28 April 2023

Friday Fascination

27 April 2023

Dyed and Gone to Heaven

I haven't dyed in so long, I had to look up the instructions!

Yes, I was naughty. Or knotty. Take your pick. I dyed and went to heaven. I'd promised myself I wouldn't dye any more crochet thread until I'd used up some of what I've got.

On the very bright side, I am using up a few of the 25 shades in my 2023 crochet temperature project. And to be clear, I didn't dye (yet) to replace colors that are running low. I really do plan to substitute in existing colors as close to the original project colors as possible as I run out.

But ultimtely, I could not resist. I had bought two bags of sweat sets to replace the decades-old sweat bottoms that literally are coming apart at the inseams. The set came with two colors I will never wear. I thought I could dye the homely grayish bluish green and practice once again achieving darker colors. I thought that would soothe my dye yearning.


For starters, the sweats apparently are not the percentage of cotton the label claims. There must be a lot of polyester in there. At least on the outside.) The insides of the ugly sweats are AMAZING after a multi-hour soak in the darkest blue and darkest purple I own, mixed together. The unattractive blue on the outside (and, mind you, blue is my favorite color, so this is truly a mundane blue!!!) hasn't changed a bit. It's just not a color I wear. Perhaps I should wear them inside-out...

I couldn't just waste all the rest of that gorgeous dye, now could I?

I digitally muted my dyed crochet thread to harmonize with the ugly sweats. Ha ha ha!

I started with just one hank of thread. But it came out SO friggin' gorgeous, I decided to do a gradient and wound two more hanks. Because... you can never have enough gradients!!! I'd never tried mixing the dark blue and dark purple before. Most of the pigment did adhere to the inside of the sweats, but there was enough left for three absolutely stunning hanks of thread!!!

And, oh, my gosh, look at how the colors split when I stuck them in the sun to ferment!!! I couldn't have achieved this intentionally if I'd tried! They will be lighter once washed and dried, but still, how heavenly!!!

No regrets!!!

25 April 2023

Pineapple Pizzazz

I grew an altitude-stunted pineapple! Perhaps I should rephrase that... I grew a tiny piney at nearly 6,000 feet in elevation!

In 2015, one of my bosses brought back pineapples from her family trip to Hawaii and shared them with our work group. Man, were they delicious!!! I asked if I could have one of the crowns to try to grow my own pineapple.

It took eight years!!! When I took photos of my final fruit to work to show my boss, she didn't even remember giving me the crown!

I don't know that I would ever repeat this little experiment at altitude. It was fun, the flowers - though tiny - were beautiful, and we had just enough pineapple to decorate one cheese pizza. It was sensational. There was a palpable sense of achievement.

I just don't know if it was worth eight years!!!

24 April 2023

Snowflake Monday

Today's snowflake is an adorable little variation on last week's phone pattern. This one is much closer to what was actually written on my phone, minus the next few Rounds, which just didn't make sense as written.

Sometimes when reading back over patterns I wrote on my phone during my train commute, I wonder if I'd finished the flake at lunch, then started another one, and wrote the final rounds for the second flake on the phone during the train ride home. This is not the first time I've discovered a mystery pattern that seems to be two very different flakes all jumbled up in one pattern. Good thing I enjoy deciphering snowflake pattern cryptograms!

I love a fast little snowflake every once in a while, and this one is just so cute!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 2.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Arctic Mist Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [2 sc in ring, ch 1] 6 times, omitting last ch of final repeat; 1 hdc in starting sc to create 6th ch 1 sp of Round. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 2 sc over post of hdc directly below, [ch 3, 3 sc in next ch 1 sp] 5 times; ch 1, 1 dc in starting ch to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 3: Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 2 sc over post of sc directly below, [ch 5, 3 sc in next ch 3 tip] 5 times; ch 2, 1 tr in starting ch to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of tr directly below, ch 1, 2 dc in same sp, [in next ch 5 tip work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc)] 5 times; in next ch 5 tip work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc, ch 3), sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

20 April 2023

Muddy Thumb

Still no sewing machine time squeezed in yet, but I did spend my lunch hour yesterday and about an hour after work digging up volunteer bulbs and transplanting them into my porch containers.

I transplanted about 200 volunteer grape hyacinths last year just a tad too late for them to bloom. I hoped they would make up for it this year. They most definitely are making my spring true blue!

The deer came through about a month ago and mowed most of my grape hyacinth, including the non-volunteer clusters. I didn't know if any of my grape hyacinths would still bloom after having all their leaves clipped so early in the season. But they have been hardy little troopers! Especially in the front yard!

I thought the hyacinth bulbs Lizard gifted me each birthday/Valentine's Day that I'd transplanted (way too) close to the house each year after we bought our house were history after we had our new concrete porch stairways poured in December of 2021. I was so shocked this March when I noticed a few stragglers making their way up along the sides of the steps. I'm planning to turn that whole section of the garden into a rock garden that doesn't get watered, now that I know how much damage watering a bentonite foundation can cause a house. I thought, as long as I'm digging up bulbs, I probably ought to try to save some of the hyacinths, too.

I am so excited to be able to hang onto these babies... probably literal offspring of the original bulbs Lizard gifted me 10 to 15 years ago. I feel like I've planted some new little grandchildren!

I'd already dug up most of the daffodils that came with the house and also were too close to the foundation. I transplanted them to the garden proper back in early March. They look as if they will survive, but I dug them up in the wrong season to enjoy blooms this year. Hopefully, they are busy building strong root systems for next year now.

I finished up last night's digging just as the rain began. I love spring rain! Especially when it turns to snow, as it was supposed to do too late for me to share snowflake photos today. Fingers crossed it won't be too much past bedtime!!!

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