Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vintage Flower Coasters - Free Pattern

Earlier today I decided I wanted to use some leftover cotton thread, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to make. Somehow I found myself perusing crochet coaster patterns on Ravelry, but when I went to view one I had finally settled on, the link failed. Then I remembered that I have been wanting to share a simple free pattern here on my blog for some time. Thus, these simple coasters were born:

Vintage Flower Coasters

3.25 mm (D) crochet hook
Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread (Size 3)*
Tapestry needle

*WalMart currently sells Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread for approximately $2.00 per spool. I chose "Bridal White" which is actually more of a cream color. I estimate that you can expect to make at least 4 coasters from one spool. (I made two after already having completed a small teddy bear. There still appears to be sufficient thread remaining for a third coaster.)

Finished Size:
4 1/4 inches in diameter

ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
sl st = slip stitch
st = stitch

The number of stitches you should have at the end of each round is given in parentheses.


---> To begin, ch 2.

Round 1: 10 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Join with sl st to 1st sc of round. (10)

Round 2: ch 3 (counts as 1st dc). dc in 1st stitch. 2 dc in each remaining stitch around. Join with sl st. (20)

Round 3: ch 4. [Skip next dc, sc in following dc, ch 3] around. Join with sl st to first ch of round. (40)

Round 4: ch 2 (counts as 1st sc). 4 sc in 1st ch space, ch 1. [5 sc in next ch space, ch 1] around. Join with sl st. (60)

Round 5: ch 3 (counts as 1st dc). dc in 1st st and in each st around. Join with sl st. (60)

Round 6: ch 2 (counts as 1st sc). sc in 1st st and in each st around. Join with sl st. (60)

Round 7: ch 3 (counts as 1st dc). 4 dc in 1st st. ch 1. Skip next 2 st. (5 dc in next st, ch 1, skip next 2 st) around. Join with sl st. (120)

Cut thread and fasten off. Weave in ends. Lay coaster flat and smooth over with hand. It should settle flat and stay that way, particularly after it has been laying flat for a short time. (I did not need to block mine.)

Please note:
This pattern is for your non-commercial personal use only. Please do not copy any material within the pattern nor within any of my blogs. Thank you.

...That's it! If you have any questions or find any errors, please let me know. I hope you will share photos of your finished projects! (This pattern link can be found here on Ravelry.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

The boys loved their Easter baskets, giggled through the egg hunt, filled their plates and tummies at the church breakfast, and came back from Junior Church with big smiles.

Brian made a wonderful roast dinner, and we ended our night with an impromptu devotional about Jesus and the resurrection. (I love that about Thomas' book. He is still reading his book of 365 Bible Stories and regularly asking some pretty great questions.)

Brian and I stayed up until 1:00 watching The Passion of the Christ. (Important to see but hard to watch.)

I couldn't have asked for a better Easter, but I wouldn't have had any of it if it wasn't for.... well, for His amazing love.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hoppy Easter

Would you believe this little bunny started from a single square swatch? I know her feet are a bit... unusual... but the design is still pretty ingenious, in my opinion. Details can be found here.

We have yet to dye eggs, and I have it on good authority that the Easter bunny is way behind this year. However, we were given a large bundle of palms on Sunday.

Thomas balanced a couple on top of the cross he had just made and hung on his wall, but there were still many left, so I started youtubing. Before I knew it, I was making crosses. Lots of them. They started out full-sized and worked their way down. This one fell somewhere in the middle, size-wise:

I found them strangely addicting and only stopped at 35. Thomas also learned how and made a few of his own, and Gabe made one with help.

Both have been really enjoying Junior Church lately. It was an instant hit with Thomas, who has learned so much since November, but up until a month or two ago, Gabe wanted nothing to do with going upstairs (and leaving our sides), so it's great to see him get so excited. He looks forward to his crafts and activities and even told one of the other ladies at church on Sunday that he likes going upstairs.

Logan still sits with us, but he's usually pretty happy if we bring some stickers along. He can occasionally get loud, however, out of excitement, pointing to things and saying what they are, like his nose, which he calls "NO!" Granted, the congregation gets a good laugh in every now and then, when he happens to chime in at just the right time.

Last night Brian had loaded up the iTunes store and was listening to samples of some popular Christian songs, and Logan heard one of the songs we sing at church. He grinned and started dancing, moving side to side like I do when I hold him during worship. He went over to Brian to listen and dance some more, and every time the music stopped he stopped, anxious for another song. Then he would go back and forth between us saying, "Dance!" and holding our hands, stepping from side to side, smiling because we were too, thinking it was just the cutest.

Have I mentioned how incredibly blessed I feel?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Starting to Get It

Gardening is something I have always wanted to do but pushed aside for a while because I really didn't have the time, space, or money to do much, and I didn't know the first thing about it anyway. As soon as we moved into our house I started dreaming but had no idea where to start. Some times I would think I could do better if I could afford to make a raised bed garden with even rows, or if I lived closer to my family so that we could work together in our gardens, or if my grandfather were here to give me pointers...

I still find the whole idea pretty overwhelming. In this way I think I can relate to Thomas' particular ADHD trait that makes it difficult to figure out how to look past the endless list of questions ahead of me and pick some place to start. I feel this way about lots of things and attribute it to why I tended to procrastinate so much in school; sure, I was lazy, but inside I also wanted everything to be perfect, I didn't want to leave anything out, and I just never knew where to start in order to achieve all that. I still have so many unanswered questions and concerns, as well as fear of failure, mostly because of the money involved, even though I intend to keep expenses to a minimum. However, I've done a little research, and even though that scares me even more, I decided that this year I just couldn't wait any longer. The truth is that I've been handed lots of advice, and if I don't try, I may never learn. I expect to make lots of mistakes, but I have to at least know that I tried.

When I say I'm starting to get it, I don't mean I am even beginning to understand all the ins and outs of gardening, but I now see the draw. I "get" a little of why it is such a popular hobby and how growing a garden is so much more than the work involved, and I can no longer ignore tips on TV or a continuous stream of gardening videos on youtube. It's the joy of watching the miracle of a tiny seed starting to sprout. It's the dream of a great harvest and sharing that harvest with friends. It's working with your hands and getting dirty outside. It's worrying about pests, weeds, disease, light, water, sun, soil... It's learning new methods and sharing all of these things with others. -I'm sure this is only the beginning. After all, all I have right now is a little plastic indoor greenhouse with some sprouts and a garden that still isn't ready for plants. (That part scares me the most.)

Thankfully, though, some of those seeds that I planted just 9 days ago did manage to grow a little bit, plus Thomas has grown very interested in gardening too. No matter what happens, I am excited - and at least a little hopeful. I haven't seen any signs of cayenne or sweet peppers yet, but my tomatoes, spinach, and jalapeƱos have sprouted, and after thinking about it, I decided I had to have some strawberries, so I used my $10 WalMart reward site gift card yesterday to bring home a container, some organic potting soil, and some strawberries. Planting them today and then looking outside and worrying that maybe I shouldn't have left them out there, in the wind - and wondering what might happen if it rained continuously and they became over-watered - made me feel almost like those seeds had become like little babies to me. Okay, so I'm a little crazy, but it's true.

Have you ever felt this way about your plants? Do you think I'll find any success, or am I too much of a worrier? I'll try to post regular photos of progress, provided there is such a thing... Here's hoping for at least one good crop, come summer!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Favorite Song

My Little Fiber World

As I sit and knit a sweet little white bunny rabbit for spring, I am reminded that I have not posted about my creations in quite some time. There have been many. Between last month and this month alone, I have made 23 new things and started 2 more. I've finally shipped out a few things that were promised long ago too. (You know who you are!) One of you (you probably don't know who you are, though you might be reading) can expect a package soon also, but yours is not quite done yet.

If you are interested to see what I've been making, you can check out my Ravelry Projects page. As a sneak peek, I'll share with you a little photo I took this morning.

A very nice Ravelry friend inspired them. When Logan sees one he reaches out and asks for it, saying, "Ball!" Then he throws it across the room and forgets about it until someone else picks it up again. I love that use for these!

Prior to all the small projects I've been working on of late, I had also made a couple of projects for two special friends whom I hold dear to my heart. I've been wanting to share them here, though I'm not sure if I'm so fond of them for what they are or for the time I enjoyed thinking of their recipients while I made them.

The first is another Hooded Jacket from Simply Baby by Debbie Bliss. (You might recall the original, which I made well before Gabe was born.)

I love the way it knits up, and the first held up well for Gabe and Logan, so I hope this one will too.

The other is a simple little hat using a really cool yarn that I happened upon by accident one time while shopping at Jo-Ann's. This particular buy reminds me that an impulse buy, when it comes to yarn, is not always such a bad thing!

That is sweet baby Clara and her mom, Caitlin. Caitlin and I grew up as friends in a great little New Hampshire town (the best), and she is one of the sweetest people I know. I extend my gratitude to her for letting me use her photo. Aren't they a stunning pair? You can see more here.

More recently, I have been working on a collection of baby items for a local pregnancy center--and having a lot of fun doing so. I still have a lot to make, though, before I will be ready to make a trip over with my basket of goodies, so I will continue making hats, booties, and other small things, for a while. I hope the new mothers will appreciate them. I find myself thinking of these women often, even though I don't know anything, really, about them, except that they are all experiencing the indescribable miracle of pregnancy, and that many of them probably have very real concerns about how this miracle will change their lives in a more practical manner. Having been there myself, their cause hits home. I hope they are able to think positively and enjoy all that is happening within them.

I hope to share a photo of all of those things once I am ready to made my first delivery.

There are still more things being made though, so you can be sure to see glimpses into additional projects before too long. If I can squeeze out the time, I may try to share a free pattern too. (Something simple.) First, I'll try to finish this funny little bunny. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Good things do come to those who wait.

Things like sprouting lilies,

budding branches,

and pussy willows...
remind me so.

We started officially enjoying the weather last week. By Friday we were outside without jackets. (Yippee!) Gabe helped me remove some sticks from our back yard.

He and Logan even humored me for a brief photo shoot.

Gabe was so happy he couldn't hold back his sillies.

Yesterday we even visited some friends who broke out their grill. Grace gave Gabe a ride in her super cool motorized jeep while the burgers cooked. Gabe was so excited that I'm pretty sure he laughed and giggled for at least fifteen minutes straight.

Then today I brought Gabe outside while Logan was napping, and we raked some leaves. When Logan awoke he was thrilled to come right outside and join us. He walked around with the biggest grin on his face and then looked on as we filled a couple of lawn and garden bags before heading out front to watch Thomas try out his brand new bike. Before long, out came the flying discs

and the motorcycle, of course.

Yes, it was a great weekend, and tomorrow we are expecting a high of 79 degrees! I'm hoping to plant some of the vegetable seeds I bought today, provided potential thunderstorms hold off long enough. Tom and Gabe can't wait to help me fill our little pots so we can bring them inside and watch our seeds start to grow.

Do you get as excited with the change of (all) seasons as I do? I can't imagine living in a different climate. I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy it all the way I do. ♥