roses in the snow

I'm taking a break --- remember?

Plunging myself into a whirlwind of pre-Christmas obligations -- not having time to get any type of thready/yarny things done.

Uh. huh.

That worked....

....until I saw Teresa's fabulous video tutorial for her crocheted Christmas ornament.

So, pushing aside the pile of Christmas cards that need to be addressed; the cookie dough that needs to be mixed; the online ordering of Christmas presents that  m.u.s.t. get done; the menu planning for Christmas eve....I went and hunted for hooks I had hidden & thread I intentionally put out of reach.

And made a roses in the snow ornament.

*thread is size 10 DMC Cebelia
*the hook is my # 7
*and I changed Teresa's flower to the flower from motif #114 from this book:

The tiny green leaves I crocheted from here:

Hmmm.  I think I will give this ornament to Ruth.  She is a special 91 yr. old lady ( and I do mean, lady!) that I have the pleasure of taking care of a few days a week. 

I have learned so much from her! 

Some days I wonder, 'Exactly who is taking care of whom?'

She has taught me that being strong is more admirable than being whiney.  
She has taught me to say thank you even in the smallest of incidences.
She has taught me that when you fall down, you stand back up.
She has taught me that obligations are opportunities.
She has taught me that if you are still drawing breath  -- you still have plenty of things to do.

"This is Christmas:
not the tinsel,
not the giving and receiving,
not even the carols,
but the humble heart
that receives anew
the wondrous gift,
the Christ."
-- Frank McKibben

Merry Christmas, everyone!


quietness of mind

Bless us Lord, this Christmas with quietness of mind. Teach us to be patient and always to be kind."
--Helen Steiner Rice

....a bit of a holiday break.
I'll be back soon.


color inspiration for a stocking

I am being inspired by color.
It all started with my sister wanting a new flower for this handbag that I made her.  Her other flower? = droopy.  So she requested anna's fabric flower in colors that would go with her handbag.

So I got my fabrics out and became enamored with the colors --> vivacious pink, coal black & snow white. Seeing the flower completed, I wondered what I could crochet with these same gorgeous colors....

...and came up with a very non-traditional Christmas stocking.

The grannyy square is from:

I laid the blocks out to form a nice stocking shape and btw--- I'm not sure the proper way in adhering the granny squares together before seaming them as a stocking -- but the safety pins worked well.

And although I do not like it when stores etc. cannon-ball straight-away into Christmas and mindlessly ignore Thanksgiving-- I am realistic enough to know that if I don't get started on this stuff now, I'll be running around like a lunatic and trying to get all of my projects done ( read= not a pretty sight.)

Now I have to think of clever ways in finagling my husband into decorating our Christmas tree in this color scheme...

I know that will never happen.


hooked together

The more I say that -- hooked together -- the more I like the layers of meaning it evokes.
The crocheted beauty pictured on the left was given to me by my great-aunt.  I was completely stunned when I unfurled it and saw the hours & hours that she put into it.  And the fact that it is now in my possession -- oh, dear! I can not tell you what it means to me.

And knowing that my lovely great-aunt -- who had her husband, & her daughter who was riddled with cancer & her Downs son taken from her long before she herself was called to her heavenly home -- I am just struck with the beauty of each crocheted stitch she took. Was she pained with thoughts of the loss of her precious ones as she joined these blocks together? Was it a healing process for her to see this come to shape? She lost so much, but gave so much more. 

(...and I complain because the internet is running slow and I have to wait for 3 red lights!??...)

Now that this is in my possession, I am hooked together with her.  And it is a lovely feeling.

I had visions of finishing this -- and I still might.  Because honestly! don't you just love that a simple block when joined can form such a beautiful petal-shaped labor of love.  Ohhhhhh, I  a.d.o.r.e.  that!

So I too want to leave something that may take years for me to complete...

...but nonetheless, something that just might get passed along.
So I started paging through old copies of my MAGIC CROCHET magazines and found this gorgeous Sweet William pattern. 
The block is gorgeous.  Enough said.  But what really struck my fancy about this pattern is that it is so much like the one from my great-aunt.  By itself: pretty.  But when joined together as one, it seems to take on a whole different dimensional quality that is truly fabulous and so, so different from the original block.

Time to start joining these 2 blocks with many, many more to come....


bootiful + 3 more

A wee bit addicting, yes.
That is to say -- crocheting these simply sweet halloween amigurumi from Lion Brand Yarn.

I couldn't stop with just the ghost, spider, pumpkin & witch hat....

...I just had to crochet the bat, owl (btw---I added ears to the owl -- the pattern does not call for them, but our daughter was convinced he looked like a giant, green bug w/o them.) and of course, the cutie-patootie mummy. 
Don't you just love those bandages?! 
So fun to make and honestly! -- winding & attaching the crocheted strip around his head was such a hoot.


A bootiful & adorable collection, I must say.



These amigurumi are so bootiful --- they just tickle my funny bone!

Okay.  They are beyond cute & adorable and the patterns can be found here.  And bonus--> they only take a smidgen of scrap yarn and a H hook.

I just loooooooooove the instant gratification of working up these tiny little things.

Easy on the stitches & easy on the time.

But HuGe on the cute-ibility factor.


berry to the rescue

Instead of being 'berry to the rescue' this post should be entitled: 'curse of the crocheted garment'.
Yes, I am cursed.
(And I am saying that entirely in jest, of course.)
But what else could explain my inability to crochet a garment?!  If you know me, I have grandiose ideas & beginnings for beautiful-steal-your-breath-away (ahem. see previous post.....) garments and I either

1 .get stuck and have to rip out the stitches
or I
2. get stuck and have to rip out the entire garment
    not once; not twice; but about 5,000,000 times
    to the point where I just want
    to hurl the entire project out the window set the project aside until a later date.
Okay.  So the progress on my Dragonfly Shawl is not going well.  It has almost resulted in me shedding tears -- I keep adding/losing stitches and rows and......oh, man!......the yarn is so beautiful & fragile.....I hate to see it being ripped back again & again & again & again & again.....
So, berry to the rescue!

Nothin' like a little strawberry coaster to soothe the 'I-can't-do-this' beast that seems to have taken up residence in my house.

Quick & easy.
From this delicious book that I was so excited to receive from Di Pais at Christmas time.

This worked up so quickly that I am quite sure that I can get 4 of them done

w/o any tears,
w/o hurling through any windows, or
w/o the sound of stitches being ripped back.

I used a size 5 hook and size 3 crochet thread and just love the look of the FPdc stitch that makes up the body of the berry.  And with the 'lacy' edging that is simply a shell stitch -- it was a delight to do.

Berry good for my almost --Took Up Anything but Crochet moment. 

...and please tell me that you all have moments just like this!


oh! how I love a dragonfly

If I had to pick a favorite bug -- it would be the dragonfly.
Every time I behold the sheer, translucent, shimmering beauty of the dragonfly's wing -- I am stunned into silence.

And guess what?  There is a crochet pattern that involves a dragonfly.   So to speak.


It is Dragonfly Shawl, designed by Lisa Naskrent and is described as being a

'symphony of elegance with a dance in flight.'

Everything about this pattern is a 'symphony of elegance'!  The pattern can be found here:

interweave CROCHET winter 2008

Now, given the alternative of written directions vs. a diagram -- hands down, I will always pick the diagram.

I mean -- honestly!  I could not wrap my head around any of this:

... s-ch 5 in each ch-5 sp
to first SMK,
[BP-sh-seq, s-ch-5 in next ch-5 sp]
through first ch-5 sp after last
SMK on this side...

What does that mean?!!?
So, thank goodness for a drawn diagram and probably the most delectable yarn ----  Shadow Tonal Lace Yarn in Blue Violet from KnitPicks  in the most gorgeous shade of periwinkle (read ---> my favorite color!)
Being a laceweight, I had a super hard time getting used to using a D hook with a size 0 yarn.  And yes, I did have to frog my first 20 attempts at getting this started.  Getting those first 3 rows going was the most difficult for me.
But, duh! -- after studying the diagram, I realized that the pattern is very, very easy to memorize and now that I can actually see a completely magnificent shawl starting to appear --- I am stealing away as much time as possible to get this done so it can be draped around my shoulders.