Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Nicolle!
My granddaughter's 19th birthday was yesterday, and she spent the day with me. She also brought a couple of her roommates with her, Brianna and Caitlin. They are all super busy right now with their final final today, packing up to go home for the holidays and all the other stuff young college women do.
We had a great day!
I took the girls to the McConaughey house, which is a Victorian built in 1880 and has been refurbished and is open to the public for tours. Of course, it is all decked out for Christmas and was quite interesting.There are many crocheted items around the house, including doilies and afghans, very old. I did notice that the afghan on the chair in the master bedroom is displayed wrong side up. By the time we caught up with the docent again, I forgot to tell her that. There were a couple of fabulous crocheted bedspreads that I wanted to touch really badly, but I was a good girl and kept my hands in my pockets! Unfortunately, they did not allow any picture taking so I have nothing to share with you but my memory. :)
We then came home, and Penny had fixed dinner for us, wonderful baked chicken and rosemary potatoes with a Caesar salad, followed by brownies topped with tangerine slices.
Nic opened her birthday present before dinner and then Christmas after dinner, since she will not be here for Christmas proper. I made her the Kool Rock Ski hat for her birthday. Pattern is in the book Hip Hats & Cool Caps by Afya Ibamu. Thanks for the book, Andy! I used Moda Dea Tweedle Dee yarn in a blue. Sorry, the trash went out before I got all the details from the label. Says to hand wash and dry flat, but I put it in the washer on cold and in the dryer on perm press and it came out so soft and perfect. I didn't have enuf yarn left to do the big pompom so I made it from Lion Brand Jiffy in a slightly darker blue. She loves it! and that is the most important thing.
For Christmas, I made her a shawl with a stitch pattern from one of my stitch guides in Red Heart Plush in a dark purple color. It is just a long rectangle but perfect for throwing over her shoulders while she studies. Also very soft. Her third gift is the Comfi Cardi by Robin Chachula in the book Crochet Me by Kim Werker. Unfortunately, this is not complete, so she got to open the package and then had to give it back to me. I told her I would have it finished by the time she came back up the weekend after New Years.
She said to me, how did you crochet all this.? I'm here a lot, Grandma!
We hopped in the car and went looking at Christmas lights for about an hour, and then I had to take them to the BART station so they could go back across the bay. They all have a final today, still had laundry to do, and needed to finish packing to go home.
All in all, an absolutely wonderful day!
P.S. This d--- computer won't let me add the pics right now, so I will post my album, Christmas 2008 and you can see them there.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Back to Crochet
I know I haven't posted much about crochet recently, but there is a reason for that and it is 9 days away! I have been very productive, enjoying every stitch. As soon as the holidays pass us, I will post pics and tell you about what I've been doing.
I can tell you a little story about the decorating under way at our house--not.
Last year when we plugged in the reindeer on the lawn, the big buck had 1/2 his lights out. So he spent last holiday season in the garage. I hit the after
Christmas sales and got new lights for him really cheap. So---last weekend, I get up on the ladder, pull down a reindeer, set it up on the coffee table in the den so I can change out the lights while I watch a movie. Can you tell where this is going?
OK-the old lights don't work, so I decide to just cut them here and there to get the excess out of my way. Trashed the old lights, put most of the new lights on. Hmm-might be a good time to see if the head still moves freely. Hang the deer head on the body-plug it all in-Lights work-head moves! Absolutely fantastic.
I'm watching this head swing back and forth and all of a sudden it dawns on me that the buck has his head up and the doe is sweeping the ground. Have you figured it out yet?
Yep! You're right! I changed the lights on the doe! Not paying attention to detail will get you every time. So now, I have more new lights for the buck, but he is still hanging in the rafters waiting for a new light job! ha, ha, ha.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Even Eagles Need a Push!
Well, a few days to digest the news, the opportunity to talk with Penny, and I've had a serious attitude adjustment! I'm now retired. Well, not exactly, but until something else comes along, that is my mind set and it is much easier to deal with it. I still haven't told my granddaughter, but there is no rush for that. She has had such a hard time since her parents separated, that I want to make this Christmas as nice and peaceful for her as I can. She dreads the holidays right now (unfulfilled expectations). So, I want her to understand the only expectations are the ones we put on ourselves. Don't worry about disappointing others, do what makes you happy.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Pity Party
I've reached a point in this process where the thoughts are running thru my head faster than I can focus on them!
I'm feeling guilty becuz I bought a new TV in Sept with my bonus (largest $ I've ever received) and then pissed becuz I'm still working. Then I'm scared! And the sheer terror of the future is giving me a rotten headache.
I wonder if the old adage -be careful what you wish for- applies here. I said out loud that I wish I could retire (context being a conversation about winning the lottery).
I haven't told Penny yet. Her surgery yesterday went well, but I wasn't ready to drop this in her lap before the surgery as she is the world's champion worrywart. She called this morning to see if I wanted to go out to dinner tonite, and I snapped NO at her. She must still be foggy from the drugs cuz she didn't ask why. Which makes me feel like a crud.
Standing in front of my closet this morning, I was thinking about the 2 sweaters I have in the works for me. If I'm not working, where will I wear them?
I can't muster up the enthusiasm for working for someone who thinks I'm dispensable, but I have another 6 working days of trying to sound cheerful when I answer the phone-so hard not to give in to bad attitude.
I'm feeling sorry for myself becuz I try to be a good person. I'm sorry I haven't bought more yarn and books.
God, I'm a mess!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This economy sucks!
Well, all this craziness in the stock market and industry now affects me directly. On Tuesday, at the close of biz for the day, my boss tells me that effective 12/15, I'm no longer employed. I've been with this company before he bought it! Nine years! Goes to show that loyalty is a one-way street. Right this minute, I'm going thru the angry stage-it has taken me 2 days to get here and I'm not ready to give it up yet! There are 2 other assistants in this office, one has been here less than 6 months, is only 30 w/a husband with a good govt job. The other is mid-40's but also has a husband with a good job. I am my sole support! I'm almost 63! Finding a job at my age is almost impossible under the best of circumstances and these are about the worst of times.
I know there are options, unemployment or early retirement, but I'm just not quite ready to face those decisions yet. I need to get over this angry place first and I'm not ready to leave.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Calming Effects of Crochet
I belong to several online crochet groups and every once in a while, someone will post about the calming that comes over them when they grab a crochet hook.
Many years ago, I was hospitalized with a mysterious malady and was in horrendous pain and scared to death. I was a 19 year old, single mother of a 5 month old baby. My parents lived 1500 miles away and even tho I had an aunt locally, I was feeling overwhelmed and very afraid.
After the docs did a spinal tap, they finally gave me a shot for the pain and I passed out.
I think the most comforting moment of my life was when I woke up and my mom was sitting next to my bed crocheting! I somehow knew that everything was all right in my world again.
P.S. They never found out what caused the pain or the grand mal seizures, but it all went away and never came back. I wasn't allowed to drive for a year because of the seizures, but after that, it was back to business as usual.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stitch N Pitch
Huge disappointment! And that doesn't even begin to describe my feelings about yesterday's game. Met Peter at the BART station about 11:45 and we walked over to the stadium thru an overpass. Have I ever told you how terrified I am of being somewhere I feel I can fall from? A chain link fence being the only thing between me and solid ground was not very comforting. Averted disaster and made it safely to the stadium. This was my first (and probably my last) trip to the Coliseum. Finally found our way to our seats, after being given a shirt at the gate. OK, that's cool. Tho, being the huge baseball fan I'm not, I had no idea who the player is. Where they were giving away the goody bags was clear on the other side of the stadium and on another level. So, bless his heart, Peter went to get our bags and those of Anita and Ed, who were already in their seats when we arrived. Imagine our disappointment when he came back with small tote bags from the Athletics, with 2 knitted patterns in it. That's it, only 2 photocopied knitted patterns. I guess the Texas Rangers are not a huge draw, so the stadium was only partially full, lots of empty seats. Which meant, in turn, that very few concession stands were open. Since Peter hiked for the bags (such as they were) I took off to find food and drinks. On our level, I had to walk about 1/2 way around the place to find an open concession stand. Got my hot dog & drink & beer for Peter. By the time I got back to our seats, my dog was cold! Yuk! I can get a better dog at Kaspar's for less $, less walking and it's hot when I get it. After a pretzel left over from the last home stand, Peter and I decided to leave at the end of the 5th inning. It was cold in the shade, the game was moving way too slow, and the food was horrible, not to mention the overwhelming goody bag. So we gave it up, went home. Peter said he was going to take a nap, and I crocheted from the comfort of my rocker/recliner. We parted company at the BART station. Maybe next year we will try the event in San Francisco.
How did other events around the country compare to ours? Let me know, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Coffee & Crochet--I knew when I was posting last nite there was more going on than I told you about. Probably more exciting, too. I have made some new crochet friends and we meet for coffee & crochet now & then. First is Laurie (hi). We met the 1st time so she could give me some squares for the comfortghan project and have met 3 more times, I think, since then. In fact, her friend Marion came with us to Starbucks one evening. Are you ready again, Laurie? And the next new friend is Donna. Donna also had some squares for the comfortghan project so I picked her up and we talked crochet while having coffee at the same Starbucks. So fun to find new friends so close to home. Thank you Crochet Partners. Without you I would not have made these friends.
Oldies but Goodies--My sister called last nite to tell me she has been pushing around a box for years that says Cays things on it. She wanted to know what I wanted done with this stuff. She recently moved and doesn't have room to keep other peoples stuff. In my defense, I didn't know she had this box, really! She went thru it while we were on the phone, and it looks like things my mom saved. Cards, letters, pics, artwork (term used verrry loosely). Then she got to the good stuff. Doll clothes, pillow cases, doilies, crocheted dogs. These were all made by either my mom or grandma. I told her to mail me the box! But since she is only working part time, I am going to send her $ next week when I get paid so she can do that. Can't wait to see what's really there. Will try to post pics.
SFSU-my granddaghter, the one and only grandchild, is attending school at San Francisco State just across the bay from where I live. She came up from Orange Co, so for the last several years I've not seen her as much as I would like to. But, now she's here, and we plan to make up for lost time. She spent this past weekend at my house, and we spent time looking at patterns. I found a really cute vest pattern that I showed to her and she said she loved it, but could I do it with sleeves. Sounds like a challenge to me!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Well, it has been so long since I've posted that I almost don't know where to start. So, I'll just try to take the things that have been happening one at a time.

Project Linus-at our guild meeting in Aug, we gave 51 afghans and approximately 50 preemie caps to Project Linus. These have all been made since the first of the year by the members of our guild chapter. We hope to have several more for them by the end of the year. I personally gave them another 6 of the little fleece blankies with crocheted trim that were not included in the above numbers.

San Mateo County Fair-Well, we all did very well at the fair. Penny won a blue ribbon (1st) for her cross stitch of a cat laying on books. The cat looks just like our Hazle. Peter has another blue ribbon for the ruana, and a white (3rd) for the cabled scarf. I got my second blue for the Russian Spiral Doily, and took red (2nd) for my sweater and Catty Corners Afghan.

Dawn's Scarf Project-I have 5 scarves completed, all done with using stitch guides and making my own patterns. A couple I have written down and the rest are on little bits of paper with notes. Probably should get them written out before I forget something important. My goal is 12 this year.

Other stuff-I finished the valance for my bathroom, which is from an old Magic Crochet pattern. It is actually a pattern for a panel, but I just wanted a valance, so I doubled the width and shortened it to 15". I love it. It makes me feel so good every time I take a shower. Yes, it's in the shower. That's where the window is.
I did just finish a new purse for me using a free pattern from Caron-of course I couldn't find the specified yarn, but it came out beautiful, IMHO.
My friend, Kitty, bought me the book Beautiful Crocheted Sweaters by Patricia Bevans at the friends of the library sale a while back. Well, I just won the lotto on an ebay deal on some gorgeous gray cotton blend yarn, so I have started the Starry Pullover from this book. It is made with a star stitch and a surface slip stitch. Of course, in 1992, no wrote patterns in XL so I'm having to make some size adjustments. Oh yea, it's worked side to side.
Just finished the book Hooked on Murder by Betty Hechtman. What a kick! A murder mystery with the main characters members of a crochet group. Quick read, just loved it. Looks like it will be a series, so come on Betty, get writing. I'm ready for the next book.
Going to the Stitch N Pitch in Oakland this Sunday-The A's are playing the Tx Rangers, but I'm going for the goody bag and hot dogs. Baseball is secondary in this outing.
I'm also teaching basic crochet and pattern reading to 4 of the ladies in our guild. They all know crochet, mostly what others have shown them how to do. We are using Jean Leinhausers book Learn to Crochet the Easy Way as our base. We are meeting every 2 weeks at my house becuz a month is just too long when you are trying to learn a new skill. And since we aren't having a meeting this month becuz of the ball game, we won't meet for the whole guild until in Oct. Way tooo long!
And speaking of Oct's guild meeting, we are changing the date from 10/18 to 10/11 so several of us can attend Karen Ratto-Whooley's class in top down sweaters. She will be teaching at a yarn store in Campbell, and Peter, Tom, Mike, Anita and myself want to go.

Well, I guess that's it for tonite. I'm sure there are other things that I could post about, but they can wait until the next time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fair Time!
Well, it's that time of year again. Peter and Cathy met me at the BART station near my office and we took off Friday evening for the opening day of the fair. It's probably about 20 miles to the fairgrounds, and when we were almost there, some guys in the car next to us rolled down their window and told us that we were losing water. Damn! I have a hose from the water reservoir to the radiator that has popped off twice before. About that time the dash lights for the radiator came on. S0--we pulled over, lifted the hood, and sure enough that same b----y hose is off again! But to make matters even worse, the clamp is now missing, somewhere on the freeway behind us. Fortunately I had antifreeze and water in my car, so Peter pushed the hose back on, I put the fluids in the car and off we go again. Got about another mile and it happened again. Not really surprised since there was no clamp to hold the hose on. But we are very near where a friend of mine lives so I called Kelly. She and her husband Greg showed up with clamp and toolbox in hand and more water. Ten more minutes and we're back on the road. Thank God for friends, not my neighborhood so had no idea where to find an auto parts store.
Mind you, the temp is over 100 on this day.
Finally arrived at the fair grounds, hot and sweaty, but ready to see how we did. After a bit of hike from the parking, we arrived at the Home Arts building! Yea! We split up looking for our entries, I have 5 and Peter has 2. Don't realize how big one of those display barns are until you start looking for a few small items. After a couple of rounds, we discovered Peter's ruana hanging with afghans, sporting a nice blue ribbon for first place. Then we found my afghan, another blue ribbon. Pickles found, no ribbon. Ah, ha! There's Peter scarf proudly displaying a red ribbon for second. Ok! only 3 more entries to find. Right near the main entrance we finally locate my sweater boasting a blue ribbon. Well, the only missing now are my 2 doilies. We looked and looked and looked and they are not to be found. Peter takes off to see if he can find a volunteer who can point us in the right direction while I keep looking. By now Cathy has just stopped, she is so exhausted. Hurrah! I find the doilies about the same time Peter finds someone to ask. They are tucked in the back corner in a glass display case. A blue ribbon for the spiral and nothing for the pineapple.
Not too bad, I have 3 blues and 2 duds, but Peter has a blue and red. These are not the best pics, these old barns aren't designed with the best lighting and I'm not the best photographer particularly when I'm bent over, but you get the idea.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

When it Rains, it Pours!
This has never been more apparent to me than this past weekend. Friday on my way home from work, all of a sudden, the oil light in my car came on. Well, I was about 2 blocks from the drugstore where I was picking up a prescription, so I made my way there. Picked up 3 qts of oil and put them in the car in the parking lot as soon as the car cooled down enough I could do that. Headed on home, about 3 miles, and 2 blocks before being safely in my own driveway, the oil light came back on, the temp gauge went thru the roof, the car started smoking and making this death rattle kinda noise. OMG!
Well, managed to get it in the drive at home. Just turned it off and sat there. I take care of my vehicles, I can't believe this.
But, it doesn't stop here. Saturday we had to take our entries to Anitioch for the Contra Costa County Fair, and then on to Oakland for our monthly guild meeting. So, since the Volvo is out of commission, we are going to take the T-bird (also has good air conditioning and it was hot!) Before we left, went out and checked all the fluid levels, this car is over 20 years old, needs a little extra TLC.
We got about 20 minutes from home and the darn car is overheating! Pulled off the freeway, found an industrial park and pulled into the parking lot. Opened the hood, which weighs about a thousand pounds and has the craziest latch ever invented, and what do I find but the radiator cap off the radiator. Now, I know I put it back on after putting coolant in the car, but maybe I didn't put it on properly. Who knows! It was off. So, let the car cool down, put about a gallon & a half more of coolant and a gallon of water in poor old Betsy. She was really thirsty. Penny & I both checked and rechecked the radiator cap to make sure it was on tight. Okay, on the road again!
About another 20 minutes and the temp is climbing to the bright red spot on the right end of the gauge. Off the freeway again, into another parking lot under a tree. We are very near where one of Penny's brothers live, so we call his house. Mostly what we want is someone to come take one of us to the fairgrounds to get our entries in before 3 p.m. and it is already after 12! Just got voice mail. Don't know new cell phone #-while trying to figure out what to do, he calls us. Would be happy to help but he is in Sacramento, about 1 1/2 hours away with his wife. Drat!
Well, to make a long story short, our entries did not make it into the fair, we did not make our guild meeting, poor Linda had to figure out how to get home from Oakland, and several hours later and many $ we finally got home with the car (thermostat, serpentine belt, etc) after 6 p.m..
But this day is not over yet! No more than got our clothes changed, when the phone rang. A good friend of ours is in the hospital, has been there for a week, but no one thought to call us til Sat evening. Back into our clothes and off to the hospital. He had emergency surgery after a complication from a colonoscopy. But they still don't know why he was sick in the first place. I got a call last nite, and he is home and able to eat real food, so I guess that's progress.
So, as you can see, Saturday was not my day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My very own IRA!
I know I am very lucky, but sometimes it smacks me right between the eyes. This morning while reading my CP emails, I was struck by how many times someone said they would love to do more but they are on a limited income. Which probably means disability or retired.
And with their limited resources, they want to do more for others.
I am still working (have a few more years on the old gray mare), my kids are grown and in their own homes (well, my dd is in mine temporarily), and I share expenses with a really good friend. So, once my bills are paid, food is in the fridge, I can pretty much spend what's left on Yarn, Books, Tools/Gadgets that I want. And the really lucky part is I have some left over most months!
I remember a couple of years ago, my friend Chelo, was squirreling books for her retirement. Didn't figure she would have the $ for too many after she actually had the time to read. So she has boxes and boxes of books. I have boxes and boxes of yarn and patterns and hooks. I'm not so sure this was what the government had in mind when they created the IRA (individual retirement account), but it works for me. I guess I better really get busy building that stash so I will have lots I can do when I have the time for it. I love it! I just found a way to justify buying all that wonderful yarn with absolutely no project for it in mind. Yea!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time to turn a new page in this old book.
I love to crochet for others, but it seems that the recipients aren't all that crazy about receiving. So all that beautiful yarn I have bought for them, and the time I would have used now are earmarked for me! I'm sorry, but when the time and love I put into a project isn't appreciated, then why am I doing it?
For example, I bought some gorgeous fingering wt cotton in dark chocolate brown with my daughter in mind. She has seen the yarn, says she likes it, but has rejected every pattern I have shown her. And has not submitted anything that she likes. So now its mine. I also like dark brown.
I made my granddaughter a lovely scarf, my own design, for Christmas last year and have yet to receive a "I got it", "I like it" or "its been turned into a dog toy". The blue yarn and teal yarn that I picked up for her are now mine. Even tho blue is not my fav color, I wear it.
I haven't received a thank you for the gifts to my son and his wife from last Christmas either, so the purple I bought for her will turn into a sweater for me.
Good thing I look good in almost any color.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Russian Spiral Doily
Well, I fell in love with this pattern when I first saw it about 7 or 8 months ago. So, in all my wisdom, I decided it was time to do it. First it would be my entry for the county fair, and then it would decorate our new dining table. Notice how I keep saying
would? I worked up the first half and it seemed kinda wonky, but sometimes those things work themselves out as you go. Not a chance! So I thought maybe if I went and got the symbol chart blown up I could see if I had misread the symbols. Well, I spent 2 days going over it with a magnifying glass, and I did exactly what the chart says to do. Still wonky! Since the written parts of the pattern are in Russian, I'm out of luck there in getting any guidance. I got the pattern here if you want to check it out.
So it's now a PIGS and I've chosen another pattern for my fair entry. Oh well!

Comfortghan for Jay Dawson in memory of Ryanne Mace

Pen Klapper, another of our CP members, son's fiance` was killed at the shooting at the university in Illinois. So, in true loving fashion, the CP members put together a comfortghan for him. He has received it, and was so very touched that people he did not know and likely would never meet sent him so much love and comfort. Here are a couple of pics I took before I mailed it. I used the same faux braided joining as the other one, but this was done in denim blue. The edging is #33 from 50 Crocheted Afghan Borders.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dawn's Comfortghan is on it's way to her!
I didn't want to post this until I was pretty sure that Dawn would have this ghan first. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project. The response was pretty overwhelming. I don't know what else to say, e
xcept to let Dawn know how shocked we are at the senseless violence. I joined the squares with Bernat Berella 4 in Winter White using a "faux" braid joining furnished by one our CP'ers. I then used #34 edging from 50 Crocheted Afghan Borders by Jean L. There were about 50 people involved in the creation of these afghans. Squares were crocheted and mailed to me, another person provided the method of joining, and still other sent money for yarn and postage. This was definitely a group effort from the heart.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bad, bad project
Well, we are all so willing to share our triumphs, but every once in a while, we have a project that just goes BAD! I was so excited about doing this, found a great pattern, bought the wool for felting, and when all was said & done------a big failure!
I found this great pattern for mule type felted slippers. Thought these would make great Christmas gifts for next year. Off to Michaels to buy the yarn for 3 pairs at 4 skeins each. Ok, under $20 a gift, not bad.
Decided I would do the largest pair first and get that out of the way. I consulted my friends at CP to see if anyone could remember where I got the pattern becuz the print was so small I had eyestrain trying to read it. Ended up doing a cut and paste and enlarge on the copy machine so I could read the instructions. Spent a couple of hours each evening for about 3 days crocheting them up. Then added a flower to the front. Looked really cute, but huge! They are supposed to be a size 9/10 women's.
My goodness! Just look at these pics-to give you some idea of reference, my feet are a size 8-now the bottoms fit my feet fine, but just take a look at the tops. What happened here???
So now I'm scared to death to make any more-so we may be switching to felted purses instead.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Last month, the son of one of our CP members was killed in a school shooting. It touched the deepest fears of every mother in the world, as was so evident on CP. We decided to make a comfortghan for Dawn. I said I would assemble, and the other members started crocheting the squares.
No sooner were we on this project than the fiance of another member was killed at the school shooting at the university in IL. We had so many squares already in the works that I said I would assemble another comfortghan for Pen's son.
But my own life was about to rearrange the schedule.
My daughter has been trying to get her divorce now for about a year, after 2 years of separation. In recent months, her soon to be ex, has been getting more and more irrational. He has been harassing her with phone calls, unexpected visits, etc. His friends have been threatening and she has been scared out of her wits. Since she lives in a rural area that is not close to the police or sheriff, we decided to get her out of there. Her things have been stored, and she is now in a safe location. But I was gone for 10 days and while I was away, the squares kept coming.
It was almost like Christmas opening all those envelopes. So many beautiful patterns, some I had seen before and some I had not. There are yarns I had never seen.
Another CP member, Linda, sent me her version of "faux" braid joining, which I am using to assemble. It was a little tricky at first, but makes a very nice join. Thanks, Linda!
The 1st ghan is joined and the second is down to the edging. As soon as I finish, I will get pics taken so I can post here for you. They should both be in the mail by the end of the week.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Catty Corners Finished

Well, it's done! Thanks to all my friends at CP for keeping me on track. I have taken a couple of pics so you can see. I need to take photog lessons. Not nearly as pretty in the pics as in person. Maybe I should take it outside (we have sun today) and see if I can get a better pic.

Anyway, I am entering this in a least 2 county fairs this summer. I wanted something that was a bit of a challenge, and squares are it for me. I get tired of making them and I absolutely hate joining them. This particular pattern had a whole new group of challenges along those lines. It is 63 squares (an odd number) and the squares were made in pairs by color sequence. Five main colors done 6 different ways = 60 squares. Had to lay them all out on the bed to figure out what colors I needed for the last 3.
First challenge-asked my roommate to come take a look and see what colors she thought I needed. This is a very busy pattern. Not understanding the layout, she started moving stuff around and next thing I knew, we had separated some of the pairs. OK. Not so bad. We got them all laid out so the pattern made some kind of sense, were taking a good look to make sure nobody was facing the wrong way - and -
Second challenge- Hazel (one of the cats) jumps up on the bed scattering squares everywhere. OMG! Thought I would die. Finally locked the cats out and got them all lined up again. So, we laid a sheet over them so they couldn't get mixed up again.
Third challenge-I safety pinned the first row together w/only 1 pin in the middle. By the time I got to my chair, some of them had flipped around and twisted so I have no idea what I have.
Final solution: stitch markers on each side so they couldn't move. Joined w/slip stitch each row and then the strips together. Did join the wrong side of 2 strips and realized it when I laid it back on the bed. Ugh! Frogged the joining and did it again. Finally got to the ripple border. Marked the corners with stitch markers, as after the first couple of rows, corners were hard to spot easily and that is where the differences in the rows are.
Anyway, it's finished. Now on to my Feb list of goals.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Catty Corners Afghan

I went to CP today for encouragement cuz this afghan just seems to go on forever. And I do really know forever, having one afghan that took me 3 years to make. This isn't even 3 weeks yet. But it is small squares, with lots of color changes. Seems to take longer to hide the ends than to crochet the square. The reason I don't do small squares for anything. But, this pattern caught my eye, and I decided it was the perfect challenge for my county fair entry this year. I received some really good advice, but unfortunately, some of it is not practical in this case. Like start to assemble the squares, so I can see how much I have done, and the remainder won't seems so far away. Well, there are 30 matching pairs of squares, none alike, so assembly can't be started until all the squares are done. Can't start the ripple border until the squares are put together. Catch 22.
Another suggestion was to put it aside and work on something else for awhile. Two problems with this. #1, I'm afraid I won't pick it up again. I really hate small squares. #2, if I stop now I will forget the color sequences.
I also think I am trying to catch a cold or something, and that is making me cranky. Think maybe I'll just take some Nyquil and go to bed. It will all be better tomorrow!
Thank you, each and every one who tried to snap me out of my mood. It will be a beautiful afghan when it is finished.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

None of the below!
Finished the scarf, wrote down the pattern, took it to the guild meeting for show and tell. Everyone loved it. This will be a very versatile pattern. You can stop at about 30", add a couple of buttons for a neck warmer, or make it as long as you want. Need to take a pic, but the batteries in my camera are d-e-a-d. And I keep forgetting to get new ones.
When I finished, I started the Catty Corners Afghan from . I'm planning to enter this in the county fairs this summer. The colors I'm using are from the TLC Essentials colorway Cherry Chocolate (or something like that). Anyway, pinks & browns. Love it, love the afghan. Never thought I would say that about an afghan with 63 4 1/2 " squares. The thing that will make this stand out is the ripple border. I'm liking this color scheme so much I told Penny (my roommate) that I might just have to change the colors in my bedroom. LOL!
My daughter is planning to come to visit late Feb or March so I told her to bring her crochet hooks. I have several patterns that need testing. So she's excited about that. Can't wait to see her!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Great start!
Well, a couple of posts ago, I lined up how I thought I would handle my goals for this year. Well, I'm here to tell you- I'm ahead of schedule! So far this month I have completed:
  • 3 book totes (three kings day presents)
  • 6 12" squares for the TCC afghans
  • 6 edgings on fleece blankies for Project Linus
  • 1 pr slippers for my Jan person on my 2008 xmas gift list.

The only thing left on my list is a scarf for Dawn to send to the troops next year. Well, I'm going to take care of that tonite by designing a scarf to match the hats I did for xmas. 2 birds, 1 stone. Of course, that involves pattern writing, and then I will have to do it again to make sure the pattern is correct, but that is a good thing. (more scarfs for Dawn).

But what to do after my obligations are met? Make another neck cozy from the pattern I wrote during the holidays? Start a sweater for myself from that sock yarn that is patiently waiting? Or, design a vest for the Musette yarn? Or, work on the Diamond Patch redesign? Hmmmm. Not sure, what do you think?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Christmas Gifts 2007
Well, they did not end up being what was on my original list for this year, but I am proud of them anyway. The beanies for the girls is my own creation. I found a pattern with this cable in it, but after I started, the cable was the only thing I liked about it. So, frogged the whole thing and started over. I took notes as I made the first one, then went to the computer, wrote it out, took it back to my chair to start the second one. What I wrote out did not resemble what I crocheted at all-so back to the computer; first hat in hand, yarn and hook. Figured out what I did, crocheted the whole hat sitting in front of the computer. Third one was much easier, and the fourth I slid right thru. Yea! Pattern writing is a lot more difficult than you would think it to be. The yarns used are mostly Vanna's Choice as I had several single skeins in my stash, then they were trimmed with other yarns that have been hibernating also.
The scarf for Nicolle is a one of a kind-I bought the yarn from my LYS. It is hand painted sock yarn and is yummy. I keep using this word for this yarn. It is so soft, you just want to bury your face in it. I chose a pattern from one of my harmony guides, and just worked it until I ran out of yarn. I did edge it with a loose slip stitch on the wrong side.
The guys beanies I found the pattern online-don't have the url handy, but I think it was called checkerboard beanie. I experimented with Jason's and made 2, reversing the contrasting colors and then edged them together to make a reversible beanie. He hasn't received it yet as he is in the field on maneuvers getting ready to go back to Iraq. So we'll see how he likes when he gets back in a couple of weeks.
And last but not least, I made a neck cozy for my daughter using Rowan Cashsoft DK yarn. This stuff was a dream to work with. Another pattern of my own design. My friend Kitty went to Britex (sp) Fabrics in the city for the buttons, which appear to be the most gorgeous shade of green abalone that I have ever seen. And, I forgot to take a picture of it. That's what being rushed at the last minute will do to you. I did write down the pattern and plan on making another one soon, so if this pattern writing went the way of the beanie, I can figure it out while it is still fresh in my mind. Heidi did say she would take a pic and send to me. She also said she wore it yesterday and that it is very warm and oh so soft! Yes!
I have two friends that read a lot and always carry a book with them. So I made Paperback booktotes for them. Kitty's is a trellis stitch and Chelo's is done in basketweave. They both seemed to really like them.
The pics are in My Photos, Christmas 2007.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Catching Up

I know, I know! I haven't been very good at keeping my blog up this last part of the year. Since our move in Sept, things have seemed just slightly out of sync. But, I'm going to try to catch you up on the end of 2007 in the next couple of posts
First, we'll start with our crochet guild. Men Who Crochet chapter of the CCGOA.
Our first guild meeting was in May last year, and we decided right off that we wanted to do something to pay back the Telegraph Community Center for providing space for our meetings. So, we decided to make afghans for the Center to distribute come the holidays. We are a very small chapter, with only 4 or 5 who come regularly, and another 6 or 7 who attend the quarterly Crochet Soirees.
We started making 12" squares for these afghans. We made enough squares to assemble 2 complete afghans with a few left over for 2008. But--the members also donated about 12 more afghans and 1 quilt from their personal closets.
Since the only time all these were in the same place at the same time was the day of our presentation at the Community Center, I tried to quickly take pics of the items before they were donated. To see them, check my Photos to the right and click on Community Center Afghans 2007.
Since Peter is a volunteer at the Center, he was there the day they were distributed, and he said there were a lot of big smiles from the people who received them. Good! That's what we wanted.