Front or back? Please help!

I have been making progress on my Jolly Chunky Bag. I am really loving working with this chunky, oh so soft yarn for my first crochet bag. Even though this will not matter for a few more rounds, I cannot figure out which side will be on the outside of the bag (the side everyone will see). I have zoomed in as far as I can on the tutorial photos and read all about right and wrong side/front and back, etc. Some information says it is totally up to the crocheter which side will show as long as it isn’t a special stitch. If so, I will have a hard time deciding since I like both sides. On one side, the stitches are a little puffier, and on the other side the stitches are flatter and have a woven look. It is really bugging me since I don’t know which sides to put my loose ends on. If you have any advice that would be great!

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This is the “puffy” side.

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And this is the flatter side.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
—Kelsey

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On to Brighter Things

I have finally finished my first baby blanket! Sadly I will not get to keep it and enjoy it, but my friend and her new baby will hopefully get many years of cuddles out of it. As can be expected I took many, many pictures, but I will just share a few with you. If you did not see my last post, I used Lucy from Attic 24’s Neat Ripple Pattern. I made each ripple of color twice as thick as the pattern indicates. Now I can get back to working on my own ripple blanket.

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Ready to be shipped off along with two homemade burp clothes and an amazing book.

I have literally bought yarn for three different projects in the past two weeks, and last night I bought even more. This time I’m really going to stick to this one project (while working on my ripple blanket here and there). We will see how that goes. I decided to make Lucy’s Jolly Chunky Bag. I chose the smaller of her two bag patterns because I want something I can carry around town. I am someone who normally carries a larger purse, so I really hope it will be big enough, although I think the larger bag pattern would be too large. I tried to find a photo of someone actually holding the bag but failed in my attempt. On another note, I have quickly realized that sometimes when browsing patterns online I fall more in love with one’s color choice vs. the actual item. I usually go with either pastel colors or bright colors, so naturally I fell in love with Lucy’s color choices for her Jolly Chunky Bag that were a little bit of both. That being said, I chose similar colors in hopes that I won’t stop halfway through the project and not like it as I have in the past. As a beginning crocheter, I have had so much fun experimenting with different color combinations. That’s half the fun, right? Here are the colors, all chunky and new. All are Lion Brand Hometown USA except the lavender which is Bernat Softee Chunky. The Hometown USA yarn was fun to look at, because each yarn is named after a state. For example, the pink is named Honolulu Pink. I hope to get started tonight.

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Have a happy day!
—Kelsey

My First (Baby) Blanket Ever!

As I have said before, I am fairly new to crochet. I am almost finished with my first blanket ever. I started a blanket for myself and then found out a dear friend was pregnant. What to do other than put my new skill to use? I used Lucy from Attic 24’s Neat Ripple Pattern, which is the pattern I also used for the blanket I started for myself. I am so so glad I found her blog early on in my crochet journey. She writes the best tutorials and explains everything so clearly. As you can see from the picture, I still have all my loose ends to weave in and I think I’ll need to make 5 or so more color changes. I’m debating on whether to block it or not. I’ve never blocked anything before and don’t know if I even have anything large enough to do it on. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Another project I have done from Lucy’s blog is her Happy Flower Decoration. I wanted to make something special for my mom on Mother’s Day and this was absolutely perfect. As a beginner, it took me a while to make all the small pieces but I loved every minute of it. It has been my favorite small project yet, and of course the detailed tutorial made it stress-free.

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I will be sharing my finished baby blanket before I ship it off to a dear friend and will hopefully be sharing progress of my own ripple blanket. If you have not checked out Lucy’s blog, Attic 24, do that right now for tons of cute tutorials. I am determined to one day make every single pattern.

Have a wonderful, yarn-filled day!

—Kelsey

A Real West Virginia Day

I live in the US in West Virginia…and no this does not mean the western part of Virginia. You would think US citizens would know the states of their own country, but I will admit when traveling and making conversation, I have had quite a few people (maybe 4 or so?) not know that West Virginia is an actual state. I applaud those that do. There are many stereotypes about the state but I will not get into all that jazz today. It would end up being a very long post.

When I was younger I complained about growing up in WV, dreaming of living in a large busy city, but as I have gotten older I have learned to enjoy the beauty of living here. I would not say I live in the country, but it is considered rural, and those who are used to big cities would probably feel as if they were out in the country. The beauty of WV can be seen in the mountains, wild flowers, and long windy backroads. I love the summer days when I get to enjoy all the beauty the state has to offer. I am sharing a few snapshots of yesterday’s wonderful, picture perfect evening.

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My 6 month old Labrador Retriever, Stella. I do not have any children yet so she has become my non-human child.

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Stella and her best friend taking a break from playing. Luckily I got a picture before they became covered head to tail with mud. Aren’t they just so sweet?

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Stella and her dad (my significant other). Every time a fish was caught both puppies tried to jump up and grab it off the line, which is to be expected coming from a lab with their long line of hunting and working ancestors.

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Me and my tiny fish. We had to take pictures quick since we always throw the fish back in. In a small pond that never gets stocked, we never take the fish.

What a wonderful evening it was! The sunlight seems to go so fast when I’m enjoying myself. If you have never visited West Virginia, I would really suggest so if you are looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings (that I have been so blessed with). And may I also add it is the state that Sam Trammel grew up in. :p

—Kelsey

Love at First Sight

While browsing a somewhat local flea market, we were hot, tired, and ready to go home. Just as we were leaving I spotted this beauty—a vintage enamel strainer/colander complete with a beautiful floral pattern and gold handles. Doesn’t it look just darling sitting beside this porcelain bunny I also snatched up?

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Speaking of love at first sight…this is one of the reasons why I love my significant other so very much. As an extra special treat for my birthday he took me to Michael’s to buy me some yarn (like I really need anymore ;)). Now normally I always plan a project before picking out colors/making a trip to the yarn store, butttt how could I pass the offer up? This will be the color scheme for a future project. Not sure what yet…maybe a pillow cover made of grannies since I’m currently already working on two afghans. I’m sure I’ll be able to find something in one of the three books I’m waiting to get in the mail. I love, love, love my pastels and sometimes that means choosing a couple colors from the baby yarn :p.

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Happy day wishes to you!
—Kelsey

Crochet Literature Junkie

I was so happy to receive an Amazon gift card for my birthday. I immediately retrieved the list of crochet books I have been wanting to buy. Amazon told me my order will be shipped anywhere between June 20 and July 8. Keeping my fingers crossed that they will get here in a timely and safely manner. Did I mention I’m very impatient when it comes to my crochet??! I will be posting a review of these books hopefully sooner than later.

1. Mollie Makes Crochet: 20+ Cute Projects for the Home I love the magazine so I have high hopes for the book. Although some of the reviewers didn’t seem too pleased, most of them were very seasoned crocheters. A somewhat beginner like myself will hopefully find the book more useful.

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2. Granny Squares: 20 Projects With a Vintage Vibe I was sold by Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. Although I did not see in the reviews that the patterns are in UK until after I bought it, I think I would have bought it anyway. One of my favorite bloggers, Lucy of Attic 24, uses UK terms in her patterns but the short time it takes to translate (if she hasn’t already done so) is totally worth it! I cannot wait to make the pillow covers from this book.

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3. Crochet: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide This will probably be the most used out of the three. I’ve heard it called the crocheter’s bible. Patterns galore!

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Let me know if you have any helpful hints on these books.

—Kelsey

Your Trash, My Treasure

So, as I said before, I love treasure hunting, as in going to yard sales and flea markets. I don’t go, as some do, to purposely find antiques to resell. I enjoy going to simply find cute and/or vintage items for my future home. I have had great luck so far this summer.

I am sharing some of my favorites from this year. I have been playing around with a photo editing app, PicLab. It has some good free filters and overlays. What better way to test it out than on some new cutie things?!

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First and foremost, a whole set of vintage Pyrex crazy daisy bowls! Snatched them up for $5…asking price on eBay $80. I think I will hold on to them for a while.

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I have recently found an interest in old rolling pins, and this is the most unique one I’ve found so far. My mother found a similar one in a yard sale last summer. Can you see the little molds? Some are cute critters and some are simple designs. Each side is different. After a little research, we learned they originated in Germany. They are known as Springerle rolling pins. There are many variations. I’d love to have a whole collection.

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Isn’t this pretty? I can picture it sitting on the stovetop in my future home. I believe I paid 50 cents for it. A stamp on the bottom shows it was hand painted in Portugal.

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Boy do I love my trinkets! I have too too many. Right now, most are in a storage unit, but I’m thinking when I get a home I’ll have a closet to keep all of them. That way I can always be switching out my decorations and not feel the need to set everything out at once. I hate clutter!

Tell me about treasures you’ve found!

—Kelsey

I have finally decided to create a blog devoted simply to the things that bring me happiness. I find my happiness in crochet, treasure hunting (yard sales and flea markets), children’s and adult literature, and my newly acquired career of teaching elementary children. I hope to find followers with similar interests, although I have told myself whether one follower or one hundred, a blog is a great way to keep memories to look back on in later years.

Have a lovely evening!

—Kelsey