TWiP: Coffee and Crochet

To say my free time this week was dominated by circular crochet and coffee, would not be a lie. Neil has been away for much of this week, and when he’s gone, I always take advantage of the opportunity to brew his least favorite stinky beverage in the house. So there’s been an over-compensation of coffee around here during the hours that I’ve been home.

And as for the crochet? Well, I woke up last Saturday morning with the urge to make a new mandala. Nevermind that I hadn’t a need for one, or any good idea of where I would put it. I flipped through a couple of books, including one of my absolute favorites, Mandalas to Crochet, but I wanted something relatively small, and those all end up being over a foot across when I use worsted weight yarn and an H or G hook (as I always do). So I whipped up a Little Spring Mandala (like the one that lives on my nightstand), only I wasn’t happy with it: I’d accidentally started with 13 stitches instead of 12, and by the time I got to the end, all of the extra stitches had made it quite ripply. I fixed much of the problem with blocking, but it still was bothering me. I thought it was too big. So I went down a hook size and made another, this time keeping careful count of my stitches. It was much better.

But, I think you probably know how this kind of thing goes… once you go down this road, it’s hard to know where to pull off of it. The two mandalas led to a handful of new coasters before the weekend was over. All of these pieces have gone to my office, but I’m not sure they’re staying there. Right now they are replacing much of the original pieces I made for my desk while I have them at home to wash the coffee dribbles out of them. Once all of the pieces are together, I will run the risk of becoming the Crazy Crochet Lady of the office, and I really don’t think I want that.

So, despite not knowing what I was going to do with the mandalas I had just made, my appetite was not yet sated, and I treated myself to a new book (Modern Crochet Mandalas). This gave me an additional 50+ patterns to peruse. Yikes!

That slowed me down a bit, I’ll admit, because it was just so hard to choose one. But Friday morning, having taken a personal day from work, I brewed myself a nice cup of coffee, got back into bed surrounded with my yarn, and got to work on an African Flower Mandala. You’ll see how that turned out in next week’s TWiP, unless I do a “mandala roundup” or something this week. But I can share the pattern, if you’re interested, because it turns out it’s available for free. Here you go.

So, this week work was a little bit stressful, but my free time was pretty great. It all evened out nicely. And I now have a small pile of color-coordinating mandalas and coasters that would make any Crazy Crochet Lady proud.

(and I’m probably not done…)

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

πŸ“· = taken with my Canon DSLR
πŸ“± = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365 πŸ“·: 2017 77/365 – Mandalas to Crochet – It’s Saturday, and I have a bunch of things I could be doing (including a few crochet projects already in progress) but I just can’t shake this urge to make mandalas. I think I need to go with it.

Instagram πŸ“±: Saturday night: black cherry soda and girl scout cookies πŸ’“ (Neil thinks my nightstand has too many little crochet doo-dads on it. I say, no such thing! πŸ˜‰)

Sunday

365 πŸ“·: 2017 78/365 – Cold Press Elixir – Neil (aka the "coffee smell hater") is gone for the day, and this means I can *finally* organize my coffee. I know that sounds weird, but my little coffee corner has had bags of unopened Christmas gifts, and a few different varieties that were almost gone and taking up space in big containers. This is the first time I’ve been alone here long enough to open all of the containers and deal with them. I took all of the odds and ends, put them into one small jar, and opened up one of my new bags to put in one big jar. The rest of the big jars got washed and removed from the counter. It’s finally nice and neat. And while Neil is away, I can actually *drink* some of this stuff, too πŸ˜‰

Instagram πŸ“±: This weekend I’ve been crocheting mandalas and coasters and other frivolous objects I don’t need. I’m pretty sure I’m not done yet, either.

Monday

Instagram πŸ“±: I call this “How I Spent my Weekend” 😊 How did you spend yours?

365 πŸ“±: 2017 79/365 – matchy-matchy – Post-It is totally enabling me and my matchy-matchy tendencies. I found this set of notes that coordinates perfectly with all of the decorations in my cubicle ☺ [Taken at work.]

Tuesday

365 πŸ“·: 2017 80/365 – Decaf Cold-Brewed Coffee – It’s been over two months since I last replenished our supply of cold-brewed coffee. Now I hope we remember that we have this batch before it has a chance to go bad…

Wednesday

365 πŸ“·: 2017 81/365 – yasso – I may or may not have had a frozen yogurt bar for supper…

Instagram πŸ“±: Tonight: strong coffee in the pot, ripple blanket on the hook, and Rufus Sewell on TV. There are worse ways to spend an evening. πŸ˜‰

Thursday

Instagram πŸ“±: I went for a walk around the 3 floors of my office building on my lunch hour (for exercise and exploration) and then ducked into the ladies room for a little bathroom selfie. Hi 😊. Ok, time to get back to work now. [Taken at work.]

365 πŸ“·: 2017 82/365 – QWEASDZXC – I know, it’s not technically a word, but I’m stretching the rules for my photogenic typewriter ☺

Friday

Instagram πŸ“±: A rare Friday morning indulgence: coffee in bed, catching up on favorite podcasts, and contemplating the next color in my new mandala. I took the day off so I could hang out by myself. #introvert bliss πŸ’Ÿ

365 πŸ“·: 2017 83/365 – Handmade Family Ornaments – I’m really picky about how our heirloom ornaments are boxed up and put away every year, so when Neil was taking down the tree in January, I asked him to leave all of our family portraits and the ornaments I made for the kids out for me to handle. And here I am, more than 2 months later, finally handling them πŸ˜‰

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2009, 2015 2016)

Week in Review This Week in PicturesΒ 

TWiP: A Wedding and Winter Weather

What a great start to the week! My brother and his longtime girlfriend finally tied the knot, and it was such a nice day. I always enjoy family parties, but it’s even nicer when there’s music, and dressing up, and people you don’t see every day. I crocheted a shawl, made a bunch of clay jewelry (necklace, shawl pin, bracelets), and treated myself to a manicure for the occasion.

The rest of the week was dominated by a snow storm, pretty much, and since it’s March, and this kind of thing should be over by now as far as I’m concerned, we don’t need to talk any more about that 😜

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

= taken with my Canon DSLR
= taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram πŸ“±: Necklace update: I added one more black bead and re-arranged a bit. I think this is much better. Thanks for all the feedback 😊

Instagram πŸ“±: Treated myself to my first manicure in nearly 5 years πŸ’…. Are really short nails in style now? Because she cut all of mine. (I’m fine with it, but it surprised me.) Getting ready for my brother’s wedding tomorrow! πŸ’’

Β OOPS

365 πŸ“±: 2017 70/365 – The Waterboys – Imagine that there is a picture here. I promise I took one. I was in my car, after returning from getting the boys haircuts (and all of us Frappuccinos), and I took an image of the car radio, displaying The Waterboys. My phone photos are always backed up in Dropbox, but apparently this one never copied over before I deleted it. So, you’ll just have to use your imagination!

Sunday

Instagram πŸ“±: Me and my guys 😍 (photo credit to my other guy @clarkesworld )

365 πŸ“·: 2017 71/365 – Christine & Will’s Spice Mix – My brother got married today, and this was a part of the ceremony. Each spice had a symbolic meaning, and they poured them together into the jar. [Taken at Il Villagio in Carlstadt, NJ.]

Instagram πŸ“±: My brother and my mom πŸ’“ [Taken at Il Villagio.]

Monday

Instagram πŸ“±: *YAWN* [Taken at work.]

Instagram πŸ“±: A #latergram from yesterday ☺. Each of the nephews wore the colors of a different Ninja Turtle for their uncle’s wedding 🐒🐒🐒🐒 [Taken at Il Villagio.]

365 πŸ“±: 2017 72/365 – Sandisk – So many wedding pictures to go through and edit! I was way too tired last night.

Tuesday

Instagram πŸ“±: Today the couch is my office. β„πŸ’»

365 πŸ“·: 2017 73/365 – UGH! – I have no patience for March snow storms. We didn’t get as much as they predicted, but it was plenty just the same. We’re actually still snowed-in as of 8pm. Waiting for the plow guy, as usual. I cleaned off my car, but I can’t actually go anywhere in it yet. I may have to work from home again tomorrow. At least for the morning. We’ll see.

Wednesday

365 πŸ“·: 2017 74/365 – Sharp Carousel – Aidan and I are making herbal tea this evening.

Thursday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 75/365 – 12345 – How often do the files in your folders add up to 12345 bytes? [Taken at work.]

Instagram πŸ“±: I don’t spend as much time knitting or crocheting as I used to, so progress is slow on what I do make. My ripple blanket is getting a dark stripe tonight ☺

Friday

Instagram πŸ“±: I’m not Irish, but I can get behind any holiday that encourages the wearing (and the drinking) of the green ☘ BTW, my green beverage of choice is a soy peppermint green tea @frappuccino … my healthier answer to the Shamrock Shake πŸ’š (though, make no mistake, it’s still not what one would call “health food” LOL!) [Taken at Starbucks in Pluckemin, NJ.]

365 πŸ“·: 2017 76/365 – Knitting – Just hanging out on my bed on a Friday night, wearing knitting kittens pajamas, as you do.

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015, 2016)

This Week in PicturesΒ 

Paved


I thought I needed these, but I have yet to wear them. They were easy to knit, which is nice. I just haven’t found myself reaching for them yet. Maybe it’s because I desperately want it to be 100% spring. And who needs boot cuffs when it’s 70 degrees out? 😜

Maybe these will be more of a wardrobe staple next winter.

The details

Pattern: Paved by Tin Can Knits

Yarn: Berroco Vintage in Mochi (I think – it was in my stash with no label)

TWiP: Winter is back.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

πŸ“· = taken with my Canon DSLR
πŸ“± = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram πŸ“±: I was up until nearly 4am thinking about polymer things I wanted to make, so I figured I’d better unpack my Clayathon supplies and set up my work table, if I ever want to get a good night’s sleep again πŸ˜‰

Instagram πŸ“±: I’m not really a bead maker, but I’ve got this chunky necklace I need to get out of my brain and onto a string. Before I can assemble it, though, I need to figure out how to sand and buff a few dozen round beads without losing my mind…

365 πŸ“·: 2017 63/365 – Giraffemoji – The kids are out of the house for the night, so, party animals that we are, we’ve got a fire in the fireplace and a pregnant giraffe webcam on the TV.

Sunday

Instagram πŸ“±: Opinions please: the beads are not arranged symmetrically by design, but both of the people who saw me wearing it thought the asymmetry was accidental (like the bright bead at the bottom was meant to be exactly in the center [it’s not]). Do you think I should rearrange the beads to make the asymmetry more pronounced?

365 πŸ“·: 2017 64/365 – Happy Birthday – We celebrated my Mom and my Aunt’s birthdays with a nice family party β™₯ [Taken at my parents’ house.]

Monday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 65/365 – Thumb tacks – I tried my hand at polymer clay covered thumb tacks this weekend, and I really like them! Today they took their rightful place in my cubicle. [Taken at work.]

Tuesday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 66/365 – 90’s Spring – I’m tired of my Winter playlists. Switching over to an mp3 cd comprised of the songs that were on some old mix tapes I made in Spring months between 1993 and 1997. [Taken in the car.]

Wednesday

365 πŸ“·: 2017 67/365 – Jingmei – I have been trying to find the perfect duo-tone watch band for my smartwatch since I got it for Christmas. The first one I got was actually only silver. The second one was perfect until I dropped the watch and the band broke. This is the third, and it has taken more than a month to get here by mail. I hope I love it as much as the second one! I have to remove at least four links first, though. I have small wrists.

Thursday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 68/365 – Nokchawon – It’s two Asian words in a row this week! I don’t know if Nokchawon is a brand name, or the name of this type of tea, but it’s really good stuff. It’s buckwheat tea! I didn’t even know that existed until recently. I was skeptical when I tried it, but it’s actually quite good. [Taken at work.]

Friday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 69/365 – hello, snow – If I’m going to keep doing this post-it on a window thing, I’m going to need to invest in some other colors. The yellow is getting boring. It snowed another 2 inches or so after I took this picture this morning. [Taken at work.]

Instagram πŸ“±: New snow is always so pretty on the bare trees. I’m hoping the commute back home is also pretty tonight ❄ It could so easily be a slushy mess! [Taken at work.]

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015, 2016)

Β 

Quiet Time 5

It’s been about a year since I madeΒ my first Quiet Time playlist, and I have to say, I am still really enjoying them. I listen to them individually, and I listen to them shuffled together into one giant playlist.

They’re great to have going softly in the background while I relax in the evenings, or when I’m dozing off at night.

And just when I think I’m done making new ones, out pops another volume πŸ˜‰

Volume 5 is just likeΒ the others: an hour of music kicked off by an instrumental, and followed by 15 peaceful tunes. The tracks are mostly recent and mostly with positive lyrics (although, as usual, there are exceptions to both of those rules.)

Quiet Time 5 from lclarke522 on 8tracks Radio.

Back in the days when I worked at home, I used to like to take a mid afternoon nap with one of these playlists going softly in the background. I imagine naps are frowned upon at my current place of employment, so nowadays I’m more likely to listen while I’m kicking back in the evening, sipping tea and playing solitaire on my tablet.

I find these playlists to be daydreamy, and maybe that’s why they have appealed to me so much lately. I won’t deny that I’ve benefited from some harmless escapism over the past year.

I hope you, too, will enjoy a little peace and quiet with these tunes!