Friday, December 29, 2006

Final post of 2006

How in the world did this year go by so quickly??

Here's one final thing that I made this year: a little red mouse who has slightly less of the zombie about him than the blue one or the albino one did.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year celebration. I plan to spend New Year's Eve weekend at our cabin in West Virginia, reading, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, generally sitting on my ass, and drinking some beers with the lesbians up the hill. Should be fun!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Purple octopus

This photo doesn't really convey the cuteness of the purple octopus, or his incredible HUGENESS. Unlike most Roxycraft patterns, this guy isn't three inches tall. He's at least 10 inches tall and maybe a foot wide. My good friend "She" can verify (or possibly dispute) this. It's been a couple of months since I made him. No one expected him to be so huge. She could barely get him on the plane home to Alaska.

Update: I just received a new photo of the Giant Purple Octopus. As you can see, he towers over the Diet Coke can.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas...

...only hippopotamus will do.
My mother's favorite Christmas song (followed closely by Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer).
In the spirit of Christmas, then, here are two hippos, using the same yarn and the same pattern. Amazing what a difference tension can make.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


In keeping with my husband's demand that I make one of everything for him, here are two cows. This photo doesn't quite get the extreme cuteness of these cows across, but I guess it'll do.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


In addition to the lion I made for my 2-year-old niece, I made a lemur for my 4-year-old niece, after being informed that she is way into Zoboomafoo. He was quite a hit, and was taken to bed with said niece most nights of my Thanksgiving visit. The lemur is weathering the shorty beat-down better than the lion, who lost the fuzz at the end of his tail within an hour.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm baaaaack!

After a ridiculously long hiatus, filled with shoulder surgery, recovery, a new job, a profound lack of motivation, and the death of a camera, I now have some new things to share. I'll parcel them out over the next few weeks. Wouldn't want anyone to go into shock or anything.

So first up -- a pride of lions! I made a lion for my niece (from a Roxycraft pattern -- what would I do without her patterns), and then my husband informed me that he absolutely had to have one, and then just for good measure I made one for a friend whose sister is having a baby. I think they're pretty cute, despite the fact that my embroidery skills leave a lot to be desired.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I don't know what to do with myself now

I can't believe I actually finished this beast. It turned out really well, and it's got some serious heft. The last time I posted about this was in October, when I was about halfway done.

I really don't know how I'm going to occupy my time now...

Update: somebody at Crochetville asked how long I thought it took me to make this thing. Here are my calculations.

Each piece takes an hour to do, so that's 410 hours. There are 21 rows, and it took me half an hour to wash and block each row before sewing it together, so that's 10.5 hours. Sewing each row together and weaving in all the blasted ends took about 2 hours, so that's 42 hours, and sewing each new row on took around 3 hours, so that's 63 hours. For a grand total of ... 525.5 hours, or 21.89 days.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Week three

Not sure how long I'll keep posting photos of my extreme hideousness...maybe until it's not so hideous anymore.

I started PT in earnest, and it is NOT PLEASANT. Those people are experts in the art of torture. The good news, if there is any, is that I'm starting to use my arm a little more and am now totally out of the vile sling.

The doctor tells me that the lovely ridge in the scar tissue is actually the sutures, and as soon as they dissolve the scar will flatten out. I'm very much looking forward to that day.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm so pretty

I am here to testify that rotator cuff surgery is no piece of cake. Although the drugs were really good. So not only do I no longer have the use of my left arm, but my left ear is also completely numb. Not exactly what I was expecting, I have to say. The doctor says it's because you're sitting up during surgery, and you have your head encased in some kind of industrial-strength vise grip thingy, and it pinched a nerve or something.

So. Day one, I slept and was pitiful. Day two, I slept and threw up and was pitiful. Day three, I slept and was pitiful and managed to eat a cracker or two. Day four, off came the bandages and the sling, and my arm flopped down, utterly out of control, and I. Was. Pitiful. I didn't even feel the slightest twinge of cabin fever until day 6. Also? Sleeping with your arm strapped to your body sucks. Even now I wake up every time I try to roll over, so I haven't slept more than an hour or two in a row in two weeks.

It's now been two weeks and two days. I have a tiny bit of control over my left arm -- I can dress myself, at last, but I'm still washing my hair one-handed. Physical therapy started yesterday. For the first couple of weeks it'll be "passive stretching," meaning that I don't need to exert any effort or try to exhibit any strength. Which is good, because I don't have any. But even though it's passive, it still hurts like a mutha.

Herewith are a few choice photos:

Here we are before the bandages and sling came off.

And here we are five minutes after removing all the bandages and surgical tape. I couldn't believe how huge the scar is, so of course had to document it. The spot in front is where the doctor tried at first to do the whole thing orthoscopically. Unfortunately, the tear was just too big.

One week after surgery.

And two weeks after surgery, two days ago.

Oh, and just to insert a tiny bit of relevance to this blog, I am able to crochet with a minimum of pain. Weaving is not in the foreseeable future.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Betrayed again by my aging body

My sporadic posting may become even more haphazard. I found out on Monday that all the physical therapy I've been getting (for the last seven or so weeks) has done no good whatsoever. An MRI has revealed not one but TWO tears in my rotator cuff. No wonder I haven't been able to sleep on my left side for three months! No wonder my shoulder throbs so much it's making me crazy! No wonder I nearly killed myself trying to get the top off a highlighter the other day!

So anyway. I'm pretty sure this means no weaving any time soon. I might be able to do some crocheting. I sure hope so, because I might become even crazier than I already am if I can't do anything more than watch daytime tv.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ideas? Suggestions?

I bought this unbelievably gorgeous alpaca yarn two or three years ago at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and it's been taunting me ever since. I haven't been able to bring myself to make something out of it, for fear that I won't like the results. But really, it's time to bite the bullet and just make something.

I need suggestions though. I could see myself either weaving or crocheting something with this. I'd originally thought of weaving a poncho, but I don't want to use the yarn for the warp (at least I don't think I do) and I can't think of what would look good as a warp. I also have never come across a pattern that knocked my socks off.

So. Any brilliant ideas? I have a 26" wide, 8-harness Baby Wolf loom, and a 4-harness Glimakra table loom that might be a tiny bit wider, as well as crochet hooks in every size. I have 8 oz. each of the light and dark grey and 16 oz. of the black.

Help me find this yarn's true purpose in life!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Quilty goodness

I did not make this, my mother-in-law did. But it's so lovely that I thought it deserved to be seen by more than the two people who sleep in my bedroom.

Monday, April 03, 2006


My crazy husband has decided that he wants to be a beekeeper. He's currently taking a class, and he's even purchased a full bee suit, which makes him look like some kind of insanely happy alien.

However, lest you think this post has nothing to do with crochet:

And here's a closeup of the little Secret Bee I made him while he was sleeping:

Not my best work, but still fairly cute...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Opinions, please

Ok, I'm feeling done with the muff, but the husband seems to think that every square inch of space needs to be filled in. I'm thinking that when there's a liner stuffed in there, it'll make the spaces less obvious. Opinions? Should I stuff it full of roses until there's no more room whatsoever?

Monday, February 13, 2006

The roses, they are multiplying

A quick update on the Muff of Many Roses. It gets pretty boring making those damn things, so it's going slowly.

And I will also say this: when finished, this thing will be heavy. But beautiful!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Parade 'o' Roses

The muff continues its progress toward rosy loveliness. Here is the base of it, finished.

And here is a rose, in its many colors and steps (again, sorry for the sub-quality):

And here's where we are as of this weekend!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Beautiful muff in progress

Now, you may be asking yourself, how will she ever recreate those lovely Technicolor tones? I'll tell you how. I went to Bruce Variety, a five & dime store of the old-school, thinking that if I was going to find yarn to do the muff justice anywhere, it would be there. And I was right.

Meanwhile, here's the base of the muff, slowly but surely coming along. Next up: roses!! The pattern calls for "muff liner," but I'll be damned if I know what that is. I'm not so much with the fabric and the sewing.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chapeaux tres belles

Regina over at Monster Crochet has begun a crochet-along (known in the biz as a CAL) for some super fun hats that she found in an old magazine from the 60s (possibly even older than I am, hard to believe, I know). I am going to make this rosy, elegant, and totally beautiful headband and muff. And then I will embarrass my husband by wearing them everywhere.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


It's been pointed out to me that I neglected to follow up on my Musings On Turning 40 post with a description of the lovely Fairy Princess party that my coworkers threw for me that afternoon. I had every three-year-old girl's dream birthday, except that I also got a big-ass box of delicious items from Bliss Spa, one of the most divine places on earth.

Here are some of the highlights, including a rare sighting of my actual face (I'm the one in the feathered and beaded pink tiara).

Friday, January 06, 2006

Tweed clutch

Here's a little purse I made for my friend Mary. I wish I could have gotten better photos, but I'm just not the world's best photographer, and my camera is pretty bottom-of-the-barrel. Mary, if you have any that are better, send them along, will you? I got the pattern from the latest Interweave Crochet.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Albino rat

My best friend's daughter has an albino rat named Scabbers (of course), so I crocheted her a faux Scabbers as a Christmas present. Scabbers apparently has a green tail from the chlorophyll in his tank--it's hard to see in these photos, but faux Scabbers does too.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The scarf of paralysis

Here it is, the scarf that had all the problems and that had me paralyzed for three weeks. The photos don't show all that well what the problem was, but essentially, the tension wasn't the same in the middle of the scarf, so you might be able to see an area in the middle where it's sort of riding up.

I also had problems with the threads on the very ends breaking, which is why you can see some fuzziness on the edges.

Once I was told how to fix the tension problem, it wove up pretty easily. I still can't believe that it stymied me for as long as it did. And my good friend Sheila seems to really like it, so that just proves that you don't have to be perfect to be appreciated. I'm so wise now that I'm 40.

Unfortunately, I never took a picture of it finished. I'm just glad it's off my loom.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The big 4-0

Well. So here it is, my 40th birthday. I’m not entirely sure how this happened. Last time I checked, I was about 26, although I do vaguely remember freaking out when I turned 30.

I’m happy to report that my brain did not win its Death Before 40 campaign. I was up and out the door before 5:30 this morning to go running -- might as well start the day on an energetic note.

I have to say, I thought I’d be a lot more distraught about the prospect of being 40, and in reality, I’m sort of … pleased. My 20s sucked ass. I met and married someone who turned out to be not the person I thought he was, so we split and divorced. My 30s were about a million times better. I met and married a man who is nicer to me on any given day than the first one was in a month. So I figure that the trend will continue and that my 40s will be amazing.

Here’s a little list of what I’ve got going for me:

--Excellent, kind husband. He drives me nuts, of course, but he’s about the nicest person I know. I should probably make an effort to be nicer to him.

--My family! My parents, while crazy, are also quite cool. In February my mom turns 60, so together we’ll be 100. We’re trying to figure out a way to celebrate that fact. My sister … just simply one of my favorite people ever. She's married to one of the other nicest people in the world. And her two daughters. My GOD those sweet little babies! Who needs kids when they have those two girls for nieces. And then there’s my husband’s family, who are also amazingly kind and wonderful.

--Incredible friends. The list of people I consider close friends has shrunk quite a bit in the last several years, but I suppose that happens to everybody. People change and drift off. My close friends are just fantastic, and I know that every one of them would have my back in a crisis.

--My health, more or less. Still with the migraines, but hey, I’m still fairly lean and mean, and that’s mostly due to running, which I took up about a year ago. I never thought I’d consider myself to be a runner, but at 820 miles for the year, I think that’s pretty good evidence that I somehow have become one. Goal for 2006: A cool 1,000.

--Stunning good looks. Heh. Hey, people still guess my age at least 10 years under what it is, so what the hell, add that to the List of Happy.

What would I like to accomplish in my 40s? No clue. My life has been a series of serendipitous occurrences and I’ve never really had a life plan. It would be nice to find an actual career, I suppose, although I’m definitely a work-to-live person, not a live-to-work one. I’d like to be a better weaver, maybe work on my own patterns. Same goes for crochet. Ooh, I’d like to learn to spin (wool, not pedals). It would be lovely to travel to places other than Alaska for vacation (if you’re reading this, dear husband, take note). But on the whole, it turns out that I’m pretty satisfied with life at the moment. Who’da thunk it.

Happy Birthday to me!!