Monday, January 31, 2011

The "Mad Hatter"

It has been more than 10 years since I have put 'hook' to 'yarn', just never seemed to have the time.  Retirement offers the gift of time that encourages creativity.

I learned to crochet by watching my mother, and while I am not the  quintessential crocheter that my mother was (yet another blog), I persevere.  I hope you enjoy the process and the finished results.

The instructions were were a FREE download.

 I bought this particular book at the local craft store because it came complete with hooks, markers, and 2 tapestry needles.  I already knew the basics of crocheting by watching my mother crochet.
 This book also includes a special feature, instructions for left-handed crocheters
 For this pattern I used two different sized hooks.  Smaller for the body of the hat, and the larger for the brim.
 That little orange spot is the first of the markers indication the beginning of the pattern row.
 This row is all 'double-crochet.  You begin by looping the yarn around your hook,
 put the hook under the top of the stitch from the previous row,
 pull the yarn through the stitch so that you have two loops, pull the yarn through first two loops, re-load the hook with yarn  and pull that through the remaining two loops. 
 pull the yarn through the two loops and the double crochet is completed. 

 It is important to mark the rows since the pattern is worked 'around'.  The row is joined with a slip stitch, and the NEXT row begins.
 The dreaded 'markers'.  While these rings are very easy to slip on the stitch to be marked, they are NOT easy to remove.  In the past I have used:  bobbi-pins, safety pins, different color yarn, and even the twisty-ties that come on bread wrappers.  After trying these slippery little circles, I went back to safety pins.

 The body of the hat is complete, and now comes the brim.

 The brim is finished, and just needs to be attached to the hat.
 VOILA....the finished project!!!

A simpler pattern but a CLASSIC.  My daughter sent me the link to this website.
 The pattern called for the "magic circle".  I had no idea what that was, so thanks to the internet and YouTube, I was able to watch and listen to instructions.  Thank goodness for that handy little rewind and pause feature.  Lesson learned!

 I decided to combine two different yarns for a 'tweedy' effect.
 It begins with the taa-daa.....MAGIC CIRCLE
 The crown is complete, and now for the body.  (note:  no slippers thing-a-ma-jigs, just good old fashioned safety pins).
 Time for the brim......
 To form the bend in the brim, you work the BACK loop of the stitch, making the distinction between the body of the 'cloche' giving the brim it's own 'identity'.
 The completed hat may be worn two ways:  with the brim down (notice adornment) I chose to dress it up with a simple single crochet chain bow.
 or with the brim folded .

Either way you wear it, it is guaranteed to keep you warm and dry on these frigid, snowy winter days.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Round Six!

I think by now we are all a bit weary of Winter.  It is said "that a picture paints a thousand words". In this case the 'picture' speaks 19 - 36" of  snow.

Early pretty!

 Reality is a shocker!  The yardstick on the car measures 11" of NEW snow. The first 5" were swept away!
 Eddie making the initial run. 
 Our very helpful neighbor, Mike Hogan came to help with his super-duper-tricked-out MEGA snowblower.  We are very grateful for his help.
 Our reliable, dependable "Honda" machine was working very hard too.
 Mike and The Machine.  (Isn't there a book by that title?)
 Nothing disturbed the Christmas decoration on the grill of the TB.  Not the snow, NUMEROUS cleanings with my corn broom, not even the Crown Brush-less Car Wash in town.
 Light at the end???

 Looks are deceiving, the opening in the piles of snow is quite narrow.  I had to be careful not to 'graze' the sides of the tunnel lest it collapsed!

I final tribute to my favorite snowman.  Definitely a case of "man against machine".  Machine - "1"; Man "0"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let it Snow?

 You may have heard the expression:  "When life hands you lemons; make lemonade".  I have decided to put my own 'spin' on it, and offer:  "When life hands you S N O W; make S N O W men!"
Snowman and Lady painted on slate.

 A jolly band of glass, fiber optic snow men. 
 A 'stand-on-his-own-two-feet' door-stopper snow man delicately balancing his spun sugar-looking work-out ball.
 Of course the whimsical:  bowling pin snowman, snowflake snowman and the Lenox bisque snowman.
 The Snowman diorama at Sunnymead School.  The art teacher graciously and generously gives her 'prep' time and before and after school personal time to decorate the showcase that visitors see upon entering the main lobby.

 Some of the first graders' interpretation of the perfect snowman. 
 The wonderful DPW men who plow our cul-de-sac right down the the bare blacktop. 
 Mr. Snowplow Driver taking aim on.........
Snow plow?  What snow plow?  OOOOH, THAT snow plow!!!

This is my personal favorite since I had to climb that 5+ foot snow bank to put his hat back on!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Getting Started

This blog has been 'under construction' (mostly in my mind) for several months.  Being snowbound has encouraged me to complete the project.  (S)no(w) time like the present. 

The beginning of the December 26th storm.  Looks innocent enough!
 The same shot in the evening.  Not so innocent now!  The two car garage is home to Eddie's new (OLD) Mercedes Benz, and wood for the stove.  So....the Trailblazer sits forlornly outdoors.
 The ice storm turned the deck railing and the boxwoods into a crystal vision.
 Eddie making good use of the snow blower.  We bought the Honda snow blower many years ago, and after Eddie refurbished it it starts up right away, and keeps on 'blowing'.  Thank God!!  It is not an easy task to shovel our 88 foot long - 20+ foot wide driveway, although we have shoveled in past years.

The GLORIOUS sun coming up in time to melt some of the snow that totally covers the patio and the storage bench and furniture.  Would it help to start-up the patio heater?? Couldn't hurt!