Friday, December 29, 2006

Crochet Challenge 2007
JD from Crochet Partners asked today what our crochet challenges for the new year are going to be. I have been wanting to try to crochet with wire. Don't know if my tired old hands will let me do much of it, but feel I have to give it a try. Am hoping our library has a book on it, as I don't really want to spend $20/$25 for a book until I know it is something I can do.
Another thing I want to try my hand at this year is felting. Have been reluctant to put the $ and effort into something and end up with a mess. So I am going thrift store shopping, find a couple of wool sweaters, frog them and use the yarn for this project. Penny's sister in law, Jan, was talking to me about what she is felting on Thanksgiving, and then Christmas she showed me what she had done. Some really neat slippers and a bag, so far. She knits, and I crochet, but felting is felting. Will probably start with a hat or bag, size isn't as important as with slippers. Jan said with her slippers, she kinda made them, then found the feet that they fit. Since she has 4 kids, everything seems to have a home.
I also want to do something with Tunisian other than swatches. I used to do this many years ago, but the things you can do have greatly increased and so I want to try some of them.
I also have a couple of WIMs lined up for the new year. Another ABC's afghan done in 7 different colors, with each letter square in its own color. Have the yarn for this, and my color chart. I also have the pattern for Sunbonnet Sue/Overall Sam afghan which I want to make for myself. Haven't bought the yarn for that yet, but will soon.
I have joined the Granny Square exchange, so I can do squares and hopefully learn a couple of new techniques along the way.
My biggest challenge for 2007 is to have all my Christmas presents ready to mail the Monday after Thanksgiving. Back in the olden days, when the mail was much slower, we were always done by then, and the rest of the holidays don't seem so rushed.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reviews are in!
On Christmas morning when my daughter opened her crocheted crochet hook case to find a set of Clover soft-touch hooks, sized C-J, she teared up. I figured she would like them, but I certainly didn't expect tears.
My granddaughter says her vest (birthday present) is okay. Which probably translates to she'll never wear it. Such is the life of a 17 yr old. Have not heard from her since she opened her Christmas presents, so don't know how she likes the purse.
My son was excited with his "fishing" gloves, aka wrist warmers. He and his significant other were trying to figure out how they were made. Told them I'd be happy to teach one or both of them how. Michelle loved her shawl. Said it makes her feel "girly". Can't get much better than that.
I haven't talked to my sister yet, answering machine tag happening, so I'm not sure how she and her girls like their presents.
My daughter, Heidi, arrived with an afghan that she is trying to crochet for Nicole, but her elbow gave out on her so over the time she was here, I tried to get as much finished for her as time would allow. She already had most of it done, and still has the last 10/11 rows to do, plus the border and fringe. Also showed her how to do the Russian join, so she has a few less ends to work in.
Still have a couple of things to finish for our 12th Night celebration, but then can start on next year. Yea!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Preparations
Wow, this getting old is definitely not for sissies. Penny and I have so many Xmas decorations between the two of us. This year we are scaling down the decorating as neither of us is physically able to do what we have done in the past. But--the way the decorations are packed, we can't find some of the things we need.
For instance, I have a 4 ft tree that I just put in a big plastic bag (decorations and all) and sent on up to the attic. Took it down this year, plugged it in, ready to go--almost. Can't find a Xmas tree skirt, and I have 3!
Five boxes for the village, but the snow blankets seem to be packed somewhere else.
Got the outside decorations out, but the icicle lights (these look like real icicles) and the outside timer are missing in action.
Well, one of our projects for winter was to reorganize the attic, which means taking down all the boxes, going thru, repacking, and labeling what's in them, then storing in some manner that makes some kind of sense.
We have decided that when we redo Xmas, we are going to box by area. Everything for the village together, the fireplace all in one box, etc. That way if we only want to decorate the fireplace, we only have to dig thru one box to do it. Why didn't we think of this before?
Guess we never expected to get old and want to scale back.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Twelfth Night
My roommate, Penny, her sister, Kitty, and our friend, Chelo, do our gift exchange on Epiphany.
Chelo is Spanish/Filipino, and was telling us that when she was a kid in the Philippines, Christmas Day was strictly a religious holiday, church, etc. But on epiphany, they went to the Spanish Club and the wise men arrived on their horses, not too many camels in the islands, and distributed the gifts to the children. We thought this was a great idea, so now we get together at one of our homes and have dinner prepared by the hostess that year, and do our gift exchange. I think we enjoy it so much more because the rush is over and we really have the time to spend with each other.
Hit the Wall
I have been crocheting like crazy trying to get the Christmas gifts done this year. Well, the ones that need to go in the mail are done, but--and it's a big but---I can't seem to get myself to do the blocking and wrapping. Now it really won't take that much time, but I just hate the wrapping.
I was always that mom who was up most of the night Christmas Eve wrapping presents because I just couldn't bring myself to do it sooner. And of course, since I want to photo all of them after they are blocked and before they are wrapped, that just adds another layer to my not wanting to start. I love the making, but hate the finishing!
I am thinking maybe next year, I will wrap as I go, so the only thing that will need to be done at the last minute is bows.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Computers, Computers, Computers
When I should be washing, blocking and wrapping Xmas gifts, I decide, in all my wisdom, to upgrade my blog to the new beta version. Huh! What was I thinking? When I did that, it dumped my wish list and my favorite links into my photo albums category. Good grief! Doesn't anything go easy? Apparently not. And with my great knowledge (lol) of computers, it took me probably an hour to figure out I could cut & paste from one list to the other to get them all back where I wanted them, and probably another hour to fix the mistakes I made the first hour.
You would think that would be enough self abuse for one evening, wouldn't you? Oh noooo-I then decide to download pdf software so I can more easily manage my patterns. Did you notice the word EASY? Well, another hour and the software is loaded, but I have no idea what to do with it now. That's when I gave up and went to finish a scarf for the troops.
It's another day, and I am going to start the washing machine and get those gifts ready for the mail. That was my goal for this week, along with getting the Christmas Village out of the boxes and on display. So-I'll chat with you later.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Santa's on His Way
And this little elf has been plenty busy! But I haven't taken any pics recently because I want to wait until things have been blocked. I have made 2 more open weave vests, a summer top, (with another one in the bag ready to start), slippers, snowflakes to put in our Xmas cards this year (starting a new tradition), wrist warmers, and flower ear muffs. Probably a couple more things I can't think of right now. Penny has been working on cross stitch, and she has done small ornaments for all her nieces and nephews, and small Xmas stocking ornaments for my kids. She is currently working on a bookmark and towels for a friend.
My goal is to have everything that has to be mailed done by next weekend. So I have some washing and blocking to finish this week. And picture taking! Can't let them go until they have been photo'd.

Heidi is coming! Heidi is coming!
My daughter is coming to spend Xmas with me this year, and I'm so excited. This will be the first time since I moved to No Cal that one of my kids has been able to spend the holidays up here with me. Will be kinda a bittersweet day as she won't be spending the holiday with her daughter, due to a pending divorce. But I'm going to try to make it as special as I can for her. She deserves so much more than life has dealt her (lupus and fibromyalgia).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

New Photos
I have been so busy crocheting and doing the dentist thing that I haven't blogged or updated my photo albums recently.
Have finished 3 of 4 doilies for my bedroom, the last one just has a couple of rows left to do. I have done 50 caps for Caps to the Capital, crocheted edging on fleece blankie along with a bonnet and booties for a friend whose 1st granddaughter is coming. Also have done a mesh tank top for --tba--, but it still needs blocking. Am working on my first ever purse, needs to be assembled and I need to get buttons for it. I have crocheted 2 crochet hooks cases which will be Xmas gifts.

I am impatiently waiting the arrival of some yarn to make two more tank tops for Xmas gifts. Guess I need to make a list somewhere so I remember what I have in mind for everyone. I picked a slipper pattern for my ---. Hopefully, I have enough of something in my stash so I won't have to buy more yarn.
I did finally post pics of our craft/office. We call it the Giggle Room. I did a post a few months ago on it. Very colorful and we love it. Still have to locate Penny's cross stitch stuff and add it to the room. I'm sure there is some room somewhere for a couple more boxes of stuff!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Caps for the Capitol
Finally got the patterns posted. Had to put them in my Photo Albums, new album, Crochet Patterns. Designing the patterns and making the caps was a lot of fun. Getting them posted to my blog was total frustration. The more I do with this computer, the less I seem to know.
But, on a more positive note, I was talking to Heidi, my daughter, the other evening and when I told her about this project, she was excited and wanted to help. Since her computer won't print, I made copies of the packet and my patterns and mailed them to her.
I almost have my personal goal of 50 completed.
Check out my patterns, use them, and let me know if you have any problems.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My First Original (written down) Designs
Last weekend while I was working on the 2 patterns for Caps for the Capitol, I got bored. I'm not one to do the same thing over and over again, and changing colors doesn't make it any better. So, I remembered a stitch I used a couple of years ago in a scarf, so I tried to make it into a cap. It worked! So I wrote it down, so I could do it again. Well, after a few of these, I tried another stitch that I really liked. Again, I wrote it down.
Well, at some point, I realized this is designing. I have been doing this forever, but I have never taken the time to write it down, because usually it just makes what I'm doing work for me.
When I shared this revelation with my friend, Margaret, she said, "Hello, you just never write it down." Duh! My friend, Kitty, who designs clothing for herself, and went to design school affirmed that this is the design process.
Well, it has taken me longer to write them down, take pictures, save them and try to post than it did to make up the patterns and crochet several hats from each of them. I'm going to try to post them here for you if you'd like to use them for this wonderful project.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Frustration beyond belief
Since I have joined CP I am doing so much more on the computer, blogging, posting pics, etc. So--I decided it was time to get hi speed internet. Comcast is running a special in my area right now, so I decided to go for it.
I had an appointment last Sat evening between 5 and 7 for the installer. Well, at 7:15 I called and the guy said he was probably just running a little late and to give him a few more minutes. He did ask if the installer had called to tell me that. NO! Or I wouldn't be on the phone now.
At 7:45, I called back. No notes on work order as to what happened. So the guy I was speaking with sent a message to dispatch to check it out and call me within the hour.
By 8:50 I was really steamed! This guy told me dispatch was closed and I needed to schedule another appointment and the first he could get was next Friday. Told him this was not acceptable, and he says he put in a request for supervisor to call me at work on Mon a.m.
You guessed it! No call on Monday so I called them about 2:00. This person tells me the first available appointment is Friday. I asked to speak with a supervisor and the best she could do was give me a $20 credit for the installer missing his window.
OK! Now I'm really steamed. So I march over to the local Comcast store as soon as I got off work. The young lady I spoke with there was so much more helpful than all the above people, and she suggested I get the self install kit and do it myself. Saved the installation charge and she gave a credit for one month. She said that when they start issuing credits, someone wants to know why, so heads were going to roll. I sure hope so, because up to now, no one seems to care that this guy was abducted by aliens on the way to my house. Gave me a phone # to call if I had any problems. Said it was pretty easy to do. Yea right!
After crawling around on the floor (hardwood, not very comfy) under the desk, I got it all hooked up the way the instructions say. Popped in the Install Wizard disk, and have no connection to the internet.
Back on the phone--seems to be some kind of filter on my line, so, guess what? Yep, need a tech to come to my house and check it all out. At least I didn't have to wait a week. He was here today, had to replace some lines under my house, and after a couple of calls with him and my roommate, Penny, and an additional charge of $30 for the house call, I'm supposed to be online.
Wrong again! I come home, Penny goes off to the doctor, and no internet connection. Back on the phone, again!! This time the girl I spoke with at least got me up and running.
I sure hope it's all worth it.
But, on the bright side, the tech today said he is going to waive the $30 charge, because it seems the problem was with their connections to the house, not in the house.
Also went to Radio Shack and got an extension cord for my USB port because I didn't have enough spaces to plug in everything I needed. And an extension cord for my speakers because they wouldn't reach the computer. Haven't had sound for so long I'm not quite sure how to handle that.
I'm up and running and looking forward to being able to more quickly download pics and post more often because it won't take so long.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

CA State Fair
Well, I finally went to the fair last weekend. Had a good time and met my CP online friend, Wilma, in person for the first time. The first thing I saw when I walked in the door at the Home Arts building was Wilma's doll. As I was taking a picture of it, a lady came up to us, and it was Wilma herself. How exciting! She belongs to the Sacramento Crochet Guild and they had a very nice display set up including one lady who was using a spinning wheel.
The fair pictures are in my photo album. Some of them are not so great. I'm still learning how to use this digital camera, and I got a few fuzzy pics. But I posted them anyway so you could see what was there. A lot of these entries were behind glass w/spotlights on them, so it's kinda like taking pictures thru the big window at Macy's.
I did, however, find out that there should have been a critique sheet w/my entries when they were returned. I really checked those packages, so I know they were not there, but wish they had been. At this point, there is no way to get a copy, so I will just have to be more creative next year.
My overall impression of the fair was disappointment. I have been to the LA county fair, the Orange county fair, and the Alameda county fair, and I was expecting sensory overload at the state fair. Didn't get it! The home arts area was set up more like an expensive boutique. Beautiful things, but just not that many of them. Same for most of the things we did.
The thing I was the most impressed with were the awnings over the parking area. They are solar powered and rotate as the sun moves so your car stays in the shade. Of course, did not take a pic of that.
But, I am already making a list of things to hook and cook for the fair season next year. Depending on dates, may go to county fair or state fair, or maybe both. Dream big.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wedding Afghan
The afghan is for the son of my boss, (I work w/both of them) and the wedding is this weekend. So--I brought the present in yesterday and gave it to Craig, and he decided to take it home so he and Melissa could open it together.
This morning his father, Jay, came in and said that Craig called him last night to tell him about the afghan. Apparently, they are very pleased and Craig said he had never seen anything like it; it is beautiful and so soft.
What a relief! When you are making something for someone that you don't know well personally, you are never sure what kind of reaction you'll get.
Well, the judges at the CA state fair weren't impressed, but the kids love it, and that is even better!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Photos
I just posted photos of the Wedding Afghan that I entered in the CA State Fair. I also created a new album "Odds'N Ends Crochet". It has things in it that don't seem to fit in any of my other current albums. I have a crocheted hat band for one of my favorite hats and some things I made for Thanksgiving several years ago. I am still working on my doilies for my bedroom. I am within 2 rounds of finishing the last one, and have hit the wall. So taking a few days off from it, and will get it finished soon.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Bookmark Exchange
I just joined the Bookmark Exchange through Crochet Partners last week. And I received my 1st bookmark today from Rebecca in LA! How exciting. I have never done an exchange before, and I think this will be a lot of fun. I have a bookmark ready to go in the mail back to Rebecca in tomorrow's post. Can't wait for the next one. This combines two of my favorite things, crocheting and reading. Check out the pictures in my new photo album "Bookmarks". Right now there are only 2, but as I make and receive more, I will be updating it. I'm currently waiting to find out who my next partner is.
In addition to receiving and making really cool bookmarks, you find out what the others are reading. Looks like I have more books on my "to read" list, like I need more.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fleece Blankets
A couple of weeks ago I bought 4 fleece blankets at Anna's Linens for 99 cents each. I also got Jean Leinhauser's 50 Crocheted Afghan Borders. I combined the two and the results are pretty cute, if I do say so myself. Since the blankies are only 26 x 26 they worked up pretty quick. Did all 4 of them in about 4 evenings. I'm planning to go back to Anna's and see if they still have some blankets. I have no immediate plans for these, so will probably donate them to charity. Pictures at the end of my album Babies".
I've added a new album to my photos. Currently it only has two afghans in it that I did several years ago. These two afghans are constantly used in my home. I love them, but I haven't tried anymore graphs since then. Maybe someday, but there are other things I want to do first.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fair Update
I got my notice from the CA state fair and neither of my entries got an award. I'm disappointed and feeling a little deflated. I'm trying to tell myself that this is the first time I have entered a fair this large, and the judging system is one I am not familiar with. So, this is a Learning Experience. Not helping much right this minute. But on a more upbeat note, I'm looking forward to attending the fair next month and seeing what did get awards. As soon as I get my entries back, I will take pictures and put them in my album.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

State Fair
Got both my entries for the Fair completed, blocked and in the mail. They had to be there by 7/7, so I mailed them off Monday using priority mail. I can drive to Sacramento in about 2 hours, so they should be there in plenty of time. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to photo them before they had to go.
I was helping Chelo move to Benicia this weekend and ended up spending the night at her new place becuz I was too tired to drive home. And by the time I got home, and got my things blocked, I had lost the light to take decent photos, so will have to get them either at the fair, or when they come home.The fair doesn't start until 8/11, so I guess I have a month to wait and see if they were accepted. That's the hard part.
I told Penny a couple of days ago, that it seems strange not to be crocheting up against a deadline. I have done a couple of baby afghans and other presents, and then the fair. Now, maybe I can finish my dresser scarf for ME before I start the next round of gifts for Xmas.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Aghan Finished
Well, the afghan from hell II is completed and almost Fair ready. It does need a little blocking around the edges, but other than that, it is beautiful, if I do say so myself!
My 2nd fair entry is a wearable, and I decided to do the same shrug I made for my granddaughter, Nicolle (pic in Xmas album. This time I am using Paton's Grace in Ginger. The yarn arrived yesterday, and I have to have it in the mail by next Monday, 7/3. My hook will be smokin' this week. I did do approximately 20 rows last night between 8:30 and 11 p.m.
Hope to have time to take pics before I send them off.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Afghan from Hell II
This afghan is turning into a real pain in my a--! I am still working on redoing the last row of each panel, which must be about 650 stitches each. This time around I am joining the panels as I go, so there will be no more surprises.
However, I have this thing laying on the cofee table, and I look over at it, and I found a gross, ugly, cannot be ignored, error in the middle panel of what I have already done, undone, and redone. D--n!
Well, on the positive side, other than taking 2 panels apart, it only affects 1 panel, but I have to take it all the way back to the braid.
Now if the heat would just let up a little. It's pretty hot to have a big afghan laying all over you right now. Fortunately, it's done in panels, so the weight is only with me for about 45 minutes at a time when putting the panels together w/reverse single crochet.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

CA State Fair
Got my entry form in the mail last Friday, so am now crocheting like crazy to get my entries done. The main one is a large afghan (over 3' x 4'). The categories for the fair are very broad and very general-large afghans, small afghans, wearable, and other. So, my 3-d ripple mile a minute is competing against granny squares, indian designs, orginal designs, etc. Seems a little strange to me, but we'll see how it goes.
Speaking of this afghan, I started assembling a couple nights ago. It is done in reverse single crochet, which is not one of my favorite stitches, but it does add a lot to the overall effect, so I'll go with it. However, the sides are not mathcing up, so last night started frogging all the assemby I had done. Tonight I will try to figure out what went wrong. Thank God I have about 3 weeks to complete this afghan before the entries have to be in.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chemo Caps
Well, Lot's going on recently so haven't been doing much blogging.
Have crocheted 3 chemo caps for my roommate, Penny. She is Finally! done with chemo treatments. But she is still sicker than a dog, and bald as a billiard ball. I also mailed off 3 other caps for a Cp'r who was looking for assistance in her area.
Giggle Room
Before the chemo made Penny so sick, we emptied the closet in the office, painted it raspberry and installed the cubes that we've had in the attic for 3 years. We now have all the craft stuff in one area. We call this room the Giggle Room because it just makes you laugh to go into it. Every wall is a different color, grape, orange, lime, lemon, and the ceiling is a beautiful aqua. We also installed under the counter lights on the ceiling of the closet, so we can see what's in there. Nothing like to trying to find craft supplies in the dark. Will get pictures posted soon, I hope.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mermaid Doll
I finally finished the mermaid doll. I started with a pattern for the tail and fin, but decided that it should be completely machine washable and dryable. This based on my experience with the one I made for my granddaughter a few years ago. She carried it around so much, it was filthy most of the time.
So I took another doll pattern, and used it as a guidline for the head, body, and arms, with of course, my own variations to make it work for this project.
The most inventive thing I did for this doll, tho, was to use pantyhose to line it as I put in the stuffing. It weighs nothing, will dry quickly and keeps the stuffing inside the doll where it's supposed to be.
The biggest challenge was the hair. I wanted it to be washable and to stay in place. So, it is made of yarn. But the placement was a puzzle. Penny, my roommate, and I both looked at dolls that our grandmothers made, and kinda went from there. I am not 100% pleased with the way it came out, but now I know what to do if I ever do one again.
Take a look in My Photos under Babies to see the final results.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pheeeewww!!!! Jamil came to the rescue and helped me out on the links for my blog. I have just added my Christmas Album and I am very ecstatic! Since I know how to do this now, I will be posting more albums soon. Didn't know when I started this blog that I would learn to be a software engineer, too. But, I love learning new stuff, even tho I don't learn as fast as I did when I was younger. He also set up some cheat sheets for me, so if I forget, I have something to go by. Yea! Jamil.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Well, I give--had to call my friend to come help with setting up this blog the way I want it. Can't get the photo software to work, can't figure out how to put in links to other places, Crochet Partners, for instance. So, instead of making myself crazy (?) I called Jamil. He's been working out of town recently, but thinks he will have a couple of hours to help me this weekend. Hope so. I want what everyone else has on their blogs, but I just can't seem to grasp the logic. It seems like it should be so easy. Under links, I should click on "Edit Me" it takes me someplace that asks the name of the place I want to link and then the address-I input, hit go, and all the gobbledygook gets done behind the scenes. I update, and voila! But help is on the way.Stay tuned.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Really good things happening this week!
First, I found a bunch of black yarn in my stash-have no idea why I have so much- anyway, I put it out on CP and within a couple of hours, I had more than 20 requests for it to be used for charity. What a group! It's going to Nicole in Florida to be used for cancer patients. I did, however, forget that so many of us get our emails from CP in digest form, so if this comes up again, I will wait a fixed period of time, then do a drawing from everyone who responds, rather than to the first responder.
Couple of other good things, but want to wait til I get home so can post pix w/them. Think wood & babies.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I see so many neat things on other peoples blogs, like a place to post picture albums, etc. So I have downloaded some software that is supposed to help me do that here. Sometimes I get very frustrated trying to do these things, because the logic of software engineers escapes me! And they write really s----y instructions. They expect everyone knows what they know- Not so! Some of us need step by step instructions- Connect the Dots, so to say. It's 12:10 pm. Let's see how long it takes me.
Well, 20 minutes later, computer in a loop, going nowhere! So, abort! that process and try something else. 1:05 pm-I've had it for today! Maybe another day it will work out better. Or may have to call in the big guns, my friend Jameil. He knows everything there is to know about this stuff.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I am so computer challenged, sometimes. I couldn't remember how to get to this blog so I could post more. Duh! Well, I finally figured it out-how many ways can there be? Zillions!!
Since the holidays, I have finished 2 baby afghans.

The striped with the cars for border was done for my girlfriend Margaret's 4th grandbaby. It is done from a Mile A Minute pattern. I used Caron Simply Soft Brites yarn.

The pink ABC's afghan was done for the new baby girl of one the ladies I work with-This pattern was a graph and my old tired eyes were having such a hard time reading it, that I converted the whole thing to an excel spreadsheet. It is made from Lion Pound of Love in Bubblegum-Had a tough time finding 2 skeins in the same dye lot.

I also whipped up a couple of chairs pads so if you come to visit, I can just grab them off and you won't have to sit on all that cat hair. With 4 cats, it is impossible to control the hair.

And I am now working on dresser scarfs and doilies for myself. The old ecru that I did years ago just doesn't go in my yellow/gold and red room, so the new ones are a soft yellow/maize color.