Monday, January 12, 2015

2014: A year in review and a New Year to ponder...

2014 was definitely a year of mandalas for me. As I created the collage, I was pleasantly surprised how much I really did accomplish. I tackled several projects I had never done before - mandalas, fingerless mittens and coasters. But most of all, the afghan is by far my favorite.

As I review the last year in crochet, I look back and think what the year was like. I spent a good deal of time crocheting on my Blankets for Barracks Soldiers afghan, and it's almost done. We're nearing the time to ship the blankets off. It looks like we'll have 4 from our group of three crocheters and one that was just donated today. I've picked up a few WIPs and work on them off and on - I've found I like to have a couple on the hook at the same time to keep from getting bored. I've spent a good deal of time looking at patterns in 2014, and not just ordinary patterns. These are ones that will challenge my abilities and skills, learning new techniques and stitches.

Before I get into that, just a quick peek at my Christmas this year...

This was a special Christmas for me and my family. My mother and I cooked three Christmas dinners for family. We love cooking side by side, and each of these meals had nearly completely all new recipes - another love for both of us. This Christmas was spent celebrating with family and sharing laughs. Shortly after one family dinner, a cousin accepted a marriage proposal.

In my own home, each Christmas decoration has a special meaning. Most were made by my father, mother or myself. Some were passed down from my grandparents. Some were given as gifts. Growing up, my family would always give gifts we made and a good number were Christmas decorations. My father's skill in the wood shop were phenomenal. My mother continues her talents with paper crafting, sewing, crocheting, crafting, quilting and more. I so strive to be like her.

Dad's woodwork is shown above - the reindeer, the tree and the gingerbread family in front of the clock. Below is a combination of both parents - the cloth angel is mom's and the wooden one is dad's. Mom created the nativity scene. Underneath the tree are packages created on Cricut, a paper laser cutting machine.

My tree is the most precious this year. I haven't put up a tree larger than the one you see in the above photo since I've been in this house, mostly because of the fur monsters. This year I decided to try it and see.

The tree is in the same place as my grandparents had it when they lived in this house. As I was decorating it, I was filled with memories of Christmas Day with them as a child and I could feel their spirits fill the house. Some of the ornaments are hiding in this photo, but they are the old painted glass ornaments. I also have some ornaments my grandparents hung on their tree as well.

It was this tree that got me to making crocheted snowflakes this year, by the way....

Now back to new patterns and WIPs. Of course, as I was looking through massive amounts of patterns this year there are those normal afghan, doily, scarf and shawl patterns. But I have found some with unique stitches and uses of colors that I am anxious to get started on. I am hesitant to dig out a new pattern, however, looking at this:

You guessed it -  WIPs! From the top left: Mood blanket, temperature blanket, Blankets for Barracks Soldiers, baby blanket, Stitch-Cation and lap robe. I have kept current on tracking my mood and temperatures for 2014, so I can pick that project up at any time - really! The Blankets for Barracks Soldiers is almost done. The baby blanket, well, I don't like the pattern so I'm not sure what to do there. The Stitch-Cation came at a bad time when I was horribly busy, and I didn't want to fight squares that weren't the same size. The lap robe is meant to pick up when I just want to relax, and it's nearly done. So all in all, not too bad.

Good thing I'm okay with that list, because I am starting a new project - the 2015 Moogly Afghan Crochet-Along (CAL)! I have chosen my colors using I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby:

Sagey Tweed, Cranberry, Cream and Dark Olive.

A new pattern will be released every two weeks on Thursday, for a total of 24 12-inch blocks by the end of the year.

The month of December is for joining and borders.

The best part is the author of the Moogly blog has recruited 24 crochet bloggers to design the 24 blocks for the year, which will guarantee that the blocks will always be free and available for the CAL.

The schedule is as follows:
January 8 & 22
February 5 & 19
March 5 & 19
April 2 & 16 & 30
May 14 & 28
June 11 & 25
July 9 & 23
August 6 & 20
September 3 & 17
October 1 & 15 & 29
November 12 & 25

More information is available at with additional information at  

Here's to ringing in a New Year, full of hope and yarn!

Happy on the Hook!

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