Looking for something a little different this year for your holiday decor? How about colorful crochet garlands and hand-painted fabric ornaments to bring a little merry & bright to your holiday decorations?
Just because I've been working mostly outside doesn't mean I've completely neglected the inside of the house. I've got lots of plans there, too. Like this random stitch blanket. I do love to knit and crochet, but I don't want to have to think too much about it, like counting stitches or following a complicated pattern, and I get bored easily. My favorite projects are the ones I can make up as I go along. So this blanket is perfect for me. I'll probably end up with 12 of them because I'm enjoying it so. One for every room. On the block.
I've had to learn a few new stitches in the process. Just to keep things interesting. I like the little bobbles and twisted stitches best.
This one I can take my own sweet time with. Because it's just plain fun to work on and because we certainly won't need any extra blankets any time soon.
Next was a project I had in mind when we first moved into this house...almost 2 years ago, but have just now gotten around to. (I've been busy.) A crochet cafe curtain for the front door to replace the generic white sheer that had been there before. With little sparkly dangly beady things for, you know, fun.
Loved that pretty shell stitch. Hmm, need to remember to work that into my random stitch blanket. Now, doesn't that look inviting?
For years I've prayed to someday live in a place that had 4 seasons. Just before our getaway last week, I found myself sitting at my desk entranced by the view out my window of a lovely golden tree whose leaves glistened in the sunlight like a thousand tiny flames. Every time I sat down, I thought to myself that I needed to get a picture of that gorgeous tree, but I'd just sat down to work after all and I never did it. Well, we returned home a few days later and I sat down in that same seat only to look up and see nothing but bare gray branches. Every single leaf had fallen off while we were gone! I missed my opportunity then, but I've been making up for it by photographing the abundant fallen leaves outside my door. Who knew they were even more colorful once they hit the ground?
Fall color palette:
And a quick and easy scarf for a friend. Just another opportunity to play with some fall color (and use up some random yarn). I made up the pattern for the scarf as I went along, but it's a variation of this one which I had finished up just before for myself.
Of course, I'm not completely ready to let go of summer either. I'm still doing a little yard work here and there--mainly sweeping up piles of my precious leaves, which I can see will get old eventually. But I managed to put to good use some bottles I've literally been saving for years. And a few fake but pretty daisies will keep the graying garden bright and cheery through the winter.
When I learned to crochet a couple of years ago, I told myself that this was going to be one hobby that I kept in check. I wasn't going to stockpile yarn like I do fabric or paper and I bought one big-enough storage container that would house all the yarn I'd ever have at one time.
I mean, what happens when you plan a big project, buy the yarn, and then get distracted with other things and never get around to it? And what about when great friends feel sorry that you live at the end of the earth and nowhere near a yarn store so they send you beautiful skeins of yarn for no reason at all? Or when your favorite yarn colors go on sale? Or when you do get a chance to visit someone else's nearly overwhelming LYS (local yarn store) and finally find the linen yarn you've been reading about and though you can't imagine what in the world you'll do with it, you have to buy it because it's linen and it may feel stiff now, but wait until you wash it and it turns soft like a miracle? What then?
You get the picture. So when we moved into our new house, I was confronted with my utter and complete failure at keeping the yarn stash in check and also with the fact that I really don't have enough space to store it all and so, was born the impromptu, random stripe, stash busting, king-size ripple blanket.
I'm thoroughly enjoying this blanket. The rhythm of it. The joy of pairing colors willy nilly. I store everything by my chair in the living room and love seeing the color spill over onto the hardwood floor. And seeing as I'm able to crochet a row or tw0 a day, it'll only take me about 13 years to finish this monster.
If you're interested, you can make your own monster ripple blanket (and make a dent in your yarn stash--you know you need to!) with this excellent tutorial.
We've moved into our new house and are beginning to settle in. There are still many more boxes (I almost typed 'books' which is also true.) to unpack but all the essential items are in place. Unfortunately, the ankle I hurt when I stupidly fell down the basement stairs still hurts me every day. If I could get a few days to stay off my feet it might heal more quickly, but who has time sit around all day? I can sit around once I get my new studio up and running!
We love our new house and I can't wait to share more pictures but I want to wait until things are a little more organized and decorated then do a big reveal. For now, a vignette or two will have to do; we'll get to those first thing next week.
My first order of business art-wise is to transform a huge drafting pad of paper that was left behind into painted papers for new artwork. Besides that, my first major project I've decided is quite an ambitious one. I want to crochet an area rug out of old t-shirts for the living room like this one I did a year or so back.
In my mind it will be huge and just as colorful but rectangular and striped. I can't wait to get started! Since this isn't exactly the kind of project you can toss in your yarn bag and go, I can foresee many hours with Season 3 of Lost working on this one. Thank goodness our internet and Neflix is up and running again. But for today, I have to rest my ankle because I have a date tonight and there's no room for pain. So it's just me and The Girl Who Played With Fire for the rest of the afternoon. Have a fun weekend!
These Summer days are longer, but there doesn't seem to be much time for blogging. Lingering dinners with old friends, a new Bible study and new friends being made, slow walks through the neighborhood mentally cataloging my favorite houses, books that require many hours in the shade of the porch, finishing one blanket and beginning the next--so many good ways to spend the longer days!
A bowl of yarn is my food morning, noon and night. Day after...
...day. My blanket is wrapping up faster than I imagined and I've already got my eye on the next project with some silky bamboo yarn waiting for me in the wings. As I work stitch after stitch I imagine how it might feel sitting on the front porch of our new house. For fun, I searched for 'patios' on Flickr. I pretend I'm in each of these places, trying them on like a new summer sun dress. It's like a mini-vacation without leaving home.
With dishes piled up to the sky; the kitchen table buried in books, papers and electric cords; and the laundry not so bad but getting there, I find myself abandoning it all for the comfort of the front porch. A bag full of color and weavy goodness keeps me company should the kids wander a little farther down the street on their scooters giving me a brief moment of quiet. (Oh, please, let them wander just a little more!) These days its much cooler to be outside than inside. And way too hot to turn on the oven or stove on the few nights we are home for dinner. We've long since relocated our school time outdoors and I'm thinking if we could find a way to move our beds onto the front lawn and trade the kitchen table for a picnic blanket, we might actually never have to go inside again.
Since it's an electrical hazard to sit at the sewing machine with sweat pouring from your body, I've had to halt production on my new journals and opt for a more porch-friendly project. I've been looking for the perfect crochet pattern (that would not require me to dig through my boxed up art books or to buy a new one) for a while now and finally stumbled across this one which fits my needs perfectly. I love the grey and random circles. Random color patterning is the best way to crochet, in my opinion. Keeps things interesting as you work through the same stitches over and over.
An apple martini helps keep things interesting as well. Have a great weekend!
My brain is all over the place this week. Maybe it's more transitioning. Or maybe it's a fresh start. In a way it feels like I'm fluffing my nest or storing up for Winter. I'm not sure what to call it, but I hope it leads me somewhere good. I'm feeling the need to be more productive, wake up, come alive, get in there and do the things I spend so much time thinking about doing.
Painting on canvas has opened up a whole new world to me. A world I've explored before but haven't visited in a while. And never on this scale. I feel the need to open things up, spread out, think bigger, but at the same time pay attention to the little things.
We've been anxiously waiting all morning. But the sky has only now started to darken ever so slightly, so we've thrown open the doors in welcome on the cold front that's been moving down from the stormy wintry North, this time with enough left over to share. I know it must be cold for you Midwesterners because tonight here nearer the equator, we'll be dipping down into the twenties which is almost unheard of. But for now, the wind is only just starting to pick up and a rush of cold air occasionally bursts through the open door beside me and wraps me in his icy arms as I sit at the computer talking to you. Heavenly.
Good thing the only plans I have for the weekend involve me sitting here with a pile of photos and a few pens.
Oh, and thank goodness that if I do have to get out in the blustery cold, I was able to check these off my December To-Do List.
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