Monday, November 20, 2006

I need to start writing things down

It's really no fun to have minutes of searing inspiration that are then promptly lost to the cosmos forever. The last few days I have had several fabulous ideas of things to write about here...things I was really excited to share...but where are they? Not here is all I know. Brain is a literal tabula rasa. Bummer.

So, on to the photos!

With the clock ticking, it's heavy duty blanket time round these parts. This is what I have started for #1. It's one of the motifs from Happy Hooker's Garden scarf, joined as they go, so no seaming YEAH!!! The colors aren't showing to their best here, but you get the idea. I'm using Cestari's 3-ply DK cotton wool blend that I maddly bouhgt on clearance at my LYS (Borealis Yarns, if you live in the area...LOVE them!) because they were discontinuing it and it is SO great for crochet. It's working up fabulously and the motif is easy-peasy and quick. I can't wait to finish it and see her open it...she's going to love it.

And this is what I have hookin' up for my sweetie:

Originally was planning on doing it for our 10th anniversary at the end of the month, but I fell into the acrylic trap when I was picking out yarn. I wanted to be making something special. I knew he would hate anything not cotton and I knew I wouldn't be happy working in something synthetic. But I went to the LYS and I settled for an acrylic wool blend. And in colors that were nothing like what I had in my head. It was a nice one, really it was, but I worked it and ripped it and reworked it with a different hook and ripped it and reworked it again with a different stitch and finally faced the truth. I just hated the yarn. No, I didn't take a picture of it because I want to forget it.

So now I'm working in plain old cotton, and I have the natural with red stripes I wanted in the first place. Nice and nubby in parts and ribbed in others. Once I get past the second red stripe I'm going to work HHDC for the main, then repeat the stripe bands at the other end.

Oooooh! Just remembered...remind me to talk about new obsession for spindles and things spin-y...oh and local yarns too...YUM!

Friday, November 17, 2006

My grandmother's hands

I wish I had a picture of my grandmother's hands.

I am slowly working my way through Hooked

I just read the essays by Annie Modesitt and Amy O'Neill Houck. Both deal in different ways with having learned to crochet and the connection that brings with their grandmothers. Amy has clear remembrances of being taught, of time spent of things made. Her essay is one of the best in this anthology. Well written, thoughtful and heart-felt.

It made me sad though. I don't have those memories, though I also learned to crochet through long hours spent with my Grandma Allaria. I don't remember what she told me. I don't remember what she showed me or how. I do remember what I made...endless acrylic potholders and those kitchen towels with the crocheted tops forming a loop to attached to the fridge door.

I don't remember what she worked on. I have no idea if the crochet embellished linens my mom has stashed away were done by her, or perhaps her mom? I do know my great grandmother came from Sicly in the early 1900s and this skill comes from her. I wish I had asked more questions. I wish I had been more interested.

When I was working on a blanket the other day though, something about how I was holding things brought a sudden flash of her hands. Her filed to a dagger nails pointing out stitches, running over the yarn.

I miss her.

I wish I had a picture of her hands.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

simply amazing

This is real talent. Found the link at Crochet Me and just have to give them more snaps...Seriously, this is fabulous. I've been hoarding plastic bags, but wow, the bag I finally come up with is puny in comparison. Check out all of their work, there are some phenomenal charcoals too...

Friday, November 10, 2006

OK, this is seriously sad.

Every freakin' day I think of about a million things to talk about here, and every day I can't seem to eke out 5 minutes on the computer. It must have somthing to do with the fact that my days go something like this:
  • wake shell shocked and sleepy armed from yet another night of finally giving in to the fact that #3 wants to be with me ALL THE TIME. (he's singing you a spit symphony as this appears on the page...I need to invent a spatter guard for the poor computer. YUCK.)
  • gulp coffee while getting food in, clothes on, schmutz off of all 3 before hustling out the door by 8 am
  • drop off #2 at preschool and #1 at Kindergarten.
  • return home to put #3 down for a nap, shovel the remains of breakfast (and perhaps dinner teh night before) off of the kitchen counters before collapsing with the paper and my own breakfast/lunch for 5 minutes before waking #3 to go pick up #2...
  • ...and we come home again to destroy the kitchen while making lunch and simulataneously trying to keep #3 from poisoning himself with random leaves drug in from our glorious MN autumn, choking on a stray hot wheel car or electrocuting himself by somehow getting at the one unprotected plug left we thought safely behind the sofa.
  • once #s 2 & 3 are safely napping...or at least I can pretend they are...I once again schlep out the mess in the kitchen, maybe start dinner, chug as much coffee as is left in the carafe before waking both to get in the car yet again to reclaim #1.
  • once home I don my referee cap for the scrum that generally proceeds through the making of dinner until Daddy the Wonderful walks through the door, kids end up in bed and all grown-ups collapse (hopefully at least one of us with a glass of wine and some good yarn) in front of whatever we have on TIVO at the moment before once again attacking the kitchen and going to bed, where the whole baby sleep battle starts again.
Can you tell I'm a tad grumpy? I seriously need to find a way to get at the computer in the evenings. Our PC lives in teh same open space as the baby sleeps, but perhaps I can steal time on the hubby's wireless laptop if I'm especially nice...but honestly I don't think I have the energy for that. 9 months without sleep is just too, too much.

On a more yarny note, I have some things to share:

This is the ruffle scarf out of last fall's Interweave Crochet. Worked in Patons' Rumor, which is an alpaca blend and SO soft and fabulously bulky so this works up super fast and got super long since I didn't adjust the pattern. I can wrap it around my neck about a million times and still have nice flingy bits to toss about....but it's not for me, it's a teacher gift I'm so excited to give. She's going to love it. The colors go from a warm cocoa brown to an auburn to a gold...very cool.

Have made a few snowflake prototypes trying to find the size thread I want to use. Have pieced together the sweater for my niece, but think I will be making the sleeves and body a bit longer, so am holding off on the pics. have also started a blanket for the hubby about 5 times. Am working with a wool blend, mostly blend since I couldn't afford the pricetag for the 2800 yards I would need in natural fiber. I think that's why I'm having troubles, it's just not what I had pictured, and it's definitely not what I'm used to working with. Hopefully what I have going is right on now...will show you soon. Also started teh blanket for #1, based on the garden scarf from Happy Hooker, and this I am loving, worked up in a bunch of oddball colors of Cestari DK cotton/wool my LYS has had on clearance forever. If I haven't already said it, I LOVE this yarn, but apparently no one else does because the stores here have all discontinued it...maybe it's a difference between crochet and kintting...I think it's perfect for going to have to beg them to sell to me so I can get more. Coffee cozies are also being thrown off right and left in my efforts to implement a "reduce, reuse, recycle" program for holiday gift giving this year...we listen to WAY too much Jack Johnson in the car, it's a bit like being indoctrinated.

The other great thing I did lately was this:

HUGE snaps to The Knitting Cook for bringing home made bread back into my's been too long. If you haven't listened to her podcast, run now, go...really, go now. Faith is fabulous, and her food sings to my Sicilian soul...takes me right back to my grandma's East St Louis kitchen. This is her mom's honey wheat bread...well one loaf is, the other I bastardized with raisins and cinnamon with yummy results.

Small man has found a bag, must run...pray for sleep, will ya?