Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Last and Final Post

I'm sure it's been fairly obvious that I either don't have the time, or the interest in keep this blog going these days.  I should not say I don't have the time.  I have all the time I could want.  But the desire and interest are gone.  I'd rather just read or knit or crochet.

I have continued making baby blankets and articles of clothing, to donate for charity.  I have another bin full of things to deliver this month.  This is what I am really into doing right now.  And there never seems enough time to do all I want to get done.  So the blog has fallen by the wayside.

That's OK.  It was there for me when I needed it, as much as I needed to share too.  I no longer have that need, or am willing to give up that time to sit down and put together a good posting any more.

Everyone has been great, and supportive over the years, and I can't thank all of you enough, for that.  I've enjoyed talking and visiting with all of my readers over the years.  Several of you have become "friends" and a few of you have really touched my heart with your comments and e-mails.

Thank you all for a great time and a good run.  Best wishes, and good bye.

Remember ...........  Start everyday off with a smile.  At least it's a good start!  :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

OMG! Fall already????

I've been so busy with my knitting and crocheting, I haven't given half a minute's thought to stopping in and posting anything.  Which means, this post will be heavy with photos.  LOL  Sorry about that.

Anyway, I discovered a short time ago, that my neighbor's son, all grown up and married now, and living just around the bend and down the road, became a Father earlier this year.  Since I forgot to ask when the babe was born (a son too) I wasn't sure what size the babe would wear, but I wanted to make something for him.  So I went for 18 mos. size, as I'm sure he will grow into it, which is better than making something and it turns out to be too small already.  Right?

 So, this is the little sweater/pants/hat set I made for the baby boy.  I loved the little pockets on the sweater, and I bet the toddler will have lots of fun stuffing things in them, and then pulling it back out.  I remember when my babes were that small.  Pockets were like little surprises, and they loved looking in to see what they could find, or hide in them.  :)  The yarn is Bernat's Baby Sport.  The pattern was written for Paton's Grace yarn, and can be found here:
 I also made this little blanket.  It's approximately 32" x 35", which should work well enough for his car seat, to keep him snuggly and warm during Winter rides to visit his Grampa.  The blanket pattern is from Attic24 blog.
I used the "peek-a-boo" border instructions, given here:

After I finished the items for my neighbors son, I started on the next projects I'll be donating to my local hospital's maternity ward.  All sweater sets made with Bernat's Baby Sport or Baby Soft.

 A ribbed knit sweater set, the pattern is from "Knit & Crochet for Baby" by TLC Baby yarns. Book #0142 "Tiny Tykes."
 This is a variation of the same sweater, but knit in plain stockinette stitch.  I just left the yarn be the decoration, and it was simply easier and faster to knit this way.  LOL
This set was pieced together from 3 different patterns.  One for the hat,
one for the sweater, and one for the pants.

 Then I found this wonderful pattern for an infant bunting on Miracles Happen. http://www.miracleshappen.us/patterns/KnitBabyBuntingWithRaglanSleeves/,  and I ran away with it.  It's fast and easy to make too.
 For some reason, this one looks shorter, but they are all the same size.  And again, the two above were both made using Bernat's Baby sport yarn.  I also made little rolled brim hats to go with each of the buntings, but never bothered to get photos.
This bunting, I changed a few things, which are fairly noticeable.  In the raglan shaping, I changed the way the yarn-over stitch is done on the purl side, by purling into the back of the stitch, twisting it, and closing the hole.  I like this look much better, and will continue using this method in the future.  I also made alterations to the sleeves.  First by decreasing 10 stitches around right before starting the ribbed trim section.  Then I did a knit 1, purl 1 trim on the end of the sleeves, rather than a simple garter stitch edge.  I think the changes I made are an improvement.  I like the look of this bunting much better.  This one was also done using a different yarn.  For this bunting I used 2½ balls of KnitPick's Cotlin yarn, (70% cotton/30% linen blend) in Flamingo colorway.  I had the yarn left over from an earlier project, and it was so nice and soft, and it worked great for this pattern, so why not?
 This is the little hat I knit up to go with the pink bunting, using the same yarn.  I came up with this little hat on my own, and I really liked the way it came out, so I've written it up and saved it in PDF form, and will be using it often in the future.
It is very small, but because of the ribbing, it will grow with Baby's head nicely.  Not sure if this will work, but I've uploaded the hat pattern to my Google Drive, and hopefully, if you want it, you can download the file from there.  Infant Hat   If that does not work, just let me know, and I can e-mail the pattern to you.

Of course, there are more "stroller" or car seat blankets too.  It must be obvious, by now, I'm in love with the Attic24 ripple pattern.  And these two also have the "peek-a-boo" border.  The yarn I've been using for all of the blankets is Red Heart worsted weight.
I guess I should make a few using a different pattern, just for a little variety.  I have to say though, it seems impossible to make an ugly blanket using this pattern.  Everything just seems to look great, no matter what colors I use.

So that is all for the knitting and crocheting.  As you can see, my hands have not been idle.  On a different subject, mainly my apple tree, there should be a lot of apple treats to be made this year.  The tree is burgeoning so much, that the one section that you see in this photo, that is hanging so low, actually snapped just a day after this picture was taken.
The branch (that one near center right) did not totally break off, but it is now touching the ground, and after the apples are picked, and the sap is down and out of the tree, we will have to remove it.  I guess there were just too many, and they got too heavy, for that branch.  This tree has been in the yard since I moved here in '86, and this is the first time it's ever snapped a branch because of too many apples.  :)

I think I have now caught you up to everything so far.  We had a lovely Summer, for the most part.  I had to chuckle as my A/C unit wasn't really used very much until the last few days of August into the firs week of September.  Just when things are usually cooling down, we had a "heat wave."  This morning though, things are more "normal."  We started the day about 45º and the high for most of this week will barely reach 70º.  So long as the sun is shining, I'm more than happy with that, but the cooler weather will certainly get the leaves to be changing color quicker too.

I hope you are all having a delightful day.  Take care, keep well, and remember..............................keep smiling!!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's Mid July, Summer is Half Gone................... :*(

Warning: lots of photos today  :)

But I have kept my knitting needles and my crochet hook busy, just the same.

I happened to realize, I'm making baby blankets and little garments, but I had not made any bibs or socks.  Oh my, and here I was with skeins and skeins of cotton yarns, even cones of cotton yarn, perfect for making baby bibs.  Also, many little balls of left-over sock yarn, both cotton blends and superwash wool blends, so why not use them too?  So that is exactly what I did.

 So I pulled out my favorite bib pattern from Bernat, made for use with Lily Sugar 'n Cream.  Well, I happen to have Peaches 'n Cream instead, but they work the same.  With a cone of blue/white ombre, a cone of pink/white ombre, and a cone of baby pastels, I got started.  The result, 12 baby bibs.  The first one there is the Lily Chin pattern I tried, and didn't really care for.  The Bernat/Lily pattern is much quicker and easier, and the resulting bib is softer as well.  I will say though, that I noticed both the pink and the blue ombre were even softer than the pastel yarn, for some strange reason.  Whatever, they are 100% cotton, should wash up great and I know they will be absorbent too.

 Then, on to the baby socks.   This is the "Basice Opal Baby Sock" pattern.  I've modified it a little.  I only do K2, P2 rib pattern on the leg of the sock, but the pattern is easy to adjust to whatever you want to do.  Just as I prefer starting my heel with a Sl 1, purl across, and continuing in that manner, just the opposite way most people do them.  I just find it easier when it comes to the last round, I am right there where I need to be when it comes time to pick up the gusset stitches, rather than having to knit across, and then start picking up gusset stitches.  Just little adjustments I've made, that suit me better than the standard version.  LOL  These tiny little socks work up rather quickly too.
The blanket is again, from the Attic 24 blog, and it's quite obvious by now, that I'm enamored of this pattern.  I have really put a huge dent in my stash piles over the last few months, making these blankets.  It's now coming down to moving on to using up all the bits of baby yarns I have stashed, or start buying more yarn to make more of the worsted weight blankets.  LOL  I think I'll try using the many balls of left-over baby yarn laying around.  They will move along slower, I'm sure, but my goal is to use up all of my stashed yarn.  I just have far less variety of colors with the baby yarns, as compared to what I had in the worsted weight yarns.  So the newer blankets will probably be less bright.  I still have a good bit of pink and yellow worsted, so who knows what the next blanket will look like.

Now, about my garden:  Things are growing much bigger this year, I just hope all the rain and cool weather does not end up squashing all my hopes.  Especially where the tomatoes are concerned.  They prefer very warm weather, and they are NOT getting it.  At least, not yet.  Usually, I am picking my first tomatoes by the first week of August.  I fear that is not going to happen this year.  And as our frosts begin very early, that means less time for picking ripe tomatoes if they don't ripen as early as they usually do.

 The tomato plants are huge, and as you can see, there are tiny tomatoes forming, and loads of flowers wanting to be tomatoes, and I want them to become tomatoes too.  If they have enough time.  Crossing fingers here, and as they days go buy, fretting more and more.
 You can't see an inch of soil where the cucumbers are planted.  This is 2 plants, and they are going all Gung Ho on me.  Loaded with fingerlings, and even more with flowers.  Now, they just have to fill out!
 Lucky for me..........1 lone cucumber did manage to fill out.  I found this when I went out to take photos this morning.  It won't make it to the end of the day.  I'm going to eat this one very soon after I'm finished here.  :-D
This is 1 of my 2 Zucchini patches.  This is the green zucchini, the other is yellow zucchini.  My son checked these plants for me yesterday morning, said there were NO cucumbers ready, but he found 2 yellow and 1 green zucchini, which he roasted on the grill, for our dinner last night.  And yet this morning, I go out to take some photos, discover that nice big cucumber, 3 more green zucchini, and 2 more yellow zucchini.  My son is half blind!
 My big apple tree is very heavy with apples this year.  Last year, nothing!  So I am very happy to see all these lovely little apples growing and getting brighter ever day.
 I also have 4 Columnar Apple trees.  One does very good, most years, and this is the one.  Two of them usually produce a few apples, and oddly enough, the one with the densest foliage, never produces any apples at all, just thick green leaves.  Very strange!  But this one, the Golden Delicious variety, also does the better of the group, and it's heavy this year.
 I found a single lone pear on my pear tree, and this branch, that is clearly and obviously burned.  Was it frost?  I have no idea, but it sure looks it.  And it's plain to see, it was heavy with foliage when it was struck, and only this one branch.  Very odd.  What happened to all the other pears, I've no idea.  It had several flowers, and there should have been pears, right?  But I looked and looked, and can't find them.  I wonder if some type of bird eats baby pears?  I have no idea.
I used to have some very lovely, large flower beds, filled with perennial plants, and I would plant a few varieties of annuals in the front row, each Spring.  These days, it's impossible for me to keep the beds cleaned out and weeded, so most of my perennials have been smothered out by quack grass, but for the Hosta's, some Lilies, and a lone little spreading rose bush, called Apple Blossom.  As you can see, the Lilies have begun blooming, and the Hosta's are loaded, which keeps the Humming birds very happy.  I also have a Honeysuckle vine in the back of the house, that they love, and a Hummingbird Vine, that is not blooming yet.  Everywhere else, they are blooming already, but mine never blooms before August.  
My son used the weed whacker around the flower bed, and then sprayed the quack grass with weed killer, to keep it under control, and make the bed neater and give the few plants I have left a chance to thrive.  He did a good job, but he accidentally whacked off this Lily, before realizing it was MEANT to be there.  LOL  The funny part is, it just picked up growing from where he whacked it off, and it's blooming right along with the rest of them.  AND, it seems to have more blossoms than all of the other Lily plants.  Maybe the whacking was helpful??  If so, I have never been informed that it did the plants good.  I think I just got very lucky this time.  :-D

I guess that is all for today.  I hope you have enjoyed your visit, because I've enjoying having you pop in for a "look see."  Have a wonderful day, a delightful weekend, and maybe I'll see you again sometime next month.    And remember...............  :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mid- June Update........

Hello friends,

Well, it's the middle of June, Summer is officially here now, and I believe the days will now gradually begin getting shorter too.  That part comes all too soon, to suit me.  I love the longer daylight hours, especially when the sun is out nice and bright, and the sky is blue.  Oh well, nothing we can do about the days growing shorter, but it is a reminder to make the most of every moment you have now, while they are still long and warm and lovely.

I have just come from the mini-garden I have, which consists of 3 raised beds.  One is full of tomato plants, 6 in all.  One bed is half radishes, and half yellow zucchini (2).  The third bed is half cucumber plants, (3), and half green zucchini (2).  And in the middle of the radishes, I've planted 2 banana pepper plants.  One hot, one sweet.  I had to pull some radishes from around them, because they were being smothered, the radishes have come on so quickly.  But while doing that I discovered a very nice batch of radishes that were fat and ready to be picked and eaten.  So the first produce is come from the garden already, and as I have fingerling zucchini as well, they will be ready for picking very soon, I'm sure.
As you can see, some of the radishes got so big, so fast, they have begun splitting right open.  I got them just in time, because I'm sure some hungry little critter would have enjoyed them quickly enough, if I had not.

And just off the needles, a baby sweater and cap.  The sweater was knit from the top down, in one piece, so no seams to sew up.  I loved making it.  Fairly quick, and very easy to follow directions.
The pattern can be found here: Knitting On The Net.  The yarn is Bernat Baby Soft, a sport weight yarn, using US #3 and US #5 circular needles.  And lucky for me, I had the buttons already, so that worked out nicely.  The hat is a simple generic hat, with 2x2 ribbing on the bottom rim, (which matched perfectly with the trim on the sweater, turned up, and using the same needles as used in the sweater.

After I completed the sweater, I went back to working on the rippled afghan I had started around the same time.
This is the same pattern I've told you about, found on Attic 24's blog, using worsted weight acrylic yarns, and a US #H crochet hook.  I've actually made a nice dent in my stash of worsted weight yarns.  But there is still plenty left for a few more blankets.  This one measured 58" wide and 62" long, and is the largest of the ripple afghans I've made so far.  In future I'm going to do them smaller, so they can more readily be used by babies, toddlers, or as lap blankets.  They will be done quicker that way too.  And once I've used up the worsted weight yarn I have stashed, I'll start working through the sport and baby yarn I have stashed as well.  Mostly partial skeins, so this is the best way to use them up, I think.

It's been a little on the cooler side the last several days.  I mowed the lawn yesterday morning, and it was a very breezy 62º so I ended up wearing a sweater.  Just a bit too chilly to go without at the time.  By the time I finished it was warming up a little more, but we never reached 70º yesterday, at all.  The day before was much the same.  Today they are saying Scranton should see 83º, but it is 77º here, so we might see 80º, but I have my doubts.  I have the windows open to catch the breezes.  No need for the A/C when the weather is like this.

Until next time, have a great weekend, Happy Father's Day to all the Daddies out there.  Remember, share your smiles with everyone you meet, and brighten up their day, if only for a moment.  Keep Smiling.....................

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's Fawning Time In The Mountains ..............

Today, I had a "special" pair of guests pass on through my yard, stopping to eat some freshly mowed grass.  For a short spell, Mom even relaxed enough to lay down and take a little resting time in the shade of the Blue Spruce tree, while baby frolicked about, running circles around her and the tree.  They were such a delight to see, I just wanted to share them with everyone.

Mom & Fawn - I doubt more than a week old

Looking for whatever mischief he/she can find to get into, I bet. 

 Fawn had a lot of fun running in circles around Mom, the trees, and whatever.

 Mom is saying "Time to go."

 Disappearing into the high grasses and on their way.

I don't know if or when they will return, but it was delightful having them stop by for a little while today.  I had to take the photos through the window, because they would have been long gone if I'd tried to go outside to take them.  

I hope sharing these has put a smile on your face, because it sure put a smile on mine.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June - Spring is gone and Summer is begun.............

I got my garden all planted a few weeks back, and everything is growing very nicely.  The zucchini plants were so big, when I purchased them, they were already blooming.  I thought that when transplanted into the ground, the flowers would drop off from the shock.  But no, they kept on blooming, and now there are several little zucchini's out there already!!  Tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, are being grown from my seed.  Started tomatoes and cukes early, and they are doing very good, as are the radishes that were planted directly into the ground as seed.  These days the garden is much smaller, but at least it's better than no garden at all.  :)

I've been busy knitting and crocheting too, and have completed several items over the last month or so.
This is Bernat Yarns #220 Baby Hoodie, a free pattern on their website.  I used Bernat Baby Sport in mint green, US #4 and US #5 needles, done for 3-6 month size.  It's a very easy pattern to follow, and knitted up fairly quickly.  On my doll, the sleeves are always too long, but it's the best way I have to show how it actually would look on a wee babe.

This is a free pattern from Lion Brand - Knit Shell Bunting.  They have the pattern available in both knit and crochet, if you are interested.  Using US#4 and US#6 needles, and the yarn is again Bernat Baby Sport in mint green, and Herrschners Afghan 2 ply acrylic in Off White for the contrasting color.  If I were to make another one of these, I would use US#2 & US#4 needles, because it came out quite roomy, IMHO.  But baby will have plenty of room to kick around inside there, believe me.  The buttons are 1" wooden buttons I got at Walmart, and was lucky to find them.  I was very surprised by how poor their button selection was.

I have to say, this pattern was very easy to do.  The pattern sequence is remembered very quickly, so no need to keep going back to the pattern instructions.  A very nice bunting too, so I very well may be making more of these.  I really did enjoy this pattern enough to make more than one.

After all the knitting, I wanted to do something quick and easy, so I decided to do a couple of bibs in crochet, using Peaches N Cream cotton in pastel baby colors
The bib on the left is a free pattern Lily's Sugar'n Cream - CROCHET BABY BIB.
I did modify the pattern a little.  #1, the pattern uses a button to close the bib around the neck, I like ties because they are adjustable.  So I modified the pattern on the tie ends to make it easy to attach the ties before the last round of reverse single crochet ("Crab" stitch).  The reverse single crochet was another modification I did too.  The pattern calls for a scalloped edging in a contrasting yarn, and I've always made them that way before.  But just this once time, I wanted to try the reverse single crochet, and I think it worked very nicely.  So for me, I can make this bib in several ways now.  And I have to say, this is my "go - to" bib pattern for years.  It's just so quick and easy to make, they work up nice and soft, and a lot of people seem to like them.  I used to make up baby items to sell at a Consignment Shop several years back.  And this bib was one of the biggest selling items in the entire shop.

The bib on the right is from the Lily Chin Signature Collection - Chelsea, and this is a free pattern download on that site.  Just follow the link.  Of course, I used the Peaches n cream yarn, not Chelsea, and maybe that is why I decided I didn't care for it as much as the other bib pattern.  Both were done using a US G crochet hook, and the Lily Chin bib came out very stiff, and it took about twice as long to make as well.  A much tighter cloth because of the design.  Both bibs will do the job they are intended for, I'm sure.  I just have a preference for the larger one.  :)

I also managed to finally finish that pair of socks I started a while back.
 As you can see, someone just had to stick her nose in and grab my sock, just as I was trying to get a nice photo to share.  That is Sascha, little "imp" that she is, totally stealing the lime light.  LOL

The yarn is by Opal, but I lost the label and can't tell you which collection it's from.  I used 2.5 mm - 32" circular needle to make my socks.  I like a long cuff, so it's always at least 7" high, and Opal's sock yarns have more than enough yarn to make nice long cuffs, so I take full advantage of that.  And they are always soft, comfortable, and I find Opal yarns wear very well too.  Just simple 2x2 ribbed leg, nothing fancy.  I figure no one really sees them, so I go with practical over fancy.  I get them done faster that way too.  :)

That is all for today.  I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather, now that it has finally arrived.  I sure am, even if it does mean mowing the lawn every few days.  Until next time, have a great weekend and remember......................keep on smiling!!  :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

April Showers May Bring Flowers............But Rain In May........

Makes lots of hay, and it also makes the lawn grow twice as fast.  Already my lawn is too high, but nothing I can do about it until it dries up enough.  But for the Farmers, that depend on their hay and corn crops, they should be very happy for all the rain we've been having.  It has also helped my world become greener every day.

 Not all of the deciduous trees are fully leafed out, quite yet, but they are almost there.  And right now the Lilac bushes are in full bloom.  The moment you walk outside of the house, all you smell are the Lilacs.  I can't think of anything I like more.  I just wish it could last all month, but it won't.  So I must enjoy it as much as possible right now, while it is here.
I found this patch of Mountain Pink blooming in what used to be my Perennial flower bed, which has quickly become overgrown with quack grass, for the most part, because I can no longer get down there to keep it weeded out.  But it was nice to see the little pink flowers still blooming.  There are Lilies, Hosta and the Daffodils that still bloom in the old bed, so the quack grass hasn't quite killed or smothered everything off just yet.
 I have two large Bleeding Heart shrubs out front, and they are both blooming well right now.  The last time I saw them, they were just tiny shoots starting up out of the ground.  They seem to have grown and bloomed overnight, they have come on so quickly.
And I can't swear to it, but I believe this is a Hawthorn tree.  I did a search for flowering trees with clusters of little red berries that the birds love and devour, and that's what it said about the Hawthorn, so I'm calling it a Hawthorn until someone can convince me it's something else.  LOL    Anyway, it is in full bloom right now, and looking quite lovely.  The apple trees are all done blooming already, and this year they were not hit with a late frost, so fingers crossed, we should have a nice crop of apples in the Fall.
And these are the last of the Daffodils.  All the others are gone, but these smaller flowers always bloom a bit later, so they must be a different variety.  They are white with yellow centers, and very pretty.

Well, I haven't just been busy taking photos of shrubs, trees and flowers.  I've been busy with my knitting needles and crochet hook as well.  The knitting isn't ready for publication yet, but these two crocheted projects are done.

This was a little early "birthday gift" I made for a friend, to brighten up her patio/picnic table for the Summer.  Of course, they can be used year round, but I thought they looked extremely cheerful and "Summery."  The flower hot pads is a free pattern you can find here (Flower Hot Pad), the coasters  are the 8 Petal Flower Coaster, which I found through Ravelry, here: (Amy's Free Crochet Patterns), and the little crocheted basket pattern, which I also found through Ravelry on another blog here: (Inspirations Creatives)  Of course, the little basket in the pattern is much smaller, so I had to make some minor adaptations to increase the size of it, and it worked quite well.  I had a lot of fun making them too.  All items made with Peaches 'n Cream kitchen cotton yarn and US#F crochet hook.

This is the latest baby blanket using the basic easy ripple pattern from Attic 24 blog.  It's 4 rows smaller than the other baby blanket because I ran out of the ombre yarn.  Luckily I had 1 skein of brown worsted weight yarn to use on the edging, that matched fairly well with the colors in the ombre yarn.  The yarns are acrylic worsted weight yarn, and using US#H crochet hook.

Last, but definitely not least, is this wonderful birthday gift I received from my dear friend Corinne, and I had forgotten to get a photo in time for my last post.  But better late than never, I hope.  Corinne made the adorable drawstring, with handles, project bag for me, and then threw in 2 skiens of Patons strechable cotton yarn, so I can knit myself a pair of "Summer" socks.  Oddly enough, although I have knit cotton socks for almost everyone in my family, I had never yet knit a pair of cotton socks for myself.  Now I will!  Thank you so very much Corinne.  I can hardly wait to get started............  :)

I am still working on the second sock of the one I've posted earlier, and I'm also working on a Baby Hoodie sweater, that will be donated to charity as soon as I find the charity I wish to donate it to.  I would like to find something local, and I've looked around on-line, and have found a few places that might suit, but I need to make some phone calls to be sure they accept clothing for infants and toddlers.  I'm sure there has to be one in the area, it's just finding them that seems to be difficult, but I will persist.

That is all for this posting.  I do hope everyone is enjoying the lovely beauty of Spring, and enjoying the warmer weather.  I know I certainly am.  Until next time................ keep smiling.

"A smile is something you can't give away...........it always comes back to you"  Anon