Crafting Must Go On

September 21, 2020

I mentioned in the last blog entry about our crafting being on hold. The crafting I was talking about was making items for the craft festival sales.

But crafting must go on — because I was BORN to make things. I just can’t quit making things. It’s in my blood. However the items I’m working on now are for my own personal use.

For example, the last year or so I’ve been wanting to make some afghans to give to family members. So two new afghans are in the making as I write. One is a crocheted granny square made with all the little left-over balls of yarn that have been piling up for quite a few years now. I’ve made a lot of granny afghans out of left-over yarn, but this one is a little different.

I’m a saver. (I prefer that term to “hoarder”.) So every little scrap of yarn is saved. The bag that holds all these little balls was busting at the seams. Some of these little balls are just a yard long or even shorter.

I’ve been wondering how I can use these small pieces of yarn without having a gazillion ends to weave in. Then I saw a video about tying the ends of two pieces together with a small knot and being able to cut the ends off right. next. to. the. knot! No ends to weave in and when I pulled with all my might, the knot did not come apart! Where has this trick been all my life!? Here’s a link to a video showing how this is done.

I start out my granny square with a small ball of yarn. When that piece runs out, I tie another piece onto it with this magic knot and continue making the square as big as I want. It makes an interesting square. I’m trying to use just a couple of coordinating colors for eye appeal for each square, but there’s also different shades of the same colors being used in the same square.

To finish each square, I’m crocheting the last round out of some dark gray yarn that I’ve unknit from a previous item — can’t remember now what it was.

It’s kind of fun to see how the squares turn out and I’m finally using all those little balls of yarn!

Oh by the way, the little snippets of yarn that I cut off after making the magic knots? They’re going into a jar. (Like I said, I hate to throw yarn away.) Maybe it’ll be given away to someone who would think it would be a good conversation started?

I have another bigger jar that I’ve stashed end pieces in since I can’t remember when. I think it’s pretty neat looking. I love it as a decorative item in my sewing room.

Another afghan I’ve been working on is a knitted one out of some bumpy yarn that is impossible to crochet with. It’s beautiful yarn in a colorwork of brown. Perfect for all the men in the family. I’m knitting it with size 10 1/2 needles in a purl-every-row pattern. Is that called a reverse garter stitch? Not sure.

Anyway, it’s taking quite a while to knit because I have 245 stitches across the needle. But it’s mindless knitting. I can pick it up and knit without remember where I am in the pattern. I have six balls of yarn that have 360 yards on each ball and I’m going to knit until I run out of yarn. I just started the fourth of the six balls. It’s acrylic, wool, and polyester blend and it’s very soft and will be nice and warm.

In addition to these afghans, I’ve also been working on a project I’ve pulled from the UFO pile. It’s a cross-stitch kitten stocking that I started in Jan. 2017. (Yeah!) With all the cross-stitching that I’ve been doing lately, I could have had this stocking mostly finished by now. So it’s time!

I’ve been working on it for several weeks, almost every day, and there’s still a lot of work to do on it yet. But I’m determined to get it finished. This year. (Ok, ya’ll have to hold me to that!)

Sis and I have been going through some of her stash to see what I can help her get finished up. One of the items was a little wreath that I helped her put together.

Another item was this cute little plastic canvas dog pull toy.

It took a few of our weekly get-togethers to “get ‘er done”.

And finished! Isn’t it cute?

Here’s the next project we worked on. It’s a little wall-hanging of a rag doll. The kit came with the materials to make just one; but searching through my scrap bag of material, I came up with enough to make myself one as well.

This cross-stitch kit was also in her stash and she wasn’t confident enough to make it, so I made it up for her.

She thought the pretty border around it was so nice that she just finished it up without even a frame and I think it turned out pretty.

And last is this little nutcracker that we painted at her house this week. They still need a little embellishing, but Sis was confident that she would be able to finish hers up without my help.

We made quite the mess.

I’ve been helping Sis work on and finish some of her items because she’s getting to the point of not being able to do them by herself. It saddens me to say this, but my Sis has been diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

I’ve noticed her not being herself for a couple of years now and it’s been getting worse. Her children had her tested and we got the official results this week.

She’s my sis and I love her to death so I’ll be helping her all I can. They have her on medication now that’s supposed to slow the process down, but the future is not looking good. We’ll all do the best we can for her, however, and pray a lot.

Crafting Put On Hold

September 13, 2020

With the postponements of craft festivals this year, Sis and I are going to put our crafting for the sale on hold until next year. Of course we already have enough crafts stashed away for next year because of all the stuff we were making for this year. But I’m sure we’ll get back into the crafting the closer next year’s festivals come up.

Right after the Fair activities were over and before we heard about the festivals being postponed, we started these little patchwork ornaments.

I had a bunch of Styrofoam shapes, some like bells and others like boots, that we covered with pieces of fabric, sequins, beads and lace.

We pinned black sequins around the bottom of the boots and added white “fur” trim at the tops of them. The bells got a pretty bead at the top and some lace around the bottom.

We had way too much fun making them!

I have more bell shapes, but they’ve been pushed to the back burner for the time-being.

At the same time, I got into cross-stitching again and decorated a couple of seasonal hand towels.

(These may become gifts for a lucky someone.)

I also made another crocheted beaded garland for the Christmas tree as well.

We’ve decided to work on some of our own projects from our stash and “save” our other ideas for the craft sale until next year. Maybe having to take a break from making projects for the craft fair is a good thing, because we both have more stash than we’ll ever get to.

No Craft Festivals This Year

September 7, 2020

It’s September! One of my two favorite months of the year. It’s time for cooler weather to come in, time for schools to start, time for Fall festivals to pop up all over the place . . . . . . wait — the Fall festivals have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Nooooooooooo!

I really don’t understand why they’ve been cancelled. Everything else is starting to open up again — with conditions. If schools, businesses, sports, etc. is opening up, then why can’t craft festivals, which are mainly held outside, go on as usual? This is the time of year that a lot of folks look forward to perusing crafts to decorate their homes and buy local items for gift giving.

But, alas, what can I say? I’m only one person. Sis and I are sure going to miss going to the craft festivals and especially being in the one in Ozark.

It’s Hard To Lose A Pet

August 31, 2020

Our little Snoopy is gone. Yes, unfortunately another racoon got into his pen looking for food and/or water. It’s been extremely dry for several weeks and we think that’s what the racoon was looking for.  And Snoopy got in his way.

This happened last Sat. and it’s been a sad week. We had the little fella six years almost to the day. Hubby was in a routine of feeding times and that’s been the most difficult time of the day for missing him.

Snoopy LOVED his banana treat at breakfast time. I would watch Hubby as he took his plate out to him each morning. Snoopy would come running when he knew that “Daddy” was bringing him his breakfast. Sometimes Snoopy would run around his legs as he stepped into the pen and then make a bee-line to the hutch where “Daddy” would put his plate down. But before the plate even hit the ground, Snoopy would grab a piece of banana and start eating it. He KNEW that banana would be right on top of the rest of his breakfast. It was really comical.

The evening meal wasn’t as exciting to Snoopy as the morning meal but he would be excited to see “Daddy” again anyway. It was almost as if he was happy that “Daddy” would come out to see him because Snoopy would run around his legs so fast that “Daddy” could hardly get in the pen without stepping on him. Then he would sit down on the ground and Snoopy would run around him playing a “catch me if you can” game. Hubby would try to grab his back and “tickle” him.

My presence didn’t seem to excite Snoopy like Hubby’s. (Of course I never had food with me.) But when I pet Snoopy, I would scratch the back of his neck just below his head and he acted like he really liked that — he would lay still for me as long as I pet him.

Other times during the day, we would take “treats” out to Snoopy. He loved dandelions in the spring and clover all summer. We’d take a handful into his pen and Snoopy would “allow” us to pet him as long as he was eating his treats.

We’re still mourning Snoopy and we catch ourselves walking over to the window to look out to see if we can see him running around in his pen. It’s hard to lose a pet.

The Fair 2020

August 9, 2020

It’s over. And there’s only one word for this year’s Fair — PATHETIC. Maybe two words, pathetic and sad. My guess is that there were a lot of people fearful of the pandemic that’s going on right now and decided not to enter their items in the Fair, and/or even go to the Fair because of the crowd issues (social distancing).

Whatever the case may have been, in all the years that I’ve been going to the Fair, this is the first year that I’ve seen the attendance this low. And in the 45 years that I’ve been entering my projects in the Fair, this has been the most pathetic show of all — even when they started charging to enter the exhibits plus all the other changes they’ve made through the years that have upset a lot of people.

Here’s the exhibit building and we were there on the weekend!

Outside was almost this pathetic. Let me just say that we didn’t even have to worry about “social distancing.”

But here I am, a die-hard Fair goer and exhibitor. I guess it will take something bigger than a pandemic to keep me away! 🙂 I not only entered my crafts this year, but I entered more this year than I have in quite a few years. AND I got a LOT of ribbons. But the thrill is not quite there.

After seeing the really sad amount of crafts this year, I can’t really enjoy the winnings so much. ALL 15 of my crafts in the Hobby Crafts Division won a ribbon. Yeah, see what I mean? The Household Arts (needlecrafts) Division was surprisingly a little better, so I had a little more competition and only won eight out of 14 entries.

The proudest I was of all the ribbons I received, however, was the champion ribbon on the knitted lap throw made on the circular needles and took several months to make.

I think I truly deserved that one.

The Special Contest baking Division was just as sad. For example, the apple pie class usually has the most pies of all to be judged. There was one pie!! All the other breads and cookie classes were almost as bad. Only one, two, or three in each one. So consequently, I got a ribbon on all of the breads and cookies I took.

I talked Sis into entering a couple of baked goods this year. She made a bread. The only class of quick breads that had more than three entries was the bread class that she entered. There were five and she didn’t win a ribbon. Go figure!

She also entered one of the cookie classes that is in the Grandparents Cookie Contest. I entered all the classes and since I was the only one to enter all four of the classes I got a ribbon on all my cookies. There was one other lady and Sis that also entered the Christmas cookie class. I got the first place, the other lady got the second place and Sis got the third place. At least she got one ribbon for the two things she entered.

By the way, her cookies were really cute! She made “The Night Before Christmas Mice”

They had a very good chocolate taste, but the lady that won second place made sugar cookies and dipped them in chocolate. So her cookies were better according to the girl that judged them. The judge had to be a Granddaughter. She had a hard time making up her mind. 🙂

Here’s all the cookies in the display shelf at the Fair.

See the little mice? 🙂

Hubby went with us to the Fair on the day of the Grandparents Cookie Contest, so after the judging, we had to go ride the Ferris Wheel. It’s kind of tradition even though we haven’t done that in a couple of years. But the weather was beautiful, they were having a special price on the rides that day, and we took advantage of it.

We couldn’t talk Sis into riding it, so I made her the official picture taker. She took a LOT of pictures and surprisingly, she got a few good ones.

Yeah, I’m just a little kid when it comes to the Fair.

Hubby and I went to the Fairgrounds today and picked up all of my craft items because yesterday was the last day of the Fair for this year.

I just spread them all out on the table and took a picture of them all together instead of taking up so much space for each item. Besides most of these things already have their picture in this blog somewhere — if you want to see a close-up of anything.

Well, another Fair year is over and I’m already thinking about next year.  We can only hope and pray that this pandemic will be over soon and things will start getting back to normal.