Saturday, January 31, 2009

The REAL Saturday project

Properly dated and crocheted today (giving it total legitimacy), I give you...a mottled gray circle.

January 31, 2009

Hmm, perhaps I need more red wine...

Colin's flower

Blame it on Colin Firth.

This blue and white flower is what I was trying to make last night during a Colin Firth film festival. I have since learned that four ladies, red wine, sing-along Mama Mia and crochet do not mix.

I finished it this afternoon, but I think it's still legal since I did start it last night...

January 30, 2009

Honey honey, how you thrill me, uh-huh, honey honey. Wah wah wah wa-oooooooooooo!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gimme, gimme, gimme...

Movie night! Can't talk!

Gotta go!

January 30, 2009

This is not a failure. Merely a small setback. Two squares tomorrow, I promise. It still counts. It totally, totally does!

Mmmmm. Colin Firth. Mama Mia!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Flower Box Blanket

Today, as a reward for shoveling out the end of the driveway after the plow went by (seriously, WHEN will winter be done?!), I flopped down on the couch to read the newest issue of Crochet Today! that arrived in the mail this afternoon.

I was very, very excited to flip the page from an "airy throw" that I'd probably never make, to the Flower Box Blanket that I just loved. As I was drooling over it, it dawned on me that it was made of squares. SQUARES.

And so, today's block is one of the 64 that I'll need to complete my very own Flower Box Blanket, as seen in the March/April issue of Crochet Today.

Whether or not I actually complete it is beside the point.

I've started.

January 29, 2009

Mmmmmmm. Blanket-y goodness.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Going in circles

Some days that's just what it feels like, doesn't it? Around and around and around the hamster wheel.

Thank goodness for crochet. And chocolate. And old movies, warm blankets, a Beloved to snuggle with, and spring bulbs in my family room.

At the moment, these things are sustaining me through the unbearable coldness of being.

Stupid winter.

January 28, 2009

Spring, where are yoooooou?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This snowy scene is supposed to be a snowing scene (given the storm that's coming this seemed appropriate today) but I don't have any metallic yarn so I couldn't embroider any snowflakes.

We'll just say this is post-storm. All the snow I should have embroidered has already fallen.

Hmmm, this means I have good reason to visit the yarn shop, doesn't it? Despite the 9 billion balls of yarn I discovered stashed away on the weekend I'm missing metallic yarns.

Heh heh heh...

January 27, 2009


Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a mystery. In a good way.

During the great spare room cleanup on the weekend I unearthed a tub of yarn that my Mom gave me a few years ago - leftovers from past knitting projects that she didn't want to store any longer. Among the delicious selection of yarns were a whole bunch of half finished balls of mystery yarn. Labels long gone. Brands unknown. Fibre content a complete mystery.

Which, of course, makes them all the more perfect for my daily squares. Because it doesn't matter at all what yarn I use as long as I like it. And today, when I reached for a small, cozy looking bit of gray yarn, it felt perfect indeed.

Knowing that my Mom used that same gray ball for something she knit once upon a time - and that the last few yards went into today's lacy square - makes me feel that kind of stupid happy that you figure most people won't understand. Because you can't explain it, even to yourself.

Happy, happy, happy gray square.

January 26, 2009

Can you see me? I'm smiling.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The erasable hat

This sunwheel (yeah, it looks like it's spelled wrong to me too, but I swear that's what the pattern is called) used to be a hat. Or, well, part of a hat anyway.

Yesterday I spent close to four hours sorting out the spare room and organizing all my yarn. It sounds dull (especially for a Saturday) but trust me, it was fun. Order is soothing to me. Watching a nice, organized room slowly begin to emerge out of the rubble of disorder is extremely satisfying. In that "you know you're old when" kind of way, I suppose, but whatever.

Anyway, slightly less fun but definitely necessary was the process of ripping out discarded, half-finished catastrophes and rewinding the yarn into balls so I could use it again. Hopefully with more success the next time.

It's nice that it's that easy to erase some mistakes. Life isn't always that kind.

Anyway, the sunwheel's first life was as a hat. And I think it makes a much better sunwheel.

You'll just have to trust me on that.

January 25, 2009

I wonder what I can turn that disastrous, partially finished baby sweater into...

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My Grandmother adored violas. The tiny, bright little specks of purple and yellow popped up everywhere around her house. Years after she died her backyard was still littered with violas that had burst free of the bounds of the garden and wandered willy-nilly through the grass.

Maybe that's what she liked about them; that they did exactly as they pleased. She was, for many reasons, a woman who couldn't always do that herself. She was anchored by responsibility. By duty. By practical matters. And, later, by disability.

But the spirit of the carefree, wandering viola was inside her. I saw it in the mischief in her eyes, in her sly smiles, and in the ways she made the world beautiful by giving as much of herself as she could to the people she loved.

And so, for Grandma, a viola.

I know, I know, the centre should be yellow not white, but I think she'll forgive my creative license. She'll forgive me for colouring outside the lines.

I know she will.

January 24, 2009

I love you. I miss you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Some days are "fancy on the inside" days. And this, it seems, is one of them. Because clearly there's nothing fancy on the outside here at all.

I could have striped the little blue square - changed the colours and made it a bit more interesting - and yet, I didn't.

You know those times in life when you just don't have a lot of spare mental energy? Those are the days when a little blue square is just the ticket.

Fancy on the inside
isn't so bad though. It has inspired me to seek out Lion Brand's new recycled cotton yarn (spun from cotton fabric pieces that would otherwise be discarded when fabric is cut for tee-shirts). They've even managed to reduce the amount of dyeing needed by sorting the fabric pieces by colour prior to turning it into yarn.

Aw yeah! Fancy on the inside.

Uh, this isn't made with that yarn (I only just read about it today) but I think it ties in nicely with my theme.

January 23, 2009

I can rationalize laziness like no one I know...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's still pretty though, right?

Oh soooo tired today. Too tired to fix the obvious error in the bottom left corner of this filet heart square that I didn't notice until I'd completed the single chain edging.

Just consider it a broken heart and let's call it a day, shall we?

January 22, 2009


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


January 21, 2009

Paddington Bear
February 1994 ~ January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Flag waving is foreign to me. Canadians just really don't do it all that much, I guess.

But today, despite being a stereotypically reserved Canuck, I knew I had to make a red, white and blue flag-esque square of some sort.

It's a new day. A new world. The end of an error, as one friend put it.

So this patriotic granny square is my little tribute to Obama, and to America who was wise enough to choose him.

January 20, 2009

GO 44!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tropical drinks melting in your hand

Perhaps a seashell done in the colour of a Caribbean sunset was a cruel and unusual choice given the weather outside my windows these days, but a girl can dream of warmer, happier times, right?

This whipped up really quickly. I don't know what use I'll ever have for it, but given that today was rather busy I definitely appreciated the brevity of the pattern.

Hmmm, come to think of it, these might be cute on a beach tote.

Mmmmm. Beach.


January 19, 2009

If you put your ear to it, will you hear a sheep?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This, I thought, turned out pretty well. And totally looks like a snowflake to me.

It might be because we're buried up to our collective armpits in mounds of the stuff at the moment here in Ontario and it's kind of all I can think of right now, but whatever.

January 18, 2009

At least I didn't have to shovel this flake.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Paisley always reminds me of the Grandmother I never knew. She died four years before I was born, so all I know of her I've pieced together from stories lovingly shared by those who knew the whole woman. In life, not just after the fact like me.

She adored peppermint patties and Bing Crosby. She had a quick temper, but was also known to pee herself laughing. She had high blood pressure (a gift she passed down to me), a wicked sense of humour, and a raucous laugh. She never made another scratch lemon pie after Shirrif introduced their instant pie filling. She played piano by ear - the one now sitting in my living room. She asked my Dad to buy her white gloves to wear to the wedding she didn't live to attend. His wedding.

And she had a paisley dress. One that, after all these years, my Mom still keeps in her cedar chest at home. A plain, polyester, blue paisley dress.

That dress, a few pictures, and stories told by those her loved her - that's my Grandma.

January 17, 2009

What I know, I love.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A good day

I can't remember what this pattern is called, but to me it looks like a daisy in a box. So that's what I'm calling it.

The successful creation of daisy-in-a-box is one in a list of things that went well today.

I got a hair cut I like. I almost but didn't ruin the windshield washer system in the car by using summer fluid instead of winter fluid. I found low-fat custard when I wasn't even looking for it. I had a good meeting with my priest about the upcoming Mass of Remembrance for bereaved parents. I visited my boy at the cemetery and left my hand print in the snow above where he lies - and I know it's still there now, even though I can't be.

All good. All good.

And then, daisy-in-a-box.

January 15, 2009

Today I couldn't ask for more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And for my next trick...

I've decided I just seem to have better luck with squares, for some reason (I'm choosing to ignore the fact that it could simply be because I am one). So this morning I chose a skein of deep pink Bernat Satin and headed to the couch in search of a boxy block.

I flipped through one of my books and stopped on a pattern for a scalloped-edged filet square - a pattern I've dismissed a few times before because the completed photo of the square confused me. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how it was done, so I deemed it too daunting and flipped on by. Many times.

But today, still flush with the pride of yesterday's harmony square success, I decided to give it a try.

And in the pattern I found magic. To sit down, start crocheting and have the daunting looking square mysteriously emerge from my hook and fingers was awesome. Absolutely awesome.

Clearly I'm easily amused.

But seriously, does it get any better than figuring out how to make magic?

January 14, 2009


Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I loved making this funky little harmony square. I love the crisp edges, I love the variegated Patons yarn, I love the simplicity of the pattern that somehow manages not too look as easy as it actually is. At least I don't think so, anyway.

And it's one of those patterns that could, theoretically, go on forever, getting exponentially bigger and bigger. And bigger.

One day they might find me dead on the couch, having suffocated under a 49 foot harmony square. Hook in hand, smile on my face.

But not today, since the block is only about four inches square and I'm almost out of yarn.

I have a friend who is due to have her second baby in March, and I might just make a baby-sized harmony square for her. I know I could simply make a bunch of small ones and sew them together into a blanket, but I'm very curious to see a harmony square on steroids.

January 13, 2009

In the meantime...

Monday, January 12, 2009


Okay, I tried it again with finer yarn and a smaller hook. And I like it even less.

It's either me or the pattern.

Yeah, I know. It's me.

January 12, 2009

Meh x 2

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Hmmm, while I know this probably looks okay on film, in real life it's a tiny bit unwieldy (I fussed a fair bit to make it look neat). I don't think dainty crochet blocks like Cotton Tots yarn very much. It's too chunky. And cottony. And unrelenting in its desire to do what it wants instead of what you want.

I used the recommended hook, but still - this flower isn't as pretty as I'd hoped. Or as tight and neat.

I might try it again tomorrow using a different kind of yarn.

And maybe tomorrow I'll be more interesting too.

Stay tuned...

January 11, 2009

This is about to become a deja vu...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter blooms

This is my answer to the rapidly accumulating snow that has been coming down since mid-afternoon. A flower. In soft, summery pastel colours.

Today we re-assembled the three-tiered plant light that we liberated from my parents' basement last weekend. I have packets of seeds, pots, and dirt, and dreams of fresh herbs, sprouts and baby lettuce all winter long.

And then lovely pastel flowers for my gardens in the spring.

January 10, 2009

Take THAT winter! HA!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The easy road

After yesterday's inebriated doily fiasco I decided to play it safe today. The granny square motif - hexagon style.

Ahhhh, pretty, nostalgic and simple. And flat. Niiiiiice and flat.

But because I feared you might think less of me for taking the easy route today, I chose a sparkly little yarn to distract you. Look? See the sparkles? See? See? Don't notice the simplicity of the block - just keep looking at the sparrrrkles! Aren't they pretty?

Ooooh, sparkly!

January 9, 2009

Ooooh, GOLD!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I'm not sure what to say about today's adventure in crochet.

This, according to my pattern book, was supposed to be a frost flower - which sounds very delicate and dainty. Ethereal, even.

And that's exactly what it looked like in the picture too. The illusion of fragility absolutely achieved in the complex twists and loops of yarn. Gorgeously lacy. Perfectly formed. And most of all, nice and flat.

My version? Well, mine looks like a bloated doily after a hard night of drinking.

Le sigh.

January 8, 2009

Somebody call this doily a cab...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mon coeur

I chose this little heart pattern as a test-run for potential Valentine's Day projects, and I took the photo of me holding it because it wasn't showing up very well on the background.

But now, seeing it presented like this, it makes me think about all the precious hearts that I hold in my hands every moment of every day - and the hands that hold mine. And about how grateful I am to be cradled so gently by those who love me, and how honoured I am to be given the chance to do the same in return.

Aw shucks, ain't love grand?

January 7, 2009


Tuesday, January 6, 2009


To me, done in baby blue, this floral motif block looks like a forget-me-not caught in a lacy web.

We go way back, me and the humble little forget-me-not. I adore them - I always have. There's nothing quite like a garden flush with a million specks of robin's egg blue at the very start of spring.

My Dad, however, doesn't share my fondness for forget-me-nots. As sweet as they look, they're actually pretty vicious when it comes to their ability to, uh, thrive. Well, dominate, really. So he thinks the fewer the better and has been known to yank them clear out of the ground by the dozens.

But that's one of the things I like about them. They're small and fragile looking, but their diminutive stature belies their strength. And their ability to return to my garden, doubled and tripled in number, each and every year.

They're survivors. And my God, I have to admire that.

January 6, 2009

I will never forget.

Monday, January 5, 2009


We packed up the rest of Christmas yesterday. The house, while suddenly filled with welcoming space and light, is also less colourful than it has been for the last month.

It's always an unsettling transition for me. As much as I love the freshness of January with its gleaming blank slate, a part of me still misses the coziness of Christmas. Particularly the afterglow days when we cuddle and nest, eating leftover treats and watching endless hours of television. Unbridled excess at its very best.

So this morning, the first day back to work, as it were, I decided to create something bright and happy. Lousy with colour, some might say.

I found some variegated baby yarn leftover from I don't know what, and whirled it into a fan stitch octagon that pleases me in the way only bright-coloured yarny goodness can.

January 5, 2009

Ahhh, that's better.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

AND he killed dragons!

It's Sunday, so I thought Jesus might like a cross. Shut up - I've tried everything else, maybe sucking up will work.


Today's block features St. George's Cross. A quick trip to Wikipedia yielded a lot of information on both the man and his cross, so instead of regurgitating history books, let's just say that a lot of European folks have used St. George's Cross on their flags. And if you're not in the Navy, don't fly it on your boat. Okay? Okay.

As for St. George himself, along with allegedly excelling at dragon slaying, he's also the patron saint of skin diseases.

Me? I just like his pretty cross embedded in my pale yellow Sunday block.

January 4, 2009


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chocolate and vanilla

If you're a child of the 70s, it's likely that you'll remember the simpler days of grocery store ice cream selection. Simpler in the way fewer choices sense, I mean. You had your big three, then maybe butterscotch ripple, mint chocolate, or black cherry - if you were lucky - and that was about it.

My favourite of all was neopolitan. Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry all packed together in one tub; cold, sweet ribbons of tri-coloured bliss.

I always eschewed the boring vanilla and dug for the treasured chocolate and strawberry instead, which both tasted so good each slightly melted into the other.

Because it's never to cold for ice cream (even on a Canadian Saturday in January), today's block is an homage to my two favourite flavours in the neopolitan tub.

January 3, 2008

I scream, you scream...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lacy experiment

I say "experiment" because I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never tried any lace-like patterns before.

I think the reason I've always avoided them is because the investment in a whole project made entirely of lace is daunting. There's a LOT of room for error and frustration there. Not to mention tears and wasted yarn. And some swearing.

So this was perfect. I mean, not the square itself (which is clearly rather imperfect), but attempting a small bit lace when there was nothing at all at stake.

Uh, if you don't count having to post the results here...

January 2, 2009

Plum-coloured and not quite right. Exactly how I feel most of the time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Playing with blocks

I used to love playing with blocks when I was a kid. My Grandparents had a collection of blocks from God knows where that they kept in a little, white, hard-sided case that I always thought looked like a me-sized suitcase. I loved to open it up and spill the alphabet blocks and brightly painted pieces of wood out onto the floor and build castles and bridges and houses with the motley assortment they'd somehow amassed over the years.

Nothing plugged in, nothing made noise, nothing talked, moved, giggled, walked or danced. And my sister (usually the foreman) and I loved everything about the whole shootin' match.

As new blocks were added to the collection, we were able to build bigger and better structures - each a little different than whatever magical thing we'd made the time before. And they were always, frankly, pretty spectacular if memory serves.

But looking back, I realize that the joy wasn't in the finished projects (which were, of course, torn down and packed back into the case when our visits were over), it was in the creation. The careful selection of each block. The placement of every little beam. The wonder as our wooden cities grew and grew right before our eyes.

Kids create for the sheer joy of it. They usually don't know what they're making or when it will be finished - they don't care about such trivialities. They have no rules. No restrictions. No patterns or demands. They just play. And lose themselves fully in the process, time slipping by without notice or care.

I want that back.

And so, there's this: 365 - A Crochet Odyssey. For no reason other than simply, "because I can", starting today I'm making one random crochet square a day. Every day. For the whole year.

I'm not working towards making something. There is no grand plan. In fact, I have no earthly idea what I'll do with 365 crochet squares, to be quite honest.

There is just yarn, a few pattern books, a little time set aside each day, and the unabashed luxury of creating whatever happens to tickle my fancy when I peek into my boxes of stashed yarn every morning.

Just. Because. I. Can.

I mean really, can you think of a better reason than that?

January 1, 2009

Soft, wintry white and blue stripes. Perfect for the very first day of the year when my world is wrapped in a blanket of white, and covered by dome of blue.