Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Tale of the Super Secret Project

     I have been working on a super secret project, for my future daughter-in-law, to give to her at her bridal shower. It has been quite a journey! I found a pattern that I wanted to make, and found what I thought was the perfect yarn. 

    So I started crocheting. After a while, I realized I should probably check with her about the color of her wedding dress. The yarn I had chosen was WHITE white with silver sparklies, and I didn't know if her dress was WHITE white or one of the many other options that are now available. 

    It's a good thing I checked. Her dress is ivory. Back to shopping for more yarn. With help from a knitting bestie, she found and I ordered an Ivory yarn with much subtler sparklies. Again, I started work. I like it, but it's still not quite what I had in mind. The end result is too heavy, and I want light and airy. I've decided to finish it, it could come in handy as a gift someday. 

    Once again, I am yarn shopping. I was looking at LYS really expensive super shiny, beaded and sparkly yarns. To get the yardage I need would cost more than $150. So it really wasn't an option. Then I came across what turned out to be the perfect yarn. I bought enough for my project, and once again started crocheting. 

    This time the problem I had was with the teeny tiny hook. First of all, I am most comfortable with great big size N hooks. I am currently using a size E hook. That's 10mm versus 3.5mm. The hook I had was a Boye. The heads on those are rounded and I was having trouble keeping the yarn on the hook during the many many chain 5s in the pattern. I decided to try using a hook from Susan Bates, as the heads on those hooks aren't as round, and they have a nice deep notch that should hold the yarn in place during those pesky chain 5s. The only problem is that I don't own one in size E. 

    Off I go on a playdate yesterday with my knitting bestie. Once again she saves my butt. I was able to purchase the hook I was after. Once I got home, I was able to crochet much faster with the new hook! The yarn stayed on the hook. It still came off occasionally, but about 10X less than with the old hook.  

    I am very happy with the results of the newest yarn and new hook. The only problem is that the final yarn is not sparklie at all. I think I can live with that. 

    There are no photos, as after my laptop crashed and was fixed, the photo app doesn't work. We still haven't tried to uninstall and reinstall the software for my camera. Another absolutely lovely and totally fracking frustrating thing, is that since the "fix" after the crash, the stupid cursor jumps around all over the place when I am typing.

     It keeps putting words and parts of sentences in the wrong place, and has even highlighted everything I wrote so that when I hit the space bar, IT"S GONE!!! It just did it while I was writing that it does it! 

    That's one reason I am writing about it here, as there is a really great "go back" button and I can bring back what got erased. Facebook doesn't have that feature. 

    I am also not mentioning what the project is because the bride-to-be reads my blog. I want this gift to be a surprise.  So if you know what I'm making, please keep quiet about it! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

an amusing knitting related story

    To begin with, my Hubs had surgery on his hand in December and spent nearly three months home with me recuperating. I was concerned that it would drive me crazy having him home with me. It turned out to be a really wonderful time.

    So, while he was home, he was able to take care of some things. Nothing physical, which really frustrated him, but stuff got done that needed doing. One day, he and our son had to go to the local County Clerks office. As soon as they got their ticket, their number was called. They went up to the indicated window, and the woman behind the counter was occupied counting dollar bills. My Hubs, being essentially evil, began counting, just loud enough that she could hear him. He was trying to mess her up.

    Over her glasses, she shot him an evil look. He laughed and told her that he does that to his wife all the time, when she's trying to count her knitting stitches. The woman was not amused. When she was done with her counting, she looked at Hubs, and told him " You, I will not be dealing with!". Then she turned to our son, and said "What can I do for *you* today?" 

    When Hubs told me that, I laughed! He can be so shameless! But I was grateful for the support of someone who was obviously another crafter. That anonymous woman has my deepest thanks. And I'm sure I have her sympathy! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

a few things that I've been pondering...

    There are some people that I have known over the years, who every fair complected. They have absolutely gorgeous, porcelain skin. Some had red hair, and some were blonde. Really striking young women. At some point they need to get glasses. It happens to the best of us. But can anyone out there tell my why these delicate, beautiful creatures decide they need to get big, heavy BLACK frames?? 

     I find it so confounding, it's like putting on a Batman helmet, or wearing a Lone Ranger mask. These big black frames are all you see when you look at them! I think a pair of small, light, or even rimless frames wouldn't detract from their looks. OK, that rant is over. Thanks for listening. 

    Now onto the big one. A while ago, Hubs and I went vehicle shopping. For me. We were just going to look. (Sure). We started at our local Jeep dealer. I have driven a Wrangler for about 9 years and I love it. We started out looking at the Wranglers, and while Hubs talked to the salesman about what we were looking for, I started circling the Cherokee that was there, right next to the salesman's desk. 

    Long story short, I ended up with a Cherokee Trail Hawk. It has many bells and whistles, but what sold me was the heated steering wheel, and seats. I loves me a warm tushie. Considering that this is my very first brand new vehicle, I think I did OK. 

    In my whole life, at least since I've been old enough to notice, I have not liked white cars. They just didn't appeal to me. And, they didn't appeal to many other people either. White cars were the last to be sold, usually at rock bottom prices. It seems that this has changed in recent years. Since my Cherokee is white, now I'm noticing how many white cars there are on the roads. I think a revolution has quietly begun. I also think that only cool people drive white cars.... Among those, I can name myself, my son Jesse, and my friends Kim and Bonny. And recently my Hubs, who is considering getting a beater car for better gas mileage. The one he's considering happens to be white... 

    So the next time you are out and about, around town, really look at the other cars on the road. I think you'll find that a significant portion will be white. 

   And lastly, I do miss my Wrangler. My left leg is bored now. The new Cherokee is an automatic. What I miss the most is the Wrangler Wave. I posted on facebook recently about that, and someone commented that a Jeep is a Jeep, and I should still wave. The silhouette of a Wrangler is so distinctive that it can be recognized from pretty far away. My Cherokee? Not so much. 

    I've been looking, really looking, in these last eight weeks, and every single car company, from Hyundai, Ford, Chevy, Honda and Kia, all the way up to Cadillac, Mercedes and Audi have vehicles with the same silhouette as the Cherokee. I see a familiar shape coming at me, and by the time I can decide if it's a Jeep or not, it's too late to wave. So I've decided not to try and start the waving thing for Cherokees. 

    I do get to see my old Wrangler, the kid who bought it works at a local pizza joint. When I drive past and see him (the Jeep) in the parking lot, I smile and wave to him. His name was 8. The new one is 9, because he's the 9th car I've ever owned or driven. If I can remember them all....

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Adventure of the New Cats

    We had one cat. We had him for a long time, since he was a tiny little kitten. He was born on April 15, 2001. I named him Ozzy because he was a wild man, running around and talking all the time. I loved him. 

     A few years ago, we made friends with a new co-worker of Hubs', and his now wife. They adopted a couple of cats. Then they discovered Munchkins cats. They now have two of them, a male named Samwise, and a female they named Sookie. They have promised me a kitten. 

     Suddenly everything changed. Mr and Mrs W had to move with very short notice. Kind of. See, we all knew it was coming, just not exactly when. So they started getting rid of things, and trying to find homes for two of their cats. They decided it would be too difficult trying to move with four cats. Jade, a really sweet, super timid cat got adopted, but it didn't work out and the man returned her.   

    Fast forward to this past Saturday. We now have three cats. Yup, we took both of their adoptable cats. We all thought Jade would adjust better if she was with Sissy, since they are close. What Hubs and I were worried about was how Ozzy would take the new additions. We really thought he would be aggressive and nasty to his new sisters. 

    Boy were we surprised. Hubs and I set the girls up in my craft room, with a soft blankets for a bed, and their own litter box. Their former mommy and daddy sent us their food and water dishes, as well as their cat condo to give them something familiar in their new home. 

    After a tearful goodbye to Sissy and Jade, the door to the craft room was closed, and we left the girls alone. We figured Ozzy should have a couple of days at least, to smell them under the door, to get used to their smells. We went in a few times that evening to talk to them so they could get to know us. Sissy was friendly quickly, as she already knew us, especially Hubs. She let us pet her. Jade was much more shy. 

    Sissy wanted out of that room pretty quickly. We opened the door, just a little. She laid there in the open doorway. Ozzy was quite the gentleman. He seemed only curious, not aggressive in any way. Hubs and I were shocked. Sissy hissed and growled at him, yet she allowed him to walk past her into the craft room. Oz looked around for a while, nibbled some of their food, then walked back out. 

    When we went to bed, we closed the door again, to avoid any problems that night. Again, Sissy wasn't having any of it. She banged on the door until Hubs got out of bed and opened it. We shrugged and figured they would work it out themselves. 

   It's now the second full day. Yesterday the girls stayed hidden in their room. But so far today, they are more actively exploring their new house. In fact, I woke up to feeling a cat walking up my bed. I opened my eyes and there I was, almost nose to nose with Jade! I said hi to her, but she ran off. They were both in the den a while ago, Jade used Ozzy's litter box, and Sissy ate some of his food. I guess it's only fair, since he ate her food Saturday. 

    Hubs told me that this morning, when he came out to the living room, there was Jade laying near Ozzy on the carpet. I have high hopes that they will all be close friends very soon. 

    I haven't taken any photos yet. Since my laptop crashed a few weeks ago, the program for my camera disappeared. I just haven't tried it yet. You will have to take my word for how gorgeous these cats are. Sissy is a long hair, and is about 2 and 1/2 years old, born on 7/19/12. Her coloring is hard to describe, she has lots of colors, but in general is dark. I love her face, she's one of those cats that always looks grumpy. Her face is a little flattened. 

     Jade is beautiful as well. I had described her as a grey tiger stripe, but after getting a closer look, she isn't. She is light grey, and has a kind of dark stripe down her back, and dark spots that almost look like leopard spots. Lots of little spots. When she walks, they kind of blend together to look like stripes. If that makes any sense. She has white on her face, her belly, the backs of her back legs as well as her front paws. Her tail is striped. And oh yeah, she was born 12/25/12, so she's almost 2. And she has the sweetest face, with great big eyes.  

    I love knowing the exact dates my cats were born. I will keep you all updated on the progress of the blending of our clowder. 

P.S. Jason and Becky, I think we can cancel my request for a Munchkin kitten. I doubt my darling Hubs would have the patience for a 4th cat, even a Munchkin. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thank You!

   Thanks to all for the uplifting comments on my last post. I shall try to continue my blogging, but it may be hit and miss. 

    After going over-budget on our pool project, which btw I absolutely love, we are facing unforeseen financial issues. Hubs is wishing he could go back in time and say no to the pool. It's time to tighten our belts a bit and see what we can live without. We will be OK, but it's like taking 3 steps backward with every 1 step forward. 

    The good news is I am knitting up a storm, as I mentioned in my last post. Festivus is under control, so we won't have to spend too much for that. The only people I have no idea what to get are my daughter and youngest son. The one who's getting married next October. I even have a gift for his beloved fiance almost done!   

    That's all for now. Again, thanks for your support!  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Time for an Angry Rant / Updates

   Yesterday, when I was on facebook, I clicked on one of those things on the side of the page. It was about celebrities who have ruined their faces with plastic surgery. The first 15 or 20 were indeed horrific. 

    Then this site started showing people like Val Kilmer, who have only aged and gotten heavier. Not a big deal, in fact I thought it was kind of cruel. No one stays looking the same forever. 

    But then I got to a series of three actresses, Natalie Portman, Karen Gillan, and Demi Moore. They all looked beautiful. There was nothing wrong with their faces. And there were no captions underneath those photos either. Then I realized what all three photos had in common. All three actresses had shaved heads. And that pissed me off. A woman has to have long flowing hair to be beautiful?

    And the more I think about it, the more it pisses me off. As a follicaly challenged woman, I totally fail to see how shaving one's head ruins one's face.....

    I was so totally pissed off that if there had been a place to leave a comment, I would have done so. And I never comment on those things. How dare these people? Who are they to say that a woman with no hair is in any way unattractive?? 

    OK, I think my rant is over. If you agree with me, send me some suggestions as to how this can be remedied. I still can't even think straight. 

   In other news, I realize that I haven't posted since mid-August. Things have been going on and I was told I could not share with the whole world. 

    In better news, this year I am on a pretty good pace to have all my holiday gifts knitted or crocheted. I have only three more to even think about. I have no idea what to make for three people. 

    I am currently working on three 10 stitch blankets, one for each of my grandkids. I am becoming totally sick of this blanket. I'm having to force myself to work on them. I decided to work on one through the whole skein of yarn, then work on another one through it's skein. And so on. They are only going to be as big as the yarn I have on hand. If they aren't big enough, oh well. 

   For other people, I have one sweater for my mom, and everyone else is getting scarves, mitts, cowls, and/or hats. Or some combination of these. And as I said, they are almost done! Although there is one hat that I made that I can't find, so I may have to whip another one out. 

    This could very well be my last post. Love to all and thanks for being there and reading along. I am on facebook, and twitter too, @bicraftualme.  

Love, Kim

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Trip Down Memory Lane

    Today I went to the supermarket. Not a large trip, I try to keep my purchases to one bag. We have been out of grated Pecorino Romano cheese for a while now. This is my go-to cheese for everything. I grew up eating it.

   My dad would buy a big hunk of it, and grate it himself. It stinks to high heaven, which is why my brother and I called it Stink Cheese. One of my favorite memories is dad slicing off a slim hunk for me to eat. It was God-awful at first, but your mouth gets used to it. I still love this cheese.

    After my dad passed, I was in our local Grand Union and had picked up a container of grated Romano. As I stood at the Deli counter waiting, I opened the container and sniffed it. It brought back such strong memories, I started to cry. Right there in the store. It's amazing how your sense of smell can bring back memories.

    I use Pecorino Romano quite a bit in my cooking. I put it in soups, in rice pilaf, even in my Spanish rice. I have been known to sprinkle some lightly on my salad.

    If I am repeating myself in subject matter, I apologize. Some things bear repeating. And for me, this is one of them.