Monday, January 30, 2006

It's crack!!

And I'm fucking addicted.

20 Questions

I can't stop playing! Kris's mom got the hand-held version for he and his sibs awhile ago, and since then we've been having a hell of a time trying to stump it. Then, I found the online version and it was all downhill... The handheld was beatable, but the computer version is unstoppable!! I was able to win with "yarn" but it still guessed it after 28 questions. I *did* get it with "an hour" but I kept second guessing all my answers, so I don't know if it counts.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Crochet Olympics

It's a rainy, icky, lazy Sunday - perfect for doing nothing, which is what I'm doing. :) In fact, I highly doubt I will shower today. It's just one of those kinds of days.

Inspired by the Knitting Olympics that are occuring out there in blogland, the ladies at Crochetville have gotten together a Crochet version, which I felt I *had* to join. Lately, I have been in this crochet rut - where I have about 4 projects going, and just can't seem to finish a single one. I just work a little on one here, and a little on another there... and spin a little in between... and it has just been a big length of un-productiveness. I even tried to just get a snowflake done yesterday, and the blending filament kept tangling so badly I gave up. Poo.

Crochet OlympicsSo - I'm hoping the Crochet Olympics will be the catalyst I need to get myself out of this rut. I sure hope so, because I've decided to do a wearable, and one of the rules is to *not* set yourself up for failure. I've been really wanting to do another top since the Big-Collared Cardi nightmare, and this is just the opportunity...

Now I just have to decide which top to make. This is where I'm hoping you will help me, since my family is utterly useless at assisting in things like these. I've got it narrowed down to three choices, and if I knew how I'd put up one of those cool polls in the sidebar. But, I don't, so if you'd just leave me a comment, letting me know which project you think I should do, I will love you forever. It would also be excellent to hear why/why not you think I should[n't] chose a certain project - i.e. "That one will take a lot longer than 16 days so don't even try it."

Okay, so here are the nominees for Natalie's 2006 Winter Crochet Olympics Project:

Option #1 1.Ilene from Cool Crochet

Thoughts: The recommended yarn for this sweater is TLC Amore, which I love. I'll use that yarn if I make this, however, it will be in a solid color, most likely black. I'd also extend the torso length a couple inches. This has been a "want to make someday" project ever since I got the book.

Option #2 2.On-The-Side Cardigan from Hip to Crochet

Thoughts: The recommended yarn is Classic Elite Miracle, which is beautiful but out of my price range for a project of this scale. So, if I end up making this, it will be in another DK weight, probably from KnitPicks. I'd love to make it in Elegance, which is also almost identical in weight, and half the cost of Miracle. I've been wanting a cozy cardigan ever since the Big-Collared flop, and I think this would look nice in a heather grey.

Option #33.Lacy Tunic from Hooked on Style [originally from Paton's Beautiful Crochet booklet]

Thoughts: This pattern calls for Paton's Grace, which is a gorgeous yarn, but I think it could get very pricey to do a whole sweater out of. Instead, I was thinking maybe Lustersheen, but I'm not sure if that will have the same sheen and drape as the Grace. I like the fit of this sweater though, and the motifs might break up the work a bit. [Or, make it grueling, who knows?]

Alright, that's what I've picked for myself - now, please help me pick what to crochet for the Olympics! I only have a little bit of time to get the yarn together, and with my budget lately, that could be tricky! I am making myself get my packages wrapped up first, especially since I have a couple that are overdue. [You know who you are, and if I owe you something I have not forgotten about it! It's just that I'm not used to budgeting and I have to spread my cash out a bit longer... Soon, though, I promise!!]

Wonder if Kris would buy me Olympics yarn for an early Valentine's Day present??

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I'm it!

I got tagged! I was holding out on this meme, but then I saw that Jen tagged me, and well, here I am.

*The Four Things Meme* [I got tagged with the shortened version, thru Jen via Sue at Good Yarns, so that is what follows.]

Answer the four questions below and then name four taggees.

Four jobs you have held:
1. Customer Service Rep @ drycleaners
2. Cashier @ health food store
3. Porter @ bowling alley
4. Waitress @ a shitty coney

Four places you have lived:
1. Michigan
2. Clawson, in Michigan
3. My house
4. My room [pretty lame, but I've never moved.]

Four vacations you have taken:
1. The northern east coast - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont
2. Space Camp in Huntsville, AL
3. Washington DC
4. The southwest - Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah

Four vehicles you have owned:
1. '96 Pontiac Grand Am
3. [I haven't had enough years of driving to have had many cars!]

Four bloggers you want to tag: [Are there still people to tag??]
1. Deneen
2. Jessi, I'm still tagging you even if you can't play right now!
3. Sara
4. Andrea

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Posting this from the couch...

Yep, the couch. Which could only mean one [reasonable] thing - I GOT A LAPTOP!!!AGHH!!!

Seriously, I was so excited I actually got it, I almost wanted to pee myself. It's a secondhand Dell but honestly just like new... I didn't think I was going to be able to come up with the money before it got sold to someone else, but my wonderful boyfriend was able to scrape it together for me!! So, I guess it is really *his* laptop, since quite honestly I didn't pay a cent it, but we both know that's not the case. [Regardless of if when I pay him back for it.]

Anyways, I am telling myself that it will really be helpful to have around for my homework, and my mom feels that it will minimize the "who gets the computer" arguments between me and Lauren... Of course, it will be nice to be able to surf the net at Kris's house. Actually, there's not a wireless network at my house yet - so I when I'm there, the only way I've figured out to connect is to unhook the cable connection from other computer - self-defeating. But, the whole county will have a free wireless network up by the end of the year, so it won't be long and I won't have to worry about it.

I've been so busy playing with my new piece of technology that I haven't picked up a hook since Thursday, when I restarted the irksome Karabella Lace Mohair Shawl. I would link you to the patter but for some reason it's mysteriously disappeared from the kpixie site where I bought it from. This pattern is just horribly written and nothing but troubles - but the picture of the finished shawl is gorgeous and I want to get to that point!! Also, after reading Tiffany's recent posts, I *need* to make myself a panta. [Maybe from stripey sock yarn? Or hippie-chick organic cotton?]

Ignore the fact that I've not yet finished the Fino scarf...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Gotta love CIS classes...

Or Computer Information Systems classes... Basically, I am in "Microsoft Office for Dummies" - for the second time, since the first time I took it I dicked around and didn't do my homework. I ended up not getting a high enough grade to transfer credit. Sooooo, here I am again, "learning" about minimizing windows, copying text, and other similarly menial tasks. The first part of the class is so basic it makes my brain bleed, but honestly, I'm Excel incapable, so the second half actually does get difficult for me, and I will actually learn something from this class. Right now, though, it's a great time to catch up on my blog reading/commenting, and *gasp* posting to my own blog, too!! [Next time I'll have to remember to load my pics to my jumpdrive first, lol.]

I made myself a cute pair of pink handwarmers this past weekend... No pics right now, though! They turned out nice, but not so practical - I used Sirdar Breeze, which is just too thick for these. They ended up so bulky that they'd really only be practical to wear with short sleeves. I used a pattern from the CPaD calendar - the "Where'd My Fingers Go?" fingerless gloves, or something similarly titled. [I was looking for the Koigu pattern listed in the index, but it's not there - anyone else noticed that??] Anyways, I think I'll use the pattern again in a thinner yarn, maybe that rose allHEMP3 I've had laying around for awhile and don't know what to do with. My goal is to make something that will keep my hands warm at work without getting in the way... and the ones I just made will snag on hangers, I know already. I'm hoping the hemp won't.

I've only made a total of three snowflakes so far for Snowflake Mondays - I've been getting frustrated with them easily, so I've been sticking to the small ones from the 99 Snowflakes book. For some reason I just can't get back into the groove that I had going before the holidays. Plus, I really like the way they look with a sparkley thread carried along, but with the last two I've made I've been having a heck of a time getting the second thread to behave. It keeps tangling or slipping out or breaking - general deterrents from snowflakey goodness.

Honestly, I don't have much crochet progress to report, because I've been playing a lot with my spindle. :) The brown wool Jacqui sent me is just a dream to spin - it barely takes any effort at all to draft. I've been spinning Z to ply S, which the teacher of the class said is ideal for crochet - we'll see once I get some yarn made up if it's got any truth to it. I have been eyeing some of the pretty crochet threads being offered for sale at Crochetville, though; I'd like to get started on the Care Bears in thread one of these days. Those have been one my WIM for awhile now, and I want to make them a WIP.

Work at the dry cleaners is going pretty good - I've got a consistent schedule now, working mornings until about 2pm and getting about 25 hours per week. It's a cut from my old job, but that's what I wanted... I like that my time's not so packed, but I do feel the financial hit. I definitely don't have as much "me" money after bills... It's working out, though; I'm certainly not complaining. It's actually quite nice, since Kris just got a new schedule at his job and he's working M-F 7-4, we finally get most of our evenings together. [When I'm not in class.] Plus, I just hit my 90 days, and from the feedback I've been getting I have a hunch a raise is not so far away.

My parents have finally reached the court stage in the identity theft battle, too. My dad's credit report is totally cleared of all the suspect charges, and now they are just assisting in the state's prosecution of Rafael. The county prosecutor's office thought that he would plea out since the evidence against him is so compelling, but he's decided to go to trial with it, so now it gets moved up to a higher court and prosecutor. He's facing 10 different felony charges, and since the prosecutors feel that he is wasting their time, they are determined to hit him with the worst they can. It's frustrating for my dad, definitely, but we're glad that it didn't just get swept under the rug, like a lot of ID theft cases do.

Anywho - class is about to end, so I guess I'll wrap things up!! Hugs!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lots to post...

But not a lot of time... and I know if I blabber on forever you'll all quit reading... so here's a [mostly] photo update:


Drawing [Belated, yipes!]

Winners, Andrea and Wendy!!
Details on prizes will follow, since I've *still* not decided what you've won, but Wendy, I need your address info, so if you could email me that it would be great. :) Thank you everyone else for playing along and for sticking with me after a whole year. I really love having you all as friends!!

    Wool Swap

Gorgeous roving from Jacqui - tons of it!!
and - a BALL WINDER!!! I've been winding all my stash up... I love it. Thank you so much, Jacqui!!

    Spinning Class and aftermath

Went great, although I forgot to bring my camera, so I don't have pictures from the actual class, but Jessi does. I had a rediculously good time - we met up early for coffee, then went to the shop for the class. There were a dozen ladies total, and our teacher was a really nice, knowledgable guy. We got about four ounces of some very soft grey wool, and maybe an ounce of some super silky black alpaca to play with once we get better. Here's what I spun and plyed during the class, which ran over by almost an hour, along with the extra fiber:

And remember this roving that I dyed?

Look what I spun it into last night:
It's a mini-hank, it weighs just over an ounce and is about 20 yards worth of bulky yarn. Don't know what I'll do with it - maybe make an amigurumi turtle?? I'm proud, though.

And this is on my spindle right now, it's some of that beautiful chocolate wool from Jacqui:


Although my hooking has taken a back burner this weekend, I did finish up the fulled slippers for Lauren last week. I didn't shape them to dry, so they're a bit janky looking right now. I have to re-wet and shape them but I've been lazy and she's been wearing them anyways.


For those of you that are handy with templates and things - how do I put the title of my page at the top so it shows up on every page as a link back to home? It was on the old template and I have no idea how to get it in this new one... and it bugs me because from the perma-link pages you can't get anywhere...

Oh, and does anyone know what happened to the Crochet Blogs button?


I started classes this week. My german teacher is a dud and isn't very good at explaining anything... If I hadn't taken some german before I would be very lost, I think. My computer class is redo - I'm hoping to pass it high enough to transfer credit, this time. I registered with the same teacher I had last time, who's a decently funny guy. He's a great teacher though, and fair with his grading. I just need to do the work this time. :) Oh - and bowling? Turns out it's only a half semester deal, and it doesn't start til March. Except, I didn't realize that until I had warmed up my car to leave for the first class, and only then decided to double-check my schedule. Doh!!

There are lots of fun memes going around right now that I want to do too, but I haven't got the time... I love reading them all, though! Awesome questions, too, Lori!!

Anyways - gotta run - today's lemon rice soup day at one of my fave little restaurants - YUM!! Hugs, all!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The contest is ending! The contest is ending!!

Today's the last day to leave a comment that will be eligible for entry into my contest drawing. So, go now - comment!!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Spotted On Cindy's Blog...

Possibly the most disturbing thing I've read in a long time. As an avid Curious George fan, I was shocked and appaled to read about George's adventure with the hos...

Only three days left til my contest ends!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

OMG - I'm double posting!

WTF is up with me, anyways?

It's just cuz I was going thru my bloglines before it gets too out of control... And I saw that quite a few of you out in blogland have been doing this seven meme that's going around - then I saw that Sara made me one of her seven - number one of her seven, in fact, which makes me feel quite special and obligated to play along.

So, here goes:

A. Seven things to do before I die

1. Make peirogis and applesauce the real way, like my grama
2. Own a Cobra 427. I'd die to have one of the real ones, but I'll realistically be able to afford a remake or a kit car.
3. Judge the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
4. Spend time in Ireland.
5. Visit all 50 states... last count I had almost half!
6. Dare I say [type?] it - learn to knit.
7. Have an up north place.

B. Seven things I cannot do

1. Wear fancy shoes. I have fat very wide feet, so trying on most heels is laughable.
2. Blow smoke OOOs. I have tried. Many, many times. I look like an ass and come no where close - not even UUUs.
3. Stand on the back of a galloping horse [saving this one from Sara, cuz I can't do that either.]
4. auto maintenance/repair. Playing the helpless female card here, but that's what my dad and Kris are for.
5. Be quick at anything. I'm pretty much always running behind - y'know the old stoner joke, "chronically late?" That's me.
6. Eat pickles. They fucking gross me out.
7. Water ski. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've only ever gone about 20 yards in a remotely standing position.

C. Seven things that attract me to...

1. Kris: everything, seriously, plus he's hung. [OMG, he'd die if he saw this]
2. Hands: they're very sexy. I'm a touch-oriented sort of person.
3. Smell: scent is important to me. Someone/something nice smelling is a turn on.
4. My bed: memory foam mattress pad + down comforter = ultimate comfort
5. Home: warm, cozy, family - all nice things
6. Yarn: the way it feels, drapes, looks, smells.
7. Sidewalk chalk: I can't stay away from it - so many possibilities!!

D. Seven things I say most often

1. Fuck
2. Shit [God, I'm classy aren't I?]
3. Love you [I really do say this alot!]
4. How are you today?
5. Just one second while I grab these [garments] for you.
6. Have a nice day! [obviously 4,5, & 6 are work related]
7. 'ere. *nudge* ;)

E. Seven books (or series or genres or topics) that I love

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
2. Harry Potter books
3. Pretty much all Madeleine L'Engle's YA Fiction books
4. Christy
5. all the Curious Georges
6. The Green Mile
7. Cheesy chick lit. Pink covers. Mindless fluff. I love it - I can usually finish a book in one class.

F. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would if I had time)
[I'm not much of a theatrite at *all* so excuse my poor list] [And is 'theatrite' even a word??]

1. Empire Records
2. The Breakfast Club
3. How High
4. Dazed and Confused
5. 8 Mile [Eminem is so freakin sexy]
6. Gone in 60 Seconds [only cuz Kris watches it *every* time it's on TV, though]
7. Mr. Deeds

G. Seven people I want to join in, too.

Uhh, I'm bowing out of this tag since I think I'm late on the meme bandwagon. If you haven't done it yet, consider yourself tagged.

Remember only 5 days left til my contest ends!!


Only 5.5 days left until my contest ends!! Don't miss out - my prizes will be really good! LOL, I still haven't decided exactly what they will be; it's very hard to pick beforehand because I'd pick something different for everyone who has left a comment so far. I was considering a credit at Knitpicks, but unfortunately, their gift certificate process isn't very streamlined. So, the hunt continues - any suggestions?? What would *you* really like to win if you win? [Don't forget, if you haven't commented already, go now!!]

Okay - enough plugging!! I only have a second more before Kris and I go grab a late lunch. He was lucky enough to get out early, especially considering he's working tomorrow, his day off!

I've not made any real progress on any of the projects I listed before, 'cept for the "shawl" made out of Fino that turned into a scarf. :) In the swatching process I found a stitch pattern I really liked, but didn't want to tweak it to do a shawl - oh well. I really love the way it's turning out so far; this is good because since the yarn was a Christmas present from my parents, the scarf has to be for *me.* I'm thinking about doing some experimenting when I get down a bit farther in length, so we'll see how that turns out. I have this vision in my head - just have to see if I can make it with my hook!!

And oh yeah - I did find a pattern for Lauren's fulled slippers - I'm going to use the felted slipper pattern that was Free Pattern of the Day yesterday. They're from an old Crochet! magazine if you missed it; if you really want it I could give you the issue info. They're all adorned with ribbons which I personally find hideous... but, the basic slipper pattern is something I think my sister would enjoy: hip and dorky at the same time. The pattern a day business is a cool idea... Now I just have to keep remembering to check it everyday!!

I finally placed my first order with Knitpicks - I got some Shadow merino laceweight in Sunset, and some Shimmer alpaca/silk laceweight in Happy Dance, as well as a hank of worsted Dye Your Own. For me. I also got some yarn for Kathy, my partner in the Winter Wool Swap at Crochetville. [Still no button - damn!!] She'll be getting 2 hanks of Dye Your Own, and four balls of Palette, in different colors. I didn't want to get *all* her yarn from Knitpicks, so I spent less than half the requirement there and will do the rest in real life at one of my LYS's. I have the spinning class next weekend and plan to have her package finished up by then. [ETA: while going back to clean up and add links, I noticed they've up their prices on the Dye Your Own!! It doesn't show on this page but it does here. Hmmm?]

Finally, thank you to Kimberly for the great package I received today!! It was full of yummy goodies, like *lots* of tea, some Belgian chocolate, a leaflet with doily patterns [perfect for my budding thread interest!! Good looking out!!], a cute little butterfly pin, and so pretty red and white stitch markers. I love it all, thanks so much for elfing me, Kimberly!!

Okay, *now* I'm going to eat!! Hugs!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ahem, ahem...

The blog turns ONE YEAR OLD today!!

I could get so mushy and sentimental - recount the memories of the past year and higlight key moments - or tell you all how glad I am to have made your friendships and have you in my life - or set lofty goals for the coming year.

But I won't... Because I know all that blogiversaries are really good for are the contests.

So, here it is:

All I want from you is a comment. If you're a regular reader or a once in a whiler, I want to hear from you. Just tell me you want to win my contest, I don't care. I'll leave it open for one whole week... You have until the end of Tuesday, next week, to be included in the drawing. Then, I'll draw names for the winners... I'm pretty sure I will do two prizes. I'll announce the prizes, and their winners, at the same time next week.

Thanks for playing, and reading, and everything.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Slumpitty-Ump-Bump Slump

A computer slump, that is. I've had lots of things I keep thinking of to blog... photos to share - but everytime I get some minutes at the computer I am thwarted from posting. It's upsetting to me that even the mildest posts over at Crochetville are getting turned into stupid controversies... Like people just want to be muckrakers. It's bound to happen with all the growth, but I can't help thinking how much nicer it felt to be hanging out there this time last year. Whatever - I have to admit that I'm still drawn to those threads like soap operas or something. It's like my drama crack or something, LOL... Sometimes I so badly just want to ask people what the fuck they are thinking sometimes??

Anyways, I'm here and I didn't come here just to bitch... Sorry 'bout that. :)

I've been trying, like everyone else I'm sure, to get my life back in order after the holidays. I've had lots of time off and lots of hours to work... make any sense, lol? I've just had to work looooong shifts, that I'm not used to, so I get home wiped. Then, my days off lately have co-ordinated with Kris's, but that just means a lot of time spent with home and not necessarily being productive. I'm getting the finances back in order... I think I might even have enough to make a splurge order at Knitpicks this weeks, and get started on buying some yarn for the wool swap. [Which reminds me, I still don't have a button up for that yet.]

I've got like 6 crochet projects going, and just can't seem to get one of them finished up!! Actually, that's not quite true - I finished a ruffley scarf for my aunt last night during a movie - but still, the point is valid:

- I have my afghan, which has been ongoing for about oh, 2 months now? It's 36-40" now, and I need to buy more yarn soon. I like working on that and I like everything about how it's coming out.

- Also I'm working on a pair of handwarmers which I started after Christmas... Need them for work. Got 1 and 1/2 done, but can't get the second to look like the first, since I didn't use a pattern. Think those will get frogged and re-done with a pattern, but not right away probably.

- Then there's some green Lamb's Pride I bought that was supposed to be a pair of fulled slippers for Lauren for Christmas. Again, no pattern so really no direction - I have one sole that I will more than likely frog. I'd like to get one of the Fibertrends patterns, [this or this] but don't have the funds right this second so it'll wait a bit longer.

- A shawl that I'm only in the swatching stages of right now. It'll be using that burgundy Fino yarn by Alpacas with a Twist. It's gorgeous stuff. I'm still trying to find a stitch combo that is exactly what I want, though.

Okay - so that's only four - but there's also a couple back-burner projects; I haven't picked those up in weeks, though!!

Today I haven't done much crocheting, but I did frog a nice lavendar colored acrylic/cotton blend sweater I picked up at Salvation Army on Friday. The yarn feels like Cotton Ease - it's nice stuff. Frogged nicely too, so I didn't get any little pieces. I'd say I got over a pound's worth of that yarn, along with slightly less than a pound of some wine colored rayon/cotton blend from another sweater. All in all, it cost me $9, and maybe two hours frogging - well worth it I'd say. :) Here's the finished products:

I've also done a little bit of Kool Aid dyeing tonight, but all that's drying right now. Hopefully I'll get pics up soon, but in case I don't, here's a little sneak peak of some roving that Deneen sent, that I dyed with various shades of green, plus some blue.

I hope everyone is doing well, and has a wonderful 2006... Keep an eye out for my blogiversary contest, which is due the 3rd but which may come later cuz I'm pretty sure I start classes that day. [I think I should know that by now, lol!]