Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Santa Stocking

I finished a very cool Santa Stocking for Deb. It was so much fun to work on, though I did adapt the pattern quite a bit. Added a few inches to the stocking, modified the shape of some of the arm and leg pieces, added more stuffing to the belly, and embroidered stars and ornaments on the trees. Still, it was a "meant to be" project. My Mom found an old yarn bag of mine from high school with a few skeins of Christmas yarn and some half-done ornaments. I didn't even remember that I had it. That evening we went over to my aunt and uncle's place, and my uncle asked me if I would like all of his mom's knitting and crochet pattern books. Oh, what a dream!!!! These were gorgeous lace books, doilies, Christmas books, afghans. I was thrilled. One of the books had a Santa Stocking pattern, and I just happened to have the exact amount of yarn in the correct colors in my forgotten knitting bag. This was the result.

Friday, December 7, 2007

How to Fight Off Boredom

I'm in Minnesota right now...and will be for a couple weeks. I thought that I'd have all the time in the world to knit...totally forgetting that I'm here because I have to work on deploying a project nearly every night that I'm here. But apparently that didn't enter my mind when I was packing. I must have been under the impression that I needed entertainment....lots and lots of entertainment. "Camp Betsy" or "Cruise Director Betsy" entertainment.
Contents of 1 large red suitcase....
Knitting -
Leda's Dream stole and extra skein yarn.
2 skeins wool for Dave's hat

Crocheting -
24 squares and yarn to edge and piece a SD fire blanket.
12 skeins (assorted sizes) of acrylic yarns to make squares

Bobbin Lace-
2 boxes thread
Kickboard pillow (now covered!)
2 books

Notions -
Scissors
3 boxes pins
Tape measures
Knitting notions kit

And the books I brought....
4 puzzle books
2 mysteries
1 fiction

And the music I brought...
1 ipod with 1200 songs

And the movies I brought...
Hot Fuzz
Oceans something...can't remember name
Season 1 of 30 Rock6 other DVDs of mystery movies that I burned and forgot to label.

And the games I brought...
Peggle
Deck of Cards Goofy. :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reality Check

25 Squares? Did I say 25 Squares? OK, next time I will make a square first before I start shouting from the rooftops. :-) I am apparently suffering from a touch of slow knitteritis. Apparently it is a chronic condition that worsens when I have lots of projects to start. I'm not sure if it is treatable or not...but hopefully I can l live a full and happy life as I watch other knitters add to their FO lists with reckless abandon. I've heard that the only treatment is more yarn. So, if you want to help a worthy cause...


OK, enough silliness. I am truly trying to knit squares as quickly as I can, but the squares are taking me 2 - 3 hours a piece. I'm hoping that my speed increases, but I'll probably have 10 done by Saturday. I have to remind myself that I'm not doing this as a one shot deal. I'm hoping to contribute as long as the blanket project needs me. Believe it or not, one of the things that seems to be slowing me down is the acrylic yarn. It is so bouncy/sticky. I'm used to the bamboo yarn that just falls off the needles. This stuff grabs and won't let go!!!
After this first push of the project is done, I'm going to start my bobbin lace projects. I have the prettiest thread. I keep gazing at it., but eventually I have to find a home for it so that it doesn't get completely dusty before I use it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

San Diego Wild Fire Blanket Project

Do you like to crochet or knit and interested in helping those impacted by the October fires in San Diego? If so, check out: http://www.sandiegowildfireblankets.blogspot.com/ GeorgeAnne and Lana are spearheading a fantastic effort to collect 8" squares to piece together blankets for families that lost their homes in the recent San Diego firestorms. Their website includes details on the square requirements, links to patterns, and info on submitting the squares. If you live near San Diego, they will also be hosting the first joining party on 11/17. Check them out! My goal is to complete 25 squares.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cali

Who knew that a 4.1 lb ball of bunny fur and bunny feet could make me totally laugh and cry at the same time. We had to put Cali, our little dwarf lop bunny, down today. She had a metabolic disorder that was causing all of her organs to shut down. But, boy, was she a funny little thing. I have a great video of her over on my http://hopalong682003.blogspot.com blog. The video wasn't playing yet, so if you want to see it, and it isn't playing, post a comment or send me an e-mail. I'll e-mail it to you. It's worth it!! Unfortunately, livejournal won't let me post videos. I'm thinking that I might switch over to blogger anyway. I'll let you know when I've transferred everything over.Hug your critters...all of them...two and four legged varieties. I'm going to miss her terribly.

On a completely different note, when I brought Cali in, the jazz station was playing Mister Mister's "Broken Wing". I didn't think that it was terribly appropriate for an animal hospital. But I've seen worse.For example,At my gyno office: "I'm In You" and "I Want You to Want Me"At my church one Easter: "Killing Me Softly"Have you ever heard totally inappropriate and/or funny music at an office/business/school? I'd love to hear about them. I repeat. Hug your CRITTERS!!!

Cali

video

Thursday, November 1, 2007

New Contest at Tangled up in Knots

I found the following contest on a very cool blog at http://wiknit.blogspot.com/Megan from Tangled Up in Knots is having a comments contest that incorporates her '100 Things about Me' list. It makes for a neat game - pick a number, go to that number in the list, and then leave her a comment with a related fact about yourself. Post about it on your blog for an extra entry into the prize drawing. Better yet, let her know who sent you, and you both get an extra entry into the prize drawing!I entered the contest, linked to WiKnit, and posted here, so that should be 3 entries for me. Cool, huh? Plus, it was fun reading all of the other comments. Truly a fun little contest. Thanks Megan!Now, speaking of knots, I'm learning Bobbin Lace! More on that tomorrow. I think that it's going to be a fun challenge.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Knitting Community

One thing that is so surprising to me about knitting is how a totally solitary activity invokes such a sense of community.

I love going to my Tuesday night knitting group. My e-mail is full of messages from people that have become "in person" or "online" friends. And these aren't friendships that I take lightly. I look forward to getting to know people better. Like a lot of people, I sometimes have a hard time having girlfriends. Not because I dislike having friends, but a lot of times I have to prioritize my time for other things. Husband, work, family, house stuff. But, I miss having friends. Knitting has really helped me form these instant friendships that are born out of common likes. And, I'm grateful for that.

Now my quest is to win a contest. I know that there a sock yarn out there with my name on it somewhere. I've promised myself that I won't buy sock yarn until I finish my stole and Dave's hat...especially since I've never knit a sock in my life. But if I win the yarn...well, that's a totally different story. I have my DPNs and Circulars all ready. I have my Ann Budd book of socks. I'm ready. And, as I keep finding contests to enter, I keep making friends. How can I lose. :-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wildfires

A lot of my friends are out of their homes tonight. And, I'm selfish and don't want to watch the news anymore. It feels like everything is on fire. I felt positive this afternoon. The fires were huge but thankfully there were very few injuries and lost homes. It has all changed this evening. Now, it seems that the number of impacted families is incredible. I personally have my own laundry list....1. Griff is safe, but watching the fires from his newly remodeled home in Escondido.2. Steve is camping out with his sister since he was evacuated.3. Scott and Claudia were evacuated but OK.4. By the maps, I could tell that Carol and family, Jennifer, Rich and Sara, Dr. Will, Woody, and other friends were all evacuated. But, I haven't heard from them yet.5. Jesus and family are being moved to Mexico to get out of the San Ysidro fires.6. The Habitat for Humanity homes that I helped to build a couple years ago in Escondido are destroyed.I can't wait for rain. And no winds. And fireproof homes. And unbelievable punishment for arsonists. And...Maybe I should just go to bed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Knit 1 Knit 1 Knit 1 Knit 1 Knit 1 Knit 1 Knit 1 Knit 1

I'd love to have a picture...but frankly almost all of my knitting looks about exactly the same as it did the last time I posted. I'm making progress, but I made 1 mondo mistake on Leda...still not exactly sure what I did wrong...that caused me to go back to a lifeline. So now, I'm reknitting. Hence the subject. That's OK, though.Th

is week/weekend has been really busy so far. I'm really looking forward to sitting down and knitting a few rows. Work has been crazy busy. Then this weekend, I went to the zoo, entered blog contests, went grocery shopping, watched football, and played tri-ominoes. I forgot how much I like that game. Maybe I can get Dave to play with me.

A NOTE for Opal, the Akamai Knitter...I can't believe your Boys stomped on my Vikes the 2nd half of the game. So sad. ;-)

I'm on bloglines!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Football!

I haven't done a lot of knitting the last few days. Not for any real reason. I'm just realizing that this is something that I really love doing, so I don't need to race to get everything done. So, I might do a few rows tonight, but today I'm really having fun with football. Vikings!!!!! Chargers!!!!! Chiefs!!!! and maybe even the Saints will get their first win tonight. It isn't often that all of my favorite teams decide to win on the same day.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mineral Quartz Purse - FINISHED!!!!

This purse turned out so cute!!! And, I learned a LOT with it. This is the project that I started for the Crochet Cafe. I was initially going to only use yarn, but I decided that I wanted to add the purse hardware and some of the embellishments. It was just too pretty!!!! I ended up calling it the Mineral Quartz purse because the random metallic threads and the color of the buttons remind me of a lot of the rocks that I used to pick up so that Dad could tumble them.

Mineral Quartz Purse Lessons
Knitting
Gloves do work if you have sensitive hands and metallic threads are bothersome.

Felting
1. Forget about it for this kind of project when the novelty yarn is twice as thick as the fingering weight wool. This didn't really felt at all. It just ended up losing a bit of the sparkle.
2. Weave ends in before felting. I had a solid ball of tangles when I first pulled it out of the machine.

Lining
1. I found a yard of a pretty celery-colored polyester lining for $1. It was a remnant. So, in total I spent a dime on the lining.
2. Next time I need to buy pins. I don't have a sewing machine, so I hand sewed this. I need to pin the whole darn thing when I do this again.
3. I'm not going to win any prizes for my lining. But I won't beat myself up for a first attempt.
4. Spend a little time marvelling at the thread colors of a big sewing store. Amazing!!!!
5. Cut the lining bigger than you think you'll need if you're a hack at hand-sewing like I am. You'll need the extra fabric for hemming.

Assembly
1. I'm actually OK with the way that it came together despite the too-small lining.
2. I used ribbon to weave the handles together. This allows me to tighten the handles as needed. And, if I want to, I can later create button ties with it...if it needs to be more secure.
3. My standard sewing needles got lost in the yarn when I tried to pin the edges. I'm going to try weaving in a DPN as a guide next time.
4. Next time I'm going to use a stitch marker to place my handles. It worked OK to eyeball it this time. But a larger or more intricate project would have required more precision.

This was a FUN project that really only took a couple days of leisurely work on it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ready for Felting

You'll get an idea of the colors in the makeup bag...Now I'm going to felt it, fold it, seam it, line it with turquoise satin and add buttons or possibly ribbon. I haven't decided that yet. Sorry for the really lame post. I just don't feel like typing tonight.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Technical Skills vs. Imagination...Which one do you choose?

Yesterday I was excited about my birthday, so I completely forgot to bring my knitting projects to knitting night. Brilliant, huh? So, Debra handed me a couple balls of yarn, a circular needle, and the directions..."Go! Knit something for the store." One of the balls was a tweedy brown wool...which I've never knitted with. The other was a totally sparkly green/blue/pink/gold ball of wonder. No clue what it is, but it sure is pretty. Anyway, I'm laughing at my imagination vs. technical skills. I immediately see a pretty handbag...with windowpanes in the tweed and kind of a spiderweb thing going on with the sparkly. And then a beautiful teal green satin lining. And I have absolutely no idea how to execute my vision. The biggest problem is that I have two balls of yarn with unknown yardage and I just don't know how far they will go. So, you know what? I'm going to wing it. I may as well draw up my design and maybe I'll be able to really complete it later on. It's my brother's birthday today! He was my birthday present when I was 8. Best gift ever! Happy Birthday, Dan!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's My Birthday!

Hurray!!! I'm older than some and younger than others. That suits me just fine. I LOVE BIRTHDAYS and want to celebrate!!!!

I know that a lot of people don't like birthdays. I do. This year, I'm treating my birthday more like New Year's. I have some goals that I want to meet and I figure that my birthday is a real good place to start. So here are a few things that I have in mind:

1) Most of my food should be really yummy and nutritious...instead of really yummy and fattening. I'm calling it my "Lose two skeins" diet. ;-) Drives me crazy that almost every pattern goes up a couple skeins for each dress size. Yikes.
2) Plan to have every day end happy. I like being PollyAnna. I function better that way. No reason to be embarrased by that, and I want to keep it up!
3) Be a little bit creative most days. Knitting. Crocheting. Stamping/Card Making. Painting. Felting, maybe?
4) Clean a little something most days. After celebrating a LOT of birthdays, I'm finally on top of keeping the house reasonably clean. Or at least ready to be clean in less than an hour or two. Phew! So, I really want to keep that up.
5) Be thankful every day! I've got a Great life. Not everything is perfect all the time. Never will be. But, I'm happy most of the time. I have a husband that I love and who loves me back. (Sugar Twin).

I have a great family and friends...and I'm fortunate enough to be getting to know all of them better and better. I'm incredibly thankful for the people that I have in my life...especially the ones that give me hugs 20 times a day. Now he just needs to read my blog... :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cake and Flowers

Photos on http://hopalong682003.livejournal.com

The Wedding Cake Afghan is really coming along now. And, I think that I've got the flowers/colors that I want to use as shown in the picture. I'll also have the smaller violets scattered throughout. But the golden yellows were in Robyn's bouquet. I'll do the sunflowers in yellow and then the violets will have the same yellow for the center. I haven't decided if I'll do the leaves or not, but I might! You'll just have to wait and see. :-)

Oh, and this is a picture of the card that I made for Dave...wait...the card that I was the "artistic director" of....thanks Deb!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

What's a Knitting Needle?

3 Days of Fun...and not a moment of knitting. Dave celebrated his 40th birthday on Saturday, so we had a really great couple days running around and doing birthday things. We went to the Fish Market in Del Mar on Saturday night. Very yummy and totally rich. I had tilapia in champagne butter with au gratin potatoes. Delicious and highly recommended. Dave had a smoked fish platter which he really liked...although he remembered that he's not a huge fan of lox. We went with Steve and Mike and Sarah, and then spent a lot of Sunday with Mike, Tim, and Chris. Football galore! The Cleveland/Cincinatti game was much fun to watch...especially since all of our favorites decided to totally tank. OK. I promise I will knit soon. :-) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVE!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Original post and pictures on http://hopalong682003.livejournal.com

Wedding Cake Afghan
Here it is! The first part of Robyn and Brett's Wedding Cake Afghan. I wrote the pattern myself and will post it after I finish the afghan and finish tweaking it. The pattern is inspired by their cake...only I'm taking some creative license and am adding layers of frosting. I've designed it around layers of basket weave.

Yarns are Homespun (Barrington) and Red Heart Baby Clouds (White). I liked the Baby Clouds because of the lofty frosting look that it gives.Here is how I'm assembling the cake:

2 Layers Barrington (Purple)1 Layer White Frosting1 Layer Barrington1/2 Layer White Frosting3 Layers Barrington 1/2 Layer White Frosting1 Layer Barrington1 Layer White Frosting2 Layers Barrington (Purple)Embellishments: Crocheted or Knit Violets and Wedding Info Embroidered. I may also decide to put a some sort of a fabric edging (perhaps a soft flannel) if the Homespun looks like it will fray a lot.This is roughly 4 skeins of Barrington and 2 skeins of the Baby Clouds. I may end up adding an extra couple skeins as a border if the afghan appears to be too narrow after it comes off the needles.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Cali - the Bunny Roast

Photo posted on http://hopalong682003.livejournal.com

I've wanted to get this picture for ages. Cali, our mini-lop, loves to press up against the side of her cage. Her fur always get pressed through the wire...which makes her look like a little bunny roast. All she needs is twine! If you notice little brown velveteen rabbit in the background, you can see that Rex has become Dr. Destructo. He was having a great old time systematically tearing his litter box apart in rings.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Shaken Not Stirred

I decided to sleep in this morning, but our bedroom has a half moon curtainless window that means that the room gets stupid hot. So, despite my best intentions, I was pretty much awake by 10:00 a.m. But, I laid there anyway. And then, all of a sudden, I was bouncing. Earthquake! It was a very strange sensation. Imagine a miner panning for gold. When he lifts the screen out of the water, he shakes shakes shakes, so that the bigger rocks (and gold) bounce on top and the smaller stuff shakes through. I was the gold!The strange thing is that we had a beautiful total lunar eclipse last week. I told Dave that I wouldn't be surprised if there was an earthquake, too. I was right! And, yes, I realize that my totally unscientific thoughts/feelings, are one of the main reasons that folklore is still alive and well. But I stand by my "gut feeling". It does seem like anytime there is a lunar/solar event like an eclipse, that we end up with a little rumbler.Here's more detail from the real news folks:
Southland Rattled By 4.7 Earthquake
QUAKE WATCH: Complete Earthquake Coverage And Information
(CBS) LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. A magnitude 4.7 earthquake -- centered under the Santa Ana mountain range -- shook southern California at 10:29 Sunday morning.Automated seismographs reported that the earthquake's tentative epicenter was estimated to be eight miles west-northwest of the Riverside County city of Lake Elsinore and about 50 miles southwest of the Los Angeles Civic Center.A reporter felt a strong shock at an office in Riverside, about 25 miles northeast of the epicenter.The quake was also felt as far away as Encino in the San Fernando Valley.The epicenter is near, and two miles beneath, the summit of Santiago Peak, the largest peak in the Santa Ana Mountain range east of Orange County.At least four aftershocks have followed the earthquake, according to automated seismographs, with the largest being a 2.5 magnitude aftershock two minutes after the initial 10:29 a.m. shock.Data from the automated equipment has not been verified by scientists, and experts in the past have cautioned that aftershock data is not always precise. But the network of seismographs and computers show that a magnitude 2.5 aftershock hit at 10:31 a.m.In addition, a magnitude 1.8 hit at 10:36, magnitude 1.5 hit at 10:54, and magnitude 1.7 at 10:58.All of the aftershocks were also centered 8 miles west-northwest of Lake Elsinore.
(© 2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report. )