Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Monday, March 28, 2005

Frustration... Disappointment...

Well, yesterday morning I was all set to finally wrap up my afghan project.
Because I had noted I was running short on the Roccoco Homespun, I had
decided to drop one color-set from the pattern, which originally called for
11 repeats of the 3 colors and ending with the same color as I started - the
Roccoco. I thought for sure I would have enough, though it was obvious it
was gonna be close - and then, when I'd reached 2/3 of the way through the final row - I ran out! 35 stitches short of the mark...

Under ordinary circumstances, I could have just rushed out to the craft shop
and picked up another skein thereby saving the day. But my life is not
operating in the ordinary range lately (or maybe it is, actually!). With $5
in my pocket to cover me till the end of the week and the prospect of trying
to get one more tank of gas to keep me running so I can replenish my
diminished funds, there was obviously no way I could run out and spend my last few bucks on yarn - though the thought DID cross my mind!

Then, later in the day, I remembered that I had a skein of the Ranch that I
needed to return, as it had a defect. Cool! I could just return that and
use the credit from it to pick up the color I needed! So I brought the
skein to work with me, along with my little envelope full of yarn purchase
receipts to sort out and find the right one.

Weeellll - I just got done reviewing my receipts, and it seems my memory was faulty about where I'd bought the Ranch from. I had been hoping it was Michaels because they have it on sale this week so it would not have cost me extra (or much extra, depending on what the previous sale price had been) for the exchange. But alas, my careful review revealed that I had bought the yarn from Hobby Lobby at a VERY good sale price indeed - $3.22! But they don't have HS on sale this week, and the refund I'd get from the ranch would not be enough to cover the $3.97 plus tax I'd have to pay at Michaels. So it looks like I'm again stuck at square one - waiting until after I getpaid to pick up the needed yarn to finish my project.

It sucks to be this broke!

Well, there must be a good reason why I'm suffering these delays, so I will
just stop struggling against it and turn my attention to my other wips, and
to my research for the summer scarf swap project I've signed up for at
Crochetville. At least the excitement of that should take the sting out of
my disappointment! I've even been dreaming about what kind of a pattern I
want to do for this project, lol! In fact, I was almost late for work this
morning because I was daydreaming about summer scarf patterns and missed my turnoff!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Pysanky: Colored Easter Eggs

This is such a timely, perfect message for our official Spring Holiday.  My friend Joe has a fascinating hobby, which he shares below.  He first introduced his pictures about a month ago with this little story (I'm only repeating the link once here):

I've been busy creating symbols of life and beauty,
and you can see them at the link below.

There's a story from the Ukraine that there's a
monster chained at the bottom of the world. Each
year, the monster sends out its minions to see how
many pysanky or decorated Easter eggs are being made.
If there are few, the monster's chains are loosened
and evil may move freely about the world. But if
there are many eggs being created, the chains are
tightened and evil withers.
~Joe
___________________________
This week, he posted a reminder to see his latest creations, including one in process...

Have you been to my photo album lately?
Pysanky-colored eggs (I'm not sure if your link is still intact under the description, will check it before posting the entry)
I will add more this week, as time permits, so check back as you are able.
After checking out his photo albums (there are 3 to browse from the above link, with the most recent being the one on the left, I fired off a list of questions about the process of coloring eggs that he incorporates. I learned quite a bit about this exacting, delicate art form - now THIS requires a LOT of patience, and a steady hand! He graciously answered my questions, and even provided several links to learn more about this art form, along with granting permission for me to share this here on my blog.

I am in so much awe at the incredible variety of creative self-expression we have available to us! For me, my favorite form is crochet, as it is with many of my visitors. But I have always been fascinated by all artforms, and have dabbled in many with varying rates of success for my efforts, and I just love to learn about new ones. This egg-coloring process that Joe engages in comes from a long tradition and rewards us all with some incredible, exquisite beauty.


Hi Goldi,
Well here answers to your questions, numbered for clarity.

--- goldi wrote:
1.How do you paint them, with a brush? Pens?

Nope, it's wax resist, or batik, method. Wherever wax
is applied to the shell, it preserves the current
color from being erased by the next color. Beeswax is
the wax used as it is pure and melts easily. We use
aniline dyes, a powder mixed with boiling water and
1/4 C white vinegar. The dye is cooled before using.
Vinegar acts as a mordant, meaning it etches the shell
in minute layers so that the color adheres to the
shell.

Applying wax is done with a kistka, a stylus which can
be traditional (a wooden dowel with a brass funnel
fixed to it) or electric. Either way, the wax is kept
very hot so that it runs out the tiny tip of the
funnel in a controlled stream. So you're literally
writing on the shell, which is where the name of this
craft comes from: pysanky (singular = pysanka), from
the Ukrainian word _pysaty_, "to write."

Anyway, once you are done waxing and dyeing and
everything is as satisfactory as possible, you remove
the wax either by holding the egg near a candle flame
and melting the beeswax off bit by by, or you place it
in the oven at 200 degrees and melt it off quickly.

2.Most important of all, how do you preserve the color?

Varnish. There are different kinds that are
appropriate but whatever you use, it prevents the
color from getting rubbed off. If the egg got wet,
the color would run a bit.

3.How long do one of these typically take you to do?

The one in progress has taken about 12 hours so far.
I messed up again. I'm using a new breed of egg and
I'm making newbie mistakes as I learn to deal with the
variations in shell porosity and whatever else. This
time the drain hole in the bottom of the egg leaked
dye into the interior, which is a bad, bad thing. The
dye can eat thru the shell if the shell is kept in the
dye. I'm letting this egg dry out for a few days
before I proceed. :o( I'm also consulting wiser
heads than mine for what to do. I can salvage this
egg if I do it right.

One sad thing is, once the wax is on the eggshell, it
is difficult to remove it, so you have to be careful
or learn to love the mistakes.

4.How long have you been doing this?

5 years or so. [A friend] found a beginner's kit at a
thrift shop and bought it for me. I thought he was
crazy and put it away. Then I got curious and decided
to try it and voila, I was hooked. :o) It helps that
we have a large Ukrainian community and an
international seller of pysanky supplies right here in
town.


Here are additional links:
http://www.pysankycollectibles.com/ (slow loader)

http://www.popart.ro/ (Romanian folk art with a
variation on the waxing process)

http://eggsbykarl.topcities.com/ (has pix of the
process)

www.pysankyshowcase.com (a net-friend's site)

www.ginnybarkman.com (another net friend and the one
who taught me about the physics of eggshells and how
wax adheres and dye adheres-- smart woman! would love
to meet her)

Any other questions, just ask. :o)
~Joe

I hope you've enjoyed learning about Joe's egg-coloring hobby as much as I have!
If you have any comments for him, I'll be sure to pass them along to him if he misses
them in the comments here.




Misc thoughts on a sunny yet cold Thursday morning

Well, I forgot that I had saved those card pictures a bit larger than I usually do, they are kind of spilling out all over the edges - sorry about that folks! I keep hoping to find some time to spend working on getting past my learning curve so I can modify and adjust this blog so it's "just right". Haven't had a chance yet. There's so many things I'd like to do, such as add links (have to collect them together first) create and add a button (need to find the right design elements) of my own, not to mention add buttons for some of the blogs I like to visit (when I get a chance, which alas isn't as often as I'd like) as well as the rockin' forum I belong to, Crochetville - I haven't even figured out how to capture and set all those buttons up so they are clickable yet!

So much to do, so little time...

Totally missed WIP Wednesday yesterday. That's okay, there hasn't been much in the way of new developments to report, and I haven't gotten a whole lot further along on the ripple ghan this week, it's been far too busy all around. There's always next week!

I'm toying with the idea of calling in to work today. I always feel so guilty when trying to make a decision like this, but I am definitely not feeling well. I have about a half hour to see if I feel better (or worse) before I reach a point where the decision must be made. This has been coming on for most of this week, have been feeling that borderline nausea that indicates something's out of kilter system-wide. Exhaustion from sleeplessness is certainly a factor here - don't know that I'm up to the hour plus journey to make it to my desk. My workload today is fairly minimal, from the standpoint of someone else having to cover it, but I really hate putting people in the position of having to scramble to cover my work along with their own - all of us in my department are always busy and under pressure from the constant demands, and, to make matters worse, there are auditors in the office - though they haven't been as disruptive as has sometimes occurred with these folks. So this is never a light decision to make for me.

Yet, if I allowed myself a day to rest and conserve my energies for fighting off this bug, I'm fairly sure I can bounce back more quickly.

Decisions decisions...

Another really neat card I got for my birthday

Is this great or what?  I got this one from a co-worker who thought it would be "purrrfect" for me!  I love it!
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My best birthday card ever!

Sorry for the shine over the third window on the bus, couldn't avoid it.  I just LOVE the faces these kids are making!
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Inside the card, it says "Youth is fleeting.  Immaturity, however, can last forever!"  So true!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Yarn Fascination

I do wish I had a bit more control over the order of the pictures as they are posted from my photobucket website, other than to send them through one at a time. The below two pics should be reversed - oh well!

These two pictures are a representative example of the kind of "help" I receive when working on my crochet projects. Most of the time, Meeps confines herself to taking up position below my feet to stare, hypnotized, at the yarn as it wiggles and stretchesit's way from the skein (I keep working project yarn upright in a tote bag on the floor so that the yarn will move more smoothly towards my hook) into whatever project I'm working on. In this case, it is the ripple ghan I'm working on for Phil, which I posted about a few days ago. This second picture, which came over first from photobucket, is her looking up at me after I took the first picture, of her staring at that yarn (below). Fortunately for both of us, she mostly sticks with staring at that wriggling temptation, but occasionally she just can't help herself, and she will pounce on it.
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It is just too funny watching how intently Meeps watches that yarn! This is a kitty with the most expressive ears in the world - they twitch this way and that, and rotate like little satellite dishes, almost constantly. When she sits staring at the yarn, that is the only part of her you will see moving, except for an occasional twitch of the tip of her tail!

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My crochet partner!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Special birthday surprise

Although it wasn't a good thing for me to be late for work on Thursday, for one thing it turned out to be a blessing. My dear friend Kate, who lives in Baton Rouge, had told me she sent me a package via UPS. I have a plastic bin outside my back door to which I have directed all packages since there is no other way to protect them from inclement weather. Thursday, we had a wet slushy snow falling all morning - all the more reason for that crate. But the UPS person ignored it, and placed my package on the stoop, against the house. I found it as I left the house in the morning, so he'd made an unusually early delivery, to boot, as they don't usually come around the neighborhood until early to mid-afternoon. No matter, all was well and the cotents remained safe and dry.

Knowing about a lot of the stress I've been going through, she sent me a bunch of supplements, something I really needed as I'd run out and couldn't afford to replace them. There was a mug and a pocket astrologer calendar, as well as a poster of the Mayan Calendar with all of the colorful graphics and lots of information about it. There was a bottle of herbal tincture that is good for brain function (boy do I ever need that right now!). And then there was this:

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Is this not the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen??? Not only that, it is soft as a cloud! I couldn't resist slipping my crochet hook in it for easy access. It would also be good for holding a pair of glasses if you're the kind of gal who takes them on and off all the time.

Of course I had to wear it all day Thursday, and even wore it Friday too! I just love love love this! Thank you Kate for the best birthday gift ever!

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Busy birthday week

Wednesday, the calendar rolled over for me for the 48th time (my my MY how the time does fly!). All in all, it was a wonderful day, filled with well wishes from everyone. I received a great card from Phil, which I will have to take a pic of to post here (it's currently being displayed at my work area, or I'd do it now), along with a couple of woven sissal baskets to hold some of my yarn stash (I will need to line them first).

I called mom to thank her for the card she sent me, with a bit of cash tucked inside and so heavily taped up that it took me several minutes with a pair of scissors to extract it, lol!

There was a company event scheduled for the evening, a "Las Vegas Night", with entertainment in the form of an Elvis impersonator. I didn't attend, though I did drop in for a few minutes toward the end of the show to see this guy after Phil surprised me by dropping his name when I told him about it - I had just earlier in the day written the check to pay the guy, whom I had previously never heard of before. I find it interesting that the vast majority of these impersonators (to my recollection, anyway) seem to imitate the "late" version of "The King", I can't recall too many out there who try to recreate the early, sexier-looking version, do you? Of course, it's not like I follow that entertainment venue at all, not being a rabid Elvis fan, this is just a very superficial observation on my part. At any rate, from all reports everyone had a great time at the event.

Because of it, my boss completely overlooked the fact that it was also my birthday that day. It is our department's tradition to have some kind of treat on a person's birthday, but because she was so absorbed in the planning and execution of this party, she totally forgot about it, and was sooooo apologetic over her oversight, to which I insisted she shouldn't make a fuss about it. So she promised to bring in a treat of my choice on Thursday, but because I was continuing in my scatterbrained fashion to be rather forgetful myself, I neglected to inform her what I wanted, and finally - when pressed - told her just to surprise me, I honestly couldn't think of anything.

I spent most of my evenings Monday through Wednesday working to prepare my main computer for bringing it back online and into full-service duty. Wednesday took the longest, but I was bound and determined to get it done (finally) and be up and surfing the web before hitting the sack. Finally completed all the configuration chores and successfully got online around 1 am Thursday, bleary-eyed with exhaustion but pleased to be back to a computer with the ability to handle moving graphics and sound. But wait! Not so fast... Not long after I began seriously browsing the forums and my emails, I suddenly got a "blue screen of death". Recovered from that only to be told that the system was dangerously low on resources. Then another blue screen. By now it was after 2 and I was in danger of falling out of my chair, there was just no time left to try and figure out what had gone wrong, so I shut everything down and went to bed...

...and managed to oversleep on Thursday morning, waking up at the time I should have been leaving the house for work! Not a good way to start the day, for sure, especially as I have been struggling with the "on time" issue jobwise for a long time now. I was nearly an hour and a half late getting in to work. And, as of right now, I still have to tackle those technical issues with my main 'puter, as I didn't even want to try Thursday night and risk being up too late again, or repeating Thursday morning on Friday.

Still, there were some high points in my day Thursday. My boss's surprise for my birthday was to buy pizza for the department. Not those old flat, boring cheese on a cracker style pizza, but the soul-satisfying Edwardo's deep dish, the kind where two slices will hold you for an entire day, they're so filling! And I got one of the cutest birthday cards I've seen in a long while from another co-worker. This one too is on display at work, but I'll post a pic along with Phil's card next week.

And then, there was the package from my best friend Kate in Baton Rouge that arrived Thursday morning via UPS... But that will have to be the subject of it's own post!

And here's where it stands as of yesterday!

I made some pretty good progress with this project this week, all things considered. Whenever I'm feeling stressed and anxious, I reach for my crocheting to help take the edge off - obviously I did a lot of reaching for the project this week! I took these (and the previous pics) at work, where the lighting is so much better, not to mention having an available area large enough to lay the blanket out for display.

I may have mentioned this before, but I am making this afghan out of Lion Brand's Homespun (what else?!) in Roccoco, Ranch and Plantation (which is a rich forest green in color), and using their free ripple afghan pattern, found here (you will have to enter your email address to get the pattern to display, but it's worth it - and you won't get bombarded with ads in that email
either). This is a very simple and easy to do pattern which works up pretty quickly once you get the basic pattern down.

I think Phil will like this, and it will go well with his living room decor. He has a huge sectional sofa in tans and greys, with some throw pillows he bought seperately for it in a similar forest green as the Plantation, in corduroy, so I'm certain this will match and look well draped over the
back of his sofa.

Since I took this picture (yesterday evening), I've managed to add 3 more rows to it. Once I add 5 more onto that, I will be at the halfway point in this project! I intend to at least meet that, if
not exceed it, this weekend, though it will have to share time with my other project so I don't know how much further I will get with it beyond that. But I am hoping to have it finished in about a week or so. It has also reached the stage where it's too big to carry to work for my lunchtime session any more, and besides, I won't be having much time (if any) to get any crocheting done at work as spring arrives, as my daughter and I will commence our lunchtime walks again, as soon as the temps climb out of their chilly depths enough - I really need to start getting that exercise in again, spent most of the winter hunkered down here in my little Kenosha box (as I call my house)! Time to whip myself back in shape!

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My Ripple Afghan Project, as of a week ago

Here are some shots of my ripple afghan project which were taken Monday evening, March 14. This is the 'ghan I'm making as a (belated) birthday gift for Phil, who has come to my rescue more times than I can count. We used to be "an item" but now are just friends, and I'm
thankful to have that friendship. This afghan, for his living room, is my way of showing my appreciation for all he has done, and continues to do for me.

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Slowly but surely...

It's been a week since I've had the chance to work on my little girl's set, am almost completely done (finally!) with the mittens. I just have one thumb to complete, close 'em up (hopefully the right way
this time) and add the boa trim. And THEN I will finally be able to start on the hat, which I anticipate not having any problems with, perhaps foolishly, it's been years since my last attempt, which didn't
turn out so well. Not being much of a hat person, I never tried to overcome the problems I encountered so long ago, but I'm ready to change that now. I have Dot and all her marvelous hat patterns posted on her blog to thank for my renewed interest and level of bravery in diving into this particular hat
pattern!

So, hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have a completed set of mittens and the start of a hat to show for my time. This is where the mittens stand as I type.
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My, how the time flies!

Each Monday, I enter the new week with trepidation, wondering what new challenges await me and whether I will be up for them. Lately, each new week has managed to find a way to be even more challenging than the last, and by the end of it, I crawl home, marvelling that I made it yet again. This week has certainly been no exception! It's not so much that it was a bad week, just an uncommonly busy one, especially on the personal front. I can't say that I do "busy" very well these past few years, having gone into stress overload some time ago and still struggling to recover from it. Returning to my old love of crocheting was a therapeutic move on my part, meant to help me wind myself down and de-stress. But as any good obsessive-compulsive can tell you, it never seems to quite work that way! If stress weren't being applied externally, I will find a way to roll it out from within! Ah, but at least I'll have something lovely to show for it, and so this type of stress does have a good payback that makes it all worthwhile.

Last week, on Thursday, I attended the funeral of a friend that passed away the previous weekend rather suddenly and without warning. I worked a half-day, then took off for my previously scheduled dentist appointment before heading to the funeral home - with half my face thoroughly numbed and feeling swollen in that wierd distorted way that novocaine makes it feel. It was also an uncommonly cold evening, with windchills in the single digits - and I had to climb under the hood of my car to check my transmission fluid levels while dressed in my nice clothes. I'd been having problems with a trans fluid leak but no money to do anything about it except keep pouring more fluid in and pray - like crazy! On the way to the dentist's, I noticed that the gears were slipping ALOT, which concerned me (as it should have). Sure enough, I was so low it was barely registering on the dip stick! So I poured in about a half a quart and went off to the funeral with that problem (and the matter of a budget already operating in the red) rolling around in my overcrowded brain. There was a possibility of salvation awaiting me at this sad event, though it was a bit of a delicate matter to have to make my plea for help under such conditions. In any other circumstances, I wouldn't have done it, but my situation was dire.

Attending the funeral from out of town was another friend who currently lives in Oklahoma. Diane had been a very close friend of Glen's, in fact he was pretty much considered part of the family in her household. Glen is an airplane mechanic and an all-around mechanical genius. If anyone remembers the TV show "MacGyver", then you will have an idea about Glen - he's the "MacGyver" of the auto world. I found my opportunity to discuss my car problems with him and he agreed to take a look at his next available bit of time - he was solidly booked through the weekend, so it was scheduled for Monday evening.

He had once before performed a bit of magical wizardry on my car, easily fixing something that would have probably cost me hundreds of dollars at the mechanics for only a couple of dollars, the cost of a small amount of rubber tubing. I was hoping this would turn out to be a similar kind of situation - and it was! He took the car for a spin to diagnose how bad the slippage was - since I'd topped off the fluid levels, it wasn't slipping at all - found the source of the leak, got the materials (more tubing!) and got it installed and me on the road and running again, in only a little over an hour! I owe that man in a BIG way now, am contemplating what I can make for a man who lives in Oklahoma...

This is just one of many things that have been going on in my life recently, all of it crowding under the shadow of constant fears of financial doom. If I didn't have my crochet projects to help distract and relax me, I don't know what condition I'd be in by now!

Since I still haven't found the time to tinker around and learn how to post my pictures directly in this blog, I will once again send them over from my image-hosting site, because it's so much easier! I have another full day of things to do facing me today, but I really wanted to grab this chance to update my blog since it's been, what? A week? EEK! Make that ten whole days since my last entry! My my, how the time flies...

I have lots more to say, but will have to work on figuring out how to break it down into smaller posts first, so I don't end up writing an entry that's book-length. Don't want to bore my visitors to tears, lol!

Onto my wips and other things!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Modelling my shawl

Well, my evening has zipped by far too quickly as usual and tonight, thanks to last night's burning of the midnight oil to finish my shawl, I have not been able to keep up with it. I have a list of things to do a mile long with a deadline of "yesterday", and right now the battle is on between the need to crochet (must feed the addiction!) and the need to sleep - and feeling like nature may finally win this one. I will still attempt to get some responses posted to all the great folks who complimented me on my shawl - if I can stay coherent long enough. Right now, that's very questionable - I keep fading in and out, may have to give it up soon.

Well, in the meantime, here's a pic of me wearing my new shawl today. It made me feel very classy, not to mention warm on a blustery wind-chill factor day! I wore the shawl over my coat whenever I went outdoors, too, and it kept me quite toasty both indoors and out. I really enjoyed wearing this today!

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My Completed Edwardian Shawl, hot off the hook!


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Move over Lily Chin!

Well, actually, I think Lily's record is safe. But I sure am trying to give her some competition.

I did it! I just completed the shawl! From "demoralized" on Thursday to elated on Monday (okay, so it's now Tuesday, technically, but not as far as I'm concerned - it won't be Tuesday until I go to bed and then wake up to that annoying alarm clock). For me, this is a record, though. When I started back on it Saturday afternoon, it was not much farther along than the first pic I posted of it, thanks to the frogging session. I just got done hiding the last end about 10 minutes ago.

It took about 2 1/3 skeins to complete, that last third being used on the ruffled ends. After thinking about it for awhile, I just didn't want to have a fringed end on this shawl. A shell ruffle worked out quite nice: half-shell comprised of 3 dc, a sc, then a full shell of 3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc all in one st seperated by sc worked out very well.

Since I still don't know how to post the pics directly from here, I will send them seperately from photobucket. They're a bit dark, unfortunately, but I will be wearing this tomorrow (of course!), and will take the camera with me for a photo-shoot, should be able to get some much better shots from there.

Okay, gonna post them pics and then hit the sack - and hope I don't snore too loudly at my computer tomorrow!

Will be spending much of my evening getting my main computer back up and running, as this one is on the verge of expiring on me, finally. Came close a couple of times today, and I'm running on borrowed time now.

I'm so thrilled!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Finally off the ground and running

Well, after the disheartening day I had Thursday, I got the sixteen rows crocheted back in yesterday, and then some! Last weekend when I started this project, I had about 12 inches done. I am now up to about 48 inches! With any luck, I may be able to finish this by Wednesday. I'm thrilled!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Can't stop drooling!

OMG! I am in yarnhog heaven! My order from KnitPicks arrived today, right speedy I might add - compared to some others who complained of delays, so I did not expect this. What a wonderful surprise to greet me when I arrived home tonight!

This is my first purchase of the fine yarns made from mostly natural animal fibers, and I must say this is some of the most incredibly soft yarn I have ever had the pleasure to hold. I remember reading another gal's blog, where she went on about "petting" her yarn - this yarn BEGS to be petted! I am IN LOVE!

Unfortunately, so is Meeps. Normally, she shows little to no interest in my yarn until I actually start to work with it, at which time she will often sit at my feet and gaze in rapt attention at the wiggling progress of the thread as it works it's way from the skein to my hook. Occasionally, she can't resist trying to "hook" it herself, with a paw, and bite it to death. Nothing like crocheting along and then hitting a spot saturated with kitty spit! We once had a near mini-disaster when I reacted suddenly to her grabbing at my yarn, which caused her to bolt, with the yarn now wrapped around a hind leg... Fortunately, she had the wise sense to halt on command just a few feet away, and was quickly disentangled before I ended up with about a hundred yards of unraveled yarn strewn about my house!

But this yarn was different. As soon as I got the bag open and dumped the contents on the bed to have a looky-see, she was there, all curious. She very nearly crawled completely inside the bag, then tried to give my new yarn a very close inspection. No shooing was effective, she was crowding me and my new yarn, so I had to quickly repackage the skeins and hanks and wait
for an uninterrupted opportunity to drool in peace. Plus, I wanted to get a photo of my new acquisitions. Fortunately, she decided later that a jaunt around the neighborhood would be a good way to spend some time (she's been acting like a real "house-kitty" through most of the
winter, preferring to stay warm and pester me instead for her entertainment), so I got my opportunity to pet my new yarn and set it up for this shot.

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The blue striped hanks are the Shimmer (70% Alpaca and 30% silk), which I have in mind to use for a lovely shawl-collared shawl pattern I have, and the very pale yellow is the Baby Alpaca, destined for another shawl pattern - thinking of trying it with either the Butterfly pattern I got
from Crochetville, or the Seraphina which I was introduced to from another blog - will try to locate the proper links later, when I have more time (haven't I heard those words before? Oh yeah, my motto...). Or, I might reverse them as far as the patterns go, haven't completely
made up my mind. The variegated yarn will hopefully become the very first pair of socks I will have ever made - and I hope the process will work out more smoothly than the mitten project did! The two skeins of orangy-red yarn is the Andean Treasure, it's called "Sunset", which I
have no specific plans for yet, just wanted to try it out and get a feel for it so I could match it up properly to a project. I may just play with this one for awhile and see if it will "speak" to me. It is truly lovely, and oh so soft!

Not having put any of this yarn to the "hook test", I won't be able to report yet on the matter of ease in working with any of it. Before I can use any of the hanks, I will need to rewind them. I have been dropping rather heavy (as in boulder-weight, lol!) hints to my daughter about my desperate need for a yarn ball winder, seeing as how my birthday is just around the corner. The winder will come in handy not only for this lovely stash, but also for the several large bags of
thrift-store sweaters cluttering my living room at the moment...

Since I have to be to work tomorrow even earlier than usual (and "usual" is tough enough for me to manage, not being an early-bird kind of gal), I will sign off so I can spend the remaining bit of time before bedtime working on one project or the other - either the mitten (started on the new #2 at lunch today, got a whole 5 rows of the ribbing done before lunch was over) or the prayer shawl, which I will be sleeping with until I work that sixteen rows back into it. Decisions decisions...

Weekend for me starts tomorrow afternoon. I plan to hit Michaels on my way home and cash in on the extra 40% off one item coupon I have that expires tomorrow. Since I blew most of my minimal yarn budget on the knitpicks yarn, whatever I get won't be much. Now, to win the lottery or something, whatever would grant me plenty of both money for my yarn and the time to work with it!

Viva la weekend!

Little Girl's Soft Winter Set

Here's a picture I took at the very start of my project. It shows the materials I am using to make the set, and a picture of the first page (with a picture of the set) of the pattern in the January 2005 issue of Crochet! magazine (it has a picture of a gal wearing a white and blue poncho/cape on the front). I will take a better picture of the page later, so you can see the details of this set a bit better, will post it tonight. It's a lovely set, and not too hard to do for those who might be interested in making this. I'll be happy to help anyone out who has questions on any part of making it - especially with the mittens! I should be an expert by the time I'm done, lol!

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Mitten pattern

I've been asked about the pattern I'm using for the mitten. Unfortunately, I can no longer provide a link from the magazine's website for a pic, but in a seperate post, I'll show a pic of my wip with a picture of the page showing the set. It's a hat, scarf and mitten set called Soft Winter Set, found on page 16 of the January 2005 issue of Crochet! magazine. It's a really lovely set, made from Caron's Simply Soft Baby Sport yarn and Bernat Boa. I'm just dying to get past the mittens and into the hat and scarf (especially the scarf!).

By the end of the weekend, with any luck, I'll have a completed set of mittens to show! That is, of course, if I can manage to stay error-free on this project from now on, a track record I regretably can't say I've been managing to follow all that well. I don't know if I will manage to catch myself back up on that shawl this weekend as well, will have to see. It's going to be a shorter-than-usual weekend since I am working tomorrow (need that $$!). I don't usually work Saturdays, but overtime has been hard to come by lately, and my budget really needs it right now.

Hope everyone has a fab day!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Demoralizing day

Well, today started off pretty good and went downhill from there. I went to bed (far too late, again) last night with yarn running through my mind, and it was still at it when I awoke. I had decided to take the shawl to work today, instead of the mitten, for my lunchtime session. I had managed to get several rows done last night and I was really psyched, I was on a roll!

At lunch, I got another 6 or 7 rows done, and even managed to sneak a couple more rows in during breaks. I was hoping to finish off the first skein before laying the piece out to get a "progress" shot of it. I almost made it too. But then (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) I noticed something as I finished up my last row, about midafternoon. Somehow, my working end had developed a decided slant to it. So I went and spread it out on an open workdesk, so I could get a better look. Yup, sure enough - I had somehow managed to sneak a few extra stitches into my rows and it was growing wider as I went along. I felt immediately demoralized and deflated, all my excitement drained out of me and depression set in, strongly enhanced by the onset of PMS, which I'd felt coming on this morning as my temper flared over other drivers on the road (driving ten miles below the speed limit and riding tandem so no one could get by, especially a gal who was running a bit behind - as usual. This happens quite often around here, I think they get a kick out of it!). I put aside any notion of a picture session and contemplated a very different evening from the one I'd started out with.

Took a little while to locate where I went off with the stitch count, but was further demoralized when I finally did locate it - halfway down the project. I spent some time contemplating trying to just fudge it and live with the error, but they don't call me "goldilocks" for no good reason. It has to be done "just right". So, I had a frogging session, ripping out SIXTEEN rows. I now have a small mountain of yarn sitting on my bed, waiting to be stitched back into those sixteen rows. I'll start the process with a few before I fall asleep if I can manage it, which will be very shortly, as last night's shortened sleep schedule is beginning to catch up with me.

I suppose it wouldn't be such a big deal to me, to have had to frog the dang thing, if it was just the odd occurance. But in the last month or so, EVERY project I have attempted, I have managed to screw up my counts - even the mitten project! The shawl is only the fifth I've managed to screw up and have to spend time redoing what I'd already done. I should have had five completed projects to show by now, and I have none, because I have spent more time undoing the dang things (a few of them several times, to my utter frustration) than I have crocheting them. You bet I'm demoralized! I have never had this kind of difficulty before, and I sure am praying it's just a temporary glitch due to my attempts to recover from a very lengthy period of extreme stress.

So, no picture tonight of my Edwardian shawl.

But, to end this post on a bright note (there had to be one!), I DO have a successful progress pic to post of my second mitten, which I expect to complete this weekend. I would have attempted to get the thumb worked up tonight, but I was just too depressed and afraid I'd probably screw that up too. So far (knock wood, 3 times just to be sure!), this one is working out to be error free, and it sure does look nice. I also now feel pretty confident that I have this pattern down so I am not anticipating any problems with the next mitten - by the time I'm done with that one, I think I may safely consider myself to be a mitten pro!

I will post the picture as a seperate entry. At this point in my blogging experience, and until I have more time to spend working on getting up to speed on how to do things without tons of trial and error, it's easier to post the pictures using the "blog this" feature in photobucket, but I've noticed that when I add a lot of text to those posts, it doesn't format correctly, and editing from blogger doesn't correct it one bit, so I will refrain from making long posts along with my pics, until I can do it here rather than remotely.

Signing off for the night - and thanks to all who have visited my blog! I will respond to any comments left with any of my posts over the weekend (which I live for, lol!). Almost TGIF!

Mitten update!

Here it is, in all it's little unfinished glory...



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