Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Crochet-Along at Lion Brand

A new Crochet-Along has been started through Lion Brand Yarn Company. The pattern is available at the Lion Brand site: It's a sampler afghan, just what I need to practice my crochet which I'm now starting to try again after decades of not doing any. I love the single-color scheme. It shows off the stitches beautifully.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ohio's Horse License Plate Available Beginning August 28, 2008

No, this isn't crafting, or maybe it is, considering the license plate design. Anyway, I felt it was a good enough cause to share:

After three years of effort, Ohio's horse-friendly license plate bill, HB 293, recently passed the Ohio State Legislature! Governor Ted Strickland signed the bill into law on April 14.

By purchasing Ohio's Horse License Plate—available starting August 28—motorists will be helping with the growing problem of unwanted horses in the Buckeye State. A portion of the plate’s cost will benefit Ohio’s neediest horses—from retired racers to horses who are abandoned, abused or neglected. Funds will also be used for owner education and scholarships.

To buy the license plate or learn more, please visit

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dropped Stitches in Basketweave Knitting

I've been knitting a basketweave scarf and after a few sections of alternating knit and purl, I've discovered I dropped a purl stitch. OOPS! I can pick up stitches if the knitting is all the same using a crochet hook to refasten the stitches, but what about this situation? If you're a knitter and have come across this dilemma, how about giving me a note with some advice. I'm including a picture of the culprit. Sorry, but my camera doesn't do closeup's very well. Here's the pattern I threw together for the scarf:
Lion Brand Landscapes yarn (Autumn Trails) (I think I'm going to end up using 6 skeins). I couldn't find this yarn at Michael's, but JoAnn's Fabrics has it for $5.99 per skein.
Gauge so far: 1 skein makes about 13 inches - I'm getting 4 knit stitches per inch.
Needles: Size 13, 16" circular
1. Garter stitch (knit both WS and RS) for four rows.
2. K 2, K4, P4, K4, P4, K4, K2
3. K2, P4, K4, P4, K4, P4, K2
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 three times each, alternating Step 2, Step 3, Step 2, Step 3, etc. to make each section 6 rows long for each section. On the next row, in order to start an alternating section, where you knitted before, you will purl (except the first and last two stitches which are always knitted) and where you purled before, this time you will knit.
5. Continue in this way until the scarf is as long as you want it to be. (I'm still knitting and am on my 3rd skein so far so I can't give you the final results so far).
6. I plan to do the final four rows of garter stitch as in Step 1 to finish.
I'm not sure about a fringe, probably not. This is going to go with a beret I knitted from a pattern of Crazy Aunt Purl's. It came out a little large, but I think this winter when I'm standing outside doing car duty at school, the 50% wool will be nice and warm.
If this isn't clear, please let me know. Today was my first day back to work after my summer break and I'm beat. Feel free to download and try this pattern. It's just typical basketweave.
I've started practicing crochet again. I used to be able to do this years ago. I started with some Lion Brand Thick and Chunky in some colors I decided weren't colors I should have selected. My first attempt at a cat blanket is shaped similar to the state of Arkansas. I think it's because I have a really bad habit of not reading directions carefully before plowing into a project and didn't chain enough when turning at the end of the row. Fortunately, cats aren't too critical of color or shape when it comes to crocheted blankets; they judge by sleepability. Bunkai has put his seal of approval and a lot of his hair on the two blankets I've made. Willow will have nothing to do with either, probably because she prefers lighter weight types which she can crawl under even in the midst of summer. But I am determined to get this craft down to the point of being able to teach this to my knitting students at school this year, just to add to their interest. Plus, it helps to know something about using a crochet hook when you drop stitches like I have. Stay tuned for further crochet progress and I look forward to your advice on the dropped stitches.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wayne County Animal Adoption & Education Center Opens

Our new facility for the Wayne County Animal Adoption & Education Center opened today to a very enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers. There were booths set up by WOOFF (Welfare of Our Furry Friends), Diamonds in the Ruff (canine rescue), Smart Paws (dog obedience & canine training), Wayne CART (County Animal Response Team), SNAP-NC (spay-neuter assistance program of NC), and the Fire Department of Wayne County. County Commissioner Chairman Bud Gray, Suzanne Tyner and Jean Hollowell from the Humane Society, and New Director, Justin Scally opened the ceremonies this morning. The Rev. Dr. A. O. Vannorsdall, Priest at St Francis Episcopal Church, offerened a blessing of the Animals and the Center and the public was let in for their first look at the new state of the art building. The new building is beautifully constructed and is decorated with local children's art work. Pens were spacious and immaculate. There are visitor rooms for dogs and cats for prospective owners to get aquainted with their new pets as well as sick rooms for animals who need isolation. A memorial area is underway and will be filled with pavers commemorating deceased pets. An education room is also included which will be used for visiting groups. Suzi Wharton, our Humane Society's Educator will hold classes here.
Announcements of upcoming events in our community are:
WOOFF: Membership Drive wil be Saturday, August 23 at Berkeley Mall. They will hold a Yard Sale Friday September 12th and Saturday, September 13th at 223 Westwood Drive (1/4 mile past Hardees on 70West).
Diamonds in the Ruff: Yard Sale & Adoption Event will be Saturday, August 23 at 3738 US Hwy 70 West from 7:00 am - Noon

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Podcast Successful!

New Podcast is Successful! Now you can hear my new podcast, Craft Write on I'm enclosing the link here:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Podcasting Headaches

Sorry, but I gave up on Talk Shoe as well. Each time I tried to do a live show, it wouldn't connect me. I failed to get the attention of these guys either through my e-mails. I did record one podcast on Audacity and managed to upload it, but I'm going to try a new server - again. I have little patience and too little techno knowledge to play around with servers that won't help. Look for me on PodBean. I'll let you know when that works...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Knit & Swish planning

I'm planning a Knit & Swish for October here in Goldsboro, NC. Please check my other blog: Crafting for Animals for further info.

Knit & Swish October 18 or 25, 2008

I'm finally getting a project in gear for Crafting for Animals. Last year, my knitting club received yarn through a grant from Pamela Johnson, one of our social studies teachers, for use in the Snuggles Project. This is a wonderful project which is designed to provide blankets for shelter or foster animals. The blankets give them a sense of security and studies have shown that they become more sociable and therefore more adoptable. My 6th, 7th and 8th grade students contributed several blankets they made with needles and looms. I still had three boxes of yarn left and would like to get these knitted into blankets to finish the project. Since it seems that my students need quicker projects to finish, I'm co-hosting a knit-in of sorts with the Wayne County Humane Society. I will provide the left-over yarn and a few looms and it is up in the air right now if this will be at the Wayne County Library or the Wayne County Animal Adoption & Education Center. This will be held on October 18, Saturday (if at the Animal Adoption Center) or October 25, Saturday (if it's at the library). Please come out if you are a knitter or if you would like to learn to loom knit. The loom knitting will be set up for anyone to sit for as long as they like to work on different blankets. Loom knitting is pretty fool-proof, so even if you don't knit, you can do this. What I have is Red Heart yarn in all different colors or if you would like to bring your own to donate, feel free. Maybe we could actually get a knitting group together here in Goldsboro, NC.
I'm hoping to be able to sponsor the knitting club again this year at school and will ask some of my students to come out and help that day. They're a great bunch of kids, very enthusiastic and generous.
The address for the Wayne County Library is: 1001 East Ash Street, Goldsboro, NC 27530. Their phone number is 919-735-1824. You can visit their website at:

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I went on my first cruise this summer, right after the One Stroke Painting Conference in Orlando. My sister, Rheta, talked me into it, suggesting that since we would already be in Florida, it would be easy to just take a three-day cruise out of one of the ports there. I was apprehensive about being so far out in the ocean, but the trip turned out very nice. We sailed out of Cape Canaveral on Friday, July 11 heading for Nassau, Bahamas on the Sovereign of the Seas. My first night was a little, well a lot rough, with sea sickness. We were just close enough to the hurricane that had skirted the coast for our ship to pitch a little too much. Rheta secured me some motion-sickness medicine and warm Ginger-Ale which finally helped - and gave me hives for two days. I react to medicine that way sometimes, but if you've ever experienced sea-sickness, you know it's worth the risk of going around looking like a dork for a few days. After all, did I actually know any of these several thousand people on board?
The next day saw smoother waves and my seasickness gone. We went snorkeling off the coast of Nassau. This was a hoot and took a while to get my breathing down pat. By the time we were called back to the boat, I could keep the snorkle mask on for a while without ingesting salt water. They had taken us a little way off shore (they claimed twelve-feet water, but it looked about twice that at least) and we put on snorkels, flippers and life jackets. I also opted for a floatie, not that I can't swim, but I think it acted as a security blanket, being my first time at this. Rheta and I each had a water camera which we used up. I never did get to see Nemo and his family, but I did see a large live starfish, a lot of striped fish and several neon blue fish. The coral reef was lovely, but not as brightly colored as I would have thought. The next time, I plan to forgo the floatie so I can swim down a little closer to the reef for photos.
After snorkeling, we walked around the island a bit, but didn't have a lot of time for exploring. We did get to see both of Oprah's huge houses (left) on the shore, the former Richard Harrison's house (now owned by Nicholas Cage) (right) and the bridge where one of the 007 movies was filmed.
That night we sailed to Coco Cay, a small island owned by Caribe Royale, our ship's owner. This was my favorite part of the trip until the storm hit. We kayaked from the shore to a path around the island. We spotted a large stingray and several huge starfish and conchs. This was a fun activity and makes me want to go kayaking around NC (when it's not 100F with 75% humidity, maybe in November?). After the kayaking, we laid out on hammocks strung under the palms. What a beautiful feeeling! The dry palms sound just like rain falling and the breezes were so soft and soothing..... After regaining our energy, we set off to explore a nature path, but really didn't see much nature once we got onto the path except a lot of hermit crabs and lizards. We did get to see a couple of iguanas up close at a pond near the path. It was cool seeing them enjoying a swim or just sunning on a rock. I wish I could return all of the iguanas I see in pet stores to such a place. (Yes, I have owned an iguana myself in the past, but would not do so again.) The nature trail was very hot, so we headed back to the main beach area. The cruise ship's staff had set up lunch on the beach, and this was very good.
Rheta took another turn in the water, but I was pooped by this time and opted for the cool shade of the Wacky Seagull and a Pina Colada to watch the sea gulls. They were everywhere, fighting over scraps left by the tourists. Rheta joined me to take pictures of the gulls and we noticed the sky darkening. Deciding to make a run for the ship, we left this paradise and boarded one of the tenders leaving for the ship. We wisely chose the bottom with the roof overhead. Just before we got to the ship, the sky exploded with rain and we were drenched. Now, it would seem that after having been in the water for two days, this is a small thing. Not so. The rain beat down cold and hard. We wrapped Rheta's towel over us and I bundled my camera in mine. Unluckily, I was on the outer edge of our row. We had to wait for the tender in front of us to unload, then the pilot of our tender missed the ramp, had to back up, then re-dock, managing to bang into the boat a few times. It was a great feeling to get inside again.
That night we cruised back to Cape Canaveral. There was a midnight buffet which included an ice carving demonstration. The ice carver used what looked like a large sharp spatula and carved a dolphin out of a large block of ice in about ten minutes. Amazing. The food presentation was fabulous as were all of the meals prepared on board. The trip back into port was again a little shaky, but I seemed to have developed sea legs and it was hardly noticeable this time. Our room attendant left this precious roommate for us the last night. She was great and shared in the seasickness the first night. All of the staff on board were gracious and friendly and apparently loved their jobs.
Would I go on another cruise? Absolutely.