Category Archives: Crochet

Southern Summer and Surprises

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What an eventful… almost two months! I must confess, blogging in the last bit hasn’t been a priority. But I have very good reason! My dear younger brother and his wife, along with my precious little niece, have been home for a visit! They flew in about a month ago from Okinawa and have been residing with us here at the Cat House. After months of planning, sneaking, and speaking in code, we managed to surprise everyone with none the wiser.

I have to say, it was absolutely wonderful to hold her in my arms. She’s the spitting image of my brother as an infant – and into everything!

In the last bit, we’ve done a little of everything and a lot of nothing. The kids wanted to go and do, see everyone they’ve been missing for the last two years – which I fully understand – but it would have been nice if at least some of the people had come to them. Ten thousand miles is a long way to travel to have to keep traveling once you’re at your destination because other people are too lazy to make any effort. I think a lot of it had to do with my (very young) sister-in-law, honestly. But that’s neither here nor there. I got to see my niece and spoil her rotten, and that’s all that matters.

Kassi and I took a nice nap together while I was laid up after a rather unfortunate incident the other morning. Grandmama rocked her to sleep and then brought her up to snooze with me and the kitties in the Blue Room. I was tickled when she rolled over and hugged my leg in her sleep. Such a sweet baby (especially when she’s down for the count 😉 ).

After a rather exciting month, I ended their visit by badly spraining my foot. Didn’t stop me too much, but it had me worried – afraid I had broken it and right before I have to be back at the plant for training! Fortunately, it seems to be getting better (though I think I did a little too much today). I get the feeling I’ll be leery of flip-fops for a while yet.

Ever since the kids got here it’s been hot – very, very hot. The daytime high didn’t get below 105˚F for three weeks, blowing the top at a baking 114˚F one day. And top it all off with no rain. Voluntary water rationing and burn bans went into effect stymying the areas plans for Independence Day celebrations – of course, that didn’t stop the large population of idiots around here from setting off fireworks despite the ban. You’d think with what was happening in Colorado at the time that they’d be a little more cautious (especially since all the grass in the town was crackly brown with not a lick of green to be found), but no… Fortunately that’s over, for now (and is it!). The temperatures are back down into the 90s and for a solid week it has rained! The riverbanks are full to bursting and the yards are the greenest they’ve been all year!

In other (craftier) news…

A new hooky project is in the works… and quite a few more are on the boards. I’m finding myself rather desperate for a good yarn store (all of two in the area and one carries next to no cotton). I’ll admit, while I might be computer savvy and am willing to buy odd finds online, I dislike buying textiles through the internet. They’re never the same color as is on the screen and I can’t put my grubby paws on them to see if I like their texture before I purchase. I hear about all these great brands, wonderful colors… but I’m picky. I really like the feel of Lily Brand Sugar n Cream, but they don’t have all the colors I want (and my most recent green from them feels funny, weirdly stiff and unappealing)… And other brands have wool in them – or I’ll find a color I like but it’s acrylic (I’m allergic to acrylic yarns). Or most annoying yet, a store will advertise Cotton-Bamboo blends but have none in stock. See? Picky. Finicky. And a darned sight more than frustrated I really should let myself be over this.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day… and another yarn shop.

Warm regards,
Am

Miss Me In May

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Sometimes I stop to smell the flowers… and just stay there. I think the hardest part of being unemployed and looking for a job is the depression and anxiety… And I get distracted from things I need to do because I’m busy distracting myself from the D/A. I promised myself when I started this that I’d keep going. And I fully intend to! I just had to give myself a swift kick in the pants and hopefully I’m back on course!

Summer has fully set in at the MidMod house and we’ve been putting our alls into the yard and garden! The walk got a fresh coat of paint and, to the our happy astonishment, looks like we poured new concrete instead! (For which I am truly happy seeing as I can hardly stand a painted walk!) What’s more, not twenty minutes after we’d finished and hied ourselves off for showers did it come pouring down!

It was just a torrent of rain. Heavy, large drops crashing down while thunder rumbled and boomed about… all the while it was brightly sunny. We’re very lucky – the heat had already baked the paint and our efforts weren’t for waste.

On and on and on… steam rising and filling the air. Such a nice way to end a hot summers day. We even were the proud recipients of a stunningly bright and dazzling rainbow or two. (I couldn’t get a clear shot of the double rainbow while we were driving. Poo.)

We sure could use that again! Not that yesterday’s windstorm wasn’t helpful for cooling off, but our newly planted flowers in our newly tilled garden could use some hearty rain full of nutrients! The spiderwort is looking rather ragged and the daylillies are displeased with being transplanted on such a hot weekend.

Between planting things and painting walks, we’ve had some pretty exciting weekends this last month, what with the Blue Angels flying over head…

The light was poor but you can just make out US NAVY on the wing. All 6 of them, right over the top of the house in the final formation. Scared the wits out of the cats and sent them scrambling to hide under cars and bushes. We got a few photos, but most didn’t come out – too overcast and too fast moving.

Last week I learned how to make the non-lap cat into a lap cat. The secret, at least with Miss Capa, is give her a bath! She’ll find her damp way into your dry lap and nest there for an hour. Of course, it meant I had to change pants (again) but it was worth it.

Speaking of worth it! The baby blanket finally arrived in Okinawa (a month later than planned)! I think Kassi likes the bunny more than the blanket and I really wish I’d thought to put a bell or a rattle in its head before stitching it all together. (Maybe next time?) She shakes it around until she lets go of it and it flies off somewhere for her to chase. Reminds me of my cat who likes to play fetch… with herself.

I’m looking forward to seeing them in just a few short weeks. Plans are set and lips are sealed. Surprises await.

Also working on a new hooky project in the form of a Catherine Wheel bag…

Something fun for summer and it’ll allow me experience lining a crochet piece.

Yesterday I took some time to tramp through the woods and experience nature, uncultivated. Five miles of happy trailing filled with rocky river beds and some amazing massive sinkholes… (few of which I got photos of because my battery was dying)… and one teeny tiny…

Mini-mantis! And some wonderful areas of where water sometimes moves…

Phew that was a lot going on… Maybe I’m not so lazy after all? Yeah, I don’t believe myself either. Really enjoying my chair and vantage point… especially as I just watched a woman in a silver Ford stop in front of my house, climb out of the car, and steal the local newspaper out of my driveway in broad daylight.

My dog is giving me the nap-time-eyes and I think I’ll join him. Hope everyone has had a happy May!

Warm regards,
Am

Darned good!

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Despite adversity and disappointments in job hunting, root canals and other appointments of doom: It’s done! All the ends are darned, the edge is lacy and girly, the flower is tightly attached, and we’re ready to go! I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. My first blanket! Using the best inspiration possible: auntie’s love. I made some mistakes, but one is bound to with their first version of something. All in all, I think it turned out nearly perfect and I’m satisfied with that. Frilly and pretty and strong enough to withstand the abuse it will have put to it by a growing child.

I even whipped up a little bunny for her as an Easter gift as well as ‘oops it’s late, here’s a bit more’. He was fun to make and another first, venturing into the world of softies/amigurumi.

Hoppy bunny and stripy blanket are ready to get boxed and shipped off to Okinawa. Fair travels, hooky projects! May you make someone very happy for a very long time!

This has been a wonderful adventure! There have been sore hands and sore heads, frustrated scowls and hisses of ‘cachi’, a bit of frogging, and a lot of love and excitement. I’m both glad and sad it’s over. Glad because it can now go to the little girl it was dreamt up for. Sad because all I’ll have left of it is scraps, memories, and photos. I feel really accomplished!

Hope your Monday was as positive!

Warm regards,
Am

Whew, what a week!

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It’s been busy… Between stormy, hooky Thursday (complete with bowls of warm cawl and spongy bread). Super frantic family Friday (filled with homemade blueberry muffins, happy hooky flowers, and bubbling lasagna). Springtime retaining wall building Satruday (boy am I sore!). And lazy antique hunting Easter Sunday (few open places, but we managed a couple hits). I’m pooped! I can hardly believe it’s been four days since I had a moment to sit down with this thing. (I’ll admit to being a little distracted anyway. Half napping, half watching NCIS while my Mam snoozes on the sofa – though she’s the one who suggested we needed a bit of Jethro.)

Despite the rain, we had some pretty mornings. (Missy kept me company in the sitting room as I hooked away. She matches the tea set rather perfectly, I think.)

And some dog-day afternoons. (Indy snuffled around while I took a break to feel the sun on my face.)

And I even managed to sit down and finish the hooky blankie project. All that’s left is to attach the flowers and put it to post! Six plus balls of yarn, 1.200 plus yards, thousands and thousands of stitches, more hours than I bothered counting, and lots and lots of love… all for my darling little niece.

She really is a spunky little thing! Check out those shades! All dolled up for Easter (which was yesterday for them) and crawling through the clover. So serious too! It’s mean business, crawling. I think she’s mad she’s not running yet.

Speaking of running, I best do so myself. Happy holiday!

Warm regards,
Am

Good morning, sleepyhead…

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Capa says, fair weather good morning to ya! It is a lovely Wednesday morning here. The sun is bright, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, the bag of yarn is packed and ready to get to the tasks ahead of me. Oh and my niece is officially 6 months old! Crawling, pulling up, blowing raspberries, teething on teeny Japanese Coca-Cola cans, and generally running my sister-in-law ragged!

After a lazy morning of setting up Instagram for Android (super excited, if you can’t already tell!) and acquiring a Tumblr account (look at me, getting all fancy now) to collect all my pretties on, we’re taking my car to get a quote on fixing my front fender. The poor TARDIS (yep, that’s her name) had a run in with a Land Rover (in an effort to avoid getting punched by a Punch-Buggy) when I was living in Richmond; and now that I’m back home she’s getting dolled up and made pretty again. Long overdue. Hence the traveling yarn bag… The blanket will be done for shipping tomorrow!

Nattering done, I’m off to find the sun… or at the least, find a relatively clean hole in Stevie’s shop where I can crochet as he looks over my poor darling. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Warm regards,
Am

F-f-f-friday!

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I love Friday mornings. Especially ones like today. I have a cat in the window – and one in the clothes basket! There’s sunlight and the Dogwoods are in bloom, brighting the green of the surrounding trees with white and pink. My morning coffee is dregs and there’s a feeling of peace. Ah, Spring, how I love you! I feel like I’m buzzing with creativity just breathing!

There’s one week until Easter weekend… and today is a hussel day for me. Why? Because I have a baby blanket to finish, photograph, and stuff into a box so it can make its way to Okinawa, Japan! We’re going global! I’m so excited! Alright, alright… calming down. Backing it up. Let’s start here…

Would you believe the Easter-y colours were accidental? I didn’t even realise it until I started getting a few rows in… Destiny! Even more destiny? I grabbed the first empty small box I could find to put my yarns in… which just so happened to be the ModCloth box from my birthday present! I think I’ll keep using this box for ‘project of the moment’ yarns.

This cute little thing (growing as quickly as a baby!) is for my niece, Kasia. My brother, D, is in the USAF so I’ve yet to meet her, hold her in my arms. But soon! We’re keeping fingers crossed and lips locked about a potential visit. Shhh, don’t tell!

I can’t wait to put the finishing touches on this blanket. I just want to plough through so I can get to the trim and flowers, but I also want to take my time and enjoy the process. It’s better this way… less time to grow attached to it. Well, I suppose I’d better stop typing and get stitching if I want to send it out with this weekend’s packages!

Warm regards,
Am