Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Home Surprises!

Let me tell you all about my tree. Yes, my tree. . .  You see, when my husband and I bought this house a year ago, we knew we were in for a lot of yard work with stumps and overgrowth all over the yard (both front and back). We're the kind of people that looked at it and saw opportunity rather than a mess. (I wish I had a pic of it now.) It started with us actually mowing it for the first time in who knows how long. At that time all we could conquer we the lagre middle space in the back yard. Yes, it was that over grown. Over the summer months, we tore up baby trees and cut back until we found a handmade stone retaining wall. 

Wow! It was a perfect place for flowers! I was very excited, but that was not all the secrets the yard held.  Finally, near the end of the summer, we got enough gumption to mow near the carport of on side of the lawn, and we found two beautiful concrete things (I don't know what exactly to call them, they've always been things in my mind.) I use them now to hold my flower pots.

About mid-July, I noticed that the tree closest to our house had budded and was going to have flowers. I didn't know at the time that it was a crepe myrtle.  Who knew a tree could be so overrun with flowers! But one day, I looked out my window (because my computer is next to the window), and the whole tree was pink! I anxiously started trying to find out what in the world this thing was.  I had been living from town to town for several years and never really had time to figure out the plants in one area. But here was this behemoth of a tree that I needed to figure out. Eventually, I learned that it was a crepe myrtle, and not only that but it's of the largest variety of crepe's. 

And just yesterday, it had it's first bloom! Yea! Unfortunately, I'm am going out of town to IL, and I won't see it actually go into full bloom until I get back. So, here's the tree before I go. And I show you what it looks like when I get back.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by Dawning Dreams
It's so hard to find quiet knitting time. . .

Friday, June 20, 2008


It was one of those days when the skies were dark and filled to the brim with rain that was about to pour. So in preparation, I let the boys know that it was going to be a lazy day filled with reading and quiet activities. Then I go in search of my knitting project to begin again. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some done. 

As I look to were I stash my projects, I gasp in horror as I see the remnants of a yarn ball. Who unraveled the ball, whether it be beast or child, I'm not sure. But as I stared at the chaos, I thought, "Well, I guess pulling out knots is quiet" and began the tedious task of rolling the ball back up. 

Good day to all!

Monday, June 16, 2008


I find this picture wonderful. My son decided that he wanted to learn to play chess. I don't remember how old I was when I first learned, but I'm sure I was much older. It's really fun to watch them play (mostly b/c my husband tries to play badly). The games usually last about an hour or so and then I swoop in for a quick game of checkers before bed. Great memories. . .

I've started on another bonnet for my little girls baptism. I'm having a bit of difficulty really setting out an idea, so it's really coming together as a spur of the moment idea. "Oh, that's would look really good here!" type thing. 

Also, I got some Twinkles chunky yarn from L&B Yarn Co. and have still yet to get it knitted. I have never had a yarn yell at me so much to be knitted. But the pattern I plan to use is in the Twinkles book that wasn't at the store. So today I finally broke down and ordered it through Amazon. It'll take about a week to get here. 

That's all on this side of the screen. Have a absolutely fabulous day everyone!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Scalloped Bracelet

Button view
Originally uploaded by Dawning Dreams
Finished size: 7.25 inches long X 1 inch wide

Yarn: DMC Petra Crochet Cotton 5, (scrap)
Hook: size D/3-3.25 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Notions: sewing needle, button

Special Stitches:
Puff st: Yarn over, insert hook into the stitch, pull through loop until it is as tall as a dc. Now with three loops on your hook, yarn over, insert hook into the same stitch and pull through until it is as tall as the last pulled. Now you have 5 loops on your hook. Repeat three more times until there are 11 loops on your hook. Yarn over and draw strand through all 11 stitches. Close with chain stitch by yarning over and pulling through.

Shell st: Single crochet (sc), then skip two chains and double crochet (dc) into third st 12 times (fan made). Skip the next 2 st, and sc into third st.

Ch 58
Ch 1, (counts as first sc) 2nd chain from hook sc 57 across, turn. (58 total)
Ch 1, sc across, turn. (58 total), turn 
Ch 2 (counts as first dc), dc 1, ch1, *skip st, puff st* repeat from * across to last 2, dc 2, turn.
Ch 1, sc across, turn. (58 total)
Ch 1, sc across, turn. (58 total)
Ch2, 2 sc, skip 2, shell, skip 2, *shell* repeat from * across until last two st, 2 sc. (9 shells total)
Bind off.
copyright 2008 Dawn L.E. Riden, all rights reserved

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chevette Choker

Well, I originally meant to finish knitting other projects before starting a new one, but you know how that goes. I saw on a board that a knitter from Oklahoma had gotten one of her patterns published on So, I went and started looking for her stuff and came across this beauty.

Ever since Jr. High, when chokers were popular, I had loved this style. For many years I didn't wear anything on my neck because of how short it is. However, I couldn't deny the beauty of this piece. I spent two days knitting this girl until it's now finally finished! I love it! I want to knit a million more now! Maybe I can open an store and sell stuff that I like there. Hmmm. . .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Adventures in a Small Town

Today we went out for the day. I realized that I have become a house rat the past couple of weeks. Between visiting family and friends, I have been keeping to myself inside the house during the week to get some rest for the weekend. So, today I decided that we all needed to go out for the day. 

First, we took our library books back to the library. My eldest son found the next two books in "The SEries of Unfortunate Events" books 10 & 11. Yes, I know that it is very unique to see a soon to be second grader reading books on this level. He loves them. He even got to use his own library card! That made him very happy. I actually found some neat knitting and crocheting books.

Next, we went to the Farmer's MArket. I truly enjoy checking out the next vegetables for sale that are grown by the people around me. They have a true sense of accomplishment for their wares. As a result, we will be having squash and potatoes for dinner. Below is a pic of the boys carrying our goods. As you can see, it's very low key with people pulling up to sidewalk and putting the food out.
Next, we went back home where I fed my baby girl and packed the boys to go to the park. I even got their bikes out of the shed! But I was side stepped when my eldest boys bike had flat tires, and after trying 20 minutes to get the filled, gave up. So he got to ride his scooter and my youngest boy rode his bike while I pulled my baby girl and the water in a wagon. 

I really like the park close to our house. It's exactly like one I would have played at when I was a kid. It's complete with a metal slide to burn your but on, merry-go-round to fall off of, and a monkey gym that's taller than most adults, some 7 feet tall.

So, after all this, and only one o'clock, I'm done. Time for some lunch and tele and air conditioner. . . 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mini Purse Swap has Arrived!

mini purse swap
Originally uploaded by Dawning Dreams
I was on my was out the door to take my 3 kids to the grocery store when I accidently spooked the mailman coming up the steps to deliver my package! I didn’t go out just yet, but instead ran to the couch with the kids trailing me. Each present was wrapped up, so my kids and I had fun unwrapping the surprises. Thank you so much, nursepickle, for the great gifts. Ironically, I had started working on some dishcloths this morning! Now I have several patterns to use.

Crafty Stuff

I finished the second bonnet! I love the way this came out. It looks so pretty. It still is smaller than I expected, but I have to remember that the original one is over 50 years old and is more stretched out than mine. 

I got out to Hobby Lobby this past weekend to find  sale on all knitting items AND several varieties of yarn for 9 cents a skein! I went to town buying double pointed needles for $1.79 and stuff for a swap next month. Later on, my MIL went and got some more stuff. It felt like Christmas in June!

I'm currently working on some dishcloths for the kitchen. I have been meaning to knot some up for a while, but I haven't had the gumption to actually cast-on. I figure if I do one a week, I'll eventually have a set. Eventually. . .

Also, I finished a full apron yesterday as well. I was about to sew up the last seam when I realized that if I just added the back part of the skirt that it could be double sided. So I'm off to find something for the back side of the skirt.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Middle of the Night Musings

It was one of those nights when, after feeding my baby girl at 3 am, I could not for the life of me get back to sleep. I played around on the computer for a bit and realized that it was not doing the trick. So I pulled out my sewing machine and began working on an apron I had been planning to sew tomorrow. About halfway through my project, one rewinding of a bobbin, several rethreading of needles, and general tension fixes, I thought, "you know, I don't have it easy using a antique sewing machine". Really! With all the new-fangled automatic bobbin winders, self-thread needles, computerized stitches, etc. . . I really have to work to get anything presentable. My machine was a garage sale find that my mother bought me ten years ago for $5. For several years now I thought I was one of the few to have a great sewing machine, but after my mother gave my SiL a new one two Christmases ago, I have reevaluated the handiness of the old girl. She only really has two tricks: straight and zig zag. Oh! I guess three, she can reverse. She temperamental as an old woman. Sometimes she'll start pulling up bobbin thread just to throw a fit and tell me she's had enough! I can't even figure out the model number or anything. All I know is that she's a Dressmaker.

So, if anyone finds the urge to send me/gift me with a new sewing machine, I would be eternally grateful. I might just even sew you something!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Writing a pattern

So I've been working on my own creation of the vintage bonnet. I've been trying to figure out sizing, because most patterns are written with fewer or more stitches to change sizes. Well, since I'm starting from scratch, I have to come up with it. I finally think I have the right hook. The bonnet I'm working on is about a size 3-6 month which is a perfect base for sizing newborn, 0-3 mo, 3-6 mo, and 1 year. It's right in the middle so I can take away or add as much as I need.

I love this style of crochet. It's very classy, and makes delicate yet sturdy pieces that stand the test of time as evidenced by the other bonnet. 

Here's a couple of pics of my sizing procedure.  The bonnet's not finished yet. It still needs the ruffled border, and it hasn't been blocked. As you can see, she's at the edge of growing out of it, but she's 6 months, so it's perfect for this trial. Well, back to work!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Vintage Shells Bonnet Pattern

ETA 9/2009:
Let me just say that the original pattern written here was completely backwards engineered from an existing bonnet that is more than 60 years old. It is beautiful, but some of the techniques, I've come to realize, are outdated. I meticulously went through the entire thing writing it down as I crocheted a copy too. After reading the following pattern, look to the bottom for my updated take on the bonnet. It should help clear up the confusion.

It's my first time writing a pattern so if there is a discrepancy, please let me know! To make a 0-3 mo, I used a D/3-3.25 size hook. So gauge can be very important.

Crochet thread size 20
Crochet hook D for 0-3 month

Vintage Shells Bonnet pattern:

Ch9 join into ring

Rnd 1: Sc 18 in ring (slip stitch to close all following rings)

Rnd 2: Ch3 (counts as fist dc), dc 17 (18 total)

Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc 17

Rnd 4: Ch 3, dc sp, *2 Dc in sp* repeat around (36 total)

Rnd 5: Ch 3, Dc 35

Rnd 6:Ch 3, dc in sp. *2 Dc each sp* repeat from * (72 total)

Rnd 7: Ch 3, Dc 71

Rnd 8: Ch 3, Dc 71

Rnd 9: Ch 3 (counts as first dc) Dc 2 Ch 1 Dc 3 in same stitch (makes first fan)

*Skip 5 Dc 3 Ch 1 Dc 3 in same stitch* repeat * Join ends of first fan with second fan. (12 fans total)

slst over to ch1 space in first fan

Rnd 10: Ch 3 (counts as first dc) Dc 5 in same stitch (makes fan)

*Skip to next fan ch1 space. Make 6 dc in sp* and repeat between *'s around. Join ends of first fan with second fan.

Rnd 11: Ch 1, Sc around and join

Rnd 12: Ch 1, Sc around and join

Rnd 13-16: repeat Rnds 9 – 12

Now, we begin the bill of the hat, which will be worked back and forth rather than around.

Slst over 2 spaces above the center of the fan below it.

Row 17: Ch 3 (counts as first dc) Dc 2 Ch 1 Dc 3 in same stitch (makes first fan)

*Skip 5 Dc 3 Ch 1 Dc 3 in same stitch* Turn. (10 fans)

Slst over to ch1 space in fan.

Row 18: Ch 3 (counts as first dc) Dc 5 in same stitch (makes fan) *skip over to ch1 sp in next fan. Dc 6 in sp. Skip to next fan ch1 space and repeat *. Turn.

Row 19: Ch 2. Sc across. Turn.

Row 20: Ch 2. Sc across. Turn.

Row 21 & 22: Repeat Row 17 & 18

Row 23: Ch 3 (counts as first Dc) Dc across. Turn.

Row 24: Ch 2 (counts as first sc) Sc across. Turn.

Slst over 2 spaces above the center of the fan below it.

Row 25-32: Repeat rows 17-20 twice more.

Now to put on the edging.

Rnd 33: Sc around complete perimeter of bonnet.

Rnd 34: Beginning on middle of fan on the front corner. Ch 3. Dc 9 in same space. Skip sp. Sc. Skip sp. *Dc 10 in sp. Skip sp. Sc. Skip sp.* Repeat * across Join ends of last fan with first fan.

Rnd 35: *Dc, ch2 in sp.* Repeat around and bind off. Done!

You can thread any color ribbon you want in the Dc in the middle of the brim and through the bottom and front brim shells to secure it the head. Enjoy it as much as I have!

ETA: I've made several bonnets based on this pattern out of various weights of yarn and even different hook sizes, but here are the updated notes on it.

First off, I do not make a circle using rounds 1-16 above. That is the old fashioned way of doing it. I use the current system in which I do the following:

To Begin: Chain 4. Slst join.
Rnd 1: Ch 3, 5 dc in center of circle. Sl st in 3rd ch of ch 3, to join.
Rnd 2: ch 3, 2 dc in ea dc around. Sl st in first dc, to join.
Rnd 3: ch 3, (dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc) around. Sl st in first dc, to join.
Rnd 4: ch 3, (dc in ea of next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc) around. Sl st in first dc, to join.

Additional Rnds: For each new round, add 1 extra dc stitch to the number of dc stitches between increases (an increase is done by making 2 dc in one stitch). For example, round 5 would have 3 dc between increases then round 6 would have 4 dc between increases and so on.

After I make the circle large enough to cover the back of the babies head, I start making the fans. My system is to ch3, 2dc, ch, 3dc in the same st, *skip 5, dc3, ch2, dc3 in same st*, and repeat between *'s until there is enough space for two more fans. ch3, turn.

On the way back make a 6dc fan in each ch2 space across making sure to connect the last dc with with the fan tip below it. Ch2, turn.

Crochet two rows of sc.

Repeat the two rows of fans and two rows of sc until it reaches the forehead of the baby.

Now, it's time for the border. Working along the outer edge of the entire bonnet including the front sides and back where there are no fans. I crochet 8 dc fans after every 5 sts. This insures a very ruffly border. Finally, I dc in every stitch around one more time to add more fullness.

Cut tail and weave in.