Isn't it good when a simple solution is found?
The issues I had with the yarn splitting on my cast on row and the first green pattern row were in no way the fault of this pretty and delightful yarn...it was the hook. My hook was simply too small.
I had assumed that because I am a loose knitter that I must be a loose crocheter...not so.
Turns out I crochet 'normal', so if the pattern says use a size 4mm hook then jolly well use one.
Alas, I did not have a 4mm hook on hand but I was able to switch from the 3mm I began with and over to a 3.5mm for the second and subsequent rows.
Now there will be some crochet purists who may want to suggest I unravel and begin over, right?
No. I may do that with my embroidery designs but I simply did not own the patience to do that awful cast on row and counting row again. If you ask me one day what I do not like about crochet my answer will undoubtedly be those first two rows.
Glad I began the lap size (36" square) because it will probably come together quickly and when it's complete I shall begin another blanket using a larger hook and be rather pleased with myself.
We finished the grapes.
Thank you to everyone for your suggestions on how to consume and enjoy almost 9 kilos (18 pounds) of grapes in two weeks. Many of you said to freeze them but we don't like frozen grapes, and I did not have the creative energy to experiment with jellies, wine, tarts or cakes...so we just ate them like lollies morning, noon and night. Occasionally with a handful of cashews and brazil nuts. Other times with a bowl of potato chips on hand.
So when the final grape made it's way into my husband's mouth I thought "well, that's it, we can move on to cherries again"...but not so. Within an hour we were in the car and on our way to the supermarket to purchase two more bags of grapes - one green and one red.
We may be addicted.
I'll keep you informed.
Top of my to-do list this week was spending a full day writing the six patterns for the final month's issue of The Stitchery Club. Preferably this would have been yesterday but I had a delightfully long phone chat with Blossom after breakfast , followed by a wonderfully long visit from my neighbour who happened to bring over some Belgian chocolates for Mr E and I to share later.
You can see the morning was not at all wasted but full of lovely people and conversation!
So it didn't feel right to be writing that afternoon. I need a whole day with fresh brain cells to accomplish this task so it had better be tomorrow because today is already half gone. Oh dear, excuses.
My afternoon yesterday was spent finishing the next alphabet pincushion to share with you on Friday and then getting a start on something sweet to use up fabric scraps and simply have fun...whilst eating Belgian chocolates and grapes.
I finished it this morning because I have to take Bob-the-dog to the groomers before lunch which totally took away my pattern writing time again. Yes, I know, another excuse.
I saw this heart filled house block over on Bev's blog (Flamingo Toes) and thought what a nice quick project to make, one I have not designed, don't have to write a pattern for, and can pop away in my gift box for this year or keep for myself.
Lately I've come to acknowledge that my mind needs a rest from designing all the time and that kind of rest rarely happens, so this year I shall be changing that situation and allocating myself regular time out just to play. (the sweet pea crochet blanket is one of my new playtime avenues as well)
I really enjoy hand quilting but I also like machine quilting on small projects.
There's always room for a spot of hand embroidery though...
Bev's pattern is for a 9" square mug rug but I've sewn a hanging sleeve behind mine to slide onto a small quilt hanger when I find/buy one.
The three fabrics I used for the house section are from a 2008 layer cake "Chloe's Closet" which I purchased last year in a de-stash group. There's some very pretty prints in it but I do love the three I chose for this project so I've gathered the leftovers for a pincushion project one afternoon next week.
Now, a few things I'd like to share with you about three really lovely friends.
Fee has kicked off the year with a wonderful gift for all her readers. In fact, she's gifting them every single week through 2019!
Fee will not only share patterns and projects but she has tutorials you can watch as well, which is wonderful if you're new to a certain craft and need to 'see' how things are done.
Hop on over here to her blog and have a look see at the fun projects you can make.
Annabel from The Bluebirds Are Nesting has started a Tuesday Afternoon Club which you can read about here on her blog.
This will be something all we gentle domestic homemakers will find fun and just so you can get a better idea of what Annabel's intentions with this club are I shall let her tell you in her own words...
On The Tuesday Afternoon Club page as we make things we can post our own pictures and progress reports. I will share whatever I have been making. We can also share recipes, links to patterns and anything helpful to help each other with tutorials, packaging ideas etc. Also it can be a place of help i.e. you might have materials you just can't think what to do with so you could post a photo and let everyone chime in with suggestions!
Another friend who is sharing the crafty love is Allie and bless her heart she's taken the Craftsy shop shut-down dilemma and put it behind her by embarking on something that blesses others.
You will love what Allie is doing so head over here to her blog to find out more.
Each of these friends are women I love, trust and appreciate because they have hearts for home, family and for being a blessing to others, me included.
Did you miss the first week of our book study?
It's in Tuesday's post (here) along with a free pattern and giveaway.
A number of you have commented or emailed to tell me you do not have a Kindle and therefore cannot get the book that way. Well, you know, we don't need a Kindle anymore because you can download the free Kindle app for your phone/ipad/tablet and read all your kindle books there!
That's how I use Kindle.
So if you'd like to have a copy of the book and cannot find one anywhere just go to Amazon and in the kindle section search for The Gentle Art of Domesticity...
It's easy to find and you're going to love reading ahead.
Or just look at the pictures.
Hope this has helped those who felt they were missing out on actually having a copy.
I'll be back tomorrow with the next alphabet pincushion.
It's V this Friday...V for very very nice. Well, I hope you think so because I very much like it.
Be blessed, be brave, be adventurous, be kind, and be YOU.