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Archive for August, 2010

Yarn At Last

We’re a long way from cool weather here in Texas, but my internal clock is still telling me to prepare for the coming winter.  I’ve been crocheting scarves and hats with the yarns I have on hand, but my color selection isn’t great, so every time I head to a thrift store or second-hand shop (which is often) I look for sweaters to unravel.  Sadly, the thrift stores here, for the most part, haven’t been putting out warm things yet.  But yesterday I finally found a Goodwill that had a good selection of sweaters.

Usually, I think Goodwill’s prices are a bit high at $5.99 per sweater.  But since the cheaper thrift shops aren’t selling sweaters yet, I splurged on four.

Thrift Store SweatersFrom top left to bottom right, an acrylic/wool/angora blend, a wool/acrylic blend, a wool/angora/cashmere blend, and 100% cotton.

As an added bonus, two of the sweaters I bought had interesting buttons.  The brown sweater has big round brown plastic buttons.

Big Brown Button

The green sweater has neat toggle buttons.  They are made of resin but look like horn.  Toggle buttons are nice because they can slip between crochet stitches more easily, eliminating the need for buttonholes.

Resin Toggle Button

These sweaters smelled strongly of highly perfumed detergent, so I put them in the washing machine (on delicate cycle, of course) with an unscented, hypoallergenic detergent.  I can’t wait till they’ve washed and dried and I can start unravelling.  Unravelling is therapeutic work, in my opinion.  So is crocheting, of course, but only once I’ve finalized the design, as the designing part is a little more stressful; and since I rarely make the same thing the same way twice, there is usually some designing involved with each piece.

I ought to make a tutorial on how to unravel a sweater.  But this week is busy with fall housecleaning (hopefully), and hosting a gathering on Saturday; and next week will be busy too, with more housecleaning, and hopefully starting some sort of homeschool routine with my two children.  My children aren’t technically school age yet, but I think they would benefit from a bit more routine, and I know that they would enjoy doing “school” like their big-kid friends, even if it’s only for an hour or two per day.

Time to start the morning’s housework.  Have a happy Wednesday!

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Yellow

It’s the middle of summer and all I want to do is crochet hats and scarves.  Don’t ask me to explain. 🙂  I’m using recycled sweater yarn for most of my projects, though I do have a few unused skeins that were thrift store finds, years ago, and I’m itching to start working with those as well.

Lately, I’ve been drawn to simple, chunky, textured patterns.  To get the chunky feel I’m going for, I crochet with two or more strands held together.

Today’s project is a scarf, crocheted from yellow yarn salvaged from two thrift store sweaters.  One sweater was the color of butter; the other a little paler.  I love the way the two colors blend together to create the perfect shade of yellow.  I think that using two very slightly different colors enhances the texture of the scarf.

Buttercream ScarfThe cotton yarn is soooo soft.  I love cotton.  And I love yellow.  I can’t actually wear yellow–it doesn’t suit me at all, sadly.  I guess this one will be going into my Etsy shop, which I’m hoping to open back up soon.

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Okra

This spring, I planted a garden for the first time in my adult life.  I gardened growing up, but since I left home, I haven’t had a place to plant a garden of my own.  I did have my little pots of basil and tomatoes on the patio/deck/porch.  But not a real garden.

Then last year I moved to Texas.  While this place isn’t mine, I’ve been given free reign to plant what I please, in the side yard, at least.  So this spring, I dug up three little four-by-four plots and planted peppers, tomatoes, and okra.

I like okra.  I like breaded-n-fried okra.  I like oven-roasted okra.  I like gumbo with okra.

And I really like growing okra in my garden.  I got off to a bad start when I let my okra seeds get moldy (long story).  I planted them anyway; half never sprouted, but the other half have been growing happily ever since, despite the fact that I totally ignore them.  It’s 100 degrees outside and we haven’t had much rain and our soil is like a brick, but the okra plants just soak up the sun and shake off the bugs and grow like weeds.

I love that I can run out to my little garden and come back with these

and I slice them with some onion and saute them with a little olive oil and end up with this

Mmmmmmm…..

I wish I’d planted twice as much.  Or three times as much.  Maybe next year.

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