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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Scrambling to catch up, as usual

It was a rather nasty weekend here, both inside and out. Outside, it pretty much rained for two days straight. Good news was that it was rain, due to the unseasonably warm temps (mid to upper 40's), bad news was that all that "warmth" was wasted on me. I couldn't get warm to save my life - except deep in the night when I woke up Sunday night - twice - drenched. I mean sopping, dripping wet! I had gone to bed fully dressed because I was so cold, with a turtleneck sweater on, and the heating pad on my back, which was acting up something fierce, and still shivering despite all that and a down comforter with an extra blanket on top! And a cat! But not for long, poor Meeps - it's pretty hard to rest when your mistress is tossing and turning every few minutes. Apparently something shifted, though. I think it was somewhere around 4 am when I awoke practically in a puddle and desperately stripped down to the barest of essentials. I had been sneezing violently all weekend, too, along with the other usually reliable signs of a cold - I'll spare the rest of the details! Let's just say I feel much better now.

So, after having lost the whole weekend... Okay, I'll admit, it wasn't a total loss. Since I was incapable of crocheting and too weak to sit at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time, I decided it was finally time to crack open that Harry Potter book, which I did late Saturday afternoon. I turned the final page shortly after midnight Sunday night. As I went about my routines yesterday, my thoughts periodically strayed to the story, and I contemplated J.K.'s strategy - where is she heading, where is she taking us? The story of Harry is, ultimately, a Hero's Story but also a classic story of someone on a shamanic path too. It is a pretty impressively imposing tale for a "children's tale". Having read "The Half-Blood Prince", I now understand fully the silent distress of the fans of this series, particularly those who have a soft spot for Snape. In case there still be those who have not yet made it through this latest installment, I will say no more, except to urge J.K. to finish this series up with the seventh and (supposedly) final installment soon - VERY soon! I say supposedly only because there is obviously an awful lot that must occur in this last book to bring the tale to a satisfactory conclusion - unless, of course, the author chooses not to grant us that, but to leave us dangling. A choice I will agree is the author's right, however I must point out that it is one not generally used (or recommended) in a children's tale. Let's face it - the child in me cries out for full closure, as I'm sure it does the vast majority of children young and old that have taken this journey with Harry. And, quite frankly, the mother in me yearns to hug that boy tight - he could sure use it.

And so I - and a bazillion others - await the release of that final adventure. Not to mention installment 5 on our movie screens! Regarding the video segment of this tale, I must admit that I deeply miss the presence of Richard Harris as Dumbledore and wish he could have held out until the series was finished. I much prefer his Dumbledore to that of his successor (which I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I don't even know the name of). Harris had Dumbledore nailed to the penny, he was Dumbledore. So far, from what I've seen of him, this new Dumbledore seems to lack that special warmth that Harris was able to exude in the part. That "soft and gentle" element is missing in his performance, at least for me, don't know how anyone else feels about it. Of course, it is hard to follow in the footsteps of another actor in filling such a huge role, so I will cut the guy some slack. But, could anyone imagine anyone else playing the part of Snape in place of Alan Rickman? I can't, not at all, and I can certainly understand how he would have developed such a loyal (albeit now distressed) following. It will be interesting to see how Episode Six is handled on the big screen...

But enough of my childish meanderings - it's time to move on! A few weeks ago, I had picked up several clear crates at Wally-world to store my stash (or rather, some of it :blush:). I got 2 large and 3 smaller ones, on sale. I managed to almost immediately fill both of the large ones, bringing them reluctantly to the basement with all of the contents well-sealed in clear ziplock freezer bags inside the clear crates, so they will be well-protected and I can still see what's what. Then I got busy with other things, and the 3 smaller crates sat, patiently waiting their turn, which finally showed up late Friday. Except I ran into a teeny bit of a problem. I couldn't find the lids.

As crappy as I was feeling, I still spent a considerable amount of time over the weekend hunting all over the house - not that it took all that long, as small as this place is - there's not that many places 3 plastic crate lids can hide in here, not to mention even less places I'd be likely to stick them, were I a sane person (which at times like these I doubt). Still, I went over the place several times before going into phase two of my hunt: searching my memory files for the one that showed me placing those lids in the stack of crates, carrying them home and putting them somewhere! Much to my horror, I could not recall with certainty that I did, in fact, do this, the certainty being the ability to "run a tape" of the activity in question with the clarity I've always relied upon with my former photographic memory. I recalled wrestling with that big stack of crates with lids and other things inside both at the store, the car, and once I got home with the loot, even recalling where I had stacked the lids to get them out of the way (a place I had checked literally a DOZEN times over the course of the weekend, only to come up empty handed). I finally had to admit to myself that it was possible that I had somehow managed to forget to grab those 3 smaller lids - and that it had taken me TWO WEEKS to notice they were missing! I miserably contemplated my odds of being able to convince some store manager at Wally-world to give me the lids without receiving any grief over the tardiness of my discovery. I'm sure it happens frequently, but that didn't bring me any comfort. Not knowing what to expect, I emptied the two crates I'd filled before making my discovery, stacked them near the back door to be dragged to the car and found my receipt, then went on with other chores and activities.

One of those activities was the preparation of a blocking board so I could finally get my doily blocked. I had picked up a large panel of ceiling tile which was supposed to be 24x60 in size at Menards. I am going to have to stop back at THAT store too, because the panel I have is most definitely NOT 60 inches long, as I discovered. It should have been the exact proper size for the padded cutting grid I had picked up at JoAnns earlier in the month, but it turned out to only be 48 inches long! Well, no matter - I recalled that all the panels were the same size, whether they were mislabeled or not, and I hadn't seen anything better to use. So I set about wrapping the thing thoroughly in plastic wrap and packing tape, to keep it from crumbling all over my living room, then reached for my ironing board to set it on. And found my missing lids, cowering behind said ironing board! Which prompted the return of that missing bit of memory, and a great swelling of relief - no need to eat crow before some anonymous store manager. I happily turned to the task of blocking my doily and blocked the unbidden thoughts of my increasingly frequent absent-mindedness.

What a job! I think I spent a good hour or more pinning that sucker down, checking measurements and adjusting to try and make sure I was, indeed, stretching it evenly in all directions. In the process, I also discovered a previously missed error - a missed treble and picot in the last round. Considering how difficult it was for me to spot it, I'm not going to worry about it - besides it's well past too late for that now!. After satisfying myself that the doily looked passably round and as evenly shaped and pinned as I felt able to get it, I sprayed it down with the spray starch I'd purchased a few months ago in anticipation of this event, following the instructions on the bottle, which stated it was "fast drying - about an hour". Perhaps, had I just dampened the doily before starting this ritual, maybe it would have only taken an hour. But since I gave it a thorough washing and it was therefore much more than merely "damp", I suspected it would take considerably more time than an hour before this doily would be fully dry and ready to be unpinned. I was right - it wasn't ready for it's "unveiling" until about two hours ago.

But I did get a picture of it in it's pinned glory - and the picture showed me what my bare eyes could not see: the crisp, beautiful lines of the design showing that I had, after all, pinned it fairly even! See?

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I am so proud of myself! I know this first blocking effort is far from perfect, and it will take some practice before I will be satisfied that I'm doing it right, but it turned out pretty darn good anyway! Okay, I'll try not to break my arm here. (To view a larger version of the above pic, go here.)

I have since unpinned this baby, and later (when I have more time for it) I will set it up on the same pillow I used for a final photo-op before I carefully wrap it up for it's recipient. I will say this - as much of a PITA blocking is, the results are SO worth the effort! And I think I achieved just the right level of starching too, not so much that the item is stiff as a piece of cardboard, but enough that it will hold it's shape - picots and all - and show off it's lovely pattern to it's fullest. Now all I need to do is get that half a dozen snowflakes done, and then I can reclaim the half a living room now being taken up by my blocking/ironing board.

Okay, I could sit here rambling all day long, but I have a long list of errands to run, so I will save the rest of my meanderings and other odds-n-ends for later. It's far too easy for me to procrastinate - I really don't care to leave the house unless I must, and today I must! I have several items that must make it to the post office today...


  • At 8:26 AM, Blogger DAWN said…

    That is beautiful!!! what a great job you did on it! What kind of thread did you use? I love the varigation in color; it really brings out the design.
    ~ DAWN

  • At 4:35 PM, Blogger Crochet Goddess said…



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