From Rug to Table Runner; OR, I Didn’t Buy Enough Paracord

Sometimes I remember things or objects from my youth that have literally been forgotten for decades.  One of those bits of flotsam and jetsam that recently floated across my consciousness was the rag rug from my childhood we had on our living room floor.  The colors were drab and muted, very utilitarian in nature; however, put on the old wood floor, it really fit.  Around 1975, my mother decided she’d had it with her young daughters cleaning the floor by using Pledge and creating a dangerous, slick surface for her stockinged feet – don’t do it! – and she had the standard gold shag carpet installed.  Goodbye wood, goodbye rug.

Flash forward 41 years, and here I am, wanting to make a rug similar to the one from my childhood.  This transmogrified into wanting to make an outdoor rug for our new deck; a rug that wouldn’t require washing and was durable.  I’d read somewhere that it was possible to use paracord for certain crocheted objects and the said material could be purchased at a craft store.  Without further thought or research, I did just that.

I purchased 120 yards (really?) and a more ergonomically friendly size “N” crochet hook.  With only a vague notion as to how I should proceed, I powered through it.  I’ve done enough crocheting through the years to improvise, even though I’m not a big fan of it.  As you can see, the yardage fell far short of the imagined rug, but at least it made it outside.  It’s sturdy, a bit rough on the hands, but it will last quite a long time out in the elements.  My family was so impressed by this little place mat that now they want me to make a bigger one.

Will I?  Yup.  But later.  My fingers got callouses from this!

 

How Time Flies

It’s already been a year since my last mammogram, and here we are doing it again – which is a good thing.  I remember being astounded the first time I had one of these done that my body could be stretched and distorted in such a way.

All kidding aside, I think it’s very important for women to have this diagnostic performed regularly; you never know.  As far as procedures go, this is relatively painless and very fast.   As for those of you ladies who should be doing this but keep putting it off, stop that!  Don’t blow it off because it doesn’t run in the family, that your copay is too much, that you don’t have the time or you think the odds are in your favor.  Early detection is crucial to getting favorable results, i.e., to stomp cancer’s ass!

Now after saying all that, I hate having it done.  I really do.  But, I’d rather catch any anomalies before they become growths or tumors.  Ick.

So are you up to date?

Back to Square One…Or Is It Stitch One?

ribbit trail

So, just when I was really jamming on my Deadhead Baby Blanket – yea, someone wanted this! – I noticed a gaping hole in my fabric about 4 rows down.  Puzzled, I tried to figure out what caused it.  Normally, we’re talking an easy fix to pick up the stitch, because after counting my stitches, I discovered I was short one; but WHERE I lost it remained a mystery.  I was stumped.  As you can see on two of these pictures, I was pretty far along.  And I also included the point that had me guessing.  If you point out where I lost it, please let me know!

I was so frustrated, I just frogged the whole thing, and we’re starting again.  I’ve decided I’m going to do a different texture, a bit more complex.  Like I need that with this!  Either way, it’ll look good when I’m done and again, Wendy better like this…!

What’s on my Needles Today

The socks are finished.  Thank you.  It’s been my experience that socks are not a small, weekend project, contrary to their size.  They take awhile, at least for me; so when I finish them, it’s a bit of a disappointment when they don’t fit they way I would like.  I try to work in a lot of negative ease, and this time, I used KnitPicks Stroll Tweed, which must have been slightly larger than the yarn I used the first time I made Vanilla Latte Socks, so I ended up with slightly larger socks.  Oh, well.  They’re still cool looking and I will be wearing them!

Now that those are finished, I need to concentrate on one of the harder projects I’ve ever started.  I say harder, because it’s not something I would normally knit.  I talked about this on my last post, the Deadhead baby blanket!  I love the girl who requested this like I would my own daughter (my daughter is sitting next to me on the couch right now – thank goodness she doesn’t follow my blog!!) or else I would have passed on it.  I am anxious to be done already and I will be following the advice of a blogger friend, Angela of Avanta Knits, and using intarsia for the color changes.  That means that I will be learning intarsia.  I believe I’ve used the method before, way back when, but it wasn’t called that, it was just block color changing.  Not hard at all (clears throat nervously).

As you can see, I have broken the picture down into stitches, but I wonder if this will be detailed enough?  It’s 6″ x 6″, and I’m using Red Heart Soft worsted weight yarn.  Thinking of putting it dead center.  How I’m going to pull that one off will be a bit of good math and a LOT of luck.  The dimensions and numbers I have used were based on the garter stitch, even though I will be using a stockinette stitch for the logo.  Yikes.  I’m going to keep my fingers crossed on this one!

Purses and Baby Blankets

Every time I have to jostle around in my designer purse, frantically searching for my keys, I have a big jones to make another purse, but I hate the idea of having to sew. There are a few of you that will be thinking “Wait. Aren’t you a knitter/crocheter? Why the sewing?”  This question would also lead me to believe that you haven’t made a knit or crochet purse before.  For a good, sturdy purse that will take the daily beating I give mine, I must sew a foundation.  The knit and crochet part is merely the icing on the cake.  I do have some old blue jeans in my sewing project box….that have been in there for at least two years!  This may be the opportunity I’ve been looking for.  Just this evening, after my

daughter had taken me out to a lovely Thai dinner in Nevada City and we were walking the half-mile or so back to the car, there it was.  I had to stop everything I was doing to find my damn keys and it made me so furious!  I was thinking of using the jeans material for the sides and bottom, then crocheting some funky designs on the front and back.  Any further input would be welcome!  The faster I make it, the faster I can get started on…

Baby blanket.  A friend of mine wants me to incorporate this:

somewhere onto a knit baby blanket.  Not the writing, just the skull and circle.  Now how am I going to do that?  Any experienced stranders out there?  Or am I just going to need to do duplicate stitching?  I have two other friends that are expecting, but not as far along, so, hopefully, I’ll be finished with this in time for their baby showers!

Any and all suggestions for the skull head would be greatly appreciated.

Our Common Ancestry

I saw this post on Facebook today and was surprised.

I say “surprised”  because I didn’t realize people put so much store in national purity.  I lived in England for five years and was painfully aware of their national pride, but didn’t realize that it extended to genetics.  I mean, really?  France was part of England for awhile there, the Vikings raped and pillaged their way up and down their coastlines, and I’m sure the Romans left more than their straight roads and aqueducts.  I’m not a huge history buff, but these events are common knowledge.

Which leads me to common ancestry.  I don’t think I’m especially well read, or clever, or otherwise, but who hasn’t read, or heard, about mitochondrial DNA theory and how we’re all related to the same early homo sapiens sapiens female in Africa several hundred thousand years ago?  These bits of information come up on my Yahoo homepage; I can’t be the only one reading it.  It ties in with human migration over the millenia, also a well-known fact.  The theories of the Aleutian land bridge and how paleoamericans arrived in this neck of the woods, and the book “Kon Tiki” where the anthropologist chronicles his experiment about pre-Columbian South American peoples being able to cross the ocean to Tahiti, and subsequently, to Hawaii, using native materials, are real good examples of possible migration patterns.  Of course, I am citing only two very well known ideas, because there’s way more out there.  Accept it.  It happened.  The “how” is the only dispute at this point.