Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grandparents

I am missing my grandparents today. My mom's mom, who loved to crochet doilies and baby dresses. We used to go to her house on Saturday nights and watch the Lawrence Welk Show and Hee-Haw. I would lay on the royal blue carpet with my sisters and we would draw pictures in the carpet with our fingers, using the nap of the fibers. Hers was a tiny house, in a quiet neighborhood, where the alleys ran behind the houses and the front yards just had sidewalks between them, no busy roads. We would play in front and in back, and suck the nectar out of her honeysuckles when they were in bloom. She always made us red Kool-Aid and my favorite treat at her house was a slice of white bread with butter and white sugar on it.

She had a cuckoo clock in her kitchen. I loved the smell of her house. She died not too many years after we moved to Kansas. She was born and raised here, and only moved away after she married my grandfather, whom I never knew. He died when my mom was a teenager. She told me once that before she ever saw an ocean, that people were always telling her how incredible it was. When she finally saw it, she said, "It was beautiful all right, but it still couldn't compare to the sight of a breeze blowing across a field of golden wheat." I think she was always a Kansan at heart. It makes me feel like I belong here too.

My dad's mom, who taught me how to crochet my first afghans. When I was little they lived in a giant (to me, anyway) house with a huge yard. Grandpa always had a garden in back. And apple trees. And pie cherry trees in the front yard. Two big rock pillars stood on either side of the driveway, amd my cousins and I used to try to climb up them and sit on them. I wasn't usually successful. My uncle, who is only 8 years older than me, would chase us all around the yard and play games with us. My grandmother always had time for the grandkids. She kept a stash of awesome toys and we always got all the hugs we wanted (and sometimes more!). When I think of my grandfather, I think of his capable hands. They were rough from all the hard work he did, but they were always gentle too. And the family meals. Oh, how delicious they were.

After we moved to California and I was a teenager, we sometimes went back to Utah for Thanksgiving. The family was so big by that time, that we often had our meal at the church down the street from my grandparents' house. They had moved to a smaller, newer house by this time, but Grandpa still had his garden and fruit trees and Grandma still had all our favorite toys. Thanksgiving meals were always crazy fun. All my cousins (I am the oldest of 22 grandkids) would be there (usually) and we'd play basketball in the gym, or football in the snow.

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This is a five-generation picture of my oldest son Evan, me, my dad, his mom and her mom.

My grandpa died just a few months after I moved back to the states from Germany. My grandmother died just a few years ago, several months after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. I got to spend a week with her just a month before she died. It was an incredible week and she taught me so much in those few days. After Grandpa died, I would go back to Utah in the summers for events at BYU, and I would always make a few days to spend with Grandma while I was there. We would sit up until the wee hours talking and giggling like little girls. Occasionally we even drew scoldings from my aunt, who lived in the house my grandma's apartment was attached to. She told me about beng the oldest of five children (I am too). She talked to me about what it was like to live during the war (World War II) with two small children. We baked muffins. She never learned to drive, so I took her to the beauty shop for her hair appointments. She was always my cheerleader.

I am so blessed to have been born of goodly grandparents. What a blessing they have been to me. How I lookd forward to seeing them again someday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I tackled a big project and . . .

look what I got!

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The photo is a little overexposed, but I love this shawl very much. Here's another shot of it, where you can see the detail and the colors are closer to true:

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I started the shawl at the beginning of October, and worked on it throughout last month and this month.Considering how fine the yarn was and how big it ended up (nearly 8 feet by about 2 feet), I think I did well to A) finish it in a timely manner and B) not get bored with it and toss it aside.

And blocking it was an adventure unto itself! I had to use the floor in my bedroom and I could barely get around it. It took about an hour, but this is what it looked like once it was all pinned out and drying:

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I think I am willing to tackle more challenging projects like this!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yarn!

I just wanted to share this photo. It is a basket that I keep on the entertainment center in my room. It is where I keep some of my favorite yarns. I need to use more of them, but sometimes I just want to look at them and pet them.

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It already looks different, because I have changed out a few of them. I have wound a couple so they are ready to use, and I have added some new ones to it. And I am expecting more in the mail soon. Yarn makes me happy!

Harry Potter 7!

I really should have written this post several days ago, but I am just sitting down to do it. The movie was amazing! Oh, it was wonderful. I think it was my favorite of all of them so far. I had so much fun. I went with my husband, son and daughter-in-law. Midnight show. So great! And of course, we couldn't go without some fun crochet items, so I made hats and scarves for us.

I am definitely a Hufflepuff, and my daughter-in-law, Michelle, is definitely a Gryffindor. So, she got Gryffindor colors and I got Hufflepuff colors.

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And Mark played along and wore Hufflepuff colors as well!


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It was a great time. There were a few people in costume and it was fun to see them. I am thinking of going in costume for the last movie. It might be fun to go all out for the last one!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Update to "Oh, it's been so long"

Well, I was just back reading through some past posts, and I ran across the one mentioned in the title of this one. It has a nice list of some projects I was working on in early August.  So here's an update on all of them.

1. The cotton country shawl is done. I really like it. And the pattern was easy and fun to make. The solid rows are evenly spaced in the pattern, but I rarely make a pattern without some alterations, and that is the case with this one as well. I just sort of spaced the solid rows out wherever I decided I wanted one.

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2. The alpaca lace scarf is only a few rows in. I really need to get working on it again. It's a nice pattern and fun to make. But I have had so many other projects that have taken my time. I'll get back to it. I know I will. I just don't know when.

3. Traveling Woman? Well, um, yeah it's still in the swatch stage. Meaning all I have done on it is a swatch-sized bit. Again, I know I'll get back to it. Just not sure when.

4. Circular lace shawl. I tried to work on this one. I really wanted to love it. I did. And I tried and tried to love it. But I didn't. So I frogged it. Ripped the whole thing out. It had to have been at least 800 yards of lace weight yarn. But I love that yarn and I want it to be something that I will love to wear. This shawl wasn't it. Sigh. Here's a picture of it from a while ago. It was bigger than this when I decided to take it out. And the frogging? It took me about three hours to do.

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And finally, I definitely finished the shrug I needed for Alyx's wedding. I love how it turned out. It fit perfectly and looked like it was made for the dress. But I guess it was, wasn't it? It was delightfully easy and fun to make. And the button is just the perfect touch. Here's a picture from the day of the wedding:

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And here's a detail of the button:

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I first placed the button right at the top of the neckline, but then when I tried it on, it just didn't work right. So I moved it down a little and then it was just right.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ramblings III

Well, how about a little bit more about yarny things? Yeah, that's mostly where my mind wanders these days. And it's so much fun, why not? So for your yarny pleasure, I introduce you to Melgrin. He's a batty little thing, but he sure can clean up.

He's awfully cute when he's asleep:

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And when he starts to wake up:

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And when he's ready to get to work:

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And he even wore my little Hufflepuff house crest pin for the "photo shoot."

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Ack! A mouse in the house!

Yep. I thought I saw one this morning in the kitchen as I walked in there to let the dogs out. Then I thought it must have been my imagination. Surely Sparky the hunter would have known there was a mouse, wouldn't he? After all, he catches the mice outside...

Then tonight while I was at work, Kyle calls and tells me he sees a "rat" in the kitchen. Well, I know it's not a rat. Just a little mouse. But that means a trip to Walmart on the way home from work to pick up some traps.

And while at Walmart, I saw a for-real "people of Walmart" person! I swear I did. But I was too chicken to take a picture. I'm sure she would have known I had. After all, she and I were the only people there it seemed like. So, I don't have to feel too left out anymore. I go to that website and think I never see anyone who looks like that there. But tonight, I did. It's actually kind of scary when you see them in person.

Oh, and just for cuteness' sake, here's a picture of Sparky the hunter:

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And if he does catch the mouse in the house ( I feel like I should be saying "Fox in socks"!) I'm not sure what I'll do!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Another Saturday night . . .

And here I am. I cleaned my desk off at work tonight. And K-State is cleaning Texas' clock on the football field. And I was able to spend some time at Twist playing with yarn. That always makes for a better day. And I had yummy Chinese food for dinner. It's a newsroom staple. But it tastes so good.

I am looking forward to being able to set my clock back an hour tonight. I sure can use the extra hour of sleep! Maybe I will actually be on time to church in the morning. It's a possibility. And my Lozenge Shawl is completely finished, ends woven in and all. I think I will wear it to church tomorrow. It is so soft!

And speaking of yarn, this is my basket of luscious yarns that sits on top of the entertainment center -- which doubles as a yarn storage unit! -- in my room. It makes me so happy to look up and see it sitting there. I have ideas for some of the yarn in it. I need to find ideas for more of the yarn in it. I took this picture outside in the sunshine. And, of course it's not exactly what I see when I look at my basket, because I took this photo from above.

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Sometimes I just want to bury my face in it. Silly, I know. But it's comforting.

And I got a lovely box of treats in a swap in one of the book groups I am in on Ravelry. Sarah who lives in West Yorkshire spoiled me. Lovely yarn, a fun tote bag from her local yarn store, and lots of other goodies. She also made the cutest set of stitch markers. See all the good stuff she sent?

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Ramblings II

Oh, I feel I must do a little more rambling. Lately I feel like that's all I'm capable of. Maybe it is. If so, then I am OK with it. So, some random thoughts.

First, I love words. Yep. I do. And I love that I work with words. And words are where I turn for learning, and comfort and making things. But sometimes the words don't work. And I am always amazed when I do better from a picture than words. But this shawl? Yes, the picture is what did it for me. I have not knit from a chart before, but the words in this pattern were confusing to me, and the picture made sense. Crazy, I know, but it's true.

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It will be perfect to wear with my wool winter coat. I am quite pleased with my first attempt at chart knitting. Maybe I will tackle a bigger lace project and use just the charts. My, that would be daring, wouldn't it?

Oh, hey, shoes! I love shoes. But not in the way my sister loves shoes. She loves heels and crazy shoes like that. Me? I love comfortable and fun shoes. And Converse. Yes, I love to wear Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Not great for doing a lot of walking, but seriously comfortable for sitting at my desk at work! Well, I found a pair that I love very much. They make me quite happy.

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How could you wear these and not be happy? Impossible, I am sure. They will likely be on my feet when I go to see the new Harry Potter movie!

I love yarn

Does this surprise you? I think not. But I do. And I love making things with yarn. And I really, really love it when a stitch pattern and a variegated yarn just work perfectly. It doesn't always happen that way, but this time it did for me.

I had a large hank of worsted weight yarn in a lovely mix of blues and green, and I knew I wanted to make a shawl or wrap of some kind with it. At 560 yards, it was plenty for something of decent size. I tried two or three ideas, but nothing was working. I started looking through my stitch dictionaries to see if I could find a simple pattern that would set off the yarn. I succeeded!

I call this the Lozenge Stole because the stitch I used was called that. It worked up very quickly and was so easy to memorize since it was a one-row repeat. I am so happy with how it turned out. I hope it dries quickly so I can wear it!

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And here's shot of the stitch detail:

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I had to block it on the top bunk bed so I could get it spread out somewhere that the dogs wouldn't decide it made a nice bed for them. I think it's about 6 feet long and between 18 and 24 inches wide (I really ought to get out the tape measure and measure it, but I am too lazy right now). It should be a nice and cozy wrap now that the weather is getting a little chilly.

Ramblings

Well, that could probably be the title of any post on this blog. Tonight, it's ramblings about knit and crochet. Well, that's nothing new either, is it?

How about I just share some fun projects that I have made recently?

Here is the set of place mats and a dishcloth that I made for my daughter-in-law. They are for her birthday. It was in July. I gave these to her in October. Yes. I am lame like that.

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They were fun to make, because they are just big circles. Each one is a little different than the others because I just adjusted on the fly to keep them laying flat. The dishcloth just finished off the big old skein of yarn I was using. I actually really like how they turned out.

I also made this great granny square hat. It's a Hufflepuff hat. I plan to wear it to the premier of the next Harry Potter movie. Everyone should be able to tell that I am a Hufflepuff!

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Here it is being modeled by my lovely African elephant grass basket. But it fits me perfectly and I love it!

And while I am on the subject of hats, here's another one I made recently. The yarn is from Sugar Bunny Boulevard, a lovely little yarn store up the road from me a bit. The Central Kansas Yarn Shop Hop was the second-to-last weekend of October, and that was the only shop I visited other than Twist. I found this amazing skein of Malabrigo Chunky, and when I picked it up, it told me it wanted to be a hat and to warm my head. I love it when yarn speaks to me that way!

Well, I certainly couldn't deny its desire could I? So a hat it must be. And I had just enough left over to make a little flower to embellish it with.

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As you can see, I am having as much fun as ever playing with the yarn and hooks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A little before I say good night

I've had quite the long day, but I just wanted to write a quick post before I hit the sack tonight. I have been teaching again this semester after taking a year off. Just one public speaking class, but it's been quite the challenge getting back to a routine of being in class twice a week. Shoot, that reminds me. I need to figure out a speaking order for my students and get it posted for them. Anyway, so the day started out with class. Today, we watched Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Even as many times as I have seen it, it is still amazingly powerful. I love this particular lesson on language and delivery.

After class I got to spend a little time in the yarn before I had to be at work. I love to spend Wednesday afternoons at the yarn shop because I get to see so many of my friends. They inspire me, encourage me, listen to me, love me. It's awesome. Today, I realized that I am nearly half finished with a shawl I have been working on all month. I gave myself the deadline of Oct. 31 to reach the halfway point. I was so excited to be almost at my goal. I love this pattern. It's a long, rectangular stole made of lace weight yarn. Baruffa Cashwool to be exact. It's heavenly.

Here's how far I am so far:

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And here's what it will kind of look like once it gets all blocked (thanks to Connie and Kelly — or was it Susan? I should be able to recognize the hands! It was Jen! I knew I should have been able to recognize those hands — for the assistance):

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I am so pleased with it and I can't wait to wear it. I know I am going to love it. I have several other projects going right now too, but this one has been my focus.

I also bought a new crochet book on Monday. Jinna had it at the Crochet Guild chapter retreat, and I loved it. I found it at Barnes and Noble and couldn't pass it up. I love it because it's practical, it's easy to follow, it's got stitch patterns/motifs *and* project patterns. And it's beautiful! It's "The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet." I highly recommend it.

OK, well that is enough for tonight. I am ready to hit the sack, and I think the silly dogs are finally starting to settle down. At least I hope they are.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Some yarn, and some finished objects

I think there may be a few of these posts in the offing. I have quite a few finished items and I have added gobs of lovely yarns to my stash. I will just throw a few of them out there every once in a while. I am having as much fun as ever making things. For a while I felt like I was spending more time with knitting than crochet, but in reality I don't think I was. I think it just feels like it because I can crochet so fast, and it takes me a long time to finish knit projects.

Here are a few photos just for fun:
This is a really fun chicken pot holder. I gave this one away. I need to make one for me.

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Isn't this a pretty yarn? It's dyed by my friend Pacasha. And it's a perfect color for this time of year, it's called "Apple"!

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I love making pot holders and dishcloths. They are instant gratification. And fun. And cute. Witness:

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I love shawls. I sometimes even wear them. But this one? This one I wear. Noro Sekku. Laceweight yarn. So soft. And lovely colors. And weighs nearly nothing.

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That's enough for now. I have lots more to post, so keep your eye out!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hooking away!

 A few members of our local chapter of the Crochet Guild of America, KS My Stitch, snuck out of the city for a weekend retreat. What a great break it was. One of the things I love about living in Kansas is the wide open spaces. Don't get me wrong, I love mountains and forests and trees, but I love, love, love the prairie. In some weird way it reminds me of the wide open of the ocean. Granted, there is no awesome beachy, salty, smell (rather, you occasionally get assaulted with the smell of feedlots and cattle, but that is beside the point), but the wind across the grass looks an awful lot like waves, and I can always see the sky. I love the sky.

Anyway, six of us went up to Severy, Kansas, near the Fall River Wildlife Refuge, where one of the gals has a cabin. We sat on the deck, with the sun shining around us, the wind blowing lightly over us, and looked out over a beautiful scene.

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And we had a great place to sit and crochet and visit too:

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And we had so much fun. We laughed and crocheted and laughed and ate and laughed. And then we slept and woke up to this:

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Yes, I was actually awake and witnessed this sunrise with my own eyes. Those pictures were indeed taken with my camera by me! It was really beautiful.

What a relaxing and re-energizing weekend. I really needed it. And it has inspired me to sit a little more often when I have a minute and bust out my hooks. Fabulous!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A long time . . . again

Well, I've been thinking about updating my blog for ages and I finally decided to do it. I have so many ideas and things that I want to post about, so it will end up being a series of posts.

Oh, so much has happened since I last posted (I really do need to get better at this, but I just keep saying that and not following through). So, I will just choose something random for today and then worry about all that other stuff later. Life is crazy as always. I forget to slow down -- although that's not such a problem as it used to be. But I am learning to make more of an effort at keeping me mentally healthy. It's awfully hard to keep everyone else that way if I am not.

This means that there is likely much more yarn and many more hooks in my future. As well as a little more thinking of others. I am not very good at that. I consider myself to be quite a selfish person, and that is not a quality I am comfortable with. I am really trying to be more thoughtful; to be more aware of others' needs; to be more in tune with people around me. To help meet others' needs. To do more to help them know they are loved. I know how much I appreciate it when someone tells me I am loved and I want to make people feel that way.

Tonight at work I looked up and out the newsroom windows. The sky was absolutely aflame with the colors that I only see in Kansas sunsets. Gorgeous. Amazing. And a reminder that there is something out there that is greater than me. A reminder that there is beauty everywhere. A reminder to stop, breathe, and take life one step at a time. A good reminder.

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Oh, it's been so long!

I am so far behind. I have so many things to say. I can't say them all at once. So this will be a short post, and I will take some time in the next few days to catch up.

First is the wedding. Oh, so many things happening in relation to that. Not mine, of course, but my daughter's. I have the best sister ever who has planned the whole reception. I owe her big time. It will be a lovely affair, this I know. The dress is beautiful and so is the bride; the groom is handsome; the reception will be lovely.

Next, the yarn. Oh yes. There has been a lot of it lately. As suits me. And laceweight. Oh, how I love the laceweight right now. Maybe it's because it has been so terribly hot at my house. Maybe because it's so soft. Maybe just because it's my current fancy. I don't know, but I love it and I am adding more to my stash. Down side? It takes longer to work into a finished project. That's OK. They are so lovely when they are done.

On the hooks and needles right now:
  1. A crochet country cotton shawl in a lovely blue cotton blend yarn (fingering weight) that will be oh-so-fun to wear with jeans. It's perfect.
  2. A crochet alpaca lace scarf. It's a beautiful heather green that reminds me of grass, and moss and the sea. It's so soft. And will be a beautiful lacy thing when it's done.
  3. A knit shawl called Traveling Woman. It is in a beautiful hand-dyed from a local dyer. Can't wait to see how it's going to look when it's knit up. It's lace also (in a fingering weight), so it will take me a while. 
  4. A crochet shawl that I have been working on (more off than on lately) in a lovely laceweight yarn for a year and a half. I really want to get it done. It's circular and I want it big. The bigger it gets, the longer each round takes.
And just off the hook: the crochet shrug I made for the wedding (no sleeveless dresses for me, thank you). I need to weave in ends, but otherwise, it's done. I love it. I will make more of these. Easy pattern, fast to make. I finished mine in about a week.

And lots of plans for lots more yarn. Oh, to have more time to knit and crochet. I hope I do soon!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Likely meandering thoughts

I am awake at an unseemly hour (at least for me). I was up at a little after 4 a.m. with a bad case of insomnia. I didn't go to bed until nearly 1, so I am working on approximately 3 hours of sleep (if you don't count the couple of times I woke up in the meantime. What this means, I'm not sure. But one thing is for sure, and that is that I will not have much power of concentration today.

Since I was up anyway, I decided to tackle the mountain of laundry in the laundry room. And I do mean mountain. I like to see instant results, so I put the big things like comforters and blankets and towels in first. Which is great because it does get the mountain shrunk faster. What's not so great about it is that the socks often get lost and don't get washed until I find the laundry room floor again. Then eventually, no one has socks, and I go to the store and buy some. Then I find the laundry room floor and I am overrun by socks. It's a vicious cycle.

And since I was already up, I felt like I should be working on my mom's crochet bag, but seriously, I am not sure I can concentrate enough to work on it. And I need to. Really. I missed a whole day of crocheting yesterday because I was doing major manual labor moving furniture and big time cleaning. In fact, I am paying the price today in my hips. Oh, they are sore. I should have medicated before going to bed. The pain probably contributed to the insomnia. But I love the new bedroom furniture very much and it will be so nice when the bedroom is actually finished. We sure aren't there yet.

And now, my toes are getting cold because the air conditioning vent is right behind my chair and the cold air is blowing under my chair and freezing my toes. Maybe I should turn the air conditioning back up a little. Or I could go find slippers. There is a whole box of my socks sitting right in front of me. Huh.

And now I think I need to post a picture, just because maybe I will feel better if I have something pretty on this page.


There we go. How about a Jamaican sunset? I could live there. Warm water, fresh pineapple, soft sand under my toes. ::Deep sigh::

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lots of hats for charity

I love to crochet. That is apparent even if you just glance casually through my blog. I also love Ravelry.com. It is one of the best finds ever. I have tried all kinds of new techniques, learned to knit, made new friends and had lots of fun in the process. What a great mix!

One of my favorite parts of Ravelry is the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup group. It really pushes me to finish projects I might not otherwise. It also offers lots of fun ideas for projects. And we get to play Quidditch. This most often involves creating things for charity, and this weekend was no exception. The great Quidditch coaches on HPKCHC put together a marvelous hat challenge and each team fielded four champions (one from each house). I represented the Third Year team for Hufflepuff. I knew that I would get far more hats made if I crocheted, and I have a great fall-back pattern that is just double crochet. So I challenged myself to make 10 hats today (since I did have to work after all). I exceeded my goal by finishing 12 hats! I am actually quite proud of myself. Here are all 12 hats:

I had a ton of fun making them, and now I will find a charity that can use them. They are all teen/adult size and machine wash and dry. And quite soft too. It was a fun day!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

More projects finished (finally!)

I tried really hard in April to get some of my unfinished knit and crochet projects finished. I have quite a few, so it's helpful to wrap up anything I can. I didn't accomplish quite as much as I had hoped, but did get a couple of things that I really wanted finished done.

First was the Tropical Breeze Shawl. This was such a fun pattern and it really worked up quickly. I love, love, love the Ella Rae yarn. Smooshy, soft, no splits, fabulous. Easy to work with and beautiful worked up. Here's a photo:

I wore it Friday night when I went to the ballet in Lincoln. It was wonderful and I am so glad I got it done in time to wear. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of it when it was blocking. It was crazy. I think I used 150 pins at least!

I also finished this little doily. I love doilies. I don't know what to do with them after I make them, but I like to make them! Maybe I will make a bunch of them and frame them on black fabric. That would look pretty and I could hang them in the living room near the piano. I'll have to think about that. Here's the one I just finished:



And I have a friend who is having a baby soon (if she hasn't already) and I really wanted to make her some pretty bibs and cute little summer sun hats for her. I was so happy with how they turned out and will make more. Fast and easy and really cute. The perfect pattern in my book!


And I finally finished the shawl I have been working on as a sample for the shop. It took me a long time to make, longer than I thought it would actually. And this picture is before blocking. I took it in and blocked it today, but forgot to take my camera so I don't have a picture of it blocked yet. It nearly doubled in size! It is really a beautiful shawl. I will go in tomorrow to weave in the ends of it, and plan to take a picture of it then. As a relatively new knitter, this is a project I am quite proud of!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another day, more stuff

So we went to dinner tonight at the cheap pizza buffet. It's almost always worth it with two teenage boys who can eat an amazing amount. A dad came in with his two kids, a little boy and a little girl. They were awfully cute, but the greatest thing was the little boy's cape. He had a Cars blanket he was wearing. It was awesome. I love it when parents will let their kids do stuff like that. It was another thing that made me smile.

On the yarn front, I am finally almost done with my Herbivore shawl for the yarn shop. This thing took me a very long time. I am a slow knitter I guess. I am down to the final five rows on the shawl. Here's a picture of it from a few days ago:

The pattern is by Stephen West, and once I memorized the four row repeat it was easier to work. I have, however, had to correct a few mistakes... Mostly getting backwards on the rib and having to undo the stitches on the row below and then do the stitch on the row I'm working. Oh, well.  It will get finished.

On Ravelry I am in a Harry Potter group that is so much fun. I am in Hufflepuff (and I love the yellow and black). Each term (three-month period) there are three sets of classes (one a month) and six classes in each set. Assignments are for projects that need to be started and completed during that month. There are also OWL assignments, which are projects that will take more than one month to finish. I have completed two terms in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup, but have not yet attempted an OWL. I think I might this term. I have a great pattern for a crochet sweater based on one Molly Weasley wore in the Order of the Phoenix movie. I need to get all my materials together and write my proposal. I need 13 colors of yarn for it!

And yes, to continue the rambling, I am now off to my book club where we will discuss "Three Cups of Tea." It was quite and interesting book, and I don't read much non-fiction. I am looking forward to hearing what the rest of the group thinks of it. Now I can read one of the library books I checked out. It's good to have a library. I wish I could read and knit or crochet at the same time.

And finally, I wish that two of my sisters will have exceptionally good news soon. I love them. I want them to be happy and healthy and have good things happen to them. I don't want them to have unhappy things happen to them. That is all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Musings

So as I was driving to work yesterday, the sun was shining and there was no wind (amazing, I know, but really, once in a while the wind does stop blowing here). It was a beautiful day. I turned a corner where a short stretch of road is divided by a drainage ditch and there were a bunch of kids (elementary school age) playing down by the water (which was more than normal because of the fabulous thunderstorm the day before). One small girl (maybe 5 or 6 years old), dressed in a pink dress, was a little away from the rest of the bunch. Next thing I know, she runs a few steps, leans over, and comes up with a huge cat in her arms. I mean big. This cat was almost as tall as she was! Well, it reached from her shoulders down to her thighs. Big gray tom cat. And it just hung in her arms with its front legs draped over her arm, and off she marched. It was freaking adorable!

It made me smile -- grin really. I had my sun roof open and my windows down. What a great feeling! I need to look harder for things that will make me smile. I know there are so many things in this workd that will if I just pay attention to them. And the kids that little girl was with? Yeah, getting pure enjoyment from playing in the creek and looking for little living things. Tadpoles? Fish? Crawdads? Maybe all of them. Absolute unfettered delight on their faces. Lovely reminder of the joys of childhood.

Another day not long ago, I was driving by the fire station nearest my house. It was another nice day and the station had its doors open to the nice weather. As I drove by, I glanced in and noticed the firefighters' pants and boots standing at the ready to be jumped into when the call came. I was struck by how dedicated these men are to all of us. They don't question a need, just jump up and go. And I thought of my baby brother who lives this life and am grateful for his dedication and sacrifice.

And finally, I stopped at my oldest son's house last night to pick up his dad's drill. Met by dogs and cats at the door, and have rarely been met by such excitement at my appearance! Big sloppy dog kisses all around. Lots and lots and lots of them. Clear up and down my face and all over my glasses. It was a  wonder I could see to drive home! Here's one of the main offenders:

This would be Han Solo, who is now much bigger than this, but still has just as much tongue hanging out! He weighs over 100 pounds, but still thinks he is a lap dog. I love him.

Monday, April 05, 2010

I think spring is finally here!

We've had lovely weather for the past week or so, and it has been so nice to see the sun. We really didn't see much of it this winter, and this winter also ended up being one of the most consistently cold winters in a long time.

And while I could do with less wind, well, at least the temperatures are nice and warm! It has been keep-the-sunroof-open kind of weather. And while thinking about the reason my family celebrated Easter yesterday, I took the opportunity to take the camera out and catch proof that spring really is here. Lots of proof in the blooms in the yard!



The peach tree is smothered in blossoms right now, and I think it had even more blossoms on it this morning than it did even yesterday!


Even the phlox in the front yard is almost there. A few little blooms and lots that will be open soon.



The redbud isn't quite open yet, but give it a few days and it will be amazing. But the Bradford pear across the street looks like it has been just covered in popcorn as you can see: