Bavarian for My Family

Having a great-grandfather with Bavarian heritage, I was delighted to discover there is such a thing as “Bavarian crochet.” Of course, I wanted to learn it; and I’ve been working with the book, Learn to Do Bavarian Crochet, by Jenny King (Annie’s Crochet).

It helps that I previously learned both front post and back post trebles while making a small baby blanket. They are the secret to creating the raised pattern characteristic of Bavarian and take some getting used to. It’s easier to become comfortable with front and back post trebles–and gauge consistency with trebles in general–before putting it all together. Continue reading

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French Women Live the Seasons

“In the twenty-first century, we can no longer expect to receive lifestyle as an inheritance; it has become a matter of active choice,” writes Mireille Guiliano.

Guiliano’s French Women for All Seasons. is my first book for Rose City Reader’s 2017 European Reading Challenge.

This book is the sequel to French Women Don’t Get Fat, Guiliano’s guide to the secrets French women know, and many in the West have forgotten, about enjoying life without overdoing things. Continue reading

Ice Cream for Valentine’s Day

I’ve been flipping through issues of Crochet World for a couple years, and admired many patterns, but I never went right out to begin one until the February 2017 issue.

I just started the “Bubbles Blanket & Pillow” by Joyce Bragg. Of course, since she uses Lion Brand’s Ice Cream Yarn in Tutti Frutti, her pattern caught my eye.

There is an error in the printed pattern regarding materials. It says you need one ball, but this is impossible for a baby blanket and pillow set. Ice Cream Yarn is sold in 3 1/2 oz. balls and “Big Scoop” 10 oz. balls. I suspect you need one Big Scoop, at least, to complete this project. One small ball won’t do. Continue reading

My Stitch Sampler: Goals for 2017

My mother gave me Yvette Stanton’s wonderful Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion as a Christmas gift a couple years ago.

I began working my way through this step-by-step stitch dictionary, using a large cotton tea towel and bright embroidery floss, and practicing each stitch until I was comfortable with it. This year, I want to finish this “sampler” and use my new stitches on a new set of floral-pattern tea towels.

I’ve been embroidering since I was little, but I haven’t incorporated many fancy stitches. I normally use a back stitch, a cross stitch, or a herringbone stitch. Continue reading

Europe, Memory, and the Heart: 2017 Reading Challenge

I’ve never participated in a reading challenge before, but my friend Gilion at Rose City Reader just published her 2017 European Reading Challenge.

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I love Europe, from St. Patrick’s Ireland to pre-Bolshevik Russia and medieval Norway to ancient Greece. I made an effort this year to focus on reading more whole books, and that brought a freshness to my mental routine that I knew I needed. Continue reading

Can One Granny Square Be a Blanket?

Yes, it can, and a lovely one. Granny squares don’t have to be tiny–or boring. A pretty, self-striping yarn can make all the difference.

I’ve made several granny square projects. The drawbacks include sewing dozens of squares together and weaving in countless ends if I’m changing colors within each square. That’s why I appreciate Lion Brand’s Sherbert Granny Stroller Blanket pattern.

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This is my completed Sweet Sherbet Baby Blanket in my Etsy shop. The pattern is free on the Lion Brand website, but you need to set up a log-in with an email address to have access to the pattern galleries. Once you’ve logged in, you can download and print patterns, and you can bookmark your favorites in your account for later. Continue reading

A Song for Saint Cecilia’s Day

If you have visited Colonial Williamsburg or Jamestown, Virginia, but have never been to St. Mary’s County, Maryland, it is worth the beautiful drive to Colton’s Point on the Potomac River to retrace a lesser-known chapter in America’s founding. A Maryland Historical Society sign on the shore near the St. Clement’s Island Museum marks the landing of The Ark and The Dove on March 25, 1634, adding, “Here, on the same day, Father Andrew White, S.J. celebrated the first Catholic Mass in the British-American colonies.”

That simple event, a Catholic Mass, inaugurated religious freedom in British North America.

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(St. Mary’s City Historic District: Reconstructed 1667 Catholic Church, built on site of the original Jesuit mission church in the St. Mary’s City colonial settlement, Maryland’s first colony. HSMC, July 2009, via Wikipedia) Continue reading