Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where the heck have I been?!? I'll start summarizing for you (mostly in pictures with LOTS of words).

I've been busy, and creative!

I've not managed to craft in the traditional sense of the word on a daily basis for a while now, but I'll try to recap.

Work, stress, arthritis have all managed to creep in and rob me of my crafting time.  Some are under my control, some have not been.  Let's start with the two tone hair:

My St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraising page  I am still collecting donations, BTW and would LOVE to hit $1,100!

For those who aren't familiar, St. Baldrick's Foundation is a non-profit whose goal is to raise money to help cure childhood cancer and improve the lives of those dealing with childhood cancer.

Right around  Feb. 25, 2014 my friend's 9 year old son joined up to donate his hair by having it shaved, and committed to raise $1,000 during the process.  How can you not be touched and motivated by that?  I was moved enough to also commit to raise $1,000 and have my hair shaved.  I had 34 days to do it.  And by golly, I did, and so did he!  (when I figured out I was shaving my hair which = I can do whatever I want, my boyfriend and I two-toned it!!)

For a few days after (before it started to grow back), I asked the girls at work to decorate my head for me.  Wearable art!

So, that was March 30th.  Spring didn't get here to Central New York until mid-May, so I made LOTS of hats:

The center & right pictures are the same pattern.

Link for the blue had w/ grey accent band

Pattern for the fall colored brim hat in the photo on the left

There's another one from the fuzzy multicolored yarn, but I can't find a picture of that.  I split between knit & crochet.

I also made what' called a diagonal baby blanket.  No, the picture isn't blurry, it's how the yarn made the blanket turn out.  It's the 1st thing I've ever knitted on the bias, and other than the fact that I don't like how the finished corner turned out, it's an ok pattern: diagonal baby blanket by Red Heart yarns

This was for a friend who was having her 2nd baby but didn't want to know the sex ahead of time.  I traded the time I spent making a cowl for a church friend for the extra yarn (she WAY overbought) in lieu of taking any money for my time.  I love bartering!

backing fabric: flannel print
My brother's also pregnant for his 4th child and his 1st & only son.  I told my mom I wanted to make the quilt, which I did and I am thrilled with not only how it turned out but how well received it was at the baby shower last Sunday.  I don't have a photo of the absolutely finished quilt, but basically I found a super cute flannel for the back and built the front with colors to match.

I also gave them a layette set I made about 15 years ago, with the thought that I may have another child which never did pan out so it was time to pass it along.
So, with all of this it does seem like I've been busy nearly every day, correct?  Well, I've also taken my shotgun out target shooting, which I consider crafting.  I am having an issue with some pretty pissy arthritis in my right (non-dominant) hand which has been significantly painful and has kept me from doing a ton of stuff that I would like to do, but I'm blogging through the pain.  Later this week I'll post what I did for Mother's Day.  My hand is literally almost bringing me to tears, but it's kept me from enough, and I will ice it shortly & brace it for the night.

Friday, April 4, 2014

One option for handling a disagreement with your point of view

I generally stay away from the political/politically correct atmosphere surrounding what is and/or should be considered marriage, family, love, caring, etc. because it is so often inflammatory and tends to short circuit common sense within some peoples' brains. I have to stand up and applaud the Honey Maid company (they make Teddy Grahams) and how they acknowledged the changing reality of humanity, and how they handled the backlash from those who disagree with their message. This is SO fantastically well played, I don't have words. They literally turned hate into love. Regardless of where your stance is, you should give credit for the loving tolerance this company has displayed, and consider making acceptance a part of your legacy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

HUGE recap, HEAVY on pictures! Days 72-95, St. Baldrick's in the morning, and why I'm hat crazy!!!

Shaving my head to support research for a cure of childhood cancer = I should have done this sooner.

I'm shaving my hair = blue/purple!
This has been one busy winter.  We have stayed at my parents' house for two months, which was fantastic for many reasons, my favorite is because it's 5 minutes from work.  I brought all my crafting stuff with me with the intention of organizing it.

Spoiler alert:  Yep, that didn't happen.  Still, I had room to craft, and knowing I would have a shaved head in Central New York in March spurred my interest in hats.

I'm still working on the CAL crochet afghan from MooglyBlog.  I'm behind a few squares, but the CAL is beautifully spaced so I have LOTS of time to catch up.

So with all the ins and outs, ups and downs of this fricking absurd winter in Central New York, I somehow still was pliable enough to feel moved when my friend's 9 year old son signed up as a shavee for a St. Baldrick's event.  This little guy is special to me; I watched him being born.  He committed to raise $1,000 in just over 30 days, and had been growing his hair for months, so I felt compelled to join him.  As of this evening, I am about $35 short of my $1,000 goal, which isn't shabby at all.

Here are a few of the hats I've made.  The blue & grey one looks like a hammerhead shark. The fall color hat is made from a wool yarn I once felted a purse from, and I still have leftover yarn.

For the event in the morning, Rich just FaceTimed me from Jo-Ann Fabrics so we could be sure I had appropriate face paint for tomorrow.  I am shaving my head to honor Heather & Ashley as well as other people afflicted with cancer.  Tomorrow, I will wear Heather's name on my left cheek, and Ashley's name on my right.  And both of them, and many many more, in my heart.

Pictures of me sans hair and with new hats are pending.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Days 67 to 71: crafting for St. Baldrick's (I need a hat!!!)

I'm shaving my head to benefit research for childhood cancer!

my 'before' picture!
I have a very close friend whose 9 year old son has let his hair grow for several months so he can participate in a St. Baldrick’s event this March 30th.  When I saw he committed to raise $1,000 I thought if he could, then I could do.  So I signed up.
The first week I quipped about it, telling people I spend too much money on hair products, I want to see what my natural hair color is, things like that.
Towards the end of last week, the significance of what I’m doing has really found a place in my heart.
I have close friends & family who have had to say goodbye to children.  Some from cancer, some not from cancer.  Whatever the cause, I know how devastating a serious illness can be for a family, even if there is a happy ending.

 St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.

If my shaving my head by choice helps those who lose their hair by chance, I am not the one making any sacrifice.  I am humbled, hopeful, and above all blessed to have been inspired by a young man and encouraged by God, who has giving me a resounding YES.
My goal is to raise $1,000 in 30 days.  I’m just over 10% there.  If you would like to help join the fight, I encourage you to donate by clicking on the title of this blog post; it will take you to my St. Baldrick’s participant page.  If you are not able to donate financially, I encourage you to find a way in your community to donate your time, your talent, and your heart to help others.  I am happy to say those who choose to help others get such blessings back it’s well worth it.
I would be completely untruthful if I said I'm not happy for a reason to knit and/or crochet a hat for myself.  It's still winter in Central New York, and today is the 21st anniversary of the Blizzard of '93.  We're forecast to receive up to 20 inches of snow in 24 hours.  Oh yeah, the snow is not gone.  Now, on to my favorite patterns!

I would love to know your favorite hat pattern.  I quite honestly welcome any and all donations to this effort.  And, if you feel the urge to knit or crochet something to donate to a local hospital, homeless shelter, or animal shelter I'm %100 behind you!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Days 62 to 66: preparing for a weekend FULL of crafting with family and friends, with some fantastic causes to support!

stretchy bracelets for a great cause!
I have a great friend who teaches at the Crouse Hospital School of Nursing.  They regularly make trips to Guatemala through their Global Health Initiative program.  She came up with the idea of collecting the stretchy band bracelets to bring with her the next trip there.  This is her post from her brilliant Facebook event:

"While I was visiting my niece, she was working on these loom bracelets made out of stretchy bands. She had a ton of them made. I asked her what she was going to do with all of those and she said “I don’t know I just keep making them”. Then I had an idea, why don’t you give them to me and I can give them to the kids that come to our clinics in Guatemala. She was super excited about this and started making more. She asked a lot of questions about the kids we going to help. It made me so happy to see her energized by something, learning about the work that we are doing and thinking about others that have so little. I know you are saying stretchy bands how will this help the kids. The medication we give to the children to treat parasitic infections tastes awful, it’s very bitter! The bracelets will be used as reward for taking the medications, I know it’s a bribe but I am willing to bribe and beg so that these kids get the much needed medications in there sick tummies! 
As part of a team of faculty and students at Crouse Hospital College of Nursing each year we take a team to Guatemala to host six free medical clinics in rural villages. During these clinics we focus on primary health care, treatment of parasitic intestinal infections and vitamin replacement. The villages and places that we work in are very remote and the villages lack cleaning drinking water and sanitation. During our time in the country we treat over 1200 people. This year our team will be traveling June 3rd – June 13th and hosting six clinics. To learn more about our initiatives please visit Crouse Hospital College of Nursing Web site.
If you are interested in having us come teach or speak to your class or youth group we would love to! Just let me know.
We are also in need of pencils, flip flops and Over The Counter Medications. If you would like to donate to our mission information can be found on the Crouse Health Foundation Website, under global health initiatives.
Bracelets can be dropped off at 115 West Oneida St. Oswego NY 13126. A bin will be placed in the enclosed front porch! Or we can pick them up, message me and someone from the team will gladly come and get all donations. I will need to gather up the bracelets by at least May 19th so we can pack them! If you want to include a "made by" tag on your bracelets that would be great the kids are going to love to see that kids in the US are thinking of them and took time to make them something from there heart!
Peace and Love and much thanks – Carrie Kangah"

I have amazing friends, who recognize the power of giving, and that it comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Starting tomorrow, my 10 year old niece and her 6 year old twin sisters will stay with me through Sunday evening.  Saturday we are having friends over (kids & adults) for a making jewelry party.  I have SO much stuff, it's insane! We will be making jewelry for ourselves, and the younger ones will have fun making stretchy bracelets for kids who don't have the luxury of making funky jewelry in their spare time.

There are more happy causes on the immediate horizion, but I think this post is good for now.  I have family & friends to prepare for!!!  Happy crafting!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MASSIVE catch-up: Days 48 to 61!!!

It's Oscar Sunday!
Game on!

Rich and I have not seen any of the nominated pictures.  We're betting on mostly posture and gumption.  It's 9:45 p.m. and I'm up six to four, but there are about 15 awards to go.

So, where have I been the past two weeks?

At the orthopedist, mostly.  My wrist tendinitis has plagued me enough to sideline me from knitting or crocheting.  I've plotted and schemed for my brother's baby shower.  He's finally having his boy.  We love the girls, and his boy is an expected event (Gram's psychic reading four years ago) but we also are pitching in for a vasectomy for Christmas.

I'm still knitting the baby blanket.  I haven't started the 4th block for the Moogly Crochet-A-Long but judging by the pattern it won't take long.  I'm spending next weekend hosting as many friends who will show up for a jewelry making party.  I have more supplies than I have plans for.Thrilled to host friends & family!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 47: right yarn, wrong pattern.

right yarn, wrong pattern
Sometimes we have yarn and we start a project that realistically looks like shit.  At this point we have some options.  Cut (the yarn) and run.  Unravel and try again.  Use the same yarn for a different pattern.  With this yarn I have, I ended up with the third option.  This yarn was not meant for a granny square pattern (on the right).  It looks much better with a knitted option.

The happy news is the cowl I crocheted in this yarn was the perfect fit for the lady who asked me to make it for her.  We got to the part about paying for my time and I asked if she had any plans for the leftover yarn.  She didn't so I told her if she's fine with letting me have the rest of the yarn, she gets the cowl with my thanks.  It was a mutual success.

This is my 1st shot at a diagonally knitted blanket (on the left).  first attempt.  The pattern is made with a bulky boucle but I downsized the needles enough to accommodate a garter stitch blanket.  I don't care much for the garter stitch but I'm looking forward to the final result.

I can proudly say (although it's a sin) that I've so far been 47 for 47 days of my resolution to craft something every day this year.  It's a luxurious goal to have.  I'm sorry, I have to go knit something.  Crap, that should be a t-shirt!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 42: still crafting.

Not much to report other than lots more snow and low temps.
that's the view from my office window.  There is so much snow the banks at the next property over are about 10 feet tall.  I've seen more than one pond with kids ice skating on it, which is really cool.  Old school hockey is alive and well in Central New York.

I'm still working on the diagonal blanket.  Haven't done much with it tonight but I've knitted a few rows.  It's damn cold here.  12 degrees on my drive home tonight.  Cold enough this morning that my car needed a jump start.

I'm very happy that I've maintained my goal thus far of crafting something every day this year.  Even if it's only 10 minutes, I'm still making time in my day to create something tangible.  My Gram would be happy, which makes me happy.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 41: oh yeah, substitutions are not only allowed, but encouraged.

wannabe granny square blanket on the left
So, with this yarn I thought I'd make a baby blanket.  The resulting granny square blanket on the left of this picture is not that appealing.  To the point that I wanted to try something else...hell anything else, to make this fun yarn look nice as a baby blanket.

It took some searching and some input from the boyfriend, but we both have the opinion that this yarn is happier being knitted rather than crocheted.

I tested a new pattern with this yarn.  Diagonal baby blanket pattern by Red Heart yarn.  I'm not a huge fan of the garter stitich, but for this yarn this looks much better.  This yarn isn't as bulky so I downsized to size 11 circular needles.  I plan on going until the one side is 36" and then start the decrease.  This is what I'm at for this evening, having spent some time on hold at work today knitting:
it's a fun yarn.  I've never knitted anything on the diagonal like this before.  I'm excited to see the final result.  It's already much more pleasant than the granny square version.  

I'm glad that I have something to work on: this is the view outside my office window today.
Winter in Central New York
That's the snow bank outside my window, which has been plowed from the parking lot of the building next to mine.  I'm not surprised; I've grown up here in Central New York.  Bring on the snow.  I have yarn to work with!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Day 40: substitutions allowed.

Anyone who is following this blog knows that I'm participating in my 1st ever crochet along MooglyBlog afghan CAL.  The 1st two block patterns released were great.  The third....not so much.  Tamara, who owns the blog, released block #3 which is called Hugs & Kisses.  On the CAL blog, Tamara says she thinks there's a mistake in the pattern, and at least half the people who started this square thought the same thing.  I would NOT release something (esp. if it's not my own) if I thought there was a problem with the pattern.

In good faith, I did try to work up the pattern Friday evening, and after restarting it five times gave up.  I am pretty sure I can make it work, but as I didn't really like the pattern to begin with, decided to substitute it with a different one.

Pippin simply HAS to investigate anything I put on the floor and attempt to photograph.  This is the pattern source: Frostbloom 12" afghan square by designer Shan Sevcik.  I'm VERY pleased with how it turned out.  I started it yesterday and finished it today.

One concern however.......
blocks one, two, and three
No only are none the same size, block #1 doesn't come close to matching up with block #2.  *sigh*

We will see what the rest of the year holds in store.  The point of me starting this CAL is to use up what I've got already on hand for yarn.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Day 37: recap of days 35 through 37. A.K.A. my 1st CAL has it's 1st hiccup

1st & 2nd blocks for CAL
I have been BUSY!  Today was the release of block #3 for the first MooglyBlock Crochet A-Long afghan.  Last night I finished weaving in what seemed like a hundred yarn ends for blocks one and two.

As each block is supposed to be the same size, I added another round to block #2 on the right this evening.  I'm not sure how I will make these all make one happy afghan when they are all done since these first two are so different, but time will show.  Hell, I've got all year to find out.

I'm still working on finishing the cowl.  I'm disappointed that the yarn itself became "bulky" after I had crocheted several rows.  You can see in the picture on the right just where the change happened.  The skinnier part of the skein was making a really cool spiral pattern.  When the yarn got fat, it skeeved up the pattern.

The 3rd block pattern has been released: Hugs & Kisses square by Aurora Suominen.  It's a single color block.  I have to be honest; I'm not feeling the love.  It's ok as a single color block, but I expect my afghan to be multicolored squares and when this block is turned into a multicolor block, it loses the detail in the bobbles & stitches.  I'm searching for a replacement block.  I will still work this one just to see what it looks like, but I don't know if it will make the final cut.

My crafting is somewhat restricted these days.  My right thumb isn't nearly as painful as it has been, but the tendon on the outer aspect of my left hand remains ouchy.  Even if I'm not crocheting, it's still hampering my day.  Have you ever leafed through 300 pages of paper one at a time using your left hand?  Yeah, that doesn't help.  Ah well, that's life.

blanket & cowl
As for the other projects, I'm still not completely feeling the baby blanket on the left.  It's a simple granny square blanket, and quite unisex so appropriate for an unknown sex newborn, but I'm not sure if it's too busy.  I do like how you can see the quadrants when you look at the big picture.  I'll probably keep going.  I don't simply thing Penelope kept reworking her burial shroud for Odysseus exclusively because she didn't want to get married again.  There's something calming about the craft: the repetitive hypnotic sights and sounds and movements, the occasionally dreamy feel of working the same stitch over and over again...the surprising tenacity of yarn which has been worked multiple times.  Although I don't prefer crafting with aluminum knitting needles (they slip too much), the sound of the clicking & clacking will ALWAYS remind me of my mom and my Gram, which brings my head and my heart right around back to center.  Always.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 34: how many times have I re-crocheted this cowl?

The answer many times as it takes to get it right.  I made the entire thing last night and this morning realized my VERY FIRST ROW was too tight.  The thing was 10" long.  So, first thing this morning I unraveled the entire thing and started over again.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this yarn!  This isn't a great representation because it's not such neon glow colors, but I LOVE the colors.  I had a request from a friend at church to make her a cowl; she would buy the yarn and pay me for my labor.  I have a counter offer: I love this yarn so much and she bought two gigantic skeins, if she agrees to let me keep the remainder of the yarn I will gladly give her the cowl for free.

Rainbow Classic Multi Fun Bright
The picture on the right is a better representation of the actual color.  Now all I need to do (after I finish the cowl which won't take more than two hours) is to find the perfect baby blanket pattern.

On to the re-crocheting: I'm using a K hook, which is pretty damn big.  I don't have one any larger.  I tend to cast on in a larger hook than what the pattern calls for so I don't have the problem like I did with this.  I don't have a larger one, so I decided to use a wooden crochet hook of my mom's.  I don't know what size it would relate to, maybe an N size.

So, for my 2nd attempt I casted on & crocheted the 1st round with the Nish hook, switched to the K hook and worked a few rounds.  The base round was TOO loose.  Sheesh.

3rd attempt: casted on again with the Nish hook, this time not so large.  Also, less stitches.  Crocheted 1st round with Nish, and switched to the K hook.  Base row is still too loose and looks awkward.  Also, the entire thing is too large around.

4th attempt: went back to the K hook, casted on and proceeded as normal.  Made the initial chains too big this time, so it still looks awkward.  Also, it's too large around.

5th attempt: started again, decreased base row by 6 or 7 stitches (I'm not actually counting).  Tried to find a happy medium for my beginning chains.  They need to be uniform size, and loose enough to allow stretch but not be so large as to be completely gappy.  So far, things are going well.  I'm 8 or 9 rows in.  I've decided to crochet in the round and not worry about joining rows, so it's a lot smoother.  Also, as a bonus, the WIP in the bigger picture shows how funky it's working up!  The colors are just right so that they are spiraling up like a corkscrew.

I'm indulging Baxter because I want to be the popular aunt!
And to end this blog post on a happy note, this is why Baxter loves me the best at work: I secretly let him lick my empty bowl of Spaghettios.  Turns out Baxter's mom wasn't so thrilled with that.  Neither was he when I tried to clean the evidence off his face.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 31: update on days 26 through 31!!!! (get ready for the pictures!)

My sleepy cat
awaiting new puppy
It's been a busy week!  After a cortisone shot in my carpals, a visit to my PCP and a thumb spica splint, the week has been challenging for crafting.  My right thumb has mostly felt like it's being constantly stabbed with a red hot poker.  Still, it's only a thumb and three out of 206ish bones, so I'm not about to let this sideline my life.  Unless I have an audience, in which case I whine LOUDLY about the pain.  I don't have much room for whining amongst my co-workers, being third down on the whine list behind a fractured humerus and a torn ACL.  But I make it work.

Moogly Blog CAL
I'm house sitting for my parents.  They are currently being tortured by Florida weather.  It made it above freezing today in Central New York; I still haven't heard from my parents if they survived the heat wave or not.  I imagine they are safe; air conditioning is standard south of the Mason Dixon line.

This week has been fairly mild.  I've worked on my 2nd block of my 1st ever crochet along via Moogly Blog.  I don't know what the final size of the blocks will be, so I am glad these blocks have directions for adding rows if necessary.
Pippin passed out under the blanket

I've been crafting on the soft sided waterbed I have affectionately named the chrysalis.  It's so warm and comfy!  Do NOT interrupt my chrysalis time!

I made a blanket for the unofficial mascot of my office, a morkie of a co-worker.  He finally has a name, and it's Baxter.  This is a picture of him sitting on the blanket I made, on my desk.  He's a whopping 2 lbs, 15 ounces.  He's growing out, not up.  He's SOOOOO cute!  I love that he likes his blankie!

This reminds me that I haven't crafted anything tonight.  Time to get crafting!  Yay for remaining resolute!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Update: days 21 - 25. A.K.A. what to do when life tries to hijack your resolution.

First, let me say that I have not lost any resolve.

Second, let me say that my body is arguing with me on this point.

I haven't been very kind to my hands this year.  I've made a habit of playing games on Rich's iPad, which has left me with some repetitive motion inflammation in both hands/wrists.  I haven't played on the iPad since Tuesday.  It's Saturday, and they are still fricking hurting like heck!!!

This is my plan.  I downloaded block #2 of MooglyBlog's CAL for 2014.  I have my yarn at the ready.  I am taking NSAIDs twice a day along with avoiding anything which might prolong the irritation due to overuse or improper use.  I am organizing all of my craft supplies as best I can, in preparation for the first inaugural "Let's Get Together & Make Jewelry" party, hosted by me.  I'm planning three baby quilts.

Today I happened to wonder if I need to think about having a baby shower for my baby brother, who is FINALLY pregnant with a boy after ten years and three girls, the youngest being six year old twins.

I will not waiver from 365 in 2014.  I may make adjustments and accept that I may need to alter my plans depending on the circumstance, but I will not give up on my quest.

I plan to work on the 1st crochet afghan square later today if I can do it without aggravating my wrists.  I will continue to post updates.  Wish me luck!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Update: Days 18 - 20; an undo and a redo, and better cat proofing through macrame

My 1st block for the afghan CAL
First: an update on the Crochet A-Long I'm working on.  We're still on the 1st block; block #2 won't come until this Thursday.  If you're interested in checking out the blog hosting the CAL the link is here: Crochet A-Long hosted by MooglyBlog

I kept going backwards with this block.  I must have re-worked round nine three times before I decided I would tear out and count previous rounds.  I made a mistake so far back I ended up starting the block all over again.  One of the downsides to being cocky is I haven't been counting stitches at the end of each round--even though the pattern does give this.  I'm on round 16, and there are only three rounds left.  I will finish this today, with a bit of breathing room before Thursday and the introduction of block #2.

My cat, Pippin.  He LOVES yarn!
Now, some of you may be wondering about what I may need to cat proof.  It turns out my lovely cat Pippin lives to chew on ear bud cords whenever he's given the opportunity.  I have problems with insomnia, so I have tried falling asleep with ambient noise and binaural beats programs via my iPod.  After I lost the second set of ear buds to chewing during the night, I decided I needed to take action, as I don't intend for ear buds to be single use only.

I've discovered that if I crochet around ear bud wires, this prevents Pippin from getting at them.  My first set was covered with chenille yarn, but the ear buds themselves weren't very comfortable to wear to sleep.  I did buy a new set (above) and decided in lieu of crocheting with yarn, I would macrame with c-lon cord.  It will be lighter, and the ear buds themselves are very comfortable for sleeping.

So, that's about it.  Saturday I re-worked the CAL square, yesterday & today I've been macrameing my ear buds.  When both are finished, I will post updated pictures.
Happy crafting!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 15 through 17 recap: 1st ever CAL! (Crochet A Long) :D

Tamara with MooglyBlog has decided to host an afghan Crochet A-Long.  I appreciate the fact that she's giving the entire year to make the afghan.  Only one new square to crochet every two weeks.  This gives me the chance to participate in a group thingy and still have time to work on other projects.  It's a very realistic goal for me, and I get to use some of the yarn I bought for a blanket that I never used.

MooglyBlog Crochet A-Long

I started this yesterday, and have worked on it today at work (this explains the blotter & keyboard in the picture).  I've made it to round 10 and have unraveled round 10 twice.

Friday, Janaury 17: going the wrong direction!

I kept re-working round ten, and with my third try just now (at my desk at work, during lunch) it occurs to me that there must be a mistake somewhere.  Not the pattern, but what I've done in the previous rounds because the count isn't coming out right.

Sure enough, it looks like I screwed up WAYYYYY back in round five or six!  Oh well, I will unravel and rework it until it's right.

Did I mention I'm glad I have two weeks to make one square?!?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

HUGE recap: days eleven through fourteen!!!

Prepare for LOTS of photos, because I've been busy!

Day eleven: traveled from Liverpool to Utica for Rich's official pinning ceremony.  He's received his promotion, so he's now a sergeant and a NCO.  The drive is just over an hour, and since Rich is driving, I have plenty of time to work on crafts.
Trek bracelets
Working on Trek bracelets

Before you question, NO, I was not driving while crocheting.  Rich had some down time at the armory, so I took the opportunity to work on some gifts.  These two bracelets crocheted with cotton yarn are in a pale turquoise color, my niece's favorite color.  She's almost 10, and on 1/11/14 the family celebrated her birthday since my parents are leaving for Florida before her actual birthday.  This is the Trek bracelet pattern link.

crochet cotton bracelet & earrings
Sergeant Walters!
I kept going with the crochet cotton, and after much hemming and hawing, came up with this set for her.  I was unsure about the size vs. the clasp, and reworked the bracelet more than once to come up with something that met my satisfaction.  I made matching earrings as well.  This is the crochet flower bracelet pattern.

After such a productive day, we went to my parents' house for the birthday celebration.  As it was also my oldest niece's mom's birthday celebration, I made her a matching bracelet also.  She didn't care for the huge clasp, so I made her one with the smaller heart clasp while the cake and ice cream was consumed.  My 10 year old niece has twin 6 year old sisters, who both at different times silently sidled up to me while I was crocheting the bracelet.  Neither would say anything, but I knew what they wanted.  30 minutes and a smaller crochet hook later, we ALL had matching bracelets (I kept the big clasp bracelet for myself).
bracelet power unite!

Day twelve: Sunday.  VERY tired this day.  Worked on the cowl for about 10 minutes.  Well, more like five.  I kept my commitment, and that's what matters.  No pictures, no need.

Day thirteen: Monday.  I am cat sitting for friends.  They have two cats, one of which is in remission from intestinal cancer.  I brought the cowl with me, and spent about 45 minutes at their house.  The cat in remission still needs medication twice a day, and both cats are on wet food only.  After giving meds, feeding both cats, scooping the litter box, I sat for long enough to remind both cats that humans still exist, and I finished the cowl.  This is the cowl pattern.
I didn't take a picture of it.  It's a bit big around, but that's because I added extra stitches, thinking I have a fat neck.  Turns out I really don't.

Also on day thirteen, discovered a realistic CAL, a Crochet ALong hosted by  Tamara is taking the full year to construct this afghan, which for me is realistic since I have so much else going on.  MooglyBlogCAL link  I have a good amount of yarn on hand from when I had planned a blanket with 13 or so colors, so I see no problem working up this afghan.

Day Fourteen:  BLOGGING!  I found my yarn for the 1st afghan block.  I don't think I will get very far with the block, but blogging and planning is enough to satisfy me.  Happy crafting!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 7-10 recap: reclaiming yarn and cowling

    It's official; the shawl is no more.  The tangle on the right is what I spent day eight working on.  Unraveling the shawl was problematic.  I've managed to reclaim the 3rd skein of yarn and have used that to start a cowl, which turns out is essentially a really large sweater for an anaconda.  The pattern can be found here: Ravensprings cowl  I've worked on this since Wednesday evening.  I've made a lot of progress.  My goal is to have something long enough that I can pull it over my head when needed, in lieu of a hat or wrapping myself up in a scarf so I look like the Randy from the movie A Christmas Story.  That's about it, a somewhat dull few days of crocheting.  Still, I enjoy it and I'm looking forward to seeing the final product.  If I don't like it.....well I'll simply unravel (again) and find a different pattern to try.