Carol aka Catfish's Needles (and Hooks)

Sept 20,2015
I've added a crochet section to my needles, hence the new name Needles and Hooks.


I'm pretty much still a beginner with crochet. I have continual problems with the abbreviations in the instructions, and also remembering how to do the various stitches, and especially the joining of a motif to another.
Thanks to online Annie's and Craftsy, along with a 'how to' DVD, I've managed to complete two doilies and am working on an afghan.

I never knew there were so many varying ways to make a granny square as there are varying instructions as to how many chains in a corner, how many chains to get to the next hole to put your stitch in, etc.

So I settled on the pattern I saw in the 'how to' DVD. I've made mistakes, am still making them, but since the afghan is not a present, and only to help keep the sunlight from fading my late mother's sofa, I only hope it turns out reasonable.




A couple of kitties with  a granny square in progress and one completed.


There are various ways to join granny squares. I tried a few, needles and hooks, but settled on this one  as it's easiest for me, not necessarily good looking. Here you can see I used little plastic safety pins (I don't remember just what they're called, but I like them to help keep the two squares aligned.


Backside of the project in progress.


Completed, at last Nov 17, 2015.
Lots of joining mistakes, but looks okay enough. Also is big enough for a full sized bed.



I first learned how to embroider from my maternal grandmother, and it has remained a beloved hobby.
From then on, with the help of some 'Favorite embroidery stitches' , 'How to cross stitch', and 'How to do needlepoint' kinds of instruction books (the true titles of which I don't remember),   I've amassed an assortment of stitched items over time and have decided to share them here.
Speaking of time, however limited it is due to my job,  I still manage to pull out the pin cushion now and then and attempt even more stitches.
Some projects have only had charts to go by; others were stamped on canvas or cloth.
One project was merely a penned line sketch on some very uneven gray cloth which wasn't intended to be stitched at all! But the line drawing practically begged me to embelish it. And so it remains my oldest and favorites. The fabric was weak and uneven, and the normal 2 or 3 threads one would normally use tore the fabric. I had to resort to one thread at a time, and with the help of one of those 'stitch' manuals and my own imaginagion, I turned that simple little line drawing into a rather nice  English cottage, if I say so myself. And I'm not even English!
Other projects, which were easier to accomplish, were the needlepoint and stamped cross stitch designs. Stamped designs are easier to do, but they do have the disadvantage of pulling and being uneven.
One project, (counted cross stitch) which is still in progress, is based on a contrived portrait of David Hedison as a 18th century naval officer, and is a computer software charted design based on it. I'm finding it a very difficult, if not impossible work, to complete.
I constantly loose count of where I'm supposed to be with counted cross stitch, even with  guide lines. So I resorted to what I call a 'shadow' stitch. Acutally one strand of black thread, in a half cross stitch over the Aida cloth to guide me later on and to perhaps give the completed cross stitch a little padding. We'll see.
I'll include in this subsite, photos of my completed stitchery projects and some that are 'works in progress'.
I'm a messy stitcher and I'm sure if anyone saw the backsides of the projects, would say 'shame on me'. But I do this for myself, not a museum, nor projeny (I don't have any), a way to relax and simply enjoy bringing something colorful to life.
In fact, one such project, Christmas Bells I turned into a story! You can see the unfinished and completed project with this link.
Happy stitching everyone!


Yes, the flower stitches were done before I made a  boundary! Oh well, live and learn!

Plastic boxes are great for keeping it all together!

David as a 18th Century naval officer.

This was a fun picture to 'contrive' with David's face. And he liked it!


I charted this early rendering of Seaview with nothing more than charting paper and pencil. It's a bit amateurish, but it was fun.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

This was an anniversary present for my parents. It was a kit but ran out of floss. You can see the different colors of blue in sky I had to tweek to make it look almost okay.

Rainbow Dolphins

I just fell in love with the vibrant colors! Too bad Seaview wasn't on the surface!

Hot Air Balloons

Another colorful needlepoint project also 'hiding' in the guest room.



I did this needlepoint of an eagle for my Dad's retirement from the Air Force (long long time ago).



Kitty dresser scarf will go with a table topper

Project 'Kitty' in progress. This dresser scarf aka table runner, will go with a table topper yet to be started. I grin every time I see the kitty's smirk.

Shadow stitching

I've been working on this a few years! Had to blow the dust off to take it's picture!

Old German church

This was one of my earliest attempts at needlepoint. It wasn't a kit, found it for sale at an outdoor market when Dad was stationed in Germany, so were talking about the mid 1960's. (I  was in Jr. High) I have no idea what the mesh count was. I didn't care. I liked the picture  on the canvas and spent a few months (using 2 strands of floss per stitch) the colors of which I'd purchased hoping  would match the canvas colors. I learned early on that weak canvas breaks easily!

Carosel Horses

This was a birthday present for my Mom.


I had to take these down in order to put up Charlotte's painting of David in my room. So these pictures are usually  'hiding' in the guest room, between the dresser and the Murphy bed. Had to dust off to snap their pictures!


I think I'm noticing a  nautical trend in what I choose to do! Hm. Wonder if Voyage had anything to do with that!


These were projects I did with a little character license for our boys. I actually researched some old coat's of arms with the names of Crane and Nelson, both of which have had various spellings and places or origin through the ages. But  just because somebody has the name of Nelson or Crane doesn't mean they're entitled to an official coat of arms with that name. And yes, one of the Crane coats of arms had a lion and two horse mermaids as supporters. Will wonders never cease.
Oh there are lots of 'find your coat of arm's' businesses out there. Nice to decorate with, but technically, not yours unless actually granted to you. From what I learned, coats of arms began as a way to recognize someone behind a decorated shield in battle way back in the olden days, and I do mean olden days, (think shaggy hair and battle axes.)
Later coats of arms were officially issued to certain individuals, (kind of handy to have a shield with your 'ID' on it when wieghted down with a suit of armour or on a flag to identify who stormed what castle.) 
Times have changed and now there's actually a College of Arms (*not the kind of college you take classes in) in the UK that governs such things, who can bear what design or not. 
The Crane cross stitch goes with a story (letter, actually) I wrote for Lee's family

One of the more difficult tasks on these cross stitch projects were the lettering and making the thing look old, with age and stain spots. 


Finally finished my 'kitty' project. Haven't ironed it yet so please excuse the wrinkles.