Scarves. Scarves. Scarves. Ad Nauseum. Merry Christmas.

Moda Dea Cache. Love scarves with this yarn.

Scarf from last week but with fringe added:

Halloween-inspired scarf. This one is for Mark for Christmas. He loves browns, oranges and blacks, preferably together. The color is actually a lovely brick red, but it looks crazy orange here. This is Lion Wool-Ease Chunky.

I have one more Moda Dea Cache scarf to make. I think that will wrap up my scarves made out of bulky weight yarn. Bah. Then we have all worsted weight yarns and H or I hooks, and one out of a sport weight and a G hook. I think super fast crochet projects are about to come to an end. It's at this point, when the progress slows, that I will begin to worry about not finishing in time.

Let's see.

For scarves I'm down to 1 Cache Scarf, 2 Red Sox scarves (probably wool blends of some sort), 1 green Lion Jiffy scarf and 1 Paton's Wool scarf.

For blankets I have 2 full blankets and 2 half blankets. (One of the blankets not yet started is actually the 5 1/2 hour throw on Lion's website, but using RH Soft and a slightly smaller hook and probably hdc instead of sc (so I guess it's not really the same blanket at all now is it??)--but that will be maybe a 10 hour max project I'd say). The other not yet started blanket is for me and Mark and that will be last and if it's not done that won't be too bad. One of the half blankets is the granny below, and the other one is Jacob's camo blanket, and he's only 7 so it can be a bit small.

For shawls I've got one half way done using baby yarn, and then the Half-Moon Shawl by Lion. The Half-Moon shawl will be super quick from what I hear.

For purses I have one to add a closure to and then felt. Super quick and easy.

For pot holders, I have one set of chicken pot holders and then 2 sets of wool (felted) pot holders.

For dishcloths, I've got 1 or 2 to finish.

I have 2 grocery bag dispensers to complete. These are maybe 3 hour projects.

And 1 pair of size 11 mens felted slippers.

And I think that's it. *sob* What is it now, 56 days?

Granny's Granny

My Mom is a grandma in every sense of the word. You walk into her home and you just have this warm, happy, comfortable feeling like when you walk into your grandmother's house. I don't know if its something that happens naturally to women as they age, or if its a state of mind that only some women come to possess, but she has it, and she has it bad. It's really comforting on so many levels, now that my own grandmother has passed away.

Anyhow, for Christmas I'm making her and my father a throw blanket for their couch. They never use afghans or blankets other than their bedspread on their bed, but they do have them throughout the house as decorations and for guests (i.e. me or the grandkids) to use for those times when we're chilly. Over the years her home has become so pink and green. I don't know how it happened, but everything turns pinker and greener as time goes on. Her living room, kitchen and dining room are all decorated primarily in pink, with green and white accents. This blanket, literally, will seem like camoflauge in her home.

I started off making a basic granny and then kept on going. I'm using a K hook. I like how it's coming out. The plan is to do 7 rounds of the dark pin, 7 rounds of light pink, 1 round each of green and white, and then repeating the whole pattern. In this photo the green and white really pop out. In real life, the dark pink border around those colors really tone it down a ton. It looks better in person than it does here, but that's always the case with photos. I know they'll love it. I'm not sure how large I'm going to make it, probably 4 to 6 feet square. I think they will treasure it.
It's plain old Red Heart. Nice and washable.

An Absolute Must For My Queue

Been thinking a lot about stash buster projects. I have so much worsted weight yarn that I would rather just part with, but I have no idea what to do with it all. I went on serious yarn overload and have way too much inexpensive, cheaper yarn. Yarn that, when I bought it, was fine for scarves and hats, but yarn that I wouldn't want to turn into sweaters and more advanced projects. I've thought about just busting out tons and tons of scarves and selling them or giving them as gifts, but do you know how many scarves you can make with one skein of Red Heart Super Saver Economy? Oy.

I have decided that I'm going to make Babette Blanket inspired projects. A blanket for me and Mark most definitely. Probably some kitty blankets for around the house (I like to put a [sytylish] blanket where ever they lay -- keeps the cat hair in check and it's cozy for them). I envision bags and purses out of this style. I envision a scarf for one particuarly crazy friend I have who would wear it until it's threadbare.

I hate the idea of motif crochet. But now that I'm making my first ever granny, maybe I can handle this kind of prject. A blanket using my leftovers could take me a year, but what a great way to use up old yarn.

I successfully...

made my very first granny square yesterday.

Isn't that funny? I had never made one before. I just don't like the look of them and never found any reason or desire to make one. But...I'm making a blanket for my old fashioned parents who will like that classic style. Of course, I can't just be classic about it. I'm adding my own little flair and making one giant granny square that will be probably 5x5 feet. It's probably about 16 inches square so far, and it's so Mom-ish, I know she'll love it.

Oh, and it's 2 shades of pink! Shudder.

Gift WIPs and FOs

Been kind of a busy bee working on Christmas gifts. I pretty much aticipate that it will be all that I do between now and December, and probably most of what I will blog about. Because I am doing a 100% handmade Christmas and did not start until October, everything will be basic and simple. Nothing at all advanced.

First up is a wool bag that has yet to be felted. The strap looks wonky in the photo but it's just fine. This is supposed to be a project bag for my best friend Sara. She carries her yarn and projects in a plastic bag. The yarn is a handspun wool I got off of ebay from a fantastically sweet girl. It's more purple in person than it appears here. I'm also making her the half-moon shawl from Lion's website using Jiffy in a very dark purple. She'll love them both I think.

This is a boy scarf, not sure exactly for whom yet. Lion Wool Ease chunky. Worked up quickly. I have a ton to make so that's a huge plus.

This is a stash-buster for Mark's aunt who loves these colors. RH Super Saver. I thought it came out nice. Marley loves it too.

This black and white scarf, in need of blocking, is for Theresa, the new sister in law of Mark's. She likes colors like this (hence the browns in her blanket for the wedding, which they keep saying the love, thank God!). I'm not sure, do you think it needs some fringe?

And finally my own gift that will never be finished it seems. This is my Noro tote that I'm going to use also for a project bag. It will be felted of course. I am only working on this on Wednesday nights. So far this is about 2 skeins. It's pretty huge in person, and seems smaller in the pic.

Why only on Wednesdays? Well, Off the Hook meets on Wednesday nights. It's the crochet group that a girl on the ville wanted to start. Between the two of us working it and posting flyers and such, we managed to get 5 attendants for our last Wed get together. We meet at a coffee shop on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. We meet tomorrow.

Still sick. I've been very unwell for 2 weeks. 2 separate colds I can't seem to shake. Pretty crappy if you ask me.

Christmas Gifts To Make

Blankets: 3 plus 1/2

Dishcloths: 18

Grocery Bag Holders: 2

Wool Felted Pot Holders: 4

Scarves: 7

Shawl: 1

Wool Felted Slippers: 1

Chicken Hot Pads: 2

Hat/Scarf Set: 1

Bookmarks: 5

This list kind of makes me want to die a little. 67 days to go. Crap.

Back from Vacation, WIPs and Some Photo-less FOs

It's been so long since I've posted.

So. Thurs, Oct 4th we headed from southern NH to northern Maine (about 6 hours north, or 300 miles). The weather was gorgeous, nice and crisp and autumn-like. I could not have asked for better weather the entire weekend.

The purpose of our trip was to see these two crazy kids get married (Mark's older brother Erik and his bride, Teresa) on Saturday, October 6, 2007. The ceremony was absolutely lovely.

At the reception I met all the young cousins, by virtue of being seated with them. Mark was at the head table with the bridal party, and I was left to fend for myself with the young ladies. I know I don't look much older than these girls (I'm the one in red, by the way), but believe me 5 years makes a difference when you're in your mid to late twenties. They were sweet though. I wish I had a photo of the dress and the black shawl together, but alas I do not. The red wine was plentiful that night, and important photo taking of important hand crocheted items fell by the wayside.

Look at how nicely Mark cleans up. He looks old to me here. Older than usual I guess.

This is what we had the pleasure of looking at for 6 days. This is the view practically from the motel. I'd say this is about 50 to 75 yards from our motel door. It was breathtaking.

Funny story. We arrived on the island around 2 pm on Thursday. We were maybe 10 minutes from the motel and we were both ready to be out of the car, and ready to visit with Mark's relatives. A sign caught my eye, literally about 10 feet in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and made a hard right turn (thankfully no one was behind me). It was instinct. I saw "yarn" out of the corner of my eye and had to stop. Afterall, I don't have a LYS, unless you consider "local" about 45 minutes away. And I had saved up a chunk of money specifically for this occassion. Mark was so irritated that I found a yarn shop, while simultaneously shocked that I saw the sign, processed what it was, and turned into the parkinglot in the matter of about an eigth of a second. What can I say? My fiber radar was going crazy.

Anyhow, I got myself a small (expensive) bag of goodies) that included 6 skeins of Noro in color 150, and 5 skeins of Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold. I gave one skein away to our cat babysitter as a thank you gift, and kept 4 for myself (2 brick, 2 green--they look great together, which unfortunately you cannot discern in the photos).

Here's the silky wool. I think each skein is 175 meters. It feels like a sport weight, maybe a light DK. I wish I could tell you for certain but it just doesn't say on the label. I also wish you could feel it. It's soft as hell. I have 2 scarves in mind for these.

And the Noro. Yarn orgasm. I'm making a tote bag that I will eventually felt. The colors are just gorgeous, very muted. They're not bright like some of the Noro colors are, they're very subtle. I love the colors. I think I've gone through 2 skeins so far. I think I'll probably only use 5, and reserve the last skein for a hat. The tote bag will likely become my project bag once it's finished. I'm not working on this steadily, it will take me forever to complete it, as I'm in full Christmas gift mode right now.

The remaining 200 photos from the wedding weekend are available here. Do take a peek. If you've never been to the Bar Harbor area in Maine, you'll be amazed at the beauty.

We've actually been home now for a week. I came back to work on Wednesday and was swamped all week, and too busy to update here. Then Friday morning I woke up, sicker than I've been in years. Probably the worst cold I've had in maybe 3 or 4 years. It was pretty miserable. I made it through 7 hours at work before I gave up and left. And though I had many, many plans this weekend, I managed to only get as far as my living room, where I parked my ass under blankets and basically gave up my will to live. Okay, maybe not that dramatically but I was definitely sick.

One good thing about being housebound and bed/couch bound is that it left me with a lot of time to crochet. I managed to make a scarf for Mark's Aunt Judy, and my best friend Sara's christmas gift. A while back I purchased some hand spun wool on ebay for really cheap. I used 2 strands held together and a J hook (it was sport weight wool) and crocheted a tote bag. She uses a plastic bag to transport her projects, so I figured I'd make her a nice project tote. The bag is huge and simple. I sewed the strap on without doing much testing--I was sick and didn't feel like standing up to see how long it was. I kind of just eyeballed it. Well, the damn strap is so long, and I just don't like it. It's not her style to have a long, huge bag like that. So I'm going to remove the strap and shorten it, and then I'll reattach it and felt the bag. I managed to have two 200 yard yarn cakes leftover, so I'll stick those in the bag. It's purple, her favorite color, so hopefully she'll really like it. I also started on a third project--a scarf for the bride shown above-- in black and white. It's just about done. I'll post photos once I get around to taking them, and also take another pic of the Noro bag. Who makes a $53.70 tote bag anyway? Sigh. I can't help it. I love the yarn.

Oh and PS--Mark's family all decided that he should propose to me. I guess they liked me. :)

Oh, PPS--There were 8 yarn shops within a 10 mile radius of the motel. Can you beleive? Eight fricken yarn stores? Holy crap. I was smart and only went into one. I dropped $85, and that was in one store. Can you imagine eight? All competing and probably all carrying different yarny goodness?

It's About Fricken Time!

Aside from weaving in a few ends, I'm finally done with the blanket and it can get boxed and wrapped tonight. We leave Thursday morning around 8 am and if I never see this ghan again it will be too soon!

As much as I griped over and over and over again about this project, I have to say that the photo does not do it justice at all. I really disliked the idea of this yarn, but once it turned from skeins of fuzzy hell into this blanket, I really started to fall in love with it. I'm not sure I would ever make another afghan out of it given that it's hand wash and lay flat to dry (Woops, sorry Erik and Theresa), but it's luxurious to wrap yourself up in. I'm almost upset that I have to give this away.

We're off to Southwest Harbor, Maine. We're staying at the Seawall Motel in Acadia National Park, which is just an interesting little place. It's not much to look at in terms of lodging, it seems like your basic motel, but the area is certainly lovely. To wake up in the mornings with the possibility of seeing harbor seals and eagles? Or to fall asleep at night and possibly see Aurora Borealis? It will be pretty spectacular in terms of that stuff I think.

We'll be back Tuesday. I'm sure I'll have a million photos to bore you all with. Until then, have a great weekend!

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