Just stuff….

A. The Reluctant Gardener

I’m not a big fan of gardening. I grew up in a climate where gardening is WORK and frankly, I’d rather read a book or knit (or Tunisian crochet, see B) or watch a movie. I’m really what you’d call “indoorsy.” BUT….last summer I started a rock garden and in the last few weeks, things have been a-sprouting. The chives came back almost overnight, the walking onions and lilies of the valley are peeking out of the dirt, the hen and chicks are greening or reddening, according to their type, the hosta are coming up, and at least one spiderwort made it through the winter. I do have to say, when it’s the stuff I’ve planted, as opposed to the stuff that was already in the ground when I moved here, it is pretty exciting. Not OMG-I’m-going-to-go-nuts exciting — I’m not going to plow up the acreage and put in ye olde English garden or anything — but yeah, I’ll do a bit more this summer.

B) Tunisian Crochet

This is a whole different type of crochet that some may be a little familiar with (the afghan stitch is Tunisian simple stitch), and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty neat. I can approach the variety and drapiness of knitting and keep the speed of crochet — what’s not to love? It’s also easier on my right wrist than regular crochet because there aren’t all the swooping and twisting motions. What I’ve done so far is in the simple stitch, but there are many more I intend to explore when the current project-of-size, a baby blanket, is finished. Here’s some pics of what I’ve been working on:

First, a dishcloth, and boy-o-boy, is this fun to make!* If you do crochet, I recommend giving the pattern a try.

6 wedges, one seam (last to first), sc edging

6 wedges, one seam (last to first), sc edging

the back looks more like knitting than crochet

the back looks more like knitting than crochet

The baby blanket is also in Tunisian simple stitch, and in a technique that can be done in knitting or regular crochet, called entrelac. Entrelac is neat because it is a bunch of little squares, but they are worked onto each other rather than made separately. I’ve tried knitted entrelac and, while pretty, it takes me forever — a circle of Hell kind of forever — and with the Tunisian crochet, I can do a couple of rows of squares during a Buffy episode.

6th row in progress. Blanket is dense yet soft and flexible.

6th row in progress. Blanket is dense yet soft and flexible.

closer detail. The finished blanket will have a few rows of edging, too.

closer detail. The finished blanket will have a few rows of edging, too.

the back.

the back.

So that’s what’s up with me, when I’m not grading, which is less and less of the time as we enter the end of the semester.

As for right now, I have to go devil the dozen eggs I boiled last night and get ready for Quaker meeting & pot luck.

*WAY more fun than crouching over the dirt, poking holes and dropping in seeds. See? Indoorsy.

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