Want to see my yummy purple pineapples?

shawl_purple pineapples1I’ve always been entranced by the look of pineapple crochet patterns—so lacy and intricate—yet I always shied away from attempting to work on one because they seemed so complicated and I consider my skills to be more intermediate than advanced. I once tried a pineapple shawl pattern that I’d found on the Web but got stuck at a point where the instructions suddenly became confusing, and thus ended up throwing up my hands and ripping it all out in frustration, thinking that pineapples are probably just too advanced for me.

bookOn a trip to the library, I spotted a book called Crochet Wraps Every Which Way written by a talented crochet designer named Tammy Hildebrand. The book featured 18 gorgeous shawl patterns, but the one that really caught my eye was called Purple Passion—of course it was a pineapple design.

After skimming the pattern instructions, I thought that they seemed clear enough for me to follow, so I signed out the book and decided to try my hand at tackling a pineapple pattern one more time.

Since I was wary that this shawl might not turn out (which can be so disheartening because of all the time devoted to the work), I chose to use a lower-cost worsted weight yarn instead of the fine silk mohair yarn that the pattern called for. Then, I got out my crochet hook and began.

Well guess what? Thanks to Tammy’s easy-to-follow instructions, my first pineapple shawl turned out perfect, even in worsted weight!shawl_purple pineapples2All I need to do is block it and it will be ready to wear this summer, paired with a lavender sundress.

For anyone who’s looking for gorgeous crocheted wrap patterns that are clear to follow, I recommend that you check out this book. I guarantee that you’ll be enchanted with the drool-worthy patterns inside.

There was actually a time when winter wasn’t so bad…

After dusting the cobwebs from my memories of winters in the past, this is what I found.

When This You Read, Remember Me

Remember when winters never seemed long?
Cold? What cold? We were young; we were strong.
kids-winter-20With every new snowfall, remember the thrill
of tugging our sleds up the nearby hills?
sledding childrenRemember the outdoor skating rink,
with its indoor wood stove and hot cocoa to drink?Remember our snow forts, and hiding inside
from those boys who threw snowballs at us from outside?
snowball girlRemember plucking icicles from the balustrade,
and using them to decorate the snowmen we made?
sledding and snowmanRemember how we laughed, our breath frosting the air?
Ice balls on our mittens, our scarves…in our hair.
playing in the snowThe winters, they were never so long back then,
when they were shared by the best of friends.
best friendsHere’s to you, Sue, my best friend then and always.

Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 81)

Guess who’s a guest on Tummy Rub Tuesdays again? Scroll down to see my Otis!

Katzenworld

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another week of Tummy Rub Tuesday! Oh, and if you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, why not sign up by clicking here to never miss a TRT again. 😀

Meet Murrli who can often be spotted on The Meowfactor! 😀

Here’s Bonhomie – He rarely shows his tummy off, so even more important for him to join TRT. 😀 More of him and his brother here.

Can you find this kitty’s name on their Blog? Certainly ready for a tummy rub or two! 😀

12696088_1113133448697167_942585808_n

Meet Tino! He has been sent in by Stephanie who runs When I thought I Was Fat.

Joanie

Meet Joanie one of the many cute cats from 15 and Meowing.

otis tummy4

Remember this fluffy tummy? Yes, it’s Otis! He is back for another fun week of tummy rubs. 🙂 More of him on his mum’s Blog!

Kosmo

Now if…

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My “Hate Winter” hat and infinity scarf

Anyone who knows me even remotely also knows exactly where I stand on the subject of winter.

shovellingI HATE*:
(1) Snow. (Especially when gale-force winds blow it in my face and it melts all over my glasses as I trudge from the parking lot to the mall doors, so then I have to dig through my purse to find a tissue that I can use to clean the lenses so maybe I’ll be able to see again, but dammit, the glass is smeared and starts to fog up just as I put them back on, and I am halfway through cursing a long string of expletives when I realize that lots of people have stopped shopping to stand and stare at me and some are even crouching behind clothing racks.)driving in storm
(2) Ice. (Except when it’s in the stiff drink I’m going to need by the time I get home since I’m trapped in my car behind a bunch of dimwits who have suddenly forgotten how to drive on Canadian roads in winter, so their cars are all upside down in the ditch while the rubberneckers ten miles ahead slow down to gawk, which means I’ll be idling in traffic for what is going to feel like a week. Maybe two.)
winter boots(3) Boots. (Unless they’re on a cowboy that looks just like Clint Eastwood in his prime.)
(4) Frozen ears, hands, feet, arms, hair, eyelashes, brain
bare tree(5) Dead foliage. (I’ve been housebound for so long, I’m beginning to act like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, so I talk my husband into risking our lives to go on a Sunday drive. How picturesque the scenery is at this time of year: dried up brown farm fields, tree trunks and branches stripped bare of all growth, evergreens that will never again be green because they are now the colour of dried blood. It’s all so stunning, I feel inspired to go home and write poetry. Not.)
dirty-snow(6) Brown snowbanks. Or even worse, yellow. (Double worse if you fall in it.)
(7) Being trapped behind that confounded snowplow blocking both lanes as it moves at 1.5 km/hour. (I swear I can hear that prick of a driver laughing his face off at the masses stuck behind him, all of whom are cursing the ground that he plows on.)
(8) Slush. (Unless it has “fund” after it and fills a box in my cupboard). driving in storm2
(9) Salt. (Not the kind we eat. The kind that eats holes in everything we own, from the boots that I hate having to wear to the freezing car that I hate the thought of having to go out and get into right now.)
(11) Grey skies. Grey landscape. Grey skin. Grey mood.

(12) Sneezing and coughing people. Everywhere. (And why can’t you cover your mouth?? I’ll bet you can’t be bothered to use your car indicator either. Is it really that much trouble to lift your hand?? I’ll bet your kids are the ones that always have snot oozing from their noses—why bother lifting a finger to pass them a tissue when they can just use their sleeves, right??)
(13) The gazillion dollars I pay Enbridge to barely heat my house. (My pleasure, Mr. CEO—mi dinero es su dinero! I just hope you’re able to get by this year on your 12+ million payout!)
sleeping-bear(14) Snowflakes. (I really don’t give a flying puck how pretty they are).
(15) It’s night when I get up for work. It’s night when I get home from work. (No wonder bears sleep all winter. I am so coming back as a bear in my next life.)
(16) Goddam snow. (It’s no surprise that there’s never quite enough to force employers into giving us a snow day but always just enough to wreak havoc during rush hour.)frozen birds
(17) Having to wear layer upon layer upon layer of fleece-lined clothing to keep from turning blue. (Of course, the multi layers make me look like I’ve scarfed every box of chocolates that pretty much everyone I know gave me for Christmas—damn them—which, ok, I did because I have no willpower (resolutions? what resolutions? they were blown all to hell on Jan 1st), so now I’m dreading spring since I’m going to look like a great big hot-dog cart sausage when I try to squeeze into my clothes from last year. But seriously, what the hell else is there to do but eat bonbons when it’s cold enough ouDocument2tside to get hypothermia just by walking across the street to the mailbox.
(18) Hat hair. (Why waste time and energy brushing my hair when I know it’s just going to look like Kim Jong Un’s by the time I get wherever I’m going?)
(19) Anybody and everybody with plans to travel south. (May you bump into Jaws at the beach.)snowman
(20) Fucking goddam snow. (Whether it falls gently from the sky, spreads like vanilla frosting over hill and dale, or becomes a cute little snowman on your front lawn—I HATE it.)

*I know. HATE is a strong word. But in my case, it’s warranted.

Anyway. While my daughter was shopping at Christmastime, my miserable face sprung into her mind the moment she spotted this hat, and she just couldn’t resist buying it for me. In only two words, it sums up everything I feel in my heart at this time of year, and even though it makes my hair look like crap, I love it so much that I crocheted a wacky looking infinity scarf to wear with it.

Without further ado, here’s the pattern:

scarf_infinity black & hot pink2“Hate Winter” Infinity Scarf

Materials
Yarn: one ball black fun fur; one ball black chunky worsted; one ball hot pink worsted
Crochet hook: 10 mm

Pattern
Using fun fur, chain 112.

Row 1: Single Crochet (sc) in 2nd chain from hook, and in each chain across. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 1 and sc in same sp; sc in each sc across; fasten off and attach black worsted.

Row 3: Using worsted: ch 1; sc in first sc; sc in each sc across. Turn.

Row 4: Ch 1; *Double Crochet (dc) in first sc; sc in next sc; repeat from * across, alternating dc and sc. End with a dc in the last sc.

Row 5: Ch 1; *sc in first dc; dc in next sc; repeat from * across, ending with an sc in the last dc.

Repeat Row 4. Fasten off and change hot pink.

Using hot pink, repeat Row 5. Fasten off and change to black worsted.

Using black worsted, repeat Row 4.

Repeat Row 5.scarf_infinity black & hot pink1

Repeat Row 4. Fasten off and change to fun fur.

Using fun fur: ch 1; sc in each st across. Turn.

Ch 1; sc again in each sc across. Fasten off.

Finishing
Using black worsted, seam together both ends of scarf on the wrong side to form the infinity style.

(SIDEBAR)
On the other hand, here’s what I love about winter:

 

 

 

 

 

The Snowstorm

snow day1You and I, we view every snowstorm as a major inconvenience: yanking on coats and boots and scarves and hats and gloves; treacherous roads, traffic snarls and fender benders; grey skies and Seasonal Affective Disorder…

But children, they see that same snowstorm through a completely different set of eyes.

 

winter scene through windowThe Snowstorm

Toasty little flannelled feet,
Tiptoe ‘cross the nursery rug,
Busy, dimpled starfish hands,
Give the drapery cords a tug.

The amber glow of streetlamp light,
Illuminates two widened eyes,
That dance, as icing-sugar spills
In silence, from the murky skies.

Cheeks a-bloom like scarlet roses,
Button nose pressed to the glass,
Watching God’s vanilla frosting
Spread to hide the crisp, brown grass.

mother and babyA gleeful gasp of baby’s breath;
Behold the wondrous sight below!
God has closed his doors above,
And scattered stars upon the snow.

As the sun begins its rise above
The dips and peaks of whipping cream,
Nanny finds, upon the sill,
Her charge, curled ‘round a winter dream.

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