Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Finally Finished Frogging

I don't know if it's because I've been under the weather or that I wanted so badly to finish this doily - but I frogged row 11 four times, and row 12 twice! By the time I got to the last row (13) I was so determined to finish this that I stayed up until 3 am. (It helped that Michaela was up late finishing her Senior Culminating Project as well.) In any event, the Valentine's Doily is complete! The pattern is from an old White Crochet magazine and is called 'Morning Star Doily.' I won the book as part of a package in the Recycling Contest over at Crochet Partners. You have to be a member to participate but the people over there know so much about crochet - the list is moderated in part by Jean Leinhauser, founder of Leisure Arts and the American School of Needlework. (Warning: the list generates a lot of email but you can be on digest or read the archives and the wealth of information is worth the time and effort!)

Now I have two WIP's left. I am going to finish the Granny Grid Bag before starting anything else and I am determined to keep going on the Table Runner in between other projects. I have yarn for baby blankets, a cropped cardigan and surprisingly eight balls of yarn leftover from the Olympic Shrug! Plus tubs and tubs of stash that I need to use. Maybe a Homespun Scrap Blanket for a wedding gift. We shall see! We shall see! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cutie Patootie Booties

DH: What's that?
Me: A bootie.
DH: It's bootie-ful.

Made these last night for a shower that I'm giving today. Too cute and oh, so fun to make. And obviously they work up fairly quickly. I actually got halfway through a second pair before I had to start getting ready for the shower. The pattern is free at the Bernat websitePosted by Picasa

Friday, February 24, 2006

(Not too) Bad Case of YAS

Went to the city today. Had to get my eyes checked. While I'm sitting in the waiting room, a lady picked up a magazine from the table next to me. I was crocheting on the doily and she says "Nice doily. You don't see too many knitting like that with tiny thread anymore. Well, ones that don't have gray hair!" I chose not to correct her because I was too interested in what she meant by "one's that don't have gray hair." I mean - I don't have gray hair but are there really no threadies who are younger women? Saucy me says, "Really? I must not get out much because I did not know that!" "No really . . ." She was wearing a Fun Fur Skinny Scarf. I asked her if she knitted it. She did. Now I'm really confused because - did she really not know that I was crocheting, not knitting? If I had not been called into my appointment, I would have been obliged to . . .

The last time I had my eyes dilated it took me all day to recover - today I decided I'd take a little time before I drove the 60 miles home and do a little browsing. ;-) Two crafts stores later, this is what I had:

You can't tell very well in the picture but there are two skeins of TLC Baby for another receiving blanket. The Bernat CottonTots will make baby booties and maybe a hat. Paton's BeMine for hats and booties. And the others are all sale items - Blush in Persimmon (reg. $8.99 for only $1.99), two skeins of Sullivan's Sensuale blue/purple for $1.25 each and one skein of Sullivan's Sparkle in Agate for $1.99. Not a bad day's browsing - especially with a little blurred vision.

The baby yarns were all for dedicated projects but the others - well, a girl can be impulsive every once in a while can't she? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Nathan's Blanket

I finished this blanket (Wool-ease 'Wood') this morning. I can't believe I've finished two WIP's this week in addtion to my Olympic shrug. I could finish two more if I put my mind to it. I have an eye apppointment tomorrow that I may spend a fair amount of time in a waiting room for. But tonight is Olympic skating and I'm throwing a baby shower on Saturday. I had considered an extra project - booties or baby washcloths - even though I had already given a blanket before baby was born. We'll see how ambitious I feel. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Receiving Blanket

I finished this while waiting in the doctor's office on Monday. In the pic you can really see that the pattern made by the variegation changes. It doesn't look this pronounced in person (thankfully) and I'm really pleased with the results. The finished measurements are about 22-1/2" x 23", perfect for a newborn.

I found out that the baby this was to be for is definitely a boy. So I'm thinking about making him something a little different and saving this for the next baby, which is due in June. I just about have enough time to do a different blanket before April - but that means abandoning my resolve to finish all other WIP's first. At least I already have the yarn for it! =)

I still have four or five rounds, plus a border on my giant granny square blanket - I got into watching the skating last night and would stop crocheting to watch. I may or may not finish it tonight, so keep checking for those pics.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Shrug in Action

Here's the shrug on. Below is a picture of the back. I really like the way it feels on. It was a little warm as I went to help Brianne pin her quilt onto the quilting machine at school but once outside it added just enough warmth to feel comfortable on a semi-Spring day.

As promised I have a story to tell from my trip. Sitting in the waiting room, of course crocheting, a woman looked over and commented on the Receiving Blanket I was working on. We began to visit as she is a fellow crochetier and spins her own yarn. We began to talk about Kool-aid Dyeing and other things. She told me about a Fiber Fest for spinners. I aked her if she ever felted. Oh yeah, and she began to describe the process of felting with - are you ready? - bubble wrap! Who knew?! (BTW, I finished the receiving blanket at the motel last night and am now working on the other Blanket WIP. Should be finished with that tonight and will post pics of both tomorrow.)

While I was gone I received an email from Dee of CrochetWithDee. She has been having guest bloggers while she celebrates her birthday. (Happy Birthday, Dee!) And she chose my submission as one of her guest blogs. Scroll down to Monday to see it! While you're there, browse through the rest of her stuff, check out her website. Talk about a lady having fun with crochet - Dee is fantastic!

Oh, and the sweet lady I traveled with yesterday has offered for me to go through her crochet patterns as she will not be using them anymore. She asked if I had enough yarn - silly me, I said yes! Ah well, maybe she'll offer again when I go for the patterns. Posted by Picasa

Back of Shrug

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Finished Olympic Shrug!

It's not the best picture - hope to post on a live model before I leave, but it's done! Added to the list of COMPLETED projects - phew! Posted by Picasa

Heading into the Medal Round

Things are heating up here in the Cottage. Things that have nothing to do with DH keeping the woodstove stocked, although it is much appreciated.

I finished the tie and even though I had my reservations, I am really pleased with how it is turning out. I plan on staying up to watch the Ice Dancing and put the shrug together. I'm feeling the heat though because I'm leaving for an overnight trip tomorrow and won't have access to my computer for posting my progress. If I can get the shrug done tonight, I can post in the morning. Can't you just feel the pressure? I'm hoping for a Seth Wescott or Hannah Teter experience and not the Bode Miller or Lindsey Kildow variety. Ouch! DNF doesn't sound good at all.

Unfortunately I won't be able to visit any LYS while I'm away but I'm surely taking a project or two to work on in the doctor's office and later on at the motel. Oh, which WIP will be chosen to make the trip?! That will be a fun diversion. I'll be driving 300 miles tomorrow - taking my dear friend to an appointment in the city. She's 88 and still drives locally but is hesitant to make the longer trips by herself. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my fireball of a friend. She's an amazing lady. She's been through a lot of rough spots in her life but has come through them intact and with an incredible faith that is definitely inspiring. We have the best time talking and laughing while I learn plenty about how to do this thing called life with integrity. I'm sure I'll have a story or two to tell when I get back. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Baffling Belt Blueprints

Oy! What an headache! I've spent way too much time trying to figure out a belt for my shrug. I finally settled on something close to what I think the designer was going for but I wasted a good evening and part of the day searching for just the right look. Rather than get stuck on this project, I decided to press forward with my original thoughts. I had, in fact, crocheted about 25 rows this way yesterday and then frogged it because I wanted something a little more substantial. As my friend Tracey would say "Holy Buckets!" I really could be close to sewing it on by now.

I wanted to debut this creation at church tomorrow - will that be enough to spur me on today? Hard to tell. But I know this - I'm looking forward to getting back to some other projects. Like the Granny Bag I started a while back or some Scrubbies that are made with colored netting. I need a change, that's for sure. With that in mind, I'm off to finish the belt. Check back tomorrow to see if I finished it. ;-) Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006

Finished Fabric

Woo Hooo! I have finished crocheting the fabric for my shrug. I started crocheting the tie but the silly pattern has another mistake (or it is not written clearly enough for someone of my experience - advanced - to decipher) so I am making my own pattern.

I am hoping to get the sewing part done, either tonight or Saturday. And then I will be finished! This really is amazing because I used to be the kind of crocheter that would get frustrated with flawed patterns and quit when I couldn't figure out the directions. Now I just improvise and make the pattern work for me. This kind of trial and error is risky but has made me a better crocheter in the long run.

My newest dream is to design a garment of my own - maybe a skirt or sweater. And then who knows?! I don't know if I'll ever design for a living - I've found it usually kills the enjoyment for me when I'm under deadlines - but I do know that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought I would do! Wishing all my Team Wearables teammates similar Olympic success! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Twelve Rows left in Torino Games!

OK, it doesn't look like I accomplished much yesterday. In reality, I didn't - eight rows is not much. But I only have 12 rows left! In my defense, Wednesday is the day that I don't have time to think, eat or breathe. Between tutoring, after-school club at church and worship team practice, I am gone from noon until eight. When I got home last night I had a hard time focusing on both the Olympics and my crochet. I finally curled up with the heating pad on my feet (there is Arctic air coming in this week but no snow) and fell asleep watching the speed skating. Luckily, I have all morning to crochet today and this afternoon, two hours in the car with my hubby for a quick trip to the city! Check back tomorrow for a possibly finished garment!? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Olympics Day 5

I think the neck shaping went very well. It was a little easier than I thought it would be. I have 22 more rows to finish the right sleeve. Then all that's left is the sewing and crocheting the belt tie. I am thrilled with the results. It didn't take too much thinking about how to enlarge the pattern slightly when the time came. My gauge being consistent has been both a surprise and a pleasure - I feel like a professional at this point!

If you haven't been to my blog recently you'll want to scroll down to view Lyn's Felted Red Hat. Didn't it turn out fabulous!? I'd love to try felting a bag or something else that size doesn't matter so much. (I don't think the sailor sweater my grandma knitted me when I was thirteen counts!) I'll have to keep my eye out for a pattern that I like.

I've also added a syndication button to my sidebar just in case some of you want to add my blog to your web clips! Isn't blogging fun?! Hope you enjoy visiting often! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Lyn's Felted Hat

This hat was made by Lyn from Moab over on the Crochet Partners List. It is the first of her Crochet Olympics projects. Lyn made her hat of Merino Wool and then felted it. Doesn't she look too young to be a Red Hatter?! See below for another view of the hat. Great job, Lyn! Posted by Picasa

Hat View Two

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Olympics, Oscars and Overcoming Obstacles

I'm finished with the left sleeve. I have 5 more rows for the shoulder and will be doing the neck shaping later today. I am so excited about this project! At first I wasn't sure I would enjoy doing it (you remember my intention was that this would be for Brianne) for myself. I began to doubt my color choice, wondering if I could even adjust the pattern to fit me, I just wasn't sure it was a good project. Well now that I'm this far into it, I'm really excited about it.

You have to admit the Olympics have way of generating excitment. Before the games began, I had no idea who Shaun White was. I'm just not a snowboarding kinda gal. But it was really fun watching this guy compete. It made me want to see more. I was disappointed to see Michelle Kwan leave, but I'm anticipating seeing what Emily Hughes will show us - after all her sister came to Salt Lake in the same team position and ended up winning gold . . . I think Sasha Cohen must be nervous!

All the Olympics coverage makes me think of my favorite Olympics-themed movie Chariots of Fire. If you've never seen this film and you love the spirit of the Olympic games, watch it! It won four Oscars, including Best Picture. I would be hard pressed to say that there are any films at this years Academy Awards, that are the caliber of this movie. What I love most about this movie is that the two competitors learn to overcome the obstacles in the way of achieving their goals.

Which is how I have felt about my own 'Olympics' goal. I'm learning to overcome my expectations, my prejudices and my self-doubt to create a project worthy of the GOLD! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Crochet Olympics

Making my swatch gauge for the Crochet Olympics wasn't as easy as it looks. First of all, I chose for my project, the Beatrice Shrug from the Berroco website. I'm using a Debbie Bliss wool/cotton yarn in taupe to make it monochrome. It's a really nice yarn that I got on clearance a while back. Although it does have a tendency to split if I get careless with my tension. The problem came when there were no specific instructions for the swatch. I had to estimate the number of chains to use for the pattern. Then as I got to the second row of it, I discovered a mistake in the pattern. It took a while ot figure out that it was actually a mistake. Because I only went through the pattern twice to get the swatch.

The great thing is that my gauge was perfect. I have two extra balls of yarn. And all that's left is the doing. I just hope I like the finished project as much as I like the swatch! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Valentine's Gifts Are Finished

I finished Chloe's purse just minutes ago. Just in time to begin my Crochet Olympics project - which I couldn't begin last night because we were at a baby shower. Tonight we are having friends over to watch their hometown girl try for a gold medal in the women's moguls. I have to do my swatch gauge first, and I hope I can concentrate a little on the games while I'm crocheting. The Olympics are going to be a real social event in our home this year. We have several friends who don't normally watch tv and we've invited them to come in and see it with us anytime. Hope all my Team Wearables teammates are doing well. See you at the Medals Ceremony! Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

Valentine's Purse Number Two

I crocheted this one right under Michaela's nose! She was working on her Senior Project - she's writing and illustrating a children's book - while we watched Dancing with the Stars and Kate and Leopold. She asked what it was when I had just the base and about four inches of the bottom done. I flipped it over my head and told her it was my new Jackie Kennedy hat. we had a few laughs, then she asked me to turn it into a beret because she would wear it. After that she got so caught up in her project that I guess she forgot about it. the pattern is from the same booklet I used for Brianne's purse.

I also started Chloe's purse. It's coming along nicely and I should be able to post it tomorrow. I have to drive 60 miles today to pick up a cake for tonight's baby shower so I won't have as much time to crochet. But I have to have it finished before the Olympics start so I can begin my new shrug. I'm really looking forward to doing a garment. I hope it turns out well.

In other news, I'm really excited about the fact that my parents have finally entered the 21st Century! They bought a computer this week and are now online. I'm sure they were not the last household on earth without one, but it was frustrating not to be able to email or point them to a cool website (like this one - Hi mom! Hi dad!)

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

First Valentine's Purse Done!

Wow, I really am back in the groove. I worked this up yesterday, between being a reading tutor, working with the kids at church, worship team practice, and dinner with pastor and his wife. Total time spent was about four hours! I couldn't find a 'real' button that worked with the back so I crocheted one. The pattern is one from Leisure Arts Leaflet #3775 called In The Bag. Of course I tweaked the pattern to be more of what Brianne would like - which means I made it a little bit smaller, used a different weight of yarn, and crocheted the button.

Michaela's purse comes from the same booklet. I am still planning on the Striped Purse for Chloe. Of course, I have to have them done - not only in time for Valentine's Day - before the Crochet Olympics begin! Unfortunately, I'm going to get a late start on that project! The baby shower for my new little friend is at the same time as the opening ceremonies. I'm not worried much though, if I truly have my groove back, I think I can handle it.

The challenge in my particular project is that this is the first time I have done a garment and I am enlarging it slightly from the pattern. I had thought to do it for Brianne, but she decided at the last minute that she wouldn't care for it as much as she first thought (that's no BIG surprise!) Then I realized I had the perfect weight and quantity of yarn to make it for me! I had ordered 16 skeins of Debbie Bliss wool/cotton to make a sweater a while back and it was tucked safely away in it's original shipping carton, just waiting for it's chance at the big time. Now it has dreams of Olympic glory - or at least of being crafted into something a bit more functional! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How I Got My Crochet Groove Back

Well, I didn't particularly want to go to the meeting - the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) meeting. Daughter #2 said "I'll do better on the test if you go to the meeting." I didn't think I needed to go to the meeting. But go, I did. And I thought "Since I'm going to be sitting still for two hours, I might as well take something to work on."

I took the blanket I'm making for the little guy I looked after last week. Well, I crocheted like a madwoman. Turns out the meeting was mostly for parents whose children are at risk of doing poorly on the test - which daughter #2 is NOT. Turns out she (and daughter #3) got 30 extra-credit points in English class for having a parent attend. Lucky for her it picked me up out of my crochet slump and now I'm almost done with the blanket.
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Valentine Doily

This is one of the WIP's I started to try to get my crochet groove back. It's a little time consuming with the changing of thread every round or two but it is working up rather nicely . . . don't you think? At least it will be a sweet gift for one of my girlfriends.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 03, 2006

It's a Blog Button!

Alright, so I'm having a crochet slump . . . I'm just not focusing very well. So I've been playing with my blog again and I created a button for my site. Isn't it perty?! Maybe someday I will have a full-fledged website to display my creations on . . . with a store and everything! Now that would be cool.

But I really need to get over my slump. I'm not sure why I can't get excited about crocheting. I have some really great projects that I'm working on. I just can't seem to stick with one long enough to get anything done. I'm signed up for the Crochet Olympics too. I need to train!

Maybe I'll just read a good book this weekend and give the crochet thing a rest. I really wanted to get the Table Runner done. I guess it's taken the wind out of my sails. I should just force myself . . . nah.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Little Good-natured Rhyme For the BIG Game!

Ok, so this isn't really crochet related . . . but the cottage will be alive with the sounds of helmets and shoulder pads clashing and colliding this weekend! We are so looking forward to seeing the Seahawks make their first Superbowl appearance on Sunday. In honor of this momentous occasion, I've written a little tribute to my favorite team!

As Superbowl XL approaches
The Seahawks and all of their coaches
Are preparing for battle
Amidst Steeler prattle
Which will be met with touchdown reproaches!


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WIP - Table Runner

This is the modest start I have on my table runner.

Having a two year old around the house this week while my friend C is getting ready to come home with baby has left little time for crochet. But I wouldn't trade this week for anything! We've had a lot of fun visiting baby, playing hard . . .and we've even had a few naps in the process.

With Superbowl coming on Sunday, it's safe to say it might not be done in time but we're hoping to have a great party anyway! How can we not, watching our beloved Seahawks in their first ever Superbowl appearance!? J & C will be here with new baby and family. C and I have great plans to continue our needling of DH who was mistaken for baby's Grandpa in the hospital!

Big brother tried to take over the newest blanket I'm making. I already have someone in mind for it so I now have a new WIM. I think I'll make a huge Granny Square with Wool-ease in "Wood" What a manly little blanket that will make! Posted by Picasa