Collecting Crochet Hooks? Huh?

You may say that collecting crochet hooks seems like an odd thing to do, and I will say that you are right BUT...

I crochet practically everywhere I go--traveling, meetings, home, watching TV, visiting with friends--pretty much any time I have a few minutes and I want to be productive. Since I crochet so much, People are always starting conversations about crocheting. some of the most popular comments are:

"I wish I could knit like that."
I reply, "I have tried knitting and I didn't like it. This is crocheting."

"I've never seen anyone use such large hooks before."
I reply, "I use large hooks for bulkier yarns. Sometimes I like to crochet with
two or more threads and a larger hook manages it better. Sometimes the yarn
I select is not as soft as I would like for it to be. If I use a larger hook
the finished product is looser and softer. Sometimes I just want to get finished
with a project quickly, and a larger hook covers a lot more territory quickly."

"That's nice, but I don't like blankets with all those holes. I like something solid
and warm"
"I know what you mean, but with crochet, if you make it solid, it ends up being
so heavy that you can hardly lift it."

"Do you ever sell what you make?"
"I am happy to sell what I make when I find a buyer. Most people are not
interested in paying for the cost of the materials invested in a project
when they can go to WalMart and buy a blanket, throw or scarf for a fraction of
the price."

"Can you teach me to do that"
"Yes, I have taught a number of people to crochet, but it is like anything
else, you have to practice to get good at it. Most people make the mistake
of starting a project that is too big and they never get it finished."

If I have the time, while I am sitting with people, I will teach them to crochet. I can't tell you how many crochet hooks and little balls of yarn I have given away. I keep all my crochet hooks in a little pencil bag. I bought this one in Israel.

My friend, Freddie, bought this one for me in Taiwan. She went to Taiwan to help our Associate Pastor's family when they went to pick up their adopted son.

This is the contents of my bags--metal and plastic hooks, scissors and a tape measure.

And now to the subject of this blog.

I taught a crochet class at my church. I asked several of my stitching friends to come and be in class tutors. I wanted every student to have an instructor that could help them quickly. I knew I could not be everywhere at once, and I did not want the students to get frustrated. As I was giving the history of crochet, I mentioned that I had never seen any antique crochet hooks, but it might be a fun thing to look for. Wouldn't it be interesting to find one made out of bone or ivory? Although, I have seen some beautiful new handmade hooks.

My friend, Virginia, found an antique wooden hook--over a hundred years old. She also found a handmade one--made out of honey locust wood. She gave them to me for Christmas. I was so surprised and delighted. It was a very thoughtful gift. I am sure it is the beginning of a treasure hunt. Park Ranger will be so excited when I want to stop at every antique store in Texas looking for crochet hooks. Oh well, he'll get over it. At least they don't take up much room in the car or in the house.

Until we meet again.


Hats, Hats, and More Hats

When I found out my daughter was going to have a baby girl in November, my crocheting imagination went wild. I started crocheting all kinds and colors of afghans, and then I started making hats. I made pom pom hats, fun fur hats, every kind I could think of in every color I could think of. A girl needs choices. Right?

Cookie Favors for Katie's Baby Shower

I made these cookies for my daughter's baby shower. I used my standard cookie and frosting recipe. I used a onesie cookie cutter. When it came to putting the detail on the cookies, I just could not get the detail that I wanted by using frosting. I had bought some markers that had edible ink, so I decided to see if I could draw on the detail. I let the icing dry overnight to make sure it was a nice hard surface on which to draw. I am pretty stiff when it comes to drawing, so I started off by making the neckline, the center line and then the leg holes. I made dots for buttons and then all of a sudden, my creative juices came alive. I started decorating them with lace and bows and ruffles and collars and epaulettes and cuffs. It was a blast and definitely a technique that I plan on experimenting with much more.

Papaw's Shirt Pillow

My daughter, Katie, and her husband, Tim, asked me to make a pillow for Tim's grandmother. Tim's grandfather passed away this past year, and they wanted to give his grandmother something special. They decided to have a pillow made out of his grandfather's favorite shirt.

I cut the shirt on the sides and bottom and then sewed it into a square. I used an 18" pillow form and just unsnapped the front as the way to put the pillow form inside the shirt. I sewed part of the shirttail to the collar to make a flap to cover the pillow at the neck hole. I think it turned out nice. Tim and Katie were happy, and that's what counts. I'm anxious to hear what Mamaw says.

Hill Country Lights

We visited Park Ranger's parents in Fredericksburg on Christmas Day, and one of our activities was to see the Christmas lights in Johnson City. Johnson City was not known for it's lights when I lived there, but it is known for that now and deservedly so. We saw the Blanco County Courthouse. It was completely draped in white lights. They had horse drawn carriages giving people tours of the displays.

After the Courthouse, we went to see Dexter Haynes' display north of town. I'll have to admit that Dexter's display was quite impressive also.

And then to top off the evening, we saw the trees at the Pedernales Electric Cooperative. Every trunk of the old live oak trees were completely wrapped in white lights as well as lights in the leaves of the trees. It was quite a winter wonderland and something one should see if in the area during the holidays.

She's Baaack!!!!

Hello readers. I'm back! My family and friends have a been after me to blog again, so here I am. Life distracted me for a while, but the gift of an iPad from my family has motivated me to get back to writing. We'll start things out light and easy this morning with a little craft blog.

Last year, after Christmas, my daughter Amy and I started couple of projects for the next Christmas. These little Santa ornaments were my project. I gave them away as favors to all the friends and family that visited during the holidays this year. They are made with chili peppers that I bought by the bag at the grocery store. I used craft paint to paint the faces and beard and glued a pom-pom on the end of the stem for the hat. All of the chilies have a natural curved stem that gives an adorable, unique look to each Santa. The stem is also used for the hanger. Cute, huh?

My next craft is a crocheted project. They are scrubbies crocheted with nylon net. they are a little labor intensive but worth it. You buy the net by the yard and have to cut it into 2 inch strips, then you have to tie the strips together. This is a vital step, because the tied ends provide the stuffing for the scrubbie. You crochet two discs and then slip stitch them together. The stiff, rough net makes great dish scrubbers. The softer net makes a great bath loofah.

Stay tuned for more projects.


The fourth of July has always been a holiday for fun times with the family.  This year, Park Ranger and I ended up not having any plans for the holiday.  Katie and Tim went to Arkansas.  Amy was floating on the river with Andrea and Nate.  We didn't have a thing planned.

Amy's roommate, Lindsay, and her boyfriend, Mike, decided to make a trip to the DFW area to see the sights.  They asked if they could stay at our house.  Of course, we told them we would be delighted for them to stay with us.  They ended up not getting to the house until after 10 on Saturday night.  Sunday, we went to church, and then went to have hamburgers at Chaps for lunch.  On the way home, we decided to stop at the Ballpark and see if we could get tickets for the Rangers vs. White Sox game.  We were able to get tickets--yay!

At lunch, we were throwing around some ideas for the rest of the day.  Someone brought up the idea of making cookies. I am always game for someone to help me make cookies.  So I enlisted Lindsay and Mike, and we made cutout sugar cookies of flags and fireworks.

The  Ballpark is a fabulous place to spend the 4th.  They had about 150 young men and women take their oath to be inducted into the Air Force.They had an F-16 flyover, which is guaranteed to get me fired up.  They had a huge flag in the outfield and some great singers singing the National Anthem.

The game was a stinky game.  The Rangers lost the game.  They didn't get beat, they lost it.  After the game, they always have a fireworks display.  It is always fabulous--hearing the patriotic music on the big speakers and seeing the fireworks up close and personal.  Lindsay and Mike enjoyed themselves, and we enjoyed being with them.  They spent another night and left on Monday morning.

We got up early on Monday morning and got the lawn mowed and weedeated for the festivities later on that afternoon. 

On the way to the Ballpark, I heard from my brother, Terry.  He was on his way through Arlington and wanted to stop by.  I told him that we weren't at home and what did he have planned for the next day?  They didn't have anything planned, so they came over in the afternoon for hotdogs and homemade ice cream.  Terry's comment to me was, "What kind of homemade banana ice cream are we going to have?"  Needless to say, I made banana ice cream.  It was some of the best I have ever made.  It got rave reviews.  I don't think my family could remember my homemade ice cream, it had been so long since I had made it.  Katie, Tim and TJ got home from Arkansas at about 5:00, so they came over also. 

Even though we didn't have much planned, we ended up having a full weekend and thoroughly enjoyed and celebrated this Independence Day.