Tuesday, December 25, 2007

4:30 in the A.M.

Yes....you have read that correct. I was up until 4:30 A.M. not wrapping gifts but, Christmas morning trying desperately to finish my grandmothers afghan throw. (I did a variation on this pattern.) You know....it is not like I left it to the last minute on purpose....but it just kinda happened to work out like that. I did start this project soon before Thanksgiving....I remember because I was contemplating on bringing it to Thanksgiving dinner to work on the afghan in front of her...but quickly rejected that idea because it just didn't seem right. Then soon afterwords I had the sickness from hell. And you know that one is really sick, when they don't want to do anything that they normally do...ie, go on the Internet, crochet and talk on the phone. So...I really did not get the urge to crochet again until two weeks ago. I read fellow blogger blogs....trying to get inspired to finish up on Christmas crocheting...only to get really put off by the fact that I only had 8 more days until......And of course when I did finally did get inspired to start to finish....I totally procrastinated on this particular project and made a scarf for one of my friend's Christmas gift. Suddenly....it was Christmas eve...and I still had three more balls of yarn to miraculously whip up in to this throw. Is this going to happen? Is this ever going to be complete and ready to give Christmas day? It had to get completed...I had no choice.

I started crocheting around noon on Christmas eve. Did some stitchin' until around 1:30 P.M.....went food shopping for Christmas dinner (and yes...thank you I know what you are all thinking...I do wait until the last minute to do anything. Thank God for the last minute or nothing would ever get done in my life) By the time I got home, food put away, children had to get dressed and ready for Christmas eve celebrations at my Father -in-laws house. Ekkkkkkkkks...no time to shower.....just straighten up hair a bit by throwing it up in a clip....and continue stitchin' till we left at 4:00 P.M.

Enjoyed a nice dinner of stuffed shells, stuffed mushrooms, lots of shrimp and tons of goodies. (very tasty Nicole, BTW) And sat myself down on the nice cushy sofa and started stitchin' again. Volunteered my two sister-in-laws to roll a skein each into a ball for me...and you guessed it...stitched. Fast forward to 10:30 P.M......got children into bed all cosy while sugar plums danced in their heads.....left Santa's cookies and milk...left reindeer food outside (oatmeal and glitter mixed up) and carrots for Rudolph. Played Santa for two boys, set up the bikes....and grabbed a drink, watched It's a Wonderful life (again) and Christmas Story (twice that night) and stitched.....and stitched, and stitched and stitched until I could not stitch no more...and my wrist was aching too. Looked at the DVD clock and it flashed 4:30 A.M. WHAT THE %$&! My kids are going to be up in less than three hours......ekkkkkkkkkks and....wahhhhhhhhhh the afghan is NOT done yet.

In a quick 2 and a half hours from 4:30 A.M....opened presents....YAY (see Christmas post), washed new dish set from mom for Christmas dinner, washed table cloth and napkins, started ham...started boiling potatoes.....and talked to family...they are coming at 1:30 P.M. or so. Time check...10:30 A.M....get children dressed to go outside and ride new bikes in driveway (every where covered in snow by the way....) and finally sat down to weave end many ends....and finish fringe. 12:30 P.M....rolls around....not finished with fringe yet...looks up outside and notice my family is here already. WAHHHHHHHHH...not finished. Not dressed....runs to pack afghan in a box...and greets family frantically.

How does this story end?

With one very happy grandma and an afghan with almost all of its fringe!!!!!

Ho- Ho-Ho!!

Wishing everyone in Blog land a very Merry Christmas. We are just finishing up the day here...had my family over for dinner. Super yummy appetizers...a nice maple glazed ham, garlic mashed potatoes with melted cheddar, sweet potatoes, buttered corn, Campbell's soup bean and onion mixture. It was a definite Christmas feast. Santa was very nice to us this year. And my poor living room looks like Toys 'R' Us threw up in our living room.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Five years ago today, my son Aidan was born at a whopping 11 pounds and 4 oz. He was such a huge baby. He did not even fit into newborn clothes or diapers. He had some breathing problems at birth...and needed a blood transfusion so he ended up in the NICU for about a week. I can't believe it has gone by so fast.

O.K...so I have been among the missing. I have a good excuse, I really do. I am recovering from strep throat and the worst ear infection I have ever had in my life. The pain was so intense that I had to go to the ER in the wee hours in the morning to get checked out. I could not wait until my Doctor's office opened the next day. I had a few days of the chills and sweats...but that has passed. I have a missed a whole week of time. I did not even leave the house for anything. You know when I am really sick when 1) I don't log on to the computer for a couple of days and 2) did not have any interest in crocheting at all. I have soooo much to do. We'll see if I can get it all done.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Crocheting along

Hello there. It has been a very busy week or so...and life is getting back to normal. We had a very nice Thanksgiving feast at my parents house. It was unseasonably warm...around 67 degrees F. So, it felt a bit weird...not being cold. I can remember from years past, when my hubby(then high school sweetheart), Father in law and I would always go to our local high school football game. We would freeze out there. I can remembering not liking coffee at that time (wow...that has certainly changed) and buying a large hot cocoa instead. No, not last Thursday. We turned off our heat and opened all the windows. Bizarre.

So...I finally started my grandmothers throw. I definitely got into the groove this long weekend. I was very tempted to bring my crocheting to my mother's house on Thanksgiving, but decided it was not appropriate to crochet my grandmothers throw in front of her. It is about 20 inches side so far. I am getting there. I am adapting this pattern. I am using the recommended colors...cream and burgundy. I think it will come out very nicely.

I have not started my Christmas shopping yet. I am still not in the holiday spirit yet. I think once we decorate the house, trim our tree....and write our Christmas cards....maybe I can start to think about playing Santa. I was very tempted to get up before dawn and hit the early bird sales....but that did not happen. I most likely do the bulk of my shopping when my youngest is in school or during a weeknight. Weeknights seem to be a lot less crowded. Until next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Crochet motivation

Boy...do I need some. I have projects that desperately need to be worked on...Christmas projects to be exact. I have them all planned out...yarn already purchased....just need to get my mojo on. Hopefully, I will have more to report on the next time I blog. Scratch that....I WILL have progress to report on...and pictures to keep me accountable. Looking foward to the short school week next week. Here in the States we celebrate our Thanksgiving Holiday next Thurday. MMMMMMMM...if I close my eyes long enough I can almost taste the stuffing, and blueberry pies!!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wanna see crochet on T.V.?

I do. And I am disappointed that The Knit and Crochet Today Show is not airing in the Boston area. I actually am quite surprised. So if you are interested in having it come to your PBS station.....click here and fill out your region. I have read different critiques of the show....but I would like to find out for myself!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sox Mania

And no....I am not talking about the Boston Red Sox for once! I have actually attempted to make a sock. Yes, I have tried socks before. The question is.....have I ever finished one? Best yet....have I even got past the cuff? The answer is no. I have borrowed from the library the book Crocheted Socks by Janet Rehfeld and Mary Jane Wood. I attempted to start the cuff of a sock...and that is as far as I got. I just got frustrated because I just could not wrap my head around how to turn a heel...and what is thing called a gusset? Well....one of my favorite blogs Needles and Things is going bananas for socks. Needles loves making socks. She gets all this great sock yarn and is feverishly making socks for family members. As I scratch my head....I wonder...what is all this buzz about socks? I mean, I have seen some absolutely beautiful handmade socks online and in books. I must give this sock thing a try...and not give up after the cuff. So, the other day I was checking out some great crocheted socks on Ravelry. I came across this pattern called Snow Day socks. I actual had the the December 2006 Crochet Today that the pattern was in and also found it online. I thought they looked just darling so I decided to buy the suggested sock yarn, Moda Dea Sassy Stripes in Rugby Red, and give it the ol' college try. This is what is transforming in front of my eyes.

Now I know, I know.....it looks more like a Christmas stocking than a sock...but take a close look. I actually turned the heel...and check out the ribbed cuff...I am impressing even myself...hehehhehehhe. It is not the best yarn to work with....but I absolutely love, love, love how the striping pattern is turning out. Hmmmmm, any one know of any good sock yarn that would pattern like this?????

As to why it is coming out sooooo big....I honestly did a gauge swatch, so I don't know why. I did choose the largest size to make...but maybe I needed to go down one size. I am not done yet...but I may be finishing the toes tonight!

I have also been busy THINKING a lot about Christmas gifts that I could make. I am wondering if I should make my grandma an afghan. I think she would love to wrapped in something that I made for her. As my boys say...."love in every stitch." I bought some rainbow multi colored yarn to make a swatch for another block afghan. I know, I publicly proclaimed I would not do another afghan that needs to be put together....BUT...I may have to break my own rule. We'll see. Bernat makes a pink camouflage yarn....that may be a cool afghan..but maybe not so appropriate for my 85 year old grandma. I'll have to do some more pondering! Bye for now.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Red Sox Rocks

What else is there more to say?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tiramisu Complete

I finished the blanket a couple of nights ago. I am really happy with the results. This is one of the first finished objects that I am completely satisfied how it turned out. I loved the feel of the Bernat Tots cotton yarn that I used, it is soooo soft. It is not as heavy as I would expect a cotton blanket to be. I am super in love with the brown ribbon and the pink trim around the cream colored body of the blanket. Believe it or not, the ribbon gave me the most trouble as I was weaving it in and out of the double crochets. I am going to leave you with a bunch of pictures!!! I think I will be doing this as my signature baby blanket for all the new babies in my life! It is just so classy and it looks like something that would be bought in a boutique. Maybe it is the simplicity of the v-stitch, or it just could be the color combo. Love the brown and the pink together.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tiramisu Baby Blanket

I am trying to be festive with these pictures.
Ultimately, what I am trying to achieve is some non boring pictures of what I have done so far on the Tiramisu Baby Blanket. I love how the stitches are coming out. The stitch is called the V stitch and it is super easy to do. Two single stitches in one chain. The stitch does become boring after a while, but as I said in my last post....I have entertainment to help me along. I have about 10 more inches left to do, then I will be starting the border in a pale pink. The body of the blanket is done in Bernat CottonTots 100 % cotton in Sweet Cream colorway. I still have to buy some matching ribbon to weave in and out of the border. Here is some more pics....

World Series 2007

Boston Red Sox Rock!!!!!!

If I am not listening to a podcast while I crochet, then I am watching the Red Sox. I got kinda used to it...since May. All summer long...AC on, fan on...red sox on, crochet hook and yarn....what a perfect night. Even if I am not watching PerSe, then I am definitely listening to the crowd cheer and chant and the crack of the bat against a home run ball. We won the AC LS last night against the Cleveland Indians, and now we are in the race to the World Series starting on Wednesday night in Fenway Park, Boston. Home field advantage. You should see how many rows I did last night while watching the "winner takes all" games last night. Some say it was a nail biter kinda game, and I say....watch how fast and nervously I can crochet! GO SOX!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Winter Scarf Swap

I know I am about two weeks late on posting this, but I want to give Donna (sewnsew) from Crochetville a big THANK YOU for being such a great swap parner. I got two gorgeous scarves, some yummy Bernat Chunky Yarn, some hot cocoa, and this gorgeous purse full of stitch markers. Here are some pics...thanks so much!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Crochet Revolution

Friendly. Down to earth. Energetic. Enthusiastic. These are a few words to describe my first impressions of Kim Werker. I had the most fantastic day today celebrating the launching of Kim Werker's new book Crochet Me. I made the two and a half hour drive out to Northampton, Massachusetts to Webs America's Yarn Store for the launch. I was also way excited because it was my first time at the yarn store. And what a yarn store it is. That is an absolute understatement! More on that later. O.k...so, it seems that I misunderstood Kathy Elkins, owner of Webs, and thought the store opened at 12:00 P.M., two hours before the event. Hmmmmm, I was wrong. I arrived at Webs around 11:30 A.M.....and quickly found out that the store was going to open around 1:30 P.M. What is a girl supposed to do you ask? Crochet of course! I started on the Tiramisu Baby Blanket for a new baby girl named Eva. But, that only lasted for about 45 minutes and decided that I better go into town and find a bite to eat. I found this nice little cafe and ordered an apple cinnamon muffin and a mowhawk chocolate chai tea. It was super busy, so I took it to go and back with me to Webs and enjoyed it as I waited in the parking lot.

I met a very nice woman named Sharon from Connecticut. She was also waiting to get into the store. We chatted a bit about crochet and yarn. It is nice to meet an actual fiber friend that understands the craft. As an aside, I was eating dinner with my sister in law and some family last night and was trying to explain where I was going on Sunday and why. They all gave me an odd look and replied, "You are driving 2 1/2 hours to look at yarn and buy a crochet book?" They just don't get it. My 6 year old son even asked me, "How can there be a book on crochet?" But he was genuine and really did not get it. I explained to him that there are crochet patterns in a book that tells you how to make something sort of like a recipe tells you how to make dinner. I think he got it more than my in-laws..haha!

Finally around 1:15 we were allowed to come in and look around while Kim set up. It was a trunk show and tell show, and many items in the new book was on display. Also displayed was The Larger than Life Bag from Spring 2007 Interweave Crochet and the famous Babett Blanket from the Spring 2006 Interweave Crochet.

As I asked Kim if I could take her picture of her for her for my blog...she asked what is the name of my blog. Crochet Creations...and she said that she read this log before. NO FREAKING WAY....how thrilling is that. The crochet goddess Kim Werker has checked out my blog. Oh, my...I felt famous for a second!! LOL.

Kim did a wonderful presentation on the different contributors and designers of the book...discussed their creations, and talked about different stitches used in each project, gauge and drape. And then the real fun began...hehhehehehehe. I got to shopping! Truth be told, I was a bit overwhelmed by my surroundings. There was yarn, yarn, and more yarn. The front room was set up like your typical yarn store....but with a lot of space :) And then there was the warehouse with all the close out deals.....

Well...of course I did not go home empty handed. But, since I did not have a certain project in mind, buying yarn was not that easy. I did not want to buy just to buy so, I bought 4 skeins of Valley Yarns in Colrain (50 % Merino, 50 % Tencel). 2 Skeins in majestic blue and 2 skeins in mauve. I bought The Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Crochet, a Addi Skacel G hook, an afghan J hook, and Eucalan wool wash. I also bought the Crochet Me book and had Kim sign it. I also got a chance to introduce myself to Kathy Elkins the owner and let her know how I listen to her every Sunday night and really enjoy her podcast. I say it was a trip well worth the effort and expense to get to participate in the Crochet Revolution with Kim Werker!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Works in mind

Sorry that I have not blogged in a while. I have been meaning to take pictures of some stuff I have been working on...but every time I think of doing it....it is dusk and I need the natural sunlight to take decent photos. Since I have blogged, I have bought some nice yarn. I was dying to try the new Moda Dea yarn called Bamboo Wool. Oh my...this is so soft...and has a wonderful drape. I bought the color called Chili Pepper Red. I am in the process of making my sister-in-law a scarf. She is the only person I know that wears scarfs on a regular basis. She will use it for warmth and for an accessory. On the Moda Dea website they give 8 reasons to love bamboo.
BAMBOO is an amazing fiber. Here are just a few reasons why you'll love it.
Eco-friendly – a renewable resource (Bamboo can reach a mature height of 75 feet within in two months)
Naturally anti-bacterial
Odor resistant
Breathable and cool
3 times more absorbent than cotton
Durable and strong, yet has a silky hand

I also bought some Moda Dea Silk Wool blend. I bought 6 skeins in plum to make myself a shawl. I want a shawl so I can wear in the morning when I wake up and have my coffee on my front steps. So, I need to find a pattern for a shawl that isn't too lacy. I have tried to start this shawl three times now, but I just can not find the right pattern for this yarn. It is a nice yarn that is super squishy and has a nice stretch to it. Funny, because a couple of weeks back I had bought Noro Silk Garden for a scarf. The Silk Garden that is also made up of wool and silk. I actually like Modea Dea's version a lot better. And of course I like the the price and yardage better. I was a bit disappointed in the Silk Garden. I was surprised how much I did not like the feel. Although, I do love the beautiful colorways. I really wanted to love the Silk Garden. I have read so many good things about it....but it just didn't jive with me.
My friend's sister just had a baby girl Eva and I was thinking about making her a baby blanket. Looking deep in my stash for this one. I do have some beautiful purple TLC Essentials an acrylic yarn that I think would work perfectly for the blanket. It is a bit different from the typical pink...but that is what I like about it...
I will post pictures soon. Oh yeah, I also got my swap package the other day. Wait to you see all the goodies I got!
Just got my November/December issue of Crochet Today and I have only thumbed through it fast. But, there is some beautiful things in there that I would love to make someday. I have to work on some of my Christmas gifts too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Prayer shawl revisited

A couple of weeks ago, I finally completed the comfort/prayer shawl that I was making for a friend who was diagnosed with lung cancer. We were at a BBQ together, and she was happy to get out and be around friends. I told her that I made something for her. She was speechless when she received the shawl. I told her that every stitch was stitched with a prayer and good thoughts for a quick recovery. I told her that soon it will be chilly and it will come in handy. I also told her to wear it when she is going through her chemo treatments. She was so thankful.
This past Friday I received a call from her. She said that she was wearing the shawl and realized how much work went into the shawl. She was again, so thankful. She said she was also getting a lot of compliments on it when she wore it to the hospital clinic. She sounded so well and had good spirits. Carol is a very spiritual person. In fact, she owned a metaphysical store. She is using a lot of guided imagery during her radiation and chemo. She believes that her recovery is not only based on medical treatments, but also a mind, body and soul perspective. She is very wise. Sending positive energy and get well vibes to you, Carol.

Winter scarf swap

Finally, my swap package arrived at Donna's (aka sewnsew from Crochetville) door step. The theme of the swap was to make a winter scarf. I chose this great pattern from Crochet Me (More about the latest on the Crochet Me site). When I think of winter, I automatically think of a warm cuppa coffee or some tea. So, I included a nice mug and some flavored coffee and an assortment of tea. I also included some candies goodies for her girls, some cotton yarn from Knit Picks and a Quilter's tote that would of course be great for toting around WIP. Donna really liked all the stuff....and I am thrilled. I think the best part of any swap is when your partner gets the gift. I think it is even better than getting my part of the swap. Although, I am excited to get mine!!!

The online magazine Crochet Me has totally revamped their website and it looks great. It is more of an interactive site with forums and more of a community feel. Mosey on over and check it out. If you are ever in search of a some really awesome patterns, check out their pattern page. It is so much easier to search it now that the site is in a new beta mode. Jeez, between Crochetville, Ravelry and now Crochet Me, when will I ever find time to crochet????? ;)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fingerless Gloves

I have been wanted to make a pair for a while now. I just could not find the right pattern. Believe me, I found plenty ones that I would have loved to knit...but that is not gonna help me. Finally, I came upon a winter glove pattern on Bernat's website. As I was making the glove and tried it on as I crocheted....I thought they would look great....unfinished. I left off the rest of the glove and made fingerless glove. They came out perfect for what I wanted and they will also come in handy when I am driving and at my sons bus stop, sipping coffee.
I used the new Bernat Softee Chunky Twists. I loved it. It is 100% acrylic, but acrylic has it's place too. It is a bulky weight, so these gloves took no time to crochet up. I loved how the ribbing showsup on the cuff. Sorry about the unfocused picture, but didn't realize it until after I uploaded the photos.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rainbow Blankie

Finally, I am finished with my son's rainbow blankie. I have been working on this blanket on and off for about 6 months now. I would do it in spurts...have a go at it for a while, then completely forget about it. My husband would comment every time I started a new project. "What about A's afghan??? Don't you think he would like to keep warm this winter. He would really love it from his mom."

This blanket is made out of Red Heart yarn. When asked what color he wanted, he said "ALL" the colors. So, I choose a bunch of colors and called it The Rainbow Blankie. I was surprised because after I washed it, I was expecting it to soften up. It did not. Hopefully with some wear it will soften up. It is of my own design. It is done in a single stitch....one block at a time. To tell you the truth, I don't know if I want to make another blanket that has to be sewn together in pieces. I single stitched them together with a navy blue yarn. You can't tell by these pictures, but they are a bit uneven. Thank goodness I picked a recipient who does not pay attention to detail.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yarn review

Moda Dea Vision

Basic Yarn Information:

Fiber content 65% Wool 35% Acrylic
Skein yardage/weight 155 yards, 3.5 oz, 100 g
Recommended hook size/gauge I
How many ply? 2 (I think)
Manufacturer's suggested retail price and/or actual price $4.99
Name and/or URL of store where you purchased yarn AC Moore http://www.acmoore.com/
Any other places you know of where yarn can be purchased That is the only place that I have seen it so far.

Care of Yarn:
Washing Hand Wash in cold
Drying dry flat
Any special requirements
How does yarn/project look/handle after being cleaned? TBA
Did the color run when washed? TBA

Yarn Characteristics:

How easy is it to crochet with? What about ripping out? Smooth, forgiving yarn after frogging.
Any stretch? a bit
Does it produce fuzz/lint? none
Does it pill? not yet
How does it wear? So far so good
How does it reflect light? Saturates the light
How does it look crocheted? Beautiful
Are any other yarns similar or identical? One of the best Wool/acrylics blends I have used so far.
Project Specifics:

What did you make with the yarn? Scarf and mittens
What hook size did you use? j
Are simple stitches best? How do complex stitches look? Does not show stitch definition.
Describe drape of finished project This project had wonderful drape...not stiff at all.
What other types of projects would this yarn work well for? Winter apparel like scarves, hats, mittens, slippers, shawls
Is there any project this yarn would not be suited for? Cooler weather garments. Too warm.

I really was pleasantly surprised that this yarn worked up so smoothly. It never split. After just working with Noro Silk Garden (Silk, wool), I liked working with Visons much more. Visions had a much softer feel to it and worked up better. Not a perfect comparison because they are made out of different materials....but this is my assessment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2001

We will NEVER forget.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

International Crochet Day

That is right....on September 12th, 2007 is the first annual crochet day. SO, I am spreading the word. Jimbo and some others on Crochetville started this. Some people are adding posts to their blogs about the holiday to spread the word; we have folks who are organizing crochet lessons on that day; we have several who are doing special crochet projects for charity; we have posters being made for a church group; we have greeting cards being made; we have a commitment to ROAK (Random Act Of Kindness) someone who has yet to receive one; we have word of mouth promotion. The Mascot for this "holiday" is a nekkid sheep. How cute!
As for my crochet world....I joined the winter scarf swap at Crochetville. I went out and bought all this new yarn for the project. I can not for the life of me make a straight scarf. It should be the easiest of all projects. I have been using stitch markers and everything. Since Sunday, I have started to crochet 4 different scarfs. Did you ever have day, or a couple of days in a row, that you feel like you don't know how to crochet right? I feel like I have never crocheted before. I really don't know what my problem is. UGH. Back to the drawing board. Maybe I should start crocheting dishcloths again. They look straight up and down the sides. HUMPH. A little project that makes me smile because I finish a project in just a sitting or two. Where is my cotton yarn.?.....(rummaging through yarn baskets frantically!!!!!!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Summer Vacation is Over

This is what greeted us as we walked outside this morning. A friedly little spider. Look at him, he is furry......eeeeeeeeks.

Today was the first day of first grade for my son C. Morning came early and the bus arrived at the bus stop promptly at 8:00 A.M. This is the first full day of school for C. Last year was only a half day. So, he had recess and lunch today for the first time. I packed his lunch and told him that I put a special suprise on his napkin and to think of me when he sees it. It was a smiley face sticker!!!! After a long day, he came home and changed into shorts and had some snacks. He had a good day. Liked his new teacher, reunited wth some old friends and met some new ones. Now mom can rest assured since the first day is out of the way. Below are some pictures waiting for the bus. When I went to Walmart last night for some last minute school supplies, I picked up a Boston Red Sox t-shirt for him. IHe was so excited. It was his only request for new clothes. Sport shirts.