Monday, April 29, 2013

Hats in Honor of the Sandy Hook Victims part 2

Olivia Engel Hat without Lamb pin ribbing turn up
Olivia Engel Hat with Lamb pin attached

beading on ribbing when turned down
Lamb cross stitched on plastic canvas  with beads

This blog is a continuation of a former blog Hats in Honor of the Sandy Hook Victims.  Since that blog, I learned how to knit and crochet with beads.  The process is so much fun and adds another  dimension to knitting and crocheting.

There are several methods used to add beads to a knitting or crochet project.  A couple of methods use a crochet hook to add a bead to a stitch.  Small beads sometimes require the use of a metal wire.  There are excellent methods shown on You Tube.  One of the simpliest methods for adding a bead when knitting is shown by Lucy Neatby's method.  This method lets you add beads as you knit.  Another method requires that beads be strung on the yarn or string before knitting, usually called prestringing the beads.  Sandy shows how to prestring with thread to yarn, but there are also needles which can help thread the beads to the yarn.  Sometimes prestringing is better for certain projects but one has to know the number of beads needed for the project.  There is also the wire method for getting the bead on the yarn.  There are several other methods.  

I choose this hat pattern and color to honor Olivia Engel, age 6, because pink and purple were her favorite colors.  Her favorite stuffed animal was a lamb.  You can read about Olivia at a special site in her memory.  

For this hat I used pink yarn and purple knitted yarn #4 weight and a circular needle # 6.  If a smaller hat is needed, use a smaller knitting needle and #2 or #3 weighted yarn.  I used small pony beads to match the yarn.  I found the mini plastic pony beads at Walmart.

The directions for the hat are as follows:

Rows 1: With the pink yarn, cast on 80 stitches on knitting needle and knit first rowwith the pink or 1st colored yarn if not using pink. (right side)
Row 2 - 9:  Complete ribbing stitch, (knit 1, purl 1) for 1 1/2 inches.  As you complete the ribbing stitch, add a mini pony bead to a knit stitch in the 3rd row, 6 row, and 9th row, placing the beads on alternating rows.  (Or, you can put the beads anywhere you like.)
Row 10:  On next row, (wrong side) purl with 1st colored yarn.  
Row 11 - 14:  On next row, add purple yarn (or 2nd color) and knit alternating color 1 and 2 across. Both colored yarns will be carried across the row.  The color you are not using should be held loosely behind the color you are using. (Knit on right side and purl on wrong side.)  Complete 3 more rows, making sure to alternate colors every stitch. 
Row 15 - 18:  On next rows knit on right side and purl on wrong side using purple yarn (2nd color yarn).  Drop the pink yarn (1st yarn) and if you want, cut the pink (or 1st yarn) leaving a long tail 
Row 19:  Using purple (2nd color), knit across on the wrong side for 30 stitches, purl 20 stitches, knit 30 stitches  (This will make a ridge on right side.)
Row 20:  Purl on the right side for 30 stitches, knit 20 stitches, knit 30 stitches. (Makes 2nd ridge on right side)
Row 21- 35:  Knit and purl (stockinette stitch) ending with pearl stitch with 2nd color
Row 36 - 37:  Purl across on right side and then knit across on wrong side.
Rows 38 - 41:  Stockinette stitch
Row 42 - 45:  Repeat rows 11-14, adding pink yarn (or 1st yarn)
Row 46, decrease a stitch (knit two stitches together) every 9th stitch, adding a bead approximately every 6th stitch
Row 47:  Purl across
Row 48:  Knit across, decreasing every 8th stitch
Row 49:  Purl across 
Row 50:  knit across adding a bead on a row between the first beads, and decreasing every 7th row.
Row 51:  Purl across
Row 52:  Knit across decreasing every 5th stitch
Row 53:  Purl across
Row 54:  Knit across adding a bead on a row between the last beads added, and decreasing every 4th stitch.
Row 55:  Purl across
Row 56:  Knit across decreasing every 3rd stitch
Row 57:  Purl across
Row 58:  Knit across decreasing every 2nd stitch.  Cut yarn leaving a long tail.
Using a needle, thread the long tail though the loops on needle and remove from needle;  pull the yarn to gather the stitches, and make a stitch to anchor the stitches.  Stitch down side, matching colors.

If the lamb pin is wanted, cross stitch the lamb on plastic canvas using embroidery thread.  Make a tail using black embroidery thread.  Use black seed beads for the eyes.  There are many patterns for lambs on the web.  I choose not to use one because the teacher in me didn't want to plagiarise on the blog.

When the cross stitching is finished, glue a square of white felt on back.  When dry, cut the unwanted felt away from the lamb.  Glue a pin back on the center of white felt.

Prototype for Emilie Parker Hat
Emilie Parker Hat

     The second hat is in honor of Emilie Parker, age 6. She was described by her father as "bright, creative and very loving."  He said she was always willing to try new things. There is a Facebook account for Emilie and The Emilie Parker Art Connection, which you might want to see.  She so loved drawing and painting.

I took a clue from Emilie and decided to try some crochet stitches that I had never done.  The hat I chose to make in honor of Emilie was described in the Red Heart book More Than Socks! as a ruffled crochet girl's hat.  The booklet with the instructions can be found in a store selling Red Heart yarn or can be ordered on line at  I was unable to find the suggested yard in a local store;  I ordered it from 

When making the prototype, I followed the instructions as written, except for one item.  I added a bead to the middle of each lobe in each ruffle.  Instructions for adding beads for crocheting are similar to knitting.  The method for stringing the beads on the yarn first can also be found on You Tube.  But, the crochet hook method can also be used, where two crochet hooks are used.  

The beads on the prototype are also mini pony beads.  In the photo of the prototype, the beads are pink and white.  I used a worsted #4 yarn from the "sewing room" that I cleaned out from my Mother's house.  It made the hat large enough for a teenager.

Using the #4 yarn, a prototype for the hat was done to try the new stitches I had never attempted.  The first stitch was learning to make crochet ribbing.  Then, following the directions, the hat was crocheted using double crochet rows as usual.  When the double crochet rows were completed, the ruffles were then crocheted to the rows of double crochet --new to me.  The stitches are something like an edging pattern. It took me several attempts to find the technique which helped the ruffles lay flat.

After I felt sucessful with the prototype, I ordered the yarn suggested by the pattern.  It was Red Heart Heart & Sole Razzle Dazzle with a #1weight; the #1 weight made a smaller hat. I used orange, brown, green, teal, yellow, and red mini pony beads.  I could find a collection of this color but did find enough from other left-over projects to complete the hat.  They were crocheted in the ruffle exactly as the prototype.

The teenager and child receiving the hats will receive a note asking them to wear the hat in honor of Emilie.

This hat was made in honor of Charlotte Bacon.  She liked everything pink.  This was my first attempt at beading with knitting.  It is so much fun! This hat is basically a rolled rim hat with the welt stitch done three times and two rows of yarn overs to give trhe lacey effect.  Beading has been done between the welt stitch rows to give it a girlie look.  To give it even more a girlie look, ribbon has been laced through holes in the brim yarn overs.

Have almost finished Catherine Hubbard's.  That hat and others will be include in part 3.

Ruffled Crochet Girl's Hat & Scarf

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Joyner Houses Part 1


The Farmhouse

The first Joyner house was in Greenville, NC.  It belonged to my step-father's father.  My birth father was killed in World War II in July 1944.  My twin brother and I were conceived in April 1944 and were born in january 1945.  So I never knew my birth father.  When my mother remarried in June 1945, she and my new father, my older sister, my twin brother, and I moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Greenville, NC.  We moved into my new grandfather's farmhouse.  (The farmhouse was not new, but my Granddaddy was new to me.)  Six people lived in the house before we moved in;  we added 5 more, which meant that eleven people were living in the three bedroom house.  The five of us slept in one of the bedrooms.  One thing to remember ... then, only the sitting room was heated.  In the winter, the bedrooms were cold.  The kitchen was heated with the wood stove.  There was never air conditioning, except through the floors, walls, and windows.  Then, the orientation of houses were usually built so that the wind could blow though the house in the summer. The roof was usually a tin roof.  The porch was very important for keeping cool in the summer.

I remember very little when we moved into the farmhouse, but as I became older and we moved out of the farmhouse, I remembered visiting.  Some visions I have about that house have remained.  One was the porch swing.  Rick Bragg wrote a passage The Porch in Southern Living which perfectly describes Granddaddy's front porch.  My brother, Lane, and I spent a lot of time on that porch, evidently.

I don't ever remember the farmhouse being painted.  The house wasn't insulated either (as typical for most farmhouses) and the cracks (or spaces betweeen the floor boards) in the floor were entertainment.  The chickens, dogs, and cats, naturally then, were free roaming and we watched them under the house through the floor boards. Some of the floors, though, were covered with linoleum rugs, but not necessarily the complete floor.  Sometimes the linoleum rugs were smaller than the floor. 

There was no running water in the house for many years, but there was a well hand pump on the back porch.  We loved pumping water when we were a little older; in fact, we got in trouble for emptying the cistern and not replacing water in the prime water bucket. 

The kitchen adjoined the house with a porch separating the living quarters from the kitchen.  I think I remember a big table in the kitchen.  There were also tables on the back porch for washing and cleaning up.

Because there was no running water in the house, there was the outhouse.  Mama had never seen one until she got on the farm and for sure had never used a chamber pot.  She stated she would never use a chamber pot.  Soon after moving into the farmhouse, she had to go one night and refused to use the chamber pot.  She went out the back door in her housecoat and slippers to use the outhouse ;  she slipped on the chicken poop on the steps and fell under the house into more chicken poop.  Everyone expected her to pack her bags to go back to New Hampshire, but she stayed and had to live down that story her entire life.  

The farm had mules and pigs.  One of my uncles who lived in the farmhouse would take me to see the mules and pigs.  I just loved watching the hogs eat and listening to the baby pigs squeal.  Granddaddy had Hog Killing Day in the fall but our mother  never allowed us outside or in the yard while they were harvesting the hogs.  I still remember the smell of the pack house and seeing the meat hanging from the rafters of the pack house.  

While we lived in the farmhouse, Mama and Daddy built a house across the highway on land that Grandaddy gave them.  In 1946, it was the first and only brick house for miles.  Because of that, the family called Daddy the "Governor" and it was later shortened to "The Gov".   Part 2 will tell the story of "The Gov's" house.