Sunflower Crochet

As promised, here are some pictures of the latest crochet projects!

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Here is the [first] finished sunflower afghan. I haven’t measured it, but the blocks are around 8″ square so you can do the math if you’re really curious. 😛 I had most of the colors on hand, and I enjoyed the pattern so much that I Made Plans for a second before this one was even half done.

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Sneak peek.

By the time I finished the first one, I had a) 4 blocks of the cream sunflowers leftover and b) become thoroughly frustrated with joining the blocks. Let’s start with a).

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I made a mini afghan for the shop! Although I think Squeaky wants to adopt it, so I may pull the listing.

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As for the joining issue, I greatly dislike using needle and yarn to join blocks, so I’m constantly on the lookout for methods to either join as I go or join with a hook. I’d looked at some tutorials for joining granny squares, but nothing quite looked the way I envisioned so I finally sat down and worked out my own method. I didn’t perfect it until the mini afghan, but here’s the kicker: the only ends I have to weave in are at the edges of the afghan! That is to say, only on the border sides. No loose ends where you have 4 blocks coming together. I hate weaving in ends, so this is wonderful, and it’ll work with any size afghan! I can’t imagine I’m the first to do this, but I hadn’t heard of it before so there. 😀

Now I’m caught up sharing crochet news. The next crochet post will be when the 2nd sunflower afghan is done. Before that, though, there may be other crafts to share. I was digging under my bed (sadly, digging isn’t really an exaggeration in this case) and discovered a box of pastel colored felt. I’m talking a stack 5″ high. And now I’m thinking, “Goodness, what can I do with pastel felt???” I’ve started some research in that department, but I’m still rather clueless. Maybe I’ll just give it away to someone who already has a use for it!

 

Overheard at breakfast

LK and Pokado are in a phase right now where they think there’s some glory in finishing their food before the other one. Usually there’s some declaration of “I beat you!” only this morning when “the winner” announced such, the other one came back all bent out of shape, “I thought we were going to beat each other together!”

Thusly, come lunch, they looked at each other before starting to eat and then mutually agreed to “beat each other together” this time. I wasn’t sure exactly what this would mean, but as it worked out, they merely timed their bites such that they took the last ones together.

Go, siblings, go!

Things But Not Crochet

For starters, here’s the mobile chicken house that the Dearliest and LK built:

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LK was very brave and used the staple gun (with safety glasses and the Dearliest’s help, of course). The little guy did about half the staples, I’m told. The mobile chicken house is the new home of our 17 Cornish cross chickens…

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…and they’ll be moved around the unused portion of the garden space over the next couple months.

Speaking of garden space:

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Here we have one row of onion starts and five rows of 3 different kinds of potatoes. What can I say? Between the Dearliest’s Irish heritage and my Scottish and Russian, we are All About Potatoes. Heh, sounds like a band name…

Here you can see the uncultivated part of the garden area, which stretches up to the top of that little rise:

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This is the only place on the property with naturally occurring good soil and minimal to no rocks. The 14′ corner post bombed this photo. Quite deliberately, I suspect. The deer fence is still in progress, but it should be completed soon.

Between the garden space and the driveway sits one of the Dearliest’s ongoing projects–firewood!

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He came home with something like 30 cords of it last summer, and he’s been plugging away at cutting it all down to size. Have I mentioned that a wood splitter is now high on his list of machines to build?

Lastly, here are our egg laying chicks–5 black Australorps and 5 Rhode Island Reds:

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It remains to be seen how many are roosters, but the Dearliest suspects 6 of them. If this turns out to be true, I might turn out to be a little disappointed. Time will tell on that one!

Reader Request

Not a request of my readers, but more a request for a new one. The online sort that follows blogs and feeds and such. I’ve been using the WordPress reader, but I’m not really happy with it (long delays between when someone posts something and when it shows up in the reader, double postings, etc.).

Can anyone recommend a good alternative?

Thanks in advance!

On the Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Preface: Some of you may have seen a review that I wrote (and then deleted) quite a few weeks (or was it months?) ago. I did that because the series was still in the middle of release and as an afterthought I decided I’d rather wait until its end before sharing an official opinion on it. I’m glad I did that, because some of my opinions changed (one in particular quite drastically), and now I feel I can write in proper context having seen how the LBD completely played out.

Onward!

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modernized online adaption of Pride and Prejudice told primarily in video blog format over YouTube. Each episode is around 4 minutes long, which makes watching easy and hard.

“4 minutes? Oh, I can do a couple of those before starting laundry!”
*1 hour later*
“Just one more. Just one more…”

Yeah…that mighta happened a time or two…

Anyway, to adapt the LBD to a vlog format, some major changes had to happen (like making Mary a cousin and Kitty Lydia’s cat), but I don’t feel that the changes detracted from telling the story. The girls are more career oriented and less marriage oriented, Mr. Collins role is more business related, and Bing Lee is Asian, but these things (and others I won’t mention) make the LBD unique while still fitting (I feel) solidly in the world of Pride and Prejudice.

The content is mostly clean, which is something I greatly appreciated. Most the time it stays in a G/ PG rating, although occasionally I’d consider it a borderline PG-13. They don’t use strong language, and during the Lydia arc they were discreet in what they showed (although I still didn’t allow my kids to watch some of Lydia’s later videos due to, shall we say, “thematic elements”). The first handful of episodes does have some cruder humor/ slang in them, but that disappears pretty quickly, my memory says. If you have children, I would definitely recommend previewing the episodes.

Confession: I almost stopped watching after Ep.2 because of the description Lizzie gave of Lydia and I came away thinking, “If Lydia is really portrayed that way in the series, then I’m not going to be able to do this.” I’m happy I pressed on, because what the writers did with Lydia’s character is one of the things I really like about the show. I was hooked by Ep. 10.

Bottom Line: If you like Pride and Prejudice and/ or enjoyed the various modernized movie adaptions, give this one a try!

If you decide you like it, then I recommend checking out this link, which streamlines the videos and the in-character Tweets and tumbls chronologically. The extra material is not required to enjoy the YouTube show, but it does add another dimension to it. I had great fun following the characters on Twitter and watching some of the online drama unfold. (This is where my husband, if he were here reading this over my shoulder as he sometimes does, would start sniggering and make a comment about soap operas or somesuch. :-P)

Here’s the first episode:

Two Weeks and Counting

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At one day old, TR showed off his first set of smiles.

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At ten days old, he laughed in his sleep, and I would so very much like to know what someone his wee age can find so amusing!

Sleep is slowly returning to me, and just in time seeing as my mom returned home this morning. I miss her terribly already, but it was wonderful having her here for the last week and a half. She was an indispensable help and a comfort. Also, she kept the coffee pot full. 😀

The kids are adjusting well, although I think Squeaky is having a harder time of it. She was rather fond of her position as youngest, I think, and isn’t too happy at her dethroning. She’ll get over it soon enough, but until then we’ll be enduring some sulking.

In non-baby news, spring is here! Daffodils, crocus, and hyacinth are blooming, and the tulips aren’t too far behind. I need to take some pictures when I next head outside. The first wave of wildflowers are up, and as fortune would have it, yesterday I stumbled across the box with my grandmother’s flower press in it! I’ve wanted to press the wildflowers for the last two years but couldn’t remember where I’d packed it away. This year is the year!

We’ve been eating lettuce and spinach from the window planters quite regularly, and they are most yummy. I’ve used the cilantro a bit, but I’m still waiting for the basil, tomatoes, and green onions. There’s thyme available, but it occurred to me the other day that I’ve never used fresh thyme before and I’m somewhat at a loss what I should do with it. Aside from seasoning chicken, what do you do with thyme?

Lastly, the crochet work has been more or less at a stand-still until today, but the first sunflower afghan is nearing completion. Yes, I said first. I’m liking it so much I decided to do another one in slightly different colors, so I used a gift card to buy more yarn.

Oh! And my aunt discovered a very cool sewing box in a thrift store and bought it for me. I will have to take a picture of it to share, because it’s one of those really neat vintage wooden boxes that opens accordion-style and has several compartments. It’s holding the current crochet work at present, and so far I’m loving it.