Easy Crocheted Sweater

  This is a very simple crochet pattern I designed for a hoody.  I am not a  skilled artisan. I made this one in double crochet, but any stitch will do.  It consists of  a series of rectangles.  Simply decide what measurements you need. It is easy to find size measurements online.  I’ve done several in child to adult sizes.  The back is largest.  The two front sections are slightly more than half the back size.  Once you have back, front sections and sleeve rectangles made to measure. Slip stitch or crochet front sections to back.  I leave a generous neck opening.  Lay it out flat and stitch sleeves to sweaters, taking care that sleeve centers match shoulder seams.    Finally stitch up side sleeves and down length of sleeve.  To make good, crochet along neckline, repeating till desired hood depth is attained.  If you just want a collar, make it desired size.   Pull hood edges togetherinches, child hoods about six.  Once complete, I crocheted  several rounds completely around sweater and hood.  Finally, attach buttons or zipper for closure.  If desired, run a crocheted drawstring around outer edge of hung.   I love making this simple hoody.  It works up very quickly, especially in a bulky yarn.

Chicken Soup, Good for What Ails You

imageMother has a cold, so I have a pot of homemade chicken soup to take as soon as it gets done. Some of my warmest memories are of days I was sick enough to stay home from school and be coddled by Mother all day. The very best part was having her all to myself. I loved having her spread one of Grandma’s quilt over the sofa, putting a pillow at the end, and draping the warm quilt over me. If it was winter, she’d warm the quilt in front of the fire before wrapping me in it. It was heavenly. I loved her settling me on the sofa with a tray for meals. When she had time, she’d read to me. When she was busy, I enjoyed my books and toys on my own. I frequently called out for a delivery of fresh books or drink, till I’d worn out my “sick credit” with her. Best of all was the envy of the other kids when Mother reminded them, “Leave her alone. She is sick.”
A few times I was able to convince Mother I was sick when I wasn’t. One day, I waved at Phyllis getting on the bus and foolishly slipped out to play as soon as the bus ran. Mother hustled me down to the corner to catch the bus at the next stop. It wasn’t long till I had to produce fever or throw up to get the chance to miss school. I broke the thermometer once holding it near to fire to simulate a fever. All the got me was a warm bottom. Thermometers don’t grow on trees.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
One quart deboned chicken
One quart chicken broth
Large can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 to 1 ½ cup vegetables (today I tossed in diced turnips, potatoes, and carrots)
3 TBS parsley
2 cloves garlic or to tast
I large diced onion
3 TBS chives
2 TBS oregana
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
I use fresh herbs and vegetables but frozen will do
½ lb noodles, fresh, frozen, or dried. You may want more for thicker soup. Add with caution or it may get too thick and stick.
Simmer chicken, broth, herbs, vegetables, and cream of chicken soup. Reduce to simmer and add noodles, stirring constantly for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes I simmer much longer. Serve with crackers or cornbread and butter.

Bitches About Britches

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Mother developed an excellent form of birth control for her daughters. She could have founded “National Wedgie Day” promoting cheap cotton panties because “nobody is supposed to see your underwear anyway.” I don’t know how I would have behaved otherwise, but I wasn’t about to get frisky in those horrible britches. Sometimes Mother was lucky enough to find some so cheap they didn’t have elastic in the legs, just the waist. The fit wasn’t too bad in the morning, but by midmorning, these adventurous undies always managed to crawl up my rear. Back then, before political correctness, you might have heard me cussin’ those Injun Britches that were always creeping up on me. I had no idea I was ahead of my time in my “thongs” and despised them. By then end of the day, they had achieved amazing altitude and my legs felt two inches longer than when I left that morning. They might have even taken my virginity.

Connie and Marilyn had it worse than we did, because after Grandma had a stroke, she was no longer able to do the beautiful dressmaking she was known for. She made it her mission in life to make sure they never ran out of homemade cotton panties. She used whatever fabric was at hand, cotton prints or plaids, not soft knits. Her creations had wide front and back as well as side seams and very narrow crotches, but alas, no elastic in the legs. These were not roomy bloomers made of soft cotton flour sacks she made my mother in her youth. They were torture devices. Grandma didn’t see us for months at a time, so she underestimated their waist sizes, making the fit of the patched up drawers even worse. The tight elastic waist and scratchy seams ensured even more misery. She could make a million if she sold them on an S&M site today. I was not jealous!

Cookies for Peace

imageBud went on a diet.  This means he’s polished off everything  easy to grab in the pantry so never plans to eat again.  After forty-five years, I know his habits.  Trying to forestall a late-day panic, I asked early in the day if he’d like me to make something light.  I was thinking, fruit salad, jello with fruit, something like that. “No, I am on a diet.”

He went all day till he caved about five,  Dinner was pinto beans with lean pork over brown rice, a nice salad, and cornbread.  Dinner again at seven with pinto beans, pork, rice, cornbread, but to cut calories, no salad.  About eight, he jumped like he’d been poked with a hot-shot, exclaiming proudly “I know what I want! Tea cakes!”  You’d have thought he was an astrophysicist with a new theory,

Deep in WordPress, I’d already settled for the evening. “I asked you earlier today if you wanted me to make something and you said ‘No.’.”

“But you didn’t say anything about teacakes.”  This could end peacefully only one way.  He said he’d help.

He got all the stuff out.  I measured and put them in the bowl as he told me about a dozen things I was doing wrong.  I ignored him.  I’m the best cook I know.  In about ten minutes the cookies were done.  There are four of them left.  He will probably be on a diet till about three.  If you hurry, you can get here while the coffee’s still hot.

Welcome to My Writing Room

Real bear desk and chairBig window 2best machdresser topBest small

Welcome to my writing room.  I’ve surrounded myself with things that make me happy.  Most items are old.  I bought the tiny battered desk under the window as damaged.  The cane bottom chair was a gift from Mother. Her parents bought it used when they set up housekeeping with it in 1912.  She helped her father re-cane it in 1932. My grandpa Continue reading

Kathleen’s Cuthand Christmas (from Kathleen’s memoirs of the depression)

We don’t have the money.” I’d heard that so many times I knew not to ask for candy, bright rubber balls, or coloring books at Miss Lonie’s store. If Daddy had a few cents to spare, he’d fill three small brown paper bags with candy for us…..peppermint sticks, gumballs, bubble gum, lollipops. Kits and BB Bats were five for a penny. A few cents Continue reading