Did you know grellow was a color?

Combining the names of colors is a fun way to make two words shorter, yet still get your meaning across. This is important especially for places like twitter, where characters come at a premium. Instead of typing Gray and Yellow, just type Grellow! #thisishowtweepsroll

You might wonder how I know that Grellow is Gray and Yellow, and not Green and Yellow. I really can’t say. These are things you just know. To wit, try a flickr search or a Ravelry project search. While there is the occasional rogue photo of something green and yellow, that is wrong. Grellow stands for the pleasing and sublime combination of Gray and Yellow. (And just so you know, Preen is Purple and Green, Blorange is Blue and Orange, bleen is NOT blue and green and yak is NOT yellow and black. Get with the program.)

So why do I bring it up? Because I am now the proud owner of Grellow mittens!

Mittens from Elinor

The lovely and talented Elinor Brown made them for me, as part of the Stranded Mitten Swap! Aren’t they gorgeous? And they fit, which she was worried about, considering she has smaller than average hands and I have big man hands.  The mittens are perfect, and I love them.

The yarn is Ultra Alpaca in a very graphic allover diamond pattern. There are braids.

braid

And she even sent some scrap yarn, just in case they need mending.

considerate!

Elinor sent two other surprises in the package. Yarn and cookies. Man did she nail it. The yarn is Briggs and Little Regal, and can best be described as a woolly wool and that is pretty much all you need to know. I love it. And the cookies. Well.

for reals?

At first I thought they had a peanut butter cup in the center, but they’re better than that. According to Elinor, they are Vegan Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies. But not vegan because she used butter. This recipe is going to get printed out and added to my go-to cookie recipe file because they were so good! Notice how I said were. Yeah. Let’s just say we all liked them very much.

Grazie mille, Elinor! You are a knitting and baking rock star!

 

 

Accomplishments

swappers

I finished my potholders for the swap! They are currently flinging themselves up to Massachusetts, and I will patiently (not) wait  for my five unique potholders that will come in return. These were fun to make, but my hands needed frequent brakes because crocheting so tightly with cotton gives me clawhand.

I considered challenging myself with a more interesting pattern, but I feared that would have resulted in unfinished potholders. So I stuck with my own free pattern, Maggie’s Kitchen, and tried to make them very colorful and fun. The yarn is Cotton Classic, and a bunch of the colors came from my Mom’s remnants from this blanket.

before and after, finally!

The other half. All done!

I finished my hallway! What a transformation. All the painting, caulking, and assembling of the Ikea items gave me clawhand for about a month straight. But it’s the best room in the house now. I like to go in there every once in a while just to look around.

We call this space The Hallway. A better description might be Broom Closet, Linen Closet, Pantry, Medicine Cabinet, Homebrewing Headquarters, or Board Game Storage. Anywho. We all love it. There is still a lot of unused storage space, so I think there will be gradual reorganization to get everything in the right spot.

the mittens with no name

And last but not least, I finished my Swap Mittens! (And my swap partner received them, which is why I can show them to you.) These were certainly clawhand-inducing mittens.  I designed a mitten and started knitting it. But the pattern wasn’t exactly how I wanted it. So I tried different yarn. And it still wasn’t right. Then I redesigned the pattern, but the mitten was too big. So I ripped back to the beginning and adjusted the chart. And FINALLY they were right.

I love them, not only because I think they’re pretty, but because I worked hard to get this idea out of my head. And I stuck with the idea even though it wasn’t translating well on the pins. The pattern…is forthcoming. I’ll let you know.

 

the swap

I sometimes refer to the kitchen as MY kitchen, but it really is more my husband’s kitchen. He does most of the cooking, so it’s just natural that things are more his way than my way. If I had my way, we would use color coordinated potholders and hot pads. But since we do things his way, we just use ratty dish towels when we need to put a hot pot on the counter.

hot pads

In a way, then, it doesn’t make sense that I would sign up for a potholder swap since we don’t use them and I can’t foresee us ever using them in any practical way, but that’s just what I did. Then I went ahead and made a butt load of potholders. Not only that, but I crocheted them! Crazy talk.

The swap, officially know as hot pads! and potholders – the swap, is coming to a close and I expect to receive my shipment in the next few weeks and I can’t wait. It was super fun to spend time crocheting (and I went a little over the top and now have a bunch of granny squares) and if nothing else, I learned that I am a fantastic granny-squarer. As of right now I could spend the rest of my crochet life making granny squares and be perfectly content.

Here are my hot pads:

hot pad

hot pad

hot pad

hot pad

hot pad

hot pad

The yarn is all worsted weight wool of varying brands, and the most fun part of all was putting together the crazy colors. I used the free pattern called Sunburst Granny Square by Priscilla Hewitt, on Ravelry here. They were super-curly until I blocked them.

In other news, the chickens have moved to the coop down the hill. They love it down there and we love going down to watch and talk to them. Here’s the coop.

the coop and chicken run

See the cat? She hasn’t bothered the chicks yet, but we have our fingers crossed. The chicken run is well fortified, and we leave the chicks in there all the time.

Here they are after I opened the door:

chicks, exploring

I think this picture is from Friday and they have grown so much even since then! They are gonna be some big chickens.

This is Bugsy:

bugsy

She (I’m still using that term loosely, we’ll know hes from shes in a couple of weeks) is our favorite because she is the friendliest. She follows Maggie around and it’s very funny. Jerry named her Bugsy because when the kids were trying to feed them bugs, she was the only one who would come right up to them.

There are two others with names (Veronica, as in Veronica Mars and Angela, as in Angela Chase) but I’ll have to get better pictures of them.

Until next time!