Category Archives: yarn

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 ūüôā

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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 ūüôā

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……….

Don’t Bother Me, I’m Counting

Before I have to enter one of those posts that says, ‘Gosh, I haven’t posted for months, sorry’, I figured I’d better check in ūüôā

With the advent of warmer weather, I’ve been doing some more much needed yard work…pruning, mowing, planting, etc….so that’s distracted me somewhat from blogging. But I’ve been busy hooking, too.

wips-and-fos-008-small.jpg¬†FO – I finished my shawl and named it ‘Provence’, not because it has anything to do with France, but because I’m a Francophile and the colors remind me of the french countryside.

 

wips-and-fos-014-small.jpg¬†WIP – A baby project I’m working on. I’ve wanted to do something in these colors for awhile but never had the inspiration for what exactly I wanted to make. This one makes me smile; I love the stitches & I love the colors.

 

wips-and-fos-017-small.jpg¬†This is a test swatch for my latest obsession…spirals. The spiral shawls, aka Carnival shawls, popping up around the ‘net are absolutely gorgeous/fascinating/mesmerizing/addicting. Check these pictures on Flickr to see why.

 

So, see, I have been a busy little hooker. There’s one or two other WIPs sitting in the wings, but those I’ll save for another post. Hope everyone has a great week. Keep those hooks a’smoking.

 

 

 

What’s Blooming?

Living in a semi-tropical climate definitely has it’s advantages, the best being that we can have something blooming in our gardens¬†nearly year-round. November and December can be rather bland months bloom-wise on the gulf coast, but holly berries and rose hips make up for the lack of blooms and add a bit of color to the landscape.

¬†spring-006-small.jpg We start getting antsy in January when the catalogs begin arriving. By February, we start seeing the first blooms of the new year. Actually, in my garden, I smelled the blooms before I saw them….a fragrance so heavenly as to be nearly intoxicating. I speak of Carolina Jasmine and it catches me by surprise every year. The fragrance can drift for 100′ and lift one’s spirits in an instant.

spring-001-small.jpgWithin a week, the narcissus begin their show. It’s fragrance is more subtle….a few stems in a bud vase will catch your attention as you walk by. I’ve always wanted a field of yellow daffodils like in the movie ‘Dr. Zhivago’, but alas, they don’t like my clay soil and I’m a lazy gardener. The narcissus do quite well here and are less fussy.

spring-003-small.jpg¬†This one really surprised me. The bottlebrush started blooming in the middle of February!? As I said, I’m a lazy gardener so my record-keeping traits leave much to be desired, but it seems awfully early for this one to bloom. My tree is 15′ tall and in another week or two, it will look like a 15′ flame of red. An eye-catcher, for sure. I have plans to buy several more to plant along the east property line; they make fine windbreaks and are evergreen to boot ūüôā

spring-007-small.jpg¬†Finally, although they’re not colorful or fragrant, these dead leaves are another sign of imminent Spring. Considered an evergreen, live oak trees do shed their leaves, in early spring, right before the new leaves appear in a flush of¬†light green haze. The trees literally rain leaves….buckets of leaves fall overnight. I’ve given up trying to keep the patio cleared. It’s a small inconvenience compared to the pleasure of these magnificent trees.

We spotted the first Purple Martin scout last week. We have to fight off the starlings every year around this time. They’re devilish birds that will lay their eggs in another bird’s nest, their young to be raised by the host birds. Sparrows will nest in the martin house as well, but the martins don’t seem to mind them. Starlings are a different story; the martins will shy away from the house if starlings are present. So, I keep the Red Ryder by the front door for making the starlings understand they’re not welcome here.

spring-009-small.jpg¬†In crochet news, despite a sinus infection and accompanying migraine headache, I’m working the Elann Peruvian Highland Wool. Colors in the pic aren’t quite accurate (a little too bright), but in reality are as beautiful together as I’d hoped they’d be. I have come across a couple of knots which haven’t worried me, and some strange white cat-hair-like fibers which do worry me because it looks like a) I own a cat (which I don’t), or b) a cat got caught in the fiber-spinning process. I’m supposing it’s natural because they’re in every skein, but they but me enough to pick them out as I work. Hmm.

Enough rambling for today. Time to prostrate myself on the couch with more pain medication. Happy Wednesday!

What’s Worsted Weight?

hpw2-small.jpg¬†The Elann order has arrived ūüôā

¬†This is my first time ordering from them and, so far, I couldn’t be¬†¬† more pleased. Pain-free ordering, smooth service and lovely yarn.¬†¬†¬† This particular yarn is, to my hand, slightly scratchy. I wouldn’t want to wear it directly next to my skin. But I think it would be suitable for a cardigan or, in my case, a wrap. It’s already on the hook. Which leads me to the title of this post.

I’m the type of person who, as soon as I get my hands on new yarn, I have to grab a hook and swatch….just to get the feel of the yarn and see how it works up. My first response when I unbanded this yarn was, “huh?”. It was a much thinner yarn than I was expecting….more of what I would consider sport weight. This has only added to my confusion about yarn weights in general. I’ve seen contradictions between sport and dk weights, one being the thinner and vice versa. ??? My logical mind doesn’t get the logic. So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to follow my intuition in that I let the yarn dictate what it’s best suited for according to how it feels and works. This stuff is light as a feather and crochets like a dream. I’m loving it and already thinking of ordering more.

248_soleil_300-small.jpg¬†¬†The Soleil¬†Shawl¬†was my inspiration when I ordered the yarn (sorry Berroco). I’ve lusted over this picture¬†for ages. The colors are so appealing to me and the drape of the wrap look so feminine in an old-world sort of way. If anyone is a fan of ‘Quiet Man’, you’ll remember the shawl(s?) Kate wore¬†throught the movie. They’re so feminine and versatile and I’ve wanted one for a long time. Knowing me, however, I’ll probably end up giving this one away….which will give me a good excuse to order more yarn.