What I’ve Been Up To…
Apologies all around! I posted last week how I was going to share all this stuff with you, and then I disappeared again. I had a bit of a bad reaction to some of this new medication I started and ended up exhausted and sick the whole week. But I’m finally starting to feel better from that, so thank goodness for the small things!
It seems like everything coincides at once, doesn’t it? I got sick right at the same time as our back to school year (as homeschoolers) started! And then we’re still unpacking and settling in from our move. I’ve been desperately trying to fit in bits and pieces of crochet here and there, but I miss spending a good hour or two crocheting away. Hopefully I’ll be getting back there soon! But in the meantime, let me share what I *have* accomplished in these past couple of months.
First, and it’s an unpleasant reminder, I know – but there are 100 days left until Christmas! And since the plan was for me to make everyone in my immediate family an afghan for the holidays… well, I have some work to get to!
The blankets I’m making for my mom and my sister are similar. They’re both going to be sampler afghans. That makes it more interesting for me as well, since I’m not making a hundred of the same squares, but it presents its own challenges as well – that’s a lot of patterns to follow and make! But it definitely improves my crochet technique with all the new and different patterns. I’ve written about my sister’s colors and squares, which are those chosen by the BAMCAL. For my mom’s afghan though, it’s all about purple!
To say that my mother loves purple is an understatement – we’re talking about someone who painted her office at work purple! So the coordinating colors of Caron’s Simply Soft line with their deep and majestic shades of purple were the perfect choice. I’ve been making a few squares here and there for her, and I’ve also started what’s going to be the centerpiece, but now I need to buckle down and get more of these together so at least I feel like I’m on top of my game.
So here are my latest squares for her purple sampler afghan. This first one is called Merganser Duck Square, which was written up by one of my favorite Ravelry designers, Margaret MacInnis. I use a smaller hook with the Simply Soft, because it’s more of a sport weight than worsted, so I usually end up altering or adding rounds to my squares to bring them up to 12”. For this round, I repeated rounds 6-8, which brought it right up to the size I wanted. The pattern is $2 on Ravelry, and my project page is here.
Next up is this awesome square that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. And you’ll have to excuse me as I CANNOT for the life of me properly photograph purple. Bad news considering I’m doing the whole afghan in these colors, right? I took photos of these in the same sunlight, in the same spot and both turned out different colors. I don’t have the slightest clue what I’m doing wrong. But I digress. Besides being pretty, it’s the Migration Square is easy to make, so beginners shouldn’t be intimidated. It’s called Migration (see how it looks like little birds flying?). This pattern is a free Ravelry download. The pattern page is here, and here is my project page.
Finally, I’ve been working on a centerpiece for the sampler afghan. Sophie’s Garden Mandala has been all over Pinterest, and one day, while a little bored with all my other projects, I thought I would start working on one. Well, one turned into two as I started to envision this great masterpiece at the center of the sampler afghan, and then decided that I couldn’t simply have a centerpiece in one – it would have to be in both. So I started two different sets of Sophie’s Garden with two different colors. It’s definitely not a boring project – all the color changes and different stitches make each round interesting. But doubling the project by making two at once was a little bit repetitive. Nonetheless, after a short break, I got back to work on it, and while it isn’t done yet, I’ve made good progress. I still have yet to figure out what its final size will be, and then I’ll need to adjust the sizes of all the other squares, since it won’t be looking like my original plan. I’m sure it will turn out lovely, though. Now the next thing to get started on is the making of a hundred or so little granny squares… and to think I was complaining about repetition! No photos yet… the project is in the works! But it’s coming, I promise!
On another note, all over Facebook has been this Gratitude Challenge, have you heard of it? For a month or so, you post one thing that you’re grateful for. It’s a way to keep your blessings in mind, rather than focusing on life’s daily challenges. And who couldn’t use a little more gratitude in their life? So I’m motivated to start documenting some of my daily blessings as well. Let’s see if I can consistently make it through a month! If you want to follow my progress, you’ll be able to find my Gratitude Challenge photos on Instagram or Facebook – and do join in if you’d like, too!
Today, I am grateful for rain. While most people associate rain with gloomy days, I just love rainy days. I love the way everything turns green and lush; I love the way the rain sounds as it splatters on my roof. I love the smell of rain, and the cool, windy breeze it brings in the moments before its arrival. I love the uncertainty of never knowing how much or how little rain we’re *really* getting. I especially love being safe and warm inside when it’s wet and chilly outside. During my days on the road as a Deadhead, there were plenty of times when a random awning or a particularly thick patch of trees was my best protection from downpours. I have been forever grateful since then for the warmth and dry comfort that home provides when it’s dark and stormy. So for my Gratitude Challenge today – I am grateful for rain! What are you thankful for?