Project Linus Blanket #19

A few months ago I wrote a blog post explaining how I go about picking colors for my Project Linus blankets. As a quick reminder I ended up going with these colors:

Final Color Choice

My color guide that I had drawn looked like this:

Final Map

The Sweet Roll colors are the the multi-colored yarn. It’s actually called Sweet Roll by Premier and the color is Wasabi Pop. I had never used self-striping yarn for a project so I was looking forward to seeing how it would come out on one of my blankets. Are you ready for the finished blanket?

Project Linus Blanket #19

Project Linus Blanket #19 4-21-19 - The Pond

“The Pond”

I named this blanket “The Pond” because as I was crocheting the stripes with the Sweet Roll yarn it reminded me of colors in a pond.

Project Linus Blanket #19 4-21-19 - Detail

You have your brown mud, the green algae, and little spots of blue water.

Let me show you a better picture of the stripes.

Project Linus Blanket #19 - Stripe Detail

(Ignore the ends, I still have to weave them in)

The first roll I only managed to get 10.5 rows out of it, but the next two I did get 13 rows. I then did 9 rows of off-white in between the stripes, and 8 rows between the brown and Sweet Roll stripes. If you scroll back up to my drawing you can see that my size proportions were WAY off. Don’t you feel bad for Jay when he has to decipher my drawings for the projects I ask him to make for me?

I enjoyed working with the self-striping yarn because it gives me the different colors without having to physically change colors. It didn’t upset me that the colors changed in the middle of the blanket because I think it gives it a little bit of character. There are patterns out there that are designed to perfectly use these self-striping yarns so that the colors switch on the edges. If that’s important to you, then you need to be careful when picking out your yarn. You want to get rolls that have the same color starting in the middle and the same colors radiating out from the middle. Let’s take a look at the rolls that I used:

Step 1 Choice

You can kind of see them in this picture. Enlarge the picture if necessary, but notice how the two rolls on the right are a bit different? The one on the left is similar to the middle, but I think that it is slightly different. That’s what causes the striping patterns that develop in your project.

Project Linus Blanket #19 - Stripe Detail 2

The self-striping cakes can be a bit pricey, so I will only buy them if there is one heck of a sale on them. I have managed to buy a few more colors of this same brand of cake yarn, so it will be interesting to see how those blankets turn out as well.

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Real Life – 4-19-19

There have been quite a few reports published recently that show depression has skyrocketed, especially among the youth. When they dug into the causes they discovered that a lot of it has to do with the horrendous amounts of social media that are being consumed where the perception is that everybody else’s life is absolutely wonderful. There are posts about perfect kids, clean houses, wonderful jobs, terrific spouses, etc. After reading a lot of that you wonder where you went wrong and why is it that you seem to have such a messed up life.

Well, I’ve decided to do something about it. I am here to cure your depression! Every once in a while I will post a ‘Real Life’ post and show you just how messy MY life is!

Are you ready for this? This is for your own good…

Library - 4-15-19

Usually I resize my pictures when posting them on the blog, but I’m leaving this one big so that you can see all of the cluttered mess in its glory. This is in my library. The one room that you have to walk through to get almost any where else in the house. I walk by this mess a minimum of 8 times a day. What is in here? Gary and Penny… some cardboard boxes that need to be recycled… the bird bath that requires some repairs and added work before we can put it back out this spring… the Hobby Lobby bag with the Christmas Wreath-making supplies that I put there in November… the Christmas doo-dads that I pulled out to put on the wreath… a bucket (I can’t recall where that came from)… and of course my disorganized bookshelves in the back that just get more and more books piled in them.

What? That’s not so bad? Are you still feeling down and blue? Here, let me help you feel REALLy good about yourself…

Pink Room - 4-15-19

The Pink Room. This is our spare bedroom downstairs. It ends up being a catch-all for everything that I really don’t know what to do with, but it has to go somewhere. My treadmill is in here, along with a few of Jay’s airplanes (and I just noticed that two have been added today!)… there are six boxes of books that I need to take down to my sister’s when I travel there this summer… an old TV that we have to figure out what to do with (and it’s very heavy)… all of the stuff that I’m going to take to Goodwill goes in here… and you can see two naked baby dolls on the bed, too. I guess I should probably put some clothes on them or something. Please take as long as you need to sit and soak it all in.

There. Are you feeling better? I did this for YOU! Nobody has a perfect life. They just have perfectly staged pictures. As soon as the shutter has clicked, the cat will enter the room and hack up a hairball. Why? Because that’s what cats do… and that’s called life. So enjoy it and don’t worry about how “good” other people have it!

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Jewelry Armoire – FINISHED!

Kimmy Christmas 1983

Yes, it’s true! I’m not joking. It really is finished! The surprise on my sister’s face says it all… she never thought it would happen! To be honest, there were times I believed that myself!

Here it is, before and after staining/finishing:

And the inside:


Last week I managed to get the last few coats of poly on the cabinet. Saturday morning Jay attached the backing, reattached the doors, and installed the hardware.

Jewelry Armoire - Finished - 4-12-19

It was a big sigh of relief to get that off of my table. It’s been hanging over our heads for a while. Life just kept getting in the way. Due to its size I couldn’t just pop downstairs and spend a few minutes on it to get the finishing done. It required quite a chunk of time, plus I didn’t want to do any staining when the heater was on because that just creates more fumes. But we got it done!

Jewelry Armoire - Backing

The back isn’t pretty, but you’re not suppose to see it.

Since this is going to hold Karen’s jewelry, she wanted pegs on the inside so that she can hang necklaces.

Jewelry Armoire - Peg Holes

She now has all kinds of options for hanging necklaces!

We delivered it to her front door Saturday morning.

One project off the list!

I wasn’t looking to add another project to the list so quickly, but Jay wanted to surprise me with something he had designed. I have to admit that my reaction quickly deflated his balloon of happiness, but I tried to assure him it wasn’t due to his thoughtfulness. It was mainly due to the To Do list increasing again.

Do you remember this pattern I showed you a while back:

Kitty Couch - Annies Crochet

Well, I ended up purchasing it. I don’t have any intentions of starting it anytime soon because I know the cats will refuse to use anything that I spent a lot of time making. I wonder what they will do with something that Jay made for them?

Cat Couch - 4-15-19

Yes, he made a frame for a Cat Couch! He is so sweet to me and sometimes I’m just not very appreciative. It’s like when a husband brings home a fresh turkey for his wife… so that she can cook it for dinner.

Anyway, Jay thought that I could crochet the fabric to upholster this since he didn’t have any idea what the size requirements were for the pattern I bought. I know that I’m not going to have time to crochet a cover for this. Not going to happen.

Cat Couch - Side - 4-15-19

I stared at it. And thought about it. And cleared some room on my mind’s workbench… and came up with a plan. I’ve requested a few minor adjustments to the frame and then I’ll apply foam and upholster it. I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought some remnants that were in my price range (I’m not paying $60/yard!).

Upholstery Remnants

They are kind of plain, but they were cheap and went well together. As you can tell, my standards for a Cat Couch are pretty low.

Cat Couch - Fabric Choices

This won’t even be touched until after Easter, but I think I have all of the materials ready to go. I shouldn’t be able to come up with any excuses as to why I can’t work on it. And who knows, maybe it will be the first piece of furniture that we’ve built for the cats that they will actually use!

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Crochet WIPs – 4-12-19

The crochet hook hasn’t been flying as often as I would like it to, but I’ve been fairly productive. First, let me give you an update on something you haven’t seen in a while.

t-shirt rug 1-28-19

Remember this rug? Well, I put a pretty good hurting on my wrist while working on it. Due to my wrist issues I haven’t even looked it it in a while. A few weeks ago I decided to pull this out again because it’s the perfect project to work on when sitting in Jay’s workshop with him. However, I was having problems seeing my stitches. It was a series of double and single crochets in the same stitch, then another double and single crochet in the next stitch. I think that was part of what was causing my wrist issue.

Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with it. So I frogged it (rip-it, rip-it) down to the starting chain. I then found another pattern that I liked and was trying that, except I wasn’t happy with that one either. Apparently I’m very hard to please. I frogged that one, too. Then the thought hit me, “Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.).” So I added to the chain until the rug was the width that I wanted and decided to just double crochet.

T-Shirt Rug 4-12-19

I don’t care how the colors pool on this so I’m not going to worry about what color yarn I’m using next or where it ends up starting. I just reach into my bag and pull out the next ball. I’m not quite sure where I’m going to use it, but it’s going to get dirty and I’m not going to care. It’s as simple as that.

T-Shirt Rug Detail

Look at all of those pretty double crochets!

Even though I don’t think this stitch will cause my wrist issues, I’ve decided that when I work on the rug I will wear my wrist brace that I use to immobilize my wrist when I sleep. If I’ve over-used my wrist this brace helps a lot.

Wrist Brace

I can’t use it when I’m working on any other crochet project because I do need my wrist for those. This rug is big and the yarn a bit tough, so I end up using my arm more than my wrist. That’s how I’m able to wear it while crocheting.

In other projects, here’s a peek at the next Project Linus blanket:

Project Linus Blanket #19 WIP

And a peek at the Project Linus baby blanket I’ve got in progress:

Project Linus Blanket #20 WIP

I need to take a moment to rave about the yarn that I’m using for this baby blanket:

Stitch Studio Storybook Yarn

It is 100% acrylic, but it’s WONDERFUL! I’ve never crocheted with silk so I can only imagine what it would feel like sliding across my hook… and this is close! I am being horribly spoiled by this yarn. It’s so delicious! The silkiness allows it to glide over your hook like butter. It’s silky to the touch and feels so luxurious. I believe that the ‘fanfare’ designates that this is a variegated yarn. I have another Storybook yarn, but this one is Lullaby:

Stitch Studio by Nicole - Storybook Lullaby

How gorgeous is that??!! It’s shiny, silky, 100% acrylic and 100% deliciousness! From what I can tell, ‘Lullaby’ designates that it’s a solid color.

The Nicole brand of yarn is found at A.C. Moore and even their regular acrylic yarn is wonderful. It’s much softer and puffier than Red Heart’s regular acrylic. The Storybook yarn is a bit pricey ($3.99 per 4.9 oz skein), but if you can get it on sale it’s definitely worth it. I think that I got these 5 for $10. It was worth it! Plus, I had a coupon that took off an additional amount on your yarn purchase (including sale yarn). So keep a look out for coupons and watch the ads for good sales.

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Magazine Review – Wood – May 2019

I decided that it might help if I do a little review of the various magazines Jay and I receive. Yes, both of us would prefer to have the paper magazine in our hands as compared to just reading it online. Call us weird, but that’s our preference.

My first review will be for Better Homes & Gardens WOOD Magazine, Issue 260 May 2019.

Wood 05 2019

When this arrived at our house I read the cover and looked forward to the article about finishing with Shellac. Jay wanted to see the Floating-face Clock.

If you’ve followed my blog for a little bit then you know that Jay and I typically have at least one project going on in the work shop. I’ve purchased many different wood working magazines, but WOOD magazine is definitely our favorite. It’s very down-to-earth with practical tips and projects. We aren’t ever going to make heirloom-quality projects, so a ‘common man’s’ magazine is fine for us.

This issue features four different projects (front door, bench, work bench, clock), six different articles about various tools & techniques, plus departments such as shop tips, subscriber projects, and a Q&A column.

The first project is a Front Door:

Wood 05 2019-1

It’s a very nice front door. For each project you are given the dimensions, approximate materials cost, an assembly picture, step-by-step directions (including pictures), a materials list and a cutting diagram. According to the magazine this door will cost approximately $500 for materials.

Knowing how long it takes a project to get through our workshop, this is one that will probably never be on our To Do list. It’s easier for us if we just order a door from somebody else and have them install it. We aren’t chomping at the bit to build our own. If we did, it would have MUCH lower glass panels on the side so that the cats could comfortably sit and look outside.

One of the tools & techniques articles in this issue is:

Wood 05 2019-2

Tablesaws take up a lot of room so this article tells you how to make cuts typically done on a tablesaw with other saws or tools that you might have in your shop. Jay didn’t really read this article because he already has a tablesaw. However, if something happened to it and he had to figure out a different way to make the cuts he would have this handy article to reference. They include a lot of pictures and instructions, which is really nice.

Another tools & techniques article:

Wood 05 2019-3

This article breaks down the basics of building an upper cabinet so that anybody can do it. They give instructions, drawing, cutting diagram and materials list for a 24″W x 42″ T cabinet. Again, neither Jay nor I read this one, but it’s another one of those handy reference articles when you need it.

Finally, we come to the article I was looking forward to reading:

Wood 05 2019-4

Since I’m the one who does almost all of the finishing on our projects I always am interested in learning about the various finishes that I haven’t yet attempted. This article was very informative and I plan on re-reading it because there’s so much in it that I need to wrap my head around. This one article completely made the entire issue for me.

Project #2 in this issue:

Wood 05 2019-5

The dimensions given on this bench are 39″ W x 19″ D x 17″ H. The approximate material cost is $40. Not bad for a solid wood bench. However, when I first saw it I thought it looked like it would be a little uncomfortable to sit on. Jay says that he would be tempted to try it if we had room for it. I told him that with something like this that is relatively inexpensive he could go ahead and make it, but we’d donate it to our church’s festival as a Chinese Auction prize. I know that Jay has a lot of scrap stuff that he could actually use up on this, and we’d be doing something good for the church. It’s a win-win!

There is an article that reviewed various Tracksaws, but I didn’t read it. Jay didn’t either. He considers a tracksaw to be a single-purpose tool, and he tries not to purchase any of those if he can help it. The magazine does a good job of reviewing several different brands across a wide spectrum of prices.

Project #3:

Wood 05 2019-6

This is a fold-up workbench and mitersaw station for a person who has their workshop in their garage. Again, like the other projects, an approximate material cost, cutting diagram, materials list, and dimensions are given in this article. Plus, they give you a heads up that in future issues there will be more projects to go along with this set. Since we don’t have need for anything like this, we both skipped reading the article.

Project #4:

Wood 05 2019-7

This clock really didn’t do anything for me because it looks too contemporary for my tastes. Jay thought it would be neat to make. The article doesn’t give me an approximate materials cost, but you could probably make the majority of it using scraps in your shop. The most expensive components are going to be the clock movement and the sheet of acrylic. Again, this is another project that if Jay really wanted to try we could always donate the finished project to our church for some kind of prize.

So, there you have it… the May 2019 issue of Wood Magazine. Overall there were only a couple of articles that we actually read, but there were many more things that inspired us in various ways. If you want to take a closer look at any of these projects, you can find them on the magazines website along with a LOT of other articles, plans and tips. If you’ve been wanting to subscribe to a wood working magazine you should definitely give this one a try. Like I said, it’s our favorite.

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Dresses for Missions – Update 4-5-19

I don’t have a dress to share with you today (I know! I still need to do one for March.) At church we are still collecting items for the Baby Boxes that will be sent to Haiti, so I’ve been working on those types of things.

Remember when I posted about the flannel sheets I had found at Goodwill:

Sheet for Blankets

It was a Queen size set made of really nice flannel.

Here is how they look today:

DFM Receiving Blankets 4-3-19

I made 12 receiving blankets out of the flat and fitted sheets. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I try to make each blanket around 36″ x 36″. Some of these are slightly smaller, but none of them are smaller than the receiving blankets that you can buy at the store.

I had purchased another set of King size flannel sheets for blankets:

Flannel Sheets for Blankets

However, after washing and cutting them into the blanket-sized pieces I decided that the material is just too thin and not-nice. After handling the other set I don’t want to include these for the baby boxes. Don’t worry, they won’t go to waste. The cat adoption center that I have been donating to has receiving blankets on their wish list for donations. They use them with litters of kittens so I’ll serge the edge of these and donate them to the cats. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to poop on these!

After crocheting my last Project Linus blanket I had almost an entire 1 pound skein of yarn left over.

Project Linus Blanket #18 - Blueberry Ice Cream - 3-27-19

Due to the hard surfaces that the babies lay on for a good portion of their first few months, they also collect hats for newborns to be included in the baby boxes. I found what looked like a simple crochet pattern and gave it a try. This is the first project that I’ve ever tried crocheting in-the-round (crocheting in a circle).

DFM Crochet Hat 4-3-19

Brandon was nice enough to model this for me. I still have to weave in the ends.

DFM Crochet Hat Side 4-3-19

It turned out okay and seems to fit him just fine. I wasn’t happy with my work, though, so I have found another simple pattern that I want to try next.

Finally, last weekend I’d heard that Hobby Lobby had a lot of yarn on clearance. Jay and I ran up there, but I didn’t find any yarn. Instead, I found this:

New Material 4-3-19

It was $3 per yard (the very most that I’ll pay per yard for Dresses material), but I thought that the purple on the right would make a nice accent ruffle. Also, we are going to make dresses for the women and girls in our sister parish in Mexico, so I thought the middle piece would work nicely for one of those. The other piece called to me so I brought it home. I’m thinking that will be another dress for a lady made using this pattern that I showed before:

Dress Pattern

So that’s where my Dresses projects stand!

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So Much to Poly!

It feels like forever since I started working on the Jewelry Armoire. The good thing is that the end is in sight! I have poly’d the inside and am now working on the outside.

Jewelry Armoire 4-1-19

I’m using a clear gloss, but I don’t want it to be REALLY glossy. I’ve applied it in more of a satin kind of feel. The first coat went on the outside last night, so if I get my butt in gear Jay should be able to put the doors back on and install the backing by this weekend.

I also managed to stain the back of the dog clocks. Last night I also put the first coat of poly on those:

Dog Clocks Poly'd 4-1-19

I will put one coat on and then paint the clock marks with some pretty colors so that they don’t blend in too much. Also, Jay has to paint the clock hands black so that they will show up better against the wood.

We have a Bob clock that has gold hands and most of the time I can’t even see what time it reads. You have to be almost right on top of it to read it.

Bob Face Clock

(I should probably get an updated picture of this clock with the mechanism installed!)

With those two projects nearing the finish line you would think that I’m soon going to be bored. HA! Just as I almost finish a project I give Jay an idea for another one. I actually have two waiting in the wings for my attention. I want to get the jewelry armoire off of my table first, though. I’m not going to tell you what these are right now, but I’ll show you pictures.

Paper Plate Holder 4-1-19

Cord Organizer 4-1-19

Oh, and the other night as we were falling asleep I mentioned yet ANOTHER project for Jay. The poor guy! It’s going to be a while before he can get back to one of his own projects. His mom even has him working on one for her:

Fence Pieces 4-1-19

These are pickets for the fence he is building. Karen has a new dog and she doesn’t want Millie (the dog) digging in the garden this summer. So a fence is needed to keep her out of it. Jay is cutting all of the pieces and Karen is painting them as they are ready. I think this fence has to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 70′ long.

As I was talking to Jay last night I noticed something on his work bench. *sigh* I think that we’ve been watching Hogan’s Heroes too much because he is starting to channel the Gestapo. I think he was trying to get information out of his Dremel!

Dremel in Pieces

“We have ways of making you talk, Mr. Dremel…”

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