Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Singing the blues

I grabbed a ball of blue yarn to reflect the mood I was in when I started this daisy square. I'd just found out that we have become victims of a really cruel scam.

A fly-by-night organization offering what appeared to be really comprehensive CPR/AED and first aid courses managed to con My Beloved and I into paying for a 12-hour course that, from the looks of things, may not even exist. Their toll-free number doesn't work, the Better Business Bureau gave them a great big fat F, and as of right now we're out more than $260 that we know we're going to have to fight tooth and nail to get refunded.

My Dad has had very serious heart problems since I was 13, and he came very close to dying 11 years ago when he went into sudden cardiac arrest at home. This unscrupulous organization (Heart Learning Network) preyed upon some of my deepest and oldest fears, offering me the promise of priceless knowledge that might one day save someone I love.

Then they took our money and ran.

So yeah, blue yarn seemed like a good idea.

March 31, 2009

Buyer beware indeed...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Awww, thanks!

Ooooh, Looky! I have three followers now! I'm very excited by this. It means I'm not just talking to an empty auditorium and crocheting squares for the cat to sit on.

So for you, my three followers (and for everyone who has commented since I started this Journey in January), a Sow Thistle Square - and my sincere thanks for caring enough to keep checking in to see what happens next.

March 30, 2009

Wait until you see tomorrow's episode!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lady Elaine

This was simply called a "picot square" in the Reader's Digest source book, which makes sense because it's finished with a boarder of picot stitches and all, but it's just so...fancy. It seems like it should have a grander name. I thought that the moment I finished it - that it must be called something utterly fabulous.

I smoothed it out across my knee and immediately reached for the book to double check the name of this masterpiece.

Picot Square.

It's a shame.

So I shall call it Lady Elaine.

March 29, 2009

Shakespeare might have been right about the rose and all, but sometimes something sweet really does needs a good name.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Now, if I was a more clever crocheter and tree hugger I would have used organic, all-natural yarn today and made Edie Eckman's motif #100 by candlight during Earth Hour.

Instead I used an acrylic yarn remnant from the stash I found at my Mom and Dad's the other day. But since it's probably upwards of 20 years old (based solely on the antiquated label design), it's kind of like recycling. Sort of.

Well, maybe "being a cheapskate who gleefully uses up old yarn she scrounges from other people's homes" is a more accurate description, but close enough.

March 28, 2009

I did power down and keep everything turned off from 8:30pm to 9:30pm. That should totally count for something...

Friday, March 27, 2009

All popcorn all the time

I seem to have latched onto the popcorn stitch. Without realizing it, I chose the third pattern in as many days that employs a variation of the stitch. Today, the Popcorn Flower.

It's only an obsession if you do it on purpose, right?

March 27, 2009

I'll blame it on the "practice makes perfect" adage and call it a day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jackpot! (Bellissima!)

I was poking through an old white chest at my Mom and Dad's today (for no good reason other than I'm embarrassingly nosy, and knew that the chest once held yarn and craft supplies and wondered what might be in it now), and discovered a tiny stash of forgotten yarn.

A couple of balls of pink Canadiana and, best of all, two skeins of ribbon-like yarn that my Mom used to make my sister and I sweaters back in the mid 80s.

Vintage, baby!

So I used the electric 80s blue (my sweater colour) to make this Italian Square.

I don't exactly know what makes it Italian (it's not, as my 1/2 Italian Beloved suggested, a spaghetti stain), but even without a good explanation for its heritage claim, I like it.

March 26, 2009

I guess I'm just a sucker for anything Italian.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Well that wasn't so bad at all!

I've been avoiding this pattern for nearly three months now because it scared me. The bobble things looked complicated and fussy, and I fully expected the air to be blue by the time I got to the fastening off stage.

I was, of course, wrong.

It worked up quickly and easily, and didn't end up requiring one single blue word. Not a one. Turns out it's one of those patterns that looks complicated but is really just a lot of repetition. Soothing, meditative repetition. Ahhhhhhhh.

I'm sorry I didn't try this earlier.

March 25, 2009

"Victorian Bedspread Square". I totally should have known it wouldn't be scary.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just 'cause it's cozy

I'm not sure if I've made this granny square triangle before. It looks familiar (possibly because I've flipped through the Melody Griffith book a zillion times since I started this blog), but didn't feel familiar when I was crocheting it.

So I'm calling it a newbie.

And even if it isn't, I'm still glad I made it. Granny squares are like pudding, chicken noodle soup, and spaghetti & meatballs; They're the comfort foods of the crochet world. There's just something undeniably cozy about the granny motif.

And I needed that today.

March 24, 2009

This is probably a good time to start keeping track of the patterns I have an haven't used. Lesson learned.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame!

This is a special request from my Dad, whose eyes bugged out of his head with excitement the first time I showed him my then small collection of squares in mid January. He asked if I could maybe make a baseball for him, and because I can never say no to the very first man I ever loved, here it is - a baseball of my own design.

For you, Dad.

March 23, 2009


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Playing catch-up

Somehow over the course of nearly three months I've ended up short two motifs. I can't remember my excuses or what dates went crochetless, but I've had in my mind that I needed to make up for the missing motifs for ages.

So today, three little flowers. A pansy (I adore pansies - I need at least one little pot every spring) and two tiny purple posies made out of yarn I used to make myself a skinny scarf last fall.

It's been a very flowery weekend.

March 22, 2009

Now if only the REAL flowers would start blooming soon...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Little Rose

I have the mother of all climbing rose bushes in the backyard. A New Dawn, which the tag said was a "rambler".

Apparently "rambler" is code for, "will grow like a weed and snake 8 foot tentacles of thorny branched terror into your neighbours' yards, and will require tying back multiples times during the course of the growing season."

But still, I love it. It's so healthy and prolific. It brightens up the corner of the yard with its shiny emerald leaves, and partially blocks the mess in the yard of the neighbours behind us. Not quite as much as I'd like, but enough for me to put up with the crazy growth spurts all summer long.

And then there are the beautiful cream blooms with the faintest pink blush on every little cheek.


March 21, 2009

The Reader's Digest book's version of a rose. Which I think is nearly as sweet as the real thing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Two for one

A friend unexpectedly called with the last minute offer of a free ticket to the Toronto production of the musical Spring Awakening yesterday. Because I'm pretty much willing to accept anything that's free and I haven't seen this particular friend in ages, I accepted with unbridled glee. And had a fabulous time, thank you very much.

However, the theatre and crochet don't mesh (pardon the pun) and I was left with no time to work up a square yesterday.

So today, two, courtesy of Beyond the Square. Both made out of leftover yarn from an afghan my Mom knit for My Beloved while we were still dating, many moons ago. I think it was the first Christmas present she ever gave him, and it made us both happy to know that he had something cozy to snuggle under in his lonely little apartment in Toronto.

Actually, I think he loved his Toronto apartment days, but I still like to think that my Mom's afghan made them even cozier.

March 20, 2009

We still have that afghan. And it still keeps us cozy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Slowly but surely

It was so warm out today that I decided to clean off the deck, ridding it of the detritus and debris of winter - along with the remnants of last summer that I should have removed from the planters in the fall.

As I was busy cleaning and preparing the pots for spring planting, it dawned on me that even though it's warm out today, it'll still be at least two months before it'll be safe to put anything in those pots. Two months.

Stupid Canadian frost.

So, in the absence of real flowers (and to celebrate the ones I sowed under our plant light in the basement today), a yarny sunflower.

March 18, 2009

C'mon spring! C'mon!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I picked up some Guiness, and then I made Dublin Coddle (a stew with bacon, sausage and potatoes), Irish soda bread, and this...

March 17, 2009

I think that should appease the ancestors.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm looking over...

...a four leaf clover!

And it won't be the last. I have one more shamrock motif saved for tomorrow's offical St. Patrick's Day post.

I'm sure Irish folk who aren't as far removed from the homeland as I am must be horrified by North Americans celebrating their Patron Saint's feast day with mint-flavoured milkshakes, but one of my fondest memories of the day is going to MacDonald's with my Grandma and my sister to have a Shamrock Shake.

Remember those? Cement thick and densely sweet with a toothpaste finish. Delicious when you're 7 and so excited to be out with Grandma having a treat you're sure no one would approve of.

Those were the days.

March 16, 2009

Hmmm, I might need to make a trip out tomorrow to see if they still make Shamrock Shakes...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I'm pretty excited that I've found enough shamrock and/or clover patterns to last at least through St. Patrick's Day, which is heading our way this Tuesday.

Today's motif came from another library find: The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stiches from Reader's Digest. FABulous.

Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's day kind of drag me through the depths of winter. They're no Christmas Day or Halloween, of course, but having something to focus on really seems to make the long dark days a little brighter.

And naturally the celebration extends beyond crochet to food as well, which is why I'll be making the Guiness chocolate cake recipe my neighbour passed along to me yesterday.

Awwww yeah!!!

March 15, 2009

Mmmmmm. Guiness.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mea Culpa

To Edie Eckman, a flower (of your design, of course) and a sincere apology for the math textbook comment. And the left-brain thing. And the "there are no explanations for what to do with the motifs" thing.

Oy. That'll learn me to spout off on the searchable internets.

I guess Friday the 13th got me afterall.

March 14, 2009

But I really, really DO like your book. I SWEAR I do. I wouldn't have used your patterns for the last four days if I didn't, honest.

I just have a very big mouth.


Friday, March 13, 2009

For lack of a better name...

...this is, apparently, "motif #2".

You know, I've been thinking about these motif books. Some of them, like 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas, offer project ideas at the back of the book. Ways to turn some of the 201 little patterns into bigger projects. Sweaters, hats, afghans and the like.

Others, like Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs where today's pattern came from, don't. All you'll find in it are patterns, with no suggestions for what the heck to do with your pile of crocheted bits when you're done.

Which begs the question, who else is out there randomly churning out motifs and squares for no good reason? Who is using these books?

Could there possibly be another 365 - A Crochet Odyssey out there?

Could there?

March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th. It needed some mystery.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Star struck

I am, it seems, hooked on stars. And still loving Eckman's book, which is where I found the pattern for today's striped star motif.

The only thing that's somewhat dampening my enthusiasm for Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs is that that she doesn't name her designs. They're numbered instead. It's just a little too left-brain of her, I think.

C'mon now, it's crochet for heaven's sake. Not a math textbook.

March 12, 2006

I shall call it George.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fresh inspiration

This reminded me of a Creamsicle. My beloved thought maybe a Ninja star instead.

Differen't strokes.

Whatever the case, it's from a book I just nabbed from the library tonight which I now neeeeeed to own; Edie Eckman's Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs.

Oooh, it's just chalk full of yarny goodness in all shapes and sizes. Circles, squares, hexagons triangles and the ever-so-exciting unexpected shapes category. Eeeeeee!!!! Unexpected shapes!

So unless the library will allow me unlimited renewals, I'm totally going to have to buy this book. ASAP.

March 11, 2009

There's nothing like a new book rush.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A pineapple?

Seriously - that's what the pattern said. Pineapple square, courtesy of 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Patterns and Ideas .

Clearly there's a significant gap in my lace/crochet pattern knowledge, because this looks nothing like a pineapple to me.

I suppose if I did some research I could find the origins of the pattern and see more examples that might help to explain the name.

But I don't feel like it.

March 10, 2009

Great. Now I want pineapple.

Monday, March 9, 2009

For my boy

March 9, 2009

Happy 4th birthday to my very own beautiful little butterfly.
Thomas Joseph, March 9 - 10, 2005

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Little things

Little shell circle.

Awwwww. So cute it needed baby yarn.

March 8, 2009

Baby, you're adorable.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Just ducky...

..or "chicky", as the case may be.

This may be my favourite square so far. It reminds me of Spring, and babies, and Easter, and all things sweet and bright.

Which is good, given that it's rainy and cold and I'm feeling particularly blue because I'm missing my baby so much tonight.

March 7, 2009

Thank goodness for yarny distractions and sweet memories. And two helpings of chocolate pudding, and My Beloved.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A weighty issue

I used this super soft Lion Brand Suede to make my Mom a scarf for Christmas a few years ago, and I'd totally forgotten how gorgeous it is to crochet with until I made yesterday's "T".

So today, I made a flower - a daisy pattern that's actually a little too chunky, to be honest - out of the same little remnant. It fluffs itself up into an curly looking Octopus-type thing when it's not coaxed into laying flat, but when it is laying flat I think it looks rather pretty.

In a too-fat flower kind of way.

March 6, 2009

I'm a too-fat flower too. I sympathize.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


T for, of course, Thomas.

Also traffic, telephone, time, telepathy, triumvirate, trick, troll, trump, toll, tire, ticker, tacky, trunk, tile, tin, torn, tuppence, terrible, treat, terror, threat, tryst and trickle.

March 5, 2009

...But mostly for Thomas.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trip the light fandango

Okay, the pattern book said this is an especially handy little motif because of its portability, essentially. They're small, simple and easy to make on the go, so you can, in theory, amass a whole pile of little fans before you know it.

Why would you make a billion little fans and join them together? To make fabric, according to the book. For, I suppose, blankets and flat sections of garments.

But, uh, if you join a bunch of these together, won't they just look like circles?

Seriously, am I missing something...?

March 4, 2009

See? See what I mean? Won't a bunch of these sewn together simply turn into circles...?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One of a kind

I'm trying to use up this variegated Bernat Satin yarn that I got a few years ago and don't much like anymore (the colour, not that yarn. I LOVE the yarn), so I chose it to make today's oval shaped motif.

I have no idea what one might use an oval shaped motif for, really. It seems like kind of an odd and infrequently used shape in the land of crochet, but there it is.

March 3, 2009

Is it just me, or does it kind of look like a fancy yarn panty liner?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Guilty pleasure...

I found this unbelievably cozy yarn tucked away in my stash and have been using it to make some newborn hats for charity. But tonight I stole a little bit to make a granny square just for me. Because seriously, this is the most decadently soft yarn I've ever felt.

It's just a plain old granny square. Nothing special, except for the yarn (which you can't feel, so you'll just have to trust me).

Sadly, I'm not even sure they make this yarn any longer. It's Patons Be Mine and I haven't seen it in stores in ages.

If you can get your hands on some, grab it. And don't let go!

March 2, 2009

It's a bit of a pain in the ass to work with, but ooh, it's so worth it!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not quite so scary...

Ahhh, now THIS looks more like a Celtic motif. Definitely less Participaction-y.

March 1, 2009

I've given up on the flowers. It's currently -11. Harrumph.