Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Near and Dear to Me

Breast cancer is a subject I can relate to personally, and very closely. At one time, amidst the excitement of giving birth to beautiful girls, it was questioned whether I had developed cancer due to a rather large mass. Fortunately, it was removed and I'm fine, but that was a very scary time in the middle of a very happy time. A good friend's mother just had a mastectomy and is waiting to see what is next for her. She was sent home from the hospital the same day, but is having problems with drainage and healing.
If this cause is also important to you, please go to this site at Lifetime TV to sign a petition for longer mandatory stays after a mastectomy.

A Great Sight

Oops, I meant a great site! Lisa Gentry broke the Guinness World Record on Saturday for the fastest crocheter. Over 5000 stitches in 30 minutes! If I could just be half as fast as her...... Anyway, she also has great designs on her site. I'm thinking of ordering the patterns for the Shelly Shrug, the Caney shrug, and the Jo Hannah top myself. I have some stash TLC Heathers in a great blue that is just dying for the perfect pattern. That yarn would look great as either of the first two designs, and I could stand to use up some more stash yarn.
I found a couple other good sites last night while surfing aimlessly, but I don't have the links handy just now and I'm too tired to look. I will say that there were some awesome, inspiring curtains on one, and I will (try to) put those links up tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Bright Question

Here's a little peek at how Laynie's blanket is coming along. Sometimes it is so bright that I can hardly stand to work on it, but this one is going to be SO pretty when it's done. I'm really glad I dug those squares out last week!

Wow. That's bright! Posted by Hello

Deadline: July 11th, Laynie's b-day. I'm cruising right along on it (which may be due to the fact that I've spent half of my week at one friend's house or another stitchin' and... well, ya know). So, this one's pretty much in the bag.

On another note, Amy asked where I found the large, delicate loops that I used for my last stitch markers. To answer, I was looking for something big enough to accomodate my size 11 and 13's, but I couldn't find any toggle rings. I came across these rings in Village Crafts one day. I'm not sure I kept the package, but I do know that they are called memory wire, and they were very cheap. I haven't used them yet, but they fit the needles, and they are going to work perfectly. I plan on making at least two more to complete the set, maybe tonight while I watch the Real World. Till then!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Beads and Books

I'm really getting into this whole beading thing. I love my stitch markers, and I had fun making them. So much so that I joined the Stitch Marker Mania Swap. Sign-up ends tomorrow, the 24th, so hurry if you still wanna get in. There are more than 30 people signed up now!
On another note, I need a good book to read. A trashy, summer, beach novel kind of book. (Not a romance novel, though!) Does anyone have any suggestions? Preferably something that might be available at my local library. I'm dying of boredom when I go to take cigarette breaks and I need something to read!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Another Go at It

It was quiet at home tonight. The girls were off shopping with my mother and aunt, and Hubbie spent the majority of the evening playing some sort of game on the computer, so I had free time. Of course I used it to be crafty. I plopped down in front of the TV with my bead box and pliers, turned on the new season of the Real World, and whipped out these two matching stitch markers. (Yeah, I know, the Real World. Yes, I watch it, and I love it.) Anyway, the stitch markers:

Second try at beading Posted by Hello

Not bad, eh? I took my time. The one on the right was the first one, and the loop came out kinda funny. Too big. As a result, that marker is a little longer. I really took my time on the second, and I think it shows.
I'm going to make at least two more markers exactly like these and keep them for myself. They will be my first set (handmade or not) of stitch markers and I think I will need them for one of the UFO's, the Bernat Boucle shrug. Maybe the pretty markers are just the motivation I need to pick that project up.


For some crazy reason this morning, I thought it would be a good idea to dig through my (horribly tangled) WIP bin to find something to work on. Yeah, great idea. Once I had dug in, it was impossible to stop. The whole bin consisted of one huge knot of yarn, with full skeins attached and laying in the bottom. I have to admit, I got out the scissors (gasp!) and cut most of it apart. Luckily, the majority of the yarn was salvaged. The knot must have looked much bigger than it actually was, or something. Anyway, I got the yarn untangled, and put back neatly, and I found something to work on.
I started a beautiful granny square blanket about a year and a half ago to give to Laynie when she was born. But the squares took so long, and the ends took even longer to weave in. I soon gave up and stuffed the beginning squares and leftover yarn into the aforementioned bin. This morning I found 10 completed squares and 3 out of 5 needed skeins of yarn.

Laynie's square Posted by Hello

The new plan is to sew a center square out of the blocks, and then crochet a huge border around it, granny-style. I'm going to try this afternoon to find more finished squares, I don't know how many I originally made but I'd like for the center of the blankie to be larger than 3 by 3 squares. If not, I'll start sewing them together tonight, and I want to have the blanket done to give to Laynie for her first birthday. A year late is better than not at all.
There were many other unfinished things in the bin, but I will leave those for another day. Maybe a little UFO-bustin' will inspire some creativity. I still don't know what to do with all of the other yarn that I ignored today, piled in bins around the UFO bin. Scary!

Update: I found the rest of the yarn, but sadly, no more squares. I guess I'll just have to work with what I have, I really don't want to make more of the squares. 3 by 3 for the center will work just fine.

Monday, June 20, 2005

At'll Do, Donkey, At'll Do

As an avid fan of craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Village Crafts, I have spent many hours wandering their aisles, browsing all the wares that these types of stores have to offer. It was only a matter of time before I discovered the beading and jewelry-making aisle. Before my shopping trip last week, I noticed that all beads and jewelry findings were half off at Hobby Lobby, so I searched the Net to see what I would need to make some stitch markers. I bought a ton of beads and jump rings and such while we were there, for under 10 bucks, what a steal! I also picked up a cheap set of jewelry pliers, since I didn't have anything of that nature.
Tonight I finally got around to getting all the stuff out to experiment with. The new pliers caught Hubbie's eye (he was a sheet metal specialist in the Navy) so he sat down with me to try them out. We each only made one marker, and I'm sad to say his turned out better than mine.

First beading attempt. Posted by Hello

His is the one without the ring, and the wrapped loop he made came out great! I'm sorta jealous. It's odd because I don't think I've ever been jealous of Hubbie's crafting skills. However, metal and pliers and snips are kinda his thang, so I don't feel so bad. MY wrapped loop needs work, but I think both markers came out pretty well for first attempts. Tomorrow is my day off so I may try out some of the different colors of beads I bought. Pics to come.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day...

to fathers everywhere, and my two favorite fathers in particular:

My daughters' dad, dear Hubbie. Posted by Hello

My dad. Posted by Hello

They are both wonderful fathers, each in their own way. They both love me to death, and more importantly they love my daughters more than they or I could express. Enjoy your day, guys. Kassi, Laynie, and I love you, too.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

It's the Newest Craze!

The first blog I read every morning (OK, every time I log on) is Crazy Aunt Purl. She is the funniest, cutest knitblogger I can think of, and everyone should hop on over to her site and give her some blog love. She deserves it. Why? Because Aunt Purl has started the newest craze. It's gonna sweep the the blogging world. It will be the next Clapotis. It's Crazy Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf, and I'm makin' one.

The Magic Scarf Posted by Hello

You can find the recipe to make your own Magic Scarf here. And just for inspiration, here's Drew the Crochet Dude's version (and awesome self portrait). I think mine looks great even though my gauge sucks. Switching from knit to purl is something I'm going to have to improve on, a lot. Also, you can't tell from the picture, but the yarn is really more of a orangey, buttered popcorn yellow than the Big Bird yellow it looks like here. Much yummier. I think I will begift this scarf to someone for Christmas.
So everybody jump on the bandwagon and make a Magic Scarf. It can be interpreted in endless ways, and I can't wait to see what people will come up with. Be creative! Go with the flow! Yada, yada, yada......

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hot Under the Collar

It is unusual for me to post about this type of thing, but I feel the need tonight, and this is my own personal space and I can do that if I want, right? OK, here goes. It amazes me how quickly religious, political, sexual, and moral debates can get heated to a point that people cannot get along. Maybe I am naive, maybe I'm too nice, or maybe I just like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I never thought I would see the kind of things I have seen coming through some Yahoo Groups recently. I won't mention names, or go into any type of detail because I don't want to offend anyone. But I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, and that is that. Sometimes things just aren't as meant to be as serious as others take them, and it's a shame.
OK, done with my rant now. That's enough of that. Carry on with the craftiness!

A Moment of Peace

It is very quiet here right now. Almost too quiet. The girls are playing in their room (together! Without trying to kill each other! Amazing.) This past weekend was a hectic one for us, with the wedding, our work schedules, and a side project that Hubbie is working on. There has been no time for blogging and very little for being crafty.
The only thing I'm truly working on right now is a granny square baby blanket, for a friend of a friend. I really love the way it's coming along. I didn't use a pattern, but it's pretty basic, probably too basic to call my own. At some point I plan to sit down and type out exactly what I did, for my own reference if nothing else. I've been carrying the whole blanket around with me everywhere I go, so that I can work on it in any spare moments.
Despite my lack of time, I haven't forgotten about all of the other projects that I was working on before the wedding gift rush. They're just back-burnered for the moment, sitting in a cute basket next to my bed, waiting for me to pick one of them up again. Soon, my little projects, soon. For now I must get back to the girls, and the housework.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

In the Nick of Time

The big wedding is in two days. I'm excited. I'm relieved. I finished the blanket for the gift this evening, and I feel pretty good about it, just because I was finished two days early. I did not have to sit up until midnight the night before finishing. That is a good thing, folks.
I do not have full photos of the blanket due to lack of camera, but I scanned a little piece for a sneak peek. (If you are Sami or Rob, please don't look at this!)

Wedding Blanket Preview Posted by Hello

I have cute wrapping stuff all ready to go, and it sorta matches the blanket, but most of all it will fit the couple well. Pics of that tomorrow, too.
Now that I am free from all of my big deadline projects, I will hopefully find some creativity in the next couple of weeks. The Lion Boucle from E-Bay arrived, so I'd like to work out something for the Lion Brand contest soon. That will leave plenty of time for adjustments before the October deadline. (I'm trying very hard to break myself of my horrid procrastination habit.) Along with the boucle came some green Bernat Softee Chunky. Does anyone have an idea what to do with it? A little inspiration from y'all may be just the jumping-off point I need to get CRAZY creative.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Package

First off, let me just say that I LOVE to get packages in the mail (as long as they aren't bills!) So I volunteered my address when a generous woman named Ann offered up 90 Annie's Pattern Club books to the first 45 people to respond. I wasn't sure if I'd like any of the patterns, but I was wrong. My package came yesterday, and I like both books. Turns out, vintage is cool. I've figured out what everyone else (like Lolly) knew all along. One book is from 1980, the other from 1984, and they both have crocheting, knitting, sewing, and other crafty projects in them. I've already earmarked several for future use.

This book is older than I am! Posted by Hello

Book #2 Posted by Hello

Isn't the toddler dress with matching gloves adorable? And the stuffed doll? I can't wait to get started on some of these. Thank you to Ann; your package taught me a wonderful lesson. I'll be keeping a much closer eye out for vintage patterns.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Something to Show for It

The party turned out to be a blast, and we celebrated Memorial Day in redneck style. Everybody is in tremendous pain from the massive game of football that occurred sometime late yesterday afternoon. All I will say is that is was not pretty, and all the guys are limping around, slightly bow-legged, and whining constantly.
And now for some crafty content. I have finished objects to show off, things I did over the weekend amongst the partying. First, my super cute furry flipflops.

Fuzzy FlipFlops Posted by Hello

Project Specs

Fun Furry FlipFlops
Pattern: I have seen several different yarn companies' version of a pattern for furry flipflops. I just single crocheted around the straps with a double strand of the yarn until I thought it was fluffy enough. I took it pretty light on this pair.
Yarn: Bernat Boa in Cardinal
Flipflops from Hobby Lobby
Impressions: I'll wear these a lot, I have a lot of red shirts and stuff. I made this in no time at all, and they are SO soft and comfortable to wear. Fur makes flipflops tolerable for me. Usually I can't stand them.

Bigga Baby Socks Posted by Hello

Project Specs:

Bigga Baby Socks
Pattern: I used the same Granny's Garret pattern as I did for the Rainbow Baby Socks.
Yarn: Bernat Baby Coordinates in 01005, a pale blue
Impressions: I used thicker baby yarn and a size H hook this go round, and I now have a much bigger pair of socks. But they are still just as cute. I want to make a hat to match. These socks may just make it to the donation box for the hospital maternity ward, but I need to find a pattern for the hat, preferrably one knit with circular needles. I would like to learn to make something other than a rectangle when it comes to knitting. Any suggestions?

I'm very worn out, and I have to go back to work tomorrow. My all-too-short 3 day weekend is now over, and things will return to normal at my house and here in blogland. (No more party pics, I promise!) I may not have anything new to show off until the wedding present project is done, there are less than two weeks until the wedding, and I may be running out of yarn. But I will be here, lurking and reading and finishing up that present.