Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brantingham Pine Soap

As you've probably noticed, after moving to weekly posts, I've been able to keep up, but the posts can often come quite a bit after the actual project has been completed.

On that note, I'm still posting about Christmas gifts in the end of January.

Next on the list is a mini-batch of soap that I made for my father-in-law.  They have one of the most beautiful cabins in the Adirondacks I have ever seen, perched serenely atop a hill the plunges into the cool lake waters of upstate New York.  It's been in the family for three generations, now, and it is Dad's favorite place in the whole wide world to be.

Unfortunately, it's not heated, and so there's no chance of getting up there in the winter.

In light of this, I got some lake water and pine needles this summer, and boiled them together into a pine-needle tea, which I used as the water-base for the soap.  I cooked the soap using my usual recipe, and after trace, I added Pine and Cedarwood essential oils, as well as green and brown coloring.  Because the coloring was added after the cook, it was blotchy and perfect for the pine-needle-strewn calico ground surrounding the cabin.

Over all, I'm really happy with how this came out.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sophie's Universe CAL - Part 1

Last week, Dedri posted Part 1 (and Part 2) of the Sophie's Universe CAL.  Today, I'll be showing you my version, complete with a color list.

  • Round 1: Sienna 
  • Round 2: Cornflower
  • Round 3: Tidepool
  • Round 4: Solstice Heather
  • Rounds 5-8: Sienna

Yarn used to date:
  • Sienna: 11 grams
  • Avocado: 0 grams
  • Caution: 0 grams
  • Coral: 0 grams
  • Cornflower: 3 grams
  • Fairy Tale: 0 grams
  • Orange: 0 grams
  • Solstice Heather: 2 grams
  • Tidepool: 4 grams
  • Wine: 0 grams
  • Total: 20

Hope to see you next week!
Ravelry Project
Sophie CAL Main Page

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Grandma's New Sweater

When I found this mostly-complete sweater in the box of yarn stuff from Aunt Vi, and knew immediately that it had to go to Grandma, who had now lost both of her sisters in one year, for Christmas.

The package arrived with two complete front-pieces, a complete back piece, and one sleeve.  The problem, of course, was that Grandmas was many sizes smaller than Aunt Vi, so I had to figure out some way to make it work.

Firs things first, I whipped up a matching sleeve and seamed all the main pieces together.  I decided on finishing the raw button-band edge with a pattern, and then creating a matching belt, and boring old me decided seed-stitch would work just fine.

Unfortunately, as you may have read, Grandma passed just before Thanksgiving.  As heartbreaking as this was, we were able to spend some family time together and reminisce over the holiday.

I had hoped to post this with a picture of Grandma wearing her sweater.  Instead, I'm left with a lovely wrapped gift under the tree.  A box with a sweater and a note, and a topper with her two dishcloths.  I'm honestly not sure what I will do with them.  Maybe I'll give them to Aunt Vi's daughter.  Right now, it's too painful to give them away, so they continue to sit in our family room, reminding me of times we once thought we might have.

Life is short.  Never take it for granted.

Ravelry Project

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sophie's Universe CAL - Introduction

Over the next 20 weeks, I will be participating in the Sophie's Universe Crochet-A-long, which is put on by the wonderful Dedri Uys and Kimberly Slifer over at

You can see the general information about the CAL here, but it is a mystery CAL, so no one quite knows what will come of it until it has happened.

As I complete each section, I will be posting on it (hopefully by the Sunday after it has been posted), but be sure to check out the blog and get involved!  This will be an exciting shift from the old format: I will now resume posting twice a week, with the Sunday posts being geared around an ongoing or cumulative project, and the Wednesday posts more focused on one-off projects.  Hope you like it!

I will be using KnitPicks Brava to complete this blanket in the following colors:

  • Sienna (9 balls)
  • Avocado (3 balls)
  • Caution (2 balls)
  • Orange (2 balls)
  • Tidepool (2 balls)
  • Cornflower (2 balls)
  • Solstice Heather (2 balls)
  • Coral (2 balls)
  • Wine (2 balls)
  • Fairy Tale (2 balls)
I will follow about the same color choices as Dedri does with her Worsted Weight version, with a few adaptions here and there.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Thanksgiving Turkey

This past Thanksgiving was... difficult.

Many of you have probably read about Aunt Vi's Passing, and how, as the second of three sisters, her death left Grandma quite alone.  You also have been hearing for weeks about the litany of dishcloths I made with Aunt Vi's yarn to gift the family at Christmas.

Well, rather unexpectedly, Grandma joined Aunt Vi and Aunt Muriel this November.  She had been living like she always had, and went into the hospital with an infection, and within forty-eight hours passed away in an unexplained coma.

We flew out to the funeral.  We laughed and we cried.  We mourned and we celebrated.  We told outrageous stories, and we enjoyed family time that none of us had planned.

I had made her a turkey as a token of our love, and as a symbol that we would have loved to be with her this Thanksgiving.  Instead, we put it on the center table and laughed over how she would have used it.

She sent us a card, postmarked the day she went to the hospital, and wished up well.

One night, while we were there, we all sat on the floor in her living room, and the Mister and I passed out boxes of dishcloths for the family.  Grateful that I had finished early, we got to share a mini-Christmas together and bond.

I ended up taking the Turkey with me to the big Thanksgiving dinner that was already planned with the other side of the family.  It was a token of her love.

Ravelry Project
Ravelry Pattern

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dishcloth Update (16)

This will be the last dishcloth update!  Hoorah!

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was able to open these dishcloths with their intended recipients at the funeral of our beloved Grandma (more on that later).  It was wonderful to see the joy they brought to those who received them in remembrance of the the three Ladies in their Eighties, who have moved on.

Dishcloth Forty-Six
This project was knit out of the "Vintage Hankie" pattern (the third I've made), and used another border from my new Crochet Border book.  I love the result!  Classic, but versatile!
Ravelry Project
Ravelry Pattern: Vintage Hankie
Ravelry Pattern: Border

Dishcloth Forty-Seven
My second "Little Star" Dishcloth, this one used up some scraps of Persimmon and Baby-Yellow, and crocheted up nicely.
Ravelry Project
Ravelry Pattern

Dishcloth Forty-Eight
This "Clusters of Fall" dishcloth was a crocheted beauty that I loved to make, but I actually ended up running out of yellow with just a few more stitches left, so I pulled it out and re-did the whole yellow section with a tighter gauge, which made it pucker a tad bit, but left with with no yellow scraps, and multicolored cloth!
Ravelry Project
Ravelry Pattern