Monday, February 15, 2016

February Things

Hello!!  I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day.  I am so grateful to every one of you who visit me here in my little space and say the loveliest things:  I wish you could have a Valentine card every day of the year!
I had hoped to be here yesterday to show some makes, but it is a long weekend here for us so we have been quite lazy and I am at least a day behind!
I am happy to say I have my first big finish of the year:  my Hudson's Bay Blanket is officially finished!

This was an absolute pleasure to work on from day one.  I used a linen stitch, so it is quite dense but it was very quick.  It is the perfect blankety weight:  not too heavy, but feels nice and comforting.  I finished it just in time for the cold snap we had last week and it has been in almost constant use!

I used a Red Heart yarn for the the cream bits; the colours are mostly Vanna's Choice and one ball of Herrshnerr's eight ounce yarn.  I have enough left for some Canadiana inspired pillows too I think.

Libby gave it her seal of approval as well.  #naughtydog

I recently acquired a bag of ribbon yarn from the thrift store I volunteer at.  I never knew what to do with this stuff because I never had enough of any one kind to make a garment.  A string bag is pretty obvious, but I think this ribbon yarn is a bit too posh for that.  I found a pattern on Ravelry called the Easiest Crochet Shawl Recipe by Raising Godzillas and it is perfect for it.  It goes very quickly:  I think it takes me two to three evenings to crochet one of these.

There was no label on the yarn so I have no idea where it's from or how much was on the roll.  When I finished I had just a few meters left, so I'm not quite sure how much I used.  The ribbon is a black chiffon type with a gold thread in it.  You can wear this as a shawl or wrap it around as a summer scarf.

The reason I started working on it right away is because I came home with something else that day from the thrift store:

Black is normally not my thing, but these two go perfectly together.  I almost can't wait for summer!

Now, back to the time at hand:  I did a little festive crochet for my kitchen in the form of new scrubbers:

This is the 'Scrubbie Dots' pattern by Doni Speigle.  I used some cotton scrubbie yarn from my stash.

Valentine's stitching for the year:

Each pattern was found via Pinterest. You can get the patterns HERE (XO); HERE (tic tac toe); and HERE (kittens). 

It seemed to be a Pinterest inspired celebration with treats:

 ...and more crochet, this time for a good friend with a Valentine's birthday.

Heart pattern can be found HERE.

Whew!  Finally caught up!

So now we are in the season of Lent, and as a family we typically give up the things that distract us the most during this time.  If you have younger children you no doubt know that computers and video games are the biggest culprits. It's amazing the changes that happen around here during these six weeks by severely limiting screen time.  Many books are read:  many beautiful drawings and Lego creations are completed.  Jigsaw puzzles are worked on together;  the few movies that are allowed are watched together as a family.  There are fewer squabbles and really it is just more peaceful around here.  It's amazing to see what is accomplished  when we use the gifts we were born with and not distracted by technology or comparing ourselves to stuff we see on it.

I use this time to work on, and hopefully finish, those projects that have been languishing in my craft cupboard.  I am easily distracted by new projects and often start new ones in a burst of excitement before finishing what I am working on.  I try to exercise some discipline in using what I have on hand as well, as opposed to going out and buying new materials for new projects.  I don't have too much of a problem with mindless TV watching, but things like Pinterest can really waste my time so I try to avoid that as well.  I get much more accomplished during this time, and it is actually a time of year I look forward to!  The kids - not so much...but it's only six weeks, and sometimes you need to give up a few things you think you can't live without to appreciate what you have.

OK, after that I am all finished.  Thank you so much for visiting and your sweet words.  I am only "allowed" a small bit of time on the internet so it will take me a bit longer to catch up on what you're doing.  I will be visiting you though!  Have a wonderful week my lovely friends:)

Happy Days!


Brigitte said...

So many beautiful things to be seen here again. Your new summer dress looks gorgeous with the shawl you crocheted to go with it. A wonderful combination. And that blanket is so perfect for cold winters.
I love the Valentine cards you made and all the lovely sweet treats which look so delicious. And your friend was certainly very pleased with the beautiful pink heart your crocheted as a gift.

The House with the Blue Door said...

You have been busy! Such lovely makes, especially your cosy blanket and gorgeous shawl. I agree that things like Pinterest are incredibly inspiring, but can eat away at my time, as I tend to get very side-tracked when I'm on it and end up full of creative ideas, but with no time to realise them in. I'm trying to slow down a bit, taking one thing at a time. I hope you have a creative and restful Lent, and enjoy your technology-free time.
Cathy x

Robin in Virginia said...

Jenn, thank you for sharing all your creations. Your blanket looks fabulous as does your shawl/scarf. What sweet Valentine pieces you created and thank you for sharing the links.

Justine said...

You've been up to some gorgeous crocheting! I love your Hudson Bay blanket, the colours are amazing.
I like your Lenten philosophy as well. I am trying to use more of what I have already. We don't have space for things that don't have a purpose.

Carol said...

I love your idea of limiting those time-wasters, Jenn! When I think of the time I spend just mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest, etc. I realize I should try your approach, too. I hope the six weeks pass quickly for the kids--I know kids can't do without their electronics these days! It is so different than when my kids were growing up. Video games and computers were just beginning to make their appearance when my oldest was six or seven. Kids really did play outside more and make up the greatest games on their own :)

What a great dress you found at the thrift shop and your new ribbon shawl looks just perfect with it. And what a great bunch of Valentine's themed creations! Your Hudson's Bay Blanket is the best, though--what a great finish :) (I can't help but notice your lack of snow in the photo?!)

Enjoy your day, although with your curtailed use of the computer--you may not read this until sometime in March :)

mrs. smythe said...

Again, an inspiring round of finished projects! I love that blanket. I'll have to look into linen stitch. I really like how it looks. Love the scarf/dress combo - the dress was a great find, and the scarf suits it perfectly. The scrubbers intrigue me - my mother (who also crochets) just finished some and sent me photos. Such a fun idea. And, I'll have to show my kids the Mine Craft Valentines. They'll appreciate those. Everything, really, is wonderful!
About Lent - one of my kids has given up her computer for the duration. This past week, she pulled out her loom and knit up a hat and a leg warmer (second leg warmer will be worked on today, I think). Also, she's doing more reading. You're right, it makes a huge difference when screens aren't competing for attention. I hadn't thought of the whole family scaling back, though. That's a great idea and one I'm tempted to put into practice next year.
Looking forward to your next round of finishes... :)

Becki said...

The Hudson Bay Blanket is terrific. And that picture of Libby on it - they go together! What beautiful Valentine things you've created!

You wrote: "It's amazing to see what is accomplished when we use the gifts we were born with and not distracted by technology or comparing ourselves to stuff we see on it." This is so true in my life. I find the internet to be both inspiring and distracting from creativity at the same time. I place some limits on my "social" activities online this time of year. It's a refreshing discipline.

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