Monday, December 31, 2012

Rustic Flannel Afghan Status

I've really enjoyed working on my Rustic Flannel Afghan.  

Pattern information can be found HERE.  

I put a good dent in these colors I had in my stash, but not big enough.  So, I decided to add two more strips to make it wider.

I'm using I Love This Yarn in Ivory and High Sierra Ombre.  I bought this yarn years ago.  I don't even remember the projects I had in mind for them, but it was high time it got used up.  

I did 10 rows of each color according to the pattern.

This blanket is heavy and warm; a perfect project for this time of year.  I'll post photos once it's complete.

Happy New Year wishes to you and yours!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Snow!

There is something about fresh fallen snow...

it's just the back yard, but the white layer makes it look magical and new.

We are supposed to get more snow overnight.

On the crochet front, I have four strips attached on my blanket.  I only have one more to do.  I have plenty of the yarn left, so I may add another strip (or two) to make it nice and large.  We could use it this summer for picnics.  

I'll post some pictures when it's complete.

Just a couple more days and we'll be ringing in the new year.  

Winter blessings,

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Snow

and sled riding!

One of our county parks has a sled riding area.  
So today, we took advantage of our 3 inches of snow and headed for the hill.

Up they went...

and down they came...

Once we'd all had turns going down and getting tired of carrying the sled back up....

we warmed up by the fire.  

As soon as our hands, noses and toes had regained a bit of warmth, we headed over to the lake to see what was going on over there.

this time of year, everything is either gray...

or brown.

We were ready to call it an afternoon, so we piled in the car, drove through Starbucks for a cup of hot cocoa...

and my little snow covered bunny welcomed us home.  

Enjoying these quiet days while my husband is off work and resting up for the new year.

Until next time!

Take care,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Have Stash Will Crochet

A couple days before Christmas, I was itching to start on a project.  I didn't want anything difficult and I wanted to use some of the stash I have in my "yarn closet".  

So I searched for something that would use up a good quantity of yarn and be warm.  This double stranded crochet blanket seemed to fit the bill.  

I used both of these patterns for inspirations; Lumberjack Throw by Michelle at Inspired Crochet Design and the Country Flannel Afghan from Dutch Hollow Acres.  A lot of people have made Michele's Lumberjack Throw and she has a link on her pattern page to all the pretty ones that have been made.

It would probably look better with a solid vs. a variegated.  I may have enough to do a blue and cream one if I feel like making another one later.  I was curious to see how it would look in the variegated though.  The yarn has a rustic look, so I thought I'd do a more rustic seam.

I decided to do a single crochet join (on the right side) using one strand of each color.  I thought is would be something different anyway.

Hubby got me a new camera for Christmas, I've been having fun playing with the different settings.  

I'm looking forward to sharing more photos and crochet with you in the coming year.

I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas.  

By the way, we are getting snow!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Family Time

This week has been a nice week spent with my little family.

Mid-week we went to the Holiday Train Display at Union Terminal (lighting was really poor, so my photos didn't really turn out).

 While we were there, we saw the Imax movie Rocky Mountain Express.  The movie was educational and interesting although all those mountain peak scenes do make for a queasy stomach and I had to shut my eyes a few times throughout the movie.

Following the trains, we headed to the Cincinnati Zoo for their Festival of Lights.  

It was a perfect evening for it, not too cold, but cold enough to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while we walked around.

We also did a little crafting this week.

Dear son and hubby were good sports and sewed along with me.  Hubby made a football ornament in Steeler colors and dear son made a heart ornament similar to mine (in the first photo above).  

As with all of you, things are busy and I won't be blogging much between now and the first of the year.

Thank you for following my blog in 2012 and for leaving your kind comments when you do.    

I leave you with wishes for a very Merry Christmas and blessings for a happy new year!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All Through The House...

The wreath has been hung...

and, the house has been decorated for weeks.

We've been keeping things low key this year; trying to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Cookie baking is planned for this afternoon.

All we need now is a little snow.

Hope your week is off to a great start.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I tried to find an appropriate photo or the right thing to say, but could not.

My heart goes out to the families in Connecticut.  Such unspeakable tragedy.

My thoughts and prayers are with them.

Holding my little one close.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Special Time of Year

Krohn Conservatory; Cincinnati, OH  2012
Photo © 2010 Heather Prusia

This is such a special time of year.  

I always try to get the busyness out of the way early so there is quiet time to enjoy the season.

I finished up my Christmas shopping yesterday.  I still have cards to write and mail though.  Each year, I cut down on my card list.  People don't seem to send cards like they used to.

Hubby is going to be off work the last two weeks of the year.  It will be nice to have him home so we can do some fun things together as a family.  Festival of Lights, at the Cincinnati Zoo, is top on the list.  

On the crochet front, I've been playing with hook and yarn in my spare time and am happy in my craft.

I hope you are enjoying this special time of year.  

Relax with a cup of coffee or tea and reflect on the true meaning for the season.  Christmas, after all, starts with a capital "C".
(Christmas with a Capital C;

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

(Luke 2:10-11)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Plugging Away...

 I'd like to say that this is the scene in my home right now, but the truth of the matter is...

it is December 4th and the outdoor thermometer is reading 63 degrees.  (This photo was taken last year.)

Where is the cool crisp late-autumn air?  Where are the snow flurries and ice?  I do so miss the wintry precipitation that is supposed to be typical for this time of year.  Sigh...

Everyone in our house has been under the weather.  We are plowing through though.  Christmas break will be here before we know it.  We'll all get a nice, end-of-the-year, break in just a few short weeks.

I'm about done Christmas shopping; how about you?  I just need to get a few more things for hubby and then get the gifts wrapped.  One year, hubby and I waited to wrap gifts.  We ended up doing it on Christmas Eve.  I don't recommend that!  We learned our lesson early on in parenthood, wrap early and wrap often. 


Hope your preparations for the holidays are going great.  


Friday, November 30, 2012

Too Cute!

Just too cute not to post.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blocking a Crochet Afghan?

I want to preface this post by saying that most of my afghans I do not block.  However, with that being said, I believe there are afghans that benefit from the blocking board.

Today, I want to talk about one of those types of afghans; the aran-style.  Even more specifically, aran-style afghans using wool or a wool-blend yarn.

My top two reasons to block this type of project:

1.  Stitches:  The aran-style blankets use a combination of stitches that vary greatly.  You may have very tight single crochet stitches used to form cables alongside post stitches; treble crochet arrows or diamonds; you could have popcorn stitches that have skipped stitches in between the bobble-like popcorn.  The beauty of these types of afghans are the combination of stitches used.  And, that beauty can be enhanced with blocking.

2.  Tension:  In addition to the stitches used, afghans tend to be large.  If you are like me, you are going to pick up your crochet project and work on it during free times throughout the day.  That includes being interrupted while you're in the middle of a complex cable section.  What does that have to do with anything you may ask?  One word; tension.  Over time, I have found that my tension varies depending on my mood, what is on TV as I crochet, or if I'm enjoying a relaxing cup of tea with my project.  Varied tensions can impact the overall look of your finished object.

Easy steps:

1.  Check your yarn label for washing instructions.  If it says hand wash only, trust me, you don't want to put it in the washing machine.  Wool yarn has a tendency to felt and you don't want a large afghan that you may have spent months working on to be your experiment in machine washing vs. hand washing.  The yarn I've used on my aran-style afghans is safe to put in the machine.  I use Woolite on the gentle cycle.

I'm going to be talking about wet blocking, there are other options out there, but this is the method I use.

2.  Find a good spot to lay out your project.  I use the bed in our spare bedroom.  If you don't have a spare bed, you could lay out clean towels on a carpeted/padded floor.  Use stainless steel rust-proof pins to block your work.  You don't want rust stains on your finished object.

3.  Starting with one side, gently pull and straighten your work, pinning as you go.  I then go to the opposite side of the bed; again, gently pulling and shaping the other side.  I'm using the bed as my form for shaping.

I work my way around the object, always gently pulling/shaping into my rectangular shape, pinning as I go.  You may need to redo some areas to keep your edges and lines straight.

Once you are satisfied with the overall effect, let it dry; completely.  I have a ceiling fan in the spare room, that I turn on high and my afghans are typically dry within 24 hours.  As you can see from this photo, I waited to add the fringe until after the blocking was complete.

Your final results will really show off all the pretty stitches, opening them up like a flower in full bloom.  And as Doris Chan says, "It never hurts and it always gives your work a smooth, even appearance that spells 'hand-made' instead of 'home-made'."

As I stated in the beginning, this post touches on just one specific type of project using a specific type of yarn.  There are many good articles out there on the web.  These are just a few that you may find helpful.

Doris Chan:  Blocking is Your Friend



If you've made it this far, thanks for reading and happy crocheting!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

After the Big Event...

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving holiday.  

We are trying to get back into our routine.  
Slowly, but surely, the pies have disappeared and we've eaten our share of turkey sandwiches.  

We are rebooting and regrouping,
 so we can restore and return,
 to our pre-holiday settings.  


Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Psalm 100:4

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

We have company arriving for Thanksgiving tonight.  

The rest of the week will be busy with cooking and time with family.  

I want to wish each of you a blessed Thanksgiving.  

Thank you for choosing to follow my little grain of sand in blogland.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just in Time...

My father-in-law and his wife's Christmas gift is complete!

I'm so thankful that I was able to finished up my Irish Rose afghan this weekend.

I really enjoyed working on this...

Details for the afghan can be found HERE.  

I did modify it in that I only did three of the large repeat sections and doubled the number of repeats within each of those sections.  

This covers the top of a queen size bed...
and is quite heavy...

Which is one of the reasons I wanted to finish it up before my father-in-law and his wife arrived next week.  I didn't want to have to put it in the mail, but instead wanted to be able to send it home with them.

Aran-style afghans are such fun with all the different stitch patterns they use in one blanket...

yet, all those different stitches flow nicely together.

Now to focus on Thanksgiving...

and get all the details in order for Turkey day.

I have a list of upcoming projects...

but they will have to wait until AFTER the holiday.

Until next time, have a blessed day!


Friday, November 16, 2012


Wishing you miracles in the making this Friday morning.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Coming Close to the Finish Line...

I'm coming close to the finish line on my Irish Rose afghan.  

I started it HERE, but wasn't happy with it, so went down a hook size (I & J respectively vs. J & K) and restarted HERE.  

Still crocheting away, but the end is in sight.  


Hope your week is going well and you are accomplishing all you want to accomplish.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Deer OH Dear

It's a deer, my dear...
in my front yard!

Dear hubby called my cell phone this afternoon, as he was pulling onto our street, and said, "Go look out the front window."  

Low and behold, we have a ten point buck and a gentle doe grazing in our suburban front yard.

All the photos are through the windows.  The buck was being very protective of the doe; always in front of her.  

Kind of a neat diversion for the day.

It went along with what we've been studying in English; Homophones:  Deer vs. Dear.