Monday, November 12, 2007

Yeah, I haven't posted in nearly a month. Other than the OT, I have also been writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. I have to get going, though. I have some more lap blankets to finish, and I need to get started on Christmas/Yule presents.

BUT... Guess who I ran into when I went to a NaNoWriMo meet-up?

It's Lesa, aka MollyKnitsSweaters! Yeah, the picture isn't great. It was taken with my cell phone that doesn't have a zoom feature. Crappy phone!

Anyway, she was at her SnB, knitting away at socks. I was typing away at my zombie novel.
I might join her once November is over.

Oh, and for those who are interested in my zombie novel, you can read it as I write it here.

OK, I need to get going. Later all!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I haven't posted in ages. My cable for my camera is lost. I haven't been crocheting much. And I have been working a gazillion hours. A minimum of 60 hours a week since the beginning of September. As many as 96 hours one week. Great checks. Very little me time. Somehow I have managed to do it without getting seriously ill.

I have been posting to my other blog, but since it is "friends only", you need to have an LJ account and be a friend to read anything.

I have other interesting pictures that I will post as soon as I find the cable. I will show pictures of the lap blankets I have been working on. And maybe I'll actually start and finish another project before too long. The holidays are coming and I think everyone deserves crocheted items. Or donations to the Heifer project made in their name. They have a gift called the Knitting Basket.
It provides a family with four wool-producing animals (sheep, llamas, or alpacas), to allow them to earn an income from the wool. I wonder how many "baskets" could be bought if all the online knitters were to donate a few bucks. Hmmmmm......

OK, I need to hop in the shower and get ready for another shift at work. My head hurts a bit and I really do not want to go, but I told my boss that I would not only work, but I would come in early. I'm such a trooper!

Tomorrow morning, though, I am going out for breakfast with my dad and then we are going to check out the shiny, new Cabela's that opens.... tomorrow! YAY!

Monday, August 13, 2007

New patterns?

So, exactly when does a pattern that you are using become your own? As in, how many changes do you need to make before you can claim that it is your own original pattern? I have modified a few patterns, mostly because I believe that the instructions were wrong.

I found a delightful shawl pattern that I started working on in one of the Jiffy yarns. But, I didn't have as much of the same dye lot as I thought I had, so I put it aside, probably to get frogged at a later date.

I didn't have any more bulky weight yarn, which the pattern called for. But I did have this wonderful "vintage" mohair blend that Greg found at a yard sale a couple of years ago. It's closer to baby weight, so there would obviously be a gauge issue if I decided to use the pattern as written. So, I changed hook size to something smaller, added more stitches, added more rows, and changed some double-crochets into trebles. I'm about half-way done (I will post pics later when I finish), but it's already looking more gauzy and delicate. It still looks like the original, in a way (at least to me), but the gauge is completely different, and the pattern has definitely changed. But is it mine yet?

Whether it is or isn't, I need to get back to work on it. TTFN!

Monday, August 06, 2007


I got my invite to Ravelry. Yippee! This is just what I needed, another time suck. :-P

I didn't make to Lollapalooza on Saturday or Sunday. I was too sick. Still sniffling a bit, but at least I am no longer running a fever. I spent most of the weekend on the couch, watching TV and attempting to crochet. I made a choker that should have taken me an hour at the most but instead took me 3 or 4 hours. I really don't like the way it looks, but I will post it here to get comments from the peanut gallery.

I do have a few photos for you all...

This is a picture of Deb after she was turned into a zombie. Actually, it is Deb and Julie on the losing side of a Kubb game. I'm not exactly sure why she looks like that.

And this is Deb making the campfire go "whoooooosh". I don't know why I seem to have so many pics of Deb. Maybe I'm subconsciously trying to steal her from Suzanne.

This year, at Lollapalooza, there was a big push to make the festival as green as possible. There was recycling, and biodegradable cups and TP, low-emission lighting rigs, and even solar panels:

She was sparkly. That's the worst part of missing Lolla... missing all the people watching.

I did get to see one band that completely rocked. At least in my opinion. I captured one of their songs on my camera. The sound sucks and the video isn't that great either. I'm still learning.

OK... I have some stuff I need to do that doesn't involve a computer. I will try to get back and post more camp out photos later. I might even have one or two of Suzanne!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I know, I know

I haven't posted in a while. Had the awesome camping trip with NIPA (and got to see Deb and Suzanne!!!!!), then had to read HP&tDH, then had to go back to work. Damn work.

I am supposed to be going to Lollapalooza this weekend. I am volunteering, so I get into the concert for free. Yay me! Right now, however, I am developing a cold. I thought it was just my allergies, but I took my meds, and took some extra, and now it feels like a cold. Grrrr..... I am going to spend the day taking cold meds and doing as little as humanly possible. I really don't want to cancel this weekend.

I have been crocheting, I've made quite a few wash cloths and I am working on a Goddess tote done in filet crochet. It's about half done. I will take pics as soon as I am finished with it. I will be selling my cool stuff at Pagan Pride Day, so come on out if you are in the area.

OK, I need some more drugs and some sleep. I will post pics later. I promise!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Going camping

Leaving for the annual camping trip in an hour or so. Going to see Deb and Suz. Going to renew vows with the hubby. Yippee! Gotta go!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Angels and organization

Taking a short break from a massive cleaning/organizing blitz. I have filled 3 12-gallon bins and 8 rather large drawers of 3 storage organizers. With yarn. The bins are filled with acrylic (and there is still more to organize!). I haven't separated them into colors or types. They are my lap-blanket and oh-my-god-the-baby-shower-is-this-weekend-and-I-completely-forgot-better-whip-up-a-
generic-baby-blanket yarns. I have had a couple of large donations. Most notably, 5 trash bags filled of yarn that a coworker gave me after sorting through his mother's house before they sold it. Some of it was pretty nice. A lot of it was hideous. A lot of it was thread. Size 10. Filled up all three drawers of one of those organizers. Anyone out there make doilies? And really like white or ecru?

I have put some of it to use. I made this little angel for my godfather's mother:

My mother and Greg were incredibly impressed that I made this with my own two hands. I don't think it's that spectacular, but they liked it a lot. You'd think that everything I ever did before was crap the way they kept carrying on. :-)

I'm also working on a filet crochet altar cloth. I've come up with a pattern for the phases of the moon Goddess symbol, which I am going to repeat around the edges, with the outstretched-arms Goddess symbol in the center. Like the one from the tarot bag. I really want to play and experiment on it NOW, but I have more important things to work on.

Such as the booth I will be having at Pagan Pride Day. I will be selling some of my handmade goodies there. I know that I will have a plethora of washcloths, and probably some tarot bags. I'm also thinking of making some felted bowls, in elemental colors. They would look cute on an altar. If I still have time after all of that, I will then work on the altar cloth, see how fast I can work that up, and maybe make one or two of those. They would cost far more than some of the other stuff I make. This designing your own patterns thing, then having stuff that needs blocking, is hard work. :-)

OK, I need to get back to cleaning. I can't stay up too late. Have to go to work tomorrow. I haven't been there since Tuesday, I'm sure they all miss me. Of course, I'm only working 2 days, then taking another week off to go camping! Yay, camping!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A tarot bag

While at work yesterday, I created this little Tarot card bag:

I designed all of it myself, not liking the patterns I saw online for Tarot bags. It was my first attempt, and I figured out all the stuff that I wanted to change about it as I was working on it. I could have frogged it when I was a bit over half-way through, but it seemed like an awful lot of work for me.

It was made using A-MAIZing corn fiber yarn. Used most of the skein of green, not too much of the white. I like this yarn, but I think it would be more useful in knit patterns. It's light-weight, but works up almost like worsted-weight yarn. It would drape lovely in a knit pattern. Not so much for crochet. (Almost sounds like I know what I'm talking about, eh?)

I'm gifting this bag to Kris. I plan to make more using the same pattern, may try other designs such as Celtic knotwork or a pentacle. I finished it rather quickly (maybe 6 hours total, probably less). I think the next one will be made from cotton, or maybe wool.

Tomorrow is Greg's and my anniversary. 10 years! Woot. Unfortunately, it looks like we might spend it at the hospital with my dad. Yippee.

I need to take a bath and get out of this house for a bit. It was supposedly a beautiful day (wasn't it, Weather Avatar ------->), but I spent it sleeping off the effects of a 36-hour shift. 'Sokay, though. I don't have to go back until Monday. Then, I work Monday and Wednesday and don't go back for a week! 'Cuz I will be CAMPING! With NIPA. And Deb and Suz are coming home to camp with us!!!!! YAY!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Staying up late....

...finishing this:

It's a tote bag made from the tape from a VHS cassette. Pretty nifty way of recycling the tapes that we have replaced with DVDs, huh? I still need to work out the strap so it's more secured... I sort of did a Frankenstein on it. Here's the pattern I used on it (I used an N-hook):

Chain 30
Round 1: HDC in second chain from hook and in chain across (front loops only). DO NOT TURN.
HDC in free loops along other side of chain. Join to beginning HDC with slip-stitch.
Round 2: Chain 2. HDC in each HDC around. Join with slip stitch.
Repeat until bag measures about 11 inches or so (however big you want the bag).
On next round, HDC in next 27 HDCs (to opposite end of the bag). Chain 40 (or length you want the strap). Join with DC to HDC just before start of new round. Slip stitch into HDC just before that. HDC across chain. Join with DC to bag in HDC next to chain. HDC around remainder of bag. Join with slip stitch to strap. Fasten off.

OK. So this is the first pattern that I have written out. I'm not even sure if I can understand what it says. Like I said, I need to work on the strap. I tacked it on a bit better after I did what I wrote above, it seemed a little flimsy. I want to use this as a grocery bag, so it needs to be sturdier.

If I ever do the Etsy thing, I might include these. They don't take much time (I finished it in one evening after taking it apart multiple times and taking many breaks). And they really don't cost me much except for my time. The tapes were going to get tossed anyway. I'll work on the pattern a bit more before I would actually sell them, though.

Gots to get some sleep now, though. Way past my bedtime! 'Night!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

still alive...

Once again, I'm sorry I haven't posted much recently. My dad spent the last week in the hospital, going in the day after we got back from camping. He was in for a couple of days before the trip as well. So, I've spent most of my time at work, comping, or at the hospital for the last 2 weeks. Not nearly as fun as it sounds...

Speaking of fun, camping was not very much fun. I really do not like spending that much time with my brother and SIL. I love the kids, but I don't feel that it is my responsibility to keep them in line when their parents are around. I also do not like to clean up after anyone other than myself (and occasionally Greg). And my brother's family is lazy. Plus, it stormed on the last night we were there. So, the next day we wasted no time in packing up and getting out. I felt kind of bad, because my brother was hoping to spend more quality time with us, but my dad was sick, and everything was wet, so we wanted to get out of there.

I didn't get to do any real hiking. I'm not sure I would have been able to manage anyway. I tried taking my dad's dog on one short trail, but she doesn't do stairs. Then I tried to take my niece and oldest nephew, but my niece had to pee after we made it down the 40 or so steps and insisted that we had to go back to the campsite. I didn't bother trying any more. My knees were starting to hurt anyway.

I did get some lovely pictures, though.

This is a view from trail 7 at about 6 am on Midsummer morning. Pretty place, no?

These are some strange mushrooms found on the same trail, about 5 minutes before Krystal decided that she didn't like stairs.

And this is a snail found while taking Krystal for another walk.

I think nature photography is going to be my new hobby. I REALLY love my new camera!

Finally, here is the whole group of us at the end of the trip:

From left to right (for those who don't know the people involved):
Top: Greg, my brother James, my dad, baby Brendan (the youngest nephew), and my SIL Jen.
Bottom: Me, my niece Korrine (aka Lupa), and my nephew Alexzander.

Krystal was sleeping in the car.

In crocheting news... not a whole lot going on. Working on a lap blanket. Got some organic cotton yarn for dishcloths, bath supplies, etc. I'm also jazzing up some flip flops for friends and family. Once I have something interesting to post, I will take some pics of everything.

Not much else to post right now. I have a ton of housework to do. I'm thinking of skipping it and mowing the lawn, though. It is a gorgeous day outside, and I want to have an excuse for being out there that doesn't make me look like a slacker. TTFN!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I knew I had forgotten something...

Actually, I hadn't forgotten about this blog, I've just been busy, and my internet has been acting up. But, I have a new camera, and I finally got around to installing the software, so..... NEW PICS! Yippee!

First, I got my gifts from my secret pal. I still haven't had a chance to go to her blog and check her out more, but I was very happy! I got some Maggie's Linen that I have coveted for about a year or so. I have no idea what I want to make with it, I just love the stuff. It's soft and texture-y and absolutely scrumptious. See for yourself:

And she also made me this awesome doily:

I love the colors. It's like some mod, paisley, hippy doily. It is SOOOO me.

She also sent some awesome sandalwood soap. I luvs sandalwood. AND... a tub of Cosmic Catnip, my kitties favorite. I was wondering why they were crowding around me when I was opening the package. I gave them all some, watched them roll around in it, then I placed the tub (with the lid on) on the couch while I went to get something. I came back to find Zorro carrying the tub in his mouth (by the lip of the lid), trying to figure out how to open it. Happy kitties everywhere!

I am late sending my pal's package out. I was supposed to send it out last week, but I didn't get the chance. I am sending her this lacy shawl pattern, enough of this yarn to finish it (I hope!):

And I also sent some of this fluffiness:

The colors don't show up that well. They are muted pastels. My brain isn't functioning properly, or I would be able to tell you what it's made of. It's soft and fluffy. Mohair? Angora? I can't remember. I know it's a blend, and it has the dreaded acrylic in it, but it was so touchable and soft, I had to get it.

A number of things have been taking up my time lately. My mother's birthday was at the beginning of the month. I bought her a red hat and took her out to lunch and then we went to a swap meet. Here she is in her hat:

And here is my dad in her hat:

We have been working on the house, bit by bit. Put in a closet organizer in the master bedroom and we bought some new bedroom furniture. KING-SIZED BED! WOOT! The new furniture takes up most the room, but it is so worth it. I will try to get some photos soon.

And speaking of the house, last week we had this little guy:

pecking at our windows. Every morning for nearly a week. It drove the cats crazy. And he would peck even more if he saw the cats in the windows. Must have a nest nearby and felt he was protecting it.

OK. I need some sleep. We are leaving for our first camping trip of the year on Wednesday, and I have a gazillion things to do tomorrow. We want to be able to leave as soon as we get off work Tuesday morning, so the van needs to be packed tomorrow. And I have my book club (and I need to finish the book!), so it's going to be a long, long day!


Monday, May 28, 2007


My SP10 hostess has asked us to post about our oldest WIPs. She also mentioned taking pictures of the blasted things, but I am refusing to take any pics until the new camera comes in. Which is supposed to be Thursday. This old one just pisses me off anymore, and I can't take it. Especially after using my mother's for a couple of days. The color difference is unbelievable.

I might relent and post some pics on Wednesday if the weather is nice and I have time.

I'm not sure what my oldest WIP is. When does it officially stop being a work-in-progress and become a UFO? Is there a certain amount of time when you realize that you will NEVER even attempt to finish said project?

I would have to guess that my oldest WIP is a baby blanket that I started for my niece's baby. I started it sometime early last fall. The baby is 5 months old now. I might go back to finishing it. It was the sock monkey blanket from the Happy Hooker book. Unfortunately, the yarns I got weren't exactly right, and I didn't actually read the directions, and I never could get the hang of making the monkey heads.

I also have the blasted tote that will someday be finished, felting and all. I used the wrong yarn on one of the stripes of the bag, so I had to take out another 10 rows to fix it. And now, I'm not exactly sure which hook I used. I really need to get a small notebook for my bag so I can keep track of my projects, the types of yarn and the size hook. Maybe I could use that lovely little book that Noodle Girl gave me. I could even put swatches in it. OK... I could barely type the word swatch without busting out in laughter. As if I would ever swatch! Where's the fun in that? It's almost unsportsmanlike!

SP10 will be drawing to a close soon. I need to get the last-minute goodies I want to send my pal... I was thinking of ordering some yarn online, but I think I might just go to my LYS and get her a skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn. It is so soft and comes in lovely colors. Hmmmm...

Alrighty... off to bed. Later, peeps!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Outdoors pics

Sorry if these take a while to load. I thought the bigger pics would be better for detail.

I took these with my mother's camera, which happens to be the same kind of camera that Suz has. I liked it so much, I bought one off of Ebay. I can't wait for it to get here. Finally, clear pics!

So, this is my rhododendron. The thing is frickin' huge. The top branches reach the bottom of my roof. And it really is hideous, except for one glorious week in spring! Actually, it's been in bloom for about 2 1/2 weeks, which more than makes up for the other 50 weeks of weird-looking-plantiness.

And here is one of my mystery flowers. Almost looks like some sort of lily, but it's on a woody, trunk-like stem. It's a perennial, and it has been cut back a few times. I don't know what it is or how big it could get. Anyone have some ideas? I'm really new to this gardening/landscaping thing.

Another mystery plant. I actually think I used to know the name of this when my mother worked for a florist, but I don't know it anymore. It's some sort of succulent. And for the life of me I can't remember if it ever flowers or not. It almost reminds me of those horrid hens and chicks plants that I despise. They might actually be related.

Hopefully I will get my new camera soon. My peonies are ready to bloom and I want to get pics before they go away for the summer. I also have a rose bush that I need to plant, might do that today.

In hooking news, I'm working on my first doily. Not exactly sure why I decided to make one. I had a pattern, I had the thread, I had the hooks. I want to be able to make lacier things eventually, and figured a doily would be a nice place to start. I finished most of last night. I'm hoping it won't look as wonky once it's finished and blocked. I think I might give it to my SP10 recipient. She collects lacy things and apparently has a small doily collection. I wanted to send her socks, but there's only a month left, and I won't get them made in time, and Greg won't make them for me.

Later, gators!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SP10 contest

My hostess has a contest going on where we are supposed to post about where we knit/crochet. I was going to put all sorts of pretty pictures, but I borrowed my mother's camera to "test drive" it, then realized I have no way of getting those pictures from the camera to my computer. My mother did not include the cable when she loaned me the camera. I'm not sure she even knows that there is a cable. Hi, Mom! (in case she is reading this!).

So, here is the post without pictures. Most of the time, I crochet (and once in a while, knit... the same scarf I am practicing on) on a couch in front of the TV. Either at home or at work. If I am at home, I also have an 8 pound ball of fluff sitting on my knee. Morganna likes to keep my right knee warm while I crochet. Occasionally, she'll help keep the yarn properly tangled.

When I have the time, I pop in a TV series that I never had a chance to watch when it actually aired, and I will crochet through a season of TV shows. Or, I watch whatever movie that "accidentally" wound up in my Netflix queue. Not sure how Katherine Hepburn films end up in the mailbox. Greg is threatening to sue. :-)

Not terribly exciting. Not very original. I crochet while I watch TV. But there is more...

A number of us bring our knitting/crocheting to church. It was quite the scandal at the beginning, so we asked the minister if he minded (since, really, he is the only who should be able to see us). He said he would rather see us knit than sleep during his sermons. It helps that many of us are making lap blankets for nursing home residents, or mittens/scarves/hats for the Christmastime mitten tree. So, it's charity, at church. And it keeps our hands busy so we can actually pay attention to what is going on.

AND... I often keep small projects in my purse, like dishcloths and baby booties. At least, when I don't have a book to read or I am going to be spending time with someone who will be interrupting my reading.

OK, that's it. I need to go and take up my spot on the couch. Greg bought me seasons 1 and 2 of Red Dwarf for my birthday!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I posted about this on my other blog, but I know that some people don't read that one, so I'll post about it here.

I've been doing a lot of yard work lately. OK, I only watched as my tree was cut down, but it seemed like a tough job. And I put a pond in Monday. It's only a 30-gallon pond, but it quite a bit of time to work on it. I had to remove about 50 daffodils, move about 20 or so rocks, tear up a bunch of creeping Charlie and dandelions, dig a hole, and plant a bunch of flowers. I am still sore. I still have some dirt under my nails (I refuse to wear gardening gloves, I love digging in the dirt and actually feeling it in my hands. Have I mentioned that I am an earth sign?)

And here is what it looks like:

I really need to get a new camera that will take better pics. It was also dusk when I took the picture, and the house was between me and the setting sun. I chose rocks to put around it that had interesting shapes so they would form some fun little hiding places for the wild critters that hang out in my yard. The large rock in the back is going to be an altar/place-to-leave-offerings. I still need to put in a border and maybe some mulch.

I have so much work left to do on the yard, front and back. It is my goal to have flowers from early spring to late fall. Right now, I have the daffodils, day lilies, tulips, a rhododendron, a star magnolia, an apple tree, hostas, peonies, salvia, I think some kind of delphinium, and a bunch of other things that I don't know the name of. Maybe I'll take pictures of the stuff I can't identify and post them here. Maybe someone out in the ether can help me!

OK, that's all for now. I will be posting again later this week. I need to get some pictures for the new contest my SP10 hostessing is having.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I hate titles

I can only rarely think of an appropriate title for posts. And my brain isn't really working properly today.

I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy with work and a little bit of social life. I'm still a bit sick. My sinuses are protesting the weather change. It's now moved down in my lungs.

On top of it all, I've been scrambling to get enough continuing education hours to keep my critical care certification. I just realized today that I probably have more than enough, I just wasn't figuring some hours that I thought didn't count.

I went up to Chicago on Saturday. The overall details are posted on my other blog. I was exhausted, happy, and sore. I also got to touch some very soft wool yarn, some alpaca yarn, and some fluffy, unspun angora. The owner of the farm/retreat/yarn-heaven was spinning on a small wheel. I would have liked to get a real demonstration, but it was crowded and she was busy with other people. I did get a very nice card to send to my secret pal. I'm going to send it out tomorrow along with the stitch markers I have made.

I'm still working on the tote-from-hell. I've also made a couple more dishcloths. And I'm planning on some patterns for totes. And I have a very special idea for a crocheted bag. I'll reveal more when I have a chance to figure out how to work it.

OK, I need to pay bills. And I have a meeting for the Witches' Ball tonight.

I leave you all with this:

You scored as Traveling Matt Fraggle. You left everything you knew in Fraggle Rock to begin the exploration of the last great frontier of Fraggledom รข€“ Outer Space. You send postcards back to your nephew in the Rock from time to time to impart your wisdom to him in hopes that the brave service to all Fragglekind will be beneficial to those who need it. You're not sure that you want to come back home because the world of the Silly Creatures is very interesting, but your homesickness shows through in almost every postcard you write.

Boober Fraggle


Traveling Matt Fraggle


Red Fraggle


Gobo Fraggle


Wembley Fraggle






Madame Trash Heap


Mokey Fraggle


Junior Gorg


Which Fraggle Rock character are you?
created with

Friday, April 13, 2007

A little help, please

Maybe some of you who read my blog can give me a hand. I'm working on those totally awesome washcloths that I want to sell on Etsy. I have 5. I'm waiting until I have 10 cloths and maybe 3 or 4 bags before setting up shop.

Here's where I need the help. I have no idea how much to charge for any of this. I have looked for similar items on Etsy, and the prices are kind of all over the place. Anywhere from $3-$7 for the cloths. I can't remember what I saw for the bags. A couple of the bags were made from recycled grocery bags, but nothing was made of organic or recycled yarns.

The recycled yarn (recycled from the textile industry) that I bought costs me $8 for a 100 gram skein. I made three dishcloths out of it, and had a little yarn left (not enough for I full dishcloth, though). Playing with my patterns, I probably could get 4 cloths out of it, though. The organic yarn cost $8 for 50 grams. I have found a different (and cheaper) supplier for it, though. I still have not worked on reclaiming my own yarn from thrift shop sweaters, so I don't know the cost ratio for that, yet.

I don't want to overprice anything so that people won't want to buy them, but I also don't want to under-price and lose money. I am also very aware that people are sometimes less likely to buy a cheaper item, believing (at least subconsciously) that it has less overall value.

So, that is my conundrum. Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Got an really big envelope in the mail yesterday! Filled with cool stuff from my Secret Pal Luckdragon Smee. Luckdragon is a kitty who is taking care of the Secret Pal 10 stuff because her (I think it's a her) meowmie is an awfully busy woman!

So, what did I get? Bumper stickers!!! And we all know how much I love bumper stickers. I don't believe that you should see any metal on the back of a vehicle.

Here are the stickers I now have:

And I got a very cute card:

Made me giggle. Thank you, Luckdragon Smee. And thank your meowmie for going and buying the stuff.

I've made a couple more dishcloths. These were made from recycled cotton from Earth Friendly Yarns:

The Granny Square one is a little smaller than the ones I normally make. I am very happy with the waffle-stitch one, though. It worked up pretty quickly once I got the hang of it. And it's very soft and squishy. I have enough yarn to make one more dishcloth out of this skein, and I can probably make another 2 out of the organic cotton that I bought.

I've also bought some sweaters made of cotton yarn at the dollar store. I'm going to try and frog them and see if I can reuse the yarn. I'll let you all know how it works out.

OK, I have housework to do and I need to go grocery shopping. Later, everyone!

Monday, April 09, 2007

More ways to support my habit

It's bad enough that the SP10 blog lists all sorts of yarn-pushers, but I have to stumble upon them on my own as well. I'm in love with an online store. OK, I'm in love with their prices. We'll see how much I love their yarn.

I am probably going to buy some lace-weight yarn for my pal, and possibly a pattern for her as well. I have to wait until payday before I make any big decisions.

Also, I now have internet access at work. So, all of you bloggers have to post more often. I have 24 hours to fill. :-) I guess I could fill that time crocheting or learning more about the knitting process. Especially since the wifi runs like dial-up on my computer.

OK, I'm still feeling like crap. I really think it's this weather. I'm going to take a nap. Later!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Feeling a little better

Not a whole lot, though. Still have an ear infection. My doctor prescribed another course of antibiotics for it. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It is my theory that if one course of strong antibiotics doesn't kill something, it's probably not bacterial. I think I'm going to go to an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist. I have now been sick for 10 days.

I haven't taken the pictures that I have promised. Maybe I'll take them tomorrow. I have some new yarn that I got from Earth-Friendly yarns. Yummy yarn. Actually, not terribly yummy. At least, Greg says it's not. And he actually tasted it. I don't know why. He's like that sometimes.

I also made a very cute little dishcloth while at work yesterday. I'm trying some different patterns for my Etsy idea. I really like it. Here's what it looks like in my scanner:

It's kind of on the big size, but that's how I like my dishcloths. I really like the way the colors pooled in the center. I want to do some light blocking on it to even it out, but otherwise I am pretty darned pleased.

I'm supposed to be posting pics of my favorite FO for a little contest by my SP10 hostess. I can't decide what to post. I have finished a couple of pieces that were a little more complicated than I thought they would be, and I was always so happy that I was able to figure it out. I have to say, given my habit of starting a gazillion projects (and then putting them away to be lost in the Nevernever), I am extremely happy with anything that I actually finish! :-)

If I absolutely had to pick just one, though, it would have to be this:

Isn't she gorgeous? Those who know me, or who have been around my blog for a while, will recognize my niece, affectionately referred to as Lupa. I made this sweater for her at the end of last year, and she looks adorable in it (IMNSHO). I was not only proud of myself for actually finishing the it, but managing to finish it with the screwed up instructions I had for the pattern. It was one of those cheap magazine-like booklets you find by the checkout at the grocery store. The sweaters looked cute, claimed to be simple, and the patterns were chock-full of errors. By the time I got around to finish it, I was sort of making it up as I went along. Quite an achievement for me. I like directions. Nice, simple, step-by-step directions. I did not have that with this sweater. But it was worth it. She refused to take it off all day. We nearly pulled it off so she wouldn't get it dirty during dinner, but she immediately put it back on once she was done. :-)

Okey-dokey. I am a very tired hooker, and must be off to bed! ;-) Sweet dreams everyone!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

An idea...

I'm thinking of making my own Etsy shop. Not because I'm a joiner and everyone else seems to have one. Well, not only. :-)

There are all sorts of knitters and crocheters on there that make dishcloths and totes. I wouldn't want to be just another one of dozens. Mine would have a different angle. I would make them from organic and recycled fibers. Market them as eco-friendly. Try to sell them to the hippy-Pagan population.

This is actually something that I care deeply about. I make my own dishcloths and I have a few grocery bags that I have made. I think I might even try to make some with some Pagan and hippy symbols incorporated. Maybe a pentacle potholder. Grocery bag with a peace symbol. OK, now I'm getting complicated and ahead of myself.

I'm still sick. It's the hubby's birthday. I feel bad because I don't want to do anything more involved than sit on the couch. I'm actually getting tired from sitting here at the computer. I think I'm going to go take a bath, see if I feel any better. If not, I'll stay home and feel like crap. If I do, maybe I could at least get the energy to go out for lunch with Greg.


Saturday, March 31, 2007

A quick note...

... on my way to bed.

Haven't worked on anything. A few rows on the tote-from-hell. Won't be done by Greg's birthday, which is tomorrow.

I have a severe ear infection. I feel like crap, and need to get some sleep. I will have some exciting pictures this week, though. I hope.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Knitting Witch

It's rare when two of my favorite obsessions come together. For a brief moment, I can see the hidden patterns in the world. Everything makes sense, and suddenly I'm not as freaky as I previously believed.

OK, that's actually a little too deep for what I'm posting. Two Lumps (see side bar) has a rather amusing strip today. Check it out here!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Drop-Spindle Woes

I have a drop-spindle. It was an anniversary present nearly 2 years ago. From time to time I take it out and see if I can figure the blasted thing out. I can't. I am usually able to figure things out simply by reading the directions, but for some reason I can't master the art of spinning. All I get is a length of twisted fiber that in no way resembles yarn. Especially after it untwists itself.

I was looking for a good video of it, and I could only find someone using a bottom whorl spindle. Mine, of course, is a top whorl. So it doesn't quite look the same.

Kris's mother has offered to show me how to use it. I just need to call her up and figure out when the hell I have time to go out to Crown Point and have her show me. There really ought to be more hours in the day or days in the week. I'd only find a way to fill those with nonsense as well.

OK, I need to watch some TV and maybe work a bit on the blasted tote. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yeah... it's PICTURES!

Just what you all have been waiting for: PICTURES! There's a bunch, so make a pot of coffee while you have the time!

Back so soon? OK, here we go:

Here is the Kitty Hat that the delightful Suzanne made just for me!

Ignore the dishes in the background. :-) The picture isn't the best quality because I had to use my cell phone to get it. It's the only way I could get a pic of myself. I love the hat, though. It almost makes me a little sad that winter is on its way out. Almost.

And here is the famous Jayne Cobb hat! Just like the one from Firefly!

I'm modeling it because Greg is sleeping. That's why it looks a little big. It fits him perfectly.

And here is a little bit of what I have been up to:

This is a cell phone cozy that I made for one of my coworkers. It is hideous. This picture was also taken with a cell phone, so the colors aren't that great. The true color is this terrible pink with sparkly yarn. The color of a Tab can. I made this up as I went along. Has a belt loop. Needs a bigger button on the front.

For some reason it is a hit among a couple of my coworkers. It started with a cell phone "sock" I made for one of my partners. Then Stacey (the one modeling the snazzier version above) wanted one. She has lost or broken 3 $200+ cell phones in the last year. Her fiance asked if I could make something that would keep her from losing this one. So I came up with the Phone Cozy 2.0. Now the partner who got the sock wants a new one. Thankfully, they are easy to make and the yarn was free!

And here is my knitting progress:

It's going to be a scarf. A rather wiggly scarf. Greg keeps trying to make me feel better and tell me that it's pretty strait for a first time knitter. It's all knit... garter stitch. Just trying to practice, get the hang of this knitting thing.

Here is the yarn I bought for my Secret Pal spoilee:

It's a homespun, hand-dyed yarn I got on Etsy. My spoilee says she likes flame colors. This yarn reminds me of the campfires we have at the annual NIPA campout. Especially after we toss a "firestick" or two in.

I also sent her some Bert's Bees hand lotion and some Lindor Chocolate Truffles.

K.C. doesn't get her picture in here very often... for good reason. She doesn't like having her picture taken. See how she is trying to destroy my camera with her laser-beam death-ray eyes?

She doesn't want me embarassing her by making jokes about how fat cats do not belong in small shoe boxes. She loves to squeeze herself into the box and sleep there.

And here is Zorro, showing the world the cuteness of a fat cat belly.

He is trying to mimic his daddy, being lazy, lounging on the couch. I think he has the remote hidden under one of the cushions.

OK, that's all I have. I was going to take a picture of the demon-tote-WIP, but there's not much more to report. I've started working on it again, but I haven't gotten too far. I'm going to try to get a bunch done on it this weekend.
G'nite, everyone!

A New Look

I've made a few changes and additions to my Pagan Hooker blog. What do you all think? I'm still looking for a way to make or add WIP progress bars to the side, but I can't figure out how or where to find them.

I'm going to try to add some pictures later today. But I need to get some food first and maybe a nap. Later!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

SP10 blog post contest

As some of you may have guessed, I am participating in SP10. My wonderful hostess Robyn has worked her butt off getting matches made and the super-duper humongous participant list together. And now she has made a little request of her participants. In order to make sure we post about yarn-related topics and get our 4 posts a month, she has asked us to post about our favorite knitting accessory. There is a prize for a random blogger who complies with her request. Since Robyn is working so hard, I feel that this is the least that I can do!

Since I have only been knitting for a couple of weeks, I can't say there is anything I really like associated with knitting. I do like my bamboo needles. They make a cool clicking noise when I knit.

But, so far, the best investment I have made is my yarn tote. I bought it on sale at Joann's, and have endure much teasing as I drag it behind me into work, but I absolutely love it. It has enough space in it to fit a ton of yarn (at least 2 projects worth), a spot for all my hooks and needles. Little pockets to hold stitch markers and sewing needles and measuring tape. Plus I usually have enough room for a couple of pattern books and a movie or two to pop in the DVD player at work so I can watch something while I crochet. Heaven forbid I actually work while I am getting paid! :-) The wheeled tote is a million times better than the plethora of WIP totes I have lying all over the place!

It is late and I must sleep. Come back Thursday evening. I am hoping to have a much more exciting post! If I don't, I'll at least have a very good excuse!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Hat Day!

I really need to get the whole photo thing working on this darned computer. I have so many photos to share and no way to post them here. Grrrr...

Sunday, I met with a couple of friends in our own version of a Stitch and Bitch. Not an officially sanctioned meeting, just a few of us getting together for coffee and kvetching and working with yarn. It was fun. Time flew by faster than I could imagine. Unfortunately, the knitting I was doing did not fly so well. In the two and a half hours, I maybe was able to complete 10 rows, which added up to a couple of inches. If I was crocheting, this scarf thing would be done. It's just 30 stitches across on size 10 needles (I think), worked in garter stitch. I might finish it before I die.

I received a present from Suz in the mail. She made a Jayne Cobb hat for my hubby, which I knew about. The big surprise was the lovely kitty hat she made for me! Thank you so much. I will wear it this weekend when our glorious spring weather turns back to winter for a few days. I promise... there will be pictures.... eventually!

OK, going out to dinner soon with my family. I will post more later!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

I had so much fun with Secret Pal 9, I decided to do it again. So... here's this round's questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like natural fibers (don't we all) with a special love for alpaca. I like to look at novelty yarns, but they are such a pain in the arse to work with.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have this yarn tote that I take to work. My New Year's Resolution was to organize all my supplies. I have the tools, just haven't gotten around to actually doing it.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been crocheting for over 6 years. I taught myself from a book, although I recently learned I've been doing everything wrong. :-P I would consider myself an intermediate crocheter.

I have been knitting for about 20 hours at the time of this post. :-)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, I finally broke down and made a wish list at Amazon. There's a button over on the right side of this blog.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I love sandalwood. I also like light floral scents and citrus scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have a major sweet tooth. I love chocolate, in nearly every form.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I want to learn to spin. I have a drop spindle. I want to learn to weave. But, I do not do any other crafts. I'm actually very untalented.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like all types of music. I really love small indie bands. My favorite bands are the Beatles and Aqualung. I also listen to classical, opera, trance/electronica, bluegrass.... umm, everything. My computer and my stereo both play mp3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love color in general. My favorite color is pink, in every gaudy shade it can come in. I also like green, blue, black, and white. There really isn't a color that I don't like. I don't wear or use yellow or orange much, but I still like them.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm married. My husband is an occasional knitter. We have three cats, and are thinking very hard about adding a kid to the mix.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

This winter I have come to love crocheting hats. It's quick, small enough to keep in my purse, and everyone seems to love homemade hats.

13. What are you knitting right now?

I'm working on the Goddess-forsaken-tote-bag-from-Hades for my hubby. I also have to make another skully potholder for a friend. And I am working on an afghan for my dad, and somewhere I have a sweater that I started for one of my nephews. Ummm... not much.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I don't have a preference for needles yet, although I am teaching myself on bamboo. I use aluminum hooks to crochet, I don't care much for plastic (except when I am using the jumbo Q and S hooks!). I want to get more bamboo hooks. I only have a bamboo G hook, whick I received from my SP9 pal!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I wish....

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Well, I've been crocheting for over 6 years, so... ummm... 6 years?

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Halloween/Samhain. And Festivus. :-)

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Children's books. Actually, books in general. Mirrors in interesting frames. Dust bunnies. My clothes collect cat fur.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I would like Stitch and Bitch Nation (might as well complete the set!). I love all yarn, so it's hard to say that I would like a specific type. I would like to try some of the soy yarn. I am looking for a crocheted pattern for a christening gown that would allow me to incorporate various symbols into the skirt portion. I think that I'm going to have to design my own, though.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?


22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Nope, but my husband is. Well, he's made one pair of socks. I would like to learn as soon as I figure out this knitting thing in general. I wear a size 9 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?

May 11th!

I can't wait to start! I can't wait to get my match! I already have some wonderful ideas for gifts!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Adventures in Knitting

So, as part of my break from the now-hated zombie tote, I decided to try the knitting thing. I am mostly teaching myself drom the SNB book, with some "helpful hints" from Greg. I prefer to try a gazillion times and fail before asking for help. He wants to share his knowledge with the world. Can you tell which of us was a science major and which was a secondary education major? LOL

I already know two things. One... I am pretty sure that I like crocheting more. Two... I'm a "left-handed" knitter. I think that the reason I knit "left-handed", or Continental, is because I crochet. I tried the other method that involves holding the yarn in your right hand and all that jazz. I ended up with a tangle of yarn that wouldn't stay on the needle or worked hard to be a knot (would that be a-frayed-knot? Sorry...).

Holding the yarn and the needle with the yarn on it with my left hand and moving the empty needle with my right hand is closer to crochet. It feels more natural, and I might even be able to produce something that looks knitted.

So far, I suck. I know how to cast on. My tension isn't so great, and the yarn keeps falling off the needles. And I cast on too tightly, but I knew I would do that. I have a tendency to chain too tightly as well. Right now, I am casting on using two needles and removing one when I am ready to practice.

I'm not sure this knitting thing will ever replace my love for crochet. After over 6 years, my favorite part now is being able to watch TV while I crochet, not having to pay too much attention to what my hands are doing. Unless it's a fricking tote bag for Greg... grrrrrr....

ETA: Purling sucks... and my hand is crampy.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Sad, Sad Day

I should be sleeping right now. I'm pretty tired and have to work in the morning (and I worked some OT today). But I have some terrible news to share.

I've been working on this tote for Greg for some time now. Actually, it feels as if I have been working on this tote my entire life. And right now is the boring part. Jsut rows and rows of half-double crochet stitches... mainly in black.

Well, the first thing to disappoint me was that I ran out of black yarn. I thought I would have enough, but I didn't. So, I went and bought some more, but since I bought the original so many months ago, the new skeins are a different dye lot. And you can tell. I'm hoping after I felt it it won't be too noticeable.

Then, I noticed that the bag was starting to look a little wonky. It didn't match up, one side seemed shorter than the other. Now, I am making the front, bottom, and back in one piece. I'm using the same hook, and mostly the same tension. The back cannot be shorter than the front, right? Wrong. Apparently, I have dropped a few stitches. How many, you may be wondering. Ten. Yup... somehow I managed to lose ten stitches somewhere in the last 100 or so rows. I can't even figure out where I lost them. So I frogged about 10 inches of my work, regained 2 stitches, and have decided that I am just going to add the stitches back in over the next few rows. Again, I am hoping when it is all stitched up and felted, you won't be able to notice. Grrrr.... I am so aggravated.

I think I might work on something else tomorrow. This would break my vow to finish this before working on anything else, but I am so pissed... I need a little instant gratification.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Just because I am obsessed and want others to join the obsession:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Blessing gown ideas

I have an idea for the baby blessing gown, and I would like some feedback from those who know more about pattern-making than I do.

I'm thinking of making a onesie, and then making a detachable filet skirt. Both would be made out of cotton (8? 10?), probably in green. I'm pretty sure that I can make a trapezoid-shaped skirt that I could attach to the onesie with small buttons. Near the edge, I would incorporate a pattern created from a series of runes that Kris made out for me. In the rest of the skirt, I can insert pentacles, crosses, or moon symbols.

Then, after the blessing itself, the not-very-practical skirt can be removed for whatever festivities follow. Whether we conceive or adopt, we plan on having a rather ceremonious baby blessing/naming.

It seems that I am more concerned with the end-results of expanding the family, rather than the matter of how we are planning on doing it. But, I believe in sympathetic magic and magical thinking. Work the magic and get in the mindset that what you wish will happen. I am taking care of the mundane aspects. Seeing my doctor and enlisting his advice, putting money into the savings account, working on a functional budget, trying to get our house in order. But, I need to do the spiritual, religious stuff as well. And this gown is part of that.

OK... I need to do some other crochet stuff. I'm STILL working on that frickin' tote for Greg. My newest goal is to have it done for his birthday!

Friday, February 23, 2007

A tad distracted

I keep meaning to update you all on my crocheting adventures, but I've been a little scatter-brained. My dad's most recent doctor's appointment shows that the cancer might be growing again. The mass in his lung looks like it might have grown (or it may be scar tissue) and he has smaller "nodules" throughout the same lung.

So he's back on chemo, and the doctors say that it's mainly to maintain his quality of life. Radiation and surgery are not options. When the chemo starts to make him too sick, he'll come off. If it starts to grow again, he might not go back on.

I had to go today to plan for his cremation. He and my mother are not married, so I am his next of kin. He can't afford the funeral expenses, so I told him that Greg and I would handle it. Since he lost his job, he has lost his benefits and his life insurance.

I'm going to try to start posting more regularly. I'm still looking for a good "Christening" gown pattern that is appropriate for a boy or girl and can be adapted to incorporate a few symbols of both Greg's and my faith. If anyone has some ideas, please let me know!

I need to get going, have to work the back half of a shift tonight. Too tired... grrrr...

Monday, February 12, 2007

I guess I lied a bit...

Apparently, I won't be off-line for too long. In fact, I am on right now. And not on the Goddess-forsaken laptop which I loathe. Greg put the computer back together with its old part while we wait to find out what is wrong with the new parts. I don't have all my programs on here, and don't feel like putting them all back if I'm going to have to do it again in a week or so. So... no pics for a while.

Which is a shame, because I got my final package from my secret pal... who is still a secret! But, she sent me some very nice Ostara-colored yarn, some good-smelly body scrub and mask, and a sachet that smells like vanilla. And an awesome crochet hook. It's a wooden one with a lathe-turned handle. Very, very pretty. Will get pics as soon as I can.

My postman is going to have a rough week. I have ordered many things online over the last week or so, and all of it should come this week. I've got my order from Eddie Bauer today (a jacket for Greg and a sweater and cardigan for me). I'm expecting some books from Amazon, tickets to a concert (my Valentine present to Greg), and some oils from Magickal Realism (everyone should go there and order stuff. It is smelly and good! And natural. And made by Kris's sister!) Actually, the oils will probably come in a week or so.

For now, I must go and cook dinner and do some cleaning I promised myself I would do today. Grr... hate cleaning. Hat, hate, hate!

Later, all!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

And the winner is...

ME! Yeah! I won the chili cook-off! I get my name on the Chili Cook-Off plaque in our parish hall. Mine was the spiciest chili there. I didn't think it was that hot, but apparently it more so than the others. Of course, voting is done by placing money in the jar of the chili you like, and cheating is encouraged. So I put $20 in mine. ;-)

I'm still working on remembering what I put in it, so I can put it online. So, until then... keep warm!

Friday, February 09, 2007

No innerwebz for me

My husband broke our computer. He claims he was "upgrading", but the result is no computer. We have a laptop, but it doesn't seem to like being hooked up to the cable modem, so I am limited to internet acccess. Right now, I am sitting in Panera Bread, using their free online. After paying what I did for the soup, sandwich, and mocha... I'm not sure how "free" it is.

So, I won't be getting on very much until the home computer is fixed. T his is very difficult for me. I am usually online nearly every day, even if it's just for a minute or two to check my mail. I have 2 blogs that I post fairly frequently to, and 4 email accounts. Plus, tons of friends that don't live close enough for me to see on a regular basis. How else am I supposed to see how they are doing?

In other news, my package arrived in Germany. My pal seems pretty happy with the gifts. Her kitties seem very, very happy with the toys. I signed up for SP10. I'm hoping to actually knit something for my next pal. We will see.

Also, I got my new washer and dryer today. It's not the Kenmore. It's a really nice Maytag set. And I had to get white. Because they had the floor models for a couple of hundred bucks cheaper and could deliver today. Which meant one less trip to the laundromat for me. But I'm ectstatic. There is supposed to be drumming tonight, but I might just stay home and do laundry.

Finally, I am entering our church's chili cook-off (which is Sunday, for those who are close enough to stop by). I've already made the chili, and the hubby says it's the best I've ever made. Just hot enough to be spicy, enough flavor to be yummy. I have a tad more tinkering to do with it (I think it needs more meat, hubby says he thinks it needs more tomatoes), but I am letting it sit in the fridge for a couple of days to make it taste better. I will be posting the recipe (as soon as I remember all of it) later on, whether I win or not. I'm calling it Brigid's Sacred Imbolc Chili. I figure, it's red,(an Imbolc color) it's hot (and Brigid was the keeper of the sacred flame, if I remember correctly, as well as patron of smithies), the ingredients I have put into it are in threes (including red, white, and black beans), and it will be served with sour cream (dairy for Imbolc). And it has Guinness in it. Which is Irish.

So, wish me tons of luck at the cook-off. It's not a fair competition, and there is lots of cheating... but, it's fun nonetheless.

Take care, all. See ya when I see ya!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Not safe for work!

Yeah! The Anticraft has updated! WOOT! And, as usual, there are very cool, but strange things to make. Like this! I might make one. I might make many and give them as gifts. Hehehe...

Actually, it could be useful for my altar on Beltaine. LOL....

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I'm a little worried that my secret pal has forgotten about me. I was late responding to a couple of emails she sent me last month. I did respond eventually, and I haven't heard from her at all since the beginning of January.

So... Secret Pal: If you are out there and trying to contact me via email, please comment on my blog. I'll try to figure out if there's something wrong with the email.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Yeah!!! A humongous post filled with lots and lots of pictures. For my deprived friends who are still suffering from dial-up, my condolences. Go fix yourself a cup of tea, bake some cookies, take a nap. I'll still be here. Probably still loading.

Back? OK... now on with the post.

I finally got around to getting batteries in my camera. I also finally got around to having some time off work. Both of these events occurred AT THE SAME TIME!!! I've been working mucho overtime, and haven't been getting much sleep the days that I work. It's been nuts. I have had to come home and sleep for about 4-6 hours every morning that I have come home. Hence, nothing gets done around here.

Why have I been working such crazy hours? Well, we are short-staffed. And, my dryer died. Not broken. Broken can be fixed. Technically, so could my dryer, but the guy from the appliance-fixing place says it won't do any good. It's 40-years-old and the motor is gone. So, we are taking the buy-out from the home-warranty (a measly $120). We are going to buy a new dryer. And hopefully a new washer. Might as well be a matched set. This is the one that I want. In red. Maybe blue. This is what gets me through the long hours at work. This is what keeps me awake at 4 in the morning while driving back from Chicago. I'm pathetic.

OK, so on to the more interesting stuff. You didn't wait all this time for these pictures to load so I could talk about how much I want a new washer, right? Right! (NOTE: I was going to divide this into a couple of separate posts so you aren't stuck reading for ages on end. But who knows when I will have the time or the inclination to actually get all this blogging done. So, you're stuck with the whole kit and caboodle... it's at the end.)

So, for Christmas/Yule, my parents got me a gift card for JoAnn's. I think I was supposed to use it to buy the swift that I have been wanting for oh-so-very-long. However, there are a lot of things in this world that I want, especially when I have a gift card and a 50%-off-one-item coupon. I did not get the swift. Instead I got these:

Yes, those are knitting needles. Clover bamboo needles in a variety of sizes. I figured they would be good to learn on. And if I don't like knitting, I'm pretty sure that Greg will be more than happy to take them off my hands. He was practically drooling over them. Not the ugly tapestry holder they came in. Definitely need to replace that. Got any ideas, Ms. Molly? :-)

I also bought a pattern for a Christening gown that I am going to look at modifying. Unfortunately, they did not put the pattern in any sort of graphic form, so I don't know how to change the filet crochet bits from hearts and roses to pentacles and runes. But it looks fairly straitforward, so it gives me something to start with.

And, I got an S hook. "S" is for speedy! :-) This thing is frickin' huge. I have absolutely no idea what I am going to make with it, but I had to have it anyway. Apparently, I can make a scarf in an hour with this thing. How cool is that? Never have to worry about last-minute gifts again!

Speaking of gifts... I have pictures of many of the presents that I made during my "down-time" at the end of last year. The first picture is stuff I made for Kris and Kid. The Pixie slippers I made by modifying this pattern. I'm not happy with the bells. I tried a gazillion times to get them in the center of the toe. But, for some reason, they didn't want to be there. The scarf came from my most favoritest crochet book. I used some of the alpaca I got from my SP9 pal. It was very soft and cuddly. I almost didn't want to give it away. I have enought left over to make another scarf, though. :-)

This is DEB! Half of Deb-and-Suzanne. She's the half that isn't addicted to yarn. And she is wearing the now-infamous cammo-hat. I think she looks adorable... kind of like she's hunting stuffed bunnies. What a sport!

Here is one potholder I have made for my friend Jen. Notice that you cannot click on her name. This is because she doesn't blog. She doesn't even have inner-webz. She is living in the dark ages. But she will be so very fashionable and hip if I ever get around to making the second potholder and gifting it to her.

And these are generic hats and a scarf I have made for my brother and sister-in-law. One of these days I will get around to making the scarf for my brother. I have too many other things to worry about right now. Of course, I could use my new S-hook and have one done in an hour...hmmmm....

Next, we have Morganna modeling a shawl I made for my mother. She recently went on a cruise and wanted me to make her a shawl that she could wear with a black dress. Well, the pattern that she picked was a pain-in-the-arse, and I had way too much trouble with it. Instead, she got a very larg half-granny-square made from the recycled sari yarn I bought on Ebay ages ago. See! I'm using some of this stash that I thought I would never use!

Now we have come to the stuff I am sending to my secret pal in Germany. Because of my end-of-the-year drama, I didn't get a package sent to her in December. So, I am sending oodles of stuff out tomorrow. The picture shows the Pixie slippers I made her, along with 3 little cat toys (with catnip inside!) I made for her kitties.

The cat toys were a challenge. Not only did I have to figure out the pattern for a ball on my own, but I had to keep them away from my beasts. The first one that I made disappeared from my yarn tote in the middle of the night. I have since seen it in odd places, like under the bed, in-between couch cushions, near the food bowl. I figure they deserve to get the first toy their meowmie makes.

Here's most of the rest of the goodies (I'm also baking some homemade corn meal cookies):

The jar-thing that looks like a sugar server is a soy candle that smells like cinnamon buns... or some such baked good. In all honesty, all candles that smell like cookies or cakes or what-have-you smell the same to me. They smell like sugar, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. Every one of them.

Here's a close-up of the yarn that's heading to Germany:

The pink Cherry Hill sock yarn is so soft and silky. Makes me wish I was making socks! The red, white, and bluse yarn is self-striping sock yarn that Greg had used to make me socks. I figured it would be something different that she wouldn't get in Germany. And it makes very pretty sock, too. See for yourself:

Those are the socks that Greg made for me for Yule. They are great. Warm and colorful, and I got so many compliments from people who saw them. Not bad for his first pair of sock, no?

And here is the last yarn-related picture, my yarn-tote WIP:

It looks huge, but it's going to be felted, so it will shrink. Hopefully. I have just a couple more rows of the heart left, then it's pretty much half-double crochets. 30 more for the front. I'm thinking maybe 5-8 for the bottom. Then a gazillion for the back. I'm making pocketed sides for holding needles and assorted tools. And a couple of straps. I might finish it before the end of February. My goal is Valentine's Day. I think it would be a nice gift... you know, with the heart and everything.

And because he insisted:

This is Zorro cuddling with his pretend girlfriend. It's a microfiber stuffed kitty that vibrates. My mother bought it for me thinking I could use it on my lower back. Zorro confiscated it.

I actually do have another cat. KC just never holds still long enough to have her picture taken. So Morganna and Zorro get all the online love.

And finally... for the couple of you out there who don't know what I look like... or those of you who have never seen me dressed up:

Occasionally, I do get out of jeans and t-shirts and spend the few minutes to do my make-up. This is me at my company's holiday party. Many people didn't recognize me out of my sexy uniform. I even had a few people tell me I looked cute. I was cheesing most of the night from it!

OK... all done. get up, move around. Get some circulation flowing back into your ass. I'll try to get some more posted early next week. I'm not sure what I will post, but I'm sure it will be interesting!