Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do You Smell Smoke?

Thank you all for your kind comments about my winning ways yesterday. :)  (Special thanks to Leitadala for saying it was the best project she's ever seen- as my Mister knows, my head still has room to grow.  He's not at all tired of hearing me say, "I won TWICE!  I totally OWNED those awards!  I RULED!")

As the glow of my win slowly wears off, I'm brought back to reality and am sobered by all the other things I need to accomplish rather than fantasizing about the throngs of fans that will cheer for me as I step into a yarn store.   *Le sigh*

You know those times in life that you just feel like if there is one more item on your to-do list, you might as well just burn it?  The list, I mean- not the individual items on that list because that'd be wrong, right?  I mean, there are laws against burning things just because you are trying to avoid them, right?  I mean, burning a house just so you don't have to clean it would be insane, right?  *Goes to check arson laws*

My in-laws are coming to visit the first week of June.  I love my in-laws- I really did luck out with them.  However, they are so neat, clean, and organized they make Monk look like Pig Pen.  That is awesome for them- they work well together and, truth be told, I do envy their organizing and cleaning abilities.  My Mister has inherited this "clean and organized" gene, though not to the extent his parents have it- thankfully.  It is because of him that our house isn't one huge tangled ball of yarn.  I truly like organization and dream of the day when I'll have my craft room in ONE room with lots of little cubby holes to house my mountainous stash and shelves where my cute baby stash of fabric can be neatly folded and easily found.  

However, I am unfortunately lacking that organizational gene.  It takes me FOR.EVER to get something organized.  Even as a kid, my mom would be astounded that it'd take all day for me to clean my room since I would have to read every single little scrap of paper before deciding whether or not to throw it away.  When I finally get something organized, it is simply breathtaking how quickly I can ruin it again.  I really have no idea how it happens- any scientist out there want to study Entropy?  Come on over to Chez Gege- and yes, you're welcome for your Nobel Prize.  Now, I am able to get things clean- I like my kitchen tidy and can't stand a dirty bathroom- but as far as organizing things.....forget it Charlie.

Herein lies my problem.  I have 2 months to get my office organized (*shudder*), while combining it into my craft room (hopefully) which would free up the guest room where my in-laws will be staying.  Sounds good and manageable, right?  I mean, I have 2 months so, what's the big deal?  The big deal is that I.AM.ME- remember when I said I'm an all or nothing type of gal?  I meant it- I need to have a whole day (or month in this case) devoted to one thing (especially if that thing is so freakin' huge it would scare King Kong) or else my ADD takes over and I work really hard all day long on many different things and yet still don't get anything completed.  I wish that I could devote an hour or two here or there after work or on a weekend and slowly by slowly get things accomplished.  However, I have lived with myself long enough to know that if I start something and not complete it, then I lose my mojo and find something else to occupy my time and then the original project will never get done. (Thus 2 solid months of crochet for this bad boy. Did I mention I won twice?)

Unfortunately, I don't even have a whole day to devote to getting my bags lined (count is up to 8 now- yes, eight) or on starting my garden (which I need to do this weekend- I'm 2 weeks late on starting the peas!) or getting the ironing mountain whittled down to a manageable Mt. Everest size, ditto the laundry planet, or finishing my Tri-Colored and Turtle bag patterns, or consolidating my various yarn piles strewn across the house into one ginormous organized mound so that we can actually have a couch to sit on once again.

So where does that leave me?  Not off to get the matches....no, no....that'd be wrong.....it may stop the twitching that I keep saying is my new, cool way of blinking, but.....no, no.....that'd be wrong.....right?

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Am the Champion, My Friends

GAAAHHH!!!! O.MY.LANTA!!! I’m sooooo excited that the Ravelry Bobby Award winners are finally posted and I’m literally shaking about this- my Super Mario Blanket won BOTH categories it was nominated for!!! (I’ve had to retype that sentence twice- my fingers couldn’t find the right keys- I’m soooo stoked!!!)  I WON!!!  TWICE!!! 

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone- the folks who nominated my project, the Bobcademy, and those who voted!!!! (I wish I was better prepared and had my speech written out! I was going to end with, “You love me! You really love me!” but figured that'd be too cheesy.)

Without further ado, I give you the winning project for the 2010 Ravelry Bobby Awards for Geekiest Project AND Best Personal Pattern Project. 


Crochet Mario blanket whole


 YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!





(My Mister thought I may have lost my cool a little. So, now that I’m recomposed….Meh. That’s cool.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wild Things- Healthy Food Made Fun

Wow.  What an insane day.  Our local mall had their annual Children's Day at the Mall today where hundreds of children partook in dozens of free activities provided by area childhood providers.  There was face painting, puppet shows, dance competitions, and free stuff galore!

My work was there, too, and I've been preparing for this event for a few weeks now, but this week it was down to the wire.  We had a bean-bag toss (the bean bags were fruit/veggie shaped) and a colorful animal hopscotch game to go with the theme of Amazon Adventures.  We had "Monkey Crunch" (a Chex Mix that I threw together- basically wheat Chex, Honey Nut Chex, pretzles, and M&Ms- it was a hit!) and a couple food demonstrations.  I had the kids making Ants On A Log (peanut butter on celery with raisin "ants") and some Wild Wraps that I thought up.  I am absolutely exhausted, but it was worth it to see those kids getting involved with snack making and eating healthy to boot.

For any of you parents who may have a tough time getting your kids to eat their fruits and veggies, this one is for you!

Wild Wraps:

  • Lettuce leaves (Butter Lettuce works well, but any leaf you can roll up is good- try a red leaf lettuce to make it pretty!)
  • Shredded Apples (Try Fuji or Pink Lady- crisp and sweet.  Also, get some Fruit Fresh to sprinkle on them to prevent browning)
  • Shredded Carrots (you can get the ready cut matchstick carrots)
  • Craisins and/or raisins (we used both)

Wild Sauce:
  • 1/2C Lite Mayo
  • 1 1/2 Tbs sugar (can use Splenda if you're diabetic)
  • 1Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Whisk the Wild Sauce ingredients together- you can put it in a squeeze bottle (like ketchup/mustard bottle) for easy application
  2. Put the apples, carrots, raisins, and Craisins in the lettuce leaf.
  3. Drizzle the sauce on it
  4. Roll it up and enjoy!!

Even my boss was a little skeptical that I'd get this to work- he thought it'd be messy and no kids would be interested.  He was shocked with how popular our stand was!  (Don't pat my back, boss- pat my wallet.) Making healthy eating fun is half the battle when it comes to kids.  Make eating an adventure and let them do things themselves.  We had some items ready made for kids who didn't want to make them- we ended up giving them to the adults.  The kids all wanted to do it themselves!  Remember, we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouths.  If something looks nasty, will you eat it?  Why would you expect your kids to?  If it's colorful and fun, they'll jump right in.  :)

Ok- I'm outie.  I have a cat boobie bag to work on (I swear it won't look anything remotely like cat boobies when I'm done, but I'm afraid that I will always be reminded of that when I see it.  Thanks a lot Sis.) and I'm just enjoying the quiet that I am hearing in my house and letting the Advil (and maybe a Cabernet...) work its magic.  

Until next time- same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Didn't Know You Could Milk A Cat

We had a lot of animals growing up.  Most of them found us rather than we finding them.  One of these animals was a black calico cat with a white star on her forehead we named Isis. She was a tiny little thing- not malnourished (plenty o-mice in the barn), but just a very small, dainty cat.  She lived in our barn and, for whatever reason, not only was she not afraid of humans, she actually liked them.  From the day we met her, she would let us not only approach her, but also pet and pick her up. However, she only liked us humans on her terms and on her turf...in the barn.  We tried bringing her to our porch where we kept the cat food for our own cat- a tom named Tasha (short for Taj Mahal- based on the size of the presents he left in his litter box). She would let us pick her up and carry her anywhere, but she would run like the wind back to the barn every time we brought her to the porch. 

Well, eventually Isis figured out that if she wanted to be lazy pampered and, instead of hunting for those stupid mice, eat the food given by the strange human masseuses that visited her in her barn, then she should deign to allow them to carry her in her litter (ha! punny!) and feed her on the porch of their her new house.  Tasha was not pleased.  He started out as an indoor cat but, due to his love of the outdoors, eventually became an outdoor cat.  However, since he knew he was an aristocratic "indoor" cat, he would wait patiently for his food to be served at meal times.  He would not knock the lid off of the food and just dig right in like other barn-raised lowlifes he could name.  The prince would wait for his human slaves to serve him in his ever so proper pie pan like the regal feline he was.  Isis would see him eat and try to join in, but he would growl at her and would block her at every turn until he was done.  When he was done, he, being the master of the house, would then knock the pie pan over and bury any food that he did not eat.  He sure showed her!  Eh.  Why wait for the slaves when she knew where the food was stored?  Off the lid for the food would go and in Isis would jump to eat to her heart's content. 

We were sad that our sweet little Tasha (ok, truth be told, only I found him sweet- I'm some sort of cat whisperer- they love me) would never like the newest addition to our household.  Everybody loved Isis.  She was the type of cat that would let you pick her up and fold her up and play her like an accordion.  She didn't care- she was just so chill.  Well, we soon found out Tasha did indeed like Isis....during certain times of the month....

A few weeks after Tasha succumbed to Isis' charms, we noticed she started getting....plumper.  Since she was such a small cat, her swollen pregnant belly was a very comical sight to behold as it would swing from side to side as she sauntered around the yard.  A few weeks later, we were able to observe firsthand the miracle of birth.  First came out a black kitten, just like Tasha.  Then another black kitten.  Then...2 orange and 2 white kittens.  That slut. 

We saw as she raised and nurtured those adorable mewling little balls of fur with the closed eyes and minuscule ears. We also noticed how they would nurse- kneading their mother's milk filled teats- and would cringe at thought of how painful it must have been.  She would still swing from side to side when she sauntered, but it was no longer a pregnant belly that was carried with the momentum.  (There may have been mention of a Feline Miracle Nursing Bra once or twice, but I can't be sure.) However, she would just purr in contentment as she raised her family.  Ahhh....the miracle of life. 

I was reminded of Isis and her brood today as I was working on a new design.  No, not the bag that made me giggle and blush from two days ago- I mean, I am working on that one, too, but this one ninja kicked that one out of the queue tonight while I was watching a movie- Coco Avant Chanel.  I'm not done watching it yet- my Mister is on the phone with his sister, so it's paused.  Gave me enough time to grab some wool and my hook and away I go!

Anywho...I'm loving this design and it's making me entirely too happy.  It'll be the first time I've worked with bobbles, thus the first time I'll felt bobbles.  I'm starting out with a swatch to see if I even have the concept down correctly.


Yay me!  I am loving the spacing of the bobbles and can picture the texture they'll make once felted.


See? Nice and texture-y and bobble-y.  Hopefully it will make a beautiful finished bag.  I'm really excited about it and showed it to my sis.  She saw.....this:




  Ah.....the miracle of the deranged mind.  Just don't let Gaylord Focker near him, sis.




(ETA:  It's later in the evening and I'm re-reading my post. My Mister is no longer on the phone and is now ready for bed.

My Mister:  Honey!!! Hurry up and come to bed!!
Me:  Hold on!  I'm re-reading to make sure I don't look stoopid with any misspellings or grammatical errors.
Mister:  What?!?  You are the one who just put boobies on a cat- what do you think you look like?!?

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Argh.  He has a point....)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I’m an all-or-nothing sort of gal. I have a difficult time devoting a little bit of time to any one thing without devoting all of my time to that thing. Either I’m hyper focusing on something, or else I have the attention span of a gnat. Once I get started on an idea, on a project, on an obsession, the ties that bind me to it are virtually unbreakable. (Unfortunately, this is only true with things that hold my attention- housework….not so much, much to my Mister’s chagrin.) This is even truer when it comes to books. If you are a reader, you know what it’s like to lose yourself in a book. To voraciously devour word after word and not notice the pages as they swiftly fly by until you subconsciously notice that the end of the story that has trapped you is in sight. Now that I have allowed that first love back into my life, I am completely under its spell and am having a difficult time breaking off the imaginary tales spun from an author’s deft hand and living within the confines of my “real” life. (I think that Libby from yesterday’s comments understands this. She’s my new blog friend- you should check out her blog- it’s filled with both crochet and knit loverlies!)



I have now started a book entitled, The Thirteenth Tale. I am totally and completely ensnared. This is a wonderful occurrence in the life of a reader, when the story encapsulates you wholly and completely until the very last words on the page releases you from its iron clad grasp. However, it’s not so wonderful when the lines between real and literary life begin to blur. I get stuck in a daze reliving the lives of the characters in my mind’s eye when I’m supposed to be living my life at home or at work. Their adventures are projected on my internal movie screen during any idle moments I’m able to snatch throughout the day (driving, in between clients, during private times utilizing the facilities….) and I end up being jolted back to reality with the adrenaline rush experienced when you are suddenly woken up out of a deep sleep.


Even though I know that reading is my escape mechanism of choice and that once I’ve “escaped” it’s ever so difficult to reacquaint myself with reality, I don’t care. At least, not right now. I NEED to finish this book. I cannot resume normal life activities until I know what the Thirteenth Tale is. Crochet and laundry and dinner…what are these next to the thrilling escapades brought to life in the pages of this book? Every time I shut it so that I can do something silly like earn money, I feel like I am somehow pausing the lives of these characters. They cannot exist unless I am there to see them live. They only have 400 pages to live their life- if my daily life must be put on hold for a few hours to allow these characters to flourish within the confines of these covers, then so be it.


My Mister knows this about me. He found it out early in our marriage when he tried taking my book (Hercule Poirot’s Christmas) away from me as I was brushing my teeth. I had it clasped so tightly in my hand that it ripped in two. (He was trying to have a conversation with me and was trying to be “playful.” He’s lucky he still has his arms.) It took me a verrrry long time to forgive him for that. He knows that it’s virtually impossible to get me to focus on something if I have yet to finish my book (or purse, or Mario blanket). He really is a very good man and is extremely patient with me. He’s the organized, logical, neat-freak and I’m the impulsive, disorganized, dreamer. We have enough differences to keep it interesting and a lot of love to keep it together. Sure, I’m a dreamer, but I’ve got enough of a Realist in me to realize I’ve got something good and no book or other distraction in the world will be able to tear it away from me. Even though I get so easily lost in other characters’ stories, our life story is The One I cannot get enough of and I am anxiously awaiting to find what is on the next page.

Until my next reading break, it truly is back to life, back to reality.....


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hooks, Books, and Me.

Last night I did something that I hadn't done in a few months.  I read.  Shhhh!  Don't tell my hooks and yarn!  I still feel like I'm cheating on them when I pick up my books, but in all honesty, my books are my first love. I keep practicing in the mirror saying, "Listen, Hooks.  You are the "other woman" so you shouldn't be jealous about the time I spend with my Books. So....there."  (I resist the urge to stick out my tongue at them because that would just be silly.) Just as I get my courage up to tell them in person, I realize that the Hooks are the ones who can gouge out my eyeballs when I'm asleep whereas my Books can merely give me a paper cut.  However, if the Books were able to find the lemons and sadistically squirt my paper cut, or if they decide to band together and "accidentally" drop on my head, then I may need to forgo all relations with either Hooks or Books and....sleep more.  Hmmm....that may not be a bad idea since I am now picturing an army of Books that look a lot like Whomps slowly doing their death march holding the Hooks as weapons doing the "Oh eeee oh....ohhhh oh," chant from the Wizard of Oz.  Yipes.  Must.Sleep.More.

So, I stayed up till 2 am ravishing finishing off my book.  Hey!  It's been a long absence and we just got caught up in our torrid affair!  One page turned into another and....we just got carried away.  Don't judge me.

What literary trollop had me stray from my hooks, you ask?  Anne of Green Gables.  Now, I am terribly ashamed of this.  No, not that it was a "children's book"- some of my favorite books are "children's books."  It's just that.....I can barely get the words out.....I had never read it before.  WHAT?!?  I KNOW!  I am ashamed.  What kind of book obsessed poseur am I?  I have been reading since I was 3 years old.  Laura Ingles Wilder's The Long Winter was the first chapter book I read- I was 6 in first grade.  We had a Book Caterpillar that would "walk" along the wall, growing a leg with each book the students read throughout the year.  I made up more than half of that caterpillar all by my lonesome- it almost made it around all four walls.  In the fifth grade, we went to the library every two weeks and were allowed to check out 2 books each.  The librarian would hold me after my class left and let me check out 5.  I first read Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret that year and would secretly chant, "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!" while flapping my arms like a Dolly Parton obsessed duck in my bedroom.  When I finally read the Harry Potter series, I read all 6 books that were out at the time in between Christmas and New Years. I've since read them through twice more.  I love reading the classics and have all of Jane Austen's canon as well as the Bronte sisters', and most of Agatha Christie's.  

I truly love to read.  How is it that I have never read Anne???  I have no idea and I'm actually sad that I didn't read it as a child since I found a "kindred spirit" in that carrot topped, impish little girl.  The similarities between Anne and me are quite striking- impulsive, chronic daydreamers who love to read, have a flair for the dramatic, and graduated first in their class.  (Yes, I was class Valedictorian- don't act so surprised.....jerks.)  Where Anne beats me is that she can both knit AND crochet!  She and I would have been the best of friends growing up.  My in-laws bought me the first two books of the series for Christmas (along with To Kill a Mockingbird, which I have read previously) and I am just now getting to them.  I hang my head in shame.

Now, just so I won't seem like such an adulterer (or maybe to prove how much I like to play the field), I did crochet for most of the morning yesterday. I'm just about done with the Chocolate Strawberry purse (I need to finish the flap, but I need to take pictures of it for the pattern), and I made another Tri-Colored purse (I need a better name for those purses.....any suggestions out in blog land?) in blues and browns so that I'll have the pattern for both the hard and soft handled purses.  Yay me!

So, you see- I am perfectly capable of having more than one love.  I started on a new purse today- it makes me giggle and blush thinking about it.  I think I will be faithful to that tonight.  Wait.....what's that?  Why Helloo there, Anne of Avonlea.  How YOU doin'?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Is In the Air

I'm sooo thankful that spring is in the air.  The temps are rising and the sun is shining. The days are getting longer and I can just feel myself getting happier by the day.  I love all seasons of the year; however, I must admit that I really do love it when the days start getting longer and it becomes warm enough to work in the garden.  Starting tomorrow, my garden is going to be filled with the seeds of life that will bring forth the ever so tasty tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and other veggies I end up planting.  I actually bought 2 raspberry, 2 black raspberry, and 2 blueberry bushes to plant this year.  I CANNOT WAIT!

To celebrate this wonderful season, I made some tasty, springy, sandwiches for my Mister and me.  I used:

2 slices of my low-cal/high fiber bread (80 kcal)
3 oz canned chicken breast (would be great with fresh, but use whatcha got) (60 kcal)
1oz luscious creamy brie (100 kcal)
1 Tbs low fat mayo (50 kcal)
some Grey Poupon
1/4 C fresh organic spring spinach and field greens
and 2Tbs canned cranberries we had left over from Thanksgiving.  (50 kcal)

= ~375 kcal of spring time deliciousness

The tartness of the cranberries and the pungency of the Dijon mustard creates a fresh, spring flavor explosion in my mouth.  I wish I had some fresh baguette to utilize with this tasty treat.  Crack open a chilled bottle of crisp Sauvignon Blanc while eating this delicious sandwich and you will be transported to an outdoor bistro filled with sunshine and the glorious smells of freshly baked bread.   My Mister loved this sandwich- I know you will too.  Thank God for Spring!




Saturday, March 20, 2010

Yesterday, Love Was Such an Easy Game to Play

Yesterday was awesome.  I had an all-hands meeting at work, which in and of itself usually would not have the word "awesome" associated with it.  However, I attacked something at this meeting that I've only slowly crept upon at our last all-hands meeting in January.  I crocheted during.the.meeting.  EEEEP!  Last meeting I only crocheted during the breaks, but this time I thought, All right, I'll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I'll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I'm going in there.  And in there I went.  And I still have my job!!  Whoo Hoo!  The planets have aligned for me this month- I'm telling you, NatCroMo and NatNutMo have created some sort of cosmic all encompassing Gege Force Field and I can do no wrong.  It.was.awesome.

In my meeting, I was working on a Chocolate Strawberry Tote for an order I received Wednesday.  That in and of itself does have the word "awesome" associated with it.  Making it even more awesome is the fact that I decided to write down the pattern while I was working on it.  Oh yes, my friends.  The recipe for the Gege bags that started it all is coming! I received confirmation that this was the right thing to do when I received an etsy mail yesterday from a person requesting said patterns.  I told you- planets aligned.

When I came home, I had the house to myself since my Mister was working late and my sis was going to a friend's house. On the way home I was thinking of all the wonderful things I could do with this free time.  Usually free time and I don't mix well.  I always come up with way too many options for my poor ADD brain to process and I end up deciding to get the nap out of the way first.  Mmmmmm...naps.

After going around in circles trying to make a priority list that a rational person would make, I decided to forgo the moldy laundry still in the washer from last week (I wish I was exaggerating) and instead take pictures of my stole (still unblocked, but I needed something to show the glorious green in all it's splendor.). I ran outside with my camera and set it up on my mailbox to try to capture myself mid-transformation into a L.A.D.Y.  Transformation is only complete once I weave in the ends and I block it.  I may never be transformed.  After quite a few shots of myself in different poses (some of which I was trying my "sexy" face. I don't know why I try- I just cannot nail the "sexy".  I always end up looking constipated and that is so NOT sexy.  I don't know what my neighbors were thinking of me.  "Is that crazy girl trying to take a crapper in her front yard again?  Oh, wait. Never mind. She's obviously a L.A.D.Y. doing her sexy face.  Dang- her husband is the luckiest guy in the world.") I managed to get one that wasn't total crap.  But, being the genius photographer that I am, the stole is in shadow and you can't see the green.  



So, here's a pic of the green. 


Isn't it gorgeous??  (That is in full sunlight- no flash.) I actually started this pattern with Cascade 220 superwash in colorway 867. I thought it was oh so pretty in the store and thought that, since this project was for me, I'd splurge on myself with $10 per ball yarn.  I wanted a color that would go well with either brown or black and thought this one would suffice.  It truly is pretty wound up in a ball; however, when crocheted into my stole, it looked like this:


This pic is a good representation of the true color.  Up close you do see some pretty turquoise and yellow in it, which is what drew me to it in the first place.  However, it didn't have the sheen that I was envisioning for this shawl and looked just......off. I couldn't put my finger on it and just continued anyway telling myself that I would love it in time.  I was getting that feeling in my stomach that I get when I decide to put off a project until I figure out what's bothering me with it.  Well, trust my Mister to nail it on one.  He said, "That looks like old moldy yarn."  Bingo.  That's what was bothering me!  I just was not feeling this color because I didn't want to look like a moldy, constipated L.A.D.Y.  So, I spent 30 bucks on some yarn that only looks good in a ball.  LYS trip fail.

Thank goodness I had the Moda Dea yarn in my stash.  I started over and that feeling in my stomach began to recede.  But, not completely.  I mentioned that this was the Feather and Fan pattern I found on Ravelry.  It truly is very pretty, but I was just not satisfied with it.  It had a very obvious front and back and I didn't like that Sam I Am- not one bit.


You have to sc in back loop only every other row which creates that ridge in between the rows.  It leaves the back looking like this:



I was getting more and more frustrated with it as I continued- I don't know why I try tricking myself to like something when my instincts have their sirens blaring and lights flashing telling me to stop.  Had I stopped, I wouldn't have had to frog an entire skein of yarn when the very easy solution of BLO one row, FLO one row dawned on me.  Now, my stole doesn't have such an obvious front/back and I'm free to wear it with flare.  I truly need to trust my instincts more.

Now, if you do buy this yarn, I do want to caution you that, even though it is only 45% wool and 55% rayon (who else didn't know that rayon came from bamboo?), it can and does felt.  It felts very well, actually, as my sis found out the hard way.  This is the first Pinky LaRue scarf that I made next to the one I'm making for me:



Doh.  I didn't think it would felt since the wool content was so low so I didn't caution her about washing it by hand.  Next time I won't be distracted by the pretty yarn and will actually read the wrapper:




Double Doh.  Oh well. Live and learn.  (And cry and scream and tell sis that she'll just have to suffer without a pretty scarf since there's no way I'm giving her mine. Nope. It's mine. I am resolute and cannot be shaken! I have my cosmic Force Field up!  Wait...what? You'll buy me yarn?  Well........maybe.  Resolutely maybe.)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

National Gege Crochet and Nutrition Month

Ok peeps- I promised yesterday to reveal more about my sister's inability to fully appreciate the handmade gifts I make for her as well as pictures of my blocked L.A.D.Y Stole of Transformation.  However, I had a late day at work and was not able to take pictures of the items needed...........and.......I didn't finish said stole until this morning, so it wasn't blocked.  Shocking, I know. Instead of crocheting last night, I spent way too much time on the interwebs than I should have- but don't tell my Mister that I said that.  He's suspected that for years but has not had any tangible proof, such as a very public confession, as of yet.  Mister, if you are reading this, I swear, Sis has hacked my account and I cannot be held accountable for any out-of-character confessions stated at this time.  She's evil!  H...e....l....p.....m...e.......

(Sis, if you are reading this, I'm totally sorry for the evil-eyes Mister is giving you right now.  I swear, he's totally nutso and I don't know what to do with him anymore.  He's evil! H...e....l....p.....m...e.......)

Ok......I'm pretty sure they are both battling it out right now to defend my honor.  I may be feeling a tad bit guilty for not being exactly truthful to my most beloved ones, but....Meh.  I'll get over it.

March is an awesome month for me.  It's filled with things that I love, including my Mister's birthday.  Last year at this time, I was *thiiiiis* close to finishing my Super Mario Blanket.  It's quite appropriate that I finished it in March since, as any good crocheter worth her yarn knows, March is National Crochet Month (or NatCroMo for you cool cats with the hip crochet lingo. Yo and word to your motha.) That is so beyond awesome.  As I crochet at work, I quite happily tell my boss people, "Why yes, I'm crocheting because it's National Crochet Month, so you can't fire me." I walk the halls quite proudly as the resident office Hooker. (Tee hee!)  I actually did finish my stole this morning at work, so it will actually be blocked tonight (or tomorrow, depending on how long it takes me to finish this post.....and surf the internet....)

Not only is March NatCroMo, but it's also National Nutrition Month.  What?!?  I KNOW!  March is like the best month ever!  My love of all types of fiber is celebrated during this wonderful month.  The birth of my One True Love occurred during this wonderful month.  AND Spring, the season that chases away nasty Old Man Winter back into the abyss from whence he came, occurs during this wonderful month.  I love you, March.

Since I've shared quite a bit of the crochet part of my life, I've decided to share some of the Nutrition part of my life today in honor of NatNutMo.  (hmmmm.....sounded much cooler in my head.....)

I really love the math part of nutrition- I love figuring out how many calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat people should consume per day. The amount of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat a person needs depends on a few things- gender, activity level, and age to name a few.  It is recommended that you should consume 50-55% of your daily calories from carbohydrate, 15-20% from protein, and no more than 30% from fat. I am not a proponent of no/low carb diets- moderation and smart choices are the keys, my friends.  I hate to break it to you, but there is no magic bullet for weight loss. If there was, America would be filled with a bunch of really thin people instead of being 68% overweight and/or obese (BMI >/= 25). 

A rule of thumb for figuring out caloric needs that doesn't take into consideration gender, activity level, and age is this:

25-30 cals/kg for weight loss
30-35 cals/kg for weight maintenance
35-40 cals/kg for weight gain

Generally, women should stay towards the lower end of the range and men at the higher.

EX: a female who weighs 130 pounds who wants to maintain her weight.

130 pounds/2.2 kg/pound = 59.1 kg * 30-35 cals/kg = 1773-2068.5 calories per day.

Using 1800 calories, figuring out her carbohydrate, protein, and fat needs:

50 - 55% carbohydrate = 900 - 990 cals
15 - 20% protein = 270 - 360 cals
30% fat = 595 cals

Since carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories/gram, and fat has 9 calories/gram, we can also figure out that she needs:

225 - 247.5 g carbohydrate
67.5 - 90 g protein
66 g fat

See? Easy peasy. ;)  I'm a very big proponent of keeping track of the number of servings per food group instead of calorie counting.  I want to make sure people are learning how to eat healthfully rather than going on a diet.  When you go "on" a diet, you can go "off" a diet.  When you learn to eat healthfully, your "diet" is part of your everyday life. Note: eating healthfully does not equate eating only organic, non-fat foods that taste like cardboard.  While fiber truly is very important in a diet, one does not have to eat food that tastes like tree bark to be "healthy." 

I truly think that if there was more of an emphasis on healthy eating rather than an unattainable body type for women (men are affected by this, too, but mostly women) as portrayed by the media, then most folks would be able to have a healthy relationship with food rather than the destructive and unhealthy love/hate relationship that is prevalent today.  

Eat well. Exercise often. Be healthy in mind and body.  

See! National Gege Crochet and Nutrition Month.  Best.Month.Ever.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A L.A.D.Y and Her Yarn

I usually make things for other people- mainly my sister.  Must be the whole "big sister/little sister" thing. I have always had a strong instinct to take care of her- stems from me being the rough and tumble tomboy and she the fragile little princess growing up.  She, of course, never takes advantage of my sisterly love and care.  She never tells me that she wants the beautiful scarf I just made myself because she knows I won't say no to her.  Nuh uh- never.   Like my Pinky LaRue scarf.  I made it for myself and kept it!  Ok, I didn't.  I gave it to her and she loved it.  That's why I give her the things I make.  She loves them and actually wears them which, if you are a crafter you know, is a most awesome feeling.  (Although, "wears" and "takes care of" are 2 separate entities.....more on that tomorrow.)

Well, that Pinky LaRue scarf was quite the hit.  One of my BFFs looked at it with which I can only describe as googley eyes and said, her voice quivering ever so slightly, "Oh- that's pretty.  Did you make it?" while petting it in a way that made me a tad uncomfortable.  So, of course I made her one- she loved it, too.  

I think part of the covet nature of this scarf is the yarn itself- it's Moda Dea Bamboo Wool in Boysenberry and I LUUURVES it!  It is such a pleasure to work with.  I found it on clearance and wiped out the joint. (A couple of months later, I ended up buying 4 more skeins in green, also on clearance- if you find it, buy it. Unless you're in the DC metro area- then I may have to ninja kick you in the mouth to get it first.) It turned out to be enough yarn to make 3 scarves (and maybe even a hat...hmmm....).  For those of you who are mathematically challenged, that means I have enough yarn to make one more scarf.  For ME!



I started working on this scarf about a month ago.  If you have made the Pinky LaRue scarf, then you know it is a VERY easy pattern.  The first couple scarves only took a couple hours each, including weaving in ends, which of course I loathe.  So why, a month after I started this scarf, is it still not complete?  Because it is for me, of course.  I rarely make myself pretty things since I know that it will take up valuable time which can be better spent making pretty things for others.  (People pleaser, what?!?)

Well, I decided that that was going to change.  I wanted to make myself a stole- not a shawl since, after 2 Seraphina's, I've found that I'm not a shawl person- but a stole- something to gracefully drape over my shoulders to keep the chill off of me at work or at church or on a plane.  That's one of my goals for this year- to be more graceful.  No more t-shirts and Chucks and fart jokes for me!  It's all silk and stoles and caviar and long cigarette holders from here on out!  I am going to be a L.A.D.Y.

<snooty faux British accent> So, dahlings, I saw this awesome scrumptious pattern on Ravelry for a Feather and Fan scarf.  Now, I've only seen this type of stitch pattern for knit stuff wear, so I thought it was pretty darn cool absolutely chahming to find it in crochet. I love positively adore it. </accent>

I saw it and thought that this will be the very thing that will transform me into a L.A.D.Y.  So, after a few false starts and a few alterations, (I'll blab about that tomorrow), I made it with the green Moda Dea Bamboo Wool and I'm just about done with my L.A.D.Y. Stole of Transformation.  



Isn't it divine?  This picture doesn't do the green justice, actually. I'll hopefully get a better pic tomorrow.  I may even block it tonight- will be my first time ever. I'm usually too impatient for that sort of nonsense.  But, first rule of being a L.A.D.Y is: no more fart jokes.  Second rule is: patience is a virtue- especially if it's to make a fashion accessory fantabulous.

So, it will be ready by tomorrow when I can wear my green in solidarity with all my fellow Irishmen and women.  (Whatever. Can you prove I'm not Irish? Didn't think so.)  I'm really excited about it!  I made it for ME using all of the yarn I had in this colorway. It's mine! All mine! Muahahahahahahahahaha!  

Ahem.  Ok- so a L.A.D.Y. wouldn't laugh maniacally like that. However, in my defense, my L.A.D.Y. Stole of Transformation is not yet complete, so I am still free to be me- ungraceful, fiber loving, Chucks wearing, maniacally laughing me.

Ta ta dahlings!







L.A.D.Y- Lover And Defender of Yarn (And you thought there was no reason for the all-caps.  Ha!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Trip Down Crochet Memory Lane

My last post really had me thinking about all of the crochet poo I have managed to create during my short, yet ongoing, reign as Crochet Queen of the World.  (What?!? Megalomaniac?!? Moi???).  Oh yes, my friends.  In my first overeager attempts to jump right in with hooks a-blazin', I left quite a shameful trail of what-not-to-crochet behind me.
It all began with my first choice of yarn.  I had my Teach Yourself to Crochet materials all laid out and ready to go- all I needed was some beautiful yarn to transform into a wondrous work of crochet excellence that would have family and friends marveling at my utter artistic brilliance.  So, what do I choose?  Hmmm.....  Well, let's see.....I love purple. If it is purple, it is beautiful and will make beautiful crochet pieces of art.  Even if it's Homespun yarn by Lion Brand- it's purple, so I must love it and buy it NOW.  

Lesson Numero Uno- NEVER buy Homespun yarn. Ever.  Especially if you are a beginner who has never picked up a hook before.  Never.  As I learned the hard way, you will never be able to see your stitches. I thought I was a crochet 'tard when I couldn't figure out which loop the instructions were talking about- there was nothing but loops in this yarn.  This was  a serious blow to my Queendom aspirations.


When I figured out that Homespun was not the best yarn with which to learn crochet, I went back to the store and found RHSS- a great yarn with which to learn. After learning the basic crochet stitches, I decided to work on a purse that was in my Crochet learning packet.  (Makes sense that I make many purses now- I was drawn to purses from the very get go.)  This is what it looked like in the book.


Cute, huh? It was made with two strands held together- sc for the two colors mixed, dc with the main color in the middle.  Well, when I first bought that RHSS, what did my lustful eyes draw me to?  Oh look! More pretty purple! Mixed with other pretty colors! And here's another one that's pretty blue with some pretty purple in it!  Look at the pretties!  Oh yes- I discovered variegated yarn and it was my new favorite.   

Lesson Numero Dos- variegated yarn is ok in small doses, but absolutely abominable in large doses.  This is my very first crochet project:
It was so bad that I couldn't even finish it.  Here you can see my early attempts (and subsequent failures) at getting dc even at the end of a row.


With this project, I did learn that I liked dc much better than sc.  And I learned that purple is very deceitful above all things. (ETA- my sister just saw this and said, "Hmm.  Well....I'm glad you kept practicing.  It looks like something that would be posted on Etsy."  OOOOO! Burn!)

For my second project, I surfed for free projects and found one on the Michaels website for another purse. It was made of motifs that you join as you go.  Since I was tricked by purple last time, I decided to go a more neutral route with this project.  It actually didn't turn out that bad. 


I actually finished it in record time and was oh so proud of myself and couldn't wait to utilize my new handmade bag.  Ummm....yeah.  Do you see all the ends sticking out?  With this bag, I found that I don't like weaving in ends. 

Lesson Numero Tres- if you don't like weaving in ends, don't make something that will have a million of them for your second project.  Also, since it was so holey and stretchy, it is a very impractical bag.  I may line it in the future just so that it won't sit in my pile-o-shame any longer.  But, until then, shame pile it is.

I think after these 2 projects, I was a little disheartened, so I put crochet away for a month or so.  However, those hooks kept luring me back, so I decided to try it again.  This time I promised to learn from my mistakes.  I decided to try a hat and found really cute ones at Yarncat.  I taught myself how to crochet in the round with this hat.  Then I made a scarf to go with it.  I started with a flower I found in one of my crochet books and then designed the scarf to go with it, making the flower into a pocket.  This is my first attempt at designing.  

purple and green hat and scarf set 

I actually do use these and I made my sister a matching set in pink.  Crochet Queendom attained.


Not bad for a first hat.  Feeling very proud of how quickly I learned from my mistakes, I moved on to my second hat.  I found another free pattern for a cute cloche and thought, I am the Crochet Queen and this shall be my crown.  The pattern called for bulky yarn, so I thought, Homespun is pretty bulky....hmmmm.....*strokes chin*......let's try it again!!!! 

Here is my second hat, or as I lovingly call it, the Head Eating Blood Clot.



It's HUUUUGE.  Here it is in comparison to my watermelon hat.


Just so you don't think it's a trick of the camera, here is the Blood Clot eating my watermelon hat.


Lesson Numero Quatro- learn from Mistake Numero Uno.  It would be frogged by now....if only some NASA scientist can figure out a way to frog Homespun.  Wait a second....I'm Queen.....heads are going to roll for this! Unless that Blood Clot eats them first.....

I find that inspiration for a new project can come from anywhere.  For instance, one day in my early crocheting career while my Mister and I were eating dinner in front of the TV at our very posh and proper dining table, I looked at our placemats and thought- I could totally make these!  So, I found another free pattern on the web and got out some new yarn from my cute little baby stash.  (*Sigh* They grow so fast!)  This is what I made:


Wow.  I am a really slow learner.  (Note to self, read Lesson Numero Dos and memorize it by heart.  No, Self! Stop!  Do not wander away when I'm talking to you!  Put.the.yarn.down. I don't care how purplely it is!  Walk away. Just walk away.)  

Since this didn't lay flat, I thought, no problem!  Just iron it.  RHSS.  Acrylic.  Good idea, no?

Lesson Numero Cinco- ACRYLIC MELTS.  Do not use it for anything that will come in contact with heat or you may have an ugly variegated puke stain to clean up later.

Well, now I thought that I learned all I could from acrylic yarn and should now branch out and try new fibers with my supremely advanced crocheting abilities.  I'd been eyeballing those large cones of cotton at Walmart for a while, so I thought, why not!  I'm Queen. Give it to me now!

I didn't know what to make with it, but thought another bag would be nice.  I think this one came from the Sugar and Cream website.  It's supposed to be a market bag- not only was I going to make a crochet work of art, I was going to save the planet by taking my reusable, handmade, environmentally friendly bag with me and not use disgusting non-biodegradable plastic anymore.  I snatched the crown off of the Environmental Queen's head, as well.  It was easy- just sicced my Blood Clot on her and her kingdom was mine.  



REALLY?!?  Self!  Did I not tell you to memorize Lesson Numero Dos????  What do I have to do to you to make you understand??? 

As you can see, I did not finish this one, either.  I think I got disheartened by the ugliness of it all.  I couldn't picture going into Trader Joes trying to impress folks with my reusable, handmade, environmentally friendly turd bag.  Nope.  Couldn't do it.

So there you have it.  A sampling of the wondrous poo that can be created with hook and yarn.  Ahhhh....memories.  Sooo glad I didn't do something embarrassing to give crochet a bad name.  Whew!  Crochet Queen status secured.  Crown firmly in place.  Actually, I don't think I could take it off if I tried.  No, seriously.  A little help here?  
 

Monday, March 8, 2010

ARE YOU READY FOR A WAR?!?

There was a thread recently on Ravelry asking if crochet is getting more popular on that site.  Apparently, there are quite a few crochet patterns on the New and Popular section cropping up.  Of course, in the thread, there were quite a few crocheters Rah Rah Rahing about the awesomeness that is crochet.  And then you had some knitters who were trying to hide their, "Say it ain't so!" while they ran to double check the New and Popular patterns.  

I think it's a bunch of hooey.  It's quite ridiculous this whole, "Us vs. Them" mentality that crops up between knitters and crocheters.  I giggle to myself when I think about it since I have a very vivid imagination (shocking, I know).  I keep picturing 2 sides of wild-eyed, tangle-haired, fiber wielding women- half carrying pointy sticks and half carrying not-so pointy hooks.  They rush onto the battleground screaming, "For our frrrrreedom!" in heavy Scottish brogues as they flash their cojones to each other by lifting their knitted or crocheted kilts.  There's blood! There's tears! There are even dismembered digestive systems!  However, ultimately, the kilts are the winners.

This was my response to the thread:

A couple of my projects have been recipients of some comments like that (“Wow, I didn’t know you could do that with crochet” or “I would learn crochet just to make that”). Unfortunately, crochet has earned it’s ugly red-headed stepchild reputation (darn the 70’s!!). However, there are some amazing things being done with crochet and some wonderful patterns that are coming out to hopefully bring people over to the dark side….err….to become hookers…..umm…..to try crochet. ;). Not to take away from knitting, but to open up eyes and minds to the different possibilities out there for appeasing this strange and urgent primal need to work and express ourselves with fibers. Whether with hooks or sticks, that’s what it boils down to. It’s all about the fiber.

First off, if you happen to be an ugly red-headed stepchild, then I must say.....sucks to be you!  HA! Secondly, if you've read my blog long enough, you know that I'm a nutritionist and that I'm all about the fiber.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: a clean colon is a happy colon.  However, in this case, I'm talking about a wholly different kind a fiber.  Yummy and good for you all the same.  The fiber that we use- whether acrylic, wool, or some sort of Frankenstein blend of anything that can be made into string- is what is makes us all light headed and breathless.  I don't go into the craft store to stare googly eyed at the crochet hooks.  I go to pet and drool over the yarn and dream about what I can create with it.  FIBER folks. 

I love crocheting. However, it's just by the luck of the draw that I picked up the hook rather than the sticks.  In 2007, at the same time I picked up a "Teach Yourself to Crochet" packet at Walmart, I also picked up a "Teach Yourself to Knit" packet.  For whatever reason, I ripped apart the Crochet one first.  I just connected with it instantaneously and the rest, quite frankly, is history.  Eventually, I did open up the knitting kit and I even tried it out.  (Gasp, shock and horrors!)  I actually knitted a washcloth early last year:



Yes, my friends.  I can both knit AND purl!  And, yes, I do become more awesome by the minute. Granted, my "square" dishcloth does look more rhomboid, but it's a dishcloth nonetheless.     

A few lessons I learned with this dishcloth:
1) Knitting takes for freakin' EVAH to do.  It took me nearly a week to knit that scrawny little thing!  In comparison, it took me nearly a week to crochet this:

BATTLE

1a) Ok, ok.  If I actually took the time needed to master the art of knitting, it probably wouldn't take me so long.  However, I'm extremely impatient.  Extremely.  That's why it made me laugh when folks said I must be so patient to have crocheted my Mario blanket.  No- not patient- just crazily obsessed. Extremely impatient, crazy, and obsessed.  About sums me up.

 2) Knitting makes a really stretchy fabric.  I really like the way this dishcloth feels.  Knitting does make a really nice fabric and is great for making wearables. I truly would like to be able to knit myself a sweater.  However, check 1a again. 

3) Even though most people say that Continental knitting (or "picking") would be easier for crocheters to learn since you hold the yarn in your left hand as you do for crocheting, I could not get the hang of it for anything.  Throwing the yarn seemed so much more of a fit for me.  Goes to show you that most people actually don't know anything and generally just talk out of their butt about everything.

4) If I had the time to practice knitting, I would.  I just have so many crochet projects running through my head and not enough time to get them fleshed out so knitting sits on the back burner.  Also, read 1a again.

I think it's unfortunate that there are some knitters who thumb their noses at crochet.  However, as I said earlier, crochet has not had the best of reputations. When people think of crochet, they usually picture orange, avocado, and yellow granny square or ripple afghans or little old ladies making a plethora of doilies that nobody is going to use.  I am proud to have some projects that have shone a positive light on this wonderful craft.  It's not just for old ladies to make tacky home accessories.  It can be cool and fun and ART.
However, we as crocheters have to do our part to continually show the world the awesomeness of our craft.  Designers need to keep making new and beautiful items that will continue to make people (including knitters) think, "Wow!  I want to learn how to do that!"

ETA: I'm not saying that doilies aren't art, as well.  Have you seen some of those thread crochet projects??  Check this out!


Stop making so many lousy granny square projects in tacky colors!  Use something other than pastels for gifts!  Use colors and textures and designs that may challenge you!  If you make a purse, line it and put attractive handles on it!  The finishing of an object makes all the difference in the world.  I LOVE it when I'm wearing one of my purses and someone asks where I bought it from.  They gasp and just can't believe that it was handmade.  That's the way it should be, folks.  If you find that people don't like your handmade gifts, stop thinking they're being ungrateful and take a cold, hard look at what you're giving them.  Are the colors tacky?  Is the workmanship shoddy?  It doesn't matter if you spent a week making that baby blanket- nobody is going to appreciate a piece of crap no matter how much "love" was put into it.

If you are a beginner, then this does not apply to you.  We all have to start out somewhere.  Look at my knitted dishcloth- a total piece of poo, I know.  Believe me, I have had my fair share of rotten crochet projects, as well. However, as your skills improve, don't just get stuck in the same old row after row of dc projects.  Branch out and try something new!  

I do think that the whole "us vs. them" thing is ridiculous.  However, I am a crocheter and I love my craft.  I don't want someone thumbing their nose at me just because I bring a dull hook into battle.  I want to show them that I can totally kick their arse with my weapon of choice.

How about you?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blog Spotlight: Crafty is Cool

So, I've been thinking of doing this for a while- putting a spotlight on some of the blogs/other sites I come across while I mindlessly browse for hours on the interwebs.  It'll put a spotlight on some maybe not-so-well-known blogs (and maybe some more-well-known blogs...mostly of the crafty or geeky nature), as well as let me have a reference of a particular site that I stumbled across and forgot to bookmark.  I iz forgetful sometimez.

Anywho, I saw this post on Craftster for a crocheted Conan O'brien.  I thought it totally rocked! I loved this since I think Conan is hilarious and since I think that people that do amigurumi are amazing.  I hate doing single crochet.  HATE.IT.  I would rather wipe my rear with a pine cone than complete row after row of single crochet.  Don't get me wrong- I know it's a necessary evil in the world of crochet.  My Koopa Coin Purse was done in single crochet.  Thus, it smells like a forest every time I pass gas.  (HA! I couldn't even finish typing that without LOLing for reals. I crack myself up.)

Ok, I digress.  She had her blog (Crafty is Cool) listed in her signature, so I clicked it to see what else she has to offer.  AMAZING!  She has some free ami patterns up- including this one for an a-freakin'-dorable power-up mushroom!  



She has some other awesome toys as well as some patterns on her etsy site. Hopefully she'll be updating her blog with other patterns or pictures of her FO- great stuff Allison!

Gege Crochet Double Feature

At long last!  The 2 videos (actually 4 because of the length) are finally up!  Now I can finally tackle that mountain in my bedroom known as the laundry pile.  When my Mister starts his own load of laundry, I know it's bad....







Monday, March 1, 2010

Missions Semi-Accomplished

Well, I didn't get any sewing accomplished this weekend after all.  Dang.  Instead I went to the shooting range with my Mister*.  We had a blast!  (hee! I'm punny!) Truthfully, I'm a regular little Annie Oakley and am, as Mister said, "very impressive" with a gun.  Gun slinging notwithstanding, I was still able to cross off some items on my to-do list this weekend.  

*(That's what I call him in real life, so I'm going to start referring to him as my Mister on here, as well.  The funny thing is that he picks up on my quirks/oddities very well, which can be very aggravating....especially when I don't realize I'm being annoying quirky/odd. Self realization can be a real pain in the butt.  So, he calls me, "Mister," too. It makes us laugh.)

1: I finished the Felted Watermelon Tote Pattern.  Let me rephrase that: I FINISHED THE FELTED WATERMELON TOTE PATTERN!!!!!  YAY!  It's now listed on my etsy site, as well as some of my other previous listings.  I went through a personal tragedy this winter and basically neglected everything- this blog and my etsy site, included.  However, I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again.  Buy my stuff, y'all. ;)

2: * I've uploaded the Watermelon Hat video!  It's taken most of the day to upload via Youtube- I guess HD has it's drawbacks.  Seeing myself in HD....not as traumatic as I anticipated.  Thank the Lord for Oil of Olay. The second video is edited and has been published; I think I'll upload it to Youtube tonight since it'll probably take a good 8 hours to finish.  

*Ok, the video was still processing as I was finishing up this post.  It's been 7 hours since I first uploaded it to youtube.  I've just been notified that it's been rejected because it's too long.  WHAT.THE.WHAT?!?  So, I wasted 2 hours in publishing time for both the videos, plus 7 hours of uploading/processing time. Which means that, in addition to re-editing the videos, I still have another 2 hours of publishing time tomorrow and then approximately another 15 hours of uploading time. A.R.G.H!! 
 
3: A couple of months ago, my Mister asked me to make him a scarf.  I know- he already has the coolest scarf ever so, what could he possibly want another one for?  Well, the Mario Scarf is a tad too thin for him and, since we've apparently been relocated to the arctic this winter, he wants a warmer one.  But, more importantly than that, HE REQUESTED A CROCHET ITEM!  So, I told him that I could make him one like my circle scarves- except in manly colors, of course.  He shot that one down- thinks it'd still be too girly.  Drat- now I've got to think.  Fast forward to yesterday.  I've got a bit of time in the car while we're driving to/from the range, so I start tinkering with some yarn.  I've had this idea for a while and I really like what it's looking like.  I think it looks like bricks- bricks that a manly construction worker would be working with. *Insert Tim Allen grunt here.* He likes my swatch at first, but then decides that it's not exactly what he's looking for.  I text this to my sister asking, "Is this a manly scarf?"

 


She replies, ".....kinda."

Well, what do they know, anyway?  I'm the designer so I'll tell them what to like.  Stupids.  So, I start chaining away and making the darn scarf since I like it and think it's quite cute manly.  As I'm making the 1st brick section, Mister likes it.  Then, I start adding the second blue layer.  He likes it still.  Then I add the gray transforming it into the second brick layer. Mister squnches up his face in disgust. Ahhhh.....so he's ok with the plain blue/gray in the middle.  Oh yes- success will be mine.  This is what the FO looks like:


Mister likes it!!  So, this is my Mister Scarf. Kinda looks like tire treads to me.  I'm working on the hat, so I'll get a better picture soon.  

So, there you have it. An altogether successful weekend.  If I had an extra day all to my lonesome, I know I'd be able to get at least 2 of the bags out of the way.  I'm still a little congested but not enough to take a sick day tomorrow.  Err....I mean....*coughcoughcough*. I....*wheez*...think it's progressed....*gasp*.....into pneumonia....  I think I need to stay home and finish my projects rest.......