Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, it's a busy day here today.  the plan was to wake up early and bust out the pies.  I busted out two pies, and then realized there are no more eggs in the house, and I need eggs to make the third pie.  Also, I don't know how, but there is NO CEREAL in the house, and with no eggs too, this makes for a dire situation. Especially with teenage boys in the house.

Adding to the fun, sometime last month, the dog peed on the corner of the big sofa and the carpet underneath.  I scrubbed it and everything. Still, I kept smelling urine whenever I got close to that part of the couch and since it's right at the corner of the living room/kitchen area where we walk to get to and from each room, I smelled it a lot.  I attributed it to  something psychosomatic.

This morning, it smelled especially strong this morning.  Guess what?  He did it again sometime last night.  Mostly on the carpet.  I have zero carpet cleaning products in the house, and in about one hour the hubs will be home.  And I don't want to leave.  Or spend money on carpet cleaning stuff.

I have baking soda sprinkled on the spot.  We'll vacuum it up and then scrub it clean.
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It's turning into that kind of day.

I recorded a v-log the other day, but it's REALLY long.  And it was supposed to be published yesterday.  That didn't happen. I'll do another on Monday.  I have a better handle on the recording and what I have to do to edit it now.  It was all one long thing, and my software wouldn't let me add stuff to it.  Rather, I don't know how to edit it that way to add stuff to it. Anyway, I'll have some FO's to show instead of the McKinley sized pile of UFOs I have surrounding me at all times.

I learned a Turkish Cast On this week!  I was so excited, I pulled it out and did it all over again.  I'm still not great with the M1L, M1R stuff.  I'm much better at kfb.  All aces there.  M1L always leaves a hole in the work.  I know it's just me not twisting the stitch onto the needle correctly, but seriously, having to watch the video every time I attempt it is making me crazy.

My Cozy Thermal Mitts are just about done.  I just have to do the thumb and weave in the ends.

I am 1/3 of the way done with the baby Christmas presents.  Wow, that sounds lame.  I'll be half done by Tuesday, Maybe even 2/3 of the way done. That sounds much better.

Anyway...

Stop sitting here reading this!  Go, enjoy your day and your family!

Sleepy Time

I had such grand plans yesterday for today.

First off, I had planned on recording a v-log today, possibly for tomorrow.  I still might, but I woke up at 3:40 in a bed covered with extra blankets, my robe and the project I took to bed last night.  And then I left the project upstairs when I got out of bed.

I have it now, but of course the dog just decided he MUST go outside RIGHT NOW, so he is doing this things where he goes and waits by the backdoor, then comes to stare at me, then repeats.  If I really ignore him, like I did yesterday (I just wasn't paying attention, because I was eating and watching a 'scary' movie), he taps the door with his paw a couple of times, then comes and drops his biggo head on my lap.  If that doesn't work, he will try to get on my lap.  My dog is huge.  His name is Trigger, after the horse, and he's about that big too, at least it seems that way when he's in my lap on this little blue chair.

I went to bed with lofty expectations last night.  I brought the project to check the width of it against the bed.  It's going to be just the width of the bed, then I will decide if I am smart enough (Or paying enough attention) to decrease on one side and not the other.  It's a corner to corner pattern, and when I started working on it again, it was about 1/4 as wide as I'd like it to be.  If I do what I want to do, it might end up being a little wider than the 60 inches.  That's OK.  It's going to be mainly for the extra warmth we sometimes need in the bed, not as our actual bed blanket (which is something altogether, and sort of awesome and HIDDEN right now).  Unless, I do lose my mind between now and then, which is within the realm of possibilities since it's almost Thanksgiving and all.

Kids are off of school tomorrow until Monday.  They are extremely excited.  I am extremely excited I am going to work tomorrow and that I get to come home and make them my kitchen slaves, because their dad won't be home to do my bidding.

I have almost decided to record today.  Of course that'll require my showering and possibly removing my robe, which I'm not all that inclined to do right now.  It's a pretty awesome robe, y'all!  Maybe it will make an appearance. My horsey dog might too.

I watched the movie Mercy yesterday.  I had watched a lot of it at work on Saturday but forgot about it until yesterday when I saw it on Netflix.  I knew I had missed some key parts.  It wasn't holding my attention at all, since I kept walking away, and then there was the bee in the kitchen.  That was silly.  I'm really glad I'm not on a reality television show because I'd be humiliated by the way I acted.

Oh, there's the dog beckoning me to open the door.  4:30 AM and he barks, even though he knows how to 'knock' on the door.

OK, knitting business.  Nothing is done.  Of course, I was running around the house ignoring a movie and trying to get a bee out of my kitchen.  Kidding, that wasn't my entire day.  I cleaned the oven, and forgot about it.  Twice.

Umm, let's see.  I tried to learn toe up socks.  I'm a dork.  It's something I'll have to watch a lot of videos about.  Magic loop is still eluding me.  I think it's because my head is so full of other stuff, like finishing up what I am working on -I'm very excited about knitting socks and want to make all the socks right now.

My WIPs are as follows:

1) Vintage Vertical Stripe Crocheted Blanket by Bella Dia  It's great!  I have 12 colors of various Red Heart worsted weight yarns.  They're all Super Saver or With Love.  It's awesome.  The size that it is (I haven't measured) takes me about 20 minutes to go across.

2) Cozy Thermal Mitts by Karen Everitt.  They're great and on Lanas Puras Yarns Melosa Worsted.  Super soft and is sort of various shades of purple....from a super light purple to regular purple, if that makes sense. ( I linked it to my stash picture)

3) A pair of mittens that I cannot find the listing for on Ravelry, whoopsie!  I'll fix that later on

4) Weasley Rib socks on Patons Kroy Socks Stripes, with a US 1 set of DPNs

5) Knitmore Girls Vanilla sock on Lion Brand Sock Ease and a US 2 DPNs

6) Corner to Corner blanket by Catherine J Watson for Red Heart Yarns.  I'm using Red Heart Super Saver Camo, Medium Thyme and Cafe Latte and an I hook.

7) Jimmy Beans Wool Once Upon a Time MKAL pattern.  I stopped working on it.  I suck!  I did one mitt, started the cowl and then just didn't want to do it anymore.  I am going to finish the second mitt.  Maybe after the holidays.  I dunno.  I'm just not feeling the pattern anymore.

I'm going to try and not start anything new today, just maybe work on one thing, or finish the cozy thermal mitts.  Or the blanket.  Or finish the mitts then work on the blanket.  Not like I'm going anywhere today.  It's gonna be a podcast and craft sort of day.

Other Crafts:

I'm doing knotted fleece blankets for nieces and nephews.  At least the ones that are small.  I'll just kick the older ones in the behind for Christmas.  See, my brother has 2 babies, almost a year old, sister has one almost 2 year old and my sister in law (one of them) has two little dudes.  Plus my father-in-law's step daughter has a baby girl (the only one other than mine!).  That is 6 (SIX!!) fleece blankets.  I have ONE made.  The fixings for two are in the house.  Definitely want to work on those things.  I'll be half done, then get the rest this weekend and then it's all about trying to drag my ass out to the post office with three different boxes for three different addresses in two different states.  Yay me. NOT!

Okay, it's getting COLD in my house, so I'm going to start working on something and try to find the listing for the mittens for next time.  Stay warm, folks!

Thanksgiving Week

Monday is here!  The entire world is whining because it's Monday, and I'm over here all excited because I'm off, and I will have the house to myself for two days.  Two days I will enjoy, because on Wednesday the children are off of school.

I finally watched a video about knitting with the magic loop method, and I feel as though I could have had a V-8!  So simple!  My long circular needles, though aren't very flexible,  Mostly because they've been sitting in the package I purchased them in.  I'm not sure if they'll ever be as flexible as would be needed for knitting with the magic loop. 99% of mine are Clover brand bamboo circulars, I think there are 5 or 6 that aren't. And saying it out loud that 99% are Clover, and that there are 5 or 6 that aren't tells me that I have a hell of a lot of circular needles.

I did make an attempt to knit in magic loop last night.  My thinking of doing it at 10 PM probably wasn't my best idea.  I'll try again later, after everyone is gone.

Since yesterday, not much has changed.  I have not settled my Thanksgiving menu.  In fact it's probably changed three times since I woke up this morning. I do know one thing for sure, though.  Today I will take the turkey out of the freezer and I will clean the damn oven.  Seems last time I made meatloaf, some grease leaked out and even though I tried my best to clean it up afterwards, the smoke alarms are still going off and my children are not smart enough to not use the oven that sets off the smoke alarms while their father is sleeping off the graveyard shift.  Yes, that happened yesterday. I'm glad I was at work, though if I was home that wouldn't have happened and I would have cleaned the oven out already. Someone mentioned that I should have the kids do it.  I almost hurt myself laughing.  I think we'd end up with the oven exploding or something.

OK, it's 5 am, so I'm going to wrap this up:

WIPs:
Knitmore Girls Vanilla socks: Feels like I've been stockinetting forever
Rye Socks: I've turned the heel and am working towards the toe (I LOVE worsted weight socks!)
Weasley Rib socks: 14 rows of a 20 row cuff are done.
Trying to work on a blanket that is crocheted, but not as awesome as making myself a lot of socks.

Finished stuff:

None.  Still working away on my socks.


Future projects:

Let's see...I have a ball of Lion Brand Sock Ease in Cotton Candy, Pahoehoe by Mary Gavan, Elegant Brand Angelic yarn, and a ball of Cascade 220 paints which are all going to be socks, just don't know which socks I want to make with them, though I'm looking at a few

Also, still making a pair for everyone in the house (except for the dog, who I think might try to have me committed if I try to put socks on him).

Work stuff:

We watched X-Men: Days of Future Past.  I liked it.  It made me want to watch the one X-Men movie I'm sure I haven't seen that isn't a Wolverine movie (I haven't seen an entire Wolverine movie. Logan alone isn't all that appealing to me).


Home stuff:

I'm looking into getting the vents cleaned.  Whenever we turn the heater on for the first time, the smoke alarms go off, and one day they're going to go off because the house is on fire. And I'm going to do the cleaning jobs around the house that I don't trust the kids to do correctly or without creating a situation where we'd have to call the police or someone else would call the police.  Plenty of time to do it today.


Also, I'm still thinking on doing a sort of v-log once a week in addition to the blog. I'm thinking I'll do sort of a trial of it, though I don't think my super slow knitting style will be something anyone wants to watch.  I really just sort of want to play with the movie maker software on my computer.  Because I am a nerd.

I hope your week is amazing and that all your Thanksgiving plans turn out perfectly!

The Season

Since I started crocheting (and now knitting), I have been setting some seriously stupid goals for myself when it comes to gift giving. Pretty lofty stuff, considering my procrastinating personality.

Plus, I think I have ADD, because I get so BORED making things.  This is why I won't take orders for projects too often.  I hate disappointing people, and I know that I would end up disappointing someone, most likely myself if I didn't do an order.  So I sort of hate when people ask me if I could make them something.

This awesomeness ended up as a gift, le sigh!
I'd rather see something that I have to make and then decide later who I should give it to.  I did that with an amazing blanket I HAD to make from a pattern in a magazine.  I made it, went crazy ordering the yarn to do it, and then, all of a sudden, voila!  I heard a whisper that said, "THIS is why you HAD to make this blanket."  And so it was given as a gift, though I'd really like to have the dang thing right now (even though I have two other blankets right here beside me that I made.  Shhhh don't tell them!)


So, I have to really, really want to make something if someone asks me for something.  I dunno.  I try not to share too many things on my Facebook page, because then I get, "Ooooh how much would you charge to make this?"  And my first thought is always, "Honey, you don't want to know!"  Because, really.  If you knew how much materials cost, you'd shit bricks.  Sorry, but it's true.

That's why.  Because I'd like to keep my friends.  Internet friends or not, you're still my friends and I don't want you to think I've lost my mind.  The truth is, it would cost me nearly $50 just for the yarn, and while I could make that thing you want me to make, I don't think you'd like to hear that.  So, yea.

My theory is, if I make something and someone wants to buy it, so be it.  Otherwise, whatever.  I can always use it myself or my daughter will steal it.  Or both.

This week, I have discovered the joys of podcasts!  I've been listening to a few and I am enjoying myself.  I have been thinking about doing a weekly video for the blog, since I do have a lot of time where I have an empty house, though I'm sure the dog would suddenly find me extremely interesting if I tried shooting a video.

Also, video would require me to probably brush my hair and make myself look decent so no one called the cops on me. Though I'm pretty sure people would think it was awesome that I did my videos in my TARDIS robe that I got for my birthday and that I am almost wearing all the time when I am home.  I'll think about it some more.  And what I would actually be talking about in the video and how much time I'd have to spend editing it (for swears and stuff), to see if it's really worth it.  

It's getting colder out here in Arizona.  Last week, I awoke to temperatures in the 30's.  And I was freezing my keister off in my own house.  Whenever I went to turn no the heater, though, my thermostat shamed me.  It was 69-70 degrees in the house.  Clearly, there's something wrong with me. 

OK, project time.  I am working on three pairs of socks, each pair is in varying degrees of work.  We'll start with the pair that's furthest along.  Those are the Knitmore Girls Vanilla sock, with some changes in it, I guess.  Their pattern is written for 2 circulars, and I got confused, so the gusset is a little wonky on the first sock, and I am past the cuff on the second sock.  

My next sock is part of what I'm calling the family sock run.  One pair for each of us, made out of a skein of Shepherd's Wool Worsted from Stonehedge Fiber Mill.  I have five skeins, each of a different color, so voila!  Socks for all.  My first set is for my Schmoopie Pants.  His are in Yellow and the pattern is Rye by TinCan Knits, which is just awesome.  I am on the heel flap portion of the sock now, and am in the process of pretending to move the pictures of it from my phone to the computer so I can show them off.  Procastinating! yay!  I'll figure out later if I want to make the same for everyone else's socks.  Of course, the Girl has to be difficult and decide she wants me to use the Manos del Uruguay Maxima for her socks.  Like I've completely lost my marbles.  Lucky for her, I have a ball of orange Shepherd's wool.  I'll save my Maxima for something that I really want to make with it.  The Boys are just, "Whatever" about the socks, though the Tall Boy did request that his were blue. The Taller Boy is then stuck with either green or red, and The Others decided he would probably like the red better.  So that means Mama gets the green socks.  Though really, I'm making myself like 4 pairs of socks so it doesn't matter.  Muahahaha!

My third pair, which has the least amount of work done is The Weasley Rib by Erica Lueder on Ravelry.  I am still working the cuff on the first sock.  They are being worked in Patons Kroy Socks Stripes in colorway Singin' The Blues, because blue is my favorite.  

New stuff:

This morning I learned about the magic loop method.  I am dazzled.  So dazzled, I tore up all my knitting supplies to search for my long corded size 1 and 3 circular needles, and have convinced myself I need to start yet another pair of socks so I can knit them in this manner.  I just have to decide which socks.  Since I went sock crazy, I have downloaded just about a million sock  patterns from Ravelry.  I have literally wasted valuable knitting time searching and downloading, so that my download bar on my browser looks like a CNN ticker-unreadable!  I MUST magic loop.  MUST!

Finished stuff:

NOTHING.  I finished something night before last, I think.  My stripey socks made of I Love This Yarn Fan Pride.  They're awesome.  They're acrylic, so I'm sort of afraid to wear them outside of to keep my feet warm when I wake up in the morning.  I don't know what I did, but the heel part that's under my foot, sort of sticks out a little, like little sock wings. It's pretty weird.  But I love them!  

Work stuff:

I was reminded yesterday how much work having a preschooler is.  At work there's a nephew who visits occasionally when I am there.  I get to talk to him, and tease him a little.  Yesterday, I sort of babysat him for about 40 minutes. Man! was he BUSY! Whew!  It made me miss the kids being that small.  

Home stuff:

Thanksgiving is coming!  The Tall Boy is going to be my assistant this year and the fun starts on Wednesday night, when we start baking pies.  As a precursor to this, though we'll be cleaning the oven, because whenever we turn it on now, the smoke alarms go off.  Repeatedly. It's awful.  

Also, I am glad Schmoopie's vacation is over.  That is all.  

Well, it's that time again, when I have to start thinking about getting dressed for work.  I hope your week starts off well, and that you call have a great Thanksgiving!


Over Excited

That's me.

Yesterday, worked really hard to finish my second striped acrylic sock.  Because my feet were cold and wanted to wear them.

Only, I forgot to read all of the instructions.  Which is a problem I have.  Even though I know I couldn't fill a thimble with what I know about knitting, I still only read half of the instructions and then think I could solve world peace.

So I had to frog the gusset of the sock.  Twice.

Here it is, 6:30 am on Friday and I JUST finished the gusset of the dang sock.

Still, I went on a binge downloading sock patterns.  I have a LOT of sock yarn.  Some of it's to practice with, mostly because I didn't intend to use it for socks in the first place and it was for another project.  BUT I do have 3 full skeins of sock yarn that I LOVE that I want to make into socks for me.

The family will get the full wool socks, because it's freaking cold.  Well, I'm cold at least anyway.

But the wool socks will be for them, and possibly for me.  Here's the plan.

I have discovered Tin Can Knits Simple Collection, which is a lovely collection of patterns geared towards teaching someone basic knitting.  There's hats, socks, sweaters (that I have discovered) and I know there are seven altogether, but I cannot recall the rest right now.

I first discovered the pattern for the sweater, Flax, while watching Halloween H2O.  I had never seen it and I vividly remember trying to knit the sweater while laughing  at the movie.  Turned out I was doing the wrong color.  And wrong project for a certain girl that recently turned 13.  So I frogged it.

That's when I first discovered the Simple Collection.  It's lovely.  The patterns are clearly written and illustrated, which I think is my favorite part.  While I went through and downloaded all of the patterns, simply from using the sweater pattern for as much as I did get to use it, I haven't used one of them yet.

However, I am about to finish my first pair of acrylic worsted weight socks, unless I screw up again, so I'll be able to start on the family socks.  I have 5 skeins of Shepherd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill.  5 skeins, 5 people.  Perfect.  Mom and dad get to choose their colors, the kids get whatever the heck mom decides to give them.  So that's 6 man socks, and 4 lady socks.  We'll see how it goes.

Anyways, it's Friday, people!  That means I work early, so I'm cutting it short (well, short for me), so I can get dressed instead of trying to go to work in my robe and my husband's pajama pants. I hope your weekend is warm and fully of happy!

I Suck

Yes, I am terrible about keeping the blog updated.

I had planned on posting about a week and a half ago, but my husband was on vacation, and somehow, no matter how well everything is planned, the entire week is an uproar, and about the third day of vacation, I'm praying that I don't kill him before he goes back to work. In years past, I've taken to drinking.  This year, because I was at work for some of it, it wasn't 'awful'. Though he did play good parent with the kids where he played XBOX and wasn't making sure they were doing anything besides having their eyes glued to whichever device. So Crazy Mom had to make an appearance.

So in the interim, I have been practicing my sock knitting skills, which are now still only slightly over NO knitting skills. My problem is the DPNs.  I do not like double pointed needles.  And the ones I have are the reason why, I think.  My thought was that since it's for socks, and socks take thin fingering weight yarn, they don't have to be too long.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong.  I started on the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks  on Lion Brand Sock Ease yarn (colorway is Red Hots and I'm using size 2 needles), on my two days off, and things went amazingly well when I had a chance to work on them.  Sort of, I was project jumping for the two days.  Back and forth between a blanket and the socks and another pair of socks.  I thought it would be a great idea to bring the sock with me to work, because I want to wear these darn socks (so I can start on MORE socks!).

I put the sock in my bag, and when I brought it out to work on it at work, I found a dropped stitch.  I caught it before it unraveled.  When I got home and started to work on it again, I found TWO dropped stitches!!  I made sure to finish the darn sock that night.  Well, at least enough so the needles weren't bursting.

It was dumb, because I have the sock on the 5 inch needles.  Mostly it's because they are bamboo, and my longer dpns are aluminum and very slippy.  And I only have 4 of them, which is just awful for me sometimes.  So I'll have to make sure to pick up some longer bamboo needles.  In sizes 1 and 2 at least.

My other socks, my Easy Peasy Socks for First-Timers, by Stacy Trock, the ones that are for me, and a gorgeous black and orange acrylic-I Love This Yarn Fan Pride, are almost done.  I JUST finished picking up the stitches and am now at the decreases.  Something that happened, though, and which I don't plan on fixing, was that I did a k2, p2 cuff on the first sock, and I followed the pattern exactly for the second sock and it's only a k1, p1 cuff.  I haven't written any notes on the pattern on Ravelry, so I have no idea what the heck I was thinking, unless I had planned on doing a different sock pattern with this yarn or I was drinking.  I'm leaving them with the different cuffs.  They're acrylic socks, so I won't be wearing them to work or anything, they'll be more for when I absolutely cannot stand the cold anymore but realize that it's still 65 degrees in the house and turning on the heater would be dumb, which is exactly where I'm at right now.  You can imagine how much I want to be done with them.

It's officially getting cold enough that I pulled out all the blankets from the blanket tub, and washed them up so we can sit with them instead of crying about how cold we are, since right now it's just us girls that are so cold.

Seriously, it's getting silly around here.  It's dipping into the mid 30's at night.  Temperatures went from the 80/90s to the 60/70s during the day time.  My days off now are consisting of me sitting in my chair in the living room knitting or crocheting, wearing my clothes are my TARDIS robe.  This is how my oldest son found me on Monday when he came home from school.  This is almost how my oldest son found me on Tuesday.  I WANT the heater to be on.  That's how cold I am.  However, when I go turn the heater on and the thermostat is reading 69 degrees in the house, it just seems silly for the heater to be on at all.  So I will wait.

Well, I have a sock to finish so I can keep my feet from getting what feels like frozen to me.  I hope your crafting is going better than mine!


Sock Story

A few days ago, I had a blog all finished and published, because I was full of piss and vinegar and thought I was a total badass knitter.  Then I tried to do what it was I had blogged about being so prepared to do, and I screwed up.  Big time.

I did about 3 rounds of a 40 stitch project, and said to hell with it!  I have not gone back to this project, and in fact I pulled out the needles yesterday for a project I am planning on starting tonight.

Eventually, I'll get back to it.

Instead, I found a really great sock pattern that I thought I would try.  It uses worsted weight yarn (that's #4 yarn or medium weight), and small(ish) needles.  It's the Easy Peasy Sock pattern for First-Timers by Stacey Trock of FreshStitches.

This pattern is WONDERFUL!  It's a free download on Ravelry, and...Well, I'll just say it:  I MADE A SOCK!  I'm calling them my World Series Socks, because I started during the World Series, and have been working on them while watching each game, though, last night, I put them down because baseball gave me a migraine.  Once the game was over, I went to bed and read Gone Girl.  I was super tired and ready to put it down, then I turned the page to Part Two: Boy Meets Girl, and instantly thought, "What a mighty, mighty a-hole!" Then kept reading, despite the fact that I was about 90 minutes past the time I had gone to bed, and had to wake up early this morning.  I eventually put it down, and intentionally haven't touched it this morning because I don't have the time to get super involved in it.

But, I digress!  I came downstairs this morning and was distracted by a grasshopper in my kitchen sink.  I tried drowning it, the same way I deal with finding cockroaches in the kitchen sink, but the damn thing kept jumping and waking the kids up squealing on a Sunday is not high on my list of things to do.  So I left it.

I decided to leave the sock until later today, and....started another sock!  Because I wanted to start a pair of actual socks with actual sock yarn, since I am getting more adept at using the double pointed needles.

The husband came home, and that puts a pause on everything knitting.  I got him to dispose of the grasshopper that wouldn't get out of the sink, and he scared the crap out of me with it.  Halle woke up, and we all have cream of wheat together.  Now I'm here, he's here, watching football, and Halle is God knows where.  I have to leave for work in 30 minutes and am still in my pajamas and sorely tempted to pick up this damn book so I can find out what happens.

Folks, this is my life.

Stashed

Every time I consider purchasing more yarn, I think of my yarn stash, and how much of a hot mess it is.

Seriously, it is ridiculous how obscene it gets. At least once a month I 'reorganize' it.

Well, THIS month, I decided to cull the stash a bit.  Just some stuff that I won't use anymore (lessons learned, I call them), or stuff I have no use for at all.  I once insisted on purchasing a ball of eyelash yarn.  It ended up in one huge knot that I couldn't unravel. This of course was in the beginning of my knitting 'career'.

It was just yarn that seemed like a great purchase at the time and turned out to be more of a headache. So, it'll be donated.

It made some room.  A LITTLE room, for other yarn so that it isn't shoved into bags and such.  Now, I just have to work on marketing what projects I have that are finished and I am not keeping.  Last year, I made a whole bunch of scarves.  Bulky weight scarves that were arm knitted.  They're great.  They're huge, and they're only useful for about 2 weeks around these parts.

Those projects are contained in a very large Rubbermaid container, in fact, the largest one I own.  Lots of projects and fabrics that I might never use again.  I must make room just in case some generous soul decides to give me a yarn shopping spree, that way I have space for what I am going to purchase. (Fingers are crossed.  My anniversary is coming up.)

I am thinking about selling what I have on one of the Facebook groups for my area.  I have hats and blankets and those silly scarves I spent a whole night making.  So there's plenty, I just need to buckle down and photograph it all and set up the pricing for it.

But first, I must work!  It's still Saturday (even though I was sure it was Sunday and I still have to work on Sunday anyway), so I must go and get ready.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Walking

My 'trade', if you will, is home health. I am a certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and have been since around this time in 2008.

When I first finished my course, I was not certified.  You go into this stuff and you're thinking OK, in 8 weeks I'll be a CNA and making BANK.

Around the middle of the 4th week you find out at the end of the class all you get is a piece of paper and the need to pay $65 to be tested on your knowledge before you are certified.  I had to do that.  Twice.

Thankfully, I found a company that does home health care, and they hired me on soon after finishing my class, without certification.  I was sent on jobs that were basically "Hang out with my mom while I'm at work" sort of jobs.  I would just sit with people for a few hours a day so they wouldn't be lonely.

I took my test and failed.  I went though the entire test thinking "Ooooh, I'm so awesome! I'm gonna pass, and make lots of money! YAY!" When I was about halfway home, I realized I had done something.  Something so bad that it was considered an automatic failure on the test.  I had done it, and hadn't gone back to fix it.

After the first of the year, my boss offered to pay for me to retake the test, if I agreed to work for the company for a set amount of time.  Sort of like indentured servitude.  It wasn't a problem for me, since that's what I had planned on doing for at least a little while.

Now, I'm still here, hanging out with people, but of course with a much larger scope of practice.  Currently, my job is an easy one. for the most part.  A lot of times, the hardest part of my job is that I have to drive an hour each way. The best part is, I get to hang out with a cool guy, and watch movies. Literally, that's my job.  There are other things that go with it of course, but what it boils down to is, we watch movies, and sort of give them the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.  We watch a LOT of scary movies, but then we crack jokes about what's happening, so it's not too scary.  It also helps that I am about 8 hours away from going to bed when we watch them.

Then there are days like yesterday.  Yesterday was the Walk for ALS in Scottsdale. I haven't been to something like that since I did the walk for Breast Cancer with City of Hope. And that feels like a century ago. Days like yesterday are a source of stress for the mom of my patient. So, any time she asks if I'd be willing to go with them to something like that (she always asks me first, then calls to make arrangements for me to stay longer), I always agree.  For some reason, we sort of balance each other out.  Mostly because my freak outs are almost always internal freak outs. Outside I'm as cool as Billy Dee Williams, inside I feel like Animal from the Muppets.  That and I can drive the HELL out of his power chair.  Thank you, Nintendo!

It was really nice yesterday to see her not worry too much about what was happening.  We all took turns driving the chair (I only had to drive him in and out of the van and into the stadium). Family and friends were there for support, and we all had a really nice walk together.  But dang, it was HOT out.  91 degrees in Scottsdale yesterday.  I don't think we were out there in 91 degrees (we were done by 10:30 am), but it was pretty warm.  We were all melting.

It was amazing how smoothly everything went.  There were no incidents, medically or anything.  Except I did a bad job of getting the power chair out of the van when we got there.  Those darn wheels! I really liked it, and would love to do it again next year, but I think they've all but decided not to walk next year (already! Boo!).

Today, now...Today is an important day. It's Sunday, my "Friday".  It's also the first day of the Jimmy Beans Wool MKAL "Frozen Upon A Time"! I'm so excited!  In fact, I'm up obscenely early refreshing my email box and pattern page just to make sure I get it downloaded as soon as it comes through. Lame, I know, but I'm THAT excited.  I actually SWATCHED for gauge something I never do anymore, because I NEVER get gauge with the given needle/hook size.  I just go one up.  But I got gauge for this one.  While I did not purchase the Limited Edition Lorna's Laces made up for the MKAL, I did find a really awesome variegated from Plymouth Yarns. It's Encore Worsted Colorspun, in Jade Prints.  That means it's full of greens and blues and completely fantastic.

So, if anyone needs me, I'll be here.  Sitting and (impatiently) waiting and (constantly) refreshing my email box and my pattern library on Ravelry, until it's time for me to get ready for work.

Hat Overload

I have made it my mission this year, to try and make hats for gifts. As the days pass since I have made this mental decree, I am beginning to think I might have completely lost the plot. I'm going to have to write everything down just so I'm not going completely bonkers.

If I really put my mind to it, I can make a hat in a couple of days.  The thing is, I'm thinking about making at least three of the same hat.  I did this already, and by the third hat, I wanted to throw stuff.  It's really very tedious and gets boring.  The first hat took less than 2 days, the second hat a little longer, and I just cast off the last hat yesterday morning, and that was only because it was for the middle kid and you know middle kids.  I'm totally trying to make him as not Jan Brady as I can.  More like Peter Brady, who was at least more well adjusted than his female counterpart.  (I totally just spelled female "Femail".  Yay waking up at 4 am to a neighbor's dog barking incessantly to be let inside while the neighbor sleeps like nothing is going on!).

So, the boys of MY house are totally outfitted for the cooler weather.  My daughter and I, not so much yet.

I made her wrist warmers with a matching (well, the same yarn anyway) earwarmer/headband type thing. Which she proudly displayed in the living room and unwillingly posed for pictures in.


Her 'cape' is a crocheted blanket my mom's aunt made special for her when she was a baby.  It's almost 13 years old.

But she doesn't have a hat, yet!  Sure she's got ball caps, but she doesn't have her 'Winter Hat'.  Since I've made one for everyone else, she's got to have one too.

The problem is, she's a girl.  And she wants fancy stuff instead of regular "Just make me a hat" stuff like the boys (who really didn't get a choice in which hat I made, because I messed up and made one too big for someone else and sort of just gave it to my son. And that started all the fun.

What the girl does have, though, is MY hat.  The hat I splurged on yarn for (a $20 ball of 100% wool yarn, Noro Yarn, I love you!), FOR MYSELF.  She has seriously worn it more than I have.  And she thinks that I should go spend another $20 on the same ball of yarn to make one for her.  Yea.  NO, girl who leaves my iPod in her pants so my mom can wash them and ruin the iPod! NO!

I am making her a hat, though.  It's almost done, and I'm pretty sure she will dig it, especially when she realizes that it's a knock off of a hat from one of her favorite shows, "Once Upon A Time" on ABC. She told me her favorite character is Regina/The Evil Queen, but Regina is far too cool to be wearing a lot of crochet/knitted items, so I'm going with one of Emma Swan's hats, that she wore in the "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" episode.  Carolyn Small on Ravelry was awesome enough to reverse engineer the hat and share her pattern for free.  I have almost completed one set of cables, and am having to put it down so I can go get dressed for work.  I might even get finished by tonight, if I don't get too distracted.  Then I can start on another one, for me!

It's Friday, People!  Have a great weekend!

Finished!

So, I promised pictures!  Get ready!

I'm so excited about what I've been finishing (and getting ready to work on) that I have several folders marked with the same date in my picture files.

First:  I blocked my Jehanne Mitts yesterday while at work!  I soaked them for around 15 minutes (multi-tasked by taking a shower instead of hovering), in Eucalan wash.  I didn't measure it, so I'm pretty sure I didn't use enough of it, but they're blocked, so I can't complain.



My daughter took the picture here, so you can't really see the detail on them.  She was acting goofy so I only had her take the one.  I'd have asked HER to wear the mitts so I could take the picture, but she'd have stolen them and then there would have been this whole Keystone Kops style chase around the house, and it was late.  I do, however, have some pictures of single mitts that I took.


Well, that's not much better is it? I'll take some more with better light.  As soon as the sun comes up.

So, I made them in Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Stone Washed Mix.  I bought the yarn a while ago, because I liked the heather-y look it has.  I might pick up some more, though I think if I'm going to give them as gifts, I might use a machine washable yarn.

I made 2.5 hats!  They are the regular guy beanie by Yarnman Knits (Chuck Wright).  Very easy to follow pattern, though I used a circular needle and DPNs instead of solely using DPNs.  I'm good, but not that good.

One was done on size 8 needles, the other on size 7. Both were made with the intention of them going to David.  Once he put on the one made on the size 8's, I knew I'd have to change something.  So I gave the bigger hat to Joseph, who will be standing out waiting for the bus on Monday (It's starting to cool off in the mornings), and made another on the smaller needles.  This one fits David better and won't give him too much trouble when he's wearing it on the motorcycle.



Now, I'm on my third hat.  I gotta tell ya, I'm getting sick of the regular guy beanie, and am so glad I've made it to the decreases.  My problem now is that I don't remember where I was when I stopped to go to bed last night.  So I'm troubleshooting.

I've made it my mission to learn to knit continental style (Finally!).  Not for any specific reason, just because I think it'll be a good skill to have as part of my needlecrafting arsenal.  Yesterday was a good continental knitting day.  I've been trying to watch various people knit to see how they do it.  So far my style is a total bastardization of a lot of people's styles.  I have done most of the last half of the Regular Guy Beanie I'm currently working on Continental. And I can sort of see where I started.  It doesn't show in the pictures, but I know where I started.


OK, I guess if you look where the yarn tail is on the left of the hat, that's about where the line is in this picture.  All I have to do is not get cocky about it.  And then I start thinking about Star Wars and how I should really go out and buy new copies of the movies and how much I don't want to have to buy The Phantom Menace and all that crap that came later. (the kids have decided the Star Wars movies are divided into My Star Wars and Their Star Wars, so they always ask for clarification. My answer is always, The GOOD Star Wars, mine!)

Today is my last day off until Monday, so it's a busy one.  I am a little thankful that the kids will be home on a day that I'm going grocery shopping.

Now, I just have to finally decide which yarn I'm going to use for the Jimmy Beans Wool Once Upon a Time MKAL that starts on October 12.  I need to buy some and just be done with it.  Hopefully I'll do that today.

It's Friday Eve, people!  Make it great!


Dyed

Months ago, I found two rather large bags of Te Awa Wools wool yarn.  At the thrift store.  For under $5 each.

I left them.  Eventually, I figured out what I wanted to do with them so I went back and thankfully they were still there!

I bought them home and planned to dye them both.  Not the same color, mind you.  One I did in a purple/darkish pink color, the other was done in a red/orange color, though you can't really tell that it's something besides red at all.

I'm looking for the pictures right now so I can put them up on here.  I haven't used them yet because I have a problem.  There wasn't any sort of yarn weight on the label, and searching for what I had was a bust...I would find wool by Te Awa Wools, but none looked even remotely close to what I had, and no one sells Te Awa Wools yarns around here.

I'm an idiot so I didn't think to take it into the LYS to ask, either.  I would take them out periodically and try to knit or crochet with them, but I wasn't happy with anything that I was producing.

Hey!  I found the pictures!
Purple and Pink!

Red and...Orange??

.



Dying them was time consuming, but it was fun and a great learning experience.  I haven't dyed any yarn since, but that's not because I don't want to, More like I don't want to take the time to dye yarn, but with a dash of I can't figure out what the hell colors I want to use.

I did it all on the stove, using pots and towels I got at the thrift store.  I used Rit brand dye, and I spent about 2 hours doing both I think.  We have a clothesline out back (our electric dryer broke and we didn't fix it for years), so when I had finished dying each bundle, it hung up on the clothesline for a few hours.

When they were dry, I brought them in and wound them into cakes.  I knew I'd have to make more than one cake of each bundle, but I didn't expect the stuff to break.  I got a bunch of smaller balls out of one bundle before it wouldn't break and the last few were larger.  The Red one was great.  I think it was two or three balls.

Today, though, I finally found SOMETHING that I wanted to use the yarn for, and I actually had the correct tools for it.  It's a lot of yarn, so I thought a shawl would be the best thing for it.  I found the Just Knit It Pattern!  You can use whatever yarn you'd like and just keep increasing as long as you'd like.  So I can use up all the yarn for the one project!  And it's going really well, so far.  I mean, the width is less than a foot right now, but I've only started today. I stopped for a while to do home type stuff.  You know, breakfast, a shower, clothing that's not pajamas so I can leave the house.




Tomorrow, look for some pictures of finished projects!  I'm so excited that I'm done with these, I might make another LONGER set.  I just have to get my daughter to sit still and put these gloves on, or take decent pictures for me.  

I have decided which yarn I'm going to use for the newest Jimmy Beans Wool MKAL, now I just have to purchase it.  I was going to do it today, but it doesn't start for 11 days, so I might wait.  Knowing me, though, I'll change my mind 32 times before then unless I buy the darn yarn. It should be interesting, I'll have to knit a pair of mitts with DPNs, which I don't think I'm very good at, at least not at the start.  I can do a mean 2x2 ribbing with some DPNs.

You've made it! It's Wednesday!  I hope your week ends on a great note and that the weekend is full of love and lots of fun!



Ah, Sunday

Yesterday was Sunday.  Sundays in this house mean football!

THE game was the Bears vs. Packers game, which my husband was so excited about, he kept waking himself up calling plays.  He said he was hearing outside noise in his sleep and thinking, "OK well, X just happened" kind of stuff.  So, he slept around 3 hours, instead of his usual seven hours.

I came home from work and he sheepishly hugged me when I walked in, explaining what had happened.  I already knew the score of the game, and he was almost halfway through and it looked bad already.

I sat quietly, making a game plan about all the hats I'm making for the holidays, and trying to sort out whether or not I was going to participate in Jimmy Beans Wool's newest Mystery Knit-a-Long.  It's a Once Upon A Time knit, and only $3.50 for the pattern.  There are just a few things I need, and I'll probably get those today on my way home from work.

I picked up an extra day today, as sort of support because of a doctor's appointment.  I'm thinking of myself as the getaway driver, even though I'm not really driving.  The extra day gives us a little cushion and makes it possible for me to get the few things I need, like DPNs.  I realized today that I don't have a size 6 set of DPNs, OR a size 6 circular (16" size).  I also don't have the size 7 circular that's large enough, though I'm considering using a size 8 circular just so I dont' HAVE to buy a size 7.  But let's be honest, I am going to buy the size 7.  I am going to try and work on this project on Sundays while I watch with the kiddies.

That way I can work on the other stuff like hats.  I started my Arizona Yarn & Fiber KAL project yesterday.  Twice.  I wasn't paying attention and went and skipped the first six rows.  I felt silly, because that's a 100 stitch cast on and I screwed it up.

My hat count keeps changing and thinking about making one hat in particular makes me sad, but I think I have to do it.  It's like a message from beyond.  I'll explain later.  Tomorrow I'll post pictures of stuff I've been working on the last few days and tell you some funny stories about my brain acting weird.

Enjoy the start of your week!

Quickly!

In my house, we're behind on everything, except the bills!

Naturally, I'm starting this blog LATE today!

The entirety of my world has been topsy turvy, ever since the kids went on Fall Break last week,

School dances, doctors appointments, work.  It's all been nuts.

To add to all the fun, on Wednesday, when I got out of the car to go to work, I didn't perform my usual checks, which include making sure I have my keys somewhere on my person or in my bag about 5 times.  This started 20 years ago when I locked my keys in the car despite my car trying to keep me from closing the door.  So at 1:30, when I went to leave, I discovered that the keys were not in my bag.  They were still in the ignition.

30 minutes later AAA arrived and unlocked my car for me.  The keys sat in the sun for 4 hours and burned my hands.

Everything was cool, or so I thought.  Yesterday, upon starting the car to get to work, the car started showing signs that the battery was dying.  It started, but it didn't sound good when it started.  It was late, so I went to work, praying my socks off the entire way that the car didn't just up and die on me.

I did the same on the way home, especially when I got stuck at stoplights.  So instead of taking Joseph in for his eye appointment (contact lenses, God help me!), we went and got the battery tested...because of course, me saying that the battery is dying can't be trusted.  I know in my head that we had to test it because it could have been the alternator that was going, but still it sort of irked me that he had them test the battery.  Turns out, the battery was rated at 550, and was reading at 174, so yes, the battery was dying.  I so badly wanted to bust out and do the "I was right! I told you so!" Dance, but that would have looked really silly in front of a lot of people.

When we got home, things seemed tense between the hubs and I so I stayed in the kitchen, which is sort of moot, because we're basically in the same room.  I got dinner ready like my life depended on it and then realized it was only 3:30 pm.  I also realized that in my rush to get the car fixed ASAP, I neglected to kiss my husband hello.  At first I was miffed because I had come home from work so he should have come to kiss me, but then I realized he had, and I never gave him the chance.  I had to apologize, which is probably the worst thing EVER to me.  If I go to Hell, I'll be stuck apologizing for my jackass behavior for all of eternity.

Hopefully the insanity will settle down to it's regular levels.

Craft-wise, I have finished two Regular Guy Beanies from Yarnman Knits on Ravelry.  I used a circular needle for both, one in a size 7 the other on an 8.  Super fast knit.  I have started on an Exeter hat for my second son. Stupidly, I started it on a size 7 circular, meaning to use the 8, so I could use the 7 for the Knotted Rib Hat for a knit a-long on Monday.  Hopefully I'll be done soon.  It's in Cobalt Heather Cascade 220 Superwash, which is fast becoming a favorite yarn.

The time has come now, for me to start getting ready for work and pack my bag of projects and other stuff.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Learning

I have found, over the years, with my needlework, that you don't just learn.  It is a continual process of finding new techniques.

In crochet, the stitches get taller.  In knitting, it's all the same, just working the stitches differently.

My biggest learning deficiency in knitting has been continental knitting.  I am left-handed.  It's part of the reason I ended up teaching myself to crochet, then knit.  My grandmother couldn't figure out HOW to teach me when I asked.

So, I've just been 'throwing' the yarn when I knit.  It's worked out fine, especially since I really am still learning the ropes of knitting.  Plus, while I do knit/crochet right handed, my hands want to do continental knitting left handed.  I mean, if I want to even attempt to try continental knitting, I have to concentrate hard and really think about what I'm doing.

Someone once asked me why I didn't do continental knitting, I sounded like a jackass when I explained it, but I said, "My brain won't let me figure it out." She and her ex-husband looked at me like I was off my rocker.  Basically, I can hold the yarn correctly in my right hand for continental knitting, but I can't knit right handed like that, and I certainly can't do it left handed.

It was just this morning that I actually knit a few stitches continental and didn't end up dropping most of them.  The only problem is, I am not 100% sure on how to hold the yarn outside of keeping the tension on my pointer finger.  Sometimes I wish I had a wand do I could knit like Mrs Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, but where's the fun in that, right?

Well, I don't have a lot of time left here to knit or anything.  Hubby's coming home and we're going to go walking in the park.  I mean if he doesn't fall asleep when he gets home.  I might just leave him asleep.  My head is aching and I'm not sure if it's because I need more water or I'm caffeine deprived.  Of course, I could just be getting sick.  And wouldn't that be a joy.  Not!

Have a wonderful Thursday and I hope your weekend is spectacular!

Ramblings

Yesterday, I wrote a blog, and I think I must have still been suffering from the effects the last two weeks had on me.

It made no sense at all.

Basically, what I was trying to say was, I was so tired, I barely did anything of value.  I was robotic, and did normal stuff. I went to work, I bought milk, I made dinner.  And then I sat in front of the television until it was time for me to go to bed.

I ran myself ragged and did nothing.  Or at least it feels that way.  The last thing I remember doing outside of the norm was shampooing the carpets.  And I think that may be where the overwhelming tiredness started.

Yesterday was also the first day back at the crochet-a-long at Arizona Yarn & Fiber.  I was SO glad to be back!  I'm almost done with my hand warmers and got the information about when and what the next one is.  It starts October 7, and will be The Learning Curve Shawl by Terry Neal.  It takes FIVE skeins of Cascade Heritage all in the same color, so I'm trying to figure out HOW to get all that yarn and not starve the children.  They're also doing a Knit-a-long on Mondays, which is awesome!  I LOVE being at that store, everyone is so nice and willing to help out anyone that comes in with whatever they're working on.

So that's 4 hours a week that I'm out of the house (Plus driving time), that aren't working hours (6 hours, including driving time each day I work, except for Sundays because drive time drops by a lot).

And since things are getting somewhat back to normal, my husband asked  I'd like to go for a walk with him.  Thinking he meant to walk around the neighborhood, I readily said yes, then learned that he meant to go walking through the San Tan Mountain Regional Park on our next day off together.  That means HIKING...where I want to push him off of mountains and stuff because I'm sick of sucking it up and just want to go home.

In the meantime, I am working today, and possibly visiting a yarn shop to see about picking up some yarn on the way home.  We'll see if I don't get lost.  Because it's possible, even with the GPS on the phone.  And I'm making my way through Ravelry queuing  projects for Christmas/Birthday presents, and once I'm done making hats for the family (I realized I've got hats set up for everyone in the house, except me.  And the dog), I'll start on those.  I took a day and a half to make a Regular Guy Beanie for my husband, so I got the boys to tell me what color they want theirs to be and I'm starting on those first.  The girl's will be next, as her birthday is coming up and she's taken to stealing all my hats that I made for me to wear or to sell.  Then my niece and SIL since THEIR birthdays are coming, then my baby nephews because THEIR birthdays are coming, but first CHRISTMAS! But their birthday hats are going to be awesome.

Due Diligence

It's Friday!  That means nothing at all to me, except that I will only have alone time if I get up before the sun rises or I go to the bathroom for the next two days.  And even that is iffy.

I am still working on this darn shawl, naturally.  I didn't magically finish while I was asleep, though I so wish the elves would come out of the woodwork and do anything, really.  Like perhaps shampoo the carpets.  Or fix the carpet shampooer for me.

Friday is sort of my busiest day at work.  Meaning I have the most stuff to do.  However, I usually finish before 10, and therefore get at least 30 minutes to myself before things start up again, then about 30 minutes later, I get another 30 minute break.  Then I get to sit until I leave at 1 PM.  Sometimes I do not get a lot of time on Fridays, seeing as how we were probably laughing at the radio too much to get any amount of work done where I can sit for more than a few minutes.

I hope today is a day I can sit down for a long while, so I can finish this section of the shawl.  It's not difficult, it's just that I've done it already with my first one and it's just kind of tedious right now.  I'm only 6 rows shy of finishing it though.

I'm also realizing that before too long, I'll more than likely have to get a set of circulars that have a longer cable than the ones I am using.  My work is already scrunched up and one of the upcoming (to me) clues will double the amount of stitches on the needles.  Things are getting hairy around here.

Mostly, I'm looking forward to finishing.  Sometimes I just get a project that I MUST do, and this is one of them.  Right now though, I'd like to be done with it so I can work on something else.  I'm making a Baby Diamonds Blanket from Red Heart Yarns.  It's for my father in law, so I'm making it bigger than the 9 squares that are in the pattern.  That's what I like about it is, it's easily customized,

That's the news for now.  I should go get ready for work as I normally am scrambling around on Friday mornings thinking I have plenty of time only to remember that I have to leave 30 minutes early.

Have a wonderful day and happy crafting!

Apologies

OK, so I totally suck at keeping my blog updated, and I continually feel as though I keep giving the same excuses for not doing it regularly like I should.  Seeing as how everyday, I think, "I could totally blog about this" and then I don't.

Life gets in the way, but I really want to make a go of this so I'm going to try to be better about it, and also I might have to set a calendar notification to remind myself.  And since you all aren't all that familiar with me, as a person, I'll just let you know I abhor calendar notifications, and will turn them off before saving events (regular events mostly, like work, since my schedule is so set).

That being said, I have put aside ALL of my WIPs to work solely on the Jimmy Beans Wool Outlander MKAL.  I chose worsted weight yarns for my first one, then that met with a knotty end while I tried to fix it.  For my second (which I had already decided to do before the first one died a fiery death.  Totally kidding about that) I chose fingering weight yarns.  I had a great blue skein that I kept using for stuff and then frogging.  I just didn't feel they were THE projects that yarn was meant for, I guess.

Now, I have SEVERAL skeins of fingering weight yarn in my stash.  However, none of them were THE color to go with this amazing blue yarn.  I went shopping and voila!  Found exactly what was needed.  Some Good for Ewe Sultry Steps in Pewter.  I LOVE this yarn!

So, the MKAL has weekly clues that coincide with each new episode of Outlander on Starz.  This Saturday is week 6, and I'm still trying to finish week 3's clue!  And to make matters worse, I keep thinking I only have two rows to go, and I still have 18 rows to go!  It's making me crazy and I'm wishing that there was no such thing as me having to go to work tomorrow morning!

Hopefully I'll be caught up soon, and get back to doing other stuff. Being behind is just really messing with me, though I know it isn't a race.  Still, it's really bothering me.  Back to work I go!


Outlander

Yes, yes.  Everyone is going crazy with Outlander.  Me too.  Not so much for the whole hot Scottish men in kilts thing, though that's a bonus.  But it's more for the fact that MY HUSBAND WANTS to watch it with me.  It's rare nowadays that we watch a show that we both want to watch and actually look forward to.  Sure we'll watch 'Deadliest Catch' together, but that's more like he is watching it and I am too lazy to leave the room.  It's not an active together watch.  If that makes sense.

See, he is on the graveyard shift, so I watch all my shows while he is at work and he watches his during the two or three hours before he goes to work.  But every Tuesday, because I am off from work, he'll come home and have breakfast.  Then he'll stay awake after the kids leave so we can see it together.

This is where the problem is.  His schedule changed, so today he came home from work and went to bed, because he has to work tonight.  So, despite the fact that I stayed up until 1 AM on Saturday, I still have not seen the latest episode of Outlander on Starz.  Because GUILT!!

He won't give me grief about it.  I will, however, give myself a lot of grief and also will rat myself out to him immediately.  So, I wait.

In the meantime, I've been busting my biscuits working on the Outlander Mystery Knit-A-Long with Jimmy Beans Wool.  It's a great shawl, with each clue being released on Saturday, the day of the airing of new episodes, for 6 weeks, (I think.  I lost count, I know 4 is the most recent one, though)

It's a great looking shawl and the recommended  yarn and colors are amazing!  They're called Beauchamps and Fraser, after two of our favorite characters in the books, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport! And even better, there's over 350 people (with their projects listed on Ravelry) participating!  Check out the Jimmy Beans Wool Group discussion page.

Mine is done in Berroco Vintage, which is a worsted weight yarn, but by the time I decided I wanted to do it, they were already back ordered on one of the colors, so I did a stash dive and came up with two yarns that I have (I hope) enough of that are in sort of similar colors.  It's coming up thick and warm!  Can't wait for it to get cooler (I'm in Arizona where cooler comes sometime in November for around 4.5 days and winter is a couple of days in January.  I kid, of course.  Sort of.) so I can wear it around.

BUT I am also trying to make another one.  For those days when I finally catch up with the release of clues (I'm on clue 3, clue 4 was released three days ago).  I mean, you know, if I get bored waiting I can always drive myself crazy trying to do another one.  The second one is in fingering weight yarns, one is Sultry Steps by Good for Ewe, a yarn I just discovered today at The Fiber Factory in Mesa, AZ. How can a girl pass up a yarn called sultry Steps.  For reals.  The second is in a stash yarn, also from the Fiber Factory, Pahoehoe by Mary Gavan yarns (Buy local, y'all!).

Well, the kids are starting to come home.  That means I should really start knitting again so they can come bother me and feel as though they've accomplished something.

The Giver

There's this book.  It's called The Giver.  I had never heard of it until a few years ago.

The cover looked interesting, and I thought that someday I'd maybe read it.

At the end of the school year (May around here), we heard about the movie version of the book.  My middle child, who is in the 8th grade now, became very excited.  He said he really liked the book.

First of all, this was the first I was hearing that he read a book.  No, I'm kidding.  The child does not like to read books.  He prefers comics.  Truly.  He does.  It makes me crazy.  I am a book reader.  I have e-versions and paperbacks of the same books.  That is how much I love to read.  I will read on my Kindle, then continue on with the regular book if I run out of battery.  I am obsessed with books.

For me to hear that he really liked this book was probably one of the greatest things I have ever heard uttered from his mouth.  I instantly became obsessed with having to read this book.  Alas, I am a cheapskate, and will wait and wait to buy a book, even if it is only $5.64 at Walmart.

See, there are only two books in the entire world that this boy has been excited about.  One is The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, of which he now owns two versions of, (and White Fang, because mom said so) and the other is The Giver. Two books in the 14 years he has been alive that he'll read over and over.  I'm sure he'll find more in the years to come, but the fact that he gets this excited over these two books is heartwarming for me.

Anyway, I finally found it at the thrift store yesterday afternoon.  $1.99 is a price that I can live with.  I would have gotten the 99 cent copy, but the man on the cover had had his eyes scratched out in such a way that I was scared of him, so I put it back on the shelf to scare other unsuspecting individuals.

When he got home, yesterday, I could see he was pretty happy I had gotten the book.  That means that I'll read it, and take him to see the movie, which he keeps asking about (He is currently grounded until report cards come out).  So he teased me relentlessly about giving away secrets in the book and especially the ending.  Oh, torture!

He's a clown, this kid.  In his boredom from being grounded, he's taken to pulling shenanigans, such as hiding the remote control (He isn't allowed to watch TV, and hid the remote so his sister wouldn't turn on the television, since then he couldn't sit in the living room).   I can't wait to start the book!

The thrift store, for me, is a place of magic.  Used to be when I was a kid, my grandfather would take us to the Salvation Army store.  I thought that was the greatest place in the world.  He'd find some stuff and then take it home and 'tinker' with it, just because.

When I grew up, I found OTHER thrift stores:  Goodwill, Savers, Value Village.  Now, at least once a month, I make the rounds of the stores to check stuff out.  I love walking through the aisles and seeing all the treasures waiting to be discovered!

Insomnia

My husband and I have been trying to have a date night at home once a week.  We'll watch a movie or a show, complete with the fixings of a movie date-popcorn, candy, drinks (what kind of drinks depends on what's going on the next day and to an extent what happened during the day already).

Last night, it was Duck Dynasty and the season finale of Penny Dreadful (how we didn't watch it when we'd watched all the other episodes is beyond me), Crunch 'n Munch Buttery Toffee, Charleston Chew minis, and water.

Turns out this was a bad idea.  First of all, despite MY insistence that we do this, I wanted to go to bed at around 9 PM.  Which was when we had to pick up our two youngest from church youth group.

All I wanted was for them to go to bed so I could eat that Buttery Toffee Crunch 'n Munch.  Seriously, my husband is LUCKY I didn't eat that whole box on the way home.  Of course, they had to come home and eat dinner.  The nerve, really!

So they went to bed, and it was time to wait for the oldest to go to bed.  That never happened, because we both fell asleep or started to.  We went to bed.

And I woke up around 2 hours later, with terrible heartburn.  But it was the kind that is mostly gas, which I know, TMI.

Anyways, I read somewhere once that if you have heartburn, you should lay on your left side.  I tried that, and my sleeping husband decided that was my sign for him to become super sleepy amorous.

I ran away to the living room.  A good thing to because I was crying my stomach hurt so much.

I am one of the strange people that even though I'm sick, I can't sit still.  So, I cleaned the kitchen, moved stuff around in the living room and swept and mopped the kitchen and the bathroom.  Then I looked through my craft stuff, and found my fat quarters so I don't have to buy more for my sewing class next month.

Now, I just need to vacuum the living room, which I didn't think would be the coolest thing to do at like 12:30 in the morning.  I HAVE done it though, when the husband wasn't here and while the children were in bed asleep.  I figure there's a better chance for him to hear the vacuum since the bedroom is right over the living room.  So I wait.  And I plan.

Dinner that is!

I finished the project I was working on, whatever that was, I cannot remember without looking, so I decided that I would go through my box and start finishing my UFOs that I hid.  So yesterday, I finished the Summer Squares Beach Tote that I started sometime last year.  I put it aside because it was looking like I'd need another ball of yarn to finish it and the yarn was (still is) insanely expensive (to my cheapskate mind).  I finally bought some more of the yarn and here we are months later and I'm done!

I am working along on Rain Drops by Yumiko Alexander.  It's a great knitting pattern that uses 100% wool yarn and I get to felt it!  I'm very excited about felting the bag, as I've seen some of the others that were done and they look great.  Mine will too!

Well, the kids are getting up and leaving for school, so I will bid you all adieu.  I hope your Thursday is filled with love and many blessings.


Tribute Tuesday

Hello again, Friends!

I've been pretty busy here around the house, mostly with trying to knit socks, finish a project to send to my sister and searching for books at the discount book shops.  Also, finishing up other projects (most of which I haven't weaved in the ends of yet), and trying to learn how to do stuff.  It all culminated in me discovering that my set of size 5 dpns are MISSING!  I have ONE in the package.  That led to me believing that I HAD to look for them in my stash closet.

Well, I've cleaned out the closet, and boy does it look nice.  Still haven't found the dpns, though.

On to more important things:  My Tribute for today!

I'm very excited about this one.

My tribute today is for The Fiber Factory at 216 W Main Street in Mesa, AZ.  They're on the corner of Country Club and Main, with the big pink chair being the giveaway for where to find the store!  Right now, the street is under construction for the light rail to be brought farther out, so it'll be even easier to get there!  There is more than ample parking in the back of the store, though.

For all the years that I was doing needlework, I had NO idea about yarn shops!  I got my yarn at WalMart and JoAnns or Michaels. Even speaking with a woman who was a knitting teacher (she was 96 years old when I met her, and she was thrilled to find I was doing crochet and trying to learn knitting. I believe if her eyes had been better, she'd have given me lots of pointers and tips), and having her refer to everything as wool, I still didn't even consider all the options of what a person could work with.

When I discovered yarn shops, I figured that they were just stores that charged way too much for what I could get for a lot less.  I finally took a trip out to Mesa, no small feat since we live almost an hour away from the shop and I hate driving.  What I discovered was like a fairtale land.  There was sock yarn, sport yarn, worsted yarn, bulky yarns.  And the colors and different fibers!  I was in heaven!  I found that yes, the yarn there was more expensive,but for a lot of projects, this would be the best place to start.

Not only that, I don't remember how it came about, but one day one of the ladies there just stopped what she was doing and taught me how to do a Russian join for yarn.  She explained it and got a ball of yarn and cut it to show me.

I also learned about yarn winders and yarn swifts, which of course were like magical objects to me.  And they offered to wind my yarn skeins for me!  I was amazed.  I've never loved shopping in a store as much as I love shopping in an actual yarn shop.  You're supporting the local economy, not some huge corporation, and there is always someone who is willing to help you out with what you've got going on.

While I don't go in as often as I would like, I know that there are yarny things that I can only get there and always look forward to visiting the store.

Tribute Tuesday

For sometime now, I've been thinking about making a post about a pattern or a designer that's inspired me to make something, whether in knitting or crochet or whatever.  I'll try to do them on Tuesdays, sort of as a tribute to the artist, hence the title of this post.

So, I'll have a LOT of material for Tuesdays!  There have been so many great patterns that I've found that have inspired me, not only to make the item, but to expand my knowledge and abilities as a crafter.  Some of the things have taken me out of my comfort zone, not only in the crafting, but also, as a person that doesn't always have a lot of faith in their own abilities.  It's because of these patterns/designers that I am braver and more confident in what I am able to produce.

For the first Tribute Tuesday, I give you:  The Sejia Set by Bev Ireland!


My first crochet pattern book was The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller, and seeing as how I had a baby shower to go to shortly after I purchased it, I decided to make the Sejia set, for who ever it was.  I don't remember who it was for anymore, as I've made quite a few over the last couple of years.  (Too much sharing of the Kool-Aid!)  It was last updated in October of 2011, if that's any indication (I wasn't too savvy with the use of the Ravelry project pages at that time).  It was also my first time not strictly adhering to a pattern.  I know that the ends are supposed to be spaced out and braids of the yarn woven through, but at the time, I wasn't comfortable with doing that (and I was short on time), and I found that I preferred it without the braided yarn in the blanket.  The hat, of course I sat and did the braids on, it sort of made the hat.  It came out well, both the blanket and the hat, but I'd later find out, my hat making left much to be desired.  All of my hats that I made at first had a very, very visible seam, and they were all too small for the people I made them for, except for the baby hats!



There it is!  I was always thinking of ice cream every time I worked on it!  It was all made with Caron One Pound Yarn and Lion Brand Pound of Love (Antique White), and I still have some of the brown, despite having made about 3 other blankets with it (they were 'boy' blankets, blue, tan and dark brown).  I got to make another girly blanket set last year for my girlfriend's baby shower, which was nice, since it had been a while since the last set I'd made.  

The Happy Hooker book has provided me with countless hours of hat making (I have made hats for every person in this house and given lots away as gifts).  The instructions are great, very clear and concise and the stories about the designers that contributed to the book are wonderful!  I especially love the pictures in the beginning of the book explaining the crochet stitches and things.  I love being able to see things being done, I find it helpful to my own crocheting, being able to watch someone do what they're showing me, instead of them just tossing instructions out at me.  It was very nice to have the pictures and instructions there to reference if I needed it.



**There are NO affiliate links in this post.  All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in anyway for this post.**

Crafty

I have a problem.

My problem is that there are all these amazing things that I've found that I want to do that'll get me out of the house on my days off, so that there's less of a chance of me becoming only Berger's wife, or so-and so's mom. For instance, all I've been doing is waiting for the time to wake up my husband or the time for the kids to get home from school, and just sitting here watching TV and cleaning things.

I'm tired of it.  I realized the other day I don't have any REAL friends, outside of David.  There's no one that I call (or calls me) to go do things.  I wait for the days David says we'll go for a ride (which more than likely isn't going to happen any time soon).

So far, I've done one thing, and this is the second week of school.  I have plans for tomorrow.  I'm looking for classes I can take that'll not be online (I already spend way too much time online).  Sadly, a lot of the classes I WANT to take have already happened and won't happen for a while.  OR I get freaked out by the price!  But I NEED to do something!  I can only watch Frozen so many times... ( Just kidding.  I watched it last week, and only watched it today so I could hear Anna say, "The sky is awake, so I'm awake."  Because that's awesome).

Today, I shopped for food, which isn't as fun as I'd like for it to sound.  I actually woke up with a raging migraine, and feeling on the verge of getting a charley horse...a telltale sign that I'm super dehydrated, which I KNEW but I chose beer and coffee last night instead of water, even though I knew better.

So I'm nursing myself, and trying to do things that I need to do to be ready for the kids to get home and do homework.-because there's YARN and a yarn winder and yarn swift on their homework table-I had planned to wind yarn skeins that I have left unwound, but ended up having to fix my yarn winder.

I actually think I'm going to clean and start watching my Craftsy mini classes or try getting into another class.  I keep getting distracted by my crochet and knitting projects that are laid out across my couch. Really it's only 3 projects, and one of them I haven't started yet.  And yet again I am procrastinating by blogging about all the stuff I want and should be doing.

I'm off! I hope everyone has a great week!  Be prepared for some great projects coming up this week!

Good Ole Murphy

I found my camera!

As soon as I turned it on, the screen read, "The Battery is Exhausted" and shut off.

You know what?  I am exhausted too.

My job is relatively easy, with the bulk of my work being at the start of my shift. The latter part of the shift is spent mostly watching movies, good movies thankfully, and hanging out with my client, who is in a wheelchair, and various members of his family.

It's not physically taxing, outside of having to move him around, but at the end of the day, having to drive in Phoenix traffic for an hour to get home, sometimes stopping to do my grocery shopping because it's the only time I have to do it, helps me get TIRED.

I've spent the last few weeks rearranging life so I can accommodate everyone else's schedule.  Truthfully, this is something I have always done and only recently realized needs to stop.  I have to stop not doing things that I want to do because I don't want to disappoint someone in my family.  That's not good for me, and in the long run, it's not good for anyone else in this house.

So, I spent some extra money tonight and put gas that could have waited until later in the week into the car, so I can go do SOMETHING and still get to work.  I have two days, the first two days of school for the kids, which I will have all to myself.  Normally, I'd stay home and crochet or knit and do some laundry all day, both days.  Not anymore.  Now, I'm going to go out and crochet!  HA!  On Tuesday my Local Yarn Shop has a Crochet A Long going on, so I'm going to do that, possibly regularly.

Tonight, I will lock up the house and make sure all the kids are in bed without their electronic devices, and recharge my battery with some ridiculous television and sleep, and hopefully recharge the battery of my camera, so I can take pictures of some of the stuff I have around here!

Found It!

I finally went and actually looked around for my camera.  And I found it!

I'm so excited, because it's full of pictures of my new nephews and some in progress pictures of projects.

Now tomorrow I'll post pictures of the newest projects and a done photo of my dad's blanket, today is for family so here they are.

Me and Dominic!

Me and my baby sister!

Some of my favorite people!

The babies are looking at their parents, my kids are staring at the T.V.

There they are, the newest additions to my family.  They are all so cute and gorgeous and amazing.  They also make me want to have more babies! Mostly that's because I can't see them a lot.

School starts for my kids on Monday!  I'm very excited about it, and not only because I can run around the house in my underwear more often.  My oldest is starting high school, and he'll get his first taste of it tomorrow.  Sadly, it's a student only day, and I have to work anyway.  Otherwise, I'd have to embarrass my son by taking a lot of pictures of him and his friends.  

Today, however, we get to troll the hallways of the elementary/middle school for the two younger ones.  The oldest is super excited because he doesn't have to go.  This weekend, we'll buy backpacks and stuff for lunches, then we'll be set until NEXT weekend, when we do our school shopping, which we sadly have to postpone until then.

I am also glad about school starting because STRUCTURE!  I won't have to worry about the kids sitting at home playing XBOX all day long while I'm at work and their dad is asleep upstairs, which they've done, I'm sure.  They'll be gone at school, I'll be at work, and I'll be home before them.  Also we fixed up the front room, where they do homework.  We moved things around and vacuumed (OMG did it need vacuuming!). Now I just need some extra chairs so that everyone is nice and comfy and has access to electrical outlets.

With three days a week all to myself, there'll be a lot of crafting going on, so I hope you're ready!