Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Size doesn't matter

Over the weekend, I attempted a few new projects to start the stash busting. A month or so ago, I purchased 6 skeins of Cascade Fixation to make the Princess the Alyssa tank top from Melissa Leapman's Cool Crochet book. When I picked this up from the library, I fell in love with several of the patterns. So much so that I bought the book. I should have known better. Long ago, I purchased Crochet with Style by Melissa. I found a very cute vest that I wanted to crochet for myself. Too bad that no matter how small a hook I used I could not get gauge. Not even close. What made me think that this book would be any better? Well, it isn't. Not only have I gone down 2 hook sizes, but I had to go down to the next size smaller in the pattern to adjust for the fact that I STILL couldn't get gauge.

Now, get this. The Princess has a 37 inch bust - average size I would think. She wears a size small shirt and size 5 pants (that ALWAYS need to be hemmed). Beautifully proportioned and curvy in the perfect spots (I'd like to lock her in a closet or send her to a convent until she is about 30). According to this pattern she is a XXL. Are you freaking kidding me? What does that make me? The Titanic? Needless to say after fiddling with gauge, being off in my stitch counts and finding out I'm probably a ship in the fashion world I shoved it in a bag. Stupid tank top.

Instead, I knit another bag and felted it (pictures forthcoming). And started another one. Do you know why? Because size doesn't matter when you are going to shrink the damn thing anyway.

Posted by Heather at 1:16 PM 8 comments

Friday, April 21, 2006


Being Friday and me being bored, I decided to do a little research. Feeling a tad guilty over ALMOST breaking the yarn diet today (long lunch + yarn store within walking distance = disaster...usually) I thought I should count up how much yarn I've used this year. I read back through my blog (which is pretty funny, by the way, where do I come up with some of this shit?) and calculated that I had used 18 skeins of yarn. Pretty darn good, right? Well on my way to stash containment! I can use up that bin in no time! Hand painted goodies, here I come!

Ahem. Not so much.

You see, I then became a tad suspicious of my results (fortunately right before I grabbed my keys to hit the yarn store). Remembering a trip to a yarn store here, a SP gift there and well...umm... I'm still in the hole. By 19 skeins this year alone. Bah!

Like Sarah and Melanie said, I need to knit or crochet big projects that take up multiple skeins of yarn. Like more felted bags! And the Princess' tank top. There is also some yarn that I'm just not really liking anymore. That might hit ebay. I've been wanting to do that so I can buy more Addis.

Want to guess what I'm doing this weekend?

Posted by Heather at 11:51 AM 6 comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Could there be hope?

After a little review of the checking account, it may appear a miracle has occured. If you are faint of heart, you might want to sit down.

I have not purchased any new yarn for myself (secret pal purchases don't count) in over a month. I know, I know. My last purchase was on 3/3 over at Tempe Yarn and Fiber when I bought the Fixation for a tank for the Princess and the yarn for the baby blanket (which I finished).

The call to break the yarn diet is strong, my friends. Have you seen the gorgeous yarn Heather is creating? You all know I am a sucker for handpainted yarn. Her colors are gorgeous! But, I keep reminding myself that she will (hopefully, please) be painting yarn for at least a little while. And if I'm a good girl and knit up at least 1 bin of the 3 I have, I can buy some. And the Cathay that I fell in love with that Michelle is knitting with. And some Socks that Rock. Yea, that too! God, I'm hopeless.

Uhh...that means I need to knit or crochet 1/3 of the yarn I currently own. I think I better get busy.

Posted by Heather at 11:57 AM 5 comments

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Random Stuff

As usual, things are busy around La Casa de Cranky Teenagers. Working, driving teenagers around, working, cleaning. The usual. But, there is also knitting!

Know what those are (sorry for the blurry pic)? Koigu socks, baby! They were really a fun knit. And would have been faster if I had time to actually knit.

Pattern: Wendy's Fabulous Toe-Up sock pattern

Yarn: Koigu, duh. Given to me by my wonderful Secret Pal from SP7.

Needles: Size 3, Addi Turbos

Changes: I knit the socks on 2 circulars and knit the ribbing until I ran out of yarn.

I have 3 more skeins of Koigu that I'm going to make 3 more pairs of these. I like short socks and these are perfect.

Speaking of Koigu, I won a contest over at Cat Knits. The prize? A fab music CD and 3 SKEINS OF KOIGU!! Let me tell you, I never win anything. I was so excited to find out I won! Thank you so much. Koigu...mmmm....

Spring has come to the desert. I'm trying to ignore the fact that it also means summer is right around the corner. My front yard is all desert landscape with lots of cacti that is blooming right now.

Beautiful, no? With Spring also comes my second favorite sport - Baseball! I'm a huge Diamondbacks fan (with a not-so-secret love of Luis Gonzalez) and my son is a ::gag:: Yankees fan. This proves that I really do love the kid.

The Diamondbacks played the Yankees in 2 exibition games as the last 2 games of Spring Training. Because I love my son more than I can't stand the Yankees, I bought tickets for him. He was so excited! Brian took him since I was supposed to take the Princess to Stomp the following evening (she bailed on me in a teenager fit of not getting her way) and they really had a blast. I got great seats for him and he got to see his hero, Derek Jeter.

Again, thank you for your kind emails, comments and thoughts. Our baby is still with us. She was playing today with the little mice I bought her. She loves those. Every extra day is a blessing. I hope it lasts.

Posted by Heather at 8:21 PM 6 comments

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Friends and knitting and stuff

First, and most importantly, I have to thank every single one of you that commented, emailed, called or just kept us in your thoughts. Words cannot even begin to express my thanks. After I posted on Friday and I started getting responses, it made me feel so much better. I had just cried myself out. My cats are like my furry children and I love them so much. Their love is so unconditional and innocent. And they depend on us so much. Olive has been with me through alot of crap in my life, always loving me no matter what. She is doing a little better, though not as much as I would have thought.

Moving on...I haven't been knitting very much, but I do have a little progress to show. The baby blanket was finished a week or so ago.

I really do love this pattern, although near the end I'm always bored out of my skull. I hope Brian's Great Nephew likes it.

Next up, the Koigu socks. Is this a gorgeous sock, or what?

I'm using Wendy's Toe-up Sock Pattern and the Koigu my wonderful Secret Pal gave me. I am just so in love with the color. So rich and beautiful. I had one skein of this yarn, so I used my new digital scale and wound off 2 balls of the exact same weight. Then, I knit them until I ran out of yarn. How much did I have left? See that little bit of yarn at the bottom of the unfinished sock? That's how much.

Funny, huh? How did I get so close? Well, I figured out how much yarn a row of the ribbing took and left myself double that for the bind off and weaving. This is exactly how much yarn I'm willing to throw away. Not bad.

Also in my line-up are the Jaywalker socks. Which are boring. Very, very boring. So boring that a picture of them could put you to sleep. I love to knit socks, but these are not fun. And I don't know why, really. I'm still stuck on the heel flat, which looks rather wide to me.

There are other, random knits in the basket that need some finishing. My goal? To get a few projects done so I can cast on for something really different than what I've been doing.

Thank you again, my friends.

Posted by Heather at 7:08 AM 9 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006

My baby

Two months ago we started battling a URI with Olive. She hasn't gotten any better, in fact her breathing is worse. And this morning it was scary. Off to an emergency vet appointment where I expected to be told she still had it, or something like it. What I didn't expect was that my baby would have a tumor in her abdomen. If you remember, last May she had a tumor removed. It was thought to be fatty, but not anymore. The one in her abdomen now is the size of a golf ball, which equals a grapefruit size in a human. Treament? Questionable, extreamly invasive and terrorizing to a very sweet cat. And expensive. Very expensive.

Right now I'm not sure of her quality of life. She sleeps in spurts, waking when her breathing is bothering her. The plan right now is to make her comfortable until the time when we are sure that she is suffering. I'm not going to subject her to all kinds of testing, surgeries and forcing medication down her throat. That is no way to live. And then it will be time to make a decision that I can't bear to think about. She is my baby and the sweetest, most loving animal I have ever been owned by. The teenagers, especially my sensitive Star, are going to be crushed. But if we love her, we will have to let her go.

And I really can't take it.

Posted by Heather at 12:30 PM 19 comments

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reveals and memes

Is memes an actual word? Who knows. First, and most important of all, we had the SP7 big reveal! The person spoiling me was Bethieee who was an awesome Secret Pal! She totally spoiled me and people, she gave me Koigu (said in the sexy voice). Mmmm...koigu. You will be happy to know, Bethieee, that the first skein is now one short sock and the other is progressing nicely. I'd show pictures, but I just got the laptop back yesterday. Freaking computers (other than this one, you are very nice and good). I was spoiling Jade. I really hope she liked all the goodies I sent her. In the last package I made a few things for her and it was so fun. My faith is restored in SP and I've signed up for Secret Pal 8.

Posting should start being a bit more regular, now that I have a computer at home I can use. My laptop needed a new hard drive, but now it is back and running! I won't have to fight the teenagers for computer time. Because Goddess knows we can't go an hour without checking our MySpace (monitored, of course), or IM's from our 400+ friends or listen to music.

Some memes are pretty boring. This one I really liked. Thanks to Mac for sharing. It asks questions, you put your media player on shuffle and let it answer the questions. No cheating. Sure, a lot of it won't make sense, but some of them are funny anyway.

How does the world see you?
Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle)/Limp Bizkit - Now that just cracks me up to no end.

Will I have a happy life?
Into the Now/Tesla - I don't quite know what to make of that, but since they had a decent comeback, it can't be too bad. Right?

What do my friends really think of me?
Rodeo/Garth Brooks (my only country love) - Now that is just freaking funny. Considering I'm a total klutz and wouldn't be caught dead on a bucking anything. Well, umm...nevermind. Maybe I'm the rodeo clown?

Do people secretly lust after me?
Sweet Home Alabama/Lynyrd Skynyrd - In some Deliverance kind of way?!?

How can I make myself happy?
Shake Me/Cinderella - Interesting choice. "Shake me, all night" Brian is gonna love that one.

What should I do with my life?
It's Been Awhile/Staind - I love this song. It has so much meaning for me. Quite appropriate for the question. Jeesh, make me cry.

Will I ever have children?
The One Thing/INXS - That better not mean one more kid.

What is some good advice for me?
My Sacrifice/Creed - Ha! That is saying quite a lot. Plus, I am still mourning their breakup. ::sniff::

How will I be remembered?
A Moment Lost/Enya - Oh, isn't that nice.

What is my signature song?
Silent Artist/Walt Richardson & Hannes Kvaran - They are a local band Brian and I love. Don't know that it is my signature, though

What do I think my current theme song is?
Good Riddance/Green Day - Now that is just downright damn funny considering the day I had yesterday.

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Peaceful Warrior/Walt Richardson & Hannes Kvaran - Now I like that.

What song will play at my funeral?
Don't Stop Believin'/Journey - I should hope so. My life a few years ago was shit. I never gave up. Nice choice. ::mental note to add that to my will::

What type of men/women do I like?
Blinded by the Light/Manfred Mann - Now that's what happened when I chose my ex! That just about explains it all.

What is my day going to be like?
Hole Hearted/Extreme - Shit. I'm going back to bed.

Great meme, huh? Want to do it? Go for it. If you do, please post that you did in the comments. I'd like to see what everyone comes up with.

Posted by Heather at 9:22 AM 5 comments