Currently I am listening to The Switch by Beth O’Leary while starting a new crochet project. I am now working on an afghan for my cousin (remember my yarn haul of a few weeks ago?)
The story I am listening to centres on Leena and her grandmother Eileen. Ordered to take a two month long sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother’s house. Once there, the two women decide to switch lives for the period: Leena takes over her grandmother’s life while Eileen, a 79 year old woman, goes to London to look for love and a change of pace. Stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected – ad leads them to learning more about themselves.
I am enjoying this 2 POV narration that is spot on. The narrators of the novel are perfect for the two generations of women in the story – their voices sound their age! I cannot stop listening as the storytelling just draws me in. I loved The Flatshare and I am enjoying The Switch just as much. Beth O’Leary has done it again in that she has created a relevant story for today’s times that is so different to the other stories out there.
During the COVID-19 isolation period, I spent a lot of time crocheting – I completed one afghan and have almost completed the second. Yesterday my cousin offered to take me to Michaels and do some yarn shopping and I jumped at the chance as I have a couple of projects in mind that I would love to get started on.
Some people may think I am crazy – I came out of the store carrying 34 balls of yarn! But from my perspective I know that I have saved myself a few trips to the craft store. These balls will get me started on my projects even though I know I may need to go back if I haven’t bought enough.
I love the colour combinations I have chosen both for my own blanket and the one I will be crocheting for my cousin.
I have stored the yarn in the box I keep under my bed for that purpose. I look forward to picking up my crochet hook once the heat wave has broken and I am able to get creative once again.
If we were having coffee, I would welcome you in from the wind. We have had lovely weather during the past two days – it has almost been Spring-like. The wind, however, is picking up and I can hear it howling outside of my window. I am sure that the wind will bring with it lower temperatures.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Monday to Thursday we had indoor recess at school. The children could not go out to play because the fields were layered with ice. Keeping children inside for four days in a row is not a fun experience! They need the time to go outside, run around, and breathe in fresh air. As I passed the school this morning, I noticed that the ice had melted. Yipee! The fields may be muddy but at least the children can go out to play.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Friday was a PA day: the children did not go to school; and the teachers had the opportunity to begin working on the report cards. I entered the school at 8:30am and closed the door to my classroom at 4:30pm. The long day was worth it.
The lack of interruptions enabled me to finish my assessment of my students’ work; and to complete 85% of the report cards. I felt a sense of satisfaction as I walked home. Because I completed so much of the work on Friday, my stress level to the approaching deadline is not too high. I know that if a do a little everyday, my work will soon be done.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that on Saturday morning I made my way to Michaels, a craft store that stocks a wide range of yarn (wool). I was armed with a list of names and searched for crochet hooks and yarn to make scarves.
I am to start a crochet club at school next Friday. I have 12 children who have signed up so far, and others who have shown interest. The first project is a scarf which the children will wear with pride when they are done. I am hoping that I can get them to love crochet as much as I do. I am pleased to say that there are some boys who have joined. 🙂
On the way back from Michaels, I stopped off at the library to hand in my books… and I could not resist going in to browse for reading matter. I decided to pick up a few titles of some authors whose books I have previously enjoyed.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a good week. And remember to do something for yourself.
The last weekend was a long weekend for me and comprised of four days of rest. I slept late and feel less tired (as my daughters say, we should have more long weekends!).
I spent some of my time watching a series that I have grown to love: Downton Abbey. I enjoy the drama and the day to day happenings of the characters in an England that no longer exists. I delight in the intrigue, and love to hate some of the characters. I managed to finish watching all the episodes until the end of season 4 – and now wait impatiently until the next season is broadcast on Netflix. While watching Downton Abbey, I worked on the afghan that I am crocheting for my daughter. She chose the colour combination and I think she chose well.
I spent some time reading on the sofa with a cup of tea in my hand in the early morning hours while the rest of the household was still asleep. With my feet up, I entered the world of Jack Calder in The Violin Man’s Legacy by Seamus Gallacher with no interruptions. I am happy to say that I completed this novel and was able to begin another – Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner.
Most of the weekend was spent at home. With the temperatures way below zero (at -36C), we decided to spent family time indoors. I was grateful, however, that I was able to rest completely and that I could spend long lunches and dinners eating and chatting with my family.
At the beginning of Summer, I completed the Mystery Afghan that I had begun with Michael Sellick and The Crochet Crowd. I had fallen behind as I wanted to make a larger blanket (when the required twenty squares were joined, the resulting size was for a crib or a lap afghan). In addition, when the warmer days came along, there were times when I had to set my work aside.
Once I had completed and joined the forty squares, I decided that I needed to increase the width of the border to give the blanket a little more width. I also had quite a bit of the yarn left over which I wanted to use for the project. I used the pattern suggested and increased the number of rows in the middle section. My colour choices were determined by the amount of yarn that I had left over.
The project is now complete and I am pleased with the choices that I hadmade: the colours, the increased size, and the wider border. The blanket is now folded and waiting to be used on colder evenings.
I enjoyed crocheting this afghan. I am not sure, though, whether I would do this pattern again as it is very time-consuming. I will, however, use the braided joining technique as well as the pattern for the border.
If you wish to crochet a similar afghan, head on over to the Yarnspirations website where all the clues are detailed. In addition to the pattern, you will find the videos that were created by Michael Sellick.
As I expected, the next clue (clue 5) in the Mystery Afghan was adding a centerpiece to the granny square.
For this clue I could not rely on the diagram to help me understand the stitches – I watched Mikey’s video (from The Crochet Crowd) to understand how to create the flower. Once I understood, however, the clue finished up very quickly and I waited for the following week to continue with the afghan.
When I read the next clue, I saw that we were expected to join the squares. Placing my squares on the bed, I realised that this afghan would be too small to use – the size suggested was suitable for a crib or a small child. I decided to double the size of my afghan and thus began making twenty more squares.
I have now completed forty squares and have begun joining them. Working on enlarging my afghan has made me fall behind the rest of the crocheters who have worked on this afghan (in fact, most of them have completed the challenge). I am okay with that, though, as my result will give me an afhgan that can be used by myself and my family.
While on my blogging break, I continued crocheting the 2015 Mystery Afghan hosted by Mikey at The Crochet Crowd. For the third week, the challenge was to crochet layers onto the granny square – something I had not done before. (You can download the third clue on the Yarspirations website). Even though I had not done layering before, the stitches in the pattern were all familiar to me.
I completed the first square and liked the colour combination I had chosen. I was a bit curious as to what would become of the lilac corners.
I decided to work on one colour at a time which made it easier for me to learn the pattern.
At this time of the crochet along, I was still working in tandem with other crocheters – and waiting eagerly for Tuesdays and the unveiling of the next clue.
This weekend I worked on the Mystery Afghan in order to complete the second clue before the next step is emailed out. The challenge this past week was to crochet a cross onto the granny square. (You can download the second clue here). Working on this clue, I learnt a new stitch: the front post single crochet. I watched Mikey’s video a few times in order to understand what I had to do – and I even crocheted along with him:
The first square took me a while to do as I stopped and started the video often.
I eventually understood the pattern and, after doing a few squares, I no longer needed to refer to the drawing I had printed out.
This clue was quick to do and I am curious to see what the next step is. When I get home this afternoon, I will be checking my email to see what it is!
During the past week I worked on the first clue for the Mystery Afghan 2015. (If you want to join in, you can get the first clue here). The clue is to make 20 basic granny squares of 4 rows in the main contrast colour (contrast A).
I was pleased to see that the clue contained a drawing for me to follow (the written instructions are on the first page) as I find it easier to read and understand the drawings as opposed to the written instructions. My main contrast colour is white and so I began my squares with this basic colour.
If you wish to participate in the Crochet Along but are unsure of how to create a granny square, Michael Sellick’s video is helpful:
This week I completed clue #1 and am now ready to begin on the second clue. I am a little behind schedule but that is to be expected as I am doing my crocheting in between my work for the course I am following.