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What have I been up to??  Crochet, crochet, and more crochet!

When summer comes it seems like I turn to the hook instead of the needles.

The first set of dishcloths was done around Christmas time.  A set of 3 for a late Christmas gift.  I had read so many differing opinions about Hobby Lobby’s I Love this Cotton that thought I would give it a test drive.

I loved them!  So I duplicated that initial set and still have the 2nd set of 3 in a box on hold for a hostess gift or some other fitting occasion.

They have a retro feel to them, maybe due to the colors, or maybe because of the scalloped edge which feels “old school” to me.  Either way they are a hit for me!

I got a little tired of dishcloths through spring – took a break –

And then decided..wait! I need dishcloths for myself.  I stuck with the I Love Cotton because it is easier for me to crochet with since it is not as stiff as the cotton that I normally use.  And I love them!  The colors just make me happy when I see them and they’re pretty.

So pretty that I made a couple more for a friend’s birthday….

Combined with some strawberry/rhubarb jam it was the perfect birthday gift to be mailed off to Nebraska.

The dishcloth saga will continue soon….. into the knitted world!!!

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New bathroom

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It has been so long since I posted that I can’t cover everything. The past year had included moving, a new boyfriend, cancer in too many people that I know, another yarn shop hop, and a new bathroom.

I love before & afters. A picture literally speaks a thousand words. I love my new retro bathroom makeover!!

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OK, I know that we yarn shop hopped in April. I also know that our final day of the hop was Sunday, April 14. It is now the end of August. But I have not forgotten to finish the story! Partially because this is how I journal and keep track of things….yes, sporadic….and partially because it is forever on my mind that something is unfinished. Probably an issue I should talk to a qualified counselor about. 🙂

Today when it is over 90 and the humidity has my hydrangeas wilting as I look at them, I am going to take a look back in my memory to April when we were finishing the final day of hopping and it was snowing! No lie, the roads were a bit slick when we started out at about 1 PM and the snow was coming down. Granted, it had switched to rain by the time we were done. But for dramatic effect I like to think about the snowing and slick part.

We took a break on Saturday since my shopping buddy had a wedding and we needed to absorb all of our treasures that we had purchased.  So to finish things off we had two final stores to hit and these were our reminders/charms.

 

Our first stop was The Shepherdess in Anoka.  The first time we visited the shop it was called Shepherd’s Choice and that name is still referenced on the website, but whatever!  The sign says The Shepherdess and it still looks like the same cozy place.  There is a loft that is rented to weavers.  It gives them a space to keep their loom and work.  Some of their items are there for display and sale.  Absolutely amazing work!  Almost makes me want to take up weaving.  Almost.  They had the peace sign charm and the lady working was a little vague as to why it was their theme.  🙂

Our final stop of the adventure was Amazing Threads.  This one is very close to my knitting pal’s house, so we have both been there freqently.  It has a great inventory and everyone working had fabulous knitted hats…..which ties into the top hat charm.

Our final day resulted in one final purchase for me.

I have many things swirling through my mind that I should document.  Some of them are even finished objects from the Hop yarn that I purchased.  But that will be for another day.

I am currently enjoying the air conditioning and cooking dinner in the cropckpot…..I love the cropckpot.  The house smells good and there is not too much additional heat.  It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed the buffalo shredded chicken that I’m making, and it will be a great way to use up some of my homegrown cucumbers….the chicken has some kick that cucumbers and ranch dressing will cool off nicely.

 

 

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Day #2 of Hopping

We covered 7 of the 16 stores in the Yarn Shop Hop on the first day.  On day #2 we made it a long weekend and took Friday off of work!  This worked out particularly well since all of the stores made a last minute change and decided to open at 9 AM (instead of 10 AM) to make up for the crappy morning weather on Thursday.

At 9 AM I was picked up at my house and we were on our way!

Our first stop was Crafty Planet.  They were handing out a very cute Garden charm for where iKnit@.  In addition to Amy Butler yarn they have a great selection of fabric!  And for those talented people with more patience than me….they have very cute embroidery patterns.  I shared with my friend that the vintage hot rods would “make a very good gift” embroidered onto tea towels…..so guess what I am getting for my birthday!  Yay!

Next came the fabulous StevenBe.  We spent the most time there just because it is sensory overload.  Fun people, fibers, and inspiration!  And since his signature seemed to be the chandelier in the center of the store….that was their charm!  This is my knitting pal’s favorite store and she always picks up some fabulously fuzzy yarn to make into something fun!

The next three stores are probably my favorite stops.  They are such nice shops and I wish that I lived closer so that I could go there over and over and over!

The Yarnery in St Paul is in an old house and just has nice atmosphere.   It’s not cluttery and overwhelming, it is just like going to grandma’s house with yarn on every wall!  Their charm was the airplane, which is where I person Knit@.  They had the most divine green yarn as their exclusive Hop yarn.  I seemed to be picking up only green fibers this year…so it, of course, had to come home with me!  If I use their hat pattern it should go well with the cowl I will be making from my Needlework Unlimited purchase.

Aaaaah!  A plan coming together!

Next was Darn.Knit.{Anyway} in Stillwater.  Stillwater is such a fun town with all kinds of shops lining the street down by the river.  So, of course, their charm was the fishing boat for iKnit@ the river.  I have thought about their handmade wide-mouth bag since I saw them last year and didn’t buy one.  Well, I wasn’t making that mistake twice!  AND to go along with my newly acquired crochet skills, I splurged and got Addi crochet hooks.  The ladies in that store are so unbelievably nice and pretty close to my age which makes it feel like hanging out with friends!

Then came Lila & Claudine’s.  Not only does this place have an amazing amount of yarn, but they have a wide selection of truly unique gifts.  They are located right by the lake, so their charm was also a boat.  They have 2 huge human figures (Lila and Claudine) which were out front in a boat.  I think it is something about the gigantic size  and realistic nature of these two “ladies” that is a little creepy to me.  🙂  There was some green yarn there calling my name and a very unique shawl pin/hair stick that had to come home with me!

We were discovering that with the time remaining we were probably not going to be able to make the remaining 4 stores.  I guess we took a little too long enjoying our ultimate margaritas at Applebee’s  🙂  But we forged ahead!

The Sheepy Yarn Shoppe has the friendliest staff and knitting group ladies.  There are also so many cute stores around them that I really must make a trip back up there and check out the area.  But, not during the Yarn Hop!  They are also not far from the beach of White Bear Lake…so they put us in the mood for spring with a palm tree charm.  iKnit@ the beach!  We oohed and aahed over the Swarovski crystal Addi needles, but they were not in either of our budgets for the day!  So instead, we both “settled” for some yarn.  🙂

Our last stop of the day was All About Yarn in Coon Rapids.  That seemed to be one of the busiest stops of the day.  Their charm was a wine glass, and both of us would have been ecstatic to have had a glass about then!  They had fun tee cakes that you make into little baskets….guess what is going to be in my guest bathroom!

As you can see, there was not a shortage of Day 2 treasures.  The weather cooperated and only flurried on us, instead of spitting rain & flurrying as it had on Day 1.  And we wrapped up as things were closing down at 6 PM.

2 more stores to go in order to be entered into the big grand prize drawing!!

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Everyone has their own interpretation of Life’s Luxuries.  For me sometimes it is splurging on a $5 Caramel High Rise at Caribou Coffee, or simply taking a Monday off to do nothing other than stay in my pj’s until after lunch (ok, I’m doing that today).

There are the luxuries that good friends give you.  To fill my knitting “needs” the gift of a pair of Signature Needles for my birthday a couple of years ago and a 2nd pair this past Christmas are absolutely treasured.

These are the perfect luxury.  My first pair had the spiral top.

Stiletto tips just sounds so girly!  And they make picking up stitches soooo easy.  You have to love that!

Then I received these red beauties with their teardrop top and middy tip.

 They are so slick and nice to knit with.  It is something that is really hard to explain to someone who doesn’t knit and who can’t touch them.  Just feeling them makes me happy.  Yes, weird, but true!

Then there are the luxuries that I splurge on myself.  I usually justify some kind of splurge when I receive my tax return.  Thank you, Uncle Sam, for providing a savings account for me….no, I am not going to argue or think about the interest-free aspect of this account…..I am just going to be thankful for it.

This year resulted in the very fun Coach Willis bag in a cool colorblock.

It is truly a splurge, but I love handbags.  They always fit…even when my pants don’t…and they can be carried and loved every day!

So whether it’s a cup of coffee or fun new bag, life’s little luxuries give me a little perk in my day and sometimes help motivate me to keep going to work every day (except today, when the day off is my luxury)!

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Especially when it is 60 degrees in MN!!!!  My flowers are coming up!!!  YAY!!

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Dating

Why are men so confusing??  The boy that I have not talked to for 6 weeks e-mails me….”Could I call you?”

My heart does the little flutter, because I have moved on…kind of…I really liked this guy.  I respond that he is always welcome to call me…even though my mind is thinking I don’t know if I want to talk to you because I’m not sure I’m ready to be friends.  I immediately started steeling my heart in preparation….and….

It’s been a week, and he hasn’t called.  SERIOUSLY!!  Why send the e-mail??  Those were some seriously good pep talks I could have saved for another day!!!

There has been knitting, but the drama of online dating and real life dating has been very time consuming too!

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