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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Vacation FO's

I managed to crank out a few projects during my wonderful week off from work which helped to substantially bring down that Christmas gift list (YAY!). I now feel comfortable that I can finish everything on time and maybe, just maybe, have some time for crochet just for fun :)

First up, a couple of Puffy Slouchy Hats in blue:

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The first hat was done with Red Heart Soft, the second with Berocco Geode. The Geode was fun to work with :)



OK, not actually an FO, but most of the pieces are done for two felted purses. I still have 10 flowers and flower centers to make partially thanks to my cat Buster who thought I was making cat toys. I'm using Gourmet Crochet's Natalie Collection pattern for the purses. I'm using the rectangular pattern for both.

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I then tested a slipper pattern for a lovely lady at Ravelry.

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Worked out the adjustments I wanted to make to Sandyfroglegs' Fingerless Glove pattern, so I can kick out 4 pair for gifts :)

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And made up a different afghan for my uncle as the round ripple had just gotten too boring to continue (for now.) So I went surfing through my pattern stitch books and found a stitch that would work well using 2 strands of yarn and a large hook so I could finish it quickly. So quick in fact, I'm making another one in different colors for my cousin. You'll find the pattern
here.

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Close up of stitch


And so ends another week ~ back to the grind tomorrow :o\ May your crochet hooks fly like the wind!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a while since I did a proper post, so let's catch up!

I've been madly working on Christmas gifts. I should have kept up with Cris' One-a-Month-a-Long at the beginning of the year :P But you know how it goes, you make a list, then do it over and over again until the last bleeding minute. You're just not inspired until you're inspired, ya know?

Being off work this week has helped a lot. Clearing the mind of all of that 'work clutter' helps tremendously with inspiration and keeping focus. So my pared-down list is as follows (no sense in killing oneself, eh?):

Afghans - 2
Fingerless Mitts - 4 pairs
Slouchy Hats - 4
Slippers - 1 pair

Of course, that list can still change! LOL I've made up the pattern for the afghans, I'll post as soon as I finish one. The Fingerless Mitts are a slightly modified version of Sandyfroglegs Fingerless Gloves pattern. Although I haven't officially picked the patterns yet, the Slouchy Hats will likely be the Pretty Puffs Slouchy Hat pattern and the slippers, Priscilla Hewitt.

On a non-crochet note, we have adjusted to life without Jose. Paco tries to play with the cat, but the cat hates him. We'll have to get him a new buddy, but we'll wait until we find the right buddy :)

That's about it for today. Oodles of toodles and enjoy your Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

Grab a cup and let's kick it!



Sadly, Joe Sparks left Shockwave and was not allowed to continue the series. But, at least we have Episodes 1-8 to enjoy as long as the internet is up and running!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Heartbroken

I got home late last Wednesday night. Hubby was outside watering the front yard, I was busy doing all that stuff you do when you walk through the door after a long day at work. Jose was out in the front yard helping hubby. When no one was looking, he crossed the street. By now, it's dark out and hubby couldn't see well. He called for Jose. A big truck hit him as he was trying to come home. I heard him scream. The truck never stopped.

We scooped him up and drove as fast as we could to the animal hospital. It seemed that the truck might have just clipped him and maybe all that happened was a broken leg. We were adjusting ourselves for possibly having a three-legged dog. I didn't care, I'd take his sweet precious heart any way I could keep it. They stabilized him, put him on an IV and morphine drip and we were to wait until the next morning when the surgeon could examine at him. We kissed him good-night and started for home about midnight.

The next day, I'm calling every hour until I get the surgeon. He had examined him and studied his x-rays. There was much more damage than what the vet on emergency staff had indicated. Long story short, after somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000, there would be no guarantee that Jose would have control of his hind quarters and that his pelvis would heal properly enough for him to be mobile even on 3 legs. Needless to say, we had to make the most difficult decision to euthanize him. Jose was put to rest yesterday a little after noon.

The tears are almost dry now. I still break out at the drop of a hat, but at least the frequency is finally starting to slow down. I haven't been this sad in a very long time. Jose had one of the most sweetest and gentlest hearts I've had the pleasure to know. We will always miss him.

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Good-bye my sweet little angel

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Test

Now this is kinda cool! How many times have you wanted to post a document? I stumbled upon this site in my wanderings. If you have files you'd like to post, you might want to check it out :)

Scribd


Read this document on Scribd: MinisPuffFlowerSpaCloth

Saturday, June 14, 2008

First Bulb Flower!

I love spring :)



I don't remember the name of this flower, but it's from the daffodil family. The greenery of the bulb flowers have been up for about a week. This is the first bloom!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Puff Flower Spa Cloth

This pattern is no longer available.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

# 3 in the Revolt Against Plastic



Same pattern, different color :o)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Secret Project shhhhhh

I'll be posting a new pattern next Sunday. But until then, it's a secret - shhhhhh.

Tax Me Will You?

I know I haven't posted in a reeeeallllly long time. Haven't had much to say or share. Same old thing for the most part. I've saved you from boredom. Really. Really, really. But today you are lucky! Not only do I have something to share, you get to read me rant!

Now I'm not a tree-hugger. Wasn't one in the 60s/70s, am not one now. I believe man has been given dominion over the earth and if a home needs to go up, I could give a flying squat about the kangaroo rat or the fairy shrimp. Yep, I said fairy shrimp. Now that's not to say I picture myself as irresponsible. Lawd, no. I believe we should occupy the buildings we have before we build more. I believe we should save the rain forests because, quite simply, I like to breathe and there's good medicine in them thar trees.

I even hate the plastic bags you're forced to take home from the store. I always ask for paper. Yes, it takes a tree to make a paper sack, but we can grow more trees. We can't save the soil and water tables, however, from the poison those plastic bags emit as they "don't ever rot". But I, like everyone else, would pile those darn things into the trunk of my car every weekend as I ran the shopping errands. Until...

Some idiot legislator out of L.A. county decided it would be quite dandy to add a 25 cent tax to every plastic bag you take out of the store. If he was proposing it for environmental reasons, I would have probably bought into it quietly. But he's not. He's just scrounging more revenue for the state on top of the billions of taxes that have been collected from cigarettes, gas and other assorted high-taxed items that they haven't even spent! It hasn't passed as a new tax law yet, but if it doesn't, someone else will keep singing the song until it does.


But my real problem is that I've seen far too many people in the grocery store or at the local Wal-Mart with their calculator in their hand punching in those numbers as they add things to their cart so they know they'll have enough money when they get to the register. Now, they'll need to factor in that unknown quantity of plastic bags into their calculations. Because we all know how many times you're forced to double-bag because they tear. So don't buy that extra box of cereal or gallon of milk. You have bags to pay for!

Can you tell this chaps my hide? So the revolt begins... I am vowing to never take home my purchases in plastic bags again. Join me, won't you?

Market Bag #1



A HUGE market bag fit for Farmers Markets and Swap Meets. The enormo-bag was made with Lion's Market Bag pattern using Sugar 'n Cream. I could run away from home with this bag.

Market Bag #2



This is the one I'll make over and over for those bi-monthly trips to the grocery store. I found this pattern at Nancy's Crochet. I modified the pattern a wee bit, but the nod goes to her. Basically, wherever the pattern called for 2 rows of dc, I made 3 rows of hdc. I also made the straps lengthwise to reduce some of the stretch. I made the bottom the size of a paper grocery sack (which is smaller than the pattern.) Other than that, the only customization is the leaf button I added for pizzazz.

There are many free patterns for knitted, crocheted and sewn market bags out there on the net. Just include "market bag", "shopping bag" or "grocery bag" in your search.

Now join me in the Anti-Plastic Bag Tax Revolt of 2008!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Crabby P

You've met Oh Poo! Now meet his evil nemesis Crabby P!



Naida started an Amigurumi-along at CFL and as much as I like amigurumi, I don't like crocheting in the tight circles you have to crochet in to make arms and legs. Then I had a wonderous idea! I'll make a partner for Naida's Oh Poo! And Crabby P was born.

In interviewing Mr. P, I asked him if there was any competition between him and Oh Poo! for the limelight. He simply replied, "Let's just say I always come out first."

Wanna a Crabby P of your very own? Here's everything you need:

Crabby P

Materials
Some yellow yarn – the brighter, the better
2 Green cat eyes (safety eyes that are attached with washers)
A little bit of stuffing
A yarn needle
A stitch marker (to mark your place if you’re not used to working in continuous rounds)
Size E / 3.5mm hook

The model was worked with Bernat Satin in Banana which is a very soft yarn. For amigurumi, it is better to use a standard acrylic yarn such as Red Heart Super Saver or Vanna’s Choice.

Notes
You will be working in continuous rounds.
Gauge is not important, but adjust hook size as needed to achieve tight stitches.
You should not see the stuffing through the stitches.

Instructions

Ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook.

Rnd 1: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sc)

Rnd 2: *Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around (18 sc)

Rnd 3: *Sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around (24 sc)

Rnd 4: *Sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around (30 sc)

Rnd 5: *Sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around (36 sc)

Rnd 6 - 9: Sc in ea sc around (36 sc)

Rnd 10: *Sc in next 4 sc, dec over next 2 sc; rep from * around (30 sc)

Rnd 11: Sc in ea sc around (30 sc)

Attach eyes 3rd row from the top approx. 1½” apart.

Rnd 12: *Sc in next 3 sc, dec over next 2 sc; rep from * around (24 sc)

Rnds 13 & 14: Sc in ea sc around (24 sc)

Begin stuffing.

Rnd 15: *Sc in next 2 sc, dec over next 2 sc; rep from * around (18 sc)

Rnds 16 & 17: Sc in ea sc around (18 sc)

Stuff some more.

Rnd 18: *Sc in next sc, dec over next 2 sc; rep from * around (12 sc)

Rnd 19: Sc in ea sc around (12 sc)

Keep stuffing.

Rnd 20: *Dec over next 2 sc; rep from * around (6 sc)

Last call for stuffing.

Rnd 21: *Dec over next 2 sc; rep from * around (3 sc)

Finishing: Insert hook and pull up a loop in ea remaining sc, yo, pull through all loops on hook. Ch 10, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea remaining ch, pull up a 12” loop and cut.

Thread yarn needle, anchor sc strip to top of Crabby P, thread yarn through back of sc strip and out tip; insert needle at tip of Crabby P and run needle through his body (forming curl); weave in end at bottom of doll.

Enjoy!

The fine print: Copyright 2008. Feel free to make these for yourself, as gifts, for charity bazaars or craft shows to supplement your income. You may not use this pattern for large-scale commerical profit. Do not distribute this pattern outside of providing a link to this site. And for crying out loud, don't claim it as your own.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Hobbit Is Coming!

In 2010! (not 2006 ~ this is a fanvid) Read more here:

http://www.thehobbitblog.com/

Monday, April 14, 2008

Boho Blocks

My last FO of my vacation is the Child's Boho Blocks Sweater from the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Crochet. They had the pattern posted at Knitting Daily, but have since taken it down. If you are interested in this pattern, let me know as I have the PDF that I can send along.

The pattern called for using 2 strands of Lorna's Laces which I considered using since I loved the look so much, but when I searched the net for the cheapest price, I found it on sale for 54.99 a skein and it would have taken at least 6 skeins. There is NO WAY I'm spending $300 to make a kid sweater! Are they nuts?!

So I made it with 1 strand of Bernat Satin Sport. The gauge worked out perfectly. Total project cost - $15 (it would have been $11 had I stuck with 1 color.) Much better! And there was about 1/2 skein of each color left when I was done. I used 1-1/2 skeins of beige and a little over 1/2 skein each of the darker tan and blue. I admit that the 'plain' colors don't look anywhere near as appealing as the marled look obtained with 2 strands of Lorna's Laces, but then is the 2 yr. old kid really gonna know or care? I think not.


Why oh why do I continue to pick patterns that use squares? I hate sewing them together!

Since the sweater is comprised of squares, it worked up quickly. The loopy edging was a bit tedious (translate 'boring'), but because it is such a small size I managed to persevere! LOL

And so ends my vacation WIP-to-FO party ;o)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Weave In the Ends Day

Which also means I'm clearing a couple of WIPs off the list ~ YAY! Today I finished off 2 potholders and a beach bag. I've been on a Drops yarn kick since I ordered the first ball of Muskat Soft. I just love this yarn! It's a smooth cotton between a sport weight and size 3 leaning more toward sport weight. The quality is wonderful as the plies are many and very thin. This translates to me as no pilling. Plus the variegated yarns just scream for something fun to be made with them. There are only 2 places I've found on the net that sell it. I've been buying mine at Nordic Mart. They have super-fast shipping and are very, very friendly!



The red is my favorite. As you're working with it, you are consistently surprised as to which color comes out next. Very fun to work with. So out of the red, I made these potholders to try it out.



They are made with 2 strands which gives them a great marled look. I altered the loop at the top as I hang mine right against the wall and the loop in the pattern wasn't working out so well for that purpose. I'm thinking of making placemats with it as well. Won't that look great on a summer picnic table?

I was originally going to make this purse, but since I just finished making squares, I was not in the mood for more immediately after. So instead, I made the beach bag.



The top edge is done in Ice which is a bulky weight cotton (brown yarn in first photo.) And you'll find the pattern here. I did not alter this one at all ~ I followed the instructions all the way. The cording instructions were a bit confusing, so if you decide to make this bag, you are making 2 straps using 1 strand of yarn for each. I had made 1 strap using both strands and went huh? Then I got it. Could just be me though... :oP

So that's 2 projects completed. I have finished the squares for the Boho sweater mentioned in my previous post, so I'll be spending the better part of the remainder of the day weaving in those ends and assembling them. I want to get that one off my plate before I have to go back to work on Monday.

Then... I'll be organizing the bazillion WIPs that remain and decide which ones I'll actually finish. No guarantees that I won't buy more Muskat though and start something new :oD

Ciao for now!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Here's Your Sign

I'm dedicating this post to my mailman who put a small box of yarn in my community-sized mailbox. It apparently fit going in on his side, but is too large to come out of my side. I can't get it out!! It was yarn that I had ordered to finish a beach bag. All that is left to do is the edging and the straps! You'll find the pattern I'm working on here. Needless to say, I'll be waiting for the mailman today. Good thing I'm still on vacation.

I've also started a lightweight pullover sweater for my girlfriend's little girl. Since it's made with squares, it's going fairly quickly and I am excited to get it done. It's the Boho Blocks Pullover from the Fall 2006 Interweave Crochet mag. I'd post a link to the pattern, but unfortunately, they've taken it down. I have the published PDF if anyone is interested. Just send me a message. Anyway, I'm making it with Bernat's Satin Sport in Beige. It's a yummy color ~ literally ~ it reminds me of a warm bowl of nice creamy oatmeal.

Isn't that the cutest kid sweater?


Bowl of oatmeal for color reference
And this morning I purchased 2 Stitch N' Pitch tickets for the Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres game on June 29th. This is the first time I will be attending a Stitch N' Pitch event, so I'm a little excited. Hubby appears to be excited as well. It's a WIN WIN! I also managed to get great seats too ~ field box seats on the 3rd base line, 24 rows back. Usually when I get around to buying tickets for a game, we're in the nosebleed section. Here's the view:
Cool, huh!?
We might actually get a shot at catching a foul ball ~ better bring the mitts.
So that's it for this post. If I don't post before, have a great weekend!

Friday, April 04, 2008

OMG A Post!


So I've been a bit awol lately due to a crashed hard drive and other assorted adventures. I don't know about you, but when I don't have access to my computer I feel like someone has ripped off my right arm.

So anyway, things are starting to return to normal. I've been buying yarn like I'll live long enough to use it all! Although work has kept me so busy lately that I've been flitting from project to project not quite finishing anything. But I intend to remedy that this next week because...

I'M ON VACATION!!!!!!!!!!

So there shall be lots of crocheting, movie-watching and other forms of merriment. Heck, I just may drag out the sewing machine or finally learn how to use that knitting machine I bought 2 years ago. So hang tight, I just may have a photo or two to post to show off the latest and greatest. Until then,

Happy Trails,
~ Mini

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

There have been no new adventures really to speak about other than work, work, work. Until last Friday night that is. There I was just having changed into my 'it's Friday night and I don't have to do squat' clothes when the phone rang. It was my mom and she was not feeling well at all. So badly in fact, that she wanted to go to the emergency room. 8 hours later, they admitted her and I crawled back through my door at 3am. She's ok, but they want to monitor her for a few days as they found something on her EKG. She's 91 years old, it could be just about anything ~ parts wearing out, bad mix of medications, you name it. Anyway, not a fun adventure. Needless to say, by Saturday I was a worn out, wrung out, wet dishrag and still haven't completely come back to life even though it is now Sunday. Sitting for 8 hours in a hard waiting room chair can wipe you out beyond all reason. I did manage to crochet several squares toward my 'Moroccan' afghan which went a long way toward maintaining sanity in an emergency room on a Friday night :o\ There's a lot to be said for having a small project bag ready to go as you run out the door.

So while I wait to hear what they're going to do ~ keep her or release her ~ I be surfing and I be buying patterns.

Because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Patricia Kristoffersen, I had to pick up her latest doily book
Exquisite Doilies. I just love all of the texture she puts into her designs!



Then off to
Annie's Attic for more doilies of the old fashioned sort.



And more doilies ~ this time called
placemats and hotpads as size 3 cotton is used for quick results. And we're always looking for quick aren't we?



I will likely never make this afghan due to the extreme number of color changes, but isn't the
Cathedral Rose Window Afghan gorgeous?



Then it was off to
e-Pattern Central cuz I hadn't been there in forever to see what they had. I picked up a pattern for bullion stitch hearts. Not sure why, I just thought they were cute. Or maybe it was because the pattern is only 99 cents.



As I was evidently not done, I then went to Amazon and picked up this afghan book ~
50 Sensational Crochet Afghans and Throws. I was inspired by the color choices of a member at Ravelry. It had been on my wish list for some time, but the color choices put me over the edge and convinced me to hit the Buy with 1-Click button.



Since I now could delete this book from my wish list, my list was looking rather empty. So I added these!





I was then apparently done with crochet pattern shopping. But strangely not done with typing in that atm card number, so after reading a
MooNie update, I hit his website then MooNie and Broon's website and picked up their DVD. These guys are a riot ~ although I have to admit that if MooNie hadn't joined forces with Broon, I probably would pass on Broon, but together they are quite funny. I first saw MooNie at the Southern California Renaissance Faire several years ago and haven't missed his show there since.



Was I done yet? HECK NO!!! Cuz I obviously realized that I don't have enough Teresa Wentzler cross stitch charts! I learned that she is now able to make her Best of Fantasy charts available for download at
Patterns Online. So since I was still in surfing and buying mode, I went there and picked up these charts:



I didn't have the
Sun Dragon chart so I picked that one up. Nor did I have the Needle Guardian chart. Since I love dragons and all, not downloading these was not an option.



The neat thing about Patterns Online is that your purchased charts are stored online, so should you ever lose the files, you can always get them back. The downside ~ if you want to consider it one ~ is that you need to install their pattern viewing software in order to print your charts. It's a read/print only version of PC Stitch. I don't see this as a problem, but if you don't want to install more software on your machine, you need to know this before you purchase!

Just so you know that I do occasionally make something from the myriad of patterns that I buy/download, I did manage to finish this doily, but have not gotten around to taking a picture of it yet :oP


I hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Off-Site

One of our projects at work is taking a bit of a left turn, so the core IT team and I decided we needed to escape the facility to regroup and come up with Plan B. And what better place to escape and regroup than the San Diego Wild Animal Park (which is really in Escondido)?

We spent the first 4 hours hoofing our way through the park with the remaining time doing what one would consider actual work. Here are some pics of the more interesting part of the day ;)


Pretty Kitty!

My favorite critter is the cheetah. They are sleek, they are pretty and they are deadly. You just have to admire something that can take down their prey in 60 seconds or less!


Has anyone seen Crockett & Tubbs?

Flamingos. The more shrimp they eat, the pinker they become. Most of these guys were pretty darn pink so they must be getting their fair share. Noisy weird birds. And there's something not quite right about a knee that bends backwards.


Someday, my backyard will look like this...

I love walking around this park to gather landscaping ideas. Now, if I could just get the hubby out in the backyard...


The Big Kill

You have to give the park designers credit for how they use the funds and donations from the park. They did a great job on the vulture enclosure :D


Can you find the hummingbirds?


What a life!


Offspring of Winston


... and Winston

Winston has been at the Animal Park for as long as I can remember. He's the Big Kahuna in this community being the senior adult male Silverback Lowland Gorilla. In a previous visit where I arrived before normal park hours, the keeper was explaining that Winston hates the rain and actually cries. It is hard to imagine this beastie being a softie ~ lol!

It was a wonderful day and alleviated a great deal of stress. I think everyone should have their off-sites here ;)

Friday, January 11, 2008

PJ Is Doing The Hobbit!!

We knew they'd buckle, but they sure took us for a ride! All have settled their differences and PJ will be producing (not directing, but we're still campaigning.) Even if he doesn't direct, we trust him to keep continuity between LOTR and the Hobbit movies. Yes, movies. There will be 2! Read more here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go change my underwear. This news took me rather by surprise LOL!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Picture Day!

OK - I've been negligent a wee bit while I've been off work. So in honor of my last day before I go back to the salt mines, here are pics of things I've been working on.

I picked up
Patricia Kristoffersen's Beautiful Baby Borders Blankets booklet and started an afghan for our admin at work. She's another one that thought she was unable to have kids and oops ~ Surprise! So I thought I'd make something a little more special than what I would normally make for a co-worker. The lavendar is Caron's Perfect Match, all of the other colors are Lion's Pound of Love.



First, the pain-in-the-butt squares. Every row is a different color. But the effect is lovely. I have managed to finish the 24 squares that are needed.



Then sl st'd together and edged.



In-between the square strips will be ring strips. There are 28 rings to a strip and they're edged in lavendar like the squares. Again, each ring in succession is a different color, so the work is a little slow-going. And that's it on the baby afghan for now.

Next up is an afghan I have half-heartedly started and work on between projects. I'm calling it the Morocco Afghan because of the colors. The square pattern is the
Friendship Jewel Square. I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking I'll use Drew's joining method (called Dude Assembly) instead of sewing them together. I haven't even thought of the edging yet, but it will likely be rather plain. I'm making this with Vanna's Choice.









Next is a hat that I crocheted for one of CFL's OTW MCALs. It was the last of the holiday MCALs which was for charity. The pattern is
Luxury Hat from Woodhill design. I'll be getting this off in the mail tomorrow.



And last up on the picture taking extravaganza is another CFL MCAL ~ Heart Sachets. All were made in thread, the white and pink one in size 3 and the peach one in size 10. A few ribbon roses for decoration and voila! A nice valentine's gift for someone special.



This one will go into a gift basket with some candy for my mom. The color is bridal white which is really a light cream color. What are they saying do you think? lol



Haven't named who this one and the peach one are going to yet.



All 3 of them for size comparison. When made in size 10 thread, it comes out oh-so-dainty to tuck into a lingerie drawer. The larger ones can also be used in the drawer, but I think they look nicer on a bed or dresser.



My hearts are a slight modification from an old vintage pattern which can be found here. I simply make them in 1 color instead of 2 and sew the pillow closed before the edging is done instead of after (what were they thinking?)

And so ends my Christmas vacation crochet! I'll be continuing to work on those afghans and who knows what else. I hope your holidays were happy ones and I look forward to more avid crocheting in 2008!