Saturday, November 11, 2006
Here is a picture of my alligator that I made for my nephew...
And this is the cabled bag that I wrote about...It has wooden handles that I covered with Lion Brand Suede, to make them nice and cushy to hold. I didn't have to line the inside, because I stitched really tight, and wove in my ends like a fiend...hoooorraaayyy....
I'm almost done with the stuff for my swap, and I will post the pictures of that stuff when my partner recieves it...ok...must go and craft...life depends upon my success...
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Hurray for my very first picture on my blog! This is my purse that I made...it was my very first cabling project, and only the third thing that I ever knitted. Here is a picture where you can see the lining....
I think that it is sort of kick ass...
Here is a picture of a bag I crocheted for superhubby's Grandma, who is awesome shit...
As you can see, my favorite dog is in love with the bag as well...If he had thumbs I would make him one too.
I have one more picture...this is the tiniest ninja ever made...
This is what he looks like all the time...he goes to ninja school. He plays laccrosse on weekends.
I am on the phone with my mother in law right now (not super), so I must depart...it is not my choice...she is the devil...
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I must first say that I have no feeling in the ring finger on my right hand. That is making it sort of hard to type right now. I am freaking out a little about it at this moment.
In other news, I finished the superhubby hat in one day! I made another one today, for my brother in law. Superhubby took me to the yarn shop in Birmingham. I got the most awesomest stuff ever! I found out that they sell Malabrigo there...sweet...so I got one hank of that, plus, the owner gave me a great deal on this organic cotton, and I love it! I got the yarn for the HP swap stuff, and some yarn for my christmas projects. They also had a really great clearance bin, and I got 3 balls of Elba from Needful yarns and a ball of Vaudeville from Artful Yarns...all for two bucks each! I am very proud of my bargain shopping, but I am also proud that I touched yarn for a half hour, and I only bought things that I actually needed. Ok...I have a plan for most of it....shut up.
So I am hoping to really bust out some progress this weekend. I hope that my hands hold out for a while longer.
I must write about how awesome netflix is for a second. I have been looking for a DVD of Jan Svankmajer's animation for years now, and I could never find any....then I looked it up on netflix, and they have a whole collection of his stuff, including his awesome rendition of Alice in Wonderland. If you are a fan of avant garde animation, or if you like things that are spooky or even gothic, you should totally check him out. Seriously, because he is supersweet. A lot.
I must now retire to fondle my yarn a bit more. I can't really write about what I'm going to do with my new yarn, because there is a chance that someone may, at some point, read this. I know I am fooling myself. Shut up.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I got my swap partner for the Harry Potter swap. Her name is Anna and she lives in Finland. I have already annoyed her with questions about her country. She is the main reason that I am desperate to get to the yarn store soon. Her stuff is due on November 30, so I have to get going on it. I can't write what I'm making yet, because there is a link to this from craftster. However, Superhubby (he got capitalized for this one) figured out how to make the digital camera work, so I can put up pictures soon! Yeehaw!
In the most pleasant news of this age, my long lost love has returned! i'm not talking about yarn here, just so you know. I don't know if she wants her name in the blog, so I will call her superfriend. i haven't seen her in years, and then suddenly she appears in my inbox! and she is fabulous! I sent her a quote this morning. It has been a long time since I have sent anyone a good quote.
I will now bestow a quote on the non-masses of non-fans:
"The profound thinker always suspects that he is superficial." -Disraeli
and something to lighten the mood:
"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal." -Wilde
If anyone ever wants a whole cache of depressing quotes about the fruitlessness of life, just drop me a line. You know, everyone needs a hobby. Mine's depression.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I am almost finished with the cabled bag...I just need to do the lining and handle. I'm going to the craft store to check out their selection of handles before I decide on the style I want. I still haven't made the arms to the sweater. I started a knitted crocodile for my nephew for x-mas. I had been unsure how I would make it, but I just cast on and thought about it for a while, and I think i've got it figured out. I am starting at the neck and going down to the tip of the tail, then I will pick up stitches for the parts of the head and work some shortrows and whatnot for and open mouth. I'll just make the legs seperately.
I have only 2 more days until I find out who my swap partner is. I can't wait. I think I have some good ideas for what to make, but I will have to see who I get. I hope that my person has a wist.... I need to figure out how to make one of those.
ok. I am nearly spent. I suppose that one day I will have more to report.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
aparently I have had a surge of crafty power. since the last post I made the two purses and a hat, and I did the shoulder seaming and neck of the sweater (now it just needs arms). I have commenced on one of the november projects, a cabled bag, for superhubby's cousin. I am being a big wuss about the sweater sleeves, because they have intarsia on them, and I have never done two colors in knitting before. I keep being tempted to just do the sleeves plain, and maybe embroider the designs on, but then, that would really be just dancing around the inevitable. I have to do intarsia some time, so why not just plunge in? It's not even a hard pattern. I just hate doing things for the first time.
I have been doing too much knitting without switching to crochet, and now my arms are dead from the shoulder down. THEY really need to find a cure for arthritis soon, or else I will die. Seriously...I am 27, and on some days I cannot write...like I can't control a pencil with my hand. I shudder to think what the days will be like when I am old.
Aside from all that...we bought new fish for our aquarium, and they have eaten almost all of our old fish. I guess they are really mean.
Superkid has the whole week off from school next week. I am not jumping for joy right now.
Oh, and I just watched two horrible movies... In an effort to get into the Halloween spirit, I put scary movies on my netflix list. I saw THE FOG and THE CAVE. They both SUCK. It is hard to find scary-ish movies for me to like nowadays, because I don't like movies that are based on a crazy person. I am not scared of supernatural things like ghosts or monsters, so those movies are ok...and future ones and space ones are good too...however, I am very scared of crazy people, and so I don't like movies where innocent normal people are minding their own business and some crazy person comes to see them. It seems like crazy person movies are very popular now. We saw Silent Hill in the movie theatre and that was pretty good. Especially for a video game movie. I think we need some good religious conspiracy movies. I love movies about Catholics covering up horrible secrets, or plotting something about the antichrist. I don't know why, but I love them...Stigmata, End of Days, The Order, The Omen (ok, haven't seen the movie, but read all 4 books), you know....that kind of thing. This probably makes me shallow and stupid, but really I could care less. I make up for it with watching obscure foriegn films.
Anyway. must make coffee. Must...umm....not type.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Some of the world's great monsters have untold stories, many, in fact, led quite happy childhoods before their later, more infamous years.
so, the front and back of the sweater are done. I also made a giant totebag for Grandma Emma for Christmas. And I finished the hat for little Emma. So, I totally feel pretty good about it all. Especially because my arms aren't breaking as much anymore. You see...crochet kills my hands, and knitting totally screws up my arms, so if I just sort of go back and forth a lot, neither one really gets completely broken. and that is good news.
My to-do list is still very long. I have also recently signed up to do a swap on Craftster. It is a Harry Potter at Christmas swap! how awesome is that? I know! Unfortunately, that means that I'll have even more things to work on. The swap runs from 10-25 until 11-30, so I have a little while, but dang... that's a lot, kind of.
I have to get started on my other October projects. Yes, I have them divided by month. This month I have to finish the sweater, and make 2 hats and 2 purses. not too bad really, and I'm trying to finish early and get a jump on November to give myself more time for the swap. At least the swap stuff doesn't have to be made of yarn, so if I'm having a yarn overload, I can always find other stuff to do.......yeah....right....
Sunday, October 08, 2006
So, I finished the little scarfy thing, and a crocheted hat....almost done with the knitted hat for my niece. On friday night I started my first sweater. Superhubby has been begging for a sweater for a very long time, and so it has begun. I have the back about 3 /4 done. I'm making Skully from the SnB book.
I also scored some super cheap novelty yarn from Hershners. I have never ordered anything from them before, so I hope it turns out well. They didn't even charge me for shipping.
I ordered some neat stuff from YarnMarket as well, stuff I'd never used before....its an experiment!
To continue the theme of experimentation, I will now produce a list of my favorite crochet/knitting books, because my hands have become too broken to review them one at a time. You can trust me on these, I have excellent taste. My husband is hot. Not kidding.
Ok....best crochet books:
1. SnB happy hooker
2. felted crochet
3. lion brand vintage styles for today
4. crocheting school
5. quick crochet huge hooks.
The rest of them are basically hit and miss. I don't know why crochet books tend to suck so bad.
Best knitting books. (no particular order)
1. SnB books
2. Handknit holidays
4. Vogue knitting accessorize
5. the Vogue stitchionaries
6. one skein
7. scarf style and wrap style
8. The knitting experience books
9. Debbie Bliss' Junior knits (great for kids aged 4-10, patterns are hard to find for superkid.)
But basically, anything that is published by Interweave Press tends to be just friggin excellent. I have not seen any of their books that i haven't liked.
well, I feel as though my work here is done. But I think that I should also tell you that the movie "the shining" is creepily awesome, and the movie "a knights tale" is pretty much just stupid.
Maybe tomorrow I will make a list of good movies....or not. buh bye.
Monday, October 02, 2006
I think that everyone in america should start buying brittish knitting magazines.
For one thing, they are awesome, but also, almost every pattern contains the words whilst and oddment.
and so they are way more sweeter and awesomer than anything in regular old american english.
Superkid is home from school today, so the house is much more bouncy and annoying than usual. You see, it is also raining like crazy, and it is pretty cold out, and so Superkid is confined to the destuction of the interior of the house....
So I'm thinking that it would be a good day to go and run errands.
Just so you know, I didn't actually do any of the things that were on my list.
I made a lapblanket for Superhubby's great Grandma, who just had some troubles, and is stuck in a wheelchair for a while. I also broke my arms whilst making it, and so I took some days off of using the arms. My mom came to visit during those days, so it was ok. On friday I started this scarf that is in that Knitting Experience book...it is a cross between a triangle scarf and a regular rectangle scarf. It is going ok....I've got maybe a day more of work to do on it. I also started a hat for my neice last night. I envisioned this hat/scarf set in my mind, so I hope that it comes out well. I am making it from yarn that I saved from a terrible sweater I found at the goodwill. The things some people will do to yarn are appalling.
I am suddenly smelling breakfast food.
A lot, it smells like french toast right behind me.
but there is no french toast.
maybe its a brain tumor.
or the people upstairs.
Am I the only one in the world that actually enjoys living in an apartment? people keep telling me that I need to buy a house or, at the very least, a condo....but I like my apartment, and I don't really want to buy anything. Except yarn. and maybe more pets.
Friday, September 22, 2006
those are happy noises around here.
I don't exactly know why i'm happy, but that's ok. I found out about this "on demand" feature on my tv today. I can watch lots of cool movies on it. Today I had a horrible decision over whether to watch Desperately Seeking Susan (yay, madonna and Aidan Quinn) and An Ideal Husband (yay, everyone I like), and in the end, Oscar Wilde won out....as he always should, really. I do have an unwholesome attachment to Oscar Wilde. He is right up there with Rasputin and James Spader (do you want to know?).
So I began knitting a lap blanket thing for the superhubby's super great grandma. She has been ill lately, and she is in a nursing place and confined to a wheel chair. I heard that it's really cold there and she always has to borrow wheel chair blankets from the other ladies who have been there for longer, so I thought that I would make her one of her own. I'm not really sure about how big these things are supposed to be, but I figured I would just start making away, and sooner or later it will be big enough. I'm doing it in squares to be sewn together, so all the dimensions are adjustable.
I want to put in a word here to recommend the "knitting experience " books by Sally Melville. I have the first two, and I think that they are nice. Some of the projects are weird, but that's ok. i didn't learn in the way that she teaches, and I think that some of her writing is a little bit stupid, but the directions seem nice, and the books are what they seem. The first one only used the knit stitch....all of it, only knitting...no purling in sight. I don't know why this is necessary, but it is true. And let me clarify that it isn't just her that I find a little stupid....it's all these books now that talk about knitting as some kind of therapy, or soul healing or anything lame like that. I mean shut up...if you have to justify knitting to yourself in some way, than maybe you shouldn't be doing it. It's like these ladies are ashamed that they spend all this time knitting, and they tell people that they do it to relieve the stress in their lives so that no one makes fun of them.
Well I say that is retarded.
I'm not ashamed of my yarn.
I love it.
And my family may think that i'm crazy, but i don't care. My superhubby and superkid both love the yarn. They think it is fabulous. everyone else in the world is pretty much a loser. I think that if everyone in the world had a couple of skeins of malabrigo sitting in their houses to pet and love, it would be a much nicer world to live in.
P.S. seriously, buy some malabrigo yarn...it is the best. Uraguay is now my favorite country. After Peru.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
This keyboard has the buttons in the right place, and my hands do not bleed from contact! I may be in love. Superhubby got a thing put on it so that you can watch tv on the computer, and I think this may be overkill, but other than that, it seems pretty supersweet.
Since my last post I made 2 scarves. The first one is for my aunt...it is made of mohair and angora (off-white) and knitted in a basketweave pattern. This was pretty fun to make. Then I made a stockinette scarf for superhubby's friend's girlfriend. This was not fun to make, but that's ok, because I hardly know the girl, and I don't care.
I got two boxes of yarn this week. (sweet). I got the stuff from Webs, and Noro is so awesome. I want more almost immediately. I also got a box from Paradise Fibers...I got some Brown Sheep and a skein of Baabajoes woolpak...it is supersweet to the max.
I have 14 coupons for 40% off at JoAnns for this weekend. These have new yarn written all over them.
I have been totally slacking off on my making lately, and it is time to kick my self in the crazypants. This week I must knit a hat, crochet a crazy robot, crochet a hat, and start knitting a sweater. I have a very long list of things to make, and the time for them is going down the tubes whilst I sit here creating for "fun".
I have not yet actually followed a knitting pattern, so I am sort of worried about the sweater, but i'm pretty sure I can do it.
I also plan on doing some more book reviews in the near future. I now own somewhere near one gazillion needle work books. By needle work I mean knitting and crochet. The other needle works cannot be counted at this time. I have become obsessed with finding cute projects to become inspired by, but not actually create.
John Stewart is really funny.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Pain stood in the way like a sheet of glass:you could walk through it, but not without a certain noise.
so I have just broken my yarn fast.....again.....
I could not help it...
I am like a reed that blows in the wind of www.yarn.com.....
I am telling you that Webs is so fabulous that I can't stand it. I bought some more Tahki Donegal tweed...I fell in love with it when I was there this summer...I will now have enough for a sweater. I also discovered that they have overstocks of Noro! I have always wanted to try some Noro, because the colors are so insanely awesome....and I got these for half off! WOO HOO!!!!!
In other news....my knitting is going pretty well. I just finished my second knitted bag last night. I'm pretty proud of it because I put cables on the front. I was reading a book the other day and suddenly cables made complete sense to me. This is super great because I have always loved cables.
I am still searching for the perfect projects to use the yarn I bought this summer. Some of it may actually be too fabulous to use. If you ever have the chance to touch the merino wool from Malabrigo, you should definately rub it all over your entire body. You may actually die of happiness, though, so make sure that your affairs are in order before you do this. I bought two skeins of this in Cambridge, Mass this summer. Whenever I get sad I just touch it. Nothing is too strong to beat the Malabrigo.
I also bought a huge ball of beautiful roving at the Michigan fiber fest, and I leave it on my table so that I can just look at it all the time. I am sort of intimidated by it. I bought my first drop spindle, and I used up the practice yarn, but I am afraid to mess up the giant ball of awesome. It is dyed in this blue/green variation.
My other problem is that I tend to find a yarn that I like, and then I can't pick a color, so instead of buying 5 skeins of one color, I buy 5 different colors that I like. Then I try to find a project to make, and nothing seems right with stripes.
Woe is me....
So much yarn, so little time.
If I could have one superpower, it would definately be the ability to stop time. That way, I could touch my yarn for hours at a time and no one would know.
Ok. I'm typing on a laptop, and the keyboard is making my hands fall asleep. My new computer should be here any day now, and then I will be able to post without somno-type.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
it seems that I have not posted since the second age of angstiness! If you will notice, I am not blogging from the library, but from my very own lair! this is nice because there is coffee here...and i do not have the keyboard of death.
I am sure that you will not be surprised when I tell you that I have a lot to blog about from the summer...My glorious summer vacation amongst the yarn shoppes of new england, my attendance at the crochet & knitting guild show in Pennsylvania, the Michigan fiber fest in allegan, and the fact that I learned to knit 2 weeks ago.
However, the most important thing to blog about is the Interweave yarn buddy fun. I have two wonderful yarn cohorts, and I have heretofore been remiss in not writing about them at all. The yarn buddy that has me is named Shana, and she is ultra fabulous. (plus she must have mounds of really cute stationary hanging about her lair.) In June she sent me mongolian cashmere! This yarn is the jewel of my stash. It sits on top of the wood bowl that holds the prettiest yarn. It makes all the other yarn feel self conscious and kind of angry. In july she sent me this awesome cotton yarn that is bumpy and wonderful. It is purply-bluey, and super soft. She got it in New Orleans where she voluteers and she hopes to live one day. This makes it extra special because I love travel yarn.
The yarn buddy that I send things to is named Sarah, and she is awesome. She just got married and moved to a new place. In june I sent her some mohair yarn in a bluey-grey sort of color. She told me that she liked mochair, and that everything in her house was that color, so...you know...I think it was from anny blatt... In july I sent her one of my tweedy skeins of jo sharp aran tweed, because I told her that i would send her one of my favorites. I also cheated and sent her something I got on my vacation...I was driving through the Berkshire mountains when I came upon a little village called Northampton, and in that hamlet there resides a tiny yarn shop called WEBS....ok, o it is really a giagantic superstore of fabulosity. anyway, I picked her up a ball of Berkshire yarn, in commemoration. it was nice, I think it was a wool/alpaca blend by Valley Yarns. For my august project I made her a little bag that I found in Spin Off magazine. I liked it a lot, and I showed it to some other people and they all thought it was good too, so I went for it. I made it in Berrocco's Denim silk. It is a bag to hold your yarn ball in while you knit on the go. I really hope she likes it, i don't know if it is too froofy for her...but it was the first crocheted lace pattern i've done (i've done two more lace projects since!) and I think it turned out pretty well...i'm still waiting to hear from her.
And this is where I will end this diatribe......for now!
Friday, May 19, 2006
How are we fare..ing...?
Um...computer is still in the junk heap...
Good news is that my brother will be coming home soon, and he is a computer whizz...he says he thinks he can fix the crap-puter 2000 pretty easily. Unfortunately, it broke just as he left for Slovakia for a week...and then he had to go to Thailand for a month...hence, computer is still the ultra-crap.
Anyway....I don't think that my yarn buddy likes me, as I have not heard anything yet...
This is breaking my heart.
Yesterday I took superkid to the yarn store, where he insisted on becoming tentacles again. (this is when he stands behind me and wraps his arms around, and it looks like I have two stubby arms coming out of my waist.) (so precious) (I really was moved to tears) (ok, not really)
Also we went to the bookstore and looked at yarn books.
He tried to get me to buy all of them.
He is the devil.
I'm bored of typing now...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
today is the day that I've been waiting for!
And I'm not just saying that because I am really bored.
Today I made it back to the library to check my mail, (it has only been 3 weeks, darlings) and I find the secret identity of my secret yarn pal! I must say that I love interweave forever for allowing me to have a secret yarn pal. I can't tell you her name, but I can say that she lives in Illinois. So, everyone else, you didn't luck out and get me for a yarn pal. sorry.
Hopefully, this also means that someone has me for a secret yarn pal, and he/she/it may be reading this masterpeice of literary connundrumosity (no, not a real word...shut up) at this very moment. If so, "Hi there, yarn buddy! I am very happy to be yarn buddying you! Please don't be discouraged by what you read here....ummm.....well, maybe you should be discouraged. Also, pardon any typing mistakes. The keyboard here at the library is really hard to type on."
can't write much more because my fingers actually start to bleed while using this keyboard, but I recently bought large quantities of Jo Sharp Aran Tweed. I am in love. It is beautiful. It is gray/black (favorite!) and all mixy/tweedy! I feel like Sherlock Holmes when I hold it. Unfortunatly, I am intimidated by it. It is for a sweater, but...it looks so nice as little bundles of cute!
Alright. Now you are vomiting on your keyboards, and mine is covered in blood. in any case, um....
Friday, April 28, 2006
Also, the mail has lost another one of my netflix dvds. I think that someone is stealing them from my mailman right when he walks out of my building.
I'm not writing much today (or any day in the near future) because I am at the library computer station, and I don't like this computer at all. Plus, I am near death.
I have finished the basket set for my cousin's wedding, and now I have a large blister on the inside of my ring finger.
I finally mustered the courage to begin the second half of the stuffed animal that I'm making for my niece. That's the problem with not using patterns, the first arm and leg are easy, but then you have to match the other side. Generally I end up with one foot that is quite a bit larger than the other one. I have noticed, however, that when you crochet for 4 year olds, they don't really care. Hmmph.
ok. I must go and look at the needlework section.
Taa taa....and stuff.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Ok, maybe I am worse.
Seriously, I had no choice. I bought some 100% baby alpaca, because I've always wanted to try it, and because it was really cheap. I also bought a big bunch of vintage craft (crochet, embroidery, needlepoint) books. Anyone who knows me would know that I am totally helpless in the face of vintage craft books or magazines. Seriously, if anyone has some old McCalls needlework magazines, or Crochet Fantasy mags from the 80's that they want to get rid of, I'm your girl. I'm not joking. Send them over. Now.
Speaking of vintage....
I took the table cloth off of my table in an attempt to make my house look springy/summerier (my tablecloth is dark linen). However, I don't want my wood table (also vintage) to get all cruddy and yuck-topped, so I now need some placemat thingies. I couldn't find any that I liked in the store, so I decided to make some. Superhubby says he would like a nice burnt-orange color. I looked at the yarn shop, and couldn't find anything good, and then I thought, "burnt-orange? Burnt-orange = vintage! I have craploads of old yarn, I bet there is a bunch of that color!" Not only did I find burnt orange in the vintage stash....It is SPARKLY burnt orange. It is majestic. I am in awe. However, it is wound in the crappiest center pull skeins I have ever seen. I have to sit and manually unravel this yarn every 2 minutes.
it will all be worth it when my sparkly place mats bring about world peace.
There is a crazy junior high teenage girl sleepover going on in my roof.
Oh, yeah, I also ordered some stuff from Jo-Ann online! I finally bought the Embellish-knit machine. I'm hoping that turns out ok. I've been trying to buy it at my Jo-Ann store, but they are always out when I have the money.
I told you...Stalin has a bad rap.
And now, I am going to go, because The Aristocrats finally came from netflix, and I need to watch it now. I must see it because I am in love with Sarah Silverman. She made me vomit coffee once. It was like heaven.
I'll probably post later....if you're lucky.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Now that I have that disclaimer...I finished the large hat, and then I decided that the time is just not right for the small hat, so I made Brandon a new x-mas stocking instead! It has skulls done in intarsia and everything! I am so proud. After I did that, I started on this neat bag thing. I just got that done this morning, lined and beaded and everything...like I said...crack.
Also, we bought a new car. It is a Malibu Maxx, and it is fantisimo... it is a very nice cranberry sort of color.
Alexander had his first "playdate" ever. It was exciting.
I bought the best pair of pants ever from the Anthropologie store in Birmingham. They are black (yay) and comfy (yay) they make me look littler (yay) and they are a size smaller than I normally wear (yayyayyay). Anyway. I am not really in the mood to post all that much.
I must write, though, that I ordered some back-issues from Interweave and they showed up...very quick, and very satisfied. Me and the family went to Borders today to look at books. I checked out quite a few of the new(er) knitting books. (there are only 6 crochet books in the store, and one mag.) I found a couple really neat ones.
ok, thats it...
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Plus, we had to do our taxes. "Argghh", is all I have to say about that. Now, I don't want to talk bad about our tax lady, because she was very nice, and she really did try hard and everything. She took the extra (inordinately long) time to make sure that everything would work. However, at points in the three hour ordeal, it did seem that she had no idea about how taxation worked.
You see, we did not do our own taxes because Brandon has a weird work, and he had a month of unemployment last year, and we didn't want to deal with subpay and unemployment forms and whatnot. There was also a weird issue, where GM sent him an extra W2 form, for Lansing, with no taxes taken out at all. This is crazy, because Brandon has not worked or lived in Lansing in the past year. GM is insane. So, granted, these things made our returns a little more complicated than usual, but then there were the other problems. The lady said that she had to deal with the weird W2 in this particular way, and because of that, we cannot e-file. AND, after we thought that everything was done, and we were about to leave, I said, "So, we don't have to file city taxes this year? Or what?". To which she said, "Oh, did you want to file city taxes?". And I said,"Well, don't you HAVE to file city taxes? Brandon worked in Pontiac and Detroit last year, don't we at least have to file both of those?" She said, "well, I guess you are right, hold on, I'll get the papers out, and we will just fill them in." Thats right. We had to fill in the normal papers, by ourselves, at the tax preparers office, because the tax specialist forgot that people have to file city taxes. This is where the eyes of the tax preparees started to roll.
I guess it is all ok, though. They are all in the mail, and we only have to wait two months to see if she screwed up or not.
In other news, Alexander is in "Archeology Camp" this week. (I love Bloomfield Hills public schools.) They have special camps, one in fall, one in spring, where they focus on one topic, everybody in the school, for a whole week. Parents can elect to have their child participate (and pay the fee), or they get a week of vacation. Since Alexander can use all the school that he can get, and because archeology camp is bad ass, we signed him up. Today they went to the school farm complex. (I love Bloomfield Hills schools.) They dug up "fossils". I think that I may have done a bad thing when I was trying to explain what an archeologist is. I told him that Alan Grant from Jurassic Park was one, and also, the neat lady from The Mummy. I think that he was expecting to see dinosaurs (living) and Mummies (walking and making cool windstorms) at school today. Oh well, I suppose he should get used to disappointment.
The subject of the fall focus was physics. Yes, my son is in kindergarten, and he was at a week-long physics camp. And it worked. He knows all about wedges and wheel and axles. For a long time after the camp was over, he was obsessed with building machines, and his bedroom was officially called "the lab".
Brandon and I have a whole list of things that we have to do in the next two weeks. We have a lot more time than usual, because this week Alexander is at school full day, and next week he has spring break. Today we got the taxes out of the way. I just ordered printer ink. (so I can finally print out some of the free crochet patterns I find on line, I can't crochet from a pattern on the computer screen.) We also have to get our vacuum repaired, get a new windshield for our car, find a new car that we want to buy, get our dry cleaning done, go grocery shopping, reformat the computer, and find new doctors and dentists.
These things would be much easier to do, except that we have only between 9am and 2pm everyday to do things. They have closed all of the highways on the west side of metro detroit, and so Brandon has to leave for work 2 hours early to get there on time. He has to drive all city streets into the D. He is not happy with this arrangement. He was late 3 days in a row last week, and he got a write up for it. (hence, now leaving so early) He is really hoping to get transferred back to Pontiac now, seeing as that is only 10 minutes away from us, and the highways are supposed to be closed until October. (making sad face)
We are going to visit my grandmas for Easter this weekend. I expect craziness. ok, I can work on my hookin for about 2 hours, before I have to get the boys up for the morning, so I will be on my way. Try not to cry...
Monday, April 10, 2006
Have not finished the hats yet...
I went into Birmingham today, and I was just walking around, and I discovered a little yarn shop.....So I had to go in....
And because I already had the magazines that they carry, and I have to buy something when I go in a LYS....I bought a very cute little ball of yarn. (just one!) hold on, let me see if I can find the band....ok...It is in Italian, and it says Mondial and Soraya...One of those is the brand, and the other is the style name. Any way, it is very pretty and nice. It is 70% virgin wool, and 30% acrylic. I told Brandon that I bought it to make baby booties for his friend's new baby (shower in the end of April). He doesn't think its so bad if I have an actual concrete reason for buying the yarn. So I started on them right when I got home. I got one done (15 minutes) and I'll do the other one tonight. I will also finish the first (Large) hat, and do at least the bill pieces on the small one. I'm in kind of a rush for these things. I want to give the hat to Grandma Emma when I see her this weekend. I also have to get working on those nested baskets for my cousin's wedding. I love it when I have lots of projects to do...and I really like it when there are deadlines for them too. You should see how productive I am a month before Christmas. ( I love giving presents, can you tell?)
Ok...more crochet, less blog starts now. Will write again later, when I have a new bootie and hat...
Sunday, April 09, 2006
I'm working on a hat for Grandma Emma (Brandon's Grandma). When she was visiting a few months ago, she saw these vintage magazines that I've got lying around, and she really liked the old 70's style newsboy hats. She told me she's always wanted one of those, but could never find one that was just what she wanted. Well...I bought an old crochet magazine the other day, and inside was a pattern for the exact newsboy hat that she wanted. It has front post cables coming down from the top. The only problem is that I made the wrong size. I measured some of my hats to see which size to make, and the measurements lead me to go with size large, and I assumed that small was a kid size. Well, I just finished that size large, and it is huge. It is not like a newsboy cap, its like a Rastafarian tam. I'm thinking that because the hat is supposed to sit more on top of the head than around it, that the measurements don't correspond to my other hats. So, I'm going to make her one in size small. I guess the upside to this is that I love tams, and so I'll keep the size large. I made it out of two strands of yarn held together, one of them was a light beige colored acrylic, and the other was more of a medium taupe in a really slubby silk. When worked together, they make a really cool tweedy effect. The size large only took about 2 days to finish, so the small should be pretty darn fast.
The family and I went to a new yarn store today, and I was VERY pleasantly surprised. I was looking through our local little newspaper the other day, and I came across a little ad for this shop, Ewe-nique Knits, in Royal Oak, Michigan. The ad was for a clearance sale that they were putting on, and they advertised 50% off the sale yarns, and 20% off everything else, plus, if you brought in the ad, they give you an extra 15% off clearance prices! I was very excited, so we were there when the store opened this morning. The store was beautiful, and they have a very nice selection. The clearance section was HUGE! They had two big tables in the middle of the store, and bins were heaping. There were some very nice things, and I bought a bunch of neat stuff, even though I'm not supposed to buy yarn right now. (oops) Brandon even liked this store, and he is normally a little bored when I shop for yarn. He offered to buy me a 25.00 skein of hand painted sock yarn... I said no, because I am too cheap. I also signed up for their mailing list, so I can make it to more sales!
Ok, so now I'm going to review my favorite crochet book of all time. It is the only craft book that I have ever paid full price for right off the bookstore shelf. Of course, I felt really stupid about that when I saw it on Amazon the next day for half price, but oh well, its still worth it.
- Lion Brand Yarn, Vintage Styles for Today, edited by Nancy J. Thomas and Charlotte J. Quiggle
This book has both knitting and crochet patterns in it, but I don't mind, because most of the knitting patterns could be figured out in crochet pretty easily if you tried. They show you vintage photos of ladies looking fabulous, and then they remake the item for modern times and in Lion Brand yarns, of course. Some of these designs, they really should have stayed closer to the original look, instead of "updating" them so much. For instance, you don't need to use fun fur on everything. You just don't.
Anyway, the really good projects:
Easy knit sweater jacket (sort of kimono-y looking), knitted sweater coat (looks awesome), a neat looking cutaway coat in crochet, cool knitted vest, boxy crochet vest, poet shrug in crochet (my favorite), really neat looking knitted wrap in a basketweave kind of pattern (very suffragette), a crochet lacy shawl, a warmer crochet shawl, a cute knitted sailor sweater for little girls, a non-embarrassing knitted dog sweater, a bunch of unusual hats with matching scarves or muffs (really different from what you normally see), two cute baby hats and a crocheted baby kimono, wristlets and gauntlets in knit and crochet styles, mittens and gloves in knit, a great looking knitted stripy sock, a couple of nice throw blankets and a crochet hot water bottle cover.
not quite as cool: a couple of bland sweaters that would probably look much better if they were just done in different colors, a couple of average looking shrugs and stoles.
All of the patterns are nice looking, and I would say that if you like vintage style at all, and you could only buy one book, this one would be a good investment. You get a little bit of everything, and the patterns really lend themselves to variation. You could completely change the way something looked with just different color or yarn texture. I love books that show you one way to do things, but then leave you options to experiment. Another thing that I like about this book is that they show you what yarn they recommend, and tell you the fiber content and the weight of the yarn, so that it would be easy to substitute if you wanted to. A lot of books just say what yarn they used, and that's it. You don't know if it is worsted or superbulky. Lion brand has a whole range of yarn types, so it actually benefits them to do this. Plus, Lion Brand is pretty affordable most of the time, so you know that the projects won't cost you hundreds of dollars to make. I am sick of sweater patterns where the yarn would cost you 300 dollars to buy. At that point, you can go get a couple of nice cashmere sweaters from a store, you know? I simply cannot abide by 100 dollar scarves.
While I'm on a commentary roll, here, I will tell you about my favorite knitting book. You might say, "but, lady, you don't knit!". And I would say, "I KNOW, BUT THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!". I read a review of this book before, and I didn't believe that it could be as good as they said, but then I happened to see it at my craft store, and I flipped through it. It is better.
-Handknit Holidays, by Melanie Falick
This is not an average holiday craft book. There is nothing cheesy in it at all. I was so surprised. This book has stuff from the novice knitter to a very accomplished pro. It even has things that you can make without actually being able to knit! There are a lot of things in here that I could make in crochet without a pattern of any kind. There are decorations, gifts, gift-wrappiness, anything you could think of. The designs are all very modern, in a really homey kind of way, which I really like. The color schemes that they use are really nice, but they are also very customizable, if they are not up your alley. Most of the stuff is not religious specific, but there are a couple of stockings, and there is a neat looking cabled menorah pillow. The decorations are mostly things like garlands or ornaments, and you can use those any way you want. There are table cloths and runners that are not religion specific. There are nice keep-warn accessories, and also pretty things to wear to a party. They make a really good effort to provide a whole range of gifty ideas. More labor intensive gifts- maybe for a close family member or best friend, there are sweaters and beautiful wraps and toys. There are also really quick projects, like inventive or kitschy hats and scarves, socks, ornaments, little bags, accessories, or quick and easy shawls.
I am planning on creating a ton of these ideas in crochet. The book is very nicely photographed, and most things have more than one picture. The pictures actually show the whole item. There are also nice diagrams for finishing and patterns.
This book costed 28dollars at my craft store. I waited until I got a 40% off coupon, so it was decently priced. However, there are more nice projects in here than you would normally find in 5 holiday books combined, so even at full price, it is a pretty good value.
Friday, April 07, 2006
woo, that's all I really wanted to write...
damn, I am a bad blogger.
Brandon is in the living room watching Cowboy Bebop. We just got back from the 24 hour laundry mat....because my DOG peed on my blanket. It is a huge king size blanket, and it can only be washed in a triple loader machine, and so, at 3:00 AM, we went all the way across town to wash my blanket. After I kicked Remy's ass. Ok, not really. Because he is cute.
I didn't even tell you about our new Hamsters. There are two. Their names are Lulu and Agnes, and they are known collectively as The Ladies. All the rest of our pets are boys. There is just Me, and The Ladies, holdin it down.
Remy hates The Ladies. He is very jealous. He wants them dead. It is a very good thing that they live in a very tricky cage, and that Remy has no thumbs, or they would be done for. The Ladies do really like ganging up on Remy, so its not really his fault. They have one of those ball things, to run around the house, and we put both of them in it together, and they chase Remy all over the house. He wants to cry.
My mom sent Remy a new toy in the mail yesterday. It is a little purple squeaky teddy bear. And Remy loves it. He sort of acted like a real dog for a few hours. He played fetch with it.
But now he has wearied of our cheap games. He has decided not to bring his baby back to me any more, because he knows that I will just squeak it a few times and then throw it again, and what's the point in that?
Anyway...I don't really feel like doing the book things right at this moment, so probably later on today I'll get to them. I'm starting a new project today, and I'm in the middle of taking over the world. I've got a really good game of Civilization going, where I am The Netherlands. Who ever thought that The Netherlands would ever rule the world? Even in jest?
Thursday, April 06, 2006
(in no particular order)
1. Hip to Crochet, By Judith L. Swartz
The first time I looked through this book, I thought I would vomit. I complained to Brandon copiously about my error in buying a book without looking at it first. However, upon re-looking a couple of times, I have found quite a few things worth making.
good projects: cute mohair hats (but very basic, nothing really special), a nice cloche hat, a felted messenger-style bag (would be cute if you customized colors, or did some intarsia on the flap to make it interesting), tank top made of ribbon yarn (basic style), lacey cardigan with granny squares (done tastefully! I normally hate granny square things, but this is pretty), a granny square skirt (not for everyone, but it could be really cute on the right person), coat sweater (picture shows it with a big granny square in the back, but you could just as easily make the back solid), nesting baskets (set of three, I'm making these for my cousin as a wedding present), neat looking pillow cover with popcorn stitch bumps, granny square style pillow cover (done in nice looking metallicy/rich colored yarn, makes it look more exotic than usual).
Bad projects (when they are bad, they are really bad.): mittens with horrible fringe on them, "retro bed slippers" (these are really pretty ugly, and there are lots of nice looking slipper patterns out there), THE CROCHETED SUIT! (yes, a skirt suit made of yarn...and it is terrible. This is what originally made me think this book was so bad, it temporarily blinded me to any good things), "organic baskets"- maybe this sounded like a good idea to them, sort of arty or something, but they look like you were trying to make a normal basket, but you just sucked really bad at it.
in the interest of full disclosure, there were some things that weren't listed in either the good or bad categories, because they were bland, and not very cool, but they weren't terrible. There are a couple of scarves, two small bags (not practical for me at all, I like them big and glorious), and a totally average capelet thing.
Over all rating: B (would have been A-, except for that suit thing. Trust me.)
2. Hooked on Crochet (20 Sassy Projects), by Candi Jensen
The biggest problem with this book is that its so dang average. Most of the stuff is not horrible, but hardly any of it was really great, either. If you only have, like, one other book, and it is all afghans, then this would probably be nice for you. Also, most things are either beginner, or expert, not a lot of things for the medium proficiency crocheter.
good projects: nice lacy sleeveless shell, baby sweater, cute openwork dress, Chanel style jacket, lacy openwork skirt, diamond square pillow.
There is also a bikini, a shawl, a bunch of hats and scarves (nothing to write home about), and a couple of basic bags. I guess the thing I really don't like about this book is that half of the book is about stupid decorative edgings...I hate jeans with little granny squares sewn on, or shirts that looked nice until someone crochets a weird lacy bell sleeve onto it....If you like those sorts of things, you may be six years old. You also may like this book. I don't know.
Overall rating:B good if you like that sort of thing, but really not for everyone.
3. Crocheting School (a Complete Course), Sterling Publishing
This book is a little different, it doesn't have patterns or anything, it has instructions on techniques. It is really pretty good for intermediate or advanced crocheters who want to learn more obscure things, or are into designing their own stuff. This book won't help you all that much if you only work from patterns. It has hairpin lace, Irish lace, Tunisian crochet (lots of cool techniques with this), borders, Belgian lace, two-color jacquard, broomstick lace, cords, inserts, loom patterns, crocheted ribbons, interlocking rings, and a whole ton more. There are really nice pictures of everything, and there is no space wasted with fluff in this book. It is very straight-forward.
I showed it to my mom, and she forced me to buy one for her too...
Overall rating: A....Even if you are a beginner, if you ever plan on being intermediate or advanced, this would be a good book for future reference or daydreaming...
Ok...I am sick of typing, so tomorrow I will review more books.
In any case, today we adventured in "Knit!Knit!Knit!". Obviously they think of themselves as a knitting store, but I didn't hold that against them. Apparently, when we travel together, my husband and I look like the kind of people you don't want in your yarn store. I guess I can't blame them, the circumstances may have looked odd. You see, I didn't go there to buy yarn. I'm not allowed to buy yarn for 3 months. It's a deal that me and superhubby made. I can't buy yarn, and he can't buy cookies.
So, I didn't want to buy any yarn, and I was totally uninterested in looking at the wall of knitting patterns that they wanted to introduce me to, but that's because I don't knit. We just wanted to look around, and see all the pretties. And there were MANY pretties. However, our lack of buying, and Hubby's leather trench coat, and my big yarn bag combined to make the shop people very obviously uncomfortable.
I ended up buying one of those little knitting spools, to make I-cords and whatnot...and i got a back issue of Family Circle Easy Crochet from a couple of years ago, with some great patterns in it. So the trip was not horrible. I will have to go back there some day with my SuperSon, who loves to look at yarn (and touch yarn) and then they will really be scared.
Ok, I'm done typing for now, but I will be back later to review some of my new crochet and knit books.
Oh, act like you care...just a little...
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Mind your own business...
bow and scrape....
And now I will tell you about something awesome!
All of you who are crocheters/knitters/spinners...you should head on over to the Interweave knits webpage. They have a really neat yarn exchange going on. You will go there and sign up for it now. Because I say. You will obey, and stuff...
And now for something completely not as awesome...We here at the lair have aquired this new coffee...ok, we joined the Gevalia coffee club...we got a free coffee maker. (see post below where world almost ended) Everything was going fine until we got this Hazelnut flavored coffee. I'll have to tell you that it's not good. I changed our preferences, so we won't get any more of it, but we still have to drink it.
Because I am cheap....and we paid money for it.
My birthday is coming up soon! (July) (ok, it's not soon at all) If anyone would like to buy me a kickass birthday present, they could buy me a Compost-Tumbler. I don't need the real big one...the porch version would be fine. Man-o-man...with a little beaut like that.....damn.....I mean...garbage beware!
Because the lair is located in a very affluent community, filled with people who throw away EVERYTHING, there is not any sort of recycling program at all. I have to drive down into Detroit in order to go to their free 24-hour recycling center. This makes me very mad sometimes.
NPR is having the spring pledge drive this week....lonely times for this hooker.
It is very difficult to get anything done in a day withouth the calming influence of the NPR coursing through my veins...I'm still in my pajamas...its almost 7pm...and I don't care.
OOOOHHH...Kai Risdall....sorry, gotta go....
The DaVinci Code, By Dan Brown
CRAP! Utter crap! No, seriously. You see, I only read this book because I love Catholic conspiracy stories. The thing is, this is totally not a real conspiracy story. At the beginning you think it might be, but then it devolves into an adult version of The Codebreaker Kids. It's almost like Dan Brown got sick of writing after page 100.
I mean, really, was this book supposed to be thrilling? Or suspenseful? Or controversial? If you have ever read a book on the occult- even if you were twelve when you read it, then you would find Brown's posturing and showiness embarassing.
The only good character in the book is Silas the albino monk, and pretty much all the rest of them are so predictable that it hurts. I actually felt bad for the author. That was the best he could do. That is definately the last time I read anything on a best seller list or under "thriller".
I hate this book.
Instead: Rent Stigmata and The Order and whip yourself with knotted phone cords. It hurts sooo good.
Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? by Harold Bloom (I can't find the underline)
Ok, so I bought this book because my bookclub made it sound really cool, like it would have some good insights and stuff. Well, they were only a little bit right, but mostly they were horribly mislead. Maybe they only read the first chapter, which (cruelly), was decent. He tries to explain the purpose of the book in the preface, but I still have no real idea of what his definition of "wisdom writing" is. Mostly, I think he means writing that makes old people feel better about being old, approaching death, and facing the deaths of thier friends/loved ones. Fair enough.
However, after the first chapter, which talks about two books of the bible, Job and Ecclesiastes, he spends pretty much the whole rest of the book talking about how good Shakespeare is, and how everyone else should just give up because they have no chance of ever being that cool. The chapter on Montaigne was good, and the bit on Emerson was decent. I can only assume that this is because Shakespeare didn't write essays, and so they were allowed to try thier hand at it.
The author, aside from having a really horrible writing style, is also a huge prude. I mean it. He is like an uber-crotchety version of the masterpiece theatre guy. He teaches at Yale, and I can just see him there, clutching his heart medicine and grumbling about the hooligans who could dare think that Tolstoy was a better novelist than Cervantes. (swoon)
He's actually kind of creepy when it comes to Shakespeare. I think he touches himself a lot.
Don't read this book. It will give you glaucoma and you will never see again.
Instead: Have a wine and cheese party. Glue on a fake mustache and walk around saying swarthy things about vases or natural beauty.
you don't have to feel sorry for the camera, it's broken on purpose.
It doesn't want you to see the beautiful pictures...
So, I was thinking that it may be a good time to go ahead and switch gears on el-bloggadora, because I will feel stupid describing my projects to you. If we ever decide to replace the recalcitrant digital camera with one that will bow to my wishes, then the picture part of the blog will recommence...
Thursday, February 02, 2006
The mystery box of yarn that I wrote about in my last post showed up, but I didn't want to write about it because it was really a disappointment. They sent me eyelash yarn. 8 skeins of it. I was horrified. They also sent 12 skeins of red baby yarn. What do you do with RED baby yarn? I mean, i'm not a pastel kind of a person, I like bold colors for babies, but you know, not red.
Oh, well, my sari yarn made up for it in the scheme of things. I am once again at peace with the yarn world.
I am making an octopus (stuffed) out of orange boucle yarn. If I ever get the camera to work, I will put up a finished picture.
So, farewell for now, my adoring fans...
Sunday, January 22, 2006
I am so excited! I won an auction on Ebay for mystery boxes of yarn...this combines three of my favorite things: surprises, mail, and yarn!
as an update to my last post, I want everyone to know that the urgent coffee matter has been solved, and a new coffee maker has been installed.
ok, this is feeling kind of weird, because I can't talk about projects yet, due to lack of pictures...so I will tell you about something that i'm working on...
I am making hats, mittens, and sweaters for a charity that sends them to orphanages in Mongolia. I think that if anyone deserves pretty sweaters, it's Mongolian orphans. You know?
My mom has been donating yarn that she's got laying around, and my local yarn shop has had an awesome sale going on, so i've got enough yarn here to clothe a multitude of Mongolians.
My Aunt Beckie sent us some homemade dog biscuits the other day. (did i tell you i love mail?) Remy is the happiest dog on Earth right now. On top of the special dog treats, Brandon just got our grill working, and he has been spending most of his time on our porch ( in the rain and snow) grilling. He has begun to go insane. He made shish-kebobs for Remy this evening...yes...he grilled for the dog....enough said.
I'm really hoping that this blog gets a little bit more exciting fairly soon.
sorry about that chaps...
I can't help but notice the vast amounts of people who are not reading it.
Ahhh...a girl can dream...
Friday, January 20, 2006
my coffee maker is broken.
A small piece of my heart broke along with it...
On a different subject....I think that it should be totally obvious by now that everyone in the universe should read Bust Magazine. However, it seems that some of us are not pulling our weight. I think it may be time to just go ahead and get with the program.
Another thing... it is absolutely necessary to listen to National Public Radio.
Believe me on this...NPR is my crack. If I am away from my radio for too long, I start twitching...
I also believe in obtaining huge and ghastly amounts of yarn. You may be wondering why you would need so much yarn? well, personally I think that questions like those are totally un-patriotic. amass piles of yarn to keep America safe. And since you have all that yarn laying around, you could just make some really cute mittens, or a sweater or something.
Please don't ever make anything with fun fur.
Or that creepy eyelash stuff.
I think that I should tell you a little about me, because I want you (everyone in cyberspace) to be my new friends. My name (alias) is Heather Terrill...I was originally Heather Griffis, but then I got married. My husband is Brandon Terrill...maybe you know him? anyway...we have a small, but very loud child named Alexander Terrill...he has managed to live to the ripe old age of 6. That is amazing, really, considering....
We have a dog...who is the light of my darkened days...his name is Remy....and he is a schnoodle (that's right, schnauser and poodle).
We live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. (snobalicious)
We listen to the radio. (we don't do tv) (ick)
Brandon works for General Motors. (oppressors)
I currently am employed only in the fantastic profession of creating...( no degree)
Our family is dedicated to non-consumerism.
Our dream is to one day own a self sustaining llama ranch in Peru. I'm not joking.....