Sick of this Endless Winter!

IMG_3319This picture was taken last Sunday, on a walk by the lakeside. Despite the cute model, the landscape around her really seems somewhat on the bleak side, right? Well, that would be because it is.

OK, snowdrops. There are snowdrops, and there is wild garlic – we went for that walk scavenging, because the place is positively covered in it, and it seemed to good to waste.

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You think this looks like grass? You’re worried that my judgement’s clouded by vitamin D deficiency and scurvy? You may be on to something there. But this is still actually that magically, slightly garlicky, tender little harbinger of the lately elusive creature called spring.

Wild garlic is great for making flavored butter or cream cheese, for adding to a Béchamel-type sauce, chopped and added to scrambled eggs, or even as a sandwich topping. It gave my little squirrel something to do as we walked. It’s been weeks since we took a longer walk, and years since we last visited that particular spot on Wannsee. Even in subdued color, it was beautiful to take in the water, the shore, the tall beech trees and the ducks doing their thing by the water. It put a smile on my face, and yes, I’m absolutely wearing a down coat. It was f…ing freezing.

So what do you do when you’re starved for color, and sunshine, and warmth? My best practice strategy, unsurprisingly, is to make something bright and beautiful.

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In my last post, I wrote about the Dotty Crochet Blanket I was going to make for my daughter. Here’s the beginning. I made quite a few round polka dot centers in all the colors I could find in my stash, and then I fussed a bit with what came next. There was a bit of trial and error, as there will be when you insist on doing your own design, but finally I was happy doing this: Two rounds of bobble stitch and DC clusters (polka dot), then one round of SC in off-white to give it a nice edging, followed by the three rounds of Granny Square clusters in off-white you can see. There. I’m really excited :-). It’s going to be so pretty, and it looks a lot like spring to me also :-). In short, it makes me happy!

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Now my husband, being more the gardening than the crafts type, has taken it upon himself to grow his own seedlings. What you can see there is zucchini, I believe, and something else I’ve forgotten, very promising :-), and also a valid strategy for battling end of winter depression.

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And then I met the Easter Bunny, look, standing in front of the chocolate shop on the corner, looking friendly, serious and competent – as he should.

There will be more soon on the Dotty Blanket front, hopefully some spring pics and a new recipe I’ll need to write up before I forget how good it was: marshmallow muffins, yeah!!!

The Cat, the Granny and the Wardrobe

Greetings, Blogland. Here’s my lunch break coffee and two heirlooms my husband inherited from his much-beloved late gran. That is one huge wardrobe, right? Makes me think of Narnia even though we have no fur coats to hang in there, thank you very much. We got two armchairs too, which were adopted by the cats even before they were unwrapped.

I feel naughty today, writing here instead of working over a lunch. But I guess I’m entitled because I submitted a huge chunk of translation yesterday, and my client has responded in a friendly manner today. I feel like I’m still exhaling ;-). The work was challenging, as there wasn’t a lot of time, and the book is about soccer and mathematics if you can believe it – not exactly my prime areas of expertise as subject matters go… But I survived, I think I did a decent job, and I also learned a lot over the last couple weeks.

As a sidebar: Sad to think how a whole generation of girls was discouraged to even try and understand math and science. I distinctly remember my math teacher in seventh grade telling me – not unkindly, but in an offhand and slightly condescending way – Johanna, you completely lack the ability of visual thinking. Today I know he was wrong, and I’m aware I was too, in giving right up on math after. But many of my girl friends have reported getting the same sort of attitude from their teachers, so I’m guessing it’s not uncommon for women my age to have chosen careers that didn’t involve numbers and equations and the likes. I’m so glad things are way different today, and both my son and daughter grow up feeling that learning just about anything rocks :-).

When I checked Instagram this morning, I found a gorgeous picture by Australian crafts blogger littlewoolie – she’s the one who gave me the idea for the Funky Blanket. Her photo is basically bright crochet circles in all the colors of the rainbow on huge white sheets of paper. And what can I say – I know now what the blanket I’m supposed to make for my daughter’s room will look like: crochet polka dots in her favorite colors on off white, sort of like this.

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I’m planning to make a gazillion of Granny Squares around a center of two rounds of dc in one shade. Yay! It makes me happy to even think about it.

The red cable sweater hasn’t grown a great deal what with most evenings spent at my desk, but I did manage to squeeze in a little springy birthday gift. I made a bunch of little flower ornaments to create a crafty sort of bouquet with a bunch of twigs, look:

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I was pleased with the way it turned out, and I think it looked good up there with all the other bouquets and wrapped gifts. Happy belated birthday, dear E., and thank you for a great brunch on Sunday!

Almost two, so work is calling once more. Be well, everyone. And smile at my son’s favorite T-Shirt :-).

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