Friday, December 31, 2021


We celebrated Christmas and the New Year with Dave's sister and brother-in-law yesterday. We always have a great time together, and yesterday was no exception.

They loved their gifts! Mom knit a June Shawl by Lisa Overby in a beautiful sea foam green. This is the shawl pattern that Mom and I used for all our Christmas gifts. 

Larry is modeling his scarf that Mom wove in Patons Kroy sock yarn. The color is Woodsie. We had great fun knitting and weaving for Christmas this year, but I don't think we'll ever put that kind of pressure on ourselves again!

Even though we were gone for about eight hours yesterday, I did manage to get a little crafting done. I finished a skein of gray on my Granny afghan. I enjoy working with the Granny pattern. It's so easy to pick up for even a few minutes.

I also finished another Dorset button ornament for my project idea. There's not much thread left on the spool of DMC Diamant. I'm pretty sure I can only get one more ornament out of it. That's okay... I have lots of thread stashed around the house!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


I'll admit that I was a bit frustrated with the DMC Diamant that I'm using. The ends fray quickly, which isn't too much of a problem while tatting, but it is a problem when weaving the Dorset buttons. 

Then I had an idea early this morning.

Glue! Years ago, I learned from Nina Libin to needle my thread. To do that, use a dab of Elmer's Gel School Glue on the end of the thread. It only takes a minute or two for the gel to dry, and the thread is then stiff enough to use as a needle. I use this method when adding beads. It's so much easier than trying to thread a needle with thread on it through a tiny bead.

I gave it a try, and it worked great! Putting a dab of glue on the end does not prevent the thread from untwisting, but it does keep the ends from fraying. I can deal with twist or lack of twist.

I do need to pay close attention when working with this thread. I was talking with Mom while I was tatting, and I accidentally added an extra picot and four double stitches to one of my rings. It took me an hour to get those four stitches un-tatted. 

I also need to stop playing thread chicken. I have more thread than I will ever be able to use, but I still try to salvage every last bit. Today I was caught short. I made a Crosswheel Variation Dorset button using a nice long length of thread. I foolishly thought I had enough thread to make another. Nope. I had enough to cover the ring, and that was it. I fiddled with the thread for a few minutes and then decided to give up. Instead, I just added the tatting around the ring. If I have time, I'll make the coordinating ornaments tomorrow. Even though this ornament doesn't have the Dorset button center, I think I'll be able to use it in my project. 

I did wok on my granny square afghan this morning, but I didn't even make it around the afghan one time. Needless to say, there was nothing picture worthy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

First snow


Mom took a picture of our first snow of the season. It's a few days too late for Christmas, but I love it anyway!

It didn't actually start snowing until around 10 a.m., but the anticipation of snow kept me in the kitchen for the first few hours of the day. I wanted to make a fresh batch of biscotti to take to my sister-in-law's on Thursday, so I started on that first thing. Next, I put together three cheese and pepper bread for dinner. I love making no-knead bread, and it was just what we needed to go with what I had planned for the evening... a nice big pot of butternut squash soup! I'm glad Dave was home to help me cut up the butternut squash. I'm finding it harder to cut through a fresh squash. There must be an easier way.

Crafting had to wait until after lunch, and I only managed to make one Dorset button ornament. The ornaments I'm working on now will not have tatted hangers. They're for a project I'd like to start on. Unfortunately, all of the supplies won't be here until mid-January. The only hint that I will give you is that I've been inspired by one of my tatting friends!

I did work on my tatted collar a little bit before dinner. I only managed about half a pattern repeat. Still, progress is progress!

Monday, December 27, 2021


Mom got right to work this morning. She's on a mission to finish the last two scarves. I, on the other hand, couldn't decide what to do, so I dabbled.

I started the day with Dorset buttons. 2022 will be the year to celebrate 400 years of Dorset buttons. I have an idea for what I want to do to commemorate the anniversary. We'll see if my idea pans out. I chose to work with DMC Diamant today. I had purchased this for Christmas button ornaments, but never got around to trying it until today. 

The Dorset buttons took all morning. Soon after lunch, the mail was delivered. Because I "needed" more yarn, I ordered some Tibetan Yak from an Etsy shop. I chuckled to think of the journey this yarn has taken. I ordered Tibetan Yak from France, and read on the tag that it was processed in China. These two skeins have been around the world!

I also "needed" more cookie molds. I did enjoy making Springerle cookies this year, and since Mom and I really enjoy them, I'll keep practicing year round.

I won't have to make cookies for a while. There are still plenty left that I baked, and Joanne and Jan brought Russian spice cookies and gingerbread cookies. Mom especially likes the Russian spice cookies and my favorite is the gingerbread.

After a coffee and cookie break, I worked on a couple of pattern repeats on the collar I started months ago. I really like this pattern, and I am determined to finish it.

One of the disadvantages of having multiple projects going at one time is that I have difficulty keeping focus. So, I shifted gears and went back to working on my Reyna shawl.

While knitting, I couldn't stop thinking about the Granny afghan I started last year. So, I pulled it out and started working on it again. 

Maybe I should focus on one project and get it finished!

Too busy to blog

We love Christmas! This year, the festivities brought a new challenge and I can only blame myself. On small business Saturday, Mom and I went to my favorite yarn shop, Yarn Hollow. I love beautiful yarns and I already have more than I can ever use, but I felt the need to support this little shop. Jamie, the owner, managed to keep things going through all of the craziness of the past two years, and I want her to stay around for a long time!

Mom and I went intending to buy one skein of yarn each. After all, we can shop upstairs! As we were looking through the beautiful yarns, Mom came up with the idea that we should knit shawls for each of my four daughters, as well as new shawls for the two of us. We saw a sample of the June Shawl by Lisa Overby and decided that it was something we could accomplish. Mom is a pretty speedy knitter, but this year she outdid herself! In time for Christmas, Mom knit shawls for Andrea and Joanne, and then decided that my sister and sister-in-law each needed one... that's four shawls in four weeks! I only managed to finish the shawls for Alison and Carol. To top it all off, Mom decided that the men needed scarves. Again, in time for Christmas, she wove scarves for Steve, Jake, Jan, and Jon. She's finishing off scarves for Dave and Larry this week. My mother is amazing!

I have no proof. Once again I forgot to take pictures. You'll just have to take me at my word!

Now that I'm in knitting mode, this is a typical evening scene at our house. Joanne and family were the last to leave yesterday morning. It's much quieter around here, and I know it won't take long for us to resume our routines.

The temperatures have been very mild for December, but my hands do get cold, especially at night. I find that knitting helps to keep them warm. I'm sure it's a combination of the wool and the motions. As soon as I finished my two Christmas scarves, I went upstairs and found two balls of Fortissima Colori Socka Color. I know I've had the yarn for years, and I truly intended to knit socks with the two balls. However, my skills at knitting to gauge are not very good, so I'm better off knitting shawls and scarves. I'm currently working on Reyna by Noora Backlund. I think this is my favorite shawl pattern. It's easy to follow, which is very important to me!

I did open up my tatting bag yesterday, and I found two button ornaments that just needed to be finished off. I may as well start Christmas presents for next year!

Monday, December 13, 2021



I can't post progress of most of what I'm doing. It would ruin some Christmas surprises! I can show these button ornaments that I've made while subbing over the past week, but other craftiness needs to stay hidden.

Yesterday morning, I decided it was time to make a new batch of Springerle cookies using my newest mold picturing Santa flying over a little village. These cookies are fairly large, so they took 24 hours to dry. They baked up really nicely, and they're now cooled and bagged for Christmas gift giving. If I don't get called to sub tomorrow, I may make another batch!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Christmas in the Village

Christmas in the Village was a huge success. We were able to raise $550 for the Drama Club! Of course, I forgot to take pictures.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Gettin' ready!


Christmas in the Village is next Saturday, December 11! I spent quite a bit of time getting everything sorted and packed today.

Each item on the table will sell for $5. There will be clay ornaments and Christmas decorations made by students and staff members, mug rugs and baby doll blankets made by Mom, and tatted ornaments, necklaces, and bookmarks made by me.

Our goal is to raise $500. Wish us luck!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Cookie break

I took a break from tatting and knitting yesterday to bake some more Springerle cookies for Christmas.

I tried a different recipe and a new rolling pin. The rolling pin does not have the deep carvings that give good definition to the cookie pictures, so I don't think these cookies are as pretty as others I have made.

The new-to-me recipe was easy to follow, but I prefer the flavor of Kitchen Vixen's recipe. You never know if there's something better out there if you don't try, right?

Mom and I went grocery shopping yesterday afternoon, so now I have the ingredients to make even more Springerle cookies. Now all I need is more time to do everything I want to do!


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Test tatting

I still have nothing to show. This week I've been busy test tatting for a new book... details later!