Monday, January 30, 2012


And here I go, the first effort with Red Heart's Sashay Yarn

In the blue colorway, which I love.

The only thing I didn't love about this first attempt is that there were two knots in the skein..something I do not like to find. I will update with the other two skeins to see if it's a real problem or not...but this is the result:

This one goes to the store (JoAnn's) as a sample. The last shipment sold out.

Friday, January 27, 2012


What's that? You ask.

Well, a BAM is a "block a month" (familiar to the quilters out there, probably), and CAL is "Crochet A-Long".

And there is one going on (well, actually probably more than one) inside of Ravelry, which I joined. I just finished the first block, and it is


blocking on the blocking boards now, and so I took a picture for historical purposes (and so that I could share with you).

The block utilizes many different techniques--there's a little applique, a little embroidery, crochet, of course, and blocking to size. Everything for the crocheter who also likes to quilt! That, friends, would be me.

So, without further adoo, here's the block for January:
of course, you'll note that I accidentally cut off the top border when I took the blurry picture, but it is what it is, I suppose. As you can see, I'm not such an even embroiderer, nor am I good at the blanket stitch (at least keeping the stitches evenly spaced, anyway), but you can't be perfect at everything...can you?

And, if this interests you, you may sign up for the BAM CAL here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Still Working on the Scarf...

I'm not sure why, but working on this scarf, while it's pretty boring, it still holds my fancy. I'm just not sure why it takes so long to make a triangle! By now, I should be halfway through the second skein (there are 3 skeins to the scarf), but for whatever reason, I'm still on the first skein, and only a few yards of it remain. I'm a little curious why it's taking so long to get some length on it!

Slow and steady wins the race, I suppose, but there are other projects I would like to begin...such as this really fancy dan shawl...

Tomorrow evening, I have a crochet class. Seven students and lots of things to prattle on about. I'm looking forward to it. And soon, I'll have the scarf done and I can post the finished product here...if it ever gets done. But I think it will go in the Christmas present pile....along with the other two crochet scarves that I made.

Stay warm people. I think we're getting our January thaw right now.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I called in sick today. Mostly because of nausea and a headache, but I've had a bit of bad news, and just wasn't up to getting it all around and making a day of it. Plus, I'd heard that snow was to begin around noon time, and I SURELY didn't want to drive home in the slippery stuff.

So I stayed home. We've been trying to keep it warm in the house, but we've found something out about wood pellets. They DO NOT keep the house as warm as the field corn. We are freezing our butts off--even though the thermometer in our living room says it's 60 degrees inside the house, you really can't feel it. I got the humidifier going again, and hope that it will help keep us warmer, but the wood pellets just don't do the job. I doubt we'll be using them next year--or perhaps only for when it's 40 degrees out--not the 6 degrees that it's been most of the day.

And of course, I've been doing some knitting on a scarf that goes this way and that way. It's really quite ingenious, but it will need a LOT of blocking before I can do a picture. It puckers everywhere, but I can see that it will be pretty when it's done.

In the meanwhile, we've been watching movies--and staying close to the little bit of warmth that the stove puts out. If the wind starts to blow, I think I'll have to run to town and get some corn. In the meantime, I hope you are safe and warm in your house.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Projects

I finally finished my slippers, but they turned out a little big. I might have to put them through another hot wash and semi dry...but here they are....

And my cowl, which is made from a new Lion Brand Yarn called Luxe Fur. Three skeins makes the cowl, and I decided I wanted stripes. It's crocheted on 45 stitches (plus 3 for the turning chain), dc's all the way up. Of course, you can switch up the rows with thinner stripes or even some traveling stitches if you wanted. Entirely easy in one color or 3, and you don't have to make it as wide as I did, either. It would even make a beautiful mobius. This stuff is amazingly fluffy.

Word of warning--it's 48% wool--and you can smell the lanolin in the wool. Hand wash only cold water!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Had This Hunch...

But it didn't help at all! I stopped off at JoAnn's on the way home (not that the store is on the way home, but rather that I went there before actually GOING home), and I dropped off another scarf (there are two featured for the next two months for classes in Crochet, and I made samples of both, plus a block that was called "Woven Stitch"). No pictures, though, until I can get the projects back...bummer for you, but it helps me make sales of classes at JoAnn's if people can see the finished projects.

I'm a little worried that everything is "scarf-ish" this time, and wonder if people are maybe "tiring" of scarf this and scarf that. I know I am.

Therefore, I bought some yarn (oh, like you didn't know THAT!) green and white (well, it's cream, but against the green, it will still look white, and won't look dirty quite as soon! Two birds!), and the plan is to make Spartan hats...

Sort of like the reindeer/panda/hello kitty hats I've made, just with a "Michigan State Spartans" theme. I plan to put it on display and turn it into what JoAnn's calls a "trend" class.

This is where I write up a pattern, and it's submitted to the corporate office, and they do all the checking with the powers that be, and let me know if I can do it or not.

Well, who knows? Once I get an idea in my head, it's hard to let go.

So I have to figure out what the end result is going to look like, and while the colors aren't a problem, the end result is a little daunting. I don't want it to be just an ordinary hat, and I don't want it to be so hard that people can't make it, but I want it to be special enough that others will desire it, and take the class to make it.

So there you go...a complete quandry in a few sentences.

I also purchased yarn to make a this way and that way scarf. What is it with all the scarves, people? You'd think it was getting cold outside! But I think since I have to teach the class to make this bird, I have to figure out how to make it fly.

So that's what is on the needles. Plus I've got a little tatting project going, but I have to practice my tatting. There are parts I don't remember how to do, and since some folks at JoAnn's want me to do a trend class for it, I figured I should "brush up". I'll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, I'm between projects, and reading a book. It's called "Scott Free" and written by one of my favorite authors John Gilstrap. So I'll see you as soon as I have something to really say or show. Bye for now.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Kind of sing-song today, with not much to do. I've done the samples for JoAnn's, and want to work on the third, and maybe even the 4th, but I don't have the right yarn (yet). Hubby doesn't know it yet, but I'm heading to JoAnn's after I drop off the movies at the video store, so that I can pick up the yarn I need for the projects I want to work on next.

Hush. I know I have projects waiting for me in my queue, but there's this every which way scarf done with short rows that I'm pretty excited to work out, if only for my own self. The scarf will make a nice present for next year. I also have to work out a hat for the Spartan population, and that takes a special forest green and white. I've got some ideas in mind. I also have a project for my brother that I want to do....There are just too many things to do!

On the other hand, yesterday, I bought a tatting shuttle and some tatting thread and a hanky, and I thought I might make an edging for the hanky. That's something I need to look online for, and planned to find earlier, but forgot by the time the movies were over...So I'm off on the hunt. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another Hat Completed..

I made this hat for a friend, who is going to give it to her daughter. It's really cute in person. Tell me what you think!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fear Becomes You...

Someone asked me if I wasn't afraid of anything when I posted about opening my computer and putting in memory. It made me giggle, because truth be known, there are things I'm afraid of, but the guts of a computer isn't one of them.

For instance, I am afraid of storms, especially those with the possibility of tornadoes. I love happy, little spring rain that makes the flowers grow, but when it comes to tornadoes, I'm ready for the basement. The reason for this is because I went through a tornado as a child, and all I remember is screaming at the top of my voice and not being able to hear it for all the noise.

I'm afraid of spiders. They are fine, outdoors and in their element, but drop one in the tub, and I'm calling my husband to "get it out of my tub". Big man that he is, I can always count on him to take care of the nasty thing.

I'm not scared of snakes, but they do make me jump when I wander across one and it's unexpected--but I have a pet snake--a Dumerils Boa. Very pretty snake. If snakes can be pretty.

I'm not afraid to jump out of an airplane, but I'm not about to try it. I have a healthy respect for activities where you can end up with a really mangled body or worse...emphasis on the "worse". Likewise, you won't find me scaling tall mounts on a rope (for exactly the same reason), without lots of other people around and someone to break my fall.

I'm not afraid of lightning, but I don't stand outside with a kite, string and key, either...again, for similar reasons. Call me stupid, but I value my life (to a degree). I say that, because a few days ago, I realized that my ex-husband may have tried on numerous occasions to murder me. That said, it's probably a really good thing he's an ex, right? But this latest one, really sort of shot me in the head...

There was a big "KaBOOM" in our mobile home one night that brought me out of a sound sleep, shook the pictures off the walls, and scared me to death. When we woke up next morning, we found that the chimney had "blown it's top", and the lid was laying on it's side on the roof. We didn't know what was happening, at least *I* didn't know, but looking back, it's one of those "I wonder if..." moments...

We had natural gas heat, so when a problem presented with the furnace (where the boom came from), it went up the chimney instead of blowing the trailer to bits (as propane would do). We were VERY lucky (at least *I* thought so). When it happened a second time, I called the furnace man, who came out and found a hole in the baffle, which caused the furnace to load with gas, then when the thermostat kicked in, "kaboom". So we had to get a new furnace.

Looking back on it, I remember the hole as being about the size of a large if someone had stuck the screwdriver and pressed down on the baffle to create the hole.

Therefore the "hmmm" moment, because that's not the ONLY incident that I sort of rummage over now and then. Of course, he would deny it. But he lies all the time, and I have nothing to do with him anymore, and so there's a very healthy FEAR of my ex-husband. My current husband thinks I'm being an idiot about him. But you know, once burned, twice shy. When he tries to talk to me, I turn and walk away, and then I look over my shoulder to make sure he's not following me. Darn stalker, anyway!

But enough of you see, there are things I am afraid of, but the guts of my computer? BAH! I sooner be afraid of snails. I'm sure that there are other things I am afraid of--losing my job...dying before I use up all the yarn I own...dying before I use up all the fabric I own...things like that, but I tend to not allow those things to prey on my brain, and think of happier things. I'm a lot more afraid of certain behavior that didn't scare me in the slightest when I was 20 and thought I owned the world. I think I was hitchhiking in Denver when Ted Bundy was in town, but that's kind of an unknown, actually. He may have been in Florida at the time.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Today, I Added Memory

Would that it were so easy to add memory to the human brain---just stick in a chip and you're good to go. Want to save that picnic in the park on Sunday afternoon? Just add a new chip and sandwiches in the basket and off with you. You can add memories of your wedding to husband #1, then take the chip out when he turns out to be a lying, cheating creep, and never have to remember him ever again. No grief, no loss.

Of course, if you had children with this dude, you're doomed to remember him no matter what, but I digress.

But seriously, I added memory to my computer motherboard. It's really very easy to do. First, you turn off the machine. Then you unplug it from the wall (at least you should to prevent any kind of static). Then you open the box--now for some folks, it's just a key in the back, some it's a latch, some it's a couple of screws in the back. They all seem to come apart differently so that you can get into the guts of your machine.

Now, here's the tricky part. Before handling a memory chip, be sure to ground yourself on a metal piece of the computer.

Memory chips look like long strips of green plastic with little flat, black, rectangular bugs on them. There are usually slots for 2, but sometimes there are 3 and even 4. They come in different sizes, and your motherboard (the big green sheet in the back) knows what chip it needs. You can't just put any old chip in there. You have to have information about your particular motherboard, and know what sizes and configurations you need--then you buy it, usually in a bigger configuration than what you have already in there.

Once you have it, you open the slot by pushing open the little "keys" on the ends. Memory will usually "go in" only one way. Then you push on the memory chip until the little keys snap shut around it. This means it's "seated", and you're good to go. Close up the box in reverse of how you took it apart.

Plug in your machine and turn it on, watch while the computer "boots up". Some machines are set up to recognize changes in your machine, and the memory will be found during the bootup procedure. Some machines are set up so that you don't see that, but you can still find out how much memory you have in your machine by going to the My Computer Icon and looking around in there. The computer should show how much memory you have. It depends on what version of Windows you are running. This morning I put in another 2 gig chip. I now have 4 gig of ram in my machine. It feels pretty good, but I'm not really doing much yet. Enough gig of ram in you machine and you can run several different programs at the same time, all of them resident in memory.

You can look at a pic of a memory chip on this website. You can even locate your particular memory needs there, and then head over to EBAY, and find the chip you need for the lowest price you can get, and buy it there (or you can pay double at the other website, but it's the same ram, and even includes a return policy if it doesn't boot up as required). You only need to know the information about your motherboard, and you find that information in the My Computer icon as well. In the margin, you find out all sorts of usable information about your computer and it's needs.

There really is no need to be scared about it. I realize it's a bit intimidating, but pretty soon, you'll be building your own computers from the bare box up, and that's pretty fun. I actually did that for a couple of years, but always had a techie friend who could step in if things went awry--as they can do when drivers aren't correct--to help make everything co-exist together inside your box, because there's a lot inside there that I haven't even mentioned yet...for instance there's the hard-drive, daughter boards, such as the sound card, video card and perhaps some other cards for usb ports or even a television or radio card that will pull in digital information from the air--or a card so you can plug in your cable tv. There's also the CPU, which is a square shaped chip on the motherboard. In older models, it was about 2" square. In your box, it might still be, but they are getting smaller and smaller and do more and more. CPU means Computer Power Unit. This puppy makes the whole box work, and if it wasn't there, or burned out and didn't work, your machine would not boot. Same goes for the power supply, which normally comes with the box, and has it's own "requirements" in order to work with the box. It's actually more of a converter, but it takes the power coming in from the wall and converts it to forms and needs of the various components inside your box. If it isn't big enough, it may not power all the devices you have, and things won't work at their optimum.

So if you've never opened your box before, take a look inside and take note of the items I've mentioned. Try and identify the daughter boards inside based on what's plugged into the back of your machine. Be sure to ground yourself well, but if you don't actually "touch" anything, everything will be okay. Taking a look doesn't hurt anything and even gives you a little better understanding of what your particular machine has to do in order for everything to work and get you out onto the web!

Happy computering!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fait Accompli!

Or as they say in the good ole US of A, FINISHED!

The wind kicked up, blowing my almost dry hair all over the place. It's supposed to really snow today, but there's supposed to be alot of different kinds of things, not the least of which is the wind, which indicates a front is passing. How lucky for us. Maybe it will blow over.

But we had to go outdoors--the light was just horrible in the house--candlelight just doesn't cut it sometimes. No actually, I was standing in front of a lighted ceiling fan, and it was throwing off the camera's internal light sensor. But we got the pic, and there you go.

I hope you all had a safe New Year's Eve, and a wonderful New Year.

Happy 2012!

It's very late, and so this will be short, as I must get my sleep...



It's after midnight, btw. 12:15am, actually. So Happy New Year everyone!

Let's see if we can all make it count for something.