Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

The cost of freedom can be high.
So, to those who stepped up to fight
and especially to those who paid the ultimate price:

Know that we remember.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I've been contemplating this confession for about a week now. Well, I dug out every single UFO I could find. So, as confession is supposed to be good for the soul, here we go!

3 baby sweaters
3 shawls
2 head coverings (1 kippah, 1 hat)
1 snuggle
1 afghan
1 scarf
1 neck warmer/cowl
1 baby blanket (not pictured- it is living in my car)

Holy Crap! How did I ever get to have THIRTEEN unfinished objects?

So, what to do with these? Finish, frog, or back into the basket?
Some were frogged immediately after this shoot:

1) Neck warmer (top of the picture) - I like the idea of this and think it will be beautiful. Having to set it aside at one point, however, has led to its doom. I just never got the excitement back and started to wonder if I would ever wear it. I've got some ideas about designing a cowl style neck warmer and may use the reclaimed yarn for that.

2) Kippah - I have worked in the round a lot to make chemo caps and other hats. Unfortunately, when working with yarn this small and with such a tight gauge the "formula" for a flat disk kind of breaks down. I am going to have to experiment with larger yarn and doing the flat disk by feel instead of formula so I'll know when to increase or work even. I've got three little balls of left over Dream in Color from the Perfect Spring Shawls and think they will be beautiful as kippot when I figure this out!

3) See that bit of baby sweater in the lower corner? Well, it is toast, too. (The multicolor one in the middle is going back in the basket. I love it. It is Lorna's Laces. I will finish it one day, just not today.)

4) This, my fourth Perfect Spring Shawl, has also been frogged, but will be remade after I let the yarn rest. I tried to add yet another motif to the base, and realized with about 14 rows left to go that I would run out of yarn. The good news? I have figured out the largest shawl I can make with one skein of Smooshy!

5&6) The blankie in the car is not frogged yet (gotta go get it), but I've finally admitted the pattern is not for me. So, off it will go!

7) This hat is too cute not to finish. I'll do so if I can figure out the hook size!

8) This baby sweater will get finished also. It seems a shame not to as it only needs an arm and a tie. I totally forgot about this one. Denial I think as it was never going to fit the intended recipient...

9) Now this pair is different. The scarf is actually a WIP and will get attention soon.

10) The afghan was my first big project as a naive beginner. I never would have done this in the suggested yarn if I knew what I know today. I guess I'm kind of sentimental about this strip and may never tear it out... I do, however, have quite a bit of this yarn (a yummy silk blend) that needs a project!

11) As to the snuggle, it is going back into hiding unless someone out there loves to sew squares together. Anyone?

I'll need some help deciding what to do with the last two. But, I'll save asking for another day. This post is already long enough!

So, dear readers, I now challenge you to post your UFOs and WIPs. Are you up for a little confession? If so, leave me a comment so we can mozy on over and take a peek. Hopefully you have fewer than me!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Beautiful Bounty

I decided to apply the motto "practice makes perfect" with the neck warmer before committing the lovely alpaca I bought last weekend. The result? I love it and have learned some important things:

1) I crochet tighter than the designer so my warmer is shorter and narrower.
2) Shorter = good! I like the warmth of the yarn up on my neck.
3) Narrower = bad. I want it to be further up on the neck and down on the chest for more warmth. So, I will need to add a few rows before after and between the button holes.


That's it for yarn. So, how about a yarn holder from Baskets of Cambodia? This may be the best project bag ever. Why? Let us count the ways (again).1) It stands up on its own so the yarn can easily pass through the top of the bag as you work.

2) The opening and interior are fully lined with fabric so the yarn will not snag.

3) It is light when empty so you can load it up.

4) The strap is cushioned and long enough to wear off the shoulder or across the body.

5) A lovely ergonomic curve on the back to fit the hip and hold the bag steady against the body.

6) Plenty of room and pockets for notions. No fishing around!

7) You are supporting a company whose practices fair trade to improve people's lives.

Yipee! My patience waiting for these bags to come to be restocked was well worth it.

Lastly, I fell for this candlepot:Since I was already downtown, I decided to visit my favorite gift store. I was immediately taking with this lovely. It hit many of my weaknesses: purple, porcelain, unusual design, reasonably priced, useful... So it naturally had to follow me home!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend, too!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

NH Sheep & Wool 2008

Last year was my first NHSW Festival. I had a great time, but went away with only a single skein of yarn. Why one skein? I just couldn't leave without buying something.

Well, it wasn't a problem this year... Goodies!

Top right is some deliciously soft natural alpaca from Phil and Jessie Tanner of Simply Alpacas Farm. I snapped these up when I realized they have a blue undertone. I cannot wear most of the natural fibers I see because they have a yellow undertone that makes me look like I am overdue for a doctor's appointment! I was thinking a little neck warmer would be in order and with a quick trip to Ravelry, I now have a pattern. Happiness is...

As soon as this picture was done, I had to give up the kitty crack to keep from becoming a pin cushion.

I figured with all the stuff I was buying for myself, I could treat the cats to a new catnip toy. Think she likes it?

Plaid anyone? This skein from ValKnitz reminded me of a plaid shirt and, while I have plans for it, I cannot reveal them yet. Sorry!

Then there is this ingenious contraption. Do you know what it is? A handmade shawl pin from Leslie Wind (psst -she teaches classes in making these if you want to learn!).

The "pin" works by first hooking one of the straight pieces through the shawl. Then you rotate it a bit and slide the other end in. A little wiggle to make sure the ends are hidden and viola: a secured shawl. I love this so much for its creative design and the fact that there is nothing to snag your precious shawl!

Well, that's it for this year except to say to all the moms out there: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! And an especially happy one to my own who I cannot be with today, but wish I could. Love ya!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Again and Again

Little did I know when I made this, that I would then make it again

and again! This one is in Dream in Color's Smooshy, colorway Gothic Rose. My friend just loved it! As I type I have #4 in process in my lap and the yarn for #5 wound into a cake and staring at me from the coffee table. Think this one is a keeper?

The other FO is one where I went around again and again. The result? A carseat sized baby blanket for a cooworker's baby to be born in July! I even got to use up some stash yarn for the border. Stashbustin' R Us!

I'm really happy with the way the border works with the granny. I will certainly use it again! Happy stitching.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I'm a Big Loser!

So, one of the gals at work had a brilliant idea. Let's play our own version of Biggest Loser at work. Everyone will chip in some money monthly and the top two weight losers will win the pot! I really liked this idea for a number of reasons:
1) The rules stipulated that participants would work on changing their eating habits, i.e. no crash dieting or meal replacements. But, you can do it any way you want.
2) The school nurse was willing to weigh us. I don't have to know how much I really weigh, only what I have lost!
3) A secret motivator who will leave you encouraging notes, quotes, and tips!

I've been struggling with the knowledge that I have to do something about my very bad habits for a while. This was just the thing I needed. And you know what? I've destashed the equivalent of this in body fat:

Six pounds and counting. Even better?

I won first place and $75.00 for the month of April!

The hard part has been gearing up again for May...

Where will the money go? Well, at least some of it will go here where I have been drooling lately thanks to Ericka who drew my name! Thanks again Ericka and WONDERFUL job on the fund raising. Thanks also to those of you who contributed - Tikun Olum!

I'm considering using the left over funds for this or saving it up for something I haven't seen yet (like maybe goodies at the NH Sheep and Wool?)

Onward and upward! Have a nice weekend!