Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crochet Dishcloths & The Olympics

I really got 'into' the Olympics late last night and again this afternoon.  Boy, that Biathalon was really something, wasn't it??  I was cheering both Norway and Austria on and crocheting like crazy!  They were neck & neck and it was great!!  1 1/2 dishcloths later, it was time to go to bed.  Norway won and the finish was superb.  Then this afternoon, after the little in-home 'show', I flipped over to the Olympics yet again and went right back to crocheting more; completed the half-done one and another, too!

I'd completely forgotten about this pattern until I saw the pics of what one of my favorite bloggers had made.  Her blog is called BusyHSMom.  She homeschools seven!  Wow, that's what I call busy!  And I just love the motto in her banner --- "Would someone else be the responsible adult now???"  

So I was tired of making scrubbies (yes, they were all completed well in advance of the in-home show today) and have decided to delve into making a couple dozen dishcloths.  The 'in-home' was sort of a brunch thing.  I took scones.  All my scrubbies are now gone so will have to make more soon. 

Here's a closeup of one of my dishcloths.

BusyHSMom's stitches are sooo nice and neat, perfect tension and alignment --- not mine!  But I've got an excuse ... my enthusiasm for the Olympians overtook my usual attention to stitch size and such.  Well, I didn't want to miss something important, now did I?  So ignore the rather uneven stitches in there.  They're for home use, anyway.  I had several oldies that really needed to head to the garage for oil rags and such.  I like the way the Lily Sugar & Cream variegated cotton yarn seems to make a diamond type of pattern.

That's it for this visit ~ time to go watch more about those fabulous Olympians!!

Marge in NV

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Scrubbies

I did get more of my Facial Scrubbies done up for the local special orders.  Ended up being able to make a dozen out of the remainder of that cotton yarn.  They turned out quite well, I thought.  This one at the left is the same yarn I used for the set of 4 I have in my Knits 'n More Etsy shop.  

I was going to do more colors since I seem to have a LOT of the Lily Sugar & Cream balls of 100% cotton yarn!  LOL ... but, my arthritis began to bother me last night so I quit until today.  Thank goodness for AsperCreme!!  Works wonders for me and I had my finger dexterity back in the a.m.

I've got some lovely Sugar & Cream in white and shades of pinks and I'll be using that one next.  Here's a picture of one of them.  Now to do about 14 more so I can have 5 of sets of 3 for my local customers.  I'm going to a small in-home show this weekend and I know two or three who have requested the Facial Scrubbies will be there. 

Best to go armed with bunches. :)

This Pinks Sugar & Cream is 189823 and the Dye lot is 19144 in case you want to take a look for it.  I usually wait to order online until I get a coupon from Joann's in my email and there's free shipping and good sized discounts they're offering.

Bye for now, have to get that crochet hook working!

Marge in NV

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Latest Crochet & Knit Projects

Thought I'd just chat away about what little (and a couple of BIG) projects I've got in the works.  I've finished up seaming a couple of knits and have them on the blocking board.  Will get some pics up online once they're blocked & dried in a couple of days.  I like to let my machine knit items 'rest' for a few days.  Some folks just take them off the blocking wires the moment they're dry to the touch.  I think that's the wrong thing to do ... knits need to 'rest' quite a bit.  Even after the blocking wires are removed, I'll still leave some of the T-Pins in and let it rest even more.  Nothing worse (to me) to have knits not properly blocked.

Now to get some crochet done up - that's on my list of projects for today.  I've got orders for crochet pot holders (from locals who have purchased from me before) and more of my little Facial Scrubbies.  Strange, but sellers on Etsy seem to list them in quantities of 4 or 6 or more.  Locally, they seem to want them in a set of 3.    Not sure why.  I have finger-loops on mine, much easier for me to hold onto when they're wet and soapy.    See picture at left.

I've also got a new item I'll be putting up online in a few days once I fine-tune the pattern; probably on Etsy, or perhaps one of my other selling sites.    No, I'm not going to tell you what it is ... something I made to make my own life easier and hopefully buyers will feel the same.

Speaking of selling sites, where all do you market your crafts?  Believe it or not, I've got 7 besides my main website, MKDesigner, and my Etsy Shop.  I know, sounds a bit 'much', doesn't it?  Not really, though.  How do I keep up with all those sites?  It's not that difficult for me since the majority of my items are ePatterns (digital downloads) and the quantities available are infinite.  For my hand-knits / hand crochet, I generally use Etsy in my 'other shop', Knits 'n More

Some of the selling sites I utilize are more like re-directs rather than actual sales on that site.  For instance, my Kaboodle listings, have a link to the item in my Etsy Shops so folks can purchase.  Kaboodle is more like a networking site rather than a selling site.  I love many of the groups in there. 

On Ravelry, I can 'share' patterns and I can also sell patterns or crafted items.  Lovely site, I read through a lot of their forums & groups regularly.  Never know what words of wisdom I'll pick up!  I only have a few of my freebie patterns up there right now, but plan to put many of the items for sale later this week.

Enough meandering for now, will post again soon.

Happy Knitting, Crochet & Cross Stitch

Marge in NV (where the snow is starting to melt away -- somewhat!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taking Forever!

Well, it seems that way!  The Power Co. (NV Energy) didn't make it out Sunday as they'd 'promised', but did come Monday afternoon.  They got the branches off the wires and then informed us that we had to get an electrician out to put the junction board thingy back in place and reconnect wires.   They said there were exposed wires and if we didn't get it done right away, he'd have to declare it a hazzard and cut off our power!  EEEK!

Lemme tell you, I didn't know Jerry (hubby) could dial that fast!  LOL  Took a contractor to put the board back up (electrician doesn't DO that part of it ).  So the contractor and his crew came promptly at 8:00 a.m.  $300 and 4 hours later, the board thingy is up, called the electrician but haven't had a call back yet.  Hopefully he can get here this afternoon.  Sigh.  His quote was $200. 

So. Here we sit, with about 75% - 80% of the house with electric.  By the end of the day, we'll be $500 poorer.  Ugh.  Such is life, I guess.  And there's even more snow due tonight ... oh, joy.

Hopefully the winds will be light and the snow won't be so heavy and wet.  Don't wanna have to go through this again.

I think I'll just sit here and dream of spring, 

~Marge in NV~

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Weatherman Was WRONG!

Oooookay, we were SUPPOSED to get anywhere from 2-3 inches overnight, with *possible* snow flurries this morning of maybe another inch or two. Uh huh. Sure.  I was actually counting on that little bit of snow to justify NOT going grocery shopping today ~ I wanted to KNIT!. 

The ground was dry and almost bare at 7:00 last night.  Some itsy-bitsy snow flakes coming down, but hardly enough to do more than 'dust' the ground with maybe half an inch.  This greeted me at 6:30 this morning as I looked out the den window on my side of the room.

And this is out our front door ...
Those branches on the other side of the mailbox came down in the night.   Had several branches on several sides of the house come down.  One is resting on one of the powerlines that comes into the back of the house.  Yes, we've already called the power company and we're on their fix-it list.  Should be here in about 3-4 more hours.

And we're supposed to have 45-degree temperatures today.

So.  What's your weather like today?

Marge in snowy Sparks, NV

Saturday, February 20, 2010


It's snowing. Shoot. So much for the planned grocery (ugh) shopping day tomorrow. Guess I'll just have to stay inside and knit ... gosh, golly, darn.  Woe is me ... just have to suffer and force myself to play with my newest acquisition of mohair.

Marge in NV

To Zibbet or Not To Zibbet

I decided to ZIBBET my crafts.  Started with a freebie account earlier this month, then once I heard from several others who display on ZIBBET, I decided to go with a Premium Account.  Only $7 per month.  I'll try it for the next few months, see what transpires and will post about my experiences every now and then.

I've only put up a few of my ePatterns and now will start to put up some of my custom knit items as well.

If you're on ZIBBET or have been thinking about putting your items up for sale on that site, I'd appreciate your comments.

Marge in NV

Friday, February 19, 2010

Machine Knit Easy Casing

I received an email from a lady who had attended one of my little workshops about 12-15 years ago. One of the small how-to's I showed was putting a Pulling Thread into a casing as you knit. I no longer have the handouts available (2 computer crashes in the ensuing 12+ years) so while I was knitting up some snoods in Chenille the other day, I took a few pics as I was doing the casing. If you need additional details, please feel free to email me.

When I need to pull elastic or ribbon through a narrow casing, I do it while I'm closing the casing on the machine.

This example at the left has waste yarn, then ravel cord and then 6 rows - it needed to be very narrow for the elastic.

The thread in there is what I call the Pulling Thread.  I laid the Pulling Thread in the 'trough' between the stitches on the machine and the stitches I was hanging onto the same needles when closing the casing.

Keep the Pulling Thread in the trough as you go along, making sure you do NOT let it catch on the needles or with the yarn. Every once in awhile, I'll pause my work and make sure the Pulling Thread is still free of any catches by taking both ends and sliding it back and forth.  It's a LOT easier to correct any issues with the Pulling Thread as you go along rather to find out once you take the work off the machine that OOPS!, it's caught!!

Once you're done, just attach your elastic, Icord, drawstring, ribbon or whatever to one end of the Pull Thread and you'll be able to easily pull it through your casing.

I've got several other little How-To's on my main website, MKDesigner. 

Marge in NV who is whistfully dreaming of ...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Have You Hugged Someone Today?

Did you know that hugs comfort not only the recipient, but also do wonders for the giver as well.  Why do you hug (assuming you do, that is)?

*  I feel sorry for that person - they need my sympathy
*  I like to give something more personalized than a pat on the back
*  It's expected in our - team / group / organization / work
*  I guess I'd better since everyone else is giving him/her a hug
*  I suffer through the indignity of superficial hugging - I need to keep my job
*  I do hug, but wish I could put on noseplugs to mask that perfume/aftershave

Have other thoughts you'd like to add to the list??

Moonangelnay said...
i love to hug to show how much i love my family and friends :)

Awww ... that's neat. :)  Thanks for the comment.

Marge in NV

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Heart Day!

Yes, I know I'm late in putting this up online for Valentine's Day crafting, but hearts are so popular year 'round that I wanted to include it anyway.  Mother's Day isn't that far away, y'know!  This is a graph for knitting a heart.  You can see that I have very few rows where there are more than about 6 stitches of a color.  This makes it easier to carry your other color of yarn in the back of the work.  This one works very well when charted on a knitting machine or input into an electronic.

Please remember that this is my own original design and you may ONLY use it for personal crafting or for selling crafted items at craft fairs, consignment shops or through the various online venues.  So please honor my copyright and do not sell this pattern.  I wrote / designed it, I own it.  Simple.

St. Patrick's Day is getting closer and closer ... how about some free graphs for 3 Shamrocks & A Lucky 4-Leaf Clover??  Same request as above for © on these Shamrock & 4-Leaf Clover knitting patterns.  I designed / wrote them.  I own them.  Simple.

I've got them available (for FREE!) at my MKDesigner website.  They are also in my Etsy Store under the Seasonal Section.  Lotsa nice little freebie patterns in there.  True PIFs. 

These are all knitting patterns, mostly machine knit, although several have graphs for hand knitting.

Marge in NV

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hearts For Haiti

Did you notice the link on the right at the top of this page??  Helping Haiti ~ Etsy Charity Shop Benefiting Doctors Without Borders

And all those fabulous items for sale?  They're doing wonderful work in this Etsy Shop!!  ALL of the merchandise in that shop has been donated by Etsy sellers to benefit the relief efforts of Doctors Without Borders as they deal with the horrid effects of that devastating earthquake. 

ALL of the money raised from that shop (less Etsy fees and PayPal fees) goes directly to Doctors Without Borders.  There is an 'army' of sellers who donate their time to 'man' the shop, 24/7.  They answer emails, post new items, process the orders, post in the forums and so very much more ... all without ANY compensation except the feeling of love in their hearts for helping those in need.

Please click on the link in the title of this posting ... read the shop announcement and you'll see as of today, we're rapidly closing in on donation totals of $30,000.00 !!  This is all since about the 14th of January.  Now how cool is that???  Browse through their vast array of items and know that your purchase will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

I'm so very proud to be even a tiny, tiny part of this effort.

Marge in NV

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Machine Knitting - Part 1

For those of you who are machine knitters like I am, here's one of the little mini-videos I have on my main website, MKDesigner and click on Videos. 

This one is titled:  Basic Latch Tool Cast-on Hobby Machines

I'll be working with this knitting machine which is a plastic bed / hobby machine, shown in the video later on today. It's a Brother 390 'Convertible' machine which means it can be converted to either 4.5mm standard gauge or 9mm bulky.


Marge in NV

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spring's Not Far Away

I know, I know. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow 5 days ago, letting us know we're in for 6 more weeks of winter. And the Mid-Atlantic is really getting hit ... hard. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone facing nasty, cold weather, power outages and storm related illnesses. I'm in Northern Nevada where we're having fair temperatures when you compare to the rest of the country!

Whenever Phil does his 'more winter' routine, that's when I like to get prepared for Spring with my crafts. Somehow, Phil's prediction gives me some peace of mind that I've still got plenty of time to get my Spring Crafts act together. But I need to start now.

While the guys watch the Super Bowl, I'm going to be making sure I've got everything I need for my usual Spring line -- and also for the new items I've come up with over the past few months. I went through 3 of the craft supplies tubs yesterday afternoon and boy, am I ever low on some of my basics!! Hey, can you say ... CRAFT STORE SHOPPING TRIP??!! One of my favorite 'outings'.

Only one medium bottle of Aleene's Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid. Well, that will never do! I'll need to get at least 3-4 of the large bottles for all of my planned baskets.

This is one of the little decorative soap or jewelry dishes (I have one on my dresser where I put my favorite locket & my rings).
These are knit on my standard gauge (4.5mm) knitting machine. The lacy stitch pattern is hand-manipulated. Then they're starched and embellished with chiffon roses and ribbons. The little 'feet' you see on the base are simply beads that have been firmly glued to the bottom.

This picture at right shows the various Medium Sized starched baskets that I make. They measure approximately 4 1/2" across and are about 4-5" in height. They are made with crochet cotton and again, knit on my knitting machine. All the lacy stitch patterning is hand-manipulated. Takes some extra time, but I prefer to have my own unique lace designs on my baskets. Besides, I enjoy graphing them out.

From experience over the years of making these dainty little baskets, I know how much of the various supplies I will need. Just a matter of ordering the items I can get wholesale and hitting the craft stores for the rest. I have the machine knitting ePattern book (WORD or PDF) available in my Etsy Store ~ A Tisket A Tasket Machine Knit A Basket SIX Different Sizes ePatterns


Marge in NV

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Busy Day !!

Every time I turned around today, something else cropped up that I had to attend to ... right then. LOL -- got a cellphone call from a longtime customer wanting to order a set of 8 knit & starched napkin rings ... for next weekend. In blue, like the picture, but variegated with greens ...she has blue & green dishes. So a quick trip (yeah, right) into JoAnns and I had my yarn. Then we ran into friends about lunch time and ended up yakking with them over salads for much longer than we could afford, timewise. Was just ONE of those days!!

Nothing drastic, just stuff that kept intruding on our well-planned day of upgrading insurance policies, Dr's checkups, bill paying and grocery shopping. We were supposed to be home by 2:30 or so. Walked in the door at 5:15. Threw a frozen casserole in the oven and plopped down in my recliner. Whew! But everything got done!
So. How was YOUR day??
Marge in NV