Monday, December 29, 2008

Lover's Purse

I made this little purse for my niece's Christmas present. I stuffed it with little girly things - nail polish, bath fizzies, lip gloss, etc.

Lover's Purse

I love how it came out! I used the Solomon's knot / lover's knot for the lacy stitch pattern. I used futuregirl's Sew a Lining into a Crocheted Bag Tutorial to, well, sew the lining into the bag.
See how neatly it came out?:

Lover's Purse

The only thing I'd suggest would be to maybe add more stitches in cases where you're using bulky yarn. I noticed that where the the snaps were was facing a lot of pressure and separating from the bag, slightly. So I added some reinforcement stitching there.

I also used futuregirl's Tutorial on how to weave in the last end when working in rounds. Very seamless.

The ravelry project page is located

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Slip Stitch Crochet & Fingerless Gloves

So, I saw this great way to make crocheted ribbing wile working horizontally. (Really, go check out the link. You won't believe it.)

David Burchall has worked out ribbing that is very effective and looks knitted. I've spent much of the day trying to figure it out before I found a tip in the Slip Stitch Crochet group on Ravelry. It's very important when making the iB stitches to hold the yarn BEHIND the hook, rather than in front as usual. After I got that, things really clicked! I've even moved from slip stitch crochet (SSC) to single crocheted ribbing using the same principle.

Another good idea is to use a hook with a sharp tip, not a blunt one. I'd like to try this technique with a larger hook size, as is recommended, but my large hooks are round on the end (as well as uncomfortable) and it makes it nearly impossible and frustrating as all get out to try to work into slip stitches.

I'm also a tight crocheter and so working into my stitches is rather difficult. But I'm trying hard to stay relaxed. Things really went better when I switched to a smaller hook with a pointy end. But I lost drape, I think.

Also, when working in the round, I cannot work in a spiral or it won't create ribbing. So tomorrow I'll swatch with joining and turning using the new method that Futuregirl invented. Stumbled upon? You decide.

I found that when you're working in ssc for the ribbing and then change to sc ribbing, your piece not only grows vertically, but also horizontally. This is perfect for my purposes!

And what are my purposes, you ask? I'm glad that you asked!

I'm designing fingerless gloves for my co-worker! I mentioned this long long ago. And now I'm finally getting off my butt and doing it. Uh, good thing since Christmas is in 6 days (not including today since I'm about to go to bed.)

A few nights ago, I realized that what was really holding me up was the size issue. I had used this sizing chart to help me figure out that her hands were a woman's large, but then I didn't really want to use any of the patterns I found online. My hand falls in the small range. I definitely can't use my hand as comparison! What if it didn't fit?

This schematic is much more helpful for people designing their on gloves. But before I saw that, I thought I'd do a ribbed glove so that there would be more of a chance of it fitting. In my head, I designed a glove that had a ribbed cuff and then ribbing running up the back of the hand with sc or linked dc for the palm and maybe some small edging at the top.

Well that's great, but I'm trying to make these be a one skein project! And ribbing is tricky in sc. If I did fpdc/bpdc then I don't think I'd be able to come close to using only one skein. And I did do a glove worked vertically before so I could do blo, but I find shaping to be a bit harder. So I went looking around. And then I found the ssc ribbing! Awesome. Tomorrow I'm going to try to get a larger pointer hook and I'll try to sneakily (or not) get a wrist measurement and lower hand measurement from said co-worker so I know if I'm in the right ballpark.

If all goes well, I'll take pictures of the swatches I worked on today and the finished project! I better get cracking, though. I've got one more crochet/sewing project to work on and I need to finish up another one before Christmas!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


OMG, guys! It's the last day! I'm relieved. It was great until about half way through when I started to get really busy with concerts. I'll probably take the next week off from blogging so that I can finish with concerts. Hopefully when I return I'll have some yarning stuff to show off. Maybe even a new car!

Bill Engvall is very nice. His comedy wasn't all "red neck" jokes like Country Fried Videos. There was a lot of poop jokes, though! But he was extremely friendly and kind. I'm sure he'll be back next season!

Thank you to everyone who has joined me in the nablopomo quest! I've really enjoyed it and making and receiving comments was definitely helpful to keep me going! Rest up your fingers and get back to you crocheting! I'll be reading your blogs. :)



This is one of my favorite pictures that I took of my sister, my niece, and my brother in law lifting my nephew at my Mom's wedding in October. I just love that you can't see anyone's face, but that there is a lot happening in the photo. The only thing that would make this shot better would be if you could see that my sister is pregnant. Michael is due in February!

That's all I've got for tonight, folks. Tonight was the Aaron Neville featuring Charles Neville concert. I met Charles' wife and kids. They were all very nice people. Bill Engvall tomorrow. Should I just bring my "sign" when I pick him up from the hotel tomorrow?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

21 Things!

I was tagged by Laux, Diana and Aimee, I thought I'd do 21 things instead of seven! Here goes....

The Rules
1) Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs
4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

  1. People think I'm being fake when I'm wishing them a happy holiday, etc. but really I'm just very enthusiastic and I MEAN it.
  2. My dad used to stop me from crying as a baby by kissing the bridge of my nose (like so that either side of his lips were on either side of my nose - sideways like).
  3. I will eat cranberry sauce out of the can. My little sister Kayla and I used to sometimes feed ourselves this way - by splitting a can of cranberry sauce.
  4. I dropped out of high school when I was 16 to go to college.
  5. I only drink mixed drinks with rum in them. I do not like any other alcoholic beverage, except Mike's and those kinds of drinks.
  6. The only time I failed a test was a third grade math test. And I cried because I had to get my parents to sign it.
  7. I never had a dog and I've always wanted one.
  8. I started dancing when I was 3.
  9. I had muscle spasms all down my spine when I was 14, permanently ending any thought of dancing professionally. (Dancing in a show, or becoming a dance teacher. Not becoming a ballerina.) That eventually led me into the backstage life of theater.
  10. Tonight I worked on the B.B. King concert. He (aka his assistant) ordered 4 shrimp Chinese food dishes.
  11. My favorite dishes growing up were a humpty dumpty plate and bowl that were purchased specially for me. I loved them and broke them. I wish I had them back.
  12. I had a favorite knit blanket growing up. It was a circle and had pastel rainbow colors. I think made of triangles, rather than concentric rings. I used to pretend I was a princess with it wrapped around my shoulders.
  13. My dad and my sister and I used buy cheap kites and take them flying, sometimes letting them free if they got high enough. We ruined and enjoyed many a plastic kite!
  14. I played soccer for 5 years as a sweeper and eventually quit to spend more time dancing and acting. I was very good at serrupticiously body checking the taller girls. I was also good at booting a ball down the field, but couldn't score a goal. (The goal totally freaked me out!!)
  15. I had my first panic attack on the first day of 3rd grade. I threw up three times and was still forced into going to school. I hadn't done my book report.
  16. One of my most valuable possessions was a rock. I used to carry it in my right pant pocket. Many of my pants had a worn spot from where it would sit. I was heartbroken when I lost it.
  17. When I was on painkillers for the muscle spasms, I wrote an email about butternut squash and Ben & Jerry's cherry garcia ice cream. It's one of the few things I remember from that 2 month period of my life.
  18. Every night I sleep in fleece pants that I made when I was 14. They're big and baggy and are multi colored. I used to wear them to school and was known as "the girl with the pants." (I also had a pair of crushed velvet NEON green pants with black sequin trim that I'd wear to school.)
  19. I grew my hair out for 5.5 years from chin to butt, then cut it off and donated it to locks of love. My head was much lighter, it improved my back pain!
  20. My husband was (is) my first love.
  21. I call my cat all kinds of silly names like, Dipstick, fartstick, purrpod, catter, stinkbutt, midnight louie, etc. I don't think he gets it.

'Night all! Tomorrow is an Aaron Neville concert!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

As American as....

As American as...

Yum! This apple pie was delicious. I made it this morning, cutting up cortland and macoun apples with some spices and taking a shortcut by using a premade pie crust. Very tasty and satisfying.

What are you thankful for? This year I didn't put enough emphasis on what I'm thankful for; I was too busy to comtemplate. But I think it's important. I'm going to work on figuring that out in the Christmas season.

Day Off

Today should have been a good day since I had it off, but I spent most of the day feeling grumpy, moody, and light headed. Ick. But I did get some important things done! I tidied up the living room a bit, talked to the doctor's office about Robin's surgery consulation appointment, was pre-approved for an auto loan (grr @ them for not calling me back LAST week!), folded and put away laundry from last week's expedition, went to the laundry, shopped for the apple pie I'm supposed to be bringing to Thanksgiving tomorrow (uh, note to self, get up an hour earlier to actually make the pie...), folded all the laundry while watching House and Bones, made myself feel pretty for tomorrow, and mixed the dry ingredients for the apple pie.

Of course I missed the time deadline for today's post, but I thought I'd post anyway, as the day isn't over yet.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel less emotional and we'll have a good time at my mother's house!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So today after I went shopping for three hours for work (the grocery store was surprisingly NOT packed, thank Bob!), and spent another hour putting things away and getting ready to be out of the office for 2 days, I came home to find my husband sleeping. We had to leave for his ultrasound appointment; he'd been having bad stomach pains. Apparently he hadn't slept well last night (a common occurance) and got up and fed the cat and then ended up taking a nap for three hours!

At the ultrasound, the tech asked if he was feeling any pain in a specific spot, so I knew that there was something wrong and that she'd found it. I couldn't tell what she was pressing on, but I knew it was somewhere near the kidney since that's where she worked next.

We came home and chilled for a while and then Robin turned on his cell phone to make a phone call. He had a voicemail from his PCP (primary care physician) asking him to call her because the results from the ultrasound were in. Woah. Well then we definitely knew something was up.

It turns out that his gallbladder needs to be removed! Eep. I'm hoping that they had do the less invasive surgery, but looking it up, I think he might have to have the more intense surgery. That means longer recovery time. Neither of us gets sick/vacation time and this is the busiest time of year for both of us at work and personally. So we don't know what is going to happen. They're scheduling him for the next available appointment, so it's pretty important. I'm so greatful we have insurance, otherwise we just couldn't do it. I don't know how we're going to afford his time off from work; we're just recovering from him being out of work for several months while looking or a job after we moved here. I'm nervous, but glad that something is going to happen to make him feel better.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shawl Update

I thought it was time to take a picture of my shawl. I've been working and working on it and I thought it would be good to do a little photo comparison!

Shawl Progress 11/24/08

This J. Knit's lace-a-licious is extremely elastic and full of dreamy, soft texture. I can't wait until it's time to block it.


When I had brought it into the yarn shop before, the one of the owners said it looked almost double-knit. But I don't know what that is. I assume it has something to do with how plush each stitch is.

Here's the post that has the photo from before. By looking at the pictures, it looks like I've done about 15 more rows on it since September. Each row takes about an hour, so I think that this is decent progress. Once I get started on some Christmas creating, I'm sure it'll get put aside for awhile, though.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fingerless Gloves

Tonight I started looking at fingerless glove patterns for my friend witha skein of yarn I already have. I may pick up another skein of a different color and do a two-toned glove. We'll see...

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Thank you to those who left me kind comments on my last post. I needed to hear that I had some people who didn't think I was crazy. :)

Tonight after work, I vegged out in front of the TV and then realized I should be working on something! So, I pulled out my shawl that I've been working on for forever and did about two rows of it while watching criminal justice programs. I don't feel like I'm ever going to finish it. I'm pretty sure that I'll spend the rest of my life crocheting it and it will never be big enough to wrap around me!

I should be starting on some Christmas present type things. Like the hand warmers I'm going to make one of my co-workers. And I might make my Meme a shawl (she's one of our secret santa picks!). But even though I have the yarn to make the gloves, I don't have a pattern idea. I should just look through Ravelry, but something keeps holding me back! Why? I don't know.

I wish I weren't such a procrastinator. I think that work and trying to find another car has been so stressful that I just can't put any energy into doing anything new. Last night I couldn't sleep. I felt my chest all tight and I coudln't get air or stay still because I just kept thinking about what I needed to get done today at work. I finally got up and filled a sheet of paper with everything that I needed to get done. And I actually did it! Except for some things relating the concerts. I decided that I could take ONE day off from that and just pick it up on Monday. I had major things happening tomorrow and next weekend that I hadn't started yet and needed to get cracking on. So I did those things. I finally got to sleep after making the list because I allowed it all to leave my head. I could allow myself to let it leave my head because I couldn't forget it since it was on paper.

Age Gap Realtionships

I just got into a big discusion over on Raverly about age gap relationships. I'm in one. A BIG one. And we work. I know not all of them do. But some do. And I hate that people think that none of them can and that they're all "sick" or "weird." It really hurts. And it brings up Years worth of hurt. It's not fair that people get to say that I'm sick and disgusting because my husband is older than me. We have a much more normal relationship than so many people that I see out in the world. We're healthy and happy with each other. Why should you get to pass judgment on that?

Would people make the same assumptions if I were dating a black man? An Asian man? Someone from Europe? Why because I'm married to an older man? What if I were gay? I know that some people don't think that that is morally right, but most people seem to be okay with it. So, what would the big deal be? Why is it a big deal when my husband is older?

Power imbalances happen in EVERY relationship! Not just age gap ones! People take advantage of other people in all kinds of relationships! Not just age gap ones! My husband is going to die before me! That could happen if he and I were the same age and he had a chronic illness! Or I could die because I could be hit by a bus! He's old. His lips are just as kissable as any other lips! They don't feel different! ARG.

Okay, I just needed to get that out. I wrote a HUGE post on Ravelry, but I needed to sound a little more rational there and not so crazy. It just pushes all my buttons and opens all my old wounds. They really haven't healed. They just haven't had salt rubbed in them in a while.

Friday, November 21, 2008

P P Party

Pajama Party

Tonight after the show I went to a Pajamas and Pancake party with the cast! We had a blast, but now I must turn into bed. Work has been really draining. We're prepping for concerts which involves buying a tremedous quantity of beverages and food. $137.00 at BJ's for beverages and we're not done with shopping for those, yet!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Note to Self:

Do Not Use Salt as a scrub.

Ow, Ow, the burning! The burning!!

Hand Scrub

I decided to try the hand scrub that Laughing Purple Goldfish posted. I did on on the 12th of November, but the picture didn't make the 12 of 12 cut, so I hadn't blogged about it.

Hand Scrub

I liked the scrub. I felt the sugar scrubbing away at the dead skin that was roughing up my hand, and the olive oil made my hands very smooth and soft.

I liked it so much that I tried adding sugar to my gentle face wash because I noticed a little dry skin. Less sucessful because the sugar melted while I was scrubbing! Oops. Maybe I'll try it with a bit of salt...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Couch. Throw. Done. Finally.

Tonight while listening to Christmas music, (uh... we start early. There's a lot of GOOD Christmas music to hear!) I finished weaving in the ends for my sister and brother-in-law's couch throw!


Technically, I've been working on it since last December. Actually, it's more like February or April because I frogged the first attempt. And I took at least three months off from it entirely. But it's done now. And I'm so happy!

Blanket Chair

It's very warm and snugly, even for Lion Brand Homespun acrylic. I hope that it sees many good years of use in the family. I hope that it gets stained and dirty from being dragged around the house by the kids! I hope it ends up on the floor wrapped around the family while they watch a movie. I hope that it gets pulled out of shape in an effort to get the most blanket.

All those things happened to the ripple blanket that my mother made. And I love that blanket and it was trapezoidal to start with (I thought we had just warped it with too much tough love!) and I would still be glad and proud to toss it on our couch!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are you Expecting?

So today I went to the bank to change my name on the account. Yes, I've been married for 2.5 years. Yes, I'm a chronic procrastinator, why do you ask?

Anyway, I whipped out my crochet while I was waiting, never missing a few minutes to add a few stitches. A banker comes up to me and tells me that she can help me. Great! I put my crochet away and follow her into her office. I'm in the process of taking off my coat when she said, "Are you expecting?" I looked down at my stomach, confused. I don't see how this woman would ask this question, even though I am dressed in a bulky jacket... "No...?"

She says, "Oh, when I see people do this," her hands wave in vaguely in front of her, "it usually means..."

I replied, "Oh, I was just wondering if I looked fat!" That certainly embarrassed her. "Oh no!" She murmurs slight apologies and I wave them away.

I'm not surprised to get the assumption that handiwork = pregnancy, but it took me off guard that it was after the hook went into the bag. I had stopped thinking about what I was working on (my shawl) as soon as she approached. It's funny that people still make that assumption, even though it's so much cheaper to buy baby clothes and less of a hassle. I wouldn't make everyday things for a baby to wear, and certainly not out of lace weight alpaca that cost me $40! But it's a common occurrence in the fiber world, just not one that had happened to me before!

Now I'm off to watch The Seven Year Itch with the husband. We love our old movies!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Only Have 5 Minutes Left of the Day to Update!

I am SO close to finishing the blanket. I'll finish it tomorrow.

Husband and I watched HIs Girl Friday tonight. Wow. That dialogue was insane! I would have loved to have seen the stage show it was taken from. That would be truly amazing.

We have to buy a car. I thought we were going to get one from my Meme (grandmother), but that's not happening. The inspection is due at the end of the month and there's no way it'll pass and it's not worth putting any money into (and it would be a lot to make it pass!). I'm not entirely certain where we're going to get the money to do this. We have some, but not enough...

I spent the past hour making husband's food for tomorrow at work! Yummy rice with veggies, a salad, and a tuna salad to make into a sandwich. Okay, time to hit post to count for today!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

42nd Street

So the current show that's playing is 42nd Street. My mother and Meme (grandmother) came to see the show tonight. They both really enjoyed it. Throughout the show, I worked frantically to try and finish the couch throw for my sister. I really wanted it to be done so that I could just have my mom take it and give it to her. But I decided that I didn't like the border I had started, so I ripped it out and then I started a simple sc border with two different color rounds. I ran out of the tan! ARRH! FOUR stitches from the end. UGH. But I made it work and ended up crochet backwards from the other side with another end and knotted the two ends together. heh. Whatever works, right?

I did one round of blue, but I want to do a second round before I consider it done. And then I have some ends to weave in. Fortunately, I weaved most of them in as I went, but the last row needs weaving in. I tried crocheting over the ends, but this blanket is too loosely crocheted for that. They stuck out all funny and looked stupid. So weaving them it is!

Tomorrow and Monday I have off. Then I go on an early schedule of 9-5 for two days. Weird for me! I just hope I get enough sleep. I've been needing a crazy 11 hours of sleep lately! I wonder if I'm fighting something off.

Friday, November 14, 2008

17 things i made - a video

Okay, I just spent an hour catching up on NaBloPoMo blogs (neglecting my other daily read blogs... I'm so behind!) and I'm too wiped to write out a post. So instead, I'm going to leave you with these two beautiful videos. I felt so touched by them. I'd love to make my own version of "17 things..." You must watch the first and then the second for it to make sense.

Isn't it inspiring and touching? I just want to go out and DO something after watching!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mycroft the Cat

So most every comment was about my cat, so I thought I'd do a short post dedicated to him.

Mycroft found us. When living in a different apartment, we had a fire escape that overlooked a roof of another apartment. One day, I heard a mewing. At first I ignored it, figuring it was coming from someone else's window. But soon I went to the fire escape and a cat was mewing across the rooftops. I called for it, and it came prancing over and immediately rubbed my hand. I couldn't believe that this little guy was so friendly. We couldn't figure out where we came from, though we tried. And after a visit to the vet's for a peeing all over the place problem (UTI) and a stern warning that the cat weighed 17 pounds and was likely to develop diabetes and have chronic UTIs unless he shed some pounds, we took him home and named him Mycroft.

Mycroft is Sherlock Holmes's older brother. He's incredibly smart, but also incredibly fat and lazy. He'd rather sit in an armchair, sipping brandy, then hit the street to figure out a crime. Well, this cat that already knew "no" and not to jump on the table and mostly liked to lay around the house, not tear around, seemed to fit the name.

He'd shed a few pounds since we've had him. I can actually see his hip bones, but he's still a very large cat. In order for him to have enough room on my lap, I have to sit criss crossed in the chair. My legs certainly grow numb with his giant furriness on me, but I just LOVE to hear him purr. He has a purr like a motor boat! It is INCREDIBLY loud, and the song that Heather linked me to fits him perfectly! I'd love to have a listen.


Mycroft is a very gentle cat and is almost always up for a snuggle. Since moving into our new place, he is more active and since he's been getting wet food, he's even more vocal when it gets near dinner time.


Right now he's meowing at his toys, wanting them to move. He doesn't do so well at playing by himself. And he's not socialized with other cats. He's afraid of them and every other creature!


He hates having his paws touched, but I just love them!

(I'll catch up on blogs tomorrow, I promise! It's been a very busy couple of days!!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

12 of 12 November

The 12th of every month, one of my friends posts 12 pictures of her day to share with everyone. I thought it would be fun to do, so here are 12 pictures out of the 89 I took today!


12 of 12 - 10:24a

After snoozing a few times and and snuggling with the husband for a few mintues, I roll out of bed. I know I have to hurry, like usual, but I stop to look in the mirror for this photo. I'm glad I don't generally look in the mirror when I first get up!


12 of 12 - 10:48a

I have to be at work in 12 minutes. I'm stopping to take a picture WHY?


12 of 12 - 11:02a

Rolling into work late, but I slow to take a picture of our sign!


12 of 12 - 11:05a

Only three minutes late by punch card time, which is a couple minutes slow for real time...


12 of 12 - 12:26p

I'm on hold... AGAIN. I called the safe company three times today (and was on hold for 25+ minutes) to figure out if I could and how to change the safe combo...


12 of 12 - 1:27p

One of the actor's bright pink shoes brightens my day. I answer many questions about this and that for them. That's my bag making a public appearance!


12 of 12 - 1:34p

At my work station, trying to get these complimentary (comp) ticket requests squared away while my email inbox continually gives me more to do.


12 of 12 - 4:28p

Donations for Broadway Care / Equity Fights AIDS. I have to sort and band eight buckets worth of cash every time I work this show.


12 of 12 - 6:31p

Had to step outside to see if there was coffee in the other building. The moon was so lovely.


12 of 12 - 7:25p

Whenever I go to the library, I have to stop by the craft books. I picked up three books on needle felting.


12 of 12 - 7:59p

A quick stop at CVS to get a perscription and some Dove deodorant. UNSCENTED as I have multiple chemical sensitivity and resperatory system can't handle fragrance etc.


12 of 12 - 9:33p

Watching last night's House and crocheting while Mycroft keeps my lap warm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This is the dessert I made tonight upon returning from knit night at Yarns in the Farms. I chopped up some red delicious apples and bosc pears (they were what I had on hand!), tossed in some vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and ginger and put it on the stove until everything was soft.

I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to get the right shapes. On the right is just a sprinkling of cinnamon and on the left is the fresh baked apple walnut bread that Jill's daughter made. (Jill is one of the owners of Yarns in the Farms.)

A homemade candle topped it off. I turned down the lights and surprised the husband with a little treat.

This is the second knit night I've gone to at YitF. The first one was on a Wednesday night, which is run by Carolyn. Both groups of ladies were chatty and inviting and I had a very pleasant time. I again worked on my Lauria's Lovely Lacy Shawl. And again, I received many compliments on my work. No snobbery there!

I also asked the ladies what they thought I should do with my Couch Throw. I'm going to frog back the wonky short rows and do a border. My original intention was to do a border, and I want to do that.

I'll work on that at home and take my shawl out and about. It hasn't grown much since the last time I photographed it. Partially because I realized I had done a couple rows with the wrong hook size and I was concerned about ripping it out. The alpaca is very sticky. But it was suprisingly easy and I've moved a few rows beyond that point now. It takes about an hour and a half to do each row (the eyelit row is quicker!) and I know it's only going to get longer with five increases each row...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Book Review: Vogue Knitting on the Go: Crocheted Shawls

One thing I love to do whenever I become immersed in something is to read as much as I can about it. So it's no surprise that I love thumbing through crochet books. Whenever I go to the library, I look through the fiber arts section. Unfortunately, at my library it's jumbled together, so I always have a search on my hands for the crochet books, rather than the knitting books. Most of the books seem to be stuck in a time warp. But slowly and surely there are more modern books appearing. So I thought I'd give my thoughts on one.

I have been waiting for a while for Vogue Knitting on the Go: Crocheted Shawls to be available at the library. I've had a thing for shawls lately and I wanted to see what vogue knitting would have to say about it.

The introduction seems forward enough. It doesn't come off as a knitter writing about crochet, which seems to be the case much of the time. I'm not certain who wrote the introduction, there's no clear name there, but whoever it was, she obviously is a knitter as well as a crocheter. One thing I found interesting was that knitting written directions tend to be clearer because there are less abbreviations and more full words. I didn't know this, not knitting myself.

I found most of the patterns to be quite interesting. I found myself drawn to the rectangular patterns, rather than the triangular ones, but there was certainly a mix of different shawl types - something to satisfy anyone. I was disappointed with some yarn choices. Some shawls looked stiff and lacking drape. I think that could have been easily solved by a different yarn choice for the pattern.

I find myself most attracted to the simple patterns that allow the yarn to be the shining star of the show, rather than the complex patterned piece. Looking at what's been made at Raverly, I'm surprised that there aren't more shawls made from this book. I thought of taking pictures of the shawls, but then I thought that might be copyright infringement, so you'll just have to find the book to look at the pictures, yourself.

One shawl I was most unimpressed with was a shawl in a moss green color which used only the loop stitch. You've seen the stitch on amigurumi sheep to make the fleece... And it looked like a sheep fell into a vat of moss dye, was skinned and tossed over this woman's shoulder. Huh? What's that about? I really hate to be negative on someone's design because I know what kind of work goes into designing something, but... I can't imagine it being ANYONE's thing. I'm not surprised that it's not listed as anyone having made it on Raverly -- the designer didn't even admit to making one!

One beauty is Doris Chan's Winged Victory. As soon as I saw it, I instantly recognised it as being her work. It's another one of her blown up doily patterns. She explains her foundation single crochet technique, which I've found invaluable.

The cover shawl, Dots and Daisies is rather striking against the plain black background of the model's dress. The point of the triangle falls on the lower thigh and looks like a perfect accessory to an elegant, but unadorned evening gown.

The Shawl du soleil fascinates me, but I wonder how heavy it is! I think I'd prefer it as a blanket rather than a shawl.

There are 21 designs in total in the book and each one feels very different from the others. If you have a chance, I'd recommend giving it a look to see if something in it catches your eye. I'm certainly going to check out the other books in the series. I was pleasantly surprised with something labeled "knitting" having some impressive crochet patterns in it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Christmas Crochet Booklet

Christmas Crochet

This is a booklet that my mother gave me from her crocheting days. I adore the pillows! They're just too cute. I don't know if I'd make them, though, only because I'm against knick-knack things and I think that holiday decorations like this are knick-knacky. We don't have storage for these kinds of things. But, but... They're so cute! What's a girl to do?

Other photos of the booklet are on my flickr. Follow the picture above to see the rest. The cute little package decorations (shown on the other cover) are also very cute. I could totally see making a bunch of these for presents!

And here's a gratuitous picture of Mycroft, the cat:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

To Frog and Border or to Embrace the Wonkiness?

There hasn't been anything exciting craft-wise lately. I'm making steady progress on my checkered blanket. Actually, I'm at the end of my yarn for one color, which would leave a weird checker row. I'm not sure if I should try to make it as big as I can and call it a day, or if I should frog back to my last full squares and then use the remaining yarn to create a border of sorts...

What do you think?

The blanket is actually quite even, it's just that because it's all back loop only, it has a LOT of stretch to it, so it's hard to keep it looking like a rectangle.

Here's a close up:
Only a little left

Just not quite enough yarn left...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sports Themed Baby Blanket

So one of my next projects will be making a sports themed baby blanket for my unborn nephew. His (and his older brother's) room is sports themed. I've been kicking around some ideas in my head.

One is to make a ball-shaped blanket. Baseball, Basketball, Football, or Soccer ball. Most would be fairly simple to crochet in the round and then add surface crochet or embroidery for the details.

Or, I could make a rectangular blanket with ball shapes on it. Crochet a bunch of different balls, then connect them by crocheting around and around. I'm sure I'm thrilled on how this looks, however, so this idea is probably not going to happen.

What about a blanket that looks like a playing field? Football field would be fairly simple, and there's even one out there already. Football Fever (Rav link), for example. Same with soccer, and likely basketball. But for some reason, I'm pretty set on making a Fenway Park baseball diamond blanket. This is very silly. Fenway park is not a normal shape. I'm thinking that maybe there's a way to simplify the shape. Extend the right and left baseline sides so that they make a straight line? I'm also thinking that I'd like to try diagonal crochet for this. Something like this (LionBrand pattern link). And I'd definitely make the grass pattern of the red sox logo and the blocks of different green grass in the outfield.

I really like this idea, but I'm also worried it'll be too ambitious! I think it's either that, or crocheting a baseball with a red sox logo...

Any opinions or suggestions?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Fibery goodness in this post. Keep moving along

I've been having a hard time coming up with something to blog about today. I really like this blog to be craft related, but today all I did was go to work and come home! No crafting time at all! Not even at work. Sometimes I get craft time at work because things are slow, but not today. It was very busy.

Today, I paid off the credit card. When my husband and I moved here at the end of April, I had a job all lined up, but my husband didn't. It took him until mid-September to find a job, and he had to take a job he didn't want, jsut so that we could survive. For July and August, we were living on the credit card. I made enough money to cover the bills and rent, but food, gas, clothing, etc. was all paid with the credit card. Today, I was able to pay that off. Now, we can get started on saving more money up because we need a new car. And fast! But it feels good to get that accomplished.

I promised that we'd get a pizza when we paid off the credit card as a reward and we will. It's hard to allow myself this little luxery because I think, "that's money that we need to be saving up for the next crisis," but I made a promise that we would get a pizza as a reward for all our scrimping, and we're going to! I think that this reward is important and I want to be able to enjoy it. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yarn Exhibitionist Kit

Today I received my yarn exhibitionist kit from Emilybug. I won it for free on her blog! Awesome. I am excited to give this a try. I'll have to go to the fabric store and pick up a little something. Or wait, I might have something in a drawer I could use... Oh Oh I could use that sheet that I was planning on making into a bag... Hmmm... decisions, decisions!

Anyway, here's a photo of what comes in the kit:

Exhibionist Kit

When it's all put together, it makes a skein holder so that you can work on your crochet/knitting wherever you want without digging through your bag looking for your yarn or trying to juggle a yarn ball on the bus. I'll have to take photos when I make it!

Let me tell you, these magnets are STRONG. one is currently on top of my index finger and the other on the bottom and this magnet is holding on very well (while typing!) and even drawing my hand close to the computer... Maybe having this magnet this close to my beloved laptop is a bad idea...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today I did my duty as an American citizen and I voted. I was totally prepared to wait in line for an hour and crochet while I waited, but it was entirely unneccesary. It was so quiet that it was disconcerting! But my husband and I voted quickly. I was nervous it was over so fast! Here's my ballot and my project.


When I found that Obama won, I couldn't hardly believe it. It is just so surreal that it's over. All this time campaigning and it's done. I'm glad with the result, but it just hasn't sunk in yet. Wow.

Here's my hidiously awesome vintage bag as promised, although not cleaned! Oops. But really it just smells musty, doesn't look stained, so you don't have to smell it. :)

Here's the outside, full of mystery:

Flower puke

Everything dumped out! What suprise.

Contents of the bag

Look at these pot holders! Who made them? What are they made of? Will they melt in the heat? I must do a burn test to find out!

Who's Hot Pads?

And what are these pink and blue things?


It's a fun mystery. I'm sure I'll find something to do with all the yarn, including this BRIGHT YELLOW stuff!


Monday, November 3, 2008

New Yarn Bag

Yesterday I went to my neice's 9th birthday party. I can't believe how fast she's growing up. I remember when she was toddling around the house like her 21 month old brother is! (Who is also too cute, by the way!)

My mother had found a retro bag that she thinks her mother gave her. She doesn't recognise most of the yarn in it, except for the skein that she used to make a baby blanket for me (which she ended up finishing for my little sister, two years later). It's one of those fabric bags with wood dowels to give it some shape and brig, gaudy flowers on the side. I can't wait until I can wash it and photograph it and start carrying my projects in it! My mother was saying that I didn't have to carry it around, but at least I could use it at home. I laughed. I think it's perfectly tacky and can't wait to use it! :)

Photos tomorrow, hopefully. I think I caught a bug from one of the kids and then I had a very bad backache tonight, so I didn't get any crafting done and didn't get to wash the bag. But hopefully I won't be waiting in the polls line forever tomorrow and will have some time to hand wash and dry it!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Snuggle Blanket

Snuggle Blanket
Originally uploaded by lauriakincaid

Here's the blanket I was talking about last post. As you can see, I'm using a Q hook and two strands of yarn. It's not done in strips like those "Mile a Minute" afghans. It's done all at once. Eight balls of yarn at the same time! I wound two balls together to make things easier for each section, so really only four balls of yarn. I'm almost done!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Okay, I'm not so good at the updating. So, I'm joining NaBloPoMo in hopes that it'll be the kickstart I need to keep posting. I'm at work right now, so I don't have photos to upload, but I've been working a lot on my checkered blanket for my sister and brother-in-law.

My sister is five years older than me and really took care of my growing up while my mom had to work. She made me and my little sister dinner and had to make sure we did homework and chores. Every Christmas eve we would get to open one present under the tree. I would select Sarah's gift. I always lamented that I didn't have money to get her a gift when she could give me one.

Last year she and her husband moved into a house that they built. She couldn't afford to give out presents for the family, but for the first time, I could. So I wanted to crochet her and her husband a warm blanket to snuggly up under while they watch TV with the kids. Well, it's almost a year later and I'm still working on the blanket! It's 3/4 of the way done and I just keep working on it. It has to be ready for Christmas this year!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mail time!

I was lucky enough to win a beautiful handmade hook in the International Crochet Day giveaway hosted by The Cosmic Crocheter!

She also included a couple other gifts:

Peace Button Hook

This hook is a joy to touch. It's so smooth and light, I can't stop playing with it. It's a G/4mm hook from Fancy Kitty. It's made of canarywood and has been smoothed and coated with something to make it shiney.

The yarn is Peace Fleece in Kamchatka Seamoss. I'm not certain if it's sport weight or worsted weight as they're both 2ply and nothing is listed on the label. My guess is that it's sport weight. If I can find my ruler, I'll check the WPI. (ETA: It's worsted weight, the Cosmic Crocheter told me so. OOoo that sounds so mystical! :-P )

Lastly, there's a cute crochet button included! The photo on the button is of crochet fabric in all different colors. I'm going to have to stick this on the bag I generally through my crochet in. I also use it as an everday purse, but that's because I'm always bringing my crochet somewhere!

I have no idea what I'm going to use this yarn for, but I'm sure that I'll think of something. I can't wait to play with my new hook and I hope that I can use the two as a pair.

Thanks so much, cosmiccrocheter81 (as she's known on Ravelry)!

Friday, September 12, 2008

International Crochet Day

International Crochet Day
Originally uploaded by lauriakincaid

Today is International Crochet Day! This photo is of me crocheting during my lunch break. Of course, I'm wearing the fingerless gloves that I crocheted just over a month ago. I love how ridiculously bright these are!

The Crochet Liberation Front just released the Crochet Liberation Front First Ever Book! Awesome. I looked through some of the patterns on Ravelry, and I'm so excited to get my hands on this book! I'll be giving a couple of the LYS around here the promotional material as soon as I get it snail mail from Fearless Leader.

There are a few blog giveaways going on, which is very exciting. I've entered all that I've heard about. Maybe I'll win something! That'll certainly be exciting.

What are you doing to celebrate?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Beach, Park, Crochet!

This weekend has been great. Friday night we went to Independence Park, which is five minutes away from our apartment. It's got a grassy park area, and then a beach. I was hoping that it would be warm enough to go swimming and when I got down to the shore, I was pleasantly surprised! I dove right in.

Out to Sea
I'm that little dot waving at the camera.

My husband and I relaxed on a blanket while looking out at the water. I feel so luck to have witnessed this sunset.


I was enjoying looking out so much, that I neglected the crochet I brought along with me!

Today, we went to Gallows Hill Park in Salem, the alleged site of Salem "witch" hangings.
Gallows Hill Park Sign
The lower level is a playground, skate park, and playing field, but the upper part seems to be the actual hill and is sorely neglected.
This is a broken water fountain filled with rain water from the storm we had last night.


You don't see metal slides like this one anymore!:
Berke Built
I also whipped up a crocheted drawstring pouch today. I still need to weave in some ends, but I think I left my tin with my yarn needles and stitch markers at work.

Drawstring Pouch
This little pouch is to hold my Diva Cup. I didn't like the fabric one that came with mine because it wasn't very subtle. It says "DIVA" right on it. And I also broke the drawstring on it. I could have easily fixed it, but I thought it would be fun to make one out of cotton. If you're interested in learning more about the Diva Cup, an alternative to pads and tampons, check out their website. I love mine.
While I was waiting for the clothes to go around in the washer and dryer, I started a bag for my camera case out of purple Lion Brand Homespun my sister gave me. I think it will protect my camera from any minor bumps or falls. It'll certainly be better than the plastic bag it's currently sitting in!

Camera case chain
Hope everyone else had as lovely as weekend as I did!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Knit Night @ Yarns in the Farms

Last night I went to Yarns in the Farms for their Wednesday (and Tuesday) Knit Night! I met some very nice people and Wink remembered me from when I came in to buy the yarn (J. Knit's Lace-a-Licious) all the way back in May!

I brought along my Lauria's Lovely Lacy Shawl to work on while we chatted. Everyone really liked it and couldn't believe how simple the pattern is. I think that there's great beauty in simplicity. No one was in the least bit snotty about me crocheting, though everyone else had brought knitting and a couple of the women crochet, too.

We had interesting talks about many things from politics to glow in the dark yarn while people sipped red wine and "healthy" cookies. Of course I mentioned how much I love Ravelry and that it's worth the wait. It's hard to believe that there are any fiber artists that aren't on it!

I was definitely coveting the Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky yarn. It is so beautiful and I think I'm going to have to get some once I have some yarn money (hopefully soon!). Next I need to decide on a project.

I didn't think to take pictures last night (maybe I'll remember next week when I hope to return), but here's a photo of the shawl I worked on:

Lacy Shawl WIP