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).