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.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rambling on a Sunday

    My hands hurt. See, I joined a knitting group on facebook, read through all through all their rules and nonsense, and now my hands hurt from clenching them and not typing smart ass response comments to some of the stupidest things I have ever read.

    If I do comment, I'd for sure be thrown out of the group and banned for life. I mean, seriously? Someone buys a  36" circular needle and wants to know if she can make a baby hat with it??? What baby does she know that has a head that big??

    At least I can vent here. In other news, my camera battery is dead. My Jeep is still in the hospital. My pool rehab, however, is coming along nicely! I am not allowed to post any photos of that, however. Just take my word for it, Club Scheffler will be the place to go swimming next year! I just hope it's all done by my birthday, as my one wish is to swim in my pool on that day. They have 27 days until then. And I'm watching. So it will be done just in time to close it for the season. But no matter how cold the water is, I want to swim on my birthday.

    We will have a new dark liner, and steps to get into the pool. We will have a new surround/walkway and even a new fence around the pool. It's all very exciting. I can't wait until it's all done!

    As far as knitting goes, I am plugging away on two 10 Stitch Blankets, and occasionally pick up one of the many other WIPs that are in a time-out. I have plans to make a very unique, crocheted scarf that a friend designed. I brought out all of my Malabrigo worsted weight wool that I could find in my stash, just for this project. I just need to get out my swift and ball winder and get to work.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Notes on the Bucket Bag

    After publishing the pattern, I realized you should know about the mistakes too. The pattern is fine, it's all about yarn choice. I found some pretty variegated wool in my stash, and wanted to make a bucket bag with it. I had a lot, so I doubled it up and used 2 strands at once. It makes for a thicker, more heavy duty bag.

    I crocheted the bottom, and made it bigger than the one in the pattern photo. That one turned out kind of small. Here's what the bottom looks like on the finished bag:

    After picking up the stitches around the circle, I quickly realized why a variegated yarn isn't good for the bottom of the bag..... Here's what the rest of the bag looks like:

    The colors on the crocheted bottom are in blocks, due to the way double crochet works. Then the stripes on the body of the bag are from knitting in the round. I was dismayed, but I still love this bag! As you can see, I ran out of the variegated wool before the bag was tall enough, so I finished it with a denim wool, from the same company. I believe it was Patons Classic. This bag remains one of my favorite project bags, even with the weird color splotched bottom.

    So, dear readers, my advice to you is if you choose to make this bag, save your variegated wool yarn for the body, and use a solid color for the bottom!  And remember, you can make the base as big as you want, and the body as long as you want!

    In all actuality, the bag in the pattern photo is kind of small for my taste. I've made all the other ones bigger. And this bag would make a cool purse, just get a magnet or some other kind of clasp and use it to connect the long sides together.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Bicraftual Bucket Bag Pattern


Kim Scheffler

This bag starts with a crocheted circle which forms the bottom of the bag, then the stitches are picked up and knit in the round for the body. Then it's felted.

Tools needed:

U.S. Size K - 6.5 mm crochet hook
U.S. size 11 - 8 mm circular knitting needle, 24 or 29 inches long.

2 skeins color 1 wool
1 skein color 2 wool  (due to variants in felting, both colors should be the same brand, Patons or Lion Brand would be best for this project)
Of course, if you make a bigger bag, you'll need more yarn.


To start - ch 4, sl st in beg ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 2 (counts as first dc here and throughout), work 11 dc into ring, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 12 sts.
Rnd 2: Ch 2, dc in same st, 2 dc in each st around, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 24 sts.
Rnd 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next st, 2 dc in next st; rep from * around, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 36 sts.
Rnd 4: Ch 2, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st; rep from * around, join with sl st in top of beg ch — 48 sts.
Rnd 5: Ch 2, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st; rep from * around, join with sl st to top of beg ch — 60 sts.

After the first few rounds, you can pull the yarn end from the ch 4 tight to close the circle, or you can use the Magic Loop method to start.

Keep going as established until Rnd 11 is done, and you have 132 stitches around.


At the end of last crochet round, use color 2 to join to 1st stitch, cutting 1st yarn and knotting 2 yarns together.

Slip loop from crochet hook onto knitting needle, and pick up a stitch through the top of each double crochet stitch around the circle. Place stitch marker after last picked up stitch.

Knitting in the round, K 1 round with color 2. Switch back to color 1, and continue knitting in the round until bag body is approx. 14 inches, or more, tall. Put a stripe of color 2 in wherever you like. You can make it as wide as you want, even make more than one stripe. You can play with colorwork here too, if desired.


When you come to the stitch marker, slip it, then K13, BO 40, K26, BO 40, Knit 26. Take the 26 stitches that aren't attached to working yarn and put on stitch holder. You will now work back and forth to create handle. You can remove the stitch marker while knitting the last 26 stitches.

Row 1, and all odd rows, Purl all stitches.
Row 2 and all even rows, K2, K2tog, K across to last 4 stitches, K2tog, K2.

Repeat until there are 12 working stitches left. Knit in stockinette until approx. 18 inches long.

Note: Do not slip first stitch here, after felting it cups, and isn't flat. Learn from my mistakes.

Cut yarn, put these stitches on a stitch holder. Take other stitches off of holder, and work the same as 1st side, but only making it 5 inches long.

Now it's time to join the two together. If you know how to do the Kitchener stitch, have at it. I don't know how, so I did a three needle bind off, with the ridge on the underside of the handle.

Tah-Dah! You're all done with the hard part. Now, you just have to felt it. I use my washing machine, very hot water, cold rinse, with three tennis balls in for extra agitation. Some people tell you to let it air dry on its own, but I am not the most patient of persons. I throw it in my dryer, on high heat, along with the tennis balls. It will probably take more than one cycle. Although I recently discovered that throwing a dry towel in the dryer with the wet felted item totally speeds up the drying time!

When it's dry, you can use a sweater shaver to clean up the fuzz. I usually prefer to do this. I just like the way it looks, more finished, not so fuzzy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Funny Non-Crafting Story

    A while ago, there was a big fuss on the internet about giving dogs ice or ice water. It was cleared up, it doesn't hurt the animals. Well, I thought this fuss was much ado about nothing, since we regularly give our cat ice cubes to lick. He insists on them. He'll walk into the kitchen and meow while sitting at the refrigerator. That's my cue.

   Well, the other evening, he did his usual meow for ice, so I put some in his bowl, and walked back to the sink where I was < gasp > washing dishes. I had just walked up to the sink, when I heard Ozzy let out a kitty scream. I turned in time to see him shake his head, and start running into the living room, with two ice cubes attached to his mouth! He shook his head again just inside the living room, and the ice cubes fell off his face. He ran and hid somewhere.

    I picked up the ice cubes and put them in the sink. I was laughing, even though I knew it was mean. Poor Ozzy. Later, I told Hubs this story and added the thought that I doubt Ozzy would be asking for ice any more....

    But he actually has asked for more! Just yesterday he let me know he wanted more ice. I asked him if he was sure, and he just continued to rub on the fridge.

Monday, July 7, 2014

My adventures with the 10 stitch blanket....

    As you know, I caved to peer pressure and started the 10 stitch blanket. I read so many posts about it on the facebook knitting group page. So many people were having trouble with it, I decided to give it a try. ( I never realized that knitters were so prone to peer pressure)

    I told you about all this yesterday. Well, I didn't have any problems with that first double corner. When I read about the people having trouble, I think to myself that they should do what I tell my good friend Bonny to do.... Just do what the pattern says. Don't overthink it.

    So my first adventure was deciding to find a circular needle to use instead of the bamboo double points. (which I should say, worked perfectly fine) I searched through all my needles and couldn't find a single size US 8. I finally found one is my unfinished stash, so I pulled whatever was in progress off that needle, and used it. Unfortunately, it was only 16" long. After a couple of rows, it was driving me nuts. It wasn't long enough. I wished I had found a 24". So I went back to the bamboo double points. They really do work best.

   Then I decided to search mystash for more Amazing. Now, I have seen at least a couple more balls while searching for other stuff in my stash. It should also be noted that there is no organization whatsoever of my stash. The best I can say is that most of it is contained in three of those giant Ziplock things, the ones with handles, that are the size to go under your bed. Unfortunately, none of them are actually zippered closed.

   But I kind of like it this way, it makes every stash dive an adventure, as I never know exactly what I will find! I love that kind of surprise. Anyway, it took a while, but I went through all three containers, and a few bags as well. I found two unused balls and one ball that was being used for a crocheted hand warmer thing. Evidently I didn't like it, or I would have finished it. With those in hand, I got out my ball winder, and began to frog the hand warmer.

    That was an adventure in itself! Amazing yarn is fuzzy, and like all fuzzy yarns, it does not like to be frogged. It sticks to itself horribly. I managed to get about 3/4 of the ball frogged and wound up neatly. At one point the yarn broke because I was pulling it so hard. That's when I quit. The rest of the yarn in the warmer just wasn't worth the aggravation. It's in the garbage. If I have to, I will buy a few new balls.

    So now to the TA-DA moment! Here is my progress so far, and I just took this photo before I sat down to write this.

    I went back to Ravelry, and downloaded the free pattern again. This time, I was logged in, so it was saved. I moved it into my documents on my laptop, and then was able to move it onto a USB memory stick. That is where I keep most of my patterns now. That way when I want a particular one, I can just print it out.

    I believe that yesterday I mentioned that I didn't read the pattern, I just watched a video on youtube and followed along. It was a great relief to read that I had done the corners correctly.

    The ladies of the facebook knitting group are right, this pattern *is* addicting! I am already picking out yarn for the next one.....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Project Updates with PHOTOS!

    Sometimes I hate myself. I joined a knitting group on facebook, and so many people are doing the 10 stitch blanket. So many of them are having trouble with the beginning, and it finally caught me up. I decided to see if I could do it. At first I tried with Lion Brand Homespun. Big mistake. I couldn't even tell where the ridges were. I frogged it after only a few ridges and went to look for something else to use. I finally found one skein of Lion Brand Amazing. AHA! This will work, and I know I have more skeins around, stuck in different bags in my stash. Here's my progress on that as of yesterday afternoon.

    It's actually quite a bit bigger than this now. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but I opted not to wrap and turn the corners. I like the holes.

    Next is a photo of the blanket I'm making for Owen.

    And a close up of the stitch pattern.

   And lastly, here's my progress on the knitted strip for my yarn bomb.

    I have three more now. I went to a BBQ at my friend Bonny's house yesterday, and she gave me two really long strips that she had crocheted for me! As you can see, I am using Sugar 'n Cream cotton.

    P.S. For the 10 stitch blanket, all I did was watch the video on you tube. I did go to Ravelry and download the free pattern, but now I can't find it. Just like the pattern for the slouchy hat I paid good money for.....

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yarn bomb planning and a visit to mom's

    I don't know what's wrong with me. For over 20 years, I have had the perfect canvas for a great yarn bomb right in my back yard! And it's only now, that we are fixing and upgrading, that it suddenly occurs to me. The chain link fence around our pool! I want to wait until the new fence is up, but that gives me plenty of time to make 2" wide strips. Some of my friends are even chipping in to help!

    I have one crocheted purple strip done, I'm estimating it's about 12 feet long. I am currently knitting a strip, and also have another crocheted strip in progress. All this, as well as working on a new knitted blanket for O.G.

    The blanket for O.G. sprang from that wrap project from a few posts ago... As I was knitting it, I thought if I put a garter stitch border on it, this would make a cool blanket, and after a while I couldn't resist the call any more. So the wrap is in a time out, along with all my other projects that I got bored with.

    This past week, I went to visit my mom. We had a lovely visit, but it's funny how these visits bring up childhood memories that you think you've forgotten. One of the strongest memories for me is once I was sick, in bed, and mom brought me a glass of apple juice. As I drank it, I got a mouthful of apple juice mixed with dish soap.

    Now, it was a very insignificant event, in general, yet it affects me to this day. Whenever I'm at mom's and take a glass out of the  cupboard, I habitually put the glass to my nose and sniff the inside. You know, to make sure it doesn't have any dish soap residue in it....

   It goes without saying that to this day, I will not drink apple juice either. But the most significant consequence of that little episode is that it's made me what I call a "Super Rinser". When I wash dishes, I rinse them so well, there couldn't possibly be any dish soap residue left in there to dry and mix with anything in the future, saving future generations from the trauma.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Tale of Two Projects

    Do you remember that Hubs took me to the LYS the other day, and I bought some Malabrigo sock yarn? Maybe I forgot to tell you about it, but he did. I know! It surprised me too! Well, it's been sitting there, calling to me. Last night I broke out my swift and wound it up. Then I went through my pattern book shelf, and picked out this book: Nature's Wrapture, Contemporary Knitted Shawls, by Sheryl Thies.

    There is a pattern in there that I really loved. I even started to make it once upon a time. I recently found it, partly finished. I had needed the needle for something else, and put it on a large stitch holder. Nice, except I don't remember exactly WHICH size needle I was using.....

    This is the pattern called Sandy Beach. I really enjoyed working on it, it was fun. It seems a shame to just leave it there on the stitch holder. Then I had a thought! Since it's plenty long enough, I think I'll cast it off as it is, sew the ends together, and make it into what some people call a cowl. To me it isn't a cowl unless you can pull it up over your head and still have some around your neck. Either way, it'll be pretty.

    This morning, I cast on the same project again, in the new sock yarn. I've only been working on it a few hours, here at home and at Bonny's while I was visiting.

    It's so pretty! I love watching the colors change! The colorway is 870 Candombe, in Malabrigo sock yarn. If I want to make this longer, I may have to go back and see if there is any more of this colorway!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Something I forgot yesterday

    I totally forgot to mention something else yesterday. I got new glasses. To most people it's like "So what?" and I know that, but I thought they were the coolest things since sliced bread. See, they have no hinges at the temples! I've shown them to everyone I know and not one person was impressed. I was disappointed, to say the least...

    And as for knitting news, Spectra is off the needles! Yup, she's all done. I ended up not doing as many wedges as the pattern called for, I think I was one shy. I just wasn't convinced that I had enough of the black for one more wedge. At some point I will block her and take photos.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Catching up.... Again.....

   I just looked at the date of my last post, and I can't believe it's been two whole weeks since then. I've tried. Every few days I will log in and just sit here, and nothing comes out. So I log out.

    That's what happens when there's lots going on and I can't say anything about any of it. There are however, a few things going on that I *can* talk about. For instance, we are getting the pool redone. It happened suddenly, after Hubs told me that it's too much work getting it ready to swim in, this year being the most work ever. Things were leaking in the pump house that had never leaked before.

    Then we happened to run into his childhood best friend, they were raised together and are like brothers. He is a contractor, and he's doing pools now as well. He has agreed to do ours for us. Trust has a lot to do with it, and he trusts Gary. The best news for me, is I am finally getting steps in my pool!

   So far we have drained out as much water as we can, and picked out and ordered the bullnose blocks for the edge. Gary will come and measure for the new liner.

    On the knitting front, I am currently in the last few wedges of Spectra by Stephen West. I'm trying to gauge if I have enough black left to do another wedge as well as the end bit. It's going to be close.

    I love this pattern so much that I already have the yarn for two more all set up. Well, either that, or a sock yarn shawl. I can't decide which. One of them I was planning on using the solid color for the wedges and the variegated for the border. Just to switch things up a little. The photo below is actually from when I got to the 70th wedge.

    Hubs is back on his Harley riding. He had some issues with an exhaust system. He ordered a new one, and ended up cancelling that order, then ordering another one somewhere else. It finally came and one of the pipes didn't have a baffle in it. So he had to call, and they had to send him a baffle. Believe me, there was much more drama than I have implied here. Hubs was really upset because he missed the whole week of perfect riding weather. But here she is with her new pipes.

    Like I said there have been lots of things going on. I hope to keep you updated on the pool, with progress photos, as well as whatever knitting o crocheting I decide to do.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Promised Photo

    Here it is, the photo of my Spectra progress. I did another couple repeats last night!

    I can now easier see the color changes. I hope you can too!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Owen and knitting progress

    This morning, Owen was in his jumpy thing when I got there. About 20 minutes after Daddy left for work, I noticed that he was getting tired and not jumping as much. He would stop, and his head would start to fall forward, then he would open his eyes and start jumping again. He wouldn't give in. Eventually, though, he did give in. My question is this: Am I evil for taking photos *before* I took him out of it?

    The good news is that I was able to get him out of it, still asleep. He did start to jump again when I touched him to pick him up, but I shushed him and cuddled him, and he didn't wake up.

    As for kitting progress, there is some! I am currently finishing the 25th wedge (pattern repeat) . The color has changed again too. It turns out that the first color was a purplish pink, then came orange, now it's a bright pink.

    I don't have a new photo of my progress. I will take one tomorrow and post it. Promise.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Color Change..... I think....

    I have knitted now, 12 or 13 of these pattern repeats. I do believe that today at Bonny's I noticed the color was finally changing. When I compare the current wedge to the first one, the newer one is definitely orange, while the original one is pink.

    I will have you know that I went outside to take this photo. I stood on my burning hot, rock slab stoop, burning the heck outta my poor feets. And the stupid thing keeps curling up. But I do believe you can see the color changing.

    If I make another one of these, I will definitely use a yarn that has shorter color sequences. This yarn is not very satisfying in that department. YET.

    I decided that in every tenth wedge I was going to place a marker, to aid in the counting. After all, I'm supposed to make 85 of these fracking wedges, and it's much easier to count by 10's. So that's the white thing you see in that one wedge. It's like a little plastic safety pin. I have white ones and black ones.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I'm Knitting!!

   That's right, I am temporarily out of my funk. When I was picking up the living room last week, I found a pattern that I had bought a couple of years ago, the last time we went to Rhinebeck. It has been calling to me to make it. I gave in today.

    It's Spectra by Stephen West. I am using black Malabrigo sock yarn and Painted Desert yarn, color way Eruption. I have 5 sections done so far, only 80 more to go!!

    The Painted Desert color way changes are really long, so I have to promise you another photo when you can actually see more than one color, although if you really look, you can see at the bottom of the photo it's a little more purple and at the top it's a little more pink. Either way, I will take more photos as the colors change.

    I would like to mention that the needle shown in the photo is one of the vintage nylon ones I got at the flea market slash craft fair. It really looks like it should glow in the dark, doesn't it? It doesn't. I tried it today while I was at Bonny's house. I was a bit disappointed.

    Those of you with keen eyes may have noticed that the wedge yarn is the same one as the Pi Shawl I've been working on for - like - ever. I bought an extra ball last time I was at Out of the Loop yarn shop, in case I needed more. I think all crocheters think that way, since crochet uses so much more yarn and we have learned to buy way more than we really need. Especially for knitting!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Napping Baby Photos and Interferring Cat

   Yesterday, I was taking the photos of the circular needles while Owen napped. Friendly cat Nermal was trying to help me. I couldn't get her to stop playing with the needles! I finally got the shots I wanted, although some of them did turn out a bit blurry.

    Anyway, here is what Owen looked like when he was napping!

   I also took a photo of his little hand, as it amused me that he fell asleep with his finger through the ring on his toy.

    And lastly, here is a shot of beloved Nermal, getting in my way while trying to play with the circular needles that I was attempting to photograph!

    She really is the sweetest cat, she's the one who licks my nose and accepted me into their clowder. She is also a magnificent purrer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Awesome Flea Market Find

   When I was at the flea market/craft fair last weekend, I didn't have to look far to find something really cool. My booth partner's daughter had some circular needles she wanted to sell. After looking at them, I instantly asked her how much she wanted for them. I got them for $5!

    I am pretty sure that some of them are vintage, I'm just not sure *how* vintage they are. We'll start with these little beauties. Little plastic circulars that are just the right size to make one sock:

    Then there is this one, complete with 50' style packaging:

    It's a one piece plastic (nylon) circular! There are about 4 more of these, but without any packaging:

   The coolest ones though, are these:

    I didn't realize this photo was so blurry. Anyway, these are circular needles with a METAL BRAIDED CORD. I have never seen anything like this. I have 6 of them, 3 little tiny ones like for a single sock, and 3 bigger ones. Maybe 24 inches long.

    There are also quite a few needles that don't seem to be too vintage, but some that are obviously older than what I'm used to. They have a more pronounced angle on them. Here's a photo of what I mean:

   I would be very interested to know if anyone has any idea how old these needles are, and if they are worth anything to collectors. Please feel free to leave a comment, send me an email, or contact me via facebook or twitter.

   Even if they are not worth anything, I am thrilled to have found them! Happy knitting, everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Craft Fair/Flea Market

   It took place yesterday. We had a ball. Even though we got there a bit late and were still setting up when people started coming through. Here is what we ended up looking like!

    That's my good friend Bonny crocheting away behind the table there. She had baby sweaters that she had made.

    And she had really cute dolls too!

   I had my cat toys.

   She sold quite a bit and was very happy! I didn't sell a single cat toy. I wasn't unhappy, though. It was lots of fun and I got to talk to lots of people.

    You may have noticed in the first photo that we were under a Snap On tool thing. We got lots of men coming over looking excited, because of that! Bonny had suggested that we should have signs made to hang up that say NO TOOLS on them.

    I actually spent $5 and bought a bag of circular knitting needles. Some of them look old. In fact, some of them have metal cables, and two of those are teenie sizes! There's one, in it's package, with an illustration that looks straight out of the 1950's. I can't wait to show them to my knitting expert and see what she has to say. Heck, the bag alone was worth $5 to me, as a place to round up all my current circulars that have no packages!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Randomness on Mother's Day

    Today is Mother's Day, and yesterday was my beloved Hubs' 50th birthday. Some years they both fall on the same day. And yes, I caught myself a younger man. After nearly 26 years, it makes no difference anyway.

   Our son, and my youngest child, Jesse, is away in the U.K. for a karate tournament. He should be back tomorrow evening, according to his fiancĂ©. I know it's silly, but I was worried. This was a huge tournament, and even though he is an experienced martial artist, and holder of a 4th degree black belt, I still worry about him.

    Even though he was busy with his tournament, he managed to send his dad birthday wishes, and Mother's Day wishes to me. I can't wait to see the videos that were taken of his fights. He won 1st place in his division in sparring, but didn't win Grand Champion. I hear he lost the last fight for that honor. So he came close.

   I was looking through my photos today, and found a couple of funny ones. Sara had tried on a couple of my wigs and took photos of herself.

    I should get her to try all the others on too. There is also a very funny one of Jesse in one of my wigs, dressed in his paintball gear. Well I can't find that one. I thought it was in my files on my laptop.

    I had a ball babysitting for Owen this week. He's getting so big. He likes to stand up on your legs and all you have to do is hang on to him for balance. He's not good at balance yet. He can't even sit up by himself, but he loves to sit, and stand too.

    But you really have to be careful. The other day, after his daddy left for work, I Owen was sitting on my leg, and I looked away for a second. The little turd spit up all over his bib, and it puddled on my pants leg. Nice. No sound at all, just a wet feeling on my leg. I looked back and there it was!

    I seem to have lost any interest in crafting right now. I have made more than a few cat toys for the craft fair/flea market. I just realized that's next Saturday! AARRGGHH. Oh wait, I'm ready! No need to worry. Anyway, the cat toys are fun, and I hope I sell bunches of them. All other crafting is in a time out. That happens sometimes, you just don't feel like doing it for a while. Sort of like blogging.........


Monday, May 5, 2014

What I've been up to lately...

    It's been a while since I last posted, and for that I apologize. Sometimes I have things to say that just can't be said. Or I just don't feel like posting that particular day. So I guess I've been really lazy.

    And lately I've been keeping secrets too. My mom was feeling left out of the information age, and especially missed seeing all the photos of the great-grandchildren that get posted on facebook. So.... she asked me about getting her a computer. Hubs and I looked at many different ones, then Hubs had the great idea of a tablet for her. No buttons! Touch screen! Easy peasy.

    So we researched and decided on the large size kindle fire HD. She already has a regular kindle, and is familiar with the concept. She herself called and got her own wifi hotspot. I was there today when it got turned on. The man who came was very helpful and understanding.

   She now has an email account of her own, and is signed up on facebook. We thought we'd start with just a couple of things to get her going. She is an intelligent woman, and can figure things out. Even if she went to a one room schoolhouse.... And she is 81 years old, and in nearly perfect health.

    If she decides she can't handle it, she can sell her kindle fire, and get rid of her hotspot. I thought she deserved to have a chance at catching up with the 21st century.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Shameless baby photo sharing

   Here it is, the long awaited photo of grandpa and Owen on the Fat Bob. Owen doesn't look too excited but he will!

   My Hubs is so cute! I swear, he's getting better looking as he gets older. By the way, one of the rare times I get to take his photo is when he's holding Owen.....

    Now for other news. The cover for my new nook came today, and I'm very excited about it. All that's left is for the screen protectors to show up. I don't get it, the screen protectors shipped days before the cover, yet the cover is here and they aren't. Hmmph. That's the postal system for ya.

    Spent time with good friend Bonny today, helping her put some finishing touches on a few of her projects to sell at the flea market/craft fair. That's May 17th, at FDR High School in Hyde Park. It's the same day as the town wide yard sale. If you're going to be participating in that and driving all around town anyway, stop by the High School. It'll be worth it, I swear.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Catching up again

    It seems we have found the problem with my laptop. The power/charging cord was bad. Hubs and I went to Best Buy and got a new one, and so far it seems all better! There is only one little problem left. This blog site isn't recognizing the browser I'm using. That makes no sense to me, as I use Google as my browser, and Google owns the blogsite. As long as I can continue to post, it matters not to me.

   I did get to go visit with mom yesterday, at least for a while. Hubs had to go to the house in Fishkill to look at, and hopefully fix, a couple of problems they've been having. He dropped me off at mom's so we could visit. We had a nice time. Unfortunately, it wasn't as long of a visit as I thought it would be. It turns out that everything was OK at the house, at least for now.

    I recently purchased a new nook HD+. It's the big one. I love it so far. I love the touch screen, and I made it so that when I'm reading and turn the page, when I swipe the screen it looks like an actual page is turning. It really is the little things that make me happy.

    Since my laptop is back up, I've been busy transferring photos from there to my nook. I can use them for wallpaper! I need to get some photos of Chloe, Mason and Owen from far away, because of the scale thing. I put a close up of Owen as a wallpaper, and all I got was an eye, a nose, and part of his smile. It was scary looking.

   My days last week babysitting for Owen were lots of fun. He is such a joyful little boy. And at 5 months old, he loves it when you hold him up and he stands on our legs. He can actually support his weight, we just hold him for balance. He might be an early walker. I'm not sure if I should be happy for Sara and Mike, or sorry for them!

    Here is the latest photo of Owen, having tummy time.

    I am shamelessly adding the photo of Owen because it seems when I post photos of the grandkids, I get many more views!

    I was knitting on the legwarmers, but the new nook took my attention away from them. I do take them with me when I go to watch Owen. I hope to get some work done while he naps. Keep your fingers crossed, I might take a photo of them if there's any visible progress...

Friday, April 25, 2014

One from the new nook

    This one I'm writing on the new nook, my laptop is still messed up. I've been busy getting ready for the craft fair/flea market on May 17th. This will be a short one also, as I'm currently babysitting Owen. Right now he's happy but that could change in an instant.

    This weekend I plan on visiting my mom. It's been too long. I am still working on the leg warmers, but not a lot. One if these days I will figure out how to get photos from facebook to my nook. In the meantime, stay happy!

    It seems that from my nook, I can't put in any labels...

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's been a while....

    I know, and I'm sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I had my laptop crash. Then after we sort of got it back, it wouldn't connect to anything. I think I finally got most things working again, except for some reason I couldn't log into my blog.

    Today I finally got through, but I'm still not sure if what I write will actually post. How can a blog site, owned by google, not recognize google as the search engine I'm using? It confounds me. But I shall keep writing and hope it posts.

    I've been working like a mad woman these past few days, getting more rings and yarn for my cat toys, as well as gathering more supplies of other kinds. For instance Hubs gave me some small S hooks he found in the garage, new in the package. I can use them to hang my cat toys in the wire cubes we are using. I also purchased some paper lunch bags for those toys that are purchased.

    I have also been busy making more cat toys, as well as re-tagging the ones that I had previously tagged. So now, all the toys are tagged with the new business cards, and the measurement on the back. This evening I made four more toys. As you may be able to tell, I bought more yarn today, and my good friend Bonny gave me some of hers too.

    Now my hands are tired, and so am I. Hubs has gone to bed already, as he has to work tomorrow. Before I sign off, I wanted to tell you that I've taken the legwarmers out of their time out. It felt good to work on them today while I was at Bonny's.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

News, news and more news!

    See what happens when I take a couple of days off? There are developments in nearly every aspect of my life! First, I'm excited about the craft fair next month. Even more so since I was browsing business cards and found one that was perfect for my cat toys! So I ordered some!

    And they will arrive before the craft fair, so I can put one on each cat toy! As if that wasn't enough, I got word from Hubs that our friends female cat is having kittens. They have a young Munchkin male cat, and he bred with their regular female cat. I get to have a kitten if any of the babies turn out to be Munchkins! I am so excited! Here is a photo of a Munchkin cat, just so you know what they look like.

    And here is what a kitten looks like!

    I have no idea what Sam and Jade's kittens will look like, it could go either way. Jade is a beautiful short hair, mostly white, and Sam is a long hair Munchkin. I'm really looking forward to meeting their offspring.

    As you remember, I watched Owen Monday and Tuesday this week, as well as my regular gig on coming up on Thursday and Friday. Well, this week, he rolled over for the first time! I was so excited! He did it four times in all, the first two times to the left and the second ones were to the right. He was so calm about it, he didn't startle himself at all. I tried to get it on video but he wasn't co-operating. I did get a photo of his smile, though.

    He's been drooling up a storm lately! I've been calling him Drooly Smurf. So far, no teeth have poked through, though. His mommy can't feel any yet.

    And lastly!! I have made a decision. After the craft fair, if I haven't sold all my cat toys, I am going to post them for sale in my etsy store. I've had one for ages, but never posted anything for sale yet. It should be fun! And I have the benefit of a good friend who has had experience with an etsy store so if I have any questions, she will help me out.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's all in the preparation

    Five weeks from yesterday, on May 17th, there will be a craft fair at FDR High School, here in Hyde Park. Once again, with my friends Mckenzie and Bonny, I will be there selling my handcrafted things. This time, I am featuring my very own, self-designed cat toy. I call it Lazy Kim's Cat Toy.

     I originally made one for my kitteh Ozzy, and he loved it. Over the years, I think he's had three of them. I have made them for all my family members that have cats. I even made a special double one for Jesse and Julie's cats, at their request. I recently had to make them a new one, since the Lady and Gizmo destroyed it. Every toy is Ozzy tested and Ozzy approved.

    I will also have my crocheted blankets, as well as a few knitted shawls. Bonny is cranking out some crocheted dolls! They are really cool, and with each doll you purchase, you get a crocheted outfit of your choice! Mckenzie will have more of her goodies that she makes herself, including her superior lip balm. I'm sure she will also have some new items that I haven't even seen yet!

    If you are in the area on that day, please feel free to stop by and see us!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Two days with Owen

    This week was special, for a number of reasons. In case you don't remember, I babysit for my youngest grandchild every Thursday and Friday. He is the cutest patootie I have seen since his mom was a baby!

   We were having a great time together on Thursday, hanging out and talking to each other. Then he went and partially filled his diaper THREE TIMES! At least they were small ones, and easily cleaned up.

    He loves it when you talk to him, and sing to him. So yesterday, I made my own station on their Pandora, a 70's Rock station. Now I can really sing to him! He is so cute, and he really does sing back at you! I need to find a microphone shaped soft or chewy baby toy. This child is going to be a vocalist, as well as a drummer like daddy and grandpa.

    Next week I will be caring for Owen four days out of the five, so I will probably not be in touch. I'm sure I'll be a total basket case by the end of the week. Who knew that caring for a baby could wear you out so much? It's not like he's a toddler and running around and getting into everything! He pretty much stays where you put him.

    And now for a few photos. These are not new, just my favorites!

    I have been informed that this last one was not posed. He actually fell asleep like that!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Back to real business

    Since the felting fiasco, I've gone back to working on my previous projects, specifically the Pi Shawl and the double knit pad thing for Owen. It was hard going back to the shawl, with its sock weight yarn. I'd been using two strands of worsted weight for so long, my hands hurt from the much smaller knitting movements required for the Pi Shawl.

    I've only done a couple of rows on the double knit pad for Owen, but I did find the two color sample I had made of regular double knitting. One side is one color, and the other side is a different, contrasting color. You can make a design on both sides simply by using the second color to knit the first color's stitch, and vice versa. Here are photos of my sample:

    And there you have it. It is harder to do, because you are holding both colors at the same time. But once you get the hang of it, it's not really that bad.

   Lastly, I have a new photo of the Pi Shawl progress. Again, it doesn't look like much, and you'll see it better when it's all done and stretched out.

    As it gets bigger, the stripes of color get thinner. And that's all I have for today.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I will not felt anything ever again....

   You see the photos, you see the pattern and think "Yeah, I can do this, it's not that hard!". Well, at least for me, it never turns out the way it's supposed to. After 11 skeins of wool that were not on sale, after putting all other projects in a time out, and after knitting like a mad woman for days on end, it's finally over.

   The giant purple bag came off the needles, and I took this photo:

    Then I folded it up and put it on the shelf. I wasn't going to felt it right away. I would rather felt it when Hubs isn't home, because he complains that I'm using the hot water and therefore using our oil unnecessarily.

    Well..... I couldn't wait. Last night I put it in the washer with a pair of youngest son's old denim shorts and three tennis balls that I have expressly for the purpose of felting. I had to run them through twice. This morning, I threw the whole mess into the dryer and hoped for the best. This is what I pulled out of the dryer about an hour ago...

    I put the yardstick in so we could all have a reference point to the original photo. It shrunk too much up and down, and not enough side to side. I am unhappy. I stuffed it with a couple of sheet sets so it had some dimension:

    I am seriously considering cutting a few inches out of the middle to make it shorter. I shall have to think on this for a while. In the meantime I think it's going in a time out of it's own....