This kind of day

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Yesterday spring was really in the air. We found the first surprise eggs from our pullets in odd corners – you can imagine the thrill (I don’t have a store bought egg to place side by side for comparison, but they are about 2/3 as large and a 100 times tastier).

I made the nesting boxes all comfy and cozy and placed dummy eggs inside.

I planted peas and sweet peas.

I put the yard in order a bit after the recent winds and rain and being unable to poke my nose out. It was great.

Now today we have more rains, a chilling wind, lots of mud, and I’ve caught whatever bug that has been making its way among the kids. Again.

But that’s OK too, as long as I have the comfort of my warm bed, books, yarn, and hot chocolate.

Stay cozy and warm!

Happy 5th birthday

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I know it sounds like such a cliché, but I absolutely find it hard to believe that Israel is 5 years old already. It really seems like yesterday that he was born, despite all the many things that happened in between.

I remember the day of his birth so well. It was Friday, and he was born just a few minutes before Shabbat – I just barely had time to call my mom and let her know she has a new grandson.

Then a week later, on the day of the brit (circumcision) we got snow that lasted all weekend. I remember sitting next to the gas heater, so happy with my new baby, just watching the snowflakes falling and falling. His two big sisters had gone out to play in the snow – something you have to do when you get snow in this country because you know it won’t last.

Coincidentally, Israel’s birthday is just 8 days (and 6 years) apart from his eldest sister’s. Yes – another birthday, Shira’s, coming up next week! I’m already looking up cake ideas and we’re going to put up even more balloons.

Between the rains

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After a big rain and with the prospect of more wet days this week, we are trying to make the most of a bit of sun that has popped out. There’s a little stream currently running near our house – a heaven for kids with rubber boots.

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More water.

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Chickens enjoying a break from being damp and miserable.

I know I must have said this countless times, but I’m such a sun person Israel is the perfect place for me to live in. Nevertheless, for now we are mobilizing all our indoor resources to keep productive and happily occupied:

– Paper, crayons, watercolors, pencils

– Modeling clay and slime (the latter not my favorite but my kids love it)

– Yarn

– Board games: monopoly, scrabble, puzzles

– And of course lots and lots of books!

Stay warm and cozy and don’t forget to make yourself a nice cup of tea. Longer, warmer days are on the way!

The Twin Beanies

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It turns out that our hike from last week came at just about the perfect timing since we are now having even more rain, wind, cold, mud, and weather that generally invites one to stay indoors for many cups of hot tea, good reads and, of course, yarn!

I just finished making these twin velvet hats for Shira and Tehilla, which marks the end of my stash of velvet yarn – phew! I love the result, but it was sure more difficult than usual to work with, and it has little to no stretch so it requires exact measurements.

Both hats are pretty freeform, worked starting from the brim and bottom up. I did cable twist and alpine stitch on the other.

I hope you are all warm and cozy this winter, and I wish you all a very happy new year of creativity, crafting, and making wonderful memories with your families.

Soft Shells crochet beret

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Since I’ve ordered plenty of enticingly soft velvet yarn, I couldn’t resist making another cozy beret for these cold rainy days. This one is snugger-fitting than my slouchy beret, although it uses the same amount of yarn – and, what makes me really excited, it’s the first time I actually wrote down a row by row pattern when making an original item, so now I can share it with you all!

Materials: 1 skein velvet yarn

Crochet hook 4mm/ G

Special stitches used: shell; single crochet two together (sc2tog)

Row 1: make foundation circle and work 12 double crochets into it.

Row 2: Work 3 shells across the dc (double crochet) tops. Slip stitch and join.

Row 3: Work two sc (single crochets) into the top of each stitch.

Row 4: Work 6 shells into sc row.

Row 5: Work 2 SC into the top of every second stitch: it would go 1sc, 2SC, 1sc, 2sc… All the way around, slip stitch and join.

Row 6: Work 9 shells into sc row.

Row 7: 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc in top of same stitch… Repeat all the way around.

Row 8: 12 shells.

Row 9: 3 sc, then 2 sc in top of same stitch, repeat all the way around.

Row 10: 15 shells.

Row 11: 4 sc, 2 sc in top of same stitch, repeat around.

Row 12: 18 shells.

Row 13: Now we’re beginning the decrease. Make 4 sc, then decrease by crocheting two sc together (sc2tog).

Row 14: 15 shells.

Row 15: 3sc, sc2tog, repeat around.

Row 16: 12 shells (or 13 if tension seems too tight).

Row 17: 2sc, sc2tog, repeat.

Row 18: 10-9 shells (adjust for tension).

Row 19: 1 SC, sc2tog… Repeat.

Row 20 onwards: make a few rows of brim in SC, adjusting for desired tightness of fit.

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In the photo: Tehilla (9) modeling the Soft Shells beret for me. It’s adult-sized so it looks a good bit slouchier on her than it does on me.

Chunky crochet hat with stretchy brim

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We’ve finally had some rain, which means long, cozy evenings with lots of yarn! I just finished making this lovely textured hat with a long stretchy brim that can be folded on itself.

It’s really quite similar to my Cozy Cabled Crochet Beanie, except that I made the cabling wider by adding two front post double crochets and alternating the location of the crisscross in each sequence.

I also opted to make the brim with single crochet, rather than slip stitch, in the back loops. It makes for a lighter, less dense texture, uses less yarn, and is less weighty.

Made with yak wool blend and crochet hook number 5.

A picnic lunch

It was a lovely, sunny day, and since Hadassah got up from her nap early, I hurried to pack a lunch and we took a short bus trip to the local park.

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Check out those eggs!

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The ducks got me confused at first, but I was told they actually belong to the guys in the picture below. They are apparently supposed to lay a clutch of 25 or so before the male begins sitting (I like this arrangement).

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This beautiful peacock ate from my hand before flying off. I do so miss having peafowl. Wish we had more space!

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A fountain.

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I’m so glad we were able to fit this trip in before the long spell of rain we’re supposed to have soon.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day!