Sunday, February 7, 2016

A little of this and that...

I'm very happy this week about finally being able to coordinate with a friend who had asked me several weeks back if I would teach her to crochet.  We met on Thursday for an hour and a half and it was fun and encouraging to see her progress even in that short length of time.   So YAY! for being able to sharing the love of crochet!

I'm still plugging away on my Kilim throw.  I finally realized why it's going slower (than it felt like at the beginning).  I'm trying to weave in the ends as I go.  Not immediately after finishing a row, but after a number of rows I stop crocheting to weave in some ends.  Of course, that's slowing down the growth of the blanket.  But it's growing steadily and hopefully by being proactive about the ends as I go, finishing it will be a true joy.

I really love working with double-stranded yarn and using a big hook.  What a hearty, thick fabric it creates.  :^)

And since Valentines' Day is next Sunday...
... just for fun, I made a couple heart dishcloths.
The pink cloth is made from Lily Sugar n' Cream (which I like just fine for this pattern), but the red cloth is made with Premier Home Cotton - which I want to talk a little about.  It's 85% cotton, 15% polyester.  It has a soft cottony feel, but has some nice properties of synthetics - namely, it doesn't fade nearly as fast as many "kitchen cotton" yarns and it feels a bit more polished even after washing. It's lighter weight than Sugar n' Cream, which I count as a plus (I'm not a big fan of bulky dishcloths) and you get 140 yards on a solid color skein that can often be purchased for $1.00 apiece when on sale.   It does split a bit more than some other cottons, but the good qualities outweigh this slight negative in my estimation.   I originally bought this online, but have since discovered that Meijer carries it.  I love it when I can buy something locally that I like to use.  :^)
And finally...this weekend I'm working on a project for a CAL I'm hosting a week from now.  Hopefully I'll be happy enough to show it in next week's YOP post, but here's a tease today:

To see what other Yoppers are working on check out this week's thread on Ravelry.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Yarn Along...

Still working on the Kilim Throw...   It seems I've slowed down, as last Wednesday I was nearly half finished and now a week later I'm just a little over the half-way mark.   I did decide to add some rows to make this longer so my half-way mark moved, but still...  I hope to get some more momentum going on this and get it finished soon.  Then again, it's been such a mild winter I'm not sure it will get cold enough to really enjoy this lusciously thick blanket before spring.   No complaints from me on that count!

Last weekend I picked up Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and I can't believe how good this story is.  It is a Christian fiction novel that is meant to parallel (in many ways) the book of Hosea in the Bible.  It's a story about a man who marries a prostitute and remains faithful (in spite of incredible odds) to helping her heal from the damaging things that have been done to her - from childhood on.  It's heartbreaking, insightful, and inspiring.  This story is a beautiful analogy of all that we're told in scripture about God's capacity for forgiveness and His desire to redeem the broken and lost.   I highly recommend this book.

To see what others are making and reading, click on the graphic below to go to Ginny Sheller's Yarn Along.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sweet Yarny Valentines...

I had fun crocheting some colorful hearts from this Granny Sweet Heart pattern and I hosted a CAL on Ravelry this past week with this pattern.  The pattern is very well written and these hearts are so simple to make - with just scraps of yarn, really.

The large one was made with Lily's Sugar 'n Cream yarn and a size J hook.  I also went around two or three extra times to increase the size.  What I came up with is a good size for a dishcloth (8" across and tall) - or a pot holder, or just a "pretty" to decorate a hall table.


The smaller hearts (about 5" x 5") are made with Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton Yarn and a size G hook.   The exception to ILTC yarn are the beige and green yarns in the second heart below.  Those colors are Baby Bee Hushabye yarn. 

These are so easy to make, and I keep thinking of new color combinations and find myself wanting to make more.  I finally had to pull myself away, because really...others things call too.  So consider yourself warned and don't blame me if you try these and get lost in a heart-making time warp.   :^)

Check out what other Yoppers are up to this week in our Year of Projects thread on Ravelry.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yarn Along...

Just a few days into this Kilim Throw and nearly half finished - aahh...the joys of crocheting with a big hook and double-stranded yarn.   Every color change seems a bit baffling to me as I begin, but as it comes together it's always a pleasant surprise to see how the colors play off (and with) one another.  It's such a fun blanket to watch grow.  And it's going to be so squishy soft and cozy warm when it's finished.

And I'm currently reading Over The Hills by David Lamb.  I'm far enough in I decided to write this review:

At the age of 54, David Lamb takes the reader on a journey across America as he traverses highways and back roads from his home in Alexandria, Virginia to Los Angeles, California.

Overweight and out of shape, he questions the wisdom of this trek - but not until he's on the road and committed. Early on, pride keeps him from turning back, but at some point his body begins to respond to the slow on-the-road training that biking 50-some miles a day provides and he renews his purpose and resolve. Along for the ride, the reader is treated to Lamb's funny, sometimes satirical - sometimes just crusty perspectives on life.  Lamb skillfully intersperses short history lessons or facts about the many places he visits, or sometimes just about the things that pop into his head along the way to make for an interesting read.

Where Peter Jenkins, of Walk Across America fame, took us into the homes of strangers and delighted us with stories and insights into how these encounters changed Jenkins' life, David Lamb's journalistic style treats us to more of a commentator's observations on life and culture in the 1990's. While Lamb isn't a storyteller in the same vein as Jenkins, he is a journalist with a wit and a way with words that readers of this type of book will likely enjoy.

And just for fun, let me show you what gets a smile out of me every time I remove the dust jacket to read:

The cutest little embossed picture of an old fashioned bicycle.    Sometimes it really is the little details that count.  :^)

To see what some others are reading and making this week, visit Ginny Sheller's Yarn Along.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Conquering some WIPs...

This week saw two finishes - yay me!

My first finish was a linen stitch scarf I intended for Greg for Christmas.  It was all done except for a couple dozen (at least) ends that needed weaving in.  It helped that the day I committed to finishing it (last Sunday) an out-of-state friend called and I could mindlessly and painlessly get that job done while enjoying a long chat.   Greg wore it the next day (and every day since).

The bottom there is a little messy because I hadn't take a picture before Greg wore it all day on Monday.   So that messy bottom part is witness to some scarf love.  :^)

And then later in the week I finished the child-sized pink! Tides of Change blanket:

I love this thing!  It's bright and cheery, and I can just see a little girl snuggling under it enjoying the total unabashed girlie-ness of it.

Some other things have been worked on as well, but I'll save them for next time.  My other WIPs from last weekend will wait a little longer as I enjoy some new crochet infusions.  I've concluded some new projects will be good for my creative soul, and good for helping to tame the yarn stash I've amassed over the last year.

'Till next time... come visit the Year of Project thread on Ravelry to see what other Yoppers are up to.

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