Hairpin Lace

When my mother was a young woman sitting around her Uncle Henry's kitchen table, he taught her how to make hairpin lace. Every time I think of my great uncle, with his short, stubby aging fingers, handling a crochet hook, and patiently teaching his young protege, I smile. I would love to know how he learned, but alas, I never will. But even now, I love being able to trace this technique back to Uncle Henry, and have a true sense of the creative legacy we can impart on younger generations.

It has been a quarter century since my mom or I have used hairpin lace to make anything. Recently she decided to make each of her grandchildren afghans. While trying to decide on a pattern to use, I remembered this all but forgotten technique. My mom use to use 2 long knitting needles, pushed through 2 spacers my father had cut for her. We could not find these anywhere, so I purchased her a new set. And just because I was so excited to rediscover this technique, I got a set of hairpin lace needles (sometimes called a hairpin lace loom) for Michelle and myself. The pictures above are the start...Read more

Gnome House Crocheted Rag Rug

We are still very busy crafting Valentines Day decorations for the gnome house. Thought a festive rug or two would be a nice touch. Whenever I make my Rip and Tear Napkins, I always have a long, narrow strip of fabric left. One of the great ways to make use of this fabric, is to rip it into 1/2" strips and crochet with it like you would yarn. (Hint: Prewashing the material removes the sizing and makes it easier to work with.)   

To join the strips into one continuous piece, simply overlap the ends and sew together. You do not need to be neat. You'll never see it once you start crocheting.

This is so easy. To make a rug 5 1/2" x 5 1/2":

Using a crochet hook size US I, loosely chain 14.

Rows: Turn and chain 2. Double crochet into 3rd stitch and ever remaining stitch.

Repeat until 5 1/2".

Dah Tah... you are done. When crocheting, it doesn't matter whether the right or wrong side of the fabric...Read more

Community Knitting Basket

Just about everyone I know knits. If they didn't know how to before meeting me, chances are I'll be teaching them. Although I am a multi-crafter, knitting is often my "go to" craft I use for television watching, chatting with friends, or waiting in doctors' offices. It's neat, easy to pack up, and if you don't have a complex pattern, easy to do while you're doing something else. 

Over the holidays many evenings were spent around an open fire, where you could hear lively conversations and the clicking of knitting needles. On one such evening, Michelle found herself without a knitting project. She disappeared into my attic closet, and she returned with a basket full of yarn remnants and a pair of knitting needles. She informed me that this was now the Community Knitting Basket. She cast on 36 stitches, and started a scarf. She had gotten the idea from the book Weekend Knitting. Now, any guest in our house that finds herself without a knitting project, will be invited to pick up the scarf and continue knitting. It doesn't matter whether you're an experienced knitter, adding fancy stitches, or a beginner,...Read more

Yarn Dolls

Over the Holidays our house was a constant hub of activity. Beginning with that life affirming first cup of morning coffee shared with fellow pajama wearers, to the wee hours of the night, snuggled on the couch watching a barrage of Christmas movies, the house buzzed. Michelle and her family were around for most of it... departing for home only for a good night sleep. Although the children handled the long days and chaos quite well, every once in a while 3 year old Pixie needed to find the lap of a nurturing adult, where she chilled and regrouped before rejoining the other children.

A couple of nights after Christmas, Pixie climbed onto my lap. I was sitting in our family room, happily nestled between my computer desk and felt table, chatting away. As she sat, she was fingering one of the many ubiquitous skeins of yarn that can be found hither and yon in our house. Without giving it much thought, I asked her to show me her yarn. I picked up the lid of an embroidery floss container, and began wrapping the yarn around and around as I talked. She was fascinated. Then, over the next 10 minutes, I tied...Read more

Yarn Dolls

If you have a skein of yarn and 15 minutes, you can create a yarn doll! This is a great craft to share with young crafters, and soon, everyone will be busy creating a community of yarn dolls! Making the dolls is an "ish" thing. How tall you make your dolls will determine how many times you need to wrap the body. My dolls are 7 1/2" tall. If you want to make yours larger or smaller, just experiment until you find satisfying proportions.