Tag Archives: crochet

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……….

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 ūüôā

 

 

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.