Thursday, May 22, 2008

Two human-sized FOs and no dolls

But both FOs are crocheted! Mwahahahaha I lured you unsuspecting knitters in. So how's it going? All is dandy chez moi. I actually managed to finish two projects, both of which I am quite proud and pleased with. I know I shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition, but I'm afraid you're just going to have to deal with it. Let's look at some lurvely pictures, shall we?

Here is yet another big-ass granny square. When I need to crank out a project pronto, B.A.G.S. is my go-to pattern. It never lets me down. I'm quite fond of this one. I used Caron Simply Soft - I'm pretty sure I bought 24 skeins of it at Wal-mart (gasp!) for less than $30. Gotta love it. And it is, indeed, simply soft. Kinda shiny, too. This blanket will be going to Botswana this summer to keep a child in an AIDS orphanage warm. I do hope they like it. I'm going to try to make at least one more before my next knitting group meeting, which is next Wednesday. This one only took 4 days, and the next one I make will be made of bulkier yarn with a much larger hook. Fingers crossed for me, peeps.

Wow, I love this shawl. I've actually already worn it. This is Eva's Shawl by milobo, from her blog Without Seams (link in the side panel). It's a free pattern. It's super easy, but really pretty, and the yarn is to die for. It's really soft and warm, and the color is gorgeous. I used four and a half skeins of Araucania Atacama. I really like Araucania, I must admit. I have two skeins of yellow worsted weight in my stash, and I think that will become a scarf sometime soon.

This shawl has already come in handy, as spring has not yet quite arrived in the Mid-Atlantic region. Basically, it's been rainy and about 55 degrees every day for what feels like the last 72 years. However, it is supposed to be quite nice this weekend. If it isn't, I'm going to find a meteorologist and beat the tar out of them for misleading us. But not my brother - he's a meteorologist, but I beat the tar out of him enough when we were children. Although he got in a few good shots too. I used to have a scar on my shin where he kicked me whilst wearing bowling shoes. Ow. He also threw a dictionary and a remote control at my head, but I deserved it because I was really a mean big sister. We get along really well now. Even though he doesn't tell me when he's dating someone.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Can I tell you how much I love barbecues and picnics? I'll be going on one picnic and to three barbecues this weekend. Yippee! Today at school, there was an assembly about Memorial Day, and it was really quite touching. A bunch of the kiddies got up and spoke about their grandpas and great uncles and cousins who were veterans or who had died in battle. Then one boy at the end played Taps on his trumpet, and that damn near destroyed me. Wow. I heard Taps at the end of the day when I visited the American Cemetary at Omaha Beach in Normandy, and man, that was powerful. It really made me appreciate the people and things in my life. I have a computer, and I have a blog where I can type whatever I like, and I don't have to fear for my life or my family's life. I have a family, and I love them, and they love me. I have great friends. I have food on my plate, a roof over my head, and lots of toys.

Take a moment to be thankful for the things you have. And thank a veteran if you see one. They deserve it.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Guess what I got?

I'll give you a hint. It has a wheel on it, and it spins, and you use it to make yarn. Yes, that's right, I got me a spinning wheel! Woo hoo! I am terribly excited. It's a used Ashford Traditional, and I got it off of eBay. It is actually being shipped here from New Zealand, where they are made. I thought I wanted a Kromski Prelude or Sonata, but the Sonata was too expensive, and I hadn't tried a Prelude, and after perusing different groups on Ravelry and reading their posts, I decided that the Ashford was the one for me.

I just came into some spending money, and I wanted to buy something worthwhile, something that I would have for a while, something that would be useful or a keepsake. Not clothes, not food, nothing like that. So naturally, the first thing I ordered was another Blythe doll. How could I not? I should be receiving my new Can Can Cat early next month. Yippee! She'll be my first fantasy hair girl (for you non-Blythers out there, that means she has ridiculously colored hair; in this case, it's blue).

I was then torn between a loom and a spinning wheel. The looms that I was considering (rigid heddle looms) would have been more affordable at first, but I would have had to learn a whole new craft, and with that comes a boatload of all new supplies, and that costs a boatload of money. Once I've paid for my wheel, then all I really need to get is roving, and then I can make my own yarn, which in turn feeds my knitting/crocheting addiction. So the wheel made more sense for me, don't you think? And wheels are prettier than looms. ;o)

My dear neighbor and friend Regina let me try her wheel out the other night, and I actually did a pretty good job. I also used my new drop spindle that my dad made for me, and I really like it. Regina was spinning Suffolk wool. Many people apparently look down their noses at Suffolk wool, because the sheep are bred for their meat, not for their fleece, hence the fleece is really rough. However, it was really good for me because it is really sticky and very easy to draft. Drafting (pulling the yarn out and making it thin right before it gets twisted into yarn) is really difficult for me - I either don't draft it enough and end up with a huge slub, or draft it too much and it pulls right apart. The Suffolk made it easy. And of course, Regina being the generous soul that she is, gave me some Suffolk. Yay!

It's funny, if you had told me five years ago that I'd be knitting, crocheting, spinning yarn, and collecting Blythe dolls, I would have laughed in your face. And yet here I am. As I get older, I realize that I don't give two craps about what people think of me. I like who I am, and I am going to pursue my interests regardless of what others think of them. My friends like me for who I am, and I've made many good friends because of my interests and hobbies. What more could a girl ask for?

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Oh, and one more thing...

I'm on a yarn diet. For reals this time. From now until the end of the year.

The only time I am allowed to buy yarn is if Carol has a Sip-n-Knit at her house and has her stuff for sale. Other than that, fuggeddaboudit.

FYI - a Sip-n-Knit is held on every other Wednesday during the summer. We get drunk and knit and chat. It's great fun.

So yeah. I have so much yarn it's not even funny. Well, maybe it's a little funny, but I probably find it more amusing that my husband. But it's time for me to get serious and knit and crochet. I might even get crazy and start to sew this summer. There's just no telling what I might do. I'm crazy. Watch out.


Tomorrow is my last day at my current job. On Monday, I'll start doing the same thing I do now (note-taking for hard-of-hearing kids) at a new school, working for the same organization. I have to say that I am pretty sad to leave the school in which I currently work. My student, with whom I have worked for the past three years, is all growed up now, and is going out in the big world to do his community study, which is essentially an internship from now until the end of the year. This is the first time in my life I've had to leave a job that I really like. I'm sure I'll like the new school. I already know the woman who will be my boss, and I met the special education department head, and she gave me a hug. That's always a good sign. But I've made some good friends over the past three years, and it will be sad to not see them every day any more. But oh well. That's life. You move on. It doesn't mean I'll never see them again, I'll just have to try harder to see them.

It's strange; this summer seems like a landmark summer. I'll be 35 years old in 3 weeks. Banana will be going to first grade next year. My student will be in college. I'll get a new student. I feel like I've aged a lot lately. But I don't feel old, just older. Does that make sense? It's like I've become more aware of the passing of time, and how precious life and time really are, especially when they are good. I was listening to the radio on my way to work this morning, and they played 'Dear Prudence' by the Beatles, which is one of my favorite Beatles songs. Apparently, the Beatles were at the same ashram as Mia Farrow's sister Prudence. She was sitting in a hut, meditating, and they implored her to come out and see all the beauty around her, and that's where the song came from. That's a cool story, and poignant too.

I try to go out and play and see the sun as often as I can. You should too. It's beautiful.

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 05, 2008

So what did you do this weekend?

I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool! Yippee! It was so much fun. The bus ride down wasn't bad at all (don't ask about the bus ride back; I-95 is bad). There were cool peeps on the bus, and we had a good time. I've heard many people say, via blogs and Ravelry, that Saturday was one of the busiest days anyone has ever seen at MDSW. I don't doubt it. The line to buy festival merchandise was 2 hours long (I did not wait in that one), and the line for food was half an hour long (I did wait in that one). I didn't wait in any lines to buy my yarn. Apparently, I was one of the only event-goers who didn't purchase any Tess or Socks That Rock. Oh well, I can't afford that stuff anyways.

So here are some pictures!

Everybody from Montco Sit n Knit knows these lovely ladies! My buddies Meg, Aileen, and Liz.

Here I am with Amy aka vismajor on Ravelry, and Jess herself!!

Here's me again with Kate, who I met at Loop when Doris Chan was there. Kate is fabulous, and I hope I get to see her again soon!

OMG, here's me with Lolly! She is way cool and is just as fantastic in person as she is in her blog, if not more so. Note the tree behind my head looks like a crown or an Afro. Either way, I'm stylin'.

Here's an angora goat! Goats are funny. Noisy, too.

Here are some nice alpacas. They sure are cute, but man are they dumb. Truly. Apparently the brown one on the left liked to kick, so we kept our distance.

Oh yeah, and I bought some yarn. Heheh. The first booth we came to was actually the one I wanted to visit the most, Cestari. I have purchased their yarn at the Lamb's Wool in Lansdale, and I really love it. It feels nice, it smells nice, I love the colors, and it is mostly cotton, which is good for me because wool is just too dang warm sometimes. The color above is Blackberry; I haven't decided what to make with that yet. The color below is Raspberry, and I think I want to make the Tussie Mussie sweater with it.

Below is some Peruvian Alpaca which I purchased from the Yarn Barn. It is soooo soft. Each skein has ~650 yards!! Holy moly, that right there is enough yarn to make a whole sweater. I'll be making another cardigan out of this, I just need to decide which pattern. Probably something simple.

And for my last purchase, we have some roving from Bartlett Farms. I said I wasn't going to purchase any roving, but each bag is eight ounces, and cost only $7! Resistance was futile.

Honestly, what post would be complete without pictures of my girls? Above is the newest member of our screwy little family. She is a Prima Dolly 2 Saffy, and I've named her Twyla. I made her dress and curled her hair; isn't she cute?

Here are all of the girls together. Hibou is on the left, Dulcinea in the middle, and Twyla on the right. Note that Hibou and Dulcinea are both sporting new tights, sneaks, and necklaces. The tights I ordered from Shopholican on Etsy, the necklaces are from ArtSchoolDropout on Etsy, and the sneaks came from Mimiwoo on eBay. Woo! This is fun. Really, it is.

Well thanks for stopping by, everybody! *mwah* <3

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Doug must be quite the ladies man.