Friday, April 03, 2009

Frugal Friday Happenings...

and on the right day this week *VBS* I've been able to take a deep breath or two and a step back, as Baby A. continues to do well on the substitue formula. For those of you that aren't interest in using up the odd bits, this will probably bore you. I have no problem if you quietly slip away to read more quilty blogs today *VBS* The ongoing use of scraps and odd bits is like breathing for me. The rugs I began to crochet a couple of summers ago led to "what else can I do with this medium?" Last evening I was reading the blog of a new friend, Lizbeth, who blogs at A Frugal Stretch. She mentioned the idea of making a basket to hold her homemade soft cloths that are used for many purposes. Right then I knew I had my Frugal Friday post *VBS* Thank you Lizbeth! I'm back to playing with the collage aspect of Picasa which allows me to post more pictures. My regualr readers have seen ALL of the first 6 before. A basket of the rag balls, ready to crochet. And my one attempt at a rug that wasn't round...LOL(read failure!)One of the many round rugs I've made and given away.And then the beginning of a new love affair, fabric bowls(or baskets without handles). The pink and white one was made from a floral sheet(old cotton is lovely to crochet with). The multi size, multi color ones I love. And of course, a stack of all 3 baskets. That was then, about a year plus ago. Which brings me to the present moment.
 This a.m., in tune with the CNN news of the morning, I began a new basket. Pic #1. It's the same K hook, and the same chain 6 and slip stitch to join as in making a rug. Second row: you need to put 2 single crochets in every stitch, and it will probably still curl, but ignore that. Third round, still curling, but put as many double stitches in as you can. If not, then every other one for sure. By the next round, it will suddenly flatten out for you. Then it's pretty much a crochet 1,put 2 in the next one all the way around. If you notice ANY sign of a ripple, that means too many increases. Pull it back(meaning uncrochet it)to where the ripple stops and don't do as many. When the circle is at about 5" or there abouts, stop the increasing...period! You'll probably get one more round that seems to lay flat, but then watch it begin to curve upward.That's #4 and #5 pics. Encourage the curve to have the right side out, wrong side in...unless you like it better the other way *VBS* Now you just crochet round and round til it's the desired height.
In the collage, you'll also see a white basket with a colored bottom. It's small and the white part is all selvedges. The colored bottom finished up an odd small amount. I also make the "mug rugs" as shown in the picture with my coffee cup.
The approach is the same, you simply stop when it's the size you want. I find that 4.5" to 5.5" is about right for a wet glass or hot mug. You can make them bigger to set plants on, or to use as table pads for hot dishes. I have both in my little cottage. I can rotate the plant by turning the plant rug. Table doesn't get scratch that way *VBS*For the record: A 36" length of fabric(and size K hook)gives you ONLY 10 single crochets. You need lots of strips sewn together.
And you'll see one of my "spunky" moment "trash" baskets. It's the assorted color one in #8 and #9. The really ODD and UGLY stuff that collects in the bottom on the rag balls basket. Unfinished balls, etc. It's pretty fluppy and floppy. Probably one size smaller hook would have made it firmer.
I have been totally delighted, as I have casually wandered from one blog, that encorporates frugal into their living, to another. There is definitely a movement out there, lead by mature young people seeking a better, less-stuff, simple way of life. I have been where they are and loved every minute. A small holding of land and all that goes with it. Large garden, berry patch, hives of bees, etc. I sewed and stewed and canned and dried and make yogurt and fruit leather. It was a wonderful way to live, unfortunately it didn't fit so well with an educational profession climbing the career ladder. After 4 years of that life, he moved us across the state to a new job, a social life I didn't fit into, and well....the rest is history. I'm a long, long way from Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living. But it's a song I know, and gradually I'm am remembering the lyrics. Thanks to all those wonderful gals who faithfully share what they are learning and what they are feeling. I'm going to put some of my favorite links here. Might not be your cup of tea, but you never know, do you? *VBS*
Simple-Green-Frugal-Co-op,A Frugal Stretch, Frugal Carol, Make it From Scratch, Down to Earth.
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P.S. Check my sidebar for tutorials on the crocheted stuff. Also in my index of things I have talked about *VBS*

15 comments:

Dolores said...

Thank you Finn. I think I may just try to make a fabric bowl - after the crocheted hats I'm doing at the moment. Keep well.

ROZ said...

Those baskets look like they will come in handy. If I have a basket, though, it's soon full, and the baskets can be like rabbits--the more there are, the fuller I get them.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I am so happy the baby is doing well, thank Heavens for that! Now the problem is, I can knit but not crochet but they are very pretty!!

KCQuilter said...

Finn, I think you would really enjoy the book, Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. I got it from the library but I may need to own a copy! Good news about the baby! Love your wonderful crocheted bowls.

scrappy quilter said...

One of these days I'm going to try making a fabric basket. Great post.

nannergirl said...

Finn I am SO enjoying your Frugal Friday posts. I've started knitting again and am almost ready to try crocheting. Thanks for the 'green' links. And I'm still thinking about beautiful Baby A everyday :)

Lilly said...

Loved reading this post. Great job on the pictures. You have made some wonderful crocheted things. I take spells of liking to crochet, but it hurts my hand after a bit, and then I am on to something else. Your comments on frugality reminds me of a worry I have. My children, and most of thier friends, don't seem to know the meaning of the word. I can't imagine how they will survive if they actually had to fend for themselves. None of them know how to sew or quilt or put up a quart of green beans or milk a cow. When I tell them they should learn how to do some of these things they say "oh, grandma". God help them if Wal-mart shuts down.

em's scrapbag said...

Thanks for sharing how you do the baskets. I have done something simular but used cording wrapped with fabric srips to make the baskets.

meggie said...

Frugal would seem to be a very timely asset to have in these times.
Love your baskets.

MYRA said...

I gotta try that some day... still plugging away at my UFOs, and then I get distracted making a bag, then another bag, now carrots.... The list is getting longer instead of shorter, but I am saving ALL of my scraps!!! 8-)
Glad to hear baby A is doing well...

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

So pleased to hear that Baby A is improving, so sad to think that not so many years ago she would have been lost, with it classified as a wasting disease, while some modern life is bad, some things are great!
I have no big March finishes either, too many little things taking my time...I need to finish!! Tracey

julieQ said...

Love your use of scraps to make such neat baskets. I have lots of strips cut, when you were making rugs and mats...I will get to them someday. I love green/frugal living too!

Dionne said...

I'm so happy the baby is doing well. I love your baskets!
Cheers,
Dionne

Greenmare said...

i have to try this ewhen i can use both hands!!! i just inherited some old fabrics that are probawbly not quilt worthy, but i can't just throw them out!!!

Magpie Sue said...

Ahhh Finn! I don't crochet, but just reading about your love of using scraps (and being frugal in other ways) makes me feel better about myself. I would so much rather make a quilt out of leftover blocks and scraps than new yardage!

Thanks for being here my friend :- )