2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Year of Projects Round-Up (2017-2018)

I think this is my favorite post of the whole year.  It's my Year of Projects Round-Up where I put all (or at least most) of the projects I've crocheted or knitted in the last 12 months in one spot.   It's so much fun to see all the yarny things I've managed to make and think about where the projects have gone (or are waiting to go or be used).

Let's start!

I'll admit it, this year my favorite projects were the quick ones.  In that category are dishcloths, potholders, motifs, bookmarks, bags...


Other small and/or quick projects I made this YOP year were hats and scarves.  These items were donated to Bundle-Up! - a local charity event where these kinds of items are distributed to kids and teens in need.  

And I've gotten an early start making scarves for this upcoming autumn's collection drive:


I also made a couple of scarves and a little sweater that became (or will become) gifts for some special someones:


And some things I made just because...


And, of course, no year would be complete without some blankets:


Lastly...  while these are yet to be finished, I started two Spicier Life blankets this spring that have hours of crochet invested in them, but still surely have a mile or so each of crochet to work before they're finished:

And that's just about it!   There were, of course, projects that either got put into time-out or were frogged, and there are still a couple of projects languishing from years prior, but this compilation of projects are the ones that got attention this year.

To see what other Year Of Project participants have been up to this past YOP year, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

So many ends...

I can't believe this Year of Projects is almost over!  Next week is our wrap-up week and then we're off again into another new YOP year!  Whoo Hoo!

I guess because I hadn't made enough things, this week I got the urge to make a new Market Bag.
This design took more time to make than other mesh-type market bags I've crocheted, but I'm curious if that solid bottom will stretch less than the other ones I've made.  I look forward to trying it out.  

AND I finished crocheting my Vintage Petals Mandala!   Yay!
Sorry for the tease of a picture, but there are so many ENDs in this thing and I want to sew them in before I show the front finished.  

Believe it or not, what's pictured is only half of all the yarn ends - I'm so glad I stopped midway and sewed in all the ends up to that point before continuing on.  All in all, there are 38 ends in this smallish project.  So many ends!!!  

Next week I'll post a picture after it's truly finished and blocked.  I finally got over my color-angst and it turned out some better than I anticipated.  😊 

And that's it from me this week!  Check out our group on Ravelry to see what other YOPpers are up to!

2018 Yarn Stash-Down: 24.18/100 Skeins

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Out for a walk...

After a bout of vertigo last week, heat, and then heavy rains this week, it felt good to be out on the greenway trail again.  Now that school's out I can easily access the trail from my neighborhood.  The entrance closest to my home is accessed via a school property and somehow walking through the school yard doesn't seem the thing to do during the school year.
It seems towns everywhere now have a refurbished one-room school house.  Ours is on the school property at the end of my street.

Cool, not-too-humid mornings are few and far between now so I'm glad I felt up to a walk today.  It was great walking weather.  And anytime I can get in over 6,000 steps  before lunch makes for great progress toward my personal training.  What am I training for?  The rest of my life, of course!
Every walk begins with a good stretch.  And there's always a stretch somewhere in the middle of the walk and toward the end, too.  I am so thankful for benches that dot the greenway trail in our town.  And I really love it when one happens to be in the shade.  😉

Along the way I noticed these beautiful lilies in a small butterfly garden just steps off the trail.

On my way back home, I encountered this red-winged black bird who kept chasing me, diving at me, and when sitting in the tree screeched loudly at me.   This has never happened to me before, and at the time I thought he was just being friendly, but when I got home I found some entertaining videos that explained their territorial behavior.
I'm onto you now, Mr. Blackbird.

Oops...  Looks like I won't be going this way for a while.  The town is building a new roundabout:
I wonder how they will work the greenway trail around the roundabout?  It may be a few months before I find out...

So back home it was... an hour after I began with just over 7,000 steps on my pedometer. Making progress!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Just small things...

Mid-late this week, I remembered I was signed up to host another weekly CAL on Our Happy CAL Place this upcoming week. Fortunately, about that same time I started feeling better from being knocked low earlier in the week.  So I got busy and was able to crochet two of these cute potholders:

The pattern leaves me a bit confused where it transitions to the ridged part, but once I figured out how to do it (by fudging), these were super easy to make.   I did have to fudge a bit in a couple of other areas, too (namely, I did away with the chain spaces in the white part of the flower square, and the edging required me to hdctog (make some half double crochet stitches together) occasionally in order to not have a ripply edge.  And I did have to steam and stretch it a bit to get the whole thing perfectly square, but once I did all that I thought the finished project was kinda cute.

Sounds like a lot of bother, huh?   It kinda was.  But they're kinda worth it.  Simply because it's an interesting design.  

Since I don't know how these will behave once washed, they are going straight into my potholder drawer and I'll enjoy using them this summer.  If they wash up nicely, I think these would make a fun gift.  Well, not these.  But I might like them enough to make up some gifts from the pattern.   We'll see...

That's truly all I managed to crochet since last weekend.  My mandala didn't get any love, so maybe next week...  

And I don't recall when I finished the Boxes Dishcloths pictured below, but I may have just forgotten about them last week as I know I haven't knitted since last weekend.   Once I started making them, it seems I couldn't stop until I'd made no fewer than four!

The first time I made these I found them challenging, but I really liked the texture and how they look.  This time when I made them I fell in love with the simplicity of the pattern.  I can't believe how when I made the first couple of these last year I had to refer back to the pattern for every single row and keep close track of which row I had just knit (or make note of where I had left off).  This time around, I quickly figured out how to read my knitting and I knew exactly the stitch pattern that each new row needed to be and I could lay it down mid-row and go back to it, even a day later, without any trouble.  Yay!  Progress!

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

2018 Yarn Stash-Down:  21.29/100 Skeins

The Yop year is fast winding down.   Our new YOP year begins on July 1st and in that post we share our goals, lists, or whatever it is we use for planning our next Year's worth of Projects.  As for me, I'm a great list maker, but when it comes right down to it, for me hobbies and lists don't coexist well.  So my list is always very open-ended.  It's not a project list so much as it is an idea list.  And I'm thinking of how I might simplify it even more.  Make it even less of a list.  Hmmm... I wonder if I can YOP without a list?  I might have to try and see if I get kicked out.   That's the great thing about this YOP project, each participant can make it fit their personality and style.

If you have a blog and would like to participate, please do!  All of us are crocheters and/or knitters, but the projects we share go beyond those crafts.   It's very fun to see what other YOPpers are working on  - whether it's knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, cross stitching, painting, gardening...  It's all creative and inspiring.  You just need to be a member of Ravelry, join our group, and then join the fun!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Out for a walk...

Monday was a gorgeous, cool day and I got back out to the wetland area again before the humidity took over the rest of the week.  I've gotten up to walking 3 miles in an hour, and while that is still kind of exhausting, it feels really good to accomplish.

I decided to take some more pictures and compare them to my first walk through the area.

After a month and a half of spring rains, and a few weeks of record heat, the transformation has been amazing:



And where two weeks ago I stood to take a picture of turtles sunbathing on a log in the pond:

I now can't even see the pond for the overgrowth of grass and weeds: 

I was so glad I took that walk as I was hit by vertigo later Monday night and I've dealt with it to some extent the rest of the week.  Bah!

But as I'm coming out of my pity party I'm reminded that when I was taking my walk on Monday I found myself singing The Lily of the Valley.  I don't know why it found a track to run in my head, but for the hour I walked, in between my panting and heavy breathing, I sang this sweet song.

I found it hard to find a soulful rendition of this particular song, but this version sung by Burl Ives took me back to my childhood where I first learned to sing beautiful old hymns in church.  

For your edification:  


While I love the words of this song, for some reason I can't separate the voice from the same one that sings The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.  Another song I grew up on.  

For your entertainment:

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Round and round she goes...

A short and sweet post this week since I started a new project last night.  In the Our Happy CAL Place on Ravelry, we're hosting a Mandala CAL for the month of June.  If you're a crocheter and would like to join us in our June CAL, consider yourself invited.  Participants can choose any pattern they like.

I've been wanting for some time to make a mandala from this book I found earlier this year at my local library:

It's hard to pick just one to start with, but starting with one is necessary, so I choose the pattern Vintage Petals by Sandra Eng. 

I am not the least bit confident in the colors I chose, but for once I'm not going to overthink a project.  We'll see if I like it better after I add some more contrast in later rounds.  That mustard-y yellow is my highest contrast, so I think I decided I'm making flowers in an upcoming round with that color.  That is, if I don't change my mind.  😐

To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.  Which reminds me -  let me give a plug...  If you have a blog and are interested in joining in on this Year Of Projects thing, we begin a new year on July 1st.  It's a lot of fun, you'll make new friends, and you'll likely find inspiration and motivation to create far more than you ever thought possible.  That's how it's worked for me, anyway!  Come check us out at least.