Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tools of the Trade

What kind of crochet tools do you use?  I have tried many over the years and I keep coming back to the same ones.  I used wooden crochet hooks, but they break too easy.  I crochet fabric and it can be stronger than the wood.  It could be my technique, but I hate to admit that.   I like the Boye hooks because of the shape and the slickness of the metal.  Some hooks tend to allow drag if the finish is not as smooth.  I also like the Comfort Cushion from Susan Bates.  It comes in blue colors (ONLY BLUE) and the size small is hard to find.  If you get the wrong size it will slip off.  It is also a bugger to get on your hook.  I usually dip my hook in liquid soap and water.  It goes into the Comfort Cushion real well about half way.  Then it is a test to see if  I can get the hook in the rest of the way without cussing.  It is so nice to have a hook with cushion that you can grip.  About 10 years ago I won a speed crocheting contest.  I crocheted more double crochet stitches in a certain period of time using acrylic yarn and a Boye hook with a Comfort Cushion on it, than the other entries.   LOL

Knitting needles are a different story.  I German knit or pick my yarn instead of wrapping it the English way.  For this type of knitting, I like good points on my needles.  I also like the warmth and quiet of wood, bamboo, or the fake plastic whalebone with give.  The old metal kind have been retired at my house.   Have you ever tried to use 3 or 4 metal double point needles?  They slide out and it turns into a real mess.  I guess with knitting a little drag is OK.  I collect knitting needles.  I like to make small projects and use a different pair of needles with each project.  I even match the project with the needles.  If the needles have a heavy top or head, they are not balanced and are hard to work with.  I have purchased beautiful needles with large beads on the top and they have also been retired  at my house because of the top heavy problem.  Glass knitting needles are a nightmare for me.  I tend to drop needles a lot.  Circular needles help with this issue, but they are not as pretty as straight knitting needles.  A couple of years ago I suggested that manufactures make colored needles.  A company is doing that now, but knitters want color and design.  Why do I have to purchase a  size 9 to get a green needle?  What if I want a 6 in green?  I also like the old wooden designs from Brittany.  They still use that design on the crochet hooks they make, but the knitting needles have a simpler design now.   People pay dearly for an old pair of needles.  It is the nostalgic look with the dark needles designed with a Victorian top.  If function, beauty, color, nostalgia, and design are in a needle, I probably own it.

What kind of tools do you use?  Does it bother you when people call your knitting crocheting or vice versa?  Blessings to you!  Dawn

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cottages, Mulvane Old Settler's Day, and the Rodeo

I was shared a pattern of a house dishcloth.  I like to make washcloths to go with my handmade soap, so this pattern fit in with my Custer Cottage business name.  I have also collected cottages for years.  I like the English/Irish/Scottish cottages the best, but I also like Victorian.  I have cottage teapots, teacups, tea cozies, plates, a cheese dish, pictures..................  Did I mention plates?  Most of these items are functional, even though I use them for decoration most of the time.  Anyway, about the cottage/house dishcloths.  I have made three so far.  I am on a binge.  I tried the traditional cotton from Walmart.  I can't remember if it is Peaches and Cream or the other well known brand.  It was in a sale basket for .75.  I would tell you the brand name, but my dog picked up the left over yarn and hid it in her hoarder pile at the end of the couch.  LOL  It turned out fine, but I used larger needles than I would usually use and it is a big dishcloth.  The second dishcloth was made with something called I Love this Cotton yarn, purchased from Hobby Lobby for $3.29.  There is enough to make a second cottage. It was so very soft, but the color was not very bright.  I brightened it up with a pink poodle at the front door.  The third dishcloth/washcloth I made with Catinia yarn.  I purchased this yarn from Twist Yarn Shop for $5.25.  There is also enough to make a second cottage.   Is is a thinner yarn and not as soft, but the colors are vivid and make the dishcloth/washrag much brighter.  As I made these, I modified the pattern and added a chimney, made where the roof and the house meet more pronounced, and put a loop on the top.  Yes, I know that you are thinking the buttons could scratch, but they add so much to the cottage.  I could use the satin roses and they would not scratch dishes or skin, but I like the little button animals too.  I am sure I will make many different ones to satisfy everyone.

Our too small booth!  A friend came to visit and she is peeking out of the back. 

Kari my booth partner and friend

Look at the size of those bulls!

Larry with his grandson.

My first rodeo!

I had a booth with a friend at the Mulvane Old Settlers Days.  The town doubles in size during this festival.  We set up on Friday and took things down Saturday Evening.  Friday evening also contained an evening at the Rodeo.  It has been several years since I was last at a rodeo.  I miss hanging around with the cowboys.  My dad always wore western wear.  In the summer, my mother altered his western shirts making them sleeveless.  My favorite shirt of his was a bright blue plaid with a metallic thread through it.  Oh, sorry, I took a mental vacation, now back to the topic at hand.  Our booth was right next to the playground so it was easy to watch your children or grandchildren at that location, but the dust got on everything.  Other than the dust and the heat, the event was wonderful.  The town is very family oriented and friendly.  My friend sold tie-dyed baby clothes, crocheted baby hats, ribbons for little girls, sugar scrubs, and burp cloths, etc.  I sold my usual soap, wash cloths, pot holders, homespun yarn, tea cozies, sugar scrub, and misc. items.  We had too much for our space.  My canopy broke, so we were borrowing a blue canopy from another friend.  The picture I am showing you is from Friday when we were still setting up.  I was very blessed with help setting up from Kari's significant other, Jason, and from my friend Larry.  Thank you both!  Blessings to you all!!!   Dawn

Friday, August 10, 2012

Are you a giver or a taker?

I wonder how many people realize that they are always giving and not getting an equal amount in return.  I am talking about caring for others by showing them with kind words, nursing them when they are ill, cooking for them, cleaning for them, etc.  With your children, you expect to be the giver.  Eventually they will trade roles and become more of a giver than a taker.  With friends, you will be a giver at times and other times a taker.  Friends want to help you out when they can, but they do not want to be taken advantage of.  If your friend goes through an illness you are there for them.  You may be more giving at this time, but over the long haul, you usually balance out between giving and taking.  I don't like to feel indebted to someone, so I tend to give more.  I know it is a fault of mine, but I hate the feeling of owing someone.  I don't want someone to come back on me and say that I did not pay for something or contribute my fair share toward something.  Recently someone told me that they felt that they got more from our friendship than I received.  Up until then, I hadn't  realized that I gave so much to others.  I know that giving is relative and what I feel is a lot may not be much by other standards.  However, if someone realizes that they are taker, should they not step up and make changes so they are not taking advantage of his or her friend and step away from his or her selfish ways?  What do you think?  I hope this does not read like a riddle and you are able to reflect on your life and determine if you are a giver or a taker.  Thank you for tuning in!  Dawn

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Whatch what you say when you are angry.

I wanted to share one of the reasons I try to watch what I say to others when I am angry or irritated.  When I was 12, I had a chance to go for ice cream with the neighbors.  I didn't ask permission because I was afraid they would tell me no and I didn't think my parents would notice I was gone.  They found out when we returned and I got in trouble.  I told my father that I wished he was dead, because I was punished.  I got my request.  He died in the night from a heart attack.  You can't always take back what you tell others.  You don't want hateful words to be the last words you tell someone.  I was so ashamed of what I said.  I know that I did not kill him, but I may as well have done so.  No one in my family ever talked about what happened, but I felt the "Shame on You" looks from them all.  Unless you want to feel the hurt, guilt, and shame I have suffered, solve your issues without hateful words being said.  Yes, you can tell that you are not happy with a situation, but you do not need to repeat it or to yell it with profanity.  If you look at me and tell me that you are disappointed in something I said or did, it will work better than if you yell at me and use explosive language.

Thank you for reading and I hope you and yours are truly blessed!   Dawn

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Milk or sugar?

I was having a cuppa with lunch and I checked my account balance at the bank on the computer.  I suddenly decided to blog surf.  I like to hit the next blog button and see what happens.  I was sent to Artfully Ooglebloops.  She posted some black and white pictures.  One really struck my eye and I thought you may want to see it too.  She is my kind of lady!!!    Have a blessed day!  Dawn