Thursday, April 24, 2014

Interlocking Rows: Free Crochet Afghan Pattern

In my life, it is currently baby season! So many new and precious souls joining our family! My son and his wife will be welcoming their first, a girl! A cousin having a son, and a niece who is waiting to be surprised! Turquoise and yellow are great gender neutral colors for baby, and this super simple stitch is wonderful easy to work, and fun to watch emerge!
It's also great for afghans, scarves, washcloths, shawls and more!

By working 3 skeins at the same time and carrying the yarn gently up the edges, you avoid having a million ends to weave in! Use hand painted yarn or variegated yarn for a beautiful visual texture!

Get the free pattern here. I do ask that you respect my hard work and efforts to provide you with fun and simple patterns to make your stitching relaxing and enjoyable.
Try it out! Share your picture of your finished project on the Facebook page!

If you like this pattern, share the link to this article or the link to the pattern with your friends so they can download their own copy. There are different social media sharing link options below!

You can watch me crochet the pattern here!

This is a stitch pattern that I really enjoy doing and with the birth of my new granddaughter in January 2015, I have worked it up again as a little car seat blankie with a soft fluffy edge! Which also introduced the opportunity for me to make some updates to this post by making a tutorial video for how to repeat the interlocking rows as an edge!

SO! I made a video tutorial showing how I did it! Just for you! Please consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel while you are there!

Trying new things is Living Well!

Love, SuziQue

DIY Wintering Fuchsias: Part 2-Setting Them Out in the Spring

Last fall I decided to winter my fuchsias.

They are one of my favorite spring and summer plants, and I have long known that they can come back every year! I have tried before without success to winter my hanging baskets, so last year I did some research, including talking with my master-gardener sister-in-law. I got a better understanding of what to do, and set to work ... ok ... really, it's not that much work, it really was pretty simple!

Here is what I did ... DIY Wintering Fuchsias: Part 1-Preparing for Winter Storage

Over the winter I checked on the plants once in a while to make sure they weren't too dry. I checked to make sure nothing had fallen on them and that bugs had not decided to set up residence.

They lived in the (separate from the house) garage most of the winter, as my garden shed just didn't seem to offer quite enough protection from the cold. In March, I moved them to the shed as my husband was working on some big projects and installing a little wood stove in the garage so it is a more comfortable work shop for his many projects (he is a master craftsman, so being able to freely make sawdust is very important!).

Once it stopped freezing and hailing at the beginning of April here, I took the pots out, unwrapped them, and set them out on the lawn to let the rain water and rinse them good. Imagine my surprise when THERE WERE SIGNS OF LIFE in 2 of the 3 pots! I left them on the shed porch for a week or so to acclimate.

At the advice of my Sister-inLaw, I brought them in the house the other day and put them in the breakfast nook, since it is mostly windows and not heated. She said it will be light and heat that encourage the plants to really get growing.

Here is what is happening at this point!

Lots of good growth on the fuchsia!

A tiny hint here, but I cannot remember if this is a geranium or not.

Nothing going on here.

If I don't see additional signs of life in the other pots, then I'm just going to go to the nursery and get some pretty little starts and re-fill the baskets ... it's less expensive than buying all new baskets in bloom, and I get to really design them they way I want! Who wants flower baskets that look just like all the other baskets in town!

If this article was helpful for you, please comment below, then share it with your family and friends on your favorite social media! Links provided below.

Stay tuned for Part 3 - Summer Blossoms!

Beautiful flowers are art made by God, and so soothing to me. They are an important part of
Living well,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

6 Ideas For How to Find Time to Crochet, or Knit, or Create!

The question of finding time to stitch comes up for a lot of us, on a regular basis!

Here are a few ideas I hope might resonate with you!

Please comment on this post, and share what works for you! Have you incorporated something from one of these ideas? Have you found other ways that work for you? What could you adjust or change this week to make your stitching experience more enjoyable and accessible? If you find this article encouraging or helpful in anyway, please share it with your circle of stitchers so they too can be encouraged and inspired!

First of all, most of us know, you cannot simply FIND more time, you have to MAKE time and TAKE time. We don't randomly stumble across extra time.

Sometimes that time is stolen, or wriggled in. Mostly it is PLANNED and scheduled in.

There is an old saying, "If it is important to you, you will find a way."

That being said, you must also be prepared for open time opportunities, no matter how tiny they might be.

1. Keep several little tote bags, or baskets around with different types and sizes of projects so one is always at the ready! Even if you can only get a few stitches in at a time, it all adds up in the long run!

2.  In the car, if you are the driver, keep a little washcloth/pot holder bag at the ready! That way, when you get to your destination, if you are even just a couple of minutes early, you could make even half a dozen stitches!

3. In the car, if you are the passenger, keep something small and easy to work on, with a simple stitch so you don't get car sick paying too much attention to your project and not looking up! Also, you can still talk with the other folks in the the car, like the driver ;) Hats, scarves, things of that size are great!

4. In the car ... keep a moderate project like a sweater, for when you are waiting ... at the DOL, or the doctors, on your lunch break at work, on your 10 minute break at work, and the like ...

5.  SCHEDULE in the time! If you are home and doing chores, reward yourself with 15 or 30 minutes of stitching after you finish a less than pleasant task like cleaning the bathroom! Set the timer! This way you get your reward, and time doesn't get away from you!

6. At home, keeping a basket by your favorite chair, or your spot on the couch, is a great place for your ongoing afghan projects! Keep your stitches basic, so that you can still pay attention to your favorite show, our your favorite couch companion!

Stitching is good for your mental health, and is not a waste of time! It is a form of meditation and healing. When you create it helps release hormones and endorphins in your brain!
You create art, and art is good for your spirit!
You create gifts, which are good for building connection with people in you life!

Making time to create your life, the way you want it to be, is a constant and ongoing part of
Living Well!
Love Your Rural Girl,