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!

 

The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers…

Yea…this post has nothing to do with A.A. Milne’s wonderful creations…

2016-03-31 17.59.19I’ve been having trouble with my FB page.  It appears that I can’t properly access it, because I’m still in my personal profile.  Is this happening to anyone else?  I am a huge fan of progress and improvements to my digital environment, but I sometimes the changes that are effected feel like they are done just for the sake of change.  I got enough damn change in my life without having to deal with superfluous modifications that don’t actually help!

Ok.  Rant over.  I promise.

I hope everyone had a great Easter.

For myself, my latest and greatest pattern still sits atop my yarn tray, still unfinished. Something that should have been done in 3 days max. My problem? I am sooo not in the mood to crochet! I want to knit!!! And you’re probably thinking, Grow up!  Just knit something or pick up the damned hook and finish this alleged wonderful project so you can knit!  (Umm….I hope you’re not really thinking that.)  I don’t like more than one project going because it starts feeling too chaotic, but in instances like these, my whole creative process gets in a bottle-neck because, again, I refuse to have too many thing going at once.  Oh, well.  It’ll be done, I’ll show it off, and on to the next one!

Do you have any rules about your crafting?

The Smell of Gasoline and the Stress of Not Knowing

All right, you guys: fess up. I am not the only regular, non-whiffing human who really enjoys that first sniff of gasoline when it’s being pumped into the tank.  You know, that first little hint, and then it become overpowering and you’re done.

My heinous secret!

My heinous secret!

I’ve told others of this, and I’m always looked at askance, like, “Ahh…that explains it!”  For all you smart asses out there, it’s not a recreational thing, I don’t huff/whiff/whatever, because it’s something I’ve honestly never thought of doing, even if it wasn’t illegal.  Yuck.  Even when I was a young hot-head looking to experiment with mind-altering…uh…experiences, this was never an option.  Ever.

And I cannot be the only one who has this olfactory quirk.

So what does this have to do with the stress of not knowing?  Well, it’s a tenuous connection at best, but I know that whenever I’m fueling my car, I can always expect that little, secret pleasure.  As fun and/or miserable as life can be with all its whacky twists and turns, it’s nice to know that if, in a
very particular circumstance, you do a, it equals b, not f or qx!

As for what I’m stressing on, in my last post I said we had pulled out of escrow on one house because a house I really wanted had come back on the market.  We were one of two bids on the house, and we didn’t have any contingencies, they did, and we were waiting to hear back from our realtor.  We were fairly confident that our bid would be the winning one and were mentally re-designing the kitchen, which colors the walls need to be painted and in general talking about what we’d need to do to make the house really slick and cool (you know,when you first move into a new house and you have all these great ideas, and only 10% of these go through as planned!)  Imagine my surprise when the next day our realtor called to let us know that the other offer had been accepted, even though it was a lower bid, because they wrote a sob story about their children needing a home.  Son of a b…well, you know.

The owners of the house I’m currently renting are really cool.  As a former home owner and landlord/lady/whatever, myself, I have always kept them abreast of what is going on, especially with the house hunt, because it’s a good thing.  And not only that, Staci has some of the most photogenic children I know, and you’ve probably seen them modeling my stuff in earlier posts.  She has been a sympathetic ear throughout the process, but she didn’t know that the amount we qualified for had been raised, because I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.  So when she heard of my latest disappointment, she texted me back and said, “I wish you could just buy the house!”  After several back and forths and all sorts of other stuff that would bore you, we are know in escrow to buy the house we’ve always wanted from the beginning, the one we’re already living in and loving.

With our track record going here, I’m on pins and needles.  I expect something to be too much, such as insurance.  Homeowners insurance here is quite dear, because we’re right in the middle of the forest during one of the worst droughts in California history and summer brings a rash of forest fires that puts one on their toes during this time.  This is included in our monthly payment.  That’s what is worrying me.  I have several insurance agents searching for a not so god-awful expensive policy.  I am keeping my fingers crossed!

As for my knitting, I’m plodding along at a snail’s pace, snatching what time I have to do a couple of

Figuring out how long to make the ears and how to place them.

Figuring out how long to make the ears and how to place them.

rounds and then regretfully, putting it back in my yarn satchel.  Yes, I have a yarn satchel for my WIPs, don’t you?  Even though this is a relatively easy knit, because I’m making so many modifications to the original pattern, written by Cassidy Clark, it moves very slowly.  Backing up, doing knitting math, and seriously trying to envision what you’re going after.  These take time.  Hopefully, I will have a bunny wabbit that looks somewhat cuddly.

See you in the funny pages!

 

Why one shouldn’t change a vision midway through a project

I had grown tired of crocheting so many items.  Crochet is a wonderful thing.  What I like most about it is that a project, even a larger one,

So sturdy it stands on its own!

So sturdy it stands on its own!

moves way faster than knitting.  But I love knitting, because I like what you can make with it.  And I love the feel of the needles.  However, I do have a schedule of projects, believe it or not, and knitting just didn’t show up in any of these.  (Since then, I have modified that.  You’ll see!)  Anyway, with a relatively clear idea of what I wanted in mind, I started out making a hat.  The yarn wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but we’d make it work.  When I’m finished with the brim, I get a brilliant idea.  Hey – why don’t we add some seed stitching for interest?  Sure, why not?  A few rows after that, I’m jonesing to try out my new cable needle/hook, and I think, Let’s throw some cables in here!  Sure, why not?

This hat does not merit a glamour shot

This hat does not merit a glamour shot

I can almost hear the knitters out there, sighing in dismay.  Yea, yea.  I did it.  Good news, though.  My husband adopted this very warm and still wearable cap because his job takes him over Donner Pass, and in the winter, at night, it’s brutal.  Also, he’s alone so no one can see it  LOL!

Sleeper

When growing up I remember all tomatoes were red, all lettuce was iceberg, Oscar Meyer bologna was king, and white bread, enriched with vitamins and minerals, was good for you.  Then in the 80’s, we started hearing about cholesterol, both high and low-density lipoproteins, saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, (no, trans-fat wasn’t in the public consciousness yet!) and carbohydrates.  There were other buzzwords circulating at that time, but I won’t belabor my point….too much.  If you all remember, carbs were king and feeling the “burn” while you exercised was the only way to go.

sleeper

Love this house! I think it’s somewhere in Arizona.

woody-allen-sleeper

He always knew how to make use of his – ahem – less than attractive face.

I’ve used the title “Sleeper“, a great Woody Allen movie, because the nutrition information seemed to jive with what is happening today.  The main character is, without his consent or knowledge, put in cryogenic sleep because something went wrong during a routine surgery he was having, and wakes up to a dystopian world 200 years in the future.  He is awakened to find cream pies, cigars and cigarettes are considered to be healthful.  In one scene, Woody is panicking because he’s been told the reason why he was thawed (you have to see the movie!) and one of the doctors who was responsible for bringing him out of the freeze, lights a cigarette and hands it to him, telling him to take the smoke deep into his lungs.  Hahaha!

My point?  Eat what YOU want, exercise in a way that makes YOU feel good and get all the sleep YOU need.  Just be certain to maintain a weight and state of health that makes YOU feel good.  You’ll know you’ve hit the spot if you aren’t prescribed a crapload of maintenance drugs to stay alive because you’re overweight and don’t exercise.  Oh, wait – that sounds like me.

Excuse me, I think I’ll go make myself a bologna sandwich on white bread…

A Week into the Crochet-A-Long…

…where I appear to be the only one engaged in it! LOL No matter. I’m making something I want and I just wanted company.  I have finished the blocks and am now working on the face features.  It is SMALL.  The title should have been more along the lines of “Pumpkin Face Towel” or “Pumpkin Face Baby Blanket”!  I hadn’t really planned on using it heavily, so this fits in with my interior decorating scheme called White Trash Bed and Breakfast look.  On the plus side,  I’m going faster than I had anticipated, so if you’re on the fence about joining in with me, here’s the pattern link.  I guarantee it won’t mess up your Christmas projects schedule as it has taken me so very little time to get where I am now, and I haven’t been going full-speed on it.  In fact, as you can see by my video, I’ve even had time to trash a square and still be this far.

Talk to you all later – mwah!

Fashion trends and project ends

I had a good quick read finding out that hats will be the new IT for next year!  For those of you who will be working the craft fair scene this is good info.

http://blog.lionbrand.com/2013/12/23/knit-and-crochet-and-yarn-trends-for-2014/

DSC_0012-1 - Copy

Casually laid out.

DSC_0011-1 - Copy

On the hanger, trying to look important!

On the other hand, I finally finished my sweater.  After all the anxiety, the hair-pulling frustration of an oddly written pattern and plain old time and energy spent on this one project, it came out way too big even for the oversized fit I was expecting.  I had to think carefully about what went wrong, and it wasn’t long before I realized that between a pattern of a beautiful sweater written by a novice and my well-meaning-ed modifications, the project was doomed.  Well, not doomed.  All but one of my alterations was actually good for me.  What brought my hard work to a marginal product was the size of needles I used.  The author called for such small needles to work worsted wool and my propensity for slightly tight tension led me to believe it would be wiser to use larger needles for the same results.  The gauge swatch was close enough, so I carried on.  Obviously, not close enough when applied to a much larger area of finished fabric.  Oh, well.  I’m throwing pics of my finished behemoth and the link to the pattern.  I would advise using finer gauged yarn than she recommends!

http://www.abc-knitting-patterns.com/cgi-bin/cart/store.cgi?action=link&sku=1006