Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No Crochet Today

Well, Monday teachers went back to school and it has been a mad dash of students and paperwork since! This time of year is always exciting and exhausting. Luckily there will be a four day weekend starting at 2pm tomorrow. Getting back into the swing is always different and its own kind of adventure.

One of my favorite moments so far was when a study and my class were booked simultaneously in the same room causing much confusion. Luckily, they found me a new home for today's class which was actually unoccupied. The beautiful thing is that it has tables instead of desks which is my preferred seating. Although I still cannot arrange the room to my liking since I only teach in there one block a day, it is an improvement over my typical setting. Chalk one up for seredipity!

My students are wonderful, varied, and interesting. Looks like it will be a good year.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

There is JOY in Mudville!

O.K. so it being the last few days of my summer vacation has resulted in a second baseball reference, but it is nonetheless appropriate.

Pictured left is the totally unsatisfactory square which was not completed (and yes has now been frogged). The softer and shinier Caron Simply Soft didn't provide enough stitch definition. Less definition, no texture, and much splitting = no fun! Hence, I made one more stab at getting the Lt. Periwinkle by placing a call to the AC Moore which is located 25mins from my house.

I called early. I apparently called before their opening time. I was enormously pleased with the pleasant management type person who checked the shelf and informed me that not only did they have sufficient quantity of the yarn in question, I would be able to use my teacher discount even though I don't yet have AC Moore's special teacher card. Into the car, out to the store and viola! AC Moore has been redeemed as my favorite place for inexpensive (acrylic) yarn. There is JOY copious amounts of JOY in Mudville!

Friday, August 25, 2006


So, yesterday I went yarn shopping with joy in my heart that I could begin working in earnest on the Blanket of Roses. To my dismay AC Moore has stopped carrying the Lt. Periwinkle! Not to give up too easily, I went to Michaels. They didn't have any either. Aaargh! Checking the web it seems this color is still available and I may end up having to order it by mail (any suggestions for a reliable & reasonable online yarn store that carries Red Heart Super Saver?). This Caron Simply Soft in Berry Blue, is a possible alternative which I will try at some point today. It doesn't have as much body as the Red Heart so I'm a bit dubious... However, I'm also not taking any chances that this yarn color will disappear too. I bought enough to make the entire blanket plus one extra skein. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dieing to hear the comments...

O.K. so those of you who know me well...what do you think?

You Are a Smiley Face Cookie

You Are a Smiley Face Cookie

You're happy go lucky. So happy, in fact, it's a little past the point of normal sanity.
You usually make those around you smile ... when you're not creeping them out!

Batting 500

And the count is one frog and one success. There was not enough yarn for the hat so it has been frogified. However, the blanket squares in Lt. Periwinkle are a definite success! I caught myself stopping to admire them as they were forming from my hook. Even better, they came out very close in size. Close enough that when they are sewn together the stretch and pull will make them look exact. Yipee! Guess who's going to purchase more yarn today...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Perhaps I have found a color for the "Bed of Roses" blanket that will fit in with the color scheme of my home. I could not find a good picture of this color (even on the Coats and Clark web site!) so this is the best I could do. It is called Lt. Periwinkle and depending on the light can appear blue or purple. These btw are my two favorite colors! I'm going to try a few squares this evening and see how it goes. Check back tomorrow for pics.

Perhaps I will have not only a scarf from the Shaker Homespun, but also a hat! It turned out that the scarf took less than the entire skein so I'm trying out one of the Yarn Harlot's hat formulas. The hat is created flat to the height of the hand plus two inches. It looks small to my untrained eye, however, I'm putting my trust in the Harlot. The hat as pictured here is about 1/3 of the way to its final length. Has anyone out there tried this method? Got any tips for me?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Busy Making WIPs

So, I tried another Homespun scarf and did not like it at all. This is one of those "subtle stripes" yarns, which I did not realize when I purchased it. Looks really weird along the length of the scarf!

So... I tried it in the round as a snuggle for the animal shelter and it is MUCH prettier! (Sorry that the pictures aren't better...)

Not to give up I tried another Homespun color and this one is definitely working!

Have you ever heard of a chain afghan or a Jacob's Ladder? I hadn't until this week. The basic recipe is to dc 10 then chain 10 (skipping 10 chains), turn by chaining two at the end of each row. When you are done your loop the chains together and it creates that braid looking stripe you can see on the right. Very easy and really interesting looking result! It looks even better if you stripe two colors. The pictures I saw of this had one color "darting" into the next stripe showing off the "braid". This will be a snuggle as most of my "let's try this new technique/stitch/pattern" things tend to be!

And finally a dish cloth that only needs the ends woven in. This pattern came from Leisure Arts, however, I skipped the last round as it was making the piece ruffle (unlike the sample photo in the design book) and I didn't like the look. So, what's next...Finishing some of these WIPs of course! Happy Hooking!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


  1. So, no pictures today as I spent the weekend on Cape Cod. There was little time for crochet. Although I must say as of this moment I am close to finishing the toddler throw made from the "Mexicana" Homespun. A big THANK YOU to the generous Amanda for giving me some from her stash so that I didn't have to frog it and start over!
  2. Have you ever been to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport or the JFK Museum on Main Street in Hyannis? Both were interesting! Well, the Compound only if you like living history and architecture that you have to look at from afar. The museum was brief (well - the guidebook said 45 minutes but we took 2 hrs!), informative, and unique in its artifacts and pictures. A BIG BONUS was that since I am a teacher I got in for FREE! Those with me also received a discount. They paid only $2.00 instead of the regular $5.00 admission. How's that for a perk of being a teacher?
  3. Have you heard about the International Scarf Exchange? I read about it here and have joined. I let them know that I crochet instead of knit and they said it would be just fine! Yipee! I love making scarves. If you are interested, go to the ISE blog then look on the right hand sidebar for "STUFF"and read the Rules and Questionaire. I am looking forward to finding an interesting pattern for the scarf I crochet and am thrilled at the prospect of receiving something truly wonderful that might come from half way around the world!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Presto Chango!

Viola! Two small balls of Homespun, courtesy of the generous Amanda, transformed in less than 24 hours into a lovely ridged scarf! This is only the second time I've worked with Homespun and I'm really pleased with the results. It is soft, snuggly, and my favorite colors.

I must say this yarn is not for the faint of heart as most stitches were placed not by sight, but by where I knew the stitch SHOULD BE. It is so fuzzy you cannot see the stitches. I guess we could call it the Intuitive Method of crochet! I am now looking forward to the cooler weather so that I can wear this. (Although, the air conditioning was turned up so high at my friends' house last night that I had a good excuse to wear it for a while.) Thank you Amanda!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bed of Roses

I have a confession...I am a crocheter who reads the Yarn Harlot. Why? She is a hoot, many of her tips work for crocheters, and while I don't knit, my friends and relations do. All knowledge is valuable, you just never know when it might come into play!

Today was one of those days. I remember reading some comments this jewel of the knitting world made in her latest book Knitting Rules. (I'm currently on pg 158) Among her recommended types of pattern books to have in your library are several with "brilliant, over-the-top, 'I-could-never' patterns...[this] is the stuff that knitterly inspiration comes from. Aim high. Dream big (76)." Encouraging, no? Well, It came into play as I read the premier edition of Crochet Today magazine. There it was. A beautiful crocheted blanket, "Bed of Roses". My reaction:

1) That's gorgeous!
2) It's made in squares...I DON'T DO SQUARES!
3) Maybe I'll try squares to make this...(cringe) I'd have to make 48 of them?!
4) Skill level, skill level...Oh, no! It is an intermediate (one down from expert)
5) But, I REALLY like it.
6) I'll think about it.

As the days went by, it got prettier. That's when I recalled the Yarn Harlot's words. This pattern had inspired me to try squares. It might be beyond me. It just might be one of those "I-could-never" patterns for a rank beginner in crochet like myself who has trouble keeping even tension. However, as she also says, repeatedly, "It's only yarn." So, today I gave it a go and here is the result. It's not perfect, it just might be beyond me at this point (I won't know until I try making SEVERAL more of these striving for consistency and the right shape!), but it is beautiful:

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I couldn't resist these beautiful roses when I saw them on sale at the grocery store! They now grace my kitchen table and make me smile each time I see them. A bit of summer inside the house to match all those beautiful flowers outside.

The Project Linus afghan is done and edged. Once I was half way through I just had to push through to finish! I really have to work on keeping my larger pieces square. The sides tend to waver quite a bit. As a result, I think this one might end up going to the shelter animals instead. They won't mind!

I must be a masochist because I am planning to start an even bigger afghan. I found the pattern while at AC Moore yesterday trying to spend a 50% off coupon. It was inspired by the discovery that Lion Brand Pound of Love now comes in turquoise blue!

Isn't she adorable? This is Peneenah who was busy sleeping upside down. I think she has finally gotten used to me snapping pictures of her in cute poses as she didn't even twitch at the sound of the camera this time!

Friday, August 04, 2006

YIPEE - One for me!

Rainy mornings make a good excuse for crocheting instead of running errands. As a result, the travel bag is complete (one less WIP!) I cannot wait to use it so I'll soon be filling it with a book and my current lapghan for Project Linus to sustain me during allergy testing later today. I decided not to use a lining as the pattern recommends since I'm not planning on putting anything small that might fall through inside it. (Hopefully this will be a successful deviation from the pattern. :-D) I suspect that since I had so much fun with the first one there will be more of these in my future. Well, let's be honest, I'll probably play around with the pattern a bit just for fun! Anyway, here's that Project Linus lapghan:

I LOVE the yarn colors (Red Heart Super Saver - Monet) and the texture created by this pattern! It is also working out perfectly in terms of yarn usage. I have only a little bit left on the first skein and I am exactly half way through the square that will be the final shape for this lapghan. I'm thinking the border will probably need to be pretty plain to show off the textured stitch. If anyone has an idea for the border design or color, I'd love some input. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Homespun - Did you know this?

I love Michael's for its clearance yarn. The other day a co-worker gave me a coupon so I, of course, had to go get some yarn. Low and behold the lovely Homespun yarn in Mexicana was on clearance for $1 yes, $1 a skein! Needless to say, I purchased the last two skeins. I was thinking I could make a toddler blanket with it. Now I'm stuck as the first skein has left me with only eight inches of height - meaning the finished piece would only be 16 inches tall! What to do?

Here's the "Did you know this?" part...
I went to the Lion Brand Site to see if there were coordinates or something that I could use for part of the piece. What I read surprised me - some of the homespun is known as "painterly" meaning that when it is worked up there will be subtle stripes in the finished work. I've never worked with homespun before this and had no idea that it wasn't just solids and variegateds! Anyway, if you have a good idea for a color or solution PLEASE let me know.

The two sides are different so both are pictured along with the QCC (Quality Control Cat).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Calling All New Englanders

Come to the Boston Common for the Knit and Crochet Out! I'm looking forward to this one...

On another front I HAVE actually been crocheting since my last post and have rediscovered the joy of working in a spiral! The travel bag is nearing completion. I'm hoping it will make a good home for ongoing projects.

And last but not least...a dose of cute. This is my fluffy cat Harold who is attempting to beat the heat by laying on the ottoman which is directly in line with the air conditioner!