More gray and foggy weather. Lots of wind. I was outside taking pictures last night after work, when two dogs came running down our little dirt road. I ran home and left my camera on the trunk of my car, and set off with the dogs to find their home. I would have brought the camera with me, but I had taken the strap off and worried that one of the dogs would knock it out of my hands. Looking back, I so regret not taking the camera with me. There were so many great moments of happy wet dogs playing, and I failed to capture that. I came home and tore the house apart, looking for that damn camera strap.
My new mantra. I happened upon this blog post, and the post title struck a chord within me. I've had this inner struggle. About originality. And making something "new". And presenting something. And not being contrived. Or boring.
The truth is that I'm never going to say something new. Something that hasn't been said before. Or even presenting an idea in a better way. But that's not the point, is it?
It's easy to get caught up in statistics, and comments and traffic. Who hasn't blogged for other people, trying to get reader response? I know I'm thrilled when I get positive response for a post. And try post along those lines again.
But that's not necessarily the most genuine way to put yourself out there. I need to remember that.
It's been gray and damp today. I went for a walk. Everything was monochromatic. And beautiful. It's lovely to see things coming alive again.
I came upon a couple of Canada Geese, who weren't very happy to see me. They honked and honked and watched me very closely. I left them alone. I could hear them honking long after I walked away. I hope I get to see their babies.
We had a lovely little time. I go through these phases of reallly wanting to cook, to be creative in the kitchen. I think this is closely related to my "lady time", but I try not to think about it too much. Mostly, I think it has to do with my general love of food outweighing my laziness.
On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and made a Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp, from my all time favorite food blog Smitten Kitchen. I think this recipe is the perfect combination of healthy oats and nuts to sweet and tart apples. Mister is always giving me shit, trying to get me to add more sugar. I like the contrast of a sweeter topping paired with a tart fruit.
On Sunday we had a small gathering of family and friends. We're not a religious bunch, but wanted to celebrate Springtime with the ones we love. I made the Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake from, you guessed it, Smitten Kitchen. I've made the cake a few times before, but this time I subbed the pineapple for apple. It was seriously amazing. And pretty! And easy! And most importantly, delicious.
I'm so sorry for the recent silence! Things here have been pretty overwhelming, but are looking brighter. My sweet little cat Harold became really sick- when you picked him up he felt like a floppy noodle and he was sleeping all the time. He underwent a series of tests (it felt like all of the tests under the sun) that concluded that he is at the beginning stages of kidney failure. It sounds terrible, but with proper treatment he could live another two years with a good quality of life. Thank god.
He's now on blood pressure medication and we have to give him an IV of fluids every day. That's right, I'm giving my cat an IV. Every. Day. Let it be known that I am a really squeamish person. Every time the needle goes in or out of him, I shudder. Yuck. Every day it's getting easier, and I can see a difference in his coat and his general temperament since the treatment started. I was so worried that I was going to lose him! It just feels really good to know that he's not going anywhere for a while.
This potholder is the reason I bought my first crochet book. I had seen different versions of it on Ravelry for a potholder swap, and always thought it was the cutest little thing. The edge, how the gatherings go from fat to skinny, fat to skinny. It just pulls at my heartstrings! And the center bit! Oh, the center bit! I love the feel of the whole thing.
Sorry to say, although I still think this is ridiculously cute and I love love love the edging, this project was so boring. Terribly, terrible boring. The tan center is worked up twice, for a front and a back, and then hooked together with the edging. I felt like it would never end. Seriously. Never. I really had to focus on wanting a finished product- otherwise I would have dropped this like a hot-po-tater!
Usually I just put a project away if I'm not feeling it- I'm really happy that I stuck with it! Have you ever had a project that was dull as a doornail- but you just wanted the FO so bad that you slogged through it?
Pattern: Pineapple Lace Doily from Let's Knit Series Start Series
Proud. I am just so so proud. I never thought I would be able to make anything that looks like this doily! It's just so delicate and intricate and pretty pretty pretty! I just couldn't stop working on this project- from start to finish it was about four days. I'm not really a doily using kind of person, so I think I may frame the doilies separately and hang them all together in a group.
This pattern was written in Japanese- I just interpreted the chart. I was fine crocheting in circles- but then I had to work the points individually back and forth. I didn't understand what the chart was trying to tell me! I poured over that page and just couldn't figure it out! I put it away and slept on it. Luckily, when I woke up the next day I figured it out.
I'm really loving Japanese crochet pattern books. I have a couple on the way that specialize on more crochet lace- so excited! I just can't get enough of the hooky, holey goodness!
I am so so so so so excited! This is my first crocheted FO that isn't Granny related, and I couldn't be more pleased! It's the Round Doily (creative name, huh?) from the Lacy Crochet book. I had such a wonderful time figuring out what the hell was going on. I get so into learning new things. Really, I'm just a huge nerd.
I think the most helpful thing about this books is the charts. Being able to see exactly where I was in the pattern helped me to progress through the rounds and to understand where the stitches went in relation to each other.To be honest I probably wouldn't have been able to make this without a physical representation written out in symbols. Learning is very visual for me. When someone tries to explain something to me with words, I kinda blank out and start thinking about something else. My little brain just shuts down for a bit.
The only thing I would change about this is the weight of the yarn. I bought my very first cotton while rushed, and I looked at the itty-bitty thread and thought "there's no way I'm working with something that small". I went home with a size 3 yarn (fingering), when I should have bought a thread. I didn't take into account that crochet works up differently than knit fabric. A fingering weight yarn that is crocheted is going to look a lot more bulky than when knit. I've already started my second doily, and it's using tiny thread. I'm already in love with doily number two.
I know that day five of the Knit and Crochet Blog week is supposed to be in a different format, or an experimental something, but I've decided to throw that to the wind and show you a different kind of project I've been working on. I recently confessed to having and increasing interest in Crochet. Well, yesterday I received this book:
I haven't been able to put it down. Once I stopped drooling over the adorable pictures and dreaming about making every one of the projects right! this! second!, I settled on one and started hooking. Also, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to remove the term "Hooking" from an image of me in fishnet stockings on a street corner. NOT pretty.
This is my WIP of the Round Doily (rav Link). I'm so in love with what I'm making. I've discovered a few mistakes in the rounds below, and just ripped the work out to the mistake and started again. From my experiences with knitting lace, I know that one mistake can throw off the look of the whole piece. I really want my first piece of crochet lace to be beautiful.
I need to make another confession. This is my first time working with cotton. As a knitter, I had a passionate love affair with anything sheepy, but now I can understand that cotton has its merits, too. I'm just amazed at the lovely stitch definition and strength. The doily is looking quite sharp and I can't wait to block it!