Sunday, September 30, 2012

The results are in

    I took measurements of the blanket before I washed it, for reference. I really wasn't sure if it would shrink, and if so, by how much. It has now been laundered, and post wash measurements taken.

   Before wash, it was 42 inches long, and 30 inches wide. Afterwards, it was 40 inches long and 29.75 inches wide. So it lost two whole inches in length, and only 1/4 inch of width. Which is still a good size!

    Now I get to take a break, for as long as I can stand not to be doing something with my hands. Which might be a couple of days, or even less. I was working on another blanket, of the same pattern, when I decided to start the last one. I guess now I will have to start on that one again.

    Here is a photo of the bottom edge, so you can see it close up.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Count, Count, Frog, Repeat

    In this blanket I'm currently working on, every 4 - 6 rows I need to count stitches to make sure I still have 151. Basically, every time I start a single crochet section. As I was working on it yesterday at Stitch n Bitch, I got to a counting row. I decided to stop, since I felt it would be rude to stop being social long enough to count 151 stitches as I do them.

     Later in the day, after Hubs left for work, I picked it up again. I'm getting close to the end, and I'm getting anxious to finish. I start counting as I crochet.... and at the end I have 148. Not 151. I screwed up somewhere. I do another row and count again. It's still 148. I count again, the row I just did, the number doesn't change. Crap.

    I decide to check the V stitch section to see if I can spot the mistake. I go back and forth all four rows, more than once. It all looked fine to me. I decide to count the stitches of the last row of single crochet, before the V stitch section I had just finished. Whew. That took a while to figure out how to say. But there were 151 stitches.

    Finally, I find the mistake. I had to frog the two rows of sc, and the row before them, of V stitch, and maybe two V stitches in the row before that.  I missed the second leg of a V stitch near the end of the row. I fix it, and quickly catch back up to where I was.

    I am currently working on the last V stitch lace section, then comes the pink border. After that I will carefully count the stitches as I sc across the top of the blanket. I will do four rows, the same as the sides. Hopefully I will remember how many stitches I make across the top, and can repeat it across the bottom. Then I can launder it, and it will be done! TAH-DAH!

    Since I wrote the above, I have been working feverishly all morning, and am currently doing the second short end. Two more rows of that, and I will be done!  Well, after I sew in the last few ends, anyway. I think I like it. Tonight I will take some photos, and wash it, then report tomorrow on how it turned out.


    This morning after I got up, I was hanging out with Hubs until he went to bed. I realized that I didn't feel all that terrific. I was going to Stitch n Bitch no matter what, it was just my plans for after that were going to be affected.

    I had decided that since I didn't have to babysit today, I would take the opportunity to go to the craft store and see if they had restocked their cotton. After that, I thought I might try and find some new fleece sheets. But since I wasn't feeling great, I waffled about the sheet shopping. I was just going to go check on the yarn and then come home. Possibly even go back to bed.

    While at Stitch n Bitch, I felt decidedly better, so I waffled again. The sheet shopping was back on! I got to the craft store, and waffled again. Then I un-waffled. I figured since I was so close to Kohl's I would check there for the sheets. They wouldn't cost as much there as at Bed, Bath and Beyond... WRONG. On sale they were still over $80.

    So I did exactly as originally planned, with the waffling thrown in for free. By the way, the craft store had restocked the cotton, and I was able to purchase the last skein needed for the baby blanket. So now I can relax about it. And the new sheets are in the dryer, I will put them on the bed in a little while.

    I did so much waffling today, I'm surprised I'm not dripping in syrup.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Preparing for Stitch n Bitch

    Today, I very nearly finished using all the yarn from conjoined twin #1 on twin #2. I made myself stop crocheting, and I sewed all then ends in. Then I crocheted a little more. I had plenty of time, since my charge napped for three whole hours today.

    I am saving my crocheting for tomorrow's Stitch n Bitch. After which, I will be traveling to a craft store to see if they have restocked my color of cotton yarn. Hopefully, they will have done so, so I can buy one more skein. That's all I need, one more skein.

    Even if that purchase doesn't work out, I will be making a trip to our local Bed, Bath and Beyond store, for king size fleece sheets. It's getting chilly enough at night these days for them. We sleep on flannel the other three seasons. Really. Even in the Summer. I need to buy new ones, because I can't find the bottom sheet from last years set. I have no idea where it is! The pillow cases I have, and the top sheet I have been using all along. But the bottom sheet has disappeared.

    Those of you who are regular readers may remember an early post, about Hubs and myself using separate covers on our bed. It was my defense mechanism against freezing to death. My beloved Hubs was, and still is, if given the opportunity, a terrible covers hog.

    I will keep you updated on the sheets, and the blanket too. Wish me luck at the craft store!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

At Long Last, Photos

    Yesterday, I was able to get the promised photos, while Miss Malia was napping. It turns out that the new blanket is only about 2 inches shorter than the original. But that's OK with me. I do like the new one better.


^ Here they are side by side, new on the left.
^ The tops to show they are even.
     And the bottoms to show the new one is shorter. I have one more promise, there will be no more photos of said blanket until it's finished... I am sure you are all heartily sick of hearing about this one project.                                                                            

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In Which I Gave In

    I gave in and went to Fishkill with Hubs yesterday. It makes him feel better, even though the house is now occupied, he still hates it. Now the downstairs bathroom sink is leaking. He knows how to fix it, but because it's such a tiny sink, he needs to take the whole sink off the wall. Unfortunately, when he put it back in place last time, he made it really, really secure, so it's going to be difficult to take off the wall again.

    We didn't get home until after 8 p.m. and I was really tired, so I didn't get to blog last night. I didn't have that much to say anyway. I am glad I got to see the kitten, Gizmo, since he had just had surgery that morning. He was still groggy and sleepy when we got there. He had gotten neutered.

    I didn't realize it, but that baby is nearly 5 months old. He is still so little. It makes sense now, since I found out that he was the runt of the litter.  So he will never get very big. That's not a bad thing, Ozzy was also a runt.  Big cats are cool, but little ones are better.

    On our way down to Fishkill, we made some stops, and got the air pillows we need to close the pool. So that's on the menu for next weekend.

    I am taking my camera to Miss Malia's today, so hopefully I can get some photos while she naps today.


Sunday, September 23, 2012


    When I woke up this morning, I didn't feel very well. After a cup of coffee, I decided to go back to bed. When I got up again, I felt much better.

    After Hubs got up and had his coffee, he decided it was time to cover the pool. So we started the prep work. He got out the air pillows, and my job was to fill them. They are very expensive, so he wanted to try and use the ones from last year again. It was not to be. We kept finding holes, and patching them, then new holes. Eventually, we realized the one pillow was so brittle, it was springing new holes just from us touching it. Not fun. And being as it was late afternoon on Sunday, every place that sold the things we needed was closed. I barely made it to the hardware store to get a new nozzle for the garden hose. I got there 20 minutes before their closing time.

    So, I came in and took a shower, after putting the pot 'o soup on the stove to reheat. Beef barley soup is good the first night, but even better the second. Hubs mowed some lawn, then went up to his friend Gene's farm.

    Now it's late and the whole darn day is gone. It's time to go to bed soon, my alarm is set for 5:45 a.m. Woot woot.

    Hubs plans on going to the Fishkill house tomorrow, I probably won't be going with him. I got laundry and other stuff to get done. I hope he doesn't get upset with me. I will have to tell him to give our grandkitten a kiss for me.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

No Time For Photos Today

   Well, that, and the weather was wonky all day. So, no photos of the Conjoined Twins, as I have taken to calling them. They are the same, and connected by a single strand of yarn. I just have to hope I don't get them mixed up at some point. Right now, it's easy, the new, smaller one is smaller than the old, bigger one.

    I ran errands today, got Hubs a new package of cigars, checked on his new meds at the pharmacy, and changed the cat box. Time for a party! Then I made plans to go out shopping later in the day with friend Kim and her Cherub.

    After thinking about it, I decided to make dinner before I left, so if Hubs woke up and was hungry, he could eat whenever he wanted. I made a big pot of soup. It was delicious. I make the soup mix from The Awesome Store, here in Hyde Park. Today was the barley, and I added beef. That is one of Hubs' favorite soups.

    So off I went, shopping. The first place we visited was Mother Earth, the natural stuff store, or the Hippie Store, as some call it. I was looking for some body butter. A friend had given me a hemp oil body butter a few years ago, and it's almost gone. I've been searching for it all over. I thought Mother Earth's was a good place to look. They don't carry that line. However, in the store was a table set up, with two young men behind it, with oodles of body butter that their company makes. I talked to them, and ended up purchasing a large tub o' body butter!

     They have all kinds of scents, but I chose Port Royal. It's fruity, and I like it. Of course, Hubs does not like the smell. I quickly treated my hands, elbows and feet after I got home, needing only to use a little off the inside of the lid! This stuff will last quite a long time!

    Then we stopped at Best Buy, then Michaels Craft Store. Lastly, we hit Marhsalls. I was especially looking forward to this stop. I am in the market for new fleece sheets. They usually have superior sets at Marshalls. Today, however, they had none. So I looked around, and found a nice, bright pink purse, but it cost $150 so I put it back.

    I didn't buy anything at Marshalls either. But, while Kim was on line with her purchases, Cherub and I went to the shoe store right next door. I was in desperate need of new slippers. And I was not disappointed. I found some cool, really soft, bootie style slippers. They are black on the outside and super bright pink on the inside. Many thanks to Cherub for helping me find two alike of the same size. They were mixed up in boxes with slippers of another color way.

    All in all, it was a productive day, even if I didn't get to take any photos. Hopefully I can make up for it tomorrow, or even Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

In Which I Get Clever

    This morning, at Stitch n Bitch, I made the decision that the cotton baby blanket was too big. So I stopped working on it. But I didn't really want to frog, and wind by hand, six whole skeins of cotton. So I got a clever idea.

    I decided to start the next blanket with a new pink border, like the old one, and then start the body with the other end of the skein I was using. I would use up the skein, until I was frogging the old blanket, as I worked along, to use on the new blanket. With any kind of luck, I would get to the pink border of the old blanket by the time I was ready for it.

    I started shortly after I got to Miss Malia's house this morning, having stopped at my house to pick up the pink. She was naturally very curious about what I was doing, especially since I prefer to count out loud. It's just easier for me, I tend to not lose count that way.

    So far, it's working very well! I have gotten a lot done, all through one skein of the body color, and started the second. It helped (not) that Miss Malia didn't nap until 4 p.m. But she did sleep for a total of three hours. After an hour and a half, she came out from the bedroom, climbed up on the couch, and fell back asleep for another hour and a half. Sweet!

    All in all, it was a very long, nine and a half hour day. Not my usual four hours. But I do get a three day weekend this week, I don't go back until Tuesday.

    I am so tired right now, I can't even take a photo of my progress on the new blanket. I'm looking forward to seeing them side by side, connected by the yarn. I will take one tomorrow, and post it for you see.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Week's Craft Report

    I have made significant progress on the crocheted baby blanket this week. However, I don't have enough yarn to finish. I made the trek all the way down to the craft store to get more, two days later, and they didn't have any. It's too far to keep making the run every few days. Does anyone have any idea how long it should take to restock? Any guess is fine.

     Do you see the fatter lace sections? There are supposed to be seven of those in the finished blanket. I am currently not quite to the sixth one, and I'm on my last skein of yarn. I did think ahead in one way. I haven't yet worked in any ends, so I can still frog the thing and do it over with a smaller hook. It's kind of on the big side. I like it that way, but it has been pointed out to me that some people think baby blankets should be small. Why? They are small for so short a time!
And if I do decide to frog it, I may not be needing that last skein of the stupid yarn after all... Here is a closer shot of the pattern:
And now for a surprise. The other day, I got home before Hubs did. When he came in, guess what he brought me?
He really is the sweetest man. It's hard to believe that in a few short months, we will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. The time really does fly.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sam's Club, Part II

     Oh yes, there's more. First, though, let me state that I remembered the third thing on my short list. It was rawhide treats for the dog next door. Hubs had asked the owner if it was OK, and he said yes. So that was on the list.

    Anyway, there we were, wandering around Sam's Club. And after we found the pickles, Hubs discovered a display of nacho cheese sauce. Now, keeping in mind that we don't eat nachos on a regular basis, why would we want the stuff? Apparently Hubs decided we needed this item. He put the following in our cart... I put the DVD next to it, for size comparison.

   The funny part is that he tries to convince me it's a good purchase by telling me that he looked at the smaller cans, and they were more expensive in the long run. Forget the fact with that a couple more of these cans, we could fill the hot tub!

     In small print, at the bottom of the can, you can see the weight. I took another photo, just of that, so you can all see what I am dealing with.

         And the best part of all this? I read the label after we got home, and the serving size is 1/4 cup, and it has 630 mg of sodium in it. My Hubs is supposed to be lowering his sodium consumption, not elevating it to stroke levels. So I have no idea what we will do with this giant can of nacho cheese sauce. But it was a bargain at only $5!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Visit to Sam's Club, OR, How to Totally Skeeve Your Hubs

    Yesterday, we visited Sam's Club. I had a short list of stuff we needed, I really only wanted some of their fresh rolls to have with our BBQ dinner. As usual, Hubs had other ideas. He always complains that he can't walk out of that store for less than $200. It really is his own fault.

    I wanted three things: the rolls, pistashio nuts, and one other thing that I can't remember right now. I do remember that we got everything on my list. As we were wandering through the store, I spotted giant jars of pickles. Great big, dill pickles.

    Now, knowing how my beloved Hubs feels about pickles, I haven't eaten one in a least 20 years. To be fair, I feel about egg salad the way he feels about pickles. And I refuse to make it for him. So we have both given up something we loved.

    Anyway, I can rarely resist a chance to mess with him. I pointed out the jars of pickles, and asked if I could get one. He totally surprised me when he said yes! So into basket went the pickles. He was totally skeeved about the whole thing, shuddering convincingly. I made sure he had to handle the jar and put it on the belt at the checkout, then again by putting it back in the cart!

    After we got home, he made me carry it in from the truck. And later that night, we discussed what he called The Pickle Rules. I am only allowed to eat them on nights when he is working, and before 8 p.m. That way the smell has almost 12 hours to dissipate.

    To be totally truthful, I will eat the dang things whenever the heck I want to.

Monday, September 17, 2012

In Which I Meet My New Grandkitten

   I was very excited to go to Fishkill today, since I would finally get to meet my adorable new grandkitten. His name is Gizmo, and he's been living with Julie, Jesse and the roommates for about two weeks now.

    So let's get right to the photos! I took a bunch of them, while he was playing in his cube tent, then after, while he was resting.


He is such a cutie, it makes me want a kitten all over again!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

On to new a project!

     As I mentioned in yesterdays post, I bought some really soft cotton, which I am using to make another blanket for one of the babies that are coming. Now, I have never made a cotton blanket before, so I have no idea what will happen when I wash the blanket. See? Yet another very good reason to launder something you make, before gifting or selling.

    I am curious to see if it shrinks or not. Even if it does, it's a bit long, so it should be OK. I made one of these blankets for Julie, Jesse's girlfriend, and after washing, it was actually a square. I have no idea how that happened, it had never happened before.
It just goes to show you, you never can tell what any yarn will do, even if you have used it before!

    This blanket will be a first for me, besides being made of cotton yarn. I made a border of pink on one long side, when I get to the other side, of course it will be pink too.  This time, I am going to put a border on the top and bottom of the blanket. I have never done that before. I have never even put tassels on one. I am not a big fan of tassels.  So here is a photo of my progress so far!

    I thought that just two sides being pink wasn't enough. I think it will look good being totally surrounded in the pink. And this baby is definitely a girl, so the use of pink is OK.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Cat Has Lost His Mind

    Ever since Ozzy came to live with us, I have trained him to leave my yarn alone. We had a little talk. I told him that if he wanted to live here, he would have a very easy life, and in return, all I asked was that he not use my yarn as a plaything.

    In all these years, he has pretty much stuck to our agreement. He got a little confused when I started knitting, as opposed to crocheting, but he soon caught on that yarn was yarn, no matter what I did with it.

    This morning, I was sitting here, drinking my coffee, when I looked down at the cat, who had been running around and howling. Now, this is not normal behavior for him. The only times I've seen him act anything close to this, is before a really bad snow or rain storm.

    Anyway, I look down at my cat, and he's got my big center pull ball of animal fiber yarn in his mouth! The ball is hanging out of his mouth! I don't remember which animal it is, it's really soft, so it might be Alpaca. I had been watching him, since I caught him pawing playfully at the knitting attached to that ball, just yesterday.

    After my coffee this morning, I made a run to a craft store for more yarn for the next pastel rainbow baby blanket. When I got back, there on the floor was a ball of Sugar n Cream, which he had obviously used as a plaything while I was gone. It was all messy, I'm sure you can picture it in your mind. It was not a full skein, but less than half of one, that was leftover from the madness of the skull potholders.

    News on the blanket front! I finished the circular pastel rainbow baby blanket last night. Yippee skippee! Now I can take a well deserved break to work on other baby blankets, for the same babies. For your information, the circular blanket is 39 inches across. The star shaped one was 49 inches. I'm thinking I will be sticking to the star shaped one, in the future. Unless Sara likes the circular one better, that is.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's "That Time of the Year" Again...

    No, I'm not referring to Fall, or even pre-holiday time. It's about husbands. My beloved Hubs has a cycle, not unlike a woman's monthly cycle. Except it only happens usually about twice a year. We have been married nearly 24 years now, so I have become accustomed to this.

   It's a lot like a woman's PMS. He is very moody, and extremely grouchy. And touchy? OMG. Nothing I do is right. Nothing I say is right. It seems my very existence bothers him. The only saving grace for me is that this only lasts a few days. All I can do is try to stay out of his way.

    He is currently in day one. I think it started sometime during the night last night, his second of his four work nights this week. I should've figured it was coming,  I missed one of his "tells". He usually calls me from work. He didn't call me last night, and he was in a foul mood when he got home this morning.

    We usually discuss his work issues, I've found it helps him relax, to get his mind off of it. His work is extremely frustrating for him, and there is nothing he can do about it, especially since he works alone. I can't go into too much detail here.

    He is usually such a sweet man. We've been handling the empty nest thing pretty well, and usually enjoy each other's company. I have a photo of him, to show you how cute he is. This was taken at our son's high school graduation, in 2008.

    OK, his hand is kind of in the way, but he really is adorable. You can all ask my friend Mikki, who lives in Florida, because she's met him. She worked for one of the parts stores who used to bring auto parts to the garage where he used to be a mechanic. She told me at the time, he's a big teddy bear.

    Anyway, when he's in his "cycle", I try and keep things more picked up, do the dishes more often, that kind of thing, just so he doesn't have that to complain about. I just have to duck and cover. It should only be a couple more days....

Thursday, September 13, 2012


    There are so many thoughts running through my head tonight, it's hard to keep them straight. I have no idea which one, or ones, will decide to come to the forefront to be heard at this time.

   I believe I'll start with a pastel rainbow circle blanket update. It's darn near finished. Three more rounds to go. And of course, they are the three longest rounds, they seem to take forever. But it's very satisfying, all the compliments I'm getting on  these blankets. One more blanket to go, for Sara, then I'll be done. I believe I can take a break before beginning the last one, I probably should wait for an announcement of impending parenthood.

    Babysitting went very well today. Miss Malia was in a good mood, even though she was pretty tired. Within 20 minutes of her mom leaving, she had fallen asleep for her nap. Lately her naps have been lasting about an hour and a half, yesterday's was very unusual at three hours.

    Today, as she sat on the floor surrounded by her blocks, I told her to find certain numbers on them. She got every one! "Find a 3!" She looks around at the blocks, and picks up one with a three on it. "3!", she hollers. I kept going with some different numbers. She got every one.

    There is also good news. My legs aren't hurting as much these last couple of days. It seems to be worse in the evening, especially after a long day. I was getting a bit concerned.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adventures in Babysitting

    What a week it's been. Monday, Miss Malia decided to throw her wooden blocks all over the place. I had had enough, especially since a few had come close to making contact with my face. I started picking them up and putting them in their bag.

   Naturally, she objected to this, loudly. I got her to stop by picking up a block, and showing her the number on it. I asked her "What number is this?", and she would answer me, then I'd put it in the bag. I tried to get her to help me, but she wasn't buying it. She did, however, get every number correct. I even took a 6, turned it upside down, and asked her "Now what number is it?"! She got it right, she yelled "9!". I kept flipping it back and forth, while she laughed. "6! 9! 6! 9!". Remember, she's now 20 months old. Eventually, we got all the blocks put back in their bag.  She did start crying again when I closed up the bag. But she got over it quickly.

    This morning, I went to watch the Cherub. I seem to remember her mom, my good friend Kim, telling me to make sure she got all her before school stuff done. This morning, however, the Cherub wasn't cooperating. She told me more than once that she didn't need reminding. I told her that I thought it was part of my job to do so. When we picked her mom up from work, I made a point of asking Kim if it was indeed a part of my job to make sure she gets her before school stuff done.

    It turns out that I was right, but it's a good thing I checked, I wasn't really sure. In the process, I royally pissed off the Cherub. Perhaps I could have waited and asked Kim when Cherub wasn't around, but I am not good at waiting for things like that, I tend to forget. I just hope she will get over her snit, and we can still be friends. After all, she is my BKF (Best Kid Friend).

    Today was unusual, in that I went right from watching Cherub to Miss Malia's house. My alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. and I left my house at 6:10. I finally got home at 3:40. It was a very long day. Made even longer by the fact that I had intended to go to bed early, but one of my very favorite movies was on, so I had to watch it. It was People Will Talk, starring Cary Grant, from 1951. It's an absolutely awesome movie.

   All this, and it's only Wednesday! What other exciting things are in store for me the rest of this week?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Blanket, With a Twist

    I know, I know, I normally wouldn't make another blanket out of the same yarn, so soon. But with my daughter having two pregnant girlfriends, I really had no choice. The finished pastel rainbow star made it's way to Sara's house, for her to gift at baby shower next month.

    I will admit to my heart skipping a beat, watching her caress the beautiful softness of the blanket, while asking if she will get one too when she has a baby. Of course she will! In the meantime, pastel rainbow #2 is nearly done. I wanted to do it a little differently than the usual one, so I made this one a circle. It has the exact same color progression, just not in the twelve pointed star.

    This is what the whole thing looks like ^ , and here's the closer view:

    In case you've noticed, I haven't written a whole lot in the last few days. I have not been feeling all that well. My legs hurt, it's hard to stand up and walk, at least at the beginning. Once I get moving, I'm usually OK. But I do feel like I've pulled muscles in the calves of both legs, so I'm like double limping. Strange, I know.

    And, so you know, the circle afghan pattern is from the Lion Brand Yarn website, the free pattern section. It's the same pattern I used as the basis for my Jeep tire cover.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bits and Pieces

    Just typing the title for this reminded me of a true story that happened to me. I was in high school, and one summer I went to visit my aunt Diane in Florida. I actually got lost after I got off the plane. I got in the wrong vehicle, not the one my aunt sent to get me. I got to see a lot of towns around the area where my aunt lived.

   I finally found my way to aunt Diane's house, and she was very relieved. But that isn't what I really thought about. It kind of leads up to it. My uncle had found a small stray dog, and they had adopted her, telling themselves that she was for me. They named her L'il Bit, as she was, as my uncle said in his heavy southern accent, "Just a l'il bit of a thang."

   She was so adorable, we fell in love with each other immediately. As far as we could tell, she was a Chihuahua. She slept with me and everything. Unfortunately, when it came time to go home, my parents wouldn't let me bring L'il Bit home with me. I was heart broken.

   So L'il Bit had to stay in Florida. She lived another couple of years, until my aunt and uncle's dog had his way with her. This dog was really huge. He looked like a giant size Rottie, only on Dachshund size legs. His name was Sam, I remember. Sam had to weigh at least 80 lbs. And he got my tiny L'il Bit pregnant. I heard that she died giving birth to his puppies. I am surprised she was even able to carry them to term.

   I don't even have a photo to remember her. I just have my memories of that summer. I had intended to write a piece today that contained bits and pieces of different things, but got sidetracked. I'll save that for another day.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's Finally Done, With Photos!

    I finally finished the pastel rainbow baby blanket, just a little while ago. I wove in the last few ends, and laid it out on the floor for photos, then I measured it. I can't get down on my knees too easily, but I did the best I could. Believe it or not, it's about 49 inches, point to point.

     When I'm working on blankets of this size or larger, I occasionally get bored. That's when I take a break, and sew in the ends that I have accumulated so far. It works pretty well for me. By the time the project is finished, there are usually only a few ends left.

    As a point of interest, I always, always, launder whatever I make, before gifting, or selling. That way I can let the recepient know exactly how I washed and dried it, and that it came out OK. Not only that, but it's always so much softer after laundering!

    Only once did a blanket not come out ok, and that was for my own use anyway. I dried it on too high a heat, and it kind of melted the yarn a bit. It wasn't soft anymore. We still use it, though.

    Now, it's on to the next one!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Stitch n Bitch Report!

    Today was our first official Stitch n Bitch session since June, and school let out for the summer. We had a blast, as usual. In attendance were myself, Kim (OFL), Jan and Cheryl. It was especially nice to see Cheryl, since she comes the furthest. All the kids got off to a good start on their respective school years.

   Kim is working on a sweater for her Cherub, a lacy, short sleeved, cropped cardigan. Jan is still working on her beaded shawl. I am almost finished with the pastel rainbow baby blanket. I was worried it wasn't going to be big enough. HA! I shouldn't have worried. I will measure it and have that number and a photo tomorrow!

    Cheryl cast on some cotton, and looked like she was working on a dishcloth or washcloth. It was a pretty colorway.

    We had breakfast first, then broke out the crafting, and got down to work. The nice ladies at Cranberry's told us how much they missed us this summer. Ah, but it's nice to get back into our regular routine!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Two things on my mind today.

    1. The baby blanket is close to being done, I'm currently on the blend of colors 5 and 6. But that is kind of off topic. I was wondering if anyone has any questions for me, consider the floor open. Ask away! If there is something I would rather not answer, I will let you know. So, go ahead and ask, I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

    2. I am really looking forward to tomorrow, it will be our first Stitch n Bitch session of the school year! Now that the kids are all back is school, we can resume our weekly breakfast sessions at Cranberry's!  Look for a report tomorrow evening!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Switching Gears, New Project

    Talking with my daughter the other day, she pointed out to me that she has another friend who is also pregnant, and due before the first friend. So I thought I'd better put away the first blanket for the first friend, and start on the blanket for the second friend! Whew!

   The good news is that the blanket is taking hardly any time at all! I've made it so many times with so many different yarns, I'm having fun with it. I do realize that by the time it's done, I will want to kill myself. It happens every time. But that's OK!

    So here is how far I've gotten since I started last night:

    And here is a close up, just so you can see it.

    This blanket is so pretty, it's a pastel rainbow, blending from white in the middle, to green on the outside. I am currently on the first of two rows of solid pink. I can't wait to see photos of it wrapped around the new arrival!

   And by the way, my bracelet finally arrived today. There was a surprise inside the package, they had sent me two more bracelets for free. I am still pretty upset about the whole shipping thing, and I think an apology would go a long way for me. I don't see that happening. Excuse me while I go unfavorite their facebook page....

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Postal Rant... Or, The Really Late Birthday Present

    About 9 days ago, I ordered a beautiful, perfectly me, bracelet from a website I found, I chose the regular mail option for shipping, because the other choices, FedEx or UPS, cost more than the bracelet did.

   I received my confirmation email on Monday, one week ago, saying that I should receive my package in 1 - 3 days. I made myself wait until Thursday to go to the Post Office and check. There was no package. I even went up to the counter and asked the nice postal clerk, who knows me, to check for me. Still no package.

   When I got home, I re-opened the email, and found a tracking link. This is the most recent tracking info, from Friday night.

    At the bottom, you can see they shipped it from Westport CT. on 8/28. It only took 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Jersey City, NJ. The line above that one shows when it left Jersey City. My question would be WHY THE FRACK DID IT NEED TO SIT IN FRACKING JERSEY CITY FOR 60 FRACKING HOURS??

    Following the chart up one more line, we see that it took another 22 hours to get to another city in NJ, Kearny, where it sat for a mere 5 minutes. That is the last time it was tracked. Friday fracking night. Just for shits and giggles, I checked the mail again on Saturday. My package still wasn't there.

   Being justifiably upset, I sent off an email to the bracelet company. I realize it's not really their fault, but an unhappy customer might not order from them again. The response I got was disappointing, to say the least. The owner patted himself on the back for shipping my package so quickly, "YAY team", and stated it's not his  fault if the mail is slow. He also sort of said it was more my own fault, since I chose the shipping method. Huh?

    I have always had pretty good luck with the Postal Service in general, with the exception of our local Post Office. See one of my very early posts for that story. This whole thing has left a very bad taste in my mouth, and I will probably not order from them again. I feel the least they could have done was appologise, and perhaps offer free upgraded shipping on my next order.

    This bracelet was my birthday present to myself. The earliest I will get it will be tomorrow, 5 days after my birthday. My advice to you all is IF you decide to order an awesome bracelet from, go for the upgraded shipping. It seems it might just be worth it, to not get so aggravated.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

More Promised Photos!


    I got the camera out, and took some photos. Of my birthday presents, the cat toy I made for the new kitten, and the yarn for the baby blankets. First up, my gift from Kim!

I have it hung right now on the wall in my future craft room. Here's what I received from the Cherub!

    Now here's the lovely yarn I will use for the baby blanket for Sara's friend:

   This is the yarn I bought for the second baby blanket

      Now, here is the cat toy I made for Jess and Julie's new kitten. This is based on a toy I made for my cat Ozzy. It's especially made for lazy people, you throw one end, and hold onto the other, then pull it slowly to entice the kitty. Ozzy loved his for a long time. I took two photos, one of the whole thing, and one close up so you can see the business end better.

      I have, somewhere, a bag o' bells. I was going to put one in the middle of the toy for extra zing. I couldn't find the bells, no matter where I looked. So the toy is bell-less. Last night on facebook, I was accused of favoritism. So this morning, I made another toy for Sara's cats. I don't have a photo of that one. It's the same as the one above, just in a different color. I used the cotton yarn from the background of the potholder with the purple skull on it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Project Started!

    Before my birthday lunch with son Jesse and his girlfriend Julie, I had time to hit the Hobby Lobby store in Poughkeepsie. I went there because they are the only store in the entire area that carries the Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn, in the colors I need, for the blanket I am going to make. By the way, Hubs requested I stick to the original design of the blanket, the 12 pointed star.

    The aforementioned colors are: white, yellow, peach, soft pink, lavender, soft blue, and soft green. 1 skein each of the white and yellow, 2 each of the rest. I also got some different yarn, enough for a second blanket, of a different design. But also one that I have made many, many times. I thought it was only fair to make both.

   I was done buying yarn early, so I went to the restaurant and sat crocheting in the parking lot until the kids got there. I finished the chain of 152, and the first row of single crochet while I waited.

    We had a very nice lunch! It was great to hear the adventures of the new kitten in their house. I hope they find a new name for him soon, as I don't think Pesto really fits his personality. Jess and I agreed that they should ask his grandma, my mom, as she is a genius at naming animals. I can't wait to hear what she comes up with.

  Perhaps by tomorrow, I will have taken photos of my birthday presents, and the progress on the 1st baby blanket!