Brrrrr…

*Sigh* I have become acclimated to Houston. I hate to say it, but I’m cold, man. I am a born and bred Chicagoan used to the bitter cold winters, but after four years of mild winters, this cold snap has me shaking. A winter storm came through Houston last night (it’s finally warming up now, yay!) and the whole city shut down. Highways are iced over, work was canceled, it’s icy and frigid, and no one in Houston is prepared for this. I was even sent to Autozone by my boss to buy a bag of rock salt for the library entrances! The wonderful guys there didn’t even know they sold it!

Luckily, this means I get some time to get working on updating my store and making some new items. The ice and frost yesterday made for some fabulous photo ops this morning too. Last night I came across the surface braid technique, of which there are TONS of tutorials out there, and knew I wanted to make a headband with it. I’ve been out of the headband game for a while so I’m obsessed with making this chunky, squishy pattern I’m calling the Sweetheart Headband because of the shape the cinch gives it. I’m currently working on writing out the pattern, so stay tuned for that! For now, here are some photos of these beauties.

I basically posted up on the couch with a blanket last night, the husband built a fire, and we binged some episodes of Fargo. Pretty fitting for the ice raining down from the sky last night. Check out my store if you would like to place an order for your own Sweetheart Headband. Your warm ears will thank you!

I’m looking forward to the warmer temps this weekend — it’s supposed to get up to 70 — and will be wearing this mermaid colored headband while I still can.

Are you in the South getting these crazy temps as well?? What are you doing to keep from going stir crazy?

Jenna

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Bring it on, 2018!

And just like that, 2017 is gone.

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Poof. I don’t think a year has gone by more quickly for me. I just finished reading my tribute to 2016 on Facebook, and it was a doozy.

Well 2016 was oh so bitter, but oh so sweet as well. As much as I joke about 2016 being the absolute worst (just like everyone else!) it was also one of the best. It’s easy to dwell on the bad from 2016, so let’s all focus on the great of 2016. Here is my year in review, including some of the bitter points because they made 2016 what it is: We rang in the new year as an engaged couple. Matt and I found an awesome brewery close to home. We moved out of a crappy little apartment into our first home. We went to Wrestlemania and Matt cried when one of his idol wrestlers came out. He also cried when his Cubbies won the World Series. We made a million and two trips home to spend time with family and friends and celebrate all of our engagement milestones. We all lost our best Fred and had our worlds turned upside down within a matter of a month. Work treated me very well and I earned a hefty raise. Matt turned our home into DB&B with delicious bbq and beer. I visited Denver for the first time and was reunited with an old friend. We filled our home with family for Thanksgiving and gave daddy a Gulf Coast send off. And best of all I married my best friend and became a Wisniewski!! (Though not officially on paper yet.. Technically I’m still Harte. But soon that will change.) Please be gentle, 2017, and give us nothing but luck, love and happy memories we can reminisce on at this time next year 😊”

Well here I am, as it is already that time of year to reminisce on the memories of 2017. Honestly, we got very lucky this year, and I’m okay with that. Last year was a beast of a rollercoaster, so this year actually turned out to be a nice cool down from 2016. This was the first full year without my best Fred, and I’m heartbroken as ever. We began by ringing in the Irish New Year, and then went out for our first New Year celebration as a married couple. We celebrated Matt’s 29th birthday. We saw Willie at the Houston Rodeo. I visited San Antonio for the Texas Library Conference and jumped up on stage at Coyote Ugly more than one time… We explored more of what Houston has to offer and discovered a new favorite brewery. Matt quit his miserable job and opened up Dixie’s Home Maintenance! I got a rad new hair-do and Matt has never looked finer with his head of hair. Sister got engaged and we’re thrilled to welcome Paulie to the family! But he’s not the only one we welcomed to the family.. Luci Joy made her appearance and was hands down one of the highlights of the year. We smoked a LOT of meat at DB&B, and drank a lot of beer. I had an idea to “just build up a portion of that half wall and put in a sliding barn door to close off the bathroom from our bedroom.” We then began a complete bathroom remodel. That bathroom remodel was interrupted by a little storm called Harvey, and we saw a lot more water than we should ever see in some places.  We had no damage or flooding to the house and counted our blessings! We finally took our honeymoon/anniversary trip to Jamaica and it changed our lives. We had a lot of visitors to Texas (thanks, everyone, for coming!) I enjoyed a tata on the beach with dad one year after he passed. We finished said bathroom remodel. We made our annual ACL Fest trip. I had blue hair. Dixie saw snow for the first time! (And it was in Houston.. weird.) I decided to pick up where I left off with my crochet adventures. Matt decided to make a lot of changes for the better, and the end of the year has turned into a resolution of happiness. Oy.. what am I missing? We have a lot of high hopes and plans for 2018. 2017 was the year of “please be gentle” and it sorta was; but tomorrow begins the year of “don’t disappoint!” Bring it, 2018!

Happy New Year, friends! Cheers to a great year!

Jenna

Where have you been, dude?

Dude, where have you been?

Wow, over two years since I’ve posted… I’ve been paying to keep my domain, and with each renewal I’ve thought, “Oh yeah, I should start writing again.” But, alas.

A lot has happened since I posted last! Too much for one post. WAY too much for one post. But the plan is to slowly unfold the last two years, and get back into the swing of this Crochet-Hooker thing. To start, I’ve created a Facebook page at the urging of my lovely husband (Oh, yeah, I got married within the last two years! See? I told you I would slowly unfold what I haven’t been sharing.) And will soon launch that once I get some photos put together and whatnot.

For now, here’s my latest creation feat. Dixie. An old friend from Michigan reached out and asked if I could make two LEGO blankets for his sons. SHYEAH! I was super pumped at the prospect, and they were a breeze to make. I had to write my own pattern, because I couldn’t find one that made the dimensions I needed. So I did what I do best — I improvised. Click here for that pattern. The blankets were shipped off and delivered just in time for Christmas.

LEGO Blanket

That’s it for now. Merry Christmas, friends!

Jenna

Off the Hook!

OMG, you guys… My hobby and my career have finally come together to form something SUPER exciting! So I’ve probably mentioned somewhere down the road that I’m a librarian. I guess I’m your typical librarian who loves cardigans, coffee, scarves, a good book, and of course crochet. Not a huge fan of cats, but I’ll pet one every once in a while.

But I am finally going  full-blown clichĂ© by starting up my very own crochet club program. Woo woo! I was first intrigued at my last library because we offered a crochet club, and I’ve always wanted to start one here. Welp, now I finally have the time and ambition. So after some heavy name considerations, and trying to choose the perfect, catchy nom de programme (I like to pretend that I still know French…this probably isn’t even grammatically correct) I decided to start up “Off the Hook” Crochet and Knitting Club! It’s a bi-weekly program for crochet and knitting enthusiasts to meet in the library’s Silent Space and work on their project, start a new one, or if you don’t know the first thing about crochet there will *hopefully* be plenty of happy faces to guide you along the way, including myself.

Untitled-1So, if you’re one of my Off the Hook members reading this, HELLO! I can’t wait to get started on October 7 and finally crochet at work without it being frowned upon. Yeeeeaaaaaaah!

Jenna

Just Like Daddy’s

Let me tell you about my friends Angie and Nick.. They have the 2nd cutest, loudest Beagle I’ve ever met, and now 2 handsome little men running around their home. Angie just had her second boy a few weeks back so of course I had to crochet him something. Nick is a Union man to the bone, and his (made in America) work boots are one of the most important tools of the trade. I figured I’d give baby Luke a pair just like his daddy. How adorable are these?

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I should make something for their first born again.. I was just learning to crochet when she had him so he got a funny looking hat that was too small to begin with… hmmm..

P.S. All is well in Texas =) I just put my mom back on a flight to Chicago this morning after a 4 day visit. She soaked up the sun and palm trees around Houston and on Galveston, and actually got to see me do work at my Spring Book Club discussion of Kathleen Kent’s novel The Outcasts. It’s really good, go read it.

Jenna

Snow in Texas!

Just kidding, it’s not really snowing in Texas.

I’m a little depressed about the lack of snowflakes down here. I figured I would be the happiest person on Earth to have a Winter without snow.

Wrong.

Surprisingly, I’m kind of sad I won’t have any snow. I love to see it falling from the sky! I turn into a little kid and say “ooooooooooooooooo.” It’s pretty when it first comes down, but then the day after a snowfall when it turns all gray and mushy, I’m all “Go home, snow, you’re ugly.”

Anyway, I’m trying to put together a Think Tank installation at the library to replace my current “Letters to Santa” room. Matt, Dixie and I are going home to Chicago on Saturday (hey, I might see some snow!) and won’t be here to disassemble the letters to Santa room after Christmas. I figured why not bring some snow to Texas! I’ve started prepping a Snowflake Creation Station that a co-worker can toss  in there until I get back =D. Not everyone knows how to make paper snowflakes, so I want to have simple instructions easy enough for anyone to follow. Who would have thought it would be nearly impossible to find simple, drawn instructions on how to make paper snowflakes?! I got fed up, and did what any good DIY’er would do.. Made my own.

So, here’s a PDF of my instructions which I drew out in Photoshop. Don’t hate on my artistic ability. I ran it by a few fellow librarians and the instructions seem comprehensive enough. Feel free to use them to your heart’s content! All I ask is that you let me know how your snowflakes turn out!

Download Snowflake Instructions PDF

Enjoy!

Jenna