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Thursday, October 26, 2006

time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

*whew* How did I get to October 26 already? Absolutely no clue, but I think work has been sucking out my brains (or whatever I have that passes for brains).
I did put together a lot of the little granny squares and made a lapghan or maybe a colorful baby afghan, mostly in pinks. Right now I don't have any idea of what to do with it, so PussyFoot (our only female cat) has decided it belongs to her. I am a little surprised - she generally prefers to sleep on items made out of more expensive yarn.
One item I made was a kimono style jacket from Lion Brand yarn -
but of course I decided to change the type of yarn used, as well as other fundamental parts of the jacket. I had constructed it so I could wear it thru the relatively mild winters we have in the Maryland area. (I'm thinking mild as compared to Colorado, not mild as compared to Florida - plus I was having my own personal sauna going on at the time.)
Well....it was _too_ heavy to wear comfortably and it actually wasn't as warm as I had thought. I hadn't calculated the wind chill aspect and it didn't work out as well as I had thought. It was great when the wind wasn't blowing (if you skip the heavy part) but not otherwise.
For quite some time. PussyFoot or my younger son slept with this jacket - sometimes both of them at once;) I decided to put it away to deconstruct it at a later point. Much too heavy and much too expensive for a cat blanket.
Now who do I get to blame for my mistake? Lion Brand, for writing the pattern - I did (sort of) follow their pattern. Well, _no_ not Lion Brand. It's like making a cake, but instead of using butter, you using cooking oil, instead of flour, you use corn meal and instead of granulated sugar, you use confectioner's sugar. You don't get a wonderful pound cake, you get a huge mess. This is because you didn't think the project all the way to the end. And that was my fault with the jacket. I loved playing with the different yarns, and I did like the way it looks, but it wasn't going to turn out to be quite what I was trying to create.
I'm not saying you should never try different yarns or styles. Just think about it a little longer than I did. I spent a lot of time making it, but very little time actually wearing it. I used _double_ the yarn to make the jacket warmer, but all it did was make it too heavy to wear comfortably. And while it looked good to me, I made the mistake of mixing fibers that could not be cleaned in the same way. So now I got a heavy jacket that has to be hand washed and laid flat to dry. Where that flat surface in my house is, I don't know (the ceilings?).
I should have made a scarf first, just to see if the fabric I created would perform the way I wanted it to perform. PussyFoot would have still slept on it, but I wouldn't be thinking about the investment of time I made. But I learned to make a smaller project first, just to test out the pattern and fabric, so that was something cool. And I learned PussyFoot and my younger son have French champagne tastes on a generic near-beer budget. (Like mother, like son).
And I also have a project to unravel at some point in the future. Sometimes that's a therapeutic project for me. So I'll hold off on it until I feel I need that type of therapy.



Monday, October 16, 2006

catching up

I thought I'd give you a look at another one of Beatriz's doilies. She sent this to me out of the goodness of her heart. Again, the picture does not justify the doily, but short of visiting everybody that wanted to see it, this is the best I can do.

Here's her web site for more of her beautiful work:

I'm still putting together small granny squares. It goes quickly while watching tv plus it makes me _really_ want to finish what I am doing so I can start something else. I was waiting for 2 people to tell me what exactly they wanted crocheted, but I'm tired of waiting and after I finish up this batch of granny squares, I'm going to do something else - anything else;) I'm still working on baby caps on the ride to work every day.
I haven't increased my yarn stash (yet) this month so far, but I also haven't been to Michael's or A.C. Moore or the local yarn shop Cloverhill in Catonsville. Again, the operative word is _yet_. I would guess when I am faced with the temptation, I will give in. Who am I trying to kid -"I would guess" - I know I will give in, why else would I go to those stores;) I'm not really a window shopper anymore, I did a lot of that when I was younger. It was fun then, but I feel a severe lack of time (like everybody else in the world) and it's just not fun for me anymore. I will _look_ and_pet_ the yarn - I did that at Wal-Mart the other day when I was there, but somehow managed not to bring any home.

Anyway, enjoy Beatriz's lovely work

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

the upcoming worldwide yarn shortage;)

Obviously, it _has_ to be coming. Just one look at my closet stuffed full of totes with yarn in them is the obvious clue. I wouldn't just be hoarding this yarn, would I? The aliens must be planning to land and somehow destroy all the yarn manufacturing plants. I will be prepared because I will have plenty of yarn. I could probably insulate my house with this yarn, but it would make it difficult to get at easily. I tend to be an archaologist when it comes to my yarn and I like to dig thru the totes (or bags).
And I got at least _4_ afghans started, in various stages, in bags. One is a granny square type, using Caron's purple varigated yarn. That seems to have been dropped midstitch. The hook is still in the afghan, there's no effort to have slipped a stitch holder on it, so I can only guess the aliens were going to attack and I wanted to be ready.
The truth of the matter, more likely, is I was doing some cleaning for family to come to my house and I just bagged the project up to get it out of the way. I also have a ripple afghan project that I started to be able to show my cousin how it was done. I still haven't shown her (she lives in VA and I live in MD.) There is a huge stack of granny squares from an exchange I was in. At least those particular squares are on a huge stitch holder.
As you can guess, I've been doing some fall cleaning. But one thing I can tell you - if there's a shortage of almost any type of yarn, I got it covered. (I don't have too much of the more expensive stuff, however. But if you want acrylics, I'm your woman.)
I have at least _6_ skeins of Red Heart's Mexacali. Now I _love_ that yarn, I'm a fool for varigated yarn, but what were my plans for it? A colorful afghan or poncho, maybe a strange toy. Nope, I just bought it on sale. At least, I _hope_ I bought it on sale;). Lion Brand Homespun - got that, too in some lucious colors. I could easily make a few scarves and hats with that for gifts. Lion Brand's Wool-Ease, Red Heart's "Soft" and Bernat's and Paton's....okay, I'm sure you get the point. Surprisingly (to me), I don't have as much of the baby yarn (Jamie, Red Heart, etc) as I thought I did, but I have been working on baby caps. I even got the self striping sock yarn I wanted to make a scarf with, just to see how it stripes, but I haven't gotten around to it. I wonder how that would look as a baby hat?
It wasn't always like this for me. I spent a lot of time taking apart a project and redoing it, not out of a desire for perfection, but due to a serious lack of yarn. I would got from week to week buying the yarn, hoping there would be the right dye lot and color to finish the project. Once, at Woolworth's, I bought 100 skeins of yarn (when Woolworth's was going out of business), much to my younger son's embarassment. They were selling the sport weight yarn at 10 cents a skein, so it was very easy to buy 100 skeins. I've used most of that up over the years, but I still have to laugh when I think about buying all that yarn. I bet Paris Hilton doesn't have that big a thrill when she goes shopping;)
I'm not quite sure of what all of this means. I'm trying to organize what I got so I can make better use of it. It's a pain in the butt for me to know I got that green yarn, but where in the heck did I put it. I wish I had been born more organized instead of so darned cute;)
I'll continue working on it and hopefully finish up some of those works in progress. I have a jacket I made for myself that seems like it would work in the planning stage, but the execution didn't. It's much too heavy to wear for any length of time. This is entirely my fault as I used two strands of yarn while crocheting it and the pattern called for _1_ strand of yarn. Good in theory, but didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. I am debating if I want to take it apart or not - and that would give me *shudder* more yarn. Maybe I should practice the statement - "My name is Robin and I am a yarnoholic".