Grandma Aunt Liz

My mother’s last remaining sibling (out of 6 of them) passed away this past week.    She had been dealing with cancer since last summer and spent the last 2 weeks at home on hospice being cared for by her 2 eldest sons (and my mother).

 

This Aunt was very special to me.  She lived around the corner from my grandparents, so whenever we went to visit them when I was little (probably 2 times per month) we also visited her.  Then after my Grandpa died and Grandma had a stroke, she moved into her childhood home with her to take care of her.  Thus, she sometimes got called Grandma Aunt Liz.

 

Aunt Liz only had 3 sons.  She was 10 years older than my mother.  I remember very special times visiting her.  She made me Barbie Clothes (some of which are still around here).  She genuinely was interested in what I was doing.  I guess she was my “favorite” Aunt… but each of my Aunts are/were special in their own right and held/hold special places in my heart.    I just saw her more frequently so I knew her better.

 

She loved to get photos of my children.  My second daughter is named Liz (Elizabeth) as well.  Did we name her in honor of Aunt Liz?  Not really… but it certainly didn’t hurt that I loved Aunt Liz and had good feelings about the name Elizabeth.

 

In a first quick look through some of her items, my mother brought home some little SWAPS from a Girl Scout event I went to in 1976.  My Aunt had saved them and put them into her cedar chest.  I’m sure that as they look through more and more in her beautiful century home, they will find other things that I gave/sent her.

 

I will miss Aunt Liz.  It will be sad when the family has to sell the old homestead.  That house has been home to the family for almost 80 years.  It has been a place where we all gathered for large Christmas parties – by large, I mean LARGE – 6 kids and their spouses and 19 grandkids.  It has been a place that we have gathered to mourn the loss of families members.    It has been a place where many have gone to live for a time – some for years, some for just a few weeks.  It has been a welcoming place.  A steadfast bastion in this crazy world.

grandmahouse

The house and land hold many memories for me.  Most of the memories are from when my Grandparents were still living, but there are also great memories of times there with Aunt Liz.    Not much has changed about the house over the years.  The kitchen has been remodeled and added on to.  The row of large trees at the curb have been removed and new trees planted.  The row of bushes that stood to the side yard between this house and the next is gone – I used to play in a “cave” under those bushes.  The front porch is still long and inviting.  There is still no heat in the upstairs – only open registers for the heat to rise from the main floor.  There is still only one bathroom with only a bathtub.  A photo exists of me “swimming” in that tub.  The basement is still somewhat creepy – though I remember being down there with Grandpa and exploring the cellar pantry.   The yardstick is still on the chair rail behind the buffet outside the bathroom door where it has always been – where the telephone with a party line sat – with the long cord so it could be carried into the huge coat closet on the other side.

 

Some things change… some things never change.  Such is life.

 

This death leaves my mother as the sole remaining member of her birth family.  It makes her the matriarch… never mind that she is only 8 years (or so) older than her nearest neice.

 

Family is important.  Family is the most important thing.  You do what you need to do for family.  You make it happen.  Even when you are tired and your laundry hasn’t been done in 3 weeks… you keep going.  You take care of family.  You love family.  Without family, you do not exist.

 

Getting dressed now to head back to my mother’s house…. gotta help her with the repairs to her bedroom and bathroom from the winter flood.   More on that later.  Family!

What did you do today?

Did you do anything interesting today?  Did you see anything unusual?  Did you go someplace out of your comfort zone?  Or did you stick with the norm?

 

I did all of those things.    🙂

 

I took a ride to the east side of Cleveland this morning for my husband to pick up a new-to-him company car.  WHOO-HOO!  We’ve never had a company car before, this could be interesting.

 

I had no idea – none whatsoever – of where I was.  I just knew I was near/in Cleveland.  So, I asked my GPS (the australian guy who lives in it) to take me to my friend’s house in Berea.  He obliged.

 

On the way I saw:

Lake Erie!  Haven’t seen it in quite a few months.  It was not frozen, BTW.

A building with a fabulous mural of whales on it.  It really was wonderful.  I’m pretty sure we do not have whales in Lake Erie but the mural was great.   Not sure what the building is or was – maybe an old aquarium?

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I did not take this picture, I “borrowed” it from the web.

Progressive Field – whoopdeedo!  But I saw it.  Drove right past it.

 

I had the overwhelming joy of driving in Cleveland traffic.  Fortunately, traffic was light at 11am.  I HATE driving in Cleveland traffic.   (This is the “out of my comfort zone” part of my original questions.)

 

I had a wonderful visit with my dear friend and we went out to lunch.  Talked and talked and renewed our spirits a bit with good fellowship.

 

Once I got back home it was back to the norm…. pick child #4 up from after school meeting of Model U.N…. pick child #3 up from swim practice 45 minutes later… take child #3 to swim team pasta dinner/party… come home… check email… check facebook… work on Groovyghan – mystery afghan #2 started for the year.  The first part is done.

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I just LOVE Mystery Afghans – I am seriously contemplating making up one of my own to publish.  I’m thinking of a knit mandala or maybe a movie/character themed one.  Still in the thinking phase.

 

Now, I will go work on the Harry Potter afghan… making great progress on it.

 

State of the Knitting/Crocheting Address

I posted some of this info on Facebook, but thought I would expand on it here.

 

I completed 128 projects in 2015.

2015projects

 

Of those projects 36 were knit (28%).  That means 92 were crochet (72%).

 

The majority were critters (or people) – 66 of them.  That is 52% of the things I made were stuffed critters and were given away.

 

Here are some other totals.

 

I finished 7 afghans – 2015 afghans

 

 

Mosaic Mystery – will go to the fair in 2016.  It has been stored in my stash for gifting.

Summer 2015 Mystery won a blue ribbon at the fair.  It has been stored in my stash for gifting.

Square in the Center won best of show at the fair.  This one will be a graduation gift this May.

Sophie afghan also won a ribbon at the fair.  It has been stored for gifting.

Baby Afghan went to a young deserving mother.

KAL Afghan went to my cousin since I made it with yarn she gave me.

CAL Afghan went to the fair as well.  I can’t remember how it did.  It has been stored for gifting.

 

 

I also made a bunch of hats and mittens and a scarves and a few other articles of clothing – 23 in total.

clothing2015

All of these were gifts or commissioned items.  The only one that is in my home that I actually can still see is the Sorting Hat.

 

Now about those critters.  I made sooooo many of them.  Such a great variety.  I translated patterns from Spanish and Italian and Turkish.  I created patterns when the instructions weren’t clear.  I gave all of these away!

 

critter2015-1

In this batch, there were 8 of those little reindeer/rudolphs made.  Most of these were gifts for the scouts.

critter2015-2

In this group.  I made 18 different little Girl Scouts to match each of my scouts’ hair color.    I also ended up making 3 different baby goats.  Almost all of these were gifts for my scouts.

critter2015-3

These were all commisioned items or gifts for friends.  The bats are adorable, aren’t they?

 

I also made a bunch of misc. items – or as I’m calling them… household items.

 

household2015

I made 6 GS trefoil pot holders for my GS moms.  I made 6 different sets of chair socks.  I also made 19 apple potholders.  These were for gifts to my Market Day chairwomen and co-workers.

 

 

Do you see something that you like?  Is there some critter, hotpad, scarf, hat, or afghan that you would like?  Tell me what you want and I’ll see if we can work it out.

 

Crochet or Knit

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Do you crochet or knit?

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I do both.  Lately I seem to be crocheting more than knitting.

I love to do Mystery Afghans – you get a part every week and then in a couple months you put it all together and get a cool afghan.

HOWEVER, all the really cool ones are crocheted.  Why not KNIT??

All the knit ones are just squares – in different stitches and/or colors and then you sew them together.  BLAH!

I want something cool and challenging and COOL!  UNIQUE!

 

Do you think I could make one up??   I have too much on my plate right now but maybe…. might be something to really consider.  I wonder if I would be able to get enough people interested in it to make it worth my while.  I would have to make a sample one and photo graph it step by step/week by week.

 

What would it look like?  NOT SQUARES!!!

 

Hmm… something to ponder in my spare time… when I am not working on the Harry Potter Afghan and the 3 mystery afghans that started in January.

 

 

Elvis Pattern

I recently was asked to make an Elvis for a friend.  I did not want to pay for a pattern (I don’t pay for any pattern if I can help it).  Therefore, I created a pattern for Elvis.

 

Here is the PDF Version:  Elvis

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Feel free to use this to bless your favorite Elvis fan.

 

Size G hook

White, black, fleshtone, blue & gold yarn

 

sc = single crochet

sl = slip stitch

dec = decrease (combine 2 stitches into one stitch)

inc = increase (make 2 stitches in one stitch)

 

The final Elvis is approximately 13 inches tall.

 

Legs (make 2)

With white yarn

1:  make a magic circle with 6 sc

2: increase in each stitch around = 12 stitches

3:  1 sc, 1 increase around = 18 stitches

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9:  18 stitches each round

10:  1 sc, 1 decrease around = 12 stitches

11, 12:  12 sc around

13:  2 sc, 1 decrease around = 9 stitches

14, 15, 16, 17:  9 sc around

Finish off the first leg and stuff

With the second leg, do NOT finish off after round 17.  Stuff and then join the 2 legs together.

Joining the legs, with the tail/yarn from leg 1 hanging down between them.

18:  sc 4 stitches from leg 2, sc 9 stitches from leg 1, sc the remaining 5 stitches on leg 2 = 18 stitches

19,20: 18 sc

You will now begin work on the body…

Body

21:  2 sc, 1 inc around = 24 stitches

22:  24 sc around

23, 24:  switch to gold – do not cut white yarn, you will pick it up agin for round 25 – 24 sc around

25, 26, 27:  white – 24 sc around

28:  2 sc, 1 dec around = 18 stitches

29, 30:  18 sc around

Stuff body

31:  4 sc, 1 dec = 15 stitches

32: 15 sc around

33:  3 sc, 1 dec around = 12 stitches

34:  10 sc ( or however many you need to take to get you to the center front of your body – this is based on where the gold join is on the belt so that is to the back)

35:  12 sc in front loop only, ch 1, TURN

36:  12 sc back around.  This makes the collar.  Do not join.   Finish off white.

Stuff body

Join flesh tone at side of round 34 in the back loops, behind the collar.

Head

DSCF0124[1]35:  12 sc in back loops of round 34 (behind collar)

36:  5 dec 2 sc = 7 stitches

37: increase around = 14 stitches

38:  1 sc, 1 inc around = 21 stitches

39: 2 sc, 1 inc around = 28 stitches

40: 3 sc, 1 inc around = 35 stitches

41: 4 sc, 1 inc around = 42 stitches

42-47: 42 sc

48:  4 sc, 1 dec around = 35 stitches

49: 3 sc, 1 dec around = 28 stitches

50: 2 sc, 1 dec around = 21 stitches

51:  1 sc, 1 dec around = 14 stitches

Stuff head and body

52:  decrease around = 7 stitches

Stuff as needed.

Thread needle and pick up loop of those 7 stitches, pull closed.  Finish off.

 

Feet (make 2)

DSCF0127[1]With blue (for blue suede shoes) – or whatever color you want

Chain 4

1:  sc in second chain from hook, sc in next chain.  3 sc in first chain made, go around to the other side of the chain.  Sc in second chain, 2 sc in 3rd chain (the one the that you made the first sc in) = 8 stitches

Working around

2:  increase, 1 sc, increase x 3, 1 sc, inc x 2 = 14 stitches

3:  inc, 4 sc, inc x 3, 4 sc, inc x 2 = 20 stitches

4:  20 sc around

5:  6 sc, dec x 3, 5 sc, dec x 2 = 15 stitches  (yes, you will go past the first stitch)

6:  4 sc, dec x 3, 5 sc = 12 stitches

7:  4 sc, dec x 2, 4 sc = 10 stitches

8:  switch to white for socks – 2 sc, dec, 2 sc, dec, 2 sc = 8 stitches

9:  8 sc

finish off, stuff, sew to round 1 of leg/pants

Arms (make 2)

With fleshtone yarnDSCF0128[1]

1:  make a magic circle with 5 sc

2:  increase around = 10 stitches

3, 4:  10 sc

Switch to white yarn

5:  3 sc, dec x 2, 3 sc = 8 stitches

6-15:  8 sc

finish off, stuff, sew to shoulder at approximately rows 30-33

 

Belt Buckle

DSCF0123[1]Make a magic circle with 4 sc

In 1st stitch:  1 sc, 1 sl,  in next 3 stitches *1 sl, 1 sc, 1 sl*, slip to first sc join.

You should have a square-ish buckle.  Sew to front of belly on belt.

Hair

Black yarn

DSCF0126[1]1:  make a magic circle with 6 sc

2:  increase around = 12 stitches

3:  1 sc, 1 inc around = 18 stitches

4:  2 sc, 1 inc around = 24 stitches

5:  3 sc, 1 inc around = 30 stitches

6:  4 sc, 1 inc around = 36 stithces

7:  5 sc, 1 inc around = 42 stitches

8:  6 sc, 1 inc around = 48 stitches

9:  sideburn

DSCF0125[1]sc 6, ch1, turn

sc 3, ch1, turn

decrease, sc 1, ch1 turn

sc 2, ch1, turn

dec, ch1 turn

sc 1, ch1 , turn

Slip down the side of the sideburn back to round 8

front of hair

sc 27 (to other side), ch1, turn

sc 5, *dec, sc 2* (*5times*), 1sc, ch1 turn

sl 3, *sc 2, dec* (*3 times*), 2 sc, sl 1, turn (NO CHAIN 1)

sl 3, *2 sc, dec* (*2 times*), 1 sc, 1 sl, turn (NO CHAIN 1)

sl 2, 6 sc, sl 2

slip down the side back to round 8

second sideburn

sc 3, ch1, turn

sc 3, ch 1, turn

dec, sc1, ch1, turn

sc 2, ch1, turn

dec, ch1, turn

sc 1, ch1, turn

slip down the side of sideburn back to round 8

sc 12

Finish off, leave a long tail to sew hair to head.

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Finishing

Sew feet/shoes onto bottom of legs/pants

Sew arms on at shoulders

Sew belt buckle on to front of body/belt

DSCF0122[1]Sew “V” on side of leg/pant

Decorate front of shirt as desired

Sew hair on head – pulling sideburns down towards the front and adding stuffing to the top/bang portion only so it stands up

Add eyes and mouth

Use yarn between legs to close up the little gap between them.     🙂

 

 

If you want to make a guitar I used:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/guitar-pacifier-keeper

And just made the strap long enough to encircle his body.

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Why Blog?

Why Blog?  That is the question I have asked myself repeatedly.  I am not one that ever did very well keeping a diary.

blog

I kept one in college which didn’t include very many details or feelings and was written in Portuguese.  That was really brilliant of me, wasn’t it?  At the time I could speak/write fluent Portuguese, not so much now.

 

So… why should I blog?  Other than to express feelings and for people to get to know me and what is going on in my life, I don’t really seem to have a purpose.   I would like to have a purpose.  Some reason to blog.  Some knowledge or information that I could impart to make the world a better place.  I just don’t know what that is.

 

You all (all 12 of you that follow me) don’t need to hear/read my venting again and again.  I’m sure that my family antics aren’t all that exciting either.

 

Suggestions, please.  What do you see as something that I am knowledgable about and/or passionate about and could blog about on a regular basis.