Bloglet: Winter Weather–Snow AGAIN!

This is how deep the snow was in our local park when we took our walk. (That is the back of a park bench sticking up out of the snow.)

I know you are probably thinking–Well, Dah! You live in Wisconsin, and it is the depths of winter. Yeah, it’s going to snow! I guess we were spoiled by the earlier part of the season and shocked out of our complacency by the Polar Vortex.

The lack sunlight, 10 inches of snow, and the 30 below zero kind of got me down. So when it warmed up, we decided to get out and get some exercise. We strapped on the snow shoes and headed down to the county park down the hill from our neighborhood. Sure, it was snowing and blowing, but we figured once we got down in the valley by the lake it would be more sheltered and easier going.

It was like walking in a snow globe that had just been shaken. Kind of cool–if you will excuse the pun. The snow was heavy, and I had to stop regularly. My husband is in shape, so he just had a pleasant walk while I was having my workout.

The lake was pretty much frozen except where there are springs that warm the water. We had gone from way below zero to 40 degrees F, and then it snowed and cooled down again. There were people out on the lake ice fishing with their kids. We could hear their ice augers as we walked deeper into the park. They pull some pretty big fish out our little lake–large Northerns and bass. We also have beaver and muskrat on the lake that are active in warmer weather.

As we followed the spring fed creek up the valley, I noticed that there was more watercress growing then I had ever seen there before. The whole bottom of the stream bed was covered with it. It was the only natural splash of color in the valley.

I noticed some birds flitting around the water’s edge and, on taking a closer look, realized they were a pair of blue birds! The park has a very long blue bird trail with many nesting boxes. I knew that the blue birds were supposed to come back in February, but seeing is believing. It is hard to imagine how anything can make a living during this seemingly barren time of the year.

I guess we have hope. I’ll be listening for those first robins that are supposed to be arriving in 12 days! Begonia

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m celebrating Valentines Day with some heart coasters! I like making coasters because they are quick, colorful,  useful, and they use up scrap yarn.

I found the pattern for this heart-shaped coaster on one of my favorite crochet tutorial YouTube channels Sara Sach, the free written instructions appear on her blog, Posh Pooch Designs. She also does giveaways, live chats, and product/yarn reviews. I made these coasters and gave them away to friends and family for Valentines Day.

I also crocheted a heart granny square coaster by Jayda InStitches. I just used cheap and cheerfully colored acrylic yarn–odds and ends I already had in my stash. Jayda does wonderful YouTube crochet tutorials. This granny block  can also be used to make a baby blanket or full-size throw. (She has a tutorial for making a car seat baby blanket as well.) She also has a really nice Etsy shop where she sells her patterns. I especially enjoyed making this sweet coaster.

I hope you all have a wonderful day! Begonia

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I Needed ANOTHER Basket!

I use baskets all over the house to store everything from food to my office supplies. I found them at garage sales, thrift stores, and even junk picked a few.

And some of them I make myself!

Here is my latest Basket. I made it because I needed a container to hold the odds and ends of fingering weight and # 1 and #2 I have left over from making fingerless mitts and boot cuffs, etc. I don’t like to waste my resources–in this case yarn. All these bits and pieces will become something eventually.

This is a Bavarian crochet pattern I found in a book I borrowed from the library. The book is called Learn to Do Bavarian Crochet by Jenny King.  I also get patterns from all the places that I buy my baskets. (It would be a dream come true if I could junk pick some patterns–I’ve found them free at garage sales but never in the trash!)

The Bavarian technique lends itself very well to 3-D projects like this basket.  The stitch worked well for building up the sides of this small basket and changing to a smaller hook size for the last two rounds stabilized the project horizontally. (I used I and G hooks and Red Heart Super Saver.) I’ve also made flat items like runners and blankets in this style. The blankets turned out thick and warm.

I like to use baskets for holding my yarn because then I can see the colors and textures. I tend to work more with the materials that I see on a daily basis. I do go to my stash and dig when necessary, but I always find myself wishing that I had remembered I had this particular yarn or fiber when I had a particular book out of the library!

As you can see, I’ve made baskets of all sizes and types using a variety of techniques. The smallest trinket baskets are made from very small amounts of leftover yarn. I use them and give them as gifts.

I hope this gives you some ideas–I’m always happy to share. Begonia

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