Sunday, March 31, 2019

A dilly of a doily...

I've been wanting to make a Grace Fearon doily for some time now, so this was the week!  
This 10-inch Mable Doily wasn't exactly difficult, but I had to do it in stages, as it took some concentration.  I love the dimension this designer puts in her doilies.  

Because Mary-Anne asked me recently what I do with doilies I make, I decided I need to be more intentional now and then - photographing them in a way I might actually use them. 

When I decorate with a doily, it simply becomes a part of a vignette, or a collection of objects that I put together.  Like this:  
Except for the fact that I turned this arrangement toward the window for better lighting, this is exactly how I think I'll display this doily for the spring time.  


And since this is the last day of March, I gathered the various dishcloths I've made this month and I counted 15!  


It's been a full-of-good-things week here that ended with a birthday dinner last evening for our two oldest sons at Sushi Club.  I'm not really a fan of sushi, but this place creates works of art with their all-you-can-eat platters of sushi rolls.  We certainly ate all we could!  And more.  They charge you per roll if you leave any behind!  lol  

Of course I didn't think to take a picture until we were stuffed and there was no more prettiness to behold.  

This is a sad remnant of one of the gorgeous platters they brought out as we feasted.   Since it's not much to look at at this point, I guess it doesn't really matter that I can't ever manage to get an in-focus indoor picture on my cell phone.

It was a fun night with some adventurous (for me) eats.

And when the evening was over, we drove home in snow!  

Thankfully, the sun is shining today, though, so I guess the old saying came true here this year.  March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb.

Bring on spring!!!!

To see what other YOPers are up to, 

2019 Yarn Stash-Down progress:  36.72/100 skeins


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Another sweet baby blanket...

After playing yarn chicken and winning (by less than a yard!) I finished the body of my C2C baby blanket this week.   

Before I reached that point, though, it became obvious I wasn't going to have any blanket yarn left to add to the border - which would have been my preference.  So I spent an inordinate amount of time sifting through every shade of pink, white and gray I had until I finally settled on a smidge of white with gray scallops:

I second-guessed the border the whole time I was making it, but in the end...  I think it works.  For something I figured out as I went,  I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well it works.


Note:  ESL = English as a Second Language.  

On the "what's new?" front, I began meeting with a new ESL conversation partner this past week.  After my last ESL partner got a job, I asked to hold off until after the holidays before being matched with someone new.  Well, the holidays (and the entire winter) came and went without another match, and while I was kind of thankful because my work hours picked up, I found I missed this ESL thing very much.

Just as I was getting ready to contact the coordinator to see if she had anyone for me yet, she contacted me and told me she had TWO ladies for me to choose from!  I was so excited I almost asked if I could have them both!   😃  

But I decided that might be a little ambitious since I'm still kind of new at this, so I tempered my excitement and chose a young lady from Mexico who is attending adult classes in the evening.  We met for the first time last Tuesday and I was dumbfounded to look up at the clock to find that 2 hours had passed where we were only expected to meet for 1 hour.  😮

She seemed as happy as I was with the match, so another adventure begins!   If this type of thing sounds appealing, my encouragement is to just jump in and give it a try. There are so many opportunities - I do this as a volunteer through our county library system (through the library's adult learning center), but there are organizations, churches and schools that look for ESL tutors and conversation partners.  I have a few friends and acquaintances who do this for pay, but honestly...  at present, I prefer doing this on a volunteer basis.  Bottom line, though...  I wish I hadn't hesitated jumping into this when the idea presented itself a few years ago. There's truly no time like the present!

To see what other YOPers are up to

2019 Yarn Stash-Down progress:  34.13/100 skeins

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A happy hooky week...

Having slain the slump, I continued in my productivity this past week.  And having reacquainted myself with thread and steel hook, I found myself wanting to make some more doilies.

First I made a small Doily #8 from the book 99 Little Doilies:
I call this 6 1/2 inch wide doily Circle of Leaves

And then I made a third Winter's Breath Doily (having given away the first two I made last year):
Winter's Breath measures right at 8 inches across

The thread used is Artiste Mercerized Egyptian Cotton thread available at Hobby Lobby.  It is so tempting to go check out what new colors they might have stocked since last summer, but I must not.  Stepping foot in Hobby Lobby is dangerous business while I'm on a yarn buying moratorium. 


And lastly, I finished the ribbed scarf I started two weeks ago:

I just love this easy-to-knit stitch pattern.  It's so squishy and stretchy.  And combining two different yarns makes for a seemingly infinite number of unique scarves one can knit up.  This is made with Red Heart With Love in the color Boysenberry, combined with Red Heart Unforgettable in the colorway Stained Glass.   I love how I can get a fun striped scarf with very few ends to weave in when I'm done!

And that wraps up another week of yarny makes.  

To see what other YOPers are up to, 

2019 Yarn Stash-Down progress:  31.9/100 skeins

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Slaying the slump...

I don't know how strongly it came through my post last week, but I was feeling a serious slump coming on when it comes to yarn.  So much so, I contemplated taking the week off and just not worrying about a post for today.

Well, somewhere between that thought and the end of the week, I visited Stef's Crafts with Wool Paper Fabric blog (specifically this post) and I was suddenly prodded to not give in to the slump.  And actually to think more intentionally about my crafting.  I don't know if it was her mention of Kondoing, or her sweet nephews being interested in her yarn and how she was going to encourage them in that, but somewhere in that post I felt something nudge me.  Something that said, "Don't give in to the slump.  Not just yet."
Click the image to read an article on  ideas for overcoming "the slump".

Now, I'm not saying it's wrong to give in to the slump.   There are times when putting our crafts away for a time is exactly the thing we need to do.  Maybe we just want to embrace the slump for a while.  Go right ahead.  No guilt required.

But I knew what was going on with me was something I didn't want to give in to.  Not just yet, anyway.  :)   So I started thinking of how I could be intentional about things.  

Well, first of all, I decided to dust off an old project.  It was so close to being finished, but for some reason I hadn't wanted to face it for the last six months.   When I finally got it out and found my place again, it was oh so quick to finish.

I've nicknamed it Pineapple Square Doily.  If you'd prefer to know it by its given name, it's the one and only #11 in the book, 99 Little Doilies.

While I had to find my thread fingers again (you know... like you have to find your land legs after being on the water for a while, my fingers had to get use to working with thread after crocheting with worsted and bulky yarn for six months).  But once I did, this little cheerful doily finished up pretty quickly.

Then, I decided to stop being picky about what to do with that pink yarn I was struggling with last week and just make another C2C baby blanket and call it good.   C2C makes a pretty pattern in a solid color yarn:
So what if I just made one in blue?  😉

And I stopped waffling over what two yarns to combine in a knitted scarf I want to make.  I settled on a thick yarn (Red Heart With Love) and an odd single skein of RH Unforgettable self-striping yarn.  I put them together and I'm now a quarter of the way finished with that project.

All of a sudden I'm out of my slump and on a roll.  I'm already looking at doily patterns and wondering what I'll do next.   I don't know how long this will last, but for now, the slump has slithered away!

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

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Goodbye February!

Even though spring is more 3 weeks away, it's March and that means spring's a comin'!  And I am soooo glad about it.

February was not an normal month for me.  There were busy weeks sprinkled with long quiet, unproductive days all which left me feeling a bit - I don't know... kind of unsettled.  Or maybe just feeling kind of dull.  It wasn't bad - not by any means.  But I'm glad it's passed.  Goodbye February!

Last week was a mostly busy week that found my crojo waning, but I did manage to get this little baby blanket finished:

It's a simple Corner to Corner stitch pattern with a border made up of linen stitch, finished off with a sweet little scallop. 

There's just not much to say about it except, "another project finished, another one of those huge 1-lb skeins out of my stash!"  Yippee!

Late in the week I tried crocheting a pink baby blanket (with another of those huge 1-lb skeins), but the pattern calls for a hook that is larger than would normally be suitable for the yarn and the result is lots of splitting.  Ugh.  I've tried off and on in my free moments this weekend to keep going, but I'm calling it quits.  
The stitch pattern isn't inspiring me, and I really dislike working with a hook that is too large for the yarn.  Bah.  I'm putting it in time out for a bit while I decide what to do here.  


A yarny side note:

Last night we had friends over for pizza and a movie (it's a tradition we started with this family a couple of years ago).  We don't have enough seating for everyone, so three of the kids sprawled on cushions on the floor and covered themselves up with blankets.   I wish I had thought to take a picture.  The ones on the floor each chose a different crocheted blanket I had made -- the little girl asking for a specific one - she even asked me privately if she could use the one she had picked out the last time.  It was her favorite, she said.  That just melted my heart.

I'd love to give this blanket to her, but I'm also tickled that it's a special blanket she enjoys using when we host Dinner & a Movie Night at our house.  I'm well aware that we are making some good memories with this family and the power of a memory of a special blanket used when visiting could be greater than the everyday pleasure of owning it.   Then again, she might just swoon over it every time she enters her bedroom (it's big enough to cover a twin size bed).  And then again, she might just get tired of it if she saw it everyday and eventually she'd realize just how gawdy it is - and that it goes with nothing, really. 

Not to make more of this than it is, but while I'm mulling over the above thoughts, I'm curious if anyone has a thought to share.  Don't feel like you have to have a thought.  I'm just letting  you into my brain today.  Welcome.  😊

Meanwhile... to see what other YOPers are up to, 

yes, it is snowing again today...

2019 Yarn Stash-Down progress:  25.44/100 skeins