Category Archives: crochet

There Is Always More To Learn

I first learned to crochet more than 3 decades ago and have been seriously crocheting for about 8 years now. By “seriously” crocheting I mean I have been increasing my skills by trying different patterns, learning new stitches and stitch combinations, working with different yarns and threads, making things for gifts and even selling a few items.

Earlier this year I learned a new crochet term. The term is frogging. I first saw this term while reading another blog about crochet and I had to look it up to see what I had been missing. Come to find out frogging is something I had been doing all along. Yes, I am sure I frogged even my very first crochet project, and many of the projects that I have made have been frogged, including the one I am currently working on. Being able to frog a project is in fact why I would prefer crocheting to sewing. Come to find out frogging is the act of tearing out a portion of (or all of) the completed work. It is usually done because you are not satisfied with the results or because you have discovered a mistake you made and need to go back and correct it.

You may be wondering, as I did, why this is called frogging. I laughed when I read the explanation – because you rip-it, rip-it (sounds like a frog).

On a couple of my recent posts about crochet projects some readers have commented that I am “very talented”. While I appreciate these comments, I am humbled and I don’t want my posts to be misleading. I am not sure that “talent” is the right way to describe my crocheting. I often find myself frogging large portions of projects because I have made an error and have to go back and correct it, or even entire projects because the type of yarn wasn’t right or I just didn’t like the end product. The beauty in crochet is that you can easily “rip-it, rip-it” or undo the work and redo it without ruining the yarn. I think what you are seeing as “talent” is just plain stubbornness, or maybe determination,  coupled with the love of crafting.

There were also a couple of comments from readers who said something along the lines that they could “never do that”. I want to tell you – you really never know unless you try.  If you have tried and still can’t get it, I have great news for you. There is another (easier) option for yarn crafting that I intend to share with you. Like knitting and crochet you can create beautiful hats, scarves, fingerless gloves, and so much more. I will be blogging about it soon so be sure to watch for that post.

Until next time be well my friends. 🙂



7 Years of Homemade Christmas Gifts

For several years now I have been making Christmas gifts and that is what I am spending a lot of time doing right now. I can’t tell you what I am making this year because it would ruin the surprise (my daughters do occasionally read my blog) but I thought I would tell you about some of the gifts I made in years past.

Making something for the girls (our daughters) has always been my first priority, but now that we have grandchildren and sons-in-law they are also recipients. The growing family is really challenging my creativity. 🙂 Since we have four girls I usually (but not always) make four gifts, the same – but different, for them.

My very talented sister K.C. inspires my sewing projects and is always on stand-by ready to counsel and console me when I call about sewing projects. Some of the things I have learned from her are:

  • Fleece and flannel are forgiving fabrics (I am thankful for this because if there is a “sewing sin” I will undoubtedly commit it.)
  • Use LOTS of pins.
  • Press seams.
  • When you get frustrated take a break and come back later.

My Mom is my inspiration when I crochet. She taught me the basics of crochet, but she was the one that always had crochet projects going for the whole family. She passed away in 2011 and now when I crochet I feel connected with her.

Some of the gifts were made before I started blogging and taking photos so there are no pictures to show but I will do my best to describe each.


Fleece Bath Robes – I think this was the first year I decided to make Christmas gifts for the girls. I had an old sewing machine that I decided to learn how to use. My husband saw me struggling and decided I needed a new sewing machine. At least this one came with directions – LOL.

This was a fun project because there are so many colors and patterns of fleece to choose from. The bath robe pattern that I selected was a simple wrap around with a tie closure, so I would not have to deal with buttons or zippers. I then selected a  different fleece for each of the girls.

Most of the girls were still living at home at this point which meant I had to schedule my sewing time when they were at school; it also meant that I got to see them wear their gifts often. 🙂

Flannel Pillow Cases – Notice I again choose a “forgiving” fabric to work with. The pillow cases were made with a solid color for the main part and a complimentary pattern for the trim.

Each girl or couple got a set of two pillow cases and I purchased new bed pillows for them as well.

Sister Shirts – This was one of my favorite projects and it involved neither sewing or crochet.

Here is a little background on sister shirts – I have 3 sisters, and like my parents, I have 4 daughters. When my sisters and I were growing up my parents, especially my dad, often got our names mixed up. One year when we were teenagers my sister J.B. and I (jokingly) decided to give dad a hand with that problem. We had t-shirts made for each of us. We each had a different color shirt. On the front it had our name, on the back it had the year we were born and our DD# (darling daughter #).

Several (more than 10) years ago I decided to have our shirts remade as sweat shirts this time (yes, Dad still gets us confused). I wear my “sister” shirt often, not necessarily for dad’s benefit, mostly because it is comfortable.


One day one of my daughters, I can’t remember which one, said “we need sister shirts” and that got the wheels spinning. I had to come up with a “sister shirt” design for them. Even though I do have the “parent with too many kids to keep straight syndrome” I decided my girls needed something different. The girls are very close and I wanted to make something to express how they feel about their sisters.

At this point I was well into the DIY Christmas gifts so I had to figure out how to make them instead of having them made. I found printable iron on transfer paper at the craft store and purchased plain hooded sweatshirts for each of the girls. I found a picture of all four girls together and printed it as an iron on (4x). I also printed the words “SISTERS ROCK!” and ironed that message under the photo on the shirt.

I have seen each of the girls wear their shirt many times over the years and it always made me smile. 🙂


Slippers – This is a pattern very similar to the ones my mom used to make. Her pattern called for two strand of worsted weight yarn held together and she would usually use two different colors to give the slippers a variegated effect. I began using heavy weight yarns (only one strand required) to make these.

The year my mom passed away I made these for everyone – all of my daughters, sons-in laws, sisters, mother-in-law and even my husband now has a pair. I wear mine in the house throughout the cold seasons and like to keep a couple of pair made up incase I (or someone else get a hole) in one. 🙂 I will be making more as soon as I finish this years Christmas projects.


Fingerless Gloves and Ear Warmers – This was the year I realized that all of the girls had smart phones and were spending lots of time swiping their phones for one reason or another. Fingerless gloves seemed a practical gift since they were probably swiping even when they were out in the cold.  I found this beautiful, free crochet pattern online.

I also made the matching ear warmers using the same stitch pattern.

Incidentally, when the girls were over for Thanksgiving, Kara mentioned that she lost her ear warmer. She said she wore it all the time and asked if I could make her a new one in the same color. I happened to have one (a different pattern but same color) already made up and she was wearing it when she left. It is a wonderful feeling when you know your gifts are used and appreciated. 🙂

Memory Quilts – This was a challenging but super fun project. The idea came to me after my youngest daughter, Lindell, moved out and I discovered that she had left behind all of her t-shirts from high school. When the girls were in school they had t-shirts from every activity that they participated in; homecoming shirts every year, sports shirts, band or choir shirts, drama club shirts, there was a whole stack of t-shirts that she hadn’t worn in a while an apparently didn’t plan on wearing again. They didn’t seem like the kind of thing you would want to donate to a charity since they wouldn’t hold any meaning for the person wearing them, yet they held too much meaning to my daughter to just throw them away.

While looking through the pile of shirts I discovered that there were two separate piles, one belonging to Kara and one belonging to Lindell. I decided to make them into keepsakes for the girls.

Below are the girls with their “High School” memory quilts. There are many online tutorials for these. Lindell’s (on the left) was made as a rag quilt with flannel  backing and Kara’s (on the right)was made with a fleece backing. Perhaps their smiles in the photo give you an idea how much the girls liked these blankets.


T-shirt Bags – Last year I was in a quandary about what to make for the girls. I thought I would like to make them market bags or tote bags. It seemed like a practical gift that could be used for so many purposes. I looked at several crochet patterns but realistically I knew I did not have time to crochet 4 of them. I  started searching for other ideas and found this It was super simple.

I had used all of the girls t-shirts for their quilts the year before and I did not want to buy new shirts for this project, so I went to the Salvation Army resale shop. I was able to find shirts that matched each girls personality for only a couple dollars each. There is one for the Disney lover, one for the MSU fan, one for the musician and one for the girl who loves to visit the Aquarium. 🙂


This was a quick easy project and I filled the bags with homemade treats – banana bread, honey or jam, and soaps and balms.


I am not certain if the girls use these bags but I am sure that they enjoyed the contents of them. 🙂

I am certainly not a master crafter and I admit that some of my projects have flaws but there is much to love about homemade gifts

  • There may be a cost savings, though this is not necessarily the case.
  • I find joy in creating things and especially for those I love. (I rarely find joy in shopping.)
  • The gifts can be one of a kind and tailored specifically for the individual.
  • They are always made with Love or TLP as I like to call it – Tender Love and Prayer.

Thank you for reading. If you have ever thought about making Christmas gifts I hope you have found some inspiration here. If you are a crafter who makes Christmas gifts please tell me about your favorite project that you have made, I am always looking for new ideas.

God Bless.

A Gift For Addy

We celebrated our Granddaughters first birthday last week.

Meet Addy.


I made her a birthday gift.

IMG_4614This sweater is loosely based off a free pattern I found online. I found the written pattern somewhat difficult to understand. I am thankful there was a video tutorial as I did have to view parts of it for guidance. I added the cuffs and changed the collar and trim to match. I chose lady bug buttons because Addy’s nickname is Ladybug. The matching beret was my own design, having made larger berets in the past I used the same process to make a smaller version.

When I went to sew the buttons on the sweater I discovered that the ladybug antennae threatened to snag the sweater when passing through the button holes.  To prevent this I added snaps on the inside of the sweater, so the ladybugs on the outside are only for decoration.

I would liked to have gotten pictures of Addy in this outfit but by the time gifts were opened and cake was eaten our precious Ladybug was ready for a nap. It was not the right time to expect her to model and pose for a pictures. Instead, as I held her she put her head on my should and closed her eyes and I savored these precious moments. 🙂

Thanks for reading.


Some Recent Crochet Projects

I haven’t written about crocheting in a while, so if you haven’t been following my blog for long you may not realize that this is a craft that I really enjoy. Unlike last year when I completed a major crochet project, this year I have kept it pretty simple.

When it comes to crocheting, scarves are about as simple as it gets. Below are three of the scarves I have created.


The one on the left is a pattern I made up combining two rows of double crochet followed by two rows of broom stick lace and repeating that pattern throughout.

The one in the middle was a pattern that was on the yarn wrapper. It is a combination of V-stiches and shell stitches. I absolutely love the royal colors of this scarf.

The one on the right is an infinity scarf made using a broom stick lace pattern. It is made with Lion Brand Landscapes yarn and is very soft.

You can probably tell I enjoy using variegated yarn for creating scarves. It is fun to watch the piece come together as the colors transition and each scarf becomes a one of a kind.

Thanks for stopping reading. 🙂




Hooked On Curlicues and More Hats

I started crocheting curlicues and I think I am hooked. (pun intended)


I made pony tail holders. These make me miss having little girls and putting fancy ponytails in their hair.

I made bookworms,



and this octopus that was a gift for my Grandson, Jackson.

These things work up very quickly and I love using the variegated color yarn for this.

I also found another hat pattern that I like. It was a free pattern that you can find at the following link.

I have made a two so far.


I have been using some of my yarn stash to make these, so finding complimentary colors that work is a challenge.

IMG_3796 (2)

This is my precious granddaughter Addy modeling the hat I made for her,


and my beautiful, great-niece, Kenzie wearing the hat (with curlicues) that I made for her. You can see more of this style hat in this post.

While crocheting all this has been lots of fun, I have to admit that I am really anxious for the nice weather to get here, when I will trade in my crochet hook for garden tools. Bring on spring!