A Temperature Blanket

Even though I haven’t been posting, I have been crafting quite a bit. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane when work is crazy. I’m too tired to do anything that requires thinking by the time I get home from work (if I don’t have to turn my computer back on and work a few more hours), but I get at least 30 minutes of crochet time in the morning.

When I don’t have to snuggle with cats, that is…

Me, Bob, MikMik 1-3-23

Bob has to lay on my lap and MikMik has to be snuggled on my chest.

One of the projects I decided I wanted to try this year is a temperature blanket. Don’t know what a temperature blanket is? I’m not sure who came up with the idea, but crocheters, knitters and quilters all have their versions of temperature blankets. The idea is that you let the day’s temperature dictate what color you use in your blanket. For crocheters, you pick a range of yarn colors to represent the range of temperatures for your region, and then each row of the blanket represents that day’s temperature. Some use the high temp, some the low, and some the average. Depending on where you live you might have a lot of colors in your blanket, or you might only have a small range. Do a quick image search online for temperature blankets and you’ll see what I mean.

My problem with a temperature blanket, in general, is that you will have about 365 rows so you need to choose your stitch carefully. Some people have made these and they are 48″ wide by 8 or 9 feet. Also, crocheting one row per day seemed very boring to me. I was still intrigued, though. I did some searching and discovered that somebody had used the circle-in-a-square crochet block for her blanket. The circle was the high temp and the square outside was the low. This was what I wanted! I live in a climate where we can start out in the 20’s in the morning, but be up to 60 in the late afternoon. Wouldn’t it be neat to see those kinds of ranges?

MikMik and Toby 02 2023

MikMik and Toby are bored, but I’ll continue with my tale.

I crocheted a test square to see a) how big it would be and b) how much yarn it would use. My idea was to make a blanket big enough for our King-size bed so I knew I would need at least 730 squares (Jay’s birth year and my birth year). I measured the bed and added length and width to determine how big I wanted it. Then, using the size of the test square, I calculated approximately how many squares I would need. The measurements I used are 90″ wide by 78″ long. My squared measured about 3″, so I determined I would have 26 squares per column (using Excel references) and 30 squares per row.

But how much yarn would I need? Since I’m using historical dates I downloaded the high and low temps for the city where Jay lived when he was born, and the town where I grew up in the year I was born. Then I completely nerded out and started calculating things in Excel.

Temp Blanket Spreadsheet

I hid some columns, but on the left is the year Jay was born and the right High-Low columns are my birth year. I went through and color-coded the temps. This made it easier to filter on the columns when I was counting up how many centers and squares I will have to crochet. You can see my range across the top, also color-coded. When I was crocheting my test square I weighed it after I completed the center, and then after I had completed the entire thing. I used these weights to determine approximately how much yarn I would need based on where the color is used.

Estimating how much of each color would be needed in total, I then went online and found prices of yarn that I thought about using, and the size of the skeins, to calculate how much I would have to spend. Since I have a pile of Hobby Lobby gift cards, I decided to go with I Love This Yarn! Which, I really do… love that yarn. Jay went to the store with me to pick out the colors in person (one skein of each color) and then I ordered the rest online and had it shipped to the house.

Temperature Blanket Colors

Since this is my blanket I wanted to make it using colors I like. I don’t really like reds, yellows and oranges so I left them out. I also added in gray so that I can place them between the months, and the metallic blue will be used for solid squares to go on either side of our birthdays. I thought it would be neat to have those stick out.

I chose a Purple range for my coldest temps.

Temp Blanket Below 0 - 20s

Left to right:

Less than 0: Blueberry Buckle, 0-10  Purple, 10-19  Amethyst, 20-29  Periwinkle

Since I started with January of Jay’s birth year I’ve used almost an entire skein of Periwinkle and I only have a little left in my tote. Don’t worry, there is more upstairs in the box.

The next set of temps is represented by Blues:

Temp Blanket 30s-50-s

30-39  Navy (this is my 2nd skein I’ve used), 40-49  Country Blue, 50-59 Soft Blue

The warmer shades are in Green (because of green grass):

Temp Blanket 60s-90s

60-69  Spa, 70-79 Mid Green, 80-89 Dark Olive, 90-99 the dark center of that cake

I think I only have one center that needs something in the 90’s so I didn’t want to buy an entire skein.

Now that I had my yarn and pattern chosen, I needed to figure out how I wanted to lay out the squares. Again, I turned to Excel (I’m an accountant… this is how our brains work).

The first option was to have Jay’s birth year start on the right side (his side) and would essentially cover his side of the bed, so that my side would then be covered by my birth year.

Temp Blanket Option 1

I used the highs to determine the block colors, just to get a general ides of how it would look. At the top right where it says Jay’s name would be Jan 1st, and it goes down to Jan 25th. Jan 26th is actually at the top of the next row (to the left of the gray square, which denotes the start of a month). And that’s how it goes all the way along. About halfway you see a stretch of gray… those are the filler squares between his year and mine, and Jan 1st of my year starts after the long line of gray. I had to work backwards when filling in my colors to determine where it would end up. The gold squares are the accent squares on either side of our birthdays.

The next option, I laid out the squares so that Jay’s birth year temps would be on top, going across horizontally in the same way that I did them vertically on the first option.

Temp Blanket Option 2

I put the red lines in to show Jay’s year and my year. His birth year was a lot warmer based on all the dark green in the summer. There’s also a lot of light purple in my year, and remember these are the highs, so that means we were in the 20’s a lot. I let Jay pick which one he liked best. He chose option #1.

I did the first two rows, slip-stitching the squares together, but I didn’t like how that looked so I tore them all out. I went back through and used a mattress stitch (I think that’s the one) to sew them together. I like that much better. Here are the first four rows of the blanket:

Temperature Blanket - Jay

They aren’t perfectly stitched, but I don’t care. This isn’t going to be a show piece. It’s going to be covered in cat hair and my drool. It looks kind of scrappy, and I like that.

So far I am enjoying it. I have the dates printed out with color-coding, then I went through and determined where the rows start/stop. This way I count up how many centers of each color I need, and I do all the centers first. Then I’ll go through and determine how many outsides of each color I need, and do those next. When I have all my squares done for one row, I sew them together. It took me about a month to get this much done.

It’s going to take me a while to complete this project, but that’s okay. I do feel guilty about not getting any charity crocheting done, so I’ve decided that after every fourth row I’m going to put it aside, make a Project Linus blanket, and then do another four rows. This way it will give me a break from the squares, but also motivate me to get through some other blankets.

Temperature Blanket Squares

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Slinging Away with H2O 2GO Slings

I believe the last time I mentioned the H2O 2GO sling was this past summer when I had cut out pieces to make for my church’s craft sale.

H2O 2GO 1

I also made a Seinfeld-themed sling for my sister’s birthday.

H2O2GO 07 2022

Oh, and I made a Star Wars-themed sling for my friend.

Light Saber Zipper Pull

Complete with a custom light saber zipper pull. Jay decided that the zipper pulls I already had wouldn’t work. So he made one for me.

Zipper Pull Light Saber

There are more H2O 2GO slings in this post, and I haven’t yet counted, so let’s see in total how many of these I made in 2022.

There were the 2 from the original post, 1 Seinfeld, 1 Star Wars and 4 for church = 8.

Once my brother-in-law saw my sister’s sling, he wanted one. (9)

H2O2GO Brown

I was trying to get fancy with my picture-taking. Here are the ones I made for church.

H2O2GO 2022

H2O2GO Teams 07 2022

The floral ones sold at the church’s sale. The sports-themed ones did not.

In the meantime, I had to make one for Jay’s coworker. (10)

H2O2GO Sunflower

H2O2GO Sunflower Pocket

H2O2GO Sunflower Zipper

H2O2GO Sunflower Back

Last year for Christmas I made 24 lunch bags for the guys in a halfway house program. This year I decided to make them some water slings. I decided to use the 2 that I had left over, so that meant I only had to make 22 more for them. (32)

To make things easier I decided to use just two different colors for the interior pieces, and then I had a handful of different fabrics for the exterior.

Bulk Sewing Slings

Bulk Sewing Slings3

Bulk Sewing Slings2

22 H2O2GO Slings 12 2022

H2O2GO Grp3

H2O2GO Grp2

H2O2GO Grp1

My group purchased water bottles to go in them, and then I wrapped them for delivery.

H2O2GO Slings Wrapped

While I was batch sewing I decided to make my best friend and her husband a couple of slings for Christmas. They live in DC and do a lot of walking, so I thought they could be useful. (34)

Pauline and Remi's Slings

ACDC Sling

ACDC Sling Interior

Rainbow Cat Sling

Rainbow Cat Sling Interior

Then, since I apparently hadn’t made enough of these, I decided to make one for my niece in Colorado. (35)

Stargazing Sling 12 2022

Stargazing Sling2

She’s the one who designed my logo for me.

Stargazing Sling Zipper

The rainbow zipper worked great with this fabric. And, of course, I had to include cats.

Stargazing Sling Interior

That makes 35 H2O 2GO water slings. But wait! There’s more… I made a New England Patriots themed sling for Jay, but I haven’t taken a picture of it. That brings the total up to 36.

You would think after making that many I have perfected the pattern. NOPE. I’m still not happy with how mine turn out. Oh well. I think it’s time to move on to a different pattern. Maybe.

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My Juki DU-1181N

Last summer, before I had even thought about adopting kittens, I was trying to make up my mind about purchasing an industrial sewing machine. I had spent all summer sewing bags out of waterproof canvas and my Singer 403A was starting to get irritated with me.

Singer 403A Fitted in Box

It was skipping stitches when I was sewing through the thicker pieces, like handles and shoulder straps. We worked on the hook and needle timing (which did help), but it was still skipping stitches and also catching on the bobbin area. I really enjoy making bags and purses, so I knew I needed to do something.

The problem is that I am cheap. Up to this point in my life the most I’d ever paid for a sewing machine was $25 (for my Singer 301A) and the rest were given to me. I knew that an industrial machine was going to cost me at minimum $1,000. Finally, after a lot of debate, I decided to do it.

I wanted to visit a dealer so that I could try a few machines out before I bought them, but the closest dealer I could find to me was four hours away. My sister has an industrial machine dealer near her house, and that’s where I wanted to go (I could get a visit in at the same time), but for one reason or another I couldn’t get the time off of work. I decided to buy a machine that Lauren Mormino, a sewing YouTuber, uses and loves: Juki DU-1181N. I bought it on Amazon and waited for it to ship.

In the meantime, I had to rearrange my sewing room.

Sewing Room Jul 2022

An industrial machine comes with the table that it sits on because they have to sit in pans of oil to keep them running smoothly. So you have to make sure that you have room for the table wherever you are going to put it.

The day it arrived I was so excited! Jay and I started unpacking the boxes, and that’s when I realized the motor was missing. That was a bit deflating. You can’t assemble the machine without it. I contacted the seller, and after waiting for a few days to see if the fourth package would move from the FedEx facility where it was sent, they finally sent me out a new one.

In the meantime, though, Jay was working on a machining project for my brand new sewing machine. Yes, that’s right… it’s a BRAND NEW MACHINE and he has to improve it.

Juki Machine Sept 2022

Two days after my motor arrived this is how my machine looked. Not because he couldn’t figure out how to assemble it. Nope. Remember, he’s going to improve it.

Juki Machine in Pieces

When we were unpacking the boxes I came across the belt that runs between the machine and the motor. I handed it to Jay, and as he took it from me, he made a face and asked, “What is this??” He knew it was a belt, but he was astounded that it was a V-belt. I then had to listen to him go on about how inefficient they are, how the motor has to work twice as hard, and it should really use a timing belt. I think he was actually offended that he was expected to use the V-belt.

I don’t know machines. I don’t know motors. Nothing that he was saying really meant a whole lot to me. However, since he felt so strongly about it, I told him that he could modify my machine on two conditions: 1) it had to work and 2) it needed to be put back to the original equipment without any problem. He agreed and eagerly got to work.

Machinist at Work

He calculated the belt size and pulley sizes he would need. Then while he waited for the belt to arrive he made the new pulleys.

Machined Parts

I also had another project for him, while he waited for the belt to arrive.

Juki Needle Plate

The needle plate that comes with the machine does not have any measurement markings on it. I think all domestic sewing machines do.

Singer 403A Needle Plate

I can’t draw a straight line, let alone sew a straight seam, so I need all the help I can get. One of the machine shops who post How To videos on YouTube specifically said not to buy the aftermarket needle plate on Amazon because it ends up messing with your feed dogs. This shop does sell needle plates with measurements, but I have a machine shop in my basement so why should I buy something like that?

Juki Needleplate Etched

I explained to Jay how the markings should be laid out, and VOILA! He used his CNC router with a regular end mill bit to engrave the markings.

The last thing I needed Jay to add was lighting to my machine. You can buy LED lights on Amazon, or one of the magnetic lights that you crane the neck around to where you need it, but again, Jay has a billion LED strips. So he hooked me up.

LED Lights for Juki

Unfortunately, between work and the cats I haven’t had a lot of time to spend playing with it. It’s different from my domestic machines and is taking some time to learn. However, it has already been a life saver with a few projects (which I will post later).

Sewing Room Jan 2023

Since I bought a model that is meant to sew medium-to-heavy weight fabrics I still have my domestic machine ready for the thinner stuff. It’s nice to switch between the two, depending on what project I’m sewing. I have quite a few projects lined up that will help me learn the machine, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Now I just have to find a place to stash the box with the parts that were left over after Jay assembled my machine.

Juki Machine Parts

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Becoming A Cat Momma Again

It’s been almost three months since I last posted on this blog. Not because we haven’t done anything, but because I’ve been so busy that I just haven’t had time. I didn’t do any sewing for almost a full two months (more about that in a later post) and Jay’s work schedule was all over in September, and in October he was in Michigan for work the entire month (except the weekends). The other big thing that happened was we added to our household. Labor Day weekend I brought home three adorable guys.

New Babies 9-4-22

I would like to introduce Toby (in the front), Demetri (back left) and Mikhail (right). I have volunteered at the shelter for 2 years and these were the first guys that I had to take home. I really tried to resist it because I didn’t want to upset Bob, but we had two big adoption events that I had to choke back tears when I said my goodbyes to them (I was sure they would get adopted), but they were always there the next time I returned. I decided that the only home I wanted them going to was mine.


Mikhail 9-4-22

Poor little Mikhail had an upper respiratory infection when I brought them home. I was given antibiotics for him and so I gave him meds for 10 days. I also kept them quarantined so that Bob didn’t catch it. Luckily the other two never came down with it. At the shelter Mikhail’s name had been Penguin, but I couldn’t bring myself to continue to call him by that name. He is a smaller cat with somewhat stubby legs, but he’s got enough personality and character for two cats twice his size.


Demetri 9-4-22

Demetri and Mikhail were litter mates, but Demetri was a lighter gray and a slightly bigger stature. He had so much energy, though! He and Mikhail loved to rough-house all the time. My legs were constantly scratched up because Demetri insisted on playing with his toys against my legs and feet. He was very affectionate. The first day that I had to go to work after I brought them home I ran home during lunch to check on them. He was so happy to see me that he had to jump up and give me kisses.

Demetri Kisses

Yes, I’m talking about him in the past because two weeks after bringing him home he suddenly wasn’t acting like himself. I contacted the director of the shelter and she let me bring him in immediately to be checked over. She didn’t like what she saw, so she sent me to the vet as an emergency case. We ended up taking him to an animal hospital an hour away because his blood sugar level was critically low (and the glucose drip the regular vet had him on didn’t hardly budge it) and they thought his liver felt enlarged. I still don’t know what caused his problems or what he had because the next day he went into cardiac arrest and we lost him. I only had him for two weeks, but he was a sweetheart and we all miss him so much.


Toby 9-4-22

To be fair, Toby was the one I first fell in love with when I saw him in the shelter. His litter came in on a Sunday and by Saturday, when I’m there, he was the only one left. He was so loving and cute. He just wanted to be held and carried around. He was placed in the kitten pen with Demetri, Mikhail and two of their siblings. Eventually, it was just the three of them in the pen because the others had been adopted. I knew if I took Toby I would have to adopt at least one more kitten to keep him company (in case Bob decided he didn’t want anything to do with the new babies). However, there was no way I could take two kittens and leave one behind. No kitten left behind. So I adopted all three.

Toby 09 2022

Look at that little face. Toby was so happy to have a forever home. In the shelter his name was Tobias, but I started calling him Toby and now I can’t call him anything else. The boys were in the shelter for over a month before I finally decided to bring them home. They were almost 5 months old. Toby is only a few days older than Mikhail.

Toby and Mikhail 10 2022

You guys, it had been 17 years since I’d really had kittens in the house. Since they were quarantined upstairs I had to split my time between them and Bob. After Demetri was gone I told Jay that we had to start the introduction process because I had too much to do to hang out in their room with them for hours at night. We did it very slowly, and in stages, but it seemed to work okay.

Bob and Babies

Bob wasn’t quite sure about them at first, but he was curious enough to keep an eye on them. After he realized that momma still loved him he decided that maybe they weren’t too bad.

Bob and Mikhail

Things were going smoothly with the babies and Bob, so I thought that we were good-to-go. Then suddenly Bob was not himself. It had only been two weeks since I’d lost Demetri, so I was afraid that maybe I was being overly-sensitive and prone to seeing illness where there wasn’t. It was like a switch had flipped; one day he was Bob and the next day he was an old cat. He didn’t want to eat and wasn’t drinking much. Of course, this all started happening on a Friday. By Saturday I couldn’t get him to eat anything and I was sure that this was the end. I spent that entire day watching him with an eagle eye and crying. Sunday morning I woke up and determined I was going to get him to drink water no matter what, so I grabbed the tiny syringe that I’d used for Mikhail’s antibiotics and I made Bob drink water. Once I’d done this a few times I put him down and he drank and drank and drank on his own. I was worried about him getting sick since he hadn’t hardly eaten or drank anything in two days, so I had to try to moderate his intake. After church we stopped at Walmart so I could get a bigger syringe and some baby food. I syringe-fed him that day. He didn’t eat a lot, but at least he ate something.

I got him into his vet that Monday morning. They did bloodwork, gave him a pill to kick-start his appetite, and gave him some IV fluids because he was dehydrated. They did a few other tests, but the vet heard a heart murmur so he also ordered another cardiac blood test. Everything came back normal and in very good ranges. The only thing that was off was one of the indicators of muscle damage. The vet speculated that this was probably heart damage, but we had to wait for the other test to come back. When it did it showed that there was heart damage. We don’t know if Bob had a heart event that caused him to stop eating and drinking, or what, but the vet said the next steps were to take him to a cardiologist for an echocardiogram. Except, my two options are at least an hour away.

Bob 10-15-22

Isn’t he so pretty? If I thought it would help and there would be something that could be done, I would take him. However, he’s 17 and he hates car rides. If he has heart problems I’m afraid the drive to the clinic, plus the length of time they would have to take him away from me for the test, and the drive home would be a HUGE stressor on his heart. Then what? If there’s heart damage what can be done? He has no other symptoms of the usual things that cause heart murmurs (virus, infection, etc), so there’s really not anything they can do. I don’t want to put him through all of that stress for nothing. I made the decision to not take him to the cardiologist, and instead I’m going to spoil him as much as I can for however much life he has left with us. Luckily, *knock on wood*, since his visit to the vet he has been doing very well. He eats like a champ, drinks as much as he should, and seems to be almost normal. I’ve noticed lately that he seems to be moving a little slower, but he’s old. There are times he’ll run around with the babies and I find myself yelling, “Bob! Don’t be running around like that! You have a bad heart!” He doesn’t pay any attention, though.

Bob-Mikhail-Toby Helping 11 2022

You’re probably tired of reading about my cats. I just have a few more things to say, and then I will post a few more silly pictures. Toby is so chill. If you’ve ever seen the US sitcom The Office then I can tell you that his personality is very similar to Toby in HR. He is so laid back and relaxed. It’s almost a Maine Coone personality. The silly thing is that he is not at all cuddly and clingy like he was in the shelter. He wants to be near me and get attention, but he doesn’t really want to be held.

Mikhail, on the other hand, has to be held. He won’t just lay on my lap, either. I have to actually hold him up on my chest. When he wants to be held he either gets up high enough where he can stretch his front paws up on my chest, or else he simply launches himself at me and expects that I will catch him.

Here’s a picture of him while I was holding him:

Mikhail Sleeping

Doesn’t that make your heart melt?

So these guys have been a big part of why I haven’t been blogging. Between sick cats and just trying to get them introduced into the house my time was not my own. As you can see from the picture of them above, even when I try to do anything in my sewing room I have supervision. But that’s okay. They are spoiled and loved beyond measure.

Toby sleeping on the cat tree:

Toby Sleeping

Mikhail in the middle of a sneeze:

Mikhail 10-15-22


Toby 11-23-22


Mikhail Cuddles


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More Crossbody Purses

When I haven’t been making H2O 2GO slings, I’ve been making purses. I have three to show you that are made using the On a Break Crossbody pattern by Sincerely Jen. Until recently, this was the purse that I carried every day. I made one change to the pattern that I use; I added 1″ to the gussett to make it a bit wider. I think it’s the perfect size.

I apologize for the following pictures. I apparently didn’t have the right filter on my camera and didn’t notice until I’d already given the purse away.

Cat Crossbody Purse

This is a hot pink purse. Cat-themed, of course. I used rose gold hardware to bling it up a bit.

Cat Crossbody Zipper Pull

I like this zipper pull. I purchase them from Moremeknow.com.

I used rainbow cats for the lining.

Cat Crossbody Interior

And what do rainbow cats leave behind?

Rainbow footprints, of course!

Cat Crossbody Accent Fabric

This was one of the first purses that I could sew on my new bag tag.

Cat Crossbody Back

Another purse I was asked to make was a sailing-themed purse. That’s all I was given. That, and the recipient’s favorite color is green.

Sailing Crossbody Bag

I think this one turned out pretty nice. I purchased the anchor zipper pull from My Handmade Space.

It was actually a challenge to find sailing-themed fabric that would go with dark green. I think I did an okay job, though.

Sailing Crossbody Interior

I just used a simple white zipper pull for the inside pocket, but the top zipper pull was another anchor.

Sailing Crossbody Back

The last purse that I want to show you was made for a very good friend. She’d been having a rough time of things so when I found some Star Wars themed hardware, I knew I had to make her a purse.

Star Wars Strap Connector

If I’d had the fabric that you can see in the background of the above picture, I would have used it for the front pocket. However, this purse was made before I came across the stained glass-looking fabric.

Star Wars Crossbody Bag

Obviously, I had to use a Millenium Falcon zipper pull.

Then I had a bit of an accident and needed to fix it, so I added a piece of velcro and included a package of patches that can be switched out as the desire strikes.

Star Wars Patch

The inside zipper screamed for an At-At, so I added it (even though I know it’s on the dark side of things). But they are so cute!

Star Wars Interior Zipper Pull

That inspired me a bit, though. After all, you can’t have good without the bad, so in the pocket I hid an evil army.

Star Wars Purse Interior Pocket

I have also made a backpack and another Sincerely Jen pattern. I also have a child’s backpack in process of being sewn, plus I have two more bags cut out. Oh, and I have another bag in the lineup, but I haven’t printed out the pattern yet or cut it out. Soon, though, that will happen.

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The Next Files

Two weeks ago I showed you some of the file handles Jay made.

Files 10

What happens when you have slightly larger files that don’t have handles? You make larger handles. This is a good project for some of those little scraps that are laying around.

Files 11

While the glue is drying you realize that you don’t have the right tools to actually turn the handle. What do you do? You make your own.

Jay only had some long round stock, but he needed something shorter and fatter. So he chucked it into the lathe…

Files 12

… and with some fancy handwork got it squished into the shape he needed.

Files 13

Once you have the correct size you can start facing it and turning a shallow divot.

Files 14

Files 15

You don’t want to use a plain ol’ holder, so add some decorative elements to it.

Files 16

Oooo… fancy, fancy!

Now that the glue is dried on your wooden blocks you can use your new fancy tool to hold them on the lathe.

Files 17

Files 18

Turn the wooden block into whatever shape you think will fit your hand the best.

Files 19

After a little finishing and some gum (to get the handle to stick to the file) you will have a beautiful handle for your favorite file.

Files 20

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Project Linus Blanket #44

Project Linus Blanket #44

Project Linus Blanket #43 - Frozen Lake 8-10-22

“Frozen Lake”

This is my latest blanket for Project Linus. I used Creative Grandma’s pattern Winter in the Woods. After I saw this pattern on YouTube I wanted to give it a try. It was a very easy pattern to follow and worked up quickly. I enjoyed this pattern so much that I want to use it for some more that I already have kitted up. I just have to figure out how far I can get with a slightly different yarn because that will determine how wide I make my stripes.

Project Linus Blanket #43 Detail

I really like the texture these stitches create, too.

The pattern called for Premier Yarn’s Puzzle Yarn, but I used Yarn Bee’s Soft & Sleek.

Project Linus Blanket #43 Yarn

I used 9 full skeins and a smidgeon of a 10th. I did not put a border on it because I didn’t feel that it needed it. I really enjoyed this yarn, too. It was so NICE on my fingers and the crochet hook.

I also made a baby blanket for a friend who is expecting her second child in November.

Baby Blanket 6-21-22

This is the Woven Rainbow Blanket by Mary Maxim.

I saw this in a catalog and loved the look of it. I looked, but I couldn’t buy just the pattern so I bought the kit. I think I chose the ‘Twizzler’ color.

Baby Blanket Detail 6-21-22

I think that when I crochet crossed stitches like this I tend to crochet too tightly. This blanket was supposed to be much bigger, but it’s only big enough to use with the baby carrier. It looks neat, but felt like it took FOREVER to crochet. I’ll be honest, I actually decided to just finish it off because I was tired of working on it.

Baby Blanket Back 6-21-22

This is the back. It was interesting, but I probably won’t ever make it again. Just because it’s a lot of work with very little progress. I also did not care for the yarn. You can tell it’s a lower-cost baby acrylic. It’s not as cheap-feeling as Red Heart Super Saver, but it’s definitely not a Hobby Lobby or Yarn Bee acrylic.

Currently I’m working on some Christmas gifts and then I’ll get back to another Project Linus blanket.

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Getting a Handle on a File

I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t realize it had been two months since I’d last posted. You probably thought that we disappeared! Perhaps we had to join the Witness Protection Program. Or maybe we’d won the lottery and were traveling. Unfortunately, it was nothing interesting or fun. The simple fact is that Jay was working all kinds of crazy hours, I was working all kinds of crazy hours, and when I did have something I could post it was either sewing or crochet. Since I’d posted a lot of that before I didn’t want to inundate you with more.

Today I return with a Jay project. I know that some of you like these kinds of posts. You just never know what he’s going to decide to make. I gave you a big clue in the subject of this post, and here’s another clue:


As you can see, Jay has a selection of files that do not have handles. They can be a bit dangerous to use in certain circumstances, so a handle is preferred. Why buy one, though, when you can make it?

All you need are a few pieces of wood (or whatever material you want for your handle).

Files 1

Using scrap pieces is great. If you have glue and some clamps you can make the size of block that you need for whatever file you have in your drawer.

Next you need to get it into a shape that will be comfortable in your hand. More often than not this will be a round shape. We’ll use the four-jaw chuck to hold onto our block of wood as we start to turn it into a rounded shape.

Files 2

Apparently we are making four handles.

In order to turn the other side of the handle we’ll need to use a collet chuck, so let’s turn all of these at once so that we don’t have to keep switching out chucks.

Files 3

Use your calipers to ensure the end that will hold the file is at the correct O.D. to fit into the collar that you’ll be applying to the handle end. Once you’ve done that you can finish off the other side of the handle.

Files 4

Using the tailstock to hold the end of your work will make sure that things don’t go wonky. There’s nothing worse than a wonky handle file.

Files 5

How pretty!

Next, chuck up the piece of metal that you are going to use for the handle collars.

Files 6

Cut to length and chamfer one end.

Files 7

That picture is almost pretty enough to be framed. Those are some beautiful chips.

Finally, install the collar on the handle.

Files 8

Files 9

Insert your files and you’re done!

Files 10

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More H2O 2GO Slings!

You might remember that a few months ago I made Jay’s mom a H2O 2GO sling for her birthday.

Addie Modeling Sling

She uses it a lot and loves it.

This year our church is asking parishioners to donate hand crafted items to be sold at our summer festival. I thought that I would make a couple of these and donate them to the craft sale. The problem was that I couldn’t stop myself. I’ve cut out enough pieces to make four slings for church, plus one for my sister’s birthday.

H2O 2GO 1

Prepping and cutting out the pieces is not fun, but it has to be done.

H2O 2GO 2

I’ve laid the zippers with the material so that you can see what I’ve chosen. The Seinfeld sling will have a kitten zipper pull because it’s for my sister.

H2O 2GO 3

You can’t really tell, but the Steelers’ sling has a little football zipper pull.

I knew that I wanted to use floral material and then I decided that I had to add a little extra bling. I told Karen that I bought some fun zippers for the slings. “What do you mean by ‘fun’ zippers?” she asked.

Fun Zippers

Metallic rainbow ones! I thought that the little rose gold butterflies would look good, too.

But did I stop there? No. As I was starting to get the pieces together I decided that while I was making a bunch of these I was going to make one for myself, too. So I did.

My H2O 2GO sling

Isn’t it adorable??!!

Cat Water Sling

Nobody can be grumpy with those little kitten faces looking at you. Awww!

Cat Water Sling Zipper

I also used a fun zipper with a kitten pull (the kitten is holding a ball of yarn… how perfect!).

And what is on the inside of the pocket?

Cat Water Sling Interior Pocket

More Kittens!!!! 😀

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No More Carpet!

This past weekend we celebrated Memorial Day in the United States. Most people plan picnics, family gatherings and other fun things. What do I do? I plan projects. Most of the time it involves my flower beds, but this year I decided that there was a more pressing project that I wanted to do.

Nasty Carpeting 1

Nasty Carpeting!!

Nasty Carpeting 2

This carpeting was here when we moved in 9.5 years ago. What we should have done back then is taken the time to remove the carpeting and then refinish all of the hardwood floors. However, when we signed on the house Jay and I had already been married for two weeks and were still living in our separate places. We just wanted to start our marriage TOGETHER.

I’ve done everything that I could with this carpeting because Jay wasn’t a huge fan of hardwood floors in the winter. After years of trying to clean it I finally gave up and told Jay that I wanted it gone. I hated it. We had no idea what was under it, but I told him that at this point I would happily live with whatever it was just so long as the carpet was gone!

Carpet Removed 1

Sunday afternoon, after Jay’s nap, we tore it out!

I was very excited to see that the floors were not as damaged as I had feared.

Carpet Removed 2

After the carpeting was outside (cut and rolled into manageable pieces) I told Jay he was free to go play in his workshop while I did the rest. We are not refinishing the floor any time soon because if we do this one we will have to do all of them, and that’s over half of the first floor.

I then spent the next five hours pulling staples, nails and tack strips.

Pulling Staples 2

Jay snuck up and took a few pictures of me. I was listening to a Jane Austen audiobook while working my way around the room.

Pulling Staples

At least it was a gorgeous day so I could have the windows and door open.

Destapled 1

Really, overall, the floor didn’t look too bad. Is it perfect? No. Is it nasty carpeting? No! Then I’m good…

Destapled 2

There are deep scratches…

Deep Scratches

Water stains…

Water Damage

Burn Marks…

Burn Marks

And so many holes!


But it’s okay. I can live with all of these without an issue.

Today, after doing some yard work first thing in the morning and then trying to overcome the sinus headache created by the weeding, I finished cleaning the living room. First I washed the walls and then I got down on my hands and knees so that I could scrub the floor.

Washing the Floor

Jay said that I became way too excited when I told him that I was going to use Murphy’s Oil Soap to wash the floor.

You can’t really tell by the pictures, but after seeing the water I KNOW that I really washed a lot of dirt off of this floor.

Floor Washed 1

Floor Washed 2

Before we ate supper we moved the furniture back into the living room.

Finished 1

Finished 2

This makes me VERY happy.

Maybe we’ll refinish the floor in a few years. I’m not in a hurry, though, because I still have Bob and one of his favorite hobbies is throwing up on hardwood floors.

There are still a few projects left to do, but we’ll get to them eventually. We have to plug all of the holes and Jay has to make some trim to wrap around the tile by the door.

Entry Tile

But it’s okay because the nasty carpeting is gone!!!!

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