Granny's homespun blanket

Hubby and I had a date night last week -- to the craft store!
Some women might wonder how I convinced him to go.
He was the one who need to go and I tagged along.
He needed some illustration board for a project,
and I got some to help with my company rebranding.
(More on that at a later date.)

While there, of course I had to look at the yarn aisle.
Not that my yarn stash needed any new additions.
Really couldn't resist these bright jewel tones
in Lion Brand Homespun Yarn though.
They were at a great sale price after all.

Having used the turquoise one for a hat in the past,
I was drawn to that colored yarn first.
The others fell into place after pulling out hue after hue
to see what would work best with each other.
Feeling its super-soft texture I knew I would make
a thick and comfy granny square afghan from it all.

Loving it so far!
This pattern works up so easily and quickly
and the bright colors are so yummy.


Thrift shopping

I went after-Christmas clothes shopping a few weeks ago.
Most people close to me know I really hate retail
and won't be surprised that my spree was at the thrift store.

$77 (which is a lot for me in one outing)

7 pairs of boys' jeans -- Old Navy, Levis and Ralph Lauren
and Lucky Brand (retails for $100)
2 hoodies for the two smaller boys
Columbia ski coat and snowpants for the young teen
3 dress shirts for husband -- Eddie Bauer and Stafford
Eddie Bauer sweater and slacks for me

This West German gray wool pea coat for the older teen.
Thanks to Google Translator I know it's from the 1960s
and was made by Bulag of Auerbach.
"Bund ZB" stands for German Civilian Civil Protection,
whose members worked toward disaster preparedness
like as firefighters, EMTs, etc.

How cool is that?
He has a one-of-a-kind coat with some history.
Glad he likes vintage as much as I do.


Restocking the shop!

Now that the holidays are over, decorations are put away,
I'm well on my way with year-end and income tax paperwork,
and I have a new camera to photograph with,
I am ready to list new items in my Etsy shop once again.

Sets of beautiful silverplate flatware to reuse patina and all, 
or polish up and put to use at your dining room table.

Couple of real kitschy pieces, including this Moo-Cow Creamer.
I remember one just like it in my Grandma Johnson's hutch.

Vintage curtains and drapes are some of my best sellers.
Two new sets coming, both with a classic 70s color scheme.

This heavy wool blanket has been given
a new lease on life with a colorful rosy border.
I have dozens of plain blankets to give a similar treatment.

Another best seller -- floral sheets from the era my childhood.
Put them to use in your daughter's bedroom
or reuse in all sorts of home and fashion projects.

Beautiful Art Nouveau desktop calendar from 1911.
Such stunning graphic elementss and text!!!
I haven't decided if all pages will go together
or if it will be split up into multiple listings.
More paper ephemera will be coming soon too.

I've also decided to part with some of the charming
illustrated children's books from my own library,
including this famous one by Patten Beard from 1924.

Have fun shopping!


One last Christmas post -- with crochet directions

I know I'm running a little late on this,
since I am posting even after the Epiphany
but I don't think it can wait a whole year.
These are the Christmas-themed crochet projects
I worked on during the month of December.

For my son's kindergarten holiday party I made three hats
with the super-easy elf hat pattern from CrazySocks Crochet.
The other homeroom mom and I didn't dress up for Halloween
so we agreed to kind of get dressed up for Christmas.
The teacher and the two of us looked very festive!

The pointy crochet idea kind of stuck with me,
so  I started making decorations red and green too.
Specifically 75 Santa hats for immediate family members.
Yes, I said 75. I am one of 6 and my husband is one of 9.
Between our siblings, their spouses and their children
the numbers have really risen in the last few years.

Each red and white hat was packaged with a gold hook
for hanging as ornaments on the recipients' trees.
A nephew put his on a nutcracker from his collection.
(He's allergic to nuts, so how ironic is it
that he has a bunch of nutcrackers?)

Since I made quite a few of them while watching
"Gnomeo and Juliet," I want to make gnomes with beards.
I could also adapt my leprechaun hats this year!

As the holiday season wound down,
I used the same stitch pattern to make a few evergreens,
adorned with white buttons and glitter snow.
I simply stuffed them with polyfiber with unfinished bottoms
but felt or fabric could be sewn on as bases.


I used a H hook and worsted weight yarn in the appropriate colors. The ch 2 at the start of each round doesn't count as a stitch. At the end of a round, join to first stitch not the ch 2. (The best way of hiding your seam.)

Ch 4 and john in first ch to make a loop.
Round 1: Ch 2, 6 dc in loop, join with sl st to first dc. (6 dc)
Round 2: Ch 2, *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 2 sts* twice, join. (8 dc) 
Round 3: Ch 2, *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 3 sts* twice, join. (10 dc)  
Round 4: Ch 2, *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 4 sts* twice, join. (12 dc)   
Round 5: Ch 2, *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 5 sts* twice, join. (14 dc)   
Round 6: Ch 2, *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 6 sts* twice, join. (16 dc)  
Round 7: Ch 2, *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 7 sts* twice, join. (18 dc)  
Round 8: Ch 2, *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 7 sts* twice, join. (20 dc)   

The Santa hats are 8 rounds tall, 7 in red and 1 in white trim. The trees were anywhere from 6-9 rows tall. If you prefer something taller, continue on with the increase pattern until it is the size you would like. 


A taste of the East

I spent my first day with my new camera at my sister-in-law's.
Not only did I get to capture my kids and their cousin
building and decorating a gingerbread house,
 I also got to have dinner with old family friends.
It was very enlightening to meet people
who knew my husband as a kid --
and to see our own children get along
like they are long-lost friends themselves.

My husband's sister, her husband and their two daughters
have spent the last eight years living in Asia.
First in my bro-in-law's home country of India then in China.
They have moved back here within the past year
and filled their home with all sorts of treasures.
No better place to play with my camera and natural light.

(Click the photos for a larger view.)


Crochet stacking bowls-- with free directions

Most of my crochet projects aren't done from a pattern.
I find stitches I like and experiment.

My project from yesterday is one such example.
While in bed watching a "Law & Order"marathon, 
I hooked these three little stacking bowls.

Below, I am sharing my directions with you.


I used bulky wool yarn recycled from an old sweater and an I-hook. You can use whatever you have on hand and adjust the size hook for your yarn, no need to check gauge. For a tighter weave, you can substitute sc or hdc for dc.

ROUND 1: Ch 4, sl st in 1st ch to create a ring; ch 2 (counts as 1st dc now and throughout), 11 dc in ring; join with sl st in 1st dc. (Join all rounds this way and do not turn at the end of the rounds.) (12 dc)

ROUND 2: Ch 2, dc in same st as ch 2, 2 dc in each dc around; join. (24 dc) 

ROUND 3: Ch 2, dc in same st as ch 2, dc in next dc (2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc) 11 times; join. (36 dc)

ROUND 4: Ch 2, dc in same st as ch 2, dc in next 2 dc (2 dc in next dc, dc in next 2 dc) 11 times; join. (48 dc)

ROUND 5: Ch 2, sk st with ch 2, sc around; join.

ROUND 6: Repeat round 5.

ROUNDS 7-8: Repeat round 5.

ROUNDS 9-10: Repeat round 5.

After you get the bowl as wide and as tall as you want it, weave in ends and turn right-side out, so the pretty stitches show on the outside of the bowl.

I prefer the textured look of these, but bowls crocheted with wool can be felted by running them repeatedly in the washer and dryer until they are your desired sizes.

You can also make them any size you want. Continue following the pattern increases for a wider base [ROUND A: Ch 2, dc in same st as ch 2, dc in next 3 dc (2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc), then ROUND B: Ch 2, dc in same st as ch 2, dc in next 4 dc (2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc), ETC.] and make more rounds up for a taller bowl.

You can do what you wish with your finished pieces, but I'd appreciate credit for the pattern and a link back here. Share your photos too!!!