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Sunday, October 29, 2006

More Dippin'

As I'm realizing that Christmas is closer than I think ~ at least as far as making gifts is concerned ~ I'm starting to put in some real effort into indentifying which portion of my stash will go to make which gift for which person.

That said, here's what I've been working on this weekend.

Another Fat Bottom Bag
I bought this hand-dyed cord-type yarn specifically to make another one of these. It's not quite as bulky as worsted weight, so I dropped the hook size down to H. Therefore, it will be a wee bit smaller than the last one I made. I'm only halfway done with the body of the purse at this point, but wanted to share the yarn in the worst way. This has tropical summer written all over it!

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The lighting made the colors come out brighter than they actually are, but the colorway is definitely bright.

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Considering I'm halfway done with the body and I've only used up a small portion of the yarn, I guess I'll be thinking up things to do with the rest. If you have any ideas, please feel free to share!

Another Scarf
I'm participating in the '15 Weeks 'Til Christmas' CAL at Crochetville. The pic below is my scarf-of-the-week. I used the
Fringe Fabulous Scarf pattern for inspiration. Since my ladder yarn was bulkier, I used an N hook and only 1 strand for fringe. I also knotted the fringe as opposed to 'hooking through the loop' to attach it. The yarn I used is Allegro by Online which has been discontinued.

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That's it for crocheting this weekend. Gotta get ready for Halloween and get those treat bags done up ~ I don't want to get TP'd or anything. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Esperanza Fire

Thursday
The Esperanza fire is burning just a few miles from where we live, I'd say about 25 at the most in Cabazon. If you ever saw PeeWee's Big Adventure, the scene where he is sitting inside the dinosaur head looking out the mouth - that's in Cabazon.

The sky is thick with smoke. In broad daylight, you cannot see the mountains that are just 1 1/2 miles from our house. They evacuated our local hospital due to the smoke coming in through the air handling systems. I work about 50 miles from the fire and it was almost as thick there.

It has burned 10,000 acres at this point and they are estimating 25,000 will be burned by the time they can get control of it. 4 firemen are dead with one in critical condition. There was an RV park in the area with 400 people trapped. Some drove through the flames to get out. They survived, singed but alive.

It was moving toward Idyllwild (San Bernardino Forest) which was plagued with wood beetles that killed a lot of the trees. They are afraid that if it makes it that far, it will just take off even more.

They are reporting that the fire was intentionally started and are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist(s). I'd call them murderers.

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There are mountains there in the background. This picture was taken at 5:30pm in broad daylight from my front yard.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,225437,00.html

Very sad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday
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Photo taken yesterday in Banning, CA at 10am. Banning is about 15 miles from us.

The fire has now consumed 24,000 acres and is only 5% contained.
http://www.towncrier.com/

Sunday
With the fire now 60% contained, the skies are clearing up and give you the feeling that life is returning to normal. For some anyway. The 5th fireman is still clinging to life. He had surgery where they removed 70% of the burned skin that covers over 90% of his body. 34 homes have been destroyed. 40,450 acres have been burned ~ way more than the original 25,000 estimate. The winds have subsided a bit and by this afternoon, there should be some humidity added to the atmosphere as an ocean breeze makes it's way in. They are estimating to have full containment by 6pm Tuesday.

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There are those mountains!

Over 40 county investigators are working in conjunction with the FBI and the department of Firearms, Alcohol & Tobacco to hunt down the arsonist(s). I pity the fools when they find them. There is almost a lynch-mob mentality going on here and folks are just itchin' to find them.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Found Them!

Short knitting needles with cables at Joanns ~ they are on order and the knitting challenge continues!

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Monday, October 23, 2006

SWS

In my shopping frenzy a few weeks back, I picked up a couple of balls of Patons SWS [Soy Wool Stripes] in yummy fall colors. I decided it would make a nice man's cap and sifted through my patterns until I landed on the Stonehedge cap pattern from Crochet Garden. I lucked out big-time here because I ran out of yarn and had to go back for more and with 2 balls left in the bin, one of them was the same dye lot I was using (whew!). So here be the finished result.

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This is a nice heavy hat that completely covers the ears and is perfect for those who live in colder climates than southern california. I made it for hubby so he can wear it when he's out on the ocean in his kayak netting lobsters (still waiting for the return on investment on that purchase!)

I had followed the instructions for the large size ~ as my husband has a big giant head ~ and it came down well past his eyebrows. So I frogged a few rows before I started the brim. The pattern is a wee bit on the large side. But then again, my husband doesn't have a lot of hair :D

As you work this yarn, any rubbing of the fabric while you work will cause fuzzing. So anything made with this yarn will require the use of a sweater shaver to maintain it's look. I'm not sure I'd make large items with it because of this, but for smaller items like this hat, the colors are drop-dead gorgeous and there's a wonderful sheen to it. It's definitely worth adding a few balls to your stash!

Happy Monday ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I'm Not Sure, But...

I think I hate knitting. I'll attempt once more and get back to you on this one...

Update
It comes down to the long needles. As long as I can use circulars, I'm ok because they're shorter. But using 10" straight needles are cumbersome and awkward to use. I know I've seen short needles with cables on the ends, now it's just a matter of remembering where... :o

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Yarn Makes a Video

Parking my butt in front of a cheesy sci-fi movie with my yarn and hook in hand is a treat for me on the weekends. But finding a video filled with yarn is an absolute hoot!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Holiday Gift Cards

Work buddies. They're more than acquaintances, but spending money on a gift seems a bit much ~ and can create an awkward moment should you arrive at their desk with a nicely wrapped package ~ and giving them a card just doesn't seem enough. I have a lot of work buddies that fit this bill.

I saw some cards with knitted motifs on them and I thought they were cool. So I decided to take that idea and modify it to include a crocheted mini-doily/coaster. I still need to perfect the presentation, but here's the general idea.

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I chose DMC Cebelia #10 thread in garnet for the crocheted piece as my cards will be for Christmas. A pretty deep blue could be used for a Hanukkuh card, or a maybe a dark purple for Kwanzaa. I starched it a bit so it would hold its shape. I purchased some plain white 6 1/2" x 5" cards from Michael's and glued an additional piece of colored paper to 'frame' the doily. I think I'll keep looking for a different background paper as I don't think the pink works all that well (the pic doesn't show it very well either.) Maybe something in a pearlized minty green. But anyway, you get the idea.

For attaching the doily to the card, I used a double-sided removable tape. Let's face it, cards go in the trash after the holiday is over. I made sure it was acid-free just in case my recipient decides to leave the card in tact (you never know.)

Anyway, I thought it was a nifty idea as I could make a different doily/coaster each year and my work buddies get something they can use on their holiday tables to make them more festive :)

More later, Mini

Jose

Hi, My name is Jose. I'm 3 years old and I live with Mini and her husband. I came to live with them about a year ago. They take care of me and take me on car rides all the time. So, (sigh), I tolerate it when they try to dress me up. This is me in my fairy wings that we got at the Renaissance Faire last spring. Nice, huh?

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Then there was the board shorts and the straw hat when we went to Pismo Beach. Thank God, they don't have a picture of that! This is my latest torture, a hat for Halloween. I guess it's supposed to be witch legs coming out of my head. My ears didn't fit in the ear holes. Stupid hat.

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OK, I've had enough! This thing is coming off! Don't you have a yarn sale at Michael's to go to today?

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Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that I escaped the shelter and I love both of them dearly. But geez leweez man! Do they have to waste money on this crap?! I live in fear of what's awaiting me for Christmas :\

I'm going to go hide under the bed for a while.

Jose

Playing with Marbles

As I've mentioned many times before, one of my current fave yarns is Marble by James C. Brett. I worked up some super simple wristlets in it ~ playing around mostly to see if they could become Christmas gifts. I think they came out good enough to rate as a giftable item if I couple a pair with a scarf. Maybe... or maybe I'll just keep 'em :oD

These are the colorways that I used ~ Berry (my favorite), and so far, the
One-Skein Scarf in the green/pink/blue (can't find name).

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Doesn't the green/pink/blue colorway remind you of an English garden? I just love how this yarn works up!

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Here is the super simple pattern for the wristlets (aka, tube with a hole): H (5.00mm) hook

Note 1: Turning ch does not count as the first stitch. You will be stitching in each stitch. This will make for smoother, straighter edges at the top and bottom.

Note 2: Add or delete rows to fit your hand as needed. I wear a medium size glove and 13 rows worked well.

Ch 31. (ch 36 if you like a fold-over cuff)

Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, ch 1, turn. (30 or 35 hdc now and throughout)

Rows 2 - 13: Hdc in back loop of 1st hdc and in each hdc across, ch 1, turn.

Working through back loop of Row 13 and beginning ch on opposite side, sl st in first 10 sts to join upper portion of wristlet; then sl st in next 5 ch on the back side only to make the thumb opening; skipping 5 hdc of the front side, pick up to continue joining both sides and sl st to end. Finish off and weave in loose ends securely.

That's it~ like I said... a tube with a hole!

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Ciao for now!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

WIP & Plow, Plow & WIP

Those WIPs are still calling, but of course I had to work with some of the yarn I bought in my shopping frenzy. I've been looking for a pattern for a man's scarf that a real man would wear, (non-GQ type), and they are sorely lacking. Most are so plain that I'd spaz out from boredom in about 5 minutes. So, I mucked around and came up with a simple, yet decent pattern that I think will work well as a Christmas gift. I used 2 hanks of that yummy Silky Tweed yarn I picked up and it is oh-so-soft.

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It's comprised of nothing more than alternating rows of dc and sc. The edging is simply a single row of sc ending with a row of reversed sc. The finished dimensions came out at 4 1/4" wide x 64" long.

I also finished up a couple of charity items ~ a baby blanket, sweater and cap. The blanket is made with Paton's Melody. The sweater and cap are done in Bernat Softee Baby.

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And finally, I finished up a few 12" afghan squares that are going to a fellow grouper in need, as well as, my Halloween swap at CFL. Whew! There are still a few WIPs left, so I'm going to get back at it. My goal is to have as much of them finished this weekend so I can move on to other projects.

I've also put myself on yarn restriction until I use up at least 50% of my stash. That should put me out shopping again sometime in late 2007 - LOL!!

Ciao for now,
Mini