Monday, August 27

Seems like this month has slipped by before I could catch ahold of it. The heat and humidity kept most of my crocheting to a minimum, outside work to almost nil except for the obligatory mowing as I had to and trying like mad to keep the tomato plants watered enough to keep them alive. I have harvested a few tomatoes, they're starting to ripen three or four at a time which works out great for me, I have a couple and have some to share as well.

The projects I did accomplish this month were worked mostly late nights, when things cooled enough to be holding yarns. I have several photos to post so I hope you enjoy looking at them all.

Ribbon yarn shawl for toddler.

Details of edging.

Peach hat using up leftover yarn.

Child's poncho, also using up leftover yarn.

Picot Wrap I made from a pattern for a Picot Lace Shawl. I worked the pattern according to directions and apparently they were unclear as to the decreasing of each end so I ended up with a rectangle, and since I was already ten or twelve rows into it I decided to keep it rectangular and came out with this.

I also worked a couple of the Flamenco Wraps up using cotton 4 ply yarn rather than the ribbon yarn. The first one I made came out a little short because the chain five triangular section wasn't as long as it came up using ribbon yarn. So, the second one I made I switched to a chain seven triangle and it worked out wonderfully.

The pictures didn't come out as clear as I would have liked, I think because of the colorway of the yarn itself.

Here's a close up of the flower closure that is used in the pattern. It's hard to see but I really liked the way it came out. It looks a lot better in person than the pictures show.

The second Flamenco Wrap is more clear in the pictures, again I think due to the colorway. As you can see it came out considerably longer due to the increases in the chains of the triangular piece. Lovely!

A closeup of the details of the back triangle edging pieces.

I used a button by itself for the closure on this wrap. I liked the color of the button, thought it went well with the colors of the yarn.

I loved the look of Caron Feathers yarn and loved the free pattern for the shawl that was made using the yarn but didn't have enough yarn for the project. I did however, have quite a bit of Frenzy yarn and since I am trying to use up yarn (rather than purchasing more for a particular project) I substituted the Frenzy for the Feathers in this shawl. I like the way the piece came out, although as usual, I goofed something up and the shawl came out with angled ends rather than blunt, straight ends. Go figure, lol!

Here's a closeup shot so you can see both the yarn and stitch detail.

Saturday, August 4

Beating the Heat

Dog Daze
With temperatures soaring into and through the 90's and humidity levels rising to make it feel more like 100+ I can say the dog days have truly come to Louisville. Air pollution index is in the hazard range for at least the next three days and probably longer. Next week the temps are expected to soar even higher.

Needless to say all this heat has been slowing down my creative juices and so I'm not producing with the frenzied enthusiasm of months prior. I have a few new projects completed to show you today, and up until the day before yesterday I was having a hard time finding anything to inspire me. I did however find some inspiration and will show you the results of that as well with this posting.

Fried Green Tomatoes
On a good note, my tomato plants are thriving despite the heat, although as of yet I've not had any tomatoes ripen. But oh boy, when they do! Have numerous tomatoes, most of them still small but there are six that are getting what I like to call "eatin' size" and if it weren't for the heat and humidity they would be in danger of becoming fried green tomatoes. LOL. Now, fried green tomatoes are traditionally a southern delicacy and something I didn't develop a taste for until I became an adult. Even now, I only eat them once a year, or once every couple years. For one thing, fried foods are not allowed on my diet and for another, it's a hot, sweaty, messy job in the dead heat of summer.

Since this heat has hit, I've been utilizing my crockpot in hopes of keeping the heat at bay, or at least to a minimum. I cooked up a mess of black beans and have been living on black bean tostadas, nachos and tacos for the last few days. I also make quite a few pasta salad type dishes because they can be prepared at night, when the temps are down, cooled in the fridge and left as long as necessary. They are also a lovely cool relief to the heat. Of course there are also the inevitable fresh salad greens (oranges, purples and reds as well) and fresh fruits that summer crops proffer but with prices soaring the way they have the last couple of years I have to be creative with my meal planning and have found I'm not eating as much of this as I would normally. But, with only one person to plan/cook for it's difficult to purchase all the fresh produce that a salad requires and then try to get it eaten before it spoils. I try, believe me, but one can only eat so many salads in a days time.

Ok, enough about food. Even though it's one of the great passions of my life (cooking it as well as eating it) I started this blog to report to you all about my crochet endeavors (well, mostly anyway) and so I'm steering back to that subject for now.

Creative Stewing
As I stated earlier, I hit a slump with my crocheting. It started after I finished my first Seraphina Shawl which I made using Bernat yarn in an Antique Rose color. I had a few problems with it, but overall it went very smoothly and turned into a beautiful piece.

Since it turned out so wonderfully I thought I'd make another one using the Cozi yarn I had made the shawl with from my earlier posting. Well, after frogging over half a dozen times I had to put the piece down for fear of ruining that lovely yarn. I was sorely disappointed because I thought that Cozi yarn would make a beautiful shawl, and that's what prompted the slump. After frogging the shawl and putting the yarn back into my stash I simply couldn't find anything that excited me enough to start another project.

I tried stimulating my mind by making a couple more Daisy Charity Squares

Next I used a bit of scrap yarns to make some scrunchies, all the while looking over patterns and trying to come up with something that would give me the surge of creative energy to begin a new larger project.

None of these endeavors were stimulating my creative juices; even flipping through patterns on the internet, pattern books and magazines didn't seem to help. I picked up some thread and made a couple bookmarks in the meantime.

Fan Bookmark Fan Bookmark
Still nothing.

FANcy Fantasies
Finally, I happened upon a link in one of my newsgroups to a new pattern to add to my HQ page and this was the inspiration I needed to start myself crocheting again. I saw this pattern and just fell in love with the piece and decided to make one in the size the pattern called for, another a bit larger and even have been given the impetus to attempt this same pattern in an adult size. How I'll accomplish that task I haven't quite figured out, but I'm going to give it a whirl. Oddly enough this project too is a fan, of sorts. It's called the Imma Fan Poncho and here's the first one I completed in R.H. worsted weight in a mint color.

I have a second in a purple color almost complete. It's the next larger size than this one. Don't have pictures for you yet as I haven't completed it. Those will have to wait for my next posting.