knitting: believe it or not, i'm still working on projects i can't yet talk about publicly. so instead you get a picture of a baby bib o'love (rav link) that i knit for the new baby sister of one of the girls in my girl scout troop. i promise i'm working as diligently as possible to finish up this last secret project (it's a bit of a doozie) and then will get back to things that i can speak openly about.
reading: i actually just finished reading excession by iaian m. banks this morning and i have to say, in my humble opinion ,this is his weakest book that i have read. the set up was his usual fantastic twisting of different worlds and storylines, but it all fell apart at the end in a pile of weakly manufactured plot twists and sentimentality. i will of course continue to read his books, because the man is a genius, but this book is definitely at the bottom of my ranking of works so far.
how do the rest of you feel? can you excuse a poor ending if the rest of the book is well written, or are you just left with a bad taste in your mouth that ruins the whole experience of reading the book?
things are starting to green up around these parts! both my lawn and my blanket!
april was definitely a month to add the kick of color to the weather blanket!
as was forecast we really did hit 82 degrees on april first! that's about the only kind of april fool's prank i can get behind.
i mean seriously, look at that little jokester red square sitting there... 80 deg in the beginning of april... insane!
mostly this month added a healthy dose of green to the blanket. i love love love that grass green color, i would root for temps to be in the 50's so i'd get to use more of it!
four months in and i'm still loving this project. i love having claire's blanket to compare it to (although she is really making me wish that i had white borders around all my squares... but alas, it was not to be.), minnesota's weather definitely is more variable than her weather in bavaria but we're both following the same general trend.
i'm looking forward to seeing what colors may will bring!
Totally unexpectedly, though it took me almost three years to finish my hexagon blankie, once I finally did I was immediately hankering for another big crochet project. Luckily the ever-tempting Melissa talked me into undertaking the weather blanket with her and I'm proud to say that I've been keeping up quite well so far.
Here we are through April already. As you can see, our weather here in Bavaria is extremely predictable, orderly and stable (as one would expect German weather should be). My colors are pretty steady- one might even say boring after making TWELVE identical squares in a row.
It is still hard for me to get used to no longer living with the mood swings of midwestern weather, as you so colorfully see in Melissa's blanket. Alas, I'm really enjoying the project and am very proud that I've actually been keeping up with it so far. We'll see how that goes once baby brother decides to arrive...
BUT if it weren't enough to be committed to daily crocheted temperature squares (in all honestly, I usually wait about 4 days and then do a little group together) I somehow decided I need to take on yet another giant crochet blanket. This one full sized! And for me! I can't remember the last time I made something for myself. I'm using the the Circle-in-a-Square pattern as a jumping off point in yummy DROPS Nepal Alpaca yarn.
One thing I've learned by how much I'm enjoying the weather blanket, and how loooooooong it took me to finish the hexagon blanket or (ahem) work on blankie, is that I do best when I don't have to determine colors for each piece as I go. It always took me so much longer to decide on what color combinations come next than it did for me to actually crochet/knit the thing. And if the light wasn't right or it was too late at night I didn't even feel like I could work on the darned thing.
So my anal side kicked into full gear to spend a ludicrous amount of time planning and mapping out and calculating a gameplan for this blanket.
It took a ridiculously long amount of time and was rather absurd the lengths I went to,
but now that I have a plan, crocheting this thing is a joy and a breeze. I'm sure I'll find bits that bug me as I go along but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
So there I am, totally hooked on crocheting, I'd have never thought it possible. Is there anything that's gotten you hooked lately?
the best part about knitting for other people (especially other people's children) is when they send you a photo of said knitted item being used. for example: i knit a baby blanket for dear anna over at anna's creative corner. it was the seedling blanket (rav link) and my photos of the finished project looked like this:
yup, that's a picture of a blanket... sometimes peapod sticks her nose in my business and tries to help liven up the photoshoots:
but nothing, i repeat, *nothing* beats getting a photo like this in your inbox:
one more example, if you'll indulge me (and trust me, it'll be worth it): for mateo's 2nd birthday lillian wanted to write him a book about cows (his favorite animal, at least it was when we were visiting last fall) and commissioned me to crochet a little cow toy (rav link) to go along with the book:
again, no photo i could have taken can beat the photo claire sent us as a thank you:
now that right there is enough to melt my heart and make a crafty gift giver as happy as can be! but claire didn't stop there, a few days later some videos arrived in my inbox which pair up perfectly with the photos i had taken and are without a doubt *the* most adorable thing you will watch today:
i've made this sweater pattern a couple times before - i love it because i'm a sucker for those raglan seams, and when made in cotton it's the perfect little sweater for spring/summer babies on cool nights or to chase away those a/c chills.
i'm completely in love with this onesie too - it's just so sweet, and i had a very positive experience with the shop owner (who lives in mankato, which made it extra fun) and would highly recommend her shop to anyone looking for adorable handmade baby gifts.
the other gift in today's show and tell is a kicking bag for babies (rav link):
i also enjoyed this pattern, the twisted rib at the beginning gives it a little spark of interest and then the rest of the sack, in stockinette stitch, is perfect mindless zen knitting at it's best.
the onesie is from the mpls/stp clothing company and made me laugh when i saw it, and i knew it would make the baby's parents laugh as well!
i think in both cases i had just as much fun, if not more, picking out onesies to go with the knitted gifts as i had doing the actual knitting! but then who doesn't love shopping for babies?!?