Crochet

Welcome!

Hi! I’m Sharon and welcome to my craft cupboard! My family and friends know how much I enjoy making things and how much I love to crochet and create with my crochet. Forty years ago I first learned how to crochet from my mother, then my grandmother. Follow my page to see what’s happening in my craft cupboard – from crochet designs, patterns, crochet “how-to’s”, handmade items, fun crafts we do together as a family or with friends, and sometimes a yummy recipe!

Be happy-crochet!

Green crocheted shamrock in an antique fruit dish trimmed in green and rose pink flowers and vines.
Crochet

Speaking of sweaters…

Hot, humid weather has me chillin’ inside where it’s easier for me to breath. We keep the air conditioning set at a reasonable temp and supplement with the ceiling fan. It’s comfortable while I’m up doing my work, but I need a light sweater if I sit for a bit.

Speaking of sweaters….I started crocheting a sweater vest with a hood yesterday. At the beginning of the summer I bought two skeins of the Lion Brand Pound of Love acrylic yarn in Antique White. I had purchased it for a different project, but was busy at that time making a baby blanket and bibs for a friend’s daughter who is expecting a baby girl. Then I started writing a pattern for a baby bandanna bib. After a couple weeks I finished the baby blanket and bibs and I’m almost done proofreading my pattern. So, getting back to the two skeins of yarn….

I had purchased a popular sweater pattern and thought the yarn would work for the pattern. I was wrong. The yarn, though a 4 wt. yarn, is more like an Aran than a worsted. It’s beautiful, soft yarn, but not what I wanted for the sweater pattern I had purchased. So, I spent a few evenings searching for a new pattern and found one on Ravelry.

The sweater vest is a sporty style and the pattern uses the half double crochet- my favorite crochet stitch. This morning I measured my gauge on the piece of fabric I started crocheting yesterday and I’m on target. Yeah! Many years ago I learned the hard way the importance of gauge- especially when putting a lot of time into making a garment. Always check your gauge! The yarn crocheted in this stitch is soft and the fabric drapes gently over my hand.

Pound of Love acrylic yarn by Lion Brand in Antique white in half double crochet stitch.

These skeins are huge! To keep the yarn clean and away from the cat, I placed it in a tote. I’ve learned if I remove the label and pat the yarn on one end to flatten the skein into a round, it’s easier to find that elusive end to pull it from the center.

Center pull from skein of Pound of Love acrylic yarn by Lion Brand Yarn.

I’ll post pictures when the sweater vest is done. If this hot, humid weather continues, that could be soon!

Be happy-crochet! – Sharon

Upcycling

Upcycling a Make-Up Case

I’ve been recycling and upcycling long before it became popular. Yes, I’m a child of the 70’s. A while back on one of my thrifting adventures, I found a popular style of make-up case in good condition. With a little bit of work, I turned it into a storage case that can be used in many different ways!

The outside of the case was in very good condition with only a few visible marks.
After cleaning the inside with disinfectant wipes and a Magic Eraser, there were visible stains remaining and the paper liner of one of the shelf compartments was pulling loose. I decided to use Apple barrel Matte black acryclic paint, Mod Podge in a matte finish and Aleene’s Tacky Glue for the upcycle process.
Using a sponge brush, I painted the sides and bottoms of each shelf and bottom compartment inside the case with the Apple barrel matte acrylic black paint. This took a couple days due to allowing paint to dry and turning the case to reach all of the areas that needed painted.
After the paint had thoroughly dried, I then applied a coat of the Mod Podge in matte finish. Again this took a couple days to allow for drying and turning the case to reach all of the areas. I had painted the paper liner of the drawer seen in the picture above and decided to put it back in place using the Mod Podge to glue it. The Mod Podge, when dried, created a surface that could be wiped out with a damp cloth.
At first I thought I would line the shelves and bottom with tack paper, but decided on using shelf liner instead. The shelf liner will be easier to replace if I want to change it in the future.
My granddaughter calls me GiGi and I thought it was appropriate to put my name on my new case. The letters are off-set to cover a scratch that remained after cleaning.
The upcycled case makes great storage for my crochet threads, small crochet hooks, and beads for making crocheted jewelry.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how this used make up case was upcycled for a new use! Now, back to finishing a couple crochet projects and a new, free pattern.

Have a great week! – Sharon

Crochet

The Fairfax Coffee Cozy – Digital Crochet Pattern

Sometimes out of necessity is born an idea. We always stayed at the same hotel when visiting our oldest daughter and her family when they lived in Fairfax, Virginia. This hotel was popular with travel groups – sports teams and international tour groups. We would see and meet people from around the world every morning getting breakfast in the common area of the lobby. It was fun, friendly, and busy!
Each morning at the hotel, we would start with a cup of coffee while scoping out a table. Fresh, hot, halfway decent coffee in a paper cup with a lid and one of those cardboard sleeves to protect your fingers from the heat. 0ne morning, after a particularly busy weekend at the hotel, we poured our coffee, placed the lids on and looking around, there weren’t any cardboard sleeves anywhere for our hot coffee cups!
We managed to get our hot coffees over to a table. While my husband watched the morning news, I pulled out my crochet. He looked at me and asked, “can you make me a cozy for my coffee cup? One, that covers the whole bottom?” Why, yes, I can! My husband has large hands. So, I knew why he wanted a cozy that covers more of the coffee cup than the usual cardboard sleeves. So was born that sunny morning in Virginia, The Fairfax Coffee Cozy.
The cozy is made from 100% cotton and fits snugly over a size small or medium “fast-food” coffee cup. Not only does it protect your fingers, but it also helps insulate the cup to keep your coffee hot longer. I keep extra cozies in our cars for road trips and give them to friends and family when they need to take a coffee for their trip back home. Since this time, more and more places no longer offer the cardboard sleeves. So, another reason to keep these cozies on hand. If you find the cozy you have made has stretched out, throw it in the washer and dryer. It will return to its original size.

The pattern includes tutorial pictures and a link to a video on how to crochet the reverse single crochet stitch also known as the crab stitch. One ball of yarn makes several coffee cozies and it’s a great way to use up cotton scrap yarn, too! The digital crochet pattern is available at Miss Sharon’s Craft Cupboard on Etsy.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1252718074/the-fairfax-coffee-cozy-digital-crochet

I’ve given away most of my Fairfax Coffee Cozies the past few months. Writing this pattern, I’ve re-supplied our own supply of them for our summer trips. Enjoy and happy crocheting! – Sharon

Crochet

Lavender….and drinking shrubs!

The scent of lavender fills my sunroom.

Through this new venture of teaching crochet I have met new people and have made new friends along the way. One of those new friends contacted me a few weeks ago. Her summer schedule filled with gardening, camping, and watching her grandson had not allowed time for her to practice her crochet. She asked, “can we start again in the fall? “Yes, we can!”, I quickly responded. I have not had much time lately for crochet, either. So, I was grateful for the break!

Knowing my new friend has a passion for gardening, I asked if I could come see her garden and flower beds sometime this summer. She responded, “come soon while everything is in bloom”. I actually went over to her house that afternoon. It was wonderful taking a stroll around her home and through the side yards and back yard looking at her flower beds and gardens. I asked so many questions and enjoyed learning from her answers! Along the way she shared berries from her strawberry plants and blueberry bushes with me. We finished our tour on her patio drinking a shrub made of berries from her garden. If you don’t know what a shrub is for mixing in drinks, I’ve shared a link below. It makes a delicious, refreshing drink that is healthy! And, she gave me a lovely bunch of lavender tied with a pretty ribbon to take home. This is exactly what I needed that day to clear my scattered mind! Enjoy your summer, new friend. We will crochet again together in the fall.

Here is the link on Pinterest for a strawberry shrub recipe that I tried this week. I want to make a watermelon with basil shrub next!

https://pin.it/6xLwNrd

Strawberry shrub mixed with plain carbonated water.

Family

Family and July 4th

Happy Fourth of July!

A last minute decision brought our oldest home to Ohio with her husband, Shane and 3 y.o. daughter, Evie for a short visit this long holiday weekend. They spent Saturday with Shane’s family and his Uncle’s family from out of state. Evie played with her cousins, ate watermelon, and watched fireworks that night. The next day, we had them and Leigh Ann and her husband, Zach at our house for a cook-out. We spent most of the afternoon and evening outside in the beautiful weather playing, talking, and riding the golf cart around the yard. We could hear “pops”and “bangs” late into the evening from the surrounding neighborhood.

We had surprised Evie earlier in the day with a red tricycle and a matching bike helmet when she arrived. Yes, there was a tumble and a few scrapes treated with sprays of Bactine. The helmet did its job, too, getting a few scrapes on its front edge while protecting her head when she fell off the trike going too fast.

Grandpa building the tricycle for Evie.

Later, we had our typical hamburgers, hotdogs, with several homemade sides- cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad. Leigh Ann brought made-from-scratch muffins and brownies. She is an excellent baker! I had gotten down from the cupboard our old melamine plates with the lighthouses. I’ve had this set of dishes for decades! You know, the ones offered for purchase as a promotional by grocery stores where different plates, bowls, trays, were featured each week to add to your set. We’ve used these plates for every summer holiday since the girls were little.

Melamine tray by Oneida.

Allie brought her current crochet project with her plus several pieces she had made using a beautiful French wool yarn. I will block these pieces, take pictures, and post them in my Etsy shop to sell for her. Her crochet skills have taken off this past year and her ability to create and design exceeds her mother’s!

Aunt Leigh Ann brought paints and I supplied the paper plates, and plain paper. Sitting at the high-top table in the kitchen we showed Evie how to paint fireworks with a paper towel tube cut and splayed on one end. She had so much fun and it gave her mom and dad a short break.

Evie painting fireworks with GiGi and Aunt Leigh Ann.

Last evening our cousin Lori who is more like an Aunt to our girls and her grown daughter, Madi (who recently graduated with her BSN and passed the NCLEX for her RN this week) stopped by to say “hello” and play “grocery store” with Evie- and push her, laughing and squealing, on her toy train. Needless to say, Miss Evie crashed for the night!

Selfies with Madi from a visit a couple weeks ago.

This morning, bright and early, Evie was outside playing on the patio. Allie and I sat, sipping coffee and watching her play and chatter in her make- believe world. Then her chattering shifted and she talked about her family. She talked about playing with her cousins at her MiMi and PaPa’s house and about her Aunt Leigh Ann and Uncle Zach and Lori and Madi. She kept saying, “my family”. It warmed my heart that she was understanding at her young age that these people are her “family”. May she grow up with many fond memories of spending summer holidays with her family.

Evie asked me to draw her “outline” while she laid on the concrete. Then we filled in her chalk outline to match her dress.

Everyone has gone home and the house is quiet. The dishwasher hums in the background washing all those lighthouse plates used this weekend. Alan is doing a couple chores outside and I’m drinking more coffee and writing this post. This evening will be the fireworks at Silver Park and we will watch for the high ones over the tree tops.

Crochet

Mom’s Potato Salad

By Sharon Andreani

My version of Mom’s Potato Salad

Summertime means family gatherings and cook-outs to me. I get nostalgic for “comfort” food which means I’m making my mom’s potato salad. My mom was a good cook, but she had her “short-cuts” in the kitchen. Considering the time it takes to boil potatoes, let them cool, then peel and cut them into bite-size pieces, I don’t blame her for using a short-cut when she made potato salad! Now, when I make potato salad, I use red skin potatoes so that I don’t have to peel them and I cook them in the microwave. Still, one has to cut up the potatoes, the onion, the green pepper, and the celery. If you like hard boiled eggs in there, too, you’re boiling, peeling, and chopping eggs. Homemade potato salad is a lot of work! But, oh so worth it!

I make my potato salad the day ahead so that all the flavors of the vegetables, potatoes and dressing marinate together. Below is my mom’s recipe in it’s original form, but feel free to update and use your short-cuts to fit your schedule and what your family enjoys!

Mom’s Potato Salad

6 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped; set aside.

Boil until fork tender 3 lbs quartered potatoes. Drain and let cool. Peel and cut into bite size pieces. Place in a large bowl.

Chop one small onion. Add to the bowl.

Add 1 Cup chopped celery.

Add 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped.

Add the chopped eggs.

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Gently combine all of the above ingredients in the large bowl.

Pour 2/3 of a large bottle of Marzetti Slaw Dressing over the potato salad and gently stir together. Yes, the slaw dressing was her “short-cut”! She would slice up rings of green pepper and decorate the top of her potato salad with those slices along with slices of hard- boiled egg and paprika sprinkled over the top. Her potato salad looked like a masterpiece when served. It tasted so good!

Immediately cover and place in the refrigerator. This potato salad must be kept cold at all times and returned to the refrigerator immediately after serving.

Have a wonderful start to your summer! – Sharon

My favorite bowl with potato salad.
Crochet

Crocheted Poppy Flower-Free Pattern

Memorial Day weekend brings a flood of memories back to me from over the years. Visiting cemeteries to plant relatives’ graves, Memorial Day parades, going to the lake to swim, and cook-outs with family were some of our traditions when I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. Also wearing a red poppy from the VFW was our way of remembering those who had fallen in battle for our country. The Veterans of Foreign Wars still continue the Buddy Poppy program today and the donations help support veterans and their families. If you see someone collecting for the VFW Buddy Poppy program, please donate and wear your red poppy in remembrance. You can also donate to the Buddy Poppy program online @https://www.vfw.org/community/community-initiatives/buddy-poppy.

If you would like to make a few extras poppies to decorate a wreath or your home, I’ve written a free crochet pattern with pictures below.

Crochet Pattern for Red Poppy Flower

Crocheted Poppy Flower with leaf and attached loop.

by Sharon Andreani

Supplies needed: 100% Cotton thread in Size 10 in colors black, red, and green. I had the red thread size 10 in my stash. The black and green were thinner threads, 20 and 30 respectively. I doubled those threads to crochet the center, a leaf, and a loop using the same size hook.

C (2.75mm) hook

Scissors

Darning needle

Supplies needed for crocheting a poppy flower.

Stitches used: Chain, slip stitch, half double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet.

Abbreviations Used: (American Terms)

Ch Chain

Sc Single crochet

Hdc Half double crochet

Dc Double crochet

Tc Treble crochet

Sl st Slip stitch

Instructions:

Round 1. With the black thread, chain three (counts as first stitch). Half double crochet into the third chain from the hook. Hdc eight more times into the same chain. Slip stitch to the top of the first chain. Total 9 stitches. Finish off and weave ends in.

Attaching red thread to Row 1 for crocheted poppy flower.

Round 2. Attach red thread into top of one of the Hdc in Row 1 with a slip stitch. Chain 2 (this counts as first stitch). In the same stitch, crochet 4 Dc for a total of 5 stitches. In the next stitch crochet 5 Dc stitches. Continue around repeating the 5 Dc stitches in each stitch until there are 45 Dc stitches. Slip stitch into the top of the first stitch.

Row 2 completed for crocheted poppy flower.

Round 3. Chain 2 (counts as first stitch). Dc in next two stitches. Tc in next three stitches. Continue pattern of 2Dc and 3 TC around. Sl st into top of chain 2 stitch. Finish off and weave in ends.

Crocheted Red Poppy after completing Rows 1, 2, and 3.

Round 4. Place hook behind and to other side of Dc stitch in the second row. Attach red thread around the Dc stitch using a sl st. Chain 2 (counts as first stitch). Dc around each of the next 4 Dc in Row 2. Tc around each of the next 5 Dc. Repeat 5 Dc and 5 Tc around and sl st into top of the Ch 2. Finish off and weave in ends. Flower should be about 2.5 inches wide when completed; 3.5 inches wide with leaf attached.

Placement of hook to begin Row 4 for crocheted poppy flower.

Optional: attach a free form leaf in green thread to the back of the flower and chain a loop of 20 and attach. The flower can be worn over a button or attached to a small decorative wreath.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend, enjoy those family traditions, and remember, freedom is not free.

Be happy – crochet! – Sharon

Crocheted Red Poppy Pattern by Sharon Andreani
Crochet

Crochet Pattern Published -Done!

We can have goals, even dreams, and sometimes life gets in the way. So, we pick up the pieces and get back on the path. Despite a steep climb this past year and a fork in the road, I arrived at my destination today. I published my first instructional crochet pattern. It’s beginner friendly and includes written stitch instructions and pictures for the alternating half double crochet stitch and also instruction on how to crochet into the back bump of a beginning chain. The very affordable pattern is available as Pattern Only-Soft Textured Washcloth on Etsy at Sharonscraftcupboard.

Soft, textured crocheted washcloth.

You can also find me on Ravelry at CraftCupboard. Be happy-crochet!

Have a great weekend!

Sharon

Crochet

Miss Sharon’s Tea Cake Recipe

Hello Everyone!

We went to bed with thunderstorms last evening and woke to another cool, damp, rainy day. Oh, Spring where are you? I am grateful for the beautiful flowers blooming in our yard and garden, but warmer temperatures sure would be welcomed here! This morning I felt like baking. So, I made a loaf of tea cake. The recipe I used is one I developed from a basic soda bread recipe. I make our bread gluten free, but regular flour can be substituted. My understanding is when nuts, berries, eggs, and sugar are added to a soda bread recipe, it becomes a “tea cake”. I’m okay with that! In fact, I enjoy a slice of my tea cake with my coffee about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. And, so does my husband, Alan! So, this Mother’s Day weekend, consider making a loaf of tea cake for your mom or for yourself. Slice it while it’s still warm, slather it with butter or your favorite spread and enjoy with your tea or coffee!

Miss Sharon’s Tea Cake -A Gluten Free Recipe.

Miss Sharon’s Tea Cake Recipe

Utensils Needed:

5 quart French or cast-iron oven, well-oiled with cooking oil ( a pre-warmed baking stone with parchment paper can also be used)

Parchment paper

Large mixing bowl

Measuring cups for dry ingredients and wet ingredients

Measuring spoons

Fork or large spoon

Ingredients:

4 cups gluten free flour with xanthan gum already added. I like using King Arthur Gluten Free Flour

1 3/4 Cup buttermilk

1/2 Cup dried cranberries

1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons sugar

4 Tablespoons oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

Measure the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Blend together with a fork. Add the dried cranberries and chopped walnuts and stir into the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dried ingredients in the bowl. Measure and pour into the center well the buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla. With a fork slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir until the dough comes together. If it appears to be a bit dry, add 1-2 Tablespoons of buttermilk and stir. The dough should come clean from the sides of the bowl and there should not be any dry ingredients left on the bottom. Take a length of parchment paper, enough to cover the bottom and up the sides of a French oven, and lay it flat on the counter. Sprinkle the parchment paper with flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured middle of the parchment paper. Sprinkle the dough with flour. Knead the dough 2-3 times and form it into a slightly flattened ball. Lift the parchment paper with the ball of dough on it into the French oven. Take a sharp knife and cut a cross into the top of the ball of dough. I tend to cut my cross about a third of the way down to ensure the cake bakes all the way through to the center. Place the French oven into the oven with the lid on for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove the tea cake gently from the French oven by lifting the sides of the parchment paper. The tea cake can completely cool on the parchment paper or be moved to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Slices of the cake can be warmed up in the microwave or in the toaster.

If you’re like me, just reading a recipe is fun! In the meantime, watch for my new crochet pattern to make soft, textured, all cotton washcloths. This pattern will be beginner friendly and teach you a new stitch pattern and a new skill.

Be happy- crochet!