Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Excitement

The most recent posting by yarn harlot included this little aside:
(it looks like a rash of babies is breaking out around here, very thrilling for this knitter.)
Isn't that the case for every knitter/crocheter? I know I get very VERY excited when there are several buns in ovens I love. Even ovens I'm only sort-of close to... ovens I have never made nor purchased a single gift for suddenly move to the top of my gift-making list. Every bun I may see a picture of on Facebook is in desperate need of something made by these two hands.

It's all getting so much worse now that I've purchased Wee Wonderfuls. Lord, help us. My home is going to become Santa's workshop year-round.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Get This $#*! Out of My House!

So I bake for Christmas. Well bake and make candy. Lots of candy. Somehow I didn't think about just how far fudge goes and now have about 4 pounds of extra fudge that just couldn't fit onto our gifted plates o' goodies. Then I have about half a sheet of Congo Bars (which, by the way, are the best things EVER), a dozen peanut butter balls and an entire batch of peanut bite cookies still in my kitchen.

Then... like probably a lot of you... I received several plates of baked goods as gifts from friends and family. My BFF gave me a 7.5 liter tupperwear filled with what had to be 10 pounds of cookies. That's it at the top of the page. Holy moses, right? Add to that my sister's godmother's plate of cookies & carrot cake, my cousin's sugar cookies and our neighbors plate as well.... it's a serious fat & sugar overload here. Since my sister is ALWAYS at her boyfriends, there's just TWO of us here. And believe me... if the sugar & fat stays here we WILL eat it all eventually.

So look, I gotta get it out of here. This evening I've taken everything that looks like it has a snowball's chance in hell of surviving the trip, wrapped it up in plastic wrap, stuffed it into ziplock bags, stacked it in that huge tupperwear box and I'm sending it to Afghanistan in the morning.

I figure the soldier marches around a lot & can work off the calories, plus he has 350 or so friends he can share it with. I hope if something is too moist & starts to mold I've at least separated it from the rest of the box by several layers of plastic. Honestly, if it doesn't make it at least it's the thought that counts and at least it isn't being converted into fat on my hips as we speak.

Did you end up with lots of yummy treats? What do YOU do with all of it?

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I've been seeing lots of people do the picture-a-day project on their blogs for years and I've totally wanted to do it, too. Then my very good friend Christina from Texas started posting a picture every day on Facebook beginning on her birthday and I loved the idea that, since I'll be seeing her on her next birthday- I should start too and we could be in each other's!

So I thought I'd share... though I'm a bit behind. My birthday was the day after Thanksgiving. I've been posting on Facebook, but I'll start updating you now... a week at a time. Hopefully it will give you an idea of who I am, as well. :)

My mom's side of the family does Thanksgiving on Friday. They are also extremely musical. Throughout the evening we had live music provided by my cousins on guitars, drums, weird percussion instruments someone made and all of us singing and dancing. It was the best birthday I think I've ever had.

The weekend after Thanksgiving the ladies on mom's side got together at my cousin's house for a two-day "Craft Rave of Awesomeness". Several people brought projects to share. My favorite were these little Dia de los Muertos altars. I think my mom would have really loved making these.

On the second day of the rave my cousin was making ninja earrings out of Fimo clay. My little cousin decided to model for them.

My birthday lunch with my favorite Cuban. We recently fell in love with PF Changs.

You've seen my Advent calendar for Hana. This is her's for me. It was in the form of a ridiculously long garland with gifts wrapped rather chicly in brown & cream. I hung it over my bed. That's St. Catherine hanging out with it. :)

One of the little girls who's home I stayed in while I was on NET gave me this little.. thing... she sewed on her play sewing machine. I stuck it in bible & told her I'd pray for her every time I saw it. I don't remember her name but I remember she was from Norman, OK and I pray for her each and every time.

I think you may have seen this and another one of the pictures already. This became my "Ugly Christmas Scarf" that is getting a LOT of use this season. I should really post pictures of the finished product...

Yup. This is the other picture you've seen. My first wrapped present & first addressed Christmas card of the year.

Each year Hana has a holiday potluck / birthday party & tells me I have to bring traditional Mexican soup. For the past 3 years it was posole- which, let me tell you, is a pain in the rear! This year I was allowed to try albondigas- a simple soup with meat balls, veggies & rice. It was WAY easier & so delicious. This is definitely one of my favorite dishes to make now.

Ok.. so that was Friday- the next Saturday. I think I'll start posting Sunday-Saturday once a week.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my life. If you're doing a photo-a-day project be sure to let me know in the comments! I LOVE looking at them.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Current State of My Kitchen Counter

'Tis the season, my friends. The holiday baking/candy making has begun. Pray for me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gift Wrap Caddy

Since I'm on a gift wrapping kick, I thought I'd share this awesome idea for anyone who didn't catch it:

Jen at eighteen25 shared this awesome gift her friend gave her:

It's a gift wrapping caddy made from a drink carrier from a fastfood joint! How adorable is that? I think it makes a great gift for coworkers or neighbors. Definitely a good alternative to baked goods which, let's face it, NO ONE needs more of this time of year.

Hope on over to eighteen25 to see all the fun details!

What are you giving those "small gift" people in your life? Do you give presents to the whole office, or just a select few?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Words of Wisdom

I came across this great quote in the depths of the Ravelry forums today:

Crocheting is like sex: If I love you, I'll do it for free. If I don't love you, you can't pay me enough.

I'd like to add: If you want me to do something I'll enjoy, I'll do it gladly. If you try to make me do something I don't enjoy, I'll punch you in the groin.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gifts of Wine & Love

I have a huge stash of wine. It started on a trip to the Bay in February. The first weekend was my friend's birthday and 20 of his closest friends piled into a mini-bus & went to four wineries in Napa.

I stayed the rest of the week with my cousin & the following weekend my gay husband & his partner came up to celebrate their anniversary. They're a unique couple & like to share a lot of their lives with their friends. So when they invited me wine tasting in Sonoma, I was all over it. Since it was their special weekend, I hired a driver to take us around. With only 3 of us we ended up hitting NINE wineries.

Anyhow, two weekends of tastings made me really open up to new types of wine. My pallet had matured since my first experiences with wine and I really appreciated different varietals. I went crazy. I started buying from Wine Woot on almost a weekly basis.

The problem is, I don't DRINK wine that often. I live with a recovered alcoholic & a 22 year old who drinks anything but wine. So now I want to thin it out a bit. Luckily, there's lots of hostess gifts and Christmas presents in there! But of course, I can't just leave it at that. The bottles must be wrapped & have a little crochet love in there too.

I used Lucy's Snowflake Pattern, which is so easy & adorable. After the last round I chained 80, slipstitched into the 5th chain from the hook & did another snowflake so they're connected. It took maybe 15 minutes while watching The Joy Luck Club (so factor in time for sniffling and wiping away tears!). I'm using some Knit Pick's Comfy in fingering weight which I have an ungodly amount of. It would look so much prettier in something with a little sparkle, like maybe Bernat Baby Coordinates. Now that I say that, I think I might have some buried in my stash somewhere. I'll have to fish it out.

As you can tell, I'm getting really into the whole Christmas wrapping thing. Expect more gift wrapping posts... including photos of my friend's upcoming Christmas Wrapping Extravaganza on Friday!

How are your Christmas plans going?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Preview

I'm going to sound crazy right now. Ready? Prepare yourself....

I spent 2 hours today preparing for wrapping Christmas presents. That's right- I didn't wrap presents during those two hours... I just prepared for it.

Here's the story:

Every year my friend & her family have a small Gift Wrapping Party. Basically, 7 or 8 ladies get together, put on some holiday music, eat some food and wrap presents together. It's just a fun little get together. I'm almost never done with my shopping, but it's still fun to hang out and at least get SOMETHING done.

So I'm trying to be frugal this year. Wrapping paper is expensive! So I bought a roll of "Easy Mask"- which is this thin kraft paper that comes on a roll about 12 inches wide & 180 inches long- to use as my wrapping paper. I love the "brown paper packages tied up with string" kind of imagery.

For "bows" I'm using little projects I've made throughout the year as a result of my craft ADD. This includes small crocheted motifs, tiny amigurumi toys, some origami flowers... stuff like that. I'll be tying these on with left over ribbon or maybe some crocheted chains or other left over yarn.

Because I'm extra insane, I went ahead and wrapped one present, just so I could show you a picture. Happily, in the background you'll see my first Christmas card all addressed & ready to wing it's way across the country too!

I'm pretty excited and I'll be sure to share the big pile o' gifts all wrapped up when I'm done.

How are your holiday plans shaping up?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Old Skool Christmas

My WIPs are out of control, but I had an overwhelming need to make something very Christmas-y with an old, vintage-y vibe.

What I came up with is just about done after just a day. I'll have completed pictures sometime this weekend, but in the meantime here's a sneak peek...

Oh Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the evening light, how I love thee.

Advent Village

My BFF & I exchanged Advent gifts on Sunday. The one she gave me is a super classy, very Martha-looking garland with lovely little gifts wrapped in cream and tan. The one I gave her looks a little like a 7 year old helped me make it.

I had high hopes of making lots of the gifts (you may remember), but time management and a lack of inspiration changed those plans. I did buy a lot of handmade and most of the non-handmade is still from independent shops, so I feel ok about that.

I made little boxes with tiny houses that fit over the top. I then used the best glue ever to secure them to a large box. I had cut the front panel of the box so it flopped open when you take off the lid. Some of the houses were glued onto this floppy panel and I was very happy the awesome glue kept them securely on.

I used poly fill for snow, mostly because that's what I had on hand. It ended up looking a little more like clouds. Eh. Whatevs.

Because I'm a little crazy, I have a spreadsheet of which presents she's opening everyday. Don't judge- it was originally to keep track of what I had purchased & which houses were complete. The fact that I can follow along with her now is just a happy sidenote.

Are you already celebrating the holiday season? If you've blogged about your projects please leave a link! I'm full-force in the holiday spirit and totally down for new crafty ideas!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I've put aside my crochet hook & knitting needles (yes, I have projects on both right now) for a glue gun. This is a VERY special project that I've been working on since mid-October and I'm just about done. Good thing, too, because it will be the first Christmas present given this year... and it will be given on Sunday!

So... I hope you all are having a good Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for working from home (even a double shift on a holiday) because it means I can craft it up while getting paid double time. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Catholic Pick-Up Line Song

I've been totally addicted to this song for several days now. If you're not Catholic you probably won't get many of the references, but suffice to say it's all about letting God be at the center of your relationship... and still being cute & flirty.

Seriously... if a man ever used one of these lines on me I'd marry him on the spot.

Ok, maybe not the rosary line. That one was lame. But "I'd be a second class relic if you'd give me a kiss"? Oh yeah. "My guardian angel said he thinks yours is kind of cute"? Yes please. And "You remind me of Mary"? Oh my goodness. And ESPECIALLY "I'll be the answer to your novena if you'll answer mine too". You have to be a crazy Catholic single girl to really appreciate that one... and I happen to be one. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010


Yarn over yarn over chain one two three!

I'll be at LAHC tomorrow teachin' folks how to crochet in-the-round to make some fun coffee cup sleeves just in time to stuff some stockings. I'm super excited.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Package Update

So I've done a fairly good job keeping up with at least one of this year's goals. I've sent one package a month to the soldier for the months that he has been deployed. Mind you, November marks only the 4th month.

The first package made it into his hands in just one week! I was totally excited about this, especially looking forward to baking season. Except the 2nd package went out on September 30th (I was running late) and the 3rd package went out on October 18th and he STILL hasn't received EITHER ONE! I can't even begin to tell you how annoyed I am by this. I had planned to start baking this month since it's colder but I can't have cookies and brownies sitting in some mail storage container for over a month! I'm going to have to skip Thanksgiving and send a Christmas package out next month in hopes it gets there in time.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blankie love

18 different vibrant colors of the softest cottons I could find all wrapped up in white.

I love this blanket so much, I'm seriously considering keeping it for my own non-existent child.

I'm so in love and it's not even anywhere near done yet!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Magic Yarn Pumpkin

I participated in another awesome swap on Ravelry. Since it was a Halloween theme, we called the balls "Magic Yarn Pumpkins" instead. I had a LOT of fun buying/wrapping the one I sent to my swapee, but couldn't find my stupid camera so I'm hoping she posts pics.

I got a really fun pumpkin in the mail yesterday and since I now have my camera, I can show you!

This was what I found in the mail bag. Check out the awesome project bag!

This is the "pumpkin" itself. Thanks to my new ball winder it was unwrapped pretty quickly!

And here are all the goods:

Check out the awesome crochet hook!

Some highlights:

I'm especially excited about the necklace. I've actually been wearing it ever since opening the package. I love Dia de los Muertos and it's such a cute little sugar skull.

I'm so pleased. These swaps have been so fun and the ravelry community is pretty awesome
Now I'm off to Vegas. Trying very hard to decide if I'm taking any projects with me. I imagine the drunk crew I'm going with will make fun of me if I do. Hmm....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Banned Books

Inspired by a recent post on the awesome blog Indie Fixx, I thought I would share which of my favorite books have the dubious distinction of being on the Top 100 Banned Books List. As it turns out, my three favorite books of all time are on the list. Guess I'm a rebel at heart. :)

Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
By far, one of my favorite books growing up. While I was always a big reader, this was my first "I can't put it down" book. I remember sitting on my stairs reading when my mom called me down for dinner. The whole time we were eating I had the feeling that I was missing something- as though the book as a television show. It captured my imagination and helped me visualize the stories I read from then on.

A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
My best friend suggested this book to me and I went to the store looking for "A Prayer of O and Mimi". I loved this story so much that I went out and bought every John Irving book I could find. Not a good idea. While he's an amazing author most of his other books had so many random, uncomfortable sexual situations I really couldn't enjoy them. Owen Meany, though, is more gentle, with more heart.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
This is my most recent read on the list. Hosseini is an incredible writer. His words bring to life a world and culture unfamiliar to most Americans and do so in a raw, courageous, unapologetic way. I think I burst into tears ever 10-20 pages throughout the entire book. My cousin became so engrossed in the story that her husband woke up in the middle of the night to find her huddled on the couch, reading and hysterically crying. It's intense but also beautiful. Sad but also hopeful. I highly recommend Kite Runner and Hosseini's second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. At the end of the second book I found myself slightly depressed, not because of the story, but because I realized it was only recently published and I would therefore have to wait for quite some time before another book was published. I do hope he's out there writing something.

What are your favorite books? Are any of them on the list? I'd encourage you to check it out and read a couple. Books that get people bent out of shape enough to try to ban them generally have a lot to keep your interest at the very least. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Celebrity Crush

If he wasn't already married, I would be actively pursuing Mr. Will Smith.

"While the other guy's sleeping, I'm working. While the other guy's eating, I'm working. While the other guy's making love – I mean, I'm making love, too, but I'm working really hard at it!"

– Will Smith

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

It Must End Today

Seth Walsh, 13
Seth was found unconscious and not breathing on Sept. 19 after he apparently tried to hang himself from a tree in his backyard. 10 days later he was dead. His mother said he knew he was different. "He was a very loving boy, very kind. He had a beautiful smile. He liked fashion, his friends, talking on the phone. He was artistic and very bright." Police interviewed the children who had tormented Seth the day of his attempted suicide. None thought it would lead to this. They didn't know what their words could do to a person.

Billy Lucas, 15
The memorial pages for Billy Lucas will break your heart. Kids at school remember that people were always picking on him. Students said Billy had been bullied ever since he entered the Greensburg School District in the fourth grade. "He got a chair pulled out from him and was told to go hang himself," said student Bobby Quinlan. While by all accounts he identified straight, something about him made his classmates decide to start calling him f*g. Only a few weeks into the school year he couldn't take it anymore. He hung himself in the family barn and the world lost the chance to see what kind of a person he could have been.

Asher Brown, 13
Asher Brown's family say he was "bullied to death". His classmates picked on him for his religion, his clothes and his small size. Asher came out as gay. Boys would torment him, performing mock gay acts on him in his PE class. His parents begged the school for help but nothing was done. Even several weeks after his death, his school administrators have yet to make a public statement. Asher took his own life by shooting himself in the head. Asher's tormentors refuse to allow him to rest in peace. His memorial page on facebook has been vandalized with homophobic comments, further hurting his family and friends.

Tyler Clementi, 19
Tyler Clementi will be known to many as the young man who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after an intimate encounter with another man in his dorm room was streamed on the Internet. His last words, posted on Facebook about 10 minutes before he died, were brief and to the point: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." But his friends and family will remember him as a sweet, shy young man who was a good student, a true friend and an accomplished violinist. He played in the front row of the second violins in the symphony orchestra of his home town, Ridgewood, New Jersey. Diane Wade, a fellow violinist in the orchestra, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that "he was so incredibly talented – I could not believe how good he was for such a young boy".

Raymond Chase, 19
Raymond Chase is not just the 5th in a recent string of gay young people to take their own life. Raymond was a person who liked Harry Potter and Rugrats and was a member of the popular facebook group “I cant spell “bananas” without singing hollaback girl.” He was a young man with many friends who loved him for the amazing person he was. His facebook bio is short and simple: “I like to laugh, I like to have fun, and I’m gay.”

These children should have lived. They should have impacted the world in ways much less sorrowful than this. They had bright futures ahead of them. It is a tragedy that they believed their lives were not worth living. It is a tragedy that the words and actions of others led them into despair. I don't believe that the individuals who tormented them meant to inflict this level of harm. They are children themselves. It is up to us, the adults, to teach them. We need to have harsher punishment for bullying. We need to be aware of this interaction in our schools. We need to teach our children understanding and tolerance. We need to reward them for speaking up on behalf of others. We need to do SOMETHING to stop this. Five young men have died in the past 3 weeks because no adult put a stop to the bullying. This must end today.

If you are a young person struggling with suicidal thoughts, there is help. Tell your parents, your teachers, your youth ministers, your pastors, your friends, your aunts & uncles. Call one of the numbers below. Please believe that it does get better... and not some time in the distant future. We can stop this together, now. You are loved more than you can imagine. You are worth more than any material good you can think of. You have a future full of hope.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Hopeline: 1-800-SUICIDE
The Trevor Project: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR
or just call 911

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bad Blogger

Sorry guys. I know I've been MIA for a while here. I've been mad busy, yo. I officially took over as the contact person for NET in my area. It's not a TON of work, except that I happened to take the reigns in the midst of the busy time. Tracking down very busy people, getting lots of paperwork together, trying to fill empty dates... it's fun but takes lots of time & thought.

I've also been trying to spend time with various friends who are scattered about Southern California. My BFF and I made some gift decisions. That's right- we don't just surprise each other with gifts, there are decisions to be made. For the second time in our 15 year friendship, we'll be giving each other Advent gifts. So starting 4 weeks prior to Christmas, we are giving each other a gift for EVERY day. Eek! We did this in High School & I think we kept costs down by saying half of them had to be handmade or something.

This year our rule is that each gift must fit in an envelope. Weird right? I'm not sure how that happened, but it's an interesting challenge. As you might expect, I am also making at least a few of the gifts. I'm working on the first now and have several thoughts brewing.

Here's some inspiration:

I'm thinking perhaps some bunting with her name for her office (she works with young people)

Some pretty little thing to hang from a doorknob or drawer pull

I could recreate this cozy in some fall (more BFF appropriate) colors

So there's 3... out of like 28 gifts. *sigh* Anyone out there have some cute small ideas? We can fudge the "envelope" size a bit-- as long as there's an envelope in existence that it would fit in, I think I can swing it. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yarn Bombing

Did you see this post on whipup?

This is possibly my favorite little yarn bomb ever!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"On Handiwork"

I came across this video on Craft magazine's blog today and just love it. For the first time I'm actually interested in possibly learning to spin yarn.


Monday, September 13, 2010


I'm totally failing at being a blogger lately.

First I lost my cable that allows me to upload photos from my camera. Now I've lost my camera! As a result I have no pictures of the completed projects I gifted this weekend. :( Sad.

The first is the Blessed Mother Prayer shawl (shown below about half way done)

This was my first attempt at filet crochet which is a relatively easy technique. Basically you create a grid using double crochet, chain 2, double crochet to get "open" squares and replace the chains with two double crochets to get "filled in" squares. The only thing that makes filet an "intermediate" technique is the need for an even gauge.

This shawl was also my first "prayer shawl". Basically the idea behind a prayer shawl is that you make it with a person in mind who's going through a hard time or is sick. You pray for them as you make it and then the shawl acts as a reminder that they are surrounded in prayer. I really love this idea.

The Blessed Mother shawl was gifted to one of my favorite women at church. Joan had a mastectomy last week. She's healing well. I knew she would. She's one of the strongest, most faith-filled people I know.


The second gifted item was Maya's 2 year old dress (shown below prior to any of my hated finishing)

True to form, I waited until the party's official start time to bother with buttons & ribbons. I also had to sc around the top to give a cleaner finish.

From the book

I purchase a 7/8" single-sided satin ribbon in "french pink" for the waist but couldn't find anything thinner for the shoulder ties at any of my local sewing stores. I ended up buying some on ebay. Naturally, when I was rushed to finish the dress I couldn't find the little ribbon, so I ended up using the excess 7/8" at the shoulders. It looked much more "lush", so I was happy. Wouldn't it be nice if I could show you? Yes. Yes it would.

I promise to be better.... if not for your sake then for my own sense of accomplishment. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

If my future husband isn't this cool, I don't want to meet him

Of all the wedding trends that have been going on recently, the surprise choreographed musical number is my favorite by far. And this one, because it's from one of my favorite musicals of all time, is the best I've seen so far!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stash management

I was doing so good.

I bought one of these closet organizers in which I stored all my yarn. Well, almost all. I also had a little bit in a rolling sewing machine tote thing. Also in the rolling tote was some hibernating projects.

Then I had my WIP basket which I was cleaning out every couple days and keeping nice and tidy.


My closet thing is totally jam packed & I'm not even sure what all's in there anymore. I have a large box FULL of worsted cotton for my hexagon blanket that I don't even intend to start any time soon. (so why did I buy the freaking yarn?!) I have a medium sized box FULL of sport cotton for the baby hexagon, which I have actually started.

I have two random ziplock bags full of mostly sock weight cotton. Why? I don't even make socks.

I have a back pack that has some random acrylic that I've been using to make afghan square for donation.

My rolling tote is JAM PACKED with yarn and I'm not even sure what it is. At the bottom are the hibernating projects, most of which I haven't looked at in a year.

My WIP basket got out of control. Cleaning it out is what prompted this tirade. I can't even say it's for works in progress anymore. I just rearranged all the yarn that was in (and AROUND) it so it looked neat.

Oh... and there's a stack of finished projects under my side table.

This week it HAS TO get under control. I think I've been putting it off thinking I'll pack it all up when I move & organize it in a nice new home. But at this point I don't know when I'm moving (plans & roommate options have changed several times) and this can't be put off any longer.

How to you organize stash, projects you're working on and finished objects? Any great tips?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

First package received

I got an email from the soldier today that the first care package I sent just one week ago has been received. That's pretty exciting!

What is not exciting is the fact that his email didn't include the words "thank you". I mean, I wasn't expecting gushing, but a thank you would have been nice. Maybe it's the fact that I'm sick, but I find this really annoying. It's actually a pattern with him. I wonder if it's just with me or if he never says thank you.

Anyway, right now with my difficulty breathing and my stomach that won't stop churning and my headache and lack of sleep I'm reconsidering the whole notion of sending him boxes full of stuff every month. Right now with all that I'm think I can find a better way to spend $60 a month. Right now I'm thinking a facial or a purse or really anything for myself once a month seems like a better way to spend my money.

Or maybe I'm just bitter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

OT: Taking on responsibility

So I've told ya'll about NET*. A couple months ago my teammate & I went to an alumni retreat that was pretty awesome. The lady who's home it was held in was also on NET our year. She's always been one of my favorites. For the last 5 years or so, she's been the Diocesan Contact Person (DCP) for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Basically, that means she coordinates the schedule for the NET team while they are in LA every year. She also meets up with them and helps them out if they have any problems while they're here.

So toward the end of the retreat she told me she'd like to step down and was thinking about asking me to take over. Now, I don't live in the LA diocese... but I am planning to move nearby and the diocese I will live in doesn't host NET. I've been praying about it since then. In the meantime, the current DCP stopped working and is now a stay-at-home mom. Her stated reason for stepping down as DCP was that the "busy" time overlapped with her busy time at work. So I kind of figured she wouldn't be stepping down anymore. It was still on my mind, though, so I emailed her to offer any help I could. Her response? "It's yours! Thank God! I was getting so worried!" Ha.

So now I'm the NET DCP for LA. Crazy. I hope I don't screw it up.

*Why does talking about NET make me say "ya'll"?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Knitted Head! KNITTED HEAD!!

I love seeing knitting/crocheting in commercials. This one, however, is a little tiny bit creepy.

What do you think? Creepy or cute?

WIP it. WIP it good.

I am currently working on....

1. a Hexagon Blanket for one of 2 babies on the way
2. a crocheted scarf in the evil superwash wool that makes my finger peel
3. the Christening outfit that I have no reason to be making.
4. finding my cord that allows me to upload photos of the above from my camera

Monday, August 16, 2010


Once again I'm putting off making a blanket for myself and repurposing the yarn.

All that KnitPicks Shine Sport I bought will now become a baby blanket. Yes, there is another "niece" or "nephew" on the way! I'm so excited! But you know me, this isn't a
"real" nice or nephew. You ready for it? This one takes a LOT of relationships to be clear! This baby is... mother's first cousin's ex-husband's sister's son's child.

Alternately.... second cousins' first cousin (on the other side of the family)'s child.

OR godfather's nephew's child.


...not related to me, really.

But really, this child is family. And he or she will be the child of a couple I absolutely adore- both as a couple and individually. My "cousin" is the catch of all catches- handsome, smart, sensitive, funny, understanding. He's an incredibly passionate teacher at a time when teachers don't have a lot of time or energy left over to be passionate about teaching. He's fantastic. And his wife is so sweet and beautiful and kind and funny. I've enjoyed ever second I've been able to spend with her and they just seem so happy with each other. This baby is going to be surrounded and flooded with love.

So... now to find the perfect project. I'd like to start soon (mostly because it will keep me from buying yarn for MY blanket and I really want to get my stash down). Of course we don't know the gender yet... but since I have a rainbow of yarn, I think we'll just go multi-colored. I also only have one little skien of each color, so while I'd like to try a star blanket like the one below, I don't want to have to buy more of one color for the increases.

Maybe a granny squarish thing? I like this:

Or I could see this in lots of different colors:

Any ideas? Did I not mention something that you think would be perfect?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Being Selfish

I saw this picture quite a while back and have been lusting after it ever since. I've actually purchased yarn for it not once but TWICE.

First it was massive amounts of Vanna's Choice. I couldn't find a white or off-white at my local store, so I bought Linen on Um. No. Linen is almost silver looking. It wasn't right. Also, I suddenly realized I didn't really like the feel of Vanna's. Boooo. If I'm going to put in the effort to make a BLANKET for myself, it's gonna be comfy gosh darnit!

Then at some point I came across Lucy's lovely blog and... um... hello!

She's like The Queen Of The Granny Squares!
I love her so much that I joined her group of Rav which then lead me to buy the Rico "Lucy's Creative Color Pack"... from ENGLAND. Yarn shipped overseas. This is ridiculous.

I am a big fan of soft cotton yarn, though, so I do love the Rico. The pack itself, though, is not nearly enough for a blanket. Another Lucy group member suggested Shine Sport by Knit Picks. So like a crazy woman I bought like 10 skeins in different colors plus 4 white to get more of the look of my inspiration picture.

Yeah. While Rico is aran weight and, therefore, should be a bit thinner than worsted, it's a very dense yarn. The Shine Sport is barely sport... it's more of a baby yarn- hovering somewhere between sport & sock weight. UGH!

I also purchased Knit Picks Shine Worsted for my Crochet Class. Comparing it, it's a LOT closer to the Rico. Below I used an H hook with Rico for the center & third round and Shine Worsted for the second (green) round.

You can see the weight matches up pretty well. The Shine is obviously living up to it's name. If I wanted a really seamless look with the Rico I might go with Knit Pick's Comfy Worsted instead. But actually, I kind of like it. I think the different "finishes" give it some depth.

Since my class grew larger than expected, I wound up not having enough KP Shine Worsted! So I threw the Rico I haven't played with into the class bag. I'm bringing 15 balls total so the 12 students will have SOME choice. I'll most likely end up with some Shine left when I go home. So now I think I'll have to stash the Shine Sport for future baby clothes & pick up more Shine Worsted and perhaps Comfy Worsted to do my blanket.

Is it any wonder I can't make my savings account grow faster? Stupid yarn addiction.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You know what's hard?

Knitting socks. That's what's hard.

I'm using Silver's Sock Class per suggestions on Ravelry. Seriously, though? I don't know how I'm going to do this. Insane.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Joining the countdown with one of my favorite creative bloggers, Wild Olive.

FIVE...things I'm looking forward to this month: my Intro to Crochet class at LA Harbor College, American Idol LIVE!, BottleNotes LA, Vegas w/ my godfather's family & 9 days off in a row!
FOUR... YouTube favorites: Gardiner Sisters, Tori Kelly, a seriously soulful At Last, my buddy AJ bringing the house down in Melbourne
THREE... reasons to start new projects: CHRISTMAS!, my new apartment, my second cousin's father's nephew's baby on the way! (And yes, I will be calling myself "Auntie Lia" even though there's absolutely no blood relation. Crocheted goods=auntie. :P)
TWO... packages I need to mail today: whole bunch of baby stuff & deployment package #1
ONE... thing I'm doing with my godmother today: Gettin' our nails did! WOOT!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Oh yes. Is it evil to talk about Christmas gifts when it's only August? I don't care. I need to think about it. Since I've always been broke and/or living at home with my parents, I've actually never been responsible for major holiday gift purchases until last year. I always just bought for my closest cousins, my sister, my parents & godparents. All the uncles, aunts & most cousins' gifts were purchased by mom with a little help from dad.

Well, last year was our first year without mom and I took over most of the responsibility. Dad took care of his nephews, a couple grandnephews & his sister. I took care of everyone else on both sides. Including the few friends I buy for, that left 30 presents in my to-buy list. This year I will (hopefully!) be in my own apartment by Christmas. Since I'm now in my 30s I really think it's time to let dad figure out the gifts from him & my sister and I'll give my own gifts to them. I'll actually probably end up spending less that way since a gift from just broke-ass me doesn't have to be as substantial as a gift "from the family".

So here are some thoughts on things to make:
washcloths w/ handmade soaps for the ladies
dia de los muertos potholders for the chicana power ladies
Divine Hats for young ladies (my cousins like to take their teens snow tubing)

I already have a few other things squirreled away- both crocheted and purchased. Washcloths and hats only take about 30 minutes each but the potholders require colorwork, so they take a bit longer. Plus then I have to embroider them. I actually plan on giving a couple friends sets of those as well.

Truth be told, I don't have the pattern for the potholders. It's in The Happy Hooker, which I refuse to buy because it's so basic. This one pattern is the only thing I want and it's really just the chart I'm after. I've tried figuring it out myself based on pictures, but it's just not coming out right. Still- I'm determined.

Have you started planning for Christmas yet? Will you be making or buying most gifts?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tiny Turtle

Now that my swap partner has probably opened her Magic Yarn Ball, I can show you what I made for the center.

My partner collects turtles. She also loves all things Disney. She's even running the Disney half marathon next month! So, I made her this:

Uh huh. That's a little turtle with a Mickey Mouse Club hat. :)

Magic Yarn Ball Swap

I participated in my first swap on Ravelry this month. For those not in the know: a "magic yarn ball" is basically a ball of yarn you wrap around little gifts so as the recipient unwraps the yarn, they find all these goodies inside.

In my rush to get mine out to my partner, I totally forgot to take pictures. I'm really hoping she posts some, as I was kind of excited about it.

I came home to a priority mail box and was very excited to see it was my Magic Yarn Ball! I was too excited to find my camera, so I took a picture of the unwrapped ball with my crappy phone camera:

Once I got through unwinding it, this was my loot:

Inside was:
  • origami paper
  • really lovely chopsticks
  • a cute pen
  • a really nice crochet hook with a floral casing. (LOVE using it)
  • a small origami crane figurine
  • a small tea pot figurine
  • two Millstone coffees (yummy flavors)
  • a little "luck ladybug" on a rock
  • a cute little crocheted bag
  • Forte sea salt caramels covered in dark chocolate (SO YUM)
  • Crystal Palace dp knitting needles size 2.5

    The yarn was Fly Designs Lace Wing Sock yarn in Seattle (a very nice teal & purple combo). It's beautiful and I can't wait to start on some socks! There was also a skien of Sugar n' Cream Twists in green & cream. I plan to make some dishcloths for my new apartment. :)

    I'm really excited about my goods. I think I will be participating in the October swap.

    Have you participated in a swap with a stranger? How did it go?