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?
  • Thursday, August 5, 2010

    A Rainbow of Happy

    Sometimes it's the smallest little thing that brings the most joy. This came across my blog feed today and it just made me smile.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010


    I've never understood this insult. Asshat? What does it even mean?

    Still, this thread on Ravelry has me cracking up. Again, the determination... the exchange of ideas... to make one woman's desire to make a true asshat come true. :)

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Yearning For Yarn

    I'm teaching an Introduction to Crochet class at LA Harbor College in a few weeks. The guy who runs the extension program happens to be a friend and invited me to teach after seeing some of my completed projects on Facebook. He was the one who decided the project for the class- a media cozy, basically. It's a good, simple item that we can get a good start on in the 3 hour class, so I agreed.

    So here's the issue: I like to do everything in the round. Finishing is the bane of my crafty existence (please see 90% done works-in-progress to your right. boooooooo). Unfortunately, I think that's not the best way to teach beginners. They really need to learn about turning chains. So looks like I'm gonna have to churn out a cozy with lots of finishing.

    So the upside is that gave me a reason to go a little nuts while buying materials. I get to give my students a fun bundle of hooks, yarn, darning needles, stitch markers... and maybe something else? Honestly- I'm already right at the limit of the budgeted materials fee, but may decide to go slightly over anyway. I'm really not in the class for the money anyway. I'm just excited to share the crochet love with new people. I like the idea that they might use the same hook or pull out a couple stitch markers one day years from now and remember how they started learning.

    Spread the love!

    Divinity in Hat Form

    I'm so ADD when it comes to projects. I'm allllllmost finished with the Cool Mama blanket. Good thing, too, since mama went into labor yesterday. No baby yet but I gotta get this gift in the mail pronto.

    So... I'm house-sitting and normally I'd bring a good selection of stash yarn with me since I'll be here a few days. However, this time I decided to be "responsible" and bring only what I needed to finish the Cool Mama plus the black wool I bought to make an Army-appropriate scarf for the soldier. (Totally still crying about the knit one that's been shelved. *whimper*)

    Do I stick to the plan, though? Nooooooo..... I come across a pattern for the "Divine Hat" and decide I neeeeeed to make it nooooooooow. Why? It's like 100 degrees here. There's no way I need this. But the pattern is so gorgeous and oh! look! I happen to still have the remnant I was using to make the afghan squares in my car. So, with Cool Mama just waiting for a few more shells to complete her border, I bust out some linen colored acrylic and start working on a hat I don't need!

    It's lovely though. Just to spite me the yarn decided to run out right when I was almost done. The pattern said I needed less than 3 oz of worsted weight yarn. So I figured my about-half-a-skien would be enough. It probably would be for someone with a normal-sized head. My head, however, is ginormous. HUGE. Plus I have big thick curly hair so that adds like 2 inches to the diameter. Boo. So now this is a WIP* when it was supposed to be a FO*.

    Back to Mama... hope to finish her up, do some "blocking"/"killing" to fix a gauge issue and tell you all about her. Oh and get her in the mail along with Hot Mama. So nice to be getting things done.

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    Soldier Squares

    I was invited to join a group on Ravelry called the We Care Stitchers. Kae, the moderator, is collecting knit and crochet squares to make into afghans for soldiers recovering at Fort Carson. Carson just happens to me MY soldier's base, so of course I agreed to help out.

    My soldier deployed a couple weeks ago and I spent the day making one dozen 5 by 5 inch squares using some of my HUGE stash of Vanna's Choice. I did a simple double crochet all the way through.. but stitched them in the back loop only, so that created a little bit of a ribbing effect.

    I was able to bang them out in about 20 minutes each, so I'm sure I'll be making more soon. Just need to finish up some of those WIPs over there. :)