Adieu

Life has taken me in a different direction, so I’ve decided to retire from blogging and have closed my Etsy shop as well.

I’m leaving the blog up so that the free patterns will still be available, but I won’t be checking in here or selling patterns any longer.

I appreciate everyone who has visited here, taken the time to comment, purchased patterns from my shop.

Happy Crocheting!! :)

 

I Won a Cookbook!

Okay, so it’s not crochet related, but worth mentioning anyway…..because my other passion, besides crochet, is cooking. And since it’s been 500 degrees for the last 5 months, there’s not been much fiber handling going on here at the cottage. So, I’m browsing around looking for interesting food/recipe blogs (for when the temps moderate enough that I can stand to cook indoors again) when I stumbled on Rachel’s blog, The Crispy Cook-Living Gluten-Free. Whether you’re avoiding gluten or not, she’s got some droolicious-looking recipes to share!

The cookbook I won is called ‘Light & Spicy’ by Barbara Gibbons. Rachel has included the recipe for Canary Island Mojo Sauce from the cookbook….it’s what caught my attention and prompted me to enter her giveaway. I’d completely forgotten about it, what with preparing to dodge hurricanes & all. Her email telling me I’d won just made my day!

Visit Rachel’s blog (don’t miss this month’s cookbook giveaway!) @ The Crispy Cook.

Town and Country Tote

My latest bag design…..a sassy little tote for city girls or country girls. These totes are made in one piece, so they’re easy peasy. And, depending on the choice of yarn, they can be made extra dressy or laid-back casual. The bag shown in unlined (I don’t have the patience) but would be simple to do so.

Click on that big ‘Etsy’ button in the sidebar to see my listings :)

Tahiti Tote

Crochet has been showing up alot lately in stores. One of the current trends I’ve noticed are crochet purses and totes. I love the look and the added texture adds lots of interest.

My latest design is a handy tote that’s small enough to be manageable while offering plenty of room for the essentials like keys, phone, lipstick and wallet. While the purse shape is relatively simple, the colors and stitch pattern kick the design up a notch to become a sassy fashion statement. It’s a quick project that can be completed in 8 hours or less and requires intermediate crochet skills. You can create totes to match different outfits simply by changing the colors…the possibilities are endless.

I named it ‘Tahiti Tote’ because it reminds me of summer breezes and tropical beaches. The finished size is 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″. The pattern is for sale at my shop, Crochet Cottage.

Summer’s Bounty and French Heritage

In summer, it’s hard to pick up a crochet hook, no matter how many ideas may be lurking in one’s head. I might manage to work a few rows every couple of days, but there’s just so many pressing activities that can only be done during summer that crocheting gets pushed aside or stacked upon. It’s just the way it is.                           

And this is what consumes most of my time during the summer. Because of the heat, I’m out there by 7 a.m. most mornings. I’m always anxious to see what’s taken place during the night. While I was sleeping, the garden was growing (fyi….a watermelon vine can grow 12″ in the night), and it never ceases to amaze me to see the changes that take place overnight. I work until the sun peaks over the treetops and the temperature feels as if it goes up 10 degrees immediately. Then I pick up my basket and hoe to head for the house to begin processing the daily harvest. I try to do this during the morning while the house stays relatively cool, even with the stove on. Later, in the evening, I’ll be back in the garden, weeding and watering, until it’s too dark to see.

My paternal heritage is French, and while I’ll most probably never set foot on French soil, I can feel the tug of my roots in the earth and the fruit it bears. To the French, eating well is very nearly a religion. I’m reading a book now called The French At Table… which accounts the history & reasons for their love of good food. So far, it’s an enjoyable and funny book that I would recommend to other Francophiles.

Traditionally, the French (as well as other Europeans) take a loooong lunch break, which can be as long a 2 hours or more and can even include a short nap. I can relate to that tradition & have taken to insisting that lunchtime is slow time. As I explained to DD, it’s about taking the time to savor the blessings of the earth and the fruits of our labor. We are thankful to have such abundance.

It pleases me to look upon my garden. It also makes my mouth water, thinking of the sweet, golden corn that will soon share my plate with fresh, juicy tomatoes and crispy fried okra. It comforts me knowing that my pantry & freezer will hold most of the bounty, to be enjoyed long after summer has passed and the crochet begins again in earnest.

Introducing the Loxodrome Hat

As I was saying…….

LOL, I told you I was going to be busy. I didn’t expect to be so busy that I didn’t post for over a month! But a farm in the springtime can be a busy, busy place. During my silent interim here, I’ve canned 37 pints and frozen 2 gallon bags of snap beans and frozen 2 gallons of yellow squash. The tomatoes are beginning to ripen, but we eat them so fast there’s not enough left to can, although I’ve promised DH at least a few cans of salsa. I expect the okra will be the next to be harvested and canned/frozen, followed by the corn. And when that happens, you won’t hear from me again for awhile :)

BUT…..there has been crochet!! I did manage to design this hat during those rare times when I wasn’t picking beans or canning or dead asleep from sheer exhaustion. I’m proud to introduce the Loxodrome Hat.

 A loxodrome is a spherical spiral and what better way to translate that than into a hat. The pattern is easy enough for a beginning crocheter and produces a whirling (heh) fashion accessory.

I’ve several more ideas waiting to be worked up as time permits. There’s a bag on one hook and a baby cardi on another. All I need is more time……….

No Yarn But Lots of Spring Fever

As you’ll notice, it’s been a month since my last post. I hesitated writing anything as I’m trying to keep this blog focused on crochet as much as possible. But I’ve been in a crochet rut. Actually, more of a crochet gulley, if you want to know the truth. That’s not due to lacking project ideas….I have a bucketful of those. I guess I’m suffering from crochet burnout…….that, and a healthy dose of Spring Fever.

 If you look closely, in the middle of the pic you’ll see a tiny green gem that, someday, will turn into a globe of juicy, red sweetness. The smell of a tomato plant is one of my earliest memories, I daresay as far back as my infancy. I have a picture of my Mother, standing in a garden of tomato plants. I don’t remember her growing other vegetables in her garden, but I do remember the kitchen windowsill lined with ripening tomatoes. I can just barely remember now…I must have been four years old….Mama showing me which ones were ready to eat and letting me eat all I wanted. Her health began to decline a couple years later and she never gardened again, but to this day, the smell of a tomato plant takes me back to those early, carefree days of my childhood.

While the yarn and hook have been sitting neglected, I’ve been outside planting and mowing and pruning. We planted corn, okra, watermelon, canteloupe (Charentais!!!), cukes, squash, snap beans and shell beans. I was beginning to think it would never quit raining long enough to get the crops in before the temps went to 90+, but we managed to get it planted in the last couple of weeks. New to the garden this year are shell beans. I’m trying to get more beans in our diet….did you know beans help lower cholesterol?…..but wanted more variety than our usual pintos. This year, I planted Black Valentine, Jacob’s Cattle and Vermont Cranberry beans. They’re all heirloom varieties, some dating as far back as the 1700s. I’ve learned that, sometimes, old beats new & improved hands-down. In my veggie garden, only the tomatoes are hybrids because they actually do best in my environment. Everything else is open pollinated.

With warmer weather comes home improvement projects. I can’t decide whether to do the bathroom or kitchen first; DH is anxious to redo the kitchen cabinets but the bathroom is in dire need of a facelift. Maybe I’ll just tackle the bathroom while he works on the kitchen. Or maybe I’ll just sit on the bench under the oak tree and watch the chickadees :)