Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Good day

Had a busy time the last 2 weeks, but loads done!  Let's start with progress on the Spectrum blanket that Katlyn has decided she would like instead of the color bar blanket I started for her.  She still wants the color bar one, but it's going to be too big for a car blanket, so she has laid claim on my lovely stripes!  I love that this blanket is so easy to just go back and forth and the change in colors is fun.  I am very pleased with it.  
a bit of progress
I decided that I needed to get Groot finished up and potted so I sat down on a lovely sunny Saturday and knocked him out.  Added a bit more detail and got him potted up! 
finishing details
He turned out so darn cute!  Had to drag him around the house to get a good shot of his happy face. 
and he is done!
I was on pinterest and ran across this little potted four leaf clover and thought I would make it for Katlyn.  She had just commented how she really liked St. Patrick's Day and this was a cute little project that really took no time at all to complete.

part one
How cute is this face!
part two
Stuffing and sewing 
part three
And here he is all done up and hanging around on the mantle.

lucky clover
So I finished Groot, made the lucky clover and made a few more shamrocks and turned them into a garland to decorate the mantle.  I had a very productive Saturday.
Spring mantle
Katlyn ended up with 3 days off in a row so we decided to go up North for the weekend, well of course I need to gather yarn for the trip.  Really not that hard, I was just going to take the Spectrum blanket, since all 6 skeins fit in my favorite yarn bag nicely.  The problem I ran into was that I ran out of the turquoise yarn!  What the heck??? I bought what the pattern called for and used the called for hook size.  I don't crochet loosely so not sure what was going on.  I pulled out my ruler and checked gauge (something I never do!) Turns out my gauge was bigger then the pattern said it should be, but the problem with that is if I had in fact been at the proper gauge, the blanket would be a tight, stiff mess!  So not sure who tests these patterns but this is definitely off.  
Now this has thrown a hitch in my plans to take this blanket along.  It's Wednesday night at this time, we are leaving Thursday right after work and Joann's didn't have the Mint Blue last time I tried to buy this yarn, ugh.  I don't want to waste time driving all the way up there when I have to do laundry and pack and they might not have it!  Damn.  I'll just pack another bag to take, but wait....we drive right by Joann's on the way out of town, so I'll take this blanket and another just in case they don't have the yarn I need, whew!  
further along
This is the blanket I started when I ran out of yarn for the other.  3 strands together and a beast hook to handle it!  This is for my newest Grandchild. Gender neutral at this point.  Won't know the sex until late April.
new baby blanket
So off on the road trip with a quick stop at Joann's for my yarn emergency and (they had the yarn)  I get settled in the passenger seat while Katlyn drives us in her new car and this is what I encounter!  Flippin' yarn vomit, like seriously aggravating.  

yarn vomit
Since we were in town on a Friday while most everyone worked and Brooke had school we just kind of wandered about Windsor during the day.  Went to the book store, had some lunch and just enjoyed the lovely weather that Northern California has!
at the book store
Made much progress on the blanket while driving and took it outdoors for  photos.  Got the third color going.
it's growing!
We were busy bees the entire weekend, I swear we were in and out of cars constantly!  I love hanging out with my boys though. 
my sweet boy Steven
We went to dinner a lot
dinner
This spare blanket that I brought just happened to be in the car and I worked on it every time we drove somewhere, it grew quite a bit!

in the car
We went to San Francisco on Saturday and walked around pier 39 and had lunch and drove up and down crazy hills with a million other people!  I took loads of pictures with my camera while walking around and the weather was beautiful.  They have musical stairs on the pier that Katlyn and Brooke enjoyed.

making music
We took a lot of pictures including selfies.
girls and selfies
Snoopy outside a restaurant in Windsor.
girls and Snoopy
We did a bit of shopping after breakfast and acted silly.  Had a good time and man I love the weather up there!

Grandma's crazy
Home repair is something I do because it's just me and Katlyn so unless one of my boys is down visiting (Christopher) I do what needs to be done myself.  Katlyn's bathroom door knob has been sticking, where she couldn't get out kind of sticking.  So after her friend got stuck in the bathroom at 11:30 pm on Monday night and Katlyn had to wake me up to help I figured it was time to fix it.  Well I did a temporary fix by changing her knob out with mine for now.  I will get new knobs over the weekend for both bathrooms.  So after many pictures and texts with Christopher trying to figure out HOW to remove the stupid knob in the first place...seriously, I can replace the front door and the bedroom ones with no problems but I could not figure out the bathroom one!  Finally I got it off, it had been painted around and the paint decided it didn't want to let go!  A hammer and a couple of screwdrivers convinced it otherwise and I only got a little bloody...oh the joys of owning my own home!
I'm handy
Christopher was entertained with my antics, so 1 bloody finger, 1 smashed thumb and 1 jammed cuticle later the knob is in place and works!  I am hoping that the new ones will cause me less damage and pain! 
ok, maybe not so much!
And that's my story so far this month.  I have added another color on the Spectrum blanket, but will all the door knob repairs last night I forgot to take pictures of it, so that will be later.  We shall see how productive I can be this weekend!

Listening to:  Wicked Garden by Stone Temple Pilots

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

marching on....see what I did there :)

And again, I've managed to let February slip on by with only 1 post.  Que sera sera, I would say I'd do better, but alas I know that will probably not be the case.
So on with the show, in this case pictures.
The pink & black blanket which I worked pretty near nonstop lately and thankfully had a 3 day weekend in which to finish it up!
A close up
I never did get a good finished photo of the entire thing, it measured 34 x 34 (it did make it to square status!) and I got it quickly wrapped a shipped off after getting the bow done and attached.  My friends loved it and sent me pictures of their baby girl snuggled in it.

Done and ready for shipping
I have taken to a new idea for use of scraps, I saw it somewhere...probably pinterest, that someone had a ball of mismatched yarns all tied together and actually I think it's Red Heart Boutique that does the same kind of thing, only the yarns in Boutique are the same colors and there are only 6 different yarns throughout a skein.  Anyway...I have started my own ball of random fun.  It's not very big yet as you can see, but I'm hoping it will grow as I finish up projects and have small bits of leftover yarn.  
My new little ball
Being as it's March, that means Shamrocks come out to play and since I made hearts for February, I figure Shamrocks should be hanging about the house in March.  Here they are in a bowl waiting to be strung up.

A bowl of Shamrocks for March
Now onto my crazy dog lady mode.  It's been chilly, not unfortunately cold enough in my opinion, but chilly enough in the evenings that the dogs like to snuggle with blankets.  I felt that they needed cowls to keep them toasty (Katlyn of course decided I was insane)  

Kid
I don't know if they keep them any warmer, but they sure look cute!
Max
I ordered some Simply Soft yarn from Joann.com because I saw this lovely striped blanket that was on a wrapper of the pink yarn I was using, but every time I went into the store to get the necessary yarns, they were always out of at least 1 of the colors and I knew if I didn't get them all at once I would never get them.  So with a really good coupon that made up for the stupid shipping costs, I was able to order the 6 colors I needed and even got a giant yarn of gray for a gender neutral baby blanket for my new grandchild that is coming along in the Fall.   Yay another one is coming!  Not going to know the gender until late April though, so I am going do cute gender neutral ones.  I am hoping for a boy though, then I'll have 1 of each!

A box of goodies
Katlyn and I went to Disneyland last week and she decided she needed to have a Mickey hair clip to wear.  I wasn't driving, so I grabbed black yarn along with my new stripe blanket yarn for the drive down.  Fairly straight forward, 3 circles sewn together and ta-da...Mickey!  

looks like a mouse
Next I started the striped blanket, of course nothing is ever easy and my center pull skein vomited out a mess for me to contend with before starting!

yarn vomit
Disneyland was great of course and the weather was actually cool enough for long sleeved shirts. The sun was shining and we had so much fun just wandering around.  

on the tram
Katlyn brought her cow...random indeed.  Someone gave him to her at work last week and she has kept him in her car.  She decided that he was going to come along to Disneyland with us and be in all pictures.  I took a lot of pictures and nearly all contained a cow bombing.

Happy the cow photobombing
Ok I found the name of the pattern for the stripe blanket, it's called the Spectrum Afghan found here 
It's a colorful rainbow and very easy to do and being Simply Soft, it's very soft!

easy peasy
Katlyn asked me to make her a blanket for her to keep in her car.  She likes lots of color but no holes.  I found a granny pattern that was basically solid, she ok'ed it and we just needed to get colors picked.  she remembered she want a blanket that looked like the off air television screen...you know the one with all the stripes and colors.  Well she saw it in a book I've had for years, Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker.  The pattern is called the Color-Bar Blanket of course though it's done in granny squares.  I did up 2 squares in the solid pattern and then while working on my stripe blanket on the drive to Disneyland, I thought of doing solid panels just doing half double crochet all the way, to measure the same as 12 squares.  Oh goodness...no millions of ends to weave and no putting 4 1/2 squares together!  I'm a genius, ok maybe not, but I sure as heck made the blanket easier then it was going to be!  So the first panel is done now in green and the second is underway in a royal blue.  I am trying to get at least 1 row done on my Spectrum blanket in the evenings so I can see a tiny bit of progress on it but Katlyn doesn't get upset because I'm not working on her blanket :)
blanket panel
So that about covers all of the latest news I have.  Not too much but still getting things done, which is great considering how much I read daily...I'm up to 40 books read since the beginning of year. Whoop, whoop.

Listening to: The Pretender by The Foo Fighters


Thursday, February 12, 2015

February things

Of course most of the photos posted here today are not even taken in February, but on we go anyway.
I started Groot in the previous post and here now he has limbs and leaves, still no mouth yet nor is he anchored into his pot, but he's mostly finished.  No really sure why he's not done yet, I guess I feel like he's missing something.  I do know he's fatter then the pictures on Twinkie Chan's blog where the pattern is posted.  I'm sure he'll get done soon.
Groot progressing
So the mystery yarn I started playing with in the last post turned into a bracelet.  I worked up a wrist sized swatch and added some embellishments and a button closure.  Simple enough.

bracelet made with mystery yarn
Friends of mine sent me a gorgeous yarn bowl of which the below picture does not do it justice at all!  It is stunning and makes me happy. 

yarn bowl with heart yarns
I started a baby blanket for the same friends who are expecting a little girl this month.  Had a lovely idea to do a simple pink and black blanket, wide rows of pink with 1 or 2 rows of black in between and then border in black and add a pink bow.  Easy and quick....or so I thought.  It has turned into a major undertaking.  I bought what I thought based on past blankets, enough yarn.  I was wrong.  Since the only pink I really liked was Simply Soft, I switched to an H hook.  Smaller hook equals the need for a longer starting chain....again wrong.  Now at 4 rows into this I felt the need to rip it out and start over.  Maybe a bigger hook and a shorter starting chain, but I persevered even though I really didn't feel it.  

new blanket
February brings hearts and I ran across an adorable and easy little crocheted heart in my Facebook feed on day.  (Flamingo Toe's on FB)  I thought that they would look cute strung across the fireplace since it's been looking so empty since removing the Christmas decor.  Made about a dozen or so in different pinks and strung them on white yarn, and done!  Below is my yarn bowl that I used to toss in the hearts as I finished them.  I have also made some for Katlyn to wear in her hair at work since she normally wears the flowers I make.

bowl of hearts
Oh here's an updated shot of the pink blanket, this was before I knew I was going to run out of pink yarn.  I do like the blanket, I know it sounds like I don't...it's just not how I saw it in my head, well it sort of is.

growing blanket
So we finally were able to take a road trip to see Brooke and the boys.  Really hard trying to get the days off coordinated with Katlyn's schedule over Christmas and Valentine's is going to have her working long hours as well, so when she had a scheduled weekend off, she was able to extend it and off we went.  The fog was heavy and thick nearly the entire drive, that's what we get for leaving at 3 am.  Katlyn drove and she didn't mind the fog as much as I did.  

a foggy drive
With Katlyn driving so I read while it was dark out and started crocheting once it got light enough outside.
hooking on the road
Now we've done this trip up to the Bay area a lot.  We know the exits for gas and where the rest areas are pretty nearly by heart.  We also know that the Richmond-San Rafael bridge has a $5 toll in the North direction...guess who had no cash!  Yikes, I forgot to get cash!!  I always carry a bit of cash on our road trips and for some reason I forgot to get some.  So my plan, since Katlyn had no cash either, was to gather change.  She was not keen on this idea at all.  I managed to get the $5 together, in mostly quarters even but the girl was not happy still.  Ok neither was the booth attendant, me I was hysterical, I mean seriously people, it's not like I did it intentionally nor will she have to see the booth attendant again and we had the $5!  New rule, emergency $5 bill in the car at all times!

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge
Arrived to a lovely Saturday in Windsor.  Everybody happy we're there and I got presents!  Christopher got me a crochet hook charm.  How cute is this!  I forgot my necklace at home, but it's flippin' adorable and on my necklace now.

tiny hook charm
I really wanted to go to the yarn store in Santa Rosa.  I hadn't been to the new location and was looking for red yarn. Christopher was not amused, but he went anyway.

Christopher not looking forward to the yarn store
So the red yarn....yeah the problem is that they carry so many lovely yarns and so many different reds that I didn't get any red at all, but I of course got some delicious Malabrigo. They will be a cowl as soon as the pink blanket is complete.

yarn purchases
I got to meet my Niece Danielle's son Titus.  What a sweet baby he is!  He had no problem with me holding him and even fell asleep for me.  We took selfies too!
Titus and I
The trip home started later then usual, since there was baby holding involved but it was a pleasant ride and I do love a good looking sunset!

Sunset on the way home
Superbowl Sunday, Katlyn worked, I went to my Sister's.  I found these little foam fingers at Target and had to get them as they were cute.  Made entirely too much food and worked on the pink blanket throughout the entire game.  

Tiny Foam Finger
Made these tasty treats with salsa and shredded lettuce on the side also did deviled eggs and brownie bites.  Much food was consumed by all and still had loads of leftovers!

taco cups
Car shopping is up next.  Katlyn has been using her Aunt's extra vehicle to get back and forth to work but of course being as she is 20, she really wanted her own car.  After a few false leads with other cars I called my Brother who I forgot actually works a car dealership.  Found out that he works for a Chevy dealer and that was that for Katlyn.  He ran numbers on different cars for her and found that with the down payment she had saved and a rebate, she could get a new car.  Monday morning we headed to Cerritos.  She test drove 2 models of the Cruze and they let her drive a Camaro (out of her price range but her dream car) and picked the Cruze she wanted.  2015 Chevy Cruze with 8 miles on it.  My girl is a very happy girl.  She paid for it all herself, I'm so proud. 
I took my yarn bag with me and hooked along while waiting.  My Brother laughed at me, thinking that I was silly for bringing yarn out but I got a lot done in all of that time sitting around.

while waiting
Here she is learning the radio and On Star before driving it home.  She is still ridiculously happy and can't believe she has her own car. 

girl's first car
So on now to a cat picture, because that's what we do.  Stein loves Katlyn, he will climb onto her lap no matter how she sitting or what else she happens to have on her lap, and plop himself down and get comfy.  

he loves her lap
I bought some orange cotton yarn to go with the red.  I'm thinking of making a Fire Demon...just have to work it out.  I'm trying not to crochet anything other then the pink blanket so I can get it finished up and shipped before the baby is born!  Katlyn just laughs and makes fun because according to her the pink blanket is still a rectangle.  It's now a running joke.  No matter how much I work on it, it is always a rectangle instead of becoming a square.  One day...one day!

something of an idea
And that's it for now, I'd really like to get a decent picture of the pink blanket, but it's kind of large for photos I think, though spreading it out on my bed would work if I could keep the dogs from traipsing all over it!  I'll try on Saturday.  I'm going to get new tires on my car Saturday morning so I will take the blanket to work on while waiting, maybe I can get it finished this weekend!

Listening to:  Love in the Midnight by Styx