Friday, May 30, 2008

Back so soon?

OK, so it's only been two days since I last posted. I can do that! Especially since it was at least two weeks between the two previous posts. Gotta make up for lost time somewhere, right?

So I snuck away from work for an hour or so last night to get to SnB, which I've missed for the past three weeks for a variety of reasons.

As I was sitting and chatting with Pam, and showing her the progress on mom's doily (she's very aware of my prior doilyphobia), I glanced over at the sale shelves, and dang if this gorgeous yarn, in just my colors isn't still sitting there just waiting for me to buy it! Well, it's been waiting for a couple of weeks now, and I just couldn't make it wait any longer. It is a hand-dyed yarn from a local dyer in El Dorado, Kansas (and for those of you in California, apparently in Kansas they say El Doraydo). Anyway, it's a beautiful, soft, superwash from Sugar Bunny Boulevard dyed especially for Twist. Mmmmmm.

While there I also saw these great new shawl pins Shelly got, also made locally at Naked Pines Ranch in Mulvane, Kansas. Great pin, cool bead, and you can't beat $5. The colors are just right for virtually all of my yarns. It will be fun to use on the Sugar Bunny yarn above. I'm thinking a Solomon's knot shawl with it maybe. But I love the simplicity of the shawl pin.

And, an update on mom's doily. I am one and one-half rounds from being finished with the stitching on the doily. I still have some ends to weave in where I had to join, and obviously when it's finished. So far, so good. The final round is pretty much all triple crochet, all the way around for a fairly solid edging. But by now, the pattern is apparent and I love it. I really hope mom likes it. I swear I am going to put a note in with it that says if she doesn't like it she needs to send it back to me! And when this one is done I've got the thread for a large doily for the top of the piano (where this one was photographed).

I got the top of the piano cleaned off and am trying hard to break everyone of the habit of piling all their junk there. So I put a cloth I bought in Germany on it, and added some fresh flowers. I think the flowers may become a semi-permanent addition to the piano, because they just add such a nice touch. The doily pattern I have chosen is a pineapple/spiderweb combo that makes up to a 28-inch diameter. That ought to do the job.

And I am also planning to make an oblong doily for the top of the entertainment center. It needs a little help, too. I just need to find the right pattern. Maybe I'll just turn into one of those people who has doilies on every surface. Of course, I have to find most of the surfaces in my home first. The piano was just a first step! :-)

And finally, I picked up a couple more balls of Cascade Superwash. The colors spoke to me on Saturday when I was at Twist for our monthly charity crochet workshop. Again, I'm just seeing some sort of wrap or cape or shawl. The heathery color will be the main body and I plan to trim it in the dark brown. Mmmm it's soft and cuddly and washable!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Evan lands tomorrow!

My soldier is coming home! My oldest son, Evan, has been in Iraq for the past 14 months, and his plane is scheduled to land at McChord AFB, Washington (state) tomorrow at 1 p.m. I wish so much that I could be there to meet him. But that means that he is already out of Iraq and somewhere between here and there, and out of harm's way. I've known the call would be coming for a couple of weeks, but I didn't know that it would bring such incredible relief and emotion.

I am so proud of him and what he's done over the past year. Most Americans really don't have much idea about what's really happening over there. in fact, most of us just go through each day without really thinking about it. Yet, every day, soldiers go out and put their lives on the line for a country that many people couldn't even locate on a map. They do it without thinking twice. Many of them are wounded in the line of duty and as soon as they are physically able, return to duty. These young men and women are heroes in the truest sense of the word.

I am grateful to live in a country that raises young people to stand strong and who are willing to put their own lives in jeopardy to bring freedom to others, even those who don't want or appreciate it. God bless the USA!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Starting a doily

So, my mom's birthday is coming up, and I was having a hard time figuring out what to do for her. I tend not to do a lot of crochet in thread, but decided to break out of my comfort zone and try a doily for her for a birthday present. The picture above is four rounds of the pattern, which is from a McCall's crochet booklet. The pattern is called Trumpeting Tulips and should be about 14" across when finished.
This picture is after nine rounds of the pattern. After round eight you finish off and start the finishing rounds in a different spot.
Here's what I have done so far, the thread, and the cover of the pattern booklet, with the pattern I am making on the cover. I am using DMC Cebelia, and I really love the slight sheen to the thread, as well as the smooth touch and tight coil. It feels almost like silky, fine rope. It holds the stitch definition really well. I think this thread will block really easily. The color is a really light brown. It looks like the color of chocolate milk to me. I am making it for the coffee table in mom's basement where she has decorated in brown and turquoise. I hope she likes it (fingers crossed).

And I am finding that doilies aren't nearly as scary as I used to think.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Scarf finished, bag started233 cvbbbbn

I finished the Boteh scarf I started a few weeks ago. I used Sockotta yarn in a cotton blend. I wasn't sure I would like how the colors would pool, but I do. And I like the fact that the edging sometimes matches the scarf color and sometimes doesn't. I hadn't actually thought about how that would work, but it ended up all right. I am looking forward to wearing this scarf in the warm weather. It is colors I love!

This is such a great design, and so easy to work up, while still looking really great when it's finished. I think the design looks more complicated than it actually is.

I also joined the Haekelbeutel crochet-along on Ravelry. I've been wanting to make this bag for quite a while, and we are joining them in our CGOA chapter meeting this month. then I found the CAL on Ravelry and that was all the motivation I needed. This is the first of 16 squares needed for the bag. I really don't want to have to line the bag, so I am trying to crochet it really tight. I am using Peaches and Creme cotton (on a cone) in the pepppercorn colorway and using a size 0 steel hook (3.25 mm). I think it will be pretty much just what I want, at least for a first bag. I will probably make more than one, and on the next I think I will make the corner chains shorter so the holes are smaller.

Oh, and in case you didn't notice, Sparky helped me type the title of this post. He loves to climb on my lap whenever I get my computer out and he often lays his head on the keyboard or walks across it. This time, it was the walking.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Feeling happy

Just feeling a little happy today that next month marks my 24th wedding anniversary. Sometimes I can't believe it's been that long, and sometimes it seems much longer. All in all, it's been pretty terrific 24 years. Lots of work; some ups and downs along the way, but definitely worth it. Lovely. And even with lots of bumps and bangs, the ring has made it, too (although not without a couple of trips to the jewelry hospital!).

Monday, May 05, 2008

For cold shoulders

My sister inspired me to make a quick crochet project. You can see her version here. It's a pattern that is found in Stitch - n - Bitch Crochet: Happy Hooker. I was going to a conference on Saturday, and wanted it to wear in case the meeting room was chilly (and it was).
I didn't care for the narrowness of the original pattern. It doesn't meet at the front and has a long tie with pom-poms on the ends. The original pattern also just drops over the shoulders a tiny bit. I wanted mine a little longer and to meet in front so I could use a button and not ties. So, I made the L/XL size, and adapted it to fit one more shell motif. The size came out perfect. I used Berroco Comfort yarn, and it took less than two skeins.
I couldn't find a button in my box that I liked, so a quick trip to the fabric store netted this one. I love the little details and it is also quite lightweight so it doesn't pull on the neckline of the wrap. Overall I am pleased with the way it turned out and plan to make another one.

I started it on Thursday night, worked on it a little on Friday morning before leaving for the conference, crocheted in the car (I wasn't driving ;-) ), and finished it that night to wear the next day. I got lots of compliments on it!