Every year the Lumberjack and I get to do Santa’s job and we love it. This year, the Boy is seven, I’m not sure we’ll get another chance to be “Santa” with our kids again. Another bittersweet moment. The Girls are in the know of course, and they play along with the Santa game every year for the Boy’s sake. He’s a true believer at the moment, trying to figure out how Santa fits down the chimney, how he gets so far in one night, how he carries all the presents, etc., etc.. These “deep” questions about Santa usually unravel the mystery and reveal the parents, standing behind the giant imaginary man in red. Maybe next year, we won’t get to play this game but it’s all part of growing up a family right? They grow up, and so do we. Now I see why folks start looking forward to having grandkids.
This year I got a special treat. I was able to make the Santa gift for a little girl of a friend of mine. She asked for a red hat and kitty cat, and I got a tug on my heart at the idea of being one of Santa’s helpers for another child. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when you make something by hand and you have a specific person and purpose in mind, your work will show it! Here’s the result, and cannot wait to hear how she receives her Santa gift and I’m honored to say that I was truly one of his helpers this year.
Starting with the work in progress. At this stage, it’s like setting the scene, now to make the characters come to life…
I’m just trying my hand at embroidery stitches with yarn since I love the effect so much. I’ve seen this done by others and love it. Dawn at Fiddlesticks does just an inspiring job of color combining and stitch work, she’s truly an artist. (I love to refer to my creative heroes by first name, even though they don’t know me from Adam, it cracks me up inside.)
And here we have the Kitty peeking out of the bag and below the entire set. A hat, wrist warmers, and purse with kitty, all spiffed up and ready to go under a very special tree.
For exactly one year now I’ve been sharing with you. We’ve talked crochet, recipes, gardening, Santa, Solomon and chocolate. And yet I’ve been holding back a little. I would also like to share more of my LIFE. And that means, my family. You Wonderful People have all become this Wonderful Community of Folks, interacting, recommending, listening and sharing. I love it. It’s so much more than the original, blurry vision I had for this blog.
I’m not going to be famous. Not a famous cook, crocheter or comedian, but when you put it all together, stir some lumpy kids into the pot, a Lumberjack for flavor and God for a binder, it makes for a tasty recipe. And that is what I want to share more of, with you.
MadMadme will still have all the same stuff, the recipes, the patterns and the (ehem, unfinished) projects but it’s going to get a bit more colorful. Because it’s not the yarn, the flowers and the food that make my life bright, it’s the tiny faces, giant eyes and squishy hearts of the ones that love me, even when I’m a bit dull and dusty, even when I’ve retreated to a dark corner. They fill up the spaces with joy, they make me laugh and then tease me about how I do it. They fill my heart and break it, over and over again. They are my world, and I am honored to be a part of theirs. And they are a gift straight from Heaven. It is only right that I share more of THEM with the world.
So let’s start now with a few photos of tonight. Tonight, we went to a hip little area in near Vanderbilt University for dinner. We ate amazing food, laughed too loud and drank WAY too much coffee. It was cold outside but my soul was on fire with love for my clan, strange how a meal and conversation can pick you up and set you on a hill, how it can alter your perception, change your perspective and make you an evangelist for Love.
Hello all of you wonderful Mad Folks! I just wanted to say thank you for making the first year of my blogging life a pretty neato adventure. We’ve been cooking, crocheting, teaching, gardening, sharing, and taking pics of this whole Mad world together and I had no idea, just one year ago, that this amazing community would grow up around the blog.
There was no set direction, just the hope that by sharing what I loved, I would find kindred spirits to enjoy those loves with me, and I have! It all started with a 40th birthday post, that was written for my friends and family, and to anyone else who wanted to peek inside the window.
Thank you for reading, commenting, and coming back with each new post to be a part of this creative project.
My humble regards and heartfelt thanks to You.
Thorough patterns, that include product pictures, charts, diagrams and yarn info have always been like gifts to me, 8 1/2 by 11 inch presents. I enjoy working with them, I look for books that include these elements and now as a pattern designer, I strive to include them in my own work. This pattern can be found on Craftsy and Ravelry, and it includes instructions for adapting the pattern in size, length, width and to accommodate different yarn types and weights.
Mad Wrist Wraps are my Ode to Autumn this year. Genuinely warm but with a hint of delicate texture. I hope you enjoy the pattern, I’ll be continuing to post pictures as I make more of these with different types of yarn and colorways. Thank you all for being so encouraging and wonderful while I work out my pattern writing ya-yas.
The photos below, with the hands and French horn, are my Lovely Daughter’s. Notice the way she is embracing her horn? She loves being in band and she loves being the only one playing this instrument. The marching is harder than she expected, but it is challenging her in all the right ways.
These are made with Lion Brand, Amazing yarn in Strawberry Fields.
The wraps below are made with Yarn Bee brand, Rainbow Wool yarn.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, we all know this. This principle applies to crochet as well. I’ve been asked how I finish off, change color, weave in ends, and so on. And I’ve answered a lot of Folks individually, but I thought it would be fun to put all my favorite techniques, and links to show them, in this one post. There will always be other ways, I’m just sharing how I do things, you can take if from there. I’ll be adding to this, so stay tuned for more helps and links.
Joining yarn (same color):
- Double knot join: This is a great video to show you exactly how to do this, I have so many less ends to weave in now. Double knot join
- At the end of a row, to start a new row of a different color: YO with new color. On the last stitch of your current color, insert your hook, yo with the new yarn, and pull the new yarn up on the hook and through the loops. Now the loop on your hook is the new color of yarn. Cut the old color, leaving a few inches, and crochet. Weave in ends.
- On a round: This tutorial says tie a knot, but when you look at the pic, it’s simply a half-knot, that would leave no trace behind, and your stitches will match all the way around. I really do not like starting with chain stitches on a new round on a circle and being able to follow the line of chain stitches from the center to the edge. This technique allows you to avoid that issue. Half-knot tie.
- Invisible Finish: I leave about 5-6 inches of yarn, follow the instructions for the invisible finish, and weave in the end along the previous row, loop over one strand of yarn, and weave again going back in the opposite direction. This will allow the yarn to move and not pull, but be very secure without knots. Knots pull and warp, they have no business being part of the finishing process.