by Kerrie James


Days of the Week

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 8:44 AM Comments comments (4)

Warning: A lengthy post follows. 

As I sit here looking back on this week, I feel as though several weeks were somehow lived in seven days.  Busy?  Sort of.  Crazy?  Always.

I began Monday by recuperating from Sunday's events and resisting to take the pain medication which had been prescribed.  Since my original plans of running errands was put on hold, I took advantage of the free schedule and decided to practice my sewing skills by making a few items.

Pain or no pain, Tuesday was an errand, appointment, bill paying day.  Once the kids were home, I began dinner, one of the kids' favorite meals: Chicken-Spinach Parmesan.  Once the kids went to bed, I spent the evening sewing my half-square triangle blocks together and then cutting and pressing them.  I am really enjoying this project and love that I re-purposed an old maternity shirt (the brown portions) for this project.

Wednesday was a day home, catching up on chores and always laundry.  I started the day as usual, sending the bigger ones off to school, and then walked our yard in search of any outside chores in need of attention.  Our yard isn't as large as my childhood home but is much larger than our previous home.  The owner's of this house are true Gardeners, I am not.  Still, I do appreciate the flowers, bushes, trees and especially, the fruits. 

We have a few raspberry bushes, a grape vine and a kiwi vine.  The kiwi has not produced any fruit since we have lived here, I can't say whether it had before.  The grapes were glorious to see last year but we left them on the vines too long, thinking they were not yet ripe as they were so small.  The sun, ants and birds enjoyed them instead of us.  As for the raspberries, those we did enjoy, in small quantities, every few days.  I noticed on this day that the grapes were beginning to grow and that some raspberries were ready to be picked and so were plucked ever so gently and later enjoyed with Greek yogurt.

After chores, DS3 decided to give me a small break by taking a nap.  I was so tempted to join him but the idea of uninterrupted crafting time was far more enticing.  I managed to finish an apron/art smock I had drafted and started sewing the week before.  This apron was also meant to refresh my sewing skills but also to be part of a gift for DS2's Kindergarten teacher.  I was going for a vintage feeling in this design and so, chose a small floral print from my stash.  I do like the outcome, especially the darts, and will definitely be making one for myself.  The only regret I have is that I did not add any pockets, a true must!

Thursday was a pretty big day for me.  A run to the bank, post office, signed the kids up for summer activities, a stop at the craft shop and a trip to the grocery store occupied my morning.  Once home I began to prep for dinner, Stuffed Shells and broccoli florets.  I was pretty drained at this point and made some carrot-orange juice, a favorite pick me up.  I had some time left for crafting and played catch up on my Crochet Lace Afghan CAL, making about 20 flower motifs.  Once finished with that, I started making cakes, one for my daughter's Drama Club party and one for my DS2's Kindergarten end of year ceremony. And finally, prepared and made mochi ice cream, also for DS2's Kindergarten ceremony. 

Friday morning the entire house scuttled out to school, DH, DS3 and I heading to the Kindergarten event.  If you follow me on FaceBook you already know, I cried like a baby.  The moving up ceremony (or Kindergarten graduation) was beautiful and thoughtful.  I was glad to have put effort into a special gift for the teacher, a phenomenal women with an abundance of patience.  Once home, I felt like curling up with my little ones and watching television.  Unfortunately, they simply wanted to play.  OK, I'll sew instead!

I decided to pull out the half-square triangles I had prepped for my quilted sewing machine cover.  Alhtough I had sewn and pressed these, I still had not decided exactly how I wanted the blocks to be placed.  So, I took lots of pictures:










These are not all the possibilities but the only ones I could come up with before feeling as though I had leaked some brain out of my ear.  After all this, I still don't know which way I want my blocks to go.  Any thoughts?  Really, I want your input!  Leave a comment to this post, telling me which layout you like best.  On Father's Day (19th) I will use Random.org to draw a number for a crafty-type prize.  I am not yet sure what the prize will be but most likely a book or craft supplies of some sort.

And now, Sunday again, we celebrate Father's Day a week early, as DH will be traveling for work next week.  We had a nice dinner of Prime Rib and Marinated Chicken and finished with one of our favorite cakes.  I made the cake early in the morning and had plenty of pudding and gelatin left over, so made small dessert cups as well.

DH didn't want any gifts but we managed to find something we just knew he would enjoy, a 21 year old Glenlivet Scotch.  It smells lovely and tastes even better. 

So here's to another week!  I hope to get all my flower motifs finished this week and, with your help, decide on block placement for my sewing machine cover.  I also plan to get some knitting finished and learn Sashiko from this book.

Please leave a comment and don't forget to either subscribe or follow!


CAL: Options Explained

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 4:16 AM Comments comments (0)

So the flower motif is simple enough but I suppose my throwing a few alternate options at you may have created some confusion, for that I apologize!

I've worked 2.5 flowers, shown below:

The first flower on the left is an example worked as written. This flower has a larger center and is slightly taller. 

The middle flower is started with a magic circle and omits the sc round.  This is the option I chose to work as it requires less yarn.  It is not the best looking optoin, IMO, but works for my situation (working from stash only).

The last flower is started with a magic loop instead of ch 5 and continued as written (although I ran out of yarn to finish the flower).  To me, this is the best looking flower, the center is smaller and the sc round helps to create a defined center of the flower as well as add structure.

I hope this helps explain the added options and why you might choose one over the other.

Crochet Lace Afghan CAL Begins!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 7:06 AM Comments comments (2)

Firstly, if you are new and have landed here in interest of the Crochet Along (CAL), Welcome and thank you!  


Next, you should know that while I have sewn and knitted for more than 15 years, crochet is actually pretty new for me and I am likely to make some mistakes along the way.  This is a learning process for each of us.  There aren’t any rules per se except have fun, don’t take this CAL too seriously and be polite.  If you would like to join along and share your photos and possibly join any discussion in Flickr, please request an invite here.


In general, I dislike feeling there is only one way to do something.  I enjoy having options and making choices.  Even if the decision making isn’t always easy, I’d much rather have a choice between options.  And so, this CAL will offer a few options along the way.  


The design is very simple and requires some basic crochet stitches such as: ch, sl st, sc, dc and some decreasing.  As mentioned in previous posts, I am working from my stash and crossing my fingers that I have enough yarn, my materials list is only an guesstimate based on how many inches of yarn are required for each type of stitch and how many times those stitches will be performed.  I may be way off needing more yarn (or having to rip back) or having much yarn left over... all part of the adventure!


I also plan to back my finished afghan with a simple quilted backing in a solid color, most likely ecru.  This is optional, but suggested, and instructions will be included for this as well.  It would be best to finish the afghan to determine the actual dimensions, before purchasing/cutting the fabric.


So let’s begin!

Flower Motif:

Choose one color and:

Ch 5, sl into 1st ch to close circle.#


Ch1, sc 11, sl into ch to close round.##


Ch 12, sc into center, (ch11, sc into center) 10 times, ch 11, sl into 1st ch to close round.


# Instead of making Ch 5, etc, you can make a magic circle.

## Instead of performing this round, you could skip straight to the next round.  This will save approx 1 ft of yarn per flower.



How many to make?  Read below to find out:

First, please, oh please, do not be scared of a little math!  And if you just can't seem to help yourself, please just skip over this next section.

Using a kitchen scale, weigh one skein, only (no tags, etc), note weight on paper. (Number a): ex.100gr.

Choosing 1 color, make 10 daisies.

Using a kitchen scale, weigh the 10 flowers, note weight on paper. (Number b):  ex. 20 gr.

Divide a by b as a/b. (Number c): ex. 4.4

Multiply c by 10 (10 flowers). This is the maximum number of flowers you will be able to make: ex. 44

Note: you may consider taking these steps for each color (A, B, C), as some dye colors hold differently in the same fiber.  Ex, blues are often heavier than yellows.

Begin making your desired number of flowers.

My Afghan Flower Count:

Color A, Blue    44

Color B, Rust    43

Color C, Wine    43

Schematic for planned afghan:

I am still only half-way through making flowers and I had a week head start!  I hope this portion will keep us busy for 2-3 weeks.  If you have any questions or comments, please message me at support [AT] dyodstudio [DOT] com, Subject: CAL.

Please share your photos in the Flickr group, if you are not a memeber, please request an invite.  Invite your friends!

To close, a little birdie told me there may be prizes ;-)


Crochet Along: Lace Afgan

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 5:37 AM Comments comments (1)

As I clean my stash, an on-going project, I found several oddballs and thought, 'What would I do with these?', and then put them aside.  A few days later, I went through some boxes of odd papers and came across a crochet pattern stitch for a lace square I had hand written on a piece of graph paper.  I have no idea where this pattern originated, I went through my crochet books and did not find it.  It is very possible I transcribed it from an antique book from a library.  In any case, I realized a use for those odd balls of yarn.

So... anyone up for a Crochet Along?  This is completely new territory for me, I never written a crochet pattern before and I am sort of making this up as I go along, although the afghan is pretty straight forward (easy).  In this post I will release a materials list but this is simply a list of what I plan to use.  It is possible I run short but I have done some math, so we will see.  I am using:

  • 3 balls Berroco Comfort
  • 5 balls Lion Brand Cotton-Ease 
  • 5 mm / US 8 / H crochet hook

I plan (hope) the afghan will be 4 x 5 feet and plan to back it with a coordinating quilting material (not the one pictured).  It has been a very long time since I've done any type of sewing, let alone quilting, but if I feel a tad more adventurous, I may actually quilt the backing.  The 3 colors on the right are going to be 'flowers', the green color will be the crocheted lace, connecting it all together. 

As for sharing, I have created a Flickr account where you can post your progress photos.  If required, I will post photo tutorials here are well but I do not foresee any troubles.  If you would like to join along, please send a message to: info [AT] dyodstudio [DOT] com, Subject:CAL with your email address, I will then send you an invitation for the Flickr group.  For those concerned, I love sharing but NEVER share email addresses.

Next week I will post the first set of instructions, which should keep us busy for a few weeks!  In the meantime, please send along your contact details, gather your materials and send some positive thoughts my way :-)

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