Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I cheated.

I snuck my spindle out early. I started playing with her.

Once I started looking at directions and stuff on the 'net, I couldn't help it. So, I got a bit of the roving Deneen shared with me ahwile ago and gave it a go. [Hope you're feeling better, too, Deneen!]

First SpinningI feel like for my first time, I was pretty successful. I mean, what I ended with is definitely yarn. And for being my debut yarn, I'd go so far as to say it's fairly even; it ranges in weight from about a sport to a thicker worsted. Now that I've just tried it out, I feel like it shouldn't be as hard to wait til Christmas and afterwards to really get started.

Natalie's First Homespun!But, this trial run has brought up some questions for me, many dealing with the "twist" of the yarn. On the sites I checked out, they mentioned that a yarn with not enough twist wouldn't ply well and would be weak, which makes sense to me. So, in trying to avoid this, I think I went to the other extreme, and *overspun* my yarn. It was all curled up on itself all over, even when I wrapped it around the spindle shaft. I don't think that that's how I've seen other homespun yarn on still on the spindle look, so I unwrapped it all, then let some of the twist wind out. This is what it looks like now... Are there any spinners out there who could tell me if I'm on the right track??

I'm also wondering how to stop... to get the yarn off the spindle and work with it, and, more importantly right now, be able to set the spindle aside and come back to it later to add more. I guess I'm getting ahead of myself though, since I really am going to try very hard not to fool around any more til the class. I don't want to teach myself the wrong way and then have to break a bad habit, y'know?

Let it snowI've been diligently working on my snowflakes in the meantime. At my last count, I was at 22, although this picture only shows 20 of them. For now, I have given up on 'quality' [not really] and gone with quantity; instead of trying new patterns I've just been making multiples of the small, easy ones so I can get *more* done *quicker.* After the first one, I have the pattern pretty much memorized, which speeds everything along a good deal - even in the evenings when I had been doping myself up with Nyquil I can get one cranked out in 10-15 minutes. I have noticed that as I get more comfortable with the thread and tiny hooks, my tension is getting tighter and tighter. My first flakes were almost exactly the called for size, but the latest have been getting smaller - the last design I did said it would be 2 3/4" and mine came out just under 2"!! I love how the stitches just look so crisp and neat, I can't wait to stiffen them and see 'em finished.

As I suspected I would, I've pretty much let my 'ghan fall to the wayside... I'm right about 50 rows in, and have close to 2' done, but I haven't picked it up in days. I guess cuz it's just for me, and not on a deadline, that I haven't been feeling very pressured to get it done. It's looking great, though... I'm loving the stitch pattern more and more every time I look at it. It's perfect... textured but not too feminine.

And oh yeah! - I ordered another part of my Christmas presents from Amazon the other day. I'm so excited - I got *4* books that I've been waffling over for some time now. It's nice to just have money that I *have* to spend on me, and not worry that it should be paying bills or buying gas or keeping me from being broke for the whole week. I finally got the Harmony guides - both of them. I'm really hoping that at least a fair amount of the content will be new to me, and not what's already in the Bible or the Encyclopedia or various other stitch collections. I also got Hooked on Style, which is a collection of patterns by Paton's. I looked through this book the last time I was at Barnes & Noble, and I really like the majority of the designs in it. Last on my order was The New Crochet, which I haven't yet had a chance to check out but which has a pattern by the awesome Dot Matthews!! I'm hoping that I will be as impressed by this as I was by Cool Crochet, the last pattern book I bought sight unseen.

Update - when I was just at Amazon digging up those links, I checked my order status and the Harmony guides have been delivered! I just snatched them from the sneaky place deliverymen leave our packages [between the front doors that we don't use, LOL!] and am off to devour them before I have to give 'em away to wrapped for XmAs.


Friday, November 25, 2005

The Bloat is Finally Receeding...

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was great! Ours went really well - for the first time ever we ate at my aunt's instead of my grandma's; which means we walked *down* the block instead of crossing it, lol! My mom cooked the turkey for the first time ever this year, too! My grandma still hasn't been feeling 100% lately, so everyone decided it would be good if she just chilled out and had all the cooking/hosting done for her. It went off without a hitch, and we all enjoyed ourselves. It really helped that no one was worrying about Grams giving herself another heart attack!

Now - on to business, LOL! First on the agenda - a big fat thank you to the wonderful Elizabeth of Three Olives and Some Yarn. I found a box full of these goodies from her waiting for me when I woke up yesterday - apparently I'd overlooked it on Wednesday. Waking up to this was definitely the right way to start the day, let me tell ya!! The chenille that she sent are various "liony" colors - all absolutely gorgeous. I plan on making the amigurumi lion with some of it - it will be so soft and cuddly! She also sent along two sensuous skeins of Paton's Carmen - which brings my total to 6 skeins of the Camel color. [Whatever shall I make? A wrap? A throw pillow? Slippers? Ideas, anyone?] And the Sharpies there? There were two boxes, 'cept one didn't make it into the picture. Oops! Thank you Elizabeth!!

My next "item of interest" is the little bit of Christmas shopping I did for myself today. I feel like I've posted this before, but my parents gave up on shopping for me and my sis a few years ago. Instead, now they give us each $200 and let us buy our own presents. Then we have to give them back to be wrapped and saved til Christmas. It works out perfectly for our family, since my parents hate shopping, and this way we get exactly what we want. I got my money this week and have been sitting on it; I don't have any one big ticket item I want, and I want to make sure I don't blow it on a bunch of stupid little shit.

But - today after picking up my paycheck from work, I decided to stop by one of my small LYSs. I'd been in this shop about a year ago, and I thought the owner was a downright bitch so I didn't go back. But, last week in a local paper I saw they were having a 20% off yarn sale today, so I went again anyways.

I'm glad I did, because the store, Ewe-nique Knits, is now under new ownership. It's a mother-daughter duo, who are very sweet and have started a bunch of new classes, including crochet classes. I'm really excited about that, because that makes them the only independant yarn shop around me that is crochet-friendly. While I was perusing their gorgeous selection, I overheard another customer on her cell phone, talking about their learn to spin classes. I decided to ask just for the heck of it, since I've wanted to try spinning for awhile now, but have never even held a real spindle.

Well, the owner lit right up at my interest, and soon she'd brought me into the spinning room, which is an entirely different part of the store. There were tons of gorgeous wheels and handspun yarns on display, and crates waiting to be filled with roving. She even gave me a quick little demo! I was totally sold, and signed up for the class right on the spot! I picked out a smaller sized spindle, which she let me take home right then.

But - the best part is - Jessi is going to take the class with me!! I'm so excited about this Christmas present - a day learning to spin with a fellow fiber-head friend!! Plus, the shop is located right in the downtown of one of the trendiest areas around, so there will be tons of places to shop and stop for lunch. There is no way my parents would have ever gotten me something so cool!!

So, these are the things I left the store with today: my new spindle, the flyer with the class info, and a hank of beautiful beautiful yarn that I got for 20% off. It's called Fino by Alpaca with a Tiwst, and the color is Ruby Slipper. It's so so soft, and there's so much yardage in one hank... I don't know what the heck I will make with it but I couldn't put it down!!

It sucks I can't even *play* with my spindle til Xmas, though. :P I'm already totally anticipating it, and then there's still like 2 *months* until the class! [LOL, I'm so excited, I put in for the time off as soon as I went into work tonight!]

Gonna go chill out for a bit before bed now; hugs!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Snow in the Suburbs!

Lots of snow today!!

Real snow: about two inches right now and still falling! It's been going strong since about 10 this morning and has actually stuck to the roads. Even the big highways are starting to get pretty bad, but they say it will let up soon. It seems like the first snow in Michigan, everyone has to remember how to drive again - I saw so many people almost get wiped out today, and all day long at work our customers were coming in with accident reports. I'm *not* thrilled that now we're to the point again where I have to clean off my car and wet pants hems all the time. :P

And fake snow:Flakes pt. II These are the latest additions to my snowflake collection. I'm really *very* satisfied with the way the medium one turned out - and once they're blocked and starched I think the big one will look quite lovely, too. I just have an affintiy for the little ones - they're so darn *cute* [said in most annoying Old Navy spokeswoman voice]. I want to just make piles and piles of them, but my poor afghan is getting a bit neglected. My goal is to finish off the whole ball of Cebelia before the 1st week of December, so I can send some out with cards and whatnot. Hopefully my blankie will not fall too much to the wayside - and I gotta say, I am appreciating it's simplicity *a lot* right now.

And also - a huge, huge, huge thank you to Deneen for graciously gifting me with a large haul of her most excellent hand crafted soap. After using this stuff, I swear I never want to suffer with a store bought bar *again.* Also, if I was your financial advisor, Deneen, I think I would advise you to stop gifting this stuff and start selling it. I know you've said it takes the fun right out of it, but seriously - it's worth loads.

Now, I'm off to watch some Red Wings [Jessi - fingers crossed with me that they won't be pathetic tonight!! After the scare the other night they could really use a win for morale!] and maybe "help" my mom bake our traditional Thanksgiving goodies. Thanksgiving and Christmad are the only time of the year she makes pumpkin rolls [which I thought were a family exclusive but I just found the exact same recipe by Yahoo'ing it.] Still, I'm posting the recipe because I love my friends in Blogland and this truly is a delicious dessert, so I feel it's good to share it. Instructions, plus my mom's comments, are below, along with a scan of the card my mom received it on when she married my dad. [I think it's from her mom; see the date? 1981!] If I remember I will add a pic of the finished product tomorrow, after it's all iced and yummy looking.

Pumpkin Nut Rolls

Beat 3 eggs at high speed for 5 minutes
Gradually beat in 1 cup white sugar
Add: 2/3 cup pumpkin and 1 tsp. lemon juice
Mix Together: 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. cinnamon,
1 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt.
Fold into pumpkin mixture.
Spread in greased and floured 15 X 10 X 1 jelly roll pan
(recipe says to top with 1 cup finely chopped walnuts ... but we never do cause old people can't do nuts)
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes; watch closely oven times vary. (recipe says 375 but i do it at 350 cause I have these black pans that cook quicker)
Turn out on a towel (I use white hand towels) that have been lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. Starting at narrow end roll towel and cake together, like jelly roll - cool in refrigerator - then unroll and frost with filling and re-roll ...cover loosely with saran wrap and refrigerate til you're ready to cut and serve.
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Beat til smooth. Spread over unrolled cake, re-roll, and chill...delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hugs!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

First Flakes of the Year!!

For sometime now, I have been wanting to try my hand with thread. With Lori's beautiful doilies and Regina's twisted eyeballs, how could I not?? I was just scared of the tiny tiny stitches and superfine hooks - and everytime I'd get up the nerve to "just do it," I'd end up getting halfway to the checkout with my threadie goodness then turning around and running to put it back!!

But then it started to get cold, and I really decided that I'd like to start out with snowflakes... I want to be a super-domestic goddess who sends handcrafted goodness in all her [my mom's...] Christmas cards. Also, with the Holiday Wish List, I think for wishes I am unable to grant, it would be nice to get a card with a snowflake. It's a handmade something that's *not* super-cheesy!!

Soooo, when I went on my craft shopping extravaganza, I broke down and bought some basic thread supplies. I picked up a copy of Leisurs Arts' 99 Snowflakes, along with a size *6* hook and a ball of DMC Cebelia. Last night I got to work right away, and this is what I ended up with:
I apologize for the poor "pic;" I am running out the door *right now* for work but just had to show these lovlies off, so I stuck 'em on my scanner under a folder, LOL!! They're [obviously] not finished or starched yet, but they be lookin like a snowflakes, and I am thrilled!! They're so *fast* to make...

I think this was a good intro to thread!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I Never Thought it Would Happen Again...

But somehow, gas has gotten under $2 a gallon here in metro-Detroit!!! I'm dying because I just filled my tank on $20.

Right in the neighborhood where I live, there are *3* gas stations on the same corner. One is an off name, one is a Citgo, and one is a Sunoco. I generally prefer to use the Sunoco, because it is not only easier to access but just where I have gone forever [and also where my dad goes]. However, the Citgo recently came under new ownership, and to be competitive, they priced their mid-grade at the same as regular. [No catch, as most other gas station around town are selling thier cheap gas for *more*!] So, of course, I switched to Citgo... It took a few weeks, but now Sunoco has caught up, and today I was able to get mid-grade gas at my preferred station for $1.99/gal.

Considering that when I got my car, cheap gas was already regularly $1.50/gal - I am freakin thrilled!!

Now I'm off to maybe work on my afghan, or take a nap.

Or maybe go to JoAnn's and get as much as I can for $10. With coupons and sales I can do pretty good with that, plus I need to return 2 big balls of Sugar n Cream I bought and now have no clue what to do with. I think I'll use it towards Holiday Gift List stuff over at C'Ville... I'm so excited that there are several gifts I can grant this year! I love that I can be generous without going broke... I've already started typing up some favorite recipes, and hope to be able to use coupons to send bigger items, as well. I remember just how *special* it made me feel to receive mail and wonderful gifts from everyone at the 'Ville last yea, after I'd been there only a short time. To think - here is someone who lives hundereds of miles away, and yet thought enough of me to send me something! [And often times was more on target with their presents than my "real life" friends!!] I love that Deneen and Lani and everyone at the 'Ville make it possible for me to do that to someone else!!

Oh man - I was reading Marvie's blog earlier, and was reminded of a link that I have seen over at Elizabeth's and others blogs some time ago: Free Sterling Silver Jewelry. I've never seen a poor review of this place, and have had it up on my screen for the last hour and a half or so... I've already seen some beautiful things - but then I'm thinking that even cuter things could be coming along, so I haven't ordered anything *yet.*

Okay - now I'm gonna run. Hugs!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Book Meme + New Toy

I was perusing the old entries over at Amy's blog, and found this meme that looked like fun. Follows is a list of the 100 most banned and challenged books of the 90's. I've bolded the ones I've read - looks like I need to get my butt to the library!!

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz

2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck [Read this a total of 4 times for school, and hated it every single time]

7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling

8. Forever by Judy Blume

9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger [Again, not a fan]

14. The Giver by Lois Lowry

15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine

17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

19. Sex by Madonna

20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel

21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle [One of my all time favorite authors]

23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard

27. The Witches by Roald Dahl

28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein

29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry

30. The Goats by Brock Cole

32. Blubber by Judy Blume

33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam

35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier

36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry

37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras

41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

42. Beloved by Toni Morrison

43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton [I've read this book dozens and dozens of times.]

44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel

45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard

46. Deenie by Judy Blume

47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden

49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar

50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz

51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure

54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole

55. Cujo by Stephen King

56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell

58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy

59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest

60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras

62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly

64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher

65. Fade by Robert Cormier

66. Guess What? by Mem Fox

67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney

69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

71. Native Son by Richard Wright

72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday

73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen

74. Jack by A.M. Homes

75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya

76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle [As an older child I read this and almost choked laughing. I love the fat little nekkid people!!]

77. Carrie by Stephen King

78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer

80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge

81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein

82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole

83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King

84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez

87. Private Parts by Howard Stern

88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford [I had like all 17 of these.]

89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman

91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher

93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis

94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene

95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy

96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts

98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney

100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Maybe I will request some of these from the library... I had to look for a lot of them on Amazon to jog my memory, and some looked pretty good. But I can't believe I've not read one Stephen King on the list!! I also remember liking some, but not remembering what they were about - Tiger Eyes and Flowers for Algernon being two of those...

On a totally separate note - I remembered one of the things I wanted to blog about previously but had forgotten - a new ebay score!! Look at this cute little thing!! I just adore it - it's so unique! I was *trying* to find a tape measure that looked like a packet of Premium brand Saltines; I saw one at the flea market a few weeks ago for $25 but didn't have the cash. Apparently, the saltines ones were a promo and only available by mail, therefore pretty rare. I fell in love with it, and unfortunately had no luck finding another, but ran across this auction with 19 min left. I decided that the highest I'd go was $20, including shipping, and I won this by $0.50!! It's probably more than I should spend for a tape measure, but oh-well. I *really* wanted it.

Now I'm off to watch hockey and work a bit on my 'ghan. Hugs!!

Friday, November 18, 2005


That's how it's been here the last couple days. We went from *way* warm for this time of year to freezing ass cold. I mean, I've grown up in a place where we always have winters - so I am no pansy when it comes to cold - and I still think it's just bitter out there! Walking from class to the parking garage today, [all of a two and a half minute walk if you get stuck at the light,] I was so cold I felt like I wanted to die. Seriously!!

Ruffley ScarfI am happy, at least, that I'm getting good use of my scarf!! I made this little beauty for myself some time ago, out of the yarn that was supposed to be for the sweater that never happened, LOL! I used about two and a half balls of Paton's Divine in the color Soft Earth for this. I like it alot. It's loosely based on the Interweave Crochet pattern, but really it's so simple I didn't follow the pattern. I believe mine is longer than theirs, and I added an extra row cuz I wanted my ruffles ample. I've been enjoying scarves lately - I also made one out of LB Polarspun for a co-worker's daughter and this one for another co-worker. I really wish I could remember what yarn I mae the pink one from, I think my mom threw out the ball band and I have no *idea* what brand it was, but I want more, LOL!!

My grandma came home from the hospital on Tuesday - she stayed for a week. They did the catheterization to look for blockage, and luckily she had very little. What they did find they said was totally normal for an 85 y.o. heart and wasn't causing any issues with blood flow. They also ran some test to check the arteries in her neck, and she's just fine there, too. They also diagnosed her with AF - aortial fib-something - where one of her four heart chambers beats slower or faster than the rest. Symptoms aren't dangerous and include shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, pressure inchest, etc. The only risk from it is that blood can pool in the one chamber, causing clotting and stroke. So, right now, they have her on a blood thinner, but she will off that in a week or so too. Basically, what they told her is that no one her age should be doing the kind of work-out she did, and she needs to take it easy!! Right now she seems to be listening; we'll see how long that lasts!!

Kris went hunting with my dad eariler in the week, but they're back now. They also went with one of Kris's friends, Ryan, who is hunting newbie, and my Uncle Drago, my dad's brother. I guess Kris saw *13* deer on opening day and didn't shoot a single one. Maybe they were too small, maybe he didn't want to gut them, I don't know - I don't mind, though. My dad tried to shoot one, but he didn't check his gun before he went out, and it turns out his scope was *way* off, so he missed by a mile. Then, when he went to shoot a second time, the clip had fallen out of his gun and he had no bullet in the chamber, LOL! By the time he got loaded up the deer was long gone. Apparently, Ryan did nothing but eat the entire time, and he actually only went out for one hunt! My uncle was the only one with any success... He shot his buck 15 mintues into the opening hunt. It's his second in three years, and he's the only one who has any luck at all for about the last 10, LOL!!

I had a good time while they were gone - I bought some Bernat Super Value to make myself a 'ghan from. As far as I'm concerned, Bernat's is the bets cheap yarn around - it's about 10 times better than RH, and once it's washed it's almost as nice as Simply Soft. I was having one hell of a time trying to find a stitch pattern I liked [without doing one I'd done before]... I'm picky about my 'ghans - I like them nice and thick - but all the stitches I was trying looked awful with color changes. So, I talked my mom into going to JA's with me to check out the pattern books.

But er - my mom hadn't been to JoAnn's since they became more than just a fabric store! So, we had to go up and down *every* aisle... Checking out everything, cuz my mom loves to be crafty just as much as I do. It was actually really nice, even though we spent like 2 hours there. My mom decided she wanted to get back into some sort of craft, so she picked up a little cross stitch kit that she's already nearly finished with. I was really amused that she can't see the stitches without her glasses anymore, LOL, but I'm thrilled that now I will have someone to share my love of JA's with!

Crochet Book HaulHaving my mom along also benefitted me, cuz her checkbook came with too, lol!! I found the book I had originally wanted right away - 101 Stitches for Afghans. I hadn't expected it to be that expensive, though, and even with my 40% coupon it used up all my cash. Which *would* have been fine, had I not spotted the Pooh characters thread book. I've never seen it before, and with the selection at my local craft stores, I doubt I would have ever seen it again. Thankfully, Mom came to the rescue and ended up buying both for me - so when I saw the BH&G Simply Creative Crochet mag at Barnes & Noble the next day, I had enough money to buy it!

From what I've read, alot of people aren't thrilled with the BH&G mag... and personally, I think they could've done with less hat and scarf patterns, too. But, I do have to say I liked it more than most mags I've seen out lately - I like the variety of patterns a lot, and I think the kid's hoodie and hooded blanket are both items I would make. I also think the pink boucle cardigan is very cute, and I'd like to try it in black. Although maybe not something I would wear, the asymmetrical jacket is nice, too. I certainly wouldn't say it's a waste of $6.

'Ghan Progress ISo, now that I've finally picked out a stitch pattern I like, I've got to work a little bit on my 'ghan. Once I got the 101 stitches book, it took me for-e-ver to decide which to use, because I liked so many. [I settled on a sc-hdc-dc shell, JIC anyone wanted to know.] I'm using 8 row stripes, and the stitch is quick and mindless...Stitch Close UpI even got a couple rows done last night while enduring the torture that was the Wings game, without having to go back and frog mistakes. It's about wide enough for a twin bed, and I love the way the colors [deep straw + black] contrast.I'm using a K hook, too, so hopefully it won't take ages.

I know there was a ton more stuff I had to say but I'll be damned if I could remember it... Oh-Well! I'll just go now since Kris is on his way to meet me for lunch anyways. Hugs to all my friends out in Blogland!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


My grandma's doing a little better. They've got her calmed down and on a liquid blood thinner that is supposed to help keep her heart rate in check. After talking it through with everyone, she's realized [hopefully] that right now there's nothing to get stressed about and all she can do is let them help her try to get better.

So, they've gone ahead and planned the catheterization... I'm sure I'm mangling that spelling. What it is is when they put dye into your bloodstream so they can check for blockages in the heart. Hopefully they will be able to see what the problem is, if there is one.

My grandma's actually doing pretty well, considering. Her roommate's pretty grumpy, so she's getting a kick out of whispering all of her shinanigans to us when we come and see her. She said it was cold her first night there, so I brought her up the afghan I made her last fall. Her TV doesn't get the Food Network, and grandma is bummed about there being no Emeril, but she does get Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy so not all is lost. I asked her is I should bring up a word search book and she said "No. Too much thinking," so she's finally taking the everyone's advice to heart and just resting for a little while.

It made her feel a little better that Channel Four, our local NBC affiliate, did a blurb on the 5 o'clock news last night about there being an extraordinarily high amount of people reporting chest pains while out raking leaves. "See?" she says.

And I know after talk of heart attacks, my lil old Grand Am is not a serious ranker, but it made me feel much better to hear that there apparently is no problem. Kris determined that the clutch on the AC compressor is *about* to go, but when he brought it in to fix, it was no longer making the noise and there was nothing to fix. So, I'm good for now... And when it does finally break, I can just drive with my defrost on and it will stop the noise until I can get it fixed. It's like the "duct tape it" fix, LOL!.

I can't been doing much crocheting [read: haven't picked up a hook in days.] I'm confused and disheartened in the shawl. I have been having afghan urges again, but can't afford yarn right now. I want to make those RoxyCraft animals, but haven't gotten around to even starting one of them [even though I got my free Bernat Disco and the color would be *perfect* for my lion's mane.] Maybe I'll work on one tonight while I'm up at the hospital. My feelings are leaning strongly towards the ending of the slump.

Gotta run, gotta shower before I head to class. Hugs!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

In which 'not good' turns to 'bad...'

Well, the test results are in and my Grammy had a mild heart attack. Ugh.

Now they're talking catheterization and angioplasty and all kinds of words we don't want to hear. Grandma is freaking out. ["I should've just died in the ambulance," she says.]

Poo, I say.

'Cept for her heart, she is so healthy... if we can get her to calm down and get thru this she has a good five, maybe even ten years left...

Yuk. :P

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Beautiful Crappy Day

I went outside to warm up my car before work this morning, and was greeted with one of the most awful noises to ever meet my ears. It was this loud, high-pitched *grinding* type clammer that definitely signals something no good. So, I freaked out for a second. Then I called Kris, and frwaked out on him. Then I called my dad, and freaked out on him, and he let me drive his precious Jeep to work. :)

So I get to work - late, of course. My coffee tastes like shit - not enough sugar. I am not off to a good start. I work on shirts and then bagging and am just beginning to work out my icky mood when the phone rings. I hear a page saying it's for me, which strikes me as odd because no one knows my work number...

So I answer the phone, and it's Kris...who for some reason is not calling to tell me about my car. Turns out, my next door neighbor called him to let him know that my mom had to take my grandma to the hospital. Needless to say, I am by now freaking out once again, but Kris didn't know a lot...

My mom called me a little while later on my cell, to let me know that everything's going as well as possible. I guess my grandma was *raking her fucking leaves* when her heart started to race. Why in God's name an 85 year old woman was raking her leaves when her two sons live on the same damn block is totally beyond me. She's totally stubborn like that - she'll sneak around doing her work so no one can do it for her.

But anyways - racing heart. My grams has heart "issues" for awhile. There's not technically anything wrong, per se, but she has high blood pressure and an old heart, along with a *strong* tendency to overreact. Not a great combo... when she feels like there could be slightest thing wrong, instead of being calm and rational she panics, which worsens the situation...

And I feel like this is what probably happened today. She overdid herself on the lawn and then got all worked into an anxiety attack... My mom and sis said her heart was just flying, and they could not get it back down. Last I'd talked to my mom, the docs were giving her some meds to slow her heart rate, they were waiting for her to be admitted.

I know that everything is going to be okay but I am still just very upset over the whole day. To make matters even worse, the bad noise on my car is the AC compressor, a $280 part. FUCK!!! Fuck fuck fuck. It has just been one of those days. My mom says I should wait for Grams to get a room before I go see her, since right now there are like 4 people there with her, but I don't wanna wait.

I think I will go burn one then go buy a large print word-hunt book... My grandma loves those, and I know she will going nuts in the hospital as soon as Emeril is over tonight.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Great Haul!!

so, Kris and my dad and me went to the flea market this morning... And usually the only crochet related things I can find are old doilies... Which are great but nothing that I'd buy, LOL...

But today I was browsing the booths when an old BH&G mag caught my eye. Actually, it turned out to be a dud, but in the same booth I found some other stacks of magazines that turned out to have some good stuff in them!! I got these two vintage crochet publications for a total of five dollars. I wish that I could link to some more info, but I haven't come up with much in my searching.

The first is a magazine type publication by Columbia-Minerva called The Art of Crochet [by Pauline Chatterton]. This is basically a big crochet dictionary. It's got basic/lace/shell/V/cluster/etc. stitches, as well as motifs, edgings and flowers.

It also has few patterns thrown in to help you utilize your crochet skills, as shown in this funky example of a rug. [This was published in 1974, in case you couldn't tell, lol!]

The next book is Crochet Designs From Hungary by Juliana Ray & Madeleine Bokoli. It's a 1973 reprint of the 1959 original. Even though I'm not a particular fan of thread rochet, which is what this book is chock full of, I simply couldn't pass it up.
There's just a *ton* of beautiful motifs in here. I don't know what I'll ever do with them but I felt like I needed to add this to my collection, LOL!!

Hooray for flea markets!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

S-A-T-U-R D-A-Y Hey!!

Hell yes for Saturday nights!

Things are working out better than I could have possibly imagined at this new job - today we got free breakfast from a local restaurant, Original Pancake House. It was yummy. :) The hours are great, and the people are friendly, which is even better.

I haven't been doing a ton of crocheting because I'm not sure about the coveted pattern. It's not very clear and I'm not exactly sure WTF I'm doing! I want this shawl to be finished already but I'm afraid of getting too far along and then realizing I did it wrong. I think I'm working through a "semi slump" right now... I still have the desire to crochet - but I haven't actually been doing much crocheting. [?]

Anyways, I'm going to enjoy a little bit of hockey [and maybe a little of this!] Here's Kris right now, riveted to the TV Arizona can, as Deneen so correctly noticed, LOL!!! [Cotton mouth, anyone?]:
My Cute Honey

JIC you were wondering, that's a Holmstrom jersey, and Holmstrom just scored the first goal of the game!! Which, interestingly enough, was his 100th career goal! That jersey is actually autographed and doesn't get worn ever much; Kris won it in a raffle. [Like we could ever *afford* a piece of memorabilia like that. Ptthhbbp. :P]

Later: Well, the Wings are getting their asses kicked. Disappointing, but not enough so to put a damper on my buzz evening. Seriously though, LOL, what is with all the penalties?? Jessi, I know you are with me on this one...