stitchs in the "mountains" of the pattern. 

 And since I liked the look of my goofed stitches I kept going. 

But... my blanket is a little smaller due to my error modification.

Doesn't "Blackie the Blankie" pop next to my red, pink and white Gingham Afghan?

I had thought to make the "Blackie the Blankie" larger by expanding the border but I decided I liked the simple V-Stitch border of black.

So I stuck to the pattern.

Love, love both of these baby blankies.

"Blackie the Blankie" measures only 22 inches by 24 inches.

It could be used for a newborn, an infant car seat, a stroller or at least be a doll blankie.

I've already picked my colors out of my yarn stash to crochet a five-color blanket...

...but this time I will follow the pattern

We leave next week for Florida and Walt Disney World so this project will go with me. 

I did something funny had a Senior Moment yesterday.  

Hubby drove me to my hair dresser yesterday and dropped me off. 

Checking in I discovered my hair appointment (which is always on a Tuesday) was for Wednesday this month.

So I had to call Hubby back and he didn't get the message until he was already home.

It was funny...we had a good laugh...

 ...and it was no big deal since we are retired and didn't have anything planned for the day.

The kicker was my iPhone going off while I'm there reminding me of my hair appointment the next day. 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine Decor

Is there a "sweeter" holiday than Valentine's Day?

I don't have much to put out but I love all the Red and White!

I placed my Love & Heart Beanie Babies on our family room fireplace mantel.

Along with the three hearts I crocheted. 

I hung my L.O.V.E banner I made over the kitchen sink.

My string of little red heart lights have been up since last year.  

Hubby put in under the counter lights for me several years ago.  

But I think the red heart lights adds an extra special look and I love them because they're red.

I put out my red heart night light too.

                                         Do you decorate for Valentine's Day?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Let Me Tell You The Story...

Oh, yes...the story of the Vintage Crocheted Blanket. 

 I was so proud of myself figuring out this ripple pattern. 

 Patience less me taking the time to draw a diagram and practice test after test repeat until I was satisfied I had "it right".

Although... as I worked it up... the thought crossed my mind my pattern didn't look exactly like the pattern in the photos. 

My "valleys" were identical but my "mountains" seemed a little off.

 I told myself it must be the light or the angle of the photo.

Then I started to play around with the new crochet diagram software (Crochet Charts - I purchased.  

As I was trying to construct the diagram for this ripple I realized I didn't crochet my double V-Stitches correctly. 

Duh...this isn't a hard stitch to do. 

And because of that I didn't place the hook in the right spaces around those stitches.

So my "mountains" weren't quite as steep as shown in the photos.

After realizing this I practiced a few rows on my test piece and finally managed to get it done correctly so it looked like the photos.  

However, I decided not to frog my blankie.  

It looks nice as is so I will continue with my erroneous pattern version.

That's all for now on this blankie.


Remember my black and white motif?

You know the cute, little granny square I was playing around with in black and white yarns? 

Here's my rough first diagram of it. 

Still have to work on it a little bit. 

Move the symbols closer together....

What do you think? 

 Have you tried making your own diagrams?


My funny for the day:

(Source:  Pinterest)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vintage V-Stitch Crocheted Blanklet

Remember this Black and White beauty from Pinterest?

Source:  Pinterest

I ordered this downloadable $5 pattern from ChurchMouse Yarns & Teas (located in the state of Washington).

 It's a ripple pattern using V-Stitchs and Double Vs. 

 I know from experience that I have to read any ripple pattern over and over again and I have also found that drawing a stitch diagram of the repeat (pattern didn't come with one) helps me tremendously. 

 I'm a visual person. 

 I'm not a crochet designer and hand drawing a crochet pattern diagram isn't easy for me.

I would love to have a computer software program I could use to do diagrams. 

 Years ago I did some internet research to see if there was any software program out there dedicated specifically to making crochet diagrams that was easy to use and not expensive.  

I didn't find anything then.

But I googled again today and was surprised because I found something interesting called StitchWork Software (see video below) that I will have to check it out in more detail later (i.e., cost and if it works on a MAC).

Anyways I drew up scribbled a hand drawn diagram to follow.  

And believe me it's easier to read that those scribbles then to try to read the typed pattern.

Because I always lose my place when reading them.   


I won't go into how many foundation chains and first row trys I had to do.  

It was MANY!

You have to get that first row right because everything depends on it being correct.

So I practiced and practiced.

Went to bed dreaming having nightmares about this crochet pattern.  

Oh, I even googled "vintage V-Stitch afghans" and found a similar free pattern (here) based upon the V-Stitch and Shell combination - and it was pretty.   But the mountains and valleys were steeper than I wanted.  I played around with this pattern, trying it out and decided it wasn't the same as the one I ordered.

I also found a similar ripple diagram for reference (here).

The point is... don't forget to check out the internet - there is a wealth of information out there to help us crocheters out.

If you don't know how to do a V-Stitch there are videos on YouTube to watch.

Once I figured out the repeat pattern and how I wanted to start and end the row - as a straight edge - it went pretty smoothly.  

I used a foundation chain of 160 as suggested.   That sounds like a large afghan but it's a ripple and comes out smaller then a straight across afghan would for that many chains. 

So this is baby size blankie.

The second row is a little tricky but I finally determined stared at the photo over and over until the light bulb clicked where to put the hook in what spaces.

Now I can say it's an easy repeat in many ways, easy on my hands to crochet, easy to follow, easy to see if you make a mistake.  Yes, I admit every once in a while I'll miss making a V-Stitch and do a double crochet in error.   Now I've learned to look back at my repeats before I leave that row. 

Because you "turn" at every row the pattern is the same look on either side.  

And just with the practice sessions and a few rows done I have the repeat memorized.

The pattern gives instructions to make as a 2-color, 5-color and a 10-color version.

I know I will have to do a full blown color version!   

So what do you think of this ripple pattern?  

Do you love it or not?