Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Tatting Tuesday

Remember when we used to read and write about Tatting Tuesday? It seems like so long ago! Yesterday, I had a tatting Tuesday. I still can't show what I'm working on, but I will tell you that it is a lovely design. I made quite a few mistakes, so a lot of my time was spent retro-tatting. I'm becoming pretty good at taking out lock joins!

My carry-along project for school this year is knit dishcloths. I've made them for daughter Alison, daughter Carol, our middle school secretary, and this set went to our high school secretary. Why dishcloths? I have a tub filled with dishcloth cotton. I don't have to worry about stitch counts. I can talk to students while I knit without disastrous mistakes. Best of all, the recipients love them!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Just one


I worked on and finished one project yesterday, fingerless mitts for my friend Nancy. I did wind the leftover yarn into a ball. Other than that, I just wasn't in the mood for crafting. Some days are like that, I guess!

Monday, January 29, 2024

Two more

Saturday was our Tollway Tatters meeting via Zoom. I wonder if many others are still doing Zoom meetings?  I'm grateful for the platform, otherwise we wouldn't be able to meet with so many tatting friends from so many places. 

I spent most of Saturday working on my test tatting. I'm getting pretty good at twisted picots, but I can't say I'm fond of them. 

Fingerless mitts are back on the agenda. Our food service director was saying how cold her hands were getting during our recent cold snap. I offered to make her a pair. It took a while to find my pattern. I was sure I had printed it out, but it wasn't in my binder. So, I searched the Internet. Now I know it's printed out!

Bejeweled Christmas tree production continues. This one is for Janko, my youngest grandchild. If you zoom in, you might be able to see dinosaur charms as well as sun, moon, stars, and planets. Of course, there is some Christmas thrown in!

Sophia is into pastels. This isn't quite a pastel tree, but it has pastel elements. Three grandchildren down with eight to go!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

O Christmas tree!

I finished Kara's Christmas tree, and I think she will love it. Kara is a big Grinch fan, so she has a Grinch charm bracelet as a background swirl for her tree. I think she will have fun looking for all of the charms!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Icy day

I stayed home from school yesterday. It was too icy for me. This was my laundry room window at about 10 in the morning. I was very content to stay at home!

Sunday and Monday were gnome finishing days.

My fingertips were sore from pushing in so many pins while Janet was here.

Besides, I've been cranking out Valentine gnomes, and it's time to finish them up.

I now have enough finished for my daughters and grandchildren.

I still have supplies left, so I think I'll make some gnomes to pass out at school.

I'm thinking of putting them around the school for kids to discover.

I know I won't have time or enough supplies to make gnomes for everyone.

Maybe I'll just pass them out to teachers again.

I may have to make some up for St. Patrick's Day.

I am having fun creating these little guys.

Luckily, there are plenty of people who want them. Otherwise, my house would be overrun with gnomes!

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Favorite colors

When my daughters were young, I could buy gifts four at a time as long as I gave them in their favorite colors. Alison loved blue. Andrea loved green. Carol loved purple. Joanne loved pink. The girls still love those colors. Joanne, however, has moved on to red and white for Christmas.

I now have bejeweled Christmas trees finished for them for next year. Janet and I went looking online for boxes to safely store our trees, and we found some that we think will work perfectly. We're even thinking of jazzing them up with Christmas fabric, wrapping paper, and/or tape. Then again, we may just keep them plain white!

Saturday, January 20, 2024


Yesterday was Mom's 92nd birthday. It was too cold to go out, so Mom read while Janet and I crafted. Janet and I had so much fun! 

I finished a green tree...

...and a blue tree. Last night I started on a purple tree.

Janet put finishing touches on two trees and worked on a tree for her grandson. I'm guessing there will be more tree trimming in our lives today!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Trees and gnomes

I finished the last of the four trees that I had planned for the school secretaries for next year. 

They look so pretty, I don't want to put them away! I will, though. My sister is coming down today, and once I let her look them over I will carefully store them in anticipation of next Christmas.

After putting together a pot of chili for dinner, I decided it was time to finish up some of my Valentine gnomes.

I really do need to finish these this week so that I can get them off in the mail to my daughters and grandchildren.

I now have five finished, with only ten more to go!

Wednesday, January 17, 2024



I've now finished three of the four trees I wanted to make for next Christmas. Yes, I have started the fourth. My sister is coming down to visit this weekend, so I'm sure I will finish this one soon. The next step will be to carefully wrap them, tag them, and safely store them until next year. 

Each tree has some of the same elements, such as the dragon brooch. However, each tree is unique. I only have one white stand left and a few red, but I do have other options that I hope to try out soon.

Yesterday was not a good day for cranking. I tried five times and gave up for the day. I probably should have watched videos before getting started, but I wanted to see if I remembered the steps. With a little practice each day, I should have all the steps memorized in no time.

I only crocheted one row on my blanket yesterday, so there's nothing to show there. I have been working on my test tatting piece, but my fingers have been too cold to make much headway. The pattern is lovely, but I will be waiting for permission from the designer before posting it.

We're headed back to school today, and I have some gnomes to pass out to students who requested them. I have a feeling a lot of requests will soon be pouring in!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Then there were two

Yesterday was a day filled with phone calls, and it was difficult to focus on much of anything. So, I finished another bejeweled tree for next year!

We have another e-learning day today due to the frigid temperatures and wind chill. That means no school for me. Maybe I'll bejewel another tree!

Monday, January 15, 2024

Change of pace


It was too cold to concentrate on much of anything yesterday, so I decided to stick pins in a cone. Haha! They are lovely pins! My first Christmas gift for next year is finished, and I have the supplies to keep going. I just might get started on another one today.

When the weather is cold, and it is brutally cold here, I get the urge to work with yarn. Daughter Andrea has finished to crocheted afghans since school started, and once we started talking about afghan patterns, all sorts of ads started popping up in my Facebook feed. I rarely follow the links in a Facebook ad, but if something interests me I do go searching for it.

This pattern came up in one of those ads. The pattern is Blanket No. 18 Crochet Pattern. I was able to find it on Etsy for less than the Facebook ad. I love the textured patterns, and so far the pattern has been very easy to follow. I had bought the yarn for a different afghan project a couple of years ago. When the yarn arrived, I decided I didn't want to make that pattern. Sometimes it's fun to change things up!

Sunday, January 14, 2024

One gnome

Yesterday was a slow craft day. Dave and I worked on taking down Christmas decorations, which is quite a long process in our house. 

I did manage to finish one Valentine gnome. Once I finish all that I have cranked out, I'll let my grandchildren choose which ones they would like. I hope to have them all mailed off in time for Valentine's Day.

It's very cold here today. We're currently at -9˚F with a wind chill of -35˚F. I know other places are far colder, so I'm not complaining!

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Sock machine

Yes, I have a new sock knitting machine! It's an Erlbacher that Mom and I ordered back in September. It arrived just before Thanksgiving, but with the holidays I didn't want to get started and then have to stop.

I admit that it was quite expensive, but I have everything I need and I think I'm going to have a lot of fun!

This past week I found a YouTube channel, Wise Owl Knits, where there are videos for a 30 day journey with a sock knitting machine. I like her approach to trying a little bit each day and learning from what has been accomplished, even if there are mistakes. 

I followed the day one video yesterday to make the little green hat. I plan on watching day two this afternoon.

I still need to find the perfect spot for my machine. Right now it's in the dining room next to my grandfather clock. The spot is okay, but not ideal. I will find the perfect spot eventually!

I do enjoy hand knitting, and I won't give it up. However, the stash of sock weight yarn I have is ridiculous, and there's no way I could use it up in my lifetime. I plan on making all sorts of knitted items with my sock machine, and those items will be available to any family member or close friend who would like them.

I did get a little nervous about spending so much money without knowing if I would even like cranking on a machine. So, Mom and I each ordered Sentro knitting machines and then Addi machines. I like the variety of sizes available in the Sentro, but the quality of the Addi machines is so much better. Mom has been making several styles of hats and scarves on the Addi King 46 pin machine. I have been making gnomes on the Addi Express 22 pin machine.

Cranking is fun! I thought I would go through my yarn stash much more quickly than I have. Of course, I have added to my stash since I didn't have quite the right colors for what I wanted to make. I really enjoy making the gnomes, and I have had great fun giving them away. 

If you've been thinking of trying out a sock machine, I would highly recommend trying out cranking on either a Sentro or an Addi machine first to see if you like the process. There is a bit of a difference between the plastic machines and the sock machines, but I was able to learn a lot about cranking by working with the much less expensive machines first. 

If you decide to try one of the plastic machines, I would avoid the 22 pin Sentro. I've read about way too many problems with it. Yes, the Addi is two to three times more expensive, but it is well worth the price difference. Mom switched to the 46 pin Addi after working for a while with the 48 pin Sentro. I don't think she'd ever go back to the Sentro.

If your goal is to make hats, definitely go with the 46 or 48 pin machines. They work with 3 or 4 weight yarn, but not all yarns work well. I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby works well in my 22 pin machine, but not at all well in the 46 or 48 pin machines. I'm not sure why. 

The 22 pin machine is good for toys like gnomes, skinny scarves, and headbands. I'm sure there are other things that can be made, but those are what I've found so far.

Definitely watch some YouTube videos! I'm amazed at the creativity and willingness to share ideas. Yes, you can buy patterns on Etsy, but I think you'll find plenty of free patterns on YouTube. Have fun!

Friday, January 12, 2024


Yesterday morning I worked on the gnomes I cranked out on Sunday.

Working on one task at a time sure makes the whole process go more quickly.

I think I'll be taking these in to school to share with the kids who have shown interest in my gnomes.

This one I'll be keeping for myself. I think he's so cute! Of course Grinch-loving granddaughter Kara could talk me out of it.

This morning I successfully completed my first project on my new sock machine. It took me about an hour and a half to complete this tiny hat. I know I'll gain confidence and work more quickly as I become familiar with the process. For now, I'm considering this one a great success!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Sticking with cuddly


I've started a new tatting project, test tatting for a friend. Sorry for the tease, but I can't reveal what it is at this time!

Yesterday, I discovered Wise Owl Knits on YouTube. She set a challenge for herself of using her sock machine for 30 days and recording all that she learned. I watched the first two days, and decided I was ready to crank!

We're expecting several days of extremely cold weather next week, and I thought it would be nice to have some tube socks to keep my legs warm. So, I did some math (not my forte) and started cranking.

I learned several important lessons yesterday: 1) I do not know enough about my sock machine to just start making things without guidance. 2) A good light is a necessity. 3) Start with small projects, as suggested in the manual, so that I can experience a feeling of accomplishment. 4) Always put the weight on before cranking. 5) Keep watching videos.

My plan is to re-start today with something small!

I finished two gnomes today, and I've decided that I prefer my cuddly gnomes.

There's a place for gnomes with buttons on the bottom, but daughters are happy with theirs they way they are, and so am I. I guess I'll just have to find another use for those buttons!

Is anyone else having problems posting comments? In the last couple of weeks I've had problems replying to some comments on my blog, and I haven't been able to comment on other blogs. There's nothing consistent, so I haven't been able to pinpoint the problem. I do read every comment. I enjoy reading what others have to say!

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Trying something new

I love my gnomes, but I wanted to add a bit of stability. My very first gnome has a little baggie of craft beads in the bottom for weight. I didn't like the way that worked out. So, all of my gnomes up until now have only been filled with fiber fill or yarn scraps. That's great for softness factor, but I found that they didn't always stand up well. 

I purchased some 2" buttons and have sewn them to the bottom of a few gnomes. I still have to play with them a bit to get the correct balance, but they do stand up better.

Which do you think is more important, to have a gnome that will stand up or to have one that can be cuddled?

Monday, January 8, 2024

Gnome day

I'm going to try something new. On Sunday afternoon, I plan to crank out seven gnomes, and then each evening I can assemble one.

I did crank out seven last Tuesday, after we returned from Georgia. However, I only assembled one gnome during the week. I assembled the rest yesterday.

Mom gave me this fuzzy yarn for beards.

They're so fluffy!

Daughter Joanne said that she likes the gnomes with their beards loose.

The nice thing about making multiples of something is that I can try different techniques and find what works for me.

I haven't made the perfect gnome yet, but I'll keep trying!

I achieved my goal of making seven gnomes the first week in January, and I cranked out seven more yesterday afternoon. I should have plenty for Christmas next year!