Sunday, March 25, 2018

Spicier and Spicier...

Last week I mentioned that I was thinking of making a second Spicier Life blanket (alongside the first one), and I decided this week it was time to start it.

Here is Part 1 of my 2nd Spicier Life Blanket:
For this blanket I went with colors that are bright and fun, and hopefully it will be a blanket that makes its recipient smile.

Meanwhile, I also continue to work on my first Spicier Life blanket (which is done in more or less the same colors as the original Jaipur-inspired blanket):
I'm enjoying them both, but I enjoy them differently. 


I know friends on the east coast have taken a beating with snow this winter and I almost feel bad showing off our pretty (and hopefully last) snowfall of the season we got yesterday.  Do you see that tiny red spot just a little above the center of the picture below?  It's a cardinal that was competing with the finches at the bird feeders.  I didn't even see it when I was snapping the picture, and I was a little sad that it didn't come back before dark so I could try to get a better photo of it.

Anyway, it was a peaceful, heavy snowfall and I thought this young couple so cute, out taking their dog for a walk in the falling snow, I decided to snap their picture:


And today, the sky is (mostly) blue and I hear the drip drip of snow melting off the roof as I type.  It's in the high 40's and with tomorrow in the 50's and rain forecasted the rest of the week, there will soon be nothing left of this season's last winter wonderland.

At which time I'll be doing a jig because that will mean the magnolia tree blossoms (that appear to have survived the freezing temps and snow yesterday) will bloom, and other flowers will shortly follow.  Spring has nearly sprung, and like the rest of the country, I'm ready for it!!!

To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Feeling thankful...

Another week come and gone.  The holes in our walls and ceilings have been repaired and they now await painting.  This process of reclaiming my home is slow-going and at times physically exhausting (my job this week was to get all the plastic taped up and laid over anything I didn't want covered with dust - I was thorough and the job left me feeling muscles I hadn't used in some time). 

But while February held ample opportunity to complain, March is giving me many reminders to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness.  It goes something like this...  We had leaky pipes, I am thankful that we have a home with plumbing.  We had holes in our walls in several rooms, I am thankful that we have walls and multiple rooms to live in.  It was an expense we didn't plan for, I am thankful that we had the money available to make the repairs.   And on it goes like that.   It's an exercise.  A discipline.  Not one I'm consistent at, but it does something good for the soul to remember to be thankful.

Except for having a man here two days repairing drywall it was a quiet week, and I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to crochet. 😊

This week, I'm hosting the weekly CAL in the Our Happy Cal Place on Ravelry, and since the theme is "Gift Ideas", I thought an Easter themed dishcloth would be a fun project.  So I whipped up a Chocolate Bunny Dishcloth:

A little something one could take as a simple hostess gift if visiting someone for Easter dinner.  OR, it would make a fun washcloth to tuck into a child's Easter basket.


And throughout the week, I worked off and on on a little Fairly Isleish Baby Cardigan I started way back in June of last year, and I finished it!  Except for buttons.  I have yet to get the buttons, but this project is finished as far as the crocheting is concerned:

I did not find the pattern difficult, exactly, but it also wasn't completely intuitive for me.  I think I'll have to make another one now that I worked through some confusing parts to see what I truly think of the pattern.  It makes an adorable sweater (suitable for a boy or girl - which isn't common in crochet patterns), so I hope I make another and like it.

And that's all for crochet.  Next week I plan to get back to my Spicier Life Blanket - am actually toying with making two different ones simultaneously, and I have another WIP in the wings I'd love to knock out.  We'll see how that goes.


For St. Patrick's Day I made a loaf of Irish Soda Bread, and it was so yummy to eat.   

I'm eating some pieces of it as I type this, in fact.  It's just as good cooled down as it was warm and slathered in butter.   Mmmmm   I'm thankful for the pleasure of a simple loaf of bread.

And that's it for what I created this week.  To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

On a different note...  last week my FIL was taken to the hospital where it was discovered he has pneumonia.   He's in rehab now, but is not making significant improvements at this point.  He is 93 and is very frail, very worn out - he was those things before pneumonia took hold.  I'd sure appreciate prayers for him.  Of course, we'd love for him to be able to go back home soon, but given his overall condition I also hope he has peace during this time away from home, and that he is comfortable.


I leave you with a lively rendition of a favorite Irish hymn:

Be Thou My Vision performed by Rend Collective

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The last dance is finally done!

I did it!!!!!  I finally did it!!!

I finished my Last Dance blanket!

After much procrastination and dragging of feet I finally set myself down and knocked out the border of this thing!  And I'm DONE!!!!!

I'm going to tell you right out that it looks better in the photo than I think it does in real life.  I've got some good light coming in the window and that helps ('cuz I didn't do any altering of the photo - other than cropping), but once this thing was finished I concluded that it would have probably benefited from leaving in some of the lighter squares I removed before seaming it together.   OR... it probably would have benefited from doing the seaming and border in the lightest gray color.  That might have lifted the whole thing.  It doesn't look dark in the picture, but in real life, it's a tad on the dark side.

FWIW, I asked my youngest son his opinion before seaming and bordering and he recommended the lighter gray.  Historically, I've always felt like he has a good aesthetic sense about him.  For some reason I didn't trust it this time.  Lesson learned!

BUT, all that said, I'm thrilled to have it finished.  I have no purpose in mind for this, so it's going to be washed, folded and stored for...  I don't know what.   My posterity, perhaps.  Or until I get tired of having it around, or find the right person to give it to.  Maybe if I put it away I'll be able to see it with fresh, appreciative eyes later.   Right now I'm just so glad to be finished I could dance!

You'd think this was torture to make by the way I go on.  It really wasn't.   Mostly, it's that I found myself occasionally not wanting to do a particular square, and a few others just looked too hard to bother with after a while, so probably half the designs are pulled from somewhere else.  What I want to say about this project is that my blanket was inspired by the Last Dance Blanket and the memory of Merinke (Wink) Slump who was working on this design when she died.  Other designers stepped up to finish the blanket's designs as a tribute to Merinke, and that is such a lovely thing for them to have done.   To date, on Ravelry, it shows that nearly a thousand members have made some version of this blanket.   That's quite a tribute.

Perhaps it's unfair to actually call mine a Last Dance blanket.  Maybe I'll should just call it my Last Sampler blanket.  I always thought a sampler blanket would be fun to make.  I don't think that so much anymore.  lol

To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Things just got a little spicier here...

Having a much better week than the previous two, and inspired to work on something new, I temporarily put aside my Last Dance Blanket and started crocheting a Spicier Life Blanket.

I was missing a couple of colors in my Stylecraft Special DK stash, so I substituted  Claret for Tomato, Parma Violet for Mushroom, and Violet for Grape.  And I think I want to add in some Parchment because it has an interesting vintagifying effect on pretty much anything it rubs up against.

So....  While I'm not completely convinced as I look at what I've completed so far, I've learned with a many-colored project like this, one simply can't tell until several repeats of the colors are used how well one likes the whole effect.  It's ever so slightly excruciating to keep going and all the while second-guessing colors, but for now I'm carrying on and hoping for the best.  This is meant to be a gift, so I really do hope I like it in the end.

It's a beautiful pre-spring weekend here in central Indiana.   This morning some of the extended family met to celebrate my mother-in-law's 87th birthday.  We enjoyed brunch where a nephew (who is a culinary student) works as a chef.  It was fun to visit over some interesting gastronomical delights (most of which were completely new to us) cooked by a young man we've known from birth.  How DOES the time fly so fast? 

And that's all she wrote!  After my long tome last week I thought it best to keep it short this time around.  😉

To see what other YOPers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.


Thank you to all who left sweet comments last week of prayers and hopes for eventual renewed health for my sister.   The month-and-half wait now for surgery is hard, but her spirits seem up and her faith strong.  I'm in awe of the courage and spiritual outlook she expresses.