Thanksgiving Memories of Family Past and Present

Memories of  Thanksgiving flood me today, the day where people have traveled to their family homes far and near. The airport running to catch that flight, the gassing up the vehicles to start that long drive to family far away, the hustle and bustle of grocery shopping to get all those ingredients for hours upon hours of cooking ahead.

Memories spring back to life when Thanksgiving props its head every November. I remember waking up early to see my grandfather boiling the onions, mincing the parsley, roasting the chestnuts in the oven, taking the Jimmy Dean sausage roll and inserting it into the back end of the birdl all for his own recipe for stuffing the bird.

The chopping of the onions, the oversized bowl to fit not 1, but 2 packages of Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffing. The 3 slices of bacon placed on top of the bird once the bird was stuffed and was about to go into the oven. The butter strategically placed between the wing and thigh, seasoning the bird, placing the 2 large pieces of foil on top of the bird. Those overwhelming smells got me salivating for turkey, but that was hours away.

Memories as a kid jumping out at me. My mom always made the pumpkin pies the day before. I liked to help beat the filling with the mixer, I was never good at cracking the eggs. I can still smell the spices that went into the filling, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Those pre-made frozen pie crusts never really could pour all the filling into them, slowing sliding the pies into the oven, hoping the rack did not jump and pie filling spill into the oven.

Once the pies were done, chilled in the refrigerator, the next morning it was time to whip the whipping cream. In our home, we did not use aerosol whipped cream. My mother liked to decorate the top of the pies with real whipping cream. It was my job. She would add sugar and a little vanilla extract while I was holding the hand mixer, watching the cream turn into whipped cream. Of course, I got to lick the beaters.

That was my life as a kid, someone else doing all the work to make Thanksgiving memorable. As an adult, I was able to replicate my grandfather’s turkey stuffing recipe, I did not roast chestnuts, but did chop walnuts. I boiled the onions, minced the parsley, even stuffed the back end with sausage.

Memories fill me today. Thanksgiving will be with Lee’s dad, brother, sister in law, nephew, sister in law’s parents and dad’s girlfriend. I will be in the kitchen shortly prepping all the side dishes. I will not be stuffing the bird, his dad prefers the bird NOT to be stuffed. Lee’s brother is bringing the “deep fried” turkey along with pies. Plenty of eating to be done today.

I will be crocheting a hat or 2 while visiting, one never leaves home without some sort of project to work on.

May your day be filled with memories and a full belly

The kitties were nestled all snug in their chair?

Sharing momma’s new chair, it fits us

Summer: Dog & Cat Days; Light Projects for Hot Summer Days

Dog Days Cat Days of Summer, Light Projects for Hot Summer Days

June Gloom, where did it go? The gloom has parted ways, as the fireworks raged on –elsewhere this week. Baggy and Gizmo are scattered on the bed, fans blowing on them, trying to keep cool. Southern California has been  HOT, even at the ocean –no foggy mornings these days. The weather channel reports its hotter in LA than it is in Phoenix, WOW, now that’s HOT! Welcome to summer.

So, how do you crochet and knit when the weather is hot? (Let me know.)
Besides crocheting animals, I try to craft shawls for the fall and winter shows, often deterred by the weather. Who really wants wool resting on their lap when its hot outside? Maybe I need to think about wool more in winter…

Instead of focusing on the heat, I thought I’d share Here are some fun, small projects to keep you motivated during these hot summer days. Made with scraps of yarn in your stash.

Fruits and Vegetables. These are fun, quick projects that can be crocheted in no time. Imagine the possibilities of fun food. No more dusting off plastic fruits and veggies, crochet and knit them. Teachers tell me they use fruits and veggies as color association for kids to learn colors, i.e. apple-red, banana-yellow. They can also be cat or dog toys, before closing the fruit or veggie, just add some dried catnip with the stuffing. Your kitty will love you for it.

 

bowl of assorted fruits

 

vegetables galore

 

Cookies, Ice Cream Cones, Donuts. Why not, right? These are great toys for kids to play with, filled with fiberfill stuffing, no calories, just fun food. Put in a large clear container, and the kids will think you got them sweets to munch on. The cookies paid patterns can be found on Craftsy. The ice cream scoop is my pattern, and the Donuts are a free pattern.

knit, crochet cookies
Ice Cream Scoop, YarnKat Pattern

 

 

 

 

 

crochet donuts

 

Flowers.  The possibilities are endless. Take a straw bag, accessorize it with flowers. Get French clips, sew flower onto clip, you have made a cute flower for your hair. Take a mini flower, attach to paperclip and you have a cute bookmark. Daisies, Roses, Sunflowers, Lilies, Pansies. From small to large; earrings & necklaces to belts; scarves too. Add a stem and you have created a lovely bouquet of flowers.

Photo found on Pinterest, go to Ravelry

 

Cactus. . Saguaro, Barrel, Agave, Star just to name a few, just place them in cute clay pots. Wouldn’t these be cute as pincushions? A fun conversation piece sitting on a table. These teeny tiny cacti patterns can be found on etsy, with the direct link to the seller MuffaMiniatures

What’s great about all of these items, you can use up scraps of yarn. No need to stop by the local store to pick up many yarns. Little bits of leftover yarn and in no time you will have a cornucopia of little projects.

So stay cool, keep hydrated, place the pets indoors with fresh water, and enjoy the little projects during the hot, summer days.

“too hot to sleep”

 

Upcoming Holiday Arts & Crafts Shows for December

After much anticipation, I will be participating in 3 holiday arts & crafts boutiques in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Flyers are posted on the SHOWS page so you can read all the details about each event. You will be able to find me at the following locations:

Saturday December 2, 2017 Miracle on Main Street & Centennial Holiday Tree Lighting event.

Time: 1:00pm to 6:00pm.

Location: Library Park, 111 W. Mariposa Ave El Segundo

The tree lighting ceremony will be at 5:30pm. Train Rides, Craft Boutique, Carolers, Food, Live Entertainment

 

Merry Christmas

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017 35th Annual Christmas Boutique, Wilson Park

Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm

Location: 2200 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA between Carson St and Sepulveda Blvd

Handcrafted Goods, One of a Kind Gifts, Food Vendors, Photos with Santa, Children’s Crafts

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017 Mar Vista Holiday Boutique (pop up shop)

Time: 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: 3412 Keeshen Drive Los Angeles, CA

Yes, you see 2 events on the same day. I will be at the Mar Vista event and my husband Lee will be at Wilson Park event.

Get your holiday shopping done, have some fun.

Holiday Boutique 2017 Supporting the MVSEG

The Eyes Have It, Nose Knows, Ears Hear, Brows Ask, Bow Stands Out, and Finally the Cookie

Recently, I posted pictures of kid’s character hats and matching bags onto social media and got a lot of positive responses.

A light bulb went off in my mind, and while the hat, is not my design, the bags, the eyes, ears, nose, eyebrows and bow are, so why not share my patterns?

I have assembled all the facial features for you to grab to make for your own hats. Scrap pieces of yarn is all it takes, and in little time, your hats will have added character.
I use the Magic Ring Method to start because it closes the beginning hole completely. June Gilbank (Planet June) has a great You Tube video here to learn. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUaywX0-WE

MATERIALS
Yarn: white & black (eyes, ears); gold (unibrow); orange (nose); red (bow); light brown/dark brown (cookie)
US G (4.25mm) Crochet Hook
Tapestry/Darning Needle
Scissors
Removable Stitch Markers (2-4)

INSTRUCTIONS

Eyes

EYES
(black) Magic Ring, single crochet 6 stitches, pull starting tail tight, then slip stitch into 1st st, bind off, cut a long tail to sew to white of the eyes.
(White)
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc into loop, pull tail tight, (do not slip stitch)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around, slip stitch into 1st sc, bind off, cut long tail 18sc
Attach black eye to center of white eye (Oscar); Elmo- attach black eye to lower portion of white eye
Cookie Monster- 1 eye in center, like Oscar; 1 eye lower, like Elmo

Elmo nose

 

NOSE (Elmo) with orange yarn, just like white eyes
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc, pull tail tight
Round 2: 2sc in each st 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around 18sc
Round 4: Half double crochet in 1st, 2 double crochets in next 2 stitches, half double crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next stitch, slip stitch in next. Bind off, leaving a long tail.
Stitch nose to lower portion of face, then attach eyes, stitching them along upper edge of nose, making the black portion point inward towards the nose.

Oscar eyebrows

 

UNIBROW (Oscar)
With a long Tail and gold colored yarn (you will use both tails to sew unibrow onto hat)
Chain 21,
HDC in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in next 4 chains, SC in next 10 chains, HDC in last 5 chains. Slip Stitch in side of last hdc. Bind off leaving a very long tail.
To attach to hat, attach black eyes to center of white eyes, sew to hat and place them 3 stitches apart. Lay unibrow on top of eyes, with brow resting near black portion, place 1 stitch marker on both ends of brow. Take another stitch marker and place between eyes, pulling it down to form a point.
Sew one side of unibrow along outer edge of eyes, to center point, move to underside of eye, and sew back to beginning point, leaving tail for now.
Take other tail, and sew other side of unibrow, stitching top of brow and moving to lower side of brow. Once entire unibrow is stitched to hat, use sharp pointed scissors and stuff tail into each side of brow. It is used as stuffing.

Ears

 

EARS (for kitty) Make 2 White yarn
Magic Ring, chain 1, 4sc in loop
Round 1: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next stitch, repeat once more 6sc
Round 2: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 2 sts, repeat once more 8sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 3 sts, repeat once more 10sc
Round 4: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 4sts, repeat once more 12sc
Round 5: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 5sts, repeat once more 14sc
Round 6: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 6sts, repeat once more 16sc
Round 7: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 7sts, repeat once more 18sc
Round 8: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 8sts, repeat once more, slip stitch in next stitch. Bind off, leaving a long tail. 20sc
Attach ears starting at 3rd round of hat, down to 6th round of hat.

Bow

 

BOW (for kitty hat) red yarn
With a long tail, chain 13
Row 1: SC in each stitch, ch 1, turn
Row 2: (from now on) Sc in back loop of each stitch, ch 1 turn
Row 3: Repeat previous row for the next 5 rows, slip stitch in last stitch. Bind off and leave a long tail.
With darning needle, thread the needle, and stitch to center of bow, weave in from one side to the other, the pull to create crease. Wrap around center of bow at least 10 times. Take both tails, and make a knot to secure. It will be ready to sew onto front of ear on the hat.

Cookie

 

COOKIE (for Cookie Monster) light brown and dark brown yarn
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc in ring
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 4: sc in next 2sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Round 5: sc in next 3sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 30sc
Rounds 6-8: sc around 30sc
Round 9: sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Now grab a long piece of dark brown yarn, thread darning needle, and make little “chip” strips all around the cookie. Keep the needle attached and continue to decrease
Round 10: sc in next 2sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 11: sc in next st, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 12sc
Add more chips to the underside of the cookie.
Round 12: sc2tog all around. Slip stitch in next stitch, bind off, leaving a long tail.
Use both ends of the dark brown yarn to tie a knot. Cut the yarn. You will now attach the cookie to the top of the hat.

Crochet Edgings, A How To

Edged Baby Blankets

Crochet Edgings

At the knitting guild I belong to, one of the classes we learned from was how to add crochet edgings to baby afghans. It is a nice embellishment to an ordinary item. All it takes is 1 yard of fleece fabric, a rotary cutter with a skip cut rotary blade, some yarn and in no time will you have a great gift.  Thanks go out to our instructor, fellow guild member Cathy McFarlane for teaching the class.

Here is your supplies list:

1 yard fabric  Go to your local craft, fabric store. You can usually find remnant pieces already cut to size, no need to shop for the fabric, its already done for you.
Rotary Cutter (or Scissors) and Mat Round cutting blade in a handle and a mat that doesn’t cut.
Yarn  I use scrap yarn from my stash
Crochet Hook  I use US H/8, 5mm crochet hook
Skip-Cut Rotary Cutter Blade  Makes perfect holes in fleece and other material for crochet edge blankets
Needle and Thread/Embroidery Floss used for Running Stitch- Hand-sewn stitch that weaves in and out of the fabric, resulting in a dashed line.

Instructions:

With each 1 yard fabric piece, you will be able to make 2 blankets. Take your rotary cutter or scissors and cut the fabric in half at the fold. Set one piece aside. Lay one fabric piece on the table. With the needle and thread, you will sew a running stitch along all 4 sides of fabric. It’s about a 1 inch hem.

Lay fabric on mat, put the skip-cut blade in the rotary cutter. Be careful as the blade is sharp. Roll the cutter along the inside of the hem, only rolling once. When you get to a corner, carefully turn your piece. I use a pin, to mark the last cut. If you cut it more than once, it will leave a larger hole. Go around all 4 sides.


Time to crochet the edging. With all crochet projects, start with a single crochet row. Make a slip knot, insert your hook and yarn into a hole, be sure to go through both thickness, single crochet. Go across the edge, make 3-5 single crochets in corner. You may need to trim the corner, so it is not too thick, and continue around all 4 sides. Slip stitch to first single crochet.

Now the fun begins. There are many crochet stitches you can add to the single crochet: Double Crochet, Shell Stitch and Picot Stitch just to name a few. You can change yarn colors, or keep it the same, its up to you. Here are samples of my crochet edgings.

double crochet edging

Double crochet- dc each stitch gives you a nice border. My sample shows you the nice edging. When at the corner, add a chain between each single crochet to keep the corner from rolling up. Or do 2 double crochets in each stitch.

shell stitch at the border

 

Shell stitch- 5 double crochet in each stitch gives you a nice scallop edge. For my sample, I did 5DC in 1 stitch (st), skip 1 st, single crochet in next st, skip 1 st. Do this until you get to corner, at the corner, 6dc in center of corner stitches.

picot stitch edging

 

Picot stitch- Ch 3, 4, or 5 and slst into first ch (picot made!). Work two, three, or four stitches, then make another picot. My sample shows ch 4, slip stitch (sl st) into 1st chain, sc in next 3 stitches and repeat across. When at corner, ch 3, sl st into 1st chain, sc in next st, ch 4, sl st into 1st ch, sc in next st, ch 3, sl st into 1st chain and continue around. Repeat this process for each side and corner.

These are just a few of the many crochet edgings you can add to your projects. Not just for crochet and knit items anymore!
What are your favorite crochet edgings to use? Just post in the comments section on the page, I would love to hear your favorites.

Finding my niche

R.B. Craft Show 2008

Last Saturday I participated in the El Segundo Hometown Fair. It’s an annual event for the city that brings out families. The kids get to play in the bounce houses, the adults chatting amongst themselves and the arts and crafts vendors get to make new customers.

Typical of beach living it was a cold, windy, damp day. I am often approached by customers asking some common questions about my knit and crochet items. Such as if I teach children and do I teach knitting.

The answer to both is yes.

 I do teach kids how to crochet, with minimum age of 10 years, and not more than 6 kids at a time. If there are more than 6 kids in a class, they lose the one on one teaching, with some catching on and others not at all.

I also teach knitting. Sometimes privately in my home and sometimes through other venues like yarn shops or through a city program.

Customers also ask how long I have been crocheting animals. This question always brings back memories of the first arts & crafts event I participated in. It has been 10 years now that I have been knitting and crocheting for fairs.

To be honest, I cannot remember exactly how I got into selling at craft fairs. My first show was at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. My table had knit and crochet scarves and crochet beanies. The beanie hats were the first time I had ever crocheted in the round. People complimented me on how well I knitted scarves, and that I should have raised the price of the scarves. (Lessons of the newbie!)
I went online and spent many hours looking at patterns.

Turtle was my first animal.

 

My first animal I ever crochet was the turtle. Many mistakes were made but I had to try. Once I got the hang of it, I found it to be easy to crochet.

Some of my wares you can find at Buy Hand Laguna Beach.

In 2007, I participated in a show at a senior center, brought along 8 crochet animals, along with other items. The animals were a hit! I had found my niche and have been crocheting animals for 10 years. I create my own designs too which include the octopod, jellyfish, seal, teddy bear, ducky ball with more to come.

Five years after that beginning All of my ocean related animals are shipped to Buy Hand – Laguna Beach, where I consign them. Their customers love my crochet animals —they have even been photographed for a local newspaper article on the shop!

My Octopod gets featured in article about Buy Hand Laguna Beach.

How did you find your niche?

Baggy here: I love a good story. Tell me how you found your niche in the comments below.

Baggy New Year, er, Happy New Year!

Where are the snacks?

Here at YarnKat, the holiday fun continues. And Baggy seems to have made a party out of YarnKat. He’s even got his black tie on in anticipation of the New Year. Which is still a few days away.

Baggy here: Don’t I look handsome? I think I do.

Oh, YES, you are one handsome kitty in your bow tie. Speaking of tying things on, someone must have put catnip in the hot chocolate –the YarnKat Holiday Sale has been extended until January 2nd. Big savings all around. 55% off everything!

Baggy: WHAT?!

That’s right. 55%. That $40 scarf you wanted before Christmas is now $18.
Use coupon code YrEnd2016 to save.

Baggy: Gotta be the catnip…


Speaking of year end, we’re doing a little housekeeping. If you subscribed to YarnKat, and have not received any posts or updates, there is a 2nd step you need to do to complete the process. When you enter your email, we automatically send out a confirmation email and in it, ask you to, obviously, confirm your subscription. Make sure you confirm, or you will miss out.

Baggy: Don’t forget to wish them a Happy New Year.

I think you just did, silly cat. Happy New Year and thanks for supporting YarnKat.

Final Show Of The Year. Locals, Come On Out And Do Some Holiday Shopping!

If she keeps wrapping me in ribbons, I’m going to need some Catnip!

My last holiday boutique of the year is tomorrow. Let’s close out the season with some fun holiday shopping.

Need a gift for someone hard to buy for?
Come see my handmade knit and crochet scarves, fingerless mitts, shawls and shawlettes.

Shawls and shawlettes are 25% off, discount price on tag.
Maybe you need to get great stocking stuffers, like wool felted gift card envelopes or coffee cup cozies.
Are you playing Santa to the little ones?
Kids love my crochet animals and knit and crochet character hats.
Want to feel comfy and cozy, why not snuggle up in one of my throws or afghans?
They are on sale for 25% off the marked price.

Lots to see, come by and shop till you drop!

Here’s the 411:
Charles Wilson Park
2200 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance

9am-4pm.

(Baggy here:  I need some catnip. There are some some big savings, come on out and shop!)

Save