Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wheee, happy birthday to me!

So, another birthday. :) This was was actually pretty darned good, mostly because of my best friend Kate, her folks and our friend Shilo. :)

I'm already looking toward the weekend and everything that needs to get done. One of the things is to take the yarn, needles and patterns I got handed to me when Kate's MIL was cleaning out the house after her mother died and move them into storage. I don't quite have the mindset to go through them properly right now. It's a bittersweet thing because the one thing Mary (Kate's grandmother in law) loved was when I'd be sitting there crocheting during family functions. She used to both knit and crochet in her younger years but arthritis and failing eyesight stole that from her. So to see her granddaughter-in-law's best friend bring crochet back into the family, it brought her a small bit of joy. I'm sure it didn't hurt that her great-grandchildren tend to be some of my intended "victims". She also loved the two lap robes I made for her. It still brings me to tears 4 months later that the family decided to have them buried with her because she loved how warm they were. It's morbid and kinda twisted but it's also very sweet and human... the desire to keep her warm even then.

I've been trying to keep the enthusiasm up for the lap robe for my friend Minx's mother Mary... however the minute my brain made the connection that once again I'm making a lap robe for someone named Mary who is dying... it's been harder to pick that project up. I will manage, but it's ... hard.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Well, I now have yet another reason to frog the sweater I'd been working on for Minx. When one skein ran out, I knotted the end together. I no longer do that, for that matter, that was probably one of the last projects I did do that on. Bad bad naughty me!

Both cap sleeves are now frogged and I'm one skein into frogging the body of it. I think there's 6 or 7 ... maybe 8 or 9 skeins worth of yarn in there. The sucker is heavy.


Becky's newest sweater is done. :) I just finished it tonight and will be handing it over to her grandmother tomorrow. Yay!!!

Digging out projects

Well, one good thing about joining Ravelry is that it's getting me to dig through the piles of "stuff" (also known as "unfinished objects") and start categorizing them. I have this huge black tote bag I carry with me on a daily basis that has my current on-hook projects in it. It's stuffed to the gills right now and honestly, I'd like to get back to the smaller project bag which is really a Pirates of the Caribbean purse from the Disney store.

In going through the bag, I've discovered the following:

Two yellow lap robes, one of which is going to get frogged, the other is going to be finished for Minx's mom. I either have to finish it before I leave or make sure to take the yarn with me. The preference is to finish it so I only have to transport the lap robe itself.

The other one is for Becky, for her twin sized bed. However, when I originally started it, it was going to be Mary's laprobe. I didn't like how it was working up for that particular project so I got different yarn which is working out much better. I definitely want to use the original yarn for Becky (since she's who I had in mind when I bought it) but the lap robe width is too narrow for a twin bed. Needless to say, it's frogging time and then do the blanket for her to proper measurements.

Also shoved into the bag are four partial baby sweaters. I stopped working on the ones for Sydney and Danny in order to whip up the easy yellow one for Becky. That's partially because I know I'm going to be seeing her grandparents tomorrow and I can leave the finished project with them. I love the yarn for Danny's, but the pattern is starting to irk me so it's possible that it's going to get frogged and be redone using the Sweet Sweater template. Yes, I am addicted to that, thank you. But if it didn't work, I wouldn't keep making sweaters that way. Besides, he's growing at such a rate that the current size on the hook isn't going to be wearable for very long.

Sydney's little sweater is down to the point of my needing to finish a sleeve and a half, sew it all together (my least favorite part) and put the trim on. The pattern for the tapering of the sleeves was driving me batty, so I'm just doing them as plain, straight rectangular sleeves that follow the stitch pattern of the body. When I follow directions and end up frogging the results multiple times, it's time to try something different.

I need to pick up a button tonight for Beck's sweater so I can finish it. I'd really hoped the cute Debbie Mumm buttons would work, but it just looked lopsided no matter how I did it and two of the big honkin things worked out to pure overkill. So, I'll find a cute little sunny button and go from there. Maybe I'll zip up to JoAnn's and get a sunflower or black eyed Susan button since those are two of her grandmother's favorite flowers. Oooo, a pretty hook and eye set could work out nicely too. We'll have to see what I find when I get out there.

The last sweater in the bag is technically unclaimed. I'd started it for one baby but it'll probably go to a different one now. I have to frog part of it because once again, following directions got me a very strange looking sleeve area. Directions are problematical for me on occasion, especially if they're not extremely clear, which is why I usually make it up as I go along. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Frogging Minxy's sweater

Oh a project I love to hate.

I started this sweater back in 2005 because I wanted to make something for my friend while I was up visiting her. Unluckily for me, she fell head over heels in love with TLC Wiggles yarn. For those of you who don't know, it's a lovely worsted weight yarn with bumpy lumpy caterpillars of thread wound around it. Multi-colored, rainbow explosions of thread "wiggles" randomly interspersed through the yarn. Ugh.

Why ugh? Simple, crochet hooks love to catch them wrong and break the thread or get it aaaaaaaaall tangled up into an impossible never to be salvaged mess. To make the whole thing worse, while I started it in Canada, I did a good bit of it while stuck on a plane... on the tarmac... in the blistering summer heat. I lost count, alot, which led to lots of bumps and puckers where you don't want them. Not good. Plus I was also making it up as I went along instead of using anything resembling a pattern or guideline. Even more not good. I was using single crochet for the stitch. One guaranteed to make the project last forever. Then, to top it all off, when I got home and had a mere cap sleeve to finish, I misplaced the scribbled hieroglyphics resembling directions and completely forgot what hook size I was using. If you're guessing recipe for disaster, you'd win a Kewpie doll.

The sweater then proceeded to sit in my guilt laden dreaded UFO pile and was eventually banished to yarn totes in the storage bin until today. Why today? Simple, I'm leaving in two weeks to go vist Shel again and I've decided that I'm taking the yarn with me and FINISHING a sweater for her. I'll use an I or J hook, half double crochet stitches and the handy template from the lovely "Sweet Sweater" on Crochet Me! Yes, I have a plan... one that can only take effect after doing one thing. Frogging Minxy's sweater.

Becky and sweaters...

I love making sweaters for Becky. She's such a nifty kid and she appreciates them SO much. Here's an example, last year, I made her a sweater that she fell in love with. It had nifty heart buttons on it that her Aunt Kate picked out and they were the first buttons Bec could do by herself. Well, because Becky is growing like a weed, the sweater was starting to get a bit short on her, so her mom asked if I could make it longer. Heh, piece of cake.

It took me about a week or so from the time I got the sweater to add the decorative bottom, extending it, wash it and then get it back to her. I cheated and got it to her grandmother who I knew would be seeing her before I did. Know what the little cutie did when she got the sweater back? She HUGGED it and exclaimed "My sweater came home!" Not only that, it now fits her perfectly lengthwise and she insisted on wearing it to the first day of school today.

And that is why I love making sweaters for Becky.

Wiping the dust away

So I decided I needed to be able to blog about crocheting. Why? I have no idea except that every now and again, ranting is a good thing.