Monday, December 27, 2010

Skipping a Holiday

I find that when advertisers start on Christmas commercials BEFORE even Halloween, when they slide right by Thanksgiving without so much as a passing glance, I get very annoyed. Yet, I'm going to do the same thing in a smaller way.

I'm already working towards Valentine's Day with some crocheted shawls. There are many patterns on the Internet that have hearts added to or built into the work. You can even make the hearts separately and add them to whatever you happen to be working on.

Here are a couple of websites that might tickle your fancy: Triangle Shawl Connected Hearts Graph for a rose inside a heart design Square motif with heart Small heart patches to attach to other work Lacy, doily-like heart

If you go to and put "hearts" into the search box, you'll get a page with something like 200 patterns. Their sister website,, has fewer, but still enough to keep you busy until February 14th.

These are not the only websites available. You can find patterns at Bernat, Red Heart, Lion Brand,,, and more. Ravelry had 214 pages of heart patterns.

I wish you a Happy New Year with a warm heart,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spoolie Scarf

I remember pounding four small nails into a spool and winding the yarn around them, then slipping one loop over another to create a small tube of yarn. It was fun, but I never learned what to do with the tubes. So I stopped making them.

Time marches on and I learned new crafts - crafts where I could see useful things appear from the end of my hook, needle, or sewing machine. I got the Knifty Knitter looms and made hats and tube scarves. You know, it never occurred to me that I was simply using a larger version of that little wooden spool. I even bought the little spoolie loom - 5 pegs on one end and 8 on the other. It was fun, but I still had no idea what use it could be.

Then, on a wander through the internet, I came upon a name for the art - corking. Using a spoolie (Knitting Nancy, Busy Lizzie, knitting mushroom, knitting spool, corker, peg knitter, knitting nobby or knitting knobby) dates back to medieval times. Certainly it wouldn't have survived if it had no use. So I looked a little farther.

I finally found instructions for using both tubes and flat strands made on spoolies. They can be coiled and sewed together or braided or woven into quite a few useful items.

Through Evergreen Indiana, you can get a book called Corking by Judy Ann Sadler. It shows how to make small, medium and large spoolie looms. You can make anything from a flat cord to a hand puppet with these instructions.

I found a lot of information and the history of the craft at

Another resource is in Google Books. Look for the title Spool Knitting by Mary A. McCormack. It dates back to 1909 and shows exactly how to use the simplest looms and make something useful out of your work.

I recently made four tubes on the 8-peg spoolie and braided them to make a scarf. Not only do the tubes make a double thickness, but braiding them makes an even thicker, warmer version and it's pretty too.

Maybe we can bring back some of the old crafts and make unique and beautiful things out of them.

Happy crafting.