Crafting with Frankie

Will I?

Won’t I?

It’s a debate that’s has been going on in my head for many months about whether I should continue to blog.

Does it fulfill me?

Does it matter?

What’s the point?

What am I trying to convey?

Obviously, it must be something I want to hold on to, because here I am posting about the mundaneness and the uselessness (on my part) of blogging. Since the rise of social networking websites, blogging appears to be an outmoded pastime.

For now, I will think of blogging as a record of the past-of sorts. A place where, when I no long exist, my grandchildren might come to read a little of the past. I have thought how great it would have been if my grandparents had left a journal of their lives.

Hopefully, this way of thinking, will inspire me to post more often.

Speaking of inspiration, a few weeks ago, I saw little pocket folders and string-tie envelopes on Pinterest. I felt motivated to craft some of my own. Since I already had craft paper and other supplies needed, I thought, “why not”?

folder-envelopesI used double-side craft paper such as K&Company Specialty 12-by-12-Inch Paper Pad. Examples of the paper used can be found here.

string envelopes

If you are inspired to make these cute string-tie envelopes, you will find the template and instructions at Minieco.

pocket folders

The pocket folder’s template and instructions can be found at Cedar Graphics.

This was an easy and satisfying project to do.  However, there was one hurdle that was keeping me from completing my project in a smooth manner.

frankie2

Even though he is a nuisance at times, I would genuinely miss him if he were not a part of my life.

Frankie1

Winter Warmings

It’s been a while since I have crocheted.  The last item I crocheted (a couple of months ago) was this pair of gloves/mitts.

fingerless mitts

There isn’t a written pattern for these. It’s something I had envisioned. They are worked in the round.

As I had mentioned before, I am not good at writing patterns.  Besides, once I make an item, I don’t want to check for errors by remaking it.  I know…sheer laziness.

Towards the end of the day, I have been knitting rather than crocheting.  I am not as proficient when it comes to knitting as I am with crocheting.  When it come to knitting, I am slow and cautious.  Some of my favorite items to knit are socks, dish clothes and a few other easy projects.  In the past, I have knitted sweaters and shawls.  However, I find knitting to be slower than crocheting.  I am so afraid I will drop a stitch.  And, when I do…Aargh!

I started a knitted cowl, but set it aside for now.

cowl
I found the pattern at: in the loop.  There is an English version to download.  I love the simplicity of the look and the ease of the pattern.

Collar Me Done

I rarely, if ever, wear any of my crochet designs.  I have a couple of drawers where I keep everything that I make. There are only a few things that I do use, like dish cloths, change pouch and a small clutch.  All doilies, that I have crocheted over the years, are all washed and put away.  Until recently, I used to display them around the house on tables.

Knowing that I would never wear a crochet collar or have a need to wear one, I crocheted one regardless.

Crochet Collar

(This photo was taken outside under covering)

I used size #10 crochet cotton and a #6 crochet hook.

crochet lace collar

(This photo was taken inside)

The pattern is from an old pamphlet (“Collar-me-Beautiful” by Mary Buse Melick) I had since the 1980’s.

Crochet Collar

(This photo was taken inside in a different area.  This is closer to the actual color of the collar)

I didn’t know if I should have added a button or leave it as is so that, if worn, it could be secured with a brooch.

This was done right after I finished the dress top.  While I was crocheting it, I wanted to end it, but continued on until it was finished.  It took me about 8 hours over two evening.

bluebird-siggy

Am I Really Finished?

Last year, I was working on a crocheted infant/baby dress when I had lost my passion to crochet or for any handiwork.  I put it aside and put it out of my mind.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked it up again and was determined to finish it once and for all. After working on a couple of rows, I again lost the “umph!” to finish.   However, I pressed on and instead of following the direction, I went off on my own a little.

I ended up with just a top and decided to either make the bottom half out of fabric, or find a crocheted skirt pattern that I liked better.

child dress top

The back is buttoned.  I have pins holding it in place. I have yet to sew on the buttons.

Sheer laziness or something else?

child dress top back

The pattern is from an old issue from Magic Crochet that I found online.

It say that it is sized for a 6 month old, but (after completing the top) it looks bigger.

infant dress

This pattern uses #10 crochet thread and I used a size 6 crochet hook.

Besides handicrafts, I seem to have lost my passion/desire/fondness, or whichever word fits my aloofness at life, for things that were dear to me.

It’s hard to find that spark when depression weighs you down.  

sig summer

It’s A Wrap!

I was never so happy to see a crocheted project end, as I was, when I finished this shawlette.

South Bay Shawlette

The pattern is called, South Bay Shawlette by Lion Brand.

South Bay Shawlette

For the yarn, I used 100% Suri Brushed Alpaca, fingering yarn (which is now discontinued) and a size F crochet hook.

I love the feel of this yarn. It is light and airy and blocks beautifully.

South Bay Shawlette

My frustration came about when I would make a mistake and have to unravel the error. If you didn’t go slowly to unravel, that is when the fun began.  Because this yarn has tiny hairs, the stitches would fuse together with any friction.

Natural fibers have a tendency to do that.

At one point, after finishing a long row, I made a mistake at the beginning and had to sloooooooooooowly and methodically unraveled the whole row.

Grrr!

However, it’s finished and I am happy about that!

Twenty-five years ago, when we had this house built, we didn’t realize that one of the kitchen cabinets would be too small to keep anything in there save herbs and spices.  Then again, it was still too small to hold any significant amount of spices and herbs.  It is only 8 inches wide with three shelves and not very tall or deep (the top shelf had to be reached with a tall stool or chair-not very safe and so inconvenient).  For 25 years, we wrestled with jars in trying to find the one spice that we needed.  We had to take out jars of spices and herbs to find the one that was needed, then put them all back.  Some would fall out onto the counter…it was frustrating!

Finally, we came up with a solution.

This is what we built a couple of weeks ago.

Spice Cabinet

It fits between the refrigerator and wall. It has 4 casters attached to the bottom, and a handle at the end, so it will roll out and back in easily.  After putting all the spices, herbs, etc into it, my spice collection doesn’t look as big as it did in the tiny cabinet.

It makes it so much easier to cook and bake when you can see everything in the front of you.

Adding Color and Cappucini To Life

Last week, I crocheted four mandala-type hot pad.  I tried very carefully not to make two alike. I didn’t know which patterns I was going to use. I just made them up as I went along.

hot pads mandala

After I finished the first one (the one with the pink yarn), I noticed that it came out in a hex shape. I guess I wasn’t paying close attention when crocheting that one.

I used the cotton yarn, such as Lily Sugar’n Cream, that I had left over and a size F crochet hook.

mandala hot pads

For the past three days (instead of my afternoon tea) I’ve made cappuccino.

cappuccino

It has been a while since I’ve used our moka pot and the frother.

moka-pot

Today, Tom and I took our cappuccino out to the front stoop, and drank them while enjoying the milder temps. It was an absolutely beautiful day weather-wise.

cappuccino

Tom on the bench, and me in my rocking chair, just taking in the day.

great things

liz_bunny

All Warm and Cozy

I had worked on a teapot cozy and wasn’t happy with the outcome.  Last week, I picked it back up and finished it.

Tea Cozy

For something that I made up in my head, I guess it didn’t turn out too badly.  It fits my one-cup teapot and does keep the tea hot while it steeps.  I used Peaches & Cream cotton yarn.

Tea Cozy

I do have another idea for a cozy.  If it turns out ok, I will (hopefully) write the pattern down on paper.  I hesitate to write down a pattern.  If I am on a roll, I don’t want to stop to jot down notes.

What usually happens is, “What I see in my head isn’t the same as the outcome”.  Argh!

I had purchased some new blended, signature, teas, Wizard’s Grey and The Evening Star, from Adagio online (sample tins are no longer available).  Both blends were very good, but as for my go-to-tea, I will probably just stick to Earl Grey.

These signature blends are perfect if you wish a treat now and then.  I just don’t want to depend on an online store to keep me stocked in tea.  It’s more convenient to go to the local store if I run out of tea.

Tea Grey Wizard

A cup of Wizard’s Grey, from Adagio, in my pretty little tea-cup.

I also wanted to share the flatbread that I baked.  I love how it folds without cracking.  I found the recipe for this flatbread at Mel’s Cafe Kitchen.

flatbread

To go along with the flatbread, I also made mulligatawny soup.

mulligatawny soup-flatbread

Years ago, after watching “Seinfeld’s” The Soup Nazi episode, I was curious about the recipe and found it online.  It is delicious!  I omit the eggplant and add more of the potato, pistachios and cashews to the pot.

Of course, everything that should be eaten in moderation is what I add more of…of course!

bluebird-siggy

Tapestry, Tea and Whoopie Pies

Over a week ago, I was working on a crochet tea cozy and added some crochet tapestry to the piece.  Not happy with the outcome of that project, I put it aside. However, last weekend, I had an urge to do a little more crocheting.  I decided to use some of my cotton yarn stash to make dishcloths.

dishcloths

My inspiration, for two of these patterns (the tapestry), came from my little tea cozy and Little woolie’s blog. If you are a crafter, Little Woolie is worth checking out.  She has “a love for crafty things, crochet, knitting and yarny makes in particular”.

The other one (yellow and blue) is something I just made up.  It’s just rows of extended single crochet.

dishcloths

The two, on the end, are ‘Flat Tapestry crochet’. If I could use both hands to crochet, the patterns would be sharper. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot crochet using my left hand or crochet backwards.  I want to learn, but on the other hand…

To see what I mean, take a look at this video “Flat Tapestry Crochet by Carol Ventura“.

A while ago, I made these (see photos below) using the tapestry technique.  They are done in the round. Therefore, the patterns are sharper.

crochet tapestry change purse crochet tapestry

I don’t have to use my left hand for tapestry if done in the rounds.

And, to add a little sweetness to our lives, I baked Whoopie Pies.

whoppie pie

I filled half with marshmallow (Fluff) and vanilla cream, and half with marshmallow and peanut butter-vanilla cream.  A New England tradition, my mother made these for my sister and me when we were kids.

whoppie pies

I purchased some new blended teas from Adagio online.  My purchases were these two sample tins along with a couple of Earl Grey pouch blends.

grey

 star

It is time for my afternoon pick-me-up.  I am off to make a cup tea.  I think I will try the Wizard’s Grey.  I am hoping it is as good as it sounds.

teapot