It’s National Crochet Month!!

Well, the month is 1/3 over and I’m just now learning that March is National Crochet Month. Knock me over with a hook and tie me up with yarn. A nice superwash merino, if you please.

Crochet Guild of America has the scoop on their site. Read all about it and then grab a hook and join the fun!!

Sunday Morning Pancakes

My Dad always made pancakes on Sunday mornings. It became a tradition that I carry on to this day. When I was a kid, I had a dog named Lucky who was a medium-sized terrier with boundless energy. Our eat-in kitchen had a picture window that was about 3′ above floor level…meaning that the window was about¬†4′ from actual ground level. I’m convinced that terriers have springs in their hind legs, because Lucky could jump high enough to look in that kitchen window as we were eating Sunday breakfast. We’d sit there, laughing between bites of pancake, as Lucky’s black and white head would appear just over the bottom of the window about every 15 seconds. This only happened on Sunday mornings, mind you, and the reason is because Daddy always cooked a couple pancakes for Lucky, too. These many decades later, I still smile when I think of that head popping up and down to see what was going on in the kitchen and if his pancakes were coming soon. These days, my dog Pepper sits between our chairs, on his hind legs, begging for his Sunday morning pancakes ūüôā

I’m sitting here with the window open to¬†a symphony of birdsong; cardinals, bluejays, sparrows, purple martins, woodpeckers, mockingbirds….all seem to be rejoicing for¬†the return of Spring.¬† I had to cover the tomato plants Friday night¬†for fear of frost and hopefully that’s the last of the serious cold weather. I’m hoping to¬†plant beans and squash this week; corn, okra and melons will have to wait for warmer temps.

My sweetie is building a kitchen pantry for me….an upright, shallow depth, 2-door, freestanding¬†pantry ūüôā¬†¬†I won’t have to hunt for canned goods or lose a box of crackers that have been hidden under piles of other groceries. We’re planning to start full-blown kitchen remodeling in the coming months and the anticipation is killing me. It’s definitely time for change.

I’ve almost completed the baby project I wrote about in my last post. My crochet time will probably get cut in the next few weeks with gardening and remodeling projects taking more of my time. Even with the days getting longer, there still doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything.

I’m glad for the time change. My body seems more in tune with daylight saving time, I can’t seem to stay awake past 8 p.m. during standard time….which makes for very short days, indeed.¬†But now, ¬†the clock says it already after 9 a.m., which means it’s time to go cook pancakes.

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.

Looking For Some Cheer

After a few days of Spring-tease weather, it turned windy and gloomy again today. The rain was blowing nearly sideways as powerful thunderstorms passed through. I had to bring my little garden seedlings indoors so they wouldn’t get beaten to death. Thankfully, the storm passed quickly and did no harm but it’s put a damper on outdoor activities, at least for today. In the meantime, I’ve been doing some blog browsing and thought I’d share a couple of things that caught my interest.

¬†Are you getting a little tired of winter gloom and want to see something bright and cheerful? Check out Laura’s Flower Garden motif blanket. She found¬†the pictures¬†buried in her Flickr collection while doing some Spring cleaning. And don’t miss her handy Tutorials page. We love tutorials ūüôā

For more bright cheer, check out Alice’s Rainbow Blanket. The colors will surely bring out the kid in you and put a smile on your face.

Don’t miss¬†Kim Guzman’s latest designs¬†in her¬†Kids Collection. She’s offering the patterns at a special pre-publication price¬†through February 20. These designs are done in traditional crochet (rather than¬†Tunisian crochet) and her talent clearly shows in her pieces.

Here’s wishing for sunshine tomorrow and an early Spring, in spite of what a stupid groundhog says.

Storybook Moon

crescent-moon.jpg¬†I love the crescent-shaped moon. It reminds me of the illustrations in the books of my childhood¬†and that’s why I call it ‘the storybook moon’. It’s a beautiful end to a beautiful day. In spite of our brutal summers, our winters on the Texas gulf coast are short and relatively mild. But today was downright Spring-like. It was a day for pruning roses and buying tomato plants at the garden center and cleaning winter’s debris from the flower beds and grilling chicken and making potato salad. But I know I mustn’t get too anxious because I’m sure winter isn’t ready to leave completely…..not just yet. Still, it was a day for being outdoors and soaking up some Vitamin D ūüôā

I’m anxiously awaiting an order from Elann for Peruvian Highland Wool¬†in Celadon, Mallard, Chestnut, Spiced Wine and Harvest Heather. The anticipation’s killing me. Like I don’t have piles of yarn already. It’s an addiction I tell ya……a serious addiction.

Yesterday was special….my sweetie turned 62. The man at the Social Security office told him ‘Congratulations’ when we’d completed the application process. We’re so looking forward to indulging in the things we enjoy most; traveling & visiting museums (him)¬†and botanical gardens (me), camping &¬†fishing. It’s a nice¬†reward after¬†years of hard work.

As Tasha Tudor would say, ‘Take joy’. Have a great weekend.