Monthly Archives: February 2009

Mardi gras butterfly masks


Somehow, I don’t think that I will ever go to New Orleans for the real Mardi Gras,

but that won’t stop me from celebrating in my studio!

I made these Mardi Gras masks with all kinds of techniques and things that I love:

Tatting, spool knitting, crochet, butterflies, Grandma’s vintage buttons, beads and other found objects, as well as woodworking.

Feels like a celebration to me!

Happy Mardi Gras!

Images and text are copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay and not to be copied without her permission.



Filed under crochet, spool knitter & spoolknitter & spool knitting & spool knitting

Vintage Spool Knitter


Look who’s having tea with Jane Austen?

It’s Susie Spool Knitter!

Susie has just moved into the doll house, so she’s feeling a little shy and rather tired-

Hopefully she’ll settle in soon…. all the other spool knitters are welcoming her heartily!

Susie Spool Knitter is feeling a little jet lagged, as she has had a long flight across the continent from Conneticut (sp?) and was very cold in the airplane.

Besides, she’s not as young as she once was, so she feels the cold.

Luckily, her friend and namesake, Susan, wrapped her up all cosy, which Susie Spool Knitter appreciated sooooooooo much.     (Thank you, thank you, Susan for this little darling!)

She really needs that cup of tea now, so perhaps, I had better go pour it……

[Images and content of this blog are copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay. Please do not copy without Noreen Crone-Findlay’s permission. Thank you]


Filed under Uncategorized

Spool knitting comparisons

People often ask me- ‘How can you make different size spool knitted cords?’

There are several  variables that will change the size of your spool knitted cords.

They are:

The size of your spool knitter:  A bigger spool knitter will allow you to spool knit with thicker yarn.

A smaller spool knitter will allow you to spool knit fine threads into slender, fine cords that are not all loopy and droopy.


Another variable is the number of pegs:


The size of the hole in the spool knitter will affect the finished size of the cord, as well.


The thickness of your yarn or thread or cords or roving or fabric strips- thin threads = small spool knitted cords, thicker yarns or combinations of yarns= thick spool knitted cords.

In the picture above, I spool knitted with one or 2 strands of sport weight yarn with the larger spool knitters, and thin threads for the 2 ridiculously tiny spool knitters…… I’ve labelled each of the spool knitters, noting how many pegs there are and how many strands of yarn I used in each cord….. hope the image shows up the differences.

Note that you can make a thicker cord with the same spool knitter, just by using more strands of yarns held together.

The key to making great cords with your spool knitters? Experiment!

All images and text are copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay, so please don’t copy or share them without Noreen Crone-Findlay’s permission. Thank you!

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Filed under spool knitter & spoolknitter & spool knitting & spool knitting

Tiny Spool Knitted Angel


When I am feeling sad and upset, I find it really helps if I make some Angel dolls.

This week has been a corker, with the death of our beloved old horse, among other challenges.

We have done a whole lot of soul searching, and have decided that we just can’t handle having horses anymore. So our dear little girl horse that we adopted a year and a half ago is going to go back to live with her momma and birth brother. She’s going to be well and truly loved and cared for.

This has been one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make in a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time, so believe me, I really have been needing to find comfort. (And yes, I certainly do pray, and meditate, so those are the source of great comfort, but making angels is also a HUGE comfort.)

So, in the interests of  invoking Angel Energy for ourselves and for everyone else, too…

I have designed these sweet little, easy to make spool knitted angels.

I began with a design that I had developed a few years back and have re-fined and polished it. I am really happy with it now.

You can make the little angels very quickly and easily and can make them truly one of a kind by changing the yarn (handspun would be perfect)


and whether or not you add buttons for the face,


or  add loops or other kinds of  hair…..

I also like to stitch a pin to the back of the Angel, so I can pin it on my lapel, or scarf, or shawl, or bag, or hat….

I need to make a bunch more so I can send them and give them to friends and relations….

The more Angels there are, in every way, the better it is!

You can order the pdf  for the pattern for the charming Tiny Spool Knitted Angel from:

Please note that the images on this blog are copyright protected

and are NOT to be copied without permission.

Thank you.


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, spool knitter & spoolknitter & spool knitting & spool knitting

farewell to a dear friend


Explanation of this pic is here : Dear Boy


Filed under Uncategorized

Requiem for a much loved horse


See the big guy standing there, taking care of little sister? That was our two munchkins last summer, in happier days.

Well, last night, in the deep cold, surrounded by the beauty of frost covered trees under a clear, cold and moonlit sky,

our beloved old guy died a very painful death.  He got colic, and could not be saved.

Our vet had another emergency at the same time, so it was several hours before she could get to us.

We did our best to ease his pain, and when she finally was able to get here and end his suffering, we lovingly sent him Home……..

It was a grim and horrible night, and we are feeling a lot of pain, but also are grateful that our dear old boy is NOT in pain now…..

He was a rescue. We adopted him and his older sister (who passed on 2 years ago) 15 years ago.

He had come from a really nasty situation, and because of having been abused by his previous owners, was never a boy who could tolerate having anyone on his back.

So, we said:   Fine, Big Fella! you just hang out and eat grass and have a good time!

And he did.

He and our Newfoundland/Chow cross dog were the best of buddies, and the two of them loved mousing in the pasture! Amazing to watch a horse catch a mouse and then let his dog buddie scarf it down.  urk.

He was also a very tender caretaker of the two foals that we had at one point. When we adopted his new little sister after the death of his birth sister 2 years ago, he immediately adopted her, and the two of them have not been more than a few feet apart since.

Because it is the weekend, the truck that will come to take his body away won’t be here till Monday, so we have put the canopy from our truck over him, to protect him from the huge coyote who’s been lurking in our pasture.  Our little horse is guarding him, and has not left it.

We will have to decide quickly what to do about her situation. She won’t be able to handle being an only horse. So, in the middle of our grief about him, we need to take action.

By the way, our DIL’s beloved kitty has been in medical crisis for the last 2 weeks, and has undergone surgery, so I am carrying him in a sling a lot of the day while his mommy is at work…… it’s been a harrowing time…..

Happily catkins is doing well.

The challenge of adopting animal companions is that sometimes, you go through very dark times….

and even so, it is always worth it.


Filed under Uncategorized

Some handmade books – 1

I am inviting people to a Green Challenge of making a handmade book that has big envelopes or plastic sleeves to hold their sketches, notes, clippings, pdf’s etc.

See: Challenge posting

Just for fun, I thought that I would post a few pics of some of the handmade books I’ve made over the years:

Here are some handmade books that I made and then glued origami angels to. (yes, I made the angels)

The angels are all very eco friendly and ‘green’ as they are recycled and upcycled, as they are all made from junk mail or magazine photos

handmade-book-origami-angel-11 handmade-book-origami-angel-2 handmade-book-origami-angel-3handmade-book-origami-angel-4handmade-book-origami-angel-5handmade-book-origami-angel-6handmade-book-origami-angel-7

I’ll post more pics soon.

All images are copyright protected and not to be copied without Noreen Crone-Findlay’s permission


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, eco crafts & green projects

Hand made GREEN book Challenge


On the Spool knitting group on yahoo, we’ve been talking about paper vs pdf patterns.

Several of the clever women there have said that they print out their pdf’s, slip them into plastic sleeves and pop them into a binder.  The patterns never get lost that way.

WELL! That has inspired me!


I LOVE making journals, notebooks, sketchbooks  etc. that are one of a kind, eco friendly and oh so artsy.

So….. why not make your own book to store your pdf’s and loose patterns?

You could make 2 covers from cardboard or plywood or veneer or chipboard or somthing else, and then decorate them any way that you wanted to.

Then- spool knit, or tat or crochet or braid or kumihimo or  use any other method of making a cord.

Use the cords to hold your pdf book together….

And, if you didn’t want to use plastic sleeves, you could punch holes in large envelopes, label them, and store your pdf’s and pattern bits and pieces in there….

And, Voial! your pdf’s, notes, sketches, clippings  and patterns won’t ever get lost!     Yay!








A N D !


Take pics and post them to your blog

or wherever you post your pics

and then send me a link

so we can all be inspired and admire.

Who is the challenge open to?

ANYONE.  Everyone….

Any crafter who loves making recycled and reclaimed and upcycled stuff.

People who like making books.

People who have never made a book.

This challenge is  for spool knitters, tatters, scrapbookers, weavers, crocheters, yarnies and crafters in general .

Show us how  it works for you to store your pdf’s, clippings and loose sketches, notes and patterns….

There should be a prize, shouldn’t there?

Okay…. I’ll work on something special for the winner… not telling what, yet.

The challenge STARTS NOW

and is open ended,

but I will award a prize on APRIL 22,

because that’s EARTH DAY

okay everyone…. get to work!

I have posted pics of some of the handmade books I’ve made over the years –

Here are the links to: Books with Origami Angels

images and text on this blog are copyright protected

so please don’t copy them without Noreen Crone-Findlay’s permission.



Filed under eco crafts & green projects

What do yarnies want from indie designers?


Last night, I was the guest on Mary Beth Temple’s blogradio show: Getting Loopy.

I took advantage of being in direct communication with the listeners by asking them 2 questions:

1]  Do you prefer downloadable PDF patterns or paper patterns and books that are mailed to (but that you have to pay the postage for)?


2] Do you prefer to buy patterns individually or as a group or compilation?

Mary Beth has expanded on my questions and has made a survey up, and is even offering a cone of Lion Brand’s new Wool Stainless Steel as a prize for people who answer the survey.

Here’s the link to her survey:    ?

We REALLY do want to know what you want, so we really appreciate you taking the time and trouble to answer our questions!

Thanks so much and good luck in the draw.

Lion Brand’s Wool Stainless Steel yarn is neat (and no, it’s not like a pot scrubber or wire. The stainless steel is  the finest of fine filaments. It’s not wirey, but does have memory.)

Image is by Noreen Crone-Findlay and is copyright. (yup, that’s spool knitting and a spool knitter)


Filed under Uncategorized