Tuesday, March 31, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #14--Shirley the Turtle Amigurumi

I am going to be very tired tomorrow morning, but I was determined to finish this sweet little turtle amigurumi today.  At 11:01 p.m., I have 59 minutes left in #NationalCrochetMonth here in the central time zone.

I made this sweet turtle for my cousins Janet and Ellie in honor of their mom Shirley.  They asked me to make a turtle as a mascot for their Walk to End Alzheimer's team Slowly But Shirley.  Aunt Shirley was a lovely woman and she is greatly missed by her family.  My dad is now experiencing dementia-like symptoms and I would love to see more awareness of brain related maladies.







I still have to tweak her hat a bit and take a picture of her with natural light, but I wanted to make sure I got this posted today.  What do you think of her?

I bought the pattern for Shirley from www.pepika.com.

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It's been a lot of fun sharing various crochet projects with you.  I wish I had been able to post more, but I will continue to do so even though National Crochet Month has ended.

Have a wonderful day!

-J

Sunday, March 29, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #13--Amigurumi Woodland Birds

Spring has sprung here in my part of the world.  How is the weather like where you are?  We still have cold nights and some chilly days, but you can tell that warmer weather is nearly here.

One of the best things about Spring is the plethora of birds that show up at the feeder on our deck and in our yard.  Of course, we have our fair share of winter birds too.



But soon we will have yellow finches and red finches too.  While we are waiting for those lovely creatures, here are a few birds I have crocheted myself.  I used Stacey Trock's pattern from her Craftsy class called Woodland Animals.  They are super easy to make and so darn cute too!





This one was made with baby-friendly eyes.  
I love my sweet little birds. Happy crocheting!


#NationalCrochetMonth


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!




Today is Saint Patrick's Day, a day for acknowledging and celebrating one's Irish heritage. I am a fourth generation Irish American whose ancestors immigrated to America prior to the potato famine.  


I used to think that being Irish was all about the fun and vibrancy of wearing green, chasing imaginary leprechauns to their pots of gold, and picturing oneself watching the sun set on Galway Bay.  

During my childhood and teenage years, I remember listening to albums by: 
  • The Irish Minstrels  [sorry, no video available]
  • John Gary 





  • The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (get your hankies ready when you watch The Band Played Waltzing Matilda)




  • Paddy Reilly

and 


  • The Wolfe Tones
  

Celtic Symphony will always be one of the best parts of several Saint Patrick's Days growing up.  My cousins and aunts and uncles even built and entered family floats in dozens of Saint Patrick's Day parades, again singing songs of patriotism, rebellion, and drinking.  And Celtic Symphony countless times.

~~~~~~

In high school, I became enamoured with William Butler Yeats' poetry.  I dream of going to visit Innisfree and his gravesite at Benbulben some day.  



The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now and go to Innisfree
A small cabin build there of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee, 
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings, 
There midnight's all aglimmer and noon a purple glow, 
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore,
While I stand on the roadway or on the pavement grey, 
I hear it in the deep heart's core. 
~~~~~~


And, of course, I became one of the biggest fans of U2.  In fact, I've liked them longer than Edge has been wearing a hat!  That's a very long time!



~~~

In the mid-1980's, my hometown of Shawnee, Kansas and my dad, who was a councilman there at that time, established a sister city with Listowel in County Kerry.  Over the years, I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people from there and develop friendships with them.  What a beautiful town in a beautiful part of a beautiful country.  Can you tell that I kind of like Ireland?  The picture below is of Christy's pub owned by none other than Mr. Christy Walsh. 

~~~
Green has been my favourite colour for ages.  Now I love purple almost as much as I love green, thanks to my beloved lavender.  Yet, as the old adage goes, a true Irish person can see forty shades of green.  Or is that Johnny Cash?  

~~~

I was lucky enough to travel to Ireland way back in 1989 while I was studying abroad.  Unfortunately, I haven't been back since but I want to go so badly, especially when I reminisce like I am doing now.  Until then, I will ensconce myself in Irish colour and culture whenever I can.  


Along these lines, check out this article!  You'll be glad you did!
~~~

I will leave you with one of my favorite passages of Yeats.  


~~~

I hope you've had a wonderful Saint Patrick's Day!  

Sl√°inte!


Monday, March 16, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #12: Crocheted Octopuses/Octopi

(I've changed the title of my posts because I haven't been able to keep up to one post per day.  Sorry!)

We live in the middle of a large mass of land (North America), far away from any ocean, a fact that causes great consternation to my Pisces soul.  For some strange reason, however, my husband loves octopuses.

For the last four Christmases, I have given handmade crocheted octopuses to my husband.  I found the pattern on Etsy at a shop called Ruby Submarine.  I started with his favorite color (orange) and I used weird googly eyes.  But then my crochet and eye choice got more sophisticated.

What do you think?  Do you have a favorite octopus?







And FYI, the plural of octopus can be either octopuses or octopi.  I looked it up.  :)

I think I like the purple one best.

And the best news of the day:  my dad is getting out of the hospital tomorrow.  :)

--Paix

Thursday, March 12, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #11: Poncho

I made this colorful poncho last fall using Lion Brand's Sunset Poncho pattern.  The yarn is called Landscapes and I chose to use the Boardwalk colorway.  What a bold choice that was because I was stared at by many people the first time I dared to wear this in public!




This yarn works up like a dream.  It is super soft and lovely.  My only problem was the pattern itself.  The back of the poncho is just too short to be useful.  It was very easy to follow but I wish there had been a few more rows to cover more.  I will  have to adjust this if I decide to try this pattern again.  Nevertheless, I loved making this cute crocheted poncho.  

Happy crocheting!

J


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #10: Wristers

We have been blessed with warmer weather for the last few days, which makes everyone just a little more cheerful, I believe.  So imagine my surprise when I walked into my classroom today to a very chilled environment:  it was a mere 63°Fahrenheit!  I had to get my space heater out of the closet so my students (many of whom were dressed in shorts and t-shirts) would not freeze their derri√®res off.

When I sat down at my Mac to open my grade book, my hands were super cold.  So I brought out these wristers I made back in January and went about teaching my class while wearing them.  A few girls asked me about them and were impressed that I had made them.  One even asked if I would make some for her.  As much as I would have loved to sit down and start crocheting right then and there (if for no other reason, so I could warm my fingers up even more), I had the very important task of teaching French to my French 2 class that hour.  But the experience made me decide to make wristers my Day #10 topic.

Here I am wearing the first pair of wristers I made.  They are really fabulous and warm, and they still allow you to use your fingers for fine motor activities.


Of course, this is a Lion Brand pattern and I used Lion Brand Unique yarn in the Passion Fruit colorway.


I have also made another pair for myself using Harvest.



And I made a pair for my daughter using Oceania. She didn't really want me to take her picture and hence, no smile for Mom.



I love these wonderful little wristers.  Why don't you try your hand at making some too?


Oh, and if you didn't quite believe that my classroom was that frigid today, take a look at this:



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pax.


Monday, March 9, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #9: My Daughter's Afghan

It is no secret that I like to crochet.  Sometimes I pick projects that take a lot of concentration and effort, but sometimes I like to just keep my hands busy without having to count or pay too close attention to my stitches.  It is times like these that I like to make double crochet afghans.  I have several sitting around the house that we all like to use.  The first one I want to share with you is my daughter's afghan I made in 2013.

She picked Lion Brand Homespun yarn, which is a wonderful choice because it is super soft!  And it is made in the good old U.S.A.  I made this afghan for her using the Coral Reef colorway.  It is a simple pattern but is self-striping so it looks like I put a lot more effort into than I really did.  I quite like how it turned out.

Here is a link to the original post:  Lizzie's afghan







National Crochet Month Post #8: Amigurumi Cat

Oops!  With the time change, visiting my dad in the hospital (he is doing better), grading Spanish quizzes, and The Walking Dead, I forgot to post yesterday.

So here is yesterday's post:

Day 8:  Amigurumi Cat




I made this amigurumi cat last summer just for the fun of it.  I love the looks of cute little crocheted friends (what amigurumi means in Japanese), but it takes a lot of time, concentration, and counting to finish one successfully.  I used Lilleliis' pattern from her Etsy shop, which you can find here.

Here is a link to the post from last summer:  Limey


Saturday, March 7, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #7: Washcloths

I recently became fascinated with making crocheted washcloths.  I make mostly simple ones, all double crocheted rows, measuring approximately 8.5" x 9".  I love all the colors of yarn that exist and making quick items like washcloths makes me feel a sense of completion that I just don't get with things like afghans.

I wrote a post about my washcloths here.  And here are some pics, including some I didn't use on my previous post.  All yarns are either Lily Sugar'n Cream or Peaches and Creme yarn.

I hope you enjoyed your first Saturday of National Crochet Month!









Friday, March 6, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #6: Kitchen Rug

Last summer, I decided to try something new--making a crocheted rug.  I bought a whole bunch of cotton yarn (Lily's Sugar'n Cream yarn) in super bright colors and I got to work.  I decided to make the stripes random sizes and I quite like how it looks.  

What do you think?  

Here's a link to the post I made about this last summer.  




Thursday, March 5, 2015

National Crochet Month Post #5: Soap Savers

I learned how to make soap savers last summer.  I must made 30 different ones while watching "McLeod's Daughters" and at the same time, learning some nifty Australian slang.  I wrote a post about these several months ago.

A soap saver helps lengthen the life of your soap because you can slip several slivers of soap into the saver and still be able to use the soap.  The saver helps lather up your soap and gets you squeaky clean.  It is made of 100% cotton yarn and it is soft and colorful.  Find a link to that post here.

These are all made with Lily Sugar'n Cream yarn.  And now for some pictures:






Happy showering!

And tomorrow is Friday!