Little Knit Cactus

When you get a request from your granddaughter for a knitted item, you try to oblige. Within reason of course. -I’m thinking “a hat, mittens, a scarf……”

“Could you make me a knitted cactus?” Anna asked.


I didn’t know there was such a thing. Thanks to Pinterest spreading the word, succulents, knitted, crocheted and stitched are a trend.

Mine looks different from the pattern by Lucille Randall. (which is free on Ravelry)

Might need more stuffing.  Also I need my friend Donna or FF Marlene to help crochet a better flower.  I followed the directions but it seems knitting is my stronger skill for sure.

When I started.  I used DPNs size one.  When I was telling my knitting friend, I had a flashback to a knit cactus I saw a couple of years ago at Hill Country Weavers in Austin, Texas. We were in line to check out and there it sat. Never thought another thing about it until now and I’d taken a quick phone photo.

Thanks for the Dream in Color Handpainted yarn, Molly. AND for finding that skein of Kidsilk Haze in the Jelly color.  Unbelievable.



No, it’s not the word of the week.  And I haven’t done much mending lately.

It’s just that Mark asked if I could mend/repair his beloved Dude Cowichan Sweater. Both elbows were worn. I brought it home with me from Ohio.

There’s an incredible sense of satisfaction in having accomplished this task.

I got some yarn and mended the holes first, and then I ordered elbow patches and stitched them on using a blanket stitch.  The tiny perforations weren’t  easy to get the needle through and I wish I had my mother’s thimble.  It’s in my house but I didn’t look too deeply.

Mark’s sweater looks brand new.

No, I didn’t knit it. I mended it.

Just repaired the holes in the elbows and added the patches.

Scroll down to listen to Al Green sing-

and thanks to

Mend- to make (something broken, worn, torn, or otherwise damaged) whole, sound, or usable by repairing: to mend old clothes; to mend a broken toy. 2. to remove or correct defects or errors in.

And Al Green sings How Can You Mend a Broken Heart ?
Did people really reserve a whole day to mend?
Early Thursday morning was the day reserved for mending according to the nursery song Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush

Snippet of Lace and a Tiny Flower Tattoo

My sister gave me this vintage apron years ago.

It’s a conversation piece. I don’t know who made it.

Most of my aprons hang inside the pantry door and aren’t vintage. That will be another post.

This half apron is fun to wear when hostessing,

Just lift up the skirt of the dress for the unexpected.

A bit of lace and an embroidered flower.   The fabric of the midriff is worn and there is a hole right where the navel would be.  Maybe it is one of a kind?

And of course it it all trimmed with good old rick- rack.


House Call

We wanted to sew a dinosaur hoodie for Charlie.  The sewing machine stopped sewing on my last visit.

Googled and found  Sewing Machine Repair-Columbus OH in your home.

Steve arrived in less than an hour. Fixed the broken bobbin case and bracket, added a ballpoint needle and gave my daughter and me a tutorial on what went wrong. And how to maintain it. Sews like a dream and no lugging it to a shop or waiting.



Maria Bakes Peach Cookies

Maybe you’ve been to a celebration and seen the fancy cookies that look exactly like a peach?

Meet Maria Costa.  If you live in Pittsburgh and need alterations on just about any fabric or piece clothing,upholstery or some throw pillows to match your couch, Maria is a seamstress.

But on Thursday she was baking peach cookies for her grandson’s First Holy Communion.

The first step.  Another day she’ll be cooking a vanilla pudding and filling the two halves of a ” peach”,  “gluing” them together with a finger of the filling spread on the bottoms and rolling the joined cookies in Peach Schnapps and then granulated sugar. She might add a leaf or two but no pretend stem as someone once choked on one. (Survived)

I was picking up my friend Barb to go to the art store and she asked if I could pick her up at Maria’s home instead of her house. I thought I was just picking her up.  Turns out Barb and Maria been baking all morning and Barb was taking good notes.  I was thrilled to smell the tempting baking aroma and see part of the process of the baking of the peach cookies.

They’d spent the morning baking. The dough used fifteen eggs as she thought they were on the small side but the recipe calls for a dozen!

I saw the giant wooden spoon she used to make the stiff dough. Mixers have been broken previously.





Another day Maria will cook the filling and put the two hard halves of the peach together.  Roll them in Peach Schnappes( a hint of rosy food coloring added) and then confectioner’s sugar.  Each “peach” will rest in a pretty pleated cupcake paper on a platter.

Maria showed us the seedlings starting in her backyard garden.  Her fig tree.

Maria pointed out the province where she’s from- Calabria- Vibo Valentia   Italy

I hope I get invited with my friend to see the rest of the process in making the fancy peach cookies.  It was really nice to be welcomed into her kitchen.  The heart of her home.

Button Up in Green

Somehow I can’t stop myself from photographing all things green this week. Today at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, I stopped at the vintage buttons booth.

Thanks Michelle from Dusty’s Vintage Buttons from South Carolina.  I’d offer a link but she doesn’t have one. You have to catch her next year at the festival.  She started collecting when she got buttons from a friend’s grandmother and hasn’t stopped.



button up


1. Lit. to fasten one’s buttons. Your jacket’s open. You’d better button up. It’s cold. I’ll button up in the car.
2. Fig. to get silent and stay silent. (See also button (up) one’s lip.) Hey, button up! That’s enough out of you. I wish you would button up and stop gossiping.
See also: button, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

It is easy being green Weekly Photo Challenge


Each Color Has a Number

Embroidery Floss. 

You can see the faded  old labels and the new labels with the bar codes. 

I’m smocking again. Each color has a Number

There are 454 solid colors in this brand. 

Thought I’d organize them in the little plastic box with bobbins, labeling each number in the corresponding color 

Not exactly sure why-

An old musical box pillow I made when Laura was small. You know the tune it plays.