Needle, thread & yarn end of November

Off and on I have regretted never learning to knit or crochet. Any sewing has been basically self-taught, though, and given all of the videos and tutorials on the Net I thought to check and see if there were some videos in regards to knitting on You Tube.  Yes there were.

I didn’t watch any, but knowing that they were available, I picked up some knitting needles at Walmart and a small skein of yarn when I was there for dog food and other basics. I also picked up a crochet hook.

Well, once I started to run through the videos it was amazing. If you knit, you will laugh. If you don’t knit…well, first you have to make a slip knot. There must be 20 different ways to do just that. Next you have to ‘cast on’. I couldn’t stay with the lady who had every fingernail painted differently and moved on to another. This method has you wrapping the yarn around your hand, finger and thumb …and doing some complicated dance with them, and once I nailed that down I cast on about 40 stitches. Go Me!

Next I wanted to try the other method which uses the two needles.  I figured that I’d better learn that since I’d be using two needles for the knit stitch. Two hours later I was beserk. I’d been sorting through videos and personalities…some moved too fast, some didn’t have the best camera shots, etc. Still when I found a few that I could understand, I couldn’t do it. The stitches just kept slipping off. I felt so clumsy!

Finally it dawned on me that I was using long skinny slippery metal needles and almost every video had wooden or bamboo ones. I had not seen those in Walmart, so I ended up going to JoAnn Fabrics for some.  I purchased a thin set and a slightly thicker set.  I had to drop everything and get there before Black Friday and all the craziness, too.

They are easier to use but it all still feels incredibly awkward. I must be the slowest learner on the planet.  I have no major goals other than learning to knit a scarf or something simple but for the moment, I am just casting on to the one needle, then trying to master the knit stitch to transfer over the other needle.  I am just learning to get comfortable with these needles and yarn.  I had some yarn here that I tie quilts with. I also purchased a small skein of a very thin yarn, and then a bulkier wool yarn. After I transfer about 30 stitches back and forth, I simply unravel and plan to do it again in the next practice session.

Here’s the thin yarn. When I used the bulky wool one it felt so different to work with!


Aside from this,  prior to Thanksgiving I quilted a bit, and managed to paper piece another starflower for the spools quilt center.

2nd starflower EPP

Two more little baskets for the ‘Whimsy’ quilt:

2 basket blocks

Then, I don’t know if you read the post or remember, but I did a post about winning the sewing machine at The Blogger’s Quilt Festival ( Here )   On the same day, a very nice offer was in my email from Susan over at Desert Sky Quilts, and I mentioned that in the post as well. ” Susan was offering to send me some reproduction era fabric scraps and pieces for a quilt that I wanted to make.”

Well, no sewing machine yet but the day before Thanksgiving, Susan’s package arrived and I was just amazed! While I knew that she’d mailed it, and that she’d been cutting out fabric when she had a spare moment here and there, I didn’t expect this wonderful variety! What a sweet and generous person she is.

Take a look :

fabric pile from susan 1

Wait, there’s more. I couldn’t fit all of it into one picture.

fabrics from susan 2

Hold on…not done yet!! :)

fabric pile from susan 3

I had expressed a desire to start an old-fashioned dark sort of quilt…I showed a few spool blocks that I was starting with, and mentioned that I did not have a lot of stash for this sort of thing but would try to work with what I had and build the stash a bit here and there with sale fabrics or something…Susan the Stash Angel just offered out of the blue and the kindness of her heart.

Thank you Susan. You made my day the day that you offered…and certainly made my day when this wonderful variety showed up in the mail! :)

While I do want to get a few Christmas decorations up, for Slow Sunday stitching, I cut into Susan’s gift a bit on Saturday for the 3rd starflower and can work on appliqueing it, and perhaps begin another one.

3rd starflower

While I’d started it on Saturday, all thoughts of finishing it went out the window when little Koopa arrived with my youngest son. After a play session with my dogs outdoors and then more play in the house,  he’s tuckered out in this picture and enjoying a bone. Needle, thread and yarn fall by the wayside when a puppy shows up! :) Look at those paws. He is going to be huge.

Koopa and bone

You might also enjoy : 5 Christmastime Randoms  or Merry Christmas Cookies Day  or Vintage Appliances 

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts / Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House / Freshly Pieced / French Country Cottage

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37 Responses to Needle, thread & yarn end of November

  1. Margie Miller says:

    You’re right! He is going to be huge! But he is darling!

    Those quilt pieces are absolutely great!

  2. Brenda Kula says:

    Looking at your new “stash”, I sort of miss my fabric. But I really have no room for it. And I don’t know if I’m going to be able to use my foot for machine sewing. When I first started quilting at around 30, I didn’t have a sewing machine and I hand-stitched everything. Now my hands have such bad arthritis from surgeries (car wreck), I’m glad I did it then. Cause I couldn’t do it now!

  3. sue silva says:

    Those are some big paws-ies. He’s so cute!

    Don’t give up on the knitting and crocheting; you’ll love it once you get the hang of it!

  4. Susan says:

    What a little cutie the puppy is, and I love your star flowers. I’m sorry, I did laugh at your adventures in knitting, but not because I’m a great knitter. I laughed because it brought back my own foray in trying to learn to knit, which EVERYONE says is so easy! Ha!

    All I wanted was a pair of mittens. After making something that might have worked for a mis-shapen alien foot, I gave up knitting forever! LOL I have never regretted that. Crochet I can do, learned as a child on handkerchief edgings, and can do pretty much anything with that – I think it’s lots easier. Well, of course I do. I can’t knit at all! LOL

    I’m so glad you like the fabrics. I was hoping they would please you. =)

  5. Mimi says:

    I am rediscovering the joys of crocheting. My grandma taught me years ago and I like to remember her as I do a few rows each evening. It’s a nice way to unwind and it keeps me from grinding my teeth at night! Ha!

    I love that darling puppy. I’d abandon everything else to play with him, too!

  6. What a wonderful package to receive and she chose such pretty fabric to send! It will be perfect for your quilt! I learned to knit and crochet using a book and I’m still not convinced I learned it correctly! lol But it IS easier to crochet than to knit, I think! Sweet hugs! Happy sewing!

  7. Karen says:

    I can do very basic knitting and crochet – basic stitch only – I would love to do a pair of socks – one day perhaps!

  8. Grandma Kc says:

    I laughed out loud at a vision of you sitting in front of YouTube trying to learn to cast on! Do you remember me telling you about teaching the girls in Amara’s 4th grade class to knit? In an hour? So I really felt your pain as I remember there’s!

  9. Kathy says:

    What a wonderful gift of fabric!

    A friend tried to teach me to crochet, but my fingers and my brain would NOT communicate that day. I’d like to try my hand at knitting, but I’m worried that it won’t be any different.

  10. Gail says:

    I would also like to knit someday…I have some friends who knit and they have generously offered to teach me when I am ready. Do you have a friend who knits who could give you some lessons? I think I might start with a dish cloth… Nice additions to your fabric collection!

  11. Deb says:

    what a great little surprise in the mail! Too funny on the knitting tales – I was lucky and that was the one thing my Mom did teach me. Crochet was learned from reading a book (before Youtube!). Is there a yarn store near you? They are great at teaching… or even some people at Joanns if they are not busy would help. Good luck. Wish I was closer to lend a hand.
    Have fun with the puppy play.

  12. Lisa says:

    I love your stars. Do you buy paper templates that fit together with the hexies or do you make your own?

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Lisa I make my own paper templates from freezer paper. Then I iron two sheets together to make them stronger…then once cut out I baste using the starch method versus sewing-basting.

  13. Deanna says:

    Lucky you to score such a collection of fabrics. The knitting will come, it does take practice…don’t give up!!

  14. Joyce says:

    I have nothing but admiration for knitters although the process seems too tedious for me. I am far more at home with quilting so I really perked up when I saw your new squares – and the lovely fabric from dear, sweet generous Susan!
    Koopa is a beauty. Those grandkids and grandpuppies fill your house and your heart with joy, don’t they?

  15. I love how you described your learning sessions. :-) I understand how difficult knitting and crocheting seems at first. At first, I knitted with only the knit stitch. Which is fine as it makes beautiful projects. But I was only using this one as I could not make purl stitch. It took me a few years to figure how to do it. One day, it happened suddenly. It just happened. ;-)
    A few years after that, someone tried to teach me to crochet. It didn’t click. Every rows was so irregular it was truly ugly. So I quit. I tried again a few years later and everything went well. So well it was a wonder it didn’t work the first time I tried. I could not tell what went well or what went wrong.
    So don’t be discouraged, you’ll master it one day. With all the hand stitching you do, I’m sure that sooner or later, you’ll be able to crochet and knit.

  16. Debbie H says:

    I empathize with you. I couldn’t get crocheting or knitting down. Cudos to you though for sticking with the knitting. Your baskets and stars look fabulous and that puppy is so sweet. Enjoy our Sunday.


  17. Carol Cook says:

    All your quilting is lovely.

    As to knitting and crocheting – hang in there and you will succeed. I learned when I was 14 from my grandmother who actually knitted while she played in her bridge group.

  18. Karen in Breezy Point says:

    Love your star flower block! Good luck with your knitting.

  19. Ellen says:

    I love the baskets in your “whimsy quilt”. Did you design the basket yourself or do you have a template for it? I’d love to make one with scraps. Fun to look at your new stash and see some fabrics that I have collected. Happy holidays!


    • debralynnpugh says:

      Ellen I drew a couple up myself to start off and then the lastest Fons and Porter magazine had some project page in it with a basket..I think it was for a pincushion or something and I used that for these two. Just enlarge my pic and copy it : )

  20. I haven’t knit since high school when I made myself a couple of sweaters. But I do crochet a lot. My granddaughters wanted me to teach them when they were 8 which was a couple of years ago. Oh, my….those were some adventures. I had to dig deep inside of me to find the little patience that I do have in order to exercise it. They tried twice, had a knotted mess and we haven’t tried since then and they have never asked me to show them again. I’m sure they will ask again. Our sewing lessons went a lot better!

    Lucky you! Stash angels and a new sewing machine win.

  21. You don’t need Christmas – you’ve already had it. :-) I’m thinking maybe you should go buy a lottery ticket.

  22. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I would like to learn to knit and crochet again but I never was to good at the fabrics!

  23. I took a knitting class about 12 years ago and struggled especially with the metal needles. I spent a couple of months struggling with a scarf and got it about 18 inches long, but it was totally wonky on the width. Finally, my hubby intervened and pointed out that I could have made 3 quilts that were good quality in the time I had spent. I gave up knitting that day and gave the few supplies I had acquired away. Lesson learned!

  24. Good for you for learning how to knit from videos, Deb! I say every year I want to learn, but then I never follow through. You are a talented quilter so I hope you will find knitting equally fun to do with practice,. The fabrics Susan sent to you are all very pretty! I know you will enjoy making things from them. Your son’s dog looks a lot like my slaughter’s dog –is is s Staffordshire terrier?

  25. The basket blocks look great, Deb. It was so nice of Susan to send you all the wonderful fabric, and it’ll be fun to see what you do with it. I tried knitting years ago and found crocheting much easier and enjoyable for me, though I haven’t crocheted for some time. I have friends who love knitting, and I’m sure if you continue you will enjoy it. xxx ~ Nancy

  26. CathieJ says:

    It took me a few different tries until I became a knitter. I am still a novice. There are two different ways to knit, English and Continental. Do what feels comfortable. I am left-handed and could not learn to knit until I tried doing it right-handed. Success. Yup, I still have the stitches drop off the needles every once in a while, but practice makes perfect in everything. I am sure your first quilt wasn’t perfection either. I know mine wasn’t. Sewing is easier….sometimes. Your starflowers are so pretty. I can’t believe all that beautiful fabric you received. As for your puppy, he is so adorable.

  27. Lorrie says:

    As a very beginning knitter, I can sympathize. I’m amazed at watching experienced knitters go so fast and even. I think I’ll mostly stick to sewing and embroidery!

  28. To me there’s nothing like a pair of bamboo needles and a good piece of yard in your hands. I’ve been knitting a lot lately, holiday gifts to make. I just finished knitted stars…always love your quilting!

  29. Looks like Christmas came early for you! Very. Ice selection of fabric Debra! I tried to quilt a couple of months ago for the first time. In a word…DISASTER! You’re not the world’s slowest learner. I think I have that dubious distinction.

  30. Should have said ‘very nice’, but you probably know that. Well, I think I’m done catching up with your life these last few days! lol

  31. Vickie says:

    I’ve been knitting for decades and I have no idea how to do a 2 needle cast on, so skip it! I’d start with a worsted weight yarn and choose a simple pattern and jump right in. You’ve mastered quilting, so knitting will be a cinch for you!!

  32. Rose says:

    I don’t knit or crochet either, and I do regret it. Yet, still really enjoy sewing. At one time I did teach myself a bit about crocheting…was doing okay working with yarn. But what I wanted was to use thread and make Christmas ornaments..oh, my goodness–I was all thumbs and just took forever and a day to do anything so I just quit.

    How blessed you were to receive that fabric! I see a couple or three that I have, but oh, wow, do I see more that I like!

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