What I did over spring break….

This is of course the variation on what I did over the summer.  I didn’t even wait for the actual spring break to start.  Friday the week before I left work at 10:30 and headed for home.  Alex met me at my house and I finished getting packed.  He loaded the van.  We hit the road about noon I think.

Our drive down was long.  With Alex driving, we went through Chicago – downtown Chicago.  I don’t like to go that way but as passenger I don’t get to pick.  Alex thought it would be shorter and mileage wise it was.  Time wise it ended up taking us like seven hours to get there.

Vicki fed us on arrival and Alex unloaded the car.  Everyone has made fun of my craft bag that I took but I did get to a good bit of my crocheting.

I’ve been playing with lace patterns.  I’m not big on working with thread so I’ve been using different threads to make lace projects.  One of them was a lace purple sparkle scarf which I gave to Vicki on Friday:

Friday and Saturday I worked on scarves.  Here are a couple of pictures of the different ones I made:


Vicki and I went to JoAnn Fabrics on Saturday and got some great deals.  They had yarn on sale and I tried out two new ones that I discovered I loved – Red Heart Shimmer which is a smaller yarn and soft.  It is easy to work with and sparkly which is always fun.  The other yarn was Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky – crayon box.  It is a heavy yarn and the colors were stunning – bright and fun.

Now in case you haven’t heard this before when I get new yarn I want to dive in and start creating with that new yarn.  I had new yarn from the shopping trip and I had new yarn that Vicki had sent to me (but wouldn’t let me touch – it was TORTURE!).  Friday and Saturday I worked on ruffle scarves.  These are quick and easy projects.  Of the haul of yarn, Vicki picked out the ones she wanted so I just sat and worked on scarves.

I could not resist the new yarn I’d purchased and started with the Crayon Box to make a hat, scarf and wristers.  The array of colors were just stunning and both Vicki and I loved how these turned out.


After the crayon box yarn, I picked up the shimmer yarn.  Oh that turned out BEAUTIFULLY!  Vicki’s favorite stitch is the crocodile stitch and I had that book with me so I handed it to Vicki and told her to pick out a hat pattern.  The crocodile stitch is a yarn eater and she picked two patterns.  I ended up making her one of the hats in the book.  I also made a scarf and added the flower from the hat pattern to the scarf.  I also made her wristers using crocodile stitches and the stitch from the scarf.

I’ve also been putting off making slippers for her.  I’ve had the pattern for months but the yarn she wanted me to use was thicker and heavier than the pattern called for so I had to make adjustments.  I stayed up until three in the morning one night and finished her slippers.


In addition to all of Vicki’s stuff, I worked on kitchen sets for two of my nieces.  Dish towels, dish clothes, sponges, and pot holders for both sets.


When I left Vicki’s, my craft bag was significantly lighter – mostly because Vicki kept a lot of the items I made.  This last Friday on the drive home I worked on mesh bags and make up pads for myself.  I got those done on the drive.  Saturday Ken and I helped a friend move.  I drove and he packed the van.  While sitting in the van, I worked on potholders.  I got four of them done yesterday and today.

I also worked on Vicki’s afghan.  It is octagonal and takes a long time to do one row.  However, I did work on it and got several rows completed.

Today I worked on a solution for Vicki.  She has to put Tiger Balm on her back.  Unfortunately she can’t really reach where the lotion has to go.  In order to reach it she is using her back scratcher.  However, she is concerned about the balm having an affect on the wood.  So I crocheted her a cover for it so she can put the balm on the crochet cotton to go over the top of it.  I’ll be mailing it to her this week.

In total, I’ve made the following:

17 scarves
4 dish towels
8 pot holders (4 of which were actually for me)
5 sponges
2 hats
2 pair of wristers
2 dish cloths
1 pair of slippers
2 mesh bags
10 make up pads
and a strange cover for a back scratcher

In addition to the crocheting, I made homemade pizza and meatballs for Vicki as well as putting tiger balm on her shoulder daily and cooking the meals with Alex.  It was a GREAT week, very relaxing and productive.

Flowers – ones that my black thumb can’t kill


Vicki loves her new curtains.  The valances – which I thought were going to be too long – were just right and could have possibly been a bit longer even.  Here are some shots of her dining room windows:

This shows the valance a bit closer:

Here is her bedroom curtain tied back:

The final products turned out better than I thought they would and Vicki was very pleased with all of them.  The bedroom curtain definitely blocked the light and helped her to sleep better.

Original Post
I’ve been working on a valance for Vicki’s dining room windows.  In my motif book, there is a flower line which is quite fun.  This fits Vicki and she marked it with one of her little tabs (this is what she does to all my crochet books in the hopes I’ll make her all the things she marks). 

I finally finished the valances for her two windows in her dining room.  I made 62 flowers of 4 different designs.  These were quick little flowers which took very little time to make but they are quite fun.  The one on the left (peach petal with white smaller petals and orange center) is an adaptation from the patterns because I wasn’t thrilled with how the third style (yellow/green petals peach center) worked up and looked. I ended up doing two of this style and they are the center flower for each of the valances. 

In the book the flowers are put together with fishing line so they look like they are floating.  I joined mine together with green chain so it looks like a vine. I could have just done a simple chain but that seemed a bit boring.  Instead I played with a leaf pattern.  I was going to try to make a triangle type leaf but the few things I tried I didn’t like.  As I was playing with the design I realized it would be easy to use the Crocodile Stitch for leaves.  In the picture below you can see where I did just chaining and then a different spot where I put four crocodile stitches in a row.  These four were worked directly above each other.
I also played with the spacing of the chains – from number of chains to number of leaves as the pictures show.   
When I did the crocodile stitch I discovered an interesting occurrence when I worked the stitches from the last stitch in the crocodile stitch instead of slip stitching into the center to make them straight above each other (see above).  When I worked the next crocodile stitch from the last stitch it created a coiling affect which I liked – see the picture below.
So Vicki would have two unique valances – I started the vine with a crocodile stitch for one and two crocodile stitches for the other one.  

In general I would chain a certain number of times (generally 5 or 10) before I added another feature sometimes a flower, sometimes a leaf or four.  As you can see from the picture below, I would sometimes put the flowers very close together.

I got the flowers to hang differently from the vine by varying how I attached the flowers.  In the picture below the left hand flower (white petals) is attached with a slip stitch at the bottom and top of a petal.  The right hand flower (pink petals) is joined by slip stitching on either side of the center flower.  The white flower hangs differently which adds variety just like you would see in nature. 

 This last picture shows a variety of flowers and leaf sequences.  Vicki will be tacking them to her wall around the upper part of her window (unless she decides to use a curtain rod to twine them around).  These will hang down in whatever arrangement she puts them.  My only concern is that Sasha may think this is a toy for her to bat at and play with but that isn’t going to be my problem. 

This is just the valance and the curtains are going to be a café type curtain with dots all over it in the same colors.  It should look good when we are done.  I’ll try to take a couple of pictures and post them later.