Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I also got RAOK'd a few days ago!

These came the same day... Saturday, I think... but I waited until I had a chance to snap a pic before I posted anything about them.

One's a postcard from one of the 'ville members, and another was a nice package from a different member. The package included a bunch of patterns (and one can NEVER have too many patterns!!!!), a nice card, and a crocheted washcloth. Smile

For anybody who doesn't know what an RAOK is... lemme give ya the low-down.

RAOK stands for Random Acts of Kindness. Over at the 'ville, we can put wish lists up, and anybody who wants to can spontaneously grant someone's wish... just because. Just because they want to, just because they can. I've been RAOK'd a few times now. Just little stuff, but you'd be amazed the effect a few free patterns that someone collected from a store and took the time to send to a person can do. It's the realization that somebody thought of you that day, and the excitement of "oooh... what'd I get???" It doesn't matter WHAT you got, you're just happy that you got SOMEthing.

It just brightens your day. Rose

Swap Swap Swappity Swap!!!

I got my swap items today!!!! Yay me! Lol

Actually, they came first thing in the morning. I'd thought it was my daughter's taxi to school - she did too; she was hanging by the front door waiting to go out - but it was Postman Pat with my box.

I was so excited I took it in my room, put it on the bed, and just pet the box for a while. Lol Yeah, but I'm NOT kidding.

My swap partner absolutely spoiled me. If you click on the picture, you'll see everything she sent me - I even labelled it all. (Yeah, I know... could I BE any more geeky? Lol )

I already used the purse. I immediately took the most important things out of the purse I was already using (wallet, keys, cell phone), and tossed it in my new GORGEOUS FELTED PURSE and took it out with me. The people who have noticed it have made some nice comments, and my neighbors even thought it was something *I* made. But I was gleefully honest. "Nope, *I* didn't make it, but somebody made it FOR me!!!!" All said with a HUGE grin on my face. Smile

Now I really feel like a shit because I haven't even sent hers out yet. But I CAN'T send them out yet because - as my mechanic father would say - I'm waiting on some parts. Seriously, I've ordered something online - something absolutely vital for this particular item - for something I'm making for her, and it hasn't arrived yet. BUT, I do expect it pretty much any day now, so hopefully it won't be long. I don't like feeling like a shit. Frown

Monday, July 17, 2006

Super Soap Saver

If you're Polish (like me) and you're reading this, it's going to make perfect sense. Anybody else might think I've gone crackers, but believe me... it's a serious problem.

Little bits of soap. You Polish people KNOW that you can't just throw away the little bits of soap! You can still use them!!!! But how? You try to use them and they just slip right out of your hand. You try sticking a bunch of them together and they just come apart when you try to use them. What do you do?

Well, if you're Polish and know how to crochet AND have a bit of cotton yarn at your disposal... you crochet the Super Soap Saver!!!

And let me tell you people, the Super Soap Saver is SUPER EASY!!!


Materials Used: small amount cotton yarn
Size G hook

Chain 15, turn

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each st across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: sc in each st across. Ch 3, turn.
Row 3: dc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.
Rows 4 - 34: sc in each st across. Ch 3, turn.
Row 35: dc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 36: sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 37: sc in each st across. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Fold the material in half (right side together) so that the rows of dc line up. Use your preferred method to close up the sides (I sc'd up both sides - I hate sewing, and it was faster.) Weave in your ends. Turn the material right-side out.

Chain any amount of stitches - make it however long you want, and then fasten it off. Weave it through the dc stitches to make a drawstring. (I used 2, and weaved them in opposite directions.) Put your little bits of soap in, close your drawstring, and there you go! Wakka Wakka

Lexi's Water Bottle Caddy

This, like a lot of people's projects, came out of a need. A need for my 5-year old daughter to have some way to carry her water bottle back and forth to school by herself. She's a lazy little $#!t, and was always begging either me or her 9-year old sister to carry it for her (because it wouldn't fit in her book bag).

One night a few weeks ago, I couldn't sleep due to some pain I was in (abcess in my mouth), so I grabbed a ball of cotton twine I'd bought for the accessories swap (more on that on a later date) and whipped this up.

It's very simple. I just crocheted into a circle, making it big enough to cover the bottom of the water bottle, and then crocheted up, alternating dc rows and dc-ch 1 rows as I saw fit, adding a couple of sc rows to the top. I actually crocheted the strap into the top row, so there was nothing to attach later.

It's proven so popular that one of her teachers even said that I should make a bunch of them and sell them, because SHE'D buy one! Thumbs Up

If anybody's interested in explicit pattern directions, let me know. I don't have it on me right now (because she's got it at school WITH her!!), but I can easily write a pattern down if anybody wants one. Nerd

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Chopsticks Holder

Do you, like me, have chopsticks rattling around in your silverware or utensil drawer? Do you have to sift through chopsticks, recipes you meant to file away, can openers, rolling pins, and assorted kitchen tools to find what you're looking for? Ever wonder what the heck you could do with those chopsticks to keep them together and keep them relatively clean?

Well I did!!!

And inspiration hit me... make a caddy!!

So I did!

It's really easy to make, too... so here's the pattern that I used.

Chopsticks Caddy

Materials Used:
a few ounces DK yarn in 2 colors (of course you could make it all in one color, but I was using up scrap yarn and didn't have enough of one color to complete the whole thing)
Size G hook

Side 1

Chain 15
Row 1: hdc in 2nd ch from hook. hdc in each st across. (13 stitches) Ch 2, turn.
Row 2 - 41: same as Row 1.
Row 42: hdc in each st across, ch 3, turn.
Row 43: dc in each st across. ch 2, turn.
Row 44: hdc in each st across. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Side 2

Same as Side 1.

  • Place both sides together, right sides facing each other.
  • Use your preferred method of joining - whipstitch, slip stitch, single crochet... whichever you like, use it. Close up 3 sides, leaving the end with the dc stitches at the top open.
  • Make a long chain to use as a tie. Weave it through the dc stitches.
  • Put your chopsticks in, close, and the next time you get yourself a yummy chinese take-out, you won't have to go sifting through the drawer for the chopsticks!!

Now don't YOU feel clever?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bad, Suzi, BAD!!

I bet some of you are wondering why I haven’t updated this in a week. Not Sure

It’s a good answer.

I finally got re-started on my sister’s blanket!!!! Thumbs Up Smile I was going to do a pillowghan, but I started out wrong, so rather than have to frog it AGAIN, I've decided it’s just a regular afghan. But I completely changed the way I was combining the colors, and I like it a LOT better. I really think she’s going to like it. Thumbs Up

I’m not going to show pics, because I gave said sister the URL for this blog, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise, should she be checking up on me. Shocked

But I’ve decided that I absolutely HAVE to work on this thing at least a little bit every day (even if it's only 5 or 10 minutes), and this way I’ll be sure to have it done by November, which is when I plan on sending it. I’m also putting in a few goodies, which I haven’t actually GOT yet, so it gives me time to get that done as well.

My swap partner’s items are on hold right now… I skipped over beading (I might still do that, but wanted to get this other thing done first) to make something I’ve never done before. But it seemed easier than beading, so it was a better choice for me. But I’ve temporarily run out of supplies. I haven’t been able to get into town to get any more this week, because I’ve had one kid home sick all week.

That’s WHY I’ve re-started on my sister’s afghan. I already have the yarn for it – I’m just frogging my first attempt and using the yarn again.

Oh yeah, and I’m doing something with said afghan which is another thing I’ve never done before. I don’t know WHY I’ve never done it before, because it’s usually one of the first things people learning crochet actually DO. But somehow I just skipped right over that part of learning. And since I’ve got so much experience with all of these stitches already, it was a breeze. I was even amazed to find out that my gauge is RIGHT ON!! Surprised I’ve NEVER had that happen before... well… the times I’ve checked, anyway. A lot of times I do projects where I don’t really care if my gauge is off – things like blankets and washcloths and such.

I’m glad I finally GOT it re-started, though. Redoing it the way I AM redoing it has actually inspired me! I’ve got a mental list of the other things I’m sending, along with full-color Panavision mental pictures. Lol

I should have done this a long time ago. I think it was just the disappointment I felt when I realized I’d made a mistake that put me in a funk about the whole thing. For a long time, every time I looked at it, I just turned my nose up at it, seeing nothing but that mistake. Frown

But now I’m back where I started. With enough yarn, a hook, and renewed inspiration.

It’s a lovely feeling. Angelic

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sanity Questionable

I’m in possession of questionable sanity. Perplexed

I sat here, browsing through patterns on Thursday night, and I get it in my head to make something to wear to Daniel’s birthday party (my neighbor’s only son, it’s his 18th tomorrow). At first I thought “poncho.” See… I’ve always liked ponchos, even in the 80’s when they were “so yesterday.” And I’ve been meaning to make myself a poncho for the last year.

But on the other hand, I’m really liking some of these shrug patterns, too. Especially the ones that are written with the bigger people in mind. Or those that can be adapted to any size. Thumbs Up

So I went over to the ‘ville, and asked for some opinions. Poncho or shrug? It’s pretty much unanimous, they all think I should make a shrug. Somebody mentioned shrug-a-licious, but when I looked at the pattern, it looked too difficult to figure out how to adapt it to MY size. Not that the pattern itself is difficult, but it would take a lot of figuring, a lot of math, in order to adapt it. But the Mrs. Who/Fluffy Pink Shrug… now that I could do! Especially since it’s pretty much done in one piece!

So I’m working on that now. I’ve had to Frog frog it once, because even though I measured like the directions say, when I put it over my arm to check how far I had left to go, I realized that it wasn’t going to fit around my fat chicken wing arms. Not to mention the fact that my daughter walked off with the piece I’d had done so far, and ended up accidentally frogging about 1/3 of it on her own! Baring Teeth

So now I’ve got about the same amount done as I’d had done the first time, but this time I KNOW it’s going to fit me. I just did the same thing again, checking to make sure.

I’m going to make it a little shorter in the arms than the pattern says, because I decided I want to put some bell-type cuffs on the sleeves.

Cross your fingers for me that I get it done in time. Of course, if I absolutely have to, I can work on it all day tomorrow. But I’m really hoping that, now that I seem to be on a roll, I can get it done faster than I’ve done so far.

I can HOPE, anyway! Angelic

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

First swap item finished.

Well, a certain someone's first swap item is finished. I think it'll look a lot better with blocking, but it's done.

Just for the heck of it, I wore it today, just to see if it would get any attention, and if so, what KIND. Well... so far, it's gotten only rave reviews. One person said they couldn't believe I made it myself, and another said that it didn't "look homemade." Shall I take that as a compliment? Methinks I shall. Nerd

I'm really glad I went for the skein of yarn that was £0.50 more than the other one. They were the same TYPE of yarn, but different brands. One was £2.49 for 25 grams, and the other was £2.99 for 50 grams. Well, the Polish in me said "only 50 pence more for twice the weight? Oh YEAH, baby!" Lol If I'd gone with the original yarn I was going to go for, I wouldn't have had nearly enough to finish what I'd made... and it would have meant a mad dash back into town, hoping against hope that they still had the same color I'd originally bought!!!

NOW... on to the other item. I'm see-saw-ing back and forth between two different things. Both very similar, but I'm just having a hard time deciding which to do. If I knew for sure I had enough materials, I'd just do both, call 'em a "set," and count them as one "item." But I DON'T know for sure, and I don't really know where I can get more of what I have... so I've GOT to choose. But which one????

God, this is so hard.

But ya know what? I'm having fun with it, too. Sure, there's a lot of anxiety attached to all this, but knowing that I'm going to be surprising somebody with something I've made, and that she'll be surprising me as well... hell, it's downright exciting!!

I'll definitely join another swap sometime in the future. But hopefully, next time it'll be something I'm a little more familiar with, something I have more confidence in. If not... well, there'll be another "swap anxiety" post in my future. Tongue Out

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Swap Anxiety

I'm probably not the only one who's ever felt this, but right now I'm suffering from a severe case of swap anxiety.

This is my first swap - EVER. And although I HAVE been crocheting for over 20 years, I would have to say that my skill level is still at "intermediate" at BEST.

I'm not sure exactly what level my swap partner is at, but I'm working on some of her swap items and I'm sitting here second-guessing everything. Will this be good enough? Will she like this yarn? Will she see the colors I've chosen the same way I do? (Because a lot of this stuff IS subjective, after all.) Not Sure

And that's not even going into the other item I'm planning. I haven't started it yet, but it's got me in some serious heebie-jeebies. It's something I've never done before, and I can't find a pattern I really like, so I've decided to just "wing it." Shocked

On a slightly more upbeat note, however, I've come to really like this yarn I'm working with (no pics just yet, because I don't want to give anything away, just in case my swap partner happens to read this). I have decided that as soon as I can afford it (sometime in the next 2 weeks), I'm going to get myself another skein of this stuff - probably in a different color, something a little bolder - and I'm going to make myself a summer top. I was looking at this pattern, and decided I'm going to use that as a "starting point" and add my own touch to it. I'll be more specific when I get it done, because it'll take me so long that I'm SURE my swap partner will have received her items by then, so I won't have to worry about "giving anything away." Nerd

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Celia, I've done it!!!!!

Okay, so I'm talking to someone who's been dead for nearly 3 years, but hey... if I can meet my future husband in cyberspace, I can talk to dead people in cyberspace too!!!! Tongue Out

Back when I was like 17 or so, my cousin Celia tried to teach me how to crochet doilies. She took me shopping (okay, so grandma took us shopping really, but that's only because Celia didn't know how to drive at the time), bought me the thread and the hook, came over to our house, and sat me down and tried to teach me. But I thought I just couldn't get it right, so I gave up on it. Frown

Now that I've done this, I realize what the problem was. It wasn't that I couldn't get it right, it's that I expected what I was working on to look like what the finished product should look like. I didn't realize that it could buckle and bow and still be okay. I didn't know there was such a thing as "blocking," and that any "imperfections" in the doily would be "fixed" after doing it.

But after seeing some absolutely gorgeous doilies on Crochetville, I got it in my head that maybe... just maybe... I could actually do it now. And I couldn't get the thought OUT of my head. After all, I've only been able to read a pattern for a year. (They always confused me before, but a year ago something "clicked" in my brain and they suddenly made sense! Lol ) And I STILL had the same thread and hook that Celia bought me oh so many moons ago, stashed away in my yarn box.

So I went searching for a pattern that called for the same size hook I have (a Boye size 6), and that didn't look too difficult. I finally found one, and got to work on it. I could have gotten it done in one night, but I've got so many WIP's right now it's not even funny. And I'm not used to working with thread, so I could only do a little bit at a time.

But I finished it last night, and blocked it this morning. And it looks okay, even if I do say so myself! Thumbs Up

So Celia, if you can see me... I finally got it! Aren't you proud of me? Angelic

In progress, but nearly done.

Same level of progress, but a different view.

All done, all blocked, and all better!!!