Blanket-a-Month Goal – Stitching My Way to December

No shortage of yarn! Using my huge hoard of leftover yarn to craft my blankets!
No shortage of yarn! Using my huge hoard of leftover yarn to craft my blankets!

I’ve been busy stitching since the beginning of the year. I set a goal to make 12 blankets to donate at Christmas this year. I was inspired by a posting on VolunteerMatch last Christmas asking for afghans and blankets to be donated to residents at a local skilled nursing home. It made me think of when I’d visit my mother at her Assisted Living facility and how I would rarely see anyone come to visit many of the residents.

I lost my mother earlier last year in June to end-stage Alzheimers. When I saw the volunteer posting for blankets in December, I had this space and time available I used to commit to my mother now open. I was still healing from her loss and was a bit restless. I thought making afghans would be the best way to fill that void. That was a good hunch. This has become a joyful project to share with others and honor my own mother’s generous spirit.

With 4 months to go, I have 7 afghans done, which I’ll share in future posts. To help me power through the rest of my goal, I’ve upped my game. I’ve opted to stitch through my yarn stash and make basic granny squares to assemble in the final blankets. As you can tell, I have plenty of yarn to use from past projects. And yes, I do store my yarn in my favorite antique dresser, a family heirloom that came over from Indiana to Kansas on a covered wagon the late 1800’s. Some people would store clothes and other practical stuff. But not me. A beautiful, meaningful piece of furniture like this dresser deserves some great yarn inside! And it makes me smile to store my favorite yarn in a favorite piece!

Love my antique dresser full of yarn!
Love my antique dresser full of yarn!

Simplifying my projects has been a welcome change, too. Life can get crazy with my teenage daughter and her schedule and my day job’s schedule. It’s nice to come home and just stitch a few squares and not stress about a specific pattern or process. And I love the outcome – making something fun and meaningful for someone else!

Have you been working on a project to share with someone else? What do you love about it? Feel free to share in the comments below!


Colorado’s Big Secret

IMG_6169Psst…I’m going to let you in on a secret. Colorado winters aren’t so bad. When I moved here years ago, I thought Colorado winter weather would be worse than the blustery winters I grew up with in the Midwest. But fortunately, I was wrong. I think one of the biggest secrets of this state is how mild some winter days can be and how fast snow melt after big storms thanks to the warm Chinook winds that come down off the mountains. It’s not uncommon to be out in our convertible with the top down or riding bikes in January enjoying 60 degree weather. However, when it snows, it can really snow and you have to be prepared. That means stocking up on food, getting your toasty blanket and making sure you have warm weather gear (the cuter, the better!) if you do have to venture out.

Etsy-Colorado-C-Scarf-2To help keep my daughter warm this winter, I created this fun Colorado Pocket Scarf. It has the popular “C” emblem my daughter loves. As a budding teenager, she’s pretty picky about what she will wear and so far this scarf passes the test.

IMG_6103I love living in Colorado! With the mountains close and the vibrant Denver metro area, we enjoy both nature and urban gems close-by. Not surprisingly, U.S. News & World Report listed Denver as the top city to live in 2016. They listed many reasons for their choice, but they didn’t list the weather. Remember, it’s one of the best secrets about our state and now you know!

Sweet Granny Purse- #TBT

Granny-Bag-1Hello! Hope you have had a good summer! It’s been a busy summer for me. I have lots to share over the next few weeks as I’ve been busy stitching the past few months. There are several new scarf, bag and craft patterns in the works as well as some fun motifs and vintage projects I’m excited to share!

I’ve been a bit nostalgic lately. I lost my mother earlier this summer to end-stage Alzheimer’s. It was a rough last few weeks with her, but fortunately, she passed peacefully. Alzheimer’s is a horrible, horrible disease that steals your loved ones from you one day at at time. Fortunately, Mom knew me, my family and my brothers and their families most of the time, even to the end. We were fortunate to have 3 last days with her before she passed with lots of loving moments and her memory in place as she remembered each one of us.


One of the biggest things that kept me going during that time was my crochet and knitting projects. When I got the call from Hospice to go to her bedside for those final days, one of the first things I grabbed was my yarn bag and filled it with projects. I don’t know about you, but stitching is soothing for me. I always pack yarn for emergencies or difficult situations, especially when you are waiting on the unknown. Somehow the the rhythm of the stitches and feeling of the yarn in my hands comforts me and it certainly did during this tough tie.

As I was stitching, I kept thinking about the things my mother and grandmother made me when I was growing up. I was a very lucky girl who got lots of beautiful hand-crafted dresses, pajamas, doll clothes, purses and more! As I got older, both my mother and grandmother taught me how to make my own things which I have shared with my own daughter and nieces. To celebrate this, I’ll be posting a #ThrowBackThursday series where I share my favorite patterns I learned from these great women.

This week’s project is a fun Granny Square purse inspired by the one Mom made me. Mine was well loved and I took it shopping when my mother and I would go with my grandmother. It was the perfect size for small toys, tickets and the little bit of money I earned from chores to buy these things. My daughter enjoyed the purse, too, briefly for her favorite things when she was younger. The original purse is safely tucked inside a keepsake box ready for a granddaughter someday far away if we are blessed with one. For now, it’s been fun to stitch these and remember my mother’s gift!

granny-bag-2Sweet Granny Purse

This fun purse is made from two basic granny square patterns. I didn’t list a gauge as size really doesn’t matter as long as both granny squares are the same size.
Supplies Needed:
2 oz (56 g) Color A Worsted Weight Yarn
2 oz (56 g) Color B Worsted Weight Yarn
2 oz (56 g) Color C Worsted Weight Yarn
Size H (5) Crochet Hook
Fabric piece about 8″ x 8″ for optional lining
Large snap – optional
Yarn Needle

Size: 7 1/2″ x 8″ (19 cm x 20 cm)

Abbreviations: ch – chain; sc – single crochet; hdc (half-double crochet); dc (double crochet); sl st (slip stitch)

Directions (make 2 Granny Squares):

Round 1: Ch 5. With Color A, slip stitch to form ring. Ch 3, 2 dc in center of ring. *Ch 2, 3 dc in center of ring.* Repeat 2 more times. Ch 2 and sl st to top of ch 3 post at beginning of round. Fasten off.

Round 2: Fasten on Color B in next space. Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in corner. *Ch 2, 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in next corner.* Repeat 2 more times. Ch 2 and sl st to top of ch 3 post at beg of round. Fasten off.

Round 3: Fasten on Color C in next corner. Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in corner. *Ch 1, 3 dc in next space (along the side of the granny square). Ch 1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in next corner.* Repeat 2 more times. Ch 1, 3 dc in next space. Ch 1 and sl st to top of ch 3 post at beginning of the round. Fasten off.

Round 4: Fasten on Color A in next corner. Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in corner. *Ch 1, 3 dc in next space. Repeat this whenever you see a space on the side. Ch 1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in each corner.* Repeat 2 more times. *Ch 1, 3dc in next space.* Repeat one more time. Ch 1, sl st to top of Ch 3 post at beginning of round. Fasten off.

Round 5: Fasten on Color C in next corner. Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in corner. Ch 1, 3 dc in next space. Repeat this whenever you see a space on the side. Ch 1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in each corner.* Repeat 2 more times. *Ch 1, 3dc in next space.* Repeat two more times. Ch 1, sl st to top of Ch 3 post at beginning of round. Do not fasten off.

Round 6 (Single Crochet Border): Ch 2, sc in each stitch or space along the edge. At corners, sc, ch 2, sc in the corner. At end of the round, sl st to top of ch 2 post at beginning of round. Fasten off and weave tails in. Block squares as needed.

Assembling the Purse:
With right sides facing out, place granny squares on top of each other. Fasten on with Color C on left side of squares. Ch 2, sc along the edge. At the corner, sc, ch 2, sc in corner. Stitch along 3 edges, leaving the top edge open for the purse opening. When you reach the end of the 3rd side, ch 1 and sc along the top edge of just one square. Continue sc along the top of the 2nd square (this will create a nice top edge on your purse). At the end of the row, sl st to ch 1 post where you started. Fasten off.

Row 1: With Color C, fasten on 10 stitches from the right top edge of the purse. You’ll want to fasten on one side only, not through both sides of the purse. Ch 45. Sl st to other side of the purse, again 10 stitches from the left top edge.
Rows 2 &3: Ch 2, sc in each stitch along the handle. Fasten off. NOTE: your handle will not be attached to the purse except at the first row. At the end of Row 3, hand-stitch the handle to the top of the purse. Repeat on the other side of the purse. Fasten off and weave in tails.

Optional Lining:
Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric the same size as the purse. I like to lay the purse down on top of the fabric and cut the fabric out. Sew the lining together on 3 sides. Press the open top of the lining down about 1/2″ to form a folded, finished edge at the top of the lining. Place the lining inside the purse with the seams facing outside and no seams showing on the inside of the purse/lining. Hand-sew the lining in place at the top of the purse. You can also hand-sew a large snap on the inside to help the purse close.

Ninja Turtles, Pizza and Friends!

Etsy-Turtle-1The Ninja Turtles have always been some of my favorite superheroes! My college roommates introduced me to them the first time many years ago. Often we’d take a break between classes and we’d come home to watch them on TV and eat pizza. Overtime this became our ritual. And by coincidence there were four turtles and four of us living together, so we each adopted one of them. Mine was Leonardo. I didn’t exactly choose him, not knowing much at the time. But my roommate who was the biggest fan thought his character fit me the best. For Christmas, my roommate surprised us each with our very own stick-on stuff Ninja Turtle complete with suction cups for our cars. So Leonardo spent the next 3 years hanging out in my car traveling everywhere with me.

I had almost forgotten about our Ninja Turtle affinity years ago until the recent reboot of the series with last summer’s movie. Seeing the movie trailers, the fun bond that we all shared came back to me. And this time some of our kids got in on the fun, enjoying the movie and more. My latest crochet pocket pattern, is a tribute to my friends and all things Ninja Turtles. And a good reminder that like many classics, it’s a good thing when the Ninja Turtles come around!

Want your own Ninja Turtle scarf? Check out my new pattern in my Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy stores! 

Scrappy Knit Scarf


Winter weather finally hit the Denver area this week. After weeks of an unusually warm Fall, the cold and snow are finally here. It’s a bit cozy and dreary at the same time. Fortunately, I finished up my warm, colorful scrappy knit scarf just in time to keep me warm and happy!

My scarf is one of the solutions for my yarn scraps.  I use a lot of yarn! I mean a LOT of yarn, which means lots of yarn scraps. And over time, my scrap horde gets out of control and it’s time for a fun scrappy project. This time I opted to knit a simple, colorful scarf. This was fun to make, sort of a stroll down project memory lane. It has some of my favorite yarns and colors in it. There’s the light turquoise stripe made with yarn from my Owl Pocket Scarf pattern sample. Then there’s the cozy, heather gray yarn I made many winter projects from. And finally, a crimson and gold Gryffindor stripe as reminder of the scarf I made for my daughter’s Hermoine costume a couple of years ago. To ground all the colors, I opted for a black beginning and ending stripe and fringe.

Making the scarf was addictive! I’m already working on a second scarf, completing it over time as I get the scrap yarn I want. Want to make your own Scrappy Knit Scarf? Check out this simple pattern below.

Scrappy Knit Scarf

This easy scarf works up quickly in a 2 x 1 knit ribbing! Also, included is instructions on how to slip the first stitch at the beginning of each row for a nice finish on the edge. 


  • Size 11 knitting needles
  • Scraps of Worsted Weight Yarn (Tip: Not all worsted weight yarn is similar in weight. I choose yarns fom my collection that were pretty close in thickness and weight.)


  • Cast on 34 stitches.
  • Row 1: Slip the first stitch onto your needle as if you are going to purl, but just leave the stitch on the needle. *Knit the next 2 stitches, purl the next stitch.* Repeat until last 3 stitches. Knit last 3 stitches.
  • Row 2: Slip the first stitch again on your needle to help create the nice finished edge of the scarf. *Purl the next 2 stitches, knit the next stitch.* Repeat until the last 3 stitches. Purl last 3 stitches.
  • Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until your scarf measure 67 inches or desired length. Change colors as desired. In my scarf, I have some larger stripes and smaller stripes depending on the size of the scraps yarn I’m using. In my current scarf project, I’m using equal number of rows for each colored stripe.
  • Add fringe if desired.

The Perfect, Changing Halloween

Happy Halloween!

It’s hard to believe Halloween has come and gone already. Time flies when you are having fun! We had a perfect Halloween evening for Trick or Treating in Denver tonight. Some years it’s a crap shoot between rain, cold and snow. But tonight was unusually warm and dry, a perfect night for Halloween.

It was a fun, but bittersweet holiday for me this year. My daughter is getting older and I’m in that middle ground between her budding independence and still wanting her mom around. Tonight independence won and she had a fun night Trick or Treating with friends and attending a Halloween sleepover party with the first costume she’s made herself. She up-cycled an old t-shirt with scraps of blue sequin fabric from last year’s cape and wore the cape again to create a really cute costume. I’m not sure what she was, but she looked like a cute video game character complete with black scrolls painted artistically across her face. I missed sewing her costume this year, but I was proud of her efforts!

Also, I was on candy duty for the first time in 11 years. It was fun to answer the door and see so many cute kids having fun! But I was also reminded at how fast time flies and how precious all those moments and memories are. I’m excited to see my daughter grow in the wonderful young lady she is becoming. And I am enjoying rediscovering things and interests I was not able to pursue as much when my daughter was younger.  But I also try to remember to slow down and really be present in the moments with my daughter because I know that time will continue to fly. And I’ll look to another project I can make her, something she really wants – maybe an Infinity Scarf with her favorite Alpaca yarn. Enjoy your projects and time with loved ones this week!

New! Owl Pocket Scarf Pattern

Etsy-Owl-1It’s always a fun day when you get to release a new pattern! After all the crafty work and toil, it’s rewarding to share something new with fellow stitchers. So I introduce you to the Owl Pocket Scarf crochet pattern. With warm hand pockets, this scarf will help us keep warm for the extra 6 weeks of winter Punxsutawney Phil has forecasted (maybe I should make a groundhog pocket scarf!).

This pattern is a particular favorite with it’s contrasting owl pockets. I could have made them the same, but each owl pocket seemed to take a life of its own, so I made them a little alike, yet very different. Much like siblings or cousins, perhaps…

This is available in my Etsy, Ravelry and Cratsy pattern shops. Please feel to contact me with any questions. Looks we’ll have to wear our cute winter gear for a few more weeks, so hopefully this cheerful scarf will help! Stay warm!

Bronco Fever!

bronco-doll-hatsEveryone in Denver has caught Bronco Fever as the Broncos head to the Super Bowl on Sunday! The town is at full color with orange blue everywhere. It is contagious, so I’ve got it, too.

This isn’t something new for me. Many people think I became a Bronco fan when I moved to Denver. However, this started much earlier. Although I grew up in Western Kansas, I grew up watching John Elway and the Broncos, not the Kansas City Chiefs. A proud farmer and businessman, my father was often displeased at how the urban centers in Eastern Kansas drove state policy and he felt that Western Kansas often got the short-end of the stick. So he would quietly assert his values and one way he did it was through football. Every Football Sunday, the Orange Crush would grace our TV screen and we’d cheer loud and clear. My father passed away years ago. But each time I watch a game, I smile and think of him as I cheer.

So this week as the big game nears, my yarn color of choice was orange and blue as I stitched up these fun doll hats. These are made with my More Darling Doll 18″ Hats and I adjusted a couple of rows slightly to add the team colors.

Hope you all have fun watching the Super Bowl! I know I will. And I will be cheering loud and proud for the Broncos as usual! Go Broncos!

Bear-y Fun Hat!

bear-hat-blogHere’s the project I made for baby shower #2, a fun teddy bear crocheted hat and knitted booties. Since I started this project, baby #3, Baby Jack, has made an appearance, so I’m dreaming up a fun hat design for him. Maybe I’ll do a Christmas theme as it is getting close to the holidays. Check back to see what I decide!

Oh Baby!

My baby girl is way past the age for her mother to make her cute and cuddly baby clothes!  An opinionated tween, she has fun now expressing her own sense of style. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how much she had grown up and I was suddenly wistful, thinking how much fun it would be to make cute baby clothes for someone again. Well, my wish was answered – I got 4 baby shower invitations from my co-workers shortly after that!

So my crochet hooks and knitting needles have been busy making cute hats and slippers for these new moms and baby boys (all 4 are boys!).  For my first gift, I made a cute crochet puppy hat and matching knitted slippers for Baby Luke. I’ve seen a wide range of fun puppy hat patterns out there, so this is my version. Pattern is coming soon!

Next up is Baby Isiah’s gift. For this one, my inspiration is teddy bears. I’m finishing up this project and will post soon!