"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

30 December 2013

A little crochet rag rug...

With things winding down from Christmas I started getting a little fidgeting over what to do next.  All it took was a quick look on the ever growing project list and I was digging into all the fabric scrap bins looking for scraps long enough to work with for the makings of a rag rug.  This dear little rug came about only because one of my other rag rugs, bought at a store many years ago, has turned into tattered bits and pieces.  There was just no more use we could have even squeaked out of the poor thing.  So there was a bit of a trade of the rugs done and now the laundry room has a 'new', hardly ever used rug from the back door going in for its new job and a colorful, pretty new rug sits in its new spot by the back door.  It was a nice trade.  I could have never put this one so full of color in the laundry room for shoes to be scuffed all over it.  By the back door is a perfect spot for it so I can see it every time I walk into that part of the house.  And yet it doesn't seem like I hardly touched any of the scrap fabric that sits on the shelves of the craft room.  Maybe another will be made sometime in the near future?  Maybe.  And I will be on the look out for clearance priced fabric.

A few quick tips for working up your own scrap rag rug:

  • Work with scraps that you have about or go looking for really cheap clearance fabric that you won't mind cutting up.
  • I cut my fabric into strips about 1/2" to 3/4" wide.  You do not want the strips any wider than this or you will have a bit of a struggle pulling your stitches through your work.  You can also make little snips on the edge of the fabric and then rip the fabric but I found that if you haven't made sure that your piece of fabric is squared off before hand you may not end up with a strip that is the same width at both ends.  Folding up the fabric and just cutting the fabric with scissors or a rotary cutter is just as easy and fast.  
  • I crocheted mine using a single crochet stitch through out the entire rug and used a size N hook.
  • Start off with a foundation chain that is about 10 chains short of what you really need.  Once you start crocheting the rows the foundation chain stretches a bit and you will end up with the size you need.  Work one full row and then place it where you will be using the rug and see if any adjustments need to be made on adding or taking away any chains.  Better to check now then after many more rows.
  • I used a no sew method of connecting the strips together at each end.  
  • Cut about a 1/2" slit into each end of your strips.  You can do this as you go.  No need to do this all at once.
  • Take two strips and pull one of them through the cut you made on the other strip. 

  • Take the other end of the 2nd strip and pull it through the cut on the opposite end of the 2nd strip.

  • Take the free end of the 2nd strip and pull it completely through the cut until everything is just snug.  Don't pull too hard because you could tear right through the cut on the strip if you aren't careful.

Weave in the ends with a wide eye yarn hook once you get the rug to the size you want and you are done.

Have fun making one of your own.  Just a warning, these rugs are addicting and I am not responsible for what happens if you start one.  Things could get out of hand.  I couldn't stop once I started and had mine finished in two days.  Good thing everyone can fend for themselves around here.  Things would have gotten ugly.  Just saying.

Now I'm off to see what else can be worked on.



28 December 2013

A wonderful time of year...

This week has been absolutely perfect.  We could not have asked for a better Christmas.  Just the right amount of wintery weather, lots of baking with the girls, loads of yummy food to eat and a good amount of just kicking back with each other and relaxing.

We got hoarfrost for a few days the week before Christmas.  The best we have had in a very long time.  Everything looked so beautiful with all the spikey bits of frost all over everything.  Killer icicles that everyone would have to check on to see how much more it had grown during the day.  It didn't snow on Christmas but at least we still had a good covering on the ground to still have a white Christmas.  Beautiful!  It was made even more perfect by lounging around in warm pj's all day.

Cookies were made just days before Christmas.  There was no rush.  It happened when it happened.  Extra dough was made and put back so that there would be more to make next week.  One little baker tried her hand at making Apple Strudel for our Christmas breakfast and it was beyond tasty.  I think she may be the new expert in the family at this after her teachings from Mom during her last visit.  There won't be long periods of time going by between this treat anymore.  They will be made more often now.

Now there will be time for more crafty things here again.  No obligations.  No time constraints.  Just working on things that have been on the "list".  Stress free.  It is a wonderful time of year.



13 December 2013

Staying warm...

     I have put a deadline on to myself for gifts that need to be sent out.  This weekend all has to be finished.  So I have plopped myself in the craft room with all the necessities within reach to accomplish this goal.  Yarn, tea, bits of chocolate (trying to be good) and a fully charged iPod.  Two more to go and it will all be a success.  I may have even started using the heat pack to keep warm from the lack of moving on my part.  And dinner has been simmering all afternoon so I won't be delayed.  I love the smell of a big pot of spaghetti sauce going throughout the house.



11 December 2013

Chilly days...

     To say that it has been cold here is a complete understatement.  I love my four seasons but dealing with -9 degrees in the mornings is a real drag.  It's just way too early for all of this cold air.  Just give me 30 degrees and I would be happy.  We did get a nice snow day last weekend and the girls loved it.  Nothing like a little snow shoveling and making snow angles to get one into the whole spirit of the season.  Then later that night the super stupid cold air moved in and everyone looked as if they were hibernating.  Blankets, thick socks, flannel pj's and just about everything else you could think of was drug out of closets so we could get cozy, comfy around here.

     During all this cozy comfy time, projects have been worked on.  Some have been completed.  Some are moving along faster than anticipated.  Which is awesome.  It just means that I will be finished early with the planned gifts and all will be good by next week.  Love that.




02 December 2013

Tis the season...

     It was such a busy yet wonderful Holiday weekend here.  Thanksgiving was quiet here.  Just the four of us, which we didn't mind at all.  We needed the quiet after everything that had happened around here the past few months.  The whole week was a relaxing week for us.  The day before Thanksgiving was a prep day for all the yummy food everyone asked for.  Being in the kitchen the majority of the day with the girls is my absolute favorite thing.  It's so wonderful having them help, taking on one dish and being in charge of it and adding their little flair or just sticking to our traditional way of making things.  Warms the heart just seeing them having fun in the kitchen.  Good thing we prepped things the day before because we all slept in on Thanksgiving.  Sleeping in hardly ever happens around here, especially for me.  Unless you call 6am sleeping in.  Everyone was just meandering around in pj's up until lunch time, just waiting for the food to finish cooking.  We eventually got dressed so we wouldn't be total hooligans eating our Thanksgiving meal in our pj's.  Even then it wasn't all dressy and all.  The rest of the day was spent napping off lunch, watching movies and snuggling under blankets.  It was good.

     The next morning we were all up bright and early.  I was shocked.  I always get up to help someone get out the door to work and make sure he has all he needs for the day.  But the girls were up extra early so that we could get all the indoor Christmas decorations up.  The tree and all the bins of decorations were dug out of the attic and brought inside ever so carefully.  It's so fun watching the girls get so excited about getting all the decorations out.  But the funniest thing was how they wanted to scale back just a bit this year and be very picky about what got put out around the house.  Which I didn't mind this year for some strange reason.  It was nice not having every little thing out.  So only the most special of decorations came out of the bins.  I thought I heard someone say something about not wanting things looking too cluttered and all.  I was happy to hear that this year.  It can get to be a bit much with all that we have collected through the years.  The best part was that we finished earlier than ever before and could kick back for the rest of the evening.

     There was no shopping by us this weekend.  You will never see any of us doing the "after Thanksgiving" shopping.  The holiday is all about family here for us.  We hunker down and enjoy all that we can of each other and hope that we don't irritate each other to death.  But one quick trip to the store had to be made yesterday though.  Can you believe I forgot to get the girls their chocolate advent calendars?!  You wouldn't believe the looks I got when they realized I hadn't gotten them yet.  At least the store that has all the wonderful German candy, cookies and treats still had them and the crisis was adverted.  I couldn't resist picking up a pack of one of my favorite holiday cookies.  One has to have a few Lebkuchen with hot chocolate while working on projects.  Nothing better.  At least for now.  Eventually I found myself retreating upstairs with my iPod, wrapping up in a toasty quilt while working on projects.

     Today we are watching our first cold snap of the season work its way into our area.  The highs will drop over twenty degrees from today to tomorrow.  I'm not sure I'm ready for it but what do you do.  Just go with the flow and keep oneself busy and warm while the winds blow outside.  I'm watching it as I type and let's just say I would be a little worried if little Piglet were outside right now.  He would be down the street in a flash.  I'm grateful for a nice warm house on days like this and smelling dinner simmering away on the stove.  Just makes you feel all warm and cozy.

It's starting to snow now.