Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hang on! Here we Go!

It's official.  I'm the Chapter Coordinator for the SF-East Bay chapter of Project Linus.  I sent in my application and I was approved.  Penny is my assistant.  She says her job is to "make pretty."  Alice did bring us all the paperwork we need, and then of course, the Coordinators handbook has lots more great info in it.
So we've been busy making sure all of the blankies from the last meeting have labels and hang-tags, sorting them by size, and then delivery location. Had to go get a couple of big plastic tubs to store them so they don't get dirty while going thru this process of ours.
Ordered my business cards.  I think they are really cute!  Have new hang-tags on order with my contact info:  I know Alice will just send anyone my way that may get some info with her contact on it.
Have received a couple of phone calls already from people who found the website wanting to contribute or get more info on Project Linus.
I just finished crocheting hats for my kids for my trip next month.  I have been semi-planning this for several months and it is now less than 3 weeks away.  I will be so glad to see all my kids again.  Since they all live so far away, it's been a while since I've seen them.  And then to see a couple of friends along the way will just top the whole thing with a cherry!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Project Linus

As anyone who has read my blog knows, Penny and I have been very active with the local chapter of Project Linus.  Alice, the coordinator for SF/East Bay, is a wonderful lady.  She is always so calm and together.  Guess that comes from many years of being a nurse.
We went to our monthly meeting yesterday evening, with our large bag of goodies. Penny had four ghans made from squares and I had 5 fleece blankies with crocheted borders.  We also had 2 large granny squares from Mattie and a large ghan done by Anita.
Imagine our surprise when Alice told us that she and her husband are selling their house and moving down to San Jose to a retirement community.  They want to live closer to their kids and grand babies and are ready to give up the house they have lived in for 40 years!  Too big!  Too many stairs! 
The biggest shock was still to come!  She is giving up the Project Linus chapter.  This is a group of about a dozen ladies who show up every month with their quilts and afghans. There are several others who come from time to time when schedules permit.  Always willing to share what they know. And very proud that they have donated over 2700 quilts/ghans to children in our area in 3 or 4 years.  What in the world will happen to the group without Alice?
Well, we can't let the group die!  That would be just sinful!  Everyone is just sitting there stunned. No one knows what to do.  We don't want to lose the group or Project Linus.
Well, maybe you have guessed by now that Penny and I volunteered to take over the chapter.  Hope we have not bitten off more than we can chew.  We came home last nite with all the quilts and ghans in the back of my poor, dirty Volvo.  We are meeting with Alice next week to learn the ropes of where to go, what to take, and how to report what we are doing to headquarters.  Denise of Sisters and Stitches, the quilt shop where we have been meeting, says we can continue on there with same schedule we have been using.  Thank you, Denise.  All the ladies have said they will help in any way they can.
Kris, who lives in Oakland, says she can deliver to Children's Hospital.  My friend, Laurie, said, not to worry, she's here to help.  Thank you all! 
I know the next couple of months will be a little confused until we work out the kinks, but we can do this!

Monday, August 02, 2010

What I did on my Summer Vacation

July has not been quite as hectic as June, but I have still been pretty busy.
I started the Swellegant Elegance sweater designed by Peter Franzi.  Peter gifted me the yarn for my birthday in April and it finally came in.  Saucon Sock yarn by Kraemer Yarns.  It is fingering wt, 44% cotton, 43% acrylic, and 13% nylon.  The color is Loganberry, so kinda a purple color.  I know, not my usual earth tones, but I decided to try something a little different.  As of right now, the sweater only has 1/2 sleeve, assembly and ribbing left to do.  I plan to wear it to the next guild meeting on 8/21.
I have taken a couple of breaks from the sweater.  I learned 2 new dc stitches this month, so had to make a scarf in each stitch.  The first is the linked dc and the other was the herringbone dc.  I learned the linked while I was reviewing my first portfolio for the Masters Program and the herringbone dc was used in a border from Edie Eckman's book Around the Corner Crocheted Borders.  I will be teaching both of these stitches at the next guild meeting.  Come join us.
The scarves will be going to Dawn for her annual holiday packages for the troops.
I crocheted borders on 5 small fleece blankies for Project Linus, using Edie's book.  Some beautiful borders in there!
Our friend, Anne, brought a bag of crocheted flower motifs to Penny last week.  So I sat down and worked out how to turn them into squares.  Penny loves squares and makes several ghans a month for Project Linus.
And, speaking of Project Linus, Laurie and I went with Alice to San Francisco this month. KPMG was having their semi-annual meeting at the Palace Hotel (wow! is the only word that applies here).  Part of their meeting is a charity or community project in the city where they are meeting.  Vicky, from New York, is part of Project Linus in her area.  She and Debbie, from Dallas contacted Alice.  We went to help them put together tied fleece blankets.  They ordered the fabric, a nice weight and some really cool designs, to be paired with some bright colored solids.  Before we even got there, they had done all the cutting and had them ready to cut the strips on the sides and tie.  There were about 30 people cutting and tying for an hour and a half.
They completed 21 out of 35.  We brought 14 with us to be tied at the next PL meeting. Or maybe we will crochet borders on them.  When the meeting was over, we checked our push-pushes at the hotel and went to dinner.  We sure looked like a trio of bag ladies trying to get back to the BART station!  But I was surprised at how many people offered to help us carry the rolling carts down the stairs.  It was great fun, and I would be honored if Alice requested my help again.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Defining Moments

If you ever watch the Dr Phil show, you will know that he talks a lot about defining moments in your life.  I gave that a lot of thought and could think of none.  Oh well, not to worry.  Too busy crocheting.
Peter and I were talking at the fair a few days ago (wow, seems longer ago than that) about how far the chapter has come since he organized it 3 years ago.
That got me thinking about how I got to where I am now.
It all started with the click of my computer mouse!  If I had not made that click, the things I'm doing now would not be.
I was reading the Talking Crochet newsletter that I subscribe to online.  At the bottom are a list of links to other places.  Hmm, Crochet Partners looked like something I might be interested in.  The folks I used to crochet with have scattered, and my roommate is marginally interested in trying new things. 
Click!  And a new life begins.  I joined Crochet Partners, a huge on-line discussion group owned and moderated by Jean Leinhauser.  Jean has edited and published crochet booklets and books forever.  I have several with her name on them from the 80's.  For the first several weeks I just lurked (said nothing but read everything).  I followed every link posted.  I have crocheted for more years than I want to admit, but I saw things I had never seen, learned about techniques that I didn't know had names. I had done most of them, just didn't know they had names.  But I also learned about a few that I hadn't tried.  I got brave and started making some comments of my own. 
One of the ladies was trying to organize sending scarfs to some of our troops at the holidays because so many do not receive packages from home.  Well, I try to send her several each year. A couple of years ago, her son was killed in a school shooting, and at about the same time, another ladies future daughter-in-law was killed in another school shooting.  And so, the Comfortghan Project began.  I didn't want to coordinate it but I collect squares, assemble and mail ghans to those who need a hug.  I met my friend Laurie and her friends as a direct result of the Comfortghan Project.  We meet every week at Starbucks for coffee and crochet.
I was also looking for a place to donate some small fleece blankies that I crocheted edgings on.  Peter Franzi suggested the Oakland Children's Hospital.  Someone else suggested Project Linus.
I checked out Project Linus, they took my little blankies, and I have become more involved with them as time goes by.  In fact, I designed a babyghan which is on their website.
Peter put out an invite to anyone in the Bay Area to come to his house for a Crochet Soiree.  We had a great time, good food and nice people.  Peter did this about 3 times before he moved it to the community center where he volunteered for the food bank.  And out little chapter of the CGOA was born. Since inception, Peter is president and treasurer and I am v.p. and secretary. Before that little mouse click, I didn't even know the CGOA existed.
With all the inspiration and encouragement, I have become more creative and proficient at recording my original ideas.  I am now selling a few patterns on my Ravelry page.
The biggest boom I have gotten from that little click was an email from Jean Leinhauser asking if I would be interested in being a reviewer for her new CGOA Masters in Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques.  Holy cow! Me??  I'm reviewing my first portfolio now.
Oh, yea!  I knew nothing about blogs.  Even my computer skills have quadrupled.
And all from one click of the mouse.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What a month!

I started this month feeling pretty puny.  But there was way too much happening to keep me down for long.  First was the San Mateo county fair.  I think everyone should get involved in their county fair in one way or another.  Of course, my way is all about crochet!  But, they have a category for everything:  flowers, homemade beer, woodworking, and all the different needle arts.  And don't forget the livestock.  Pig races and all!
I'll let you pop over to the chapter's blog to catch up on what we did there. 
The Sunday after the closing of the fair, we were involved in the 1st annual Oakland Fiber Fest.  What a great day!  So many nice people came by our booth.  and it was fun to check out the other booths at the fest.  I spent some time with Gracie of the Lace Knitters Guild.  She is going to teach me to tat.  I have my grandmother's tatting shuttle, but have never learned how to use it.  She showed me a quick stitch and I am going to try to practice it a little between now and then.  You can read more about the fest at the chapter blog.
Probably the most exciting thing that happened to me this month is I was contacted about being one of the reviewers for the CGOA Masters of Stitches program.  I am so honored to be on such a team of highly skilled crocheters.  My first portfolio arrived over the weekend, and is the first thing on my agenda tomorrow to work on.
Been a busy month.  And I feel so much better at the end of it than I did at the beginning.
BTW, I am working on Peter Franzi's Swellegant Elegance Sweater in Saucon Sock Yarn, color Loganberry, for moi`.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm so excited!

The San Mateo county fair opens tomorrow.  My CGOA chapter will have a table at the fair for 5 days where we will be demoing some different stitch patterns.  We have a couple of take and make projects for people to do at the table.  We will have a daily raffle for kits for patterns and yarn to crochet. We will be handing out info on our chapter, on CGOA, Project Linus, and Warm up America and the Oakland Fiber Festival.  Should be a full and busy 5 days.  I think I have everything together that we need to take.  I sure hope so!
I spent 2 days this week setting up the displays for the knit and crochet entries.  That is the first time I have ever done this kind of volunteer work.  Very fun, but also very tiring!  I pretty much had free reign in how to display the items.  The folks in charge were very helpful in providing supplies I needed, dress forms, styrofoam heads, etc.  I am very anxious to see what people think of the way the displays are done this year.  I found out that they have not had a knitter or crocheter volunteer before to help.  No wonder we find an afghan inside out or a hooded scarf upside down.
If you are in the Bay Area this next week, come by our booth on Sat, Sun, Tues, Sat or Sun, and say Hi.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

And the winner is:

drum roll please- JD from St Louis
I liked the Tabard part of JD's suggestion, so kept looking for the other part.  Finally, after studying the history of this garment, decided this is a classic timeless piece.  So, please welcome to my pattern line, Timeless Tabard.
I will have the pattern in my Ravelry store within the next day or two. Thanks to all who helped me find a name.

I spent

Way too much money on this afghan.  But I fell in love with the yarn,.  I can't find the label right now, but I think it was Ella Rae baby cotton, which is 80% cotton and 20% nylon.  Then I edged it with Knit One Crochet too Ty-Dy socks yarn.  Both are very nice, but I sure can't afford to do this very often.
So, I'm saving this for my first great grandchild, someday far, far in the future.
This is an original design using one of my stitch books.  I first did it in some very fine baby yarn that I had laying around then I saw this cotton and fell in love.  I have written the pattern, but it is a little different for each of them because the first one was probably category 1 yarn and this one in more of a category 2.  This one is just a little larger than the first. 
I now need to wash my swatch (I know, should have done that first) to see how it will hold up.  Put it in the bucket for the fair.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I hope he knew

how much I loved him.
I met Peter (Penguin) at an Indy car race at Monterey about 15 years ago.  At that time I lived in So Cal and had no idea how important to my life he would become.  We saw each other at the occasional race over the next few years because of mutual friends.  When I finally moved north about 10 years ago, he opened his heart and his home and his friends to me.  He was always there if I needed to move my whole house or just a big pot in the yard.
He drank and smoked too much, but he didn't have a mean bone in his body.  In fact, he really didn't know how to say no to anyone.  He took great pride in his beautiful yard.  Was always puttering and planting, mowing and weeding.  Putting in a walkway or building a gate. And Christmas!  OMG, at Christmas, he did love his lights!  The house had more lights than an airport landing strip.
He started getting sick a couple of years ago.  They tested & tested.  Couldn't find anything wrong, but managed to puncture his bowel doing a colonoscopy. It has been all downhill from there.  He never really recovered from that and then was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer not all that long ago.
I regret we didn't make the Giants game or the Reba concert that we always talked about. I regret that I didn't make the effort to spend more time with him this last few months.  I talked to him on the phone, but that is not the same as sitting in the back yard sharing a beer.
And I'm angry that a disease like cancer can take such a good person from his friends and family and leave perverts walking the streets. It's not fair and I don't like it.
Peter's leaving this world has left a huge hole in my heart.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Amigurumi Class a lot of fun!

I had 2 ladies sign up for my amigurumi class at PYA on Sunday.  They were both in Peter's Intro to Crochet class on Saturday.  When I found out what their skill set was, I had to kinda rethink how to teach them.  I created this lovely lady for the class project, hoping they would be able to complete her in the allotted 3 hours.  Not quite, but with their limited crochet knowledge, I was so impressed with how much they really did.  They have the sc down pat.  Also very good at increasing.  They had done a couple of rows of dec before we had to leave, so hope they are doing OK. The thing I was the most impressed with was they both caught onto the pattern reading in a snap!  Deena is a knitter, so does have pattern reading skills, just learning a new language.  Mona is a new knitter, so is learning both languages at the same time.  I've always said the hardest thing about learning to crochet is learning to read patterns. I heard from Deena and she still seems enthusiastic, even tho she hadn't had any time to work on Hilary.  Haven't heard from Mona, so hope she has finished her project.  BTW, this pattern is called Bad Hair Hilary and she will be available for purchase in my Ravelry pattern store.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Amigurumi, anyone?

Amigurumi is the Japanese name for toy making that a lot of us have been doing for years. I was asked to do a class at Piedmont Yarn this month, so decided I should brush up.  I also wasn't 100% positive that there wasn't some new thing going on that I didn't know.  So I borrowed from the store the book "Tiny Yarn Animals" by Tamie Snow.  If you are afraid to make creative decisions on your own, this is not the book for you.  The pictures are very good, but there are no assembly instructions.
Well, I did 2 that I thought were cute.  I did the owl as instructed, but made a couple of changes to the turtle.  With all her feet, the turtle is front heavy and falls over, so I eliminated the back feet.  Now she stands up just fine.
I will not be doing anymore of these.  You need to crochet very tightly, and my poor old hands just couldn't take the pressure.  Cramps! and more cramps.

Going to take them in to the store on Tues when I go so they can be displayed and hopefully inspire some folks to sign up for my class.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A kitty with good taste!

We have 3 cats, all with their own unique personalities.  Nakoma is old, about 17. I rescued her from a drunk in a bar when she was about a month old.  She follows me around like a dog.
Mango is an orange tabby that we adopted from a pet drive at PetSmart.  She is lovable and quiet.
Then there is Annie, our white tornado.  She and Mango are about the same age, but Annie is a real pistol.  She will play with anyone or by herself.  Makes no difference.
Most of the time, the cats show very little interest in our yarn, except to try to lay on our projects while we are working on them.  Once in awhile, they get a little excited when I am winding yarn.
About a year ago, I was using alpaca for 2 different projects. I got up one morning to discover Annie sleeping with a ball of the alpaca that she stole out of my tote. The second time this happened, the project got put into lidded container that I could close when I wasn't working on the project.  I haven't worked with any alpaca recently, so had forgotten this incident.
We have a large dresser in the den where I keep my better yarns or things already designated for projects.  A couple of evenings ago, I pulled a ball of wool out of a drawer and went in the kitchen to show Penny.  All of a sudden, she looked up and said to me to look in the den.
There was little miss Annie in the drawer that I had left open.  Of course, couldn't find the camera that quickly. It then dawned on me that that is the drawer where I keep the alpaca.
Not only does she really like alpaca, but she likes the natural colors more than the dyed. A girl after my own heart.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Remember when

On my way home from PT this morning, I was noticing gas prices on my route.  Anywhere from $2.93 to $3.05. And if you need water in your radiator or air in your tires, they have the nerve to charge 3 quarters for that privilege. With pay-at-the pump, you don't even see the guy who is taking your money unless you go inside to purchase coffee, donuts, sandwiches, milk, diapers---
I know it's been a long time since I started driving, but I remember when---
for 25 cents a gallon, the guy came out and not only pumped your gas, but checked your water and oil, put air in the old tires if they needed it and cleaned your windshield.  The only extras the station offered were a restroom on the side, a cigarette machine and a cold drink machine.
It feel likes the more I pay, the less I get.  What's wrong with this picture?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I need a name, please

Here is my latest work of art..  But she needs a name. And a pattern tester. Can you help?  I will give a copy of the pattern to winner of the name contest.  And of course, if you are testing the pattern, you will have a copy.  What do you think of this creation?

Spring has sprung!

We have had so much rain this year that we haven't spent much time in the yard the last couple of months. A couple of years ago I bought 5 orchids from some neighbors who were moving. Only a couple bloomed last year.  This year, they are all blooming and incredibly gorgeous!  Take a look.

In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb

Where to start?
The last month has been insane for me!  Penny went into the hospital for her hip replacement surgery about 6 weeks earlier than anticipated.  She had some minor complications in recovery that had me running back and forth some.  But, she is home and doing well.
No sooner got her in the hospital than Stitches West started.  Crazy busy 4 days, but a ton of fun for all involved. Can't wait to do that again next year.
We had been given a lot of baby yarn, so I sat down with my stitch pattern book, a hook, and some yarn.  This is what I came up with.  It is intended for Project Linus.  All PL blankies are put thru the washer and dryer before they are donated.  Well, this one had a slight problem when it came out of the wash. I have used other yarn that had to be at least 20 years old, with never a problem, so don't know what happened here.  Am thinking of throwing it on the floor for the kitties.  They want to sit on it while I'm working on it.  But now I wonder if I should try use more of this donated yarn. Decisions, decisions!
My other ghan for PL turned out great!  Found this yarn at the Joann's super store in Fremont one day and loved the color.  Then added a couple more colors from the old stash. Used the stitch pattern books again.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


I am no longer a crocheter, but a fiber artist.  Today I am totally ashamed of crocheters.  Maybe I will get over this, maybe not.
Crocheters have been bellyaching about not getting the proper respect, classes, etc.  That they are being overlooked for what knitters want.
Well, guess what?  Crocheters aren't willing to pay for what they want and knitters are!
Bente at PYA has bent over backward to make her store a crochet friendly place. She has a Crochet Circle every Tuesday. Just bring in your project and work with like minded people. She pays Peter to be available to help anyone who needs it. She has offered her classroom to our crochet guild for free to hold our monthly meetings. She schedules almost as many crochet classes as knit. In fact, for March, National Crochet Month, she scheduled additional crochet classes based upon things people had indicated to her that they would like to learn.
I was scheduled to teach a class the next 2 sundays on making flowers for embellishment. As of 6 p.m. today, no one had signed up for this class. The price for the class was quite reasonable. You could bring your own yarn and hook to the class. She doesn't require you to purchase supplies in the store.
I'm having a hard time believing that we could not find 3 people who were willing to put their money where their mouth is. I want to hear no more about how badly crocheters are treated.

Monday, March 01, 2010

It's All Yarn

I love the folks on my discussion groups, but sometimes I get so frustrated with the level of ignorance that I about burst!  Stitches West has been a huge topic of discussion in recent days as it was in town this weekend.
Stitches is a knitters expo!  Always has been.  Crocheters attend to buy yarn from places that are not easily obtainable.. Great opportunity to pet yarns so the next time we want to order from cyberspace, we know what we are getting.  There are a few vendors that feature some crochet.  There were a few crochet books.  There were some absolutely gorgeous hooks.  There were only a couple of classes for crochet.  Stitches is a knitters expo!
I found there to be more crochet this time than in other years that I've attended. CGOA shared a booth with TKGA and my guild chapter, Men Who Crochet, manned the Warm Up America booth.
People who own yarn stores and think crocheters are beneath them find themselves out of business!  If you are in the East Bay of Northern CA, visit Piedmont Yarn & Apparel.  This is a very crochet friendly store.  Bente bends over backwards to stock the things we want.  She is helping us celebrate National Crochet month with special displays and additional classes in crochet.  You will not be disappointed in this store.
My own distorted point of view is crocheters do more for charity than knitters, so we do have a tendancy to buy lots of inexpensive acrylic yarns for that purpose. That is what the charities want to receive. We don't make the rules, we just try to follow them.
At Stitches West this weekend I purchased some superwash merino for a vest I want to design and make for myself. I also bought a lovely wooden shawl pin and some "happy hands" hand creme made especially for handling yarn. I was gifted 3 hanks of handpainted Koigu yarn by Merilyn of Foxyknits.  I think this will become a shrug type thing for moi.
I didn't buy too much this time as my circumstances have changed in the last year, and I have yarn from last year still in hanks. MMM! Might be time to get busy and do something with it.
Anyway, if you go to an event like this, remember who the target audience is and remember you are a guest. A paying one, yes, but still a guest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Skill Levels

Over on the CGOA discussion board, they have been chatting about skill levels on patterns.  I personally don't like them. I think that most people underestimate their abilities and skills and may pass up a pattern that they really want to do because someone who does not know them tells them this pattern is hard.
The only hard thing about the pattern is reading it. If you've crocheted for very long, you know the basic stitches. The designer will have notes on special stitches. You might want to practice them before you start if you are not familiar with that particular sequence of yarn overs. It is just a matter of putting them together to make something useful, or pretty, or just plain silly!
So, in my NSHO, the difficulty in a pattern is the reading. And like any skill, it only gets better with practice.
  • Slow down: you need to really read and follow each word of the directions.
  • Don't anticipate:  the repeats are not as easy as in other patterns. There are usually more than one per row or round. I've been known to use hi-lighters so I can quickly see what my next instruction is.
  • Create something wonderful. 
  • Then slap yourself on the back for stretching your skills.  
  • And go to Crochet Partners, or CGOA and brag about your accomplishments. 

Monday, February 01, 2010

Heart Shaped Afghan

Periodically someone on CP is looking for a heart shaped baby ghan.  Hard to believe that no one has ever designed one.  So, I decided to be a hero and do one.  Unh!  I have looked for and printed every rendition of crocheted heart shapes I can find, as a starting point for an afghan;  bookmarks, pillows, sachets, potholders, dishcloths, whatever I could find.
These all work great to a point, then as it gets bigger, it morphs into something that only vaguely resembles a heart.  I have been playing with this for a couple of weeks, and am no closer now than when I started.
But--don't give up!  I'm not.  I'm sure I can't get anything done before Valentine's this year, but I'm going to keep trying.  Nothing like a challenge.  Right?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Is It?

I have all this yarn and a cupboard full of patterns, and I can not find anything to go together. I have been collecting patterns since the 1970's, so you would think between what I have and what's on the internet, I should be able to find a pattern to go with my yarn. I'll even pay for patterns if I find what I want! But it seems most sweaters are still designed for ww yarn. I personally don't like the look and feel of ww in crochet for sweaters, and I live in CA, so I don't need all the bulky warmth. I want something pretty that doesn't add to the Pillsbury Dough Boy shape I already have.
Case in point: I have 10 hanks of fw baby alpaca/silk (pistachio green) that I bought a couple of years ago with the idea of making myself a sweater from it. In total, there is almost 2200 yds, which sounds like a lot of yarn until you realize that I have a bustline to rival Dolly Parton. Wish my waist were a little closer to hers. Anyway, I digress. I spent an entire evening looking for a pattern that I could use. I can't find one! So I guess I'll have to design my own, but I really wanted something that I could just make in time to wear to Stitches West next month.
I was given a basket full of baby yarn for Project Linus blankies, but the color combos are erratic, at best. Could not find a pattern to work with the yarn on hand, so got out my handy book Crochet 101 Stitches for Afghans by Jean Leinhauser. Coming together quite nicely. A few more days and I'll be reaching for 50 Crocheted Afghan Borders, also by Jean. And a few days after that, you can check my Ravelry page for a new pattern.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Still Struggling

I have not had a cigarette since Sept 14, 2009.  But--- I want one every minute of every day!  I keep thinking it should be getting easier as time goes on.  Stop smoking commercials on TV are making me crazy.  I know that they are trying to promote a non-smoking environment, but it sure is hard to see those ads, on TV, the internet, or magazines.  Every time I see an ad for Chantix, Nicorette or Nicoderm, I desperately want a cig.  Not bad enough to get dressed and go buy a pack, but enough it stays on my mind.  And those commercials are everywhere!  I do not want to become a smoker again, but I'm feeling very vulnerable today.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This & That

Nothing huge happening here, but a little bit of this and that.  Our guild chapter is hosting the Warm Up America booth at Stitches West next month, so have been busy coordinating with their person, Mary Colucci.  She has been great to work with.  Trying to get all our crew on the schedule for the weekend, so Mary will have their badges available when they get there. 
Our guild has started a blog to get our presence known and to be able to communicate with members who aren't able to attend a meeting.  It's also a great way to keep folks informed of upcoming events.  Check it out.  www.menwhocrochet.blogspot.com
With both of us sick starting before Christmas, we are a little slow getting our decorations down this year.  I'm also tracing around the base of each of the village buildings and making notes on where the lights go, how tall, etc.  My goal is to make a better platform for display before next year..  So it is taking even longer to put this stuff away.
The rain has been horrendous this last week, and we have water in the den.  One corner of the den is the low point on our lot and the water pools there.  So we went and got sandbags the other day. It does seem to be helping move the water away from that corner.  I got up on the ladder yesterday and pulled some leaves out of the gutters which let the water move along.  The landlord came a little later in the day and did some more.  His handyman is here now to finish up the gutters and do some cleanup.  We are so lucky to have such a good landlord.
I finally finished the stadium robe in 3 colors.  Haven't taken a pic yet as the batteries are dead in my camera. Yuk! I have everything I need for a couple of afghans for the fairs this year.  Just trying to finish a couple of UFO's before I start anything new.  I also have 3 or 4 sketches in my notebook for new designs.
We are turning our "guest" room into a sewing/craft room.  Penny wants to get back into quilting and it would be good to just be able to get up and close the door at the end of the day. Way too cold/hot in the garage. And when was the last time we had a guest stay over nite?  Better use of the real estate to sew in there. Need to get rid of the double bed. Penny has already filled the dresser with fabric and notions. This little room has the best light in the house, so it will make a great sewing room. But we need to finish putting away Xmas before we start that room.
I'm sure there is other stuff going on, but I'm not sure what.  So when I think of it, I'll report in.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ravelry and Facebook

I joined Rav probably a year ago, maybe longer but hadn't used it much until this fall. Of course, the fact I had patterns I wanted to get out there had a lot to do with that. And I love, love, love Ravelry. It is amazing to me how much I have crocheted since I'm keeping track of my projects there. And I still let a couple get out the door at the holidays without being recorded. Oh, well! Can't win them all.
I just this week broke down and joined Facebook. I had resisted for several reasons, but the number 1 reason is my granddaughter was really upset when her father wanted to be her friend and she didn't know how to tell him no. She is a young lady, not a kid so I think she deserves some privacy. But, when my girlfriend from high school's grandson asked me to be his friend on FB, I finally broke down. But, I won't look for Nic unless the invite comes from her. I'm getting hearts, I see folks are in groups and I have no idea what farmworld is. But, I'm there if you need me.
It took me about 20 seconds to post a badge/link from Facebook to this blog. I have been trying to do that from Ravelry for weeks. I got the button once, but the link didn't work. Now I can't even do that. Can not figure it out. So if anyone can help, let me know.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn

I very rarely comment on the yarn I use, but I just have to tell you how much I do not like this yarn.  I will never use it again.  I do not know what the hype is all about.  When I think sock yarn, I think very even yarn, soft with a touch of stretch.  Noro is none of these.  In places there are lumps and in other places it is as thin as #20 thread. I found it stiff and scratchy to crochet.  Not what I want to walk on. Fortunately, I did not use it to make socks, but a vest, so these issues are more aesthetic than anything else.  When I pay almost $20 for a ball of yarn, I do not expect to find knots in it. And if you have to knot in some more yarn, at least follow the color sequence, and only one knot per skein, thank you.  Can you tell I am not very happy with this yarn?  The colors are gorgeous, but that will not overcome the other problems I had with this yarn.  The vest is beautiful and I will post a pic as soon as it is dry.  I was curious what others thoought of this yarn so I went to Ravelry.  This yarn is not even listed in the database.  Anyone else have a problem with this yarn?

Monday, January 11, 2010

It is a New Year!

Wow! It has been ages since my last post.  Made it thru the holidays alive.  For a few days that was debatable.  Penny and I both caught colds (actually, the Dr says its a viral infection).  Penny came down with that early in the week of Christmas and I woke up Christmas morning with a sore throat and stuffy head. On the phone to postpone dinner at our house on the 27th.  Just moved it into the New Year, but we lost some of our guests.  Peter had to teach, Matt had to go back to school, Kelly went to Canada with some friends, Steve was in CO with his girlfriend.  Their loss, just that much more food for the rest of us.  And it was outstanding, if I do say so myself.  We figured everyone was tired of turkey, so we changed it up a bit.
roast pork, mash potatoes and gravy, glazed carrots, green beans with water chestnuts and sour cream, baked apples, spinach salad with cranberries, rolls and a f aux trifle made with lemon loaf and raspberries.  Yum!  It was all delicious, attested to by the fact there were only enuf leftovers for a couple of meals.
I am not big on resolutions so I have not made any for this year. But, I am still not smoking, and we are trying to eat better and get more exercise than we have.  I am going to physical therapy 2 times a week for my frozen shoulder and Penny is to start some pt for her hip before they do surgery on it.
I was doing a lot of crocheting before the holidays, designed a couple of patterns that I need to finish writing before I forget what all those notes mean.
I will try to be better this year in posting more regularly.