Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lolly to the Rescue

I was leaving work today when I realized that my crochet bag was in a coworker's car. A car that was MILES AWAY. All of my hooks. Gone. Inaccessible until tomorrow (or longer if she swaps cars with her husband). My reaction?


This reaction taught me something. I am addicted to crochet. The thought of being unable to crochet when in the mood is shocking. It's never happened in the year since I began!

How does Lolly fit into this? Well, I decided to double check what colors were in store for the first segment of Project Spectrum and saw on the list "blue". Hmmm. One of my favorite colors. In fact, the color of the alpaca shawl I set aside to work on the never ending list of baby blankets. Hey, wait a minute. Where's that project bag? Yipee! In the project bag...is...a...hook. Rescued!
So here I sit and happily crocheting. It's now my goal to finish the shawl before I leave for Key West so I can wear it there. Wish me luck! Oh, and if you haven't signed up for Project Spectrum...there's still time. Do it NOW!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Things

Stash busting has begun with squares for Warm Up America! These have the attraction of being quick (just 7 x 9 inches) so can be carried around easily. =-D

The yarn cataloguing has spilled over to my patterns which, thanks to Ericka, are now listed on Library Thing. Great tool for keeping track on line. I especially like that everything has an image. Who me visual? Nah... If you want to browse, there is a link on the sidebar titled "Gigi's Pattern Library".

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, January 27, 2007


What was it about last weekend that made so many of us take account of our statshes? There must have been something in the air. Almost every time I mentioned sorting and cataloguing my stash at least one other person said they had just finished doing it to! Weird. What was the result of my stash cataloguing?


I had no idea. None. Nada. That yarn had been running freely around my house residing on practically every table, in many bags, on many shelves. Brought together the quantity was staggering. Seventy-eight distinct yarns... which are now corralled in bins, drawers, and what used to be my four tiered sweater shelf! How did this happen in just a year? What will it be like by next year? (Eek!) I better get busy. Stash busting here I come!

Speaking of which...anyone have a good idea for a mobile project to take on a week's vacation to Key West? I keep trying to decide what will be non-bulky, interesting, and large enough to keep me busy for a while.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Beautiful Morning

Oh what a beautiful morning! Ice sparkling off all the branches, coating cars, and slicking up the road so that I could have two extra hours at home. One of my favorite things about being a teacher is that when the roads are scary, I don't have to drive on them. So, I wasn't surprised that last night I got the call saying there would be a two hour delay. Yipee! The school day would count, but it would be shorter and I could lol around in bed. Even removing the thick sheet of ice from my car wasn't bad as the temperature hovered around a balmy 31 degrees. Now, one of my quirks is that on days like this I like to hear the radio or TV announcer declare the delay or cancellation over the air. So, as I wended my way to school I listened to the local station.

Huh? Did I hear that correctly? As I came within half a mile of the school, the radio announced my school district had canceled school for the day. I must be hearing things! The roads are clear. I was disconcerted by the number of broken and bent trees (some with their crowns on the ground) along the roadside, but traveling was fine. I called home. If school was canceled there would be a message on my machine. It took less than a minute. No message. So, I pulled in to the parking lot to be stopped by not one but two teachers who were leaving. It was true, school had been canceled. At least they knew why. You see, my building has no power. Those bent and broken trees? Downed lines.

Upon arriving home I was startled to hear the phone ring. I thought to myself, it must be the phone chain catching up with me to say there is no school. Nope. Turns out the teacher I share a classroom with had run in to get some work out of our room and found it full of SMOKE! No, there was no fire, just smoke. Stinky smoke. Yuck! If there hadn't been a power outage, it turns out, school would likely have been canceled anyway. Our ancient boiler system must have heard that the district was preparing to send it to the boiler old age home and decided to go out with a bang. Literally. No heat = no school. Maybe tomorrow?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Books at Hand

So I was over at Stitchwitch's blog and saw this meme. Since I am a serious book addict (probably explains how I ended up teaching English and working part time in a book store) I couldn't resist giving it a go. Here's how it works:

1) Grab the nearest book and record the name and author.
2) Turn to page 123 of the book and go to the 5th sentence. Record the next 3 sentences. Voila, you're done!

Turning to my left the first book I can touch on the bookshelf is Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop. And here's the quote:

"He was home. He'd never liked Draega, never liked the tall stone buildings that shouldered against one another, blocking out the sun, never liked the concrete roads and concrete sidewalks with the stunted, dusty trees growing out of circular patches of earth cut out of the concrete. Oh, there were a thousand things to do here: theaters, music halls, museums, places to dine. All the things a long-lived, arrogant, useless people needed to fill the empty hours."

O.K. so I added a fourth sentence so the thought would be more complete but, you can see one of the reasons I like to read fantasy. Pure escapism aside, the imagery is generally wonderful!

Anyone who wants to give this a go....TAG your it! =-D

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Of Yarn and Washcloths

Simple Moss Stitch Washcloth
Hook Size H
Foundation: Ch 32 (or any desired multiple of 2)

Row 1: Sc in fourth chain from hook, [dc in next ch, sc in next chain] across. Turn.
Row 2: Chain 3 (counts as first dc), sc in first dc, [dc in next sc, sc in next dc] across. Last sc will be into the turning chain of the previous row. Turn.
Repeat row 2 until piece is square. End off and weave in ends.

The Story
This was truly an adventure in crochet! It began with this which quickly inspired me to try a crochet version. I had some Manos Cotton in my stash and having no idea what stitch to use tried basket weave. It was a resounding failure as far as appearance goes:

Clearly it did not retain its shape! The up side? INCREDIBLE softness.

So the search was on for a yarn and stitch that would work better. The stitch I finally settled on was Moss Stitch which yielded a slightly bumpy texture and thirsty cloth. Which yarn was best? For maintaining shape when hung over a towel rack to dry, absorbency, and a medium softness: Cotton Tots by Bernat!

Second place goes to the Cotonade. It has similar absorbency, but is a bit rougher and the space between the stitches opens up a bit more than the Cotton Tots. It will maintain shape fairly well and would be great if you want a wash cloth with a slight exfoliating quality.

Third place goes to the Manos Cotton. It is first in softness and the best for a facecloth. However, it will not hold its shape well and opens up quite a bit after use. Still usable? YES. Beautiful? Not so much.

So, which one am I using? All of them of course!

I'll end this with a question. I was considering making baby size wash cloths for the three babies soon to be born in my family. My only concern is the weight of these cloths when wet. I noticed that baby washcloths are very thin. Is this for safety do you think? Thanks for your input and enjoy the pattern!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Call to Arms!

O.K. readers. Here's your chance to do something wonderful for a dear friend whose brother, Jason, is deployed to Iraq. (read her post here)

It has gotten so cold that all the men in Jason's team have gotten ill. There are 30 of them and the goal is to make a helmet liner for each and every member of the team to help them stay healthy!Will you join me? Here are the patterns:

crochet pattern
knit pattern or Non-pdf version of knit pattern

If you know me personally, I would be happy to deliver the hats to Yarnophiliac in person.


(Updated 1/7/07)
Progress pic! Doesn't the hat look for all the world like it is smiling? I almost cut out some paper eyes and laid them on the hat. LOL Anyway, see the crochet hook laying on the hat? Well, in a wonderful coincidence this is the hook that Yarnophiliac made me as part of the prize for naming her bunny. Although I gave the hook a test run, the very first project it will be complete is the helmet liner for her brother's team. Isn't the universe a wonderful and magical place?