Posted by: Mare F | October 8, 2018

Planning for cold weather….

When I first began as a vendor at our school craft fair in November, put on by the Parents, Friends, and Alumni group of the FFA Chapter, I would finish up the show by taking tags off of any items which had been traveling to the shows for 3 years and donating them to the coat/hat/glove drive that the students were holding. Happily most of them were hats and scarves, but even the odd shawl will add a layer over or under a coat in the dead of winter.


On year the Middle School Angels at Christmas received many requests for warm clothing items for the students so I, and a wonderful friend in Texas, donated enough hats, scarves, and mittens so that each child got one of them as well as the requested item for the Angel. I know I’ve been in tough times and I have greatly appreciated the assistance I’ve gotten over the years so this is a treat for me to be able to help out.


And after reading of the wonderful group in Canada that tied scarves around trees, railings, and benches for people who needed them to find, I loved the idea so much that I began doing it myself. The weatherman says that a cold front coming in from the west will drop our temps this coming weekend to near freezing temps overnight so I think that this might just be the weekend to start tying out my baggies of warm things….since I don’t trust the weatherman that much I put them in baggies to keep them dry. A wet scarf is still a wet scarf. Do you donate and, if so,  how do you find your charity?


Posted by: Mare F | October 4, 2018

Thursday Chat

Rugs. Have you crocheted rugs? I have some lovely thick wool that I’ve used on a couple of bath mats, doubled with a strand of Sugar n’ Cream cotton for stability, and they are delightfully soft and absorbent. I don’t really need many more bath mats, but I was thinking that they might be nice as a bedside rug. Very thick and warm for your first step out of bed in the morning sounds like a charming start to the day.

crochet rug book

I’ve just started looking at books and this one caught my eye. I haven’t ordered it yet, but if anyone has used it I would love to hear about your experiences. Also, if you do have any ideas or suggestions for rug pattern books I would appreciate hearing about them. I suppose I could wing it, but I think I’d like to get a couple of someone else’s patterns done before I step off of the end of the dock on my own.

Posted by: Mare F | October 1, 2018

Yarn chicken

Every fiber artist, at one time or another, plays yarn chicken. It can be a roller coaster ride of emotion depending on the project and the fiber that you are using. I particularly run into problems because I have a good deal of old yarns and cottons on hand so I have to choose my projects with care, but even with the best planning sometimes thing run a bit tight.


This was the remaining cotton from the latest doily I finished last night. I admit that I didn’t want to look in the basket to see how much was left and I’m also pretty sure that I started crocheting faster as if that would make the cotton go farther. Am I alone on this?

purple cotton chickent

This was the second doily in a row that I was this close to the end when I finished, but to play it safe I started an ecru filet mat and I’m using one of the big balls of cotton. Yes, I’m playing it safe and not playing chicken again on this project. I’ll save that for the next project….mittens, perhaps.


ecru cotton

How do you judge how much you need for a project?

Posted by: Mare F | September 27, 2018

Thursday chat

Life has been tough this past week with the unexpected death of a student at school. I find myself looking to my crocheting to calm me and give my hands something to do while my mind works through this sad, sad event. The yellow doily was already begun so I had that to work on and while it may sound odd, cotton crochet has always been soothing for me, even when I make mistakes, it is a craft that has immediate gratification, lovely patterns, and requires just enough focus to keep me occupied.

When I finished the yellow doily last night I immediately began searching for another cotton project. Several magazines and books later I came back to an old standby from White Crochet. The project I chose is the Diagonal Square doily although it has quite a few patterns in which I made up over the years.

white crochet

Do you have a comfort project that you go to when the world becomes a bit overwhelming?

Posted by: Mare F | September 18, 2018


Cotton has always been my first love when crocheting. To be honest, doilies are what led me to learn to crochet. I really liked the look of them, but wasn’t crazy about the slim store-bought options for them. They looked too standard and just didn’t seem to have the elegance that hand-made doilies carry.


I don’t often do large projects, although I may try to squeeze a couple more in before my eyesight and old bones give up on me, but this one really appealed to me even though through a single mistake early on I ended up changing the last few rows. It’s now an original. 😉


This one is going to save me on my fair entry this year. I’m not sure what happened to the time (that seems to be common refrain for me,) but I must have my entry form in soon and I don’t have a big selection. Another situation I’m in the process of rectifying. I’ve started another in a lovely multi-yellow/gold color just because I can do!


So, I hope to have a larger stock to offer for sale as well as adding to my donation and gifting stash. We are rapidly approaching the holiday season and perhaps I should look to holiday doilies as well. Do you decorate for the seasons or just the holidays?


Posted by: Mare F | September 13, 2018

Thursday chat

Gloomy, gray weather is overtaking me. We’ve had a long, hot, humid summer with lots of rain over the past few weeks. My yard is a jungle. The gardens are a bumper crop of weeds, and very hearty weeds I might add. So, what do you do when this weather takes over your corner of the world?


I decided to go back through my pictures and see what I could find that would brighten up my day, and hopefully my outlook. This picture caught my attention quickly. I still have some of the lovely, bright yellow yarn! I’m now off to see if I can find a pattern, and of course the yarn, in the hopes that it will bring some much needed sunshine into my day. So how do you chase away the weather megrims?

Posted by: Mare F | September 6, 2018

Thursday chat

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for Gansey Knitting 101 from Knitting Daily and Interweave. It may just be that spending the past year and a half building up stock while stash busting has colored my thoughts on sweaters or perhaps it’s just the right time for me to try to make myself something of note, but I also purchased Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Rensel.



I thought, at first that it was the fact that this book has a cardigan in it that finally swayed me, because, really, I do not need anymore pattern books, but this one is a delightful how-to on the construction of the sweaters also. And wouldn’t you know, I found at least 3 sweaters that really caught my heart so now comes the fun part of deciding which one to tackle first. There will be more to come on this topic, I’m certain, but for now I’m just happy that a complicated project has inspired me to ramp up my skills….and concentration, concentration is the big issue here.

Posted by: Mare F | September 3, 2018

The day after the fair

Once again I’ve been away far too long. This summer in northwest Connecticut has been brutally hot and humid which has slowed me down considerably. Apparently I’m not going to outgrow my hot weather inactivity. BUT, yesterday was the Colebrook Fair and I think it’s the 5th year that I’ve done it. The weather broke and while we had clouds off and on throughout the day, it was much less humid and the temps were in the low 80s. Perfect fair weather!


Janine spent the day helping with the setup, breakdown, and all things in between. Wubba made up our threesome (sorry, I didn’t get a good picture of him) and charmed many a person wandering by. Long day of canine loving he had.


One day I will figure out how to get the tablecloths there in an unwrinkled state, but this was an early picture and I did get it sorted a bit better by the end. This was about the time I realized I’d forgotten all of the pot holders I’d made. A quick text to Doug and he saved the day by running them up in between his errands and two of them sold in short order.


Now, to venture into the studio, clear up the debris, and unpack the car. I should probably do a bit of tidying first while I have the space.  An after picture to come.

I hope everyone has a lovely week and that you get to do a bit of your own crafting when you choose to do.


Posted by: Mare F | May 28, 2018

Towels, so many towels

Life has been hectic, which I should realize by now is the norm, for some reason, and I’ve been steadfastly working to use up my stash. The most recent stock item tackled has been crocheted heavy kitchen towels.


Most of them are made with Sugar ‘n Cream cotton which is one of my favorite cotton yarns. Very rarely do I run into any issues with this yarn and the color selection is good.


These towels are wonderful for drying produce. I use them when I hit the farmer’s market or when harvesting my garden. They are very absorbent and, at approximately 12″ x 19″, they are a nice size. Plus they become softer and more absorbent the more you wash and use them.


My only regret so far is that it took me so long to start making a using them. It’s a soothing project, very simple pattern, and a lovely way to use up a good portion of the cotton that seems to have followed me home. What do you make with cotton yarn?

Posted by: Mare F | January 25, 2018

Discussion Thursday

I recently finished reading Knitting by the Fireside and on the Hillside by Linda G. Fryer.  It is a history of Shetland hand knitting from c1600 to 1950.  There is so much interesting information in this book that I highly recommend it for an entertaining look at an amazing art form.




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