Between the drops

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We’ve had so much rain here lately that I’m seriously considering to go into hibernation mode until it’s all over. I know, I know. It’s unfair to complain about a bit of rain and mud when the country needs water so badly, and when my friends in the northern states and Canada are snowed in, but I do love sunshine with a passion and absolutely need lots of it to feel happy.

In the meantime, we are going on with our indoor diversions of baking, reading and crafts. In the photo above, you can see the cute little throw-on vest I had just completed (the loose ends still need to be tucked in!). It’s made from alpaca wool blend and was a joy to work on. I imagine it would also work great with pure alpaca yarn, such as this lovely yarn from LoveCrochet.

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On a rare sunshiny afternoon, we went for a walk to take some photos of these beauties – almond trees in bloom, the typical local herald of spring.

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And this last one is my favorite – this old stump looked quite dead until new green shoot began to pop up all over it. Now it’s teeming with life. So hopeful!

I hope you are all staying safe and warm and successfully battling cabin fever. Soon enough, it will be time for working in the garden, gathering wild edibles and, perhaps my most dreaded feature of the season, spring cleaning.

Using Up Yarn Scraps

I went to sleep after a lovely sunny day of working in the garden and pleasant outdoor time with my kids, in full expectation of doing some of the same tomorrow – but woke up to sounds of rolling thunder. This means a day of staying cozy inside, reading, many cups of tea and cocoa and, of course, crafts.

Speaking of which, pop over to read my latest Mother Earth News post, full of ideas on using up those little odds and ends of yarn that you surely have in your stash:

“If you are an avid knitter or crocheter like I am, you will inevitably at some point end up with a stash of scrap yarn, left over from various projects, which you cannot bear to throw away. Fear not, however – those little odds and ends can be used in a variety of creative ways which will leave your craft cabinet looking a lot more orderly.”

And, since freeing up space in your yarn stash is the perfect excuse to get new yarn, you might want to check the clearance page on LoveCrochet. All these lovelies just get me drooling.

I’m hooked!

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When the weather is cold, cozy cuddly yarn projects are a wonderful way to keep busy while options for outdoor exercise are limited. I’m now working on a vest made from alpaca wool blend such as this beautiful yarn – I love the warm natural feel of it. I will be sure to share the final product with you when I’m done, and then I have some lovely thin mohair in my yarn stash I can’t wait to work with.

Since I’m really pleased with how I keep my hands busy at times when I would otherwise be fiddling with my phone (and I really mean fiddling – with no good purpose), and since I don’t want to go on a long crocheting break when the weather gets warmer, I’ve also ordered some lighter cotton yarn suitable for warm weather, and have some very cool ideas I’d love to try.

You know what I’d really love to do, though? Learn to spin wool. I do hope I get a chance to do that someday.

Busy as bees

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Lately, I challenged myself: instead of fiddling with my phone whenever I have a spare moment, what if I whip out the crochet hook and work on some little project? The result: surprisingly quickly, I completed this adorable (if I do say so myself) tiny dress for Hadassah. It’s made of yak wool blend similar to this one and is very soft to the touch, cozy and warm.

I didn’t follow an exact pattern, but I can say that I started working from the waist up on the front half, then went back to work from the waist down on the skirt, and in the end stitched front and back halves together on the sides.

Also take a look at this latest little video on my YouTube channel: honeybees busy at work on the mustard flowers in our garden. With a nice sunny spell, we’ve finally been able to do some weeding (not enough) and planting (somewhat haphazardly).

 

And it rained, and rained, and rained

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For the past couple of days, it has been cold, dreary, windy and rainy, and we’ve been shut inside, doing our best to spend our time productively and pleasantly indoors. I started some seeds, did some baking, and went on with my crocheting projects. The little poncho/capelet is coming along nicely.

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I’ve also ordered some yak wool blend, and I’m excited to try it – I’ve never worked with yak wool before, but it sure feels very pleasant to the touch.

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A batch of super simple granola bars, thrown together in 5 minutes, out of the oven in 15 – a healthy snack to keep up our energy in the afternoon.

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A kitty who found the coziest spot on a cold morning. Behind, you can see our crafty center, where we keep all our art supplies, paper, glue, modeling clay, etc.

I look forward to sunny days and puttering around the garden, but in the meantime, there’s so much to be grateful for – for instance, the fact that we repaired the roof and the air conditioning before this last cold and rainy spell.

Cold weather yarn projects

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The drop in temperatures means it’s a perfect time to whip out the yarn and crochet hooks (or knitting needles) and get to making beautiful and useful things. Check out these cute two-color slipper socks I recently completed – perfect for pattering around the house for kids who don’t like bulky slippers. I’m really quite proud of them.

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And while I’m on the roll, here’s the start of another project – a circular white round poncho. I haven’t crocheted in a while, and it’s a true joy to get back to it. All I need is to get started with a project and make sure I always have it in my bag for those quiet spells I’m out and about and have a few spare minutes waiting in line or sitting on a bench in the park while my kids play.

Patterns used: Bev’s Very Easy Booties, enlarged to a size that would fit older kids.

Bea Poncho – I love lacy patterns like this, and it’s really easy and fun to work.

Little projects for a little winter

After a hot, dry spell, we’re finally enjoying some cool weather and lovely refreshing rains, which means it’s time to whip out the teapot, candles and yarn… while the weather lasts.

I’ve made these lovely crocheted booties in newborn size before, and was (sorry for the pun) hooked. They were so quick, simple to make and comfy that I ditched every other pattern I’ve used before. Now I’m trying to make some in a bigger size for kids who prefer warm thick socks to slippers around the house. I’ll let you know how it works out.