Monday, March 18, 2019

Chick, Hen - plastic egg cover


Materials: much less than a skein of worsted weight yarn for body in white, gold, brown, yellow (your choice really; use leftover bits of yarn). Small bit of worsted wt. red yarn for comb; very small bit of yellow or gold for beak (so long as beak contrasts body of the chick/hen). Small amount worsted weight any shade of green or gold for nest. Size G hook (H if you crochet tight).

Leaving a 3 inch tail (for use later when sewing up the rear), chain 32 (30 2).


Row 1: Hdc into 3rd chain from hook. Hdc across to end, ch. 1, turn. 30 hdcs completed.

Rows 2 - 6: Ch 2, 1 Hdc in each stitch across to end, maintaining stitch count of 30.

Row 7: chain 1, fold piece in half and sc in first stitch and each stitch across from the open end leaving a TOTAL of 10 stitches unworked (this will form the head). Now, begin working in rounds to form the head.


Round 8: chain 2, Hdc completely around, placing a marker (piece of contrast color yarn) to mark end of 1st round. (Do not join rounds; just continue around through completion of Round 12.)

Rounds 9 - 12: Hdc completely around in every stitch, noting the end of each round where marker is placed. Fasten off, leaving the top of the head open.

Note: Top of head will be closed by crocheting the comb to join it closed.

Beak: See picture for placement. Using yellow, gold or orange (contrast your hen), join yarn at bottom front of head and make at least 2 dcs to fashion a beak. Finish off, leaving a small tail to work under the next yarn (red) to create comb.

Comb: Using red, join yarn at end of beak, crocheting over beak tail and comb joining tail, sc, hdc, dc, dc, hdc, sc, etc.when it looks good to you with a number of stitches across the front and top of the head, also closing up the top of the hen's head, its done. Fasten off when satisfied with the comb, at the back of the hen's neck.

Rear of hen: Using the 3 inch starter tail, either sc or sew up the rear end of the hen.

TAIL OPTIONAL: Make a pompon and attach at corner where hen's back and rear meet.

GRASS/NEST: At rear bottom of hen, join green (or nest color of your choice) and work one sc, skip 2 sts, 4dc (or 5) in next stitch, skip 2 sts, sc in next st, repeating around. Join/fasten off. Add eyes to both sides of face.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

So, you've got cataracts? Me too.

So off topic, I know.

I have had cataracts in both eyes for years.  The left was the good eye, the right, the bad.  My left eye was doing all the seeing.

It started off in a subtle way...colors were different with each eye.  At first, it was differences in white,  with the right eye white looked like cream.  Our bedroom is painted Tuscan Gold.  Eventually, with the left eye, it was indeed Tuscan gold while the right eye saw it as peach.  I accepted as my vision gradually worsened.

In October 2018, I visited my Ophthalmologist knowing myself it was time.  I've seen her for 25 years and she was well aware of my condition.  Scheduling a surgery takes some preparation, and I wanted to get through the holidays and our personal family birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  This took me to mid Feb. or March.

There was some tail chasing and miscommunication that I blame on the doctor's staff--but I completely trust the doctor.  So after rescheduling once, and getting all the pre-op details worked out, I had the right eye "done" on March 1st.

I chose to stay nearsighted.  I did not opt for the out-of-pocket expensive "premium" lens - I went with what my insurance would cover, and for good reason.  While my doctor preferred the premium lens, she admitted it isn't for everyone.  My advice to you all is "do your own research."  New doesn't mean best, and expensive doesn't mean better.  Also, with premium lenses you might need glasses anyhow, at least for reading.

1)  I knit, crochet, sew, enjoy using the computer without glasses, and for what seems like forever have worn glasses only to drive, watch a theater movie, and while watching a t.v. show while sitting across the room.  I never wear them around the office, but I do when I have occasion to go out about town during lunch hour.  Coworkers are surprised when they see me wearing glasses.  So, I chose to stay nearsighted.  I didn't care about driving and movies.

2)  My left eye doesn't require surgery...yet.  It may never require surgery.  My right eye was so bad, I had no idea how bad until the cataract was removed.  I mean, I knew it was bad - it was like looking through a dirty glass smeared with vaseline.  The cataract was smack in the middle of my eye and obstructing my vision, and had become legally blind for driving.  The cataract in the left eye is in the back and to the left and a different type altogether.  Maybe my vision can outlive it?  So, I'd have had to wear glasses for far, with a dummy lens in the right eye, and near with a dummy lens in the left eye. What was the point?  I'd rather wear no glasses and see near. It it what I'm used to.

So, it made no sense to operate on the left eye.  I'm abnormal.  I'm an anomaly.  I WAS HAPPY to not have to "do" the 2nd eye.  However, now that I've gone through the surgery, I'd totally have the 2nd eye done when and if the time comes.


What to expect. Ask your doctor - there are many variations.

I used prescription eye drops for 3 days before surgery.
No aspirin for a week before surgery.
No food or drink after midnight the night before.
Day of, showered but wore no makeup, hairspray, lotions, creams, deodorant.
You are not allowed to take certain meds (your doc will tell you what is ok).
I was in a hospital out-patient facility.
I had to arrive two full hours before surgery to check in, fill out paperwork, sign papers, get prepped for surgery.
I was in a hospital gown, hospital socks, and allowed to wear my own panties. (Some places will drape you in a gown with your clothes underneath.)
My blood pressure, temperature and glucose reading were taken.
I was prepped with an IV for later use by the anesthesiologist.
My pupil was dilated.
I met with the anesthesiologist.  I met with my doctor.  I was wheeled into the operating room.
I was repositioned on the gurney by skooting up to the top of the bed, and it was special in that there was an indentation for my head, and it was quite comfortable.  My face was draped, and I was knocked out for a whole 5 minutes or so with general anesthesia by IV, then I was awakened for the surgery.

During the 5 minutes that I was unconscious, a needle was inserted into my eye to numb it.  I knew this was going to happen, and when I awoke, I was calm and fine.

My doctor spoke to me and told me where I was and what was happening, and what was going to happen. She said if she asks me questions, I am to respond.  She never asked me anything during the operation.*

I didn't "see" what was happening, but I saw 3 blurred lights.

I didn't feel anything happening, but I did know when the eye was irrigated or what felt like irrigation.  It seemed that I could "see" pond ripples and felt wet.  If it wasn't irrigation, I don't have a clue what it was.

I heard everything; my doctor encouraged me that I was doing fine.  In my mind, I was thinking "I've had worse dental procedures."  That seemed to keep me calm and focused on getting this over with.

At one point, the doctor called someone over to take a closer look at my cataract - apparently, I make pretty cataracts.  She was the 2nd doctor to say my cataracts were lovely.  The retina specialist said "actually, your cataract is quite beautiful."   Funny, that.

When the operation was done, I was told it was done.  I said something like "that's it" and she said yes, all done. *I said you didn't give me any instruction during the entire operation and she said that was because it went perfectly.

So, I'm wheeled out on the same gurney into the recovery room.
My eye was not taped shut, nor was it covered with gauze.
I had a clear ventilated eye shield that I could see through.
I could see, yes, but my right eye was playing tricks.  My vision seemed black and white, and it looked as if everything I viewed was framed like a sunny side egg, only the yolk was cigarette ashes.  I can only assume that my brain was still seeing through the cataract that had been removed.  At least that is how I make sense of it.

After a few minutes of adjusting, I was offered something to drink and eat.  Tea and a muffin.
Also, they like you to go tinkle before you leave, if you can.  I could.

My husband drove me there and back.  Facilities and hospitals will arrange transportation if you need it.  All in all, we left home at 5:15 a.m. and were back home not later than 11:00 a.m.

I was tired, but you can't lay on the side of the operation, so I "sat" on the couch and slept about an hour and a half.

During the day, the vision continued to change; to get clearer, more colorful.  My pupil was HUGE.  It stayed dilated until the next day.  I think that is an issue with me - my eyes dilate very well.

I had to use 3 different drops, at least 3 times a day.  I'll be using one of them for 6 full weeks.

You have to be careful showering, washing your face, etc., and you'll definitely appreciate those "Terminator" sun glasses that make you want to say "I'll be back" time and again.  They really are necessary!!!!

My vision during follow up examination had "over corrected" in that my mid to far vision was superb.  I was told as the eye healed, and swelling and/or inflammation (?) subside, the vision would change.  It did.

My surgery was on a Friday; I went back to work on Wednesday.  I don't know about you, but I NEEDED that time to recover.  I've had a hard time sleeping since the surgery, and I think it's about wearing the eye shield at night, and just general anxiety.

It has been a week and a half since the surgery.  I'm very happy with the outcome. I can see up close without glasses perfectly fine, and with my last set of prescription glasses I can see far perfectly fine.

I think had the cataracts in BOTH eyes progressed together, it would have been more pressing to do this much sooner than I did.  Quite honestly, the worst part of the surgery was getting up at 5 am, that darned IV in my hand, and the bit of uncomfortable sleeping that I've experienced.

Don't be scared, and don't delay.  This surgery is so worth it.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Teacup Trivets / Hotpads

H hook, worsted weight COTTON yarn in 2 complimentary or contrasting colors

Note, sometimes you'll work into the chain up at row's end, sometimes not.

Using 2 strands together of Main color 1, chain 16

Row 1:  1hdc in 2nd ch from hook, 2hdc in next ch, 1hdc in each ch across until 2 chains remain; 2hdc in next ch, 1 hdc in last.  [17 hdc total] ch 2, turn

Row 2:  1hdc in first/same stitch as ch 2. 2hdc in next stitch, 1hdc in each of next 12 st, 2hdc in next stitch, 1hdc in next st. [18 hdc total] ch 2, turn

Row 3: 1hdc in 1st/same stitch as ch 2, 2hdc in next st, 1hdc in each of next 14 st, 2hdc in next, 1hdc in next. [20 hdc], ch 2, turn

Row 4:  1hdc in 1st/same st as ch 2, 2hdc in next st, 1hdc in each of next 16 st, 2hdc in next, 1hdc in next [22 hdc], ch 2, turn

Row 5:  1hdc in 1st/same st as ch 2, 2hdc in next st, 1hdc in each of next 18, 2hdc in next, 1hdc in next [24 hdc], ch 2  (piece will not get wider than 24 stitches)

Row 6 - 7:  1 hsc in 1st/same stitch as ch 2, 1hsc in each stitch across to end, [24 hdc] ch 2, turn

Row 8: 1 hdc in first/same stitch as ch 2, 1hdc in each stitch across to end, [24 hdc] chain9 to work handle....

HANDLE:  slip stitch to side of row 4, ch 1, turn. Working into chain, 1 hdc in same st as ch 1.  2hdc in next, 1hdc in next ch.  2 hdc in next ch, 1 hdc in next.   2hdc in next ch, 1 hdc in next.  2hdc in next, 1 in next, 2 in what should be last.  (Any variation of this is fine, so long as your handle curves.)  Top of row 8 is returned to.

Row 9: 1 SINGLE CROCHET into each stitch across [24 sc total], but do NOT ch, do not fasten off.

Color change to Color 2 by pulling up a loop [represents the ch 1 of this row] through the last loop of Color 1;  pull color 1 TIGHTLY and cut tail 2.5 inches long.  Leaving a 2.5 inch tail of Color 2 as well; weave and trim both tails later.

Row 10: 1 SINGLE CROCHET in 1st/same stitch as ch 1, 1sc across to end [24 sc] ch 2, turn

Rows 11 to 12:  Work even, maintaining 24 stitch count, by working 1 hdc in each stitch across, ch 2, turn

Row 13: Work even, maintaining 24 stitch count, by working 1 hdc in each stitch across, ch 1

Row 14:  1 SINGLE CROCHET in each stitch across, maintaining 24 stitch count, fasten off, weave in and trim all tails.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Shakespeare Scarf - crochet - wavy/ripple/potato chip

After seeing lots of "ripple" and "potato chip" type scarves, I made up my own which looks like an accordion.

Worsted weight and an I hook - LOOSELY chain 180.   Do not crochet too tight; you want long stitches or you will be stuck with needing a 4th round.

Row 1: 1dc in 4th ch from hook.   *2dc in next ch, 1dc in next ch*, repeat from * to * to end.

Row 2: Turn, ch 3, 1 dc in same stitch.   *2dc in next stitch*, repeat from * to * to end.  

Row 3: Turn, ch 3, *2dc in next stitch, 1dc in next*, repeat from * to * to end.  

Fasten off, weave in tails, twist scarf onto itself in a spiral stack. 

To wear, expand lengthwise, fold in half, drape around neck, slip 2 ends through the loop created around the neck when folded in half and it looks like a Shakespearean collar when worn.

This can be made in less than 2 hours, if you're fast 😀.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mini Christmas Stocking - Ornament, Money Holder

Begin with magic circle, chain 1.  

Round 1 - Work 10 Double Crochet (DC) into magic circle; cinch closed.  Join with slip stitch, chain 1 (you will have TEN stitches--the 1st chain (ch) is part of your first DC).

Your project will form a cup.  Work around as follows:

Round 2 - 1 SC in same stitch as join, 1SC in each stitch around, join, ch 1.  

Take a moment now to weave in the tail.  Or,  pull it through and weave it later.

Round 3 - 1 SC in each stitch, join, ch 1.

Now, working in ROWS, form the heal:

ROW 4 - 1 SC in same stitch as join, 1 SC in each of next 4 stitches (totals 5 stitches).  Leave remaining stitches unworked, ch 1, turn.

ROW 5 -1 SC in same stitch as join, 1 SC in each of next 4 stitches, ch 1, turn.

ROW 6 - 1 SC in same stitch as join, 1 SC in each of next 4 stitches, but do not turn.

Fold the heal (last 3 rows) on itself, and join with at slip stitch as shown above.   Note:  Last 3 rows folded together (heal) leave a small hole at the fold (see photo above, bottom right).   It is insignificant overall; leave it be.

Next, working in ROUNDS complete as follows:

ROUND 7 - Chain 1, work 2 SC evenly spaced into the side of the last 3 rows.   

Next, working into the prior round, make 1 SC into each of the next 5 stitches.  

Work 2 SC evenly spaced into the other side of the last 3 rows.  This yields 9 stitches.  Make 1 SC at the join, to total 10 stitches.   

Next, work in 
CONTINUOUS ROUNDS (spiral crochet -- no joining) 
4 rounds to center back. 

Slip stitch, fasten off leaving
long tail to use as a loop to 
hang the stocking.

Contrasting cuff:  Join yarn at center back, chain 2. Work 1 Half Double Crochet in each stitch around, join, fasten off; weave tail.

Pull the main color yarn through the cuff to hang. 

Weave in the toe tail (if you've not done this sooner).

Finished stocking, a little bit of "stuffing" - and it makes a sweet gift, that can be hung on the tree, instead of a money card.

I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, March 6, 2017

stitch holders

Economically, you could use a piece of yarn.  A safety pin.  A paper clip.   I have; i do.

Quite extravagantly, you can purchase (or make) beaded gems.  Use discarded costume earrings.

Somewhere in the middle, you can purchase commercial stitch holders made of plastic.

Meanwhile, how about bobby pins?   I recently went to a big box pharmacy store and for $2 bought 100 bobby pins, in the color of steel.  Plain metal.  Not shaded blonde, brunette, raven, redhead.  Silver/metal.

I mentioned to the cashier that I was hoping to have found them coated in hot pink, or deep purple, or shocking blue...and she replied....paint them with nail polish.  VOILA.  What a great idea.

The beauty part of using bobby pins is that they easily slip on and off a stitch.  Push on, pull off.  No clasp to open, no paper clip to push together/pull apart, no yarn to fiddle with.  Using them is akin to working a precision like spear....boom.  Removing them; moving them - just as easy.

To transform them, I left a few of them on the original cardboard, and separated them.  I painted them and left them for a few days to dry.  I repeated this 3  times with the different polishes as shown.

So, do consider the humble bobby pin for your stitch holding needs.  Here are some of mine, transformed.  After adequate drying, its a good idea to slip them onto and off of folded paper a few times to break them in and allow any excess polish on the edges to transfer to the paper, if at all.  You'd never want to ruin a project with color transfer, so do be careful. I do believe, however, there is likely little chance of harm. Over time, the polish cures as hard as can be.

My favorites are the deep red ones.  The silver pins are unpolished, as purchased.  I put these to work straightaway. :)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Candy Cane Hobby Horse cover cozy

Because sometimes you DO need a hobby horse candy cane cover.  [Pattern at end of post.]

Many years ago, I came across this photo below, but it has disappeared from the internet, never to be found. If it belongs to YOU, please leave a comment below and let me know. Meanwhile, I intended to make these for many years, and never got around to it.  I crochet more than I knit, and I tend to crochet gifts, and i tend to get tied up in all of that. 

This year, I went looking for the pattern, and I found this photo over at
It seemed to me, these were from the same pattern, but Yarnyuck didn't have the pattern; nor did Yarnyuck give these a thumbs up.  What I know about "crochet kitsch" is that one person's trash is another person's treasure, and a few comments were looking for the pattern. I'm in the "yay" column, not the "neigh" column.  I'm punny, yes, I am.

This year, I stole some time from the hectic festivities of Christmas shopping, partying, celebrating and seasonal gift making, and tried my hand at this hobby horse candy cane cover/cozy.  I LOVE IT.

The 3 differences are, no bells under the nose, no chain stitch for the rein - just plain red yarn, and I didn't tie it in a bow around the candy cane.  Totally unneeded.  The cane stays in all by itself by hooking into the nose.  In all its glory, here is my take on the pony, together with a pattern I wrote up below if you, like me, think this is a holiday project to give and/or hang on your tree.  Enjoy.

Pattern:    Worsted weight yarn, any color.  Size G American hook.

Ch 25.

Rows 1- 6 :  sc in each stitch and DO NOT make a turning chain at the end/start of the row.

Row 7:  Fold in half.  Ch 1, sc 5 stitches through both loops of each stitch to close neck.

Working in continuous rounds, do not join.  Use the bottom of the nose as your "marker" for each round.

Round 1:  SC 2, DECREASE, SC completely around to bottom.

Round 2:  SC 8, DECREASE, SC completely around to bottom.

(with the first 2 rounds, you accomplished a decrease on each side of the nose; you'll continue with a few more decreases)

Round 3:  SC to top of nose, DECREASE, SC around to bottom.

Round 4:  SC in each stitch around to bottom.

Round 5:  1 SC, DEC, SC 4, DEC, SC to bottom.

Round 6:  SC 1, DEC, around, fasten off, use tail to sew nose closed.

MANE:   Using 2 strands for each fringe (I used horse color and a contrasting color) close up back of head by pulling fringe through both sides from top of head to bottom of head.  At the bottom of the neck, catch the starting tail in the fringe to secure.  When done fringing, cut it all to an even length.

EARS:  Make 2 - leave a starting and ending tail to affix to head - ch 3, 1SC into 2nd ch from hook, 1hdc into next chain; fasten off. For FIRST ear, using both starting and ending tails, pull tails through both sides of the heat to affix, tie in a knot, weave tails through the fringe on mane, and cut to length of fringe.  For SECOND ear, pull tails through to affix, with one of the tails, FASTEN A LOOP TO THE TOP OF THE HORSE FOR HANGING, then weave the remainder through the mane, and cut to size.

For the rein, I did not chain…I used red yarn, and threaded a needed.  Through the bottom of the nose/neck area, I pulled the yarn through one stitch from side to side, leaving the tails hang down.  Using each tail, I separately threaded a needle and pulled one tail around the nose and under 1 stitch at the top of the nose from right to left; then the other from left to right.  At the top of the nose, I tied the tails together, and ran them down the sides of the nose and under the nose, tacked them under the nose with a stitch, tied a bow, double knotted the bow and cut the unneeded  extra length.  If YOU wanted to use chained yarn for the rein, I suggest a thin sock weight yarn, otherwise I think it would look clunky.  

I was playing with working the ears directly into the row where they are placed, but it was frustrating me, so I did them separately.  If anyone can figure out a better way to do the ears, feel free.

Lastly, I affixed with glue the google eyes; one could easily make stitched eyes instead.

If you like the pattern, please leave a comment below.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS.