Saturday, March 30, 2013

Whimsicality Cowl Crochet Pattern & Tutorial

It may be spring by the calendar, but here in Wisconsin the nights are still freezing and the mornings icy. Which makes it the perfect time of year for a soft and lightly lacy cowl:

Whimsicality Cowl by Mrs. Micawber

Whimsicality features some fun new stitches dreamed up at Micawber Towers over the long months of winter. The main pattern stitch, called Twisted Cluster, is my own invention (as the White Knight would say). Worked in the round with a large hook, through the back loop only, Twisted Cluster yields a beautifully drapey and textured fabric...

...that makes the most of a special yarn like this gorgeous Cascade Casablanca. Just one skein yielded a generous cowl and a detachable Tunisian button band:

Whimsicality starts with an easy edging row - no long chain to stitch into! It works up very quickly in the round, and finishes with a mirrored edging stitch. Because very little counting is required, you can easily make your cowl longer or shorter, wider or thinner, as it pleases you.

A long colour-changing yarn gives a beautifully striped effect, but a solid yarn would be lovely too.

As usual, we'll start with a crochet shorthand pattern, then move on to a Pattern in Plain English with video tutorials.

All crochet terminology is American.

Size: approximately 39-40" x 7 1/2" (easily customisable)

Yarn Requirements:
220 yards worsted weight (#4) yarn
(Pattern will also work with any weight yarn and the appropriate size hook.)

Yarn I Used:
Casablanca by Cascade (a Christmas gift); 58% wool, 24 % silk, 17% mohair; colour 5; 100 g/220 yards

How Did the Yarn Behave?
Beautifully. Casablanca is very textured, with occasional thick and thin stretches - just enough to add character without compromising stitch quality. Even after multiple froggings, the Casablanca performed consistently well; despite its high animal fibre content, it never stuck to itself. A few small caveats: firstly, because of the rather raw texture, it doesn't always slide easily on the hook, but a loose tension will help with this. Secondly, the first few feet of yarn (on this skein at least) were very fluffy and loosely plied, tending to breakage - but once past this section the yarn was surprisingly sturdy. Thirdly, because this is a z-twist yarn, the normal action of crocheting continually tightens the twist, creating yarn kinks between the work and the skein. This can be overcome by stopping at regular intervals and twisting the work or the skein in the opposite direction to the yarn's twist.

Hook Size: K (10 1/2/6.5mm) and J (10/6mm) OR sizes that give desired stitch quality

Notions: (Optional) 3 buttons, 5/8"/15mm; needle and matching thread

Special Stitches:

Half-Double Crochet Cluster Starting Edge (hdc-clse): *Chain 2, half-double crochet in back bump of second chain from hook. Cluster made. Repeat from *.

Twisted Cluster (tw-cl): Chain 1, yarn over, insert hook in same stitch, pull up a long loop, skip 1 stitch, insert hook in next stitch, pull up a loop, chain 1, yarn over and pull through all loops on hook. Always made in back loops only unless otherwise indicated.

Half-Double Crochet Cluster Finishing Edge (hdc-clfe): *Chain 2, yarn over, insert hook in back bump of second chain from hook, pull up a loop, skip 1 stitch, insert hook through top 2 strands of next stitch, yarn over, pull through all loops on hook. Cluster made. Repeat from *.


Starting edge is worked flat in hdc-clse (see Special Stitches above). This creates a long strip of clusters with spaces between them, into which the next round will be worked. Strip is joined to form a ring; cowl is then worked in the round with right side facing at all times. For best drape, keep a gentle tension.

When working Twisted Cluster rounds, clusters will always be made in back loops of previous round's clusters. (Skipped stitches will always be ch-1s between previous round's clusters.) Omit the skipped stitch on the final cluster of every round.

Optional decorative button band is worked in Tunisian Simple Stitch, but may be made with any stitch of your choice. (Click here for a tutorial on Tunisian Simple Stitch.)

Crochet Shorthand Pattern:

Starting Edge: Hdc-clse 72, or to desired length. Ch 1, remove hook from work. Without twisting, bring ends of strip together to form a ring, WS facing outwards. Ins hook front to back through starting ch, pull working lp through.

Round 1: Ch 2, yo, ins hook through back lp of 2nd ch from hook, pull up a lp, ins hook into next sp, pull up a loop, ch 1, yo, pull through all lps on hook. First Cluster made. *Ch 1, yo, ins hook in same sp, pull up a lp, ins hook into next sp, pull up a loop, ch 1, yo, pull through all lps on hook. Rep from * around = 72 cl (or amount matching starting edge clusters). Join w/sl st through both top strands of first cluster.

Rounds 2 and Following: Ch 2, yo, ins hook through back lp of 2nd ch from hook, pull up a lp, sk 1 st, ins hook into bl of next st, pull up a loop, ch 1, yo, pull through all lps on hook. First Cluster made. Tw-cl around, omitting sk st on final cluster = 72 clusters. Join w/sl st through both top strands of First Cluster.

Work until cowl is desired width. (If making one-skein project, allow about 18 yards for finishing edge and 16 yards for button band.)

Finishing Edge: With smaller hook, hdc-clfe around. Join w/invisible join in top two strands of first cluster. (Click here for Invisible Join Tutorial.) Cut yarn, weave in ends. Block if desired.

Optional Button Band: With smaller hook, ch 10. Starting in second ch from hook, pick up 9 lps from back bumps of chains. Work Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) return pass. TSS 20 rows or to desired length. Bind off, ch 1, turn. Sc 2, *cast on 1 forward lp to hook (see video tutorial below), yo, pull through all lps, sk 1 st, sc in next st. Rep from * twice, ending w/2 scs. Cut yarn, weave in ends. Block. Sew buttons to opposite end.

Crochet Pattern in Plain English, with Video Tutorial

Starting Edge:
To make the Half Double Crochet Cluster Starting Edge:
Chain 2, then make a half double crochet in the back bump of the first chain. (Cluster made.)

Repeat this step until you have 72 clusters, or to desired length. (How easy was that?)

To join into a ring, chain 1.
Remove hook from work.
Without twisting, bring ends of strip together (the wrong side of the strip will be facing you).
Insert hook from front to back through the starting chain, and pull the working loop through.

Here's the video:

Round 1:
(See the handy spaces between the clusters? You’ll be stitching into these.)

Chain 2 (this is to bring your yarn up to the height of the row),
yarn over,
insert hook through back loop of bottom chain, pull up a loop,
insert hook into next space, pull up a loop,
chain 1,
yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.
First Cluster made.

To make all the remaining clusters:
*Chain 1,
yarn over,
insert hook in same space, pull up a loop,
insert hook in NEXT space, pull up a loop,
chain 1,
yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.

Repeat from * around to equal 72 clusters (or however many starting edge clusters you made).

Join with slip stitch through BOTH top strands of first cluster.

And ... the video:

Rounds 2 and Following:
Don’t forget – we’ll be working in the back loop from now on, unless otherwise indicated.

Chain 2,
yarn over,
insert hook in back loop of 2nd chain from hook, pull up a loop,
skip over 1 stitch,
insert hook into back loop of next stitch, pull up a loop,
chain 1,
yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.
First Cluster made.

Now for our regular pattern stitch, the Twisted Cluster. It’s just like the First Cluster, except you’ll be pulling up your first strand from the back loop at the base of the stitch.

*Chain 1 (to make a space between clusters),
yarn over,
insert hook in back loop of same stitch (at base of cluster), pull up a loop,
skip over 1 stitch,
insert hook into back loop of next stitch, pull up a loop,
chain 1,
yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.
Twisted Cluster made.

Repeat from * around.

When you get to the very last cluster, do not skip a stitch. Pull up your second strand in the joining slip stitch from the row below.

Join with slip stitch through both top strands of First Cluster.

Aaaand ... the video:

Repeat Round 2 until your cowl is as wide as you like – mine has 11 rounds between edges. If your yarn is limited, allow about 18 yards for the finishing round, and about 16 yards for the optional button band.

Finishing Edge:
Switch to a smaller hook (or your edge will be floppy and curly).

To make the Half Double Crochet Cluster Finishing Edge:
*Chain 2,
yarn over,
insert hook in back bump of second chain from hook, pull up a loop,
skip 1 stitch,
insert hook through BOTH top strands of next stitch,
yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.
Cluster made.

Repeat from * around. Join with invisible join in top two strands of first cluster. Click here for Invisible Join Tutorial OR just watch the video:

Cut yarn, weave in ends. Block if desired.

Pretty quick, wasn’t it? How do you like these new stitches?

If you’re using a colour-changing yarn, you’ll notice a little jog where the colour moves up at the beginning of each round. The optional button band does a dandy job of covering this up – and also makes a nice little focal point for the cowl.

Optional Button Band:

If you’re not familiar with Tunisian Simple Stitch, click here for a tutorial. Or just make a rectangle with any stitch you like - it’s your cowl, after all.

With smaller hook, chain 10.
Starting in second chain from hook, pick up 9 loops from back bumps of chains.
Work Tunisian Simple Stitch return pass.
Work 20 rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch forward and return passes, or to desired length.
Bind off across row (= 9 stitches).
Chain 1, turn,
single crochet in next 2 stitches,
*cast on 1 forward loop to hook (see video tutorial),
yarn over, pull through all loops,
skip 1 stitch (this will form a buttonhole),
single crochet in next stitch.

Repeat from * two more times, finishing the row with 2 single crochets.

(Why all that forward loop business? It makes a nice double chain stitch which gives a stronger edge to the buttonhole. Another whimsical stitch, but with a solid reason behind it.)

Again with the video....

Cut yarn, weave in ends. Blocking is recommended to tame that Tunisian curl. Sew buttons to opposite end, and enjoy!

You may do whatever you like with the items you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern or post the pattern text on any other website.

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting! :)

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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Stroke that Justice Gave

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Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning:
Was there ever grief like His?
Friends, through fear, His cause disowning,
Foes insulting His distress.
Many hands were raised to wound Him
None would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that justice gave.
Thomas Kelly, 1804
He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
Romans 4:25, New Living Translation
A very Good Friday to all.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Red-Hot Winner

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to my Red-Hot Giveaway post. Your comments were thoughtful and funny and kind and cheery and encouraging - everything that makes blogging wonderful.

Out of 66 comments there were 52 entrants. And one lucky winner, chosen by Random Number Generator... the 48th entrant, Dana B.! (Sound the party horns and throw some confetti!)

Dana will be receiving "Geek Chic Crochet" by Nicki Trench, as well as a luscious skein of Ritratto by S. Charles Collezione, and some even more luscious chocolate.

Congratulations Dana!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

An Icy Saturday ... RIDE!

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Willow-fronds glowing golden-green
Silently stepping sandhill cranes
Fretful geese honking "Human! Human!"

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Wisconsin, late March. Sunshine and 36º F. Icy north wind veering to east.
Snow everywhere - except on the roads.

Dramatis Personae:
Sue, a determined blogger and desperate cyclist
Mr. M, her loving husband and personal bike mechanic

Wool tee
Arm Warmers
Wool Socks
Fingerless Cycling Gloves (bit of a mistake, that)
Helmet Full of Holes (it came that way)
Touring Shoes

Iris the Invincible (vintage Cannondale, circa 1986)

Wimpy Moderate 15.2 miles with one tiny hill

Thrumming tyres. Crunch of road salt. Whistling wind. Sandhill cranes. Geese. (And a whole lot of other unidentified birds - at least it sounded like spring.)

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Sunday being forecast for snow, this exciting production actually took place Saturday (thanks to the thoughtful advice of Mr. M).

Prepped by a hot bath (what better way to warm up the legs before exercise, was my thought), I spent what felt like half an hour struggling into the eighty-five or so clothing layers mentioned above - and was tempted, when done, to call it a workout. But thoughts of my loyal friends and readers (and horror at having to peel the layers right off again) drove me out the door and into the saddle.

Across the mud and ice of the driveway and onto the blessedly dry street, I feel again that sense of collapsed time peculiar to the first ride of every season - as though all the months between have slipped into nothingness and I've never been off the bike.

Around the corner and headed for the village limits; dang, that wind is cold. But the eighty-five or so layers are keeping me warm; only my fingertips really feel it. (Note to self: look for a pair of cold-weather cycling gloves or even running gloves. They may even be on clearance this time of year.)

The snarl of snowmobiles sounds behind, and I turn to see two of the beasts go roaring by. Strange, somehow, to be cycling during snowmobile season. It gives me a smug pleasant sense of derring-do. "Cyclist Faces Wintry Weather, Armed Only with Wool and Determination." "While Others Burn Gas, She Burns Calories." "Cycling: The Quiet Way to Enjoy the Outdoors." (Does anyone else visualise silly headlines? Dreadful habit.)

Out of the village, the snow-covered countryside is of a boring white-and-brownness...

...and I begin to wonder why I brought my camera. Can there be anything worth snapping?

Why yes. A shadow shot, for one:

And red barns still make pleasant spots of colour:

Bare trees still have beautiful shapes:

(And in default of other subjects the desperate blogger can always fall back on self-portraiture.)

Uh, oh. I'll have to slow down for these curves:

(As opposed to taking them at my normal superhuman speed.)

A bit farther on, I look up to see two sandhill cranes just crossing the road and stepping softly onto the verge. I'm past them before I can wriggle my camera out of my pocket, so I turn the bike around, very slowly and nonchalantly, and come cruising past them to snap their portrait:

Like stately dancers they cross and re-cross each others' paths. I snap several photos, but it's hard to ride slowly, balance the bike, and get a clear shot while trying not to spook the birds.

Which is why this shot is cross-processed:

(Though out of focus, I loved the composition and wanted to redeem it somehow. The cranes have a sort of Oriental grace, I think.)

Long-time readers may recognise in the next shot my favourite willowy corner. Though it looks rather more wintry than usual, the willow-fronds are glowing with thoughts of spring:

And here, my favourite bend in the road:

(This bend, and those trees on the right, seem like very old friends. I don't quite know why I like them so much, but I do.)

Around more bends, up the tiny hill, down the other side ... through woods and past houses and a favourite tumbledown shed (which I pass too quickly to snap).

I reach my favourite marshy bend. One one side, wild geese dot the curving river's edge. When I get off my bike to take their photo, the two in the center start shrieking battle, murder and sudden death. (You'd think they'd never seen a human with a camera before.)

I don't want the flock to fly away, so I cross the road to the goose-less side and snap these satiny-black waters ringed by white velvet snow:

Then onto the bike, with freezing fingers, and six more miles to go. How good it will feel to get those digits out of the icy wind and into a warm house....

And it does. But my legs would have been happy to keep going; it's nice to know that last year's training hasn't worn off.

A very good ride, though cold.

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P.S. If you're reading this before midnight CDT Sunday the 24th, you still have time to enter my Red Hot Giveaway. Click on the big red giveaway button in the sidebar, and leave a comment telling me which book (of those pictured) you'd like to win. Good luck!

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Simple Salsa Verde

I love salsa verde. Tangy and intensely green, it's especially appealing at this time of year - like a spring tonic after months of slightly stodgy root vegetables and heavy winter food. So when tomatillos (salsa verde's key ingredient) showed up at our village grocer's the other week, I couldn't resist buying some.

Tomatillos, like tomatoes, belong to the nightshade family - but tomatillos are firmer than their tomato cousins, and much more tart. A mature tomatillo is bright green, and may be covered with a papery husk; the skin has a slightly sticky coating which remains even after washing (this is entirely normal).

The ingredients for salsa verde are simple and few: raw or roasted tomatillos, hot peppers, scallions, cilantro, and salt - all whirled together into a chunky sauce.

Go green!
(¿Vaya verde?)

I like to core, then roast the tomatillos slightly to release their juices and intensify the flavour - but you can skip these steps if you like. (Coring creates a little well to collect the tangy juice.)

Try salsa verde layered with cheese in quesadillas, or spooned over eggs for a lively take on huevos rancheros. As a topping for chicken enchiladas, it makes a pleasant change from red sauce. I've even used it, with grated jack cheese, as a filling for yeast rolls. (Perilously delicious.)

Wake up your eggs with salsa verde

Salsa verde is also the perfect complement to pork. We drizzled ours over simple tacos filled with what I call "cheater carnitas" (pork roasted in a crockpot until tender, removed from drippings and shredded in a shallow layer on a sheet pan, then sprinkled with chopped onion and heated in a 350º oven until onions are soft and meat is crispy at the tips).


Simple Salsa Verde - yields about 2 cups

3/4 lb. tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and stemmed (about 6 medium fruit)
3 serrano peppers, coarsely chopped
(I am a spicy-food wimp, so I use one jalapeño with seeds and ribs removed)
1 bunch scallions (green onions), coarsely chopped
1 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Lightly core and roast tomatillos (if desired) under broiler for 5-7 minutes until juicy and slightly charred. Cool slightly (or completely - either is fine). Do not chop roasted fruit or you'll lose the flavourful juice.

(If you skip the roasting step, coarsely chop the raw tomatillos, and add a few tablespoons of water when blending your salsa to attain desired texture.)

In a blender or food processor, puree tomatillos and chopped pepper(s) until chunky. Add remaining ingredients and puree until no large chunks remain. Enjoy!

Salsa verde keeps for about a week in the refrigerator - if you can make it last that long. We had no problem polishing off this batch in record time. (In fact Mr. M likes to scoop it up with a spoon and eat it plain.)

You can of course buy salsa verde in a jar - I like Herdez brand for its authenticity and short ingredient list (preservative-free, and no mysterious "natural flavors" or "spices" which are usually a cover for MSG). But sometimes it's just more fun to make your own.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just You Wait, National Weather Service

National Weather Service:
Tonight, partly cloudy, with a low around 5.
Wind chill values between -5 and 5.
Wednesday, partly sunny, with a high near 18.
Wind chill values between -10 and zero.
Wednesday Night, mostly cloudy, with a low around 4.
Wind chill values between -5 and zero.
Thursday, mostly sunny, with a high near 29.
Wind chill values between -10 and zero.

Mrs. M:
When spring comes, I will....
Eat breakfast on the porch every sunny morning
Pick fresh chives to put on my eggs
Look for violets in the lawn
Ride my bike to the grocery store
Smell the damp earth
Listen to birdsong
Hear the wind in the pines
Put my potted plants outside
Admire baby leaves on the trees
Feel the sun on my bare arms
Dream of lilac time
Thank God for new seasons and promises kept

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"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22)

Winter CAN'T last forever. :)

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Last Sunday Walk of Winter

Today is a deceptively sunny day - bright and mild-looking, but with a bitter nip to the air, and a wind of the sort that makes your eyes water. (The vernal equinox may be scheduled for Wednesday but I'm not sure Wisconsin has been notified yet.)

It's 28º (with wind chill, 19º), and I'm headed for the park to see what may be seen. Enough snow fell this week to cover the worst of the muddy snowbanks, and the lake, in defiance of the calendar, is still frozen and white:

Just inside the park entrance, a stand of red oaks is still covered with last year's leaves, which won't fall off until the new spring leaves come along.

This retention of leaves is called marcescence (I could hear you wondering).
Today's vocabulary word has been brought to you by Google. Whatever their faults, they do make it easy to get information.
Cattails are wearing their fuzzy parkas today:

Shadow of a merry-go-round on the snow-covered playground:

I like the look of the shadow spokes:

Looking up into a pine tree (also rather spoke-y; there seems to be a theme developing here):

I hear the eerie cry of sandhill cranes (a most encouraging sound and one I haven't heard since November), and now a few of them fly into view...

...looking for spring, no doubt - as are we all.

A little farther on, I spy tiny blossoms backed by red-twig dogwood, but fail to get a clear shot of either. No matter - a little photo-tweaking gives me this striking image:

Time for another shadow shot - "Blogger With Tree":

(Or "Blogger With Twiggy Antennae".)

A fascinating spiny blossom head:

This tree is just waiting for a little warmth to burst out into new life:

I love the graceful swoop and spray of branches dotted with delicate buds.

One last shot of the old water tower, which I pass on my way home...

...then it's round a few more corners, across a street or two, and I'm back in the warm house after the last Sunday walk of winter.

Maybe next Sunday I'll be riding instead....

(Are you listening, Spring?)

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P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day! :)

Gratuitous mini-quilt photo

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Friday, March 15, 2013

A Red-Hot Giveaway

Sound the trumpets - MMRfH is celebrating a blogiversary!

Thanks to all of you, just look how far this blog has come in two short years:
441 posts (this makes 442)
5880 comments (granted, about half of them are mine)
814,456 pageviews at the time of writing (free crochet patterns are a big draw)
In honour of all the wonderful people who have read, commented, encouraged, e-mailed, sent gifts, crocheted, questioned, crocheted some more, and generally brightened my days for these past two years, I am happy to announce...

Why Red-Hot? Well, it's a cold, damp, grey day where I live, so anything warm is appealing right now.

AND I'm giving away a skein of this luscious, shimmering yarn in shades of magenta, orange, fuschia, and red - just perfect for a floaty scarf or neckwarmer...

Ritratto by S. Charles Collezione
Colour "Poppy Field"

...with three bars of chocolate in flavours that match and complement the fiery yarn...

Chocolove Chocolate made in Boulder, Colorado
Chilies & Cherries in Dark Chocolate
Milk Chocolate
Raspberries in Dark Chocolate

...and a hot-off-the-press - or simply hot - craft book (choose one):

Literary Knits, Nikol Lohr (knit)
The Finer Edge, Kristin Omdahl (crochet)
Clever Crocheted Accessories, Brett Bara editor (crochet)
400 Knitting Stitches, Potter Craft (knit)
The New Tunisian Crochet, Dora Ohrenstein (crochet)
The Granny Square Book, Margaret Hubert (crochet)
Geek Chic Crochet, Nicki Trench (crochet)

One lucky winner will scoop the lot: yarn, chocolate, and the book of her/his choice. How hot is that?
  • This giveaway is international - anyone may enter.
  • To enter, just leave a comment below saying which book you'd like to win (only ONE selection, please).
  • If you're commenting as "Anonymous" or "Name/URL", please include an e-mail address so I can reach you if your name is drawn.
  • Giveaway will be open until midnight (CDT) Sunday, March 24. Winner will be announced on Monday March 25.
Tremendous thanks to all of you who read this blog - and especially to those who comment regularly. You add warmth to my life and joy to my heart, and I'm grateful for every one of you.

P.S. to my bloggy friends: Feel free to grab the giveaway button on my sidebar and post it on your own blog. Spread the warmth! :)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013


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Flannel sheets and fleecy blankets
Hot shower on a cold morning
Breakfast with a loved one
Sunshine on my plate

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What made you happy today?


Monday, March 11, 2013

Desperate for Spring ... and Brief Mention of a Blogiversary

It rained all weekend.

This is the time of year when a Wisconsin blogger begins to feel a bit desperate. Other bloggers are posting lovely photos from warmer climes (such as Stephanie's plum blossom along the Loire, and Meredith's turquoise water and sandy beaches), but when I look outside I see this:

Gone are the blue-and-white beauties of winter. In their place are muddy driveways and dirty half-melted snowbanks - definitely not inspiring. Add to this a sinus infection trying to stage a comeback, and the world begins to seem a very dull place indeed. (It takes all my philosophy to remember that this happens every year. Despite the drab uncheerfulness of our grey-and-brown world, spring is sure to follow. I WILL be able to take a bike ride soon. I hope.) :)

Far better to focus on these cheerful flowers from Mr. M, which were waiting for me on my return from Colorado last week, and still continue to brighten the room...

...and on the fact that this blog celebrated a quiet birthday Saturday. Two years of blethering on, with the occasional recipe and free crochet pattern thrown in, have garnered 500+ followers and over 800,000 pageviews (thanks mostly to the crochet patterns). Who'd a' thunk it?

A giveaway is definitely indicated. I have a lovely skein of yarn just waiting to be sent to some deserving commenter...

...and all I need now is to rustle up a few other prizes. Chocolate will be one of them, as always, and probably a crafty book of some sort. Watch this space - the actual giveaway post will follow later in the week.

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Are there any signs of spring where you live? (Or fall, for you Southern Hemisphere gals?)

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